Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Did you know that you have to have a license to own a cat or dog in some towns? Actually the cat or dog has to have the license, similar to the plates on your car, I think. Owning a cat is a privilege, not a right. And this is separate from being sure the animal has shots and all that. At least one vet who performed all those tasks then reported the owner for not having a creature license.
This probably makes sense to plenty of people, and they might lecture me about how that $70.00 fee goes toward animal control or maybe lawyers who sue humans on behalf of other living things. Once again we disagree in principle.
So, wanting to be even more privileged than I already am, I set out to get my library privileges here in the best of southern California. I presented my case to the local library in the town northeast of me. Very small town. There is a school, a feed and saddle store, a sort of general store, and the pizza and other food diner. And the library. Very small but their computers were all being used. They have about six of those. I was impressed.
It all went without a hitch so I checked the shelves and found a book and a movie. The movie is an indie film which I highly recommend. It claims to be in the tradition of Motorcycle diaries and Y Tu Mama Tambien. I am no fan of Motorcycle Diaries, being a bit more sympathetic toward those Cubans who did not deserve Che's firing squads than I am toward Che, or Fidel.
This film, The Journey, is not supposed to be about any historical figure or T shirt icon. It is simply a good story, with better directing, and much better acting than the Motorcycle Diaries. Much more real without trying, even though some was anything but realistic.
It was directed by Scott Marcano, who also co-wrote the story. This film makes me want to see what else he has out there. Andres Londono and Kazandra Santana do well in the lead roles as do the supporting players. The soundtrack is not bad at all. I'm a sucker for most films set in Mexico with a Latin soundtrack. This one begins in Orange County, near Los Angeles, with the last 7/8 of the flick occurring in Mexico.
I know that due to Motorcylce Diaries fame and misguided praise, they think it will pique interest by categorizing this independent flick as being in that tradition, but to me that is like marketing Renoir as being in the tradition of the guy who paints tigers on black velvet.
So, I got a license to read and watch movies for free. Not owning a pet, I figure maybe they charge pet fees that pay for the library, who knows? I am not sure they put license plates on animals yet in CA. There is absolutely no way to keep up with the various rules and peculiarities. The license to be a cat thing came to my attention when being told of a story set in a Wisconsin town.
Strange how places settled by very independent people who did not to be told what to do eventually became insane "What if" nanny states. What if you fall of your bike on your head?, etc.
Now that is appears I may not be overdrafted at the bank, I am able to notice the cool setting in which I live. It was all new and somewhat out of my dreams. I can hardly imagine living in a place with no mountains and hills and curvy roads which drop hundreds of feet on one side, while hugging the side of the hill on the other. And no large body of water nearby.
In this case, we have about the largest body of water found anywhere, the Pacific Ocean. I'm still somewhat fonder of the Caribbean as far as oceanic locales, but ocean is ocean, so this serves the purpose. It is big, and here we have sea lions, seals whales, and more surfers than you might guess.
Company was here and now is not. I don't have a host permit or license, but it was a privilege. Like Muddy Waters said, according to something I heard, "You don't miss the water until the well is dry". I miss having my company here, believe it or not. I know. That is so unlike me.
Now I have great leftovers which might last a few days. I actually had a healthy super dinner tonight. Left to my own devices I rarely manage to do that.
This ballistictour thing has been a long term healing journey. It becomes quite clear to me at times just how much of me was whatever unhealed is. In that context it makes sense not to get too impatient with progress in the various aspects of living my life. I'm not quite sure what happened but it becomes amply clear that I am re-learning a lot. Maybe I am learning what I never knew before, but should have by the time I was 20.
This is going to be a slim Christmas. No big Santa this year. I do what I can, when I can, and I certainly don't expect or want others to offer anything beyond good cheer.
I was beginning to get down and worried, but I think maybe I ought not do that. Too much that I am happy about, and as always, too many people to be thankful for to be moping from concern that I don't rate it.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
***The measure of desirable results in social systems is predicated upon the idea that it is not desirable to consider the individual components arbitrarily expendable in serving the goals of the whole system or ensuring the authority of the central controlling unit [modeling human social structure after ants or bees requires the assumption that the individual is of least value and expendable. Ants do not possess a great deal of individual autonomy or self reliance. They system is designed to protect the queen. The power unit is not in business to protect the sanctity and autonomy of the lowly ant]***
The theory is that there is a point within multi part systems at which centralization yields negative results, and as the degree of centralization increases the integrity of the system breaks down.
This holds true in mechanical systems, and social systems.
Prior to that point centralized control is effective and beneficial to the survival and sustainability of the whole.
An example would be in the realm of education. Particularly in formative years in which the individual units (students) are less equipped for prudent autonomy. Large institutions, large classrooms tend to lose effective positive effect on individual units. There is a point at which size of institution and size of individual classes are most effective in achieving the goal of positive guidance and education to prepare students to be autonomous, productive and capable of reasonable self governance.
