Archives for category: 1989

Universal healthcare is anathema to many people.
‘The government has no business to spend my tax money subsidizing other people’s health!’
Hence hose who cannot afford a doctor should either die peacefully or accept charity….

And when a private company sponsors a health care effort that company is perceived, by the same ‘many people’, as having ‘ulterior’ motives…

That’s what I consider to be a ‘perfect’ conundrum.

A self made trap!

On the other hand, let’s face it, this is a very rational attitude!
Given some private companies’ past behavior…

See what I mean?
‘Ulterior motives’ are wide-spread enough to having become normalized.
‘Greed is good’ sits high on the social pedestal.
People can no longer imagine any of their peers being driven by other motives but the immediate profit.
But the immediate financial profit!

Mind you, I’m not pretending Pfizer has suddenly morphed into a virgin knight riding a white horse and sacrificing itself on our behalf.

All I’m saying is we’re in a dire and immediate need to reevaluate our priorities!

The self made trap is 3D, you know…

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“To boldly go where no man had gone before!”

None of us had been asked for their ‘informed consent’.
Yet all of us are cramped together on Space-ship Earth towards the place where ‘no man had ever gone before’.

Now that this very suggestive image has been published, what is our voyage going to morph into?

Hell on Earth, as so many apocalyptic movies/novels have advertised?

Or are we going to heed to the present ‘wake-up call’? As we already did so many times before?

We have managed to eradicate, through vaccination, the smallpox. Polio, measles, diphtheria, rabies and so many other diseases are no longer a real danger. For those of us who had been vaccinated or have access to the relevant vaccines.

Yet faced with the current challenge, COVID 19, we have ‘doubts’…

Some of us have doubts about getting the vaccine, others about making the vaccine available to the entire ‘crew’.

What’s going on in that collective brain of ours?

What’s the rationale behind making the polio vaccine available for everybody, practically for free, while that for COVID is still out of reach for most of those who need it? Given our current industrial prowess…
Why is it so hard to understand that given enough time SARS Cov 2 will certainly mutate far enough from the original version to evade the current vaccine?

The fact that the authors above are working the equity angle speaks volumes.
Equity is, indeed, very important.
Only it relates more to ‘metaphysics’ than to the immediate reality.

Equity has to do with the perceived reality while people die in the immediate one.
The perceived reality will end up haunting us, indeed, only we have to survive the current situation in order to get to that stage.

The real problem with the lopsided access to the Covid vaccines being that while we ‘race to secure doses’ the virus has the opportunity to mutate out of our ‘control’.
Our concern with ‘equity’ somehow blinds us to the fact that ‘cutthroat’ is no longer a metaphor.
The longer it takes for us to understand that the entire crew of the space-ship Earth must be immunized the longer it will take for us to get ‘out of the woods’.

Why had our parents been able to eradicate small pox and almost do the same thing to polio?
While we’re still dragging our asses? And not exclusively about COVID… When we have so much information about everything?

What made the anti-vaxxers of those times less powerful than the current ones?

What makes me so sure the erstwhile anti-vaxxers had been less powerful?
Small pox had been eradicated, right?
I had measles. Before the vaccine had been made available. Never heard about anybody having measles until very recently.

A weakness in herd immunity contributed to the recent measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York. The level of vaccination in that community was down to about 70 to 80 percent, well below the critical level of herd immunity, which was due to the spread of misinformation about the safety of the MMR vaccine among other causes. A child who had visited relatives abroad brought measles back into his neighborhood in Brooklyn, causing one of the worst measles outbreaks that New York City has seen in decades. A total of 654 individuals were infected, causing the city to issue a mandatory vaccination in people living in the four Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Let me wrap up with this.

Whoa!
What’s going on here?
Israel, the country, had made a huge effort to save its people from the misery caused by Covid!
Why would the Ultra-Orthodox community need any extra-effort to let itself be immunized?

Why was Israel’s manner of thinking closer to that of our fathers’ than to ours?
What makes us so similar, in this respect, to the Ultra-Orthodox?

Well, our fathers had to fight for their rights. And Israel for its place on the map.
We, and the Ultra-Orthodox, had our rights granted to us.

Our fathers had to cooperate among themselves in order to get through.
Israel had survived, and thrived, as the consequence of a coordinated effort.

We are cocooned in our bubbles.
We have become spoiled brats. One way or another.

We really need to start thinking outside our respective comfort zones.

For no other reason that mutinies tend to make matters worse.
It so happened that during the last 80 years no major conflict had disturbed the peace on our ship.
No thanks to us. We haven’t done anything special. Being aware that a conflict between the major powers would have ended in MAD doesn’t count as ‘doing anything special’.
During the last two generations we sorta lost our bearings.

