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Profile Information

Name: Hunter
Gender: Male
Current location: California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,450

About Me

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

Journal Archives

The insurance companies don't really care about costs.

The larger the streams of money they control, the more they can siphon off for things like CEO pay, corporate jets, hookers, and blow.

Here's what we could do:

1) nationalize the health insurance companies, either explicitly, or by more thorough and effective regulation

2) institute a single payer system

3) implement free education for doctors, nurses, med techs and other medical professionals; pay off the student loans of those professionals working in a single payer environment.

4) pay for pharmaceutical research on safe, effective, and inexpensive medicines and devices which can be sourced from multiple manufacturers. Purchase the patents of safe, effective, and inexpensive medicines and devices developed by individuals and corporations.

We also need to open a national debate on what is, and what isn't, appropriate and effective medical care. Medicine can't fix everything. Too frequently expensive medical intervention makes things worse.

Nope, like scum in a stagnant pond, blocking out all the light to the life below.

Running a healthy economy is like maintaining a healthy pond. You've got to skim the scum off the top and keep clean oxygenated water circulating in the depths.

In economic terms that means steeply progressive taxation and the aggressive removal of corrupt officials rising to the top of our financial and political institutions.

The universe is very, very big. The human mind is very, very small.

Even thousands of human physicists operating in perfect parallel processing mode are going to be blind to anything but the boldest outlines of reality. Even our most speculative explorations of reality are colored by our own evolution. Anything that doesn't matter to the propagation and survival of beings such as ourselves, beings made out of meat, all survivors, every one of us, by billions of years of natural selection, all these other aspects of the universe are essentially invisible and inaccessible to us.

Consider yourself. Every one of your ancestors, as far back as you wish to go in the story of life on earth, survived to reproduce.

Forget any lottery. You are a winner of the biggest lottery ever played.

But one consequence of this evolution is that we don't see the universe as it *IS* we only see the forces that most matter to our propagation as living beings. You are a larger mammal. Gravity can easily kill you. Elephants are even more aware of gravity than we are. Jumping is never an option for elephants. Jumping is death.

Anyone who doesn't look at the universe from that meaty perspective is considered a crackpot, and usually that assessment is correct. Yet I've met some brilliant mathematicians and physicists who are very clearly solidly grounded and celebrated in the realities of their chosen fields of study, who sometimes appear to be quite insane whenever they are pushing the limits of what is known, and what *CAN* be known by creatures such as ourselves.

I think that will be one of my new year's resolutions, to quit buying beer.

Some of the beers I've been brewing these last few weeks are turning out pretty well...

I don't have a smart phone, never hope to have one. Good God, what kind of hell is that?

A dog on a leash.

I'm a dumpster diving Luddite.

I bought a new car once in the mid 'eighties. Won't do that again. I drive a different car now, as little as possible. Fill the gas tank once every couple months, whether I need to or not. This $800 car is older than the car I bought new when I was young and too full of myself. For some sick reason I live in a culture that refuses to treat non-drivers as fully functional adults. Otherwise I wouldn't have a car.

The last new computer I bought was a Raspberry Pi for $35.00. Beyond that, in spite of my fascination with computers, I haven't ever thought to buy a new computer. I can usually find or make what I need in someone else's discards. I first signed onto the internet in 1979, haven't been away since. 90% of the internet is crap and always has been.

90% of work is crap, which is Sturgeon's Law

Or, "Four–fifths of everybody's work must be bad. But the remnant is worth the trouble for its own sake," if you'd prefer Rudyard Kipling's framing in terms of 1890's levels of automation. My Neanderthal Ancestors no doubt worked just as hard as they had to, life was very much easier at times and much more difficult at times than any internet voyager experiences today.

But there are now maybe a billion people living today suffering lives that suck compared to the life of any Neanderthal.

Technology, what of it? We're apes, always will be. Maybe if we humans are lucky our intellectual descendants will be something more, but they won't be human. More likely we end up as a curious layer of trash in the geologic record of earth.

I'm trained as an evolutionary biologist. What's the world going to look like in 100,000 years? We're all equal on those time scales.

I don't respect wealth. The wealthier someone is, the more likely they are to be some kind of sociopath.

90% of the uber-wealthy are very clearly sociopaths, some more harmful to their fellow humans and the earth's natural environment than others.

