I play baseball. Amateur (i.e., unpaid). Fast pitch. I know, it’s nuts, but there you have it.

Anyway, I’m heading out to the game and it’s across town. I’m on the highway (The Loop) and proceeding at terminal speed, which is 65 in this case.

Hang on, maybe “terminal” and “speed” should not be used in the same sentence, especially the way most people drive.

The highway is crowded because — well — it’s always crowded. People are driving 65 and 65 plus. Mostly plus, truth be told.

I begin thinking. A dangerous habit I fell into many years ago and from which extraction seems impossible. Like a tooth in the back of my head. Sorry.

I’m wondering how in the name of Vishnu, G_d, Allah, Zeus or any other deity you care to conjure does this highway driving thing even work?! It seems like it is a catastrophic event awaiting activation.

I mean – stop to ponder the situation for just a cold, clinical, detached moment – you have whizzing and hurling hunks of metal weighing close to two tons — or more — flashing by on all sides — doing the whizzing and hurtling at a startling (if you stop to ponder it) at a close proximity of around 5 to 6 feet or so.

And the only thing separating their car from careening madly into yours is a line.

A line PAINTED on the freaking pavement.

This whole damn highway thing ONLY works if everyone honors the lines. Sure, it’s only paint, but it might as well be invisible because it only functions if everyone believes in it.

Trusts it, endorses it. Has faith in it.

The only way such high-speed driving functions smoothly is the absolute belief of all the drivers that the lines will be honored. Each driver must trust the other.

The American Government works the same way. Well, it’s supposed to…

The invisible lines for our society – for all of us living in America—should be the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Just like that simple paint on the highway, those documents are only printed words on pieces of paper. They have no magical reality beyond what people grant to them. And — yet — by entrusting our faith in those words, a great country was born.

What happens – however – when certain groups of people decide NOT to honor the lines?

Imagine the utter chaos that would ensue on the highway if there were drivers that ignored the lines and steered their vehicle anyway they wanted, without regard for others. The only choice in direction such drivers cared would be their own — your choices would be rendered meaningless and ignored. It would be very bad. Catastrophic indeed.

Imagine an American Government that ignores the lines and steers in any fashion it wants to without regard for anyone’s choice — then you have a much worse form of chaos.

That is because the vast majority of citizens are still using those aforementioned lines as guidance – they are honoring the invisible lines — the words of those documents — the ones that link us as Americans. When they see the Government driving haphazardly – without using the lines – there is confusion, anger, dismay.

If someone ignores the painted lines on the highway, there are consequences. There are law enforcement agencies who will pull your car over and stop you. Or, you may die in a fiery crash. Despite what some political groups would have you believe, bad choices must yield bad consequences. There is a price to pay for bad decisions — you cannot be constantly bailed out.

It’s called responsibility, integrity, honor.

Who is going to pull the Government over and stop them before they crash into citizens still honoring the invisible lines of American society? Who guards the guardians, as it were?

American functions as a cohesive society because we have a belief in ourselves and others. We trust each other in societal interactions, just as drivers trust each other on the highway. Even an atheist has to have faith in the invisible lines that provide guidance for the conduct of American affairs. When that belief falters because our leaders ignore the lines or try to redraw the lines without our consent, then we have a chaos that is not easily mended.

Without belief and faith there is no positive human action because individuals give way to despair and resignation.

Perhaps this is what certain political groups desire. Citizens despair and resign. They stop driving. The roads are clear. Government can then drive anyway it wants, using any lines it wants. That is true tyranny.

The belief that the lines formed by the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights is the fundamental truth of America is critical to our continued success as a nation.

If that belief is lost, then America is lost. This is a nation built on belief in self — and others. Mistrust, retribution, dictatorship, and fear is not what we want.

If you put your faith in something and say, “I believe,” then make absolutely sure it is a belief in the right thing. Not the lies that is often held out as truth by any group, individual or organization that lusts only for power and control.

Honor the invisible lines which hold us together, or suffer the tyranny of others who have no such belief.

See you on the highway!

–E

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Okay, let me toss out something which you may — or may not — completely agree with. Here it is — every activity you do that involves processing external stimuli can influence, structure, and modify your brain chemistry.

In essence, your brain changes throughout your conscious day. Every moment of the day. Constantly.

In other words, every time you listen to music, watch television, play a video game, read a book or talk to your mom — you are changing your brain chemistry.