Hopefully we’ll wake up to the fact that the next disturbance will no longer be a ‘top down’ event.
Think about it. Ever since the French Revolution – the last bottoms up upheaval, all other ‘disturbances’ had been the consequence of somebody planning for them. Initiating them.

30 years ago, the socialist lager had crumbled. Under its own weight.
Nobody had planned that event. Nobody had planned for that event!
The democratic world had been stunned by the speed with which things had unfolded.

The socialist lager had crumbled for the simple reason that the people living there had become pissed of.
Pissed of by the growing distance which separated them from those living in the ‘capitalist’ world.

Some of that distance has survived to this day. But it’s shrinking! Fast!

Unlike the distance between the ‘civilized’ world and the ‘developing nations’.

This ‘cutthroat race (among nations) to secure doses’ while so many ‘civilized’ people share-antivaxxer propaganda only adds insult to the injury felt by those who don’t have access to vaccines.
And demonstrates how far off we have distanced ourselves from the ‘hard core’ reality.

The native speakers among you don’t need to be reminded of what ‘bounty’ means.
How ironic is it?
People manning ‘the Bounty’ had had enough and chosen mutiny in place of a continuation of what they already had.
Captain Bligh, on the other hand, had learned nothing of his first experience… “Bligh, who eventually would fall prey to a total of three mutinies in his career, was an oppressive commander and insulted those under him.”

Are we going to make anything of our present predicament?

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Pigs have orgasms.
What?!?
And why does it even matter?

Orgasm consumes a lot of energy.
By itself, not what it takes to reach it!
And it somewhat incapacitates the individual experiencing it.

Try evading an aggressor while having one…

Then how could they have survived?
The orgasmic pigs… experiencing orgasm must produce an evolutionary advantage to compensate the costs incurred, right?

The way I see it, orgasm – as well as all other ‘pleasures’, is the reward for a job well done.
For having sex, for eating, for doing the right thing…

Or used to be!

Those which/who naturally/naively experience pleasure are quite different from those who, and some ‘which’, experience pleasure for it’s own sake.

With an entire gamut of consequences…

Having a drink with friends versus drowning your sorrows in booze.
Experience a gourmet dinner versus ‘digging your grave with your own teeth’ out of sheer boredom.
Feeling high after successfully climbing a mountain versus just feeling ‘high’.

Why are we doing this?
Why do we put the cart before the horses?

Out of ‘boredom’, as Calhoun’s experiment strongly suggests?

I’m afraid that for us, humans, boredom is only the circumstance. The circumstance in which we happen to choose.
‘Cause ultimately it’s us who do the choosing.

Yes, we are under an immense pressure.
To conform.
To obey the rule.
To do what is expected of us.

But is it right?
Is it really good?
And, above all, is it sustainable? At any level…

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Three of the terms involved are relatively clear.
We all know – think we know, what ‘fail’, ‘win’ and ‘cheat’ mean.
‘Honor’… on the other hand… is way more relative. Mostly to the company we keep.

For some, being honest is synonym to behaving foolishly…
After being educated in such a manner, not making use of every opportunity which presents itself to you – no matter how ‘shady’ it might be, is seen as suicidal. Not only that you loose the potential windfall, you also loose face!
You loose whatever public respect you ever had. You actually loose your honor!

Now, that I’ve already dug this far, the whole phrase needs context.
We know what ‘fail’ means but without circumstances….
What are we talking about here? Backgammon or a survival situation?
An innocuous game or a struggle to stay alive?

Most people will praise those who let themselves be killed for a noble cause.
On the other hand, it would be rather ‘bland’ to allow someone to kill you without attempting to ‘fool’ the guy into giving up, right?

On a different scale, history – and, maybe, this was what Sophocles meant in the first place, offers ample proof that communities which value ‘true’ honor last far longer – and their members enjoy far more comfortable lives, than those where cheating is a way of life.

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Voi folosi conceptul introdus de Maslow pentru a încerca să intuiesc la ce ‘etaj’ se află România. Ca dezvoltare socială…

Avem niște nevoi.
Pe care le știe toata lumea. N-are nici un rost să le înșir aici.

Avem o ‘organizare socială’. Populație, antreprenori și politicieni. Care interacționează într-un spațiu politic definit de legi democratice și își asigură subzistența pe o piață liberă care funcționează pe principii capitaliste.

Conform fișei postului, politicienii sunt aceia care ar trebui sa identifice și ierarhizeze prioritățile. Problemele care trebuie rezolvate. Apoi să propună societății diverse căi de urmat. Fiecare grupare politică în funcție de interesele pe care le reprezintă și de ideologia cu ajutorul căreia judecă lucrurile.
Restul populației este chemată – la date fixe precum și ocazional, să aleaga prin vot între variantele propuse de diversele grupări politice.

