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Fumesucker

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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 09:11 PM
Number of posts: 45,851

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I'm a hard person to love these days and I'll tell you why

I was a teenage geek when Trek came on the air as a weekly series and it was stunning. Showing a hopeful and above all intelligent approach to life and civilization on and Earth that was assumed to be diverse, cooperative and peaceful. Chekov and Uhura and Kirk and the others and no one noticed sex or color or race or nationality as anything special or any impediment, Uhura was obviously as competent as anyone else, Chekov's impish nationalism cracked me up.

And above all there was Spock.

Nimoy-Spock managed to turn geeky into dignified and oddly cool, an amazing thing in our culture really, a role model I had a hard time pulling off. I was old enough to be sure it was make believe and young enough to be idealistic. Star Trek and the entire crew became a fairly big thing with me until the show was canceled. And of course I continued to think about the role model I'd found.

Fast forward forty years of steady upward climb to lower middle class for thirty of them and then in 2003 the wheels started coming off, prolonged bedridden illness, depression, vast bills, loss of job and the coup de grāce, my thirty year marriage fell apart and I was divorced reasonably amiably but horribly hurt in 2008.

I took my grandchildren to see the 2009 Star Trek reboot, all five of them. About halfway through the scene with Nimoy I realized I had tears trickling down my cheeks and it took me a little while to figure out why. Sitting there with my beloved descendants I didn't and don't believe we have a hopeful future ahead of us like the one in Star Trek, with a benign Federation and an open, egalitarian and post-capitalistic society. I realized that I think my grandchildren will probably not have the same opportunity I had to thrive in an open and relatively free society albeit a less than perfect one in many ways. I think the future is more likely to be Bladerunner or Clockwork Orange or Snow Crash or Rollerball or Elysium or any number of other dystopian films and novels I have experienced. I now think the power of human greed and hate is just too strong as I watch what is happening in this country and in so many places around the world.

I have lost hope.

From the stars our bodies largely come and to our star they will eventually go, we are all starstuff but some of us shine a little more brightly than others. Godspeed Leonard, our atoms will in due time be mixed and we will all indeed be as one.

You gave me hope and then, through no fault of your own showed me I thought it was gone.

I keep having to stop and dry my eyes to see the screen, I've been that way since I heard Leonard had left us.



We really will one day all be as one..

I took my grandchildren to see the 2009 Star Trek reboot, all five of them. About halfway through the scene with Nimoy I realized I had tears trickling down my cheeks and it took me a little while to figure out why. Sitting there with my beloved descendants I didn't and don't believe we have a hopeful future ahead of us like the one in Star Trek, with a benign Federation and an open, egalitarian and post-capitalistic society. I realized that I think my grandchildren will probably not have the same opportunity I had to thrive in an open and relatively free society albeit a less than perfect one in many ways. I think the future is more likely to be Bladerunner or Clockwork Orange or Snow Crash or Rollerball or Elysium or any number of other dystopian films and novels I have experienced. I now think the power of human greed and hate is just too strong as I watch what is happening in this country and in so many places around the world.

I have lost hope.

From the stars our bodies largely come and to our star they will eventually go, we are all starstuff but some of us shine a little more brightly than others. Godspeed Leonard, our atoms will in due time be mixed and we will all indeed be as one.

In a country where labor unions are compared to ISIS by a state governor, what is far left?

To me far left means pure socialism, no private property, no capitalism, government control of all means of production and so on.

Evidently if you do not think labor unions are as evil as the the most brutal and barbaric terrorist threat now on the planet then you are on the left and if you are any further left than that you are far left.

There are a lot of us here who just don't seem to realize how far to the right the average political view has been pushed by people like Governor Scott Walker. It's a deliberate strategy on the part of Republicans that's been going on for decades and a surprising to me anyway number of Democrats on DU seem to want to completely ignore it but rather give those who want to push in the opposite direction a hard time.


As a member of what has become known as the "far left" those who attack me here don't anger me

No, attacks on the "far left" on DU make me depressed and discouraged, less likely to be engaged rather than more, less likely to care what's happening rather than more. I've already left DU for months, it just wasn't worth the deepening sense of depression I was feeling. I went over to Discussionist and argued with right wingers who also screeched "far left" at me but at least there I wasn't supposed to be on the same team so I didn't find it so much depressing as amusing. But I grew weary at Discussionist of continually having "shape of the Earth? Opinions differ." type of arguments so I eventually ended up back here at DU.

I spent over a decade listening to right wingers screeching about the "far left" on my radio while I was commuting until I finally realized that all they were trying to do was piss me off at which point I quit listening to them.

"Far left" is a conservative Republican meme that has been pumped into the national consciousness through quite literally thousands of radio stations and a full time 24/7/365 cable propaganda outlet. It's a phrase from Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich designed specifically to drive a wedge into the non-conservative Republican bloc in America.

