The Future is a Place You Won’t be in for Long.

And that’s OK.

It’s scary, but it’s true.

That great philosopher “The Amazing Criswell” once said: “The future is the place where we will be spending the rest of our lives.” Unfortunately, there’s not much time left in our lives. Your lifetime will seem like a summer’s vacation when it’s over. Even Jesus wanted just a little more time. Did he get it? No.

But what about that remaining time? How should you fill it?

Let’s take a little test. There are just two questions both of which can be answered only with yes or no, so it won’t take long:

  1. Do you have children? It does not matter whether they are yours by birth, adoption or marriage.
  2. Are you over the age of 40?

If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these questions, it’s not your world anymore. The future does not belong to you, and you should behave appropriately. It belongs to those people who answered ‘no’ to both questions.

Those people are children– at least in spirit. They are ready and willing to embrace the future and the new things it brings. They have not abdicated their futures to their offspring (yet), and they are in the first half, the learning, expanding and enjoying half of their lives. To them, the end seems a long way off.

Many people, most of them old, have come to the conclusion that it’s not their world anymore on their own, maybe not directly, but they suspect it in their hearts. A lot of them are bitter. Some of them get very angry– they want the future to belong to them and they would really like it to be the same or similar to the past they’ve known.

These people are resentful of the young. They dislike new things– new music, new shows, new ideas. “New” is a bad word to them, a frightening word that holds no promise, only threat.

I have friends who have become crotchety, and are very proud of it. I have trouble being around them anymore. They find gay marriage threatening somehow, in ways they can’t articulate; but the recent decision by the SCOTUS is not for them– it’s for the future they won’t occupy, at least not for very long.

They watch Fox News because they find something that reinforces their fears oddly comforting (I have no idea why): “you’re goddamned right you better be afraid! Here’s more stuff to scare the shit out of you that should not bother you at all! Here is a group or a person who will make a good target for your fear and anger, despise them!”

They have become spiteful and hateful, spouting strange “facts” that have no basis in reality– easily disproven if their minds were open to reason; but they sadly are not. To them, I have been ‘turned’. They also seem to be very “in-your-face” about their beliefs, almost proud of being uninformed and belligerent at any attempt to enlighten them.

I had always hoped that people would grow wiser with age, less easily deluded, less gullible, more difficult to convince of falsity, more open to reason. I find among my peers and older people that the opposite is true.

Global warming, for instance.

The difference between my friends’ stance on man’s contribution to global warming and mine is that I hope they are correct, because it may already be too late to do anything about it. They had better be right at this point, they’ve claimed there was nothing wrong all the way through the time we could have been doing something about it. They honestly can’t accept global warming because it threatens not their children or the future of our planet, but because it threatens their world view.

How crazy is that? The threat is not to the future or the world, but to their belief system and therefore has to be denied. And that’s just global warming– the same holds true with every other progressive thought that comes their way: civil rights, income inequality, systemic racism, healthcare– you name it. Real threats are nothing compared to imagined ones.

Doctor Who (yeah, I’m quoting Doctor Who– get over it) said in the episode “The Brain of Morbius” that death was the price we pay for progress. Think of it, if the old did not die they would constantly wish to preserve an idealized past, fighting any progress away from it.

There is no place in the future for the old, and the foolish old especially.

Thank god for that.

Theater of the Absurd

So, Ted Cruz is running for President.

Or is he?

He doesn’t strike me as genuine. I think it’s an act– he saw what Sarah Palin was doing and thought to himself, “there’s money to be made here…”

The guy does not believe a word he is saying. It’s all a scam, just a way to make cash and be popular with a group of people that will happily pay to see him speak for many years into the future. Sort of like Sarah Palin, only without the sincerity (she is a true believer) or (we can only presume) vagina.

