Tuesday, April 25, 2017
in the site and in the sound;
what venturesome hand or eye
could encode thy swishing symmetry?
From what current, sloshing seas
did you swim aground 'neath GMO trees?
On what slickery limbs did you then crawl
to spy out land and stand up tall?
And what shoulder, and what art
could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy fins began to crawl
what encoding hand did guide it all?
What the software? what the mode?
In which startup was it written, your code?
What bold investor? what venture tax-free
dared to make investment in thee?
When companies tossed out their dividends
and water'd the world with their vested friends:
did they rejoice their work to see?
Did them who wove the web weave thee?
Fishy, fishy, swimming around,
in the site and in the sound;
what human hand or eye
could create they swishing symmetry?
Thursday, April 13, 2017
It's amazing what we humans have done with techno throughout the ages of time
Way back in the mists of anthropological mystery some Croation CroMagnon got a bright idea to knock off the angular faces of a stone. He kept chipping away at it until the thing was more or less round; it looked so cool he decided to make another one. Then he got the history-rocking idea to punch a hole in the middle of each stone and then connect the two together with a wooden pole.
Next thing you know he's wheeling his stuff around on a cart, gathering his food a la cart. This was definitely an improvement.
Human history rolled along at a quicker pace after that.
Eons of time went by. Then a while back ole Isaac Watts put mind and metal together with the the potentialities of heat and water. in an advantageous arrangement. that became know as the steam engine and so it wasn't long before we homo sapiens were using the thing to power everything up. Some guy came along and slapped that steam engine onto a cart with a set of wheels and whammo we humans had ourselves a powered vehicle for purposes of transporting ourselves and all our stuff.
Henry Ford happened along and he paired up assembly line strategy with mass production productivity. Next thing you know, everybody and their brother is out driving around on Sunday afternoon in a Model T or Model A.
Soon afterward, some other folks come along and did their version of Ford's world-changing whirligig, so then we had wheeling around not only Models A and T but also models GM and MG and model GTO and BMW and model '57 Chevy and '65 Mustang and so forth and so on.
All along the way, these fossil-fuel-powered motorized mobilizers were extending their influence into the other elements such as air and water.
Airplanes in flight, Boats on water, millions of them puttering along with their enginary cousins everywhere here there and yon and all over the world.
In 1966, a scant year after the historic '65 Mustang made its mark on the prairies and the dusty deserts along Route 66, the Beatles came up with a new idea, the yellow submarine.
"We all live in a yellow submarine," they sang.
This is a fascinating concept. The Beatles never stated it blatantly in their song, but the idea is this: in our evolving 20th-century consciousness we can surmise that this planet--even as huge as it is--is nevertheless a closed ecological system, not unlike a submarine.
Another expression of this idea is seen at Disney World in what the Disneyites call "Spaceship Earth."
While our ancestors thought of the earth as somehow infinite in its distances and its capacities, we 21st-century world-dwellers are understanding that what comes up must come down. Pollution up, pollution down. Carbon up, carbon down, and everything (as the stuff spewing from our exhaust pipes) that goes up eventually comes down. All that stuff we spew into the air and all that stuff we bury in the landfills, it doesn't just magically go away.
"Out of sight, out of mind" is a fallacy that perpetuates our fantasy of an earth that possesses infinite capacity.
We the people who inhabit the so-called "developed world" are now starting to take this emissions stuff seriously. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, the so-called "third world" and "developing nations," those folks are trying to develop their economies and their infrastructures under the constraints of our post-modern enlightened consensus about us all living in a limited-capacity closed ecosystem--a sort of yellow submarine.
In our present world, India seems to be in a developmental category that is somewhere between "developed world" and "third world."
As I was strolling along yesterday on a high-tech promenade of Disney's Animal Kingdom, I lingered to appreciate this old disabled bus.
I would like to thank the Artist(s) of India, whoever he or she was who decorated this bus. Nice work!
