Reverting to paleolithic mode….

Ffolkes,

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” — Buddha

August 1 2014 051

    The flower looks a bit worse for wear, doesn’t it? I took this picture in late July, when all the flowers had been blooming for some time, all through the summer, collecting comparative photos to show off the very little bit of seasonal change we see here in Northern California. Living here, we don’t see much of the dramatic changes seen back east, but, there are smaller, more subtle signs, if one is the type to notice them… but, then, I suppose one could say that subtlety isn’t all that common, either, in humans…. Most humans run to the type of mind that appreciates the Three Stooges kind of humor, with lots of violence and pratfalls…. Witness the long-term popularity of such shows as Benny Hill, or The Beverly Hillbillies,

Now we see an example of how these intro sections get away from me…. I have not the faintest clue as to how we started out with flowers and seasons, but, ended up with Jed Clampett & Granny. Just one of those mysteries we are destined never to solve, I guess. If I had continued down that path, there is no telling where we might have gone, or what might have happened to us on the way. It has been noted previously how often this section ends up as a rant, or, at the very least, a pre-cursor to ranting, but, in these cases, where we finally come to is generally uncharted territory, with completely new and different standards to observe, usually before we can figure out how to exit the area…

But, hell, I got almost seven straight good hours of sleep last night, and you’d be amazed at the difference it makes, even if waking up stiff and sore… Even the pain is less bothersome, when there is ample energy to fight back with; as long as I’ve remembered to set up the coffee, so it’s ready within moments, all will be well, and all will be well…. or, as close as we ever come to wellness…

The opening quote, by the way, is one I used recently in my life, to remind myself of where the center lay…. We all get lost in our own minds at times; there is no doubt whatsoever of that truth. Even I, who spends so much time thinking about the mind, and consciousness, and how that relates to the world and society, can lose track of my own center, losing track of it while focused on dealing with the pressures and oddities of living, with which we deal on a regular basis. Finding our way back isn’t always possible alone, which is why we have each other…. So, as long as we can remember that our center, and our inner peace, are already there, inside us, waiting for us to merely acknowledge its presence, in order to enjoy the benefits thereby….

One benefit is that my mind clears more quickly in the morning, with or without coffee…. though, the latter is a condition I have avoided for many years, and cannot actually say I’ve tried in a long time; I suppose that makes the previous statement a load of bilge water, but, hey, it’s already too late. This is the last paragraph required by law, and today, the rest of the Pearl’s sections kept growing, until this came out a bit long, though, it’s all fresh…. I suppose we’ll find out how that goes over, or, as my Mom used to say, “It’ll all come out in the wash….”

I never did know exactly what she meant by that….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“A bird can fly, but a fly can’t bird.” — The Tao of Pooh.

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“A sane environment in one in which there is room to be crazy. A crazy environment is one in which there is no room to be sane.” — Solomon Short

This pearl started out as another rant on the environmental crisis, on the basis of what I read in the first article, from weather.com. But, as I looked for any other reports on the subject on other sites, other subjects indicating how the world is going insane kept presenting themselves, until the final one, which I read starting out because it was interesting, then because it filled in some holes I’d been seeing in another subject, which related, peripherally, to the original subject of our imminent doom, or at least, period of crisis…

In order to keep it reasonably short (hah!) I’ll confine myself to short comments at first, then finish my arguments after the fourth…

http://www.weather.com/news/science/environment/antarctic-sea-ice-reaches-all-time-record-high-nsidc-20141008

This could affect the rotational speed of the planet, as the weight of the ice redistributes, possibly causing changes in the magnetic, and other energy fields that envelop Earth….Terraforming in action…. without even realizing we are doing it…..

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/11144442/First-hint-of-life-after-death-in-biggest-ever-scientific-study.html

Long article, key phrase by investigating scientists: “We just don’t know what’s going on.”    Duh!

