Monday, February 8, 2016

Death as the Predator

Always on the hunt is death for one more dance partner
Since the beginning of life it has had no problem finding one
And it's cold bones reach out to grab unwilling shoulders
That it will dance to a place that cannot be undone.

It sneaks around now, no ego to serve
Pointing and planning, waiting for the next call
Just willing and waiting but not hesitating
To toss whole groups over that shallow, life-harboring wall.

It's behind you right now, having a peek at your vitals
Checking your car, and your heart, and your careless style
Not rushing you, just checking, to see if your time's up
Or if you'll keep rolling for one more of life's miles.

No other threat is more calm and prepared
And not rude but not caring, reliably moving
Toward one or more partners for the fast or slow dance
The guarantee of an end is all that it's proving.

You can't fight it, it ducks and it bobs and it weaves
Not interested in winning some spiritual fight
It has work to do, some days more than others
It has work to do, pulling life into the night. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Les Humains: Past, Present, Future

I have a few things figured out regarding humans.  I couldn't think of a better time to share them than now.  As one doctor said quoting another, "Inviting me to engage in futurism is inviting me to be a fool."  I don't mind being a fool.  Let's take some shots.

Past: Humans were pure animal, really, before a few thousand years ago.  It was about the bottom rung of Maslow's Hierarchy (a pyramid I fully subscribe to, while leaving openings at each level of it for human changes/adaptations).  Food, water, shelter, sex.  People used bravery, strength, trickery and intelligence to make their mating selections, to acquire and maintain food and water supplies, and to have a shelter from the weather.  Evolution did what it did, as Darwin said, and forced adaptation.  If you didn't or couldn't adapt, you died off and produced no offspring.  If you could hold on long enough in a given lifetime, you generally did continue to contribute to the gene pool.  In cosmic time, humans have been here for a very brief period, so a relatively small amount of harsh, future-shaping adaptations have strained the human line.  We haven't been tested like many other species have.

Present: At the beginning of the 21st century, we are about to make a sharp turn.  Right now, scientists are actively researching and working on electronic implants, chemicals, and training methods that will meld computer speed and memory capacity with the human mind.  Before the end of the century, these enhancements to humans will be commonplace.  Humans will desire to have them be introduced by genes, so that these extra strengths will pass on automatically and I suspect we will work toward that.  But gene therapy, or pimping your genes, will be limited.  Added to that will be electronic forms of memory, connected to the largest networks.  You could have no knowledge of a state and yet in the time it takes to make the thought, you will have "downloaded" the state's road maps into your frontal cortex.  You will literally be Think-Googling (perhaps they'll call it Thoogling).

Designer children will be allowed, no mate required.  Sex robots will be made remarkably human and will be the most popular robot available, worldwide, followed closely by personal robots (the type that will help the sick move around, clean house, fetch necessities, go shopping, and walk the dog.... eventually, those robots will also be sex-enhanced... people will put more thought into designing their robots than designing their kids).

Wars will be fought with robots, first controlled by humans, and then by AI.  Humans will be sufficiently smart in design and control as to not let robots "take over."  Those types of Hollywood themes are popular because people fear the unknown and are always looking for something to put in their "fear hole," (my term).  Computers will continue to drive cars, but will show up also in courtrooms and sports venues to make accurate calls/verdicts, according to the rules/laws.  Computer code will be open to inspection at all time, preventing any chance of human error, bribery, or bias.  If we want mathematical precision in the application of our laws and rules, we will need computers to do it.  Finally, fairness will be achieved to a point satisfactory to the people of a community.  This will be one of the best things to happen this century.

With hardware brain add-ons and enhancements, we elders will feel a bit like outdated version of humans for having to go through years of college and many more years of living to gain an experienced education when people will be downloading their educations on demand, or designing high-IQ babies.  That will sting a little for those not wealthy enough to buy the enhancements.  Almost all surgical and repair operations will be done without human hands, as well as food service, repair services, and delivery services.  Large social programs will be needed to help people find new careers as the machines are used for any programmable tasks (which is about all of them).

Future:  Space will be colonized by man and machine.  Humans will spread out.  Homes will be made on asteroids, moons, and planets.  Warped space travel (to reduce time needed for journeys) will be perfected to allow travel to different solar systems, and eventually galaxies.  Humans will fundamentally branch off from one another here as their new environments begin to shape them, and any biological enhancements at a genetic level may turn out to be deadly or necessary, depending on the situation.  The power will be in numbers... many humans and machines sent in many different directions.  Planets like Mars will be terraformed and other duplicates of Earth will be made, either naturally or artificially.

