Advice: Dont evaluate your worth by comparing yourself to others.

One reason why so many people become depressed and fall into the practice of self-sadism is because they have not cultivated a sense of self-worth. They cut themselves up inside for not being as rich, smart, fast, or strong as another. This is akin to burning your own house down because it doesnt look as good or have as many rooms as the one across the street. You end up with no house and lament in the cold..jealous of the one still standing.

Instead of cutting yourself up, cherish your ability to transform yourself and your inner world. To use the dwelling metaphor again: You can paint your house and build on to it to suit your own needs. The only person that has to live inside is you. If you push yourself out of your own being in a paroxysm of self-dejection, where will you live?

It is important that people learn to love themselves. Your internal environment matters more than the superficialities we present as a measure of success in society. You live in your own mind and will die in it. Why not renovate?

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Man of sand has strewn his cities across the earth and sea.. Laughing at the gods so arrogantly as he tries to set himself free he says,

“I wont be ashamed of how Ive scorched the Earth..I wont feel a thing when the last crimson flower dies… I will to own the earth..the rain, the soil, the air I exist to question, but look what I have made of me.”

And so we climb ever higher seeking a tangible immortality, while building a technological advantage over each enemy ready to push the button any day.

As if to deny his contradicting nature man of sand still says, ” I wont be ashamed of how I’ve scorched the Earth, I wont feel a thing when the last crimson flower dies. I will to own the earth, the rain the soil, the air. I exist to question. Look what I have made of me!”

As the skies fall.. I witness eternity… Caught up in the expanse of the stars.. These stones lift the veil…

(your smallness has been shown and the universe is master of your will, how can you continue to offend the edicts of the stars?)

Still he does not accede.

“But I wont be ashamed of how I’ve scorched the Earth. I wont be ashamed when the last crimson flower dies. I will to own the earth, the rain, the soil, the air. I exist to question! (You exist to question?) But look what I have made of me! (Yes, look what you have made of you).

The 1968 assertion of the Kerner Commission which portends the eventual bifurcation of the American populace into two unequal societies (white and black), can be supported with socio-economic data.

To begin, let it be noted that economic inequalities for all racial groups are readily observed. For example, according to the updated 2005 study by G. William Domhoff, titled “Wealth, Income, and Power”, the richest 1% of the U.S. population owned 29.1% of the nation’s wealth in 1972, and this figure increased to 34.6% in 2007. This same study exhibited that only 15% of the nation’s wealth is (as of 2007) distributed to the bottom 80% of the population. These figures connote the existence of a dual society consisting of the exceedingly wealthy and the destitute. What might the ethnic and racial composition of this 1% reflect? Who might the bottom 80% represent? I found these questions interesting, but as of yet, the data answering them are not forthcoming.

But more pertinent to the question of socioeconomic disparities between white non-Hispanic and black and/or Hispanic populations is a 2010 piece issued by the Population Reference Bureau titled “Large Wealth Gap Among U.S. Racial and Ethnic Groups” which evinces the net wealth of white American families to be valued at $113,822, whereas the net wealth of black and Hispanic families are $8650 and $13375 respectively. These values reflect a huge inequality of private wealth between white and non-white populations. Also, racial minorities receive significantly less inheritance, insurance coverage, and high-paying job opportunities than whites.[1]

As impoverishment is positively correlated with criminal and/or deviant conduct, the logic leads one to believe that Hispanic and Black populations are on average more subject to being immersed in a social environment not conducive to the generation of wealth and prosperity than that of their white peers. The above notions have contributed to the development of the “underclass” concept which in itself, implies a “supra-class” tentatively consisting of rich, white people.

That these data of socioeconomic inequalities exists cannot be refuted, however debates perpetuate around the causal mechanism accounting for them. Is it racism? Is it poor civil administration? It is my opinion that no single criminological theory can explain the observed data. Rather, I think an eclectic approach to answering the question is needed in that a complex problem requires the expertise of many diverse fields of inquiry.

A surface argument in support of the Kerner Commission’s prediction goes like this:

Socioeconomic standing not only determines prosperity probability, but also one’s measure of political influence on policy decisions which may benefit or detriment a given population (minority or not). This idea is substantiated by a study published in the Journal of Perspectives on Politics (2014) titled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens”, this study was conducted with the objective of understanding the distribution of power in politics between average citizens (commoners), interest groups, economic elites, and mass citizen groups while simultaneously testing which political theory held true in American politics out of the following:

  1. Majoritarian Electoral Democracy
  2. Economic-elite Domination
  3. Majoritarian Pluralism
  4. Biased Pluralism

The study team’s methods for achieving the stated aims consisted of a statistical analysis of 1,779 surveys of the years 1981-2002 which solicited a for/against response of the citizen to a proposed U.S. policy. The data obtained were then broken down into an income distribution model that reflected the relative wealth of the respondents in all 1,779 surveys, ranging from the very poor to the highly affluent. So what were the results?

