Category Archives: Observations

The Gun Question

I have stated in the past here that I support the second amendment.  I wanted to make sure that this is clear at the beginning.

When I was young, before I started high school there was this thing called a seriel killer.  These were people like Bundy, Gacey and Manson.  They were a new phenomena,  This isn’t to say that this type of thing hadn’t happened in the passed.  It was just that it was so rare as to not be significant.  In the late 60s and early 70s it became significant.  It was a trend.  I suppose there are always predators in our midst.

It seems to me, I have no sources to quote here, that this type of crime began to fall off sometime in the 90s.  I always thought that the Vietnam war had something to do with it and it just took that long for the curse to work its way out.  That war was a war of aggression.  It was about control.  It was ugly and our military was largely conscript.  Of course that could be utter bullshit.  It just as easily could have been due to the presence of lead in the atmosphere.  You know, from leaded gasoline.

All of this is simply prelude.

Over the last two decades there has been a rise in this thing people and the media call Mass Shootings.  Again these acts happened before.  Back in the 80s it was called going postal.  These early shootings most often happened at work places.  Not that schools or churches were exempt.  They were just less common.  There were explanations at the time as to the whys of the event.  They were highly individualized.  It was unusual to hear the term disgruntled employee.  These crimes seemed to be rage related.  A final straw that broke the camels back incident.  I haven’t really researched this so I might be very wrong and or terribly biased.  For simplicity’s sake lets just say that these mass shootings were not only rarer but also different in nature.  This doesn’t excuse the incidents.  We are talking about degrees.  I am also letting you know that I have lived here in our fair country for some time.  I have memory, as faulty as it may be.

This trend in mass shootings over the last two decades though is different.  It seems to be hyper predatory.  Serial criminals were predatory too but their crimes were committed in private.  Their targets were vulnerable individuals like the elderly, those that lived alone, prostitutes, the inexperienced youth.  These were often the kind of individuals that would not be missed.  These new events that the media calls Mass Shootings are more like a spectacle.  Their target looks to be more often than not crowds.  These things are real attention grabbers.  Even those on the internet can’t help but to talk about them.  The targets are often schools, places of worships, night clubs, concerts and other public places where crowds gather.  They seemed to be designed to create panic during the incident and gather the most attention.  They look as if they are designed to cause the greatest possible fear among the citizenry and the media appears to amplify this effect.  The news coverage often describes so political motive or ascribes some type of mental health history.  That allows for the label of terrorism which may be true but I don’t understand it as such.  What effect are these killings hoping to achieve?

There would be a tendency for one at this point to drift into some Conspiracy Theory.  This is understandable as the crimes described are so hard to understand.

Some of these Mass Shootings are so frightening and disturbing to the public that the government must weigh in on them.  Some declare that there is need for more and stricter gun control.  Others insist that there is need for more funding to mental health services.  There is some arguing over which is more important, just enough arguing until some distraction comes along and the disaster disappears from the public consciousness until it happens again.  It seems as if this phenomena is beginning to be accepted as normal which I believe is what is referred to as normalization.  This is not to say that nothing has been done as some states have passed red flag laws.  Still this is nothing more than the treatment of a symptom.

I wonder about the Federal Government sometimes.  It seems to me that as a group, in the most general sense they are most afraid to do anything that would upset the domestic status quo.  That they want to do as little as possible other than cut taxes and increase military spending.  It feels as though their livelihood depends on doing as little as possible.  That actually following through on any statement about possible solutions to this problem might cost them in the next election.

I personally feel that both mental health and simply supplying enough cash to enforce all ready existing gun control regulations would be a good start.  These though only treat the symptoms.  I honestly think that we have not dealt with the cause.  There is this term, Gun Culture.  I don’t understand what it means.  I don’t know anyone that worships guns.  I haven’t heard of any gun holidays or parties you have to bring a gun to.   But the in film criticism there is the term Male Gaze.  That took me two years in which to gain some understanding.  Academics and the academically minded tend to speak in a code that leaves the rest of us out of the conversation.  It could be just a way of stating that we Americans are violent.  It could be that all people are violent by nature.

