The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “humanity

Is It This or That?

Posted on November 6, 2018

The American midterms today will be just another reminder of democracy’s strong tendency to be overly concerned over what people believe instead of what is true, to be lulled into being persuaded by perception rather than reality. Millennia ago, even Plato warned against the propensity to permit persuasion to overshadow the problem of knowledge. The distinction between blind belief and knowledge has only become more blurred  in the social media era. Take a citizenry, especially of the mass-consumer and tech savvy variety, and the potential is huge for fabrication, half-truths, misnomers, outright lies, and innuendo. While such things remain a temptation in fields like advertising, it is now a reality that politics excels at it. Why? Because such perpetrators know we are vulnerable to…

Looking Outward To Find Our Identity

Posted on September 19, 2018

One has to feel a certain empathy for Meghan Markel – the newest royal through her marriage with Prince Harry. Enduring scrutiny in a fishbowl unlike any other, Markel has to fight for her own identity and image in an institution bathed in historical structure, rigid adherence to form, fighting for air amongst a host of other royal family personages who have the advantage of learning the protocols from the youngest age.  In such a setting, images of Diana come to mind. It’s all about identity and Meghan Markel is up against the best of them.  And yet there is something benignly noble about her fighting for her own space.  Sure, she receives endless criticism as a person of privilege in a privileged world, but…

How Do You Measure Grief?

Posted on June 28, 2018

I spent some of morning yesterday speaking to a remarkable group of global academics, psychologists and numerous knowledgeable leaders from a variety of fields and who get together every two years in various locations around the world two discuss the implications of some of humanity’s greatest sadness.  This year they were in Canada. Officially titled the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement, I realized I was standing before a gathering of activists who seek to not only understand grief but to influence policymakers who hold the responsibility of improving the global conditions that lead to such earthly pain.  It was a challenge just to be in their midst; to address them was more than a little intimidating. If we desired to understand…

A Deeper Code

Posted on May 3, 2018

Senator John McCain’s name came up in a discussion yesterday following mention of what could be one of his final communications before his brain tumour takes its final toll.  The young man’s view was that this is just another self-serving politician who’s lived off the political system for years and it’s time to replace him anyway. When I mentioned McCain’s being a POW in Vietnam, the response was, “Yeah, but think how terrible he was supporting Bush and some of the stupid votes he made.” And so it goes.  We are rapidly losing the ability to place people in some kind of context that truly represents their life and not just the part we disagree with.  That will be the subject of tomorrow’s post, but…

Progress Despite All That Negativity

Posted on April 14, 2018

This week I posted a quiz compiled by Hans Rosling regarding our knowledge of the broader world, specifically the strides made in global health and poverty.  You can find that post here.  I heard from a number of folks taking the quiz that they failed – miserably.  We laughed when I told them I only got half of the questions right.  Inwardly I chastised myself for my own lack of knowledge. Rosling, in his book Factfulness,takes that quiz a little further and talks about the results.  The findings are fascinating and troubling – especially in a series of questions that are neither trick queries or realities that can’t be found thousands of times on the internet.  In some research of 12000 respondents, here’s what…

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