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Get Off Facebook

 

I meant to write this one out last week, but it kept slipping my mind.

I could scroll the latest headlines and show you how your local police are monitoring your Facebook account, and yes, they do it here too. I could tell you all about how they openly data-mine you (with no intention of stopping) and use your information to sell to third party advertisers, or how Facebook is alleged to be tied with the C.I.A. I could go on for a while here. Or, you could look into it yourself.

Recently, the local police here tracked a whole drug cartel through Facebook. If you take a look at these dealers' pages, some of them you'd know, some are even your "friends". How does that make you feel, potentially being a cog in an e-trap? And not even getting any credit! Did you think when they asked your age/sex/birthday/high school/friends/e-mail list/ etc, etc that they were asking that because they wanted to help you meet people? Are you crazy?

About a year ago, after realizing the direction things are heading with social networking sites, I deleted my Facebook account (despite what some may think) - so if there is anything there with my name on it, it's not me because - I'm not there. Long story short, get off Facebook. I mean, when you see Facebook partnered with CNN, streaming your comments beside live news (which you best believe are categorized and scanned over later), doesn't that tell you something?

When you can be served legal documents by a court through a social networking website, and it's approved by your local court as legally binding... it really has to make you question your internet anonymity. I'd advise to simply limit your profile information, but in the end, it wouldn't matter if they already have it before you limited it, along with your IP address, and all your "friends" on a list.

Using the "I'm not doing anything wrong so I have nothing to be afraid of" logic is the same downward spiral Orwellian lie that was sold to the United States with the Patriot Act, but on Facebook, there didn't even have to be an imposed imaginary threat for you to give up your civil liberties for the "greater good". It's genius.

Whatever Facebook started out as, it's not that anymore. Get off Facebook. Delete your account. Trust me on this one, it's only going to get worse.

 

Related, see "Social Networking".

You Asked What The Meaning Of Life Is

 

That's the beauty of knowing what you want...

Nerds On Powertrips

 

Nerds on powertrips can sure be annoying. It looks like this once, I agree with Jay Rockefeller.

In the words of Ricky from Trailer Park Boys, "What goes around is all around". Take care.

Who Owns What - Continued

 

There's a few things that I have on my mind to write about today. One is to continue on the topic of ownership. As I've said in the past, ownership is a broad topic, and there are multiple layers of this cake one could muse over. Of particular interest to me on the topic of ownership; cars, land, houses, and music. Broadly speaking, ownership is a semantics game, and "My" and "Mine" are delusional fabrications - at least in my opinion.

When you ask someone if they own their car, if they are leasing it, or on a payment plan through their bank, they will usually answer that they own it. The truth is, if they miss enough payments (which I have seen multiple cases of in my time working with car dealerships) the car will be repossessed. Who owns a repo'd car? Without getting into it too much further, the bottom line is, the bank owns your car until you have fully paid it off. What's more, without gas, mechanical upkeep, and insurance payments - do you own the car, or does the car own you? If you are constantly serving something or someone, are you the "owner" or are you the servant/slave?

When it comes to land, at least in this country, the Queen of England owns everything, and if you want to fight her for ownership, then I suppose you should start there. Most all of Planet Earth's conflicts have been waged over land ownership (as I am learning more about in The New Penguin History Of The World by J.M Roberts). Outside the technicalities of the Queen owning the land "your" house is sitting on, when we die, do we still own the land? When we pass away, the land that we "owned" upon our death will in most cases be willed to someone else - which begs the question; What is ownership? In this case, ownership is likened more to graffiti than to indefinite permanence . 

When it comes to home ownership, I think it's pretty obvious that the majority of people who live in houses aren't homeowners. More often than not, they are renters or leasers.  Another way to look at it is, consider for a moment all those "homeowners" who were displaced after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans;

"There are 15,000 buildings that the city says must be demolished for public safety reasons. That's just in New Orleans. To many whose homes were devastated, demolition brings more peace of mind than holding onto a house that they can't afford to fix."

Ownership, in their case, doesn't really mean much, other than a horrible memory, and a financial headache - to say the least. My point is, at best homeownership is temporal, and when people use the term ownership, they usually aren't thinking in temporal terms.

More intriguing to me personally  is music ownership. If I write a song and perform all the instruments, I own the song - right? Not technically, because I can sell the rights, a record label or individual can buy the rights, or I can have multiple people involved in the songs creation and distribution, which would split the song ownership several ways potentially. Changing gears, and hopefully without giving you too much of a headache, consider this; if there is an Omniscient Higher Power, that Higher Power could technically of hummed out every part of our National Anthem before this continent was ever colonized by Europeans. Now, if an Omniscient Higher Power knows everything, then it stands to reason that He/She knows every song ever written, and can perform them at will - thus bringing into question the individual artists "ownership" of the song. In that case, it would be more appropriate to say that the artist brings the song into being, moreso than creates it. Maybe Keith Richards can explain what I'm trying to say better than I can;

"I receive and transmit-it's that simple. If I actually believe I created something, I'd be in big fucking trouble. There's no godhead ego, I don't believe in the grand bold type "WRITTEN BY KEITH RICHARDS." I just pick up the songs and pass them on. They aren't mine, they're everybody's. To me, the best songs are the ones that come to you in dreams. I wake up, put it down on a cassette next to the bed, turn over and go back to sleep. I wrote "Satisfaction" that way. " - Keith Richards

Another musician who either reads my scribbles, or picks up on the same ideas I do (equally intriguing and humbling either way), thought it was well described this way.

That's a heavy topic to ponder I suppose, and I won't write about it much more today. Do some research if you are interested, you will find many artists over the years claiming influence from higher powers. I enjoy bouncing the idea off my musician friends now and then.

Zooming back out a bit, ownership, as I said previously, is a semantics game. If you believe in all the millions of people who have come and gone on this earth, and all the people who are still yet to come, and everyone who thought they owned this or that, in that context the idea of ownership doesn't hold much water. As I've said, it's a topic I've spent some time pondering. And last of all for today's attempt at tackling the subject, if you believe there is a Higher Power, or Creative Power that exists, then I suppose you have to credit all ownership of all things seen and unseen to that Higher Power. Checkmate.

Another thing I wanted to write about today is my diet. I don't eat pork. I just wanted to say that out loud and put it out in the open. I haven't in almost 10 years. I don't consider it the cornerstone of my, or any faith, but depending on your surroundings, some personal choices can be anywhere from easy to downright impossible to follow. Two of the three main world religions; Islam and Judaism don't eat pork, and neither do I. Not eating pork brings me various daily challenges, what with living in Canada, but nothing terribly upsetting. The greatest challenge for me personally is how I feel when I am the centre of a hosts attention for my diets sake, or when I can't eat what other people are eating, and feel like a tool. Other than pork, I don't eat lobster, crab, muscles, cat, or dog. Basically, I try to eat Kosher. At first when I decided to stop eating pig, it was shocking to me to find out how many things are made of it; Pepperoni, Ham, Salami, Hot Cappicola, Pork Chops, Bologna, Pastrami, Bacon, Lard, Gelatin (used in Jell-O, Yogurt, and most all soft candy), Street-Meat -99% of the time, etc etc. 

Long story short, swine is everywhere in Canada. I could go on about why I don't eat it and all my personal reasons, this and that, but I'd rather not get into that today. In short though, I've devoted a chunk of my life to reading religious literature, including various translations of what is erroneously referred to as "the bible" front to back several times, and it became axiomatic to me that people who seek after YHWH don't eat pig, so I stopped. I figured if the Creator of the Universe is telling me not to eat something, then it may be a good idea to listen. Lots of other reasons came after, but that was the start of it, in all honesty. Coincidentally, it's a great bridge-maker with Muslims, and probably deserves some credit for my longstanding relationship with the many Muslims I know. Call me crazy, I've heard it before. Eminem thinks I'm beautiful, and that's all that mathers (zing!). Maybe I will go into further detail about all things dietary some other time. As Gord put it, "There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do."

On a totally unrelated topic, I just finished posting all the songs from Halo Engage up in the music section, by request. Enjoy.

Who Owns King David's Mosquitos?

 

Continuing a thought from my last entry, I was reading some psalms this morning and it seems King David (King of Israel 1000–970 BC) had his own mosquitoes to deal with, but he put it this way:

"Hear a just cause, O YHWH, attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips. Let my vindication come from your presence; let Your eyes look on the things that are upright. You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer. Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip. I have called upon You, for you will hear me, O Elohim; incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech. Show Your marvelous loving-kindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You from those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me. They have closed up their fat hearts; with their mouths they speak proudly. They have now surrounded us in our steps; they have set their eyes crouching down to the earth. As a lion is eager to tear his prey, and like a young lion lurking in the secret places. Arise, O YHWH, confront him, cast him down; deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword. With Your hand from men, O YHWH, from men of the world who have their portion in this life, and whose belly You fill with Your hidden treausre. They are satisfied with children, and leave the rest of their possession for their babes. As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness." - Psalm 17.

While we're pulling out the psalms, here's a line I've always enjoyed: 

"The earth is YHWH's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters." - Psalm 24.

What I find funny is, if you go to whoownstheworld.com you won't see any Higher Powers on the list of owners of the world.  Ownership is an entire other subject I suppose, and one which I have spent much time musing over. If you check out that site there, you see that currently the Queen of England-Queen Elizabeth II, technically owns Canada. It's kind of a head scratcher, seeing as how home owners and business owners think they themselves own their land and homes.

"The ownership factor is 1. The Queen is the sole legal owner of all the land of Canada. The private “holdership” factor, based on freehold tenure of housing is 67%. For all other land it is less than 9.7%, with over 90% of Canadian land remaining as Crown leasehold, administered for the Crown by various agencies and departments of the government of Canada."

Freehold tenure. That's a clever way of saying "you actually don't own anything".

So who owns the world? I suppose it should all come down to a fist-fight between Queen Elizabeth, all the home and land "owners", and King David's Higher Power. Or, we can all just be wiped out by a phony flu, and then whoever is left standing can worry about who owns what.

Ding!