I don’t know.  Are we Americans violent?

Do we have the right to kill other people and if we as a group don’t have this right do some of us under certain circumstances have that right?  Well. women have the right to choose, at least in most states.  Is terminating a pregnancy violent?  I think in the simplest of terms it is taking a human life.  There fore I think it is violent.  I support a woman’s right to choose but I can also admit that it is a violent act.

What about the death penalty?  Is that violent?  We can say that our death penalty is humane but that does not change the fact that it is a premeditated act of killing or murder.  We can agree murder is violent whether you support the death penalty or not.  I generally don’t support the death penalty but I also don”t actively work against it.  It is like I said with a woman’s right to choose, just because we agree with a policy we should still be able to be honest with ourselves.

Police related shootings are obviously not premeditated but they are violent.  I have felt for some time that the internet has been amplifying the number of police related killings.  That the reality is that they haven’t actually been increasing as a percentage of population.  I don’t know this.  I haven’t done the research.  It is just a feeling.  There is a problem with this feeling though.  The idea that the rate of police related homicides hasn’t increased.  That we simply didn’t know or if we did we didn’t care is alarming.

I think that it is safe to say that our military possesses the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction of any group or nation on God’s little green earth.  This fact is a statement about the intent to do something very violent.  Does that massive ever present arsenal create some unknown complex in our national sub conscious?

When we look at our governments foreign policy it is hard not to notice that we (in the national sense) tend to support groups and nations that are engaged in violent activity.  We ourselves, as recent history has shown, willfully engage in the use of military force to achieve our policy goals.  As I have said previously, the individual is free to take what ever position they feel strongest about, this is something like a democracy after all.  It appears to me that the state can easily engage in violence as it sees fit.

This is not the results of some scientific study.  This is just how things look from where I sit.  It is simply a statement of what appears to be obvious to me.  That we are a violent people.  Maybe all humans are violent but I have never lived any where else.  We can have a long conversation about how we got here, to this place.   We can look at the custom of the open hand whether it is over head, at the side or waving a greeting or farewell.  We even offer an open hand in friendship with a hand shake.  These motions, I have heard it said, are a sign that a person is not armed.  That they are vulnerable.  A handshake is an indication that both are unarmed and vulnerable.  I have always heard that this tradition comes from Europe but I can’t say that I know that to be so.  Simply put it is a tradition in my country, America.  The idea that there would be a need for such a thing indicates a wild and violent nature that is in the very least we subconsciously acknowledge.

Whether this violence is part of the nature we were born with or is a thing we have learned or even some combination of the two.  This though doesn’t matter for the point I am trying to make.  People, individuals, are complex beings.  The vast majority of our own minds are unknown to us.  There are impulses and influences that contribute to how we think and how we perceive the world and our role in it.  We often obscure the darker less pleasant aspects of our own self, our own motives.  In essence we lie to ourselves.  Sophisticated people can use this mental habit against us and mislead us.  This is rarely for our own benefit.

If we believe that we are the bestest, the brightest and the most free people, nation, group of individuals but we are not willing to look at the monster that lies with in then we are unaware.  We create monsters out of the others, those that are not ours who are otherwise just like us.  We build enemies out of rage and paper or stand in fear of shadows with gun in hand.  Being moral, even if it is just one moral is hard.  There is risk in such behavior.  Being moral means having less, less money, less food, less medical care, less security and less recognition.  It is a quiet thing.

In the very least, if we cannot admit that we are a violent people.  That this violence sometimes makes up our minds for us, decides our course of action, then maybe we aren’t grown up enough to own fire arms of any kind.

I find this conclusion uncomfortable as I have supported the second amendment my whole life.  I still support it, if we are adult enough to have the right.

I don’t know.  It just a thought.

Have a better than average day.

Does Justified Equal Moral?

Objective and Subjective are such strange phenomena.  They seem so simple, separate and obvious.  I vaguely remember when I started to become aware of the the way the two very different realms of reality began to bleed together and obfuscate each other.  It was a slow process and it had an element that I could only call seductive.  I think I was largely lucky and nothing more than that because I caught it before it caught me.

