Tuesday, June 30

Monday, June 29

Damn memory....

IQ Test - Report

Left Brain86
Right Brain90

Your IQ Score puts you in the highest Genius range of intelligence (140+), indicating that you are at the very top of the intelligence scale. The right side of your brain has slight dominance over the left side. This means that you are better at big picture thinking, creativity and possibly hands on activities than you are at numerical or logic based activities. You have good memory skills and are able to memorise and recall a sufficient amount of items. Practicing memory games will help to boost your memory ability and enhance your intelligence score, however you have excellent word comprehension skills and perform extremely well at language based tasks such as writing an article or understanding written works. This will help you greatly if you are involved in publishing or journalism. You have strong spatial relations abilities that give you an advantage when undertaking such activities as estimating space or parking a car.

This report compares you to other men who are 36 or younger in The United States.

Left Brain

Overall Score86
Word Comprehension
Numerical Sequences83

You have good memory skills and are able to memorise and recall a sufficient amount of items. Practicing memory games will help to boost your memory ability and enhance your intelligence score. You have excellent word comprehension skills and perform extremely well at language based tasks such as writing an article or understanding written works. This will help you greatly if you are involved in publishing or journalism. You are a very logical person with a strong grasp of both basic and advanced logical concepts. You perform well when constructing arguments and following through ideas to their logical conclusions. A firm grasp of logic coupled with excellent creativity has the potential to make you a strong problem solver. Your numerical skills are very advanced and you are exceptional with numbers and mathematics. Your firm grasp of mathematical concepts gives you an advantage in number based jobs such as accounting or finance.

Right Brain

Overall Score90
Visual Designs
Spatial Relations

Your perception skills are strong which generally means that you will excel at tasks such as editing written work. This attention to detail will help keep you from making careless mistakes. You are a very visual person and have great visual analysis skills. This helps you to achieve strong results in visual design. You have strong spatial relations abilities that give you an advantage when undertaking such activities as estimating space or parking a car. As a highly creative individual you will excel at tasks that require creativity. This will assist you particularly in coming up with new ideas or finding a better way to solve an existing problem.

This report was created by learnMyself.com

Sunday, June 28

Let's back up to the coin-flipping...

Thinking about coin-flips has been (I'll admit it) a lifelong obsession of mine. For many reasons, most of which have to do with philosophical questions like: Is reality deterministic or is it all underpinned by chance? And the better question, what is chance?

In my last blog entry I mentioned all of humanity taking a moment out of their day (or night, as it would be to many of them) and flipping a fair coin 20 times. I mentioned that as startled as those people might be to whom it happened, some would inevitably flip 20 heads in a row, with no tails turning up. These people would then probably go run to buy a lotto ticket, head for the nearest church, mosque, or synagogue, or do something else equally silly. Why silly, you say? After all, what is the chance of flipping heads 20 times in a row (in a 'run' of only 20)?

The odds of getting 20 heads in a row would be the chance of getting 'heads' on each individual flip (0.5) to the power of the number of flips (in this case, 20) - this simple calculation being used since all flips are independent events and the 50/50 odds remain the same for each flip. If the flips were somehow linked probablistically to one another, we'd have to use a different methodology. Anyway, we get the simple calculation 0.5^20, which is 0.00000095367431640625, or about one chance in a million (actually 1 in 1,048,576).

Therefore if the 6,750,000,000 people alive right now each flipped 20 fair coins in a row, one time each, then stopped (we'll forget the fact people are being born and dying all the time and view this as a snapshot), you'd expect about 6,750 people to flip ALL HEADS, which would surely amaze them and all their friends. People are not distributed equally across the landmasses of the world, but if they were, what would be the average distance between these "lucky" all-heads-flippers? The land surface area of the earth (which of course is not all neatly contiguous either) is roughly 150,000,000 sq km, or 57,500,000 sq mi, so on average each owner of an all-heads set would occupy around 8500 square miles of land to themselves before bumping into another such person. But since this presumes them to be at the center of their "plot" and the figures are in square miles and not linear miles, we have to use geometry to get the distance between each actual person. If the plots are square (so that they tessellate nicely, though they really "should" be circular, but again never mind that: it scarcely changes the numbers, and we're simplifying a bit at each step as it is), then each side of each "lucky box" would be the square root of 8500, or about 92 miles long. We know by the Pythagorean theorem that the hypotenuse through such a square would be about 130 miles long. Since each person in this thought-experiment sits exactly in the middle of such a hypotenuse, and if the square plots are tessellated as mentioned (continuity of dry land be damned), then it means the average linear distance from one all-heads-flipper to another would be about 130 miles. Too far to shout, and probably outside that person's main circle of (nonvirtual) friends.