În afară de alegerile la nivel național, regional și local, democrația mai presupune și niște alegeri ‘interne’. Adică în interiorul partidelor. În timpul campaniilor electorale ‘interne’, partidele au ocazia să-și (re)definească și caracterul, nu doar să-și aleagă liderii.

Discutând această poziționare, unii se întreabă ‘Ce-o fi în capul lui Orban’? Având în vedere că acum 3 ani doar 21% din alegătorii de pe listele electorale au ieșit să voteze….

Înainte de a intra ‘pe fond’, aș vrea să mai adaug o imagine.

Ce înțeleg eu din toată chestia asta?

Că piramida nevoilor s-a transformat într-un aisberg.

La bază, avem nevoile Romaniei. Ca țară.
Deasupra lor, avem nevoile politicienilor. Nevoile indivizilor intrați în politică și nevoile partidelor, ca organizații.

Aceste două niveluri se află ‘sub apă’. Toată lumea știe că sunt acolo. Pentru că fiecare dintre noi vede vârful aisbergului! Dar nimeni nu știe cu adevărat până unde se întinde fiecare dintre aceste două straturi. Ce forma are fiecare dintre ele…
Asta pentru că nimeni dintre cei care ar trebui să o facă nu discută – „cinstit și lăutarește”, pe aceste teme. În afară de niște ONG-uri – care se străduie dar nu sunt băgate în seamă.

Se vede, în schimb, ce se întâmplă la suprafață.
Pe scena politică, pe ecranul televizoarelor si pe monitoarele device-urilor multi-media…
Se vede cum acționeaza politicienii noștri.
Ce fac și ce spun. Cum votează atunci când au ocazia și ce spun în diverse ocazii…

Cum am spus la început, treaba noastră – adică datoria civică – este să evaluăm prestația si propunerile politicienilor.
Să determinăm cu ce se ocupă aceștia.

Cu rezolvarea problemelor obștii sau cu rezolvarea problemelor lor?

Și mai e o chestie. Din modul cum acționează politicienii putem determina și ce părere au despre noi.
Mai bine spus, ce cred ei că vom face noi.

Să revenim puțin la cel mai precis sondaj de opinie făcut vreodată în România.
Referendumul pentru Familia Tradițională…

Optimiștii s-au bucurat că n-a trecut.
Pesimiștii s-au întristat că România alunecă pe o panta periculoasă.
Iar eu sunt încă îngrozit de-a dreptul!

21.10% la suta dintre cei înscriși pe liste au ieșit la vot, iar 91.56% dintre ei au votat DA!
Referendumul a fost anulat pentru ca prezența la vot a fost mai mică de 30%.

Cu alte cuvinte, avem în țară trei milioane și jumătate de votanți extrem de disciplinați. Cărora li s-a spus să facă ceva iar ei au dus sarcina la îndeplinire.
Ce s-ar fi întâmplat dacă cei care au organizat referendumul ar fi ‘periat’ listele electorale?
N-au făcut-o pentru că nu era în interesul lor?

Nu era în interesul lor ATUNCI…

Având în vedere noile poziționări ale unora dintre politicieni și modul în care se fac și se desfac alianțele de facto dintre taberele politice…

UDMR nu este de acord cu alegerea primarilor în două tururi de scrutin.
PNL voteaza o moțiune introdusă de tabăra social democrată din Parlamentul European pentru a face în ciudă USR-Plus iar PSD se abține de la acel vot.

Aproape 1 000 000 de romani au făcut cerere de rezidență în UK. Or mai fi încă trei milioane în restul UE.

Dacă pe listele electorale ar fi fost doar 14 milioane – in loc 18, acei trei milioane și jumătate de ‘disciplinați’ ar fi fost suficienți pentru a modifica Constituția. Și să nu uităm că Senatul – în calitate de cameră decizională, a adoptat propunerea de modificare a Constituției cu 107 voturi pentru (PSD, ALDE si PNL), 13 împotrivă și 7 abțineri.

Vom trăi și vom vedea ce se va întâmpla în continuare.
Se vor apuca politicienii să rezolve problemele noastre, ale tuturor?
Sau vor continua să le rezolve pe ale lor, profitând de ‘bezmeticeala’ noastră? Și de ‘disponibilitatea’ manifestată de 21% dintre noi?

Iar întrebarea de 1000 de puncte este:

Politicienii ca politicienii.
Ce facem noi? Noi aștia care ne dăm rotunzi… Care credem că le știm pe toate…
Dăm vina pe ‘disciplinați’? Pe politicieni?

