my humble opinion

Open Thread - 08-04-23 - Re-education

Is we learning yet?

Occasionally while surfing the internet I'll run across this hair on fire exclamation: "I'll see you in the re-education camp". Re-education? I thought that's what schools were for? Take that as you may, or not. I believe there is an effort afoot to thoughtscape your mind for you, as though you aren't intelligent enough to think for yourself.

To my mind, there's no need for a re-education camp, the camp has already been built, it's all around us. Like an ubiquitous schoolmarm, everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Like an insidious rehabilitation program, not of the physical world, but of the mental realm. Fences built around the mind are as effective as a barrier of razor edged concertina wire, maybe more so, because once the fences are accepted then there's no need for escape.


Open Thread - 6-02-23 - Open Thread Lament

Once fore the light, before time started,
The Big Bang blew, a new universe was charted.

Matter congealed, solar system comparted.
Life sprang forth, man and nature soon parted.

Language was cast, the sonnets were Barded,
The Enlightenment arose, and philosophy Descarted.

Now to the present, with deadline regarded,
The Open Thread awaits, and my mind bombarded.

Hencewhile I sat, deeply broken hearted,
I tried to write, but my brain just f***ed.

Wit and wisdom long since, forlorn and departed,
Neurons and glia, so easily outsmarted.

Then out of the ether, came a thought so unguarded,
It left foreheads unfrowned, and knickers unwadded.

I hope that now, since muse has jumpstarted,
My own mind and words, be forever unparted.


Absurdis Uninterruptum and The Humanities below the fold

Open Thread - 03-17-23 - King Nothing

The next shoe to drop hangs by a shoestring over our heads like the Sword of Damocles. And the shoestring is fraying.

Dear citizen, it matters not that you live your life trying to do what's right. You go to work, pay your taxes, obey the laws, save your money only to have it stolen in the form of inflation. The banks don't play by those rules. They have different rules, as do the very wealthy. If you get in financial trouble that's on you. If the banks get in financial trouble that's on you as well.

The recent Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) failure is a perfect example of balance of justice weighed in favor of the wealthy. You did everything by the rules, they play fast and loose with the rules. They broke the rules, you didn't, who pays?


Open Thread - 02-17-23 - AI and GIGO

The term artificial intelligence (AI) is being bandied about with regularity nowadays, especially in regards to chatbots, with ChatGPT being the most prolific. Hopefully this piece will help explain the concept of AI in context of its current applications and what that may portend for the future. Included, at the end, I'll let my mind run wild in a thought experiment regarding AI's potential abuse.


Open Thread - 02-10-23 - The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse

Authors note: The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. What is that? Greed. [1]

One may wax philosophically about that which ails man, especially in this day and age of policrises. An argument can be made that our current dilemma is caused by a myriad of causes, such as dwindling resources, or overpopulation, or climate change, or war, or economic collapse, or global health. Any one of these can be considered existential. Here we are in the third decade of the new millennium, confronted with all of these crises at the same time. Is it by chance that this has happened or is there an underlying causal phenomenon at work? It is tempting to lay blame at the feet of overpopulation as the root of all our current emergencies. That may very well be true. This piece is not about the temporal aspects of the policrisis, but more about the philosophical tenets of the existential fork(s) in the road. In other words, that component of the human psyche that has brought us the point of no return.

In my simplistic and humble opinion it all boils down to one human trait: greed.


Open Thread - 01-27-23 - Angry Eyes

These old tired eyes have seen a lot. Never did I dream I'd see the things that I've seen the last three years. You know what I mean? I bet you do. The crazy has no limit, so it seems. It's as if the matrix software has been toggled to insane mode and we're living in some crazed oligarch's head.

We, the people, have been divided on so many levels, by design. If we agree on one thing, there's dozens of other things to disagree about. The dividers have had centuries to hone their skills. Divide and conquer has always been the tactic of those that wish to rule you and I and with the advances in technology and psychological manipulation it's a wonder that we still have any modicum of civility left in us. The division has gone much deeper than the left/right dichotomy with both sides being subdivided into multiple facets of hatred, diverging from the macro, to the molecular, to the atomic and sub-atomic. The divisions run deep. It seems like every day a new way to divide us is contrived.


Normalizing the New Normal

This is an opinion piece. I have no proof other than my lying eyes. And my intuitive gut. I'll throw this out there as speculative fodder for the un-indoctrinated and open mind.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

I've been thinking for a while now that both sides of any given narrative are controlled.

Full Spectrum Dominance - Are we there yet?

Sure does seem like it to me. Please consider this:

Suppose you are a propagandist. Would it not be optimum to control both sides of a narrative? Both sides of an issue, pro and con. That would be total control, full spectrum dominance if you will. Could it be possible that our realities are so controlled that the idea of oppositional perception is but a facade? In today's world who knows what is real, right? With all the gaslighting and lying is it any wonder that folks are confused? Is that not the tenet of Full Spectrum Dominance?

I think that if you look you can see it in many issues nowadays, it may be subtle as is all good propaganda. The yin and yang may be manipulated into a soup of disinformation and obfuscation. Think about how you form your opinions, what you read, what you see, what you think about. If one could control that input then one could formulate your reality.



Elon Musk: Something just hasn't sit well with me about this Elon Musk and Twitter deal. It all seems contrived. I certainly don't consider him a hero as some have made him out to be. Could there be more to his Twitter acquisition than just his self proclaimed altruistic motivation. I'll put a theory out there and let you be the judge.


Open Thread - 12-09-22 - The Pendulum

My generation. Born of world war. Born of a conflagration so great it caused humanity to pause and reassess itself. Standing on the brink will do that. My generation was born of the "greatest generation", and was weaned by middle class affluence. It was one of those times in history when the pendulum swung in favor of the common man. It was a time when capitalism worked, and not just for the wealthy. Capitalism had prevailed over communism. It was that dualism that gave birth to my generation. Enlightened pols had gone against the grain of opulence and levied hefty taxes on the rich that paved the way for decades of prosperity. That prosperity defined my generation, but it also set us on the trajectory to the present.


Open Thread - 12-02-22 - To Whence We Came

"Swear there ain't no heaven and pray there ain't no hell."

What happens when we die. That's the big question that's plagued mankind since, probably, when the first synapse fired. Religion answers that question for the true believers and that, in my humble opinion, explains the various religions' popularity.

I'm not much of a spiritual person, never have been. But I do find solace in my simple belief. My simple belief answers that age old question as well, but my conclusion wont sit well with religion. Although, I guess, it could be considered a religion unto itself, a belief derived from science, mostly cosmology. It works for me.


Open Thread - 11-25-22 - We Will All Go Down Together

I'm still decompressing from my week in hell. I've had this knocking around in my noggin for a few days. I haven't really formulated it into a complete essay, but for the want of something to read on this money induced Black Friday, I'll try to lay it out and maybe you all can help make it somewhat cogent.

The collectivism vs. individualism dichotomy is the focal point of the upside down world we've been living in the past few years, in my humble opinion. Individualism is being suppressed while collectivism is being forced upon us. The push is strong to corral us into a hive-mind existence, both in the physical and conceptual realms. There are strong forces at work as evidenced by this movement towards collectivism emanating from almost all of the western countries of the world, in unison.

We're supposed to give up everything we own, live in small cubicle-like dwellings and eat insects for sustenance. We're supposed to follow state diktats unquestionably and get in line for the latest thing. We're supposed to forget history, a history forged by rugged individualism. We're supposed give all to our so called "betters" for the sake of mankind, or some such. All for the good of us all, like good little automatons. In essence we will become The Borg.

The West is upside down.