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Left Brain, Right Brain

I cannot recall the last time, if there ever was a last time, I gained so much insight or experienced such an incredible multiplicity of revelation from witnessing a single presentation. I may have attended a sermon or two that came close to having its impact, but I doubt that any experience has ever educed from deep within so much insight about the human condition. The following video will take up about 18 minutes of your life. It may change the way you look at the rest of it.

I’ve heard and read much about left-brain vs. right-brain thinking processes and how they may relate to individual learning processes. Jill’s talk made me realize far more clearly how human communication is a primarily left-brain affair. It now appears to me that, in fact, the human condition results from how much clarity people might find behind the veil brought down upon reality by left-brain noise. Jill makes it clear, at least for me, that people must get to know their right-brains a whole lot better; perhaps I can help some people do this.

As a communications professional, I’ve long been aware that in certain magic moments we are somehow, almost accidentally, able to find the right combinations of words that inspire the right mental images in our audiences that allow us to reach into and connect with their right-brains, cutting through the noise made by their linear, left-brain thoughts, to give our listeners and readers the gift of in-the-moment, timeless experiences. Some call these moments magic. Some call them spiritual. I call them vital to human communication, progress and understanding.

Such moments are too rare. Last fall, I was awoken at 3 a.m. by an idea that demanded my immediate attention. Rather than just jot down a couple of notes, as I sometimes would, I ended up getting up and sketching out some broader rough ideas. Three pages of notes I composed that night have occupied much of my thinking and time ever since.

Some weeks before my inspired insomnia, I had challenged myself to come up with a new way of visually organizing thought processes. I had learned my share of varous communications and presentation systems, gimmicks and trade secrets. While I recognized that all of them have value, I thought that the information age required something new. In challenging myself, I had tasked my subconscious mind with finding that something.

For quite some time, I’d been tinkering around with some of the concepts first expressed by Tony Buzan through his mind mapping concepts. I had downloaded and played with some popular mind mapping software and found it to be useful. But for me there were problems with using it as an effective communications tool.

The biggest benefit in it, I thought, was that mind mapping helps people overcome limitations inherent in rigidly organizing thoughts in a left-brained linear, outlined or bullet-pointed manner. The biggest downside of it, I thought, was that mind maps went too far in the other direction. Most of the mind map examples I had found on the Internet were too freeform and too jumbled precisely because they lacked consistent structure. If I revisit some of my older mind mapping attempts, I cannot fully understand points I was trying to make that were absolutely clear to me at the time.

Experience taught me that that standard mind maps might be useful to individuals or groups as brainstorming tools, but they’re not all that useful for communicating ideas and concepts to wide audiences. I concluded that basing communications processes too much on the way our right-brains work goes too far.

There had to be a happy medium, I thought. This happy medium is what got me out of bed that night. And so, my idea came out clearly, well, at least clearly to me so far: I understand it well, but expressing what it is, what it does and how it works with enough simplicity to be both practical and broadly useful is proving to be a challenge. In my minds eye I envision a simple, visual communications planning system that applies the free form freedom of mind maps to a set of pre-defined and consistent but flexible structures.

One example is how we think about food and how some people are slim while others are obese. Is it the right or left side of the brain that controls this situation? Some people spend a lot of money on gym classes, dieting e-books or pills, but they have a hard time getting fit and slim all their life no matter what they do. Others are effortlessly good looking and with a great silhouette. All that is controlled in our brain.

The big obstacle for me is to come up with the best way for people to use my system. I’m designing a single-page visual tool for turning a brainstorm into a clear stream of ideas with a purpose. Maybe I needed a better understanding of the left-right brain relationship. Maybe it was this need that made me stumble upon Jill’s presentation. I sense that her video has helped me a lot, but I haven’t yet figured out what it means to the application of my new ideas.

the Russian Invasion of Crimea

Russian-tanksContrary to popular belief, there has not actually been an invasion of the Crimean peninsula. The media likes to paint a much more dramatic picture than what exists in reality. The region’s military personnel have similar uniforms to that of the Russian army. As a result, people have reported that the country has been invaded by their formerly communist neighbors.

That said, Crimea is still in a precarious situation. The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has placed Russian troops at the border surrounding Crimea. The Russian military has also taken over the airport and important buildings. Yet, this is not an “invasion” per se as Russia claims this is an act of self defense.

The main question is what they think they are protecting themselves from considering the recent revolution in Ukraine that has left the country weak. If anything, Ukraine will be focused on rebuilding from the inside out instead of trying to wage war with Russia. The idea of them potentially bringing their revolution to Russian borders is absurd, and this is why the media has been having a field day. There is no reason for Russia to have thousands of soldiers surrounding Crimea against a non existent threat.

Russian Self Defense?

