Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 IN REVIEW – CONFIRMATION OF AN ATHEIST


What a relatively peaceful revolution the proliferation of the internet is. This horizontal, people to people communication is like chain logging the vertical, top-down, long established, towering lies about hidden agendas that send youth to kill and die for the profit of incompetent greed. It’s first big test was on the proving grounds of the two year campaign season and the instant fact checking and proliferation about every candidate’s claim. If Obama’s intent to make government transparent is carried out in this way it will be a precedent the people will be loath to relinquish far into the future, perhaps until lying us into wars isn’t SOP.

Although it may be accused of aiding and abetting individual isolation from society as if that were a bad thing, I see it as a way for anyone to shuck the baggage of their off-line reality and present themselves as whomever suits their fancy — as they may have all along had they not been crammed into the mold of education. Let the gullible beware of misplaced belief. The word is not the thing and lying is all too easy. One is free to set up a web site or blog and invite the world to partake of their offerings from valuable wisdom to expensive scams (valuable lessons). One is free to surf shop windows for drill bits, firm tits, worm pits or whittling kits. In the comfort of one’s favorite place to sit and think, one may have conversations with friends they know in the flesh or pixelated characters met virtually through blogs, chat rooms and audio/visual interactive games and services where the only things missing are hugs and passing the joint.

No matter how isolated within one’s own world behind doors locked against intruders in the city or how far one is separated from the pavement out in the open wild one may be, the internet is a super window on the rest of the world used by even the most worldly statesmen to find out what is going on “down on the ground.” I love the implications of that new sound bite. The most valuable service provided by the internet is the multiplicity of versions of any subject to be sampled by the curious and triangulated by the wise to obtain a holographic picture of a reality unavailable from any one of the sources alone. The multiplicity of information requires one realize it's being cherry picked by anyone formulating evidence for his or her own argument and there's always more than one side..

There is an application in development discussed at TED talks whereby all the photographs on the internet are used to create a 3d digital model of the world viewable from any angle ever published on the web — from any time in the history of the camera. Neighborhoods can be scanned like time-lapse photography. The same sort of collation could be, and surely is being done on the history of the world creating a sort of well-rounded view of any subject through time. These are exciting times to be alive, like being around when Henry Ford’s prehistoric ancestor rolled out the first wheel.



Amidst my fifth year here at the Dawg Ranch I've begun to notice a bit of discomfort if I am inactive too long; a pea under the mattress. Is this the natural result of human DNA producing creative juices or the muscle memory of a lifetime in a society where it is crucial to at least have an acceptable answer to, “What are you doing?”

I know I have never been so free to do whatever I care to do, what with no client work for several months and plenty of compost moldering on toward spring and the fall garden the best it has ever been. It’s not that there aren’t plenty of things to do if I choose; like learn any number of applications better, improve and update my website, scale Mount Everest, hang out in bars looking for love, but I’ve been there, done that. I’ve even had moments while sitting in the garden shed to greet the sun in the morning that feel like something I’m doing rather than simply groking existence. Somehow I have integrated meditation into my active life so thoroughly that I’ve come to realize the act of translating my thoughts into intelligible language is a doing so automatic it seems like part of perception and imagination rather than preparation of my thoughts with a purpose.

There is also the influence of keeping this blog, this my 325th post, as my journal of thoughts since June ’06, rather than the sorely neglected log it replaced. The log is full of spontaneous scribblings and sketches charting my stream of thoughtful life at leisure, whereas I sit at the computer to write these posts whole cloth from ideas I deem worthy of expressing. Many’s the time I have composed an entire blog in my head out in the garden piddling around and loose it before I can get inside to trap it with the keyboard. I think a voice recorder may be in order, certainly the only thing that can keep up with my flights of fancy.



Last year I subtitled my review of the blog, Politicization of a Ponderer. This year I used Conformation of an Atheist to indicate the year-long exchange in the comments about religion, made more intense than I would have ever gotten in discussing one blight of mankind to which I have always remained immune —having missed the inoculated addiction most children get — by being denied admittance to join the Christian afterlife party awaiting my daughter with the same righteousness by which her mother denied my contact with her by any more than child support. Although we didn’t settle anything on the spiritual side, we did discover how much we love each other despite that.

On the other side of the atheist coin I found something in Barack Obama’s use of the word God to convey a connectedness between living entities that I perceive as being the essence of all life forms, from quarks to the entire universe. This communication was so rare in my experience of God being the great sin finder and heathen smiter wielded offensively against all who will not convert, that I converted — at least so far as supporting Obama actively and voting for the first time in my life for him. No one gets a blank check, but so far so good. 2009 looks to be one of those interesting times whose experience can be either a blessing or a curse. Gee, just like everything has always been out there in that void we named and call the future — and call that a definition.

2 comments:

Mahakal said...

You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means. At least, you aren't one, as far as I can determine, no matter how you may feel about particular metaphors like Christianity.

Anyhow, Happy New Year. Hope it's a good one!

Yodood said...

You don't think I am one what? You think your definition of a word is not the same as mine … big whoops! Do you suppose there might be other differences as well? Don't answer, that was rhetorical.