Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

arguing

Much of our society has been dumbed down below the level where they can have a friendly, civil, animated discussion with someone holding significantly different views from their own. Quite intelligent people with wonderful potential cannot speak to me because I don’t share their faith in new cloud forms, benevolent vaccines, trustworthy big government and so forth. What is it? What happened to the positive art of arguing? Worse, how did fear of divergent views become normal? Debate has a long history in advanced societies. Participants work to craft compelling explanations for their points of view. Audiences as well as the debaters have their views challenged; have to work through the logic and evidence supporting their convictions. These are good […]

the bookshelf

Yesterday I said the bookshelf told the story. Today I will explain. As an overview I will say that in the middle of a move the stuff that made it to my first installed shelf were things that needed little thought to be foremost. Thus the shelf contents clearly have significance to me. Let’s start with the sign “Think Dangerously”. Can there be any doubt that the person who bought and displays it is non-mainstream? Not average? Liberated? Unafraid to challenge norms? I placed the artist modeling figure in a ‘walking the tightrope’ stance. That is the balance between seeming normal and free thinking. I cannot explain my odd head-on-foot Sculpey clay figure in a short paragraph, but that too […]

cultural divide

In responding to my daughter who felt our Montana reunion last summer was a disaster, I found I could not share most of my thoughts. They would be quite unhelpful. Her San Francisco family of three along with an Idaho mother in-law and her brother’s Utah family of eight rented a vacation lodge. While there were some frictions there, they increased when that group combined with the Bitterroot elders, and further while visiting the homesteading family of six. I realized in the 1990s I did not fit the California culture, and, significantly, that I could somewhere else. Shopping online I found a more appropriate community, moving to Idaho late winter 2000-2001. A dozen years later I snuggled into an even […]

turning points

My first-born’s upcoming birthday inspired my pondering of where I was at his age, and where I went from there. In the photo to the right I am standing in my seven foot tall cover crop of oats, bell beans and vetch. I began studying agriculture in college earlier, fortunately running across Bob Cannard before I wasted a ton of time becoming mal-educated by the reigning ‘conventional ag’. I was about five years into learning how to work WITH nature, listen to her, help her, and subtly discovering that the dominant school of thought was just flat WRONG in the agricultural realm. The Bob Cannard school of thought has many names, but its successes are irrefutable. We can, and […]

computers circa 1970

Given the choice between kill (people I did not know and certainly did not hate) or be killed in the jungles of Vietnam, I enlisted in the US Air Force. In retrospect, I helped with a lot of killing, but I didn’t mean nuthin’ by it. I spent the working part of my 4-year enlistment as a computer operator, and most of that running an RCA 301. Computer operators read the lights, and wrote our instructions to the lights. Milly was the master I learned from, and I ended up exceeding her. I was a geek before geeks were invented. This miraculous machine that could process data at light speed had gen-u-ine Core Storage of 17K. That was A LOT […]

your brain vs GPS

I grew up two doors down from The Woods. I was about 5 years older than “the family dog”, who really grew to be my dog because I spent time with her, shared mutual respect, and I often took her exploring The Woods. How does a little kid find his way into new spaces of the natural world, AND back again? I dunno, but I did it all the time. Into the woods, to the lake, across the valley, to my 2nd grade schoolhouse, to the toy & model store … and unerringly back home again. Heck, one day in my early teens I rode my Schwinn Varsity to visit my little sister at summer camp a half-day out and […]

exploding heads

Another one bites the dust… The Snowflake Generation The ME Generation The Don’t tell me NO generation The Everyone is a Winner generation The Trust the officials, don’t trust your parents generation However you slice it, the middle aged people today are not the same as they were a generation ago. A man is as good as his word. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Give more than you receive. It is this latter one that has come into question today after a third close, dear “millenial” blew up on me this year. In each case I have replayed the incident and all the preceding baggage I can conjure up only to find no […]

violence is golden

“Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Nations and peoples who forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.” — Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) “Freedom… refer[s] to a social relationship among people — namely, the absence of force as a prospective instrument of decision making. Freedom is reduced whenever a decision is made under threat of force, whether or not force actually materializes or is evident in retrospect.” — Thomas Sowell (1930- ) The above courtesy of http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/DailyQuotes “Strong communities are peaceful communities” — Ted Dunlap