Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saving the Canaries

As I sat here today, contemplating the construction of a hay bale hogan, as well as several post-apocalyptic scenarios, I was struck by several thoughts. The first...that if man is forced to live underground in the post-nuclear apocalyptic world, then the canary might just be the most important thing to keep around. I mean, given the continued deterioration of human intuitive intellect, it might be a good idea to have the invisible-gas-detecting canary around. No sense heaping apocalypse on top of apocalypse (Yeah, I understand that it's not such a good deal for the canary). The second is a little more unusual. Given the value we place on time, it seems to me that we should finally get a grip on it. I'm ok with seeing time strictly as a perception, but since we all seem to perceive it, perhaps it really does possess some sort of physical form. Anyway, what really caught my attention was the thought, that if light and sound travel at vastly different speed, how can we really be sure that the lightning and the thunder don't happen at the same time. Anyway, that brings me to the point of this post.

I was helping Little Man with his vocabulary yesterday, and I realized that certain words held his interest while others didn't. And I think there is a valid reason for this. I did some soul searching and realized that for me, the time when I became excited by the word 'floccinaucinihilipilificaton' had already arrived, yet my excitement over 'esoteric' might never (to this day I resist using that word). I have been fortunate over the last several years to observe (albeit from a distance) the intellectual and emotional growth patterns of kids with super high IQs. The simple fact is that the specific elements, within the broad spectrum of human development, evolve asynchronously. This might appear as an ability to conceptualize higher order calculus before they can add and subtract; or perhaps, in a more illustrative example, while they may fully understand human sexual conduct as toddlers, in their mid-teen years, when they might set about exploring, they are highly resistant of learning to drive, thereby denying themselves the possibility of enjoying their first blowjob in the privacy of their mother's van (their mother's sexual behavior in vans is a subject for an entirely different post). It may be true that on an intellectual level, these profoundly-gifted kids reside well outside the bell curve of measurable intellect, but it is also true that throughout human history we have examined the extreme to understand the median. It is in this vein that I have arrived at my recent epiphany; that all learning is asynchronous. A.S. Neill and Summerhill aside, we have continued to insist that our children who sit under the mushroom cap learn the same things at the same time. It could certainly be argued that AE possessed an intellect far outside the curve, but it can also be reasonably argued the The General Theory of Relativity was posited by an impoverished, womanizing patent clerk. Asynchronicity in a nutshell.

Which brings me to quantum physics. While it is true that there are several aspects, several quanta, that we have not as yet verified, there remain a significant number of theorists that believe that upcoming experiments at the Cern super collider will bring the Higgs to light. While there is much mathematical support for this belief, it still must be viewed as a leap of faith and intuition. And it is this very thing that we deny our children. Education has eradicated both the leap of faith and intuition. The world of academia reinforces this. The current trends in both primary and secondary education emphasize what we already believe we know, at the cost of ignoring what we don't know, and higher education, for the most part, proceeds forward in the delusion that what comes next will come from what we believe is. There is a world where one plus one does not equal two. There is a world where music is not based on the western chromatic scale. There is a world where one can make sense of a Jackson Pollock painting. There is a world where dance reveals wisdom. Indeed, there is a world where' q's are not followed by 'u's. I, for one, don't give a flying fuck if my son knows when the Magna Carta was signed. I would rather that he intuit that the path from the Code of Hammurabi led us straight to the bible which led us straight to the broken legal system we have today, where personal accountablilty means absolutely nothing. I would rather he see a world where an 'eye for an eye' is outdated; or more to the point, I would rather he see his world, which looks nothing like mine; a world that is not created from the rigidity of my knowledge; a world that is not restricted, not bound by the chains of my future, but rather set free with the unforeseen possibilities of his. It is time to teach them that being wrong carries no shame; that the wrong we burden them with is our wrong, not theirs; that the shame we force upon them is founded in our inability to consider that they may be right.

Perhaps it truly is time to let the canary go, and inhale the toxic fumes of our own inertia. Perhaps it is time to try to remember that we have been wrong before, will be wrong again, and that the truth is much simpler than we paint it. If there is a paradise to come, it will not come from god. It will not come from us. It will arrive on the wings of angels, our children, if we let them fly, ungrounded in our haughtiness and arrogance. We need to let them fly free, that they might see what we cannot, soaring in the realm of unencumbered imagination. There is no such thing as gravity.