Most school systems consist of institutions which are far past the point of diminishing returns and in possibly the majority of cases are below the break even point; negative results. The oversight and guidelines for the system have also entered that realm as their function has moved from stated purpose of educating to indoctrinating, and care taking, assuming much of the authority which might work best left to family.
Obviously many other factors interact with this. Systems overlap and influence one another. The same principle applies to all such that the only effective means of bringing one system into the positive results range, in which each component is left its most effective level of autonomy, is to also bring the other dependent or interactive systems' level of centralization back into that range.
The principle applies to utilities such as power production as well. To some degree it depends on the method used to produce and transport the power. The problem with one unit serving too many user points is that any problem with the main unit affects a huge number of delivery points. It is vulnerable.
There are also factors of efficiency over large distances, loss through resistance, etc. Additionally it places the users vulnerable to potential tyranny as any evil doer who gains control of the central point can then in essence extort and exert undesirable control over the users dependent up the product.
This is where emerging technologies and even long existing technology which makes possible production at the site of the user, or more production points serving fewer users is desirable. If one of those goes out, fewer parts of the overall system are hurt. As it is with all these systems of society, achieving the best level of centralization of a utility requires other systems to also move toward that point.
The tendency to rationalize control in the name of morality can result in pushing control past the optimal point. There is a point at which removing autonomy from the individual, the family, the community, etc., may detrimentally affect the system as a whole, even if it means some of those components do not adhere to that which other components on equal level would choose. By usurping authority in matters which do not increase a particular unit's ability to exercise self determination, all components can find themselves reducing their own ability to thrive.
Any of the matters which involve humans have to be predicated upon certain common principles. Some of these follow the idea that systems all have a point of diminishing positive result when the balance of authority over function moves from the individual components to one controlling unit.
In military terms, this concept is one of the keys to the success of the US armed services back when wars were defined endeavors with a clear goal. Our system of chain of command allowed for each unit to have one governing member, whose command was broken into smaller units each with a command. If any controlling unit, commanding officer was not present or taken out, the next in command was defined and prepared to continue. Not all forces had this system and once their leader was knocked out, they were thrown into chaos and got their asses kicked.
So, that's the initial idea of my theory. I think it can probably be refined to a formula, which would definitely contain many variables.
I believe the problems faced today are largely due to a lack of recognition of the idea that there is an optimal level of centralized control in systems, especially those which are more complex and contain a wide diversity of subsystems.
Additionally the lack of recognition that there is a point at which subsystems are best served in terms of their ability to be self determinant, even when equal entities may not choose the same path in response to the same stimulus. As long as their choice does not impede the ability of the other components to operate then the need for higher authority does not exist. It is only at that point in which control must be moved up in the hierarchy of centralization.
Often levels are jumped in response to controls which are in place being ignored. That's primarily in human systems. An example would be when fraud, and violation of property are not dealt with according to basic laws which have been in place for some time, but instead are regulated from more centralized entities through very specific edicts which do not cover broad principle but very narrow specificities which then leave pathways for further abuse.
It works like electricity; if there is any corruption in the process at the highly centralized level then larger numbers of component parts are affected. There is a point at which more, smaller, manageable parts can be more effective because the authority and control is closer to the source of the problem, and defects or corruption of a component pose less threat to the whole, and can be more easily traced to the source.
Another example in which over centralization of control has been a disaster is the use of social security number for so many things which have nothing to do with the social security account. It has become a window for theft and fraud which is very difficult for the victim to correct due to the far reaching web each social security number encompasses. In the effort to number everyone for the convenience of control, the security of the individual has actually been compromised. A case where centralization exceeded the point of positive optimization.
One day maybe this can be more simply stated and formulated. I believe it to be a principle which holds for any system which requires controlling units, and as the function, size and complexity increase the tendency to exceed the critical point and dip into negative affect on the entire system increases at an accelerated rate.
See, I'm not really an anarchist, although, if one considers the present day system moderate control, or even not enough, then I am anarchist by comparison.
I do think the kernel of this theory is valid.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
|2.||a person who has no religious faith; unbeliever.|
|3.||(loosely) a person who disbelieves or doubts a particular theory, belief, creed, etc.; skeptic.|
In keeping with my new found fascination with the ads below the posts I do (over at http://ballistictour.keepconnectedlive.com), I hit one of the links. It was "free, life changing, bla bla bla" (paraphrasing there, even though it is in quotes). As it turns out it was a video which was mostly audio. Just text on the screen which went along with the audio to some degree.
The message was how to influence your subconscious by not letting yourself tell it bad stuff, like how stupid and doomed you are. The premise is that whatever you feed the subconscious, it believes, and when it believes something it influences your body accordingly. That's why a person under hypnosis might think something cold is hot, and can be used as a scaffolding plank if you are short of wooden ones. I refer to the typical thing where the hypnotist places the stiffened subject between two chairs then stands on her/and/or him.
