Friday, February 14, 2020
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
I don’t always sleep well at night. And sometimes that means I get up and with the lights off and my wife and children asleep, I wander around the inside of the house looking out. Fortunately, I have light as my ally, unlike TV1 where the difference in light prohibits people from seeing me.
One night I was wandering about, thinking maybe I’d heard something, and looked out one of the windows, and there she was, the most beautiful white skunk is ever seen. Quite possibly the only attractive skunk I’ve ever seen2.
That skunk became an obsession. There are, of course, white skunks in the world. But this kind of coloration on one in New England seemed to be anomalous. It wasn’t what one would see when encountering the trash panda’s stinky neighbor. No, not at all.
On the other hand, I wondered if, like the squirrels and chipmunks, this skunk had decided to make the neighborhood home and I began to look forward to those times in the middle of the night where I was inevitably awake3.
However, I never saw the skunk again. I’ve seen other things. Dogs and cars. Mostly people out during the witching hour4. Cars that have no reason pulling into our one-way in and out neighborhood. I’ve seen large trucks and police cars and all sorts of things pass by. Yet, the one thing I’ve wanted to witness one more time was a white skunk.
Since then, as has often been the case over the years, I’ve invented monsters and imagined creatures. I’ve wondered at the sky and worried at the winds that blow, the giant old trees that still surround the house and propriety. I consider what I would be like to use those hours in between sleep to write or read some more. Maybe cook.
All of it is diminished by the once seen completely white skunk and invariably I go back to bed and close my eyes and will myself a return to dreamless sleep5.
Also, the year we moved in the marmots moved away or were killed and that made me very sad. For, you see, I also want me a marmot for a friend.
In TV and movies, the obvious differences in light that would otherwise keep people outside from seeing in or people inside from seeing out don’t work like that and the visibility is almost always two way. ↩
When I first started reading Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, my family was on a vacation, as you do, and we stopped in a state park and I went for a walk as neither of my parents wanted me sitting around reading when: NATURE. As I made my way down a trail, I came across a very big and very much in charge of that trail skunk. Since I had no idea to witness or be witness to a skunk spraying, I turned around and ran back to the car. I’m haunted by this experience to this day and have still not seen a skunk spray someone. ↩
Apparently, prior to the bourgeoisie deciding to get eight or so hours straight of sleep a night. The sleep rhythm was to go to bed and sleep for several hours. Wake up for between one and three hours. Then go back to sleep for the rest of the night. During this time, tack was mended, clothes were sewn, people read or talked. It was a gathering of the family. ↩
3:00 AM, if you were at all curious. ↩
I deal with bad dreams and night terrors and a lack of sleep paralysis while I’m sleeping and have kicked and punched Erin while going through a thing I’ll wake up from and in no way remember. ↩
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
The platypus is an interesting and from an outside observers point of view the platypus doesn’t make sense. It is one of five1 mammals that lay eggs. It has a ducks bill and the tail of a beaver2. And the male of the species has poisonous barbs on its rear feet. While certainly nowhere near apex predator, the platypus is an adaptation that’s also a marvel.
But why the platypus? Why did evolution dictate that the platypus should exist and in Australia of all places3?
The obvious and only correct answer is:
We don’t know4.Nor, for that matter, can we know. I mean, short of developing some weird technology wherein we are able to observe evolutionary time travel from way, way, way before humans to today. But that’s about as likely as a steam engine flying into a time vortex after giving Marty McFly gifts from the past.
After spending some hours searching the interwebs5 I discovered its not legal to own or possess a platypus outside of Australia. They’re a nationally protected species along the lines of the panda bear6 and as such aren’t allowed anywhere else , which is partially a lie as there are some zoos that are setup for the specific needs of the platypus and have permission and appropriate licensing.
I guess, on a side note (as opposed to my somewhat copious footnotes), if you’re a religious person who believes in God and are a Creationist7, then I’m curious how one twists and turns and wiggles and bends to get to reasoning that explains (1) monotremes and (2) the platypus. I’ve heard some answers:
- God is testing us
- God has a sense of humor
- We will find out in the fullness of time
- No one can know God’s mind or will
Combined matter from other planets used to form the Earth8.Not exactly stellar reasoning.
Back when I was still attempting to justify belief against reality, I proposed (and I’m probably not alone in this) that Evolution was God’s means of creating and before homo Sapiens were sufficiently evolved to allow for God’s children, the world was left within the greater cosmological matrix of advancement and development. Today, I recognize the argument as apologist and a failed attempt to explain something that has a reasonable answer of:
I don’t know.Except, I want to know. Or wanted to know.