Even reading this blog entry is having an effect on your brain chemistry by activating — or not activating — certain neuro-transmitters. There are a number of them, but I am primarily concerned with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. They correspond to the triadic nature of human being. We’ll visit and revisit this topic over a series of future posts.

Anyway, here’s the scary part — there are bad people who are well-aware of the fact brain chemistry can be willfully manipulated. They are trying hard to sell you something that is not really beneficial for you — be it music, movies, books, television shows, products; anything. They also want to deliberately manipulate electromagnetic (EM) waves in an attempt to generate neurotransmitter dependence from you.

They want to make an addict of you.

Such ill-mannered folks would make it so your brain has to have certain kinds of induced stimuli in order that you feel “good.” Could be hours spent updating your social media pages; could be playing some massive multi-player game to accumulate enough gold to upgrade something or other; could be watching some plot-less movie with visually stunning special effects; could be reading a book which happens to be part of a series that never freaking ends.

Or — far worse and much more disturbing — they (the nefarious others) want to turn you into a non-reflective zombie simply responding to external stimuli and not really consciously involved in the thinking process at all. Don’t contemplate or be self-reflective about what you are doing — they require this of you — just pay us to permit you to keep doing it.

Do not let others manipulate the EM waves to fill your mind with thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Study, research, reflect, ponder and come to your own conclusions. Strive to control your own brain chemistry by keeping an equal footing within the three basic realms of human life — physical, social, and logical (higher-order thinking).

Dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine can be consciously utilized by you for seriously cool benefits — but you must be active and not passive in the attempt.

Next post will be about foods and activities you can do to increase neurotransmitter levels for a more holistic life.

Thanks for the temporary use of your cortex !!!

Enoch. July 2019

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We should all be familiar with the succinct and profound military attack plan best expressed as “divide and conquer.” The phrase is often attributed to Julius Caesar (100 to 44 BCE) — “Divide et impera” if my Latin serves me correctly.

It is a simple and robustly elegant strategy which is designed to splinter one’s opponent into smaller and more manageable groups incapable of uniting to deal cohesively with a common enemy.

Disorganized and isolated groups subject to such a strategy languish in malaise incapable of any unified effort.

There are many organizations in America that directly benefit from the disarray and chaos engendered by heightened racial tensions. It contributes significantly to their financial success and political power to stoke the flames of racism and — if no racism can be found — to locate kindling and build their own fire.

Usually the latter.

I would like for you to examine your own life for just a moment. Slow down and think about this — we are constantly “informed” that all of us hate people on the basis of the COLOR of their skin. We are repeatedly told by those organizations referenced above that we are all racists.

Ask yourself this — when was the last time that you personally expressed your own bigotry, felt it from others, or directly witnessed others committing wanton acts of authentic racism?

Judging from my own experiences, the answer is not very often. In truth, you have really got to be kidding me — how on earth have any of us been sucked into buying this line of carnival crap about race? Do we honestly dislike people because of the EXTERNAL color of their skin? If this is true, then why not hate people on the basis of the color of their shirt, the size of their shoes, or how they comb their hair?

We are letting the race hate-mongers and corrupt politicians control our minds. They are manipulating the electromagnetic (EM) waves — any digital signals containing data — in order to divide black, brown, white, yellow and whatever color you want to add to the mix.

Separate and equal in chaos — and useless to face the true enemy.

It is absolutely NOT the skin color of a person — not some mere external variable like that — that leads us to dislike someone. It is what lurks inside the other person that repels and irritates us. It is their behavior as a direct expression of what is inside that disturbs us.

What we truly hate is our animal nature. The beast within us all.

We have been battling for tens of thousands of years to be human – and to become more than human – and what we hate and fear are humans who are NOT truly human because they act like animals – in point of fact, they ARE animals.

And these non-humans can be any color. All colors. Color does not distinguish when it comes to bestiality.

The legends of vampires, werewolves, zombies and such are — of course — pure nonsense, but they do illustrate a simple and completely undeniable TRUTH — we fear, loathe, and hate our unrestrained animal nature. We hate those who are out of control and use no rational thought to guide their actions.

Such creatures are not human. Yes, they look human – but they have no soul. We are born with the ability to have a soul, but it is created over a lifetime of work and effort. Intentional awareness and conscious effort.

