Pornography on the Brain

Sorry guys, it’s not that kind of post.

A few porn stories caught my eye recently.

There’s a recent-ish movie about how young women are consumed by the porn industry.  The average 18 year old lasts about 3 months and only make a few thousand dollars in profit.  Meanwhile the producers make millions.

There was a story about a young Australian women, very religious, who discovered pornography on her fiance’s phone.  She was so appalled that she called off the wedding a week before the ceremony.  She had many things to say against the pornography.  She didn’t say anything about her lack of respect for his privacy.

Finally, an Australian report on how licensed brothels are being run out of business by illegal massage parlors that have “extra” items on the menu.  It seems that the illegal parlors charge about $160 (Aussie I’m guessing) an hour.  But the illegal parlors don’t have as much overhead.  The women only make a fraction of that anyway.  Most of it goes to the pimps.

As you can imagine, the pimps, the producers, and the vast majority of consumers are all men.  When society tries to contain any of these “evils,” the typical prisoner is going to be the prostitute or the actress.  Yes, sometimes a producer gets arrested, but it’s more likely they are major contributors to the local judges’s campaign coffers.  As for the pimp, they can afford lawyers.

Here’s a thought.

Make it all legal.  Pornography.  Prostitution.  Let men consume it.  Perhaps it will make them a bit less “handy” on real dates.  Of course, that is a another subject.

Here’s the other half of the twist.  Also make it totally illegal for men to have any part of the production or distribution of the material.  Women only, from start to stop, in only public corporations.  Even male actors, if they can’t be replaced by “man”-iquens or robot actors, must work for minimum wage.

Women actors get paid, fairly.  Women directors, stage hands, sound stage, stunt doubles, medical support, producers, marketing, communications, distribution, makeup, wardrobe, and even accounting and janitorial, all possible functions must be women.

Will you know it when you see it?

Now the “policing” function becomes easy.  The customers go free, they are paying.  The women go free, they are working.  Based on what I’ve read, they are mostly performing as psychologists anyway.  As for the pimps and every other male, arrest them.  Even if it’s a guy who owns the cameras that the women are using, it’s illegal.  His wife can own the cameras, so that when she gets paid it’s all her money.  But not him, not one little bit.

So, that’s the idea.  Play with it.  See if it has legs, or sticks to the wall, or whatever you want to do with it.  And the next time you see some porn, consider where that money is going.

If that doesn’t turn you off porn, nothing will.

True Killers

There’s this great report put out by the Centers for Disease Control, it’s all about how many people die of things in the USA.  It lists lots of reasons, and helps the government set policies to help its citizens live longer, happier, more productive lives.

wait till you see what's inside.

Except it doesn’t always seem to be working.  There’s been a drug crisis going on since the 1960s, and today it’s morphed into an even worse epidemic.

So, here’s another perspective on our problem.

Perhaps the list the CDC maintains is the wrong place to be looking.  What we should  consider are things having to do with behavior.

For instance, perhaps the suspects we should consider are these: Loneliness, Stress, and Boredom.

What can Stress do to you?  We know it can accelerate heart attacks, stroke, and many other things related to aging.

What about Boredom?  That gives us time to play with drugs, experiment with risky behaviors, and wonder why life is worth living when the going gets tough.

Finally, what about Loneliness?  When we’re lonely, we tend to think about our pains, we magnify our problems and minimize our blessings.  When we’re lonely, we can also be alone.

One of the biggest causes of loneliness is being alone.  If we’re alone, we can make mistakes.  Mistakes can be big ones, like leaving the stove cooking something when we go to sleep.  Or sitting in a running car when the garage door is closed.  Or taking the wrong medicine at the wrong time.

These three things can exist in any age group, any population, at any time.  Addressing the causes that underlie the reasons we die may be far more effective than simply trying to attack the reason.  It has to be better than what we’ve been doing, simply because what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked.

So the next time you see a horror film, go with someone.  Talk about it.  Make sure it’s a relaxing experience.  My guess is you’ll live to see another day.  And another.

