Thursday, October 29, 1998

The End of the Dream (Part 2)

        The crucial question here is why? Why are my feelings self-defeating? That makes no sense. Now that I realize that my emotions aren’t the enemy, how can I believe that they’re simply bad? I can’t. I know that they’re working for me. Time to apply my method.
        Your emotions are trying to protect you from the unknown. That’s the first part. I just now called in from work sick, and I feel guilty & scared. I’m not sick; I just feel I have to have this day to myself to hold onto (and possibly advance) whatever gains I’ve made.

        Here’s my essential problem: the more I look, the more I learn, the more I understand, the harder it is to convince myself that the systems of morals we are handed are wrong, stupid, pointless and a waste of my life. I see the reasons behind them and realize that there were indeed good reasons for these rules and modes of behavior, and although I still hate them, it becomes harder and harder to convince myself that my way is the “right” way. I must need a new viewpoint.
        This all from Phillip Wylie’s The End of the Dream, p. 157: “Too many discoveries had been of sorts that showed the clerical dogmas were unsound, untenable, nothing for sensible people to fool with.”
        —Just because it’s wrong doesn’t mean it’s useless, or even bad! Do we have an alternative? A truly better way? How do we know?

Sunday, October 25, 1998

The End of the Dream

From the Preface by John Brunner:
“Perhaps, one of these days, archaeologists will come to Earth from another planet and think of erecting a monument to mark our passing. If so, they could choose no better inscription for it than this: ‘Here lies a species capable of thinking, but too lazy to think anything right through.’”

        Not lazy. Not lazy. The exact opposite, in fact. Too busy. Frightened, even. Impatient, certainly. But not lazy.

Sunday, October 11, 1998

The Roads Must Roll

I like Heinlein’s “The Roads Must Roll”—How about a tale of a real functionalist revolution? A successful one, I mean? Or an alternative sequel to his story, where Van Kleek wins, not being the simpering weakling Heinlein presumes everyone who disagrees with him to be? Who would be next to revolt? What would the ultimate consequences be?

Aggravated Vehicular Genocide

The following inspired by “Aggravated Vehicular Genocide,” Christopher L. Bennett, 11/98 Analog.

“What is the purpose of Justice? Is it to punish the guilty? To wreak vengeance upon the perpetrators of unsavory deeds? To somehow rectify and right wrongs, when often the wrong cannot be undone, no matter what anyone desires or what punishment is meted out? No, I say! The purpose of Justice is not to right wrongs or satisfy rage, but to help ensure that the wrong does not reoccur. When a crime is committed unknowingly, when moreover none connected with the perpetrators will ever be aware of the verdict or the consequences, and especially when it is in the interest of all to prevent this sort of incident from ever occurring again, what purpose does it serve to put the perpetrators to death? Do you intend to solve the problem by evolutionary attrition, allowing only those to live that have not committed crimes, in hopes that the genetic capability of performing the forbidden act will be eventually eliminated? Surely this will be as costly to both sides as it is unlikely to succeed. Far better to forgo the illusion of legalities and simply go to war. The purpose of the Court is to serve the people, not to punish the guilty in order to satisfy some feeling of vengeance, fairness, or justice.”

Feeling Good (Part 2)

• p. 62: “Suppose, for example, you suddenly realize you’re late for a…meeting. Your heart sinks and you’re gripped with panic. Now ask yourself, ‘What thoughts are going through my mind right now? What am I saying to myself? Why is this upsetting me?’”
        These are valid questions. I’m not arguing with him anymore. But I do think this is a good time to clarify what I think actually goes on in our minds.
        There aren’t necessarily any thoughts going through your mind at that moment. There might be, but there don’t have to be for you to be feeling bad. As I’ve said, feelings don’t come directly from thoughts, and emotions can react directly to stimuli, without any intervening cognitive action. (can≠always do)
        Darn. I let the Muse slip. Maybe later.

Wednesday, September 30, 1998

Syler Method of Investigation

We (I) can find answers to problems by analyzing the problem; more specifically, by analyzing the question. Because there has to be a question. And it has to be in words, as does the answer. If you can’t explain it in words, you don’t understand it. So it’s like I’ve said: Asking Questions and Getting Answers. Asking the question–in words—then making sure you understand the question and every word in it. If you don’t, analyze. Be specific and concrete.

Saturday, September 26, 1998


You say it because you feel it, and you
        know it in your gut
But if you can’t explain it, then you don’t
        understand it
And all you know
is how you feel.

