mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Saturday, January 29, 2005

My Name is Cyndy, I Break Rules

In some sense this is going to be the 'about me' post I've never really wanted to write, but moreso, it stems from my own personal observations, experience, intuition, instinct and social indoctrination or lack thereof which have helped form my thought processes which I believe are innately different from male thought processes. I will also explore why I think I was personally attacked by women for voicing this opinion.

I break rules. It's my destiny. If I know the rules I'll find creative ways to break them. If I don't know the rules I'll probably break them unknowingly. Don't misunderstand, I don't go out of my way to break laws, stupid pot laws notwithstanding. Even when I was conceived I broke the rules. I know, it was a setup.

Because I broke the rules, I was put up for adoption. Don't present yourself inside a married woman if the sperm wasn't her husband's. Rule #1.

I pretty much followed rules as far as I know for the early part of childhood. I think I somewhat embarrassed my mom for being, as she would always introduce me, 'a bookworm', but I didn't care. I played with dolls and I played with cars in the dirt, building cities, just a kid. Normal enough. Most of the 'shoulds' were pretty general, 'be polite, study, keep your room clean.' I was friendly with both boys and girls, though the girl next door was a little snobby, too delicate, and didn't really want me around.

I broke a rule in the 5th grade. The teacher mused with my parents about what I would end up being when I grew up. Apparently the rule and the manner I broke it was not expected from a 5th grader. She thought it was creative. It seemed natural enough to me. Don't leave a future test sitting on the shelf right next to my desk if you don't want me to look at it. Of course I wanted to know what the questions were, and why not share the info with a couple of my friends? Oh, ok, that's why not.

Girl Scouts, camping, dance, music lessons, tv after school for an hour or so. Normal enough. My mom was beginning to act noticibly strange by the time I was eleven. When I was 12 she wanted me to enter a beauty pageant. I think that was in part to please an aunt who had moved to town and was herself a model. As far as I can recall this was the only overtly girlish thing my mom ever steered me toward. I entered it. No big deal. I won the 'friendship' award. That was the one award the other girls voted for, so it was a true honour to me.

Now a preadolescent with a psychotic mother, I tried drowning myself in books, I was reading Vonnegut, Huxley and Orwell and they tried their best to keep me away from her. I learned a bit about the dangers of blindly following rules from them.
There reached a point where I simply realised I didn't have to stay at home and continue to be humiliated by the hateful things my mom would do. I was 14 and I ran away from home.

I was a repeat offender. If I got caught I would simply leave again. I spent most of two years away from home, some of that time spent becoming street-wise. Ok then, a lot of that time becoming street-wise. I spent some of the time in San Diego and some in Norman, OK. When I was in Norman, simply being in a college town sparked my interest in school again. I decided to go back home and try to get an early admit to university. Yes, I was breaking more rules, but there was actually a process defining exactly how to break them. It was quite simple. I only had to get recommendations from my Jr high school advisor, (since I never went to high school) take a GED and pass the ACT.

You bet!Not yet 16, I sweated the math part of the ACT, but I squeaked by with the minimum required, an 18, at the time. In English I passed with a high enough score to opt to test out of Eng 111. This is the first basis I have besides my personal struggle with math in 8th grade telling me that my thought process in math was unlike that of the guys I knew. I was bright enough, I was motivated, yet there was something innate that prevented me from 'getting it', especially on my own, without instruction. That and the fact that I still added and subtracted by counting on my fingers. Hey, I still do, so stop fuc*ing laughing!

No I didn't graduate. I spent a year there studying philosophy and anthropology, and then, like many others at that time, wondered what I was doing, what job this was going to get me, why not just go get a job now? I won't even begin to go into where this new phase took me because I've already covered all the background noise leading to why I think I was personally attacked by women for voicing my opinion that men and women are innately different in their thinking processes.

I noticed that the response I got after writing about being personally attacked came from all males. Yes, one woman sent me an empathetic email, she knows who she is, thank you again. I almost feel as if I would be violating a rule if I wrote her name, and since it involves another person, that is a type of rule I refuse to break.

I mentioned in Harry's comments that I must have missed a feminist class.

Indeed, Aha moment!

I then mentioned the same 'feminist class' thought to Andy who suggested I look up 'social construction of gender.'

"Woman's space is not a field in which her bodily intentionality can be freely realized but an enclosure in which she feels herself positioned and by which she is confined. The "loose woman" violates these norms: her looseness is manifest not only in her morals, but in her manner of speech and quite literally in the free and easy way she moves."

Ahh Ha!

