Caught between Old and New

Agriculture scientists report that the weaker one’s scientific knowledge, the angrier they are about genetically modified crops. Previous studies have found that, while genetically modified organism (GMO) opponents demand more research into the foods, no amount of science can convince them the products are safe. “We have to get people to recognize gaps in their knowledge before we try to teach them new things and have a meaningful discussion,” one researcher said.

Mariner notices that the phenomenon of rebelling because something is not familiar or seems to countermand established values is common across any discipline including behavior seemingly not becoming to the standard of the day. For example, mariner, a registered old fogey, resists the use of smart phones and social media. He claims social interaction is minimized, human importance is trivialized, and the loss of privacy also means the loss of independent thought. Yet, smart phones are universally used around the world and social media is how millions communicate – to the extent that POTUS uses Twitter to issue national policy, without talking to any human.

Similar to the detractors of GMO, mariner will never accept the values of future technology no matter how hard Neil Degrasse Tyson tries to persuade him. Mariner suggests Neil watch the Matrix movies. Mariner stands his ground as a primate, not as a digitized asset. Yes, he knows already he is becoming an anachronism but he is comfortable with that.

The pattern of resistance demonstrated by the GMO resisters and mariner is universal. One wonders how the Amish survive. The Amish are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss German Anabaptist origins. They are closely related to, but distinct from, Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. They place their beliefs on the Holy Bible, isolating themselves from the rest of society is one of the key Amish beliefs. They think secular culture has a polluting effect which promotes pride, greed, immorality and materialism. Therefore, to avoid the use of television, radios, computers, and modern appliances, they do not hook up to the electrical grid.

A hardy culture that equates religious value to physically working hard, it offers a slap at the “English” (non-Amish): “If a dollar doesn’t do what it used to, remember that hardly anyone else does either.”

Finally, in the midst of worldwide turmoil in politics, economy and human equality, one sees rebellion for similar reasons – shattered beliefs and protocols, cultural imbalance in economy, and ignorance of the reality represented by modern advances in science and technology. The reader is free to place blame on numerous causes both for ignorance and unpreparedness for new concepts.

Mariner chooses education. One cannot blame education in isolation because it is subject to politics and other resistance to newness by conservative reactions to radical thought. But one must take note that the core knowledge, that is, the curriculum, is no longer appropriate to the world that its students face. If one is to be up-to-date on scientific knowledge, one must at least be aware of the difference between Einsteinian reality and the reality of quantum theory. See, most of you don’t know but it is easily understood and sets the direction for all future science. Check your smartphone.

Ancient Mariner

 

 

Changing World

Mariner suspects that Venezuela may go the way of Cuba. In the future G5 computer world, liaisons between nations will become necessary for survival (TPP was an early experiment and the European Union even earlier). The continents form a natural divergence that suggests how future liaisons may develop. It is important to utilize continental influence; China with its Belt Road program already has made inroads including Russia, the Balkans, the Pacific Rim and Southeast Asia. Putin will participate with China as a subordinate unless he is able to reconstruct the Soviet Union. It behooves the US to be cooperative with Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America. The following news item puts the US on its heels in South America.

20 tons of gold

Venezuela, according to a lawmaker there and a Bloomberg source, has set aside 20 tons of gold, worth about $840 million, ready to load into a Russian Boeing 777 in Caracas. Where is the haul headed? No one seems to know. Venezuela does owe billions of dollars to Russia and China, and “also needs hard currency to buy food for its starving people.” [Bloomberg]

Which way is North?

It’s no news that the North and South poles are moving; long-term records from London and Paris (kept since 1580) show that the north magnetic pole moves erratically around the rotational north pole over periods of a few hundred years or longer, Ciaran Beggan, a geophysicist with the British Geological Survey who is involved in WMM updates, told Space.com in an email. He cited a 1981 study from the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.

Will Santa have to move to Antarctica? This is a thought to consider if the Earth’s magnetic field continues to become more active. Mariner has written about pole reversal in previous posts, covering the news item that compasses in the South Atlantic don’t work accurately for airliners flying there. Note this news item from LiveScience, among many other sources, makes note of the phenomenon. For the reader’s search engine: earth magnetic field reversal.

But what’s really catching attention is the acceleration in movement. Around the mid-1990s, the [North magnetic] pole suddenly sped up its movements from just over 9 miles (15 kilometers) a year to 34 miles (55 kilometers) annually. As of last year, the pole careened over the International Date Line toward the Eastern Hemisphere.

