19 February 2018

Guidance for Presenters

I never give speeches or present talks, lectures, seminars or tutorials in person.  I provide guidance for presenters, though no-one officially speaks on my behalf.

My long-term, unpredictable health problems have often prevented me from interacting with people in person.  I rarely schedule events as a consequence, except for medical appointments and similar occasions.  I approach life on a day-to-day basis but with a long-term plan in mind.

My plan is social.  Would you like to give a presentation about that plan?

If you love speaking in public, and even performing on a stage, or in front of a camera and/or microphone, or in a parliament, or in a board room, or in a community centre or in any other venue, please consider how you would incorporate the following into a presentation, in accordance with your own values:

Via peace

Via society

Via health

Via hopes

Via retreats

Via works

Via values

Via knowledge

Via authenticity

Via creativity

Via ethics

Via love

Via Via

Via history

Via locations

Via research

Via existence

Via assistance

Via understanding


How long would your presentation be?  Would you be giving it alone or with a few other people?  What would be the main theme, the tone and style?  What would be the purpose?  Who will the audience be?

I am seeking presenters for various projects, in various parts of the world.  If you would like to be one of them, what guidance would you give to the other presenters?

Contact Via

16 February 2018

Saying No to Demands and Other Instrusions

Many people feel powerless to say "no" to demands and other intrusions.  They do not want to appear rude.  They do not want to cause a fuss.  They want to avoid conflict.  They want an easy life.  They want to be peaceful.  They want to be kind and helpful and friendly.

Unfortunately, some people appear incapable of comprehending a subtle hint to stay away.  They may not even understand the word "no".  They may be rude when that word is politely uttered, even with a following "thank you".  They may never understand the difference between being pushy and being caring.

Domineering behaviour is always an intrusion.  That is why my current work is focused on developing and maintaining ancephalous relationships. 

Knowing when to say "no" is essential in all healthy relationships.  But is it actually possible to make an unhealthy relationship better?

Healthy relationships are a joy, even when there are differences of opinion.  Unhealthy relationships are hard work, and possibly the cause of most misery in the world.

What happened the last time you said "no" or "no, thank you" or "no, thanks" to someone?  Did that person treat it as an insult?  Did the person consider it as a hostile rejection?

Reasonable people make clear distinctions between acceptably egalitarian behaviour and unacceptably authoritarian behaviour.  Pushy people have a tendency towards the authoritarian.

I have no time at all for authoritarianism, or for misguided views about egalitarianism.  The latter tends to be aimless and stagnant. 

To prevent misinterpretations, and to prevent boredom and other problems, clear, respectful dialogue is required in all egalitarian relationships.  A sense of purpose is necessary, for all individuals and groups. 

Finding out whether your purpose has the potential for conflict should be easy to discover.  Who has been saying "no" to you, and why?

07 February 2018

Compatible Ethics and Aesthetics

The moral and sensory aspects of existence tend to be intertwined.  For anyone seeking a calm, quiet existence, finding people with compatible ethics and aesthetics could be necessary.

A seemingly calm neighbourhood is not necessarily the same as a truly calm one.  For example, my need for quiet has often been intruded upon by dogs barking, noisy motorbikes, squealing little girls, lawn cutting equipment, the selfish thrashing of percussive instruments and the seemingly incessant demolition and rebuilding of nearby houses. 

When I seek peace elsewhere, that desire is often ruined by barking dogs, loud children, noisy vehicles, drunk adults and unpleasant music.  Similarly, artificial smells tend to intrude upon my desire for calmness.  I am quickly exhausted by unnecessarily scented products, places and people.

My mind is usually active enough and often over active.  The company of my thoughts is usually all I need.  I love quietly researching and quietly writing. 

I often have no need to leave the house, except to escape neighbourhood noisiness and other intrusions.  For ample discussion, I have the mealtime companionship of a gentle, intelligent husband. 

There is certainly pressure to conform to the desires of noisier people. Why they seek out my companionship is beyond my comprehension.  There must be people as noisy as themselves to meet.

I have ample visual stimulation from books, computer screens, the rooms in which I live, the garden and the sky. 

I have ample aural stimulation from bird sounds, the rustle of a breeze through the trees, the noise of the fridge, microwave and washing machine, the sound of my fingers on the keyboard and mouse, and the sizzling and bubbling of cooking.

I have ample sensory stimulation, too, from the smell and taste of a cup of tea, some delicious food, and the feel of comfortable clothes next to my skin in a pleasantly warm room or garden.  Depending on which way the wind is blowing, the garden sometimes has too much noise and smell from nearby traffic.

Where is a place more peaceful than here?  If there is such a place, is it affordable?  Who are the people maintaining its peace?  How is that peace maintained?

This has been my home for my entire, married life.  I first came here almost thirty years ago.  The house had already, for several years, been home to the man I married.  Our ethics are remarkably compatible though our aesthetic sense is not quite the same, especially visually.

We both know how to live comfortably on a modest budget.  We have always lived well within our means.  We are certainly not wasteful or extravagant.