And I would like to commend the Disney person(s) who saw the historic value of this work of art. To me, it represents the idea that we all live in a blueish bussarine, and not everything that wears out must be thrown away.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
If the mandarins of this world want to manage everything from their databases
if they wannna fix everything so everyone is the same and everyone has the same
opportunities and all are equal in the eyes of world and all hues and colors and
shades of gray and shades of brown black and white blend together having the same
access to all the good stuff that this managed world has to offer such as
access to all the education, employment, electoral, and economically elevatable
opportunities that can be put together by the Fed and the IMF and the UN and the
G20 and the G-hundred and the G-thousand and all the world together appointing
managers who assure that everyone is on the same page and nobody
gets blowed up and and everybody is safe and secure and fat and happy
or slim and lean as the case may be
If the bureaucrats and the directors of this that and the other feel like they need to
manage all this stuff and turn back the rising tide of climate change
and the ancient, undeniable, irrevocable urge that rises between a man
and his woman
and therefore the renegade loins of men and women who unite in their beds every night
and ever day bringing forth all these children and this family
busting forth out of their mama's womb and then growing up in Africa or Indonesia
or Uruguay or Gary Indiana or Mesa Arizona or Mexico City or Moscow or Orlando
and if they feel the need to put a rein on all our emissions
all our carbon spewing forth from all our cars and our planes and trains
and our monorails and our leaping' lizards and leviathan whales and
our males and females,
and if they think they can manage all this and
turn the unquenchable tide of the life force and and the gaia
so that it becomes something other than what it is
which is the life force itself that comes
from the loins of a man
and the womb of his woman,
and then those subsequent young boisterous bucks and does
who spring forth from the loins of mankind
then let them come to Mickey's place and see
what its really all about.
Let them discover that the proletariat has now become
with every man chomping down on his family's piece of the pie
and every woman bringing forth her children and proud
and all those neuters who wish to not participate are
free to do so because
we'd all like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony if
we could, buy hey
we'll settle for the next best thing, which is having youn'uns
and watching them grow and if you don't believe me then
come to Mickey's place and see
what's really going on.
You can't put a tether on this thing. We must be free
to live and work and have our being and have
our children and watch them grow
and hohoho every Christmas
and hiedee ho gonna get me a piece of the pie
you don't need to get it for me
gonna get it my own dam self
and for our kids too.
What's it to you?
Let them come to Mickey's place and see what's
really going on.
Ask not what the world can do for you,
but what together we can do for our children and our children's children.
Sunday, April 9, 2017
Now we've leaped into the Disney scenario, along with the all the other however-many millions of people who've traveled here from around the world or whatever planets they came from.
It's pretty amazing what they do at Disney every day. And then at the end of a day, at night when the fireworks boom and sparkle overhead, it seems like a large contingent of all those Magic Kingdom gawkers decide to leave at about the same time, barreling out of there in massive members.
This huge throng gets directed out of the park, up to the monorail, out to the busses and the boats, and it is amazing to me that the Disney people have this great daily egress all computed and figured out and so well-managed. It seems to go without a hitch, this progressively steady movement of thousands of sedate, highly-entertained people trundling out in semi-darkness, about half of them kids, a gargantuan flow of folks that is being directed by mature WDW employees waving flashlights and looking as if they enjoy what they're doing while all of us cattle-like crowds are obviously enjoying the whole trip that's been projected on us so agreeably through these many years of developing Disney expertise.
So this morning I'm sitting in the big resort over here somewhere in Orlando and feeling relaxed and refreshed because we, like however many millions of other working people (you'd have to be working somewhere to afford all this) are here in the planet-perfect central Florida springtime, and I moved to share a couple of pics with you that indicate what's going on.
One pic I took yesterday. You've probably seen a print of this famous painting by Emanuel Leutze.
Now here's a funny thought I had this morning: what would George Washington have thought about all this?
It's amazing how much the world has changed since Washington crossed the Delaware River in order to surprise attack the occupying armies of King George III, and thereby accomplish the revolutionary crossing by which our national independence was wrestled from from those stuffy old Brits. But you've gotta love 'em, gotta love them Brits. After all that, they've turned out to be pretty good friends and Allies. And I think quite of few them are ambling around here at Disney just now.