It will be hundreds, perhaps thousands of years before we figure out practical inter-dimensional travel or useful time travel.  Using weak black holes, time travel will become relatively routine once it starts.  It is possible then that if somebody travels to or through your "current moment," it is not the first time you have been through that moment, and it may not be the last.  This may have some connection to deja-vu, as the chances that this is the first time we've come through the year 2016 are remarkably slim.  But even if it is, you will relive 2016 many, many times as time travelers re-activate the moments that they choose to arrive in.  This may also be a cause of or at least discovery of parallel realities since time and space can stretch and shrink; there may be a million of "you" living on different time/space/dimensional lines.  If so, that will eventually be proven.

New diseases will be encountered in new places as we colonize.  Whole colonies will be wiped out before some are resolved.  It is in human nature to explore, and so we will take those risks, and we will never stop searching, even if we don't know exactly what we're searching for or why.  Traditional religion will die, replaced with solid philosophy and critical thinking and a belief not in a big daddy in the sky but in human ingenuity and adaptation as its own force.  We will discover other intelligent life and at least initially, that will go well as life has a tendency, when intelligence is involved, to root for itself.  A super-intelligent but desperate life form my bring new problems.  Humans will learn that thinking outside of the box is no longer an optional exercise to do once in a while in a board room but must be practiced and used daily.  Love will not lose any of the passion it is capable of having, but due to supplemental forms of artificial love available, it will be experienced less per capita than it is now (gene manipulation, robots, and drugs will be found to be less challenging to accomplish a similar feeling to raging love, and this may be one of the worst things that could happen to humans).

Humans will make it a remarkably long time as we spread out, but in truth, the new divisions will differ so much from one another after millions of years of change that we will have new species that just used to be human.  Add to that the complications of gene manipulation and robotic enhancement, and you'll see some interesting characters out there.  Overall, unless answered after death, the question of "Why are we alive?" will probably never be answered.  The prevailing motto will be, "Just keep going in order to keep going."  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Always the new path, and it starts with apologies

Lately, I've had some drama to deal with and those that know me know I avoid drama.  Drama generally shows up in what the smart folk call ad-hominem, or personal attacks.  This can be painful, embarrassing, and cause serious damage to one's peace of mind, regardless of how much truth or accuracy is in the attacks.

I know who I am inside.  And I know that when the sea of drama rises, I have to swim through it to get to peaceful waters.  But I'm getting better and better at it, swimming faster, and eventually will see it from far enough away to avoid it altogether.  Life would be so much easier, wouldn't it, if you didn't care about people?  I care about people.  When I see them attacked, or I'm attacked, it's immediate pain and a feeling of depression.  I can't be the judge and jury; only they know the truths about their personal lives.  But I can feel for them, no matter what they did that didn't match up with somebody else's view of good behavior.

My friend Shane taught me two things; first, he told me I have a problem with forgiveness.  I had no idea.  And he was dead-on.  And I STILL have that problem; he told me this six years ago so I could begin working on it.  He's a peaceful, mature, good person, down at the soul level.  He's the kind of guy I always strive to be like.  He also told me that he believes in karma; I still don't.  I've seen too many aholes get through life with reasonable ease and unless they are getting their justice from some higher authority after life, I don't see karma at work.  I HOPE karma is real and justice finds its way into everybody's life.  And I hope justice has at least a touch of forgiveness in it.

But if I'm going to do what I say, and continue to close down or at least control this part of myself that gets affected by drama, there is only one real way to start out.  That is to say I'm sorry.  I'm sorry to anyone who I have ever hurt, or embarrassed, or caused any discomfort.  If karma is real, I can assure you that I've already been paid back ten-fold for those I have hurt if we're measuring in physical and psychological pain.   If karma is real, I'm thinking maybe it forgot to stop punishing me once justice was served.  So by saying and feeling that I'm sorry for those that I've hurt, I can begin to (hopefully quickly) forgive myself for those actions.  And maybe if I can forgive myself, I can forgive others.  But if I'm going anti-drama, or with the create-a-better-world-for-people philosophy, there is no place to start except to say that I'm sorry for any drama I've caused anybody, ever, or anything I did that made your world anything but a better world.

With that out of the way, which just made me literally breathe in some fresh air and feel weight come off of me, I can get on to the business of making sure that I don't go near rising seas of drama, and regardless of how much pain I'm in, nobody deserves to be snapped at because I'm hurting, even if they do something out of line.  My goal is peace of mind and helping people when I can.  I want those two things more than anything, and they have become the goals that I will now live for and repeat to myself every day.  You've heard all of the cliches; life is too short, golden rule, if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all, if you're not giving, you're not living... well, I have nothing to add to that except that I do know from experience that good feelings and peace of mind come from just such behaviors.  