When heinous acts are committed by such non-human humans — be they white, brown, black, yellow, red, or purple — we face the horrible truth of our unconscious animal side. True humans do, indeed, hate and abhor the sad sight of that. It is reminder that the divide between civilization and barbarism is narrow indeed.

However — that is not racism – it has nothing to do with race, but only with cultural values in disarray – values that glorify sex, violence, drugs, and hate. Values with no genuine moral or ethical basis. The importance of personal respect somehow magnified to a vice.

Failure to embrace a culture that values such important things as hard work, dedication, sacrifice, virtue, honesty, family, and self-responsibility leads to a stagnation and rot. A culture may deny the truth of religion, but it cannot deny the value of religion – when it does, a lack of morality and ethics leads to anarchy and chaos.

And it affects all humans, of any race.

Trying to uphold the highest standards of human conduct with true morality and ethics – and expecting others to do the same – is NOT racism.

It’s called being a conscious human being.

If you call it racism – what is it you are really hiding? What are you really seeking?

Manipulating emotions and manufacturing hate for personal or political gain is evil.

Period. End. Of. Story.

Enoch. July 2019.

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When we hear the word “technology,” the first thing that most of us think about is advanced computers, AI, digital devices and other such things.

The simple truth is that anything that humans create represents technology.

The root word “techne-” means that which is made by human hands (which also means that which was conceived of by the human mind.) The “-logy” part actually refers to the concept of “logos” which means how well the idea of the item being created reflects the thoughts the mind had when conceiving it.

In other words, if someone builds a chair, the extent to which their technology is a “success” depends on how well the chair reflects the idea of “chairness” in terms of functionality and aesthetics.

Additionally, even the ancients understood that there was good and bad juju, mojo or logos (yin and yang, as it were). The same piece of iron (raw matter) can be transformed into a plough share or a sword. A passenger car or a combat tank. You get the point.

The successful development and utilization of future technologies depend on the “logos” which is their focal point. What I mean to say is, whether such technology results in freedom or enslavement depends on how it is used.

There are a number of technologies which are currently in the development phase and the direction they take will inform human affairs for better, or worse, for years to come.

Whoever controls these technologies will rule the world.

Let’s make a list so you can keep an eye out for such technologies.

Please note that this is not a prioritized list, as any one particular technology can leap to the forefront in prominence based on new insights, breakthroughs and actual use in the “real” world.

I will list the item and then the positive and negative “logos” for each item on the list. Also, because my space and time is limited, this is just a brief and cursory examination of these topics. They all require a much more detailed expose…

►DNA and genetic manipulation

Positive: We can fix or remediate disease, illness, infection and a host of other maladies that can be mended or alleviated by genetic treatment.

Negative: There is a danger if governments decide they can make people “better” and genetic treatment is used to mold, fashion and manipulate living humans, and human fetuses. In addition, if you can create genetic methods to help fix genetic disorders, then the implication is you can create genetic methods to deliver genetic disorders.

►High speed communication, quantum communications, quantum computing, et cetera

Positive: Instantaneous communication without delay between any two points on earth that would basically be impossible to hack, plus vast improvements in computing speed and processing

Negative: Data encryption would be controlled by governments and corporations and not individuals. Improvements in quantum computing could result in dangerous human reliance and over-confidence in computer algorithms and artificial intelligence systems for decision making. In addition, it would permit governments and corporations to control and, if necessary, manipulate all content that people see, hear and feel.

►Satellite or orbiting space station power transmission

Positive: Space-based capture of solar energy and then wirelessly “beaming” this to earth is a subject of intense scrutiny on a global basis. This could lead to almost free and abundant energy for all of humanity.

Negative: The difference between a device “beaming” useful energy and a device “beaming” destructive energy is, well, in the intention of the person controlling the device. In addition, whoever controls the energy has the power.

►Use of electromagnetic waves other than visible light (solar) for energy source. This would include the harvesting of human-made EM waves or harvesting naturally-occurring EM waves (e.g., gamma, infrared, ultraviolet, microwave, et cetera)

Positive: Humanity would no longer be dependent on petroleum products, wind, solar or nuclear power. Energy would basically be free and abundant.

Negative: Energy can be used for work, and work can be used to make things (technology) and those things can be awesome good or awesome bad. More energy = more temptation to evil.

