Psychic In Today’s World?

As a longtime comic book fan, I often have thought of super powers. I don’t know any fan who hasn’t actually. Many are outlandish, or almost overblown caricatures of real-life abilities. I am a fan of Stan Lee’s Superhumans series. The one power I think that most people believe in, but has never really been proven, is Psychic phenomena. I personally believe in the possibility of it, and would love to see proof surface, but I fear it may never appear, at least in the Western world.
I say it may never for a couple of reasons. First though, I want to address the Comics and their portrayal, then the archetype that seems to prevail from it. Most comics books I know, and I am by no means an overall expert, so I will preface this with the fact that I have not read or seen all comic book psychic characters, just a few, and mostly Marvel. So though my experience is limited, I believe what I do know suffices for the sake of my argument here.
Comics seem to show psychic ability to be something easily controlled, something that manifests conveniently upon puberty, or slowly grows along with the child/hero and progresses with their growth. Any character that had trouble with their power, had a bad upbringing, or couldn’t handle their power, etc. I understand both the need and basis for this model, but I want to propose a variant, with only the most highest level of similarity. What if the person was psychic from birth? and the power was always there, but learning what it was would be the difficulty, only because the person is unable to know they are different.
The archetype of psychics, both for sale and in comics, is that the psychic somehow knows what they know. This is only possible if they had grown up, then acquired the power of hearing thoughts or reading minds, or what have you. I am limiting my exercise here mostly to telepathy, as the other “psychic” abilities, such as telekinesis, fit, albeit to a lesser degree. Imagine for a moment that you always heard other people’s thoughts. The trick would be to know which were yours. Sounds easy, because we always only hear our own thoughts. You hear only your own voice in your head. Any one who claims different, is, quite reasonably, called crazy, carefully analyzed, and treated for their mental disorder. But what if someone did make it without being detected, if they were able to somehow know they heard others, and they weren’t crazy. What could that person do?
I say it resembles the archetype in that as humans, all things require learning curves. Learning how to interpret that ability would be a monumental task. If we give it even a limited, comics-inspired physical basis, lets say that their mental “view” somehow could sense the electric(magnetic) pulses that make up human thought. These are known to be cascades, like lightning arcing across the cortex. I am painting with broad strokes for the sake of argument here, for certain. Learning, as a child does with everything, how to start to interpret the things, the feel, from others, in the same frame as all other languages and communications. Would this person be considered Special Education? Would they fall behind because of it?
I believe this to be an “A-ha!” moment. When we now must ask, “What kind of person would make it through knowing, at least to some extent interpreting,others thoughts, while growing up in today’s world? And how much would location dictate that person’s character disposition? Since thoughts do not start out as words, and though spoken languages are pretty much universal for humans, they are all learned, so we have a penchant or attaching patterns to other patterns. I am trying to imagine getting the feeling, or other thought patterns, like mental pictures, or something primal, that anyone would understand, while learning this. Having the emotional thoughts be transmitted first would be my thought. Empathy would be the first form of telepathy, and, with the exception of telekinesis, possibly the first variant of psychic abilities to appear. Maybe this is as far as most would be able to interpret, as few other things are universally translated into thought patterns.