That's a bit of a bummer - it would indeed give rise to people thinking they'd been chosen by God or were supernaturally lucky or some such nonsense. On the other hand, since nothing is perfectly evenly distributed in a probabilistic outcome of an event like coin-flipping, we should ideally create a bell curve using the standard deviation for that event, and also (crucially) factor in the reality that people are not even close to being evenly distributed upon the earth's land surface, but are overwhelmingly clumped into urban areas which account for just a tiny fraction of that surface area. I'll leave the math to those interested, but it's safe to say that if this experiment WERE actually run at this moment, the odds of at least two of those people (who flipped twenty heads in a row without a single 'tails' coming up) being within shouting distance of one another, or at least sharing one good friend, are enormously favorable. It sounds crazy, but it would almost surely happen. In fact, if we ended up with no such cases, we should suspect divine tampering!

This kind of "luck," when you deal with sufficiently enormous numbers, leads to those seemingly miraculous things such as the same person getting struck by lightning twice, or winning the lottery twice, or indeed of me watching well over an hour's worth of Michael Jackson videos (which I DID, and which I had never previously done in my life) on YouTube less than 24 hours before he died. Obviously I had no foreknowledge of his impending death. Seems spooky, and it was a bit, but does it make be believe in God or that I was somehow moved by some divine force to queue up all those videos that night? No. It was bound to happen to someone (more than one person, most likely), and the fact that it happened to me is only "spooky" or remarkable to me, and probably not to anyone else (or at least not to rational people). If I'd read a story in a newspaper about the same thing happening to someone else in a far away country, I would have dismissed it as chance right away; therefore I must do the same thing in my case. Every seemingly remarkable event, if statistically probable, has to happen to someone, after all.

Bonus fun fact. It's estimated that 6.75% of all the people who have ever lived on Earth since humans became a distinct species (Homo sapiens), are alive right now. That means that in the last 2 million years, roughly 100 billion people have been born. 6.75 billion are living right now. The average human lifespan across those 2 million years, factoring in death by predation, war, and most significantly childbirth, has been something less than 18 years. Of course now it is much greater than that. Let's be generous and use today's global life expectancy, which is about 66 years of age (remember, this includes the developing world, and non-natural death, whatever that means). That means that in 2 million years, there have been about 30,300 lifespans (not to be confused with generations), strung end-to-end, as it were. We are living in only ONE (the latest) of these 30,300 lifespans. For almost 7% of the total population of a species (so far) to be living in 1/30,300 of the duration of that species (so far), is truly mind-blowing. If human population had held steady throughout the 2 million years, we would expect each lifespan to include only 50,000 people. In reality, for all but the last tiny fraction of human history, human population at any given time was probably less than 10,000 worldwide give or take a few. Certain events like the eruption of Toba may have cut that number to even less. Certainly until agricultural times, which only dawned about 10,000 years ago, humans, living as hunter-gatherers, would have subsisted at numbers which today would put us on the "Critically Endangered" list!

One last fun fact. How much fatter has the earth gotten as a result of this recent population explosion? Let's say the average person today weighs 115 pounds (accounting for children, the malnourished, etc, as well as all the fatties)... The addition of 6.75 billion people at that weight to the Earth would mean that the Earth has gotten about 775 billion pounds heavier, all things else being equal. Of course all other things aren't equal, as forests are cut down, animals are driven to extinction, buildings and freeways are erected, and so on. Besides, at a mass of around 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (ten septillion) lbs, the earth could probably care less. But this all misses one major point: excluding incoming space debris, all of earth is a closed system, meaning that no mass is gained or lost, only transformed from one type of thing into another. If human beings have increased in number and in size, and if we have built tremendous cities, it has, of course, come at the expense of foodstuffs and building materials and that were already on the earth in the first place. So the planet has even less to worry about: It has not gained ANY weight (mass) from the explosion of humanity at all!

Very Cool!

Nice that some things worthwhile are still free. Like these films in the National Archive made available by Google...


Also, on a hunch I looked up Isaac Asimov, my favorite author (now deceased) and one of the biggest influences on my thought processes growing up. And what do you know...