Today I’m more happy realizing the back-bending and back breaking task of explaining everything, even through a religious or possibly an idiots point of view, is a waste of time and energy and I’m good with:
We don’t know.Which is the best answer for the platypus, which I want as a pet (along with the panda and the armadillo), monotremes, and quite possibly 99.9999999% of everything we don’t yet know. Though I also allow for the probability that we can know and when we do, I look forward to learning what I can and happy with another answer to the science of life.
The monotreme, which consists of four species of echidna and the platypus. ↩
Approximate visual comparisons. The platypus doesn’t actually have a ducks bill and it doesn’t actually have a beavers tail. ↩
Unless, of course, you live in Danville, USA, part of the tristate area, where platypus’s are rather common and abundant and don’t do very much. The prime example being Perry the Platypus or Agent P. ↩
We (or I) don’t know needs to be a far more common answer to just about everything. Does god exist? I don’t know. Is evolution real? I don’t know. Kissing. God doesn’t exist. Evolution is real. The answer, though, still needs to be used more by everyone. ↩
A considerably amount of this time was most likely used to pursue other lines of thought and personal research on a variety of topics. The topic list will most likely never be shared. ↩
Panda bears win here due to my theory they were bred to be pets and are partially domesticated. Check YouTube for videos of people directly interacting with pandas. ↩
In this sense, we’re going with the stupid evangelical American Christian who not only chooses to believe God crated the world in a total of 7 days, but that those days (a mistranslation in case you’re wondering) are equivalent to the 24 hour day we now experience, and the world is approximately 6000 - 7000 years old. ↩
In case you were wondering, I’m partial to the name Sol 3 and not Earth as a designator for our planet. ↩
Monday, February 10, 2020
Will Rogers said:
I never met a man I didn’t like.
And for him I hope that’s true. In reality, everyone needs an enemy. That individual or idea or issue that’s so diametrically opposed to who and what we think we are that the enemy in part defines us as individuals.
Did Will Rogers know that?
I’d think the answer is no. He didn’t know he needed an enemy and probably thought he didn’t have one. Or he knew he had one (or many) and chose to like the enemy anyway.
It’s a thing1.
One way to view this is in the philosophy of:
We’ve always done it this way.
It was good enough for [insert noun object] and it should be good enough for you.
Or any one of, quite possibly, a near infinite subset of other possibilities that dictate something has existed therefore it should continue to exist without question or change.
In my 20s, the single most contentious example (in my online anonymous group of friends) was Founders Intent in relation to the United States Constitution2. The position, which I then and now oppose, is that the Constitution is an established and therefore unchanging document. This argument is, by its nature, false as the Constitution was written with the express and stated intent of adding Amendments. Amendments that would further clarify and codify the established political doctrine whereby we all live3.
According to Lynn Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton:
H: My client needs a strong defense, you’re the solution.
B: Who’s your client?
H: The new US Constitution
A: Hear me out.
B: No way!
A: A series of essays anonymously published. Defending the document to the public.
B: No one will read it.
A: I disagree.
B: And if it fails?
A: Burr, that’s why we need it.
B: The Constitution’s a mess.
A: So it needs amendments.
B: It’s full of contradictions.
A: So is independence.
— Alexander Hamilton, Non-Stop, original Broadway soundtrack.
The product of Alexander Hamilton’s genius is what’s not called The Federalist Papers, the basis of the founders arguments in favor of our form of democracy4, and the need to amend the original document.
In this scenario, my enemy is anyone who thinks the document was and is established and in no need of changing. Itself an absurd proposition as the founders had no way of conceiving of modern warfare, monetary systems, computers, drugs, and so on. In effect, the 52 old white dudes didn’t have the extent of a clue some people would like them to have had.
Yet, this isn’t even the easy enemy most people need or already posses. To this we look to religion and specifically the many flavors of Christianity5. If you’re among this group your default enemy is:
Didn’t see that coming, did you?
Which is fine and good. But, it can be taken a step further and your enemy can be better defined as a Christiansee note 5 who doesn’t agree with or align with your specific brand of Christianity. In this context, groups like the Mormons8 or Jehovah’s Witnesses or Scientologists. These groups, to the larger Christian faiths are the biggest objects of Christian non-Christian debate and animosity.
Or, you could look at the deadly sins9:
I’m sure there are more than these, but as an aspect of tradition, which is a lot of what religion is, these work.
Which has been and will be (in the future) the subject of movies and books and manga and anime and more. One might even think the Judeo-Christian world almost has a fetish over sins and heaven and the like.
Regardless, by defining the enemy, regardless of how, we then define ourselves. If your enemy is sin, then the sinner becomes your enemy. Which means that:
Love the sinner hate the sin10
A sentiment that’s inherently impossible and at odds with itself. As one cannot hate an aspect of something and love everything else. Guess which part you’re going to focus on?
