Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reflections on Psychic Ability

I find myself thinking about a palm reading performed upon me long ago, in the early eighties. At the time, I thought the things that the girl was saying to me were nonsense. But as I have reflected upon it, there were startling insights. She saw specific details. I remember asking her for advice--she gave me some, but said that I would disregard it, and indeed I have. She seemed to have a fatalistic attitude toward destiny, as though humans could do little to change it. Some of the things she predicted have come to pass. I do not remember anything she said that was not true.

This was the only experience in my life that led me to wonder whether there was something to the paranormal. I believe she was able to give me an accurate reading because I was open to her, very receptive indeed. I didn't believe in her power, but I did believe in it, at the same time. Disbelief coexists with belief in a way that reminds me of quantum physics. My energy flowed into her, not because she took it, but because I permitted it, assisted it, because I knew that she wanted to be successful in her art. If she did not see what was in my eyes, then she could not have been any good at reading fortunes. Her affections were elsewhere, for Billy Idol on MTV and blond boys at our school that looked and acted like him, but such relationships were not of long duration.

I still cannot believe there is anything to palm-reading or to reading minds. If I had thought of a number, such as 7803313, she would not have guessed it, even if I had given her a hundred guesses. I believe that very intelligent people, that is, those with a high degree of social intelligence, are able to make astonishing predictions and insights into other people based upon body language and other subtle cues that are difficult for ordinary people like me to identify and interpret. I believe that she possessed this type of genius in addition to a high aptitude for academic subjects. She had a high degree of sensitivity, which seemed a liability in some instances, because she would burst into tears when people were critical of her, such as parents or teachers. Any harsh word would be amplified to the Nth degree by her extraordinary ability. I think her attraction for Billy Idol was based upon the "opposites attract" principle. She wanted to be more like him, bold and brave, and less the shrinking violet. She succeeded in her ambition. What once seemed a liability proved to be an incredible asset, as indeed it is, because the subtle cues that others miss are helpful in divining truth from lies.

I remember a dream that I had about her when I was young. It was a familiar dream, repeated on more than one night with occasional variations. I get on a school bus, and she is the only one there, or the only one I notice, and I sit beside her, and she seems ambivalent to that, but we talk. I don't remember what we talk about, but it must have been interesting if I was dreaming about it. She would tell me things that made me happy, gave me cause to worry, or sometimes confused me. I didn't always understand her or agree with her remarks, and we argued, but I never thought she was lying or being mean. We were usually polite to one another. In one dream, we might have held hands, but I'm not sure. It seems unlike her, and at any rate, holding hands with a reader is a bad idea, because one never knows what they will say. Sometimes the bus stops and she gets off, and I go home alone. Other times, we just ride the bus for hours talking. It was early evening in these dreams, with little light outside, just enough to see. In one dream, and it may have the last one, she told me that anything that happened in the dream was only intended for the dream-world and would not be repeated in the real world. She had only been experimenting with her power. She also said that our paths were separating, and we would not see each other again, not in the real world or even in the dream-world. That was almost accurate.

We had a chance encounter in the hallway in our sophomore year of high school. I saw her just about to open a door to a classroom and called out her name. We hadn't seen each other in years. She was much changed for the better, seeming stronger, more confident. We had a polite chat for two minutes and that was that. She had much to boast about, but I did not and was glad when the chat was over.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Monday, October 25, 2010

Malware Attack Site

I came across a malware attack site today at bigbestmovie [dot] com, namely i g o [dot] com/i g o r gay/. The accursed thing took over my browser. A text query popped up ordering me to do an immediate "security scan". When I exited my browser and then reloaded my browser, the window popped up again, suggesting a malware infection.

I learned today that whenever you encounter a malware site, report it at , so that it can be removed from Google results.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Dead Things Become Living

Viruses are dead or perhaps at a junction between life and death. They have no method of independent propulsion and cannot reproduce on their own. They cannot produce energy. All that they have in common with living creatures is a token amount of DNA or RNA, and that is devoted mostly to instructions that guide reproduction.

When a virus gets into a cell (and the cell takes it in, like a butler), then the cell allows its "brain" or nucleus to be replaced in part by the virion's "brain". The cell then devotes its machinery to reproducing the virus.

