Dear Windows,

I often spend hours doing useless stupid stuff on my computer, and you’re always there to help me with this. But why is it, when I scramble through my chores and approach my computer with a very real intention to do very real work… Why is it you choose that time to black out and update yourself? You could have blocked me from watching stupid videos or reading about cave bugs. But instead you kept me from accomplishing worthwhile tasks.

Why, Windows?

Why do you hate me?

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Intake Censorship

I’ve been feeling a drive to cut myself off more and more from keeping up with world events. This sounds bad, I know, like I don’t care. But I do care, I really do. All the crap we hear about going on, it hurts me. And what’s worse is what isn’t reported widely. You know? For every person killed or hurt in the West by some crazy person’s rampage, how many thousands are killed in the Middle-East? Africa? Asia? And how’s the murder  rate in America going, anyway?

We get all these reports on what will scare us the most, very few reports on the broader horrors going on daily in places further from the familiar  Western world. And then of course we get almost no reports on the acts and events of beauty, kindness, courage and joy which are probably also happening daily in the Middle-East, Africa, Asia, etc etc etc. There must be good in those places, but we don’t hear about it much. They’re just classified in our heads as names belonging to scary places far away where the bad things are. But that’s not reality. They’re real places, where humans live, and humans mostly try to look out for people around them and build better things.

So all the news is bad and I’m having to turn it down. It’s not isolationism. It’s self-preservation. I’m a creative person, and empathetic. I hear this stuff, and the sadness shuts me down. I don’t create much good, just maybe rants and diatribes about my position and opinion. This changes nothing – doesn’t effect anyone’s mind, doesn’t make anything better. And it makes me miserable in the process. So, effort expended to no effect, and I end up  miserable. Net loss.

I am a heavy believer in the power and divinity of human creativity. The best I can do for my species is make good things, lead a good life where I demonstrate as many fine qualities as I can muster, and build things that might last and bring joy after me. That’s what I can do to contribute to a better world. Butt it means I have to shut myself off from too much of the terror and turmoil.

I’m going to make an effort not to talk about the horrors and politics and shit with people too much. I’d rather hear from you how your heart is, and what you are trying to make.

God and Science – Stop Inventing Conflicts.

All right, I’m gonna stick my nose in it, and I don’t even care. It’s gonna be kinda awesome. Maybe I’ll get a hater or two. Bring it on.

The inciting incient for me to write this post is a friend posting frustration that she has to give her kid preventaive antibiotics because some other kid’s parents refuse to vaccinate. That sucks. Taking antibiotics sucks. Antibiotics should only ever be used when absolutely necessary, to avoid the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bugs, and to avoid inflicting the suffering of antibiotic side-effects on patients. But here’s probably a whole school’s worth of kids having to take them, and suffer, because someone refused to vaccinate.

I don’t know why, in this exact incident, the parents refused to vaccinate. Might have been out of fear of side-effects, which I haven’t read enough about to argue. I think the connection between vaccines and autism has been completely debunked – not sure, but not what I wanna talk about anyway. Lots of times parents refuse to vaccinate because of “religious reasons” and that just pisses  me off. I know the religious argument against using vaccines. Same one some folks use to justify not seeking medical care when someone’s sick – “This is God’s will, and through prayer and piety He will protect me, if He deems me worthy. All is in His hands.” All logic and reason points to the goodness of vaccination, but your religion says god doesn’t like it, so you don’t do it.

And here’s my counter-argument:

If you believe in god, and that god (when I’m writing in my own point-of-view, not quoting, god is a lower-case concept, with no gender, so it’s “god” and “it”. That’s just my thing.) created everything, then you must acknowledge that it created our big throbbing brains. Or it set in motion the cycle of universal creation and destruction in which thinking life like us evolves, which in the end is the same thing as direct creation. What it comes down to is this – our big freakin’ complex messy wonderful brains are god-given. So don’t you think that god intended for us to use them? A long line of scientists worked tirelessly with their god-given brains to develop vaccines to help stop terrible illnesses. Is it so hard to accept that right there as an expression of god’s will?

To me, it seems way more plausible than believing that a Magical God is going to swoop down into your life and directly intervene. “Oh, hang on there, lemme shake some glittery God-dandruff out of my beard onto your sick kid and look, my oh my, he’s all better.”

Yeah, it’s a bit easier to accept that human scientists trying to make life better are agents of god’s will.

If you think science works against god’s will, then you need to start giving stuff up.

  • Internet.
  • Glasses.
  • Coffee.
  • Climate control.
  • All forms of transportation that aren’t bare feet.
  • Clothes.
  • Shoes.
  • Written language.
  • Food storage.

All products of human beings applying their big bulgy brains to tackle the problems of the world. A process recently given the name “science.”

The way I see it, believing in god and believing in the theories and discoveries of scientific resaoning don’t have to clash. Nothing in scientific reasoning denies god – in fact, I believe there’s a thing in science that goes along the lines of “an absence of evidence does not disprove a concept.” Science got no beef with god. Science don’t care. (Plenty of individual scientists do, but they’re all just as flawed and fallible as any human. A scientist who’s an angry, belligerent, vocal athiest trashing your beliefs is just as much as an asshole as a priest trashing your beliefs.) Plenty of scientists happily believe in god. Plenty of scientists don’t really care, and just wanna use their brains to create new wonderful things and find out new stuff- and in my opinion creative effort is the highest form of prayer and praise.

Science isn’t against god, and chosing to believe in god doesn’t mean you can’t trust in scientific progress. You just have to chose to view all of creation, including our creativity, as works of god. It’s not hard, you just have to dare to use your god-given brain and see the works of man as all part of the plan. Progress, improvement, health, change, evolution, ascendence, enlightenment, all part of god’s will. Don’t be scared. Enjoy the change.

Your religous leader might take issue, but that’s a conflict between personal, self-determined faith and the externally-imposed beliefe systems of religions. That’s a whole other debate. (I have my faith, but I got no religion.)

So there ya go. faith and science resolved, walking hand-in-hand. You’re welcome.

Now go vaccinate your freakin’ kids.