I began to have strange experiences when I was 13 years old.  I freshman was  high school when I started to see my first occasional shadows.  They came at times of severe stress generally when my family was having some kind of a problem.  Mom and Dad were going through a bad time in they’re relationship and they were fighting once or twice a week, sometimes more often.  I cannot ever remember these times resulting in violence b ut I do recall sitting in the shadows at the top of the front stairs to the second floor listening.  I rarely slept as it was.  These shadows started to appear late at night in my bedroom on the walls or ceiling.  They didn’t have any particular form although my mind was capable of seeing some kind of a shape.  The experience was intense, I was alone at night when it happened and it was frightening at first.  I told no one about these things.  Over time gear changed to curious and then finally I felt a strong urge to protect myself.

I was raised catholic and I remember praying to God for help, but God did not answer.  This caused my stress to increase.  I had been reading my school assignments.  I read some political books my mother had given me, books I still have and Pulp Fiction for leisure.  Feeling abandoned by God, the increased stress and the intense sense that I was under some sort of spiritual attack I decided to meditate.  In these meditations I went inward and started to listen to my own thoughts.  I also learned to feel and relax my body.  If I focused on anything it was to try astral projection but that never happened.  There was a part of me that truly believed that this was a spiritual phenomena and I still think it is easy to see why.  At the same time that another part of me thought that it had to be something else, something with a scientific explanation.  The spiritual aspect was extremely seductive.  It felt good to think their might be something extraordinary about me.  That’s the seduction and if it was true I wanted to understand it from what I took to be an objective point of view.  Thus my reading changed.  I started reading out side of school nonfiction, psychology, philosophy, physics, biology, mysticism and the occult.

I still kept this a secret but when I asked my Mother to find something for me, on any particular topic she would get it for me.  She was an RN but she had close friends that worked at NASA.  I didn’t ask often, which I regret now and I never told her why.  I think she knew something was going on but she didn’t ever press it.  I didn’t talk to my father or ask him for books and such because at the time he didn’t strike me as the type, a thing I also regret now the he too has passed.  At the time it struck me as the kind of thing one didn’t bring up in casual conversation.  I felt there might have been negative consequences.  IN retrospect I realize that this was an assumption.  It is true that ridicule was likely but not guaranteed.  It was at the age of fourteen that I first read General Relativity: A theory any man can Understand. I remember thinking that Einstein must have had a strange idea about what any man was, but I did take something away from the effort.  The World you live in is dependent on your perspective, your frame of reference.  The way the world looks, how it feels and smells is all dependent on your inner world.  Its more than attitude.  I fully realized that this wasn’t what Einstein meant by “frames of reference in motion.”  That’s just what I took from it.  Correct or incorrect it didn’t matter as the experiences began to fade and I became more relaxed.  By the time I graduated High School I only had memories of the original experiences left and you all know how funky memory can be.

My Mother always regretted that she didn’t try for medical school.  I remember her saying that she didn’t think it was possible as no one told her she could.  So she made sure to tell all three of us that we could do anything we wanted to do.  I feel to this day that she really believed that and so did I.  Its in this way that the pendulum swings from far on one side to way far on the other side.  Otherwise I was woefully unprepared for college.  I made the mistake of thinking it was just an extension of High School.  I also chose a hard science major, Physics and Chemistry.  My private readings had shifted more towards history and the Occult.  I had taken an interest in perception, with the physical senses.  I was taking psychology on the side because I was interested in it and was unaware of the fact that it wouldn’t count for any of my electives.  Like I said, unprepared.  That was the first blow to my world view.  How can Science be objective if the very tools we use to observe, our senses, are subjective in nature.  Nobody likes to hear that and sometime they get really offended when I bring it up in causal conversation.  I’ve been yelled at about it rather than given a constructive counter argument.  I must have struck a nerve.  I know I found it unsettling.

