Hater Nation

I wrote this meditation on the “untruth” crisis back in late February. I shelved it as “ more mad ramblings”, which it is. But I guess it’s a mad, mad, mad world anyway, so here it is…

Facts, data and faith. Take these, dump them into a person and shake. Squeeze the tube. Paper tape will come out of its mouth. To remove tape, pull sharply up across the front teeth. Read the tape. Junk data? Figures.

So, I’m being figurative, conflating people and machines. And we are (humanity, that is) the most beautiful, god-like, defective machine(s) that we will ever hope to experience.

See what I did there with the parenthetical “s”? I posited a question. Are we individuals or are we an organism? A hive mind. If you asked ethnic Germans in the first third of the twentieth century, they may have leaned toward the concept of the human race being a single organism…and you know where this philosophy got them. Junk data.

But swarm intelligence/theory can not be written off. These theories, traditionally presented as “mob/herd mentality”, play a role in every facet of our lives. These swarms, like gravitational fields, pull us into orbits, within larger orbits, within larger orbits on up. The top level mega-swarm, a universe of its own. A beautiful and terrifying, elegant and chaotic dance.

And the collective mind does great things. All of our technological achievements come from the hive mind, the hive intelligence (see “rat king”). Our innovators “stand on the shoulder of giants”. Of course, by building the one-click means to our own destruction we may have scaled one shoulder too many, but that’s a cold rat king kebab better served another day.

The leap that seems to have really changed the game in hive behavior in recent years is the potential for instant digital interconnection between all individuals. I call it the “digital shock wave”. And with this advancement we once again leap, as a species, as a hive, into a brave new world. One rolled out before anyone took the time to truly understand its long-term effects. And now the die is cast.

To break it down, let’s say the mega-swarm, when at rest, is a placid pool. Information drops, traditionally (pre-Gutenberg), would be like autumn leaves occasionally cascading down from the sky to gently rest upon the surface (i.e., “This trader has a sharpened stone, I think I’m gonna get me one of those, too”). This is the environment under which humanity evolved into existence, how it was “meant to be” (under the terms of, you know, evolution). So on to post-Gutenberg, we can now cast, informationally, a nice stone into the pool (you know, like a medium-size river rock). Throw enough in at once and you can get some nice ripples going. Twentieth century mass broadcast technology, telecommunications etc., we’re getting into the boulders. 21st century World Wide Web, we’re lobbing school buses in with cranes…and all just to see if anybody really “like”s us (spoiler alert, they don’t).

We watch our political, military, corporate and media entities constantly, irresponsibly and methodically sending shock waves of informational instability through the collective conscious and unconscious. They all believe in their own (collective, tribal) minds, from their own preview, that they are doing important work. Work to help them, to help people of their ilk, to help “all”. But isn’t one of our greatest programming discrepancies as a species the inability to ever truly consider the “all” outside of the “tribe”. I do it, and I imagine you do it, too. Do you think there is anybody who is above this? Truly? 100% of the time?

I > us > all.

This has come to bear down on my mind in light of the assent of the concept of “untruth” as a dominant thread in the world conscience. Untruth is the supposition that all mass communicated information, even if it is empirical fact, is by default invalid.

This phenomenon is not new, but the world wide web has provided a hereto unprecedented platform for the instantaneous dissemination of torrents of unsubstantiated information labeled as “fact”. A platform with no discernible rules of credibility, where the purveyors of information have no accountability for the veracity of their output (even if that person is the president of the United States). “Rule 1” in this virtual domain is that any and all false information can be traced to other false reports sourced from the internet. And in this way the snake eats its own tail, and nothing is anyone’s fault.

Without accountability there is no recourse. Without recourse we are unprotected as individuals. School buses are not hurled into the pond by individuals. Those come from the cranes (collective entities, nation states, corporations). Individuals are affected by swarms, join swarms. Swarms are stirred and re-stirred by digital shock waves. So we see the digital shock waves being used as a tool against us, right through the pipes of our free internet. Pipes that go right into your pocket.

The argument for acceptance of untruth is supported under the reasoning that truth data is used in mass communication only to bolster an argument for a particular tribe’s position (is thus partisan propaganda). “Truth” is used as bait to influence you into believing the “big lie”. The “big lie” being that the communicating tribe is working for you, when, in fact, they are working in their own interest (they just need your compliance). And so only the “Truth”s that come from sources within your belief sphere are credible. This of course relates back to faith, which drives so many but is also the place where truth goes to die (and junk data is born).

