It’s all starting to wobble….

Ffolkes,

“I live in my own place
have never copied nobody even half,
and at any master who lacks the grace
to laugh at himself — I laugh.”

~~ inscribed over the door to Friedrich Nietzsche’s house ~~

kepler-k2-mission

Artist’s rendition of NASA’s Kepler Deep Space Telescope

Image from Space.com


Good morning…. Apparently, stupid is contagious. While playing with the cat, I leaned over the chair’s arm, resting my ribs on the wood of the arm. As I reached further to pick up the cat toy, my ribs slipped, and came down on the wooden arm with a lot of my weight on one rib, whereupon I felt it flex, painfully, as if it had cracked. I shot up, howling, and, after the initial rush of pain subsided, realized I had, if not cracked, badly bruised the rib, with some intercostal tissue damage. Now I have three weeks or so of painful breathing, sleeping, and moving around, to look forward to….

HONK! (For those who don’t know me well, that was my nose, which, at the moment, is large, bulbous, and bright red!…..) Thank goodness for cannabinoids! My magic cream is going to get a long workout, for certain….

Yes, I am a Bozo, of the first degree, and I am constantly giving myself another Life Lesson like this, to be more cautious in performing physical activities, as my now almost 65 year old body isn’t as fast, or as durable as I once considered it to be. SIGH…. Time marches on, doesn’t it? Too bad our humanity is such that we don’t bother to talk to each other about it much, so, a lot of it comes as a surprise to us when it happens. Ah well, makes life interesting, what?

Today’s Pearl, as all of them recently, is being posted late, from a public Wi-fi spot, of unknown location, as yet. In fact, I have yet to pack up to get to one, so, I’ll chop this off (as it probably deserves….) ruthlessly, so as to get us on the road in a timely manner. Luigi, you may fire up and go now…. Y’all should probably hang on; the music and ranting sections today are a rather wild ride….. guaranteed….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Nature has placed nothing so high that virtue can not reach it.” — Curtius-Rufus (fl. 100 A.D.)

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one more saturday night

Image from Dead.net via Google Images


Whenever I, or anyone, for that matter, feels their age, (i.e., old….), this is a great album to pull out of any such self-indulgence…. The title says it all, and, the music, well, speaks for itself…. Enjoy!….

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Old & In The Way
Garcia & Grisman

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***********************

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We the People...  Dont keep calm

“Every man’s life, liberty, and property are in danger when the Legislature is in session.”

~~ Gideon J. Tucker ~~


As light-hearted as the above statement may sound to the uninitiated, we here at ECR know it to be all too true for anyone’s comfort. I’ve put both of the usual icons above this rant because I thought it was time to vent; fair warning, as the material I’ve chosen to discuss is liable to a) disturb or anger some readers, b) be of questionable taste, and/or, c) be of negative interest to the paranoids in the NSA, and those of their ilk.

For their benefit, I will say, I mostly speak in a non-real sense, in that I make observations about reality, and those observations are not the thing of which I speak, itself. There, that should confuse the issue well enough, while simultaneously indicating the obvious interest to those Gentle Readers who are NOT of that particular ilk….

In short, if I say a revolution is nigh, it is an observation, a prediction of probabilities, not necessarily a call to action…. Of course, I do believe it’s past time for such an event to occur, from a moral/ethical/honorable sense, and won’t act in any way to prevent any such happenstance. But, I’m a realist, and know I am too old to start any such ruckus myself; if/when it happens, the best I can hope for is to survive, and help those for whom I care do the same. That may take some rather radical steps, but, hey, we all do what we gotta do, right?

One might well ask what has prompted my angst; without too much need for thought, I can point to the latest reason for all of us to build up a bit of ‘rage against the machine’. It stems from a short video, to the presence of which I was informed of by the blog of a friend on WP; Tales from the Conspiratum’s Lou posted the video, and link to the You Tube page where he found it.