Some viruses work in a different way, incorporating themselves into the cell's DNA and remaining more or less dormant for a period of time. I have at least three such viruses that I know of, warts on the face (HPV), probably from kissing, the chickenpox and a cold sore (herpes HSV Type 1) virus. Under stress, the viruses can sometimes manifest themselves at the original site of infection. In the case of the chickenpox, shingles arose on my back once during an arduous ocean voyage. In the case of the cold sore, it is to the right of my chin. It is likely that I was infected in high school, possibly on purpose, from an infected person. I do not remember the specific incident, but there were many bad things that happened in school, and anything is possible. When the sore arose, I had no idea what it was and just assumed it was acne, and no one told me differently. There is a great deal of ignorance about such matters and even those who know prefer to be silent due to the stigma attached to kissing or so-called sexually transmitted diseases. I seldom get the cold sore anymore, though it recurred often up to my thirties. I have not gotten any wart outbreaks in over ten years.

I can appreciate the wisdom of abstinence education, because in retrospect my early sexual and romantic experiences were devoid of any deep meaning, and I would have been better off without them. I fell in love with most of my early partners, but they were only interested in sex, which seemed strange to me both then and now. I could not understand the motive. Why not masturbate, if sex is all that one is after? I do not understand why one would go to the trouble of meeting someone, getting to know them, becoming their friend or at least pretending, and then risking all the STD's and other maladies in the world in order to do a sex act, typically in the dark or in a parked car somewhere and under the influence of alcohol, only to move on to someone else for the sake of variety. It seems like an awful lot of trouble, and in the end one is left with no true friends and a lot of people that know too much.

However wise abstinence may be, I still believe it is important to teach young people the methods of safer sex, because I remember how I felt in my younger days. Young people want to experience love, romance  and sex. Their entire biology is calculated to make them want to do it. In addition, all of our culture inspires them with the desire to experience these things. It is easy for old farts that never get any to sit back and say, "wait until marriage." For those that can manage to do that, the reward is, potentially, a life free from the annoyances of the HPV or HSV viruses and other maladies and the potential cancer risks arising from them. However, even in that scenario, there is no guarantee that one's marriage partner will be free of disease.

The ultimate solution is for mankind to develop vaccines and other cures for viruses and bacteria. This is a worthier goal than invading dunghills around the world and sorting out ignorant fanatics. If the West cures a disease, we do not necessarily have to go around sharing our medicine with fanatical enemies that want to kill us. I think the West could use a bit more discretion in choosing where to send aid and resources. Any aid to Uganda, for example, is an act of evil, because that nation has decided to emulate Nazi Germany.

Perhaps viruses operate in beneficial as well as harmful ways. We are aware of some of the harmful things that they do. For instance, it is now known that many viruses cause cancer by interfering with their host cell's DNA. Interfering with DNA can cause mutations, as well. Mutations are usually harmful, but every once in a while, there could be beneficial effects. Change is good, not usually on an individual scale, but on a species-wide scale.

Where do viruses originate from? My textbook does not have the answer to that, although it points out that viruses can exchange DNA with other viruses within a host cell and form different viruses. I think that the more that we learn about viruses, the more we will learn about the origins of life itself. There are many secrets remaining to be unraveled from viruses. It could be that the original life form on the planet earth was a virus that arrived from outer space on a meteorite. Viruses do not need food, and perhaps they could survive for millions of years on a galactic voyage. Of course, the endospores of bacteria do not require food either, nor the seeds of plants. Scientists have managed to cultivate colonies based upon bacterial endospores found in the intestinal gut of insects captured in amber twenty-five million years ago.

The line between living things and dead things becomes rather blurry and confused when one thinks about viruses, endospores, and seeds. Living or dead? Neither. An adjustment is required in the thinking of the student.

We are a bit of code that managed to get itself into a large apparatus, that is, our body. The code itself is nonliving--just a series of instructions, like a technical manual, without any philosophy or personality to speak of. Why did our DNA become us? What is the purpose? Perhaps looking for a purpose is a mistake. In the material world, things happen in accordance with the laws of physics. The Universe itself has a certain DNA about it, a series of unwritten rules similar to our DNA, which is a series of instructions for encoding proteins. Gravity happens because it has to happen. We happen because we have to happen. Perhaps the creative force of the Universe, God if you will, is simply an artist and a bit of a mad scientist.

Why do humans own pets? Perhaps the same reason that God chose to have bacteria, archae, plants, fungi, animals, and human beings develop on the planet Earth, and who knows what else develop elsewhere.

Maybe everything is an illusion, an imagined space in the mind of a being that is capable of creating a vast and highly detailed Universe.

I could go on. I get weary thinking about these matters. They are mind-blowing. Like most humans, I prefer to think of myself in more personal terms. Besides, I'm hungry, and my DNA has engineered me to eat when hungry.

