Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it.The First Law of Mentat, quoted by Paul Atreides to Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
Epicurus – Greek philosopher, BC 341-270
Monday, November 02, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
When I was in my twenties, I began
to make enough money to support myself.
I would like to say my life began then
but this would be false in many ways
though not all.
I was free to live as I saw fit without strings
that family could pull, without obligation
to anyone but my employer.
For years I was free to work and all the time left
It was for me
I enjoyed it
I learned how to live free
Learned to live as myself
Discovered myself in those years
And liked the life I was able to figure out
I finally learned how to live
I wasn't going to die young after all
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you."
Monday, October 05, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Hearing your wife sing to your daughter in the bath is a pleasure difficult to describe. It is not nearly abstract enough for words.
Try and explain this pleasure.
Trials will fail in accurate description, and each trial will fade the feeling into distance. Though they do succeed in confirming that this is a fundamental pleasure. Like those tasted, felt or inhaled. This is an atomic unit of what matters, this is an element of well being.
I'm barely holding it together
Running on the bare minimum needed
Thread bare personality
Held together by smoke and hope
Hope that something will change
But why would it?
It won't unless I will it
It won't unless others will it
Why would we will it to change
If I struggle alone
We won't will it
Unless it is more than I
I may not make it
I don't feel strong enough
I seem to have misplaced the why
And wherefore of too much
Too many of the tasks needed to make it
No longer even sure what I was trying to do
Who made the check list in the first place
How did I get here
And which direction was I proceeding in
Before I woke up
Monday, September 28, 2009
I'm time crippled
I used to be able to study and push forward with my career
Now I can barely keep the fuck up
I'm barely treading water
And the things about myself and my life that I used to value
Are falling apart and by the way side
My family is taking so much of my time that I have crumbs left
Crumbs are not what I used to value and pride myself in
I wonder if I can salvage anything of my previous life
I wonder if I can have a life that I can understand
I've lost my freedom to be myself
Because it takes something that I no longer have
I don't know how to live like this
And I'm not sure anyone actually cares enough
To give me back enough of what was taken
To make a difference
I've lost what made my life work
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I get so little free time
that when it comes I don't do much
I smoke and drink
and let my mind wander about bumping into things
and old half chewed ideas
Walls, both self erected and preexisting
Lots of half empty glasses left
around my pretend pub
I never stay for long, but I always have a drink.
My free time,
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I wonder what Duane is doing
As I pour this second pint
Further pub pretending
Is he drinking too
Is he smoking too
Maybe he's driving around pretending
Something altogether different
Than I am
I wonder where
his thoughts are concluding.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I tell my daughter to be patient
To practice being patient
But its hard for her
Its hard to be patient
And based on my own daily difficulty
I'm not sure how much practice helps
But I hope she is better than me
Elevated, new and improved
I hope she will find patience
A comfortable tool
Thursday, September 24, 2009
How familiar beer is
To the creative process
How intimate smoking is
to moments given over
To new understandings
And up, out of the cave
And into consciousness
Excess and abandon
Of many types
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
People tire me.
Yes, even you
wonderful though you are.
I tire and need to recharge.
I can not do this when you
or anyone else
I need it like air, water, or food.
Deprivation leaves me weak and stumbling
Effects onset quickly
internally, within a week
physically, within a month
I recharge without you.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The only divining I do is for
Inspiration, for natural expression,
For that feeling
When a new idea is understood
When a new poem is written
When a line of thought
Catches my attention and leads
Me running from thought to thought
For no reason, no purpose
Running for the feel of it.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Nerd Handbook
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
A wise predecessor has said that an unexamined life is not worth living. I would add that a life over examined is not being lived at all. As is often the case, moderation, even in self examination, is generally more appropriate than abstinence or excess.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
When I hear someone use the term "sheeple" I understand that they have a Boolean view of the situation their remarks concern. To the speaker there are two sides to the conflict, the independent minded side (i.e. that of the speaker) and the side that is being controlled by some opposing power and not thinking for themselves.
There is no point in engaging in dialog with a person while they are in this mental configuration. Either side of their dichotomy they place you on will be fruitless. They are prepared for declarative communication only, with the purpose of self reinforcement. There is no chance at discovery or productive dialog with this speaker. It is recommended to disengage as quickly and reasonably as possible.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Step One: Allow alien race to "discover" your presence at the extreme limit of their observational capacity. This should be done in such a way as to ensure maximum general penetration.
