Book Review: What is Mine is Yours

Book Review: What is Mine is Yours

I read this book while sharing a condominium in Malaysia with 3 other ladies from Estonia, Uruguay, and US.. thank you to our foster Uncle Eric Lim.

It’s a great book, that is why I’m sharing it with you.. Collaborative consumption is a new movement in our society.. and with couchsurfing and other collaborative exchanges, this alternative and self sustainable lifestyle has a great potential.

I also found a great video that talks about collaborative and sharing initiatives in Canada:

Here are excerpts in the book that you might find interesting:

Over the past couple of years, we started to notice that stories and business examples like airbnb weren’t unusual. At dinners, instead of bragging about their new Prius, friends boasted how they had given up their cars altogether by becoming Zipsters (members of the car sharing service Zipcar). More and more friends were selling stuff on craigslist and ebay; swapping books, DVDs, and games on sites such as Swaptree and OurSwaps; and giving unwanted items away on Freecycle and ReUseIt.. and we kept hearing about the number of people joining Communitiy Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs or local co-ops.


On Friday, Nov 28, 2008, Jdimytai Damour, a thirty four year old Wal Mart temporary security guard, was trampled to death at 5am by a stampede of frenzied shoppers. The two thousand plus crowd had been gathering at the Valley Stream, New York, store since 9 the night before by a sign that read “Blitz line starts here”.. By dawn they were chanting, “Push the doors in”.. According to witnesses, the doors shattered under the weight of the crowd rushing forward, mowing down Damour, a big guy at 270 pounds, who was doing his best to keep the crowd under control. What was the crowd in such a craze for? The bargains promised inside included the latest fifty-inch plasma HDTV, on sale for a price of $798 (note from me: !!??)


Hyper Consumption
Thorstein Veblen, a Norweigian economist and sociologist, first copied the term “conspicuous consumption” in 1899. He used the term to describe the nouveau riche, a class emerging during the nineteenth century made up of people eager to display their wealth and social power. They spent lavishly on visible goods such as jewelry and clothing to show they were prosperous and to differentiate themselves from the masses. In this sense, the nouveau riche, bought and consumed goods for self advertisement as much as, if not more than, utility.

Freud’s book, A General introduction to Psychoanalysis, reinforced his profound belief that you could manipulate consumers behavior by connecting with them on a deep subconscious level, particularly their drives toward aggressiveness and sexuality.

Bernays understood the power of psychology to design effective public marketing campaigns. “If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?” Bernays wrote. Figuring that if he could tap into people’s desire to feel good, powerful, and sexy, he could sell just about anything; he proudly referred to this concept as the “engineering of consent”. We call it the power of persuasion.

From soap to silk to bacon to even Wall street stock, Bernays got consumers to buy not what they needed but what they desired, connecting not just to who the consumer is but who he or she wanted to be.


Cellphones have now achieved the dubious status of having the shortest life cycle of any electronic consumer product. The average person in America and Britain discards his or her cellphone within eighteen months of purchase, even though cell phones will last for ten years

We are addicted to new products. According to Colin Campbell, a professor of sociology at the University of York in the UK, we suffer from “neophilia”


Kalin traveled to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to talk to world leaders about etsy’s vision to “create millions of local living economies that will create a sense of community in the economy gain”. Kalin explain that these millions of local living economies around the world are more sustainable for the planet than a small number of huge conglomerate companies.

The Millennials are not a generation of Mother Theresa. They are not all do-gooders shunning well paid jobs and luxuries for a utopian dream. Statistics show that they are as competitive, commercial, and ambitious as any other generation in history.


It is the accumulation of such tiny, unnecessary acts that weigh so heavily on the planet.

The more you participate in Collaborative Consumption, the more reputation capital you earn, and the more you earn, the more you can participate. For example, the better the review and feedback you receive, the more choices are made available to you, whether its places you can stay, home you can barter with, or who will lend money, tools or a car and so on. Reputation capital becomes a currency to build trust between strangers and helps manage our belief in the commons.

For those who wanted to read it online, here’s my amazon link:

what is mine is yours

Book Review: Progressive Utilization Theory: Prout – An Economic Solution to Poverty in The Third World

PROUT is characterized as a model of social development… which advocates a ‘small is beautiful’ approach to society.

I saw this book about PROUT when I was in a remote town called Hetauda, Nepal. I was living with kids in a children’s home that is also in the same location of their school. Living together means sleeping and eating with these cuties. They meditate in their own way, I pray the rosary.  We watch films, learn e-tutorials, and play together in my laptop or with the computer tablet. So I will really need to go to the salon when I get home because I might share their lice too!

I observed the Children’s Home is almost self sustainable.. The kids from abled families in town enroll in this school, and thus in turn provide funds for the Children’s home. Besides the cost of living is priceless, for $10 dollars a day, I am able to contribute feeding 7 kids including me and the kitchen helper already… and the good news is, I am not even required to donate money! So I can save funds to travel further.. but I’m not that thick face ya know ;D

Although the head of the school and children’s home says funds are still not enough, and that is the reason why they have donors coming from Italy. I do hope they and all other small communities all over the world, can be fully self sustainable in the future.. I would imagine people from economically rich background visit here not to donate money but to learn their way of sustainable living instead..