I do feel strange writing about God, however. I am afraid that living in a community awash with religiosity and superstition has led to the insertion of memes into my consciousness. It is not possible to drive anywhere in my town without seeing signs and other manifestations of other people's religious beliefs. Also, some people of my acquaintance, including my professor, tend to talk about God.

Is there a God? I am an atheist in regard to the Christian faith, and moreover Islam and the other religions, but I do hold a possibility that there might be some kind of being beyond my capacity to understand that set all Creation into being. My opinions upon this are vague, and I intend for them to remain vague and amenable to adaptation as I reflect upon the question. I believe it is a grave error to hold fixed assumptions about the nature of God based upon ancient texts or the teachings of superstitious men that claim to know every whim and fancy of the one deity, as though they are holding his hand and have their fingers on his pulse. They know nothing. Charlatans. If I were god, I'd be angry at them. But perhaps god is amused by them and plays tricks on them.

There are many things I don't know and would like to know more about. Nothing interests me more than science, and I think that through science, mankind stands the best chance of learning the mind of God. That sentence sounds trite, and I'm a bit suspicious of it. Perhaps it is another meme from television or the internet.

God may not be such a great guy, after all. Perhaps we are more ethical than God is. God could even be a bastard. Perhaps he feels guilty for all of the bad tricks he has played on the human race and the animal kingdom. In that case, there is plenty of time for him to make amends. I could use a half-million dollars, myself. That would set me up for life.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, October 24, 2010


At my previous job, there was a division within my department. About half the application programmers worked on web development. The other half, including yours truly, were consigned to maintenance of mainframe programs. For my part, I found mainframe development tedious. When I asked about the possibility of transferring to the web development team, I was told "No," to which I responded, "Goodbye."

On my own, in my spare time, I devoted countless hours to learning HTML, CSS, and even the rudiments of PHP. I love working on it, even without remuneration. I can work on it every day, all night long, neglecting food and sleep. In speaking with some of the web developers at my old company, it was apparent to me that they were only in it for the additional salary. (Web developers made about 10 - 25% more.) The company spent upwards of $80,000 sending them to classes! I have never been to a web development class in all my life and have never even owned a book. All I learned, I learned on my own or through research using Google as a starting point. I am reminded of this irony whenever I work on web-related code. The phrase "wasted potential" comes to mind.

I suppose in retrospect it does not matter. Everyone has wasted potential. There are countless potentialities that are never realized. Diamonds in the rough are tossed away and buried by debris or used as stones for slingshots. What system can be called efficient? I don't know of one. Perhaps efficiency is not even a worthwhile goal. The motives of some leaders are improper, and in those cases, it is better that their teams remain inefficient and plagued by waste, corruption and inefficiency, even as I have observed.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Jackals

The jackals of the mainstream media are busy today patting themselves on the back. Their prolonged propaganda campaign against California's Proposition 19 appears to be paying dividends.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Monday, October 18, 2010

Thank You, Joycelyn Elders

The former surgeon general has said what needed to be said about Proposition 19. In fact, she made the same exact points I have been making about marijuana. However, while I have a readership consisting of zero, or possibly a few Dungeon Crawl players, she will reach millions through CNN and other news outlets. It is good to know that at least some former public officials have a sense of ethics.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

New CPR Guidelines

Here's a rarity--news we can use to save lives.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments


Is it any wonder that workers who were not born and raised in America do not feel the same kind of loyalty to this country and to their employers? This case underscores my point.

Throwing the American worker away in the name of cheaper labor from overseas makes sense to the bean-counters, but there will be many unforeseen consequences.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Pea-Brained Security Guards

Two pea-brained security guards in Raleigh, North Carolina ejected a lesbian couple in a shopping mall for kissing in public.

It's a shame that the names of the security guards were not released. There should be a public record stored on the Internet for perpetuity, in case another incident arises involving the same individuals, as I fully expect to happen. It is important to establish a history of abuses. If I were hiring security guards, I certainly wouldn't want to have anything to do with those two!

In a later development, the security guard was suspended, while the supervisor will receive sensitivity training. I suspect the supervisor was the one most to blame, though. It is usually the case that lower-ranked employees receive the brunt of correction, whether they were the ones ultimately responsible for a mishap or not.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The DEA and Terrorism

A man connected to the Mumbai terror attack was a long-time informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. His wife tried to warn U.S. officials ahead of time, but was rebuffed.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Opposition to Proposition 19

Our Attorney General, fed up with the democratic process, threatened California's voters the other day. Since he hates the people of California so much and doesn't believe their vote is worth anything, why doesn't he just move to Iran and serve their dictator? He should take the entire DEA with him. They could join the Basij, their brothers-in-spirit. As we all know, America is the Land of the Free, which apparently is anathema to the likes of him. Who cares about science? Not him. Who cares about the will of the people? Not him. Who cares what the Founding Fathers said and did? Not him. What's the perfect place for him? Iran. Don't worry, Mr. Attorney General. Be happy. Move to Iran.

