Archive | February, 2011

The delight of being Human: Reading “Xenocide”

25 Feb

Feb 16th, Wed








Cannot believe that it took a sci-fi book for me to recall how much I’ve forgotten from junior high and high school Chinese classes. Aside from elementary school and parts of junior high, when we were made to memorize the definition of terms so we can write them down word for word (tell me, how useful is that???), I rather loved Chinese class. I never got perfect grades, but I always got passable – because as much as I abhorred memorizing, I actually found it quite enjoyable to learn a lot of the cultural nuances that had been developed inside the language. I used to use 成語 all the time when I was a kid because it was so easy to just express something using four words, so quaintly, and behind those four words is an entire story! That is the amazing cultural heritage we were given.


And Orson Scott Card had done it again – amazed me with a sci-fi book that isn’t all about the hype of tech, the grand destiny of the human race in the space world and the weirdness of aliens (which I have found some sci-fi books dwell upon at length, which is just about as exciting and memorable as a typical Romance), but reminds us as well about the enduring qualities of humanity, love and courage, all wrapped up in the enticingly intelligent conversations. It’s kind of the The Swarm, with more liveliness of language (I keep wondering if it’s because it was translated from German that makes it sound so cold?), less fact monologues, and a more satisfying ending.


Btw, notice how sea-disasters most often end in the murky confusions of vast quantities of salty water drowning ships? Yeah, I mean, it was ridiculous luck/convenience that they could have seen what The Swarm did to the bait. Titanic, Moby Dick and Jaws all fit into that frightening cold quagmire of oh-where-did-his-corpse-go-? sensation at the end. The fluorescence definitely told us The Swarm was written for screenplay, whilst no media can ever do Ender’s  series justice.


Scratch that, it’s nothing like The Swarm, except I enjoyed it in the same way – it challenged me to comprehend what was going on, and inspired me to become a better version of myself. Kind of like an ideal mate. With books comme ça and chocolate, who needs men? (No no Eros! I kid! I kid!)


Anyway, I haven’t finished the book yet, so there’ll probably be another update on this note after that.


Interestingly, was watching this short lecture about eating disorders and neurological traits…


!!!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!


and it mentioned how people with anorexia may display OCD-like symptoms, where they display perseverant, perfectionist behaviors. Neurologically this may be called difficulty in set-shifting, which is thinking flexibly and being able to change your mind. Now excuse me for nitpicking, but I think that having OCD-like symptoms should be an antithesis to being able to effectively solve problems. That is – the idea that a person is very intelligent in the ordinary sense of the word doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re very capable of solving problems in a manner that will make it easy for them. Persistence, however, is very useful for very difficult problems.

To see the lecture, search for “What Neuroscience is teaching us about eating disorders” on iTunes U. Love her speech style btw.


Feb 18th, Thursday

Listen to this:

“So Demosthenes was right. The M.D. Device is with the fleet.”


“But Father – you joined many others in claiming that they were forgeries.”

“Just as the gods speak only to a chosen few, so the secrets of the rulers must be known only to those who will use the knowledge properly. Demosthenes was giving powerful secrets to people who were not fit to use them wisely, and so for the good of the people the secrets had to be withdrawn. The  only way to retrieve a secret, once it is known, is to replace it with a lie. then the knowledge of the truth is once again your secret.”

So according to the book, due to light-speed travel, Andrew Wiggin and his sister have been alive for more than 40 years though the world has gone through 3000 years of history. The interesting about this is that the human societies in the book have not changed much compared to modern society. There’s still the information age, and yes there are a new technologies… but the fundamental way people live has not changed by much. There is hardly any hint medical advances concerning human longevity, systems that would absolutely absolve people from laboring for their livelihoods, and still religion and tradition are very prominent things in human society. I wonder whether it is due to the limitations of Card’s imagination – to make it believable and a function-able plot, human society must not have changed too much from what we are familiar with – or due to the practicality of the issue. That it is in human nature to be so.


Looking at what has happened, within the span of a few months, I would like to say that perhaps a great deal could be different for the future. It is convenient that Card never touches upon such things as the economic system, how wealth will be presented and distributed, and elections – these pertinent details that are very much subject to change. For how long have we had democracy? And for equally long have we known its ills. I have hope for the recent revolutions, in both our private lifestyles and what we expect from those in power. I have hope that it will dramatically change how we function as a society – with more openness, justice, equality and respect.


