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Archive for February, 2012

Update of Sorts

Posted by Keen Observer on February 25, 2012

Sometimes things happen.  Sometimes these things make you re-evaluate different things, and sometime life itself.  I don’t think these things happen often to people, at least not to me, but perhaps I’m wrong.  However, this year there have been two such things happen to me already.  One was the incredible gift of an amazing new friend from an unexpected quarter. The second was a result of this friendship.  Said friend must not blame herself for that.

I’ve never had a friendship develop as quickly or as deeply.  It’s one of those once-in-a-decade kind of things.  I’m both proud and glad I can call her my friend.  So, when something happened at work to her–our shared workplace–it revealed something to me that I could no longer ignore.  I will be intentionally vague to protect both the guilty and innocent alike, but the short version is management incompetency that resulted in both public and private humiliation, as well as mental abuse from people who should really know better.  The incompetency isn’t just a one-off, either:  there is a systemic problem that the powers that be are unable or unwilling to recognise, let alone repair.

I had been able to keep my head down and plough ahead with my work. I found satisfaction with it.  I work with good people for the most part, and I got to combine interests and education, plus see results for my work.  I largely feel validated in what I do there.  I had in the past six months or so rebuffed inquiries from two separate quarters about possible career shifts, because of that validation.  Since this happened, I have now put out feelers to those previously-rebuffed people to see what might come of it.

When someone you like gets treated abysmally for daring to speak the truth not just at great cost to herself, but with nothing to gain from it, you can’t help but get upset at it.  And depending on what transpires, it’s easy to share rage.  For myself it also rocked my world, and not necessarily in a good way–at least for my peace of mind.  I had the experience of standing next to one of the actors involved after the fact, and it took some self-control not to pull away as my skin started to crawl a bit.  Watching the other actor left me feeling queasy, as his salesman’s spiel was delivered to the company, and later his schmoozing about with staff, as though he hadn’t just tried to destroy someone’s spirit and self-confidence. I could barely look at him and took pains to avoid him.

I had known prior to this that my future at the company was limited.  I would not advance very far, because to be a manager, I would have to report to him.  I already had issues with him prior to this, but I was largely content to let things be and do my job.  The other actor was rarely my problem, so I could also ignore things from that quarter, and commiserate with those working in that chain of command.  But their willful blindness was always hard to stomach.  This series of events was just a culmination of a lot of problems, much as it was for my friend, but I hadn’t expected events to follow this vector.

And so, I begin actively looking for other positions.  I will not stay at a company that views this sort of behaviour as acceptable, nor one that seems not just willing, but eager to drive itself off the cliff.  All of the things I have seen, not least of which seems to be the haemorrhaging of experienced personnel; hiring people who are incapable of independent thought or a clear understanding of English; choosing the best of a bad lot from internal applicants, rather than go outside the company; rewarding failure, or, at least, mediocrity; and making it almost a point of honour that it’s really, really difficult to get fired.

So, it wasn’t a difficult decision for me.  It seems to be one of those things that just needed an impetus of some sort to start rolling down the hill.  And it’s hard to deny what you see, once the scales have been torn from your eyes.  So now, I try to change my life again–my protest against a shitty situation–and I have no idea how it’s going to end up.  For someone like me, that’s more than a little frightening, but I don’t think I can do anything else and maintain my self-respect.

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Posted in life, personal | Comments Off on Update of Sorts

Chapter and Verse

Posted by Keen Observer on February 12, 2012

I feel an odd inclination to write about writing, since I’ve been doing so much of it lately.  I have a nascent writer’s gene in me somewhere, because when I write, it seems to be because of some sort of internal pressure–which is sometimes caused by reaction to an external stimulus.

