I ran into a very cool blog called The Ethical Blog Project. It just may prove to be an interesting interpretation of current events in that it is done by a collective think tank.
I saw in one place, I flew by it in passing, that Timothy Berners-Lee had a hand in the creation of Facebook. He is, as you know, the creator of the World Wide Web and has been playing a large roll in its continued development all along. In his thinking, it is a "semantic web" in that all information is linked in one way or another to all the other information. In his model, there is a definite line between content and presentation, which explains a lot about the way Facebook looks. That separation allows for easier cataloging and searching of the content.
But, isn't that going just a little bit too far? Isn't there anything to be said about decent presentation? Hey, a picture is worth a thousand words! For the life of me, I can't think of what to put on my Facebook page. My name and photo are there, along with this blog. That's it! It is just so harsh looking. I'm screaming for self expression when I have nothing to say!
Needless to say, this fever haze is warping everything. I might as well enjoy it while it lasts...
There is an article written by a professor that discusses the mistranslation of the Bible and says,
Indeed, "kill" in English is an all-encompassing verb that covers the taking of life in all forms and for all classes of victims. That kind of generalization is expressed in Hebrew through the verb "harag." However, the verb that appears in the Torah's prohibition is a completely different one, " ratsah" which, it would seem, should be rendered "murder." This root refers only to criminal acts of killing. (http://www.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/Shokel/001102_ThouShaltNotMurder.html)
Raised as a Roman Catholic (that summarily dismissed it from as early back as I remember), the roots of my own misquote of the 6th Commandment is understandable. That is at the root of all organized religions: The followers must accept unconditionally what they are told and take it to represent meaning for themselves. Psychologists would call this an external locus of control. Sooner or later, some little tidbit like this will surface that threatens the stability of the bases for morality and values, i.e., cognitive dissonance. There are many other 'mistranslations' of the original text of the Bible, so it is no surprise that there is yet another.
Myself, I have to say that it is against my morals and values to take a life unnecessarily. This puts me in the very uncomfortable and very immoral position of judge. I can and will only judge for myself, my own actions; not another's. This is 'co-measurement'. I choose to live morally and aware. This includes not standing in judgement of others. Therefore, I lean toward "thou shalt not kill" more so than "thou shalt not murder".
There are many other facets to this discussion that I won't go into now.
Experiencing this case of "the creeps" reminded me of the first time I saw our current president on TV. I had that same reaction! The next election can't come soon enough for me. The primaries are ramping up, and I am happy to say that I have not had "the creeps" while watching any of the candidates on TV.
The next election can't come soon enough for me - and for the rest of the country! The drop in the value of the dollar in the world economy is a slap-in-the-face indication of the prophesied downfall of US hegemony that directly effects the way of life for the general populace. Look at the price of crude; it will go over $100 per barrel soon if it hasn't already. The poo rolls downhill from there.
This current president was elected on the premise that people believed he was the type of person you could belly up to a bar with, and he does what he says. Sorry, bellying up to a bar is not a trait that I consider a quality a president should have! I would rather someone far more serious and dedicated than a barfly. It would also help if he were able to speak in complete sentences before I'd determine he does what he says. I won't mention the fact that he was not elected by popular vote, or how he has not been brought up on charges of lying to the country about why we are in Iraq. I guess it's not as important as sex.
On the ballot this time around is the first female presidential candidate. She is very intelligent, knowledgeable, capable, with a good set of cajones. As president, she would show the world that the US is not ready to roll over and play dead. But, as my friend reminded me, she is married to the president that engaged in illicit sex and lied about it. Instead of leaving him, which my friend believes she should have done, she stayed married. My friend believes that this is sending a message to women that they should put up with the treatment their husbands dish out, no matter how wrong it may be, and she does not want her daughters to grow up with that kind of message. I can't say that I share her opinion, but I can't ignore it either.
It's time for a major change. It's time for everyone to wake up and take part in this. It's time to take the time to get educated about the issues and decide where to stand on them. This country is in one hell of a mess.
From the tiniest particle to the vastness of the Universe, everything in existence has potential.
Polarize an inert atom and it attracts or repels others to combine into something more than what it was. What the combination creates is something new, something based on the potentiality of the first polarized atom. It them continues to attract and repel so that it becomes many forms along its growth path. Potential is almost infinite; it can become anything. It can become alive. It is life. The beauty of it all is that, even if the final life form dies, it is never completely dead - that original polarized atom is still going strong, still attracting and repelling, still creating.
The potential is almost infinite; and therefore is almost random. It is the nature of the mundane, and perhaps the basis of natural law that governs the mundane.
"For every action, there is an equal, opposite reaction."
This is the natural law that makes absolute the freedom of choice and will. Jump ahead, if you will, to the Earth and all the life forms that together, create a necessary co-existence. It is a closed system in that everything depends on everything to be. It is life; it is alive.