I started my collegiate journey at the local community college.  That was where I encountered the notion that we are only front of the mend aware of about 1% of all the information our Brain (?) processes.  Discomfort changed to fascination and curiosity, you know, the thing that killed the cat.  College was a more open environment.  There was always some one talking about the stranger things.  While I was at the community college I listened more than I spoke.  I tend to be more or less silent in new places until I get comfortable.  There was topics like Mysticism, the Occult and various subjects from the worlds of New Age and Paganism.  This would continue at main campus when I made the transition.  There I had a broader circle of friends, some old many new.  It was there that the shadows returned.  Maybe it was a stress reaction as the subject matter I was studying had increased in pace and difficulty.  It might have been that I was over complicating the whole mess.  It also could have been that I was undermining my subject matter subconsciously while I was trying to master it.  I can’t really say for sure.  The shadows though no longer inhabited the night, they now came out in the light, in crowds and in small groups.  I began to watch the people around me as these odd shadows crept across the floor.  I wanted to see if any of them noticed.  None of them ever seemed to or if they did they in now way acknowledged it, I though of it sort of like living right next to train tracks.  The first few days you can’t help but notice the trains as the pass, rattling the apartment and waking you in the middle of the night.  But in a short time you no longer notice.  I thought this might be the thing with the shadows.  Of course there was always the possibility it was some sort of mean trick or twisted practical joke.  There is danger in these types of thoughts, I understand it now but at the time it was truly a mystery. The shadows looked so real and I couldn’t figure out how they were being cast.

I was sleeping less and meditating more.  My mind was getting noising and fucking with me, causing me to react in ways I didn’t understand and didn’t like.  I felt I had to get on top of this thing before it got on top of me.  So the meditations became about quieting my mind.  I was looking for something Carlos Castaneda called internal dialog.  The mind talks to itself it seems, not that unusual of a concept I thought.  I found myself in a small experimental group.  I was gently nagged into it.  We started with the Ouija Board and moved on to ghost hunting and other stuff.  I was the baby sitter, for the most part, watching to be sure things didn’t to far out of hand.  Emotions and moods can run high and become unpredictable in these types of circumstances.  A lot of baffling, weird and frightening stuff happened.  Now I wonder if I unwitting contributed to it.   Shadows became things, demons mostly.  I started hearing things.  Voices and clear words.  There was no murmuring and whispering to start, just voices, some familiar, some not, almost all of them unpleasant.  One might say the the occult experimental group and the change in the visions and the appearance of voices are some how connected.  I can understand that.  There was something about these visions though that was different, they had a two dimensional quality like a movie.  That didn’t change the way my body reacted to them.  The same physiological sensations as if one is surprised or about to be attacked or even shot at.

The things about running head long into one’s limitations is that the experience is most profound when the individual doesn’t believe thy have any limitations.  The experience can be crippling.  Needless to say college and I filed for divorce.  The hallucinations and voices only became louder and more present.   Even people I knew, except for two, would change, growing horns or taking on a demonic visage.  I would begin to worry that I had said or done the wrong thing and upset people.  I did seek treatment.

People tend to project onto other people their own experience, their own frame of reference of world view.  I became aware of this by accident, I guess.  Along with the increased psychotic symptoms there was also a growing, burning rage.  I was keenly aware that I might hurt some one and I didn’t want to do that.  It was becoming very difficult to baffle that surge of energy.  Part of me felt that the person about to take the brunt of it deserved it, they had it coming.  My mind had constructed the argument all based on several assumptions about their motives and their moral inclination, whether they were good or bad.  It was my realization that these assumptions might be wrong, they were assumptions after all, beliefs shouldn’t be confused with facts.  That baffled the rage and gave me the time to deal with it.  I still paid a price, high blood pressure.

It is uncomfortable, but true.  We all drink the Kool Aide.  Often we don’t even know its Kool Aide and can’t discern who’s is filling our cup.  That is the nature of the drink.  IN a time with the reemergence or various ists and isms, though the on fringes it is good to be aware of the certainty that comes with that cup of Kool Aide.  Humanity suffers from a terrible form of moral relativism.  We understand that a action is immoral, such as beating some one or killing them.  We all get this.  Yet that damn Kool Aide helps to create an illusion of some great threat, a threat that must be confronted violently.  This logic often has an appeal to vanity and fear.  Once the point of view sets up like concrete then the actor is justified.  If an opponent used the same tactic then its is simply more proof of their villainy.  Dynamics like this have a way of becoming self perpetuating.

