Wednesday, December 5, 2007
I am quite familiar with a few multiple level marketing companies. Some in my opinion work wonders and others well...not so much. And I'm talking obviously about the legitimate and well known ones. Nevermind the thousands upon thousands of scams out there.
Out of pure synchronicity, I have stumbled upon a posting on facebook that referred to Yuwie. It inrigued me because it was similar to an idea brought recently forth by my associate at Mindforge Media. We have a small web development shop and we have a few projects in the pipeline to build serious equity through the Internet over the next few years. And Yuwie, although not exactly the same, is a similar idea to the one we have been discussing lately.
So I followed the link to the Yuwie site and was greeted by a young executive pitching me on what Yuwie is and it how it works. Here's the link in question:
I was curious enough to keep clicking and even curious enough to consider signing up. The idea is pretty simple. Instead of being a networking site that keeps all the advertising revenues like facebook, myspace or hi5, Yuwie is proposing to give a portion back to its users for the use of their content and their referrals with a payout system of multi level marketing.
Seems ingenious and potentially legit. Actually if it's done properly, it could be down right genius. I've browsed the net quite a bit to try and find somebody who got scammed by Yuwie but rather found quite a few dozens of people who decided to give it a shot and see what came out of it. My sponsor, or the person I chose to sign under if you will, my upline in MLM jargon, disclosed the details of his payouts through Paypal and gave me enough of a good feeling to give this a trial period. One of the things that made sense to me, was that his numbers made sense. They're down to earth realistic numbers. He's only making a bit of money for now. But the snowball effect could easily make him serious coin. And that's always the beauty of passive income. Earn money while you sleep, while on vacation, while working on something else or while spending quality time with your loved ones...
So this if the first day and first entry of my Yuwie experiment journal. I viewed the video. Got curious. Browsed the web to make sure it wasn't a scam. Found a very useful site by an older gentleman explaining his own Yuwie experience. Found him sympathetic and deserving of my efforts in building a new stream of MLM so I made him my sponsor by signing under him. If you're curious too, you can check it out with this link and embark with me on this little journey by joining my line.
I shall keep you closely posted on the results of this nifty and intriguing little experiment.
John S Miles
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
It allowed me to discover a few very interesting sites and discussions:
Gigababy feels strongly about all these tragic car crashes we hear about all the time and has been commendably involved in making a difference for quite some time. Her blog offers a plethora of good articles on the subject.
I also found myself face to face with dantallion’s can[n]on where its author, Dan, I believe expressed an interesting point of view on responsability that sparked quite a heated debate in the comments. Dan was bringing forward the argument that some research indicates the portion of the brain involved in fully comprehending the potential consequences of wreckless driving is not quite fully developped in the brain untill the age of 25. I felt compelled to voice my opinion in the comments and I find the debate interesting enough to publish a soon to be released article on the matter. Look for it soon on this blog under "The car n age of reason".
My cyber stroll also allowed me to stumble into a very interesting blog by Dr Gilbert on his Stumbling into happiness. The discovery was made thanks to Redjenny who referenced it in an interesting article on her blog where she was mentionning that "Research shows that while people think of their own actions as the consequences of what came before, they think of other people’s actions as the causes of what came later." Her blog is a commentary on news, humour, art and politics from a distinctly progressive viewpoint. Once again a subject that is definitely worth an article on the Miles Initiative.
Stay tuned folks, the articles are coming shortly :-)
John S Miles
Monday, December 3, 2007
I have mentionned some of my concerns and some of my views in the article recently published. There is however a lingering reflection that has kept me thinking and questionning and has been considerably gnawing at my conscience.
Yes, I do believe we are most of the time somewhat imputable at some degree for whatever goes on in the world around us or that at the very least, we have some way of affecting the future outcomes in relation to whichever matter is at stake. And it's being cristallized in what will become to be known as the John S Miles initiative or the compounding effect of imputability. And I did express various ways in which we can all be somewhat involved in promoting or not condemning speeding and wreckless driving.
