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Pretending to look knowingly.

Once We Only Had To Stop Adding Carbon

Now we have to remove it

The fossil fuel industry knew in 1959. The great physist Edward Teller explained it to the leaders. They confirmed it with their own research. And buryed the results and kept pumping. The physist James Hansen explained it to Congress in 1985. President Bush and the UN attempted to create a plan. Republicians killed eventually killed it.

It is now too late just to stop emissions. There is so much CO2 the earth will keep warming.

So now we have to remove CO2. Its difficult, costly and necessary if we want to have a reasonable earth for our children and thier their childres. Otherwise there will be hell to pay.

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This young man has lost his island to global warming and a rising sea.

The Earth Gave Birth To Humanity


Humanity Is Letting It Die

Humanity has been killing the earth for over 100 years by not seeing or ignoring what it was doing. Donald Trump has just given it the semi-final blow. He aims to finish the job.

This is impossible to write about. There are two miracles of creation that are imortant to us: the creation of the earth, and the earth’s providing for the creation of humanity. Now by neglegance, ignorance and greed humanity is killing that which gave birth to it. There is no explanation except that humanity, despite all its deeds of glory and caring has not paid attention. Lost in thought patterns essential midevil, it has at first slowly and now rapidly, let that which created it die. It elected Donald Trump who has dealt it every blow he could, and one way or another, he will deal the final blow.

Their could be another miracle, the killers could wake up and find a way of cleaning the air, removing the last hundred years of carbon. But its a poor bet. So what happened.

10,000 years ago when agriculture let loose the leaders of hunter gatherer tribes, they began a long process of creating religions and other tribes, city-states and empires. Then their descents created science and then technology which made CO2 on a collosal scale.

However, where a “A Plan for the Earth” was necessary they created a “Union of Concerned Scientists.”

And the elite of civilization ignorned the learnings of science, the greed of business went on with business as usual. Knowing the harm they were causing, buiness leaders pushed oil and coal. Politicians could not agree on a reasponse. And scietists, who needd to create a monster blow, were “concerned.” Elite PhDs from Harvard learned law and business and virtually no science. Educators taught a simple view of history. And little scinece.

Science was viewed as a thing you could believe in or not and so was a secondary part of learning rather than the primary that it had to be.

In 1988, James Hansen made a simple presentation to congress about global warming. Where a war by scientists and learned media was necessary there were for all intents and purposes, wimpers.

And now the virus distracts. And conservatives try to kill an election.

But it really doesn't matter. It would take a miracle of money, energy, cooperation to start immediately, likely to scrub the air itself. Can I say no it won't happen. No but it is as likely as the Atlantic jumping into the Pacific, for the fun of it.

Slowly a picture has formed in my mind. It began with my asking myself the question: “Do you believe in God?” and I realized the answer had no meaning except that I chose to believe or chose not to believe. What is know as having, or not having faith. I concluded I could not answer. Which god? How could I know? Evidence? If I wished for evidence what evidence could I wish for. A two thousand year old scripture and all its transltions, intrepretations, etc. when in a court room today you need several iPhone videos with audio and still you get arguments. Does that mean there is no god? I do not know except, after much thinking, something seems to run through my spine about the meaning of the universe and that is a conseqquencie I am sure of what I think I do know that is so unbelievable that no one believes it. In the mean time: 1. Countless wars; 2. Countless tribal fights (red vs blue); 3. Textbooks full of very little; 4. A complete lack of appreciation of what lies between our ears; 5. An almost complete lack of appreciation of...everything good; 6. A desperate need to be one of the “chosen;” 7. The learned unwilling to form battle lines and teach (scientists that are “concerned” when they spy a nuclear warhead or two or more heading their way). <

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Archimedes Northwest Passage Expedition
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A Line In Time


Real miracles.

Below is something rather astonishinng, but you do need to think a little to get what it means.

This is the most astonishing knowledge ever gathered. It is a picture of the afterglow of the birth of the universie looking as far back in time a is possible. You and I are in this picture, or rather the elementary particles hidden in stars that will explode and make the carbon and other elements we need to make us.

Why do I believe this?

This is the third satalitte to take this picture and it is simply and obviously a clearer picture than that taken by the earlier less sophisticated satillite. And many more reasons. It shows the distribution of galaxies and other large cosmic structures about 10.7 billion years ago.

What do I believe that is so remarkable: we have taken a picture of our own birth with technology we invented by use of the stuff between our ears and huge work and cooperation of hundreds of thousdands of people. And I wonder why every school and every religion does not teach about this. It is real. It is the birth of the universe. There are no words to describe such a wonder and it is the first of many that are not taught to PhDs at Harvard or elsewhere unless they are studing cosmology or a related field.

We cannot say god exists, except by faith. We know this exists but few know about it, or more important, at least slightly comprehend what it means and how it might clear up a small amount of what we don’t know. INTERMISSION. Back to more urgent matters.

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Eyes, Ears and Mind


You can look in, as well as out.

I have struggled as hard as ever in my life to say what is wrong in 2020, and then I remembered.

When problems are too hard, they may be the wrong problems, and so have no answer. This problem began with its own answer.

I have five stories to tell. This website tells far more, and some of it is interesting. Click on Contents and browse. At least a few links work at this point. They are intended to teach, but what I have now is new and I will not delay. There is Amelia, Krystian, the Ocean and the Universe.

And then my thoughts.

My Favorite Little Girl


My favorite smiles.

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Krystian Zimerman, Chopin Ballade No. 1


The most beautiful piano solo I have ever heard.

The History Of The Universe


The Largest Construction Contract in History. 10.78 Billion Years.

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Humanity


The collosal story. A cataastrophe?

Someone or something went to an insane amount of trouble to create our universe, the earth we life on, and the brains that we have. Call this something god if you wish.

The event that created our universise is increditable beyond comprehension and yet few people know abut it.

Our brains can create create incredible beauty and joy and are of incomprehensible capability. Yet few people have a clue of what they are.

Instead we go to war for no reaswon. We kill each other for no reason (see the list of wars below).

Major Wars of the 20th & 21st Centuries


None of these needed to be fought.
They resulted in the deaths of about 187 million people.

The Second Anglo-Boer War, 1899–1902 The First World War, 1914–1918 The Russian Civil War, 1917–1922 The Irish War of Independence, 1919–1921 The Irish Civil War, 1922–1923 The Second World War, 1939–1945 The Korean War, 1950–1953 The Kenya Emergency, 1952–1960 The Suez Crisis, 1956 The Malayan Emergency, 1948–1960 The Aden Emergency, 1963–1967 The Troubles, 1968–1998 The Falklands War, 1982 The Gulf War, 1990–1991 The Bosnian War, 1992–1995 The Kosovo War, 1998–1999 The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–2013 The War in Afghanistan, 2001–2014 The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011

Being Human Should Mean Joy


Why Doesn’t It?

Almost nobody realizes what it took to create humanity?

Almost nobody realizes how remearkable our brains are?

Almost no one realizes that life should mean joy?

In its place we have tribes, war, political assination, democrary destruction.

And we are killing (or have killed) the earth.

What the FUCK is wrong with us.


How the fuck ccan we elect a president like Trump?
How the fuck can evangelicals, the missionaries of compassion support such a cruel man?
Donald Trump Is a MASS MURDERER: 150,000 Humans He Let Dye
For his own ego.
Something beyond comprehension created the univerise and us.
Yet we are destroying each other, fully aware.
And destroying the earth.

HOW THE HELL CAN YOU EXPLAIN THIS?

As of today, September 18, 2020 life does not make sense. After 79 years of life, I am only now asking the question: why do we exist and what should this extance be like.

Humans, homo sapiens, were created with miraculously capable brains, brains that could decipher how the universe was created and (almost) how they were created. When we think about the capabilities of homo sapiens a little further on, a horrible bifurcation happens. Humans, miraculous humans, some at least fully aware of what is happening are doing their best to kill each other and to destroy the planet that gave birth to them. Further, the richest nation in the world, and in some regards the most successful, the United States of America has elected an insane man as president and may elect him to a second term.

This insanity makes him the enemy of humanity and of the planet earth and he attracts many followers. Furthermore it leaves the most important question hanging: Is there a point to all this

One challenge is to understand why and to prevent the ultimate catastrophe: an uninhabitable earth and the possiblity of multiple mega wars as different tribes of homo sapienss fight for survival.

But there is a more fundamental question and that is why do we exist, how did weFrom a wider perspective multiple forces come into play: science, religion, philosophy, education, psychology, evolution, tribalism all have combined to put us into the beginnings of a cataclism, for on top of all the problems that we could imagine a pandemic has enveloped the earth. We are on the edge of a slippery precipice. I can no longer tell if hanging on is possible. But to answer that question, one must first analyze how we got here, and that is both difficult and, because it must negate much of what has been presumed to be true, will enrage much of the human race. Could there be a more precarious state of affairs? I do not think so, for anything more precarious would mean we have gone over the precipice. However, we must keep in mind that we do not yet know the potential of humanity to resscue itself as it tumbles into hell.

Being Human


The singular Issue: Belief vs. Knowledge

I have been asked, likely by an evangelical, “Do you believe in god.”

When I was younger I would brush this off. Now I do believe that it is in many ways the ultimate question, the question that is the key to survival and it has nothing to do with the answer, but is has everything to do with understanding the process we use to decide.

I find it difficult to define my perspective. I have three university degrees that I believe quality me to call myself a scientist. I am also an artist and a student of a range of issues, particularly cosmology, psychology, religion and evolution. This complicates the issue for all of these comes into play when I give an answer and most people I meet are not prepared for what I have to say. Part one is science for it is fundamentally important and yet widely misunderstood. Part 2 is religion, for the same reasons. And Part 3 is what brings all to a standstill for my beliefs are quite strange.

Asked if I believe in god is asking me if I choosee to believe in god, for there is no verifiable evidence, and that usually is not accepted. Just as I feel there is a purpose and logic to the universe, thousands of gods have been created to satisfy the needs of those who wish to believe.

But for the moment I would like to say that believing “in” is an act of faith, and that act, when it involves god, would involve my whole being. So in this case I prefer knowledge that can be verified, and that requires science, and for most people, ironically, science is something you believe “in” because the experience that would transcend belief is not there. A science course or two, or even a PhD or an ScD may not do the job. My goodness, have we hooked a lunker.

It will have to suffice that knowledge it something that is verrified by a process we all science with the result that we can apply this knowledge in any situation and that it will serve us by revealing more knowledge, without the need for unveriviable belief or faith. The problem is that we have knowledge only where we have worked at acquiring it, perhaps in electro magnetism, whereas beliefs can be pulled out of a hat and expanded indefinitely as fast as a scribe can write. Not quite a fair fight and if one has exxperience in these areas, it is amazing how one set of beliefs can be expanded indefinitely to many more sets. It is a choice made in many different ways to choose beliefs. However, once one has chosen knowledge there are no further choices. Acquiring knowledge requires science. And then comes the questions.

How did we come into existence: the big bang, based on experimental evidence, followed by the birth of the galaxy, solar system, earth, evolution and, presto, homo sapiens. A huge collection, but with very good scientific evidence. What made it happen? Don’t know, and their comes the crunch. I leave the question unanswered.

Why do brains work the way they do? Don’t know, at least not in detail. What is sentience, the experience of life? How does the brain create it, it is rather amazing (see below). Don’t know.

So why? I am taking a flying leap at an answer which is more ephemeral than belief, it is pulled out of thin air. Why? So that we can create and experience beauty and joy. Why? Because they are the best things I can think of and I have faith in something? I will not call it faith in god because there are too any gods and to any interpretqtions of each one, with each religion fighting to be a leader, chosen, respected, powerful, capapable of defending its beliefs. No. Just because in my life these are the best things and they lead to other best things like working together, loving, sharing, caring for and on and on.

So what have I done? Well the original idea was to reverse enigineer. Have a look at the finished product. I looked and I liked it and the rest is, in a way, the details of how we make it happen. Well, not quite. Thjere is the president and his followers in the way and I do not believe this will sway them one Planck .

knowledgable person in the world on climate change and told a panel of experts:

“Its going to get cooler.”

Of course the planet is dying and he is helping to kill it, but he must appear knowledgable and his followers, not knowing the difference between black and white, ALWAYS declare he is right no matter what he has said. The reason President Trump challenges the experts is that he is empty, and deep inside he knows this, but he only knows how to fill himself with more emptyness: praise from his followers who are also empty. A vacuum hurts when it is between your ears.

We were all born together (very together) in a point known as a singularity. It is the smallest time and space there can be (it is far smaller than a proton and is known as the Planck time and Planck distance) and this point grew rapidly until about 4 billion years ago life began on earth and we are all descended from that life. We all evolved together for a while but eventually our “line” split off on its own and after a total of 10.78 billion years here we are all thinking we are right.

Now how could that be.

I would guess there are there are a small roomfull of people who know what science really is.

I say below that you must have an open mind. Find me ONE person of any make and model who has a truly open mind.

We are all afraid of what we might learn so we turn to books of religion and then we join a tribe or start a new one.

After all this time, thousands of gods, I am confronted with a new one (to me, but not to his followers) and the tribes are ferously determined to prove he is right. Wrong! I say he is, for a thousand gods all supreme...Well you can figure out the rest.

But that was not the worst of it. We forget to teach that we are all Africans and only white because of lack of sunlight and vitamin D. Then in the The New Yorker the last sentence is a quote, that because of racism “Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.”

Another fucking vacuum between the ears. Where am I supposed to go when my soul needs filling. ALL get condemned.

I did not read the article as I am reading less and less of this publication, for it teaches me nothing.

So I will play God for two seconds. I believe there is something, I refuse to give it a name.

In physics class back at MIT (how is that for a change of direction), we used to get problems that began “Derive from first principles....”

There must be a bottom, a platform, a something from which we can begin. The human past is useless for it all began from the wrong place. It began with belief, not knowledge, and billions of words were written showing off the creativity of the human mind and something of the Creation running through us that I will call Life. But it existed for the purpose of creating tribes each of which wanted to become the top of the heap, or the just higher than someone else.

So I say bullshit to The New Yorker and I am going to act for two seconds like THE god (that we do not know exists).

There are two things above above all the gods, and for that matter above everything else.

Joy & Beauty

Why? I insist. They are the best things I know, no science can tell me otherwise. No philosphy can tell me otherwise. Nothing in a million word book can tell me otherwise. And in fact I am going to insist they come together, if you let them but to let them you must go for a long, long quiet walk, on beach if possible so you can hear the gentle waves, something like these:

Or you can go here and here see some more criminal art.

Knowledge, Introspection, Reciprocity


The first steps to a full life.

I am dreaming. I love the earth. I have spent the better part of my life photographing it. I love my brain, or rather I love most of what it can do. I am staggered by the earth and my brain. Despite my being a scientist I consider them miracles for science cannot explain the how or why of either. I cannot be certain, but from the behavior of humanity, such loves are rare.

From almost 65 years of study, thinking, wondering I have come to the conclusion that humanity, human beings have not met threir responsibility to the universe, to the earth and to each other since about 10,000 BCE.

There are then two questions: Why? What are the consequences?

There is really just one. We have irreparably harmed the earth. We continue to harm each other to a staggering degree. We do not appreciate what our brains can do. The one question is why?


What is so special about our brains and about the earth.

I am going to keep this as simple as I can (there are details below).

There are debates about how many earths their might be that could support life similar to ours. We have surely found lots of planets. But to get a planet that works for people like us, I found a list of seven essentials, combined with another list of seven more essentials to make evolution do its job. So just out of curiousity I asked: suppose there is a 10% chance that any one of these might happen the probably of an earth would be 10-14. That is a decimal point followed by 14 zeros, or one in 12 trillion.

Brains are easier, but more staggering. (I call my collection of nature photography The Hidden World of the Nearby.This is as good an example as I could imagine. Close your eyes for 10 seconds or so. When you open them what will happen physically: the retina of each eye will have a small, perhaps 1/2" image on it. That is all that your brain will receive.

