The Free Men and Women

Sometimes naked,

Sometimes mad,

Now the scholar,

Now the fool,

Thus they appear on Earth,

The free men.

— Attributed to a Hindu verse from Avadhoota Gita (though I am unable to verify this).

The Cosmos is a Multiverse that is an N-Dimensional Tessellating Fractal Mirror of Itself – Or – Get Over It

Bronze statue of Giordano Bruno by Ettore Ferrari , Campo de’ Fiori, Rome -Wikipedia

Get over it. The world you thought was real is a total sham. Most of what you see is a tiny fraction of what is there. Even worse, you repress your own basic needs as well as your own potentially boundless creativity, understanding, and desires at the behest of community, commercial, economic, religious, societal, and/or state institutions rather than to make the life of your fellow man better. That doesn’t even count the actual oppression, which usually doesn’t need to occur because we’re so darn good at being repressed!

The reality is that the entirety of the universe much less our planet and even our society are still beyond our scope of understanding by a factor of 10 to 100 or more than we naturally assume after watching a TV program explaining scientific facts, reading a book by a leading author on a subject, taking a class, or even getting a major with a teacher at the top of their field. Once you get to the end of the line on a journey of known scientific thinking you can suddenly peer out over the edge and notice what a flimsy little raft of understanding we are standing on.

We’re trying to imagine moving beyond our solar system, which is great, and I encourage this; but we barely have the first clue as to how the deepest bottoms of our own oceans work yet. That does seem like it should be of equal priority, and sadly, it basically is. They are both of little or no priority. It’s a good thing corporate America is here! They’ll pillage any landscape no matter how pristine in search of the almighty dollar. Who knows, there could be oil down there. Wouldn’t that make some money? By all means lets accelerate this environmental catastrophe by allowing the pursuit of tangible things attached to intangible ideas like money for other intangible ideas like power!

Well, let’s not ruminate too deeply on how completely upside down the world is. How about instead we just start being a bit more critical. Yeah, same old thing, same old application. Ask more questions. Doubt more often. Stop overlooking things and try underlooking them. Maybe slide past things in an especially cool looking matrix-like manner occasionally, you know, just for a goof. Life can still be fun, even when you’re fighting the greatest attacks on personal freedoms since the end of feudalism!

So, on to the good stuff. I propose a new law.

The Law of the Unknown:
Most of what there is to know is yet to be discovered.

  • This law will enforce humbleness upon science – something it has yet to learn.
  • This law will be a challenge to defeat – how do you disprove something that we haven’t proved exists yet – a limit to what we can know.
  • This law will encourage us to think of new questions rather than always merely questioning old questions.

Of course, we should still remember to question the answers to old questions too, as well as the old questions themselves – that’s just fun anyway isn’t it. Yeah I know, I’m weird. ^^

All I’m essentially saying is what Giordano Bruno said, but I’m trying to extend it to all gods, science as a belief system, the state as a god/belief, capitalism as a belief/worldview, democracy as a belief/worldview, etc, ad nauseum is simply this: “Your God is too small.”

Spontaneous parametric down-conversion process can split photons into type II photon pairs with mutually perpendicular polarization. -Wikipedia

Aw what the hell, I’ll go ahead and fill in some blanks. Your ‘Physics’ is too small. Your ‘Biology’ is too small. Your ‘Chemistry’ is too small. Your ‘Quantum Physics’ is too small. Your ‘Equality’ is too small. Your ‘Capitalism’ is too small. Your ‘Democracy’ is too small. Your ‘Communism’ is too small. Your ‘Socialism’ is too small. Your ‘Economic Model’ is too small. Your ‘Liberty’ is too small. Your ‘Social Model’ is too small. Your ‘Knowledge’ is too small. Your ‘Morality’ is too small. Your ‘Universe’ is too small. Maybe even your love is too small.

