Sunday, May 31, 2015

Fellow Man - Relationships

Altruism or selflessness is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures and a core aspect of various religious traditions and secular worldviews, though the concept of "others" toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions.

Cooperation  is the process of groups of organisms working or acting together for their common/mutual benefit.

We have a choice, altruism doing for others, whether they want, need, or even can use something, verses doing for others any yourself at the same time something that all concerned want. Altruism is often pushed onto the people, something that is a religious one sided approach, where cooperation is consultation process, and then cooperation to achieve, requiring buy in by all the people. Altruism is a religious attitude, where cooperation is a logical attitude requiring higher development of all the people involved and a common purpose.

Altruism has long been used by the religious folk as a service to others, a badge of honor, a higher order of calling, without much regard for either the people served or those not served. Parents have duties to their families, and when altruistic endeavors cause hardships at home, do not expect praise but resentments, and relationship breakdown, or lack of development in the relationship. I had a mother and have a sister who would do anything for anyone, as long as they are not family. Oh, well, they were/are religious altruistic servers, and we can see the down side to this characteristic, as pushed by religions.   

For these reasons, cooperation should be the foundation of our relationships with people, not altruism nor pity, not usury. Paid to serve is a separate relationships. Relationships with people can run the gambit from a strictly across the counter exchange through neighbors, friends, to close friends and partners. There is also those sexual relationships, but those are beyond the scope of this post. We must not forget those special work with/ worked with in the past, and dead relationships. There are those who we share a special interest with, like the archery club, our golf buddy, etc.  

The stoics thought that mans' purpose was to cooperate to produce a flourishing life. That is the prime function of man. Lower species are here to serve man, but not to be abused. 

Cooperation becomes the more desirable human characteristic. It is a virtue, while altruism is often a selfish attitude of doing for others to make the self feel better. It is better than doing nothing, but the true cooperative attitude is a virtue.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Parallel Development

Is there parallel development or similar development in the human over time?

We all know we humans developed as hunter gathers, to gardeners and farmers with livestock, to industrial age agriculture. We know the stone age, the bronze age, the iron age, the industrial age, petroleum age, computer age, or will it be information or communications, or the internet that we become know for. Is there another progression? In our behaviors/beliefs; animal, social, cultural, religious, and final to pure logic. So when logic fails we revert to animal and try to kill off the rival group.

Irrelevant picture 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Know thyself

Importance of consciously knowing what I believe is critical for change. Unconsciously knowing ourselves is common from observing our likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses is a great first step, but then knowing why, and knowing our beliefs well enough to articulate them and the causes is a further step.

Know that we are responsible for our beliefs, our judgements, our motivations is the next big step. It is the act of sorting, form first principals our actual beliefs from those we were told to believe, and owning our own beliefs that is so freeing. It all starts from knowing that we were dropped on this world, as many generations before us, without any knowledge, and have learned what we have learned, much of it socially without classes. Some of what the ancestors taught was wrong, some was right. What is right to do is more likely to be right than the reason, where they were just following the previous generations. Some care about being right, some do not. Some care about fitting in, others do not. So what. Most care about money and little else.  Life will go on until it does not. It does not matter.

The whole world is devoid of meaning until we assign a meaning, employ positive emotion, attachment, engagement, to something. It is our society, our values that provides meaning, whatever that might be. We need to have a clear understanding of what we want to do with our lives, and then go do it, and if fate permits, achievement. What happens if we do not have a clear understanding? We drift along until something happens, we follow that path until we get knocked off, and since we have no target, no play, we carry on until we reach an age that we just give up trying. OK, so what. Fate did not permit. Will anyone care enough to do anything? Not likely. We are just opportunistic animal life living on a big rock. We may have the power of reason, but so what.

Now there are some who know from early childhood what the want to be, good for them. There are some who do not know, but are told what they should be, and out of obedience go that way with the enthusiasm of a slave. Some want to get away from the negatives of their life, and that becomes the first driving force. When we escape, then what? We should adopt a long range plan, but then along comes the computer, and the life we prepared for was largely replaced by the computer, except for those interface issues. The work changes to just the hassle parts, not the long hours of calculations some of us enjoyed. Oh well, life goes on until it does not.

We can mentally back up to the stoic view from above, to where we become insignificant, or further, to where we see the emptiness and futility of our lives, but then we can once again assign meaning, positive emotion, engagement, and if fate permits, achievement, satisfaction and joy. We then come back to earth, take up our chosen tasks, and become engaged in life.