Once again, I don't get angry when I hear "far left" on DU, I get more cynical and more depressed and more likely simply to wash my hands of politics altogether and pursue other interests of which I have several that make me actually feel positive rather than negative emotions.





Psychological type and religion/church?

Reading a thread just now on this forum I realized that the article in the OP was fairly obviously written by an extroverted person, the author was going on and on about the value of community and a meeting space and groups and all I could think of was how wearying it would be to deal with groups of people all the time. I'm fine with up to about half a dozen people I know fairly well or a large completely anonymous crowd where I don't have to interact except perhaps superficially like a concert but interacting with strangers or near strangers on a relatively prolonged basis is mentally or emotionally tiring and I want to get away to somewhere more solitary fairly quickly. Put me in a cocktail party with a bunch of strangers and it's my idea of Purgatory.

To be blunt I'm an introvert, not an extreme one but I have the tendency and being alone quite a bit doesn't bother me much if at all because I'm good at amusing myself, I always have something I want to learn or see or a book to read a project to work on, people who are wrong on the internet and so on.

Anyone else find the idea of getting together with a largish group like a church not super attractive?



Sousveillance: Ubiquitous privately owned video recording throughout society

I posted this in a thread the other day and some DUers said they appreciated the information so I thought perhaps I should share it more widely.

Surveillance benefits the powerful and organized interests in a society, sousveillance somewhat changes the equation, equalizing in a way but also with its own problems.

Sousveillance is here already and watching the news stories being posted on DU and other places it's obviously starting to change society for the better in some ways and for the worse in other ways. It's not going to go away and it's going to get a lot more prevalent.

It's a good word I think that encompasses an entire concept in three syllables, two of which are already familiar together.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sousveillance

Sousveillance (/suːˈveɪləns/ soo-VAY-ləns) is the recording of an activity by a participant in the activity typically by way of small wearable or portable personal technologies.[12] The term "sousveillance", coined by Steve Mann,[13] stems from the contrasting French words sur, meaning "above", and sous, meaning "below", i.e. "surveillance" denotes the "eye-in-the-sky" watching from above, whereas "sousveillance" denotes bringing the camera or other means of observation down to human level, either physically (mounting cameras on people rather than on buildings), or hierarchically (ordinary people doing the watching, rather than higher authorities or architectures doing the watching)



I'm VERY LIBERAL... I listen to NPR!!

That makes me very liberal because Republicans and conservatives hate NPR.

* not intended as a factual statement

Writing is hard, writing what you mean without any possibility of misinterpretation is even harder

I just though I'd put this out there, an OP currently on the first page is complaining about the wording of a sign held by a homeless person on the side of the road and how it was offensive to the OP.

I write quite a bit and still screw up fairly regularly, imply things I didn't mean to say, have people take a completely different meaning from my words than what I intended to say by being vague. Even get things completely wrong through a brain fart, happened to me in a post today as a matter of fact.

I'd like it if we could give each other the benefit of the doubt when wordings aren't perfect, a lot of us dash posts off and don't really consider every word with the exquisite care necessary in order to be completely unambiguous. I'm certainly guilty also of jumping on language that's not precise and taking the worst possible interpretation. I do try not to be a complete ass about things but like everyone else I'm far from perfect, I have my blind spots and my prejudices.

Most of us on DU want similar things I believe but we differ wildly on strategy and tactics to get there and we also vary a great deal in our ability to express ourselves in exactly the manner we intend.

Give the other person the benefit of the doubt until you are sure of what they mean, it's ridiculously easy to misinterpret the words of others and few of us are really professional writers and not very many of us have editors for our DU posts to catch our screwups and brain farts.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from Godhood..

An implication and slight rephrasing of Clarke's third law, an implication Asimov wrote into his story "The Last Question".

Technology can confer vast powers, today we can talk to, see or even kill people on the other side of the world without ever setting foot out of our own country. We would be like gods to someone transported straight from the middle ages.

If an advanced civilization were to show up here at Earth how would we be able to determine that the manifestation was not a god or gods, assuming the aliens were trying to get us to believe they were a god or gods with technological tricks far beyond our own understanding?

Edited to correct a brain fart on my part..

Poll: 57% Of GOPers Support Making Christianity The National Religion

If you live in a conservative Christian part of America these are your neighbors and even your friends.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/polltracker/poll-57-percent-republicans-christianity-national-religion



A majority of Republicans nationally support establishing Christianity as the national religion, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday.

The poll by the Democratic-leaning firm found that 57 percent of Republicans "support establishing Christianity as the national religion" while 30 percent are opposed. Another 13 percent said they were not sure.

It almost goes without saying that the Establishment Clause of the Constitution prohibits establishing of a national religion.

The poll was conducted among 316 Republicans from Feb. 20-22. The margin of error was plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.



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