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/09/crypto-wars-redux-why-the-fbis-desire-to-unlock-your-private-life-must-be-resisted

Very good article; clear, concise, informative, incredibly scary in its implications….

http://www.theguardian.com/science/lost-worlds/2014/oct/09/supersized-dinosaurs-divided-up-their-dinner-sauropod-diplodocus

You never need to feel guilty about eating meat, or plants, or anything, ever again…. Regardless of the nonsense vegetarians will tell you about evolution, the stark reality of nature is this… We, and by we I mean ALL forms of life in the known, visible universe, eat each other, all the damn time… It has nothing to do with evolution, or how our jaws, teeth, etc. developed; that is what is so interesting in this article, for it shows this exactly (which we can discuss another time….) in its detail, particularly in how each type of dinosaur life adapted to eat a different type of plant, or vegetation of some kind… as other dinosaurs adapted to eating other types of dinosaurs, or dead things, mostly, of one sort or another… as we do….

But, even back then, after a time, they died… Some of them may have indeed been long-lived, but they died, then they decayed, and, in essence, became food for the plants, eventually, as their individual components decayed into their more basic ingredients, then into dirt, and/or dust, as all the useful materials were utilized to FEED the plant life that lives in the ground…. growing abundantly up so other forms can eat it…

Then, along came mammals, including Man, and a few other species, who eat damn near everything in front of them… making them that much more adaptable, sort of like cockroaches, who seem to be able to eat damn near everything, including many of the toxic substances created by our technology, which would KILL us instantly…. Kid you not, I’ve sprayed half a can of Raid directly on a palmetto bug in Florida, and watched it crawl away… it slowed down, and almost died, but, managed to get into the wall before I could try again to smash it… which had not worked the first time I hit it, with ONLY a frying pan, as hard as I could…

I have a feeling they will still be in those walls when we are all dead and gone, having choked on the toxic air, or died from starvation as the oceans rise, or, in the earthquakes from the shifting polar caps affecting our orbital rotation, or one of the other practically inevitable catastrophes that are coming, that we cannot even guess at yet, because we know so little about the forces we have set into play….

Terraforming is serious business, especially for a culture that has yet to figure out how to get into its own solar system, much less to the stars, with a reliable unlimited energy source available, before killing ourselves, by war, or famine, or species extinction by environmental decree…. It will become a bit hard to survive when the air is unbreathable, and food will not grow in the ground, nor in the water….. at least, not any food WE could eat….

We do have the technology available, if pressed, to be able to survive in space, but, the effort to do so, to plant colonies in the asteroids, or Mars, or on the moons of Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, or Uranus, would take most of the resources of the planet left to us, in a very short amount of time…. It would also take ALL of mankind’s efforts, acting together, to make it happen to enough of a degree to ensure the species would survive in space, once the planet has become lethally toxic to us…..

The race is on, the clock is ticking…. but, nobody is running…..

Oops….

“Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“It did not matter, after all. He was only one man. One man’s fate is not important. If it is not, what is? He could not endure those remembered words.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, spoken by Gaverel Rocannon, Rocannon’s World

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This concert gives a good look at how hard Janis pushed herself to make a song her own…. Note in the first section of the film, her voice strains and cracks at one point, but, other than a clearing of the throat, she gave it no rest, but, pushed it past its boundaries…. the exact perfect metaphor for how she lived, and part of what made her unique…. This concert, while good, isn’t as good as others I’ve seen (including the two or three live performances I’ve seen, back in the day…. I went to UC Berkeley in the late 60’s, and I saw her several times back then…. Incredible energy, and she was so in love with the crowd, you could see her glow during the applause…. To her,  the audience’s adoration was food, drink, and drug…. she craved it all….

To see some more of her work, some of it without the flaws in this recording, use the link to go to the You Tube page, where there are more examples of her, along with choices of similar artists, some from the same era…. Enjoy….

Janis Joplin, live in Frankfurt:

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In the interests of brevity, and avoidance of blame, here is another of my own poems, such as they are….

Funny Bones

Dreaming the way home, lost, unseen,
from the dance, where
he felt so free, and clean.
Sorrow couldn’t find him there.

Waiting, filling up the hours, hoping,
some connection can be found
keeping busy as bees, coping.
Love creeps in, without a sound.