In turn, I posted it here, so, many of y’all have seen it; I’m not sure if the full implication of its message has penetrated, either your awareness, or the consciousness of the public at large. When it does, each and every one of the people who “get” the message will feel much as I do. It’s my belief the information in the video touches on a subject that has had a direct effect on the life of every single person in this country, at one time or another…,

In this space on previous occasions, I’ve demonstrated how our BRC lies to us, consistently, solely for their own advantage; news of one more lie might not seem so important. But, I think this one is an indicator, of the depth of the lies we are told, as well as an indicator of the true motives of those who achieve power in this country. Which lie, you say? Is it about spying on us? The environment? Corruption? Is it about guns? Is it about the wealth gap? Is it about health insurance, or Big Pharma, or the whole mess of a medical model? If you picked the last group, you’r warm….

“Can you trust a government that subsidizes tobacco and tries to ban vitamins to make intelligent choices about your health care?” — Pertinent Bee

The video whereof I spoke above was created by the hacking group, We Are Anonymous; in it, they make some rather pointed accusations against the US Government, specifically the office of the Presidency in 1974, when Richard Nixon was in office, and the disaster of the Vietnam War was winding down to its inevitable conclusion. According to the evidence they claim to possess, (and, have apparently posted online, though I’ve yet to find it… no service, hence, no Google….)(I’m also compelled to add, this group has, verifiably, NEVER lied about what they do, or evidence they possess, in all their history, which very few can say….), Nixon was looking for something to distract the public, and wanted to prove marijuana was worse than tobacco for people.

He (Nixon) gave a large research grant to a Virginia university medical school to investigate cannabis for its medical qualities, with the expressed desire they find some evidence to show it caused cancer, or some other nasty disease by its use. Instead, after just a few months, the report was issued, showing, clearly, the cannabinoid  components they tested acted to KILL every type of cancer they tried it on, as well as showing remarkable properties in encouraging the body’s other systems to heal themselves!

(These results, btw, have since been verified as true; the National Cancer Institute, in a very recent study, found cannabinoids can completely kill 97 types of cancer cells…. In that study, cancer cells literally exploded when they came in contact with certain components of THC….)

So, what did our beloved traitorous ‘leader’ do, way back in 1974? He shitcanned the report, swearing the researchers to silence with threats of prosecution if they ever told their story, I have no doubt….. Typical elitist behavior, but, in this case, particularly egregious, due to the implications of his act…. Some, at this point, might ask, what implications? To be perfectly clear, I will lay it out for you, clearly and simply….

Cannabis KILLS cancer. With proper research and development, the scourge of our time would no longer be a threat to the public health at large, as a cure would exist, a cure that most likely will lead to other new areas of knowledge regarding the efficacy of using plants in their natural form as our default source for medicine, rather than the chemicals with which Big Pharma and the AMA continue to poison us, in their quest for ever-higher profits, and a sicker population. Hey, can’t sell drugs to people who are well, can you?….

Moreover, think of this: If cannabis had been used since 1975 for treating cancer, how many people would still be alive? How many of YOUR loved ones would NOT have died? Personally, my father, and now, my brother both contracted cancer. My father might have lived past the age of 72, the age he succumbed to the disease, for another twenty years, at least…. Multiply the number of cancer victims each year by 40, and you will have an idea of the enormity of Nixon’s, and our own government’s, selfish act of betrayal.

(Per Google search & use of calculator: Approximate deaths per year in the US; 500,000, times 40 years = 20 MILLION people, in the US alone, have died from cancer, while the government fiddled….)

My brother is now treating his own version of cancer (lymphatic) with cannabis products, and has seen a lot of improvement, so, there is hope…. But, that does NOT mitigate my anger at the death of my father, or make me want to forgive Nixon, or any of the other government officials responsible for hiding this information from the public…. I also believe my anger will be echoed by MILLIONS of people, when they find out their own relatives didn’t have to die, at all…. Moreover, it happened because an asshole of a politician wanted what he wanted, and didn’t give a shit about the people who elected him…. But, then, he lied to get elected, (throughout most of his career; I was there…) just as they ALL lie….

Oh, I am SO angry…. I can’t write anymore, so, here are some closing thoughts, with a small instruction/suggestion to share this information with as many people as you can…. I think it’s important for the people of this country to know just how far the government will go to cover up their lies; nothing will change until enough of us feel the need for a change…..