I would like however and furthermore today to share a different kind of concern. One that might be even more disturbing or more sociologically profoundly embeded in our society...
Have you ever asked yourself where does the need for speed come from? There's various answers to that and a lot of them very valid. One that comes to mind is that there comes a physical response from speed, a rush, an adrenaline rush and potentially endorphines and all that ensues. Essentially, it's a drug. It's a form of recreational drug. Rather than injecting something, the person creates a situation that generates the rush and get their fix. And it's a very real rush and can even be somewhat of a hard habit to kick for some. There are various studies on daily runners and such that paint a very graphic picture of how the molecules naturally produced by the body can even create quite an addiction at a certain level.
Now if you're going to be jumping off a bungee rope or out of a plane, it's one thing. You're not impeding anyone's life really. But when you indulge in that need behind the wheel of a massive lethal weapon of 2 tons of steel, you're not alone anymore. And you are putting other lives at risk. And not in a remote way. In a very real, very dramatic way. The statistics on car accidents are staggering and disturbing. Especially when you look how much speeding and/or driving impaired has to do with it.
I grew up in the Laurentians. Where the need for speed is second nature to many young teens and young adults if not most. We speed on the ski hills, speed with the windsurf, speed with the boats, speed with the snowboards, and unfortunately speed with the motor bikes and the cars. I won't hide the fact that I have countless stories of friends speeding or racing and these so called exploits use to be at the source of many "glorious" conversations. And there are almost as many stories of terrible car crashes and wrecks occasionally taking the lives of friends and even potentially innocent victims but quite often and disturningly not so. Just another case of so and so totalling this car or that car and walking out with a few bruises.
I myself have been, as a passenger, involved in a few major spin outs or tumble fest down a ravine where we were incredibly lucky to make alive and with unbelieably almost no injuries. A few times. As in 2-3 times. That was more than 15 years ago at an age where we thought we were somehow almost invincible and quite senseless and very irresponsible. I was often the nagging one, reminding friends to put on their seatbelts and not drive drunk or slow down or such but I still took part, against my better judgement or not, in countless episodes that could've taken the lives of innocent victims in the very same way that some others recently did.
When I look back into our behaviors back then, I can't help but to ask myself. How could we've prevented that? What was at play and how do we avoid a similar plague in the current young generation?
I believe that part of the answer is in education. Parents, families, relatives, schools, teachers, media and society have to educate the young generation on the real dangers of speed, drunk and wreckless driving. Most definitely. Had we somewhat known better, we might have acted differently. That's definitely part of the answer.
At the same time, my intuition tells me that there is something much more visceral and powerful at play. Something much more insidious about the legendary need for speed...
I do believe that the need for speed is really the expression of a need for empowerement. It seems to me that a lot of people feel the need to speed because it makes them feel in power. They feel like they have the edge on "lesser" drivers. Speed has an ancestral and historical siege of alpha male domination to it. And it seems to be especially true with hormonally testosterone driven young males.
Now if that is indeed the case, and if it is indeed killing so many young teens and their innocent victim, what seems to be an even greater tragedy is the mere fact that these teens or yound adluts need the speed in the first place. The fact that they need that hit, that drug, that rush, that feeling of empowerment tends to indicate that it feels necessary and acceptable to use speed to fill some kind of a void. And that is to me, a terrible irony and an appaling scenario.
We have the incredible privilege of living in one of the best place to live in the world! Canada often ranks as the first, second or third best place to live in on the whole planet! How incredible is that? Billions of people are dying from hunger and illness, they're busy struggling for their mere survival. And we're at the very top of that pyramid where for so many of us, survival is not really the issue. We have the luxury of living while so many people have to focus all their energy on just surviving. Every single day fighting for their lives.
