Tag: politics

A Mind That Divides: A Small Lesson in Brain Function, Politics, and Bias

The human brain, despite appearances in every day human behavior, is an incredible organ. It does a lot to make normal information processing a lot easier.

Just for fun, I’ll walk you though a theory of how the brain sorts and uses information when it’s needed. One of these theories, conflated some with other theories that I think are likely, involves this great neural network where “like” neurons are grouped together so they can be easily accessible should you need a word that starts with “sp.” This grouping can also be done by smell or other associations. So, for example, when I walk outside on a clear summer afternoon and the sprinkler is going, my brain reaches to that location where I’ve smelled that smell before, and immediately I am back in my toddler’s pink polka-dot bathing suit running at a forty-five degree angle down a hill as water clings to my eyelashes.

These neurons, or these little receptors that are named and associated are “primed” based on how much they are needed. So, for example, the neuron named “Parker” is always mostly primed. What this means is any time I want to be able to reach the word “Parker,” it doesn’t take my brain long at all to reach it and pull it into action because it’s primed. It’s something I use a lot.

The brain is incredible! One of the reasons it does this is for efficiency’s sake, but, as I’m sure you can imagine, another reason it might do this is for survival.

If you have had a near-death experience with carbon monoxide, the part of your brain that collects memories about that will be ready at all times, it will always draw that feeling of dread because your brain doesn’t want you to wander into a trap. It wants you to know for the next time that carbon monoxide smells a certain way, makes you feel a certain way, may be dangerous when this certain thing that happened the last time is happening again.

Why am I telling you this? Mostly for fun, but also to say that you brain is not always as 21st century as we’d like it to be. Yes, it’s efficient, and much of what your brain tells you to think and believe is for your survival, but it doesn’t always make sense.

Theories like the above indicate many things, and one of them is that you cannot help but be biased on an instinctual level. It’s not the fact that human beings have bias that’s inherently bad, it is when we don’t recognize it and try to battle it that’s bad. For example, since 2001 when media coverage began to paint people of Muslim faith as dangerous, it’s been an uphill battle in many American’s brains to dislodge the threat that their brains filed under “pay attention, lest you die.”

Sometimes bias is helpful. We are all, for the most part, wary of certain neighborhoods. It is GOOD to be wary, but it is not good to assume that all who live in dangerous parts of town are dangerous people. Were it not for this little alarm signal in our brains, we might waltz into potentially deadly situations without heeding the possible threats.

Another thing that your brain does is file information in a way that aligns you with and against other people, it groups you with like-minded people, and sets you against people that don’t believe the same. This is a social psychology principle, and while somewhat confirmed through testing, is often more contested than the above theories. What this means is if you believe that President Trump is the next incarnation of Jesus Christ, you will likely create a “tribe” of people that believe the same. You will love these people because they are like you, and you will believe that those who do not believe as you do are a threat to you and your tribe. They are stupid, evil, and are out to ruin everything you hold dear.

Is this somewhat natural? Yes. Is it okay? Absolutely not. Because humans can’t be defined by political affiliation, skin tone, or gender. They are so much more and their beliefs are not as linear as your own or mine or anyone’s.

I remember when I first found out about the spotlight affect (the belief that people are watching and judging you), it really hit me that no one is actually paying attention to me. I went through a thought process of, “Do I judge people?” Answer: “No, of course not! I don’t even notice who is wearing leggings in public.” So, consequently, I can somewhat safely assume that no one gives a care if my hair is less curly on the right side than the left. (That is not always true because some people are jerks, but for the most part, people are. not. looking. at. you.)

Understanding that you are more like other people than different from them can help you to accept and love people more. I know that I don’t care what people wear or what they look like, so I can stop worrying about what my hair looks like when I’m in line to buy toilet paper. No one cares!

In the same line of thought, I can assume that since my beliefs are flexible, I believe they are rooted in love and acceptance, and I want for ideologies like mine to take precedent because I think they are good for the world, then others have the same kinds of beliefs.

