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Morning Ruminations: Conspiracy Theories & Modern Mythology

Morning Ruminations is a place where I briefly discuss some of the things I think about as I go about my morning routine. These are thoughts, observations, and unrefined ideas, and do not necessarily represent my official stance on a subject.

Animals are well adapted to recognize the natural patterns within their environment, then take the appropriate action based upon their past experience. When the sun sets, it’s time for bed. When the days get short, and the temperature drops, it’s time to hibernate.

Humans, however, are a species driven by curiosity. It is not enough for us to simply know that something happens. We are driven by an incessant need to understand WHY it happens. This works quite well when we have the appropriate tools available to gather the information required to connect the dots.

Today, thanks to telescopes and advanced mathematics, we understand that the sun is a giant fusion reactor, the mass of which is so great that the very fabric of space-time is distorted into an invisible force that we call “gravity”. This leads to a complex balancing of forces, resulting in moons orbiting planets, orbiting stars, leading to the daily and seasonal cycles that we base our lives upon.

Thousands of years ago, this technology did not exist. We knew that the sun comes out in the daytime, the moon at night, and certain constellations at specific times of the year. These bits of observable facts were interspersed among vast swaths of unknowns. This lead us to fill in the gaps with experience from our own day to day lives. The sun and the moon became powerful gods battling for dominance of the sky, not unlike our own territorial disputes with neighbouring tribes. Soon there were gods for everything. Stories of love, and loss, and heroics were created to tell the tale of the constellations, and every culture became enriched with their own unique oral traditions to explain why the world is the way is. Mythology was born.

Few would argue today that the celestial bodies are powerful gods that control every aspect of our lives. Science has allowed us to fill in the missing information with verifiable facts, so that we now understand how planetary movements create the day/night cycle, affect seasonal weather patterns, etc.

But the human brain is still hardwired to try and make sense of things in the absence of information, and this is where conspiracy theories come from.

We know that governments and corporations have been lying to us our whole lives. We’ve watched as smoking has gone from being endorsed as a safe and healthy pastime, to one of the biggest killers in society. We’ve seen the commercials for class action lawsuits against dangerous pharmaceuticals that were approved by the FDA. We’ve witnessed countless chemicals get banned for their dangerous effects on human & animal physiology after being assured for decades that they’re perfectly safe. And to this day, we watch as the food and medical industries desperately cling to the idea that animal fats are unhealthy, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

It’s only natural that when faced with a very real global pandemic, one that even the world’s top scientists are still struggling to understand, we try to make sense of it by filling in the gaps in information with our own personal experience of being lied to our whole lives. We weave together complex webs of how chemtrails, and 5G towers are being used to fake a virus, and create an Orwellian regime to control the population. We come up with pseudoscienctific solutions like burying orgonite around 5G towers to neutralize the signals, or swallowing bleach, goldfish medications, and malaria drugs to cure the virus.

Now, this isn’t to say that there’s nobody trying to use the Covid-19 pandemic to their own advantage. Even in the best of times, there are those who manipulate the system for their own gain. As the covid-19 pandemic plays out before our eyes, we’ve witnessed everything from small-time Amazon sellers to the President of the United States abuse our naturally heightened sense of fear for their own gain.

We must be ever vigilant against businesses and politicians who engage in such practices. However, we must likewise be weary of purveyors of pseudoscienctific beliefs, modern day fairytales, who wish to manipulate our natural fear of the unknown to sew chaos in a time of crisis.

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Morning Ruminations: Paradigm Shifts

Morning Ruminations is a place where I briefly discuss some of the things I think about as I go about my morning routine. These are thoughts, observations, and unrefined ideas, and do not necessarily represent my official stance on a subject.

The human mind isn’t well equipped to deal with major paradigm shifts. Imagine if the new generation suddenly decided that blue is really green. In your mind, it will always be blue. That’s why racism, homophobia, and even outdated medical & dietary advice are so hard to fight.

For many, it takes a major life crisis to force them to question what they’ve always believed (poor health, a gay son, a daughter who marries a black man, etc). For many others, even that isn’t enough because admitting that they were so wrong about something so important to them would cause their entire world, their entire identity to collapse. If they were wrong about that, then what else have they been wrong about? It’s just too emotionally devastating for them.

Questioning your beliefs, and having an open mind MUST be a conscious choice. It’s the most rewarding thing you can ever do, but it’s also one of the scariest things you can ever do.

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Morning Ruminations: The Reality of a Natural Death

Morning Ruminations is a place where I briefly discuss some of the things I think about as I go about my morning routine. These are thoughts, observations, and unrefined ideas, and do not necessarily represent my official stance on a subject.

I almost died over New Years. Well, not really. What I thought was a mild sprain on New Year’s Eve, turned out to be a subcutaneous bacterial infection, which likely resulted from a barely noticeable scratch I received a few days earlier. A minor inconvenience, thanks to the antibiotics. My right hand is useless for a few days. I can’t go to work. I can’t zip up my own fly. And I had to borrow a friend’s car, because it hurts too much to shift the gears on my manual transmission. But considering that 20,000 years ago it would have been a death sentence, it really is a minor inconvenience.

