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Archive for the ‘Science & Technology’ Category

            It’s always hard to admit you are probably the worst screw-up in the history of useless people, but when you have to, you have to.  There’s a point you reach when you realize just how bad it really is; the point where you see through your lies long enough to realize you don’t even know how bad you are because you are so used to lying to people about what’s really going on with you that you actually believe it yourself. 

It’s as if you’ve hypnotized yourself; you are so used to looking and living the lies you tell everyone that when you finally see the truth, even if for just a moment, the hypno-job you’ve done on yourself pops up and glosses over everything right away.  Your false persona returns because what you saw in that split second scared you so much you had to jump back into whatever dark hole you’ve made to hide in: because you realize you have such a bad problem that you don’t know if you can fix it.  Hell, the problem scared you so much you don’t even want to look at it, let alone figure out how to make things right again. 

Finally, you get enough courage and drag it out into the daylight; the sunlight hurts.  Ugly, festering sores and open wounds are covered in puss; here and there, a scab formed over something you actually had the strength to deal with, but most of what you see is rotting, putrefying problems that slash at your insides and gangrene growing around your heart.  The smell makes you gag, while the gross moral decay turns your stomach.  Then you realize you’re looking at yourself: then the retching, stomach heaves begin.  Along with rivers of shame and torrents of tears, you get a good look at what you’ve become.  Wow.  It isn’t pretty. 

After taking an honest, personal moral inventory, you notice some of the decomposing problems have formed a slight scab over the surface; the problem is still ugly and hard to look at, but you have looked at it, and you recognize it’s your problem.  No one else is going to see it.  No one else even knows it’s there: especially after the con job, you’ve done to cover the more unsightly ones.  When you eventually take responsibility for what you’ve become, you stop pulling the punches, making up “mitigating” circumstances, and start to understand a little more about yourself. 

You’re not that different from everyone else.  Everyone has problems.  You’ve just admitted to yourself that you have a lot of work to do before you’re ready to look at yourself in the mirror again.  At least you’ve made a start.  You know what you need to fix.  Now you need to honestly figure out a strategy that will really open yourself up again, open enough to let fresh air inside to blow away the dust and clean the dirt that’s piled up in the corners.  If you’re totally honest, you recognize what were complete falsehoods.  You might even reach the point where you realize your whole life was a complete lie.  There.  It’s all out in the open now. 

Alongside the grossness you hate, there’s still a spot or two that’s clean and shiny.  All of a sudden, you see it for what it really is.  Hope.  Despite the difficult problems, you still have hope for yourself.  That’s good.  Without hope, there’s nothing but negativity and a bleak outlook on life.  You don’t want to weigh things out.  There’s a lot of bad stuff floating around inside, but you still have hope.  That gangrene that was growing around your heart doesn’t smell so bad.  At least you’re the only one who can smell it.  And you’re the only one who can make it go away. 

You’re the only one with the power to change your life.  You’re the one that needs to believe you can change things and believe things will be better again.  Now you have hope.  Now you need the faith to really understand that your problems can go away if you make them.  They will only go away if you let light shine on your dark secrets.  You need to stay in the sunshine to keep track of the problems; you need to be aware of them, or else the lies and the fake stories come back.  They will always be there.  They’re easier to believe.  Easier to tell other people.  Easier to look at.  But they become harder to fix.  The longer you keep lying to yourself, the harder it is to start telling the truth.  You don’t need to be told what to do.  You’ve looked at the nasty brutal crud that grew inside you; you also felt the healing effects of honesty and truth. 

You need to hold up honesty, truth, belief, strength and courage.  Only then will you see those little shiny spots of hope that are scattered around, close, very close, and just nearby your heart.  You see those specks of hope, and it reminds you of the clean feeling you had when you sat down and looked at yourself honestly.  You remember, and you recall that if you have faith in yourself, you might be able to not just look at your problems, but act upon that faith and start to clean yourself up again.  All of a sudden, you realize you’re not useless.  You have a lot of work to do.  In fact, you have so much work to do that you are going to become the busiest, happiest and strongest person you know.  You realize you have faith in yourself, and you know you have a plan to get things back together again.  Now it’s time to start planning how to change your life from a jumbled stinking morass of lies, into an organized, decent and progressive life that you are proud to call your own. 