It is these holidays from life's vicissitudes that we all need to re-target our life and get on with life.

But what do I know?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

What do I beleive?, the ultimate question

"It (evolution) produces machines which can run, and walk, and fly, and dig, and swing through the trees, and think, and produce the whole of human technology, human art, human music."

Do I believe this ?  Yes.

Do I believe there is a god, First you need to define what you mean by god. An imaginary being, No.

A word that stands for the unknown? Well there is a lot we do not understand. I am not all knowing.
The stoics did not have a consistent definition, nor did they agree if there was one. To some, god was nature, including the forces of nature. To others, the ability to reason, or reasoning was a chip of divinity, pruned off the vine at the time we were dropped into this hostile environment. So without a definition, what are yous talking about?

The stoics believed that truth and understanding along with reason were the foundation of the soul, mind, intelligence, and virtue, hence these must be paramount. Now consider how true we think life after death is, or that prayer can do anything, or all those other non-realistic statements that religion demands that we believe and do not question compared to Stoic or Buddhist beliefs. Which way does the rational mind need to go?

Ultimately, we need to have a purpose in life to contribute our part to success of a flourishing society. We can gain purpose any number of ways, being part of a bigger endeavor, communications, society which holds reason to be the ultimate good, understanding, teaching truths not fiction, serving others, creating, producing, aiding others to do any of these pursuits. That leaves the field of purpose wide open.

What is truth? Well, if we do not believe it without reservation, than it is suspect. If there is a group of studied individuals that do not accept the broad strokes, maybe we should have a review. If we cannot demonstrate evidence of it being true, perhaps we should withhold judgement and not teach it to children as being truth, but only as opinion. If it is opinion, it can be abandoned if the evidence point it as wrong or unlikely.

That is what it is all about, expanding our knowledge until we expire. Epicurus allowed us to not become involved in the areas of life that we are not suited for. For him it was soldiering, politics, religions, and family. He spent his time gardening, philosophy, science as he understood it, and writing. Epictetus taught and lived philosophy after learning how live as a slave. Marcus figured out how to be a emperor. Seneca figure out how to give reasonable advice to others and to live without money going to his head. Buddha figured out how to live, what the cause of emotional distress was, and how to overcome the negatives of distress, while Seneca took it into the positive, much like Positive Psychology does today.

Oh well, it does not matter anyway. We will all do as we wish anyway. There is wrong, better, and right ways of doing most anything. We should endeavor to move from vice to virtue.

Woody ...
"We live in a random universe and you’re living a meaningless life, and everything you create in your life or do is going to vanish, and the Earth will vanish and the sun will burn out and the universe will be gone"

This is a long term from far view. Get back to earth where you belong Woody. 

True, but in the human term or time scale, we can assign meaning and get on with flourishing life for this generation.

Gus's barn, 1922

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Prime Directive

The Prime Directive is a concept of non interference, as long as the alien leave us in peace. The Prime Directive prohibits me from interfering, commenting on, criticizing, condemning the internal actions and beliefs of alien populations, including there foods and eating behaviors. They may believe and do what ever they like, regardless the probability of it's truth or fact.

This concept requires that we have a cosmos view that the aim of civilization is to flourish in peace. This means that non-aggression and peaceful co-existence is the aim of all populations. We cannot push our views onto others, but must instead sell those views to the adults through reason, not with force (as with Islam).

It is logic and reason that must prevail, not religion. Religions have, as one of there basic tenet, there survival as an organization. This can be achieved by obtaining new members, either by growing them, or by indoctrination. Many of us, by the time we get a education and work a while, realize that religions are bog gas, methane, or bull shit. They are not all bad; they provide community, a social environment, often a sound moral ethics base, (except for Islam)and a sense of purpose. We all can benefit from that part. Religions have fostered development, arts, music, and the building trades. Some, without religion, lack some of these. Some hang onto religion just for these. That does not matter. It is the pushing of untruths onto the young that is reprehensible. Promoting and forcing belief in fictions, unreals, gods in the sky, life after death, and the like, is just horse pucks.

The Shakers required that all members be adults, and there religion died out. Oh well. Buddhist do not make a thing out of promotion of there beliefs, and they are in relative decline; however, those who prescribe to there belief system seem to be dedicated to "peace, order and good government", although Buddhist have been apolitical up to recently. They seem to follow the Prime Directive already.  Reason is the only hope. Oh well.

The Peace

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The moors cannot deal rationally with Logic. All they want to do is kill off anyone who does not agree with their stone age religion. Islam is irrational and illogical; what other conclusion can anyone draw?


