The advent of the search engine

Years ago I was engaged in a boys club of sorts, an exclusive Yahoo email address wherein four or five people engaged in thoughtful discussions – I’ve lost track of all of them, and was overshadowed by some tall intellects anyway. My only remaining connection there is a link to the right to a blog called “Sohum Parlance,” where Erik Kirk still plods along.

Sometime in those discussions I discovered that by association of various phrases, I could easily explore any topic on a search engine, thereby giving me an advantage over the others. I quickly learned that they had the same advantage, so that even with Google at my side (there were several available and Google was not the most used), I was still outgunned.

Worse yet, they easily spotted anything I said that was the result of a casual search engine query. Days would go by as my visits to that address became less frequent – it was just too much work. Each session would take at least an hour, as the comments strings were long and involved. Importantly, I was exposed to people of high intellect who brought different world views to my attention, most importantly that of the high-minded right-winger. This was Jim Versluys of Houston, who exposed me to what I regarded as heartless analysis of US foreign policy stripped of any pretenses of democracy or humanity. In the face of such a powerful force, my soft-hearted liberalism shriveled.

For instance, the photos below are of the infamous “Turkey Shoot,” or “Highway of Death” after the first US attack on Iraq in 1991. General Schwarzkopf gave the Iraqis permission to withdraw from Kuwait, and once they did, US bombers cut off the head and tail of the convoy, and destroyed everything and slaughtered everyone in between.

Reporters commented that fighter pilots, able to fire on an easy target without fear of flak, often had erections when returning from sorties. They were told that such a physical manifestation was a result of their deep “patriotism.” I wrote about the duplicity and barbarity of the event, and Jim laughed. It was simply standard practice in war, he said, to get the enemy to expose himself so you can destroy him.

Turkey shootTL003576

I had to cede that argument, as there was no moral high ground, that is, the moral high ground was not something anyone cared about. It was simply an overlap of two worlds, mine of ethics and humanity, his of cold and cruel Machiavellian means to ends. He was impermeable to any soft reasoning, in fact laughed at it.

It was a good exchange, well worth the psychic pain such intellectual battering gave me. I saw the world from another viewpoint. It was cold and ugly, and I wanted no part of it, but I had to acknowledge its existence with or without my approval. It is there. It is how countries behave. It is how the military functions.

The Internet allowed me to know the gentlemen of that caliber, and to gain some self-awareness by doing combat with them. I didn’t win but I learned about how the other side thinks. It is good to know about them. I cannot be part of their world. It is too cold, but don’t get me wrong: It is not Sparta. These gentlemen appreciate the finer things of life, including art and humor. They are not thugs. They are simply men of the world.

I suppose it was inevitable that the Internet would degrade with such easy access. These past few days I’ve been engaged with Larry Kurtz and Big Swede, trying to pin them down, see what makes them tick. Where one time, long before it became the “Google” we know, I tried using a search engine to score some points with true intellectuals, I now see that The Google also operates as a flashlight for people who cannot read. Stripped of the search engine, neither Swede nor Kurtz have an ounce of native intelligence. They are also too typical of what the Internet as viewed through the blogs has become – a food fight among low brows and retards.

So many have left the blogging game, only a few left of maybe a score eight years ago. Those that stand have to put up with the likes of these two and Norma. I’m not issuing ultimatums or threatening to change anything, as my own desire to write drives me to carry on here. I am just offering some hard and cold analysis: Stupid people make blogging a chore. I am being careful here to avoid using names in the last paragraph so that the objects of scorn don’t know they are being talked about. What follows is a close to the opening paragraph that will assure us that the two in question do not see they are the object of hard and cold analysis.

I heard from Jim on occasion over the years, but lost track of him. No doubt he’s still kicking somewhere down in Houston, engaged in lively debate among people of his caliber intellect. I should Google him and see what he’s up to. But I cannot get drawn into debate with him, as he has a way of absorbing all of the light in a room into himself, as a black hole does. I need some light for myself. I cannot be in the same room with him, as I drown in his darkness.

