Trust is important

I try to to check the headlines on the Internet every day. Originally this started to keep track of what was going on in Turkey. But, obviously there are things going on all over the world that may be important.

I was struck by a couple of sentences in the following link:
http://www.rferl.org/content/china-united-states-snowden-/25043806.html

>”When we encounter differences, or sensitive issues, we need to
>address them directly in consultation with one another and that is
>why we were very disappointed with how the authorities in Beijing
>and Hong Kong handled the Snowden case, which undermined our
>effort to build the trust needed to manage difficult issues,” Burns said.

I can only assume that Mr. Burns was referring to some other kind of trust than the one I believe is required. A lot of Americans believe that we have a Constitution and laws that are sometimes inconvenient, but generally protect us. From the little that I’ve read about this scandal, I and a lot of other Americans, now have even more proof than before, that the US government ignores these laws.

Personally, I previously had extremely little trust that the United States government operates in my best interest. I had extremely little trust that the United States government operates in the best interest of its population as a group. But, I now have less and that is not easy to do.

Based on the data that I have seen, we are talking about a whistleblower, not a spy. We are talking about a government that does not deserve trust. I fully understand that people that have access to secret information can be well-intentioned and go public with something, that in reality, in the big picture, is really bad for the country. They mean well, but they cause massive damage.

So far, I did not feel that that is what is happening here. But, I assume that I know almost nothing about what is really happening. I suspect that none of the public does.

This is probably a political issue for most of you. You probably have seen information that is different than the information I have seen and quite logically have different opinions. So, I apologize if I have upset you. But, I will close by saying that I seriously doubt that any of us really understands exactly what is going on here. Even though I certainly do not always agree with every law, I still think that our government should follow them.

Let’s please change the dumb laws, but if we don’t follow them, then isn’t that anarchy?

However, perhaps we can all join in hoping that whatever is best for the entire world, happens. Even though it is likely that none of us knows for sure, what that would be.

Dave

New technology

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/11/technology/personaltech/high-tech-eyeglasses-not-made-by-google.html?nl=technology&emc=edit_ct_20130711&_r=0

I was particularly impressed by the virtual head described in the last part of the article. For about 40 years I have wondered why hairstylists, don’t have a collection of wigs, that particularly women, can try a new style to see if they like it.

Janet often said I was born too soon. I often wanted things that were over the technology horizon. And complained about the things that I had they were not up to my expectations.

But I assured her that if I were born 50 years later, I would be complaining that the dematerializer takes too long.

Dave

An inspirational story

I think this is a really fantastic story, and I hope that you will also enjoy it as much as I did. I love inspirational stories.

http://www.jameco.com/Jameco/workshop/MyStory/elena-sherman.html?sp_rid=MjMzNjE2MDIzMzAS1&sp_mid=5329026

This is a wonderful & funny, autobiographical short piece, by one of the very first women in the computer industry. She programmed her first industrial computer at the age of nine.

I certainly agree that the playing field is still not level for women in the workforce, or even in society in America. But, I’m sure that you will see that you’ve come a long way baby. Keep chipping away at them. They say that the Cuna Indians in Panama, where the first time that Columbus saw a functioning democracy, and where women, actually had a bigger vote than men. Some say that it caused the beginning of the French Revolution, and the modern wave of democracy that is still sweeping the world. So, even though many say that the Greeks gave the world democracy, it may have been the Cuna Indians.

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed the story of her adventures. These things happened in my lifetime, and I find that pretty amazing. Working in drag. It being against the law for her to eat in a restaurant. Or to use the restroom on the second or third shift. And so on. She sounds like she has a fantastic sense of humor. Clearly she needed it. Ironically, she not only were drag, but she was also a drag racer. It is often strange how American English works.

Don’t you wish you knew her? What stories you could tell. I wish she would write a book.

On a more serious note, it seems obvious to me that it is not obvious to far too many people that bigotry is a bad idea. If you meet one of them, please gently try to help them out of their mistake.

By bigotry, I mean any preconceived idea that because someone, or something, has one or a few certain characteristics, that you can categorically say that it has a whole raft of other characteristics.

My theory is that this idea is so slow to change, because humans love to look for patterns. We are successful as a species over hundreds of thousands of years, because we are good at recognizing patterns. In most parts of the world, we recognize that the Spring is a good time to plant crops. We recognize that when we see certain clouds in the sky, and smell certain smells in the air, that is about to rain. When we hear a certain kind of animal making a certain kind of noise, we recognize that we are about to be eaten. We recognize that when the Walk light turns red, that it is not a good idea to cross the street right now.

But, sometimes we have trouble turning off that calculator in our head. We are a slave to it. We jump to conclusions. By no means do I think that women are the same as men. How can I? Men are certainly not all the same. How in the hell would anyone expect that women would be the same as men? Or the same as each other? Just as why in the world would you think that all people with dark skin, or black hair, or blonde hair, or tall, or short, or speaking Greek, or whatever, would be the same?

It seems reasonable that one might consider that the probabilities change slightly or greatly. But, I think it is absolutely essential to keep an open mind. To look for other clues. I can almost guarantee that it is always more complicated than that.

