I am writing this post on November 3rd.

It is my great hope that the midterm elections favored the Democrats. Not because I consider myself to be “liberal”, or even the more popular term-of-late “progressive”, but because I consider myself a centrist. And this term is even a bit of a misnomer as it does not necessarily conform to the modern American political definition. I have an appreciation for balance…the kind of balance that keeps power out of the hands of a few privileged elite, and makes it more difficult for them to wrangle control over people’s daily lives.

Now, I’m not naïve enough to think that having the Dems in charge will somehow immediately, effectively, or even noticeably improve anyone’s daily life, but it just might (and I stress might here) make it more difficult for #45 and his sycophantic cronies to continue fleecing the federal government for anything that isn’t nailed-down.

What do I think needs to happen to effectively and markedly improve US political discourse and structure? A few more political parties…simply put, having a few more political parties would allow people to have something closer to their values and priorities represented in DC and their respective state capitals. Even just one more national party would be enough to cause significant shifts in DC.

It would be nice to see, in my lifetime, some sensible political reform in the US…something more akin to the rest of the industrialized world, something more like a buffet, rather than just ‘chicken or fish’.


Family Glyphs

I finished developing glyphs for family terminology and a novel way to render various relatives.

Using these glyphs:

These can be found on this page.

You generate these terms:

Note the use of -ha (augmentative) and -hi (diminutive) to denote relative age. The handwritten versions of each example are syllables, not logographic.

Shakespeare Quote

iye iyatonolotle kue ki ma’a timu takuyo atsuha
what-if PROX-hand-cursed-REL like self with blood brother-GEN thick-AUG
What if this cursed hand were thicker than itself with brother’s blood

panamua ke tenyonihue nya kue nyahi etla tlelapa ka
rain-enough O heaven-nice-LOC for like snow P.4s wash-POT Q
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heaves to wash it white as snow?

William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600-02), Act III, scene 3, line 43


As we (in the US) inch closer to the Midterms, it is our responsibility as citizens to disallow the politicians of their seemingly incurable appetite to ignore those issues that truly make a difference in our quality of life.

Those issues are different for each of us. Don’t be afraid, don’t blow it off, don’t forget, Vote!

It’s a fake!

I have concluded that “trust” is an illusion. A comforting story that we tell ourselves in order to cope with the actual state of being – complete and total uncertainty. Perhaps it is overly pessimistic to think in these terms, but you truly cannot even rely on the ground beneath your feet, given earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, etc. Yes, these things are quite appropriately called “disasters” and are infrequent, nevertheless, they do happen.

More to the point, “trust” between people is the most glaring of illusions. Unless science develops a way to read each and every electrical signal in someone’s brain, knowing, for a fact, that individual’s true thoughts and intentions is never going to be possible.

This is complicated even more by the tendency people have to operate by desire, or whim, rather than careful consideration of consequences and repercussions. Now, there are sets of consequences, and unique consequences. A unique consequence might be stubbing a toe due to a lack of attentiveness while on the way to the bathroom at 5am. A set of consequences might be additionally falling over, hitting your head, then being late to work, or even worse, in the emergency room and unable to pay the bill.

Regardless of what someone tells you, or what they might indicate, until the act is completed, you can never truly be sure what they will do, or how they will behave.

Pain, in contrast to “trust”…that is a certainty. At some point, in every person’s life, there will be pain, perhaps minor, maybe gargantuan. The true measure of the soul, though, seems to be how one reacts to this pain. Do you turn it into suffering, or do you strive to make things as good as they can be, or at the very least, as bearable as they need to be in order to live with some modicum of sanity.

Whatever the case, betrayal causes needless pain, pain that can be easily avoided by making intentions fully clear and explicit. But without those explicit intentions, there is never really anything that deserves the word “trust”.

Puerto Rico

There have barely been whispers about PR since the news of the hurricane covered the papers, web, and cable. However, anyone who pays attention knows that there was recently a studied published by Harvard that suggests over 4500 people died as a result of the Maria, and the aftermath. Even if this number is double the accurate figures, it’s still astronomical when compared to the official numbers.

The lack of coverage in favor of more petty and inconsequential drivel is not a symptom of the culture at large, if anything, it is the cause. Giving people a steady diet of crap that ignores people in need, serious, severe, actual suffering is the literal recipe to create apathetic and increasingly narcissistic individuals.

This is not a claim of moral superiority, this is a cry for help. Not help for me, but help for those in need…the homeless, the veterans, the victims of natural disasters, abused children and spouses. Let the social and political fools beg and plead for your attention, do not give it to them willingly, do not surrender your will, or your conscience

Careful, careful

When discussing ideas, one must be sure not to discuss ideas that find their roots in superstition and faith with the hope or expectation of a rational or logical conclusion.

There is no reason to expect some that refers to themselves as a “believer” to want to have that belief questioned, or at the very least examined by an “outsider”, a “non-believer”. I try to be very careful with this word “believe”, as it seems to assume acceptance without verification…only slightly different than “faith”. Perhaps the distinction is something only I find important, or bother to distinguish. At any rate, I will elaborate below.

I was discussing a myriad of things with a colleague last week. Topics from sports, to chess, to career goals….the topic of belief tiptoed its way into the conversation. I, having enjoyed only a few adult beverages, made a statement that I now regret; “Lilith was Adam’s first wife.” This seemingly innocuous aside lead to a two hour discussion about religious texts which ended in me attempting to explain why I do not have a “belief system”…I failed. Perhaps it was the beers, perhaps it was my exhaustion from the week, or perhaps it was the intractable nature of my colleague’s belief that seems grounded in a personal experience that he says shaped his entire world view. During the discussion I tried to elicit an explanation from him as to why his accepted religious texts were more correct, or the only correct ones, given the sheer volume of religious texts that exist in the world. His statement was fairly predictable “because it’s true.”

Not only do I regret that at times the discussion was contentious, I regret that I involved myself in a discussion where the outcome was not only so painfully predictable, but one that was at its core, completely pointless.