May 28, 2005

Other: Self Aggrandisement Never Hurt Anyone

I have been generously included in the latest edition of the Skeptics Circle, hosted by Saint Nate. He provides a source page for some great reading about science and culture that you can take in one post at a time or in a gluttonous orgy of reality-binging. Perhaps you will find some folks to add to your regular reading list. Enjoy!

(I've been stupidly busy the past few days; back in a few more.)

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posted by Thursday at 12:00 am 1 comments

May 23, 2005

Politics: STV DOA? Try PMS!

So the Single Transferable Vote did not get enough support to be accepted on a trial basis. Naturally enough, the Provincial politicos now love it.

Eh?

The STV received about 57% support throughout the province, far more than elects most officials ina ny country with more than two viable parties. I voted in its favour, understanding the proviso that it would be voted on again three elections hence; again, far more than most politicians last, unless you get named to senate whence you only leave after your mouldering body begins to smell, making it difficult for the other senators to sleep peacefully.

So why did the Single Tranferable Vote fail? Many people pointed to the complexity of keeping track of the voting, which could possibly mean bringing in voting machines, which we all know have been working so well south of the border... Larger ridings could end up with 30 or more candidates to try keeping track of, and THAT could certainly lead to voter burnout after one election. Not to mention serious ass paper cuts. Another reason was probably the initials sounding like something you see the school nurse about.

In any case, since it was almost given enough support by the general populace, all the parties have been grunting "change, change" about political representation in the province. To benifit all of them, I'd like to humbly propose my own fix: Thursdays Plus/Minus System, or Ts PMS!

Well... I can work on the name.

One of my pet peeves talking to people as an election nears is hearing them say they're going to "vote strategically", as in voting not for the person or party you want so much as voting in favour of whoever has the chance to beat the person or party you DON'T want. This is also called "negative voting", and it blows because the person you want to vote for ends up with 20 votes and the putz you hate gets in anyways. Voting against has been a feature of democracies ever since the first negative ad campaign, where Appolonius of Crete (241 - 180 B.C.E.) accused his opponent Herodus (220 - 146 B.C.E.) of being sexually deviant, what with his not liking to have sex with boys and all.

Anyhow, my point is: why not bring the negative vote out in the open? Everyone gets two votes: one positive, for the statesman you like; one negative, for the unnatural beast that makes dogs bark and children cry. The brilliance of it is, the party that the most voters find LEAST objectionable is most likely to get in, which improves the chances of a third (or fourth) party being elected, until next election when they end up with -24,000 votes because the two usual parties suddenly realised that they spent all their negative votes on each other, and a third party slipped in when they weren't looking. There will have to be some kind of minimum threshold of positive votes, say 10% of votes cast, for the party to be considered.

An example:

Party A (Fascist Dictatorship Party) is the ruling party, sometimes interrupted by Party B (Peoples Democratic Republic of Party Party). Party C (Hug Everybody Party) always gets a few votes, frequently siphoning them off of Party B, keeping them in a perpetual second place. Party D (Rational Government Party) has always been a bit of a joke, but they keep putting their names on the ballot in semi-psychotic bouts of optimism. Finally, there's Party E (Alien Abductees for Buddha Party), a single-issue party that gets widely ignored. In some places an independent will run, despite knowing full well that the only independents that get elected are ones that won the seat for a party last election, then had a major falling out with her campaign manager/husband. They're still considered members of the party they left, Chuck Cadman notwithstanding.

The results of last election were Party A - 42,000 votes; Party B - 37,000; Party C - 11,000; Party D - 4,000; Party E - 1,000; and Independents/Write In/None of the Above - 5,000. Other than having suspiciously round-numbered voting, this is pretty standard in a jurisdiction with 100,000 votes. Party A wins, despite only having 42% of the people voting liking them. Party A declares a landslide victory, the majority of the voters are left to grumble. So how does my PMS change this?

Observe:

After decades of being the only two parties to win power, supporters of Patry A and Party B have built quite a hate for each other; Party C thinks Party A is evil incarnate, but B and D aren't that great with their feelings either; Party D is a split off from Party A, so they tend to be more opposed to Party B and C, but A has gotten corrupt and has to be taught a lesson, too; Party E loathes Party A for "the cover-up", and Party B for continuing the charade; and the rest have their negative votes evenly spread amongst the others.

Most of the negative votes cast by Party A go against Party B (80%), but a few are cast against those hippy freaks in C (20%).

