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  • hardie karges 11:36 am on November 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Einstein, , , Plato, Science   

    THEORIES OF EVUH’ THANG (I f***ing love philosophy) 

    Yes, I sometimes poke fun at those wannabe scientists who claim to ‘f*cking love’ it, but who usually know little or nothing about it, just enough to act superior to die-hard Biblical Creationists, easy enough for sure, but who usually settle for an ad hoc poorly-thought-out scantily-clad pseudo-sci-fi proudly-proclaimed atheism-cum-religion, accent on the cum, that frequently involves tweaking the meds just right, usually strong enough to strip the polish off my spit-shined hiking boots, caffeine my drug of choice, just sayin’…

    It’s not that I don’t love science; I do. I just never knew what it had to do with my sex drive, or lack thereof. Wait a minute; oh, right. Anyway it’s nice to have two movies featuring Big Science up on the movie screens at the same time, which gives us four physicists, instead of the usual two, in the public spotlight, Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne added to the usual one-two punch of Michio Kaku and Neil deGrasse Tyson, (and then there’s that guy with the big smile, from San Francisco, I think).  Bizniz is good, I guess.

    There was a time when philosophy and physics were the same activity—thinking, observing, analyzing, deducing—but that’s been a while, sometime after Descartes and before Wittgenstein, I guess, Russell and Whitehead being something of a last gasp at reconciling at least the math (abstract) side of science with the logical (concrete) side of philosophy. They are much the same thing, after all, notwithstanding Hawking’s diss of philosophers’ math skills; guess he never read Leibniz.

    But when science loses its connection to common language, it just may be getting off on an irresponsible tangent. Or maybe I’m being pessimistic. I mean, it would be nice if Science could save us and the planet, as suggested in ‘Interstellar’, but if that depends on ‘worm-holes’, then I’d maybe prefer some more Green Science here on Earth, instead. Theoretical physics is nice, but just that—theoretical; and as often as not, a mathematical convenience, best explained by the dictum, “it works.” End of story…NOT.  Wormhole that.

    Quantum mechanics is so foreign to common sense that relativity is considered ‘classical’. It works, but we have little possibility of imagining it. Relativity can be visualized; Einstein did. Curved space? No problem. But faster-than-light tachyons that can only slow down to light speed…maybe? Meh—better keep that day job, just in case. But Einstein’s failure to embrace quantum mechanics, partly his creation, may still suggest some problems with the theory, not just with Einstein, the old fuddy-duddy.

    One of Einstein’s lesser-heralded (but most accepted) ideas (can’t remember the name) was that the laws of physics operate the same any time all the time anywhere everywhere in the universe. Sounds simple, and I don’t think it’s ever really been questioned, but what if it’s not true? What if we’re in a little isolated pocket of the universe (or consciousness) where things do not operate normally? And no, we don’t need God for this, though any and all help is welcome, haha.

    Let’s say for example that our world is something of a ‘construction zone, observe posted speeds (double fines in effect), etc.’ In other words, what if the observable universe has flows and eddies (or IS such; and no, not the classic rock duo), ‘slow lanes’ so to speak, in which things happen at less than the speed of light, which would seem to be the norm for this dimension, or at least the next (observable) one, and which might define spirituality as well as light and electricity. That just might give you frequencies that you can touch. Sound familiar?

    It sounds feasible, doesn’t it, that Nature—and Reality—might operate at differing levels of efficiency? If we know that, then we can account for it as an anomaly… unless we’re in the middle of the anomaly. Then everything else seems weird and unexplainable, e.g. the universe expands at ever increasing speeds. The Big Bang. Gravity. Physicality. Stuff. Weird. Welcome to the slow cool world. Such is life—in time, and space…

    But what if reality is essentially spiritual, composed of waves that act like particles (hehe) and particles that act like waves (oops), a transcendental stew of light and electricity—and us—all swirling and whirling and hitting the road at the speed of light, we know not where? Now I’m no scientist by trade, but I’m betting that if spirituality is the answer you want, then the questions you ask become simpler. Or not. Just a thought. Welcome to my lumpy gravy theory of the universe. I’m hungry.

    (Einstein, Jesus and Plato are probably my favorite thinkers of all time, BTW, one’s thought experiments, the other’s parables and the latter’s dialogs equivalent in my mind to the finest things that a human mind is capable of–smartphone optional)

  • hardie karges 6:17 pm on November 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Buddhism 101: All Life is suffering—ouch! 

    Decaying Buddhas at Sculptor's Home, Norfolk, UK (1980s)

    All Life is suffering. That’s the First Truth of Buddhism, of course, and as far as many people get in their study of Buddhism, with comments like, “That sounds so negative;” or maybe, “Doesn’t sound like much fun.” Such is life, though, life after childhood, at least, when the realities kick in, and it’s time to get a job—ooh, double ouch!