 Ancient Mariner

Just to be Human

Mariner and his wife moved to this small town when they retired about ten years ago. Culturally, they were dropped into a foreign country. Fortunately, mariner’s wife grew up in the town and had a sense of the culture. Mariner had been a consultant project manager who assisted corporations when they converted their management structures to take advantage of the new capabilities of multidimensional database technology.

His work took him all over the US and even to Taiwan for a computer upgrade so the Taiwanese could build modern jet fighter airplanes. Mariner and his wife owned a number of properties that kept them busy as well; and two children who took root far away. All this description is provided to give the reader some insight into the culture shock of moving to a small Iowa town of 900 folks in the middle of endless cornfields.

Let mariner say up front that the town folk are quite friendly and supportive. The town moves at a slow pace; the conversations and concerns do not march to a time schedule; a better term may be ‘timeless’. There are no complex responsibilities. Mariner had to learn how to live in his new town.

One interesting adaptation was to understand how residents referred to house and family locations. Large portions of the town can trace families back to the end of the 19th century. One is identified by their relatives and where they live or lived and whose house it was before that and before that when someone married someone else. Most older residents grew up in the town before it had street signs. Mariner, however, habitually mapped and organized the town by street names and sections so he could find his way around.

When mariner had conversations, the resident would say, “You know where Martha lives; she lives in Frank Merten’s house over a block from Aunt Dorothy’s house.”

“You have an Aunt Dorothy?” mariner inquires.

“No, everybody just calls her “Aunt.’

Mariner is further helped by the resident describing the color of the roof across the street. Haltingly mariner tries to convert the descriptions to a location with a street name, which block and intersection. It has taken some time for mariner to adapt to a new interpretation of both people and location. Even cemeteries are identified by who is buried in them rather than the official name of the cemetery.

To this day mariner is aware that he is not a ‘townie.’ But his independent view of the culture allows him to experience its charm and to understand what the national culture has sacrificed in the name of progress. Most notable is the importance of people as the primary definition of the town. One is not defined by terms like suburbanite or ‘west side’ or neighborhood class. The prime identifier is an individual and that individual’s role in the life of the town: “Remember when Frank worked at John Deere?” sets a timeline. There still is a residue of past generations when townie and farmer were discriminatory and whether one’s ancient town ancestors were movers and shakers but this is noticeable only among the town’s most elderly.

There is an advantage to growing up in this rural culture; it provides time just to be human. There’s an old tale about the plough horse, now retired and replaced by a young horse, who every morning still comes to the barn door to be harnessed. How one grows up is a life-setting experience. Do today’s young families have time just to be human?

Ancient Mariner

 

 

Another Episode of Brain v Gorilla

When mariner moved to his current residence in a small Iowa town, he noticed that many families had leaf blowers. It is also true that town families have affection for any kind of two cycle engine some of which are cultivators, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws, air compressors, lawn trimmers, car washers, paint sprayers and generators. In recent years some two cycle engines have been replaced by battery-driven power using Lithium. All these devices save (avoid) physical labor.

When he was younger mariner remembers old timers saying, “Back in the day we had to cut grass with push mowers” or “When I was seven, I had to rake leaves with a rake and burn them” and of course the classic, “When I went to school, it was uphill both ways.” Many more examples of saving labor can be conjured. Technology has changed the level of labor-saving opportunities: “Back in my day we had to forge and shape our pistols on an anvil.” Today, of course, just turn on your 3D printer and one will be made for you.

Mariner observes this tendency to avoid labor as a universal characteristic of all living things. The squirrel in mariner’s back yard raids the bird feeder rather than hunt for food; monkeys in Bangladesh raid street market fruit stands with the precision of a navy seal team rather than hunt for food in the surrounding trees; chipmunks greatly prefer a life of pilfering to a legitimate relationship with nature; Raccoons prefer the corncrib to rummaging in the forest.

In response, most folks would say, “And?” Being retired and of an idle mind, mariner has time to speculate on this important dichotomy in evolution. Imagine that evolution did not have a fluid-like motion of change and a cause and effect adaptation over eons of time. Imagine that evolution was a result only of serendipity and otherwise was a defined marching order set forth by a permanent genome. Mariner dares to say evolution would fail and species would disappear even faster than humans have succeeded in expiring them.

