Extraction

Well, today I’m going to be bored – so you get the benefit of my ramblings. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything that wasn’t just quick news commentary stuff, or some kind of science-y thang.

Today I went to the dentist, though. I had an “extraction”. It was a back tooth.

So I’m sitting here now, afterward – a big wad a gauze in my mouth with blood oozing out of it, taking antibiotics, and dosed up on Vicodin – which I have never had before. That, after lots of nitrous oxide.

I can’t really concentrate to work, so what do I do? Shouldn’t really go visit anyone with bloody wads in my mouth. So I guess you’ll get the benefit of my drug and trauma induced lack of concentration…

There’s so many things that I’d like to write about – so many things going on that are tied to one another. So many reasons for hope – and so many for despair.

Hope comes from people who are willing to stand up, speak, and require truth. Despair comes from people hiding away in lies with their own agendas.

I’ve never really appreciated the metaphor of the Light of Truth until recently. Lies and deception obscure – darken. It’s actually a vivid metaphor.

A dear, dear, dear friend Johnny and I recently found each other again. It’s probably been 10 years since we last spoke. There are some, very few, people who hold Truth in high regard. For these people, daily life can be a little more challenging. Sometimes it seems that the world operates on the lubrication of lies – or at least, collective truths that exist, but are not really Truths (nor lies, in the strictest sense).

Johnny was strange. I first met him at a party I was throwing at my parent’s house – shortly after I entered university. There were three distinct groups of people there – and they did not mix. Bellevue-ish middle class, raunchy Auburn hicks, and freaky bat-cavers. It was the first time I realized that my friends varied wildly from each other.

Johnny is the type that sets something else as more important in people – something else other than the superficial identifying characteristics. He is not afraid to look at the world, to examine, question, and most of all, allow himself to feel it. He didn’t fit in any of those groups.

When you don’t fit, it’s not always a question of choice. When you DO fit, it most often is.

Johnny has always shined – that light, outside the walls. So few can even see it – yet almost all who come in contact with him are illuminated in one way or another by it.

He’ll be feeling embarassed and uncomfortable with me saying something like this about him. Because he thinks he doesn’t deserve it – that it’s not true. Not because of self-loathing, but because of humility.

But I just have to toot his horn for a minute, because he never would. And I know it could never effect his ego for me to do so. Maybe I just like making him feel embarassed. 🙂

He has a wife and kids, some property in the desert where he wants to start building. He’s asked me to come down there to live.

Remembering, there are times in our lives when it seems that the currents and forces that move us intersect in oftentimes highly disruptive confluences. Small, simple decisions, or things said, that may have far-reaching ramifications.

Our own selves, caught in our little intricacies of need, doubt, hope, fear — idealism, realism, pessimism — dharma, samsara — being.

Night skies in the desert, blazed in the depths of stars, outward toward all time.

Johnny, whom I love, and who loves me.

My mother dying – my father, living alone his last years.

What shifting in the leaves of the trees might tell?

Well, dad just got back home with big bags of soil. We’re planting radishes, carrots, onions and all kinds of herbs all around the deck up stairs. Mom made it outside for a while today.

My jaw, aches.

AMD Starts Fighting Back at Intel

I’ve always wondered why so many PC makers were making so many of their systems with Intel chips when the AMD ones seem so much better.

Well, it looks like today AMD filed some complaints under antitrust laws to at least start bringing some light onto the reasons why.

It’s true that Intel has no love of Microsoft – but it’s a little strange to see Intel using many of the same tactics.

Best wishes to AMD on this – they really do deserve better – for in my opinion, they are.

Cosmos 1 – Small Moves Ellie

It was a little sad watching the progress of Cosmos 1 over the last couple days. Or rather, watching people try to find out what any progress of Cosmos 1 might be.

Though at a few points the Cosmos 1 team believed they had some form of limited contact with the solar sailing craft, today they believe that a rocket malfunction occurred in stage 1 firing.

I guess you get what you pay for, and even if you have the resources to pay a lot, riding up into space on a wild rocket is still a risky proposition.

I wish the Cosmos 1 project met with more success. I love the thought of sailing ships travelling around up in space. It has a peaceful quality, reminiscent of the true age of our universe – less hasty.

There’s a very interesting report written by Theodore Cotter of Los Alamos National Laboratory back in 1973 on solar sailing. According to the Federation of American Scientists it expands upon a 1958 paper by Richard Garwin in the journal Jet Propultion and a 1951 article by Russell Saunders in Astounding Science Fiction.

Strangely, this report has been classified as “restricted to selected government agencies” by Los Alamos, part of the thousands of documents that have been removed from public access since the “terrorism” started.

