The importance of not eating kale

One of the other writers on this blog expressed the sentiment that he still feels that this is my blog, and that he needs to tread carefully. While I have an ego, I don’t have a hard shell “I am fantastic don’t step on my toes” attitude about anything. I am good at enough things to be happy in my skin. Other people are better at most things, and that is part of the fun too. That is why I was so thrilled that five other people agreed to share writing duties here, and that three of them have jumped in.

I view this blog as a laboratory, and anyone of the six of us can come in at any time, day or night, and run experiments. I don’t care if they fail or succeed. Experiments that fail are as enriching as those that succeed. I just want this room to be available for these five people, in addition to myself. They have all shown me that they have active imaginations, that they are intensely curious and not afraid to make mistakes in search of truth. They are also, and this helps immensely, very bright people.

So, lady and gentlemen, do not worry about stepping on toes. The forum is your omelet. While I don’t care for spinach, mushrooms or green pepper, that you do is what makes this research fun.

(I do not like kale, will not eat kale. It is a weed. Whole Foods can get away selling weeds as nutritious food, but they don’t fool me.)

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I had on my list of things to do to go back and delete posts from the beginning of time here – I started in August of 2006. I sometimes go back and read what I wrote, and don’t have any problems with my early efforts being a few leaves of kale short of rabbit food.

When I started I believed in partisan politics, was knee-deep in Chomsky, afraid to voice my doubts about 9/11 and JFK. I was unknowingly allowing myself to be disciplined by groupthink. I supported Obama in 2008, but abandoned him in November of 2008.  I waded in blogging food fights, but throughout always voiced the opinion that blogging was unimportant, just an outlet. “I like to write, I like to argue,” I repeatedly said. That is all I could make of the importance of blogging.

In fact, I repeatedly noted that a daily newspaper had more views in five minutes than my blog did in a month. I was struggling to understand the nature of the forum. At one point, I thought it was no more than a letter that some pompous-ass newspaper editor was not allowed to deep-six.

So I have kept all those posts, and have merely dropped the menu on the bottom that cascaded to the basement below showing every month in the past. But I have kept the writing. It is like the markers on the door frame that parents use to record how their kids are growing up.

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This blog does need a work-over, appearance wise.

I do a lot of projects around the house here, building things like sheds, shelves, bird feeders and houses and some picture frames. I told my wife one time that no matter what I build, it always ends up looking like an accountant built it. No matter how creative my initial approach, in the end, it is always a square box. So I am open to suggestions. I see many blogs, most unappealing and stuck on 90 degree angles, but a few that are structured to appeal to the eye and allow easy access to content, present and past.

I was just cleaning out a wrens’ house yesterday, one that I built. I remember struggling with it, as I used perhaps a 135 degree angle throughout, and it turned out really well. I can get outside the accountant’s 90 degree framework, but it is hard. I am open to suggestions and ask for assistance in making this blog more visually appealing.

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I mentioned to another writer here that I have avoided Miles Mathis’s science writing because I am intimidated by complex math. CPA’s, in case you don’t know it, do arithmetic. We are taught some statistics at college, but only those who go on to be auditors use it. Auditing, to me, had all the appeal of kale, or of watching fishing shows on TV.

He suggested to me that Miles has done quite a bit of writing that eschews complex math, and instead invokes Thoreau, who  said “simplify, simplify, simplify.” So I printed off a few papers at his suggestion, and find that I can not only understand them, but enjoy reading them. Part of it at least is Mathis’s command of the language:

“…modern physics … is the avoidance of real questions in pursuit of trivial methodology. It is the memorization of an endless list of names and manipulations in lieu of understanding mechanics. It is the setting up in some black data hole and extemporizing on an endless string of evermore ridiculous hypotheses instead of looking at known physical problems closer at hand. It is the knee-jerk invocation of authority and explicit squelching of dissent. It is the hiding behind tall gates and a million gatekeepers, and euphemizing it as “peer review.” It is the institutionalized acceptance of censorship and creation of dogma.”*

All of that reminds me of Henry David as he rambled on about ice blocks, getting a little tedious, and then shaking me awake:

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Mathis does some complex and useful thinking, and uses very little of calculus or chalkboard gibberish. It applies not just to modern physics, but to every aspect of life in our heavily propagandized country. Just last evening I was reading at this blog and this one how people are berated for either refusing to vote or voting third party. (I used to be a regular at each blog, not realizing how bored, how boring I was.)

But honestly, what is this berating, chastising, reminding people that they have only two choices (actually, one) if not “knee-jerk invocation of authority and explicit squelching of dissent”?

People of the world of blogs, it is OK not to vote! It is OK to vote third party! It is OK to bust through party politics, to wake your brains to the bigger world that politics obscures!  It is even OK to ignore politics, drop your newspaper subscription, burn your TV, ignore sports, home school your kids without making them in the end take SAT’s, and

authority

All authority. All of it.

Enough. That won’t change. If it did, we might experience again republican governance and freedom from tyranny.

When I first started on this blog I voluntarily submitted to groupthink, censorship, and feared being a true dissenter. I hated being banned, dropped from blogrolls by self-imagined gurus long on authoritarianism and short on curiosity and imagination. I have been banned from far more places than I care to remember. They were isolating me, confining me, and I am arrogant enough now to think it was because I threatened them.

Back then I thought it was my fault. I just couldn’t keep my opinions to myself and genuflect at the doorway. I am proud now to say that it was not my fault. It was theirs.

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*Death by Mathematics, by Miles Mathis, July, 2007

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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