Entrepreneur says better education, better jobs, will be result of basic income guarantee

Roderick Benns recently interviewed Zachary Beaudoin, an entrepreneur living in Edmonton Alberta, for an article posted on Basic Income Canada Network . He works closely with technology and believes the current economic system is unfit to deal with the shocks that will be created by the coming technological advances.

Benns: From your perspective as an entrepreneur, why is the concept of a basic income guarantee useful to society?

Beaudoin: First I want to explain the benefit of a basic income guarantee that I perceive as a citizen. I believe that a society as a whole benefits from having economic abundance for all. People would spend more time on education, learning, and leisure, become more politically involved and even pursue more fulfilling employment opportunities. The result would be a healthy, engaged, and progressive society with less crime and less suffering.

From an entrepreneurial perspective it is a matter of economics. I’m head of a company that makes video games which requires a market of buyers that have both the disposable income to purchase my product and the time to play. In a system with high, and growing, wealth inequality people buy fewer video games because they either can’t afford to buy as many as they would like or they work very long hours to make ends meet and don’t have the time to play so many video games. You can substitute videos games with any other consumer product or service and you’ll see the same problem. So the more disposable income and free time people have the better for almost any consumer business.

Benns: Do you see automation as a real threat to traditional jobs? If so – and more and more people end up having difficulty finding work — how can we still find a way to make a difference in society? What might still need doing?

Beaudoin: Absolutely. Without diving into too many specifics it is not only automation in the sense that most people today are probably familiar with – a machine replacing a human in some repetitive task. The greatest challenge to our current economic model will come from AI capable of learning to do complex tasks and manage complex networks with a speed and precision that is impossible for any group of humans to match.

I’ll use one example that is probably familiar to most people: the self-driving car that the world’s most powerful tech companies are developing. Most people I speak to think that it just means you can go to a dealership and buy a car that drives itself – no big deal. What will really happen is companies in the transport services sector like taxis, trucking, hauling will replace their human drivers with self-driving systems because the cost will be significantly lower. This will force their competitors to do the same or perish and very quickly (probably inside of a decade) an entire industry sector of jobs will evaporate.

During the same half-century similar new AI technologies will see service industry jobs disappear in the same way and speed. Within this century we could be living in a world where half the work is done by machines. The unemployment rate would likely cause the collapse of our economic system as it exists today. We’ll need a new system that detaches income from labour. I believe that a basic income guarantee is not the solution to this future problem but it would provide our government with a means of absorbing the shock and buying them enough time to solve the problem.

Benns: How is basic income a ‘leveller’ in society. What makes it about equality?

Beaudoin: I don’t think of it in terms of equality I see it as shared prosperity because everyone would benefit. I also believe that it will play a critical role in overcoming the economic shocks we’ll see relatively soon and that it is our moral imperative to implement it.

What is a Shamanic Practitioner?

A Shamanic Practitioner is someone who acts as a bridge between the shamanic indigenous world and the modern world and borrows the medicine and wisdom of these shamanic people to bring healing and balance.

The One Thing Women May not Know that Men Need Most

This is an interesting article by Russell Scott of Awaken The Guru In You. I have known Russell for a few years having met him in a workshop that we both attended. His workshops are worth taking a look at.

He offers some simple advice to women about men. The advice seems easy enough to understand…at least for this man. Russell writes:

Women want a new man one who is sensitive and caring yet resilient and strong when she feels weak. Yet this demand is where men have the greatest difficulty with women.

To be sensitive means to really see a person the way they are but it also means to be vulnerable.

So when a man is vulnerable and gets hurt by a woman the woman expects the man to be sensitive and understand that all this came out of her dysfunctional childhood with an abusive father, a critical mother, a narcissistic sister, bullying in school, i.e. her own victim hood. The list can go on and on.

She needs sympathy from a man and she needs the man then to be a “strong man” to push his hurt aside and then be there for her. If a woman always requires this of a man and offers a continual explanation of her own victim hood when she has hurt a man, it will drive him crazy.

This is very confusing for a man: “Strong or sensitive, what does she need from me…I am the one that is bloody well hurting?” This will eventually drive a man nuts, into addictive behaviour, being a passive “yes” man with suppressed rage, someone who leaves the relationship or worse, the frustrated angry man that he and his woman does not want him to be.

He is developing his feeling capacity and does not know how to navigate all of this.

