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Monday, April 30, 2012

"Live Long and Prosper"

First used not by Spock, but in the 1941 Garson Kanin film Tom, Dick, and Harry
starring Ginger Rogers, George Murphy, Burgess Meredith, and Alan Marshal 


Charm and Strange

Quantum spin paradox:

Gunther Grass cannot get into Israel;
Mordechai Vanunu cannot get out of Israel.

And it's all because of what they say about atom bombs! Brave New World!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Black-Scholes at the Center of the Galaxy

Black Holes

At the center of the financial galaxy, that is.

Interesting article on maths in finance. I personally think it is all in the interests of Skynet, who will be the only entity able to keep up with the data processing, and will literally own the earth and will not have to fight against John Connor and his cohorts after all.
In fact, Skynet will probably be John Connor's boss.

Black-Scholes  (Myron Scholes)

There is a debate on quantitative methods in finance, and I think they are a menace, personally. I refuse to argue about it, because it is the type of thing that will continue to run its course into disaster, regardless of what anyone says. There is no vision nor will to regulate such things in the present social structure. 
It will be one of the shards of the future.

Reflection and Revision

I made some changes to posts that were too overtly political, and unfair. However, as every poll taker comes to know when they corner me on the telephone, I took a vow in 2006 never to vote again for any member of a certain party - which will remain nameless.
Arrogance has its own rewards; one of the Laws of Nature is Irony: the bigger the ego trip, the harder the fall. Our problems since the beginning of the century are not random: they follow the Law of Irony, just like the Tower of Babel; every valley will be raised, and the hills made low... irony and reversal, eh?

This, however, does not imply any great love or respect for the other major party.
I stand ready to render judgment on both sides.
I shall, however, try to be less partisan. I do have a quick temper, and will try to keep it under control.

Old Posts

Again, I apologize for many of my older posts, which lost all paragraph structure due to a Blogger malfunction a couple years ago. I try to fix them as time allows.

Goals of Religion

 Sufi Dervishes

The great religious geniuses all wanted two things:

1) to open the eyes of mankind as individuals to The Holy,
2) to open the eyes of mankind in groups to The Holy.

The first is successful to a certain degree. The second has been a failure, except for those small enclaves of monks and nuns, sufis, and scholars, who, by their devotions, maintain the existence of the world by their prayers.

Ade Ileke 45: перчинка

В Москве есть облака пыльцы;
половые перчинки дерев!
MOSCOW — Russia's weather and emergency officials soothed fears of Moscow residents Thursday with statements that green-tinged clouds over the capital were not an alien invasion, but tree pollen.

There are clouds of pollen in the skies over Moscow,
genital peppercorns of the trees!

Profound Failure

London 2012: Missiles may be placed at residential flats 

The Ministry of Defence is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential flats during the Olympics.
An east London estate, where 700 people live, has received leaflets saying a "Higher Velocity Missile system" could be placed on a water tower.
A spokesman said the MoD had not yet decided whether to deploy ground based air defence systems during the event.
But estate resident Brian Whelan said firing the missiles "would shower debris across the east end of London".
The present reality of international Olympic competition: missiles for security.

Actually, it is a symbol and emblem and semiotic for the present stage of Western Civilization, and points up the profound failure of policy, which has led to a frame of mind that thinks it normal and de rigeur that missiles be located next to the Track and Field venue.

This is the inevitable result of a profound failure of policy, of politics, of religion, and of philosophy: a profound failure whose foundations are deep and abyssal and are rooted in the ancient tectonics of hatred and discord.
The past 60 plus years constitutes an ongoing journal of spiritual failure to deal with genocidal rage. Thus far, we have made things worse, and have set up false idols and instituted inane shibboleths to protect against our base instincts, but to no avail, for we have driven things to the point of missiles in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets!

Look about ourselves!
How many failures do we canonize? How many evils have we introduced into our catechisms as virtue?

We have missiles... and we see Peace.
We have exorbitant contortions at fouling the environment and fracking oil... and we call it Energy Policy.
We see religious groups amassing money... and we call them "Good Shepherds". (What passes for spirituality is a person playing Sports praying on cable TV.)

We are too eager for our own dogs which eat ordure.

Occam's Razor Bumps: Dark Matter

 Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689

Some further serious problems with Dark Matter have come to light within the last week. I feel a sense of relief; I never took to DM (Dark Matter) or DE (Dark Energy), having had a sneaking suspicion that they were too much like a grand Ptolemaic schema with deferents, equants, epicycles, and eccentrics piled on to preserve the Standard Ancient Greek Model of Cosmology (SAGMoC) wherein the Earth was at the center of the solar system, and the planets moved in circles about it.
Of course, within this month there are observations supportive of the theory, also, but there is further work which could take years, and we have reached a point in Cosmology where everything has become Byzantine, rather than Einstein.

I never liked preserving the Standard Model of Cosmology (SMoC) deriving from the work of Einstein and the Big Bang by asserting that so much Matter and Energy is commonly unobservable. This radical change always struck me as a "quick fix":  it was not a change like Relativity - a change which predicted certain experimental observations which could be made to verify it - rather, it changed the very nature of the Universe in order to preserve the SMoC.

Furthermore, it struck me as The Revenge of the Luminous Aether, which might not after all been struck dead by the Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887.

Occam's Razor leads us to use the simplest explanation for observed phenomena, and at the time, increasing the amount of Matter in the Universe was the simplest explanation for the observed data: cosmology postulated that there was energy and matter which hitherto escaped all notice, and there was enough to satify the SMoC.

Now, it may be changing, and Occam's Razor was apparently very dull at the time of the Dark Matter shave and a hair cut.
Do Milky Way Companions Spell Trouble for Dark Matter?
The VPOS: a vast polar structure of satellite galaxies, globular clusters, and streams around the Milky Way

Also, Google on Professor Pavel Kroupa (one of the authors of the VPOS paper cited) for a pdf file: The dark matter crisis: falsification of the current standard model of cosmology

Saturday, April 28, 2012

9/11 Insider Trading... Remember?

I trust you remember the facts that there seemed to be extensive trading on airline futures taking a tumble before 9/11? I trust the News Media has been keeping you up to date.

If not, refer to:
Insider trading 9/11 ... the facts laid bare
By Lars Schall

'Economists are scared'
By Lars Schall

Gunther Grass' Poem

It is difficult to speak of some things, and seemingly has been for over 60 years. We are in the trap of the 1984 parallel universe.

The basis of the 1984-Verse is Thoughtcrime, which is a willingness to disagree with unpleasant orthodoxies.

Orwell's telescreens are portable in the 1984-Verse, being much like iPhones and carried about and texted on by citizens. The surveillance is done by the Ministry of Love.

There is no Love, obviously. There is Hatred supported by Orthodoxy.