Unfortunately, the idea of enemy is one that’s largely ignored by Christian people as they don’t want to sinpride. Yet, rejecting new ways of worship or even new ways of viewing religion, much like rejecting amendments to the US Constitution, is a form of enemy identification. One that, for many, is essential to their form of worship.
The enemy is an important part of our lives, which is mostly fine. Except for when it’s not. The amendments to the US Constitution establish the inherent right to believe and worship as you will. There are qualifiers to this, like no animal or human sacrifice and plural marriage (polygamy or polyandry) are prohibited, but you can worship however you want and you can disagree with how others worship11.
You can also disagree with:
- the definition of marriage
- tax laws
- the type of nation the United States is meant to be
- political parties
- immigration law
- and etc.
The moment you disagree, though, you’ve defined your enemy.
And your enemy defines you.
It’s not actually a thing and it is, which makes positions like everyone needs an enemy a lot of fun to take. ↩
We’ll refer to this as example by political discourse and I’m sorry and will attempt, in the future, to be significantly more flippant in my postings. ↩
Within the United States, but don’t quote me on this point as it’s not hard to create a counter-argument based on the courts, party politics, and arguments in favor of states rights over federal law and regulation. ↩
A representational democracy, or you vote for someone who votes for you as proxy. This is also the basis of the Electoral College. ↩
I’m going to define Christianity and Christian as any religion, group, or individual who professes belief in and worship of Jesus Christ regardless of how that belief and worship manifests. ↩
It may be of some interest that Satan et. al. aren’t the primary devil or devils. ↩
In the context of non-Christian, I’m an enemy because I don’t even allow for the possibility of God. Though I do allow for the need and necessity of individual beliefs and religious worship. I’m such a disappointment. ↩
Full disclosure, I was born and raised Mormon and resigned my membership many years ago. ↩
On the other side of this are venial sins or lesser sins the commission of which doesn’t necessarily deny one entrance into heaven. ↩
As a result of a disagreement between my wife and I, I discovered that this paraphrased sentiment is from Gandhi and not a Christian or western ethos. Try to convince a Mormon of that. ↩
Incidentally, because of Mormons, the reason you cannot have more than one husband or more than one wife. ↩
Saturday, February 8, 2020
I’m not making a judgement on anyone. Though, to be very clear, I’ve found a slight obsession1 and in terms of an outlet I’m going to use this site.
Because of the thing I cannot talk about[*2], I’ve started to notice trends in people and have formed an idea, possibly even a hypothesis. This idea is on racism and racist people.
Today, racism is bad. It’s always been bad, but in terms of recognizing the tendency in people it’s even more bad today because we can see both the history of and ramifications personally, within communities, and nationally2.
What is more evident is how people couch their racism and hide it from themselves in the guise of hiding it from the world.
How does one hide their racism?
It’s not to be overt or outright in their approach to people of a different ethnic or national origin. It may not be using derogatory language. For many, they may think a lifetime of fighting their inclinations and upbringing is enough. Yet, the problem is evident when listening to how people intersect with interruptions related to their cultural comfort3.
Instead, racism is down by proxy, in support of things like Blue Lives Matter or the Thin Blue Line and in open opposition to movements like Black Lives Matter or candidates of color or even neighbors of different nationalities moving into a neighborhood followed by white flight4.
One of the verbal indicators is when someone says:
I like [insert ethnic group] just fine, but [insert exception].Basically, the format is the openly agree they like all people and then to give an exception to a willingness to accept. Of late I’ve heard the following exceptions:
- Trump’s border wall
- People who come to abuse the health or welfare system
- How children are raised
The final indicator is who these groups choose to represent them in local, state, and national levels. It’s one thing to not outwardly say or do things. It’s another to find someone clever enough to appear to not be racist and who does all they can to advance ethnic agendas. Which is, without question, the underlying issue with a lot of politics and representational democracy.
We vote for those we feel best represent our interests.Which means ethnic communities are most likely (when not cheated) to vote for community members who look and act like them. Yet, gerrymander enough and entire communities are misrepresented by people who don’t look like nor reflect their basic values.
Add in money and the political stakes are elevated considerably.
People will do almost anything to protect and defend anything they think is rightfully theirs.Which is one sense of entitlement where racism is an inherent part of the national discourse6. Who you vote for and why is yet another example of inherent racism. There comes a point where decision making is done by whatever group one chooses to affiliate. Therefore, morality is an extension of who people choose to associate.
None of which means the inherent ugliness inside is an extension of what we do on the outside. And it’s this outward tendency that in large part informs who we choose to be. Unfortunately, this outward-in approach doesn’t extend to party politics of for whom we vote7.
I like … but ….Mentality, then your racism is showing and that’s when things are bad. Really bad. And it’s when you find out who you really are and what you really stand for.