Party B knows who the enemy is and votes as a block against Party A (100%).

Party C mostly oppose whoever's in power, and right now that's A (80%), with a little spite versus Parties B (10%) and D (10%).

Party D is queasy about Party B (40%), shudders at the thought of C (40%), and disdains A (20%).

Party E, well who knows what the hell's going through their heads. Oh right: I do, since I'm making them up: 90% against A, 10% against B.

And the rest are evenly split.

Here's the new results:

Party A: 42,000 votes for; 48,500 against = -6,500 votes.
Party B: 37,000 votes for; 37,400 against = -400 votes.
Party C: 11,000 votes for; 11,000 against = even.
Party D: 4,000 votes for; 2,100 against = 1,900 votes.
Party E: 1,000 votes for; 1,000 votes against = even.
Others: the rest. How much work do you want me to do for crying out loud?

And the Hug Everybody Party wins the jurisdiction.

It gets real interesting during the second election called after this system is put in place, because suddenly everybody knows that they just need 10% of the (positive) vote, and their party could have a chance of winning! Established parties would have no idea who to negative campaign against!

As an added bonus, it would drive pollsters bugnuts, and that's never a bad idea.

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posted by Thursday at 4:17 pm 2 comments

May 21, 2005

Sex: Making Simple Stuff Complicated

So the wife got me out to a "munch" in Victoria on Tuesday night. For those folks who don't know the term (like me until last year), often people who have similar interests will get together at a restaurant to gabble about what they like. This makes it neutral ground, so no one feels pressured by being the host (or guest). This munch has a round table discussion every week on a single topic, chosen semi-randomly as far as I can tell.

This weeks topic: collars.

Now, I'm not really much into S&M, as I don't think I could bring myself to actually inflict pain on someone I care enough about to have sex with, and I have no interest in being hurt myself. My kinks are much closer to the D side of B&D, and the wife tends to the B side. If she's looking to tie up pretty women, who am I to argue?

In any case, there seemed to be some concern about what collars mean to people, what to say if asked about your collar, what about training collars or trial collars, when's an appropriate time to collar/be collared, and various and sundry other questions. I didn't say much there, having just met these folks, but it struck me how many were worried about propriety.

Propriety? Not the conversation I had expected, frankly.

I suppose all the safe sex/cleaning your toys/how to tie a bowline workshops had been covered way, way before last tuesday, but a chapter on etiquette from kinksters (including a couple Goreans) surprised.

I was surprised because it's really very simple - be polite. I have never been in a situation where being polite made matters worse, and don't think I ever will. Now, sometimes I'm not polite, but that's only after I know what's going on and who deserves a quick kick; indeed, if it's well deserved and asked for, it would be impolite to refuse. But if circumastances are such that you don't know the score, either keep quiet or respectfully ask questions. Sex is just a different topic, not a different species.

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posted by Thursday at 11:03 pm 2 comments

May 20, 2005

Politics: Elephants Don't Do Science

Which political party is more interested in education...?

In the small town of Dover, Pennsylvania, 14 school board members ran in local primaries, seven winning Demoractic nominations, seven Republican. The seven Republicans ALL favour a policy requiring "Intelligent Design" be taught in biology class; the Democrats ALL oppose such a thing.

Meanwhile, back in Kansas (I don't believe I actually used that phrase), trash is piling up faster than a redneck orgy. The courts there have declared that ID is not, in fact, science but rather religion (yay!); so the Kansas School Board is considering a proposal to change the definition of science to "a systematic method of continuing investigation" (what?).

Nothing quite as inspiring as a great leap backwards.

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posted by Thursday at 10:36 pm 0 comments

May 18, 2005

Science: Pseudoscience Detection Pt. 3

To misquote someone famous: the words make the man.

It's easy to tell when someone is feeding you a like of crapola sometimes: they mention crystals from Atlantis; or the ghost of Johnny Carson; or supply-side economics. All quite easy to spot, and all heaped over with bull. As entertaining as these folks often are, there are days I just don't have the time and don't want to bother with them.

So, I have a little list...