Fat days, skinny nights, passionate
visions of semi-conscious entities,
cannot seem to fully illuminate
or hide our innermost frailties.

Resolute, find the perfect sense, codify
simple rules with every breath
never waiting, anxious to modify.
fear nothing in life, not even Death.

~~ gigoid ~~

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For a pearl that started out as a simple, old-school pearl, this grew beyond all measure… but, it’s pretty good, so, enjoy!….

glass20-small walrus & carpenter    Smart Bee, as I’ve mentioned, is the tiny little program holding the database of quotes I use most often for these Pearls; it’s like my own little bed of oysters, with a high percentage of them holding pearls…. It was compiled some years ago by a group of hackers, as, sort of, an adjunct toy to the tagline that shows up whenever a Unix box is fired up… the first lines to come on screen are always a text tagline from the dB in Unix.

This particular dB, Smart Bee, holds a lot of stuff that the hackers either didn’t have attribution for, or came straight out of their own head…. Those are the quotes that I label “Smart Bee”, because, to the best of my knowledge, they all came from one of the parties responsible for SB’s existence…. All of the pearls below concern the state of being an advanced computer user, programmer, code monkey, or other industry adepts, such as wizard, god, super-user, sys-op, network manager, or, resident geek…. so, they probably know whereof they speak….

“Reality is in the mind of the beholder.” — Smart Bee

“Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity and other variables, the computer will do as it damn well pleases.” — Harward’s Law, as applied to Computers

backups: always in season, never out of style.” — Smart Bee

“A feature is a bug with seniority.” — Dave Bartley

File library corrupted: Life.exe   Backup not found: (A)bort (R)etry (P)anic (S)uicide — Smart Bee

“In place of infinity we usually put some really big number, like 15.” — Anonymous Computer Science professor

A novice of the temple once approached the Chief Priest with a question.   “Master, does Emacs have the Buddha nature?” the novice asked. The Chief Priest had been in the temple for many years and could be relied upon to know these things.  He thought for several minutes before replying.   “I don’t see why not.  It’s got bloody well everything else.” With that, the Chief Priest went to lunch.  The novice suddenly achieved enlightenment, several years later.


Commentary:
His Master is kind,
Answering his FAQ quickly,
With thought and sarcasm.

You know, it’s really too bad most people, even hackers, are so reluctant to acknowledge how much computers reflect our own nature as humans; if they would, we’d probably be able to figure out a rational way to avoid a lot of the problems we now are facing as a species…. We are so afraid to see our own design flaws, we fail to account for them, a behavioral tendency computers have been built to mimic… It’s built right into the codes used to give them instructions….

Sadly, people have always had a hard time admitting their faults; that is what keeps most of them from ever learning anything more complicated than driving a car, a feat that remains a challenge for most people, especially now they are expected to TALK at the same time…. Witness the car crash statistics, especially since the advent of Blue Tooth…. Too many folks on the road end up with the same sort of conundrum they face when asked to walk & chew gum at once…. (Long, drawn out West County Irish SIGH…..)

Just think! When computer technology advances to the point where keyboards are unnecessary, as one will merely speak to the computer to give commands, or assign tasks, THINK of all the new ways to screw up communication people will have to explore, in their relationship with the computers, to which we are relinquishing much of the drudgery of living….

As computers do more and more of what people formerly had to do, just to get by, the opportunities for missed communication will multiply geometrically, up to the point of exponentially, as a parabola that approaches infinity…. What fun we’ll all have!…. Dyslexia will take on new significance if not new meaning…. Imagine a dyslexic trying to give two commands at once to a house droid, but, getting the commands reversed: “R3D3, put the trash in the back yard, and the dog in the compacter….”   Oops! Dad might have a hard time explaining that one to the kids….

“All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace”

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

~~ Richard Brautigan, 1967 ~~

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Well, it came out a bit long, but, hey, I can’t do EVERYTHING…. I wrote it; someone else is supposed to keep track of how much of it there is…. Of course, that person didn’t get paid for a few months, so they quit, which probably explains why it gets away from me so often. I haven’t had time to interview for a new one, and couldn’t actually pay them anyway, so, what’s the point? As it is, I find myself unmoved by the complaints about how long it is…. I mean, just read faster, for goodness sake, and it won’t take any longer…. It’s not as if you’re going to find any of this on the Quiz, is it? No, of course not….

