Consider This

I – and many if not most of you reading this – would simply not exist without the findings of science, technology, and engineering.  Unsure of what I mean?  I have written about this topic before but here we go again because this cannot be overstated.

Starting off with the obvious: somewhere during your timeline of life a medical procedure/surgery, external or implanted medical or dental device, topical, or internal medicine, antibiotic, vaccine, or vitamin, – (that was invented, tested, guided, administered, and/or prescribed by the expert skill, advice, and training of medical experts we call medical scientists, virologists, immunologists, bacteriologists, prosthetists, orthodontists, dentists, plastic surgeons, doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, and all the other “ologists,”) – has repaired, prolonged, enhanced, or saved your life – or the life of one of your progenitors. 

Speaking of your progenitors; without one or more of the modern medical techniques and procedures I mentioned earlier – they may not have lived or lived long enough to bring those individuals who produced the being you call you into existence…in fact, they – and therefore you – may not have even been born at all.   

Another fascinating fact: it is very likely that some of your progenitors would have never even met each other without a horse and wagon, car, truck, bus, boat, ship, aircraft, or possibly even a rocket bringing them to the instant in time where they first met – changing the course of history to eventually create you.  

How many countless times in your life did a sanitation system such a water purification system, portable water filter, purified water from your local municipal water department, a simple wooden outhouse or gilded penthouse toilet – remove or greatly reduce the chance that you or your ancestors would contract a nasty parasite or deadly disease?

Where would you be and what shape would you be in without your soap, toilet paper, tooth brushes, contact lenses, eye glasses, dental implants, hearing aids, CPAP, Oxygen concentrator, hip, knee, and heart valve replacements, pacemakers, insulin, etc?

Then there was the discovery and implementation of better agriculture/animal husbandry techniques such as selective breeding, fertilizer, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, genetic modification, preventative medicines – just to name a few – working together to produce a higher quality and quantity of foods allowing you to grow up strong and healthy.

Think about your home appliances for a moment.  Where would you be without your refrigerator, range, microwave oven, dish washer, laundry machines, blender, coffee maker, ceiling fans, HVAC, and all that electricity that powers them…how different would your life be without these technological wonders?

What about all that energy that powers and supports your lifestyle? Where would you be and what would you be doing without petroleum products such as oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene? Then there is all that earlier mentioned electricity you use that is produced by all those coal, hydroelectric, geothermal, wind, solar, battery, and nuclear-power stations – and all the inventors, scientists, technicians, electricians, miners, roughnecks, refiners, shippers, managers, and other people who worked together to bring all that energy to you and to keep it flowing when you want and need it?

What about your modern clothes, tents, buildings, your home’s walls, doors, door locks, glass windows, the screens on the windows keeping out the blood-sucking and disease-carrying insects, all allowing you to live a comfortable and safe existence?

Do you perform work that requires the common sense use of PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment) to protect you from the elements such as sunglasses, safety glasses, air filter mask/respirator, chain saw chaps, snake gaiters, clothes, boots, gloves, sunscreen, climbing helmets, life jackets, body armor, or a simple bandana to keep you safe and healthy?

Have you used a personal tool or weapon that has protected you from a predatory animal or human attacker?

Where would you be without all these things?

Would you even exist?

What about your smoke/carbon monoxide alarms…your seat belts and airbags, automatic emergency braking and self-driving systems in your cars…your skateboard, bicycle, or motorcycle…?

That advanced tool of some kind – that hammer, handsaw, cordless drill/driver, Bic lighter or matchstick, pocket knife, multi-tool, Swiss army knife, fishing pole, rifle, animal trap or snare, backpack, length of nylon rope, dry bag, plastic bucket, or tin can, or again the ubiquitous bandanna, – that allowed you to fix a machine, build a shelter, procure, preserve and protect, cook, and prepare food or water so you could beat the odds and survive on and on?

What about all those electronic devices – like the one you are using to read these words – that you love so much; your smartphone/watch, computer, iPad, television, stereo, 2-way radio, that Tesla or Toyota in the driveway – do you have the first inkling on how they actually function? Do you have any idea how much engineering, science, thought, research and development, and testing went into them to bring them to reality on this very day so you can use them and trust them to work as you wish and need them to?

How about the systems in place that allow you to know what the weather will be tomorrow, when the tides will flow, the fish will bite, your exact location on the planet, and then give you turn by turn directions to the bodega where you buy your baked beans and Beluga Caviar – do you even have a clue what it takes to make all these things happen and get those beans and caviar to your dinner table?

And what about your dinner table…?

And what about all the intricate supply chains that have brought all these things to you? Have you ever given any of these technologies and systems the first thought with even just one of your 100 billion neurons?

All these things and systems are products of our science, engineering, technology, ingenuity, vision, and invention.

All of these things are also the products of our own evolutionary development.

Image from this good read: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/monkeys-make-stone-ldquo-tools-rdquo-that-bear-a-striking-resemblance-to-early-human-artifacts/

One of the defining characteristics of our unique species is tool-making and use. All of the technologies we create are nothing more than tools made of modified natural resources (complex combinations of liquids, rocks, fibers, and sticks spiced up with a little bit of fire, electricity, and lots and lots of science and engineering) that allow us to better adapt and survive in this thing we call life.  Since the first time early hominids turned simple rocks and sticks into stone tools and then more recently (maybe 1.5 – 1 million years ago) harnessed the power of fire and added it to his fast-growing tool box – we human-animals have invented, adapted, and “MacGyvered” our way through deep time to bring us to this day in our lives.

The simple fact is this: without our tools (ancient and modern) and without all the inventors, engineers, scientists – without all the experts (ancient and modern) that made them – in all probability we would only exist as just another ape among apes at the mercy of predators, the elements, and the relentless nature of nature.

