Friday, December 11, 2009


Two massive star ships have been built.  Their construction has left the earth with massive gouges out of her.  Huge quarries carving out chunks of nations.  We sent a large part of ourselves into space.  Those of us left behind must wait.  We must wait generations for those that left to come back.

I don't remember the last starship.  I was born in the absence, and while science progresses heroically, I will not be well preserved enough to witness the return.  I'm a child of the absence. 

Our grandparents would see the absence whenever they looked up and the orbital docks were dark.  They had grown up with them.  The date time stamp logged when the orbital docks went dark, officially marked the beginning of the absence.  That generation lost a small moon on their night sky and any tenacious hopes still lingering in the hearts of those remaining.

The living remainder don't remember the dock moon.  We don't remember the pride and sorrow of humanity's mitosis.  We do see the absence though;  when we skirt the deep scars cut from earth, when we see the remains of the past and wonder at what has been spent.  We feel the absence not from being left behind, but from being adrift.  We study history and wonder.

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

Favored wording:  
A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding moves with the flow of process, joins it and flows with it.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere.
from Muad'Dib: Family Commentaries by the Princess Irulan

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Remember, Remember the 4th of November

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
Seneca (Roman philosopher, mid-1st century AD)

This is such a sobering statement (My current employer is doing a reorganization and this quote seemed an appropriate thing to remember, while I listen to streams of upbeat and positive adjectives for the next few days).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

t-day weekend

so much food...
pass the gravy...
can't let it all go to waste :-)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

When faced with a problem the first thing to do
is to determine how much of the problem is you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Does leaving your cage temporarily
qualify one as free?
If a return is ensured
Is the time really free?
Some say we can be free in a cage
even if we never get to leave,
but I think they have shrunk freedom
to fit their cage.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thoughts from a corporate ghetto

Planning is always iterative.

Never measure more than twice before you cut.

You'll always do it better the second time, so get the first one out of the way quickly.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

How do people survive corporate jobs?
Where do they hide their souls
So they don't get stepped on daily?
How do they make it through the days,
The meetings, and the routinely ignorant
I don't know how other people do it.

Start-up companies push you to burn out
And absorb an enormous amount of life,
But at least you're doing something
Making real progress, towards a goal
That is identifiable and achievable (well…)

These large established corporations are breeding grounds
For some kind of human rot.
I'm already feeling empty and glassy eyed.
I'm starting to itch and I'm worried I'm rotting,
Slowly decaying,
Being drained by the abundance of emotion
And the near void of logical reasoning.

The group think of the barely educated
Managing the production staff into
Suicide, fast or slow, it amounts to the same thing
A giving up on life, a giving up on that gripping
Strong feeling of vitality when you are free to run
With tongue out and eyes fixed on the target
Running, running

Tell me you haven't given all that up under
A guise of wisdom, with pale platitudes of
"the way the world works"
"it is what it is"
Or pathetic day dreams of vacations, retirement
And comforting entertainments waiting at home
That are only needed to sooth the pain of the work day.

If we were running, creating and free
We would never consume the amounts of TV
Food and trinkets we do, but we do
We need it, to ensure the slow suicide
Instead of the fast.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Classic Quote

“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

He Can

How can the astronomer
Hold personal grandeur
When he beholds creation?
How can the philosopher
Hold personal certainty
When he beholds history?
How can any man
Withhold creation and history
From his reason?

Powerful Feeling

I do have things of substance to say
To communicate
But this is not the place or the time
The hour
This is the moment of self mutation
An action so profound we are not involved
Not invited
We'll explain why the new was inevitable
We'll mourn the passing of us
And we'll celebrate our rise
But we really won't have anything to say
At all

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"A man can not learn what he believes he already knows"
— Epictetus

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Making it Work

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
was mine.
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."

Luke 6:27-28

Surprisingly, many Christians seem not to take love literally. Despite its clarity and its central position in the faith they choose to ignore loving our enemies and doing good to those that hate us, and instead support, justify, or condone torture. Not all Christians support torture, of course, but I have met many sincere and otherwise rational Christians that do. How can a Christian expect me to take them seriously when they justify torture? What part of "love your enemies" includes an exception for torture?