These are a few red flags that will often crop up in the midst of an otherwise normal-seeming document or conversation that can alert you to what might be otherwise an utter waste of your precious time (after all, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law is on some channel right now, isn't it?):

1) "Aristotlean", "Newtonian", or "Western Science" (apparently "Baconian" sounds too weird to be used much). These all mean the same thing (but only to the delusional): that there is, somehow, an Eastern and a Western science. Part of this is seated in reverse jingoism (ie. everything here sucks, everything from somewhere else rocks) and part in the usual wish fulfillment that drives the pseudosciences and their believers. The bad news for these folks is that there is only one scientific method, and it's used East and West. Pseudoscience, however, can come in all sorts of lovely shapes and sizes.

2) "Quantum." This is the new "Ether", which used to be the semi-scientific jargon favoured by the flaky set. Whereas everything mystical used to be composed of ether, or influenced by ether, or moving through "the ether", now everything that may be paranormal is because of quantum. Quantum what? Well, quantum anything, really. Most useful predicting the movement of microscopic particles, it's publicly a term for hucksters to use when they hope to delude folks into thinking they are cutting-edge.

3) "Metaphysical." The word was coined by Pierre Duhem to mean any scientific examination of the nature of reality, rather than our reactions to reality and its reactions to us. It allows for the constant revision of theories as new evidence challenges older standards, an essential part of science. It's since been taken hostage and warped to mean anything that may be outside the understanding of physics. True in some cases (mathematics, philosophy) and twaddle in others (ghosts, angels).

4) "Consiousness." More specifically, "mass", "hightened" or "improved" varieties. Often used with liberal sprinklings of "Vibrations" and "Energy", these folks will try to convince you that people make their own reality (and buy stuff in the process). This theory has been around for ages (this lovely example of Applied Solipism, for instance) and is just as successful a method of reasoning as ever.

5) Big, BIG comparisons. Both comparisons to Earth shaking ideas (molecular theory) or discoveries (the wheel) and to scientists (Copernicus is a favorite) or engineers (the Wright Brothers, ditto) that were not accepted at first, but gradually gained favour. Actually, what normally happens is that the proponents of a new theory are fairly young; if the theory is sound it hangs around long enough for the support for the old theory to literally die out. Most battles in science are intergenerational, or at least start that way.

6) "They are trying to shut me down!" Common as dirt. Someones paper didn't get published (for whatever reason), but he declares that since it opposes the accepted ideas of global warming, the journal that rejected him must be part of the conspiracy. Look for Schopenhauer quotes with these guys.

7) "As seen in..." Of course, publishing being what it is, there's nothing to stop nutbags from founding their own journal and pretending the papers submitted there undergo a rigorous peer review process, just like real science journals.

8) "Syncronicity". Another word for coincidence. Every time you flip a coin, it's about a 50% chance of coming down on either side, even if you had just flipped it heads 48 times in a row. This is different than correctly predicting the result of 48 coin flips in a row, which would be impressive. The mind tries making connections between events, and often we remember only what we have already in mind when looking at phenomena. Try this experiment: with a deck of cards (shuffled and face down), say "black" out loud before turning up the top card of the deck. When you feel ahead in the count, stop. The more black cards that came up, the better you will feel, just as if you were causing them to be in the majority. Likewise, if you get through the deck after hitting an early string of red, the worse you'll feel about it, again, as if it were somehow your fault. Psychics and religions rely on that self-provided correspondence from their marks.

Extra Bonus Warning: Anyone who brags about having a US Patent, or uses it as a prominent part of their advertising, is selling weak medicine. Ladies and gentlemen, a perpetual motion machine (patent number 6,362,718).

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posted by Thursday at 10:51 pm 6 comments

May 14, 2005

Science: I Can See Through Concrete!

...And you can, too. This is about 50cm (about 19.5 inches) worth.

Invented in Hungary in 2001, and man do I want a wall of this in my house!

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posted by Thursday at 7:38 pm 3 comments

May 13, 2005

Politics: Winning Any Which Way...?

I'm trying to avoid being too overtly political in posting, at least until the liquor-store billboards known as political signs come down. With the provincial election only a few days away, nothing I have to say at this point won't change anyones mind. Having a little break from constant electioneering in the run-up won't do any harm.

And this is the day I get my local MLA sending me a mimeographed letter with - no shit - three pictures of him in various stages of embrace with an orang-utan, and the words: "Hear the Integrity ... See the Compassion ... Know the Heart".

Apologies to Dave Barry, but I am NOT making this up.

