Here Thar Be Monsters!

From the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet, read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. We bring you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor. Be sure to check out Radio Far Side. Send thoughts and comments to luap.jkt at gmail, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all.

27.2.16

Dots, Defects and Dangers

Today, we're going to do a little theoretical mental exercises.  Don't let that scare you.  I just want to put that up front so that everyone knows this is a mind experiment and not an accusation against several very litigious companies who make money off of trademarking natural processes and suing small farmers.

First, so readily available facts from Google searchers: Brazil is noted to be the epicenter of the Zika virus outbreak in April 2015; Brazil is noted to have one of the highest levels of glyphosate use in agriculture and consumption; glyphosate is noted to cause cancer and birth defects; Brazil has released large numbers of GM mosquitoes in the past to combat disease vectors.

To lay this out a bit, a relatively benign tropical virus discovered in Africa (Zika forest monkeys) in the 1950s, suddenly becomes a major health threat centered in Brazil where they have copiously consumed GM plants, animals and used lots and lots of glyphosate (Round-Up), where it suddenly began causing microcephaly (lit. "small head") and other birth defects.

Now, to my admittedly suspicious mind and overactive imagination, these dots link up to suggest one of two things:
1) The Zika virus mutated in contact with GM cells in the guts of manufactured mosquitoes, and may have been aided and abetted by GM foods and/or the use of glyphosate;
2) The birth defects are actually caused by glyphosate and the Zika virus is being used to cover and "explain" the problem, using a natural cause and vector, rather than face decades of lawsuits and the banning of a very lucrative product (see "DDT").

I do not rule out that the virus may be the actual cause of birth defects and other issues, but given that there is almost no literature discussing these problems before April of 2015, I am hard-pressed to believe that the virus was not modified, either by design or contact with GM genes in plants or animals.  In either case, the culpability of certain malevolent corporations is easily demonstrated.

In sequencing the genome of the Zika virus, one would think it easy to look for patented genes, or even serial numbers (a la Blade Runner) on individual cells.

I perfectly willing to accept that this is all circumstantial and that viruses can mutate naturally, even becoming far more dangerous over time.  However, this kind of event clearly shows the dangers involved in tampering with the genomes of living creatures without a lot more knowledge and practice than we currently have.

If one thing can be learned from the history of science, it is that the Law of Unintended Consequences reigns supreme.  When we begin juggling the foundational substances of Life itself, we are staring the "butterfly effect" straight in the face and daring Fate.  There are many examples of massive boulders resting precariously on tiny pebbles, and to remove even the smallest of them many cause the entire mass to avalanche.

It is the ultimate in hubris and stupidity (often synonymous) to think that humans, with a few decades of trial and error under our belts, can release genetically modified organisms into the wild and not have some kind of blow-back from it.  It is a dangerous and extremely risky game we are playing with the mass of Nature resting on such tiny pebbles.

And while this mucking about with DNA is bad enough, to think that a corporation would purposely modify a virus to cover up the poisonous effects of one of its most successful products if even more horrifying, but to take another lesson from history, it is neither unthinkable nor unprecedented.  Perhaps this situation calls for a much closer look at the origins of the problem.

