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Bare Bones Biology 253 – Answer the Question

We have come to an age in my country, where almost everyone we talk to is afraid of questions. It astonishes me when someone responds to my questions by bursting into tears, becoming stiff and defensive or, worse, angry over I know not what.

150310-Bitsy-ASC_5542RLSsBut wait. Come to think of it, people also ask ME questions, and yes there are times I get just a wee bit huffy about it. It does depend what kind of mood I’m in, and how I feel about the other person, and also how many times they have asked me the same question. And most of all it depends on whether I think it’s a real question or just something meant to fill the empty space between us.

Sometimes I ask dumb questions for smart reasons or sometimes smart questions for dumb reasons, and most often I ask questions that nobody knows the answers to, but different people have different answers, and if we got them all together some really exciting answers might come out of it.

I am a naturally curious person, and perhaps entering my second childhood, and I like questions because I like to understand more and more about how the world works. So I ask my questions, and what do I get?

Too often, shunned, attacked, shocked responses – too often answers that are not useful, and more importantly the person on the other end of this exchange also gets nothing useful. Or maybe it is that people will only answer the right questions, or questions that are asked correctly or appropriately.

Then you may say, as most people do say about corposystem rituals: “You are doing it the wrong way.” They don’t say the ritual is negative and causes harm to both the asker and the answerer; they say it would all turn out OK if I would do the ritual correctly – that the ritual is the ultimate right and I am wrong. And then they offer to kindly teach me how to do it right — without asking whether or not I had considered and discarded their method before they were even born.

Teeny-boppers!!!!

My answer is: “So what do I care about the corposystem rituals? The corposystem loves to tell us that we are not OK unless we can become perfect at one thing or another. It’s a great technique because nobody can do it, and at the same time these rituals keep we the people occupied and focus our attention away from serious problems we are not supposed to talk about, such as overpopulation, for example, or the corposystem take-over of our political and educational systems.

Imagine raising children and they can’t ask questions. None of us ever stop learning, and in this age of incredibly rapid change, we need answers. If we can’t ask or answer questions – well then – we are stuck in our own history, and doomed to recycle that history. And that’s a really big problem that will not be solved by anyone being perfect or not perfect.

150409-Bitsy-ASC_6264RLSsSo, as for the questions, my goal is to find answers – not to practice someone else’s proscribed format until my performance is “perfect.” And in the long run, I will end up knowing more, and knowing more is both fun and useful.

We all are stuck with each other, so maybe it would be a good time to make do, swallow our fear or pride or that little tickle in the stomach that says: “I’m not good enough; I can’t handle this,” and just answer the questions. Or tell them it’s something you don’t want to talk about. Or ask a good, relevant question back. Because in any normal social situation, questions are not really a threat to anyone. And they can be incredibly useful to us all.

And anyhow, why this need to prove that you are better than everyone else? Questions are nothing more than children learning how the world really does work, and learning the answers is not an onerous task – it’s FUN! Not only fun, but good information increases your personal power in the world.

So why the angst?

Just answer the question.

This is bare bones biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com and KEOS radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas. A copy of the podcast can be downloaded here:

Much better than starting wars or excluding others from important information. Or wasting our time on line trying to prove the un-provable — when we could be contributing information and attitudes that can benefit the future welfare of our communities.

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Diary 131109 – Holly Trucker

“Now the view was obscured by clouds and sleet, but on the usual day Chee knew the (window) glass overlooked immense space – across the Laguna and Acoma Indian reservations to the south and east, southward across the forty-mile sea of cooled lava called the Malpais toward the Zuni mountains, and eastward toward the Canoncito reservation to the great blue hump of the Sandia mountains behind Albuquerque.”

Tony Hillerman published that in 1980, in People of Darkness.  I remember then; Iused to love driving these roads.

131109-TruckerHolly-ASC_7076RSsAll that’s behind me today, but I spent most of yesterday driving along from Albuquerque, just slightly south of the area he described.  On a normal day in 2013.  There were no clouds, no dust storm, no wind, visibility only about five miles, mostly obscured by a yellow chemical haze.  The sun shines through it at lunchtime with the amber glow of  late afternoon, and the glowing health that my body grew breathing the clean air of the canyon is melting around me like a the muddy air itself.  My ears are ringing, sinuses filled up, the floaters are back in my eyes and I’m working up to a nosebleed for the first time since leaving Bryan.  But worst for driving, is the difficulty of focusing on what I’m doing.  The contrast, from two days ago, is enough to inform a large number of decisions.