Now that we have completed the required dose of complete, utter nonsense, as required by curmudgeon rules, I can finally lay this to rest, and go about getting it posted…. Whew! I’m beat; this one took it out of me…. If I didn’t have business to take care of, I’d be back in bed in five minutes… Ah well, I guess I’ll go eat some worms, then go catch the bus…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 
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Tears will fall for feathers….

Ffolkes,
As a computer geek of long standing, glitches of a technical nature, while usually fun in a challenging way, are not what I care to confront upon first sitting down to write. Early morning is the best time, I suppose, to perform reboots, but being forced to do so by recalcitrant software trying to live up to pre-coded requirements for updates is a pain, like any other unwanted activity we are forced to engage in, such as paying taxes, and NOT shooting at politicians. Grumble, mumble, hmph! Now I feel all curmudgeonly, and I haven’t found a single pearl yet…. this could get ugly, ffolkes….

Grump, is, I believe, going to be the order for the day. Other than my usual ranting, I haven’t really put on my cranky shirt or pants for a while. Even my recent bout of pain didn’t put me there, surprisingly, but I can feel a good-sized quantity of grumpy stuff piled up in there, just looking for a subject upon which to spew. Well, so be it….

I’ll just issue a warning here to keep back a bit while reading today, or wear your favorite lobster bib or rain slicker to help avoid any splatter on your clothing…. it may get messy. Episodes of spewing this type of material have, in the past, exceeded local regulations for release of toxic materials all in one place, so have a care….

Before I panic anyone further, I believe I’ll just dive in, start the search for suitably grim pearls, and hope that at the end of today’s efforts, we end up with a worthy Pearl…. hope is our only friend right now, I think…. Okay, the tide is in, let’s go……
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“The programmers of old were mysterious and profound. We cannot fathom their thoughts, so all we do is describe their appearance.

Aware, like a fox crossing the water. Alert, like a general on the battlefield. Kind, like a hostess greeting her guests. Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood. Opaque, like black pools in darkened caves.

Who can tell the secrets of their hearts and minds? The answer exists only in the Tao.” — Smart Bee

Although this is intended as parody, it is, in reality, quite accurate. If one replaces the word “programmers” with “Taoist sages”, it is a nearly exact copy of texts I have seen by Taoist scholars discussing the Way that is not the Way. What impresses me the most about this is the descriptions they use to portray the image of the sages, to show those attributes that can give the seeker a clue as to how to find that which they seek.

“Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.”  This is purely Zen not merely in its depth; the Zen Buddhists also use the Uncarved Block as a talisman of focus for meditation and mindfulness. “Aware, like a fox crossing the water.” Can one be more alive, and more aware if it, than that?

Another line of this type that I’ve seen is one of my favorites…. “The ancient sages were alert, like ice on the verge of melting”…. Ah, what an exquisite image, and an admirable state of mind to seek after. It is often puzzling to me to think of how differently the world would appear should more of mankind choose to follow such philosophies.

What would be the overall effects of having the greater portion of society seeking to increase the world’s supply of rationality and right action, including those who govern? How much further down the evolutionary road toward Utopia could we be if religion and politics had not achieved the stranglehold on the rest of us that they have? How different would life be if everyone was “Kind, like a hostess greeting her guests”?  My guess would be, things would be a lot different….
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‘T is sweet to hear the watch-dog’s honest bark
Bay deep-mouth’d welcome as we draw near home;
‘T is sweet to know there is an eye will mark
Our coming, and look brighter when we come.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Don Juan, Canto i, Stanza 123

I guess the curmudgeon in me went back to bed…. This is just here because I like it. It’s a nice little paean to dogs, and how their unconditional love for us, hard to understand as it is, can make our whole day better, just by being who and what they are….
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Calvin: “Do you believe our destinies are determined by the stars?”
Hobbes: “Nah.”
Calvin: “Oh, I do.”
Hobbes: “Really? How come?”
Calvin: “Life’s a lot more fun when you’re not responsible for your actions.”
— “Calvin and Hobbes,” Bill Watterson