And yet, we kill ourselves and each other on the roads because we somewhat feel empty somewhere inside? We, in turn, wastes lives. How terrible is that? And not just on the roads, Quebec has one of the highest suicide rates in the world for young men. In the world! We have it pretty much the best and yet we kill ourselves! Is there something we missed here??
Doesn't that indicate that we're doing something wrong here? And I do say we because I really do truly feel that as individuals and as a society something needs to be done. We need to be happy. We need to feel whole, empowered, fulfilled, accomplished, stimulated. And not only do we need to be happy but then, we pretty much bear a certain responsability in my humble opinion to spend a bit of our lives helping the other few billions that are dying everywhere around us...
How do we adress that void? How do we avoid the need for speed or how do we channel it? That's a different article in itself and I will gladly get to it as soon as I get the chance. In the meantime, I just wanted to voice that there might be much more to these accidents than meets the eye, in my humble opinion.
Feel free to share your views on the subject.
John S Miles
Saturday, November 24, 2007
The young girl was playing outside on her babysitter's lawn. As if anything was needed to epitomize such a tragedy as parents having to bury their own children, everything about this tragic event seems to contribute to make it that much more disheartening.
Someone once said there is probably no greater pain than having to bury your own child. And not having any of my own yet, I can only imagine how true that must be. There is something so unaturally wrong about surviving your own child. Bearing children is probably one of the most significant accomplishment in our lives, one of the most deeply rooted and surely one of the most painful blessing to part with.
Not that there is any right age to take that journey, but Bianca was only 3 years old and it somehow makes us cringe even a bit more to realize that.
Not that physical appearance really bears any significance, but Bianca was just such and adorable little ray of sunshine and had litterally the looks of a little angel.
Not that any child deserves any harm to come to them, but Bianca had a contagious smile and charming adorable personality. All children must bring some joy to their families but as her grandmother so eloquently put it...
Not that there is ever a right time for such drama but it also occured on Halloween. I don't know about you but I always find it even more disturbing when something terrible occurs on a holiday, an anniversary, a birthday. Not that the people that go through such events need anything to remind them of the doomed date but it's as if it adds even more to the burden of that specific date on the calendar. And given the peculiar rapport between halloween, children and life in the afterworld, it just seems to make it just that much more wrong.
Not that there is ever any right set of circumstances, but this accident occured as the result of an apparent race between two young drivers...18 and 16 year old... who's family are also obviously devastated by this chilling turn of events. Possibly haunted with some form of guilt, full of fear for their own child and what awaits them. And potentially conflicted between the love of their children, the will to support them in facing this ordeal and their own condemning of such an irresponsible conduct with such grave consequences and irreparable faith.
And not that there's any right age to face this kind of ordeal, but the parents of the young Bianca are not much older than the drivers and both in their twenties, at the dawn of their family life that literally just got somehow snuffed away...
An not that there's any right place for such a tragic faith, but it took place in the quiet and peaceful suburbia of Ile Perrot. Isn't that where we go to somewhat shield our children from all the harm that could come to them in the city? Isn't it supposed to be safer?
I don't know about you, but everything about this just tears me on the inside. I have the deepest compassion for the parents of young Bianca and everyone else who's life has been afflicted by this terrible and appaling story.
We all know that millions of children die a million horrible death. We are well aware that here, in Canada, we have the privilege of living while billions of people and their children have to worry about daily survival. We are aware that there are thousands upon thousands of tragedies just as horrible if not more, every day, all around the world.
Let's not try to quantify or scale in any way the pain for a moment, let's not compare human sufferings of such magnitude and let's have a look at what effect it had on this community.
It affected a lot of people. It sent a chill down our spine. Why? For many various reasons. Some of them being the circumstances of the event. It generated various brilliant articles and reflections by great minds such as Patrick Lagace and Pierre Foglia. It generated many debates. Mixed emotions. Petitions...
Some blame the young drivers, some the parents of the drivers, some our society and the ever so present need for speed. Some say this accident might bring change and make a difference. Some are even more outraged because they think it still won't make a difference...
