Thursday, December 24, 2009

Elohim delegated.

Well here's the deal as near as we can figure it based on the revelation that came through Abraham and Moses and the other great writers in their tradition: Elohim was quite creative--an artist, you know--and wanted to create a universe, and so Elohim did, and with quite a big bang was it jumpstarted.
And Elohim took one little quarky dork in that large expanse of matter and energy and matergy, and facilitated there on that one little blue-green speck optimum conditions for a new phenom called life. And as life was moving right along on the speck, Elohim was writing the DNA codes by which that life would further develop, Elohim had a notion to generate a new work capable of conscious response to Elohim's enquiries and entreaties. And so Elohim brought forth a piece of work that was, as they say, "in our mage," that is to say, capable of responding to his creator and therefore possessing God-consicousness, and also, as if that wasn't enough, self-consciousness, which later became a problem, but anyway,
That's how "man" came to be, near as I and Moses can figure it.
But then Elohim saw that man was lonely so Elohim fashioned a mate, and when man saw his mate he said "shonuff!. I shonuff do appreciate this development. Hubba hubba!" And so Adam shonuff did sound the shofar. No, that came later, getting ahead of myself.
Now since Elohim had written the code for man/woman to be "in our image," then that meant that the new piece of work had some elements of choice or what we call free will. Otherwise the new creature wouldn't really be "in our image," but would be unaware of the Spirit like the other creatures that existed prior to that day when Elohim breathed into Adam and gave a spirit--something quite unique and quite innovative and heretofore unknown on the blue-green speck.
And so because the human project had a free will but was not God the human had a steep learning curve. And he/she screwed up, like, you know, a baby trying to figure out how to walk and how to balance a budget and how to write a blog and so forth. And so this newly evolved being on the blue-green speck made some false starts and some mistakes and actually made quite a mess of things but that's ok because Elohim wanted a creature possessing free will. That was very important in Elohim's multiple eyes.
U see man/woman wasn't playing with a full deck because he/she wasn't Elohim, but only Elohim's creation. It was all part of the plan, written in the code, so to speak, but not entirely in the code because of the free will thing. Pick up a Chance card.
And so Elohim looked down on all this creation that had evolved on the blue-green speck, uniquely orchestrated and calculated, you might say pre-ordained or predestinated but only to a certain extent because of the free will thing and I dont care what skinner said. Anyway, Elohim said this is pretty damn good. "It is good."
And it was, in fact, so good that Elohim wanted to get in the game and so a little later on Elohim entered into the creation that Elohim had made, only this time with Elohim conscousness on the inside of a pair of human eyes instead of the outside and so Elohim did and that was the baby born in Bethlehem that we call God with us, who later got in trouble and got himself crucified but then raised from being dead. Yeah, that guy.
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do you know where wealth comes from?

Where does wealth come from? Is it doled out from the government? Does it begin with entrepeneurs? Does it originate in the hearts and minds of enterprising people? Does it grow up from the ground, to be harvested by farmers? Does it lie inside the earth, to be uncovered by miners? Is it flowing in the rivers and tides, to be captured by engineers? Is wealth residing in the gray matter between your ears? Is it somewhere between your legs? Does it arrive as a monthly check in your mailbox? Does wealth await you in a golden bowl at the end of a rainbow?

This wintry morning, I ponder these questions while caught up in the current philosophical conundrum that seeks to discover the key to a productive life. Glimpsing into the lives of a few different people whom I know or have known, I find:
Person #1: "Jan" has had some bad luck. Jan is single, but was once married. Jan has kids, but sees them only occasionally. Jan has a disability, and collects money from monthly checks that come in the mailbox. Jan enjoys smoking cigarettes and watching TV.
Person #2: "Pat" has made some constructive choices. Pat has had a faithful spouse for many years, and a few children who are now grown. Pat has operated a small business for many years, employing an average of five or so people for most of those years, although the business is now quite slow. Pat also has a home-based craft/hobby which may contain some income-generating potential.
Person #3: "Michel" works as a dishwasher at a restaurant, and has done so for many years. Michel was married for a long time, and helped to raise spouse's kids from a previous union. In the spare time, Michel enjoys smoking cigarettes and watching TV.
Person #4: "Yves" is a professor, teaching business courses at a large university. Yves has tenure, and is generally well-regarded by students and faculty. Yves is divorced, has no children. But Yves always has some hot prospects. Yves enjoys skiing in winter and boating in summer, and appreciates wines.
Person #6: "Jo" has been a shift supervisor for many years with a large apparel-manufacturing company, but Jo was laid-off about a year ago. Being on extended unemployment benefits has been an ordeal for Jo because Jo's identity was all tied up in the position at work. Jo has never married, but enjoys fooling around and likes beer.