Now open your eyes. What has happened? The real world suddenly is created by the stuff between your ears. Color, texture, space, motion, knowing how things across the room will feel. Motion, but amazingly if you move the room doesn’t. If one of the (on average) 200 people you know you recognize each one imediately and probably know their mood because you can “read” their facial expressions. This whole experience is called sentience.

Now there are the two little flaps of skin inside the funny things on the side of your head. Scroll down a bit and look at the diagram. This is the simple part. The really special part happens between your ears.

A small example: Krystian Zimerman playing a Chopin ballade. For me it is superb beyond everything else. Listen to the miracles of Chopin, Krystian and instrument makers and the Creation.

Look at the short slide show of Amelia. These are both part of the higher meaning of life.

What do Amelia and Krystian represent? I think three things: joy, beauty and compassion. I contend that these words represent three concepts that exist aparet from time, space and matter. I also believe that the principles of physics and mathamatics exit similarly. Why? I think they should. That is why.

Given the knowledge that science has, that artists have, and good thinkers have we have done a piss poor job.(Apologies, but there are times when elegant words don’t communicate enough astonishment and anger.) We also do not understand the incredible effort it would take to start making things right. And I would bet my life we don’t do it.

1. Everything in the universe, including space, time and the laws of physics that rule the universe (up to a point) were created by something we refer to as the “big bang” that happened 10.78 billion years ago.

2. By a sequeence of events determined by the laws of physics all the stars, planets and other celestial objects were created including the solar system and the earth.

3. The earth was created to be perfect for human life. Its place in the solar system is exactly as needed for stable living space, with oceans, seasons, tides, moderate temperatures, soil, water. It is surrounded by larger planets that attract most asteroids that might be harmful had they hit the earth.

4. Human beings are descended from primates and homo sapiens, species essentially identical to us, appeared about 250,000 years ago.

5. Early humans lived relatively peacefully and comfortably in tribes of roughly 100 and obtained their food by hunting and gathering.

6. During this time the population of the earth was approximately 1 million human beings.

7. About 10,000 years ago agriculture was invented and the population of the earth began a very rapid expansions and the development of language and organization of humans into colonies, cities, states and empires began. By about 3,000 BCE civilization was considered to have been born.

8. About 12000 religions were eventually formed. About 4000 religious wars were fought between 0 BCE and today. Science does not have a sufficiently strong poition in our cultures to be a basis for all critical thinking.

9. A long term view for the safety of the planet is not a partof the intellectual culture of the earth and partricularly of the United States.

10. Reciprocity is not the foundation of society leading to concentrations of power and wealth.

11. At the individual level, a substantial part of the population is will ing to sacrifice for the gneral welface.

12. The Dominate culture has become more and more device, devoted to wealth concentration.

13. Science is not understood at a fundamental level and is not widely taught. Religion still off conflicts with science.

The total effect on the society of the misunderstanding of science has resulted in racism, wealth concertration anda failure to appreciate the long term effects of pollution of the air.

Global Warming


The evolution of a web site.

This young man has lost his island to global warming.

Within this catastrophe are mysteries and miracles that are fundamental to understanding human tragedy and triumph, and yet are rarely if ever discussed. Fifteen years of thinking about guns, shootings, pollution that destroys, politicians and a public that does not try to understand, and above all an education system that does not teach. And what teaching is done is not to the people that need it most. The causes of global warming, racism, gun proliferation have been known, in some cases for hundreds of years, but mainly by a few scientists. The greatest mystery to me is that human beings seem to be programmed to harm other human beings, as well as the earth that gave birth to them. The outcome has come to a precipice, or rather as begun a terrifying descent. One of the greatest of the mysteries is that macro America is often American. But America itself has been a myth and a lie from day one. America is not alone, but it is a terrifying disappointment to those of us who think about it and have loved it from the time we began to read. In combination with the covirus, it is terrifying, disappointing and depressing. In this website I try to share what I think is important to know and understand. But I cannot answer the ultimate question: Why?, with one exception. How a president could cause so much harm, be so reluctant to learn and yet have the support of more than a third of Americans is a collosal: How is this possible?

I started this website to deal with gun control because I was close to the Sandy Hook catastrophe.

The I decided I had to deal with climate change. That took 2 1/2 years. (you can see remnants of this in the Table of Contents).Then Trump was elected.

Now it is the meaning of life. I turned 79 today (911/2020) and am running out of time.

The Meaning of Life

There is a debate among cosmologists and physists about how the universe could be so perfectly suited for the evolution of life. Some, perhaps, think it is an accident. However, I think it is utterly and completely obvious that the physical laws that manifested themselves at the instant of the big bang already contained every law, principle, interaction necessary for the eventual emergence of human life. There is simply no other possibity.

Some will argue that it was god’s intervention, but there is no indication whatso ever in the writings of any religion of the scientific nature of the universe. Nor is there any indication that some outside force interviened at any time. The univerise evolued from the big bang according to the time-line below.

We only learned of the big bang in 1967 with the discovery of the cosmic background radiation. Until that discovery it was still considered possible that the universe had always been here.

The cosmic background radiation is the after glow of the big bang and has been detected and mapped across thee sky by three satillites, the last of which produced the green egg below the time-line. It is the sume of nine years of readings by the WAMP satillite.

This does not argue against the existance of god or some other creative force nor does it claim that all questions can be andwered by science.

I call the result of the big bang the Creation, but it is only one part of the process that created homo sapiens. The second part is the creation of our galaxy, The Milky Way, and our solar system with our sun and nine planets. The third part is the appearance of life in the form of single cell organisms. The fourth part is the evolution of this simplest form of life into homo sapiens.

What is seldom appreciciated is the evolution of the human mind and an understanding of its capabilities. This failure, along side the continued belief that a god among the many gods of the many religions on earth was responsibile for the creation. Defense of one god versus another has been ressponsible for thousands of wars and countless deaths.

None of this makes any sense and is, I believe, the result of a disciplined teaching of science.

However, to say that science holds all the answers is wrong. There is no way to say why we and the unisverse were created nor is their an understanding of the miraculus way in which the mind works.

The outome of the poor teaching has resulted in the earth being seriously harmed by humananity ignoring the damage it was causing, to the point that the future hability of the earth is in doubt. It is within this context that I would like to examine how human beings function, how they get along and fight and especially the limitations on understanding just who and what we are and what we could be.

At the time I am writing this in the second week of September 2020, America is in the midst of the cataclismic pandemic corvid-19. The president has proven himself utterly incapable of understanding or dealing with this calamity. He is narcissistic to a degree that could not appear in the nightmares of the most pessismisitc psychologist. Perhaps even more disturbing is the number of followers who stand by the president, except that there is more.

The Forbes 400 Richest Americans list has been published annually since 1982. The combined net worth of the 2019 class of the 400 richest Americans was $2.9 trillion, up from $2.7 trillion in 2017. As of October 2019, there were 621 billionaires--a record high--in the United States.

"16 million American kids struggle with hunger each year. An estimated 48.8 million Americans , including 16.2 million children, live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, about 1 in 5 children go hungry at some point during the year. And 4.3 million children are without medical insurance."

Something fundamental is wrong. With 2.6 trillian dollars looking for a place to sit, and 4.3 million children without medical insurance is a mortal sin. Yet it goes on. In a civil society there should be no possibility of such an imbalance. And our president passes regulations that make it worse and is trying to tear down much of what insurance remains.

It is hard to put into words the calamity this represents, but it is even harder to explain why, with the stunning mental capacity that has evolved we neglect to care for the earth nor for its people. Why?

There is no answer as to how many planets may be populated with beings something like us. Many scientists insist there must be many, yet SETTI, in fourth years has piecked up not signals. While there may be many planets within range of our telescopes, the conditions for higher forms of life may be rare.

These questions often hang in the air, unasked and unanswered.
Yet they are the most important questions of all,
for if answered with all the human mind can bring to bear
they will determine the quality of our lives and ultimately our fate.

Yet politicians, artists, scientists, philosophers cop out.
Many will bow to religion. Others give complicated, arcane and useless answers.

The following is my reasoning, my answers, my analysis to seemingly insurmountable difficulties, and some examples.


I have been thinking about the meaning of life since age 11. I will have turned 79 on September 11, 2020.

For the last 10 years or so my mind and spirit have been plagued by killing, destruction, lack of compassion, irrationality, but most of all stupidity. My brain has been seared by politicians who only care about money for the rich, by energy tycoons who don’t give a damn about the earth. By racists who kill. By thinking from the middle ages. By white supremenists. By the stupidity of war.

Most of all, I feel something new and that is despair because humanity as a whole does not ask why or perhaps does not demand an answer and, despite a feeling that this could not possibly be true, I believe I know at least a possible answer or, perhaps a course to find the answer. Here is my reasoning. It is very broad brush so there will be many objections. It leaves out god, and so there will be fury. And there will be arguments, possibly ferocious ones.

These questions have been on my mind since I was a child, and I am going to die soon. When, I do not know. But turning 79 with multiple health issues and a 100% certainty of death should I catch the virus, it is “if not now, when?” time.

The Situation


In another life I was occasonally asked to take on large complex problems.
This could not be a larger or more complex problem. Yet there is a pry bar, a shovel, a periscope, a microscope to help us. It is to simply write down the parts of the problem all in one place so all may have a chance to grasp, for if we do not all see the all the parts of the problem, we cannot hope to see opportunities or understand the challenge. Tt is a challenge for both of us, for me to speak in a clear and rational voice, and for you to listen with an open mind. So let us begin.

The Trailer


Every ad for every movie has a trailer. It shows the good parts.
Here it is essential for me because we need to have a hint, for that is all I can provide,
of where we are going. It boys our spirits, and it will, I hope boy mind, for my life feels
a bit like the world’s life, and perhps like your left, so I, and even more my wife and son
need a boost too. What comes next is what I thought would come last what is to me a touch of the devine.

First is our son’s daughter. He and his mother are separated, but we give thanks every day for the wonder that is this child and thanks to Greg and Cynthia to have given her to us.

I keep putting Zimerman in this place. After a lifetime of music it is the single best performance recording plus piano that I have heard. DGG made it, having signed Zimerman to a lifetime contract after he won the Chopin International. It is a suprememe mystery how we came from hunter gatherers to this. Our brains are supposedly the same, but we have not known until recently that our brains rewire themselves if devoted to one task. I am sorry all of you do not have my double Bose 901 to put the piano in our room.

We compared this a day or two ago to ostensably the best pianist of the 20th century. He sounded like a grade schooler.

These questions often hang in the air, unasked and unanswered.
Yet they are the most important questions of all,
for if answered with all the human mind can bring to bear
they will determine the quality of our lives and ultimately our fate.

Yet politicians, artists, scientists, philosophers cop out.
Many will bow to religion. Others give complicated, arcane and useless answers.

The following is my reasoning, my answers, my analysis to seemingly insurmountable difficulties, and some examples.


I have been thinking about the meaning of life since age 11. I will have turned 79 on September 11, 2020.

For the last 10 years or so my mind and spirit have been plagued by killing, destruction, lack of compassion, irrationality, but most of all stupidity. My brain has been seared by politicians who only care about money for the rich, by energy tycoons who don’t give a damn about the earth. By racists who kill. By thinking from the middle ages. By white supremenists. By the stupidity of war.

Most of all, I feel something new and that is despair because humanity as a whole does not ask why or perhaps does not demand an answer and, despite a feeling that this could not possibly be true, I believe I know at least a possible answer or, perhaps a course to find the answer. Here is my reasoning. It is very broad brush so there will be many objections. It leaves out god, and so there will be fury. And there will be arguments, possibly ferocious ones.

These questions have been on my mind since I was a child, and I am going to die soon. When, I do not know. But turning 79 with multiple health issues and a 100% certainty of death should I catch the virus, it is “if not now, when?” time.

The Situation


In another life I was occasonally asked to take on large complex problems.
This could not be a larger or more complex problem. Yet there is a pry bar, a shovel, a periscope, a microscope to help us. It is to simply write down the parts of the problem all in one place so all may have a chance to grasp, for if we do not all see the all the parts of the problem, we cannot hope to see opportunities or understand the challenge. Tt is a challenge for both of us, for me to speak in a clear and rational voice, and for you to listen with an open mind. So let us begin.

The Trailer


Every ad for every movie has a trailer. It shows the good parts.
Here it is essential for me because we need to have a hint, for that is all I can provide,
of where we are going. It boys our spirits, and it will, I hope boy mind, for my life feels
a bit like the world’s life, and perhps like your left, so I, and even more my wife and son
need a boost too. What comes next is what I thought would come last what is to me a touch of the devine.

First is our son’s daughter. He and his mother are separated, but we give thanks every day for the wonder that is this child and thanks to Greg and Cynthia to have given her to us.

I keep putting Zimerman in this place. After a lifetime of music it is the single best performance recording plus piano that I have heard. DGG made it, having signed Zimerman to a lifetime contract after he won the Chopin International. It is a suprememe mystery how we came from hunter gatherers to this. Our brains are supposedly the same, but we have not known until recently that our brains rewire themselves if devoted to one task. I am sorry all of you do not have my double Bose 901 to put the piano in our room.

We compared this a day or two ago to ostensably the best pianist of the 20th century. He sounded like a grade schooler.

Above: images from The Hidden World of the Nearby

Existance.

What is it?

Why it is so extraordinry.


The easiest, the hardest, the most important
and the least understood concept in the universe.


Existance is also infinitely valuable.

And I believe hardly anyone knows why.

The above two images are from my photography work called The Hidden World of the Nearby.Click on them.

Click on the video and hear one of the absolute greatest piano works and performaces in existance. It has made my wife and me cry. It will likely not have that effect on you, but we have been listen8ing all our lives.

Now I would like you to discover existance. It is nearby.

Close your eyes. If this were to continue, you would have ceased to exist. There would be no space. There would be no people, no trees, cars, lanes, family, friends, except for the part given you by your ears, and that part is just as amazing.

Existence is not a thing. It is something, everything, you experience. No one on this planet knows how it works either through your eyes or your ears.

Think for a minute. Two tiny images on your two retinas give you life, for there is no life without experience. Two tiny flaps of skin in your ears give you the sound of the piano, or of a sympony, or of a conversation. No one knows how this experience happens.

Scientists who dream up theories of everything, leave out experience because they don’t have a clue, and I am a scientist and know what extraordinary things science can do. But I know experience, or what is known as “sentience” is at this point inexplicable.

Now comes the hard part. I have just described at least two miracles (I consider Krystian’s playing and Chopin’s music also miracles. And his piano is too. It is the finest piano sound I have ever heard, and I know pianos.)

Next question: How did existence come into existence. It is, in round numbers, a hundred billion miracles. Let’s see what they are. Be a bit patient with me. It only took 10.78 billion years for this to happen, and I will give you the briefest of explanations.

Why should you care?

Suppose you were given an exquisit painting, one so beautiful your jaw dropped upon seeing it. It would, I think seem valuable and precious.

Then you were told the name of the artist, and your heart started beating faster and faster, and then you were told that this was a painting he had worked on all his life and it was just for you. I think your whole being would change. You had been selected from all the people on this earth to receive what was likely the greatest painting ever made. It was made for you and you were given it to keep. That is a little bit like giving you the miracle of existance, but only a little.

Let’s now take a look at how existance came into existance. It makes that painting seem like a fingerprint.

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I just read that the top physisists saying that life is meaningless once they have it all figured out. So no more punches pulled. Here are the answers, what we know, what we don’t know, the miracle of life, the miracle of our minds, that we barely use. It is time for some thinking.

Here Are My Answers As Of Today

This is the best I can do as of this evening. It is good. So read it.

