Archive for June, 2011

The Cosmological Principle as applied to human intelligence

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

There are lessons for all, even in astrophysics. The laws and intellectual delineations involved in deciphering and predicting the cosmos also articulates the backbone of many principles in our social world, if we just stop. And listen. I thought of this while reading a paragraph from Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality, a layman-oriented investigation of alternate universes as envisioned and predicted by the radically esoteric world of quantum physics.

…the art of theoretical physics lies in simplifying the horrendously complex so as to preserve essential physical features while making the theoretical analysis tractable. It’s the art of knowing what to ignore. Through the so-called cosmological principle, Einstein established a simplifying framework that initiated the art and the science of theoretical cosmology.

My general conception of this principle is that as something is viewed from distances distant enough to render fine detail not legible to the human eye, the homogeneity of the body increases because the small dispersed parcels of inhomogeneity become so numerous, and therefore, predictable, so as to assume an average of occurrence when seen at a sufficiently imperceptible distance. If something is viewed very closely, the inhomogeneous micro-nature of the mass becomes noticeable. When seen from a sufficiently (and theoretically) distant or removed perspective, all objects will display the sum average of their infinitesimal elements and parts. When viewed closely, these supposedly disparate parts will appear as random and incongruous items and not part of some large, predictable and uniform system. As our perspective becomes micro in nature, homogeneity subsides.

The key then is to determine the mass minimally required in order to reasonably conclude that it is typically representative of all other masses. This depends on its uniformity which in turn dictates just how vast the sample must be. Once this minimal sampling threshold is established, all one needs to do is take an easily obtained sample and extrapolate its measurement against the span of items in existence which you cannot necessarily view or study but which can be predicted by the averaged level of inhomogeneity which has likewise been verified as a valid predictor.

The key, as Brian Greene noted, is knowing what to ignore.
What to ignore.
This is where the artistry and genius manifests.

I’ve noticed the line separating the feeble-minded and the sharp-minded is the ability (or inability) to concisely shed extraneous and unnecessary items (due to any number of factors, such as redundancy, irrelevance, etc) and thus surgically minimize the orgy of competing factors our mind must sieve through our Logic Machine in order to whittle the input into a few key, immutable factors. The sharp mind has a natural and effortless way about it; the sharp mind instinctively flushes the inhomogeneities that don’t contribute toward the putative path to knowledge or awareness. The sharp mind recognizes what belongs and what doesn’t.

The feeble-minded, on the other hand, get lost and muddled in the quagmire of data, and unable to recognize, and thus purge, the trivial or inconsequential, consider all the data haphazardly and the mishmash snowballs into further confusion and incomprehensibility. The glut of variables overpowers the mind. This is what the sharp mind does that the dull mind does not. For if the basis for minimizing and alleviating the preposterous burden of data is not established immediately, the mind is stymied and sluggish. It can move no further. It can try. But tasks the mind is better suited to handle are stillborn while it attempts to unburden itself of the paralyzing load of unrefined info. For in the filter of knowledge, the ability to extricate thorny non-essential facts and segregate them into the Ignore category is the first step toward distilling knowledge and self-awareness.

How I got rid of $500 I never had

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

One of the great misfortunes of this blog (of many) is that I can not talk freely of work. It’s a self-imposed rule. I’m not all that bold when it comes to work details…I’m a lot of bark and tiny nibbles when it comes to speaking openly of my job and the nuances, to put it kindly, relating to people I work with. Despite the fact much of my material is hatched during my 8 hours of daily wage slavery. This is unfortunate because tonight I want to talk a little about work because the central focus of this post has to do with work, but I will refrain from overt description. Sigh. It’s kinda like the marriage dynamic where you come home to vent to your spouse after a long day at the office. I don’t have any one to do this with so you are my spouse tonight. Don’t worry, after the post, I will not ask you to fulfill other sordid wifely duties (although if you are up to it, I won’t refuse).

Let me back up for some background. For the past 3 months, work has been very intense and unbearable for one reason specifically which I will not detail. The reason we find ourselves in this situation stems from the fact my manager took the position long before she was ready for the job in all aspects of maturity and social intelligence. It is because of her pathetic and clueless molding of the department that we find ourselves in our current hell, and there is no relief in sight because the culture of today’s workplace precludes certain and swift action when “situations” arise. Some people finesse and bleed the system for all its worth and skillfully back organizations into a position where their balls are to the wall, they are rendered helpless. David outmatches Goliath.