Which one of these individuals has the best chances of producing wealth and enjoying it? Why?
I'm wondering about this as I prepare to go and dig the car out of the snow.
Perhaps wealth is like a loaf of bread that you can break or slice and pass among friends. It may be a fine wine that is savored from the brim to the dregs. Wealth could be like, you know, dessert--you can have your cake and eat it too.
Who knows, wealth may be just a state of mind. If you have any thoughts to share about this situation, please let me know.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

barefoot in the snow but inside with chai arent you glad

Avatar is surely so much more exciting than ole fuddy-duddy christmas and channukah. Should l trudge through a foot and a half of global warming snow to go see it at the local apparition screen?
Maybe I'll forget about the rising tide of disagreement in Denmark. There's something rotten there; I just know it. . These problems will be solved when Birnam wood doth move against Dunsinane.
Maybe I'll bury my obligatory obsessive compulsive fear of the sure-to-come medical bills blizzard in a flood of alien fantasy.
And I'll chill out the blast of hot air that inflates egos and deficits in the senate, so potent that it's warming us globally.
Of course, just now we could use a little hot air. Thanks Joe. Thanks Al.
Nah.I've got an avatar of my own. Don't you? Forget the blue meanies, I feel this is a good time to nest with the homies, find respite beneath a serenely silent mantle of rest and reflection, before white powder entropes to black stuff on the useless roads. Just ponder the incredible forces of nature unleashed in swirling vortices of crystalline purity as it has arrested our compulsion for noise and haste.
Just experience those ones we love, have some chai and conversation, maybe write down a few thoughts.
Water molecules that froze in the Arctic ten thousand years ago have descended on me.
Down the hill and across the road, interrupting the thick mantle of new snow is a creek that has been flowing for ten thousand years.
Freeze the haste and waste. Lose the worry. Pray. Hear the still, small voice.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Copenhagen kudos

Its great to see the nations of the world getting together to hash out the issues surrounding our environment--our emissions and intentions and so forth.
It's good to see a real dialogue taking place, to see protesters in the streets, expressing themselves freely. It's good to see developing nations calling the fat cat first-world countries to task, and not simply standing by complicitly while the big brother nations throw their carbonous weight around. We rich nations have had our boom times, largely during previous eras where environmental issues were not even thought about yet.
Its good to see all this give-and-take in Copenhagen--people asking real questions, raising real issues. As an American, I would feel hypocritical insisting that developing nations uphold the same carbon-emission standards as we should be accepting. The developing nations have still got millions of folks who want to rise to the standards of living that we in the west have grown accustomed to--you know what I mean, the washing machine, microwave, car in the garaga and all that outher bourgeoisie blingbling. that is so carbon-intense.
We in the west have learned some hard lessons over the last hundred years or so about carbon, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, pcbs, dioxins and other destructive substances. If there is any belt-tightening in regard to these emissions, we should be the ones to step up to the plate with a willingness to conserve.
Did I say conserve? Not such a bad word after all. Only if you add "...ative" to the end of it. But I digress. Other countries, Brazil, India, even China--let them get their economies up and running at full clip while we conduct national experiments to conserve our resources. Let's go green and show the rest of them how it's done. Raise high the solar panels! Lift up the wind machines! Get charged up over battery power.! Become lean and mean and more efficient, less obese! Create jobs!
Conserve our resources, like granny and gramps did 75 years ago. Learn how to make do with less.
I want to commend the BBC for performing, today, a true "world service," as they broadcast/webcast the "World have your say" forum (Thursday, 12-17-09) in which I heard the voices of many young people gathered in Copenhagen expressing their fervent opinions and authentic thoughts about world environmental issues and glabal warming and all that jazz. So it's not just a bunch of prescripted drivel spin taking place there in Copenhagen. There's real dialogue taking place.
Cheerio to the BBC, and Owen Bennett-Jones, or whoever announcer was moderating that forum of freely expressed opinions about the heavyweight discussions taking place ostensibly down the street from them. The program was a good example of the power of democracy and freedom of speech to evoke multiplicities of opinion and wisdom and bring the complexities of a real issue to light so that concerned world citizens can be better informed.
Yes, thanks to the BBC, for your program today was so much better that the one last week in which you wasted an entire hour dithering about the unfaithfulness of a golf genius who happens to be a fool.
Just goes to show you, talent is not everything. There's also loyalty, true love and faithfulness to consider, and of course, consevancy. But that's another blog.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the American Dream bah humbug

