Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What Spirit

So what is the spirit of soul that the religious speak of? I just cannot identify what they speak of.

So if the body physically supports the physical mind, are the thought the soul? Or are the collective beliefs, motivations for action and all that other "software" running in the mind? But what about learned knowledge? and learned behaviors?

So does a rational person have a soul? Or is it just one more figment of the religious imagination, or something that the religious cannot define? More religious bullshit? 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Learned Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors

So why do we overeat? Is the cause physical or mental? If it is mental, than it is not a diet or food issue, therefore diet or food is just not going to fix the problem? Any calorie reduced diet will take the weight off if we are able to follow it. So if we are unable to follow the diet, where do we turn to?

It strikes me that mental issues need mental solutions, and who can tell us how to think? Well the philosophy guys are of some help with emotion type problems, and the psychologists if is a common problem, but how to they figure out what the problem is? Well when we read Running on Empty, it is apparent the most of the world is just getting by. so can those just getting by really help when someone realizes they have a mild form of Obsessive Compulsive Behavior that cannot be called OCD or OCPD? What if we just "take the treatment"?

Obsession is a reoccurring thought like "I am hungry", and the compulsion is a vain try to find something to take away that obsession. Well no compulsion or consumption can remove an obsession. The treatment is first identify that hunger feeling as an mental obsession, and realize no food intake can remove that feeling. That feeling can only be displaced by other feelings. It is just an obsession. Call it an obsession. It has no value and can be ignored. No obsession was ever removed by compulsion.

Now consider an emotional cause, where eating is used to remove a stress. High sugar/high insulin is a condition that causes a relaxation, after many calories. We are mistaking stress for hunger; we also may be hungry as well. There is a desire to re-feed after stress that is natural, perhaps even necessary for the thin. Glycogen in short supply calls for replenishing for the thin. We need to separate these feelings, but until we can?

Well there is a book that describes the treatment for obsessive- compulsive treatment: Brain Lock by Schwartz, so may the schwartz be with you.  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year, New Direction

For a while now I have been feeling in need of a change but I am unsure of what that change should be. I am bored, well not really bored, but no energy to do much, and no interest in doing much. Not really discontent, but not really motivated to do anything. I have lots I could do, but nothing I care about, or for that matter, nothing anyone else cares about much either. When I get sarcasm, I just stop. Oh well, she will just need to learn to live with unfinished projects.

So now I need a change, but the question is to what? The days get long sometimes when I do not have enough to do, yet do not want to do much. Such is retirement. I could change this blog into a rant or wail against selected "stupidities of man kind" or some such attention getting crier. There is no shortage of subjects: religion, environment, waste, ego spending, massive houses used as places to sleep while everybody works to pay for the house, money management, or the lack of such, dying jobs and career paths, shipping jobs offshore aka buying foreign goods, lack or economic choice of some products, politics, bad political decisions, bad decisions made for good reasons, decisions that make Alberta noncompetitive in the current market, but made for environmental reasons, bad faith decisions, stupid decisions to not support carbon capture efforts, even when some carbon capture is revenue generating, but not profitable enough to be self sustaining, and the list could go on.

I could dig out 20 to 40 year old slides and scan them, hang them on the web for all to see, but why?
I could make slides of most anything for the microscope and look at them, but why?
I could finish any number of started project, but she has not yet learned.
I could go to the garage and do something, but why?

One of those old philosophers, Epictetus in the Fragments is quoted as saying "never do anything without a reason" or something to that effect. "We should not lift a finger without reason," perhaps "without reason we should not lift a finger". I have no reason, beyond the need to do something. Is that sufficient reason? Perhaps it is.

There is a space between perception and analysis, a bigger space between analysis and decision, and a third space between decision and action, or so there should be according to some. This seems to be what many of the old masters of mediation suggest, and even the new masters, and that is also what a good few psychologists suggests. Perhaps I could pass my days in any of the many forms of meditation. But without any desire to....  

Will Trump become president? If he does, how will his presidency end? Natural term? resignation? impeachment? assassination? natural death or medical issue? Civil unrest? Civil War? Invasion of X or by Y? Nuclear war?... I will bet on impeachment and or medical issue. His ego would never let himself to admit into being wrong, and resigning. I doubt that he will make four years without some effort of relieving us of him, but the security will be tight.  He will infuriate the existing establishment and executive of Security Industry.  I could see him getting into serious difficulties and then fining a medical escape issue short of impeachment. Oh well, he will only likely upset NAFTA, softwood lumber, border security, free trade, auto industry, environment issues, drugs and health care, gyproc trade, beef, pork, food, housing, in Canada. It may be good for Canada also as we may need to start producing our own stuff in Canada in answer to the restrictions imposed.