25.2.16

Random Thoughts On Pop Culture


  • I hope no one honestly believes the "race" flap at the Oscars this year; all the commotion and threats of antics are nothing more than a cynical attempt to get ratings, which have seriously lagged for all self-aggrandizing "award" shows over the past few years; no one in Hollywood does or says anything without first calling their agents and publicists, who in turn check with CCA;  it's all a show, folks.
  • What in the hell has happened to the music "industry?"  It used to be music spoke to the heart and soul, tapped into the zeitgeist, stirred up mental processes; now performers compete solely on how big of a train wreck they produce both on- and off-stage.
  • There is a big difference between an actor and a performer; Gary Oldman is an actor, Morgan Freeman is a performer.
  • Indonesia doesn't have any public libraries, and the world is quickly following suit; it's a shame that people don't read anymore; now-a-days, writers survive by writing scripts, not novels; I love books; I can do my own casting and set designs, proceed at my own pace, never have to recharge the battery, and when I finish a good book I actually feel like the world has changed a little; only problem is that moving a library is a bitch.
  • One of the most thought-provoking episodes of the original Star Trek series was called "A Taste of Armageddon." Two planets conduct war via computer simulations, but "victims" are marched into disintegration machines if they are selected to "die."  Most of the wars I see on the "news" these days reminds me a lot of that episode.
  • William Shatner is a performer.
  • Gardening is a lost art in most urban areas these days; I have always had plants wherever I've lived, even if it's just potted geraniums; potting, feeding, watering, harvesting, and pruning are all very meditative and rewarding activities; watching plants grow forces you to slow down and contemplate the beauty and genius of Nature; gardening is also a hobby that can be practiced well into old age and is more productive and less wasteful of resources than golf.
  • Pro-sports are completely senseless, time-wasting spectacles; the whole idea of sport is to participate to promote healthy activity that's a lot more fun that lifting weights and running on treadmills; if you sum up all the effort put into pro sports, think of how much time, money and resources are wasted on watching someone else's exercise, and think of how much could have been accomplished if all that couch time had been applied to something useful (thousands of collective years).
  • It used to be that picture books were for kids, and adults would read books that only contained text, because their minds had grown and expanded enough to be able to maintain complex visualizations based solely on words; now picture books are called "graphic novels" and are the pinnacle of modern creativity with multi-billion dollar industries based on these tree wasters and the movie empires they have spawned.
  • On my recent trip back home for the holidays, I was shocked at how many people had never heard of Jakarta, much less knew where it was (or even Indonesia for that matter); I realized why Americans like to bomb foreign countries, because for most folks, those places are just abstract unknowns with no sense of reality to them.
  • The modern concept of "diversity" is utter bullshit; diversity has come to mean "forced compliance" rather than "widely different."  As is it currently practiced, "diversity" only fosters resentment and animosity, rather than appreciation and solidarity; it used to be you could travel from place to place and experience how other communities and cultures viewed the world and acted upon it; now it's like porridge - an homogeneous bowl of glop with no real excitement; it also meant that if you didn't like a particular culture, you could get away from it; now it lives next door.
  • I miss real art; art was once the perfection of raw materials and the idealization of our cultural goals and aspirations; now art is a woman drinking colored milk and puking on a canvas; glorifying someone's mental illness and hanging their effluvia on the wall is not art, it's a publicity stunt; rather than elevating the mind and soul, modern art drags us down into chaos and ugliness.

22.2.16

Catching Up With Readers

When Daniel Webster first produced his English Language Dictionary, a female member of one of America's early busy-body groups thanked him for not including bad words in his book,  In reply, he thanked her for looking.

And so it goes.  A lot of the reader responses I get around here are from folks convinced that I am either an idiot, a crank, or both, to which I reply, "Thanks for clicking!"

One reader sent a rather passionate note asking how I could support Marco Rubio in my "Random Thoughts On Politics."  I went back and reread the post and could not find a supporting comment anywhere.  I did, however, find a bit where I stated I thought he would win the nomination as a "dark horse" compromise candidate despite any success of the Trump campaign.  Hardly offering my support.

My statement was based simply on my project to track major world events as possible outcomes foreseen in Eastern and Western astrology, and outlined in my post called, "Get Your Yang Red Fire Monkey On!"  Perhaps the connection is not immediately obvious, leading the reader to misinterpret my hypothesis.

The connections are rather subtle, so follow along if you dare.

The name 'Marco' derives from the Latin name 'Marcus,' which itself derives from 'Mars,' the Roman god of war and the name of our fourth planet, which happens to be reddish.  The name 'Rubio' is quite simply the Latin word for "red."  This makes the name translate as "red Mars" (in Romance languages the adjective follows the noun).  Thus, "red," "war" (chaos/fire), and politicians being often characterized as "trained monkeys."

See the connections?  But wait...it gets better.

Mars opposition this year (month of May) will bring the Earth and Mars extremely close and Mars will be very prominent in the night sky for a month or so.  In Western astrology, this would imply a strong influence by Mars in Earthly events, bringing war and chaos in its wake.  It would, to follow this line of thought, imply also that someone named Marco Rubio (red Mars) could be heavily influenced by this alignment (for the better one assumes).

Thus, Marco Rubio seems fated by both Eastern and Western astrology to have a rather stunning rise in the next couple of months, since red, fire, war, chaos, and Mars all figure quite heavily in the stars.  I do not claim to believe any of this, nor do I endorse Rubio or predict his success.  I am simply watching events unfold with an eye to testing astrology.

By the way, Mars will be at very close oppositions with Earth until 2027, so we likely haven't seen the last of Rubio in any event, if there is any veracity in astrology, East or West.

The next set of comments came from several readers who couldn't wait to lambast me for attacking St. Albert in "Einstein Is STILL An Idiot."  Everything from mild chiding to outright hostility lit up the mailbox, which I love.  It means something I said stirred folks up, which is really the whole point of this exercise.  I like it when folks' weltanschauungs are challenged.  It may not change the entrenched and calcified minds, but it may just open others to new ideas and critical thinking.

At any rate, most of the mail and comments about the article were to remind me of what an idiot I am, and I don't deny it.  However, I can still see when someone mixes Wheaties with my Cheerios and tries to pass it off as Sugar Pops.

