What Would You Die For?

Our title asks a rather uncomfortable question. But it’s also an important question for every adult to face… for young adults and even teenagers to face: For what would you risk a certain or near-certain death?

It is by answering such a question that we define ourselves as more than “intelligent meat machines.” Answering the question in any positive way defines us as deep beings… as transcendent beings. Continue reading “What Would You Die For?”

Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Eleven)

I got Renn back to McCarren Field on time, then drove back to the Flamingo and spent the rest of the day trying not to think about where he was and what he was doing… when he was dying.

The next day I took my truck to a couple of mechanics and dropped it off for a complete check, telling them that I’d have to drive back and forth to Reno a few times. They said it would be a few days, and I agreed. Then I went back to the hotel, feeling dazed and numb for that day too. Continue reading “Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Eleven)”

Don’t Worry About Bitcoin

There are, apparently, a lot of people who think Bitcoin is down for the count. Forget about that; Bitcoin is doing just fine and “the count” is just a sideshow.

I should probably say this more often, but Bitcoin is not a stock, not a bond, it’s not a company… it literally cannot go broke.

Bitcoin is a computer program. A brilliant one, in my opinion, but a computer program. The price of a bitcoin in dollars makes no difference to the operation of the Bitcoin program… none at all. This is simply not a thing that can go bankrupt and close its doors: There are no doors, there is no company, there is no boss… there’s not even a reset switch. Continue reading “Don’t Worry About Bitcoin”

Why The Prime Directive is Evil

I’ve been a fan of Star Trek since the original series was in its first run. I loved it. When The Next Generation came along years later (and these can be fighting words), I thought it was even better in some ways.

But there were a few things about TNG that rubbed me the wrong way, and the biggest of those was the Prime Directive. (It played a small role in the original series, but a large one in TNG.) I couldn’t define why it bothered me back in 1990, but there was something wrong about it it… something anti-human about it. Now, however, I understand, and perhaps you’d like to as well. Continue reading “Why The Prime Directive is Evil”

How To Love

Once upon a time, most Westerners learned how to love by sitting in church and listening to stories from, and exposition upon, the Bible. Regardless of sometimes mixed messages, this had its effects, and people did learn how to love.

That way of life, however, is mostly gone. In its wake, most Westerners have learned to see the world through dark lenses. And so a thousand decent and peaceful people may cross our field of view every day, but we don’t see them. We see, rather, the threatening, the corrupt, and those who act stupidly. This is something we need to get past. Continue reading “How To Love”

Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Ten)

Monday and Tuesday were intensive work days. Renn and I took things apart with tools that were too blunt for the job, but we succeeded well enough. (And I took more photos.)

Renn did find some malfunctions that would have preceded the impact (some kind of overload damage), but not enough, and not in the right places, to support any clear explanation. Continue reading “Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Ten)”

The Strange Drama of Julian Assange And Ross Ulbricht

Both Julian Assange and Ross Ulbricht have been condemned to frightening prisons: Assange for daring to expose the truth and Ulbricht for daring to build a free market. Legal vocabulary just clouds the issue; they’re in prison for truth and markets… and for acting on their own will.

Those of us who’ve paid attention know that “the law,” as applied to both men, was driven by the necessities of power: Assange was setup and the legal processes used against him were rigged. Ulbricht’s trial was manipulated and his sentence was based upon charges that were never tried.

These men, then, are martyrs… our martyrs. Continue reading “The Strange Drama of Julian Assange And Ross Ulbricht”

A Defense of 1950s Housewives

I believe that women are inherently as valuable as men and that impositions put upon them because of their sex are crimes. But I don’t believe this because of politics, I believe it because of experience.

Young people these days know, beyond any shadow of doubt, that women before 1970 or so were suppressed, deprived of education, and legally raped by their husbands. Questioning this dogma can be dangerous.

But I’m telling you the dogma is false. My mom, her friends, and many other women I knew were not dupes, cowards, weaklings, and victims. Whoever wishes to can hate me for this, but I was there and I know what I saw… and I will defend the women I loved. Continue reading “A Defense of 1950s Housewives”

For Important Decisions, Turn Off The Story

Humans have a complicated relationship with the stories they tell themselves. Sometimes they tell themselves stories to practice real-life situations, sometimes they go through “I should have said” scenarios either to improve or to wallow in their misery, and sometimes they tell themselves lies to make themselves feel better about something. And, of course, there are almost infinite variations.

I am aware that I don’t fully understand this subject… I don’t think anyone does. But I know we do these things. I can point to beneficial instances and harmful instances, but I definitely don’t understand everything that lies behind them. Continue reading “For Important Decisions, Turn Off The Story”

Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Nine)

We took the 4th of July off and relaxed, a lot of it poolside, reading and napping. Working would have come across as odd, and the one thing we didn’t want to do just then was to attract attention.

On Saturday (the 5th) we went to 20th Century Photo and set up our work area. Renn wanted to dismantle the craft and examine the components as well as he could. In 2021 he could have examined the micro-circuitry precisely, but not in 1947. I did have a magnifying glass among my assembled tools, but that would only go so far. (And some of the parts did appear to me as printed circuits, though they were different, more circular than rectangular for starters, and I can’t really be sure of even that much.) Continue reading “Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Nine)”