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Archive for May, 2020

Without music, life would be a mistake.
  ―   Friedrich Nietzsche
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On This Day In:
2019 Walking The Lonely Path
2018 The Ultimate Trial
2017 Vain Expectations
2016 Or Of One Thought
2015 What’s In Your Future?
2014 Light In Darkness
2013 How ‘Bout Just Obeying The Law?
2012 Or Maybe Not
2011 My Interval Is Too Short!

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The equal rights of man, and the happiness of every individual, are now acknowledged to be the only legitimate objects of government.
   ―   Thomas Jefferson
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On This Day In:
2019 Accustomed To It
2018 Booking My Trip Into The Expanding Universe
2017 Fear Instead Of Convictions
2016 Memorial Day – 2016
2015 A Handful Of Reviews
And You Can Quote Me
2014 Get Wisdom
2013 Enjoying The View?
2012 Adam’s Rib
2011 I’m Sure I Remember That…
Memorial Day, 2011

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By definition, creativity goes to deep issues of psychology and ultimately what it means to be human — areas that science has always had a hard time investigating.  Science tends to do the easiest things first.  It is nothing if not practical.  This fact of scientific life suggests the magnitude of the challenge that investigators face.
Even so, the importance of the subject and the potential richness of the returns make it attractive.  Big risks can produce big rewards.  It is the kind of topic that might flourish in the decades ahead.
  —   William J. Broad
From his book:  “The Science of Yoga
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On This Day In:
2019 Still Tearing, Still Being Rewarded
2018 Nothing More, Nothing Less
2017 Memorial Day – 2017
No Wonder I’m Smiling
2016 Thinking Science Fictional
2015 Dawn Is Coming
2014 Back When I Was A Firebrand
2013 Pen In Hand
Word Up!
2012 Disturbing
Trying To Keep Up
2011 Unreliable And Selective
2010 Adult-Onset Athlete

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Never My Love

You ask me if there’ll come a time
When I grow tired of you
Never, my love
(Ah)
Never, my love
You wonder if this heart of mine
Will lose its desire for you
Never, my love
(Ah)
Never, my love
What makes you think love will end
When you know that my whole life depends
On you?
(On you)
(Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da)
Never, my love
Never, my love
You say you fear I’ll change my mind
That I won’t require you
Never, my love
(Never, my love)
Never, my love
(Never, my love)
How can you think love will end
When I’ve asked you to spend your whole life
With me?
(With me)
(With me)
Never, my love
(Never, my love)
Never, my love
(Never, never my love)
Never, my love
(Never, my love)
Never, my love
(Never, never my love)
Performed by:  The Association
Written by:  Richard P. Addrisi, Donald J. Addrisi
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On This Day In:
2019 But I’m Well Past 100 By Now
2018 Learn
Land Of The Free, Because Of The Brave
4 Appearances In A Row, 4 Wins To Go
2017 And Yet I’m Still Having Fun
2016 I See Coincidence Everywhere
CA3: Civil War
2015 I Resemble That Remark… (5!)
2014 The Writer’s Dilemma
2013 Just Paying The Rent
2012 Remembering…
2011 A Little Farther

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The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.
  —   Gertrude Stein
Actually, this is a quote from the “character” Gertrude Stein, played by Kathy Bates, in the movie: “Midnight In Paris
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On This Day In:
2019 Take A Few Minutes To Remember
Start By Doubting
2018 You Cannot Pretend
2017 A Long Shadow
2016 Learning, Experience, Chances or Money
2015 The Critical State
2014 Dawn, n.
2013 Ouch!
2012 Just Lookin’ Around
Still Growing
2011 But Do You Want To?

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You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture.  Just get people to stop reading them.
  –   Ray Bradbury
[You don’t have to revoke FCC licenses to destroy the Fourth Estate (a free press).  Just get people to believe legitimate news organizations are “Fake News”.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 A Defense Of Liberty
2018 And Blog To Word Up To The Universe
The Irony Of Greed
2017 Or Revisiting A Blog Site
2016 Alas, Too Often The Latter
2015 Either / Or
2014 Memorial Day – 2014
Perfection
2013 Memorial Day Video
Equal = Equal
2012 Congrats, Nephew!!
Doggie Vision Networks
The Flash: Omnibus
JLI: vol 1
Flash: Rebirth
Burning Images
What Do You Believe?
2011 Are We Still At War With The Poor?

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Memorial Day

Monday 25 May 2020

Thank You, Veterans!

