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Imagination is more important than Knowledge [P1]

bruceConfucius, Tesla, Einstein and multiple other great thinkers of our human history have made wise statements along the lines of “imagination (and/or dreaming) is just as (or more) important than knowledge”. George Bernard Shaw wrote:You see things and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were and I say, ‘Why not!?'” My take on this innovative way of thinking is that imagination and the focused individual power to dream are a lot more important than the 3rd party potentially factual data/info we learn from others. These 3rd party “facts” are based on other people’s ability to absorb, record & understand the actual facts which may or may not have been experienced 1st hand by their own senses. Either way, by the time our own (n’th party) senses absorb them, these potential facts are already part of the (limited) accessible records of the past. What I’m trying to write is that unless we experience things 1st hand, the data/info we learn as facts is only a glimpse of what actually happened, and before this data info reaches our senses is first filtered by:

  1. the senses of the individual(s) who witness/create an event,
  2. then it is filtered by the individual(s)’ prism of understanding and ability to process that data/info,
  3. then it is filtered by the individual(s)’ personal interest(s),
  4. then by the interest(s) of the people the individual(s) report to,
  5. then by the interest(s) of the social/political/financial/cultural/psychological/etc environment the individual(s) belong to,
  6. then among various other filters on this chain, the data is also filtered by the individual(s)’ own ability to translate into accurate language that factual experience,
  7. and definitely not the final filter on this chain, the “facts” are also filtered by all the people on the chain who handle and translate this data/information. And if we’re not the ones witnessing/creating the fact, all the above and more happens before the “factual” data info reaches our senses.

Therefore understanding and experiencing 3rd party “facts” is not like when you put a finger in the a glass of water to decide if the water is hot or cold. Despite the fact that you only make that measurement with a finger, a tiny part of yourself which you put into the vessel, when you bring it back out, your whole body gains all the real experiences your finger had. In such a personal experience, there isn’t a “Chinese whispers chain”, there is no middle-ware, there are no other interests to stop you from understanding the real truth about what you’re learning or trying to find out. So at the end of the experience you may conclude that you know the truth.

However, while I imagine a way this may be made possible, in our current state of consciousness we cannot all experience all the facts across time and space, can we? Since the answer is clearly no, then how can we learn what’s really true and what’s not? And what’s most dangerous, how can we learn that what’s presented to our senses is not only, lets say, 90% true? Because this manipulatory informational model which uses the small change in truth to fulfil/protect an agenda, can take us to the edge of a cliff and beyond with our very own permission and desire, and it can actually convince us to be proud of what we’re doing (in today’s bamboozled world there are countless examples). In psychology (and business) this is called “Psychological Manipulation” and I highly recommend everyone to read at least the wiki page on this subject and find out how manipulators control their “happy” victims. If you don’t like reading and prefer video, then here is a 3min video to introduce you to 7 sneaky secrets of mind manipulators. And now that you are informed of such unethical techniques used by intelligent and dangerous psychopaths & sociopaths, please watch the following 3min video to understand the impact we had on this planet while “happily” following the orders of unethical manipulators, and in the paragraphs below we will pick up from the end of the video and start talking about (hopefully) a brighter future:

 “Those who don’t understand the past are doomed to repeat it.” 

OK, so after watching the MAN video, things may seem pretty self explanatory as everyone with a brain and a heart would now be looking into the proverbial mirror. One may conclude that we, humans are indeed 100% guilty of purposefully destroying this planet in our crave for domination, economic/tech growth and personal comfort and we were able to do it because we were lucky enough to be on top of the food chain. In our self-destructive cancerous model, we humans seem to be the cancerous cells which keep eating away at the body that gave us life, that feeds us and sustains us, while having utter disregard for the body (Earth) because we consume it to the death which implicitly also means the death of us. Now this is a painfully harsh conclusion based on the apparent reality, but is it true??

thinkThis is the core point of my post but since things may not be what they seem, in my quest for truthful knowledge I will try to prove that humans couldn’t have done this without manipulatory influences, because humans are born empathic and moral, its in our genes. So given the fact that we all have a good heart +I feel it and you feel it+, when we compare this fact with what humans have done and what we’re still doing, it just doesn’t makes sense!! How and when do we turn bad/unethical? Well since the answers I found may be impossible to prove (for now), I want to set a disclaimer before I go further.

As I mentioned in some of my previous posts on this blog and on my G+ (which is my lazy blog replacement where I share quick thoughts when I don’t find the time to write a proper blog post here), I am not a scientist and as a matter of fact, I’m not an expert in anything. I am just a curious observer which most of the time can’t even make sense of his own life, nevermind the reasoning for destructive history of the whole of humanity challenged here. However, I am looking for different views than my observations and I’m more than happy to learn from your feedback. Whatever you may think/feel, do contact me and express your views as even if “I may not agree with what you have to say, I’ll defend to the death your right to say it!” Now with this out of the way, I’d like to disclose some personal feelings and beliefs before we start an exploratory mind-expanding imagination game:

[The following statements are part of an imaginative game and intended to be completely neutral to all human religions & belief systems]
  • I believe that we -humanity- require a major paradigm shift to spiral out of the circle of madness repeated by our ancestors like the Egyptians, Babylonians, Chinese, Greeks, Persians, Romans, Turks, Slavs, Russian, Spanish, French, English and Germans among many others;
  • I believe that Einstein was only 1/2 right in saying “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”, because WWIII may be much closer than we think (I’m preparing another post on the risks and threats to us in 2015 and beyond, and this post will deal with WWIII scenario) and I believe that if we complete the current circle of destruction we will wipe ourselves out for good and there won’t be a WWIV.
  • We live at a crucial stage for humanity and given our potentially unprecedented destruction power, if we want to protect our future I believe that we need to unite our collective hearts and brains in a sync so we can focus on the right ethical direction for humanity.

    I believe

    Consciousness and worldly delusions

  • I believe that we must awaken our consciousness and at the same time, do the right things:
    • for us as individuals,
    • for our human brothers and sisters,
    • for the planet’s environment. And most important, all 3 conditions need to be satisfied at the same time, in all plans, in all our actions, or else there won’t be anyone left to imagine or create better.
  • Finally, in my quest for knowledge about our origins and how humanity got here (point in time and space) I conclude that despite millennia of genocide and systematic killings of humans vs humans, and despite our differences (i.e. gender, demographics, religions etc), there are A LOT more things that unite us than things that divide us and what we’ve done and keep doing is against our human nature. Therefore it is paramount we learn how to understand the truth about what’s happening with us and in order to do so we need to use more our imagination than our manipulated knowledge to do so.

My proposed imagination game is not based on what we know today as general facts, but on one of the oldest “fairy tales” known to man and using this myth as a model, I will try to unlock my own mind and hopefully inspire others to do the same. Given the bamboozle in our current digital world, I propose that we don’t use the (lack of) facts (not) presented by the current system, and instead rely on the power of our individual intuition, our critical thinking ability and most of all on our imagination. To kick it off I’m starting with the following premises:

Let us imagine…that the dearest, the absolute most important and priceless “things” that a human being can ever possess are:

  • 1. “One’s Mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
  • To be continued in part 2… 🙂
You are

YOU are.

 

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Posted by on December 29, 2014 in Personal

 

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Ethical Human Education, Wisdom & Evolution

 “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”Aristotle. A hundred years before the birth of Aristotle, the pioneer of wisdom Heraclitus is credited for the following quotes: “Much learning does not teach understanding.” and “Abundance of knowledge does not teach men to be wise.”  Five years after the death of Heraclitus, in 470BC, the father of Ethics and Moral philosophy (and Western philosophy, and Plato‘s teacher among many other things) was born in Athens, and his name was Socrates. Among many of his inspiring wisdom quotes he is credited for saying: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” My post follows the direction recommended by Socrates and after presenting a frame of the world as I see it, it suggests a few ways to identify and overcome the old limiting ways with the purpose to build new ethical constructs which will help us move the world in an ethical direction.

