Who is William A. Spriggs?
July 4th, 2007
(see all three entries)
It's time to come out of the closet (No - It's not about sex) -- Or, at least set myself free to celebrate Independence Day.
I've been keeping a secret for many years, but feel, that since I am within six months or less of retirement from my US Postal Service job, that it is time to share that secret with everyone.
Someone once emailed me a question:
"Where does all your knowledge come from? I mean, you're just a blue-collar worker, man! Some of this stuff is so deep, that you just could not have gotten it at the school of 'hard knocks!'"
Well, of course, there are many hours of study and learning - But it is learning that is free from restrictions; I have no schedule to meet; no subject requirements to perform; no tests to take, nor required papers to write. No teacher's or professor to impress for a better grade or assignment. It all flows free from me - when it wants - and don't even ask me how I pick a subject. It just comes to me.
Then this freedom also flows because I know that no one will grade me, or if they disagree with me, I don't have to heed what they say. It has been an absolute joy - this thing called learning -- and then on top of that joy, comes the creative process of putting it all together with this thing called the "internet" and "Blogging." I started this web site in October 1995 without knowing (and still don't today in 2007) a single word of Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Language; I had people with green hair and black nail polish hosting from a "cave" business in some back alley in downtown Denver put the beginnings of the this web site up on the internet. With the continuing growth of the web site, Evolution's Voyage, I have gained courage to do more; I was in charge of my own ship - its own captain - its only crew - on an evolutionary voyage toward truth by cutting through the small chucks of knowledge and myths.
But, something more then the free application of study and subjects happened to me - something physical - It happened to me in the spring of 1993, and I know that it changed my life forever by putting me on this evolutionary path.
I was standing at my letter-carrier's case, casing hand mail into the sequence for delivery, when suddenly, with no warning at all, I was lifted up onto my toes and then "let go." I remember the "lift" came somewhere from both sides of my lower shoulders; my head was slouched forward and then, when I "landed" was lifted upright again. The "lift" lasted no more than one second, but it was enough to scare the living daylights out of me. I could almost hear my heart pumping blood through my veins.
I remember looking behind me; then up at the ceiling; then back down to see if my feet were really on solid ground. I then remember looking down the front of my body to see if everything was still in place. I really did not know what was going on. I also remember my heart was racing like a rabbit, but I also remember keeping silent - keeping this mystery "lift" to myself. I mean, after all it happened on this large, open workroom floor with at least 100 other fellow workers present. This is not the average "thing" that you share with fellow blue-collar workers.
I now know, after all the years of research, study, and writing, that the "lift" was a gift of knowledge from a force far greater than I could possibly understand or contemplate. Perhaps it was "God" or some alien force - a few years back, I had a thought that this outside force was so powerful, that any communication with us "little people" - any exposure would be immediately lethal. It was as though various experiments were being conducted on us "little microbes" in a petri dish and that a "micro touch" of their knowledge was applied "to see what would happen." I mused that perhaps I was only one of many in various "experiments."
I do know that a few minutes after the "lifting" we had a "stand up" by the postmaster on some trivial matter that was merely one of many such "lectures." I remember standing listening to this dribble of the day and noticing that I was sweating profusely. To make a long story short - after the standup, I told the postmaster that I thought I was suffering from a heart attack and that he should call an ambulance - he did - I sat in the managers office -- they swiftly arrived and examined me and told me I was fine except my heart rate and blood pressure were elevated - they put me on a stretcher and took me to the hospital for observation and released me after two hours. The diagnosis was a "panic attack."
I won't tell you the reason for my path to learn about human behavior, but it began after the "lifting" and has to do with one of my fellow workers and why he acted the way he did in a small Oklahoma town in 1986. You have to be really knowledgeable or have inside information to know what I am writing about.