If you are a cynic and can’t imagine that most people are inherently good, then this argument is null. You will not believe anything I say, but, if you want to keep from going crazy and believe that people care about their friends and family just like you do, then you may stop aligning yourself against them as if they are the antichrist.

Those who believe differently from you are not evil, no matter what your brain tells you to keep you safe. Tell your brain that you appreciate everything it does for you, but it can take a nice rest when having the next political conversation, because in all likelihood, you are perfectly safe and can behave as a reasonable human being.

Peace friends. Go tame your brains.

 

 

P.S. I did graduate with a degree in Psychology, but that doesn’t mean that I am by any means an expert. If you’d like, go ahead and delve into research about how the brain protects you and organizes information to confirm what I speak of or create your own, science-founded beliefs. Do not take anything I’ve said as incontrovertible fact.


Nuclear Bombs, Godzilla, and Metal Gear: A Culture Changed by War

On How We Are All Alike

Today, I did something odd that I think most people do. I looked at myself in the mirror, speculatively, as crisp morning air filtered through the blinds. I noticed the goosebumps on my neck, rising and falling with the pulse, with the dancing beat of my heart in my neck. Sometimes I get stuck just thinking about 7 billion other people who have a dancing heart just like mine.

I spend a minute noticing how much smaller my eyes were through the lens of my glasses. My eyes are so round. Were they always that round? My nose, once again, doesn’t quite hold up my glasses, so they slip down my face a little. I imagine myself as any other person, trying to memorize the curve of my own cheekbone, noticing how transparent my eyelashes are in the sun. I am one of 7 billion people alive, and in many ways, we are all alike.

We all fiddle with our eyebrows and notice stray hairs. We all gaze, bemused, at the peach fuzz on our faces. We all glance, amazed, at the dancing heart beats in our neck that never stop celebrating being alive, at least, not until they do stop.

I try to approach life with this in mind, and talking about our culture of threats, outrage, and weapons makes this approach, the approach of empathy, all the more important.

Godzilla is What Happens to a Culture Changed by Nuclear Destruction

I watched a newer version of Godzilla with my husband recently. It was utterly uncomfortable for me to watch and realize what a culture of people, permanently changed by nuclear bombs, could come up with as one of the most monstrous, feared, and repeatedly reimagined monsters in history.

Get this: Godzilla is literally the incarnation of nuclear ambition gone wrong.

Godzilla is literally what happens to innocent lives when people play around with things they don’t understand.

In this rendering of Godzilla, the United States gets involved, assuring the Japanese government that they are the ones that can destroy this creature with—GUESS WHAT?…Nuclear warheads.

The Japanese are understandably upset about receiving this ultimatum that they get their people out of the city, or they get destroyed along with the monster by the bombs. Their culture is practically built around a fear of nuclear weapons, a hatred of them, a desire for peace. But, in the end, the Japanese agree that there is no other way. The city is evacuated, and they prepare for nuclear war on the hibernating Godzilla as he recoups his strength for another blow on the city.

Scientists involved with coming up with a way to defeat Godzilla won’t have it, though. They refuse to leave. They continue orchestrating a plan to defeat Godzilla before the bombs can touch down. It’s not an easy fight, and it involves a great deal of resources, math, and quite a bit of death from the people fighting, but science wins the day.

Godzilla ultimately does not fall to nuclear war heads. Why would he, anyway? He’s basically made of the stuff. He falls to science, to perseverance, dedication to a cause.

I’m not a huge Godzilla fan, but I’ve been especially attuned to anything “nuclear-related” these days, as I’m sure you can imagine why. Ever since I learned about Hiroshima and Nagasaki as a relatively young girl, I’ve had an unmitigated hatred of gigantic weapons that destroy without conscience, without intelligence, without discrimination.