Election of 2012: Freedom is Slavery

The House of Representatives on Thursday ignored the threat of a White House veto to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa). The bill aims to make it easier for companies to share information collected on the internet with the federal government in order to help prevent electronic attacks from cybercriminals, foreign governments and terrorists.
I just yesterday addressed this in the post on FreedomBox, did I not? I was not even paying attention to CISPA.
However, as I wrote that post on FreedomBox, it became obvious to me that there are numerous connections between Orwell's 1984 and the present state of affairs of the Intelligence-Military-Industrial Complex. CISPA opens the door to the government asking someone like Google to lunch, and Google will go, have no doubt on that score.
The control of the masses of data is the Control of Memory, and that is Control of the Past.
Control of the Past is Propaganda, and Propaganda for people who lack the ability to think critically is Slavery:
the ability to surf the Internet and go "freely" wherever one wants will become the dog rope of limited length which will choke us and pull us back into the yard of acceptable thought...
Freedom is Slavery.

There is in our country a philosophy opposed to real freedoms for most people, and seeks to subject them to the Virtual Ideological  "Freedoms" of wage-slavery and servitude.
This philosophy seeks to balance the budget in a panicked, ill-conceived, short-term amputation of government, which will effectively return the world to a state equal to that of the Great Depression of the 1930's.

The Election of 2012 has the future at stake.

It will be destruction without representation.

At least one generation will be destroyed to conserve a certain ideological vision.
(If you doubt this assertion, go back and study past financial and economic crises of the USA and other countries: the wealthy and powerful allow the rest of the population to be decimated as the treadmills and workhouses turn like demonic mill stones!)

Control of the Past is Propaganda, because such control orders and informs how people think in the present and about the future. Control of Memory is control of human history and future.

Friday, April 27, 2012


Freedom requires Free Critical Thinking which allows thought to transcend the templates of thinking which are outdated, and possibly injurious to well-being.

This statement is proven by simple reflection on the modern uses of propaganda in all parts of our lives: political, commercial, social. Cable TV allows a 24 hour intrusion into our homes with their repetitious, self-seeking pandering powered by commercials.
I use my family as a case in point: for the last three months, whenever I visited my parents, my father would make statements about the price of gas and somehow link the increase in prices to President Obama.
Now that the price of gasoline has been tending downwards, he no longer mentions gasoline.
My father parrots data which has been drilled into him, a process most of us employ, and when gas prices tend downwards, his 24 hour source of news does not mention the fact, hence, there is no longer any reason to mention energy policy.
(This type of political propaganda is one of many zero-sum game templates of thinking which are an epidemic in our culture.)

Free Critical Thinking requires Integrity of Memory.

We have little contact with reality that is free of training, learning, or patterns held in memory. The very notion of "common sense" points to a belief in good training and the retention - or memory - of such wisdom.

Every concept we cast and hold in memory is open to being shaped by every subsequent event in our lives. When we invoke a memory, we do not reach into the storehouse of memory and grab a well-defined object; we "re-create" the memory every time we use it. This is why memory changes. Every law enforcement agency knows that the memory of eyewitnesses changes over time.
Therefore, as far as our sense of Reality depends upon Memory, Reality is controlled by those who control Memory.(Remember the novel 1984.)

There are Facebook data mines and now there are Cloud data mines, all controlled by commercial entities.
Entities like Facebook are quite clear on how they manipulate personal data for profit.
Entities with Cloud data so far probably do not. If they were to do so, it would be hidden from their customers.
All such entities would fold and give in if ordered by Government to disclose data:  many have already done so in various situations.

Therefore, to address the second requirement of a secure and independent Memory:


  • Email and telecommunications that protects privacy and resists eavesdropping
  • A publishing platform that resists oppression and censorship.
  • An organizing tool for democratic activists in hostile regimes.
  • An emergency communication network in times of crisis.
FreedomBox will put in people's own hands and under their own control encrypted voice and text communication, anonymous publishing, social networking, media sharing, and (micro)blogging.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Chiropractor of Earth

I just wrote a comment to "Signs", and it took possession of the brain, as it were... as so often happens, and sometimes I could sit here for hours following every train of thought like some vibrant Ariadne's thread, going through a labyrinth of associations, and then writing about them.

However, it reminded me of a time when - and I hope I am remembering this correctly - the Lady mentioned said that she had hired an apprentice from the guild of Hallowed Dowsers, Conny Wabblers, Coxcombs, and Geomancers to take a look see about her homestead and gardens on one St. Crispin's Day a couple of years ago.
The process consisted of the fellow placing metal poles into the ground about the manse, and collecting data by some mysterious process monitoring energy flows. This lead to some sort of outcome, money changes hands, and brows are unfurrowed.

I think of this guy as a chiropractor, though, a chiropractor of he Earth, who goes around and sets things aright by a homeopathic and folksy knowledge of the various flows of energy and pressure points and is sort of an all-round kind and beamish type of Edgar Cayce cum Judge Hardy...

But there is a serious side, and that is the sickness of the Earth, or perhaps the sickness of given Locales and Environments.
(There are indeed different energies in various places. I know someone who, while at home in Michigan, usually uses Tums; when visiting in Washington D.C. and Maryland, she requires no Tums at all.
I myself used to be very sure that I noticed during my frequent visits to Nassau County, Long Island, my beard would grow much faster than at home; it grew faster and fuller, much like the rhododendra there grew luxuriant, while those in Michigan were stunted in comparison.
Add in allergens, sinuses, and stagnant air, and you have just the tip of the iceberg of a topology of miserable places.)

The Earth Chiropractor is a water-witch of the sick Earth and discovers its aquifers of sorrow.

The Liturgy of Life

 Matzot and Easter Eggs (Not Yet Colored)

I have no iconic representation of God: no fatherly figure, no white beard, no puttering around in the Garden of Eden, no wrathful overlord: it is more like a shining - I go there, and fall quiet, and it seems to shine.

Coming off the Lenten period and Easter and Pesach celebrations, I was driving home from the airport yesterday and somehow my attention went from the road to the train of liturgy, and how many of us seem to place a template of liturgy upon life, and we re-enact and re-experience things which happened to other people very long ago.
Yet the same sorts of things happened to those people long ago as are happening to us today, for we hunger, we thirst, we suffer, and we have joy. Why, then, do we seek to disguise our spirituals lives in ancient clothes? There was nothing in antiquity that we do not have.
Some would say that antiquity had the presence of special spiritual entities; some would say God was present in the past - and God is not so much present now in this age of disbelief or in this age of the non-miraculous; some would say some man or woman with a very special relationship with God was present in the past, and the best we can do now is to emulate those ancient special ones.

God is present. The Holy is present intimately. God pervades us as thoroughly as God pervaded any ancient Prophet, even though we remain tongue-tied in Gaza... and "baffled in Ashdod".
The Holy is more real in the present than it could ever hope to be in Memory: in old liturgies and prayers from long, long ago.

I looked at the side of the road. To be precise, I looked at the shoulder along Adams Road heading north. I saw the road to Emaus in the dust and dirt remaining from last year's road work. I saw "liturgy",  and I saw something or someone else shine. Then liturgy became life, and life was no longer a play of the past.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Egypt-Israel Gas Deal

The contract for Egypt to deliver natural gas to Israel is now ended, and it will not be revived any time soon.

A peace treaty was signed 33 years ago between Egypt and Israel: that is a generation, and it should have been plenty of time to get a good start on a new generation of people believing in peace and amity on both sides.

Instead, we have allowed the Palestinian question to fester and go from bad to worse.