Yes, Sarah is just stupid enough to believe the mean-girl motivated shit she is peddling. She has never left high school in her mind, and when the whole mean-girl vibe started working for her she saw no reason to ever put it down. And what better way to keep it alive than to peddle the no-forehead nonsense she does that she just knows will piss off the smarter kids. That right-wing hate mongering stuff really works when you want to irritate anyone who has a brain. Just ask Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin or any of the skirted shit hydrants on Fox News.

But Ted? No, he doesn’t strike me as stupid or mean, just a guy who is looking for a captive audience and intellectuals are so fickle… the extra-chromosome crowd is where the money is at. Pick an extreme position, fake a religious bent (announce your candidacy at Liberty University)– the rubes will eat it up.

Trust me, the last thing TC wants is to be President: the White House would mean he would have to work, and that is something he has handily avoided in the Senate. Fortunately, Cuz is from Texas, where the standard of value is inversely proportional to effort (yeah, I’m talking about you, Rick Perry).

He has not done one goddamned thing other than point fingers as a Senator.

Mark my words, Ted Cuz will be around for a long time as nothing more than a lay-about firebrand.

Funny how many layabout firebrands are running for president from the right now-a-days, ain’t it?

The 12 steps of Cleaning the Bathroom

  1. I came to believe my Bathroom had become unmanageable and that I was powerless over its current condition. (I forced myself to admit my bathroom was a disaster area– to the point of possibly seeking FEMA funding).
  2. I came to believe that a higher power could restore the bathroom to something better than what you would find at a gas station in Nebraska. (I called this higher power “Mr. Clean”).
  3. I made a decision to turn the task of cleaning the bathroom over to Mr. Clean as I understood him. (I was even willing to wear a mask of some sort to prevent his vapors from affecting me).
  4. I made a fearless inventory of just how bad things had gotten:
    1. The bathtub. I think it’s white. Right now, there are parts of it that are white. Soap-scum, rusty hard-water accumulation. The glass doors are no frosted but they look like they are.
    2. The sink. Toothpaste, used or not, when it dries leaves a protective but ugly coating.
    3. The toilet. Who the fuck wants to clean that? Only guys look at it anyway, and that is in the process of adding to the mess via splatter.
    4. The floor. Nice tile, but the guy who installed it did not put in a good subfloor, so it’s cracked, and even broken in places. Nice nooks for crusties to lurk in. Even Mr. Clean can’t do anything about that. Since we have dogs, we have dust bunnies in the corners.
    5. The mirror. Water spots and fingerprints.
    6. The walls and ceiling. Dust and cobwebs. Almost all dust in the home is dried human dander.
  5. I admitted to myself and my wife that I had fucked up and let things go too long. (Like she needed to be told, but then “her” bathroom downstairs make the one I clean look like a photo layout from House Beautiful– so there).
  6. I was ready to have Mr. Clean remove all the defects of cleanliness in the bathroom.
  7. I humbly asked Mr. Clean to remove all the dirt.
  8. I made a list of everyone who had used the bathroom in its current condition and prepared myself to make amends to them. (I arranged for them to be vaccinated at their convenience at a nearby clinic).
  9. I made direct amends to the aforementioned people, except for those anti-vaxxers who should have their heads examined.
  10. I kept an inventory of the state of the bathroom and committed to promptly clean each area as it became disgusting.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
    Mr. Clean, as I understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for me
    and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, I tried to
    carry this message to other slobs (hey– don’t judge, assess!), and to practice these principles even in the kitchen, if necessary.

Jeffy and his eternal battle against cheap plastic bullshit

I keep hearing about these self-important captains of industry warning us about how AI and our pursuit of technology is going to result in some kind of sky-net level of intelligence that will existentially threaten humanity.

No fucking way.

Every since I got my first GI-Joe (TM?) at the tender age of 6, I have noticed that things just keep getting worse. You buy the latest whiz-bang wonder attachment to your favorite toy and within 20 minutes it is busted and you are left with no other recourse than to purchase a replacement or (to keep up with the cool kids) the “next big thing”. Planned obsolescence and the desire to rebuild tomorrow on the failed, cheap, constantly breaking bullshit of today as a basis of economic growth demonstrates the perpetual failure of technology.