Enough in the end we all just die anyway, just as the 110 billion who went before us.  


Monday, January 2, 2017

Is Overeating a "learned behavior"

Yes, well since we do it, it is a learned behavior. The question is more complex; was it learned as a result of direct teaching or was it self learned as a coping method for a bad situation or a inability to cope with some problem? Does that problem still exist?

So if my personality/attitude puts me into conflict with those around me, and I overeat to sooth myself, then I must learn to deal with those around me or I have no change of lasting recovery. So how does one learn to deal with people who are just wrong? An atheist living among the religious?

A grumpy wife?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The Potato

The Potato has been a traditional food for many for years. I was raised on them. It is difficult to give up a traditional food entirely, especially when I have grown them for years.

There is the observation: two eggs and two bacon, and I can go all day. Two eggs and a fingerling, and I get hungry by noon. Two eggs and two bacon, and fingerling, and I am hungry by noon. That is just not reasonable. So what is the cause? Is it the same sort of issue as with wheat, so described by William Davis in Wheat Belly? Is it a protein breaking into a peptide, that is causing an allergic reaction and surge in adrenaline? Is it a leak gut problem? The solution is obvious; swear off potatoes for now and ever.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Attachment to Food and/or Eating

Peter Michealson, in Secret Attachments suggests that we have an attachment to food or eating that has gotten out of control. The cause is a concept of emotional injury or attachment to a negative emotion, fear of abandonment, resentment, ego or some other such issue. We may be using eating as a defense, but ultimately it is and attachment to a delusion or emotion locked into our psyche. Or we could like food a bit to much, another form of attachment. We need to let go of the attachment either way.

Buddha, back in his day said that all our suffering is some form of attachment to delusions, our thoughts, concepts, ideas, fears, graspings, expectations, hopes, dreams, and opposites, are all forms of delusions. In other words it is our attachments to the things that drive our lives in the direction we want to go that cause the problem, So if we are not attached to where we go or what happens, we can be free of all suffering. Well, if we do not care, it does not matter. Yes. So being ready to let go of our attachments if that attachment is what freedom of suffering is all about. It is the attachment that is common to all the issues, so if we let go of the attachment, then we are free.

All property, shelter and the like was owned by the community of monks, and they then provided housing, shelter, food, close, etc to the monks. Monks supported the community, begged for the community, and worked for the community. OK. They owned nothing, had nothing, and were free but cared for by the community. Some had jobs within the community: it needed a treasurer, builders, gardeners, beekeepers, etc,

 It is specifically letting go of attachment that the Buddhist promote, regardless of what the attachment is aimed at. So could letting go of the desire for food and/or eating be part of the solution? sounds like it should work, but how does one let go of a attachment? That is the question.      

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fictitious Concept of Self Control

Fictitious Concept of Self Control

Not all humans have anything like self control. That statement files in the face of psychologists, government, doctors with there non-compliant concept. In fact, I can see little evidence that more than a few have "self-control" No one wants to be fat, yet 2/3 of the population is. All anyone needs to do to not be fat is to not eat as much. We see drug dependency, alcoholics, smokers, all of which would not be if they had "self-control" so I suggest that self control is a delusion, a concept we have but is not a real thing, much like gods. So if we are bowing at the alter of self control, and not getting anywhere, what is the logical next step? Stop believing in self control. It does not really exist.

That does not say we should stop trying. Agrippina, or was it Socrates, the old Greek said resist and persist are the two great virtues, or something to that effect. He said those were optional but desired characteristics. I use the word optional for some characteristics unlike duty, following traditions, loyalty to your city state, good moral behavior were just expected, and the transgressors were just not tolerated. They either left to take up residence elsewhere, to travel or were eliminated by other methods, sold into slavery, exiled, exterminated. There is no suggestion that people could force change on themselves, just that they should try.

That is where modern thoughts break down. It is assumed or preached by those in authority that people can change if they want it bad enough, yet there is not what the evidence says. Just look at the fat, smoking, drinking, drugging, lying, cheating, tax evasion, people abusing,  and how many are left as honorable humans? None, or close to that number. So trying to acheive is all we are capable of, achievement itself is more luck that anything.   