Part 1: The bigger picture

 I think that everything we do is an indirect consequence of what we learn, or  what we deduct cognitively from what we analyse around us and then compare with the foundation of knowledge we have gathered up to that moment. Now, if our thoughts/words/actions do not bring balance in our inner/outer world, then a new education is required to shape a new ethical behaviour which will bring balance. And I don’t mean a college degree, or schooling in some private or public institution with standardized testing norms. I am referring to a new model of parental education, primary and secondary school education, higher education and public education. I personally disliked the education system ever since I was in secondary school and all the way till the end of college. Most of the time I found the information I was asked to memorise and regurgitate as useless and the whole competition on who has better memory bored the hell out of me. Nevertheless I went though it mainly because my parents really wanted me to get a degree and make the family proud, but it was a painful process where I constantly had to fool myself that what I’m doing in school will matter. Well I didn’t understand why I felt like that until I saw Sir Ken Robinson‘s 1st video on TED:

 This 20min video by SKR (best-selling author and world renown expert on education, creativity and innovation) convinced me that I am potentially one of the creative ones. There are a large number of other takeaways from this video and SKR’s talks, books and writings, but one of the most important things I learnt from SKR is the following: considering our education shapes our minds, therefore shapes our thoughts, our words, our actions and everything we create through our ideas and actions, then we need to make sure we learn what really matters so we can study all the right things which are necessary to bring positive change and balance in our micro-world and subsequently, in the macro-world.

 In the age of Star Trek and technological progress/bubble, I think we live in the past. No, unfortunately I’m not referring to the wisdom-abundant past of the extraordinary Greek philosophers like Aristotle, Heraclitus, Socrates and Plato, I am referring to the Dark Ages of the human thinking which dominated our species for the last 2 millennia. While for the last century we’ve had the privilege to learn from extraordinary individuals such as Sagan, Einstein, Gandhi, Picasso, Ali, Earhart, Ford, Fleming, King Jr, Beatles, Lennon, Turing, Guevara, Mandela, Lee, CurieChaplin, JoyceMalcolm XMother Teresa, Dalai Lama, Vujicic, Snowden, Pilger, Berners-Lee, Hawking, Musk and Tesla -who received infinitely small credit for literally powering our electrical world (among a multitude of inventions way ahead of their time), society has also given us Hitler, Bernays and truly unfortunately for us, the private owners of the world money supply – the unelected ones who don’t represent the interests of the +90% of the population, who through their financial power and political influence, kill more people than Hitler ever did and who harvest the world’s innovation for profit and power.

science-and-technology-carl-sagan  I want to state the following from the beginning:  I am no expert in anything, I am just an observer. I have no particular social/political/religious/etc affiliations, I am simply an individual who is pro Life and pro Ethics, and as such, I am not against any country or citizen or individual on Earth. I respect that everyone has the right to a choice and I only ask for vice-versa. To quote Socrates yet again: “I am but a citizen of the world” and one of my principles is “Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.” This statement is important due to what I’m about to write. Therefore please note that you might agree with what I write or not. I don’t mind either way but feel free to express your opinions as even if “I may not agree with what you have to say, I’ll defend to the death your right to say it!”

 While I can find a few reasons to explain this, I feel that our systems of thinking at world level have never came out of the industrial age of the 19th century..The reason why I’m writing “I feel” and not “I think” is because I find it infuriatingly frustrating to be constrained by the tracks of a system set up by brilliant innovative thinkers of the 19th century for the 19th century society, but which is being perpetrated and used en-mass on the majority of the population by a very small percentage of individuals which have the power to turn things around and make a positive difference but they chose not to do so. These limiting industrial systems of thinking we have today and which most of us learnt in school, at home, from friends and peers, in public and from the media, need to be unlearnt, rejected and put into the history books where they belong because they have no place in a highly intelligent society.

 It took me my whole life to date to gain a nano fraction of understanding of the mechanics of my own life and it will take me the rest of my life to gain another nano fraction, but at the present moment I think I understand that the reason why we’re being held back from our true human potential is not lack of technology, lack of money, lack of appropriate geolocation, lack of temporal location or lack of any other reason/excuse. Just like all the plants, animals, birds, fish and all living creatures on this earth, Nature gave us everything we need to survive, flourish and evolve. What we really lack is an ethical educational model which is evil-proof, thoroughly documented on multiple medias (digital, analog and physical), and which is continuously improving in an ethical direction so it will never be dependent on human ego and greed. We need an educational [r]evolution to jump start our human potential!! If I’m not making much sense, then please allow me to share another Sir Ken Robinson talk and I’ll continue after the video:

 I agree entirely with Sir Ken Robinson and I consider him my virtual mentor (I’d love it if he would be my real mentor) and I believe that if our education engages and trains only small parts of our intellect (memory and in rare occasions logic) so we can compete at silly IQ and/or standardised tests, it is very limiting, misleading and disturbingly incomplete.. For our education to be complete, in my view it must encompass: 1.The whole Intellect, 2.The human Spirit, 3.The Physical body and 4.The Soul (the Emotional).  I call this “personal conclusion” my TrinityOne (3+1) system of human development and for my whole life I’ve tried to equally develop the 4 major areas of what I feel it makes me human. (“feel” because I’m referring to all my senses, not just the 5 standard ones identified by Aristotle, but the 18 ‘common’ human senses and my Intuitive sense).

Part 2: The problem

 Almost all negative/awful things happening in the world are due to one reason: money or lack of money. In my opinion, the individuals who sponsor and guide our industrial education (which is limited to those with money/resources anyway) and our manipulated economic system, are to blame for our handicaps in human development, not our parents or our teachers, or our lecturers, trainers or employers.

inequality_matters  I, like many others with similar views, keep talking about our economic system being deeply corrupt and flawed without a hope for a fix. Therefore it needs to be replaced. The current system is so unequal that not just educates only the ones who have money to pay for this industrial education, but it also fuels the 1%ers by programming the students with concepts like focus on economic growth , and: you must learn/know X to increase profits for you and your employer, and by the time you finish your secondary school or college if you’re lucky, then you are well aware of that fact that if you don’t make money for your employer, for your client, for yourself, for the society, then the society will either re-educate you or discard you and you end up in some hole or box. This system which keeps the 99% in check and under control is what’s considered fair in a society where after a global financial crisis, the number of billionaires in the world doubled. This sounds like a conspiracy and unfortunately for us, the increasing 99%ers, it is one. However, as I wrote in my previous blog post, “A country in debt is powerless but its people are not. We can make a difference together!”

 As the story goes, since late 2013, I started reading more news on many different channels and I tried my best to try and correlate and decode the information “puzzle” to find out what was really going on. I read and I am still reading a lot about: our Universe, ancient knowledge, current climate change, climate imbalance, sustainability, various IT and scientific topics, but also about the Ukraine conflict, since its so close to my country’s borders and it has the potential to start a major world war. However, this can only happen if the public is misinformed and ends up following the terrorist propaganda of unethical governments. Knowledge is our true power and Time is the real currency for us Humans so we need to focus on what’s actually important for each one of us.