Let's say one branch of this tree of life decides to grow beyond the ability of the trunk to support it, the whole tree lists to one side, the trunk and the roots strain, effecting the ability of the tree to route nutrients to all parts. Sooner or later, the tree has no choice but to allow that overzealous branch to rest on the ground where it begins to rot and break off, releasing the weight pulling the whole tree out of the balance that nature intended. The disintegrating branch then becomes nutrients that feeds the tree, helping it to regain balance and strength and vigor.
The Earth is that tree; humanity is that overzealous branch. The Earth can bend and give only so much before it has no choice but to give in to preserve the whole that is life.
A friend's daughter is a knock-out at 14 years old; popular in school, athletic, smart, and nice. She's also the kind of kid that will bring home stray dogs and cats, and loves the ugliest ones the most. Needless to say and true to form, she was attracted to a "problem child" of a boy in school, a parent's worst nightmare. But this nightmare goes above and beyond the typical of too long hair, pierced body parts, tattoos, low grades, etc.
Mom and Dad's introduction to this boy is in the parking lot of a local Wal-Mart where he just happened to be. Mom makes the mistake of pointing out how all guys seem to fall over themselves to stare at her daughter, and the boy immediately puffs up and goes into a tirade: "Anyone looks at her while I'm here will get the sh*t beat out of 'em. Give me a gun and I'll blow the fothermucker's away..." The language worsened the more he wound himself up.
The warning flags have already flown in earnest, but Mom and Dad decided to let the boy visit at their farm. The boy decides to entertain Dad by explaining how he wants to start a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan because, he adamantly says, all "niggers" should die. He'll shoot them or hang them or slice them up. Any potential this boy had dried up in that instant in Dad's mind, and his foot comes down. His daughter is not allowed to have anything to do with this boy ever again. Dad only sees a racist, homicidal maniac, someone far from worthy of his daughter's attentions.
One of daughter's good friends is a black girl that happens to live next door to the problem child of a boy. The two girls are spending the night at grandma's house, and the boy shows up on a dirt bike to rev and rev and spin donuts in the church parking lot across the street in the middle of the night. He calls girlfriend's cell phone and swears at her and threatens her to put daughter on the phone right now. Boy is gone when Mom and Dad arrive, and they use girlfriend's phone to call the boy. "You want some of me fothermucker?" he says to Dad, "Bring it on! I'll take you, I ain't afraid of you, I've beat up adults before, fothermucker, and I'll take you on right now..."
Next day, problem child's mother calls Mom and launches into the same tirade of abusive language and threats. "You messin' with my boy? I'll take care of you, b*tch." Mom tells her to call her back when she isn't drunk, and she says, "Drunk? I ain't drunk! I'm a squaw. You hear me, I'm squaw!"
Next morning, Mom and Dad find their mailbox destroyed. The evidence found suggests that the mother drove her problem child over to commit his act of vandalism. They notify the Sheriff's Department and head to the school to talk to them about making sure their kids are safe. Turns out there's a long history of problems with this boy and his mother, the boy's father is in prison, and the mother has also threatened to beat up everyone at the school too, especially since the boy now is in an alternative school setting. The apple don't fall from the tree.
The last few days have been quiet, and Mom and Dad and daughter and family are hoping that they've seen the end of the ridiculous drama - so they can sleep again.
A thought has been tumbling around in my mind about how well we can pinpoint a 'why' someone does what he or she does, and then presume we can predict behavior. Hindsight is 20/20.
It's a bit of faulty logic, and we are raised to think that, if we can just get an answer, the question to ask is "Why?" Well, the common answer to that question may be, "Because I said so." "Why did you do that?" "I don't know." The answer to a 'why' question is not a reason, it is an excuse. A more logical approach would be to ask a 'what' question: "What were you thinking when you did..." "What happened that caused you to...?" "What is going on?"
Test it on yourself and see what you come up with. Ask yourself, "Why am I feeling ______ right now?"
Then, ask yourself, "What is the reason I'm feeling _________ right now?"
The answer to 'why' question will probably be something like, "Because I got a big check in the mail" or "The sun is shining" or "Because my boss patted my back today."
The answer to the 'what' question will probably be something like, "I feel ______because I..." or "I succeeded today when I..." or "I really like the way the sun feels so warm."
Do you see the difference? Answers to the 'why' questions result in answers that take the focus away from the person and lands the fault onto external circumstances, effectively sidetracking any responsibility whatsoever on how that person is feeling. Answers to the 'what' questions take full responsibility for feelings, owns them completely, and is a more accurate representation of that person's internal cause or truth.
When I am asked, "Why did you...", the most common answer I give is, "The devil made me do it!" Isn't that what you wanted to hear?