So, there are judgements. There will always be judgements. That’s not the point. The point isn’t whether or not someone points their finger and calls you a name, it’s whether or not you can accept within yourself the image your choices portray to the world, your children, and your community.
That’s what’s important and that’s where individual judgment and being judged by others is at odds with our places in the community or within our families and among our friends.
In autistic circles this would also be referred to as a special interest. ↩
With all due respect to the amazing Morgan Freeman, in order to truly combat racism and come to terms with it as a nation is to talk about it. A lot. All the time. Between groups and in individual organizations. It needs to be an essential talking point and it needs to not go away simply because it’s uncomfortable or someone, anyone thinks the problem has gone away. ↩
Clint Eastwood’s 2008 movie Gran Torino is an interesting exploration of this theme as is Sean Connery headlines Finding Forrester. There are many examples, these are two of my favorites. ↩
It should also be noted that there are all kinds of cultural flight. The vast majority of people in this country are white and when they feel threatened they run. The inverse of this is gentrification, or the upgrading and pushing out of low-rent or poor people currently living in an area. There’s enough on this for entire volumes to have been written and to still be written. ↩
There is no one more untrustworthy than the person you cannot understand whose motivations are unclear or different than one’s own. ↩
The reason the Republican Party and others are desperate to carry out a pharaonic approach to removing anything done by former President Barack Obama either by removing what was accomplished or attempting to rename or take credit for it. ↩
It’s the party aligned person who looks most like the person voting in terms of both gender and ethnicity. ↩
Friday, February 7, 2020
I listen to a lot of calls1. And among those calls there are a lot that are bad agents attempting to convince the person on the receiving end that there is something wrong with:
- Social Security
- Their PC
This is a big thing because no one is going to make these kinds of phone calls. It costs way too much for companies obsessive about increasing profits and when has any tech company or even the US government reached out one femtosecond before they are forced to by the courts or an angry mob of investors?
Robocalls make up an ungodly percentage of total calls made2. This isn’t good. But it must result in someone scamming enough money to keep the con going. It doesn’t take a high percentage of respondents willing to believe someone with a clear Indian3 accent to have an ROI worth continuing to activity.
Add to these the number of robocalls for charity organizations and political organizations, candidates, and PACs and the problem only gets worse. I cannot imagine the demographic that gets hit the hardest4, and I spend a lot of my life listening to these people on the receiving end.
These aren’t even all the calls. The conmen and conwomen are getting smarter. They’re spoofing local numbers in calling areas so the call looks to be from someone you might, maybe know. In some of these, it’s a trick to verify if a phone works. In others it’s a fishing expedition with the hope of booking and reeling in another sucker.
It’s to the point where I don’t answer my phone if it’s not someone I know or if I’m not already expecting a call from a specific area in the world. Sweden calls, not answering. Texas? Nope. The next town over? Not gonna happen. It’s no longer worth my time to answer calls when the likelihood is very high that it’s spam. Or someone with whom I don’t want to converse5.
My reality, and the reality through which I think many people now exist, is an aversion to answering phones made simpler by the use of text messages and video calls and email. Quite possibly in that exact order6.
So? Want to call me? Text me first. Then see if I’m willing to speak. Otherwise, chances are I’m not answering my phone under the realistic expectation that:
If it’s important you’ll leave a message.
And that’s the story of how I fought a bear and survived to eat calamari and California rolls outside of Big Sur.
According to a March 8, 2019 Forbes.com article, 85,000,000,000 spam calls were made in 2018, which equals about 17 spam calls per cell phone when averaged out. The United States are one of those places hit extra hard. ↩
Indian as from India the country as opposed to Indian the collectively misnamed indigenous people in the Americas. In most instances, of whom, I’ll refer to as Native Americans or by identified tribal affiliation. ↩
Pretty much everyone with one or two exceptions, a list of whom will not now nor ever be made available. ↩
Observing my oldest child and listening to stories from academia, I’m led to believe video calls are the way to go for the younger groups of consumers. ↩
Thursday, February 6, 2020
I’m now of the opinion that the United States needs an Impeachment Amendment to the constitution. While I’d like to say I was impartial to the recent proceedings between the houses of a Congress and the President, I’m not. Of all of the players (not including the President), the Senate absolutely failed in their responsibility in this process, as did Chief Justice John Roberts1.
Within the Senate, the fault in large part falls on the shoulders of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell2. His actions, a statement of being highly partial before the senate trial and his pledge toward impartiality, a clear lie, during the trial has only further cemented his place as one of the nations most corrupt and dishonest politicians.