 

Emily feeds the soul so it can sing

Rocking your World since 1884

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all
And sweetest in the Gale is heard
And sore must be the storm —
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm —
I’ve heard it in the chillest land —
And on the strangest Sea —
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb — of Me.

This is my wife’s favorite, and I can’t blame her.  So far it’s in my top nine, and that’s only because I haven’t read all of the other 1766 poems yet.

It’s pure.  It’s isolated in time and space.  We have absolutely no context as to who speaks, their history, their knowledge, their future.  We are suspended in the purest form of poetry amids images of storms, strange seas, chilly lands.  Yet we harken to the warmth of a song, a tune without words, someTHING that perches within our soul.

She says nothing about how that feathered thing got there in the first place, or what happens to it in the end.  Those are questions I burn to ask Emily, next time we meet.

I don’t know if I’ll ever find out, no matter how closely I read her work.  She’s famously shy.  And I’ll confess, even though I can be brusque,  the thought of confronting Emily and asking her such questions gets me nervous.  I’ll probably end up tongue tied and make small talk.

No kidding.

How’s that for emotional power?

 

Meso-Monsters

There’s a popular song-writer musician who has something about “little monsters” tattooed on her arm.  I have a feeling that I know what she is talking about.

Then again, I’d like to hear it from her.

At the other end of the scale, we have Mega-monsters.  These are dictators who rule countries without regard to the general welfare.  Instead they are all about self-serving actions that benefit a small part of their population.  The current leaders of Turkey, Egypt, Venezuela, Russia, and even the USA come to mind.

What about in the middle?  Can we find any monsters living between these two extremes?

You bettcha.  In fact, this is where the most dangerous monsters live.  For instance, there are people disguised as religious leaders teaching their flocks why they are better than everyone else, and how they must bring violence to those who oppose them.

The schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan come easily to mind.  After all, that’s what “Taliban” means.  Unfortunately for us Westerners, those aren’t the only ones.  There are Meso-monsters in every country, every county, even every village throughout the world.

The fact that you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  It means that we’re not looking.

Now that you’ve heard the concept (copyrighted and trademarked right here!) start looking locally.  Something will happen, and if you trace the lines of influence back far enough, you will find someone who acts as a source for lots of unrest.

Once you have him, never let him go.  That’s the only way to control a monster: little, big, and middle.

Good hunting.

 

Questions versus Answers

Some years ago…  alright, many years ago, I was in public school taking chemistry.  The star quarterback was in my class, and he wasn’t liking chemistry as much as I did.  But he had one of those new calculators, and I didn’t.  The teacher was a nice guy and let us share.

Guess what?  Yup.It's not what you know, it's how you know it.

I would do the problem and leave the answer on the calculator.  The quarterback would have the answer, and then hand the calculator back to me.  He passed the class.

Except one of us learned chemistry.

So, which would you rather have?

A) Answers, or …

B) Questions teaching you how to get your own answers?

That’s right, the correct answer is “B.”

And here’s the reason why.

If someone gives you an answer, how do you know it’s right?

If something changes later on, and you need a new answer, can you get it for yourself?

Best yet, if you understand the process of getting that answer, maybe you can apply it to another problem.  Right?

Right.

So, if someone offers you an answer, try saying “no thank you.”  Instead, ask them to show you how to get the answer yourself.  You’ll thank them someday.

 

Emily Dickinson and True Women

Rocking your World since 1884

There are some relationships out there in the wide world where younger men have chosen to befriend an “older” woman.  The word is in quotes because I’m not only referring to age, but to maturity, confidence, outlook in the world.

It’s no secret as to what society thinks men look for in women.  Young, interested only in pleasure both sensual or superficial.  Perhaps most ominously for our civilization, women are expected to be subservient, even dominated.  How many times must a young woman drop to her knees before she deserves respect?

What about these reverse relationships where it’s the young man and the “older” woman?  My guess is that these are men for whom superficial, subservient partners are unacceptable.  These are men who have chosen a higher path in life, respecting their partner for who they are, deep inside.

The most famous to my mind is Macron and his wife.  It may not have begun under the best of circumstances, but that isn’t relevant here.  No, they are together, and they appear happy.  More importantly, it could be a strong relationship between a man and a woman who are true to themselves.

