Pretending to look knowingly.

The Donald John Trump Virus

Civilization has never faced such a peril.

In the entire history of humanity, such dangers have never come together at one time.

Before Donald Trump and the virus came along, global warming was on the verge of taking over the climate. It is possible that it already has. President Trump has suspeded regulations, fired dozens of people people important to the preservaton of the planet and necessary for the safety of all citizens. The earth might have become uninhabitable without Trump’s help. A second term would seal its fate.

There are few faults as dangerous as not knowing what you do not know. Donald Trump of course knows no science. Worse he does not know what science is. And the frosting on the devil dog cake is that he does not know that he does not know.

Early in the crisis, President Trump spoke of his “natural ability.”

"You know, my uncle was a great person. He was at MIT. He taught at MIT for, I think, like a record number of years. He was a great super genius. Dr. John Trump. I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, 'How do you know so much about this? ' Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president."

I attended MIT for seven years and have three engineering diplomas including as much physics and math as a typical physics major. I left one dissertation short of a PhD. Enough was enough. It took me eight years before I was able to walk its halls without feeling anxious. I suspect the air in the foyer at 77 Massachusetts Avenue would have stopped Donald.

Trump Medal of Honor

Putin is smiling for he knows he has Trump under his thumb.

What Makes An Empty Man

A human is made by nature and nuture.

My father’s brother earned a PhD. My father was chief engineer making complex machinery almost the day he walked into the door. I learned that learning was the most important thing and that doing at every opportunity was just what you did. It got me into MIT.

Trump was raised without regard for humanity. He was taught to bully, deal, lie and lust. And no more. For those who are knowledgable and creative an empty man is a great sadness for without learning and creating, there is no life. In the picture on the right, it is possible something the President has begun to feel something of his loss. The full truth is beyond his understanding.

In situations such as we are facing, I try to look from the broadest perspective. It is possible that history books will eventually look at civilization as before Trump and after Trump, for I believe we will yet see consequences we cannot imagine.

A long history of shallow education.

A different kind of shallow education plagues mankind.

As technology has made the need for deep knowledge unnecessary by giving us proposperty so freely, we have not learned to see through the fog of mideval thinking.

Two tragedies rule our minds: The remnants of religion and of slavery.

Religion was always the explanation for what we did not understand, and yet was only a name for an explanation. Slavery permeated thinking since its introduction in 1619. Its monitization of humans is the root of the Floyd tragedy. We cannot shake a contempt for dark skin, nor do we know why it is dark.

Raceism and religion both seduce and corrupt. Both provide roads to feelings of superiority, of being chosen and better with no substance for eiather.

As scientific knowledge as advanced its meaning has not been taught or appreciated. We do not understand the world nor each other. Underlying attudes are reminiscent of the dark ages. Donald Trump is a perfect example. We have been fooling ourselves that we are an “advanced” civilization. Most tragically we treat each other as warring tribes. The attitude toward minorities, the lack of concern (safety nets) is the sign of politics out of control. Trump and conservatives play each other for suckers to the detriment of all.

The ownership of American by less than ten people is incomprehensibel and is flat out the consequence of conservative ideology.

Donald Trump is the perfect fool to aid in the destruction of America and its values. Trump cannot say a word that is not a lie and in the face of the virus threat he does not lead, for he doesn't know how. He is the most dangerous person in the history of humanity.

The forces of history.

Thinking is shallow no matter the education. Scientists do not know the meaning of life any more than anyone else. PhDs in any field other that science do not grasp the significance of what science knows. And the average citizen harding knows the meaning of the word.

An astonishing number of people believe in the devil. The principle source of understanding of the universe is religion which is mostly fiction. A major force like Christianity is fragmented so much it might as well be 1000 different religions, and so an all powerful god is doing a poor job of communication. Christianity has some good messages from Jesus about how people should be treated, but we had the inquisition and now we have the prosperity gospel.

The underpinning of thoughts about life are science and the best philosophers. However, the substance of how we treat each other i a leftover from a country that relied on slaves to create its wealth.

The combination of Trump, the virus and global warming has a good chance of civil war, a drastically reduced inhabitable land area, and that will lead to a population less than half of what we have now.

How could this happen.

The original villian was the introduction of agriculture in about 8000 BCE for that freed the most agressive males of hunter gatherer tribes free to do what they pleased. So they began wars to claim land, and more wars to create empires. u

seldom ranges widely enough to began an understanding of humanity. In the present (May 2020) when knowledge of man, evolution, the cosmos, psychology and more have advanced enormously, seldom, if ever, are findings made taking from all relevant fields. Furthermore, beyond these aspects of human experience that have not been touched by any of these fields. Furthermore, the singularity that is our President, has shaken humanity to a point of frustrution and confusion that despair becomes the norm. Yet such a shaking may offer some insights no likely to happen without the shaking.

Since the dawn of ciilization perhaps 8000 or so BCE, humanity has, from my perspective, been in constant turmoil. War has often been the norm, rather than the exception. Science, althouth revelatory is usually ignorned. Scientists, even under threats of extreme catastrophe have not mobilized. Non-scientists, despite great education (along with those with lesser education) do not sense the deep urgency that science has revealed.

Under these conditions, the combination of the pandemic and the President seem to me impossible to survive in the long run. Before either, the threat to the planet of rising temperature had in all likelihood passed the point of no return.

Writing an exposition of this situation requires far more knowledge than I can bring to the table and is, infact, the challenge for whatever remains of civilization. Yet my interest in a wide range of fields sounds the most clanging alarm bells I have ever heard. The dissonances, contorted melodies, jumbled keys put all composers I have heard to shame. However, hoping to shed a flashlight with virtually depleated battereries forces me to continue something almost certainly futile.

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If I step back it seems that for most of history since the introduction of agriculture at about 8000 years BCE that humanity has found ways to divide itself. Rich vs poor, one religion vs anotherm one political concept vs another. Yet we are created with stunning abilities for learning and creating that bring enormous pleasure and satisfaction. Why do we not as a society recognize this? Scientific theories of the universe (thories of everything) never mentioon emotion or sentience. Liberal arts PhDs miss out on science. And when a monster like Trump comes along we almost lay down as if dead whie he neglects his duties resulting in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Something is fundamentally wrong in the way we look at life. Political systems create governments of the rich, by the rich and for the rich.

How is it possible for total idiots (Trump is not alone) to become leaders.

There is a fundamental failure in America’s political processes. Trump should never have gotten to first base and that tells us there is something fundamentally wrong with how we educate.

In my ideal world there would be a set of values that are taught the same everywhere and prospective leaders, in order to run for election should have to take one or two years at a leadership institute. Of course the world could never agree on what should be taught and we will ccontinue to get morons as eeuiuhhh

their work. The experiences that make life worth living are missing. These absences are dooming us.

As the world heads to a precipice there is no massed presence of intellect seeking to occupy Washington. We need a new million man march of the human intellect.

Saving the World, After It’a Too Late

Donald J. Trump has brought us to a modern, long delayed, precipice. His disrupting presence has exposed many old-world dividing traits. The history of humanity will depend on its ability to finally deal with religious, racial and political divisions and the limitations evolution has put into our souls.

Homo sapiens evolved in Africa as a separate species of primate most closely related to chimpanzees, gorrilas, and bonobos monkeys. European homo sapiens interbred slightly with Neanderthals who eventualy died out likely due to the superior organizing intellect of homo sapiens. Asians followed a slightly different path interpreding with slightly different early humans.

Skin color has been a deviceive force almost everywhere that blacks and whites have coexisted, depite the fact that both have the same African ancestors who migrated north into Europe and east into Asia. Skin color is simply the result of how far north our African ancestors migrated. The further north the more harmful was the pigment melonomin in their skin for with less sunlight insuffiient vitamin D was produced. So Scandanavians are pale, mid-latitude settlers brown and Africans who stayed at the equator may be coal black.

We reached our present state of intellectual capability about 200,000 years ago and existed as hunter-gatherer tribes until the introduction of agriculture about 10,000 BCE. HRT, author of Sapiens considers this a great disaster. Evolution had created a species and a format of life that worked. A beautiful picture can be found in The Old way.

It took time, but agriculture like a nuclear weapon.

Argiculture freed hunter-gatherers from the cohension of small groups of humans. The alpha type agressor-hunters were fredd from a well-adapted roll.

They began creating what we now call civilization and, in my opinion, were unsuited to this roll.

They suffered from two debiliting characteristics: an inability to stop expanding empires and acquiring wealth and an inability to form peaceful relationships among political entitives. This has not changed.

Religion became a uniting and disrupting force. A controlling, saving entity that was named god evolved , or rather was created, under the same name, but in many different forms. This continues to this day, an example being the evangelical support of Donald Trump and the corruptive disruptiong of the prosperity gospe.

Tribal fears and the need to acquire power continue to this day in many parts of the world. Religion continues to separate when the idea of a “chosen people” modifies behavoir creating jealosies.

The United States was formed in a noble attempt to esczpe the old world with its remants of empires and divisions of many kinds especially religions ones. However, the curses and blessings of homo sapiens came to the new world.

The great sin of mankind, slavery, came to the new world very early. In 1619 the first slaves arrived. Their capture in Africa by supposedly civilized Europeans tells us that mankind stopped evolving in morarity and intellect and that stagnated vision became pzrt of America.

America is a combination of the idealism of the founding fathers and the dark side suited best to small tribes, except that the dark side owns Americal. One percent of the popultion owns 80% of America. This is a fundmental issue that controls the welfare of the lower, middle and even parts of upper middle classes.

Europe has, to a degree, evolved by forming relatively small states where a cohesive political organization is at least possible and, after much fighting, has somewhat settled in the European Union. However, it will be a long time before this reaches solid stability.

America is too large. Its red and blue state dicotomy and the attitudes that go along make rational government nearly impossible. In the present virus crisis New Zealands leaders were able to get all 5 million of its population on the same page and the virus was tamed. Not only does the American book have countless pages it has an evolving, revolving, dissolving, absolving, and compassionsion group of authors. Chapters, pages, phrases and random blocks of text are rewritten, sometimes in private. A clause can be snuck into a bill and the world turned upside down. And that is not nearly the end of it. Conservative and liberal my joust for power, but minorities of many kinds are at their mercy. Black and browns. Natives and immigerants are whole classes that may be mercelessly subdued or catered to depending on the needs of the reds and the blues.

Overiding and underlying blankets smother or fan flames.

Religion runs by its own rules aligning with one political entity or another or neither. Conservatism has benefited enormously from the Prosperity Gospel. Although it has no basis in scripture it appeals to the dream of financial success. Evangelicism, hanging its loyality on the single issues of abortion also runs conservative and as followed Trump straight into hell. The idiociy of useing the questionalbe doctrine of “grace” to forgive every Trump sin as it happens is beyond understanding, except within the idea of a cults. Cults abandon rationality to reacha promised land. Once the cult is established no behavior is bizarre to break through the promise. The illogic of believing what you want to believe in the face of almost anthing takes over.

The Fate of The Donald.

Post war and depression economics.

Post World War I America become accustomeed to prosperity. The the depressiona and the rescue of World War II.

World War II was a double edged sword on America. High paying jobs, unions, and the Roosevelt safety net set up a complacency that even Joe McCarthy, Korea and the Cold War could not upset for several decades. But technology was changing the rules in a fundamental way and education was not preparing the way, either because the problem was not recognized or if it was, the attitude was to let it be. So education stayed shallow, not dealing with fundamental issues be they race, automation, the widening gap between rich and poor, or the two horrendous wars: Vietnam and the second gulf war that were fought for no reason.

A shallow education leaves a public that cannot reoognize problems up to and including global warming and the potential diestruction of the earth. So the earth decays, the middle and lower classes stagnate, and we are not equipped to pick up on The Donald until it is too late.

I picked up on Trump fairly early although I could not bear to listen to him. But I read “I've been hearing things,” about the birther issue.

A presidential canidate does not spread rumors, hearsay about such a fundamental issue. He assigns an aide to investigate and only with real evidence does he open his mount. So this was a sign of a modus operandi that would come to characterize the administration. Say what you wish to say, deny it, make it a flat out lie, a frabrication, but above all, be sure it has no content. But of course The Donald is empty, so there can be no content.

I contend that Donald Trump, with the exception of an extreme need for approval, is the most abscent human being we know. Not quite: there are some policies, some fights, but they all wash out, except they leave a trail of droppings. A few are picked up and worshipped. The rest are just confusion. And the confusion it a truly monumental tragedy. Donald Trumps hesitation to act on the virus has cost to date (Memorial Day, 2020) likely 80,000 lives. Murder by incomprehension, inaction, lack of any kind of compassion, or knowledge. A a dismissing of experts.

The Hoax that is America

Rotten at the surface. Rotten in government. Value in the heated citizenery.
Future: Unknown.

Post war

or has not been united in values and politics. The most divicive characteristics are the tribalism of the old world, the insistance on empire and a willingness to destroy the native population.

Tribalism and a failure to develop a deeper sense of civiliation led American into two costly wars (Vietnam and the second Gulf war) and has failed to overcome the attitudes instilled by slavery.

Religion and Ignorance.


Entrenched attitudes and ignorance of reality.

Donald Trump wants to make America great again. America has never been a great country. She and her people have done great deeds and many of them are comming through now in the face of the virus as risk to their lives. Over 100 doctors and nurses have died as a result of exposure. Trumps administration has hindered treatment in a major was primarily as a result of Trumps six week delay in starting active work. This has been a catastrophe and I estimate Has cost 50,000 lives.

Unfortunate that is the tip of the iceberg.

Education and attitutudes that are a holdover from the days of slaery still permeates our culture. The fundamental principle of reciprocity is anathama to conservative ideologues. So the devious ideology of low taxes whioeuipuui..

He is in a category all his own. He is nothing. No knowledge, no plan. But he is capable of doing anything rash and has believers, because his need for admiration is infinite. Zero divided by zero is anything.

I am astounded that we have let him get this far. The constitution, the congress, the supreme court nor the public cannot stop him. I cannot imagine what could happen if he won this fall. I can imagine him declaring the election valid and declaring martial law. We could have civil war no. 2.

Of course this sounds ridiculous, but there has never been anyone else like him. He has already caused more harm than previous American presidents combined. And he has a cult-like following.

1. A man of few words, ”beautiful, hoax, finished......” understands nothing about those he describes other than whether they lick his boots. Then they are beautiful.

2. Donald licks boots too. Check out the picture with Putin below.

3. A vessel containing nothing can be mistaken for anything, so we see what we want to see, or if we fall for his lies, what he wants us to see.

4. Perhaps even worse, an empty vessel has no compassion. He cannot put himself into another’s shoes. He likes the rich and the powerful. Yearns to be like them.

5. He is virtually a dictator now and so he is leading us to a precipice.

6. If we ever get beyond the virus global warming is waiting. It had put us near the precipace, and The Donald may have let us slide over it. He is not only destroying America, but the planet too.

What does civilization do when its putative leader is a man of no knowedge, no self awareness, no compassion, but infinite need.

A man in power who cannot hear, who cannot see is infinitely dangerous.

He has fooled many. His speech is propaganda. If you say it often enough and loudly enough some people will believe you.

An empty man given power is the most dangerous man in all the history of humanity, because he will purge the world of intelligence.

There is terror when a man has nothing to give, but has infinite needs.

Donald Trump dumps on or praises but never explains.

Donald Trump is empty. This is the look of a puzzled man. He fires anyone he does not understand, for he is terrified he will be found out.

Anything he needs he makes up. He is the most dangerous kind of man.

Most people do not know what I mean when I say life with a capital L.

I am talking about what we experience: pain, terror, joy, beauty, happiness, sadness. We don’t even realize that no one knows how ”experience” happens in our brains. Scientists don’t even want to touch it, it’s too hard. They do have a word for it and it is called sentience.

What is happening today is a turning point in human history.

I have been looking to find a trace of Life and and I find it among the sick and dying.

And death has been caused by one man who has no Life in him.

His face is asking a question: ”I wonder what they are talking about. It is not about how great I am, so I must stop it.”

This smile is Putin’s. He looks like the cat who ate the canary for he knows he has Donald by the balls. Donald wants to be like this man who trained with the KGB. Donald is not yet toilet trained. He soils all that he touches.

A formal portrait. A forced grin.

A smile reveals much about the inner man, for a real smile cannot be faked and requires a man to be experiencing joy.

I have never seen Donald smile.

A knowing look. Useful when you don’t understand what is being said.

Humanity may well die, or be ruled rudely, and barely have a place to live. That is where we are headed.

Where we came from is another story, the most important of all time, and yet few know what it is and fewer know what it means. Where, when, how, why is the story of Life and two things are going on: 1. We don't appreciate what we have been given; 2. We don’t make use of what we have been given; 3. It is being taken away from us by a combination of pretty dangerous, sad and stupid forces, with The Donald in the lead.

If we dont’t know what we have and don’t use it, then it will be much easier for it to be taken from us.

I took this picture about 25 years ago in the front yard of my home of the time in Southborough, Massaachusetts. I call it Last Leaf, Last Light.

The different colors, subtle as the differences may be, remind me of the different trees growing there at that time. The picture also brings to mind some of the saddest words I know, John Greenleaf Whttier’s:

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the sadest are these, it might ahve been.”

Each leaf reminds me of something that was once alive. It might be someone I know, it might be a family in Iraq or Syria.>

It might be a doctor or nurse dying in the line of duty, a volunteer in the fight against the coron id virus. Or it might be one of the 80,000 or so Americans, most of whom died needlessly because we couldn’t get our act together.

There are two kinds of tragedies: those, such as the first deaths of the virus when it jumped to the first human, and a few that followed until we knew what was happening, that we do not know how to stop. Nature springs them on us.

The second kind of tragedy is the deaths that followed because Xi Ping hesitated one week and hundreds of avoidable infections followed. But China got its act together. We have yet to do that.

The Donald waited for six infinitely tragic weeks, and then, as well as today, brought incompetance to the job, and fired all the good people, and now is purging the government and wants 100% power. He wishes to be dictator and king and knows nothing of science, life, caring, compassion, competance, management, and at some deep level I believe he knows this and cannot tolerate it so he hires only boot lickers.

Donald and the virus have put humanity in the greatest peril it has ever faced, for the fate of the earth itself is also at stake.

And I am utterly dumbfounded that we are letting him get away with it.

Why? How? What happend? What has not happened?

I think the answer is that most of us, if not all of us, to one degree or another do not understand The Gift that we (yes you and me are gifts) that we are.