It is amusing how Prop. 19 has really brought out of the woodwork ignoramuses from Los Angeles to New York, uttering their two cents in support of alcohol's preeminence over pot.

The sheriff of Los Angeles said he will defy the popular vote and act like a dictator, making up his own laws. Presumably, he knows how to read and write. That will be helpful in writing laws. Maybe he can delegate the actual lawmaking to a deputy.

Future generations will marvel that people could be so ignorant, when factual information is widely available and free of charge. All that is required to learn is a trip to the library at most. What keeps people wedded to lies is plain intellectual laziness. They simply haven't the gumption nor the curiosity to question what they have been told. In this way, some human beings behave in the same fashion as robots.

Individuals should not be elected into public office unless they have a decent education in history, science, and literature. Anyone with a sufficient background in those three areas would be capable of researching the history and science of cannabis. They would understand that the substance is less harmful than alcohol, that it is non-toxic to the human body, and that it cannot cause addiction.

There are far too many ignoramuses in government right now, and they have run the country into the ground. Their wrongheaded notions about the world are costing the taxpayers plenty.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thank you, Joel Burns

Joel has said what many gay men have wanted to say for a long, long time. I only wish that an older and wiser gay man like him had told me these things when I was a severely depressed fifteen year-old living in a conservative, homophobic area. Nobody I knew was gay. I thought I was the only one in the entire world. I remember that I dog-eared the chapter on suicide in a book on psychology and read it often. My ambition was to gather enough courage to do the deed. I never came close, however. I never even progressed to cutting myself. But I thought about it often and took ridiculous chances that I should not have taken. High-risk behavior is a form of attempted suicide. Death seemed like a perfect answer to all my problems. Perhaps death is one kind of solution, but it is boring, and destroys the possibility of anything good happening. A suicide causes pain in the hearts of good people, even strangers that we do not know, who will observe the death with sorrow. It is strange to think, but true, that people that one does not know care about one's welfare. A suicide hands the ignorant, evil villains an easy victory. We must not give in to evil. And make no mistake, the bullies, the homophobes are the forces of darkness, akin to the Nazis.

by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Evil-Doers are Arrogant

I have yet to encounter a villain that was not sure of herself. Villains are arrogant. They simply do not reflect upon their actions.

I continually reflect upon my thoughts and deeds. This has the disadvantage of making me less confident. I'm seldom 100% certain that I am right about something. I accept a possibility that I might be mistaken. Evil-doers note my uncertainty and interpret it as a weakness. It is not. It is a strength. Their certainty leads them to certain failure. Whatever they undertake is bound to backfire. Their motives are improper. Their apparent achievements will cause harm to themselves and to others.

It is better to be uncertain and circumspect than arrogant. Let the villains crow. Let them carp. Let them jeer. They create cancers within their lives.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Magic Cat-Water

My partner fell asleep with his favorite cat ensconced by his feet. In his dream, he was thirsty. The cat said, "Here, have some of my magic cat-water!" A cup appeared next to him. He drank it, but it didn't satisfy his thirst. He scolded the cat for the ineffectual cat-water. He got up to fill his empty cup with real water, drank it, but was still thirsty. Then he realized he was asleep, and it was all just a dream. He woke up and got himself real water outside of the dream world.

I have had similar dreams that attempt to satisfy bodily cravings, dreams in which I am drinking, eating, having sex, or more often, urinating. I've never woken up to a soggy bed, however, and I'm glad of that.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Importance of Friends

Sometimes talking to friends is the best medicine. For that reason, making friends may be the most important skill that a person can have. Avoid leeches who only take. Seek out those who are generous to others and polite to others, and be so in turn to them, and you will have good friends.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Intelligent Evil-Doers