This is not what your Jesus would do.

Monday, October 05, 2009

This morning I hear alarms softly going off.
I see gauges politely approaching areas demarcated in red.
I wonder what to do. I wait until the alarms
Are louder, but wonder if they get louder
Or if this is it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Old MacDonald

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.

Some days feel thin
As if they are declining towards the end of a novel
Moving away from the climax, towards the finish
Momentum nearly spent, potential emptied into pages
The story is cleaning up loose threads, slowing
until the book is put down

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
That struggles

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

I like poetry that is
But that seems the hardest to come by
Like songs
You can relate to
Or movies that
Have something to say

Pub Pretending (old habit)

Since I'm drinking a pint
I had cigarette
Old habit
On its way out
But slow
I'm not sure if its holding on
Or I am

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pub Pretending (free time)

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
New thoughts
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,
Always brief
Always unexpected
Always welcome.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pub Pretending (duane)

I wonder what Duane is doing
Right now
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

Power Tool

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

"Engineers are all basically high-functioning autistics who have no idea how normal people do stuff."
Cory Doctorow

Pub Pretending (familiar abandon)

How familiar beer is
To the creative process
How intimate smoking is
to moments given over
To new understandings
Brought forward
And up, out of the cave
And into consciousness
Excess and abandon
Accompany creation
Of many types
And styles.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good intentions also form bad habits

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Recharge When Alone.

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
is around.

I need it like air, water, or food.
Deprivation leaves me weak and stumbling
desperate, gasping.
Effects onset quickly
internally, within a week
physically, within a month

I recharge without you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pub Pretending (that feeling)

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

Caring for Your Introvert

Three interesting links about introverts written for others.

Caring for Your Introvert

On Introversion

The Nerd Handbook

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Nature is Good

My name is Extra Gravy
And I'm an introvert.
This is my nature.
I am not broken.
I do not need to change.
I do not need to be more
like you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Moderate Self Examination

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

Note To Self: Avoid Narrow Minded People

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

Scenic Lookout

And slightly depressed
And a little desperate
To rest
To gain some perspective
I'm not sure I want to be doing this
But I'm so busy
How will I know
How will I find the time
To step back and know what I want
To do
To be

Friday, September 11, 2009

For Pleasure

One of the better things about poetry
Is that a poem can be a pleasure to write
Even when it is less than pleasurable to read

This may take the reader a long way
To understanding why I keep writing
When others do not keep reading

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Pub Pretending (moment of freedom)

I'm sitting in my kitchen
pretending it’s a pub

With canned Guinness
popped and poured
into each pint glass

With music playing
louder than normal
(for the kitchen)

All while the girls
have gone swimming
(for an hour or two)

Briefly leaving a window open
leaving my will free to wander
free to find its own direction

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

First Four Steps

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.

Step Two: Wait a generation

Step Three: Communicate with the alien race in a way that is at the extreme limit of their ability to decipher. This should be done in such a way as to ensure maximum general penetration.

Step Four: Wait a generation


I was bored this weekend
On several occasions
I am never bored
(99.9999% uptime)
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
But hard

Monday, September 07, 2009

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)

6 Give beer to those who are perishing,
wine to those who are in anguish;

7 let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Response to an email

If there had been more I would have kept reading. I would have kept reading, absorbed, feeling, lost from what I would flee. I would have kept reading for a couple of hours until the bratwurst was crackling, until my stomach was pleading. I would have kept reading until concrete experience pulled me away with its rough thick hands.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Between two rational choices

There is often no rational compromise

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Quality vs. Novelty

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
daily ritual
By renewing your love of
Proven quality and value
That can be relied upon
To deliver
Time and
Time again.

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
The new.