I sit could sit and watch all these interviews, newsreels, and films of historically significant moments, pontifications about our place in the universe, analysis of events at the time they were still "current events," and so on for months without getting tired of them.

What a great way to see history. And nothing to buy or even rent. The Internet has certainly been a great boon for seekers of knowledge.

Getting back to Asimov, it's amazing how prescient he always was. In the talk before the American Humanist Association in 1989, and actually much earlier than that according to books on the environment I actually own and have sitting on my book shelves going back into the 70s and even 60s, he talks about greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and the general disruption of the earth's 'carbon cycle' and how it may be endangering out very existence upon the planet. He talked about devices which were essentially personal computers (not to mention robots with brains made of such devices which has been miniaturized and made sophisticated far beyond where we still are in 2009) long before the real things were considered feasible or even possible by many respected scientists and engineers, nevermind society in general. His best friend and fellow Sci-Fi and Sci-Fact author Arthur C. Clarke (also now sadly deceased), laid out designs and listed many practical uses in 1945 for what famously - 20 years later - became the geostationary orbiting communications satellite.


Thanks to Clarke (though the idea would probably have been thought of by someone, but perhaps not as soon), satellite communications such as international news broadcasts were born.

And Isaac Asimov, in hindsight seemingly one-upping his friend yet again, wrote (also in the 1940s) of a galactic library of human knowledge accessible from anywhere through the 'sub-ether' of space. Though at the moment we are constrained to the Earth and vehicles in its orbit, we now have that technology, though sadly Asimov never lived to really see it for what it would become: The Internet, and more specifically the World Wide Web which rides atop that network, which is all connected together by "Ethernet" connections or wireless technology.

Men (and women, had they been allowed more education and empowerment) with the extraordinary imagination and clarity of thought to extrapolate from the present to the future, people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Jules Verne, Charles Babbage, Nikola Tesla, and most recently Clarke and Asimov, are extremely rare. It is to these visionaries that we owe much of or our current society (for better or worse), though millions of others had to do the "grunt work" of making such visions into reality, though likely very view of them realized that was what they were doing.

Like great visionary scientists - Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Darwin, and Einstein - who have added extraordinarily to our knowledge of natural law, and like socioeconomic visionaries like Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, and so on, who collectively predicted the rise of capitalism (and some like Marx and Engels who predicted its downfall, which has yet to be pronounced upon!), the visionaries of technology and even "psychohistory" (another idea of Asimov's which may yet oneday bear fruit in the confluence of ideas now separately labeled chaos, complexity, emergence, psychology, and sociology or group behavior) have literally changed the course of humanity out of all proportion to their stature as mere individual organisms amongst billions.

It would make an interesting study to see what brings phenoms like these - polymaths, geniuses, visionaries - into being in the first place. Is it inevitable given a large enough population, like people flipping coins and someone through sheer chance eventually getting 20 heads in a row, and this occurance repeating itself periodically, given the sheer number of "flippers" involved, at some statistically determined rate? Or is there some other factor at work? Do genetics conspire (beyond mere chance) to produce geniuses out of the froth of normal people in some way? Does the human species act as a meta-organism or giant neural network, in a way analagous to an ant colony, to produce "extra-human" intelligence or behavior that is only explicable as an emergent property, the way "consciousness" emerges from billions of tiny, ostensibly non-conscious neurons? Does this manifest itself as great thinkers and leaders who then direct our "colony" in an advantageous way somehow?

Saturday, June 27

Friday, June 26

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a dick.

It's official, I think.

"Dangerous" (Depeche Mode)

The things you do
Aren't good for my health,
The moves you make
You make for yourself.
The means you use
Aren't meant to confuse
Although they do,
They're the one's that I would choose.

I wouldn't want it any other way
You wouldn't let me any way...

The way you leave me wanting more
That's what I want you for.
When I am in your arms
Know I won't come to harm.

The lies you tell
Aren't meant to deceive
They're not there
For me to believe.
I've heard
Your vicious words
You know by now
It takes a lot to see me hurt.

I couldn't take it any other way
But there's a price I have to pay...