The point was this: there are four Big Bang Theories and three Black Hole Theories.  They are all mutually exclusive in that a Big Bang Universe cannot contain Black Holes, and vice versa.  Sorry if that pops your bubble, but it's true.

Therefore, to say that gravity waves caused by the merging of two Black Holes proves Einstein's Theory of General Relativity is probably the most idiotic, contradictory and numbnut/buckethead claim ever made.  In Black Hole theories, there can be no other mass in the Universe, much less two Black Holes, and thus, there can be no objective point from which to observe gravity waves, nor even additional space into which they can propagate.

One comment said that the photo of Einstein and the formula showed clearly the question mark at the end of the equation.  See?  Even Einstein was smart enough to know that a Black Hole negated the Big Bang, gravity waves, gravity lensing, and just about everything else you can think of, especially all the stuff his theory predicted.

I find it to be a cheap and dirty trick on the part of the "scientists" (whoever they are) to presume upon the ignorance of the average lay person by claiming that an obvious contradiction proves a hypothetical mathematical construct.  It is the height of contempt on the part of these "scientists" for the lay person to pull this sort of crap while claiming they need more of our tax money to continue finding more proof of a contradiction.

And we haven't even gotten to the part about space-time being a nonsensical thing and most certainly not a medium by which to propagate waves.  Posh and piffle, you say?  Fine, please point in the direction of "time."  I'll wait.  And while you are at it, please tell me why clocks "measure" time, yet I can have two of them together with different times displayed and both can be wrong?  After all, I can use two tape measures to discern the exact dimensions of the 2-by-4 about to hit you upside the head, and both will agree.

OK, so enough fun for now.  Thanks for reading and writing, regardless of why or what.  We enjoy stirring up a little shit once in a while.  Keeps life interesting.

21.2.16

Einstein Is STILL An Idiot!

Take a good look at the photo of Einstein here.  I mean a really close look.  You are about to discover that Einstein was wrong and that he is STILL an idiot.

As are most physicists today.

Now, don't you feel smart?

If you don't see what I'm talking about, then look at the formula he just wrote in the photo.  R(sub ik)=0.  See it yet?

OK, I won't keep you in suspense.  The formula basically says that there is nothing outside a Black Hole.  You read that right.  Nothing outside a Black Hole.  In other words, according to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, there is NO UNIVERSE outside a black hole.  Just to make sure the point drives home, if a black hole exists anywhere in the Universe, then we are not here to talk about it.

Now, I know what you are thinking, "Dude, you don't have a doctorate in Physics and receive billions of dollars in grants to build LIGO machines and CERN machines and have never been nominated for a Nobel Prize."

Maybe not, but as an auto didact who doesn't believe anything coming out of the mouths of self-proclaimed "experts," I can certainly look it up.  And I did.  And I found a guy names Steven J. Crothers, who does have lots of letters after his name and can solve the equations that produce the answer R(sub ik)=0.  An he clearly (even for dummies like me) shows that according to Einstein, we don't exist if black holes do.

So, who cares?

Well, you may have heard all the hoopla recently about the discovery of "gravity waves" by devices called LIGO in Washington State and Louisiana.  "Oooh," they said, "Did you see that?  It was caused by two black holes colliding and thus we just proved Einstein was right!"

I raised my hand.  "Excuse me," I said, "But if you just proved Einstein right then we are not really here discussing colliding black holes and gravity waves."  Everyone ignored me, of course, as they always do with kill-joys at big parties.  Something like that would threaten all that juicy tax money flowing in.

I wasn't alone.  Wal Thornhill, head thinker over at the Thunderbolts Project also caught the glaring problem. And he's a lot smarter than I am, too.

According to Wal, the LIGO instrument depends on having two very long tubes with LASERS shining down the centers of both to a collector in the center.  The tubes are vacuumed out to the point of being much emptier than empty space - as in 'up there.'  What they failed to tell everyone, and us everyones are thinking, "hey, that's pretty vacuous," is that nothing stops neutrinos.

Now, if you're not up to date on neutrinos, those are near-massless particles that can pass through the entire Earth without touching anything, as if it's not there.  In fact, there are other machines in Italy, Japan and Antarctica - that cost billions of dollars too - to try and catch some neutrinos.  In decades of operations, they've only managed to see a handful of them when by sheer chance, they hit a molecule of water and let out a little photon of blue light.

So, now you're probably thinking what I'm thinking, "Hey wait a minute, they spent billions on machines to detect particles that negate the findings of the other machines that found gravity waves?!"  Yup, great minds think alike.  See how smart we are?