I was bored this weekend
On several occasions
I am never bored
Unless I'm constrained
And I was
I was constrained to
A high degree
Left with little room to
Make choices of my own
And my time was pre-spent
Of course remaining constrained
Was a choice made and remade
The right one, true
Monday, September 07, 2009
6 Give beer to those who are perishing, 7 let them drink and forget their poverty
I saw this verse today and found it refreshing to hear a reasonable sentiment coming from a deolater holy book that I could morally support.
Proverbs 31:6-7 (NIV)
wine to those who are in anguish;
and remember their misery no more.
6 Give beer to those who are perishing,
7 let them drink and forget their poverty
Friday, September 04, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Eat the same breakfast every day
Kiss the same lips every morning
Shave then shower
Read your favorite book again
Look at your favorite painting
Each night after drinking
Listen to albums held up as quality
For longer than you've been alive
Read books written long before the printing press
Each copy, hand produced,
Stamps of quality in the long effort spent
Our lives are short, and
Little is left to us once duty
has taken her share, so
Invest your mind in deep quality
Place the majority of your bets
in proven returns.
Loose faith in the value of new
By renewing your trust in
Routine and personal
By renewing your love of
Proven quality and value
That can be relied upon
The new is a temptation to place value
Without any reason but hope.
The new should be seen clearly
And this often requires a
Retreat from marketing
And sales efforts
The pushers of the new
For the sake of consuming
Retreat and clear your mind.
See the new for what it is
An occasional benefit
A necessary aspect of the world
But not its luminary star
Not the center of value
Not the warm bright
Beating heart of what can
Drive us forward.
I'm still retreating
How long it will take to see the new
In a clear and un-marketed light.
Until I have perspective
I will trust to moderation
And assume that the new
Is unhealthy in both excess
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Ready to check out
before I have to hear
another business man's pitch
Smiling, always smiling
always seeking to use you
for his benefit, to profit
from your trust,
weakness, or ignorance,
To bleed you just a bit
If he can
If you will let him
All the time smiling
Waiting for your defenses to come down
Maybe you'll see him as a friend
some one you can trust
Then his wait is over and he can
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Feels nice to be full
Of… of what? Of life
Of something that wants to push
Push against life
Not just be pulled
Drug about by necessity
No this is an energy that wants to pull
And drag life about
By its own necessity.
But then I remember
That morning comes
Early when a toddler
Is your alarm
And I switch from scotch
And from poetry
To Oreo cookies
And an all too prudent
Of winding down.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
half way through
the last beer in
the twelve pack
and its too early
and too late
I need to switch,
but to what?
I have to decide
and this gets
in the way
(Reason for being up)
I'll go to trusted
Scotch and water.
I'm no longer worried
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
The hill people, as the learned of my village call them or simply the people as they call themselves, are silent in combat with man or beast. If a man of the people is anything but silent then there is no death in him. If he is silent and only the wind he moves through makes a sound, then he carries death with him.
The children of the hill people, both genders, learn to fight from a young age. The children make martial sounds much like any other people do; they are trained to do so for the same reasons we find in our own society. This is for training only. When a man child comes close to his full inclusion into the governing of the people, his adulthood, he is taken out with hunting parties and first learns to employ his martial training for the killing of another living being.
On a first hunt a child is told to be silent when in combat, to move his voice into his heart so that his heart alone yells. He is taught by example how the people act together to kill beasts.
After his full inclusion he is taken on hunting parties for men, most dangerous beast, and learns his last martial lessons, how to be silent in combat while letting his screaming heart drive a fierceness and precision through his thoughts and limbs.
To be silent while a man screams, pleads or threatens is difficult. This is why children practice killing boars and other animals for years before hunting men. After a few encounters a man of the people is able to treat all his prey the same. His heart may scream with rage and violence, and maybe fear, but his eyes are the cold eyes of a predator to all who look upon his silence.
This is a fragment of what ambassadors from my village are taught of the people and their ways. One of our memorized instructions on Hill People interaction:
"You will not hear them coming, so camp in the open and keep your eyes equally wide."
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Every single person on planet earth is an atheist. Each and every one of us deny the probability of one or more gods that others have professed.
There are two basic divisions: Theists and Atheists.
- Theists profess one or more gods and deny all others
- Atheists profess no gods, denying all
The difference between a monotheist and an atheist is one god.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Life begins to feel like early school years. Pressures to conform. Others mainly desire you to go through the motions, as they do. Motions. The motions should mean more.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
When a person lifts himself up by putting others down,
keeps himself up by keeping others down,
raises up one to keep another down, or
keeps one up to keep another down;
when a person does any of these things he has long lost
and now hopes only for delay and stasis.
