Unplugged

They weren’t speaking to me, I know it.

Although fear of social failure drives me to believe so, when I inquire as to whether generic comments others make, in person or on social media, are directed at me, the answer is no; either they were talking in general or about someone else.

Therefore, I have no reason to believe anyone is talking about me.

In conclusion, no one talks about me and I am already dead.

I had once worried about reaching this stage in my life.

Like, you know, totally, like, for sure, what if, OMG, I was never ever famous or, like, umm, I haven’t accomplished anything, like, real, you know what I’m saying?

Let’s see, where was I?  Firefox requested a reboot to install an update and after it rebooted, it opened to the tab with an open Facebook account, where….sigh….the lovely, beautiful, smart Guin was promoting an upcoming event.  Dang it, woman, why can I not get you out of my thoughts?

So, although I was dropping into a meditative writing state, I’m in another state of thoughts, I’ll go with the thoughts I’m in.

Yes, I like to dance and when I do, I give my all to my dance partner. Admittedly, for those who open their bodies to me, receptive in a sensual, if not sexual way, I reciprocate probably more than I should.  It’s possible for both the dance partner and me, the moves we share on the dance floor, the connections we make, are better than any sexual act could, would or should be.

I’ve purposefully never shared a connection like that with Guin, nor she with me.  I feel like we’ve kept it above the neck, so to speak, making eye contact in a familial way, almost like sister and brother or father and daughter.

That’s why it’s so odd that another part of my thoughts imagine us raising a child together when I can’t imagine having sexual relations with her.

To make up for this mismatched thought set, I try to help her with her “child,” the local dance group/community she has formed with which she has bigger plans.

I step in every now and then like a distant brother, father, uncle or grandfather, knowing that I have a way of taking over a room and attempting not to take over the dance group when I get involved, sticking my nose in, stomping around with my clumsy feet and stirring up the mud, but that’s just who I am.  I’ve stopped making apologies for being my blundering self.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, rediscovering recent thoughts.

In junior high school, my sister, two years younger, told me one day that all her friends thought I was weird and that I had weird friends (“weird” at that time being a euphemism for gay), implying that she didn’t like it because it made me unpopular and interfered with her social status.  I asked her which friends and she told me a few names.  I asked those friends if they thought I was weird and they said no, meaning someone was a liar.  I trusted my sister and understood that people will talk about you behind your back and lie to your face.

Unfortunately, because of that incident, I grew to mistrust other people.

Deep down inside, I think all people lie in one form or another — to be polite in social settings, to save face, to close a dishonest deal, etc.

Rare is the person who tells it like it is and doesn’t care about the consequences.

I know I lie.  Like, for instance, tonight I took my wife to a local dance studio for West Coast Swing lessons.  I didn’t really want to be there; after the lessons were over, open dancing began and I made a false excuse to leave, in order to avoid dancing with other women and having to look them in the eye, leading me to want to seduce them on the dance floor and attract sexual attention just when I promised myself I would stop doing that.

Of course, my wife knew my lie — that I had a sore ankle — was probably false but she accepted the lie because it’s part of being a social animal, feigning an injury to avoid confrontation with another animal.

I haven’t figured out how to dance socially and avoid the sexual animal inside me [deja vu — how many times have I thought or written that?].  Does that have anything to do with my sister calling me weird?  There doesn’t have to be cause/correlation for everything, does there?

Anyway, back to my meditation.

Reaching down within myself, sensing no “fair” cause and effect in society/culture, letting go of cultural practices of imposing fairness rules (including government, sports and religion), knowing that I am who I am, which has recently included thought trails linked to social media posts, taking me away from living at a higher level of thought — more abstract, less personal…

Forgetting who I am for a moment.

Seeing how this solar system’s arrangement of sets of states of energy are progressing, looking “forward in time,” as the saying goes…

Without the trickery of religious miracles, scifi time travel machines, magic, faster-than-light-speed space travel…

Hearing the change in the tinnitus tones in my thoughts…

Feeling myself hunched over the laptop keyboard…

Smelling the mold that is in the sunroom after heavy rains forced water through sunroom roof crevices…

What separates a set of algorithms that can coordinate to rewrite themselves creating something we can’t recognise from what we call consciousness as exemplified by living creatures such as humans, birds, and forests?