I want you to understand that I do not hear any "voices," nor do I think aliens are trying to communicate with us. But I know this - this knack that I appear to have about understanding the "big picture" of human behavior did not come with my original package. I really believe that the physical "lifting" had something to do with my understanding it all and translating it back for common human folk -- but I really don't know how. For lack of knowing, I fall back on what my fellow common humans would call "a religious or spiritual experience." I know that it is deep and strongly felt, and that this religious, spiritual experience is guiding the ship called Evolution's Voyage. It's an invisible hand - but I know that it is out there.
May 04, 2006
I hate to toot my own horn.
I find it extremely uncomfortable and unpleasant. I did plan on having someone else write about me, but in the end I thought that even more unfair to the person doing the tale.
If you have clicked her because you received a DVD movie titled Seven Ideas for Seven Days, and your doing background research, you’ve come to the right place.
I am William Anthony Spriggs
I was Born in Summit New Jersey on November 11, 1945 and raised in Millburn, New Jersey
I attended Millburn High School and graduated in 1963. Upon completing high school, I enlisted in the U. S. Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1967.
I attended the University of Denver, but dropped out in Spring of 1970 and married the same year.
After failing miserably at marriage and career over a span of 13 years, I sought employment with the U.S. Postal service where I have been employed since 1983.
It’s a good job. But, not a great job. As a letter-carrier it’s a good job because I basically get paid to exercise; I climb the equivalent of a 20 story building every day over a four or five hour period. My work mates are solid, salt-of-the-Earth people who work hard and mind their own business. It’s a good job because my work station is solid representation of what America is really all about. There are Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, and just as importantly -- women -- all doing the same job at my work location for the same pay.
But it’s not a great job because it’s a physical job and not a mentally challenging one; I compare it with driving a car. After the learning curve is reached, one can merely “cruise” through the day, with challenges coming from the weather, dogs, and occasionally disgruntled postal patrons and occasionally oppressive uber-supervisors.
But this “cruise” portion has a silver lining: It allows plenty of time to think.
And that is what I have done for the past nine years.
I have studied evolution and it’s new sister science of evolutionary psychology; and more recently the sub-science subject of evolutionary feminism. Even more importantly, it has synthesized into what I would consider a new world view of human behavior that makes common sense.
I really believe that we can achieve world peace in our life time if we base our policies on the knowledge from these new sciences. “You May Say I’m a Dreamer; But I’m Not the Only One.”
I created the web site Evolution’s Voyage in 1995 to begin to spread the word about my thoughts and hopefully achieve this goal. I have no doubts that eventually that goal will be achieved, but without funding and connections (and my own poor social skills and shyness), I am afraid that the message may take too long to be of any immediate help. And in the meantime, we overarm ourselves to the teeth and thousands of children die needlessly daily.
That’s pretty much my story. The short, one hour movie, Seven Ideas for Seven Days: Making Democrats Electable, was my attempt at bringing forth the beginnings of those thoughts into the political arena in a film format. I filmed myself in December giving Saturday's Idea about the lottery, but new then that it would be better to have a professional group do the job.I then found the new production company ionogen studios through an old friend who turned into the commentator, Michael Best in the film.
The people at ionogen studios really “busted their buns” because they managed to produce a quality movie for $2500.00 and have done by my iron-clad due date of May 1st, 2006. The only “foul-up” was the DVD labels which somehow came out “making documents electable,” instead of “making democrats electable.” (None of us caught the error, and we suspect "Red State Dirty Tricks Mentality," as a possible cause).
I apologize for that; I refused to re-do them and not waste the precious time needed for correction. (Besides, we're democrats; we're used to putting bandaids on things and moving on. There were only 130 copies in the “1st edition” made.
I really think that I'm good at this film making business and would love to continue in my next career (I can't afford to retire -- my health insurance no longer covers Dental).
Have a grand day tomorrow and enjoy the voyage.
William A. Spriggs
William Anthony Spriggs?
A Personal Message to Those Who Ask.
