“Highway 61 Revisited”, Bob Dylan, from the album of the same name, (1965)
As previously noted, every now and again I come across an outstanding post on someone else’s blog or an article in an online publication or some beautifully articulated observation or, in this case, a little book that just nails the salient observations of life, at least MY observations anyway.
Just such a book is a new release by Mark Manson, read more about Mark here. I have edited an excerpt from his new book — replacing the F bomb with “damn” — to make it presentable for all audiences – but I warn you that the F bomb and other crudities figure large in this little gem.
Having spent the better part of the 70’s in the military, and a subsequent 10 years as a Correctional Officer, and understanding that there would be little or no communication in the military or the Corrections Service without the grammatical lubrication provided by the F bomb, and knowing some guys personally who would be quite literally speechless if they could not use the F bomb, I find its use in this book hilarious but … I have a somewhat twisted sense of humor and your mileage may vary. Was that a run-on sentence?
Look, this is how it works. You’re going to die one day. I know that’s kind of obvious, but I just wanted to remind you in case you’d forgotten. You and everyone you know are going to be dead soon.
Mark Manson, early 2016
And in the short amount of time between here and there, you have a limited amount of damns to give. Very few, in fact. And if you go around giving a damn about everything and everyone without conscious thought or choice—well, then you’re going to get damned.
There is a subtle art to not giving a damn. And though the concept may sound ridiculous and I may sound like an idiot, what I’m talking about here is essentially learning how to focus and prioritize your thoughts effectively—how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed personal values.
This is incredibly difficult. It takes a lifetime of practice and discipline to achieve. And you will regularly fail. But it is perhaps the most worthy struggle one can undertake in one’s life. It is perhaps the only struggle in one’s life.
Because when you give too many damns—when you give a damn about everyone and everything—you will feel that you’re perpetually entitled to be comfortable and happy at all times, that everything is supposed to be just exactly the damned way you want it to be.
Manson, Mark. “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck“: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (pp. 13-14). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
The humor of the F bomb aside, this is a concise summary of what goes wrong with our lives when we just give too many damns!
“Highway 61 Revisited”, Bob Dylan, from the album of the same name, (1965)
Durer; Revelation, Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse
Thinking about the Eschatological nature of my last post and the utter incomprehension in the mind of modern man of all things spiritual it is highly unlikely that any of the usual suspects, you know them, the MSM and the vast panoply of secular humanist progressives populating most corners of our establishment, have any clue what they are witnessing.
Do you suppose that any of them have any suspicions regarding the Divine nature of Trump’s unexplained and unexplainable victory yesterday. Just listen to the words of the opening song and start running folks. Anyone who is listening to the MSM explain how Trump won, after they spent a year telling us why Trump can’t win, is fundamentally unsaveable.
For, lo, a generation who venerated Bob Dylan and Joan Baez in the 60’s have been seduced by the very sins against which they protested and marched and because of which they reviled the “establishment” with the help of such bright lights as Bill Ayers, and Malcolm X, and the Weather Underground.
They have overcome and become the very thing against which they rebelled, and like Eve in the Garden, they have eaten of the apple and become as gods.
I am sure Mr. Jobs is very proud of that marketing triumph wherever his shade now resides, a laughing lie all the way to the bank – that temporal bank, that bank of this world, which eventually and inevitably proves unable to sustain us into the next world.
In the venerable words of Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan “You don’t Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Wind Blows“.
Republican President Donald Trump gestures and declares “You’re fired!” at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015.
We should have known that something was up. The Cavaliers captured the NBA championship, the Cubs won the World Series, the U.K. voted to leave the E.U., and Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature. This is not an ordinary year.
After the networks declared on Wednesday morning that Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States, the words of Nobel’s latest laureate came to mind, “Something’s happening here, and you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?”
Read the rest of this interesting article here. So as the caption in the Trump pic shouts out: memo from the Bitter Clingers to The Establishment Politicos and the Main Stream Media:
Let’s all listen to a special farewell tune for Billary , the Liberal Establishment, and the MSM:
“Like a Rolling Stone”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)
Now, having been clearly shown how it is done, and being of sound mind and body, it is time for we, the voters, in Alberta, Ontario, and even the rest of Canada (anyone there with a pulse?) to step up and deliver us from evil. Otherwise, just BOHICA until the Mercy Vans come for us all.
