Dream Journal – Dirk Gently and the T-Rex

This dream didn’t feel like it lasted too long. It happened during a 2 hour nap. In the dream, I am Dirk Gently’s assistant. I’m with the Dirk Gently from the new show. The show is based on the Douglas Adams novels by the same name, Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective. In the dream, I am in a radioactive wasteland. Outside, there’s a radioactive storm. The dream begins with Dirk Gently and I exploring a staircase in an old, rusted, molded over industrial building. We ascend to the top of this warehouse/factory, and I recall in the dream thinking it looks exactly like the interior environments in the video game Fallout 4. I’ve played Fallout this year. As we conclude exploring the building, we step outside into the radiation storm. I happen upon a large egg, the size of an ostrich egg. It takes both hands to hold it. As I am holding it, the egg warms and begins to hatch, with one end of the shell breaking and then falling off. Inside is a baby T-Rex, which crawls out and into my hands.

The dream then immediately moves to the inside of an industrial building, possibly the same one from earlier.  Inside is the body of a dead piglet. On the wall is what I recognize as a soul-switcher, kind of like the one in the tv show. We then hook up the piglet to one end of the soul-switcher and the baby T-Rex to the other. I don’t recall anyone flipping a switch, but suddenly there’s a huge flash of blue electricity which fills the room. The T-Rex soul goes into the piglet, resurrecting its body, and then the piglet soul goes into the dinosaur’s body. I recall distinctly in the dream thinking this is what was happening. I then observed the piglet acting like a dinosaur and the dinosaur acting like a pig. Dirk and I spoke a few words, of which I cannot remember. I then saw each animal firing out their blue aura in the form of electricity. The piglet projected it’s internal T-Rex aura and the T-Rex did the same with it’s piglet aura. I don’t recall anything bad happening although I seemed to think it was dangerous. Then the dream ended.

Dream Journal – Hope Diamond Heist

This dream began with me driving my 1990 Oldsmobile 98 up a winding road towards a large castle. It was in the country and looked nothing like the actual Kensington District of London, which I’ve visited in real life. After driving alongside a large castle or university type building, the road lead through some hedges into an archway. The next thing I remember is being in a basement room of this complex with Tom Cruise, who was dressed as a British cop or security officer. I think he was looking over one of his guns, and I handed him a gift. We both shared a laugh.

Continue reading Dream Journal – Hope Diamond Heist

Dream Journal – Pancakes

It began with me in a public park during the morning. I wanted pancakes. Apparently I was at a pancake breakfast. I observed a big block of ice with pancakes inside, so I began chipping away at it, melting the ice. Eventually, there was only a little ice left, so I left for a moment to let the sun finish thawing out the ice. I’m not sure where I left for or for how long.

When I returned, my pancakes were gone. I immediately flew into a rage at the theft of my pancakes. I then proceeded to start flipping over swingsets and playground equipment as my temper took over. This one was a bit intense, even though it was so silly. The last thing I remember in the dream is being really angry. The crazy part was when I woke up, I was still angry.

Dream Journal – Crystal Pepsi

“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”
-Proverbs 25:25

Occasionally, I have an extremely vivid and partly lucid dream. Usually when this happens I lucid dream on some level, where I’m aware that I’m dreaming and can exert some control over the events of the dream. The rare thing about this dream is the level of detail I am able to recall. When a dream is extended in length, is at least partly lucid, and is easily remembered, I have learned to pay attention. I have many vivid dreams but typically when I wake up I can’t recall what happened. There have been a few prior, very memorable dreams that had significance in my life that I only understood much later. This one was… interesting, to say the least. It follows. The text is taken directly from an instant message conversation.

I dreamt that I was at Wright State with one of my friends someone I know in real life I believe but I can’t recall who now
I dreamed that I found the only 2 remaining cans of clear Pepsi existing on Earth
And my friend told me in the dream that each can was worth 3 million dollars
And then three old school Nazis from the forties who I recognized but couldn’t place tried to take the cans from me and I had to get rid of them somehow I don’t know what I did to escape them
But I realize that to defeat them I would need special powers
So I got on like a train that was like the kids toy train you see in the mall but it was full size and I ride this train I somehow found to the bottom of the ocean to this house
And I fucking rang the doorbell and went into this house but somehow no water got into the house at the bottom of the ocean and I remember looking up through a big glass window and seen the train near the house on the ridge
And the dude inside I’m not sure who he was he was an old dude with a beard he was either Santa Claus or Jesus as an old guy or Prospero from Shakespeare’s The Tempest
And then I remember being extremely thirsty and he was trying to talk to me and I wanted to speak to him but I couldn’t because I was so thirsty
And so he gave me a glass of water and I drank it and then I woke up
And when I woke up and realized I wasn’t thirsty and I didn’t need to pee