Inside the letter is the standard boilerplate (though slightly panicky) about how horrible life was four years ago, and how BC became a "Have Not" province, and how horrible it was to receive equalization payments from Ottawa (BC got $125 million in 1999-2000). Try to ignore that BC got no payments in 2000 - 2001, $240 million in 2001 - 2002, $71 million in 2002 - 2003, then $320 million in 2003 - 2004, and an astounding $682 million for 2004 - 2005, with a predicted $590 million for 2005 - 2006.

Whew! That $70 million cut from the Ministry of Children and Family Development came just in time, eh?

Since I can't seem to link to it, I think I'll include a list I found at the Pacific Gazette about the past four years:

1. Promised 5000 new intermediate and long term care beds for seniors by
2006.
2. Closed 2,529 residential care beds and added 1,065 assisted living beds,
for a net loss of 1, 464 beds between May 2001 and December 2004.
3. Closed 1279 hospital beds 2002-2004.
4. Closed or downgraded services in over a dozen hospitals including
Hospitals in Kimberly, Delta, Sparwood, Enderby, Lillooet, Summerland,
Vancouver, New Westminster, Richmond, Kootenay Lake, Castlegar, Ladysmith,
Burnaby, Shuswap Lake, Victoria and Cumberland and Powell River.
5. Increased wait times by 30% on average since 2001 (orthopedic surgery
wait times alone have increased by 83%).
6. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority alone reduced home support services
(cleaning, laundry and shopping) to 5600 residents requiring assistance in
their homes.
7. Increased Pharmacare costs for 420,000 seniors.
8. Cut 17 drugs from Pharmacare.
9. Increased MSP premiums by 50%.
10. Raised Pharmacare deductibles for the poor on MSP premium assistance
from $600 to $800 a year.
11. Privatized MSP billings to Maximus, an American company, making private
BC records subject to disclosure under the US Patriot Act.
12. Delisted physiotherapy, podiatry, chiropractor, acupuncture, Naturopathy
and eye exams from MSP coverage.
13. Contracted out diagnostic services like MRI and CT scans.
14. Contracted out more surgeries to private, for-profit clinics after
promising to make this unnecessary.
15. Further undermined our public health care system by giving private,
for-profit companies the go-ahead to build and operate the Regional Hospital
and Cancer Care Centre in Abbotsford and the Ambulatory Care Centre at
Vancouver General Hospital.
16. Cut over $200 million from programs for children and families under the
Ministry of Children and Family Development.
17. Eliminated the independent offices of the Child, Youth and Family
Advocates.
18. Eliminated the independent office of Mental Health Advocate.
19. Cut support for shelters, troubled youth, families in crisis and the
disabled.
20. Cut social assistance for the poor.
21. Made disability benefits harder to get as a result of onerous new
medical reporting required from doctors to defend disability designations
22. Cut $50 million from child care.
23. Spent $5 million to cut 46 people off welfare.
24. Cancelled bus passes for seniors, reinstated after intense public
outcry.
25. Cancelled audio book program for the blind, partially restored funding
after intense public outcry.
26. Cancelled camping passes for the disabled in provincial parks.
27. Cut number of interpreters for deaf students at Vancouver Community
College by 50%.

