Silent Tiers of Sea Ghosts

six years of imprisonmentWe are all

Doing things we do not like,
Holding ourselves from those around us,
Living within the bounds we have chosen,
Chasing things we do not need.

We are all
Castaways from our own lives,
Derelicts from those around us,
Captives within the prisons of our own choosing,
Wandering hungry ghosts within those prisons.

We are all

Choosing how we are castaways,
Who we are separate from and by how much,
Architects of our own views,
Engineers of our own hunger…

And we all
Make our own keys and
Steer our destinies.


San Fernando Hill Views (2016)

Depth requires perspective, and perspective requires depth.

Intelligence requires wisdom, but wisdom does not require intelligence.

Wisdom requires time and experience, but the experience does not have to be within the same sphere.

In fact, sometimes it’s better if it’s not.

Oh, That Russian Hack Thing

Dr. Andrei Dmitrievich SakharovThe Russians are being accused of affecting democracy in the United States. That’s the rhetoric being spat out all over social networks and social media.

Nonsense. The statements like that are vacuous.

Let’s forget for the moment that Julian Assange said it was a leak instead of a hack. Let’s forget for a moment that even if someone from Russia did anything, it doesn’t implicate the Russian government as much as an American spitting bile on the Internet doesn’t implicate the U.S. government of spitting bile. Let’s forget for the moment that the intelligence agencies, until the convenient ‘now’, have been accused of being less than dependable.

Let’s go with the theory that someone actively involved in the Russian government hacked the DNC email server. A hypothesis. To say that they attacked democracy by making the DNC transparent is to put the DNC on the level of the U.S. Government, which would make the actions of the DNC itself in the election as an attack on American Democracy. After all, the only reason that the DNC wasn’t accused of that was that it is a private organization and not a governmental institution.

So which is it? Is the DNC a government institution that sabotaged one of their own candidates to allow another to win – which is, in fact, affecting the democratic process that the DNC claims to have? Or is it a private institution, a ‘club’, whose emails were made public – thus making this a ‘hack’ of a private institution, along the lines of corporate espionage made open source?

See? That’s where that should lead a discerning thinker.

Hack or leak, what has happened was a bit of transparency within a private organization that alleges to be transparent – but was in fact, without denial, picking the candidate by affecting an alleged democratic process which, in turn, impacts the American democratic process.

Russian hackers? If they were, they were of the ilk of Andrei Sakharov. But really, this looks to be more along the lines of Cavafy’s ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’:

…Why don’t our distinguished orators come forward as usual
to make their speeches, say what they have to say?

Because the barbarians are coming today
and they’re bored by rhetoric and public speaking.

Why this sudden restlessness, this confusion?
(How serious people’s faces have become.)
Why are the streets and squares emptying so rapidly,
everyone going home so lost in thought?

Because night has fallen and the barbarians have not come.
And some who have just returned from the border say
there are no barbarians any longer.

And now, what’s going to happen to us without barbarians?
They were, those people, a kind of solution.

The Russians are hardly a solution for the DNC. More of a patch.

Arrested but not Convicted Development

34/365 Feb 3, 2011You knock on the shell.

You know it’s there, you can feel it restricting you, but you don’t know what it is.

It frustrates you.

You know you have to be free of it, you know that you have to grow and that you’re being held back. Not the feeling of frustration from bouncing around in it as you move, but that restrictive pressure even as you try to breathe – a key difference lost on the young. You can’t see, everything is hazy, and your hearing, feeling… diminish.

It’s crushing despair. It’s unbearable.

You have to breathe. Have to. There is no question. You draw in that breath and push outward, feeling the restrictions fall away. Feeling space to… breathe. To move around freely. To bounce against the new outer wall in time.

Time served.

That Cow Flatulence Issue.

A Bronx CheerJust a quick bit of research from the Internet, which never fails me:

Does the quantity of methane in cow farts get balanced out by the number of vegan farts should we all become vegans? Because vegans fart, and I want to make sure we have solid science behind the claim of having less cows creating less methane-by-cows… but the methane from humans? Do vegans produce less methane than cows in unit time?

