Archive for January, 2013

Post 173: Keep On Truckin’

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

I’ve been fighting for a while with this one song of mine. So far, it’s called either “Hard Truth” or “Life Always Needs to Keep On Living”. I put up on my website what I’ve got for the lyrics so far, but I’m still working on it. (Heck, I’m still working on “Weather Vane Woman….”)

I must have been listening to a lot of Tom Waits or something when I anchored the “voice” for this tune, because I don’t really listen to soul-wrenching bluesy music on my own. The song started when somehow I came up with the line, “Mama, I’ve come towards a hard, hard truth.” And it’s left me with the hard, hard problem of trying to work out what that hard, hard truth could be! Talk about making life difficult for yourself….

So, I started thinking about all the “hard stuff” that’s out there. And whenever I got something good, it was always just a brief sound byte, and never on-topic with the other “hard truths” I had previously thought of. Yet, I pushed, and pushed, and it’s to the point that I want to insist that these ideas should be considered as one.

The more I try to explain the song in this entry, the more I end up deleting.
So, I’m not going to say another word!

Post #172: Religious de-baiting

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

A friend started yet another religious debate on his Facebook wall. He started it with the statement, “Ethical systems grounded in secular humanist theories eventually devolve into self-centred systems that cannot be called “good” ethics.” And then he waited.

I took the bait, as did a number of people. It just seems so offensive to me. It’s like telling people who are starting a business that they’re going to fail, or telling a couple who are getting married that they won’t last.

I get where my friend is coming from. He practices law, and just like the police, you get a certain grim outlook on society when you deal with these matters. He’s openly admitted in his loss of faith in humanity. Still, I chose to argue with him, than to let him get away with the statement.

Startlingly enough, we found something to agree on. Somehow, we both agreed that in the end, you have to have faith in humanity’s natural desire to recognise and seek the truth. Even though he had no faith in humans coming up with a ethical system on their own, he reasoned that, “In the back and forth of reasoned discussion, I trust that the truth will come out….” Yet who’s doing all the communication? Da people! Yeah! He’s got some faith in us! Whoo hoo!

We were also able to agree that we’re on different sides of the same coin: I fear those who would blindly follow rules, and he fears those who tweak them selfishly. That was as far as I was able to get with him, while I was willing to weaken my position all the way to accepting that, sure, maybe humans don’t know if they’re good or evil, but even then, we could still develop a fair ethics system that could at best be called “tolerable” ethics. (Can’t say “good”, but you can’t say “evil” either.)

This was after a good five days of debating, with many hours of thought put into each rebuttal. I enjoy a good discussion on religion, but it takes too much time to type it all up, and then edit for fluff… and oh, the tangents! Maybe next time, I’ll wait to say something to him in person.

Post #171: My balls just dropped, yo.

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

I’m back to work. It’s not bad. It hasn’t really started since my new manager has been on vacation since I got back. I’m already working (and arguing) with my new team, and I’m just trying to get my bearings again.

The new year started with a bang. A slip and a reset, if you will. The biggest source of stress for me in 2012 came to a head no later than the 99th hour of the year - in fact, it popped exactly half an hour before the year was up. It set the theme for this year. Last year seemed to be a lot about bargaining, and trying to make it all work. Every ball in the air was given a disproportionate amount of energy just to keep ‘em all there. Not this year. The time to speculate is over. This year, we experiment.

I feel pretty good about this.