Tuesday, November 27, 2007

swollen joint blues

I have been trying to maintain the training but I have been feeling like crap since the Camel rock trip. The glands in my neck have swollen as have my knees and the painfull burning in my finers has returned from a few hour long rides. I shaved my beard to get a look at my glands so I have an odd look for me sort of Fester with freckles. LOL I hve been monitoring my bp and it has remained high so I am not sure what is going on. The glands do not feel hard or encapsulated so I may have picked up a virus somewhere. I will wait a few days but if I don't improve I may have to go back to the doctor.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The freedom to fly though the windshield

Libertarianism doesn’t work for me in the complex modern society. In the early days of human existence we were a bunch of tribes making a living as hunter-gatherers. As populations increased we eventually developed a more complex society thanks primarily to the development of agriculture and writing. The domestication of plants and animals gave us some control over food supplies, as we are a poorly adapted predator. We are not strong, fast and we don’t have much in the way of fangs. As much as we don’t like the idea we were probably more scavenger than great hunter until we began to develop technology. First language then writing magnified the effects of that technology until today we have the capacity to willfully destroy the world and unwittingly destroy life on a mass extinction level. We have adapted to live in a new social order also. The history of man as political animal is primarily one of rule by the strongest much like other animal groups. Again as we developed we acquired more complex structures to govern our interactions but we are still for the most part ruled by strongmen. Democracy is an ideal that does not exist anywhere although varying amounts of democratic principles are exercised by different nations. This has led us to the various isms of which libertarianism is on my mind. The libertarians claim to be the champions of individual freedom but to me they are just selfish to the extreme. This seems to be a creation of the privileged to justify their behavior. I was reading a critique of Aynn Rand earlier and that is what stimulated this entry. Atlas Shrugged is 50 years old. I just can’t justify extolling the individual to the detriment of the larger society the way she and the libertarians advocate. If we as a species are going to survive we are going to have to arrive at an accommodation with socialism. The capitalist system is a tyranny especially as practiced by the libertarians. They want to be free to use land as they see fit without regulation of any kind. In practice this destroys the environment that we all must live in. They somehow have adapted natural selection to society in such a way that land holders are the fittest and the rule of law exist to preserve their status and nothing else. They are unwilling to deal with the concept that in a society as complex as ours no one can prosper without cooperation. If you are free to ignore the recommended vaccinations for your children than eventually the diseases like measles and mumps that used to kill huge numbers would return. We see this at college campuses on occasion today. We set up free trade agreements to get around environmental and labor protections in the mane of economic development and we get poison products and poison air. I would like to see the libertarians like Ron Paul that extol freedom for them but want restrictions on abortion and isolation as a foreign policy challenged on the face of their arguments. Seatbelt laws save lives and they reduce the burden on the rest of us to care for the victims of accidents. You are not free to poison my air I don’t care how many brown people you are willing to kill to keep your private property

Friday, November 23, 2007

Turkey day at Camel rock

I decided to embrace global warming and ride up the coast for the holiday. The weather was dry and the wind cold but high fifties at the end of November is a little weird. I thought I had been getting in shape but towing a loaded trailer on a bike is different than just riding evidently as I was whipped by the ride up and ended camping at clam beach. The next day I went up the hill to Westhaven and Camel rock to watch the surfers. A great day all in all even though today I am one sore puppy. 25 miles out and then 35 on day two with the hills between the Little River and Trinidad it was exhausting. The condensation problem was reduced by seam sealing the tent fly but not completely eliminated even though I used the extra stakes and guyed the fly to avoid any contact. The poles still touch but it was very minor.
The road kill was odd this trip, along with the usual skunks and crows I was distraught to see one of my favorite birds dead in McKinleyville, a Peregrine falcon. I also saw the body of a red fox, I did not even know there were any foxes left around here so that was a bit of a drag.
The wind driven surf was up to 4 or 5 feet and there were a lot of surfers out. A bit of a surprise although winter surfing is the norm in northern California.The film I shot was overwhelmed by the sunshine so it is too washed out to post I think.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Genocide Day

The cold clear blue sky will be my blanket tonight as I am taking to the road once again. No rain in the forecast so I am off to Patrick's Point state park. I am a little ambivalent about this holiday as it is about many things I find abhorrent. There is no god so who or is it whom? Am I am giving thanks to? Also it was the beginning of the greatest genocide in the history of the world. I include the slave trade in this but some call that a separate slaughter. Either way I don't see it as cause for celebration. And then we have Black Friday the most obscene day in our modern culture when we drag our bloated bellies off to box mart and buy the fruits of child labor to stick under our dead trees to celebrate a fantasy that is the root of much of Americas bigotry. How can you not love it?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why the writers deserve to loose?

The training is progressing as inexorably as the change of seasons. 20 miles in a bitter cold wind is a major buzz kill but the clear blue of the sky will help to clear your mind. I have been reading about cultural evolution and memes as part of my exploration of philosophy and that brings me to my title for today's blather.

The writers of television for better or worse are the driving force in cultural evolution in the modern world. TV is the primary shared experience in American culture and the viral memes that it spreads permeate our public opinion. I will confess that I have stopped watching episodic TV for the most part as I am outside the target demographic and it just doesn't have the entertainment value for me that it once did. I still tune in to the new Simpson episodes and watch PBS but I get my news from I.N.N. and Democracy Now with Amy Goodman. When ABC put their programs up on the web in HD I was at first eager to check it out as living at the ass end of the technology pipeline we have not been participants in the Hd revolution. Until last year we did not even have the high speed Internet due to a dispute over 20 miles of fiber optics. Then I went to the web page and found that there was not a single show that I would waste a half hour watching but that is about taste and my point is about culture. The writers of Hollywood have consistently ridiculed the protest movement and organized labor in their programs for decades. Union leaders are portrayed as no better than mafia dons and the protesters of social injustice on the picket lines are pot smoking hippies or communist dopes. Now the seeds of this despicable duplicity have come home to roost and the average person thinks these overpaid writers are trying to get paid for nothing. They have denigrated the teamsters as lazy union protected slobs and are now surprised when others are not flocking to their cause in union solidarity. They have repeatedly proclaimed the teachers union as the reason our children are not educated rather than the feeble funding of schools. Now that you have created a culture that hates unions and decries the dignity of labor you expect other workers to line up for you to get paid. I am afraid I must say reap what you sow.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Free market myths

Being a native Californian I have had the opportunity to see firsthand the bullshit that happens when the free market morons get to deregulate a functioning system and steal billions of dollars. The republican policy of privatization has failed every time it is allowed to be implemented. We have seen what happens when you let the industry write the regulations, unbreathable air, fish so poluted with heavy metals that it negates the benefits of omega threes to eat them and real living standards falling like a rock for the middle class. My question for republicans is can you show me one example where your free market policies have solved a problem just one? I have a list as long as my arem of its failures just show me one instance that you can back up with facts where the free market has solved any social problem.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cold, wet soreand disgusted

Winter seems to have arrived with a vengeance or maybe I have become a major pussy in my sleep. The rain and fog cut into my joints like rusty nails when I rode yesterday and I am groaning mightily this AM. The cold weather is not the only thing getting me down these days but it is enough. The politics of this nation have again become a major buzz kill. I watched the dancing monkeys of the Democratic Party shuck and jive to the moronic questions at the CNN debate from Nevada. I don’t know why the folks that own that network hate immigrants so much, it could be they are just the most convenient scapegoat or maybe they just don’t like the sound of Spanish? Does it really matter to that many people I don’t know? I am not worried that the guy that picks the grapes or the motel maid is sneaking a bomb over the border in a backpack. As a human being I am offended that we let American corporations go to the Latin American nations and destroy their economies pollute their farm lands and ensure that they can no longer grow their own food, (Monsanto and others actually produce crops that cannot be used as seed to control foreign economies) and then we want to build a fence and say starve. With the coming changes in climate the day may come that our Canadian neighbors to the north may build their own fence and tell us to go fuck ourselves when it gets to be 120 in the shade in Texas in December. Wtf at least my arthritis won’t be aching

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Has anyone seen my sense of humor?

Spent the day on another long ride and for some reason instead of the usual calm i got a bit pissed. if I were a better writer maybe I could convey my feeling to you in print but instead I decided a little video rage was in order.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wasted day

The web site for the secretary of state has rules for recalling a us senator but they are apparently bullshit as I went to the election commission to get the specific state codes and there aren't any. Turns out you have to impeach them so I wasted a lot of time and the war criminal Feinstein is beyond the reach of the law. One can only hope that in the future when the war crimes trials are held she can stand in the dock with Bush and the other torturers.
For science fans out there tonight's Nova on PBS is about the Intelligent design Vs science argument in the courts of Kansas hope you can catch it. Got in a short ride today as the weather was clear but anger ate my energy so I will get back to training tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Unnatural selection or Why do smart people believe such ridiculous ideas

The weather has turned cold and wet so the training has gotten a bit miserable. I am racking up the miles and trying to do as many hills as I can find but I am doing laps instead of long trips as I like to be close to home if it starts to pour. I am hoping for a break in the weather next week so I can test the sealed seams of the tent.

I was listening to a podcast from point of inquiry while I rode yesterday that got me thinking about ideas and how some highly educated people can buy into some very fallacious concepts. The discussion was on intelligent design, a concept that has no chance of being correct in a scientific sense. the proponent was arguing that Darwinism or evolution could not explain the complexity of certain systems so there must be a designer. This is idiotic on its face as the designer had to come from somewhere and is by necessity much more complex than anything they try to explain with it. more god in the gaps of our knowledge and untestable. I don't wish to rehash the debate but to ponder why anyone with a science education would argue for it. the speaker a man named Behe is a college professor at an accredited institution so he has a PhD from somewhere in biology yet he argues that because Darwin's theory and subsequent studies do not have the exact explanation for every possible protein in living organisms there has to be a designer. He puts forth no evidence to support his claim other than the appearance of design is evidence for a designer. this is the type of nonsense one gets from the Panda's Thumb and other texts that try to justify the religious point of view. There is no logic that can make this circular argument so my question is how can an educated man think it is plausible? What is it about the human animal that it will accept utter nonsense rather than abandon religion?

Monday, November 5, 2007

"To study philosophy is to learn to die"

The search for meaning goes on, as does the training. After the ride back from the beach I was whipped and had to rest up on Sunday. Today has been errand running and work on a few bits of equipment. Replaced the broken water bottle cage and rode some hills. Then I set up the tent and sealed the seams. The salesperson told me that it was factory waterproofed but I got a little damp from condensation so a quick perusal of the instructions pointed out that it was the floor that was sealed but the other seams were not so that is now taken care of. I am planning to go out again Wednesday if there is not too much rain in the forecast.
I have been reading more on consciousness and free will but the more I read the less satisfied I become with the answers. Are we nothing but bags of parasites and random electrical discharges? Can we make our own decisions? It would appear not. I find nothing in my readings that gives any evidence for us being able to control outcomes and so I find no path to responsibility. Why do I do what I do? It would seem I have no ability to do otherwise. I don’t care for this answer but the universe doesn’t give a flying fuck if I like it or not so what’s a Radmul to do?
The title is from the roman thinker Cicero.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Clam beach clam bake

Spent the weekend on the first real long ride of the training. Rode up to Moonstone and camped at clam beach. Lots of hills and a great ride. here is some video from the road.