Carl Sagan , Neil Young, and John Prine are all mentors of mine. All can 'articulate me'.
Carl's and Neil's interviews with Charlie Rose say a lot.
[ I perceive them all to be
'secular humanists' (as I am). Here's a
list of well-known secular humanists. ]
A most articulate modern man: Jordan Peterson
These are a few of my favs...but there are MANY more of his talks on YouTube
[ Click here for my webpage that highlights a few more of his talks ]
A fav quote from the Urban Dictionary: 'Speak Truth to Power'
"Speak Truth To Power"
I'm still in mumble-mode on this saying. But, it's making the rounds lately and it struck a cord.
Of course, there's a sub-story here and a lesson learned. The lesson is that the Internet is mankind's greatest
invention, in my view. Because it functions as a distillation of what's most important to humans on this
planet. So, one answer back to Neil..I too, do not have a single 'book' containing the answers.
[No one does.] But, we DO have the Internet, and it is the key to finding the answers.
My fav website is wikipedia. (It proves the adage that 'cream rises to the top')
You can find info on virtually everything on wikipedia. And trust that it is the consensus opinion!
(one wikipedia contributor's take)
My second fav site is StackExchange, w/ its expert forums on many subjects.
StackExchange family of sites
I wrote more details about it on my StackExchange details page.
A recent find is the Internet's list of favorite websites...called the Alexa List:
"Alexa List (of top websites)"
But, the important lesson I recently learned, is the answer to the question: "So, what websites are at the BOTTOM of
the Alexa List?"
And, the answer is that at the BOTTOM of that list are the reported abusers! (e.g. such as)
Abuse IPDB "List of abusing IP addresses"
Abuse.net "List of abusing IP addresses"
The breakthru concept in the software world, has been 'Open Source Software' ('OSS')
Read this nutshell-history of 'open source'
So, if you've read and disgested the open-source netshell-history (above), you now understand why those of us who are open-source advocates prefer Google's open-source-based
'Android' OS to Apple's 'iOS'. We're NOT claiming Android is functionally better or more popular...but rather we're just paying tribute to the fact that
Google continues to make full source code available for their Android OS, while Apple continues to engineer their smartphone/tablet "iOS"
operating system using closed, proprietary methodologies.
Similarly, the open-source nature of the Linux OS continues to benefit serious academics and developers in software engineering.
It is the paradigm example of an open-source product.
Ok, read this relevant real-world article: a comparison of Apple iOS (closed-source) vs Google Android OS(open-source)
Android vs iOS
Are you familiar with the tale of Aaron Swartz?
Do you recognise this young guy?
Ok, you probably would not recognise him. Let me introduce you to him...his name is Aaron Swartz...read this
I hope you took the time to read thru that writeup. This too is all about why open-source software is so important and why the practice of issuing
software patents really ought to be discontinued.
The bottom line is that his story shows how easy it is for some over-zealous lawyers to confuse things to the point
where a relatively naive and innocent creative person can run afoul of our laws and see only one way out. (Sigh.)
Movies are magical (They are one of my primary haunts)
Here's my ranked movie-list of 're-watchable movies' in my movie collection :
One conversation from the movie "No Country For Old Men (2007)" is:
- Carla Jean: [Having also awoken before dawn] What are you doing, baby?
- Llewelyn: [Filling a gallon jug with water] I'm going out.
- Carla Jean: Going where?
- Llewelyn: There's something I forgot to do, but I'll be back.
- Carla Jean: And what are you going to do?
- Llewelyn: I'm fixin' to do something dumber than hell, but I'm going anyways.
And a favorite conversation snippet from the movie "Paul (2011)" is:
- Paul: [an alien][Lighting a joint and taking a hit] Do you guys partake?
- Graeme Willy: No. Thank you.
- Ruth Buggs: I'll partake.
- Paul: Are you sure? It's pretty strong shit.
- Paul: I get it from the military. I think this is the stuff that killed Dylan.
- Graeme Willy: Bob Dylan's not dead.
- Paul: [smiles] Isn't he?
Fav political pundits
A 'must-see' 6-min video. I award "TWO-THUMBS-UP" to Lawrence's unique political viewpoint on what SOCIALISM actually is.
[ Lawrence's key point is that ALL societies have a degree of socialism. I don't agree that any amount of socialism is necessarily bad.]