There are many of us who just cannot follow a diet when food is available. It is a human problem, and only those who have no attraction to food or make extreme efforts are being successful. Obesity is therefore a cultural/societal problem, not a individual problem. That is what the average human reaction is telling us.     

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


What are cravings? These are attachments to feelings, desires, emotions, desires for specific foods, flavors. The strength of the attachment or desire is the problem. The only found solution is to let go of the attachment. So what help is that and how is that achieved?

Science, in the form of psychologists, remain quiet on that. It is the craving that cause me much problems.

So those of us with strong desires for food, for comfort, for some other emotion that food acts as a substitute for have a problem, which the medical professionals have no clear answer for. Our best guess it is cause in childhood, and it is some attachment to something that make us feel better. The marketing psychologists know how to drive the attachment by keeping food/food advertising in our faces constantly. But there is no know relief, other that isolation in an active enjoyable environment, where food is not available. The problem  is, one cannot live for extended periods in such an environment. There is no solution. that is what it come down too. Fuck It.    

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

which way do you wobble?

Which way do you wobble? We all wobble, and we cannot run true when we grew up in a wobbling society, culture, learned to wobble from eccentrics, just to survive. So where is the center to correct for eccentricities, and that is true to correct for wobbles, and then there are questions of speed and balance.

The point is that nobody knows for sure. When it comes to overeating there are many hypotheses, and nobody knows what is right and what is not. It is obvious that it is not a single problem, for then those who have fixed the problem would have created a pattern that works for others. There are many patterns and none of them work universally. Many of those who were obsessive about eating have switched to measurement obsession, or exercise obsession, or running obsession, which will work until age or injury set in. So is changing obsession a cure?

We overeaters have a big wobble toward eating and usually away from exercise. The issue with exercise it requires time, and we need to take something else out of our lives. That is but one of the problems. Doing something that we do not enjoy makes it drudgery. It is like an athlete learning more calculus, doing calculus exercises just to stay fresh. Just does not happen for long.

So do we need to produce an anti-eating wobble to counter balance this problem. Everyone is wobbling differently so what is true?        

Friday, December 2, 2016

Food Decision time

Is the overeating motivation physical/biological based or noological/mind/emotionally based? This is the big "divide the problem in two" question.

If it biological, take that path, if it is mind based, it requires a different path. Since the desire to overeat/ overeating is worse in time of indecision, that suggests it is a mental issue.  So where is there to turn to?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Do I have a need for a personal "charter of responsibilities."?

That would be essentially a total disclosure of what I think.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Quest for Purpose (4)

Literature search part

Victor Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning, states:  We discover this meaning in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering (and mitigation of more suffering )

Searching for meaning becomes more about attitude that we maintain than the actual whatever we are doing, or the why of doing. For years my company tag line was: providing information to build on. As a geotechnical engineer, that was what I provided, as our core service, but also a bunch more related services. Then I retired and fell into a existential vacuum after doing a few thing that I wanted to do. So I need a replacement for work which I value. Blogging is nice but it is only one part of the solution. 

Some part of the search is displaced by being in the present moment for life activities, sleep, body care, meals, or some entertainment. Some of my days are taken up with care of this property, grass, garden, snow clearing, an bit of maintenance when I am so inclined. 

Studying and learning is a useful displacement, however applying what I learn beyond myself is not part of the use, for the memory is failing so it is difficult to learn and retain information. This is something which was not a problem before age 60, but since the short term memory is a problem. If I read something today, it will be gone later, and I will have no recall of any of this tomorrow. I could not write without spell check and grammar check. Some of that is dyslexia but it is worse, a loss of short term memory. Enough whining, and back to reading Frankl again.     

Monday, November 21, 2016

Quest for Purpose ~ (3)

The quest to derive a current purpose in life has become urgent, well as urgent as a retired person can become urgent. Time is relative, or our valuing of time more likely. What we value, our beliefs, and meaning with engagement, and/or attachment in the conscious mind is the objective. With a why a man can life almost any how, or something to that affect is a quote I recall, but from who, I am not sure. Frankl repeats it, but is not the source.

I just had a read through the UN deceleration of human rights. Cognitive dissonance what? It is a fine but lacking document, it lack a human responsibilities section. Along with rights comes responsibilities that must be spelled out for the people, else wise the social programs will fail from overload. How the social programs required are going to be paid for?

