The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fences

And Dreams

In downtown Northampton yesterday I saw that the antique gate to the courthouse was closed. I don't recall ever seeing that before. It annoyed me to have to walk around instead of cutting through Coolidge Park.



Last night I had a dream that there were fences set up all over downtown and I ran around breaking them open with karate kicks. Soon a whole crowd was following me and cheering as I smashed each barrier. Sheesh, even in my dreams I have to be the hero and the center of attention!

What are dreams anyway? From a purely scientific perspective they are fantasy scenarios the mind creates to entertain itself during "downloading" time, or as we usually refer to it, "sleep." The reason we sleep is because we need to turn off our minds so that we can process the information we've absorbed during the day. While that processing is going on, random stuff floats through our consciousness which we call "dreams." Dreams are often related to what the information is that we are processing, especially any novel or unexpected things that happened that day, such as me encountering the closed gate.

You might say that our minds going to sleep is similar to computers in that they need to be off-line while downloading new software, but that would be getting it backwards. Our minds are not like computers, instead computers are like our minds - because it was our minds that created them. All technology is an attempt to extend our biological capabilities - cars are extensions of our legs, television an extenstion of our eyes and ears, computers extensions of our minds, etc.

We make everything in our own image, including the Gods we worship, which is why we have such a hard time connecting with God. We say we are made in God's image, but it's usually the other way around - we like to imagine that God is just like us. Instead of searching for God we go looking for a mirror. Then we wonder why our religions are unsatisfying and we feel so alienated from the cosmos.

In other fence related news, on the woodland way into downtown this morning I saw that a dead tree came crashing down and smashed this fence!



Here's a cool poem about fences by former Amherst College professor Robert Frost.

Mending Wall
by Robert Frost


Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbor know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
'Stay where you are until our backs are turned!'
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of outdoor game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
'Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down.' I could say 'Elves' to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'


Here's the noble Indian Metawampe overlooking the deserted UMass campus this morning.



But not deserted for long. The students will be returning next week.

Stoners go to Washington

Tomorrow night Cheech and Chong are appearing in Washington DC at a marijuana legalization fundraiser that will include politicians. Politico reports:



The legendary Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong are rolling into town for Wednesday night’s gala dinner celebrating the Marijuana Policy Project’s 15th anniversary. But will the comedic duo’s presence send the entire dinner up in smoke? “You’d be hard-pressed to find tie-dye at this event,” said Mike Meno, assistant director of communications for MPP, an organization with 29,000 members.

Set for the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, with tickets (which are still available) costing $250 per person, the event is still every bit the Washington formal. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) — who has a long record of supporting the rights of states to make their own decisions on legalizing marijuana — will speak. Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson — the libertarian-leaning Republican who has a political action committee set up for a 2012 White House run — will also deliver remarks.


Cool Cartoons



Political Porn

Another picture of Sarah Palin's grandaughter's daddy Levi Johnston:



Today's Music Video

This is too good.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That Tennessee Chris Brown satire is a riot!