But of course there goes a crack in my head again ;D

ananda marga school in hetauda, nepal

The school and children’s home needs vast improvement though, specially in the way children are being raised.. I encourage volunteers to visit that place in Hetauda too. If you are interested to volunteer, let me know so I can introduce you to them. I’m doing this to monitor if this article is effective.

So I was immersed in an environment where PROUT is being implemented. Here are excerpts of the book that you might find interesting:

“In America, many had called me Dr Doom. In India, people called me Dr Hope. But I am still the same old Ravi Batra. I used to pray to my Father to make me “nothing”. That is what I now am at heart – nothing – but my Father is everything.”

“Humanity is said to have made tremendous progress today because life seems so much more comfortable these days than it was a few centuries ago. All this to Sarkar, is not progress. To be sure, it has resulted in a great change in the mode of living, but he denies this to be progress because most scientific discoveries have created problems which were non existent before.”

“Faster travel today has increased the risk of accident, industrialization has resulted in environmental pollution and cancer and other diseases unheard of in the past; modern medicine quickly cures the malady but generates side effects requiring further treatment.”

“Even in the intellectual sphere, there is much available to keep the mind occupied, but people today suffer from emotional problems and neuroses that did not afflict them before.”

“Indeed, Sarkar goes as far as saying that progress in the intellectual and physical sense is impossible unless there occurs a spiritual advance, at the same time.”

PROUT model is similar to the Economy of Communion from the Focolare Movement, an international organization that promotes unity and universal brotherhood. Ideas like this are worth spreading.. who knows it can be the key to Pandora’s box leading to the creation of Heaven here on Earth.

So no need to wait to Die so you can go to Heaven ya? We can already have it here on Earth.

Related Links:

About the Author:

Book Review: Karma Cola by Gita Mehta

This book is kinda cynical… which makes it a bit interesting. It can be a product of the author’s mind, but it seems as if she’s recounting real facts.

During my travels around Nepal or India, I encounter hippie and barefoot travelers whose traveling to these areas in search of spiritual or any kind of freedom.. or are they just being victims of gullibility and will do anything for a crack or a weed?

These kinds of people are very interesting to observe.. Not that I’m interested in their way of living.. I’m a budget traveler so a sort of a hippie but I’m still taking care of my hygiene when I travel.. and I comb and shampoo my hair.. I’m not saying that they are bad guys, I made casual chitchat with them and they are okay to talk to, so I’m not stereotyping everyone here.. I’m just curious.

And I do wonder why they chose that kind of life as compare to the norm. Here are excerpts of the book talking about most of these people, and more:


“In recognition of the difficulties of remaining intact in Asia, most embassies have, over the last three or four years, acquired doctors or psychiatrists or often both, whose only function is to deal with the casualties of the great pilgrimage. For a month, I tried to meet an embassy doctor, but each rendezvous was canceled as the doctor was urgently required to accompany another casualty back to the mother country. In four weeks the doctor had flown between Europe and India a dozen times. He had been attached to the Delhi embassy for barely a month, but in that short time his feelings for those he accompanied, diseased, suffering from malnutrition, or trapped in inarticulate nightmare, had gone from sympathy to contempt to fear.”

“They are scum. What is the point of taking them back where they can infect other people with their lies and their dirty habits? I sometimes wonder why we dont let them die here in India where it doesn’t matter.”


“They believed that Jesus Christ during his absence from the Bible between the ages of twelve and thirty, was in fact traveling in India. In India, Jesus traveled with a guru who taught him about mysticism, fasting and levitation. The archaeologists argue that these 16 years of training enabled Christ to spend 40 days in the wilderness without food or drink. Also thru yoga control, Christ was able to remain in tomb for 3 days and nights after his crucifixion.

The archaeologists are convinced that Jesus levitated his way back to India, and spent the last years of his life in the Himalayas.

The archaeologists are now scanning thru the mountains around the vile of Kashmir looking for the Jewish tomb.”


“We discovered these places, Afghanistan, Nepal, Goa. Where we arrived everybody loved us. Now the whole damn world is on a trail we opened up, and the same people who loved us **** hate us.. there’s too many of them.. they are not in the same class as those of us who got here first.”


“Exploration appears to be a hazardous undertaking.. Columbus discovered America looking for India. The Beatles discovered India escaping America.”

Do you want to read the book online? Here’s my link:

karma cola

Book Excerpts and Review: Exploring Psychology

Book Excerpts and Review: Exploring Psychology

Exploring Psychology is a thick book that I brought from my home to Chiang Mai last 2010… I think it was my brother’s book but I gave it away to a community and hopefully they get to use it.