Friday, October 29, 2010


I do believe that my father's simple act of retrieving me from the playgrounds of my youth, clad only in his boxer shorts, represents a sterling example of humanity's self-defeated aspirations to move beyond the stultifying, self-imposed restraints that we place upon ourselves, as we continue to walk the snail-paced, evolutionary path enclosed in the boxes of our past. Of course, to put it in perspective, this occurred at a time when swimming laps at the YMCA, for old and young alike, was done clad only in the speedo that god gave you. (to be 'stark fucking naked'). And, as I witnessed yesterday, there is no clearer example of the faulty, tenuous foundations of our current evolutionary path than fat women on bicycles, sauntering along on their way to foregone obesity, and unavoidable death; clearly displaying our desire to cling to what we are not; a clear vision of our dissatisfaction with what we are.

And while I have had several sexual dalliances with fat women, it is not my preference (I prefer light at the beginning of the tunnel). I believe my attitude results from the understanding that fat people have fat kids, rather than from some innate aesthetic preference. And, as usual, this entire bit of writing has nothing to do with where I'm headed.

So, let me continue by saying that stupid people have stupid kids, or rather raise stupid kids, and that, as a species, we are locked in the stupidity of what we believe (and yes, I am going to pick on god); and, once again, allow me to assert that our firm handhold on what we have accomplished locks our children's ability to proceed creatively in a vise of binding haughtiness.

As it would be unfair of me to present this argument without concrete examples, let me begin with a story; a story of a woman, a mother, so self-centeredly immersed in a cell phone conversation with her significant other, trying to decide whether to buy the Sunday morning doughnuts at Honeydew or Dunkin', who ran over a young girl on a bicycle while exiting the church parking lot. Clearly, her habitual, hour-long communion with god didn't bring her any closer to a state of grace, to a place of communion with both the divine and the earthly, than the sugar high of a cruller would. She clearly exited the the parking lot at Saint Edward of the Creme-filled wrapped in the tiny, limited awareness of her own life, rather than in the expansive domain of divine universality.

If we accept the free will part of the free will vs determinism thing, then why do we insist on determining our children's lives? Why do we insist on passing on our ineffectual belief in whatever god, when it should be clear that our children possess, at birth, a much clearer, wonder-filled vision of divinity? We were all kids once. We all once saw a world filled with infinite, divine possibility. Yet we choose to give up that wunderkind vision, and instead wrap ourselves in the shroud of dogmatic religiosity. God is not only holding us back, he is killing our children's future. There will never be a second coming, never be a messiah riding a white horse, because we are locked in the ancient hope of it, rather than creating it, and we choose to lock our children into our inertia. Our children are born with the vision and capability of creating something much closer to paradise, yet we kill their creative possibilities; kill them dead, for only in death do we ascend.

And the same can be said about government. It may very well be true that the democratic model our forefathers penned was as good as it could get when it was written. Yet, rather than choosing to help it evolve, we have chosen to take that which we accept on faith (our right to freedom), and amend it with restrictions to what it may have accomplished. If we truly aspired to greatness, then long ago we would have ceased killing the innocence.

And the same can be said of of education. Our blind faith in pi (as inexact a godhead as one can find) is no less injurious than our belief in any other higher power.

I would never deny your right to believe what you want. That is your choice, but please understand that what you believe has nothing to do with the truth. We have lost sight of the truth. Our children's future does not belong to us. It belongs to them. We are simply the hosts. We should provide them with the tools for survival. We should not, however, fuck with their dreams. Our dreams have no relevance to their future; only theirs do. Our manic belief, that we have a legacy to pass along, is a false belief. Our only real gift is allowing our children to become. What we have wrought, let every child put asunder. Put on you boxer shorts, and walk alongside them, as they learn to move forward on their own two wheels.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bleak House

I probably stand alone in this, but it disturbs me greatly that all of our current cyberpunk visions of the future seem to involve military resolution, and i guess that's because I see no real value to the military today, let alone a hundred years from now. And it also disturbs me that our creative imaginations seem to build all these stories using weapons that currently exist. Imagine ending a battle utilizing a weapon that causes all the opposing forces to have simultaneous orgasms; thousands of soldiers surrendering in the throes of booming, echoing "oh my god" s. But I digress.