Intelligence and Survival

        I don’t know how much sense this makes, but I just thought something that I thought worthy of recording: “It’s no wonder that intelligence doesn’t pass in direct lines; if it did, we’d just band together and kill the others”—or outperform them, or what not.
        Could this be true? I mean, you can’t do away with the intelligent ones—you need them. But too many together, especially related, is a danger to everyone else. But why didn’t it happen, then? We are all somewhat intelligent; obviously it’s a survival trait for us. But only a few are very intelligent; this has always been true, and is still true in apes. Why didn’t the smart ones beget more smart ones and become dominant? Are lots of smart people self-destructive? This is very important.

The Great Ages of Western Philosophy

Volume I, The Age of Belief

• Introduction, first page, first sentence, p. ix: ‘“We are like dwarfs seated on the shoulders of giants…”’
        Dwarfs? Why dwarfs? The fact that we can do so much and see so far largely because of the proceeding efforts of our forebears [does not imply that we are somehow doomed to be lesser men than they. Certainly the great philosophers of the past did much, and covered much ground, and we are greatly indebted to them in many ways. But philosophy is unlike science in this way: Progress is not guaranteed. It is not necessarily the case that philosophy tends to get less wrong as time goes on. It can, and we certainly hope it does, but there is less guarantee of that than with science (not that it is absolutely guaranteed there either). What I mean is that it is very possible that the great philosophers of the past can hold us back sometimes, and cause us to look for answers in the wrong directions, and so, giants though they may have been, they are occasionally giants who are actually standing on us, pushing us down.
        My point is that to believe that the great philosophers are somehow better or did more than we are or do, is not only a fallacy, it is a dangerous fallacy, because it causes us to look on our own work with trepidation, and causes us to be timid, believing that we could never be as great as our predecessors, so great, bold, new, paradigm-breaking ideas are less likely to come forth, or if they are advanced, to be taken seriously, because it is hubris to presume that your work could be as important as that as that of the great philosophers of history.–4/2/08 10:32 PM]

Thursday, September 10, 1998

Feeling Good

•p. 28: “…most schools of thought place a strong emphasis on ‘getting in touch’ with your feelings… Depression is not an emotional disorder at all!… Every bad feeling you have is a result of your distorted negative thinking.”
        He’s wrong, of course. This is the central problem I have with Cognitive Therapy, both Burns’ and Dyer’s versions. Feelings do not come from thoughts. Feelings and thoughts are two discrete things. Closely interrelated but separate. One does not ‘cause’ the other. Feelings can come from thoughts, surely, but so can thoughts come from feelings—more easily, I believe. They can influence each other strongly, however. Your thoughts can indeed change your feelings—if you believe them. Emotions don’t come from thought, they come from belief, and that belief can change from moment to moment. It is what you believe about the world that colors your emotion, and shapes the way you look at the world you perceive. Those beliefs can be strongly influenced—instantaneously—by your thoughts, which are largely under conscious control. The best way I can describe it now is that feeling and thought react simultaneously to your perception, feeding off of and being modified by each other. But the cardinal fact remains that your emotions are shaped almost solely by your beliefs, and these beliefs are largely shaped by your cognitions. These beliefs aren’t all deep-seated, permanent things, either. Many of them can change from moment to moment, in just the fashion indicated by Feeling Good. So: let’s try this as a preliminary model:

        So let me state my specific objection to a particular passage, and let that objection carry for all the other similar passages:
•p. 29: “You will learn, as she did, that the negative thoughts that flood your mind are the actual cause of your self-defeating emotions.”
        No. They are a strong contributing factor, but they are not the cause. But the practical upshot of his statement is true: you can change your emotions with your thoughts. It’s merely that these thoughts are acting on the beliefs that your emotions immediately stem from, rather than on the emotions themselves. After all, if you really could change your emotions so arbitrarily, who would you be? You’d only have to think happy thoughts and you’d be happy! No. It doesn’t work that way. You must believe it for it to work. Belief is the key here. Your emotions supply a large part of your identity, and all your motivation. (Without emotions, you have no identity!) You can’t control your emotions; not really. You can stop yourself from feeling many of them—almost all—but you can’t control them, because the only real “you” that exists is centered on your emotions!
        Besides, where do you think these negative thoughts come from? They originate with your emotions, always, based on your beliefs. Your cognitive center has no will. It merely calculates. You can merely choose, with your mind, based on your deepest emotions, which other emotions are important to you, and which you will not feel, and to what degree.
        But people who depend on their minds do not have no will; in fact, it seems that they often have the strongest will of all. How do I explain this? Because the person who relies on their cognitions to tell them what’s right and wrong are acting only on their deepest emotions, not allowing the rest to enter the equation. Or at least not to alter it.