28. Broke contracts with health science professionals, nurses, health
support workers and community social service workers.
29. Under Bill 29, legislated away key job protection rights previously
provided under the Labour Relations Code to health care workers and
community social service workers.
30. Cancelled a negotiated $2.5 million wage increase for community social
service workers, and then rolled back their wages by a further $40 million.
31. Rolled back wages of hospital support workers by 15%.
32. Fired 8,000 hospital workers (87% of hospital workers in B.C. are
women).
33. Privatized laundry, food, cleaning and other hospital services.
34. Privatization resulted in wages being cut to $9.50 to $11.00 an hour
with few benefits.
35. Reduced minimum wage from $8 to $6 an hour for new workers.
36. Amended BC's child labour laws to make them the weakest in North
America.
37. Cut 550 staff at Workers' Compensation Board, contracted out WCB work,
removed services to injured workers, and cut prevention.
38. Cut compensation and benefits for workers injured on the job.
39. Cut pensions paid to workers with a work-related permanent disability.
40. Deep cuts in regulations and resources for workplace health and safety.
41. Changed Employment Standards Act to reduce call-out provisions and
overtime benefits for non-union workers.
42. Deleted one third of staff at the Employment Standards Branch. Non-union
workers facing unfair treatment at work are now on their own with a
"self-help" kit in English only.
More Highlights of Gordon Campbell's Record
43. Closed 113 schools.
44. Deleted 2,500 teachers (350 teachers because of declining enrolment; the
rest because of government cuts).
45. Broke contract with teachers.
46. Increased class sizes.
47. Closed over 100 school libraries.
48. Cut special needs education.
49. Increased college and university tuition fees by 104%.
50. Cut training and apprenticeship programs.
51. Tripled the number of slot machines to over 8,000.
52. Eliminated the Debtor's Assistance Program that helped 70,000 BC
families each year.
53. Closed 24 courthouses.
54. Cut legal aid funding by 40%.
55. Eliminated the Crown Victim Services.
56. Cut 1,200 staff between 2001 and 2004 from the 2 main ministries dealing
with the environment; Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, and the
Ministry of Forests.
57. Cut regulations protecting the quality of drinking water.
58. Cut spending on wildlife protection and law enforcement to the lowest in
20 years.
59. Introduced parking fees in provincial parks, reduced provincial park
attendance by 25%.
60. Lifted moratorium on hunting grizzly bears.
61. Returned $2.3 million in fines and rents to fish farms that violated
environmental regulations.
62. Preparing to privatize ICBC.
63. Privatized one third of BC Hydro to Accenture, a Bermuda based company.
64. Privatized B.C . Ferries, ferry fares increased.
65. Privatized inland ferry services operated by the Ministry of
Transportation in the Kootenays.
66. Tried to privatize the Coquihalla.
67. Privatized BC Rail by means of a 990 year lease.
68. Sent ferry shipbuilding jobs to Germany.
69. Increased gas taxes 3.5 cents/litre.
70. Increased property taxes.
71. Increased the sales tax to 7.5% for three years.
72. Raised Hydro electricity rates.
73. Reduced subsidies for childcare, putting quality childcare out of reach
for thousands of BC families.
74. Increased ICBC rates by an average 18.6% over the last 4 years.
75. Increased drivers' license fees.
76. Increased parks, hunting and fishing fees.
77. Cut taxes by $2.2 billion - the biggest benefit going to business and
the wealthiest.
And they thought they could impress me with a fucking APE?

**Highlight to see the list**

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posted by Thursday at 9:59 pm 2 comments

May 07, 2005

Politics: A-Poll-itical Blues

Election time, both in the Province I live in and (soon) across the country. Here's a little something I wrote, ready to send out whenever "the story" headlining the broadcast or print media becomes what the polls say instead of what the candidates say:

So I know this fella, name’s Bob. Pretty smart guy, we get along okay, don’t agree on everything, though. Likes his politics, and so do I, so that’s something we disagree about.

So one day reporter calls him up, asks him a bunch of questions. Day after, story in the paper appears sayin’ “Lake Cowichan Sez This” and “Lake Cowichan Sez That”, which is a pile of nonsense to start with, ‘cause it was just Bob sayin’ it. Then there’s an Opinion piece that says that Lake Cowichan is Right! Go figure.

Anyhow, next day there’s three Stories and two Opinion Pieces about what Lake Cowichan Said, and Why They Said It. Only in two of the pieces, Lake Cowichan has turned into Opinion Poll. Now, I don’t know where the town of Opinion Poll is, but apparently Bob lives there, too, because it was the same things he said.

That night, I saw two stories on the TV talking about Opinion Poll, and only one talking about the actual issues at hand. And I thought “What’s wrong with this picture?” Figured it out soon enough:

I don’t care what Opinion Polls say. That’s just Bob, and I can find out what Bob thinks by asking him. What I do care about is what the issues are, and what the people who want my vote have to say about them. So I figure that I, and everyone else who wants to hear what the actual issues are rather than what Bob says, will be sending this out to any media outlets that report on Opinion Polls on the front page or as the lead story. Every time.

See, I don’t care if the folks I like are up front or dead last. But I’ve gotta hear what they say before I know who I like, without Bob’s Opinion getting in the way.

May I humbly suggest copying this letter (or writing one of your own, of course) and sending it to any media outlet that loses track of what the important stories come election time are?

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posted by Thursday at 3:16 pm 0 comments

May 03, 2005

Further Proof There Is No God

If a perfect being created the world , would this happen in it?

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posted by Thursday at 10:21 pm 2 comments

May 02, 2005

Politics: Think Moderate! Or We'll Kill You!

Okay, it's been long enough. I've been holding out for that certain special someone, and at last, I think I've found them.

"Them?"