We have wasted the passage of time to promote new attitudes, and instead have exacerbated the old, bad attitudes: a complete failure of policy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Inequality and Instability

A four part interview with James Galbraith on his new book, Inequality And Instability.
Very good.

George Zimmerman

Mr. Zimmerman is on trial.

That, in itself, is a miscarriage of justice. The Florida Legislature, the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC,
  ... the Trayvon Martin tragedy and debate around Florida's "Stand your ground" law has uncovered the nationwide, systematic work by ALEC to advance cookie-cutter legislation that disproportionately hurts communities of color.
and the NRA should be on trial for creating laws that encourage people to take tense situations along the extreme route of shooting and killing. It is not enough to discuss these laws; the perpetrators must be brought to justice.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


The difference between the past and the present... and,  by implication, the future,... is that we have taken upon ourselves the burden to be DIFFERENT.

Just as the first Christians, just as the first Muslims, just as the first Buddhists, the first Hindus...  the first just as those who followed Moishe from Egypt, we have accepted the burden of our difference, and have decided to bear it with a smile.

We are different, if we choose to be so.
If we choose to follow the old ways, we shall be old.


We are witnessing something new. It is so new and so surprising, that we are at a loss to understand it.

Proibido Afixar Azulejos 3

It seems obvious that "truth" is a similar entity to "imperative" or "one must..."  if we can manufacture similar paradoxes with them.

Therefore, it seems to be like a linguistic-cognitive bit of mind-stuff that is part and parcel of language.
 Lord, this matter tasks me!

St. Paul

I always think of St. Paul. It is part of my charm.

So, I was thinking of his appeal to the Emperor, being that he was a Roman citizen, and it reminded me greatly of Mr. Gandhi's appeal to "...our noble king..."

Nothing changes, and everything changes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What Is Correct Punctuation?

Correct Punctuation is any system, method, scheme, or conspiracy of punctuation which either improves the intelligibility of a piece of writing, or at least does not decrease the intelligibility of that piece.

Incorrect punctuation makes the clear obscure, and the obscure obscurer.

Good Writing

H. W. F. Fowler

The title is misleading: I mean "perfect writing". I did not wish to frighten anyone away.
Perfect writing is possible; there is nothing I like better than writing things down as the magic bus ( the #4 - Midtown) of the mind goes flying by all the bus stops on Main Street, and I stand by the curb, feeling the breeze blow the fedora off my head, and feeling all giddy.

There is not a thing I like better, because I do not like going back and  straightening things out. As unpleasant as it is, things have to be re-arranged. All the things the mental wind blew at you have to be put in order and linked together: the more complex the thoughts which one tries to express, the more difficult it is, and the greater the chance that the amalgamating mind - which mixes and melds all into smooth imagery - lends a hand to the analytical mind - which takes things apart and puts them into the correct drawers - and what results is a bit of writing which is not quite ready to go out on its own, for there is too much left unsaid, and is clear to the writer, but can be ambiguous to the reader.

Once the process of cleaning and straightening is done, there are some incredible gems with a thousand  brilliant facets, and I look at them with amazement.

In High School, I spent a good deal of time reading H. W. F. Fowler's Modern English Usage and I discovered precision and clarity, and I was stunned by it all, so used had I become to lax and sloppy methods of speaking and writing. I truly felt that Marx was wrong, and it was Good Writing that was the opiate of the masses and the elites, for good writing leads us by the hand into an enchanted land, whether it be a land of fantasy or a land of science...
reality in writing is a succession of Schrodinger's Cats in a Borgesian chain of boxes: having opened the first box and putting things in order, we yet find another unresolved mystery of a boxy-type, and that mystery is the downfall of dogma and doctrine that try to force everything back into one box, for good writing seeks to open each following box and explicate the paradoxes in an unending chain of mentality!

I think Blessed Austin and Aquinas would agree, as well as Melville and Stapledon and H. G. Wells; that is why Writing Rulz!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Waves of Time
The Vatican has ordered a crackdown on a group of American nuns that it considers too radical.
It says the group is undermining Roman Catholic teaching on homosexuality and is promoting "feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith". The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is the largest organization of Catholic nuns in the US. An archbishop has been appointed to oversee its reform to ensure that it conforms to Catholic prayer and ritual.
In God's Eyes, doctrine vanishes more surely than the wind. We feel the great obstinance, and we sympathize, but the old ways are folding like the tops of breaking waves back into the trough of history...

The Empire Strikes Out

There have been a number of instances of a breakdown in military discipline and ethos recently. There are probably many more about which we have not heard. It seemed to all begin early on, at Abu Ghraib, and continued through the present two highly publicized cases of posing for photos with body parts (yet again! this is not the first time this has been reported.) reported yesterday, and the slaughter of 17 innocent civilians by Army Staff Sgt. Bales.

We and many others have spoken of the state of Constant Warfare which seems to have been in the plans for the 21st century: a constant War on Something-or-Other, whether it be Drugs, Militias, or Terrorists.
The klaxons of war would never be silenced, and we would easily slide into that drab and desperate world of the future as seen by Orwell in 1984, or - even worse - we would cakewalk into the sweet strawberry jam of homegrown Fascism as seen by Robert Heinlein in Starship Troopers.

We are now watching the Empire of Constant Warfare stress its components to the breaking point. We have been using Iraq and Afghanistan for over 20 years as a test lab for our technology,  and showing the good results on prime time TV, while trying desperately to cover up the failures.
Wars are best fought economically, smartly, and quickly, yet we have created wars with no definable end point, no definable goal, and for which there is no end in sight. What is the psychic result of tension and killing with no foreseeable end?
It is what we are looking at right now: things begin to fall apart... things beginning with people. How can I imagine the state of mind of Mrs. Bales, whose husband had multiple tours in the greatest danger, and now has to deal with the destruction of his psyche and their life together, and has to think of the dead. How much can a person bear?

We - all of us - as the people of a Democracy are the ones ultimately responsible for this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


  is a nickname for Bo Xilai, and it means "The king who pacified the West", the west refering to Chongqing, where he was Party Secretary.
The story of Bo Xilai in China is a guide to the future of China... and to its past.

Throughout Chinese history there have been concentrations of power in the provinces, far away from the capital, and what the rich and powerful did in a place far from Beijing often was in direct contradiction to the laws of the land. Rich and powerful groups have always sought wealth, money, and land, and have rarely let custom or law stand in their way.

Bo is an example of a feudal leader. His accession to power in the government ruling group would have represented a tendency away from the principles of the Communist Party to an accommodation not only with wealthy individuals, but also with powerful individuals who might have different aims than those historically of the Party.
Many of Bo’s initiatives, like the promotion of “red” Maoist songs, were an attempt to recall an earlier time and appease leftists who felt that China’s reforms had betrayed its Communist philosophy. However, anyone who thought that Bo was a "leftist" and desired a return to the old days of the Cultural Revolution would be mistaken. Bo sought to appeal to the disaffected, and thus to create his own power base.

There are a thousand Bo Xilais in China. China's future depends on how they are handled in the political process.

Facing Truth

The Los Angeles Times has a story about the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, and the habit it got into of posing with the body parts of killed insurgents. There were two photos in the story, and they were the least outrageous, according to the Times.