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
Into perspective
Still wondering
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
and absence.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Thoughts Before a Meeting

I'm agitated
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
Do business.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wolfmother's debut eponymous album has reminded me of that energetic internal energy that is Rock.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hold and Fold

those that fully believe in money
as a measure of life and guiding rule
will call me naive in complaining
and will call alternate measures idealistic.

but this is always the response
when you speak against the status quo.
The temporary moment in history these things inhabit
always seems like forever to the adherents
but it never is, all times are brief.
New measures will rise and new rules will be
simple second nature to future
brief generations.

I simply raise my voice to say that I am ready
for money to fall back to a functional role
and leave measures and rules
to a more human
of quality.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Energy brimming
Feels nice to be full
Of… of what? Of life
Of living
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
To milk
And from poetry
To Oreo cookies
And an all too prudent
Of winding down.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lately, I'm steady tired.

Ready to unplug,

to exhale, and

lay down

with eyes


Monday, August 24, 2009

I love these nights

I'm worried,

half way through

the last beer in

the twelve pack

and its too early

to quit

and too late

to re-up.

I need to switch,

but to what?


I have to decide

and this gets

in the way

of rambling


(Reason for being up)


I'll go to trusted

Scotch and water.

I'm no longer worried

except for

the morning

wake up.

I named my fifth child Lucifer. He was beautiful. Everyone loved him. He seemed to exude a light, a warmth, something that made everyone turn towards him like sunflowers turning ever so slowly towards the sun.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What did I learn?

I don't really know.

I could make something up.

I'm clever enough

to make it sound good

but not too good,

still believable.

Truthfully, I don't know

if I learned anything at all.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Keep Eyes Wide

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

There are an estimated 38,000 Christian denominations.

Think about that.

Friday, August 07, 2009


Left alone,
I would never know boredom
for the creative zone is a kingdom

The most common human responsibility is deciding how to respond.

The most common human question is how to respond.


We are all responsible for how we respond.

We all have questions on how we should respond.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

I take the bit, like a thoroughbred running crazy shit, till my heart beats dead.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Out of Quarters

Following poem written after reading recent news headlines, nearly all of which seem to be hyperbolic fear mongering.


Nothing endangers us more

than Donkey Kong barrels,

Harm filled potential rolling,

prepare to jump oncoming perils.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Theists are Majority Atheist Already

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

Looking for a New Dance

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.

Many tease with meaning, but dissapoint and remain. Why must they remain when they have proven deficient?

Why do people still value monetary income so highly, as if it possessed meaning? It teases with meaning but dissapoints, and remains. Socially normative pressure to earn more remains. Claps from family at promotions, even when it costs quality of life, even when it estranges the promoted from what has meaning.

Desire for us to go through the motions, desire for us to value what has so little value is a social force softly and constantly blowing against us, bending us like a tree on a cliff's edge, bowed to the unrelenting wind. We are maimed by society.

What should our response to this state of life be? While going through the motions, as we must, we can consider this question. Questions of meaning are not easy, but we have time to think while empty motions are executed again and again. A dance we have been taught since children.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Defensible Position

The United States is in a time of transition. Change evokes fear, division, nervousness, anxiety, and a host of other fleeting and tempestuous emotional states, this is true for an individual and for our compound human organism: the state. Many citizens have been reflecting on the founding of our nation and our core principles, hoping to find in them a guide for the course we are steering.

Whether you find yourself honestly researching foundations for old or new opinions, or you find yourself confronted with less than honest public statements to the contrary I would like to offer a piece of source material and a clear rebuttal of what I think is a pernicious and dangerous violation of our long national dialogue.

Position: The United States was not founded on the Christian religion.

Reference: Article 11 from the Treaty of Tripoli signed by President John Adams on June 10, 1797.
Many other elements of our history and national documents make this clear but none so clear as this and for those wishing to advance the earthly influence and power of their religions it seems that the spirit of our country and history do not provide enough clarity to forestall their ambitions, so I offer this clearest of statements by an early leader of our Republic.

I doubt that this will stop the imposition of selfishly wishful thought upon our shared history, but it may give us a defensive weapon against outright ignorance, say "President John Adams and congress stated unanimously that the United States was not founded on the Christian Religion."