1. The energy that became our bodies was born in the big bang 10.78 billion years ago. It was born with a purpose.

2. The time-line of the universe (illustration, below right) gives you the steps that happened between then and now. The most critical was the non-uniformity of the energy from the big bang. It is the green egg, the cosmic background radiation and it is what made life possible. It is a marvel of human intellectual that we have this picture of our own birth. 3. The earth was born 4.5 billion years ago. (My estimate of the odds of a life-supporting earth is 10-28. Details Later.) 4. We evolved from the remnants of star explosions which created all the heavier elements which, with gravity, formed the earth. On our earth this created the conditions for evolution. 5. We first appeared as homo sapiens about 250,000 years ago and have existed since that time as hunter-gatherer tribes. Studies indicate life was resonably good. 6. Then came agriculture and you can make an argument that this was a disaster, for the population took off and there were lots of unemployed hunters, and this leads to a series of mysteries: Why did we need empires? Why did they need to be so big? Why did some people need to control other people? Why did some people need to be so rich? Why were so many people under domination? Why were humans bought and sold? Why did religion have so much power?

7. Technology comes along, populations boom, nations are at war all the time.

8. Why? I’m thinking about it.

9. I thought back through all the things I had learned about the uinverse and it is a lot more than is here (although some is below).I tried to figure out the meaning of life by thinking back through the time line to the big bang. No luck. So, like a good engineer I said ”let’s reverse engineer this thing.” Figure out the beginning from the end. Then it hit me: I need to ask what are the absolute best results of all this incredible “effort” to create the universe.

We have reached the end, which is now. No one, no thing is telling us the meaning of life. So I ask what I call “THE LAST QUESTION.” What are the best, the most satisfying, the most joyful, the most beautiful parts of being alive, and I realized I had just answered my question. I could not reverse engineer the thing because I could not figure out how the decisions were made. But I know the result, for I have lived it. Put in your own words. Here are mine.

The Purpose Of Life. Part I.


Joy. Satisfaction. Beauty. Enjoyment. Compassion. Sharing. Laughing. Loving. Creating. Learning. Making something beautiful. Sharing work. Giving. Receiving.

Think of all the best things that have ever happened to you.
Then add one more thing. It is called “reciprocity.” Helping make it happen for others. All others. Every single one of them.

Part II.


If these are the best, what are the worst. There must be the worst. Well, there are. There are two kinds: One kind seems clear. To have Life you must have Death, otherwise life doesn’t mean anything. To have Joy you must have sadness, otherwise joy does not mean anything.

But there are two kinds of the other side. Those that are natural, and those that are inflicted. The killing, the injustice, the supremicies, the unkindness, the lack of compassion. Why?

I think the reason is that those who know do not assert themselves and teach those who do not know. There is no other way.

Humanity discovered science, real knowledge and did no make it a part of life for ALL OTHERS. And this is what life is.

   

Part III. Examples.

I have searched my cuppords and this is a small selection. Most I have not captured. The most recent was yesterday, September 2, 2020. Our granddaughter, Amelia, visits once per week and sometimes I take pictures. Yesterday I took 179. The following is 175 of them. (click the start arrow, lower left; the full screen arrows, lower right).

This is difficult to concieve of and still harder to communicate so I will leave it for later. First, humans have figured out how they came into existance, a most remakable feat. Humans figured out how the earth came into existance and figured out evolution. With one missing piece. After all kinds of organic material came into existance seeming ready for life, we have not figured out how the final step happened. Will we? Probably, given enough time.

So what did we get after 5 billion or so years of evolution. If I had to put it as succinctly as possible, we have boundless joy and boundless problems. The earth has been severely damaged and will not recover, I estimate for thousands of years (hundreds if you are an optimist). k Samples of both are available below. However, ......4z vc

I will turn 79 on 9/11/2020. About twenty years ago I was jolted out of my enjoyable complacency by the killing of 30 children and 6 parents at a school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. I really didn’t know the town but had visited a man named Warren Condit, a maker of tools for violin makers, but also able to build about anything else. I needed some photogrtaphic specilities that was a sideline to him, and he was the only source. We worked together successfully, and I returned when something new cropped up.

Then there were the shooting, and by conincidence my niece’s hustnqd was a pastor in the area and had counciled some of the first responders. Graig is the kind of person I warm to very quickly. Bright, honest, with energy to spare. We talked about the shooting and it came more into our consciousness and it shook us both. From then on I occasionally would think about Graig and saw him slowly become his normal self. But that turned out not to be the end of Sandy Hook and the aftermath is one of two preludes to the thinking for what will surely be the rest of my life. I am, by necessity quarteened by covid-19 and it is certain death should I become infected.

Then there was the aftermath. Conspiracy theories and with Trump president I became much more aware of these and a whole line of humanity’s failures, or possibly simply inherent charactistics.

Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories: Wikipaedia

Then global warming caught my attention and I devoted two full years to this web site.

Now the universe started spinning faster. Then the viruses: covid-19 and Donald Trump came along and for some time it has been a daily: ”what’s the bad news today?” Trump, the virus, the assinine behavior of a good third of America and I thought back over the calamities I had heard about and wondered how much of humany solved its probelms, or imagined problems or just felt like fighting. The worst of these in recent times was and Cheny in their “shock and awe” demo that soon became the war of wars in the middle east and for nothing but death, destruction.

So I decided to look up war. Britanica give this list from 1800 to 2000. It, at least on the surface, confirms my theory that the people who graduated from hunter-gathering showed their genetic makeup by killing each other. Or enslaving each other. And America became in my mind a vapor. Millions of wonderful self-sacrificing Americans but America as I grew up believing, never existed and does not exist today.

I am tempted to say that the shake up of Trump and the virus could settle into something better, except we are in the process of going over the global warming preccipice with hardly anyone paying attention as Trump destroys Anmerica, and eventual that will destroy much of the rest of the world as his shennanigans do their work. So I did a bit of Googling and found that the human genome, the source of our idenity may, in fact, be at war with itself. Holy magolies. There is no what’s next. If that is true there is a 50/50 chance we are up shit’s creek. Wait. No. Global warming is already there.

Who the hell did this? It was all there in the big bang. Why? How? Who, what is behind this.

Well if you ask it is God. Except that god, in my opinion is a feel good, I want to be chosen, employment opportunity for pastors. No. Not all. Not Craig and thousands like him. But thousands of others (the prosperity gospel is a good example) fake their way to prosperity.

Is there a solution? It depends on what’s left after a few hundred (or thousand) years of global warming and its aftermath when the Empire State Building is a nesting place for new species of fish. Then, if there is anyone left, and if there is some historical record, perhaps the survivers might sit down (as our scientiests should have sat down in 1850) and work out a workable plan and appreciation of what a miracle humanity is.

Now skip over all that is inbetween and watch the slide show I made of our grandaughter, Ameia. Then listen to Krystian Zimerman play the Chopin Ballade No. 1, op 27. Then let’s talk some more.

1800–1900 Cape Frontier Wars (1779–1879) French revolutionary wars (1792–1801) War of the Oranges (1801) Tripolitan War (1801–05) Second Maratha War (1803–05) Third Maratha War (1817–18) Napoleonic Wars (1803–15) Black War (1804–30) Peninsular War (1808–14) War of 1812 (1812–15) Creek War (1813–14) War of Greek Independence (1821–32) Padri War (1821–37) Naning War (1831–32) Pastry War (1838–39) Mexican-American War (1846–48) Crimean War (1853–56) Bleeding Kansas (1854–59) American Civil War (1861–65) War of the Triple Alliance (1864/65–70) Seven Weeks’ War (1866) Selangor Civil War (1867–73) Franco-German War (1870–71) Acehnese War (1873–1904) Red River Indian War (1874–75) Serbo-Turkish War (1876–78) Anglo-Zulu War (1879) War of the Pacific (1879–83) Gun War (1880–81) Sino-French War (1883–85) Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885–86) Sino-Japanese War (1894–95) Spanish-American War (1898) Philippine-American War (1899–1902) South African War (1899–1902) The War of a Thousand Days (1899–1903) 1900–2000 Acehnese War (1873–1904) Philippine-American War (1899–1902) South African War (1899–1902) The War of a Thousand Days (1899–1903) Boxer Rebellion (1900–01) Moro Wars (1901–13) Russo-Japanese War (1904–05) Pig War (1906–09) Mexican Revolution (1910–20) Italo-Turkish War (1911–12) World War I (1914–18) Baltic War of Liberation (1918–20) Russian Civil War (1918–20) Russo-Polish War (1919–20) Rif War (1921–26) Chaco War (1932–35) Italo-Ethiopian War (1935–36) Spanish Civil War (1936–39) Sino-Japanese War (1937–45) Phony War (1939–40; no actual hostilities) Russo-Finnish War (1939–40) World War II (1939–45) Greek Civil War (1944–45; 1946–49) Arab-Israeli wars (1948–49; 1956; 1967; 1973; 1982) Korean War (1950–53) Algerian War (1954–62) Vietnam War (1954–75) Six-Day War (1967) War of Attrition (1969–70) Yom Kippur War (1973) Dirty War (1976–83) Afghan War (1978–92) Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) Falkland Islands War (1982) Persian Gulf War (1990–91) Bosnian conflict (1992–95) Kosovo conflict (1998–99)

The Goldilocks Enigma

Making sense of the incredably insenseable.

I think it is the greatest puzzle in human history, and we are living it now.

Trump and the virus are not the real problem. Humanity is.

.....The most astounding creation of the universe is trying to kill itself.

How could I say something so rediculous.

If we look at the boundries of humanity, we can get some sense of the insensable.

I believe we were all in a sense born in the big bang, or at least the energy and the laws of physics were born then. There followed the time-line of the universe (see the illustration above right; there iwill be a larger, easier to read one below.

This time line is physics. It is not a mythical god figuring out things as we go, sleeping most of the time and interferring when we pray. This is NOT an assertion that there is no god, but god may take on a different form than anything we have imagined so far.

The Time Line, once it began, was pnhysics in action. Each stage followed naturally after the next. So it took 10.78 billion years. Cosmic time does not matter. The beginning and ending matter infinitely. The beginning we know about. The ending? Not so much.

I am terrified of what is happening now. We have the illusion of a person in charge of America. And I do mean illusion. Trump is working only for his own glory, and likely that is a result of both nurture and nature. Trump is systimatically tearing down anything good. He has no compassion. He always seems to me to be of another species. Why? He never intellectually deals with an issue. When he tries he makes an ass of himself. His vocabularly is limited to a few words, various versions of fake news and beautiful. He has the temerity to declare we are doing a great job with the virus while we are on the way to killing a half million Americans. Most of these were avoidable by an intelligent properly motivated person as President. This is mass murder. On to Goldilocks.

A different physics of the universe, even a tiny difference and we would not be here. The math and the physical line up perfectly. Why?

From my perspective the meaning of all this was to create us. And we have no comprehension of how incredible human beings are. On one side there is life, love, beauty, creativity, compassion, passion, joy and, once again, love.

On the other side is an inability to recognize all of this, an inability to have foresight, to heed warnings of what disaster might be about to happen. Cruelity beyond measure. War after war for no reason. It seems like a pencil standing on its point, ready to topple in an instant. Why?

I don’t know. I am reading the Goldilocks Enigma and at this point in the book the great physicists are convinced there is no purpose to the universe and I think they are utterly wrong. All I need is to see children grow up and enjoy themselves. Hear Krystian Zimerman and Lenny play the 5 Beethoven piano concertos. Have my own experience at the piano. Amateurish, but a miracle considering I started out as a bacteria.

Joy, enjoyment. These idiot physicists have had the joy of discovering how the universe came to be and then say it was pointless. Damn! The point was to give them the joy and satisfaction of discovery.

I sit at the piano playing Chopin’s b flat minor scherzo. I cannot believe what my hands can do. Remember I started this journey as a bacterium (or a virus or something equally simple). Don’t tell me this is meaningless. It is the point of the whole thing. Break time-----On to photography.

Utterly Unacceptable Truth.

Pristine, Supreme, Whitness Began as Black or Brown.
And the genome is still there. In you, me and everyone else.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5772775/

Nielsen, R., Akey, J., Jakobsson, M. et al. Tracing the peopling of the world through genomics. Nature 541, 302–310 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature21347

Abstract

“Advances in the sequencing and the analysis of the genomes of both modern and ancient peoples have facilitated a number of breakthroughs in our understanding of human evolutionary history. These include the discovery of interbreeding between anatomically modern humans and extinct hominins; the development of an increasingly detailed description of the complex dispersal of modern humans out of Africa and their population expansion worldwide; and the characterization of many of the genetic adaptions of humans to local environmental conditions. Our interpretation of the evolutionary history and adaptation of humans is being transformed by analyses of these new genomic data.”

1920px-Spreading_homo_sapiens_la svg

How do we KNOW?

You want to know what science is? Well here is one (my) EXPLANATION. Try it. You might get it. It’s pretty much seat of the pants (you’ll see).

One of the best things about scientists is that they do our work for us. The LOVE to prove each other wrong, especially if someone has come up with an idea they disagree with. And so we get a kind of scrubbing of information and data and evidence. Then the layman: “Well, prove it to me.” And I can’t. The only kind of “proof” that means anything is logic, like you may have done in geometry class, when at the end you wrote Q. E. D., the latin "quo erat demonstrandum,” or "that which we sought to demonstrate." Sience is evidence. Evidence piled on top of evidence until doubt slowly disappears and it becomes beyond even unreasonable doubt.

Why am I making this fuss. Because the whole world is going down right know because we never taught this at all, or thoroughly enough even to PhD lawyers, or economdists. And so civilization is on the brink.

At this moment in 2020 the race is tearing us apart but we don’t understand it. We don’t understand a white mans’s urge to kill a black man. Or why there is a caste system in India, or why my tribe is better than your tribe.

I suggest you click on EXPLANATION and then ponder. Man, is that a great word because it means you have to open your mind, and in a sense that is what this is all about. Most of humanity walks around with brains behind closed doors. Solid core, heavyweight, steel plated doors. Once you believe it you own it. If scientists did that you wouldn’t be here.

Well, what do you know?

To the right is a “time map” or a time line. It shows the evolution of primates from 60 million years ago to about 100,000 years ago by which time we had our full-size brains (1.4 lieters) and for reasons not clear started to migrate north. ALL OF US are descendents of these dark skinned (coal black to brown) homo sapiens (the “wise ones”.)

The map above shows where we went: from deep in Africa to the tip of South America. The evidence is there: archeological and genetic. If you are white like me, it is only because as we went north we needed more sun to get more vitamin D. That is it. Plain, pure and simple. Vitamin D and sunligt is white superiority. Except there is more to the story, which is why we made it into superiority. I suggest reading: THE CASTE SYSTEM.

Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 10 01 18 PM

The Situation

This young man has lost his island to global warming.

Within this catastrophe are mysteries and miracles that are fundamental to understanding human tragedy and triumph, and yet are rarely if ever discussed.

Fifteen years of thinking about guns, shootings, pollution that destroys, politicians and a public that does not try to understand, and above all an education systme that does not teach. And what teaching is done is not to the people that need it most.

The causes of global warming, racism, gun proliferation have been known, in some cases for hundreds of years, but mainly by a few scientists.

The greatest mystery to me is that human beings seem to be programmed to harm other human beings, as well as the earth that gave birth to them.

The outcome has come to a precipice, or rather as begun a terrifying descent.

One of the greatest of the mysteries is that macro America is often American. But America itself has been a myth and a lie from day one.

America is not alone, but it is a terrifying disappointment to those of us who think about it and have loved it from the time we began to read. In combination with the covirus, it is terrifying, disappointing and depressing.

In this website I try to share what I think is important to know and understand. But I cannot answer the ultimate question: Why?, with one exception. How a president could cause so much harm, be so reluctant to learn and yet have the support of more than a third of Americans is a collosal: How is this possible?

Humanity Was Born Black


Could it really be?

So I have three engineering degrees from MIT. Does that make me a scientistc Yes. You had to have been there.

