January 2005 Notebook Entries

Notebook entry, January 30, 2005

An interesting article in The New York Times, online edition, titled: Can Angelina Jolie Really Save the World? by Timothy L. O'Brien, dated Jan. 30th, 2005. This is now the 34th year of the Davos, Switzerland gathering of the elite on the planet who attempt to come up with solutions to save our planet. Here's my favorite paragraph:

"Amid the panel discussions on global crises, technological innovation and effective management was a seminar, scheduled for Saturday, on "Star Power and Social Change." The literature for that one stated that "celebrities have become powerful advocates for social, political and economic causes" and asked this tough follow-up question: "What accounts for this trend?" (For executives who do not want to shell out $37,000 in annual membership fees and charges to attend next year's panel, here is one possible four-word answer: Because they are sexy)."

Ah, mating amongst the rich and famous....now, why does that not surprise me that these people have an important role to provide? As a person who views life through an evolutionary perspective, once again, let's look back at our ancestors, turning on their TV sets for another night's viewing of "The Bachelor," ....what?, not there? No, TV then? OK, well, how about watching the alpha members of our group doing the mating dance and then humping away in pleasure. Will, that be a good substitute? And, after they hump and produce children, what great words of wisdom and deeds will they come up with next to solve the jungle poverty problems? The core reasons for our behaviors are still with us people, it's just that we have added layers of cultures and "wisdom" before we get back to the basics of passing our genes again. But, all in all, I'm grateful for Angelina and Bono of U2.....they have accomplished much more then boring, and non-sexy politicians and I propose that perhaps only sexy celebrities work on our worldly problems.

Now, I suppose the game plan will be to get the next Pope in Rome to get off HIS (I'm assuming that the next Pope will be a male) ass, sell off all the paintings that sit around the Papal Palace -- doing nothing -- but adding to the "mystical aura" of the Catholic Church and DO something about poverty and peace on the Planet. Issuing Papal declarations on paper does nothing....TRUST ONLY MOTION, NOT WORDS, TO UNDERSTAND A PERSON OR ORGANIZATION'S TRUE MOTIVE.

Notebook entry, January 28, 2005

Some good news for a change. It seems that Jennifer Larson (aka Jennifer Goehring) has struck up our email exchanges again. The correspondence takes place over several days, but I have placed the exchange in its proper timeframe starting with this date. I have not included my "rambling" thoughts on the DOC document that I sent her for copyright protection (but you can gather some of the info inside the DOC by her responses).

Fm: Jen L, dlady@hotmail.com
To: Bill Spriggs wspriggs@evoyage.com
Feb. 28, 2005

Hey Bill, how the heck are ya?! It's been a while, I know; I've had a rough few months and haven't even had time to think straight. Our lease was up last summer and we finally got around to buying a house, but we had a delay and actually had to be "in-between residences" for a while, which was really a mess. In the meantime I started a new job, and actually have spent some time juggling work from 4 different places. Yuk.

I wanted to warn you-- I actually thought of you this morning because you sent me an email. Well, it's obvious it wasn't "you" who sent it, but it came from your email address with an attachment that contained a potential virus-- I think you might have one of those email viruses that sends nasty emails to everyone in your contact list. You might want to check it out. The message only said something like "thank you for using our software."

I've been perusing your notebook entries a bit- it seems you do have quite a few rods in the fire. Also sounds like you're hitting a few obstacles; I'm very sorry to hear that. I hope you're not getting too down about it. Didn't I ever tell you my favorite quote? "The average underdeveloped mind thinks that any genius is weird." You're a visionary! The cost of this, unfortunately, is that it always takes mainstream mentality many years to catch up.

I'm very interested in hearing more about the political DVD script you mentioned. If you have the time and inclination to chat, I'd love to catch up!