►Neuro-link communications

Positive: When humans think, our brain generates brainwave patterns. While the content may be unique to the individual, the form and structure is universal. Such patterns can be, and eventually will be, coalesced into a database and correlated with word/concepts/images. What you “think” can be “read” by other people or other devices. This will greatly facilitate communications between humans themselves, and between humans and machines. It will also make dramatic and life-changing communications possible for those disabled, comatose or otherwise unable to communicate in traditional ways.

Negative: If a person’s thoughts – the last real bastion of privacy – vanishes, then power and control of human society would belong to those who control the technology. Never a good idea.

►Transhumanism. A basic Internet definition is: “…an international philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.” A popular international transhumanist website[1] talks about those “sophisticated technologies” in this fashion: “…artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, nanomedicine, biotechnology, genetic engineering, stem cell cloning, and transgenesis…. Other technologies that could extend and expand human capabilities outside physiology include artificial intelligence, artificial general intelligence, robotics, and brain-computer integration, which form the domain of bionics, uploading, and could be used for developing whole body prosthetics.”

Positive: Anything that improves the human condition should, on the face of it, be good. Better health and longer life are excellent goals which the transhumanists believe can be accomplished through technology.

Negative: The biggest challenge for transhumanism is – if you create some truly remarkable breakthrough – who controls it? Who decides how it is distributed and utilized? What is the impact of longer and healthier lives – would humans be affected by the law of unintended consequences?

►Drones, autonomous vehicles and robotics

Positive: Less human-based labor sounds wonderful – more time playing and less time working sounds appealing. Devices which facilitate commerce and make our lives more efficient are good.

Negative: Automation and robotics displace people from jobs and – due to their skill, talents, education, intelligence and abilities – renders them basically unemployable. Drones, autonomous machines and robotics can make everyday life easier, but they can easily be weaponized and the next great war or conflict will probably be won by the country that has the most drones, autonomous machines and robotics as well as the most skilled people sitting in underground bunkers operating joysticks and pushing the fire button.

There are other things which could easily go on this list, but all this pondering has worn me out. Therefore, ergo or in summation, I will provide a list for future contemplation. Maybe after I have an adult beverage and give this some more careful consideration.

■ Nanotechnology for health maintenance and treatment

■ Artificial intelligence for the diagnosis of health issues

■ Ability to sustain human consciousness in non-human systems

■ Neurological transfer accomplished through brain transplants to younger versions of ourselves accomplished through genetic cloning

■ Augmented and Virtual reality — digital means direct transplant

■ Breakthroughs in nuclear fusion, rather than fission

■ Using Earth’s natural electromagnetic field to create energy

■ Transformation of matter to create food and water

■ Recreation of abiotic oil in the laboratory

The world is full of decent, honorable and virtuous people. My fervent hope is that such folks will utilize all the positive things I have listed to make the world a great place. My fear, inescapable, is just the opposite. My rational conclusion is that we may have to weather some storms getting to all the positive, but eventually it will happen.

Then again, I am also convinced I will win the lottery…


[1] https://humanityplus.org

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After a long day at work I settled into my favorite easy chair, relishing the solitary adult beverage I normally permit myself, and sat scanning through the news on my favorite digital device. I was looking desperately for something which, upon reading, wouldn’t prompt me to run screaming into the night calling for my mommy – I failed miserably.

Staring up at me from the pixilated depths of digital chaos was erstwhile tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, speaking out about the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI). I am neutral in regard to Mr. Musk and his technological endeavors (Tesla and SpaceX) but I do agree with him about artificial intelligence and the risks inherent in its inappropriate usage.

What – the attentive reader may wrathfully ask – is “inappropriate usage?”

Well, let’s take a look at AI and how it is currently used – and how it might be used in the very near future.

Any human activity that is augmented by software or hardware is, technically speaking, interacting with AI. The thermostat that you set at 72 degrees and shuts off when the room cools down to that temperature is an AI. It has intelligence because it has been programmed to shut off when it senses an ambient air temp of 72, and it is not human (it is artificial).

Now, granted, it is also a very, very, dumb AI — if you ask it to solve “1 + 1” you will have many electric bills to pay before you ever get an answer.

AI, however, can be much, much more. For instance — the current state of AI involves systems that inform you of sensory data that the AI has gathered and when this data is compared against norms and standards, may generate an appropriate message to a human.

That little notice that appears on your car’s display that says your right front tire is under-inflated? AI.

