Hedonic Hyperphagia

Announcing an alliteration to accompany my entry to Club Septuagenarius. Have I mentioned being born on my mother’s birthday: September 17, 1947? Well, I found a clinical word pair to celebrate a new decade — hedonic hyperphagia — eat one and you’ll eat them all. Whether potato chips (or crisps), Oreos®, All Hallows Eve candy: ad nauseam. It literally describes a fulsome moment. I raise my hand to admit something to a jury of my peers.

“My name is Bill and I am an hyperphagic.”

potato-chips-eating-for-pleasure

“Revealing the scientific secrets of why people can’t stop after eating one potato chip” couches that couch-potato moment in an article from Eurekalert.

Here are fifteen words to digest while digesting the last thing you consumed, such as Deep-fried Oreos® breaded with finely crushed chips (the crisp variety).

I know from studied experience that animal-based product may result in hedonic hyperphagia. You might not wish to know that the consumption of humus, not to be confused with hummus, is termed “geophagia.” I once (circa 1970) read an article in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers that earth-eating is associated with a low mineral diet. I also recall that Frank Zappa once warned about eating yellow snow.

Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.

Heather Morgan

As a former loyal-to-a-fault meat and hide consumer I know that items containing meat and meat by-products are based on animalian cells. These cells are comprised of molecules that have a psychoactive effect on an homo sapiens’ brain, “hedonic hyperphagia.”  Detox from such a diet is enervating to the extreme, both painful and discouraging. I had previously gone cold Tofurky® from tobacco and alcohol consumption before abstaining from animal-fare. I admit to the character flaw that accompanies total abstention however. Ambrose Bierce tosses well deserved water on my countenance. It’s called “total abstention.”  🙂

quote-abstainer-n-a-weak-person-who-yields-to-the-temptation-of-denying-himself-a-pleasure-a-total-ambrose-bierce-210924

 

Vegans stand as infuriating reminders that they serve sentient beings to man. Damon Knight wrote the definitive “To Serve Man,” most familiarly associated with its adaptation into a Twilight Zone episode. I wish Rod Serling had kicked smoking. You too?

That introductory pith drawn from the work of Heather Morgan inspires me to join Morgan by paraphrasing her:

Every time you eat or drink the lifeblood of another, you are either feeding nihilism or fighting it.”  — Bill Ziegler

I leave tales of nihilism for a future post.

non.vegan.limbo

 

Here is another envisaged scenario: what would occur were I to show up at a pro-life rally with an enlarged photograph of an aborted calf fetus? It’s surely happened at some rally somewhere. Would one or more protesters counter that there’s a deity-informed difference between the immortal soul of a God-created icon found in a book called Genesis? Who made homo sapiens the boss of other sentient beings? May I beg to differ?

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

LEGO, AUDIO, VIDEO: I Read, I Hear, I See

As April 30 yielded to May 1, I recalled that Old-Time Radio will have passed the wand over to New-Time Television exactly 55 years ago this coming September 30; in fact, the final two shows turned their microphones off on the same day.

JD_Button

In the unlikely event that you have already guessed which two programs made it curtains for that classic era, I roll the timpani — or cue the crickets.

Und so:

  1. Suspense
  2. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

Three suggestions for those new to the realm — a land wide, deep and satisfying.

  1. Vic and Sade
  2. Pat Novak for Hire
  3. Inner Sanctum
Vic-And-Sade-mp3
Paul Rhymer was the genius behind Vic and Sade

I have a soft spot in my heart for programs that settle into my psyche by way of sound waves — words existing on the printed page give your mind the means to fashion words to worlds. To use my sagacious father’s favorite phrase

“Well, let’s put it this way” — I prefer lego (I read) and audio (I hear) to video (I see). Reader or listener rather than viewer, what gives? Reading and listening demand more of the imagination. Theater of the Mind. Not my coined phrase, but dramatically accurate.

 

vacuum.tube.radio.deviant.art

Personally, viewing alone is like drinking alone — the experience doesn’t end well. It might work splendidly for thee, but not for me. In other words, judging my readers is never my aim (file under marginalia).

On with the show.

Watching TV with others involves participation. Joel Hodgson is the genius behind MST 3000 — an absolutely brilliant concept that sets Hodgson’s haplessly condemned yet innocent victim off planet, and forced to watch amazingly bad movies, a torture you may have experienced personally. Joel and his Bots (his own creation by the way) breaks that fourth wall too, perhaps a fifth wall.

