The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “humanity

Automating Poverty

Posted on February 19, 2019

Most of us remain thankful for modern technology and how it has speeded up processes and transactions, mostly by letting us carry out such procedures online and at home. Nevertheless, we are more than aware that something human got lost along the way to such efficiencies.   So it is with those struggling through poverty in all its many forms.  Recent studies are showing that many in low-income situations are seeing less and less of human caseworkers and more and more of online forms, lengthy wait times to reach someone on the phone, and a lengthy array of paperwork just to get through the process of getting assistance. It’s even the subject of a compelling book.  In her Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor,…

The Art of Making Goodness Attractive

Posted on December 23, 2018

We aren’t forced into doing good. Nor are we legislated or coerced into performing a kind act for others. Rather, we are inspired into it. It might be a holiday song wafting through a favourite store, a Salvation Army kettle attended by a citizen, seeing our kids start decorating the tree, watching a favourite holiday movie, or standing silent as a family looking over a manger scene in our local park – all of these moments, and so many more, arc us towards kindness, generosity, to be more accepting, even committed to being a more compassionate people. But somewhere along the journey we encounter others who call out the best in us and we end up being better as a result. And whether we…

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…