Untitled photo

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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