©1989 Martin L. Gore)

Thursday, June 25

The light of a single day

A single shaft of light
Can exterminate the darkness
For awhile
And the light from a single day
Can make the hardest heart

But too many storms of emotion
In a troubled mind
Whatever good intentions
Two lovers have inside
Can kill the light
And let darkness descend again

Why are people cruel to each other?
Too often they misunderstand each other
And don't bother to take the time
To listen to their heart
But also to their mind
Too often people are blind

When they mean no harm
Yet it is harm they cause
Sins of commission, sins of omission
And promising future paths of
Loving, connected lives
Are buried and left behind

The light of a single day
Came my way a number of times
So from the cave of my mind I came forth
That love in my black heart might dwell
Now heartless shafts of light
Illuminate those corpses where they fell.

Tuesday, June 23


Friendly nightshade
Blades of grass
Hacked back
Against the grain
Smell of chlorophyll
Released by rain

And pain
Is in the world
Every moment, but we try
To look through it
And move on with life
Rags of chloroform
And Thorazine aside

We do what we can
And falcons still soar
Careless of our concerns
And engines still roar
And tires burn
Because whatever we do
Or say,
Whichever way we look
Or to whom
Or whatever we pray,
The world still turns.

Monday, June 22

Traffic on the Cat Highway

Background information: There is construction going on at my "townhouse" complex... mostly to eradicate building sickness caused by black mold, from what I can unofficially gather. One side effect is that the undisturbed greenbelt that used to run behind my place has been severed by a walkway to facilitate construction workers bringing materiel and personnel via the back route (ie, right outside my window) to some of the remoter corners of the property. Which devalues my property, in my opinion, but nevermind that for now.

While construction logistics may be the official purpose of the new walkway, its obvious major use is now clear: to function as a CAT SUPERHIGHWAY upon which untold numbers of felines traipse to and fro just because they can. My own cat, Jackson, seems to be the worst offender of all, sometimes walking the path to one end only to turn about and walk back the entire length.

But I'm watching them. A week of counting cats that use the cat highway...

Jackson 13
Blackie 12
Big Head 8
Fake Jackson 6
Typhoon 5
Sleek 5
Big Cheeky 5
Grey Boy 4
Sylvester 2
Patches 1
Fake Sasha 1
Prowler 1

I will get photos of all the offenders up as soon as possible.

An explanation of names...
Since I don't know most of these cats' real names, I've nicknamed them myself. Thus,

Blackie = a small black female cat who I feed on occasion.
Big Head = a black and white male with a disproportionately large noggin.
Fake Jackson = an orange tom who looks a lot like Jacks, but he's not.
Typhoon = a small tabby who always seems to be sprinting.
Sleek = a solid-black, very tall and elegant male with a red collar.
Big Cheeky = a ginger toppped, white bottomed, very large male cat.
Grey Boy = a medium-sized long-haired grey male.
Sylvester = a medium-sized tuxedo type cat, sex undetermined.
Patches - a small calico cat which I assume is female.
OBH ('Obvious Butt-hole') - this white cat ALWAYS has its tail up.
Fake Sasha - A grey tabby like my sister's cat Sasha. Probably female.
Prowler - A dusky Russian or British plush-type cat I've only seen once.

Saturday, June 20


Yahoo story on ongoing Iran protests.

The fact that protests are still raging has got to be a good sign. This is the most fervent the youth and liberal elements of that oppressed country have been since the 1979 Revolution which brought radical Islam into power there.

The Shah was corrupt and the US's reasons for supporting him were entirely political as 1979 was a very hot time in a very cold war. It never surprised me that an extreme faction came to power as a reaction to that. The same thing happened in Cuba, Nicaragua, and on the other side, Afghanistan. All these smaller countries that the US and USSR propped up or destabilized for all those years have a right to be pissed off and want autonomy.

But with the Cold War over (in name anyway), average Iranian citizens, with the benefit of the Internet, cellular, and satellite technologies, are starting to see they don't have to put up with these dickheads currently in power either. They want self-rule, moderate politics, freedom to practice Islam but (for the most part) tolerance of other faiths and peoples (like Turkey has), and modernity in their economy, which means freedom from sanctions and trade and diplomatic relations with the rest of the world. They don't want radical clerics who censor every voice of dissent ruling them.

That's what this is all about, and more power to them. I don't think the governments of Iran, China, and North Korea as they are currently constituted can stand much longer. If they're smart, they'll begin liberalizing and moving toward the center, as China has done economically, if not in terms of human rights. If they're not smart, they'll fall like the Soviet Union and all its satellite regimes did in 1989-1991. The next 5 years should be very interesting.