Also, we must consider the fact my manager does not like me. She has never stated as much for obvious reasons, but I’m perceptive enough to see this less than subtle feedback. I have a friend who works in the department and she concurs with me in case you suspect I may harbor paranoid delusions. So my manager dislikes me, has used subterfuge and evasive inaction to stunt my progress or improvement within the company’s vertical ladder while rewarding other incompetent imbeciles who take up space in the department. Since 2007, my industry has been hammered by many extraneous events as well as having undergone tremendous sea changes in technology and job hunting is a harsh dead end. Perhaps I might have tried harder, but the point is, I have had no luck escaping this shithole. Every day I go to work my thankless and unappreciated void stares me back. Clocking in is a reminder of the futility of my work existence. It’s only by virtue of the fact that I have a “unique” temperament that I’m able to continue working under such condition while remaining essentially unscathed. I recognize what a piece of shit situation it is, but I’m able to remove myself from the situation and view it dispassionately.

Flash forward to the present: yesterday, our manager, in a hollow tribute to our trials over the past 3 months, gave us each two $250 gift cards. I have no idea why they were assorted this way, but I have my suspicions. Her story was that it was in our best interest not to receive the $500 as a payrolled bonus since taxes would take about $250 (rubbish). The other people in our small departmet were giddy even though some of them didn’t deserve a thing because not everyone has been carrying their weight for 3 months. I told my friend this is “hush money.” I was rewarded equally as someone else who has been routinely out or late for three months. Skating along while I’ve been working like a dog. And we both get an equal-sized bone.

Last night I stewed in the lies and empty gratitude on the part of my manager and the company. I’ve been thoroughly fucked by this person over the past 5 years. This morning, upon awaking, I made the decision I would not keep the money. I gave one of the cards to my friend who, despite comical protests to the contrary, finally accepted it with great relish. Early tonight she invited me to dinner, undoubtedly to be paid with the privileged treasure we had been rewarded. I was not in the mood, I told her no thank you. Sometimes when you’re taking the bus home you don’t want to talk or think.

Earlier, I took a walk to my parents and gave them the other card and my mom’s protest was a little more urgent. She repeated, 3 or 4 times, “David, you’re crazy, just take it!”

I made it clear that my decision was final. That money was bullshit and I would have no part of it. It was a bloody bribe. I told her that I was not going to be a whore, to which she replied, “Well going to work is being a whore, isn’t it? You’re being their whore?” I thought of it a little and chuckled. After I left, I realized the distinction. The whore effect from the $500 happens because of the ulterior motive and feigned kindness and phony thanks behind it. It was an effort to keep us quiet and working. Whereas going to a job is just a job and no one likes the other half of the necessary evil equation. That is more like a sinister duty slash slave relationship. Everybody gets a little but no one is really fucking anyone. Unlike the $500 which are purely salacious and thinly veiled manipulation.

I experienced a pang of regret earlier tonight, but really, what the hell am I going to do with $500? Buy some stupid crap I don’t need? Anything I want, I’ll just buy. I have my expenses under absolute control. I have no debt. I actually have my shit together and thus, less enslaved to the cosmetic kindness and mimicked benevolence of others. I am empowered to walk away from crocodile tears.

$500 would certainly have lessened the load for a little while but I’m willing to live as if I never had that money. I’ll do fine. But by ridding myself of the false cloak of thoughtfulness from my boss, I owe nothing to anyone, figuratively. Fuck them and their $500. It feels liberating to say that!

I feel that by accepting and using this money while harboring my slighted feelings of distrust and hurt is hypocritical.

Now, if I had REAL balls I’d take the 2 cards and give them back directly to my manager with a succinct explanation. Ah well, I’m not that tough.

Just $500 poorer.

The caretaker

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

I think Facebook cheapens emotions. Well, not Facebook only…not in and of itself. But Facebook is the dominant vehicle for cheapening of emotions. All socially intertwined facets of cyber communication share the blame. All mediums of communication that rely on small and unyielding keypads and fast-paced assembly of communication contribute to cheapen emotion.

All social e-wastelands commoditize emotions and are rife with “tritisms.” People spew tritisms in an tireless series of lonely monologues which are ultimately greeted with reciprocating tritisms and pretty soon we have one happy, gooey, disgusting party of tritisms and inauthentic camaraderie. When emotions are expressed in abundance they become mindless and devoid of sincerity. They become solely robotic words which lack the life force to sustain the emotion they supposedly announce.

