Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Ten Rules

 

A diversion into wisdom accumulated at great personal expense…

 

1. Never compromise on principles.

Nothing is more important than our principles. They are not mere guidelines or general precepts to be fudged when they become inconvenient or cumbersome. Principles are the guard rails in the journey of life. Principles can only be based on natural and moral Once we begin to negotiate on matters of principle we begin the decent into chaos. "God... has formed us moral agents... that we may promote the happiness of those with whom He has placed us in society, by acting honestly towards all, benevolently to those who fall within our way, respecting sacredly their rights, bodily and mental, and cherishing especially their freedom of conscience, as we value our own." [1]

 

LiskovSubtitutionPrinciple

 

2. Test your limits.

This is life and in life there are very few certainties outside of the realm of realms of physics and mathematics. One certainty that you can count on is risk. There is an degree of danger in nearly everything we do from eating breakfast in the morning to driving home from work. Risk is inherent in life. The other certainty is that no matter how careful one is eventually the life expectancy of everyone drops to zero. I can not think of a single individual who bettered themselves or the human species without sticking their neck out. If you spend a good part of your day thinking about how to avoid risk, you are more likely lulling yourself into an illusion of safety that is far more dangerous than acknowledging inherent risk. 

 

Freedom

 

3. Understand that people seldom think outside their own heads.

People generally assume that everyone thinks just like they do. What we believe we naturally imagine others will believe. A thief will assume everyone else is stealing. A liar will always deduce that others are untrustworthy. A cheat will take for granted that everyone is a fraud.

 

WhyAreYouWaving_Fullpic_1

 

4. Worry is pointless.

My father used to say, “Worry is interest paid on a debt not due”. He was right because all the worry in the world accomplishes nothing except cause stress.  Actions make things happen and if you are not prepared to take action, then you obviously do not care about whatever it is to worry. Either, take action to defuse the situation your worrying about, or move on to your next order of business.

 

Government

 

5. Deeds not words.

Leave the mangling of words to the lawyers and politicians. When the silence returns their words leave no trace. Let your accomplishments stand as monuments of irrefutable truth and manifest wisdom. 

 

 

Unique

 

6. Never expect life to be fair.

Life isn't fair. Limit your use of the word fair to board games and a description of the weather. Each of us are born with different talents and limitations as humans. Accept this as a fact of life for the simple reason that it is a fact. Exploit your talents to the utmost in order to minimize your shortcomings.

 

ensuresafety

 

7. Solve your own problems.

Never focus on problems as problems are and always will be problems. You can become bogged down and easily overwhelmed when you think in terms of problems. Only allow yourself to think in terms of long term solutions.

 

disservicesatisfied

 

8. Be quick to decide.

General George S. Patton said: "A good plan violently executed today is far and away better than a perfect plan tomorrow."

 

1288688756_ae79fad6c1_m

 

9. Focus on matter of significance.

Once you determine what is significant, you have also determined by exclusion that which is insignificant. Focusing your energy becomes much easier and productive when you pick your battles in this way.

 

never

 

 

10. Keep a sense of humor.

This is how we light a candle rather than curse the darkness. I subscribe to the theory that "We're not here for a long time; we're here for a good time." If you are not having a good time, you are doing something wrong. Count your blessings and be thankful for them.

 

 

kindness

 

 

 

References, Notations, and Other Accoutrements

1. Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814. ME 14:197

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Maybe They Are Just Hairless Descendants of Apes…

Notpass

 

I often encounter a significant quantity of disapprobation from intellectuals, academics, and even one highly respected bus mechanic about my belief in Creationism. Invariably, these disciples of Darwinian’s theory on origin of species will explain to me, in the manner one would speak to a severely mentally challenged child, that Darwinian evolution is the only educated, enlightened, credible, and most importantly “scientific” principle available. Their eyes filled with compassion for the poor boy who has been misguided by fairy tales of God sitting on a mountain, or in the clouds, or someplace, somewhere, out there.

It’s not that I don’t recognize a back-handed insult when I have been slapped with one, but this is when I start smirking in a nearly futile attempt to hold back hysterical laughter. I do this out of respect, because I know that they have spent a great deal of time, money, and effort in the accumulation of knowledge, however erroneous it may be, and I do not wish to offend their fragile sensibilities. My silent reaction are often misinterpreted as an open door through which the concerned evolutionist can begin shoveling more of their erudite concepts. Perhaps the will assume the worst of me and begin with something like,

“You do realize that there are more than four basic elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, right?”

“Well, of course I do! There are your solids, liquids, and gases which make up the seven food groups! I can read the sides of the cereal boxes too as I ‘m drooling back into my bowl of Captain Crunch”.