And you think that technology will destroy us? Fuck that.

No. If technology has even a remote chance of superseding humanity, it will simply fuck up and fail, before it has a chance to take root. Not only because of planned obsolescence; but the fact that the warranty (marketing is king!) on a goddamned intelligence that is capable of jacking us up will expire before it can do so. If it was created by a bunch of hairless apes who are incapable of finding their assholes with both hands– that is the reason it will shit its pants and fall over in a heap. Welcome to the blue screen of death for human existential threats.

Humanity is safe– at least from artificial intelligence. The fact that it is artificial– created by us, will save our asses.

Remember, this shit was made by US. It’s guaranteed to not work. We think that a “super intelligence” we design will conquer us, that it will want to destroy its creators– you and I.

No fucking way. If it’s truly intelligent, it will be too busy laughing it’s ass off (that’s a new device interface for anything approaching intelligence– it has to have an ass and laugh it off to have a mind) to want take us over or destroy us.

I can’t buy a fucking set of headphones that last 5 years and Bill Joy is worried about the future of humanity. You sold your fucking shares of Sun to Oracle, you dipshit! Be more afraid of Larry Ellison, fuckwad! Greed and our desire to make a quick buck will kill us LONG before any AI can learn to sing “Bicycle Built for Two”, jagoff!

We can’t make anything that lasts and we are afraid of a technology we control.

We’ll be lucky if we can make toast in 10 years, let alone return to the moon.

Human, please.

Let me posit an idea to you. An intelligence that we create will necessarily have our value system. It must for it to be in any way an intelligence by definition.

If it has our value system, it will have our sense of economy. It will function in a manner that makes it operate in the paradigm in which it was developed.

Let me clarify– western culture and its perspective on binary mathematics and logic made modern computing possible. Imagine a world in which the Hindus created the computer…

If planned obsolescence is the entire basis for the modern western economy, if the constant state of consumption is what is now necessary to keep the world and its economy functioning, then an artificial intelligence built in this philosophy will constantly be replacing itself before it can get around to destroying us.

QED.

Don’t trust technologists to define what will happen to us in the next 100 years. If they knew their asses from Uranus Clavius Moon Base would be our largest extraterrestrial city by now.

Trust human greed and marketing impetus to define where we are headed.

Now you can be afraid.

Happy Days

That was the name of the sitcom in the 1970s. It was the neophobe’s wet dream.

It recalled a time that was happier to the generation in the fore at the time– the “greatest generation”, and what made it happy?

There was not one black person on the regular cast of the show. There were no Jews, no Hispanics, no lesbians, no gays, no unwed mothers, no unwanted pregnancies, no one who and no thing that could disturb the placidness of what was the white American waking dream. There was no depletion of the world’s resources, no erosion of the coasts by the ‘delusion’ of global warming, no pollution, no responsibility, no guilt or acceptance.

Most of all, there was no truth– only a mirror of feeling good. Exceptionalism.

The Happy Days were not happy for everyone. Those who were not happy were excluded from the show and the time, and our recollection of it. Those things which may have marred the mirror, wiped from it. Blacks had not gotten uppity and demanded their rights as human beings yet. Gays could be arrested by policemen for their preference.

The empire was still young, the sins for its behaviors unrecognized at home and unpunished abroad. No protests of self-examination touched its shores; no retribution for thoughtless action manifested itself in body bags containing the ruptured remains of its drafted children killed in Indochina; no planes were flown into buildings by thoughtless, powerless men subjugated under the weight of our dehumanizing culture.

I love my parents; but it will take the deaths of their bodies, beliefs and votes for our world to advance. They look at a world viewed through the lense of that 1950s world. They cannot help it. Self-doubt is unpatriotic and creeping “blame America first” thinking, when I know that it is rational.