C: Summer, 1999
The search for the truth is a journey that every individual must seek; it is shared by every human on the planet because each of one of us shares the same brain structure that evolved from our ancestral past. This same brain architecture that we all share, seeks to solve problems -- big and small -- that we all face in our daily lives. The brain does this by gathering information and making choices we deem important. In fact, the first principle of evolution declares that every species (including humans) must adapt to their local environment. And that is how we adapt -- by making the right choices. This undeniable logic is based on the premise that if we took the wrong step or direction in our evolutionary past by making a "wrong move," the "game was over." Our biological brain seeks correct information before we make that next step. In other words, the truth is -- correct information necessary to make correct decisions - Period. That is why we seek it so determinately.
But the world is full of information; in fact, the modern human animal is inundated with too much information. And as a result, many of my fellow humans trust and depend on others to decipher and interrupt information for them. Fortunately, most of the information out there is solid and valid; unfortunately, their still remains much information that is full of myths, half-truths, and absolute lies. This is particularly true of the evolutionary perspective vs. theology. . Some of our adult humans know that they must seek the truth, but do not want to make this journey because they see no need because they trust those who decipher the information. Some refuse to accept the truth because they are very comfortable where they are and it many upset or void those comfortable worlds where they adapt. But some of our species seek the truth because we are not satisfied with the present information the way it stands. Some of us know in our hearts that there are many false truths that are leading our species in the wrong direction. And if history is any judge -- the truth always wins out in the end.
So, seeking the truth is the story about who I am and the creation of this web site that represent my findings. .
Because of the depth of the web site and the subject matter, it may come as a mild shock to some people that I am not a graduate of any college or university. As an individual who has not taken the traditional path of academics and scientific publications, this internet web site is ideal in posting my primary findings to the outside world. It is my blog onto the world. It truly is an independent point of view and provides a platform in which to place my understanding of the complicated subject matter before you without review or censorship. I realize that our culture requires us to find only the best, the brightest, and the most widely recognized authorities in their fields to present scientific facts -- and the academic path has proved highly successful in the past in the majority of cases -- but I also feel that the internet represents a new venue of presenting any views to the world and then the world gets to decide for themselves whether to accept or reject those views. In evolutionary biological terms -- it is the ultimate natural selection process at work. If my findings are correct, then they will stand the test of time and debate -- they will "survive" -- if they are wrong, they will "perish" and it won't matter to future generations.
This academic path described above should have been mine, but circumstances led me in other directions. I was born in Summit New Jersey on November 11, 1945 to a father who was a second generation Italian-American, and a mother who was second generation Polish. Their parents came to this country in the wave of immigrations that flooded America in the mid-20th century. My mother's father started and ran a small general store in upstate New York state, while my father's father did the usual manual labor jobs expected of Italian-American immigrants -- in other words, digging ditches, cutting lawns, and laying bricks. My father also related to me the story of how his father would sell bathtub gin during the Depression in the 1930s from his horse and wagon "mobile" bar -- "adaptation to local environments" will lead humans to do "what a person has to do" in order to provide for their children -- and that includes doing activities that would be considered "gray" areas. The depression was hard on both of my parent's parents, and as a result my parents were forced out into the world to help support their families -- starvation is not a viable choice. My mother made it as far as the seventh grade before she found work as a seamstress and house maid. My father actually made it through to the last year in high school, but since he never attended enough classes, he never received his high school diploma. It seems that the athletic coach needed his expertise on the football field more than he needed his academic credits, and then a serious knee injury sidelined my father's football career, and he too, dropped out and followed in his father's footsteps and became a day laborer.
But my father was a very eager and ambitious soul. He lived at home and saved as much money as he could. No manual labor for this guy. He wanted to own his own business and be "like the people who lived on top of the hill." And this brings us to my home town where I was raised -- Millburn, New Jersey. It was a town known then as a "commuter" or "bedroom" community of New York City -- and as far as I know, is still consider the same descriptive manner. It is located about 50 miles east of New York city and is still connected by the Erie-Lackawanna railroad which carries passengers to Hoboken, New Jersey, where they would depart to various methods to the Big Apple. The description of "people on the hill" could not be more appropriate. It seems that the Erie-Lackawanna railroad was located half way up this hill and represented a separate boundary between the wealthy above and the laboring class below the line. It could not have been more clear and distinct. If you lived above or below this line, you knew exactly where you stood in the human hierarchy. Those who lived above were amongst the most powerful and wealthy individuals within the Northern New Jersey area, and those below were destined to "service" those above.