The text message your security system sends you that the back door was opened at 2:12 a.m., by your now grounded daughter? AI.

Music or book recommendations digitally sent to you based on previous purchases? AI

Advertising for products and services digitally sent to you based solely on your Internet browsing? AI.

Stop for a moment to think about all the messages you receive (digital display on some device, email, text message or other) that entails an AI or other automated system forwarding data (mildly interpreted at best) directly to you.

It will be more than you think, until you think about it.

There is nothing wrong with this because the AI is in passive mode – simply gathering facts. No danger of Alexa or Siri ordering a pizza without being told to do so, or so we are informed…

The next advance is to program the AI in such a way that not only does it gather data (either directly through modified sensory input, or indirectly by humans inputting the data), but it interprets the data and offers unique recommendations. As I write this diatribe, all those AI recommendations are still based on a wide range of algorithmic possibilities all created by humans – the AI simply processes the data faster and can assess more of those recommendations in various scenarios than humans.

No matter what – though – the AI still makes recommendations of future action that are wholly based on a range of options preset by human programmers.

Not only that, but AIs generally are not permitted (by any human that has half a brain) to make decisions that involve action unless that action has already been planned and reviewed by humans as well. Letting an AI auto-shutdown a dangerous problem in a nuclear plant is still based on human decision-making scenarios.

The great risk is when – at some point in the future – AI use is widespread and not under the careful and constant supervision of intelligent and discerning humans. The great risk is when humans abdicate responsibility and allow AI not only to gather, interpret and make decisions based on known options, but permit AI to make decisions which may not be found on a carefully preset and human-programmed decision tree.

In humans we like to call this “thinking outside the box,” but in AI this could be catastrophic since the ripple-down effect on humans cannot – despite the processing power of AI – be adequately calculated.

The somewhat misguided Utopian vision of an AI is basically one in which the AI operates and thinks just like a very smart human – just faster, bigger, better, stronger and all that. However, obviously that is not enough because you cannot rely on an AI which makes decisions solely based on the logic and reason of advanced programming. Hey – I think that was a Star Trek episode!

Anyway, in other words, we are creatures of body, mind, and soul – humans have emotions, passions, as well as ethics and morality. Unless you can teach that to an AI, you will have AI-rendered decisions and actions that are only based on the best possible outcome – and the best possible AI outcome may not necessarily be the best possible human outcome.

Humans, generally speaking and referencing them as an overall species, are not very intelligent. Truth be told, humans have made incredible progress since our cave-dwelling days by simply being average – usually by utilizing the insights of a relatively small percentage of gifted humans.

When the AI genie is let out of the bottle, we run the risk that human reliance on this form of intelligence will not only create a dangerous dependency, but also allow average humans to control technologies that are way beyond their comprehension and understanding.

Worse than that, I can easily imagine those average humans – fully cognizant of their average nature – granting the right of control of the AIs to humans supposedly “gifted” enough to understand the technology, trusting such people to always make decisions about the AIs that will benefit everyone equally.

What could possibly go wrong with that idea?

The truth is, Elon Musk (and many others) rightfully do not trust the average people to control the technology, nor (in their heart of hearts I suspect) do they trust their fellow intelligent techies to do the right thing. Getting humans to do the right thing is a job than even an AI would have trouble in executing.

I think using the word “executing” in the same sentence as “AI” is probably one of the things bugging Mr. Musk.

AIs are coming, and we do need standards of performance and structure. If the AIs will eventually be able to do all the things that the techies now wax prosaic about, then we are creating beings that will be godlike.

Anyone who has studied Greek mythology knows how irrational and petty the gods actually were, and being a god does not of necessity mean you act like a god.

Anyway, I have to go now because I just got a text message from my pharmacy, an email from my refrigerator (out of milk) and apparently my car just auto-subscribed to some kind of music service. Fug.

–Enoch

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Let’s talk about the ancient fable, “The Hare and the Tortoise.”

Everyone is hopefully familiar with this ancient tale but — for the sake of universal clarity and a shared starting point — I will provide a brief refresher.

The hare is a fast runner. He brags about this speed and teases the tortoise, who is obviously a slow runner. Technically, a non-runner. More of a crawler. The tortoise finally tires of the incessant teasing (bullying, if you will) and challenges the hare to a race. The fox is chosen to select the course. The hare loses the race because he takes a nap and awakes too late to beat the tortoise to the finish line.

