Today is my birthday and I turn fifty-two.
So what does that mean, for me or for you?
There’s not much about age that the math can provide,
Save the count of our years and its sting on our pride.
Here’s a little math trick on which you can chew,
‘Bout the momentous occasion of turning fifty-two.
The math is sound, and it is also quite true,
That at some point in time this math will apply to you.
Today is my birthday, and I turn fifty-two,
So what does that mean for me or for you?
Not much save that regardless of who you might be or what you may do,
The math at this point probably yields that I’m the older of the two.
In everyone’s life we arrive at a place,
Where we can no longer prevent wrinkles on our face.
We can no longer assume that with everyone we meet,
We are always the pup, the youngster on the street.
52 is the point where the odds shift the norm.
And they accomplish this with such curious form.
If we pay attention and listened while still being weaned,
At this point we’d savor the knowledge we’ve gleaned.
And if we’ve become wise and learned how to love,
We can share what we’ve learned and what comes forth thereof.
My twenties ran by, or rather they flew.
My thirties fit me like a comfortable shoe.
My forties made me ask if I’d learned what I thought I knew,
So, I leave you with this: good advice – served up in a tasty word brew:
Today is my birthday and I turned fifty-two.
So what does that mean for me or for you?
I choose to share what I’ve learned and hope that it’s true,
That you’ll do the same, when it’s your turn to be the older of the two.
We are all we have.
We can do better.
The systematic destruction of language and linguistics, particularly of the English language continues to progress and has recently made an appearance in the political arena. Recently the political issues regarding gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and trans-gender (also known as GLBT) rights, in particular the legality of same-sex marriage, have taken center-stage in the political news arena in the U.S.A. after a landmark decision by the Supreme Court.
In many of the seemingly endless and redundant articles and posts on the matter of the Supreme Court’s decision and the same-sex marriage controversy, the word homophobe has been used regularly, in fact, in terms of linguistics; it’s a wonder why homophobe hasn’t been officially categorized as a neologism yet. It’s been used as to describe a person who dislikes, hates or is otherwise biased towards the GLBT community in general and any individual member of that community in particular for a long time.
Let’s look at the term HOMOPHOBIA. It is made up of two root morphemes: homo-, in this case used as a common vulgar prefix referring to a homosexual (which is such a vulgar word) and the suffix –phobia which means -an extreme abnormal fear of or aversion. If we were to apply the rules of language to this combination, the term should mean someone who is afraid of homosexuals instead of a categorical title used to identify people who dislike, disagree or are biased towards the GLBT community. I guess nobody reads the dictionary anymore.
One more thing: Technically, a homophobe is a person who is afraid of anyone who is gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or trans-gender. To be scared of someone who is GLBT; isn’t that kind of totally gay?
Human beings are a trip. When will we learn that we are all we have and that we are a planet of humans and not a world made up of different kinds of people.
We can do better.
It appears that someone else has give “it” a name and assigned it a date. It is being called the “Fiscal Cliff” and apparently we are supposed to topple over it on January 1, 2013. Interesting. At least this gives some indication that there is a speck of sanity and an atom of awareness left in the human condition. It’s not a fiscal cliff, however, if we were to apply that metaphor to the actual world, we went over that cliff in 2008. After filtering out all of the “required modifications” to the language used, what is being called the “fiscal cliff” may very well be the bottom of the precipice that we have already fallen from (it is still incalculable to determine how far we will fall) and January 1, 2013 may be a probabilistic calculation as when we might hit that bottom.
It is simply insane that, at this stage of the process, all that we are capable of is to acknowledge the inevitable proximity of an unthinkable catastrophe and attempt to figure out when it will occur. All that is missing is to take bets and give odds as to the actual date for it to technically be lunacy.
It is a shame; and to think that preventing it from even occurring is so simple. All that we have to do is to realize that there is no spoon, because there isn’t.
I can’t let myself forget, even for an instant, that giving up is simply not allowed.
It is about time that we finally face this question, isn’t it? Shit and fan have already collided and the only unknown at this point is whether or not the splatter which covers everything will leave even the tiniest space to squeeze through or to make camp in. The few who try to speak about the issue are exactly that: too few and perhaps they have lost faith in the rest of us to do anything at all, even though they can clearly see what is happening and they are trying to do the right thing by following the natural, human instinct to DO something .
Our generation stands of the brink of the next, the biggest and very possibly the most important change in the human condition, ever. This is the first time in our collective history where all of us know where all of us are and how to communicate with any one of us. In spite of the bitter taste in our mouths which is the by-product of what we have done to ourselves, we are also waking up to something totally new and it is good and sweet. We all carry with us this new sense of us – the real us: all 6.8 billion of us give or take, not the very old and tired version of “us” based on political boundaries. If a sentence, an idea or even thinking includes an “us’ and a “them”, then that isn’t the real “us” because there is no “them”. We are all we have and we have such an incredible opportunity to restructure what we do and what we think we know into something that works, if we really want to. It is incomprehensible to look out upon our world and see almost everyone doing NOTHING about the only thing that really matters; the tiny speck of time that we are here, alive and human. The machinery that runs the day-to-day life of humanity fell apart completely and yet we don’t even ponder the significance of the moment. We simply watch everything that we think we know crumble around us and do what? Wait to see what happens? Hope that someone will figure out a way to fix the world that we created and which shatters our very humanity but which we refuse to let go of? There are enormous pockets of people everywhere who are angry, or terrified, or depressed or just plain lost, and not a one of us can spark a conversation which contemplates something different? Is it because what we are angry about is that “I never got my turn to enjoy money and success?” Is the thought that we might actually become inspired to do something new which would do away with money as we know it what terrifies us? Could it be that what we are depressed about is the harsh reality that nothing we’ve ever come up with to run our world has ever worked and even though we know better we can’t help but to covet money, because it’s all we know? Finally, are we lost because we don’t know how to let go of our addiction to the concept of money and wealth and what it allows for us to do: purchase other people’s envy and impose our will on those around us. Is that it? It this the best we got? Are we going to let everything that we are and have been and might possibly be, simply fade away into nothingness? Have we become that weak and lazy and complacent and full of ourselves and so idiotic? Have we become a world of pussies? If that’s what we want, that’s what we’ll get, unless we choose something different.