There must also be a section on human responsibility. This IAC document is also lacking. If humans are going to survive they need to control there population and use of resources. In addition, our responsibilities must include some like:
  • All humans need to work toward local or state self-sufficiency, work using mainly quickly (annual growth) renewable resources, and not be a burden on the state.
  • all humans need to educate themselves in science, and scientific method using real evidence, to not cause undue pollution, overpopulation, etc
  • all humans need to be rational, use science, and be sensitive to the physical needs of others.
  • all humans need to learn to protect themselves from emotional abuse, falsehoods created by politicians, businesses, religion, elders, and learn to filter for truth, rational thought,  and scientific correctness.
  • all humans need to learn much, and ever generation needs to learn these same stuff.
Along with this goes a responsibility of the state not to overtax, abuse their citizens,  Over-taxation and general discontent is creating big issues in the world. It is discontent and pollution that will bring down civilization.

My purpose must stay within my responsibilities as a citizen of the world, and be real, not just a fantastical dream. More contemplation is required.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A Purpose in Life (2)

Generation of alternatives is the next stage in the decision process. It is more along the lines of useful meaningful work that I need, but I am not willing to punch a clock, nor do sales, nor my old profession, even if I could. My mind is just not sharp enough anymore. It had stopped being fun a number of years ago, but I had to wind down the company, such as it was.

Why is purpose important to have at a conscious level? If we are alive and doing we have a purpose or meaning in our lives. Purpose or meaning is the root of motivation for doing whatever we do. That is coupled with attachment to the purpose or meaning, and engagement in meaning, together these attitudes produce flow in life.

Typical purpose or meaning have connections to something or someone outside of ourselves; religion for some, or some cause or organization for others, often at the exclusion of others. Some are fixated on family, and become immeshed. The other extreme occurs when a dishonest member screws another, splitting family, or religion, politics, morals, other other value splits family. Work or career is often sited as something to become engaged with, but then forced retirement comes along, or no longer capable, or memory begins to fail, or the need for the occupation dries up or decreases... overpopulation, yes. Fixation on some objective is often seen as a driving and motivating force, but fixation can be broken by any number of things, becomes obviously impossible or we recognize our cause is irrelevant.

Family is not a factor, and I was raised in the era where we talked openly of overpopulation and pollution. I was raise in relatively poor conditions, and early on realized I would not subject any child to what I underwent growing up, hence the no children stance. Some of those cold and savage conditions effected me in other ways, personality issues, relationship issues, and the like, bringing us to where we are today. One of my close cousins was a modern hermit until he died.   

One other item that has come up out of this political discontent around the world. Canada also has this issue, but in Canada with multiple parties, some 35 to 40 percent of the popular vote are in control, where as with Brexit and US election you need 50 percent. The Liberals are in power here with the support of the natives on the Dole, with I think 38 point something of the popular vote. The liberals offered something for everybody, but are searching for ways to borrow enough cash to make it work. They are short of delivery and are now looking at tole  roads. Oh well.

Hobbies are supposed to be fun, and anything that I tried was for a while, but then they became chores. I could do any number of renovations around home, but I have no desire to do. I could turn wood, or other wood related projects, but why? There is no purpose in those things for me anymore. I can sit and whine on a blog for a couple of hours a day perhaps, but that too has it's limits, and is of little value to anyone, beyond me filling time up.  I do a bit of traditional archery, but no interest in competition. Walk the dog a couple of time each day is about all my hips can take. I did film photography, but digital does not appeal much to me. Most of that is Photoshop anyway, and what does one do with all the images? I have file drawers of film and pictures down stairs that no one cares about. That is a lot that I am not interested in, without a purpose for the effort. So there is more negatives or what I will not be doing unless my attitude changes.

To visit relatives and some friends is a strain with their god talk. I need to be on an anthropological expedition mode of thinking. Until I became a atheist from just not caring agnostic, this was not a problem. It is amazing how much christian beliefs have seeded the English language.

I struggle with writing, and could not do it effectively before the computer and auto-correct. When I was young and working as an engineer, I depended on several wonderful secretaries, and then we hired a typist, who soon left from overwork with redoes.  Oh well, life goes on. Reports on onionskin anyone? Carbon paper anyone?  And forms on Gestetner. Hand drafting, and log tables, slide rule before the calculator in 1973. Oh well, I am dated, past my best by date. I have half of a museum around here. Technology has changed the offices in my lifetime. We adapted, but how many times can we do it? It is time for more adaption.

Comments are welcome.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Purpose in Life

This blog is about to take a turn for a bit. Bear bare with me if you can. My displeasure with the modern food system has not left, and some vitriol posts may be coming, if and when I get to writing them.

