a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
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Impact of Change

Strictly Speaking. . .

We communicate in many ways.

maxresdefaultWe communicate with our eyes, our facial expressions and body language but most of our communication is with words. Interestingly, our non-verbal communication tends to be the most accurate because it is subconscious most of the time; a natural emotional response to what we feel about whatever is being communicated by or to us. Words, on the other hand, can be used to both deliver information and to obscure it.

George Carlin used to say that there are no bad words, only bad intentions and he was right to a point. Words like Nigger (or “the ‘N’ word as the politically correct refer to it) has negative connotations for some in society but is often used positively by many in the black community. The meaning of the word doesn’t change but its social acceptability is determined by who is using the word rather than by what it means.

It’s the same with the word ‘fuck’ which for a very long time was considered to be the ultimate uh-oh word in polite company. You could take the Lord’s name in vain, curse someone out until you were blue in the face but you refrained from using the Big F generally and virtually never in mixed company.

That has changed, of course. Fuck is now one of the most common expletives used these days and even parents and their off-spring will use it comfortably in front of each other. The meaning of the word hasn’t changed and neither has its various uses just its social acceptability has undergone transformation. Continue reading

Eight Seconds

You have eight seconds to read this post.

According to a research study just released by Microsoft, eight seconds is the attention span of the average person today. This is a 30% reduction since 2000 and is shorter than the attention span of a goldfish – or the average politician.

Science points to all the gadgets we have these days as being the primary culprit for our declining ability to stay focused on anything for very long and they may well be right. God knows we have more than a few gadgets to pre-occupy us. People switch back and forth from gadget to gadget in a frenzied attempt to stay current on the most trivial.

“I like bacon”

“Cheryl just washed her hair”

“Look at this picture of adorable kittens” (again and again and again….) Continue reading

Darwin’s Theory of Shopping

In an editorial piece on CBC’s website about the closing of Future Shop stores in Canada, the author stated that Future Shop fell victim to  ‘pampered’ and ‘lazy’ shoppers who preferred to shop online rather than get up off the couch and go to a store. Needless to say, that got the commentary going below the article and it wasn’t very complimentary.

Normally, I tend to take with a grain of salt, most of the comments that follow a news article but I agreed with most of them this time because they were right and the article’s author was quite simply, just wrong.

The Internet continues to change how we do things. It’s really just that simple. It has changed how we get informed, how we entertain ourselves, how we work, interact with each other and how we shop. If it could feed us, we’d eat on the Internet. Continue reading

Jive Talkin’

I have appointed a Secretary of Semantics–a most important post. He is to furnish me with forty to fifty dollar words. Tell me how to say yes and no in the same sentence without a contradiction. He is to tell me the combination of words that will put me against inflation in San Francisco and for it in New York. He is to show me how to keep silent–and say everything. You can very well see how he can save me an immense amount of worry.
Harry S Truman

I speak English and a smattering of French. Maggie speaks English, French and Dutch fluently and can mutter a bit in Russian and Italian. Across our family there are no fewer than five languages: English, French, Dutch, Japanese and Mandarin. My daughter taught my grandson to sign before he could talk so that he could communicate beyond smiling and crying. None of us speak all five languages but we all speak English and most also speak French and that’s more than enough for us to communicate effectively with each other.

It’s the same with the world. There are hundreds of languages and regional dialects. There are even some different alphabets with unique symbols but somehow, through translators if nothing else, the world is able to communicate reasonably effectively; at least it can until politicians and bureaucrats start to talk. Continue reading

Darwin’s Failed Species

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
– Charles Darwin

article-0-02EC002200000578-483_468x326Regardless of whether you embrace the Theory of Evolution, the creationist Theory of Intelligent Design or some combination of both, the simple reality it that life changes daily and those species that will not only survive but will thrive are those that can learn to adapt to that change.

Humanity has demonstrated repeatedly that it lacks both the ability and the will to adapt.

We are a species of advanced intelligence capable of developing technology that was undreamed of a mere fifty years ago and yet incapable of learning from our mistakes. For all of the smart phones, iGadgets and other technological marvels, we are not very much different from societies that disappeared a thousand years ago.images

Our politics are as failed and corrupt and our governments as inefficient and ineffective as those of empires come and gone. Our spirituality is as shallow as those who once worshipped rocks and our prejudices are predicated on beliefs that too often have no relationship to fact.

Life is as cheap today as it has ever been in history and nothing is cheaper to us than the lives of others – especially the lives of those we fear, hate or with whom we violently disagree.

We have not learned to resolve our disputes and disagreements without resorting to anger and violence. We rely on the mentality of the mob as much today as at any point in history. We align ourselves in tribes – herds based on ideology, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation and age and we allow ourselves to be led by the shepherds of despair who seek privileged position by dividing us and playing to our fears and fueling our anger.

We are angry because, like those who lived centuries before us, we are afraid. Continue reading

Issue-Creep

I have issue fatigue.

Issue fatigue is not the same as having issues; I’m fairly confident that most of us have issues but it isn’t those personal issues of which I am tired. I grow weary of the constant carping about social issues by politicians, activists, the chronically under-informed, intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals alike.

Give it a rest – if only for a bit.

Every issue now is a crisis and each presented as the most important issue facing the world today by those who promote that particular issue. It doesn’t matter how the issues evolve, nothing changes. The rhetoric remains the same, it’s merely the justification to keep the issue alive that changes and that rhetoric is always borderline hysteria. “The issue is so critical that the world could end at 10:00 on Sunday if it isn’t addressed immediately – 10:30 in Newfoundland.”

Climate change is a perfect example.

It began as a sudden concern about a pending ice age. Scientists – the same scientists that environmentalists sell to us as the ultimate authority – were predicting a severe cooling of the earth’s temperatures. Based on their models, temperatures would dramatically drop, glaciers would emerge start moving south. Arable farm land was going to be lost causing food shortages and the water level of the oceans was going to rise causing major flooding along coastal areas.

When that didn’t work out quite as well as planned, the same scientists came up with new models that predicted global warming. Based on these models, scientists were now predicting significant increases in global temperatures which would melt glaciers causing the level of the oceans to rise. Arable farm land would dry out causing food shortages and there would be flooding along coastal areas due to the melting glaciers.

No matter which you believed, it didn’t seem to pay to live along a coastal area. Continue reading