The majority of evil-doers never experience any conflict with law enforcement and never see the inside of a prison. Rather than fight the system, they enter the system, becoming a part of it, and subvert it to their ends, like a virus. Incompetent college professors and corrupt college administrators are no different from the shoplifter or the con artist in terms of ethics. They are simply more cunning, hence more successful. Only stupid criminals bother with old-fashioned, out-and-out theft by taking. They must defeat security cameras, private investigators, law enforcement, and concerned citizens. Of course, the vast majority will not succeed in the long run. The odds are stacked against them. Law enforcement is efficient, organized, and well-trained, and more than a match for any individual who thinks he can break the law openly with impunity. Cunning criminals realize this early on. They conform to the letter of the law, at least when being watched, and subvert the intent. They neglect their duties and pursue personal and private agendas designed to satisfy their egos and reduce their work load. As is the case with old-fashioned crime, easy money is the name of the game.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Why I Disabled Anonymous Comments

I disabled anonymous comments on the blog because of an ignoramus that abused the privilege. He posted stupid insults in response to three of my blog posts that were picked at random.

To "An Exchange of Secrets," he wrote, "fudge packer". I don't know what bearing that has on my story. Maybe he didn't read it.

To "The Difficult Assignment," he wrote, "shoulda killed the bitch, faggot," suggesting that violence is his preferred solution to conflicts. Some people imagine they are the only ones in the world with a gun and the ability to use it. They find out, too late, that they are not. Violence is easy. Anyone can be violent. Refraining from violence is difficult. Perhaps he is in prison now, serving time for a pointless and stupid violent crime.

To "Meth or Math," he wrote, "some people can handle their dimethylalphaphenethylamine, you fucking fudge-packer faggot bitch." Not counting him, apparently. I am glad I had enough common sense to avoid hard drugs of addiction such as meth and crack cocaine.

He last posted on 5/31/2010 at 5:59 PM NAEST. Perhaps he is dead now of a drug overdose or facing life imprisonment for murder. It is of no concern to me. If he is still alive, and not comatose in the hospital from a gunshot wound or a drug overdose, perhaps he should read more of my posts and open his mind to learning, instead of hating. It would be a step in the right direction, away from the grave, where he seems headed.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Winning and Losing

The evil conservative Republican professor said this afternoon, "You can't win, you know. I've been doing this for years!" Then she cackled.

Winning and losing. Isn't that the conservative Republican philosophy about life in a nutshell?

I wasn't trying to win. I was trying to learn. I had missed two questions on a ten-question quiz, and I did not understand why one of my answers was incorrect. I was only asking for clarification on a single question. "Ha ha ha, we tricked you! We won again!" she added, in case I missed her point.

Right-wingers like her misinterpret any social interaction with another human being as a contest in which they must prevail. Domination means everything to them. In this manner, she places a cancer in all of her relations with other human beings. But that is her problem, not mine.

Such a cutthroat. I should like to have seen her try one of the medium-difficulty technical problems that I solved during my career. Not the hardest, no, not that. Just a plain, middle-of-the-road, average problem. Yes, that would be amusing, I think.

The crux of the question had to do with whether scientific names for bacteria are italicized or underlined. Her answer, relayed to me by her assistant, is that the genus and species can be either underlined or italicized, even within the same sentence. Consistency is irrelevant, at least according to that bozo. I suspect consistency does matter, because it matters in other branches of English grammar. But I have not yet found any authoritative answer in my online searching. I will remember that in case such a question shows up on a future exam. The question had asked which bacteria were used in a recent experiment. I picked an answer that listed the correct bacteria, but it was wrong, because one of the bacteria was neither italicized or underlined. The right answer had one italicized, and one underlined.

I never intended to challenge the question, anyway. I have no faith in her fairness, impartiality, or sense of right and wrong. I accept that her tests are unfair. Rather than look for correct answers, I intend to psychoanalyze her and choose the answer that best fits her understanding of grammar, science, and logic. I have also decided that a "B" in her class will be sufficient for my purposes and that striving for an "A" would be pointless. She might deduct points on a whim, for personal reasons, and I know very well there is no recourse available for students.

I have decided not to complain about her, even though she treats each class as an advertising medium for her political views and believes that evolution, the backbone of her subject, is a myth. I have already determined, through several experiences, that the college is completely unresponsive to students. I have no faith whatsoever in the administration. Complaints are ignored without any response. It is a hierarchical institution. Students have no voice and are not heeded in any circumstance. "Abandon all Hope, Ye Who Enter," should be engraved upon the entrance-way. My goal is to get what I need and forget I ever attended that little joke of a college. It is a small rural college in a backwards state. Corruption permeates the entire area, and it is only natural that it permeates the educational institutions as well.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

A Roman of the Late Empire

I used to wonder how a Roman of the Late Empire would feel about the decay and sense of loss all around him. I wonder no more. If the country is already in an economic quagmire, with two ongoing foreign wars and one domestic drug war, and the environment is showing signs of accelerating global warming, and the country, in its desperation, places conservative Republicans in charge, the authors of so many calamities, there does not seem much basis for hope.