Sau ne trezim și noi odată?
Încercăm să înțelegem ce se întâmplă în sufletele ‘disciplinaților’? Ce-i face să fie o pradă ușoară în față politicienilor fără scrupule?

Dacă reușim să le luăm ‘apa de la moară’, toți ‘fățarnicii’ se ‘usucă’ repede… Nici unul nu e ‘de cursă lungă’.
La noi e robinetul… Noi suntem cei care trebuie să ne hotărâm odată!

I’ll start by stating that nothing becomes fact before somebody calling it so!

Doesn’t make any sense?
It’s not enough?
OK…

So ‘blue’ had become a fact only after people had invented a word for it…
It had existed before hand but we hadn’t noticed it – hadn’t spoken about it, more exactly, until we had a word for it. Until we had learned how to ‘measure’ it…

But what is a ‘fact’?
Something which is ‘real’?
And how do you determine if something is ‘real’ or not?
It either has ‘measurable consequences’ or your experience about it has been confirmed by somebody else.
A coffee table becomes a fact in the dark after you hit it with your shin and a meteorite ceases being a illusion the moment your hubby confirms he has also seen it.
No so complicated, was it?

‘But what about a propaganda movie? It that real? Can you consider it to be a fact?’

Excellent question, Watson!

The movie itself is real alright! A fact, indeed.
The fact that not everything it pretends to be real is true… is also a fact!
Savvy?

In fact, there are more facts waiting to be discovered than actual ‘happenings’.

Take the propaganda movie.
It has consequences.
Some people believe in its message. And act accordingly. Each of those actions becoming facts on their own.
Other people smell the rat hiding behind the screen. And act accordingly. Each of those actions being facts on their own.
The fact that those exposed to the same message more often than not chose to respond differently is a strong suggestion that facts – and reality itself, are not so straightforward as we’d like them to be.
As straightforward as most spin doctors pretend them to be…

‘You’ve been jabbering for sometime now but you haven’t yet come forward. What was the meaning of that ‘elusive’ title of yours?’

Liberty.
What is it?
A fact? A natural fact? Something which was given to us? Our natural status? Something others want to steal from us?
Something we’ve built/discovered together?
Or an ideal we’ll never be able to fulfill?

How about all three at the same time?

‘Are you nuts?’

A ball – a foot-ball, for example, has a certain degree of freedom. Put it on a table and it may roll in any direction it may choose. But will ‘never’ be able to fall through the table nor start to fly. ‘On it’s own’…
A helium balloon has another kind of freedom. If it’s tied down with a string it has the freedom to oscillate. If it’s ‘free’ it has the freedom to go up. For as long as it manages to hold on on enough helium, but that’s another thing. Another fact, if you will…

A society is free only if its members respect and defend, collectively, their freedoms. Their individual freedom and their collective freedom. For instance, Russia is a free country but its citizens are not as free as their neighbors, the Fins.
The moment Hong Kong went back to China, the city was no longer as free as it used to be as a British dominion. Yet its citizens have continued to be far freer than the rest of the Chinese citizens. For a while…..

Somethings – freedom, for instance, cannot be anything more than people think about them.

Others can.
Until people had invented X-rays, nobody could know how big were the roots of any given tooth.
Until Robert K. Merton had put together a more detailed analysis of it, the law of the unintended consequences was something people intuitively knew it was ‘real’ but nobody was fully aware of its real depth. Now, most of us agree that that depth is unfathomable. Yet some people still behave as if things were under control… Under their control…

Freedom, and all other rights we have enjoyed for sometime now, is only as wide – and only as deep, as we make it to be. As we agree among ourselves to make it.
For all of us!

Collective freedom as a fact.
In the sense that the freer communities have had a consistently bigger survivability rate than the more authoritarian regimes.
Ancient Athens had been able to navigate through more ‘dire straights’ than its arch-enemy, Sparta.
The Roman Empire has been established as a democracy, thrived as one for a while then failed abysmally as an autocracy.
Yes, the Egyptian empire did survive for millennia… only it had been ruled, succeedingly, by 33 dynasties. Practically, there had been 33 regimes, not one… And since there had been some 3100 years between its unification and it being incorporated into the Roman Empire… an average of 100 years per political regime cannot be branded as a real success… Specially in the early years, when the competition was…

A quick jump to the XX-th century will suggest the very same thing. All major wars – WWI, WWII and the Cold one, had been won by the freer societies.

So collective freedom, or lack thereof, has consequences. Is a fact.