The Electoral College is obsolete, and two-party system needs enlarging
Ok, the deck got stacked, and still is, on having just a TWO-party setup. In every state I've voted in, you (must) declare which of two parties
you'll be voting in (in the primaries). Since neither party is even close to having all the correct answers, I've always declared/registered myself as
an 'Independent', but then you gotta remember to switch your declaration to one or the other, if/when you plan to vote in one of the primaries. No problem,
up in NH, iirc, you can still make the switch on primary-voting day...right at the polling place. ("Live free or die", it says on the license-places.) But, when we lived
down in Florida full-time, I showed up to vote, and learned I'd just been screwed! Seems you gotta have the 'look-ahead feature'...and go/do your
switched-declaration AHEAD of time. I tried telling myself "I didn't want it anyway" (to vote in the primary. But, I DID want to!)
So the system IS rigged somewhat...someplaces.
Let's move on, to the Electoral College issue. Your test question (few people even KNOW or THOUGHT explicitly of the anwser). "How many
of the 50 states are NOT ''winner-take-all"? The answer is: TWO! (Maine and Nebraska...the apportion the popular vote to the party-voting-members,
who will attend and vote to select that party's candidate at the party-convention.)
So, now contemplate the ramifications of this rule! This is why we have RED and BLUE states...and why the TURNOUT in the national election
is so low! The large state of California is quite BLUE. So, say you were planning to vote REPUBLICAN in that DEMOCRAT-leaning state. Or conversely,
say you live in Oklahoma, and were thinking of voting for the DEMOCRAT in that REPUBLICAN-leaning state. The research data on this thesis indicate
that what happens is that many such voters suddenly realize that a preponderance of the votes in their state's electoral college are gonna be cast against their choice, so
that they tend to say to themself "F*ck it...I got better things to do than spend time in the voting line...why bother...my preference isn't at all likely to win."
If you care about the exact details, the actual data shows that there was a "negative zero.point-five [ -0.5 ] statistical correlation" in the 2016 presidential
election, between turnout in the red-est and blue-est states, and turnout in closely-balanced (aka ''swing" / "purple" states). [ Here's a math-statistics review in layman's terms:
Correlations can range from negative one-point-zero (-1.0) to positive one-point-zero (+1.0). A 0.0 correlation thus means 'no correlation/no-relationship', whereas a 1.0 means
'exactly-correlated'. When variables are plus/positively correlated, it means the values move in same direction with each other. When variables are minus/negatively-
correlated, the values move in opposite directions from each other. ]
Ergo: If we were to get rid of the electoral college (and switch to just having the popular vote of the whole country determine the winner), the voter turnout
in America would thus IMPROVE significantly! This idea is a no-brainer...let's go make it happen. (To do this, each state needs to separately vote to drop out
of using the electoral college, and three-fourths (38 of 50) of the states would need vote for that, to amend the constitution to declare the electoral college null and void.)
Music is magical (and is another of my primary haunts)
Simon & Garfunkel can capture it:
As does Arlo Guthrie:
City of New Orleans...(written by Steve Goodman)
Rolling Stone Mag's #1 choice for greatest song, from the master of lyrics:
(Of course...a no-brainer)
Here's a recently discovered song. Talk about resonating...it did, first time I heard it.
And, it's from Africa...that place we've ALL migrated from.
[ If you prefer seeing just lyrics, here's it's 'lyrical' edition. ]
Lastly, here's an embed of Jackson Browne's group doing "The Load Out / Stay"
Speaking of magical...do you grok the magic of pheromones?
Thanks to 'Willy' (aka, my Princeton-graduating, then Peace Core-participating, lifelong friend Bill) for this biology lesson
Wikipedia, of course, knows ALL about 'pheromones' of various kinds.
Ah, that sheds light on why your dog sniffs the butt of every other dog he meets and greets.
( And, explains why more than a few men like putting their face in their significant other's crotch. )
I recently learned that lady-bugs can detect others of their species, from one quarter of a mile away, via pheromones.
i.e. scroll down to the 4th paragraph in this writeup about ladybug home infestations.
Similarly...another biology lesson...is the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN mag's article:
In fact, all primates exhibit this behavior...e.g. monkeys even more than humans.
"...Why we masterbate. A lot"
The article is
(I like that a 'scentific' publication, such as SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, is publishing articles like this.)
A similar article, about 9 other such animals,
The whitewater came last...which I began at age 52. Long before that, I had acquired both private-pilot and sailplane-pilot licenses, made 380+ skydives
(never even needing to deploy that "reserve" parachute), and
co-owned a 33-foot racing sailboat, which we sailed in Lake Winnepisaukee, and in the Atlantic, off both the Maine and Florida coasts.
It was the whitewater-kayaking that TRULY resonated. After graduating into class IV water, some sort of Zen-like experience began happening.
What a dance it is
Here's the webpage I built,
showing markers for all the 'put-in' locations.
And here's my tribute to Subaru
, for transporting my kayaks.