The Truthiest Truth

You know what? We have no handle on the Truth. We know nothing, and that’s okay. We think in metaphor, labels, taglines, slogans, name-calling, and that’s actually an advantage. Without that layer of abstraction, we would not be able to function. I imagine that holds true for every lifeform with a nervous system. Perhaps even plants.

Light, dark. Food, inedible. Danger, safe. Warm, cold. These are not fundamental truths; they are abstractions, metaphors.

If we move down a level and try to quantify these values, it’s still metaphor. For a reptile, there is a temperature at which they go to a low energy mode, and yet if food comes along they will break that barrier to capture some prey which adds energy to the equation. There is a self adjusting algorithm that absorbs all the information available to any given organism, its needs, its limitations, and a result occurs. The more complex we become, the more information that plays into a grand balancing act that results in a behavior.

In the case of human beings, that dance is arguably the most intricate on the planet. On the other hand, we are intelligent enough to deliberately dumb ourselves down, to simplify, to create larger abstractions and a greater disconnect between any objective measure of truth and the factors we choose to make our decisions. In that sense, the only difference between our intelligence and the simplest nervous system is our ability to self-program our abstractions.

Your top level metaphor may be a philosophy, a religion, a religionless faith, a free-form belief, science, a political view, a sexual identity, a need, a goal, a loved one, an altered state driven by drugs, a medical condition, self image, money, power, creative expression or a subset of creativity, something like fashion, or any combination of all of the above. Given that we know nothing about objective truth, no one can actually say which of these or countless others actually matter.

We count on a base ten system because we have ten digits on our hands. What if every branch of science becomes easier if we happened to have 17 digits? We would never know. What if we had built our entire math based on 20 instead of ten? As a man with nine toes, one lost to infection, I have to ask. Would 20 digits makes things closer to the truth or farther? We don’t know.

Einstein built an entire concept of space-time to explain a set of conditions that eliminated a need for spooky action at a distance. We like an idea of spacetime that controls itself without a real-time connection among every bit of matter, but hey, that’s a metaphor. What if it’s actually the reverse? What if everything in the universe is actually in communication with everything else without regard for distance, because time is an artifact of our limited ability to observe it. We don’t know.

We don’t know.

Instead, we build assumption on top of assumption, metaphor on metaphor. We fiddle with it until we can make it make mathematical sense. The problem, of course, is that the math involves multiple occurrences of both zero and infinity, the singularities at the ends of the mathematical spectrum. This is the equivalent of saying that we may as well call on a mysticism of the unknown to explain the unexplainable. I’m not saying it’s unexplainable. I am a firm believer in the human ability to ferret out explanations. I am saying that there is the possibility that we are incapable of seeing the Truth. All of quantum physics points us to a scary concept that our mere observation affects the result. In blunter terms, intention affects the outcomes.

If we say that’s actually true, then our attention and intention creates our reality, which any groups of people agree upon. If that’s true, in other words, you and I agree upon the elevator we are riding to another floor, and that goes right back to spooky action at a distance. Or brains, or minds of you prefer, are exchanging information about our collective experience at a rate of data that makes Einstein’s theory look like WWII radio in the age of gigabit internet. To borrow further from the data metaphor, either someone is the dominant definer of the reality of that elevator, or there is a reality “server” to which our minds subscribe. If the former, how is dominance established? If the latter, what is the server? God? The universe? An underlying operating system we all follow without knowing? An agreement that is reached among all the party minds (intentions) according to predetermined rules that depend entirely upon spooky action at a distance, and at a data rate we literally can’t imagine?

If the whole universal system works at rate we can’t imagine, do we have any hope of explaining it? If we have no hope of explaining it from our brain-in-skull limitations, do we take it as challenge, or accept it as God’s will, intending that part of the aspect of ourselves that exist in human form are not in on the secret of the ultimate definition of Truth?

Let’s bring this back down to our poor human lives. The point is that we have a certain free will to choose the abstractions that define our day to day reality. This actually a very poignant thing at this point in time. Half of us believe that any change is better than none. Half of us believe that that the change we have chosen amounts to a giant leap backwards in terms of human potential and acceptance.