Along with Mr. McConnell are every single member of the Republican Party who sided with McConnell’s unprecedented and anti-Constitutional3 plan to not have witnesses and to not hold any kind of trial of the actions of the President. These are individuals voted for and hired by their constituents to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and in 100% of the cases, including Mitt Romney4, they failed to uphold their oath or their office.
As has been said and reported, Mr. Trump hasn’t been exonerated nor has he been proved innocent5. So far, at every stage in this process he’s lied, he’s blocked the House from their Constitutional authority and responsibility. And he’s done it with the full support and cooperation of Mr. McConnell and the Senate.
No one should be proud of or happy over what took place in the Impeachment Trial. Because nothing actually happened. No one was asked to testify. No documents were shared. No individual was made accountable for their actions. No form of justice was accomplished. None.
The president will pretend justice was served. It has not been.
Mr. McConnell will parade his success. He had none.
The Republican Party will claim it upheld the Constitution. It didn’t.
Nothing has happened that is appropriate or proper and that includes Chief Justice John Roberts. In this situation he had an opportunity to write the role of the Supreme Court in this process6. A role that had, until now, not been defined and is highly ceremonial. It need more be ceremonial.
He had the power to do something by establishing this as a trial and as judge preside over the proceedings. Ensure fair conduct. Shut down dissension. And apply penalties. He did none of that.
We need to amend the constitution to allow for codified rules that cannot arbitrarily be altered by corrupt and dishonest politicians, and to formally and officially grant more authority to the third branch of government.
More importantly, people like Mr. McConnell should be stopped before they can once again perpetuate the lie that’s taken place. It’s no longer safe to allow the political process to proceed as it always had and this week, this trial, and these people prove we need to remove the ability to make it up on r fly7.
I have nothing against the overall job Chief Justice John Roberts has performed. However, he’s also not likely to make waves or cause controversy and in this case he chose to do nothing. ↩
Mitch McConnell doesn’t care about anything but winning and will say whatever’s necessary to do so. One of his talking points on his positions in previous years (that he’d clearly changed sides over) has been mirrored by Alan Dershowitz when attempting to sidestep a radical change in political opinion and legal argument. ↩
McConnell may believe he is pro-constitution, he’s gone out of his way to maneuver and side with money. Lots of money. And has even been on record, though not willingly, telling Republicans his financial backers will make up any difference in lost financial support by supporting his (McConnell’s) position. ↩
Mitt Romney is as corrupt as everyone and it seriously worries me how he’s positioned himself in this context. I guess the only positive is that he’s not become (like his niece) an outright consumer of the Trump Kool-aid. But he’s either playing to an entirely different group of financial supporters or realizes he’s a one-term senator and chose to make a name in history. ↩
The only people who think Trump innocent are the Evangelical Christians who are his core base. And this group does some seriously back breaking gymnastics to justify supporting Trump. Let’s make this clear, Trump is a criminal. He knows it. His wife and children know it. His employees know it. Law enforcement knows it. The only people who don’t seem to know it are Trump’s supporters. As a result, this process was politicized by Trump and McConnell and no justice was done. No evil vanquished. Nothing remotely positively happened. ↩
The makeup of the Supreme Court and its role was established by precedent after the Constitution was ratified. It’s not outlined in the Constitution. Just as Chief Justice John Roberts role isn’t outlined, he could’ve asserted Judicial Authority. ↩
The process has been one where Mitch McConnell and many, many others have claimed what’s now taking place isn’t fair and isn’t following precedent. This has been a lie as the rules and expectations were the same as those, or very close to, that which was established by the Republican majority during the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. ↩
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
I’m going to begin by stating I cannot tell you what I do for work1. What I can tell you is it’s more of a service and if I could share (specifically or otherwise) nothing I would be able to tell you would in any way be actionable.
The disclaimer out of the way, I’m going to also say that I listen to a lot of people talking about a variety of things. Some are in favor of the current president. Some aren’t. They’re all wrong, but for entirely different reasons2. And at the end of any given shift I’ve either learned something new or I’m nearly, almost ready to rage quit3.
Which is not what this post is about.
Instead, I’ve come to recognize, along with much of the rest of the world under an age, that one of the problems we have is one of a narcissistic generation. Or, more specifically, the baby boomers4.
One of the topics that comes up with, quite a lot, is the lack of appreciation for a specific individual. Often, this is an older sister. Though it can also be a mother or aunt. Regardless, the individual complaining is the one who had:
- Sacrificed everything
- Gone out of her way for her family
- Done so all her life; and,
- Is unappreciated to the point of hated5
Which is nice, and it’s also something that at times ends in tears6.
The question I’ve come to ask isn’t why are there tears or why is this person upset? I find both questions unnecessary and offensive. Maybe even beyond offensive because the person speaking isn’t asking these questions.
Instead, they ask:
Why do they hate me?
