Friday, October 19, 2007

Of Blogs and Bloggers

I was recently sent a link to someone who offered to increase the readership of my blogging site if I would but paste on my site some hyperlinked information, which, if clicked onto by visitors to my site, would cause the address of my blogging site to appear on the blogging sites of others who have also posted the aforementioned hyperlinked information onto their own sites.

The result would be that my blogging site address would appear on more and more of other blogging sites in an exponentially upward curve. On first ingesting this information I felt as if transported into the heavens, as I saw a glorious future for this blog, with a readership numbering in the millions. And I, as the blogger, would as a consequence – like Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone Cowboy - get cards and letters from people I don’t even know, and offers coming over the phone.

Then the windmills of my mind began to whir, like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel on an ever spinning reel. And what my mind said, was that the appearance of my blogging site’s address on the blogging sites of fellow bloggers, wouldn’t mean my blog would be read any more than it now is, for the reason that bloggers signing up to get their blogs onto the sites of fellow bloggers, will only do this, so their blogs will be read by the other bloggers, who, in turn, are getting their own blogs posted on the sites of yet other bloggers, so their blogs will be read by those other bloggers, who won’t read them because they are interested only in getting their own blogs read, rather than reading the blogs of others.

I thus concluded that for me to sign up to get my blog on to the sites of other bloggers, so that they read my blog, would be a waste of valuable time.

That bloggers tend not to read the blogs of their fellows might be taken as incuriosity. But we might better call it discernment, because, if truth be told, most blogs aren’t worth reading. For starters, most sites are confusing because they have so much incongruous stuff on them, one doesn’t know where to start. They have photos, drawings, advertisements, and all manner of other irrelevant information which obscures the writings of the blogger. And isn’t writing the raison d’etre of blogging?

As to the writings on blogs, most are bilge because they are badly written and boring, borne of the monumental ignorance, illiteracy, self-absorption, narcissism, and solipsism of the bloggers. “Ranting” is a favourite word among bloggers, who, proudly proclaiming that they “rant”, don’t consider that to read these seemingly interminable “rants” is, for the reader, to suffer a torture only slightly below water-boarding and the other ingenious methods used to extract secrets from the unfortunates incarcerated at Guantanamo.

While most blogs aren’t worth reading, there are some which are. These usually are blogs written by professional journalists or novelists, who therefore know how to write. But even these readable blogs tend to become repetitive and boring after a while, since, regularly to churn out pieces every day or so for the delectation of the hoi-polloi waiting impatiently for their morsel, will be to descend inevitably into hackwork and redundancy. I mean, if your predilection is American politics, there’s only so much you can say about George Bush which others haven’t already said. So what else can you unboringly write of, if all you know about is American politics?

Readers comments left on blogging sites, particularly political ones, resemble nothing so much as the bleeting of sheep, or the wimperings of subordinate wolves before the dominant alpha male. To leave a comment which doesn’t follow the ideology of the blogger or his acolytes, invites as much venom and abuse from them, as anyone professing homosexuality at a Hell’s Angel’s convention.

I’ve heard that the increase in the numbers of new bloggers has now levelled off after the mercurial rise during blogging’s first halcyon years. This could reflect either that internet surfers recognise bilge when they read it; or they would rather watch videos on YouTube or My Space, than read blogs, because, being products of an increasingly illiterate culture, they find the written word too difficult for them.

I suspect it’s a bit of both.

And Now For Something Completely Different:

Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnaval balloon
Like a carousell that's turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle your head
Why did summer go so quickly
Was it something that I said
Lovers walk along the shore,
Leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And a fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
Were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
As the images unwind
Like the circle that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Friday, October 12, 2007

ETs, UFOs, Crop Circles - Readers Responses

My most recent posting, “Those Amazing ETs And Their Flying Machines”, evoked such passionate responses from you, my esteemed readers, that I deemed them worthy of a separate posting. So I cut and pasted them, and here they are:

From LittlePage: I'm torn between the belief that extra-terrestrials exist or don't. For example, I watched a PBS film about crop circles, and they documented many people that create fairly complex designs, and created circles for the documetary maker's film.

However, given the increasingly complex designs you mention, some may be way out of the league (and time - they have to finish during the night) for the crop-makers, and so must be explained by other means.

From Christopher: Most crop circles in England appear in July and August, when the hours of darkness are the shortest. But, given that July and August are the hottest months, does this merely mean that human crop-circle makers find the warm nights of summer more pleasant in which to do their work than during the cold rainy nights of winter? Quite possibly.

On the other hand, since the nightly hours of darkness during July and August in England are only about four hours, this doesn’t give human crop-circle makers much time to do their work undetected.