41 thoughts on “The advent of the search engine

    1. That would be like shooting your tv. Might feel good for a while, but wouldn’t stop anyone else from drooling at the blue screen.


  1. Mark, i really don’t care if you and Howard Zinn hate America but if you bring your attitude to fora where Democrats gather to sort solutions expect to be called out for the coward you are.


    1. Larry, I’m confused by the idea that other ‘fora’ exist to “sort solutions”. The Cowgirl blog has existed through 4 election cycles now and things appear to be getting worse, much worse. It’s easy to see that Democrats aren’t coming to any solutions, and the demand that they be left alone at ‘their’ websites seems all the more like cheerleading and continuously less like actually supporting America. I don’t agree with much of what Mark writes; his level of certainty demands the same level of suspension of disbelief that one finds in many mythologies and I am unwilling to offer. But pointing out that cheerleading is exactly that is not ‘cowardly’. If anything it is mundane and petty, pointing out the obvious to those holding the object too dear.

      In this very post, Mark suggests a different sort of strategery. He tells you plainly that he goes online looking for fights (COMBAT!). Links don’t combat anyone if they are not considered. If you have the arguments against his promoted view, then make them. Do it with your words, your thought. For example, he sometimes asserts physics that isn’t. He believes that power is insulated from entropy. His geography has nothing to do with his ideas about voting, save when he crosses the line of telling others specifically how to cast their ballot, or even if it’s worth while. Please take it from there.


      1. Rob: 1) Don’t confuse assertion with certainty. 2) Kurtz didn’t read the post, doesn’t have a clue what you’re talking about; 3) I don’t like to argue but do profit from it, 4) my physics is AOK, laws in force in time of Newton unchanged and unchallenged except by Einstein, and that is out of our realm, and 5) I doubt entropy enters into the realm of statecraft.

        I do marvel at the power of the state to alter the laws of physics. That is power.


        1. Mark, it is rather more often you who confuse assertion with certainty, often falling prey to inductive reasoning. As a logician, I know the difference. I have no opinion about Larry’s reading abilities, or what he “knows” or doesn’t. I DO know that he has a burr under his saddle about you, and exhibits a poor effort at explaining why. As for 3, now that’s just a lie … 😉 Regarding 4, you and I talk past each other because we aren’t sharing a common language. The language of Physics is mathematics, and this where your assertions often fail to provide certainty, because you assert without the credible language to establish the credible. And 5, entropy is a given in all manner of social order, including statecraft. Even Orwell hopefully admitted that the amount of energy required to maintain forced order would eventually outstrip the resource that power could provide. That is why there are those who you engage with regularly who hope for dictatorial abuse which surpasses the public will to put up with such.


          1. Rob, when you say that I just don’t get the math, all else aside, you’re not convincing me that 1) math exists that describes natural phenomena that violate Newton’s third law, and 2) that you’re not merely excusing yourself and hiding behind an appeal to authority.

            When you say “entropy” I cannot help but think that you’re grouping all non-categorizecal phenomena under the heading “shit happens” so as to be able to avoid having to deal with it.


          2. I can’t speak to what you’re certain of or not, Mark. But entropy is pretty clearly defined, and asserting the application of physical law requires an understanding of the math behind it. Do I need to remind you that you told me velocity has nothing to do with force? Those are defined by math, not misapplication of words.


          3. It appears to me to be a desire to make phenomena fit official truth, reverse engineering If necessary. The only velocity in the third law is that it does not matter which side has it, that it is interchangeable. Ergo, plane hits building, building hits plane, same result. How can you not know this?


          4. Though not an argument I’m interested in having with you again, your comment here precisely shows your misunderstanding of the math involved in Newton’s third law. How you can not know this is pretty self-evident.