My New Website Experiment: greenedata.com

So I have become increasingly dissatisfied with a host of news aggregators, from Huffington Post to Google News to reddit to the Drudge Report. This is for a variety of reasons. The agendas of places like HuffPost or Drudge I find highly disagreeable. I disagree with HuffPost for their brazen support of Hillary Clinton and Drudge for his non-stop agitating for Donald Trump.  This type of agenda-driven news reporting is problematic because it means the reader must filter through the bias of both the aggregator and the story that it links to. I have problems with social news sites like reddit because the inherent bias and popularity towards certain kinds of stories, as well as a highly flawed upvote/downvote system, mean some important news items get ignored. The problem with sites like Google News is that it is highly reliant on algorithms instead of human editors, so very important stories can be left behind and not featured on their main pages. It should also be noted that most aggregators generate exactly none of their own content. I figured if I am going to have to filter through a thousand different news sites to get to the stories I want to see, maybe someone else would be interested in what I find. So that’s when I decided to create my own website, greenedata.com, where I also don’t generate any of my own content (ha ha), but I provide a limited number of links each day. I link to the stories I view as either the most important and relevant, or the most interesting.

Greene Data Screen Capture

I don’t really have any rules for how I do this, but I am developing a method to find things. I do have preferences for what I post. I will never link to a website like Forbes, which has a hard paywall and harasses you for using an ad-blocker. I prefer to always link to stories that are on sites with no kind of paywall if I can help it. I also try to link to local news stories when possible. If I see something on Yahoo! News that is just a republication of an interesting AP or Reuters story, I will attempt to find the original story on either AP or Reuter’s website as well.  My standards are simple: is it important, relevant, or interesting? In terms of bias, I am basically critical of everyone. I don’t have a rooting interest for any major political party, corporation, or institution. I don’t receive payment from anyone. I don’t show ads. I have no one giving me money to put forth a point of view. I have no one giving me money for this, period. The purpose of the website at this stage is how to best execute my idea and to test the market to see if there is a demand for this kind of thing. For example, I imagine many Bernie Sanders supporters are very unhappy with CNN and Huffington Post for their poor treatment of Sanders and their highly favorable coverage of Hillary Clinton. In the same way, many conservatives and libertarians who do not like or support Donald Trump are currently disgusted with people like Matt Drudge. If I can demonstrate there is a demand for this website from people like this, as well as others, maybe I have something here.

For now I just want to present a daily set of links to stories. I want the website to load quickly and be as simple and easy to use as possible. Hopefully so far I have achieved those goals. Give it a look, won’t you?

Do Your Part

Shits fucked they say
Someone should do something
They Say
They Say
Why don’t you

Don’t tell me
I already know
Someone should do
Something Something Something

Someone should do something
Why don’t you
Why don’t you

They say they say
it’s never been this bad
they say the world’s gone mad

I say I say
It’s always been
This way

You want change
be it
live it
do it
yourself

I say I say
use your hands
use your blood
use your sweat
use your tears

fight the darkness
hold the light
don’t live in fear

they say they say
everything they want
to make you scared

they don’t they don’t
give a fuck
about me or you

They say they say
it’s never been this bad
they say the world’s gone mad

I say I say
It’s always been
This way

I say I say
live the revolution
every fuckin day

The War on Drugs is a Failure

I have been opposed to the War on Drugs for political, social, and moral reasons for over 15 years, since I was made aware of the issue. I could probably write a lot on this issue, so I will try to keep this simple, and limited to three main points. Included will be a source for each point. Keep in mind that right now Montgomery County and Dayton Ohio are experiencing a heroin abuse epidemic like never before seen in history, with our region leading the nation in opioid overdose deaths per capita: http://www.whio.com/news/news/crime-law/3-ohio-cities-in-top-10-worst-for-drug-overdoses/nrSJH/

My three points are as follows:

  • The War on Drugs was created and is perpetuated as a war primarily on the poor and people of color.
  • The War on Drugs is a source of massive income for the prison-industrial complex and associated industries.
  • The War on Drugs is a very expensive failure in stopping or even limiting drug use, and there are superior alternatives.