In the 2,500 years or so of civilization we have learned bits and pieces and corrupted many of those. I think it is about time, given the secrets science (which is just us working hard and carefully) science has found out. As a hint of what there is, we can now look back in time and take a picture of our birth (well, of the energy that became us).

If I try to tell this story, eyes glaze over and almost everyone thinks I am a little bit off in some way, to be so preoccupied with something that happened 10.78 billion years ago.

I will try to explain.

Human being have been response for countless attrocities. And they have been response for countless things of beauty. The news is full of the attrocities, at least some of them. But beauty say in the arts, or relationships or generousity does not get the coverage what would reveal the depth and breadth of what is there. Attroities usually involve death and we have all experience the loss of someone close.

However, because music and art have been both threads running through my life-no ropes, steel cables, unbreakable-I have had time to get to know a little extra, not close to what others know, but more than many.

This link is 9 minutes of Krystian Zimerman playing Chopin’s Ballade No. 1.

Why do I feel silly asking you, who have probably never paid any attention to classical music, to spend 9 whole minutes listening AND watching this performance. Well: 1. It is one of the most supremely beautiful short piano pieces every written, a lovely melody and profound emotion. 2. Krystian Zimerman (a fellow Pole) is one of the finest pianists I have ever heard. 3. He is playing one of the finest instruments there is. It took many people to bring this to pass, but for me it is a miracle. Click on his picture and listen and watch.

Why do I feel silly asking you, who have probably never paid any attention to classical music, to spend 9 whole minutes listening AND watching this performance. Well: 1. It is one of the most supremely beautiful short piano pieces every written, a lovely melody and profound emotion. 2. Krystian Zimerman (a fellow Pole) is one of the finest pianists I have ever heard. 3. He is playing one of the finest instruments there is. It took many people to bring this to pass, but for me it is a miracle.

Why did the universe give us this ability, to compose, play, listen and experience such astonishing beauty.

How is it possible for Krystian’s hands and fingers to execute so fast and with utter precision (that is hard to appreciate if this is new to you). Every motion of every finger is perfect.

Click on his picture and watch and listen.

And it all began with the big bang. No god stepped in. This was the universe doing its thing and there is much much more, a virtual infinity that only a tiny number of humans know.

And our nemesis, Mr. Trump has no clue, so he wants to rip it to pieces.

That’s all. That is my point. From the smallest thing that can exist, almost 11 billion years later we are given this and a mind that can experience it. Tell me why, unless this is the real purpose of our existence.

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A Vile Vapor Engulfs A Pitiful Man


Donald Trump is showing us what he is made of. His poisonous brain is dismantling America. An insatiable longing for recognition, a monster who knows he is worthless is eliminating every competent, moral man or woman within his reach. He will violate every legal and moral principle to get what he wants. If the supreme court does not stop him it will be the end of America and possibly the destruction of the earth. Already he is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.

He will stop at nothing, to fill the void that is his soul.

Pretty much what has already been said. The singularity that was the big bang lasted (according to the latest theories of which I am aware) the shortest time and the shortest distance possible. It is theorized that time and space are quantized like everything else (with the possible exception of gravity for which no theory exists). A single quanta of time is the Planck time which (from memory) is about 10 to the -45 seconds and for space it is about 10 to the -34 cm. During that time the laws of physics as we know them are unknown. IMMEDIATELY after space and time come into existence and according to known (pretty much) laws of physics the time-line of the universe inexorably plays out. My own reaction to this is that it feels very logical. It leads to super novae that created the heavy elements, our solar system and the earth (which by my calculation is a very unusual creation despite what is often said; too many requirements must be met for the earth to be inhabitable). Then comes evolution and then us. The specialness of humanity is rarely discussed. Our ability to experience (sentience) is unbelievable. When we eventually arrive at us, we have the ability to look back in time and see the green egg, the cosmic background radiation that is the glow left over from the big bang. So, in effect, we have figured out how to see our own birth (at least the energy part of it) and at least back as far as light has reached to be visible to use. The purpose of all this is that I believe it is necessary to start with this picture before going any further. Despite the string theorists, and the multiverse theories, the only part I accept that is on reasonably solid footing is the illustration below (and btw, modified means I Photoshopped a horizontal version of this into a vertical version and made it easier to read). Then I ask WHY? No answer anywhere. God is the name of a presumed cause and the stories around god are easily imagined at a time when no science was known. So we know nothing about why or the relationship to our death, purpose, meaning and so forth. So I asked myself if we could reverse engineer this thing and no, we cannot but it suggested to me to ask what is the greatest part of the place and time that we have come to, which to me is when we experience life and I ask what are the best experiences and there are many. For me they are relationships with other people and great art, especially music (if someone asks I will give a bunch of links). Following is a bit like the questions of why go to MIT which is that you get to do some incredible things (if you are lucky too). I spent 40 years or so with Amar Bose and another 40 years (overlapping) photographing nature (lightsongfineart.com), and adopting a young boy from Russia. Then comes so what does this all mean. Is this the meaning of life. The only option I can think of is it is our job to take the best there is and ASSERT that this is life, grab it and run with it. Yesterday there was a question of why graduates of Harvard, MIT etc. do so well. My answer is that those I have known embrace life and use their whole brains and whatever they are doing if it is beautiful, joyous, or connected with the real parts of other people that is MY definition of LIFE. When tragedies happen it is putting yourself in the other persons shoes. Reciprocity. If you create something that affects others like the picture below (exposing. 20,000 4x5 transparencies over 40 years hauling a view camera around) you are touching the universe through the making of the image and through relating to others who enjoy your work. Etc. it goes on forever. But the universe is full of tragedy, tribes that wish to be blessed (chosen) by god, or refuse relationships with people who are different. A rich man and a poor man. Dr. Fauci who was challenged by the AIDS virus and many were turned off by the wild looks of the gay victims. So he thought he should put himself in their shoes (the golden rule, or reciprocity) and it was a revelation to him and it helped start serious research. Religions cause more trouble than almost anything because we all want to be special, to be chosen. Tribalism (conservative vs liberal) is the same. People either will face reality and see and hear what is in front of them or they will hear and think what they want to, and that is a disaster. Trump is the utter epitome of a closed (locked, walled, etc.) mind and has already killed tens of thousands. This is how I answer questions about god, meaning, etc. Why? Don’t have a clue except that the experience of the creation, discovery, creating, relating is it. Why? I have no idea except it is good when you have it and a tragedy if you do not reciprocate and help everyone have it. My prediction is that thanks to the Donald, we have a good chance of wrecking this place before we get to know each other. Top picture was made a few feet from Walden Pond in 1991. The floating leaves are water-shields. I published a book on Walden. This was my first visit to this vernal pool known as Wyman’s Meadow. I visited every year for the next 11 years until the book was finished. It never looked like this again. Go to lightsongfineart.com (under construction web site) and see much of the rest. As Malcolm Gladwell said, you have to be lucky.

All my life I have trusted that what I needed to do would cross my path. I often joked that I just did what came next. Then came the shootings that were ravaging our civilization. A pastor in my family had counseled the first responders in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and we talked at length about the violence and the suffering and it shook us both.

I thought that nothing could be worse but I began to read of the destruction of our planet by burning of fossil fuels. A lifetime of study about the earth and its place in the universe gave me no choice but to try to inform a blind world. For two years I worked on my website about caring for the earth, often for 13 or more hours per day counseled against hope that it would make a difference.

Then an unbelievable series of improbable events made a man without a soul or intellect president of the Unite States.

His nurturing was as shallow as a thin sheet of paper. Its purpose was to teach wheeling, dealing and bullying in order to make money. There was no knowledge beyond this. Even trivial comments about science were ridiculously off the mark. He claimed that his uncle attending MIT gave him the intuition to deal with the covid virus. It is too absurd to warrant comment.

Donald Trump has dismissed science and intelligence of every kind and he is purging the government of every watchdog and obstacle in his way. He is destroying every bit of good he finds. He yearns for the recognition that illudes his incompetence.

And then came the pandemic, creating the perfect storm to mate with the Donald for death and destruction.

Donald Trump is a new kind of human being, or perhaps more accurately an imitation human. His danger to us is complete. If not stopped he will destroy humanity and then the planet. He has already eliminated every regulation and institution within his reach.

The founders of America struggled to create a government that would not permit a Donald Trump to infiltrate but they could not imagine an imitation human being, and so we are loosing the battle. The carnage will be beyond what we can imagine.

Stealing Power


A Path to Kingship.

Donald Trump is a whole new kind of villain. He is causing great harm but it is a mystery just how this affects him. Is he totally unaware? Are other needs so important that it doesn’t matter?

We know he has an unlimited need for praise. We also know he cannot deal with complex issues. He will not sit for a briefing. He fires his best people. It seems that his upbringing created expectataions of great success and an accompanying addoration. However, it seems that all he learned was dealing: no competance or intellectual capability and that was accompanied by no limits on lying, deception in getting the adoration. Hence, a man who would be king, with not an iota of what it takes to be a king.

Had this been in virtually any other position than president of the United States, the damage might have been finite. But I believe that his Presidency colliding with possibly the most demanding challenges in history in the virus and, in the background, global warming. It could prove in the long run that a limited nuclear war would be preferable to the destruction of American democracy combined with terminating changes of keeping an inhabitable earth.

It is already clear that tens of thousands of deaths are a result of his irresponsibility. However, should he be relected without a congress to override his vetos, it will be the end of the world. The only possible salvage is a very competent and honest new government. Pray.

It Could Not Happen In America


Loopholes in the greatest document of democracy.

There are no limits on what he will do or say. His smarts are limited to dealing. He is not a scientist nor does he listen to scientists almost certainly because his upbringing was so narrow he knew nothing but dealing, lying, deception, and bullying. In fact I suspect that listening to a scientist terrifies him because he doesn’t have a clue and his ego can’t take it.

So the turnover in the White House has eliminated people of experience and solid knowledge. Donald’s terror led to a six week delay in dealing with the virus and then the plans were disastrous. An intelligent man looks for people more expert than he and follows their advice. Donald virtually eliminated science from the White House, and when he had to turn to it he waffled, spun, and had this trail of ”beautiful; definitely; I am sure of it; it’s pretty likely; we’re hoping,” followed by blaming it on someone else.

Of course he had accomplices, those who were willing to lick his boots got the prizes. Mitch had just had his serving of caneries for the picture below.

I will never forget the round table cabinet meeting. One after another they stuck their tongues out and licked. But for one. This took just a few minutes but was a performance for the ages.

But that is far from the worst of it for Lucifer has accomplices. Evangelicals. Conservatives. And, of course, Mitch. I have it on good account that Lucifer is taking early retirement.

I could not imagine anything affecting me like this. The scientists in Washington State jumped on it from day one. Trump’s emptiness will cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. And he keeps spreading bullshit about vaccines.

I am wondering what this summer will be like. Exponentials my be a little slower but I think the openings will be faster. There are so many things humanity does not know or appreciate. Read on.

The “Look what I just got away with look."
A striking resemblance to the cat that just ate the canary.

The earth is at risk too.

The ”I don’t have a clue but must look like I do” dlook.

The most dangerous man in human history?

The Worst Decisions by Anyone. Ever.
The destruction of American Democracy.
Killing hundreds of thousands of human beings.
Killing the earth.

If left in power he will destroy the earth.

He understands nothing.
He helps no one but the rich and himself.
All he wants is to feed his ego.

The virus plus the donald plus conservative ideology
is the worst thing that has ever happened to humanity.

I. This Way or That Way


To Think, or Not to Think.

Risk comes in many forms. Some are hard to avoid. A one in a million chance that a part breaks.

But other kinds of risk are more complex.

When the Challenger was on the launch pad and it had been unusually cold, well below freezing, the engineers argued that the rubber rings that sealed joints in the solid fuel rocket were not rated for such low temperatures and they already had been giving trouble. But a senior manager asked: ”Can you prove to me that it will fail,” knowing full well that failure meant disaster.

We don’t teach the fact that proofs apply only to mathematics, and we write Q.E.D. at the end. So dwell on that question a bit. You do know that ”Challenger Disaster” is now in our dictionary.

More recently a new CEO at Boeing, faced with an expensive design change getting potentially more and more expensive, brushed off with contempt the opinions of engineers indoctronated that Boeing stood for safety and that had made Boeing a great company. The 737, the most popular plane in the world was getting an upgrade. ”Stay with the plan,” the CEO said and replaced senior engineers with less experienced engineers who would do his bidding. You know the story. That was over a year ago. Two crashes, three hundred and fourty six lives and the MAX is still on the ground.

Virus. The leaders of two great countries did not comprehend “exponential.” It is just 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2...Pick any number you choose. Start with one person and have that person infect two people. And let each of those infect two per day. Not much as gatherings go. How many after 30 days. One month.

1,073,741,824 is equal to two to the 30th power. One billion, 73.4 million. Exponentials are real beasts. A penny doubled every day for 30 days is about five million dollars. And the corona virus is a truly vicious doubler, and dealing with it requires simple, but clear thinking. Chairman Xi Jinping waited six days. Donald Trump waited six weeks. Six days was a catastrophe.

Those six weeks will go down in history as the worst decision by anyone in the history of mankind.

There is a fundamental rule of leadership. Find people smarter than you and listen to them. If Trump finds anyone smarter than he is (which is almost anyone out of high school) he fires them. We are in the most dangerous time in our history and we do not have an administration. Trump won’t let his top people testify. Behavior like this in any other position would merit the death penalty.

Jump to THE WORST DECISION and then return to this HOME page.

II. And That Way


In another’s. Not on my life.

This is where America stands on safety nets. It is the work of conservatives. Why are we at the bottom? I have asked myself this question at least as much as any other.

Is it cruelity? It it not paying attention? Is it a decision that family doesn’t matter?

I cannot be sure, but one intriguing paper I read said it is a failure of gratitude, which I expect would mean that the rich did not appreciate what they had.

I don’t think it is appreciation so much as not knowing what they have, going back to the beginning, and also not realizing what they are missing. I was also told by an investor in my tiny photography company that the only thing that matters is shareholder value. When conditions caused us to shut down, bills were left unpaid. These were so-called “angel investors.”

There is no way to know when it started or if it always was. Always is likely true. But it exploded after the invention of agriculture and the demise of hunter-gatherer tribes.

I have read that a billion dollars is not enough because we lack a sense of gratitude. Perhaps. But I think a real answer is more complex and perhaps even built into the nature of the universe.

We are created as a temperary consciousness and sentience and we know it and so the anticipation of non-extinence wheather we are conscious of it or not affects our lives.

The core of most (or all) religions is an omni-potent diety that overcomes all and we sit as his elbow on golden chairs and view streets paved with gold for infinity. Sounds supremely boring and I think the lodging place of a fundamental missreading of existence. Whether it is the prosperity gospel (which has no basis in the Bible), or just tribalism, we seem to have a need to be a chosen view. If we are chosen we obviously have an advantage of sorts. So we divide into tribes, some innocuos, others fundmental, others to how we live.

In the land of exceptionalism we are very unexceptional. Our religion is the free market economy. We are free to gather as much money as we can (a hundred billion at the top of the heap) and to not give a damn about the rest.

Now this is not true of all, for sure, but in the sense of the concept of reciprocity we cannot bring ourselves, with a billion bucks in the bank, to identify with a mother holding three jobs to feed her poorly educated children who then end up repeating because the low way has no exits. And so we invent ideologies. Ideas that seem to promise, but in reality destroy. Low taxes and small government sound good even to the poor, but is in fact the definition of injustice.

Perhaps some of us are spin-offs of the leaders of hunter-gatherer tribes and, without the responsibility of that kind of tribe, form another kind: the private club of billionaires. And even the comparatively generous Bill Gates was apprehensive of a tax on wealth.

In the few presidential debates I have read (and for that matter in the scientific theories of everything) there is no mention of what the goals of life should be: the joy of learning and creating, of relationships, of beauty, of being able to be at peace enough to enjoy life. The world has the wealth and the means to make this possible for everyone. But not if Jeff Besos has $100,000,000,000 and pays no taxes, not to mention employing indentured servants in his warehouses, and squeezing tax rebates and buildings out of towns that need his jobs. That is enough to explain the graph below. America has always been two Americas. It was written into the constitution and the track with a high rail and a low rail is carrying more and more passengers.

II. Hoping Against Hope


To stop believing, to begin thinking, to start knowing.

So the virus tears at whatever seams are left. The medics and docs are heros. The government can’t even buy face masks when they are offered. And they go to China instead. The medical system to fight pandemics has been torn apart or eliminated. Science has been fired since The Donald doesn’t have a clue what it is. His uncle went to MIT and gave him intuitive knowledge. I cannot believe I am writing this. The Donald’s hopeless lack of comprhension will kill thousands and likely hundreds of thousands and a government that should lead is absent or interferring, surrounded by ad hoc groups of panicked researchers. But there is more.

Imagine the donald getting relected and my some unimagineable twists and tears of fate, gets both houses of congress. You can not only kiss America goodby, you can kiss the earth goodby. However, let us assume the opposite happens. What then?

I kept looking for someone to talk to about the goal. When you start a business you have a goal, an objective and a plan. And, if you have your head on tight, you have a mission.

Many decades ago during the period when I was working one half time at Bose, a direct sales division was being formed. The idea was to sell the $500 Acoustic Wave Music System Door to Door. The chairman of Electrolux was put on the Bose board of directors, and some ex electrolux saff was hired to build the Bose operation.

I worked in that division as a kind of consultant, filling in where I thought I might do some good. The division had some sucess but was eventually disbanded. However, the experience shook me up a bit as I got to know some of the ex Electrolux people. The upshot was that, being a half-timer with a great deal of freedom, I decided to write a mission statement for Bose. I conceived it as something that would be engraved in brass and put wherever necessary for it to be seen. The point had to do with the kind of people you hired, how you treated your employees and your customers and what it should be like to work at the company.

In reality this was a small issue within a much larger company, but I also knew what kind of a company Dr. Bose wanted, and the direct sales operation was not it, and I wanted to be sure everyone understood this. Eventually I presented the mission to most of the company’ management.

The mission was not quite what I have just described and was a bit unusual:

“Bring the experience of superb music superbly reproduced to every potential customer.”

In other words don’t sell until your customer experiments the benefits. It is surprising what a little twist like this can do. However, the fact is that Bose was already doing it. I just felt it was a good idea to put it in writing.

A great country needs a mission towards its own people and to the rest of the world. I have not heard of such an idea in some time, certainly not from the donald and that places us on the very edge of tragedy.