I missed some critical years. I missed a lot of social indoctrination. Age 14-18 are the years women find their gender identity. They figure out friendships. There are rules. Rules I never learned. I can still remember Andy asking me a few years ago why I had no close women friends. I still can't give him an answer but I'm closer to it. I never learned the rules. I really don't think I want to.

I rely on my 'nature', my 'intuition' but my social conditioning during those years came from the street where all rules are about survival. No one cares about social norms. Sure, women are exploited but it's raw exploitation. Refusing to disagree with someone 'refined' and visible such as Larry Summers was seen as exploitation of a type I'm still unable to define and not at all sure I wish to. I think I prefer being the 'loose' woman. I'll take the personal attacks now that I understand where they are coming from. It's all about highschool and I'm still happy I broke the rules to get out of there.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, January 28, 2005

The Sweet Revenge of Human Instinct

I have had this blog 5 years and have never had anyone personally attack me. I really had no idea passions ran so high when it came down to differences between men and women. I think what particularly hit me hard, besides my own personal issues with math in general, was the fact that all who sent emails attacking me were women (or at least they signed their emails as such) and they all claimed to be liberal. I was pretty comfortable identifying with both women and progressives but now I feel again as if it's up to me alone to invent my own self, just as I wrote in the poem below. I may or may not feel comfortable sharing myself anymore. I suppose time will sort that out.

Regardless, I won't shut up. This is my blog and it will be whatever voice I put to it, or not.

I have always found thinking processes fascinating, whether it be male/female, conservative/liberal, linear/nonlinear or left/right brain.
Dave Pollard and I worked a bit with Right/Left Brain Workflow Management Styles. It seems to work well.

I am right-brained, though not so much so that I can't muddle my way through sequential, reductive, computational work, but I will say I was delighted to find this article in Wired today; Revenge of the Right Brain, describing the move from the Technological Age to the Conceptual Age.
Until recently, the abilities that led to success in school, work, and business were characteristic of the left hemisphere. They were the sorts of linear, logical, analytical talents measured by SATs and deployed by CPAs. Today, those capabilities are still necessary. But they're no longer sufficient. In a world upended by outsourcing, deluged with data, and choked with choices, the abilities that matter most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right hemisphere - artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent.

The article goes on to explain the causes for the shift: Asia, automation, and abundance.

"As the forces of Asia, automation, and abundance strengthen and accelerate, the curtain is rising on a new era, the Conceptual Age. If the Industrial Age was built on people's backs, and the Information Age on people's left hemispheres, the Conceptual Age is being built on people's right hemispheres. We've progressed from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers to a society of knowledge workers. And now we're progressing yet again - to a society of creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers."

High Concept, High Touch
If the policies of this current administration don't drive us to extinction first, I can have fun in the Conceptual Age.
To flourish in this age, we'll need to supplement our well-developed high tech abilities with aptitudes that are "high concept" and "high touch." High concept involves the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to come up with inventions the world didn't know it was missing. High touch involves the capacity to empathize, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one's self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning.

Developing these high concept, high touch abilities won't be easy for everyone. For some, the prospect seems unattainable. Fear not (or at least fear less). The sorts of abilities that now matter most are fundamentally human attributes. After all, back on the savannah, our caveperson ancestors weren't plugging numbers into spreadsheets or debugging code. But they were telling stories, demonstrating empathy, and designing innovations. These abilities have always been part of what it means to be human. It's just that after a few generations in the Information Age, many of our high concept, high touch muscles have atrophied. The challenge is to work them back into shape.

Instinct baby! Intuition. So simple. No math.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Because She Must

and because she just doesn't care anymore

on the dark cold street
at night
the wind whispered
"try to stay alive until you die"
she fumbles past crumbling doorways
the same dead child feeling
running from men with horrible gifts
or psychotic mothers
inventing her own self

barefeet toughened by shards of glass
her pain becomes pleasure
and all hunger disappears
as she drowns in the darkness
just a child
in the twilight
a child
believing in nothing at all
except the words of the wind

she will survive the invisible day
when they uncurl her legs
and spread her knees
when her anguish becomes pleasure
because it must
and there is no hunger
and there are no math classes
for runaways
and she becomes a disgrace to her sex
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

On my way, outta here

I have received some pretty nasty emails regarding my posts about thought processes differing between men and women.

"You are a disgrace to your sex". "and I thought you were a progressive", even, "Take my blog off off your blogroll, you are a goddamn republican."

If I can't express what is very real to me without close-minded reaction coming from so called 'liberals', then I really don't need to speak. I'll be on my way. I obviously don't belong cavorting with such an elite group of people.