Most of the chattering classes were caught completely off guard by the Trump victory. Almost all of my acquaintances were not supporting Trump, although, to be fair, there was a preponderance of support for the the “None Of The Above” choice.
They thought that given Trump’s indiscretions, impulsiveness, and unpredictability, his indelicate comments about immigrants, and the common knowledge that his election would doom the Republican Party, as well as the country, and even the world. Fact is, virtually none of them thought anyone would have to worry about the country, since they thought that he was un-electable.
“Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)
Like Dylan’s “Mr. Jones,” they had no idea what was happening here. They exist in the cultural equivalent of a guarded and gated community: suburban, professional, educated, middle-class, mobile, and cosmopolitan, people of means, insulated from the everyday lives of most white, religious, non-college educated, working class folks, the very ones whose votes put Trump over the top in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
They are the very ones about whom Barack Obama spoke so condescendingly in 2008 while he was privately addressing a group of donors in San Francisco: “You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, … it’s not surprising then (that) they get bitter, they cling to (their) guns (and) religion …”
“Desolation Row”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited” (1965)
So, Justin, “May You Live In Interesting Times”. Anything that is Good for Alberta is good for me. Trump supports the Keystone Pipeline, – Good for Alberta.
Quebec and Ontario are against the Energy East Pipeline – Bad for Alberta. Ontario and Quebec burn less energy because of their collapsed economy and we get to sell more energy to the U.S. instead of selling it east and getting shit on by the folks in Central Canada who we are keeping alive with energy and transfer payments – Good for Alberta.
Trump is against NAFTA – Bad for Ontario and Quebec (see remark about economy above). Bad for Quebec and Ontario is definitely Good for Alberta.
Ontario and Quebec are driving the Global Warming agenda in Canada, just like the Greens did in Germany a few election cycles ago. Anyone ever checked electricity rates in Germany as a result of their anti Carbon renewable energy agenda? Did anyone involved in our Global Warming game study anything in university except Poli-Sci? How about the physics of electrical grids for starters?
Trump is against the idea of Global Warming – says it is just a hoax to funnel money to the left. Anything that rocks Central Canadian certainties is good for Alberta. They can’t prove that Anthropogenic Global Warming exists, the left just scream louder when you ask those kind of questions, but it is easy to prove where all the research money is going. Bad for Global Warming – bad for Ontario and Quebec – Good for Alberta.
While on the topic of global warming and alternative energy it is with great sadness and a strong sense of loss that I note in October of this year died a superb blogger, Steven DenBeste, who, at his great blog U.S.S. Clueless routinely posted on things political, alternate energy, international security, and other items of note before illness, mindless vicious trolls, and Eco-bigots drove him down. I will pray for your soul, Steven, even though you did not believe in the God I believe in.
Steven was brilliant, a former engineer with a superb mind. His old blog, U.S.S. Clueless, was extremely important in the early days of blogging and through it I found many other like minded and articulate bloggers. I had several discussions with him about God and humanity. Steven was an atheist, but a reasonable one, adult, intelligent, and always willing to have friendly discussions, unlike many others I can name but won’t.
About God we agreed to disagree. I remember, after one of my complaining rants about management not understanding what they were ordering us to do, he humorously introduced me to the very apt notion of the “Magical Mile” and, like that, about most other things in life and the world we were of the same mind.
U.S.S. Clueless was hugely influential to many of us, and I am certainly not the only person he inspired to blog or helped along. It is hard to overstate the importance of his blog “U.S.S. Clueless” and the brilliance of his analysis. Sadly, that site went down in late October, when Steven’s server failed. I’d guess that Steven, along with Carl Sagan, and quite a few other heroes now know the Truth face to face.