----Original Message Follows----
From: wspriggs@evoyage.com
To: "Jen L." <dlady@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Hey there!
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 14:48:44 +0000
How great to hear from you! Your email's perk me up more than flirting with a 20 y.o. hottie. (I guess that I'm also depressed over the fact that getting older is not much fun either -- turned 59 in Nov. 04)
Yeah, the technology is getting me down. I'm sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment. This notebook that I am replying to you on ran out of hard drive space two days ago when I was converting a short film from the notebook software to a DVD. So the bottom line is that I have to purchase an outside hard drive (maybe 300 Gigibytes) to install to my desktop. I'm bleeding money and, more regrettably, time!-- that's another device I have to learn about!!) I have not really "created" something in over four months (in terms of writing) and that lack of creativity is causing me to become more depressed. How I wish that I could return to simple pen and pencil! (Naw--- too messy! can't spell and I need the spell checker!!)
Diana keeps telling me cheer up because it took me over six months to learn the computer when I purchased my first at age 49 -- and it took another six months to become comfortable with the word processor software. She is right....I just have to relax and realize that this is going to take longer then expected.
As for you, my little gypsy, I hope that you will settle down and stop migrating all over the country -- I realize that "moving is an adventure," but it also is terrible for the creative process as well....I know, I moved last summer, and it took a terrible toll on my time and energy.
I suggest that you tell your husband no more pussy unless he promises that the family unit stays put!!!....I really believe that is what happened after women discovered the miracle of planting foods and the domestication of animals after migrating for thousands of years in search for animal protein in the long trek out of Africa. I know in my heart that the female is controlling more of our behavior then they have been given credit for...and the truth will eventually come out...
Yeah, I know that I am a "visionary" and that fame will not occur in my lifetime, but I'm OK with that....I have terrible social skills and will be a complete fool on any television interviews or book tours anyway....give me the safety of my home study and computer connections to the world via the Internet!!! What I am doing is like planting seeds for future thought....I just won't be around to see the full tree bloom....the goal, of course, is world peace, through understanding human behavior as seen through the lenses of an evolutionary perspective.
As for this political DVD....tell you what....I'm about two to three months away from filming the start of the work and all that I have at the moment is a rough outline of rambling thoughts.....but I will attach a Word Document with the next email and you can give me any feedback....also give me your snail mail address so that I can send you an extremely important book that I mention about "framing" that is currently all the rage in the Democratic party...(it's tied into the DVD, and is essential for your understanding where I am going with this).
Until our pens cross again.

From: "Jen L." dlady@hotmail.com
To: wspriggs@evoyage.com
Subject: Re: Hey there!
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 2005 18:30:02 +0000

Wow- you've been busy! Sorry to hear that technology is getting you down; let me know if you haven't yet purchased additional disk space, because I might have an idea for you. A good friend of mind just recently had a computer meltdown and had to buy a 3-gig external/portable disk drive, in order to transfer some of her larger items onto her new computer. She spent like $134 on it and used it for about 4 hours, but was going to try to resell it on e-bay or something, hoping she could recoup at least $100. I can make sure she hasn't done that yet, but in the meantime, it might be enough to help you out if you're interested- I'm sure she'd rather sell it to you than going through the trouble of listing it on e-bay. (You said below you'd probably need a "300 gigabyte" drive- I think perhaps you meant "megabyte?" Most PC's on the market today come with a 40-80 gigabyte hard drive standard, which is a lot of space; 300 gigabytes would be the equivalent disk space of probably 5 or 6 entire computers.)

Well, despite the chaos of the last few months, I believe we are now settled. We were just renting up until last July here in Monroe, but finally figured out how to finance buying a house here; and I tell you, I do not plan on moving for years and years!! Part of the problem we've had really ties in nicely to this whole political debate. For a couple of young progressives such as ourselves, it is extremely difficult to find a decent paying career (or even "job") that reflects our adherence to the principles of progressive thinking. My degree in the Social Sciences, as I've said before, is about worthless. Here, too, is evidence of how our liberal leaders have failed us-- there is absolutely zero job market for those of us hoping to help propel this society forward in what I would hope to be another "age of enlightenment.." There is simply no large-scale way for us to earn a paycheck doing work to support this progressive movement. For the Neo-Conservatives, however, their job is easy-- since their god is hyper-capitalism, their worker-bees are plenty well-funded. Every person who earns a living anywhere from the upper echelons (corrupt CEO, marketing baron, etc.) to the lower echelons (underpaid service worker with no benefits) provides financial support for the political and economic systems that define their ideology.