Maybe I'll meet some of you in my remedial math class that, by the way, is overwhelmingly dominated with women trying to learn what they couldn't learn years ago.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Courageous Worth

When one has nothing to lose, one becomes courageous.
We are timid only when there is something we can still cling to.
Carlos Castaneda

Possessiveness is a form of doubt.
People cling to what they (think they) have because
they doubt that they're worthy of it.
If they knew their own worth,
they'd know there is no need to cling.
Paul Williams
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, January 24, 2005

Gray Matter and Sexes: A Gray Area Scientifically

This NY Times article indicates the debate is far from over. Good. Let's move the debate beyond bickering and concentrate on finding effective ways of teaching. We have problems, whether it is entirely a divide by gender or not, (not, but I think it does lean towards a different female thought process), and while we're at it can we also consider this? The Last Time You Used Algebra Was...
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

The neuroanatomy of general intelligence: sex matters

Abstract and proof regarding study cited in post below re: brain structure differences between men and women.
pdf file here

UPDATE: I just found out this isn't accessible to everyone. If you're really interested in the content, send me an email and I'll send an overview of the text.

Here is a copy of the full report (.pdf) that you should be able to access.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

A Look Around

I don't know how 'back' I am but I did take some time to look around some blogs again and I see that Ray is rollin' some consistently great doobies doozies, and I see that Bruce hasn't been eating very well or sumpin', but as he says, tis freedom, even though Lakoff tells us Freedom has lost its meaning.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, January 23, 2005

My Breasts are Bigger Than His

I will probably alienate some of my readers with this post. All I can ask is for you to give it some thought.

By now we all know the comments that put Harvard president Larry Summers in the hotseat, burned to the point that he felt compelled to apologise.

As a woman, I'm am angry at the outrage of other women over this. I have no doubt in my mind that women and men are innately different, in fact I often celebrate the differences. I'm certainly not offended when someone recognises that his own daughter is struggling with a certain concept and voices his concern. I am terribly offended when I see a chance to perhaps look at a problem and try to find a solution and it's once again brushed under the rug with loud voices of disgust. Just what was so threatening about his remarks that sparked the amplified outrage? I just don't get it. In fact, I just don't get it the same way I just didn't get math and still don't.

My father was a mathematician. Even he couldn't get through to me. Just as there are different ways to learn to read there are different ways to manipulate numbers. Yes, for me I think it was a difference in gender. I simply think differently than men. I know that. Perhaps I was also slighted a bit as a girl because it is fairly common for teachers to teach math and science to boys because they would have to teach differently to girls. Why then can't we recognise the differences and learn different ways of teaching the same concept? We can't rectify it if anytime the subject is brought up it is shouted down.

Give us all a chance, that's all I'm asking. My daughter could have used a chance too but didn't get it. Celebrate the things you do better than men, but find a way to help other women expand where they are weak instead of acting like it isn't a problem.
(I'll save the nature vs nurture debate for another time)
UPDATE: Intelligence in men and women is a gray and white matter
"While there are essentially no disparities in general intelligence between the sexes, a UC Irvine study has found significant differences in brain areas where males and females manifest their intelligence."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Iran-Contra moll Fawn Hall, who eventually helped bring down Lt. Col Oliver North (link is a funny piece of short fiction) and Admiral John Poindexter (link includes his home address and telephone #), has resurfaced in a really bizarre way, if you ask me. Seems she ended up marrying a guy by the name of Danny Sugerman, "best known as the manager of the Doors and the co-author of the best-selling Jim Morrison biography _No One Here Gets Out Alive_." Indeed, Sugerman died of lung cancer last week at age 50.

See also Ray Manzanerek's website.
posted by Andy | link |   | |

Friday, January 21, 2005

Unexpected Hugs

A total stranger hugged me this morning. It felt strange.
I was out walking around the medical center early, before the bustling morning activity on my 30 minute exercise walk. A family member of a patient stopped me to ask if I could tell her where the thoracic unit was. Wow, I actually knew where it was because Craig and I had spent the night there with Craig's dad when he had surgery for the same cancer Craig had. I immediately felt an affinity to this woman, simply wondering who was here, how she was related to them and if they were having the same type of surgery. No, I didn't ask. I gave her directions to the elevator telling her it was on the fourth floor and began walking again, heading in the opposite direction.

A few minutes later I realised I had made a huge mistake. We were in a different hospital! I sent her to the fourth floor of the children's hospital. I knew she had to be near the elevators by then but I couldn't forgive myself knowing I had screwed up so I started running back hoping to catch her. I caught her right at the elevators and walked with her to the correct hospital. The entire place is intimidating and I explained to her that I was merely exercising and not at all put out but she was so grateful for what she felt was someone going out of their way for her that she gave me a hug once we reached the correct elevator. Maybe stuff like that happens all the time, but I don't see it in my little midnight hour sheltered life.