There was a time when I believed that if everyone would just settle down and try and talk to each other that this friction could be eliminated.  I was young and Idealistic.  Through dealing with the hallucinations I realized that some things or people will simply resort to violence.  There will be no discourse.  It is impossible for me to tell who will be and who will not.  I am at an impasse.  What to do in such a situation?  Resist Violence with violence and risk becoming that which you fight.  React peaceably and passively and run the risk of being crushed under foot.  It will either be just a short period of a few years Nothing at all.  or the beginning  in a shift in the moods of populations everywhere.

When I called out to the divine in my youth I felt I got no answer, He or she, didn’t come, didn’t appear in my heart.  I had always assumed that I had been abandoned.  Maybe I have.  Or, Maybe the Divine came to my aid.  Just not in a way that I could see or feel.  I don’t know how I managed to navigate all that.   We human’s so desperately crave objective validation.  If it was just luck I think I’ve blown probabilities out the window, not that my thoughts on the subject matter all that much.

In the end its simple faith, not in a book, or a place or a gender.  The Divine is alien to us.  I don’t know how it works,  I don’t know what it is.  It simply is.  I try to listen for the sound of it.  I make the effort to treat each person as an unknown until I know them.  Respect is nothing more than simple manners.  It is not torture, it doesn’t take extra effort.  You just have to slow down and try and see clear and straight.  So if you feel the current begin to drag you in a new direction remember to taste the Kool aide before you drink  We may not be able to change the world but we can change the way we interact with it.

If you got all the way to here, I thank you and hope that it wasn’t too difficult of a read.

Have a better than average day.

Able to Reason or Reasonable?

Civilized is a term that is often used to describe a people or nation.  There are terms used that reflect on these notions of civilization such as deplorables.  It is hard for an outsider such as myself not to notice what human beings are capable of and what they have accomplished.  We have built a world, the world of people.  This world of people lies inside a greater natural world.  The human world is so vast, at least from my seat, that its takes us a great deal of effort and a great distance of travel to finally find these human free natural spaces.  I much enjoy those natural spaces and I have found after spending some time, usually week to weeks, that when I find my way back to the human world I see and feel the technical comforts with new eyes and new hands.  It is strange how I have to be away for a time to truly appreciate the wonders civilized humans have created.

If we take a moment and think about it there is only amazement at what has been accomplished.  The Stone canyons of the great cities, mass transportation by rail or wheel on time most of the time.  The machine coughs up currency when you ask for it, as long as you have enough available in your account.  Flip a switch and on comes a light.  Hot water is delivered to your sink or shower by some invisible entity.  Busy people heading about their day all running on the same clock.

Amazing.

We can fix on the negative and the crumbling and lose sight of the wonders around us.  The mind is a powerful and strange thing.  Obviously these wonders were accomplished by planners, bosses and laborers, various skills in specialized sets.  The educated have a tendency to undervalue skilled labor, I know I used to do it.  Now I simply marvel at the skill with either numbers or trowel and hammer and wonder where all such knowledge came from.  I hold the strange opinion that all this skill and knowledge has been generated by people.  As I said the mind is an amazing thing.

Logic or the ability to think rationally is one of those things our minds allow us to do.  People can rationalize about any situation, It can be a coping mechanism or a tool for destruction.  I watch some dark documentaries on You Tube from crimes like serial rape or murder to coverage of this or that war along with news,  Lots of people hurt or grieving visibly over the loss of the loved one(s) in very much the same way.  Whether by a mass shooter, a serial killer, a 2000 pound block bluster or a hellfire missile.   I am left wondering how these victims would react to each other even across national lines.

Are we still capable of seeing each other as people.

sometimes I think we do, that’s why so few of us can look over the pond at the horrors great countries are inflicting on the world.  That we avoid staring unblinking at the pain an suffering in the world.  What can one person with little means do anyway?