Not our hero though, this person has exceeded this, as other cognitive abilities develop, let’s assume our hero develops the pattern recognition ability even further, albeit unconsciously, like so many others in preteen years, it is hard to know even that others aren’t like you, especially if you are living in a society that teaches that all people are the same, and you should “do unto them as you would have them do unto you”. So our young hero thinks everyone hears things the same way. I mean after all, to have it be otherwise would not only be impossible, it would be crazy, at least if it were complex things such as words, and voices, or pictures, or even fully formed ideas and other abstract object thoughts. Let’s say, by some luck of chance, our psychic has an ability that starts at emotions, and progresses along the same lines and human psyche. Instinct is first, Self-Preservation, then emotion. Let’s give Instinct the convenient and brief definition of cellular or genetic memory, or more importantly for us, inherent physical memories and/or abilities.
Understanding the development of others is probably the first place our psychic, as do most, would begin to develop the sense of identity that would allow them to understand that others didn’t think like them. Relative hierarchy would probably be the place it would be learned from in my opinion. What kind of person could read the basic intents and emotions of others in today’s teen world and not go stark raving mad? I am surprised any of the regular teens do, much less someone burdened by another form of communication that wasn’t supposed to be possible, and has to develop and learn on their own. I mean, in reality, where would the “first” psychic go to learn these things? More importantly, what would being able to “feel” others do to someone, and what could they learn?
I suppose here is where geopolitical factors, as well as environmental and nurturing states would all come into play. Never underestimate the power of humanity however, as the brain is plastic, and our psychic seems to have the natural serendipity to fall through the cracks of society, not fitting in would be a good way to do that. The top of the underbelly of the Beast is where most of those good souls that see through the B.S. of everyday Western life often land. Just bad enough to lie and keep secrets, just good enough to only do it to help each other stay afloat of the deeper depths.
I would think that something akin to a “spider-sense” would develop as a natural defense mechanism, just as with other preservation adaptations. Second would be Empathy, or feeling others emotions on some level. I believe that a form of “lie” detection would possibly be next. All of this would be extremely difficult mind you, if this were true, knowing what was, and what wasn’t, yours, would be a herculean task. I mean, not only knowing when a thought wasn’t yours, but that it originated in another AND it was fabricated? Getting to the level of whole thoughts, words, and pictures, while heavily dependent on exposure, would be even more so. Getting others to hear you, much less obey, would be an amazing development. Barriers in perception, interpretation, language, and emotional triggers, would be a seemingly impossible thing, on top of the impossible ability.
Again, what kind of person would be able to do all of this, and not hurt a bunch of people, or themselves, or just plain find someone, confess it all and get put in a looney bin? Would they know, and have the foresight to stay quiet, and stay out of the public eye, and make sure there was always doubt on what happened? I would think the latter would be necessary. I also think a fair amount of narcissism and humility would be needed just to even try, I don’t think it would be someone who craved the spotlight, as every movie fan, comic book fan, and just about anyone else knows, what we don’t understand, or we fear, we tend to destroy. Besides, the rewards of staying out of the light, outweigh being in it.
There are several prizes for someone who can publicly demonstrate their ability scientifically to many different organizations. But, consider for a moment, a high level ability, and the possibility that the benefits of quiet manipulation would outwiegh the few million you could pocket going on a world tour, showing off. And besides, after a lifetime of hiding, a natural ability to shroud oneself would be highly likely to develop. An aversion to the public eye even? It would be hard to tell.
I don’t think we would see it. I don’t think the person would go for the smaller sum. That kind of ability is invaluable to governments all over the world. Business, stocks, or just personal protection or even as a weapon. The value of it as a secret, is far more than the value it has as public knowledge.
I give a caveat, Predictability. The very thing that the public displays intend to prove is what would drive someone to them. More appropriately, a lack of it. If there were errors in interpretation, the percentages would still be higher than chance, but there would be errors of processing. This is where I think the comic book archetype fails those who may see it first. That the complete ability to read everything a person thinks with utter, stark accuracy is like light speed, in that it is conceivable, but probably unobtainable because of inherent limitations. I do not think someone brought up in an average way would be able to know this. Let’s hope our psychic has at least an understanding of statistical variability. This hasn’t even touched on the social impact yet.
Imagine for a moment, labeled as “Psychic” in today’s world. Never being able to ever participate in competitions, or hold an intimate conversation. How many people would expect you to literally “read their minds”? Would you be able to charge for proof? What would the cost of being read by the world’s “only” psychic be? If you are interested in doing it for humanity, then you would take what would possibly be the most influential power in comic books to come into real life and not make tons of money with it. Could that even be done in today’s world? I am not sure. Today, it seems that it is better to get money, then use the money to help people. I think anyone able to manifest that ability, and control it with any degree of accuracy, would be manipulating as much of the events possible to make their fortune large, so they could maintain shadow operations. I believe it would be built into them, as a matter of human development. Maybe not, after all, Humanity is more than a species, it is a declaration of a kinship to some degree. Maybe that is even where the power might lie, only the hero would know I suppose.
And so I come back to the end. I don’t believe we would know, as a general public. I think that between the course of natural human development, and geopolitical environmental factors, would keep such a wondrous human achievement out of the spotlight. And if it was something inheritable, or even more frightening, teachable, then that person would be valuable in a whole different way. I shudder to think, what if we ALL could tell others’ lies, could read each others minds? Or the trait/ability was somehow distributed to the larger public, either by artificial means, or later evolution, what would our society be like then?
I personally hope that anyone who had that kind of power, would be like Buddha, or Jesus, or Mother Theresa. May probability favor us all if someone with a less Utopian lean were to gain it. I think the only option after that would be to give it to everyone. I also see it being distributed genetically as a means to fight a “Terminator”-like future state where machines and people are at war.
I am sure the detailed reasons and development variables could fill a book or a few comics at least, but I deeply question if there is any psychic abilities out there, that the general public would be privy to them. I just think that the incentive to stay hidden, and even slight exposure, or garnering the right friends, would just serve to keep it even more hidden. The competitive advantage of it being secret is just too great. The person would have to be of such high character, it would almost be a Clark Kent-ish caricature.

