The Grog Blog

Every man dies, not every man truly lives.

What do you believe in your life?
Are these things true? Are they really true?
Have you ever even thought about it?

Do you even care if what you believe is actually true?
Getting Real

As I take some time off from the economic world and find myself experiencing a pseudo-sabatical I can't help but fall prey to my mind as it observes and tries to make sense of life around me within this slower pace.
I suppose with a lot of free time, one is afforded the luxury of mulling things over a bit more completely and perhaps slightly deeper than most people care to. Perhaps mulling them a bit TOO much (so I've been told).
This is a statement on our free will (the lack thereof) and the false beliefs we may hold if we don't take time to understand and see what is really going on around us.

Free Will and the Rat Race

Vegans. Vegetarians. Meat eaters. Bug eaters. Weed eaters.
What can morality say and dictate about what we choose to put
into our stomachs or not?

Can what I choose to eat make me a bad person? A strange person?
A good person?
Morality and Eating Meat

                                                                                -George Carlin-

Here is a little essay I wrote about some Einstein physics.
              E=mc2 on the Mind
I call this one a little E=mc2 on the Mind

Here's some useless party-chat information for you to interject into the conversation while you're standing there swaying back and forth with a drink in your hand, trying to think of something clever to say...
It is impossible to fold a sheet of paper in half, over and over, more than 7 times.
It doesn't matter what size it is (even a great big sheet of the newspaper). Try it yourself if you don't believe me.
When you're finished folding it 7 times this little bundle is a certain thickness.
Well, how thick do you think it would be if you could theoretically fold it in half 50 times in a row? 4 inches? A foot? 2 feet thick?
It would actually be about 100,000,000 miles thick (yup, that's one hundred million)!
It would stretch from the top of the table all the way to the Sun and beyond it!
I know this is hard to believe but it's true.
It's simple math --- ain't math grand?...*burp*

I'm a bit of a 'probability' fan.
I've written a lot of articles about it in the past.
Some articles I've long since lost and I regret that a bit.
A few of my posted essays were read from time to time and over the years I've gotten the odd emails about them; arguing, agreeing, discussing, all kinds...

But I was once specifically asked about, and then decided to investigate, the actual odds of playing and winning at the game of Craps, a Vegas standard. Well, it turns out it's much more involved than a giddy holiday-person might think.

So, as you plunk another 20 buck bill down and exuberantly scream out, "Momma needs a new pair of shoes!", here's some things to keep in mind...

  Crappy Chances? Crappy Chances?

A young guy and girl were married in Winnipeg back when Canada was still a new country. They heard of good farm land up in northern Saskatchewan and decided to move out there, set up a homestead and start a new life.

The trip was incredibly slow and arduous. They crawled along in a horse drawn cart over rough, rutted fields, dense brush, creek and river crossings, mud when it rained and blistering heat when it didn’t. The young lady wasn’t used to tough conditions like this and was of a rather delicate disposition. During the journey the mosquitoes tormented them unbelievably. As she rode on the cart she tried to cover herself with blankets but they still managed to get to her body and sting and prick her over and over, hundreds and hundreds of times a day. In the evening and during the night they were even worse.

She complained to her husband who was guiding the horse along on foot up ahead. She’d scream out that they were eating her alive!! and would he pleeeeease just shoot her and put her out of her misery!!

He’d laugh at this to try to lighten the situation and apologize that things were so uncomfortable. He told her to hang in there, they’d be at their new place in a few more weeks. So they continued on and each day was like the one before and the poor girl was soon covered head to toe with bites and sores from the ravaging insects.

One morning the guy got up as usual after camping for the night to get ready for another day’s journey. He reached over for his gun and holster and found the pistol missing. He then noticed his wife wasn't around and went looking for her. He found she had taken the revolver in the night, went over a rise and had shot herself in the head. She couldn’t take it anymore and she was finally out of her misery I suppose.

That little hill is called ‘Bride’s Hill’ to this day and she's buried beneath it. . .