I don’t edit a lot when I write, unfortunately.  It tends to bog me down.  But on the flip-side, I generally don’t have to.  Prose comes exceedingly easy to me.  I just get an idea in my head, and it wants to come out.  I can write and write and write, until enough of what was in my head escapes through my fingers to ease the pressure to write more.  Occasionally, I go beyond that to actually finish whatever it was I started.  I can completely understand the witticism that “writers write”, because when the mood is on me, it’s hard to stop, even if nothing publicly-viewable comes from it.  It has almost always been like this for me, too.  Writing papers in high school and university was difficult only in terms of amassing the background I needed to compose the analysis required by the instructor.  I almost always went from rough notes to a finished product, but that could sometimes result in sometimes not getting my analysis quite “correct” (that it was my deficiency rather than the professors’ may be up for debate).  Being able to move to a word processor from a typewriter removed a lot of frustration from my process.

Poetry is different for me.  I would never call myself a poet, but I dabble (I’m a writer who occasionally writes in verse).  I sometimes get flashes of poetic insight, but I seem to be almost solely dependent on some sort of inspirational muse to be able to craft verses.  My poetry tends to the very specific and fails in most cases without some knowledge of the subject on the reader’s part.  And with poetry, of course, a reader may see things in it different from what I intended while writing it.

I used the term “craft” advisedly.  Each poem I write is work.  Notwithstanding the original inspiration, however great it might be, it takes me as much effort to write a 20-verse poem as it does to write 1000 words of prose, with very few exceptions.  I work almost exclusively in free verse, which may make things harder on me, but I find other forms too restrictive for my ideas and visualisations.  I occasionally have created sonnets or haiku, or short rhyming schemes, but for the most part, I prefer the liberty that comes with free verse.  My poems are intensely personal, and their subject matter tends to be pretty focused, so free verse generally works better for me, when I start wrestling with the concepts trying to express themselves through me.  Where I share this with my prose is in terms of taking longer to write than I otherwise should, simply because I’m trying to make sure that the words that end up being read are the ones I intended to be read:  I search for the perfect word or phrase I wish to convey my thoughts most correctly/accurately/succinctly/etc etc.

I tell you this not to brag about my writing skills, but just as a reference should I decide to add poetry to my blog at some point in the future, because each one will have taken me a lot more work than anything else I might post on here.  I don’t want readers to think that I can just whip one out and show it off as easily as I can with anything else I write, and so I attempt to manage expectations.

Posted in Writing | Comments Off on Chapter and Verse

The Arrogance of Knowledge

Posted by Keen Observer on February 10, 2012

So, on the suggestion of a friend, I watched Good Will Hunting, an “older” film that I had never before seen. It won a couple of deserved Academy Awards and launched (or dramatically improved) at least two careers, but until it was recommended, I hadn’t really had interest in it. When I asked my friend if she had any suggestions for another blog topic, she suggested that I review the film. I’m not really a film critic, but I do understand to some level critical analysis. However, after watching the film, I was struck by an idea based on the core scene of the film that seemed more of interest to me than a strict review.

The central scene of the film, on a park bench somewhere in Boston (ostensibly), involves the characters of Will Hunting (protagonist, played by Matt Damon) and Sean Maguire (antagonist, I think, played by Robin Williams). The discussion is essentially one-sided, where Maguire starts to break through the defensive shell erected by the prodigy genius Hunting to protect himself after a violent childhood in foster care. Hunting understands things around him without effort, reads everything and remembers what he reads, extrapolates, analyses. His problems lie primarily in anti-social behaviour and an unwillingness to risk personal loss outside his core group of friends.

In a series of previous encounters with psychologists, he disassembles—humbles—them, rather than allowing them be able to use their services on him to deal with the pain of his past. He had also done the same thing with Maguire, cutting almost to the core of Maguire’s sense of self and dissatisfaction following the death of his wife some years before. In his own way Maguire’s defences were as solid as Hunting’s. But in this scene, he explains that, despite all Hunting’s intelligence and his gifts and his attempted evisceration of Maguire’s character in their previous meeting, he’s “just a kid.”