Untruth plays into base human behaviors tied to fear, tied to survival instincts, and is manifested through subtle paranoia. Fears that the other tribe’s goal is to take your money, power, influence, freedom, etc. These survival instincts seem to me, at least in this country, to be tied to resource insecurity (even though, in America, true destitution is typically more a frame of mind than an actual state). We never think we have enough, and yet we do. And if we ever find it within ourselves to truly work together it seems there is nothing we could not achieve. And yet we continue to work in opposition mindsets that can only lead to conflict, distraction and death.

The next shoulder we may climb, as a species, will very likely be the steady and inevitable progression toward the total automation of labor, with only the engineers left to develop and program the AI robots who will eventually learn to build themselves (and everything else) under the gentle guidance of technological handlers. A 3D printed world delivered right to your doorstep. This will result in a vastly reduced need for traditional labor. A trend that we already see. There will be jobs to be done, but in such a world, work may evolve into a choice for those unfulfilled with total leisure. Concepts of work for money and social welfare would have to be completely re-conceived in such a world to maintain order (Free money? All individuals being born into a default starter class…with HEALTH BENEFITS? Oh, it’s just too sci-fi). Certainly adjustments for this upcoming reality would have to start to be addressed now. Not all at once, but certainly it should be acted on ahead of the wave that is sure to come. Lest a lost generation of unemployables trigger and economic depression that leads to an epoch ending World War (let’s even throw in “extinction level”). Can we do it? Can we get ahead of this wave before it breaks? Or will we cling to a coalminer job retention mentality?

Do you want my untruthful opinion? Okay (I think you see it coming). Well, if we look at the management of the global warming/climate change issue as an example, I will prophesize “no”.

We will more likely see the current monetary system and social structure continue to be used to punish, demoralize and control the peasant class. We will see global communications continue to be used as a cudgel. And the inevitable automation technology turned to 3D printing autonomous murder robots deployed to maintain the current class hierarchy.

To quote one of the great sages of our time, “Sad!”

Junk data.

If You’re Angry and You Know it Grab a Guitar

(I wrote this rant on Sunday and shelved it out of respect. I guess several days makes it the “right time”…)

“If you’re angry and you know it grab a guitar. It’s really much more fun than a gun…”

It sounds better (Even the worst guitar playing…typically performed by gun owners, is superior). PLUS no one was ever killed by guitar! Except for that one guy who was killed with a guitar…tragically. But in the guitar’s defense, it only took one life before it exploded into a thousand pieces like a Pete Townshend Telecaster.

“…If you’re angry and you know it, then your face will surely show it. If you’re angry and you know it grab a guitar…and not a gun.”

WASHINGTON, BUY BACK AND MELT THE GUNS NOW!
PERMANENTLY BAN ALL COMMERCIAL MILITARY-STYLE LONG GUNS!
PERMANENTLY BAN ALL HIGH CAPACITY MAGAZINES!
STRICTLY LIMIT GUN & AMMUNITION PURCHASES PER PERSON BASED ON NEED!
REQUIRE REGISTRATION, INSURANCE AND LICENSING ON ALL FIREARMS!
FUND CDC RESEARCH ON GUN VIOLENCE!

BIG GUN and BIG PHARMA are not our friends! In different but similar ways both choose to exploit our fear, weakness, vulnerability and ignorance to get us high and get us hooked. WHY? Because it keeps them in the black. It keeps them in the country club. It keeps them on a yacht. It keeps them in power. They crave power because they are greedy. ARE WE GOING TO LET THE GREEDY MAKE OUR DECISIONS FOR US (they just might decide to take all our shit, ya know. It kind of makes sense that they would, if you think it through). They wield inexhaustible wealth and our politicians are cheap dates. Once the politician is bought, they will parrot supplied talking points and kill all “regulation” unless it is written for them by their masters. Even if they are honorable, they will keep their mouths shut out of fear of BIG GUN and BIG PHARMA bankrolling their political opponents.

STAND UP AGAINST BIG GUN AND BIG PHARMA. SHAME THEM AS THE DEATH MERCHANTS THEY ARE AND DRIVE THEM, AND THEIR BOUGHT POLITICIANS, OUT OF WASHINGTON.