My husband, Pete, has faced a similar problem. He has been working for the last 3 years for his cousin, Eric, who started up a small organic farm- it has grown every year and now supports 20 acres of a variety of produce, and herds of grass-fed Scottish Highland cattle, Icelandic Sheep, pigs and hundreds of chickens. They adhere to a strict philosophy of sustainable agriculture-- no nasty additives, feeding the animals what nature INTENDED for them to eat to remain healthy, (i.e. grass instead of corn,) and making the farm itself strictly self-sustainable; rotating pastures & planting to utilize nature's complex yet perfect and beautiful circle of life. The first "job" in his life that has actually been fulfilling to him. Problem is, it's not very lucrative, and he's left always struggling with the dilemma of 1) Work a career that feeds his soul, or 1) Take some shit job that makes more money but keeps him miserable. What's a strapping young progressive to do??

I've been brainstorming A LOT about this inherent dilemma myself, especially since the election as I pontificate as to a realistic solution for us all by November of 2008. Your idea for a think-tank devoted to revamping the "liberal image" is precisely what I've had in mind, actually. (Great minds think alike?? ) I am a bit confused, though, about some of the things you're proposing to the Senator-- are you suggesting that we try to steal the "Right" as a term we use to describe ourselves? If so, that may not be a realistic undertaking. You're talking about completely redefining the political spectrum that we have all known, essentially through the means of a strategic ad campaign. Not that it's not a fascinating idea, but it would be about as tough as trying to start up your own company and calling yourself "McDonalds," and regardless of how many times and in how many ways you creatively post it in neon all around the country, there is still the original "McDonalds" reminding everyone not to be fooled.

The concept, though, is absolutely on the mark. The conservatives have managed to redefine "morality" in their own terms, and even convinced us all that Jesus is a Republican. (This is actually Pete's big thing- he really wants to write a book for liberals about how to argue with religious zealots by using the actual Bible as support for progressive thinking. He believes the only reason the conservatives have gotten away with this so far is that most liberals are too uneducated about the actual Bible, but that there is an overabundance of biblical support for being a liberal, if only we took the time to read and memorize the passages.) The main problem I've seen is that most of the republican support is coming from a population who does not honestly understand what the current republican agenda really is-- they throw out the words "traditional" and "values," despite the fact that they worship money; they essentially have everyone duped. The only people who should reasonably and rationally be "republicans" in this day and age are rich capitalist owners- who support the conservative agenda because it protects their financial interests without the risk of having to share the wealth. Everyone who is not in the above-mentioned demographic who defines themselves as conservative is doing it under false pretenses, and they need to be properly informed. Our liberal leaders are making no effort to properly inform these people. This is where our effort must be focused.

The problem is, as I mentioned in the beginning, is that there are so many well-equipped, brilliant progressives out there who could reverse this problem in a heartbeat, but at this point, are all left to do this as strictly a volunteer effort in their spare time, after they've put in their 40+ working hours in a week, dealt with their various issues of taking care of household, children, bills, etc. Mostly this takes the form of writing in their spare time and submission to various alternative publications, mostly on the web. Blogging. Etc, etc. Nothing, I might add, that translates into much other than "preaching to the choir--" using their voices to discuss these issues in media that only other liberals bother to consult.