The simplicity of this American life became vastly complicated when a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage became comfortably obsessive for us. As our post-WWII affluence folded continuously over upon itself, keeping up with the Joneses replaced tending the back forty as moonlighting hubris. As the years rolled by, the good life's credit account steadily inflated while a great internally-combusting bluster of yankee productivity and domesticated our national enterprise beyond the amber meadowlands and the verdant forests, transforming them into manicured lawns and paved driveways with picket fences to ensconce our burgeoning prosperity.
Daddy climbed higher on the corporate ladder while mama kept the home fires burning, and their productive yearning kept those Chevy wheels turning while all the while spurning the hardscrabble life that grampa and granma had left in the dusty clapboard cobwebs of antetheGreatWar memory.
"Moon River, wider than a mile, I'm crossing you in style some day," sang Andy Williams, in the 60's just before everything hit the fan.
"In style," sang he, on TV.
As pursuing that 1950s cornucopic good life morphed through the convulsive 60s into the hyped-up 70s and blownup 80s, the commuterized suburban squirrel cagey treadmill produced a financial stress that daddy couldn't quite maintain; so mama went pounding the pavement too, stalking the elusive balanced budget by contributing a second income, and that worked pretty good for several decades until the rest of the world caught on to our picket-fencing ruse and decided to get in the game.
Gail Collins talked about this boomering lifestyle last week in her perpetual discussion with David Brooks. She called it an "unprecedented standard of living." Grampa and granma called it "high on the hog."
Unsustainable standard of living is what it later turned out to be, as many of us ultimately determined by the time that fall of '08 rolled in and the bubble burst.
But a sizable, you might say more introspective segment of the boomers had opted, back in the day, to drop out of the race. They started checking out Mother Earth News in lieu of of Wall Street Journal. I was one of them. However, in my case the effort to get back to the garden that Joni wrote about and CSNY sang about at Woodstock proved to be just as untenable as the keeping up with the Joneses suburban thing. It was just flat-out too much 1930s-type retrogressive, labor-intensive work, and as it turned out my bred-in postwar comfort quotient would not sustain it.
Viewed as dynamics in the Hegelian dialectic, it was something like adopting a drop-out anthithesis to counter the rat-race thesis.
Meanwhile, back at the office, enter the cognitive revolution that David Brooks talks about in his most recent NYT exchange with Gail, linked above. But that development was one that I, caught up in a 25-year routine of carpentry labor and the traditional responsibilities of raising a family, did not check into until much later, because I was, you see, a late bloomer.
A late boomer.
And so, now, the Hegelian dialectic squeezes out--from the clash of postGreatWar affluenc-seeking thesis against postVietnam enlightenment-seeking antithesis--a new synthesis:
It's a back to the future 1930s-style survivalism, but this time with a web-based cognitive revolution twist, and a dash of cloud computing resourcefulness sprinkled in for fun and profit.
The old physical resources that grampa and granma had--the back forty, the iron and the steel, the needle and the wheel, the tinkering with low-tech stuff--now are replaced, or at least supplemented, by winging it across knowledge-based cyber-resources.
Grampa's flea market morphs to our eBay and craigslist. Granma's cottage industry evolves as milking the internet, mommy-networking it like Charlotte spinning her web, weaving opportunities for strategic advantage in acquiring the necessities of life.
And those necessities--they're not what we had earlier expected. Welcome to 2010. As Yogi said, "the future ain't what it used to be." And we're looking more like granny and gramps with every passing day.
I'm betting David was right about the enabling progress of this cognitive revolution thing, though it may need a tune-up after a few years.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