So how about that the ETs are deliberately making their very complex circles during these short nights, to show us that these circles are not of human design?

I’ve concluded, for the reasons given in my previous postings, that the mysterious lights in the night sky, which so many have seen over so many years, are manipulated by extra-terrestrial intelligences.

By means of these lights, and the crop circles, the ETs are shouting out to us (figuratively of course) that they’re here. But we don’t listen, or at least Official Science doesn’t. So we have the absurd spectacle of government-funded scientific groups searching for extra-terrestrial life, but through listening for radio signals from other civilizations Out There. These efforts have gone on for decades but have yielded nothing.

Meanwhile, under our noses, and under the nose of Official Science, we may be getting continuous signals from extra-terrestrial civilizations, but in the form of lights in the sky and crop-circles, which our scientists choose to ignore because they (the crop circles, and night lights) lie outside the belief system of Official Science.

There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.

From Guy de Maupassant: “……..There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see……..”. I do so like this, and wish I could have written it myself.

Yes, we all of us - or nearly all of us - see only what we wish to see. But there are scientists out there who do have the courage to go where evidence leads, no matter what they're investigating.

It’s sad that most don’t remove the blinkers which prevent them seeing beyond the boundaries of their belief system, which encompasses only the “natural” world.

Were they to remove their blinkers, they might see that the “supernatural” world - which crop-circles and their like are part and parcel of – would become as much a part of the “natural” world as are lions and dogs and the Eiffel Tower.

From Christopher: I’m so honoured, Monsieur de Maupassant, that you would read my web-log, let alone comment on it.

While researching your life, I learned that in your later years, you “……developed an exaggerated love for solitude, a predilection for self-preservation, and a constant fear of death and mania of persecution……..”.

This so perfectly reflects how I am, that I think I may have been you in a previous incarnation. How happy it makes me, to feel that not only may I have been you, but, as you, I may have hob-nobbed with luminaries like Charles Swinburne, Gustave Flaubert, Emile Zola, and Ivan Turgenev. I don’t remember what we all talked about, but I feel it would have been above the intellectual level of who will become the next “American Idol”, which so obsesses the majority mainstream cultural illiterates of this twenty-first century.

And to think it may have been I who authored your short-story masterpieces like “Boule de Suif” and “La Parure”. When I look at the pieces I write on this blog, and compare them to what you wrote, I cringe. But should I allow a hypnotist to regress me back to my former life as you, I might, when returned, be sufficiently inspired to write as you did, and so write pieces which will become as immortal as “Boule de Suif” and “La Parure”.

If so, I would die happy, or at least happier than you, when you, yourself, died, after you were declared insane. I can only hope I will die before I, too, am declared insane by those who think that to be a back-slapping, gregarious, hail-fellow-well-met, is to be the epitome of sanity.

Allow me, Monsieur de Maupassant, to add to what you said about the blinkered views of mainstream scientists. These views are are reinforced by fear, the fear that if they stray too far from official orthodoxy they will find themselves unemployed and standing in a soup-line – a situation not to be wished if you have a mortgage to pay, and children to feed and educate.

The foundations and corporations which fund universities through grants and scholarships, would cease their largesse if professors employed by the universities they fund, stray too far from the official orthodoxy, whether in science, politics, history, or anything else.

I should like to assure you, Monsieur de Maupassant, that by adding to your comments, I did not imply that what you said was inadequate. It’s just that, in our twenty-first-century world of cultural illiterates, one must explain things which would be assumed in a culturally literate society, as your own 19th century France may have been.

From Professor Smith – Department of Astronomy, UCLA: The chances of an extra-terrestrial civilization visiting earth are, statistically, extremely remote, given that earth is a mere tadpole swimming in a cosmic ocean of thousands of billion stars - as many stars as grains of sand on your average beach in California.

In cosmic terms we are NOTHING, I tell you, NOTHING. So we can safely conclude that no extra-terrestrials have ever visited us, and never will.

Your assertion that crop circles and lights in the sky are made by extra-terrestrials is, consequently, piffle.

Almost all UFO sightings have been rationally explained, and hoaxers long ago admitted making crop circles, and have shown how they made them. And those UFO sightings not explained, would have been, if gullible amateurs like you had made more efforts in your investigations.

You need to read more, and pontificate less.

From Christopher: I do agree with you, Professor Smith, that – as you so picturesquely put it – “……earth is a mere tadpole swimming in a cosmic ocean of thousands of billion stars…….”.

But does this necessarily mean that no extra-terrestrial civilization would know about us, or want to visit us?

If we assume any ETs having a technologically advanced civilization would be thousands, perhaps millions of years ahead of us, they might have systems in place on their planets to alert them of the presence of other advanced civilizations, no matter where in the cosmos they are.