My head just spins when I think of these things- I have so many ideas, so many solutions! The thing is, the "liberal money" that does exist out there needs to join together as a cohesive unit, to fund the necessary number of soldiers that can carry out their intended initiatives. One of my ideas is to form a member organization of "Socially Responsible" companies and organizations; ones that through their initiatives, labor policies, environmental policies, etc. support and uphold progressive principles. The idea is, these members could contribute fees (like membership fees) that would not only help give due exposure (advertising, essentially) to their initiatives, which would in turn solicit the financial participation of all progressives looking for socially responsible companies with whom to spend their products & services dollars, but also provide both national and local jobs for progressives looking for a career they can believe in. Every member company and organization will essentially be providing financial backing for the new liberal initiative, and NOT, by contrast, continue to indirectly support and fund the conservative hyper-capitalist agenda as before, simply through the absence of political participation. In the meantime, too, this monster organization can provide a centralized home-base for all of the splintered, isolated progressive movements and organizations around the country.

Essentially, we would be giving a nod to all progressive-thinking individuals, government officials, organizations and companies around the country and saying, why don't we put our heads together once and for all so we can oust this fucking Nazi, squelch this Machiavellian propaganda
and take our country back??

Well, I've probably rambled on for long enough for now, but you get the idea. Sounds like we've both been sitting in our individual corners across the country from each other, figuring out that our new understanding of Evolutionary Psychology can and must help us move in a new direction. Progressive Thinkers of the World Unite! (Hey, that might be a good acronym..) Jen :-)

----Original Message Follows----
From: wspriggs@evoyage.com
To: dlady@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Hey there II
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 13:12:51 +0000
Thanks for the reply. If you have no objections, I'm going to break up our emails for the sake of space. I'll let you know that I always will place our email exchanges into my notebook entry page (unless you have any objections) I find that it is easier for me to archive my correspondence this way along with my notebook entries,....a sort of, two birds with one stone, approach.
Glad to hear that you feel that settling into your final move. And also happy that you had the resources to purchase a house. It's quite a responsibility, but also, in the long-term, quite beneficial.
"For a couple of young progressives such as ourselves, it is extremely difficult to find a decent paying career that reflects our adherence to the principles of progressive movement" Very well put. There are theories abound among progressives that one of the goals of conservatives is to eliminate as many jobs as possible (through outsourcing (sp?)) and to keep the masses as uneducated as possible (kill k-12 funding, and higher) in order to maintain an uneducated pool of ready and "willing" cannon fodder to serve their military expansion needs. Conservatives say, who wants, a prosperous population that has the freedom to move, have time to write what drives their passions, and, worst, has the intelligence to voice their objections to the dominate powers that be? They say, "give them bread and circuses" -- a nice reference to the decline of the Roman empire as they kept the uneducated masses in check with divergences ....Corporate America today is doing the same thing today, only with the Michael Jackson trail or "American Idol," and an endless supply of coffee houses with breaded "goodies" at their fingertips.
"Take some shit job that makes more money but keeps him miserable -- what's a young strapping young progressive to do?" Once again, the conservative goal is to eliminate "opportunities" to advance oneself out of the miserable hole of subsistence level living....unless of course, one accepts faith-based funding or "merit" lifestyle kisses the feet of conservative objectives (which only reflects conservative views).
"Great minds think alike?" Yes, I am suggesting that progressives steal of the use of the word "right" to describe the "new" democratic party. After-all, in my proposal, it is the only thing that changes....everything remains the same....English is written left to right;film editing is done left to right;sound editing is done left to right; light waves are represented in graphs that go from left to right; and most importantly, most history timeline charts, are done left to right. The term Right/Left, in political terms comes to us from the French Revolution in (1789?) when they formed their general assemblies into liberal and conservatives.
The idea all comes from George Lakoff's new book "Don't Think of an Elephant" which describes how people "frame" ideas in their brains....and the "Repugs" are masters at idea formation. The best example is "tax relief". Here they "framed" the idea of eliminating taxes ("that stave the beast of 'government'--- you know, the grants to students or art}
you know , the beast that give free grants to students or artists) so that you kids would be in debt for ever and not have any jobs in which to apply your trade....leaving you no "options."
Listen, I have to rap up this email, (due to time) and, once again, I request your snail mail address (to send you this Lakoff book (it's very inexpensive!) to get you up to speed regarding this political -- biological -- DVD....do you have a DVD player??? on you computer or home?
P.S....there is hope out there....turn your computer to Air America Radio, and listen in.....Morning Sedition is a hoot....funny and to the point....!!! it is like listening to BBC London while living in the "City of Light" during the Nazi (conservative takeover)
more later....Bill

