Category Archives: Philosophy

Dear Mudge, Monkey Face

MonkeyFacedEel

Monkey-faced eel – not really an eel, but tasty.

OK, Mudge, you claim ambivalence rather than kindness. But at least you’re a polite ambivalent. (And didn’t you recently claim kindness as a goal? Which you retracted, yes, but I think the label stuck.)

As to making a worthwhile point—on any topic—all opinions matter equally, which is, as we’ve determined, not at all. Yours, piled high and reeking, would at least provide philosophic nutrition to worms, weevils and woodlice.

You posted a set of nice lyrics; hard to imagine they weren’t part of some sonnet or modern Shakespearean knockoff. I would point out that simply by acknowledging your appreciation of such a touching piece, you expose a human side that, although you state such sentiment has bled away, I think not.

Our recent conclusion that intelligence correlates with misery garnered numerous counter arguments. Here’s my rebuttal: Although the tally of those miserable on either side of the IQ curve may be equal, the quality and variation of misery on the high side and, were the weight of grief totaled (intensity + complexity + recurrence), our side would tip the scale. (If that’s not a Pyrrhic victory I don’t know what is.)

On the subject of writing about the philosophy of existence, upon reflection I’d say my personal intent is therapy. Vaporous thought is one thing, but persisting one’s ruminations, for me, allows logic to overlay the mystical. I gain perspective this way. Not to mention that rereading such pontifications, later in life, often provides a chuckle or two.

Writing fiction used to be me dreaming on paper. These days, given my blooming narrative enlightenment, attempting to create something of beauty is now my goal. Although also therapeutic, writing is a challenge and when executed well, proof that my faculties are still somewhat intact. In highlight, there’s nothing like being in the *flow*, the slipstream—time fades away, I exist only in the moment, the story. That feeling comes all to rare, but when it does, it’s euphoric. You should try it sometime (grin).

I’ve convinced my “writing class” that they need to deliver 1000 narrative words by the 4th of February. One has complied and I’ve already waded into that one, red pen slashing.  As I edit, I’m reminded of my own neophyte writing those years ago.

“Boy, you sure are brutal.” My first contributor patted me on the shoulder. “But all your comments are spot on.” I’m surprised at how effortlessly I see what needs to be changed. But this is all ground-level stuff. The elevated techniques, levels two and three and beyond, that I’ve mentioned in the Writer’s Log, are much harder to communicate and learn. These core writer’s skills, when they’re missing, stick out like a blue tie at a Drumpf rally.

Time and practice. Starting out, such advice always appears short-sighted, “well, duh.” Only after actually putting in the long duration effort, and then measuring one’s progress by analyzing beginners, can one acknowledge that dogged regimen is the only way to excel—at anything. I started this writing endeavor at age 55. You, just turning a half-century, I wonder what skills you could amass were you to apply such a theory. (Is Vet-Tech still in your cards?)

Concrete ideas are always so much easier to discuss. Can you build a birdhouse from clear plexiglass? Should Lunists & Martians leverage lava tubes as habitat? Would artificial floating ocean islands, SeaSteading, be productive and useful or a waste of resources? It’s fine once in a while, but getting wrapped up in continuous existential conundrums, oy, let’s go fishing for monkey-faced eel or hunting for peyote or something, anything…

Yours,
‘Mole


Dear Mudge, Peanut butter

Dear Mudge,

You, sir, are one of the most enigmatic personalities who swims in these semi-anonymous waters. The net is nothing if not strong opinions voiced with impunity, don’t you think?

I hear your appeal to elevate the word “tribe” to mean actual, honest-to-god, tribes of native humans collected together for survival and cohesion. I hereby relinquish my use of the term for specious purposes (and I have used it frequently over the years). However, as you attempt to convince us that your curmudgeonly ways permeate your actual life, I call foul. As evidence I call forth this very repository of hypocrisy and your comments forthwith. Not even Gandhi himself could be more polite and considerate when addressing some of the just-as-strong opinions voiced here against/about our correspondence.