Heck, I learned science at home as a kid, watching my projects go up in smoke. Science and engineering intertwine like croheting. It goes both ways. You can’t have one without the other. But science is the concrte under everything and I rely on it. In fact, everything we have is because of science (and some engineering).

There are many things in this world that I try to explain to people, and they just don’t “get it.” This is one of them.

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USA-ELECTION/TRUMP
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Donald Trump 1: I need to look like I know something. 2. Trump has only smiled once in his life. For his portrait. Genuine? I don’t think so.
3. In Putin's pocket. 4. Portrait of a politician as an empty man.

Learning, Creating, Sharing


Is what life should be

Why do politicans never debate what life should be?

Because living by ideology is easier.

Why is there not a consortium of scientists to save the planet?

Because they can hide behind their tenure.

Why is there no consortium of the rich to save the planet?

Because more is never enough.


1. Why do we not have a president of the United States?

Because we cannot recognize a king or a fool.

2. Why is our eduction so shallow?

Because scientist are afraid of politicians.

Our politiians debate and never mention Joy and Sharing.

3. In his pocket. Scientists hide in their bastions instead of joining and teaching as one.

4. The President of MIT, my alma mater, wrote me of another climate program. The last accomplished nothing. I asked "what took you so long?"

5. There should have been a Consortium for the Planet 50 years ago.

6. There should have been a Consortium For The People 50 years ago.

7. Universities, lawyers, politicians, think tanks are all isolations within which egos flourish instead of reaching out.

8. Tenured scientists can agree on nothing. There is no passion to their words.

Tenure is a wall 5 feet thick. Behind it, faculty can hide forever.

9. Gravity waves are more important than saving the planet.

10. Exploring Mars is more important than teaching people on earth.

11. Instead of teaching the meaning of life, we put a few men in orbit.

12. Our wealthly people want more.

They carry hundreds of billions in their pockets, while children die for lack of care.

13. Ideology is more important than Life. Where has our species gone wrong.

14. Hunter gatherer tribles care more for their own than our leaders care for their own.

15. We follow the devel into his den and come out devils.

16. Choosing the right god is more important than caring.


Here is one from when Amelia, our grandaughter, was 2 1/2 and playing soccer with her father, our son Greg. My wife Susan took the videos. Watch carefully. It’s the little things that matter.

This is Life.

What’s happening? The ball obeys the laws of physics. They are engaging each other. They are both learning without realizeing it, about themselves and each other and about the psysics of kicking the ball around. Susan showed me the videos and, very uncharacterically said “this is the meaning of life.” There is really no explanation. If you watch and listen and stop your own thinking, just “be” for a few minutes, you will know. Unless you see and hear only what you want to see and hear. That is a kind of mental death.

If there is one thing that is important about having meaning in your life it is learning, with an open mind.


And then there is Amelia. I photograph her a lot. Here is one visit. (click on the two arrows for full screen)

Evolution

Mysteries. This little chart actually begins a few billion years ago, but I am interested in primates and that started about 60 million years ago. You can follow the diagram. It the real highway from Australopithecus about 3 million years ago because that is when our branch happened. Homo habilis, homo erectus an homo sapiens 160 thousand years ago. Seems like a long time but as cosmology goes, its a second. But that second was important, for we went up the ladder and our brains became like the ones we have today and we started to move.

Migrations In Black and White

If there is one thing I would like to be taught in every school in the world is that we are all Africans, we are all genetically pretty much the same and our color came from too much or too little sun. That is what being black or white means.

Homo sapients who went north didn't get enough sun so evolution started to take mellin out of their skin and we became white, only beause humans with lighter skin got more Vitamin D, and their survival was a bit better. That's what being white means. Being white is just like taking your vitamins at breakfast.

What’s Right, What’s Wrong

I learned something a long time ago in raising Greg. He pulled something that was not o.k.

What do I do? First I tell him how great he is. Slowly, I remind him of different things about him. It’s the only way. To be better you have to start from how good you are.

That, in my book, is one of the secrets of life.

How do I know that it could “really be.”

Scientists put there lives on the line to gather “evidence,” yet most be don’t have a clue what that means. Science committee chairman in congress say they don’t believe in science. I have tried to expain it:

Above. The migrations from Africa that populated the world.

In The Other’s Shoes


Reciprocity

Tell me what you love about life?

Tell me what is hard for you.

Tell me what brings you joy.

Tell me what makes you afraid.

Tell me what makes you want to dance.

Tell me what makes you want to run away.

Tell me what you want me to know.

Now, it is your turn to ask me.

We will be wearing each others shoes. And be friends.

And more understanding.

How Could This Have Happened


Hunting and Gathering to Chopin in a Cosmological Second

I don’t want a movie. I want to be able to dwell, and I often come close to crying. How did we get so lucky. She was like this from the day she was born.

And here is the ticket take time and really see her.

Intermission


There are times when you want something to sink in. Go get a cup of coffee, I’m going to change keys. I would like to discuss the important truths not mentioned. Some have surfaced recently. Others are just mysteries.


I play the piano and mine is a great instrument. How well? Medium amateur. Almost every day I play the Chopin B-flat minor scherzo. It is medium hard and I wanted to hear and see how the pros play it. So I got on You-Tube of course and tried all the big names. Great! And then I got to Krystian. He is Polish like me. He won the Chopin International Competiton at age 23. So I watched and listened and could not believe what I was hearing and seeing. I had never heard every single exactly right. Within milliseconds. I will give you another exanple below. Then since I was studying evolution I started wondering. How did we make the leap from hunter-gatherers. Same brain as far as we know. What did hunter-gatherers do that gave their hands this kind of control. But we now know if we work really hard at something our brains change, and our fingers develop skills they never had before.

How much practice. Perhaps 5 hours per day from the age of 5 or 6. But look and listen to what happens.

What is so great about this. Homo sapiens could move from hunter-gathering to incredable and beautiful skills. And Zimerman is one of the very best. Listen to the ballade. It’s 9 minutes. Watch his hands and fingers. Could you imagine this was possible? Not me.

I think of this as one of the gifts to humanity. Just one. There are more. Another one is your ears so you can hear this and your mind givees you the experience. I emphasize the gift part, because few of us know what we have been given and this is just the beginning and how many of us make use of these gifts.

We prefer getting rich and powerful and playing dirty politics and poisening the earth. Evolution and the big bang were incredibly generous to us. Why don’t we appreciate what we have. I don’t know why.

Zimermane tunes his piano himself. And Chopin who invented several new kinds of music. It almost makes me cry and I have heard it many times. Of course, besides our brains our ears have an amazing design. Altogether it is one of the marvels of life.

I think of all of this as gifts. It did not have to happen this way. It is also a mystery why more people do not listen to classical music. One reason is that just as Krystian’s brain changed, so does ours. We must listen enough so that we hear the music and not just the soud.

One more thing.

Frankly, there are so many things that make up human life, enjoyment and creativity I don”t when to start and stop. This comes to mind because I recently visited my otolaryengologist a the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. I sat in somthing like a dentist’s chair and saw this illustration about two feet from me. Being an engineer I get a sense of how well things are designned and having studied hearing and psychoacoustics I know roughly how hear works. And yet this illustration, which I have seen many times, bowled me over. O.K. so it took a few million years and lots of false starts, but what resulted is a marvel, pure and simple.

Sound comes into ther ear canal and vibrates the ear drum which in turn moves first the malleus, the the incus and finally the stapes. Then the real work begins. TYhe cochlea is an analog to digital converter that sends nerve impulses to the audio section of the cerebral core tex. So I can hear. Someone or something has gone to a lot of trouble, at least that is how it seems to me.

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The Children of the Universe Movement


I don’t think you can figure out the meaning of life without knowing where we came from, what goes on around us. Its the bigger and then the biggest picture.

Why? It’s collosal like knowing you are descended from royality, on both sides. It might change how you think about yourself.

To the left is a galaxy like ours. We can’t take a picture of ours, so we are using a substitute. It will surely change what you think is possible. Its a very rough guess, but it contains 250 billion stars.

The universe contains about 100 billion galexies or 2.5 x 10 22 stars.

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A 17,000 Singer Virtual Choir

Why sure! Piece of Cake

Well, not exactly, but here it is. Just Click.

The Grand 17,517

Religion And The Big Bang

We are searching for the meaning of life and I think this may be the hardest issue. Science gives us some profound evidence from some astonishing space telescope observations. Most people have heard of the “big bang” but do not have a sense of what it was.

Describing it is difficult because in effect it is saying that everything all 10 to the 22nd stars were created from nothing, and that statement would raise some eyebrows. The best answer I am aware of is that the unverse was created from a “singularity” and a singularity is the smallest thing that can exist, far smaller than an atom or ever a proton and that leads to two reactions: Impossible or unbelievable. It did happen. The is plenty of evidence (see below).

Religion? The is no science in the Bible.

What to make of all this plus a few other things.

1. How we got here plus what we are is plainly stupifying.

2. Once the big bang happened everything seems to follow in logical order. Physics has taken over and the result to date is a very,very big universe full of unblieveable astronomical objects and events.

3. The bodies we got with the capabilities we have: seeing, hearing, thinking, experiencing, feeling, touching are also off the charts.

What is the point? I think we should have a reverence and astonishment of the gifts we have receive. But the big point is what we can experience and how much control we have over that.

The Biggest Leap

We make the bigggest leap there is. From the big bang, though 10.78 billion years to this performance.

About 5 billion years ago the earth began forming.

The combation of conditions for making the earth I have estimated as 10 to the -14 (7 conditions each with 1% probability). A similar estimate has been made for making evolution possible which gives a total probability of 10-24 for human life. It turns out that with enough practice the brain changes: it specializes in piano playing. Chopin specialized in writing. Steinway specialized in pianos and so we get this performance with 7.1 million views on U-Tube.

Where Did It All Come From


What were Hunter-Gatherers Like


There is more inforation than I ever imagined. There are dozens of primitive hunter-gatherer tribes to study, but I would like to provide a long quote from Psychology Today, because it surprised me so much.From Psychology Today“

“During the 20th century, anthropologists discovered and studied dozens of different hunter-gatherer societies, in various remote parts of the world, who had been nearly untouched by modern influences. Wherever they were found—in Africa, Asia, South America, or elsewhere; in deserts or in jungles—these societies had many characteristics in common. The people lived in small bands, of about 20 to 50 persons (including children) per band, who moved from camp to camp within a relatively circumscribed area to follow the available game and edible vegetation. The people had friends and relatives in neighboring bands and maintained peaceful relationships with neighboring bands. Warfare was unknown to most of these societies, and where it was known it was the result of interactions with warlike groups of people who were not hunter-gatherers. In each of these societies, the dominant cultural ethos was one that emphasized individual autonomy, non-directive childrearing methods, nonviolence, sharing, cooperation, and consensual decision-making. Their core value, which underlay all of the rest, was that of the equality of individuals.

“We citizens of a modern democracy claim to believe in equality, but our sense of equality is not even close to that of hunter-gatherers. The hunter-gatherer version of equality meant that each person was equally entitled to food, regardless of his or her ability to find or capture it; so food was shared. It meant that nobody had more wealth than anyone else; so all material goods were shared. It meant that nobody had the right to tell others what to do; so each person made his or her own decisions. It meant that even parents didn't have the right to order their children around; hence the non-directive childrearing methods that I have discussed in previous posts. It meant that group decisions had to be made by consensus; hence no boss, "big man," or chief.

The earth was ravaged and global warming upset a million years of stability. It is in the New York Times of August 2, 2020.

The cause: one fertility vs impotence. The fertility and food supply meant more children, but the impotence was mental. Hunter gatherers had a conception of time and space that was limited and no intellectual experience with large scale planning. Modern humans have failed dismillay.

Food and shelter came easily for a long time beginning just aafter the middle ages. The result was a popopulation that outran the moral and intellectual capacity of humanity. The best things in life went unappreciated, money

Tribalism in Animals ~ Tribalism in Humans ~ Political Tribalism Under Trump ~ Human Behavior

Challenging Evolution

When I began studying global warming some 20 years ago it was clear that the earth was heading toward the greatest disaster in human history: an environmental disaster that could concievably case, leave the earth uninhabitable. Yet efforts to address the problem, while substantial, have fallen far short, to the point that, by most scientific evalutaions, we act now in a way inconcieveable to most people and leaders, or we invite catastrophe. Yet that has become only a portion of the problem. Ignorance of science, globalizaation, nationalism, racism, and now the corvid virus and the American President, Donald Trump have brought us to a pivotal point in human history, a point that even 50 years ago, we would have considered impossible.

Yet it has happened and divisions among nations, races, political movements, ignorance of science, and the actions of American politicians and hostitlies or buttering up with dictatorships leave us at terrible risk with no plan in place and no guessing what the outcome might be.

On July 23, 2020 the president of MIT addressed a letter to the MIT community from which I quote:

“With this letter, we invite all principal investigators (PIs) from across MIT to help us define a new agenda of transformative research. The threat of climate change demands a host of interlocking solutions; to shape a research program worthy of MIT, we seek bold faculty proposals that address the most difficult problems in the field, problems whose solutions would make the most decisive difference.”

I responded with a not very cordial: “What took you so long?”

This is, despite the virus, the greatest problem facing humanity. It has been known since the mid-1800s that this was likely, and in the mid-1900s that disaster was almost certain. Yet America is in a stranglehold that is a reflection the totality of its history. Its present problems that leave it in no position to answer the call. So many failures and so much greed, such collosal ignorance of the science, and, with Donald Trump, putting politics ahead of everything, it is impossiblre to get one’s arms around the problem. The New Yorker in Tribalism Under Trum[ characterized the situation:

”We live in a time of tribes. Not of ideologies, parties, groups, or beliefs—these don’t convey the same impregnability of political fortifications, or the yawning chasms between them. American politics today requires a word as primal as “tribe” to get at the blind allegiances and huge passions of partisan affiliation. Tribes demand loyalty, and in return they confer the security of belonging. They’re badges of identity, not of thought. In a way, they make thinking unnecessary, because they do it for you, and may punish you if you try to do it for yourself. To get along without a tribe makes you a fool. To give an inch to the other tribe makes you a sucker.”

Scientists from across the nation should have occupied the capital 20 years ago, but there is an impotence that may be terminal.

It is the nature of tribalism, of groups whose necessity is in our genes, to be powerless to change no matter the evidence. Collective beliefs effectively constitute a religion to the point that disagreement is not concievable.

Conservsatives have coopted parts of the electorate and are challenging the very foundations of the democraccy. The president has plan to pack the Supreme Court. Nothing I can do here can summarize the confluence of disasterous breaks in the functioning of our lives, local, political, world-wide, that could do justice to this time.

We are left with just the one question: is there hope. Even if Trump is not relected, the jumbled mess left over still terrifies. So what do we do?

I’ve Got a Little List

What seems to me to be true:

1. Science, that discipline that confims knowledge, is beyond the comprehension of most people in all nations. Comprehension means to understand deeply.

2. The consequence is that religions and ideologies determine what people believe. Essentially, our belief system is, in practice, mideval. the enlightment and modern science not withstanding.

3. Explaining what has happened and will happen is nearly imposible.

4. Our politicians understand even less than the general public.

5. The gifts of creation: the earth, consciousness, sentience, intelligence are not appreciated. 6. Beliefs such as creationism and the supernatural bias most people.

6. The most educated people do not get a grounding in science yet

But if you don’t, or your nuturing gives you the short end of the stick, something truly dreadful may happen, and I have to answer what and why.

The what that comes immediately to mind is, of course, Donald Trump. His father gave him the most consciously limited nurturing that I had ever known about and to me the President is an empty, profoundy unhappy man. I feel monumental anger, but I also feel pity. What has this man missed, and what have so many other humans missed and why. It is the question of all time, and the question that goes along with it, is it too late to answer ituh

I feel sorry for Donald Trump. All of us are dependent on nurture in addition to nature, and apparently he got the short end of the nurture stick. He does what he does and says what he says because he doesn’t know any better. He really is today, at least, the equivalent of a five year old, without self-awareness.