Humans in particular are quite adaptive to their own circumstances. Humans even have created their own environmental reality far beyond the influence of two-cycle engines – to the chagrin of Mother Earth, also subject to planetary evolution. It is evident that the conflict between Brain and Gorilla grows more intense. (If the reader must be prompted, Brain is the grey matter in our skulls that has an extraordinary imagination unbound by anatomical ethics; Gorilla represents our physiologic constraints as a primate on evolution’s tree. Brain has no difficulty, in fact, enjoys manipulating anything and everything it can from atoms to global atmospheres. Gorilla is bound to follow the current constraints of its body and an environment favorable to that body.)

Too slow to notice, there is a cause and effect phenomenon created by our supple brains. The simplest example mariner can think of at the moment is the ability of the brain to control fire. Before Brain, fire was a cleansing function, born of the Solar System itself that reenergized an environment. The recent fires in California demonstrate how violent and indifferent fire cleansing can be. But Brain turned fire into an every day experience used to keep warm, cook, and incorporate into chemical processes (oil, explosives, herbicides, nuclear bombs and most important, electricity) that are to the advantage of human ingenuity. These new processes go far beyond any physiological requirements held by Gorilla – and often are in conflict with those physiological requirements.

Those who are concerned about the state of Gorilla, e.g., physicians, physical therapists and the like, lament an invention by Brain: the chair. Gorilla has a skeleton and musculature that is ruined by sitting in a chair. For the vast majority of us, sitting in a chair is the dominant activity of the day. Sitting in a chair leads to general back pain, stooped posture, bulbous abdomen, accelerates atrophy of leg muscles and arthritis. Compression of the viscera along with fat caused by sitting all the time interferes with kidney function, digestion and oxygenation. Functionally, the chair deters Gorilla from performing the exercise needed to remain fit.

Mariner offers the chair conflict as a simple metaphor for all the divergent issues between Brain and Gorilla. The most important effect of these conflicts lies in the unnoticed process of evolution. In recent centuries, as conflicts increase both in number and impact, Brain has begun to have visibly negative effects on Gorilla. Further, Gorilla’s environment has serious problems. Gorilla and its fellow creatures are not doing well and constitute a modern major extinction of species.

It is the inventiveness of Brain that forces scientists to rename the present Holocene Epoch as the Anthropocene Epoch because Brain has such an impact on Earth’s environment.[1] Evolutionary activity typically follows a significant change in environment. Briefly, the primary demise of dinosaurs and the beginning of mammals and birds was caused by destruction of the Earth’s environment by a meteorite. While Gorilla hasn’t changed much in a million years and its needs have been met by the environment, Brain has separated its environmental needs from the traditional habitat of Gorilla.

Brain requires above all else a controlled, electrically-based environment. To emphasize this transition, the next era of Brain (AKA human) progress will be artificial intelligence (AI). AI will enable Brain to replicate human behavior in robots and androids, including perception through the five human senses (Gorilla senses?). Relative to all the immense changes of the next age, how long will it take for Brain to cohabitate with its new friends and not need Gorilla or Gorilla’s habitat?

Ancient Mariner

 

[1] An excellent and easy to read reference about Brain’s impact on Earth’s history can be found at https://www.livescience.com/28219-holocene-epoch.html

Transported Back Through Time

Mariner watched the NetworkKnowledge (PBS) broadcast of Neil Diamond’s concert performed in 2012 at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Mariner and his wife are big fans back to the time they saw him on television in the sixties. They’ve been to the concerts. There’s something about Neil Diamond that draws his audience together. One isn’t there to enjoy a star performer; fans are there to be with Neil while he sings. Mariner and his wife have been to other concerts, too, and each has their special attraction. But Neil has the ability to draw fans to him in a way that not every bigtime singer can.

Fans are aware that Neil has allegiance to his band and the three singers who have been with him throughout. In the broadcast mariner watched, the old guys were there, Ron Tutt on drums, Dave Moscoe on keyboard, Reinie and Linda Press (bass and background singer). This concert has been a big winner over the years with all the old songs and an unbelievably errorless, high energy performance by everyone – including the audience.

Watching this concert tonight was different. It wasn’t mariner just listening to the oldies and reminiscing about young times. He sensed a time warp back to a time when America held itself together. There was no Donald, no selfish, derelict political parties, no oligarchical dominance, no ignorance about who we were or how we identified with our nation, no concern that the next generation will be poorer than the last. True, there was turmoil caused by an unpopular war, racism was deeply suppressed until the Civil Rights Act. Conversely, tribalism and identity politics did not dominate the daily news. Computerization still was a pleasant, safe element in society.

Mariner sensed how life was back then – sure, reality required maturity and responsibility – but there was no incessant angst. Generally, people had time to live a day without constant confrontation. Abuse and insecurity caused by government and self-centered corporations was not daily news; churches still were the same churches that had anchored neighborhoods and moral virtue.