You can see it in Donald and Barak. Barak Obama makes he happy just watching him, for it feel like a joyous smile. Donald Trump as far as I can tell must fake his smiles. And his puzzled looks are a disguise. Look like know when you don’t know a damn thing. We will see the consequences as we go. '

III. In Another Persons Shoes.


The meaning of life is on the line.

I love Elizabeth Warren, but “I have a plan for that” suggests too much an ad hoc program. If you have a plan, it has an umbrella mission that covers all the bases including a philosophy about life. We need that kind of guidance. Elizebeth, you have the satisfaction of accomplishment at Harvard, of learning, the joy of discovery. What are we offering Americans with lousy education.

Ask Dr. Fauchi what it was like to confront AIDS where the sick were gay, and dressed strangely and violated the bible. Then he put himself in their shoes and was changed and now there is at least medicine for AIDS. A great man for sure. He saw what he did not want to see, and did something about it.

Donald Trump only sees and hears his name praised or defiled and so further rots what was once at least a torn fabric of America. Donald wants to do away with any fabric altogether. Kill the Post Office, ObamaCare, Social Security. The promise of infrastructure improvement went down the drain and the rich cheered. Three people now own 40% of America.

A sinful goal was The Wall. Well know the story but he thinks a section of wall was built. It was a fence and I just saw a video of a man with a rope ladder climb over it. The fact is there is no wall high enough, thick enough, deep enough that cannot be got around without guards with machine guns.

I have heard the donald make some ostensibly scientific comments. They were a laugh that could have made me cry. A man who knows nothing but thinks he intuitively knows everthing, in the wrong place, is a nuclear weapon.

The essence of today (05 12 2020) is Doanld Trump wanting to be king and the integrity of John Roberts whose legacy is on the line.

Mr. Trump wants no oversite, no criticism, lots of acclaim and adoration, no science and as much money for himself and other billionaires as possible. He also has a brick wall in his mind no one can penetrate including himself. He knows however, that there is nothing behind the wall. No compassion, no humanity, no competance, no depth of understanding. And what he does not know consciously is the deep fear of being found out. So he doesn’t take advice and doesn’t stick to the script.

How we can elect and keep a president when the only time we can believe him is when he is reading something prepared by someone else.

IV. Smiles.


There are smiles that make us happy,
There are smiles that make us blue,
There are smiles that steal away the teardrops
As the sunbeams steal away the dew,
There are smiles that have a tender meaning
That the eyes of love alone may see,
And the smiles that fill my life with sunshine
Are the smiles you give to me.

I grew up playing on the piano ”The Great American Songbook.” The music was often open and simple. Straightforward life and love. Above was a song called Smiles.

A smile tells me a lot. It tells me if there is Life behind it. I have seen it often, and the best ones are a reading on Life. I don’t know what else to call it.

Some time only the brain smiles, and you have to look closly. Sometime there are hugs or a handshake. Many stick in my mind and they all have a certain history. A smile with history? Yes. A historic smile means we have touched the universe.

Why do we exist? why do we not ask that question every day. Or every hour or minute.My sense of life is that something went to a great deal of trouble to get us where we are. I simmply call it the creation. Others would say god, but god to me has baggage. A smile happens when we make a discovery. It could be a new planet, or it could be a childs happiness. It could be a wondeful conversation, or a perfance of a chopin ballade. Ecconomics is essential, and we are miserable at that.

The good ones come when your guard is down and they reveal a great deal. If you can’t see the difference between Trump and Obama, don’t bother reading any further. Barak Obama makes me happy just looking at him, because he is genuinely happy. I wonder if Donald has ever been genuinely happy, because that requires understanding and accepting life. And liking yourself. Donald cannot admit to himself who he is so he cannot smile.

V. Belief versus Knowledge.


Everything is on the line.

He grovels before dictators (see the picture with Putin Below). There are not enough canarys in the world to suit Putin’s smile. there is a picture of Barak Obama looking Putin straight in the eye. Its a straight look of don’t mess with me.

If you want to save America from its shortcomings, you need a very bright, very elequent human being able to communicate by puting themselves in the other persons shoes. It is simple, and nearly impossible. Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln come to mind. And it is a long slog.

How do you begin? Here is how it looks to me.

You must know what is known to those who study the universe, the creation. You must accept that there is something called truth and that science is simply working harder, more methodicly, and eventually mathamatically to be sure you know the truth.

Most answers begin with religion and that gets you into trouble because you have to begin with assumptions made by the writers of two thousand years ago. This can get you a some great truths, but not the foundation of reality that you need.

Ask the question “why?” and the answer is God, except that god is the name of the answer and nothing more. God has filled in overtime whenever fear stared us in the face, for there was no one to help. Read Robert Wright’s The Evolution of God.

What scientists have discovered with the incredible minds we have is stunning and if you study it well enough to understand the ideas, it will change you.

In a nutshell, science tells us how the universe began and evoled until it created us. It is the beginning of truth and a fabulous reflection on the good side of humanity. But the great thread that runs through civilization needs an upgrade. It is a leftover from hunter gatherer days.

The thread is a lust for power and money. In America it first showed its face in 1619 with the arrival of the first Slaves. American proposperty was built, almost literally, on the backs of blacks tending cotton crops, supplying 60% of the world’s cotton with free labor. Double entry booking was developed to keep track of the productively of slaves to the second decimal place. Their backs were tatoos of beatings for not measuring up. Thomas Jefferson mortgaged his 48 slaves to build Motecello.

In the 1850s there began a kind of instuitionalization of power and wealth in what is commonly known as the ”prosperity gospel,” the idea that outspoken fidelity to the Christian god guaranteed health and wealth. It helped engrave into the American consciousness the ideal of American prosperity. It has clearly influenced the evolution of the conservative ideology of low taxes and small government and cast a spell of evil over a goverment that interferred by providing safety nets. But also a legacy of slave holding was a mindset of discouragment of programs that would break the cycle of poverty and racism reflecting a contempt for the underclass. Lyndon John’s safety nets and cival rights accomplishments were the end of the sttruggle.

Hands-off capitalism has been elevated to the status of a religion. The war on monopolies by Theordore Roosevelt has been forgotten. The rescue of America from the Great Depression by Franklin Roosevelt has been branded socialism and the handcuffs have been removed from Wall Street. Taxes on the rich were slashed in the name of trickledown economics.

Benefits that would help the poor and middle class have been destroyed even to the point of states turning down free medicare because it encourages dependence on big government, never mind the suffering and death of small children. Programs such as Head Start are anathama. It is inconcievable to me that billionaires walk the streets (the Walmart family is worth about $128 billion) while children die as a result of no health care. And Trump has vowed to kill Obama Care Completely.

By accident and by intent the election of Trump was for all intents and purposes rigged. Russia was in Facebook, Comey of the FBI dumps an unproven allegation a few days before the election. And the Democrats contribute too. Who is Hillary? Wellesley? Did I ever hear a passonate speech. Her advisors smothered her in butter.

None of that should have made a difference. If you cannot tell that The Donald is Sham Man, then something is seriously wrong either with our culture or education.

Out foxed ’em again. It’s fun having all this power.

Got ‘em, just where I want ‘em.

VI. Well, Hell. Things Could Be Worse.


No. They could not be worse.

The donald has hit the sweet spot. Just shy of bad enough to get impeached, but just right to cause more damage than I could have imagined. I try to think of people I have know. Ah! There is one. Just thought of him. A door to door salesperson named Lenny.

How was your weekend Lenny? Sold 56. Really. Wow. That many. Well, maybe it was 46, or 36. I heard it was 26, Lenny. Oh, yeah. I was including last weekend. Not the full Lenny there, he was really considerably worse, but same personality. Told you what you wanted to hear and nothing connected with reality. It was the last straw and so I wrote the Mission Statement about, among other things, the kind of people we should hire.

Of course things could be worse, but Donald’s sweet spot includes some unbelievable characters.

I am having this thing about smiles. The eyes are supposed to be windows into the soul, if so, smiles are windows into mischief and tragedy.

The donald, with the help of liberal intellectuals has conned many of those feeling left out. They hear his promises, and ignore his retractions. And they don’t pay much attention to accomplises. Take Mitch. This is one of the smiles that has stuck with me. It is the smile of a 10 year old boy who was always being bullied, never making it. And a new bully comes along. Big, frightening, and gullible. So Mitch sees his chance, to become a favorite of the POTUs. The President. It was what Mitch wanted all along. To hell with the voters, I'm gonna keep the Pres. happy and I can, because I am the bill keeper, the door stop. In some ways the most powerful man in government. And the smile. He knows who he is and like most of any opposition, as soon as the shoes switch feet, he hops the fence. A good example: .

Donald Trump becomes president with no qualifications except for part of American culture he is anti-establishment. The swamp that isn‘t. His Sham Caring. Promises and promises but not a sign of accomplishment except his father’s bank account. His early attempts to use his style of dealing fall flat, but he can put the goverment into serious dept with still more tax cuts for the right. As it is his modus operandi, promises are made to the middle class and poor that he has no intention to follow through on. They are tiny and they expire.

Already every part of nature is an opportunity for more mischief. And now the corona virus permits war on anyone Trump and his cult of incompetant boot lickers, chief among them Mitch McConnel, sees fit to punish. The virus is being put to use to continue the assualt on America, the climate, the planet, American values, and on science itself. Scientists are fired or ignored and do not have the stomach for a united rebellion. I have just heard that he is trying to fire Dr. Fauchi.

An odd pivot point in American culture has contributed to decay. Television as introduced in the 1950s has provided a diversion that has made learning and teaching less important. The learning time that propelled singular men such as Abraham Lincoln was trivialized by situation comedy. Science, the backbone of learning, was set aside for scientists and in place of true knowledge, religious beliefs continue to deminish a deep understanding of the creation.

The vital experience of science virtually no one comprehends, even the well educated. What science really means as a path to deep and solid truth is rarely understood. However, the evolution of technology continues to grow the wealth of the already wealthy. Liberals like wealth too and it saps their determination to aid the less well off. Even Barack Obama of Obama health care is now a multi-millionaire and contrary to what we would hope, plays a minor role in fighting Trump. The passionate pulpits of Franklin Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson are gone and there is not an orator within site or earshot to bring truth from the back to the front.

VII. A Thin Veil of Education


A solid block of ignorance.

Science has made our lives possible. It heals the sick, grows food, allows us to zoom, and provides countless other benefits. Virtually nothing we touch or do during each day could be there without science. Yet belief in science is tenuouis. We turn down vaceens for our children. The New York Times gave scant coverange for deades to the warming earth. Well educated does not mean having a grip on what science really is. That comes either from inspired teaching or better still from doing.

An experiment that goes up in smoke can teach science better than a text book because it demonstrates consequences that might raise the question: I wonder what made that happen? Nothing could be better because then your mind has to form models inside your head of what went wrong and then these models must be tested to see if they fix the problem. And then...if you are supremely lucky a teacher or professor will ask: what did you learn from that? Or for your own reasons you continue experimenting, building , theorizing, and above all, testing. This brings knowledge rather than belief. And over time a confidence settles in that this is a process for confirming knowledge. Then when you read about experiments you have no hope of doing yourself, you know what the ring of truth is. And when this green egg shows up with an almost unbelievable explanation, you read lingering over every word to know what discovery it reveals. And when you realize it is an image of the energy that gave birth to you, and to everything else, and that you are looking back in time 10 billion years, it sends shivers through your brain. The egg is the residue of the big bang and when you realize that you are seeing your own birth it changes you. It places you in a different relationship to the creation, a greater wonder in the greatest of wonders.

I have been reading Dorothy Kerns Goodwin stories of four great American leaders. All became president: Theordore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Lindon Baines Johnson. Their lives and challenges were very different, but their impact on our lives was similarily positive and great. I am struck by how all had great ambition to benefit our world and by how all were, in different ways, great teachers. I have wondered how they learned.

Now I am wondering how we lost these qualities, not just reduced them, but actually turned them on their heads so that learning from our president may well be a death sentance. It is so remarkable that I cannot comprehend it. Nor, had someone told me it could happen, would I have believed them.

Yuval Noah Harari in his great book Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind, contends that the development of agriculture and the destruction of the tribal hunter/gatherer way of life about 10,000 years BCE was the worst thing that has happened to humanity. In my view it set free the hunters to fulfill what had become a genetic need to gather and control, so they built empires but for reasons I still cannot comprehend, no empire was ever large enough, just as no amount of wealth is enough today. Now three people own 40% of America.

The invention and adoption of agriculture was a technological revolution. It made some, the farmers, slaves and freed the rest to make serious mischief.

In the 1800s their began a second techological revolution which has not yet stopped. Our industries have the capacity to satisfy our needs at least in industrialized nations, with less and less need for human labor. In America the economy has been hijacked, over the last 50 years or so by a new religion, a prosperity ideology that somewhere near a majority buy into. The ideology is small government and low taxes.

As technology evolved it provided for a wide broadcast and then a telecast of the PROSPERTY GOSPEL. It is even seen by some as a significant contributor to the recession of 2008 by fostering the removal of all shackles to prosperty.

Late in my life (I turn 80 on 9/11/2021) I have begun to realize and be terrified by what we are, and what we are not.

Around the world, no better than for thousands of years, we go to war for nothing. Because of our color, we can be hated. Because of our religion, we can have our heads cut off.

In America in the last century we have started two unbelievably costly wars. Today, we give them lip service. The body count in Iraq is about 200,000 civilians and 88,000 soldiers with the outcome a destroyed middle east. In Vietinam the total Allied and Asian deaths was over two million. When president Bush presented the evidence (aluminum tubes and a rumor of mining for uranium) and was asked for backup, his staff took the same information and changed the presentation. Colin Powell eventually changed his vote.

The same president listened to presentation after presentation by Richard Clark warning him of impending terrorism and did nothing. Why? Because Clark did not say what to do. Nine-Eleven was my 60th birthday. Now I find that level of inexcusibility to be minor.

Through the ages over 200 million people have been killed in in the name of religion.

Human nature, all by itself, may well be the primary motivator for power and wealth. However, there is also the strong thread of rejection of power and wealth. However, this side of the Christian religion and of America’s ideologies have fought a loosing battle.

Cheny and Rumsfeld felt like demonstrating ”shock and awe” and so we can be a ”great” country. Do you, who are reading this, have any comprehension of the sins we have committed while being fooled that we are the land of the free and the home of the brave.? And peace loving? We kill, cause suffering and lie: small goverment, low taxes and now three people own most of the country. In plain English....I don’t know any that suffices. Here is a tiny example: caring for children injured in Iraq.

A tiny few of the children injured or killed in Iraq.

For nothing. We fight each other to divide ourselves. We legislate to pile money in the pockets of a few. Billionaires by the hundreds let children die because we will not spend a pitifully small sum for health care.

America is a land primarily of wonderful people but a silent coup has been staged by Republician conservatives. Most have a viciously selfish view of life. Not all, for sure. But meld Mitch McConnel and Donald Trump and the devil will run for his life. Throw in the prosperity gospel and the lust for more becomes the domenant modus operandi.

We do not have the intelligence to avoid a president of zero compassion and intelligence, because wealth has been an American preoccupation since the arrival of the slaves in 1619 and we can no longer see ourselves in the mirror of Life.

Now, in the face of economic collapse resulting from the corna virus, we have parts of government (above all Donald Trump) fighting to loosen isolation to “save the economy” and groups of Americans rioting in support. In a sense, the chickens have come home to roost when lfie has put in the middle of the table the choice between wealth and death and wealth chokes the life out of us.

We do that because we have little comprehension what Life could be. Education of children relies on property taxes and so damns the poor to continue being poor. However, in the conservation conscious people get what they deserve and a feeling of superiority replaces compassion. What must be the core of a surviving civilization is ironically a form of “family values.” We are all in this together. We cannot exist without each other for a host of reasons, phychological, economic, and moral.

Neither religion nor science forces compassion, creativity and beauty upon us. The big “why” of the creation is not answered either in the Bible or in an advanced physics book. It is left to us to hear and see, but most of all to experience life openly. The overwhelming attitude is to beieve what you want to believe and that is death. You will never fit in anothers shoes, feel the sorrow of a child lost, hear the glory of a Beethoven sonata, or even feel a spring breeze with a sense of the awsomly pleasant feeling it engenders.

In hunter-gatherer tribes, values developed that would surpise us. I recommend reading The Old Way a result of years among a tribe in the Kalarahi and you will be amazef at what they had decivered about life.

VIII. Cheap Thrills. And Shots.


The nadir of Life. And the joy.

This website began as a result of my closeness to the killing of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

I used to travel to Sandy Hook because of a craftsman named Warren Condit who made precision equipment for my photogrphy. He was the only person who could do it. Driving through the town square left me with an imprepression of a quintessional and peaceful New England town. Then came the shooting, and a conversation with my niece’s huband.

Craig is a pastor at a small evangelical church in that part of Connecticut. He is also a fabulous human being. He became a councellor to the first responders and it shook him to the core and it shook me.

I have a problem with people and guns, but it is a problem that goes far beyond shooting.

I played with guns as a kid. I owned a 22 calibre rifle for killing the woodchucks that were devasting our vegitable gardens. My friend Jim and his father owned many guns and I got to shoot some of them and to play with them. Jim and I went fishing one day with our rifles in a small stream in the woods behind his home. We laughed our heads off, probably not hitting anything. But shooting did not catch on with me. I was too busy with other things.

I think of two kinds of pleasure pursuits in life. Those that are creative and occupy your whole brain. And those that require pulling a trigger or the equivalent. I call these “cheap thrills.” They give sense of power and significance and perhaps even accomplishment. But I throw down the gauntlet. You jackass. Show me your balls. Learn to do something that uses as much as possible of the incredible mind you have been given. Given I say. Free. It comes with the body, and yours works. Not all of them do.

So why don’t you use it? Because in America we do not teach about the gift of the mind and the incredible satisfaction of using all of it. We teach money. Prosperity. Wall street. Billionairs. And then lie about small government and low taxes as if it is going to make a great life.

The religion of free market capitalism is a big con. A giant con. We take away unions. We work at Walmart as contractors so there are no benefits. Just stay under 40 hours per week. And then we subsidize Walmart $1,000,000 per store with food stamps so you can stay alive. This is America Mr. Jones. The taxes go down, for those making millions per year, if they haven’t found an off shore dodge like Amazon and pay nothing.

Then come the schools. Many of the text books are written in Texas. They lie. They talk about creationism, about the virtures of slavery. They do not teach about the satisfactions of a life well-lived. They do not teach about the injustices of conservative ideologies.

Work, work, work your ass off and make something beautiful that makes me cry with joy rather than tragedy.