Okay, refresher over, so now the commentary.

While this ancient tale is attributed to Aesop, the general thematic ideas and concepts predate him. It is a tale which speaks of the true nature of human being and has origins that are very old. The real meaning of this fable is hidden and not as easy to discern as one might think.

What kind of hidden meaning? Good question.

The most widely held conclusion about the fable is the expression, “slow and steady wins the race.”

This is the obvious and most easily attainable interpretation.

Fables are devilishly intricate things, as they are always meant to portray the multi-layered complexity of human behavior.

This fable is particularly delightful in that regard.

While his fable — on the surface — does illustrate the general idea that persistence wins out in the end, this theme is NOT the main (hidden) idea.

This fable is a story of our individual human nature, and the internal struggles which must of necessity arise within each of us as we attempt to achieve significant results in our lives – that is to say, to win the race of living. Well, at least run it well. What constitutes “winning” is a subject for another diatribe — right now we will simply talk about this fable.

Aesop existed circa 620 to 554 BCE – that’s over 2500 years ago for those of us (including me) not good with math. Even back then, however, there was a recognition that humans possessed differing levels of intelligence.

Pythagoras, a contemporary to Aesop, believed that humans found at the Olympic Games could be classified into three categories or types – the lowest type were those who were seekers of pleasure and fame, the competitors. The next highest type were those who sought to benefit from buying and selling of goods, and the highest type were the lovers of wisdom, who came to observe the games.

Siddhartha Gautama would have been an approximate contemporary to Aesop, as he lived from 563 to 483 BCE. His ideas of the “threefold training” and the division of human being into Mind, Virtue, and Wisdom are compatible to those of Pythagoras.

Even older traditions were developed in Vedic (Indian) thought, such as Chapter 14 of the Bhagavad Gita, where the discussion concerns the “The Three Qualities of Material Nature” – which are ignorance, passion, and goodness.

If you examine the ontogenetic unfolding of our neurological system during fetal development, the human brain is clearly delineated into three distinct sections (Rhombencephalon, Mesencephalon, Telencephalon) – for the sake of illustrative brevity and as a simple tool for reference, we will label these the reptilian, mammalian, and distinctly human sections of the threefold neurological continuum. A nod to Paul M.

While a more scientific rendition of this is called for (and exists in explication) you must — for this particular exposition — grant me the boon of accepting this structure as valid. Besides, using all those big words gives me a headache.

Our human being is a threefold continuum, and most of us exist within the realm of one of the triune parts of this continuum – it is the rare individual who can synthesize all three levels and emerge as an integrated human.

That is the fable’s true meaning.

The hare is that part of our human nature which is the lowest. It is pure physicality. The only thoughts at this level are survival and reproduction. The hare is the perfect symbol, as the reproductive capacities of that creature are legend; and its speed permits it to survive in the wild. But the hare has no other attribute worthy of consideration – the only thing the hare can do is boast about the one thing it can do well – and this is not even a learned trait, it is a genetic trait – speed of foot. We won’t mention breeding prowess, but that is also innate and not acquired or learned.

But even the genetic trait of speed is only of value if it is properly used.

It is no accident in the fable that the fox selects the course where the race will be run.

The fox has — symbolically — always represented social cunning and thinking skills designed to benefit one’s self.

If we regard the fox as the social part of our own human nature, it is that aspect which must select the course upon which we are to race with our own lives – and here the story gets a little more complex.

If we are rely solely on our genetic abilities alone (without contemplative introspection), we would always pick a course that suited our lowest nature, and such a decision — though the easiest by way of effort — would represent a minimal accomplishment. In the fable the hare was always teasing the tortoise about its lack of speed – only someone of low intelligence and minimal skills would belabor the obvious – what accomplishment is it for a hare to beat a tortoise anyway? The hare will win that race every time, without a doubt.

It is the natural inclination of humans to denigrate their genetic abilities though idleness and indolence – this happens if you allow the hare-aspect of your human nature to predominate.

The tortoise-aspect represents our wisdom and adaptability — it must not only subtly guide the fox-aspect in selecting a course most well-suited to our individual nature, but make the hare-aspect of our human being apply itself to achieving meaningful results. The hare-aspect represents our raw abilities, and the tortoise-aspect is the will and perseverance that puts those raw abilities to use in a manner that the fox-aspect helps devise within the world of our social reality.