And so I give you another Dose of Andrew. Read it twice, and comment in the morning.

On This and That

I bet you don’t even think of how you use those words. I have met very few people who do. You use them all the time, in a correct way, but it is likely, as is the case with so many words, you wouldn’t be able to tell others how to do it correctly, only correct them when wrong. Have you thought about it? What the difference is? One of the definitions for each word, and I believe they are etymologically connected, involves a frame of distance from the person or observer. I would say it is the main thrust of each word’s other definitions also. “This” deals with that which is close. Either physically, or within your mind. “That” deals with things that are further from you, either physically or mentally. When you say, “This is mine and that is yours,” the mental images or definitions do not place whatever that is closer to you than whatever this is. In time, if you say, “that happened ‘x’ number of years from now/ago” you are not speaking of this happening right now. If you just say, “this was just last week” it immediately implies an issue close to you temporally also, that references the past. Even within mental constructs, like ideas, the issue of closeness delineates the usage. To illustrate this, I will talk about different aspects of feminism, and only use the words this and that (and of course content of phraseology)to show what I agree with and don’t  by showing what is “close” to me.

Feminism is naturally divided. The basic structure of it is based upon division. Multiplicity in my moral compass creates a struggle within to remain under the banner of “Feminism”. “Women have it harder than men.” I have heard it many times.That bothers me. I have seen many more women being given a free ride than men. Granted, they usually have to serve or service men to get it, but it is somewhat “free” nonetheless.Men have less opportunity like that, but we have the “Bro Code” that gives an inherent advantage and preference, as long as we adhere to this unwritten, and largely misunderstood code. And I will tell you, that is a recipe for disaster, encode something, then don’t write it down, or give it distinct parameters. honestly, It is something that a woman would likely do, which leads me to believe it was developed as a defensive weapon in the war of the sexes. More likely a “Chicken and  Egg” argument, and a casual observation anyway. I would say this is dead even except for one thing, the “slut” factor. Men generally have a flaw in their logic, a double standard when it comes to women, and that is sexual promiscuity. We want to have it, we want our women to know what they are doing, and we don’t want them to have slept with other men to have got the knowledge. I honestly hang my head in shame just writing out that lengthy hypocrisy. So we want there to be a few women that sleep with every guy, never marry, and somehow convey this knowledge to other women via some process that doesn’t involve other men…… Umm, that’s crazy. Men can control what they do sexually, and should have every legal defense when it comes to sobriety that a woman does. Before we can call ourselves equal, we need to accept the histories that make us men, and women, as something to progress from. Women should earn the same pay for the same job. Whether subconscious or with deliberate intent, there is an income gap, and sexual trysts and power plays aside, I believe it has a lot to do with my next issue. “Women need maternity leave, and men do not” This first part I completely agree with, while that last part I disagree with completely. Mothers need physical time to recover, and time to bond with their child. This is something I wholeheartedly agree with and support. fathers need time to help with both the physical demands of immediate childbirth while the mother is less physically capable, and to also bond with their child, something undervalued in today’s civilized world, by society, by fathers, and children themselves. I understand that single mothers will not have another person to help and may have a more difficult time. This is also normal, and all the more reason to continue to have a job when they are capable of returning to work afterward. As it is now, There is a massive disparity between Paternity and Maternity leave. It is even considered a man’s duty to not be around while the baby is little. Something I find both strange and archaic.

Does the usage of this and that illustrate the closeness? Or perhaps it is more appropriate to say it underscores the differences?

I hope I at least got you thinking in a way you havent ever, or at least in a long while. This isn’t an Enlightenment post to be sure, but merely one to get discussion going, even if only within my noggin’. Much ado about nothing, if you will. None of this post was meant to be overly political, or insightful.

But, if this causes bedlam, I guess call a fireman. Sometimes to pique interest, I act like an arsonist, and randomly tell a story in a way that’s deliberately inflammatory. I hope you get this far through, so you can see the rhyme I left for you, it is for those that do, that I give thanks, through and through.