In our wild-west culture we do not teach what Life is. That we were created with an intredible capability for creating beauty and joy. But we have to know that is how we were created.

Some decades ago, through amazing luck, I became a member of a club in Boston for artists, scientists, people of accomplishment. My photography got me in.

This was not a club for causal get-togethers. Every meeting had a program. My wife and I particularly attended those with music and had some stunning experiences. An acapella chorus from Yale. Pianists, classical and jazz that you could hear and feel, because you were close to them and because they were masters and were playing a $100,000 Steinway, another artistic masterpiece. Some of the pianists became close friends and performed recitals, “house concerts,” in our home. There were jazz ensembles of world class quality. But one instant is burned into my mind.

A few decades ago Isac Stern traveled to Israel on behalf of the New England Conservatory of Music (just around the corner from the Club). He went to choose four young children, in this case about eleven years old, to come to the conservatory and to study and play as a string quartet. They came, studied and played, and one evening, then in their early twenties they, played at the Club, string quartets by Mozart and Brahms.

I happened to go without Susan that night and I sat in the second row, perhaps 10 feet from the players. After an appropriate introduction they took their places and tuned, just as one would expect. I closed my eyes, to hear better. They played one long sustained note, the beginning of the Mozart.

The thought flashed instantly through my mind that I had gone to heaven. Nothing quite so beautiful had ever struck my ears. And then they continued playing, with the skills and love that eleven years of study had given them, but with the joy and passion of the young. It was one of the most memorably evenings of my life. I tried to send the sounds to Susan with my cell phone hoping she could get a small sense of my experience.

That was not the only time the St Botolph Club thrilled me. I had an exhibit there. I heard dozens of fabulous performers had dozens of illuminating and exciting conversations. I reconnected with a wonderful jazz pianist I had met on an airplane while returning from Russia with a new member of our family, young Zhenya. During my last visit to the club I heard Rainer Weiss, lead discoverer of gravity waves tell a story I was already familiar with because I had read a book about black holes. It turned out we had been at MIT at the same time, working not far from each other. But most memorable was something I had experienced myself, and which other scientests and “learners” lived their lives for. The joy of discovery, finding a new truth about the universe in this case with an experiment emplloying a thousand scientists and taking 50 years and certainly one of the most difficult experiments ever done. The Nobel prizes came as fast as the committee could work.

Dealing with our present “isolating” and the criminal behavoir our our president and the tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of deaths happening because of his negligence, I had to turn the coin over, and remember there was a head on the other side. And that head was a miracle, and not one miracle, but thousands, and millions.

It is a deep thrill of life to discover and create, but there are many other ways, perhaps even more profound, and certainly more necessary, to touch the univerise.

Doctors and nurses and EMTs and health aids, and who knows what others have come from far and wide to cities like New York, the most desperate and dangerous of hell holes, to aid, comfort, and give life, salvation and themselves. They have come from near and far to try to stem the piling up of caskets and body bags. Only to occupy one themselves.

The scope of the heroism, the breadth of sacrifice, the grieving are beyond measure. It is hopeless. I know only the sketist of the details, for I cannot stand to read and see more. And to have an elected president aid and abet in a way more miserable than my imagination could imagine imagening. It is a premanent black tatoo on my brain.

IX. Where do we go from here?


The best rule in the Bible.

It means we are in this together, all of us fighting for each other. Or rather we should be.

We are destroying our planet without knowing what a miracle it is.

But destroying our planet is one thing. Destroying its people is another.

We have been doing the latter for a long time. In America we spend less on helping those who need help than any industrialized nation (on a per capita basis) and less than many third world nations. This is Exceptionalism. This is the Great America. Why? Because 47% of the nation’s wealth is in the hands of 0.7% of its people. It began with the trickledown economics of Ronald Regan and has continued through the collosal tax breaks of the Donald. And I wish that were the worst of it.

I urge you to read this article in The New Yorker and watch this episode of FRONTLINE.

At this time (05 04 2020) it is not possible to pin down the number. My guess is that it will be in excess of 100,000 people that the Donald is responsible for. Why? In these two sources you will find compared the responses of Seattle vs. those of Washington. It is a crime of neglect, stupidity, and...there are not words for Trump’s inaction followed by sabotage. It is more than historical. It is Biblical in its audacity, stupidity and criminality.

I am fighting to avoid it destroying me, so I am trying to wrap this up, but there is more to be said.

There are now millions of pictures of Donald Trump. For me, only a few capture the real person.

I am a photographer and a scientist, and there is one look that frightens me more than any other. It is a “knowing” look that means I need to look smart because I don’t understand a word you are saying. He said he was an expert on the virus because his uncle went to MIT. This is too stupid to comment on. However, I have three degrees from MIT. Thinking that knowing someone who went there makes you an expert, makes you worse than an idiot.

He has already destroyed America and now he is burying its citizens.

This is the look of a man who is puzzled but doesn’t want to show it. There are many pictures like this and it doesn’t suprise me. Every time the president has made a comment to try to show his expertise, he has been so wrong it appeared he was speaking on a different topic.

I wish this were the worst of it, but it is the beginning of many disasters the worst of which is a two month delay in dealing with the virus, no preparation, a dismantling of the government medical system and no compassion whatever for the death and suffering.

But the president’s incomprehension leads him to destroy everything good he does not understand, and everything that does not feed his ego. And he has accomplices, none worse than the leader of the senate. Another vile smirk confirms that he has done incalculable harm to get the praise of an evil man. And so, together with many others who claim to make a great country great again, he destroys.

And now we forget that he began by accelerating the destruction of the earth and that acceleration continues.

The earth is dying and he cannot admit that it’s our doing. Why? Because if he is in a room of oil barons he knows they will skin him alive if he deserts them.

The bad news is coming faster than at any time in the 15 years I have worked on global warming. And if you are a scientist you are trembling. When I first read of all this 15 years ago I said “we’re screwed.” Well we are.

The Greenland Ice Cap is melting, 2000 or so years early. Yet if you look over the entire planet, there is not one person who can stand up and command the attention of national leaders. Not one. And explain to them what thermal runaway means and how we are part of it.

Note: Why Americans Continue to Deny Scientific Facts.

I do not know how to handle this, in plain English. A president such as Donald, a mass murderer in my mind, and at least 40% of the country will vote for him....I really do not now what to do. I have to stop thinking and reading about all the above. So I am going to do my best to change the subject and my favorites are art and music. So when I say change I mean an about face.

X. Amazing Grace, How Sweet Thou Art


To have created you and me.

There is a knowledge base every human being should have. An enlightenment much like that of the late 1800s when science was first making inroads. But science seems to be a bad word but without it we get nowhere. So need to know what it really is.

I read of the surveys that show a mojority of Americans belive the science behind global warming. But there is a difference betweening and knowing. Believing is what you do in bible study. You are told to have faith in god, to believe that god will take care of you now and in the afterlife. But you do not know this. You have faith, not knowledge.

So what is science?

The univerise, what I call “the creation” works by a set of principles or rules called physics. We know it works when we can write equations, mathamatics that describes how it works. We find those equations by experiment and teaching. And these equations can be miraculous. They can foretell the future and that is how we know they are right and that we reall know what is going on.

I call the photographs I have made “the hidden world of the nearby,” because I have discovered that the closer something is, the harder it is to see, and more than anything else we cannot see ourselves. You will expect me to say how rotten we are and that is too often true. But the truth that astonishes me is that we are inexplicable miracles of capability and creativity that brings us wonder and satisfaction and joy if we are lucky enough to see. So I am going to tell you what wonders we are and why these wonders should give meaning to our lives.

I begin with two pictures. One is of our birth and the other is of how our ears are engineered.

Results of a nine year survey of the cosmic background radiation.

The detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe created from nine years of WMAP data. The image reveals 13.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. The signal from the our Galaxy was subtracted using the multi-frequency data. This image shows a temperature range of ± 200 microKelvin.Credit: NASA

The after glow of the big bang. You and I are in this picture, but only in the form of energy.

We are looking back in time about 10.77 billion years, or about 150 million years after the big bang that started all of this. It is as far back as we can look because light from the any further away has not had time to reach us. The picture was made over a period of 9 years by a satillite traveling around the sun. It strikes me as a miracle that we were created with the ability to take a picture of our own birth. And what a birth it was. Something called a singularity, the smallest thing that can exist suddenly created all of space and time and ultimately it created us. And we are miracles and don’t realize it.

About a year ago I was sitting in the exam chair in my ear doctor’s exam room for a routine visit and I saw something like the illustration below on the wall.

I studied at MIT for seven years, much of it concentrating on sound and hearing. I studied this (and knowing many of the details behind it) was blown away. Evolution came up with this incredibly elaborate and sophisticated way for me to experience sound. Any sound, of course. Voices in any language. Sound so faint it is the noise of molecules in the air bouncing against each other. And sound so complex it takes 100 musicians in a symphony orchestra to make them. I have studied sound and music all my life and my reaction was who made this. What made this? How? It can tell the difference between two supposedly identical musical instruments.

A Hymn from 1750

For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies,

For the beauty of each hour

Of the day and of the night,

Hill and vale, and tree and flower,

Sun and moon and stars of light.

For the joy of ear and eye,

For the heart and brain’s delight,

For the mystic harmony

Linking sense to sound and sight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_brain

XI. Ourselves Hidden From Ourselves


Sight Hides. Hear Silences.

If anything in this writing were indespensible it would be this.

I call my body of photography work “The Hidden World of the Nearby” because I found great pictures by the side of the highway, where no one else throught to look. Over time I began to think that there might be more to the idea than I had realized.

In science sometimes the simplest of questions lead to the most profound answers. Einstein asked what it meant for two things to happen simultaneously and out popped special relativity. So I thought, how close could I get to myself. Well I was myself, so what was I.

I presume you are sitting with your eyes open. So close them. Reality disappears. And if you plugged your ears another dimension would also disappear. Big deal until you realize that this space around you, the sense of the space, its many dimensions, colors, textures, motion, perhaps changing every second was the experience of the reality we call life. I see, but how do I see. Two 1/2 inch images on our two retinas. That is all the input to our brains for the sight that gives me this experience of life. It’s call sentience. So, so what.

To me this is a miracle of a kind because no one can explain sentience. We can’t get any closer but it delivers the experience of life. Or from two flaps of skin, the sound of a symphony.

What is happening is that mysteries are piling up. Sentience is a big one. Another is why people believe as they do. Belief and knowledge are two very different things. Belief is faith. Knowledge is science. People put their faith in god curing their illnesses and die. People study the science and find if it is done carefully out pops knowledge.

Above is the “time-line” of the universe, from the singularity (big bang) that began it all to the earth which was our birthing space.

From The Beginning...


What brings you here?

There is a certain knowledge base we carry with us, whether we know it or not. In early civilization it was a set of wishes and fears because there was little real knowledge. Only faith. I drive Susan (my wife) crazy by beginning too many discussions with the big bang, which is when it all began. I do object, however, to the term “big bang.”

Some years ago on, I believe, NPR’s “Science Friday” a contest was announced for a better name than big bang. No one came up with one.

However, I have my own.

The big bang was a “singularity” which means that it took up the smallest space possible (the Planck distance of 10-35 cm) and the shortest time possible (the Planck time of 10-45 seconds). So I call it “The Grand Singularity.” More appropriate, don’t you think?

Then there was time for construction of the universe and that took (so far) 10.78 billion years. As I have read through the stages after the Grand Singularity (see diagram) it seemed so natural the way each kind of step was the right kind of step. The first stars burned only with helium and hydrogen but some of them as they burned out formed super novae which, in collosal explosions that could often be seen with the naked eye, formed all the other elements, the most important one of course being carbon which is what makes things organic.

Then another seemingly miraculous thing happened. The solar system was formed and of course the earth. The conditions necessary for life such as we have on earth are almost impossible to exist together. It always amazes me that I never hear of anyone talking about something so remarkable. But we are not finished.

About 4+ billion years ago the earth was born and about 200 million years ago homo sapiens appeared as the product of evolution.

I have now come to the place of realizing that this web site is a hopeless task. All this big banging has created us with sense linked to sound and sight. A miracle possibly discussed below.

However, realizing this is hopeless I am going to put on a slide show or two and link to some music or two and wonder that given all these wonders, why so many of the creaters in this world are doing their best to destroy it and to make life miserable for so many. And why Donald thinks he is smarter than his nation wide staff of medical experts and cannot coprehend how is miserable mind has killed so many people.

XII. Joy For A Disappeared Country


Growing Up in Poland, Rhode Island

Being born and growing up in Central Falls, Rhode Island was a fabulous experience. Everything that could possibly be Polish was Polish. We lived in a two family home with my father’s parents. Polish was the language of survival, otherwise you might miss dinner. Or a breakfast of naleśniki with applesauce. Creaps for breakfast.

All four of my grandparents were born in Poland. Church was in Polish. Satufday afternoons were Polish picknics at a grove by the river with booths set up to severe kelbasa and piergoe. Church banquests were an event for I had to memorize and recite from memory poetry, in Polish of course. And there was music. My father played violin and taught me medlies to play on the piano while he played the violin.

Searching through CDs I remembered the Mazofsa Polish Folk Ensemble, and founnd them on U-Tube, and cried. In the middle of this fabulous dance was a melody my father had taught me and reminded me of the harvest vestivals from the church.

The joy I feel from this performance is something I feel nowhere else, even playing Chopin on the piano. And the subtitles tell about a Poland that would never disappears as long as the Vistula River runs, for Poland was without a coast line and smack in the middle of Europe. In 1795 Poland was partitioned and disappeared until 1918.

What is the point? Life is joy and sadness and we fight for joy and the elimination of sadness and I would not dwell on this were it not for the history of America that I have told a small portion of. I am afraid it is a history of fooling itself that it was free, while it held slaves. That it was just while practicing racism. That it was kind, with a tiny safety net, and enormous incarceration. And elected the devil as the incarnation of all worst characteristics and raises the really big question: will America become America, or will it descend into the devil’s own ideology, without the comprehension of science and without the art of joy.

This dance, the Krakowiak is the most famous of the five Polish national dances. Somewere about the minute and a half mark is the melody my father taught me.

This perfermance of dance and song moves me like nothing else. It expresses in its melodies, costumes, dances a love of life, an instance that joy is its purpose, and that joy will continue despite participation and then occupation by Russia. And the Warsaw getto, a fight to the death against an insistent and incalculable cruelity. An attempt at destruction of anything good. Warsaw had to be rebuit plank by plank, window by window while looking at pictures of what it once was. And now it is again.

Part of my connection to this dance is that when I was 10 or so, every autumn from our Polish church we used to have a harvest celebration called Dozinki, where all us children used to dance, in costume (a bit simpler than these) a simple version of this dance. So everything in my life, food, language, church, music, grandparents (all 4) was Polish. And at every gathering at our church, my grand mother would teach me poetry that I would recite (in Polish) before gatherings (banquets) at the church.

XIII. VIRUS


One Virus, Two Viruses, Three and Infinity

Donald Trump has exhausted many people. He has depleated the Oxford Engish Dictionary. There are no words left. The devil has chosen early retirement rather than face him.

There are crimes of many kinds. Violent. Silent. Grusome. Horrible. Intentionally planned. A flame-up of the moment. But Donald Trump has invented many different ones, and his handling of the virus opens a new world of crime that infuriates me more every day.

The president has responsibilities to lead, protect, and inspire, to comfort the suffering and more. Donald does not know the meaning of any of these. A president does not hesitate when warned of a epidemic let alone a pandemic. When President Obama was faced with a much less urgent situation he phoned the new head of Homeland Security while she was on her way to Washington for confirmation. He briefed her, told her she was to go to a meeting when she arrived and swore her in on the way.

In the face of a pandemic Donald waited two months when two days made a difference, told everyone he had taken care of the problem because he had an intuitive understanding. He derived this understanding from his uncle who had attended MIT. This is such ludriculous bullshit one could only expect to find it in a comic book possibly with an eight year-old showing off. That’s our Donald. Except for one small difference.

Instead of stopping the virus in its tracks he laid new tracks, urged it on, had already ready decimated the agencies that would deal with it so that the virus had no brakes traveling on its new polished and shiny tracks. This is a new kind of crime. Tell everyone you have it under control, lying through your teeth and not knowing that you are lying.

The result is thousands more dead and an America that will never be the same again, while Donald thinks he is making it great while we have a whole new kind of crime. Praise yourself while people die through your neglect. And over a third of the country supporting him. He has also destroyed any peace I could have hoped for in the waning years of my life.

Why do I write this stuff which probably no one will read. There is no alternative. It is just to feel a little human.

XIV. A New School


Building.

Notice I said building and not rebuilding. I have tried to paint a picture that included an America tha there never was. When we wrote the constition, we wrote, with a valient effort, what we thought would be a free and properous democract. Donald Trump is a fungus that has penetrated every hole in this document, found its weaknesses and exxpoited them. The founders sinned in letting slavery continue, but nevertheless attempted to create a democracy unlike any ever before. They anticipated many of these cricises, many of the shortcomings of man that might wrecck it. But they did not anticipate Donald Trump and the prosperity gospel, nor a mentality of cheap thrills.

They did not anticipate the technology that would give us prosperity that worked many to the bone.<>I have worked on this website for two and one half years. It began as “inanothersshoes.com.” In Another’s Shoes. The golden rule, reciprocity and the horror, not just of the shootings, but the misery of conservative deniers haunting the grieving for decades by insisting it was all a hoax just as some are insisting the virus is a hoax.

As they have become in the 21st century, liberals and conservatives cannot coexist. Conservatism is money and arrogance and a failure to ssee the gift of the creatiuon. Liberalism is compasion with a love for money. They clash.

We need a constitution purged of its flaws. And I think we need something else, something that could truly change things. And we need it world wide.

XV. Reciprocal Leadership.


We Need To Know Our Mission

Our new constitution should specify that everyone who runs for office must have a University Degree in Leadership. A PhD for president. A masters for state goverment. And a bit of night school for town meetings. And schooling in the virtues that make leaders that can make life.

We are at an apogee of civilization. There are problems, wars, killings, everywhere. Corruption creamates a ccountry. Vladimar Putin is more interested in his wealth as is Donald Trump.

The fundamental reality that all must be taught is that neighter science nor religion tells us why we exist. The “theory of everything does not mention hqppiness. The bible does not cast illumination on the fabulous creatures the creation created. It does not push us in the direction of the Krakoviac or Chopin or true virtue.

XVI. The Big Job is Our Job


We have to assert the meaning of the creation.