Which is the wrong question to ask. Or an incorrect question to posit in terms of the problem. The answer isn’t even something that’s wanted. No. What’s wanted is an opportunity to be a martyr and to have other people agree you’re a victim.
According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissism is …
[A] mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.
The condition isn’t common in the sense that we’re dealing with about 200,000 new cases a year. But, in terms of an over-inflated sense of self-worth, this term7 can be applied to the Baby Boomers and the World War II generation8.
These are two groups who’ve had the world handed to them and quite literally piddled it away. They inherited unions and have done everything possible to destroy them9. They inherited peace and have spent decades fighting the exact same war10.
It’s this same group that still controls government, demands entitlements, complains about not being further ahead, and believes wealth is something that should be protected (for others) and they need to defend what they have now. All while destroying the very institute of and fabric through which it was created and maintained.
This is a group that demands the United States of America identify as a nation under god, a sentiment added to the pledge in the 1950s. This group defines the atomic family and traditional family and marriage. It defined the roles for men and women and today practically demands11 everyone defer to them simply because they’re older and have been alive longer12.
Listening to individuals lament a lack of appreciation and to a generation bitch about how under-appreciated or unappreciated it is, all leads to classic symptoms of narcissism. And it’s not one or two people or specific groups in specific places. It’s a lot of people all the time all over the place.
Which, I’m beginning to think, is the reason why we have so much shit to sift through. This includes the prevalence of social media (an issue not specific to, but endemic of the boomers) and shifts in how news is viewed13.
All of this is an offshoot of a self-important and overly self-obsessed generation of people many of whom are going to ask:
Rather than looking deeper. The question being asked doesn’t look for cause, it only focuses on effect. The real problem will always be the demands that are attached to the (seemingly) altruistic behavior14. Behavior that often demands reward in undying appreciation and a promise to not be forgotten, ignored, or hated.
I’m not done with this. In truth, this is merely opening thoughts. Though, as is often the case, I’m not sure when to return to the topic as there’s a lot to work through and uncover. I will say that until we begin to take back our lives and what should be basic human rights subverted by an entire generation of entitled individuals, things are only going to get worse. And it doesn’t take much to see that in action all around us.
I will tell you it’s completely legal. ↩
Your political opinion is wrong as well, so let’s just agree that everyone, to include me, is wrong and we’ll be off to a wonderful start. ↩
This is more a fantasy I actively recognize as an impossibility. Not that I couldn’t. I’m just unlikely to do anything like a rave quit. Which is even more interesting given that I recently read Larry David (currently of Curb Your Enthusiasm and co-creator of Seinfeld) rage quit Saturday Night Live. Went home. Was talked out of it by a neighbor who told him to return to work Monday and pretend it never happened. ↩
Boomers is the way in which they’ve become memed. As in “OK boomer.” Which makes sense as I’m of the opinion a vast majority of this generation need to be wholly and unapologetically ignored. ↩
Hate is personally subjective to the speaker and not a statement that originates with me. ↩
Not my tears. I don’t cry. But I hear crying and assume there are tears. ↩
In my opinion. ↩
I’ve never been fond of unions and have no intent of joining one, but the older I get and the more I see of the world, the more essential the establishment and security of unions are. ↩
I’m positing that this era in human history will go down as another hundred year war and when historians look back on this time it will be at a conflict that started in the early 20th century and continues through to today. ↩
Hissy-fit is actually more accurate. I’ve also noticed this is the group that rejects Vatican 2, is more likely to ignore sexism and masochistic behavior, and will repeat over and over how not-racist or prejudiced they are. ↩
Age used to be a factor to me in a willingness to listen and defer to experience. However, experience isn’t always a positive thing and if any groups experience should be ignored it’s the Boomers. ↩
Hint: it’s entirely about entertainment and ratings and not about actual news. ↩
Here, altruism should be defined as any act that is performed without expectation of recognition or reward. ↩
Sunday, February 2, 2020
The Tenth Doctor, David Tennants Doctor, said:
People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually — from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.
Doctor Who Season 3, Episode 10 Blink
This is an explanation of how time works. It’s non-linear. Or, it’s non-linear when talked about in relation to the Doctor.
Yet, the progression of time is not a “… big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.” The Doctor even says so.
What people miss is the non-subjective and the non-linear. Or, to put it another way, you have to look at time as something you cannot observe more have an observational opinion and you have to understand that it’s all about the Doctor.
You see, time is linear and it is subjective. More, it’s also about the progression of entropy on the individual1.
And for the Doctor, time is absolutely linear and must progress along a straight line.
The Doctor has a progression from birth through puberty and into adulthood and old age and finally death. The difference here is that the Doctor can avoid death through regeneration and (apparently) regeneration can be recharged and the Doctor or other Time Lords can live for thousands of years2.
