Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Living (Among the Masses) in New York City: thegrowlingwolf Growls at Mass Man

Foto by tgw, Coney Island, 2010
The Lost and Found Is Empty
This old rascal Jose Ortega y Gasset has got me upset. He's so full of futuristic reasoning. The Spanish make good chess players. And bicyclists. Thinking ahead. He makes me have to think ahead. To reason out meaning. To search meaning. To explore the many spaces of meaning. To change through meanings the direction of mankind. Whew, that last one's a tough one. Men who change the direction of mankind are usually the evilest bastards from amongst us or else if they are decent they're pushed back onto a high shelf in the far back end of a Google warehouse--like Dr. Jonas Salk. I mean this man put an end to polio, which, when I was a child was of epidemic proportions. My best friend in my childhood years was left crutch-bound crippled from a preschool-age bout with polio. Heck fire, the president of the USA when I was born had polio. But Jonas Salk just died a few years ago and did we lower the flag to half mast or honor him with a Congressional Medal of Honor? Hell no. He was mentioned on the news, but there was silence when it came to explaining the enormity of this man's reasoning out the meaning of polio and finding among the various spaces of that meaning the way to lure the virus, trap it, and then eradicate it with a serum.

Here's the kind of thinking ahead I find fascinating with this old (ancient-now (1932)) wise man, Ortega y Gasset. Check out this thinking: "There is only one absolute decadence; it consists in a lowering of vitality, and that only exists when it is felt as such. It is for this reason that I have delayed over the consideration of a phenomenon generally overlooked: the consciousness or sensation that every period has experienced of its own vital level. This led us to speak of the 'plenitude' which some centuries have felt in regard to others which, conversely, looked upon themselves as having fallen from greater heights, from some far-off brilliant golden age. And I ended by noting the very plain fact that our age is characterised by the strange presumption that it is superior to all past time; more than that, by its leaving out of consideration all that is past, by recognising no classical or normative epochs, by looking on itself as a new life superior to all previous forms and irreducible to them.... If it felt that it was decadent, it would look on other ages as superior to itself, which would be equivalent to esteeming and admiring them and venerating the principles by which they were inspired. Our age would then have clear and firmly held ideals, even if incapable of realising them. But the truth is exactly the contrary; we live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create. Lord of all things, he is not lord of himself. He feels lost amid his own abundance. With more means at its disposal, more knowledge, more technique than ever, it turns out that the world to-day goes the same way as the worst of worlds that have been; it simply drifts" [Jose Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, Mentor ed., 1950, pp 31-32].

He goes on from there to see how man as a thinker has become neurotic. Neurotic to the point his insecurities outweigh his securities. In other words, man is only motivated to give up his securities in favor of the fears his insecurities throw at him. "Hence, " O y G writes, "the strange combination of a sense of power and a sense of insecurity which has taken up its abode in the soul of modern man."

According to Geoffrey Cline, Ortega y Gasset wasn't proclaiming anything new in Revolt of the Masses. A lot of philosophers in Europe before Gasset's time were fearing a coming threat of the peasant classes revolting, a revolting of the masses who were tired of being lower than dogs in terms of worth and who were in some countries actually "slaves" working for slave wages under the bootheels and carriage wheels of snobbish royalties and their consortium of Chaldeans and wisemen advisors, those who showed the rulers how to rule. Cline goes on to say even Marx didn't really trust his lumpenprolitariat. Thus the need for a dictator to control the masses, to govern them while trying to teach them through intellectual theories how to run an organized society economically as well as humanitarianly. The peasant intellectuals were feared to be too romantic, which was one of the worries of philosophers like Ortega (a metaphysician actually; in fact, actually a Sociologist). Ortega feared the romantic masses with their heads loaded with false ideals and misdirected creativeness would lead us down paths to first decadence then ruin.