I probably don't have to go much further here to get you to start wondering if all those idiots up there talking about gravity waves are con artists looking to generate a little more tax money to fund their Starbucks runs and probably a really big party celebrating how clever they were in fooling all us taxpayers.

The point here, and it's pretty important, is don't believe anyone who calls themselves an "expert," especially if their income is dependent on governments stealing money from us hard-working folks.  They use all this high-falootin' language and scribble incomprehensible formulae (that's the real plural version) on black boards to bamboozle us into handing over more money so they can build bigger machines to make us think they know what they are talking about.

Hey, you know what?  That sounds a lot like the way kings used to tax the crap out of us hard-working folks to build equally useless cathedrals back in the Middle Ages.  Only difference is cathedrals were rather pretty and were open to common folk to come in and look around.  It's not likely we could have the same privileges with the modern versions.

Our walking, talking and breathing might disturb the LASER gods inside the not-so-empty tubes.

Amazing what you can learn when you take a moment to do a little reading.

By the way, while I'm thinking about it, has anyone heard anything about the Ceres lights since the Dawn spacecraft reached its optimal (and closest) mapping orbit?  Yeah, me neither.

20.2.16

Some Random Thoughts On Politics


  • Perhaps if Ben Carson changed his slogan to "Doctor Who," he might get a lot more attention.
  • Donald Trump is the ultimate expression of US culture: he is a walking corporate brand; he is the embodiment of all that is saccharine with that country.
  • The Bush/Clinton dynasties have pretty much plumbed the depths of talent in their gene pools; voters have decided they no longer need comic relief, and so Jeb! is dying on the vine; Hillary, on the other hand, is the manifestation of Democratic ideals of slavery, socialism and just pure ornery meanness.
  • Cruz is nothing more than the vanguard of the Canadian invasion of America; it is a long-simmering war between the two countries, based primarily on the fact that Canada got more coastline from the Indians, but America got the prime tourist beaches.
  • I still think Marco Rubio will be a 'dark horse' compromise nominee and will ultimately be POTUS, I base this on the fact that his name kind of sounds like Marco Polo, and so folks think of him as adventurous, and able to introduce pasta, coal and asbestos to Western civilization.
  • Edward Snowden had to seek political asaylum in Russia from prosecution as a traitor, while Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democratic party nominee, yet they are both guilty of the same crime of letting secrets out. As Mel Brooks says, "It's good to be da king."
  • I have only voted for POTUS one time, and that was for Ross Perot, who was the template for Donald Trump, but with a much funnier voice.
  • Barak Obama's legacy appears to be that he was such a bad president, the anti-establishment candidate finally won (not since Reconstruction has that happened); That's a long way down; Remember when he was first elected, he was nearly canonized at the same time.
  • Pope Francis I lives in a walled city with an immigration policy that only allows passports to be given to Nazis fleeing persecution, and with probably the single largest Treasury on Earth; yet, he dares to comment on US immigration policy and how folks need to give to the poor?  'Let not your right hand know what your left doeth' has gone too far.  Someone please get control of that left hand and quick!
  • Does anyone else get the feeling that the UK is like a prom date who keeps teasing with "yes, no, maybe" when it comes to copping a feel at the end of the night?  This Brexit thing has gone on for years and is just completely pointless, unless to tease the EU a bit and show a little power play.
  • Indonesia is playing the same game as the UK over TPP, only it has its hand out to China and the US to see who will offer the richest purse for a peek at the goodies; reminds me of the famous quip generally attributed to Churchill, "We have already determined what you are, Madame, we are now haggling over price."
  • Have you ever noticed how China operates?  It makes a few incendiary remarks, and then sits back while everyone else fights about it.  Classic divide and conquer strategy, or more appropriately: 分而治之
  • The only country on Earth that has a tax system as evil and insidious as the US is Eritrea, and until just recently, the US condemned it for its tax system; a classic case of "do as we say."  Eritrea is near Sudan and Ethiopia in East Africa; Says to me that the US tax code has Third World status.
  • Since the world is into wall-building right now, I say we put a wall around the entire Middle East, pull out all foreign militaries and interests, and let them sort things out;  This shit has gone on for far too long and has sucked up far too many of the world's resources over something as meaningless as whose religious books are more nonsensical; when they've finished beating, battering and beheading each other and have got things all sorted out, they can come out to play with the rest of us again.
  • In 1969, NASA landed two men on the Moon with equipment less sophisticated than your microwave oven, yet in 50 years the world hasn't been back?  Yup, either the Moon landings were bullshit, or the reasons for not going back are bullshit.  Either way, someone has shoveled an enormous pile of bullshit on the world and guess who gets to clean it all up?
  • The US supreme Court (under Article III of the US Constitution) was only supposed to have six justices.  President FDR added three more to overcome the Court's resistance to his New Deal legislation; Justice Scalia's death is a first step in correcting this problem, as long as a new justice is not nominated.
  • The US Congress doesn't even trust itself; In the 1960s, the Senate passed a rule that no justices, supreme or otherwise, could be selected in an election year, since politicians are far more untrustworthy at that time than in non-election years.
  • It is said that for a hunter to be truly successful, he must become the hunted; thus, Russia has become the global savior and the US has become the dreaded evil empire.
  • Suppose there were no countries, just a global collection of home towns and the only international law was that no one could become leader or ruler except in their home town; the towns could all compete for immigrants based on the standard of living and amount of personal freedom each offered; hell, entrepreneurial types could custom design home towns down to the laws of the community and sell property based on how cool it would be to live there; oh, and media outlets in each home town could only be owned by people who lived there, so there would be no global mega-media conglomerates competing to brain-wash folks - propaganda would be limited to each town and wouldn't have much hope of manipulating masses of people.
  • Economics is not a science; it is a natural function, just like an individual's bathroom habits; what is a science is how the few manipulate economics to impoverish the many.
  • Rulers, leaders, charlatans, and magicians all depend on the ignorance and gullibility of their audience; this means that being educated is the best protection again these kinds of trickery; being educated does NOT mean being an "expert" - those are what we call one-trick ponies; remember Rain Man?  Dustin Hoffman's character was a one-trick pony.
  • Al Sharpton announced he would "flee the country" if Donald Trump was elected; it would be worth a Trump presidency to see that happen; I might even move back if Sharpton was gone.

