Sunday, January 31, 2010

Surfin' The Net

Why does an old guy like me spend so much time hopping from one website to another, hour after hour, day after day? Perhaps it is merely to satisfy curiosity. Or possibly it is an effort to gain new knowledge. But if so, of what importance is this new information? Will it not simply be lost in just a short time? Lost with my death?

Not necessarily. For I blog, you see.

And conceivably my blog will survive after I am no more than burnt ash and bone dust. My blog entries will continue on in a fashion similar to the old way, the published book-in-print way, the method men and women once used to preserve their thoughts and ideas regarding the events and circumstances unique to their particular era.

I 'surf the net' and learn new things and then I record my own interpretation of formerly unfamiliar concepts: my scribbled squibs of personal thought, my jots & tittles as it were.

And who's to say that one of those squiggles will not be viewed at some future time by some evolved entity and act as a serendipitous stepping-stone across the mindless river of unconcerned happenstance and lead to some undiscovered land of hope and opportunity for the then prevailing race of thinking beings?

We may mourn the passing of the old and scorn the streamlined modes of the new but giving up in disgust is surely nothing more than emotion-driven foolishness.

One should use what is available.

So on and on I surf and learn and record the essence of that which is me.

Why not?

When I clicked on the link to an article at a well-known and highly respected online National Magazine, a large and colorful box 'flashed' onto the face of my monitor asking if I would mind taking a brief reader-feedback survey. Having often enjoyed some of the material in this publication, I figured I'd help them out with a thoughtful and deeply insightful response.

But the survey turned out to be one of those dumbed-down fill-in-the-circle multiple choice forms, one of those O Good, O Fair, O Poor, O Bad, O It-Really-Stinks type of things.

First question: How would you rate today's visit?

Good Lord!

Why would they ask me that question in a pop-up that completely concealed the first few paragraphs of the very first page? Before I'd had a chance to read a single word?

I decided not to take the survey after all, and also to skip reading the article. So in disgust I just clicked back to the Arts & Letters Daily icon on my desktop.

The next piece I turned to was a short biography of the noted writer, Philip K. Dick.What did I learn from this blog entry? Well, for one thing, this guy Dick was one of those Scientology nut-cases. And a practitioner of Zen and Buddhism. He was a frequent drug abuser, a poor excuse for a parent, had attempted suicide several times, and had once been reduced to eating horse meat.

Mr. Dick noted in an interview back in 1969 that he preferred to write Science Fiction because its "audience is not hamstrung by middle-class prejudices and will listen to genuinely new ideas."

"Horse meat!"

When I was young and on the road I once bummed a Camel and a light and then wheedled a quarter from a passing citizen on a narrow sidewalk in downtown Birmingham Alabama and took it into a hole-in-the-wall diner. On a cracked blackboard was scrawled, "Horse Meat Burgers, 3 For A Quarter." Since I had not eaten for two days, I ordered 3 burgers and a glass of water.

The food tasted swell. Three super-thick meat patties covered with mounds of steaming hot grease-grilled sweet onions between the halves of three gigantic fresh-baked buns. Delicious!

As I walked out the diner door I grinned and shrugged my shoulders in apology to the waitress, the one who had blue-gray smoke curling up into her squinty wrinkled eyes from the long Pall Mall cigarette that hung from her bottom lip... because I didn't have any money, not even a nickel, to leave her as a token tip.

I'm not sure what Philip K. Dick's biographer meant by saying he was "reduced to eating horse meat." There is nothing distasteful about horse meat. Not when one is truly hungry.

I stumbled across a Youtube X-Rated Parody of The Exorcist. Even though it made me laugh, many people will find it profane, vulgar, sacrilegious and not at all funny. You would be well advised to skip this one.

You have been warned.

Do not click this link.

Another new word has entered my vocabulary.

lucubration [look yoo brey shuhn]
1. laborious work, study, thought, etc., esp. at night.
2. the result of such activity, as a learned speech or dissertation.
3. Often, lucubrations. any literary effort, esp. of a pretentious or solemn nature.

Surely this is a word I will never use. But it's an interesting word. It has many possibilities.

I have been working on an essay detailing my thoughts on fear. It is nearly finished but still needs something. I'm not sure what that is but as soon as I find out I'll wrap it all up and post it here first. As soon as I finish my lucubration. Maybe as soon as tomorrow. We'll see.

Until then . . .

This video clearly and concisely explains the brain

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