 Now that being said, in the age of information,  ignorance is a choice (but due to mass surveillance and public information manipulation, this choice is an increasingly difficult one to make). However, if you want some actual news from massmedia, then read/listen the same story reported by news channels from multiple parts of the world and if possible in different languages, not just local or continental or same language (use translation websites).  Also, to help you find the truth, read articles written by investigative journalists (i.e. the Intercept team) who are fighting the unethical system and the media manipulation pressure: i.e. John Pilger in particular is an ethical investigative journalist from whom you can actually learn how to decode the news and not just absorb them without using Critical Thinking.

goering-quote  We need to understand that in imperialistic warmongering regimes (“democratic” or federal or whatever other brands are used for the eyes of the public and especially media followers), a very small group of highly unethical people rule over a very large number of good people, good citizens. This small group of unelected individuals (I conclude that most of the time the elite are not politicians in the public eye) use and will use any atrocity you can think of so they can gain more power and fulfil their sociopathic egotistical agendas. This is a fact and it is happening today in our “civilised and fair” world. Just observe carefully..

 And this brings me to my point which describes our current problem: our world is unfortunately led by highly intelligent and very dangerous sociopaths similar to Hermann Goering (see attached quote) and because of men like him, we, the free citizens are restricted from exercising our free will in a what-is-led-to-believe a free society. If the reader wants to find out how mass manipulation is taking place in our intelligent society ever since the beginning of the 20th century, and how we, the large majority of good people are puppeteered to fulfil certain agendas even when those agendas are unethical, and how the result of the actions of good people turns into the death of thousands of other good people, then please watch “The Century of the Self” documentary till the end.

 While researching the facts behind my statements in this blog post, I came across a very good neutral example of the unbelievable power of propaganda and public opinion manipulation of what I thought it was an unforgettable event in our history:  Which nation contributed most to defeating the Nazis in 1945? (Polls in France from 1945, 1994, 2004). OK, I need to correct that. The fact that the main contributor to defeating the genocidal Hitler in Europe only 70 years ago, is actually a not-so-unforgettable event is nothing to worry about, I’m sure there are more pressing matters today. Even if we see that such an important fact of our recent history can be “corrected” over such a short period of time, it must raise no questions like: is there any hope for the truth about what matters to come to light now or in the next century? Nvm, we have better things to do..

 Sarcasm aside, I found a very interesting post on Quora from which we can all learn a significant amount: a very large percentage of the transitions of our society’s structure throughout human history were done through the use of leadership/government force, aka tyranny and the main motive of action for public activation was fear of punishment, which allowed the leaders to implement their various agendas.  So a large majority of people apparently respond more to the emotion of fear than any other factor. They are unfortunately the cowards of the world who need to be scared into supporting an illegal war, taking a flu shot, or into serving a political figurehead/repressive government. Think medieval peasants, or massmedia/education brainwashed western citizens, or citizens of communist countries. Or simply religious cults. They all act out of fear of punishment. That is what triggers their motion to do what they do.

 The next motive of action is that of greed.  This type of individuals start off responding to bribes and graduate into power-lust. They are those who want all the power, money, and control, and stop at nothing to enact the kind of change that most benefits them. They seek to dominate the will of subservient fearful sheep to gain high positions of authority and to use such positions to play God. These people account for about a small minority of the population but they have very significant power to decide outcomes for the majority fearful type.

 The last and most noble of the three types is the self-contented man. This individual type probably makes up a very small percentage of society and represents a (wo)man who believes in equal liberty for all under the law and in self-responsibility. These individuals are willing to tolerate ignorance and stupidity so long as the reason is free to combat it. They do not need to be bribed to do something right or threatened to not do something wrong. They act out of clear conscience and ethics, not out of fear or greed. In short, their integrity is not for sale. Think of creators, thinkers, movers, and shakers. Think innovators, inventors, and pioneers. Think Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Nikola Tesla. Think Howard Roark(Fountainhead).

 So where am I going with this? If you are the fearful type, you are easily ruled. Society is designed to put you in your place and keep you safe and silent. If you are the greedy type, society has a place for you too ruling the fearful and manipulating them into serving your power. But if you are an intellectual without negative motive, otherwise known as a self-contented man, where do you fit? You refuse to be a servant so you are punished. You refuse to be a warlord so you are never respected or listened to. Instead you are just there, observing the world and wondering where and when you will find your place in it.

This is not because you are not great at many things, that society has no use for you, or even that you don’t want to engage, but that the societal structures that were designed by the average human being of master and servant do not normally permit you to shine within them. (source: Quora)

Part 3: The solution

When you make a choice you change the future.001-001 There are countless other examples on how good people are being “guided” by the unethical self-proclaimed puppeteers but I won’t expand further as I think I made my point above. In this final part of my post, I will simply remind the reader (&myself!) to watch “The Century of the Self” documentary and afterwards to actively exercise Critical Thinking (i.e. be assertive, question what you’re thinking, saying, doing and make your mind your own; don’t be an advocate of an agenda/dogma you’re not even aware of). Also if you don’t have time to read Aristotle’s Ethics or a book about ethics then I’m hoping that my own concise definition of how to apply ethics in real life will provide some value to those that want to follow this path:

 A  while ago a dear friend asked me what is my criteria for defining what is an ethical action and what is not? She asked me how do I personally define and discern what is right and what is wrong? My answer was, is, and most likely will continue to be:

An ethical action must respect two fundamental rules:

1. First rule: Respect human Life and act to protect Life, or act in a way which does not harm Life.

2. Second rule: Take positive action which is in favour of the individual, but only if:

  • 2A: it doesn’t violate the 1st rule,
  • 2B: it doesn’t hurt or disfavour other peer individuals,
  • 2C: it doesn’t damage the environment which the individual and his/her peers belong to. (The environment in our case is: room-building-estate-city-county-country-continent-Planet Earth and the impact must be considered at our maximum reach which now is global level, not just personal and local.)

what would the child you once were think of the adult you have become There is a desperate requirement in the world for men and women who’s integrity is not for sale. If we want to free and evolve the human race, we need to drop the ego-driven and profit-driven approaches to progress and learn from ourselves, from our virtuous children and from the knowledge of the ancients. As counter intuitive as this sounds, we need to observe our children and actually learn from them! We also need to give the ancient innovators credit for their discoveries and creations, and then pick up where they left off. Instead of rejecting the ancient knowledge and labelling it as myth, we need to merge our contemporary knowledge with theirs, with what they shared with us, with what they discovered and drive the human race forward. The dark ages and the unnecessarily long industrial era has held us back enough!

 In the end, this is not about good/evil/ethics/immoral concepts. It is about the quality of our education and the wisdom we gain from it so we can win the battle of consciousness within us and wake up. “Once the mind has been stretched by a new idea, it will never again return to its original size.” Therefore as anti-IP/patents as this sounds, the most important thing we can do in our life is share with the world what we learnt and detail on how we discovered our uniqueness. “The sole purpose of Life has been to pass on what was learnt..just like any cell going through Time.” And this, in my observer’s view, is the path to Transhumanism; but before we can be more tomorrow, we need to learn how we can be everything we can be, today!

PS: Since I’m posting this on the 1st of December, Happy Birthday / La Multi Ani Romania! 🙂

Dec1CrowdLg

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Personal

 

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The Age of Stupid – Choose your future!

The title of my post is a direct reference to the documentary The Age of Stupid. While my post is not about Climate Change, it is a direct reference to our existing destructive model of life, presented in the documentary. I believe that if we don’t start using a new sustainable model of thinking and living, our chances of living “happily ever after” on this planet will undoubtedly decrease exponentially.. However, I believe in Positive Change despite the current trend and I believe that we, collectively, can make a positive difference by changing small things in our lives which will echo in the macro environment and eventually create a better Present Continuous for all of us. Feel free to join me in this ethically driven System of Thinking!

