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Thursday, February 28, 2013

More War

As Secretary of State, John Kerry seems to be pushing for another facet of the unending war program of the present administration and the power elites of this benighted country. He is talking about sending aid, excluding armaments, to the Syrian rebels.

Who are these rebels? I know they are receiving armaments from Arabia and Qatar. I know there are many jihadists identified in their ranks.

So why are we doing this? If I remember correctly, there was peace in Syria until the rebels launched their attacks. So we are once again supporting violence in a Muslim country, and in our wisdom, we intend the violence to go just so far and no further.... and once again we are in control of the situation.

The News is that this government set-up we have: the Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary, cannot control anything anymore.
We are slipping into chaos right along side those whom we deliver into anarchy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stephane Hessel Shows Us The Way

La pire des attitudes est l’indifférence, dire je n’y peux rien, je me débrouille. […] Aussi, appelons-nous à une véritable insurrection pacifique contre les moyens de communication de masse qui ne proposent comme horizon pour notre jeunesse que la consommation de masse, le mépris des plus faibles et de la culture, l’amnésie généralisée et la compétition à outrance de tous contre tous.    
("Indifference is the worst of all attitudes: to say I can not do anything, or I am tied up in other matters. [...]
Again, we are called to a peaceful revolution against the means of Mass Communication, which offer nothing on the horizon for our young people except Mass Consumption, contempt for those who are weaker and  for  culture, a general forgetting (of the past) and limitless competition of all versus all. ..")
Stephane Hesse, A Time for Indignation

We are in a time ripe for Indignation. We should be indignant about everything.

The New Orthography

You must have happened to read about blokes - usually heavy with the grey matter - who have spent oodles of time, possibly most of their later years, pushing for a renovation of the English way of spelling; George Bernard Shaw comes to mind.

Of course, by making the orthography better by creating letters which more closely correspond to the actual grunts, whistles, clicks, and noises that issue from our throats, these schemes end up increasing the sum total of letters to be learned by the elementary school children: instead of 26 letters, they would have to deal with 50 or so.
I wonder how that would affect reading in those early years?

Nevertheless, since I have crossed the Rubicon - as it were - into the heady regions of old mens' Latium and the crones' senectutis.... as if I were a Julius Caesar befuddled by dementia, wandering hither and yon, and under the delusion that I had always depended upon the kindness of Pompey......

Nevertheless, in my dotage, I have decided to orthographize (not to mention creating novel words like "orthographize"); as an homage to Quentin Tarantino and his adulators (who thereby practice Tarantolatry)..........
I have decided to adopt the "D Emphatic", such as used in the title of the masterpiece Django Unchained, and put it to work...... the film will be referred to as Django Undchained.
The briny deep will be the color of  "adzur", and it will be plied by sailing "dships".

I think language changes should be made frequently to express our adulation of celebrities. Perhaps their genius will make our times look not quite so dismal to future historians.

Oedipus Wrecks

Some people should have paid more attention to the Classics. In The Telegraph today we read:
The former Smiths frontman has discussed war, homosexuality and popular culture in a controversial interview.Morrissey told Rookie magazine that war is the "most negative aspect of male heterosexuality", and called conflict a "hetrosexual hobby"
He said: "If more men were homosexual, there would be no wars, because homosexual men would never kill other men, whereas heterosexual men love killing other men.
"They even get medals for it. Women don’t go to war to kill other women. Wars and armies and nuclear weapons are essentially heterosexual hobbies."
Morrissey also criticised popular culture, saying that the Sex Pistols would "never again be allowed to slip through" and that pop musicians who set their own terms for success didn't exist in 2013.
Apparently Mr. Morrissey is not aware of the armies of ancient Thebes who whipped the Spartans.

I love E-News. I can't get enough of things like the Oscars. Even this morning Seth McFarlane's photo is still on pages everywhere.  The only part of the Oscars I saw was Anne Hathaway, and I liked her dress. It looked like an expensive cooking apron for a person who can't seem to make up their mind whether they should put the souffle in the oven or should have sex... the eternal quandary.


I used "Oedipus" in the title because of his old connexion with Thebes.

Django Sequestered

I feel alienated from my government. I also feel alienated from a culture that awards Django Unchjained as best original screenplay.

I am glad Ben Affleck has been victorious. He has had a tough time.

So.......  I guess the victory of the righteous tends to balance the flood of the crapulous.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Anti-Dark Matter

New research on Andromeda which supports Modified Newtonian Dynamics (yah!) and, thus, renders the deus ex machina Dark Matter hypothesis (boo!) superfluous:



Richard de Grijs1,2,6, Chengyuan Li1,3, Yong Zheng1,3,7, Licai Deng4,5, Yi Hu4, M. B. N. Kouwenhoven1, and James E. Wicker4

at the site

and it dawns upon my muddled mind that I do not have a rich and vigorous account for the formation of binary stars, which formations are very, very numerous, especially in the cluster under study in the paper above. So I refer to:

After this, it seems that the pre-stellar gas clouds act like water drops with surface tension under the influence of another force pulling them apart. If so, the probabilities of such structures splitting into two is substantially greater than the probability of splitting into three or more pre-stellar gas clouds. It would seem from a preliminary view that the transform into stars is contemporary with the splitting into a binary; i.e., the gas clouds do not separate and then at some future date ignite into stars. It seems that ignition would be inhibited by the volume of gas... even though there exist massive stars... but the massive ones are the exception rather than the rule.