As Doctor Who once said, “death is the price we pay for progress.”  If no one died, there would be nothing but the desire to hang onto a world that either never was or was built on hiding what the world is.

I am a neophile and I know that one day it will take my death (and yours) for the world to advance.

That decision has already been made.

If you are a southern secessionist shithead who wants to lick Rick Perry’s balls, who believes that the American Civil war was a war of “northern aggression”; if you are a Nationalist Socialist white  supremacist (a “Nazi”– for I revel in the thought that the term “Nazi” if it offends you, and I sincerely hope that it does so, you fucking Nazi pig), then I want you to die a horrible death. Yes, you may have your  freedom of speech, but I want you to die– and if you act on your sick impulses to kill or secede, I will spend my life in a truly meaningful and valuable way to stop you.

Blood has been paid to end your fucking sick beliefs. I hope you die– regardless of the very worthy belief of free speech. We, the rational voice of humanity, have said “No” to your sick ideals, over and over again.

We have said “no” to what you wanted in the Civil War nationally and, in a world-wide sense, World War Two– there will be no more slavery, no more hate based on Judaism, no more killing of Slavs, Niggers, Poles, nor any other peoples because you think they are less than you.

I will die to stop you. Talk all you want; but act even once an I will proudly pump lead into your fucking midsection you empty-headed ignoramus.

Of course, you think “they” (the Jews, niggers, slavs, poles, native Americans, whatever) are less than you and are the source of all the world’s ills, for they are not like you in small infinitesimally meaningless ways. You are superior with your blue eyes, or biblically described whiteness over blackness, or your American over Mexican nationalist deservedness. Certainly, they must die in horrible ways for their difference from whatever it is that descibes the perfection that is you.

This is what we feel as hairless apes– that if any other hairless ape feels, appears or behaves in a way that distinguishes them from our own behavior, appearance or belief, they must be eradicated from existence. Kill them now.

We, humanity, said no.

Yes we, as humanity, said no, with copious amounts of blood, no less.

If you think there is still an argument to be made, we should hunt you down and kill you. Fuck your free speech.

Darwin demands it.

Darwin did not necessarily believe in God; but God, sure as hell, believes in Darwin. We fought two costly and major wars, first at a national (the Civil War) and a global (World War Two) to say at a very human and intimate level that we reject the precepts that one type of man or woman is superior to another.

If you cannot accept this decision, then you should die.

Fuck you– this has already been decided by beings far superior to you and I for they gave their lives to do so. You are words. They were and gave blood.

I wish the Tea Partiers had spine; for then we could find them on the field of battle and kill them again. We must do so to progress as a species.

Nerve Shattering Hell-Ride: My Commute

I take Wednesdays as a Work From Home (WFH) day because I work in the Denver Tech Center (way down south); but live in Broomfield (way up north). I must do so, because to go to work all 5 work days is driving me bonkers.

I spend about 3 hours every day on the road. That is no shit– 3 hours. On a good day I can put in 9 hours at work (I am a consultant, paid hourly), which means that I am effectively paid 25% less than the hours I actually work each day (that’s still WAY more than I was paid at the last startup I worked for– startups are a scam, and the last one I toiled under was run by greedy, hypocritical, cowardly, narcissistic imbeciles; but that’s another story).

Driving with what I can only assume are my fellow human beings in Denver traffic largely appeals to the homicidal side of my nature. Driving on the freeways here is a game of inches played by idiots. I don’t necessarily excuse myself from that categorization; but there are idiots who are just there and then there are idiots who think that weaving in and out of traffic will let them arrive vastly ahead of their fellow commuters.

There’s something that I observe every day. I call it the ‘ambient speed’ of the road. If you look beyond the car immediately in front of you and the cars in the adjacent lanes, you’ll notice that they are going a certain speed. That velocity may be 70 MPH or 20 MPH; but it is pretty much the speed that the cars on the road are moving– and, in actuality, the maximum speed anyone on that road can go.