I must admit that I, too, rather "fear the masses," in the same way Ortega y Gasset does. I don't fear them in the sense I would preach for their being wiped off the face of the earth, but I do fear them in the sense that they are so DUMB. Again, like Ortega y Gasset, my defense against them would be to rail at them in logical ways, train them in concentration, then teach them to think ahead, to reason with creativeness rather than dumbly following templates.
Sometimes I scare myself politically. I'm not an anything. That's my problem. Like when election time rolls around, I find it too comedic to take it seriously and, yet, like Imiri Baraka says, I must take politics seriously since it so effects my LIFE and YOUR LIFE.

And, folks, that's what all this is about: LIFE. From my Pompeii's Head, my empirical foresight shows me "It's all about LIFE." Artie Shaw was wrong. He said it was all about time. But, no, Artie, it's all about LIFE. The masses no matter from which angle you check 'em out seem to hate LIFE! I watch the raggedy ass hillbilly-reared teleevangelists (I grew up with these "preacher boys" as a kid; my hometown was the headquarters of one of the most fundamentalist of Calvinist-leaning forms of Christianity). All of them preach to their dumbass followers that LIFE is evil. LIFE belongs to the DEVIL. Yes, you can get "evil" from "devil," though spell Devil backwards and you get "LIVED." And most of us have never LIVED...we've never lived life to the fullest. Jung might say it's instinctual to hate LIFE. Freud certainly said that. Ja vol. Are we born hating life? Are we born hating being born? Or are we taught to hate life?

At the time I was born, my parents were about as far back on the economic continuum as you could get. Not only were my parents without wealth but so were most of the rest of the folks in that small West Texas town at the time. Life wasn't much fun. And it wasn't much fun for about a 4 billion people in the world at the time. It was the belly of the Great Depression. War was brewing in Europe. War was brewing in the Far East (as Asia was called then). The War Economy was rearing its ugly head. People were also barely making it in Tokyo, in Berlin, in Moscow, in London, in Paris--you name it, people weren't making it. They weren't enjoying LIFE. They weren't being allowed to enjoy LIFE. They looked around them and saw who was enjoying LIFE. In my hometown, yes, there were people truly enjoying LIFE. Why down at my hometown's Petroleum Club, several members of the same several local families of the town's nouveau riche who'd gotten filthy rich off the discovery of OIL in the area lived (devil) it up grandly nightly as they counted their worth and predicted their future worth while eating pheasant under glass or big huge steaks. (And God-damn the steaks at the Petroleum Club were sacred pieces of sacrificial flesh prepared by a high-priest Black chef--and no, there were no Black people other than the chef and the cleaning ladies allowed in the Petroleum Club--the oil industry was very segregated in those days. To this day over on my phone table I have a Petroleum Club plate piled high with pieces of paper containing my necessary phone numbers.)

Oil was first discovered in West Texas in the 1920s in what geologists called the Permian Basin. It was a geological/fossil/ex-seafloor wonderland of minerals (including besides oil, potash, gypsum, quartz, natural gas) that ran from the Big Bend 200 or 300 miles north to Snyder, Texas, over west to Hobbes, New Mexico, and back east to Midland and Odessa, Texas. Trouble was, oil in huge quantities was under the Permian Basin, but it was way down under there. The earliest producing wells were found around 4,500 feet, but then a Big Lake, Texas, test drill found a tremendous pool discovery at 8,500 feet. Because of the cost of drilling at that depth production was limited. But then in the late 30s, the War Economy figured out if War were to get us out of the Great Depression, we needed oil to pull it all off. We then became DESPERATE for OIL (already in the 30s we had had the Teapot Dome oil scandal--involving a New Mexican-Texan Albert Falls and the US Navy's Teapot Dome storage facility--oil fraud--and fraud is a sacred part of the oil industry's history). And the Roosevelt administration (they were working 24/7 trying to find a way for us to get involved in what was surely becoming World War II) began giving out subsidies to oil companies to get them to drill-baby-drill the hell out of the Permian Basin--drill 10,000 feet if they had to. Soon all over my part of West Texas when you drove the highways and backroads at night you saw dozens upon dozens of gas flares (they have to burn the natural gas off the crude in order to get the crude to flow (like in ocean-bed drilling there's methane gas compressing the crude into place) up out of the well--or at night when the derricks were lit up with lights (night drilling) the locals called them Christmas trees.
As a kid, I could have ridden my bicycle along West Texas roads by fields full of gas flares like the above kid is doing in Africa, where living near gas flares is a sure-DEATH experience.

