A bobbing nothing

I am nothing, a nobody. Yet, I am a thing, an object, floating on the tide, the tide of time. But, I may be mistaken. I am, perhaps, being carried on my personal river of destiny, which takes me to where it must. So, is time a river or a tide?

It has, however, nothing to do with space. Hence, space-time is fundamentally, ie. operationally, a misnomer – with no meaning. Time is just a yardstick of where I have been, or what I have experienced, sequentially. Mathematical equations do not necessarily reflect reality; like that clever fellow who ‘demonstrated’ that 2×2 is not necessarily 4!

To avoid further digression, I accept that my ’river’ of destiny is necessarily a strand in a mesh of destinies, of implicit pathways. This mesh will, again necessarily, begin with the destinies of my human Significant Others; then, the destinies of those with whom I would interact – by planning on someone’s part, mine included, or by chance, or by unseen but unavoidable intersects. These could arise from the past (including past lives), the present, or the future. How would we know?

At a more macro level, the mesh would include a nation – or even the globe on which humans scrabble for a living; but with about 1 to 10% of us temporarily ‘owning’ material wealth (which would need to be left behind eventually). A larger proportion is likely to possess that insubstantial, intangible, and more valuable spiritual wealth – with or without the guidance of religious teachers.

Am I flotsam or jetsam? Or, as some people ridiculously believe, were we puny humans created – or allowed to evolve – to occupy a special niche on a totally insignificant molten rock, in infinite space filled with blobs of burning gas everywhere – even as all of it keeps spinning and rushing around – for no purposive outcome?

Just like human objects bobbing up and down on the tide of time!

Eskimo jokes

A tourist goes to the pole, and meets an Eskimo.
“During the summer you don’t have any nights, and during the winter
you don’t have any days… What do you do during that endless summer
day?” he asks.
“We go fishing, and make love to our women,” the Eskimo replies.
The tourist thinks a while, and asks another question:
“Then, what do you do during that endless winter night?”
Eskimo grins:
“We don’t go fishing…”

 

An eskimo was riding his snowmobile when it quit running. He took it to the local mechanic and had him look at it. The mechanic told the Eskimo to give him about 3-4 hours and he would have it diagnosed. So the Eskimo went into town to do some shopping.  When he returned to the mechanic shop he saw his snow mobile in pieces.  The mechanic turned and looked at the Eskimo and said ‘Looks like you have blown a seal.’  The Eskimo replies ‘No that is just frost on my moustache.’

 

 

What’s the difference between a eunuch and an Eskimo?

A eunuch is a massive vassal with a passive tassel,
while an Eskimo is a rigid midget with a frigid digit.

 

 

An Eskimo was tapping on some ice looking for some fish when a voice said; “You won’t find any fish under there!” The Eskimo just ignored it and carried on tapping. Again, the voice echoed saying “You won’t find any fish under there!” The Eskimo shouted up “Who are you… God?” and the voice replied, “No, the ice-rink manager!”

 

 

One day, an Eskimo family arrived in New York City. This was the first time out of their native village, and it didn’t take long before the wife got lost. The Eskimo husband asked a passerby for help and was told to go to the police and report it. When he got there, a police officer asked him for the wife’s description.
“What’s that?” asked Eskimo.
“Well, you see a description is telling what something looks like. For example, my wife is 25-years-old, 5’11”, 140 lbs, 38-25-36 measurements. Now, what can you tell me about your wife?”
“The heck with my wife”, said the Eskimo, “lets go look for yours!”

 

 

Hear about the Eskimo girl who spent the night with her boyfriend

and next morning found she was six months pregnant.

 

 

 

Hear about the Eskimo who was stabbed with an icicle?

He died of cold cuts

 

 

 

Creating one’s future through education

A survey of family expectations for offspring, covering ethno-cultural communities from West Asia to East Asia, as well as some Australian Aboriginal families, found that one ambition was shared by all. Each family wanted to produce a medical doctor. This means that a teenager displaying a good memory would be harnessed (and driven, if necessary) to become a medico.

In Australia 45% of our youth are expected to obtain a university degree. I am not sure whether the intention is to keep young adults off the job-seeker list. Two-thirds of the universities are transmogrified colleges of vocational training. Are the degrees issued vocationally loaded? A teaching degree had sociology as one of two majors; how relevant would that be in terms of providing a student with teaching skills?

Then, a relative of mine, with a pass mark about 40 at end of year 12, enrolled and graduated from one of these universities! Yet, reportedly, about 40% of entrants to the first year of a degree course had been dropping out. (This suggests that the government subsidy per enrolment might be replaced by one based on graduation.)  There is also the issue whether the curricula are ‘mile-wide, inch-deep’ (a phrase I borrowed from Andreas Schleicher in Lucy Clark’s article ‘Learning Curve’ – see my previous post.)