From: "Jen L." <dlady@hotmail.com
To: WilliamASpriggs@comcast.net
Subject: RE: Hey there II
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 16:51:07 +0000

Oh, why certainly! Snail mail: 890 38th Avenue, Monroe, WI 53569. On a similar note, if you haven't seen it yet, you should check out Thomas Frank's "What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America." The book is essentially about the strategic conservative twisting of images & concepts, "framing," if you will, in order to persuade millions of Americans to vote against their own best interests. Very, very fascinating. (Well, sad, if you want to know the truth.) It turns out, I've got a couple of other books by this guy- one I bought years and years ago called "Commodify Your Dissent." He runs a publication called The Baffler, which is a collection of submitted essays about all sorts of issues relating to cultural politics. I actually heard him speaking on NPR, which is how I heard about his new book.

Also, I don't know if you're a fan of Bill Maher or not, but he has a couple of stand-up specials (on HBO I think, but you can rent them,) and he has an absolutely fabulous take on these issues- talks a lot about them, and is absolutely hilarious. At one point, he likens the American public to test-subject-like hamsters, pressing a lever with a buzzer every time they hear a word or phrase that appeals to them, and that the conservatives are very good at playing that word game. (Family "values" for instance; GWB with is "freedom" and similar meaningless garble.)

And speaking of radio, I am a big fan of Air America- Peter and I listen as often as we can. In our house, unfortunately, we don't get the radio reception to have it come in normally, so we have to pull it up online and listen via the internet. And yep, we have a DVD player.

I must say, Bill, it's so wonderful talking with someone who is as enthusiastic as I am about these things! I've been struggling with this dilemma for so long-- we know there are plenty of progressives out there successfully navigating through all the bull and envisioning our society the way it was meant to be, but how to actually "accomplish" these changes, when all we end up doing is discussing them amongst ourselves? The critical discourse is wonderful, but it's like preaching to the choir. Our biggest hangup is getting those of even moderate political stance to actually listen to us; not just wave us off as flaky conspiracy theorists. Shedding the image conservatives have skillfully painted on us and replacing it with something else has to be our first step.

This is so much more fun than working...


----Original Message Follows----
From: wspriggs@evoyage.com
To: dlady@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: Hey there III
Date: Fri, 04 Feb 2005 13:08:29 +0000
Hey Jen:
OK, where was I before I was so rudely interrupted by my work schedule?
Oh, yes..."preaching to the choir" Well, pearching to the choir may seem like a frustrating project, but it does a lot of good....think of the jungle floor at night and the only thing you hear are the sound of your fellow species in the trees....what do you hear? The speculation is that the amount of "chatter" (let's say...soft, medium noise, and highly agitated) determines the "tone" of the species and "what direction" the animal group will do the next morning, or what is "on their mind." I know its a stretch of the imagination, but the louder one cries to one's fellow species, the more people pay attention to you and to what is going on. The conservatives are masters are creating this "echo chamber" effect of crying "fire" (gay marriage, guns, God) at the rest of the country via their talk radio shows and publications.
So, the link address of the blog and Air America Radio that I have sent to you are our echo chamber....and with your tremdous writing talent, I strongly suggest you blog your little fingers to the bone to set the "tone" for progressives in the heartland and the remind the bigwigs in the inner circle of the Washington DC beltway that you exist in there and should not be forgotten.
So, for our attempts...both yours and mine about creating a think tank are already in place....at the national level....so what we have to do is figure out a way to have our voices heard .....I'm going to do the DVD political videos about my ideas and mail them out to as many progressive organizations as I possibly can....My primary goal is to look for a part time job after retirement....This kid plans are to secure a second career as an "idea man" with some organization.....if I can't find one, at least I know that I tried my darnest to get those ideas out there....I think of it as artists crafting works of art and seeking a patron to support their efforts.
As for the "mistake" of 300 gagabytes....you read it correctly---welcome to the wonderful world of film making....it "only" costs about $350....and I am fortunate enough to be in my peak earning years nows---so, I might as well buy the equipment now while I still can....I've already made the decision to postpone my retirement for two more years...until Jan 2007 or Jan 2008....I can't remember which....
As for Pete "writing a book for liberals about how to argue with religious zealots"....its already in print....It's called "God's Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It." Ask him if I could purchase it for him as my apologies for taking up so much of your time and energy....It is a good book, I've just started it two days ago....I could order it via Amazon and have it mailed to your front door...Please have him say yes...
Once again, I have the split due to work schedule..(won't even correct spelling errors) ...Thanks for the tip about Bill Maher, but my schedule is already full with TV...I have seen his show and you are correct, but it's only top down with no interaction of a political blog.
Love the exchanges of letters,....let's keep it up

