First, some philosophy. Then, some extreme practicality. I hope you enjoy both!

Philosophy Friday….

Recently I was on a plane and noticed a couple of lovebirds staring deep into each other’s eyes. There is a certain kind of look that comes into the eyes of the truly, madly, deeply love-smitten that is quite unique. And for some reason this sent me off on a tangent of thought about the nature of eyes and senses….

Eyes

Most humans have eyes that, when standing, are between 5 feet and 6 feet above the ground – with a smaller proportion at the extremes of the bell curve below 5 feet or above 6 feet. How different would our human world look if our eyes were located, say, at the level of our kneecaps? Or our waists? Imagine how different your kitchen would look if all the countertops had to be visible from 3 feet above the ground.

This must be a small part of the radical adjustment faced by those who suddenly find themselves in a wheelchair. At least children have a reasonable expectation that one day they will grow into the adult-scaled world that we have created. But those who find themselves unexpectedly shorter must find it incredibly frustrating that so many activities are now – quite literally – beyond their reach.

Confusing an Eye for an I

How the world looks to infrared camera film

The more secular of us tend to assume that if something can’t be perceived with our five senses, then it doesn’t exist. But this is a very narrow view of the world. Setting aside matters of faith for now, there are many, many things that exist without our being able to sense them – radioactivity, ultraviolet, infrared, etc etc. Until we thought that these things might exist, and developed gadgets to measure them, they might well have seemed to belong to the realm of magic.

Animals are able to sense many things that we cannot – upcoming weather or earthquakes, high-pitched noises, objects in the dark, far-distant heartbeats, maybe even energetic phenomena that we would label “ghosts”.

“Seeing” the “Future”

We adhere to the concept of linear time because it helps us organize our thoughts and lives. But according to Einstein/Sagan/Hawking….

If we could see the future as clearly as a crystal ball....

What if we could see into the future? What if we could see the long-term consequences of our actions even as we take them? This would certainly make the life of the environmental campaigner a heck of a lot easier. If we had the clarity of vision to see a lifetime’s accumulation of plastic waste, or the result of our carbon dioxide emissions, it would have huge implications for the way we live our lives. Ignorance would no longer be a defence.

With our science and our gadgets, we have a tendency to presume that we can measure everything that exists. It might behoove us to open our minds to different perspectives – in time and in space – and to recognize that our every action has consequences, whether we can see them or not.

Other Stuff:

Back in the real world – lots of activity around the OAR Project right now. Just 6 weeks to go, and so much still to do. Exciting times!

We have some needs, and I’d like to ask you if you can help with any of the following:

Contacts in St John’s, Newfoundland, who might be able to help us out with media, boating supplies, advice on local tides and weather, friends, food, accommodation – almost anything, really! We don’t know anybody there, and we’d like to, so if you have a friend or a friend-of-a-friend, please let us know.

Skipper Andy Tourell in offshore gear - when I was on board the Spirit of Juno en route to La Gomera

Offshore gear, such as Musto or Henri Lloyd. We haven’t managed to get sponsorship for this (boo!) apart from a discount, so if you have any foul weather gear hanging around in a closet and gathering dust, please let us know. I am all in favour of recycling! This gear will be vital to our expedition – there will be icebergs floating around out there, not to mention huge waves, so this could make all the difference to our health and wellbeing. Ideally looking for two sets (one small, one large) of HPX Musto salopettes and smock, in red.

Oars. We haven’t managed to get any sponsorship for this as yet. Ideally we’d like Concept 2 oars, 3 pairs, macon blades, sculling handles and around 3.10 metres long (to be confirmed). Let us know if you might be able to help.

Cash! We are managing to get discounts on many things, but we are still ending up seriously out of pocket. We will be launching an appeal for individual donations, but meanwhile if you know of anybody or any company that might be interested in sponsoring a North Atlantic row with a particular emphasis on the Olympic spirit, best of British, and creating a legacy fleet of rowboats for the disadvantaged and disabled, please drop us a line.

Meanwhile, we are DELIGHTED to welcome Crewroom on board as our kit sponsor. Personally, I am so pleased about this. I rowed with Crewroom founder Kate Giles a rather long time ago at Thames Rowing Club, and am so proud of what she is achieving with this brand.

Row, Britannia! Rowing snood by Crewroom.