17.2.16

All You Need Is Cash

UPDATE: And so it begins...

There has been a lot of speculation and noise about the end of cash lately.  This is one of those staple conspiracies that has been around since at least the 70s, as far as I can remember.  However, now there seems to be a new push for it, as events seem to be heading is a rather alarming direction.

The old cashless conspiracy said that central banks want to rid the world of cash in order to track and trace every single transaction and ensure that every diddle of tribute is paid.  It would, they say, also eliminate criminal transactions, though no one ever talks about the subsequent rise of alternative currencies and/or barter that would then step in.

In any event, the EU and US are making rather serious rumblings about the end of cash, and nations like Denmark are moving rather swiftly in that direction.  Is this to end all privacy?  Or is there fear and loathing on the part of the "elites" that is bringing this issue to the forefront?

If you answered "fear and loathing," you not only made Hunter S Thompson happy, you hit the nail on the head.  The "elites" are freaking out, and ending cash is one of the last weapons they have to avert full and complete (and uncontrollable) economic meltdown.

One of great weaknesses of the "elite" is that they think they can control everything; all natural processes are fully within their control, as they have become so disconnected as to think of themselves as gods.  In their conceit, they set off down a course years ago to control the economies of the world to the point where everyone would be lulled to sleep because investments always made money, prices were always stable and everyone had their share of gee-gaws.  Yes, if every belly was full and no hand idle, they could siphon off our labor and build their dream homes in the stars.

One thing about pride...it always goeth before the fall.

One thing about Nature...She resists being controlled.

Things have gotten out of hand.  The "elite" have discovered that organic systems have all sorts of fail-safe buttons installed that keep them balanced to their own rules.  They cannot and will not be dictated to by anyone, no matter how much technology and money you throw at Her.

To the point: the global economy has begun to spiral far out of the "elite" control systems.  Economic systems are natural organizations and they will find their own balance.  For decades, indeed most of the last century,  a dedicated group of megalomaniacs thought they could control the world.  As with all natural systems, they can be held in check for a while, but the errors begin to build up until they are no longer controllable.  Furthermore, when the errors inevitably correct themselves, the result is far worse than if the system had been allowed to adjust itself all along.  At this point, the reset has been artificially delayed since at least the 70s.  The inflation that swept Reagan into office was supposed to run it's course, but artificial fixes were put in place.  Those fixes have been compounded for 50 years now, and the bill is coming due.

Over the past couple of decades, every trick in the economic handbook has been tried.  They confiscated trillions of dollars in taxpayer money.  They raised and lowered rates.  They adjusted policy and shifted blame, but the compounding errors in the system have built to the breaking point.  The only game the "elite" have left, besides outright confiscation of all private property (unpopular), is something called 'negative interest rates.'

Now, I don't know about you, but 'negative interest rates' sounds absurd.  I had to look it up to be sure it was a real thing.  Sure enough, this is one of those economic back-stops that is held in limbo as a theoretical means to halt deflationary spirals. They idea is that with negative rates, banks charge customers to save money, rather than pay interest.  This encourages spending, and of course banks are encouraged to be less restrictive with lending.  Just two insy-winsy little problems with this idea: customers pull their cash and stuff it in the mattress, and loose lending is what got us here in the first place.