And for the US, the UK, France, Germany, and other Western countries, the best thing would be to look inwards and correct our own flaws, forge stronger alliances, and lead by example, not by words or by force. Let the oppressed people of these countries overcome tyranny themselves, only then will they succeed and have pride in themselves. Look at Iraq - we can't force freedom on people who aren't ready for it or don't want it. All we can do is set a good example and people will do what they want. And as they are sovereign countries, they have that right.

Western countries can hope for the spread of democracy but can't force it. And when it comes to enforcing human rights, that should be coordinated through the UN. No more vigilante (Bush-style) politics, please! Civilization needs to be just that: civilized. The RULE OF LAW must be respected, always. If we invade a sovereign country and change their institutions at the gunpoint, well then we're really no better than any other warmongering nation, are we? The best we can do now is to nonviolently support these protesters in Iran and people around the globe like them, and then hope for the best. If World Peace EVER becomes a reality, it won't be achieved with weapons!!

Sunday, June 14

Woo hoo!

The Lakers are the NBA Champs!!

Kobe Bryant won the Finals MVP award and got his 4th career championship ring at age 30.
Only two more to go to catch Michael Jordan...

Phil Jackson won his 10th championship as a head coach, the most for any coach in NBA history.

The Lakers won their 15th championship in 30 NBA Finals appearances. The NBA began the modern system in 1950, meaning that the Lakers have won the Western Conference and made it to the Finals in 30 of the 59 years the playoffs have been held, a league record by far and a mind-blowing one to me.

BUT, they are only in 2nd place all-time with their 15
wins. The Boston Celtics have gotten to the Finals fewer times but actually won it 17 times. The Lakers need two more to catch them in that arena.

Hmm. So Kobe needs two more rings to catch Jordan and the Lakers need two more titles to match Boston... Hopefully this win is the beginning of another 3-peat!!

Israel can be so ridiculous.

So, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu finally accepts the idea for a sovereign Palestinian state (never mind that's basically what Palestinians did have prior to begin shoved out of it by a mandate from the UN after World War II), but then he attaches two preposterous conditions:


1. How "sovereign" would it be if it had to remain unarmed, for crying out loud? So Israel is allowed to have a powerful military and even nukes but their neighbors aren't allowed ANY defenses? Come on, that's no kind of offer.

2. Insisting they recognize Israel as a state is fine, as it would then be reciprocal, but no - they must recognize Israel as "THE Israeli state" and control of Jerusalem in particular "must" be forever controlled by Israel. Palestinians, even through a legal immigration program or something, could never have their homes back from before the world war. Again, a ridiculous demand that would be treating a Palestinian state differently from other sovereign states.

I've got a lot of issues with Israel and the US support for that regime that have nothing to do with any dislike of Jews or Muslims or anything irrational like that. A couple of my issues are these:

Palestine, or Canaan as it was once called, was not even the original home of the Judaic (Israelite) tribes historically - they had to conquer the Chaldeans and many others occupying that land before they could establish control of the area and have a fairly short-lived period of independence and the monarchies of the Old Testament (if those accounts are even factual, and for the sake of argument let's just accept they are). Then they were conquered by the Babylonians. In fact, the area has been conquered by one empire after another, and for anyone to claim the land "belongs" to them makes no sense. Land doesn't belong to anyone, unless you're religious, and bigoted about it on top of that. For Israel to claim in a secular, rational world that the land is theirs by right is ludicrous. Of course, most believe that it is theirs for religious reasons - because they are God's chosen people. What kind of an argument is that if you don't subscribe to the Jewish faith?

Others who are ethnically Jewish but secular in their beliefs will point to the UN resolution which gave them "back" the Holy Land after the Holocaust in a gesture that was well-intentioned, but in my view horribly misguided and unfair to the Palestinian people who were then living there and who were forced out of their homes and neighborhoods and into ghettos or into exile, the same way Jews themselves have been treated by many countries throughout history. They should know that oppression by conquering and subjugating is humiliating and dehumanizing. They should know it better than anyone else! Yet when given the chance they show they are no better than the many nations and empires which subjugated the people of their race and religion in the past.