Emily was such a woman.  She never found a partner who could accept her as she was, then again, she may not have been looking very hard.  She was ridiculously shy.

And, there’s a good chance that if she had a more romantic partner and a more conventional lifestyle, we wouldn’t have gems like this:

I dwell in Possibility —
A fairer House than Prose —
More numerous of Windows —
Superior — for Doors —
Of Chambers as the Cedars —
Impregnable of Eye —
And for an Everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky —
Of Visitors — the fairest —
For Occupation — This —
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise —

These are not the thoughts of your average young woman.

They are the thoughts of a TRUE woman.

And here’s what I’ve learned from Emily.  It doesn’t matter when she was born or how the ripples of time move across her flesh.  The woman inside, the TRUE woman, is someone to be cherished, nurtured, protected, and enjoyed.  And for her TRUE partner, the same is their due.

 

 

Capsule Surfing

You’ve heard of couch-surfing, no doubt.  Heck, a lot of us were doing it way before there was a term for it.

In all fairness to the English language, there was a term for it.  Our parents called it free-loading.

It was quite a tradition amongst some folks.  In fact, a few very famous people lived their lives doing it.

Why don’t we take this to the next level?

For instance, there are lots of very high rent districts that feature very small apartments.  What if you could stay there?  Or if you live in one, start making some money without having to lose a room?  Or a couch?

What if you’re having a big party and have many friends wanting to stay the night, but all you own is a single bed?  Yes, you can all sleep on the floor, but that’s no fun.  (Yes, you need to SLEEP.)

Here’s an idea.  What if you could go to your local rental place and rent a sleep capsule?  They are already in use in many places throughout the world, especially Japan.

Instead of an inflatable mattress, you get a capsule.  Set it up, maybe even stack them up.  Slide your friends inside and let them get some rest.

They’d have their own ventilation with heating and cooling, so the temp would be their own.  It would be sound-proof so that their music doesn’t bother you, or the neighbors.  They could power their phone and laptop, the same as having their head propped up on a pillow.

Best yet, you don’t end up with a hugely messy room.  At the end of their stay, the capsules go back into storage, and you never notice the difference.

It’s all part of the trend to make things easier, more personal, smaller, and potentially profitable all the way around.

It may be hard to believe, but it’s coming.

Sleep on it.

 

Space isn’t big enough for: Soft Science

You’d think that living in infinite space with only a few other people on the entire surface of the moon meant you could do whatever you wanted, believe whatever you wished, and have no restrictions because there’s nothing around.

The further we look, the more galaxies we find.Here’s the rub.  There’s no room for mistakes, no room for wishy washy, no room for fuzzy and no room for ambiguity.

Am I making myself clear?

So, for all you wannabee spacers, think about what you’re going to take up there in terms of knowledge.  Because you want to be useful, what?

What are the soft sciences?  Anything that has to do behavior.  Economics comes to mind.  Psychology, sociology, even law and religion.  Go ahead, you can name a few.

What? you say.  How can you make such crazy outlandish claim?

I’m not.  I’m repeating something Richard Feynman once said.  He was a truly smart guy who thought about a lot of things.

Here’s what he said about understanding living things.  He came to this conclusion after spending hours watching paramecia under the microscope.  He decided its behavior was far more complicated than anybody recognized.  How then can we ever hope to understand humans if we cant even understand the behavior of such a simple animal.

Here’s a quote from his book, “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman”

So my impression of these animals is that their behavior is much too simplified in the books. It is not so utterly mechanical or one-dimensional as they say.  They should describe the behavior of these simple animals correctly.  Until we see how many dimensions of behavior even a one-celled animal has, we wont be able to fully understand the behavior of more complicated animals.

So, if you plan to head for the great beyond, plan accordingly, pack light, and for heaven’s sake, take only hard science.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

 

 

 

Dreaming of Emily in Iambic

Rocking your World since 1884

I didn’t think it possible, but I found another girlfriend.  The old one was super smart, incredibly observant, and extremely insightful.  But there are times when that razor-sharp intellect can try a guy, especially on those nights I want to sit back and chillax.