I'm a hypocrite in many ways, not a hermit living in a cave, but there's a shortage of caves lately, or even places to plant a small garden and otherwise live a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

In my opinion the world would be a much better place if more people used birth control and avoided unnecessary work.

If a person must be busy, than they ought to teach, practice medicine, create art (science is an art too), help those who need help, plant a big garden, but otherwise participate as little as possible in this global economy that is destroying the natural environment and turning people into tools and slaves.

I may yet die a homeless person on a park bench, My current "net-worth" is sub-zero, I've been a sick homeless off-my-meds person at times, but it's the thankfully rare experiences I've had "selling out" that always grind more on my conscience than all the other crap I've experienced in this life.

Young Hunter didn't need music on his road trips...

... the music was all inside his head, probably implanted there by the same pink beams from outer space that Philip K. Dick experienced.

I also had a car, and gasoline was cheap.

Drugs, you say? Hell no, the music in my head was always playing, the voices were always singing. Modern meds and therapy have quieted them a bit, but I still here them in the background, along with the fucking NSAID induced tinnitus.

Here's the sad thing: I often made more money as a mad-eyed itinerant laborer than PKD was making as an established writer. I once flunked an organic chemistry class because I was too busy moving furniture. My phone would ring at five in the morning and I'd get to choose between school that day, or 80 to 100 dollars working, sometimes paid in cash. I never did scab work or crossed picket lines either. I met a few odd characters on the road who did, mostly to support their hookers-and-drugs lifestyle, and most of those guys are dead now.

Unions kept wages up for everyone, union or not. That meat puppet Ronald Reagan is in hell, along with everyone who ever had their hand up his ass making his lips move.

Another sad thing: People today doing what I did then are still paid 80 to 100 dollars a day, even though those dollars are worth much less. My share of the rent in various places I lived was never more than $300. (Well, whenever I wasn't dysfunctional, homeless, or taken off the streets by family or siblings.)

That Reindeer roast on the Christmas Dinner table must have come from somewhere.

And I think I saw Grandma apologizing (in that never-an-apology manner she had) to some old fat guy wearing a red suit, scribbling him out a hand-written ticket for the Mexican bus north. The drivers of the Mexican Bus always felt sorry for anyone who'd crossed Grandma. They also knew she was good for the fare.

Whatever year your family had an especially bad Christmas, that may have been it. It sure as hell was a very bad Christmas for Santa.

It seemed to me at the time there should have been more reindeer meat added to the homestead freezer and smoker, but maybe Spot ate the rest.

Spot has never accepted strangers landing on our roof in the middle of the night. I'd always feel a bit uneasy whenever I noticed helicopter parts in his poop, or the more durable bits and pieces of guns.

Let's just say that it's all for the best Doug usually slept through the Christmas Eve chaos.

You never ever want to see Doug when he's angry, and he's not terribly fond of Christians who always ruin perfectly delightful pagan celebrations with their Christian nonsense.

My childhood Easter stories are much the same as my Christmas stories.

What's cooking, Grandma?


I'm not so secure in my person when any damned fool can buy a gun.

I think the "no-fly" list is bogus too, but so are the airlines. I hate flying.

Automobiles, airplanes, automatic weapons, high explosives, none of that shit existed when the Constitution was written.

The Constitution was a very flawed document from the beginning, allowing white male property owners exceptional privileges while fucking over everyone else, most especially slaves and the people who'd been living in the Americas for thousands of years.

My European Ancestors fled to the lawless U.S.A. wilderness in the eighteenth and nineteenth century escaping European officials who hated pacifists and religious heretics. My very last immigrant ancestor was a mail order bride to the newly established Salt Lake City. The husband in Utah was little better than the husband she left in Scandinavia, and worse, she had to share him with other wives. So she ran away with a third guy, and later married him, establishing a remote homestead where nobody would bother her with religion or politics again.

I'm the child of a matriarchal family where the women hunt and the men farm. Or maybe worse, the men are artist and dreamers. My great grandmas were all fierce, the sort who could kill a bad man and depend upon the county sheriff-coroner to clean up the mess and fill out the proper paperwork. (That's not a good thing.) Pacifists by necessity, not by any natural inclination. Berserkers. Valkyrja.