The choice is a massive downwards cascade of any definition of Truth. In our massive ability to reduce Truth to an abstraction, which again is our singular advantage in a universe we cannot grasp, we distilled the whole thing down to the only reality we can understand, i.e., how it affects us. If you are gay in America, you think in terms of Hillary’s rhetoric of inclusiveness, no matter how much evidence exists that it’s just political rhetoric and not something she says for political expediency. Because of our basic ability to create metaphor to define complexity, we can simply accept our metaphor as reality, and ignore anything that conflicts with that metaphor. Reversing course, we can also take Trump’s various idiotic statements as a blanket of truth, and abstract Trump into a container of racism, homophobia, and sexism.

What’s the defense against a one sided approach to Truth? Listen to both sides. Treat everything as “We know nothing” and evaluate based on too much information. Too much information is a huge problem. As I’ve said more than once, the only conspiracy theory I will actually defend is the idea that “they” bury us in too much complexity to see what is really happening. The left has won the war, which means that they collectively can ignore any other point of view. They lost because the opposition understood that they were being culturally squashed and reserved their real opinion until they were in the voting booth. Ironic that the cultural debate was manipulated in one direction, and went in the other. It reminds me of Princess Leia to Grand Moff Tarken. “The more you tighten your grip, the more systems slip through your fingers.”

All of this is still being expressed in the form of protests, and those lost people of America who were washed aside by the Democrat party. But the only real limits in the balance of the Truth versus the real politic in America, two very different things, is that Americans are used to having an advantage, an advantage that was hard earned, and in the reality of 2016 America, where politicians are apparently willing to trade that advantage for nothing. A concept of global fairness does not equate with the reality of us giving up much for those who would gain very little. And, if freedom and independence counts on the grand accounting of Truth, it’s a terrible trade against a nebulous concept of global equality.

If you want the greatest simplicity, you want the greatest metaphor of Truth. If you want to measure success in a more detailed and granular fashion, you must be willing to sacrifice simplicity in the bargain. This, in turn, means that you must be willing to look outside your point of view, see how the other side thinks, and synthesize your own Truth. There are plenty of forces in play that would prefer, in fact demand, that you accept their truth as the Truth. It’s your option, and privilege, to decide your own Truth, and act accordingly.

The Truthiest Truth, and it’s yours.

The Founding Fathers Were Smart

Thomas Jefferson clearly spend a great deal of time considering the wisdom of the self governed. Google his quotes to see what I mean.

I live in a strongly Hillary part of the country. I fully understand how people can take the headlines of Hillary’s campaign and conclude the Trump is the anti-Christ of social development. Many of those, including people I know to be good and earnest people, are feeling betrayed by the half of the country who voted for Trump. After all, Trump has been consistently portrayed as the personification of racism, sexism, bigotry, and intolerance. If that’s true or not, we shall see. For myself, every vote I’ve cast has been a lesser of two evils proposition.

The fact is that he was smarter than the entire democratic machine. He understood how the American people felt better than the media, the Democrats, the Republican establishment, and pretty much everyone else. If you look back over the history of the campaign, Trump was quite accurate in his prognostication. He generally said it poorly, crudely, but in the current environment, perhaps that rough talk was one of his smartest accomplishments. We have listened to smooth, calculated noise from the political elite for most of our lives, watched the results, and concluded that politics was no longer a decent representation of our personal goals as Americans.

The Hillary rhetoric sniff test has been demonstrably refuted. She has behaved in way that should clearly indicate that she has lost her connection to the average woman. Every time she declares herself as the champion of women, I look to her acceptance of money from the worst examples of women’s rights in the entire world. I look to the salaries she pays to her female employees. I look the her record, which either represents a compromised version of women’s rights, or an outright version of “she is greater than thee”. In other words, you are a lesser class to her and her entire inner circle. At the most generous, she is disconnected, at the least,  and at the most, she is the logical conclusion of a an elite political class who thinks it’s entirely legitimate to manipulate you into thinking they know better for you than you do yourself.

In a country designed for “by the people” this is a problem.

For me, the results of the election are less about a “For Trump” ideal, than a “Listen to us” mandate. Trump is a guilty pleasure. He was smart enough to talk about the forgotten men and women of America, who were cast aside with the passing of NAFTA.  The bottom line is that the light of America is about being foundationally solid enough to say that our model for the world is authoritative. That authority is under attack everywhere and we can feel it right down to our wallets.