From: "Jen L." <dlady@hotmail.com
To: wspriggs@evoyage.com
Subject: RE: Hey there III
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2005 16:08:20 +0000
Yet another email full of reassuring wisdom! I'm sure Peter would love the book, love the gesture. As per your instructions, I will gladly introduce myself to the bloggers- been wanting to get involved, but just wasn't sure about the time I couldn't afford to spend on another absorbing "hobby!" (I guess as long as I see it as contributing to "saving the world," it shouldn't be so bad!)

I have a couple of work fires to put out today, so only had time to shoot you off a quick note. Talk more very soon!


Notebook entry, January 18, 2005

My depressive funk continues. I'm slowly trying to re-enter the world of film editing after a disappointing two weeks of frustration. The latest impasse occurred when I was working on a family film of the kids in California and when I tried to open my project one morning on the SONY Vegas Studio -- it just disappeared! Despite several hours of searching all of my files, I could not locate it. Once again, I simply became resigned to the fact that, perhaps, in my infantile knowledge of the technology, I simply goofed. I have restarted the project -- but still at a loss to explain the lack of success that I seem to be having lately.

The ill-fated, temporary set-back is just another in a series of events that seem to be working against my whole being. I recently attempted to make a few investments in the stock market -- which I usually have good luck with -- and even they seem to be in a depressed state during the first two weeks of the new year in 2005. [I have overall faith that the market will return--it always does -- it just that no one likes to see their "idea" that they had about certain stocks fall like a rock]

Another failure is my inability to assimilate into a political group here in Jefferson county. It was part of my visualization of merging my political ideals into film-making. I won't go into detail about the group, but when I made a suggestion about what I thought, I was profoundly attacked by three male members of the group. Now, I realize that I might be oversensitive, and that their objections were part of their pass knowledge on their subject, but once again I took it as a sign that things are not going smoothly, and I retreated in a depressive funk about it. I suppose it's the equivalent of curling up into a fetal position and going home to lick one's wounds.

I know in part that my inability to gel with other group members is my minimal social skills. Some people call it "emotional intelligence," but it simply comes from the fact that, in childhood, there were a string of events where I received no encouragement. I know it is easy to blame one's parents or one's "friends" for one's own failures, but put them in combination with one's physical exterior [such as dark skin, ethnic origins, one's age, economic status in life] and "personality", such as "introvert"and then understand the functions of group dynamics and social norms -- then the facts do add up to social isolation and frustration as people make "snap" decisions about you and your ideas (usually pushing them the table in one quick swoop -- crazy? just ask a black person in the south of America in the 1950s!). That is the main reason for my web site -- if anyone critiques the subject of the web site via email, I can just push a button and make their objections disappear in a flash. Poof -- I'm right, and your wrong. Only time and debate will be the ultimate judge.