You sir, are a nice guy.

Regarding your supposition that intellect begets misery I would wholeheartedly agree. I’ve mentioned this very concept within these pages. I went searching and found this: https://anonymole.com/2017/06/21/how-smart-are-we/ and, in fact, if you search for “unhappy” here you’ll find a set of posts that pertain to this discussion. Basically (and I do mean that in its purest form of the word) the smarter you are the greater capacity you have for [words that reflect misery]. And happiness is about as far as you can get from intelligence.

Okay, that’s enough overt hot-linking (TomBeingTom). (Does anybody actually click embedded links? I don’t.)

On to my chosen topic of the moment: Peanut butter.

Seriously. I have this fascination for the origins of food. Where the hell did peanuts first come into culinary usage? (South America/Peru). Sesame seeds? The Fertile Crescent (where they may have been the first oil-pressed crop). Pistachios? (Afghanistan, as are hazelnuts). Turkeys, Tomatoes, Turmeric, Tilapia, Tapioca, Thyme, Turnips…

hazelnuttree

Hazelnuts / filberts grown in Oregon and Afghanistan

We don’t often consider food provenance but I do. Italians and tomatoes and polenta, Irish and potatoes, Asia and their peppers, all of it barely 500 years old, all of it “stolen” native foods. While humans have obviously been cultivating and consuming these foods for millennia, we rarely consider how recent our spice, nut, fruit and veggie basket has filled out due to globalism. The point I’m slowly getting to here is that, although we love to share food-culture across the planet and, I suspect, eventually, Terran food will be a thing (as opposed to Lunar or Martian food), we refuse to admit our global humanity; the tribe (ahem) of Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

Music, dance, art, food — all of these things tend to unite us. Although, like yourself, I don’t really give a shit about humanity as a cosmic entity, I still like to contemplate grand problems and propose grandiose solutions; they’re like puzzles, intricate quandaries that beg for analysis, elucidation and answers.

And so, in our wretched profundity, embittered by our self administered flagellation, were you to envision a day where your contempt for mankind, as compelling as it might be, is tempered by something, some occurrence, some transformation that renders humanity tolerable—what might that event be? Clearly, sagacious beings before us have gazed upon mankind and hoped someday that our species could elevate itself above its petty differences and see the universe as a frontier only we, humanity can hope to explore. Do you see such a possibility, in some future epoch? A globally shared peanut butter sandwich?

Aw, hell. Fuck that. I’m just yanking your chain. I’m trying to see how many 9+ letter words I can get into a post in remembrance of your dead blogging site.

Oh, and ZorkerBorg? Yeah, fuck him. I despise that pissant, the lucky prick that he is.

Happy dead of winter,
‘Mole

[PS: You’ll notice that if you end a post on a Fuck You tone, few people are wont to comment. I did this intentionally as I wanted to see if both yours and mine both elicited the same disgust. It appears to be the case. I wager that if we end our next correspondences with rainbows and ribbons, we’ll get a different response.]

[PPS: For Mr. Van Helsing, “The Peanut Butter and banana sandwich, or peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich, sometimes referred to as an Elvis sandwich or simply the Elvis, consists of toasted bread slices with peanut butter, sliced or mashed banana, and sometimes bacon. Honey is seen in some variations of the sandwich.” Wikipedia]


Dear Mudge, Complacency

Dear Mudge,

Does complacency equate to surrender?

In acquiescence do we relinquish a piece of ourselves to the other side? Is compromise a sign of weakness, or wisdom?

I hear your 2019 summer campaign to battle your own existential apathy, which you overwhelmingly won in the completion of your self-made challenge to document, as a sirens call to a muse I’ll never understand—the Canadian teen-com “Fifteen”, has afforded you some well earned, if unexpected, adulation from various members of the cast of that ignominious cavalcade of petulant pulchritude. Congratulations.