Unfortunately, one of the patterns that I have noticed, is that talking to people who still firmly believe their preconceptions, seldom helps. So, I will stop for now, because it has been my experience, that either you agree with me on this or you do not. And I’m wasting both your time and mine to keep going on. But I very much hope that you agree, or if not at least that I have chipped away a tiny little scratch in the concrete that encases your opinions.

Because, even though I strongly support the idea of an open mind, I’m not very open-minded about that concept. My conviction that an open mind is important, for you and the fate of the world, is, perhaps unfortunately, is pretty much set in concrete. Kind of ironic, huh?

Well, inside my mind, also embedded in the same concrete, is the idea that keeping a sense of humor is important also. So, these are some of my limitations. Be warned.

Dave

Electricity

I imagine that almost all of you are much better connected with what’s going on in the world that I am. And most of you have different interests than I do. But I recently saw a headline about the electric airplane, “Solar Impulse”.

You can Google around and find out up-to-date information about it, but it recently flew from San Francisco to New York, and the next plan is to fly an improved plane around the world. Personally, I think this is very exciting technology. At our present ability to utilize all of the various technologies that are necessary to make an aircraft of this type, it is still clearly a stunt. No disrespect intended. But, how will it ever be practical, unless we do this sort of research?

I liken it to the Wright brothers early airplanes. I applaud the companies and people that are putting the money and time and brainpower into developing it.

And, I may have mentioned that some dear friends, received a brand-new, plug-in, Toyota Prius, as a birthday present. Yes, they have some very rich friends.

It happened shortly before I left the US, and they were having a ball learning its new tricks. From what I’ve seen of these new cars, there is a lot to learn before you can drive one. But, that seems to be the way of things nowadays. The cost of getting a new toys. You have to learn a whole new way of thinking.

Also on the electric front, I am very pleased to see several electric motor scooters here in Finike. The ones that I have noticed, look like a regular motorscooter, but they are pure electric. You plug them in to charge them. They are, as you would expect, almost silent. And, I’m always quick to give the owners, “At a boys”. (So far, all the ones that I’ve seen have been driven by men.)

Not to worry ladies. I am perhaps the most egalitarian person that you know. It is my understanding that in Turkey, women and men who are not close relatives, or otherwise authorized, do not fraternize. Or sit next to each other on a bus.

I may have this totally wrong, but, it is my understanding that it is not polite for me to make eye contact, smile, or otherwise acknowledge a Turkish woman’s presence, unless I know them in some authorized way. Otherwise, the implication is that they are loose women.

That is a little difficult for me, as I kind of like women. Not in the lecherous way. Not in the ‘hitting on them’ way, but I enjoy their company and think that in the American culture they got the short end of the stick for hundreds of years. And things are still far from equal. But, I think all will agree that they’ve come a tremendous distance in my lifetime. But, men and women, in most of the world, are still certainly not equal. Which is kind of misleading. The women were certainly not the main problem all that while. It was the men with their tiny little brains and the resulting attitudes.

Personally, I by no means think that men and women are just the same. That seems kind of obvious to me, although perhaps not for the same reasons you might separate the two groups.

It is always seemed odd to me how American society, in my lifetime, preconceived a separation between the sexes. As I say, in my opinion, men and women are absolutely NOT the same. To generalize that all men are ‘blah blah’, seems crazy to me. Each of us is an individual. We each have our strengths and weaknesses. To say that ALL examples of whatever kind of living thing have whatever kind of characteristic, seems fraught with danger and often is a kind of bigotry. At least that’s how I see it.

Whenever I hear someone making a broad generalization, I always ask ‘Why?’ That little three letter word can be pretty dangerous. It really get some people whipped into a frenzy. Many people really don’t like their beliefs questioned. So, I often just ask it inside my own head and don’t say anything. But, I feel that if someone can do a job well, then what do I care which gender they are.

We had the good fortune to be in Tahiti for their Bastille Day celebration, which went on for about a week or more. They had canoe races, that as I recall, race from Papeete around Morea and back to Papeete. If that’s correct, then this was about an 80km or 50 mile race. So, I may be mistaken. But it was a long race and the open ocean in canoes. They had a men’s race, with a zillion canoes. And, they had a women’s race, with a zillion canoes.

It seemed to me obvious why they separated the two. Because, I timed the racers, and if it all raced in one group, first of all the group would’ve been uncontrollably gigantic, and second, the fastest women would’ve arrived well up in the middle of the men’s pack or better. Since most of the men would’ve been slower than some of the women, that might’ve been a little hard for them to handle.

It also gets a little more complicated, because it appeared that one of the art forms, was to tip over your opponents. That tends to slow them down and give you an advantage. These are dugout canoes within an outrigger on one side, so it must be a little tricky to tip them over. But, I saw quite a few examples. It was important that they be good swimmers.

I believe, and certainly hope, that this was all in the nature of fun. More like teasing than viciousness.

I was also told that when South Pacific canoes raced in Hawaii, that both sides thought that the Hawaiians were very serious and prayed to their canoes and made a major, big deal out of it. But, the South Pacific canoeists, were out for a good time AND to win the race. They were forever teasing the Hawaiians about how they needed to lighten up and enjoy it.

But, I see that I have drifted a long way away from the subject of electricity.

Must be time to get back to work,

Dave