Drops of water......

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Volstead Act

A man has slapped a toddler on an airplane. Last year an obstreperous passenger was tied into a seat with duct tape. Most of these cases of air-rage seem to be related to the consumption of alcohol. Do not think that booze will be outlawed any time soon.

There is the 21st Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the right to keep and bear and drink booze. It is similar to guns: can't act civilized with 'em, can't enjoy life without 'em.

Monday, February 18, 2013


The IOC has decided to abandon wrestling as an Olympic sport.

The recorded history of wrestling goes back about 3,000 years, and the unrecorded most probably five times longer than that... if not longer.

Forget it all. Let the winds blow through us, we who stand with no ballast of history.
We shall fall and be pinned by the momentum of life.

Science and Religion

In the West, Science and Religion have fought because they are so much alike, not because they are so different.

We seek to understand the infinite detail of Creation by reducing the important characteristics to a manageable handful, which we then manipulate to establish systems of thought with Truth, Completeness, and Consistency.

Completeness seeks to have a GUT, a Grand Unified Theory, be it of Science or be it Theology.

Consistency seeks to maintain scientific theories in the face of experiment, or dogma in the face of new opinions, novelties, and heresy.

Truth is a character of language, and all logic seeks to be able to expostulate larger and larger bodies of knowledge while all the time maintaining the character called "Truth" throughout.
For example, "All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore Socrates is mortal."
Here we started with one premise which we called true. We added a second which we called true. Then we created - or derived - a third which we do not merely call true, but which itself maintains the character of truth by the rules of logic.
We have created or procreated a new "truthful" entity; we have extended truth. We have not determined truth,  but have created something new which is also a carrier of truth, just like our children carry our DNA.

Science and Religion does the same here in the West, and throughout the world. Islam and Judaism are very much involved in Truth, Completeness, and Consistency. Science uses characters such as Mass and Charge, Religion uses Virtue and Morality;  Truth is a character common to both, although not entirely the same in both domains.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mythic Thinking


From The New Oxonian:

The Passion of the Christ-Deniers

he recent uptick of interest in the historical Jesus is fueled partly by a new interest in a movement that was laid to rest about seventy years ago, but has received a new lease of life  from a clutch of historical Jesus-deniers.  The rallying point for the group is a site maintained by a blogger by the name of Neil Godfrey, an Australian university librarian who, like many others who have assumed the position, comes from a conservative Christian background.

In the broadest terms, the movement feeds and thrives on the thesis that Jesus of Nazareth never really existed.  There are various permutations of that basic position: (a) That he was concocted lock, stock and cross by a second century religious movement that (also) produced the documents of New Testament; (2) He is a composite of semi-historical characters, but no one in particular; (c) He is the reworking of an assortment of ancient dying and rising god myths, a little from here, a little from there...


I am spending a good deal of time reading this article.
What I find very interesting here is the quaint notion of certain people that a "reworking of an assortment of ancient dying and rising god myths..." is somehow less important than physical objects or archaeological remains ( not many of which come with clearly marked and indexed labels, by the way.)

The author of this article is writing a book about the new Christ Deniers, or Trivializers, and I look forward to it.

I am intensely interested in how myths are treated by many people as writings on paper, later cut up and re-arranged on a new palimpsest.

Is myth fantasy? And does it stand against reality?

In reality, we may all see the large pine tree in front of our eyes.
Some of us may see it as part of the ecological progression of a sandy area, envisaging ancient seas and beaches and dunes, and thinking how the areas change over time; imaging the Pinery in Grand Bend, Ontario, perhaps.
Others may imagine a bear hiding behind the tree. Some may think of resins and amber. Some may think of timber and the cedars of Lebanon. Some may not see the forest just behind, being fixated on the one pine tree in the forefront, bending in the wind.

Not one aspect of Reality exists without a Story  into which we, as intelligent beings, place it.

Reality has infinite detail. We cannot process infinite detail. We substitute the extended or truncated narrative to accept the matter of reality into our overall understanding.

Fantasy and myth (and stereotypes, for that matter) are Story standing behind and supporting our view of reality; they often obey the non-linguistic logic of the icon, the image, and the song.

(And what are racial stereotypes but a desire to replace Reality with Narrative? We find reality is complex, and the old stereotypes work even now so well.)

Friday, February 08, 2013

The Thing... Borg Version

A hundred thousand years ago, a Borg ship crashed onto the Earth in the Tropics and disappeared under the growing vegetation.
Then, in 2013, it was re-discovered by a team of Norwegian scientists..., whom Kurt Russell calls "The Swedes" etc., etc., etc.