I’ve come to this conclusion:  The Actor (any given individual) is always justified in their own mind for any Action they (any given individual) are about to undertake.  This is called rationalization.  There is a logic to it even though it may be inscrutable to an outsider.  I came to this conclusion when thinking about serial killers, captains of industry and leaders of nations.  When I strip away the position, the authority an look at the act itself, the level of premeditation, the tools used, the people affected and the penalty, if any.  I find my self at an impasse.  Obviously some people can kill massive numbers with out any real consequence.  How can this be?  All I can figure is how the individual and the people around them think about the act, the whys and wherefores.

IN other words how they rationalize it .  As earlier stated.

The Actor is always justified in their own mind about the action they are going to undertake.

When I was younger it was easier to think about these things and make a judgement.  Over time the net of judgment widened and then became tangled.  My Grandfather was right.  The older I get the more I realize how little I actually know.  Everything comes into question.  I am riddled with doubt and aware that I have so few facts.

So what is there that I can do?

I do one simple thing.  I try and practice mental hygiene and use care to keep the way I think anchored and try and stay aware of the people in the world around me.  Stay conscious of the consequences.  I often find this exhausting.  But is is necessary because I have been close to a terrible action in the past.  That time I was doubly lucky as no one got hurt and I didn’t get locked up.  I don’t want that situation to arise in my mind again.

This process can be exhausting.

I have a reason for writing this thing but it slipped away about a quarter of the way through the process.  Win some lose some, I guess.  I hope this is of some use and if not…

have a better thsn average day anyway.

Mother and Materialism

Every cloud has a silver lining, they say.  My mother passed a few months after my 24th birthday and I think that I have finally sound something of a silver lining.  My Mother didn’t live long enough so that I could truly be a disappointment to her.  That sounds petty dark.  I think I had disappointed her quite a bit while she was alive, the operative word being think.  Judgements about this or that will fly through various minds at such a statement but there it is, I wrote it.

The thing is, though, that I am only going on her expression as I can’t recall her ever actually saying such a thing to me.  Other’s may have said it but in the strictest of terms that is simply hearsay.  It is a strange thing to rethink and reflect on judgements we believe were made about us for which we have no proof and the weight they carry.  I stopped wishing I could call her and ask her many years ago because I saw no use to it.  IN the best terms it was somewhat masochistic.  It is just a thing that I will never know and I have come to peace with that.  One thing though that I do remember about Mom was her love of numbers.  I don’t mean Math, I mean numbers.  If you could put a number to it then it had to be true.  A strange conclusion for a woman who avoided doing math.

I wonder what she would think about Scientific Materialism and Genetic Determinism?

Maybe it is just the programing on YouTube that I watch or the occasional website I visit but I have been beginning to get the impression of how quickly science, theory, practice and imaging has been progressing.  The idea that our decisions are made deep in our subconscious quite sometime before we are actually conscious of making the choice.  Fantastic.  The understanding of brain physiology and mechanics has gotten to the point where some think that a new form of flawless lie detector is on the verge of beginning created.  Amazing.

The idea of materialism in this sense is the notion that self awareness is an illusion and I can’t say that it is not.  I can barely understand the concept but then  it is an illusion that might make a master illusionist jealous.  As wacky as this will sound this is how I understand this illusion we call consciousness:

Bundles or groups of neurons cluster about memories with some type of causal connection.  This causality isn’t as defined in the sense of the physical sciences for in the mind even an imagined causality is real.  These memory clusters are emotionally weighted, there are many emotions and many degrees of weights.  The driving force is much like a random numbers generator mixed in with electrochemistry (neural transmitters) and buffers (salts in solution).  This provides the energy to the system and scattered all about are logic gates, any one familiar with electronics or even set theory will get this.  So two hemispheres at relative odds with each other both chock full of clusters of memories causally related emotionally weighted, random number generators splashing out a jolt of electric here or there and when a key tipping point is reached the logic gates are employed and TA-DA! Art, Music, political discourse or even violence and of course science.

As silly as this may seem to some there may very well be some truth to it and this truth has to be considered.