Though the affluent top 10% of the income distribution model made only $146,000 a year, it was uncovered that a significant correlation exists between U.S. policy decisions and the top 10% income earners. Therefore the authors of the study suggest that the imprecision of their affluent category representing true economic elites likely underestimates the impact of elite preferences on U.S. policy.

In conclusion of the study, the authors state that statistically the average citizen has negligible to no impact on U.S. policy decisions in comparison to the preferences of economic elites and/or corporate interest groups who enjoy a major influence on U.S. policy:

“Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination…”[2]

So now that it may be argued that economic-elites influence (and even manufacture) policies more than their poorer counterparts (including racial minorities), we can induce the supposition that racial minorities have even less political recourse to correcting their social institutions and therefore are impeded from creating a community more conducive to wealth equality and non-criminal conduct.

Overall, it appears to me that real prevention of the Kerner Commission’s predicted society can only be effected by addressing the political representation problem exhibited in the Princeton study. Our legal system is corrupted by money and the allure of power, and I contend this fact to be at least one of the root causes of the socioeconomic disparity existing between racial groups.

 

 

[1] Walker, S. et al. (2012). The Color of Justice. p104-107

[2] Gilens, M.; Page, B. (2014). Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Journal of Perspectives on Politics. p.564-569

What I have observed in modern ‘ninjutsu’ dojos typically constitutes a colorful reanimation of Japanese history (albeit quite dilute in many instances). This claim is not informed by an academic acumen steeped in the real history of Japan, but more a reason which perceives all history and historical imitations as dubious on some level.

There were no photographs, videos, audio recordings back then which could provide we of the modern world an exact representation of what life was like during the period of the ninja. We may recover their tools, clothing, and other artifacts, but are invariably left with scant instruction on how they may have been used (how could they possibly record every stratagem, tool, and its respective use?). We may read their texts, but no translation of an Eastern text can ever reflect the exact consciousness of the writer and language is a limited conduit to reality. We may yield to experts on history and glean some insight as to the nature of ninjutsu, but they did not ‘live’ during those times and are therefore ensnared in the same game of inferring history rather than deducing history.

Can we have correct knowledge on ninjutsu? Yes, to some degree. We can make reasonable assertions, informed by texts and other historical references, that a ninja was, did, such and such. But we must remain skeptical. This said, I will divulge to you that respecting ninjutsu, I am a pragmatist. I do not wish to adopt anything from ‘correct knowledge’ of ninjutsu that I cannot apply to my world. I live in the 21st century, with internet, thugs that tote hand-cannons and rapine about with combustion-engines, and an exceedingly different legal framework which dictates what I can or cannot do in effecting violence against an assailant. I cannot hack people down with a sword, run a clandestine intelligence network (though that would be interesting), or carry IED’s on my person to be used in the service of my province. I am not Japanese, nor do I live in Japan. What then, if anything can I derive from ninjutsu that is useful?

Answer: Principles

Principles give rise to specifics. From principles, real techniques may be devised for specific circumstances, regardless of time and locality. Principles offer the user flexibility to create his/her own responses to the basic and surreal threats of human existence that the shinobi was bound to encounter (i.e. death at the hands of another, flagrant war, covert operations to deceive the public as well as the enemy, etc.). For example, with the knowledge that shinobi were adept at exploiting structural and human flaws in order to bypass security, we may advance our own security awareness of contemporary flaws of the human sentinel and physical security.  Take for instance RFID card readers. There are now devices that are capable of ‘cloning’ an employee ID badge in order to trick the RFID reader, permitting unauthorized access to secure areas. A shinobi living today would not hesitate to learn of things such as this, for it was his job to know how to infiltrate.

Now, I do not claim to practice or teach real ninjutsu (in my text, in person, nor on my website). I claim a right to be informed by the nature of ninjutsu, insomuch that its principles are made evident. Here are a few things I am relatively certain about when it comes to ninjutsu:

  1. Ninjutsu was cerebral. It was not so much about how well you wielded a weapon, but rather, it was more about how well you could think on your feet.
  2. Referencing the Bansenshukai, the essence of ninjutsu may be found in ‘Seishin’, or the correctness of mind advised by Fujibayashi himself to be the only thing that distinguishes a ninja from a criminal.
  3. The above noted correctness of mind evinces the existence within the shinobi of an indomitable will. The will to persevere through ghastly trials, while adhering to this correctness of mind, is an attribute of the shinobi to be considered worthy of admiration.