I feel there's a logical reason for the earth to contain oil and gas and such--could it be a lubricant that keeps the earth's joints and hinges and plate shiftings from causing internal bone damage?--I know, I'm thinking in glorified metaphorical terms, but you know what I mean if you think about your own body and the lubricants you need--usually oils--Omega 3 fish oil, caster oil, cod-liver oil, Haley's M O--to keep your works from getting rusty.

So the majority of us HATE LIFE. "A worldly life" means you live in a gutter of pleasures that the moralists of the world condemn as being SINS. Sins against nature? NO. Sins against a pantheon of big-daddy gods and big-mama goddesses and all their many offspring minor gods and goddesses and all their offspring.... I hear expressions like, "Boy, life can be cruel, can't it," or "Boy, life really dealt me a dirty deal." We blame our failures on LIFE. We base our POWER on our ability to kill masses of our fellow men. Check out how many people have died in wars since World War I (the war to end all wars)--I'm talking civilian casualties, never mind the millions of military fundamentalists (soldiers and such) who have died. Sacrificing their lives, the WAR PR firms tell us, so that WE can go on living. We KILL in order to CONTINUE TO LIVE.

Now stop right here and consider: Who LIVES the best in time of WAR? Remember the adage: "He who makes the most money LIVES the best and the longest and most privileged lives." Or you could say "He who makes the most money enjoys LIFE the most." Still, even the wealthiest crooks in the world aren't HAPPY--yes, they're living a rich WORLDLY life--yes, they're lollygagging around counting their treasures with impunity in the LEISURELY LIFE their money has bought them, but they still hate LIFE. Besides, think how many of these low-if-any taxpaying bums get rich off DEATH. DEATH is a damn good business to get into.

While you're chowing down on that next sirloin steak (I recommend a 1 1/2" thick New York cut of prime sirloin), think about how the big US meat-packing families got rich--why off the DEATH of millions upon millions of KILLED (we call it "slaughter") cows--and KILLED pigs, and sheep, and goats, and chickens...we are MEAT EATERS and meat eaters have to KILL to survive--to LIVE!

We hate LIFE. The Muslims obviously hate LIFE, too. Certainly any impoverished or starving people (like the people in Darfur) hate LIFE. The Palestinians currently must truly hate LIFE--and so do the Israelis just over that LIFE-forsaking fence they've caged their Semite brothers and sisters behind. I wonder, however, if the Crown Prince of Oman hates LIFE? YES. All royal families hate LIFE. They hate PEASANTS, to them the lowest form of LIFE.

And here is another far-out thought: Since now MONEY = LIFE, we are facing a dilemma. BUT, we don't hate MONEY--oh no, we LOVE MONEY. Money = Love in our society. Except we don't love the money itself but what it symbolizes; the attention spending it foolishly gets us; and the power the illusion of us having plenty of it gives us. Donald Trump for years went bankrupt in all his projects, especially his casinos, every year; yet, no one could ever conceive of Donald as being BROKE, as impoverished, on as the brink of ruin. And even if they found him broke and out of his wacky mind in some gutter, they'd still give him much respect, still thinking of him as a successful man of great wealth. The love of money is the Biblical/Torah root of all EVIL. So here we go about our hypocritical ways--and that's what I find wrong with the masses: they are so dumb they are hypocrites. Born again hypocrites.