Some give more than others…

Some give all…

[All four images were found on the web.  No claim of ownership is intended or implied.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Kingslanding
2018 I’d Bet On Taxes
Ooops! I Spoke Too Soon
2017 A Cautionary Wish
2016 Slogging
It’s About…
Man / Man
2015 Memorial Day – 2015
Content People Love To Share
2014 I Resemble That Remark
2013 Long Range Exploration
2012 UBI
2011 Opportunity

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There is a myth about such highs: the user has an illusion of great insight, but it does not survive scrutiny in the morning.  I am convinced that this is an error, and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights; the main problem is putting these insights in a form acceptable to the quite different self that we are when we’re down the next day.
I had become friendly with a group of people who occasionally smoked cannabis, irregularly, but with evident pleasure.  Initially I was unwilling to partake, but the apparent euphoria that cannabis produced and the fact that there was no physiological addiction to the plant eventually persuaded me to try.  My initial experiences were entirely disappointing; there was no effect at all, and I began to entertain a variety of hypotheses about cannabis being a placebo which worked by expectation and hyperventilation rather than by chemistry.  After about five or six unsuccessful attempts, however, it happened.
There’s a part of me making, creating the perceptions which in everyday life would be bizarre; there’s another part of me which is a kind of observer.  About half of the pleasure comes from the observer-part appreciating the work of the creator-part. I smile, or sometimes even laugh out loud at the pictures on the insides of my eyelids. In this sense, I suppose cannabis is psychotomimetic, but I find none of the panic or terror that accompanies some psychoses.  Possibly this is because I know it’s my own trip, and that I can come down rapidly any time I want to.
The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before.  The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down.  This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse.  There also have been some art-related insights — I don’t know whether they are true or false, but they were fun to formulate.
Cannabis also enhances the enjoyment of sex — on the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of image passing before my eyes.  The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking.
I do not consider myself a religious person in the usual sense, but there is a religious aspect to some highs.  The heightened sensitivity in all areas gives me a feeling of communion with my surroundings, both animate and inanimate.  Sometimes a kind of existential perception of the absurd comes over me and I see with awful certainty the hypocrisies and posturing of myself and my fellow men.  And at other times, there is a different sense of the absurd, a playful and whimsical awareness.  Both of these senses of the absurd can be communicated, and some of the most rewarding highs I’ve had have been in sharing talk and perceptions and humor.  Cannabis brings us an awareness that we spend a lifetime being trained to overlook and forget and put out of our minds.  A sense of what the world is really like can be maddening; cannabis has brought me some feelings for what it is like to be crazy, and how we use that word “crazy” to avoid thinking about things that are too painful for us. In the Soviet Union political dissidents are routinely placed in insane asylums.  The same kind of thing, a little more subtle perhaps, occurs here: “did you hear what Lenny Bruce said yesterday?  He must be crazy.”
When I’m high I can penetrate into the past, recall childhood memories, friends, relatives, playthings, streets, smells, sounds, and tastes from a vanished era.  I can reconstruct the actual occurrences in childhood events only half understood at the time.  Many but not all my cannabis trips have somewhere in them a symbolism significant to me which I won’t attempt to describe here, a kind of mandala embossed on the high.  Free-associating to this mandala, both visually and as plays on words, has produced a very rich array of insights.
There is a myth about such highs: the user has an illusion of great insight, but it does not survive scrutiny in the morning.  I am convinced that this is an error, and that the devastating insights achieved when high are real insights; the main problem is putting these insights in a form acceptable to the quite different self that we are when we’re down the next day.
Incidentally, I find that reasonably good insights can be remembered the next day, but only if some effort has been made to set them down another way.  If I write the insight down or tell it to someone, then I can remember it with no assistance the following morning; but if I merely say to myself that I must make an effort to remember, I never do.
I find that most of the insights I achieve when high are into social issues, an area of creative scholarship very different from the one I am generally known for.
I can remember the night that I suddenly realized what it was like to be crazy, or nights when my feelings and perceptions were of a religious nature.  I had a very accurate sense that these feelings and perceptions, written down casually, would not stand the usual critical scrutiny that is my stock in trade as a scientist.  If I find in the morning a message from myself the night before informing me that there is a world around us which we barely sense, or that we can become one with the universe, or even that certain politicians are desperately frightened men, I may tend to disbelieve; but when I’m high I know about this disbelief.  And so I have a tape in which I exhort myself to take such remarks seriously.  I say “Listen closely, you sonofabitch of the morning!  This stuff is real!”  I try to show that my mind is working clearly; I recall the name of a high school acquaintance I have not thought of in thirty years; I describe the color, typography, and format of a book in another room and these memories do pass critical scrutiny in the morning.  I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs.  Such a remark applies not only to self-awareness and to intellectual pursuits, but also to perceptions of real people, a vastly enhanced sensitivity to facial expression, intonations, and choice of words which sometimes yields a rapport so close it’s as if two people are reading each other’s minds.
My high is always reflective, peaceable, intellectually exciting, and sociable, unlike most alcohol highs, and there is never a hangover.  Through the years I find that slightly smaller amounts of cannabis suffice to produce the same degree of high, and in one movie theater recently I found I could get high just by inhaling the cannabis smoke which permeated the theater.
There is a very nice self-titering aspect to cannabis.  Each puff is a very small dose; the time lag between inhaling a puff and sensing its effect is small; and there is no desire for more after the high is there.
I think the ratio, R, of the time to sense the dose taken to the time required to take an excessive dose is an important quantity.  R is very large for LSD (which I’ve never taken) and reasonably short for cannabis.  Small values of R should be one measure of the safety of psychedelic drugs.  When cannabis is legalized, I hope to see this ratio as one of the parameters printed on the pack.  I hope that time isn’t too distant; the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.
  —    Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 Kingslanding
2018 I’d Bet On Taxes
Ooops! I Spoke Too Soon
2017 A Cautionary Wish
2016 Slogging
It’s About…
Man / Man
2015 Memorial Day – 2015
Content People Love To Share
2014 I Resemble That Remark
2013 Long Range Exploration
2012 UBI
2011 Opportunity