His memory lives on every time we are faced by another left wing religious rant about global warming and alternative energy. ( Pay attention Rachel Notley and Kathleen Wynne! This is about the reality of Physics and how the universe works, not about some the NDP anti-oil agenda. )
Here’s a fairly concise summary of thousands of words of fact, logic and physics taken from one of Steven’s posts:
… For too many people “alternate energy” is more about religion than about physics. They believe that if we are just creative enough, we can overcome fundamental physical limitations — and it’s not that easy. In order for “alternate energy” to become feasible, it has to satisfy all of the following criteria:
1. It has to be huge (in terms of both energy and power) 2. It has to be reliable (not intermittent or unschedulable) 3. It has to be concentrated (not diffuse) 4. It has to be possible to utilize it efficiently 5. The capital investment and operating cost to utilize it has to be comparable to existing energy sources (per gigawatt, and per terajoule).
If it fails to satisfy any of those, then it can’t scale enough to make any difference. Solar power fails #3, and currently it also fails #5. (It also partially fails #2, but there are ways to work around that.)
The only sources of energy available to us now that satisfy all five are petroleum, coal, hydro, and nuclear. My rule of thumb is that I’m not interested in any “alternate energy” until some one shows me how to scale it to produce at least 1% of our current energy usage. America right now uses about 3.6 terawatts average, so 1% of that is about 36 gigawatts average.
Show me a plan to produce 36 gigawatts (average, not peak) using solar power, at a price no more than 30% greater than coal generation of comparable capacity, which can be implemented at that scale in 10-15 years. Then I’ll pay attention. Since solar power installations can only produce power for about 10 hours per day on average, that means that peak power production would need to be in the range of about 85 gigawatts to reach that 1%.
Without that, it’s just religion, like all the people fascinated with wind and with biomass. And even if it did reach 1%, that still leaves the other 99% of our energy production to petroleum, coal, hydro, and nuclear. The problems facing “alternate energy” are fundamental, deep, and are show-stoppers. They are not things that will be surmounted by one lone incremental improvement in one small area, announced breathlessly by a startup which is trying to drum up funding.
The way you can tell that a fan of “alternate energy” is a religious cultist is to ask them this question: If your preferred alternate source of energy is practical, why isn’t it already in use? Why not? Because of The Conspiracy™. The big oil companies don’t want it to happen, and have been suppressing all this live-saving green people’s energy all this time for their own nefarious purposes.
As soon as you hear any reference to The Conspiracy™, you know you’re talking to someone who is living in a morality play. That isn’t engineering any more, that’s religion. And while religion is an important part of many people’s lives, it has no place in engineering discussions.
UPDATE: There’s actually another common answer to the “Why not” question. It’s because you engineers are just too hidebound and conservative and unimaginative. If you’d just get on board and recognize how utterly cool and romantic these other ways of producing energy would be, then you could wave your magic engineering wand and make it happen.
That’s another kind of religion. It’s not a religious struggle against evil (as personified by Big Oil) so much as a religious image of paradise. If the adherents of this kind of religion can just convert enough doubters, then paradise can happen. If you just believe, we can all be saved! Hallelujah, baby! Praise Gaia and pass the biodiesel!
Thanks, but no thanks. My “conservatism” on this subject is due to my understanding of the laws of physics and the principles of engineering, not to me being hidebound and unimaginative.
Steven DenBeste had an overwhelmingly positive influence on the world despite his physical frailty, one out of all proportion to his resources. The world today is undeniably a better place for his having lived, but it is a bit dimmer today with his loss.
Periodically I have a recurring dream of a mist and smoke covered battlefield, eerily quiet, just the sound of bullets zipping by or occasionally striking down another victim. My comrades and I keep moving forward under steady fire. One minute you are in company of friends and the next the man beside you is struck away, one after another the steady attrition continues. And still we move forward, probably until none are left – I don’t know – the dream never changes, but Steven just went down.
Now we just have to mobilize the “silent majority” in Alberta cities to oust Running Rachel and her thugs and repeal any and all anti-oil, global warming carbon legislation. We should perhaps pursue the angle of seeking damages from the parties responsible for the current debacle. Accountability … what a quaint notion, eh? Once they are put down we are back in the business of being “Open for Business” here in Alberta.
The only certainty for humanity is grim death. It is how you lived your life and the principles you stood for, that will tip the scale one way or the other on judgement day. Denying that there will be a judgement day is just more ad-hominem claptrap for people with no discernible factual base to their belief system..