Most importantly, when customers start seeing their savings being depleted, instead of running out and spending, most folks will withdraw the cash and horde it.  This compounds (again) the problem negative rates are supposed to fix.  Folks pull their money but don't spend it, and banks quickly nose-dive into insolvency.  The only way around this is to make sure folks don't have cash to pull out.  If all your money is electronic blips, then it is rather hard to store them under the mattress.  The end of cash ideally means that all money is visible to the "elite" and they can enforce their policies on us ruminant animals to force us to spend or save, whatever they need to save the world today.

The one thing none of the articles discuss concerning "negative interest rates" is that when folks lose faith in the system (e.g. - don't have cash to do as they please), then they create alternative "organic' systems to fix the problem.  We see this in the so-called 'black markets.'  Anytime something is made illegal, there is an immediate birth of an underground economy to supply not only the illegal items, but all the ancillary services that go into supplying it.

What it boils down to is this: economies have 'seasons' where things grow and die on a regular cycle.  When those cycles are interrupted, alternative channels open up, just like water running downhill.  And like the water, when it is dammed up, it will build pressure behind it until the blockage breaks and a massive wall of water continues it's trek to the lowest level.  The global economy has been dammed by central bank and "elite" meddling, and the resulting decades-long pressure has built to a devastating release.  Nothing can be done to hold back the result.

The current move to ban cash can thus be seen as a desperate attempt on the part of the "elites" to defy Nature.  Their control over society has been predicated on their delusional belief that they are gods and their technologies have given them the power to control that which cannot be controlled.

Those with 'eyes to see and ears to hear' should already be moving out of the way of the inevitable rush of Nature re-balancing itself, whatever that means to the individual.  Genies cannot be put back in the bottle, so what civilization has thus far achieved will survive in some form, but the overlords of society are about to be swept away by their own egos.  Unfortunately, everyone gets wet when the dam breaks, but those in the path of the resulting wave are sure to be killed by it.

On the dark side, rough times are coming.  On the bright side, the age-old "elites" are about to be destroyed by their own hands.  How we fill the resulting power vacuum will determine the centuries to come.

12.2.16

Mystical Atheism

I really enjoy Christopher Hitchens.  He was one of my favorite commentators and satirists.  He was also a militant and unapologetic atheist.

Vocal atheists include Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, John Lennon, and Penn Jilette (of Penn&Teller fame).  You can find extensive videos on YouTube by and about these folks, and they make compelling and interesting arguments.

To a man, they all say that there is no longer a need for a mystical being called God, because Science has now explained so many of Life's great mysteries, and will likely answer the remaining Great Questions of Life, the Universe and Everything in the near future.  We don't need a Creator, they say, because we have Reason that reveals the Big Bang and Evolution, which demonstrate that Nature herself can take care of making all we see without the need for Celestial Beings.

Only one problem with these arguments: both the Big Bang and Evolution rely on and require miracles.  In other words, the great products of Reason, on which atheists build their systems, are in fact just as mystical and require some Creator being to set the events in motion.

Let's just start with the Big Bang.  On the basis of Reason alone, we must reject this hypothesis outright.  At the very heart of the Big Bang is a miracle: out of nothing, the Universe explodes.  Oh really?  And how does "nothing" explode and create an obviously infinite Universe with unimaginable diversity and volume of content?  And Terence McKenna succinctly put it, "Give us one free miracle, and we'll do the rest."

To place the contraction in stark contrast, an atheist rejects gods as being mystical and irrational, yet they often choose to replace gods with mystical cosmology.  What exactly have they done, if not replace one set of irrationals with another?  If you don't keep up with science and cosmology, you may not realize that there is no proof for the Big Bang, and that observations have repeatedly blown holes in the theory.  To believe in the Big Bang, one must suspend reason as much as to believe in God!

Next, there is Evolution.  Here is another scientific mythology masquerading as fact, and on which atheists depend to construct their arguments.  If you are one of those folks who think Evolution is unquestionable and unassailable, then you have been hoodwinked into looking the other way while the lab-coated magicians pull the wool over your eyes.

Don't get me wrong.  Species are seen to adapt to their environments, even displaying new physical characteristics over time, when the surroundings change.  That humanity exists at all and inhabits so many types of environments is testament to an ability to adapt on the part of the species.

