Why Ripples?

I have been writing this weblog with the non-intuitive title of Ripples for 2 1/2 years and am finally able to articulate the reason I chose the name. It all has to do with change, the persistence of ideas, and the fact that every change telegraphs its arrival by creating ripples.

All one has to do is to watch for ripples of a certain kind and one will see social tsunamis coming while they are still far over the visible horizon.

Change is continuous and turbulent, sometimes fast and sometimes slow. The one constant about change is that there is no rest point, only nodes of relative inactivity.

My observation has also led me to believe that change is never a step function. It is always preceded by lesser changes of similar character. These changes can be observed easily in hindsight even when they are exceedingly minute. I happen to think that even the minutest changes can be observed while they are happening if one cares to look for them.

Ideas seem to have a life of their own. One might almost posit that ideas are immortal, much like spirits. They certainly seem to have some of the same characteristics. Nothing significant happens, whether good or evil, unless there is an idea behind it, or a spiritual being driving it.

Perhaps we tap into the Force, as Luke Skywalker did, or there may be an infinity of ideas floating around, waiting for a receptive mind to pick them up and execute them. Whatever the mechanism, there is certainly some indication that ideas propagate spontaneously, because too many people come up with the same idea, even complex inventions, with no prior connection.

I have spent a lifetime observing events and looking for reasons. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I have observed that there are precursors for every social change. I think of these precursors as ripples in the fabric of life. All you have to do is to observe an interesting ripple and keep an eye on it from time to time, and the next thing you know you are in the midst of a sweeping change that alters the course of your life.

If you see these ripples and do nothing about them, you feel stupid when the change takes away your livelihood or your comfortable way of life.

If you see these ripples and tell no one what you observe, you are committing a harmful act which will rebound against you in the end.

If you notice ripples, tell people about them and they throw stones or bray hysterically about your lunacy, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you did what mattered and your integrity is intact.

If you see ripples and use all of your social and communication skills to let people know what they mean, you are actually starting ripples of your own. If you are skillful enough and choose the right audience, you may even influence enough people to make a difference in their lives and in your own.

There are ripples all around us every day. Some led to a better and saner civilization, some lead in the other direction. Some of the ripples I have my attention on currently, in no particular order:

Home schooling
Mainstream media degeneration
Blogging as a power tool
A growing inability to confront terrorism
Citizen publishing
Trends in business and in marketing
post-corporate living
Internet-enabled lifestyles

I write about country life, of course, because we worked hard to get here and it represents a lifestyle that has a lot to recommend it. I also write about the good things I see and the good people I meet, because life is to be grasped with both hands and enjoyed to the fullest every day.

You might say that I observe and blog about country life as it happens because that provides the background against which ripples stand out in marked contrast.

Ripples lead everywhere, which is why my posts cover a wide range of topics. You are free to ignore the ones that disturb you or don’t interest you. There are plenty of others which lead in directions you may wish to pursue. I don’t necessarily follow these topics to completion either. My interest is in pointing them out to those who may have need of the information.

If you are seeing ripples in the fabric of life and no one is paying attention to you, please feel free to send me an email or leave comments as the mood strikes you. You may be on to a paradigm shift that no one else has noticed yet.

Let’s exchange notes…

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0 Responses to Why Ripples?

  1. Nick Smith says:

    Ironic, I just came across your blog last week and was looking for a post to give me a handle and context on your writing.  This is this post.  What good fortune.   ‘Seek and ye shall find’, as they say.

    I’m right with you on constant change and ripple effect you talk about. The world is constantly changing as is anything we perceive.  One thing I’d like to add is that while ever we look at the world, identify ourselves with it and then call it ‘home’, we are bound to resist these changes and that resistance can only cause great distress and despair as we ‘suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’.  Are we so sure the world is home? Isn’t home the place we perceive it from? When we look beyond these changing appearances we find Life itself, and can recognize it as both unchanging and forever benevolent. Aren’t we that?

  2. Ric says:

    Interesting – for some reason I had absolutely no doubt that ‘Ripples’ represented something like you described, and I’ve been reading a while. The image I’ve had is a pebble dropped into a pond creating ripples that grow into waves by the time they reach the edge – very similar to your explanation.

  3. Carl says:

    The butterfly effect….

    Your constant observations. Your questions. Your always looking around the next corner.

    Your readers already knew….

  4. Sky says:

    Such an interesting blog and great commentary here! I enjoyed the post very much and the thoughts it provoked. When we think about change like a mobile then we can see that everything on earth is connected. When any one thing moves the connecting pieces do…so ripples go out infinitely touching, to some degree, the entire whole.

  5. Jane Chin says:

    I’ve been watching “What the Bleep” DVD, and there was a reference to ripples as what the native American shaman saw when Columbus’ ships were first in the horizon. At the time native Americans had never seen such ships and therefore their brains could not “perceive” the ships. As the shaman looked at the ripples on the ocean and pondered upon the causality of the ripples, he began to see the ships, and with his credibility, he helped others see the ships too.

    If we liken ripples to “patterns”, then I have had a long love affair with ripples watching, before I even knew enough to articulate what this was that had fascinated me.

  6. And here I thought I was a big picture guy.

    I had always seen Ripples as a guide to those in transition, be it from one job to another, from employment to retirement, from hobbyist to entrepreneur. That would have been challenge enough.

    But Ripples aims, in fact, to capture a world in transition. It would see the portents of things to come and express, in clear and urgent terms, ideas whose time has already come.

    To succeed, it will have to part the curtains of convenient and conventional thought and push aside both practice and prejudice.

    Catching ripples in a pond that is as large as the planet Earth is no small challenge. I wish you good luck.

  7. M says:

    Typepad doesn’t like multiple pings, so it’s tough to trackback when hosting a blog carnival, but this post is listed in the Carnival of the Vanities at http://www.cigarintel.com/agency/archives/000832.php

  8. VTLinda says:

    Articulate, interesting, definitive, succinct, focused … I think, my friend, that you are writing the perfect blog. And – even though you describe the title as non-intuitive – at the very first glance, it conveyed the true meaning. A totally usable word for a previously unrecognized wonder. Cheers! ~Linda

  9. michael leon says:

    Ah yes “ripples ” , a concept most pronunced in the old gardens of Kyoto that were designed in the 13th century very much with the Buddhist notion of ripple …have a look …it is a meditation upon peace and “random order” . cheers from Australia.

  10. craigspr says:

    It was very interesting blog

    TITLE: Carnival of the Vanities #180
    URL: http://www.cigarintel.com/agency/archives/000832.php
    BLOG NAME: The Cigar Intelligence Agency
    DATE: 03/01/2006 01:40:56 AM
    Welcome to the 180th Edition of the Carnival of the Vanities, the longest running blog carnival on the blogosphere. The Carnival of the Vanities features only the best writing from each blog, as chosen by the authors themselves. We’re proud…

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