Sharp, sharp wit! Pointed straight at the very heart of modern society, laughing at those who cannot laugh at themselves. Robert Heinlein once said that you could tell how rational a person was just by asking their opinion of astrology, and he was mostly correct in that. To my mind, astrology is what I would call a half-assed science, in that it assumes that the motion of the stars and planets in the sky determine the characteristics of our personality, and affect the events of our lives, depending on our decisions, of course.  😉

This assumption is theoretically possible, I suppose, if one also assumes a somewhat different set of natural laws to be in effect than what seems to be the case. But, at a stretch, it COULD be true. If true, however, it still fails to take into account the actual nature of reality, in that things exist only in duality, each with its counter-balancing opposite number in the universal scheme of things. This is incontrovertible fact, clearly demonstrated on every level of reality, from atoms to stars. With this in mind, it becomes clear that if the stars and planets affect the events of our lives, then those same events have an equal effect on the motions of the stars and planets.

Well, there goes that theory…. Observation of those motions show absolutely no changes that can possibly be ascribed to what is taking place on Earth. None. Oh, they’re all moving about, and it is an extremely complex and beautiful dance indeed that they perform. But to try to imply that what I’ve done this morning, or what anyone did, in some way affected what time the Sun came up, well, that is what I would call plain stupid, with a strong dose of denial thrown in for increased stubbornness….
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“A chair has no problems … It’s there; nobody bothers it. It doesn’t have to pay rent or get involved politically. A chair can never stub its toe or misplace its earmuffs. It doesn’t have to smile or get a haircut, and you never have to worry that if you take it to a party it will suddenly start coughing or make a scene.  People just sit in a chair, and when those people die other people sit in it.” — Smart Bee

Though reading this makes me want to stick my tongue firmly in my cheek, it sort of grabs me by the shirt-front and gives a bit of a shake, too…. Obviously, it is a very concrete look at the duality of existence, and does very well at outlining the advantages of being an inanimate object, over being a member of a pathological society of sentient entities.

Of course, since it is so concrete, it fails to mention any of the disadvantages that a chair has in society, such as never getting to eat a cheeseburger with grilled onions (sheer bliss!). A chair can’t really get a lot of enjoyment out of playing in the mud, and then getting to take a shower with a friend, either, can it? And even though it can’t lose any earmuffs, neither can it make a snowman on a crisp winter morning, cold ears or not….

This sort of stuff (my all-inclusive term for such distractions) is probably best avoided, or if not avoided, disregarded, as far as being useful is concerned. It may be a nice, easy way to spend a few moments to read, but spending much time in consideration of its content is giving it too much relevance.

To my mind, it encourages sloth, and ignorance; it champions the concept of non-involvement in reality to avoid the pain of commitment, and offers a rationalization for non-action. As such, it is insidiously evil, for it draws one in with apparent humorous affection for a well-known image, then uses that affection to create a state of mind that is contra-productive to independent thought or action.

Better to spend time more constructively, I should think, but, hey, to each his own…. I’ll be busy thinking about my refrigerator, and won’t have time to think about chairs….  🙂

“Joyous distrust is a sign of health. Everything absolute belongs to pathology.” — Nietzsche
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“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: (1) not going all the way; and (2) not starting.” — Buddha

What a perfect last pearl! This could easily be applied to the previous section on astrology, either as a beginning, or ending, quote. But since I just found it, I’ll just serve it up fresh, as it stands alone quite well, don’t you think? I do…..

Not only is this a perfect ending to what has been a fairly normal strange journey, but really requires no enhancement. This one is good for both motivation, and for meditation, so, enjoy!….
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There are mornings when the words flow like good wine from my mind to the screen. Then there is today, when each one had to be kicked forcibly out into the light, complaining all the way. Ah well, having already been reminded of karma, I have no reason to complain, so we’ll just put this to bed, and send it on its way, to mix my metaphors a bit….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

 


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

Kowabunga!