In my life I do not wear a gi and move about in a dojo as if I am a retainer of some 15th century knowledge. I recognize my disparate relation to the historical past and therefore only emulate, adopt, and use those precepts and principles of ninjutsu that are still applicable to this world. Does this make me a ninja? That depends on who you ask.

What if Fujibayashi, Shigenori, or Natori Masazumi were alive today? How might they judge the character of an individual and deem it reflective of a shinobi? Perhaps this is the question of significance.

Undoubtedly the shinobi would do the following:

Hierarchy: Learn who holds power over what. He would likely scrutinize big business, the national government, and civil administration down to the local level. Why? Because a shinobi allied himself with the lord (or power magnate) who may have best served his ideals, community, and family as opposed to those that would pollute and denigrate all. Mind you Confucianism was big during the medieval period in China as well as Japan. Collectivist mindsets, such as what “benefits the masses” drove the shinobi in his affairs. He was loyal to those who promised order in the land, and he may even be thought of as one who cherished justice.

Martial Skills: Familiarize himself with modern combat, weaponry, and tactics. He would likely immerse himself in the new “teppo” characterized by machine guns, and long distance snipers. The shinobi may even delve into the art of intelligence as accorded by three letter agencies like the CIA, FBI, and NSA. But even those acting as basic information agents (also shinobi) would not hesitate to familiarize themselves with the internet and other document repositories that might yield valuable secrets. The battles during the Sengoku period were often fought with warriors bearing the significant weight of their armor, thus certain hand-to-hand techniques were necessarily conformed to this context. The shinobi in the 21st century would likely develop or practice a hand-to-hand system centered on modern attire and realities (i.e. he may study MMA, PPCT ‘Pressure Point Control Tactics’, or some other system of physical defense).

Law: Retain an understanding of codes and statutes. The shinobi are recorded to have participated in the apprehension of criminals (see the Bansenshukai). He acted as a bounty hunter and de facto law enforcement officer who was familiar with tactics for dealing with criminals holed up in a structure and even various methods for restraining (binding) the wanted (see the Bansenshukai). A shinobi, then, may have had at least a rudimentary understanding of the law.

Cultural Surveillance: Observe and emulate the culture. Reference after reference we can read how the shinobi was advised to study the province he would be operating in. Not only would he be compelled to learn the local dialect and colloquialisms, but his manners, subjects of conversation, and attire would match (or differ depending on the circumstances) those dwelling in the area. He knew how to remain anonymous by blending in.

Territorial Surveillance: Know the advantages and disadvantages afforded to operations by a given territory. A shinobi functioned in wartime (and peacetime) as a scout. He would typically know the ins and outs of any area he was operating in (see Shinobi Michi Fumiyo no Koto).

General Surveillance: Learn conventional tailing, and video surveillance methods. Some of the most intriguing motifs respecting the ninja include black clad figures who silently stalk their targets. The historical references are clear, a shinobi of the past knew how to tail someone on foot without arousing suspicion, be the setting in broad daylight or at night. A shinobi in the 21st century then, would feel compelled to learn how to use a vehicle for tailing his targets and video assisted surveillance for record keeping.

There is so much more but my fingers are getting tired.

I may add to this in the future, especially if some of you found it worthwhile.

All said, I will leave you with this. There is one particular principle of ninjutsu that is  most important for the shinobi of the past as well as those dwelling in the 21st century:

Never give up. Persevere through the fire. No matter what your trials in life are, teach yourself to hold on and be patient through the storm.

Ichigun Ichimi!

“The most important aspect of an energy resource is whether it takes more inputs of fossil fuel energy than the output energy returned, or Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROEI). So for a windmill, you’d look at how much fossil fuel energy was used to mine the iron, aluminum, concrete, to fabricate all the components, and so on to the delivery of the windmill, and subtract out the fossil fuel energy required to operate and maintain it. Basically, you need to find out if more fossil fuels are used in the full energy life cycle than what’s going to be delivered by the windmill over its lifetime. Even though this is the most important aspect of looking at alternatives to replace fossil fuels, I find that most people don’t understand this concept, or don’t want to understand it.” –Energyskeptic.com

Hello World (and fellow Nebraskans), are you aware that the EROEI for ethanol is only minimally useful to society?
“most ethanol EROI values are at or below the 3:1 minimum extended EROI value required for a fuel to be minimally useful to society.”

Why does this matter? Well, we have all jumped on the bandwagon of renewable energy with the notion that our energy “solutions” will negate the problems of peak oil, pollution, and saving the polar bears (that’s a good one Al Gore). But here is the reality, renewable fuels, short of fusion, will not maintain our current economic paradigm which has propped up civilization…especially when one considers that each time an energy solution is devised, people invariably use more energy (as observed with the Watt’s steam engine and the discovery of oil). See TechNO-Fix by Michael Huesemann

Think about it, would you feel compelled to drive less or more with an electric car? No duh! I’d drive more. This proclivity of the human species educes the shortcomings of techNO-fixes. New technology WILL NOT resolve our energy crisis (unless we develop a fusion generator that can contain and sustain the 180 million degree plasma necessary to slam nuclei together).

All energy ultimately comes from the sun, and it has taken eons upon eons for deposits of concentrated solar energy (i.e. oil, coal, etc.) to form, yet we may consume the whole of these finite resources in what equates to a few centuries! What are we going to do? Throw up solar panels everywhere? Nope…current energy demands require 144,000 sq. miles of solar panel arrays (which means less area for food production). Ok..so how bout wind? Same problem, not a high-enough energy output and the turbines occupy a lot of space. You can peruse literally any of the so called “renewable” energy solutions and not need to be a scientist to deduce that they will not support our current consumption habits. The U.S., for instance, holds around 5% of the world’s total population but consumes some 25% +,- of the world’s resources. Globalization is influencing other nations to raise their standards of living to reflect the status of the US.

Politics aside, you would be an idiot to presume an economic paradigm requiring infinite growth could somehow be immutably paired with a finite planet.

Green solutions will do nothing. Carbon taxes will do nothing. The election of Donald Trump will do nothing…Nothing at all to address the very real problem of energy and the global economy.

We are metaphorically ‘eating our young’ as they are bound to be bequeathed a mordant future of violence, fear, and uncertainty once highly-industrialized society decays.

Read. Ask questions. Grow your own food. Drive less. Walk more. Teach yourself and your children skills that translate to benefit in a post-industrial world.Not because you want to “save the planet” like a leftist hippie but because the future will demand this conduct once resources run dry…and they will (if the nations of the world haven’t annihilated each other over resources by then).

A disjointed post, but that is the nature of my process.
Synopsis: The Laws of Thermodynamics are inexorable and inescapable. Why do we not hear more news on this world crisis?

Later.

What do you possess that was not conferred by the society of which you are apart?

You didn’t choose your language; you didn’t choose your ethnicity; you didn’t choose your parents; you didn’t choose your values. Conditioning and biological predisposition has provided you these things.

How then, can you refer to yourself as a true “one”?

The truth is, you can’t.

All these “choices” are only potentiated once you have attained a certain level of cognition and self-autonomy. Therefore, you are from birth an inexorable pastiche; and eclectic composition of the social collective. This is important to understand.

An “individual” cannot exist without that which distinguishes it, i.e. the “collective”, a people, a culture, a nation, which itself cannot exist without many “individuals”.

We rely on each other to express our own individuality, yet, pure individuality corrupts the possibility of unification.

Hmmmm. I wonder then what we should expect from the currents of a diversity flood being fomented by globalism? What can a world of increasingly fragmented identity-groups possibly select as a unifying cause or value?

I do not know.

Perhaps an event is needed.

Global devastation? The specter of ecocide? Maybe some horrible, impending cataclysm? A terrorist attack?

Ramble…

The dark irony of this contemporary deluge of ubiquitous information is that despite our evolutionary adaptations that permit us to make sense of the world we find ourselves in, we are virtually inundated with too many talking points, political narratives, scientific data, sit-coms, movies, talk shows, podcasts, Youtube videos, Facebook memes and trivialities, the demands of a 40 hr work-week, self-care responsibilities and gym time, washing the car, maintaining physical relationships, and on and on and on, that we simply do not have the time or brain-space to make sense of anything at all.

Specializations of science have themselves become more specialized.

The depth and span of all educational inquiry has reached league-proportions.

The time one must spend to make a firm conclusion on any issue that finds its way into our minds throws off the will to pursue an answer.

I hear of climate change, for instance, and the talking head narratives for or against policy proposals to mitigate it. I am not a climate scientist. I do not have the time to collate and assess the data which may verify suspicions of anthropogenic global warming. So what do I do? Turn the tube off? Consume the propounded theories of these media figures? Rely on the assertions of the scientists in an appeal to authorities? Do they even know what they are talking about?

What about geonengineering, HAARP installations, and the multitudes of secret weather modification experiments performed on behalf of our military?

Are these factored into the issue? What about the variables of weather that we do not and can not know anything about because of their relation to matters of state security? How the hell am I supposed to KNOW anything of this issue at all, let alone any other? Yet, in a supposedly democratic society, it is my duty as a common citizen to conclude, take a side, and not perform the idle fist to chin thinking of a mugwumpIMG_0323.

Truly, as science expands at an unprecedented pace, and scientists or engineers blaze paths to new technological advancements beyond my comprehension, it is no wonder that the non-specialized/ common mind is increasingly inclined towards nihilism. I could supply you quotations from this or that respected author, but in the ultimate, it really doesn’t matter.

Nothing makes much sense anymore as the neurons of cortical matter delimited by birth are pushed to retain memory of inconsequential factoids rather than serve as a processor of information.

Even the ‘processor’ is pressed to its limits by the digital era. Studies….the all authoritative studies…have indicated a decline in cognitive attention spans to the point that we humans reflect qualities of goldfish. But that hasn’t kept us from using our “smart” devices. How comical that noun is.

Should you be reading this? Is it of any value to you at all? I don’t know. You tell me.

I am simply expressing the chaotic dimensions of epistemological inquiry as it relates to this cyber-dominated society. If you lament as I that the human race is without direction, then by all means continue to peruse my prose. But if you are one to denigrate the questioning which ‘made Socrates’…you have no place here.

Globalism, too, is threatening to devolve the human race. Its products, i.e. cultural migration, cultural syncretism, and cultural marxism, are all having their own foray at the flesh of society. Multiculturalism now equates with the absence of culture as “tolerance” demolishes the nuclear family, usurps the values which established prosperity for our ancestors, and brings men and women around to worship the state in absence of religion.

I tell you, nihilism has taken root, and it is not a nihilism of cold rationality but that of an oblivious people who are feebly seeking their own sense of “identity” in an incessantly changing world.

In addition to all this, I find it simultaneously strange and fortunate that our vast systems of empire have not yet collapsed under the weight of a directionless pursuit for material gain through the exploitation and subsequent plunder of our ecosystems.

To the universe, Atum, Allah, Jehovah, Great Spirit, Source, Mahavairocana, etc. I ask what are we to make of ourselves now?

IMG_0319

 

 

 

 

They don’t speak for you…They don’t care about you…They posit mendacity to obfuscate what is true…

Conditioned to believe in self-impotence: “Why should I be concerned? I can’t do anything about it.”… The salience of mind is drowned in an electric haze…

You didn’t choose the language you speak. What else do you blindly embrace?

Send victual to the flame, before the world annihilates it.

In the distant past, time was ‘slow’.

Presently, the world can’t seem to hold onto a moment.

In the distant past, there were less distractions.

Presently, we have been estimated to possess an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish.

In the distant past, people cherished the wisdom and triumphs of their ancestors.

Presently, we hardly know of our ancestors nor praise their ways.

In the distant past, humankind reflected on the nature of universal creation.

Presently, we make all attempts to quell notions of numinous origins.

In the distant past, men and women thrived in the absence of electric haze.

Presently, we can hardly imagine a world without it.

In the distant past, it was thought that world annihilation would be cast down from the hands of gods.

Presently, we have taken witness to the portent of annihilation by the creations of our own hands.

Change is, given enough time, inevitable. This is the principle of impermanence.

But it is undoubtedly bereft of sapience to believe all change is ‘progressive’.

Nihilism flourishes in the minds of our youth, the deluge of digital information has precipitated musings of existential crises, and ‘Kim’ has his finger on a button.

Some might pray for it to be pressed, while others scramble in droves to pull stock from grocery shelves. All this time we are missing the point.

To paraphrase Erich Fromm, ‘our minds have soared into the 21st century but our hearts remain in the stone-age.’ We do not know what to do with ourselves other than accumulate as much ‘stuff’ as we can, incessantly seek satiety for carnal appetites, and flaunt insipid indicators of status all before our lives are… extinguished.

We do not realize our impermanent natures, and our exhibitions most in need of change have escaped it.

In the distant past, we killed each other with clubs.

Presently, we still strike each other down in hate and fear.

In the distant past, we were ignorant.

Presently, we are still ignorant.

Why should these remain unchanged?

I am not one to generate content for the sake of….well…generating content.

I lead an existence separate from this digital world, so if you find my posts to be inconsistent or not forthcoming, I suggest you mull over some of the material in other subject categories displayed on the right.

I appreciate any input my readers might have, and wish to encourage debate and presentation of diverse opinions. So please, feel free to share your thoughts.

You are welcome.