On the other hand, freedom – the real version, the one that works, cannot be had/enjoyed but in a social context.
Nobody can be free on their own.
The emperors of yore – and the dictators of today, have been under the impression – illusion, more likely, that they could do whatever they pleased. That they were free. So free that they never hesitated to trample the freedom of their subjects. Only that freedom never lasted for long… it was soon replaced by the liberty of somebody else… And all these successive liberties have been exerted at the expense of those of everybody else.

Hence liberty, individual as well as collective, is not only a fact. It’s also a social construct.

What about the ‘elusive ideal’?

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Oops!
The only reasonable way to read this is ‘if you want to be free, you need to think straight’.
To find out what’s keeping you down and how to free yourself in a sustainable way.
How to free yourself in a manner which will add to the freedom of all others!

Cause if your increased freedom means the debasement of your erstwhile peers… things don’t look right…

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As much as I love writing, I do have to eat.
And to provide for my family.
Earning money takes time.
If you’d like me to write more, and on a more regular basis, hit the button.
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30 years ago – 32, to be precise, Francis Fukuyama had come up with the notion that people – as in the human race, had finally realized that liberal democracy was the only reasonable way forward. Hence ‘the end of history’. The end of conflict… the end of ‘misunderstanding’ between people…

“WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democrats’ sweeping attempt to rewrite U.S. election and voting law suffered a major setback in the Senate Tuesday, blocked by a filibuster wall of Republican opposition to what would be the largest overhaul of the electoral system in a generation.”
“The bill, known as the For the People Act, would touch on virtually every aspect of how elections are conducted, striking down hurdles to voting that advocates view as the Civil Rights fight of the era, while also curbing the influence of money in politics and limiting partisan influence over the drawing of congressional districts.
But many in the GOP say the measure represents instead a breathtaking federal infringement on states’ authority to conduct their own elections without fraud — and is meant to ultimately benefit Democrats.
It failed on a 50-50 vote after Republicans, some of whom derided the bill as the “Screw the People Act,” denied Democrats the 60 votes needed to begin debate under Senate rules. Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Black woman to hold her office, presided over the chamber as the bill failed to break past that filibuster barrier.”

The end of misunderstanding between people?!?

During the Cold War – the end of which had prompted Fukuyama to draw his conclusion, the ‘misunderstanding’ was dividing the two ideological blocs. Between those who had learned to value of the individual and those who didn’t yet had a real chance at doing this.

Nowadays the misunderstanding had seeped deeper. Way deeper…
The two parties of the country which had been the stalwart of democracy during the Cold War don’t see eye to eye as to how the electoral process should be organized.
The Guardians of the Revolution and the Supreme Leader do not agree – at least apparently, on who should be approved to run for office.

Meanwhile, Putin enjoys the limelight….

The end of history, eh?!?

Maybe, but not the one envisioned by Fukuyama…

PS
Fukuyama must be so fed up about this…
Well, I don’t think he was wrong!
I do see liberal democracy as the only reasonable way forward.
The enthusiasm with which the world had met his work was a very strong signal that things were going in the right direction…
The problem resides in the fact that other people had other plans. Had identified other ‘opportunities’.
And in the fact that we, the people, have been sleeping with out boots on!

LE.
The Moldovan officials in charge with running the 2021 snap legislative elections are tying hard to keep the Moldovan citizens living abroad away from the polling stations.


Last minute edit
The Electoral Committee, CEC, had unanimously decided that 150 polling stations will be organized, despite the Foreign Ministry asking for 191 and the Supreme Court ordering them to comply…

Do you see a pattern here?
Well. I see a question mark!
If things like gerrymandering and voter suppression can happen in America, what chances are that authoritarian wannabees won’t spring up all over the world?

“We arise as human beings in the experience of observing ourselves observing.”
Humberto Maturana, The Origin and Conservation of Self-Consciousness, 2005

Thinkers are divided when it comes to ‘reality’.

Some of them, the self styled ‘scientists’, study reality as if it was an ‘exterior’ fact.
At the other end of the spectrum, other people are convinced reality is nothing but a projection/illusion.

To me, this whole thing is yet another example of ‘which came first’, only simpler. Way simpler…

You need a chicken to lay an egg to hatch a chicken. This is indeed complicated…

‘Reality’, on the other hand, is, first and foremost, a human concept!

There was no such ‘thing’ as ‘reality’ until one of our forepersons had come up with the word/concept!

‘And where did that foreperson came ‘in’ from, huh?!?’

Have you noticed the scare marks?

The ‘thing’ we identify as being ‘reality’ had existed since… the Big Bang… I don’t know….
But I do know that nobody called it that – or thought of it in that manner, until somebody did!
And until the peers of that person agreed to use the term and to think about ‘it’ – the ‘thing’, not the word – in that manner.