You see how devastating MASS thinking (romantic thinking) can become? MONEY is so phony. It represents really no "wealth value" at all. Money is merely a means of exchange. Same as stocks and bonds are means of exchange--why Wall Street is called the Stock Exchange. STOCKS and BONDS are mostly worthless--they symbolize worth but it's worth based on a government or a large corporation, both of which one day may not be able to cover what they owe on those stocks and bonds and T notes--paper--just pieces of heavy stock paper with a "said" value somewhere in ornately framed numerals or words. Stocks, for instance, are just ornately decorated (to make them look of great worth) pieces of paper most stockholders never see--how do stockholders even know they have any stock at all?--they have to trust their brokers or guys like Bernie Madoff or global pirate firms like Goldman-Sachs--they have to trust the invited members of the New York Stock Exchange as being above-board with their quarterly figures and their many divestitures and mergers and combinings, etc. How many crooked avenues must you travel down to finally reach the cheesy reward at the end of the maze? And LIFE to us has become a MAZE. Now in order to live well, you must dare to enter the Minotaur's cave and take the beast on to get to the Land of Milk and Honey out back.

I myself LOVE LIFE. I don't see it evil (evil spelled backwards is?) at all. I never see or hear any DEVILS trying to thwart my happiness (KILL ME). I never see or hear any of those many gods and goddesses and their offspring trying to SAVE ME--from what? LIFE? The irony here, and it's one most of us are too damned dumb to comprehend, DEATH is just a part of LIFE. Without DEATH, LIFE can't go on. The elder trees in an ancient forest die, fall to the floor, decompose, and thus return LIFE to next generation of forest dwellers. One day some scientist like Einstein may figure out how to reverse LIFE--as Heisenburg believed the universe could do--with the matrix as his pool table and 2 billiard balls as his "planets" when the billiard balls are sent into the future they react totally differently in terms of speed, direction, collision, etc. One ball may reach a far distance in the matrix where it suddenly is repelled back onto its past--the old man in a space ship going in the direction of youth or the baby in the space ship going in the opposite direction, the direction of old age.

We are collectively scared to death by DEATH. Dying is the hardest task we face in LIFE. None of us WANTS to DIE; yet, tons of us MUST die in order for LIFE to continue--and that's all the LIFE this earth supports, not just us human monkeys.

OIL is made from dead things. Perhaps there's oil in our cemeteries now--at least some natural gas pockets in our many graves. OIL must burn in hell in order to give us ENERGY. And we love energy, though most of us are too dumb to even know what it is. Most of us, the masses, are lazy as hell. We're tired all the time. We have no energy.

I can remember as a kid driving through the oilfields with my parents and rolling down the car windows and smelling that fetid rather death-smelling odor that reeks around oilfields and gas fields and listening to the pumps keeping their steady heartbeat-like pumping--the sound of the pump arm clicking and clacking up and down, lubricated by oil by the way, same as our heart pump can be lubricated with Omega 3 fish oil, everything in our life of convenience based on oil.

From the Handbook of Texas, here's what the Permian Basin OIL amounted to over the years it was in full production. Check out all the products made from OIL:

The entire Permian Basin during 1966 produced a total of 607 million barrels of oil and 2.3 trillion cubic feet of gas for a total of $2 billion. A cumulative total of 11.3 billion barrels of oil had been produced. Intrastate and interstate gas pipeline systems were expanded throughout the area, and Midland-Odessa was the headquarters for the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin area. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on petrochemical refineries and supplemental construction work in the Permian Basin, which was rated the largest inland petrochemical complex in the United States. Some of the more commonly known Permian Basin petrochemical products were synthetic rubber, plastics, emulsion paints, solvents, food wrappers, nylon, ammonia, nitric acid, hydrogen, and fertilizer.

I enjoy LIFE to the best of my ability. There's a Mexican restaurant here in New York City now where I can go and for one hour or so have the very grandest LIFE available to a life-time vagabond and raconteur like myself. When I'm full-blast into my enchiladas con mole chocolata and washing them down with a Boing grape soda, I'm in what my people called "Hawg Heaven," meaning I'm wallowing in what to most is a sty of LIFE, but to me is my cathedral of LIFE. And this is especially true if I'm enjoying Hawg Heaven with a beautiful woman with whom I can sit and reasonably jive and adore while I'm reveling in the throes of my pleasures in LIFE and her pleasures in LIFE, too, I hope, though, I know, there's no such thing as HOPE, even though it's my family's motto and also the motto for the State of Rhode Island--currently in the throes of an econonic down-draft along with most of the other 50 states.