Metal Gear Solid: Priming Gamers to Choose Peace

Another interesting tidbit for you: Japanese games also reflect a changed culture and disdain for nuclear weapons.

My husband is an unabashed fangirl of a man named Hideo Kojima.

Kojima is one of the most innovative game makers in the world. He is brilliant, eccentric, and does not hold back his metaphorical punches.

Kojima is primarily responsible for a series of games called Metal Gear. There are five of them up to this point, and any further Metal Gear games will not be associated with him, as he left the company that owns the rights to them.

Kojima didn’t want to make a war game, but that’s what he was recruited to do all those years ago when his Metal Gear journey started. But, never fear. If he was going to make a war game, he was going to do it HIS way.

In the Metal Gear games, the dialogue is renowned for bits of life-altering knowledge and mind-game-like changes in perspective that force the player to examine themselves while playing. This can be in instances where the villain directs his inquiries to you, the player, not you, the character.

http://38.media.tumblr.com/d73f85be7a90a8c75d79deff752e8104/tumblr_mjvcv5EvGl1rrftcdo1_400.gif

Because I love my husband, I’ve watched several videos going into deep explanations of the purposes behind stunts like this. Despite myself, I find it incredibly interesting.

So, what would be the purpose behind scaring the wits out of the player. In this instance, you, the character, are facing the villain, Psychomantis. The villain, instead of addressing this “fake” you, this “fictional” you, address YOU, you. He digs into the history on your game system and talks about what other games you’ve been playing. In my opinion, this is the classic, put a mirror in a room to cause self-awareness scenario.

In case you’re unfamiliar, many psychological studies involve having someone undergo testing in a room with a mirror. This has been proven to cause people to be more self-aware, reflective, introspective. In other words, being self-aware is a positive thing and it can be forced by implementing tools like mirrors (or Psychomantis).

Video games are meant to take you out of your own mind. You get to pretend to be someone else. You adopt someone else’s thoughts and principles. Not here. Kojima wanted to player to realize as he was facing down a villain and a threat that this wasn’t a normal interaction, and what was about to go down was meant to be directed at the player.

“From the moment we’re thrown into this world, we’re fated to bring each other nothing but pain and misery.”

-Psychomantis in Metal Gear Solid 1

Look at the quote above and imagine a villain saying that. First of all, what an excellent video game character. Second of all, what a way to get someone’s attention. This wasn’t meant to get lose in the swarm of cheesy video game dialogue. This was meant to stick in the mind of the player, as it did with my husband. It was meant to change people.

I’ve never seen these earlier games in action, but I have watched Parker Play Metal Gear Solid V. In the most recent rendition of Metal Gear, I’ve learned there is a game mechanic that plays off this early attempt at self-awareness.

You play as a medic, transformed to look like the character “Big Boss” who is really not a very good guy. But, you, the you underneath can choose to really be “big boss” and kill indiscriminately, or you can play the game as it’s meant to be played, with stealth, without killing anyone, as a medic would. You can choose to be like the person you are underneath: a healer.

As Big Boss, you have many duties. One of them is collecting money and material to make your base bigger, fill it with competent soldiers, and, if you choose, defend it with nuclear war heads. One of the brilliant things about this mechanic is that Metal Gear Solid Five is always online. Other players can interact with your base, can destroy it with their nuclear war heads if they choose.

Why did Kojima put something like this in place? It wasn’t to watch the world burn, if that’s what you’re thinking.

He did it because he wants people to choose peace. If no one has nuclear bombs, then no one fears that someone will destroy them with nuclear bombs, and nuclear bombs are rendered unnecessary.

It’s a guessing game, and a dangerous one. And that’s the point. Kojima doesn’t play around with war games. He has a purpose, and that purpose is to make the player self-aware. That brings us to Death Stranding.