This purpose of life bit is an exercise in renewal of self, to refocus on what is important as viewed from a old codger prospective. I think it is important to think about things like this from time to time, especially as we undergo major changes in our life. What has happened in my life? Well I have retired, done a few things that I always wanted to, become a strong atheist, from an agnostic/not caring position, and have had a bit of time to read, think and write about stuff. I have encountered free time, which is something new for me. A conscious purpose in life is one of the necessary foundations for building the remainder of my life.

Now biologically we can say that the human has no purpose beyond reproduction and supporting the development of the human species. This is fine to a point, but when we examine the past we see civilizations flourish and die, as long as the remains have been around. Jared Diamond and others have examined this, and we can say that in most cases, the downfall was brought about by overpopulation in the environment the civilization existed in. There are no old great civilizations thriving today. We are likely doomed from overpopulation, pollution, and depletion of resources. It is also common that the civilizations continue in a reduced state long after the collapse below the peak.

Now to get back, to purpose, from this we can see that reproduction and development of the human species is a "genetically driven" purpose, so that suggest that anything we do that drives society forward is purpose, and aids in the advance of society, and is therefore valid purpose. Even being a burden on society drives development of social programs of the government and the do-gooders, just as the robbers drive the insurance, home alarm, home security business. So almost anything is helpful to society in some form. Some only give purpose to others in society, and this also contributes to society. In other word, almost anything contributes to society to a point. Those who are not a burden on society do more service than other who are primarily a burden. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway.

There is a limit on what the people will support, and we may be at that limit, hence Brexit, Trump. Rather than a tax revolt, we are doing a political revolt, starting in England and now the US. As a Canadian, we saw the NDP in Alberta and Trudeau in Ottawa. When more than one half of the voting population think there is a problem, we will have a dramatic shift, not necessarily correcting the problem. We are at one of those shift points. In Canada we have the natives on the dole that shifted the balance of power with our multi-party system. Oh well, itewajda.

Now in order that I can get myself behind the new purpose, it must motivate me. That means I must value the prospects, and find no obvious blocks without work arounds. It must have meaning and purpose, to which I can become attached and engaged with, and have a positive attitude about. The new purpose must fall withing my skill set, more or less, and within my meager means. It must also be within my beliefs and values. Being atheist prevents god or religion becoming a purpose or providing meaning. Dueling hypothesis was the final straw in removing all doubts as to the no god hypothesis is much more likely. I personally think Eastern (Buddhist, Confucians, Hindi)  morality and  ethics leave Abrahamic morality and ethics (jewish, christian, muslim) in the dirty ditch, sucking swamp water, but that is just my opinion having read about both.   

So what is my purpose? From the criteria, anything that helps society in some way is a logical choice. Now to generate alternatives, add more criteria along the way if necessary.  Your comments are welcome.

PE Pussy Graber

Pretty thin skinned this fellow. If he expects an apology for this,  he is out to lunch.

“Vice President-elect Pence, we welcome you, and we truly thank you for joining us here at ‘Hamilton: An American Musical.’ We really do,” Dixon said to further applause. “We, sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights, sir. But we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and work on behalf of all of us. All of us. Again, we truly thank you truly for (sharing) this show, this wonderful American story told by a diverse group of men and women of different colors, creeds and orientations.”

 This is the fellow the US picks as a leader?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Wrong Hypothesis

I learned that a hypothesis that I based much of a lifetime of work on is actually incomplete, it is wrong under some conditions. We learn as we go no. It is all history now, but the feeling of finding out a major hypothesis of our life is wrong is quite a shock.

Frankl's insight is that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. Of course, if we find pleasure meaningful, for some, pursuit of pleasure is meaningful. Pleasure is specific, while what we personally find meaningful is general, making the US constitution equivalent to a hypothesis that we just realized as incomplete, but we still understand it.

Then there are the dueling hypothesis of god/no god. Before this can be addressed we need to decide on what is evidence. If we eliminate all holy books as hearsay, then the no god hypothesis has much more support and credibility. When we just review all the available evidence, the case is clear, there is no god. I understand how this hypothesis is impossible for some to accept, it goes against all that they have believed all there lives. The only solution for them is to die off. Oh well.

So is there a direct connection between what we find meaningful and our actions. The simple answer is no, since staying on a diet is next to impossible. Eating and desiring food is much more of a physical/primitive instinct that is even our belief system, but our beliefs are much closer than is our reasoning mind. So if I am to make not eating meaningful to myself in some way.... Who knows?