“In fact, one thing that I have noticed . . . is that all of these conspiracy theories depend on the perpetrators being endlessly clever.  I think you’ll find the facts also work if you assume everyone is endlessly stupid.” — Brian E. Moore

(That is equally as scary as the idea of conspiracy!….. Logical, though….)

“In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying.” — Bertrand Russell

“The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so that they believe they are as clever as he.” — Karl Kraus

“The difference between the Pope and George Bush is that whereas Bush walks on the ground and kisses women,the Pope kisses the ground and…” — Observant Bee

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on the human face– forever . . . And remember that it is forever.” — George Orwell, ‘1984’

“If Congress can determine what constitutes the general welfare and can appropriate money for its advancement, where is the limitation to carrying into execution whatever can be effected by money?” — South Carolina Senator William Draden 1828

“I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.” — Robert Frost

“In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile-and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. We owe that to ourselves and our crippled self-image as something better than a nation of panicked sheep.” — Hunter S. Thompson (b. 1939), journalist — The Great Shark Hunt, Jacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1979)

“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig.
You get dirty, and besides,
the pig likes it.”

~~ George Bernard Shaw ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

Accentuated Lessons

Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.

Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.

Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiffly elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.

Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.

Peace lies within, always…..

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 9/27/2012; modified in 2013.

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pearls_3

    A classic, seven-star pearl, with the obligatory observations on Life at Large, as seen from the oyster beds of gigoid’s mind, and, SB’s database, which, I must confess, was a trifle fractious, unwilling to give up more than seven gems today. Ah, well, such is life with semi-autonomous software, that seems to have moods having nothing to do with my own…. Works for me….

“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” — Gray

“Everything is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine.” — Goethe

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.” — Mark Twain

“Knowledge is the antidote of fear.” — Emerson

“How can we contrive to be at once astonished at the world and yet at home in it?” — G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

“Action is the proper fruit of knowledge.” — Thomas Fuller

“As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 1

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It’s done; I’m not going to even bother trying to judge the quality. I repeat, it’s done, and for us, that’s all that matters. Hopefully, it came together well; otherwise, oh, well…. I will be back, though I can’t say exactly when…. It seems there are very few honest, non-greedy ISP businesses left out there to compete against the big guys, but, I’ll keep looking…. See ya, and, I figure, that’s fair warning…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

Sometimes I sits and thinks,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Remnants of patent leather madrigals….

Ffolkes,
I’ve started to write several times this morning, but each time was forced to begin again, having spewed pure garbage onto the page. Even this honest statement of dismay seems to me to be stilted and stupid; it seems doubtful, at this point, that anything worthwhile is going to be coming forth from the depths of my mind to grace our presence with wit and style. I’d give up, but, I’m stubborn….

Having thus disposed of at least the first paragraph, perhaps I can distract Murphy with my fuzzy brain….. If he thinks I’m already in a state of confusion, he will, sometimes, let me be, allowing me to fuck with myself, which, though no less destructive, is often less bloody, and takes less clean-up….. Funny, isn’t it, what we can learn to live with?…. Besides, even Murphy will have a hard time putting me in a depressed state today…. In a bit under eight hours, I’ll be getting into a limo, which will deliver me, and milady Patricia, to the cruise terminal to embark on our ten day trip to Alaska…. Very little in the universe could make me unhappy at this point….

The only hard part now is getting through these eight hours…. creating this Pearl will eat up some of it, and I’ve got some ideas of how to pass the time quickly…. but, nothing will make the clock move fast enough to suit us. Everything is done, and all we need to do is carry our bags to the curb to be on our way….. I’m so jazzed and excited, even coming up with the BS I can normally spew out on demand is a bit more than I feel easy with….. Oh well, such is life, as they say….

Shall we Pearl?…..
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You knew it would happen today…. and, if you didn’t, you should have…. I had intended to make this a fresh pearl, old-school variety, and rant in the third section, provided I can find a rantable subject….. However, Smart Bee has gone over to Murphy’s side for the time being, and won’t cooperate with the plan…. so, I’m retreating to the archives for a short, pithy rant on religion, or religious philosophy, whatever that might mean…. This was originally posted in December of 2011…

“That which leads us to the performance of duty by offering pleasure as its reward, is not virtue, but a deceptive copy and imitation of virtue.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)
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Ffolkes,

Just so it’s clear…..I’m not an atheist, per se, at least, not in the classical sense of the word.  I do hold beliefs regarding the subject of divinity and spirituality, but they bear no great resemblance to those espoused by any organized faith, and I don’t discuss them with anyone. It just causes arguments.  I am not a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Unitarian, or a Buddhist, or any other of the virtually countless ‘isms’ people have come up with to try to understand those parts of the universe that we do not comprehend.