However, even here the road is fraught with danger, for just as a heavy reliance on the hare-aspect will lead to bad results, a heavy reliance on the fox-aspect will lead to a result that is beneficial to the self, but without regard to the impact on others. It is only the guiding hand of the tortoise-aspect – the thoughtful and self-conscious “application” of will in reality — with an understanding of how all humans are linked — that helps the fox-aspect select the proper course upon which the hare-aspect, now being forced to actually apply itself, can unify with the other parts of human nature to achieve success.

And there you have it.

My hare nature wants a nap, my tortoise nature needs to tend the garden, and my fox nature wants you to buy a copy of my book, Exophobe.

Maybe I just need a drink…

— Enoch

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I have a love-hate-hate relationship with technology.

They (the same nefarious bunch that always promises to build Utopia) told us that technology would make our lives easier. Better. More fulfilling. Simplify things.

What a crock of womanure (trying to be gender-sensitive here).

How about some examples? Glad you bloody asked. Let’s talk email.

Like a lot of people, I maintain a number of different email addresses. Some are for family, some are for team sports, some are for friends, some are for business, some are for quasi-anonymous blog communications, some are for Internet commerce, et cetera, et cetera. I won’t deny the utility and helpfulness of it all. However, lately it has become a huge pain in my gluteus maximus.

I mean, just dealing with my normal, regular and expected email is time consuming. Open it, read it, ponder it, usually respond and act on it. Tiring. And that’s just the stuff you want to read, that’s not counting the stuff you have to wade through and get rid of…

Let’s talk *SPAM* — no matter how elaborate I try to construct my filters and safeguards, I get inundated with a ceaseless stream of junk mail. If every piece of email that managed to sneak past my breastworks actually did what it said, I would have my mortgage paid off, be listed prominently in Who’s Who, be more incredible in the sack, be the proud owner of hundreds of stocks which quadrupled my money, own half of Nigeria, be living without pain of any kind, be thinner, have more energy and hair and whatever ad nauseum ad infinitum. Puke.

I spend WAY too much time highlighting and deleting crap emails. You can block the sender or domain but – guess what – the SPAMMERS rotate those more than the NSA changes passwords. Email addresses are like Chinese products – cheap and plentiful.

Oh, and here’s some more great news – companies want to ramp up automation and AI, which only means you’ll get more of this crap because it’s easier to generate from the sender’s end. Just set a few parameters and let the blasted machines churn and burn.

Enough with SPAM — let me rant on legitimate sites where you actually buy something useful. Now – hidden in the effing fine print, is the fact that by purchasing that “had to freaking have” item, you are automatically subscribed to the site’s newsletter. And, oh by the way, we also sell/give our subscriber lists to other companies with products we just know you’ll love {insert sincere smile here}. Sigh.

I do have a hateful admiration for some of these businesses – they have automated algorithms that are as utterly relentless as a Terminator cyborg. They will not stop until you buy something. Or you die and get removed from the list server.

Of course, you can unsubscribe. Just means they will send you MORE emails, hoping one of them will work. It’s not a shotgun approach, it’s frelling carpet bombing.

Then – even worse – there are hackers who send you things and WANT YOU to click the “unsubscribe” button, which unleashes gawd knows what evil script, key-logger program, or Trojan jackass to invade the sanctity of your system.

Don’t even get me started on Phishing and Scamming deals.

Fug – I’m headed to the Post Office to buy some damn stamps…

–E

P.S. Next post, we go off on text messages! Look for an e-alert. Hah.

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I originally posted this quite sometime back, but upon finding it in the archives, I am once again enamored with the idea and concepts it holds.