With election day approaching, it is interesting to note (at least, to me), that we have no real coherent vision of the future. We simply cannot see beyond next Tuesday, and I believe that is because the human brain has not evolved as quickly as human accomplishment, or the human wallet. I would support this with two observations. First, the economy will continue to worsen; not because there are not jobs out there, but rather because the unemployed are not qualified to fill them. The baby boomers, once so enamored of a better vision of the world, have found that they are only qualified to bilk the masses, and delight in the stupor of knowing that we gave our children the same world we started out with. We have insisted on educating them in the same recidivist methods that led us to the great disparity in wealth in which we currently reside; that led us to the same world in which violent resolution is the happily accepted answer. We have stolen our children's imagination, and we delight in the false belief that they are any better prepared than we were. Second, although not unrelated, is the current thought, that within the next 30-40 years, the knowledge gained, in the first year or two of a college education, will be obsolete by graduation time. While, on it's face, this disturbs me, my perturbation is more greatly enhanced in the understanding that we in no way have thought about how to change it. I think the simple answer is that we need to change our educational methods now, in order that our children can actualize their own dreams, instead of actualizing ours (which are already outdated). We cannot fire their imaginations by having them read The Last of the Mohicans, when the only remaining Mohican is a casino in Connecticut. In the most optimistic light, the above observations may be painted as poor planning; in the dire and actual light, it may be painted as debilitating haughtiness. It actually doesn't matter if they can spell 'nihilipilification'; it matters more that we can translate 'fml'.

I have read recently, that it is probable that we may indeed choose to create an upper strata of genetically enhanced humans; that we will be able to design our unborn child, making him or her much 'better' than the natural result. Of course, this will only occur for those parents that can afford it; those parents still blind enough to believe that fucking with nature is a good idea. I, or course, believe that this is unnecessary. I can envision a future where an intellectually and cognitively superior subset of our progeny...those naturally able to stay ahead of rapidly shifting paradigms...will rule the world, leaving 99.9% of the remainder drooling in front of their televisions watching the World's Got Talent.

Of course, part of my vision also includes salvation, provided perhaps by some unborn human, who refuses to let us kill his/her creativity, who sits outside the box, resplendent in his/her own oddity, who sees a better way, who somehow embraces the wherewithal to understand what I'm saying.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Octopus and the Cockroach

I learned a few things this week, which will probably impact greatly the remaining time I have left in this short, happy life. The sudden realization that the octopus is the smartest creature on earth filled me with a science fiction dread of Kraven proportion. It was difficult enough to accept that the octopus not only has a main brain, but a sub-brain in each of his arms. And to top it all off, his cock sits at the end of one of those arms. Now I know that it is fairly well accepted that a man thinks with his penis, but as far as I know, there isn't an actual brain there. Furthermore, I also learned that the octopus' camouflage is not an instinctual response; it is an act of will. The octopus observes his surroundings, and changes his color, color pattern, and texture almost willing it. There have been several trysts in my life where this ability would have been greatly beneficial, but, alas, I am not as smart as an octopus.

I also learned this week that a cockroach can live for up to a week after being decapitated. While I am not certain which OCD scientist discovered this glorious fact, it clearly demonstrated to me that the head is not all that important. Since I have lived most of my life trying not to use my brain, this revelation had a certain calming effect on me. Clearly, it's not about what you know. It's all about what you don't know.

It was at this point that it all became very serious. The octopus' mom dies very soon after the emergence of her offspring. The little octopi never get the opportunity to learn anything from mom. She teaches them nothing, and they flip-flop-zoom off into the big blue ocean with only the wits they were born with. While I'm not advocating that human mothers should die after childbirth (or fathers, for that matter), I am suggesting that our children don't really need us to teach them anything; in fact, as I stated in my last post, by teaching our children what we think we know, we are doing them an evolutionary disservice. I mean they seem to come with the basics. They know where the milk is, they evacuate waste in most prolific displays, they smile when they're happy...and cry when they need. And in my own neonatal world, I learned all on my own that sticking your finger in a wall socket is a bad idea. Now the boys will learn everything they need to know about sex in a gooey, REM ejaculation...and, as is evidenced in today's world, girls don't really need to learn to spread their legs. And god knows, they all learn quickly enough that the food is in the refrigerator.

