Friday, June 27, 2008

The Gift Relationship

Been learning about the gift relationship...here are some sketchpad notes

The gift relationship and the gift economy is based around four principles > reciprocity, sharing of time, sharing of space and sacrifice.

Reciprocity
Basis of the concept of Gift Economy : The Gift giver is indebted to the receiver for receiving his/her gift. In contrast to the basis of the concept of Market Economy : Receiver owes the giver for the gift received

The Gift : Value not in the gifts worth. Value is in the relationship that it creates, reproduces and enhances.

In the gift economy one seeks others to receive their gift. Identity, acceptance and belonging is bound in one receiving their gift. To not receive a gift is an insult in the gift economy.

In our market economy. Receiving is done warily as we are afraid in doing so we create a dependency on that person or an indebtness

Basic human relationship is centred around : Interdependence
The first act of a child is to reconnect when harshly disconnected from the mother’s womb. The mother doesn’t charge her baby for milk. It is a free gift, based upon the need for interdependence.

Gift constipation of the elderly : Retirement is the collection of all gifts ‘owed’. Not allowed hence force to pass on gifts to others

Imagine if social workers/teachers and the like viewed it a ‘gift’ that clients/students shared their concerns with them or received their teaching.

Addiction = overdependence on a substitute for human interdependence

Instead of the feelings associated with the giving in our market economy which are largely based upon :
§ You now owe me > Superiority > Creates dependency

However, the gift economy still exists and actually is the foundation from which the market economy is ‘allowed’ to exist. The gift economy goes mostly unrecognized in all our relationships. Yet it can be seen if one looks closely. For example a parent goes to work to provide gifts (home, food, goods etc) for his/her family.

Sharing of Time and Sharing of Space
More and more distancing of sharing. Construction of virtual ‘real’ time. Space falls out of the equation. We think we’ve overcome the barriers of time and space through our technology. Instead we’ve removed both from the relationship.

Sacrifice
I give up of my own > so I can make whole > so that I can also be
“sacrum” = the holy = to make whole = to make healthy

Our understanding of sacrifice in market exchange system is “I lose, they win”. This diminishes us as individuals and claims that the whole is greater than ourselves.

In Gift Relationship : Altruism is impossible. Altruism is a product of market thinking. The self cannot be without contribution to the other.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Death of the Mountains...

This is un-believable! How can we live with ourselves?


Kentucky, West Virginia.


Over 480 mountains have had their summits removed. Why? To feed our coal addiction. they become open-cut mines similiar to the one's we have in Latrobe Valley. It is called Mountaintop removal mining (MTR). Explosives are used to remove up to 1000 vertical feet of rock to get to the coal semms...this rock is then deposited in river valleys. One can only imagine the effect upon the ecology (our home), other species and our selves. Cancers, illness, pollutants, heavy metals leaching into river systems that run right through the US.




"The first time I flew over southern West Virginia and saw mountaintop removal coal mining from the air, I knew that if everyone could see what I had seen - mountain after mountain blown up and then dumped into streams in the neighboring valleys - they would think twice about where their electricity came from the next time they flipped a light switch."

Now it’s your turn to fly over the region.


To view the mountaintop removal layer in the new featured content for Google Earth (available for free download), go to the “Layers” sidebar in Google Earth, on the left-hand side of the screen. In the “Featured Content” folder, look for “Appalachian Mountaintop Removal” in the “Global Awareness” folder. More detailed instructions are available on the iLoveMountains Tutorial page where you can also download the full-featured version of the Memorial.

http://www.ilovemountains.org/press