P.S. – read this twice and email me in the morning. -Dr. A

A Matter of Choice

Choice. It seems so simple. In this particular case, I am referring to the choice to give birth or not. It should be a simple thing, only women can do it, only women should be able to decide. It rarely ends up that way though. Take myself, if I had the choice, I would say that every woman under the age of 18 should have a mandatory abortion… but I will come back to that. I want to speak to some of the other views that irritate me. If there is one thing i will stand up for it is choice, so lets spend a minute defining that.

Choice. There are a few definitions in online and print dictionaries, the one I will focus on, mostly because the other pertinent ones are able to be encapsulated by this focus, is this one from Merriam-Webster, whose wording I personally like: Choice: the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities : the opportunity or power to make a decision (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/choice) A poignant choice of words (pun intended). The Opportunity or Power… very specific. There’s an inherent nowness to those words. A prescience of presentness if you will. To mince words, and get into semantics a bit, any way you want to push the definitions (check the websites and print, this applies to all numbered definitions as far as I can tell) in order to make it about a future choice, you have to put a modifier on the word, like I just did. That is blatant implication of immediate present within the very word, and since words describe concepts, an inherent immediacy to the concept of choice, of choosing. A future choice is not completely foreseeable, and unmakeable. A past choice is unchangeable, so the present is the ONLY choice possibility. And therefore the power of choice rests in the right now. This may seem to be redundant, or unnecessary, but to establish that choice is a determination of the future that lies with the immediate present is important. Now then, since we have established that with a certain amount of reasonability, I will move on to the next part of my ranting.

The very definition I used for choice implies a sort of consciousness, a minimum awareness of external circumstances and the separation of them from self. This is a minimum amount of awareness necessary to even establish the concept of self. That may be a bit esoteric for some people, so let me rephrase. In order to even establish the idea of self, yourself, or someone/thing else as self,  you must first be able to establish the thought process and idea of separation. The distinction of this from that, if you will. We often use those words without thought, and we instinctively know when one sounds wrong, but when pressed, I bet most people would be unable to provide a reasoning as to when and why you would use one instead of the other. Try it, try to explain in just words, no examples, of when you would use this instead of that, and vice versa. More difficult than it seems, yes? But yet you can do it instinctively, and you know that there is a separation between the two, even if you cant describe it. This is an example of that distinction. An inherent separation of 2 or more unitary ideas. The power of choice rests in separating self from the actions, in order to to have that opportunity, there must be enough consciousness to at least comprehend that  distinction, and I will state that it is the minimum necessary awareness for consciousness itself. The ability to determine the separation of self from all that is not-self. I believe, in a minimalist way, this is the definition of self-awareness. Anything without this has neither opportunity, nor power of choice. The privilege of choice is a different story, one of power and circumstance, but the definition of choice allows for any person/animal/thing that has such awareness the power of choice, and nature constantly provides opportunity. I will briefly mention that the constancy of choice is what gives rise to time, and is inherent to self-awareness. but that intertwining circular definition of time and choice is for another ranting, one which hits more upon Godel and the idea that no self-referencing system can be free of paradox. For now, I will stay with this definition, and leave the more metaphysical definition for the after-arguments. Right now, the minimum requirement for the power and opportunity of choice is that awareness of separation between self and all else. This is an important distinction, an instinctive awareness is good enough.

Choice, back to the heart of the matter. When making choices for other sentient beings that also have the ability to choose, the being taking that away is depriving the other of liberty, freedom, and they are reducing the sentience and consciousness of the being that is deprived to one of lesser status, an arbitrary and arguable reduction at best. When people do it to animals, we do it as a matter of conscience in order to feel better about the (arguable) necessity of killing other sentient animals for food or in order to usurp common living areas for only people to live in. This allows us to make a distinction between murder, and simple killing. Make no mistake, this is the only distinction, any argument other than this is a semantic one, a prettying up of the concepts. Structured choice produces similar reactions in all organisms, and we can easily group them as such, but in order to alleviate a moralistic inequality, we make a distinction between us and them. Now we get to the current political issue of choice in giving birth, the subject I opened this with.

