There is growth in striving for greater and greater honesty as we go through life. Not only in the more obvious ways, but in seeking out and expressing those truths which are hidden deep within. Not necessarily for others, but more importantly for our selves.
Tiny perfect pear
When you wanted to eat it
You had to bite small
Every life is like
One spark, streak
In a firework
Arcing in the vast sky
Burning bright for just a moment
Part of a grand show
How small are we?
How small is each life?
Are you part of the finale?
Or part of the explosion of
One, solitary rocket?
How high does the rocket bearing you go
Before you begin your searing journey?
It’s not within your control
When you resist the vision
It is painful, lonely, small
When you accept the vision
The understanding brings comfort
There is no need to suffer
Give a good show
The whole world is a show
Enjoy the show
It is all that we have
It is all that there is for us
One of the best deals I got this year was a $3.14 subscription to Scientific American magazine’s electronic edition in honor of Pi Day (3/14). Their iPad version (not simply the PDF) really is excellent and although probably a subtle thing for most I find it much easier to stay focused reading from a screen (where there’s not a visual/tactile reminder of “how much left there is to read”) than from a printed copy. Or perhaps it’s my addiction to electronic devices.
Added my voice to this petition: http://www.freeandopenweb.com/
“Our future on this planet depends on open communication and sharing of all information. No authority can be trusted to restrict or encourage what can or can’t be communicated. Although there will always be pockets of what we do not like or even what we consider harmful being spoken or transmitted, the way to combat this is not by pushing such communication underground (by restricting what can be said on the network; it will still be said or thought), rather by allowing freedom of all communication, and by shining a spotlight on what we intend to expose and change, openly. It is not the fault of the network; the network itself is good, like air and water. Far more good will flow through it than any bad, and people everywhere need to breathe. An open Internet is our best hope for the eventual alleviation of global suffering, prevention of catastrophe, and fostering of a sense of universal kinship leading to peace, someday, across all humanity. “
There are thought experiments we can perform. This article at Sentient Developments, Future Risks and the Challenge to Democracy, makes me think about the concept of dangerous information. Is there truly dangerous information? Conceptually, let’s say there were a “magic word” which, when uttered, would destroy the universe. (The Monty Python sketch about the world’s funniest joke comes to mind.) More seriously, some day we might have personal matter-assembly devices for which we download programs for the objects and devices we desire to be created. A dangerous code package could program the assembler to create a devastating super-weapon. Further, I don’t think that controls built in to the assembler itself could prevent dangerous programs from being executed; a hacked or “rooted” assembler might be the first step on a terrorist’s (I’m hesitant to use that word; I think future “terrorism” will not be the result of religious fundamentalism but rather on mental abnormality we perceive as sickness) agenda.
I want to think more about this. I think that we do have things to fear, and that we will address them, often with great pain and difficulty. But I think that the way to progress is not through contraction, suppression, retreat; but rather by cautiously and optimistically moving forward, while trusting in certain principles: that open sharing of all information is a good thing, to begin with.
Everything ages eventually.
Everything wilts eventually.
Everything dies eventually.
How do we manage our energy until then?
The universe is a grand dance of energy.
I renounce my attempts to use gender-neutral pronouns for talking about hypothetical people. It’s much less cumbersome to use “he” or “she,” and the writing sounds more elegant. It creates a more concrete image. Feels less dry or technical. I think that in writing we may want to use a technique of simply flipping a coin to determine which pronoun to use for the duration of a particular example. Or, simply use what feels right for each case, and for the flow of cases. Don’t worry about favoring one gender over another for particular roles. It’s just a matter of style over which you have complete freedom of choice, and so what if your unconscious biases show through? These biases are reflective of truth. Your choice, in every example, is communicative. But do not be afraid of that communication.
At the same time, I liked the idea Greg Egan used in his science fiction novel Diaspora where the pronouns “ve,” “vis” and “ver” referred to, in that case, specific asexual beings.
I’d like to see the above pronouns incorporated into the English language, but not as a universal usage for cases of unknown gender — rather for the case that a specific individual chooses to not identify with either gender. It does seem a bit far-fetched though to suggest that along with the arbitrary choice or coin-flip mentioned above for talking about a non-specific person, we might want to throw in some very small chance of selecting a third set of pronouns. Language is imprecise enough as it is that we’re probably better off not spending much time thinking about such things.
You tend to multitask when none of the activities you’re doing is engaging enough.
Robert Anton Wilson was a genius trying to explain his truths to the world through a small hole at the end of a narrowing tunnel.
People spend a lot of time worrying about what others believe. I think what’s more important is: what are you going to do with what you believe?