April 2016

I remember the chorus from long ago and found that there was actually a verse to the song.


I had made the observation earlier that the movie industry had not produced much original content compared to Super Bowl commercials.  An associated thought is here:

Despite the disdain for the past, decadent civilizations struggle to do more than deconstruct and then helplessly imitate the past. Chaotic deconstruction of past creative arts is followed by retro copying of them, first ironically and then earnestly. Nostalgia becomes the central industry of a dying civilization mired in irony and incapable of mining its own culture for creative energies.

The central cultural critique becomes updating older works to more politically correct forms. A classic character is remade black or gay. Problems with diversity or sexism are tackled. The critic becomes a commissar whose job is to sanctify the transformation of an old politically incorrect work as politically correct. That is the role of the social justice warrior.

So it is more than just lack of ideas, it is the cleansing of our theatrical past.  It is the brainwashing of our present generation lest they have a wider appreciation for the works of our forefathers.  Remember the proposed (?) removal of instruction in cursive writing, so the present generation and future generations are effectively removed from ability to follow curiosity and find out for themselves what the forefathers wrote.

But decadent civilizations are also less interested in discovering new things than in disproving old things. The middling talents at the helm rewrite history while justifying their misrule by denouncing the achievements of their vigorous ancestors. Instead of standing on the shoulders of giants, they point out their flaws to obscure their own worthlessness.

Screams of “they were slaveholders” come to mind here.  Never mind the actual facts of the culture and laws in place when the citizens and politicians believed in following laws.

Read the rest.  A decent assessment of islam is there in the ballpark of my description of it as a tribal totalitarian ideology.

that we are a nation ruled by law, read this and weep.

The term “illegal” does have a definition, which is why it’s not a preferred descriptor of the situation.

I have heard over the years about our country being “evil” because of the slave trade and existence at the founding up until the war of northern aggression.  A particular blog struck a note of curiosity by stating that at its peak, the United States was only 1% slave owners.  I had a few minutes before the sunrise today, so decided to check out the census myself.  The location is here for anyone interested.  I downloaded the statistics and property file and found out that the population in 1860 was 31,443,321.  The number of slaves was 3,200,364.  That makes the slave portion of the population 10.1%.  Another way of looking at this is that there were no more than 10.1% slave owners in the United States in 1860, and that assumes 1:1 ownership ratio.  (pages 337 and 339).   I then looked for slave owners and found nothing in that report.  It was interesting to note that all slaves in the District of Columbia were freed.  Note this was prior to the war or Northern aggression.  I have tried in vain to locate the number of slave owners.  Therefore, all I have with which to work is the fact that there were fewer than 10.1% slave owners in the country.  In modern politics, the white population is in the media being tarred with the slavery brush and the black population cries how about their history.  I also noted another column called “Free colored” and that number was 476,636. (pg 598)  There is not a history of them as to being slaves previously, but there is the note that 476,636 were not slaves at 1860.  Therefore, being black doesn’t truly mean that your ancestors were necessarily slaves.  There is a higher possibility, but not a guarantee.  Also, being white doesn’t mean you were a descendant of slave owners.  Actually the numbers are lower in that regard as well.  Of the population where 10.1% were slaves and 10.1% were owners, that leaves 79.8% of the population who didn’t own slaves.  Again, I’m just using the numbers I found as I could not locate the number of slave owners so am using the easy calculation of 1:1 owner to slave.  Therefore, the chance for a white to be a descendant of a slave owner is much smaller.  Why should an entire group be tarred with the behavior of 10% of their ancestors?   Apply that to any other group and the results could be interesting.

The Snapshots of Samson set has a rear projection screen.  This is to allow us to stand in front of the backgrounds without casting shadows.  The design is simple – place the projector facing backwards in the normal fashion and place a large mirror on the back wall and angle it so that the picture is seen on the screen located at the rear of the projector.  The set up requires just over six feet of back space.  The mirror I discovered was from a garage sale and spent maybe $15 for it.  I don’t remember the actual amount, but it may have been less.  The thing was in an old frame from a dresser.  We have been using the mirror apart from its frame for the performances so far, but that leaves the mirror without protection during transportation.  I decided to  box the unit.  Since money has been tight lately with the federal government taking a pound of flesh, I used what we had.  Scraps became treasures.  Flexibility in design and thought were orders of the day.  The following is the result:


The original frame is actually inside behind the mirror.  There is a piece of plywood on the back attached to the old frame and the angle iron makes a slot for the front chip board to rest.  I didn’t want to buy clips, so bent two pieces of strap, drilled a 1/4″ hole in the end of each and welded a small piece of rod in each.  This means that the front simply slides into the slot and the two rod holes.  It does weigh like a dead horse though.  The mirror was stamped with a manufacturing date of February 1953, so I was wondering the possibility of leaded glass.  That’s also the reason for the two handles made from scrap 1/8″ steel and rebar.  I had an old piece of clothes rod which when cut and drilled made the handles.  It’s not the prettiest, but it is functional and won’t be seen except during the set up or tear down and I’m happy with that.