Your ‘Ego’ is too big. It’s OK. Mine is too. Well hell, honestly, how do I know that all of this of mine isn’t actually all too small for any of you? I don’t. I’m sure it is for some if not all. That relieves me. It seems like not enough people are growing. Society is certainly trying to keep us as as small as possible isn’t it? I thought I’d better get it out there before the thought police come along. I’m off to frolic for a bit.

P.S. Yes I just watched Cosmos.
P.P.S. I just like writing P.P.S.
P.P.P.S. I don’t believe in scientific laws.

G. K. Chesterton on Conservatives and Progressives

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”
-G. K. Chesterton

Shell Hates the Arctic

Someone tried to link this to me today. It was pulled before I could watch it – within 30 minutes – so I found another copy and am posting it here for you all.

The proof is in the pudding. If they’d any common sense they would have let them stay up and they could have tried to take credit. That guy just proved what asshats they are. Down with Shell Oil!

What is Love?

What is love?

It isn’t something that has limits,

Distance doesn’t affect love,

Time doesn’t affect love,

It is patient,

It is persistent,

It isn’t control,

It is freedom with security,

It can’t be destroyed,

But it can be created,

It is just a connection,

It may have already existed,

It may be a new connection,

It doesn’t cost anything,

It isn’t heavy,

It lifts you up,

It doesn’t take,

It just gives,

It doesn’t take up space,

It just fills space,

With music,

Resonance,

Vibrations,

Like the ones in your heart,

It is the music of the universe,

That’s all the universe is,

That is why I have enough love for everyone,

Love is free,

And I make it out of nothing.

_ . . .. … ….. ……..

P.S. Thanks to Arbor T Elf for his additions/help/guidance.

Police Officer Candidate Denied Job Due to High IQ

This is but one face of what acceptable bigotry looks like in the United States: you can discriminate against a person for having too high of an IQ and deny them a job as a police officer. It’s law as of 2000 in Connecticut at least. I wonder if it is a more widespread practice now?

IQ Chart: http://www.realfarmacy.com/man-denied-job-as-police-officer-due-to-above-average-iq/#!prettyPhoto

IQ Chart, courtesy: http://www.realfarmacy.com

This is bigotry against intelligence. I thought our country was all about equality of opportunity (not equality of outcome as those with money like to remind us – in our capitalist society) and didn’t practice bigotry in law? Oh wait, that’s right, we’re still practicing bigotry against homosexual couples.

What reason could they have beyond not wanting officers to not get bored and quit? Smarter officers would make better decisions right? Do we not want our officers to make better decisions? No, that’s just crazy talk. You’re all going to hell for reading this. Hell I tell you! Be afraid! Buy more! Be happy!

Yep, that’s right, this is a story about Robert Jordan, the man who’s too smart to be a cop. His IQ of 125 is too high.

Read about it from an ‘original source’ here:
Court OKs Barring High IQ Cops
P.S. Look at the date on this article: 2000 CE. That’s Current Era for all of you AD lovin folks.

Or here:
Connecticut Police Department Says Applicant is ‘Too Smart’ to be a Cop

Reason.com tried to bring it back recently:
Court OKs Barring Smart People From Becoming Cops (Really)

Beauty is Greater than Words: Electoral Politics

It is interesting to me that during Obama’s first (2008) election I voted for him, even while explaining to people how it would change little if anything. After his first election I paid attention the whole time to his administration, and I tried to call the administration out on all the points at which he had betrayed his constituency when and where I could, appropriateness being the tantamount concern of course.

The next election (2012) I voted for “Rocky Anderson” (a true liberal) of the “Justice Party” (another good but doomed 3rd party) instead, fully knowing that Obama would win anyway because he was seen as “the lesser of two evils.” I had high hopes for 3rd parties until I realized they are all doomed because the Supreme Court has allowed states to impose higher standards upon 3rd party candidates than on Democrats or Republicans. The reason asserted by the Supreme Court was that the two-party system had served America so well in the past.

