Blog 2014

Seattle City Council to vote on Smart Meters June 30.

Dear Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Mike O’Brien, and Sally Clark, and other esteemed City Officials, Thank you for listening to public concerns about City Light’s smart meter program (AMI) and particularly for your statements (Kshama and Mike), affirming the wisdom of applying the precautionary principle (PP) in regards to this new and untested technology. If you are truly sincere regarding upholding the PP, it would seem the Council’s upcoming vote on June 23rd would necessitate imposing some sort of moratorium until a more transparent and careful analysis of the potentially far reaching...

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This Is Your Brain on Smart Meters

Today, I was struck by several pages of a book discussing our ways of perceiving the world in modern life. Perception – according to one school of modern psychology – can be broadly divided into two categories – utilitarian, and appreciative. In the former, which phenomenological psychology holds that alarmingly, much of modern cognitive life resides, humans view the world as a means to an end: “The world becomes a gigantic gasoline station, an energy source for modern technology and industry. The relation of man to the world as such is in principle a technical one,...

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Boulder River Wilderness

Prologue. Earth Day 2014. Dr. Bill Wulsin and I left Seattle intent on following up on our acupuncture response efforts at the Oso Fire Station which we had coordinated since the epic disaster of March 22, 2014. (My previous blog post regarding the utility of acupuncture at alleviating traumatic stress and bringing hope to the world can be found here.) In the corner of our minds, each of us entertained the fantasy of offering an acupuncture treatment to President Obama on his visit to Oso. With the many global conflicts, economic challenges, and human rights conflicts happening on his watch,...

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Lessons from Oso

It is difficult to write about a disaster so close to home, and almost impossible to remain objective.  Everyone touched by a disaster, including responders, are to varying degrees, psychologically traumatized.  Even people remote from the scene can be affected.  On the eve of 9/11, I had just arrived in Lhasa after a 30 hour bus ride and had not been in contact with the outside world. That evening I experienced disturbing nightmares involving a plane crash. The mind is a non-localized phenomenon. Spiritually, we are never remote from disaster and suffering. Over time, human consciousness...

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Light and Shadow – Fukushima Three Year Anniversary Reflections

March 11, 2014. I am standing on the sidewalk in the shadow of a skyscraper outside the Japanese Consulate in downtown Seattle on a beautiful sunny day, exactly three years after the Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, and the subsequent triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi. “Good afternoon sir, would you like to learn more about Fukushima?” I extend my arm in a posture conveying energy, friendliness, and openness. My hand holds a flyer with health information regarding the hazards of nuclear radiation, news resources, as well as suggestions for citizen action. A few muscles twitch in...

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The Fallacy of Charging What You are Worth

One of the mantras of small business capitalism is “charge what you are worth”. My colleagues in the community acupuncture revolution take a different view of reality. Yesterday, an old client of CommuniChi called and said he was bringing a friend to come in for a first treatment. He encouraged me to charge his friend $100 for the treatment in order to glamorize my acupuncture services and counter any impression of cheapness or inferiority that my “$20 to $40 sliding scale” might convey. I laughed. This month marks my sixteenth year as an acupuncturist and I’ve...

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