The guy narrating has the ever popular English accent, which adds credibility. Since moving to far south CA, I've noticed that the somewhat British accent is in vogue for various advertisements and such. Maybe they find it a sound you can trust out here. I guess I find it reassuring on a one on one basis, causing me to be relieved that the other person is literate and capable of reason. Certain experiences taught me that this is not always so. In the end I approach the Limey with that sense of being disarmed by assumed intelligence, and a healthy dose of suspicion. The two things cancel out.
What this guy suggests is that most self help confidence building courses and theories are bunk and don't work. But his system works, of course. Actually, I know his system probably does work well enough. Anything that causes one to examine a self generated thought which predicts doom, or suggests the host organism is deficient and vile, is worthwhile. Shooting down detrimental blanket assertions before they get a chance to seed in the subconscious, is a productive practice. Otherwise you constantly experience the bodily reactions of fear, and it makes it hard to think and act. Exercise probably helps people do that because it requires enough effort that suspends idle thought for a time.
It does make sense that a sustained belief in positive possibility probably increases the likelihood of bringing such things to fruition in one's life. For some of us it is constant inner war. That's because we indulged heavily in self loathing and internal criticism, without critical thinking, for long periods of time. That information became internalized to the point of habit. Habits do not go away peacefully. This explains why it was believed you could sail off the edge of the earth for so many centuries. Despite little clues to the contrary that was the only sane view according to THEM.
I kept wondering, so how is this guy making money off of this? It seems there are other videos and they will send you emails and all that, so I guess eventually they sell you something, maybe confidence building enlargement pills. That does not change the validity of the assertion that you can at least guide your thoughts or temper their power.
Mostly it is a matter of assessing validity, and benefit. What good does it do to tell yourself you will never lose weight if losing weight is what you want to do? Believe me, you can lose weight and there are those who actually wish to gain a little bulk. Some things require a belief in possibility. Most things have, at least in principle, been done by some other human; people successfully bring ideas to market, lose weight, escape poverty and depression, etc. Things do happen like that, which adds credibility to the idea that it is possible for you, if you have the desire and few working tools at your disposal. I keep trying to believe that for myself, anyway.
The main thing to realize is that skepticism is fine, but no one is saying that you can magically improve just by viewing videos or thinking and thinking without actually doing. The idea is to cast away the thoughts that inhibit the action. In the end the results come from some sort of effort and action. When anyone promises shortcut magic which precludes real change or effort, then skepticism is prudent. What is not prudent is to insist in your mind that any action you can dream up to achieve the presumed better condition you desire is doomed from the start and won't work. That thought pattern guarantees you won't change anything because you talk yourself out of it before you start. I hate it when that happens.
It is very easy for old school American types to be discouraged these days. We feel like we are in the grips of a giant boa constrictor which applies a little more pressure with every breath, making it harder and harder to breathe easy. All the rules and controls which seem to do anything but protect our right to free choice, leave us believing directing our own recovery from hard times, and writing our own script for the kind of person we choose to be from now on, is prohibited at gunpoint. Those who are presently comfortable and more secure often view our angst as unnecessary paranoia or crazy, radical rebellion.
That whole thing is a trap, even though there is plenty of good reason to feel the squeeze. That does not mean the field can't be navigated and all opportunity is gone. It may be a bad time to move to Michigan thinking you are going to get a great auto worker job and be secure from now on. By allowing one's self to feel that one can no longer harbor personal dreams, you are feeding the snake. Can't let that happen. That is a slave mentality. The ability to be the director of your own life, and maintain a personal code, is not yet impossible.
It is a strange thing, living within the structure of civilization, but the alternative may be equally strange and uncomfortable. I guess many homeless by choice people can attest to that. There are some drop outs who are bright and capable but just couldn't hack the system any more. In my own way, I suppose I am a drop out. I keep believing I can avoid dropping out altogether, though. There are too many good people and good things that can be done to buy the lie that the restrictions represent the character of all other humans.
My goal is to prove by example that one can successfully create a niche which does not feed and/or depend on what I see as a macabre monster; the world of intrusive authority which was once a government based on a few pages designed to limit its power. Obviously it did not do its job or it would not be possible for people to argue that freedom breeds oppression. I reject that notion, and I am in the minority. That stated goal is actually secondary. The primary object is to push my limits of capability more, hoping to become immersed and enthused in the process of developing whatever project into being, and hopefully become moved to happily find myself in a state of ongoing effort toward well defined purposes, never again to feel like an aimless leaf in the wind.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Never mind. I deleted the spiel. Life is life and trying to control the interactions of humans or grab a share of their trades, just because, leads to problems and imbalance. Simple as that.
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