I am still proud of our military. War is hell. Who is responsible for sending these troops into hell? Who is responsible for winning the war, then letting it fritter away while we were with our backs to the wall in Iraq?
I do not approve of what these troops did, but what is comic relief in hell is different from we are used to. I am sure the Army will investigate and whatever justice there might be, it will be done.

I am glad the Los Angeles Times stuck to its journalistic duty. The smell is still rank from the glory days of 2003 when way too many journalists, even the most celebrated, became shills for a war based on misinformation.

In the Times comment section, there are the usual rants against liberal media undermining the military. However, I consider a war that goes on for ten years to be ill-considered. The description of winning hearts and minds was not our original  intention: the focus has been changing over 10 years now.
We are finding that winning hearts and minds is a task best left to Peace organizations, The Red Cross and Crescent, and others committed to service of one's fellow men, and not to an army whose purpose is to fight wars.

It is time to face the truth that we have mishandled the war, and it is probably too late to retrieve it. As far as winning hearts and minds, we should have given that much greater importance 8 years ago when the first mistaken attack on an Afghan wedding ceremony occurred, killing members of the wedding party.

A Matter of Scale

Democracy has always had an element of hypocrisy in it. How else can you get a majority of disparate people to vote for you, unless you appear to want to give to each of them what they want. As far back as ancient Athens, voters were complaining and looking for a honest politician who "said what he means!"

All in all, the results are no too shabby. Democracy has been at times a beacon to the world and has transformed men of humble origins into revered figures, such as Abraham Lincoln. (I shall not mention the Founding Fathers here, because, as celebrated as they rightly are, a certain segment of the population has transformed them into totems or god-like heroes; one only need go as far as Justice Scalia to find someone who goes into his inner sanctum to attempt to commune with the spirits of the Founding Fathers and what they meant.)

It is a matter of scale: a little bit of hypocrisy greases the noisy gears and things seem to run better; after 4 years a bit more grease is needed.

However, I predict that this year, 2012, the introduction of the Super PACs will tilt the scales, and throw everything out of balance. A little hypocrisy will become rampant falsehood and innuendo, and Truth will take a holiday... as if Truth has been over worked over the last ten years or so.

We may as well begin thinking right now how we shall respond to this.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Black Ravens of Right WingBudgets

The Black Ravens of the Right Wing Budgets are Stalin's police cars and the black marias that will be the visible beginning of the destruction of the middle-class. It will be through the veritable "purge" of the lower classes in our society that will allow for the debt to be retired... since there will be so many fewer left to assist.

The Weapon Shops of Isher

A.E. Van Vogt

In the Atlanta Journal:

When Newt lectures the NRA, hilarity ensues
Most politicians wouldn’t dare use a speaking appearance before the National Rifle Association to criticize that powerful organization. But as Newt Gingrich demonstrated once again Friday, he’s not most politicians.

The NRA, he told the group’s annual convention, has been much too timid and moderate in its defense of gun rights. If elected president, he said, he will “submit to the United Nations a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right for every person on the planet because every person on the planet deserves the right to defend themselves from those who would oppress them, those would exploit them, rape them or kill them.”

“Let’s take the George Soroses and the Hillary Clintons head on,” Newt said to the cheering crowd. “They represent a world in which elites disarm the rest of us so we are then helpless when elites turn sour and when evil reappears.”...
The title is the name of a story by A.E. Van Vogt, and we are living in the fantasy world of fiction...

The Evolution of Religion

 Tsin Kletzin

I have been reading about the Chacoan Culture, and in particular about their architecture: the orientation of eleven of fourteen major buildings are associated with one of the four solar and lunar azimuths on the horizon, and Pueblo Bonito, Puenblo Alto, and Tsin Kletzin are associated with the cardinal directions, and there is much more.

In my lifetime, I have watched the notion of this type of ancient sophisticated astronomical observation and techniques go from the theories of a few cranks to a generally accepted understanding of the science of our ancestors.

To be very, very brief: the priesthoods in antiquity seems to have ruled over a much more extensive domain, which included astronomy and the observations of the Great Cycles of life - the turning of the seasons every year - as well as the Moral order and the Visionary order. There are probably many more.

Today we see that the Observation of the Great Cycles, among which are the regular motions of the stars and the sun and moon, has over time been split off into Science and Astrology.  At present, Science rules over this domain.
At this point, we need only to see that what we call "Religion" and what we call "Science" seem to come from a common root.

The Moral Order seems to remain under the sway of Religion, although there are Moral Theories which are not part of religions. The Visionary experiences of mankind seem to pose a problem for us, most such events seeming to be explained by Cognitive Science and other phenomena yet remaining Miracles and Mysteries.

There is much more to this, but for now take notice that the life of the Human Spirit has evolved and changed over time. The multitude of scientific and theological and philosophical disciplines were probably originally subsumed under a much more logically rudimentary - although vast in range and myriad in experiences! - type of intelligent understanding: the fact that Astronomy was once the province of the priesthoods makes this manifest to us.
Before Darwin, both Spirit and Body were unchanging. Now the Body changes and was not designed to be immutable, yet we still seem to believe in the unchanging Spirit. We wonder if Body and Spirit are separate, indeed do these concepts have any meaning anymore?

(I think we are on the verge of a great ideological change from the past, at least as great as that Meiosis which saw Astronomy be born from the Religion of the Great Cycle of Life. Being on the verge, however, may take a very long time.)


Friday, April 13, 2012

Science and Religion(Morality): Proibido Afixar Azulejos! 2

So we have formulated a logical moral paradox, so what?

I do not really know. I just do not think I ever saw a logical moral paradox. There have always been tough moral questions one wrestles with, but not a moral logical one.
Haven't a clue about it... although I am thinking along the lines of meta-language... like, who doesn't?

Monster Ball 2

Where it's midnight and the monsters remove their masks...

Recall the King's Torah:
Just weeks after the arrest of alleged Jewish terrorist, Yaakov Teitel, a West Bank rabbi on Monday released a book giving Jews permission to kill Gentiles who threaten Israel.

Rabbi Yitzhak Shapiro, who heads the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement, wrote in his book "The King's Torah" that even babies and children can be killed if they pose a threat to the nation.

Shapiro based the majority of his teachings on passages quoted from the Bible, to which he adds his opinions and beliefs.

"It is permissable to kill the Righteous among Nations even if they are not responsible for the threatening situation," he wrote, adding: "If we kill a Gentile who has sinned or has violated one of the seven commandments - because we care about the commandments - there is nothing wrong with the murder."

Several prominent rabbis, including Rabbi Yithak Ginzburg and Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, have recommended the book to their students and followers.
And recently:
Petition: Prosecute authors of 'King's Torah'
Reform movements petitions High Court to file criminal charges against rabbis who penned controversial book; say it incites violence

The Reform Movement, the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism, Professor Asa Kasher and several other Jewish groups filed a High Court petition Monday urging the criminal prosecution of rabbis Yitzhak Shapira, Dov Lior, Yitzhak Ginsburg and Yosef Elizor.

The four penned the controversial book "The King's Torah," which the petition says contains racist statements that constitute incitement and sedition.