But here's another pic that I'll lay in front of your eyes. I thought of it this morning. It's not a Disney pic, but it expresses a wonder that's on my mind. The photo was taken a year ago at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, on the absolute other side of our country.
What I'm pondering here is the color, and source of the color in the image. In that greenhouse where this pic was snapped, there were hundreds, yay thousands of very colorful flowers.
What you see here is a very interesting plant that offers an intense red bloom, which hides beneath stripy leaves. But here's the catch. The intense blue here, and the yellow flourishes that capture your attention are not, as at first they seem, part of the flower, but rather, an imposition of colored light that has shone down through colored facets in the overhead glass roof of the conservatory. At first glance, all the hues seem to blend in riotously colorful montage of flowery exuberance.
Images we see are not always what at first they appear to be. When I was a kid growing up in early-1960's America, Disney had a TV program that was custom-tailored for all of us newly-prospering postwar suburbanizing Americans who were at that time going crazy with millions of purchases of a new technology called --haha! -- color TV! On Sunday nights, we'd watch Disney's Wonderful World of Color, and it was pretty amazing, even more amazing to us than, say, what you'd see today on YouTube or Facebook or Instagram or blahblahblah whatever.
And guess what! Last night as we were piling out of there with all those millions of temp-Floridians, I saw the person who used to host the Wonderful World of Color on Sunday nights.
I saw the real Tinkerbell!
I guess it was because I wished upon a star.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Oh how naive we are!
We people of faith,
Let us glory in our mental density!
Oh, how the erudite people of this world
do reign so smartly over us. Oh how they excel in their
proficiencies. Let them revel
in their victory!
Praise be to the savants who
have got it all figured out.
From geologic ages hidden in the mists of time,
they have creeped and crawled and
uprighted themselves from the muck and
the mire. They have propelled themselves in their
homo erectus mobilities and they have evolved
ever so incrementally
in their homo sapiens profundities
not to mention their post-modern
while we fairy-tale tellers grovel in our
religiosity and our neanderthal
We stand stupefied
in amazement at the sight of sunrise/sunset
while we mumble prayerful phrases from
from the mists of our antiquity
and the annals of our simplicity, such as:
Oh Lord, my God, You are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty,
covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,
stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.
He makes the clouds His chariot;
He walks up the wings of the wind;
He makes the the winds His, flaming fire
He established the earth upon its foundations.
Oh what simpletons we be!
So chauvinistic and simplistic to believe
such anthropomorphic allegority.
Oh what mumbly-peggish muck we maintain when we insist to proclaim
all this ancient metaphoric modality,
every educated erudite knows
that PreCambrian begat Cambrian, and all that Paleozoic jazz,
which worked itself into Triassic and Jurassic razzmatazz
and so forth and so on through Mesazoic, then Cenozoic
on into Paleolithic and Prehistoric Man
who persists in doing whatever he can
in the wake of Pleistocene ice
which is nice and will suffice
to explain a lot of glacial turbidity
and anthropologic historicity
instead of anthropomorphic naiveté.
So we see eventually we evolve along
without a prayer, not even a song
in the midst of Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon arcanity,
destined for humanic profundity
through Mitochondrial Eve,
not Adam and Steve
with no assistance from above
while meanwhile push cometh to shove
except an occasional shower or two
a shower for me, a bath for you.
if I'm a simpleton in this my childish view,
what's it to you?
At least I don't say um between every word,
so as not be interrupted by my esteemed colleagues.
Please forgive my simple revery,
amidst my disprespecful levity
as I was a-saying,
'though maybe its more like praying:
You covered it with the deep
as with a garment;
The waters were standing above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled, at the sound of Your thunder
they hurried away.
The mountains rose; the valleys sank down to
the place which You established for them.
When every school boy nowadays knows
that such Genesic biblical prose
is just some old Mosaic tale
of Noah, and Jonah in a whale?