OUR GOVERNMENT IS FOREVER COMPROMISED UNTIL THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM IS FIREWALLED FROM BIG MONEY! THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN UNDER A “REPUBLICAN” ADMINISTRATION. RUTH BADER GINSBURG, STAY ALIVE! CITIZENS UNITED MUST BE OVERTURNED!

ALL PEOPLE OF CONSCIENCE AND EMPATHY MUST COME TOGETHER TO END THE ERA OF GUN AND PILL MERCHANT CONTROL. VOTE AGAINST THE NRA, BIG GUN AND BIG PHARMA WHEREVER AND WHENEVER YOU CAN.

LASTLY, a thank you to INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS. Please keep the spotlight laser focused on these cockroaches. You are an ESSENTIAL pillar of American greatness.

WASHINGTON, WE NEED PROTECTION FROM FIREARM MANUFACTURERS, FIREARM DISTRIBUTION CHAINS AND THE NRA NOW!

When Newtown happened I was holding an infant son in my arms. Now my son is in Kindergarten, a year from the age of the innocents massacred on that day. December 14th 2012 was, for me, the most harrowing thing I have ever had to digest having happened on American soil caused solely by American citizens. I’m sure you can list other terrible things of this nature that happened in my lifetime (and trust me, I hated them all), but this one event, being so painful and nonsensical, broke me down. Somehow, looking at my son then, I empathized .01% of what those parents felt, I visually pictured that classroom, and it shattered me. And the broken pieces are forever broken, and I wasn’t even there, I don’t know those people. The families went to Washington and begged for help from the Federal Government to address this SECURITY issue in our county. They begged to begin a process of implementing non-drastic, centrist firearm regulations. OUR GOVERNMENT DID NOTHING! AND THAT GOES FOR OBAMA, TOO! The NRA buttboys hid behind the 2nd Amendment and rattled off NRA talking points. Time passed. Focuses shifted. The NRA checks kept rolling in. I guess everyone “did their job”.

So now Vegas, and I don’t know what to think. I’m trying not to obsess, but it is very hard. Unhealed wounds are split wide open. A BIG FAT FINGER is stuck right back in the face of those who say the current system is working. IT IS NOT WORKING. GUNS ARE THE PROBLEM. GUNS ARE KILLING MACHINES. THE SOLE PURPOSE FOR THEIR EXISTENCE IS TO CAUSE OR THREATEN MURDER. DO NOT FOOL YOURSELF. THEY ARE MURDER TOOLS. THEY ARE NOT ENTERTAINMENT. THEY ARE POOR PROTECTION. THE RISK OF OWNING ONE FAR OUTPACES THE PROTECTIVE VALUE.

WASHINGTON, BUY BACK AND MELT THE GUNS NOW!

P.S. Originalists, if the 2nd amendment is so important to you, do your part and join a “well regulated militia” today. Tell me how that goes for you. Until I see your militia membership card, do not bother me about your 2nd Amendment rights. And if you don’t meet to march at least once a week it doesn’t count. I don’t want to see some Breitbart diploma mill militia card. It has to be legit and local. I want meetings. I want drills. I want accountability to the law, the local community and total transparency (remember you are “well regulated”). I want non-security related community service, just like the police. If you want to volunteer, then really do it and earn your right to hold a gun. Otherwise, grow up.

Tobin’s First Big Health Scare

First, before anybody gets scared… Tobin is out of the hospital and back home and the doctors are confident he will fully recover.

On Sunday June 9th Jenny and I noticed a rash of small pinpoint-like black dots were breaking out on Tobin’s legs. We weren’t sure what they were but he wasn’t bothered and it was so light as to be almost unnoticeable so we decided to see if it would go away on its own.

The spots stayed though the following week and starting the following Saturday, June the 15th, Tobin began having a series of night fevers, which were minor and broken with PediaCare. But on Monday night through Tuesday morning Tobin had a high fever, topping at over 104 degrees, which would not break significantly, even with PediaCare.

In the early morning light of that Tuesday morning, Jenny saw that a very scary rash of dark red spots had broken out on Tobin’s right hand and forearm. I called the pediatrician and got an appointment as soon as they opened.