It is those damn numbers after all, even the mathematically illiterate put considerable stock in them.  It is one of those acts, strictly on faith that boarders on religious.  Religious as in to repeat on habit, without true understanding.

It could be a wonderful thing in a way.  In the past we killed each other because we belonged to different tribes, different religions, different kingdoms, empires, nations, political ideology, economic ideology, skin color, governmental system or even because the people at the bottom wanted to organize for their own benefit.

Since we are all the same, mindless soulless blobs of polymers none more or less human than the other than all that violence should be coming to an end, maybe even in my lifetime, shouldn’t it?

In all of our scientific excitement and social hubris I can see an old well trodden road clearly before us.  There are other paths but this road is familiar, it feels right and we all know where it leads.  Its course has changed some, there has been recent rerouting and resurfacing and it calls to us.  After all, if all we are is genes and polymers and a few inorganic compounds how bad would it be, I mean on the moral scale, to eliminate those undesirable genes?

Death camps, right?  That isn’t what I am talking about.  I’m talking about snipping here and sticking together there and for those of us who can’t adapt, you know make a nuisance of ourselves then there is medication and for the truly non-rehabilitateable there is prison or maybe a nice island somewhere after they have been properly sterilized.  This is no where near as brutal as past occurrences.  After all it is for the betterment of the human species.  Maybe this is true, maybe it is for a higher quality future so long as we don’t snip away the parts that make us human.  What are those things anyway, those things that make us human?

The issue isn’t intent or motive.  The issue is people, people in power.  IN this case scientific power, the belief that if something runs a foul it can be fixed or simply closing their eyes because they have bills to pay too.  These are the words to watch out for, “You have to trust me, I’m a professional.”  I only had to hear that phrase three times before I stopped asking questions.  Do we really have any choice anyway?

I haven’t made up my mind on the thing.  I don’t really know what to think about it and I am not trying to tell you that you should care one way or the other.  If you want a smoke then smoke, if you want to go to a protest and organize then do so, if you want to game what are you waiting for, other than theft and murder if it feels go to you do it, consenting adults of course.  Whatever it is you choose to do all I ask is that you keep your eyes open and watch your feet.  Otherwise the walk can turn into a climb and before you know it you will be at the very top of a tree from which you can not easily climb down, then your only choice will be to jump.

I don’t know if my mother ever thought something as innocent as an IQ test could lead to something like this.

Just sayin’

 

On Such Stuff that Rattles around between My Ears

I was wandering through my thoughts the other day, reflecting on vague recollections of a book I read many years ago titled who owns what’s in your head, or something a kin to that.  Ownership of a thing I understand but the contents in my head or yours for that matter, are those such things some how the same as a house or a car?

After all, how do you fit a car inside your head?

A thought certainly is the same as a car but does a thought take up space?  What about a novel?  A novel certainly takes up space when it is finished even if it exists in digital form but where does all of that come from?  Does it take up space when it is nothing more than a compilation of thoughts.  Can such a thing be measured?  IQ aside, I mean what does IQ really mean other than a basic measure for an individual abilities to deal with mathematics, language and complex problems (logic), where did the idea of IQ come from?

I look around the studio where I am writing this and I honestly can’t figure out how I perceive it the way that it is.  The space I am observing is much larger than the space my head takes up so is nothing more than a mental trick, some type of an illusion?  I find my self again confronted by Aquinas concept of the Phantasm.  For all I know he borrowed the concept from the Greeks by way of Islam and maybe the Greeks borrowed the idea from the Egyptians, I lack any really understanding of the history of the idea.  Who am  I to judge any way?

Are these carried thoughts in our head along with feelings and creative urges just genetic cargo.  The result of our genes functioning and really nonexistent in the end, that Picasso or Kandinsky is just an illusion and nothing more than a genetic exercise.  When ever I consider Genetic Determinism this is one of the Walls I run into to.  How much of our existence is determined by our genes.  Is our every single creative moment, our thoughts and our feelings all contained in our genes at birth and exercises like this nothing more than genes mindlessly interacting with the environment.  All other things are simply an illusion?

