August 19, 2014
The Borg. They are a recurring “alien” race on various Star Trek TV shows. These people are basically humanoid but have had certain hardware bonded to their bodies such that they are a truly fascinating amalgamation of flesh and technology. They are truly bio-mechanical beings that can easily survive in hostile environments that would kill most people. The Borg have existed for millenia and spend their time flying around the galaxy assimilating other races and technologies.
They have a hive mind and each individual that becomes part of the collective adds to their pool of knowledge and resources. So, they have the might and technological know-how of trillions of people collected over thousands of years. The Borg can operate for days on end without tiring, have no fear and can adapt almost instantly to any type of attack, preventing the same thing from ever working on them twice.
These people have nowhere else to be other than wherever they happen to be at the moment and can always focus their entire time and attention to the current goal. It is their belief that given enough time they cannot fail and will always overwhelm their opponents in the end. You may win a battle with the Borg, but you will not win the war. They know this because they have thousands of years of history showing this to be true.
Resistance is futile. You will click here to read on.
August 15, 2014
So no I don’t believe our choices make us good or bad people. But now for the part where I kind of do.
As children we are all blank slates. We start out from nothing with no knowledge of good or bad with no record of past successes or failures. We are filled with love for all people and all things. We have only one desire, one hope, one craving, to be loved back. And this is where most parents screw up.
When we yell at our children, we are voicing our disapproval with them. To them, when we do so, we are holding back our love or making it conditional on their behavior. Unless we are very careful and very specific we may unknowingly cause permanent harm to both their ego and their future lives.
A typical response to not liking something that a child is doing is to say that they are being bad. The problem with this is that even though you may realize that what you mean is the child is taking an action that you do not approve of, what they hear is that they ARE bad. Everyone knows that good people are loved and bad people are not. So when you tell the child that they are being bad, you are both declaring that they are a bad person and that you do not love them.
This is not at all acceptable. But how can we prevent this and still express our concerns ? Click here to read on and see
August 13, 2014
Nearly a year ago I talked about definitions for good and evil and how often one or the other is subjective due to circumstance. An action that is good for one may be bad for another and vice versa. At the time I promised more on the subject. However, there was so much more I wanted to say about other things that it got pushed aside. Today I am back for more on the topic.
Many stories, in both print and digital format have clearly defined boundaries. The presence or lack thereof of a character’s moral fiber is easy to see. You often know from the very beginning who is the “good” guy and who is the bad. I am of course talking about classic tales of good and evil, things like Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Godzilla and other such fairy tales.
Life however isn’t really much like those stories. Sure many of the components are there, romance, conflict and even the choices to do good or bad things. But, do those choices make us good or bad people? No, not really. And yes absolutely depending on your point of view. Seeing things as polarized, as black or white means ignoring all the colors in between. There is so much more but we often choose not to see it. So, of course, with any question where I answer on both sides of the fence more explanation is required.
Click here for that explanation
August 11, 2014
In this world, we are taught at a young age that it is a man eat man, dog eat dog, everyone for himself kind of situation. We are instructed to look out for number one and not worry too much about anyone else. We are told you have to look out for yourself because nobody else will. And let’s face it, who cares about anyone else as long as you get yours, right?
This seems like a sound strategy, at first, as long as you don’t really think about it. But once you do, you will realize that it can’t really work for everyone. Sure, it works for some but it can’t work for everyone. The only people who are going to get what they want are the ones that are willing to beat down or deprive others, those willing to force their way through and take from others so that they can have what they want.
Some examples of the extremes of this type of thinking being the general way of life are places like Somalia and some of the Middle East. You have a few bullies and bad boys, those that are strong or powerful enough to live at the top of the food chain and everyone else suffers. Even most of those in the middle and bottom rungs of society are still only looking out for themselves. They just don’t have the will or the means to get where they want to be.
So if this philosophy doesn’t work, is us vs them any better? Click here to read on and see.
August 8, 2014
We all have habits that don’t serve us. It is the primary reason why our lives do not happen exactly the way we want them to. We say and do things on a regular basis that are contrary to what we “want”. The energy and focus that should go into carefully crafting our lives with laser focus gets shifted to other things. And then many things that should be opportunities for us seem to become impossible obstacles.
But what can you do about it? It is just human nature, right? I mean, everybody has bad habits. There are things like smoking, overeating, swearing like a sailor, drinking too much, not listening to others, and overspending our budget (if we even have a budget) just to name a few. There are nearly as many different bad habits as there are people to explore them.
Often, our habits and not our desires are what run our lives. Without these things our lives would take a very different course. But, again, what can you do about it? Nearly all of us have struggled and failed to break a habit at some point. Why? What makes it so hard? Shouldn’t it be just as simple as identifying behavior that we don’t like and then acting differently?
Where am I going with this? I promise it’s not as lascivious as the title implies. Or is it? Click here to read on.