Death Stranding: A Game to Change a Generation

As with Metal Gear, I’ve watched many videos about the upcoming release of Death Stranding. There are a lot of basic things to know about this release, so I’ll try to sum this up quickly and easily:

  • Kojima no longer works for the people who made Metal Gear. He has creative freedom.
  • Kojima wants to change the way video games are played. This could mean changing the way players interact with each other in a mechanic similar to choose or don’t choose to have nuclear bombs and destroy each other as with MGS5. It could also mean that he intends to change the way players think about themselves in the game as with MGS1 (recall the conversation with Psychomantis).
  • Kojima has released several previews for the game, all of which have been heavily, heavily analyzed like pieces of literature. I’ll link to them below, in case you’re interested.

https://youtu.be/i2nuHEGhwiw

https://youtu.be/qPL_E-TEtL8

https://youtu.be/kMaxrryH0es

Here are some analysis videos:

https://youtu.be/zCQvFPll-oQ 

https://youtu.be/bz-A0ZAxqZc

Because most of what we have seen of this game comes down to speculation, I’d like to share some of mine.

In the previews, there are some gigantic creatures that I feel are Godzilla-like representations of nuclear power. In one of the previews, Norman Reetus’ character has this thing on his back, powered by a fetus, that is able to pick up on the presence of the monsters, much like a geiger-counter. When it moves, you know one is near, and when it’s near enough, you better not even breathe because it will find you and it will toss you into the death void.

This black, vitriolic substance that the monsters are made of seems to stick to everything. It’s everywhere! It leaks from the walls, it clings to animals, and it pours from the eyes of Mads Mikkelsen’s character.

Here’s another thing you need to know about Metal Gear Solid Five, the most recent Metal Gear game as I mentioned:

If you choose to have nuclear weapons, and the more you kill, the more the piece of shrapnel in your head grows like a horn in accordance with the blood on your hands.

Death Stranding seems to be implying a similar mechanic. My theory is that this black substance everywhere is almost like that horn. It clings to everything, it pours out of the eyes of the tainted villains, it gets control, it forms monsters that answer to no one.

Every bit of this leads back to one thing: Kojima is trying to change the world, and he is trying to create a culture that wants no part of nuclear weaponry.

Twitter Threats and Epithets

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Japan is under threat again, lying directly in the line of fire between two madmen. As are we all. Japan has become a culture of honor, considerateness, and pacifism more than ever before because of what nuclear destruction did to them.

The messages of Godzilla, Metal Gear, and Death Stranding grow more and more important each moment that we sit and pretend that powerful people aren’t playing with nuclear weapons like they’re measuring sticks of political power.

Nuclear weapons aren’t toys, they aren’t threats, they shouldn’t even be tools. I think Hideo Kojima is right. If we can choose, all of us, not to let the black taint of nuclear ambition, violence, and hatred taint us, keep the ever-vigilant geiger-counter of future generations on our backs, then the world will be better for it.

Be vigilant. And remember. We are all human beings with dancing heartbeats in our necks, and more than anything, we are all very much the same. We can succumb to peace generation by generation.


America, We’ve Got a Problem

I know things are sensitive. People are sensitive. I know that lines, that boundaries, that territorial disputes in the political realm are sensitive. But, I’d say what’s even more sensitive is premature and violent death of family and friends.

I know that it’s good to be proud of your nation, to sing your anthem and think upon the centuries through which great heroes and common ideals have brought it into the new age. But, now is not a time to be proud. Now is not a time to fake patriotism. Our system is broken, and that does not make me proud. It makes me angry. I feel the injustice, greed, and power-hungry lies and placating, brown-nosing and cowardice like a slow, drowning anger.

I don’t hate America while having some beef with it. I’m not Anti-American for saying that there are some problems that need to be addressed that many are refusing to address. Let me tell you one thing, if I hear one more person say, “the left” or “the right” I will light all my clothes on fire and streak naked through the streets until I rot in jail. This isn’t a political issue. This is a human issue and people are playing party lines for tweet likes and continued power. That’s evil. That is evil.