I mention your Quixotic pursuit as you, in contrast to my opening statement, most certainly did not give up in the throes of self-doubt and a certain bet against you (your $1000 remains a debt you may still collect provided you adhere to aforementioned stipulations).

And as I mention your triumph, I can’t help but consider our recent epistolary exchange and how we both appeared to have come to the conclusion that living at the “N’th” level was untenable. And that at least the N-1 level must be embraced in order to not dwell in a perpetual, self-induced living hell.

If what I’ve read on your NFTA blog is indication, I would applaud your expansion of N-1 and hope to read of your pursuits along that vein.

I did, however, begin this treatise with another point in mind regarding complacency. One I hope that, were you to once again take up the pen, you might apply in Ningun 2.0, which is, specifically, writers can never let their characters enjoy a drop of extended comfort.

Dorothy can never, truly, feel comfortable while she travels the lands of OZ. Luke may never enjoy perpetual peace. Frodo must forever endure an unrestful soul. Alice cannot be allowed to put her feet up and take a weekend off. Harry’s Christmas platitudes are mere lozenges dosed with laudanum designed to lure us into languid, lazy lassitude in preparation for the next heavy Hagrid-boot drop.

Briefly, we can never let our characters rest. Readers must feel compelled to turn the page to learn what calamity awaits our hero. Constant, relentless trepidation must permeate our writing. This technique dominates my thoughts as I continue writing on my next major novel effort.

In contrast, for our actual lives, I wish you nothing but placid, Avon waters serenity, dragonflies and water-skippers, ribbon ripples and pareidolian paradolian clouds drifting through your country-picnic days of 2020.

Best in the coming year,
‘Mole

DantesHell

That’s you and me at N-1


Curse you TomBeingTom

I despise these vapid Webby type contrivances designed to stroke the poles of bloggers and web developers since the late ’90s. My walls are lined with ribbons and placards of all the awards I’ve won. To add another is more nuisance than accolade.

(Mole dear, your wall is covered with posters of the Partridge Family, not web awards.)

Oh, right. Damn, that was the life I was GOING to have having dedicated my thirty’s to learning web languages and becoming a published web author. Alas, none of that panned out. I ended up working for failed startup after failed startup. (Geeze, maybe I’m the accursed one…)

OK, OK, here we go: Thanks TomBeingTom for, you know, calling me a female fox and obligating me to reply else I feel the heel and potentially miss the opportunity to flash my programming prowess, albeit, 20 years too late.

BlogEntry

That, my friends, is some of the first C# I wrote back in late 2002 when .NET first came out. And what did I apply myself to building with that great new language? A blog of course, or rather: Web Log, as no one called it a blog back then.

I managed to post more than 500 entries into my custom made blog over the next 10 years until my server’s harddrive failed and I quit trying to fool myself that I would ever win any praise as a developer. A living career, yes. Awards, never. (I did make copies of everything, I’m not entirely daft.)

My first ever “blog” post in January 2003: (I used XML as a storage format — pretty prophetic, no?)

BlogEntryXml

Blogging became more of a personal diary. But after things fell apart, I pishposhed about until I thought I’d better get back in and WordPress was a platform that seemed easy (free) and open (and free) and so I joined up (because it was free) in 2009; or so it says on my account page, I can’t believe it’s been that long.

Anonymole came a few years later in 2012.

The rest is all documented here in the pages of a subterranean gadriosopher (gatherer of knowledge). When it comes to life histories, brief is best. So, in short, I learned to code, made a blog, wrote some shit, the end.

But, hey, thanks AGAIN TomBeingTom for being the first to shine a bright light onto my failure as a web developer. (Kidding) [No, not kidding.] (No, seriously, I’m kidding.) [No, I’m not kidding at all, this is heavy shit. I think I may have to write another letter to Mudge begging to be consoled, placated at least, uncomfortably petted? Ya see, it’s all about bloggers getting stroked!]