I am a slightly more cautious person than my husband.  I prefer a very private existence, both inside the house and in the garden.  He likes being out and about more, chatting to intelligent people elsewhere.  He is not a writer.

You may know about my plan to create a calm, quiet higher education campus for mature adults.  First, I need to locate people with compatible ethics and aesthetics.  They will be expected to participate in research and be active in the development of the project, including its planning, building and maintenance.

The campus will also be a retreat from the noisy world of over-stimulation and confusion.  Conversation will take place in designated areas, as will telecommunication.  Most of the campus will be relatively silent and therefore truly peaceful.

If your ethics and aesthetics are possibly compatible, you may be interested in participating.

Via Peace

Via Retreats

Via Society

Via Works

Via Health

Via Values

Via Hopes


Other thoughts you may wish to reflect upon:


July 2009
Travel books

March 2010
A rural retreat and something to eat

May 2010
My no fly zone

July 2010
Slow and gentle food and living

December 2010
Reflecting on times and places

January 2011
Happy and normal seclusion

September 2011
Away from the chatter

April 2012
On retreat

April 2014
Real world travel

October 2015
Time is a journey in itself

January 2016
For the love of writing

March 2016
Quiet escapes

September 2016
Following higher values

23 January 2018

Building a Peaceful Future

If you intend to build a peaceful future for yourself, what is your plan of action in that regard?

I am planning to build a higher education residential campus devoted to sustainable agriculture, appropriate technology, evidence-based health care and sustainable living.  It will mainly be for people of middle age and older, rather than for younger people.

The campus is intended to be self-sustaining, with all the services and facilities required of an economically independent, reasonably knowledgeable and intelligent community of conscientious adults.  There will be no facilities for children, or for families more generally.

It will be a scientifically-based community, with carefully managed variables.  there will be no pets or livestock.  The food will be mainly vegan.  There will be no alcohol, tobacco or other recreational intoxicants. 

Quietness will be expected.  Activities will mainly revolve around study, reflection, putting theory into practice and planning for a peaceful future. 

Sexual activity will be discouraged.  Everyone will have privacy and ample personal space.  Language will be moderate.

The physical campus will have well-designed study accommodation including hostels and halls of residence plus options for experiencing experimental, co-operative cohousing.  There are also likely to be secular cloisters and other covered walkways between buildings. 

The campus will not have a religious basis.  It will have a secular code of conduct.  There are also likely to be satellite campuses, possibly of a temporary nature in rented accommodation.

Even students with post-graduate qualifications from earlier studies will be considered nontraditional.  Building a peaceful future is a non-traditional enterprise in itself.

I was a first-generation university student in my 30s.  I did not enjoy university.  Nor did I enjoy school.  But I love learning at my own pace, exploring the topics sparking my curiosity at any given moment.  I do so mostly through reading and personally instigated activities, putting theories into practice.

The higher education residential campus will have some similarities to campus universities, but with several differences.  Firstly, it will not be a university.  Its purpose is different.  Secondly, every student will have an allotment of land for growing food organically, with a small shed, rainwater tank and space for a small tent nearby.  The focus will be on simple living.

Allotment sizes will depend on the interests and abilities of students.  There will be composting toilets nearby but very few other facilities away from the main campus buildings. There will be no internal combustion engines used anywhere on the campus, and no radios or televisions.

All staff and students are expected to enjoy silence, serenity and solitude.  Aggression and unwarranted competitiveness will not be tolerated.

Digital communication will also be kept to a minimum on the residential campus.  Dedicated zones for contacting the outside world will be clearly indicated.

There will also be a virtual campus providing distance education services before and after, or instead of, attending the residential campus.  In fact, most of the facilities of the virtual campus are already established.

To participate, all you need to do, at least initially, is to practice intentional living and accurately document that experience.  To live intentionally is to exist in accordance with your own clear beliefs and values, not those imposed upon you by other people.

If you are a religious person, please note that no active proselytism is permitted.  All mention of religion will be forbidden though spirituality and philosophy are likely to be explored during the studies, along with the sciences, of course.

Restrictions on participation in the studies will most likely be psychological rather than academic.  There will be no academic assessments at all though there will be regular psychological assessments.  Personal insight and empathy will be the two main qualities assessed, in a highly sensitive way.

There is now considerable educational technology available, but how much of it can help mature, independent adults learn valuable insights about themselves, their own values, their own beliefs, their attitudes, their knowledge, their skills, their opportunities for the future and their own unique contributions to a peaceful, responsible society?

A long-term habit of careful study is necessary for anyone seeking to experience life on the residential campus.

Personal insight helps people to be accurately aware of themselves.

Empathy helps everyone to be accurately aware of each other.

Anyone without recent experience of study may benefit from participation in free online courses supplied through reputable organisations. But what sort of information do you currently require in relation to sustainable agriculture, organic food production, healthy food preparation and preservation techniques, personal health, social health, water management, waste management, appropriate technology, simple living, sustainability, and the design of peaceful residential learning facilities for mature adults?