Yesterday I returned to Ireland from a very enjoyable 2 weeks holiday in Romania – Transylvania. This was my most relaxing and enjoyable holiday home despite the fact that I always have a long list of things to do/sort out @home. I experienced a large number of good things and a few sad/bad things in my trip but before they phase out of my fresh memory, I want to quickly write this intro to a post I wrote in October last year and I didn’t get around to finish it the way I wanted.

Romania is a really beautiful country and Transylvania in particular stands out to any tourist or native Romanian from other regions, due to its kind hearted people, ancient trails which influenced our culture and breathtaking landscape formed by the Carpathian Mountains, lakes, rivers, medieval castles and fortifications. If you’d like to find out more about Transylvania, a quick Internet search will bring up a large number of photos, videos and websites with plenty of info (yes including stories abt Dracula:). Here are a few examples:

Save Rosia MontanaSo what does this post have to do with the beauty of Transylvania & Romania? Well please allow me to explain and bring the reader up to speed with a study case. Rosia Montana is a small town located in Transylvania, in the middle of Romania, in an area very rich in gold (Gold: 300 tons) and other mineral resources (Silver: 1800 tons, Germanium 4000t, Vanadium: 500000t, Molybdenum: 2000t, Bismuth: 4000t, Nickel: 6000t, Chromium: 10000t, Titanium: 200000t, Cobalt: 6000t, Gallium: 60000t, Arsenic: 1mil tons). Infographic attached

Gold and other metals were extracted here since Roman times but during the last decade, the small town of Rosia Montana became the scene of a battle that involved a mining company, corrupt officials, unemployed miners and very active and vocal environmental activists.  Gabriel Resources LTD, a Canadian TSX listed company, tried to push for the development of a controversial mining project that would have become Europe’s largest open-pit gold mine. The extraction process would have been based on cyanides, and 8 million ounces of gold and other rare metals would have been extracted over a period of 25 years.

if-this-is-good-for-the-economyThe project raised public suspicions right from the start: the company had no previous mining experience and was founded in Channel Island of Jersey, a well-known tax haven. The company obtained a very generous mining license from the Romanian government for that area, and the vast majority of the citizens  suspect that the officials were corrupted by the company. The biggest concerns, however, were raised by the immense pond of cyanide infested sludge that would result from the mining project and the estimated 214 million tons of dust particles.  While some of the locals, unemployed miners, were militating for the project, the vast majority of people living in that area were firmly against the project. In 2013 after some of the largest public manifestations seen by Romania in the last 25 years, and after more than 10 years of court battles between the company and the local communities, the project was halted. Miners in Rosia Montana are still unemployed and the company is suing the Romanian government for compensations…

That was the summary, now here are the details: on the 15th of September 2013 thousands of active citizens from 33 Romanian cities have protested against one of the most controversial European projects to date. On the same date, hundreds of thousands of active citizens from over 41 cities world wide have protested on the streets of their resident cities, joining voices in solidarity with their Romanian active citizens brothers and shouting out loud: “United we will save Rosia Montana!” This is the largest active movement in Romania since the early ’90s and due to the nature of this project, the Save Rosia Montana campaign quickly became an international movement against corruption, intimidation and manipulation by greedy political officials and abusive corporations.

The Save Rosia Montana campaign became an international beacon of a civil society awakening from a powerful social programming system & demanding its voice to be heard & its Human Rights to be no longer shredded. Some of us woke up to reality and realised that standing together WE CAN Make A Difference!

Rosia-MontanaIf this project ever gets approved, it will destroy 4 mountains, 3 villages including Rosia Montana itself and leave a giant cyanide pool in the area. It will also be the largest open-pit mine in Europe.

Rosia Montana has been a mining town since Romania (Dacia) was actually part of the Roman Empire. But there’s more to it than that. Rosia Montana is actually the oldest documented Romanian locality and has been considered for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its cultural and natural riches. So this region in the Apuseni Mountains is not just pre-Roman ancient, is also extraordinary for its rich biodiversity. It is very rich in flora and fauna, not to mentioned populated by peaceful people for literally thousands of years!

With mining now halted, many people live off the land and from raising animals. Old people from Rosia say that no gold in the world can buy the peace the neighbouring mountains offer them. And on top of that, there is local pride for the cultural value of the houses, churches and ancient mining galleries the village and nearby areas host. So when Gold Corporation began the process of buying up properties in the village (in tandem with applying for necessary construction and exploitation permits), not everyone in the 3,000 strong village was happy.

RM_cac22e4a1c_bGabriel Resources (RMGC) has influenced many locals and relocated them to nearby villages; it has hosted parties with big corporate flags declaring “we are saving Rosia Montana” on it; it has screened movies showing peaceful life of villagers living next to a mine in New Zealand and it somehow managed to nearly silence the Romanian media so the truth about their mining operations wouldn’t be revealed to the public. I strongly advise all readers to watch the Open pit documentary on YouTube in order to fully understand the consequences of what RMGC wants to do but at a larger scale!  The repercussions of such a project to the human life and the environment in Transylvania, Romania and our neighbouring countries Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and potentially Ukraine and Moldova too, would be catastrophic! (example in this 3min video). I could keep going further into the details but many other active citizens have written about it before me. If you’re interested, please visit some of the articles written by The Guardian, HuffingtonPost, The IndependentUKEurozine, Spiegel, BBC(1), BBC(2),  The JournalistThe International Political Forum, AlJazeeraReutersGlobalPost(1), GlobalPost(2), RT, and numerous blogers like R Besliu, Sam R, Kulmun.be, and many, many, many others..

Woody Harrelson Save Rosia MontanaAs you can see, an incredible amount of people have joined this noble cause from Romania, from all over the world and even Hollywood stars like Woody Harrelson (Thank you sincerely!).

The coverage this project received in the international media is most impressive and I am very grateful to all the journalists and blogers who chose to cover the story. I am originally from Deva, Hunedoara – a neighbouring county to Rosia Montana which is only 1 hour drive from it and therefore my home city would be directly affected. (RMGC also has the HQ in Deva).  Therefore after everything that’s happened, I find it to be absolutely unacceptable that the Romanian government supported this project for so long.

RM_bucurestiMillions of Romanians protested on the streets for many weeks, because we want our country back from the corrupt politicians who tried to “sell it” undemocratically to unethical corporations!

New laws approved by my government based on misleading information and other incentives, are a defiance to constitutional and environmental norms in favour of unethical motives.

Our flora and fauna is protected by environmental laws which need to be enforced. Our children need water and a clean environment not death pits. Our people have the God given right to live!

Cyanide open pit mining causes heavy metal blood poisoning with Lead, Arsenic and Mercury which in turn are causing cancer in the biological bodies of humans and animals. To humans, at the very least, it causes damage to the brain, the nervous system and motoring functions. The workers are first to be exposed to these life threatening risks and then all the other people who live in the large contaminated area. The contamination also doesn’t stop when the mining operations stop. Please read about the deadly impacts of open pit mining.

EU-justiceDear European Union leaders, please help us fight the political corruption in Romania and bring JUSTICE to the Romanian people! We beg you to enforce the joined motions RC-B7-0238/2010 called “Ban on use of cyanide mining technologies” and enforce it in Romania and the EU for all the reasons listed in the joint motion RC-B7-0238/2010. I personally call for an investigation in this project and I hope that EU can give theappropiate laws to stop this kind of environmentally destructive projects from ever going ahead in Romania and EU.