Ironically as I type this, the BP oil spill 5 miles offshore in the Gulf Coast is pouring forth thousands of barrels of oil per day and getting worse in terms of potentially millions of barrels of oil contaminating our close-in Gulf Coast coastline from Alabama over through Mississippi all the way across Louisiana, including the mouth of the Mississippi River and eventually perhaps the drinking water of poor ole New Orleans, America's forgotten city. And the culprits responsible for this environmental tragedy have no idea how to contain it and are blaming each other as the dolts they are before our two-faced Congressional investigation of the matter. Continuing the irony to its conclusion: At the same time this oil spill is devouring our Gulf Coast line, Joe LIEberman is presenting a bill that is being voted on in Congress today (Wednesday) (how does this turncoat asshole keep getting himself involved in major bills and future laws?) that will open up drill-baby-drill permissions-to-drill all along the East Coast and in the Gulf Coast off Florida--and deep offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean. BP (British Petroleum), by the way, is currently spilling oil all over the Alaskan North Slope, where for some unexplained reason they have the drilling rights. BP has a disastrous record when it comes to oil spills and fires and well explosions; yet they'll be in line to pick up more drilling rights if Joe LIEberman's drill-baby-drill bill passes today. Oh JOY! OIL. OIL. OIL.

OIL. It comes from dead matter and it leads to DEATH. How about the DEATH of our environment? How about the DEATH of our natural order of things? How about the DEATH of thousands upon thousands of sea creatures and sea birds! How about the DEATH of our atmosphere? How about the DEATH of us? DEATH rules; LIFE is EVIL.

I just read where in case of a nuclear holocaust (and yes it's a possibility), the animal with the greatest chance of survival--in an almost undisturbed way--is the cockroach. I've heard that all my life but I guess just now our scientists are proving it. Can you imagine grown men nuking cockroach villages and shit in these government-granted research projects in the labs of every major university in this country? Hey, it's good to know cockroaches will one day be the most intelligent LIFE left on the good old earth.

My friends rebuke me as a phony leftwinger who's actually a card-carrying Libertarian. I've often admitted that in college I got into the writings of Frederick Von Hayek and Ludwig Von Mises, known to Sociologists and economists as "The Austrian Economists." I liked their attitudes on Liberty. As to their politics, hell, I never got that deep into them. Besides in those days I was more propelled in politics by the likes of John Stuart Mill--oh, yes, I had problems with some of his politics--his reasoning on WAR for instance, but in his pursuit of individual liberties, he was, though a Brit, very positive and forward thinking. For instance:

Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.

John Stuart Mill
Yeah VERILY, I shout from the Amen Corner. That's my libertarianism. I'm not a Socialist. Hitler and Mussolini were Socialists, weren't they? I'm not a Communist (Karl Marx didn't trust the masses--his own lumpenprolitariat--and said they needed a dictator (an intellect; a philosopher) to rule them until a "workable" system based on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist philosophy could be materialized--something which actually can't happen in communism due to the dictatorship becoming the POWER ELITE--in otherwords, the philosophy's priesthood and royalty. "The will of God or the injunctions of men," that's what I FEAR--that's what wants me DEAD and out of the way of their bulldozer philosophies.

Here's another gem from old John Stuart Mill:

The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.

Another host of Amen, Brothers! I confess I am an individualist. That is the Liberty I expect instinctually, if you will. "Live and Let Live" is my motto--and I know, it's the motto of Lyndon Laroche, too; or George Sowell. But I still declare I AM NOT AN ANYTHING.