After realizing this I started explaining how he’s acting like a neoconservative again, but with a slight shift in my mindset towards the solution. Now I just advocate for “Protest Voting,” or turning in a blank ballot, till we get rid of the two-party system and legalized bribery.

I will even spell out the solution. We need to get public funding for political candidates,  and only public funding. We need the Supreme Court to repeal their silly interpretation of whatever law they used as justification for allowing the hobbling of 3rd parties. We need the loss of corporate person-hood. The acknowledgement by our judicial system that even though a corporation may have the responsibilities of a human being it does not have the rights of a human being. To say that a corporation is used as a person for tax and other useful reasons in a legal sense, but as a member or the community, it can only be a second class citizen; because it has no body, no soul, no brain, no heart, no pain, no life, and no mercy, a corporation is simply not a human being.

Anyway, I find it sad yet amusing to note that this young woman has come to many of the same simple conclusions as I have. I guess beauty does have its advantages.

P.S. This woman has obviously been flipped to the libertarian/anarchist side, which I think is complete and total hogwash. That said, everything she says is true.

Why Did Jesus Say This?

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent, and omnipotent, why do you think Jesus told his father while he was on the cross: FORGIVE THEM FATHER, THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO?

There is No Bad Experience for a Writer: The Reality of the Times

I must credit the title of this short essay to a friend of mine whose health I am currently deeply concerned about. In fact, he is a man who is not unlike a mentor to me. I should also explain clearly that he cannot be accused of implanting any of the thoughts beyond the title in my grey matter. This is me just grabbing a ball that was thrown my way and running with it; or perhaps it is more akin to sauntering vaguely Westward like an owl with a broken wing and a dead mouse in one claw. Perhaps I should be skipping happily Eastward instead, merely being happy to be alive. But that could be explored in the future, assuming my mortal coil and the remains of the dead rodent I bear retain enough nutrients and calories to repair my broken wing. Yeah, the wing will likely heal.

As you may have guessed by now, the meat of the subject at hand is politics, economics, life, death, pain, suffering, and finally hope. It is surely the job of a gifted wordsmith to describe their understanding of their perceptions of the times as well as they are able for the posterity of history and progression of human thought and action; or at the very least to assess the current health of society at large. Unfortunately, I could not find a gifted wordsmith, so I feel compelled to write this rather trivial piece of literature myself instead.

We are currently living in an illusory global financial emergency and an actual, yet not fully acknowledged global environmental melt-down. Even first world countries are currently being cannibalized by regional and world powers through finance or war. There is general material instability among the vast majority of the world’s populace and total lawlessness in some places; Somalia is a good example of this. Then there is also the ever-present vexation of actual starvation for far too many.

Probably more importantly, there is a proliferation of conventional and nuclear weapons; which may actually make our species susceptible to near catastrophic global annihilation. The threat of nearly global nuclear destruction has surely been perceived to be more likely in the past. Yet this threat remains, and has become a part of everyday life that is nearly a joke for the simple reason that there is nothing anyone thinks they can do about it. A wise man once said to me: “Sometimes [Impartial Juror], you’ve got the choice of either laughing or crying.” He always laughed after repeating this anti-platitude. So perhaps it is healthy that we can laugh about it; but it doesn’t mean we should merely brush off the danger as if it doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, I will always be grateful for this wisdom that was passed on to me, and laughing.

Americans live in a society where a nearly half of the population simply lives from one paycheck to another, and a third are near bankrupt. Under such circumstances there is surely going to be some inordinately common and serious social turmoil in essentially all of our lives. Only the most well-to-do are able to avert such serious situations as possible evictions, divorces, addictions, physical illness, mental illness, or even actual starvation.

It is during these times of turmoil that many of our elected officials find the audacity, excuses, and audience that will support their policies of regressive tax policies and cuts in social welfare programs despite the clear evidence that such policies are actually counterproductive. How do they do it? The short answer is that they divide and conquer through manipulation using fear and intimidation. The long answer is a different article entirely.