I said at the beginning that i believed that every woman under the age of 18 should have mandatory abortions when impregnated. I hope that produces reflexive anger in people. I truly believe that is the responsible course of action given world population, natural resource use, and the psychological maturity of the majority of teenage girls who have the physical ability to give birth, but don’t have the mental development to properly give a child a sense of responsibility in the world. However, I do not believe I have the right to take away the inherent power of choice from the women who would, or would not, give birth. Their inherent right to make that decision is not something I can arbitrarily take away, nor can any society that makes claims to liberty, freedom and individualism. The right to choose is not given to the baby that is yet-to-be-born. Our previous definition of awareness precludes it. The pre-born (a term right-to-life folks use to give a sense of impending life, but I like it for different reason I will show in a moment) have not had the opportunity to establish a separation of self from environment. That precludes them from having the power or opportunity for choice, by previous definitions. They are pre-born, and therefore pre-aware, and pre-life, which places them, by any non-hypocritical definition, at a lower state of awareness and therefore right of choice, to even our animal friends that we routinely slaughter. An egg is pre-born, sperm is pre-born, DNA fragments floating waiting to be inserted into a cell is all pre-born. If that is the term, then pre-born is pre-life,  and has no rights at all. A rock has no rights, the basic chemical building blocks of life are all pre-born, and they have no rights, so without any non-arbitrary temporal distinction, pre-born is pre-life and pre-rights. Parents routinely make decisions for their children, and to take that right away from them is contrary to all belief systems that advocate for parental rights. A person has the power and privilege of making choices, but they cannot escape the consequences and responsibilities of those choices. A woman who makes the choice to give birth should do so knowing that she will have to take the responsibility of that child on herself, alone. A man cannot be involved in the personal decision to carry the child, and therefore should not be required to be responsible for the consequences of said decision personally. Society in general is by its nature, but individual males should not be making the decision to carry children to term, and also should be absolved of responsibility of the burden by legal requirement. That is a hypocrisy and laziness of the society requiring it. While I make no statement here about a moral obligation by a societal convention or paradigm, it should not be a legal requirement in a society that claims individual opportunity, liberty, freedom and responsibility. A man has no business telling a woman what to do with her body, and she has no business telling a man that he has to be responsible for her decisions, nor should the courts or other legal bodies. Her decision, her responsibility, her liberty and freedom. To take that right away is to reduce the consciousness of a woman to that of something lesser than man, and on a level with young children, and even animals. Every woman who believes she has the same rights as a man, and every man who believes that too, and that women are capable, intelligent, responsible, independent beings with the ability to reason, interact, and contribute meaningfully to society in a manner that is anything other than a lesser role to men should be standing behind this.

i intentionally left out medical definitions of life, or humanity, or even a breakdown of a development of consciousness. that was done beautifully by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan in the book Billions and Billions. (Also in Parade magazine) Rather than plagiarize or redo their outstanding work, I will just reference it here. For me, it is a simple matter: the rights of the actuality override the rights of the potentiality, so the right of a woman to choose, overrides the right of the pre-born. Period. I quite honestly do not believe in the existence of rights for non-viable pre-born, and have limited belief in the rights of viable fetuses prior to actual natural delivery. i understand this personal belief is contradicted by medical interference and practice, and many fetuses have become living people with modern medical intervention and assistance. For me, this is a compromise, and my conservative nature allows this as a compromise, knowing that to do otherwise would then be legislating religious belief, which I am against as a proud American.

Choice. It’s a requirement for sentience, consciousness, and for a fetus to go from pre-born, to fully born, or to go from being pre-born to fully un-born. It is also required to give women the inherent rights they deserve: to be fully equal, independent and capable human beings with all the same rights and responsibilities as men in a free society.

