A Few Crazy Ideas and Questions
There is no rhyme or reason to the collection of ideas here.
They are simply things I've been thinking about and questions
that needed to be asked. I'll look at aspects of human psychology,
the development of plant people, and why soldiers can't quit
their jobs, among other topics. And please don't complain about
the lack of focus or purpose. This is my own idea-generating
exercise, and if it isn't interesting to you, the little "x"
up there to the right will help you escape.
Torturing animals for entertainment used to be acceptable,
but now you can go to jail for kicking a dog. Cultural norms
change as enough individuals change. Vegetarianism is becoming
more common as it becomes easier to eat well without the necessity
of killing animals. Veganism
is increasingly popular also (no animal products at all).
The trend is clear, and it seems that if and when we find evidence
that plants suffer, there could also be a movement away from
killing plants. What's left? Fruit can be eaten without hurting
the plant that produces it.
Anyhow, as I pondered this move toward imposing ourselves
on other species as little as possible, a thought occurred to
me. If we were to evolve into a plant-like animal but retain
our intelligence, we might eventually be able to derive basic
nutrients from minerals and organic debris, as plants do, and
the eat our own fruit. You know, reach over and pluck that fruit
growing out of your shoulder when you need a snack. We would
not require any other living being to survive.
Why Can't Soldiers Quit?
If you work for any other employer you are free to quit when
you like. The arguments for suspending that freedom when a person
joins the military are weak. I think the easy acceptance of this
form of enslavement shows that people really believe in the right
to own other's lives, at least if they do so as a "society"
rather than individually. No reasonable conception of freedom
could include forcing people to do deadly work. I wrote about
slavery in more detail on my blog.
One of my favorite metaphors is a useful way to look at our
tendency to dwell on negative thoughts and memories. Here it
is: A man keeps going back to the same bad movie over and over,
complaining about it each time. We might laugh at this silliness,
but we revisit our own terrible internal movies again and again.
Here's an idea for a fun invention, and we're close to having
the necessary technology. Use virtual reality goggles and whatever
other tools will help the experience, to put people onto a scene
where they can walk around. Now, this has been done to some extent.
My idea is to make the settings authentic representations of
places at different times in history. Then the user can choose
a year and go there, almost like a real time machine.
There is a tendency to demonize certain things and behaviors
because of their supposed impact on the environment. I think
we need to take a more contextual approach to analyzing such
things and to implementing solutions. For example, some see SUV's
as bad because they guzzle gas. But what if an owner of a SUV
drives just 6,000 miles in a year while an environmentalist who
likes to travel puts 24,000 miles on his small sedan each year?
Who guzzles more gas? The car isn't good or bad, even if we think
using a lot of gas is bad (and that is a more complex issue than
I think there are real environmental problems that have to
be addressed, but I would like to see smarter approaches. For
example, the southwest is running out of water. But the cause
is not any one super-sized Phoenix lawn that gets flooded daily
to keep it green. The problem is that the total amount of water
used is beyond the aquifer and river replenishment rates. It
isn't directly about how the water is used. My solution: Let
each home use a certain amount of water at a reasonable price,
as a sort of "survival allotment." Then raise the price
sharply for any usage beyond that, and keep raising it until
demand equals replenishment rates. At that point people have
what they need and is some wealthy person wants to pay $18,000
per year to water his lawn it isn't a problem.
Seeing Through Our Words
Language comes with many potential risks, like leading us
to do things that would make no sense if we did not have sacred
words to misguide us. But it also opens up many new ways to see
the world. A dog can watch you do something stupid, but only
a human (probably one other than yourself) can see the stupidity
of the action. If I am right about this it seems logical that
animals can also see only physical beauty, while humans can see
the beauty of an idea or intention. So we have that going for
Can a consciousness be transmitted from one to another
Money is more important than people think, but less valuable
than they assume.
Nobody owes you a thing, but most people are willing to
do almost anything for you if you can help them get what they
If you become self-aware are the self and the awareness
Anything is possible, including the possibility that this
statement is false.
Most of the time it is better (more accurate) to replace
"all, always, never, same," with "many, usually,
How would your life change if you acted according to all
of the things you say you believe?