I'm not anti-semitic or anti-anyone as a group. I shouldn't even have to say that, but as a white non-Jewish male, it seems I must preface any political remarks against any group of Jews or Blacks or Women or other collection of people I don't 'belong' to (simply by accident of birth and for no other reason) in this politically correct world or be accused of prejudice. But I'm not prejudiced at all, not against individuals. I can only rationally judge people as individuals, period. I'm not a nationalist either and any state making claims about its "rights" as though there WERE some divine referee, whether it's Israel, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, or the United States' "Manifest Destiny" which was a nonsensical, Calvinistic attempt to justify forcibly taking Spanish and Mexican land, which had previously been stolen from the Native American states, which in turn had been stolen from roving bands of woolly mammoths and sabre-toothed cats... well, you see where I'm going with this. I don't believe anyone "owns" any part of the Earth.

It comes down to natural selection of course, though when it comes to human societies no one wants to say it. "Might makes right" in the natural world, and it does in the human world too, whether we like it or not. The only difference is that no other species pleads "God's will" when they beat the hell out of a less powerful group. They just do it. There's something more honest about a lion just attacking and eating a gazelle because it's hungry than watching the US invade Iraq or Israel bomb the shit out of Palestinian towns or Russia invade Chechnya or Georgia and then all of the above conquerors claiming some kind of "right" or moral high ground on the world stage to justify their actions.

Cut the crap. Just admit you're bullying a weaker opponent for your own self-interests and at least own your actions for what they really are. You may not be liked any better by anyone, but at least you're being honest about your motivations. Far too many actions are carried out by humans who cite one agenda while in truth embracing another. Deception: Just one more undesirable trait Homo sapiens has evolved.

Saturday, June 13

What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter - a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.

~ Henri Matisse ~

Rám német nem lel, elmentem én már.

Apám sírt, anyám jajgatott,
S hipp-hopp, e zord földön vagyok,
Põre kisded, vinnyogó,
Mint egy ködbe bujt manó.

Apám karján csápolok,
A pólyáimmal harcolok,
De hiába fáradok,
Hát anyám mellén duzzogok.

Apám, apám, hová sietsz úgy,
Ne nyújtsd meg léptedet,
Szólj, szólj, apám, kér kisfiad,
Mert másképp elveszek.

Sötét az éj, az apja sehol,
Csupa harmat a kisgyerek,
Mély a bozót, s õ egyre zokog,
S a ködkép ellebeg.

Friday, June 12

No sleep for the wicked

I can't sleep. No matter what I do or take or read, I can't actually get to sleep. It's been a week now. I think I'm losing my mind.

Great Red Dragon

(William Blake)

Mourn till I join you...


They're gonna turn me to the dark side
I'm not a criminal
But treat me like an animal
Wait and see; I may shun your light
I'm a balloon under pressure
Waiting to bust if you touch me

And if I do explode I'll make it quick
I've got a list
Inside my head and if you're on it
Then pack up your shit
Cause I'm the wrong one to mess with,

Empty eyes, a heartless smile
No regard for my own life
For quite awhile
I will divide and conquer and never stop
Till I drop
Then rise again to haunt your dreams.


And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my spear: O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

(William Blake)

Get 'em all.

The WHO has declared swine flu (H1N1) to be a true pandemic, the first in 40 years. I hope it kills off the scum of humanity upon this planet, including me. Let's give the world back to mindless Nature to blindly continue creating that rich tapestry she was working on before "civilization" came along and crashed the only car we had. I don't care. I hate thinking of people suffering, but billions are suffering right now, and the future is grim indeed. Let's get it over with, save future generations from this hell, and maybe some other species will do a better job. Or not even develop consciousness, that Chinese finger trap if ever there was one, in the first place. If our degree of self-awareness and linguistic-metaphorical cognitive abstraction is not an inevitable product of evolution, maybe eliminating humans would lessen the chance it could ever happen again.

Thursday, June 11

Dead Can Dance


He can't go home
The road is closed
He is shaken
To him unknown
The accuser's name
The hateful wager
The gates of Rome
Have been thrown open
But he lives alone
And his torment grows
He prays for peace
But is overturned
Each morning wakes
And still the burn
Drapes over him
The fiery drakes
Who stole from him
First his family
And then his throne
Who never asked
And yet received
Who never believed
And so was cast
Into a void
Where lingers last
That lonesome groan
That moaning vast
A crown of roses
And now he gets
The rubber hoses
And cement home.
What has this man
Ever, ever done?
His lot in life
Is a lot like lives
That others have known
So he cannot believe
The world says one thing
And does another
And men plunge their knives
Into the backs of each other
They trample their foes
And murder their brothers
And women deceive
And leave their lovers
And Lot's loss is in
His ashes conceived
To reave the guilty
Yet still he declines
And sorrowful retreats
From the battle lines
Where blood could have been,
Maybe should have been spilled
And enemies killed,
Now grass has grown over
And Job in pieces lies.