August 5, 2014
A person can do what they believe is best for themselves or they can do what is best for the community. Very often though a person can not do both. Within our home we have three different small groups of people. Two by design and one that is just sort of happening.
The first is renters, people who do not have an interest in our overall vision and goals. These people just pay money to share some of our extra space.As long as they continue to pay their rent on time and do not make a nuisance of themselves, how they live and what they do in general is of no consequence to us.
The second group is the people that are committed to our vision and goals who are dedicated to improving the lives of not just our community but of creating gradual world change.Instead of having a specific person that decides what we are or are not allowed to do we let our ideals decide. At any point where our goals alone are unable to provide a clear picture of what to do we put things to a vote.
What is the third group and how is it relevant? Click here to read on and see
August 5, 2014
A couple of times, I have mentioned that I see myself as a highly spiritual being. For the past decade or two, though, I haven’t been a very religious person. But, from time to time, things bubble up from the past when I was.
Sometimes it is ethics or ideals ingrained at a young age. Other times it is a few words of common wisdom from the long remembered past. This particular thing that I want to talk about is a biblical quote from when I was a practicing Jehovah’s Witness(No, I did not ever get it right)
According to Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.“
What does this have to do with everyday life? Click here to read on and see
August 1, 2014
I was having this conversation with someone online the other day and he said something that I found pretty difficult to believe. Somehow the conversation turned to wealth. The gentleman that I was talking to asserted very strongly that if the average person became rich, they would become bored after only a few months if they didn’t have to work. He made it very clear that he would feel that way personally, but that he wasn’t talking about just himself. It was his belief that pretty much everyone would want to go back to work within a year or two.
So, I thought about what an “average” person’s life is like. You are startled out of a sound sleep by the clanging and clamoring of an alarm clock, cursing the person who set up this cruel torture device, only to remember that it was you. Still bleary eyed, you stumble into the shower cursing alternately as it starts out too cold and then gets too hot for comfort.
After the ritual dowsing of water and whatever other super secret things you do in the bathroom, you emerge covered in different, clean scents and dress for the day. You pour yourself a “cup of ambition”, as Dolly Parton would say, and head out into gridlock on your way to the cubicle farm.
Click here to read on and see the rest of my point of view on this.
July 29, 2014
The late great George Carlin, one of my all time favorite comedians, used to do a bit about growing up Catholic. He would relate a lot of his experiences many of them as things that just didn’t make sense to him. After all that’s really what comedians do. They talk about things that don’t make sense and share with their audience the wrongness of things. And that wrongness makes us laugh. It is literally what humor is.
But sometimes once the laughter dies down and you’ve had some time to think about things you realize things don’t have to be that way. Part of making the world a better place is about first observing that something is wrong with it. And then doing our best to make it right. The particular conversation that he has about the Bible that has stuck with me the most is about the ten commandments.
He would go down the list a few times and each time he would show how one commandment was similar to one or two others. He would then say if the commandment in question was already covered somewhere else there was no need for redundancy and it could be removed. It was very well done. At the end he would have just one or two commandments and decided that they could be summed up by one simple all encompassing commandment.
What is that one commandment? Click here to read on and find out. As an apology and a quick word of warning, there is an expletive used in the commandment. But it is not my word. It is part of Mr. Carlin’s bit and really does help to sum up the whole thing.
July 24, 2014
Most of what I write has a clear positive message. I do not enjoy complaining just as I know others do not enjoy hearing complaints, so I tend to do as little of it as possible. As a word of warning, I am looking for the lesson in this story, what I can learn from it. So, I apologize in advance, if there is nothing positive for you to take away from it. Also it is a bit long and I just didn’t feel like splitting it up. So, here it is.
A few months ago, back in January, I wrote about what a wonderful internet provider Comcast is (http://lnk.to/oFc0m) . Since January, we have paid them over $1500 and our internet still does not work properly.
When we call in and talk to the tier 1 representatives, most of them have no idea what we are talking about. What they are trained to deal with is people who have no internet signal at all. We get asked to do things like make sure the cable modem has power and that all of our cables are connected properly. When we inform them that the problem isn’t whether or not we can connect to the internet, that the problem has something to do with lost packets, high ping times and signal degradation they start drooling and jiberring like their brains have been totally blown and are now oozing slowly out their earholes.
Each time, they want to walk us through this inane and completely useless set of steps that is designed to discover why you have no signal at all. Then once we finally get it through their heads that we do in fact have a signal, just that it is a crappy one, then they move on to asking whether or not we have a wired or a wireless network set up. When we tell them that our network is wireless, but that for testing purposes we have set up one computer that is hard wired and that it is getting the same results they latch on to the wireless portion of the conversation and then claim that they can’t help us troubleshoot because our network is wireless which they do not support. We could just lie to them and say its wired. But, then we would be lying.
The rest of this is really just more of the same. So if you are totally like TLDR, believe me I get it. It’s fine. But if you want to read the rest of the Comcast saga, click here to read on