Camera 360After documenting myself about this project, about the open pit mining industry and most of all after watching the Open Pit documentary and seeing what Rosia Montana and Transylvania could become if this project goes ahead, I took off the only piece of gold jewellery I wore for the last 12 years. My Ankh necklace is worth to me a lot more than its weight in any metal in this Universe, but I did it in protest against this deadly project and in solidarity with the people from Rosia Montana, with my countymen from Hunedoara, Alba Iulia and with all the people from Transylvania and the whole of Romania.

If you care, please do something too! And here are my suggestions what you could do:

1. In the age of information, ignorance is a choice. Please read and document yourself. Become Aware of what’s truly important. Accept what you find since you cant change the past. And after accepting the facts, take Positive Action to shape your future and the future of your peers. Just as the ocean is made of tiny drops, every action matters, no matter how small. Please don’t be ignorant!

2. Share articles about unethical practices on your Facebook, G+, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo and all your other social media accounts. Sharing takes a few seconds and a click of a button. If you are a writer, even an amateur one like me, please write about your findings and share your words with the world. The impact you can make means more than you think!

3. If you care about this topic, please follow Maia Morgenstern’s protest (and mine), and stop displaying gold in public. You can easily stop wearing gold and silver. Gold on your body is an accessory, NOT a necessity. To all women out there: you are naturally beautiful, you don’t need gold on/in your body to make you “more”. You already are. See it and believe it! To all men: you don’t need hundreds of grams of gold on you to show your power. What’s really important and true power comes from within not from showoffs. Feel it and believe it! If not for you, please do it for Life. For the lives of people, creatures and biodiversity in Transylvania, Romania and this beautiful Planet, which projects like this one would destroy!

4. Please stop buying gold and silver. If we don’t fuel the gold economy, there won’t be one. And there are many other precious metals and stones which you can buy if you really want to. I chose to switch to Titanium. You can too. Please make your choice and use sustainable & ethically sourced alternatives.

Romania External debt as percent of Gross National Income5. Please apply the Producer mindset, and try to break away from consumerism! Don’t allow unethical corporations to replace production facilities with shops and superstores in your environment. This destruction of production facilities and their replacement with superstores is happening in Romania since late ’90s and currently is still happening in Romania at an unprecedented pace. What is worse, is that this is being allowed to happened by our political leaders under the umbrella of “foreign investments are good for our people”, despite the fact that Romania turned from a country with literally no debt, to one buried in debt (see attached graph). A country in debt is powerless but its people are not. We can make a difference together!

This post is an open letter to anyone who wants to help and do good. If you can, please help us bring justice on this precious ancient land. Please help us conserve Transylvania and Romania for us and the future generations. Lets stop thinking egotistically and lets start thinking collaboratively for a balanced Present Continuous. It all starts with an idea. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Ovidiu. Transylvanian. Romanian. Earthling.

[Some pics from the protests in Dublin, Sept – Oct 2013]

DSC_0061sDSC_0008sDSC_0037sDSC_0067sDSC_0051sDSC_0068s

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Personal

 

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Humanity is my family

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” -by Albert Einstein and I have a feeling he wasn’t referring just to a maths and physics problem..

For the last 6 months I’ve been struggling to finish the drafts of 2 (hopefully inspiring) blog posts about global sustainability and economics & inequality, but the best I could do to date was share a number of short posts on my Google+, Twitter and Diaspora, write about 2000 words and accumulate a collection of about 100 links to support my points. I am completely puzzled by the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to finish writing my thoughts as I somehow got distracted by something of a cliché..my busy life. I  think of myself as a methodical person with structure and carefully chosen ranks in my priorities and this time I can’t really explain why and how all my “free” time was eaten up by tasks I can’t even remember now. I’m not going to go into it as its not the topic of this blog post but somehow there’s always something that seems to need to be done every day and important things like sharing with others my thoughts on my blog was outranked by other self-focused things that popped up and multiplied like bad weeds. However, while it has been on my mind a while now, today I have decided to put a stop to this nonsense after I watched Jamie Dunmore‘s video “My Call for Humanity“:

This video is so powerful that I believe it will positively change the world if people who have access to youtube watch it at least once. Jamie’s message is so clear, concise and awakening that it reminded me of my days when I had the courage to want to change the world.. If you come across my blog or the multitude of sites which mention Jamie’s video, please do watch it at least once. And for your convenience, I am attaching the transcript below. Hope you..see!

“so here I am
standing alone in the open. i’m here with a message
hoping to repair what’s broken. nature is struggling
humanity’s not on track. we’ve got our heads in the sand
and our pride intact. we seek fulfilment through wealth
but do we achieve it? we want prosperity through consumerism
but is it worth it? have we actually found freedom?
or have we lost it? because all we do is follow a system
and never really challenge it. can you relate to that?
or is the world too blind to see? i’d always seek the truth
but care what my peers thought of me. i saw a different perspective
and struggled by the hour. see i know ignorance was bliss
but knowledge could give me power. so now i call for humanity
not just for one nation. i’m opposing separation and standing up to
segregation
whether religious or atheist, in essence we’re the same
stereotypes are man-made, and it was man who created the game
but are we actually ready to accept this and wake up?
can we put our naivety on the line, or are we always going to collide?
are we ready to make a difference? do we venture into the unknown?
or do we stay in our comfort zones and keep on taking the easy ride?
because at sea
it ships that are safest at shore
but no, that’s not what ships were made for. so ask yourself this:
why are you really here? you may find that deep
but my question really is sincere. for my generation
are we mislead as a youth? do we rub off our true purpose due to false misleading truth?
are we prone to propaganda? are we prone to wrong information?
are we taught to judge each other based on religion
sex, race, culture, class, nation
the list goes on. the moral of this poem
may be hard to grasp. I know it’s not something usually heard
and it’s not your average task. but the point is to stop damaging what we cannot
re-create
we shouldn’t prioritize selfish desires, and let them decide our fate
however let me tell you, in no way am i perfect and in no way am i better than you
I mean yea i wrote this message myself, but it applies to myself to
so it’s time to start improving and it’s time to start speaking
because resources are lowering and poverty is increasing
we allow cities to get larger, buildings to get taller
but trees to get shorter and forests to get smaller
we’re an ingenious species, we could easily change everything
but we’re made to think different due to decades of conditioning
we conform to education to confirm our own security
yet it’s a biased institution that makes wisdom hold obscurity
is actually correct? and does it actually judge intelligence?
or is it just listening to our elders, and improving our obedience?
are possessions an illusion of worth? are we tricked in our thinking?
are we trying to buy wholeness and are we trying to buy meaning?
do they always give joy? do they distract us from reality?
do they determine our identity and do they alter our morality?
I mean what are our goals? this really isn’t a joke
can happiness be superficial and our routine a hoax?
do we live for the wrong things? whilst the right things choke?
is mainstream tv legit or can it dictate our attractions?
does it actually bring us together or does it separate us into factions?
we categorize each other via a social hierarchy
but status is made by humans, so who really are we?
is ego destroying eco? are the real problems disguised?
do we really know the truth or does our society feed us lies?
are we actually filling our voids? and does money hold any true weight? could we drop our
precious comforts
to renew our planet’s state? it really is time to stop living our lives in shells
because doing nothing for others, is the undoing of ourselves
we’re all from the same source, so let’s see it for what it’s worth
we only have one home and that home is planet earth
so our laws actually just? or can power avoid the prison?
are our governments really innocent or are they flawed in their decisions?
do they actually care for all life? or only for their own health?
do their motives come from morals? or do they just want power and wealth?
they try to justify a war on terror but it’s lasted for over a decade
it’s caused a million deaths so don’t you think they’ve overstayed?
is patriotism necessary? can’t we see it’s prejudicial?
have we forgotten our common grounds and have we forgotten what’s artificial?
I mean am I truthfully British? am i really European?
am i actually a western person? or am i just a human being?
see the media highlight the smallest of tragedies in first world countries
but fail to cover that over 90 million worldwide have died from hunger in 12 years
so where do our priorities lie?
Britain, China, Russia, America, France. Syria, Iran
Israel, Jordan, Iraq. whether western or middle east
everyone deserves peace. no more national wars
no more bodies deceased. let’s come together as one and
keep humanity in one piece. so are we going to be responsible?
are we going to take a stand? are we going to change our ways and play our cards on the other hand?
I’m not saying I have all the answers and I’m not forcing any suggestions
i’m just saying it’s about time we see differently and it’s about time we ask some
questions
so what will you do? how much will you allow?
this is my call for humanity, to create a change
and the time to start, is now“.