Dear Mudge, Expectations

Dear ‘Mudge,

In response to your previous correspondence, I’ll confess that I too hate having expectations laid upon me; society’s shackles. In analysis, stepping up and away from said constraints, I’d say that these are more evidence of DNA’s brand upon existence. Conform. Fulfill your obligations to family, friends, and foe alike. Grrrr, I chafe like a back-stroked cat. Yet, as a father and husband I knew I must submit, surrender my contentious ideals in lieu of compliance, harmony within the burden I’d voluntarily adopted.

To reject such expectations, seen from the light of an ordered society, must surely seem misanthropic. But, I’d offer that all radical divergents of the past have presented as such. To break from tradition, strike out against the norms, even an extreme as contending that humanity itself should be rejected, may provide you with exclusive insight into the nature of being. An explorer of sorts. Quest on.

~~~

Per my son and his development as an agent of nefarious intent, something easily identifiable seems appropriate. He and the fellow he manages the 1M account for claim to have participated the recent fervor: “cats can have a little salami as a treat.” Stupid, inane shit seems the easiest to track.

In a similar theme, back in 2010, I dreamed up the word “Leximize” to maximize a word’s lexical coverage. For a while, I would push the word out through whatever channels I had available to me to try and get it adopted as a colloquial meme. [See below.] I even went to the extreme to register that domain, still own it in fact.

I think I was early. Such a concept could today, I believe, actually work. Luck, massive luck would need to shine its golden glow,  but the mechanism is in place to do what I’d planned nearly 10 years ago.

In other news I’ve come up with a plot device I can use to continue Shadow Shoals, a 30k word story I’d started a few years ago that I may now be able to add a few new chapters. We’ll see. If I place too many expectations on myself I may end up in a vicious self-loathing loop.

Just think, somewhere tectonic plates are at strangle holds, the tension growing daily, and soon, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps beneath a certain Casa Blanco, the forces will erupt and chaos ensue. Real chaos, not the piddly kind the IBI stirs with his tweet-stick.

N-1,
‘Mole

ChartActivity.aspx

My original Leximize request to friends:

I would like each of you to participate in a linguistics experiment.
I propose creating a new word, one which hits on a Google search of less than 20, mainly due to random letter arrangements.

The purpose of this experiment will be to create a global awareness of a new word in as little time as possible.

We will create a new word, create a definition of this new word, and then release it into the wilds of the infospace, rather like a semantic virus.

Then we will each use this word, at least once in a blog post or email or comment on an article or blog on the web. The spread of the use of the the term is the intent so a high frequency of usage is suggested. The simple reposting of this email will suffice.

We will then watch how quickly, or not, the word becomes prevalent in the linguistic maze that is the web.

Each week I will send a Google search count update to this list.

~~~

* The first word I propose is “leximize” which is to maximize the lexical exposure of a word.

As of this moment (5/10/2010 8:30 AM PST) there are 5 hits on the quoted word “leximize”, none of which have legitimate meaning.

~~~

I would also like to attach a future event to this word. The concept of this event will infiltrate the consciousness of the netmind bleeding out into the memespeak of the mainstream media. The purpose of attaching a fabricated event is to determine if we have any influence, to any degree possible, on the event and date in question; if in nothing more than the escalation of anticipation of the proposed date and event, simply through awareness.

* The spring equinox 2013 (March 21, 2013) will mark this event’s horizon.
* This event will entail the the joining of hands of multiple, long time national rivals and the collapse of physical, political and cultural barriers.
* At this point in time not only will these nations build a neoleague but newly constructed terms to describe the event will have been leximized.

~~~

Your participation is welcome in this experiment.

I urge you to reformulate the content in this email, to create a names to commemorate this event, to create your own neoleague terms and to send this email on to whomever you believe will find this experiment entertaining.

This experiment has officially begun!

NOTE: That Leximize AppleStore app, not mine.


Dear Mudge, I ate too much

Dear Mudge,

I hope your holiday unfolded in a way that left you both nutritionally as well as spiritually nourished.