Religion has never incorporated the Grand Singularity into its teachings, nor the magnificance of human beings. Nor the joy of joy. The happiness of satisfaction of a job well done for all mankind. A picture of Civilization 2.0. If we cannot do it,no one can and this earth will be wreckage of Civilization 1.0.

XVII. Appendix


A gathering a picture of the past. If the virus dies,
we are on a course to kill the earth. So we have a very big job to do.

We may rise to the occasion, and by insanely great accident someone will read this and get an idea or two. Ideas are the precursers of ideals which are beacons on the horizon. We need a few.


Leftovers


Why I haven’t deleated what follows.

There have been, in the past 2 1/2 years attempts by me to asuage guilt by drawing attention to three problems: shootings, global warming and now the Trumple virus. There is too much there to just delete and I am exhausted. This last round began at 3:30 am. I will be 80 next year if I make it that far. Life is a struggle against physical and mental enemies. To survive I need to put this aside and devote myself to my wife, Susan, our son Gregory and my love of music and photography. Tehse restore my soul. The website destroys me because it infuses me with the violence it is try to stop. I am very tired, but have new and better printing equipment. And I have created a new format for these images that will price them at one forth of what they had previously cost a price that is the lowest I can afford. And I am going to make the images better then the expensive prints of the past. I want to do this badly. It is a passion that began in 1974 when I left engineeriung at Bose to become a manager of marketing, advertising and product development for the music business.

I have found in my life that there has been no clear path. I say that I do what comes next. I am going to try to make a turn toward the next next for as long as I can. I will also try to find a way to get people to read this. Perhaps it will make them think.

The joining of opposites.

Inventing a New Way of Life

Civilization 2.0

We have been confronted with two perfect storms: a vicious virus and an impossibly incompetant president. We have found ourselves tragicly unprepared to deal with it, as we are as we are unprepared to deal with a host of other problems, such as climate change, that threaten our very existence. This in the face of a scientific effort by dedicated women and men. Their one and only goal is to discover truth and have that truth lead us to a greater destiny for humanity.

This is as much a problem for the rest of the world as it is for America. The greater part of the world is beset by ruthless leaders, and selfish and corrupt oligarchs who operate without regard for the welfare of humanity or of the earth itself.

This pandemic of 2020 was forseen clearly and warnings were issued by the most experienced scientists on the earth, yet preparations were miserably inadequate

The great arc of civilization began approximately 12,000 years ago after approximately four billion years of the evolution of the human species from the most primitve life forms, life forms with similarities to thos attacking us now.

This is a tragedy of a special kind.

Over the entire history of civilization, up to the last 300 years, war, cruelity, suffering and the misguided tenents of religion have beset our lives. It is inconcievable and unacceptable that it should be this way, for we now have knowledge, gained by scientists and humanists, sufficient to reform the lives of our species. But it is largely unknown, even by those who would consider themselves well educated. It is not taught universally and when it is taught the deep meaning of the concepts that would lead us to a createve and joyful humanity is absent.

We either face the greatest reform in the history of humanity, or we will cease to exist in a long, ongoing paraxom of suffering and death.

In this doccument my intent is to provide enough information and explanation for others to pick up the task and move us further up the arc.

The Situation


Learning

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There are a handful of truths about life and its creation that intelligent scientiests beginning with Galilio and Copernicus, then the unbelieveable, unmattched Isac Newton, followed by Albert Einstein and a host of German and English and American physists and genenetisists and paeloeoentologists, archeologists and more.

For centuries we have given the credit (and ocassionally the blame to god) becuase that was the easiest thing to do. It put us in heaven, so we didn’t have to fear death, it made us feel ”chosen,” singled out as the cream of the crop.

Yuval Noah Harari , in his fabulous study, Sapiens said that the worst thing that ever happened to humanity was agriculture, because it broke up a million year old culture of hunter-gatherers, left a few farmers to do boring, back breaking work and let loose on the world those with genes that had made them hunters and hoarders to become builders of empires.

So we have millions of people afraid of millions of people who can’t just settle down and enjoy life. Persecution, torture, war, war and more war, slavery, discrimination–anyone not like me is no without value, and possibly sub-human.

It is not understood by Americans, that Amnerica was built by slaves acquiring collosal wealth through growing cotton. Today we use the same ideas to pile money into a few coffers so those with 100 billion dollars ignore the children who are suffering from hunger, lack of medical care and are dying. And there is no one screaming loundly enough (or being heard) tha this is wrong. Evangelicals worship Donald Trump. Others preach the prosperty gospel (for which there is no biblical basis) and the great truths of science and philosophy are learned by a few and essentially never (with a few exceptions) applied.

Let us get one thing straight: if you are American and you went to an Ivy League School or an equavilient you consider yourself educated. And you are not period. Why? You don’t know or understand the broard swath of human knowledge. You do not comprehend science or you do not comprehend the cosmos, or psychology or are missing something critical. Like this egg. That is you and me (or at least the energy that became our bodies after a few billion years).

This is the most amazing picture ever made, and I contend that not one in a hundred “intellectuals” comprehend its meaning. That, in itself, is sufficient to begin the end.

What we can see of the afterglow of the Grand Singularity

Laying a Foundation

First Principles.

1.0 Neither science nor religion can tell us why we exist so we take it upon ourselves to assert why. (Kind of makes sense.

2.0 Reciprosity rules. Everyone has a reciprocal duty toward everyone who crosses their path. Those with more have the greater responsibility.

3.0 We are all children of the grand singularity and therefore of the earth and of the first primitive life forms.

4.0 We all evolved to become Homo sapiens and children of a small group of Africans who migrated north about 100,000 years ago. Hence we are all Africans. Our color is determined by the northward progression of our ancestors and our need for vitamin D.

5.0 We are all taught the basics of science, logic and thought.

6.0 We all assert and teach that life is meant for us to learn the truths of the universe, and to create based on those tested and verified truths beauty and joy in reciprocal relationships.

7.0 No creator is valued on the basis of what they create but rather on the basis of their ability to teach learning and creation.

8.0 No one has any greater rights to what is created than anyone else.

9.0 Our purpose is the enjoyment of the process.

10.0 We are responsible for the earth and for the care and nourishment of all living things that live in reciprocal relationship with us.

11.0 We are all responsible for living by and teaching these principles.

12.0 We acknowledge the enormity of the task before us, but commit ourselves to it based on lessons from the past.

13.0 All are free to join with others or to live as individuals.

14.0 It is a sacred responsibility to resolve conflicts in the interest of enjoyment of th gifts of life, consciousness, intelligence and sentience.

The Creation, The Grand Singularity, has given us space, time and the earth.

In turn, the earth has given us existence and Life.

Sometimes we have made Life glorious.
Other times we have created a massive bungling,
to the point that the existence of Life and of the earth is in question.

To my mind, civilization has been a great arc and now we are near its apogee, as if at the top of a roller coaster although this one can go up, as well as down. On which side we are, up or down, is not clear.

My terror has turned into wondering if there lies an opportunity, the earth and evolution have given us, homo sapiens, the astonishing ability to make a picture of our birth. That picture, this green egg, is the after-glow of the Grand Singularity (usually called the big bang) that began everything 10.78 billion years ago in the smallest time and the smallest space there can be. Space and time were born and no religion or scientist knows why, but we do and I will tell you why.

The IMAGE is the result of a joint NASA/European Space Agency venture, nine years of sensing by a satellite to extract the useful part of the image from the background noise. The colors show galaxies and galactic clusters about 300 million years after the big bang which is as far back in time as we can see. Light from further back has not had time to reach us.

The image at the top of this page is of a magnet and its lines of force. I originally placed it to illustrate the divisions that have separated America into its factions (the red and blue were colors chosen coincidently by the illustrator). But as I have continued to study it, the effect seems more and more the joining of the poles.

There is an amazing coincidence of a problem of physics that was solved by this satellite: the question of whether a single pole (known as a monopole) of a magnet could exist. Careful reseach into the nature of the big bang has told us that monopoles cannot exist and that coinsides with my thinking that Life always requires another, whether it be a person or thing, for all of life is an interaction. It is called RECIPROCITY, an exchange, cooperation, a joining of sprits.

Conflict, violence, war. Hoarding wealth. Neglect of poverty, suffering and abuse. Denial of justice. Hatred. These are all also reciprocal evens, but Life, Life, Life. The beauty and joy of the universe, DEMANDS AND WE, YOU AND I, REJECT THEM for they destroy Life.

For all of our existence we have hoped that god or science would mediate between these opposites. I believe that our current time near the apogee of civilization tells us that neither of these, after thousands of years of trying, can bring us to a realization of what life means, and so it is left up to us to decide.

The “Time Line” of the universe, brom the beginning of time to the earth, as it is today. The creation of the earth began about 5 billion years ago. The creation of human life happened when a virus turned into a bacteria, which could divide into two identical selves. This was the beginning of life.

Action


What we do that matters

The two pictures above tell us that we, you, I and everyone are miracles of the Creation, the greatest miracle of all time. And as children of the Creation, we must first accept, without question, that the Creation did not make different kinds of humans, that we treat every single human on the earth the same way, as we expect to also be treated equally. The name for this is RECIPROCITY. When we join with others, we can also be creators. But to do this, we must also be warriors of the spirit, we must declare that Life will be the experience of learning, creation and joy. We must assert, take things into our own hands and minds, and carry the Creation into all our lives. If we do not, there will be only death.

There are infinite obstacles to the truth. Prejudices. Religious dogma. What others think. But it is your mind, if it is open to learn, that can save you and our world.

No. That is not right. It is to re-create the world as Nature, as the Creation, intended. We need to make the future a future of reinvention. Chapter 1 is over. We must start writing Chapter 2.

“Conservative,” “Liberal” and all other labels, trap our brains so we cannot learn. Above all, a scientist, an artist, an intelligent human tries to see, to experience, to hear what is really there. Not to see and hear what we want to see and hear, what we have been told to see and hear. But what is really there.

I have spent 40 years making pictures of nature. I call my collection “The Hidden World of the Nearby,” because I discovered that beauty was where I least expected to find it. Below is on a busy street near my home that commuters use, bumper to bumper to get to work. But I found that I must stop and open my eyes. Click on FOURTY YEARS OF SEEING.

That is how the picture below: Spring Morning After Storm was made. On a busy road. No one else but me thought to look. And it lasted only seconds.

It takes courage, but everything we do depends on listening and seeing what the Creation tells us.

If we see the beauty around us. If we hear the words spoken to us.

But we must accept we are all part of the same creation, the creation that gave us the universe and the possibility to experience joy and beauty while sharing.

When two of us, no matter how we look or speak or where we came from, when we accept we are all human, then something called reciprocity happens. We exchange the core of our beings. We participate in each others souls. And we give back to the Creation the joy it has given us. We preserve and create Life. We create joy. We enjoy beauty. We enjoy the earth, but above all we enjoy each other, whether we were born male or female, black, white or any other color. When we learn what life experience made us the way we are. When we greet each other with smiles and a word of welcome. Then we are alive for there is no life when there is isolation.

We are on the edge of destroying America, the earth and civilization itself. We hoard money. We let others suffer and die while we have billions in the bank. Whatever anyone else says, that we earned this money so we can keep it, we, together assert that is wrong. Life can only be lived together.

Civilization 2.0, is to take advantage of the assault on all of us of the virus, of the destruction we have mindlessly caused, of the oncoming death of the earth and begin, all of us, of every religion, of every view of life to think, to learn and create, together.

Listen to my friend Constantine Finehouse, connect to the universe his way: CLICK HERE.

1. Learn

2. Create

3. Act

4. Reciprocate

3*** he Lucy direction to the point that there is no discussion of the purpose of life in our presidential debates. Sound bites and name calling is our intellectual span and there is no motivation to go deeper. And thoughout the world we desperately need to go for some (excuse the phrase) “deep learning.”.

II. What We Know


and what we don’t know, but think we know

A picture keeps running through my mind, something like a loog empty space. Mine is not very elegant so let’s think of a long library bookshelf, say 100 feet long, and ask the question, in each corner of the planet how much is filled with real knowledge.

However, in America there is an additional colossal tragedy, that it was the introduction of slaves in 1619 that has so dominated the development of American civilization. An excellent recounting is The 1619 Project in the New York Times. In fact the great American free market collossus it turns out is the most important cause of global warming and that “free“ market was built on the backs of slaves a crime that continues today with the market unable to stop the burning of the fuels that are damning the earth.

Not being conscious of what is happening to us because we have not yet learned to teach each other the joys and tragedies of life, we descend into hell and think that by being worth 100 billion dollars we are experiencing life. We are in fact experiencing death, not only our own, but the death of the spirits of those from whom we have taken billions.

III. The Road Not Taken


Machine Guns are Mastered With the Pull of a Trigger

Pianos Are Mastered with the pressing of up to 10 of 88 keys at one time

repeated several million times

Firing a gun uses one millionth of your brain. Playing this piano requires you to press so many keys so often in such a precise way that your brain must grow larger to accommodate your needs. Imagine sitting at the keyboard of this 1050 pound work of several lifetimes, focusing all your attention, down to the very essence of your being because you are going to make a connection to your soul and to the souls of the composer and your listeners. The music is a ballade by Chopin. The pianist is Krystian Zimerman. It takes infinitely more courage to master this instrument than it does to make war for it is the commitment of a lifetime. And its reward is joy for thousands and even millions of those whose ears are open.

This is my own piano. It is an extraordinary instrument and I play it every day, repeated a scherzo by Chopin that I have played perhaps 10,000 times. Each time it is a new experience.

From the creation we have stunning examples of what our minds can do that bring satisfaction and joy and connection with others of our species. In the great arc of civilization it is time we all learned the beautiful parts and learned of the joy of caring for each other, no matter which members of our species are the points of connection.

Understand what? It has on and off haunted me my whole life and recently I stumbled on Jim Holt’s book and TED talk on the topic why is there something rather than nothing. Ah! My kind of book.

In the decades in between I kept reading whatever I thought would bring some insight. I knew of the big bang and it was a big deal. Then the shootings. I had been to Sandy Hook, Connecticut several times to a little shop that could make the special equipment I needed for the photographic printing I was doing. After the shooting I found that my niece’s husband, a wonderful young pastor, was councling some of the first responders. He was shaken quite badly. God just could not allow such things. And then I was shaken when I learned about the radio personalities that insisted it never happened, that one of the murdered young girls had been seen alive, and the on-going pounding on the survivors who were suffering the ausault by radio, internet and phone after they had burried their loved ones, especially their young children.

Perhaps it is going back too far, but I learned that we are all mostly cut from the same cloth. Black or white or in between. Tall, short different bone structure but all of us are descended from small bands of Africans who migrated north 50,000 years ago and the color of our skin was determined by how far north our ancestors had migrated. Too far and not enough sun and pigment in the skin stops the creation of vitamin D. That’s it. Evolution took care of us so the cloth changed color to allow us to survive. But that is not how we viewed it. Despite biblical instruction to care for each other we could not accept dark skin as just dark. We captured the dark skin and monitized it, industrialized it, and worked it to within an inch of its life and beyond. We did what every we wished with our monitized sapiens.

We had lived as hunter-gatherers (a good account is The Old Way. H in his book Sapiens figures that agriculture from around 10,000 BCE was the worst thing that happened to mankind. A less varied diet. A breakup of family-like tribes with well worked-out social structures leaving a few to work the fields while the rest wandered off to make all kinds of things happen.

I suspect it was the hunters, those that carried at least traces of the genes that drove them to the top of the tribal social structure and they built city-states and then empires and then industries and all along faught to the death to acquire more. And now the tribes were much larger, the tools of war far more destructive and empires were created and destroyed. And I thought as Americans we had put it behind us until I started thinking about Vietnam and the second gulf war and the wreck we made of the middle-east, although we had many wreckers before us.

Why?

Is there nothing to occupy us but agression, money and power?

I carry in my head something called “the time-line” of the universe. All the major steps from the big bang to quarks, atoms, early stars, super-novae to fill in the elements in the periodic table, and the creation of trillions upon trillions of stars and galaxies and planets all from a singularity, an event that just happened. Almost out of nothing, an event lasting a trillionith of a trillionith....of a second in a space comparably small and I keep saying over and over to myself what the hell brought this on. No physisist knows. Maybe “god” did it but though history the designation “god” was given to whatever we did not understand. But a name does not create understanding, it’s just a name.

But however you figure it happened, what happened, namely us, sentient, conscious beings make me with three engineering degrees (and lots of physics) think with my jaw dropped when I contemplate what it is that can happen in my head. I sat in my otolaranologist’s office and studied the detailed diagram posted on the wall of how the rough design of my hearing mechanisms and I am floored by the creativity and elegance that lets young people hear the motion of air molecules due to the heat in the air and lets me hear symphonies. And eyes....well I have been a photographer for the past almost 40 years. How and why? The creativity and beauty that is possible and is done in certain places and times while in other places cruelity, genocide, rampant stupidity totally unaware of joy and beauty and I feel like I a going to explode as our “leaders” mangle their response to this virus and the president will have the blood of tens of thousands on his hands and not have a clue. Go figure.

The World of Why


Despite the insistence of much of civilization, there is nothing that can explain existence to us. Religions do not give a definitive answer and neither does science. If there were a true god there would only be a single one and no one would ask if we believed, for it would be obvious.

There are more apparent sources of knowledge than one can count, but only two that meet my requirements. The first is rational thought verified by rigorous science. The second is our own experience of life. Experience, if it is not a dream or halluciation requres something to experience and that something must be provided by the universe. It can either be the universe itself: stars, the earth, and all national phenomena or by other human beings.

When others are involved different kinds of sharing take place. At its best the sharing is of beauty, or joy or it is a sharing of ourselves. The sharing of ourselves is part of virtually all religions and is usually called “the golden rule.” Philosophers and others who study it call it reciprocity. (This link is to Wikipedia and an excellent review of the meaning, history and application of reciprocity.)

Reciprocity enhances everything and in its higher forms means joining to learn, create and enjoy beauty and especially to create life.

Science exists in degrees of certainty so we are continually testing. Joy and beauty exist for their own duration and then vanish into memories but if the joy and beauty are true to their ideals, they make the rest of life worthwhile and give all of us our intended selves.

Our intended selves is powerful and frightening, for it puts the burden on ourselves to choose from all that we learn what we want to be. It is not easy for our education does not have a broad enough perspective. We need to learn a great deal about the universe, its beginning, how it created the earth and how the earth created us. Without this knowledge we swim in a sea of confusion leading to conflict and suffering.