Friday, July 24, 2009

"In God We Trust"

I do not trust god and you don't either. Either you go to the Doctor or you trust god. Either you have a standing army or you trust god. Either you trust god to heal you and protect you or you don't. Actions reveal those things we most trust to perform as we need them to. I know of no reason to trust god, and I know no theists whose actions reveal their trust either.

"In God We Trust is the official motto of the United States and the U.S. state of Florida. The motto first appeared on a United States coin in 1864 during strong Christian sentiment emerging during the Civil War, but In God We Trust did not become the official U.S. national motto until after the passage of an Act of Congress in 1956.[1][2] It is codified as federal law in the United States Code at 36 U.S.C. § 302, which provides: "In God we trust" is the national motto."

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

I will not give my child to the state nor the church, they would use her for their ends and purposes. I will make the decision that my parents did not make for me, to leave her both free and prepared to own herself.

Vigilance is Required

"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."

— Adolf Hitler
Berlin, 1933
Upon this foundation he built an empire. He did not build this empire alone. He had a nation behind him, a nation founded on Christianity and family. A nation that prayed with him and carried out the will of the government, not because they could not think for themselves, but because their thinking was fundamentally akin. The credulity that religion demands of its adherents leaves them predisposed to believe thin statements from those in authority especially when they seem, on their surface, to reinforce dearly held beliefs.

Vigilance is required to keep our beliefs, atheist or theist, from being used as handles to drag us about.

"I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."

— President George H.W. Bush
Chicago, Illinois, on August 27, 1987
There is a potent potential in this country for persecution of out-groups (e.g. minorities). This is especially dangerous when seen to be righteous. I worry for the future of others, like myself, who have come through much thought and study to stand solidly on conclusions that would put us at the end these loving and righteous knives.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dissatisfaction. Ennui.

Mind forced to engage on less than challenging projects. Mind forced to treat digital ditch digging with similar importance others place upon it. Mind wishes to shut-down now. Hope in fresh start-up springs eternal.

Praxis Fatigue

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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PSA: Diet Books are for Suckers

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?

Dieting for the vast majority of humans couldn't be simpler; eat less and exercise more. If it feels complicated to you its because you won't accept the most obvious facts in front of your face. I'm not saying you are stupid or retarded, just that you are choosing to act in a stupid and retarded manner (e.g. buying diet books).

My diet book consists solely of its title and makes me zero money: Eat Less, Exercise More. Done. That is fucking it. It is not complicated.

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.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Week day. Typical commute from employment location to suburban home commences. I stand up from my desk, remove headphones, comrade eyes look into mine and I say, "For those about to drive, I salute you."

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Pack Dreams

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.

This urge is strong, imparting boldness and desire to run with tongue out. A pack running together, eyes bright and muscles pumping, we feel alive.

This urge is never far away. It sleeps when it must, waiting to remind and instruct. This urge is ancient and is never far from my mind. My ancestors must have wrestled with similiar. My offspring will likely share the dream of running over open terrain, tongue out, compeletely in the moment, now, now, full of now.

A pack working together, free of past and future, tongues out with joy, eyes bright with bold unfettered action. A day dream that weaves itself into my days without care for its nonsense, and I respond with equal lack of care for its nonsense. I dream of the running pack.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

"Think big, act small, fail fast; learn rapidly"

I say this statement today while studying a new project development methodology and it struck me as widely applicable and worthy of some brooding over beers.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Crispy Creme donut habit is slightly suicidal.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Started a new job this week; earning a paycheck by putting my brain to someone else's task and putting my personal task on the slow burn for the meantime.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Afterlife: Origins

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

Last night I lost my train of thought. The core was a desire to say, "happiness depends on having an open future and a light past". I'm looking forward to finding the train of thought again. I would like to know where I was going with it :-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I've known and admired many people who lived under the crushing burden of their imagined future.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Future... Bully Extraordinaire

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.

The future does not exist yet, but my imaginings of what might be influence the present, sometimes more than what really is. The future can crush the present, and does. The future can be wrong and often is, but it can still trump what I know with what I only guess. I wonder if I should fear this future capability. I wonder why I let the future beat the shit out of the present on a daily basis.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


I'm not all of America
not even a good representation
of normal. Just one person
maybe a little strange, and
certainly not that important,
but i still feel responsible
for what we do.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Time Thoughts

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.