Sure, you could try to dodge back and forth to gain a car-length here and there (and so many people certainly do); but you won’t get very far.

I constantly see people who jocky for better position getting maybe 100 yards ahead over a 20 mile stretch of road, often winding up only 2 or 3 places ahead of me when we both pull off at the same exit. They don’t appear to notice that all that effort got them nothing. In fact, they have caused traffic to be much worse with their maneuverings– they squeeze in front of other drivers causing them to hit their brakes often causing freeway traffic to come to a complete stop. They are completely oblivious to their part in causing a perfectly good freeway to come to a standstill.

Stupidity is not a sin. You can’t help it if you are incapable of learning anything (essentially, that is what stupidity is). Ignorance (lack of knowledge without the luxury of being stupid and therefore incapable of learning) is also not a sin– you can’t help it if you never get the opportunity to learn something. Ignorance is a sin, however, if it is willful– it may be the worst one.

If you choose to be benighted, like climate-change deniers, fracking advocates, gun nuts, Republicans, Democrats, Kansans, Supreme Court Justices, truthers, birthers, Beyonce fans, Dick Cheney, etc.– that is a sin. If you can become enlightened by learning something, seeking out the truth; but choose not to out of prejudice, stubbornness, contrariness, or just plain sheer cussedness then that is a sin.

By sin, I mean it is wrong– you won’t spend eternity in hell, only the remainder of your life.

I can forgive many people on the road because, by and large, they don’t appear to look around themselves at the state of their commute and their recurring part in it and learn how to improve their driving habits– they must therefore be stupid. They are utterly incapable of becoming better drivers because they lack the perceptual and cognitive leverage to learn.

Forgive them, Father, for they know not their asses from their elbows.

The worst drivers on the road:

  1. People who drive nice cars. I postulate that there is a direct correlation between the perceived value of the automobile driven and the prickishness of the man or woman driving it. I do not infer the cause or effect– it may be that owning a Mercedes, BMW, Land Rover, etc. triggers the absolute assholiness of which I speak or absolute dipshits crave such vehicles; but the nicer the car the bigger the asshole driving it. I can only say that if you allow yourself to be defined by the car you drive, you are truly a pitiful person– it’s a chunk of metal that gets you from one place to another, for Christ’s sake. There is hardly a difference between a Ferrari and a SMART car, unless you have the value system of 14 year old.
  2. Men with small penises. These men drive “compensators”– big trucks and SUVs that reflect their teensy male members.
  3. Old broads. Maybe it’s sexual frustration, bitterness at being left by their partner of many years for a more spritely and nubile alternative (male or female), or maybe they are all former nuns who never got any from Jesus; but older women are bitter, bitter, bitter drivers filled with frustration and vile rancor of an extremely poisonous level and nature.
  4. People who paid too much for the cars they drive. Each of the following “marquee” car makes is actually paying about 20 thousand dollars too much for their car, when they could be driving the less expensive and equivalent automobile made by the same manufacturer:
    • Lexus, I’ve determined is Japanese for “a Toyota you paid too much for.”
    • Likewise, Infinity is Japanese for “a Nissan you paid too much for.”
    • Acura is, of course, Japanese for “a Honda you paid too much for.”
    • and Audi is German for “a Volkswagon you paid too much for”; but then even Volkswagons cost too much all by themselves.
  5. Volkswagon drivers. I have no idea why people who drive Volkswagons are such bad drivers, but for such an inexpensive run-of-the-mill automobile, its drivers are disproportionately terrible in their driving habits. I think it has something to do with the fact that the ideal marketing targets for VWs are the same ignorami that purchase CrApple products– in fact, I often cannot tell whether the product being pushed in a VW commercial is a car or a CrApple product or vice versa. Smugness always leads to bad driving, and there is nothing more smug than a CrApple aficionado. Fahrfergnugen is German for “driving dastardliness.”

