Category Archives: What’s Up

A flare for things unusual in gadgetry and technology.

Symbols of Disunity

“The War Between the States,” was fought between the United States of America and the Confederate States of America. The CSA was a collection of eleven southern states who left the Union in 1860 and 1861 and formed their own country in order to protect their continued usage of the institution of slavery.

Slaves were considered property, and the southern breakaway states believed the federal government had gone too far in it’s desire to abolish slavery universally as has had Great Britain in 1833. The south believed the rights of individual states to control commerce superceded national authority. Slavery was a component of commerce, not in its entirety, but an essential component to their financial system.

At this point, 155 years after the end of the Civil War between the states, we still seem unsettled as to the cause of the war and what it meant years later.

Without going into all the historical complexities as well as which party is to blame, let’s consider what it means for those who may have descended from slave roots.


Civil War flags 1861-65

I’m not going to pretend for a moment that I represent a group or speak with authority on this topic, but it seems to me, the debate over the display of the Confederate flag in an official capacity at a national public event like NASCAR is cut and dry.

The Confederate flag can’t seem to be a unifying symbol to people of color. It was carried as a battlefield symbol by the South to preserve their rights as slave owners. It was really more of a wealthy enterprise symbol of power in the south which many non-slave owners still supported, both in the south and the north.

To me, I think it’s about time we discard symbols of separation and disunity, as well as oppression of other people. If you insist on your right to display symbols of the Confederacy, Nazism, or similar, then do so within your own property and not at a sporting event or on a government building.

Confederate battle flags used in Civil War

I know there are strong opinions about this, but I believe it’s time to put away our symbols of hatred towards others, which is certainly seen by many people as just a symbolic extension of the people of one color dominating the lives and freedom of another.

Aa long as I’m probably upsetting more than a few people with my opinion, lets briefly touch on another similar topic.

The indigenous people of North America, have long been recipients of destructive politics, segregation, and oppression. We’ve become so culturally insensitive in so many instances that we ignore even fundamental labels of this latent hostility toward those people who occupied this land before the 1600’s & 1700’s influx of European settlers.

I’m referring to recognizable labels of this denigration, The Washington Redskins. There’s nothing ennobling about that team’s name. If Washington DC wants to shed it’s cultural insensitive nature, it can start by renaming its football team.


How Do You Know?

One of the least favorite comments or observations I heard someone say to me; “perceptions are reality.”

On its first pass, the phrase sounds hollow or trite. My mind wanted to reject it out of hand knowing that perceptions often have little to do with facts or logic.

Nonetheless I’ve come to accept it. The core of our values, our politics, our life partners, all revolve around our minds perception to what we are taught, repeat, and associate with what others believe.

There are many lessons I’ve been reluctantly taught from this phrase. Here are a couple observations.

Suicide: whatever the circumstances, whomever that person knew, the conditions that brought that person to the point of ending their own life, is a difficult thing to grasp. It shakes our foundation but the thing we haven’t a clue on most of the time, what drove them to that point? Once again I’m reminded, perception is reality. Theirs was one of anguish.

Relationships: I could write a book or two on this topic just from my own experience. If the phrase, “love is blind”, is familiar, I might also suggest deaf as a post, too. Whenever you read someone’s explanation, no matter how clinical, or how emotional, there’s little reason to think that we can fully understand it, but again, “perceptions are reality.” What may start as a hot fire of unimaginable joy, may end in distant coolness or outright hatred. Same people but again, perceptions.

I won’t touch politics with this one, but it’s sufficient to say, look around social media for awhile. See what people are saying about the same person(s). Both sides may think the other has totally lost their marbles.

Perception Is Not Reality
Just because you think something is reality doesn’t make it so.

Startling as that may seem to some people, there’s ample evidence to show, people may react, believe, or think something is true, but in fact, it’s not.

Perception acts as a lens through which we view reality. That lens can become more distorted from a variety of causes. The mind can be manipulated and often is through deliberate strategies, most of those accomplished through repetition.

An example, we don’t have to struggle to believe in gravity. It’s readily apparent. There’s no need to hold regular meetings, or claim group membership is necessary to further its reality.

You can lead a person to knowledge but you can’t make them think. Beliefs are stronger than facts” ~ Anonymous

There are many who self-sabotage their future health, happiness, or longevity based on delusions or distrust in their own abilities.

What we can and should do, is be willing to realize our thoughts maybe wrong. Realignment with reality is difficult when our entire life has been altered by others or our own choices.

Sometimes our most closely held beliefs or or analysis is fundamentally flawed, and may require outside resources to aid in our ability to see things as they are, not necessarily as we want them to be.

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Perish the Thought

Fire And Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

by Robert Frost
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963 / San Francisco)