HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » hunter » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next »


Profile Information

Name: Hunter
Gender: Male
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 20,550

About Me

I'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing.

Journal Archives

Humans behave according to their instincts too.

The big difference between us and chimps is we tell very intricate stories about what we do. When we created oral history, stories passed down from generation to generation, maybe 50-100,000 years ago, human civilization began to evolve rapidly. And then, when we created writing, that's when the modern technological revolutions began. There's simply too much human history and technology now to hold it all inside the heads of our bards.

I don't know why we feel "alone" and wonder about intelligent life in outer space when we share this planet with a large variety of very intelligent beings similar to ourselves. A shocking majority haven't recognized these intelligent beings yet.

I think it's time we did.

Some animals are not so different than we were not long ago by nature's long measure of time, and it's not so clear yet that the developmental pathway we followed will assure a positive outcome. I suspect the human race will be remembered only as a freakish layer of trash in the geologic record.

For now we ought to be protecting the cultures of our intellectual kin on this planet, the great apes, the cetaceans, the elephants, many of the birds, etc., in much more sophisticated ways than we "humanely" treat other animals of lesser intellectual and cultural complexity.

A chimpanzee deserves to live as a chimpanzee, with many of the same rights of self-determination as we demand for our own selves. And an orca deserves to live as an orca, and an elephant as an elephant.

How could we abuse our minimum wage workers if we didn't treat the homeless worse?

Sharing a shitty apartment owned by a shitty slumlord in a dangerous neighborhood, eating shitty overpriced processed food, that's got to be better than sleeping rough and eating out of dumpsters, otherwise why would anyone work?

bitter, bitter,

I actually believe non-abusive government jobs paying comfortable living wages, along with a generous welfare system, ought to compete directly with the crappiest employers.

Nobody should be forced to tolerate an abusive employer for fear of rough living on the streets.

Addicts and unemployable mentally ill people ought to be provided safe humane shelter, a place they can call their own, with plenty of opportunities for improving their personal situations and at the very least establishing themselves in such a way they are not a danger to themselves or others.

I own my language, it doesn't own me. I use my language as I please. I recognize no authority.

Language evolves. I'd rather be on the cutting edge of my language than be trapped in the fetid backwaters of some dictionary or middle school grammar text.

The meaning of the phrase "Politically Correct" has been destroyed by assholes I have no respect for. The phrase is dead to me. Useless.

Anyone who uses the phrase "Politically Correct" today, especially as right-wing code-talk, is speaking dead fish.

I don't speak dead fish.

If I'm uncertain what someone means when they say "Politically Correct" then I'll ask them to clarify.

If they are simply being right wing assholes then I won't be shy telling them what I think.

The language of the streets, especially in my community, is always evolving. Minority communities are always bringing something new to the language table. One of the most remarkable things about the English language is its ability to assimilate words, grammars, pronunciations and cadences from other languages.

I live in a community that is a hotbed of language evolution. Forty percent of the kids in our public schools do not speak English at home. The English speaking black community has many gifted ways of storytelling too. The average high school "English" accent in my community incorporates much from other languages, especially those of Mexico, Asian, and African origins.

My wife and kids are language chameleons adapting their own language to the situation. Full academic Ivy League and Stanford English, West Coast "Spanglish," to generic wherever-you-are-from California Spanish. My wife and one of my kids also do a very good Missouri/Southern Illinois and Irish English too. Not consciously. They simply adapt to their audience. I'm always astonished by this innate skill. I sit quietly, invited spouse or dad at the conference table, wondering what sort of beings these are as languages shift about.

A few family friends, and my father-in-law, can do simultaneous translation in multiple languages. They've made good money for that too. Alas, my own listening and spoken language skills are utterly, hopelessly, fossilized into mushy mid-twentieth century American Television English with a slight Wild West twang.

My own language is watered down vanilla Dennis Weaver, except when I write.

Dumb-ass first world nation problems all around.

The house under construction is plenty visible on google maps if you want to be a voyeur. (Zooming in made me feel dirty...)

It seems entirely possible the property once belonged with the previously existing house and was later sub-divided out and sold.

Nevertheless, overhead power lines running through backyards are long obsolete.

Most weird about this story, there's a fucking freeway in the backyard. That can't be good for property values. Power lines seem trivial in comparison.