Should it be any surprise that it seems like everyone knows somebody who is absolutely in complete crisis? Somebody  who has had or is having part if not all of their world shaken so violently that the magma at the center of their planet is in danger of exploding out of the globe and destroying an overwhelming amount of their health, security, and happiness? And who is benefiting from all this misery? Is the answer not most assuredly that the global elite are the only ones profiting from this suffering?

With that in mind, I admit that I too am a part of this shared, sustained, national trauma.  It has become an accepted part of life in our society that, not out of callousness, but out of sheer necessity, nearly everyone is jumping from crisis to crisis trying to manage situations that are often inevitably unmanageable, forcing us to leave some behind.

This sort of lifestyle takes a toll on people. The effects have become evident in every community in this nation. We must bring this to an end. We have to make this rock bottom and rise again. If we don’t take action soon, I fear we will not have the resources or freedom to act at all. In fact, we need to take action yesterday ladies and gentlemen. I have some ideas, and they will be forthcoming in future posts.

All that said, I must admit that it’s good to have something to write about. There is no bad experience for a writer, just material. I think my pal is right about that. Though I wish the material at hand was more positive.

So, let’s inject some positivity into this post in the form of a song about a woman, a single brave woman who made a difference. Let us not forget that we all can. Furthermore, alone we can make waves, and together we can move oceans.

This woman had the determination we have lacked, the passion we should be adhering to, and the kind of courage we need, Mary Harris Jones, Mother Jones. Her story always gives me strength and resolve, and Ani Difranco has paired up with Utah Phillips to write an inspiring song about her. It encourages me and gives me a sense of hope for humanity whenever I listen to it. It reminds me that if she alone could make so much of a difference, together, we can make all the difference in the world. So, without further ado, let’s listen to a song about the most dangerous woman in the world! May Day is coming!

Immortal Technique Speaks with Alex Jones – They Seek Middle Ground Between Far Left and Far Right.

My usual readers will know already that I have great respect for the artist named Immortal Technique. He has recently been interviewed on the Alex Jones show. Why would he do such a thing you might ask. I would answer that question this way:

Is this not what we need, the left and right are coming together? We must integrate, not separate. United we stand, and divided we fall correct?

The reality is that if we can stop agreeing to disagree: we will often find that always agreed to begin with. Very often when we argue or disagree it is a result of using different words, different definitions for words, being manipulated, and being in pain (which is the primary emotion that leads to the secondary emotion – anger).

Instead I suggest, that when we reach an impasse in conversation, we should stop disagreeing for the moment, give each other space and time, come back when desired and desirable, and then share instead of trying to convince each other of things.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of this video. However long you can listen to it, please do. I assert that you will get out what you put into listening to this. For those of you that know me already I think you will agree and already know what I am saying.

As always, your thoughts and feedback will be appreciated (wanted and needed too).

Peace and love brothers and sisters!

Linger

Cherished moments linger on

I look to faces soon to be gone,

My moment briefly came and passed,

Reality sets in so hard and fast,

I’ve lived with passion, a spark of flame,

Ignited by love and hope and pain,

It’s embers glow with dying light,

Thoughts linger still this starry night,

I could have been most anything,

The sky called my heart,

But not my brain,

It was short and sweet, and passed so quick,

My life will be no more than this,

I’ve fallen from my lofty perch,

The world came crashing home it hurt,

The life I knew is gone tomorrow,

I’ve never known a greater sorrow.

Note: I wrote this poem 17 years ago – perhaps others can relate and it will help them. I’ve come so far since then. We all will grow I think. Peace and love brothers and sisters!

Keep Waving

How many waves can one man make?

How many souls can one tree shake?

How many apples are rotten to the core?

How could we possibly need any more?

Where are the healthy?

Where are the sane?