One of Putin’s claims for self defense is that Russia is in danger if the threat in the Ukraine reaches the Crimean region. He says there is strong opposition against Russia, and that the civil unrest in the country could prove to be a volatile situation on their borders. Apparently, ethnic Russians in Crimea need to be protected to the point that the military of Russia needs to take over the Ukraine’s armed forces. Fortunately, there has not been any gun shots fired officially, but it is only a matter of time.

In fact, the reports are constantly changing. Armed men have started to take over buildings in the region. Russia is seeing how far it can push the Ukrainians before they revolt. The world is watching, and things could get messy if Russia acts with military force. European leaders will have to act if they want to protect Ukraine from invasion. The likelihood of that happening is slim, but it has not yet been ruled out.

Ukraine is actively seeking admission to the European Union, and a Russian invasion will instantly change things for the country. Many experts are comparing this situation to the Cold War. Russian says they are not doing anything even if they are being incredibly testy. The whole thing could accumulate in one misunderstanding. If anything, Crimea deserves to be free to make its own decisions.

Why Crimea?

In short, the Crimean peninsula is part of modern Ukraine. It was given to the country over 50 years ago, but it still maintains a separate republic. However, it has always been historically part of the Soviet Union before it was dissolved. There has always been an influence of Russian culture, but Crimea also has its own distinct identity. Many wonder if Crimea would succeed to become its own sovereign nation. That possibility seems unlikely considering the power of Russia.

Its location on the Black Sea make it a prime outpost for anyone who wants to control the waters in the region. Thus, the current dispute makes Russia look shady when it comes to their intentions. World leaders are carefully watching with the anticipation that the situation continue to climax. There is no arguing that this problem is far from over.

The Result of a Revolution

One of the biggest concerns of Russia’s supposed invasion is that the government just happened to choose this time to act on Ukraine. The country has just expelled their president and was in the middle of re-establishing order. Ukraine was solely focused on getting itself back together with new and better order. It is at this moment that Russia decided it would be best to place a few thousand active troops near the border and in the Crimean region. This happened when Ukraine was weak and preoccupied. The whole situation is just a little too coincidental for some analysts.

The revolution in Kiev cannot be blamed. Chances are Russia would have eventually made any excuse to take over. The revolution just happened to provide a sufficient reason to install troops in the name if self defense. One thing is certain, Crimea is in the midst of a life changing situation. Its citizens will have to decide where they belong even if just to themselves.

British Veterans Information

Veterans for Peace Formally Introduced in UK

Veterans for Peace UK was formally released. During the event a few veterans attended and they stated the function of the organization and explained the purpose of all encounters. The decision of the group is a favorable standard that will enable a bigger range of assistance of many peace teams.

The purposes of the Group:

• To resist battle via non-violent action.
• To support war resistants.
• To counter militarism and inform on the true nature of war.

UK-veteransAn explanation of our commitment to acting non-violently was made, Gerry Condon (VFP USA) described that although there are many pacifists within VFP it is not a pacifist company. Bruce Kent enlightened us with some stories of resistance outward the British Military that are not well known.

Bradley Manning Veterans Vigil

In London the Advocates and Veterans for Peace in UK group held a vigil for Bradley Manning at the UNITED STATE Consular office. A pre-trial hearing on Friday for Bradley will begin at Fort Meade, Maryland and faces charges that could bring about a life time behind bars.

He was sentenced to 7 months in military jail and was released in November 2011. Michael took a trip up from Plymouth to reveal his support for Bradley Manning which faces a life time in prison. He mentions that we must be supplying our support to those pressures if we are not yet involve in battle resistance.

Ben Lion talked of the relevance of sustaining battle resistants. If we are not yet engaged in war resistance, he mentions that we ought to be providing our support to those forces. And concerning Bradley he believes that he’s a Hero.

Veterans in Prison

Public issue is increasingly being revealed regarding the high lots of veterans in the jail system – lots more than from other profession.

A considerable lot of them are ex-soldiers which have actually served in conflicts and several of them are experiencing the covert cuts of combat associated with mental injuries. It is these veterans which are boosting the varieties of previous armed solution personnel in prison.

A health condition like battle associated post-traumatic stress disorder (POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER) is a trigger for the acts that lead lots of veterans to prison and it commonly remains undiagnosed.

Some veterans who dealing are with undiagnosed PTSD and as a result not receiving treatment, have actually served one prison term, then been released and have actually taken place to commit the very same type of crime and have ended up behind bars once more.

Veterans Health Issue

The concentrate on returning veterans in the news, several soldiers are starting to examine their healthcare needs and locations where their health could be impacted by occasions that happened while they were in duty.

Among the areas of gravest worry is Post Traumatic Anxiety Condition (PTSD). With a better understanding of the effect combat and the activities linked with combat have on psychological wellness, there has been a greater approval of the necessity for examination of PTSD signs and therapy for mental health problems.

Veterans for Peace UK are formally introduced. The choice of the group is a good criterion that will certainly allow a wider scope of assistance of numerous peace teams.