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The True Believer: Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements” (1951©)  —  book review
Today’s review if for the “quasi”-political science book: “The True Believer“, written by Eric Hoffer.  I stumbled on this book on a list of “books which changed my life” article.  Unfortunately, I didn’t bother to record the author or site where I found the recommendation.  I’ve had this book on my waiting list for only a few months and it was kicked to the front because it was so positively reviewed and because I wanted a change of pace (something social / political) to read.
Eric Hoffer is a self-educated philosopher.  He spent a good chunk of his life living rather rough as a field-hand / farm worker in California’s central valley and then as a docker in San Francisco (after WWII).  Hoffer is kind of a “working man’s philosopher”. He ultimately wrote ten books on social philosophy and won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.  This book, is is most famous and is considered to be a “classic”.
My version of this book is 168 pages of text and another nine pages of footnotes / citations.  This book is not a “formal” analysis of politics, society or political movements.  It is, to me anyway, a proposal based on observation by the author and by the sources he cites in the “Notes” section.  As far as I can tell, the sources are purely anecdotal, too.  If you are a “popularized” science (“science for the masses”) reader, this book will be enticing, if not affirming.  If you are a person who prefers evidence to anecdote, you will probably not find much in this book.
So, what is the book about?  Hoffer believes there are main types of mass movements: revolutionary (American, French, Communist), nationalistic (Fascist, Nazi) and religious (Christian, Islamic).  Hoffer proposes there are three main types of people: the man of words, the fanatical and the men of action.  The man of words is the thinker / philosophizer who sees “wrong” and argues to change it.  The fanatic is the person who adopts the idea of change with a “religious” fervor – that is, an absolute belief that will overcome all obstacles because it is fated to do so.  And, lastly, the man of action is the group (or individual) who must bend the circumstance of the changed world into a functional society (after the movement has succeed in toppling the old regime).  The books main target for analysis is the man in the middle – the fanatic – who has lost himself and then found himself again in the movement.  This is very much shades of Saul (the Christian persecutor) on the road to Damascus, who, upon seeing a vision of Christ, is converted into the fanatical Saint Paul who seeks to pass on the new faith’s teachings not only to the Jewish community, but to the entire world.  Hoffer believes the “movement” itself is fairly irrelevant to the conversion.  It is the personal frustration and then the societal release which matters to the fanatic and which justifies all actions – no matter how barbaric the action or the movement.
So, is this book any good?  Did it convince me to agree with Hoffer about the nature of “True Believers“?  And, I guess, did this book change my life?  In order, so-so to yes; so-so to no; and, lastly, no – not really even a little.  If you like soft analysis and you want to believe the author’s stories, you will LOVE this book.  The book is kind of a cross between John Dean’s “Conservative Trilogy” philosophy and Malcolm Gladwell’s pleasant story telling.  I honestly liked the book and found over thirty quotes to post on this blog (eventually, but no hurry).  They (the quotes) are just things which made me pause and think.  If you can get that many ideas from only 168 pages, the author is doing something right.
Final recommendation: strong but not highly recommended.  I really enjoyed reading this short book and it made me repeatedly stop and think, but there wasn’t enough underlying / provable material for me to feel like this was a “life-changing” book.  That’s not to say light / soft books can’t be life-changers, but for me, this wasn’t one of those books.  I can see why this book is considered a “significant work” and even a “classic”, but I think it’s because I am predisposed to agree with author’s observations, not because I think he has proven his argument.
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On This Day In:
2019 I Struggle With One At A Time
2018 An Infectious Political Cancer
Site Update / Poems Page Evolution
2017 Our Thirst
2016 History Favors The Victor
2015 This We’ll Leave Them
2014 Sounds Like Faux News To Me
2013 Reasons
2012 American Libertarianism
2011 The Goal