If Nobel invited dynamite, then our Prez can pull this off

Think about how many vehicle ignitions get cranked every morning in America.

Consider how much economic activity revolves upon the regular turning of those keys.

Go figure the immensity of prosperity that is set in motion as those millions of engines go tooling along on our roads and highways every day.

If you were the President, would you be concerned about what might happen if all those engines could not run, and those myriad producers of wealth could not commute to their GDP-generating daily destinations. Oh sure, this is not the way it should be, but hey, this is the way it is.

Like it or not, there is currently a lot of wealth riding on this fossil fuel thing.

And a large percentage of that fossil fuel, guess what, moves through the straits of Hormuz every day, destined for our American ports and gas-tanks and furnaces.

Maybe this is what President Bush was thinking about when he sent our boys to Iraq.

No, you don't think so? A President wouldn't start a war over oil supply?

You think his rationale was, maybe, the possibility of Saddam's developing weapons of mass destruction? Or perhaps concern for the human rights of oppressed minorities under his regime--the Kurds and Shias who were in his prisons? Or maybe the Al Quaida gang really were hanging out there under his protection?

History may answer some of these questions.

Now think about this: if you were the President today, and had sworn to defend the United States and act on our behalf in all circumstances, and had just inherited this present situation, and felt yourself responsible for that gargantuan GDP and all that accustomed domestic peace and tranquility that turns upon all those engines every day. . . what would you do?

Whatever your decision, realize that there is an awful lot riding on it. You probably wouldn't want to do anything very suddenly that might prevent the daily cranking of those engines and the ongoing security of that sleeping-giant GDP.

You might want to walk softly and carry a big stick. You might want to go to Stockholm and persuade the rest of the world to bear with us while we slip into something more sustainable.

And only then bring the boys home, but not too hastily. They have to have jobs to come home to.

Furthermore, there is, you know, evil in the world--evil that, for instance, blows up cars on street curbs, evil that enslaves people with opium and heroin. Somebody needs to take a stand against those perpetrators .

Blessed are those who--though they themselves be cognizant of their own imperfection--are willing to oppose the slings and arrows of outrageous evil.

Blessed are the peacemakers; they should receive their prize.

Monday, December 7, 2009

One citizen's view on Climategate

The overwhelming politics that surrounds this issue drives an illusion of scientific unanimity on anthropogenic global warming. While there is convincing evidence that the planet is warming, the scientists of this world have a wide array of opinion on its causes and effects. Dr. Paul Reiter, of the Pasteur Institute says, for instance: "Scientists don't agree. We're like lawyers. We debate."
The current brouhaha revolves around a few scientists who let their personal beliefs about the issues cloud their scientific objectivity. Their alleged fabrication, or improper manipulation, of scientific data centers on this: Scientists have been using analysis of tree-ring growth to interpret carbon levels in earth atmosphere in ages past. When the post-1960 data for those proxy (non-instrumental) tree-ring carbon levels showed a decrease, Dr. Phil Jones artificially adjusted (or supposedly "corrected") the numbers by completing a graph of proxy-indicated carbon levels with an instrumentally-obtained graph of carbon levels in the atmosphere.
This chimera of combined proxy data and instrumental data is not legitimate science. It's like mixing apples and oranges because the bad spots on the apples don't suit your taste. It misrepresents the actual carbon levels and further politicizes them.
However, in the big picture of this worldwide discussion, this controversy is a blip on the screen. It will not make a dent in the immense rationale for global collaboration to minimize carbon emissions. It's just a speed bump in the anti-global warming agenda.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

East Anglia misfaxia?