At the doctors office they drew blood and swabbed his mouth and ran tests. The pediatrician said it looked like a serious infection, either viral or bacterial, and advised that we wait at the office until she could confer with an infectious disease specialist.

Upon her speaking with the specialist, she told us to immediately go to the emergency room at Valley Children’s Hospital and that she would call ahead and tell them we were coming. So Tobin, Jenny and I made the hour long drive to the hospital, where we were informed that the rash on Tobin’s hand was a petechial rash and was very serious and that he would have to be admitted to the hospital for at least 48 hours so that they could determine the cause, ranging from viral infection to spinal meningitis and that if he had meningitis he would be at the hospital for 3 weeks of antibiotic therapy.

In the emergency room, although the staff was top notch, very professional and kind, they did a series of diagnostic procedures that our son, just under one year old, was very upset by. He was briefly cathetered for a urine sample, a IV was attached to his hand, a large amount of blood was drawn for a long series of blood tests and cultures and a spinal tap was performed to rule out spinal meningitis. All of these procedures were horrible to watch and all we could do was comfort Tobin, who could not understand why this was being done to him.

The initial blood count showed low neutrophils, which are the white blood cells that fight infection. We were told his immune system was suppressed, most likely due to the infection itself, and that his condition needed to be monitored closely and he had to start a regiment of IV antibiotics.

At this point, about seven hours after we had been admitted to the emergency room, Tobin was moved to a private room on Tuesday night. We were instructed that he could not leave the room and that he could not have any ill visitors. All doctors and nurses that entered the room had to wear masks, gloves and gowns.

In that room Tobin and Jenny stayed for four nights. Now mind you, the entire time Tobin seemed better than could be expected. He would smile and play but he was very uncomfortable with the IV and the leads that monitored his vitals. When he would move, a lead would often fall off and start a loud alarm that would wake him and Jenny up at night. This was a difficult situation and Jenny was suffering from sleep deprivation. I took the week off at work to help and would go home at night to sleep and bring supplies and food in the morning.

During the four days there were emotional low points for us all. The worse was on Friday when his neutrophils count continued to drop to 80 (when over 1,500 is considered ideal). We were crushed. We were told that if they were the same or dropped any more we would be in the hospital for another week and that they might have to biopsy his bone marrow to look for Leukemia cells. This would mean he would be spending his first birthday (the following Wednesday) in the hospital. This really upset Jenny.

We were told that he was in extreme threat of further infection and that if he had a fever it would have to be aggressively treated with heavy drugs mainly used on chemotherapy patients. This was terrifying, and many friends and family members started prayer circles to call for healing from some higher power and their heart felt wishes gave us hope and their messages touched and lifted Jenny who was so tired and never once left that hospital room. That night we all just hoped beyond hope that the count would go up.

On Saturday morning, I was driving back to the Hospital with 5 days worth of supplies for what we believed might be a long stay when Jenny called me. His blood count was up to 360. We were elated. The doctors where still conferring, but there was a possibility he could go home that day. I was skeptical, and didn’t want to get my hopes up. When I got to the Hospital, Jenny told me another doctor told her they may want to keep Tobin another day to see if the healing trend would continue. We braced ourselves, but soon afterward the treating physician came in and said that upon discussion with the doctors involved, that Tobin could be released immediately and we could follow up with weekly outpatient visits.

Ultimately, there is not a definite diagnosis of what caused this. It was determined most likely to be an unspecified viral infection that caused a temporary suppression of the immune system (Short Term Neutropenia). His neutrophil count is still dangerously low and may take a month or more to recover, but we are so happy to be out of the hospital and are optimistic looking forward.

We are home and I would like to say that everything is back to normal but traumas like this leave their mark. Tobin is in great spirits and so happy to be home but he tantrums during diaper changes because he has a new fear of being held down (something the doctors and nurses often did just before painful procedures). It seems to be getting better as time passes and he learns to trust being handled. Also, Jenny and I have been changed in some way as we have had to come to terms with levels of perceived future grief beyond anything we had ever imagined. But as they say, time heals all wounds and we certainly hope that is the case here.

So that is the story, we went on a big scary adventure and everyone came back and we learned anew just how much we all love and need each other. And we learned what is truly important once more.

To those who knew about this, thank you for your love and support. It was invaluable.