Angst. That’s the difference. The twenty-first century has begun with fragmentation of who we think we should be, how we depend on our economy, and even if there will be jobs, affordable education and secure retirement – all at once. Computerization has become a tool of manipulation and slowly separates wealth between classes. “Footloose and fancy free” has a new inference: we don’t know who we are or where we’re going.

Angst. Mariner escaped it for a brief moment tonight, escaping back through a time warp with Neil.

Ancient Mariner

 

 

On The Atlantic and other Things

Regular readers will know that mariner’s favorite magazine is The Atlantic (TA). He has added a few to his personal library. There are several other magazines in its class that provide cogent insights in the social sciences and can be trusted to deliver balanced reality based on studied facts. TA often approaches scholarly levels in its presentation of the human experience.

Not everyone would want to spend the time and focus required to read TA. When TA focuses on an issue, it is a 3-credit course on the subject. An excellent example of this pattern is the October 2018 issue. The cover headline asks, “Is Democracy Dying?” Nine articles are referenced right on the cover that provides an excellent base for understanding the turmoil of contemporary society, politics and governance.

Reading TA cover to cover in one sitting is not recommended. Mariner keeps copies of recent magazines on his dining room table to be perused an article at a time. When the October issue is completely read, one is knowledgeable, capable of thematic reasoning about democracy, and aware of the human experience dependent on democracy.[1]

– – – –

Writing about life experiences often drops to melodramatic levels which  certainly are valid but limit the reader’s ability to contemplate broader views. One magazine that is unique in presenting holistic articles about reality that give a reader room to ponder is Smithsonian Magazine (SM).

Like TA, SM often promotes a theme for its articles but SM also includes articles about the world, interesting individuals, nature, and often, articles based on the Smithsonian Museum collection in Washington D.C. SM is a pleasant read.

The September 2018 edition focuses on moments in American history that have been forgotten or that provide insight into unknown situations. The issue also includes articles about Rhinos in Washington and a toy school bus.[2]

– – – –

There are several magazines about science. Most are focused on one kind of science like astronomy or health or agriculture. Three magazines, Science, Nature and Scientific American, are widely read. Over time mariner has chosen Scientific American Magazine (SA) because it is totally comprehensive in its range of science and technology and at the same time provides reader-friendly articles and references. Every edition has an endless insight into diverse – and often surprisingly humanistic – branches of science that enrich the reader’s familiarity with science.

Like other recommendations, SA often sets a theme for an issue. In the October 2018 copy, the theme is “How to fix Science” It covers funding, enforcing the ability to reproduce research claims, dealing with government denial, and increasing interdisciplinary research. There is an article preparing us for fake videotape and fake audio.[3]

– – – –

Each of the above magazines has a strong Internet presence. Mariner and his wife enjoy reading books and magazines in print form but for many who are too busy or who prefer to pick and choose what to read, mariner recommends both the official websites and subscribing to their newsletters that arrive in your email.

Another source for intelligent, dependable dialog is the collection of National Public Radio (NPR) products and broadcasts. If one is more interested in good fiction than nonfiction, there is no better place to look for a good book than NPR’s Book Concierge at https://apps.npr.org/best-books-2018/ . On the other hand, the NPR news page avoids the hysterical advocacy of TV news; see https://www.npr.org/ . This home page will lead you to broadcasts, podcasts and other entertaining – and rational – information.

Remaining informed is similar to keeping fit. It requires commitment.

Ancient Mariner

 

[1] Fortunately, TA has an excellent archive. To read the articles in the October 2018 issue, see:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/toc/2018/10/

[2] Find SM archives at https://www.smithsonianmag.com/issue/archive/

[3] Find archive issues at https://www.scientificamerican.com/store/archive/?magazineFilterID=Scientific%20American%20Magazine

When Men only were Men

Mariner is on a holiday break, that is, current news is not an item of interest. Rather, he has taken his own advice from his last post: take a break. Nevertheless, one has curiosity about things – perhaps more so because one is not stuck on the current events train.

Mariner has an ongoing interest in those eras of civilization when humans were on their own, ‘when men only were men’ so to speak. This means that Homo sapiens had no oil, no plastic, no corporations producing chemicals, no seed catalogs, no banks, no cash, only scant precursors of small band government, and languages of limited but pragmatic nature. Writing was simplistic and glyphic in nature. These times were the original good old days.