My tactic of ignorant indignation cannot hold up and I give myself away here every time.While I am relieved that they did not begin with,

“Do you believe in Zeus, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Clause as well?”

To which my only recourse is to act out wildly tearing at my clothes and screaming, “Blasphemy! Blasphemy! Blasphemy!” Needless to say, I’m a lot of fun at symposiums after a couple cocktails, or at least was until they took my name off the guest lists in 11 states and Canada. The scientific community is  highly educated to the point of elitist, this vast intellectual burden makes relating to those of us who possess merely average comprehension a tedious bunch with which to communicate. Imagine the frustration of trying to instill the concept of equality in a pack of sled dogs whose every instinct runs counter to an egalitarian system. The scientist would avoid such a foolishness endeavor, while I might give it a try. After several hours of aggravation and disgruntlement the dogs will lose patience with my baffling antics allowing me the respite to delude myself into the illusion of having made progress.

Speaking of progress, the theory of Darwinian evolution is based on the twin pillar hypotheses of universal common ancestry and natural selection. Darwin describes the his hypothesis of universal common ancestry, the theory that all life on the planet originated from a single or very few primordial life forms in his On the Origin of Species in this way,

"There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one" [1]

Personally, I see no conflict what so ever between and great harmony within much of Darwin’s assertion and that of the Genesis account aside from the mater of quantities. I would go so far as to say that Moses, assuming that Moses is in fact the author of Genesis, could not have described Creation better in a single sentence other than the one the author used,

“And Jehovah Elohim formed Man, dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and Man became a living soul.” [2]

Darwin never addresses the existence or absence of a deity which, “…originally breathed into a few forms or into one.” Darwin is describing the process to the best of his understanding at the time, which is no more advanced, educated, enlightened, credible, or scientific than the description found in the Genesis account. Now, who is acting out wildly tearing at their clothes and screaming, “Blasphemy! Blasphemy! Blasphemy!”

 

fossil record

Darwin was a credit to science in that he was far more open to reason than most of the scientific community and other religious zealots, who cannot for a moment entertain that there theory on Creation of life on this planet may not be complete or even remotely correct. Several times over he presents his theory being incomplete and at points leaves open critical flaws that would discount his theory all together. One such point is his addressing the question posed by the sudden (rather than evolutionary) appearance of life in the Cambrian,

The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained. To show that it may hereafter receive some explanation, I will give the following hypothesis. From the nature of the organic remains which do not appear to have inhabited profound depths, in the several formations of Europe and of the United States; and from the amount of sediment, miles in thickness, of which the formations are composed, we may infer that from first to last large islands or tracts of land, whence the sediment was derived, occurred in the neighbourhood of the now existing continents of Europe and North America. The same view has since been maintained by Agassiz and others. But we do not know what was the state of things in the intervals between the several successive formations; whether Europe and the United States during these intervals existed as dry land, or as a submarine surface near land, on which sediment was not deposited, or as the bed on an open and unfathomable sea.”  [3] 

There has yet to be a satisfactory answer to the inexplicable case life suddenly appearing in wide diversity and without evidence of the simpler progenitors required by natural selection or the interim species . However, the ability to present a valid argument against the evolution, universal common ancestry, or the process of natural selection has been silenced as blasphemy. The hypothesis of evolution called a theory is taught as a law of science and all else is discounted as primitive mythos. However science works by some very specific definitions and anything that does not conform to these definitions is NOT science…

Fundamental Definitions Used in Science [4]

A hypothesis - A supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation

A theory - A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained

Law - A statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present: the second law of thermodynamics.

 

HereBeDragonsTrue science is the endless asymptotic pursuit of the truth. True science does not summarily dismiss a theory or hypothesis because a scientist does not wish it to be true, or disapproves of the implications incumbent with the theory or hypothesis. True science does not  promote that which is theory or hypothesis as being more than theoretical or hypothetical.

A few hundred years ago the unexplored edges of mariners maps were marked with a stark warning “Here Be Dragons and Sea Monsters” along with a graphic illustration to impress upon the imprudent or illiterate sailor the dreadful disemboweling he was in for should he continue on his ill advised course.[5] It is the purview of science to boldly venture on course in spite of the warnings, fears, and inherent disemboweling no matter how dreadful. When the scientific community acts to stifle the diligent and unbiased exploration of the unknown, the constituent members cease to be scientists and become dogmatic zealots.   

