Sunday, October 12, 2014

Remembering De Soto on Columbus Day

Ah, yes. The day of Columbus... the day that will live in infamy.  In honor of Columbus, let us remember another deranged and bloodthirsty nut-job from Europe who lied, stole and kidnapped his way across lands upon which he was tresspassing: Hernando de Soto.

De Soto made it to the Mississippi river from Florida by lying about his intentions, kidnapping those who welcomed him, and stealing the fruits of their labors.  3 of his thugs kept a record of his violent and treacherous spree of evil.  The startling irony of their accounts would be comical, were it not for the fact that European humanity believed that nonsense.

Their accounts indicate he died of a fever.  How he actually died, we will never know.  What we do know, however, is that his men dumped his corpse in the Mississippi and headed back for home pretty much immediately after his death. 

Those same accounts indicate that he pretty much wore out his welcome, with word getting out to other natives to look out for this nutty, deceitful white guy.  De Soto's crime spree may well have dealt a pretty severe blow to any trust of future peaceful European contacts.  The Southeast was one of the last native hold-outs east of the Mississippi.

He also did a pretty good job of spreading disease.  Animals brought with the interlopers, as well as their proclivity for defecating and urinating near the places they slept and ate spread bacteria and viruses that were foreign to the virgin land.  Disease from the filthy Europeans is likely responsible for the deaths of over half the native population who's immune systems weren't accustomed to humans who didn't cleanse themselves properly. 

Even though bacteria wasn't discovered or the communicability of disease understood, they knew that the Europeans weren't clean and that their filth could bring something very bad.  Many natives would destroy any utensils or dishes and bowls used by Europeans.  The microscopic bugs De Soto brought into the native lands of the southeast did more to prepare the way for eventual European conquest that all the conquistador's lances, swords and weapons combined.

Fields once covered with never before seen produce were left untended.  Only the spirits of those who once tended them know what once grew there.  The Americas gave the world chocolate, vanilla, corn, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, pineapples, chili peppers, sunflowers, peanuts and many, many more foods never seen before in Europe before 1491.  How many wonderful foods and medicines were lost in the American Southeast due to the dastardly De Soto?

Before slinking deep into the black waters of the Mississippi and into the afterlife, De Soto's arrogance and ironic ignorance may have set humanity back centuries, or more.  The loss of life, potential foods and medicines were terrible.  The inability of allegedly civil humans to communicate and make peace with others who were offering peace and civility was the real tragedy.

Monday, October 06, 2014

What about muh Wikipedias?

We've all heard the tired 'muh roads' argument.  If you're not familiar, it's the argument that if we didn't have government robbing us, we would 't have any roads.  As if there weren't roads before governments existed, or something ridiculous like that.


Following that logic, since Wikipedia was created by a student of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and who's objectivist views pretty much inspired its creation, I suggest that 'muh road'ers ponder over the fact that all the research they've done on Wikipedia wouldn't exist in the all-powerful state they pray to government for every night before they go to sleep. Yeah, I know, they're probably so deluded that they believe government would have come up with it eventually or that Al Gore invented it, and therefore my argument is moot.  If they are at least partially honest with themselves, though, they'd realize that Wikipedia exists IN SPITE of government and is now the largest published repository of knowledge in the world because of an INDIVIDUAL who opposes interference from government.


So, what about MUH Wikipedias?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Just Because You're Paranoid...

Every once in a while I get the feeling that I should be way more suspicious of everything.  Then I realize I'm just hungry.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

ASMR in the NYT

Some years ago, I noticed that the way some people speak makes me almost impossibly sleepy.  The first time I put two and two together was when Carl Sagan's Cosmos was on TV.  I always tried to stay up to watch it, but the minute Sagan began speaking, his delivery put me right out.

About a year ago, when Netflix stopped carrying Sagan's Cosmos, I started looking for other videos or audio for relaxation.  The first thing I tried was listening to scientific lectures or documentaries.  It wasn't the same.  Sometimes it worked, but not always.  So I just searched for 'soft spoken intellectual monologues' and got a Youtube hit for something called ASMR.

 ASMR, or auto sensory meridian response, has become a small phenomenon, led, in no small part, by an 'ASMRtist' who goes by the nom de guerre, "Gentle Whispering".  I rarely remain conscious through her videos, but one I recently saw kept me up. 

The New York Times covered ASMR, and Gentle Whispering did a video about it:



I must admit that I have been hesitant to post about ASMR.  It has now hit the mainstream. That makes it ok, right?  lol.  I've watched a lot of ASMR, and only a few put me to sleep very well. Gentle Whispering is one of, if not the best, IMHO.
EDIT: If you aren't familiar with Cosmos, try this little intro:

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

40?

There is no way I've been on this earth for 40 years!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Still Finding RP People

I recently went back to work at the chemical plant where I've spent close to half of my life and pretty much all of my working life. Today, I was working with a guy that up until the last few days I hadn't seen in years.  As I was putting on a climbing harness, I saw a little circle on his hard hat. Sure enough... it said, "RON PAUL". I have a few stickers just like it.


I struck up a conversation about it and he told me he had been a RP supporter since '88. He also told me there was another guy in my new area of the plant who was a RP supporter. Turns out he was a guy I've known for years, too!


I left the plant in '09 and hadn't really seen those guys, other than the occasional 'howdy' around the site since the 90s or early 2000s. The first guy even said he voted for Badnarik, Sophocleus, and several other liberty minded candidates that I also voted for, back in the day.  He went on to say he was fed up with voting and leaning towards not voting anymore, just like myself and many other people who have grown tired of the corruption and dishonesty within the system.


I guess it could go without saying that it was a very pleasant surprise and lets me know I'm working around some pretty smart people.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Electric Pow Wow Drum

A few years ago, while researching the story, I watched this clip about the hearing-impaired Native American man who was murdered by a police officer as he carved a piece of wood. Terrible story. However, it introduced me to a DJ outfit by the name of A Tribe Called Red. I readily and gladly admit I'm not really into dance music but all day I've had this tune of theirs in my head from where it now adamantly refuses to leave:

They call the style 'powowstep'. The best part is the 'drop', which is sampled traditional singing.

Facebook Commenters

People who feel it is their duty to continuously comment on others' Facebook posts are, I'm convinced, the same kind of people who think they've had some sort of epiphany when they finally get a joke, proceeding, then, in a uniquely vague and condescending tone, to explain it for everyone else who, ironically, got the joke long before this person self-spiritedly offered an explanation. Unbelievably, there will still be those who think our commenter is a genius for explaining the joke. The affirmation these commenters give the prolific and incongruously supercilious commenter only serves to rabidly fuel the pitiful, deluded commentary.