My two websites: caringfortheearth.com and lightsongfineart.com are both dedicated to two ideas: sentience or the experience of life, and reciprocity, the sharing of this experience.

a megga challenge to our civilization

In my early teens I was reading astronomy and what then passed for cosmology, learning to play classical music (Chopin) on the piano and building audio systems, while my father was teaching me the melodies of the krakovyak so we could be a violin and piano duo for our polish guests.

THE KRAKOVYAK

and what then passed for cosmology and I can remember looking something up in our Funk and Wagnells and coming to a tricky Russian name and having a hard time with it. I remember saying to myself: “never mind the names, just try to

IV. Eyes Shut, Ears Blocked


unconscious reality

This web site was originally inanothershoes.com in response to the rash of gun violence, racism and multitudes of other sins happening in America. Then global warming came to the top of my list as I became aware of how little the public knew, how great was the danger and how little we were doing, and the site became caringfortheearth.com.

Except that, on the scale necessary, caring never happened. Fossil fuel barons simply ignored the evidence and continued to burn, and around the world more coal was being burned. Where in hell were we going to end up. My own assessment is that the Paris Accords are a futility. We pump more and more carbon dioxide, the developing countries burn more coal and the developed countries ignore the agreements, as in the United States, or ask for concessions. When the risk is an uninhabitable planet that we have already ravaged, this seems inconceivable. But there is a back story.

Ironically I have taken joy in this being the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and listened to new and inspired performances of familiar music. But it is another anniversary (plus one year) that could not be further from the joy of Beethoven and that has an amazingly fundamental role in virtually every aspect of American life as well as in global warming. The anniversary is 400 years (in 2019) of bringing slaves to America.

The New York Times, which I have often criticized for its dismal coverage of global warming has created Project 1619, the story of slavery in America. Its impact on me has been profound. In reading just a small part I came to know America far more than I had wished because slavery was not just enslavement, it was an industry. It’s free labor built America into the financial colossus it became. The United States supplied 60% of the worlds cotton, slaves were treated as property to a degree I never imagined, and with great irony, the blindness to everything but money that is still driving global warming is simply an extension of the slavery industry, a utterly crushing realization and somewhat of an explanation of where America’s soul lies. It is interesting to note that Thomas Jefferson, the man behind “we are all created equal,” morgaged his 150 slaves to build Monticello. But it doesn’t end there.

America is the worst of all industrialized nations in income inequality, in the treatment of is people and especially of its workers without college degrees resulting in an enormous surge in suicides, drug and alcohol abuse. Then we add to this Donald Trump who has exacerbated every problem we face. In my mind, reading of all his machinations about his election and his behavior of hiding everything he possibly can about himself, he is if not legally, then in principle a fake, abusive president.

V. Reciprocity


The missing link

In Sunday school, many decades ago I learned of the golden rule. More recently I learned of the philosophical term, reciprocity that carries the same meaning. In this Wikipedia link, the Japanese philosopher Fukuyama maintains that human culture is not possible without reciprocity, yet all the problems America is facing can be traced to a failure to accept that we are all of the same species, all carry essentially the same genome, all feel more or less the same joy and pain, but that America is, contrary to what I was taught in grade school, a society that does not recognize reciprocity as a value. In all the presidential debates I have heard nothing about what it should mean to be a human being in the United States. We are as a nation and as a planet on the brink of catastrophe. We may continue to exist, but it will be an existence that denies what it should mean to be human. Humans like you and me are homo sapiens. We are of the genus homo and the species sapiens. The ancesters of all of us, blacks and whites, and all in between, are Africans. Yes, you heard me correctly you and I (I am of Polish descent) are Africans. Its recorded in every cell in our bodies.

Here is the map. And here is the experience by someone who lived the life. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, in her wonderful book, The Old Way, tells what it was like to live among the bushmen of the Kalahari, probably as close as we could get to knowing how our original ancestors lived.

But being black has a whole other connection that it seems to make me an ignoramous that I learned of it today reading the New York Times.For the last decade or so I have slowly tuned into shortcomings of our democracy, and then felt body blows from Mr. Trump. However, 2019 was the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first sales to America. I had known that American textbooks downplayed the story and some in the south gave it a positive spin. But I did not know the role it played in global warming, although that may be the least of slavery’s sins.

ABOVE: A map of the migrations of homo sapiens that began about 100,000 years ago. (Credit: National Geographic)

VI. It Takes Cotton To Mine Coal

It took slaves to grow the cotten that built capitalism

How much of the story of slavery has not been told. From my perspective, hardly any until I began reading the New York Times 1619 Project.

“Out of slavery — and the anti-black racism it required — grew nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional: its economic might, its industrial power, its electoral system, its diet and popular music, the inequities of its public health and education, its astonishing penchant for violence, its income inequality, the example it sets for the world as a land of freedom and equality, its slang, its legal system and the endemic racial fears and hatreds that continue to plague it to this day. The seeds of all that were planted long before our official birth date, in 1776, when the men known as our founders formally declared independence from Britain.”

“...it economic might...” is what burned coal and later oil and pumped gigatonnes of carbon dioxide into the air and continues to do so, and I expect is responsible for American industry’s inability to stop. Once slavery became a money machine all else followed and American democracy became a joke, but a joke that hardly any got. We rank at the bottom and I mean bottom of industrialized nations in the way we treat those not wealthy. The wealthy own our govenment to and have guided it to an obscene distribution of wealth at the top.

Despite knowing full well that burning fossil fuels puts the earth in danger, fossil fuel producers continue to produce and market as much as they can. Accumulating wealth rules.

As of three years ago LiveScience wrote:
“Global warming is expected to have far-reaching, long-lasting and,
in many cases, devastating consequences for planet Earth.”

Attempts to reduce CO2 emissions to meet the Paris accords have failed.
Then Donald Trump arrived and poured gasoline on the fire. A more uninformed, ignorant, corrupt person I find hard to imagine.

As an engineer I feel an almost overwhelming compulsion to solve problems but after two years and two months attempting to teach, to create something that would inform, advocate and convince anyone of the seriousness of our situation I believe it is too late to turn things around and I am spent.

Now Donald Trump has shifted his attention to creating a corona virus vaccine or the wealthy.

Is there any hope? Perhaps a miracle.

I have written on many topics relating to global warming including trying to teach what science is. You will find them in two tables of contents.

The site is pretty much still a draft, not spell checked, and needs rewriting. But I believe there is some good thinking here and I will slowly try to clean things up. In the meantime I am trying to cool off and get on with other work.

VI. Thought


an overview

THE PROBLEM OF NOT UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM

Our place in life is determined by what and how we think. That, of course, is determined by the circumstances of our birth: where, when, in what environment, religion or philosophy. Or possibly none of these for many children. Many will not survive, receive little or no education or learn only how to cause harm.

In the face of threats civilization provides anything from an idylic, idealistic, informed life, to a hateful, violent need to kill and dominate. Or it provides nothing at all.

America has seen itself as the ideal, yet in early 2020 it is failing further and in more ways than most of us could have imagined. These failures are exacerbating the effects of global warming, the worst crisis the planet has ever faced. Thought, that which we do all day every day, is so uninformed, so twisted and illogical, so lacking in compassion as to defey finding appropriate words.

Science and truth are virtual twins, each enhanses the other and we cannot function or ultimately exist without both. Yet we find, particularly on the conservative side of the asile, stunning ignorance including a president who causes despair and even contributes to the rate of suicide.

Many citizens of intelligence fight for truth and compassion, but pitifully corrupt power blocks the way. And now a pandemic, a bodily sickness in a terrifying way appears seemingly out of nowhere and our president blames his political enemies, and minimizes its danger and then hints at a vaceen that will be only for the wealthly. Another day, another eye-opening evil.

In ths website I try to expand on those needing more explanation while searching for thoughts that are missing, which had we a Roosevelt, Lincoln or Churchill might be inspiring and teaching us.

Archimedes Northwest Passage Expedition

Archimedes Northwest Passage Expedition

above: two year old pictures of the beginnings of climate change


N E X T

The Beginning

Note:

At this point I have paused, or possibly stopped, working on this web site essentially since I have lost hope, that anything I say will ever be read by anyone who can do more than is being done. However, I will make it as available as I can.

I think the following contains useful thoughts although it may take some effort to extract them. I will do my best to clean things up. Also, the Table of Contents contains many links to drafts of various essays, some more or less complete, others in early draft stage. However, after two years and two months I am returning to my photography for this story is more than I can bear.

Beginning

Is there such a thing

I have now thought long enough (from about age 13) about the cosmos that a whole unbelieveable series of events pops into my head when I try to think about the earth. Where did it come from? What has made it so suited for human life? How rare is it? Then, having become a landsczpe photographer, I find it incredablh beautiful (you can follow me in my photo wanderings at My Gallery and get a sense of what I have experienced. But now the news carries stories of tearing it down as if it were an old house.

For decades we have scarred the earth with strip mining, deforestation and now fracking. Is there nothing we will not do for money? The answer is no. The planet is under grave threat from too much carbon dioxide and yet oil barons promise to pump the last gallon of their reserves.

Then I think back to the beginning, to the instant when space and time came into existence. 10.78 billion years ago from the smallest space and time that can exist called a singularity (and commonly known as the big bang) a series of events, the time line of the universe from pure energy gave us protons, electrons, neutrons, quarks, then atoms of helium and hydrogen which gravity pulled into stars.

The collosal big bang left an afterglow, the cosmic background radiation. It is so weak,about 2.3°Kelvin that it takes a mind-boggling satellite years of following apath between the sun and earth to add up the energy of this glow. And it reveals the miro variations in the temperature of this glow that tell us of the galaxies that were formed because there were variations. Without the variations there would be no universe.

Middle

Enough to make dinner and dinasaurs

This all leading up to many more grand events called super novae which have the right composition and with the laws of physics being what they are explode in what is another creation, that of all the elements other than hydrogen and helium. Carbon, sodium, clorine, etc. etc. The whole periodic table.

When I study the timee-line of the universe I feel an inevitability. One stage follows another and then another until we have glaaxies, galactic clusters, and...solar systems. Suns of the right size with planets of the right size and composition and moons and it turns out that for us we have struck it rich.

Home

Time for evolution to begin

The earth is a place to begin our existence and I make a calculation. From a partial list of seven (figure) necessary featires (and there are many more) it I assumme a 1% chance of each one )for example large planets such as Jupiter and Saturn that gather asteriods that would otherwise pummel the earth) the probabilithy of the existence of the earth is 10-14 or one in a hundred million million. Coincidently another scientist did a similar calculation for the conditions necessary for evolution and arrived at the same number. But you have to multiply them. The result is 10-28 or one in 10,000 trillion trillion.

Is the earth really that rare. Some scientiests think there are trillions of earths, but we have listened for radio signals for about 33 years and not detected anything that could come from intelligen beings.

So there you have it. Why I want to wring necks when the planet is demolished for one reason and one reason only and that is money. This was tolerable even 50 years ago, but we have reached the place where burning more fossil fuels will spell the end of life as we know it on this earth.

Virus

Global Warming or Corona

The experience of reading about the corona virus led me to think about humanity’s general response to global threats. It seems that it might be useful to identify the critical elements and to compare them. In his (almost) all encompassing book, Sapiens, Harari describes a very long (70,000 years) progression that he believes may destroy the human race. Putting aside the debatable merits of his particular examples, it strikes me that he is describing a kind of virus and reading about the corona virus combined with years of study about global warming I am surprised (and possibly stunned, but I have to think more to assert this) about the similarities. It seems preposterous. Sapiens covers 70,000 years and global warming perhaps 200 years and the corona virus an as yet unknown length of time.

However, I believe there is an underlying similarity which may reveal something fundamental about all three that could be critical to our survival, if it is not already too late.

Analysis

Globe-wide problems, such as epidemics and, surprising, global warming depend on their progress on similar factors:

1. How rapidly the problem mutates;

2. How rapid is our response;

3. How intelligent is our response;

4. How deadly is the problem;

5. How our immune systems or intelligence is our response.

HIV is a good example.

1. The speed of spread was moderate;

2. Our response was prejudiced by its connection to homosexulality and promiscuity;

3. Our response was slow to begin but eventually intelligent;

4. The virus was deadly;

5. Our immune systems gave us critical clues because a small number of people were immune.

Global warming is both different and similar.

1. The speed of spread of global warming was both rapid and slow. Slow compared to our evolutionary capability to recognize a threat; rapid in comparison to ability to devise a resonse.

2. Our response was extremely slow;

3. Our reponse is highly unintelligent primarily because of our poor education in science and this has resulted in a slow ressponse with the public putting little demand on politicians and producers;

4. Global warming was deadly at first only in isolated pockets, so it was relatively easy for governments to ignore;

5. Our immune system in this case is our intellect which has been compromised by our poor education.

The corona virus has its own set of problems.

1. The virus mutates rapidly;

2. China’s response was compromised by a political system (dictator) that did not include an independent and powerful communicable disease center. The response of a dictator vs. that of a CDC may well determine the final outcome. A well-run CDC knows that its job is to jump on such situations. A dictator does not want to admit there is a problem and does not understand the risks.

3. Putting the response in the hands of a dictator (imagine having Donald Trump in charge) is likely cataclismatic.

4. The virus is moderately deadly but mutates rapidly;

5. Our immune systems are not to the job.

Two contemporary factors can exacerbegate any of these situations:

1. Rapid transportation;

2. Large groups of people in intimate contact.

Regarding global warming another factor comes into play and that is distraction. Something like the corona virus distracts by its speed and unfamiliarity. No one knows the ultimate outcome.

Conclusion

Our civilization has not recognized the nature of the various threats it is subject to and thus has not prepared itself. Our civilization is divided into multiple religious and political entities each with its own beliefs and educational systems. In particular the varities of education without a strategic element in the design of the educational systems. Until now, money or the ability to earn a living in a raddically unmanaged economy. Management is compounded by political predjudice which has its roots on acquiring power and money, which in turn has its roots in negligance of the concept of reciprocity.

This is extraordinarily fundamental and gets to the very core of the nature of humanity. Can we live cooperatively or is it always a fight for wealth.

An op ed int the New York Times characterized the Supreme Court as favoring the rich for the past 50 years. I had not realized this (except in retrospect) but this is a cleaver for dividing society into the rich and not rich and the poor. If the rich tolerate this which now they (for the most part demand it) then, for example, the planet is finished. It will be “burn, baby, burn” until we are out of oil and coal and out of ice and snow and out of coastlines. Stupidity and greed own the world, until there is nothing left of it.

You may have three degrees from Harvard and little or no knowledge of science. You may also have three degrees from MIT and little or no knowedge of psychology and little ability to communicate risk and threat.

Or you may have fallen into the chasm we used to call hell and claimed a joyless universe for yourself.

Home

Earth

Almost every day I read a story of collateral damage, as in the scars left by fracking, or ongoing changes in the climate. This morning it was a heat wave in Antartica with nine days of record temperature near 70°F and the melting of a large area of snow that would not be replaced.

My feelings for the earth are profound, grounded in a sacred place in the time-line of the universe. For most of my life I believed in it being essentially unchanged for another billion years out of the five billion that the sun would continue to shine at the right brightness. Stories of ozone holes and silent springs I assumed would pass and despite nearly 10 billion people the earth would take care of itself. I suspect that this naviate contributed to the shock of first reading about global warming and the positive feedbacks such as the melting of the tundra that caused my reaction “we're screwed.”

It is not that all engineers (MIT '63, '65, '67) react this way but I don’t think so.

I began reading astronomy around age eleven and was drawn into the magnificance of what was known of the universe at that time. My first elective course at MIT was astronomy. I remember the arguments of George Gamov about the “steady-state” universe versus a beginning creation. I could not accept the steady state idea. Everything had to have a beginning.

Decades later, in my early thirities I started serious photographing of the landscape. By serious I mean 4" x 5" sheets of film and a view camera plus all accesories in a sturdy case mounted on a pack frame I carried on my back. Eventually I exposed 20,000 sheets of film and somewhat without realizing it fell further in love with the earth for now I had become intimate with many new parts. Two books with text by Henry David Thoreau were part of the outcome. Now, 44 years after begging the photo work I am still sorting through the films finding many I had overlooked that were worthy of printing.

After first learning of global warming I was depressed for two years before I could resign myself to the warming being part of life. However, I could not resign myself to humanity’s tepid reaction to the warming. It was not that there was a lack of warning. That began in my assessment in 1959 when Edward Teller, the reknowned physisist addressed the 100th anniversary of the oil industry. (I reproduce his remarks below.) But perhaps the most astonishing part was that the oil industry was doing its own researh on the climate. Serious research from all accounts and finding that the carbon dioxide released by burning its fuel was a potentially cataclismic danger to the earth. Some of their results became public, but they burried any further release and just kept on drilling and mining. This seemed to me to be unconsciousable, something like selling cigarettes knowing they cause cancer. I still cannot accept it.

The conclusion I have come to, after years of study and writing on this website was that money tops everything. There is this picture in my mind of an oil baron doing no more than glancing out a window before going back to planning more profits.

I cannot say I am angry, for the reaction until recently has been almost universal, but I am horrified and saddened to the point that it has taken over my life. I know well how special the earth is in the new context of cosmology, how many elements, characteristics, properties, etc. and etc. the earth has that make it suitable for its giving birth to us and being our home for a billion years or so. And most of us don’t have a clue. We keep on burning with the liklihood that seas will rise 100 to 200 feet without collosal intervention, an intervention made impossible by a ferocious greed and incompetance of our president, the one person who could lead a turnaround.

You need to know, as I recount below, the parts of our place in the solar system and the Milky Way that are necessary, such as a moon of the right size and position, that are essential to our lives. My first calculation of just seven elements put the likelyhood of such a planet as one part in 100 trillion trillion. Dwell on that as I hope you read further. Perhaps your awareness will become less casual than I find in virtually everyone I meet.

Purpose

Joy

The earth is a product of the creation. The creation happened 10.8 billion years ago. The time and history that followed are well-established science.

The universe evolved step by step, from energy to fundamental particles to stars and eventually to planets. The solar system brought us the earth and the earth eventually brought us life.

Many people believe this was all a product of god’s will, but I think of god as the name of a cause rather than the cause. So why did it all happen? Why do we care?

My view is that it all happened so we could attain sentience, the ability to experience and the most important experience is joy. However, it is left up to us to recognize this and to achieve this and the most important task for us is to recognize and practice reciprocity.

Reciprocity

Responsibility

Joy is supremely easy and supremely difficult to achieve. It is often confused with pleasure or happiness. It is neither of these. However, pursuing joy causes no harm. Pleasure and happiness can reflect deep satisfaction and contentment or cause harm. The destruction happening to the earth is a prime example.