Where are the seeds?

Of love and pain?

Where are the heroes doing good deeds?

Are they all gone or just lost in the reads?

Could it be that all is lost?

Is this a story written by Faust?

Or is there hope along the way?

Another soul with whom to lay?

On Wisdom

I have a strong opinion on people who pronounce their wisdom.

If anyone is currently telling you they are wise or telling you that they have some wisdom on a subject for you (of their own), they are currently not being wise. I am certainly guilty of this myself as well, perhaps even now. That doesn’t mean the self-proclaimed “wisdom” people have to say isn’t valuable to you necessarily. It does mean that their definition of the world isn’t the same as mine, and I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on it:

My definition is different from any dictionary’s definition. I will specify my definition: Wisdom is more about knowing what you don’t know than it is about knowing about what you do know.

I will cite a source to back up my opinion on this matter from a perhaps fictional character (a well-known fact is that he may have never lived and been a character Plato invented) that said what I assert are many wise things: “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Socrates: (Plato’s Apology)

Prayers Kill

A rigorous study has shown that when congregations of people pray for an ill person and that person is told about the prayers of the congregation they die more frequently. Apparently “God” hates it when we nag him.

Dear God Make Everyone Die

If praying for life kills then praying for death must do the opposite right?

We obviously have no time for logic here, but the logical answer is that all those people knowing about the situation stresses sick people out. The pudding in that proof is that when strangers pray for ill people there is no difference in their survival rate.

I recognize that this is “old news” but people still don’t understand this simple truth.

I’m off to go pray for Dick Cheney’s health and then send him a personal letter telling him I’ve prayed for him. Afterwards, I will send a letter to his congregation asking them to do so as well. I’m sure they’ll take care of making sure he knows they prayed for him, essentially doing anything short of actually taking any action to help him. Actually, now that I think about it, the study was about people with heart problems. I’m pretty sure Dick doesn’t have his own heart, he has someone else’s heart, so perhaps none of this applies to him.

Of course, I jest, I don’t wish death even for sociopathic mass murderers. Even without a religion, for some reason I’ve put this silly idea in my head that all human life is should be respected, if not sacred, and not taken by each other. Of course, it could be sacred, as long as we can acknowledge it’s a completely made up self-serving concept.

Theory on games, “The game of life,” and cheaters.

In my basically Buddhist worldview I see life as just a game, perhaps THE GAME. Simply put, games don’t matter in the long run.

That said, if you find someone who cheats at trivial card games (not in good humor) and such, you have most likely also found a person that cheats at “The game of life”. These are not fulfilling people to be around in my experience.

Thoughts on Obamacare, AKA The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Obamacare, also known as The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while a small step forward, is based upon a Heritage Foundation health care legislation recommendation for the Republican Party/conservative agenda.

Obamacare

Huh?

Obamacare serves the people a small amount of good at the cost of a permanent requirement to earn and pay enough for health care based upon their probability of getting ill (with the costs skewed towards the young). The problem with that is that nobody’s earnings are based upon the work one does but instead is based upon the amount of capital one already has, their economic class, their social class, their skills, their talents, and the work one does. The obvious assumption here is that everyone deserves the same quality of healthcare.

Obamacare was probably the best we could have reasonably expected without the man getting JFK’d. (assuming he’d vetoed the bill when it was finally passed so he could use the leverage that the American Public had/have over congress to get more favorable legislation for the lower 98%/lower classes)

Obamacare is largely a corporate giveaway because it requires every American to purchase PRIVATE insurance instead of having PUBLIC insurance, hence giving the insurance companies more leverage for the PROFIT motive instead of REDUCING COSTS overall to both the American PUBLIC and American GOVERNMENT.

A New Search Engine Front-End: Search Visualizer

This is an excellent new search resource.

http://www.searchvisualizer.com

It is a “search front-end” that draws results from various popular search engines gives you a visual representation of your search keywords in the search results. This allows you to more accurately judge whether there is any real substantive discussion about your keywords and if so where in text the discussion takes places.