Two Kinds of Romance

A Tale of Two Romances
I am going to attempt to illustrate differences in my ideas of romance by using two movies. They are both classic romances, though one garnered a much larger audience, especially among women. I am afraid it both illustrates my point, and underscores my fears. The two movies I will refer to are The Notebook and Notting Hill. I like both movies, and the stories, but one actually doesn’t fit my idea of a good romance, and the other seems a more realistic story.
First, The Notebook. While I like the movie, and the end scene is a tear-jerker, it seems to push a very materialistic view on romance. I am not against having things, for even the most Spartan-living survivalist will use modern tools, and sharing in a small part of the modern economy is a necessity in modern times. What I refer to is the unhealthy obsession with the leading lady in the story by the main man. She snubs him, she leaves him when he is poor and gone for another man with material wealth, and tells him he needs to get some, and finally comes back to him when he does acquire the equivalent of a small modern fortune. This is nearly incomprehensible to me. If this were to actually happen, the woman would be labeled a gold-digger (rightfully so) and the man would be borderline stalker. This seems to fly in the face of almost every single romance story except one: The that appeal to both sexes are the kind where the woman is there, loyal and loving to the man, who is loyal and hardworking. Modern ones may even have both the man and woman working hard, earning their own fortunes. Not this one, or this kind. This is the strange love kind, that so many women admire, and look for. Quite honestly, I think the leading lady character in this movie is laazy, and not worth his efforts. The undying love he has, and the depth to which he holds it, to the point of not living anymore without his love, is quite sweet, and the saving grace, so much so that you forget the crap she put him through because of her character flaws. Maybe it is just the kind of guy I am, but I prefer the stronger flavor of woman, as I heard it put once, I prefer the kind of woman you want to keep, over a kept woman. Which brings me to the story in the next movie, and its type.
Notting Hill is one of my favorite Romance movies. I have a few, as I am a sappy kind of guy who likes rom-coms (shh, tell noone) and watches new ones often. But more importantly for this piece is the two characters, and their differences to The Notebook characters. The main man in this one is a small business owner, not wealthy, but rich in character and friends. The leading lady is a wealthy and famous actress. It seems to be a reverse Princess story with a twist: the man declines the wealth, determined to protect himself from the trappings of fame and the wishy-washy nature of the lady’s business and life. This is a huge difference right here. He is protecting himself in a very special way, trying not to hurt the lady, while still telling her that he loves her enough to stay away. This is after he spent a year (beautifully shown with a single walk through seasons) pining and depressingly meandering through life wanting her. It sheds the materialism for more depth of relations. From the family interactions, to the tongue-in-cheek humor, to the hilarious go-for-broke ending where he luckily hasn’t destroyed his chances with the lady he obviously loves, and she shows him it was real too. This disrobing of the societal wardrobe to emphasize the everyday people beneath is more poignant to me. Her ability to be real despite her cultural status, and his ability to not be fazed by it underscores the main point of both movies despite the character differences: that two people who cannot stand to be without one another are usually happy with each other, and in love. The Notebook does it with two borderline sociopaths, while Notting Hill does it with two people in different socioeconomic statuses. The message is quite similar, but the circumstances are not.
I suppose that is part of the point. I watch and see the craziness of the first, and sigh wistfully at the second. I call it crazy for the first because I have made that mistake, and I know that I have difficulty respecting a woman that brings down feminism in my eyes. I am wistful of the second not because of the fame and fortune, but because finding a woman who is able to work hard, and still shed herself of that to believe in romance in a jaded world is difficult, a rarity in these times. The disparity of the two just emphasizes the character needed to do such a thing. Maybe it wouldn’t happen in today’s world, maybe it does. I have seen a few celebrity couples that seem to fit the mold, and give me such happiness to see, and I wish them well (J Lo & Casper). Perhaps the rarity of this is why I am still single and have never married. I am searching for such a rarity that I may never find her, perhaps I can’t extend my social network far enough to find that diamond in the rough, or even polished. After all, we watch these to give a template to our own ideas of romance and love, so we can better recognize them when they happen. I know I have had enough of crazy, I guess I am just looking for that woman who is able to stand in front of me, and just be a girl, standing in front of a guy, asking him to love her.

I just want to be loved, is that so wrong?

-A Dose of Andrew

Hi Fidelity

Fidelity. Definition via http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fidelity gives us an overarching idea; strict observance to promises, duties, facts, loyalties, and conjugal faithfulness. Hi-Fi audio reproduction is a faithfulness to the original sound or recording, even if today’s recordings are often digitally created with no instruments. Fidelity investments are usually considered honest and long-term investments, as opposed to short-term gain investments that are often “sketchy”. It seems redundant to say conjugal fidelity is at LEAST as sketchy.

We continually strive to live in a more Hi-Fi world. It seems in all aspects, we admit an impossibility of “perfection” yet continually seem to pretend that everyone should be able to comply with the demand to produce it. All of the dominant social philosophies/religions preach and practice (to varying degrees of course) some form of this basic truth about human duality, the fruit of knowledge so to speak. yet they also advocate some form of the term “forgiveness”, and also “responsibility”. I use responsibility separate from duty in this reference. I mean it as a consequence of action. I like Hi-Fidelity myself, I believe it is an essential tool for the seamless operation of any society, and like any society, there will be failings, and like any good engineering project, there are margins of error. Tolerances, so to speak.