Are we doomed as a world power? The thought would not disturb me if I thought China were a moral nation, but it has its own share of problems, which are greater than ours in many ways. It is possible, as some people have suggested to me, that the U.S. and China are headed for war at some future date, which would be catastrophic on many levels. China was once our ally.

I believe that FOX News is a danger to our country. That media source exaggerates and distorts with apparent impunity. There is a tribe of true believers that simply accept everything they hear. They are "Murdoch's Army." Although the lies are sometimes exposed on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," people just keep on watching. It is like an addiction. I wonder how long it will last.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Ethically Challenged Conservative Republican

When my parents taught, they avoided political subjects and references to controversial issues unrelated to the subject of the class. My conservative Republican professor has no such scruple. Every class period, she devotes several minutes to promoting her conservative, fundamentalist Christian, Republican point of view, although her opinions seldom have any relevance at all to the subject of the course.

Here are some of her viewpoints. Bear in mind that the course subject is science, not philosophy, religion, or politics.

  • Evolution is a myth. "You can't get a pig from a dog." I never expected to hear that old canard from someone with an advanced degree in science.
  • The homosexuals are responsible for the AIDS epidemic.
  • Teenagers should be taught abstinence, not about safer sex, because condoms don't work. (Certainly no one would want to use a condom with her, and trouble with a condom would be a great excuse for her partner, akin to "honey, not tonight, I've got a headache.").
  • "Middle school students are meeting in the restroom to have sex and use drugs." Perhaps they are in her imagination.
  • Internet pornography is turning everyone (presumably including herself) into sicko's. (I really don't know where this came from--she just blurted it out of the blue.)
  • You have to have faith in God to be healthy. "This has been scientifically proven," at least according to her satisfaction. Trust in God, she says, is required for a functioning immune system.
She preaches often about the importance of spirituality, but I feel a coldness about her, an evil that leads me to wonder about the nature of her deity. There is no love in her words nor compassion. She has a paranoid view of the world and seems motivated by hatred of others. I don't think that she loves anyone, even herself, because she has distorted herself so as to be unlovable. Some of the students try to win brownie points by agreeing with her, but other students fear her. She speaks with a manic intensity that is unnerving. It is a sickening display by a sick individual who has no business being in the classroom. In any well-run college, she would be shown the door the minute she began teaching that evolution was a myth. But the college I attend is not well-run. Based upon earlier experiences, I have no faith in the administration and am convinced that any complaints or negative evaluations are ignored.

I try to remind myself not to feel threatened by this professor. Sometimes I feel it is my duty to challenge her statements, but then I realize the contest is uneven, and I would likely lose something, either the respect of other students or my grade. By certain of her comments to me, she has revealed an awareness that I want to challenge her, but she is exultant over the security of her position. She crows and cackles like a Hollywood witch--"Eeee-heee-heee-heee!" Her unusual confidence is interesting in light of her general paranoia concerning reality. This leads me to another conclusion. I believe she has solid relations with her higher-ups and has been given encouragement. She is indeed powerful, at least to the limited extent possible within her position at a small college, as well as evil. To the evil person, power is everything, and she has it over her students.

However, there are many things that she does not know or understand. I will not share the things that I know with her, because I do not trust her either to be fair or to listen. I do not think that her strange opinions will gain much currency among the students, who are smarter than she gives them credit for.

In the end, her kind will find the conflict they crave, the war that satisfies their blood-lust. I know that she seeks war, longs for it, thinks herself a hero, although she is not. She is a minor servant of darkness, nothing more and nothing less. I have had teachers like her before. She thinks young people turn atheist after listening to atheist teachers. The opposite is true. Rabid believers transformed me from a believer into an atheist during my teenage years. Listening to her makes me ever more sympathetic to atheism. Sometimes I feel sorry for God, that he is misrepresented by charlatans that know nothing about spirituality. Their sole concern is power in this world and dominance over others. The message of Jesus has been lost in the distant past. They would rather shout the name Jesus a thousand times rather than discuss the specifics of his message, which is inconvenient for their political agenda. I think this is what I felt as a boy of thirteen, that the church-goers were hypocrites, and that they had nothing to do with goodness.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Carl von Ossietzky

The popular interest in the life and times of Adolf Hitler represents a failure or a perversion of the human imagination. German Pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who opposed Hitler, was a better man and worthier of the numerous biographies, books, and films that have been made instead of worthless, evil scum like Hitler.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Death Penalty

A horrible crime made the headlines recently, and the death penalty has again come up as a topic of conversation. I have had different opinions on the issue in my lifetime. Up to the age of twenty-something, I supported the death penalty for murderers. Then I began to notice many problems related to the real-world implementation of the death penalty. The main problem is that murder suspects typically cannot afford adequate legal representation. The trial and sentencing tends to be a foregone conclusion. When rich men commit a crime, they often receive a lenient punishment, whether their crime was murder or not.