I’ve read the holy books of most of the major faiths; Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, the Bibles of several different Christian sects , the Tao Teh Ching, the I Ching, and any other related material I could find. Not that I made a complete heavy study of each, but I learned enough to be able to draw comparisons, and judge the validity of each (which I admit, is purely subjective. But then, isn’t any religious belief purely subjective? Why yes, I do believe it is…..).

It occurred to me, just now, that, maybe, for all these centuries we (that’s the human “we”…. meaning all of us as a group….) have sought to explain what we do not understand, we have been looking at things from the wrong perspective, at least in terms of intelligence, with its defined value to us being such that man considers himself greater than “lower” forms of life. The attitude that we are the pinnacle of creation is a given in almost every approach taken by philosophers and scientists in any explanation of why things are as they are. Since we have not the ability to create worlds (yet), or stars (yet), or universes (yet?), we attribute the state of things as we know them to creatures of vast wisdom and power, as “far above us as we are above bacteria or amoeba.” How often have you heard the last part? Isn’t that part of any definition of a god, or even God, by whatever name one calls him/her/them/it?

But what if the amoeba IS God? Amoeba are the most ancient form of life we know of, utilizing the simplest means of reproduction available (as far as WE know anyway…), and are an essential step in the formation of other life. Perhaps the entire bacterial level is God’s nervous system, and the amoeba are the thoughts of God. And as other forms of life evolved, maybe each entered another part of the symbiotic whole that is life, non-life, energy, matter, and non-matter, all of which must be present in order for our universe to manifest itself.

All of which makes our viewpoint completely backwards; we are the bottom of creation, not the top. Every other part of the universe, and almost every animal and creature on our planet we know of, except ourselves and our vaunted intelligence, are functioning, and functioning well, according to their place in Nature because they have no need to do anything else.  Our intelligence is generally accepted to be that which makes us ‘better’ than the rest of creation, a convenient word to describe something that may not have been created at all, but might just happen to be the way it is, because it wants to be…..at least most of it does….so far we haven’t done too well at learning how to be at one with the rest of creation; quite the opposite, as a general rule…..

Hmmm…..well, I guess that’s one way to look at it…… at least with this credo, there’s no guilt, no shame, no incentives, and no rewards….. other than self-respect……

— How many amoebas does it take to change a light bulb?  One. No, 2. No, 4. No, 8. No, 16. No, 32……. — Smart Bee
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Some years ago, on the occasion of her mother’s passing, Patricia, my lady love, wrote a memorial tribute, in which she put a poem that she wrote for her mother…. I think it is very touching, as well as quite beautiful, and include it here, not to depress anyone, but to celebrate the life of her mother by sharing what Patricia felt when she wrote the poem….. Enjoy!….

She sits quietly,
Eyes in a wrinkled face,
Watching nothing,
Seeing everything.
A kaleidoscope of memories
flickers past.

Laughter mingles with tears,
Fear and sorrow melt into contentment.
A lifetime of joy and passion,
sorrow and doubt pass by.
Don’t hurry so, take your time.
Stop and listen
and she will tell you tales.

Tales of far away lands, great adventures,
great passion and greater trials.

She takes out the memories, one at a time,
Views them re-lives them,
brings them to life for her listeners.

Then tenderly, reverently, she wraps them again,
and places them, one at a time,
into fragile bubbles.

If you look closely, you can see them.

Tiny little flashes in her eyes……
Look close,
See them?

Individual memories encased in fragile bubbles.