I think that we can do better and I REALLY WANT for us to have that chance. That’s a start.
So what do you really want?
Ever since there have been banks, one of their principal bookkeeping functions has always been the daily reconciliation of every customer’s account(s) and the posting of credits (on the right hand column) and debits (on the left hand column). From the very first day that the first modern-day bank opened, the daily reconciliation has always been performed in the same exact way, probably because it simply made sense; nonetheless, every bank in every country has always posted the credits to every account first and then the debits. There is no citable reference found up until now that establishes the order in which the functions of the daily reconciliation are performed, it has simply been that way always. What this translates into visually can be described as follows:
Mr. H has a checking account at a bank. On the morning of August 5, 2012 (for example) Mr. H had a balance of $50.00 to his favor in the checking account. During the banking day of August 5, 2012, two transactions took place: 1) Mr. H deposited $2,000.00 in cash into the checking account. 2) A check, payable to City Gas Co. for $62.00 written by Mr. H and drawn on the bank was received for payment. At the end of the banking day, when the accounts are reconciled, this is what has always happened:
Simple, isn’t it? After some pondering on the topic, I arrived at the opinion that credits were posted first as a courtesy to the customer, probably because courtesy still existed back then, but that is just my opinion. If there is a law, a policy or regulation mandating this particular order of events, then it’s been very well hidden for whatever the reason, the point being that the posting of credits before debits is a matter of rote rather than a matter of statute. It is also a pretty decent custom and a courtesy, which is probably why it’s never been an issue. Well, all that is about to change.
It appears that for some reason and at some unknown point in time, more than likely in the last 3-4 weeks, the banking system modified a custom. Customs, require no authorizations, approvals or other mechanisms in order to be modified, they just are. It can be accomplished by a simple inter-departmental memo or even by a verbal instruction; what’s the big deal? It’s only a custom that’s being modified; it’s not like a major, official change or anything. The custom that was modified is the very one exemplified in the opening paragraph; banks, at least two of them, are now posting debits before credits to the accounts held by their customers. There was no announcement made, no newspaper articles or television reports, nothing on any of the news pages on the web; why should there be? Legally, this was no different then moving the water cooler a little to the left in the lobby.
Let’s re-visit the banking day of August 5, 2012 and Mr. H’s checking account, only this time, the daily reconciliation will be run with the new modified custom. It goes something like this:
-STOP- If anyone just thought: “Hey, he didn’t make out so bad; he ended up with more money than the other way.” Go back and do the math again, please. Let’s continue because this doesn’t end here:
It is very likely that this entire situation will continue, undisturbed and to a great degree, unnoticed. It will take us, the general public, roughly two months to assimilate this new little detail, and by Christmastime, it will be simply another normal thing…normal.
Now, in the time when everyone knows that something has gone very wrong; half the world is desperately searching for a previously unidentified event in the recent past that can account for, be blamed for and ultimately be the foundation for the restoration of what was and the other half is bracing for something unspeakably horrible to happen, something that makes now feel like the warm up. Nobody can predict the future, but there a very good probability that whatever caused the incomparably catastrophic collapse of human civilization’s infrastructure was neither a single event or one that hasn’t happened yet but instead a range of time where many little, tiny, insignificant changes in this mechanism or that system that were nothing more than details which benefitted only a few or even none at all at the expense of everyone, all achieved normalcy.
–Rarely do I personally interject in any math that I’m writing; this is one of those times. Four days ago, someone that I’ve known for over ten years called me a “conspiracy theorist”, with a straight face – as if he were mentioning the color of the sky or anything else that might be considered ‘obvious’. A conspiracy theorist? I laughed for about 15 minutes, hard. No one, ever in my whole life has called me that. None of you; my subscribers, readers of the catalogue of calculations an those who follow my work (there are six digits worth) have ever even alluded to anything like that in all of the e-mails that I’ve received, which will require a long life to read them all. I am about the farthest thing in the world from a conspiracy theorist; I’m a scientist, we don’t understand conspiracies, only facts. Then I realized how this person could have come to such an outlandish conclusion; they found themselves having to compare (and therefore judge) the world and me, and from that perspective, I can almost understand, but I don’t. That conclusion is an excuse to not think, to not see clearly, to simply be one more of what we are turning ourselves into: pussies. I’ll leave you with this for the moment: first, the promise that I will answer the riddle of the conspiracy theories in my next post and finally; the image below.
What you are looking at is not a joke or a story, it is an actual button that was worn by the tellers of a particular bank chain between February and April, 2012 and then by the tellers of another bank chain between May and July, 2012. I’m sure it’s out there somewhere right now. It’s just a little detail; a promotion that is popular this year, from a certain point of view, it can even be considered ‘cute’ . . . NOT.
It’s all in the details.
We can do better.