April 5, 2007

concrete jungle

extreme isolation is a cruel form of punishement. humans define themselves most clearly by their relationships and

interactions with other humans. this is a way of placing yourself in a certian community. i am in several comunities

ranging from the U of M to small rarther small circles of friends to various other casual aquantinces or coworkers. if

all of this was stripped away i would no longer be a stundent. i would no longer be a soccer player. it is hard to

say even what i would be beyond perhaps a human being whatever that means. this is one reason why isolation is

so hard to endure. you are simply left alone with the question who am i. extreme isolation either due to punishment

or misfortune is known to regularly drive people mad. even for the best adjusted person it is no easy thing to

endure. isolatoin has even caused animals in zoos to lose the will to eat. mankind as a whole is slowly becoming

isolated. it is indeed rare that i ever hear a noise made by anything besides humans or machines. it is rare that i see

anything that has not been made or dramiticly changed by humans. we have some grass and trees but they seem

to exist only because we allow it. also they are dwarfed by the massive buildings making them seem inconsiquental

when compared with humans granduer. even the animals hardly seem wild as the squirrels eat our trash and the

turkeys walk on our streets ignoring us for we our no longer a threat and hardly even a concern. mankind by

building up his cities has slowly placed himself alone with his own creations, just like a prisoner in a cell. as this

goes on less and less do we even know what it means to human which is the fundemental society to which we

belong. this is danger inherent in our seperation, we risk losing our identy which we might have even kept on a

dessert island.

March 22, 2007

gentlemen

gentlemen, he uses this phrase over and over in his adress to the senate. this seems ood given how informal the rest

of his adress is. why does he call them gentlemen? given the somewhat ironic tone he used it reminded me of one of

my junior high teachers who whold refer to us as gentlemen. our teacher would call us this usally when were acting

not at all like a gentleman should. it was while polite and formal yet harsh ironic critque of our behavior. the speach

seems to talk that tone. i can just imagine him stress the word gentlemen changing the emphasise sometimes to make

the word stand out more. how each time he said it the irony and the plea must have dug into the senators. other

parts of his speach have a similar feel. when he says they also drink pepsi and wear shinny running shorts. you

can just he the scorn in his voice. this is a carefully chosen mental picure is delivered in a flipiant manne. this makes

it all the more poignant. while it is not always an effective way to convince people this speach is masterfully

crafted with a certaint harse irony which only drives the point home harder

March 7, 2007

global warming?

is the world warming up? if so is it being caused by humans and what can we do about? this is one of cheif the

questions facing my generation. it is hard to form a consensous. climitology is in exact science. how acurate are

mesurements based of soil samples and tree rings? while the amount of CO2 in the air has and is increasing and while

it does trap heat does this even show up when compared to the effect global winds and solar flares have? the earth

has endured massive climate changes before without human intervention why should we assume that this one is

our fault? if global warming is actually our fault what actions can we take? these our some questions which need

to be probarly adressed before a consensous can be made. the reson these questions are not answered is

because the problem has become political. so i has become involved in massive smearing campain of both sides.

even if there is the science that we need we will not accept unless its add campain works. its beause cool to talk

about gobal warming. which makes it all the harder to believe them. i have listened to William Steger talk about the

shrinking of the glaciers, the death of the polar bears, and caribou leaving minnesota and going north. I do not think

he is lieing hes seen it. yet i still see very little good science which understands this global warming or what we

can actually do to make it better. until i see this science i will remain unsure as to what is happening and what we

should do about it.

February 28, 2007

grizzly man

is this really enviromentlism, going out and living with wild bears? it is easy to citize the grizzly man. what he did in one

sense was very foolish and he ended up dieing for it, along with his girfriend. he seemed to try and treat the animals

almost has if they were humans. despite the fact that he called himself the defender of grizzly bears most of his

actions seemed motivated by a desire for fulfillment not actually changing anything. these are just a some of the

critisisms heaped upon this man. also you could look at his personality the way he talks and thinks and somewhat

justifiedly ripp the poor man to shreds. yet despite all that i can not help like him. he actually loves what he does.

how many people can you that of? he would live for months more or less by himself out in the woods without any

way off leaving until the plane came back. he spent the rest of his time trying to instill his love of nature in others

mostly children. he was not doing for the attention he was doing because he loved it and because thought it

helped the bears and the wilderness. he died for a cause he believed in. he may have deluded. he may not have

really even had a cause. never the less he was will to die for his cause. he lived his life in nature and tried to show

its beauty to others. compare that to what most people waste their lives on and how can you really critize him.

February 22, 2007

science and enviromentilism

some enviromentalists will tell you that science is what is at the core of the current eniromental movement and

legistlation. there is certianly some truth in this. pollution is taking its toll on our world. our world looks like it is warming

up and we our at least somewhat contributing to it. so enviromentlism is at least somewhat behind the enviromentlist

movement. however who makes the actual changes. politiacans and business men. most business men will not due

anything unless they can use it in good marketing or public relations, the market for which ussally does not out way the

cost. politicans our answerable to the voters so they will try to keep them happy. to do this you need the apperance

of progress not actual progress. this leads to real problem it is not science that is really behind the movement.

scientist now have something which they are supposed o find. also politicans and others want quick fixes. so

often times things that our bad for the envirement are replaced by something just as bad. little study is done to see

what the new change will do to the envorment. sometimes things which are not doing anything are stopped our

made more diffuclt to use because some study said so. it is not really science which is at the core of the

movement. it is the appreance of science.

