ABSORB as excerpted from The Encyclopedia of Observation: Can we and do we absorb what is observed… To the extent of engrossment? How often are we absorbed by that which is negative? Are you consciously aware of absorption by thought? Are you aware of the differences between assimilation (by incorporation), permeation, and digestion? Are you preoccupied with propaganda? Are you spellbound by religious dogma or so absorbed in one thing that you close your attention to other things? Is your energy absorption put to the best use through learning and understanding? How penetrable are you by influences from the outside world? Do you absorb information from a biased position or unbiased position? Are you engaging?

Absorb in the news: In a nutshell, recent court rulings have allowed the FCC to sanction Internet Service Providers (Comcast, Century Link, Baja, etc.) charging a special “fast lane” fee to services like Netflix that require considerable speed to stream video or other content to subscribers. The problem here is twofold: First, the higher price that content providers pay to ISPs will not be absorbed by those providers, but will raise the price of their services to the consumer. More importantly, however, the “fast-lane” fee serves as a precedent for creating a tiered internet, where information and entertainment are accessible only if one has the money to afford (i.e. absorb) the price increases. Would such a fee change the Internet from a relatively free and open source for news and information into a closed and discriminatory luxury that only the elite may access? Similar to the days of “Pay TV,” will the continuously rising cost of service promote piracy and other illegal acts? Providing access to healthcare and controlling rising costs are the primary reasons for the Obama-care (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) mandate that all US citizens obtain health coverage. Yet, according to Fox news, doctors are absorbing the costs for some patients who fail to pay their premiums. According to Fox news, the problem concerns “a 90-day grace period for people who have subsidized Obama-care exchange plans and stopped paying their premium.” Since insurance companies are only obligated to cover the first thirty days of this period, and the patients are not paying the residual, unsuspecting doctors are discovering that they will probably be absorbing the non-payment for two months. Certainly, many people lack sympathy for doctors and other medical providers because it is well known that they, in general, are one of the highest paid professions in America and one of the globe’s largest industries. However, is the Fox news commentary true and factual? If true, is it unfair to expect medical providers to absorb the cost of treating some patients? Will this have a chilling effect on doctor’s willingness to participate in and work with the Affordable Care Act? Finally, from a study spanning ten years, researchers have discovered that arid deserts absorb considerable amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas that is associated with global warming. According to Sorenson, scientists have long wondered how the Earth deals with rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere. He goes on to say that, “while forest ecosystems tend to store carbon in plant matter, the Mojave researchers found most carbon was being taken up by increased activity in the rhizosphere, a microorganism-rich area around the roots.” The study suggests that, in the future, “arid ecosystems will be doing more than their fair share of taking earth-warming carbon out of the atmosphere.” From this, can it be understood that the earth’s deserts, which are frequently considered by many people as unimportant, inhospitable and lacking the more pleasurable characteristics of other locations (e.g. forests, prairies, coastal areas) are actually critical to the earth’s ability to absorb the harmful greenhouse gasses that could end life as we know it? They are part of the earth’s ancient system- a system that includes but predates human by billions of years- that work to maintain the delicate balance required to sustain ALL life on our planet. With our growing global population however, what will happen if these areas become populated and changed by people?