As for me, I have made almost every mistake at least once. Well, not every mistake, but most of the ones concerning a state of higher fidelity in my life. Most as a young child, some more recently, often i have found it happens when I respond to the world around me in kind, and do not take a proactive stance in my life. Many philosophers  new and old, and I include the great poets I know in this, proclaim this in some fashion too. It is how we learn, all too often. I have often said, to my son, “there are 2 ways to learn, and one of them is the hard way.” Mistakes are often what happens when you push boundaries. A questioning curiosity is a good thing, and should be encouraged as one of the main paths to stimulating creativity. Mistakes are what happen when you haven’t learned everything yet. to me, that is an eternal optimism about the future, permanent rose-colored glasses I suppose some would say. I often change, I actually strive to change a little every day. I want  to learn something, deliberately, every day of my life. It adds a richness to life. I suppose in some way, that means I am actively seeking to make a mistake somewhere along the line, every single day. I guess that means I am just not done yet.

One of the great things about having optimism about the future? The power of the word, “Yet.”

Role Models in Marriage

Scalia: “Mr. Cooper, let me — let me give you one — one concrete thing. I don’t know why you don’t mention some concrete things. If you redefine marriage to include same-sex couples, you must — you must permit adoption by same-sex couples, and there’s — there’s considerable disagreement among — among sociologists as to what the consequences of raising a child in a — in a single-sex family, whether that is harmful to the child or not. Some States do not — do not permit adoption by same-sex couples for that reason.”

A quote from Justice Scalia regarding the current hearings before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was referring to role models in both a gender, and societal, framework, and I would like to put my two cents in. Especially regarding the idea of harmful.

I originally was going to present a thoughtful argument with sociological studies, raw data, and a personal interpretation of that data. Instead, I will simply make anecdotal arguments, as I believe they are more powerful, and illustrative. If you want raw data, there’s always Google.

Stating that there is “considerable disagreement” among sociologists about same-sex marriage is incomplete in its scope, and misleading in its wording, especially coming from someone regarded as an authority in argumentation. Considerable is such a vague word. How about a more legal one, such as Preponderance of Evidence? the greater many social psychologists, sociologists, psychologists, and now he general population, understand it isn’t about the gender, it is about the people within that relationship. It is as if Justice Scalia has forgotten all of the domestic violence, rape, incest, and other crimes committed within that institution he is arguing is less harmful to children. There are plenty of examples of terrible Role Models within the traditional institution of marriage. I would argue that being raised by two people who belong to a class that have been able to overcome centuries of oppression, humiliation, and legal persecution, sometimes while other “sinful” practices are left legal, like bestiality, to name one, would be an outstanding set of Role Models. When compared to a traditional set of that may scream about a falsely perceived “war” on their religion, among many other beliefs not supported by evidence, and a tradition of oppression cloaked in tolerance, I argue that same-sex marriage has the potential to be even more nurturing and compassionate than what Justice Scalia is arguing for.

The Honorable Justice uses the lower courts’ rulings in a state basis to distance himself from the argument, but even using it places his position on the same side. Using vague, opinionated terms like “considerable disagreement” is comparable to saying “there’s considerable disagreement amongst biblical scholars as to the proper interpretation of the Bible”. Of course there is! That is why we have a Supreme Court! While unfortunate that it is not a court of Science and Logic, it is a Court on the interpretation of Law, in fact, if memory serves me correctly, it is The Supreme Court in this country on such matters. It isn’t just hearing arguments, but evaluating evidence in a logically consistent manner. Statements made such as Justice Scalia’s illustrate, on the face of it, a lack of comprehensive evidence, and an opinion based on such a lack.

Arguments about Role Models for children do not even touch upon the definition of a “class of peoples”, such as race, but also in religious beliefs. Religion is not only merely behavioral, it is a choice that can be changed throughout a person’s life, and every single choice is protected as a “class of people”. Homosexuality is not a choice, it is statement of being. Even if it was a choice, it is one of thought processes, behavior, and is not as changeable as religion, but it does involve thought processes that determine behavior, and should be afforded the same minimum protections as religious beliefs. Given the amount of death, dishonor, and harm perpetrated by religion (ahem, altar boys), Allowing people to have equal protection for believing they have the same rights as any other citizen to have their personal beliefs about their own sexuality and love, while still maintaining protections levied against any other loving couples, isn’t a choice, it is an Inalienable Right. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, guaranteed by that wonderful document The U.S. Constitution.