In psychology, there was testing many years ago trying to decide on the applicability and limits of behavioral training.  This would be stimulus/response.  The particular test which comes to mind is the one where a bird was given a pellet of food at a timed interval regardless of the bird’s behavior.  The bird was observed to adopt the behavior of turning in circles prior to eating.  The interpretation is that the bird adopted the behavior immediately prior to receiving food as that behavior which produced or allowed the food to be given.  Remember that in this case the administration of food was no relative to the behavior of the bird, only the time on the clock.

People consider themselves a high functioning being than a bird, but I started wondering about people functioning in the same fashion.  I remember just yesterday noting to another nurse how superstitious nurses are.  Example: utter the word “quiet” and the rest of the day will go to….  Where did that thought originate?  Could it be that some nurse was enjoying their day, uttered that forbidden word and 30 minutes later their shift got thrown into the crapper?   I can see a clear parallel here.  There was a school I visited which was designed for bipolar children.  One teacher there informed me that there were doctors who understood the effect of the moon and would adjust the kid’s medications according to the moon’s cycle.  One could argue superstition, another could say that they were observing the behavior of the children relative to the period of the moon and noted a similarity.

So let’s back up a bit and observe what this kind of inquiry is.  The scientific method has been employed to elucidate many useful things.  This is the setting up of an experiment with known quantities and observing the outcome if a specific change is applied to those known quantities.  The experiment must be repeatable to be considered valid.  In other words, others must be able to reproduce the results.  To start at the simplest, babies in their highchairs learn that when something is held over the end of their tray and released, it goes to the floor.  This experimentation may go on until most of the supper is in  a pile, or a parent applies force outside of the experimental lab.

Once one is outside of the most simple experimentations, the results and mechanisms become much more diffuse and subject to other forces.  Let’s go to the other end of the scale and think medication.   The development of a medication may take the talents of a doctor, biochemist, and organic chemist as well as the businessman to provide the resources of production.  The doctor observes a particular ailment and proposes a means to alter the problem.  The biochemist considers the application of molecule to the particular site and decides upon a molecule that works on the problem.  The organic chemist takes the proposed molecule and plans how to produce the same.  Each step of this takes observation, planning, calculation, and testing.  Once a medication is produced, an animal is chosen on which to test it.  This is the first stage testing where the question must be asked, “does this do what we want?”  The next question, “what other effects does this have?”  Once these are answered, the medication goes to its first human trial.  These are volunteers who take the medication according to their own ailments and report how it worked as well as the side effects experienced.  These are the side effects noted in the pharmacy insert.

How is this different than the bird turning circles?  Well, we humans reproduce the results, therefore are more “scientific” than our bird counterparts.  I have read may medication inserts and have repeatedly noted the disclaimer that the actual mechanism of the medication hasn’t been fully elucidated.  It is thought to do such and such in this particular area of anatomy.  In other words, the scientists have made observations and are providing the medication based upon those observations.  They have turned a circle and noted the food pellet there and concluded that action may have been involved because of x and x.  The patient is advised to use medication only under the direction of a physician because liability may ensue should the person take medication straight from the manufacturer and not have a good outcome.  How could one not have a good outcome when this substance has been tested?  This medication was tested in animals, and other people with their own metabolisms, but even though people are similar enough to make generalizations, there are specific differences requiring different treatments.  Turning circles may work with one patient, but poking the lever may be required for another.

Every action a person takes can be reduced to testing and results of previous experience.  We walk into a restaurant with money handy, because that exchange is required for obtaining food.  This is known by observation of others and experience the person has on their own.  Who has tried to eat at a restaurant without exchanging money?  There are stories occasionally involving descriptions of the person’s character and the legal results of such action.  Again, stimulus and response.  I have previous written on truth, but a similar parallel could be written here.  We call that letter “a” because the teacher in kindergarten said that particular shape was called that name.  No other shape was assigned the name “a”.  There was a stimulus and a response.  In this case, another individual directed the responses and provided stimuli according to the result to produce similar responses across the classroom.  That is why you can read my thoughts here – similar responses were rewarded and alternative responses were discouraged.

Thinking on that level takes me to the understanding that this could be spokes of a wheel continuing down a road of consciousness with contact at any point having association with the concept.  In other words, it could go on without end, so I will stop now.

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