In loving memory of June. T. Miller
1919-1998
by
Patricia Miller Larsen

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Okay, it’s time to drop any pretense I have assumed…. Smart Bee isn’t cooperating, and my head just isn’t ready to be creative…. so, once again, I’ll have to dip into the past for the material to complete this Pearl…. So be it…. Here is a rather long, involved pearl from late in 2012… I think it’s one of my best, so, it will do for the moment’s need….. Enjoy!….
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What is the mind? Where is it, exactly? And how does it work?….. These are questions that have been asked throughout time, without ever finding answers on which all can agree…. Oh, there are many ideas, and every sage and his brother’s cousin’s friend’s uncle has a theory about it…. Finding pearls that discuss the matter was pretty simple, actually, as they just kept popping up in front of me…. for example, here are four that I found, all of which have an important part of the idea to discuss…..

“Whether time is long or short, and whether space is broad or narrow, depend upon the mind. Those whose minds are at leisure can feel one day as a millennium, and those whose thoughts are expansive can perceive a small house to be as spacious as the universe.” — Hung Tzu-ch’eng (1593-1665)

“An intelligent mind is a mind which is not satisfied with explanations, with  conclusions; nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another  form of conclusion. An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind, a mind that is  watching, learning, studying.” — J. Krishnamurti

“Hypotheses are not to be multiplied without necessity.” — Occam’s Razor (aka, the K.I.S.S. axiom….) (see Hanlon’s Razor, aka Heinlein’s Corollary to Occam’s Razor) (See logic) (See Dick and Jane run….) (Just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention….)

“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve the problems of life not only theoretically, but practically.” — Henry David Thoreau, American Philosopher (1817-1862) in Walden

You probably noted that one of these four was not like the others (Sesame Street teaches critical thinking well, does it not?….). Occam’s Razor has done more to advance science and philosophy than any unified field theorem, or any other wide ranging thought that mankind has come up with over the years. It cuts through the bullshit, and reminds us to concentrate on what is important, to not to go off on tangents that detract from the final outcome. It’s a way of approaching science and the fields of knowledge, and even Life, that offers the superiority of having been proven true over and over, in every experiment, in every field of science since it’s publication, sometime around the Renaissance period. William of Occam was, reportedly, a mathematician, and no doubt a very good one, as his assertion regarding hypotheses implies a certain impatience with bullshit; he likely wasn’t one to put up with foolishness for long….

Of course, there are always a few who don’t have the intelligence, or the courage, to stand up to Life, and they too have had their two cents worth put in for consideration….

“Do not learn more than you absolutely need to get through life.” — Karl Kraus  (Seconded, I’m sure, by Homer Simpson….)

An obvious proponent of the entitlement crowd, this guy has expressed clearly the lack of courage that it takes to really retreat from life as can be done. These are the Republicans, the non-thinkers, the men and women who prefer to hide their heads in sand rather than meet reality with any dignity or bravery. Ignorance is their status of choice, as they don’t have to bother themselves to ever check things for truth, or even make up their own thoughts…. they just accept whatever the pundits, religious or political, tell them, because those pundits are the ones who are immoral and unethical enough to take advantage of their ignorance, and will tell them anything they want to hear, in order to soothe their bigoted fears, and, as a happy side effect, take all their money…. which they willingly give away, proving the old saw about fools and money…

I didn’t mean to get into a political rant, but I suppose it isn’t an ill-conceived idea at this point. Tonight will be the first of the Presidential debates between Obama and Romney, and a discussion of mind vs. no-mind seems appropriate somehow. We will get a pretty good picture drawn for us tonight, as one of the greatest speakers of our time, the POTUS, faces off in debate with one of the worst speakers I’ve ever seen, Mitt the Twitt, who has a proclivity for dropping bombs, and speaking without evidence of giving any thought at all to what he has just said to some group. This is an occupational hazard for someone who relies on lies and misrepresentations for the major portion of their message; it’s hard to sound true when one is obviously false…. No matter how much it gets dressed up and taught to sing and dance, a pig isn’t going to win any music contests with its squealing…..