‘Does this mean that we made ‘reality’?

No, not exactly made it… more about this later…
Only ‘found’ it and ‘measured’ it.
Named it, to put it in a simpler form.

As for who made it… this is another good question.

God?
I argued, in my last post, that ‘God’ – the concept, is yet another human artifact.
The only bridge we could trust to take to the future.

I don’t know, with absolute certainty, whether the whole thing we call ‘reality’ has been made (is constantly being made, as according to the Ash-Arite tradition) by an ‘outside’ agent or it had evolved naturally. But I do know that if our ‘reality’ had been made by somebody then a ‘small’ question begs to be asked.

Who made that somebody’s reality?

I can accept the notion that we are lab rats. Playing in a pen made by some experimenter. Just as we do with/to our lab rats. But exactly as I’m trying to find an answer to ‘how did we come about’, the moment I’ll accept that we’ve been made by some agent will be the moment I’ll start wondering about ‘who pulled this creative agent out of the proverbial hat!’.

Let’s stick with the naturally evolving reality! The alternative is far too complicated…

‘But if had evolved naturally, then nobody made it… right???!’

…No…, not exactly, anyway!
It may have evolved naturally but that doesn’t preclude any factors – and even agents, from chipping away at it!

‘What?!?
Are you gonna make up your mind?
As in once and for all???’

No, I can’t promise you anything like that!
My mind will never be ‘made up’.
My understanding is a work in progress.
I’m constantly adjusting my opinions according to the evidence ‘presented’ to me by ‘reality’.

‘And what about this constantly evolving reality? What/who drives this ‘evolution’?’

What do you see here?
A ‘Nature Made’, volcano whose flanks had been eroded by naturally occurring factors.
The debris had been transported to lower altitudes, by other naturally occurring factors and then transformed into fertile soil by a different class of equally naturally occurring factors.
The factors belonging to the first class had been rain, freeze, wind and gravity while in the second class we point out algae, microbes, plants and animals.
On top, literally, of these natural occurrences we find the consequences of our own actions. Of our own agency.
Of our own choices!

The buildings you see, the farms you know are there, the roads people take when going from their houses to their farms… and so on, up to the top of the mountain. Where we find snow full of other ‘evidence’ of our own existence. Soot, various industrial dust, etc., etc.,…

So. We live at the intersection between the natural evolution of things and the consequences of our previous existence/choices.

We live in a reality increasingly influenced by our own existence.
Are we truly aware of this?

Are we conscient enough?
Enough to realize how much of our reality is of our own doing?

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Bonkers, right?

Here’s a more elaborate expression of the same concept:

“Al-Ash’ari (873–935), the founder of the theological school that al-Ghazâlî belonged to, had rejected the existence of “natures” (tabâ’i’ ) and of causal connections among created beings. In a radical attempt to explain God’s omnipotence, he combined several ideas that were developed earlier in Muslim kalâm to what became known as occasionalism. All material things are composed of atoms that have no qualities or attributes but simply make up the shape of the body. The atoms of the bodies are the carrier of “accidents” (singl. ‘arad), which are attributes like weight, density, color, smell, etc. In the cosmology of al-Ash’arî all immaterial things are considered “accidents” that inhere in a “substance” (jawhar). Only the atoms of spatially extended bodies can be substances. A person’s thoughts, for instance, are considered accidents that inhere in the atoms of the person’s brain, while his or her faith is an accident inhering in the atoms of the heart. None of the accidents, however, can subsist from one moment (waqt) to the next. This leads to a cosmology where in each moment God assigns the accidents to bodies in which they inhere. When one moment ends, God creates new accidents. None of the created accidents in the second moment has any causal relation to the ones in the earlier moment. If a body continues to have a certain attribute from one moment to the next, then God creates two identical accidents inhering in that body in each of the two subsequent moments. Movement and development generate when God decides to change the arrangement of the moment before. A ball is moved, for instance, when in the second moment of two the atoms of the ball happen to be created in a certain distance from the first. The distance determines the speed of the movement. The ball thus jumps in leaps over the playing field and the same is true for the players’ limbs and their bodies. This also applies to the atoms of the air if there happen to be some wind. In every moment, God re-arranges all the atoms of this world anew and He creates new accidents—thus creating a new world every moment (Perler/Rudolph 2000, 28–62).”

On the other hand, we currently have our own struggles.

Determinism.
Is it possible to determine the ultimate cause of anything? Forget about ‘everything’… even the ultimate cause for something seems to be far beyond our capabilities…

Freedom.
Is it real?
Or is it only a figment of our own imagination?

Reality.
Is it real?
Or is it created by our own conscience?

No links provided. Do your own googling.