Ouch!

The simple fact is that many if not most of us living today would not even exist without the findings of science and the miracles of modern technology and engineering – yet, a vast number of people alive, existing, and living today have absolutely no idea how any of these technologies – and the science and engineering that developed and supports them – function – even at a basic level. 

It seems we may have created for ourselves a broken system in which some individuals in the human population today – while they gladly accept and use many of these tools on a daily basis – have willingly chosen to nurture and perpetuate an irrational fear and distrust of many of these most important life-supporting, life-sustaining, and life-bettering technologies and sciences. The very same technologies and sciences and that have allowed many of them to exist, to continue to be healthy, to have the things they need, use, and enjoy. Yet, for whatever reason – they still choose to take many of these things for granted, to fear some of these things while accepting others, and to ignore the findings of the experts even if it brings hardship and harm to themselves, their loved ones, and those around them.

Strangely, a small but growing fraction of the population of planet earth has chosen to not only fear some of these technological tools – but also to use some of them as tools and/or weapons to spread irrational fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about still others of these most important tools they have chosen to misunderstand and distrust. A great example is this: people with little more than a high school education – if that – sitting on a couch at home or in traffic – or in their production studios – safe in their comfortable bubble of air conditioned from climate change (which they also do not understand or believe) existence – using their high technology personal electronic communications devices connected to the internet via fiber optics, ground and space-based data relay stations, and wireless data transmission towers and access points – only to spread loads of made-up FUD and misinformation about the expert advice of an entire planet’s worth of medical professionals on the need to wear PPE’s (masks) and the need to use the medicines and vaccines derived by science to fight off a microscopic viral attacker in the middle of a global pandemic…and then they take livestock dewormer…and sell loads of marketing, paraphernalia, self-published books, “cures” and “potions” and just get richer and richer off the ignorance of their followers.

This last fact is the most dangerous of them all. These “lunatic fringe” dwelling, anti-science, anti-knowledge, illogical charlatans – are nothing more than knowledge terrorists working to bring down the progress of civilization by sewing irrational fears into the minds of those without the capability, the education, or the desire, to see through their toxic charade.

It seems as if a cold-war spy movie mated with Austin Powers and gave birth to today’s reality.

The only way I know to fight this growing anti-science, anti-knowledge, fear-focused trend is to teach, to work very hard to open young minds – and the minds of those that are young at heart and still open to accepting evidence-supported, peer-reviewed knowledge.  The jobs of those of us who call themselves teachers is to plant the seeds of knowledge, inspiration, curiosity in how the natural world and the cosmos in which we float works. Then, we must continue to nurture those seeds with even more empirical evidence, adventure, experimentation, and lots of quality time outdoors in nature.  Hopefully, the seeds of evidence and curiosity we plant will grow into great and wonderful trees of knowledge that will empower its gardeners to cast off their fear, hate, doubt, xenophobia, and anxiety and nurture it with curiosity, knowledge, evidence, wonder, love, trust, passion, and coexistence and a deep reverence for all life. 

Plant that seed.

My personal science story:

The fact boldly stands that I would not exist without the findings of medical science, technology, expertise, and technique.

Why?  

1. I was born premature – medical science, technology, and engineering supported my life until I could support myself.

2. Vaccinations protected me against all the things all the other kids carried – all the things that wanted a piece of me when I was just starting out.

3. I acquired Mycoplasma “walking” pneumonia twice – I may have died without treatment and medications and the experts who administered them.

4. I developed Appendicitis: I would have most certainly died without treatment and appendectomy.

5. I was bitten by a Timber rattlesnake:  I may not have died but I would have probably lost the use of a finger and had lasting ill effects.

6. Both my biological and adoptive parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents – would have never met each other without ships, automobiles, and airplanes.

7. I have been in countless situations – many severe electrical storms and one hurricane come to mind – where a structure, vehicle, or technology provided shelter for me, and without it I would have died.

…and so on. 

So yes, without the findings and application of medical, materials, chemical, food, engineering, botanical, and physical science and engineering – I would simply not exist. 

It is as simple and as complex as that.

I do not fear the science, medical advancements, technology, and engineering discoveries, that have given me life – I accept and embrace them just as I accept and embrace nature – because science is our way of understanding and interacting with, and when the need arises – controlling the nature of nature.  These things have given me life and are a part of me, and for that I am eternally grateful. I am also eternally grateful to all the teachers, scientists, engineers, botanists, doctors, dentists, nurses, immunologists, virologists, biologists, and others who have helped me along the way to become the living, healthy person I am today – and to understand the value science and engineering brings to all of us.

You are all my heroes.   

What about you? 

How has science given you life?

Ponder it.

Improvise, adapt, overcome, evolve, survive, thrive.

Freedom

A true story.

Several years ago, while visiting Savannah Georgia, USA, I found myself down on the historic waterfront exploring the myriad of boats moored at the docks.  As I browsed the many makes, models, shapes and sizes of watercraft I noticed something unique at the far end of the pier.  It was the largest boat there – an older, wooden, two-masted, schooner-rigged sailing vessel that looked as if it had been outfitted to travel the seas forever.  I quickly forgot about all the other lesser little boats and soon found myself taking in the sea-seasoned beauty of the rustic old wooden ship. 