I think if we went back in time to the 1930's and showed some San Fernando Valley resident this article they'd probably hang themselves in utter despair for the future. Where are the flying cars? Where is the glittery emerald city lit by electricity too cheap to meter, with lush gardens irrigated by unlimited desalinated seawater? "

It's simply not possible to pick sides in this story. There's just too much 21st century world-gone-mad in it.

Disclaimer: I've lived in the San Fernando Valley. I escaped once, then returned briefly, and then escaped again. My parents and all my siblings have similar stories. My parents are hard-core isolationists now. They live in a tropical rain forest and drink and bathe in water that falls on their roof. They eat local pigs, goats, and produce. If this civilization ends they'd first notice their telephone wasn't working, their internet was down, and there was no mail in their Post Office Box. Other than that, life would go on.

That's my own imaginary refuge. My wife's sailing skills are much better than my own, and maybe I could learn too, but I do own an accurate plastic sextant and a few very robust timekeeping devices for navigation.

Our family was in the San Fernando Valley because some of my ancestors liked horses and Hollywood. Later, one of my grandfathers was an aerospace engineer who built titanium stuff for the Apollo project using skills he'd somehow absorbed by osmosis from the bad-boy geniuses of World War II. His World War II job, as an officer in the Army Air Force, was keeping "eccentric" people deemed essential to the war effort out of jail.

Eccentric was the "nice" word for alcoholics, drug addicts, homosexuals, non-whites, non-Christians, uppity brilliant women, socialists, people with suspect national loyalties, and any other non-white-male-protestant who could do science or technology or be a pretty face in war propaganda.

I've never voted for or supported Nader because he isn't electable, nor is he leftist.

I express my displeasure with the current political system in different ways, and I do it quite openly... my use of Linux and Open Source software is just a small part of that.

But no way in hell do I think there is little or no difference between the political parties. Obama is a competent leader for this train-wreck of a nation. If John McCain or Mitt Romney had been elected the consequences would have been catastrophic; not for the uber-wealthy, but for the people who struggle day-to-day all over the planet.

The world is still cleaning up from the wreckage of the Reagan-Bush-Bush looting of the world economic system.

I do not care for Jerry Brown's or Barrack Obama's gritty "realistic" and Democratic style of politics and management, which hearkens back to FDR's saving capitalism from itself, but that's better than the kleptocracy of the modern Republican party or the false consumerist "Progressivism" of Ralph Nader. (Or, let's just say, Apple Computer and Tesla automobile.)

I divert my own cars, clothes, and computers from the salvage stream, and I rebuild them to do what I want them to do.

My television is strictly a movie player, Many of those movies I find in thrift stores, trade with friends and family, or rent from the RedBox. I do pay for movies at the theaters, and I do purchase new DVDs of excellent movies, so I am not a total deadbeat when it comes the movie industry.

I rarely see television commercials unless someone reposts them here on DU. I NEVER watch television "news" because it's a waste of time.

If a person doesn't exercise an ability they lose it. I exercise my Freedom of Speech and Association regularly.

I know the NSA has many photos of my naked ass and they can kiss those.

Time to sleep on this.

Why does it happen? Why does it keep happening?

Maybe people are mostly irrational. But maybe I'm wrong

No worries, I've survived many existential conflicts far worse.


Safely eat, drink, sleep, be happy.

It's not over until it's over.

Personality dictates social spiders' roles

Personality dictates social spiders' roles

By Zoe Gough
Reporter, BBC Nature

Social spiders' personalities determine the tasks they perform and the division of labour in their societies, new research has shown.

Females lack physical differences, instead they display either aggressive or docile behaviour.

Scientists observed how often each personality type participated in tasks like catching prey and parental care.

They showed clear links between personality, preference for specific tasks and proficiency at those tasks.


Yep. I do believe humans are remarkable for the complexity of our social interactions, but not "exceptional" in the sense of having something other animals lack. There's a continuum of "personality" stretching from animals like humans, dolphins, elephants, parrots, ravens, dogs... all the way out to animals like spiders.

For all we know plants have personalities too but we animals generally live too fast to perceive those patterns.

Like it or not, every living thing is an automaton or none of us are. I myself wouldn't want to be an automaton, so I do my best to extend that same consideration to my fellow living beings, respecting even the food I eat.