My second hug came from an old friend, David, someone I haven't been in contact with since 1975 when we were housemates for awhile. We did some odd jobs together, like selling flowers on street corners for a commission just to pay the rent. He called my dad to get my number. I know he's looking for our mutual friend, my childhood best friend Reta Kay, who was his old girlfriend. I couldn't help him. I've been trying to find her for years myself.

I'm a little sad to know he moved back to his impoverished hometown and still lives there. He sounded like a man on a mission, saying he was getting old and wanted to contact all his old friends. He's a few years older than I, but hasn't yet turned 50. I have to wonder why but couldn't bring myself to ask. Craig also felt the need to contact old friends soon after he was diagnosed. I hope David finds her. It seemed so important.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Progressive Democratic Summit

Damnit, I wanted to be here. Couldn't find a room early enough to make plans. Somehow the blog just doesn't seem to do it for me.
Perhaps Will Pitt will blog it too.
The speakers and events they lined up are awesome. Damnit.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Two Visual Representation of W's Inauguration Speech

Juan Cole riffs, pictorially, on the first line of the speech:
" . . . on this day prescribed by law and marked by ceremony, we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution and recall the deep commitments that unite our country."

"Ypsidixit wanted to see the weight of the speech’s different concepts. So she decided to make the speech into a picture. First she removed all words except the nouns. These she sorted alphabetically and then counted. Finally she gave each noun the font size of the number of examples of the word in the inaugural speech."

posted by Andy | link |   | |

Attack of the Giant Squid

About 1,500 jumbo squid have mysteriously washed up on Orange County beaches, thousands of miles from their usual South American home waters.
posted by Andy | link |   | |

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Inauguration Day

by Bow Thayer (download song)

Alarm bell rings at six o’clock, outside it’s cold and gray
Ain’t no point gettin’ up this mornin’, it’s inauguration day
It’s inauguration day

God looked down from heaven just to see what he could find
He found a burnin’ Bush in the White House, just about blew his mind
For the second time

Did you get your invite to the billion dollar bash
I wish I had a nickel for each ballot in the trash
Oh, ballots in the trash

-- Chorus --
I don’t know why it’s cold and gray
Inauguration day, it’s inauguration day

Grammar school teacher, mother of three
Pack a lunch, grab a gun, we’re goin’ overseas
Oh, goin’ overseas

Collaterals in Bagdad, but it don't hit the fan
U.S. weekend warriors are lyin’ in the sand
Oh, dyin’ in the sand

Reds’ll claim the nation, blues’ll weep and mourn
The rich will still vacation where it’s safe and warm
Oh where it’s safe and warm

-- Chorus --
’Cause I don’t know why it’s cold and gray
It’s inauguration day

-- Instrumental Bridge –-

-- Chorus --
’Cause I don’t know why it’s cold and gray
It’s inauguration day, it’s inauguration day

Al-Jazeera, MTV, Fox on the news
The forecast is a snow job, Dan Rather sings the blues
He sings them headline blues

I ain’t no political analyst, but as far as I can tell
These four years might not be so bad if I don’t get blown to hell
If I don’t get blown to hell

The alarm clock rings at nine o’clock
Outside it’s cold and gray, ain’t no point in getting’ up this mornin’
It’s inauguration day, it’s inauguration day

The alarm clock rings at ten o’clock
Still outside it’s cold and gray, ain’t no point in getting’ up this mornin’
It’s inauguration day, it’s inauguration day, inauguration day

-- Chorus --
Cause I don’t know why it’s cold and gray
It’s inauguration day, it’s inauguration day, it’s inauguration day
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Happy MLK Day.
By the same photographer, I also like this one

the photography of Tim Davis

UPDATE: Audio file of Dr. Martin Luther King's "Beyond Vietnam"

Text file of the Beyond Vietnam speech
posted by Andy | link |   | |

Thursday, January 13, 2005

extended break

Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. Right now they aren't.
Perhaps Andy will continue to add to the page, perhaps not.
I'll probably continue to add links to my (left sidebar)
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

In a way, the world-view of the party imposed itself most successfully on the people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding, they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just like a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird.
—George Orwell, 1984

The Psychology of Christian Fundamentalism
I'll get back to this when I get a chance.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

America's F***ed Future

When you're going to be raptured, why give a flying fuck?
When considering the Future Fantasy of the Faithful I had to ask "how many will be raptured?" With odds this tenative one would think that stewardship of the earth we are already on would take precedence, after all, I think that was something humans were given responsibility for by the very power who would whisk them to heaven.
If I were that power, I sure as hell wouldn't want irresponsible debtors, those who would mortgage the land, air and sea of my creation, not to mention the future of their own children, coming anywhere near the heaven I created. The potential for them to fuck that up would be too great a risk for me.