When science acts on consensus, collusion, and conspiracy as tools to curtail the full realm of possibilities rather than explore them, it ceases to be science and becomes unreasoning fanaticism based on irrational fears. This is the antithesis of science.  One need only look to the very recent history in the educated, enlightened, credible, and most importantly “scientific” principle of global warming being driven by CO2 emissions to illustrate the potential for abuse. So many distinguished academics and researchers holding impeccable credentials agreeing on a thoroughly examined and exhaustively documented theory were invariably wrong in their initial premise. In the past CO2 has never been a determining factor in temperature change, and there is no evidence to support that it is now. [6]

The Vice-President and former Presidential candidate Al Gore was, and probably still is, convinced that the “Dragons and Sea Serpents” of global warming were just ahead when he said,

“Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming.” [7]

We must compile our understanding of the Universe from ALL the evidence at our disposal without prejudice. We must remember that science is not THE TRUTH, but the endless pursuit of it. History, is filled with well established scientific principles found to be without basis. Aristotle and Ptolemy (scientists and academics by any definition) were the proponents of the theory that the Earth was the center of the solar system, yes, even the universe and provided a myriad of calculations and circumstantial evidence to prove their assertions. The Catholic church later adopted the theory widely endorsed by the most learned minds of the day. Head he lived in Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’s time rather than ours, Mr. Gore would conclude “…they have produced long-since a consensus that the Earth is the center of the solar system.”

Very few today recall that Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’s geocentric solar system was all but universally accepted by the scientific community of that time. However, many recall that the Catholic Church’s inhumane treatment of those who did not agree with the accepted, yet fatally flawed, astronomy laid down by the Ancient Greek philosophers. Many forget that the at the time the Catholic Church acted far more as a government and political entity than a Christian denomination. In a hauntingly familiar way that government agencies, environmental groups, and the mainstream media across many countries for over a decade issued reports and documents stating that there is virtually unanimous agreement in the scientific community in support of human-caused global warming. Opponents who disagreed, were ridiculed, censured, had their funding cut, or were dismissed from their positions. This is the modern academic equivalent of an old fashioned witch burnings. We think ourselves so technologically advanced, so enlightened, but even today we certainly behave like the hairless descendants of apes that a consensus of science would have us believe.

References, Notations, and Other Accoutrements

  1. Darwin, C., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle For Life", London, John Murrary, (1859) p. 490
  2. Darby Bible Translation, Gen. 2:7
  3. Darwin, C., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle For Life", London, John Murrary, (1859) p. 361
  4. New Oxford English Dictionary © Oxford University Press 2005,2009
  5. The sea serpents thoughts are conjecture based solely on my own wild speculation
  6. Climate chaos? Don't believe it”, Christopher Monckton, Sunday Telegraph, 05 Nov 2006
  7. Al Gore, speech at National Sierra Club Convention, Sept. 9, 2005

 




 


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Time Is Cyclical and Truths Are Linear

 

Time is the school in which we all learn, and time is the fire in which we all burn.”

-Delmore Schwartz, American poet

 

Indeed, man has always had an uneasy and intimate relationship with time. Though we are all currently alive at this exact moment, we may have an entirely different perspective on time. One of us sitting on death row knowing that the earth is careening towards the at a little over 1,040 miles per hour and sunrise this will be will be the last he will witness in this life. Concurrently, just 12 inches of masonry and mortar away sits a man with five consecutive life sentences for crimes, and each day creeps like like a timid animal. In the world outside the prison walls, people rush and scurry through their days without the slightest sign of precaution. We are obsessed with getting to what we imagine to be a better future, and only stop to remember the traumas of the past, and this is where we spend most of our lives although we are and always will be creatures of the present, we the least comfortable in our own space and time.  It is a universal human characteristic to find humor in a puppy chasing its tail, perhaps it is that we recognize the symptoms of our own folly.  Our pace of life has increased exponentially in the last 100 years, and our children are exhibiting symptoms of stress related disorders and social dysfunctions at alarming rates as a result of stress burden placed upon the society as a whole. All the while we are spinning ever faster in headlong pursuit of completing another cycle, the start and finish of our workday, the beginning and completion of our week at the office, and the reaping and sowing of crops are examples of regular, perhaps even mundane,  short term cycles with which we are most familiar.  Beyond these tight orbits that are our daily lives in which we chase our tails, are grander cycles with equally predictable results found in the booms and busts of our economies driven by the cycle of the waxing and waning of consumer confidence and bulls and bears that of Wall Street.  There are longer cycles beyond these which are familiar to us found in the birth and death of generations, and the innovation and obsolescence of technologies. Beyond lay more wheels within wheels increasingly remote and seemingly removed our individual effect are cycles involving the rise and fall of nations, cycles of intellectual enlightenment and decay, and the warming and cooling of out planet due to yet another oscillation of solar activity. Although predictable in results the specific timing of these remote cycles are far more difficult to discern, only becoming clear through the lens of history. It is this parallax effect which gives us the illusion of time being linear, and that we are moving along between the two points of past and future, without much regard for the point at which we are now in what is the wheel of our cycle.