As I took in all the intricacies of the weathered old craft – that to me looked as if it had been around the world and back again many times over – a man carrying an oddly shaped bundle in a canvas sack walked up and climbed aboard the craft.  He was lean and muscular, possibly in his mid-60’s, had a skin tone of deep-brown sun-weathered leather, a medium length grizzled white beard, and a full head of white-blonde hair – he briefly looked in my direction and I noticed he had piercing jade-green eyes.  He was wearing a faded, threadbare t-shirt with what looked like the Japanese kanji for “Mt. Fuji” printed on it – but it was so faded that it was hard to make it out – faded old khaki shorts, and pink flip flops.  He eyed me again briefly then turned and knocked (what to me sounded like a secret knock) on the door to below decks – it opened to reveal an exotically beautiful younger woman wrapped in a tropical print sarong with bronze skin and a waist-length braid of thick, jet-black hair.  She came topside briefly, picked up the bundle he had been carrying, and disappeared back below.  The old sailor picked up an even older toolbox, stepped back down onto the dock, and began to make a minor repair on one of the boat’s portholes – and I took the liberty to strike up a conversation.   

After chatting for a while I discovered that he and his partner, whom he never named – nor did he say his name and I did not ask – lived aboard the boat with their scruffy old mixed-breed dog he called “Bandar” (Bandar = monkey in Hindi).

He did not say where they were from and I did not ask but from his accent I would say he had been either Australian, Kiwi, or British.  He said they did not have a land-based home and for over two decades they had traveled the planet’s oceans – their boat their only home.

The elements provided their energy – as evidenced by the wind turbine spinning almost silently on the mast and several solar modules (panels) of different ages and designs covering the roof above the wheelhouse and part of the deck area.  He said they relied on the rains and island freshwater springs to provide most of their drinking water and they had built a simple but effective collection system of shade awnings constructed from what looked like old canvas and plastic tarps strung up over parts of the deck amidships.  These tarps funneled water into a series of bamboo and plastic gutters, tubes, and pipes that lead to water storage tanks below deck.  When water started to get low and they were far from land they also had a homebuilt solar distillation system that would provide them with just enough fresh water to survive until they were able to locate more.

When I asked if the boat had a secondary power source the old sailor said “I rely on the wind mostly but when the wind dies I just drop anchor until the winds return, or if in the deep – I just drift with the current and work on projects that need my attention until the wind returns.  If close to port or if conditions are so bad that I need to drop sails to save them – or if the need be great enough to move faster than nature wants me to move – I will use the motor.  It’s not petrol – the boat’s electric.  The ancient old petrol engine threw a rod about a decade ago when I was about a week out of Darwin.  I made it safe in to port and then, after finding out how much it was going to cost to replace the old petrol monster – I just tore it all out and sank it in the shallows where it is now a home for the fishes.”  He went on to say that he replaced the old engine with a salvaged electric motor from a fork truck.  He mated the motor with the transmission of an old lorry (truck), bolted it to the boat’s propeller shaft, dropped in several fork truck batteries in place of the old fuel tank and some ballast, and connected it all to the solar panels and wind turbine.  He said “it works perfectly, is far less of a hassle than the old petrol engine ever was, doesn’t stink or leak, is silent, simple, easy to maintain, and also provides electricity for all of the boats navigation/radio/lighting/galley systems – and the best thing is that unlike petrol – it does not promote or support war and environmental pollution and destruction and therefore it is free from the subscription to dependency that is attached to all things powered by godawful petrol.”  (I did not get around to asking him how often he had to replace his batteries or how he afforded to do it since batteries are very expensive but I’ll bet he had that one figured out as well.)   

He said that Dolphins, whales, turtles, and the occasional other sailor were their neighbors. Fish, clams, crabs, shrimp, oysters, conchs, birds and bird eggs, coconuts, taro, yucca, agave, mango, oranges, limes and other citrus fruits, papaya, bananas, breadfruit, and other island fruits provided most of their food.

He said he occasionally made use of ports all around the planet to acquire certain things that he could not easily find at sea such as some “land fruits,” veggies, and parts for his boat.  He stated that he did not usually need or like to stop in port – while stopping did sometimes make life easier and more convenient, it was also dangerous…he did not say why and I did not ask.

While in port he would service other people’s boats in return for the cash needed to buy the supplies/parts he needed to stock up for a while – then he would set sail and move on. 

Then he said “Money is one of the most evil and destructive things ever invented and it pains me deeply that I am occasionally forced to make use of it to get what I need – I would rather fish, forage, scrounge, or barter to survive – but sometimes that is just not what works out.”

I asked him what the other evil things were and he thought a moment and said “greed, selfishness, the childish need for power and control of others, division, slavery, war, people breeding without thought for the future or for the new life they are bringing into existence, the infantile, fearful, self-centered idea of white supremacy, twisted religions that denounce the earth and claim to be the way to salvation for those that follow them – at the cost of everyone and everything else that does not.  And above all else the disrespect and disregard for other living beings and for the living earth that freely gives us all our very lives.”

I sat in silence while he worked, thinking about his words.  While I first found his views on society somewhat shocking, I also found them very refreshingly obvious but often not observed by those who are so caught up in them on a daily basis.  His insight had the wisdom of the truly awake and thinking outsider looking in from beyond the wall of society at the bizarre and troublesome puzzle we have created for ourselves, the full puzzle we cannot usually see because we are stuck on the inside of this matrix of society – forever bound up as slaves to this dangerous and divisive illusion of freedom that we are fed from birth.   

He worked for a while in silence then put away his tools, reached aboard his boat and grabbed the same canvas sack his partner had taken below earlier – only now its contents had been reduced by about ½ – and started walking down the dock, I followed at a respectful distance, interested in where he was headed.  He went to the dock master’s office and proceeded to pay him for his time moored at the dock.  From my perspective it looked like he paid him in tropical fruit, a silk garment of some kind, and what appeared to be a small flask of a clear fermented beverage – all this made me smile – they obviously knew each other and had a friendly barter agreement.  I would bet that somewhere below decks of his boat the man had a very detailed log/map listing all of the ports and individuals who would accept nontraditional payment for docking fees as well as all the tiny uninhabited tropical islands with safe anchorages, fruit, good fishing, and fresh water.

