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The Real Alternative


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The old New Age, hippie saying “Be Here Now” taken to the extreme

Today’s tweet caught my eye not because I believe it. Cummon. The idea is that a large chunk of history never happened and we’ve just artificially filled in the gaps.

From a commonsense perspective this is rubbish. A quick web search brings up all sorts of historical persons and acts during this “phantom time.”

We have lots of records. Physical records.

However, I mention the idea today because, well, it did give me pause over something maybe related.

Some schools of metaphysical thought claim that we can’t be sure of anything but the present. For all we know, they say, the universe is huge, flickering bunch of “presents.”

So this present that I’m writing in is really – according to the theory – just a present with a lot of true, false or simulated memories.

The next flicker could be an entirely different present (with an alternate set of history and memories) and I wouldn’t know the difference.

This next present would be just as real as my current present. And then in the next flicker, who knows… an entirely new set of memories, history, beliefs.

Image – cwamkid.blogspot.ca

For those adhering to this idea, each moment is just as true, false or simulated as the next. And there could be countless flickering streams, all happening or possibly alternating at once.

Freaky?

Yeah, a bit.

But I think the notion is intellectually impossible to disprove.

If you find it hard wrapping your head around this, consider a computer processor. When multitasking, the processor alternates bits of data at super high speeds. Data flies through the processor so fast that tasks appear simultaneous to the user (for example, streaming music, transferring files and blogging).

But again your data is alternating at great speeds.

Could we be the same?

Obviously this is not a question to make the headlines in a 21st century where we’re mostly worried about lunatics with bad haircuts bombing us into oblivion.

But in the 91st century, who knows?


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Coffee lovers? Read this…

Coffee is my only drug. Thank God it’s cheap. I’ve tried going off and generally have felt like half a person when doing so. Or, by way of analogy, a house with the top floor missing.

However, this article got me thinking. Maybe I’ll intersperse a little more water among cups.


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I’m back… not that I ever went away!

Do you ever get burnt out writing? Do you sometimes feel that you spend so many hours working on something and make little or no real impact?

It happens to me sometimes.

So I toyed with the idea of merely tweeting interesting stories and feeding them through here. Without commentary, I mean.

Also, sometimes I just get bored of my own thoughts and want to slip into the background.

Maybe you can empathize.

But today I’m back. I’ve decided to write again, to add commentary to interesting tweets. And to not just tweet (even though finding and choosing good headlines takes a lot longer that you might think, and isn’t as impersonal as it may seem).

Today’s tweet caught my attention because, well, it’s true. We are so sensitive to so many different special interest groups. But oftentimes we hear terrible things said about those who, for whatever reasons, don’t fit into the status quo.

It’s a bit of a farce to uphold liberal ideals with some groups and to turn a blind eye to others. We should try to be nice to everyone… not just the flavor of the month.


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New Anti-Corruption Masters Degree in Vienna

When I saw this I wanted to add “that should be a laugh” to the tweet but there was no room for more characters.

However, I shouldn’t be too cynical. When I had just finished my PhD I found only one sociology reference book (by Blackwell, I think) that even listed the topic. It said that corruption was a relatively new topic for the social sciences due to the difficulties in studying it. So true.

At least this course is making a stab at it. Some discourse is always better than no discourse. Ironically, I had this conversation with the very guy who shafted me at the university of Ottawa. A conversation about discourse concerning numinosity, that is. Not about corruption, per se.


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Progress and political correctness in the context of religion

Stylistic tweaks… move toward present tense:

[earlier] … I just revised my earthpages.ca entry on the Hindu sage Ramanuja. The revision was several days in the making and I’ll probably make a few more stylistic tweaks. But here it is… for now.


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Can we blame the Bible for rape and sexual assault?

Reading this tweeted article, something struck me as not quite right. First of all, the ancient world wasn’t just about Jews and Christians; and sexism and sexual crime was rampant in almost all early cultures.

That makes sexism the root cause. A lot of the Bible reflects and reinforces ancient cultural biases, as do most other holy books.

Why would sexism be widespread in the ancient world? Well, we don’t have to tax our brains to come up with a plausible explanation…

Physical size.

Physical size has become far less important in the 21st century, so naturally things are changing for the better.

Another problem with the tweeted article has to do with today.

In Canada I am happy to boast that we are decades ahead of most of the world in terms of multiculturalism. In Toronto, where I live, Christianity remains the majority religion, but it’s only at 56.7%. And 49% of all Toronto residents are foreign-born.

So obviously other countries look a bit backward to progressive Canadians when it comes to living peacefully with different folks from around the world. “Progress” doesn’t only mean who gets the latest gadgets or finest threads at the lowest price.

But I digress. The point is this:

Rape and sexual assault still occur in most global cultures. It’s not entirely about religion or the holy books. Instead, a brutish mentality is to blame. Thankfully, time and right education will erase that lingering brute.

MC


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The sad raccoon stalker…