It reminds how sometimes you encounter people in the hallways or on the street, and they automatically recite something like, “Hey David, how’s it going?” and as we pass I’ll say, “Good, thanks…!” and before I can finish, they continue, barely cognizant of my incomplete answer, “I’m good, thanks!” Socially, we are rehearsed and unimaginative creatures and we conduct our wry lives according to the plasticized and cookie cutter script we carry around in our pockets, but it doesn’t matter, for we’ve memorized it. We are roles on a stage, we are prefabricated social characters and tonight we fill this role and we are adept at repeating the social roles assigned. The dialogue is preset and hammered out like a steel girder our rail car must obey.

In the socially networked world with its fragmentary blurbs of half-assed thought, this has become increasingly common. Not to sound “sexist,” (never), most of the offenders are women. They shower their girlfriends with the faintest and most meaningless of niceties, a barrage of hollow platitudes. And their friends repeat the vacuous cheer right back, in incrementally increasing level of atrocious phoniness.

Lately I’ve noted the ever ubiquitous “miss you” in many forms and architectures, but always, it lacks sincerity and genuine measure of anguish. Miss you! Miss you alot! Miss you both! I see this phrase so often that I often wonder if “miss you” has become code for the simple, time-tested “hi!”

See, the emotion is cheapened beyond repair because I wonder if these empty-headed puppet drones even realize what it is to truly miss someone. To miss someone, when it’s a genuine article of soul-wrenching pain, is the most anguished state of helplessness someone can feel.

Missing someone means that the space they’ve left in their absence is filled with pulsing memories, and beyond that, a presence of the spirit they’ve vacated in your mind. To miss someone is to have lost a portion of your soul which will not be filled until they return, or if they never will return, never. We are whole beings and we apportion out parcels of our soul to others and we entrust them with our existence, a mutual sense of need and affirmation. The real estate is private and precious and when they are not in our life, for a day or for an eternity, it rests vacant with the life force planted in their absence.

They’ve left us to oversee the hollowness, and we are the caretaker.

The caretaker’s task is lonely and sad and distended with a longing hunger that cannot be quenched in this reality.

The caretaker misses you but he will not mindlessly notate it for the thought cannot escape the hungry grip of his heart.

Pardon me, you’re stepping on my revolution

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

Uh, I really need to speak with you.
I have something to say. Please don’t take it personally.

I need to state my piece. Please understand that I’m not casting judgment for I realize this is not an issue of right or wrong. It’s an issue of “different.” That’s all. If it’s comforting, ultimately, in this battle, I am the loser. Clearly. I am outnumbered.

I need to talk to you.
You see, everything you do and stand for really, really, really fucks it up for someone like me. It’s people like you. You material, status-striving robots. It’s a chain reaction, a row of dominoes and the fuse was lit long ago.

The fuse was Ego and it was Want. The fuse was the need, an internalized desire you nurtured. You bought into the cultural paradigm of possessions and status markers, and the more you accumulated, the more you wanted. The more you wanted, more protective you became of what you had earned and ultimately you became a sniveling member of respectable society while learning to play the game and how to adore the rules that incrementally bled your last vestiges of humanity away and buried them beneath your engorged pile of gold.

You really mess it up for me.

You’ve bought into this excruciating set of expectations. You accept them with the quiet and conformist blindness of a lemming. You are taught to want and crave objects and titles and money without question. Doubt has been expelled from your genes. You’ve been inculcated to accept a minimum threshold of existence and yet you want more, more, more. In order to continue climbing the ladder of attainment, you must immerse yourself deeper into the consumerist matrix. You learn to adulate the rules and subsume your individuality and originality in order to propound the illusion that you are featureless and obedient cog in the wheel. To upset things, to be a different-shaped cog, means that the gears and mechanisms wiill come to a grinding halt You must play your pre-ordained part.

The reason you mess things up for me is that you have no problem relinquishing your inherent power as a human to the counterbalancing hunger for all the material crap that life teases you with. And Status is a whore, willing to sell her soul in order to find a cheap and ego-pleasing dominion.

This treasure cove is not free and it is not handed to you. You must work for it. So in the sphere of work you happily further subsume your humanity to a faceless corporate entity and you dare not take the shape of a disagreeable cog for you need this job because you need everything you are paying for and happily indebted to. Including your sanity to the tendrils of rules and governance.

You are a willing slave and you screw it up for people like me who fight the slavery. You underbid me at every turn because you need to pay the mortgage!