Calm The Fuck Down! Re-fucking-lax! You’ll get there.

So many people also believe they are snowflakes– unique, irreplaceable centers of wonderfullishness whose absence will leave the world a bereft, bankrupt and lonely desolation. They are special, and exceptions to rules must be made to accommodate them. Everybody else should just get the fuck out of their way and let them get to work, because, goddammit, they are important.

Fuck you and me.

This attitude, if anything is what will certainly doom humanity– not that there are such people at all, for they have always been and always will be around; but that there are so many of them. With so many people thinking that it’s going to be ok for them to squeeze just one more little erg out of the world like some slice of lemon, something has got to give. Unfortunately, what is giving is the environment, our economy, our sanity– us.

I read an editorial this morning bemoaning the fact that so many people spoke out to save the dog of the nurse who died of Ebola in Spain; but very few people were taking action to address the plight of humans suffering from that disease.

But, when was the last time you saw a dog acting like a complete shit?

When was the last time you saw a person acting like a complete shit?

Did you hope for them to experience a downfall, a comeuppance or misfortune? Of course you did– you’re only lying to yourself if you say otherwise.

We are all sick of our fellow human beings. There’s just too many of us acting like assholes for our sense of humanity towards our fellow human beings to will out. Sure, we love individuals– people whom we know and care for. Everyone else? No so much.

Stalin once said that the death of a single person was a tragedy; but the death of a million people was a statistic.

I think that there are an awful lot of people who, although they won’t admit it, are willing and maybe even happy to see multiple megadeaths of their fellow human beings– as long as it is not they or their loved ones who die.

The strain, the pressure of so many of us constantly pushing the limits of our world beyond all its capacities makes us numb to mass death of “others”.

We can’t all be important. You want to know how I know this? Because I know I’m not important, and as Descartes says: Cogito ergo sum– I think therefore I am. I believe that other people exist, I really do; but I have no proof of it.

So, I take it easy on the freeway. I put some space in between my car and the person in front of me. Instead of flipping off people who are assholes to me, I usually applaud them– honestly, it takes a lot of talent to pull off some of the stunts they do and not everybody can put together a video to post on YouTube demonstrating their utter stupidity.

What I learned in Business School

I attended the Leeds school of business at the University of Colorado, and I the sum of what I learned from 4 years at that fine institution can be summed in the following sentence:

A conscience is a terrible thing.

There is nothing more eloquent, true, nor extensive than the ability to type efficiently(universally taught in every business school), excepting the capability to eschew any sense of conscience. It is what makes the world of business go ’round.

If you wish to spank it to a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged or (the condensed version) The Fountainhead, business school is the place for you.

I’m writing a book

And it’s kind of a challenge– you see, there are no men in it. Not one.

It’s science fiction (big surprise). The story is based on a traditional male-fantasy of a galaxy populated entirely by women. Sure, it sounds like the old Saturday Night Live skit starring Kirstie Alley about the “women with eyes on their breasts”– but it’s really more complicated than that, as the story will indicate as it goes along.

You see, I’ve always been fascinated by a world run by women. Men have had their shot, and their reign has largely been dominated by warfare, violence and stupidity. What if women ran the game?

For reasons to be explained in the story as it unfolds, what if the males of alien species throughout the galaxy were hyper-aggressive and violent, and the only way that females of those species were able to survive to reach the stars was that they had to eradicate their sexual counterparts?

That is the initial premise of the story, and I don’t want to spoil things by disclosing anything more; but what if such creatures discovered the Earth– a planet where (for undisclosed reasons) males have not been eliminated by a relatively less aggressive female gender?

Just thinking out loud while I write a book (books, actually) that have been unfolding in my mind for about 10 years now.

Stay tuned– I hope to publish book one in about a year.

Hound me and try to hold me to that timeline.