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A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
  —  Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 I Struggle With One At A Time
2018 An Infectious Political Cancer
Site Update / Poems Page Evolution
2017 Our Thirst
2016 History Favors The Victor
2015 This We’ll Leave Them
2014 Sounds Like Faux News To Me
2013 Reasons
2012 American Libertarianism
2011 The Goal

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For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
  —  Carl Sagan
[Or, as opposed to listening to #LyingDonald in ANY of his rallies or pandemic briefings.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 I Don’t Know Truth, Either
2018 An Approaching Disgrace
2017 Liberty, Collusion, History And The Republican Majority
2016 But I Have Too Many Questions
2015 A New Friend
2014 Do I Have To Fall In Love?
2013 More Democracy, Please
2012 Speaking Of Love
2011 Limits

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The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
  ―   George Bernard Shaw
[This quote reminds me of White House Press Secretary – Kayleigh McEnany, Advisor to the President – Kellyanne Conway And #LyingDonald.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 #Impeach45: Halt The Slide Into Tryanny
2018 Expecting Profit
2017 In Spite Of The President
2016 And Sets
And My God For His Graces
2015 About Character
2014 Your Gain
2013 Look Up
2012 Count Me In
2011 Pirates Four, Three Songs
Sir Charles
Look First, Not Last
2010 Par-a-diddle

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Crystal Blue Persuasion

Look over yonder
What do you see?
The sun is a’rising
Most definitely
A new day is coming,
Ooh, ooh
People are changing
Ain’t it beautiful,
Ooh, ooh
Crystal blue persuasion
Better get ready
To see the light
Love,
Love is the answer,
Ooh, ooh
And that’s all right
So don’t you give up now,
Ooh, ooh
So easy to find
Just look to your soul
And open your mind
Crystal blue persuasion,
Mmm, mmm
It’s a new vibration
Crystal blue persuasion
Crystal, blue persuasion
Maybe tomorrow
When he looks down
On every green field,
Ooh, ooh
And every town
All of his children
And every nation
They’ll be
Peace and good
Brotherhood
Crystal blue persuasion, yeah
Crystal blue persuasion, aha
Crystal blue persuasion, aha
Crystal blue persuasion, aha
Performed by:   Tommy James & the Shondells
Songwriters:   Eddie Morley Gray, Mike Vale and Tommy James
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On This Day In:
2019 Hungry For Trust
2018 Mutual Assistance
2017 The Toughest Job
2016 Congratulations!!
Better Yet, Read!
2015 Even If It Kills Us Slowly
2014 Fun To Play God
Of Anything
2013 Legal (Almost)
2012 Great Scots!
2011 The GI Bill – A Simple History Lesson
Breaking Even

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We cannot ensure success, but we can deserve it.
  —  Joseph Addison
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On This Day In:
2019 Or Thought I’d Thought
2018 Go And Dare
2017 And Wealth A Poor Substitute For Ability
2016 Neither Darkness Nor Shadows
2015 It Took Roots
2014 Hard Evidence
2013 Full Participation
2012 Roving (Again)
Ooops, Again
2011 Why Not?

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Thirty-Six years ago I met the love of my life…   And holding her hand still makes me happy inside.
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On This Day In:
2019 Happy Meeting Day 35 (And Counting)
2018 Happy Meeting Day 34 (And Counting)
Storytelling
2017 Happy Meeting Day 33 (And Counting)
2016 Picture Perfect
2015 Life Showed Compassion
2014 And Then I Met Her
2013 Defining Maleness
The Run Continues
2012 All Set
2011 Not Always

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