Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Revered Doctor Bill

Sitting in the truck in a mini truck stop off I-40 at the Crawford, I guess it is, exit...just west of Greensboro...I am picking up a load of plastic pipe that goes to four stops in Ohio, starting tomorrow morning. It's 6:23 local time. I have a 10 a.m. loading appointment, actually, a rarity for flatbed trucking.

Anyway, fooling around with the new Apple I-book -- I'm still at the point of trying to figure out the difference between Apple and Macintosh.

I wrote some when I first sat down back here in my projected book Faith and Belief...I was trying to

outline it, or get a good sense of what I want to accomplish with it, really.  I toyed with some opening dialogue, a few graphs. The problem I was working with was trying to strike a balance between attacking the clergy (and the Bible, later on) without attacking Faith...that is, attacking belief and leaving faith. Perhaps I should state plainly that that is what I'm doing.

When I say 'attack the Bible' I mean the way the Bible gets used. I don't mean to attack it but I might as well put it that way, because I sure will be taken that way.

The Bible, of course, is of man. Anything like that is, and once you accept that, it's a lot easier to make sense of it. And then there's no problem with the contradictions it contains, and all the other that people criticize it for. The violence, the sexism, all of it.

And when I say 'attack the cleregy' one thing I mean is that it was the clergy that came up with this idea that the Bible is the verbatim word of God. It isn't. There's no reason to think it is. Martin Luther, the founder of Protestantism, didn't think so, yet it was Protestant clergy, after him, who made up that concept. There are reasons they did that, which I will be going into in the book, but the most important one is that it makes it easier to pretend you speak for God. Once you have established that what you have in your hands is the word of God you are half way there. You still have to win arguments over the interpretation of what is there, but it's easier to do that than to argue theory -- that is, to argue the concepts, themselves, that the Bible addresses.

In the end it's about power. The politics of religion. And the racket part.

The Bible is the normative text, is all you can say. It's a guide book. It's some of the accumulated wisdom of some people who have thought about spiritual things. Not all, but it gives you a good idea of where the West stands, and where it comes from and where it's coming from.

But when I say I want to attack the clergy, I mean in the sense that it's a racket -- it's a peer group and like any -- lawyers, doctors -- the behavior of individuals can be seen through the prism of group behavior, along with the individual's behavior. Any group like that seeks to legitimize itself, perpetuate itself, and protect itself, i.e., not only its existence but its perks and privileges. It must.

Not that I don't admire the clergy. It takes a lot of guts to do that in this world. But as to what I am talking about they are blind, as well they should be.

Jesus talked a lot about the clergy in this regard. He was all over them all the time. And nothing has changed because nothing has changed. Human nature, and therefore group behavior, remain the same.

I will be working on that and perhaps be able to bring this web log up to date. I see that my last entry was 12 days ago, and then it was just a picture. As for what has happened since then you will have to guess, because that is what I am having to do.

I guess too that I didn't mention that the computer quit working and I have got me a new one. That's the third Windows machine that has gone down under in what, probably three years. So I am trying the Apple. They are supposed to be well built and hopefully it will hold up to the jostling around and vibration, whichever it is that makes these cheap ass Windows machines not last very long out here.

So far the Apple is nice, I guess I would call it. Not much difference actually but it is more user friendly, as they say. Easier to do things on. I suppose because the software is better. And the hardware, and the design aspects.

I was running the other day and I remembered this old fart who wrote a column for my hometown paper... once he described himself as a Windows fan. Windows had just come out and he had got hisself enthralled. But when I was running it occurred to me that when Bill Gates thought up the name Windows he must have been tripping on window pane acid. LSD. He was of that milieu and Silicon Valley is right out there near the heart of where all that went on, so it very well could be that the inspiration for an operating system came during a session of highly heightened enlightened awareness. At MIT though.

Or rather, the inspiration to just take source code other people had made up, as I read now and then. You can find all kinds of discussion about this on the Internet and Apple filed a a lawsuit once over it once but I don't even remember the details. But what is absolutely certain is that Bill Gates then got very wealthy by signing all those proprietary contracts with computer manufacturers that add a hundred or two to the cost of every computer with Windows in it, and now gets a lot of credit for giving back a penny or two out of every hundred -- gives back a few pennies out of every hundred dollars, not every dollar. mind you -- including a lot of money he spends to support this project directed at ending public education in America, called charter schools.

The people behind that are not the well meaning teachers and administrators who are running it down at the school level. They are just trying to come up with solutions to the very problems that were caused by the people who are behind it. The underfunding of public schools, which is a perennial favorite Republican project that was greatly accelerated by Ronald Reagan, is what causes the problems that charter schools are trying to address. That and the relentless, savage, and ongoing attack on the teacher's unions, which continues under Mr hope and change Mr Obama.

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