Let me just walk you all through a scenario. Imagine that Jimmy has forty two life-sized teddy bears with mechanical arms, he only ever uses his teddy bears for hugs and for holding things. But, Jimmy’s next door neighbor uses his teddy bear to get food, and that’s okay, too. The strong arms of the teddy bear are great for picking cans up off of shelves. What really blows Jimmy’s mind is that someone would use something as strong and dangerous as a teddy bear to hurt people. Jimmy’s never hurt anyone with the teddy bear, so what would compel someone to hurt other people with the teddy bear?

Just think about this. I heard the argument that no one ever makes restrictions on fertilizers when bombs start going off (that’s not true), but even still, that’s not the best analogy. Fertilizer has a non-lethal purpose. Fertilizer is meant for the earth. Teddy bears are built for hugs and holding things. If someone went into a supermarket and beat someone to death with a hammer, you wouldn’t see outrage about the accessibility of hammers because hammers have a non-lethal purpose.

Tell me, what is the inherent purpose of a gun? It’s not to hug it. I will let you know right now that I won’t support guns being taken away from people. Guns are for hunting and recreation, but their core purpose, the reason they were made was to hurt and kill. Aristotle had this way of thinking about things where he would refer to a thing’s virtue, it’s telos. Telos refers to what something’s ultimate goal or purpose is. Aristotle questioned this because he wondered what the telos was for human beings, but in demonstrating this he would use objects and say things like, “What is the telos of a knife?” Well, what do you do with knives? You cut with them, so what is it’s purpose? What should it be? Sharp. The knife, should be sharp. What is the telos of a gun?

I don’t want to take anyone’s legally-obtained guns away. If anyone hears that as an item on the agenda from the news, then the anchors and writers are playing into the problem and they deserve to be fired.

You know what else? I understand that making things illegal would only mean that people would get more from Mexico and the wrong people would find ways to get guns illegally. The point is not to make guns illegal. The point is to make them very hard to get for psychos. If you’re a normal person who doesn’t have murderous tendencies, that shouldn’t be a problem, now should it? Already have fifteen guns in the gun closet? That’s great. Keep a close eye on those suckers. Your life won’t change except for that it should be so illegal for you to sell your guns in a back parking lot to some nobody that the penalties aren’t worth the risk. That doesn’t sound like too much of a request, now does it?

We want the good guys to have guns to defend their families. As much as I personally hate guns, I understand the need some people feel to have that safety blanket. Regardless of statistics that more people die in homes with guns, regardless of the studies that show aggression increases with the mere sight and presence of a gun. Guns are aggressive, violent creations no matter what anyone says about it. But still, I don’t want to take those away. Stop making this a party issue, world. It’s not. This is an American issue because hundreds, no…THOUSANDS of people are dying.

Like during any epidemic, the leadership must figure out a way to nip it in the bud. And we must be there to think about it reasonably, to discuss it without regard to party lines, to find a solution to the problem alongside the people who run our government.

 

 


Losing Sight of the Point in Charlottesville

I recall a Parks and Recreation episode when Leslie was trying to help Ben run for office as his helpful, strong-willed, outspoken wife who had political experience. As was typical for the show, there was a surreal moment when an anti-feminist group came to this pie-baking contest that was traditional for the wives of running officials to participate in. Instead of making Leslie, the forward-thinking, 21st century minded female do it, Ben took over the task.

However, present at the contest was this group, this anti-feminist group that was shouting things about how women need to stop oppressing their husbands and Leslie was actually forcing Ben to do things he didn’t want to do.

While you watch this and think, “That’s ridiculous, no one is actually like that,” while at the same time taking into mind that they’re tackling a real life problem, you have events that break the News such as our most recent Nazi breakout into the streets of Virginia.