The irony of this situaton is that humanity as a whole, has not done much better and that is the (new) topic of this introeduction.

I have felt for a long time that in his sub-conscious he is terrified of being found out. But now, he has an inkling of it and so goes to the only thing he knows, which is self-praise, which is also a begging for praise.

Where is our leadership?

The question before us is “what is life.” The problem is that it seems so obvious we do not try to answer it and we have not had to for the past 10,000 or so years.

With the advent of agriculture for the most part food was plentiful and the population of the earth exploded. Then, with the invention of the calculus in 1665 by Issac Newton, science was put on a foundation that has never stopped growing. Its effect was to make war still more terrifying and food still more plentiful, as well as building the industries and made modern life possible and began the destruction of the earth. Then came the perfect storm: A population ignornant of the most basic science, an industry that valued profits more than the destrruction of the earth, but the perfect storm was made by Donald Trump and the coronovirus. And one more thing.

American, the nation that had saved the world in two world wars, that had jump started modern technology revealed itself as a moral catastrophe: the last of the slave-holding nations, with the ravages of slavery continuing. America to people like my self who grew up saluting the flag, reciting the prelude to the constitution, singing God Bless Ameria, The Start Spangled Banner, and America the beautiful, found a tyranny of slavery in the form of white supremism and racism, and a government coopted by an ideology: low taxes and small government, all in parallel with a desperately shallow educational system with textbooks bleached white by being written in the south.

The America I believed in never existed. The meaning of life I thought I knew I could not articulate, and neither could anyone else I knew. But read on, I have changed my opinion about Life.

Civilization began someplace around 5000 to 1000 BCE with the beginning of agriculture, the invention of writing and the end of humanity liveing in huter-gatherer tribes. Scientific knowledge was non-existant and so knowledge depended on beliefs. Beliefs are a form of faith. They cannot be proven jsust as the existance of god cannot be proven. God is the name we assign to what we thinkks is a cause. But if you open the book of this bible, the pages arte blank.

They are not open to learning. Most commonly they are prisoners of ideologies, that vicious idea that quells the need to think but satisfies the need to feel special.

Reciprocity

How many know the meaning of reciprocity? It must be the foundation of civilization and yet I never hear the word. I have read arguments that this is a failure of evolution and that is a possibility but there is a trail from hunter-gatherers where what we know about humanity is not taught and so 3/4 of the world (or more) is ignorant of who we and they are.

I think the essence of the problem is that technology has made feeding and housing us too easy. Hunter-gatherers had to find a balance with nature to survive. And as the author of Sapienshas said, agriculture was the worst thing that happened to humanity. A healthy diet of great variety was replaced by two or three grains and a few animals all chosen because they could be raised in capativity and so a few of us are saddled with farming and the rest turned loose. The agressive ones went to war and have never stopped. Tribes wage war on tribes and that includes Americans. America is not exceptional and never was for it was built on the backs of blacks and we are not taught this. Worse, blacks are still slaves. Where do we go from here?

What it means to be white

Racism is a corrosive underlayment to our society. It provides a target for frustrated, angry whites, and yet they do not know what it means to be white, and no one is telling them.

The science is incontrovertable. We are all Africans. All (and I mean all) our ancestors migrated north. Some then went east into Asia. Those that we call European went north, and the simple fact is that as they went north the was less sun and evolution favored those with lighter skin because their skin generated the vitamin D they needed. That is it. If your ancestors went far enough north they were pure white, just because of less sunlight. But in our ignorant society that becomes white supremacy. Ha! So I am white. I sun burn. And that supposedly makes me superior. That needs to be driven home.

Global warming

It depends on the people and the planet. Will the combo work out a deal for survival? I certainly don’t know, but we have pushed it as far as we can. Even Joe Biden’s two trillion dollars won’t do, as Greta Thunberg has pointed out. Not even close. Fifty or even twenty years ago pretty straightforward to deal with, but the mystery of why we can keep on ravaging is a mystery. All the rallies are too late, I fear. There are too many people with what in reality is a fifth grade education, even with a degree from Harvard or MIT. There were no courses in human nature.

Psychology is the easy way to a degree and it does not teach the reality of human nature. Why have we not taught Fourty percent of America thinks this man is right. He isn’t right or wrong, he just isn’t. You can graduate from something in America knowing just enough to get a routine job. Those are mostly gone only to be replaced by...nothing.

Education needs a world wide revolution

Education must teach the true nature of humanity going back to the singularity that created us, the miracle that created stars and the planets, the miracle that created the earth, the miracle that gave us intellect, conscious and sentience. How many people know the glories of the experiences that are their for those that use all of their minds. Virtually none because we don’t teach it. We teach lies instead.

The remainder of this unfinished website elaborates on the issues sometimes more than once. It needs far more work than I am able to do.

Chapter 1, July 16, 2020

An Overview


America was the last developed nation to permit slavery and it continues to practice a form of it today. America is the wealthest nation on earth and the most selfish to its citizens. It escaped the life under an unjust king only to create a nation no more caring than that under the king.

Americans do not understand the processes in their minds (intellect, sentience, consciousness, introspection and self awareness) that make life possible, satisfying and potentially full of joy. They do not understand that their minds are incredible gifts from the universe with a stunning capacity for thinking and experience.

Americans act as if they do not know what living a joyful life could mean.

Americans prey on each other through ideologies that steal wealth and power.

The result is the wealthest, most poweful and most backward nation on earth. Its cruelity to its people and the peoples's cruelity to each other is incomprehensible.

The consequence, a failure of attention, awareness and comprehension, will be a succumbing to the ravages of the warming of the climate. A result of having only a desire for wealth and power ignorant of the meaning of life is a tragedy that is an insult to the powers that created us.

The Context


The creation of the universe 10.88 billion years ago from nothing was a feat of all that the universe holds. Cosmologists and astronomers have discovered the essence of what happend nearly eight billion years ago.

The intellectual power that should have excited all of humankind never happened. Other than a Nobel Prize it passed unnoticed.

The discovery of the calculus, a foundation for understanding the physical earth is unknown except to scientists and mathamaticians. The disovery, by thinking alone, by Albert Einstein of relativity is the domain of a sacred few.

Instead, the world is still divided into tribes that continually war on each other and kill millions of human beings for no justifable reason. Yet within this ignorance groups small and large make miracles of care. Selfless groups care for the sick, homeless, and hungry.

These are just a few of the gifts, joys and illnesses of the soul. I describe some of the others elsewhere in this website.

Now I wish to begin exploring some of the accomplishments, the beauties and joys of our creation, while searching for the reasons we are attempting to destroy it.

Below this young man is puzzled and distraught because the sea rose and took the island that was his home. He did not need to know this context to continue life nor will he need to know it when the sea begins to swallow his kin, companions, and finally itself. Only the universe needs to know its own creation is a failure, at least to this day in the year 2020 AD.

This young man’s island is gone. The ocean has risen and washed it away.

CO2 continues to rise. More land will become uninhabitable.

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This is a look I have seen often. It says
“I don’t have a clue what is going on but I have to look as if I do.”

It Is Time To Open Our Minds And Think.


It is our last chance.

If it were only one perfect storm instead of three. If there were a rock bottom.

I grew up in Polish America. Everything in my life was Polish until I went off to grammar school. We were oddballs. The Polish National Catholic Church had no allegience to Rome. Its leader, Bishop Francis Hodur got into an argument with Rome over cemetary funds, got excommunicated and so started a new church. In his 80s he presided over my Confirmation on the church’s front steps. But what comes to mind is confession and the phrase ”examination of conscience.”

When have you heard aanyone ask us to all look inside, and then explain what we have missed.

I was ready to blame this mess on evolution. But it’s not a mess everywhere. There is something called intllectual honesty. And if we taught it, things might be very different. And they are in countries with good leaders. Why not here?

We have a president who won’t read his briefing papers. He might as well be illeterate. Like a big chunk of America he sees what he wants to see, hears what he wants to hear and does whatever he wants to do. He would not comprehend ”examination of conscience.”

America has never lived up to its billing. Slaves arrived in 1619. “All men are created equal,” but Thomas Jefferson owned 600 of them. Our economy was based on slavery. Our industrial might was built on the profits of slavery.

Tribal politics is destroying us. It’s great to be better than someone else, so we kill George Floyds by the thousands.

Ideology of our kind is a scam. Low taxes and small government sounds good to Trump’s base, but it is a scam. It makes billionaires. It takes from the poor and gives to the rich.

Where the hell was American education. It was based on an ideology. Low taxes and small government as it reads today. Ideology is a license to do whatever you wish. Set the strategy before you know what the problem is. Ah! But you know the goal. Keep slavery going. Separate but equal. Red lining. Gerrymandering. And Newt Gingrich telling us all the best words to demonize Democrats. Where the hell did this come from. Conservatives have stolen America. Billionaires by the bushell. 5.4 million Americans loosing medical care.

To be human you have to think. To be joyfull you must connect will all people, and not just white superiors.

I have wondered for a long time why no one discusses what made whites white. Genetics proves it. We migrated further north where there was less sun. And evolution took care of us. It took the darkness from our skin. We live in the shade, so to peak, and didn’t get enough vitamin D. That is it. Completely. Except that poor white supremists, like so many in America are neglecteed more than the poor in any other developed country. Abe, Franklin where are you when we need you the most

Let’s begin with The Donald and a former Republicin, George Will, who resigned from the party with the election of Trump. He recently wrote the following for the Washington Post.

Sizing up where there is no rock bottom.

It is time to see and to hear, but we are we prepared for it?

Revelations in the age of Trump, the virus and global warming.

"This unraveling presidency began with the Crybaby-in-Chief banging his spoon on his highchair tray to protest a photograph — a photograph — showing that his inauguration crowd the day before had been smaller than the one four years previous. Since then, this weak person’s idea of a strong person, this chest-pounding advertisement of his own gnawing insecurities, this low-rent Lear raging on his Twitter-heath has proven that the phrase malignant buffoon is not an oxymoron.

Presidents, exploiting modern communications technologies and abetted today by journalists preening as the “resistance” — like members of the French Resistance 1940-1944, minus the bravery — can set the tone of American society, which is regrettably soft wax on which presidents leave their marks. The president’s provocations — his coarsening of public discourse that lowers the threshold for acting out by people as mentally crippled as he — do not excuse the violent few. They must be punished. He must be removed.

Social causation is difficult to demonstrate, particularly between one person’s words and other persons’ deeds. However: The person voters hired in 2016 to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” stood on July 28, 2017, in front of uniformed police and urged them “please don’t be too nice” when handling suspected offenders. His hope was fulfilled for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on Minneapolis pavement.

What Daniel Patrick Moynihan termed “defining deviancy down” now defines American politics. In 2016, voters were presented an unprecedentedly unpalatable choice: Never had both major parties offered nominees with higher disapproval than approval numbers. Voters chose what they wagered would be the lesser blight. Now, however, they have watched him govern for 40 months and more than 40 percent — slightly less than the percentage that voted for him — approve of his sordid conduct.

Presidents seeking reelection bask in chants of “Four more years!” This year, however, most Americans — perhaps because they are, as the president predicted, weary from all the winning — might flinch: Four more years of this? The taste of ashes, metaphorical and now literal, dampens enthusiasm.

The nation’s downward spiral into acrimony and sporadic anarchy has had many causes much larger than the small man who is the great exacerbator of them. Most of the causes predate his presidency, and most will survive its January terminus. The measures necessary for restoration of national equilibrium are many and will be protracted far beyond his removal. One such measure must be the removal of those in Congress who, unlike the sycophantic mediocrities who cosset him in the White House, will not disappear “magically,” as Eric Trump said the coronavirus would. Voters must dispatch his congressional enablers, especially the senators who still gambol around his ankles with a canine hunger for petting.

In life’s unforgiving arithmetic, we are the sum of our choices. Congressional Republicans have made theirs for more than 1,200 days. We cannot know all the measures necessary to restore the nation’s domestic health and international standing, but we know the first step: Senate Republicans must be routed, as condign punishment for their Vichyite collaboration, leaving the Republican remnant to wonder: Was it sensible to sacrifice dignity, such as it ever was, and to shed principles, if convictions so easily jettisoned could be dignified as principles, for . . . what? Praying people should pray, and all others should hope: May I never crave anything as much as these people crave membership in the world’s most risible deliberative body.

A political party’s primary function is to bestow its imprimatur on candidates, thereby proclaiming: This is who we are. In 2016, the Republican Party gave its principal nomination to a vulgarian and then toiled to elect him. And to stock Congress with invertebrates whose unswerving abjectness has enabled his institutional vandalism, who have voiced no serious objections to his Niagara of lies, and whom T.S. Eliot anticipated:

We are the hollow men . . . Our dried voices, when We whisper together Are quiet and meaningless As wind in dry grass or rats’ feet over broken glass . . .

Those who think our unhinged president’s recent mania about a murder two decades ago that never happened represents his moral nadir have missed the lesson of his life: There is no such thing as rock bottom. So, assume that the worst is yet to come. Which implicates national security: Abroad, anti-Americanism sleeps lightly when it sleeps at all, and it is wide-awake as decent people judge our nation’s health by the character of those to whom power is entrusted. Watching, too, are indecent people in Beijing and Moscow."

“TRUMP MUST BE REMOVED. SO MUST HIS CONGRESSIONAL ENABLERS”

II. It is so close we forget it is there.


It is time to see and to hear, but we are we prepared for it. Evolution has blown it.

Revelations in the age of Trump, the virus and global warming.

In his popular book Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari gives a long harangue about the word “equal” as it is used in the American Declaration of Independence, that there is no such thing. We are obviously not equal and the idea of equality only exists in our imaginations.

It is not unusual to dodge this issue, as physicists do it all the time in leaving emotion, intellect and sentience out of their “theories of everything.” The impliction of Harari’s harangue is that the Declaration of Independence is meaningless and he is clear that that will leave many very uncomfortable. I don’t agree with him.

He seems not to have realized what “equal” means. But he lost the argument a million or so years ago for we are all of the same species. We breed and our offspring are not sterile and that is all the Declaration can mean despite what the slave holder Thomas Jefferson had in mind.

What put us here? We may attribute it to god, that god is just a name. There are many gods and no eplanation.

There was a time when a singularity (or something like it) happened. Our science is good and we can calculate with fair certanity that it was 10.78 billion years ago. After that the universe seems to roll on through stage after stage one inexorably following another, or so it seems to me. We can even take a peek. The green egg is a masterful feat of science as it is a picture of the after glow of the big bang.

This sudden event created everything including this earth and the earth as best as I can tell was unlikely, and we even more so.

Psysicissts have determined at least seven unlikely conditions for the earth to exist. At a chance of 1% for each we arrive at a probability of 0.01 to the seventh power or a millionenth billioneth chance. Evolution was about the same which gives us 10-28 as a rough guess as the probabality of our existence. And that was just the beginning.

Click for the collosal story of this collosal piccture.

What We Give For What We Got


The hidden world of the nearby.

Have you ever thought about what LIFE is? What it is that goes on inside your head that gives you intellect, sentience (the experience of the world), joy, emotion and a few thousand other things.

Stop. I preseume you are sitting down. Now close your eyes, say for 10 seconds. Oblivion. A faint glow and nothing else. Now open your eyes. What is happening is that your eyes form two tiny upside down image on your retinas. From these two images your brain builds the most realistic, three dimensional, motion picture of the world. Look out the window. Look at your wife. Look at the piano across the room. Not only do you know where they are but they stay put when you move. When they move, even rapidly your brain keeps track of everything.

Science has only the vagest clues how this happens. And, lest we forget the ears do this too.

We get to hear and listen to an infinite array of experiences. What do we do in return. Well that depends on who you are, but few people think about it. But a large number hate and kill and an even larger number are destroying the planet we are sitting on. Some of that rain falling may be god’s tears. (if there is one; something else may have caused this)

In America the Declaration has never applied equally to everyone. This inequality is enshrined in the Constitution and even with the Bill of Rights the inequality continues to exist. At the beginning it was male landowners who ruled and, of course, slaves had no rights whatsoever. Women were excluded from voting. Yet Chopin was reincarnated in black music, the only American art form. We need to hear and see it now.P.P But the real problems rested with the ability for “freedom” to take a toll on ”freedom” and by concepts, such as States Rights, to leave all sorts of injustices in place. At this time, July 2020 we are in the clutch of what has been a defacto coup by consertavies to own the country and its government, and this has happened, Democratic presidents not withstanding. With minimal opposition by Deocracts tax laws have shifted wealth to a startling few in just a few decades. Accompanying this has been an assault of voting rights that has set the stage for a takeover, even if Trump is not relected. The conservative courts, the rules of the senate, the accumulation of wealth in conservatibe hands, the anti-labor laws, the low minimum wage, the ability to run stunningly profitable businesses with virtually slave labor and you have the most socially backward country among ths so-called industrialized nations.

The big question is why were some people driven to make it happen while others were lax in allowing it to happen. It may just be evolution that has created mankind in its image. How could that be.

Harari declares that the invention of agriculture was the worst thing thaat ever hhappened to humanity. It broke up the hunter-gatherer tribes in which we evolved to our present selves. When these tribes were brokend up there were (and this is my opinion) two kinds of people left to deal with the consequences of relying on wheat cultivation as the primary food source. Thus some, because they had no choice but to grow their own food found themseles at the mercy of the more agressive former hunters who simply taxed by taking food and using their free tie to (jumping over a few things) build empires and human nature was that empires, no matter how large, feared each other. Or perhaps justr wanted to be bigger and wealthier.

Some of this has moderated in Europe, at least for the time being. It has not moderated in America as witnessed by two wars it has started and by the concentration of wealth.

A country that had slavery written into its constitution cannot be a great country. A country that permits the after effects of slavery to corrupt racial relations is not a great country. A country what was captured by an ideology to make a few people wealthly is not a great country. A country that puts the planet at risk may not have room to exist. And the list goes on and on.

Freedom has a bit of an odd interpretation is some quarters. Being asked to wear masks by the top health agency in the country is an infringement of freedom. Perhaps in a nuclear attack some would imaagine the arrage of neutrons would miss them.

Turning down Abama Care aid and thus denying children medical care is a sin no matter which god you follow.

In smaller countries, Gernmany, South Korea for example the virus was brought under contro.

Our president’s leadership is to encourage white supremacy and to praise himself for what a beautiful job he has done. Killing tens of thousands of people by untter and total ineptness. Genocide. Crimes against humanity. The people should try him in a symbolic court and here at one time in one place the crimes committed by the worst human being we have ever known. But now he is not the problem. Saving people and the earth will take a miacle.

IIWe are faced today with several problems that threaten American democracy and the future of the planet. However, the focus is on events rather than probing more deeply into causes. This make finding solutions difficult or impossible. It can also cause solutions to fail over the long term.

Overcoming racism is not just a matter of laws and changing of behavior. Fundamental underpinnings must be corrected even if it takes a long time, otherwise the problems will simply reassert themselves.

Some of the issues are broard and apply to nearly every situation. Others are more specific and dealing with a problem that affects fewer situations or people, but must be dealt with within

Problems in a society need more than one person lighter colored is known scientificlly and, in my experience, not discussed in society in general.

Being “white” is taken by supremisists as a sign of superiority, yet the reason some of us are lighter is simple and has no significance except genetic history.

Homo sapiens first evolved in Africa and reached the rest of the world by migration north about 70,000 years ago, although there may have been several migrations spread over a period of time.

The knowedge to back this up is from fairly rescent analysis of genes found in ancient bones. In combinztion with archeology it presents what is to me, an earth-shaking revelation.

Our ancestors were all some shade of brown or black, the color coming from a pigment called melinon that protects skin from the sun. However, skin is where vitamin D is made and it requires some amount of sunlight. As our ancestors migrated north the amount of sunlight decreased as did the making of vitamin D. In less sunlight, humans with lighter skin were healthier and survived longer. By the time we reached Sweaden the melinen was gone from our skins, but with considerably less sunlight vitamin D was still made. Hence there is no meaning to whiteness escept for how far north we walked. There is nothing whatever that is “superior” about white skin, except it is a temptation to rally aound when a group of people have a need to feel superior. It is hugely complicated by the history of darker skinned people in Amerca being brought here directly from Africa and sold as slaves.

Our heritage, likely from hunter-gatherer times, is to sizze opportunities to make money. Cotton was in huge demand world wide and growing it was labor intensive. Blacks from Africa werr free labor.

The profits from growing cotton were enormous. Production by individual slaves was monitored closely and poor performance punished. Good performance simply meant the quota was raised. The need to keep track was so important it led to the invention of double entry booking, the core of modern cost accoun .

The profits from growing cotton laid the industrial foundation of America. It took the civil war to end slavery in its original form, but it did not prevent a new form of slavery. Southern states made it virtually impossible for blacks to do anything but work in the cotton fields for very low wages. Segration was endemic, and separate but equal was a fraud. Blacks were kept in their place, a practice that extends to this day and extends to the north. People of color attend schools supported by property taxes. Their low ownship of property condemns them to a lesser education. The tendency to tribalis means cultural differences keep class divisions in place and so the leadership of America stays white and male.

Myths about inferiority are deep and sometimes unconscious. Names on internet resumes are a givaway. and has included murder since the end of the civil war. For a long time it was lynchings. More recently it has been police practice and there is a large motivation to change police practice. But if the perception of people of color as less intelligent (educztion is inferior), less employable, and of a different culture. They are not like us and in the abscence of an overall socital change attitude towards people of color, predicue will continue, and possibly (or likely) make reform difficult and will cause it to erode over timer.In parallel the neglect of working class whites by white liberals will keep white supremacy alive. It is a deeper problem than a reform of police practic.

III. Tribalism: Wealth and Power


American Myths

Since the introduction of slaves to America in 1614 racism has been a fundamental issue that runs counter to the supposedly free society we were building. Blacks were monitized (made into property) and used to build wealth from supplying the world with cotton at very high profits. However, descriminization on the basis of biologicl issues has now come to include LGBTQ, with violence a continuous problem. LGBTQ has even become a problem in the world of commerce when religious beliefs are claimed to give the right to refuse service. This strikes me as insane just as there is an insistance that "freedom" allows one not to wear a mask, to deny medical care because it is supplied by the government.

The religious problem is fundamental because it has shapedd thinking for centuries and does not distinguish belief from knowledge. Although there may be much wisdom in some religious writings, everything must be characterized as a belief rather than knowledge. The wisdom (or dogma) cannot be confirmed. If one chooses to believe it is a belief based on faith.

With thinking based on religions with only a tenuous connection to reality left the rich powerful to control the rest of the population because of a failure to understand and deal with the fundamental equality of all people.

Finally, with the introduction of the steam engine around 1850 and the increased prodution of agriculture able to support a large population, the impact of humanity on the earth began to take on dangerous proportions. Simultaneous major advances in technology requiring much more scientific thinking made a very large population possible without requiring a rethinking of the relationship of the powerful with the poor or of industry with the earth.

Now, because of the ubitiquitous presence of phone cameras, the abuse of people of color has been documented and the George Floyd murder, fully czptured on video, has so arroused people that there appears the possibility of fundamental reform. However, in my opinion, progress is unlikely in any of the problem areas. A scientific view of reality is rare and is difficcult to acquire. Taking a single course is not enough and without the benefit of the reality that doing experients provides, perceptions do not go deeply enough and with the convictions this supplies and especially with a vicious conservatism ready to pounce, anything the appears to be getting firm really is not.

Even more fundamental is an understanding of what life should be. Its purpose and nature is not part of the discussion. On top of all this, racism and especially white supremacy are based on a false understanding of what makes humans have skin of different color with the principle factor being lack of sunlight as populations migrated north. Evolution selected for lighter skin in order to provide sufficient vitamin D for health.

An enormously important side effect of race problems, the pandemic, and very shallow understanding of science, and conservative ideology that favors the accumulation puts the fate of the earth at the bottom of list of problems. This may well be catostrophic.

Finally, there is almost no appreciation of the process that created the universe, the evolution of modern humanity and the stunning powers of the human mind for creative lives of satisfaction and enjoyment. We are, I believe, at a tipping point in the history of humanity.

And this is by no means everything. Humans need tribes for compaionship and idendity. Idendity may be based on things innocuous such as a sports team, a shared interest, or it may be fased on a set of beliefs, either true or false. Tribal idendity often invoices a kind of acquired sense of superioity. Religios invoke the approval of god. Political partities provide idendity and support for an ideology. One of the most insidious exaples is "low taxes and small government." This corruption of humanitarian thinking has resulted in a tax structure that sucks money into the pockets of the already rich, creating the stunning disparity where 1% of Americans own 80% of America. The truly insidious side is the superficial appeal to lower income people. It all sounds good but does the opposite of the apparent promise.

Intermingled with this is a people of stunning generousity as can be seen from the response to the current health crises and the free market as allowed for great creativity. However, this creativity has put up to one hundred billion dollars in each of several different pockets while children die from hunger or a result of health car. Simultaneously, the reliance of school funding on property taxes means the rich get smarter and the poor stay poor. My impressions is simply that conservatism is cruel and that ideologies of any kind that tie ones hands before the problems are known is extremely counterproductive.

Along with race, tribalism, religion, and who knows what else causes enormous violent discrimination, the LGBTQ issue being one of them. A compassioate socity would conclude that if a relation causes no harm there is no reason to interfere. Also, sexual oriention is a biologically complex process and virtually unknown among the general population. Righteious indignation, religion and just a reason to lord it over some group or category of people has caused infinite sufferig, with no benefits whatever.

Instances like the murder of George Floyd suggest a mounsterous lack of what it means to be human.

Tribalism, Skin Color And Ideology


The problems rising to the top

Scientific thinking or, separating knowlege from belief, is hardly better that it was hundreds of years ago. Science is not taught widely enough nor thoroughly enough and its importance is not appreciated even by the well educated.

2. Most people do not even know what science really is and so cannot appreciate its importance.

3. The meaning of race and of skin color is not known or understood.

4. We still divide ourselves into tribes and often need to find a tribe we can feel superior to. The less education, the greater this need.

5. Darker skin color is associted with inferiority.

6. Vestiges of slavery polludes towards blacks especially in law enforcement.

7. Our political leadership is the perfect storm of stupidity, prejudice, dishonesty and immoriality.

8. The combination of our lack of science and the devestation of the admisnstration has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. It is not possible to imagine a person less suited to lead a country than Donald Trump.

9. Trump is now egging on white supremistists.

10. Virtually no one knows the causes of different skin colors.

1. We are all Africans, descended from tribes of homo sapiens that migrated north about 70,000 years ago. Our ancestors were all some shade of brown.

Those who had lived near the equator had large amounts of melinin in their skin to protect them from the sun. Migration was north eventually reaching Scandanavia. The further north, the less sun, the less vitamin D and resulting poorer health. Hence, lighter skinned people survived.

In other words, white supremeicy means whites stayed out of the sun. Peroid. Light skin confers no benefits except the ability to live further north of the euqltor.

1.

The beliefs of virtually all Americans are based on ideas laid down hundreds of years ago.
Science education is almost non-existant and even professionals with PhD degrees often have not probed the most important issues whether they are scientists or not. That these professionals consider themselves educated is a major impediment to progress.

Moreover, a single science course, unless it is thorough and intense and aimed at problems government officials would face are virually useless. The news today June 27, 2020 is catastrophic, a result of governers opening the economy while infection rates are still rising. Goverment leaders including heads of science committees have stated they do not believe in science and meanwhile the vice president is congratulating himself and the administration on what a great job they are doing.

At some point in the 1600s science began to be recognized as important. Yet in the twentieth century it is not a fundamental requirement of educztion and consequently hobbles intelligent decision making zt every level. It now has and it is so bad that it feels to me like a nuclear stike had been launched against the whole country.

I originally began this website in response to the shooting in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. After reading about global warming I changed course. I was worried at the time that we were not taking warming seriously and that major publications such as the New York Times were doing a poor job of reporting and that Republicians were urging scientists to reduce severity of their predictions.

My assessmenbnt now is that the utter incompetance of the administration and the catastrophic rebound of the virus simply spells doom in America. My hope is close to zero, but I have time to keep writing and so I will.

What can be done? Elect an administration of stunning energy and intelligence and a comparable congress and declare that a state of war exists between America and stupidity.

Marshall every resource and fight.

If policies and actions are not changed to the full extent possible, America will become fully a third-world country with perhaps 25% of its population dead and its confidence shattered.

And as if this were not enough, our ideas of what it means to be human are wrong. Our ideas of race are totally wrong. Our ideologies of wealth and compassion are wrong.

We have divided ourselves into warring tribes that will unequavilically destroy each other.

We are way overdue in applying the learnings of science and the best thinking about the purpose and meaning of life. We have no choice but to get to work. And no one, not one person no matter what education, status or wealth should presume they are not part of the problem.

Our only option is to join our minds, rich and poor, educated or not, any color of skin, any gender preference and think on the basis of the equality of every human spirt.

However, even this, as impossible as it may seem is not enough.

Our abuse of the earth is an unmitigated disaster. Our failure to teach and understand science has led us to collosal neglect. We are already condemned to incredable suffering, but we must avoid what is destined to be far worse.

Perspective


The longest view

The primary cause of our problems, in my opinion all of them, is a failure to understing how and why we were created. Our minds are miracles yet are rarely applied. Our senses are miracles yet the beauty of our existance is rarely recognized.

Whatever god, or force, or mysterious process that created us must be in morning.

Our destiny was not preordaned. It has been left to us too make our lives based on compassion, understanding, beautiful, creative and joyful. The alternative is collosal suffering and injustice. There is infinite work to be done.

The singular cause is our failure to learn what is known, where we came from, our inherited nature, our fundamental equality and our reason for existing. We must learn.

We do not know why we are here. We do not know why the universe is here.

We do not know why there is something rather than nothing.

We do not appreciate there is a miracle lodged in the space between our ears.

But perhaps above all, we do not appreciate that a miracle happens every time we open our eyes.

It is all a gift to us that we cannot explain, why evolution has made hands that create miracles

and eyes that see joy in a sunset, and that we do not wonder why.

And so we are destroying these miracles.


My Approach Is A Tour Of Beauty, Destruction, Wonderful Creaations, and False Knowledge, of Failure And Success.

However, most important is the story of our creation. What I have learned is that the process of our creation is an infinite wonder. And my believe is that we owe our creation a commitment of all we are capable, to save ourselves, for we are the infinite wonder that is the outcome of the creation. So what follows is my attempt to bring to this website examples of everything important that I could find to set the stage, to begin to fill in the gaps, to teach science to PhDs that know no science, to all who have not experienced the greatest art, to everyone the destruction we have cause, to everyone the product of hatreds, misunderstanding and just plain failure and neglect. Fasten your seat belts.


OURSELVES

Our government, our educational system, our philosophy of how we treat each other, our knowledge of ourselves, have brought us to a precipice.

Not only is our civilization at stake, but the planet itself may well become possibly totally uninhabitable.

At one time we lived in small tribes in harmony with the earth, but our thinking and our love and our responsibility disappeared. As it became easier to populate the earth we ignored the damage we are causing.

Our thinking is medieval. We may blame it on god, but there are many gods. We do not penetrate the depths of thinking.

Our eyes only look foward today, when looking to the side would show doom.

The Meaning Of Our Existence


The Birth of The Universe

Beginning, Science, "Miracles," Purpose, Life, Joy

Most of what follows is usually attributed to god. However, I view god as not a cause the the name of a cause. There are supposedly many gods each resulting from the experiences of whomever whote the relevant scripture. I don’t claim it is all false, because I don’t know but I will rely on science and leave the unknown as unknown.

Below is an image of the cosmic background radiation. We are looking back as far as we can to the beginning of the universe. The colors are galaxies and are caused by very small temperature differences in the radiation. We are looking back in time some 10 billion years.

This radiation is the afterglow of the big bang which ironically was the smallest thing there could be. Why it happened we do not know, so our existence is a mystery.

Details are best studied on Wikipedia. My point is that it seems to me that that the creation went to a lot of trouble to get us here and we do not appreciate it nor make use of it. In fact we are doing our best to destroy it.

The Greatest Story Never Told


From the Grand Singularity to Us

My education was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and I left one dissertation short of a PhD. Yet in all that study, although it was a superb foundation, there was not a hint of what is necessary to think about today.

I give the credit for feeling compelled to think to my two fathers. The first, my biological father Joseph, was much like my MIT father, Amar Bose. They both were, a bit extreme for what they expected of me.

My biological father, my Dad, was a superb engineer although he did not attend college. When I explained what I was studying and told him of the unbreakable laws of physics, such as the conservation of energy, his reaction was “well you should be able to break them.” When I told him my high school report card was all As, he said “What, no A plusses.” Dad, they don’t give A+s. “For you they should.” I just walked away for there was nothing to say. And at MIT I was a good student, surrounded by geniuses. I was doing well, but every exam made me tremble.

Professor Amar Gopal Bose was something else altogether. He really did revolutionize the audio industry. It was luck that my love of music and my hobby as an audiophile led me to his office one day in 1964 and I eventually became the 5th employee of a nascent Bose Corporation.

And when I was working at a growing Bose Corporation and working half time so I could photograph nature he gave me the job of introducing a small, all-in-one music system costing $495 that would usually be called a “boom box” and cost $69.95. It was my job to introduce to the world The Acoustic Wave Music System. And, one more thing. My job was to “Get the best set of reviews ever for any piece of audio equipment.” I had been prepared by that time. I thought for about 5 seconds and said O.K.

This attitude is what made me want to understand what is happening to us and why I am proposing something crazy.

I learned this craziness in many one-on-one conversations with Dr. Bose but in reality I had known him for so long I knew his attitude about breaking fundamental laws. And then another "one more thing." I had the unspoken privilege to spend any amount of money without even my initials on a piece of paper.

And still another thing: I had two geniuses to help me, the two most creative people I have ever known.

But whatever. This is pretty small potatoes compared to a couple of other efforts I could think of.

Apollo 8, the first attempt to fly to the moon and go into orbit was decided on three months notice in order to have a prayer of meeting John Kennedy’s goal of a man on the moon within the decade. Four hundred thousand people worked for the three months and it was a perfect flight.

And then there was one of the greatest experiments ever: the detection of gravity waves. And having read the book and the accounts in the Times, I found myself in a small room at the St. Botolph Club in Boston with perhaps 50 other people listening to Rainer Weiss, the father of the project, give his superb account of the fifty year effort. And then sat next to him at dinner. The account of the first detection, two large black holes spinning around each other at 30,000 rpm and then coalescing a few hours after the detectors were turned on, makes your hair stand on end. (I think they just e-mailed the Nobel Prizes.) This will be a bigger job than all of these put together. It is crazy to think of stopping a pandemic, cooling the earth, and curing racism all at once, but perhaps we can find a way that they reinforce each other.



A note of explantion.

There is a wonderful website called Quora where individuals can answer questions asked by anyone on almost any subject. Some are about music, pianos and composers and I answer some of these and some of the answers are accepted. Others are about physics that are far over my head. However, there was one about how to deal with global warming and my long answer was about a very ambitious program involving a great deal of education and it provoked a comment that it was too ambitions and we just should accept that coastal cities would all be flooded and so forth.

I replied based on the experiences I discussed above. This may be the only populated planet in the universe (more on that later) and we are insulting the creation, whatever it may be, by not doing every thing concievable to stop it, and concincievable here means revolutionary. God damn and son-of-a-bitch! When your house is burning down you do not think about being reasonable and I except that I got an attitude like this partly naturally and partly from my two fathers. So our house is burning down because the perfert storm has struck it by lightening a hundred times or so. However....

In the course of writing about global warming I did a simple calculation. What are the odds of another earth like ours?

The article I was reading listed seven essential requirements having to do with the size, kind, and distance of the sun; the size and composition of the earth, the tilt of its axes, the need of a moon to stabilize the earth and so forth. So I said, suppose there is a 1% chance of each of these, what would be the odds of them all happening together. We the math is simple: 0.01 raised to the 7th power or

There are infinite questions about life, but who asks them? Who has the courage to try to answer them? Me. I will answer them. My father told me I could do anything if I tried, including breaking the laws of physics. “Dad. You can’t do that.” “Well you can.” He was wrong, of course, but just possibly not wrong in another way.

I started at the age of 11, thinking I would try to “understand.” I am nearing 79 and think I have something called perspicacity. (You can read more about me in my biography).

Perspicacity is a penetrating discernment —a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight. It takes the concept of wisdom deeper in the sense that it denotes a keenness of sense and intelligence applied to insight.

I had a professor at MIT, Amar Bose, who was like my father. He was my advisor and when I said I was leaving without doing a PhD dissertation because seven years was enough, he said “Do you want a job?” and I became the fifth (as in 5) employee of a very nascent Bose Corporation. I was a student, comrad, colleague and friend with Amar Bose for over fourty years. He had perspercasity. I had more in some ways because I ventured in many more directions, becoming an artist among other things, but most of all I think I know what is not knowable but yet essential. So we have to leap chasms to get to places from which we can see. Here is what I am thinking about.

Everything

Scientists discover what seems infinite knowledge, yet know (or forget) there is another infinity waiting. They dream of theories of everything, yet those theories do not ask why is their pain, love, joy, fear, beauty, terror and love, life and death.

Scientists (and I consider myself one of them), know they have discovered so much, but do not understand how much they are leaving out.

And so we go about life blindly. And get into the mess we are in: a real plague and a president plague, trying to solve many monumental problems, while letting the earth go to hell.

Why do we do this? Because we neglect ourselves. We don’t stop to think long enough to realize what is this thing between our ears, so we let it atrophe. It feels like every time we ignore a part of our brain, someone or somethings pays a price. Now in June 2020 we are just beginning to realize some of the greatest costs, and ironically we are being educated by a president who uses less of what is between his ears of any adult I know.

The Slave Trade

“From the middle of the 15th century, Africa entered into a unique relationship with Europe that led to the devastation and depopulation of Africa, but contributed to the wealth and development of Europe. From then until the end of the 19th century, Europeans began to establish a trade for African captives.”

Untitled photo

An illustration of the hold of a slave ship.

I. Civilization: When Will It Begin?


Tribes. Dominance. Freedom.

I believe the Bible set the tone a very long time ago in Genesis: “God said ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth.’ And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

God could have meant that man should be a creator, but instead he gave humanity a blessing to be powerful, a blessing that turned out to be destructive in many ways, including the worst way possible, by threatening the destruction of the earth.

To be god-like, one must be free to be creative, to make the most of the phenominal minds that give meaning to our lives. Those that yearn to control others, or even to take away life, are those empty of the hope to create. This is the grand division of humanity, and the grand challenge of Life. I believe, with no proof other than my reasoning, that this is how the creation works: it is an ongoing struggle between hope and dominance.

Is There The Possibility of A Different Future?

We call ourselves a civilization. Well, when did it begin? Or rather when will it begin?

Did hunter gatherer tribes not fight? Perhaps. We do not know.

Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Sapiens calls agriculture the worst thing that ever happened to humanity, for instead of what were stable family-like tribes life was divided in a disasterous way. Nutrition became poorer with a smaller variety of edibals; a few individuals were left to farm: boring, strenuous, dawn to dusk. But worst of all were the most agressive of the tribal leaders now unemployed, what would they do with their time. They were leaders in a world that did not need them, for they were agressive and by necessity insatiable and so began the building of mega-tribes, first cities and them countries and eventually empires. And to build empires meant annexing countries, cities, or even other empires. This behavorior has not stopped yet.

The Role of Religion

The dominant motivtion for humanity has been fear propelled by ignorance. Death was and is a complete mysstery. Thunder, lightening, drought, plagues were disasters with no knowledge of causes so causes were invented.

Gods, of course had been playing a role since time immemorial, but there reach was limited, as was their power. Now human imagination created gods of ever expanding juristiction, threat and blessing.

Gods could do whatever wonderous human imagination imagined. Bless, curse, give live or death, unite, divide, but above all the direction was the melding of gods of limited juristinction into gods of more and more power until they became supreme, and all powerful. Then humanity, in its great imagination and wisdom gave supreme beings the power to annoit, to bless and to choose a people, a people who of course had invented gods for just this purpose, but with one inevitable problem: there were numerous “supreme” beings and fear of not being blessed and chosen led to wars between consituients, adding to the other reasons for wars, territorial being primary.

So fear drives the incredible human imagination, lust for power creates warriers, and it goes on. America, land of the free and home of the brave, finishes wars but is lost without them and starts others.

Europe has achieved some stability, but deep thinking has not yet reached America, and it only recently reached Europe. Without wars, nations like America begin to feel a pent up energy, a need to be “great” or perhaps great again.

Why should it be like this? It is possible that it is the only kind of life that has meaning. Take away the challenges, the fear of death, the tribes that threaten and we would lay down our pens and pencils, lie in the sun and wait for another time which will never come. Stasis would become the norm.

II. Scatterings of Civilization


Chorusus, Keys, and Harmonies

In my life of thinking about life and searching for its meaning, the creativity that humans invented gods seems extraordinarily inventive, powerful and beautiful. One has only to walk through the cathedrals of Europe or listen to Christmas from the chiors of England. It is as if all the energy, imagination, and coaalesing of spirits of quarreling individuals transcends all. It sends shivers down my spine and through my mind. And when it reaches beyond the church to express the deepest spirit that it brings tears to my eyes.

What is this that has suddenly risen, it seems, from the ashes of tribes, wars, hatred, lust to become something beyond all these and beyond all words. Now a hundred musicians, instead of a warring tribe conspire with composers, instrument makers, and artists of dexterity that we could not have imagined coming from the evolution of hunter-gathers. Could humans have acquired the impossible skill to articulate Chopin or Beethoven from the skills needed to survive in the savannah hunting and gathering. It is a leap of a chasm of seemingly infinite breadth and depth to have hundreds of individuals devote their lives to making their fingers engage an instrument that also took a lifetime of skill, with an almost god-like creator, an individual that composes and repose, enchantement, an excitement of spirit that makes one want to do nothing but make music. A miricle? Yes but one of many, for the mind needed to accomplish all this manifestided itself a million years ago. But there is a catch, a need for recognition of the miracle and a life devoted to the miracle.

It is not the only sign of civilization. The arts and sciences have given birth to many. But there is also a tragedy waiting in the wings. On the same stage of performance the tribes still wait to fight and destroy.

It is freedom removes the shackles, be they police, poverty, poor education or a freezing culture or above all, fear that makes civilization possible along with a depth of understing of the nature of humanity. Yet our teaching, learning, in the year 2020 might just as well for the most part be the year 202. Drop one zero and the essence of what we teach and believe has not changed. Just read the news, watch the tribes in a battle without weapons, except an insidious corruption of the mind and a blindness and deafness to the sproutings of beauty and joy that scatterings of civilization make possible.

Where will we go from here. There are reasons for optimism, but the fears that bring pessisism are almost overwhelming for we cannot even agree that joy and beauty make it worthwhile to avoid destroying the very planet that gave everyone possibilitieis.



This is how dictatorships work: security for the dictator, loss of hope for the people. This is what Donald Trump is striving for, for control may take the edge off his fear. But knowing dictatorships, there is no end to the need, just as there is no end to another kind of control, the accumulation of wealth. So dictators come with oligarcs in their tow, each threatening the others place.

We have been given minds of incredible power, imagination and creativity, minds to build relationsips, raise children and compose symphonies. To let these minds work there must be the freedome to hope that efforts will not be stymied by oppression.

Some time ago, in trying to understand the meaning and purpose of life, I stopped studying the creation of the universe and rather asked what were the best experiences I had had. An image of my granddaughter came to mind, or conversations with my wife over breakfast, or a late Beethoven string quartet that Susan and I would listen to together.

This is to start with, the day to day wonders of joy. But there is more.

The sign that we do not know very much is how and why the earth was created.
I think that needs to be in our minds, but it is too soon to tell the story.

III. The Hope Of Things Unseen. The Sound Of Things Unheard.


To hope for reality, for that which is just imagined.

It is a very sad story to live in fear, whether it is of hunger, shelter or lack of medical care when there is an abundance of resources. To have a state governor turn down free Obamacare for an ideology is a crime, for people will then die, if not physically, then it is hope that will die. This is a crime not just against humanity, but against the Creation itself. If you believe in god, it is a crime against god and if you study history, it has been almost always the norm until the beginning of a most ironic adventure.

In the New World an extraordinary group of men, chosen it seems almost randomly, conspired to write two documents: a declaration of hope, and the rules of an organization that would see the hope realized. The first was the Declaration of Independence. The second was the constitution.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, while not perfect was the best yet conceived.

Free elections and a separation of powers, fought over, agonized over and ultimately compromised with the hope that it might be realized, and in many ways it has been. But the irony was that it was for some men and not for others, and the only difference was sunshine.

At the time, in the 16 and 17 hundreds, there was no way of knowing that we all originated in Africa, and those whose ancestors migrated north lost the color of their skin so they might have enough vitamin D to live. And that is the grandest irony of history. The grandest experiment in a new way of life, was compromised by too little (or too much) sunshine.

In different societies dark skin means different things, but in Europen cultures in became to mean inferiority and became the excuse to enslave. Tje irony is that the slavery and the Constitution and a commody called cotton perpetuated slavery in different forms and crushed hope for millions whose skin had remained dark.

Whenever you might be reading this, the time, June, 2020. when I am writing this seems to be a historic divide. A people who want hope, a president without hope who is trying to become dictator, and all visited by a plague, as if god had said “a pox on both your houses.”

However, rather than leave it to see what the future brings, I think we should think with all our minds, what we would like, and what the creation has ordained as best, for the future to bring.




believed this for a long time. And now I read the words rather than just having “in his image” floating in my memory.”

I do not think of the Bible as having been inspired by god but certainly inspired by life and by a belief in an unseen power. So the fears of belief without knowledge lead to creating a view of civilization by power.

These words may be the origin of the most fundamental problems of our civilization. Whoever wrote them was reflecting the fears of early man, for early man had no knowledge of the cause of most of the things he feared: violent wind and rain; thunder and lightening; drought and deluge; plaguesof locusts and of death. At some early time I wonder if there were even words to have a conversation, but any conversation had to lead to images of frightful things that threatened.

If I think of the dictators of our time, I see the goose step, thousands of soldiers marching in perfect unison and catapaults able to sling collosal death to the opposite side of the world.

I see the dictator creating his dominion, something perfectly controlled and powerful, ready to subdue unruly mobs and any other threats, and to establish rules that no one dare break. Mobs, such as those demonstrating today, even if perfectly disciplined, were on the road to the gulag.

America 1719: escaping the dominion of kings.


Being the king.

I expect that finding tribes of blacks in the jungle was part of or contributed to cololnialism. Whichever, dominion was the outcome. Countries were enslaved and slaves were monitized. It was known as the “slave trade.” Blacks were assigned a value partly just for being black and partly for their value as machinery. Project 1619 beginning in the New York Times Magazine of December 2019 brought me a stunning new perspective on slavery.