When one searches for these simplistic times, one is painfully aware of the abuse that destroys their existence as civilization moves from one era to another. The Native American is a clear example of a culture that still was balanced with its environment and its culture was based on what the environment provided day to day. Then a later ‘advanced’ civilization discovered this simple culture and, as always, trashed it.

There aren’t many places on the planet where we can observe that time when men only were men because their simple artifacts don’t last very long and easily are run over by later ‘civilized’ necessities. Perhaps the defining aspect of these primitive cultures is that the cultures were bound by an ethical relationship with the environment called net-zero: in the long run, nature was not permanently destroyed; nothing was taken from nature that could not be returned to nature.

One area of the planet which still reflects its ancient mores and practices is the region known as The Steppe. The Steppe is a belt of grassland that extends 5,000 miles from Hungary in the west through Ukraine and Central Asia to Manchuria in the east. Mountain ranges divide the Steppe into three regions and three different weather conditions. The one of most interest to mariner is the easternmost portion, running from the Altai Mountains in the west to the Greater Khingan Range adjacent to China. A small part of the region is Mongolia. Weather in eastern Steppe is among the severest on Earth encompassing desert-like summers, deep frozen winters and yearlong winds comparable to the Santa Ana winds in California. Among several geographically isolating features, weather is a major factor causing retardation of major industrial advancements found elsewhere.

The critical development that eventually distinguished life on the Steppe was the domestication of horses which occurred in prehistoric times and prevails today. In fact, the Silk Road traveled the southern areas of the Steppe through most of the ‘–stan’ nations. Using horses and later camels, the natives of the Steppe were the first trucking company – sans 18-wheelers.

Natives away from the few modern cities still are nomadic. The only improvement allowed by them is the portable yurt, an improvement over skins and poles. Despite this modern improvement, their culture remains very much as it has across the centuries. Even with the inundation of electronic communication, the eastern Steppe remains virtually unchanged. Wikipedia facts: The poor access to the Internet in the countryside has been a reason behind designating Mongolian countryside as a digital detox location for the tech-tired tourists. Internet users: 16.4% of the population, 152nd in the world (2012).

There are seven ‘-stan’ nations: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Because of their location amid deserts and harsh weather, modern dissolution of the cultures is minimal. Two of them, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have not been so lucky.

If one wishes to learn something entirely new about the Earth’s cultures and is tired of Western Civ, ancient Greeks, Romans, tsars and dynasties, visit the Steppe.

Ancient Mariner

 

On Lack of Literary Greatness

Mariner has one comment on the results of the 2018 midterm elections:

Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate to 51+ seats — even though 10 million more people voted for Senate Democrats than for Republicans. The Senate was never intended to be a democratic institution. Today it is a hurtful political influence when our nation, indeed the world, needs desperately to deal with human issues, scruples and a new democratic vision.

– – – –

Of more immediate interest, Mariner will never be an author of insightful literary works. The post, “A Future of Oneness,” was written as an allegorical work depicting life without human friendship, love, bonding, compassion and even argument and disagreement – between authentic human beings. Alas mariner’s crude prose left readers only with a literal interpretation of the future, either a gushy basketball or extinction.

In truth, the distant future doesn’t matter much if at all. Our only relationship to the distant future is our disregard for our own wellbeing today. What is missing from this allegory is physical, three dimensional, person-to-person respect and affection, and a desire to participate in these intimate experiences above the need to engage in electronic distraction and convenience.

Many times mariner has witnessed couples sitting beside one another foregoing mutual conversation and the exercise of hippocampus engagement in favor of some nondescript, certainly inhuman distraction on an electronic device. Allegorically, we are adapting to a future as gushy basketballs needing only a port connection to the gushy network.

Similarly, foregoing real experiences intertwined with real human beings, even loved ones dear to one’s heart, so that one can talk to an electronic box full of faux confederacies interested only in manipulation, seems headed for gushiness as well.

Mariner read a psychologist’s article that said android devices are an escape from the energy and commitment required to relate to fellow humans. Yet, that is what living as a human is all about. The commitment we choose to escape is the authentic experience of being human.

As to the second allegorical reference of extinction, two elements are of supreme importance: breeding and environment. One won’t have many children copulating with various sex toys and realistic androids. It is easy even to include smart phones as a distraction from human interaction and the commitment required for foreplay or just having an interesting conversation. Surely, after ninety million years of evolution, the intimate practices between humans has become the most important experience we can have and to which we owe priority over electronic circuitry no matter how disguised.