He shook hands with the dock master, said a few parting words, turned, and started walking the dock back toward his boat.  I asked him how he had made it all work for so long and he said “Because I was done. Done with the garbage. Done with the hatred. Done with the killing. Done with the greed. Done with the lies. Done with the illusion.  I had no other choice.”

I did not ask him what he meant by that last part.

He then continued “The sea and small islands provide me with almost all I need to survive and what the sea does not provide I will often find washed up on beaches and in the horrible floating garbage patches of your modern civilization – I make use of the cast-off flotsam and jetsam from your society to help me continue. People like Frank (the dock master I think) also help me when the need arises – but that is not often.”  He said he was saddened deeply that so many people chose to pollute the planet without a care at all for nature or for future generations but he was also grateful that some of the cast off refuse was still so very useful – and free. He made use of many of these items turning them into everything – from the earlier mentioned rainwater collection system, to fishing tools, kitchen utensils, and even the solar still for making fresh water and seasoning salt from salt water.

As we walked back to his boat this most intriguing man then said one of the most interesting things that has stuck with me ever since.  When I asked him where he was from he said; “I do not have a state or nation that I call home. I have cast off all connections to my previous citizenship – from when I was a slave to the system.”  He never did say the country he was originally from – and I could see that it was a sore spot so I did not go there.  “My boat and the oceans are my home.  I am not connected or beholden to any nation, governing, or supportive system other than the governing systems of nature and the vast ocean of the cosmos.”  He then said “My heart hurts for the people caught up in the petty bickering between friends, between families, between nations, over childish soul and society destroying politics, evil money, cultish culture-dividing and soul-destroying religions, I weep for those lost in the horribly wasteful wars, insane terrorist acts, and loss of life all in the name of blind patriotism and body and soul-killing toxically divisive religions, the endless quest for oil, gold, and other material things, the tribal division, the skin deep hate, the denial of observable facts, the carelessness and callousness and frightening blind devotion to flag, nationality, and so many archaic faith-based systems.”  He then quoted Albert Einstein saying “Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind!” 

Interestingly, in all his commentary about the state of things – his words were never bitter, mean or hateful – only a peaceful commentary on the sad status of the world that by choice he had distanced himself from as much as possible…and in some ways that he seemed to be running away from.  I got the feeling that if he had the means he would leave this planet entirely and wander the cosmos – a nomadic drifter, searching for nothing and learning everything.  I silently wondered what it was that had driven him to leave his home country and culture.  The answer I am sure could be found somewhere in his commentary but out of respect for his journey, his privacy, and his freedom to truly be himself – I did not ask.

He then became really quiet and walked to his boat, when he reached the gangplank he stopped, turned to me and said “The only way to be truly free is to completely and forever let go of the illusions of freedom that your parents, your government, your society, your education, your religion – whatever illusions have been programmed into your mind by your culture and society that holds you like a slave in its grasp – and become your own person.  That is what I did after…”

He abruptly stopped speaking, looked out to sea for a long moment and said – “Cast off the imaginary anchors and chains of the illusion of freedom and only then will you be really and truly free and only then will your eyes be opened to the true nature of things.”

With that he turned away from me, walked up to the ramp onto his ancient schooner and made ready to depart. Silently I watched as he was joined by the scruffy Bandar and his beautiful partner and together they pulled in the gangplank and moorings, used a long pole to push the boat outward from the end of the dock into the current of the outgoing tide, deployed a single sail – the soft mid-morning breeze slowly filling it out pushing old boat, its human and canine passengers and their entire free-floating world silently through the waters of the inter-coastal waterway and out into the Atlantic Ocean where they deployed the rest of their sails – and then within a few moments – they were gone.

No illusions, no limitations, no flag, faith, or nation – only mysterious residents of planet earth who were truly one with nature and well and truly free.

Free your mind and find true freedom.

Unless.

Recently I read this article in The Guardian that really hit home with me how urgent the need is to stop burning things for energy.

Sadly, until our species stops burning long-dead life-forms – fossil fuels – as our primary sources of energy for our homes, businesses, and transportation systems, this trend will only continue. More people will sicken and die due to atmospheric, land, and water pollution directly and indirectly due to burning fossil fuels for energy. Then there are the anthropogenic climate change implications – but that is another can of worms for another day.

If you do not understand the issues and the connections between burning fossil fuels, pollution, climate change and the health and continuation for humans and wildlife then it is possible that:

– you may not understand the problem.

– you may understand the problem but feel that it is hopeless and that nothing you do will change anything.

– you may have the desire to make a change, but do not believe you have the ability or the means to start the change.

or

– you may not want to understand the problem.

– you may for some bizarre reason actually believe the rhetoric of the corrupt politicians who are in bed with fossil fuel corporations.

– you may be listening to and trusting those with agendas.

– while choosing to ignore those with the peer-reviewed evidence.

– you may have money invested in fossil fuels that you do not want to loose.

– you might be comfortable in the way things are – or were – and you do not want to change – even if that change would make you more comfortable, happy, wealthy, and provide your children and grandchildren with a better world.

– you may actually believe the ancient scribblings in a dusty old story book that tells you the earth and its resources are somehow “imperfect” “corrupt” or “evil” and are here for us to dominate and squander without any consideration for future people, wildlife, or the balance of nature.

– you may even somehow believe all of the above.

This is all really very sad.

These limiting, restrictive, erroneous, and destructive beliefs will only serve to make problems such as this far more malignant and deadly.