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kev Still Says Get the Negative OUT!

I've seen the thought gaining momentum lately and I just want to do my bi-annual push for it as well.

Cut the negative people and thoughts out of your life.  You'll be doing yourself and those around you a huge favor.

When two of my sisters and I stood in a little circle outside the house at my Mom's 70th birthday party some years back and made a pact to kick out and keep out the negative everything from our lives, I knew it was a big deal.  I had never even considered it.  My imagination (which can be my greatest strength or weakness) immediately felt the power in it.

From that day on, I've stuck to it like glue.  I wasn't even on Facebook yet; I think it was just in its early stages then.  I don't even remember what got us talking about removing the negative stuff, but the agreement was that once we realized we were having negative thoughts or were spending much time around a negative person, they had to go.  Distance had to go between us and the thought/person.

At the time, when I told people about it, I would say, "If you've got negative people in your life, you have to toss them over the fence, out of your daily circles."  And I was careful to separate negative people from people just having a bad day or even a bad month, or a good friend or family member just giving you some difficult truths to help you see one or more of your blind spots.  The negative people we were talking about were people who lived to complain about and scorn other people, places, and things.  An example might be a coworker who starts his day telling you, "Damned traffic sucked.  Did you see the Mets last night?  Terrible.  Ok, let's go see what my dumbass boss has for me today.  He'll probably have us have a meeting at that sucky restaurant again.  I think I'll take my horrific wife their next week; she deserves it.  Hey, are you working the Anderson account?  Yes?  Good, I hated those people.  They actually think I care about them.  Ah, this coffee sucks.  And I hope our president has a terrible fishing accident today.  Where's Mills at?  Is he late again?  God that bastard is a loser.  How did he even get hired here?"

Get away from that co-worker, and stay away, if you even want a reasonable shot at true happiness.  And that goes for people in any other category.  If you can't get away from them because you have to be shoulder-to-shoulder for some reason, just stop talking to them.  They'll get the idea.  You can also send your friends and family a personal memo: "Hey, I'm trying a new thing.  Starting next month, I'm going to be putting some distance between myself and people that seem to be constantly negative--just wanted to give everybody a heads up."  Or however you would word that.  More and more, with technology, we can cut people out of our circles that bring is pain routinely or who just seek to attack.  Or you may find that you just disagree with somebody on so many fundamental levels that there is no real point in keeping them in your circles, because every conversation turns into a debate or dismissive attitudes.

If you care about other humans, you will automatically be influenced by their moods in your presence, and if they carry around a dark shadow of doom and gloom and hate and remain discontent no matter how well things are going, you will sink to the bottom with them.  It's just a matter of time.  People with no empathy have a strong advantage here--I'll call it a psycho-perk.  If you aren't concerned about others, you won't be influenced by their feelings or moods.

With the internet the way it is now, people can drag up any mistakes you've ever made and they can usually remain anonymous doing it so they have no moral equivalence test to take in order to make sure they aren't being hypocrites.  They can hurt you, your family, your friends, perfect strangers; some get joy out of it.  Normally, that comes from their own pain; projection could be happening, or they feel like failures at some/most things, and in what I believe is the most selfish kind of behavior, they seek to make others hurt just because they hurt.  I have so much "dirt" on people, I don't know where to store it all.  But I don't share it.  Most of it was shared with me in confidence; some is just stuff I stumbled across.  It is not only just mean to share that type of information, but it's not interesting to me.  Personal attacks aren't interesting.  There's probably some science behind why astrophysicists don't watch Jerry Springer re-runs.

One of the greater ironies is that most of those that are judging are self-proclaimed Christians.  How is it that I, as an Ignostic, can be less judgmental with no definitive guide to lead me than a Christian who is taught directly not to judge if they want to live the Christian life?  Say nothing of turning the other cheek or following the 10 commandments.  If it weren't so sad--this mountain of cognitive dissonance that allows them to turn off the rules when convenient--it would be hilarious.  And this goes really for all rigid religious directives or even strong personal constitutions (for example, somebody who is always preaching about how the death penalty is a good thing until somebody they know and like ends up on trial).  I know plenty of religious folks who do live by the word or their tenets, but I know too many that do not.