On the matter of environment – just as with the ease of preferring the convenience and laziness provided by electronics – wealth, physical comfort, and the avoidance of what a real human life is all about, distract humans from their obligation to maintain their environment. A major premise in the study of creatures of all kinds, including humans, is that there must be a net zero relationship with the source of life – environment. Only humans can deliberately alter the net zero relationship: we burn oil for money, convenience, distractions like war, the convenience not to physically weed millions of acres of crops, and so forth – even though our environment is no longer under our control. The planet itself has taken charge. Will the planet allow us to survive or will it choose extinction?

Ancient Mariner

 

A Future of Oneness

Mariner mentioned that he took a trip recently to visit friends and family. He has been traveling the Pennsylvania Turnpike for many, many, many years. Do any readers remember the service stops alongside the turnpike where one did not have to exit the toll road? If the reader hasn’t traveled I-76 recently, these service stops have been upgraded to modern facilities. They are pleasant, much roomier, with up-to-date restrooms and the stop incorporates several chain stores chief among them Starbucks and Burger King along with tourist trap stores and gasoline stations.

This was mariner’s first experience with order kiosks at Burger King. A customer doesn’t need to interact with another human being to have a meal; just push buttons and pay with one’s transaction-tracked credit card. Mariner chose to interact with a fellow human being and ordered lunch at the traditional counter by talking with a pleasant older woman who shared in an aside that she didn’t like the kiosks, either.

This isolation of human beings appears to be a trend. No longer does one need a checkout clerk to kibitz with or an aisle clerk to tell one where Mexican catsup is. Increasingly, a customer checks themselves out now with the conversation limited to a muttering to one’s self about checking out alone. Even more isolationist is the ability to order one’s groceries over the telephone and have them delivered to one’s home. The US claim of “In many one” will soon be “In many none.”

Walmart and Amazon are well on the way toward social isolationism. What happened to a human’s natural relationship to environment, time invested and store clerks visited? Then there’s Facebook. Lack of government regulation about privacy and security aside, there are members of mariner’s family whose only family relationship across years of time is digital; digital photographs are shared to remember what a human lifeform looks like.
And of course the smartphone and Alexa. Mariner is quite sure that soon humanlike robots will be purchased so real humans will have someone to dance with when they ask Alexa to play some oldies.

Mariner has read some marginal futurists who claim the human being will evolve into a brain with a few key visceral organs – all of which are sustained by AI food supply, medicines and communication – a lot like Facebook now but much more sophisticated and very, very, communist. Even the five senses will be replaced with electronic sensory imitations. In other words, the end of Homo sapiens is a gushy basketball attached to a port in a massive network of gushy basketballs.

But mariner doubts this scenario. He listens to Amos, who says the entire Planet is in a death spiral; the Sixth Extinction means humans too, not just tigers and giraffes.

Have a pleasant election.

Ancient Mariner

 

Theologically Speaking

Theologically speaking, mariner believes there are so many people alive today that God has arranged to have some of us live longer so God has time to process purgatory before we die instead of afterward. For example, several years ago God arranged mariner’s life so that mariner would be retired to a small Iowa town on the Great Plains. Well, it’s been awhile now. Wait – what if mariner is wrong and this isn’t purgatory . . .

It may be that purgatory isn’t the issue at all; it’s the eternal places that are overcrowded.

God has many issues to overcome while managing the afterlife. There’s the old story about the less than scrupulous old man who died and was paired for eternity with a strikingly beautiful young woman. Speaking in an aside to one of the residents, the man said, “Wow, I must have done something good to deserve this.” “No,” the resident replied, “this is Hell and you are her punishment.”

The worst game loss the Chicago Bears ever experienced was September 27, 1964: Baltimore Colts 52, Bears 0. Colt Joe Don Looney ran for 82 yards – quite an effort and unusual for him. After he died, Looney asked God why God was so good to him in that game. “I’m glad you recognize my contribution to your life, Joe Don. I was unhappy with the Bears at the time.”

Mariner, an intense Baltimore Colt fan, watched that game but isn’t sure he wants to know God’s motivations. The Colts moved from Baltimore, MD to Indianapolis, IN on March 29, 1984. They left Baltimore unannounced suddenly in the middle of the night. What did mariner do to deserve this? Mariner chooses to believe God is testing his faith, like God did with Job.

– – – –

There will be a pause in mariner’s postings while he travels to visit family and friends. He plans to be back aboard on November 5. He leaves a prayer for you that unless you have done something terribly evil, God will arrange for you to vote on November 6.

Ancient Mariner