/* ?! wHAT bOX: August 2009

Aug 26, 2009

A Treatise On America's Color War (as I see it, at least)

I recently posted an image to a popular social exchange website and got some rather pointed responses. No one took offense to the image (it was a political suggestive image) nor did anyone respond negatively, but still, points did arise that we hardly my intention so I respond to them here. I thank all for the good humor that was consistent in all of the comments, but at the same time, I would still like to address my own stance on the issue.

First of all, I am no political scientist, find politics appealing, but amusing. I have little to speak of in the way of an opinion when it comes to politics, so I state little there. This, however, is not the case for what I do hold as an opinion of the views expressed by the people who view the politics themselves - the psychology of the people, as it were, not an interpretation of the politics directly.

Let me state my background and why I am taking up your time to do so: I simply and making a point as to why I am not taking a prejudicial stance on anything as the issue of "color" has been mentioned by myself and several others. A larger concern is actually race, not color, but most people will smaller exposure the other cultures and peoples fail to recognize the distinction - so let me use myself as an example. I am generally passed off as being African American, and yet nothing could be further from the truth. Certainly and obviously, I do have more melanin in my skin than many Europeans, but this is no direct distinction of race. How so? My ancestry, through all of my relatives can prove me to be all of the following: Scott's Irish (grandfather), Asian Indian and part African (grandmother), South American Mayan Indian (other grandmother), Honduran and possibly German because of name (other grandfather). To cap things off, I was borne in a country in Central/South America which technically makes me Latin American / Hispanic. My parents speak English and Spanish as does much of the rest of my family. The US Census terms me a "Non-White Hispanic".

I still carry a green card, I am technically not an American though I've lived here nearly all my life. I pay the same amount of taxes as the next guy (maybe more, I need kids for a tax break :) ), I'm registered with the military just like anyone else, I have a social security number, just like any one else, and I worry about the neighbors' gangly looking grass and fluctuating gas prices, just like anyone else. The point is that I do not have the background that most people do. I have no dog in the color/race struggle of America; I have no chips to cash in on who wins or loses - I simply do not care all that much. I do not run around with signs screaming "viva la raza" or any other variation. I do not sign up with LULAC or other such organizations - I have no affiliations. This makes me the least biased and most objective viewer in the situation.

This is not to say that I don't understand that struggles of the different peoples of this country - I do, but understand that this country has seen virtually nothing as compared to the rest of the world. Stalin, Hitler, Chairman Mua, ideas from Lenin and Marx have dug mass graves which make the problems of American tiny in comparison. The lives lost by leader ship in Bosnia, Croatia, the Middle East, South Africa; children without parents and whole families wiped out from the face of the earth based on their last name being Lipschitz or because of the physical location of their homes. I understand the struggles of America, but in light of the rest of the planet who can't get in line for food stamps or demand of their presidents and leaders better support for the poor while they tear open their unemployment checks and turn up the AC while the remains of others lie unknown in graves with numbers etched into their arms or with bullet-riddled chests.

And yet what is news to this country is Twitter.com going down for 10 minutes...

...Back to the picture...
The color of the President makes no difference to me, his leadership abilities do. I do not think that the leadership of this country is an appointment light enough to make a political stance regarding race. I walk around my office and see posters and calendars up where none was before simply because of the color of the President's skin. I understand that this may be a step forward for this nation and a particular people specifically, but is the leadership of one of the world's most powerful countries the best place to play those games? If he ends up not being the best choice, then at least the voice of that particular community was heard, huh? Perhaps while the country is being flushed, at least a community of people were noticed, eh? I'm not being rude, but there is more to consider than just race and the race war of this country.

I do no side with nor defend white supremacists nor do I support "black power". In fact, most of my friends have to defend their statements, much as I do, in order not to offend people. Some times I think that the majority peoples have it harder than the minorities! They have to PC everything in order not to be sued by a single mother with darker skin based on a silly comment!

I have no right to be prejudiced in the least. I am mixed with nearly every continent of people (all except North American, ironically). If there is anyone more confused as to the race, I'd like to meet them :). I generally get lumped in with Indians in class and Mexicans at lunch. One of my closest friends is part Sri Lankan and part African American, and yet he was borne in Germany. I have known family in between 4 to 6 countries right now and all over the US. I have no right to be judgmental to any particular people and I am not. I do have preferences to culture yes, which is evident when I speak, lol, but none to race.

My point regarding the voting and the color of the President is hardly to refer to the actual numbers of the vote based on race - I have no idea if that affected the numbers at all. I am simply saying that I cannot see a less wise way of voting - forget the issues and base your vote on the candidates color? Its just as ignorant as basing the vote on the fact that your family has always voted a single way because of....well the fact that they always have voted that way!! Ignore the stances of the party and vote along party lines because you always have voted that way? Let's all throw caution to the wind and vote not based on reason, but on whim? Maybe we have the "lesser of the evils" as it has been stated, in the current President - but maybe we don't.

I'm not knocking neither the current President for his abilities, nor the former one. I'm simply looking for humor in it all; cynics have to, least they take a overly negative stance on things. I have to laugh or else I'll a less than happy view of things. My actions are to keep from being offensive, not the other way around.