So what would this have looked like 20,000 years ago? It would have started out exactly the same as in modern times. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed the scratch that caused it. A few days later, I’d wake up with a sore hand. Thinking I had just slept on it funny, I’d go about my day as normal, maybe using my left hand a little more so as to ease the strain on the right. By bedtime, however, the pain would be so intense that I wouldn’t sleep a wink. Come morning, I’d now feel the pain beginning to spread up my forearm, and into my elbow.

This is where our paths diverge. I had crashed on a friend’s couch that night. In the morning, I helped myself to a cup of coffee, then watched an episode of Star Trek while waiting for my friends to wake up. I then asked for a ride to the clinic, where I was quickly prescribed antibiotics. $30 at the pharmacy, and less than a day later, the pain had decreased to an uncomfortable tenderness, and the swelling was down significantly. In a few days, it’ll feel like it never happened.

My stone age counterpart wouldn’t have been so fortunate. That infection would have continued to spread up his arm, eventually reaching his torso, or possibly his brain. If he was lucky, the infection would slow him down enough that a large predator would grant a quick end to his suffering. If he was unlucky, he would make it back to the protection of his tribe, where he’d lay in agony for days, possibly weeks, before his body finally succumbed to the infection, and died.

This is one of many reasons why prehistoric man died so young, and it has got me thinking about the Disnified world in which we live. We grow up taking for granted the modern medical technology that has turned life threatening diseases into minor inconveniences, allowing us to postpone the inevitable. We’re bombarded from birth with images of Bambi, and Thumper, and Flower, and all the forest creatures, happily living and playing together in nature. If we ever bother to think about their deaths, we picture them dying peacefully in their sleep, surrounded by children and grandchildren, after living a rich and fulfilling life. That is…. unless the big evil hunter comes along and shoots them, just to “satisfy his own taste buds”.

The reality, however, is quite different. As beautiful and inspiring as nature is, she’s also unforgiving, and merciless. The fate our prehistoric ancestors would have experienced as the result of a simple cut 20,000 years ago, is the exact same fate experienced by every single wild animal since the dawn of evolution.

We can talk all we want about how animals “don’t want to die”, but the fact is that nothing we do can prevent that. Everything dies. Usually young, and usually quite painfully. The best that we can hope for is to gant them the most pain-free death possible. With that in mind, we must ask ourselves: Is a quick bullet from the rifle of a skilled hunter really more cruel than having your entrails torn to shreds by a pack of wolves, while you’re still breathing? Is a bolt gun to the head really more cruel than laying in agony for days, in a cold and dark burrow, as an infection slowly spreads throughout your body?

I think that the answer to that question is obvious. By utilizing animals for food, whether through regenerative farming or hunting, we are granting those animals a pain free life, and a far more merciful death than what nature would grant them, and at approximately the same age.

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Morning Ruminations: Free Choice

"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured... The first thought forbidden... The first freedom denied... Chains us all irrevocably." - Jean Luc Picard, Quoting Judge Aaron Satie

I’ve been thinking a lot about the climate activists that have been shutting down cities over the past few days, and the animal rights activists that have been raiding family farms over the past year or so, trying to figure out what it is that makes them take such drastic actions.

In general, I want the same things they do; A healthier planet, a healthier population, and the better treatment of animals. So why are they out there terrorizing farmers, forcing millions of cars to idle needlessly in the streets, and demanding that all levels of government restrict the personal freedoms of billions of world people, while I’m here at home, just trying to figure out what I can personally do to be a better human, and occasionally tweeting my thoughts?

The Stoic philosopher Epictetus taught that most people behave the way they do because they believe that what they do is right & good.

I think that’s the difference between myself, and the vegan/climate activists that have been in the media over the past year. I believe that deep down, people are good. That people want to BE good. That people want to DO good. And that provided the proper information, opportunity, and support, they will ultimately come to the right conclusions on their own, and do good as a result.

The activists, on the other hand, believe that morality is the realm of a select few. That most people are only capable of acting in their own immediate best interest. And that morality must be legislated upon them by the elite, through the restriction of free choice, and the elimination of personal autonamy & freedom of thought.

History, however, has taught us that morality cannot be legislated. People cannot be forced to think or feel a certain way. The restriction of free choice & free thought will only lead to resentment within the population towards your cause. Ultimately, you will destroy the very people you are trying to save.

When you believe in your fellow man. When you are confident in the conclusions you have drawn. When you’re open to new ideas, and willing to change when the evidence suggests that your past conclusions were in error… you simply don’t NEED to force your beliefs upon others, because you’re confident that they too are capable of the same change. That they too are capable of coming to the same conclusion.

If we are to save our planet, AND the people who live here, it can only be done if the change comes from within, by ensuring that every person has the right to access information (even that which you personally disagree with), discuss it in public & in private, and act upon the conclusions that they draw from that information.