Archive for the ‘ Philosophy ’ Category

Evolution Explained

Great video: basic evolution in a nutshell.

Immigration to and from Darlington, Wisconsin

Family home in Darlington, Wisconsin

The family home in Darlington, Wisconsin

This is where I grew up, my parent’s home in Darlington, Wisconsin. Darlington’s demographics have changed dramatically over the past 10 years or so. As a child I thought there were two types of people in the world: Catholics and Publics. I assumed the Publics were a branch of the Republicans and so was stunned when my parents told me they voted for JFK…I was in the third grade at the time. How could I go to the Public School and not be a Republican? How could my parents own a newspaper called the Republican Journal and not be Republicans? 

I don’t recall much ethnicity in Darlington during my growing up years. There were Sid and Elsie Garrett…the only Jewish couple that I knew of in town (how did they get to Darlington and why did they stay?). There was a Black woman who lived near Calamine and shot and killed some guy who got drunk and tried to break into her house. Then later on, one doctor adopted a Korean boy and another doctor adopted a Black-American/Vietnamese child. I’m sure there were more…but not 100% sure. 

Today there is a thriving Mexican population…I heard there were more than 500 Latinos living in the county. There is a Mexican church, a grocery store (they sell almost any kind of pepper you can imagine), a restaurant, and check-cashing store, all on Main Street. There is a Mexican cheese factory but the only place in town you can buy it is in the Mexican grocery store because some big Mexican restaurant in Chicago has bought up all their cheese…or so I heard. You hear Spanish being spoken around town. There is a Chinese restaurant run by Asians whose first language is not English…I heard a couple speaking in the Piggly Wiggly (which used to be called Dick’s Supermarket…why would anyone name their grocery store Dick’s? And now Dick’s has been turned into a Piggly Wiggly; it just gets worse.). I saw a couple of black people in the supermarket, too.

This is a microcosm of the continuous movement of people across the globe. We read about it in history…the Celtic people crossing Europe and on to the British Isles in the first couple of centuries BCE; the Goths moving into the Roman Empire; the Romans moving to Byzantium and changing it to Constantinople; the Europeans swarming over North and South America. I moved from the Midwest to San Francisco. Well that may not be quite as dramatic, but it is part of the same pattern…a lot of folks from the Midwest made the same migration that I made. As a species, we definitely have that traveling gene in our blood. Makes for a very interesting cultural smorgasbord.

The Breach by Patrick Lee and insights on perspective filtering

  

A very good book to read on the airplane. Fast paced sci-fi…lots of turns; waaaaay too much violence but I skimmed those parts. Just to give you an idea of how engrossed I was, after the airplane landed the pilot came on the air and apologized for the landing. I said out loud, “he’s apologizing for the landing?” Others on the plane thought I was ripping on the pilot and one gentleman told me it really wasn’t the pilot’s fault; there had been a huge wind of some sort he had to fight. I was stunned! Apparently we had a really bad landing and I hadn’t noticed…I was reading The Breach! What’s really weird about this is that I took about 30 pictures as we approached SF; five minutes before landing, I picked up my book again and must have traveled to a parallel universe where the landing was smooth.

This experience goes to the heart of my theories on filtering…that we filter out everything that doesn’t fit with our species’ world view to different extents at different times depending on the individual. In addition to these broad species-based filters, we have filters based on our geographic location, religious upbringing, age, sex, education, ethnicity, personal tastes, momentary distractions and terabytes of other factors.

We are taught this filtering process from the time we are born. Babies when first born are unable to focus properly. Perhaps we must learn to filter out the infinite other images surrounding us before we are able to identify the things our species/societies want us to see…such as our mother, father, etc.  We do live in a sea of microorganisms made up of groups of molecules made up of groups of atoms made up of groups of still smaller particles. We, ourselves, are made of groups of microorganisms and other groups of molecules. If we could see on the molecular or subatomic level, we wouldn’t be able to tell where one person or thing stopped and another began. The lines between things are fuzzy when viewed closely, like the shore of the ocean, always changing. We must filter out all sorts of connections between these different groups to operate within the parameters of our species and our political and cultural locations.

I was apparently able to turn on all filters external to the book I was reading during the airplane landing. Another filtering example that came from reading this same book: One reviewer on Amazon complained about the foul language, but didn’t mention the violence. I didn’t even notice the foul language. We definitely have two different filters in play here. Look at all of these filters from this one reading of The Breach on the airplane. Think of how many filters are in play on every other subject in the world coming from the perspective of every other subject in the world. Whew! More on this subject of filters later.

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