Aug 10, 2009

...how does a bumblebee fly??

The Butterfly Effect: Chaos at Work

So I know that most people won't care but I'm posting this anyway...ha!

So, I read Jurassic Park 2...again. I recommend it for all to read as an introduction to Preschool...helps to open the mind to a ridiculous amount of vaguely related theoretical rambles of a mathematician and biologists.

From wikipedia:
Chaos theory is that branch of mathematics which studies the behavior of certain dynamical systems that may be highly sensitive to initial conditions. This sensitivity is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect. As a result of this sensitivity, which manifests itself as an exponential growth of error, the behavior of chaotic systems appears to be random. That is, tiny differences in the starting state of the system can lead to enormous differences in the final state of the system even over fairly small timescales. This gives the impression that the system is behaving randomly. This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future dynamics are fully determined by their initial conditions with no random elements involved. This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos.

Chaotic behavior is also observed in natural systems, such as weather. This may be explained by analysis of a chaotic mathematical model which represents such a system. Quantum chaos investigates the relationship between chaos and quantum mechanics.

So the mathematician rants on about the meaning of the universe - really that there is not meaning and but complexity theory explains the more the "how" of a thing, if not the why. Scientist generally reject the idea of a "how" as it means that a "higher power" or some sort of extraterrestrial being was involved in the creation of and determinative reasoning (e.g. god(s), aliens). Complexity theory is a subset of the original chaos theory as finds order in complex systems (e.g. the universe, animal societies, sand on the beach). He rambles in a drug induced stupor about how questionable an anatomical stance to evolution would be, but evolution can not simply be of a physical concept but of a behavioral one as well.

This I accept. We evolve everyday in our behavior. We learn to stop at red lights, we learn not to touch the iron, we learn what is takes to survive in the corporate world. Human intelligence is the one thing that defines us from most other animals though I don't have the highest respect for homo sepian.

The mathematician continues with the following thoughts: Who says that we're sentient? Who says that we are self aware? The one defining characteristic equaled to our intelligence is our inability to use it. Most people do not think for themselves. They follow the leader, the look for the alpha dog, they do as they are told. Understanding that to a point, one must do what they are told in order to keep at least a small semblance of social order, but not to the extend that one cannot think for themselves. Most people swallow the dogma that is shoved down their mouths. Most cannot process ideas or concepts for themselves and rely on others to spoon feed concepts to them.

Certainly this is a very cynical view of humanity, but perhaps true. And yet this does nothing to prove complexity theory wrong. The problem is that science can deduce the how, where, when, what, but seldom the why of many complex systems.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. - Albert Einstein

Enter religion - the science of man's attempt to understand God. Many try to avoid this box by using the term "this is not religion, this is salvation" - only that completely voids the definition of the word religion, so to keep a level of accuracy, we'll stick to Webster's word instead of the dogmatic view and expulsion of generally used words at the whim of a someone who can't figure out how to explain them.

Religion attempts to explain the why of things. Tries to give meaning to all, tries to provide a reason for the rhyme. This then requires the creation of the "God Concept". Again, the higher power, man upstairs, supreme being or multiples of these. This is a far easier concept to create rather than believing that the universe created all that we know today. The argument is that something had to create what we see today. Something cannot come from nothing.

Well, I'm still not sure what "nothing" is. So speak about "nothing" or "no thing" you are defining that the opposite can exist (thing). So that makes no sense. However, it seems more accurate to say that the universe has always existed as a "thing" because it is simply a concept that does not expend on time. Big bang theorist can escape their problem of answering for the creation of the original "whatever" that "big-banged" into what we see today by saying that the "whatever" was energy and not matter. The problem with matter is that it is spatially defined. To have the matter in the 3rd dimension, we are forced to also have dimensions 1, 2, and 4 (4 is time). So, if the universe contained no elements that extended into the 4th dimension, then the universe had nothing that had to do with time, which escapes that argument altogether, giving the Big Bang Theory more credibility and minimizing that of the Creationism Theory.

And yet, complexity theory screams for notice to be given to a simple example. The building of a building. The architect, the buyer, the bank, the construction company, all the contracting companies, the city inspector, the electrical engineer, the mechanical engineer, and many others working together to make a building that is hardly perfect. Corrections and modifications made to fix the many mistakes and structural tests made to make sure that the building stands. Thousands of hours and millions of dollars going into it with hundreds of thousands of working parts all fitting together to make it all happen even with all its faults and imperfections, its fixes and corrections....

....and yet the fly that lands on the workman's lunch is perfect. Its millions of millions of interactions within each cell. Each cell becoming one of hundreds and fitting just when the development of that fly requires it. And in the end that disgusting maggot, becomes a revolting fly. A revolting fly whose intricacies we cannot replicate...a fly whose beauty we can only dream about.

We little humans think that we can understand or know the God(s) that created this all or define the evolutionary process that brought it all to be. We are a funny, arrogant bunch. Backward, non-thinking, and yet determined to believe that we do. We building a pyramid and marvel at it. Go into space and think highly of it. Cure a disease and applaud ourselves for it...

...and still can't figure out how a bumblebee can fly :)

So what does everything all mean? What's the point of it all? Great question...so, what's for lunch?