 

At the end of December 2011, I wrote the following in my “A new beginning” blog post:..You see, if our world is so complexly “engineered” to be in balance, all we have to do is stop messing it up and find our inner emotional and spiritual balance, because the physical is obviously taken care of since before we came into existence and it will be taken care of long after we move on. I know its a lot easier said than done mainly due to social programming and economic interests across the globe, but if we want to live a better life, heck if want our children to even have a life, we have to do it! Do we even have a choice? This involves learning from the past, thinking about the future, building a plan that is in balance with nature and then applying it in our present continuous..

 

Find out more:
 
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Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Personal

 

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How to surf (relatively) anonymous in today’s digital world?

This post is a follow up to my previous post about online security – “How to surf safe in today’s digital world?” which I ended with a personal statement wrt Internet anonymity and with some basic instructions how to surf the web privately. In this post I will try to offer some more details on how to maintain your Privacy in this intrusive digital world we find ourselves today.

As I am writing these lines, thousands of people all over the world are protesting the NSA spying in US and around the world. So I am writing this in support of the Stop Watching Us campaign, and in support of the Human Rights in the offline and online world.

Firstly I would like to emphasize the following: If you’re a human being, you have the Right to Privacy even if you think/believe that you have nothing to hide.  The Data Protection Commissioner tells you why this matters. Prof. Gavin Phillipson tells you and BBC why it matters, and the PrivacyRights organisation tells you why it matters. Please take a few minutes of your time and read the info, document yourselves to learn a lesson from history and understand the catastrophic consequences of mass digital & personal surveillance. Such unethical and unconstitutional actions as mass/personal surveillance cannot be allowed to continue so please act! (an if you’re still debating the implications of these actions, please take a look around on eff.org or read this article on why privacy matters, or this one on why should you care, or this one on key takeaways)

Before I start my tutorial, please review/follow my security post1 , security post 2 and Top 5 Myths of Safe Web Browsing (by Sophos). I can’t stress this enough: If you want digital privacy, you have to make sure you are using a secure Internet enabled device! If your hardware & software environments are not secure, you will achieve the same level of anonymity online as in the attached photo above. 🙂

Without further a due, here are the high level links in any average day of browsing the internet (in reverse order):

Webpage on webserver -> WAN -> Local network -> Your Internet device -> Your Browser -> YOU.

EFF has a thorough tutorial on the Free Speech weak links and I’d highly recommend you to go through it!

In summary, if an individual or an organisation wishes to monitor your digital life, they can do it at any of the connection points described in the EFF’s tutorial or by me above. And this is how they may achieve this (presented at high level & in reverse order):

  1. Through scripts of various kinds running on the webserver(s) which hosts the website(s) you are accessing through your browser. These scripts load automatically and detect you as an individual, not just your machine. This technique is called fingerprinting  -Read more tech details here.
  2. The WAN hardware can be monitored at ISP level, DNS level and/or raw level: HW fibre optic tapping (which includes ALL digital communications including telephones & VOIP).
  3. Your LAN hardware can have various levels of poor security and the security level only depends on hardware and software config. Since WiFi networks are most common these days, here is a list of vulnerabilities.
  4. Your Internet enabled devices (Desktop or laptop PC, Macs, tablets of all kinds, mobile phones, smartwatches etc) are the absolute weakest link. These devices run the software environment which in turn allows the browsers to make the queries through the Internet and display the content you desire.
  5. The browser. This is where it all begins and also ends in full cycle. Your browser security depends on many of the points above but it also depends on its internal profile configuration.  Your browser identifies you.

anonymous

To achieve a reasonable level of anonymity a user should at least consider securing the 3 points which has control over. These would be:

  1. The Local Area Network (yes, incl WiFi)
  2. The Internet device (SW & HW)
  3. The Internet browser used.

In my previous security post I described the absolute minimum steps which I would recommend for hardening the security on a personal LAN and a computer running Windows (weak), OSX (better than Windows) or Linux (highly recommended). I also gave some tips on configuring Firefox and Chromium based browsers for a better online experience. Now I will take this one step further and present 2 usability scenarios: A. Quick config for Day to Day Internet surfing and B. Quick config for Advanced private comms.

Finally, please note this disclaimer: This tutorial is an FYI only. While it can be used in regions of the world affected by the Chilling Effect or by mass surveillance systems like PRISM, it doesn’t present the full details on how to achieve invisibility while connected to the Internet and you, the reader and/or user, take full responsibility for following any advice described in this post and for any consequences that may follow from your actions. My tutorial is FYI only. Regardless of how you choose to use this information, please obey the law in your country, please respect life and guide your actions by ethical standards. Thank you.

A. Quick configuration for D2D surfing

windows mac (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

A1. Windows PC & Apple Macs

Windows machines are probably the least secure machines out of all PCs connected to the Internet. The good news is that they are easy to configure for good security. Here’s how in 3 easy steps:

1.First backup all your user data to external drive/cloud/secure media. 2.Second: Format the Windows partition. 3.Install Linux and if you really need windows, put it in a virtual machine on Debian. Done. Not joking! 🙂

If the above suggestion is not feasible then please secure your LAN and your Windows/Mac OS (basic instructions are provided in my other post), and when you’re comfortable that your LAN and your OS passes penetration security tests (eg tutorial, NetworkTools, SecurityTools, FW test, AuditmyPC or search4more) move on to:

1. Get a secure VPN package from JonDonym or proxy.sh or Privacy.io Or from a Swiss or Irish SP.

    • If you prefer free packages then you can use the free services from JonDonym or TOR

2. Configure OpenVPN on your computer and test the VPN connection (response time is more important than bandwidth as long as you have at least 1Mbps). Connecting to Ireland, Switzerland or Netherlands would be a good choice to start with.

3. Configure a profile on your software Firewall to block all Internet traffic that is not going through VPN. If the VPN connection drops (it happens), it is essential that your firewall will stop you from accessing those secure Internet sources through your normal connection. And depending on the level of threat you may find yourself under in your country, this only needs to happen once, to be a serious issue for you in real life.

4. Pair your VPN with a browser that you never use for your social media, email or any other services that require you to login. JonDoFox is a good choice here.

    • By “pairing” I mean, use that browser only after you start your VPN, you activate the firewall VPN profile and after you are safely connected to the VPN.
    • This goes without saying but I will write it anyway: If you want to maintain your privacy, do not login on any website or service. From the moment you logged in, you lost your privacy in that session, or on the server you connected to, and depending on your VPN SP, you lost it on your VPN account too.

5. Configure the DNS on your network card(s) to force use the DNS from your VPN provider. And for everyday use to use OpenDNS with DNScrypt, or one of these from OpenNIC or an OpenDNS server listed by TechAthena here or by a DNS listed by wikileaks under their /wiki/Alternative_DNS link.

