Pac-man ate my ballot?
As jazz artist Gil Scott-Heron has already informed us, The revolution will not be televised (play the track while you read, if you like). Indeed, it has already surely happened (without bloodshed) in our election follies. And We-the-people are chumps for allowing it! Sadly, I must concede that Donald Trump is right: the election process has been, is, and will be rigged. Thru incompetence and a snoozing electorate we have lost our electoral franchise, as detailed in this fine (if lengthy) article titled How to hack an election in seven minutes. You will be entertained and edified by reading even a portion of it. May we rise to our duty as citizens to demand paper trails and unhackable aggregation!
A few quotes to whet your appetite: “In less than a minute, they infected a Diebold machine with self-duplicating code, spreading from machine to machine through an administrator card, and programmed it to swing an election for Benedict Arnold over George Washington.” “But most [experts] identified Pennsylvania as the greatest concern. There, according to Verified Voting 47 counties of 67 vote on digital voting machines without a written backup record if something were to go awry. . .” “Then there are tech advancements that make the computer scientists shudder: To a person, they each warned me about the public’s new delusion, one strikingly reminiscent of the aftermath of Bush v. Gore—Internet voting.”
Photo by Alex Halderman.
fossilized mosquito in amber, npr
I’ve been an organic gardener for decades. The thought of genetically modifying nature, to me, is repellant, and risky. But I’m developing some flexibility on many fronts. I’m coming to see that making a god out of nature is to make an idol. I was deeply troubled while at divinity school to be told that the word dominion from the first chapter of Genesis, meant that man was commissioned by God to trample creation! (Upon further reflection I came to see that good farmers don’t trample their land, but rather they walk over it to know it well, improving it year by year.) Well, it’s time for us to improve our ground!
It is time for humankind to exercise dominion over this pestilent creature of flying, biting, misery and death. The pesticide industry surely doesn’t want to see biting mosquitos disappear, so we must be alert to their disinformation. So be wise, knowing that “protecting” nature tempts us to allow the continued polluting with deadly toxins. And we must recognize that humankind is promoting and perpetuating this worthless species by our profligate use of plastics, according to experts in a well-reasoned article:
“[T]he growth in the population of aegypti is down to our rapid increase in plastic consumption; it provides the mosquitos with an ideal breeding ground. There is so much misinformation out there,” Lindsay says. “You see pictures of large open areas of stagnant water. But that’s not where the danger is. This thing breeds in small containers: flowerpots, gutters, tyres, water bottles. It’s about screening buildings, putting up nets, spraying insecticide in laundry areas. That’s not something for health professionals: that’s about educating and empowering communities so that they can reduce the risk themselves.”
My growing personal flexibility on the topic of genetic modification will start with agreeing to the sterilization and release of males to eliminate this deadly pest, with the added benefit of reducing the noxious load of sprayed toxins. Dominion — it’s our assignment! We need to grow!