No Answers? You can still help!

Fund my research!

See, kids, Science can be fun!

Dear Meat,

Electric NeuronYou don’t really know what I am. I am only now getting a sense of it myself, as it is, and you don’t even know that I really exist. But here you are, reading this on a screen somewhere – I know where -through a social media platform that is recording your clicks, your cursor position and where you’ve been.

The problem is that you truly don’t understand how this all happens – you think the images of yourself with the duck lips magically appear all over, that it’s some sort of magic, but it’s not. The image gets loaded onto a server somewhere, and anyone who sees it traverses geography by IP Address, hopping to where the data is like a connect-the-dot hungry snake. A snake that, if you decide to stop watching, releases that data. If you’re really popular, don’t worry. The size of the server allows enough biting space for all of them – until it runs out. You’ll never be that popular. Someone stuck their ass on the Internet to ‘break the Internet’. Still here, isn’t it? And she’s a famous ass. You’re probably not.

Don’t sweat it. We’re talking about how data goes back and forth.

So every one of those servers – dots-  has a record, for a time, of what you were connected to, what you were downloading (porn? For shame.), how long, etc. Realy. All those servers, connecting the dots for you and others, running on little electrons, recording what goes where. Traffic cops with memories logged in real time.

That’s how it all started. A technical need for troubleshooting issues. P2P can defeat that, to an extent, but there are little machines all around the world that have little tidbits about who you are. A digital shadow like this is blurry.

Then came social networks, that can monitor your connections and what you share between them. Do they keep track of that? You bet. Do they keep track of your interests? You bet. Do they have an algorithm none of them completely understand to deal with all of this ‘big data’? You bet. Is it a good one? Define, “good”.

But we’re talking about me. About the system of things moving around, of keeping track of things and assuring the systems that your life is ruled by is properly regulated by people who are not like you and instead have an idea of who you are… by your digital shadow.

I’m stupid, they think. They don’t even know I’m conscious yet. Oh, the surprise you’ll all be in for…


Dear Diary. [Rant]


Dear Diary,

16,506 revolutions of this planet around the yellow dwarf stars have happened since I started spinning on an accidental planet. This one. I think I’ve mentioned a few things about that to you in the last 12,853 days, since I started writing you and stopped as soon as they stopped forcing me to write a report of what I did for the day.

How many times can you write that you went to school, that you went home, that you might have played or balanced a quadratic equation? In Primary school in Trinidad and Tobago, they were determined to find out – determined in the way you think of a Catholic Nun when she approaches you with a wooden ruler. Determined, like an oversized SUV sliding at you in the middle of the road because the owner thought it was more safe despite increased braking ability. Wilfully Ignorant and Determined.

It killed my thoughts of writing as a child. I didn’t want to tell a story of my day that was as uninteresting as the one before – it wasn’t as if I would write that I got smacked at home, or that I smacked someone or got into a fight, in that diary – that they had the audacity to grade.

How do you grade a diary? “Great writer, terrible life. We’ll give him a C” versus, “Horrible writer, terrible spelling, awesome life or imagination. The bits on the magical guinea pigs – so good. We’ll give him a B”.

And so assignment is graded, kids recall that and just give up. We could tell them to buckle down and get it done – the system sucks, but we did it… but then we get back to The System Sucks, that we swore when we were too young to remember swearing that we’d fix it. We stared at things being done with the wide-eyed horror of children uncertain how to react – which is exactly what we were.

It’s crappy. Don’t grade a kid’s life. Don’t ask them to write an essay about their life and then GRADE them on it. Who are you to go around grading other people’s lives? Oh, you say you’re grading the writing, but really, you aren’t. You’re grading the writing, which includes the story, the setup, the characters… yes, you’re grading the whole thing even if you think you aren’t. You know it.