A slave is a comonidity, a machine whos output, the amount of cotton picked, that provided the wealth to industrialize America. Precise quotas and double-entry bookkeeping.

Dominion goes on.

Hope

Hope is the motivation for creativity. Hope was the motivation for concieving of a different kind of nation: free from the dominion not just of the King, but of all limitations. Freedom to be.

It is difficult to understand how fundamental this was. The first formal organization of humanity that recognized the fundamental equality of all human beings. Except blacks, but this does not take away from the good side, but makes the downside all the worse.

Freedom to be, and freedom from fear. It was against the law of the land to make others afraid and that is very different from feeling more or less sure there is not a hostile tribe about to come over the hill. This is civilization, as long as you are white.

Creating a nation that is founded on the idea that fundamental to the concept of being human is the protected right to be free to create, a life or an institution or a machine or whatever. Thre freedom to create is an explosion of hope, an explosion that built a nation from sea to shining sea and joined the seas with a railroad. And on an on. With funding by Cotton, Inc.

IV. Hope is the beginning of everything.


Hope is why the universe and humanity were created.

Hope is being able to imagine, to see something that does not yet exist, to use the power of the mind to (as engineers like to say) integrate, to sum up all of life’s experience and thinking to take the next step, be it recovery from tragedy to the building of that first coast to coast railroad. And ironically, it is what those who want to build more railroads want to extinguish, for hope is also dangerous, for hope will fight to the last man, for hope.

However, hope is, ironically, as dangerous as no hope for it dependss on how it is used. It is often if not always threatening to lead in the work direction.

Hope realized must benefit others, and then another generation of others. For hope can just as well lead to lust and that makes seeing swivil to places that should never be seen. And so perpercasity becomes necessary. What, ultimately, are we hoping for. And what can lead us to the precipice.

Caution to the winds.

When a composer composes, a painter paints, a writer writes the completion of one work may lead to an excited optimisism, or to a look over the abiss. Can I do it again? The answer is simple, you won’t know until you try.

It is not like sitting at the right hand of god. And a condition of stasis. An artist (or businessman or scientist, etc.) commits to a kind of strange joy: freight, uncertainty, what’s next. Or is rewarded with another sun on the horizon and another and another. To my mind there this is number one among many such uncertainities that constitute Life. Go for it Girl. Or Boy. Or Woman. Or Man. Assuming there is not a conservative, a zealot, an unfulfilled ego, or even a mad-man in the way.

If you are empty, if what is between your ears atrophied or never developed, you may choose acquisition over letting freedom ring.

The Roman Emperors who went all the way to England, could not stop just as the tycoon todaay worth $100 billion dollars cannot stop, nor can he feel for others sitting on a different precipice, those with nothing. Or those with something like a road paver that the tycoon needs for his business, but forgets the operator.

American has suffered the tragedy of a nation of the rich by the rich and for the rich. And death comes stalking the soul and the spirit of everyone.



The fundamental question of living is to answer what Life (yes a capital L) is.

I assert (for there is no proof) that the greatest part of life is joy, which comes from relathipships with earh other or with the universe, from learning about the universe and from creating beauty and joy.

“Conservatives,” by which I mean essentially all Republicians, are preoccupied with accumulating and controlling. China is a good example. What is wrong with this is that it denys the value of what the Universe has given us, and consequently puts conservatives at war with the Universe.

We were created in order to create which requires learning. Conservatives do not study the Universe and so know nothing of its grandeur and beauty. By not studying the universe they are using only the animal portion of their minds. They do not create beauty and joy.

To create beauty and joy requires the mind, in all its incredible complexity and creative abilities, to be free to explore the infinite possibilites of sharing with other creators. This is a catastrophe of infinite sadness, ruthlessness, pain and crueiity. It also takes a far greater intellect.

The only reason I can think of for the creation of conservatism is to provide a contrast to a free life. The more we read of Trump and his cohorts, the more we appreiate what we have. It is an ongoing struggle and it will never end until the conservatives, with their cruel ruthlessness, destroy the earth. It may well be that the reason no radio signals from other civilations have never been detected is that conservatives have destroyed all life on other planets.

Conservatives will take pride in their ability to control, loot, lie, destroy and laugh at the poor people yearning to be free. We can only pity them for what they are missing.

Donald Trump: A Man Without Hope.


George Floyd: An Infinite Tragedy Of Infinite Hope.

Donald Trump is a man without hope, for he cannot create anything. His joy is to find a thousand dollar bill just waiting to be pocketed, or a headline praising him for the good he has not done.

Deep down he knows he is without hope for he had to draw on his uncle to enable him to claim knowledge.

I believe that any man with an intact brain at some level wishes to be a man with the hope to create. So I believe that life for Donald Trump is unconsciously a crushing experience, but that makes it all the more dangerous for there are no limits, just as Hitler and Stalin had no limits. However, in this tragedy of tragedies, it still remains to be seen if Donald Trumps view of George Floyd can bring hope to humanity.

Perhaps a new understanding of hope.

Every human begins being human with hope, a vision of something better: a friendship, a family, a child, a business, a work of art, or just a sunny day.



I have wondered how this feels. I am imaging hearing my mentor praising me for something I did not dolar

It is probably too late.

On this day, May 9, 2020, my peace of mind is destroyed by four people: Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Tom Cotton and Mitch McConnell.

All these men want unlimited power or they want to destroy. Together they could destroy the earth and neither care nor realize what they are doing. They present the greatest mystery of the human race: why are some humans impervious to understanding who they are and how they relate to the rest of humanity.

The manner of relationship between two humans must be governed by the rule of reciprocity (a more formal word for the Golden Rule). Its meaning is presented in this way in Wikipedia, I quote a large section since a want to make its meaning clear and easily accessble:

”In social psychology, to a positive action with another positive action, rewarding kind actions. As a social construct, reciprocity means that in response to friendly actions, people are frequently much nicer and much more cooperative than predicted by the self-interest model; conversely, in response to hostile actions they are frequently much more nasty and even brutal....”
Reciprocity makes it possible to build continuing relationships and exchanges. 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 (latin: "without which not") of the latter’s success.” .... According to the sociologist Alvin Gouldner (1960), this norm is nearly universal, and only a few members of society—the very young, the sick, or the old—are exempt from it.
Reciprocal actions differ from altruistic actions in that reciprocal actions only follow from others' initial actions, while altruism is the unconditional act of social gift-giving without any hope or expectation of future positive responses.[4][5] Some distinguish between ideal altruism (giving with no expectation of future reward) and reciprocal altruism (giving with limited expectation or the potential for expectation of future reward). For more information on this idea, see altruism or altruism (ethics).”

The great mystery of humanity is why some people love and others hate or destroy.

I have looked at hundreds of pictures of Donald Trump and never seen him smile except for this his formal portrait. It is a smile for the camera, not for an expression of pleasure or joy.

The full stories of these four people are plainly incredible. They represent the bottom where we would never think to look.

The best summary I can think of is this list of words by Newt Gingrich from an article inThe Atlantic Monthly, “How Newt Gingrich Destroyed American Politics.” These are the most important words to use against Democrats:

decay, failure (fail) collapse(ing) deeper, crisis, urgent(cy), destructive, destroy, sick, pathetic, lie, liberal, they/them, unionized bureaucracy, "compassion" is not enough, betray, consequences, limit(s), shallow, traitors, sensationalists, endanger, coercion, hypocricy, radical, threaten, devour, waste, corruption, incompetent, permissive attitude, destructive, impose, self-serving, greed, ideological, insecure, anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs; pessimistic, excuses, intolerant, stagnation, welfare, corrupt, selfish, insensitive, status quo, mandate(s) taxes, spend (ing) shame, disgrace, punish (poor...) bizarre, cynicism, cheat, steal, abuse of power, machine, bosses, obsolete, criminal rights, red tape, patronage

Truth stands for nothing. Dirtying language will accomplish anything.

Tom Cotton wants the military to shoot protestors.

Mitch Mconnel wants to stop anything good.

Donald Trump wants to be a dictator. That’s my four. Together they can destroy humanity and the earth.

V. Why Is There An Is?


How engineers think.

I have spend 2 1/2 years on this web site. Most is hidden. What is on the home page is what is left after I deleted more material to make way for something new. I start on guns: in anothershoes.com; then global warming: caringfortheear.com; and now Donald when what is crawling out from under the mouldy carpet.

It used to. be terror. It is now terror to the nth power. I am going back to try to make up flost time in photography for I have decided that is a way of comunicating something different. The following is not proof read or spell checked. As it goies on it is left overs from somehting much longer. Might make good put to sleep reading or there might be a kernal here and there. It has been fascinating but not enjoyable. I am too disappointed in humanity, or at least a big part of it.

But I have been elated by another part. And you wil bump into that if you go further. I am taking the off ramp here.

Why Is There A Universe Like This One?


I have spent a lifetime thinking about this.

About the age of 11, I was reading Funk an Wagnells Enclyclapaedia likely looking up something electronic, when I ran into a Russian name I couldn’t handle. I have always remember my reaction: ”well the name doesn’t matter, as long as I understand." That is what some 70 years later I am still trying to do. Only the now the problems are much harder.

Electronics has slipped into the background, and Life (with the capital L) has jumped to the front and it will not leave me alone.

This site, with several false starts, is my attempt to anyswer that question. Perhaps there is a contribution and perhaps not. I turn 80 (hopefully) next year and this is my last and best shot. This particular shot, after 2 1/2 years of a kind of satisfying torture, is a beginning from scratch. The more things get confusing, the less editing does any good.

An engineer having something intelligent to say about the universe?

You get whomped into shape at The Institute.

I just saw a T shirt: “I’m an engineer. Let’s just assume I’m right and get on with it.” Ask Susan (my wife). No matter what she says my instant rejoinder is “No!” and then I repeat back what she said or some minor revision. A good part of the blame is seven years at MIT. It’s not that you might flunk out. Hardly anyone ever does. If they admitted you, they did it because they thought you could do it.

No. It’s the competition, the oneupsmanship. I hung in for 14 years. Seven at MIT and seven at Bose Corporation, an MIT outpost if there ever was one and then went into marketing. I had one other competitor, Professor Amar Gopal Bose, my former faculty advisor. When I told him seven years was at MIT was enough (and god only knows how many years to do a dissertation to get my PhD) enough he blinked and “Would you like a job?” And I became the 5th employee. Two other engineers whom I knew: Sherwin Greenblatt, future president and Tom Froeschle, present and future genius. It is possible that nuclear subs are driving around with his electronic reactor controls. He one-upped their engineers by designing a whole new system in two weeks so our first review meeting was presenting a whole new, and better way, of doing it, along with a fully operating demo. That was Bose Corporation. And that was and still is MIT.

I often wonder how I got admitted, but being tagged a “stong candidate” during my interview was promising.

Big questions about the universe require physics. I’m an electrical engineer.

1. MIT electrical engineering is almost all physics.

2. My MS is in solid state physics.

3. I have studed astronomy and then cosmology since I was a kid.

4. I have followed the field my whole life.

5. I learned how to think from Dr. Bose. I had the glorious luxery of many one-on-one long wide-ranging meetings. He taught me how to think and to him “outside the box” was conventional thinking.

So that is how I began. And to save time and to make it easier to understand what follows I will tell you why.

Belief Versus Knowledge

What is the difference?

Belief is what you choose to be true .

Knowledge is what has evidence to back it up, which usually means science. And this is a problem because few people learn science at all, and of those that do few realize how fundamental and important it is.

What’s The Point Of It All?

The short version of the story.

I think few people realize how extraordinary the universe is, how it was born, how planets like the earth were created and (I suspect) how rare they are.

Then there is us. People with brains that can do so much and are so little used.

When I got through the last round of reading about the creation (see the diagram below), I looked at the various steps and it struck me how natural and logical was each step. A special example: in the early stages after the big bang the only elements that had been made were helium and hydrogen. This was enough to make stars, but not much else. However, certain kinds of stars burned out their fuel quickly then impoloded and eploded. There were called super novae and were visible in daylight. They lasted about a month and then slowly vanished. However, they were central to the entire future of the universe (including making us) because when they exploded they made all the other elements, 97 of them, and we were on our way to a totaly different kind of universe, one where life-including human life-could be created and live.

There are many things about the universe that should blow your mind and this is one of the most important. Eventually, 10.78 billion years after the big bang, life began and eventually we were the product of evolution.

But is was the beginning that boggles the mind the most. Sciencetists do not know why it happened but out of the energy of an otherwise empty cosmos appeared a singularity. In mathametics (by the way, electrical engineers were using singularities before mathameticians recognized their validity) a singularity lasts for zero time but is infinitely high. In the big bang the singularity was the smallest time there can be and the smallest size there can be, far smaller than a proton, and stored infinite energy. Our laws of physics did not work durin ghis infinitetesimal time, but immediately after began a series of events called the time-line of the universe. A NASA versin is on the right.

Evolution is a controversal subjet and I discuss it elsewhere so not to interrupt this story. However, should you have any doubts, I can assure that the scientific evidence is so good I would bet my life on it. But WHY still remained a complete mystery. Why humans with all the intellectual and emotional qualities. I hadn’t a clue so I asked myself if the universe could be reverse-engineered. That is a technique that is often used when you want to copy someone’s product and you want to know how it is made. So I started thinking, not from the beginning, but from the end, which is now. And to my way of thinking the big question was to identify what are the absolute best things about Life. And quite a few things came to mind and my conclusion was that the best things were so spectacular and that they had to be inherent in the big bang itself. I had not a clue how and no physicist would even try to think why human creativity was in the big bang so I just decided to jumpt to the conclusiong. I can hear the physicists, if anyone of them should read this, having a big laugh. And so I just ask if anyone has a better answer.

So we have to look at the best of Life, but we have to look at the worst of life, but I will start from the best. There are many examples, but the ones I will use for illustration all come from my life, because I can then be confident of them. So I begin with pictures of our grandaughter that I took.

The Best of Life Surrounded By The Worst of Life

This is my “best.” It is different for every person. Here, also, is some of the worst.

If you have to condense it down it is because we form or join tribes. Tribes are many things, some much more important than others.

Some tribes are for fun, like hateing or loving a sports team. The problem tribes are those that deal with feelings of inadaquicy. Many are religious. The worst take rock hard stands to show how faithful they are. Same goes for ideologies: small government and low taxes is a complete scam by the rich over the non-rich. It sounds good to everybody, but only benefits the rich. Small government means no health care, day care, poor schools. Now we have 1% of the people owning 80% of the country. It is immoral.

There are two beginnings of which I am aware. Ronald Regans tax cuts, and Newt Gingriches dam the democrats memo. More about these later.

The Nature of Donald Trump

A short list.

He never smiles. There is one forced grin for his portrut, that seemed to take all the energy he had.

He critized a lot but there is no analysis of what the problem is, there are just a bunch of adjecctives.

There is no insight or compassion.

There is no comprehension of the situation. There is just a bunch of positions, attitudes, prejudices. His brain, as far as I can tell is empty of understanding except that he needs praise very badly. I think the reason for this is that he never learned anything but bullying and deal making. You could not discuss concepts with him.I believe he unconsciously recognizes and it gives him a deep fear that he is not what he wishes he were, an expert on all things, but could not carry on a discussion of a complex issue. So he fires everyone who knows anything. His soul needs a wall and that wall is praise. I think he is now becoming desperate because all he hears is criticism. His reponse is violence and the power of the military, if he can get it.

America is coming to a crises: Donalds demanding that the military violate its oath to support the constitution vs the presidents determination to do whatever he wants, no matter the rules.

Then what happens. He should be removed from office, but the vice president is also incompetent and he is surrounded with supporters. Where do we go from here. If the military follows his demands we will be heading for civil war. If it does not (as it shouldn’t, the president Donald will try to find other ways to punish those that are rebelling.

Trump Medal of Honor
Untitled photo
Untitled photo

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

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.

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

s

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Figure 1

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