Yet, the Doctor doesn’t travel alone, the Doctor travels with compassions3 who both anchor the show with the audience acting as the viewer surrogate and add a level of descriptive dialogue to the series that allows the Doctor to talk through problems.
It’s through the eyes of the companion and the audience that time loses its linear progression because the Doctor doesn’t (always) proceed through events from beginning to end. More often than not, the progression requires travel to the past or future in order to put the puzzle pieces together.
Which is how people view the Doctor, a complicated mathematical knot4 that wraps from start to finish back into itself but not in an obvious or easily discernible way.
For the Doctor, in terms of time related to Gallifrey, he absolutely follows a straight line of progression. Why? Because Gallifrey5 should be considered the theoretical nexus of time from which all movement in time and space originates.
But the Doctor isn’t addressing Gallifreyans or Time Lords, he’s speaking at or to humans, his companions, for whom he comes and goes, ages hundreds of years, maybe has other companions, and returns to take his companions on another adventure.
So non-linear and non-subjective is to be considered the Doctor attempting to explain a concept from a human perspective and as a result you get made up words and gibberish that is meant to not explain anything, but makes for great t-shirts.
Individual will be defined herein as any object or person that is affected by the progression of entropy over time. Isaac Asimov wrote a story titled The Last Question. A story that suggests the first question posed to a computer is “How can the net amount of entropy of the universe be massively decreased?” ↩
Except, of course, is the regeneration sequence is interrupted at which point the Time Lord is just dead (DW S06E01 The Impossible Astronaut). Which is a shame since the notion of regeneration was created to keep the Doctor alive while changing actors. A fun adaptation of storytelling. ↩
Companions, in my opinion, make or break a Doctor Who series and once a companion has been with the Doctor too long (Clara Oswald), they become too much like the Doctor and can no longer act as surrogate for the audience. ↩
In maths a knot is a closed loop. So long as there’s no beginning or end, you’ve got a knot. ↩
I think it should be understood that this is my way of understanding Time Lords and time travel. It would also explain the rise of time creatures that help enforce temporal rules and laws in the absence of the Time Lords after the Time War via Russell T. Davies time as the head honcho. Or, put another way, the universe evolved creatures when the Time Lords ceased to exist or were placed in a pocket universe. ↩
Thursday, January 30, 2020
I’ve often wondered about panda bears. They live in bamboo forests and they’re extremely difficult to mate in captivity. Every panda that’s born around the world belongs to China and their names all reflect that heritage. Yet, these bears aren’t exactly like the bears in North America or others parts of the world. They’re almost docile.
Consider the changes that have been tracked in domesticated animals. From the wolf1 we gain the vast breeds of todays dog. An animal that evolved as a predictor was turned into a pet, vocal chords meant for one noise have transformed into another noise. Ears and tail have taken on different meanings and in the end the dog no longer reflects its progenitor.
The same becomes true of any creature changed over time from what it was to something new. Hints of the old and dangerous may remain, but in the end what is left is something different and not always better2.
Returning to the panda bear, it doesn’t take a long logical leap to go from an Asian black bear to the modern instantiation of the panda. The outcome is, after all, more desirable in attitude and appearance than that of the Asian black bear3.
It’s difficult for me to imagine an evolutionary world where passiveness and bamboo shoots and leaves are more desirable than hunting and killing and salmon. Lots and lots of salmon4.
As I see it, the panda was selectively bred hundreds of years before Darwin journeyed out into the world on The Beagle and observed the Galapagos finch. Where nature forces the adaptation of the finches beak to allow for larger nut cracking, a natural process, the panda would’ve been bred for specific characteristics5.
Except, instead of natural processes whereby traits and characteristics were the outcome of live or die breeding6, instead what is looked for are only the characteristics and outcomes that would make a good pet. Smaller. Tamer. Trainable. Cuter. All the important things.
As a result of forced breeding7, unwanted characteristics are introduced and from there we find other problems, like pandas don’t easily get pregnant and the panda cubs are hard to care for - though this has gotten easier in the sense that we (collective and not to specifically include me) have learned a lot about pandas and panda babies and how to keep them alive.
All of which leads to:
I want a real panda bear as a pet.
