God Sick Of New Angel’s Annoying Fucking Voice (theonion.com)

THE HEAVENS—Calling the sound a “cross between a train whistle and a dying goat,” God, Our Lord And Heavenly Father, told reporters Monday that He was already sick of a new angel’s “incredibly fucking annoying voice.” “I realize he must have performed many good deeds in life in order to get here, but every time that thing opens its mouth I just want to bash my skull in,” said The Creator of All Things, lamenting how the angel’s high-pitched, nasally squawk seemed to carry across the entire expanse of paradise. “Also, the way he pronounces ‘seraphim’ like ‘serathin’ drives me up a fucking wall. I frankly don’t give a shit that he just arrived—there’s no way that fuck is sticking around for all of eternity.” At press time, God had banished the angel to Hell with special instructions for Satan to inflict most of the torment on his vocal cords.

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“Moral Politics” by George Lakoff (Wikipedia.org)

Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think is a 1996 book by cognitive linguist George Lakoff. It argues that conservatives and liberals hold two different conceptual models of morality. Conservatives have a Strict father model in which people are made good through self-discipline and hard work, everyone is taken care of by taking care of themselves. Liberals have a nurturant parent model in which everyone is taken care of by helping each other.

The first edition of the book was published with the subtitle What conservatives know that liberals don’t.

The book

Moral Politics has two different purposes. Lakoff uses the techniques of cognitive linguistics to attempt to better understand the mental frameworks that lie behind contemporary American politics, describing which mental concepts make up a “liberal”, and which a “conservative”. (What Lakoff means by these two terms is considered below.) And, in the last few chapters, he argues that “liberal” morals and politics are superior to “conservative” morals and politics.

The book is intended as an objective study of the conceptual metaphors underlying conservative and liberal politics although the closing section is devoted to the author’s personal views. Lakoff makes it clear however, that there is no such thing as an Objective study of politics, as politics is based in subjective morality.

Lakoff wrote Moral Politics soon after the Republican Party’s “Contract With America” takeover of Congress under the Clinton presidency, and his usage of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” is strongly influenced by how those labels were used in the 1994 elections, the former having much to do with the Democratic party and the latter with the Republican party; indeed, chapter 9, “Moral Categories in Politics”, presents Hillary Clinton as a prototypical “liberal” and Newt Gingrich as a prototypical “conservative”. (Lakoff actually puts this somewhat differently, suggesting that Clinton is the prototypical nemesis of conservatives, while Gingrich is the prototypical nemesis of liberals.)

The central problems

The major observations/assumptions and questions on which the book is founded include these:

  1. There is one cluster of beliefs that most conservatives share (including some kind of condemnation of abortion, a positive emphasis on military spending, and a fixed-percentage income tax) and another cluster that most liberals share (including some kind of support for abortion, a negative emphasis on military spending, and a progressive income tax). What is the explanation for this clustering? What “unifies each of the lists of moral priorities?” “Mix and match” views seem comparatively rare. How come?
  2. Liberals and conservatives usually not only disagree with one another but view the “other side” as largely incoherent. Many liberals, for example, see building more prisons as a completely ineffective and illogical solution to crime, while many conservatives view it as the obvious solution. Why can’t the one side even begin to understand the other?
  3. Why do liberals and conservatives tend to use the same words to mean different things? For example, a liberal might use the term “big government” to condemn the military, but, to a conservative, the term “big government” has nothing to do with the military, even though the military is a significant government institution.
  4. Why do liberals and conservatives make different issues the focus of campaigns? For example, why did the Republican leaders emphasize “family values” so much in their 1994 campaign, and why was similar emphasis not made by Democrats? Don’t liberals also have families and a moral framework for reasoning about families?

The proposed solution: a metaphorical model

Lakoff tries to resolve these difficulties through a model in which liberals and conservatives are shown to have different and contradictory worldviews. These worldviews are thought to conflict in a number of ways relevant to the understanding of politics. Nonetheless, Lakoff claims that all of these differences center around the two sides’ respective understandings of a single concept – the ideal nuclear family.

The family is central to Lakoff because he views the family as the most familiar model for Americans to understand the country; that is, Americans often metaphorically understand their country as a family, with the government corresponding to the parent(s) of the family and the individual citizens corresponding to the children. Thus, one’s understanding of how a family is best organized will have direct implications for how the country should be governed.