Arianna puts this all in perspective. (a great article to pass on)
"I guess after the Rapture, debts of all kinds will be forgiven. The White House is promoting a similar "What Me Worry?" attitude with our live-for-the-moment energy policy. America currently spends $13 million per hour on foreign oil — a number that will only increase as U.S. oil production peaks within the next five years just as consumption by industrializing nations doubles over the next 25 years."

When leadership lives in a fantasy world it's time to give them a reality check.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Fritz Stern Speech

Stern has spent a lifetime studying the emergence of the Nazi movement in Germany and lists the conditions he believes promoted it's growth including the link between religion and politics. Similarities I'm sure you can recognise when you see them. Shining Light in Dark Corners tracked down the speech Stern made when he accepted the Leo Baeck Medal Nov 14.

"When I saw the speech my eyes lit up," said John R. MacArthur, whose book "Second Front" examines wartime propaganda. "The comparison between the propagandistic manipulation and uses of Christianity, then and now, is hidden in plain sight. No one will talk about it. No one wants to look at it."
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Journey from the head back to the heart

We all came into this world gifted with innocence, but gradually, as we became more intelligent, we lost our innocence.
We were born with silence and as we grew up, we lost the silence and were filled with words.
We lived in our hearts and as time passed, we moved into our heads.
Now the reversal of this journey is enlightenment.
It is the journey from the head back to the heart, from words back to silence; getting back to our innocence in spite of our intelligence.
Although very simple, this is a great achievement.
~Eckhart Tolle
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, January 09, 2005

New to My Blogroll

Say hello to

Flying Talking Donkey,

Ran Prieur


and Tim Boucher

as I take a step away from politics, because no matter how loud I shout I'm voiceless, I'll gravitate more toward blogs and resources that reflect my personal interests as these do. I think they're all Philip K Dick fans too.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Energy Focus

A little village in the sun
Here is a bright little village in Andhra Pradesh that is all solar and smoke-free - the first of its kind in the country.

Scania, the Swedish truck manufacturer's presentation at Tokyo Motor Show included Peak Oil. This may be the first acknowledgement of Peak Oil from a big auto company

We Burned So Bright - Energy/Culture Transition Short Story Competition
To mark the peaking of global oil production , we are seeking short stories of up to 3000 words set sometime in the near future, exploring the society you live in now, where oil is becoming - or has become - too expensive for everyday use. We want you to use your imagination and knowledge to explore the energy-culture transition. It can be in any genre and in any style. Stories can be positive as well as negative!
The closing date for entries is 28th February 2005

ConocoPhillips Drops Out of Arctic Power
"It appears that ConocoPhillips and BP are more enlightened than the Bush Administration when it comes to drilling in the Arctic Refuge. Hopefully Congress will get the message and defeat attempts to allow drilling in the Arctic Refuge this year."

The Edge Annual Question—2005
What do you believe to be true, even though you can’t prove it?

You'll find 120 contributors and possibly a personal favorite at the link. I especially like Brian Goodwin's answer:
Nature Is Culture.

...) Understanding species as cultures that have experienced 3.7 billion years of adaptive evolution on earth makes it clear that they are repositories of meaningful knowledge and experience about effective living that we urgently need to learn about in human culture. Here is a source of deep wisdom about living in participation with others that is energy and resource efficient, that recycles everything, produces forms that are simultaneously functional and beautiful, and is continuously innovative and creative. We can now proceed with a holistic science that is unified with the arts and humanities and has at its foundation the principles that arise from a naturalistic ethic based on an extended science that includes qualities as well as quantities within the domain of knowledge.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Friday, January 07, 2005

Islands in the Universe

I wrote a little bit here highlighting a few paragraphs in the links that Andy provided here , the seemingly surprising revelation of survival for the primitive tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It hasn't made much news but it's incredibly important that we understand that they have kept a sense of the world that we've lost.

"They can smell the wind. They can gauge the depth of the sea with the sound of their oars. They have a sixth sense which we don't possess," said Ashish Roy, a local environmentalist and lawyer who has called on the courts to protect the tribes by preventing their contact with the outside world.

We ignore what we instinctively know.

Some of us don't care, some of us think technology will be the saviour and some of us are going to be raptured so it's no big deal.

I also ran across this bit of convoluted rationality. Because it's the only post on the entire blog I'm hoping they are trying to be sarcastic. I believe we are the ones who need an education, but I am not keen on the suggestions in some of the articles I linked to above that advocate "studying" their culture for clues. That would be an invasion and would ultimately destroy the very things we want to know.
It is within us to remember if we want to.