Search Visualizer

Search Visualizer Results

Ken Robinson: How to escape education’s death valley

In this TED presentation Ken Robinson takes America’s education system to task. He defends a well rounded education that includes The Arts, analyzes the way our system dulls curiosity, attacks the “epidemic” of ADHD, discusses the overemphasis on standardized testing, and explains how our educational system stifles creativity and individuality by relying on enforcing conformity and compliance.

More unprovoked police brutality

Yet another innocent person, Makia Smith, has been heinously beaten for the mere act of filming police officers in the act of beating a fellow citizen. This Baltimore woman was allegedly dragged from her car by her hair and beaten by three officers before the eyes of everyone in the middle of a door-to-door traffic jam, including her two year old daughter. For the sake of shaming the accused I would like to note that the names of the accused officers are Nathan Church, William Pilkerton, Jr., Nathan Ulmer and Kenneth Campbell. That’s right, I’m jumping on the guilty until proven innocent bandwagon today. If CNN, FOX, ABC, and NBC can do it when it suits them then so can I.

Another recent example of police brutality is the video filmed by Shakur Muhammed of three Rochester New York officers pulling a man named Benny Warr out of a wheelchair and beating him. Apparantly, acccording to this article written about the beating, an eyewitness said one of the officers involved in the beating had been punched in the face earlier that day and was likely taking out his frustrations on this man.

If you are surprised by this story or the video please unclench your rectum so that you can pull your head out of your nether regions. How often do stories like this have to appear before they are understood to be more than just another piece of anecdotal evidence of police brutality? The reality is that there is a pervasive cultural more that has been painstakingly beaten, literally or metaphorically, into the psyche of every American since the time we were children in school. Every citizen must accept that authority represents justice, and if an authority figure tells you to do something you should do it without question. If you don’t, you are a trouble-maker, a rabble-rouser, a criminal, a ne’er-do-well, an enemy of order, and an enemy of society.

Furthermore, you should be afraid. You should be so afraid that you don’t even try to resist, you don’t try to speak up, and you don’t try to collect evidence. If you even try to assert your rights you should know that it is your fault when you get beaten down, and you should sit there and take the beating because you deserve it.

Our society has become utterly deranged by fear. It is no wonder after twelve years of constant bombardment by the government and media about how every American is under attack merely for believing in freedom. The sad truth is that the attacks against people believing they are free are not made by terrorists but by our own “public servants.” The solution, of course, is to give up your freedom. That’s how we prove that the terrorists haven’t won!

I would like to provide you with some statistics regarding how many U.S. citizens are assaulted by police officers each year, but I can’t find any such statistics. The closest thing I can find to statistics are some some poorly documented pages like this one and this one from http://www.copblock.org. Even Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have little or nothing in the way of statistics on police brutality in the United States.

According to the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) “Comprehensive statistics on police violence in the US are not available, as the national statistics bureaus are under special instructions not to compile them (while statistics on the most obscure criminological categories are reported in great detail). However, the available evidence points to a sharp rise in police violence, not just in terms of the number of incidents, but also in terms of their brutality.”

I would appreciate any help in finding any such statistics. It appears that at the very least they are hard statistics to come by. Perhaps they are edited out of search results, or are buried so deeply that they are effectively non-existent. I find it more likely that, as the WSWS states, they simply don’t exist. Those would be extremely inconvenient statistics for the police and the state.

Alex Grey, Joe Rogan, DMT and Tool (NSFW)

This is an ancient rant by Joe Rogan on some radio show. Back in the days of The Man Show I thought Joe Rogan was just another comic, and of less than average intelligence. I was wrong.

Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault Debate on ‘Human Nature and the Ideal Society’ (with English subtitles)

This debate is required viewing for anyone who appreciates the work of either of these two great minds.  It takes place in 1971 as the war in Vietnam rages on.  They discuss their respective specialties, human nature, the direction of society, society’s institutions, class warfare, capitalism, Marxism, anarcho-syndicalism, and much more.

This article from Roar Magazine (which claims a share of the credit for translation) about the debate adds some interesting background information and contains a full transcript of the discussion.

There is also another complete version that doesn’t appear to omit anything except the additional commentary; though most would probably benefit from the clarifications of the commentator included in the first video.

Patriotism

Quote

“Every national border in Europe,” El Eswad added ironically, “marks the place where two gangs of bandits got too exhausted to kill each other anymore and signed a treaty. Patriotism is the delusion that one of these gangs of bandits is better than all the others.”
-Robert Anton Wilson

Police raid innocent family because of indoor garden

According to this article the Adlynn & Robert Harte, who were both CIA employees in the past and appear to be pretty familiar with the law, were targeted for having purchased merchandise from a hydroponics store. As the couple’s lawsuit states:

“With little or no other evidence of any illegal activity, law enforcement officers make the assumption that shoppers at the store are potential marijuana growers, even though the stores are most commonly frequented by backyard gardeners who grow organically or start seedlings indoors.”

They were and are law abiding citizens who had nothing more than a six legal plants in their basement. They were raided, at gunpoint, due to shoddy police-work and without probable cause. They are filing a federal civil rights lawsuit in response. Good luck to them. They should win.

Beliefs, religions, worldviews, politics, and cults

Think like sheep peopleIt feels good to believe things. It is nice to not have doubts. The world is so full of doubt. Belief systems take care of so many doubts. They make us feel secure. That said, I’m fairly certain that any type of true security is an illusion. Worldviews are quite close to beliefs in that they are like filters that we see our world through, but unlike beliefs they are theoretically changeable through rational discourse or scientific evidence.

I find it unfortunate that many people make their worldviews into beliefs. The best example is the worldview of an extreme political partisan such as a Democrat, Republican, socialist, or communist. Other examples of worldviews that often turn into beliefs include realism, idealism, conservatism, liberalism, and even atheism.

Even if people reject beliefs we still seem to have a pervasive need to attach some sort of spiritual significance to our lives. Perhaps this need exists in the human psyche because we still have more questions than answers and it makes us feel insecure. I am no exception, which is why I try to keep myself from being a believer by reserving 1% doubt about any idea. A lack of belief in ideas is what I think I need to keep from getting pulled into a cult. This is because I’m rather gullible at times, and I have been in two “cults” before. Specifically, I was a Lutheran and a Democrat. I know calling Lutherans cult members is an extremely unpopular thing to do in a Christian nation, but bear in mind that most Christian denominations consider any sufficiently different variation from their religious beliefs in another Christian group to be enough to make it a cult. For example, the church I was a part of until I was eighteen taught that the Mormon church is a cult. The idea that a political party is a cult is pushing the boundary of the word a bit, but partisanship in America has become so extreme in recent years that it is an accurate description of adherents.

I have also noticed that spirituality, beliefs, and religion have been subtlety inserted into our self-help groups and legal processes. All the chemical dependency and mental illness facilities/groups I have ever heard about encourage, if not require, people to find a religion, spiritual path, or at least a “higher power.” Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are largely voluntary and free examples of such groups. There are other programs and facilities that people are forced to pay for under the law, after getting a drunk driving ticket for example, that require such thinking too. As you might guess, it deeply disturbs me that the state in any way requires or endorses spirituality or religion.

I support everyone’s right to think whatever they want to; yet I encourage people to not believe each other, but rather believe in each other (a subtle difference). Let’s retain the wall of separation between church and state. Let’s erect a new wall between spirituality and the state. Let’s remember what the nature of a cult is. They pull people in with comforting dogma that answers unanswerable questions. They fill people’s heads with silly beliefs like the holy trinity, totally equal distribution of wealth, or trickle down economics. While believers may feel safer, get to drink some tasty Kool Aid, and wear some nice Nike shoes; in the end people usually die because of a lack of rational thought. Political believers are not an exception.

