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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

“Being President above All Is a Humbling Job” ....(B Obama)

For the last month, I have been exposed to an unusual measure of personal anxiety.  A routine blood test revealed the presence of a protein that is a possible indicator of bone marrow cancer.  An oncologist directed that I take a battery of test including a complete bone survey using imaging technology.  On completion of this survey, a presiding technician who had been viewing the images as the examination progressed showed so much compassion—putting on my shoes, attaching my necklace, even correctly positioning my eyeglasses—that I was certain that the x-rays must have revealed an obviously abnormal bone condition.

Last Thursday I returned to the office of Dr. Ahmad Shaker, the oncologist, to hear the results of all the tests.  As is often the case, the congenial work environment of the staff was plainly evident.  The graciousness, authenticity, helpfulness, and cheerfulness of the staff was a sure signal that their boss was not a Hitler.

Connie was with me for the appointment in case I should need the buttressing of compassionate empathy should the news be bad.  Soon we were summoned from the waiting room.  Connie was in her transport wheelchair.  I was wearing sandals.  On maneuvering through a tight area in the waiting room, my left big toenail caught on wheelchair apparatus. It hurt, but the pain was not significant.   Waiting for the doctor in the exam room, however, we looked down and a large pool of blood surrounded my sandal.  The doctor came in as I was using paper towels to wipe of the blood.  He at once said, “That’s OK I will take care of it.”
He put on gloves, and with paper towels finished wiping up the blood.  Then he asked me to raise my foot.  He carefully cleaned the injured toe and bandaged it.  He then wrapped my entire foot.  His readiness to help and his congeniality and humility greatly impressed me. As a fully accredited oncologist and hematologist, surely staff could mop up blood and bandage a toe.  While he had my foot in his hand and was carefully wrapping my toe, a strong and warm feeling of being cared for, even loved, came over me.  (When I was a kid and Daddy would buy me shoes, he would always bend down and press the tip of my shoe to make sure that my toes had room.  He would look up directly at me and ask “Is this OK?)”.  (By the way, as for the tests, no cancer was found.)

Sometimes it is necessary for a leader (for example, an American President) to lay out facts in a forceful and even somber manner.  But it is also surely the role of a leader to faithfully communicate to others the compassion and willingness to serve (the care, the love) of the those he represents.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Dunce Cap of Prejudice

Those who proselytize prejudice never seem to count the costs of prejudice:

Some would argue that the infliction of pain and suffering represents the greatest evil of prejudice.  This pain socially and individually has three dimensions--physical, mental, and spiritual (all moral considerations).   This fallout of prejudice when empathy is present can arouse widespread sadness.

But as a true American I must admit it is the impracticality of prejudice that drives me bonkers.  The very idea that we would write off even one individual as having nothing to offer--except as conforms to our sick fantasies--boggles the mind as to its utter stupidity and impracticality.  Let us say that we are in a bad way and in desperate need for insight; say, how to get unstuck from (fill in the blank).  Certainly the society that has assiduously cultivated to the maximum extent possible its entire inventory of human talent, encouraged a can-do spirit of hope and optimism, has manifested a readiness to share and receive, and knows from experience the satisfaction of shared participation and accomplishment—such a society is surely much less likely to stay stuck in the mud.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Thank You Mr. President

Thank you President Trump for singing from the hymnbook today that most moves my heart.  I certainly do not think America owns the intellectual rights to common respect and kindness--though like many others I am grateful for our founding documents that inextricably intertwine business rules and regs with provisions for the deepest needs of the human heart--the principal need of which is for each person to be graced with love--not as an expendable state reward for some notoriety they may have received--but from our Creator duly recognized in the Declaration as the final governing authority. We especially are to cherish the spirit manifest in the Bill of Rights.  Love being the Creator's principal gift, we can spot would-be charlatans who care more about selfish gain than the wise nurturing of the commonweal.

Yes, President Trump I agree that all want to be special--in some sense great. It's uncanny how Greatness often has Generosity as its closest friend.  A moment of greatness can be seen in video below:


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Zero’s and Won’s


According to Neil Sloane, an ATT Fellow who co-edited [Claude] Shannon's large collection of papers in 1993, the perspective introduced by Shannon's communication theory (now called information theory) is the foundation of the digital revolution, and every device containing a microprocessor or microcontroller is a conceptual descendant of Shannon's publication in 1948. 


I am one of those fortunate individuals to have experienced in various ways the mental addiction that comes from “connecting the dots”. This phenomenon can induce a powerful and addictive high.  In climatic manic states, I have found myself in mental hospitals (or jail).  In my first admission into a mental hospital, I was sitting in a waiting area and took from a nearby table a pamphlet on alcohol addiction.  Someone sitting next to me pointed directly at me and offered that my own condition was much like an addiction.  I dismissed it then—to my great disadvantage

It seems to me that ideologies--political, philosophic, or religious—share at base the digital bimodal structure of a bit.  In the case of prejudice, I am white and you are black is captured by the severest and most universal addictive engine known to man—the free radical tautology “me good; you bad.” It can be argued that tool-making humanity with all the leverage that implies will survive only if and when this engine is tamed.

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