    The Second Truth doesn’t help much: the cause of suffering is desire. Yeow! I always thought Buddhists were cool, and had more fun than this. The Third Truth follows pretty logically: to remove the suffering, add water and allow to cool, i.e. remove the desire. Duh. For anyone still interested in something a little deeper than such simplistic action and reaction, there’s a Fourth Truth, the Middle Way, the avoidance of extremes. If you need that spelled out for you, there’s even an Eight-fold Path—very handy.

    The big boys of Buddhism, Inc. realize that that’s not the best business model, of course, not for fun-loving Americans, anyway, so furiously back-pedal the ‘suffering’ rap, dukkha in Sanskit, going on for hours about how Buddha he no speakee Engrish, and how translations are inadequate, and how he really didn’t mean ‘suffering’ as such. Ahem. Yes, he did. He meant exactly that. Saying he didn’t is like saying that Jesus wasn’t talking about rich people having difficulty getting to heaven. Yes, he was. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 5:36 pm on November 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t understand Buddhism at all -

  • hardie karges 11:27 am on November 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , possession,   

    Buddhism 101: ‘Letting Go’, and all that jazz 

    One of the Buddha quotes currently making frequent rounds on Facebook these days goes something like (I’m paraphrasing, since my Pali is a little rusty anyway): ‘…the important thing in life…is how well you let go’…

    Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that that quote is accurate and correct, if not entirely complete nor definitive. Now that’s interesting, because I’d always credited Buddhism (from Hindu precedents) as advocating ‘non-possession’. But ‘letting go’ is not ‘non-possession.’ ‘Letting go’ implies that there was previous possession, and that’s an important point. I think I was wrong all these years. (More …)

  • hardie karges 7:22 pm on October 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Religion 101: the Quest for Meaning 

    Hindu God

    Hindu God

    In the Beginning was the Question: WTF? And thus was born Consciousness, self-consciousness, both blessing and curse. Could the origins of consciousness be of anything besides the juxtaposition of Self and Other? I doubt it. From that is born the recognition of basic relationships, very similar to Boolean logic: more than, less than, equal to, etc. This is primal thought, thought without language. From that all the plethora and panoply of consciousness is possible.

    Now that we have language, it’s hard to imagine thinking without it, because we certainly do think in a language, just as does a computer. But computers existed, and had functions, before language, and so did we humanoids: not much, perhaps, but some, enough to populate several continents, apparently for no other reason than that they were there, and had food.

    From the basic relationships come causal relationships: if this, then that, every time, so one must be the cause of the other. Animals do this all the time, and without language, as we know it. Yet they exist—and have meaning, to us, at least. This cause-effect relationship I suspect is the origin of ‘reason’, in fact, and arises very early in the history of thought, in fact the same word in some languages. (More …)

  • hardie karges 9:16 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    Religions Gone Awry, Systems Rendered Asunder 

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Islam promotes discipline and ends up glorifying violence. Christianity promotes love and ends up glorifying sex. Buddhism promotes non-possession and ends up glorifying money. Hinduism promotes India. Judaism promotes Israel. How did our major religions go so badly wrong? Good question. An even better question is how to set them right again. It won’t be easy.

    Religion was long ago taken over by politics, and used as a tool for manipulation, souls for sale as the price of politics, people’s desire for meaning in life reduced to authoritarian submission and hopes for the best. Truth, beauty, and goodness have been traded for sex, money, and violence in some devil’s bargain, arbitrage of the soul, leveraged buy-outs of vestigial beliefs, so much debris and detritus… (More …)

    • chicagoja 11:22 am on October 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I agree whole-heartedly. However, understanding God never required a religion, a church or even a holy book.

  • hardie karges 8:13 am on October 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ISIL, , Islamic State,   

    News Flash from the Conspiracy Channel 

    Isis execution

    Isis execution

    Conspiracy TV has announced that it plans, in a rare show of support, to renew the contract for “ISIS: We’re Desert Rats, not Democrats” in its prime-time reality TV slot for two years, instead of the usual one year, according to CEO Rupert Crotchrot. “We’re very excited about the potential of this series,” explains Crotchrot, adding, “good head-loppers are hard to find. We had high hopes for the Mexican cartels, but the back-story just wasn’t there. Heads hanging from a bridge are fine, as long as you know WHY they’re hanging from that particular bridge.”

    ISIS, the shadowy terrorist group that has captured much of the Syrian and Iraqi deserts, emerged from relative obscurity earlier this year to capture the world’s imagination and restore a sense of awe to an otherwise ‘been there, done that’ world. There is wide hope that they will do much to restore otherwise moribund defense spending and jump-start economies still reeling from six years of economic recession. No one will confirm it, but apparently there are plans to expand the action to other locations as quickly as they can be found. But that’s just the rumor. No one’s talking.

    ISIS: …Desert Rats…” will have its work cut out for it, what with new competition from the new reality TV series “Ebola: Out of the Cave, Part II” now scheduled in the same time slot on a competing channel. I know you’re as excited as I am. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this all plays out. On a sadder note, “Border Kids: the Wonder Years” has been canceled, effective immediately. Hey, they had a good run. That’s entertainment. Stay tuned for politics.