However, in a rare moment of love and kindness, the House actually decided to fund the Public Interest Declassification Board in 2006 – it was created 5 years ago by law, but has never convened. The House Appropriations Committee wants to give them $1 million. Hopefully this will actually happen.

It’s a shame to have such wonderful things removed from our sight.

PBS Funding

I don’t know how the Congress can consider cutting PBS funding. This is our public broadcasting system – our only system that is not at the mercy of corporate marketing people.

Is it the money? 220 million?

According to the 2003 Pentagon inspector general, the Pentagon has “lost track” of over $1.1 trillion dollars.

If we had even a small fraction of the money the Pentagon has just “lost”, public broadcasting would be something quite spectacular.

Or maybe we could fund PBS, and not purchase just 1 Patriot missle launcher group.

Or maybe just a little bit of the $18.4 billion we’re spending on just Iraq “Relief and Reconstruction” – cleaning up our mess…

Or maybe we can leave off a couple rooms from the new US embassy in Iraq…

Or cut back just a tiny little bit on the amount of money we give US oil companies each year…

It seems that the cuts might be coming because of a percieved “liberal bias” as PBS.

They’re discussing cutting funding altogether.

Anyway, if you’re interested, PBS has a page where you can go to get more information and let Congress people know what you think.

Moveon.org is even involved in this one – and their petition has over 1 million signers.

What, or um.. Why I Am What I Am?

It’s not me – it’s something else. I developed out of my own control, from forces that were pre-determined. I don’t really have to explore it, I just have to know it is that way – as a reason for being what I am. And yeah, it’s not my fault.

Or, um… I’m not limited! I’m free to be or become anything – I’m undefined and free-floating, cannot be pinned down, and have no limitations. Sure that’s all my doing, and what are you going to do about it? I’m just about everything – and can’t really find anything to put my finger on…

Well, two extreme sides of a coin, if you ask me. As someone who’s adopted, I have been able to see very clearly the influence of hard-coded genetics interplaying with the more subtle influences of environment.

Mike just wrote some interesting thoughts on a book he recently read.

Being gay, and not really fitting into the neat categorical definitions of in utero formative constructions where my mascuilinity and femininity – or domineering and submissive characteristics, can be neatly defined and sectioned off, I have to conclude that there might be something a little bit more going on than what Moir might be saying.

There is certainly something to research claiming that people are born gay or straight, or that women come pre-loaded with girly behaviour, and men with dumb macho crap. But does this hard-wiring explain the way people rigidly cling to these definitions even when they’re feeling otherwise?

Does this explain the slow blending of these differential behavioural constructs in recent times?

Or is it really some kind of celebration and glorification of “traditional” modes of behavior for us all? A scientifically-based set of off and on toggle switches for our souls?

I’m afraid this scientist is running into the familiar old problem that even still many people ignore. Applying observations upon the thing that we are is highly prone to error in that we cannot distance ourselves into the necessary objectivity away from ourselves to reach any absolute conclusions.

It is undeniable that genetics plays a part in our development. It is also undeniable that forces completely separate from genetics influence who we become.

To my mind, the hard-coded genetics is merely a framework from which the entirety of our experience can… well.. be experienced. And if we tinker with that, shaping it into some kind of ideal, the scope, bredth and depth of that larger experience becomes hugely diminished with even the tiniest of structural alterations toward the normative.

I haven’t read this book, but such studies make me nervous. Why devote so much effort to uncovering the impossible to uncover gender behaviour causes when we have diseases, deformations and horrific birth defects to worry about?

I suppose he can do what he likes with his time, and other people’s money.

Thinking back, I remember speaking with Koray Tanfer, a pioneer in studying a genetic basis for homosexuality. I was young and stupid, and basically gave him a very hard time about it because I knew that I was more than a hard-coded program running. And I had seen too many people crossing all kinds of lines and borders that was just well beyond the capacity for any genetic structure to account for.

He told me that really, it meant very little. It was just a trend – a noticable predisposition, if I’m remembering right. And that it certainly did not account for the entirety of our experience as human beings.

I have no idea how this meshes with studies showing that most people are bisexual, too.

But I do know that women who are true women are very boring and predicatable. And men who are true men are pretty much the same. In that respect, I suppose they could be hard-coded – because they are rather like computer programs.

Then again, I’m far more true to myself, steadfast in my doings and stronger in my resolve than many straight men are. And also more sensitive and giving, intutive and nurturing than many of the straight women I know.

Maybe I’m just hard-coded Superior. In that case, screw his normative definitions. Who needs them? Or, if I’m just delusional, at least I’d make a good Nazi.