Trump speaks to that, frequently very poorly. The man could have articulated almost everything he said much more clearly and smoothly.  Hillary failed for a variety of reasons. But probably the most is that she  showed a disdain for the people she proposed to represent. Did she feel a strong role to represent women, to pass her message forward into the body politic? Probably not. As a result, she never carried her message with the ring of truth. We all understand that electing a woman president is a big deal. She just wasn’t the woman to elect. It seems likely that if she managed to win, the mess she dragged with her would have made it harder to elect a woman in the future. The right woman. I fully understand the argument that she lost because of sexism, but I don’t buy it. I think it has more to do with the confluence of anger with the whole political process along with her mounting piles of evidence of corruption, with is the essential source of that anger. Part of that may have been her entitled expectation that she had earned it. Part of it may have been her own personal history and decisions, which does not support her position. Full credit to her for her gracious concession. More speeches like that would have gone a long way to establish her authenticity. She also spoke eloquently about the power of women to break the ultimate glass ceiling and all the other ceilings that women face in this world. I respect the message and I have no doubt that there will be a woman president in my lifetime. If we can turn all the corners that we need to turn in this country, there will come a time when an honest woman will handle the growth of this nation better than any man.

And let’s be clear: We must grow. There is nothing about the concept of this nation that allows us to rest on our laurels. We must grow culturally, and lose all the labels that we slap on everyone. I could write another post on this one subject, but given the words I’ve read today, no one needs help with this definition. Here’s the main issue, though, one that Trump seems to see but never articulates well. If we don’t grow economically first, then none of the rest of it works. It’s simple human nature that when we have enough to live our own lives, we are automatically more generous to others’ views. It’s also human nature that those who have struggled are more inclined to help when their own situation improves. In the big game, the survival of the whole American ideal, an economically strong middle class is the key. If we retain enough power to have our voice, then America rests on a broad base. If we don’t, then we live on a knife edge that can be destroyed easily. My personal belief is that there has been a long term concerted effort to destroy the American middle class. I don’t know who wants it, but I know that it’s a model that fits the patterns of our lives. I have hope that Trump is willing to fly a finger in that general direction, even if his motivation is to preserve his own business legacy.

One of the great ironies of the result is that Trump was successful enough that he had better walk the walk. He, with the support of both houses, has no excuse for failing to clean up the mess we find ourselves in, no excuse for failing to drain the swamp. With his full mandate, he must support all of it on his shoulders. For those of you who have only heard the headlines of Hillary’s campaign, he’s not a sexist demon. He runs a radical meritocracy and pays his women the same as men for similar levels of responsibility. If a woman can do the job better, he puts one in the job. Check Hillary’s foundation for the contrast in women’s pay. He’s not a racist, although I can see how he has made it easy to apply that brush to him. His equation is not based on race; it’s based on good for America, versus not good for America. The caveat is that as a businessman, it is also good for his business versus not good for his business. He uses the tools available to get result. He’s had 18 solid months transition his own model of business from that of the Trump brand to that of America, and get ready because he will use every tool available to make America succeed. He doesn’t know any other way to approach it. If you think it’s about sexism, racism, anti-gay or anything else, I suspect you are going to find that it’s simply about the success of every American within his concept of a larger American system that must succeed.

What happens if he turns the corner on our economic success? What happens if he’s right and we can actually collect more taxes from lower tax rates? What happens if he can actually drain the swamp, which we all know is filled with the stickiest, most virulent mud imaginable. What happens if companies want to be in America again? What happens if he rebuilds our manufacturing base? What happens if he destroys medical monopolies and medical price fixing, which by the way is the real reason we can’t afford decent health coverage in this country? What happens if he redirects resources to fixing our problems instead of trying to shore up a web of influence over the rest of the world? What happens if he manages to create enough money to begin paying down our stupendous debt? How does that single action affect our children and grandchildren? What if he fights wars to win, instead of fighting limited actions that only enrich the contractors while degrading the readiness of our military? For that matter, what if he builds a military that no one would even consider engaging on the world stage?

I’ll leave you to answer. Meanwhile, the riots have started.

 

 

The Big Pattern

Since 1996, I have observed a pattern.

In 1996, I heard the subtext. I was watching Peter Jennings on ABC and it dawned on me that the subtext was the same no matter what the story. To simplify, the subtext was this: Don’t worry, the government will handle it for you. Not a decade later, George W. was asking for donations to save New Orleans after Katrina, because for the first time ever, we did not have the resources or skills as a nation to deal with a hurricane.

