I was just testing Phoenix...
 But it didn't work.  So here's my same post from the LJ browser entry mode.  Let's see how this works...

This is a simple test post from my new Phoenix software. Here's an excerpt from my short story version of "The Legacy of Ernst Brandt":

Friends Are Good

The year is 2047 and Ernst is 33 years old. Ernst is told to be patient once more, after being passed over for advancement. But patience is no virtue according to Ernst’s way of thinking. So Ernst is emptying his desk and packing up his things. His intention is to submit his resignation and leave by the end of the day. The phone rings. Ernst sees that it’s Francoise, so he puts on his happy face, and answers.

“Oh, hello Francoise”, said Ernst. “I can’t thank you enough for returning my call. You were my last hope.”

“So clear something up for me Ernst”, said Francoise. “Did you get fired or something?”

“No, not that”, said Ernst. “It’s just that business here at Kamedisc isn’t as good as I’d hoped. And, well… to be honest, I’ve been hearing such good things recently about Wolf Industries that I decided to look you up and see if there was anything you could do for me.”

“Didn’t you say you were leaving Kamedisc?”, asked Francoise.

“Yes. Today as a matter of fact”, replied Ernst.

“And you’re only now just getting around to finding another job?”, said Francoise.

“Well, I have some savings that I can live off for awhile”, said Ernst. “So, it’s not that I’m desperate or anything.”

“Didn’t you just call me your last hope?”, asked Francoise.

“Look, Francoise, do you know of any openings at Wolf or not”, said Ernst. “If you don’t, then that’s fine. I’ll look elsewhere. It’s not like I can’t find a job. I just thought it would be nice to work with you, my old friend.”

“If I remember correctly”, said Francoise, “the last time we saw each other, we didn’t leave on the best of terms.”

“Yes, yes”, said Ernst. “And I’m very sorry for that. Ashamed actually.”

“Hmmm, the voice sounds familiar”, said Francoise, “but Ernst would never apologize. Are you really Ernst Brandt?”

“Dammit Francoise…”, said Ernst. “Do you want me to beg?”

“That’s more like it”, said Francoise. “Now I’m certain you’re Ernst.”

“Always with the jokes Francoise”, said Ernst.

“Always so serious, Ernst”, said Francoise. “O.K. I do know of an opening and it’s in my department actually. One of my engineers just quit. Left for Kamedisc as a matter of fact. I’d be happy to have you replace him. I think it presents the perfect symmetry to make my day.”

“Really?”, said Ernst. “I mean you’re not kidding?”

“Really… no kidding”, said Francoise. “Can you meet me in Barcelona, next week?”

“Excellent”, said Ernst. “Just name the time and place.”

“I’ll get things set up here first”, said Francoise. “Then I’ll get back to you with the specifics.”

“I’m looking forward to it”, said Ernst.

“As am I”, said Francoise. “Good bye for now.”

“So long”, said Ernst.

The two acquaintances disconnected and Ernst reverted. “That wasn’t so hard”, said Ernst. “I thought for sure the two of us would end up in another argument. I wonder who it is that came over here from Wolf.”

Ernst got onto the network and searched the HR database for new hires who worked at Wolf industries. There were quite a few but only one from Barcelona. His name was Oscar Singh.

“Hmmm, this Singh fellow has an interesting background”, thought Ernst. “He seems to be an expert in the field of mind-machine interfaces. Is that what Francoise is doing now I wonder.”

Ernst continues perusing the data on Oscar Singh and discovers some amazing facts about the man.

Singh’s only 22 and his IQ is 194”, thought Ernst. “And he’s received two doctorates already. Why was he working for Wolf Industries? But more importantly, why did he leave? There’s much more to this man. I must find out why Singh left Wolf to work at Kamedisc.”

Ernst brought his packed things out to his vehicle and returned to the office to submit his resignation. Ernst was disappointed, but not surprised, that his boss didn’t beg him to stay.
That evening, Ernst received a communication from Francoise. The message relayed the date, time, and location of his new job.

The next day, Ernst settled things with his landlord and got on the highway to Barcelona. Once in Barcelona, Ernst found his way to his new apartment and settled in. Ernst tried to access the network at Kamedisc in order to do more research on Singh but Ernst’s access had already been deleted.

Public access was useless since it contained only superficial information on any individual’s background. Ernst was becoming obsessed with Singh but there was no way for him to quench his thirst for information until he started his new job with Francoise, next week.

Ernst even tried to get into his new office early but was notified that his security clearance isn’t scheduled to be vetted until next week. So Ernst was forced to wait, which was something he was incapable of doing gracefully. Ernst just couldn’t let go of his obsessions which meant that he would spend the rest of the week stewing over his lack of access and wondering what secrets lay behind the superficial details of Oscar Singh.

The following morning, when Ernst checked his messages, he found a collection of electronic documents detailing Oscar Singh’s life history. Every question Ernst had about the enigmatic Oscar Singh was answered except for one.

How can I use Singh to help me get ahead?”, wondered Ernst.

But then other questions came to Ernst’s mind. Who sent him these documents?

“But more important, how did they know I wanted to know about Singh?”, wondered Ernst.

But that question would haunt Ernst for a very long time.


Control Freakonomics
Control Freakonomics

This morning, I’ve been reading a couple of things that got me thinking. The first thing was Kai Krause’s answer to the question asked in the book “This Will Change Everything”. That question is “What game-changing scientific ideas and developments do you expect to live to see?”
Kai’s answer was an observation of how part of the human condition is to be driven to constantly change things. Kai’s final recommendation was to relax and enjoy what is. The upshot is that the only real change would be if the human race stopped changing everything all the time.
The other thing I read was an article on “” which told about the findings of some German Physicists who punched a number of holes in the climate-change claims of human activity causing global warming. Of course that got me thinking about what this whole process is all about.
My theory is that it’s an expression of part of the human psyche that develops into obsessive-compulsive disorder which causes people to become control freaks. This dovetails into what I saw in Kai Krause’s statements as well. That’s because when you look at the solutions proposed by the climate control proponents, it focuses on fundamentally transforming the world economy.
Ultimately what these people are saying is that the world is in such severe and imminent risk due to global warming, that only by giving ourselves over to their world domination will we survive. Phew! That sounds pretty serious to me. I apologize... my sarcasm piqued just then.
Anyway, my point is that given the human nature of constantly changing things and in the worst cases trying to dominate and control every action of every person in the world, Kai Krause’s advise is starting to sound pretty valid to me. I mean when you start talking about world domination, that’s scary! It’s also absurd.
But I’m not going to try to debate their views and methods. Instead, it got me thinking about writing a parody in the vein of a Saturday Night Live skit where someone in the audience gets up and calls Al Gore on his dreams of world domination. Of course Al denies it but the person persists by telling Al that the only true secrets in life are the lies we tell ourselves and that only by acknowledging his innermost desires can Al hope to achieve the peace and happiness he seeks. At this point Al sees the wisdom in this and he goes into his briefcase and pulls out some BDSM paraphernalia and a blow-up globe. Then he acts out his world domination into a giddy frenzy before realizing he needs a “safe” word. Someone in the audience suggests “Gaia”, to which Al smiles and says that it worked. Then Al thanks the audience for allowing him his indulgence and especially thanks the person who suggested he come clean. Before leaving the stage Al says “I apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused with my untruths.” The scene ends with Al Gore leaving the stage happily introspective to the great applause of the audience.
Brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it. Al Gore’s liberated from his angst and the world is liberated by the truth. We should all be so lucky.

I subscribe to a mail list called "Beliefnet Buddhist Wisdom."  This is their website :

This morning they sent me this quote:

Where is thought?  It can never be seen or even apprehended.  It is like a magical illusion, for with imagination it colors the world.  Searching for thought, unable to see it, a person looks for its origin.  And it seem to be that where there is an object, thought arises.  Thought does not arise without an object.  Can thought look at thought?  No.  Just as a blade of a sword cannot cut itself, or a fingertip touch itself, so thought cannot see thought.


Which got me thinking...

What is thought?  Is thought reality?  Or is thought a reflex originating out of our central nervous system in response to reality?  It's easy for us to "think" that our thoughts at least mirror reality but I've found that it's not necessarily so.  In fact, our thoughts are more an expression of our world view; our interpretation of reality, if you will, instead of a true reflection of reality.  

Our thoughts reveal our biases, how our minds filter reality to fit our predetermined conclusions.  We've already decided that our interpretation of reality is accurate and true and all experiences of reality fit our interpretation exactly.  Except when it doesn't.  Then we become delighted, surprised, frustrated, confused, angry, or fearful.  I think it's better to appreciate reality in it's purest form and not allow oneself to become overly involved in the mind's machinations as it struggles to make reality conform to our comfortable and orderly perspective.

Yet, in the final analysis, there is a holistic nature to reality which includes our perceptions and interpretations of it.  Thus just as form is void and void is form, reality embraces thought and thought conforms to reality.


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