Acquiring large amounts of money or power can bring pleasure, but can be harmful. Pumping and selling oil can bring untold riches but is finishing off the earth. Taking advantage of another person can bring a kind of pleasure or happiness, but often at a terrible cost. Walmart pays approximately the average minimum wage to starting employees. On the other hand the Walmart family is worth about $191 billion, the most of any family. My view is that this was stolen from employees that required food stamps to survive, food stamps that we paid for to the tune of one million dollars per store per year.

Knowledge of the differences between joy and all the other parts of life is not a part of our normal education. Examples can be difficult to come by because joy requires an awareness that may or may not be natural. We may love to raise children or we may resent them. We may listen to music and not hear it. We may view beauty and not see it. In our presidential debates there is no reference to the purpose of life, only to policies and the faults of other candidates. The outcome will likely be tragic.

Humanity has not faced the challenges and the consequences. Death, destruction and suffering are the outcome. It is inconcievable that homo sapiens, of for all intents and purposes of the same evolution and genetic makeup, need to emphasize differences through religion, ideology, politics or a hundred other reasons resulting in tribalism. Tribes give idendity and reasons to feel superior. Tribes may be violent or peaceful, often selfish, occasionally generous but always creating separation. Ocasionally they create joy.

Joy comes from connections, cooperation but above all understanding. Putting yourself in the others shoes but especially of creating beauty together. It is unity and communicaation usually by hard to define and most unexpected means. Singing or playing music together may be worth more than the greatest fortune. But a primitive view of life may make us fail to recognize this. When I hear and see a symphony being played superbly I think of the thousands of hours and hundreds of people involved in perfect synchronization. And the sound of the music thrills me to the center of my being.

The Earth

A Precious Gift To Us

I have spent countless hours reading, writing, revising and terrified by how we treat each other, but particularly how we treat the earth. Our president is hell-bent to extract all the wealth possible from it and give it too the already mega-wealthy. His lack of understanding, his inability to learn, his total absence of compassion, and his inability to communicate except by calling people names is incomprehensible. The prospect of another term would make me consider suicide, were it not for my family. For over two years I have tried to explain what is happening to the earth. However, every day and sometimes every minute something new would come by email, occasionally on just the topic I was writing about. Slowly I realized that money was the central problem. Any person, business or tribe that could extract profit would do so with no concern with the consequences. Look below at the photographs of strip mining or fracking. Reading of the destruction of the land the policies of the European Union have caused. But above all, dwell on the question: Why is it like this? Why are we oblivious to destroying a most special part of the universe? Why does the biblical command to be stewards of the earth not motivate those who call themselves Christians to face up to their responsibilities.

I have given up. A few minutes ago I read of the precipitious decline in insect population. The food chain of the earth cannot exist without insects. The cause: insectides, over-building and climate change. And now the Mississippi valley is flooding again.

The latest (95th anniversary issue) of The New Yorker has a long article about the book Sapiens, which is a brief history of humankind. Read it.

The author, Yavel Harari predicts the end of humanity because of artificial human beings. I predict the end of mankind due to dead insects, or one of many other causes (like methane from the tundra) that will make the earth unlivable.

Harari predicts the end of humanity because of artificial human beings. I predict the end of mankind due to many causes but at bottom it is just money. Besides feality, it is the only thing of importance to King Trump.

Harari says that the worst thing that happened to humanity was agriculture. I think he is right. There were three consequences: there was enough food for a rapidly growing population; there was less variety so nutrition suffered; life became boring since we were either farmers tilling fields or workers in factories. To get some sense of life in hunter-gatherer tribes I suggest the book The Old Way by Elizabeth Thomas.

It is worse now with 50 years of the Supreme Court rulings for the wealthy. For the poor life is nearly slave labor while the wealthy build a new kind of hunter gatherer: money centered groups whose joy is shareholder value. The net worth of the bottom third of the U.S. population is negative. When I was running a tiny printing company with angel investors I was told about shareholder value as if it were the eleventh commandment. There was no other concern.

So where do we go from here?

We look but do not see

We listen but do not hear.

We are taught a sliver of life, be it Harvard or a state college.

It is one minute to midnight for the earth. 10.8 billion years ago space and time came into existance. Six billion years ago, work began on the planet earth. Two million years ago evolution brought us homo sapiens, human beings much like us. These sapiens had eyes and ears and a very large brain compared to other primates and others of the genus homo.

I visit my otolarangoloist (ear surgeon) regularly for a checkup. I went recently and saw an illustration something like that below, a tiny part of one of the most stunning examples of engineering in the universe. Others include our eyes, brain and the earth. How and why these happened is the greatest mystery of all time and one which few contemplate.(I explore these in more depth in separate sections. Check the table of contents.)

The earth is our birthing hospital and our home. We are on an almost inevitable course to make it useless as a place to live. Our leaders are failing us. If we stop all emissions the temperature will continue to rise due to past emissions.

The seas will rise, the ice will melt and the temperature will make living impossible or nearly so. And we will no longer be able to hear music. It is another kind of listening, although only a few of us are lucky enough to listen and hear. If you click HERE you will experience one of many examples of what the earth and our ears, eyes and brains have made possible. It is just seven minutes. The first comment written under this U-Tube moment is “Next time someone asks me about my opinion on the meaning of life, I'll just forward them this video of (Krystian) Zimerman playing Chopin.”

Which brings me to the core of what I think has happened to humanity. In a hunter-gatherer society Chopin was not there, but I suspect the goal of staying alive as a small group made up for everything else and particularly it did not provide for ravaging the earth. Now that we have Chopin and millions of other kinds of real joy most of us fail to experience it. Real joy is something that we feel deeply and the engages our whole brains. We have replaced joy by guns and money. We take pleasure in pulling triggers and die without ever knowing real joy.

But that is not the end of the story. We have now come to a political concrete dam. The narrowness of our education is without doubt a critical factor, but we have now settled into our side of the concrete barrier and it has become inpenetrable. We listen but do not hear. We look and we do not see. We think we are thinking but it is mouse-level thinking.

I have wandered off into subjects that seem unrelated, except they are not. Their purpose is to make us aware of who we are or are capable of being. In the United States there are many sorrowful examples. The Supreme Court approved sending a man to jail for 30 years for stealing $150 worth of video tapes. Three strikes and you are out. It approved money as a form of free speech. Ideology such as small government and low taxes have bull-dozed money from the poor to the rich. And the rich want more so they burn more oil to get more money.

There is something fundamentally wrong with humanity. Why I do not know, but some combination of life history, nuturing, genetics and likely something still mysterous make us decide whether reciprocity is something important.

What has not happened to us

We are farmers who raise one crop

My sense of humanity is simple. To make money we specialize. Engineers engineer. Scientists do science. Teachers teach a narrow speciality.

I just read in the New Yorker about learning of democracy at Harvard. For each class another famous professor would speak about the superiority of the American style of democracy.

From my perspective that democracy has a few short comings. It is a government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. The lower third of the population has a negative net worth. The Walmart family is worth 64 billion dollars ande we pay each store one million dollars per year in food stamps.

There is a concept in social psychology called reciprocity. In religion it is commonly called the golden rule. Quoting from the Wikipaedia article: “Fukuyama states that ‘If the institutions of democracy and capitalism are to work properly, they must coexist within certain premodern cultural habits that ensure their proper functioning.’ He goes on to say ‘Law, contract, and economic rationality and prosperity…. must as well be leavened with reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust…. The latter are not anachronisms in a modern society but rather the sine qua non of the latter’s success.” The idea dates as far back as the time of Hammurabi (c. 1792–1750 BC). Hammurabi's code, a collection of 282 laws and standards. What does this mean for education: we teach to narrowly. It is evident in the current presidential debates. There is no discussion of what life should be, but only of policies or the short-comings of opponents. If we do not have joy as the goal of life, and the sense that it is our responsibility to the family of humanity to see that it happens while preserving the earth, we are finished.

The Insurmontable Challenge

Join together to clean up the atmosphere.

I do not see a way for this to happen. Religion, political disagreements, policy ruts, lack of knowledge of the arts and sciences, scientists that do not know how to teach non-scientists and non-scientists hopelessly not comprehending what getting 415 ppm back to 270 ppm rapidly will require. World War II will seem easy.

There are details later, but that is the (approximately) three trillion dollar challenge (-zero, + seven trillion). There is no other option except a miracle or blind luck. It is called negative emissions. It makes us face the reality that we will not come close to our Paris goals and thus have our descendants curse us for the hell we have left for them.

RISK...

Wait to see if the house burns and the children live.

My training is in engineering, and good engineers don’t sit around and wait for smoke to lead to fire and disaster. We look for trouble before it happens. In critical equipment we anticipate what could go wrong and design so it cannot happen. The guidance systems in Appolo space craft did their job every time. They never failed and went on to uses in other kinds of missions. When extreme conditions as happened when Neil Armstrong found himself trying to find a landing place in a boulder field on the moon, the computer stopped everything else it was doing and dedicated all its power to Armstrong. He landed safely. With 30 seconds of fuel left.

High risk situations require special attitudes and although I should not have to say it, the future of life on earth is a high risk situation. How we handle it is in a few simple steps. We first recognize that an uninhabitabital world is a possible worst case. Then we dig deeply into our souls and find the courage to say this must be made impossible no matter the cost and no matter whether we know it will happen.

Two fairly recent examples come to mind. In 1986 the Challenger space shuttle was ready for launch. The temperatre was far below what the critical “O” rings were rated for. One of the managers asked the engineers “Can you prove to me it will fail?” The answer, which some of the engineers have come to regret was no. We can’t prove it. The rest is history. But the story leading up to the disaster is an object lesson in engineering for the worst case.

The solid state boosters, if made in one piece, were too long for normal modes of transportation. Special vehicles and special routes would be necessary unless they were built in sections. So you have a choice between two sets of difficult problems: moving something very big, or engineering around the problem of the sections. The second option was chosen. The rings always leaked even when the temperature was acceptable, but never enough to cause a problem. Then the temperature dropped for a very public flight with a New Hampshire school teacher aboard. The rest is history. Good engineering is to eliminate the problem once and for all.

Boeing did something worse. They fired engineers who would not change their values from safety to time and money. As I write this (February 24, 2020) it is still not known when the 737 Max will be approved to fly again.

So we return to global warming and politicians complaining that it will hurn the economy if we save the planet. Ponder that for a couple of minutes.

Our educationsl systems have, in the past, taught science and logic as if they were trival games. I never once saw a teacher or even a professor at MIT get worked up over risk. Or of judging whether someone is telling the truth.

I have seen many graduates in the libral arts with PhDs from elite schools think they were educated, never having taken a science course, but with a PhD in renaissance literature, not realizing they were not educated at all. Even the New York Times does not know how to cover climate change. They had no one on staff with a good science background and relagated tales of “catastrophe“ to the bottom of page 13.

At this point, as there is no leadership except for President Trump doing everything he possibly cna to create a calamity. I have become such a pessimist that I have decided that all that is left is prayer and luck.

Scientists and engineerts quail at the propect of making a scene. When there was no response decades ago, where was the big show, the attention getter, the 1000 scientissts making presentation after presentation designed with the help of marketing people (this was the kind of job I had) and raising a ruckus. A guiet speech to congress doesn’t cut it. Where was the watchdog committee that screamed bloody murder whenever anyone spoke from ignorance. When Donald Trump said he didn’t believe in climate change, there should have been an uprising. If you listened to his other comments about science, you would realize he knew nothing but did not know he knew nothing. His ego would not let him admit his limitations.

And the media were worse. Not only did The New York times burry climte news on page 13, a couple of years ago devoted two issues of their Sunday magazines to climate change and said we could have fixed this 10 years ago and implied it was our, the public’s fault. This was unbelievable, worthy of Fox News.

I could (and do) ramble on forever and sit and think that I must be dreaming. With a dodo bird in the White House, a few really wonderful scientists speaking in the wilderness but not an organized World Climate Authority doing its best to teach and embarass. I simply don’t sleep well and spend my days in dread.

How could this be? Scientists trim off the worst case situations in their analysis. Do it once and it is no big deal. Do it always and it will sink us. The real story is always in the summary at the end of an article when someone says something to the effect that if we don’t get our act together, there will be a catastrophe. Well, you know what? There are catatrophes, hundreds of them. They are however, not in most of our back yards, and even if they are we don’know what to do. And why do we not know what to do, because there is no one with enough balls (excuse me, courage) to stand up and be noticed. And unfortunately that person must be the president of the United States. For despite all that has gone wrong, we are still the leaders of the world. And not only are we not leading, we are emotionally and intellectually blind.

How do I know, read on and you will get the idea. Greta recently told the big summit that nothing was happpening. She knows. Exon/Mobil is committed to BURNING THEIR ENTIRE RESERVES.

Could the human race be this looney. Well it is.

Time Magazine has tried to bring us up to date on climate change in the January 16, 2020 issus about SHELL OIL who, it turns out is adapting to a reduced reliance on oil by building gigantic plastics factories for which oil is the raw naterial.

However, the punch line of the story (and virtually every article I read) is burried in the middle.

“Shell’s moves earned some applause among environmentalists, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the U.N.’s climate-science body, concluded in 2018 that to keep temperatures from rising to levels that would bring a wide range of catastrophes, countries must half their greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030 and hit net-zero emissions by 2050. That would mean more than incrementally reducing emissions; it means keeping vast reserves of oil already discovered in the ground. It ain’t gonna happen.

And now Trump wants the Applician trail. The devel, it is rumered, has moved out of hell to his winter home, knowing that sooner or later the Trumpet is coming. And the Devil is no match for Donald. The end. Back to photography or risk suicide.

The egg at the end

A looking back to the beginning

It has always seemed to me that the beginning of space and time must shed light on what follows yet it is so collosal as to be unbelievable and incomprehensible. However, we must try.

The beginning was not known until the mid-1960s with the discovery of the cosmic background radiation, the first clue to the beginning. In the absence of this knowledge we substituted god or just accepted not knowing. In 1964 two scientists at Bell Laborities were preparing a microwave antenna for listening to very week signals from space. After much preparation they found something they were not expecting and could not even imagine: a faint glow of microwave radio signals from all directions and of apparently equal intensity. They did not know at the time that the afterglow, only about 3°K above absolute zero was the first clue to what we know call the big bang, the beginning of the creation, of space and of time.

It wasn’t until 2010 that a satellite, traversing a precise path between the earth and the sun made the first precise map of this radiation. And of the universe. The image below is the anisotrophy of the cosmic background radiation, flucuations of its temperature on the order of 1/100,000 of a K°. Had these fluctations not happended at the time of the creation then there would be no stars or galaxies. The fluctations ultimately let gravity do its working making stars and planets, but not until stars of hydrogen and helium called super-novae created all the heavier elements. The drummer boy had beat out the first few movements and we were on our way to planets, galaxies and solar systems.

Results of a nine year survey of the cosmic background radiation.

The detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe created from nine years of WMAP data. The image reveals 13.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. The signal from the our Galaxy was subtracted using the multi-frequency data. This image shows a temperature range of ± 200 microKelvin.Credit: NASA

A Leap into the present.

The terrifying known unknown.

Living with the political scene of early 2020 leaves me speechless and then some. It is a mayhem of playground bullying, name-calling, and policy clashing that is an ignorant dismissil of what creation has created.

The president is ignorant of virtually everything and serves the wealthy. This is putting us on the track for an uninhabitable planet.

It is a mystery that has dogged fighting global warming from the beginning. If there is money to be made, nothing else matters. Ignornance of life’s better side contributes, but history shows that money rules. The major contributions to emission are doing far less than necessary and Japan is building about 20 coal fired power plants.

An argument is made that saving the climate will cost the current economy too much. And of course eventually leave us with no economy at all.

Emissions are increasing whereas the red line for 2°C is plunging. The Paris Accords were ostensibally targeting 1.5°C and that is now virtually impossible. 2.0°C is unlikely. Over 2°C has been described as “horrible.” Yet our president is dismanteling the EPA, and few if any nations with significant emissions are doing much about it. Japan is apparently building 20 or more coal fired power plants.

What in blazes is going on? One would think humanity is committing suicide.

“Make America Great Again”

To make America great ”again” she had to have been great once and perhaps she was during the two great wars, where she saved the world.

But ”again” from a man who does not understand the meaning of “great,” “compassion,” and “caring.”

Donald Trump understands nothing but bullying, calling people names, making deals, defaulting on loans and having people lick his boots.

Donald Trump is an empty man. Donald Trump followers are suckers, they are taken in. Evangelicals will settle for nothing from him but give him everything.

The Man Without A Reflection

The most important thing a person can do is to reflect, to examine their thoughts, attitudes, feelings, to look in the mirror so to speak, and I imagined our president looking in the mirror and I realized he would see nothing, for there would be nothing to see. No rationality, intelligence, no honesty. But I had missed something. He looked down and he could see his shining, glistening boots, for those were the one part of him that reflected. And his modus operandi was simple: lick his boots and you get called “PERFECT.” Not praised for good thinking, a knowledge filled mind. Just a name.

But if boot licking was not your thing, you were tatooed with a round of insults. Not criticism, just insults. And given the boot for he had many more all still shiny ready for a licken.

The president also throws hand grenades and looks over the pieces, or rather lets others look, and if one shines it becomes an accomplishment.

He walks with a backpack filled with 4x5 cards with likes and dislikes written on them spilling out for anyone to pick up, and those that have been taken for suckers look to find a card with something they like, no matter if the one next to it says the opposite. They have found what they wanted and become part of the “base.”

It is an odd way of giving a speech.

The first I heard from The Donald was “I’ve been hearing things.” No evidence just a black and white hint about the “birther” issue. Courage to take on an issue on its merits. Never heard of such a thing. Don’t need them to make a deal.

Destroying democracy is just for starters, there is a whole world out there to destroy and he has a running start and I suspect since he has no clue about what global warming means, he can just waddle on for the only person that could have the stature, resources, and leadership qualities would be a great president of the United States. But we have looked in his mirror too, and we know what is down the road.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

I have worked on this site for over two years. The TOC above will give a number of links to various topics I have tried to write about that seemed relevant at the time. Below the triple red lines are left overs. What was more and more essential to happen as time has gone by has not happened. In fact, the situation is gettng worse by the day. None of the presidental candidates seems prepared and able to take on climate change with the ferocity it requires and should Donald Trump get re-elected the only options left are luck and prayer. I am burned out, have nothing more to add and other work to do. If you are curious go to lightsongfineart.com





HOME CONTINUED I

The earth was made for us.