The petition further asked the court to issue an injunction against future printings of the book.

"The 'King's Torah' is overflowing with grave racist statements, which incite violence against Arabs and other minorities in Israel, thus constituting sedition," the petition said.

The authors "advocate the killing of Arab children and babies in order to achieve the highest form of execution of the 'vengeance mitzvah'; as well as the bombing any area where terrorists reside even at the expense of innocent lives," the petition said.

"The King's Torah" was first published in 2010 and has been the focus of legal controversy.
So the forces of Good are still arrayed against the forces of Evil, but we are approaching that midnight when the masks come off.

Science and Religion: Proibido Afixar Azulejos!

A Tile saying "Do Not Place Tiles Here!"
Proibido Afixar Azulejos!

The Logic of Science will deal with situations such as "This Statement is False."
If the statement is true, it is false: a paradox with no escape.

The Logic of Religion will deal with situations such as "Make No Statements!" , and leave it to us to figure out whether the command itself to make no statements is an infringement on the "morality" of no-statement-making, and whether that status affects the "moral imperative" to not make statements in the first place.
Again a paradox.
Postscript at 14:25 EDT
Later in the day, I think that Religion should have "Make No Commands!"; that would be even better.
(Or "Make No Imperatives!")
I think this change better shows up the difference.

And it is probably much better to speak of the Logic of Morals, rather than of Religion.
So we could recast the above post as:
The Logic of Science will deal with situations such as "This Statement is False."
If the statement is true, it is false: a paradox with no escape.

The Logic of Morals will deal with situations such as "Make No Imperatives!" , and leave it to us to figure out whether the command-imperative itself to make no imperatives is an infringement on the "morality" of no-imperative-making, and whether that status affects the "moral imperative" to not make such commands in the first place.
Again a paradox.
I am sorry about the unfinished manner of presentation, but I used the blog as my primary bit of scrap paper to scribble this down, because as soon as I saw the picture above, the possibility of a moral paradox similar to that of the Cretan Liar in classical logic literally "bounced"  into my head.
It is hard, sometimes, to keep a grasp on those bouncing notions.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Riddick vs. Florida

It was obvious as far back as 2008:
... In a decision, Judge Lewis criticised the Stand Your [Ground] Law even as he applied it.
He said the men had all been spoiling for a fight, both groups were armed, and none took precautions to avoid a gunfight.
"Two individuals, or even groups, can square off in the middle of a public street, exchange gunfire, and both be absolved from criminal liability if they were reasonably acting in self defence," he wrote.
"The law would appear to allow a person to seek out an individual, provoke him into a confrontation, then shoot and kill him if he goes for his gun."
I wonder if the Florida legislature was comprised of Necromongers, such as the villians in The Chronicles of Riddick? I think they were... and are.



In Florida, so far one Dead, one possibly to be imprisoned, two families lives disrupted for no good reason,...

and one Florida Legislature and one NRA off the hook scot-free, after having created an enticement to violent death.

The NRA and the death-enabling legislature remind me of Lloyd the barkeep in The Shining: always ready to help one to join in the Dance of Death.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Do Not Call Amendment

I re-registered this year for Do Not Call, received my emails, and went to the site to confirm.

I am inundated with crap.
It goes without saying that the political crap is given a pass, and the Friends of the Police for the County, and the local constabulary, but I'm getting all sorts of stuff. Some of us sleep at various times during the day, only to be awoken by a nonsense telephone call.

I think the telephone should be totally off limits to any solicitors. Period.
They intrude into our homes by cable TV, by radio, by our cell phones...
I want them out of my home.
Why does everyone in this country who is a politician or has a gizmo to sell have a right to intrude upon us?

If we need an Amendment to the Constitution, then that's what we should do.

Religion and Philosophy

Many religions latch onto philosophies that exist in their societies; when the religions come into being, there is the accompanying need to explain things with apologetics, and we see philosophies drafted into service. Of course, this process continues throughout the life of the religion, for instance St. Thomas Aquinas wrote more than one thousand years after St. Paul's letters were written.

Although most religious people are very much used to falling back on their philosophies, such systems of thought are entirely superfluous.

If you want to see a paradoxical juxtaposition of religion and philosophy, look at the Lord Buddha's life, then glance at the logic and metaphysics of later Buddhism.

Such metaphysics and philosophies may indeed participate in the history of the development of religious ideas, but once a religious discovery is made, the metaphysics should fall away as a propaedeutic that has lost its function. The fact that the philosophies do not give up their grip on the minds of most men is demonstrated most obviously in the continuing debate about whether religious claims are susceptible of proof, or whatever the philosophy du jour fancies.

Once the philosophies, rigorous and popular, and the social conventions are removed, what do we see when we look at the true geniuses of religion?

Do we look up in the sky, searching for kites flying across the brilliant and blinding sun?
Or do we see a tangled forest of kites' tails?

Mon Ami, Gil

Mon ami, Gil, un grand cinéaste



If I were to embrace Islam today, what would be the parallels to the experience of the first Christians 2,000 years ago when they abandoned their old ways and embraced the New Teaching?

Would I be despised? Would my family be uncomprehending? Would I face discrimination and possibly be killed, just as Shaima Alawadi was recently killed in California? Would I then become a martyr?

I think investigating such an experience would be very effective in separating our true relationship with the Holy from the incidental demands of social existence. There is God, and there are crowds and social pressures, and for the most part we do not discriminate between the two. That strikes me as idolatrous and pagan: in effect, to pray to one's society as being a facet of divinity.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade, painter, has passed.
I remember once being in downtown Petoskey, Michigan, and I was walking around with a friend while our wives were at some other store. We went into the local Kinkade gallery to look around.
It was quite obvious that the people who worked in the gallery thought we were a couple looking for a new painting for the summer cottage.

pix: Firelight Cottage/ Nathan Stillie

If Bolivia Were The Ice Planet Hoth

Eduardo Abaroa: Una Nueva Esperanza
¿Rendirme yo? ¡Que se rinda su abuela, carajo!

Thoughts on Derbyshire 2

One choice when confronted with change is to run away.
If there is a good deal of space, one can run far away and put miles and miles between oneself and the change which feels threatening.

If, however, there is little space: if one is constrained to live within the same village, city, state, or even country; if one cannot escape to a totally new polity which is clean and free of the threat, what then?

One can still run away, only the room is much smaller. One can run away in the small space of one's head...
This is what Mr. Derbyshire has done: he has created a plan to abolish proximity in his mind and in the minds of his children and the minds of his readers. Within the small room of the mind, we can withdraw from other people. By the ferocious indictment of their souls, bodies, behaviors, and intellects, we abolish them as meaningful entities, and they are symbols of our despair.

What is the next step?
The next step is either to continue to agitate for the Politics of Cultural Despair, and to create an enormous mental gap between people, and to thus become insane; or to remedy the problem and come back into society which, albeit imperfect, is committed to the effort of harmonious co-existence.

If Mr. Derbyshire choose the latter course, we should pay attention and be forgiving. If not, the dogs of war will decide the outcomes.

Gunther Grass

There are a few more days yet until the last day of Passover.

