Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I am an Epicurean all the way. At first I thought it was just because I like wine and live for pleasure. Though now I understand the crossover of how this philosophy unites with other things I believe.

Crediting Wikipedia here:

Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus (c. 340–c. 270 BC), founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention..[]..Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility and freedom from fear (ataraxia) as well as absence of bodily pain (aponia) through knowledge of the workings of the world and the limits of our desires. The combination of these two states is supposed to constitute happiness in its highest form.

Democritus was the one who figured out that the world's seemingly random weather and events could very well be based on laws and predictable effects and consequences and not the will of "Gods" at all.

Epicurus was called an atomic materialist because this was the time when free thinkers in these city-states, not limited in their scientific explorations by powerful religions or kings, determined that all matter could be divided into indivisible building blocks called atoms. Ok so there is more to the story of atoms and elementary particles, but the kernal of the idea was a revolution. It meant that we might be physical beings only. The meaning of our lives and the consequences of our actions might be played out in patterns established by rules of nature...that we might call "Laws of Physics".

They discovered that the world may not be governed by magical omen or mysterious hands, but by predictable effects. Rather than diminishing the meaning of life, this seems to dramatically raise the stature of each moment to the "real deal" the experience we are having. We need not wait to have some other experience later...we don't need to be foolish, but don't need to be irrationally subservient to ultimate consequences that cannot be proved. This means every idea should be evaluated for its merits.

I heard about Kate Hudson carrying around Holy Water and thought that...if doing so makes her feel better and gives her personal peace and power and she is willing to accept that it makes her look a certain way to those who do not share her magical thinking, then I suppose no one should try to suggest she stop the practice. Though, I would not want the practice taught as curriculum without much more scrutiny, more evidence and reason. When I look at Kate Hudson, my evolved biology tells me to let her do whatever she pleases. I wish hotness weren't its own license, but I can't fight it.

In these days of hints of a universe that might be described as a grand illusion of energy states, it is never certain that we know everything. There is so much left to learn and explain. This is why critical thinking skills may be the best thing Honors English taught me.

I think that as a religious youth, I was taught or, at least believed, that without ultimate consequences nothing meant anything and that we would all spiral into immoral and destructive living.

Epicurus teaches me that the moments of our lives where our real choices, our tangible experiences, conversations, expressions and touches happen all have "Epic" meaning in the universe, in the story of man-kind. Even without a God, indeed especially without a God, everything has deeply intense meaning. We are stewards to existence and each other. This IS the big show. Rather than everything becoming meaningless without the eternal reward or punishment, How we treat life and each other is even more important if it is all there is.

I cannot prove or disprove God, and I know that I rehash this over and over. I feel the way Edgar Allen Poe described as published in the Broadway Journal, Oct. 4, 1845.

I will paraphrase. Poe, who had no trouble putting thoughts into words on paper, admitted to feeling or sensing ideas that were "a class of fancies, of exquisite delicacy, which are not thoughts, and to which, as yet, I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt language. I use the word fancies at random, and merely because I must use some word..." Poe goes on to describe:

...this ecstasy, in itself, is of a character supernal to the Human Nature–is a glimpse of the spirit's outer world; and I arrive at this conclusion–if this term is at all applicable to instantaneous intuition–by a perception that the delight experienced has, as its element, but the absoluteness of novelty. I say the absoluteness- for in the fancies–let me now term them psychal impressions–there is really nothing even approximate in character to impressions ordinarily received. It is as if the five senses were supplanted by five myriad others alien to mortality.

So, while I am an Epicurean that believes in a rational world, I have also felt these impressions of some "greater nature". Perhaps this is the experience religious people call "spirituality". Maybe between these feelings and other coping mechanisms, sentient life is made tolerable or perhaps these impressions hint at things we have yet to learn about our existence.

Certainly feeling a sense of ecstatic idealism seems to be compatible with a pleasure-seeking existence. Though, Epicureans are not hedonists, as you will read in the Wikipedia definition. Hedonism has pleasure as its highest ideal. Epicureans believe in the harmony of satisfaction through understanding the needs and limits of the natural world and living well in the "sweet spot" of harmony with them. At the core, it must be understood that rules govern the predictability of life. The way we can establish security and bliss is through knowledge of an indifferent, ultimately reliable universe.

