Tuesday, January 2, 2018


An abstract pencil sketch of human history appears as crazy squiggles springing forth and shriveling back. Empires rise and shine. Sooner or later they run out of fuel, and shrink. Maybe it’s firewood—they burn it all. Maybe it’s wheat fields, succumbing to drought. Maybe it’s common sense, collapsing in the darkness of closed minds. Whatever it is, each empire falters, bleeds out . . . each fire finally dims as another blazes. These transitions register suddenly, while the critical gravities gather slowly and silently.

The rise and fall of empires are reflected as fractal patterns in see-saw cultural shifts, such as the recent collapse of Harvey Weinstein: “instantly” women are empowered to speak out against sexual abuse and manipulation.

Well, first of all: YaaaaY!!!

But let’s look beyond the moment, and ask what has been going on here . . .   

Why are so many cultures around the world mean to women? Really, really mean. And humiliating. 

Who thought this was a good idea?

Apparently, men.

Men have been bullying and silencing and abusing women in a lot of ways in a lot of places for a lot of centuries.

Have you ever visited a society where women beat up men and rape them and pay them less? And then kill them? Um, no.

Misogyny is so pervasive. Whether overt or covert, it’s pretty much world-wide, full time/space continuum.

Why?

Wouldn’t everyone—without being instructed—revere women, at the extreme fundamental minimum, for giving birth? Or are some guys somehow upset by such a miracle? Is it jealousy, guys, because no man could ever achieve anything equaling birth? Or are you, the hirsute mastodon-slaying monster, secretly afraid of women?

Let’s look at what the French call la difference.
Masculine energy. Feminine energy. Two different trajectories, two distinct interfaces with life.

If you’ll share in the gloss of over-simplification based on our hereditary roles: Men kill. Women nurture.

Not that all killing is pure evil. Not at all. To be sure, murder is often pure evil. Yet killing is also life feasting on life. In the natural world, killing is a vital part of the process. And in the human realm, we have to kill to survive, either plants or animals, your choice, but no matter how you cut it, you have to kill to live. It’s part of your job here, to keep the goods in motion. Biological energy doesn’t want to stand still.  

And men are good at killing. God bless ‘em. Whether it’s wheat or whales or cotton or mutton or mussels, men will bring home the bacon. It’s good, honest work, this kind of killing, and it’s pretty simple. You either bring home the bacon, or you become brunch.

While men kill, women nurture. Turns out the nurturing thing can be a lot more complicated than the killing thing. Nurturing weaves fluid combinations of observation, adaptability, subtlety, and quiet assertion. This skill set, in toto, emanates from a subtly complex interface with life – a degree of complexity beyond the direct, the blunt and the forceful elements of execution.

It’s not that simple, of course. The yin/yang/ masculine/feminine/ yoni/lingam tide ebbs and flows in each of us. Which brings us, obviously, to the Ten Commandments . . .

Wednesday, July 19, 2017



When you boil away the fat by walking thousands of feet and looking around and around, the question Galileo was asking in his prison cell when the pope locked him up for a new fact (that offended God?!?!?) boils down to simply this: How can smart people convince dumb people that brains are not spleens?

Or: Why do dumb guys lock up smart guys for new ideas?

Obviously, this is no fun for the smart guys.

But how much fun is this for the dumb guys?

Are they too dumb to have fun? ‘Cause it’s way more fun to have new idea than it is to kill a new idea.

Not that “dumb” and “smart” are the best ways to frame it. Let’s say curious. The curious love a good question. What’s the antonym of curious? Whatever it is, they want to kill a good question. Open doors are the enemy of closed-mindedness.

Not that you can kill it. The good ideas springs from inevitability, the eternal springs of the bright blue future, and you foil it at your peril.

Springs. What all your feet oughta be bouncing around on. Spring forth. It’s amazing. Whatever it is.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Lies in Art can emerge as new truths.
Lies in Science are eventually found, and they cost the liar.
Lies in Politics are not always found, and they cost lives.

Questions in art are what art is.
Questions in science mother new science.
Questions in politics, we need more of them.

The three feet of Art, Science and Politics can dance together.
But mostly, they don’t.
It’s better when they do: Everyone is happier, lives longer, and dies richer.

How do you get there from here?
That’s a good question. Thank you!
For starters, let’s start with questions, not conclusions.
And tell your feet to start walking.
Both of them twice.
While you’re looking. Around and around.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Science. Politics. Art.