What are the economic issues relating to building a peaceful future?

What are the political issues?

What are the cultural and attitudinal barriers to overcome?

And how should scientific knowledge be applied, and by whom?

What are the most worrying gaps in your current knowledge, and why are you worried?

When you fill those knowledge gaps, how do you intend to use your new awareness, and for whose benefit?

What is your current approach to quieter living?

What are your continual journeys?

What do you know about your identity and values, by any other name?

What do you know about the ancestors within you?

From many years investigating the subject, I know that sustainable living is often lived as an ideal, without the necessary practical foundations it requires.  Without the necessary practical foundation, relationships disintegrate, animosities arise and mistrust builds instead of peace.

An educational campus of short-term occupants cannot supply the essential basis of a sustainable, long-term community.  It can, however, be a starting point for building future sustainable communities, based on clear evidence, not vague dreams.

To begin identifying the worrying gaps in your knowledge, you might like to try the OpenLearn free options next. There is no need for any institution of higher learning to provide services already supplied for free elsewhere online. 

My intention is to supply something of significant, long-term value that no-one else is supplying.  But how free will it be?

17 January 2018

A Peaceful Code of Conduct

Any social relationship, social group or community requires a peaceful code of conduct, whether spoken or unspoken.  Interpreting the code can sometimes be difficult for someone unwilling or unable to conform to it.

Excluding people from belonging tends to occur when they breach a code of conduct.

My personal code of conduct includes:


1. Searching for meaning

2. Taking regular excursions to Scientia

3. Maintaining my no fly zone

4. Enjoying objectivity

5. Harmony, love and learning

6. Following a healthy way to live

7. Seeking to understand uncertainty, rejection and art

8. Being comfortable with knowledge

9. Growing older in Australia

10. Acquiring public knowledge


I prefer spending time with mature adults with mature emotions.  Those are usually the people who respect my code of conduct, and possibly even follow it themselves.

How does my code of conduct differ from your own?

15 January 2018

Peacefully Healthy Prosperity

One of my ongoing independent studies relates to the words peace and fairness.  I find it of great interest that such words do not attract much attention.  They are words with nothing ominous about them.  They are not threatening.

Fairness is associated with justice.  Even the word justice is ignored more than the words injustice and unfairness.

The reason probably has something to do with the fact that peace and fairness are ends in themselves.  But how are peace and fairness to be achieved if not through peacefully healthy action?

Can peace and fairness be achieved through peacefully healthy economic action?

Peacefully healthy prosperity derives through peacefully healthy economic activity, by individuals, through households, businesses, governments and all sorts of groups and institutions.

What affects your health detrimentally and how can you turn the consequential problems into an economically viable, ethical pursuit?

The health problems of other people can affect our own health detrimentally, especially our mental health.

Our own physical health problems can also affect our mental health detrimentally, especially when other people ignore our needs or treat them as trivial.

Here are a few of my earlier notes of relevance to peacefully healthy prosperity:


1. Hormones, vitamins and peace

2. Calming the traffic, the body and the mind

3. Are you a happy introvert?

4. Successful social entrepreneurs

5. Too many activities?

6. Reflective self discoveries

7. Science and knowledge

8. Global prosperity

9. The environment industry

10. The chemistry of quietness

11. Searching for reality

12. Peaceful friendships

08 January 2018

No Debts or Other Indignities

All debt involves obligations, but is most debt a fair obligation?

Living without dependents and debts is necessary for a life of considerable freedom.  A dependent is a debt.  A pet is a debt.  Credit is a debt.  Any loan is a debt.  Noise is a debt.

Peace is the amount owed.  Repaying it supplies a dignified existence.

Are most people today living in debt bondage, just like the serfs of earlier centuries?

Paying for goods and services already supplied then cancels a debt.  But is the full price paid fairly?

Who pays the price of pollution?  Who pays the price of environmental degradation?  Who pays the price of overcrowding?  Who pays the price of wastefulness?  Who pays the price of corruption?  And when?  And how?

Do you live a debt-free, dignified existence?  If so, how did you achieve it?

01 January 2018

No Pets or Other Dependents

There are considerable, long-term obligations involved in monitoring the health and behaviour of young humans and other creatures.  Yet sentimentality often overrides reasonableness when drawn towards cuteness.

It is easier to find peace and freedom without pets and other dependents.  

A quiet life is one of peace and freedom, and reasonable responsibility. 

A quiet life is possible without the distraction of pets and other dependents.

A quiet life is not a sentimentally silly one.  

Unfortunately, a person seeking a quiet life can find that goal thwarted by other people's pets  and dependents, or by their own.  There are people who seek a quiet life irresponsibly, by ignoring the needs of their own offspring and their own pets.

Emotional needs are often ignored.  People who believe their own emotional needs will be met through acquiring dependents are probably deluded.  They use pets and people as if living things are merely playthings, without emotional needs of their own.

A quiet life is one of equanimity.  Pets and dependents can bring chaos and other forms of unpredictability.