Friday, July 17, 2009
"Give me a child for the first 5 years of his life and he will be mine forever."— Vladimir Lenin "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."— Proverbs 22:6
"Give me a child for the first 5 years of his life and he will be mine forever."— Vladimir Lenin
"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."— Proverbs 22:6
"The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life."
"I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I tire of my praxis. We answer small questions, solving old problems in slightly new ways, same answer just reworked with new technology. This powers cycles of economy, round and round, leaving little left over for non-capital producing praxis. Humanity's march has always been slow, but it needn't be.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 08:14
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I hear people talk about dieting as if it were a complicated topic. There are entire isles dedicated to diet books at local bookstores. Amazon has diet books in the thousands selling their dieting angles as if it required several hundreds of pages to understand and implement. Celebrities and doctors pretend to have found new ways to loose weight "and keep it off". WTF people?
Posted by Extra Gravy at 08:26
Monday, July 13, 2009
Nathan would sniff canned air. After a few seconds of inhalation he would pass out cold, head smack against his keyboard or a little bounce off carpet, just enough to make his hair dance up and down. He was a great guy. I never understood his motivations, but I knew he was a friend.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Cicero wrote "On Duties" ostensibly to his son as a type of instruction on how to be a quality person. This work has been appreciated far more widely than its dedication would indicate, enough so that it was hand copied for centuries, and now an anonymous individual like myself can easily get Amazon to deliver a dual language copy to my door step in two days. I wonder what Cicero would think about the longevity of his work and the diverse crowd of his new inheritors. I wonder if his son ever read it.
Posted by Extra Gravy at 08:35
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Morning. Development cave is dimly lit. Searching the web. Searching my mind. The old urge to run with a posse, a pack of wolves, surfaces and planes other thoughts level.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
I won't waste time on individual rationales. What difference does it make whether there are two destinations after death (e.g. Christian) or three (e.g. Norse). I see little value in comparing and contrasting the imagined details of insensible locations. Humans have created countless religions, all populated by spectacular persons and places, all reflecting the societies from which they arose. They are scattered along our historical trail, discarded each time to be replaced.
While I find the individual details of religions only of historic interest, I do have a facination with why they are created. Why does just that individual religion arise from just that society? More specifically, why does that society imagine that afterlife, why those specific details? Ideas of the afterlife find their origins in the minds of men, and they also, in the nature of the location described, reflects these same minds.
What does the nature of an afterlife tell us about its adherants?
What does an afterlife tell us about the needs, and societal stressors of its origin societies?
The concept of life after death is not founded on verifiable information. It does not have its origin in first hand reports or observable data achieving anything close to adequate scientific veracity. Resist the temptation to quote your holy book, cultures much older than yours have also held beliefs similar enough to be called life after death. Man has long entertained an idea consisting primarily of continuation after death. We have entertained this idea under the cover of numerous rationales, each replaced after sufficient generations by a new rationale. None of these afterlife rationales represent the folding in of new information, rather they are themselves folded into new religions, co-opted as it were into new cultural expressions.
Why do humans entertain the hope of a life after death?
What are the origins of this peculiar hope in an afterlife?
What benefits, for society or individuals, promote the maintenance of this belief?
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
The future does not exist. Not yet. It is only an anticipation, a personal expectation. Expectation of trouble can bring stress, grinding of teeth, and the hasty throwing of unnecessary baggage overboard. Expectation of ease can bring calm, smiling mouths and the piling up of decisions unmade. The future colors the present, tainting responses with expectation, with imagined reality.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Time is not the medium we move through. I can move through the medium of water and air, but I do not move through time.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of god. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."
What to write…
I feel that I should write something.
Some record of my moment.
I'm at a crossroads. A moment of decision presents itself and there is nothing to be done but to decide. I called my most trusted friend. My phone died before we could converse to a conclusion or as near to as friend conversation brings such internal struggles.
Now I just want to sleep. Scotch has dulled my wits and made me ready to forget. The problem is that the forgetfulness of scotch is temporary and upon the next wake up the unresolved issues will remain and more than remain, they will demand attention again. Scotch is no escape.
I doubt much of my conversation as diversion from the main topic. I doubt my rational. I doubt myself.
What rational could make my life sensible? Who could ever have sympathy with me? I look to forsake what the world values in favor of what it does not understand. To choose a path that is hard to understand is to choose to be an outsider, a voluntary minority.
I must live, and not die. I must choose life. I must choose a life that I can find livable. What else can I do?
