Essay Garden

Essays and longform from the desk of TMO

Originally published by me here on the main blog, TMO

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Came across a blog post from werd.io titled something to the effect of “blog more” or “You should blog”, or something like that, and it was a fine little text hammer (I'll just refer to fast, short blog posts as text hammers from now on, thx). Saying that everyone can/should maintain a blog, it opens opportunities for people, is their own corner of the WWW, etc. Good stuff (and I agree, and have been saying similar stuff since forever – although with little to no fanfare). And yea, since 2006 (or 2002 if you want to get technical), blogging has been a blast for me. Always did it, always will do it. Even if relegated to a smartphone with no WiFi and just my thumbs on a flat slab of glass, I get stuff written. Because iT's AlL i KnoW! LMAO!

Seriously though, I would be lost without blogging. Even though I may get but a few comments, or Thanx, or just a “hi” per month – it is worth it. Because though I am glad some people read this little corner of the WWW, it is here for myself. And WHERE I write, and HOW I write, and to WHOM I write makes a big difference in my world. Forum entries, Tweets, Toots, status updates, etc. – those don't work for me. It has to be in a longform (or, potentially a longform) text editor, and that text editor has to be going live on the Internet (e.g. blog platform), and it has to be as non-commercial (ad-free) as possible. Those are (some of) my standards.

People sometimes want to go back to the “Olden Days of Blogging Yore”, and when people could have Big, Noticeable, Relevant platforms just by hitting “Publish” on a blog post – and they capitalized on this by filling their little blogs with ads, and sponsored posts, and doing what everyone does when a certain service or platform gets trendy – make money from it. But rarely do I see people yearning for the days of “Blogging Antiquity”, before ads, or sponsors, or commercialism overran the blogosphere. Just, writing in/on the thing like a notebook, of sorts. Or a journal. About one's life. A log. On the Web. A Web-log. It's very raw when you really think about it.

I'm just a guy, though. I don't think I have any “say” or authority on what a blog is, can be, should be, or anything like that. I write because I am afflicted to do so. Under my own prescription of self-contemplation in written form. A typist.

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There are problems in America. Sometimes obvious, sometimes not so obvious. The “bird's eye view”, long term and short term, broad, sweeping issue in America in respects to the citizenry, is the fact that democracy (by definition) is being wholesale ignored by the lawmakers in Washington D.C. Today is Inauguration Day for President Joe Biden, and he has vowed to “return us to a normal”, promote healing, and “restore Democracy” – but, those things are quite vague in terms of what needs to be addressed (assuming he is aware of what needs to be addressed, which is not likely), and that is the discontent of Americans. Heal? Yes, by bringing about justice against Trump and his colleagues. Normal? There was never a normal, and if there was one, I don't want to go back to it ever again. Democracy? That is a government of and by and for the people – not the system that is in place as of today. Lawmakers are all too swift to pass laws that buy them some “good will”, but when the time comes for them to pass anything that disrupts THEIR comfy cushion of lobbyist payoffs, Power Politics negotiations, and legalized tax evasion for the 1% of Americans – they turn a blind eye.

So that is the discontent of the American people. That's it, right there, in a nutshell. Now, Biden and his administration (as well as many other optimists in our country) think that American exceptionalism (aka “if America does it, it's OK. If the President does it, it's OK. etc) applies to not only those in power, but to the culture of the citizenry of America. You can bet, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Biden and his team are hoping for a wholesale case of debilitating amnesia amongst the citizenry regarding the past four years. Biden won't go after Trump. He won't bring anyone from the prior administration to justice. He won't reform ICE. He won't fix our election system. In fact, he will not do anything that isn't just re-enforcement of the old guard agenda of Neoliberal politics. The culture of the citizenry (or, in other words, the widespread consensus of Americans) is that we want ALL of the Neoliberal policies to disappear. We don't want it with a hate-filled “caveat” of having a dictator-like President, like we did with Trump.