Galileo scientifically figured out that the earth is not the center of the universe. He got really excited! This was great new information! But the Catholic Church, the de facto government, not only failed to celebrate this scientific revelation, but all the church panjandrums forgot revelations completely and instead got real pouty that some mere scientist would refute the word of God and say the earth is not the center of the universe. Oy, the heresy! So they arrested one of the greatest scientists of the century, and threw him in the slammer.

Wouldn’t it be funny if a modern government got upset by some facts?

If Galileo were here today, his heresy would be stating the obvious.

Galileo would ask questions no one wants to ask too loudly . . .

“Modern people have democracy. How long do modern people vote against their best interests?”

“They doubt science? Yet they love the military? Do they not know that the military is built on science? That without scientific exploration, we would not have self-navigating bombs? And radar? And radar-evading jets? And it’s not just the military that science enables. Science enables the highways you all drive every day, and pure science promulgated the prototype of the internet, on which you all also drive every day. All because of science. And you disparage science? For this larval level of stupidity I came back here? After being jailed by the pope for doing science?”

“Frances Bacon was knighted. He was knighted? For what does a scientist need a tin suit and a sword? And for what I was I jailed?”

How does the genius scientist convince small-minded power mongers to please just let me keep on stretching the boundaries of human knowledge?

This doesn’t exactly bring us to art, but one must wonder . . . if small minded power brokers have so much trouble with the truths of science—which confers lavish benefits of human life—how do they tolerate art? Because art is even weirder: while it shares with science urges to stretch the boundaries of human experience, unlike science art produces permanently useless objects whose only distinction from the ordinary materials of which they are made is the way they look. And yet, every society around the world values art. The forms vary widely. The apparent uselessness binds.

Science. Politics. Art. It’s like having three feet that you keep looking at. Twice. You want them to dance . . .

Saturday, May 27, 2017


Obviously, this brings us to the Founding Fathers.

They wanted people to bounce off their shoulders. They argued about how to pack that punch, and spawn that bounce. And spawn they did, with over three hundred million great-great-great grandchildren bouncing around. Even if they were not all that great. Some turned out really great! Some didn’t! But the whole enterprise still bounces like crazy.

It didn’t have to. It wasn’t guaranteed. We could have been like Brazil for the past three centuries. Nothing against Brazil, but as far as an idea with some bounce in the political realm, well, the United States has been as bouncy as it gets these past coupla centuries

The Founding Fathers’ idea was not ultimately an idea. It was an impulse, and the quest was how to fashion an idea to support the impulse to spawn max bounce.

And here is the kernel of our miraculous national inception: The rich guys gave their power away. That’s what happened. The rich guys who could have formed an oligarchy club, they gave their power away. Never happened before, not in any history I’ve ever read.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Yes, artists look at their feet a lot more than twice. Artists look at their feet until their feet meld with the substrate; until their feet melt into color fields shimmering on other color fields so the absolute delineations of what are feet vs. what are not feet crumble under the mighty scrutiny of which the human brain is capable given time + desire + cogency + direct perception, which are the very same rotors that serve science.

What unites science and art is the fundamental impulse that what’s been done is not yet done: as much as we are grateful for the shoulders of the giants on which we stand, we are not content to merely stand on those shoulders. We want to leap from them. And we want our shoulders to become trampolines from which others bounce.


Thursday, May 11, 2017



Obviously, this brings us to Charles Sanders Pierce, probably the most extremely underappreciated American since way before the beatniks.

 A contemporary of the robber barons, with whom he shared nothing, especially wealth, he plunged feet first into new ground in philosophy, mathematics, logic, and pure science. You know, the invisible stuff politicians sneeze at.

In the 1870s, Pierce speculated that this new-fangled electricity thing could be used to send tiny blips over the electrical wires, in little coded packs of impulses. Like little digits. Digits of coded information. Purely theoretical. Of no use whatsoever. The barons were building railroads, and you could carry stuff around on them. Pierce was building a vast super highway in his mind, and you couldn’t carry anything on it. It was of no value whatsoever . . .

. . . Until about a hundred years later, when the U.S. government (Department of Defense) applied Pierce’s vision in a particular way, and the prototype of the internet came into being. You could carry a lot of imaginary stuff on it. And the government made it. Out of a theory, and some wires, and some electricity.

Sounds like a fairy tale: Destitute genius imagines something that only the government has the imagination to actually create. We all live happily ever after. In our new shoes. Two shoes. Looking at both twice.