Modern interpretations of the U.S.A. Constitution are equally flawed, most especially concerning the the mother-fucking-second-amendment and all the morons who worship it and their fucking guns, almost as the word of some demented deity, probably that same gawd who got his jollies penetrating the bodies of human sons and daughters with spears, knives, bullets, shrapnel, and frequently the dicks of his child-raping "holy" men.

I piss on guns. I piss on fundamentalists of any sort, religious or secular.

Every gun lover I've met reminds me of Sean Connery in Zardoz, but never so smart or as good looking.

I hate guns for maybe two reasons. In my family tradition it's acceptable to separate a fool from his guns. Sometimes literal "gun grabbing."

I've witnessed my mom taking guns from family, family friends, and horrifyingly a few times, strangers.

Worse, I've cleaned up gun messes. Replacing carpets. painting over blood in cheap housing with Kilz. My gun stories are all awful. Liberty-and-Justice-For-All had fled, and were washing the shit and piss out of their underwear at the nearest fast food place toilet while I was still trying to figure out what the hell had just happened.

Bam, bam, burrupity, bam bam, it's over. Slow motion is Hollywood fantasy.

As a foolish young man I was out climbing rocks once, alone, without proper safety equipment. I started sliding, flesh was being scraped off of me all over, but I managed to wedge a hand into a crack and halt my slide. It fucking hurt.

Gangster kids show up in the local hospital emergency room shot, screaming it hurts.

Well, duh. Boys and many grown men are weenies.

I don't have any personal experience of guns making a human conflict better, and I've been in some very rough situations where other people have been well armed. In my experience, anecdotal I know, guns tend to turn conflicts that are resolvable into horrible tragedies.

If the San Bernardino "terrorists" had been left to live then their stories would be as stupid as the stories of anyone who thinks guns will solve their stupid problems.

In functional families and communities people know who has a gun problem...

... and they discourage it.

People who behave foolishly with guns are in the same class as drunk drivers, they are very dangerous to themselves and others.

Healthy family, friends, and community have no problem taking the car keys away from someone who is drunk or otherwise unfit to drive, and the same ought to be true of guns.

If the second amendment prevents federal intervention, then friends, family, and community can still intervene.

Potential mass murderers are readily assimilated into a gun culture that fantasizes about murder in their gun play. This same culture is then shocked when a few of their own turn the fantasy into reality.

Who made his pants? Or his razor blades?

Hell, why shave? I don't. One day you cut your face (or maybe some other much less visible parts) then some antibiotic resistant bacteria gets in there, and if your culture doesn't have some kind of sophisticated medical knowledge, you die.

Die for shaving? No thanks. Stupid Darwin Award winner, right up there with kissing a rattlesnakes for a selfie, or stuffing a handgun into your pants to look gangster cool... Ow My Balls!

This sort of "primitive" hobby plays into the myth of the "rugged individual." So many U.S. Americans believe that crap, that they will be fighting off zombies.

Nope, they won't. They already are or soon will be the zombies.

If you are surviving by building a hut and gathering food... things rapidly get very complicated. There are simply not enough hours in a day.

Humans are 100% social animals. Drop 100 naked culturally related humans, and 100 naked culturally related chimpanzees into an environment hospitable to both humans and chimpanzees, and all the humans will eventually die, looking a lot worse for wear than the chimpanzees who may be flourishing. It probably takes several thousand humans to simply survive in an environment where a hundred chimpanzees would be comfortable. And in a few hundred thousand years, in separate but equal equal environments, the humans and chimpanzees might end up looking much the same upon the inspection of any alien intelligence.

I'm a modern human and I enjoy stuff like this YouTube. I never use a hammer when a rock at hand will do. I am some kind of Luddite at heart too, patiently waiting for the end of the automobile age, looking forward to a world of walkable cities where most people don't need or want automobiles and homes have no utility bills.

But I also like the modern communications infrastructure. Until we can grow an internet on literal trees, and plant smart phone seeds in our garden and share the produce with our neighbors, then we will need to maintain a certain level of technology.

There have long been too many humans on this planet. We can't all use trees to bake roofing tiles. There are simply not enough trees.

My own hobby is making things out of garbage. There's plenty of that in the affluent world I inhabit.

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