2016.06.20 markers

It’s officially Summer. The summer solstice has arrived, and along with that comes a full moon. This does not happen often. The solstice marks the official beginning of Summer, a few weeks after what most of us regard as the practical start of summer, and has a history in human culture of having significance, and you have to wonder if the combination of that with the full moon has special significance. Well, I think about it for a moment, whatever it might mean.

It also happens to be at a time of some seriously hot weather to start the official summer season where I am, and I notice reports of baking hot weather in California, which also happens to still be in an extended severe drought.

I hope that it will be a good positive summer, and it certainly can be, but then even things like mentioning the drought in California or excessively hot weather gets some people regarding anything like this as negativity or pessimism, just part of a host of attitude problems that actually get in the way of anything positive happening and working some things out, making something better.

Sitting and thinking about broad picture subjects keeps taking me back to thinking about that kind of issue, an awful lot of what we might call different kinds of avoidance. It could be a very strange summer, with loads of people caught up in all kinds of varieties of missing points, losing plots, getting all wound up in masses of countless diversions and piles of misinformation, and so on. There is a different kind of reaction to things, of course, to add to this, where people basically get sick to death of everything they see around them, and sort of shrug, throw up their hands, and express some variation of “whaddyagonnado?”.

I can’t help constantly noticing how often people manage to avoid all kinds of matters at hand in ways that they probably think of as simply trying to lighten up and have a little fun and good cheer in the face of dysfunction and general craziness, but ends up just doing what essentially ends up maintaining a focus on, well, dumb shit. Mention that, and, well, there just must be something wrong with you.

Talking about this kind of thing, an obviously repeating theme in my notes here, this kind of epidemic of, shall we say, missing a point, or actively avoiding a point, a matter at hand, can occasionally even have the odd and frustrating problem of people taking it in and having some sort of reaction that basically amounts to saying well, what are you rambling on about, you long winded fellow, get to the point, when I am getting to the point. I’m hammering repeatedly square on the head of the point.

Pick a subject, an event, a larger perspective longer term situation, and the same kind of stuff happens. I sometimes yammer about this kind of thing in terms of signal-to-noise ratio, borrowing a technical term as a useful metaphor, and, right now, I would say the signal to noise ratio is low to the point of being under a threshold where much of anything gets through.

Just in the past couple of notes here, that came after an extended break of many months, it should be apparent from the length of them that to really dig into all sorts of current pressing matters, it takes some time, simply because of how damned complex the matters are, and that being compounded by the noise obscuring things. Just narrowing focus to trying to get a handle on the sheer insanity of our government here in the United States related to anything under the heading of foreign policy and international relations is overwhelming, and just astounding, and unbelievably complicated, even if you narrow things down to specific chapters of destructive and disastrous lunacy like the meddling in specific countries thousands of miles away, like Ukraine and Syria, just to shrink the view down to two places, among many. As I’ve run through a bunch of times, the story of the situation in Ukraine and the surrounding political madness is not only complicated, but almost completely conflicting with the narratives from Washington and the joke of what passes for news and journalism here, now, and the mess of the topic of Syria is at least as bad.

There is a new podcast conversation up on the web with Chris Martenson on the Peak Prosperity website talking to guest Dmitry Orlov, the Russian-American engineer and writer I occasionally refer to. It’s an excellent and reasonably concise look at some monumentally important matters of the moment that manage to largely escape general American public consciousness, and a significant part of the topic is the very problem I’ve been hammering on, the way that much of what passes for news and information here in the US right now, and the resulting general public concensus, is way past the borderline of seriously delusional, and how insanely dangerous this is becoming.

Part of the sheer unbelievable state of things at the moment is the unfortunate realization that the most common reaction to these two men and what they talk about is probably some reflex dismissal of all they say, and of them as “doomers” and/or “conspiracy theorists”, or whatever. Even as just about any matter of broad public concern is dominated by sociopaths, megalomanics, idiots, and liars, amazing numbers of people will happily swallow all that, and completely ignore people like these two guys, intelligent, clear-eyed, rational, thinking people with a general sense of decency, goodwill, and, well, sanity. In Orlov’s case, given his background, it’s probably predicatable to find people who would instantly dismiss anything he says and throw out idiotic accusations of “Russian propaganda!”.

Let’s get away from that for a second. On other notes, just as I began this note, I had already written several paragraphs when suddenly I found myself facing a screen message telling me “Microsoft Word has stopped working”. Well, thanks for that. Who knows why. Fool that I am, I had actually typed several whole paragraphs of text without stopping after every sentence to save the file, and even though the program is supposed to have a function enabling recovery of new inputs since the last file save, I found that I had precisely nothing. I had to completely start over.

Nice.

Sorry for the negative grumbling and all, but this is hardly some novel and rare experience for anybody. The whole broad subject of “technology”, which these days, in many people’s minds simply means the narrow frame of digital electronics gizmos, is a whole subject of bizarre dysfunction and an awful lot of irrational fetishes and odd attitudes and behavior. There’s a whole large subject to be mined just in the narrow topic of computer software, specifically crap software, a bad trend running for years now and getting worse all the time.

But, then, like so many subjects, even trying to broach the matter runs into all kinds of evasions and delusions, and in this kind of topic area, do not dare to raise any realistic issues, lest you be labelled as “anti-technology” and some sort of curmudeon grumpy killjoy who fails to appreciate the wonders of “innovation”.

Keeping things to just the general domain of computer technology, I’ve experienced two separate amazing mini-epics that I won’t go into in any detail, because they are not only very boring, but each managed to turn into a bizarre extended saga. They involved what should have been extremely simple technical problems with pieces from two different prominent manufacturers, Logitech and Dell. In both cases, what should have been unbelievable simple problems quickly and easily and simply solved have somehow managed to turn into these endless multi-act plays of unbelievable farce, featuring players in what is comically referred to as customer service or technical support, multiple players in each case, putting on fantastic demonstrations of the meaning of the word “obtuse”.

 

Elsewhere in technology and innovation, via social media world I found myself looking at a new item that might be a classic case of pointless dumb shit presented and hailed with fanfare as innovation. This would be the story of a new autonomous vehicle, a bus with no driver, that, as an extra bonus, is said to be made by 3D printing.

This manages to combine two different currently fashionable fetishes. We have the “what could possibly go wrong?” absurdity of the idea of motor vehicles with nobody controlling them, then we have the idea that as the future unfolds, we’ll just make everything by 3D printing them!

Huzzah!

Enough about that.

 

Things continue to get lost in the swamp of diversions and insanity of the circus theatrical entertainment of the 2016 (actually multi-year) farce about selecting the next president, as we now have a pair of “presumptive nominees”, from the two parties that we’ve been told for decades form “our two party system”, training the populace to ignore the simple fact that nowhere in the founding documents of the United States of America is there anything granting power to any political parties, or even mentioning political parties, never mind any decree that there are to be two of them dominating the government and holding power, effectively becoming the de facto government.

Anyway, here we are with the two offerings, an unbelievable pair, who both appear to definitely be complete sociopaths, aside from all the details about how both of them are horrifying to contemplate occupying the office they want.

 

Simple Definition of megalomania

: a condition or mental illness that causes people to think that they have great or unlimited power or importance

Full Definition of megalomania

1

: a mania for great or grandiose performance

2

: a delusional mental disorder that is marked by feelings of personal omnipotence and grandeur

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