If I remove myself as an individual from my thoughts, removing everyone as individuals from my thoughts, what do I see?

The patterns that emerge include the rubbish we create — in nature, nothing is wasted, there is no trash, no treasure, no rubbish, no junk, no landfills, no toxins — everything we touch, everything we create, everything we destroy is the same.

By embracing what others have called optimistic nihilism I have been able to see the future more clearly.

Global warming, high un/deremployment, massive species extinction — these are concerns of a single species on a single planet — the universe is benign.

The transportation of people, of goods and services, for the act of global trade between members of our species, essentially the movement of sets of states of energy, what value do we gain by decreasing overall the amount of transportation?  How do we change the model of the profit motive to accomplish such a feat?  What would Maslow have to say about altruism today?

Thoughts to ponder as I close this blog entry at 2:21 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Advertisements

Rocket’s Red Glare

On the eve of the 4th of July, when families gather for fireworks displays, when piles of flavoured shaved ice become snowcones, where am I?

Standing in line for a sugar high in front of a community college math, science and CIS building, waiting for the US Space & Rocket Center to host a fireworks celebration of a new nation’s independence.

On a planet, what is national independence?

Don’t we breathe the same air?

Wisdom is what wisdom gives, often takes

In a world of humour — working with, hanging out with younger people — I want my jokes within blog posts and my likes within social media to prevent them from repeating what I’ve done if they can learn it faster some other way.

[Instead of telling them what to do or preaching to them…]

My nephew’s accomplishments are a prime example — figuring out international relations without working in business for 25 years — excerpt below:

“This was my first time to visit the UN. Actually, my first time in New York City.  Working with the United Nations has been a dream of mine since I was a young boy. 

. . .

“Now I understand people, not documents, protect human rights.  International governance works when purveyor of rights–people–are vigilant and unrelenting in the protection of their dignity.  For those who may not have the opportunity to self-advocate, such as persons with disabilities, we must not put words in their mouths or patronizingly speak for them.  They can speak for themselves. We, the able-bodied population, must offer our louder megaphones to them to ensure their voices find expression.  The UN works when we, the global community, work with institutions of all levels–local, regional, national, and international–to ensure “no one is left behind” in the pursuit of a world enshrining human dignity and respect.  The UN is indeed an ideal but people have the real power.  Realistic idealism, in this regard, may be the optimal method to promote and protect human rights.  We, the people, owe it to all members of society to remain vigilant, purposeful, and passionate in our advocacy. The tireless self-advocacy of persons with disabilities at the 10th anniversary of the CRPD is a poignant reminder that apathy and indifference has no home in even the most marginalized populations.  As a student of human rights and a global citizen at large, this experience changed me for the better.”

Dual use

As an inventor, I risk giving/selling my inventions to those who find unintended uses for my creative work.

Take, for instance, my machine for prechewing gum, softening squares into delicious gooey masses, retaining and releasing flavour for immediate enjoyment. 

An undisclosed government bought that invention and bombarded rebel insurgents with masses of sticky substances, rendering the rebels and their weapons/transportation useless.

Or my latest invention, the shower that takes a 3D scan of your body and soaps/washes every part of your body precisely.

An Internet startup bought that invention and intends to blend it into their new clothes washer/dryer system whivh promises to revolutionise the home clothes cleaning industry.

This planet, Earth

On the middle part of the North American continent, with noncontiguous parts involved, a 24-hour period of time set aside to remember dead humans who swore to protect and defend a social group, an organised cultural entity called a government named the United States of America.

On this day, many celebrate family ties.

Some, like me, spend time with family but also spend hours in a work shift collecting blood from donors to save lives of civilians and government military workers as needed.

Our species is built to compete against and cooperate with members of its kind for planetary resources, resorting to organised violent attacks sometimes.