Just tack some instrumental data
on the end of this proxy tree-ring strata,
will ya?
Proxy data from a thousand fears
a thousand years
of fallen trees
and polar freeze
encrusted thoughts that ice is nice,
but will not suffice.
We've proven sure
it cannot endure.
As it turns out fire's the thing
that will surely bring
the end of life as we know it.
Now we gotta show it.
yeah yeah yeah
fire in our engines.
Should ha' listened ti the injuns.
So saith the tree-ring thing
among our data-wringing bling bling bling.
For many long hours I been thinking about this,
so I started to make a list.
But then
early on a frosty morning I just knew
that polar ice is melting
due to our smelting
the planet,
"somebody spoke and I went into a dream..."
Four thousand holes in polar ice I hear
our prosperity plans,
our old-growth stands.
A scientist who lets his foregone conclusions
comfort his illusions
is skating on thin ice,
but such science is nice
and will suffice.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

stoppin by the net on a snowy evenin

Whose world this is i used to know, but hey

A farmer in Afghanistan cant afford the opportunity cost of not growing opium plants that means heroin cant afford to grow vegetables so he grows the poppies and sells them to the afghan powers that be who unload them into the local market for opium and heroin and goes out into international injections of stupidity and amerikan fixes of stupor while good ole boy soldiers from the states fight to end this corrupt mess and its so expensive to keep the boys there but we cant afford to bring them home cause there aint enough jobs to go around so keep them there to represent our national interest

Meanwhile across the paki border all hell breaks loose and then further on east indi guys sit at telephones making yankees mad cause they talk cheaper and more costeffectively then further on east chinese work for lowwages and this makes yankees mad too cause we cant compete on world labor market any more its bout time we admitted it and got busy findin better things to do like growin potatoes building railroads or investing in what really needs to be done here whatever floats your boat

And find some new direction where are the true capitalists who are willing to take a chance on our wellbeing and their longterm profit instead of playing the market like slot machine and skimming cents off hft backed up with cds and derivitive

No nobody will take the risk on amerika and what really needs to be done here i mean the real work that needs to be done not just getrichquick stuff like what was bubbling up in the '00s whos willin to take a chance on our survival forsake their own interest and act on behalf of the all of us now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of our country are ya gonna sit back be sucked into nonreality tv while twilight seduces us into torpor and wait for guvmint to do it all for you we got choices to make this is our moment of truth

Brooks says its time to choose between security and vitality well its nice of him to mention the alternatives as if we really had a choice cause security is not really an option at this junction I mean we left that possibility back in september 08 no security is just dust in the wind now we are going to have to spring for vitality and i do mean ingenuity innovation enterprise to work ourselves out of this mess aint no free lunch any more baby

Krugman wants to spend more money as if we had more to spend but why not its only money right i mean ink on paper but not as substantial as of the constitution paper we the people and all that jazz and even though its got watermarks and pix of andy Jackson ole wise ben abe and big george the man of faith and power for the hour but that was then in 1780 and this is now hate to tellya

Spalding says our societal problems are rooted in a deep confusion about the meaning of americas core principles and im sure hes right about that but perhaps the more pressing question would be what would edison do in this situation or booker t or rosa parks or anyone who is willing to break out of bondage reality tv virtual bullshit and depravity then I notice that ole lady on huffpost who was braggin bout her sex with twentysomethn boys but complainin cuz they came in her face with all the creative force of the universe the mismanaged dna cryin out from the ground and wed best keep our genes zipped get satisfied with our truelove mates avoiding hiv in the process and get back to works stead of shameful spewing and waitin for somethin to happen aint nothin gonna happen till you make it happen yes we better look around the neighborhood figure out what needs to be done to improve the situation of our bad selves and those around us whom we love and hope that god can find a way to still bless america