Here’s what science teaches us on this matter.

Heisenberg’s ‘Uncertainty Principle’:
It is impossible to simultaneously measure with absolute precision both the position and the velocity of any object.

For many everyday instances, this doesn’t present any problem. For practical purposes, our technological prowess is enough. Philosophically… Heisenberg’s principle is yet another irrefutable indication that we’re very far from ever being able to determine the ultimate cause of anything.

Are we able to live with this uncertainty?

Are we able to go to bed at night without being absolutely sure that the sun will rise tomorrow?
OK, everybody somehow knows – even if nobody wants to accept it, that there’s a slight chance that they will not wake tomorrow… but the Sun?!?

Are we able to live with the notion that what we call ‘natural order’ isn’t fixed?

That a meteorite might come from nowhere and kill all the ‘dinosaurs’?
That a virus might spring up from nowhere and fuck up our lives?

“What we see is the fire touching the cotton and then the cotton being reduced to ashes. We wrongly assume that there is thus a necessary causal relationship between fire burning and the cotton being burned”.

Now please tell me something.
What is the subject here? Cotton being burned or our relationship with what’s going on there?

We see… we assume… He, al Ghazali, tells us that we are wrong to assume that what we see is what is really happening… He is ‘right’ – because…- and we are wrong…

The funny thing being, of course, that al-Ghazali is, partially, right!
Since Heisenberg had postulated his famous principle, we should refrain ourselves from assuming anything…

OK. Let me put it differently then.
What happened to that cotton?
Is it still white? Or had it been “reduced” to ashes?

Who brought the flame close enough to the cotton?
Was this an experiment? In a lab?
Or a tragedy? In a field/storage? By lightning? Or by an arsonist?

Returning to al Ghazali, we need to remember that his world was totally different from ours.

It’s safe to say that their culture was about as sophisticated as ours. Same arts, same subjects discussed in the philosophical circles, same religious ideas…

Civilizationally speaking, we live in a totally different world.
Civilization – the consequence of ‘culture’ being put to practice’ had advanced dramatically in the last 1000 years.

And since our thoughts are heavily influenced by the environment in which we’re doing the thinking…

The fraction of the population who enjoyed ‘food security’ was minuscule compared to today.
The fraction of the population who was pretty much sure they will awake the next morning was minuscule compared to today.
The fraction of the population who felt free – from oppression – was, practically, nonexistent.

Yet the ‘thinkers’ felt the same need for coherence as those thinking today. They felt the same need to know what tomorrow had in store for them.
They, like us, needed an explanation for disease. For war. For tragedy…
And since no pathogens nor dictators were available …

How come ‘no dictators were available’?!?
Who in his right mind would have called, then, the local ruler a ‘dictator’? In his face…
Look at what happened, now, to people doing that in Moscow!
Or even in Washington, DC

That was the role attributed to God. To be the bridge to tomorrow.

It was not the flame which reduced the cotton to ashes. Nor the experimenter/arsonist/dictator. It was ‘God’.
As long as we could accept that – and that God loved us, the future was still bearable.

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And to provide for my family.
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Your contribution will be appreciated!

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America este o țară aflată într-o stare avansată de putrefacție!
Da, dar uite ce frumos miroase….

N-am fost foarte surprins de căderea regimului Ceaușescu.
Prea se-mpuțiseră lucrurile…

În zilele alea am umblat foarte mult pe stradă. Vroiam, pur și simplu, să văd.
Așa că am văzut… Unde era o gramadă de oameni care striga ceva, hop și eu.
Să văd ce strigă. Să-i văd cum strigă…

Eram deja inginer. Și habar n-aveam că urma să devin sociolog.
Dar aveam o chestie în mine care mă împingea să fiu acolo. În „mijlocul maselor”…

Inclusiv în Piața Universității!

Tot nevoia de a fi acolo m-a făcut să fiu observator la alegerile din Duminica Orbului.
N-am intrat in PCR. Nu atât din spirit civic ci pentru că ar fi trebuit să-mi fi ras barba.
Aiurea, nu? De trei ori, în trei ocazii diferite, mi s-a propus să intru în partid. Și de fiecare dată mi s-a spus că: „Asta este o treabă foarte serioasă. Ți se vor deschide oportunități mari dar va trebui să renunți la barbă!” Le-am răspuns, fiecăruia, că „am să mă gândesc”. Toți trei m-au lăsat în pace… Or fi zis că-s nebun…
Ca să pot fi observator, am fost nevoit să mă „întregimentez”. Așa că… am devenit membru PNL. N-au avut carnet să-mi dea, atunci. După aia… nu m-am mai dus eu pe acolo…

Fiind de față, n-am fost surprins nici de rezultatul votului.
Când îi vedeam cum își fac cruce înainte de a băga buletinul în urnă – după ce își confirmaseră, unul altuia, în secția de vot, că l-au „găsit pe Iliescu”…

Am fost oarecum surprins de insistența cu care au continuat cei din Piața Universității.
Era evident că elanul din Decembrie se istovise. Iliescu „și ai lui” reușiseră – cu banane, cu portocale, cu…, să pună batista înapoi pe țambal.