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to answer the question.  Though I don’t think that is a bad thing.  Everyone needs a little wonder in their life.  This keeps existence from become grey and maudlin.

At any Rate have a better than average day.

 

A Sidebar on freedom of Speech

First I feel the\ need to say that I support the second amendment.

That being said, I have a question to ask.  That question is what constitutes Hate speech?

You can define it how ever you like, it makes no difference to me.

So if we as American’s suppress any from of speech because it is hateful what purpose does that serve?

Does it simply serve the elimination of speech that makes us uncomfortable, that feels threatening?

So this is a move to eliminate speech that we, whom ever we maybe, from feeling discomfort from the speaker.

This is censure ship.

Okay

I can deal with that but I have a question, what is the purpose of this action?

If it is to eliminate hate I fear that it will fail.

what THIS DOES IS FORCE HATE INTO PRIVATE GATHERINGS WHERE IT FESTERS, IT IS NOT allowed to be discussed in public where the every day CITIZEN can HAVE A CHANCE TO HEAR THE ARGUMENT AND DECIDE. It allows evil to fester under the skin where only the privileged have the opportunity to speak and there is were the real violent danger lies.

Have a better than average day.

Now just One Minute

I remember, when I was a bit younger, hearing that the life of a butterfly, once freed from the prison of its cocoon, lived for only a day.  I’m not sure how true that is as the Monarch Butterfly lives for six months, if memory serves.  Even if it is rarely true it is still an interesting fact.  I always wondered if that single day of life felt like a single day to the flutterby?  Does it feel as short as it sounds?

When I was about the age of 10 years I was struck by a strange near fatal illness.  I have always been under the impression that it was diphtheria, but I don’t know that as fact.  When I think about the butterfly flutteringby for its single day I wonder how long that passing day seems to the little critter.   I wonder if the butterfly can even conceive of the notion of time much less one as complicated as ours.  I wonder what it would be like for a lifetime to be such that the first half occurred in the light and the second half in the dark.  There is a point to this, I think.

We humans are quite curious in the way we understand our world.  Appointments, work schedules, bank accounts, credit cards, maps and countries are just a few numbers we use in almost every moment of our existence.  Nations, distance between cities and the diameter of our little planet and even the date of our birth and death are other numbers we use often.  Complicated ideas like force and velocity are also based on these strange numbers.  Weight, which is the effect of gravity on mass, length, height and time allow us as intelligent beings to develop an understanding of our reality.  These things, weight, length, time are metrics or units of measure are created by we humans and we accept them for the sake of simplicity.  They do not exist on their own in nature, there is a tree that grows yard sticks, meters, kilogram measures or seconds.  In my experience that is where the weirdness begins.

I don’t feel the passage of time naturally.  A clock does it for me but with out one I have no sense of time what so ever, unless I am smoking, tobacco.  Yes, I know it is bad for me.  Its been like that since my breakdown.  Maybe it was different in the respect of feeling times passage pre-breakdown but I have no point of reference, after all it was a long time ago.

I know this sounds crazy.

Really it came home to me after my fathers passing, when the ancient photos of a life so foreign to me came  back out into the world.  I knew the people in the photographs and yet I didn’t know them.  They were like a glimpse into a world that never existed even though I was pretty sure they had.

Over these many years with my strange occasional bouts of melancholy as though something had been lost, a thing that could never be regained, I found myself wondering as to the very nature of that thing.  After The old man’s death, when I became the old man, that sense had become exquisite ad sweet like some exotic food or strained alien mental sensation.

I wondered if I too was dead.

Would I know if I were?

Have my last many years of life been like that of the butterfly, just a day or a few hours as death was in the process of taking me?  I don’t think I would know the difference.  We have such definite ideas about the world but all of them are based on the measurement of our perceptions.

I find my self perplexed by the idea that these many years may be nothing more than phantasms of my dying brain.  My wife and friends and all these efforts to express my thoughts and even my brothers all figments of a sequence of neurons firing in those last few minutes while I lay in a hospital at the age of ten dying.

Does any of this really matter?

I think not.

Look for your Muse.  Only she can be your guide.