I have been wrong so many times before. I have chosen to miss out on the lives of my friends and family, I have chosen my appetites, my predispositions.
I wish to say nothing other than I am becoming. I know that I am slow. Others have realized life before me, and have embraced meaningful living when I have not. I am not sure I can ever assimilate to their decisions, even if I envy their positions.
I can say that I act honestly with full understanding of my risk and potential of failure. I can say this but I say it with an internal chorus of contempt.
I was never taught how to live. I was never shown how to accept life. I have been fighting to find a balance. I claim progress in this. Not much maybe, but some, some real measurable progress. I have not lived in vain. I have made some headway in the act of living.
This dialog wants a conclusion, a resolution, but none is forthcoming tonight. Tonight scotch will have its way and I will sleep. I will sleep soon. When I awake I will take up again to the yoke that I have accepted and that I will never put down. What more useful way to spend life can I find than loving family and friends? I will do what is in front of me. I will do that which is clear, and put aside that which is not.
This is not a conclusion, although I worry that it is a decision unknown.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
I can't determine whether my goals are windmills
They seem substantial to me, but I am also the only
Person around titling at these potential windmills.
It cannot matter whether they are windmills are not
They seem substantial enough to me and I have no
Other desire but to tilt at them…
Maybe to a more enlightened individual looking at my life
I will look like a dog that kept chasing cars
But I will ask my judges whether I looked happy or not.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Before we take up our task of question and answers, or more accurately the trials and subsequent refinements of question and answers we must agree on a small matter. This matter is a potential obstacle that certain minds will bring to difficult questions. This matter is a shrinking or retreat into abdication of responsibility to understand. This matter is a giving up of hope in knowing and abdicating to a power outside our mutual sphere of understanding. These responses often reference gods but there is no reason that they must. Many people reference experts, historical figures or other authorities they feel sufficiently removed from. This matter of dropping our individual responsibility to understand, to think through questions, to untie knots, to explore unknown spaces must be set aside before we begin as unworthy of our nature and faculties. We can not answer all questions that we can pose, of course not, but we can try. We can work them out to the fullest extent of our ability and never once consult an oracle or sign in the heavens. We can fully explore the best arguments we have, so that we are ready when new evidence comes to light or new ways of living or understanding clear the way before us and we can answer what was before unavailable to our comprehension. This does not preclude answers that may depend on agents of cause that are unknown in an empirical sense. It does however say that any answer must only be enumerated with its fellows as a possible answer and that the matter before us is not an answer unwanted but an answer unsought. Resolution of this matter is critical for our productive discussion and as easily accomplished: We must each admit of and commit to the seeking of truth, that it needs seeking, and that we benefit in the finding. This admission and subsequent agreement free us to take up our task without reserve.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I wonder if how we think about other people reflects how we think about ourselves. Maybe not directly but indirectly somehow. When I hear people talking as if the populace at large is indolent and fee loading, I wonder where that point of view comes from. We, as individuals, know a tiny fragment of the population personally. Our personal experience with people is so startlingly limited that it is hard to trust even my positive feelings about humanity as based in anything but wish.
So when I hear someone talk about shallow consumers I wonder if I could interpret this as a wish. The speaker wishes that his moral standing was so rarified that all the rest of the population would have to be shallow mindless consumption driven automatons.
I think I hear this talk of populace most when people talk about the governmental policies they do not like and come up with the negative outcome they think will occur. It makes more sense for me to hear this as wish than as a real logical expression.
How can we talk about 400 million people with any honest surety of accuracy?
The most accurate way I could generalize the populace would be to consider them generally like me, but in
widely variant circumstance.
Maybe that is a key difference.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
I sometims cry when I read good literature. I do not fully know why, the occurrences do not significantly coincide with sadness in the works themselves so such an easy explanation is not available. I suspect that it as an expression of deep appreciation for what the author has accomplished. Maybe literary abstraction allows me to experience empathy more forcefully than in daily life which is terribly deeper. I have never cried while listening to music like lovers of classical music profess is possible, but maybe there is a direct comparison between the experiences.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
The first set of sprints on the machine learning research project was wrapped up early in April of this year. An instance was spun up and it was capable of learning how to play tic-tac-toe from a completely trial and error basis. It was able to learn to play, to follow the feedback provided by the environment, and even to create memes from experience and behave completely from its meme stack. While it was able to do this and much was learned from that element of success there were several elements of failure from which much more can be gleaned, learned and applied to the next set of sprints. The error state in a form of questions, "Why didn't the instance learn to play tic-tac-toe better? Why is it blind to my strategy while mindful of the rules?"