Am fost foarte surprins de 13-15. Un act cât se poate de gratuit.

Așa credeam eu…
Ce rost a avut să alungi cu tam-tam o gașcă de neadaptați?
Să te expui oprobiului extern?
Să riști alienarea unei părți din populație?
Să-ți creezi obligații? Cum să devii dator, politic vorbind, unei hoarde dezlănțuite?

Surpinderea asta a durat 31 de ani. Până azi dimineață…

Nici măcar nu știam ce zi era.
La radio, Radio Actualități, cineva a vorbit vreo cinci minute despre cele întâmplate acum 31 de ani. După care a urmat alt subiect…

Abia în momentul acela am înțeles…

Gașca de neadaptați fusese adunată cu schepsis!
Vă dați seama cam ce propagandă ar fi făcut toți tinerii aia dacă s-ar fi dus la ei acasă în loc să strige în Piață?
Una e să stai de vorbă, tete-a-tete, cu bunica ta și alta e ca aceiași bunică să afle de la televizor – un singur post, dar foarte „profesionist”, ce trăznăi faci tu la București!

Oprobiul extern a fost căutat!
Scopul era să rămânem separați, nu să ne aruncăm în brațele capitaliștilor veroși… „Nu ne vindem țara!”, dacă mai țineți minte….

Alienarea cărei părți din populație?
Cea care a fost extrem de bucuroasă că și-a primit „rația de libertate”?!?
Cea care și-a pus coada pe spinare după „evenimente”?
Primii îi ciuguleau deja din palmă lui Iliescu iar plecarea celor din urmă a fost un adevărat bonus pentru organizatorii atrocităților la care am fost martori.

Și, la final dar nu în cele din urmă, am ajuns la „obligații”…
Regimul Iliescu era deja dator vândut minerilor!
Sau, mai exact spus, celor care controlau hoardele venite din Valea Jiului.
Mineriada din Iunie a fost, de fapt, a treia!

Am început prin a vă povesti că am umblat mult pe străzi în zilele alea. Din Decembrie până în Iunie.
În primul rând trebuie să precizez că eu, personal, n-am pățit nimic.
În Decembrie mi-a țiuit un glonț pe la ureche – a doua zi m-am dus și-am găsit urma pe perete, undeva vis-a-vis de CC.
În 13-15 nu m-a întrebat nimeni de sănătate, cu toate că aveam barba până în piept. Or fi crezut că sunt popă…

Întorcându-mă la mineri, voi începe prin a vă spune că erau 3 tipuri. Care nu prea semănau între ei….
Și nici nu se amestecau!
Unii aveau treabă. Grupuri relativ organizate, mergeau cu capul într-o singură direcție, repede… În general, aveau salopete noi, cozi de lopeti noi, lămpașe noi…
Alții veniseră să vadă și ei Bucureștiul. Oameni, în general, de peste 30 de ani. Cu salopete uzate, dar destul de curate. Fără „scule”. Cel mult câte un lămpaș. Se uitau de jur împrejur, de parcă-și căutau locul. Încercau și ei să înțeleagă ce căutau acolo…
Și nelipsiții oportuniști! Tineri, zdrentăroși – salopetele de pe ei erau vechi, nereparate și, destul de murdare, cu ochii mereu la pândă… După un chioșc de unde să ia țigări pe gratis, după vre-o nefericită pe care s-o înghesuie într-un gang, după vre-un moșulică de care să facă mișto…

Și cum rămâne cu „obligațiile”? A făcut regimul Iliescu cu adevărat ceva pentru mineri? Ar fi putut, de fapt?
De unde bani, de unde viziune…

Dacă stăm bine să ne gândim. minerii au ieșit cel mai prost din toată chestia asta.
Mai bine de jumătate dintre protestatari au emigrat. Ceilalți au firme.
Restul țării o duce mult mai bine decât acum 30 de ani. Nu atât de bine precum s-ar fi putut… mai bine decât bulgarii dar mult mai prost decât ceilalți est europeni…
Valea Jiului e o ruină. Iar minerii o duc mult mai prost decât restul țării.

Aviz amatorilor.
Celor dispuși să se lase vrăjiți de „cântecul sirenelor”!