 

mayancalThe Mayans were on to something when they compiled their calendar and almanac which was improved upon and refined from technology passed down to them by the the earlier Zapotec and Olmec civilizations. The design of wheels within wheels in a pattern so complex that we have only recently come to fully understand the amount of technology that went into this precise, not to mention very aesthetically attractive, system.  By comparison our modern calendars however practical seem rather rudimentary, even crude to the Mayan craft of calendar design. Our calendar is a tool of scheduling and planning, while theirs was all these thing as well but there was another element of the sacred and mystical. While we tend to discount these aspects as the primitive pantheism of early man, is it so very different from the modern theistic belief found in Psalm 19:1 the prophet David acknowledges that "The heavens declare the glory of God." That is, a thoughtful look into the heavens will reveal something of the wonderful power of the God Who created it all. Then he goes on to explain that this witness to God in creation is perpetual (v.2) and universally understood (vv.3-4).  We have excised this element of connection with the Divine from our secular calendar at the expense of seeing the complexity and wonder in the elegant cycles of the Universe and our eternal relationship with it as well as the Divine. Secular humanism wishes to divorce us from these concepts entirely claiming to do so in the name if progress, science, and reason.  However, the Mayans were remarkably advanced in many areas some of them surpassing our own, such as their masonry skills, which as one would imagine is a real plus for a people trying to make a living in the stone age.

Their surviving buildings are  a testament to this skill each stone having been laid without mortar and with laser like precision so that a sheet of paper cannot be slipped into the joints. This marvelous knowledge was lost to the cycles of time and perhaps human intervention as well. While we possess their calendar, and their stone artifacts, we have no evidence of what became of the Mayans themselves being lost in a cycle time recorded on the calendar left to us.  Some very serious and respected “outside of the the box” researchers believe the Mayans possessed considerable aerospace skills as well.  As for me, I can only assume that these esteemed scholars may be thinking outside of their minds as well. Another highly developed area of Mayan culture was their criminal code in which the severity of punishment increased the higher the offenders position or status in the society. A laborer who stole a loaf of bread may receive a public lashing, while the kings minister would have been put to death for such a crime. It seems that our justice system in this time of progress, science, and reason applies the opposite theory when a homeless man can get 90 days in jail for theft and Enron's Ken Lay get’s to pass away a very rich man vacationing in Snowmass, Colorado. Our principles claim equal protection under the law, but in application few would agree. However, we have a consensus of agreement among Mayan researchers that one of the most striking mystery’s about the Mayans is they seem to have vanished without leaving so much as a forwarding address at the post office, and there are several theories about how and why they went missing. The theories run  the spectrum from (the ever so trendy) climate change, civil war, disease, even or the arrival of a rather rough group of Spaniards moving into the neighborhood. Records left by the Spaniards claim to no information on the Mayans’ fate, but details the retrieval of vast sums of Mayan gold. Yet another cycle well documented in human events, people disappearing without a trace and the last one to see them ending up with their gold. Of course, my money is on the Mayans, seeing the writing was on the wall and that neighborhood was going into decline, decided that all the gold they had been mining was too heavy to transport and opted to pack into their sandstone space ships and left for another planet in search of rising property values.

 

