Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The only constant in life is change - Heraclitus

2Step/R. Moran

Since the beginning of time, man’s reality distortion field rules as our tiny take on existence
is but a dust mote in god’s eye, something readily understood by Heraclitus, in 500 BC, stating 
The only constant in life is change. 

Ignore this at your peril.

Here are the essential characteristics that define the success or failure of every endeavor.

500BC: The Art of War

Competency and situational awareness determine the success of any given initiative.
Selling the Big Lie, aka Propaganda, drives advertising, politics and war.

The "art" of persuasion


 All we lack is a religious genius capable of uprooting outmodedreligious practices and putting new ones in their place. We lack traditions and ritual. One day soon National Socialism will be the religion

Subjectivity rules based on the fact every person views reality in her own way.

The word assume kills clear thinking as it remains forever the ass of you and me.
“Question everything.” - Einstein
Inventing ways to “explain” the unknowable never ceases to amaze.
Politics and the English Language - Orwell
Governments lie. - I. F. Stone
Misery loves company.
It’s all about the money.
News as entertainment medium
Tech never sleeps.

A tiny sampler of Truly Excellent Adventures :)

1275 BC: The battle of Kadesh - Propghanda 101

The battle ends in a draw, Ramses II loudly proclaims victory after barely escaping with his life while Muwatalli II states they won as they held onto Kadesh in spite of being attacked by the Egyptians.
The warring parties quietly sign a piece treaty.

875BC: The Odyssey - The word Assume applies

What's in the bag?

Consider the exhausted Odysseus, slowly sailing toward the coast of Ithaca while sleeping next to a bag carrying all the winds save the favorable west, a gift generously given to the weary travelers by Aeolus, god of the winds. The crew, also tired from the 10 year Trojan War but all too greedy for their own good, decide to open the bag thinking there was treasure to be had, thus consigning themselves to death or enslavement when their ship is driven back into the Mediterranean when all the winds escaped from the bag, forcing Odysseus to wander the sea for another 10 years before reaching Ithaca yet again.

Question, why didn’t Odysseys tell the crew what was in the bag?

To explain the unknowable, man invents the gods.

1739-1748 War of Jenkins Ear - It's all about the money

Ignorance is strength - Politics and the English Language - Orwell

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore. News as entertainment medium

1955-1975: Vietnam ... A disaster based on a lie.

The 1964 Gulf of Tonkin event begins the nightmare of Nam in earnest thanks to Robert McNamara lying to Johnson about the three ship Vietnamese navy “attacking” the largest naval force on the planet. The destroyer, USS Maddox, initiated contact by firing three warning shots at the 3 torpedo boats, thus kicking this disaster into overdrive to enable the MIC to reap billions at the cost of approximately 1,353 million deaths (58.000+ US soldiers and 1.29 million South and North Vietnamese) along with untold numbers of maimed and wounded participants, counted as collateral damage, of a historic cf of biblical proportions, information not revealed to the world until 2005.

Addendum ... Putting tanks in the jungle’s not a good idea but conducting a war while ignoring the tenets of the The Art of War is inexcusable. Apocalypse Now Redux ...

1979 - 1989: Russians invades Afghanistan - Ignoring The Are of War yet again

Often invaded by entities such as the Persians, Alexander the Great and the Mongols in ancient times and the Brits, Russians and Americans, in the present, Afghanistan has been rightly called, the death of empires due to its difficult terrain, the fierce loyalty of the people and the sheer remoteness of the country. In 1979, the Russians invade yet again, ignoring the lessons of Nam and the essential fact, indigenous fighters don’t have to win, just outlast as they will be there forever while the invaders will not. After decimating the country, the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989.

Overreach - Iraq invades Kuwait - The word Assume applies

Saddam Hussein

Iraq lost, big time and ... unlike Nam, reporters had to be embedded in the military.

Unanswered Questions - Governments lie

Shock & Awe - Governments lie

2003: Another fiasco based on a lie

Thursday night, Anthony Zinni, the former commander of the U.S. Central Command, was interviewed by Ted Koppel on Nightline. And he was rather sharp in his assessment of George W. Bush’s policy in Iraq. Before the war, Zinni, who had been an envoy for Bush in the Middle East, opposed a U.S. invasion of Iraq, arguing that Saddam Hussein did not pose an imminent threat. On Nightline, Zinni compared Bush’s push for the war with the Gulf of Tonkin incident–an infamous episode in which President Lyndon Johnson misrepresented an attack on two U.S. Navy destroyers in order to win congressional approval of the war in Vietnam–and he challenged “the credibility behind” Bush’s prewar assertions concerning Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction and its association with anti-American terrorists. “I’m suggesting,” Zinni said, “that either the [prewar] intelligence was so bad and flawed–and if that’s the case, then somebody’s head ought to roll for that–or the intelligence was exaggerated or twisted in a way to make a more convenient case to the American people.”

2007: digital becomes personal - iPhone/rev 1.0 - The Art of Persuasion

Even though the PC and the Mac became watchwords in computing in the 80’s & 90’s, the real change for mankind came with the advent of the iPhone in 2007 as now everyone became addicted to said device 24/7. With the advent of such persuasive tech, Apple becomes the most profitable company in the world in tandem with the net becoming the connect for the world and social media becoming the personalized source for real “news” tailored just for you .

“The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. - Orwell - It’s all about the money

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. - Einstein

In 2009, yours truly wrote this about Afghanistan and the futility of fighting yet another war eerily reminiscent of Vietnam, the poster child on how to not to fight one: For starters, the Taliban don’t have to win, just persevere. The US will not be in Afghanistan forever so just showing up is enough. Afghanistan is a huge country, inhospitable to occupiers as seen throughout history via defeats placed on Alexander the Great, the British and the Russians. Now it’s our turn and ...

In 2021, the Taliban won just as the VC did in Nam.

The cost of said Middle-East wars since 9/11, all of which the US lost, comes to a cool 8 trillion +, the cost/benefit ratio of waging such a campaign besides monies going down the drain includes countries destroyed, people killed and never ending hatred of the US.

To see why the US failed miserably regarding Afghanistan,
check out the Afghanistan Stability diagram by Coin Dynamics.

I can see clearly now

Don't Look Up - Subjectivity rules

In 1976, Network, depicting how news became an entertaining environment committed to generating revenue at any cost is now joined in 2023 with an equally dark comedy showing how social media, obsession with the self and denying climate change takes precedence over a comet destined to kill us all. :)

2024: Ghost in the machine - Tech never sleeps

Outside of the nightmare happening in Israel/Palestine and a rematch between Trump and Biden is this ...

The concept of a ghost residing in the “machine” of AI, the open ended tech forever to remain unknowable due to the fact of code having to write code in order to react to the real world in real time, is eminently logical based on the continued hoovering of data 24/7 by the Gemini’s of the world, pointing out the fact we have, in effect, lost control of a rapidly evolving tech making it’s way toward sentience, something voiced with great concern by the very people who created this entity in the first place.

Whistling past the graveyard applies.

Robert E.

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