The progressive ideal conceptualization follows the model of the “nurturant parent” family, while the conservative’s follows the model of the “strict father” family. Given the importance of these concepts in Moral Politics, it is important to consider their meaning, along with how each view suggests and is justified by a corresponding view of the nature of child rearing, morality, and justice.

A “nurturant parent” family is one that revolves around every family member caring for and being cared for by every other family member, with open communication between all parties, and with each family member pursuing their own vision of happiness. The nurturant parent model is also correlated with the following views:

  • Morality: The basis of morality is in understanding, respecting, and helping other people, and in seeking the happiness of one’s self and of others. The primary vices are selfishness and anti-social behavior.
  • Child development: Children develop morality primarily through interacting with and observing good people, especially good parents. Punishment is necessary in some cases, but also has the potential to backfire, causing children to adopt more violent or more anti-social ways. Though children should, in general, obey their parents, they will develop best if allowed to question their parents’ decisions, to hear justifications for their parents’ rules, and so on. Moral development is a lifelong process, and almost no one is so perfect as not to need improvement.
  • Justice: The world is not without justice, but it is far from the ideal of justice. Many people, for example, do not seem properly rewarded for their hard work and dedication. We must work hard to improve everyone’s condition.

In contrast, the “strict father” family revolves around the idea that parents teach their children how to be self-reliant and self-disciplined through “tough love”. This is correlated with the following views:

  • Morality: Evil is all around us, constantly tempting us. Thus, the basis of morality is strong moral character, which requires self-reliance and self-discipline. The primary vices are those that dissolve self-discipline, such as laziness, gluttony, and indulgent sexuality.
  • Child development: Children develop self-discipline, self-reliance, and other virtues primarily through rewards and punishment, a system of “tough love”. Since parents know the difference between right and wrong and children still do not, obedience to the parents is very important. Moral development basically lasts only as long as childhood; it’s important to get it right the first time, because there is no “second chance”.
  • Justice: The world may be a difficult place to live, but it is basically just; people usually get what they deserve. The difficulties in one’s life serve as a test to sort the deserving from the undeserving.

Lakoff uses this model to answer the central questions framed above – why is there such clear grouping on issues that separate liberals and conservatives, and, conversely, why don’t we find more issue-by-issue voters? Lakoff claims that one’s take on any given political issue is largely determined by which model one adopts. Thus, in Part IV, “The Hard Issues”, he tries to demonstrate how the liberal and conservative worldviews outlined above lead to typical liberal and conservative positions on a wide range of issues, including taxes, the death penalty, environmental regulations, affirmative action, education, and abortion.

As to why liberals and conservatives view each other as incomprehensible on an issue-by-issue basis, Lakoff claims that this is due to each side failing to grasp the other side’s worldview as well as not appreciating how different the other worldview is from its own. Failure to see or appreciate this gap results in both sides thinking the other is hopelessly irrational and immoral.

Lakoff also uses this model to show how and why liberals and conservatives use different semantics, often even using the same words in very different ways. Liberals and conservatives have different worldviews and semantics are very much influenced by the worldview of the speaker. As Lakoff puts it,

Words don’t have meanings in isolation. Words are defined relative to a conceptual system. If liberals are to understand how conservatives use their words, they will have to understand the conservative conceptual system. (From chapter 2, “The Worldview Problem”)

Here, Lakoff is specifically referring to liberals’ challenges in understanding conservatives. However, he obviously views the reverse situation as equally problematic.

In addressing why conservatives and liberals choose different issues as the focus of their campaigns, Lakoff claims that this too finds explanation in the context of his model. In the 1994 elections, the Republican focus on “family values”, while the Democrats largely ignored this framing, is key to Lakoff. He views this discrepancy as a sign that conservatives understand the Country is a Family metaphor that lies behind people’s views of politics much better than liberals do. And, by extension, this has been key to the success of the Republican Party.

Clarifications of the model

There are several things Lakoff does not intend to mean with his model. Perhaps most importantly, he does not believe that all conservatives are the same, nor all liberals. Chapter 17, “Varieties of Liberals and Conservatives”, is devoted to showing scales along which one can slide and still be a member of either camp. Among other things, he says that one might have one way to conceptualize an actual nuclear family, and a separate, even opposite, way of conceptualizing a metaphorical country-family. Lakoff is not trying to establish necessary and sufficient conditions for being liberal or conservative. In the terminology of cognitive linguistics, Lakoff views both liberal and conservative as “radial category” labels.