Crewroom is a British performance brand with a sustainable ethos. Their primary concern is the physical welfare of the athlete and helping them on their journey through the seasons – that’s why they focused on developing their fabrics first. The result is their sustainable Vapour-X series which draws on Bamboo Charcoal Technology and incorporates recycled polyester. They design and road test all their kit in the UK, drawing upon a pool of British talent from the London School of Fashion to performance athletes, many of which have represented GB at international level.

I just love working with people who are passionate about what they do!

Crewroom details:

Like them on Facebook

Follow them on Twitter.

And/or sign up for their monthly Crewroom newsletter. You can sign up to receive this on the bottom right-hand corner of the home page on their website.

And of course our OAR details too:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

And finally, speaking of eyes, a stunning promo video for the upcoming EG Conference in Monterey, where I will be speaking next month…..

15 Comments

  • “What if we could see the long-term consequences of our actions even as we take them?”

    Roz, I think we can, if we apply a bit of life experience…

    imag·i·na·tion

    1 : the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality

    2a : creative ability
    . b : ability to confront and deal with a problem

    • You are quite right, Doug – but then how do we explain the evidence suggesting that the majority of people seem NOT to use their imaginations in this way?

      •  In training exercises, time after time, each group would come up with a different interpretation and solution to a problem. Sometimes none worked out; sometimes all did so. Even those that did often had undesirable side-effects which were sometimes hard to quantify. Most government solutions fail in some way!

      • Perhaps, in addition to a sprinkle of imagination, the recipe calls for a pinch of indignation and a dash of motivation, not to mention personal hunger for just ice ;-D

        • Just ice, or justice??!! 😉

          Personally, I’m more interested in justice, unless we’re talking about what to put in a G&T.

          • Pun intended ;-D .. Intensional typoes make for more phun, i.e.,  just ice (as in preserving glaciers and icebergs) morphs to justice any whey you sea it 🙂 

  • At the end of hard ol’ week working in and around Southern California, Philosophy Friday was a very welcome tag end to this afternoon!  And, already – an UncaDoug comment…. to make me think. 

  • I think you need to study basic economics to truly understand the dynamic nature of society, the vast knowledge and calculation problems and the myriad unintended consequences of seemingly simple  and obvious solutions. e.g. Lenin (who was a genius – Spoke many languages, great orator and could play the piano at concert level) could not foresee that the consequence of banning money and enforcing barter would be mass starvation. What he didn’t understand was that he was really banning prices and that prices compress a massive amount of information.  He had unwittingly ripped every signal out of the economy. Thus no one knew what to grow, in what quantity or location, or how much to grow, or where was the best place to send it once harvested. The very best environment campaigner would advocate free markets and free floating prices e.g. much of the waste malinvestment environmentalists see in the world is a function of years of below market interest rates. US urban sprawl and inefficient cars is a function of below market price fuel. 

    •  How right you are, Adrian. Unfortunately so few people know anything about economics of any color that your message will mean nothing to them.

    • I had not heard (at least I don’t remember) the term “malinvestment” until now, and am so glad to hear of a word that so clearly describes that happens when we try to play God, disregarding “externalities” resulting in  cycles of overconsumption in the boom period which guarantees that such an artificially induced boom is doomed. (http://bit.ly/malinvest). Thanks for that comment @facebook-624371629:disqus. 

      So, @42a8947347a926bf43f877644593cb3d:disqus, now you’ve got me pondering the implications … what would be an appropriate message and how to phrase it?

      A few days ago, I tossed a few ingredients into a stew to simmer: imagination, motivation, indignation and hunger for just ice (double entendre, justice) but the bottom line is cute or poignant ideas need to be implemented. That is the struggle, eh?

  • ALOHA ROZ FROM OREGON!   love the new website!  and, enjoyed Tom’s video
    on his bike adventure… MAHALO for your energy and love for the OCEANS and the EARTH…
    you continue to be a positive inspiration for us all……………..   Peace… Hugs… Love… Carol

  • My buddy Jerel was here for a couple of days from the Great Salt Lake and we went to Beacon Rock in the Columbia River Gorge.  Just happened to have a cherry pie Larabar in the pack.  It was really good…got it at my local food co-op downtown, first one. Did not do any climbing though…it was cold and the rock was wet as it had just rained.        Go Roz Go!      Cheers, Stephen

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