If only "Secular Humanist Epicurean" didn't actually sound as comfortingly dull and easy going as it is meant to be.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Give the Jews a Break!

In the theme of talking about how population figures tell a story, I want to point out the disparity between Jewish and Muslim population world wide.

I am under the impression that Palestinians are seeking to use natalism to change the facts on the ground in Israel and Palestine. This means they are trying to breed their way into being a larger population than the Jews.

This attitude is not a new or novel idea. Catholics valued large families greatly especially in the last century. Catholic beliefs ban birth control and divorce even now.

Christians in general were estimated to number 2,133,806,000 world wide in (Encyclopædia Britannica Book of the Year 2006).

Muslims are counted differently by various sources. There are about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world from what I can estimate.

There are 13.3 million Jews in the world. That means the Muslims world wide outnumber the Jews 100 to 1. In light of this discrepancy can't we give the Jews a break and let them have a small part of their traditional lands in the middle east? To make the understatement of a century, The Jews have had a hell of a time.

I feel like Muslim peoples who hate Jews must, at first, have felt humiliated by the loss of the Ottoman Empire to the allies. This is what allowed the British to draw the borders in the region and ultimately drive the UN decision to restore the Jewish homeland to Jews.

I understand that there a Palestinians who lost property and inheritance in this global decision. There are many Jews who lost property in Europe as well. There were many Jews who lost their lives. I think that if the history of the Nazi aggression were at least taught in schools in Muslim nations then there would be a chance for these peoples to understand the reason for Israel, the plight of the Jewish people. This may prevent them re-enacting such horrific choices. How else can they learn from history if they do not study it?

It is my view that Muslims would do well to stop hating and resenting the Jews, stop waging and endless campaign of venom, of terror and intolerance against a comparitively tiny Jewish global minority. Stop the intolerance and intransigence regarding other religions. Maybe there might begin to be understanding and benefits from the cultural and economic innovation going on in the West and elsewhere.

Now, the rich kings and princes of these lands know of Western freedom and the rule of law that makes economies function, but the people often dwell in ignorance of democracy, and of the trust based legal systems of the west.

One could so easily say that I am just as ignorant of the Islamic world as they are of me, but this is just factually not so. I have viewed and studied correct and representative information from many reliable sources. I understand, at least academically, the 5 pillars of faith. I have taken a compelling interest in the practices of the Haj (or Muslim Pilgrimage to Mecca) and I have read large parts of the Koran. I even understand that one must read the entire Koran in Arabic to claim to have read it. While I have not, that's ok. Because I am not of the same faith and it is enough to care and to understand at such a level as I do.

I do not wish death and destruction on anyone. Therefore I reject the notion that any belief system warrants the destruction of anyone else. I come out from a stance that enlightenment breeds peace. I do not desire that my own people or Islamic peoples should live in ignorance. To put it plainly, the reasoning does not reverse and reliance upon dogma truly is a vanity of the highest degree. That vanity being that the life of another is not valuable because one does not comply with or submit to some tennet of faith.

This little rant should be given by the apparently silent and invisible moderate Muslim majority.

If the vast and populous Muslim world wants to help Palestinians, they should take them in, help to house and feed them, help them to keep what land they have and develop a peaceful coexistence with the Jews. If ones religion teaches that the tiny minority of Jews somehow all "deserve death", or are "vermin" or need to be lorded over and bullied by any other majority...let that person examine his own faith and consider that such a belief is false, wrong and unsustainable. Hatred of ones fellow beings is not righteousness, not fidelity, it is ignorance and foolishness.

I long for those who hate blindly to wake up, to grow up, to rejoin the human family, to receive an education and be enlightened.

Though I hear "Death to America" I still do not hate those who shout it, I do not think they deserve to die. I want only that they should live in peace and if they be free to choose and please to do so, practice a religion of peace.

