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  • hardie karges 10:31 am on July 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alpha male, , , DNA, , haplogroup, , , , Type-A behavior   

    Buddhism, Meditation, Alpha Males and the Myth of Leadership… 

    img_1893When people ask me about meditation practice and/or Buddhism, I make it clear that meditation is one thing, and Buddhism is another, though I certainly appreciate both, even if knee problems likely mean that I’ll never achieve the classic lotus pose, and maybe not even the half of it…

    …so sitting meditation becomes chair meditation, which is just as good or better, just not as cool to look at, though maybe better for sati, ‘mindfulness’, if the cross-legged pose is uncomfortable, thus freeing the mind for focus, on nothing, emptiness, the vast undefined, even if in a sitting position less defined than the classic figure-8 flower… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 3:45 pm on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think the link with the wider world is as significant as the opportunity for personal development. This makes that point firmly, Hardie.

  • hardie karges 10:12 am on August 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: DNA, ,   

    Meditation, Visual Thought and DNA: our crown of thorns… 



    DNA as word as DNA as word

    Was everything fine until the invention of language spoiled the soup, adding a layer of symbols between us and reality, where symbols were not necessarily needed? Without getting lost in the issue of whether language is instinct or invention, let’s assume so, for the sake of argument, that people began thinking in language when that had not previously been the case…

    So people naturally fell in love with them, the little sounds and symbols, when they weren’t necessarily intended for everyone in the first place, maybe just priests and scholars and their trusted accomplices. Did written language in fact precede the verbal as people felt the need to verbalize what they were describing in pictures? That’s another question for another time…

    But it’s tempting to conclude that maybe phonetic language is at the heart of the problem of ‘too much thought’ clouding up our minds, too much ‘white noise’ cluttering up our collective existences, too many junk-food repetitive thought-loops colluding to drown us in mindless mental activity, BUT…… (More …)

  • hardie karges 2:15 pm on September 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: DNA, entropy, genome,   

    Language Genome Project, to Order and Disorder… 

    DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA

    DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA

    Isn’t it lovely and wonderful how language works: spinning out new words that reflect our life and times, just like ringing a bell, just like speed-dialing GMO’s? A prominent scientist once remarked that language evolution works ‘just like DNA, for no special reason; it just does.’ That includes the creation of high-tech-related words like ‘google, crowdfund, declutter, photobomb, sext, retweet,’ etc., all newly minted in the OED, and still many others, not so high-tech, and maybe not yet ready for prime-time, like ‘twerk, bitch-slap, slut-shame, shit-show, and one I just read up on about the lovely Miss Minaj: ‘tone-police’.

    What does this say about us as a people? I’m not sure that I want to know. Then there are many new words which merely reflect the evolving structure of language itself, in which grammatical inflections are deemphasized from their original purposes, and nouns are recast as verbs, adjectives, etc. and vice-versa, hence: decisioning, decidualize, Christianist, etc. Isn’t it great? They say SAT scores are at their lowest point in a decade; I wonder why. Riffing on that scientist’s previous point of language imitating life, maybe it’s time to discuss the law of entropy as it pertains to language…

  • hardie karges 8:48 am on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , DNA,   

    Religion 101: DNA as a Crown of Thorns—God Genes, Gay Genes, Devils in Blue Jeans 

    crown of thorns

    crown of thorns

    There has long been scuttlebutt about some so-called ‘God Gene’… but none has ever been found. And there has long been scuttlebutt about some so-called ‘Gay Gene’… but none has ever been found. Now there is even talk of a ‘travel gene’ predisposing us travelers to lengthy peregrinations and various unnamed (unmentionable?) and unrequited desires. So what? Why does it matter? Why bother even asking the question? Thus the debate rages, long after Calvin, long after Hobbes (no, not the cartoon characters; where do you think they came from BTW?).

    Free will vs. determinism is one of the major debates of the post-classical pre-modern Christian religio-philosophic phase, long after St. Augustine incorporated Plato into the mix, and St. Thomas added Aristotle. This is closely contemporaneous with the Western philosophical tradition’s division into two opposing camps: the British Empiricists and the Continental Rationalists. For those of you unschooled in that history, that was a preference for either experience or rationality as the basis of knowledge.

    And it was no passive intellectual preference, the roots of it likely going back to Gothic pragmatic feudalism in the decentralized European countryside after the downfall of Roman hierarchical imperial cities, and continuing in the sprawling US/UK suburban piecemeal planning vs. centralized European cities to this day. (More …)

  • hardie karges 5:46 pm on February 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: calculus, DNA, Go game, kidney stones, , math   

    Renal Calculus and Differential Equations: DNAANDDNA of Language 

    I don’t know why kidney stones make me think of math any more than I know why the word ‘calculus’ is named for pebbles, BUT: I think the two are connected.  I think all language is connected if you go back far enough, only question is whether it was assembled from the ground up or whether it came down from priests and scholars up above (on the pyramid).  I’m going to suggest that basic naming words may have been created and shared amongst the peasant populace first, but the priests and scholars likely did all the rest.

    Still, this is no mean feat.  I mean, it’s not like we make up new words every day.  We don’t.  We adapt what’s already there.  Just look what ultimately derived from that proto-word for ‘pebble’ as probably first enunciated somewhere on the Anatolian peninsula or nearby Eurasian steppes, something that probably sounded a lot like ‘cal’ (Spanish for ‘limestone’ btw) or maybe ‘kalk’: calcium, calculate, chalk, calculus, caulk, calendar (maybe) and… the list goes on.

    If my theory is correct, I wonder how many naming words existed before the priests and scholars got wise (pun) to it? It is known that ‘core vocabulary’ consisted of body parts (makes sense, just throw in some onomatopoeia) AND (drum roll here)… small numbers. Thus the act of counting (or calculating, if you will), using pebbles, no doubt, is intrinsic to language.  Cool.

    So sentences are equations, so to speak.  That means grammar. Yuk.  There is no shortcut.  There is no way to ‘Learn Any Language in Three Weeks’.  That’s BS.  That’s marketing.  Throw that book away.  Throw that program away.  Save your money.  They’re laughing at you on the way to the bank.  If you want to crack the code, then crack the book.  There are different study methods, sure, and handy ways to ‘hack’ any language.  Try them all, then crack the book.  There are no freebies in life, except life itself… now let’s play ‘Go’.  Chinese chess.  Weiqi.  Japanese, maybe?

  • hardie karges 10:45 pm on March 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DNA   

    Unseen forces rule the world. 

    They’re called bacteria and they’re out to get you. They’re easy; they just want to eat, sleep, and reproduce. Sounds like ‘the hood’. Viruses are the tricky guys, DNA in a condom, ready for action. Where did DNA come from? Are humans reproduced with the help of viruses? Are humans reproduced for the benefit of viruses? Is it a fundamental dimension like space or time, light or gravity? We get a false sense of security in the developed world that all is clean and pristine, sterile and anesthetic. On the contrary, the world is nothing if not esthetic. Esse est percipi. All we know are our perceptions, not the things themselves. This does not mean that there are no things themselves, which can lead to some misunderstandings about the nature of human existence, hence conspiracy, holographic paradigms, and general discontent with affluence. Would there be a world of light, color, and sound without someone or something there to perceive it? The world defines itself in its own image and likeness. What else lies there waiting to be perceived for lack of a charged coupling device capable of processing the info? The stringier the theory, the more dimensions that are required for it to make sense.

  • hardie karges 9:16 pm on February 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: DNA   

    DNA is your bar code, your chip, your genus, your species, 

    your individuality, your history, your book, your genetic fingerprint all on a tiny chip embedded in every cell of your body. This is better than conspiracy, Nostradamus, and Revelations all put together. Birth is like scanning your goods through the supermarket checkout counter. Every act of sex is like inserting your ATM card and making a deposit. Death means turning in your coded key card at the hotel checkout desk, then waiting for the final reckoning. Only then do you find out about the tourist tax every state levies on the casual traveler. Every drool of spit is a blueprint to your physicality, if not your personality, complete with working title and nervous twitches, sexual preference: studs or bitches? You only get to fill in the blanks of a form getting longer with time, shorter on space. Junk DNA litters the passageways like dead ends in Istanbul, words that once had meaning until the entire context changed. Still the mud sticks to your shoes leaving a trail for the detectives to follow. Art imitates life, but poorly. You could never dream something like this up.