Remembering the sets of states of energy no longer actively participating in our daily lives helps us relearn what they learned but also to live and learn more.

The apparent opposite poles of war and peace are illusions.

We flesh eaters burn a lot of energy, that is all.

How we burn energy in the future is the debate of which I’m most interested today.

The dead and fallen give us the right and permission for such a debate any day, of course.

Let’s start now…

Spare, oh, the Sparrow!

Neil sat outside the Korean takeaway, eating beef bulgogi and kimchi, his table companions discussing an upcoming court case.

“So the way I understand it, Neil, the architecture firm you work for applied for a variance and didn’t get it?”

“Yep. In a nutshell.”

“And you believe you have evidence there was collusion to prevent the architectural firm from finishing the project?”

“That makes two nutshells. One more can you can set up an illegal shell game on the square! Haha!”

The lawyer readjusted his bowtie. “We are prosecuting the director of the city department of engineering next week. Any evidence you can give us would be helpful.”

“Well, I’ll do what I can. I was delivering pizza one evening after dance class a couple of years ago and noticed it was an unusually large order for that time of night. It seemed to happen once every three months…”

The lawyer’s paralegal assistant interrupted. “Sounds like a company celebrating quarterly results, perhaps, or late night work on a project. Not that unusual.”

“Yeah, I know. But I haven’t got to the good part. Every one of those deliveries included a pizza warmer box that was cold to the touch.”

“Meaning what, exactly?”

Neil laughed. “Don’t you get it? No pizza inside. Something funny in that, don’t you think?”

The lawyer scribbled a few notes on a legal pad.

“Do you deliver uncooked pizzas?”

“No.”

“Did you look inside the boxes?”

“I have to. I take the pizzas out when I get to the delivery address so the customer can verify the order.”

“And what was inside the ‘cold’ boxes?”

“Electronic equipment hidden inside a cardboard pizza container. The first box I I delivered I couldn’t tell you what it was. But the second time this happened, I took a photo. A friend said it was a tracking device with a datalogger and he showed me how to hack it, not knowing where I’d seen it and…”

“Neil, before you go on, we need to know if you believe you would be willing to repeat what you’re going to say under oath in a court of law?”

“What do you mean? I’m just giving you evidence.”

“Neil, in a nutshell, as you say, we can’t use evidence that was illegally obtained.”

“What if I said the electronic equipment accidentally transmitted data to my phone as I was transporting pizza. Is that what you mean?”

“If it happened as you said, and you did not tamper with the equipment, we might be able to examine your evidence.”

“It was really happenchance. I always check the pizzas before I deliver them. My friend told me that the dataloggers act as their own Internet hubs, gateways or something like that. I turned on WiFi on my phone as I was doublechecking the pizzas and it linked to the dataloggers when I opened the box they were in.”

“Neil, that sounds legal enough for us to work with. Now, does it have anything to do with the collusion you mentioned?”

“Of course. It’s the data in the logger I’m talking about! Hahaha!”

The lawyer nodded. “What was in the data?”

“Looks like secret plans with a large construction firm outside the country operating here under a bunch of different local business names to completely rebuild the city according to its terms.  It details new information every three months about what the city leaders are supposed to do next, including the denial of permits and variances for companies not associated with Ursa Major.”

The lawyer looked up from his pad the same time the paralegal looked up from a mobile phone.

“What did you say the name of the organisation was?”

“Ursa Major.”

“Are you sure it wasn’t Canus Major?”

“Yep. Got it right here on my cell phone.”

“Is that the only copy? On your phone?”

“Of course not. It’s up on the cloud, too. I backup everything.”

The lawyer leaned over and conferred with the paralegal.

“Neil, you’ve been a great help. I’ve got to go back to my office for another meeting. Bring your phone by later this afternoon…”

“I can’t. I have dance lessons and classes planned out the rest of the day.”

“Tomorrow morning, then?”

“Sure. What time?”

“Let’s say 7:30. And bring your nutshells.”

Neil laughed. “Ooh, good one! See you in the morning.”

They shook hands and parted.