Full disclosure: Lisa would rather shout VIDEO, ERGO SUM to my AUDIO, ERGO SUM. Well, let’s put it this way: we complement each other. So there!

video-ergo-sum-680x400
I view, therefor I am

During my years in West Germany (1971 to 1973), watching television was only good for language learning. Here is a recommendation for the next time you surf 255 channels — set subtitles to another language. Better still: watch a foreign film and set the subtitles to a language you want to learn. Experiencing a world without English language is a rare delight. I recommend it most heartily.  🙂

Advertisers want to make you think that the volition is entirely yours. IMO (only?), we do not live in the best of all possible worlds. Though you might be surprised to read that veganism is an effective remedy for that  imposition of schizophrenia upon readers, listeners and viewers. Blood-toothed marketers wish to either introduce or reinforce product loyalty. FTS say I. Out damned blood! FWIW, I pay an annual fee to keep this site advertising-free.

Addendum: I didn’t know that FTS was a sports term, so I pass that torch to my sports broadcasting alter ego. It was intended as a term of frustration directed at frustrating the darker side of advertising. Channel to ESPN-42 for more 🙂

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Working on Computers in 1975

Let’s flip the toggle switch on my steampunked time machine and head back to 1975 — the year Gordon Moore revised his hypothesis on the potential exponential growth of computing power, now known as Moore’s Law: computing power doubles every two years. He surprised himself at its curious accuracy.

moore.graph
Semi.Wiki (a semiconductor’s discussion site

Let’s go back to 1975, a year when Singer built business computers — I worked on a Singer System 10. That sewing-machine outfit made a foray into small business systems, a foray that ended abruptly in 1976.

 

singer.computer
A fine two-tone-dial phone with rotary dial.

Ten years later I was assigned the task of converting a completely manual order processing system at a Cincinnati Milacron division in Blanchester, Ohio. They obtained a small business computer, a wardrobe-sized unit called a CIP 2200B, from the Milacron Products Division. So it was a hand-me-down — with 64K core memory, 10 megabyte fixed disc, 10 megabyte removable disc and a 96 column card reader/punch.

I reported to the corporate boss of information: Pat Goggins. She was a wonderful iconoclast who ruffled many corporate functionaries. I have a soft spot in my soul for independent minds because they threaten the order of things. That is as it should be. Vegans pose a threat to the tyranny of the majority, and that is a very good thing.

vegan.humor

The Electronic Circuit Materials Division manufactured board bases for Ford automobiles, crappy scrap for Radio Shack and all manner of integrated circuit users. It was a fascinating place to work in the 1980’s At that time I was a single parent to my two children — my wife Jeanne died in 1983, and I wouldn’t meet Lisa until 1993. so I chucked my suit-and-tie collection into the closet and returned to German language and literatures, a world I had left in 1973. We moved closer to town in 1987. It was a hot and densely humid day. The cicadas sang, the car blew a radiator hose. We were at the shoulder of an interstate. Who populated that vehicle? Myself, my two kids, our cat and our bird.

Coding a program is a lot like learning a foreign language. Database records are words and relationships. Programs have syntax, grammar, logical thought — uttered or iterated.

Programming-816

One kind reader has expressed an interest in my use of pattern-matching techniques, a method called “regular expressions” — an invention of the 1960’s: it still supports many shells glommed around it — devices with modern application. The shoulders of those giants still support us. There is no such thing as a sky hook.

Meanwhile — in the “greater” world — folly tramples on dreams deferred. Do we stand at the rim of an abyss — perhaps of our own making? Dinosaurs peered skyward at the brink of yet another extinction. What other species unknown evolved over billions of years, to return all to primordial casseroles with a punch on the reset button. Five extinction events and counting. This planet is patient and resilient.  I like the way my friend Hariod expresses a gentle treasure — confronting imponderables with contentedness. Witness contentedness. Consider this photograph:

 

happy-indian-girls-in-kolkata-by-jorge-royan-argentina

Happy Easter 2017 🙂

Thanks for reading.

 

First Job: 1965 — Steampunked

Well, it’s time to steampunk the time machine again. The one over there. The one in the corner. That’s mine.

Yes. The time has arrived to set its calendar function to a May day in North America — its 1,965th iterations of C.E or A.D. (your choice). My machine, its vacuum tubes warm to the challenge. I click the counter to 2000 + 17. Dial needles slowly sway forward as the tubes warm. I click the destination counter to 1900 + 65.

steampunk.knapsack

Was it…

OK it was McDonalds. My parents dropped me off so I could put in an application while they did journey upon an errand. I shall never disclose the nature of their journey-called-errand because both joined the deceased quite some years before I started writing this account you now read, that is, unless you have already departed from this post.