Overall, I believe we humans are pretty weak.  I believe we're still mostly animal, but I'm encouraged because I know we have the power to love, forgive, and, assuming normal psychological health, to empathize with our fellow human, regardless of their race, sex, oreintation, religion, or any other quality that would warrant a label or category.  As I get older, I'm losing a little bit of heart and become less defensive over my general belief system which I would normally defend pretty rigorously since it took a lot of reading and thinking and note-taking to arrive at what I believe is an accurate reality.  I couldn't possibly sell that exact reality to everybody because they took different notes, did different reading, and had different thoughts, say nothing of genetic and environmental differences or early-life influences (such as being brought up by parents of a certain religion or political party).

One thing I do know is that the ultimate freedom for the mind comes only when you can truly think for yourself (those who don't have this yet are either ditto-heads or are constantly in search of a perfect leader to lead them), but the freedom of the heart, if you care about others, is only gained when you move the haters away from this sensitive thing that you love with.  I'll treat my heart like a small, warm fire that I only let the kindest, purest, most honest people near, and I know a lot of them, so we'll have to pack in tight already, but the dark and cold personalities will have to just stay out in the dark and cold, where they like it.  If you let them near your fire, they'll just pee on it.  

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When Cops Kill

Do you think you are a fair-minded American?  Listen to this story real quick:

A cop has pulled over a 20-year old male who has no license plate on his car.  The rap music coming from the car is so loud the cop has to cover his ears as he approaches the car.  "License and registration, please!," he yells as the man rolls his window down.

"Here you go," the man says, handing some papers out the window.  The cop says, "Do you realize you don't have a tag on the back?  Your rear license plate is missing."  The mans says, "Aww, naww, it musta fell off somewhere.  It's one on the front if you wanna look at that."

The officer confirms the front does have a plate, which matches the registration and the man on the license.  He goes back to his cruiser to run the man's plates and name to check for warrants.  He gets a hit on his computer that the man has a warrant for felony assault out on him.  He calls in to the dispatcher to tell them he'll be making an arrest.

He steps back up to the man's car and says, "I need you to step out of the car and place your hands behind your back."  The man pulls out a handgun and shoots the officer 7 times, killing him instantly, and speeds away.  He is never caught.

The question is: how do you feel about this?  Please take a minute to think about it.  What should happen to the man?  What about the officer's family; how should they be taken care of?  Should policies change instantly?

Now, if you were imagining the cop as white and the suspect as black as most people do, reverse it.  Black cop, white suspect, same story.  The difference you felt when you did that (or reversed it from whatever you had imagined) is what racism is.  It's really that simple.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twas the night before Christmas, and some fads have gone wrong

The English part of me that really loves the language has been baking on something for a while  There is this saying going around--was made even more popular in the video game Far Cry 3 but has been going around for probably ten or twenty years now--that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

All one really has to do is think about it for a few moments to realize that that's silly.  That's the definition, maybe, of stubbornness.  Maybe it's the definition for unintelligent, misguided persistence.  But not insanity.

No, insanity is far more complex.  Repeating the same action over and over and expecting a new result is fine.  Can you imagine the first person who began using a sharp rock to chop down a tree?  He should have stopped chopping after the first couple of times, shouldn't he have?  Unless he was insane?

What's alarming is that I saw this very incorrect and really unintelligent sentiment recently used on a political post.  I could normally let something like this go, because I don't expect a sentiment like this to gain traction, but it has.

So here is the true medical definition of insanity: 1. Persistent mental disorder or derangement. Not in scientific use.
2. Unsoundness of mind sufficient in the judgment of a civil court to render a person unfit to maintain a contractual or other legal relationship or to warrant commitment to a mental health facility.
3. In most criminal jurisdictions, a degree of mental malfunctioning considered to be sufficient to relieve the accused of legal responsibility for the act committed.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can get back to being smarter than taking pop-definitions as the gospel.  Have a happy holiday and great new year!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Where in the world is Kevin SanDiego?

A quick post to let you know I'm alive.  I'm putting most of my energy into my radio shows and writing has taken a back-burner position, but don't worry if you were waiting for my next novel.  I was born a writer.  When I'm writing, I feel like I'm doing what I was created for.  I just needed a break from it after putting out four novels and writing two more that have yet to be published.

For those interested in the radio show, which focuses on capital-T Truth, please check it out.  It has been picked up by iHeartRadio!  I do two shows; the one picked up by iHeartRadio is called Truth on Tap.  The other show I do is about the Washington Capitals and is called Caps on Tap.  Both shows' Facebook page is and you can hear the shows on both Spreaker and iHeartRadio at the links below: