Saturday, March 21, 2009

NPR - Heisenburg and rationality

I was reading the various forums I do routinely and on one someone raised the application of Heisenburg's Uncertainity Principle and change. Heisenburg's principle has been applied, and sometimes falsely or badly adjusted or adapted, to other applications, and although it really doesn't apply as this person defined it, it does lend the idea to other ideas about change.

The idea here is that while we are undergoing change, can't we know everything about the change. We are both the change and the observer of change, so our own presence effects each independently and still interacts with each other. It's really just human nature. But it's also when we're trying observe and even control change that we can't be separate from the change itself, because we are the change too.

Now I'm confused, or sometimes, because that's the issue. In our confusion we can't see what we don't or can't know. Like that we could otherwise? Maybe not. Ok, probably not, but we might be able to understand what the limits are of what we do and can know than be confused and not know where the limits are in our perception, thinking and understanding.

But then this leads to the idea of bounded rationality.

This idea means we make decisions using a frame where we see all the information we want inside the frame (bounds) and ignore everything else (outside the frame) as irrelevant, unimportant or unnecesary. And then we make a "rational" decision based on the view of that, what's inside the frame. This again is human nature, and especially seen in people who deny the existence of reality because it doesn't fit their model of the world and life.

With change, however, bounded rationality, creates a false view of things, because we can't see or don't see what's outside the frame that could easily effect our change or is a part of our change. And going through change, this can be disasterous or lead to disasterous results, neither of which we saw because it wasn't in our frame of view.

We simply didn't see it.

We're not only blind to the world outside our frame, we're also ignorant of information and especially answers or solutions to our questions or problems. We simply can't do what is entirely possible when we bind our view of the world with our frame. The frame we so much want to be the world is only our world, far smaller than reality.

And in missing the whole of reality, we're denying ourselves. But the reality is also that we simply can't see the world and expand our frame to any size to see all the possibilities. We have to keep the frame manageable to stay sane and gives ourselves a view we can understand. That's the reaily of being human.

And this is where Heisenburg would apply in the sense we can't know about where we're at and where we're going simultaneously with good reliable information to see the whole view. Something has to give and we'll make those choices, consciously or subconsciously, to fit the world into the frame we want, but not necessarily we need.

We can, and more than likely will, make choices which excludes information we should or could need and use. But since we don't know what that is, it's hard to know what information should be within our view, our frame, of the world and reality. We have to accept that our decisions and subsequent actions won't be fully informed ones", and made with less than complete or perfect information.

The key is to be flexible with our view, the frame, of the world to find the optimium and realistic information, knowing it's always a dynamic balance between heisenburg and rationality.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

JMO - It never fails

Update at end of this post.
Effective January 1, 2008, this year, the state prohibited text messaging while driving, and effective July 1, 2008, they prohibited holding and using cellphones while driving restricting useage to hands-free cellphones. But a day doesn't go by since July 1st that I don't see someone driving while holding their cellphone, even now over 4 months later. And I still see drivers text messaging, usually now while stopped at light.

But that's still illegal. Driving means sitting in the driver's seat while the car is on public roads. The law doesn't allow it while stopped on the road, only while parked off the road on the shoulder or in a parking spot. So, what's not to understand? I don't know but since it's a secondary offense, meaning you can't be stopped for this offense, only after stopping for another ofense and adding these to the ticket.

Even every day this week driving around where I live I saw at least one driver holding and talking on a cellphone while driving. And one was text messaging at and between stop lights. I've seen the whole range of drivers, even commercial drivers. The company can't afford them a hands-free device? And worse still almost every time I get on the highway or Interstate, there will always be one driver doing 60+ mph and talking.

This means people who don't want to be bothered to get a hands-free device for their cellphone really don't care about the law. They know it's illegal, and the two times I've called people out - and yes, I always waited until we were at a light and it was safe and convenient to talk to them, I've gotten angry responses, like they were offended I tried to tell them it's illegal. After that I stopped pointing their stupidity out.

In the end, it's only goes to show human nature, and it never fails to show me stupidity is still alive and well in drivers.

Update, December 11th,-- I had to go to Seattle for the day and driving there, around and back I tallied 8 drivers with cellphones stuck to their ear, two drivers text messaging, and one driver checking her blackberry. And it was across the spectrum of people and cars, so stupidity is alive and well in every class of society.

Update, March 18, 2009.-- and true to form, ever since the last update there isn't a day go by when I'm out running errands or on trips around the Puget Sound, I don't find at least one driver using a cellphone while driving, sometimes just getting out of my local side street. And all too often I see half a dozen during slightly longer trips and a dozen or more on trips to Seattle, even in and around Seattle.

People just don't want to learn and accept being responsible drivers with us on the road.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A moment

Around here, south Puget Sound in Washington State, March is an interesting time as storm cells travel through, often dumping heavy, intense rain for a few minutes before moving northerly. And in the path, after they've passed over my place, for a moment we see the trailling rainbow if the sun is out. And if I'm lucky, the end hits the earth just outside my window and I can take photograph from my deck.

And capturing these gifts from nature takes the old fashioned being at the right place at the right time. I'm sure people in the area also saw the tralling rainbow, but there's likely wasn't mine, as mine wasn't theirs. But that's irrelevant, as it's still a rainbow. And in a moment they're gone. Ahead the rainstorm. Behind the sunshine. But for a moment, this.

What's not to like about a passing rainstorm?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

JMO - Internet Forums

I don't think anyone can disagree with the idea that Internet forums and all the associated features and tools are a bad thing. They've managed to bring together many people in the world with similar interest, or living with similar circumstances or in similar situationis. That's the beauty of them, but it's also the potential problem with them when they become political and shut out the voices who question and voice dissent.

You see the advantage of establishing your own forum is that you are king and dictator. It's yours to think, decide and act as you want without being held accountable. You can praise those you like and you can punish or abolish those you don't like. You can control what you want to hear or not hear. And that's what's lost on many, honesty and openness.

You write your own Terms of Service (TOS). forum policy and user rules. You can also ignore them for individuals who do violate them but you consider them a friend. You can interpret them wrongly when you dislike some for raising questions. It's the old story if you go searching for violations and don't find any you can simply interpret those you find and act as if they're true.

It's a percieved truthfulness which is really a falsehood. You're simply lying to yourself and deceiving your own values. And it becomes obvious so people learn to be politically correct, and if they want to dissent, they just skate the margins then back off to agree it's not a good thing. In short, truth and reality get lost.

And there are many forums like this because they want to foster a "community" of like-minded people and dispeal those who disagree. It's the Internet gated community. The owner can say, "I'll let you be a member if you agree with me, don't criticize or question me, and don't argue with those I like despite what they say."

At that point I've learned this lesson recently when I did exactly that, question the application of the policy and expressed a view different than the owner. She quickly dispatched my account into the byte bucket as she did another person the day before.

I'm not sure it would fair to name this forum or the owner, because the whole greater community likes to think of themselves as a united, inclusive community, but it's not, not even close. Many people have long left for personal interests but many leave because of the attitude that to stay you have to accept their rules without question. So they walk away, never to look back.

And that's what I've done. I've worked for people like the owner of this forum. Her heart and mind may be in the right place but her vision is blind. And that's always a dangerous thing, self-delusion is handy if you want to be blind, but it's not when you apply to others.

Rather than embrace disssenter and conduct open and honest discussions, many forum owners prefer the opposite, close ranks and narrow the tone to a rhetoric, and then only alllow dissent from friends because they're part of your forum. But they don't understand it's about the old adage,"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."

Dispatching your enemies from your world only creates more of them because they have voices too and they can speak out about you and your forum where you can't reach let alone touch them. And you gave them the ammuntion to argue against your oppression and hypocracy. They can shine the light to you and your forum.

Should I disclose the name of the person and her forum? Maybe some day, but for now she can sit in her small world and believe she's better than us and doing a good thing for and with the community. Except she's not. She's only fostering a closed knit, discriminating Internet community as small as the small town she lives in.

I like to wear the old fashioned button, "Question Authority." I wear it with pride, even though it's long battered and worn. And I'll keep wearing it with pride whenever and wherever I see a reason.

Monday, March 9, 2009

JMO - Earmarks

Dear Republicans.

With respect to the Omnibus Bill in Congress with all those earmarks you whine about, half of which are yours, I have a word of advice, "Shut the fuck up!"

During the twelve years you controlled Congress and especialy the eight years of the Bush administration, your party went nuts with earmarks, at least twice the current number in this bill. And that was every year you were in power. What right do you have to bitch or whine about the Democrats and their fewer earmarks? NONE!

Do you want people investigating your history of earmarks from 1994 to 2006 and especially 2001-2008? Think about it. You would look very dumb and stupid for all your clamor about the recent list of earmarks. Is that what you want? Keep it up then. Otherwise, shut up.

JMO - Bush Years

I've been reading about the debate whether or not to investigate the Bush years, revisiting old issues such as the War in Iraq, illegal surveillence, torture, no-bid contracts, corporate contract fraud and abuse, and on and on. There are so many, you can pick one and still be a winner.

I'm a supporter of any investigation into any issue of the Bush years, and I'm glad to hear when the Democrats and Independents argue to do that. I really like the idea of investigating the Justice Department lawyers. I want to hear the whole story, how the Bush administration through the Attorney General to obfucated the laws protecting people's rights in the name of fighting terrorism.

And we know that excuse is a fraud. It's the same excuse law enforcement agencies used for the illegal surveillence and secret silent warrent programs and laws. That's because while they were used these to investigate possible terrorists they're investigated for more innocent people. Studies have show that at least 95% of the use of these programs were used with non-terrorist cases and on innocent citizens.

And that's American citizens. You and I. For no reason other than the agents and lawyers providing "evidence" and spectulations of wrong doing. Never a criminal act, just suspicions which rarely lead to anything, and even then usually minor criminals charges. To date no American citizen has yet been convicted and sentenced for terrorism under these programs.

Remember it's about committing acts of terrorism. All the cases to date have been arrests of individuals or groups speaking or suspected planning acts. Yet, the post-arrest information shows always the lead or principal voice in those groups were FBI undercover agents. Yes, the FBI instigated group to plan terrorists act to arrest them. In one case the FBI actually provided the money, logistics, materials and training before arresting them.

And now I want Congress, despite my less than noble opinion of politicians I have, to investigate these programs and really ask the questions. Remember the Nixon Impeachment hearings? Yeah, questions like they asked, not what we're hearing now, ones of couched and coached so the respondent can answer with impunity because it's a meaningless question.

I'm one who wants the truth and reality out there for the record and I want the member of the Bush administration to be answerable to Congress and the American people, the very people they distrusted. We're owed an answer and we're owed our chance to retribution.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

JMO - Politicians

Why politicians suck. Let me see...

They sell their loyality. They leave their ethics at home. They've never been honest. They've never spoken the truth. They don't understand reality. They use their morality to discriminate. They promise and then forget they did. They never asked the right questions because they don't want to hear the answer. They never had any humility. They're arrogant beyond belief. They'll lie to get your vote.

And that's their good traits. Ok, a little too rough, but really, not far from the truth more often than not. It's the reality of politics, but it doesn't mean any politician has to sacrifice themselves in the name of success. It's just seems to be the nature of the game we have here in the US.

We didn't invent it, it's as old as man when they learned to live in communities. It's not just in the high circle of politics, it's pervasive everywhere, from the smallest local community organization to the Congress and the President. It's simply human nature to play the game, because in the end, it's all about power and control, and upward, it's about the money.

And yes, it's a rant, especially about the recent episodes of the Republicans in Congress being stupid. And some Democrats too but for now they're less so much being stupid as dumb. And there are the rare exceptions, even in Congress, Representative Kucincich comes to mind.

Why the sudden outrage. It's not sudden, just vocal and lisening to the talks about the Stimulus Package. Everybody in Congress seem to have an agenda but also everyone seems forgetting what this country and nation is about and who they represent, the American people.

Which I don't understand since they're spending our money, either now or in the future, but they're acting like it's there personal money and they have every right to bitch and moan about it. Sometimes they're just better keeping their mouth shut, like Mark Twain said, "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."

Ok, I'll shut up too now.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

NPR - The lost year

We don't lose years in our life, just the memory of the year(s). And over times, even the snippets of the years we do remember get lost or disconnected in our memory. In many instances they're still there, just not memorable except on rare occasions when triggered by some person, event or thing, or in our dreams.

But that's another issue, I talking about a year when all your best laid plans and goal are set aside by the vagaries of life something which internvenes and changes everything, and then invades your psche to remind us of the randomness and fragility of our life, and try as we can to achieve our goals and keep it on track, we lose it. Simply lose it, lost forever in the past, and when we get back to where we're good, it's like a reset button.

I've had such a year and hopefully, as we always through the times and events like this, I'm back to square one again. I didn't collect anything but memories I'd rather not had and now keep, if only to recite to medical professionals the sequence of events which transpired and took the year away. Memories I hope some day to forget, or at least fade into something I think I remember but can't quite be sure anymore.

And the year?

It wasn't a serious sequence of events. Far from it. It was just enough. It started the week of St. Patrick's Day last years when I went to an appointment earlier in the week and to photograph the parade. At the appointment, the professional mentioned she had the flu or something but only recently went to her naturopath for treatments.

That should have been a hint to exit quickly, but I didn't and the parade was cold and rainy, and by the following week it started. My digestive system shutdown, completely. And over the next six months it rarely barely worked for more than a few days over a week or so. On top of that, any food created its own set of problems and issues.

And then it started to improve until around Thanksgiving it crashed again, not to start to get better until January, and since then has slowly improved, and is mostly back to some sense of normal. As irritating and as frustrating as it was, especially when the medical tests found nothing and so they couldn't or wouldn't prescribe anything, it literally wasted a year.

While getting back into a fitness regime after a hiatus for another health issue, I've lost a year of exercising beyond walks. And being in my late 50's that's not good news for it makes the exercise plan now harder just to get back to where I was a year ago and then improve beyond that.

So, a year lost over a stupid intestinal problem. A moment in time lost a year. And while everything else went on as usual, it was a lost year for the problems, the appointments find the non-answers, and lost fitness. We all get these periods in our life, and we're lucky if they're not serious and short. And for many they're not, and I'm grateful.

But it's still a lost year.

Monday, March 2, 2009

JMO - Inheritance

If there is one reason for same-sex marriage, which I've more than written or spoken my opinion, but to reiterate, it's very simple. All other things being the same, meaning all the criteria necessary for two people to get and be married, any two people regardless of their sex or gender should have the right to marriage. It's about equal rights. That's not hard, it's human values and common sense.

And note I say, all other things being the same, meaning all the criteria necessary for two people to get and be married. Is that too hard to understand? I'm not changing anything else, just the criteria regarding sex and/or gender. And I'm separating legal marriage from the religious recognition of marriage. That's also a simple idea, because only legal marriages matter. A religious marriage is nice but it's inconsequential in a court of law or regarding the legal rights of married people.

And this is why it's important. The famous photographer Annie Leibovitz has to pawn not only all her real estate but also to pawn the rights to her photographs to pay the inheritance debt left by her deceased partner Susan Sontag, see explanation. If they were married there would be no inheritance tax, but not being married, Ms. Leibovitz has to pay a 50% tax on the value of the inherited estate.

That's not fair or right in anyone book, and not in this country. People meeting the criteria for marriage should have the right to get and be married and enjoy all the rights, privileges and protections that provides and entails. We've all heard or read the tales of partners being denied access to or right for their partner duing important and critical times, such as emergencies, and this is another, inheritance.

So, do Annie Leibovitz a favor, buy a photograph or book by her. It's the least you can do to help and send a message.

NPR - A tooth update

Update at end

Original Post June 2008

I know, a toothy post. And yes, that's a polaroid of a molar, number 30 for all you dental aficionados, and that's a bloody tooth. My dentist discovered it last year when the original filling developed a crack and he found a cavity beginning to develop underneath the filling. When he drilled away the filling and surrounding tooth, he found blood-stained tooth tissue.

When he found it, and after saying it was the first time he's seen this condition and invited everyone in the clinic to see it, he said it's rare because there's no overt or obvious cause for the blood stain in the tooth. He said blood will leak into a tooth from the nerve canal or a crack in the root and always is the sign of tooth decay with soft tissue, but here there were no signs of leakage and it's solid tissue. The only answer seems to be that it developed when the tooth was formed, hardened with the blood stain, and then sealed itself.

He said the remaining tooth, root and nerve are fine and healthy, and I now have a lopsided cap on it. When I went back for the the permanent cap he said he couldn't find any other dentists who remember seeing a tooth like this one. It only goes to show you we all have our individuality, even it's buried in a tooth. And sadly tooth numer 31 has the same condition, a cavity under a 17-year old ceramic filling.

What's a dentist's favorite saying? "Get out your checkbook, this is going to hurt." And they don't mean just physically, but financially too.

Update, March 2, 2009. In December the gum around the tooth swelled up and appeared to become infected. A trip to the dentist didn't show anything wrong with tooth, such as a cavity, split crown, etc.,, and he suggested waiting to see if it got better, and considering my routine visit was in January, he could see if things had changed. Things did.

Comparing x-rays one and two years previous showed a significant density loss in the bone undernearth tooth (molar). So he had me see an Endodonic specialist (those root canal guys). The Endodonists suggested the root canal had an infection that somehow had spread to the bone and there was anyway of seeing let alone doing anything without a root canal. Well, considering the tooth felt just slightly loose, I said ok, Remember we're talking $1,500 (no dental insurance).

Well, all is done and fine. The root canal worked and found a small hole through the tooth into the bone, where and how the infection leaked into the bone. Now it's wait and see, but they said the bone should heal back to normal since the source of the infection is gone and the body will fight it and rebuild the bone density.

And the red dentine? Well, the Endodonist suggested it was from something tramatic with the tooth, but there is no indications when it happened, but he removed it to insert the filling. He's sending copies of the photos and report to my dentist to check and monitor the tooth over time and he'll see me and it in 6 months to check the results.

Or at least that's the story to date, one good tooth, with a root canal, a crown and a filling.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

NPR - Twitter

Even curmudgeons learn and get better. Ok, some of us and abeit slowly, we do still get there eventually. At our own pace. And so now I have a Facebook account and a Twitter account. Not sure what and where these accounts will go or what they'll do for me, but mostly I want to use them to link to my Mt. Rainier NP photo guide.

The problem is that I'm not a very social person. Never have been since childhood, and likely never will be. I perfectly happy working and living alone and doing what I want and like to do, which is photography, my fledgling photography business, my photography projects, like the photo guide (above) and the early history of Mt. Rainier NP, and anything else in life I find interesting.

I also don't have the discipline to stay focused on an topic for a long time, like say days, weeks or months, unless I really believe in the value and importance of it for myself and others, in which case I'm very motivated and disciplined to meet the goals and plans. Outside of that I like to see the world but not necessarily get too deep into the issues, from those of the day to those taking months to years.

It's the choices we make about our life. I just don't have the genes which necessitates being around or with people. I have the radio and Internet to stay connected, I just don't like the presence of people. I'm not alone here either, many people are alone people - note, not loners or lonely people, they're a different kettle of soup of psychological issues. Alone people are comfortable and satisfied with being alone, and rarely, if ever, feel lonely.

That's a key distinction, something media often misses confusing the two and confusing identiying people between the two. But that's another blog post. Here, it's about why I have a facebook and Twitter account. I don't really know, except a few friends have them and it's the only way to communicate with them outside of visits. So, I have to see where it goes, or not.

Anyway, that's the news of the day on the first of March, the month of transistion from winter to spring.