What men really need from a woman at this time when he is hurt, is for the woman to see him in his all pain. She needs to avoid the justification. He needs his pain to be validated rather than expect him to suck it up and “be a man” which is the worst way of shaming a man and making him your enemy.

A man does not need much more than a simple apology and an understanding of how he has been hurt.

If a woman can do this simple thing for a man and avoid the long complicated explanation, she will cultivate a loyal partner for the rest of her life.

Russell Scott
Awaken The Guru In You

Over the years I have worked with many men, especially men that want to grow out of the old paradigm of the macho patriarchal male. This is one big thing that I see these kind of post-modern men are challenged with.

Hey men (and women) let me know if this is a struggle for you …or maybe I’m the only one.


The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge

This is a wonderful book. If you or loved one or a friend have ever suffered from head injuries or head trauma then you will want to read The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doidge.
Richard Ward

Norman Doidge, M.D., a psychiatrist and researcher, set out to investigate neuroplasticity and met both the brilliant scientists championing it and the people whose lives they’ve transformed.

The Brain That Changes Itself is a riveting collection of case histories detailing the astonishing progress of people whose conditions had long been dismissed as hopeless. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, a woman labeled retarded who cured her deficits with brain exercises and now cures those of others, blind people learning to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, painful phantom limbs erased, stroke patients recovering their faculties, children with cerebral palsy learning to move more gracefully, entrenched depression and anxiety disappearing, and lifelong character traits altered.

“You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to read it — just a person with a curious mind.” — Globe & Mail

Doidge takes us into terrain that might seem fantastic. We learn that our thoughts can switch our genes on and off, altering our brain anatomy. Scientists have developed machines that can follow these physical changes in order to read people’s thoughts, allowing the paralyzed to control computers and electronics just by thinking. We learn how people of average intelligence can, with brain exercises, improve their cognition and perception in order to become savant calculators, develop muscle strength, or learn to play a musical instrument, simply by imagining doing so.

“Only a few decades ago, scientists considered the brain to be fixed or ‘hardwired’ and considered most forms of brain damage, therefore, to be incurable. Dr. Doidge, an eminent psychiatrist and researcher, was struck by how his patients’ own transformations belied this and set out to explore the new science of neuroplasticity by interviewing both scientific pioneers in neuroscience, and patients who have benefited from neuro-rehabilitation. Here he describes in fascinating personal narratives how the brain, far from being fixed, has remarkable powers of changing its own structure and compensating for even the most challenging neurological conditions. Doidge’s book is a remarkable and hopeful portrait of the endless adaptability of the human brain.”
Oliver Sacks

Using personal stories from the heart of this neuroplasticity revolution, Dr. Doidge explores the profound implications of the changing brain for understanding the mysteries of love, sexual attraction, taste, culture and education in an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at human possibility and human nature.

Lucid and absolutely fascinating…engaging, educational and riveting. It satisfies, in equal measure, the mind and the heart. Doidge is able to explain current research in neuroscience with clarity and thoroughness. He presents the ordeals of the patients about whom he writes- -people born with parts of their brains missing, people with learning disabilities, people recovering from strokes- -with grace and vividness. In the best medical narratives — and the works of Doidge… join that fraternity — the narrow bridge between body and soul is traversed with courage and eloquence.
Chicago Tribune

The Brain That Changes Itself is available on Amazon.

TBI Weariness

David Grant the founder and publisher of TBI Hope & Inspiration wrote this and posted it on Facebook. It struck a chord with me so I am sharing it here on my blog.

TBI Weariness is unlike weariness in my past life – a life now forever over.

In the old days, the days before everything changed, I could shake it off.

A hot shower and a good meal and I was ready to rock ‘n roll.

But not so anymore.

TBI weariness is a level of unfathomable exhaustion.

You want to simply put your head down for a while… and not come back.

Small tasks take Herculean effort.

And I’d be angry at my TBI – if I had the energy to even be angry.

Brain fog clouds my vision, thoughts scattered.

It all to often feels like it’s always been like this.

And always will be.

I long for a break from the perpetual and unending exhaustion.

“What’s it like to wake up refreshed,” I wonder.

“What’s it like to actually sleep through the night?”

I try to live life like I used to.

When I was whole.

Before I was broken.

On the good days, I pay a steep price.

Steeper than most will never know.

Trying to appear unbroken takes work – a lot of work.

On the tough days, the price paid is torturous.

Never a day off, forever part of the two words that sometimes

I really hate.

“New Normal.”

Got two pieces of news for you.

This is NOT normal.


I’m as eligible as you to at times crumble under the weight of this all.

Sometimes I just need to vent.

Dr. Daniel Amen recommends Kirtan Kriya – the the SA TA NA MA meditation

Dr. Daniel Amen in his book Making A Good Brain Great recommends using a form of meditation known as Kirtan Kriya, also known as the SA TA NA MA meditation.

The 12 minute format of Kirtan Kriya that Dr. Amen recommends is a very easy form of meditation for busy people to practice.

The SA TA NA MA meditation is based on the five primal sounds:

  • Saa,
  • Taa,
  • Naa,
  • Maa and
  • Aa

I have found this to be a wonderful meditation.

I have struggled to meditate on a regular daily basis for decades. And while there is no doubt that the gabapentin medication is helping me to stay on track, as shown in my second SPECT Scan, I am finding that when I get up in the morning, and before goingto bed at night, I really look forward to doing Kirtin Kriya. It seems that the combination of sound (mantra) and movement (Mudra) makes a difference for me.

Dr. Amen says “I teamed with Drs. Dharma Singh Khalsa and Nisha Money to study the impact of meditation on the brain. We chose a simple 12 minute form of meditation, Kriya Kirtan, that is easy for busy people to practice. It is based on the five primal sounds: Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa (aa being the fifth sound). Meditators say each sound as they consecutively touch their thumb to fingers two, three, four and five. The sounds and fingering are repeated for two minutes out loud, two minutes whispering, four minutes silently, two minutes whispering and two minutes out loud.

“We performed SPECT scans at rest one day and then after meditation the next day. We saw marked decreases in the left parietal lobes (decreasing awareness of time and space) and significant increases in the prefrontal cortex (which showed that meditation helped to tune people in, not out). We also saw increased activity in the right temporal lobe, an area that has been associated with spirituality.

Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation & Kirtan Kriya

Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation conducted a study at the Amen Clinic in Newport Beach, California in 2003. It was a joint project between the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation and the Amen Clinic of Newport Beach, California, affiliated with the University of California at Irvine.

What did the SPECT scan from the study show before doing Kirtan Kriya?

In one of the brain scans, we saw that the dimples in the front of the brain show a lack of complete blood flow. The area located on the back region of the brain is lumpy and asymmetrical, also due to a lack of blood flow. In the center of the brain, no thalamus is visible.

brain before Kirtin Kriya

What did a SPECT scan of the same brain described above show after doing Kirtan Kriya?

A SPECT scan of the same brain showed that the dimples had disappeared, showing an increase in blood flow. The back of the brain is fuller and more symmetrical. The thalamus is now visible in the center of the brain. The thalamus controls appetite and sleep cycles, sets the emotional tone of the mind, and promotes bonding.

brain after Kirtin Kriya

SPECT Scans courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation.

So I am looking forward to my next SPECT Scan to see what other changes we see to my brain.

When you do the Kirtin Kriya meditation you say each sound as you consecutively touch your thumb to fingers two, three, four and five. Each time you close a mudra by joining the thumb with a finger, your ego “seals” its effect in your consciousness.

Visualize or feel each individual sound come in the crown chakra at the top of the head, down through the middle of the head and out to infinity through the third eye. This is very important and must be done with each sound. It is an essential part of the cleansing process. If this part of the meditation is not done, you may experience a headache.

Kirtan Kriya 12 Minute Meditation Instructions :

  • Sit with a straight spine.
  • Bring your mental focus to the brow point.
  • 2 minutes OUTLOUD – SA TA NA MA
  • 2 minutes in an audible WHISPER – SA TA NA MA
  • 4 minutes chant SILENTLY. Keep the hands and tongue moving – SA TA NA MA.
  • 2 minutes WHISPER – SA TA NA MA.
  • 2 minutes OUTLOUD – SA TA NA MA.
  • 30 seconds: sit quietly and listen inside, hear the mantra and experience the energy flowing in throw your Crown Chakra and out through your brow (Third Eye).
  • Do not do the finger movements.
  • 30 seconds: inhale deeply, raise the arms up in the air and vigorously shake the arms and fingers. You can involve the whole body and spine. Exhale. Repeat 1 or 2 more time if you desire. This is an important part of the meditation as it helps move and release the energy in the body.

Relax for a few minutes before going about your day. Or relax on your back. If it is before bed time, simply go to sleep.

While doing the meditation, you may experience pictures of the past come up like on a movie screen in your mind. Let them dance in front of your eyes and release them with the mantra. This is part of the cleansing of the subconscious mind.

If emotions come up, you can also incorporate them in the chanting, i.e. if you feel anger then chant out the anger. Whatever you experience is OK. Do not try to avoid or control your experiences. Simply be with what is going on and go through it. It is all part of the cleansing process.

The bottom line is that this meditation works. All you have to do is do it. You can trust the process and the technology.


Eliciting the Relaxation Response in Meditation

Elicitation of the Relaxation Response in meditation as taught by Dr. Herbert Benson is not difficult.

Meditating is one of several activities that produce the relaxation response, and meditating for 20-30 minutes a day, over time, can lead to a generalized feeling of relaxation in many areas of your life.

There are two essential steps to eliciting the Relaxation Response:

  1. Repetition of a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or muscular activity.
  2. Passive disregard of everyday thoughts that inevitably come to mind and the return to your repetition.

The following is the generic technique taught at the Mind/Body Medical Institute:

  1. Pick a focus word, short phrase, or prayer that is firmly rooted in your belief system, such as “one”, “peace”, “AUM”, “The Lord is my shepherd”, “Hail Mary full of grace” or “shalom”.
  2. Sit quietly in a comfortable position.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Relax your muscles, progressing from your feet to your calves, thighs, abdomen, shoulders, head, and neck.
  5. Breathe slowly and naturally, and as you do, say your focus word, sound, phrase, or prayer silently to yourself as you exhale.
  6. Assume a passive attitude. Don’t worry about how well you’re doing. When other thoughts come to mind, simply say to yourself, “Oh well”, and gently return to your repetition.
  7. Continue for ten to 20 minutes.
  8. Do not stand immediately. Continue sitting quietly for a minute or so, allowing other thoughts to return. Then open your eyes and sit for another minute before rising.
  9. Practice the technique once or twice daily. Good times to do so are before breakfast and before dinner.

Regular elicitation of the Relaxation Response has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of stress-related disorders. In fact, to the extent that any disease is caused or made worse by stress, the Relaxation Response can help.

The Relaxation Response can be brought forth through many techniques in addition to the method above, such as imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, repetitive prayer, meditation, repetitive physical exercises, and breath focus. Each person should choose a technique that conforms to his or her belief system.

The Relaxation Response

The Relaxation Response is a term coined by Herbert Benson, MD.

The Relaxation Response is a learned behavior or practice describing a natural restorative phenomenon that is common to all as a counterbalancing mechanism to the fight-or-flight response.

The Relaxation Response is a state of profound rest that can have lasting effects if any of a number of techniques that involve mental focusing is practiced regularly.

Learning how to relax, really relax, can have a far-reaching influence on the quality of your life. There is a difference between “vegging” (which can be a good thing to do) and taking time to engage in activities that produce deep relaxation. Meditation is an activity that can lead to deep relaxation.

Deep relaxation has specific characteristics. When a person has a relaxation response, several physiological changes occur. They are:

  • Decrease in heart rate
  • Decrease in respiration rate
  • Decrease in skeletal muscle tension
  • Decrease in metabolic rate and oxygen consumption
  • Decrease in analytic thinking
  • Increase in skin resistance
  • Increase in alpha wave activity in the brain

Meditating & The Relaxation Response

Meditating (one of several activities that produce the relaxation response) for 20-30 minutes a day, over time, can lead to a generalized feeling of relaxation in many areas of one’s life.

Some of the benefits of deep relaxation are:

  1. reduction of generalized anxiety
  2. preventing stress from building up
  3. increased energy and productivity
  4. improved concentration and memory
  5. reduction of insomnia and fatigue
  6. prevention and/or reduction of psychosomatic disorders such as hypertension, migraines, headaches, asthma, ulcers
  7. increased self-confidence and reduced self-blame
  8. increased availability of feelings

Try meditating 20-30 minutes a day for an extended period of time. See if you can experience some of the physiological changes listed above. See how it affects your life.

Regular elicitation of the Relaxation Response has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of stress-related disorders. In fact, to the extent that any disease is caused or made worse by stress, the Relaxation Response can help.

To use the Relaxation Response in daily meditation just follow the easy steps outlined in Eliciting the Relaxation Response in Meditation.