The cold, hard, inconvenient truth is this: our species must stop burning things for energy and transition as fast as possible to local, energy secure, clean, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, gravity, tidal and wave energy, and eventually – fusion. We must keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground and use them only as fuel for systems and projects that do not play well with renewables such as rocketry – as well as keeping them in reserve as backups for when emergencies happen and as feedstocks for reusable, recyclable products that are made from them – such as plastics.

If we want our species to continue much longer into the future – we must listen to those with the evidence.

We must follow the evidence wherever it leads.

We must listen to the science.

This is the only way we will ever evolve.

It’s all a conspiracy!

No, actually – it is not…I was just trying to get your attention 😉

I am sharing this link not because I was one of these people, I am sharing because many people have found themselves in this position and have been able to recognize the trap they were in and then get themselves out of it before it was too late. The link is a story of great advice from one of these individuals who recognized the danger and got out – others, however, are not so lucky and will need help from friends and family in finding their way out of the deep, dark, pit of conspiratorial thinking they have fallen into. Without a ladder or a rope of loving support from their loved ones – and sometimes the long arm of the law – they will dig themselves in even deeper and the ever-increasing depth of the pit will increasingly prevent them from escaping the gravity well they have fallen into – a gravity well that is crushing the life out of them and often, everyone around them.

IMHO, intentionally denying verifiable, peer-reviewed evidence and instead choosing to support conspiracy “theorist” “thinking” and belief systems – is one of the most dangerous threats we face in working toward a prosperous future for us all.

Have you unfortunately found yourself stuck in that bizarre world of conspiracies where you actually fully believe everything is a lie, a cover-up, a hoax?

You know what I’m talking about – but just in case you need a refresher – here are a few of the more common examples:

Area 51 is hoarding and hiding alien bodies/artifacts

The Apollo moon landings were staged/produced by Stanley Kubrick…

The earth is flat…or hollow…

Australia does not exist…

Lizard people are controlling our government…

Giants once existed…

Dinosaurs and humans lived at the same time…or dinosaurs never existed and their bones are a manufactured to give scientists a job…

Chem-trails are real…

Pizzagate…

911 was staged…

The “deep state”…

Climate change is a hoax…

Covid 19 is a bioweapon and was manufactured in a lab by Bill Gates and friends, and/or Bill Gates is putting tracking devices in vaccines to track/follow/control you…

Vaccines cause autism…

The democrats/republicans/greenies are plotting to take your freedoms…

The virus is not real and mask mandates are about control…

College brainwashes people to become liberals…

All that Qanon nonsense…

…yada, yada, yada…


If you believe any of these and/or similar bizarre claims and beliefs – without seriously analyzing and questioning the authenticity of those claims and beliefs…the what and the why of what and why you believe what you believe – and especially if you believe these things without any verifiable evidence to support your claims and beliefs – then you may have inadvertently become stuck/trapped in a cultish following that has hijacked your brain.

Ask yourself some serious questions:

Is this belief system taking up a large portion of my time?

Have I ended friendships or am I fighting with family members over it?

Have I dropped out of school or lost jobs because of it?

Am I living in constant fear of friends/family/neighbors/strangers that I once respected?

Am I afraid – terrified – of what may happen next?

Am I stockpiling food and weapons?

Am I always online “learning” and “researching” the latest claim, “theory” or “truth”?

Am I worshiping an ideal or a person in power/politics/prestige as a “savior” of humanity or our “tribe” or way of life?

Am I worried that friends who listen to and support the recommendations of science are the ones who have been duped?

Am I concerned and/or do I believe that education and knowledge are work of “the left,” “evil” or “the devil?”

Do I believe that I am 100% right about my beliefs because simply my belief system, my friends online, and/or that loudmouthed “woke” guy on YouTube, or my favorite end of the world/prepper/echo chamber website (that interestingly is always asking for money to support their cause) – tells me so?

If any of this sounds like you then please, get professional help now before it is too late.

The fact is this: if no evidence exists to support their/your claim, “theory,” or belief system – then in all the probability that exists – that claim, “theory” or belief system is – most likely – simply wrong/erroneous and/or manufactured – probably to make some slimy, smelly, troll in a dim, dank basement somewhere – loads of money – your money.

Sadly, you may have already lost your freedom to whatever the belief system it is that is controlling you and you will see everything and everyone as a lie, a hoax, a threat to you and your freedom.

Again, if any of this sounds like you then please, get help now before it is too late – before the gravitational pull of the lunatic fringe pulls you past the point of no return and you disappear over the event horizon into the black hole of darkness never to return to the land of the living.

If you can find the inner strength to realize you made a mistake – as the brave woman in this story did – then you can rescue yourself from the toxic world of conspiracy theorists and lies. Next is a story of a man who realized he was conned by the Qanon crazy and got out before it totally controlled his life.

Personal freedom comes when you find the inner strength to break the molds imposed upon you by the conspiratorial, religious, and political conditioning that ended your childhood trust in others and destroyed the insatiable curiosity all children have in the natural, real, observable, measurable, and so very fragile connections between all things in the cosmos.

Until you are able to shed the toxic skin of your past – or the mind predators of your present – you will run the risk of remaining easily controlled, divided, fearful, and under the thumb of the charlatans who want to own your life for their own personal gain.

True freedom does not come from without, it comes from within. It comes from letting go of all the things that have a hold on you, that control your thought process – and replacing them with only reality – even if the reality is that no one is really in control and we are all working, fighting, clawing to exist on a tiny, inconspicuous, remote, wet rocky speck of a rather ordinary planet orbiting just another ordinary star in just another ordinary galaxy in this vast ocean we call the cosmos.