        It is true that if you alter your misconceptions, your mood will improve.

•p. 32–45: I think I’ve said this elsewhere, but I’m really not sure about his 10-point list. It has some validity, but I’m not sure that the list is either totally necessary or sufficient. Mental filter, for example. Why is it called that, anyway?

3/21/08 10:17 PM I believe I’ve got further notes on this book later in this journal, but I wanted to insert some current comments here, since I coincidentally find myself rereading this book just at the time that I am typing in my 10-year old journal entry on it.
        I can’t comment on cognitive therapy in general, or on Beck’s methodology or ideology. All I’ve got to go on is Burns’ book. But it is an excellent example, in small, of a problem I have with the psychological establishment in general: An appalling lack of philosophy. Oh, he’ll throw the word around occasionally, but heaven forbid he should ever actually study the stuff. If he had, he would have discovered that there are volumes upon volumes of rather sophisticated thought on the difference between, and the relationship among, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Perhaps he would disagree with it all. But the ridiculously naïve and unsophisticated (not to mention inconsistent; after all his talk about thoughts being the important thing, he’ll throw in an offhand comment about belief once in a while) model he proposes is rather an insult to the philosophers who have spent so much work on precisely these questions, as well as foolish, when all this work has been done that he could have access to to improve his vision. But that’s psychology for you; they’re actually doing jackleg philosophy, but they have to pretend it’s “science,” so they don’t need all those ivory tower “ideas.”

Saturday, September 5, 1998


        I have a problem with Gulf. Yes, Man, men, society, culture and language could be improved, but that’s no excuse for calling what went before “superstitious and ignorant.” We—they—did the best they could with what they had. So what if it wasn’t perfect? Newton was wrong; was he superstitious and ignorant? [In particular, was his scientific work superstitious and ignorant?—3/13/08 10:39 PM] Bah. These sorts of delusions of grandeur will just get you into trouble. Remember, always remember, that just because you don’t understand why something is, doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason. Before you go calling the masses of humanity “stupid,” stop and ask yourself why, then, did they live so long. Everything has a reason. Stupidity—absolute, not relative–simply does not exist in normal humans. Before you go calling yourself a new race, I suggest you understand the old one.

Friday, September 4, 1998

Seventh Son

by Orson Scott Card

•p. 73:
“…If Mama believes in God and Papa doesn’t, how do I know which is right?”
…“How do I know things like that, when Mama says one thing and Papa says another?”
…“Al, I got to tell you, I wisht I knew. Sometimes, I figure ain’t nobody knows nothing.”

        I can understand a twenty-two-year-old (or anyone) not knowing the answer to this, and I certainly understand a six-year-old not knowing, but I know, and if Card doesn’t, this explains just about everything that bothers me about his work.

[Thursday, March 13, 2008 9:38 PM: I don’t mean anything esoteric by this, just that if you don’t know what the truth is, about religious questions or anything else, you try to figure it out, by gathering evidence, weighing it, and trying to come to a conclusion using your powers of reason. This seems obvious, and it is, but it seems to me that for many people, it simply does not occur to them to use the same method they would use to answer any ordinary question to answer questions of religion or faith.]

•p. 94: “He thought of writing down that thought, but decided against it. It had no traces on it save the prints of his own soul—neither the marks of heaven, nor of hell. By this he knew that it hadn’t been given to him. He had forced the thought himself. So it couldn’t be prophecy, and couldn’t be true.”
        Is this what Card believes? Is he truly that simple in matters of faith, probing and prodding, pushing at the boundaries of his belief but never allowing himself to question the center? Or—gasp—does he not believe at all, and set these traps within his works so only the very intelligent will see the flaws in the logic an begin to question their own beliefs, while anyone else simply sees a believing man asking intelligent, hard questions? He did say that he was strongly influenced by Ayn Rand, after all.
        Unfortunately as always, the most likely explanation is also the most mundane: He’s an intelligent believer who has many doubts, and these doubts and questions come out in his work. But I can always hope. He seems too intelligent not to see the flaws in his logic.
        Heres a case in point, the best example I’ve seen of him coming so close, then missing:

        I’ll do the Wyrms thing later. That’s it, it has to be, the Ayn Rand theory is true. It’s a goddamn puzzle, and he’s done it again, just like in Wyrms: He’ll ask a question, give the wrong answer, and then, several pages later, give the right one! He’s smarter than I ever imagined. [I don’t think I ever did “the Wyrms thing.” I think I know what I was going to do, but I’ll have to reread the book to lay it out. Sometime. The below is the aforementioned case in point.]