But there will constantly be the other voice against, which brings us back to the opening quote here:  the justifiable ignorance of the masses.


I really need to talk to someone. Staying at home for an entire week conversing with myself… there are days when this drives me wild with a sense of ennui and suffocation.


Feb 19th and 20th, Weekend

The anger of a crowd is a terrible thing, and it can be used for terrible things.


I’m amazed, actually, that Card’s book should bring me now to exactly that which I have been contemplating over the past few weeks – the movement of crowds. There have been so many times when such confluence of information has come whilst I was looking completely disparate sources of information, that it is easy to concludethat life consists of a net – where every single issue in the universe is connected to each other.

I know that would be too universal a way to look at it. So I cannot conclude in this manner. However, the strange sensation of having many chips fall into place cannot but thrill.


The stirring up of a crowd usually requires a cohesive chanter – someone who can start up a cry, a song, draw a mystical fervor over the crowd… this I have always admired in others, never feeling myself capable of shouting to a crowd with such audacity, with such a assuredness. Restless in the knowledge that whatever I proclaim cannot be the absolute truth, and shameful that I should dare speak so rashly. So people who are capable being the chanter, either by calculation or passion, fascinate me.


It was partially due to coming upon the narrative about the personal history of some of the protestors the author had met whilst flipping randomly through The Art of Moral Protest, that made me wish to borrow the book in the first place. It mentioned how some of the protestors he met are emotionally unstable and prone to being incensed. Emotional instability is not necessarily a mental deficiency. I myself recall a very astute young man, who could speak with every reason, who angered easily at the system as a sort of prevailing passion. I found him very a very whole individual, but perhaps I am biased for I tend too easily to empathize with people I meet – to the extent of losing myself sometimes. But that should be besides the point. I’m not really very good at making a strong argument for delving into the specifics. Ambiguity thrives in the clearest made points.


On the other hand, I have also been very absorbed, sort of as a personal quest, to find that which is enduring, so that I may take them upon myself and be not a transitional creature of life. For me, expressing very strong emotions are not enduring, so that I have banished them from my repertoire. The eternal is to me not only a matter of sense, but of pride (so proud am I that it’s hard to admit this). To be the conversation peace of a jaded cynic… the very idea is a blow to my ego.


On the manufactured OCD: Apparently it is exceedingly useful for controlling the rulers of Path… and the story plot follows that the OCD can apparently be a handicap, especially for minds where the justification of their obedience has been so necessary to themselves, to act not with perfect rationality.


Wang-mu’s fore-sense of her marriage… now that is certainly a bit much.


Feb 21st, Monday

Finally finished the book in the AM. People are very adorable. There was this kid the other day who had asked me out, and immediately stopped saying nice things to me after I told me, as kindly as I knew how, that I couldn’t possibly be his girlfriend. What is there in such an immediate proposition but the idea to own someone? But then, what is there wrong in our instinct to seek something assured, so that we need not worry over it? At least, I applaud his honesty in cutting his losses, as much as I like being given sweet attention to. Though I think he knows very little of women to give up so soon – most women do not know what they want, and an initial rejection can give way under prolonged tender assault.


On a side note, did you know that men look more attractive/macho when they stare off into space for profile pics while women look more attractive when they stare into the camera? For illustration, check out this pic for ethical man


Card’s theory about philotes, as the essence of life coming from nothing in a disparate space, I found as intriguing as Phillip Pullman’s theory of death’s resting form in His Dark Materials (though I found his story horribly depressing). He explains so prettily the idea and how it could give birth to universes. And how it ties in with the philosophy that “wishing makes it so”. It is dazzling.


I’ve never read any serious work on the theory of parallel universes – only two or stories – so that I cannot imagine what is going in physic science concerning this. The idea I have is that there is too little fact to support these theories at present. In Card’s world, it depends on the known existence of philotes – a force that allows for the connections in life and is the substance (if you can call it that) of life itself. Both Card and Pullman put forth the idea of a disparate space as the logical conclusion to the origin of life, though Pullman’s was certainly more religious, whilst Card’s more historical. I wonder if, by reasoning myself, I could have come up with the conclusion of a disparate space as well? Alas, there is no hope of that now.