Some people would find “let the government handle it” comforting, but the reality is that the whole concept of our nation is that the government gets out of the way so that you can handle it yourself. The more we allow the government to handle our problems, the more freedom and independence we give away to a government we can’t control.

They are either complete idiots, or they are working for someone else.

For 20 years, I have watched the pattern, and the trends point to a place we don’t want to go. Culturally, economically, conceptually… To sum up in a metaphor, we are the mythical frog in boiling water. If those who are working for someone else move too fast, we feel the heat and want to jump. If they go slowly enough, we won’t feel it until too late. I saw the end of what we call America long ago. What I never saw coming was Trump. It’s not hard to argue that the entire Trump phenomenon is a result of Obama moving too fast, thus making “We the Frog” uncomfortable.

Along comes Trump, who represents a somewhat crude reality check.

He says many uncomfortable things. Many of them are things I would have said, and did say, long before he announced his candidacy. I’ve never been a celebrity, so I wouldn’t have said anything about getting away with anything with women, and if I did, my mother would have reached down from heaven and smacked me in the head. She taught me respect for women, and yet just like all of us, women need care. No one can define that care in total, because women are individuals and each one needs different forms of care. The point is that we take care of each other, and don’t need some template from the government to define what that means.

In the big pattern, Trump is a singular phenomenon. He is certainly not even remotely perfect, but I believe he is the last chance at saving the American experiment of self government without a full-on, torches-and-pitchforks revolution. I think that Hillary can end what we know as America in a single a term. And yes, she can do it quite skillfully. You see, Hillary has vast intelligence, woefully pointed in the wrong direction. The American middle class is the single biggest impediment to a one world government. We still have the education and economic power to resist it, and there are plenty of forces in play trying to remove both of those advantages. Once they reduce us to a point that we will accept more government as the grand solution, they win and any semblance of independence goes with it. In other words, America ends.

Of course, that’s only one scenario. We can end on the most historically prevalent pattern. We can simply water down our culture until the country fractures along cultural lines. Given Obama’s seemingly concerted effort to demean our culture on every foreign stage, it’s not hard to conclude that the powers-that-be are aware that cultural destruction is an expedient way to destroy the independence of the middle class. After an American fracture, any authoritative voice in the world has a valid voice for taking over.

That begs the question; what’s wrong with a one world concept? Surely humanity can achieve more if we are all on the same page, right? Well, it depends on the page. I once interviewed the chairman of a prominent company who said we will never get on the same page until the aliens attack. If we are to take the current reasons for being on the same page, the only vision is for those with the most power to have ALL the power. It’s not a utopian, Star Trek vision. As an American, be aware that balancing the playing field means that we have to give up a great deal to balance with the rest of the world. We have lived a long time under the concept under the reality of American supremacy. That means we have to be okay with American supremacy, no matter the liberal concept of balancing the playing field with open borders and completely free trade, or we have to be willing to balance our quality of life with the rest of the world. There is no way to make that equation work without giving up a great deal of our quality of life.

Well, being selfishly unwilling to give up quality of life, I say that the way we should define America, given that we can historically establish that a strong America equals a stable world, as a concept of an American exceptionalism. In a practical sense, what does that mean? That means we extract our own resources, so that no world situation deprives us of the ability to win. I suspect the whole plan has been to use up other country’s resources so that we are the last ones with the ability to wage war. It means that we manufacture our own products, so that no communist regime can deprive us of what we regard as important. If China stopped sending us iPhones tomorrow, how do we respond? It means that we stop sending billions to other countries in a failing attempt at peaceful economic empire building, while our own country is crumbing. All it does is build anti-American resentment in the countries in question, and gives rise to terrorism in populations that fully understand that we are manipulating them. Could we build the strongest America possible and accomplish the same thing without a web of hidden agendas?

You can argue any way you want, but there is no way to hang on to our way of life without a basic foundation of deciding that American values matter and supersede global concerns. Fairness on a global scale is invalid unless we are willing to live in a third world reality. That is your choice.

Hillary is the path to expedient implementation of a global values system. Trump is the path to maintaining our way of life. Hillary is speaking of an alternate reality, which incidentally cribs extensively  from Trump’s talking points. And yes, I find it hilarious every time Hillary “borrows” Trump. As of tomorrow, we will find out the intelligence of Americans and their ability to rise above the bullshit, which amounts to an endorsement of manipulation of middle class American perception, or the endorsement of our way of life. Take your pick and live with results.