I finally figured it out, after much mental wrangling. What was it that previously eluded me and now is totally clear? The rise and popularity of Donald Trump as a candidate for President. Even my father, who I once thought I shared world views with, supports Donald Trump for President. My Dad is was born in 1942 and is now getting older, seeing his ability to earn more dwindle, and watching a business he worked to maintain with his family start to lose market share. I can see why he would want to make America great again, his perception is America was great "back when". This is the battle cry of Trump supporters it seems, we "used to" be great, and now we are not; we "used to" have more, and now we have less; we "used to" have control, and now we have chaoss. It is unfortunate for my Dad, and most of the people who see things his way this is not a disputable fact, it actually is The Truth. The truth happens a very different thing to different people. For the "group" my father belongs to, it does seem they have fared less well than other groups for the past 40 years or so. Whites are no longer a super-majority in the US, so we don't have to break even that group up by ethnicity or heritage anymore; the Italian and the German can hate the Mexican equally. On top of this, everyone can hate African-Americans, because they are used to it. My dad and his generation is not used to Black Lives Mattering, or even a movement requesting something like that concept. If it is the days when you could overtly discriminate against minorities you are longing for, I say too bad. Those "good old days", were not really that great for everyone. While I don't subscribe to the zero sum theory of society where if someone or some group gains rights, or economic status it must come at the expense of another individual or group; I can see where it might make sense to some. If I, am a white, middle-aged or even slightly older person sees things not going well for me. If I am realizing the "social contract" of hard work and perseverance isn't paying off like I was promised by my Grandfather, I might be pissed and look to scapegoats as well. It is unfortunate this group of pissed off white people is so short sighted though, it's to their detriment they don't realize they were screwed by other middle-aged white people whom they elected for decades.
Here's where it really sucks, it's entirely possible they are not really short sighted at all. There is a part of me that believes the group who anointed Trump as their white knight (like how I did that) is fully aware they were all victims of previous errors in judgment with regard to voting. They all realize comparing the US in the 1950's, 60's, 70's and even 80's to America today is not really even possible...if you want like to like things. It is just they took the easy way out. Trump provided the easiest answer to a question they all had, "why does my life suck"?
So I missed this election's prognostication by a wide margin, a margin the size of Vermont. I guess I don't have enough angry, white, cattle ranchers in my twitter feed. Oh well, I guess we'll see what happens. So far, it's been a day and already DT has signed orders making it easier for companies to not have to provide medical insurance, and harder for lower income individuals to purchase a home. Well done pissed off people, well done.
I have done a little, well, more than just a little delving into the world of physics from both an empirical and a theoretical perspective. I have come to the conclusion we are not really meant to know; know what? Know, for sure THE true and real nature of everything. One major issue the physics world deals with is the true lack of a "unifying theory". Einstein's theory of relativity works well for very large objects, however when applied to small particle level objects the theory falls apart. This is at the point where another major name in Physics takes over, Bohr. Niels Bohr, essentially is the father of quantum mechanics and quantum theory as we know it. Quantum theory deals with the world on a much, much smaller level. A level at which the "normal" laws of physics cease to have any governance over the actions of matter and/or energy. The seemingly only theory able to unify the large world with the small is String Theory, and this is imperfect at best...and complete conjecture at worst.
Here is my take on it, really. We as human beings are much too limited to really see any great cosmic truth of the uni, or multiverse. Limitations we cannot even perceive will lead us into the pit of confirmation bias blind despair. As participants in the universe, we are not able to fully understand that which we are surrounded by, and even comprised of! Any theory regarding the origin, direction, governance, or demise of our fishbowl will be fraught with the short-sightedness of our own inescapability of that which we would attempt to define. From gravity, to relativity and proceeding into Quantum menagerie we have been willful victims succumbing to the pursuit of the unattainable resolution---infinite comprehension. Finite beings as we are, we struggle to fill the ever-widening gap between what we seek, and what we know; or think we know to be true. At every step we are met with confirmation bias in theory's clothing, causing momentary elation to again erode into hapless speculation.