The bottom line here is this: Outside events that are occurring in my life since October or November of 2004 that are putting my life on hold. I seem lost and confused, and seem to also have lost the "fire within" to accomplish my goals. All of these events in combination, make it difficult to light the fire. The idea that is emerging is that I should remain in isolation locally, but expand globally through the web site. Or, stick with the program that has worked in the past.

Waiting is -- until fullness comes.

Notebook entry, January 15th, 2005

I made a few more tweaks to the four principles of evolutionary feminism. I switched principle [female choice] one and placed it as number two, putting [women don't attack their own species] back as number one. I believe that I had female choice as number one was because of the American debate about a women's right to choose that occurred during the national elections.

But, as the passion of the election has passed, I realize that the empirical evidence that females do not attack their own species should never recede from being #1.

Notebook entry, January 10th, 2005

Went to the dentist this morning and had an implant put in into my lower right bicuspid (sp?). Pretty expensive ($1500, USD), but what I like about it is the fact that it is permanent and the jaw actually re-grows new jaw material around the implant. Thus, I can also use the implant base for any "replacement" teeth that I may require (dentures) -- Ah, the joys of aging!

On another note, The February 2005 issue of Discover magazine was in the mail today as well. Exciting cover story: "TESTING DARWIN: SCIENTISTS AT MICHIGAN STATE PROVE EVOLUTION WORKS" The article is written by our evolutionary friend, Carl Zimmer. Carl is the author of the book version of the critically acclaimed PBS series on Evolution.

The article dwells on the software program called AVIDA that replicates DNA replications -- slight mutations and all. Here's a quote from two important paragraphs that helps anyone understand the software program's objective.

"The ultimate goal of the instructions in DNA is to make new organisms that contain the same genetic instructions. "You could consider a living organism as nothing more than an information channel, where it's transmitting its genome to its offspring," says Charles Ofria, director of the Digital Evolution Laboratory. "And the information stored in the channel is how to build a new channel." So a computer program that contains instructions for making new copies of itself has taken a significant step toward life.

A cherry tree absorbs raw materials and turns them into useful things. In goes carbon dioxide, water, and nutrients. Out comes wood, cherries, and toxins to ward off insects. A computer programs works the same way. Consider a program that adds two numbers. The numbers go in like carbon dioxide and water, and the sum comes out like a cherry tree." p. 30.

Notebook entry, January 9th, 2005

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I guess that is the slang word for depressed state of unknowing; a wandering for direction and purpose. It mostly comes from my frustration with technology and the process of learning that new technology. It began about three weeks ago. I'm having trouble capturing the video from my SONY digital camera onto my SONY notebook computer. My son-in-law has been helping me and we purchased a USB-2 video capture device, but it is having trouble loading the software onto my notebook, but it appears to enter on his system -- go figure. This is frustrating because I have software in place on the notebook to turn the notebook into an inexpensive teleprompter to provide dialogue for the video pieces that I want to produce. So now, if I can't get the software to work, I will have to do it the old fashioned way and memorize dialogue or just ad-lib the pieces.

I even ordered a portable lectern to film myself behind, but even that simple process of ordering and delivery seem to be screwed up. -- I ordered it on Dec, 20, and it has not even shipped yet.

So, all my grand plans have come to a screeching slowdown, including the DVD that I was going to present to a State Senator. Since, I am having trouble creating the teleprompter, then there is no need to produce a "script." Part of my frustration comes from the daunting task of having to learn the technology behind the movie camera and the editing software. The latter part seems to me the fun part, but it's the hardware part that is vexing me the most.

And the best defense in all of this, that I have found in my experience -- is to just back off and wait "until fulfillment" comes. And that sometimes means, "wandering around in the wilderness until direction and purpose returns.

I not wish to return to the old ways of just studying the books, writing reviews, and essays. It is time for a new direction.