Suddenly, you conceive methods to focus your attention on the good things in life; you understand how giving to others is important, and you realize that doing things that are productive are good as well.  You think of giving.  You think of getting.  You think of do’s and you understand don’ts.  Suddenly, a real plan starts to take shape, and you realize that if you follow this plan you can begin to live a good, upstanding, essential and important life that gives you and everyone that knows you, pride and respect.

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In 1880, the philosopher Thomas Malthus made a prediction that is now affecting our society in ways he couldn’t foresee, but are eeirily similar to his general theory on population control.  When you remove war, plague and other problems, population growth will skyrocket, unless a natural disaster occurs.  Taken alone, this is an excellent argument for space colonization and exploration.  We need to re-examine what is important in life, and put the world’s fabulous wealth to work on it.

Malthus theorized that population growth would soon overwhelm the planet’s resources, then overused and depleted resources would be insufficient to supply the world; therefore, people would die off.  He calculated that technology and resources expand arithmetically, but people grow geometrically.  Geometric growth is the old double a dollar trick: if you take a dollar, then double it, double it again, and keep doubling it everyday, you would have over a million dollars within a month.  It’s a straightforward mathematical progression, and when applied to our population, it’s easy to see that there will be too many humans for this Earth to sustain if we keep increasing our population the at the current rate.  Longer life through better medicine adds to the problem.  Here’s how it applies to literature and writers. 

In the Victorian age, there were a great many readers, and every writer, if they were able to create something worth reading, would stand a good chance of being published.  Today, there are thousands of writers out of work, just because publishers are inundated with manuscripts and have the luxury of selecting only the very best.  It could be argued that some of the so called “great” writers of the past wouldn’t stand up to the numerous rejection slips every author receives before someone decides to take a chance and publish their book.  There are many other reasons the Victorian age produced so many new ideas and so many new authors, but the main reason was an empty playing field, and an audience thirsting for new and bizarre ideas.  Now the playing field is packed, the benches and stadium  crowded, along with the dressing room and the parking lot.  It’s hard to find an original idea that is truly unique, because with so many minds thinking of every permutation and every twist and turn, it is hard to come up with something fresh and original.  Some say that’s why
Hollywood does so many re-makes of old ideas.  With so many people writing free blogs, or publishing their stories for free on certain websites, it’s hard to get a publisher to pay good money for a story.  That is, if they actually get a frustrated talented author to withstand the long wait lists and offer a story that is fresh and interesting.  It really begs the question, why do we read what we read.  Will anyone ever read this?  Chances are, with the countless, unknown and possibly excellent blogs clogging the internet, no one ever will.  People read less books today.  TV and the internet changed the dynamics in ways we are still studying.

Another factor is society’s overall success and increasing level of education.  To get a half decent job, you need education.  Today, it is quite common for someone to possess B.A., Master’s Degree or PhD.  That means a greater proportion of our society can write, and write well.  With a hulking pile of unread and well written manuscripts clogging an Editor’s “in basket”, it’s quite possible that some of the well known writers of the past would not be published today.  Perhaps their story lacks sparkle, their writing style is trite and outdated, or the author couldn’t deal with the countless rejection slips that are now part of the job.  Based on this, what was published in the past might not be published today.  A loss to literature?  Not quite.  We have literature coming out our ying-yang, and a book about talking animals discussing their political situation, although clever and satirical, doesn’t sound like a real page turner.  Sorry George Orwell, but Animal Farm might not pass muster and end up in some rejected file.  Possibly.  Television, radio and the Internet are changing our society in ways that will not be fully understood until some future date.  Perhaps when sociologists have had the time to read everything and make an original conclusion.  

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The religious wars have always been with us.  And they are here today. Everywhere.  Unless reason prevails, they will be the downfall of our society.  This has been predicted in ancient writings, and part of our everyday “war on terrorism”.  And we think we are an enlightened society?  We made some technological advances, but need to deal with the true nature of man; the consequences are world war.

There are Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists, and now the Catholic old school has stepped in again. They’ve already removed any “innocent” mention of religion from all schools, and now the clerics from several African Nations want the early hominid bones found by Dr. Leaky pulled from major display and relegated to a backroom. It seems they want to quash all references to evolution. I imagine Darwin will become a banned writer and labeled an atheistic madman.
No one our society is so backward. Everytime science begins to impose reason, the old “dark ages” thinking is resurrected. I believe God wanted us to understand the world, his creation, and not live in darkness.

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