“I’m not imaginary–I’m ontologically challenged” — Smart Bee

As might be guessed, the above is a joke, intended to poke fun at those who choose to live their lives without the benefit of using their minds…. to live one’s life in ignorance to me would seem to be the actions of a fool, by definition as well as practice. One may as well BE imaginary, if one is going to retreat from reality to the extent of turning off all curiosity, all doubt, and never using the mind for that which it was designed (if one believes in design….), or happened to evolve into…. The mind is our best, and possibly our only, ally against the harshness of reality, and it would behoove all of us to keep it in good working order, as befits a tool of such high quality…… T’is marginally better than treating it as a red-headed step-child, leaving it out to starve in the cold, harsh light of reality…..
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Without even looking this over, I know it will do…. but, I’m anal about typos, so let’s see how it reads….. Given the handicaps under which I am operating today, it isn’t at all bad…. not terribly fresh, but still stimulating… and, it’s done…. Yay!  Now I can get ready to rumble….. Next time I post will be from the road, so I can’t predict exactly when, but, it will be soon…. count on it…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

dozer3

Without shame, Queen Sally proclaimed her sanity….

Ffolkes,
On what is supposed to be a brisk fall morning, the sun also rose, sans foggy accompaniment, thus promising us another sweltering day here in the ever-pleasant confines of Northern California. The last two days, October 1 and 2, the temperature has exceeded 90 degrees here by the Bay, thus putting the lie to those idiots who insist that pumping millions of tons of carbon monoxide into the air on an hourly basis, isn’t having any effect on climate. Such bullshit…. and too early in the day to have to start whining, whether justified or not…. so, I’ll desist…..

Whining aside, it still promises to be another hot one, so I’ll be spending another day in front of a fan, and balancing air conditioning with how well I can tolerate heat, so the cost of it doesn’t eat into the food budget….. always a joy to find, if one is looking…. and one has had the training I’ve had, in curmudgeonry and its techniques for finding fault, in whatever situation one finds oneself. Like the school motto says, “Even the best of beds has bugs…..” right? Besides, complaining gives me something to do, other than sit around and brood, which, as we all know, is bad for both the state of one’s mind, and for one’s karma, leading as it does to negativity, and sloth, and probably lust, or other bad things….

In spite of how it might seem around here at times, bad things are NOT what we do…. not for fun, anyway. So, we’ll put all that incipient curmudgeonry aside for the nonce, and get on with the proper morning’s affair, to wit, the search for pearls, and the subsequent composition of a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom…. not to be confused with the real thing, of course. Wouldn’t want anyone getting hurt or anything like that….. Who knows? Maybe there’s another poem floating around in there somewhere….. we can hope….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the  experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” — Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See
__________________________________

What is the mind? Where is it, exactly? And how does it work?….. These are questions that have been asked throughout time, without ever finding answers on which all can agree…. Oh, there are many ideas, and every sage and his brother’s cousin’s friend’s uncle has a theory about it…. Finding pearls that discuss the matter was pretty simple, actually, as they just kept popping up in front of me…. for example, here are four that I found, all of which have an important part of the idea to discuss…..

“Whether time is long or short, and whether space is broad or narrow, depend upon the mind. Those whose minds are at leisure can feel one day as a millennium, and those whose thoughts are expansive can perceive a small house to be as spacious as the universe.” — Hung Tzu-ch’eng (1593-1665)

“An intelligent mind is a mind which is not satisfied with explanations, with  conclusions; nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another  form of conclusion. An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind, a mind that is  watching, learning, studying.” — J. Krishnamurti

“Hypotheses are not to be multiplied without necessity.” — Occam’s Razor (aka, the K.I.S.S. axiom….) (see Hanlon’s Razor, aka Heinlein’s Corollary to Occam’s Razor) (See logic) (See Dick and Jane run….) (Just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention….)

“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve the problems of life not only theoretically, but practically.” — Henry David Thoreau, American Philosopher (1817-1862) in Walden

You probably noted that one of these four was not like the others (Sesame Street teaches critical thinking well, does it not?….). Occam’s Razor has done more to advance science and philosophy than any unified field theorem, or any other wide ranging thought that mankind has come up with over the years. It cuts through the bullshit, and reminds us to concentrate on what is important, to not to go off on tangents that detract from the final outcome.

It’s a way of approaching science and the fields of knowledge, and even Life, that offers the superiority of having been proven true over and over, in every experiment, in every field of science since it’s publication, sometime around the Renaissance period. William of Occam was, reportedly, a mathematician, and no doubt a very good one, as his assertion regarding hypotheses implies a certain impatience with bullshit; he likely wasn’t one to put up with foolishness for long….