The scene is pivotal—the film prior to this is really just preamble—and his words take down Hunting’s character a few pegs in a way he’d never been addressed before, with compassion and understanding and truth:

 Sean: So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You’re a tough kid. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear friends.” But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I’d ask you about love, you’d probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms “visiting hours” don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you… I don’t see an intelligent, confident man… I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you’re a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You’re an orphan right?
[
Will nods]
Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally… I don’t give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can’t learn anything from you, I can’t read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t want to do that do you sport? You’re terrified of what you might say. [copied and pasted from IMDB]

This scene represents in my view the turning point of the film, where Hunting begins to grow and change (and Maguire in parallel). But that’s not what I’m interested in talking about. It has been established by this point in the film that Hunting is a rare genius with eidetic memory. He can learn things quickly, but he also understands them: it’s not just rote memorisation. From what he reads and learns, he can extrapolate beyond to new understanding and knowledge. There is a later scene in which he describes his gift like that of Mozart or Beethoven, that they just know the piano, but couldn’t explain how.

He has this gift, and because of his violent childhood and adolescence, he doesn’t really know what to make of it. As part of his defence mechanism against his memories, he wields his gift like a weapon, through arrogance and being cock-sure, defensive, defiant. But in some ways he doesn’t really learn, because it’s all just theoretical knowledge, what some might call “book learning” or “book smarts”. Maguire’s litany hit Hunting hard, I think, because it’s truth he knows, but perhaps without acknowledgement until that point. He knows that he’s super-smart, but he also knows at some level that it isn’t enough, but he can’t figure out what or why.

True learning can’t happen in a vacuum. It doesn’t happen because of reading or instruction. These are just paths. It doesn’t happen just because of observation, either. Someone can observe a hand get burned in a fire, but there is no connection to the observer; absent the analysis and knowledge, the observer might not learn that fire burns without experimentation. Someone may have what are known as “street smarts”—a counterpoint to book smarts—and be very wise in the ways of the world, but have little skill in applying his knowledge in other settings. An example of this might be a natural gear-head, someone who can break down and build up a car’s engine, but with no idea of how internal combustion works, or how to do something similar to a small appliance. The simplest form of this might be Pavlovian conditioning: I know that if a bell rings, I will be fed, but I don’t know why or how.  And I likely don’t care, because I can’t conceive of anything beyond the bell and the food.

So, from my point of view—and I may be re-hashing years of educational research already published—there are these four primary facets of learning: knowledge (information, data, etc), observation, analysis, and empirical testing (or validation); this view is not different in any major way from the scientific method. True learning, to me, requires a balance among these methods, or perhaps a progression through, depending; any subset of these four will result in incomplete learning. For Hunting, he had immense knowledge, but little on the empirical side; what he did “know” empirically was largely false, the product of his dysfunctional childhood. He was so intensely out of balance that therapy and love were what it took to boost him out of his rut, a rut he couldn’t even see (or had long since ceased to acknowledge).

I have met a few intensely-smart people in my life. Not a one of them is smart in the same way as the others. Some of them are (or were) sort of “broken” in some way also, but not to the degree of Will Hunting. One or two of them had a lot of book learning to accompany amazing intellect. For them, though, the book learning wasn’t the type of handicap that it seemed at times to be for Hunting. What crippled him in part was his assertive arrogance that grew out of his childhood abuse as a means of self-protection. And arrogance is an impediment to true learning. Someone who is arrogant about their knowledge or intelligence generally cannot be taught, nor can he be “made” to learn, except with topics that interest him. And held “truths” cannot be challenged by mere words, and sometimes not even by self-evident facts.

I speak, here, from experience. I have been guilty of this attitude myself at periods in my life, especially in situations where I was convinced I was dealing with someone far less intelligent than I. One specific case I can recall without effort was the last time I sat a well as well-site geologist. The details shall remain obscure, but a rig hand told me something that I disregarded, as it conflicted with what I had been expecting. I continued on, and the net result was at least another day’s rig time and a useless core cut, extracted, and analysed. The total cost of my arrogance in this situation was in the tens of thousands of dollars to the operating company, and little to no return on their cost investment. And by self-selection partially as a result of this, I did not work again in the oil industry for five-plus years. The economic and personal costs resulting from this decision were significant to me, and in some ways are still felt. This is my personal example of the cost of arrogance, and I must be constantly on guard against recurrences in my daily life.