February 15, 2007

gentic engineering

should we engage in gentic engering? if so how should we do it? this is one of the main questions facing america right

now. with a quick look at what can be gained the answer seems yes. we can create more resilant more bountiful

harvests. tomatos no longer need die in the frost. salmon can grow much bigger in a fraction of the time as before. we

are simply perfecting are control over the world. just like we learned how to make concret now we have learned how

to make plants an animals suit our needs so much better. why shouldn't we do this?

some geniticly engenered fish got in the wild and soon given thier supeor size and growth speed began to destroy

the previous population of fish. corn geniticly engeenered to kill parsites also killed butterflies. the current

ecosystem is a delect balance. can it survie if we keep introducing new species that our bigger better and

stronger? we risk destroying or perverting life on this earth to make your fruit a little sweeter a little harder to kill.

man has lived off normal food why do we need it now?

that is the voice that kills progress. with some estamites of how easy it would be to create food, we could cure

world hunger. world hunger. are you going to walk up to the starving child in africa and say you could have fead

him but we did not grow the food because we were afriad of the big bad genticly engineered monster? go say that

to the child as he starves. see what he thinks

be honest we do not do this to feed the poor but to make money.

even if that is so food needs to be eaten and surplus crop would make it availble. your worries are pointless even if

we do have some effect on the ecosystem it can adapt and evolve to make it work. especially sense we could

manipulate things to help it out.

you wish not change nature nature but recreat it.

so what if that make it better?

remeber a mans reach exceeds his grasp. a mans reach exceeds his grasp

February 7, 2007

David Abram Magic

David Abram talks about the difference of perception in cultures. looking at the wording he uses when talking about

magic. among the westerners he refers to them as slight of hand tricks. where out east he say that local magicians

reconized him as having a rudimentry skill of in altering the common field of perception. the westerners are focused

almost soley on the trick. how is the question the ask. how did he find the card? how did he make the bird disapear?

the focus is all on the trick. the hope is that it will be so subtle that it if only for a moment mystfies them. in the easter

tradtion it is not about the trick but about the magicians control over the perception of his audiance. they understand

magic not as the trick or the colored fire and thier haunting chants but in their ability to control what the audiance

sees and thinks. it is not the trick but the actor that makes you see a ball disapear. this mindset is carried into other

things as well like science. in western culture it is all about how does something work. once we find an answer

we then ask the same questions of the answer. is it possible that through the obession with the intracet dna

structure we miss something anout life. just like the audiance wondering only where the secert compartment is fails

to understand that it is magician not the trick that makes it work.

February 1, 2007

heaven and earth in jest

heaven and earth in jest is a work filled sith vivid images. right from the start she writes in such away that you can

not help but see it in your mind. what you see is gritty, dirty, intense and real. i feel like i could paint a picture of the

events she describes and they would both be accurate and dramatic. she writes this way because she is trying to

give you a sense of her stream thought as she interacts with nature. there is something refeshing in her look at

nature. often nature writers will paint a picture of nature as a happy serene place were everything lives in peace.

Annie Dilard understands that much of the beauty in nature comes from its calusness it coldness and its conflict.

nature is not peaceful inactive existance. it is the impasioned vigorous struggle to survive and reproduce in a world

that seems indifferent to our existance. life is short it is like a flash but it is no less beautiful for that. its very fragile

nature makes it all the more beautiful in some ways. like a flower that grows in the himalaya's which may only

bloom for one day. what is delicate thing doing in such a harsh climate? yet it lives and it existance is beautiful. it

displays seeming inherent defience in life. as if these flowers will is so strong that they will live if even only day

and so they live on high up on the mountian side.

January 25, 2007

walden 01/25

In walden henry david thoreau is attempting to find a purpose to his life by going out into the woods. what does he thihnk he will be able to find alone in the woods that he can not find in a city? thoreau has realized that much of the hustle and bustle of ordinary life is contrived by society. we regulate our lifes by the minutes sometimes even seconds. the fragementation of time is a human invention. humans live trapped in this imaginary cage they have constructed to chain themselves in. they look to clock to see what they should be doing. also thoreau realizes that in our current society people produce an excess to their basic needs. this excess is primarly squander on petty comforts and meaningless vain destraction. this excess is not put towards anything useful. it does not better either the indivaul or the society. so why do people work so hard to attain it? thoreau's answers is that their present society is fundementaly flawed. so to escape its evils he must leave the society. if he has to leave the society where else can he go but the wilderness.
So if thoreau is really trying to leave society why does he buy things from a store? why do his friends come to visit him? why does he write a book to published in society? these do not seem like the actions of man who wants to leave society. the answer to this question starts with the fact that he is not mearly interested in self improvement. thoreau would not be content with going into the woods living his ideal life and dieing if it had no effect on the outside world. thoreau wants a comunal awakening. thoreau wants all his neighbors to live just fully as plans to live. given that is final goal he can not totaly leave society.