Ruminations on Life’s Conundrums

Ruminations is a compendium of thoughts that–at least for a moment–seemed somehow relevant to me. I will also add photographs that were salient for an instant, long enough to poke the shutter button, anyway.

The late Benoit Mandelbrot, he of the amazing rough edge fractal set, coined the phrase “all generally valid rules suffer from deviant exceptions.” Remember this the next time someone–anyone, your wife, flight instructor, English professor or your boss–tells you there’s one way to do something and only one way. Recalling Mandelbrot’s words doesn’t mean you have to vocalize what you’re thinking, merely that you know whomever it is with the “my way or the highway” mentality is in error.

Wish I could recall the part about not vocalizing.

July 9, 2014

The alleged murderer has been charged with alleged murder. Well, fuck me. I don’t know what alleged murder is. I understand murder and I accept that the person has merely been charged, not convicted, but the charge was certainly not alleged murder. Why the fuss? Today, Associated Press reported that Dina Lohan, mother of that gurl-about-town, Lindsay, what ordered into community service because that may help her alleged drunk driving case. OK, people, Dina was allegedly driving drunk. She may soon be convicted of driving with an illegal level of alcohol in her system–what we refer to as drunk driving or driving under the influence but she will not be convicted (or acquitted, as the case might be) of alleged drunk driving. AP writing has deteriorated to the level of local news…or even lower. Wait! I remember back in the dark ages, when I was a news writer. Shit. AP was always bad. Not allegedly bad, either. Just plain, old bad. November 22, 2013

A year and a half has passed since I last posted a rumination. Well, it’s time for something new, that’s what I was ruminating. Has the world improved so much during the past eighteen months that I had no important considerations to consider? No, more like the converse. President Obama, the great hope of both white and black (and a multitude of other colors) folks of the thinking class has won a second term in the people’s house but each month, each day, brings us more indication of what a dud he is. Should we have expected more? We–the people (or the sheeple as the multitudinous security forces like to call us)–are looking forward to Hillary “Never met a dollar I didn’t want to call my own, eh, Bill?” Clinton is murmuring about succeeding Obama. The rest of us are merely considering running. Hell, I live close to the Mexican border. I wonder how hard it is to climb the fence going south? November 21, 2013

Let’s begin with Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, already a very, very wealthy young man recently ascended into the ranks of the truly rich as he shepherded the flock through the whirling blades of his shearing machine. Why would anyone want to reveal to the world details about themselves that for all the years before Facebook people allowed to remain mercifully unknown? Burglars preen themselves online, bragging of their felonious exploits–then policemen preen for having monitored the burglar’s Facebook page to solve the crime. Businesses lie blatantly about the benefits of their products, virtually the same technique used by politicians and celebrities prevaricating through the keyboards of paid publicists who cultivate an adulating public into believing the great one is sharing with the masses.     February 6, 2012

The big day for Republican voters has come and gone in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota and…the victor (as you all know): Rick Santorium. Frightening, isn’t it. Most pundits believe Sanatorium is unelectable in a national contest. The rest of us (those folks on my side of the asylum) hope the pundits are correct. Unfortunately, even if Sanatorium doesn’t win the nomination, he moves the center further to the right. What’s the litmus test at this point in the game? Belief in a flat earth? Assurance that the candidate will spend significant federal funds preparing for the return of the Savior? Introduction of new penalties for infidelity and sodomy? (Stoning is always a good beginning…) It’s all very disorienting, this 2012 election runup. And, of course, “it’s gonna get worse…”     February 8, 2012

Tomorrow is the next Big Day in the panoply of GOP primaries. Michigan and Arizona will cast ballots–a few, anyway–for the man most likely to? To what? Nobody is quite sure how to answer that question. At least we’ve had some local fun. The co-chair of Romney’s Arizona campaign resigned. Yeth, the sheriff had to quit. The infamous Babeu got caught with another man’s pants down. Nothing wrong with being gay but when one is waving the banner of family values and swinging a sword at illegals, it’s not politically fortuitous to be carrying on a homosexual affair with a young Mexican male who may or may not have a permit to be in this country. Ah, Sheriff Babeu, we hardly knew ye. Surely you could have selected a better candidate as your lover. Rick Santorum, maybe?   February 27, 2012

So, it doth appear that Romney has slithered by for a narrow victory in the Michigan primary and managed to find a majority of the primary votes here in Arizona…even without his co-conspirator, er, co-chairman Sheriff Paul Babeu standing behind him. Isn’t it time for a third party, America? Whether the new political group is green *(disclaimer: I’m a registered member of the Green Party in Cochise County, Arizona) or red or pale shitknuckle brown, the Repubs and the Democrats have wandered off somewhere into the valley of the unknown and indecipherable. They represent themselves, not their constituents. We need a change in course…and not to the extreme right, either. February 28, 2012

The first female governor of Texas, Mariam “Ma” Ferguson (Gov from Jan, 1933 ’til Jan, 1935) when asked about teaching foreign languages in Texas schools, “If English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us…” Ferguson could easily get elected governor in many US states today, particularly Arizona, where the legislature has voted to ban Mexican studies in elementary and secondary schools and Governor Jan Brewer gladly signed the legislation. After all, what influence did Hispanics have on southwest history? Right, Jan? April 4, 2012.

With the emphasis on raising cash for election (or re-election) in current politics, why don’t we, the public, dispense with the time-consuming and wasteful process of voting? Instead of trundling down to the poll (or sending in our early ballot), why not choose the winner based merely on the amount of money that individual can raise in a given amount of time? That seems to be what we’re doing anyway so shouldn’t we admit to what the process really is? It’s rather like college sports. Coach makes millions, advertisers hope to make millions, the guys who build the stadiums make millions…only the players are expected to be out there just for the fun of it. Hell, if it works in sports, it’s the American way. Politics is already based on cash, why not eliminate the process of voting thus saving ourselves time and effort? April 16, 2012.

Whilst reading Book I of the Collected Writings of Herodotus, I came upon a quote:

“In times of peace, sons shall bury their fathers; in times of war, fathers shall bury their sons.”

Perhaps, as we listen to the saber-rattling of the various national party candidates competing with one another to establish who is more courageous (without donning a uniform or carrying a weapon), who is more manly (proven by accumulated wealth and success in the market place), and who is more admirable (that translates as who can garner more Super PAC funds), we might recall the words Herodotus scribed some two and a half millennia in the past. August 15, 2012.

 

One Response to Ruminations on Life’s Conundrums

  1. Kelley Duncan

    A lot to chew on here. I’m doing my casual surf and your blogs tend to slow me down- for all the right reasons. The mention of Star Wars always reminds me of a near friendship-ending argument I had with a close friend in 1983ish. He was bully on the technology (he was employed by ITT doing blackbox work for naval aircraft) and I was entirely skeptical. The proposed system employed millions of lines of code. How could anyone be sure that it would work the first time? Yes, of course, they could run simulations and so forth but the real proof of this pudding would be the actual operation in time of war, a war with no second chances. Ha! Would you want to take your chances with a Beta version? He should have known better, he was the one with the math degree after all. It must be noted he is still my friend (he is a project manager for Lockheed) and we josh each other on Facebook and spar a bit on political issues. Did I mention he’s a cousin to Jim Morrison? Looks just him too.

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