The Code of the West

  • Don’t inquire into a person’s past. Take the measure of a man for what he is today.
  • Never steal another man’s horse. A horse thief pays with his life.
  • Defend yourself whenever necessary.
  • Look out for your own.
  • Remove your guns before sitting at the dining table.
  • Never order anything weaker than whiskey.
  • Don’t make a threat without expecting dire consequences.
  • Never pass anyone on the trail without saying “Howdy”.
  • When approaching someone from behind, give a loud greeting before you get within shooting range.
  • Don’t wave at a man on a horse, as it might spook the horse. A nod is the proper greeting.
  • After you pass someone on the trail, don’t look back at him. It implies you don’t trust him.
  • Riding another man’s horse without his permission is nearly as bad as making love to his wife. Never even bother another man’s horse.
  • Always fill your whiskey glass to the brim.
  • A cowboy doesn’t talk much; he saves his breath for breathing.
  • No matter how weary and hungry you are after a long day in the saddle, always tend to your horse’s needs before your own, and get your horse some feed before you eat.
  • Cuss all you want, but only around men, horses and cows.
  • Complain about the cooking and you become the cook.
  • Always drink your whiskey with your gun hand, to show your friendly intentions.
  • Do not practice ingratitude.
  • A cowboy is pleasant even when out of sorts. Complaining is what quitters do, and cowboys hate quitters.
  • Always be courageous. Cowards aren’t tolerated in any outfit worth its salt.
  • A cowboy always helps someone in need, even a stranger or an enemy.
  • Never try on another man’s hat.
  • Be hospitable to strangers. Anyone who wanders in, including an enemy, is welcome at the dinner table. The same was true for riders who joined cowboys on the range.
  • Give your enemy a fighting chance.
  • Never wake another man by shaking or touching him, as he might wake suddenly and shoot you.
  • Real cowboys are modest. A braggert who is “all gurgle and no guts” is not tolerated.
  • Be there for a friend when he needs you.
  • Drinking on duty is grounds for instant dismissal and blacklisting.
  • A cowboy is loyal to his “brand,” to his friends, and those he rides with.
  • Never shoot an unarmed or unwarned enemy. This was also known as “the rattlesnake code”: always warn before you strike. However, if a man was being stalked, this could be ignored.
  • Never shoot a woman no matter what.
  • Consideration for others is central to the code, such as: Don’t stir up dust around the chuckwagon, don’t wake up the wrong man for herd duty, etc.
  • Respect the land and the environment by not smoking in hazardous fire areas, disfiguring rocks, trees, or other natural areas.
  • Honesty is absolute – your word is your bond, a handshake is more binding than a contract.
  • Live by the Golden Rule.
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I live on the third floor of a three-story condo unit. Nice community. Gated. Not sure how secure it is though. I was visiting with Pat — the maintenance guy — the other day and we started talking about security and somehow he let it slip that the gate code for the maintenance crew was “1234.”

Really?

I’m thinking that if Riff or Raff wanted to get into the complex, well, they wouldn’t have to hack through many code permutations. Fug.

Anyway — yesterday I’m sitting in my somewhat secure third-floor condo living room when I get a call from Mando, one of my best pals. The other being Tom. Both being ex-hackers in the business of helping other companies avoid being hacked (in fact see the recent post here entitled, “MORE MYSTERIOUS STUFF.”). Mando is calling from Vegas. Business, he says. Of the monkey variety is what I’m thinking, but I let it slide in the name of friendship.

A favor. That’s what he says he needs.

You know how favors and friends go. You call a friend when no one else will help. You are not permitted, by the Immutable Law of Friendship, to decline.

What kind of favor, I delicately ask. Like a reluctant snake-handler milking a black mamba.

Mow my grass, Mando informs me.

Now, there are many things Mando could have asked of me as a favor. Check on his mail. Feed his dog. Pick up his mom at the airport. Stalk his ex-girlfriend Lisa who supposedly stole some of his vintage baseball cards. I would gladly do any of those.

Yard work, however, strikes me as pointless, disheartening, depressing, and self-defeating. A blow to the human spirit. A reminder of our sad human condition.

I mean, think about it. Grass is a weed.

It is simply something that makes dirt look acceptable. People only allow it to grow because it is generally stable and grows uniformly. It is orderly and neat, unlike the lives of the people mowing it.

So, not only are you tending to and nurturing a weed that never stops growing, you must continue to cut it — for-freaking-ever.

You NEVER accomplish anything. You cut it; the effing weeds grow back. It’s what they do best.

It’s like the damn mythological hydra — cut one head off and two grow back — you are always mowing the grass. You are always reminded of the sheer and utter pointlessness of life. Gawd, I hate effing yard work. It’s bullsnarf. An affront to human dignity. A bane on existence.

Fine.

I am now sitting at my computer typing this blog entry. I am drenched in sweat and irritation since I have just returned from Mando’s house. Where I tended to his weeds and cut the grass, front and back, and edged and trimmed the front like a crazed grass-infused artisan.

I feel demeaned as a human.

But, damn, that front yard sure looks good.

E

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