Friday, November 11, 2011

Primary elections put the notion of reality into question

I don't really believe in the Tibetan Buddhist view of life, but it has a way
of seeping in at times. And I admit to a bit of uncertainty, as a matter of principle.

Actually, I associate the high Tibeta view with Swedenborg and Joel Whitton's Life Between Life.

They would say that reality appears so tough and hard yielding to our thoughts when we just think alone -- but consensus reality can change when millions of people slip in and out together, and create reality out of thoughts embedded in their subconscious minds.

The Republican primary elections really remind me of that a whole lot. In fact,
the 2008 primaries also stressed my sense of reality. Maybe I should start at the beginning.

At first, in 2008, I wondered whether we were seeing a collective re-enactment of
the "Wizard of Oz." There went Hilary (Dorothy) dancing down that yellow brick road paved with gold, basically happy and friendly with her friends the scarecrow (Obama) and the cowardly lion (McCain). It did unnerve me a bit when the tornado came down on that house in Clinton Arkansas in the middle of the primaries, and I saw on TV news...
two red slippers they found under the house, which looked to me just like the ones in the old movie.

But then McCain did not like the casting. It did not satisfy his pride.
So he (and others?) changed the channel to Beowulf, which was just then coming around in 3D, with Angelina Jolie plating Sarah Palin. Beowulf was a really great and proud role... until that dragon came around and burned down the castle... and the world
economy in September 2008.

What next?

This time around, chapter one reminded me of the the Buddhist three monkeys,
or more, a kind of Mormon morality tale. Three main candidates -- one with
too much caffeine (Bachmann), one with too much alcohol (Perry) and one with too much money (Romney). I had an earlier post on that. At the time, too much money seemed safer, but I look at how utterly inept the financial community is acting on its own in the EU, and I do worry about the risk of similar myopia here. They are not exactly living up to Von Neumann and Morgenstern's idea of enlightened self-interest, due to obvious blinders. They have an important place in human society, but can they handle it all competently alone?

But Romney came up with his great line "a corporation is a person too."
So in chapter two, we had a choice of which of three corporations (incarnated as human avatars) to vote for -- Oil Incarnate (Perry, which I could say more about, but
Christian virtues say not to unless circumstances change), Banks Incarnate (Romney)
or Pizza Incarnate (Cain). Given how folks are feeling out there these days, it's not at all surprising they would vote for pizza. Even if they don't always believe those ads about a 9.99 special, they figure that pizza folks do really pay attention to their customers and don't spend their whole lives figuring out how to screw them.

But then came a shudder.

Is Genesis in some small measure "prophecy"? Could it be that the fight between
two brothers Cain and Able will soon unravel? If Cain kills Able will we end up in some place which makes the status quo look like Garden of Eden by comparison?

(Is this a dream or what that we are actually living? Hey, I didn't make up
Cain here...)

But now... as the coyote pulling Perry's strings tries to strike back at Cain...
this morning a new dynamic has emerged, which startles me even more.

It is now Cain only slightly ahead of Romney and Gingrich (and Perry sinking fast).

Two corporations versus... a human being? How did a human being get into this race?
Weren't they supposed to be verboten here, like pedestrians walking on a highway?

This is doubly unnerving to me for many reasons.

First -- there is something odd about my past I need to mention, only briefly at a surerficial level. Long ago, in 1969, when I figured out (independently) how to
do reasoning by Bayesian networks, I realized very quickly how my own life uniquely violates what appear to be the laws of probability (e.g. iid assumption..).

Even when I wander through humble corridors of life... I keep running into people
at odd times. In the mid 1960's, I went just once to a bar in downtown Boston with some friends. And there I ran across Richard Nixon... who at that time was seen
by most as a former politician. In 1967 I ran across Edward Heath in a similar situation (tea and gardening not alcohol). And there was that girl Pinki Bhutto
(really more her roommate). And friends who got promoted up into the stratosphere, so to speak. Al Gore and Gingrich both, back at the time of the Gore-Gingrich bill
to better understand the future. And Heisenberg's boss/collaborator on the subway train to the Washington zoo. (He was a bit hairy himself, but interesting to talk to.)

And... so... I remember the time in 2009 when I was accidentally alone with Gingrich
in an elevator, totally by accident... and did at least have the guts to ask if he was still interested in space. (Maybe I should say something about Rohrabacher here,
but this was not in THAT building.) And then just a couple of months ago,
when I went to restaurant out in the suburbs here... they sat me and my wife
and collaborator form Memphis right next to Gingrich, who was eating shabu shabu with
his wife. (A great restaurant, but when I later tried the shabu shabu myself, it
was the only thing I ever had there which seemed just mediocre.)

So... could it be yet again? Should I have had the temerity to say hello and mention my strange experience before that time?

Gingrich is not only human, but an intelligent human.

Yet when I look at the world economic system today, and I look at his recent book,
I fear he isn't out of the box enough to keep it from getting worse, let alone
a chance of recovery. The 180s have their own way of screwing up, when the challenges
are really huge. And what of the recent quite but decisive reorganization in the
Republican party which gives the funding agents far more control than even the weirdest stuff we have seen in the past few years?

Still, if he is brave enough to reconcile with Arianna Huffington when he has the nomination in the bag (IF, I should say... I certainly don't predict it...
even if I feel some goosebumps...)... and they REALLY draw he line against the
really big corporate welfare which threatens our future.. like the tax breaks
which label oil companies as "distressed manufacturing" (curiously absent from
the "get-rid-of-subsidies" bill now being pushed by Marshall, under oil company funding)....

Who knows?

To be honest, I currently plan to vote for Obama in 2012, in great part because his jobs bill suggests he may have learned some math on the job... and a real human being, who can see at least basic math, seems frightening rare these days. He has made some big mistakes, but if he is able to learn from his mistakes... that's better than voting for a statue or an avatar.

But as the Quakers say, there is that of God in everyone...

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