Yes the drivers obviously have a huge responsability. They could've been responsible enough to never race the cars in the first place. The parents of the drivers also bear a responsability. Were their children old enough, mature enough to drive without supervision? Obviously not. Are the governments responsible through their laws? Of course, in some way. Is 16 old enough to drive? Is the penal and criminal code tough enough on wreckless drivers and drunks? Probably not...
But every time a drama unfolds, no matter how close or how far from us, it seems even more pertinent to ask a certain different question. And that question is: How am I responsible? How can I make a difference? What set of actions can I perform from this momen forward to avoid a future occurence of this drama. How can we all make such a difference?
There are tons of ways in which we're pretty much all guilty at some level or another and tons of ways in which we can make a significant difference. First, to have an impact on the variables that come into play, we have to look into various causes or contributing factors and ask ourselves how we can impact them. Here are a few that come to mind from the top of my head:
- Do we sometimes drive too fast ourselves? Can we make sure not too, not as much? Bring our level of awareness up?
- Do we ever drive under the influence of some alcohol? A lot of people underestimate the effect of a little alcohol on our reflexes. A study states that at a 0.08 alcohol blood level, reflexes are as much as 36 times slower than sober...not 2-3 times. 36!! It's not to drive under normal circumstances that's impossible under the influence of some alcohol. It's to react on time in the face of the unpredictable. A pedestrian that falls or comes out of nowhere, a blown tire, a false manoeuver by another driver and so on and so forth.
- Do we glorify driving fast in any way? through anecdotes, comments or else?
- Do we let others around us be somewhat guilty of the same sins without mentionning a word? making ourselves silent accomplices of such apparently petty but how much so potentially latently lethal misdemeanors?
- How can we raise the level of awareness of our loved ones by a conversation, a remark? an email to friends just kindly reminding them of our love, how precious life is and to buckle up, drive safe and not speed. Our co-workers? Our community? By a blog? By random and various conversations?
These are just some ideas to point us in the direction of making a difference. As for myself, I've decided to write this blog to spark a reflection. I don't have the answers but I humbly think I sometimes have valid questions and it is a great privilege to share them with you.
Thank you for taking the time to read me. Thank you for putting a bit of thought into it and for choosing at least one action that can make a difference and delaying as little as possible on that action that you now have in mind...
This reflection has brought me the idea of systemizing this thought process. What if when something goes wrong in the world around us in a way that grabs our attention, we did something about it? What if we focused most of our energies on what we, as a single piece of the puzzle, a single number in the equation of life, can personally actively do about it? Even in the most remote way....
Those little gestures make a world of a difference when they compound. One conversation. One email. One vote. That translates into thousands upon thousands. We, the part of this human race that have the luxury of living seem to bear a certain level of responsability in the faith of the others, those busy just surviving. Einstein reportedly stated that compound interest was the greatest invention of mankind. What if we could make compounding good deeds its direct successor on that throne? What if that was mostly all there is to it? what if it was just that simple?...
What if every day of our lives we made a conscious effort to compound a good deed and urge others to do so? Someone once said that every action we take, every gesture, every word we utter, every decision we make has a effect in the world like a rock that's been thrown in a pond. What if we casted thousands upon thousands of pebbles in the pond? Would there be a tsunami of positive impact in the world?
I would like to think so. And I would like to keep taking steps in that direction in something I would like to call the John S Miles initiative...
John Smiles is just a pen name. It's a persona, a literary double I created in my efforts to make a difference. The john smiles intitiative is just the incarnation of that will to make a difference.
Much thanks for your contribution and let our thoughts go to the families that are affected by the little Bianca tragedy in this time of mourning and hardship...
If you do want to get a sense of the beautiful life that was taken, have a look at this hommage to the little angel that was posted on youtube.
John S Miles
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
And as we go through life, we define much of ourselves in reference to those memories, that pearl string of moments of our lives; our past, our history, our life. It somewhat defines who we are and, just the same, we envision the future as series of anticipated moments to come; moments of glory, moment of bliss, of intimacy, of victory, so on and so forth.
Which can lead us to ask ourselves what truly makes a moment a moment? And one of the answers is most certainly the intensity. Moments are intense, they have depth of emotion, depth of feeling, whatever that feeling may be. Whether set in fear, exhilaration, surprise, joy, bliss, pain or suffering, those nexus are most certainly intense enough to profoundly engrave their selves in the fabric of our lives.
And truly just the same, these moments seem to have a constant underlying essential component: they have significance. Whether intrinsic or extrinsic, the significance is definitely an essential part of any moment. And I obviously mean at a higher level than purely from a semantic standpoint.
There is nonetheless beyond semantics an interesting background question. Do the moments have significance as a result of being moments per say and being the pigments that color the mosaic of our memories? Is the mere fact that they are recalled and observed as moments procuring that after-the-fact significance? A certain post-mortem rationalization? Or is it because they had significance in the first place that they unleashed enough intensity to qualify as a moment per say? Who knows? Maybe a bit from column a and a bit from column b.
Knowing that life tends to be that pearl string makes it definitely interesting to look at something else that’s very revealing: the space in between. What happens in between the moments? There usually is a succession of slightly duller instants. Episodes that will be taped over with no privilege of reruns. There’s definitely no syndication for those soon to be forgotten outtakes of our lives. No cult movies from that roll.
And it seems to me that the more rapid the succession of those moments, the more significant our life becomes. And shouldn’t that be a worthy challenge? Isn’t the task of keeping the pearls as close together on the string as we can one of life’s most essential challenge? It certainly seems that way to me.
It’s just like Michael Newman’s remote control in the Movie Click with Adam Sandler and Christopher Walken. We sometimes seem to be on somewhat of the autopilot, in transition between moments. And what seems to be in a certain way alarming is that the moments, the intense bits of our lives seem to be somewhat of a minority in the sea of episodes that constitutes our lives. The autopilot self seem to be the most present one for some of us. It’s as if we have a relatively insignificant self and then the occasional significant other self. Our own little inner day drama star, jewel and prize of our very own syndicated inner universe.
And sometimes it dawns on me that our relationship with that other significant is certainly the most determining factor in our companionship with our loved one, our spouse or concubine, the one we like to call our significant other. Isn’t it true that our relationship with ourselves is what most determines our capacity to love others and be loved? Love thyself to love others? It certainly seems like it. That our capacity for happiness, our self esteem, our love for ourselves, our relationship with who we truly are, our inner dialogues have a tremendous impact on how happy we are or potentially can be within our own skin and therefore with others.
Having taken a peculiar interest in how our moments make up the fabric of the mosaic of our memories and become the very fabric of our beings, it highlights how the capacity to multiply these moments is essential to our inner peace and finding true bliss within our inner sanctum and therefore out there in the world, at the arms of one’s true love.
So a true question would be how do we achieve the level of significance to multiply the moments? How do we push back on the autopilot? How do we reclaim possession of our universal remote control? How do we make sure not to fast forward or tape over?
One avenue definitely worthy of exploring is to simply live the moment. Quite plainly and quite simply. It’s certainly one of life’s toughest challenge. To live in the moment. Not in the past. Not in the future. But to connect with the present instant. With the multi faceted complexity of a single tic of the clock in the universe. One heartbeat at a time. It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that so many ancient or modern philosophies and spiritual current point in that direction. It tends to indicate that over the millenniums we have learned something worthy through mankind’s adventure in this world and beyond. To be in the moment. Because there is so much bliss in the moment. Life is so rich and complex that every flash holds a thousand truths, a thousand joys and a thousand pains. All connecting into one profound universal truth. One significance…
Let’s try that. Carpe Diem as the Romans once called it. To seize the day as a mean of promoting more dull instants to the ranks of moments, the magical moments that light up the screen of the inner movie of our lives…