Be that as it may, I insist as I persist:
You set a boundary that they may not pass o'er,
so that they (the floods) will not return to cover Earth.
When every school boy nowadays knows
that if we don't stop these carbon-spewing shows
then the polar ice will melt,
polar bear will lose his pelt
and all the coasts will flood
with climate change like spewing blood
and life as we know it will come to an end
only to begin again
just like the good book predicts
in spite of all our international edicts.
And Rah ra, sis boom ba.
On the other hand,
ice is nice and will suffice.
Sunday, March 26, 2017
However, if Republicans will work smartly, holding steadfastly to the classic values of individual liberty and collective strength, we can turn this situation around.
The Republican party can use Trump, instead of (the other way around) him using us.
This regimen makes more sense for retaining America's greatness than letting one strong man steal the show just for the sake of gaining advantage over the other party (the party of whines and poses).
As for ole Mitch, he just needs to, at this point in time, do whatever is necessary to facilitate the Gorsuch appointment.
Lastly, here's a word of encouragement for our Speaker, Mr. Ryan: keep up the good work. We can see you have a burden for governing the entire nation of USA, not just the conservative part of it. This is what a true statesman will always do, instead of allowing politics to perpetually trump governance.
In other exhortations: Centrists unite! Save America from the extremists who strive to dominate us from both sides.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The inner workings of our democratic republic were brought into my awareness a couple of days ago as I was listening on NPR to Congressional hearings while mixing concrete for a deck stairway addition to my home.
They say that multi-tasking is not something you can effectively do. I have never believed that, so I try to do it all the time.
On that particular day, which happened to be the first day of spring, it felt good to be outside on a sunny morning in the slowly warming upper-40's fahrenheit air, doing a constructive work in the yard while at the same time tuning into the hearing being conducted by Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
While trying to learn about the delicate and bullysome governance of our great nation while getting some work done, I make mental note to self: good luck with that.
So there I was in the morning sunshine mixing concrete and it felt great in our cool early morning Blue Ridge mountain air.
And there was something about the experience that I would like to convey to you because I feel it is important that citizens make themselves aware of some of the issues that confront those men and women whose job it is to govern, and to work productively within in an immense, arcane federal bureaucracy the purpose of which is to keep our nation going.
Maybe its because I'm an old guy now, 65, that the first thing that jumps out in my mind is a deja vu of the Watergate hearings in 1973. As I was hearing our Representatives speak about Mr. Flynn, President-elect Trump, the Russians, FISA, unmasking this or that person, and possible unauthorized dissemination of classified information about a US person, etcetera etcetera blah blah blah . . .
My mind was flashing on the summer of 1973 when I was watching the Senate Judiciary Committee as they gathered info about the White House "plumbers" who broke into an office in the Watergate hotel in Washington. During those hearings there was talk of Mr. McCord, Mr. Mitchell, and John Dean, and there was administrative finesse being displayed by Chairman Sam Ervin.
That was the last time, you see, that I listened attentively to a Congressional hearing.
Of course there is no real relationship between that Watergate fiasco 44 years ago and whatever is going on now with this present wiretapping allegation brouhaha as it relates to presidential politics.
But there was a connection in my mind between these two situations that are so far apart in time.
Perhaps what triggered the memory in my mind was the repetitive mentions of certain phrases being spoken by FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. I kept hearing certain answers:
"I can't comment on that." "I'm not going to comment on hypotheticals."
. . . can't comment on individual persons, US persons. . ., can't answer; it would depend on. . ., not going to comment on a news article . . . , not at liberty to talk about communication within the executive branch . . ., I'm not going to answer. . . same answer . . . "same answer."
At one point, Director Comey allowed this personal admission:
"That's not something I can comment on. I'm trying very hard to not talk about anything that relates to a US person."
My first thought was that these two Intelligence Directors were perhaps not as forthcoming as they should be, because, you know, their inquisitors were members of Congress who represent We the People, etc.
But then I realized that these guys are doing their jobs by not just spouting information about the US persons whom they are striving to protect.