But luck shined on my little soul. It seems that by the time I reached high school in 1957, America had just swallowed the Supreme Court decision of Brown Vs. the Board of Education decision of May, 1954 that declared that "separate, but equal" education was bad for the country. As a result, this poor, second generational son an Italian immigrant from "below the tracks" was given a seat with his peers from "above the tracks" and "treated equally." Wanna bet?
At the time in my life I was not aware of any prejudice that may have surrounded me, but it did seem that I was constantly being berated for "not keeping up" the other students and suffered from a sever case of low self-esteem. How come I could not keep up? What was wrong with me? When I was in High school from 1958 till 1963, there were no special programs to detect learning disabilities, but it seems that being from the "wrong side of the tracks" was proof enough of the professional educational staff at the time to prove that those born in my income class and ethnic group where just not intellectually smart enough "to get it." Throughout school, I was placed in special remedial classes for "slow learners" where I still had difficulty in maintaining attention. Guess what? In every circumstance, each of the students I was placed with were from the "bottom of the hill" parents ( I know because I would visit their homes after school). Not one slow learner came from those who lived "on top of the hill." Isn't that interesting? See, proof positive that poor people are stupid.
Although I loved my parents dearly because they worked hard and did the best that they could to provide for their children, I also was raised in a household that was ground down by economic reality and knew little of the value of higher education. My older sisters were taught that college was a waste of time and that they would be better off finding a husband to support them; college was for the rich. As for myself, my "slowness" was accepted by my parents as just another fact of a hard life.
I did manage to graduate from high school (I suppose because it would be cheaper to "release" me then attempt to re-educated me again) and I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force always did beckon to me because I loved to watch the birds fly from tree to tree in my suburban neighborhood. If Millburn New Jersey had one good quality, it had many, well-maintained parks. It was a lush, and beautiful town.
But I suppose the military beckoned because it was a ticket out of town that did not require higher education. I knew that military duty was still an obligation for its citizens then, and with nothing better planned for myself, I enlisted in 1963 to get my duty "over with" before I moved on to the next stage in my life. (It was a very good move because in 1964, Vietnam "exploded" with the Tolkin Bay incident and within a few years, many of my non-college bound friends who did not enlist where drafted and sent to Vietnam). After being tested and evaluated, it seems the Air Force had two choices for me: Food Preparation or Radio Intercept Analysis. I knew that I did not want to be a cook, so I chose the latter. I ended up in in Air Force intelligence with a Top Secret Cryptographic clearance. Never underestimate the value of the military mind and the logic that results.
While in the service, I had time to reflect on my life, and thought that a higher education would help. After all, it seemed that I was more intelligent than the commanding officers who commanded me; I figured, if they could do it, so could I. Upon exiting the service, I attended the University of Denver in the fall of 1968 for about a year and a half before low self-esteem caught up with me again as I found it difficult to maintain grade average requirements. Once again, was it the surroundings that failed me, or didn't I try hard enough? I just couldn't understand it -- here I was, studying five hours a night, seven days a week, and barely making the grade, and all the other guys in the dorm that I shared (they were gender separated back then) would take off and go skiing on Thursday nights and return on Tuesday mornings -- and they all did just great in their grades.
Once again, lost in low self-esteem, I dropped out of college. After getting tired of attempting to "find myself," by drifting from job to job, I decided that I really needed to settle down and make money in the best possible way I knew how -- with the muscles in my shoulders and back. In 1983, I landed into the blue collar job that I still have today in 2004.
However, in January of 1995, at the age of 49, I purchased my first computer. I took to the device like a duck takes to water. Of particular fascination to me was the word processing program, which made one thing very apparent to me. My difficulty with spelling, which I have struggled with all my life, was not the result from lack of intelligence, but from a brain processing dysfunction.
