Podcast 544-Self Definition. How would you describe yourself to someone you did not know? Are you defined by how you look, what kind of job you have, what kind of car you drive? Are you defined by material possessions? Do you define yourself according to the political spectrum as being of ‘the right’ or ‘the left’. A question that started out in Yoga class has been resonating with me all weekend. Time for Podcast 544-Self Definition. In a daily Yoga practice the question of how one defines themselves has to do with attaching yourself to how you do certain poses, how you look, how strong you are in comparison to others. Reaching a deeper practice requires the student to let go of those kinds of hard and fast definitions of themselves. In this podcast I expand on this idea to fit into society in general. Asking how we define ourselves certainly isn’t an original thought of mine, it came from my fantastic Yoga Teacher, Angela T. But expanding it to society as a whole is an interesting exercise. We’re living through a period of change, with new tools and new ways of doing things people could only imagine just twenty years ago, and thirty years ago the things we think of as everyday weren’t on anyone’s mind. All kinds of changes are taking place due to these new tools, yet many of us remain in the old world, deeply attached to outmoded perceptions and ideas about who we are. Historians like to name ‘eras’ well after they have passed. For example, historians refer to the United States just before the Civil War ‘antebellum’. Historians refer to the period between World War I and World War II as the ‘interwar’ period. People living in those times did not think of them as ‘antebellum’ or ‘interwar’, just their time. How we define ourselves has a big impact on whether we are resistant to change, which we all are to some degree or another. Big changes are underway now, and will gather momentum in the near future. Given the advances we see almost everyday, more change is on the agenda going forward. Hanging on too tightly prevents us from seeing solutions, using ideas, and being happy. How do you define yourself? In this podcast I share how I have defined myself in the past, how it effected me, and how I think about these things today. Sponsored by Karow Contracting.
Podcast 543-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-41. All new content for this week’s radio show. I devoted some time in Podcast 541 to the state by state polls. So, for the radio show, rather than excerpt segments from that podcast, given the fact that new polls are being taken almost daily, I decided to do an all new radio show with updates where applicable for the state by state polls. As I said in previous podcasts, the election of the president in the United States is not a popular vote affair. When you vote for an individual candidate, you are voting for a slate of electors, already chosen by the state parties, controlled by state election law. These are the people who actually vote for the president. While no elector has ever been prosecuted for voting their conscience so to speak, there have been faithless electors. And as much crap as the electoral system takes, there have only been two elector incidents in our history. Both of these happened in the early days of the republic (1796 and 1800) when the system called for the ‘runner up’ for president to be the vice president. Florida in 2000 was not an electoral college issue, since the electoral college had not voted. Florida in 2000 was a local vote counting issue that was litigated all the way up to the US Supreme Court, which ended up deciding the issue for George W. Bush. The US is a representative republic, not a direct democracy. Both parties want to tinker with the electoral college. Hillary Clinton has said we should amend the constitution to abolish the electoral college. Republicans want to tinker with it by pushing something called the ‘National Popular Vote’ which is essentially slaving all fifty states’ electoral votes to the popular vote in that state. Currently 29 states require the electors to vote for the winner of the popular vote. If the 2016 cycle leaves us with any impression, it is that mob rule in politics is not a good thing. My preference is to go back to letting the electors be the electors, and by the way, to letting state legislatures appoint US Senators as well. So, given the electoral factor in the US presidential election, focusing on national popularity polls is pretty much a waste of time. At this time, State by State polls do not paint a pretty picture for Republican Donald Trump, or even for the Republican effort to hold the US Senate. Republicans don’t like to hear bad news but there it is. Can Trump pull it out? Yes, but listen to the podcast to find out where he has to put his efforts in the next few weeks before the election. Whether you think of the starting gun as the primary season, the conventions, Labor Day or two weeks before election day, the Republicans are the underdogs at this point in time and they have their work cut out for them, all in this brand new Podcast 543-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-41. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and Karow Contracting.
Western Minnesota Road Trip. Freestyle talk about my travel in the last last 6 weeks. My reflections on a weekend jaunt to Western Minnesota’s New Ulm and Walnut Grove, tying in the talk about technology threatening jobs in the future. Recent road trips have intensified my interest in the history of the Western United States. There is a lot of significant western history in Minnesota. We often think of historic topics like Indian Wars and Pioneers has happening further west, but one of the bloodiest clashes between settlers and American Indians happened in New Ulm in 1862, when the mostly German townspeople had to barricade the streets of their town to fight off attacks by the Dakota. Further west is Walnut Grove, the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the famous ‘Little House On The Prairie’. While the museum in Walnut Grove could use a little bit better curation, some of the artifacts in the museum are interesting, especially grasshoppers or Locusts the size of a man’s hand, which plagued the settlers of Walnut Grove. When you examine items in a museum, it’s easy to think about how old they are. For the people of the time though, it was new technology. It’s fun to flip the script and wonder what our descendants will think of the artifacts of our time in a museum at some point a hundred years from now. Today, supposedly new tech like robotics and autonomous machines and software threatens millions of jobs. Proposed ‘solutions’ to this ‘threat’, like guaranteed minimum incomes and job retraining programs don’t make much sense. When people came west for opportunity, 140 years ago, they didn’t have job retraining programs. They couldn’t have known they’d be plagued by grasshoppers the size of a man’s hand. Yet they came anyway. We need to start thinking about the opportunity new technology provides us in building a new world, and stop being so negative all the time. Sponsored by Karow Contracting and Hydrus Performance.