I know from experience that a student can be in Year 12 and yet be unable to carry out a simple calculation; for example, to calculate the cost of traveling from one city to another, given the distance to be covered, the petrol consumption of a particular car, and the cost of petrol. Employers are reportedly complaining about the limited educational levels of applicants for jobs. Universities are said to be imposing ‘filler’ courses on students accepted for coursework.

Yet, the top students in our local high schools are of excellent value, also with ambition and drive. Through my involvement in public speaking competitions for primary school children in the national capital and surrounding townships, I know what a self-motivated education can achieve. I was the founder of that competition, and the co-founder of a national public speaking competition for secondary schools. My local experience is as an adjudicator at ‘Student of the Year’ competitions for both the Quota Club and the Lions Club.

My concern is about the future of those of our youth who are allowed to complete school without being adequately equipped to become economically viable. Who cares for these students?

Having spent years in the past supporting the education of children, and reading about what is happening in recent years, I hope that there could be less semantically-confusing terminology of a very high level of abstraction, and more practical schemes to enable our children to compete with East Asian and European education systems.

Can we learn from Singapore about improving the quality of teaching, in the national interest, and without referring to the joy of learning or the stress of exams? Competent teaching, if seen to be relevant, can be expected to hold the interest of students.

Being in touch with other worlds

A clairvoyant I came to know well demonstrated to me and to a few sensible friends of mine that he had the ability to reach the spirit realm, and to communicate with individual spirits mentally. It seemed to me that individual spirits came to him, or were sent to him, in order to offer some form of guidance to his clients.

It struck me only recently that this is precisely what shamans have always done. They reach into ‘other worlds’ to obtain insight or knowledge which could help their communities or individual petitioners. Some shamans have been reported to have gone deep underground (into a cave-like space) in order to be able to communicate, or be in tune, with whatever or whoever is reachable. The nature and content of any contact may be beyond the initiative of the shaman.

Whereas my clairvoyant had told me how he reaches a sprit in a position to offer guidance to his client, do shamans talk about the process they follow? Most probably, the path followed and the insight obtained is beyond description, beyond words! More relevantly, ‘out there,’ there may be alien beings (including ETs), or situations, or influences which may be accessible to some humans who are enabled to perceive some fraction of these (from time to time) at a below-conscious level.

As for those psychedelic experiences which are similar to one another across a number of humans, could that be explained? Is there a collective past for all mankind that one could tap into at a subconscious level under the influence of psychedelic chemicals? Or, is there a shared propensity for the human brain, when released from the straight jacket of conformity with an agreed, preferred, and established ‘normality,’ to project certain scenarios?

Could alien abduction with intrusive examinations express a universal subconscious fear of aliens? Could a reading of the Akashic Record or a sense of euphoria about beings in other worlds reflect love for all forms of life everywhere, because we seem to be all somehow linked?

Or, are these beings ‘out there’ entering human lives neutrally when given the opportunity through a weakened sense of self? That is, are we potentially shamans?

More evidence of panspermia

“In 2004, a bizarre new twist in the panspermia debate came in the form of a quite revolutionary press release from NASA. The story claimed that, using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, astronomers had detected faint radio emissions, giving the signature of a sugar called glycolaldehyde. They were coming from a giant interstellar gas cloud dubbed Sagittarius B2, located close to the centre of the galaxy.

Since glycolaldehyde – an eight-atom molecule made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen – can act to create the simple amino acids necessary to form life, NASA now felt it extremely likely that the building blocks of life first existed in deep space, and were transported here by a comet. This discovery came just two years after the spectral ‘fingerprint’ of glycose, a simple amino acid, was detected in three interstellar gas clouds, one of which was Sagittarius B2.

For a space organisation of the calibre of NASA to have detected such information meant that panspermia was now being taken very serious indeed. Yet, it took until October 2005 for NASA to announce finally that organic compounds called PAHS (polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons) were not only ‘abundant in space’ but, most significantly, had more in common with life on Earth than had previously been recognised.

New Scientist magazine reported that Douglas Hudgins and his colleagues at the NASA Ames Research Centre in Moffat Field, California, initiated a search for PAHS using the Spitzer Space Telescope, launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 25 August 2003. Their initial findings revealed that not only do PAHS exist everywhere in the galaxy, but that a high percentage contain nitrogen.

As plain as this discovery might seem, nitrogen-containing compounds are found in chlorophyll, DNA, and haemoglobin, a fact which more-or-less confirms that carbon-based organisms evolved originally in deep space, and only afterwards made the journey here.”

This extract was titled ‘Sugar and space’ in ‘the Cygnus mystery’ by Andrew Collins

How did all this lead to humans being on Earth? Could we claim that Earth was prepared specially for us? If so, why?