And on being apprised of us, they might want to visit, to see if we might be a threat, or simply to discover more about us out of intellectual curiosity – an intellectual curiosity of which you seem totally bereft.

Since any half-intelligent child would be able to understand all this, I'm surprised you don't.

Your obtuseness confirms that university professors like you are no more than ossified academic hacks, without imagination, slaves to the conventional wisdom, and terrified of change.

So I won’t waste my precious time arguing with you any further.

You are NOTHING. You are FILTH. You are SCUM.

Away with you, and bother me no more.

As I look now at how I responded to Professor Smith, I wonder if I was inordinately churlish. I think I was. But this is now, and what I wrote was then, and it was then when what I wrote seemed appropriate. So it must remain, immutable, fixed for all eternity.

And Now For Something Completely Different:

Monday, October 08, 2007

Those Amazing ETs And Their Flying Machines

I happened, the other day, upon a story about a UFO sighting near Shakespeare’s birthplace of Stratford-Upon-Avon, in England, where, at about 10.30 pm one evening this past July, people on the street noticed four balls of light moving over the town in formation. Then they (the balls of light) manoeuvred themselves, with three forming a triangle, and one staying just outside it. Then a fifth orb came flying towards the group at a very fast speed, then slowed, then stopped.

The orbs hovered in this position for half an hour, then moved slowly off over the horizon. Over 100 people, some with cameras, saw them. There were reportedly no stars visible in the sky just then, and the balls of light made no sound. The British Ministry of Defence reported no unusual aerial activity, implying nothing untoward was seen on any radar screens.

Sceptics - which is to say, conservatives - asserted the orbs were merely hot air balloons, fireworks, or lanterns which had broken loose from the premises of a local rugby club.

What, then, are we who weren’t there, to make of all this? If you click here, and look at the photo of the orbs, you’ll notice their positions are geometrically very precise. If you use a pencil and the edge of a piece of paper you’ll see that two sides of the triangle are the same length, and that the apex forms a right angle (90 degrees). Line your piece of paper along the three orbs which are the right point of the triangle, the orb just outside it, and the fifth orb further away, and you’ll observe they form a perfect line.

I wasn’t surprised at this degree of precision because it’s what I’ve seen in many videos of UFOs over the years. UFOs in a group often form perfect squares, rectangles or triangles, and move slowly across the sky in these formations. It’s as if there’s a controlling intelligence behind their manoeuvrings and formation. It may be the same controlling intelligence which creates crop circles, which are progressively becoming more geometrically complex.

That things can happen on earth which are caused and controlled by extra-terrestrial intelligences shouldn’t be surprising, considering we’ve landed mobile machines on the Moon and Mars, whose movements we control through radio signals from here on earth. A native Moonite or Martian might be quite nonplussed if, while out on a walk, he came across one of our machines moving around by itself, but which appeared to be intelligently controlled by something unseen. If our Moonite or Martian rushed back to tell his little friends what he’d just seen, they might tell him he was hallucinating and to seek professional help.

This brings me to a documentary film called “UFO Files – Alien Engineering” which speculates about the technology which extra-terrestrials would use in order to visit earth (and they may have already). Much of what the filmmakers - who include engineers and scientists - speculate about is based on technology we on earth have already discovered. For instance the shape and design of the US Air Force’s alien-looking stealth bomber was presaged by how some UFOs looked to those who saw them, long before the stealth bomber was even heard of.

The filmmakers opine that UFOs may get their incredible speed through nullifying gravity and using anti-matter. Scientists have already caused objects in the laboratory to move around and hover as if independent of gravity, and they (the scientists) have produced minute quantities of anti-matter. It may be possible to travel the huge distances across the cosmos by going through “wormholes”, the existence of which scientists have postulated, based on Einstein’s discovery that space is curved.

Also, to the degree that the speed of a spacecraft approaches that of light, time slows down. Thus if you travel at the speed of light over thousands of years to a planet far away, you would be the same age when you arrived on the planet as you were when you left earth. But all your friends on earth would be long dead on account of a thousand years having passed in earth-time.

Perhaps the “aliens” seen by so many of today’s earthlings are visitors from our future?

I’ll talk no more for now, so you may watch the “UFO Files – Alien Engineering”. The film lasts about 90 minutes. Because of the Youtube requirements, it’s chopped up into 10 parts, each lasting 8 to 9 minutes.

Not only do I think you’ll find it more intellectually stimulating than “American Idol”, I guarantee it.

Part One ; Part Two ; Part Three ; Part Four ; Part Five ; Part Six ; Part Seven ; Part Eight ; Part Nine ; Part Ten