Parsing algorithms at the Sign of the Four….

Often times the words flow freely, tripping out lightly to rest momentarily before someone’s eye, then fluttering away to tease and please the children playing nearby. The flow grows, and the the pace increases, the words assume more urgency, more passion, more, more, more, until they are practically exploding onto the page, assaulting the eyes demanding meaning, scaring the children as they rush by, intent on mayhem. The flow then slows, reassumes the passive, lazy feeling of a late summer day, long lemonade in hand, with the only purpose of killing time, killing it so well, no charges are brought. But then, for some reason, the flow stops…… and I take another sip of coffee…..let’s dive in, shall we?…..

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wondrous tale,
And nightly to the listening earth
Repeats the story of her birth;
While all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.
— Joseph Addison (1672-1719) — Ode

I don’t have any comment here, not of any great profundity. I just like this poem, for several reasons that are too personal to go into just now; it would take too much time, trying to explain something that I don’t fully understand within myself in a way that would be understandable to others. This actually happens a lot to me when I am judging art; I  don’t know much of anything about painting, or sculpting, or the finer points of writing poetry, only what I’ve read. But I do know what I like, and what I don’t, so I just go by that, and let the rest take care of itself as best it can….and I know I like this poem…….you enjoy it too, so this won’t be a complete waste of our time together, what?….

“I, for one, do not think homosexuality is the latest advance over heterosexuality in the scale of human evolution. Homosexuality is a sickness, just as are baby-rape or wanting to become head of General Motors.” — Eldridge Cleaver

While I can in no way agree with Eldridge’s opinion on homosexuality, I do agree with his definition of sickness, one that goes beyond the usual defined parameters of the concept of sickness, past the physical into the behavioral. Pedophilia can, I think, be placed in the category of something that everyone recognizes, as an abnormality that produces behavior that is extreme, to put it decorously. Unfortunately, we also have another subset of humanity that engages in avarice and power-seeking in the extreme, who have somehow convinced most of the rest of humanity that they are not only not sick or broken, but are just the type of folks that anyone could want in a position of responsibility.

Now, obviously, that’s a crock of BS. No rational person would ever consider taking the reins of power over others without serious doubts as to their ability to do the job well; such jobs preclude any but the most serendipitous results by their very nature. But, to those folks who want that power, it is their ticket to ride the gravy train of public service, and they will lie, cheat, and steal to whatever degree is necessary to secure their desired place atop the heap.

For the most part, we let them do it, if only because we don’t have the ruthlessness and disregard for human rights that are the hallmark characteristics of those who would be king. But then, if we did, we would be them, and that is just as unacceptable. We just need to find a way to keep them as poorly funded and poorly supported as possible, so they don’t do as much harm in their thrashing about…..

“Look at these three words written larger than all the rest, and with special pride never written before or since — tall words, proudly saying “We the people” .. these words and the words that follow … must apply to everyone or they mean nothing.” — Kirk, “The Omega Glory,” stardate unknown.

“No one need think that the world can be ruled without blood. The civil sword shall and must be red and bloody.” — Martin Luther

The American Dream isn’t as shiny as it used to be; the fact of its existence only contributes to the feeling that it is an unattainable dream, a lie promulgated to keep the ignorant going each day to their little job, eyes focused on the big bright picture of SUCCESS! that hovers ever out of reach. Each successive generation who is disappointed once again, who sees no fundamental changes in the way things are run in the world, soon understands that it is mostly futile to fight the status quo. Thus, the soil of American thought grows to be ever more fertile ground to nurture change, more ready to accept the fact that it is probably a good time to hold the next American Revolution, wherein the forces of reason will battle the forces of ignorance, hopefully to settle the matter, once and for all………. now that we’ve had our serious political discussion for the morning, here are a few thoughts in a lighter vein, if no less sarcastic….

“He who knows nothing, loves nothing. He who can do nothing understands nothing. He who understands nothing is worthless.” — Paracelsus
(But he can still run for President! This is like a job want-ad for a Republican POTUS, and all the current candidates fit right in there….)

“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.” — Elbert Hubbard

What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.

“Congressional terms should be … ten to twenty with no possibility of parole.” — Walt Handelsman

A little sweet, a little tart, a little savory, and you’ve got a flavorful stew…..

“Marjoe and Doshen were meditating in a field when Doshen just went and smacked Marjoe upside the head.  “What the hell did you do that for?” asked Marjoe.  “Nyuck nyuck nyuck,” replied Doshen. At that moment, Marjoe ordered pizza.

Hackish humor can be pretty subtle. This isn’t particularly surprising, as working in abstruse fields of mathematics can cause some interesting changes to the mind, leaving it open to new vistas of previously little-known parts of reality. This koan is a clear indicator of this kind of vision; it is true to the principles of Zen thought, while immersing itself completely into modern hacker culture, with an almost calculated  irreverence thrown in for decorative purposes. The funniest part of it, to me, is that I can see myself having this interchange with some of my friends; and, yes, we are all considered a bit strange by the Mundanes. At least it keeps me off the streets….

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” — Buddha

If reality wants to get in touch, it knows where I am.

Am I a dreamer, dreaming that I write? Or am I a writer, writing my dream? Reality is always a slippery slope, if only because taking one’s attention away from dealing with it can be either help or hindrance. And only in retrospect can one tell which took place….. I always liked the way Philip K. Dick defined reality, as “…what is left when you stop believing in it.” This viewpoint shows both insight and experience, in a man who should know; he spent much of his life struggling with a form of Schizophrenia that makes any perception suspect, even those we hold to be most familiar.

It is no picnic trying to get along in life when one’s sense of what is real is constantly being challenged by what is perceived. It can’t be easy to be in a crowd when one believes they can hear what others are thinking; we who do not suffer from this sort of delusion or hallucination cannot really understand how terrifying it is to live with this every day.

I’ve had some struggles of my own in this respect; reality takes on a very dark, foreboding aspect when one is suffering clinical depression, and the climb back into the light can be an exhausting effort. So, one learns to adjust feelings in ourselves, to make changes to the only part of reality over which we have any power to do so. We can change ourselves, if we wish, but we cannot change anything in reality, beyond exercising our means of perceiving it. In my younger days, when I knew so much more than I know now, I once wrote, “true power is control over the routes of perception.” I didn’t know then that I was closer to the mark than I thought……

As the words flow gently toward the final destination,let us bid adieu to another trip through the nether portions of my mind. I’m happy that I could still find my way out; we could have been stuck there for days!….. Y’all take care out there…..

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