•p. 132: “Everything possible to be believed is image of truth. If it feels true to me, then there is something true in it, even if it isn’t all true. And if I study it out in my mind, then maybe I can find what parts of it are true and what parts are false, and—” [emphasis added]
        Which is the precise answer to the question that started this discussion, umpteen pages back. He goes on:
‘…if something just plain didn’t make sense to Alvin, he didn’t believe it, and no amount of quoting from the Bible would convince him.’

Wednesday, September 2, 1998


The first thing a person must do to gain control of his own life is to develop a view of how the world works and of his place in it.

Saturday, August 15, 1998

Science and Philosophy

I have finally decided that science and philosophy are worthless without each other. Science without philosophy—solid philosophy, not a scientist’s philosophy which says he can play with his toys for as long as he likes—is directionless and dangerous. It will provide solutions with no guarantee that the solution is not worse than the problem. Never any real answers. Philosophy without science is not really philosophy at all, because it’s not looking at the real world, only what sounds good or feels right. Only at the confluence can truth and answers be found.

Thursday, August 13, 1998


Insecurity is a sane and normal reaction when you are changing or doubting your value system. It’s a mark of being true to yourself; your emotions telling you, “just because it makes sense doesn’t mean it’s right, and just because it seems right doesn’t mean it’s best for you!” Don’t deny, cover up or be ashamed of your insecurities. Face them. Understand why you’re insecure, what you’re afraid of, then examine whether that fear is legitimate. You’re not bad to be afraid, because it’s yourself you’re looking after, which is right!

Monday, August 10, 1998

Science Magazine

The ideal science mag: Not much of a change from today, more a change in format.

1. A science fiction story. This could flip between new stuff and good oldies, but all will be either hard (so the reader learns something about the world) or very speculative (so the reader is exposed to wild, yet not impossible theories). Occasionally you could do something sweet, like “Dance on a Forgotten Shore,” to capture the emotions of science & discovery, but nothing too weird or convoluted. Clear, straightforward stuff. Length will be standard, not cut short for the format. In fact, you could even run novellas in serial.
2. An expository article every month. This would be nothing cutting-edge although it might (naah) be related to another article. Instead, it would explain in layman’s terms some fact or principle of science. The whole purpose would be to explain, not to inform. Asimov’s F&SF articles are exactly what I’m talking about here. Never condescend, or attempt to speak to the common denominator. Presume intelligence but ignorance. Run the gamut, but try to include topics like “What is a Wave?” “What is the Scientific Method?” “What is a Spectroscope?” “How Does a Computer Work?” Also, articles on the history of science and engineering, biographies of historical scientists, mathematicians, etc., and engineering expositories—where the readers learn some principle they could actually use—would be good sometimes. How did MacGuyver’s tricks work? Let’s stay away from current events—Newsweek can do those. Do not just gloss over to give a surface understanding. Don’t get technical, but cover whatever topic you’re discussing thoroughly. Again, Asimov is an excellent example.
3. Well-thought-out, in-depth articles. Let’s hire science fiction writers and editors, and real scientists and engineers to write these. Journalists and science writers always seem to have the wrong take. Explain the issues well enough so that the reader can decide for himself if a viewpoint is valid. If the subject is too complex or technical for that, give it a good once-over and refer the reader to more in-depth information either within or immediately following (and in the same size print as) the text. The Web would be an excellent way to do this, either by providing a much more in-depth article (not a replacement, though; I don’t think the current article text should be online) by the same author (preferred) or by posting related info by other people, and always providing links for further reading. Or you could refer them to scholarly journals, etc.

Sunday, July 5, 1998

The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB)

•p. 7: “…modern study of these books (the Pentateuch [the first five books of the Old Testament]) has revealed variations of style, and repetitions, and contradictions in the narrative, which make it impossible to ascribe the whole work to a single author.”
        If this is true, this is a complete killer to the idea of a bible code.

Update: Saturday, January 5, 2008 9:34 PM
•See Cracking the Bible Code for my more recent thoughts on the Bible code subject.