Continue reading The War on Drugs is a Failure

Mad Max : Fury Road

I felt it was time to write about George Miller’s most recent Mad Max film now that Oscar season is right around the corner, and there is talk of a special release of the film that will be entirely in black and white. I must admit this film caught me by surprise. I didn’t quite know what to expect based on the trailers. My first viewing of this film was a visceral punch to the gut and brain. The film breaks out of the action movie mold of the last 25 to 30 years and is basically just one long, extended car chase and fight scene. Mad Max completely captured my attention with the sound, the music, and the practical effects (lots of real explosions and stunts and minimal CGI). The thing that most stood out to me after my first viewing of this film, however, was none of that, it was the incredible performance by Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa. I had not paid much attention to this movie before it came out, and Theron so completely transformed for this role that I did not recognize her until after the film ended and the credits started rolling. As I watched the film a second, third and fourth time in the theater I became even more impressed by Tom Hardy’s solid job as Mad Max, and I picked up on lots of little things George Miller and the actors put into this movie.  I continued to be amazed by Theron’s performance as well. A trailer may give the impression that this film is just a big, dumb action movie but it is actually quite deep, exploring themes that are highly relevant to the post-modern era.

The major themes that resonated to me were warnings about nuclear war, climate change, and religious and political extremism. The other theme carried throughout the movie is the power of women. There are no damsels in distress in this film. The women in Mad Max: Fury Road are just as ferocious and capable, and sometimes more ferocious and capable than the men.  The redemptive power of women to undo the damage wrought by men through nuclear war, climate change and extremism is one of the main lessons of this film. In that way this work agrees with another one of my heroes, George Carlin, who rightly places most of the blame (but not all) for the insanity of this world on men. That insanity is reflected in this movie, which eschews pacifism and calls for a struggle against tyranny and extremism as the only way to make the world a better place.

How to end global poverty with radical change

It’s hard to find sources on this, but many of my ideas have been suggested by economists and think tanks before, I just combined the ideas that I think would work best. I think there are benefits to both capitalism and socialism, but the excesses on both sides can be harmful. Too much capitalism or too much socialism can lead to different bad forms of totalitarianism in my view. I think proponents of both tend to idealize their systems and ignore some of the inherent flaws.

I believe there needs to be a balance between the two, combining their strengths. Capitalism mixed with government investment in key areas is a great way to advance technology, for example. Capitalism is very effective at generating wealth, but without a social safety net enforced by the government, wealth inequality becomes such that the very wealthiest consolidate so much power that they are essentially able to write the rules for everyone else, in the form of local laws as well as international regulations (think trade deals). I basically think a stronger form of global governance is needed. Here’s a brief list of some of the things I think should be implemented on an international level to deal with poverty:

1) Eliminate all government subsidies for all corporations. This would have to be enforced internationally, but would allow small business owners and producers in all countries a more level playing field, because as of today they aren’t able to purchase the political influence major corporations can.
2) institute a global currency. I think there would be many benefits to doing this, namely wealthy countries wouldn’t be able to use their currency and foreign exchange rates to dominate weaker countries. Here’s an article on the subject that deals with what I’m thinking of.
3) eliminate all trade laws, tariffs and excise taxes. These laws mainly serve to protect corporate interests and the interests of the wealthiest countries and companies that write the trade laws. Eliminate them, create true global competition.
4) create a flat, unavoidable corporate profits tax, as well as personal income tax, worldwide, eliminating corporate inversions and tax shelters and havens of any kinds. Make sure all global money is taxed in one form or another.  60 minutes just did a big investigation into how the rich are able to shelter their money from taxes due to weak laws.
5) provide a basic social safety net that includes food, shelter, clean water, health care, and education to everyone on the planet. Pay for it with the money raised from eliminating tax shelters and corporate inversions.
6) Find a way to reform patent law so price gouging doesn’t happen – either buy out the patent of successful medicines or pay companies a bounty for succesfully coming up with a cure, like an X-prize. This model can be applied to government funded research in all areas, especially green energy technology and medical technology.
7) provide a minimum income (cash payment) for everyone on the planet. This website provides a good explanation of the benefits of a basic income.
8) any money you make on top of that and the taxes you pay, you get to keep
9) set a limit on the ratio of how much more an executive can make than the lowest paid worker.
10)  require corporations to give a share of the ownership to the workers, so that the workers have voting power in the companies. This is basically a lighter version of what is known as anarcho-syndicalism.
11) Create a global set of environmental regulations and labor laws that include jail time for executives that violate them.
12) Some form of debt forbearance or forgiveness for countries at the bottom of the economic system.

Obviously, these ideas would require some radical changes to be made. I think it’s time to make globalization work for the people instead of the elites. Due to the rates of technological change and interconnectedness of markets, it is in my view impossible to stop globalization or capitalism, I think it needs to be directed to more positive, just ends.