Dear readers, we are now in that very McDonald parking lot. Do you see the car leaving this lot? Do you see me walking in at the back door?

OK. There was this guy at a corner desk. Did he tilt his head sidelong in my direction? Yes he did. How did you know?

mcdonalds.1965

That guy would utter something of portend the following day. You’ll read about that mere minutes from now. Allow me to repeat his very words, so that you may carefully note them:

“The uniforms are in the basement.”

By gosh there were uniforms in that nether room. And don them I did.

Bill, thank you for recalling the insignificant.

Upon donning the red and yellow vest, upon tilting the paper cap to a jaunty angle, I returned by the same set of stairs.

mcdonalds-ad-1961-cincinnati-enquirer-2

And thus did I learn the milkshake-machine trade. A fellow tradesman was already at our shared station. Few customers demanded shakes that day. We simply stood there and took turns. My associate posed an inquiry:

“Why did they assign two tradesmen to this light-duty trade?”

“Why were we not assigned the task of squeezing mustard and ketchup for the grillsmen?”

Excuse our yawns, Bill. Uh, did you parents return from their quest?

Indeed. They returned. I do not think that they expected to find me in full uniform regalia, jaunty tilt and all. I do not.

steampunk.time.machineDay number two: co-shaker and I are on the job,  waiting for the ever infrequent shake order to arrive. In the mean while the manager and his assistant sat upon a picnic table outside. They watched us as we nervously stood, working hardly at faux cleaning.

Some short minutes thereafter the assistant manager of picnic-table note informed me that my application existed not, one person where only half-ass staffing sufficed.

application-mcDonalds

Fortunately I had a prepared response “uh, yeah. I haven’t done that part yet.” My second day was also my last — pink papers were drawn.

Next job to visit via steampunk: OS&D Clerk at Dance Freight Lines — connecting the north with the industrial south.

 

crackerbox_red_dance_lf_lg

Thanks for reading.

 

Astoundingly Analog

Let us say you are on the way to Mars in 1958. Let’s actually place you in the pilot’s cabin of a spacecraft in a distant future — 1980. Back home at mission control, pipe-smoking scientists and cigar-smoking generals are using the magic of radio — bigger, better, more vacuum tubes.

 

space-ship-controls
Source

 

Meanwhile, other American scientists and generals are helping Japan battle monsters all kind. Godzilla, Gamera. Scientists, generals and the kids and singing miniature friends of Gamera.

 

A confident team on Earth barks orders. Walls crammed with magnetic-tape driven mechanical brains. What gives with all those dials?

 

Isn’t it time for you to mention Phillip K. Dick again?

Of course it is. PKD.

And speaking of analog, your LP, 45 is performing its proverbial broken record role. Time you enter the future of home recording — the reel-to-reel tape deck.

 

science-fiction-sunday
BoingBoing Science Fiction Sunday

There’s a reel or two from my good old 3M Wollensak in the basement, or somewhere. Here is some advice you don’t need — cheap magnetic tape flakes its coating; it had a ferrous smell.

You probably have a large box of vacuum tubes, condensers, capacitors, resistors too.

Yes.

And when I wasn’t trying to make sulphuric acid and release free chlorine gas? See Chemistry 001 for more. What to do?  Well, wrap copper wire around an oatmeal box to make a crystal radio, one with an antenna stretching from attic to nearest tree. That there radio pulled in one (1) station. Those were less modern electronic times, the days before a portable radio could contain up to 12 transistors.

We don’t seem to be getting anywhere here. Are you fumbling for a coherent, direct and unambiguous theme, Bill?

No.

You need help, Bill. We hope you’ll get the help you need. Let’s help get you back on task. Didn’t you program a computer in that world of the future? 1980’s.

’twas a circuit-board materials plant in Blanchester, Ohio. I still have several 8K boards that were suspended on a rod and inserted into a motherboard. Those 8 boards provided all the memory needed to power a 64K core memory. No old-fashioned 80-column cards for the CIP 2200B. No indeed. 96-column cards were a fraction the size, yet delivered more columns for nifty RPGII program code.

96-column

What did the Electronic Circuitboard Materials Division do before becoming ‘computerized’ in that 1980’s distant future?

The order-entry system wrote data on thin bamboo sheets with a paper covering. Perforated strips had columns inscribed with a straight edge and ballpoint pen. The bamboo was flexible; it allowed you to move order data up and down a steel “book” flanged on each side. Those strips traced an order from entry to shipping. When the order shipped you snapped that bamboo and tossed it into a waste can.

Once again, you are allowing your mind to wander. We’re interested in results (and getting you the help you need).

I programmed a database to convert the bamboo modus operandi into electronic databases. We went parallel with the bamboo strips for a month, all went smoothly and moved right along — until competition from Japan arrived in that future 1980’s world. Cutting to the proverbial chase: the plant closed and reopened as a Honda parts facility. I became a single parent of two incredibly wonderful children when my wife died in 1983.

The Japanese no longer had to defeat Godzilla, Gamera and all the other monsters. Nippon had time to become an economic juggernaut.

Where did you go then?

To work on my M.A. in Germanic Languages and Literatures, of course.

 

germanic-languages
Source

Well that’s a finely fiddled career path, innit? 

Naturally it was. I had until 1993 to meet Lisa online in the advanced bulletin-board system of that more distant future world of the 90’s.

Didn’t you get back into databases when you discovered that classroom management was not your forte, but your greatest weakness?

Yes. Had to  do something until Y2K came along without two columns on an 80-column-card. An assumed “19” fostered justifiable fear. Had the 96 column card been available in those 1950’s spaceships — my mind begins to boggle.

We can wait. 

OK.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Veganism Confronts Alternate Reality

Philip K. Dick has a great definition for reality. Slip into a time machine of some rare device and glide back 39 years to this PKD instruction manual:

“How To Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later” (1978)

Philip K had a way with clever titles too.

From that essay:

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

it-is-sometimes-an-appropriate-response

I’m confident he would be amused to visit this place 39 years after publishing that essay, but consider the depth of his vision — he may have understood the fearsome circumstance of contemporary reality with fierce accuracy. Science fiction is good at that sometimes. 

Alternate histories are the unexpected consequence of historic events preceding the present moment. Charting the present is a matter of connecting historical dots.  The past is fully explicable, though it might have struck you at break-neck speed. Many suffer from whiplash. I am but one.

Days that happened include the 8th of November 2016. Once you regain equilibrium you wake up to a hard (or soft) landing. You realize that “it” happened.

Let’s consider that really real reality — the one that doesn’t go away just because you stop believing in it.

That reality devours every nanoparticle of a belief system that failed you somehow. 

So it seems quite appropriate to preface m wild-eyed views on veganism with article from the another perspective, an opposing viewpoint: veganism is a travesty. Click Not Healthy to weigh a specious argument from the Fruit Doctor.

The truth of veganism doesn’t go away. Animal rights still exist — even when those rights are inexpedient.

Veganism is a truth recognized by the many but practiced by the very few. Still, many non-vegans are aware of a resemblance between the typical factory farm and a death-camp. Well, slaughter does imply imply a certain amount of death.

The specie homo sapiens is capable of much denial and not a small measure of ignorance. You heed a call to close your mind to disagreeable facts, make room for more spectacle — blood and circuses.

Intergenerational theft is a reality. Old thieves like me grasp the spoils of war and limit resources, insisting that future generations fend for themselves. 

There are three-times as many homo sapiens on the same planet as there were in the year of my birth — that’s the 1947 part of my eponym. Human population consumes an equivalent number in the animal husbandry economy each year.

greedhurtingeconomy

The next celebration on the calendar in the US of Us features super-sized bowls of chips, plates with slathered wings mechanically separated from a billion birds. The hearth of America becomes a stadium filled with a 100,000 seats for 200,000 buttocks — attending a “game” that is a metaphor for war. Flaunt, preen and consume so that the economy falters not. An audience slightly larger than 100,000 observe the spectacle from the comfort of a frenetic television screen.

Enormous shopping carts roll forward with product of the grossest national product that end-stage consumerism can muster. Together they supply trillion-dollar industries that provide product for all manner of mastication. Each with a nutrition label. Here is an aphorism that may cheer you  will reading those labels: “Well I’ve got to die of something!

protein-vegan

Blood and circuses. 

Here’s an alternative to viewing Supper Bowl LI — read something from Phillip K, perhaps “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Better yet, read my other posts on a theme of vegan. 🙂

Happy reading.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

A Möbius Twist Please

 

Hariod Brawn, a fellow I follow regularly on WordPress, recently posted “What is it like for nothing to happen.” Many, including myself, have found great mill for grist there. Please consider spending a moment or five there.

gahan-wilson-nothing-happens-next-this-is-it-new-yorker-cartoon_a-g-9172121-8419447

Such thoughts as these intrigue me.

What is the science behind the abrupt discontinuity and surprising continuity of a Möbius strip? You are on one side and simultaneously on the other, or is it the other way around. Or is there just one side? A simple twist of the two-dimensional surface is radical and beautiful to ilk like me.

 

 

moebius-strip

 

Calculus allows us to keep begging the questions on a seeming, and actual, infinity:

“Are we there yet? When are we going to be there?”

Meanwhile we march on asymptotically toward an axis or several axes, or three-dimensional, four-dimensional axes.

asymptote

I say “dare to divide by zero.” But thank me not —thank the unknown scholars who introduced the zero. Roman numerals are hard-headed and in-your-face hard-nosed to math fans.

But back to nothing (or zero or zed). Consider the weight of the universe. Then consider its opposite: absolutely absolutely nothing.

“But, but the big-ass weight of the universe is a whole lot of something. Or something.”

Some time ago a science fiction author (name unknown to me) imagined a planet with never dissipating cloud cover. At no time of the day or night could an inhabitant see anything but the underside of endlessly butting together clouds. The sun was a hazy bright spot visible during the day. At night, of course, no stars. What could the inhabitants know of the universe?

Question your assumptions, and most certainly question the assumptions that others wish you to parrot. Many orthodox believers deign to make it all so convenient, and think in dogmatic lockstep. Big but:

Critical thought is not regurgitation.

The theory of the large bang is instantly and often and desperately decried by those who presume knowing, and accurately interpreting, the mind of deity.

“How can something come of nothing? It doesn’t make any sense. How could anyone think that it could. QED, Q E D.” Demonstrandum optional.

That QED insists that you follow one simple step: The Deity thinks, therefore I am, therefore you are.

Let’s say you follow one of two (2) monotheistic religions that number three (3), often depicted as a triangle or triad.

A line is the shortest distance two points: 3-monotheisticthe locus of the points between Judaism and Christianity. Small voice:

“What about Islam?”

Mark a point of discontinuity between Judaism and Islam.

Mark another point of discontinuity between Christianity and Islam.

Read The Glory of the Crusades. Listen to Al Kresta

Judaism may respond ponderously and profoundly with Christianity, and vice versa.  Cast every aspersion against the inexpedient, inconvenient, threatening, dangerous. Western Civilization took such a path.

So what happens when you ignore your sibling for a millennium or so? Call me Ishmael.

 

Knaves, Fools and Alternate History

Why think about living life backward into time to witness the hideous carnage left by the politics of certainty.

 

Chicanery is the lifeblood of politics. It’s the same blood that has flowed through humans since prehistoric differences of opinion formed borders, barriers and fences: sow the seeds of war. Good fences make…

We arrive at understanding through our collective memories found in myth. Mythology is eternally familiar, exposing our baser minds but letting us look at the stars. Unless you’re the one starving in a garret with no skyward window.

Myth is about asking inscrutable questions, the inexplicable is never really inexplicable. Everything is woven along an uninterrupted thread leading from the present-time into unalterable history. Infinite paths may mold the future, but only one path leads to the past. The inscrutable is always scrutable, tension: the certainty of the unexpected.

2016 is another strange leap year in American politics.

I remember 14 presidential elections from leap years 1956 to 2016. Whether mundane or jaw-dropping, they are 20-20 glimpses, but you won’t know that until after the die is long cast.

Living Backward in Time with 20/20 Vision

Fifty years ago I learned about having a wizard for a tutor.

once.and.future.king

A touchstone work is one you return to throughout your life for the simple reason that its ring is ever true, it illuminates your contrived and contorted life rather than darkening it.

Merlyn had a skill that made him a profoundly wise teacher: the ability to live life from the future into the past. When you live life backward in time you meet the people who live lives forward into the future: you and I. People look to the past for better choices, being raised in different families in different schools.

going.back.to.a.simplier.time

Were that Franklin Roosevelt had died from his polio in childhood. Reconnect the dots: fractals snap that way, but if you proceed from the future-as-history into the past-as-future?

Alternate histories in science fiction are fractals of life, roads not taken in a panorama of maybes. Setting out one way, becoming derailed or re-railed. Hindsight might be gift or torture.

Henry_II,_Plantagenet_Empire
Randall Garret’s “Lord Darcy” series:

The Angevin Empire in 1172, before the point of divergence of Randall Garrett‘s “Lord Darcy” series.

Let me live my life backward. Let me celebrate my first birthday one year in the past. It would take me from 1947 to 1946. I would become an adult in 1926, the present moment would be in the year 1879.

And the best thing for  being sad?

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then–to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.  Learning is the thing for you. Look at what a lot of things there are to learn–pure science, the only purity there is.  You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six. And then, after you have exhausted a milliard lifetimes in biology and medicine and theocriticism and geography and history and economics–why, you can start to make a cartwheel out of the appropriate wood, or spend fifty years learning to begin to learn to beat your adversary at fencing. After that you can start again on mathematics, until it  is time to learn to plough.”

(Merlyn, advising the young King Arthur in T. H. White’s The Once and Future King, Berkeley Medallion Edition, July, 1966, page 183.)

 

 

 

Africans without Europeans

uncolonized.africa.upside.down

What’s wrong with this map? What’s right? What’s just? Who decides? Who benefits?

Maps are important ways to perpetuate a Big Lie.  Here is Africa from a fresh perspective.

Alkebu-lan is Arabic for “Land of the Blacks.” The map above uses familiar color and shading schemes to name the distinct cultures and people. Human geography.

Zoom in and experience the fractal quality of intense diversity:

sokoto_etcetera
Sokoto Kuilafat surrounded by neighbors. Please read Big-think perspective

 

 

 

The unlabelled land mass at the bottom is the uninhabited realm of lands depopulated by an extinction level event such as Black Death: an alternate history suggested by Frank Jacobs elucidated here:

Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent

A few interesting land areas stand out: places we call Sinai, Levant, Sicily and Spain. Their unexpected presence gives pause.

Please look at this planet from the Other’s perspective, remembering that you too are the “Other.” Call me Ishmael.

The equator is the dashed line. To my eye that great lake in  Alkebu-lan looks like a chick’s eye. What a strikingly different way to look at this enormous continent. The solar system doesn’t have a top and bottom, so I can just imagine visitors from another star system mapping the southernmost continent as the top of the third planet out.

The Latin for the interior sea is Mediterranean: the sea at the middle of Earth. It’s natural but unfortunate to look at the world from where you name “us.” It could be New  York or the Middle Kingdom (China) or Middle Earth.

Anywhere, really.

America must not remain the center for geopolitical advantage studies.

The land of the fulsome and the home of the nice.

Proud to be an Imperialist, where at least…

Here are the paths the genomes took.

out.of.africa.route.ibm
From IBM recombinational analysis on the human genome. Source.

Simply stated, a map projection is a compromise achieved by forcing a sphere in three dimensions onto a two-dimensional surface. Only a globe presents accuracy to scale on behalf of the earth orb, but you can only see one side of the globe at one time. And it doesn’t fit well in your pocket.

When you have looked at the same combination of continents 100,000 times or so, it gradually takes on the ring of “truth.”

Consider the azimuthal equidistant projection for establishing a center point anywhere. It’s the polar opposite (figuratively and literally) of the mercator projection. Mercator places the North Pole at infinity. Azimuthal places Santa’s Workshop at the center of the world.

azimuthal.equidistant.north.pole
Source: David Rumsey Map Collection

Expect maps to push agendas hard. In 1978 the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said produced the book Orientalism,in 1978. It explains the way an occupation force imposes its perspective on the occupied: imposition of language and Eurocentric concept of unchangeable truth.

cecil.rhodes.colossus
The wide stance of Cecil Rhodes as Colossus of Rhodes in this famous cartoon. Founder of the Rhodes Scholarship fund. Before Zimbabwe there was Rhodesia. Cecil left a legacy.

From Allen Webb, my source for Cecil Rhodes, a quote from gentle Cecil:

We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labor that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.

The British imperial overlords used a straight-edge to define borders for the people they exploited before leaving former colonials to sort it all out. Once they left they didn’t look back. What’s past is passed. Let’s just say ‘we’re history.’

Consider the absurd British decision to create an East and a West Pakistan in the South Asia theater of interest and profit. It’s folly most insane. Lord Balfour had as much insight as the architects of East and West Pakistan when he crafted a  67-word statement in 1917.  Nakba is one result. Truth is one casualty.

partioning.colonies.middle.east.british.empire
Arbitrary borders possibly drawn by an idiot with a straight-edge

I mention alternate histories. Here is one such at DeviantArt.Net, a resource for speculative art.

alternate_history_map__1__central_power_victory_by_drawnzilla-d77hpbv

Keep a window open for Yanko Tsvetkov, the cartographer for the indispensable Atlas of Prejudice.

atlas.of.prejudice

Thanks for reading.