We may not be all that special when it comes to the vastness of the cosmos, but each and every one of us are unique, special, one of a kind individuals and we each have wonderful gifts, talents, generosity, compassion, and love to offer to those around us. Let go of the imaginary things that control you and open your eyes and see reality as it really is – and then you will truly be free to live, share, and enjoy the life and time you have.

Life is not about the ending, it is about the living.

Live, laugh, love, learn.

Do good things.

One Love.

There is no hell but the hell we make

I recently found this video being shared on social media outlets and it really helped me articulate and put into words what I have been feeling for…decades.

Thank you Bishop John Spong for your wonderful insight.

Like Bishop Spong, I do not believe in the traditional Christian version of a hell.

However, a hell on earth – now that is quickly becoming a measurable, visible, living, breathing, reality that we humans are quickly making for ourselves and all living things on terra firma…

Deforestation.

Habitat destruction.

Overconsumption of the planet’s resources.

The illegal wildlife trade for bushmeat, traditional “medicine, “pets,” and stock for wildlife parks.

Fossil fuel emissions creating a warming planet.

Nuclear weapons poised to launch.

Garbage/plastic and toxic chemical/biological/radioactive/pharmaceutical wastes/residues poisoning the soil, the waters, the air we breathe, and the foods we eat.

Wildlife species going extinct at a greatly accelerated rate.

An exponentially growing human and livestock population methodically eating the planet’s resources faster than they can recover.

Diseases jumping from wildlife to humans.

Then we have the lunatic-fringe humans. Those misguided, conspiracy “theory” driven, doubt, fear, and hate-spouting religious/political/hate-focused cult-like groups creating all kinds of crazy and supporting crooked mega-rich con-artist politicians/religious leaders/influencers out only for personal power, wealth, and control – all while building walls between each other and reality. Some of these radicalized extremists are even going so far as to recruit innocent others from obscure echo-chamber internet “social media” sites (such as the late Parler) with the apparent goal being to build armies of fearful, untrusting, often hateful, violent, and racist, followers and – if the events of January 6th, 2020 were any indication of their intent – are working to try and break down the foundations of our own democratic government and society in the misguided attempt to bring about their idea of a perfect world…and even in some extremely bizarre cases their bizarre idea of the “end times” – whatever that is. (It is really strange how fascinated and motivated many of these people are with death, and endings while at the same time their ancient belief systems keep them tied to the past, keeping them from accepting facts, evidence, reality, and therefore, keeping them from moving forward and truly living.)

It seems obvious to me that we humans are working very hard to create a living version of a hell – and there is no evidence of a god or devil pulling any strings to make any of this happen…it is only us. We are the hateful, selfish, and evil, demons, and devils and we are building a toxic hell in which to spend the rest of our days.

As Giordano Bruno stated before he was burned at the stake for believing other suns and other worlds existed and for thinking and sharing his knowledge with others –

“Your god is too small.”

IMHO as a lone human observer on the outside who once was on the inside – I feel that many religions are so very limiting of their god…whatever a god is. Is god a living (as we understand what it means to be alive) being…or is it living on a totally different level…so incredibly different and/or more advanced in its evolution than us that we are unable to recognize, communicate, or understand it with our limited intelligence and biology? Maybe it is a “force,” a Lucas-esque energy field existing outside our frame of reference…mabye it is a deeply intricate interwoven web of interconnections of mycelium-like structures sharing energy and knowledge between all living things – on a level we do not yet and may never begin to understand…or is it something to do with quantum entanglement, or dark/matter energy…mabye it exists on/in another dimension…or as an understanding/consciousness/awareness – something as far above/beyond our understanding/consciousness/awareness as we exist far above/beyond the understanding/consciousness/awareness possessed by the Chimpanzee, ants, or bacteria…I am open to the possibility that it may somehow, somewhere exist…and whatever “it” is, if it does in fact exist – and in all probability, it may not – but if it does, it may exist, resonate, as something we have not been or may never be able to “see”, measure, experience, or even postulate about….

…it is very possible that we, in all our superiority and hubris, are as the bacterium living upon the inner wall of the intestine of a random human being living upon a pale blue dot of a planet floating in the unfathomably vast ocean of space – a mere mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. Like that single-celled creature living its entire short life on the gut lining of you, or me – that creature cannot imagine or even dream about the thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, and desires – or even the very existence of the human being that it lives inside, the earth that human lives upon, the vast cosmos that blue marble floats within…but without all of these things working together that bacteria would not be able to exist. Therefore, we cannot and we should not try to describe “god” or “gods” without any concrete evidence to guide us in our attempt to describe and understand such things so far outside of our realm of understanding.

To think that we – a species so young in the history of the planet and the cosmos – with so much deep time behind us – to think that we puny, naked, multi-colored, bipedal, thinking apes can actually believe we have the intellectual ability to explain it all out by making up a few thousand evidence-lacking stories and creator beings and then calling those beings and stories the one and only ultimate truth and that, if you do not follow those stories exactly to the letter and constantly pay your homage, your time, and your hard-earned money to your chosen deity – that, if you do not do these things exactly as dictated in the ancient texts – that your “soul” will burn forever in agony in an imaginary lake of molten lava/fire/brimstone overseen by a grinning red warlock with a forked tongue, pointed tail, dragon-like wings, and a really bad attitude…all that, all of it is the ultimate form of hubris. It is also a complete and total cover-up, a camouflage, for the perfect business model designed long ago with the prime goal being to control gullible frightened people who were ignorant of the facts of how nature works in order to keep them in line and under control – and then take their money for the emperor/lord/king/headman/politician/pontiff gets richer and everyone else gets poorer. It was and still is; a business run by charlatans, hucksters, and snake oil salesmen out to get rich off the fears and doubts of the common people.