For Hunting, his personal costs were greater in some ways, but ultimately, with his arrogance broken—or at least bent—he was finally able to recognise that his prodigious knowledge and intellect were insufficient, and after struggling, he was able to begin to learn the lessons that people around him had been trying to teach him. These lessons had stacked up, and then they all fell rapidly into place, once his emotional and arrogance blocks were overcome. And once these blocks to learning—especially self-learning—began crumbling, the world opened up to him in a way he had never previously imagined.

Anyway, I thought this was interesting when it occurred to me. Your mileage may vary.

Posted in entertainment, opinion | Comments Off on The Arrogance of Knowledge

A Religio-Political Odyssey, Part 5

Posted by Keen Observer on February 6, 2012

And so it continues…

At some point during this period following the attacks, I also found—I’ve no idea now how at this point—a left-wing blogger that I found interesting enough to read regularly. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but it was likely in 2006, and I think it was after I moved to Calgary and was looking for connections to the city of my birth. This blogger, whose link is at the right side of my blog’s home page (grrrlmeetsworld), was a southern Baptist preacher’s daughter transplanted to Saskatoon for graduate school, who became an atheist and a Democrat/liberal. The conversion from Christian Republican to atheist Democrat seemed interesting to me at the time, and I even commented a few times, though I can no longer seem to find them. I read her posts and resisted some of what I read mentally, which told me I wasn’t a true leftist, but I didn’t know what I was for sure yet. I definitely did agree with her condemnation of southern religious practices as outlined in the documentary “Jesus Camp”, of which I have admittedly only seen a few scenes. What I did see scared the crap out of me and had me fearing for a generation of brainwashed children steeped in superstition. It did, I think, help with my transition away from religion.

 [Blogger’s Note: I had thought, when I started writing this (and have held as long as I can recall) that reading grrrlmeetsworld pointed me at a right-wing blog, described below. I’ll tell the story as I believed it, but after trying to create a timeline from Internet resources, I can no longer swear positively that this was the way it happened. It was similar in some way, but the connection would seem not to be as direct. I add this little note as my attempt at deflecting potential accusations of “making shit up” or “intellectual dishonesty”, but I would have sworn this to be true before starting to verify it.]

Reading this blog, however, pointed me in an unexpected direction. Said blogger decided to take issue with something she’d heard on the radio or read in the local paper and then followed up by linking to another site at right, smalldeadanimals. I think this was in 2006 still. The hostess of that blog had commented on the subject of welfare and single moms and drugs (or something like that), to the effect of “Why should we pay for people who can’t keep their legs closed?” I’m paraphrasing, but I believe that was the sentiment/subject. I went to this blog and read the statement, as I wanted to make sure I had the context correct, because I couldn’t believe something like that would get published/make the air. But that’s what it was. Somebody said something I knew to be unpopular, but with which I agreed. So I poked around the site and read more. And more. I initially read bits and pieces, feeling as though I was being naughty for doing so, but most of what I read resonated quite strongly with me, though I have—and still do—disagree with some things that get posted there, especially in the comments.

That was effectively the beginning of the end of my conversion to conservatism. The more I read, the more I realised what I was and why some things seemed wrong to me, and the more I realised that I was regularly being either lied to or fed half-truths in the name of a specific agenda. I learned about things I had not heard before. I learned about things I had heard about before, but with additional or different information. I clicked on links and found other blogs with even more information and links that exposed further lies and untruths. Some of what I learned put earlier experiences in my life in a different light.

Of course, the more I read of how I had been duped in the media and school, and more about things that make sense to me, the less I find I want to read left-leaning blogs, because I have trouble now reading them without wanting to pull out my hair in frustration. It frequently seems to me as though the left-leaners are wilfully blind to facts and logic. Until I was trying to put this together, I couldn’t have told you the last time I was at grrrlmeetsworld, or Daily Dose. I almost never go to places like the Huffington Post, unless someone provides a useful link. Watching how the “regular” press treated different candidates in elections differently, or treated one side of the parliamentary aisle with more respect than the other really helped turn me off, when the information is available by other means for you to draw your own conclusions, ones that frequently (if not mostly) disagree with the “accepted” view of things.  It doesn’t hurt that I moved to a province generally considered to be the most conservative in Canada, which certainly made it easier to accept that I wasn’t alone in my beliefs.