I fight the slavery.

I shield myself against the horrors of popular sociey with untenable displays of autonomy and self-respect. But no one cares because someone like you will step in and sell your last drop of blood in order to prop up the cannibalistic system which thrives on people willing to live their life at a 60% level of humanity while trying to fill in the other 40 with houses, cars, salaries, bonuses, gym memberships, cable packages, Smart TV’s, Smart phones, designer coffee. You are easy prey for the masters when they come looking for obsequious slave labor. And there you are, happily bounding into their arms like the shell of a person you are, simply so you can fulfill the materialistic dynamic. For what?

And there I am, stupid me, scaling back, eschewing as many material comforts and longings as possible because I refuse to be indentured to any master, but instead of making a sensational statement that has an effect, I’m easily ignored and defanged because of people like you, people who continue to feed the system with ill-advised and single-minded base desires. Mute obedience are the pillars and archways of the oligarchical global castle.

The revolution is for sale. The revolution invariably is rooted from within and thus will always bolster the reigning paradigm. Revolutions are not about economics or equality or health care or access or overthrow; revolution as it is envisioned is molded within the framework of needs and wants and thus does not look backwards or in any direction other than the attainment of MORE. The attainment of more colludes to collect our forces while simultaneously imparting the illusion that there are divergent goals and agendas.

If the common goal is proliferation of charmed self-deception, what does it matter if we travel roads rife with conflicting ideologies. The goal is the same.

The only revolution is the negation of the forward inertia of human ambition. The revolution is to stop.

The real real revolution is a backwards spin, a knuckle-ball of values that departs from common trajectory. It is to not want, to defy the nature of modern man.

You and your type. All you do is want and want and want. And want.

You really fuck me up.

A clash of titans or a stupid soccer game?

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

OK man, not to sound overly John Lennon-ish, but nations and countries are BS.
Borders, artificial nationalism, pure. BS.

Nations are just large clubs. Minus the dorky tree house or the boy scout pledge.

Old boy-, old girl-, clubs, full of crap sickening conglomerations of borders and anthems and patriotic values rounding up disparate groups of unlike people faced with no choice but to recite the niceties of allegiances to colorful flags, rah rah. Let’s cheer our toilet country, let’s proclaim our might over a globe of parceled and meaningless human symbolism. Let’s cut mountain ranges in half; let’s slice through mighty gorges and seas; let’s dissect the mightiest and driest of deserts; let’s defeat nature with the nonsensical whims of human nationalism!

Because earlier there was a soccer game, I think it’s over, but frankly I have no idea.
Mexico and the U.S. were paired off which made for a schizophrenic day in East L.A. because split loyalties abounded and clashed. Some people drove around with Mexican flags fluttering from their cars and trucks. I heard some people say they would be happy regardless of which country won. Still, when all was said and done, a few minutes ago or so, cars all over this town began honking and fireworks started blasting into the night sky. Being the social investigator that I am, I went for a walk. You know, to get a pulse of the atmosphere. Just as I thought. It was a warm day here and everyone was outside. Music blared loudly, Spanish banda bullshit headache-inducing noise, mindless rap blaring its ghetto rhythms. A few helicopters hovered in the sky, no doubt awaiting the brown horde of hoodlums and trouble. An ambulance flew by, siren wailing. Every once in a while a house with lights and music greeted me and groups of people talking loudly and incoherently while music blasted. And cars honked at each other as they drove down the main thoroughfare. Mindless bullshit.

Mexico, United States, who cares. Soccer, who cares even less?
It’s all crap and boring and I felt delightfully disconnected walking alone on the dark street, uncommitted to celebrating anything or anyone. Hell with the Institutions!

Mexico sucks, the United States sucks, soccer sucks, groups of people suck.

People gather in order to exemplify a long lost yearning to be stupid and mindless.
We like to be sheep, don’t we? We are helpless without our stupid flock and flag/constitution garbage which announces who and what we mindlessly stand for.

What would we do without borders?

****

I finished my first draft then checked out the local news.
Ah yes, this was rowdy but it turned out good.

I’m proud of my people.
No one burnt a car or smashed window.
Some drunk hoodlums but it’s no worse than what you see in Boston or London or Vancouver.

Still. Who cares. About soccer or blind allegiance.

Plus, it was worth the price of admission to hear a police officer tell us to party “respectively” at the end of the video.

I guess police are not hired for articulataion, are they?”