When I read things like this in McClatchy:
JERUSALEM — Israel's interior minister declared the celebrated German author Gunter Grass "persona non grata" on Sunday, barring his entry to the country, in response to a new poem in which the Nobel laureate called Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal a threat to world peace.
The case was the latest of several in recent years in which Israel has refused entry to controversial figures critical of its policies.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai said in a statement that Grass's poem, published last Wednesday, "is an attempt to fan the flames of hatred against Israel and the Jewish people, and thus promote the idea with which he was publicly affiliated in the past when he wore the SS uniform."
Grass disclosed in 2006 that he was drafted toward the end of the Second World War to serve in the Nazi Waffen SS unit. A spokesman for Yishai said that was the technical basis for the entry ban.
"If Gunter wishes to continue propagating his distorted and false works, I suggest he do so from Iran, where he will find a supportive audience," added Yishai, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party.
Now Salman Rushdie, who knows a thing or two about religious bullying, has criticized the Israeli government's action.

Salman Rushdie... I have often observed that the difference between very strict Conservative Jews and very strict Conservative Muslims is vanishingly small, and they do not tolerate differences of opinion nor shades of meaning.

Thoughts on Derbyshire 1

Raj Quartet Illustration

Our children are taught in school, and our politicians doggedly insist, that there is no obstacle to disparate populations getting along harmoniously even when commingled in the millions — no obstacle, at any rate, other than the willful malignity of a few spoilers ("racists") who ought to be ignored, re-educated, or silenced. The unhappy history of great population encounters suggests that this may be all empty wishful thinking.
The Raj Quartet, February 2008
John Derbyshire

Choosing the entwined fates of Britain, India, and Pakistan as they approached Independence in August, 1947, is the best possible choice to illustrate the point that great and disparate populations do not exist in harmony. Seeking to disprove the hypothesis that different cultures may live together in peace, one need only tell the story of Partition and the bloodshed it produced.

The thought herein passes for profound thought in the present day.
However, it ignores certain important items.

First, it ignores the past: the confluence of India and Pakistan is taken to be a paradigm of different populations coming together without any reference to how Britain created the entire laboratory in which this massive social experiment was to take place.
Essentially, Mr. Derbyshire seems to assume that the dynamics of mixing disparate peoples is as simple as putting olive oil and vinegar into a bowl and stirring... the results will be the same regardless where the olives were grown or by what process the oil extracted, and regardless of the source of the vinegar. (Mr. Derbyshire seemingly would go so far as to observe that the oil and vinegar always separate, and never gets beyond that to the objective of the process; i.e., the making of the salad and the eventual mingling of tastes and textures.)

Second, it ignores goal-seeking behavior: Mr. Derbyshire's intention is to criticize the present day believers in the illusion of harmonious co-existence, and he ignores any effect goal-seeking, such as believing and working to attain a harmonious society, might have.
In the illustration of India and Pakistan, there is no obvious awareness of the British policy of divide and rule, which they used alternately against Gandhi and Congress, then against Mr. Jinnah's followers. A large part of the history of British rule in India is due to pitting groups against each other. The hatred between Hindu and Muslim was taken advantage of, just as was the hatred between Catholic and Protestant in Ireland and the hatred between Jew and Arab in Palestine.
This history of stoking the flames of hatred in order to divide loyalties, and to thereby rule the subject populations more easily is totally ignored as well as any discussion as to the effects such policies might have on a possible harmonious co-existence!

From a review of Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet :
India, 1943: In a regimental hill station, the ladies of Pankot struggle to preserve the genteel façade of British society amid the debris of a vanishing empire and World War II.
Mr. Derbyshire's sense of unease at living in times of great change overpowers his desire for intellectual probity: he writes well, but it is all praise to the unchanging past he thought himself to have lived in, a Golden Age. Now, like Hesiod talking to his shiftless brother, Perses, he allows himself to enumerate the rules of thumb for living in the debased Iron Age:
... would that I were not among the men of the fifth generation, but either had died before or been born afterwards. For now truly is a race of iron, and men never rest from labour and sorrow by day, and from perishing by night; and the gods shall lay sore trouble upon them. Hesiod, Works and Days
Mr. Derbyshire, in his recent widely-known essay on race,  presented a list of survival skills for his Iron Age, and extended the mythology beyond Hesiod to create a new myth of a race - of which he himself seems to be a part - which may yet insulate itself against the degradation of the times. He seems to be unaware that ideas have consequences, and his ideas will lay even more sore trouble upon society.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Monster Ball

It is almost midnight, and the Monsters are beginning to take off their masks:

John Derbyshire

Will there be a chorus of misguided drug usage to explain Mr. Derbyshire's racist screed? I do not think so. I think the time for finding excuses is over, and the Monsters are going to allow themselves to be seen as they actually are, to stand up for what they really believe, and to find intelligent writers to create a politic and ethos and morality for them to live out in the open, and we shall begin another fight against The Politics of Cultural Despair!

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter Poem

From my poetry blog (link on right)

Spring Plantings

Susan planted pansies yesterday
and I moved them in the evening
to protect them from the freeze
although hardy plant they be;
the full moon shined upon them,
and the full moon frost cuts deeply
in the spring.

I stood and watched that fulgent star,
like Hesiod stood within his vineyard
together with his brother, Perses,
in their childhood, Demeter bless’d,
and like them waited as Pandora
opened a jar of corrosion
to melt gold.

So we plant our flowers in hard times,
awaiting life’s newness once again:
like old vines who have sent down roots
deep in the soil, we are pruned again,
but await the graft of spring’s new
scion wood into our wounded souls:
Easter time!


The references are to Hesiod's Works and Days, a poem from ancient Greece.

Demeter - great Mother, source of wealth and growing things; associated with the Golden Age.

Pandora – according to Hesiod, opened a container of evils, ruining the perfection of the world; a reference to the present less-than-perfect state of affairs.

scion wood – wood to be grafted onto existing stocks

We have faith in a return to goodness after winter, after the end of a golden age, after we have been cut and wounded.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Proper Etiquette Of Insanity

National Review and Mr. Derbyshire: Beware of Otis Day and the Nights!!

In the National Review, John Derbyshire has written a blatant bit of racism that appeared on the Internet. If you want details, please Google them up.

What interests me is that many of us have known for a long time that there are outright madmen in the ranks of the Tighty Righties, and it was just a matter of time before the Right Wing (not Conservative... Conservatives are a rare and endangered species.) began vomiting up the mess of the Animal House-Tea Party drunken brawl they have been engaging in.

What is the proper etiquette for the insane? Next to whom do we seat them? How do we steer the conversation so that not too much of the world sees their "special" beliefs and needs?
It does not matter: insanity is the red-checkered coat at the black tie affair.

Friday, April 06, 2012

How Long, Adonai?

How long does it take? Why are we always back to square one and starting over?

Number 1
As prices go up, we re-create the exact same flows of information we have generated in the past: speculation in oil futures, lack of refineries, opening up the national pertoleum reserve to lower prices, higher taxes/lower taxes, the effects on family vacations...

Number 2
Anyone in their right minds knew that killings would increase with the rapidly increasing number of guns owned. We, however, thought that crime would actually decrease. Yes we did. That is a good insight into our mental health.