Now don't get me wrong. Passing along your legacy is probably an innate need. So I did teach my kids to hit a baseball, although my son surpassed me in that area a long time least age appropriately. And I do build a pretty good campfire, and generally, use power tools without injury, and there are some who rave about my cooking, in a comfort sort of way. But it all became clearer to me when I started thinking about how and why I write.

I write because it is important to me; it is important to me to express how I see the world and the people in it. But it is important to note that I write from within my own perspective (as does any other writer), and that perspective is shaped by what I 'learn'. And while I truly believe that what I 'learn' has value, it only has value within the 'time' the universe has given time. My knowledge has relevance in my timeframe, not in the timeframe of my children. That I also believe that what I know and believe may offer valuable lessons to others, may carry some universal truth, is merely testament to my ego. That I believe that I think 'outside the box' may be true, but I have simply learned to live outside of MY box, shaped by my history, my present, and my hint of the future, and my future has nothing to do with the future of my children. I can't write computer code. Fuck, I can barely type. I cannot truly perceive a computer that is 'smarter' than I am, yet it will likely arrive before I perish. There are myriads of things that will emerge in my son's life of which I cannot conceive. Yet I am not afraid of his future. I just don't know anything about it. I am certain, however, that the 'box' of my life will not serve him. If I simply offer my 'box' as my legacy, he will not imagine how his world might become. My 'box' only offers him my limits, and he is limitless. We need to understand, in our own lives and in what we teach out children, that the mind that creates a problem cannot discover the solution, at least not without some kind of paradigm shift. The solutions exist in the undefined areas of our 'circles', and it is those blurry spaces that terrify us...that limit our ability to leap...that limit our willingness to do. This, of course, fully explains why the cures we create carry the unfortunate side effect of killing us as well.

It should be easy to see, for all but the completely blind, that our continued efforts to preserve our boxes, and to pass them along, erases their imagined possibilities; that by educating our children in the rote of what opposed to the wonder of what could be...the wonder of what hasn't even been seen failing them completely. After thousand of years, all our science cannot account for two-thirds of the mass of the universe (although we did discover the Lyman-Alpha Blob, a triadic favorite), yet we insist on believing that our dark matter forms a foundation for what they might imagine and create. We insist they start from what we cannot see, but think we know. It seems to me that they are better served if, like the octopus mom, we let them 'see' with our eyes closed.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Passing it Forward

A friend of mine recently posted something called 'Improved Communication:Improved Outcome', and it suddenly struck me how much I adore generalizing, which of course, led me to see that this very specious notion, that of desired improvement in communication, is exactly what is wrong with the human species.

How, you ask, can improved communication be a bad thing? Let me answer that for you.

The basic problem is that we are inherently stupid, yet choose to believe that we are smarter than dogs, which is clearly not the case. We perceive ourselves to be more intelligent than every other creature, yet we describe our world as dog-eat-dog. I'm thinking that if we ate everyone we killed, we might be closer to who we are actually supposed to be. Imagine if we asked our soldiers to survive on Afghan-kebabs. Seems and feels just! And they could survive on GI Bourguignon. But I digress, as this post is supposed to be about general stupidity; not my own.

As I have clearly stated before, our prolonged state of stupidity is evidenced by several of our chosen beliefs; i.e. that alien abductions only occur in the Ozarks, that the virgin Mary only appears in western European towns beginning with 'f', and that we continue to learn and grow after the age of five. This was clearly shown in the classic book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, in which the author demonstrates our insistence of extricating every shred of creativity from our children's minds. There are several reasons for this phenomenon. The first, that creativity has never served the parent in any useful way, and the second, that most parents are completely unable to envision where the world is headed. I proved this to myself recently, as I tried to impart the wonder of Fibonacci numbers to my 12-year old son, knowing full well that I could no longer see the wonder in them myself.

Passing along our genes is a primal human requisite, but no more powerful than our need to pass along what we think we know; but what we think we know in no way serves our children. Let me illustrate. It was the contention of some famous guy that if we fail to learn from history, then we are doomed to repeat it. Well clearly, we have not learned anything from history, as we continue to engage in 'dooming' behaviors. We demand that our children excel in a series of standardized tests, designed to insure that they get the facts straight, but the truth is that those 'facts' that we deem important excise any creative solutions from their little minds and bodies. They prohibit them from growing forward, retard them into a vision of life that is no different than our own, and hence, we fail to evolve.

Sir Ken Robinson tells a telling story in one of his talks on TED. A young girl is drawing a picture during class, and the teacher asks her what she is doing.

"I'm drawing a picture of God"

"But no one knows what God looks like"

"They will in a minute"

Children see the world wide open, as we did before we were taught to 'know' things. They imagine things, intuit things, uncorrupted with 'knowledge'. And they actually know how to love. We teach love right out of them, trying to shape it in our own failed image. Wives are always asking for better communication, but what they are really asking for is some sort of reinforcement for what they think they know. (OK, they probably DO know more, but they also are firmly resistant to what they don't know). What they are really asking for is connection, but that is taught out of us very early on. We can no longer imagine connection. Children don't need to imagine it. It is simply a part of being a child. Yet we choose to teach them a static world, while they would simply continue to live in a dynamic world.

It's time to admit that you are not smarter than a fifth grader; to understand that what you 'know' should not be taught. You should teach what you learn...not back then...but right now. Our role should be to allow. If you learn nothing else from this post, learn this. Your children were born better...than what you have become; that what we 'communicate' is actually 'communicable', like a disease.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

On a More Personal Note

I seem to be fascinated with whoever finds their way to my blog recently, and I spend an inordinate amount of time in Google analytics, trying to discern why anyone would read what I write. I am indeed read internationally (although it would appear that most visitors don't waste much time reading), and although I must admit that most visitors seem to be of the 'western' ilk, I get enough from the Asian subcontinent to constitute a sizable percentage of the minuscule sampling. And the most notable trend among my readers leads me to a rather disturbing conclusion. NO ONE SEEMS TO KNOW WHERE THEY ARE.

The vast majority of my readers (not including the three or four that are my friends) arrive at the Great Triad via various search engines, and all seem to be concerned with the difference between 'space' and 'place'. I would have thought, that after millennia of exploratory angst, we might have found something approaching an answer. This is damning evidence indeed of the snail's pace of both our intellectual and spiritual evolution. So it seems that it is up to me to provide humanity with the answer. It's really quite a forest-for-the-trees sort of way...WE ARE HERE.

Now the Pirate has her version of the struggle. She flies her skull-and-crossbones while alternately sailing the choppy seas of reality, and the unnavigable oceans of the ethereal, but it is clear to this writer that she is right where she belongs; landlocked in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, talking to bullsnakes and chipmunks; failing to see that myriads of gypsies and cartoon characters delight in sailing alongside. Yet she is happily aware, that as the crone of sea captains, she is leading pirate fledglings on the righteous path of looting and plunder.

And Gail. Well, her course is different. She alternates between the stairclimber of simple joys, and the crutches of ancient pain. But she's long as her storehouse of frozen hotdogs, and the occasional icepack are at the ready. And she is, for the most part, happy and satisfied...settled into where she belongs...content with the simplicity of home and hearth.

Now the Nun is a rather convoluted story. Too many self realized facets. She stands very strong as the mother bear, falls down a lot as the girl, and is as blind to herself as any mexican freetail. While she is perhaps the most embodied human I know, she can't quite figure out who should take the point on her path through the moss covered woods...alternating between Mr. Head, Mrs. Heart, and Mademoiselle Snatch. But when she finds her moments, she finds them wrapped in unbridled joy...and she finds them often...or maybe they find her. Either way, I'm certain that all of her will find her way...once she remembers...once she figures out that it's OK that everyone loves her...even if they don't understand why they do.

And what do they have in common you ask. They have all suffered a mighty blow to the head...two literally, one metaphorically...and all have realized that no matter how hard the hit, you can't get knocked out of an infinite space. It's all there...and you're right smack dab in the middle...wrapped in love...with all direction and choice there for the matter how much your head hurts...

So, as the sun reveals for the first time in several days, I guess it's time to offer a little of myself. As I erase the lines of my life...some drawn with the momentary twitch of thumb and forefinger...some drawn with the powerful drag of heels...I find myself dropped into the middle of the great unknown...and I suspect that this is where I have always belonged. My blows to the head are too innumerable to recount here, but I have followed my own advice. You can't sleep when concussed, and you simply need to stay awake to see that you are here. You can't paint a blank whole. You shouldn't. It is perfect...simply waiting for you to withstand the blow...get back on your feet....maybe bleed a little...and to stand within.

They say you make your own luck. I'm feeling very lucky today.