Also I’d like to mention the unspoken atheism in Card’s books, which gives a nod to religion being a comfort to people’s lives. It seems that the more that we are aware of, the less likely we’ll believe in something so consuming as a religion. It is not nice to say that superstition and religion go hand in hand, but I think it may be true. On the other hand, could this perfusion of knowledge give way to a lessening in such “wasteful” emotions as guilt and shame? To think of them first theoretically and then, only then, perhaps experience them as emotions one “ought” to experience?


All in all, I find Card’s work on Ender as delightfully mindset clearing as the work of Madeleine L’Engle.

It is so interesting being a human.



a Time for Egypt: A new generation of reason

10 Feb

I have once had a friend of mine question what I do with model United Nations. He said that it is a propagation of existing systems and their fallacies. I found that idea intriguing, possible, but I told him that model UN is precisely a venue where we may learn how these exisiting systems with their fallacies work, and envision new forms of creating solutions. With the recent movement in Egypt, I’m seeing how new forms of solutions are being sought – and understanding why there is reluctance in certain quarters to accept this movement.


What we’re seeing right now is a fear, from the surrounding regimes and other nations who have an interest in the area. There’s fear about a movement that seems so far leaderless, there’s fear about the movement of a crowd that is suspected vulnerable to the preyings of specific forces – foreign intentions perhaps, a muslim agenda perhaps. There is this fear because in the old paradigm we expect that people are sheep. The way the Egyptian government has acted in this case shows how they expect that people are sheep – if we put down enough key people in the opposition, if we direct the media to sooth the people and make them believe themselves defeated, manipulated by ill-intentions, guided by the wiles of children – then the movement would dissipate and we’ll be stronger than ever.


There is fear by the Israeli government about this new Egypt. When from what I can see in the videos they have everything to gain from this movement – if they have nothing to hide. When you look at the way the young egyptian activists speak, the way they’re organized, when you look at the things they believe in, you understand that what they’re asking for is a government that works on reason, a government that serves with transparency and righteousness. What this movement is is a surge of reason and values that understand the rightful role of a governance towards its people.


“Don’t treat us like we are children. Treat us like we are men. Don’t treat us like anyone can trick us or try to fool us.” Wael Ghonim.


What the Israeli government fears is a departure from acceptance of Israel from merely the regime, but also an accounting from the people Egypt. Because when the Israeli government looks at the way they’ve handled the Palestinian situation they can see how unreasonable it is. Yet they persist because it ‘secures Israeli nationality’. If anything the government instigated apartheid raises the hackles of the youth in the middle east, especially considering the fact that they receive more information about situations in Palestine/Israel than we do from regional networks like Al Jazeera. What the Israeli government should understand is that they can no longer hide behind their fear of terrorism. Because what they might oppose in this new movement is not about terrorism. It’s not about extreme actions. It’s about a rule of reason and the rights of a people.


“This is not the time for us to settle scores. This is not the time to distribute cakes. This is not the time to spread ideologies. This is the Time for Egypt.” Wael Ghonim.


Support the Egyptian movement. They’re resetting what we can expect from our own governments, even among us apparently established democracies.


Quote source:

Subtitled Video of Wael Ghonim’s Emotional TV Interview

Demanding Change: Antagonism in Action

4 Feb

Hey folks, this is the note I promised about the Rainbow Warrior’s actions in Kaohsiung. Nothing about open boat days as that’s pretty much self explanatory (the weather good, the kids cute, the workers lovely and the people helpful/curious/apathetic/varied/enthusiastic…etc). This note does go off on several tangents, however. You are forewarned. Moving on…


1/24  2011 Mon

Was woken at noon by a telephone call from Aiya, one of the main coordinators for Greenpeace Taiwan. She said that one of the sailors on the Rainbow Warrior, Tim, had been arrested in action, and she was thinking of gathering a group of people to show their support for her.


“How much time would it take you to get here?” she asked.


“About 15 minutes.” I replied, and expressed a willingness to attend. She said she’d see how things were going, then call us if we were needed. I wondered how many people she planned on calling, somewhat amazed at her energy – and that they had planned actions in Taiwan which they could have been arrested for. I’m not so sure the police would see it in their light. Police are the stodgiest characters in a society. They have to be, to effectively upbraid deviant behavior – such has burglary, or drug use, which isn’t so deviant if you think about human nature. But I can afford to be understanding, I’m not an officer of the law.


