25 July 2016

A Conversation on my Post Before Last

I got some in depth feedback on my post before last.
That's the parts in black.
My response follows in red.

Hi Bakari
My reply is too long to post into your "comment" box, so I am emailing it instead:

First, I want to thank you for taking the time to try to articulate your thoughts and beliefs more clearly so we can understand what you are thinking. 

Thanks for this reply!

I think that I understand your beliefs a little better now. 
That being said, I have many mixed feelings about your analysis and conclusions. ... who cares enough to want to influence things to be more just and fair and better for all; and ... that you are so intelligent and do so much research to try to discern what is real and true and what is not; and that you have the courage to express your beliefs regardless how unpopular. 
However, I believe that you oversimplify many things to make them fit neatly into your analysis

That is without a doubt true!  Topics the encompass hundreds of millions of different individuals can never possibly be discussed without oversimplifying.  If I were to flesh out every caveat, I'd end up with a book instead of a blog post.

22 July 2016

Cat Superstition, and the Origins of Religion, Astrology, and all forms of Supernatural Beliefs

A few years ago, my (late) kitty cat friend and roommate Fushi jumped up on the table.
On the table was a large object of some kind - I don't remember exactly what, maybe a book, maybe a pot; whatever it was, it was kind of near the edge.

Supposedly cats are naturally graceful, but that seems to vary as much by the individual as it does for humans.
He bumped into this object, which teetered a bit from the impact, and he jumped right back down.
And the thing tipped over and came down behind him, crashing just barely behind him.
As anyone would, in such a circumstance, he quickly jumped out of the way.

But then he did something more interesting...

He continued to run.
In fact, he ran not only completely across the room, but right out of the room, and kept right on going across the entire house, before finding a safe hiding place in the bedroom.

Now, Fushi was not a particularly skittish cat.  He wasn't bothered by loud noises, he trusted human strangers, and even strange dogs as long as they didn't chase or bark at him.  He stood up to bully cats and went on adventures, sometimes for days at a time.

But this object, set in motion by his own actions, and continued in motion by gravity, had just scared him away.

19 July 2016

Protesting Police Shootings VERSUS *not* Helping Your Kids with a College Degree and DownPayment

From the outside, it could look an awful lot like the liberal Left is populated with tens of thousands of Donald Trumps.  Trumps that just happen to have different values; but watch them on mute for a while, or listen to the emotion without the specifics, and there is the exact same self-righteousness, the exact same outrage and contempt for who ever they consider the "other" side. And with it, a complete and total obliviousness to anything they or their allies may be doing to exacerbate the very problems they rail against, while instead placing blame on the most immediately visible target. 

There are lots of details that vary, but they are fill-in-the-blank details that everything above applies equally well to.  Everyone is angry and loud and makes proclamations of fact which are just plain false.  Everyone is so confident that their own values are the "correct" ones that it doesn't even occur to them to qualify conclusions of what "should be" with an "if we want..."

But nobody seems to notice...

17 July 2016

Surprise! A Flamboyant Introvert Blog Post!

I've been trying hard to avoid the news and social commentary for the last couple years.

Humans naturally focus on bad things more than good, are irrational, and there are patterns that have been around for as long as there has been such a thing as human society (despite what many idealistic amateur anthropologists choose to believe).

For a while it made me feel better to write about my own take on various interpretations of events out in the world, but I have a total number of 36 subscribers - my writing is not going to change the world.

I just found it forced me to focus on the worst parts of humanity all the time, which could start to cloud my experience of all the wondrous things in real life in front of me.


Try as I might, sometimes an event just gets so much attention that I can't avoid it, and even though it may be a topic I have gone over plenty of times already, I notice a new side of it, another piece that everyone else is apparently missing, or I realize that something I took so much for granted I never wrote down is not even on most people's radar, or that something I have said in verbal debates and discussions many times has never made it into the bog in writing.

And then when that happens, I usually try to ignore the unsettled feeling that leaves as long as possible, and then at some point I end up with a bunch of free time and nothing in particular to do, and so here I am, I find myself typing a bunch of words into a keyboard...