Anyhow – this time the brakes are really fixed.

And it was fun meeting Holly, who actually believes she is personally in charge of this monster semi.

Most likely tomorrow I’ll make it to California.

Chama River about Double Overnight

Now we need to get home. The first big test of the fire-engine red four-wheel-drive.

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Bare Bones Biology 159 – Facts versus Fancies – Money

Our modern American corposystem is built around something that isn’t even real. Money. Some people have gained a whole career and a lot of well deserved admiration using the power of money in a positive way, and written books about it, but I’m not referencing the books, because they are based on the idea that money is a real thing, rather than a short-term corposystem fix.

On the contrary, fame and money are figments of an unsustainable human dream of power in the same way that winning, or success, are merely human opinions that we have decided to believe. Even with the best of intentions, these corposystem fantasies are likely to cause more harm than good to the Biosystem, and to a good life for us. When it comes to planning our lives, I think it’s better to go with what is real.

Even though everything does keep changing, some things are real. A car is a real thing. Life is real. Food is real. An ear of corn. When you eat it, you become a living link in the living Biosystem. Money is not a real thing; it is a human agreement. Or rather it can be a real thing. It is really a piece of paper with a pretty picture on it. But as money it only exists in the shared promises among people.

130716-Spencer-ASC_4638RLSs copyYet, we have built an entire system that is based in our common delusion that money is a real thing. Our corposystem defines itself by convincing us that money is power; most of its propaganda is meant to teach us that money is a real resource, like sunshine, or roses or meat; but really. money is only a human promise to pay. You can use it to buy stuff; that’s the promise; and so long as the promise is honored – yes, money is a good thing to have.

Most often you get your money by spending your time wisely. You can use your time to make the things you need – or you can trade your time for money. Let’s pick food for an example, because it’s a real thing you cannot live without. You could spend your time (which is also a real thing) growing food, or you could trade your time to someone else, let’s say McDonalds, and in exchange they will give you money, which is not a real thing, but you can use it. You could use the money you earned working for McDonalds to buy food. Or you could buy something you do not need, but if you do that, you have wasted your time AND your money, and you will have no other way to get what you do need unless you can get someone else to give you some of their time/money.

Your challenge as a living human today is to balance your time and money to get the real things that you need for your good life. Your obligation to the future of humankind is to do this in a way that does not cause harm to the Biosystem. If you do a good job, the money can come and go without causing permanent harm.

The corposystem, however, does not support either of these challenges, because the ethic of the corposystem is to grow more money. Instead of helping us to grow the good life by focusing on real things that we need, the corposystem tells us to spend our time and money buying more things that we don’t need. To throw away our things and spend our money buying more things. We end up spinning away our time and our money, and the irreplaceable Biosystem resources – wasting them to make money for the corposystem.

And then the corposystem will crash, because nothing can grow forever if it consumes resources, and when it crashes our money will be worthless.

Life is not about money, nor is it about supporting a system that becomes more and more unbalanced with every turn of the wheel. Life is about sustaining Life by balancing the Biosystem. We know how to do this, but we won’t, because we believe so deeply in the unbalanced growth required by the corposystem that we think it would be unethical to take any steps toward controlling human overgrowth of the Biosystem.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of KEOS radio, 89.1 FM, in Bryan, Texas, and FactFictionFancy. A podcast of this program can be downloaded at Bare Bones Biology later this week or next week.

Photograph of Spencer and Remington in Chama, New Mexico.

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We woke up to a fresh elk footprint in the front yard, and headed out for Denver, during which drive we went from 7000 feet more or less to 12000+, a view that will be gorgeous in the autumn colors and is nothing to sneeze at now. Then we descended back to about 7000 and beyond and headed into some of the worst of the American metropolitan ambience, including 75 mph bumper to bumper traffic. For the first time, during all these many hours, I noticed that Bitsy has outy dimples when she smiles.

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