Here’s a bit of a brain twister for you. My husband is a recovering conspiracy theorist addict. It’s one of his most beloved quirks, and at the same time, not a quirk at all because some of the most relevant concerns he brings to me about our democracy aren’t so far-fetched at all and have had a lasting impact on the way I think about things.

While I’m somewhat of a progressive liberal, my husband leans conservative. Where I tend to wish that Hillary Clinton had been elected, even for the sake of saying that an intelligent female had beaten out a mysoginistic business man for the most important office in our country, he would say that Hillary Clinton is a murderer. I don’t know if that’s true, but anymore, WHAT THE HECK IS ACTUALLY TRUE?!

My point in offering that information is to pose something that my husband has brought to me before. First, that we are all participating in this crazy game where elected officials are playing a role, and the script is written by the highest bidder. The second would be that, and this isn’t actually all that conspiracy-like, there are parts of the opposing political parties that actually stir up strife just to divide the country.

These thoughts make it very difficult for me to articulate blame because I’m ever conscious of how I’m being manipulated to think certain things.

Just a year ago, I was in an office with some conservative women. There was a particular person who was against the BLM marches on overpasses. I love these women, so I won’t say too much about it except that I disagreed that there was anything wrong with it. Our very own MLK Jr. had taken to busy streets to peacefully protest the wrongs and injustices our country was committing.

It was in times like these that one of the women would bring up news articles about how the BLM protesters had gotten violent, or that far left protesters were burning down businesses, and all the while I’m thinking, “I didn’t hear that! How could I not have heard that?”

Well, while that’s a whole different can of worms, my point here isn’t that news media is all bent to suck your brain into its manipulative portal and bend you against your loved ones who think differently than you, it’s that we need to be conscious of the fact that we’re being manipulated. We need to stand on the side of the victims and of justice, and we need to condemn evil, no matter from which political standpoint it comes.

I read two articles just this morning, one about the hit-and-run driver from Charlottesville during the alt-right rally who killed one person and injured 19 others. One article said, “They’ve arrested the driver from Charlottesville, and it’s not who you think!” and the article went on to explain that the driver was a left-leaning democrat who was trying to stir up more hatred against the right by posing as an alt-right angry person. The next article I read was three stories down and it was about the identity of the driver as a military personnel, radical republican.

What’s wrong with this picture, I ask you?

First of all, why are media outlets unveiling the identity of the supposed murderer before the trial and conviction? Second of all, how is it possible that I don’t actually know what’s true because people can publish whatever they choose to manipulate the masses? Third of all, how is it possible that I haven’t seen one article on the identity of the person that was MURDERED?

This isn’t about the driver. It is not about him. This is about the victims of a hit-and-run. This is about the students at UVA who stood up in front of grown men to fight racial intolerance. And you know what, I can’t actually imagine how scared they were. I can’t imagine!

This is about inequity, inequality, oppression, and silence.

You know what else? Don’t detract from the issue by blaming our (admittedly incompetent) POTUS. It’s not about him, either. Because, you know what? I don’t think he cares enough to try and stop this at the source, and I don’t think he understands that at least part of what he stands for or says is being written down in the textbooks of alt-right crazy people who bring guns to a college campus.

This is about us. It’s about sane-minded people looking through the crud. I will not be manipulated. I will not give murderers their day of fame. I will not detract from the purpose of these learning moments by casting out blame for a group of people. I will target this issue at its source.

Systematic Racism. Anti-Semitism. Hatred. Intolerance.

I beg of you to ask questions about what you read. Ask questions about who should be the focus of our news outlets. We need to take back our brains and think for ourselves, throw out our political thinking boxes, and demand that justice is seen from all sides. Stop telling your internet browsers to give you spoon-fed political sow feed. Seek out answers! Seek out answers!

Change starts with you. Change starts with me. Look your black friends in the eyes, look your Muslim community members in the face, look your Jewish, Christian, Republican, Democrat, Hispanic, Latino, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South African, Ugandan, Puerto Rican friends straight in the eyeballs and understand. Understand.