Why You Should Care About The Massive Guantanamo Hunger Strike – Lee Camp – NSFW

Russian dogs commute on the subway to eat in the city and go back home to the suburbs

Anyone who gets down on dogs’ intelligence should read this article. These dogs are smarter than some people I know.

You can see a subway dog in action in this video.

Also check out this you-tube video about how smart this dog is.

Best WoW Jokes EVAR – by Panser (NSFW)

Video

It has come to my attention that the blog has lacked nerdery of late. I am relying on Panser to help me out (Danielle from King of the Nerds).  I am biased because she is a WoW fanatic; but I do think she should have been crowned King!  I mean, come on, she beat a NASA scientist at a physics problem and gave props to the people who are really in the know.

I’d also like to give a shout out to my good friend Dr. K for showing me this wonderful woman’s work a while back.

Sentio, ergo sum

Years ago I met a woman in a novelty gift shop. It was a strange day. At the time I was very philosophical and I was preoccupied with the number 8. We got into a discussion as I was purchasing some merchandise and she was sitting in a chair near the till chatting with the owner of the business. Somehow during the conversation I managed to tell her “I’m an 8,” which was my “great insight” of the day, and I mean that quite sarcastically. She understood my meaning and replied that she was an 8 too because she was 80 (or perhaps she was 88 – I honestly can’t recall). We continued talking happily about this and that for a few minutes, enjoying each other’s company and discussing the nature of existence. At some point she passed on to me René Descartes‘ famous axiom, “cogito, ergo sum,” explained that it is in Latin, and that the English translation is “I think, therefore I am.” She further explained that the reverse is also true, “sum, ergo cogito,” and told me the English translation is, “I am, therefore I think.”

Frans Hals - Portret van René Descartes

Credit: Frans Hals – Portret van René Descartes

I have found others who have had this insight as well; but I do not know if she had it first or who to attribute it to. I tend to think that others have stumbled onto this related axiom as well, but in my heart she will always get the credit. Since then it has become a mantra of mine when thoroughly engaged in and confused by philosophical thought experiments with friends to say cogito, ergo sum and then sum, ergo cogito. It always makes me smile because if I can prove nothing else with philosophy I can prove that I exist.

Since then I have read a bit of Descartes and noticed in his justification of this statement that he says he feels he thinks. I have been thinking about how to use my right brain more actively and intuitively for many years. I have attempted to do so in various and varied ways. I will not bother you with recounting any of the methods I have tried or pondered as they are not the primary focus of this composition. Instead I will leave you with the insight that I reckon I have stumbled onto or perhaps into (though someone may have beaten me to it). I have attempted to translate this thought concisely into Latin to honor Descartes. I would welcome anyone who has a greater understanding of Latin to correct me on my translation if it is not accurate.

Sentio, ergo sum – I feel, therefore I am.

Of course, I posit that the reverse is true as well.

Sum, ergo cogito – I am, therefore I feel.

It is typical of Western thought and our modern world to disregard feeling and assert the primacy of thought. I am asserting that feeling precedes thought; and it appears to me that Descartes alludes to this in his work without even realizing it. I have decided to use this as my mantra from now on. I think and feel that it is more correct, or at least as correct as the original thought. It may be just a right-brained reflection of the original though. Perhaps it will allow me to get into the right hemisphere of my brain a bit more efficiently. Even if it doesn’t, I like it better.

Better yet, maybe I should be saying “I feel and think, therefore I am.” I think it feels more whole this way. Thoughts and feelings are certainly at least as important as each other; and to be clear I am speaking of emotional feelings, not tactile feelings etc. Do you feel me? Do you think me? Do you see what I mean?

I welcome your thoughts and feelings on the subject.