  • hardie karges 6:14 am on December 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DNA,   

    Language is one thing and races are another. 

    Races are historically geographic in nature, a genetic isolate in breeding, while language is a function of culture. The two phenomena parallel and overlap each other, but seldom form crisp clean lines equating a language/race on one side of the line to another on the other side. Sometimes it seems as though languages themselves are the conquering invaders, crossing borders and conquering new territory even when the number of people involved is almost insignificant. Latin America is probably the best example of this, where a mere handful of Spaniards subjugated millions of Native Americans with fear, cunning, superior weaponry, and germ warfare. Though decimated, the natives’ numbers rebounded with the help of an admixture of disease-resistant Spanish blood. Nevertheless, much of the culture was forever lost, and Spanish and Portuguese are by far the language of the majority. Interestingly, one of the surviving native languages, Guarani’, is a national language spoken mostly by non-Indians. Though shrouded in the mists of prehistory, something similar must have happened in India, where ethnic Iranians (Aryans) spread far more language than bloodlines over the sub-continent and over time, still expanding into the future, having left vestiges all over Southeast Asia. On the contrary, people very similar racially might speak totally unrelated languages, as in the Caucasus and Africa. There Hamitic-speaking Hausas reside far from their Semitic linguistic cousins and tend to be ruled by Hausa-speaking Fulanis, traditional herders who have their own language but use that of their subjects when acting as rulers. A similar situation exists in Ethiopia, where very dark-skinned people speak languages related to the very light-skinned people across the Red Sea. Sometimes it seems a people adopt a foreign language simply because it’s an improvement over their own. This, the Celts seem to have done repeatedly in the history of Europe. It could certainly be argued that they’ve sacrificed their culture in the process.

  • hardie karges 9:11 pm on November 28, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DNA,   

    Forget DNA and its handmaiden language, 

    rewrite history in terms of cuisine, the trails of tomatoes and the paths of potatoes. The Chinese leave gastronomical tracks wherever they go. All people do. Thais immigrate with kitchen utensils, opening restaurants like plowing fields and claiming land, blurring the edge between origin and immigration. There’s something magic about a name on a map becoming reality in the flesh, complete with tacos and tom yam, spring rolls and pizza, sex and chocolate. The moon sets over a featureless plain as trains pass through the night and border guards check my papers. Names of cities flash by on signs like flash cards to study a language that just keeps changing everywhere you go. Just when you think you’ve about got it figured out, it shifts gears by some Chomskyan rule of transformation and proceeds by another set of standards. Those are the other borders that reside within consciousness, separating not time nor space, but operating systems, thought, virtual consciousness.

  • hardie karges 11:04 am on November 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DNA,   

    The cultural DNA of food leaves tracks everywhere. 

    The first thing I do in any country, outside of Asia at least, is look for Chinese food. In Venezuela, there are plenty of chifas, but no chaufa, only arroz frito. But there, egg rolls are called lumpia, a prominent Philippine dish, not the rollos or chun kun of elsewhere south of the border. I’ll have to try one to see if they’re actually the same dish. In Peru, soy sauce is known as sillao, similar to the si iw of Thailand and the original shi-yau of Cantonese, from which Japanese shoyu, typical Spanish soya, soy, and all other variations ultimately derive. Venezuelan food itself is typical of the fried greasy fare that defines the Caribbean, poor cuts of meat and an infinite variety of starches cooked in hot melted lard at varying levels of temperatures. The important thing is to soak up as much of that grease as possible to get the most for your money. Women proudly let their bellies hang out in imitation of their British counterparts, no reason to be ashamed of what’s in your genes and jeans. Hell, where I came from, if you didn’t put on fat you’d die, as did all those Roman dilettantes testing their luck in the northern winters.

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