I do not believe in Islam, Judaism or any other religion as such. I do believe that man should be free to think for himself or herself without fear. If there is a divine presence, perhaps tolerance is the test and lesson of life. Even if there is no higher power, Man should understand that what he brings to another can just as readily be brought upon him. Remember the old golden rule?

Don't hate Jews, or anyone for that matter. The population tells the story. As the figures have shown, Muslims outnumber Jews 100:1. It just looks bad to want more advantage, more dominance. I cannot sympathize with anyone who sees fit to wish destruction upon others who do not share their beliefs.

I know good Palestinian families lost their homes and lands in 1948. The world would love to hear the case and assist and compensate these 60 year old wounds as is appropriate. The sound of suicide bombing is drowning out the cry. The sound of tribal war-lordism's rockets deafens the West from hearing this complaint. To us, some must simply sacrifice a little so that this Jewish people might recover from the offense history has committed against them. Palestinians have no shortage of brethren who could come to their aid if blindness and vanity did not prevent it.

The Haulocost was real, all too awfully real.

Israel is justified in its existence. That's why we Americans sit on our hands and allow them to defend their lands. There are just as many Muslims Americans as Jewish Americans. Before there is one more shout of Muslim indignance, let these angry men do their due diligence, study the history, understand the circumstances surrounding U.S. policy. Take note of how the U.S. came to the aid of Muslims in Kosovo to stave off their tragedy, a lesson learned from the Holocaust. Note how Muslim men bring down hell upon their fellow men in Darfur. Let there be some reason in the debates before there is more blood-lust.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Blogger Blah

I "upgraded" to the new blogger that google now owns. It seems they turned a lot of the names of people who have commented to "anonymous". Very disappointing.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

So here's the rub

I admit it. Sometimes I go to church with my folks when I am visiting over the holidays. It always confirms for me that I don't agree in a very real and basic way with many things preached and put over by the LDS faith. I don't mind spending time with my folks and it's usually for a christmas service in an "outside of Utah" congregation so they are groovy and end it after an hour.

Sometimes they speak about the family of Abraham and being adopted into it etc. It seems that mormon "patriarchal blessings" which assign the recipient to the heritage of one of the tribes of Israel, have created some discomforts with racial issues over who is IN the covenant family of Abraham and who is not. They had to give a long drawn out speech about how "it doesn't really matter, we are adopted if we behave, pay no mind to the assignment in the blessings" etc. How about saying..."this is all about as real and important as Dungeons and Dragons rankings are to real life". That would really clear it up.

Occam's razor would cut right through the cognitive dissonance and quickly declare that the simple solution is "This is all bullshit".

Another axiom to which I object is the idea that the world is doomed the end is near and there is no hope of escape. I don't believe the days of mankind must needs be numbered. We know from our best research that our sun will probably turn into a red giant someday, charring the earth to cinders as it grows to engulf it. So, yah, we should find some other ways of living or places to live in this vast universe beyond the solar system, or at least beyond the reach of the eventual Solar "prostate" swelling, long before that happens. That will not happen for a few billion years.

We are far more likely to destroy ourselves before the Sun has a chance. The sad irony is that religious believers may be the source of the destruction, the ones who bring it about. Just as it is suspected that christians may have set the Great Rome fire of July 19, A.D. 64 to "bring about" the fulfillment of prophecies about Rome's destruction.

I am waxing tangential here, but I think sometimes things are written down and become more important than they really were, simply because the writing survived long enough. Something like "Rome shall burn" may just have been a taunt at a sporting event. "Rome is going down...God damnit!" yelled by a Venice fan during a Gladiator match. Suddenly it is prophetic because someone set fire to the city to make it so!?

This prophecy stuff is weird. When it's gloomy, it amounts to premeditated murder. "The king of suchandsuchland shall die on the third day of they 7th week of the 9th moon of the year 86" or something...sounds like "plans" not prophecy. Maybe we should arrest these people who suggest 1/3 of the waters will be poisoned. What exactly did John the Revelator have in mind? John the damn terror plot planner.