This makes me shudder:
"Scientists believe that because of the extreme isolation of the Sentinalese, this tribe has become biomedically valuable. They warn that these tribespeople, in the future, could be targeted by bio-prospectors for valuable genetic traits that may have long ago vanished in other ethnic or racial groups."

Kenneth Silber wrote Islands in the Universe. I'm including all of it because it really is "that important":
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of the Indian Ocean are among the most isolated places on Earth, and their inhabitants include several aboriginal tribes that have varying degrees of interaction with the outside world. In the aftermath of the tsunami, which swept across and even reshaped the islands, there was pressing concern about the fate of these tribes.

It was an odd bit of good news, therefore, when an Indian coast guard helicopter that was delivering aid in the islands recently came under attack. The attackers were of the Sentinelese tribe, the most isolated of the aboriginal groups, who used bows and arrows to ward off the helicopter. The reason this is good news is that it showed that the Sentinelese, who number only in the dozens, had survived. Moreover, they evidently were well enough to maintain their usual practice of rejecting approaches by outsiders.

In general, the primitive tribes of the islands seem to have weathered the tsunami better than expected. There are reports that they moved to higher ground before the wave hit. This has even led to some speculation that the tribes possess a paranormal "remote viewing" capability, such that they could see the wave approaching beyond human eyesight. A more prosaic, but still intriguing, explanation is that they followed the movements of birds and wildlife that fled in response to tremors or other environmental cues.

The Sentinelese are a hunter-gatherer people who wear no clothing, do not plant crops, and have minimal use of fire. Other tribes in the Andaman and Nicobar islands that have, or are in transition from, pre-modern modes of existence include the Jarawas, Onges, and Shom Pens. The populations and territories of the tribes have long been under pressure; the British brought new diseases in the 19th century, Japan invaded in World War II, and India (which governs the islands) has sent numerous settlers and refugees in recent decades.

I am not one to romanticize a primitive existence, and would not trade my life as a Manhattan apartment-dweller for a hunter-gatherer lifestyle in 10,000 years. Nonetheless, there is a great deal that will be lost if and when the last of Earth's primitive tribes merge into the broader society around them (or, more darkly, just cease to exist). Their intimate local knowledge of their environments (which seems to have been crucial in surviving the tsunami) is a valuable but perishable good. Their languages (such as the Sentinelese language, known to no outsider) might offer insights into the evolution of language.

It might seem that the tribal islanders are merely an anachronism, a vestige of millennia past. However, in some ways, they might also be representative of the future, especially if one takes a long view. It is often argued that globalization is bringing about cultural homogeneity; indeed, that is what many of its critics hate about it. But technology and market economics, the drivers of globalization, often have consequences in the opposite direction, opening up niches that did not exist before. For better and sometimes worse, they give people opportunities to live differently from others.

In the longer run, people might engage in physical migrations in some ways reminiscent of those that reached far-flung ocean islands millennia ago. Space colonization, much like the early movements of humanity, will involve traveling over vast distances, often without plans to return. It will also involve splitting off to different destinations and then going it alone for long periods of time. Our descendants may feel they have a considerable amount in common with the tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Thursday, January 06, 2005

winter white

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

"We, a House member and a Senator...


Will Pitt is blogging it. Last two entries from his blog:

Kennedy is up
We do not question the outcome, but we gave deep concerns.

They are lining up behind Boxer here.

Hillary just walked in, and we haven't heard from Obama yet.

You are watching Senators speaking the words of the activists. You are watching Senators deliver the goods activists delivered to them.


Stabenow (D) stands in support
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

We Have at Least One Senator

Barbara Boxer!
maybe more.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Final Notice to Senate Democrats

If no Senators come forward to demand the investigation that the evidence requires, then the very Party that once produced the great social advances now systematically being destroyed by those who stole this election will itself start to dissolve.

There will not be another chance, I can assure every Senator who reads this.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

If I were without insurance

this little illness would have set me back for at least 6 months. Today was trip #3 to the doc, for me a $15 co-pay per visit. The cost for someone without insurance; at least $80 a visit.

My chest xray and possibly a second one next week, (please no) cost me nothing. I have no idea what someone without insurance would have paid. I'll guess $150.

First group of drugs, steroid, inhaler, antibiotic, $18 co-pay for me, for someone without insurance $85.

So here I am, I'm still not well. Now we go to antibiotic #2, a 14 day course. Because it was a generic, my co-pay was $7. Even though it was a generic, someone without insurance would have had to pay $180 for 28 measly pills!

I wouldn't have had it to pay. What then?

