For reasons not entirely clear to me, I build up gunk on the walls of my blood vessels. My coronary arteries have needed cleaning and repair, and I’ve just been told that my right carotid artery is building up gunk and needs additional examination.
At my advanced age I’m losing more friends than I’m gaining, so it was nice to spend a little time online chatting with my new buddy ChatGPT, the latest iteration of Artificial Intelligence available to the public. When I was a teen, one of my friends was named Chad, but I’ve never known a Chat before. We … Read the rest
Homo sapiens roughly translates as “wise man”, supposedly distinguishing us from earlier hominids like Neanderthals. I’m not sure about the “wise” part, but we people certainly are thinkers. The precise definition of thinking is not as straightforward as one might, well, think. Thinking, you see,… Read the rest
My friend of nearly 50 years died in his sleep a couple of nights ago. Clifford Barney, whom I called Wally because he called himself Walter when we first met and hung out together at Kurt von Meier’s Napa Valley ranch in the early 70’s, was 92 years… Read the rest
Natural selection, Darwin’s insight into the workings of evolution, spans multiple generations, thousands of them. Plants and animals have been evolving for billions of years, and 99.99% of all the species that have arisen are extinct. Human-like beings have been around for perhaps a million years,… Read the rest
If I tell you you’re a self-aware, inter-dimensional wave form of densely packed spacetime will it change your life? I’m not saying you’re not you; I’m saying you’re more than you think you are. Or less. Or maybe, both. Just sayin’.
We’re all subject to the physical laws of universe, although there’s … Read the rest
The first amendment to the U.S. Constitution famously bars congress from infringing on personal free speech or that of the press. In other words, it bans government from preventing expression but does nothing to constrain private enterprise from doing so, however.
As the years flow by I’ve slowly been losing my hearing, mostly in my left ear but also in my right. I found myself saying “what” more often, and with my wife’s encouragement I went to an audiologist for testing and evaluation. I’m now wearing hearing aids.
Objective reality; prove it to me! What seems obvious is strange; proving objective reality can only be accomplished subjectively. It’s like the old saw about whether a tree falls in the forest if nobody’s there to hear it; without a subjective observer, objective reality may not exist.
When you have a 70-foot Black Walnut in the yard, you have a lot of squirrels. Right now, a clutch of four are scampering around its branches, making a last-ditch effort to find any nuts that have not fallen and grab them before they’re gone. The competition is fierce and includes high speed chases through… Read the rest
We think of living things in biological terms, but it is also possible to consider life from chemical, physical, and even economic perspectives. However we define life, both chemistry and physics are embedded in it deeply, and together form the economy of living systems. Although we easily place life… Read the rest
I know it sounds like the title of a 1940’s one-reel 3-Stooges movie, but America’s flirtation with Fascism ain’t no slapstick comedy. At the mention of Fascism nowadays, most people flash on Hitler and Swastikas and concentration camps, which is too bad, because Fascism is so much more than that.
I ran into an old friend at the market the other day, and when I asked him how he’s doing, he replied, “Still an asshole, and you?” We both laughed. We had a nice chat and after he departed I began to think about the mystery of who we are and the persistence of self.
Len carries Pierre’s lifeless body to the garden. He knew this day would come and is prepared. A grave in a corner of the walled garden awaits Pierre’s burial; a large pile of dirt next to it is topped by a shovel. Lying on the ground is flat piece of stone about two by three feet in size, and four inches… Read the rest
Yes, I know adaptablist is not a real word, that is to say, one you’ll find in the dictionary. However, it is an excellent analogy about the truth of survival; in Darwinian terms, the most adaptable are the fittest. Like the adaptability of language, the adaptability of people has spread us across the … Read the rest
The encampment of the young ones on the banks of the river is abuzz with colorful excitement. Shorter days, which usually meant traveling to the other side of the valley, now means that dusk comes earlier and dawn later. Rather than prompting early dormancy, the family of young botanicus responds… Read the rest
Aristotle thought so, and his ideas dominated for many thousands of years. Both living and non-living matter, he believed, were purpose-driven, carried forth by an initiating force towards a goal in a process he named Telos, what we today call teleology.
The lights in the Gittleman library flicker, and then go out. Despite their best efforts to maintain the home’s systems, each passing decade has taken its toll. Parts that once were available are no longer made. Old circuits and relays reach the end of their effective… Read the rest