I fell asleep wondering whether I should get up and prep myself, in case she called and expected me there in 15 minutes. I wondered what support looks like, and whether a crowd of near strangers would be more comforting than one intimate friend picking you up at the station. Besides, you’d only be able to see when you’re released, right?


She didn’t call again. I woke up later in the afternoon and looked up their facebook page, where she said they had info about the action. There was a picture of Tim clung adamantly to an anchor, holding a sign. I supposed that the anchor belong to a fishing boat, which was suspected of illicit tuna imports. I gazed at it, and felt slightly jolted. I wondered if I was right to think I wanted to work for Greenpeace. Things like this didn’t happen in Taiwan. They didn’t happen in my safe world where I pondered questions about fixing this world… Yet issues like this, if no one ever knew anything about it, weren’t going to change things. For them to be noticed, they had to be provocative. Something that I was anything but. I like to deal in reason – I bore people with my reasoning. I want to work for systems that are willing to contemplate possibilities in operation, that are idealistic in making change. But seeing that picture, bringing the audacity of such so close to reality, gave me some pause.


I recalled a few years ago, sitting with a friend in someone’s car. I was talking to her about setting up a website, naming all the guys in parliament who resorted to fists, dissuading people from voting for them. The lady driving, a friend of a friend’s who was kind enough to offer us a ride, turned around and said “But look, they did this for a reason, they fought for a reason – because their voice wasn’t being heard in parliament. There was no way they were getting proper representation. You shouldn’t judge them when you don’t understand their situation.” and I said no, I didn’t understand. And was deflated.


I don’t like to antagonize people. I’m first of all a pacifist, which sometimes translates into coward. I like to persuade through understanding people. But I understand that too much understanding can allow people to remain entrenched in inaction. If every pedestrian lets cars go first in Kaohsiung, it would come as no surprise if the cars here don’t respect the walkers. Looking at Greenpeace’s actions, I’m wondering if it isn’t better to characterize some people as the enemy. To antagonize. On the boat the second mate Martti had worked for years on a carrier shipping petrol from the east to Europe. He said that one day he just got it. He was listening to music from this Finnish band, Stam1na, and the lyrics just got to him – about us destroying our planet. And he started to feel sick about his job. “It’s all for profit, these businessmen, shipping this black, disgusting stuff so they can earn easy money, not caring about our environment at all.” “What we need is an energy revolution. The sun gives us enough energy in a few minutes to provide for all our energy use in an entire day. We should be putting our money into solar energy, renewable energies.”


We are anxious, we are infinitely anxious that something be done – about the climate, about the tuna, about the people starving of crop failure, corrupt governance, wars, an economical system skewed in favor of the foreign merchants. I want those folks trafficking people into unsavory situations drawn and quartered. I want the gangs that terrorize and suffocate neighborhoods to be split up and neutralized. I want the women who are killed for being dishonored given safe haven. I want kids to stop dying of preventable malnutrition and environmental factors. I want those kids who want love so desperately in those overcrowded orphanages, that they practically claw you when you can’t hold all of them, to have the homes they need.


We are anxious that something be done. And if we’re all like me, who deflate when met with the smooth reasoning of systems that find it inconvenient to change, then sometimes change is not going to happen. Sometimes we have to take our fight outside of the smooth reasoning. Sometimes we have to shame groups into contemplating change. And it is never too late to thank them for backing down.


But will it work in our sort of society? Would it work in a society that values face above all things? I don’t know.




1/25 2011 Tues


Aiya called again today. She said they shall be having an action in the morning tomorrow, and whether I’d like to join. “It’ll be ‘til 11.” she said. “Do I have to wear anything in particular?” I asked, thinking of magically acquiring a wetsuit. “Ah yes, the volunteer shirt. Wear that.” she said, sinking my improbable fantasies.


She called again, later tonight.


“Don’t wear the shirt when you come in. The cops are watching us. If they ask you what you’re doing here you can say you’ve come to meet a friend, or that you don’t know.”


“Why?” I asked, amused.


“The police officers are keeping an eye on us. I don’t want you to be unnecessarily hassled by questions.”


“What are we going to be doing?” I said, finally noting my lack of adequate curiosity/sense of self-preservation in the morning. Am foolishly trusting, as have been constantly reminded by close friends.