What do I mean when I say "move" in relation to time? Moving through water I displace water and can move, change my location, in multiple directions, and I can stop. Moving through air in a vertical fashion after jumping from a plane limits my ability to move, but by switching my bodily configuration I can speed up and slow down, but I can not stop. Both can be called moving, but the ability to stop is not common to them so I will not consider it essential for moving. Both allow me to change my location, although water allows all directions, air allows one vertically and many horizontally when propelled upon the ground (should come back to this...), so it seems that a single direction of location change is sufficient since I would feel accurate in saying a sky diver moves through the medium of air. Say why is Time not a medium then akin to vertical movement through air?

I think it is only the language that I'm using that makes the logic seem to support Time as a medium I can move through. Move may be correct, if and only if Time is a "medium". If Time is a medium then I should be able to move through it. A medium is something with substance, it can be sensed and the properties sensed can be changed: heated, cooled, etc. Time can not be sensed. Time has no properties that can be sensed, it has no articulation. Time is not a substance with which we can interact, it is not a medium.

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."

Scotch Writing

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

Unconcerned with Style

We are from forgotten places,
unneeded by the current times,
unnoticed and unheeded.

We are made weak by the weight of our past:
We are frequently tired, tripping over fallen hemms
but we are not embarressed, we escape notice,
and our fall is what is left of our pride.

We do not hold our heads up, but neither down;
we look straight, straight at you,
judging the angle of your returning gaze,
measuring its brevity
if returned at all.

We are quiet and to the side,
observing, judging the players in the current,
the present world order.

We are forgotten and poor, left behind by progress,
drifting to the sides of the great human push.

You'll see us in your periphery, if you take a moment
to notice - you'll see us, walking slowly along -
- with nowhere important to go, in our out of style pants,
synched up tight at the waist, material bunching like unused momentum -
eyes humbled but not cowed - looking straight back at you.

We don't have style, yesterday has no motivation to change,
although we do,
we do change.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


There is always a way forward.


Difficult times may often require

That we pivot on our axis, before

finding our way forward.


Difficult times and difficult destinations

Are not dissimilar in this regard.

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…

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

Do you feel...

Do you feel like 
a river filled with silt,
great for gardens 
but difficult to get moving?

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I have the will to escape from willing, at least for the remainder of today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Life is not a gift.  Life is a fact.  

We have it, we can lose it and we can have it taken from us.

Life can be lost and taken in more ways than death.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Do you ever feel like a solid old car
with rust damage along the bottom;
with corrosion caused by salt;
caused by solutions?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wondering Why I Behave This Way

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

Meme Engine: Progress Report

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?"

Error Briefs:
1.  Externalized Judgements:  The source material for judgement formation was reflecting external environment and did not arise directly from internal reason.  This passivity precluded independent thought and any meaningful grounds for speculative interpretation of another actor's behavior.  The instance needs to judge independently, relying on its own internalized feedback system.  

2.  Lack of Motive:  The instance had no reason to play, it was forced to play and it had no internal valuation of why feedback was positive.  It learned how to play but not why to play. It requires internal conditions that must be maintained to maintain existence, a reason to play. This is related to the error brief above.

3.  Cartesian Error:  The instance had no type relation to its environment and was positioned as an outside observer that could effect but not be affected, basically I reproduced Descartes silliness in splitting the mind and body, actor and environment.  The instance needs to arise from the environment, fundamental sharing type, and learn to identify elements of its environment and not just know them.  This is challenging, but provides exciting possibilities.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My Faults

My best faults are the ones I can identify, while the ones I cannot are much worse.

But my worst faults by far, are the ones falsely identified as virtue.

How can virtue be corrected?

Monday, May 04, 2009

There really is no hurry.

It feels like it, yes,

But feelings are often wrong,

And trust is easily misplaced

In warm colors and 

confident hands.