Life should be about doing good, and helping is a flourishing society, not about killing off those who disagree. That is conceited, believing that you are so right that you have the right to kill off those who oppose the Muslim views. That is enough evidence to prove that Muslims are just wrong, and beyond wrong, irrational savages.

It is time for all people to look at what we believe, test it for logic and through out all the bad logic and irrational beliefs. That includes Christian religions.    

Friday, May 8, 2015

Sloppy thinking idiots

Idiots. The prime directive applies.

So what is the major component in a burger and fries? Not fat, but carbohydrate. No wonder it is all so confusing when the picture and words do not match. So if we eat a meal with high wheat content, high carbohydrate content, how does the body react?

Well the first thing it must do, due to the amount of carbohydrates that digest fast, it will produce a bunch of insulin to get the glucose out of the blood stream. That is obligatory. High glucose makes us drowsy. We cannot have high glucose around for long. So the insulin gets the glucose and the fat out of the blood stream, and that leaves us hungry or with the munchies. When we eat carbohydrates, we must go through hunger, and get insulin down before we can start to draw on our reserves, fat. If we are busy doing active physical effort that we enjoy, we may not notice. Our liver with kick out a bit of glucose through glyconeogenesis, and hunger may not even show up. Not so if we are sitting at a computer or a desk. There is not stimulation for the liver. Hunger must then show up and abate without food to get to the point that fat can come out of the fat cells.

Insulin is the storage hormone, it stores glucose and fats, in order to get glucose down fast, forcing the use of glucose also.

The weight loss solution is to never eat carbohydrates and fat together. If you are eating carbohydrates, I wish you good luck at your weight loss. If you only eat fats, we never become satiated nor really hungry. I can live with light hunger and use of stored fat, but also need to feed tha gut bacteria a little bit.

My main objection is to call a burger and fries as fat. The bun and fries are carbohydrates with a bit of fats.

Picture just because
Osprey on the Clearwater

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Piled Higher and Deeper (PHD)

How does one call bullshit on some of these statements?  This is written from Christian perspective, not a stoic one. The author does not understand Stoicism. Where does one start? I will start with this statement toward the end, because it demonstrates miss-understanding of one of the basic concepts. The words are but dull pointers to the underlying concepts.

Stoic- 1. Life according to nature.  2. Some things are up to us, some are not. 3. We must bring our desires into line with what happens... acceptance of what is, aka, live in the present moment. 4, We are social animals, and our obligation is to flourish as a society. We need to use reason to do this. 5 We do not react to the object or event, but our thoughts about the event.

It is all about what we define as god. To some of the stoics, god was nature: winter summer animals plants too little too much moon sun stars storms wind sunshine rain birth death, we all see each piece differently. To other stoics, god was the highest function of our soul, reason, logic. To others something else that did not concern itself with humanity, or non-existent concept that some held as a real object (a delusion).

When we compare two philosophies, we need to look at the major concepts first, not the minor ones, like what is god, and death.

The article says  "For the Stoics, dependence on the world was to be replaced by dependence on oneself—”The wise person,” taught Seneca, “is self-sufficient.” Paul, in contrast, taught that Christians are profoundly dependent on God (FSB)."

Ourselves is all that we have. We are profoundly dependent on ourselves. Some thing are up to us, some are not. Anything not up to us we need to accept. That which is up to us, we can control, and can be self-sufficient in. We can only rely on ourselves, so we had better be able to handle any thought or impression that comes along. We do not react to the object or event, but our thoughts about the event.  If something is up to us, no need of a god, it is up to us, we can change it. It is about the division of responsibility between us and others or the world. Stoic self-sufficient is not about growing our own food, closes, creating our own shelter, however we, at one time would have to have learned a trade or skill to sell for our livelihood. It is not about being a nomadic people. Stoic self sufficiency is about separating our responsibility from those around us and taking care of our responsibility. It is about life as nature intended. We are just animals that have the capacity to reason. It is bringing ourselves to be OK with death or what ever happens, and that is going to happen whether we like it or not. The dog tied to the wagon, the dog is obligated to follow. He may do it willingly or not, but he is forced to follow. So for our own flow in life, we need to aline our will to "that which is about to happen".

Christianity is one more death denigrating religion. An after life is at best a concept, likely untrue. If you wish to believe that, the prime directive applies. We are profoundly dependent on what happens in the world around us, not god. Enough.

Clearwater river at ? Bailey's Chute