“They’re still discussing it. Nothing dangerous. It’ll be more like a prank – a joke. Nothing to get arrested over. Don’t worry.”


I smiled. I wasn’t worried the moment she didn’t say “wetsuit” or even “bikini”. I was just mildly curious. But I could understand the need for secrecy. Any leaked information could result in the action being stopped. Besides, I had to sound authentic if the cops asked me what I was doing there.


With these happy thoughts, I turned to The Mule, a fiction about a soldier’s surreal experience of the Spanish Civil war. The ship’s communication officer, Mir, had mentioned the existence of Anarchists besides Communists and Fascists during that unique time in history. Since what he said about the Anarchists totally upended whatever preconceptions I had of them, I was interested in how this real idealogical experiment had played out. So far in the book, only “the reds” and “the nationalists” (by which I infer are right wing fascists) are mentioned. And seeing as the story centers around Juan’s sexual frustration and his obsession about a mule, I doubt it’ll have much informative historical content. <Sigh> Guess I have no fodder to talk to Mir about!



1/26 2011 Wed

Woke up with a blinding eye-ache. My nightwear contacts sometimes act-up, either through insufficient disinfection or a tear in the plastic. I do hope it’s the former as I wouldn’t be able to afford replacing them quite yet. Was late to the Rainbow Warrior looking for my pack half blind, then driving half blind.


In the hull of the ship where they have projector and chairs set up, Apple explained to us the reason for our action. Taiwan has, in the past few years at International negotiations(along with Japan and several other asian nations), opposed further talks to creating conservation zones in the global oceans. At the rate the tuna and other fishes are being depleted, this unwavering position shows excess lack of foresight. There’s a statute in Taiwan stating that all fishing boats conducting business under the name of other nations have to be registered under a certain fishing registry in Taiwan.  So far there are 103 boats registered, but there are more than 200 unregistered. Since last October Greenpeace has been contacting the Fishery Agency to enforce this law and request that the Taiwan government support developing conservation zones in the international arena.


So far the FA has had under-the-table talks with Greenpeace, which Greenpeace finds unsatisfactory both because the process lacks transparency, and because FA has not been willing to make any concrete promises nor appeared to make any efforts during this time despite vague assurances to act.


While in harbor this weekend Greenpeace discovered that one of the boats in the Kaohsiung harbor was among the unregistered and, upon learning that it was to set sail at 9 o’clock of the 24th, made an on-the-moment decision to launch an action early that morning to delay its departure and prod the Fishery Agency into action. Greenpeace people climbed onto the anchor of the boat to prevent the boat from leaving, and projected words asking the FA to take action.


After that action, the FA stated that: this ship bearing a Panama registration, being a refrigeration transport ship (it picks up the catch from the nets and transports them), does not fall under fishing ship requirements.


Greenpeace found two issues with this statement:

The latest statute issued by President Ma states that ships that conduct netting, transport…etc activities for fishing are classified as fishing ships.

The ship was registered under Panama but last year has switched to Vanuatu. The fact that the FA made a mistake concerning the ship’s registration showed a clear lack of care in dealing with this issue.


Thus, Greenpeace decided to conduct a press conference to shame the FA into action. A group of us weekend volunteers went there to help present a united front. There is a law in Taiwan stating that all congregated action requires prior registration. This registration may or may not be approved. This edict is controversial, as it’s a relic from the martial law period here, and has faced various waves of opposition over the years. It’s one of the concerns of Greenpeace we should be arrested for unlawfully congregating/protesting. As three warnings are required to be issued by the police before they’re allowed to arrest us, the Greenpeace people assured us that they would withdraw the movement before the 3rd warning.


Thankfully, this was not needed. When we got to the front of the FA to start our action there were several policemen camcord-ing us. We stood quietly in an orderly group and adopted serious expressions, holding up banners. The main spokes person, Yu-Fen, gave her speech before a representative of the FA approached her. They talked it out, with the FA rep saying that the ship was regulated by international law.


“If they only need to be regulated by international law, what purpose does the FA serve?” Yu-Fen asked, cuttingly.


“We’re working on this.” the FA rep said.


“We’ve been having talks with you guys since last October, your agency has been saying that you’ll work on it and we’ve seen no action at all. You’ve failed to show sincerity in your actions. How are you going to face the Taiwanese public? We want a timeline. When will you have this ship checked out?”