Alas, it is not for me to determine the worthiness of another's pursuit, therefore I only submit my pontifications into the ether. For I and my grand opinions, like every single thing any of us has ever known will eventually become merely detritus of a world we were never meant to grasp.
For the last month, I have been a single parent of two kids with no relief and no breaks. I know, big deal...how many people do this every day, for years with no real recognition; thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions...maybe. I am in such awe of you and your commitment to life. Seriously, my wife has been in another city for only a Month now and I am crazzled beyond belief. Trying to juggle work, home, kids, and life in general has been humbling. It is done out of love and with such affection for my children, and this sometimes barely kept me together. Again, I have to say on behalf of the rest of the world that will never know what you deal with, all of the single parents out there, scraping by or soaring amongst upper middle class, thank you. From the children who may never tell you only because they don't get it either...thank you. YOU are appreciated, by everyone.
If everyone on Earth has a different retina, just like a fingerprint, no two are the same; then by default, no two people see the world in exactly the same way. This may seem like not a very big deal, or perhaps for you, like me, it was a HUGE deal. I have often thought about the way the world works in general and more specifically how the world works with regards to how humans treat each other. The things that happen to humans at the hands of other humans is sometimes baffling. All too often it seems, people are very quick to judge others' actions by their own standards and guidelines. This shuts the judge-ers off to new information that could have an impact on their view of not just the people they intend to judge but the entire world itself. Once a person "knows" how someone is, or isn't; how they do this or don't do that, all ability to see the subject in another way is lost. It's as if the viewer has placed on the welding helmet of knowledge, its glass so dark even the light of the sun is obscured. You'll notice I didn't say glasses, or perhaps blinders. No, it is in fact just like a welding helmet; it can only be removed by the wearer and nothing gets through. I implore the Earth to pause, prior to sitting in judgment of others. Take one deep breath before pulling the shield over your eyes...and remember, it is a scientific fact no two people see the world in exactly the same way.
How true is this!!!
I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.
This is an excerpt from an email to my Mom about the recent Napa Earthquake. (I now live about 25 miles from there!!!). Enjoy!
-- It was pretty scary at first, it was a violent shaking at first and then it was a rolling...like being on a boat that was moving around....only it was more like the boat was swaying on a horizontal axis rather than vertical. Not sure if that makes sense. Like a rocking chair laid on its side and rocking. I woke up first and it must have been instinct, I yelled "earthquake"!!! And ran toward Hudson's room with Leslie following close behind. We opened his door and looked inside, he was fine and nothing was moving that bad in his room. Les and I just sat on the floor in the hallway waiting for the shaking to stop and then subsequently the swaying too. As soon as the worst was over we looked again at Hudson and saw he had slept through the whole thing!
It was then we closed his door as quietly as possible and I started downstairs to check on Brooklyn. As soon as we closed Hudson's door, we could hear it rattling like there was a very strong draft running through the house, struggling to pass through the closed door and thus making it shake back and forth with a rattling sound. Only, there was no draft, no wind, and no window open. The quake was still moving the house, only not as bad now...it must have been some residual energy. Sensing it was most likely over, I went down to see Brooklyn, who sleeps on the 1st floor while Hudson, Leslie, and I are on the 3rd. When I stepped into the attached garage to get to Brooklyn's door, I was not sure what I would see around the corner. We have boxes and racks, and boxes on racks completely covering both long walls of the tandem garage. I was half waiting to find our garage almost impassible making me hop on piles of cardboard, metal, and junk to get to her door. Surprisingly, everything was fine! Nothing moved at all. It was baffling; I noticed the bowl of dog water that was full when I tucked her in now had only half left inside. The rest of the water was splashed all around the bowl. The splashing has an odd shape to it, most of the wet concrete below the bowl was on the North and South side, in a rectangular shape around the bowl. It wasn't at all circular like I might have expected. When I opened Brooklyn's door, the dogs were already at attention and barked loudly. Murphy has jumped up on BK's bed and Rufus was cowering in a corner, opposite of where they usually sleep. I was relieved to see nothing disturbed, including Brooklyn. She had managed to sleep through not only the earthquake, but the dogs barking too! When I saw she was still asleep and nothing had shifted, I went back upstairs to see what would pop up on the USGS site
I have been thinking a lot about legacy. The kind of legacy one leaves when they are gone. It is an interesting conversation, if you really think about it. Why would something like legacy matter to anyone? Life is interesting: you are not here, then you are here, and finally you are not here again. Many people can debate whether there is an afterlife, and what happens or doesn't happen to you in that afterlife. I don't get involved, one thing everyone can agree on, is when you die, you are not here anymore in the form you were once had. You are no longer yourself, in your form as a human, on this earth. With this being said, why would someone be worried about what happens past the time they are here? Why would they be concerned for anyone else but themselves while they ARE here? I have come to the conclusion there is no answer, or at least, I don't have one that works for me.