There may be others, but we do not know of any
that embody all the whims our bodies and minds need.

Gestation for the earth was four plus billion years and about the same for us. A long time? It all depends on which clock you are watching. Its creation was the epic of epics. However, it seems some multi-tasking was in order, for while the earth was evolving we were evolving.

The earth has been trampled, fracked, strip mined, deforested, drilled, pipe-lined, torn asunder, polluted, poisoned, over populated, and generally decimated. And that was before global warming. It is now being burned, overheated, flooded, its homes crushed by hurricanes and cyclones, dried out, every possible drop of oil and liter of gas extracted, millions of tons of coal removed all to line pockets or, in technical terms, increase stockholder equity. Its ice and snow are melting, coastal cities are being flooded, water supplies are drying up. It is becoming less of a good place to live. And this is just beginning.

The great mystery of civilization is the nature of humanity, how it can be brilliant enough to discover where the universe, the earth and humanity itself came from yet be blind enough to destroy it. (Check the link above to see how shareholder equity propels Chase Manhatten and the rest to finance the destructon of the earth.) Humanity knows the joys of joining with other humans yet wars against others and kills without mercy.

Humans acquire great wealth and hord it, leaving just enough for poor workers to survive and serve them. As their wealth becomes greater, humans narrow their field of view to acquiring still greater wealth.

Something is wrong. It is incomprehensibe how much beauty, joy, destruction, and suffering humans have caused, created or motivated. But only a few that we know of were conscious of the landscape, the purple mountains majesty or the tumbling flowing rivers and how wonderful they were when prestine. Henry David Thoreau was one of the first and I photographed his back yard near Walden Pond and many other back yards that hosted the same spirits. But when I gave seminar/lectures to at the summmer meetings of the Thoreau Socity there seemed to be no more interest then elsewhere.

I presume that the earth seems to each of us permanent. Stable, returning day after day and year after year in about the same form and color and temperature. We do, I suppose take it for granted. But that time is passed. I photographed with a view camera and 4" x 5" film. Twenty-thousand sheets over twenty-eight years. All the seasons, but never where other photographers had their cameras out, or rather they never came when I had mine out.

I found my images so nearby that if you looked stright ahead you missed them, because they were at your feet. Or they were adjacent to guardrails on high-speed highways. I called my work The Hidden World of the Nearby. So where I looked and my expectations were everything and I looked everywhere and expected nothing in particular and found untended gardens.

I am now 78 and as I look back over my life, since I was a child I wanted to understand. Until this millinium it was a passing and passive desire while I shared unbelieveable fortune and joy among my struggles. But early this century it all came crashing down when I discovered the unchecked damage a changing climate was causing and that humanity was the cause of the limate change. And then in a jolt as if by lightening I realized that the path ahead led to an uninhabitable planet.

So I have tried to switch my focus to context, a portion of what should have been taught in the classroom. We need to overcome our tunnel vision and our tunnel morality. There is a term for this: it is reciprocity. The general trend I blieve will be the higher the income, the less appreciation there will be for the golden rule, which is in the western world the same as reciprocity.

Ironically I view the meaning of life in terms of beauty, be it music, fine art, or the gentle process of getting to know someone unlike yourself. Members of our own tribe have the same tunnel vision as we do. I think we all would be surprised if we got to the place where the cashiers, store clerks, hamberger flippers, and all the “servants“ that do not live in our quarters but are desperate for a sztisfying life. In a recent issue of the New York Atigaile Disney revels her experience of realizing the stress of coming short $500 every month to raise one child and not be homeless.

Joy is the meaning of life, and if you tell me that landing one billion more than your competitors makes you happy, they you should go to an ashrom and study the meaning of happiness.

—JW

Caring For The Earth


How Much Is It Worth To Keep It?

A Risky Perch: Playing on the Edge of Victoria Falls (click on image)

I. The View From Here


On The Brink

If global warming is not out of control today, 01 01 2020, it will be soon. The heat from burning fossil fuels is melting enough tundra to release more carbon and methane so that global warming is now fueling itself. As the earth warms it makes more greenhouse gases and so it warms more. Additionally, less ice and less snow in the Arctic means less reflection of sunlight and more warming.

There will be arguments whether this “tipping point,” where the earth takes over its own warming, has been passed. If it hasn't it will very soon. Oil, coal and gas companies will see to it.

Humanity is not responding and actually seems unable to respond. If the Madrid conference can fail, it reveals a fundamental human failing, an isolation from nature that is killing civilization. Where revolution was necessary, the larger countries which are most critical to stopping warming, asked for concessions. This is beyond comprehension.

Figure 1 shows a red line going sharply down and a “business as usual” line going up. The contrast is dramatic. The Green New Deal is intended to close that gap.

However, it is already behind schedule and will require an incredible new American president to lead its acceptance and implementation. A bit like England defeating Hitler without American help.(more)

Victoria Falls

II. How Bad Is It?

Siberia, Australia, Greenland, India

The Earth Is In The Hands Of The Next President

You are now surrounded by four slide shows with examples of some events caused by global warming. Most events would have happened any but exacerbated to a terrifying leve. However, these all happened with 1°C temperature rise or less. This represents a staggering amount of energy because it requires heating the land and ocean to significant depths plus the ensitre atmosphere. To be specific it is about 1022) Jules of energy (that is a 1 followed by 23 zeros). A good summary is When Will The Earth Become Too Hot For Humans?” And because of rapid changes in the permafrost dealing with carbon dioxide emissions has become extremely urgent.

Few believe this, especially our national leaders. We may be genetically unsuited for this kind of problem. We evolved to deal with the quick and nearby and global warming is neither.

Whether we now have enough greenhouse gasses for global warming to supply its own fuel is moot, because if we do not we soon will. There is not only no sign of a war on carbon, there is not even a plan to start one. The earth will never return to its former self. We will have destroyed a gift of the universe as a place for us to live. It will be the greatest tragedy in the history of humanity and it will be caused by closed and greedy minds unwilling to think.

Archimedes Northwest Passage Expedition

III. How Horrible Is It?


What Stupidity Can Accomplish

Australia is changing the game all by itself. We should be looking forward to 3°C which has been my optimistic guess for some time. Unless a fully researched, valid, intelligent Green New Deal with trillians in back of it and a president to bash anyone who doesn’t go along is implemented in 2021 it will be hell here.

So the question is now more urgent about how bad it will get. A week ago I was worried about 2°C. Now it is 3°C.

Figure 2

Drop a match on the snow in the tundra and you start a fire of methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times worse that carbon dioxide.

Global warming releases the methane and fuels itself.

We have to stop it because it gives warming a will of its own. Warmth creates methane creates warm without need for human help. Getting warm while just looking on.

IV. One Line To Rule


Two Lines To Frighten

It is inconcievable on many levels that those running this quasi-civilization should be so oblivious to loosing our home planet. But the top line, “business as usual” is business, wealth, lower wages, everything the supply-side could wish for, and one thing to avoid which is comprehending what is being done.

Everything made needs carbon either for materials, transportation, or energy. Not to mention food and clothing.

Ironically, one way to avoid seeing anything is more carbon: a private jet or a limo with darkened windows.

And the irony never stops.

Secluded places to live. Barriers to pollution, private gatherings to share the fun and fruits of their labor.

Where does it stop? History says with violence. And the climate may deliver that too.

“A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned of disastrous consequences if current trends of global warming are not reversed immediately.”

If Donald Trump is relected it will be huge setback. Any of the Democratic canadates could rise to the occasion but the intelligence to understand the severty of the problem is rare. To understand the underlying science is still more unusual, but the courage and character to declare and execute a world-wide emergency would be a first.

Only the United States has the resources to lead such an enterprise. As long as the president is Donald Trump there is no hope. He does not have the mental capacity to comprehend the problem nor the desire to do so. He may go down in history as the destroyer of the earth.

More insight is provided by asking about the benefits of holding temperature increase to 1.5°C. This link connects to a discussion of these benefits which are very great. However, discussions of this possibility have virtually ceased and 2°C is now the optimistic limit but given the drive for profits thus far, I would not be surprised that 2.5 or even 3°C becomes the target. An MIT scientist described over 2°C as “horrible.”

Millions march from the inspiration of the most coregeous young women on this planet. In Madrid, the worst of the emitters ask for concessions or make no promises at all. Scientists tremble at the possibily of a tripping point where the climate supplies its own greenhouse gases.

All I can do is think, explain, make lists and try to get them read. For I think I have made a fundamental discovery about our civilization.

A small group of humans, either by luck or study comprehend what is really going on. They support The Green New Deal and the taxes that would bring in the trillions of dollars that will be necessary. But even the most esteemed, those with law degrees from Harvard, and literary degrees from Swathmore and positions as editors and writers and pursuaders, cannot penetrate the fog of complexity, time and space and a life devoid of the concepts of science that allows them to follow arguments, although they may have the courage that D. J. Trump lacks, to admit they do not know and sit and listen and engage learning.

In a separate section I discuss the details of the challenge and how desperate is our situation and why so many of those with limos and private jets cannot see or hear or worst of all refuse to admit that they cannot.

If John Greenleaf Wittier were here he might note that of all the words heard here today, the saddest are from those who lack the courage, despite entire nations beginning to fail, to say: I don’t understand what a tripping point is, or how carbon dioxide gas becomes a blanket and who, as would our president and our richest citizen, rather let the earth die.



About twelve years of study and two very full-time years on this web site (most is hidden from the world was changing faster than I could keep up with it; just ask my editor). My fear has grown to the point that I can no longer see a way clear that might provide a respite from disaster. The break came suddenly when I learned that Jeff Besos and instructed his employees not to speak abut global warming. For the first time in 78 years, including 7 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology I put my pen down, defeated. The wealthest man in the world, whose company pays no taxes, who crushes his employees, who squeezes everything he can squeze is now going after the planet we live on. Neither it nor I can survive this.
Life is composed of many things, some just plain workand some exhaulted. But something is wrong here and I must think about it. Some part of humanity is civilied, but in the deepest sense I am deciding it is a very small part. That small part has learned science, philosophy and psychology, would not blanch at the mention of conservation of energy or be unable to discuss a theory of science that is just a theory and distinguish it from a proven theory. Or comprehend what is the meaning of an experiment or a model or a full proof. Or cvand rejoice when both converge on the truth.
Or, could possibily absorb the idea that we are all of one race. That the only view we can have of each other and have a civilization of joy rather than suffering, beheading and all manner of conflict based on fabels. Often because the citizens of our civilization do not know how do to anything except fire a gun, and for whom a symphony orchestra playing a symphony or concerto that is the pinacle of humanitys labors. The sadness I feel between what I can hear from 100 instruments of joy and the rot that I hear from one instrument of ignornance is incalculable.
I know how this creation happened, but I only know why when I can reciprocate in conversation in knowledge or deed or just plain enjoyment. A thousound joys vs billions of crimes. In my mind every failure to let what is reality penetrate the mind and soul instead of bouncing off a brick of ideology or religion or myth or fackery or whatever gets in the way of an idea called reciprocity, that if embraced could make us a civilization. If it is not too late.”

V. One Mindlessness That Fools


One Head That Frightens

Yes. That is Donald. He thought he would try it on for size, but it broke at which time a glimmer of a thought appeared (there were never any more than glimmers) that when those around him called him “swell,” they really meant “swelled head,“ which explains the broken earth, but not the depressed and insane that surround him.

It is not possible for me to be other than depressed when thinking of The Donald, for a tragedy of this size to befall us.... What did we do? Tell me. What did we do to deserve this. Well Donny Boy, let’s try some truth and see how that fits. Well for one, I am looking forward to the first intelligent sentence, one that showed rhyme or reason.

Sea level rise has shrunk India's Ghoramara Island from nearly 8 square miles to 2 square miles in recent decades.
ZUMA PRESS/ALAMY

Figure 6

X. Evangelicals


The Need For Self Validation

It is difficult to believe in a successful outcome. Climate change is happening much faster than anyone expected and actions are happening far more slowly than necessary. The United States has likely contributed the final nail in the coffin. Donald Trump’s actions and inability to comprehend almost anything with a significant scientific or even intellectual component makes one stretch to find words strong enough to characterize the enormity of his lack of ability.

A sorry contribution is the reaction of evangelicals. Christianity Today, the intellectual arm of evangelicalism, a small (80,000 circulation) publication founded by Billy Graham published a scathing (and I really mean that) editorial about President Trump. It angered the rest of the evangelicals. This is a fundamnetal human disaster. Evangelicals (I am a former one) of the conservative kind are longing for validation. I could sense that when attending Park Street Church in Boston in the 1960s. It prides itself on its intellectual standing. The pastor must have a PhD (although honorary will suffice). But in their college groups I could sense a need for validation. In other churches today there is a welcoming of the “end times” or of a second coming of some kind that will give a new recognition and influence to what it means to be an evangelical. So Donald Trump comes along, claims he is one of them (which is pure bullshit), validates their anti-abortion position (and I would guess others like anti-gay and anti-transgender) and so they embrace him although he is effective the "devil." This is insanity. This is the breakdown of the human mind under the stress of threat to a tribes meaning. And so evangeicals will be a huge factor in the coming election and not a welcome one. Hillary Clinton gets roasted for using the wrong e-mail server. Donald Trump gets away with murder, literally. Many Ukrainains have died because of his witholding funds.

In my mind Trump is guilty of treason to humanity.

IX. Wealth


The Ultimate Corruption

Sometimes the cause is deep and obsured and that is what I have thought for 15 years. Then I read a long essay by Abigail Disney in a December issue of The New Yorker. The subject is money and an organization called ......Millionaires.

There is one image that

CODA

A hymn from 1750 that makes me weep for 2150

For the beauty of each hour Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower, Sun and moon and stars of light.
For the joy of ear and eye, For the heart and brain’s delight,
For the mystic harmony Linking sense to sound and sight.



There are many graphs of the earth’s temperature over time. Most show a linear increase which is more or less what you see if you look at 20 years of data. I took the simplest approach I could with the available data from NASA and that is what is called “curve fitting.” You take a guess at the basic function (here an exponential) and fudge it anyway you wish until it looks right. It turns out that if you ask excel to do the matching you get a polynominal series of the same shape as this curve, but either higher or lower. I view this as a kind of business as usual model and it predicts 6.6°C in 2100 which is roughtly right for continuing doing what we have been doing. It is of course catastrophic as is any temperature over 2.0°C.

Americans Continue to Deny Scientific Facts. Why?

Donald Trump may reach several pinacles all at one time. Impeached. Inhuman. Destroyer of the earth, but most of all, it seems to me pathetic, diplaying real human needs is the most corrupt possible way.

Trump praises people who flatter him, so he can pretend he is rising to a high level. But he cannot tollerate intelligence. Asking for an explanation is impossible for he trembles that he would likely not understand the explanation. So global warming or anything else with intellectual content must be brought down to his level. To my mind this is the tragedy of tragedies, the planet and civilization in perril from the lowest of the low.

Modern scientific thought may have begun with Gallelio and progressed very slowly until Issac Newton, and blossumed in Europe from the 1700s through Einstein and relativity and hosts of others: Clerk Maxwell, standing on the shoulders of determined experimentalists gave us Maxwells Equations and knowledge of all of electro-magnetism and on through Kip Thorne and a panopoly of 20th century physics until a republician head of a science comittee said he doesn't believe in science.

It may have been religion, or racicism, or unwise theories of educztion but science, to my mind has died, for Trump could not be Trump were it alive.

I cannot concieve of thinking about a problem without first learning what illumination science has provided.

Race is a good example. It has only been revcently that we learned that we are ALL Africians, decended from central Africian tribes of the first homo sapiens some 50,000 years ago.

Or learning what our brains can (and cannot) do: what you are experienceing (sentience) at this moment, every detail and color and motion from two small images on your two retinas. Knowing how the universe came into existance 10.8 billion years ago, but no clue (outside of god, which is the name of a clue)as to why.

So we are letting the earth cook it its own juices with the power of shareholder value driving the earth into uninhabitability.

I sat in on a couple of 5th grade science classes with my son. An attempt was being made to teach electrical engineering (not kidding) with the most atrocious material I have ever seen. Someone had to meet a goal or demonstrate prowess in “advancing” these kids. You can’t build without foundations and so it was almost certainly a waste of time.

And clearly the man or men who just dismantled the Boeing engineering culture, full of himself and a financial plan to drive development, has created one of the most monumental disasters ever in American industry. Shareholder value not connected to a human and intelligent standard is a clamity.

Not knowing what you are seeing and not able to recognixze that you do not know is a collapse of civilization. If the trump card is in charge it may become just that.

And what’s the answer?

Frances Moore Lappé changed how we eat. She wants to do the same for our democracy

....the dominant story in our culture is one that creates a feeling of powerlessness...it starts with this reductive understanding of human nature. We’ve taken Adam Smith and Charles Darwin and distorted their real messages. We grow up in this culture believing that the only thing we can count on is materialism, selfishness, competitiveness. It’s survival of the fittest, and the way we handle it is this wonderful device Adam Smith told us about called the free market. But Adam Smith understood the depth of our social nature.


But we do not. American text books and science teaching are dreadful, but what is more dreadful is parents do not understand enough to motivate their children.

There are many graphs of the earth’s temperature over time. Most show a linear increase which is more or less what you see if you look at 20 years of data. I took the simplest approach I could with the available data from NASA and that is what is called “curve fitting.” You take a guess at the basic function (here an exponential) and fudge it anyway you wish until it looks right. It turns out that if you ask excel to do the matching you get a polynominal series of the same shape as this curve, but either higher or lower. I view this as a kind of business as usual model and it predicts 6.6°C in 2100 which is roughtly right for continuing doing what we have been doing. It is of course catastrophic as is any temperature over 2.0°C.

Americans Continue to Deny Scientific Facts. Why?

Is their an explanation?

12/16/2019

I know this man, or rather I know the look on his face. It’s the look of someone baffled but terrified to admit it.

The earth is dying and he cannot admit that it’s our doing. Why? Because if he is in a room of oil barons he knows they will skin him alive if he deserts them.

The bad news is coming faster than at any time in the 15 years I have worked on global warming. And if you are a scientist you are trembling. Iam an engineer with considerable science background (three MIT degrees). When I first read of all this 15 years ago I said “we’re screwed.” Well we are.

See that rampaging river below. That’s the Greenland Ice Cap melting, 2000 or so years early. Yet if you look over the entire planet, there is not one person who can stand up and command the attention of national leaders. Not one. And explain to them what thermal runaway means and how we are going to be part of it.

Note: Why Americans Continue to Deny Scientific Facts.

Figure 1

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