Wednesday, June 10


Thought you knew me
I hold your letter
And my apartment is cold

And my hands are cold
And my eyes are cold
And now,
You know something

But it won't be enough
And I can't cry anymore
That well is dry
But I miss you.

Tuesday, June 9

If you're thinking

that everything I post seems to lack hope and describes a profound detachment from the world and its affairs, and that attempts to live and operate in that world continually prove fruitless and frustrating; or if I've led you to believe that the reality I confront everyday makes no sense to me and that technology and explosive population and mechanization of this business of survival is increasingly dehumanizing and has removed us as a species from the only thing that once, perhaps, made it worthwhile - the undeniable fun of close social bonds with small numbers of people, bonds which last the better part of a lifetime - well, I have news for you:

You're right.

I don't enjoy this at all. I only see beauty anymore with blinded eyes, turned inward toward an imagination of other worlds filled with things which are no more or never were.

James Thomson (1700-1748)

Here is a small sample of verses from the brilliant Scottish poet James Thomson, in my opinion cripplingly underrated and far more elegant on such subjects, brought to the fore by the Industrial Revolution, as existential strife, modernization, and one life's meaning (if any) than many of his better-known contemporaries.

(from "Hymn on Solitude")

Hail, mildly pleasing solitude,
Companion of the wise and good;
But, from whose holy, piercing eye,
The herd of fools, and villains fly.

Oh! how I love with thee to walk,
And listen to thy whisper'd talk,
Which innocence, and truth imparts,
And melts the most obdurate hearts.

A thousand shapes you wear with ease,
And still in every shape you please.
Now wrapt in some mysterious dream,
A lone philosopher you seem;

Now quick from hill to vale you fly,
And now you sweep the vaulted sky.

(from "The City of Dreadful Night")

The City is of Night; perchance of Death
But certainly of Night; for never there
Can come the lucid morning's fragrant breath
After the dewy dawning's cold grey air:
The moon and stars may shine with scorn or pity
The sun has never visited that city,
For it dissolveth in the daylight fair.

Dissolveth like a dream of night away;
Though present in distempered gloom of thought
And deadly weariness of heart all day.
But when a dream night after night is brought
Throughout a week, and such weeks few or many
Recur each year for several years, can any
Discern that dream from real life in aught?

For life is but a dream whose shapes return,
Some frequently, some seldom, some by night
And some by day, some night and day: we learn,
The while all change and many vanish quite,
In their recurrence with recurrent changes
A certain seeming order; where this ranges
We count things real; such is memory's might.

(also from "The City of Dreadful Night")

But as if blacker night could dawn on night,
With tenfold gloom on moonless night unstarred,
A sense more tragic than defeat and blight,
More desperate than strife with hope debarred,
More fatal than the adamantine Never
Encompassing her passionate endeavour,
Dawns glooming in her tenebrous regard:

To sense that every struggle brings defeat
Because Fate holds no prize to crown success;
That all the oracles are dumb or cheat
Because they have no secret to express;
That none can pierce the vast black veil uncertain
Because there is no light beyond the curtain.

More about him here.

Purple Toupée
(They Might Be Giants)

I remember the year I went to camp
Heard about some lady named Selma and some blacks
Someone put their finger in the President's ear
And it wasn't too much later they came out with Johnson's wax
I remember the book depository
Where they crowned the King of Cuba
Now that's all I can think of, but I'm sure there's something else
Way down inside me I can feel it coming back.

Purple toupée will show the way when summer brings you down
Purple toupée and gold lamé will turn your brain around

Chinese people were fighting in the park
We tried to help them fight, no one appreciated that
Martin X was mad when they outlawed bell bottoms
Ten years later they were sharing the same cell
I shouted out, "Free the Expo '67!"
Till they stepped on my hair, and they told me I was fat
Now I'm very big, I'm a big important man
And the only thing that's different is underneath my hat.

Purple toupée will show the way when summer brings you down
Purple toupée and gold lamé will turn your brain around

Purple toupée is here to stay after the hair has gone away
The purple brigade is marching from the grave.

(Lyrics: John Linnell)

Monday, June 1

Some People

Archived Posts

Search The Meta-Plane