January 7th, 2021


Self-Awareness Question: Ego

Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. This is the current list on self-awareness.

64. Do you think your ego gets in the way?

Not in the way of things I care about.

"I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is. I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat."
-- Rebecca West

Extinctions and Humanity in Perspective

The first time someone discovered fire, it wasn't us, and it wiped out almost all life on Earth.  The cyanobacteria figured out how to harness the power of the sun, which allowed them to live faster and better than their anaerobic competitors.  The cyanobacteria took in carbon dioxide and farted out oxygen.  They farted so much oxygen that they obliterated the biosphere in a cataclysm that makes the Great Dying look like a scraped knee.  The Farting Oxygen Event is the biggest extinction, but rarely counted as such.  Only a few anaerobes survived, those that found refuges to protect them against the miasma of deadly oxygen.

To us, oxygen is the stuff of life.  Almost everything around us -- all the stuff we commonly think of as "the biosphere" -- exists because of that lethal discovery.  Every time the biosphere gets whacked down, it comes back with something bigger and better, like an artist who's had way too much espresso and probably also a few joints of weed considering the platypus.

Humans are causing the Anthropocene Extinction.  This sucks, in the sense of losing so much of our favorite wildlife.  We should do what we can to stop having all the impact of a comet smacking into the planet.  But we're not the first species to destroy the biosphere, and in fact, we haven't even come close to touching that record.  We've just made a big mess.

But it's okay too, because every time the slate gets wiped mostly clean, Gaia paints something even more spectacular on it.  Imagine her with 6 paintbrushes pinning up her long green hair, and a cup that says PAINT WATER beside one that says COFFEE.  Because evolution is like watercolor: no matter what happens, it's going to be fascinating to find out.
gold star

John Dillermand


Denmark has released a new cartoon for children, John Dillermand. The title character has an elastic and prehensile penis which he uses to do all manner of things. It looks pretty much like something you'd see in Terramagne, a whimsical tale about a man "differently blessed below the belt" who is determined to make good use of what God has given him. \o/ It's also not wholly original: there are Coyote and His Penis stories from all over Turtle Island, and there are Indian ascetics who stretch the penis to render it nonfunctional. I am deeply amused to see Denmark joining the crowd.

I really, really, hope this cartoon makes it to video.

Poem: "A Good Day to Roam"

This poem came out of the January 5, 2021 Poetry Fishbowl. It was prompted and sponsored by [personal profile] kyleri. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

"A Good Day to Roam"
-- an indriso

[Saturday, June 20, 2015]

When Keras and Marmalade take a walk,
The farmer's market is busy and sweet.
It seems everyone they meet wants to talk

About all the good things they've brought to eat
With every red round and leafy green stalk.
They fill the booths and spill into the street.

The sun's getting warmer. They don't go home.

It's summertime, and a good day to roam.

* * *


The indriso is a Spanish form of poetry, essentially a condensed sonnet. Like a haiku, it excels at capturing a snapshot of a moment in time, but has more room for reflection.

Ames Window Illusion

This video beautifully illustrates that what we perceive isn't always true.  It's a reminder that consciousness is often more about interpretation than perception.

In case you're curious, I can see the window rotating when the view pulls back a bit and provides other contexts.  In a closeup, it usually seems to oscillate.  I have an easier time seeing the egg shape rotating.

I have long had a habit of staring at visual gimmicks like this and trying to jump back and forth between seeing them one way and then another -- literally, mental gymnastics, like hopping back and forth between two squares on a playground.  My brain is my playground.