We are all humans and we have to share this Earth. So let’s figure out how to do it sooner rather than later.


Paris Climate Agreement and a Scared Artist

Barren world

Where once-mighty beasts,

Predator and prey

Served their cyclic nature,

Their instinct

As true to Her beauty as the rain

And Her colored sunshine–

 

Barren world

Full of legends

Spoken in too-silent night

Where even the breeze knows better

Than to land on human faces–

These legends

Are too magnificent

To be believed:

Cats bigger than men,

Fish smarter than children…

 

Barren world,

I dig in your soul

For a place to bury my heart,

For as you thirst,

So my throat croaks for relief;

As you die,

So I die, also.

I hear you, aching world,

But they have taken too much.

 

The Paris Climate Agreement is a collective effort for advancement. What might seem a hindrance to industry to some can only create opportunity and the drive to improve industry in the face of need: need for a robust economy, need for a healthy Earth.

The news that Mr. Trump is planning to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has trickled down the news outlets of the internet and to my unbelieving eyes, and today I ponder what could possibly be wrong or threatening about teaming up with world leaders to protect our people and our planet from poisons that we set loose into the air we breathe.

I remember in Middle School getting into an argument with one of the smartest kids in my class over whether Climate Change was real or not. I remember bringing a long, print out page of web links to him and shoving it in his face as “proof” that he was wrong–Climate change is real. Climate change is a concern. (Though, back then, it was still called Global Warming.) It’s strange for me to look back on that because, these days, people try to separate climate concerns by political affiliation. I grew up in a Conservative/Libertarian type household (though I can say I’ve long drifted away from that sort of affiliation) and I was only a child when I took so strongly to the idea that we were harming our beautiful planet.

These facts aren’t refutable anymore. If you don’t believe in pollution, climate change, poisoned waters and slowly-going-extinct animals in our most beautiful ecosystems, then you’re the crock! It takes a willfulness beyond my comprehension to deny the piles of evidence and studies done over this. I think that willfulness is the key here, because, in point of fact, I don’t believe Mr. Trump disbelieves Climate Change, I think he is stubbornly refusing to acknowledge it in order to further his goals.

I understand that jobs are important; in fact, they are essential! I also understand that there might be setbacks in the short term in trying to create a more efficient way of doing things! Isn’t that like the sixth law of Physics? (Joke.) However, our most incredible advancements as a human race come out of need. If we get comfortable, and if we think that there’s no need to improve, and we deny that there IS need to improve, then our machinery gets old, our methods get stale, we stagnate and fall behind the rest of the world in technology.

Advancement is important. It’s absolutely necessary. Though I fear for all the practical reasons that we will fall behind, I fear most of all that we are irreversibly aging and destroying our planet by this obstinance, this refusal to advance our methods into clean energy. What a magnificent place we’ve been given to live on, cultivate and care for, photograph, paint, write of, read about…The Earth is a living, changing entity, and we must slow the rate of her decay which we have only worsened by our smoke pillars and automobiles.

I won’t be daft enough to say that Climate Change is all man-made. I think that we can’t expect anything to last on into eternity, and at some point our ancient Earth will die. Our sun cannot continue being at the perfect conditions for life forever. In case you, dear reader, were unaware, our Earth is an incredible statistical impossibility. Our sun, a yellow sun at the perfect temperature, and at the perfect distance from our planet, does not cook us or let us freeze. Our rotation, the distance from our moon, the pull of the tides, the change of the seasons; they are all orchestrations of majesty to facilitate life. As far as we know, we are the only ones to have benefited from some an impossible set up. So, yes. The world will die some day. That’s undeniable. However, our planet is as stubborn as we are to give up Her existence. She still feeds us, waters us, houses us, and she astounds us.

I’m scared of losing Her. I consider Her a friend, an inspiration, a satellite of Divinity. We can’t afford to waste any more time.