          5. It’s interesting behavior here that you’re engaged in, perhaps the most illustrative case I’ve seen of the power of empire over mind, to alter the basic laws of physics to allow a contrived event to appear real. It works on the general public in the age of DC Comic Book superheroes, where physics is suspended. But it does not work in mathematics.

            But you’ve taken it up a notch in that you’ve hidden yourself behind a curtain of mystery and like a wizard claim to have superior knowledge that you’re not willing to share, but that we should believe. I know the color of the curtain you’ve pulled around you as you hint that you’ve got magical equations at your disposal. It’s easy. Green.

            Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Velocity can be on either side. It doesn’t matter if moving car A hits standing car B or vice versa. The object with greater mass will prevail over that with lesser. An aluminum tube hitting a concrete and steel building will do some damage to the building but by far the greatest damage would be to the aluminum tube, which woild be crushed and fall to the ground in a million pieces. But there was no airplane debris at ground zero.

            Of course, 757’s and 767’s are not physically capable of flying at low altitude at the speeds they are credited that day without disintegrating, so step back one step further. You might conclude, as I did, that no planes hit the towers that day.


          6. That was my very point to begin with, Mark. You’ve made up your mind and will not explore any evidence to change it. You are as closed off as the sheeple you accuse. Because F=inverse F, mass will not automatically overcome acceleration (function of velocity). I have explained that far too many times for you to remain willfully ignorant, and yet you choose to do so. Enjoy.


          7. Enough. Seriously, go you, dude. Wood can’t dent metal, a human hand can’t break bricks. aluminum can’t penetrate concrete, lead can’t penetrate steel and some such … NEWTON! And a theoretical but as yet undocumented directed force of energy is in the hands of the evil. Makes perfect sense, pal, because NEWTON!


          8. Wood can dent metal. But I defy you to make wood disappear into metal. That’s the problem, dude, the building offered no resistance. Frame by frame analysis indicates that it did not even lose speed as it penetrated the building. Cannot happen.


          9. I have seen wood disappear into steel. I’ve seen a broken rattan spear pierce a metal breast plate. Scary damned event all around.

            This is why we talk past each other, You think I’m trying to convince you that what you are certain didn’t happen, actually did happen. I’m not and never have. All I believe is that you don’t have the knowledge to be as certain as you most evidently are.


          10. Is that the best you’ve got? To call me a liar? Really? Okay then. That would be why I have no interest in arguing with you about the actual science of physical events.


      2. Rob, i don’t read Toke’s shit but come here when the fight needs to be taken into the enemy camp. His contempt for Democrats clearly stems from his being rejected by the Party because he’s unelectable.

        Cowgirl is what it is and Democrats have suffered similar losses in so many other states: i am pounding South Dakota’s Madville Times for not doing enough even though the SDDP is unable to escape the morass that we created for ourselves for not running as Democrats.

        Montana is fortunate enough to enjoy a Democratic governor (flawed as he is) and New Mexico’s party is recovering quickly from our gubernatorial loss here. My home state of South Dakota is a major rebuild and my focus right now.


        1. The Democratic Party “camp” was taken over long ago. You’re working for the enemy and haven’t a clue.

          Latest great Democratic Party idea: Hey, let’s join with Republicans and neocons to send more weapons to neo-nazis running Ukraine after the CIA-backed coup. Maybe we can provoke Russia into an armed conflict. We’ve done so well at war since WWII. If we’re lucky we’ll make billions on the injury and death of millions of innocents, including our own soldiers. If you’re not a “double agent,” or a well-paid assassin, leave the camp asap. Find a new tribe. Start over, it can’t be reformed IMO.


      3. Larry comes across as mentally ill. He’s a grandiose champion in his own mind. He has no ideas how to get support, or votes, for Democratic candidates.