My second thought was about how much grace the Congressional questioners were extending to these reticent public officials, by tolerating, without objection, such a continuous string of those "I cannot answer that" responses from Directors Comey and Rogers.
Reflecting on it now, two days later, the conundrum is best represented in this statement by Representative Terri Sewell:
"So Director Comey, I know you cannot discuss whether any investigations are ongoing with 'U.S. persons,' and I respect that. I think it's important, though, that the American people understand the scope and breadth of public, open source reporting of Mr. Flynn's actions that led to his resignation. And while we can't talk about . . . an investigation, I believe that we here at HIPSI, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, must put those facts into the public domain."
As the hours wore on, I came to understand that there is a very delicate balance going on here, in a very complicated world. Irresponsible exposure of information that has been gathered about US citizens would be a violation of (Director Comey's and Director Rogers') sworn duty. At the same time they are duty-bound to protect US citizens, they are duty-bound to investigate people, both native and foreign, respectively.
This is no simple task.
Even though I managed, in the several hours I listened to all this, to mix 1360 pounds of concrete and place it strategically it in the ground in my yard, this labor that I did was far easier, I concluded, than the task that has been appointed to Directors Comey and Rogers.
To those two public servants, I am moved to say: Thank you, gentlemen, for your service.
I did, nevertheless, notice a pattern developing in all this Congressional enquiry that flooded my earbuds as I labored through the day.
The Directors' hesitant refusals to answer all questions were frequently preceded and/or followed up by lengthy statements from the Representatives who were questioning them.
At first, I thought this was just the politicians grandstanding, running their mouths to convince the public of their eloquence in the grave matters of national security.
By the end of the day, however, I had figured out that the Representatives were using the public forum to inject information from their own research into the public record. This too, is important.
I see it as public education, much more important than, say, how bathroom assignments are administered in public schools.
Rep. Andre Carson says "There's a lot at stake here for Russia."
I'm paraphrasing Rep. Carson's message here. He went on to explain . . . This is big money, lots of implications. If they (the Russians) can legitimate their annexation of Crimea, what's next? Are we looking at a new 'iron curtain'? . the United States, as leader of the free world, is the only check on Russian expansion. . . At the Republican convention in July, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Trump himself changed the Republican party platform to no longer arm Ukraine. So, the same month that Trump denied Putin's role in Ukraine, Trump's team weakened the party platform on Ukraine, and . . . this was the same month that certain individuals in the Trump orbit held secret meetings with Russian officials, some of which may have been on the topic of sanctions . . . this is no coincidence in my opinion. . .
Now is there something to this, does it even matter, does this amount to a hill of beans in all the gigabytes of data streaming across cyberworld . . . I'm wondering? while mixing my concrete.
And here's another sample of the Committee's exchange:
Rep Frank Lobiando: . . .if you can describe the use of Russia's active measures during the campaign. . .
Rogers: So we saw cyber used, we saw the use of external media, we saw the use of disinformation, we saw the use of leaking of information, much of which was not altered, . . . release of cyber-information
And yet another random snippet:
Rep. Jackie Speier:
"You know, I think it's really important, as we sit here, that we explain this to the American people in a way that they can understand it. Why are we talking about all of this?"
Thanks for asking, Jackie. I understand a little more than I did five hours ago, but I'm just one sand grain on the shores of America.
Meanwhile, I got something done today on the old homestead.
And I must conclude that we've made some progress in our relations with the Ruskies since I was a kid in the early 1960's. Back then, the big question was whether they were going to blow us to smithereens with nuclear bombs!
It seems we've come a long way since then. Maybe our peace-seeking has something to do with demolishing that infamous wall over in Berlin, the one where President Kennedy said "Let them come to Berlin. Ich bin ein Berliner," and later President Reagan said, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
In this life, there is a time for tearing down, and there is a time for building, and there is a time for listening, and a time for trying to figure a few things out while while listening and while building or tearing down, as the case may be . . .
This has been going on a long time, but now, in modern times, the stakes are higher with all them nukes in the ground somewhere.
Be careful, gentlemen.