45 million people without insurance in the US.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Listening (again)

Yes, it's a recurring theme of mine, listening. Such a simple concept but so hard to do.
Here are three paragraphs from links in the post below from Andy that I want to highlight:

No casualties have been reported among these five tribes [Jarwas, Onges, Shompens, Sentinelese and Great Andamanese]." If this is true, as one hopes, it suggests that the diminishing number of humans enjoying what Marx called "primitive communism" require not officials, anthropologists, missionaries or alien humanitarians for their happiness or survival so much as the right to be left alone in their Stone Age classless societies.

According to some of the tribal leaders, earth communicates to them. And this time they could see it coming in their remote viewing periscopes.

It seems if this correlation is anything close to correct, we may be gaining in so called “modern technologies” but we are losing in higher grounds of technical expertise, which may encompass spiritual science and paranormal technologies.

This last paragraph blows my mind! KISS (keep it simple stupid!) It has nothing to do with technical expertise, spiritual science or paranormal technologies and everything to do with listening.

I was listening yesterday and wouldn't be surprised to learn that we experienced 3 very low level tremors in SE MIchigan early to mid-day on Tues, 1/4. (perhaps we did and I just don't know where to find recent seismic data) I'm pretty certain.
Yes, there is a Language Older Than Words.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Remote Viewing primitive tribes in Andaman Nicobar Islands

The rescue teams are also finding interesting information from these untouched tribal people – they could view and hear the Tsunami coming and they moved to higher grounds way before the Tsunami came and earthquake shattered the islands

Another view here from an American professor.
(See also Jean-Jacques Rousseau's idea of the Noble Savage.)
posted by Andy | link |   | |


The road not traveled
since April
couldn't find my way alone
unfolded itself
with speed limit signs
once ignored
we spent hours there
where the road turned to a T

the right turn took him home
the left turn I was on my own
a crossroad of tears
and a novocaine numbed nose
a chapter I had to close
opening a new book
in our old place
with strangers
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Beyond Lakoff

Time for Progressives to Grow Up
by Francis Moore Lappe

This is a repost. I somehow lost what I posted the other day. I find her observations worth more than a ponder.
She may be a bit optimistic in light of the dirty ball she alludes to early on in the article, but I agree, now that we are aware of some of the differences between progressives and conservatives it's time to go beyond framing things within a nuclear family metaphor and address our problems as grown-ups who are part of the world community.
If the Left is indeed stuck with nuclear-family metaphors, they’re seriously out of luck; in scary times like these “strong father” will win out over what is seen as “soft mother” every time. Thankfully, the narrow, Western psychoanalytic, nuclear-family frame itself is becoming dated.

Maybe we’re entering a new stage that has much in common with eras before the invention of the nuclear family. Maybe, in many respects, we’re moving beyond hierarchy, which any parent-centered frame necessarily must be. Big shifts are underway

...) A desire to break with parentism in favor of fellowship and a hunger for healthy, strong community is not a progressive’s pipedream. It is palpable. It is everywhere.

"What frames best embrace the growing appreciation that human beings are going beyond one-directional communication, moving from “one-to-many” directives toward “many-to-many” multi-logues? What frame suggests mutuality – mutual responsibility, cooperation, teamwork, dialogue, synergy, inter-connectedness, and the co-creation of meaning?"
read the article
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

A Little Bit of Fun

DeeJayKay Blog

(and no, I don't think so)
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

A Renaissance of the Commons

Free Market Dogma or a Community of Shared Values and Purpose?
How the New Sciences and Internet Are Framing A New Global Identity and Order


“Today’s political conversation ignores the potential for emergent, networked collective action. But right in front of our noses is a living example of a system that is working to produce value without visible control or rent-seeking behavior.”

...) Not only do these new self-organizing, “bottom-up” networks of individuals arise spontaneously without the customary “top-down” organizing apparatus of a corporation, government agency or nonprofit, they tend to be much more innovative and efficient than market mechanisms.

...) when leadership, coordination and motivation can be achieved easily through self-synchronizing, self-enforcing means, gracefully leveraging our natural social tendencies, why should anyone be surprised that such a system of exchange will be more efficient, effective and equitable than a market system? Communities of trust and transparency can be fantastically efficient!

Thanks to Nick Lewis for finding this and converting it to HTML format. It is well worth the time to read the entire paper.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Report Identifies Nation's Best and Biggest Forests

Calls for an Immediate Moratorium on Large-Scale Logging in Public Forests
On the opening day of the U.S. Forest Service’s Centennial Congress, Greenpeace, in cooperation with the Big Sky Conservation Institute, has identified the nation’s last remaining intact forests and faulted the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for failing to protect them. America’s Keystone Forests: Mapping the Next 100 Years of Forest Protection names 11 "Keystone Forests," the biggest forest areas left in the United States that provide the best habitat for the most diverse species. Most of these forests are found on public land managed by the Forest Service or the BLM.