When I read the details about certain murders, my heart breaks, and my blood boils. I would be loathe to provide any assistance, legal or otherwise, to someone that committed a horribly violent crime against another person. That is why the death penalty is seldom discussed on my blog. I concede that the death penalty is not a perfect solution, but it may have a therapeutic effect upon surviving friends and family members. They at least will know that the murderer is not alive to boast about his deeds.

People think that the death penalty equates to being "tough on crime." However, in my estimation, life in prison is not more lenient than death. To never be free again, to never walk in the sunshine without being monitored, to be among other murderers and assorted scum--that seems to me a fate much worse than death. One positive aspect of the death penalty is that, in the United States at least, the implementation tends to be painless. Most of us can only hope for a painless death. Cancer or heart disease await, and they are not painless.

Like all things, the human implementation of the death penalty is not perfect. Mistakes happen. There are cases where an innocent man may be put to death for a crime he did not commit, although this is probably rare. An even more troubling scenario involves official corruption. Law enforcement officials may pervert the course of justice in order to cover up inconvenient details. Dead men tell no tales!

Perhaps the best answer lies in prevention, rather than punishment. If we can stop the birth of human beings that lack a conscience, then murder can be eliminated from the human family. If we can develop a social philosophy where each man respects the other like a brother, then violent crime can be eliminated. I believe it can happen, although we are far from achieving such a solution today. What is needed is more scientific knowledge about human growth and development.

I believe that much-maligned eugenics offers a potential solution to many ancient problems, such as crime, war, poverty, mental illness, and physical diseases. I do not know enough about science to describe the ways in which a successful eugenics program could be implemented, but I will say without hesitation that skin color is irrelevant. Eugenics received a setback from the racists of the 19th and 20th centuries, who made sweeping assumptions based upon pseudoscience. A new word needs to be coined in order to avoid comparisons to the horrible eugenics programs of the past. Right now, anyone speaking in favor of eugenics has to play defense, as I have, in order to avoid the charge of racism. Of course, any eugenics program would have to be voluntary, compassionate, and focused upon clear and certain advantages, and even so, it would not be without risk. Tampering with Nature is not without risk, as we have discovered from our use of pesticides. But taking a chance is preferable to accepting the status quo.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Batch that Parses Filenames in a Directory

This batch file is deceptively simple. What does it do? Absolutely nothing. However, each filename within a directory is parsed and made available for use. A programmer may add commands to manipulate each file within the :process subroutine. I created this for my brother, who needed this particular capability. Many thanks to innumerable strangers on the Internet that have written guides and tutorials on Batch language, because I often forget the syntax of the FOR command, which must be the most complicated in Batch language. If it were not for Google, I would be tempted to abandon Batch altogether, as most programmers have. But there is something cool about running a program straight from Windows that doesn't require compilation or any additional interpreter.


@echo off

dir /b /a-d *.mp3 > temp.txt
if not exist temp.txt echo No Mp3 files found!
if not exist temp.txt pause
if not exist temp.txt exit
echo Temporary file has been created.

rem -----------------------------------------------------
rem The following FOR statement must be one line, not two
rem (Beware of Blogger's word wrap.)
rem -----------------------------------------------------
FOR /F "usebackq tokens=1,2 delims=-" %%a in (temp.txt) DO call :process "%%a" "%%b"
rem -----------------------------------------------------
echo Alas, We Have Reached The End.

set VAR1=%1
rem Trim quotes
for /f "useback tokens=*" %%a in ('%VAR1%') do set VAR1=%%~a
echo VAR1=%VAR1%

set VAR2=%2
rem Trim quotes
for /f "useback tokens=*" %%a in ('%VAR2%') do set VAR2=%%~a
echo VAR2=%VAR2%

set filename=%VAR1%- %VAR2%
echo %filename%
goto :EOF

by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Social Darwinism

I emerged from an impromptu debate this morning with a conservative Republican more convinced than ever that social Darwinism is the belief underpinning many right-wing views.