A2. Mobile devices (phones, tablets etc)

This should be a post on its own considering the complexity involved in masking your identity while using your phone and surfing the Internet. Therefore I am only describing the very high level steps:

1. Try to use a pre-2003 GSM phone eg Nokia 3330 (but with a headset! OK just kidding)

firefox-os-logo

2.Try to use a smartphone with Android, Firefox OS or any other Open Source OS.

3. If you choose to use an Android powered device then you may want to root it to benefit from its full capabilities and also to gain root (admin) rights on the OS. Check out XDA Devs for goodies. Please note that rooting is voiding warranty in all cases, there are certain risks involved, including freezing your device, and if you choose to do this you do it on your own responsibility.

4. Configure the secure VPN service (mentioned above) on your device and connect to it

    • As an alternative, you could use Orbot and Orweb browser
    • Same as above, while connected to the VPN or Orbot, do not log in to anything.

5. Use secure apps for all comms. The Guardian Project is a good start.

A3. Tools & relevant info

B. Quick advanced config for private comms on Desktops, laptops, Macs

Same as above, this is a “quick config description, only meant to give you a high level view of the model you could use. The actual details are waiting to be found and tested 🙂

  • Install VirtualBox  or your favorite Virtualization software
  • Download Whonix and load it in VirtualBox.
  • Or else you may be more comfy with Linux Mint (if you’re a pro then BSD is prob 4u :p)
  • After you loaded the VM image regardless of OS, save snapshot 1.
  • Get a VPN package from JonDonym or proxy.sh or Privacy.io Or from a Swiss or Irish SP.
    • If you prefer free packages then you can use the free services from JonDonym or TOR
  • Setup the VPN package in your VM. Or else setup TOR in your VM.
  • When you’re done and you’re happy everything is ok, just take snapshot 2.

A VPN or TOR on its own will not provide anonymity. Your browser needs to be configured correctly!

  • The easiest way to achieve it is by using a pre-configured OS like Whonix or a browser like the Tor Browser or JonDoFox (which can be used outside the VM as well with TOR/VPN)
  • Adv. If for some reason you need extreme security then use a pre-paid mobile ISP (min 3G) and put a secure VPS between your VM and the open Internet. eg: PC-VM-VPN-VPS-VPN2/TOR-Destination (your VM connects to the VPS through an encrypted VPN1 and then connects to the destination website / service through a 2nd encrypted VPN2 or TOR account)
  • Happy surfing!

Best Practices:

  • DO NOT login to any personal websites while using anonymous browsers or services.
  • Do use a search engine and read more.
    • Feel free to search more and read articles on online surveillance, PRISM, Snowden etc.
  • Do obey the law!
 
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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in IT stuff

 

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Romania, tot o tara surprinzatoare!

Anul asta am revenit in Romania de patru ori, si de fiecare data mi s-a intamplat ceva suprinzator.

Desi doua calatorii au fost din nevoie iar celelalte doua din placere, in toate patru mi s-a intamplat ceva pozitiv. Dar ca sa se mentina balanta, am trecut si prin evenimente mai putin placute insa majoritatea sunt personale si nu fac parte din subiectul acestui blog post. Printre lucrurile care m-au surprins in Romania se afla (in ordinea intalnirii lor):

+ Bucurestiul s-a modernizat mult (e.g. noul metrou e traznet), tot orasul e mult mai curat si oamenii de acolo cu care am avut ocazia sa interactionez par mai de treaba. S-a introdus si un city tour bus service, am fost cu el de 2x si e chiar fun.

-! Preturile la consumabile sunt inselator de mici. Scriu inselator pentru ca mi-au parut mici in comparatie cu preturile din Dublin dar la fiecare 2-3 zile a trebuit sa vizitez cate un bancomat pana cand eventual mi-am epuizat bugetul de concediu.

-! Pe teritoriul Romaniei bancomatele nu ofera EUR, doar RON si rata de schimb e ridicol de mica. In perioada asta (09/13) bancomatele BRD si BCR mi-au eliberat RON la o rata intre 4.20 si 4.30 in loc de 4.40 (la €1000 pierdeam €50). Dupa cateva incercari am descoperit Bancomatele Bancii Transilvania care dau cea mai buna rata de €1 = 4.36 RON. Deci atentie de unde extrageti banii cu un card din afara RO. Eu m-am invatat minte si data viitoare o sa fac tot posibilul sa vin cu cash pentru ca la case de schimb rata e mult mai buna.

+ Am condus peste 3000Km in concediul asta si am constatat ca drumurile noastre nationale s-au imbunatatit mult. Singurul minus aici e nesemnalizarea corespunzatoare a drumurilor noi. Sunt multe drumuri noi care nu au marcaje flourescente sau nu au marcaje deloc cu scuza ca sunt in constructie. Asadar condusul noaptea pe unele drumuri nationale principale e obositor si periculos.

+ Am circulat si peste 1000Km pe transporturi publice si m-am bucurat sa vad o crestere semnificativa in calitatea trenurilor si autocarelor Romanesti. Calitatea lor e mult mai buna si comfortul e similar cu cel din UE. Pe de alta parte, transportul pe cai ferate e tot 24/24 insa numarul trenurilor e mai scazut si biletele de tren sunt spre surprinderea mea cu 30% – 50% mai scumpe decat cele de autocar. Nici acum nu inteleg de ce, tot asa cum nu-mi explic nici pretul ridicat al motorinei care e cu pana la 10% mai scumpa ca benzina  (in UE e invers).

-! Inchiriatul de masini de la firme reputabile e la fel de scump ca in majoritatea tarilor din UE. Preturile sunt de la €25/zi pentru clasa comfort mediu si se ridica pana la €200/zi ptr sport sau exclusiv. Desi sunt multe firme mici si indivizi care inchiriaza masini ieftin, nu recomand serviciile lor decat daca  exista deja o relatie de incredere prin prieteni sau neamuri. Variabilele de risc si frauda sunt incredibil de mari asa ca mare atentie aici.

+ Turismul Romanesc a inceput sa ridice standardele si pe langa incurajarea vizitarii locurilor de interes turistic prin promovarea lor online si offline, Ministerul Turismului particupa activ la protejarea monumentelor istorice prin eliberarea de legi si aplicarea lor. Am observat ca au aparut multe companii de turism intern care ofera multe calatorii la diferite puncte de interes turistic si au ghizi in limba Engleza. Preturile la bilete sunt ieftine si acceptabile asadar Drum Bun si distractie placuta! 🙂

+ Tot legat de turism, am avut o experienta foarte placuta cu Tarom si cu siguranta voi zbura din nou cu ei. Calitatea serviciilor Tarom e comparabila cu AerLingus dar in plus Tarom ofera gratis si meniu la bord (preferintele culinare se selecteaza la cumpararea biletului) si nu sunt deloc stricti la bagajul de mana.

* Acum cateva zile am simtit si un cutremur de 4.7 la Deva, oras aflat la doar 22Km de epicentrul sau, si ma bucur ca nu a creat pierderi de vieti niciunde.

Ultimele doua subiecte din lista mea sunt mai controversiale asadar vreau sa reamintesc vizitatorilor blogului meu ca tot ce cititi aici sunt strict parerile mele personale si nu a organizatiilor/indivizilor pentru care lucrez sau am lucrat vreodata.

