Category Archives: Psychological Musings

Donald Trump and Michele’s theory of why we should burn coal


China has eye-burning smog everywhere. When we were in China, in 2009, I think we only saw blue sky on one day. We thought we would see blue sky when we went to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park because it was pretty much out in the boonies – Zhangjiajie is a combination of Brice Canyon and Zion National Parks except that it has wild pink azaleas, roaming monkies, and Chinese food in little kiosks along the trail – and is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited, but we never saw it with blue sky even after a two-day rain storm. Every day, my eyes burned and my nose ran. It was worse than when I lived in Los Angeles in the late 50s.

Because the smog is so bad in China, the pressure to reduce it is very high just like it was in Los Angeles in the 50s. Because the pollution is so visible, there is a massive lobby to get rid of sources of pollution and China has become a world leader in solar and wind power. In the US, because our sky looks so blue, the Clean-air Lobby is much weaker.

More and more we are burning Natural Gas. However, Natural Gas is still doing great damage to our environment. It is not as bad as coal – according to the Union of Concerned Scientists,  Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant – but burning Natural Gas is still doing great damage to our planet. Michele thinks that we should burn coal, because, then, we would see the damage we are doing and increase our efforts to clean up.

Hillary and the Democratic Establishment are like Natural Gas, they have been undermining our Democracy and pay only minimal attention to the Environment. Trump is like coal, we really see the damage he is doing and that is mobilizing the opposition (or Resistance as San Francisco Magazine calls it). In that way, Trump may be the best thing that has happened to us.


Brute force

artificial-intellQuantity is quality, attributed to Joseph Stain (although he probably said Quantity has a quality all its own).

Nvidia is a graphic chip builder who, more or less accident, has become the Intel of artificial intelligence. As games became graphic centric, they needed processors that handled a massive amount of information. Quickly. It turns out that as chips fast enough to make Modern Combat 5 work so well also worked for artificial intelligence. As I understand it, artificial intelligence is just lots of memory – and storage, I guess – and lots of processing speed. In other words, brute force.

Now, I am beginning to think that natural intelligence – including human intelligence, maybe especially human intelligence  – is also just brute force. I am beginning to think that we are not as different from other mammals as we like to think we are, maybe we just have better processing, more memory, and more storage.




Yesterday, I went to cardiac rehab,

trump-hqjust like most Monday mornings. My life has not been changed by the election and it probably won’t change very much. We are geographically isolated from most of red America and at 76 most of the damage caused by this election will be after I am long gone. My denial and anger are theoretical. I am not going to be trying to get an abortion in Texas because I was raped or have my right to vote taken away from me in Virginia because I don’t have the right ID. That didn’t make my rage any less, just more theoretical, stirred up by a constant barrage of emails and facebook posts.

I used to think my outrage regarding Climate Change was theoretical too. I used to think that I was not going to live long enough to see Sacramento under water or hundreds of millions of people, now living in coastal cities like New York, Shanghai, and Tokyo, trying to migrate inland: but Michele has pointed out that the climate is already changing and the sea rise will look more like Hurricane Sandy  than filling a bathtub. But here, on a cold fall day, in a liberal part of a liberal state, my life is unchanged.




The idiots and change

On the roadAnd while you’re spot on in terms of the good she’s done for white women and children in this nation as a result of her activism, you also know the facts concerning her lobbying for the 94 crime bill and welfare reform, with the repercussions of that still reverberating today in minority communities, as well as her overt militarism that she demonstrated in her Senate seat, as well as the State Dept, as is also still witnessed today in the refugees pouring out of Libya and Syria as ISIS pours into those failed and failing states. Of course, the list goes on and on… Will Taylor on Hillary Clinton in a facebook comment.

I was listening to Barney Frank and Bill Maher talk about the guys that booed Berni, and Barney Frank. They – they being Bill and Barney – were very dismissive and we got a short lecture on government being compromise. The Bernie booers were written off as being unreasonable purists. On facebook, they are called sore losers, or simply not getting it, or just, idiots. I know I can go there, calling them idiots, not with the Bernie idiots but with the Tea Party idiots refusing to compromise. But listening to Bill and Barney’s sanctimonious chatter, I began to think of them as heroes. I realize that Bernie lost, even Bernie knows he has lost, and I want to be reasonable. I don’t want to be called an idiot of facebook. But we reasonable ones, we pragmatists, the great majority of us who say the purists are unreasonable, owe them a big debt. They are purists and extreme so we can be reasonable.

People like me who want change but agree to vote for Hillary, who fall in line, because it is the sensible thing to do, will not bring on the change we so desperately want. The people who are called idiots on facebook, are the people who actually move the political needle, not the reasonable ones like us. They are the ones that, in reality, create change.

Fear and Loathing on facebook

Grand Canyon“Nobody has spread hate more ten Obama he has set race relations back 50 years.” a facebook post 

Coming back to the news, my email queue, and facebook, after being gone for two weeks, has been a shock. Not that anything is any different than when I left, it’s just that I had been away from it. I pretty much only used my phone as a paperweight and alarm clock while we were gone and it separated me from the normalcy of violence in my daily life. Grand Canyon-2A coup in Turkey, a mass killing in Germany, another black man killed by another scared- shitless cop in any city USA, fill the papers. Entreaties for more money because a judge has jailed a black lawyer for wearing the wrong pin, or because Trump has said something particularly nasty, clog my email in-basket. And then there is facebook, sucking me into arguments that seem like arguments on morality when they are really only different opinions. I don’t want to say that the sun going down over the Grand Canyon is better than arguing over Hillary hiring Wasserman, it isn’t; but it is more soothing and it is more connected to the Mystery.Grand Canyon