Sadly, so many good people are intentionally kept entirely ignorant of the amazing wonders of nature by the very design of the narrow-minded religions (and political institutions) they blindly and unquestionably follow – religions and institutions that suppress and censor real facts and knowledge as if it is somehow an unpardonable sin to know how nature really works. They then substitute their own manufactured fear, uncertainty, and doubt – their own version of the “facts,” – feeding them to their ignorant, bleating, chanting, followers…and the money keeps flowing into the hidden coffers of the rich elites running the show at the top.

However, once a person learns, understands, and accepts facts, evidence, and knowledge – that knowledge is powerful and it soon conquers their old fears and they wake up from their stupor, cast off their past, and are no longer a “sheeple” blindly following along in lockstep with the “flock.” They have become an enlightened, critically-thinking, awake, concerned for others, nature, and the future, person who can think with an open mind and open heart, and explore the amazing wonders of nature, life, the universe, and everything without the controlling, fearful, constricting, stifling, filter of a knowledge-limiting religion or political system making their decisions for them. They have become a truly free human being. A great example of this is what happened to the woman in the following video.


If you find yourself stuck in a dangerous cultish “religion” or toxic political following…

– please –

get out and get help.

But then, all my commentary is just my humble opinion based upon my ongoing observations of the world and the other humans around me and their actions toward one another and nature. There are 7.5 billion other “me’s” on planet earth – and they all have their own observations and opinions so it is not my place to try to force them to change their opinions or beliefs. I will, however, share my observations and my story and hope it gets some of my readers thinking about what this thing called life is, what it may be all about, and where we are all going.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” -J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Fellowship of the Ring”

Shifting gears a bit, some of you may think of volcanoes as hellish, destructive landscapes but it is most interesting to note that – after a fire, smoke, and lava-spewing hell-on-earth volcano erupts in the ocean it creates new land we humans call islands. This new land is later colonized by plants, animals, and people. This is nothing but a good thing – a gift from the god(s) if you will.

If a volcano erupts on land it may, for a time, lay waste to the surrounding countryside and the life therein – but soon – the countryside recovers and then, due to the nutrients brought fourth from deep within mother earth, it soon becomes one of the most fertile, life-producing places known.

So, “hellish” volcanoes bring future life and prosperity through the destruction of the past and the creation of the future and, if you are smart enough to get out of their way when you observe and understand their warning signs, then you. your species, and your society will benefit from the aftermath of their “hellish” nature.

Mother nature always knows best.

If mother nature were a corporeal being, in my minds eye – she would look something like this.

Maybe the “hell” we are going through on planet earth right now is only the death throes of a dying animal – the ending of an old, outdated, toxic way of thinking, governing, believing and living. Maybe, hopefully, after all the strife, craziness, and sickness has passed – a new type of human condition will, like the mythical phoenix, arise from the ashes of the fires of the ending of its hellish past and usher in a new era of enlightenment and freedom guided only by reality, evidence, logic, understanding, acceptance, and love.

Phoenix – Source: Deviantart.com

Be Like NASA

NASA is amazing.

In the late 1960 and early 1970’s they put a total of 12 human beings ON THE MOON with the

Apollo mission series.

NASA not only landed a dozen humans on the moon but they also put several different experiments on the moon – some that are still working to this day…

…and three Lunar Roving Vehicles – yes, NASA put “cars” on the moon…and they are all still there waiting for our return.

They then brought the astronauts, and hundreds of pounds of moon rocks they collected, safely back to earth for study – and they did this 6 TIMES!

Buzz Aldrin looks back at Tranquility Base and the Lunar Module Eagle.
Credit Neil Armstrong and NASA.
Source: https://www.nasa.gov/apollo11-gallery

…oh, and they rescued three stranded astronauts who had a terrible mishap in space (Apollo 13) and brought them home safely.

Everyone cheers, waves American flags, and worships the astronauts and NASA as the amazing heroes they are.

Armstrong, Collins, and Aldrin ticker tape parade. Credit NASA
https://www.nasa.gov/apollo11-gallery
Earthrise. Credit NASA.
Source: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1249.html

NASA sends multiple space probes, landers, and rovers to the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and many of their moons and then, sends back photos and videos and lots of science of these amazing places that astounds the inhabitants of our world greatly increasing our knowledge of our place in our home solar system, our galaxy, and in the cosmos.

The first Pale Blue Dot image. Credit Voyager Space Probe.
Source: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/images/540616main_pia00452-43_full.jpg
The second “Pale Blue Dot” image of Earth from Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft: http://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Images/2013/07/Cassini_s_Pale_Blue_Dot

People all over the planet are astonished, amazed, and humbled at the beauty and reality of this outstanding scientific knowledge drop.

NASA’s car sized Mars Science Laboratory “Curiosity” takes a “selfie” on MARS. Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/index.html

NASA works with the ESA and other space agencies to land a space probe on a comet!

Yes, you read that correctly – a COMET!!!

Comet 67PCG as imaged by the Rosetta Space Probe. Source: http://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Rosetta

After taking almost a decade to arrive at comet 67PCG the people of planet earth watched in awe as the tiny spacecraft Rosetta rendezvoused with the comet and then, released its even more diminutive lander Philae which later briefly touched down and later came to rest – albeit at an unusual angle – on this ancient wandering body in space. Amazing data on the origins of the solar system was gathered, people of earth were astonished at the preciseness of the calculations – the coding, the math, and the science – required to make all this awesome discovery happen for our species.

NASA (and many other space agencies) have put several massive space telescopes into orbit that reveal the existence of countless galaxies, solar systems, and over four thousand exoplanets – some similar to our homeworld – orbiting other suns, and many other amazing hidden secrets of the cosmos.