Of course, there are always a few who don’t have the intelligence, or the courage, to stand up to Life, and they too have had their two cents worth put in for consideration….

“Do not learn more than you absolutely need to get through life.” — Karl Kraus  (Seconded, I’m sure, by Homer Simpson….)

An obvious proponent of the entitlement crowd, this guy has expressed clearly the lack of courage that it takes to really retreat from life as can be done. These are the Republicans, the non-thinkers, the men and women who prefer to hide their heads in sand rather than meet reality with any dignity or bravery. Ignorance is their status of choice, as they don’t have to bother themselves to ever check things for truth, or even make up their own thoughts….

They just accept whatever the pundits, religious or political, tell them, because those pundits are the ones who are immoral and unethical enough to take advantage of their ignorance, and will tell them anything they want to hear, in order to soothe their bigoted fears, and, as a happy side effect, take all their money…. which they willingly give away, proving the old saw about fools and money…

I didn’t mean to get into a political rant, but I suppose it isn’t an ill-conceived idea at this point. Tonight will be the first of the Presidential debates between Obama and Romney, and a discussion of mind vs. no-mind seems appropriate somehow. We will get a pretty good picture drawn for us tonight, as one of the greatest speakers of our time, the POTUS, faces off in debate with one of the worst speakers I’ve ever seen, Mitt the Twitt, who has a proclivity for dropping bombs on himself, and speaking without evidence of giving any thought at all to what he has just said to some group. This is an occupational hazard for someone who relies on lies and misrepresentations for the major portion of their message; it’s hard to sound true when one is obviously false…. No matter how much it gets dressed up and taught to sing and dance, a pig isn’t going to win any music contests with its squealing…..

“I’m not imaginary–I’m ontologically challenged” — Smart Bee

As might be guessed, the above is a joke, intended to poke fun at those who choose to live their lives without the benefit of using their minds…. to live one’s life in ignorance to me would seem to be the actions of a fool, by definition as well as practice. One may as well BE imaginary, if one is going to retreat from reality to the extent of turning off all curiosity, all doubt, and never using the mind for that which it was designed (if one believes in design….), or happened to evolve into…. The mind is our best, and possibly our only, ally against the harshness of reality, and it would behoove all of us to keep it in good working order, as befits a tool of such high quality…… T’is marginally better than treating it as a red-headed step-child, leaving it out to starve in the cold, harsh light of reality…..
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A Seasonal Approach

Absolute stillness grips a frozen field,
anticipating dawn with such patient yield
morning burgeoning in dark winter’s hold
brings promise of tales yet to be told.

Lengthening days of pale sun unto night
slowly tell of time’s subversive flight
bringing such original songs of natural fire
with melodies complex in casual attire.

The months are certain they will always win
it is just the way it has always been.
None may argue, nor yet slow life down
Nor dim the eternal beauty of nature’s gown.

Winter evolves from fall into spring,
sending flocks and hearts ever awing.
Summer follows suit, t’other way ’round
Spring into fall, often without a sound.

Life is meant to be lived, beginning to end
choices abound, and change can be a friend.
Yielding with grace to reality’s compelling ploy
fills our plain existence with honest, clean joy.

~~ gigoid

As I sat sweltering in yesterday’s heat wave, I got to thinking about winter, and how I’d really like to see it about now…. hence this little paean to the seasons, and living with them as a touchstone for inner serenity and maintaining a connection with life and nature….. I hope you enjoy it….
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In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

— Tao Te Ching

I had originally intended to use this excerpt from this most excellent book as the springboard for a discussion on life in general…. but I noticed just how simply and beautifully the concepts had already been expressed. So, I’ve decided to let this one go as a stand alone pearl; it really has no need of embellishment or explanation from me, so I would feel like I was gilding a lily, so to speak. Taken all by itself, this passage will give one the tools and concepts needed to live life with dignity, and honor, and all the joy that living right brings….. so, enjoy!…..
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Some day’s the process works, and other days it is less efficient…. this one seems to have hit the middle ground fairly well, so we are going to let it fly, as is….. So be it….. It may not be Ibsen, but it’s Art…. not Harry, Art….  I’m done for the day….. deal with it…… I am…….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!