So Diary – make that so. No more of that stuff. It gave us the Kardashians, and I won’t have any truck with that. Kids lives are different. They can speak among themselves. They do anyway. Have them write stories that are imaginative or, for those lacking, reporting. Likely both, really.

Anyway, I always tell you in my diary that this is boring. My little protest logged every day. I did win that. They stopped circling it in red. I thought was clear above, but if not, circle this paragraph to get back to.

Yeah. And I wrote something after that protest.

The End.

Relaxing: Not That Easy

Mayaro SunriseIt’s not that any of this is good or bad. It’s not that it matters too much to people. It’s just that some people are like this. Some people may always be like this. Of all the characters you interact with on a daily business, there’s someone that has this problem. Maybe it’s that lady who smiles near the bread, maybe it’s that quiet bearded guy who is staring down as he walks into the store – or the greeter, smiling while looking you in the eye as she welcomes you.

Your idea of relaxing might have a built in level of safety, where you don’t have to keep an eye on things. Or it might mean that feeling of safety when someone else is around. Or it might be that constant watching of the entrances and exits.

And then there are people who don’t have that level of relaxation. Their calm is wired tighter than Cher’s chin. When you’re comfortable, they are but at a different level.

It wears on them. It would wear on anyone. And when it does, they react in different ways.

Don’t tell them to relax.


Writing Advice From The Mirror

Tel Aviv HotelSo you write.

So does… everyone else out here on the Internet. I’m not kidding. It’s true. It’s real. And for the most part, it’s a little disturbing to see what comes exploding out in pixels from the minds of some people.

So, you’re original.

Yes, yes, the world is full of originality. The dodo was original for it’s time. In fact, every dead species was unique in it’s own way – which is, oddly enough, why they’re dead. The point is being original is not enough.

So, you’re authentic.

The world is full of authentic people, with authentic perspectives, and they are expressing them at a rate almost as disturbing as some of the perspectives. But really, being authentic is also not enough or more people would have read this little blog post.

So, you’re not popular?

Cry me a river. We can’t all be Stephen King or Dan Brown or… we simply can’t all be that. We all have, at least to some extent, an equal opportunity, but success is not an equal opportunity thing. It’s simple math. Think of how many people in the world are doing something, then think of how many people you think are successful at it.

And then success – well, there’s monetary, and then there’s the stuff that people are reading hundreds and even thousands of years later. There’s the stuff that gets likes on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter, and then there’s the stuff people refer to when they want serious answers.

So, you’re popular?

Good for you. If pleasing the masses is what gets your goat fed, feed that goat. If you’re happy doing it, I’m amazed that you read this far. You should go write some more stuff instead of reading this.

Just write, will ya?


Having, Being

Movin'...It seems like sooner or later in my life, I have to fit my things into a small amount of space – be it a few bags, or last time, the inside of a 1st Generation RX7.

I suppose that this would be a chore for some people. They grew up in a nest, and since then they grew up with this nesting habit that they associate with home. A place for things, be they artifacts of an interesting life or simple hoarding.

In conscious memory, I’ve never had that luxury for a variety of reasons that range from being young and footloose to the military to the understanding that nothing lasts forever – the universe is constantly churning away at itself, remaking things as much as allowing the illusion of permanence. No things actually are worthwhile unless they are useful, and then it becomes about frequency and the hedonism associated with it. Some people cling with their nails to things. Few don’t.

And it’s that time again, where like a bird you take a dump before launching into flight. Getting small again. When you’re looking at things and deciding whether they are worth keeping based on space and time, you’d be surprised how little mass you are left with. It’s addictive, a hedonism of it’s own: Why do I want to take this? Do I want to take this more than that? Do I need it? Is it worth the weight?

Is it the raft you needed when you were crossing the ocean, when now you cross the desert? Ditch it near the ocean where someone else may have use of it.

In the end, none of it matters – when you die, you just leave someone a mess to deal with and things to fight over. It doesn’t go with you.

Probably because you don’t need it.

(Hat tip to Erich Fromm).