Body Bags or Puppies

Today we have the benefit of access to information that both the Spaniards and Mayans could not fathom. In their time, information was precariously stored on a limited hand written media and physically transported with difficulty and great expense. Today when I post this article, I will have exercised a transmission of information greater than the sum of that transmitted throughout the entire Mayan empires history with the pressing of the enter button on my keyboard. It is both an astonishing and commonplace occurrence at our level technological sophistication. However, along with every advancement of technology there are always inherent and often unforeseen hazards. While information can allow us the luxury of checking our favorite baseball teams progress in losing yet another years shot at the World Series, it can just as easily transmit a series of digits across the world to less favored team of individuals in Nigeria with a much better shot of scoring your checking account. Information in vast quantities can overload the human minds ability to interpret and vet it properly resulting in dangerous conditions, an experience known to fighter pilots as data overload. American politics are a perfect example of streaming data that is nearly impossible to understand. There are so many issues, estimates, projections, promises, denouncements, discussions, denials, claims, contingencies, debates, scandals, threats, crises, convictions, bail-outs, budget overruns, censures, committees, subcommittees, summits…STOP! Information is a double edged sword in that false information can be transferred as effortlessly as true information, and with so much more of it fly out of just Washington, D.C., it takes a great deal of time and effort to figure it all out. Being buried in information is no different than being bereft of information, it leaves you unable to make critical decisions and take proper actions when necessary, and the grand ubiquitous cycles of time will not wait for us to sort it all out. Politicians are well aware of this, and our government is exceedingly good at manipulating data to its advantage. We win wars more on the blade of our information technologies than our metallurgy, ballistics, or chemistry. Our primary targets are command and control elements for the obvious reason that an army without the a chain of command or orders is, if they are lucky, a group waiting for a comfy set of zip tie handcuffs and an all inclusive vacation at a Geneva Convention resort. Those less fortunate will be leaving behind only their unsightly remains to be aired on the prime time news, but again the government has command and control in mind. Military censors, like smart bombs for digital images, intercepted the footage and classify it as too graphic.  Thus avoiding the embarrassment of the footage being seen by the average American while having a lovely evening meal with the family. The politicians and military know thanks to that very same information technology that you should not see the amazingly effective, although not necessarily glamorous ways, we kill an astounding amount of human beings in your name and on your tax dollars in less time than it have taken you to vomit up that lovely roast your wife made had you seen the video. I’m sure you will see what a blessing information technology and command and control strategy can be when your trying to gain and maintain popular support for a war and keep your supper down. In this case, all you see is an embedded reporter in her early thirties talking about a surgical strike which resulted in the anonymous although deserved deaths of four enemy combatants, and the rescue of a puppy named “Skipper”. Aw, Look at the puppy daddy!

 ForesakingJeff

As a government for and by the people, we have a duty to and responsibility for what this government does because we put them in that position of public trust and they act in our name. It is our duty and responsibility to determine fact from fiction when it comes to our political leaders, the ones who make the momentous decisions that effect not only us such as raising the gasoline tax, but our future generations like engaging in war, a decision which if made imprudently can eliminate the possibility all future generations. Separating truth from lies, good information from bad information, and between facts and  puppy named “Skipper” is not as difficult as it first may seem when you use the cyclical nature of time, nature, and history as a lens through which to interpret all information.   It is your duty and responsibility to educate yourself on current issues, and look for similar issues discussed by the this nations Founding Fathers in their day. While some will try to dissuade you because, “timers have changed”, we know that only the date has changed, but the fundamentals of human nature, power, virtue, valor, and corruption remain unchanged since long before the Mayans noted the cyclical nature of time. War is still war and it has the same consequence as it had 230 or 2,300 years ago, death and destruction. Our family relations are the same, parents are imperfect but love their children, and worry for them. Money was tough to come by, unless you were a remarkably lucky Spaniard. People were concerned with crime, but there were also a lot of decent people out there if you knew how to pick them. The Founder's focused on universal truths, many in politics today will deny there are any such things as universal truths. They live in world of relativism where the standards of right and good are malleable almost fluid. Take a look at the difference between these two American political documents of historic value. We have the Constitutions of the United Sates, the  document which breathed life into what we know as America today, it instituted the greatest nation on earth.

 

Declaration of Independencelawsthenandnow

  • Declares an Act of Revolution against the greatest empire of the time in a specific, succinct, and philosophically moving document.
  • Introduces new vibrant political theories

Constitution and Bill of Rights

  • A powerful bicameral legislature with a House and a Senate
  • An executive chosen by The People
  • A judiciary, with life-terms of service and appointed by the executive
  • Check’s and Balances
  • States rights and  Limits
  • An Amendment process
  • Declares Federal Powers
  • The Ratification Process
  • Enumerates Ten Specific inviolate civil rights
  • Freedom of Religion, Speech, and Press
  • Protection from illegal search and Seizure

Vs.

HR 3962 Affordable Health Care for America

  • Creates yet another wasteful, unproductive, and exceedingly costly leviathan government bureaucracy with invasive powers, unaccountable to voters and those are to whom they are to provide services
  • This legislation empowers the executive branch, namely the Secretary of Health and Human Services and a “Health Choices Commissioner,” to write thousands of pages of regulations, and to force Americans to comply with them
  • Creates 111 new boards, committees, programs, and other bureaucratic encumbrances
  • The bill amends the Public Health Service Act by granting new powers to the Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • A text search of the bill reveals more than one hundred instances of language such as “the Secretary shall determine.”

One of these two sets of documents contains the quintessential and brilliant works of a group of passionate, freedom loving, educated, and visionary men who were constructing a system that they would live in and bequeath to their posterity.

The other is something else.