I challenge any sociologist, social psychologist, or legal authority to find a preponderance of evidence that would state the alternative to be less harmful. By that alternative I mean having a gay parent that is forced into a relationship that suppresses their true feelings, breeds resentment for the establishment, and has feelings derived from those that are projected onto their children, and say definitively that such an institution is better than allowing a more open and natural expression of their feelings. And also, present such ann argument without resorting to the necessity of counseling, as counseling is a great tool for helping all parents, not just heterosexual ones. There is a preponderance of historical evidence that shows traditional marriage has many pitfalls also, many of which are alleviated by community help, professional counseling, and nurturing unconditional love. All of those criteria are necessary regardless of the sexual orientation of the parents. I mean no disrespect to Justice Scalia, and my next statement is meant to be more generally applicable: Statements about the harm of same-sex marriage are ignorant, support an agenda that oppresses freedom, is in violation of the principles of this country, and if they violate ANY community standards, then it is those community standards that must change, it is known in the modern world as Progress.

The Gun Control Debacle, A.K.A When Dealing in Deadly Force Pays

The whole gun control debate has stirred such a whirlwind of activity, gun sales through the roof, no real alternative for the average person to combat someone else with a gun, and politicians telling people that the only solution for a bad guy with a gun, is for them to go out and buy themselves a gun. Or something to that effect. With no real statistical reason to allow guns in schools, but tons of them to limit the amount of personal arsenal available to individual citizens, and even more to limit the deadly force available to law enforcement, the new gun bill in front of Congress stand to be gutted of the balance that laws are intended to fulfill. It allows more guns in schools,  but limits the kind, and amount of ammunition available. This is a balance in response to the Newtown, and Columbine, and the other outbreaks of violence in response to being bullied. Taking away the provisions for limiting the ammo and type of weapon used, while allowing more weapons in schools, while simultaneously restricting the options available to children, telling them to go through proper channels, while enforcing those rules with deadly force, presents a duality that will be obvious, at least subconsciously, that even the youngest of preteens will understand on some level. Given our history as a country, and as a culture, this presents an even more volatile situation than exists without the gun bill. Perhaps this is the intent, perhaps not, but one thing is for certain, the ones winning right now, are those who make and distribute weapons of deadly force. Here is an excerpt from my facebook page, which I deleted, and posted here, that got me started on this subject, even though I don’t want to revisit topics in my blog, this one inspired me to comment, and it is different enough from my last post to warrant it.

The one thing that shouldn’t be happening: Gun ownership is one thing, but what exactly are we making when we have everyone at schools carrying guns? I am not against gun ownership, but returning to a “wild west” scenario where everyone owns, and wears, their weapon is a scenario that is untenable. it is the culmination of a flawed philosophy, and at LEAST a single backward step. the next move will be to make it a private security only, or law enforcement only, as soon as people complain about a police state. and the firearm industry will have had its fire sale, they will then get fat government and private contracts, to make weapons to combat the weapons they just sold. this is the strategy, make no  mistake, it has happened before, and the solution was metal detectors in schools, not weapons. the gun lobby wins in any solution, but one they make the most profit from is the one currently happening, and it WILL result in right disappearing.  The predator instinct will win, and they count on people responding with fear. Just look at the propaganda on both sides, both push fear, and either way the gun lobby wins when fear is rampant. why are we so afraid of guns in schools? there have been a handful of incidents in the last decade  or so, compared to the number of people who get bullied, so we put guns in schools? not do more about bullying? and then we try to subdue those who lash out by making them more afraid? when you can build a bomb from information on the internet and a little knowledge, when guns become commonplace in schools, and those that are oppressed have no other method to report, household bombs  will be the result. Terrorism like that isn’t cowardice, it is those who are powerless asserting their basic human right to not live in fear of the powerful, it is the ultimate expression of the American spirit: to rebel against oppression by those in power, and to use any means necessary, including violence, and guerrilla warfare (think British methods of warfare versus the Native American) it is how we won freedom from the British Empire, and if we continue to oppress our children, while filling them with tales of American Old West heroes, we will raise a generation of terrorists. It IS our history, flawed as it is, unless we do more to tell about our own flawed history of how we stole land from those who were already here, we will be educating our children to use guerrilla tactics and terrorist methods to ensure that oppression has a hero to fight against it.