I, too, am against big bureaucratic governments, like that which ours has evolved into. I can't stand impositions being put on me by people who because of their political office believe they have an obligation to make me conform to their philosophies--just like a fundie Christian nutjob feels he's under an obligation from a 2,000-year-old man (Jesus, not Mel Brooks) to "spread" this guy's "gospel" throughout the world as intrusively as possible. Yes, I am opposed to government regulations, too, though I am not opposed to We the People putting regulations on any threat to our pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness whether it comes from Congress, the President and his many high-paid sidekicks, the Supreme(ly dumb) Court, the Power Elite (the Leisure Class/the Ruling Class), the Teabaggers, the Religious catch my drift?

I, like Ortega y Gasset and John Stuart Mill, don't trust my fellow man en masse. I can only trust the individuals I have parallel-lined up to, gotten acquainted with, and have come to consider very close friends. And most of those friends, with few exceptions, are looked upon as a wee bit eccentric if not full blown by conformists. And I in turn like John Stuart Mill call my eccentric friends geniuses. I love watching genius at work. Like watching last night a DVD of Oscar Peterson with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen playing live in Norway way back in 1964--at a jazz klub 30 miles out in the country from Oslo--Oscar the genius of the piano, and Ray and Ed geniuses in blending their attuned natures to that of Oscar's, the trio spinning out brilliant cloth that only geniuses can conceive of as a proper fashion.

When am I most independent and at liberty to be myself? When I am on stage performing or when I am writing out these blab(blog)ifications of my thinking ahead and ferreting out reasons that seem to be floating around helter-skelter behind a large cataract of LIES. LIES which prove LIFE is EVIL when TRUTH proves LIFE is BEAUTIFUL and can be richly rewarding in terms of LIFE fulfilled. LIFE is to be worshipped as sacred. LIFE is our only HOPE. If we can live a year longer, why not?

I have been very critical of President Obama and what I think is his continuing on a continuation that is leading to an eventual moment in history when We the People of the USA will no longer count unless we join a TEAM (the "community activist" approach)(the "unification" approach). No TEAM is a winner without outstanding individuals making it so. The New York Yankees currently are without a doubt the best team in baseball and that fact is based on the unbelievable individual career performances of the majority of Yankees players: Derek Jeter, probably the best all-'round player in the game; Alex Rodriguez, without a doubt an outstanding individual player; Mariano Rivera the current best closer ever in baseball; Mark Texiera, before left to wither on the decaying vines of 2nd-division teams like the Texas Rangers, now a viable individual cog in the collective wheel that is the Yankees (The Texas Rangers, don't forget, were once owned by G.W. Bush--yes, our still-living-well-off-the-fat-of-the-land ex-faux president--the little dumb spoiled brat asshole who not only brought down the Texas Rangers, but also brought down the State of Texas, then as faux president the Mighty USA, brought us down to our begging knees); and the amazing Robinson Cano. At the same time you have a TEAM like Baltimore. They are lacklustre and as such are languishing already 14 games behind the league-leading Tampa Bay Righteous Rays--who are only a membrane of a game ahead of the Yankees. Baltimore has no eccentric individualist players on their team. (I haven't commented much on baseball in the past two years. I can't believe it, but baseball today turns me off--oh, this is not to say I don't still watch a game and get excited about it now and then, I do, but damn the way the two New York teams screwed We the Citizens of New York City out of millions of bucks to build their unnecessary new stadiums, one of which is named in honor of the crooked corporation CitiCorp. I first heard this "baseball is a business" concept from Connie Mack, the old owner/manager of the Philadelphia Athletics. Connie Mack admitted he ran the Athletics as a business. He used to buy up a host of the best individual players he could afford, put together a super ballteam, win a pennant, and then put all his great players up for sale the next year when the Athletics would end up in the basement but rich. The Yankees, too, have always been run like a business--by the Rupert Brewing king back in the Ruth days, by Del Webb and a consortium of fat cats (some of whom were related to the Mafia perhaps)--Del Webb who built the famous Desert Inn Hotel (now imploded and gone) in Las Vegas off his Yankees profits; and today by big Al Steinbrenner--George, of course; I mockingly call him Al because they say he's suffering from Alzheimer's pretty bad these days.

Well, I've written myself into a coma. I'm suddenly a blank slate.

I'm crawling back into my cone of silence for awhile and try to see how far I can think ahead without running into a dumbass.

"The masses are asses," Ortega y Gasset and John Stuart Mill said--and so obviously did Karl Marx--and I hate to admit it, but I'm weary of the masses myself, especially of the Teabaggers and the good White folks of Arizona--and I'm sick and tired of the mass media--of mass divisions--of mass ignorance. It's like Ortega y Gasset wrote in Revolt of the Masses, "
With more means at its disposal, more knowledge, more technique than ever, it turns out that the world to-day goes the same way as the worst of worlds that have been; it simply drifts." As an added irony, as much as I ridicule the masses and their romantic intellectualizing, I must admit I find the philosophy of Eric Hoffer, an exact opposite of Ortega y Gasset, fascinating and very interesting in a billiards-ball-going-into-the-future way of thinking.

for The Daily Growler

How About a LIttle Quantum Physics:

In the case of classical physics, it was found that when the systems got very small—about the size of an atom—then the strict deterministic laws of Newton did not work anymore. So, the domain of classical physics was found to be limited to large systems, just as the domain of "flat earth" geometry is limited to small areas. And just as "round earth" geometry can explain everything that "flat earth" geometry explains and more, the quantum physics, too, applies to both the large systems and small atomic systems. It is more general and more comprehensive than classical physics alone.

After choosing a system to study, the next step in describing the world is to determine the state of the system. In the case of classical physics, the state is quite simple: the state at any given moment is the set of positions and velocities of the objects in the system. If we are considering the solar system, for example, then the state would be given by the positions and velocities of all the planets in their orbits. Likewise, the state of a system of two billiard balls would be given by the position and velocity of each ball. So for any given system, it can exist in many different possible states: the two balls can be close together and at rest, they can be far away and moving quickly, one can be moving and the other at rest, and so on. If, for the sake of simplicity, we consider just their positions in one dimension, then every possible state of the two billiard balls can be represented as a point in a two-dimensional graph, plotting the position of one ball on the x-axis and the position of the other ball on the y-axis. So by just specifying a point, we know the state of our system. We can call this the "state-point."

Given any initial state, the classical laws will then tell us how the two balls will move in the future. Thus, the state-point will move around on the plane, following a curve corresponding to the state-points at each instant in time. There are two important features of this movement which we should point out. First, the movement of the state-point is smooth and continuous: neither of the balls suddenly "jumps" from one place to another, causing a break in the line. This means that once any state-point is known, the whole curve of future and past state-points is totally determined. If we know where the balls are now, we can predict with certainty where they were or will be. Second, the state-point represents the actual state of the system, the state that we would observe were we to look. So when we observe the two balls, we can directly observe the state, and this does not change it at all. For example, if you were to look at the two billiard balls, this observation would not change their locations.


No, NO, NO, Obama, not another short fat New Yorker woman on the Supremely Dumb Court--especially not this Harvard Law nonjudicial type, Elena "Butterball" Kagan. I mean if a woman can't judge her own health fairly--how's she gonna deal with Constitutional Law, whatever that is. And look who she's replacing. Obama is a Rightwinger--Mixed-Race America's Half-White G.W. Bush--hell, he's no different--What's he done that's different? Name it and claim it. I, like the Wolf Man, despise the Teabagger's, but they've struck upon a big hypocritical weakness of our masses: they are dumber than ever; scared to death; and weak-kneed when it comes to innovation or desperately needed change. Miss Kagan is like putting another Miss Sotamayor on that so LIFE giving or LIFE taking away court. Sorry, I've a prejudice against disheveled looking women, especially if they're making a LIFE or DEATH judgment against me.

from his yacht stuck tight in the Gulf Coast oil spill.

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