The Bible twisted my thinking in a big way too, Hillary.

I read The Book cover-to-cover when I was seven years old. Bad, bad shit and my young inexperienced somewhat autistic mind missed most of the metaphors. I was a very early reader of everything and the child of a religiously insane mom. Maybe you know how it goes.

Ezekiel's guys with giant schlongs spewing semen like stallions, that was real man. (Ezekiel 23:20; some translations more explicit than others.)

My mom eventually found home with the Quakers and family life got better. No more getting kicked out of churches (or once an entire nation...) just because my mom had God's private phone number and the preacher, bishop, or authorities didn't. My mom is still the sort who would get into a fist fight with a Pope, and he would lose. God save Peter when my mom is in line at the Pearly Gates. There will be a riot. I suspect she'll pass, she is impeccably (sometimes horrifyingly and inappropriately) honest, but there will be many trap doors in the heavenly-clouds-before-the-gates opening up to hell that day.

Sigh. Alas I am a simpleton. The biggest influence on my thinking ever was the National Semiconductor-CMOS Databook.

Or perhaps the Boys' Second Book of Radio and Electronics which a subversive third grade teacher let me keep at home for an entire semester.

Oh lovely. I'm a dx'd Aspergers kid and I've never ever wanted to kill anyone.

My misfortunes with women as a young man? I could write entire novels about that and I've posted some of my stories here on DU.

I really didn't figure the world out until I was 26 years old and before then I'd left a lot of my own blood, skin, sweat and tears on some very mean streets.

But I never learned to hate and I've never cared for guns, even after guns were identified as one of my talents. My family is make-the-pretenders-piss-in-their-pants Wild West, and my first "real" girlfriend was even more terrifying, ex Soviet occupation. She once handcuffed a pimp to a urinal and was beating the hell out of him while I was standing outside the men's room door muttering something about "rough sex" to very drunk guys who had to pee. We broke up after that and everyone lived happily ever after, even the pimp guy, or so I've heard. Personal file: things I will never investigate.

BTW, my middle and high school nickname was "queerbait." I quit high school for college, and rapidly progressed beyond that pain.

Call me whatever you like.

I flunked two classes in college.

Once for fighting with a teaching assistant.

The TA and I were having an, um, heated debate when he started throwing stuff at me. I don't know why. I told him his data was bullshit, not that his work was bullshit. He had nothing to do with the data, he was not the one who had fabricated it. Well fabricated it was. $$$

Unfortunately the campus police already knew me by name, not him. I always had a friendly relationship with the campus police. I was mostly harmless, occasionally homeless, an interesting break from their usual dreary duties of drunks, date rapes, overdoses, etc.. They'd pick me up for things like jogging with bloody bare feet at two o'clock in the morning, dumpster diving, or sleeping in my car, the library, classrooms... I'd also show up in places where I wasn't expected to be, and people might eventually say, "Hey, wait a minute, who are you?" sometimes after I'd been there a few days and was getting a bit ripe. Anyways, I wasn't allowed to take the final in that class. The university let me repeat the course, different TA, different professor, both more cynical sorts, and I aced it.

Another time I flunked a hard science class. I could pick up day work moving furniture for eight or ten dollars an hour sometimes (gasoline was less than a dollar a gallon then...) and I'd missed too many lectures to keep up. I did pass my paleontology class however, even though I couldn't tell you a damned thing about Foraminifera today. But the professor of that class helped me get back into school for my third try and I didn't get into any more trouble after that. Well, except for when the people I was living with moved away without telling me, without paying our rent, so I just lived in the empty apartment for two months with the door to my room locked, sleeping on the floor, ready to jump out the window with all my stuff if I heard anything. One day I returned "home" and strangers were moving in. Sigh. I had left everything in the apartment clean and spotless, it was part of my ritual. And that was a better experience than I'd had living in my car in the church parking lot...

I have much more recent Groucho Marx "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member" experiences; the parking valets leave my old car in the same lot the dishwashers park in so as not to offend the BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus cars, but if I ever die crazy in a cardboard box with newspaper insulation that's okay with me. I've always done what seems to be the right thing to do at the time.

Even when it turns out to be wrong.

Go to Page: « Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next »