To make it through the 90 minutes of concession I choose to make to family harmony each year, I like to change words of Hymns mostly in my head. I like changing words to ad humor to life in many cases. Like the wintery (usually holiday) song "Walking in a Winter Wonderland":

Later on
We'll conspire
as we dream
by the fire
to face unafraid
the [baby] we made
walking in a winter wonderland!

This makes the song far more honest about its message.

So in church, take "Jesus Said Love Everyone" or any other hymn...and replace "love" with "rub" to fully entertaining effect.
(yes I am a mental juvenile ok?) Though I thought to do this many years ago while sitting in a sunday service in a "singles" congregation watching two hot women in their 20's dressed for church give eachother intense back rubs during the long droning speeches. That's when I knew men of faith were not fulfilling all the purposes of their creation leaving these babes just with eachother and the only apparently socially acceptable physical contact in church-circles: girl on girl massage.

Jesus said [rub] everyone
treat them kindly too
when your heart is filled with [rubs]
others will [rub] you


As I have [rubbed] you
[rub] one another
this new commandment
[rub] one another
etc. (because I don't know how to spell shalmehn-gno because I am not a rabbi)

It also works with the Beatles:

She [rubs] you ya ya ya
She [rubs] you ya ya ya
With a [rub] like that
You know you should be glad....ooooooh!

Ok I will spare you all any more levity. Just know that laughter is great medicine and the louder the better.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Kama Sutra

SML commented on a recent blog and requested more Kama Sutra stuff. So I decided there was only one high brow way to combine my western education and upbringing with the Kama Sutra in any way that is at all tasteful.

The Kama Sutra was once emailed to me in its entirety, with pictures and all, while I was in college. I am sure the beautiful woman who sent it to me was aching for my attention but my uptight religiously indoctrinated conclusion was she was mocking me. Naturally, that's why a hot college girl you always chat to in the mac-lab emails you the Kama Sutra. not to live with regret!? The point is, at the tender age of "college freshman" I knew exactly what it was and read EVERY word and studied the pictures.

While it IS my goal to be free thinking and address any topic whatsoever, I am not trying to make a porn-blog. Therefore...

Today I combine my love of Middle English Poetic Meter (Iambic pentameter), and other forms as well, with the MOST tasteful Kama Sutra pictures I could possibly imagine...which are still very sexy....from a clothing ad campaign in Turkey. I borrow them shamelessly from

I will not endeavor to refer to these Kama Sutra positions by their real names...and now...I digress.

For each depiction
I shall write a poem:

You rise, an ocean crashing on the rocks
Before, upon me... hair is as a mist
Two hands lay palms to rest upon my shins
My arms embrace you; heels support my back
You are within me, I am within you

my love is sweet fate
we want the very same things
this one she likes most

Some may live for fast cars
Some lust for cool phones
Some long to drink fine wine
And some to walk brilliant rows
I live for only one thing that soon comes to mind
To be possessed in your legs, give your neck a dulcet kiss
and see that look on your face, it's the reason I live.

Treat me as your chair
Your comfy leather couch
I will always be there
To... to... cup your breasts
As you crab walk over me
Yes, what I remember
And what you recall
May seem different at first look
Though the intensity is what we share
The focus for eachother
The diverted stare
Lost in the dream we made real
Catching each other's eyes in our wall of mirrors
We both seek heaven ahead, me through you and you on our bed.

There you go.
If you liked those, I will make more some time.


Monday, January 08, 2007

Interpreting Population

After my recent "sexy-time" post, I am now discussing some of the possible consequences.

I have been browsing the CIA world fact book and noticed that, in the world, there is huge discrepancy in population between males and females between the ages of 15-64 (using the CIA data's age ranges). It appears there may 51,732,166 more men than women in this age range. Then there is the age of 0 to 14 where there are 48,977,175 more males than females.

In the older ages the women live longer so there are 56,986,505 more women 65 and older than men. This still means that there are 43,722,836 more males than females in the world and there really are 100,709,341 more males than females that are under 65.

Think about it, under the age of 65, there are One-hundred-Million more males than females in this world.

Nature tries to even out population. If left to nature, gender populations curiously balance. The balance even seems to correct for war, risky behaviors of young men driven by testosterone and other factors.