I am currently at a point where I am questioning some of what I am doing in my work life. There are things I do which I don't think are necessary and are counterproductive to making the world a better place...something I have said I am committed to. There are times where a crisis of conscience really have been overwhelming. It really comes down to what I have said I am. Freedom, Courage, Love, Empowerment. I desire esteem, from myself...in order to achieve esteem from myself, I must do what I consider to be esteem-able acts.
My reflection on and journey into the world of what it means to be here, on Earth, has resulted in me being less guided by my implanted desires, less driven by my worldly accepted practices of property and prestige acquisition. My motives are seeming to be more driven by contribution, self-acceptance, and inner well-being. My desires are slanting away from my current pursuits and leaning instead into a pursuit of something that would allow me more time with the ones I love and less time driving toward something else, both literally and figuratively.
Here we are, another year in the books...from my perspective at least. I am really at a crossroads now, as I usually am. Not some huge, life-changing decision point, don't worry. Really, every day you wake up can be a point of great and significant choices that must be made, and it doesn't have to be significant at all. It is sometimes difficult to manage how much significance I put on the choices I face in life.
I think the one that haunts me the most is which freeway to take into the office. I tell you, I have vacillated between two or three freeways ever since we moved into offices. I'm sure this might seem humorous to some people reading this, and it might be, AND this is a huge choice! Believe it or not, this choice might have a greater impact on my experience of life than hundreds of others I make on a minute by minute basis. The moral of the story is, I choose not only the choice but also how much the choice impacts my life. The "significance" or "weight" of any choice is up to me; as long as I remember this fact I am doing well. No more agonizing over what to do and most of all not agonizing over what I have already done!!!! Freedom, this is what I look for in life...and it is up to me to live it.
Recently, I am driven to ask myself about the title of this post. My drive comes from my Cousin, he has a Brain Tumor as well. His is most likely a different type than mine, and definitely in a different area of the brain. I just learned from Family my Cousin's tumor is actively growing again. He has had some time where nothing was really happening with it, after some pill form chemo it seemed under control; everyone was happy about it. To make a short story long and winded, we are no longer really happy about his progress...it seems things, for now, have taken an unwanted turn. I am left with the question of "why not me? why him?", and I am not arriving at an answer. It seems to me the question of why is one better left to God Himself, not to be really known by us. When we start getting into a "why" scenario, the laws of unintended consequences start to really take hold. When a cause is sought by Humans to mitigate against an effect possibly recurring, things get sketchy. I am not saying don't try to predict the weather so we can be safe and avoid natural disasters...I am saying don't wonder why something happens to someone or why it doesn't happen to someone else. As soon as we spend time in the whys of the situation that perplexes us, we miss out on being able to influence the actualities of the now occurring world. I am not going to wonder why me, or not me, or why him; I am instead going to keep on living, as I think he would want me to do....loving, sharing, experiencing things for as long as I can. Perhaps even after he can't anymore...he will know I love him, and wish him the best...and that is "why" I am going to live....to not have to ask
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