Have you ever been called flighty?
A dreamer?
Too much of an idealist?
Strange? Unusual? Different?
Consider them compliments.
I think you're doing something right in your life if people conclude these things about you.

After all, we'd be nowhere without the dreams and visions of a few, odd individuals...

             Fields and Fields and Fields of Dreams
Fields and fields and fields of Dreams


"Dear Diary,
Day 10: They still haven't discovered that I'm only a chicken...
For now, my mission continues."


You can't predict what might happen in your day to
cause you to go off on some unexpected tangent or other.

Today I think Gravity Sucks!

(I might be a bit hyperbolic here... but I'm not so sure)

Some of my neighbor’s kids were once building a project for school.
One day while I was visiting their dad, a friend of mine, they proudly showed me their model of the inner solar system. They had a basketball for the Sun, a golf ball for Mercury, a tennis ball for Venus, a baseball for Earth, and a racketball for Mars. They had them all painted up and mounted on a black 4’ by 4’ piece of plywood with the orbits painted for each one in nice silver circles.

They were so happy with their efforts. —— I hadn't the heart to point out that the scale was all wrong. They didn't have any idea that the Earth would only be the size of an apple seed and be more than 85 or 90 feet away from the basketball if everything was done to scale.

That's the trouble with our universe.
It's so unimaginably huge it doesn't translate easily to models and I don't think too many people actually envision just how big it really is. We see a nice picture of the solar system in a book, for example, and think that's what it's like. But in fact, there is no way to accurately represent the scale of our solar system on any page in a book.
The planets would be too tiny to see on a page or/and all of them would have to be positioned so very distantly, right off that page to begin with, to be right.


How do you give people insight into such things? It made me think...

I decided, on a lark, that I wanted to try to build a little model like the kid's but I'd use my computer instead and I'd make it to the exact scale of things out there in our solar system. I also wanted to somehow include the concept of light speed which in turn would introduce a sense of the passage of time to the model. (I think we don't see the significance of distances in models of the cosmos when we stand over them like giants and are able to move and shift our focus and attention across them at speeds that would violate the laws of physics in real life).

It turned out to be a fairly quick undertaking, but I think it kind of helps one get a feel for the vast distances out there.

             From the Sun to the Earth at Light Speed!
From the Sun to the Earth at Light Speed!

Here's another tool I thought up years ago.
You can use it to help visualize things when playing around with the vast distances of our solar system. It'll help you when trying to realize the huge scales of and between, objects in our existence....

The Toilet Paper Solar System

This is a morse code generator.
Type something and it'll convert it into the 'dots
and dashes' of morse code.
You can then send it out over the telegraph that
your great or great-great grandpa left you...

Type in a word or phrase:




You should always keep in mind the true nature of the ones you're trying to please...

The Snake and the Woman

There was once a poor farmer who could afford to own just one horse.
He cared well for the animal but one summer night it escaped through a weak fence and ran away.

When his neighbors discovered what had happened they visited to offer their condolences.
"What bad luck!" they exclaimed.

The farmer looked at them for a bit and then quietly replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

A week later the fugitive horse happened to saunter back to the homestead but was now accompanied by six wild horses.
The farmer and his son managed to corral all of them.

Again the neighbors descended.
"What great luck!" they exclaimed.

"Maybe," the farmer quietly replied as he gazed out at his new animals, "Maybe not."

Soon the farmer's son began the work of taming the new arrivals.
But while attempting to ride one wild stallion, he was abruptly thrown to the ground and haIf trampled.
His leg was badly broken.

The nosey neighbors once again came to investigate.
"What terrible luck!" they exclaimed.

The farmer looked at his injured son and replied, "Maybe. Maybe not."

The next day soldiers visited the farmer's village.
Strife had suddenly broken out between two warlords in the area and one of them had come to conscript all the local young men to fight for him.
Though every other son was commandeered, the farmer's boy was exempted because of his injury.

The neighbors gathered again.
"What fantastic luck!" they exclaimed.

"Maybe," the farmer said, "Maybe not."