The Hubble space telescope above earth. Credit NASA.
Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/main/index.html

People are again speechless and agape with awe at NASA’s skills at this science thing.

The Hubble Extreme Deep Field Image. Credit NASA. Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/xdf.html

NASA builds a fleet of reusable “space planes” – the Space Shuttle.

Shuttle Discovery in orbit with a piece of the ISS. Credit NASA. Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/main/index.html

…and then teams up with 15 other nations to build a massive space station – the International Space Station (ISS) – that is now orbiting 250 miles above our planet and moving at a speed of 17,500 mph.

The ISS above earth. Credit NASA. Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/overview/index.html

This ISS has been continuously occupied by different astronauts from many different countries for over 20 years.

ISS Pizza Party. Credit NASA. Source:

It is an outpost in space that allows us puny fragile humans to live and work in a weightless environment in order to further our knowledge of our species and its place in the universe – and to prepare for deep space missions back to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, Expedition 24 flight engineer, looks through a window in the Cupola of the International Space Station. Credit NASA. Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/overview/index.html

BTW: This is a space station that you can use a smartphone locator app (ISSonLive, ISSLiveNow, ISSDetector and more) to find in the night sky and then see with your own eyes from your own backyard. People are enlightened and astounded to the reality of it all.

A Space shuttle above Florida, USA – photo taken from the ISS.
Credit NASA.
Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/overview/index.html

NASA launches thousands of satellites that allow us to monitor the weather to plan our day, know our exact location and navigate better upon the surface of the planet (GPS), communicate across the world (global satellite communications, satellite TV, satellite internet, satellite phone etc.) – people are like

YAY NASA GO NASA WOOT WOOT!

NASA tells the world – several years early – a total eclipse of our star – the sun – will be happening on a certain day, at a certain time down to the second on a future date – so you better be there in a very narrow zone of totality across the continent or you will miss this once-in-a-lifetime “Great American Eclipse” event. Everyone takes NASA’s word as gospel and a mass migration of humans moves into position along the described zone of totality and all witnesses this totally amazing total solar eclipse.

Crowds gathered nationwide to watch the spectacle.
Everyone was ready and in place for the once in a lifetime event.

The solar eclipse during totality, seen from outside Crowheart, Wyoming; the photograph uses exposure bracketing to show both the Sun’s corona and the surface features of the new moon itself, illuminated by earthshine. A few solar prominences are visible around the lunar limb. Credit: Michael S Adler

Just as NASA scientists had stated several years before the event – the moon passed between the sun and the earth and at the exact times and locations as NASA had previously predicted – the Great American Eclipse happened.

Mike drop.

——————————–

NASA and many, many other scientists (all the way back to Clare Patterson – who not only discovered the age of our planet but may very well have saved all of us from lead poisoning) tells us that our earth is very, very, very old – on the order of 4.55 billion years to be as exact as scientifically possible.

Earth gif. Source – the “interwebs.”

This astonishing fact is supported by tons of geologic evidence in the crustal rocks of the planet and our Moon as well as evidence from ancient asteroids and comets as well as in the chemical/geological makeup of all planetary bodies in our solar system.

More on this topic: https://www.space.com/24854-how-old-is-earth.html

and

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth

Yet today, even with all the before mentioned NASA awesomeness, and all the piles of evidence…

…many humans continue to choose to claim our planet is less than 10,000 years old…see: Young Earth Creationism.

This topic would not be complete without debunking the bizarre myth that we humans lived alongside dinosaurs. Put simply – no, we did not. If we had, we probably would not be here because they were DINOSAURS!

Stated a bit more clearly and with awesome animations.

________________________

NASA uses its best science and technology to confirm our home planet is in fact round…and many, many, astronauts and spacecraft with cameras go into space and report that yes, our planet is in fact round.

Astronaut Mike Massimino over Earth. Credit NASA and Mike Massimino.

…and some people are like – NOPE. I just don’t believe it because from my point of view on the surface of the planet it just looks flat.

Riiiiiiight.

Some insight into the roundness of our planet.

Furthermore…

Imagine you are a bacterium on a beach ball – “Small sections of large curved surfaces will always look flat to little creatures that crawl upon it.” – NDT

I’ll let Neil Degrasse Tyson take it from here…

Source: NASA Blue Marble 2012. Credit NASA. Source: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-earth-58.html

___________________

NASA uses its best space and earth based tools (satellites, aircraft, ice cores, historic temperature readings, atmospheric monitoring stations, tree rings, lake and ocean sediments, and the peer-review process, etc.) to generate solid evidence supported by the vast majority of the planet’s scientists who study the earth’s climate systems to reveal their evidence to the world that our human activities are driving climate change by burning too many fossil fuels way too fast…

…and some people have chosen to totally ignore and deny this peer-reviewed evidence and are like –

“NOPE. I just don’t believe it.”

!!WTF humans WTF!!

If we do not want to have our home planet become another Venus

…if we do not want our beautiful round planet to continue to be populated by a growing number of willfully ignorant, science and evidence doubting, conspiracy supporting, myth and legend preaching humans…

…if we do not want our species and many others to go the way of most of the dinosaurs…

…then, as we have done in the past in all matters of space and earth science, when it comes time to make the big decisions that impact us all and our shared environment – then we really need to start listening to NASA and the other experts who study our planet, our environment, and our climate and we need to fully trust them to guide us in our decision making process.

This is not rocket science but it is the definition of critical thinking: Disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, informed, and supported by evidence .

We need to be more like NASA.

We need to unite behind the science.

The future hinges on the decisions that we make today.

Choose Wisely.