But before giving it away, I made sure to copy some snapshots that I found important to daily living. I also wanted to take up psychology before..  well I want to take up many degrees because my hunger for knowledge never ends specially that I forget them afterwards xD

Niwey, here are some bits of information taken from the book. Hope you’ll learn a thing or two:


Belief perseverance – to cling to our beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Belief perseverance often fuels social conflict


Once you see a country as hostile, you are likely to interpret ambigous actions on their part as signifying their hostility

– political scientist Robert Jervis p, 241


Almost all the joyful things in life are outside the measure of IQ tests

– Madeleine L’engle, p.251


IQ test was invented to predict academic performance, nothing else. If we wanted something that would predict life success, we’d have to invent another test completely

– Robert Zajonc, p. 253


The spatial ability of the carpentery differs from the logical ability of the computer programmer, which differs from the verbal ability of the poet. Differences are not deficits. p 264



On Anger

Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind – Buddha, 500BC

What’s the best way to handle anger? Experts offer several suggetions.

First, bring down the physiological arousal of anger by waiting. Any emotiona arousal will simmer down if you just wait long enough. Second, deal with anger in a way that involves neither being chronically angry over every little annoyance nor passively sulking, which is merely rehearsing your reasons for anger. Vent the anger by playing an instrument, exercising, or confiding your feelings to a friend or a in a diary.


A non-accusing statement of feelings, perhaps letting one’s partner know that “I get irritated when you leave your dirty dishes for me to clean up” – can help resolve the conflicts that cause anger.



On happiness


People who are happy perceive the world as safer, make decisions more easily, rate job applicants more favorable, and report greater satisfactions with their whole lives

When we feel happy, we are more willing to help others. Its like a feel good, do good phenomenon.

Other research confirms that there is much more to well-being than being well off. Many people believe they would be happier if they had more money. They probably would be “temporarily”. But in the long run, increased affluence hardly affects happiness.




The average American is now twice as rich, but no happier p 315


An affluent society’s economic growth need not improve its morale.


As people climb the ladder of success, they mostly compare themselves with those who are at or above their current level.


Napoleon envied Caesar, Caesar envied Alexander, and Alexander, I daresay, envied Hercules, who never existed. p. 317


As comparing ourselves with those better off creates envy, so comparing ourselves with those less well off boosts contentment p.317


Those inclined to be hostile and cynical were five times more likely than their gentler, trusting classmates to die by middle age p. 331


Simply by setting aside a quiet time or two each day, many people report enjoying a greater sense of tranquility. In experiments, people who practice relaxation also commonly exhibit lowered blood pressure and strengthened immune system p. 337


Laughter seems to work in ways similar to exercise – it arouses us, massages muscles, and then leaves us feeling relaxed p. 338


Friendship are good medicine. Several long term studies of thousand of people have found that people with close supportive relationships are less likely to die prematurely p. 340


As various moments, all of us feel, think or act as disturbed people do much of the time. We too, maybe anxious, depressed, withdrawn, suspicious, deluded, or anti social, although less intensely and enduringly p 379


Suicide rates are higher among the rich, the nonreligious, and the unmarried – including widowed and divorced p 393


Defense mechanisms would not work if we recognize them. As the body unconsciously defends itself against disease, so, believed Freud, the ego unconsciously defend itself against anxiety p. 350


type a – intense

type b – laid back

endomorph – relaxed and jolly

mesomorph – bold and physically active

ectomorph – high strung and solitary

p. 356


Most disordered people are not dangerous; instead, they are anxious, depressed, or withdrawn p 408


Labels not only bias perceptions, they can also affect people’s self images and stigmatize them in other’s eyes – p.467


Labels not only bias perceptions, they can also change reality. When teachers are told certain students are “gifted”, when students expect someone to be “hostile”, or when interviewers check to see whether someone is “extraverted”, they may act in ways that elicit the very behavior expected. p409




Those who setup token economies typically deprive people of something they desire and then decide which behaviors they will reinforce. To critics, the whole behavior modification process has a totalitarian taint. They argue that treatment with a positive reward is more human than being institutionalized or punished p. 423


Happily married couples attribute their spouse’s tart tongued remark to a temporary situation (“she must have had a bad day at work”)


Unhappily married persons attribute the same remark to a mean disposition (why ever did I marry such a cold and hostile person?)



Folks often talk and act a different game


Food in the door phenomenon – a tendency for people who agree to small request to comply later with a larger one p. 446


How do you explain poverty or unemployment?

– People generally get what they deserve. Those who dont work are often lazy free loaders. People who take initiative can still get ahead


– if you or I had to live with the same poor education, lack of meaningful opportunity


In evaluating employees, managers must also make attributions. They are likely to attribute the poor performance of workers to personal factors such as low ability or lack of motivation. Workers who are doing poorly on a job recogize situational influences. Inadequate supplies, poor working conditions ,difficult coworkers, impossible or ambigious demands.


To get people to agree to something big, “start small and build”. And be wary of those who would exploit you and the tactic.

For those who wants to read the book online, here’s a link to where you can buy

How to copy or import your blog from Blogger to WordPress

How to copy or import your blog from Blogger to WordPress

If you have finally considered having a wordpress self hosted website and wants to transfer your Blogger blog to WordPress, the process is kinda easy.

1. Go to your WordPress dashboard
2. Go to tools -> import
3. Choose blogger

blogger to wordpress

4. Sign in your blogger account

5. Click import button

After a series of steps, your Blogger blog is now copied in your wordpress site.