It is easy to judge the poor and to assume that their failings are the result of inferior blood. I do not believe this is so, but it is a commonly held viewpoint. The homeless, in particular, are not easy on the eyes, in some cases, and they are visible, whereas rich business criminals are invisible, cloistered away upon private estates. The poor are tainted by the accusations of laziness, ignorance, and criminality. How do I explain to someone that a rich person is not necessarily superior in virtue and merit to a poor person? It seems like an uphill battle. Conservative Republicans are enraged by the thought that a poor black man may be sitting on his front porch all day long without working. The thought of a wealthy business criminal cheating the city out of millions of dollars inspires not the faintest annoyance--in fact, the behavior is defended in the name of freedom! I suspect that racism plays a role in the appeal of social Darwinism.

Many people say that they oppose Obama's health care plan because they do not want their tax money to be used to provide medical services to the poor. They would even prefer that the poor die, if it comes to that. In their view, the poor are poor because they are lazy or stupid. That is sometimes true, but not always. Should our society allow the lazy and the stupid to die? The Republican answer appears to be yes. In the name of evolution, or a stronger country at any rate, we should dispense with the weak, and favor the strong, or so it is thought.

I believe that the rich are often made so by their parents. They receive the right kind of encouragement and reinforcement and go on to be successful or at least inherit their parent's wealth and become adequate stewards of the savings bonds, real estate or other investments. Some people become rich through their own efforts. They may have been honest in doing so, although some are corrupt and become rich through dishonest schemes that harm the public.

The poor are often born into poverty or may have been disadvantaged in any number of ways. Why should we keep them alive? What benefit accrues to society when the poor are offered free medical care? That question, I cannot answer with statistics or sound bites, because I'm not a policy wonk. I don't know whether any practical benefit accrues to society by offering free medicine to a poor person. Perhaps there is no benefit at all. Even so, I would prefer to be in a society where we do not throw people away. It is an aesthetic choice, like my preference in art or music. I want a beautiful world, a compassionate world. I think it will be better and even stronger, but can I prove it? I cannot. Perhaps someone like Richard Dawkins could prove it--he has tried, at any rate. See "Nice Guys Finish First," his 1987 video on the practical benefits of cooperation.

If material success is, indeed, the end-all and be-all of a human being, then the obvious implications would come as a rude shock to many conservative Republicans that are far from wealthy. Those that society deems inferior are not necessarily so. Society has many delusions. Assumptions that are made in one generation can be turned upon their face in the next.

Once a human being is born into this world, he has become a member of our extended family, and his medical needs should be attended by the government. In our modern world, no one should have to face injury, cancer, or heart disease alone without any resources to assist them. If a man is troubled in his mind, then he should receive psychiatric care. If a man has a bodily ailment, he should receive the care of a physician or nurse. Lack of medical care assists the enemies of humankind, pathogenic bacteria and viruses, and it is not only the poor who will suffer, but those that they later infect. We are not isolated beings, but networked in a multitude of ways, and what afflicts one can afflict others. Lack of medical care results in more crime, more traffic accidents, more tragedy, and unintended consequences. Furthermore, when people find themselves in desperate situations, they sometimes lash out against society, with unpleasant consequences for everyone. I believe it is correct to avoid unpleasant circumstances or at least seek to mitigate them.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments

Friday, October 1, 2010

What if I Lose My Two Pet Issues?

On this blog, it must be obvious that my two pet issues are gays, or at least gay rights, and marijuana prohibition, to which I am opposed.

Once pot becomes legal and regulated in a similar manner as alcohol, and gays achieve parity with straights, the question arises--what do I blog about next? I see victory on the horizon on both fronts, at least in the long-term. The facts are out there for people to access via the Internet, and I don't think the misinformation that was used in the past to block reform will be able to survive for much longer.

If homosexuality were no longer an issue, then I would be most concerned with issues that are held in common with many others. Primarily, the environment would be of concern to me. I am for government regulation and intervention in order to protect our shared heritage, the planet Earth, for future generations of human beings. Even though I won't be contributing any future generations myself, I still consider the human race my "family" and want what is best for them. I think that underneath the skin, we are pretty much the same, regardless of sexuality, race, and so on.

There are many other issues, of course, such as corruption in government, the electoral process, and immigration. However, the only issue that really seems of paramount importance is the environment. Global warming seems like a threat to our comfortable modern lifestyle, and I would be interested in seeing the problem addressed in an effective manner. At a minimum, our leaders should be discussing it in an informed and realistic manner.
by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments
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