Jane is intense.  You can’t totally relax around her, because that brain of her is always going a million miles a minute.  My friend calls it having a monkey mind.  Jane’s brain isn’t out of control, it’s just that it’s always active, piercing, probing.

By the way, if you’re looking for a date, she’s available, and open to any gender.  Check her out on tindr or match.  Search for “Jane Austen.”

I’ll never forget her, but I’ve moved on.  Now I’ve discovered Emily.  Emily is sweet, unaffected, shy to the point of being diagnosed clinically catatonic.  Seriously.

But her depth of feeling!  When I spend enough time with her, not pushing, not asking anything, just sitting with some tea, or going for a walk and not even holding hands, sometimes, she’ll open up.  The emotional intensity is pure, unadulterated power.  I don’t THINK I’m alive when I’m with Emily, I FEEL alive.

The other day we were alone, together but not really, wandering the woods while a good distance apart.  At one point I was looking straight up when a flock of geese flew overhead in formation, their standard “V.”  I must have moved my lips and pointing finger as I was counting them.  Counting is something I like to do, it relaxes me, and I’m a rather quantitative guy.

I felt a soft hand on my shoulder, so soft that I barely noticed.  When I realized it was her, I touched it, gently.  She removed her hand, and I turned to look at her.  She looked away and said …

It’s all I have to bring today —
This, and my heart beside —
This, and my heart, and all the fields —
And all the meadows wide —
Be sure you count — should I forget
Some one the sum could tell —
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.

I haven’t counted in her presence — since.

 

Hawking’s Intelligent T-Shirt

Image

My brother-in-law got me a fun T-shirt displaying this text:

1N73LL1G3NC3
15 7H3
4B1L17Y
70 4D4P7 70
CH4NG3
573PH3N H4WK1NG

I’ll let you wrestle through it, as that’s part of the fun.

There’s a little problem, however.

It’s wrong. Now, I don’t know if the late great Hawking said this, I haven’t checked as yet.  However, the definition itself is wrong.

Fundamentally, there are many things that can’t adapt to change.  In fact, I know quite a few people, generally ex-employees, that do their best to resist change.  That’s partly why they are “ex” employees.

Despite their resistance to change, despite their inability to adapt to change, I wouldn’t call them unintelligent.

That’s part of the problem with not having a good definition.

So, with all due (possible) respect to Stephen H., here’s my hat in the ring.

Intelligence is the reflection of the environment within our defined life form.

Let me break this down.  It starts off with “Intelligence is…”  So that part is easy.  Since it doesn’t have to deal with change, it’s directly related to something else.  So measurement should be easier.  Not easy.  Easier.

Next, it’s a reflection.  This makes our job easier, because that means there is going to be a “source” and a “target.”  Every reflection requires some form of mirror, and the mirror reflects light from some object (the source) to a mind, making an impression (the target).

What’s the source?  It’s the environment.  Buckminster Fuller said it best: Environment is everything but me.

Here’s the fun part.  Where’s the target?  It’s going to be “inside” something.

What is that “something?”

That’s OUR defined life form.  This is the trickiest part, because most of the time no one takes the time to define who has the intelligence.  If we all agree we’re evaluating the intelligence of a mouse, then there it is.  If it’s the entire mouse species, that’s different.  If it’s going to be you, that’s one thing.  But if it’s going to be a whole bunch of us, that’s very different.

No single image summarizes our dread of Artificial Intelligence more than this.

Ever heard of group intelligence?  Some feel that groups are not quite as swift as individuals.  Now we can test for that.  What is the reflection of the environment within the group?  The group may have a great reflection, but if they can’t communicate it within themselves very well, then it doesn’t do them much good.  They would still be considered “intelligent” by my definition, but as many people have argued through the years, intelligence doesn’t always mean you’re smart.

There you have it.  This doesn’t quite answer a lot of the tough questions that are still out there.  Check out the post from 6 August 2018.  In the meantime, be careful out there.

Be intelligent.  Be smart!