Perspective is a very important tool to have.
Hone yours well.
It'll keep you sane.
And if not sane, at least satisfied within your insaneness...


                              Once when I felt 'bearly' safe...

Time, whatever it really is, is a powerful so-called 'truth' within our psyches.

And the 'time' subject, though too huge and complex to do justice to on a tiny web site such as this, still intrigues me enough —— so I once felt compelled to scrawl some thoughts on it anyway...

                                             It's About Time

Here's an oldie but goldie...

Three people go to the front desk of a hotel to get a room. The desk clerk says he has one and it’ll be $30 for the night. Each person takes $10 from their pocket to pay for their share of the room and the clerk takes their 30 bucks and gives them a key.

But a little while later the clerk realizes he made a mistake. The room is actually only $25 a night so he takes 5 one dollar bills from the till and calls the bellhop over.

‘I overcharged those people’, he says to the bellhop, ‘Take these 5 dollars and give it back to them.’

The bellhop takes the money but as he’s walking down the hallway he thinks of something. Those people don’t know they’ve been overcharged so they aren’t expecting any sort of refund. Considering this, he looks around quickly then pockets $2 out of the 5 and continues on to the room with the remaining 3 dollar bills in his hand.

When he gets to the room he knocks on the door and explains they were overcharged and he’s been told to refund each of the people a dollar each. So he divides up the 3 bucks in his hand and gives each person a dollar. They thank him and close the door. He smiles to himself and walks back down the hall with the $2 profit he stole tucked safely in his pocket.

But something’s not right here! Let’s summarize the transactions.

  • 3 people initially paid 10 dollars each for a room for a total of 3 X 10 or 30 bucks.
  • The bellhop later gives each of them 1 dollar back.
  • So what they’ve actually paid is only 9 dollars each for the room or a total of 3 X 9 or 27 bucks.
  • The bellhop also stole 2 bucks and put it in his pocket.
  • Add the bellhop's 2 buck theft to the 27 bucks and you end up with 29 bucks total.
  • That accounts for all the dollars of the story.

Just one problem though.
The desk clerk initially received 30 bucks from the people, not 29.
So where did a missing 1 dollar go?        


  The Enigma of Existence

A web surfer doesn't think brewing up your own batch of beer or wine in the basement is such a great idea. He told me that he's tried it and it sucks.

I suppose it's a crappy mechanic who blames his tools...
this Bud's for you



This is a little christmas project for you if you're so technically inclined.
I've never been a big 'christmas guy' but this was fun to build.
I put this together many years ago —— my little pinecone christmas tree with tiny colored LED lights on it. A simple little circuit (powered with a boosted AC adapter instead of a battery BTW). You have to weave and wire the little lights into all the pinecone 'branches'. It takes a little patience but when its all done, it looks pretty cool at night... especially if you were a gnome, elf or mouse I guess.

Feel free to try it if you want to. I've included my design diagram here.
Just click on the tab!
Ho hO HO!


Elefant Soup
A beautiful old recipe for elephant soup that’s been in my family for over a hundred years.
Mmmmm! ENJOY!!


1 Medium-to-large elephant
(Afrikaans is best, but Indian will do if they’re all out...)

600 Gallons of water

15 Sacks of French onions,
very finely chopped and diced

12 Bushels of New Zealand potatoes,
peeled and sliced

6 Shovelfuls of salt

3 Large pails of saturated Ukrainian garlic

4 Shovelfuls of coarse Jamaican ground pepper

2½ Cases of Worcestershire sauce

10 Bottles of Jamaican white rum
(Of course more if the cooking time is longer or
you expect a lot more guests...)

? Coke or other soft-drink to taste

5 Gallons of peanut oil

  • Mix at least 1½ oz. of rum with coke and drink
  • Wash and thoroughly dry the elephant (Do NOT use soap as this will spoil the flavor)
  • Chop the entire elephant into nice bite-size chunks
  • Boil water in a great big container (I like to use the back portion of a gravel truck that I have set aside just for such dinner preparation occasions)
  • Have at least another rum and coke at this stage or sooner if needed
  • Add all the spuds, onions, the various condiments, garlic, & sauce, along with all the cubed elephant chunks to the boiling water
  • Allow to simmer for a long time while you finish off the bottle of rum (or two)
  • Stir frequently using a canoe paddle or small outboard motor if you have one handy
  • Towards the end of the cooking time, add the peanut oil (it won’t really add to the soup, but it’s what the elephant would have wanted)
  • When guests arrive, start them off with whatever rum you may have left, and serve!