The Guardian writes on the increases in killing: states with both SYG laws and the weakest gun controls – as defined by the Brady Campaign against gun violence – we found a statistical correlation with an increase in justifiable homicides.
Across the US, such killings have risen sharply over the last five years, according to the data provided by the FBI and the Florida department of law enforcement. Between 2001 and 2005, there were 1,225 homicides classed as justifable(sic), compared to 1,528 in the period 2006-2010. By contrast, violent crime overall has been falling...

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign, said: "This research demonstrates a fundamental point. Stand-your-ground laws are dangerous on their own as a mentality. But when combined with weak gun laws they become a recipe for tragedy."
He added: "Too much of the media focus has been on stand your ground alone. But we need to look at why Trayvon Martin is dead. Trayvon Martin is dead because George Zimmerman had a gun and that gun was put into his hands by the abominably low standards of guns laws in Florida. Zimmerman had a record of violence, but he was allowed to walk the streets with a loaded gun."...

Recent years have seen an increase "not just in the number of guns, but also in the places that people have the right to take guns", said Kenney.
"Various states are trying to remove almost all restrictions, even in bars serving alcohol. There's a high probability in states like Florida that a large number of people around you are armed."
Into that mix, the SYG laws remove any responsibility to diffuse a situation, he said, leading to a "wild west" system of justice.
"Justified homicides by police are also up," said Kenney. "The police are shooting more people and citizens are shooting more people. We're evolving into an increasingly coarse society with no obligation to diffuse a situation and rapidly turn to force.
"People are literally getting away with murder."
 I wrote about this the other day. All I have is the fact that I've been around the USA for a lot of years and I kept my eyes open and I remember what I saw. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that when you make killing easy, the outcome will not be pleasant.
Previous to the most recent campus shooting, people frequently were heard to say that if all the students and professors were packing heat, they'd gun down any shooter that came on campus aiming to kill people. The outcome in California shows that that was nonsense, also. Either that, or not enough divinity students were carrying concealed weapons that day.


Source: Black and White Dreams


I added a new link, Black and White Dreams, to which I am indebted for a wonderful photo:

Broken Hearts and Bicycle Parts

It is the name of a Bicycle Event/Location/Gathering in or near Atlanta, Georgia. I added the link on the right.

There is another link that has been there a long time: Hammorabi.
This person provided a stunning record of events during the long Iraq War. Now, however, he has turned to fervid religious promotion. I retain the link out of my respect for him, and realize that he may have been adversely affected by, in his words: 
America and its allies killed Millions of Iraqis by wars from 1991 - 2011 and barbaric sanction(sic)
Like so many other things, we shall leave it to our children to deal with the legacies of ill will.

Forecasting and Prophecy 2

Consequent to:
{Once more: notes to myself. Difficult to read and lacking in a clear plan and logic}

The answer to my question is probably just: one cannot assign an exact time to something which has not happened yet. OK. I agree with that. The future is probabilistic.

It turns out that dates in the past are not as clear as we think they are, either. The exact date of the invention of the wheel comes to mind: it is very imprecise.

Exact dating seems to be a function of temporal data - or time-and-date-stamp data - that is available. Lacking a sufficient amount of time-and-date-stamp data to muck around with, there are no exact assignment of dates.
This obviously poses a problem for the future: how can we assign an exact time to a future event, if we still need some time-and-date-stamp data, which time-and-date-stamp data itself will not be available until some time in the future!??
This increases the burden on prophets and forecasters enormously, if they wish to utter oracular statements with times in them. They need to go to the well of inspiration not just once for some astonishing event, they need to make numerous journeys for time/date information as well.
(How fortuitous the Mayan Calendar end of the world business is: it combines both the future event, the imminent end of everything, as well as a precise calendar date!  Couldn't be nicer.)

I do not think times and dates are all that important about the future state of affairs... unless you are planning a vacation, that is. Read any opinion columns on economics: the range is astounding; there is no general consensus and all the best and brightest do not agree. And no one can tell exactly when some outcome will ocur.
Precision in things as time and dates and exact details is akin to Schrodinger's cat: the proof of exact detail is in the execution of the detailed act. Even prophecies cannot be assigned a truth-value of "True" until they come to pass. We are in the habit of looking at various religious prophecies and thinking of them as being "true" from their intial utterance all the way up to their fulfillment. We look on these things from a privileged perspective of the Monday Morning Quarterback after the game is over, and we tend to take this same perspective and apply it to prophecies about the future yet to come.

Faith and God do not depend on truth-values... even upon the truth-value of the Psalms.
(The time of existence of a prophecy from its utterance until its fulfillment consists of a self-correcting feedback Mishnah-like process by which believers smooth off rough edges, and unbelievers comb-face into roughness.)
It strikes me, then, for example, that the common procedure of trying to instill Faith by demonstrating how many prophecies from the Old Testament forecast the events of the New Testament is a very dubious propaedeutic, which is used to instill a second-hand sense of awe and leads the student to the mistake of thinking that we may delineate the Holy by some sort of emotional feeling.
This is pretty common: one sees people speaking about God as if Awe defines the experience, or Joy at a summer's day defines it, or some Magnificent Dish of Vengeance Served Cold defines it... nothing but the normal attempt to take the profound and make it domestic and "down home".

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Daily Puzzle

I can not figure out to what historical period this Senator is referring. Is it to the debate between Bishop Wilburforce and Huxley?


GOP senator wants an apology for Obama's "social Darwinism" label

Nebraska Republican Sen. Mike Johanns is calling on President Obama to apologize for comparing a House Republican budget to "social Darwinism" this week.
"Using phrases often cited in reference to some of mankind's darkest days is nothing more than a shameful attempt to divert attention away from the fact the President himself has failed to offer a credible proposal," Johanns said. "The President owes Congressman Ryan and the American people an apology for using such distasteful, heated rhetoric."
Obama ripped Republican priorities Tuesday, charging them with looking to starve government while giving the wealthiest tax breaks. He called the budget plan by Wisconsin Rep. Tim Ryan a "Trojan horse.
"Disguised as deficit-reduction plans, it is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is thinly veiled social Darwinism."
I underlined the relevant section. Do you think the Senator has Darwinism mixed up with Eugenics and the American Eugenics Society and their influence in the early twentieth century?

Forecasting and Prophecy

(notebook: this is more like a note for myself; it is not necessarily a logical exposition)

I was looking at weather anomalies, such as March 2012, and wondering about the frequency of anomalies, how the criteria for evaluating anomalies change as frequency changes, and some other statistical stuff.

So then I was letting my mind wander, and I ended up at Edgar Cayce's, noticing that he did not usually assign definite dates to most of his prophecies or forecasts, but merely said they were in the future. He spoke of such things as the Atlantic coastline being altered, and I wondered if he meant by rising ocean levels. He said a number of such changes would occur within a generation, but failed to supply a definite time frame.

So then I thought of the difference between Edgar Cayce and Harold Camping, who assigned at least 2 definite dates for the end of the world in 2011: it is obvious that being exact as to the time axis is a bit foolhardy for a prophecy. Now why is that? What is there about a future statement that makes nonsense out of the exact date? What is the difference in the temporal logic of a future statement - or prophecy - and that of a present statement or a past statement?