    (This intended as a work of satire, of conspiracy theories, military spending and the mass media. I have nothing but sympathy for all victims on all sides of all Mideast conflicts)

  • hardie karges 6:14 pm on October 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: guns, legislation   

    The Great Gun non-Debate 

    THEY say: If guns are illegal and/or restricted, then only criminals will have guns…

    I say: If guns are legal and/or unrestricted, then everyone will HAVE to have a gun, kinda’ like keeping up with the Joneses…

    What do YOU say?

  • hardie karges 4:39 pm on October 7, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , automobile, , fracking, suburbia   

    Apocalypso Now, Rise of the Machines: Mother (Earth) Frackers and Carmageddon 

    This is the Apocalypse. The natural world has been reduced to parking lots and asphalt, concrete and steel, all for the sake of consumption and convenience, gluttony and godlessness, the opportunity to play master, lord and creator of the universe, in a benzene-induced frenzied fantasy world of cosmic proportions, engineering gone viral, spreading the gospel of internal combustion and external… uh, combustion…

    The machines have taken over. We’re now working for them. It started off simply enough, just driving them around. Then they instructed us to build them an Interstate highway system, chopping our cities into bits and pieces in the process, and now they want us to tease the very last drop of oil out of the ground, too, no matter the cost. What will they demand next?

    Our cities are no longer livable, neighborhoods divided against themselves and separated by flyovers and exit ramps. We drive them wherever they want to go, and we give them prime parking space. We take them on cross-country tours. We even invented motels for them, an entire new genre of accommodation, proudly parked on the outskirts of town, proudly perched with parking-lot views, and far from those now-destroyed cities, mostly unlivable and unliving…

    The machines now have their own neighborhoods, suburbs, admiring the world they created, with shopping malls created just for them, and gas station temples devoted to them, collecting donations and dispensing favors, horsepower thrills without the horse, smell of ass gas replaced by the smell of earth gas, benzene for methane, Hollywood day for night, the interplay of opposites, fantasy for reality and infinity for mortality. It’s all good fun, of course, all part of the game, no harm no foul, until now…

    But fracking, i.e. hydraulic fracturing, “a well-stimulation” technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurized liquid” (Wikipedia), i.e. cracking our very Mother Earth’s crust just to extract the bit of oil that might (or might not) be inside? Now that’s sick. We’ll have Hell to pay for that, and Hell ain’t cheap.  Just don’t let the music stop…

  • hardie karges 6:59 am on October 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Evolution for Dummies: Junk DNAAND the Double Helix of Culture 

    crown of thorns

    crown of thorns

    If evolution really favors smaller more adaptable units—which it apparently does—then Americans are in trouble, we with our much-heralded ‘ownership society’, especially cars and houses, the bigger the better. America is overweight, but it ain’t just carbs and fat. It’s fuel injection and renovated flats, these possessions that possess us, these conveniences that encumber us, these adornments that weigh us down, down to the ground, six feet under, rest in peace…

    Dinosaurs went extinct and so likely will we, as Americans of the central model paradigm, at least, hocked to the gills with credits and debits and accounting tricks and treats, and plenty of reasons to retreat; why bother with success, anyway, when there are so many reasons for failure? How did you want to go down in the Apocalypse, btw: was it war, famine, disease, or flame? It’s no wonder; it’s nobody’s shame, just butterfly effects gone wild with mathematical precision…

    Self-sufficiency used to be considered a positive personality trait, hard work a must. Saving was encouraged, if not absolutely required, and in God we trust; all others pay cash. Now we’re a nation of leveraged, selfied-out crybabies waiting in line camped out all night for our iPhones and soma, got a ticket for N’awlins but the bus stops at Houma, all cashed out and nothing left to buy, can’t buy a thrill, all we can do is cry…

    Even unemployed Americans have iPhones, of course, money no object, that’s a fact, that’s currency; homeless people, too, now, taking donations online, gotta’ check on the status of food stamps, see if that Social Security check is in the mail. Half the world lives on less than three dollars a day; see how many iPhones that’ll buy you, true poverty struggling to eat very day, not Yelp or snap-chat, giga-chips and cookies with no trans fat…

    But rich people are worse, crunching their numbers between gold fillings, fracking veins and splicing genes, GMO cereal killers with their high-flying lifestyles on private jets and multiple planes, properties portfolios and multidimensional probabilities, many worlds possible, taking off and landing with the frequency of junk, buying and selling people like so much chattel and so many cattle, bodies for sale, ten bills a pop, credit cards accepted, swipe it where you wipe it…

    The Anthropocene Age has been a blast, a quick short spurt of consciousness and destruction after years of ignorance and bliss, man inserting his thingie into multiple orifices, simultaneously, plugging holes and creating new ones, just for the Hell of it, just because it’s there, Mt. Everest and the Moon, by horoscope and all good offices, all for the good of mankind, come Hell or high water, reduced to comfort food and memories, that’s entertainment…

  • hardie karges 7:29 am on September 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , USA   

    Campaign sign in New Mexico desert: “Freedom or Collectivism–It’s your Choice”; now in what warped world-view is that the choice? Oh, yeah, right…

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