The apparent explanation for the population difference lies largely with cultural attitudes of countries on the Asian continent, primarily China and India.

China has about 43,494,720 more males under 65 than females.

India has 33,320,388 more males than females in this same range.

Each has well over a billion people in total.

Do we credit the Kama Sutra?

These 2 countries account for about 76% of the gender discrepancy, with their neighbors and the culturally similar diaspora of each world wide accounting for a good portion of the rest.

There are really two different attitudes with one result, more boys.

In China, I have gathered that the general feeling is that because Boys can carry on the family name in the traditions of the culture, they are sometimes preferred. Under a "one-child-only" (per couple) policy, proud chinese families may opt to go for a boy and not a girl in order to carry on the name. Some feel a duty to the needs of the state regarding reproduction generally.

In India, it seems to lean more toward the traditional notion that sons care for parents while daughters cost the parents a large dowry or "wedding gift". In addition to this Dowry, given to the family of whomever the girl marries, the daughter is also "given away" to this other family who now benefit from her economic contributions.

I can see that it makes sense in one family to consider these options, but there are externalities created when some choose to have sons.

In China, the microcosmic family planning regarding the propogation of a surname through male offspring does not seem to take into account the global issue of with whom the propogation can possibly take place. With so many families choosing for boys, there simply aren't girls in the country for every boy to marry with whom they can continue family lines.

In India it is a similar problem. It is all good and well to be the smart family that brings in the dowry and keeps the next generation of sons in the family rather than the one that has daughters, has to pay up and lose the "retirement plan". Yet, when too many families do this, there will not be women, nor dowries to be had. Still these sad sons can do nothing with life but support their parents. They are like modern Eunuchs who must endure a lonely life without the prospect of marriage, yet as fully functioning men with all their natural desires intact.

Before I jump into what it all means, let's check into how it is done.

Not to "split heirs" here, but sometimes, as in animal breeding practices, centrifuges are used to divide the male sperm from female sperm. Thus ensuring that an artificial insemination is with the right stuff for the desired outcome...err....result.

That's right, the fathers bring the gender destiny to the reproductive picture. A quick global apology on behalf of all men to medieval women who were shunned, mistreated or even killed for not "giving their man" a son when commanded.

Even modern women still read "wives tales" about "what to do when" to pre-determine the gender of a child.

There is the dirty secret of rumored intentional drowning of girls, abandonment to exposure or starvation death. Abortion is probably a large part of the picture.

These figures already account for the living, so orphaned girls cannot serve to reduce the discrepancy.

What does it all mean?

It means that there are 50 million single men who can't find a wife anywhere on the planet...and there will be 50 million more growing into age 18 soon, long before the other 50 million are 65.

They won't all be Chinese and East-Indian. Many upper class, rich, goodlooking men from these cultures will marry women from other societies. That is natural, though also does not resolve the descrepancy, not by one soul. So there are still 100 million men on earth with no marriage prospects or no chance at any kind of exclusive relationship with a woman. Isn't this a formula for unrest?

What are these men up to? We have established that this gender discrepancy can transfer to anyone around the world, so these men could be from anywhere. They are available to be recruited by terrorist groups who promise them exactly what they cannot find in life, but must die to get (70 virgins or some impossible ratio). An over-abundance of men on the earth makes some seem expendable for war or suicide bombings to some cultures. The needs of this 100 million could be part of the source of pressure to traffic women from poorer countries into sexual slavery. Moldova is a prime example of a country whose young women are frequently lured into sexual slavery in places like Turkey with the promise of reputable jobs. Even if some 7% or so of the single men are gay, that still leaves 93 million men with no wives. Add on the double reduction for each lesbian couple, and the insanely self-serving anti-social practice of polygamy and the discrepancy goes right back up.

Perhaps western countries at near gender parity, could have a campaign like "Make girls for peace".

I believe this is a serious social problem of our time. It stems from simple household economics or pride which do not translate to a macro-scale. The best case scenario would be that we have a lot of extra peace-keeping troops at hand. Educated, nerdy, lonely, horny peace-keeping troops with loaded guns they never have cause to fire.