Evidence supporting panspermia

“Strangely, hard evidence for panspermia has been around for almost half a century. In 1961, a meteorite examined by Spanish-American biochemist Juan Oro was found to contain micro-fossils of an algae-like organism known as adenine, as well as the component nucleic acids of RNA (ribonucleic acid) and DNA, enough to provide ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a major energy-releasing molecule in living cells.

Then in 1969 a meteorite that landed in Victoria, Australia was determined to possess a complex series of organic compounds, including some of the nitrogen bases and amino acids that are the building blocks of DNA. Subsequent tests by Dr. Ron Brown of Melbourne’s Monash University revealed there were ‘formations in the meteorite reminiscent of a very primitive form of cell structure.’

All this is, of course, aside from the now famous five-pound (2.5 kilogram) meteorite ALH 84001 discovered in the Antarctic in 1984, which was subsequently examined and found to contain a variety of organic chemicals, including carbon molecules formed in water and created by single-celled organism, remaining as ‘fossil-like impressions of micro-tubular and other organisms.’ This example was, as we know, determined to have been ejected from Mars, reigniting the age-old debate as to whether or not there is, or was, life on the red planet.”

The above was taken from the section ‘Spreading spores’ in ‘The Cygnus Mystery’ by Andrew Collins.

The following was taken from the section titled ‘Hitching a ride’

“Panspermia is a theory that has had some heavyweight scientific support over the years. During the 1970s, renowned British astronomer Fred Hoyle … and his Sri Lankan-born colleague Chandra Wickramasinghe put their combined efforts behind the theory, proposing that complex organic compounds might well have evolved within interstellar dust clouds. They wrote that interstellar spores or micro-organisms have continued to rain down on Earth in the form of flu viruses and other diseases which seem to develop spontaneously without any kind of mutation from an existing strain.

These micro-organisms, they argued, initially settle in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, where they become caught up in the jet stream. Eventually they mix with lower winds rising up over mountain ranges such as the Himalayas, which take them down on to the plains of neighbouring countries, where the viruses are soon transferred to birds, animals and, finally, human beings.”

Infections raining from the heavens? Makes sense.

A theory without scientific backing?

In Darwin’s demise: on the futile search for missing links, Will Hart (in Forbidden history, edited by Douglas Kenyon) says that Darwin’s theory of evolution is the only scientific theory taught that has yet to be proved by the rigorous methods of science. He concludes his article thus: ‘Until a more comprehensive theory of how life originated, changed, and continues to evolve emerges, as Robert Milton (a science journalist) put it “Darwin doesn’t work here anymore.”’

Ever since I read about this theory (when I was 24), I have been a sceptic. I had read a little anatomy and physiology by then. I couldn’t see how the eye could have evolved through random mutation (mutations are usually errors in copying DNA); and how natural selection, which eliminates the failures in adaptation, could have had a role. As the whole process requires a very long time, an inconceivable list of intermediate forms would need to appear along the way. Cosmic catastrophes may better explain the appearance of whole functioning forms; while yet needing an organising influence. I had indeed been influenced by Velikovsky.

The concept of punctuated equilibrium, allegedly intended to counter cosmic catastrophes as a cause, does not seem to be an explanation – only a description of what occurs. I have read an attempted explanation of this concept, but it was full of suppositions. As well, have intermediate forms (missing links) been found?

What then of flowering plants (100 million years old), with no intermediate species from non-flowering plants (300 million years old)? Most flowers need bees and other pollinators. How did this relationship evolve?

Whereas Darwinian evolution is based on competition, co-operation and symbiosis are clearly relevant in life. That competition was seen as the driver was consistent with Karl Marx’s dialectical materialism. Darwin and Marx were original thinkers of the 19th century. Marx’s viewpoint was that matter is the sole subject of change, which is the product of conflict arising from the internal contradictions inherent in all things. That view had a degree of plausibility then.

The biggest challenge was from Michael Behe, a biologist, who listed blotting clotting, cilia, the human immune system, the transport of materials within cells, and the synthesis of nucleotides as irreducibly complex, and that no gradual route could have led to their creation.

Whether life was originally brought to Earth by an advanced civilisation (the concept of panspermia) may be relevant. Did extraterrestrials also tweak some life forms on Earth onto more complex levels?

Theorising that purpose is built into all forms of life on Earth may be of some value. If this is true, how did it happen? Perhaps it is time to build the non-material, the ethereal, into a theory of evolution!

Comment: I have drawn from Will Hart’s article in part.

