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immoderate's Journal
immoderate's Journal
December 22, 2013

The Housemartins are too square for my taste. The Silver Bells rock!

Music (and art) are not religion, or products of it. They are creative works of varied inspiration or motivation, real or imaginary, and for me, it's the final product that counts. I'm quite sure that at least some of the great composers, that collected honoraria for them, were not believers in the doctrines they presented.

I like them if they're good, dislike them if they suck, and subject rarely matters as I pay little attention to what they say. And if anything, I'm more interested in how the lyrics work, than what they mean. How many words would you have to change in a song like Light My Fire, to turn it into a pounding Christian prophesy?

I listen to a lot of music sung in languages that I don't understand. I don't know if what they're saying is anything better than what I think they're saying. It's sung in its way -- and I take inferences from the tone, but sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is extolling his god, or trying to get laid.


On edit: I answer my own question: If, in Light My Fire, you replace "baby" with "Jesus," and "love: with "faith," the prophesy is true!

October 29, 2013

Why a "full-employment economy?" That's crazy.

With automation, simply speaking, a small minority of people can accomplish all the work that needs to be done. For example, in a few years there won't be human taxi drivers. Individuals perform tasks that occupied huge masses, and that power is growing exponentially.

Moreover, to create unnecessary tasks to employ people, will lead to destruction of resources that we, as a society, will need to preserve.


August 18, 2013

I just had carotid artery surgery -- indicated by optical symptoms.

My symptoms were a monocular blockage of sight, with translucent transmissions, which I identify as amaurosis fugax. And a zigzag pattern that would develop over my field of vision, called scintillating scotoma. Both have been referred to as optical or ocular migraines, with no headaches. They occurred once a week or so.

These are sometimes signs of blockage of the carotid artery, which can be detected with ultrasound and MRA scans. I had both, and was in surgery the day after, for a carotid endarterectomy -- a reaming out of the artery that delivers blood to the brain.

My surgeon told me I was in line for a major stroke. My artery was almost totally blocked. It's almost four weeks since the surgery, and so far the visuals are gone.

Yes, life is good!


April 11, 2013

Economist Michael Hudson: "...this is pure, naked class war."

HUDSON: Well, it's sort of like The Hound of the Baskervilles, where Sherlock Holmes said the important thing is that the dogs didn't bark. When the government printed $13 trillion to give to the banks after the 2008 breakdown, nobody complained at all about the fact that the government can simply print the money, pour it into the economy, and do something. Nobody's complaining about the increased war spending that we're doing, the waste that the Pentagon [incompr.] war.

Why is it that all these complaints are only focused on one particular small part of the budget, Social Security and medical care and health care? And the reason is this is pure, naked class war. There's no other word for it. You can't believe that people are being honest when they don't talk about the whole budget or the overall economy when they're singlemindedly tunnel-visioned, focused only on how do we pay retirees less, so that we can give the bankers more when President Obama continues the bank deregulation he's doing. You have the idea that they're cutting back pensioners, cutting back Social Security, in order to be able for the next big bank bailout.


On edit: A link to the video. Quite informative.

February 25, 2013

Chaos theory. It's called the "Butterfly Effect."

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before.

My interest though, (beside having spent some student time in Paris,) is sort of with the ironies of language and my recollections of the trends. Dr. King spoke of "Negroes" and Malcolm X talked about "black people" and my father, a WW II vet, a liberal, referenced "colored people," thinking, I'm sure, that it was the most respectful form of address at the time. And "Afro-Americans" was big for a while, as long as the hairstyle anyway.

Writer Stanley Crouch, referred to himself as Negro to emphasize his American ancestry, differentiate from Jamaicans, or Haitians, or Brazilians who are also black.

Never having been black myself, I lament the lost opportunities. What were they thinking? What was I thinking? It's a kind of nostalgia.


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