However, Evolution posits that life began as single celled critters that eventually joined together in groups, with some cells specializing in certain functions.  Eventually, these balls of cells become to specialized that they constitute a unique lifeform.  That lifeform splits into different species that are unable to breed with each other.  The splitting of species goes on and on, with species making decisions to inhabit new environments, such as leaving the ocean to live on the land.

Sorry folks, but no one has ever witnessed one species splitting into two.  Oh sure, we see one species adapting to new environments and even manifesting new physical properties to do so, but never has a dog become a cat, as they say.  In fact, the theory that mutations give rise to new species is, in a word, bullshit.  Every mutated individual usually dies, either by natural causes or the parents killing it in one way or another.  Then, the exact same mutation must arise in both genders at roughly the same time, and they must be in close enough physical proximity that they are able to breed.  Nope, sorry, complete rubbish.

There are many examples of interbreeding that create hybrid animals, such as mules.  Mules are created by mating horses and donkeys.  However, mules are sterile and cannot breed amongst themselves.  This is pretty much the case with all forms of hybrids.  And even if mules could breed, they are not a distinct species from the parents.

In other words, Evolution is completely without merit.  The Big Bang is a farce.  And ultimately, we are left with two choices: either there is a God, or we don't yet know how the Universe began and life arose.  And by God, we should be able to admit our ignorance, because to believe we have the answer is to stop looking for it.  When we stop looking, then Reason itself is short-circuited and we are left even worse off that we were with Mysticism.

Atheists are doing a great disservice to civilization by expounding unsubstantiated theories in place of ancient dogmas.  They undermine their arguments by replacing old myths with new ones, rather than truly expressing Reason.

Educated and reasonable people do not accept anything at face value.  They research and formulate their own ideas.  They look for flaws in generally accepted theories and try to find more substantial answers, and in this way, promote Reason.

Aristotelian Reason is founded on the fact that true knowledge can be discovered by anyone who applies himself to the task.  You or I should be able to observe the Universe and come to the same conclusions, based on Reason.  If we are required to grant one free miracle to a theory, then the theory is false and we need to find another answer.

A Cosmology that is based on mythical nothings exploding, invisible "dark" matter and energy, and black holes that should not exist in Big Bang Universes, then it is a fairy tale just like the ones we are trying to replace.

If Evolution is predicated on events that have never been witnessed, then it is not science.  It is nothing more than an updated form of Genesis, or other mystical tales.

Even highly intelligent and eloquent individuals like Christopher Hitchens have been taken in by these modern versions of ancient fairy tales.  They are heard to say over and over again that we don't need God when we have understanding in the form of Big Bangs and Evolution.  In fact, what they are saying is that we don't need to old myths when we have such splendid new ones.

The modern priesthood, called "scientists," a strange sort of new clergy one assumes, is able to hornswaggle the general public because we do not take the time to study, think and reason for ourselves.  We also spend entirely too much time investing "authorities" with powers far beyond what they deserve.  If you have personally witnessed rocks floating, then you should be secure in the knowledge that rocks float, no matter what an "authority" figure tells you.

Miraculous Big Bangs and Evolution do not exist until someone can show us a photo of the explosion or produce a new species that was recorded breaking away from a progenitor.  Until that time, none of us should take these theories for granted.  We do not have the answers yet, and to believe we do means that we have stopped looking.

One of my favorite quotes, and one which I live by, goes,

“If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn't seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white," by William James.  Truly words to live by, and a handy tool for destroying myths.


7.2.16

Get Your Yang Red Fire Monkey On!

Mandarin characters
Gong Xi Fat Cai!

Come with us now to the year 4712, the year of the Red Fire Monkey!  At some point on the 4th of February, the Moon reached its synodic point on the sky and the month of the Tiger began, as it has for the past 4,712 years.  By rotation, this is the year of the Monkey, in the 12-year cycle of animal signs, and the Monkey is red and burning...or something like that.  I haven't been able to find whether this is a yin or yang year, but if memory serves, its the latter.

So, for all you fung shui fans out there, what does all this mean (besides a two-week long party and some holiday time in parts of the world where this is important)?

Well, since its a monkey year, playfulness, mischievousness and chaos are favored.  Throw in some red fire, and you have a rather volatile mix.  According to the prognosticators who follow this sort of thing...er...religiously, that means wild rides in the stock markets, economic upheaval, forest and range fires, and diseases will mark the news this year.  Sounds dire, but as the old Chinese saying goes, "In crisis, there is opportunity."

If you live in California, and you believe that fung shui means moving your furniture around and paying top dollar for consultants, this is not for you.  If you know that fung ahui is about balancing the forces in your life in order to take advantage of things like crises, then read on.

According to fung shui reasoning, this is a fire year, therefore one must balance the other four elements against it in order to maintain harmony in one's life and see clearly when opportunities come.  If you are not familiar with the five elements, we are not talking about Luc Besson's film, but rather Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, and Metal.