"While the Forest Service is patting itself on the back, the reality is there is little to celebrate when it comes to the state of our forests," said Pamela Wellner, Greenpeace senior campaigner and co-author of the report. "With only five percent of the nation’s ancient forests left in the lower 48 states, keystone forests represent our last best hope for saving the country’s natural heritage. Unfortunately, they are threatened by the very agencies that are responsible for them: the Forest Service and the BLM."

The following areas were identified as keystone forests: the Maine Woods, the Blue Ridge-Appalachia, the Florida Panhandle, the Upper Great Lakes, the Mogollon, the Sierra, the Klamath-Siskyiou, the Pacific Northwest Volcanic, the North Cascades, the Northwest Rockies and the Alaska Coastal Temperate Rainforest. Unique maps show the condition and ownership of the land within each forest. read the report

Other links to Keystone Forests are at the same page of the report. The Mogollon is particularly precious to me, hence the link for just that one here.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Energy Surges, Seismic Activity, Shock

Is this more than a Universe adjustment?

I am still not feeling well enough to get my head wrapped around any of this but I can't help but feel Gaia hasn't given up on our species just yet. We are a plague and if we don't change our ways she will re-balance, that much is certain.

No, my questions, the ones I really don't want to ask, have more to do with what Michael at Spontaneous Arising has dug up, (and he has a lot!) and what Tony at abuddhas memes has been talking about for over a year, High Frequency Active Aural Research Project, (HAARP) a joint effort of the Air Force and the navy at an isolated base near Gakona, Alaska.

The Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction:
"Owning the Weather" for Military Use

I just want to go home now. I wish I knew where home is.
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Launching a Movement

Transcending the Political

The next steps:
Essential maneuvers to forestall Armageddon

John Kaminski writes about the American mindset:
"When you willingly and happily participate in a program meant to deceive and destroy you, it is doubly difficult to first realize and second to admit you've been had."

For those of us who know we've been had, he offers the following solutions:

1.) Capture Control of the Currency
At present, more than 90 percent of the world's wealth, in a world of six billion people, is controlled by less than 10,000 individuals,

2.) Identify the Real Power Structure
He writes: If you think George Bush or Dick Cheney is running the show, then you are woefully undereducated.
...Certainly supporting Dennis Kucinich didn't get us very far, did it?"

Dennis may have been the voice of the people but he isn't part of the Real Power Structure. See quotes from Dennis Kucinich on Iraq over the last year. Dennis was right across the board. Tell me again why this wisdom was ’unelectable’.

Tell me why the DLC and the DNC disgust me so. I frankly just don't care what they do. I'm tired of trying to get them to listen. It's a lost cause. That's why I keep saying it's time to ignore the government. Get out of our way!

3.) Shut down the government NOW, before we no longer have a chance to do it all.
And he then explains why that won't happen with excerpts from "They Thought They Were Free." ...chillingly appropriate for the situation in America today.

Read Kaminski's article, feel the urgency, and let's make our own plans. This is still a government 'of, by and for the people' but it is not serving us.

Seriously, when the White House, well known for putting faith front and center, is reportedly at work on a contingency plan spelling out how to run the country in the event that President Bush and other top-ranking Christians are 'raptured', are you feeling served? Please let them be raptured, today! I don't need to explain why that won't happen. It's a nice thought anyway.

Dave Pollard writes: "So what? We have the knowledge, and the numbers, to take back this world from the neocons before it careens completely out of control, that's what."

"What we need is much more than just a brand and a political party. What we need is a Green Movement. Today, the candidates and executives of the Green Party are preoccupied with getting elected, and in countries where that is feasible, that's fine. In every country, however, we in the Green Movement have more urgent tasks than glad-handing electors. Here's a first crack at an Agenda, a Manifesto for the Movement:"

Go read it, give him input. I can't find a thing in it that I think even most conservatives would object to except the name. I'm afraid 'Green' in the United States is associated with leftist fringe in far too many minds and I don't see that being reversed. I do see the Manifesto as being a very useful tool for change if enough buzz is generated. I can envision the Progressive Democrats of America sponsoring it. It is said that Dennis Kucinich sparked a movement with his candidacy. We can continue it. It is time to transcend the political. We know what has to be done and we know it needs to be done on a global scale. Inaction with no direction is killing my spirit.

posted by Cyndy | link |   | |

Boycott Day Inauguration Day Jan 20th

Boycott Bush's inauguration by not spending any money on inauguration day

Gasoline Boycott Day

Not One Red Cent

Not One Damn Dime
posted by Cyndy | link |   | |


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