After researching several books on linguistics, I determined that my dysfunction had a name: Lexica agraphia: writing difficulties while other communicative functions are unaffected. It basically means that I have difficulty in removing the small symbols that construct the written word from my memory. However, upon further self-examination, I also found that I had some vocal pronunciation difficulties, and throw in a little Attention Deficit Disorder, and you have a pretty good description of the learning disability that stymied my young developmental education.
Another eye-opening event occurred: Always fascinated with the structure of the human brain, I stumbled on the emerging science of evolutionary psychology. I was stunned at how much sense it all made to me -- I was spellbound! Along with the purchase of the computer, my new studies in the evolutionary origins of human behavior began to form ideas and theories that just had to be written down. It is from these origins that began to end as essays and theories that you find at this web site. I had attempted many times before to write ideas that would pop into my head, but was always stopped by the frustration of my spelling errors and the mechanics of manual typewriters. I made so many spelling errors that the work I did ended up a terrible mess; it had to be redone over and over. Since I was completely frustrated because the paper was full of corrected mistakes, I would fall into another period of low self-esteem of self-loathing. Now, with the wonder of the word processor mechanics, I can erase all the mistakes that I want. And in the case of the spellchecker, I can also make mistakes all day long and not be frustrated one bit. You see, the spellchecker gives me variations of the word I am attempting to pull from my memory, but once "pulled out" and given a multiple choice by the computer, I have no problem identifying the correctly spelled word. In the past, it was the mechanics of not being able to pull the constructed symbols from my brain that would forestall any accomplishment. I consider the spellchecker as a type of prosthesis for my brain.
Another, mind altering event occurred: Along with my purchase of the computer, came the opening of the internet -- the WWW -- the World Wide Web. After just ten months of learning my way on the computer and around the internet, I also suddenly realized this fact: I could publish my work without ever being rejected by any publisher or scientific gatekeeper telling me that I did not have any credentials and, therefore, that my work must not be worth even looking at. What did I have to lose. After reading the Moral Animal by Robert Wright and discovering that he was a journalist and not a scientist; I decided that it was OK for me to write on the subject as well.
The web site you are visiting was born on October 19, 1995. It was a dull, gray, mediocre piece of work which carried my first three essays and opinions -- but I did not care. I thought it looked wonderful. It was my creation, and gave me a dose of positive self-accomplishment that had always been missing for most of my life.
I consider myself an independent scholar and merely feel that my current situation is similar to that of a scientist in the field too busy working to hear the laughter of any degreed scientists that I may be delusional in my attempts -- this is a marathon, and not a sprit race. I write not for myself, but for future generations. My wife seems to think that I am "channeling" from some great force that touches only a few rare individuals (that seems pretty extreme to me). I currently belong to the Human Behavior and Evolution and subscribe to two journals that dwell on the human origins of behavior.
This web site is a labor of love. No criticisms will tear it down. It has not been an attempt to elevate myself into the stratospheric social circles of science, but rather simply to report my findings to my fellow layperson. I consider my credentials more than adequate to do this. I pay for the entire project out of my own pocket, by the sweat of my brow, the strength in my shoulders, and the few trinkets I sell on my street-corner web store. For those of you who wish to dispose of my theories solely because of my lack of credentials, let me remind you of an important fact: All theories, regardless of in whose mind they originated, must endure the same ultimate test -- they must remain standing after the passage of time and debate. Can you tell me Darwin's, Newton's, or Einstein's credentials without looking them up? I imagine that you cannot. Because it is not the credentials that we remember, but the ideas that these minds presented to the world that stood the test of time. If credentials of individual scientists are all important to you, then perhaps you seek them because hierarchical positioning is the more important subject, and not for the wisdom dispensed.
William A. Spriggs
Copyright, Evolution's Voyage, 1995 - 2009
William A. Spriggs | Create Your Badge