Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Five)

After some small talk, Renn repeated that he wanted to exit our world as quickly as possible. We discussed how best to do that – it required the death of his physical body, after all – and I brought up the problem that he was seen by a number of people at the hotel, and that his death could make trouble for me. He shook his head “no.”

I’ll change my appearance. I’ve already begun, and in an hour or two I’ll look quite different.”

I hardly knew what to say, aside from an instinctive, “What?” Continue reading “Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Five)”

The Epiphanies of Youth

One of the most difficult facets of parenting is dealing with the epiphanies of youth, and particularly those following puberty. One one hand, epiphanies – moments of clarity, understanding and insight – are crucially important; they are the muscles and sinews of a passionate and productive life. On the other, this is a season of life especially prone to the over-extension and poor interpretation of epiphanies. Continue reading “The Epiphanies of Youth”

Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Four)

Roswell crossed my mind earlier in the day, but it didn’t last long. Navigating 1947 was intense, perhaps more intense than I’ve made it seem. Beyond being caught by the people I stole from (by far my most serious concern), getting stopped by the police for almost anything could have been a disaster. I might have bold-faced my way through it, but if not, I’d have absolutely no verifiable answers to their usual questions, especially, “Where’d you get all this money?” Continue reading “Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Four)”

With “Disinformation” Censorship Is Born

I deeply dislike that I have to make posts like this one, but they matter as we go through the present darkness. Ah well…

Disinformation,” the word of the moment, is nascent censorship: censorship as it’s first coming into existence. It’s the proverbial foot in the door, and once people use it, they become emotionally biased toward what proceeds from it… and what proceeds from it is censorship. Continue reading “With “Disinformation” Censorship Is Born”

A Third of A Century Into Global Warming

It was in 1988 that I first heard of global warming. Seeing that we had recently emerged from a decade-long cold spell, it came as something of a surprise. But I didn’t think much of it one way or another, as I had, by that time, learned to ignore the “pay attention to me” class.

The next time I really thought of it was a couple of years later, when I ran into Larry Abraham’s article on The Greening of The Reds. That caught my attention, and as I recall it got a lot of things right. Continue reading “A Third of A Century Into Global Warming”

Learning How To Learn

Of all the things that can be taught to children, one of the more important is learning how to learn. That is, being able to learn by themselves, unprodded and unguided.

Once a child knows how to learn, more or less everything comes within their grasp. But… the issue at the core of this is not the availability of information: quantity of available information is not a transformative thing. What actually matters is the ability to make information one’s own… to transform it, by action of the human will, into something internal rather than external. Continue reading “Learning How To Learn”

Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Three)

The flight I ended up with (there were only two) left at 6:44 PM, and since it was a propeller aircraft, it wouldn’t arrive in Vegas till late at night. And so I found an isolated spot to relax in, and hopefully to sleep. I was already tired from the entry ordeal.

I slept a little, but the airport was small and the terminal was narrow. Soon it was too noisy to sleep in. And so I rested a bit more, then found some coffee and reacquainted myself with the old Midway. Continue reading “Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Three)”

Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Two)

At 4:21 AM I was dressed in two pairs of socks, work boots, an old-style war surplus coat, gloves and a hat. I also found a fairly large duffel bag and filled it with my money satchel, two small, dirty blankets, and my little friend, who, upon further consideration, wasn’t really a dog, or at least not a proper Earth dog.

And so, dressed reasonably well and carrying a couple of extra blankets, I walked out the loading dock door, pulled it closed behind me, and oriented myself. I was on the back side of the building, and so I walked toward a street I could only glimpse. I felt my little friend burrowing into the blankets as we went. Continue reading “Return Engagements: Book Three (Part Two)”

Manners: Why?

Manners begin with an acknowledgement that we live in a tough world, and sometimes a tragic world. We teach and display manners to help each other through it. There have been many mis-uses of manners, and we’ll deal with those in a moment, but this much – helping each other through a difficult world – is the proper base of manners.

Think of how much in this world thrives on the abuse of human vulnerabilities. The vast bulk of public discourse, in our time, uses human soft spots as tools of commerce, tools of persuasion and tools of manipulation. All of that is, in the proper sense, bad manners. Continue reading “Manners: Why?”

A Twitter Mob Is A Religious Experience

I’ll be brief, but I want to explain how social media mobs provide people with a religious experience. Without this bit of understanding, I don’t think we can make proper sense of the new phenomenon.

To put it simply, social media mobs transmute painful emotions into a belief in one’s own righteousness. This is also what religious experiences do. Continue reading “A Twitter Mob Is A Religious Experience”