Follow this lovely soup/appetizer with the dinner’s main courses
and a nice dessert after that...


This is a very interesting take on history...

Horizontal History

the thinker...

I was once asked,       "What's the most difficult thing to draw...?"

It's a good question. Till then, I'd never really thought about it before.

I don't think it's complicated scenery or figures, faces or concepts.
I'd say it's a circle —— a plain, perfect circle.

Try it yourself. Take a pen or pencil and try to draw a perfect circle on a piece of paper.
It's surprisingly tough to do.
It really forces you to learn eye-hand coordination and fine control of the tiny muscles in your hand. Eventually, as you become reasonably good at it, I think you'll find that most other things in the drawing world feel much easier to carry out.

Even now, everytime I find myself drawing a circle shape in a picture, I always pause and notice the challenge for a microsecond or two. Of course, when you're using pencils you have second chances (because of erasers, right?) but when you're using pens or wax or markers, your first effort becomes a one shot deal and the pressure is on!... It's fun...


In our world, there was knowledge and there were discoveries we will never know about because they've faded from our modern lives by now.
They've drifted away.
We've let them go.

We are so busy and consumed with being 'the newest', 'the greater', 'the more advanced', 'the progressive ones', I fear we've lost sight of so many things that were actually simpler but likely more sophisticated on levels we can't understand anymore.
We sometimes can't accept that something from the past may actually have more to it than meets the eye and more than anything we hastily produce now to replace it.

      All Good Things Come to Pass

A simple pen made me wonder about just how much we may have lost, 'out there', in the past somewhere...


What is ‘Limp Mode’?Limp Mode


Years ago, during the time Europeans were out and about in the world 'discovering' new lands, they came upon a group of people on an island. These people had many shrunken heads of their murdered enemies in their possession. In fact, a few of these European explorers fell victims themselves and soon joined the collections

        Do you know how shrunken heads are made?

The headhunters start by cutting off the head of the dead victim (or live victim in some cases). They basically 'gut' everything inside of it.

They take out all the skull bones, teeth, jaw, tongue, brains, eyeballs, tissue... everything.
They're left with sort of a 'skin bag'. All the skin of the head and face with all the hair, eyebrows, etc. still attached.
Then they heat many palm sized rocks in the embers of a fire and put them inside the empty head. The heat causes the skin to dry out and start to shrink.

If you've ever welded, you have seen this reaction that your leather gloves had to grabbing hot objects. When you grab hot metal, the gloves start to shrink so much from the exposure to heat they eventually distort, become so tight or small they have to be thrown away. Or if you've ever grabbed hot stuff from a camp fire with leather gloves you've seen how they can be quickly ruined by shrinking so much they don't fit well anymore.

So these headhunters would slowly and carefully shrink the 'leatherfied' skin methodically and repeatedly with hot stones.
As the skin shrunk smaller and the stones cooled, they'd remove them from the neck hole and replace them with fresh, hot ones. Eventually the stones would be too large to precisely control the shrinkage of the skin, evenly, so they would start to use very hot sand instead so they could continue to shrink every feature in proportion to the others.

When the shrunken skin head reached the size of approximately a grapefruit or orange, it couldn't be decreased in size any more.

The headhunters would then stuff it with dried grass and straw, restoring the shape of the head, face, nose, etc. and stitch the mouth and neck closed. Sometimes they would fashion little eyeballs out of stone or shells and insert them in the eye holes.

So there you go.
Something to do on a long weekend when you're bored
and your neighbor's been ticking you off anyway...

Once on a canoe trip I had an exciting incident.
Click here to watch the little video I made that morning.
(video&sound quality is a little bad - I shot it with a very cheap, tiny camera way back in the day)... observation of natural coal
(so interesting how things like this are just sitting out there)



Here's some twisted art for you...
Three guys are out on a battlefield.
Suddenly one gets hit.

A brief summary of the ‘Binary’ system.
(I guess I was bored one evening...)

My Dad and a Plane

Have you ever wondered just where the Internet came from?
Little pre-warning: This one might take some 'staying power'.

Internet History in Brief

Internet History in Brief


Here's a list from a bunch of different scribblings from different people
(who never did mention who they were exactly, so I can't give them their due credit)
that I collected from the early 'interweb' many years ago and placed together in one text. -enjoy-

A List of Collected Random Thoughts

Things to do in an Elevator

         Inventory Turns

a quick explanation about some pretty dry stuff that I once wrote during one of my former, different existences...

oh, and don't despair, even my bosses & clients didn't read it all either...

what you ingest, you become...

Fred is planning a journey into the desert.
Jim hates Fred and puts a fatal dose of poison in Fred's water keg.
Tim also hates Fred but doesn't know Jim poisoned the keg already. Tim dumps out the keg and fills it with worthless sand.
The next day Fred takes the keg with him far into the desert but before he ever tries to have a drink, he runs into a guy named Kim who sees Fred's keg, thinks it's full of water, and steals it from him.
Fred eventually dies of thirst.
Who is actually guilty of killing Fred?

Here's a chart I made for comparison of wrench/measurement sizes.
U.S. Standard fraction sizes -to- metric -to- decimal number sizes (1000th of an inch)

Measurement Comparison

Ancestors, family lineage, our relatives.
Our neighbors, acquaintances!
There is a surprisingly weeeeeeeeird situation going on here if you think about it a little.
                                 One Big Happy Family

           You sometimes hear:
           "1st cousin twice removed, 2nd cousin thrice removed"??? What does it all mean?
             Well here... I have a little chart showing all the relationships in a family tree.

                 Family Tree Chart

This little series of algebraic equations prove to someone that 2 is equal to 1!

So here it is!     Proof that 2=1

Start by assuming 'a' will be equal to 'b' for this exercise ->
If a=b then 'a2' is the same as 'a' times 'b' ->
Let's arbitrarily subtract 'b2' from each side
Now let's just rewrite the equation in a different but equal way ->
Now we'll factor out by dividing by 'a-b' on each side to get ->
Since above we've said 'a=b' then we can replace all 'b's with 'a's
'a + a' is the same as saying 2 times 'a'
If 'a=1' then our equation proves 2 is equal to 1! Voila!

2=1        You agree?

Does CO2 Stink a Little to You?

Lhamo Thondup, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:


Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not enjoy the present or the future;
he lives as if he will never die and then dies having never really lived."

It Don't Compute
The true story about a little computer that bravely lives-on in the middle of the crowded, new, shiny mob of new, powerful technology...

I took a quick little trip to the mountains...
A little break from the rush... Kodak moments and all that...
It's funny that no matter where you go, you always see parallels to your world in other places...

I see a huge Elk standing sure-footed by the side of the road just a couple feet from my open car window up in Jasper National Park and he lets fly a couple dozen nuggets against the ground as I'm watching him —— that's NATURE!

Later, when I get back to the city and it's early in the evening...

I see a huge Man standing swaying by the side of a building just a couple feet from my open car window up in the center of the city and he lets fly a stream of urine against the bricks as I'm watching him —— that's not nature?

(Yeah, I wasn't so sure either, so I snapped a picture anyway, just in case...)

You can tune a piano but you can't tuna fish.
           Some quick piano stuff

The Keys to Life

Disconcerted... probably.
Discouraged... not necessarily.

  The Disheartening Truth about Truth

The cozy, safe 'blanket-cuddling' that everyone is drawn to
these days feels so warm and right, doesn't it?...
Living in Our Own Protective Bubbles – Life in 2017

Protective Bubbles

This is a scan of a fold-out from an old book I had for many years.
It is a chart/graphical representation of world history going back approximately 4000 years. Beware... this is a very big picture and you'll probably have to view it on a computer screen or 'bigger screen' device in order to be able to expand-it & scroll-around to be able to view all the various text.
I think the fussyness of it all is worth it. It is very interesting and informative.
Feel free to spend a while checking it out and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do...
(BTW the book no longer had a cover and so many initial pages were missing that I don't even know who wrote the damn thing so I'm unable to give them their due credit...)

The HistoMap (Four Thousand Years of World History)

history of the world

The anatomy of music.

Dissecting a song...

This is a scan from a page in Carl Sagan's book "The Demon-Haunted World'.
What's eerie is that this was written way long before the western world slid this way.
(He actually died before it did).

He was truly an astute and observant person to be able to see where trends and conditions were headed long before they landed and solidified ——
—— and essentially as they are now...

  Energy healing... What is that?
     Energy Healing



     When Your Hopes Go Astray


        A state of body or a state of mind?

Yagyu Munenori and Tukuan Soho are swordsmen in early 17th century Japan.
They're sitting, playing a game of GO when you enter.

They ignore you.
You watch them.
You grow increasingly uneasy as you realize they are breaking the rules, or at least not playing GO.

During a momentary lapse in the room's focus you ask, "What is this game you are playing?"
"That is for you to understand", replies Soho, hardly looking up.
Munenori smiles and that unsettles you.

The game wears on, each move taking longer than the last. Try as you might, just when you think you might understand the rules, a newly played stone proves you wrong.

At last Soho throws his hands in the air and concedes, "I have no move."
Munenori nods a bow as respectful victor.
After a time staring at the board, Soho speaks, "Sometime, I would like to hear the rules you played in the end."

You're surprised, "You didn't know the rules?"

Munenori turns towards you,
"Neither knew the rules in advance... so is the world, such is life".


"you can criticise the performance but it does no good to criticise the performer"
Some thoughts I had on a walk about...

        The Performer, the Performance

We’re born with a strange form of amnesia. We grow up searching for our perfect addiction not knowing what it is and trying thing after thing to try to feel satiated or complete. We don’t stop until something within us tells us at a particular time that ‘this new thing’ is IT and that makes us feel good. There's a spike of dopamine in our brains. We pause further searching for a bit and, for a while, feel we’ve arrived —— we're settled and feel happy.

But it doesn’t last.
Soon we’re searching once more.

We try sex, friends, jobs/careers, family, alcohol/drugs, reproduction and children, travel, eating, hobbies, crafts, consuming stuff, shopping, building, tearing down, renovating, on and on... all the while confused when these too eventually feel empty or incomplete. We grow restless.

Soon we’re searching once more.

Instead of stopping, considering things very carefully, contemplating our existence to a great degree, off we go to the next thing without even thinking about why that is. We don’t notice that we’re constantly searching. We don’t notice all the wasted energy, resources, and time while we're jumping around instead of arriving at ‘our thing’. Ultimately we end up missing out on a lot of the finite quality time of our lives that would have let us live within our niche and experience all that it ultimately delivers to us in each day; some good, some bad but always fitting like a comfortable glove, if we had only been a bit more patient and thoughtful.

We don't appreciate enough. We don't notice enough. We don't reflect enough.

This is everyone’s life experience.
There are few exceptions.
It’s a part of our evolution as a species and as individuals within that group, for some reason. It is why we build bridges, walls, buildings, cities, gardens, motorboats, schools, sew new styles of clothing, go to war, replace friends, replace pets, replace mates, ...

We search much of our lives.
Some of us are lucky to land, most aren't as lucky.

We shouldn't strive to be happy and waste our time chasing it.
We should strive to be content and notice that. That's all that is needed.

(BTW... the below link is a scanned shot of a piece of a page-of-writing of mine.
It shows corrections, additions, deletions, the context nearly there as compared to the final text above.
It's a snapshot into how writing, at least for me, is very much a journey, not a destination.
Ideas come and go, things get tweaked, the text evolves, anything is up for edit or being updated,
anything can be thought about more...)
the writing process...


Neil Postman is a writer who wrote a book called 'Amusing Ourselves to Death'. Back in 1985, I think.

There have been thinkers musing about the evolving states of human society forever in our cultures but Postman nailed it fairly accurately back then in his introduction at the start of the book that has turned out to be eerily valid as of 2020.

I haven't the book anymore but I recently came across some saved notes I had jotted down on paper way back then and it gave me pause. The intro went something like this (words in quotes are his, words outside quotes are mine):

"We were all looking out for 1984. When the year came and the prophesy didn't, thoughtful North Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. We had made it through the '1984' gap, the bad thing hadn't happened. Wherever else some of the terror had indeed happened, we at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares."

But we have forgotten that alongside of Orwell's dire foresight in his book, there was another slightly older, slightly less well known but equally chilling vision — that of Aldous Huxley's book —> 'Brave New World'. Contrary to common belief, even among the educated, Huxley and Orwell did not prophecise the same thing.

"Orwell warns that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression but in Huxley's vision no 'big brother' is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity, or history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression —— to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. Orwell feared those who would ban books but what Huxley feared is that there would be no reason to ban a book for there would be no one who would want to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information, Huxley feared those that would give us so much that we'd be swamped, incapable of processing it properly."

Eventually we'd confuse 'having information' with 'having knowledge' and be reduced to docility, passivity and egoism.

"Orwell feared the truth would be concealed from us, Huxley feared that the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared that we would become a captive culture, but Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture preoccupied with the 'feelies', 'orgyporgy' and the 'centrifugal bumblepuppy'."

These are cultural words from decades ago that would now roughly translate to modern sentiments like 'adulating Kardashian reality TV', 'idolization of Hollywood moviestar elites', 'hero worshipping sports heroes and their self-involved activities', 'self-absorbing ourselves in activities like expensive holidays, shopping —— constantly striving to upgrade your present social status or your own perceived place in the pecking order rather than paying attention to the actual social condition around us', etc.

"As Huxley remarked in 'Brave New World Revisited', civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny, failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions. In '1984' Orwell said, 'People are controlled by inflicting pain.' in 'Brave New World' Huxley said they are controlled by inflicting pleasure."
  (Insert 'consumerism' here...)

In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us,
Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

Funny how some people can see the long game, can see things from 10,000 feet above.

So, what can we do?
If we can become aware that something like Huxley's take is exactly what's happened while we weren't paying attention, we can come to realize that our psychology, our emotions, our very Paleolithic evolutionary state has been hijacked.
You have to recognize the problem to deal with it.

Thoughtful consideration of as many things as we can each manage is the only way to live in these 'meatsuit' bodies. Lives of progressive understanding and, hopefully, contentment.



(By the way... I want to add this text (in addition to, and after posting, the stuff directly above)
...some more Aldous Huxley stuff from his writings of many decades ago...)

"There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods."

Does anything he wrote strike you as ironic by now? Do you recognize any simularity as to how society is now compared to what his predictions/concerns were then?



  My kakuro help sheet:
kakuro help sheet

(It's a puzzle/logic game kinda like sudoku.
You'll understand the help sheet if you play the game...)


I had a spurt of thought the other day while playing around with numbers again.

I was once again reminded that something thought of in reverse or from an opposite perspective can be as valuable a way to realizing things as is our more common urge to see things in the more usual positive, progressive, or forward thinking mode/way.

Seeing things from the back, from a counter or opposite side can sometimes reveal truth much more simply but you usually have to do more work to arrive at the conclusions. (Probably why it's not as popular).

Proving What It Is, By Proving What It Is Not



I'm writing an article of how, why, what money is.
It's a work in progress...

The Commonly Experienced Monetary System


GregO's Site