Crustal displacements and ice-caps

“Crustal displacements are thought to have taken place on other planets. In the December 1985 issue of ‘Scientific American,’ Peter H. Schultz drew attention to meteorite impact craters visible on the Martian surface. … Outside the present polar circles of Mars, Schultz found two other such areas. ‘These zones are antipodal, they are on opposite faces of the planet. The deposits show many of the processes and characteristics of today’s poles, but they lie near the present-day equator …’

What would have caused this effect? Judging from the evidence, Schultz put forward the theory that the mechanism appeared to have been ‘the movement of the entire lithosphere, the solid outer portion of the planet as one plate … (This movement seems to have taken place) in rapid spurts followed by long pauses.’

If crustal displacements can happen on Mars, why not on earth? And if they don’t happen on earth, how do we account for the otherwise awkward fact that not a single one of these ice-caps built up around the world during previous ice ages seems to have occurred at – or even near – either of the present poles. On the contrary, land areas bearing the marks of former glaciations are very widely distributed. If we cannot assume crustal shifts, we must find some other way to explain why the ice-caps appear to have reached sea level within the tropics on three continents: Asia, Africa and Australia.

Charles Hapgood’s solution to this problem is simple, extremely elegant and does not affront commonsense:
‘The only ice age that is adequately explained is the present ice age in Antarctica. This is adequately explained. It exists, quite obviously, because Antarctica is at the pole, and for no other reason. No variation of the sun’s heat, no galactic dust, no volcanism, no subcrustal currents, and no arrangements of land elevations or sea currents account for the fact. We may conclude that the best theory to account for an ice age is that the area concerned was at the pole. We thus account for the Indian and African ice sheets, though the areas once occupied by them are now in the tropics. We account for all ice sheets of continental size in the same way.’

The logic is close to inescapable. Either we accept that the Antarctic ice cap is the first continent-sized ice sheet ever to have been situated at a pole – which seems improbable – or we are obliged to suppose that earth-crust displacement, or a similar mechanism, must have been at work.”

The above extracts are from Graham Hancock’s ‘Fingerprints of the gods: the quest continues.’

Do the Poles actually move?

In space, what would be ‘up’ or ‘down’? What would be meant by ‘horizontal’ or ‘vertical’? Would the answers depend upon where the observer is placed? Since Earth is spinning on its axis, could the axis normally be horizontal? Why not?

However, since the sun rises in the East on Earth, because of its relationship to the sun, Earth obviously spins vertically. The top of the axis of rotation we name the North Pole; the other end is the South Pole. They move in tandem (like one’s bottom follows one’s head).

We know that Earth wobbles (like a spinning top) as it spins. We also know that the axis of rotation is slightly inclined from the vertical in its spin. How then could one say that the North Pole has moved from the Arctic Circle, to Hudson Bay, to Greenland, to India (if this is true), and back, when it would be obvious that these places (the lands) would have moved to the North Pole.

How could that be so? Plate techtonics cannot provide an explanation; the movement of the continents is far too slow. How about a severe jolt from a large asteroid impacting Earth, or even passing very close by (such as the assumed Phaeton, the fragment of Supernova Vela)? This could cause Earth to tilt. No one seems to like that idea. Could this have happened?

What then? Continental drift? Apparently not persuasive. Earth-crust displacement (however improbable this may be) seems to be credible. Since Earth’s crust is apparently one integrated piece, yet allowing continents (or parts thereof) to creep, the whole crust would have to move (like the skin of an orange).

Seems improbable, unless the trigger is some sort of a jolt. A probable jolt could apparently come from the ice cap on Antarctica, currently vastly increasing in size and weight.

Graham Hancock (author of ‘Fingerprints of the gods’) quotes Hugh Auchinloss Brown thus: ‘The growing South Pole ice-cap … has become a stealthy, and relentless force of nature – a result of the energy created by its eccentric rotation. The ice-cap is a creeping peril, the deadly menace and executioner of our civilisation.’

Managerial languages vs. a clear message

More from Don Watson (‘Word warrior’) – refer preceding posts:

“ … this random sample from the base material of management language: ‘… the degree of formality evidenced across universities, regarding the documentation of risk strategy and risk appetite, processes to identify and manage risk, and reporting on new and emerging risks suggests that rigour in risk management is a key enabler in improving organisational performance.’ … “

“All public language inclines to pomposity and deceit, but modern public language inclines these ways acutely and nails it to the inclination. It is evasive and dishonest in its essence; abstract, devoid of useful information and concrete example, remote from human reality, filled not with detail but with hogwash.

The most famous passage in Churchill’s historically most telling speech could not have been plainer or more grounded in the lives of ordinary Britons. ‘We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.’

No mention of a strategy. No action plan and nothing to be actioned. No enablers. No risk management. No accountability. No outcomes to be ‘passionate’ about.”

Wow! This guy has not lost his touch. And his is a timely warning about damaging a most expressive language.

The above extracts are from an edited extract from ‘Worst words: a compendium of contemporary cant, gibberish and jargon’ by Don Watson, published in ‘The Weekend Australian Magazine’ of Oct 31-Nov.1 .