Lakoff does not feel people consciously believe in the family concepts he describes. As a cognitive scientist, he believes he is describing mental structures that are mostly below the level of consciousness. A tenet of cognitive psychology is that such mental structures affect one’s opinions and consequent actions.

Arguments against shallow stereotypes

Lakoff is opposed to superficial, stereotypical and false characterizing of both liberals and conservatives. The book addresses common oversimplifications about both worldviews.

In chapter 7, “Why We Need a New Understanding of American Politics”, Lakoff refutes several conceptions of “Conservatism” that he views as too simplistic. He says that any liberal or conservative saying that “Conservatives just believe in less government” is incorrect. Common misconceptions that liberals hold include that Conservatism is “the ethos of selfishness” and “is no more than a conspiracy of the ultrarich to protect their money and power and to make themselves even richer and more powerful.” Common misunderstandings of conservatives by conservatives are that “Conservatism (and nothing else) is for traditional values”, and that “Conservatism is just what the Bible tells us.”

In chapter 18, “Pathologies, Stereotypes, and Distortions”, he refutes certain stereotyped views of liberals, including viewing them as “lovers of bureaucracy”, “defenders of special interests” and “advocating only rights and no responsibilities” (p. 317, 1996 edition).

The importance of metaphors

Lakoff argues that people tend to think metaphorically, reasoning through analogy rather than logic. Metaphors are prevalent in communication and we do not just use them in language; we actually perceive and act in accordance with metaphors. Conceptual metaphors shape not just our communication, but also the way we think and act.

As a cognitive scientist Lakoff emphasizes that what conservatives know that liberals don’t is how to use metaphors to motivate people. Liberals try to persuade through reason and facts while conservatives used metaphorical stories and that is why, Lakoff argues, conservative politicians are more successful at motivating voters than liberals are.

Second edition

The book’s subtitle changed between the first and the current edition. Previously titled Moral Politics: What Conservatives Know That Liberals Don’t, it has been rechristened Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think.

The original subtitle reflected Lakoff’s idea that conservatives, at least 1994 conservatives, understood the nature of American politics better than liberals. In particular, he felt conservatives better understood the metaphorical connection between the family, morality and politics; and, especially around 1994, were able to gain votes by using persuasive metaphors, whilst liberals employed logic and reason. Within this framework, the original subtitle can be seen as a call-to-arms to liberals to gain understanding of how people actually think about politics, or face growing electoral irrelevance.

The bulk of the second edition text is identical to that of the first. All that is added is a second edition preface, and a 37-page afterword relating the book’s content to the 2000 US presidential election.

Application

Howard Dean

Presidential candidate Howard Dean is a fan of the book, citing it as support for his activist strategy. “What you do is crank the heck out of your base, get them really excited and crank up the base turnout and you’ll win the middle-of-the-roaders,” Dean told US News and World Report. Dean reasoned that since swing voters share the mental model of both parties they will eventually go with whatever party excites them the most. “Democrats appeal to them on their softer side–the safety net–but the Republicans appeal to them on the harder side–the discipline, the responsibility, and so forth. So the question is which side appears to be energetic, deeply believing in its message, deeply committed to bringing a vision of hope to America. That side is the side that gets the swing voters and wins.”

While Dean lost the 2004 Presidential Democratic primary, he has been successful in other political and activist arenas. First, he was the governor of Vermont, and later the front-runner in a crowded primary race although his campaign was staffed mostly by students and non-professional political staff. Dean later formed the activist organization Democracy for America and later was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee (leader of the Democratic party) in February 2005. Dean’s activism is widely credited with reviving the activist base of the Democratic Party.

Dean later wrote the introduction to a related but shorter book by Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate. (2004).

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Why Should We Go to Mars?


The biggest thinkers from around the world answer the question: “Why Should Humanity Go to Mars?”

About MARS:
From executive producers Brian Grazer & Ron Howard, MARS is an epic series following a thrilling quest – in 2032 – to colonize Mars. In a unique blend of scripted drama and feature-film caliber visual effects, intercut with documentary sequences, the series presents what the greatest minds in space exploration are doing to make traveling to Mars a reality, and shows us the world they seek.

About National Geographic:
National Geographic is the world’s premium destination for science, exploration, and adventure. Through their world-class scientists, photographers, journalists, and filmmakers, Nat Geo gets you closer to the stories that matter and past the edge of what’s possible.