“We’re working on it.” the FA rep repeated, unwilling to take responsibility for setting a timeline. Then he went on to continue obfuscating the focus, denying responsibility for jurisdiction over the ship. Observing this process behind a banner, blinking to keep the sun out of my eyes, I found his stance was weak and serpentine, whilst Greenpeace’s position was firm and clear. Though some may have interpreted it as argumentative if they simply listened to the tone.


We stood there for a while after the interview was finished. Some of the police turned off their camcorders, as it was obvious we weren’t going to start shouting, marching, stomping about or sit down and starve ourselves. In fact, if the police didn’t immediately drag away the protesters starving themselves in front of the presidential building in the Strawberry youth action more than a year ago, they would have found it too much troublesome to do it to us in this circumstance.


I find this heartening, as it also signifies that the police feel no obligation to help the FA save face.


I rather doubt the dull sounding Fisheries Agency has had so much interest in them for years!


Finished The Mule. The anarchists were mentioned once, in passing, and seemingly in league with the republicans (communists). Will apparently have to look up more info. From what I could gather, the Spanish civil war is shockingly contemporary – occurring between 1936 and 1939. I suppose it was overshadowed by the following WWII. During the Spanish Civil war, the Russians provided armory to the communists, but in comparison their army was more impoverished than the fascists, and lacked the military structure/history that the Spanish military (fascists, who called themselves nationalists) had. The fascists enjoyed the backing of most of the industry and upper-middle class. The setting, I felt, was much like latin america, based on the few other novels I’d read concerning that continent’s era of revolution. Perhaps the sensation comes from the fact that the people speak in Spanish. But also because it was very much a class struggle – the haves v.s. the have-nots. One of the greatest impediments to the revolution that was suggested in the novel, was the ignorance of the peasants and their lack of aspiration to a better life, especially in those peasants whose basic needs were fulfilled through their work with the upper class. What would drive people to revolt? James Jasper states, in the The Art of Moral Protest, that an individual’s history and the emotional response of the people have significant play in protests. Eric Hoffer‘s beautifully written ideas in The True Believer would probably fall under category of class dissatisfaction as a motivator, stating that those most likely to protest are those who have nothing to lose from change. A communist dictatorship would probably find the tactic of keeping the masses ignorant and fed quite useful. Unfortunately if they mean to lead a different sort of life than their subjects it will come to light nonetheless. I do find it telling of Cuba’s leadership that so far they do not have a revolution. Certainly to people used to the ideals of democracy their lifestyle falls far short. But what if the US lifted the embargo? And the Cubans were free to travel as they wished? Would a revolution be even less probable after an influx of resources (materialism like China) and freedom? Castro, after all, did not set out to be a communist, but a socialist.


After the event, we went back to the Rainbow Warrior for a finishing briefing. One of our volunteers asked Greenpeace about actions towards the Blue-fin Tuna festival that goes on in Ping-tung, a source of income for the fishermen there. Greenpeace Taiwan said that, due to limited resources, they chose to focus their actions on the fishing industry and government negotiations in far-sea fishing for the moment, instead of coastal fishing issues.


Read report that mentioned the owner’s reaction to previous day’s action. He said it wouldn’t do him any good if the tuna stocks were depleted, but that such actions from Greenpeace are counterproductive. I suppose there was no communication with the ships’ owner? Though one couldn’t expect him to stop fishing upon request – he was simply inconvenienced in the process of getting to the government.


Saw this vid about history of anarchism in America a few days later. Apparently it’s very much a self initiative movement that stresses the happiness of community efforts. At the time in America it was lumped with communism and the anarchists deported to Russia, where they were ‘very disappointed with the way communism had turned out’. Should anarchism and communism should complement each other? Besides the fact of communism having a very centralized government (which allowed the cold war to be  a standoff of two major powers instead of, say, the stiff mighty power and the monkey colony). I think that anarchism has more of an enlightenment aspect – with the greatest stress on the value of individuals and their ability to contribute to a community. It seems sometimes, though, that our society is so complex right now we rarely want to think about taking responsibility, each and individually, for our communities. Can we not go back to a way of thinking of communities as simple relationship/working networks that generate not only our livelihoods but also happiness?

This is the vid: