An interesting observation . . .

We’ve had a rather long run of unseasonably wet weather this year.  While it has wrecked havoc on the symptoms of arthritis that my body deals with, it has afforded me the chance to make a strange observation.

When I would normally be sleeping, but arthritis discomfort keeps me from doing it, my natural inclination is to immerse myself in watching comedy movies – but the truth is I don’t actually enjoy them at those times.  I’ll put one in, and watch perhaps a half hour of it, then I’m sick of it an switch to a fantasy or something sci-fi.  I’ve done it over and over again the last few months.

I have nothing against comedy movies, and watch them with my wife as much as any other genre, but they do not make me laugh when my body is hurting.  I have no idea what this means, but it is interesting to consider.

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Seeing Stars – Trek or Wars?

A few days ago I had a wild thought, but so far nobody I’ve talked to about it has disagreed with it.  So,  I thought I’d share the thought here and see what everyone out there thinks of it.

Anyone who is a fan of science fiction knows that the fans of Star Trek and Star Wars rarely overlap.  I don’t mean casual fans, but rather the nearly rabid ones who dress up in their home-made costumes (which can actually be better quality than the actors wore on set!) and use their vacations to go to ComiCon.  At that level, you either like Star Trek or Star Wars, and not usually both.

As one who is a fan of both franchises, this has mildly interested me for many years. I think I’ve managed to boil it down to one central thought.  Which franchise you prefer depends on what you think of Big Brother. Both franchises have one.  In Star Wars, Big Brother is the domineering, overpowering Empire.  In Star Trek, Big Brother is the United Federation of Planets, and it’s military – Star Fleet.

So, what do you think of Big Brother?  Is it a benevolent protector, always ready to lend a hand and work towards the betterment of all?  Or, is it the dark, oppressive, dictator that micromanages everything in your life?

Personally, I think it is both. I can see the potential of a truly benevolent organization that is large and powerful enough to be able to help literally anyone anywhere.  However,  Big Brother can not ever be anything but evil, even when built out of the most altruistic of intentions.  The old truism states plainly: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Reflect, if you will, on some of the idle speculation that ran rampant between Barack Obama’s coronation as the Democratic Party candidate for POTUS back in ’08, and when he was sworn in as the new President. There was talk of states wanting to leave the US, and heavily Democratic States threatening a 2nd US Civil War if they tried.

THAT IS NOT A BENEVOLENT GOVERNMENT!  There is no way on earth that a benevolent organization would resort to the use of lethal force to make those who disagree with it bow to their decisions.  Let me be very clear about one thing – NO CENTRAL GOVERNMENT HAS THE MORAL AUTHORITY TO DEMAND SUBSERVIENCE, or make decisions that affect the day-to-day lives of people its leaders have never met.

It is my humble belief that the maximum viable population that any government can legitimately lead is about 50,000.  You get much smaller than that, and you really don’t need a government, but any larger than that, and you really do need to look at splitting the populations to separate areas, and having separate, autonomous, groups.  Governments should always answer to the people, and should never have authority to make rules that go against the wishes of the people it serves.  Individuals should always have the option to “vote with their feet” if they feel that a government does not serve them or reflect their ideals.

Wood Burning Stoves . . .

I have to admit, I have a weakness for a real, live, hard wood fire.  Fireplace simulations and electric inserts just don’t do it.  So, I’m predisposed to something like this on a visceral level – but then you toss in the sci-fi hook and I’m sold!  Love at first sight!

darthstove04

http://www.toxel.com/tech/2014/08/23/darth-vader-stove/

“Minority Report” no longer fiction . . .

Germany, California, Arizona, Chicago, and other places have begun field-testing a computerized crime prediction system that bears strong similarities (of use and purpose) to the Precogs in the movie Minority Report.

http://www.activistpost.com/2014/12/germanys-new-pre-crime-system-directly.html

Or, if you prefer – you can look for a copy of the original short story “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick.

http://cwanderson.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Philip-K-Dick-The-Minority-Report.pdf