As time goes on I settle more into where I’m at politically and religiously. It’s a strange sort of comfort. Religiously, as should be obvious, I am barely agnostic, still a hand’s breadth from “committing” to atheism, teetering daily, when I have time to think about it. Some things—or people—make that seem to happen more frequently. Looking up on a clear night is one of those things, though there are fewer clear nights in Calgary than there were in Saskatoon. Sometimes, a friend makes you think, or a random experience. So, I remain agnostic, but for practical purposes I’m an atheist.

Politically, I usually describe myself as a libertarian-conservative, or centre-right, depending on my mood. I am not a social conservative, though I can understand and relate to some of the positions on that side. I do tend to agree that a nuclear family is better for society as a whole, but those who would espouse freedom should understand that you can’t force that on others, nor can you force them to share your religious tenets. I use “libertarian” in the sense of a minimum of social restrictions, but I’m not a true libertarian, in the sense that pure libertarians tend to anarchism, whether or not they acknowledge that. My political views are largely thus:

  • The role of government should be as small as is possible, given its responsibilities.
  • Governmental responsibilities should be as few as possible to enable society to function relatively smoothly, and new ones should not be sought to expand power, with the possible exception of national emergencies (at the federal level). The limits should be constitutionally set, where they are not already.
    • National Defence at the federal level, including border security and oceanic sovereignty.
    • Adjudicating disputes; jurisdiction depends on level.
    • A minor level of regulation for a very limited set of problems, and federal responsibilities should never be adopted by the provinces, or vice versa.
    • Regulation of international agreements/diplomacy/similar things.
  • Spending as little as possible as needed to fulfil the mandates required. This requires limiting the size of the public service and the amount of money paid to public servants in a way that does not reward sloth or failure. With this in mind, citizens need not pay for as much, so taxes may also be kept to a minimum.
  • Charity is not the business of government. Transfer payments are a form of charity.
  • Child care is not the business of government.
  • Religion is not the business of government, nor should it have any say in government. We are a secular country, but our people may sometimes hold religious beliefs. These are likely to inform decision-making, but this should be minimised where possible. A decision for one religious group may not be good for another, but it may be good on the whole.

Beyond this list, it’s largely up for negotiation, but the public sector should never be getting mixed up in the private sector. There is nothing so bad (in terms of business, at least) that government can’t make worse, and so the opportunities for such should be limited. This also should reduce any existence of—or potential for—corruption, and hopefully reduce the number of lifetime bureaucrats that produce nothing of value.

My positions sometimes shift slightly, depending on circumstances, but these are basically consistent for me right now. I also have views on other things, such as immigration, but those are perhaps topics for other days. I won’t bother to summarise my current religious status, since I think it’s been more or less covered, but the political journey I’ve taken so far does have parallels on the religious side of things.

And on that note, I’ll declare this odyssey at an end, though in much less dramatic fashion than the original. But it’s never really over.

Posted in Alberta, economics, general, news & journalism, personal, politics, religion | Comments Off on A Religio-Political Odyssey, Part 5

A Religio-Political Odyssey, Part 4

Posted by Keen Observer on February 5, 2012

I’m getting closer to being finished, honest.

The shock of the attacks on 9/11 was still not quite enough to complete my conversion to the Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy…I don’t think. I remember understanding instinctively that this was an attack that could not go unanswered. I knew that someone would be made to pay, and that was as it should be. But I remember having less-than-positive thoughts about the Bush administration that would not correlate to conservatism. I know now that was partly due to biased coverage in the news media, which had less of an Internet presence than it does now, by far, but it also had to do with failure to prevent the threat from becoming real.

I believed also at the time that the Patriot Act would not be a good idea, that problems would be caused. I still hold that belief and have found that it is not a fringe position among conservatives. I also did not think creating Homeland Security would be a good idea (a thought which has been borne out, in my opinion, given recent excesses and “security theatre” of the TSA). It evoked in me at the time immediate comparisons with old rhetoric around fascist Germany and communist Russia—the Fatherland and the Motherland (or Mother Russia), respectively, though this time the “-land” in question was gender-neutral. This is the kind of rhetoric the modern world can live quite happily without. I saw it in some ways as supporting my belief that Americans as a whole think a little too highly of themselves, but I also saw that between these two governmental elements there was a large opportunity for abuse of power and related problems, especially when used with the phrase, “In the name of security.”

I also saw the attacks as fairly evident proof that Muslim extremists cannot be reasoned with or bargained with…ever. Radical (or extremist) religious views are not rational and are used to excuse any action—the “God told me to” defence. There is nothing a religious extremist cannot justify. I’ll not get off on a screed here, but I will say that since 9/11 I have not viewed Muslims or the Middle East in quite the same way. A minority may be responsible for the terrorism and violence, but they are tolerated and tacitly encouraged by the so-called silent majority. This type of view can generally be attributed more towards the conservative right than the liberal left, so that was another piece to the puzzle. It also, perhaps counter-intuitively, partially validated my disdain for and separation from my own former religion, in terms of the broad strokes of religious fervour and superstition.

Canada’s participation in the Afghanistan fighting also renewed my pride in my country and its Armed Forces, something that had been largely quiescent for years. I was always saddened to hear of the death of a CF member, but I was always proud that our military personnel were out there, doing Canada proud with honour and distinction, fighting against the evil present there at the time. Definitely not a liberal perspective.

During this period, around 2003-2004, I had a job doing “media monitoring”. That is to say, I got paid to watch TV news and listen to radio news, then upload summaries rife with names and keywords to a national database. I also did transcription of some stories/items on request. I had thought this would be a good job, as at the time I fancied myself a news junkie of sorts. How little did I know. That job cured me of that affliction for a time, but it also taught me one thing: the media outlets said almost exactly the same thing on each story that was broadcast. Some outlets had different foci than others, but the differences seemed largely minor. The reporters also had similar cadences, and the word I grew to hate was “still”, as it preceded too many sentences. The reports were (and still are to large extent) structured in the same way: start with a personal angle, describe the meat of the story, evaluate (usually with alarm) the apparent problems, bring it back to the personal. Story after story, channel after channel, night after night. It was at that time that I largely switched my personal news watching to Global, as their offences usually seemed less egregious, but I still couldn’t bring myself to switch to our local talk radio station, because the conservatism of their flagship hosts sounded far too sour-grapes for my liking. But I did occasionally hear through my job opinions from them that made far too much sense to me.

I learned at some point in 2005 of an American blogger, a resident of Minnesota, who had taken an interest in Canadian politics for some reason. He blogged at a place called Captain’s Quarters—now defunct—which I found out about due to his interest in the so-called Sponsorship Scandal, the inquiry for which had a publication ban on testimony, with punishments for Canadians that broke the ban. The Captain decided to expose the Gomery Inquiry and its participants, and I read regularly. I became disgusted with the apparently-corrupt antics of the federal party I supported, which helped push me (and many others, I expect) away from the Liberal Party of Canada. I even read other articles at his site, which pionted me in all sorts of new directions that were surprisingly sensible. And at some point he was persuaded to give up his personal blog and become a lead contributor at another blog on the right side of the page: HotAir. I read it regularly, especially when it comes to American politics, but they also have a few more fringe elements showing up. This blog also broadened (and broadens) my conservative experience.

Contemporaneously, I also continued to grow more at ease with being religiously agnostic. The longer I went without weekly harangues about my basic evilness and the need to beg forgiveness for it, the happier I was. I continued my internal debates on whether a supreme being of some sort actually existed, however, and if so, was deserving of worship. I also continued to see events around me and around the world as further confirmation that somebody was horribly, horribly wrong about the nature of god and evil. And I got closer and closer to thinking everybody was wrong.

More to come…

Posted in Alberta, general, news & journalism, personal, politics, religion | Comments Off on A Religio-Political Odyssey, Part 4