This also applies to colors.  In Chinese astrology, colors have modifying effects on the elements, as well as their own powers.  This being a red year, the color enhances fire, which is red.  However, red has the power to resist evil spirits, so it is possible to use the color's powers to ameliorate the forces of the monkey.  It's one of those wonderful circular arguments that Chinese astrology and philosophy are so good at presenting.

Thus, for those who are not able to harmonize the forces in their lives in accordance with the rules of fung shui, you will see your personal finances leaking out, employment and health become major issues, and fire-related disasters become prominent occurrences in your life.

For those who are able to harmonize, you will be able to at least ward off the negative effects, and at best take advantage of the positive ones.  Your success in this regard depends a lot on your own sign, mineral balance and color based on your birth particulars.

I put little stock in all this, whether East or West, though I subscribe to the idea that astrology is a degraded form of a much more complex ancient science that has been lost over the ages.  There is probably a kernel of truth buried in a bunch of gobbldy-gook that we can take away from this.

A word of caution, though.  If you do a search on red fire monkeys, you'll see a lot of predictions of market crashes and virus problems.  One should note that a search in December of last year had none of this kind of talk.  It is only since January and the rise of Zika virus and the fall of the financial markets that mention has been made of these things.  In other words, it is a matter of "post-dictions" rather than predictions.  I would have been a lot more impressed had those market and virus references shown up a priori.

In any event, let's assume some predilection in world events that follow yang (light), red, fire, and monkeys.

Yang represents the lit side of a mountain or the peak of a wave.  It is the positive of the pair, in the sense that magnets or electricity have positive and negative poles.  It is neither good nor bad, and it needs the opposite to exist.  The only real effect of this is to remind us to balance it in order to avoid being swept away.

Along with yang, red and fire imply heat.  Heat implies rapid action, boiling, stirring.  It also means life and growth.  Red is the color of luck or good fortune.  Fire can be either destructive or life-giving, and also symbolizes knowledge.  The monkey is intelligent, watchful, chaotic and mischievous - known for stealing things (especially food) but usually in a playful way.

So, we put all this together:
Yang is light and warmth;
Red is luck and good things (as well as warding off evil spirits);
Fire can destroy or give life and renewal;
Monkey brings chaos and playfulness.

Thus, the year of the yang red fire monkey could indicate renewal, light and good fortune, but it will come in the guise of chaos and destruction.  Things will look pretty glum in the midst of it, but something good is coming out of it.  If we take the old Chinese saying noted above, then we should look for the silver lining (to mix East and West) within any crisis.  Since fire is fed by wood and quenched by water, those elements will have a lot to do with the direction events take.  Therefore, crises that have wood somewhere in the mix will tend to get bigger, while those with water will tend to fade away.  The sharp and prepared observer will look for these elements surrounding the various problems that will spring up this year, and so know how to react and find the opportunity within them.  Luck and good fortune are favored, so the observer is likely to get something good out of the crises if he or she reacts correctly.

One word of caution: astrology and horoscopes have traditionally been used to interpret large-scale events involving aggregates of people (nations, markets, etc.).  They don't really work on an individual level.  They also don't foretell events.  What they do is provide tools for interpreting events as they unfold and possibly seeing likely trends and outcomes that one can use for advantage.

It's a fun pass-time and not really something to take too seriously.  I like to dabble in it out of curiosity.  In the coming year, I will likely test the foregoing by doing exactly what I mentioned here, and trying to predict outcomes based on interpretation.  From time to time, I will update this to see how it's doing.

Here's something to look at.

The Zika virus comes from the tropics.  The tropics are characterized by light and heat (fire).  We can expect this story to grow.  This compounded by the fact that Zika was first discovered in monkeys (!) in the Zika forest (!) of Uganda and is spread by day-active mosquitoes (!).  So, we have monkeys, heat/fire, wood and light (yang) all mixed into this one, along with the strong possibility of chaos, which could also be interpreted as mischievousness on the part of some group.  Keep in mind that this only refers to the STORY of Zika, not necessarily the virus or illness itself.

If this scenario holds true over time, then we can expect the solution to involve tiger (opposite of monkey), water (quenches fire) and yin (darkness).  Maybe Eli Lily and Company (tiger, water) comes up with a vaccine?  Curfews issued for day-time hours?  Cure involves lots of water?  I might just throw a bet on Lily/Roche.  Just a game to play in this year of the monkey.

In any event, Happy New Year and let us know if you strike it rich balancing the fung shui of the year 4712.  Couldn't hurt to have a little red around you, except at funerals or when writing your name.