* Cainii vagabonzi – In Romania sunt foarte multi caini fara stapan care colinda strazile tuturor oraselor tarii. Conform standardelor de sanatate si siguranta publica a UE (si legilor UE) acesti caini ar fi trebuit luati de pe strazi de foarte multi ani de zile. Dar cum la noi politicienii au mereu lucruri “mai bune” de facut (pana cand se iveste un scandal care sa-i faca sa treca la o actiune pozitiva pentru locuitorii Romaniei), nu au finalizat niciodata legea care sa permita capturarea si ingrijirea acestor caini in locuri special destinate acestui lucru. Asadar, acum o saptamana un copil de 4 ani a fost sfasiat de caini intr-un parc din Bucuresti. Nu intr-o padure salbatica din Romania sau vreo jungla, intr-un parc de agrement. Acest lucru e strigator la cer si sunt socat ca a fost nevoie de mii de muscaturi pe parcursul anilor trecuti, si in final o moarte inocenta pentru a forta conducatorii tarii asteia sa treaca la actiune..
Oare cand o sa avem si noi lideri care sa aibe cele mai bune intentii pentru locuitorii Romaniei si nu doar politicieni?? 😦

*Scandalul Rosia Montana – asta e o poveste lunga si care miroase foarte putred. Ptr transparenta, acum 10 ani am furnizat produse si servicii IT la RMGC si stiu din experienta proprie ca atunci nu erau problemele de care se discuta atat de inflacarat acum. Dar stiu si ca relatiile cu politicienii de atunci erau foarte bune si sectia de PR isi facea datoria fara greseala. Revenind la prezent si pe scurt, povestea Rosia Montana se poate citi aici dar sunt multe alte variable care nu se prezinta usor publicului (se pot gasi pe net in urma cautarilor perseverente). Situatia acum e putin in limbo pentru ca zeci de mii de oameni au iesit in strada in multe orase din tara, si continua sa proteste ca sa opreasca vinderea bogatiilor Romaniei unui conglomerat de companii internationale. Eu nu am participat la proteste dar mi-am exprimat parerea si o repet aici: Romania nu e tara bananiera si nici chiar in halul asta de corupta. Nu se poate sa “vindem” zacaminte in valoare de zeci de miliarde de Euro cand noi avem forta de munca si mijloacele necesare de extragere. De ce nu formam noi un conglomerat de companii miniere Romanesti care sa inchirieze/cumpere echipamentul ce ne lipseste (daca e necesar) si sa extragem noi aceste bogatii!?? In felul asta bogatiile tarii raman in tara, mostenire la descendentii nostrii si pe parcursul exploatarii noi oferim mii de locuri de munca la Romani si straini, nu invers!? Sa fie lacomia minoritatii mai puternica decat infratirea si colaborarea majoritatii!?

In fine, am sa ma opresc aici pentru ca nu am expertiza necesara sa comentez mai mult dar am vrut sa imi prezint parerea si sa ridic cateva intrebari ce mi se par logice si evidente pentru dezvoltarea etica, ecologica si pozitiva a Romaniei. Mai multe puteti citi pe internet si in articolul asta de Andrei Marga de la Cotidianul.

In final inchei cu un citat de care mi-am amintit de nenumarate ori anul asta: “Viata pare a fi 10% ce planuiesti tu si 90% cum reactionezi la ce ti se intampla.” In 2013 am invatat sa am mai mare grija la alegerile reactive si situatiile neprevazute. In 2014 planuiesc sa invat mai mult dar pe cai mai placute..
Carpe Diem! 🙂

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 16, 2013 in Personal, Romana

 

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My gear list for (up to) 7000m mountain climbs

This is a follow up post to a post I’m currently writing on fulfilling one of my lifetime dreams: climbing the 9 Summits of our planet’s 7 continents. But since that post is still in draft and nowhere near completion, I decided to share my equipment list for the first 6 summits (without Everest, Vinson Massif and Denali which require considerable more resources). Oh and you might wonder why 9 summits not 7? Because I’m including both Mont Blanc and Elbrus in Europe and both summits in Australasia: Mount Kosciuszko in Australia (Bass list)  and Puncak Jaya in Indonesia (Messner list):

The financial costs involved to summit all these peaks are very significant and I’m not referring only to gear. However since I am on a limited budget and I couldn’t afford to buy different sets of gear for each of my planned trips, I bought only 1 set divided into 4 layers. So when I’m trekking up to 5000m peaks, I’ll use 2-3 layers from it, up to 6000 I’d use 3-4 layers, and up to 7000m I’d use 4+1 where necessary. When the time comes for Antarctica and Everest, my main concern will be coming up with €35,000 for each expedition not another €2k of additional gear.. Therefore if you have climbed above 5000m or you stood on top of any of the 9 summits, please do share your thoughts and experience with me as I’m only a novice mountaineer on these high summits. Sincere thanks! 🙂

Hands:

Feet:

Head:

Body:

Legs:

First Aid kit:

  • Adventure MedKit plus:
  • Small portable WATER FILTER (from Lifestraw, SAWYER, Katadyn, Lifesaver etc)
  • Survival Emergency blanket
  • Altitude sickness (Diamox if needed for AMS, 250 mg every 12 hours)
  • Useful: Ciprofloxacin, Imodium, Aspirin, Antacids, Moleskin, Paracetamol, Antibiotics
  • Pain killers / anti-inflammatories: Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Codeine.
  • Re-hydration salts (Dioralite)
  • Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges
  • 1m of Kinesiology Tape
  • 30+ sun tan lotion & anti burns lotion
  • Blisters & shoe burns dressing kit
  • Iodine crystals or tablets for water purification
  • Insect repellent spray/lotion
  • Insect after-Bite & Sting Cream
  • Disinfectant soap/shampoo
  • Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter Ferrocerium Rod and Metal Striker

Accesories: 

  • Rucksack 75-105L: Mountain Hardwear BMG 105
  • Climbing harness
  • Climbing hard hat
  • 2 locking and 3 regular climbing carabs
  • 4-8 small carabs for hanging gear
  • Ice axe: 75cm Black Diamond Raven Pro
  • Summer sleeping bag
  • Winter sleeping bag
  • Therm-a-Rest pad
  • Collapsible walking poles
  • Collapsible ski poles
  • -30C resistant WP headlamp & WP LED flash-light
  • 2 sets of batteries for each
  • ProTrek watch (with compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer)
  • Expedition compass
  • Victorinox Swiss army knife
  • Paracord wrists bands
  • BG multitool
  • Light weight toilet articles
  • Toiler rolls + travel tissues
  • Small & Medium towels
  • Bowl and titanium spork +plastic/Al spoon
  • Gerber Bear Grylls Canteen Water Bottle with Cooking Cup
  • 1 plastic water bottle with saleable cap
  • Compressible dry sacks
  • Ear plugs
  • Very small mp3 player and ear phones
  • Skin money/IDs belt
  • Expedition GPS with cover (ie Garmin eTrex)
  • WP map of the area
  • Plastic sacks for rubbish
  • Pee bottle
  • Digital camera /w insulated cover
  • Smartphone /w insulated cover
  • Nokia light brick LBL backup phone
  • Small WP plastic bags
  • Small lock for the rucksack
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, small duct tape)
  • Optional swimwear (subarmor shorts which dry quick)
  • Spare laces
  • High power laser pointer (1Watt, green/red/blue)
  • Expedition tent and a large, thin, light and strong sheet of waterproof material which can fold to a tiny size.
  • Depending on the case, some legal self-defence tools (i.e. Farbgel or whatever is legal in the region) could come in handy.

Food:

  • Dry packs of mixed food
  • Tea bags
  • Sugar substitute
  • Lots of sweets and small chocolate bars
  • Vitamins and minerals

Well this is it for now. I’ll update the list as I go along. Thanks for reading and please do let me know what you think of my gear choices! Cheers 🙂

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 6, 2013 in Personal

 

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