My wife and I drove to Corvallis, Wednesday, to pick up our son who has lived there for the last two years, post-graduation, to be with his honey. He’s struggling, economically, not being able to find employment that befits his degree. Our daughter and her beau arrived for T-Day festivities and the five of us (mostly me) proceeded to consume too much food ending with a creation of my daughter, a chocolate/Nutella pecan pie, the last of which I devoured just this morning.

Overall, a lot of cooking work for too short a gathering and too many left-overs. It was nice to see and chat with my son. We discussed the Absurd Universe and how it’s a theme he’s loosely explored through his Instagram account. I have to hand it to him on that regard; he’s dedicatedly posted daily for a few years now, growing his follower count to over 100k. Due to this, he’s now managing another account with 1m+ followers. Imagine having the temporary eyes and minds of a million people. What havoc could you wreak?

I broached that topic with him and expectantly, he admitted that he’d considered it. Lost sleep over it in fact.

I offered that were he to have a secret agenda, subtly must prevail. But what kind of agenda? We discussed the fact that all million-plus accounts, on all platforms, are no doubt targets for corporate and political influence. He’s just 26 now, so, though exposed to my overt biases, he’s yet to dream up his own evil plans. The venue now exists, however. We’ll see.

I wonder, given the opportunity, what agenda might you suggest? Kindness seems like a more hands-on incentive, one that would get lost or derided in the message. My son uses humor to success in his message delivery. Could we find some means to express humorous kindness? Could that even work? Satirical kindness feels like an oxymoron.

December is here. The month of guilt and giving-envy. I’m trying to bring back Saturnalia and other pagan traditions. On the trip down to get my son I spied loads of green nodule-nests in large oak trees—mistletoe. Only the pagans would celebrate Freya’s fetish for kissing beneath a parasitic plant. I love it!

Best,
‘Mole

mistletoe


Dear Mudge, Giving Thanks

Dear Mudge,

The corptocracy hijacked holiday, Thanksgiving, is nearly upon us. Is Black Friday now the celebration and not the humble acknowledgment that our prosperity stems from both luck and the hard work of ourselves and those around us? Do we now give thanks for Amazon Prime? One of conscience must feel sickened by such cultist display: the tribe of greed and avarice. How to combat this distasteful trend? More on that below.

Oh, ‘Mudge, politics & religion are two subjects that are rarely discussed here. I’ll admit, I have recently been watching Rachel Maddow and delight in her delight. She just can’t stop smiling these days. But the way of things, the indefensible, dogmatic loyalty to that reprehensible IBI (incoherent bloviating imbecile) In Chief, and the backward-thinking, blind-eye behavior of that ancient tortoise leading the Senate makes me feel like I’m witnessing an agonizingly slow train wreck: the demise of democracy.

All things pass. I suspect this one will too. What the U.S. will look like on the other side of being shat through the ass of that Asshole, who’s to know.

~~~

I’m learning about Thumos. It’s an ancient Greek term which has no equivalent in the English language. I’d relate it as being the spirit of pursuing self-honor, where head and heart align. I’d qualify the discussion of such terms in that they can only now be freely debated as we’ve identified the N-1 philosophical belief layer and have decided to exist here, at least for the time being. I’d care to know your feelings on this assumption.

In your appeal to choose a pursuit post-fantasy, and having lit upon delivering kindness, I say, why the hell not. There’s so much godawful misery in this world, if you pull-off a Valentine Smith and succeed? (Even in attempting to be kind, would you not also succeed?) At least you’d have found your Thumos and that, in and of itself, is a noble feat.

How can I help?

AbsurdUniverseSiliconIngot

I leave you with this: Sans stone, silicon is a metalloid into which, I would submit, we are etching our legacy. So, with keyboard-hammer and chisel-like wit we’ll leave our marks upon the box canyon walls of the internet.

Were you to enjoin your altruistic ideal and spread compassion, and this coming Thursday may provide you an initial step, volunteering at some banquet supporting the disenfranchised and dispossessed, you may also leave a legacy of kindness. And that would be an honorable pursuit, indeed.

Warmly,
‘Mole