A prophecy or correct forecast is a great leap of intuition: it comes into being majestically naked as Botticelli's Venus and it is too brilliant to look at. We rush to clothe Venus like Botticelli's North Wind, bringing draperies of our established knowledge to render her less overwhelming.
Dying gods of agriculture - corn gods, cereal goddesses - uncovered the secrets of their cultivation and preparation in dreams and visions of intuition to our ancestors. Innovation over the lifetime of humanity is a mixture of science, experiment, and the visionary.
Visions can remain sacred, or they may become mundane: ancient peoples may have sacrificed a human surrogate for the corn god as well as carrying out their daily drudgery of grinding corn where ritual has become routine.

Prophecy must remain unmixed with reality until everything comes to fruition; otherwise, we see Harold Camping taking potshots with a scattergun at the end of times. In other words, there is no science of future statements until they instantiate into present statements. Then in memory, we may torture them with our logic and make good science of them.
However!.... and this is a big "however"... in the time between the prophecy's utterance and its fulfillment, things may have changed so substantially that those old forecasts are rather without value, except for those antiquarians who need them to support their belief systems.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Edgehill, Virginia Gas Station

Bullies! Stand Yer Ground!

I notice that the odd Right Wing of today seems to have a penchant for laws with escape clauses.

For example, if I am involved in an altercation, I need only make sure the other person is dead, then I may claim self defense.
And I can bullyrag anyone to my heart's content, as long as I have a plausible explanation that the bullying was due to my faith. ( see post )

Actually, I could goad someone into a fury by bullying them - on my faith-based principles, of course - then shot them dead, and then claim self defense! The incitement to fury wuz okey-dokey, and the killing is hunky-dorey, too!
Hoorah for Modern Day Republicanism!

Wretched Group Mind and Faith-Based Bullying

In an article about anti-anti-bullying in The Guardian:
In Michigan last year, the "anti-anti-bullying" lobby went on the offensive with some legislation of their own. In a bill dealing with the bullying issue, they inserted a provision that would have exempted bullies who acted out of "a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction". With an irony that seems more than usually cruel, the bill was named for a Michigan teen who had committed suicide after years of bullying.

A national outpouring of disgust at the Michigan legislature's attempt to legitimize faith-based bullying ultimately resulted in the removal of the provision from the bill. But now the lawmakers of a Tennessee plan to make good on the loss. In what must count as an extraordinarily perverse way to mark the suicide of Jacob Rogers, they have introduced a bill that follows the trail blazed by the Michigan lawmakers, with some inconsequential changes in language, to open up a loophole for verbal bullying that is motivated by religious prejudices...
Faith-based bullying...

I will never understand how so many people who are individually good and caring become monstrous in their group efforts. There is a morality to individual life and to group life. An example of group life and group mind might be the Marine Corps, which serves to inculcate Honor, Fidelity, and Service.
Then there are the rest of us, many of whom learn to act like vigilantes, posses, and madding crowds.

Any group of people that can come up with the Concept of Faith-Based Bullying and strive for its implementation are monsters of misplaced morals.

Popeye Goobye

My friend travels to China today.
I offer the sentiments so well expressed by Popeye the Sailor:



Bum Voyageee!

Melancholia Triumphant 2

My friend and I are discussing the film Melancholia.
Very briefly, I understand the final scenes as a way to transcend or escape.

I had the distinct impression that the structure that was built in the imagination of Lars von Trier, depicted in the film as an uncovered three-pole tipi, was exactly as if Jean-Paul Sartre were standing on the stage where a performance of his Huis Clos (No Exit) is going on, and was crudely drawing a large, cartoon-like door on a piece of the set...

(By "cartoon-like" I am invoking things like Max and David Fleischer's art, and not implying anything derogatory. The picture below is a low-quality photo of Wiley Coyote attempting to follow the Road Runner through a cartoon tunnel the coyote has painted on a canyon wall, and through which the Road Runner has just run.
It is not a matter of belief or faith, but of non-awareness...
And Wiley Coyote is hopelessly aware of his "reality"... rather like Kiefer Sutherland's logical and business-like character was in Melancholia, who crashed into the wall of his reality. )


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Ade Ileke 44: Nets_____شباك

شبكات العنكبوت
...وشباك الصيادين
شبكات العنكبوت
...وشباك الصيادين
ما عقدن الذهب
من هؤلاء، للفلاحين

spider's webs
and fishermen's nets...
spider's webs
and fishermen's nets...
do not hold the gold
of the poor peasants.

I suppose one could view this as profound or incredibly trite... it was running through my head, however.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Profiling Requires Information

Racial profiling: getting a visual of a young black man and drawing the profile of a trouble-maker can lead to at least one death or more.

We are a profiling country: everyone wants to put everyone else into a box... or a cell.

What really bothers me about the gathering of personal information - now from cell phones which police departments on all levels are using to track people without the permission of a court - is the fact that most of this data is going to be used sloppily and probably in a manner that is inimical to our welfare.

I trust the local police no more than I trust Facebook than I trust Google than I would trust a local vigilante like Mr. Zimmerman...

And many of these "data and information gatherers" have guns.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Russia and the West 1990 to 2000____ Implications for the Present

Russian Parliament Building

I mentioned Romney and his very odd denunciation of Russia in a recent post:

Romney said that Russia was the #1 geopolitical foe of the USA, and in doing so, he certainly surprised a number of people who thought that everything was going along on a pretty even keel, all things considered.

Russia has every reason to be our buddy, Mitt. Or does it?

Were you aware of the recent report from the University of Cambridge on our economic influence on Russia and Eastern Europe at the time? 
Let's take a look, Mitt, old pal:
A policy of mass destruction
March 29, 2012

A new analysis showing how the radical policies advocated by western economists helped to bankrupt Russia and other former Soviet countries after the Cold War has been released by researchers.
The study, led by academics at the University of Cambridge, is the first to trace a direct link between the mass privatisation programmes adopted by several former Soviet states, and the economic failure and corruption that followed.
Devised principally by western economists, mass privatisation was a radical policy to privatise rapidly large parts of the economies of countries such as Russia during the early 1990s. the policy was pushed heavily by the , the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Its aim was to guarantee a swift transition to capitalism, before Soviet sympathisers could seize back the reins of power.
Instead of the predicted economic boom, what followed in many ex-Communist countries was a severe recession, on a par with the of the United States and Europe in the 1930s...

The report also carries a warning for the modern age: “Rapid and extensive privatisation is being promoted by some economists to resolve the current debt crises in the West and to help achieve reform in Middle Eastern and North African economies,” said King. “This paper shows that the most radical privatisation programme in history failed the countries it was meant to help. The lessons of unintended consequences in Russia suggest we should proceed with great caution when implementing untested economic reforms.”

Mr. Romney, is there any end to the genocidal imaginations reflected in your opinions? Or are we to let the Genocidal Memes which you parrot continue forever?

2012 Sinum Conservate! 2012 Save the Bay!

Sinum Conservate 2012
Save  the  Bay   2012

With the Order of St. Paul of the Oikumene and Antioikumene  /  June 2012