By wolf I’m most likely referring to some proto-wolf, an ancestor of what exists today. Maybe even more of an apex predator than currently exists. ↩
This is a highly subjective statement, though it may be possible to quantify complete utility across a lot of different factors. Though, to be completely honest, I have a hard time agreeing that the modern pug is more desirable than its 100 year old (as in human years and not dog year equivalence) and has a more pronounced snout. ↩
I’m delving back into the pool of subjective opinion and not allowing for an objective approach. Though, if given the choice, I’d prefer the panda bear over the Asian black bear. ↩
This is a direct borrow from the Alaskan Grizzly and the species annual salmon feast as the fish head upriver to spawn. ↩
Given the vast and extensive history of Chinas many dynasties keeping copious records, I’m about 65-83% confident that at some point the selective breeding of beads that led to the panda will be revealed. ↩
© forever by me. Also, one of the interesting side effects of the loss of the dodo bird was that the forests on the island Mauritius haven’t produced a new tree since the dodo bird went extinct. The reason? The dodo would swallow the seed of the trees and the trip through the digestive tract would weaken the outside just enough to allow the seed to grow. In this case, an example of co-evolution where two things become dependent on the other and the loss of one leads to the eventual loss or adaptation of the other. ↩
This is only tertiarily related, but Frank Herbert covers this in humans with his group of witches, the Bene Gesserit order that universally and selectively bred men and women for specific desirable physical characteristics. Mostly it was about what was considered attractive. ↩
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
I was sitting at my desk when a small blue and black and red bird landed on the sill outside and looked in. I looked back and our eyes connected in the way people connect with animals and for a moment I considered the possibility that there was more to the animal than thoughts of worms and where to sleep when it’s cold or raining.
What I found most interesting was the bird didn’t fly away and stood there staring at me.
After a time I decided to stand and open the window and as I did the bird didn’t fly away, instead it entered through the window without a screen and alighted on a shelf filled with books, none of which were particularly interesting and none of which had anything to do with birds. Not even penguins.
When I sat back down at my desk and proceeded to return to my pen and paper, the books propped up on cheap stands, the thoughts that had nothing to do with a wild bird standing on a shelf full of books, I found I couldn’t concentrate on the thoughts that had preceded my small visitor. Things that involved angels on pedestals and the romanticization of things and people. The idea that there is nothing pure in the world, not ever has been. Yet, the fetishization of purity still. The idea that we can achieve the impossible.
The bird didn’t seem to care much about anything, especially not on the words I was attempting to put to paper. Nor did it seem to care that I put no trust in the devices, my phone or computer, sitting on the desk behind the books and pens, the pencils and erasers. The errata involved in the things I work on and with and that feed the demons of thought and instinct.
Eventually the bird made a noise that was meant to be a chirp or a song and ended up something else entirely. It looked at me one more time and then took to the air and out of the window and never returned.
My thoughts never returned to what they were and eventually I set aside my writing and my books and walked away from my thoughts convinced the bird knew more than it let on.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020
From this we can see that the reason we write is to approximate what we see in terms of both what is true and what is possible so that others might experience the world as we see and hope it to be3.
This part is all me and is, in part, derived from one of the instructions I give on writing: When I’m done reading what you’ve written, I should see what you see and understand what you’ve written in the way you understand it. ↩
Friday, January 24, 2020
Once Upon a Time …
Or that’s how a lot of stories begin1, the ones that need to begin with an indistinct or unreliable timeframe.
Rather, this is a story, if you want to call it that, which is free form and probably mostly a lie. It’s based on the idea that once I had a website to connect. Then I had a website to show. And now I have a website to just have a website.
No other reason.
As a result, rather than pretend that this site needs to showcase anything, it will showcase the kinds of things that exist in my head2.
Of course, freak flag isn’t an exact parallel to what will happen. By that, i mean had I the desire to create the ability, this site would consist of one very, very, very long page with content at the bottom, a Jack Kerouac inspired long scroll of virtual paper on a slow march through a typewriter of some unknown manufacture3.
Alas, poor Yorick4, that is not to be.
Instead, I shall endeavor to write posts, on occasion, and do what I wish and say very little and in the end an outlet of sorts I shall find.
P.s. Lets hope my flowery language, crap as it may be, disappears in due course.
this is really more along the lines of the fairy tale, where moralistic and scare the shit out of your kid was the raison d'être for the kinds of myths and legends and stories that illustrated what would happen if you, as a child, didn’t listen. Though, to be clear, this doesn’t include Little Red Ridinghood. ↩
one is reminded of the advice to let the freak flag fly, the source of which currently eludes me. Though sources of things are like that, especially when they exist in the realms of pop culture and sitcom television. Also allowing for the possibility that it was a movie, as in The Family Stone, specifically, and is meant to encourage one of my least favorite actresses character personas to be herself … oh, and to also pull the long stick out from which it was shoved. ↩
I’m more than confident finding this information, even for one with limited google-fu, would be relatively quick and painless. ↩
Hamlet Act 5 Scene 1, credited to William Shakespeare. I’m not an anti-Shakespeare person, I just like the idea that in the 16th century someone was embarrassed to be associated with Shakespeares plays. ↩