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Sunday Night Translation Group — February 26, 2017

To quote Heather Williams, H.W., M., “Translation is the creative process of re-engineering the outdated software of your mind.” Translation is a 5-step process using syllogistic reasoning to transform apparent man and the universe back into its essential whole, complete and perfect nature.  Through the process of Translation, reality is uncovered and thus revealed. Through word tracking, getting to the essence of the words we use to express our current view of reality, we are uncovering the underlying timeless reality of the Universe.

Sense testimony:

Sleep apnea, poor circulation, liver fluid blockage and problems accessing care.

Conclusions:

  1.  I am always in control, always awake, always breathing, at peace with myself and the world, self-sustaining, self-maintaining, instantaneous presence everywhere.
  2. All Knowing, all powerful, all present One Mind Truth and each and every individuation, liver, breath, mind, is only, always, everywhere, strong, healthy, vitality capable sound harmonious flow in agreement with all there is. I we thou, Capable strong, healthy, sound, harmonious, knowing presence is flowing in completely powerful agreement with all there is.
  3. Perfect Being Changeless Change is the reality of unrestricted Consciousness, flowing in-breath fact of ever-present life, limitless power potent energy of the I AM I, a Love constant principle.
  4. To come.
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“The Great Pain Deception” by Steven Ray Ozanich

“I recommend this book.” John E. Sarno, MD

“I consider this to be the definitive encyclopedia of TMS.” Paul Gwozdz, MD

“There is great wisdom and clarity here. I highly recommend this book and its message.” Christiane Northrup, MD

“Steve has done an excellent job exploring the realm of mindbody medicine, making this an excellent resource for those who are still looking for answers.” Marc Sopher, MD

“This is a really really great book!” Janette Barber

Recipient of 2 awards in the 2012 International Book Award contest. The Great Pain Deception was awarded Runner-Up Finalist in “Best New Health Book” of 2012 and also honored as Finalist in “Health: Alternative Medicine.”

Back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, hand and foot pain, rarely come from herniated discs and joint failures. Pain, such as fibromyalgia, is a deception of the mind created by the brain to keep dark, threatening, and sad emotions from entering consciousness. The vast majority of pains and symptoms emanate from a mindbody process stemming from a personality of perfectionism. However, pain is not “in the mind” of the sufferer–and is often misrepresented as such by people who reject a mindbody process for reasons of ego and monetary gain.

Symptoms inside and outside of the body are primarily the result of emotional conflict hidden within the body and outside of awareness. We live in a world of medical marvels. However, those marvels have become a double-edged sword, often creating more problems than they resolve. John Sarno, MD, at the NYU School of Medicine discovered in the 1970s that back pain was not coming from the things seen on the imaging, such as herniated discs, arthritis, stenosis, scoliosis, etc. Pain was coming from oxygen reduction through the autonomic nervous system due to elevated tension levels, but had been errantly linked to the “normal abnormalities” seen on MRIs and X-rays.

Most physicians refused to believe his findings even though his success rate in healing the most troublesome of pain-cases was well above theirs. Dr. Sarno labeled the disorder TMS, or tension myoneural syndrome, currently being called The Mindbody Syndrome. Inside The Great Pain Deception Steve tells his compelling story of a 30-year battle with pain and ultimate healing after discovering Dr. Sarno’s work. After Steve healed he began receiving hundreds of emails, calls, and letters, asking for his help–too many to respond to, so he decided to write his experience down in a book. After 10 years of research, Steve has conveyed an amazing testimonial of triumph over tragedy, an inspiring story of healing that is a must read if you suffer from any ailment from mild to severe. The only thing standing between good health, and healing, is ego. Pain and unpleasant symptoms serve a purpose. Disease is the report card of how happy we are; feedback of a life not lived. Symptoms are anger flowing over into the physical realm, signs of internal conflict. Pain and illness are the virtual language of the unconscious mind. When we are untrue to ourselves and needs, living by the codes and wishes of others, denying our deepest desires–symptoms then form to reveal the deeper conflict.

Modern medicine is pointing us toward our bodies in the attempt to cure us through engineering the human system. These high-tech processes are often making us worse by ignoring the message that the body is trying to convey through such things as colitis, irritable bladder, fibromyalgia, skin disorders and an infinite variety of other symptoms, including cancer. This book does an excellent job of exploring the realm of mind within body–and ultimate healing.

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“The Egg” by Andy Weir (courtesy of Gwyllm Llwydd)

You were on your way home when you died.

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”

“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”

“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.

“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where you come from?” You said.

“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”

“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”

“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.

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