Yes, my heart has been captured by a horde of rampaging non-affiliates: the Blogging Alliance of Non-Partisan Canadians. Is it love, true and abiding? Or just an infatuation, brought about by a fear of old age and loneliness? Who cares? All that matters is that it's done, and my parents no longer have to bow their heads in shame when friends talk about their kids' blogroll loyalties.

I'm a lefty, sure, but that doesn't mean I want to be stuck with some partys ideology that may change through no fault of my own. What means love if it has restraints? And eye hooks on the bed frame? And flannel-lined hand cuffs? And - Um.

Where was I?

Ahem. Presenting the new blogroll to the right of your screen, replacing the column ad and under my other on-line love (the one that won't scare the neighbours) POKER. Hey, relationships are fine, but you've got to keep your priorities straight!

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posted by Thursday at 9:19 pm 1 comments

Religion: A Tragedy

Working on my RD today, a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses came to the door and asked for a few minutes of my time. I'm polite when someone comes to my house, and I rarely turn down proseletizers because religion interests me.

So we had a talk about the existence of God and (of course) the coming of the New Kingdom (a big part of their faith - the Kingdom will be here on Earth) and of all the scads of prophecies coming true in this day and age. So I mentioned the splits that their church has had, the inanity of living in the New Kingdom, and the number of times prophecies failed to predict the end of the world (every time so far). This includes their own, as they used to know when the world would end. As that date came and went (1914, 1925, and 1975 mostly, but lots of others too) they changed their minds and decided it was going to happen 6000 years after Eves creation. Good choice, since no one seems to know when that was, though many thought 1994 was going to be the end (again).

Side note: todays Rapture Index is at 149, down from this years high of 155, and well off the 2001 record high of 182. Anything over 145 is labelled "Fasten your seat belts!"

And all in all, it was a rather pleasant half hour spend lightly deriding each others views. Then the man pionted to one of my bikes and said:

"When I have all that time? I'm going to learn about these." Now, he was about fifty-five or so, which brings to mind a lot of wasted years. There was simply nothing stopping him from learning how to ride (or repair) motorcycles. Even if you can't afford a course, and many can't, someone would be willing to show you how to ride if you asked them. He professed to be "too old to start now", which was odd as I was just debating with his wife about how much of our brain we used (she thought it was 10%, as the old myth says) and why we are capable of so much ore than we have time for.

There is no law, no rule stating that age limits your knowledge. Yes, it does get tougher to learn things when you get older (no one learns faster than they do as an infant), but this gives no justification for stopping your education because you're "too old". What stopped him from learning how to ride was simple: he thinks he's going to have as much time as he could ever use, just as soon as God shows up. So he doesn't think of himself as "wasting" his life by not learning all sorts of interesting stuff - missing out is no great loss.

It makes me wonder how many people lie on their deathbeds saying "I've always wanted to..." The sheer waste of it drives me nuts, but not as much as those folks who think little things like enviromental laws are of no use because the Rapture is a-coming (hello Ronald Reagan, you ignorant twat).

I'm afraid I wasn't so polite to another mid-fifties woman a short while back.

I was in a video store, and the kid behind the counter mentioned something about his coming graduation, and she said:

"Oh, you'll remember these as the best years of your life!"

What complete bullshit. Remember high school? How everything, no matter how trivial, was wrapped in life-changing drama? The emotional (and occasionally physical) trauma. And that's just for those folks who had to deal with it. I was never bullied at school, but lord knows I would never want to live through those powerless years again. I wanted responsibility for my own actions; I wanted the acceptance by the world as an adult. I wanted to drive my own car (well, you know what I mean), to drink legally, to VOTE!

It lit me up, and a bit of fire spilled onto her. How sad, how utterly pathetic does your life have to be that you have to go back forty years to remember it fondly? What kind of watse is your existence that there is nothing, nothing to equal zits and a reedy voice?

The sheer shallowness of my thought then as compared to now; the range and depth of the knowledge I've acquired; the things I've learned and the things I've done; the growing comfort with my self and my relation in the world; the loves I've gained, earned and kept; how much greater all these things are now!

It's the same phenomenon that aggrivates me with both of these people and others like them: she sheer magnitude of waste their lives have been, and how freely, if unwittingly, they show it. Is there a greater tragedy than tossed away opportunities? I can only think of one: willful ignorance.

And now, I think I'm going to go enjoy a beer.

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posted by Thursday at 1:17 pm 0 comments