So, there is our dilemma – how do citizens of the United States negotiate, compromise, or alter in any way the systems of governance in our country without going to ONE intense extreme or the other? We don't want nationalist scum in the White House, so bye to Trump. We don't want corporate-kissing Power politicians making the calls, either. It's a dilemma in every sense of the word, it's mind-boggling, and the steps that would be necessary to overcome this disposition are far too many to be put here.

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[Sub-title: Common Sense Approach to Living My Own Way]

Life is a long slog. An uphill battle, that seems like it never ends, until it becomes a downhill “ride” and eventually does end.

Here are some things I have spent a great deal of time ruminating about in my life, and how I look at them -

  • Life, in the greater measurement of time, is very short. And you only have one life, so make it count.

  • Don't put off what you want to do, or be doing. Just DO it. You'll be glad you did, and will be glad when that thing is being done.

  • Learn as much as you can. Be a lifelong learner. Be it traditional education, or commercial education, BE an educated person. Create independently, without anyone telling you to do so, and seek out new knowledge, for your own enjoyment.

  • Get in moderate exercise. And avoid bad foods like meat. To this extent, avoid putting anything in your system that could be considered “toxic”, such as drugs and alcohol.

  • Live according to principles. Don't support what can be, and often is, the status quo of life. Go against the grain, question authority and even those not in authority. Create a dialogue.

  • Be original. Do things no one else has done before, generate new knowledge, and stand on the shoulders of giants to do so.

  • Leave nothing behind. Life, and our bodies encapsulating it, are organic. Don't aim for a legacy or an immortal body of work to be witnessed by future generations. Your time is YOUR time, what has been done with it is what matters – not what is thought of you after your death.

  • Be conscious and deliberate with decision-making. Don't fall into reactionary habits. Instead, be present for every choice made, do those things with purpose.

  • Be good. Stay positive.

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I would venture to guess (and perhaps I'm right), that humans have created very complex computer systems (perhaps more complex than now) in the history of humanity, and we have no proof of this because the creation of those computers were more or less just lost to documented history. Natural disaster(s), famine, governments collapsing, etc. – all of these could have accounted for a loss of information (hardware and software) from a previous Information Age™. So, though I think it is a good thing that there is so much energy and enthusiasm for the Information Age™ we live in now, and the “technology revolution” that has more or less been occurring since the 1990's, I would venture to guess that it is NOT a “new” thing in the greater course of human civilization. Proving or DISproving that we had similar, or greater technologies thousands of years ago, of course, is impossible.

But what is relevant here is that it, technology, is more or less just a reflection for the human brain. Even an old Texas Instrument calculator with a little bitty solar panel on it from the 1980's was a computer. Humans have always, I am sure, had the capability of manifesting into the real world an “If This, Then That” formula for solving problems in the outward world. In 2020 it may be automation or/and curating the best things to look at/read on a social network, but human beings have always used basic ITTT formulas to get what it is they want in life. It's uniquely human, I believe (not possible with animals).

But what does this magnify besides the fact that there is, or was, widespread amnesia for what humans have had before? Nothing really. I think if humans have had advanced technological systems, and even the infrastructure to support it X amount of years ago, it just goes to show that technology (and the tools manifested from it) IS a part of nature, and works in cycles. Or to put it better – when the conditions are just right humans can, and will, create terrific technological advances that move the world forward, but in order to do so, they have to have a perfect nursery for its incubation.

Unfortunately, creation of “perfect nurseries” are not something that humans can just decide we are going to have whenever we want. Much like Silicon Valley in the later-half of the 20th Century, it came about organically. And if this is how advanced technological systems come about, and not out of demand, or determination, or diligence; then humans would have to accept that these ways of working/living/doing are simply the push and pull of nature. But despite the time/energy/effort put into creating the Information Superhighway, humans (with our wildly advanced and complex brains) always will be able to create formulaic expressions that make the drudgery of life easier.

Long story short; computers are a mirror of the human brain. Computers are us, we are computers. Fascinating to think about.

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