        If Larry were sane, or smart, or not a Republican plant hired to make all Democrats look bad by association, he’d take a page from Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton knows how to get votes. Has anyone ever seen Bill Clinton calling Republicans “earth haters?” If that worked, why wouldn’t Clinton do it? Isn’t he as smart as Larry? Does Larry remember when the Repos tried to impeach Clinton and all year everyday did nothing but bash Clinton? I didn’t get people to support Republicans, no. It instead drove Clintons
        poll numbers higher.

        I imagine young voters who stop into Cowgirl. They look at Larry’s constant hate, his constant negativity, and are driven away from the party and from politics in general. Who wants to involve themselves with crazy people? Larry has no idea what his effect is on other people. He thinks he’s helping.

        He’s like the drunk guy on the street yelling at people to support the homeless, or else.

        It’s like when a couple with children divorces, and one spouse spends all their time and energy bashing the other spouse, to their kids. . The bashing spouse has almost zero idea of how their constant negative bashing impact the children, how it hurts the kids. The negative spouse has to make a decision; Do they hate their former spouse more than they love their kids? Or do they love their kids more than they hate their former spouse?

        Larry needs to figure out if he loves the Democratic Party more than he hates Mark Tokarski.

        My guess is his feelings of hate for Tokarski are stronger than his feelings of love for the Democrats, because we never ever see the love. Only the hate.

        It doesn’t work to secure more votes for Democrats. Instead the opposite occurs. Just like Clinton.

        Larry isn’t hurting Tokarski one bit. He’s driving up Tokarski’s poll numbers and driving up Tokarski’s readership. But Larry is oblivious, His hate completely blinds him to his effect on other people.


        1. I guess if I was clever I would use food fights with these imbeciles to drive up readership, like Jerry Springer. But then I get low-brow readership. And anyway, even if readership soars, so what? To what end? Enlightenment?

          I just write, and I like it when thoughtful people take note. That makes me feel good. Beyond that, writing is for me self-guided education.


      4. Rob, taking Mark seriously is a job for his acolyte and not for me. It is a bit of buzz kill, though, that this blog has a higher rating than mine: thought i had a pretty good year.

        My therapy is a couple of hours in shorts on another glorious New Mexico day running our Kubota L4400 with a blade smoothing the mile and a half driveway i maintain. All the best to you and yours.


        1. It is a cliche truism that the devil’s in the details. One need not be an “acolyte” of any person or idea to take it seriously. By way of example, ‘seems Democrats take the Teapeeps seriously, and are most certainly not followers of the austerity religion.


  2. Please re-read some of our last conversations. It’s often you who dips into the gutter with insults before I response in kind. That and “last word” tourettes syndrome you possess that spurs me on waiting to see the wheels come off the crazy train.

    For the most part being sanctimonious with a large dose of superiority are traits I avoid like the plague, but the entertainment value is narcotic.


    1. Trying to decide if you read this post or not … Let’s see, he doesn’t actually read any post, ergo he didn’t read this one either. This is a double hit, as neither you nor Kurtz are even aware you are featured in a post on which you tossed in sanctimonious comments. This is humorous.


        1. So you’re clever after all. Why didn’t you say something like, six years ago? Certainly would have made my job easier. All this time … I thought you were devoid of imaginative facilities, availed of only the most common precepts, with a limited range of achievements that are highly exaggerated in your own mind, unmoved by unusual stimuli, taking note of little where not prompted by suggestive elements in your life in other media, highly stereotyped in mental functioning, very much an average American, highly unexceptional, incapable of comprehending the words in this paragraph …man I wish you’d said something.


  3. I spent $10,000 on Democrats (most of whom lost) in the previous cycle and expect to spend at least that much on the next cycle.


        1. I do vote, and issue referendums seem to be having positive effect. But otherwise I echo Jim Hightower’s sentiment, that if God had intended us to vote, he’d give us candidates.

          You can stop anytime now, Larry. Please. It’s Sunday, football day in America. You’re being a distraction.


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