Saturday, July 4, 1998

The Bible Code

•As absolutely astonishing as this letter-skip Bible code is, I am convinced that there is more even underlying that. There are many ways to encode text.

•I must know if there are ancient Egyptian texts—the Book of the Dead, perhaps?—that show the same sort of coding.

•p. 31: no. No, no way, absolutely not, no. I have had no problem with anything up to this point—there was nothing to have a problem with. It was all facts, no opinion—except with the authors’ opinion that Rabin’s murder could have been averted—which is the same issue I’m addressing here.
        Einstein—“The distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however persistent.” Hawking—“Time travel might be within our capabilities in the future.” NO. Time travel is not theoretically impossible like creating matter or energy, it is logically impossible, like Mike (tho’ I disagree) says the sort of prophecy exhibited in the Bible code is, or like, if I understand it properly, Einstein says travelling faster than light is.
        No amount of change in our understanding of the Universe changes logic. What we call Time is merely duration, and duration is only change. Time I suppose, is simply the measurement of the rate of change versus some other rate of change (change being relative movement).

Update: Saturday, January 5, 2008 8:51 PM
•See Cracking the Bible Code for my more recent thoughts on the Bible code subject.

•The discussion on Time is a little confusing. How I would say that now is that Time (or time; I’m not making a big deal about the capital letter) is a measurement of relative change, in the same way that Distance is a measurement of relative position.

Thursday, July 2, 1998

Story Idea

I just had an idea which would make an excellent—nay, superb—story. I was thinking about the effectiveness of capital punishment (while reading Brian Aldiss’ “Danger: Religion!) and considering the fact that liberals (not to be denigrating; I was a liberal for many years) claim that statistics show that capital punishment does not deter capital crime. But they never explain why this should be so. I don't think they know. In fact, I don’t think anyone knows what would be a successful deterrent. The problem is that those who make laws for criminals are not criminals themselves and don't know what motivates or deters them. I don’t think anyone knows. I mean, you could ask the criminals what would work, but although this may provide some insight into the criminal mind, the vast majority of criminals are not very smart, and those that are would probably lie to you. So the only real way to find out would be to become a criminal yourself. I imagined myself going out, committing crimes—robberies and such—possibly with a gang of some sort, and coming “home” at night and writing down my feelings and thoughts. I imagined killing a policeman, and writing down my feelings of regret. This, along with notes from speaking to other criminals, would be compiled into a scholarly work of sorts. Of course, a collaboration of some kind would probably have to be established with a mainstream sociologist, who would present the work as his own, compiled from interviews with me and others. Otherwise, it would never be taken seriously. After all, who listens to criminals?

Just remember, make this a work of imagination, not of fiction. Imagine what you would do and write it down.

Historical writings

        Histories should be divided into two parts (not necessarily in the same work): narrative history and factual (factal?) or evidential history. The former is normal history: telling a tale, piecing together of facts within a framework of tapestry to weave a coherent and interesting story.
        The second or evidential history is a far more rigorous, scientific document. It delineates the facts gathered, the conclusions reached, the connections between, and—most importantly—the entire evidential chain back to its original sources, so that no conclusions are based on others’ data or conclusions without an understanding of how they reached their answers, so as to point up where errors may gave occurred, and to be able to understand not only the lineage and origins of the data (in order that the reader might draw her own conclusions) but also its degree of sureness and veracity at every point, thus giving first an indication of the likely accuracy of the current conclusions, and second a way of making apparent what of the conclusions must be called into question if any of the sources are proven wrong, without invalidating the entire work.

I also believe that history writers, after completing their research, should read a book of their favorite fiction, or perhaps Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—which does an excellent job of expository philosophy while reading like a good novel—before writing their narrative history, so that they won’t write sentences like the above.

Tuesday, June 23, 1998

Cracking the Bible Code

• p. 83: This accuracy/inaccuracy in the Jewish Lunar Month is, although this will surely be ignored by everyone, the greatest confirmation—yea, proof—of my theory that the Torah is the product not of myth and mysticism, nor of God, but of an incredibly advanced human culture (the same logic also rules out aliens). The proof is simply this: The Jewish calculation was more accurate than anyone else's—in fact as accurate as theoretically possible without going into space—but it was inaccurate. God—or aliens—would have known the correct value. Unless the decoding was wrong, or the Moon has slowed since then, or the value somehow got changed by this insignificant amount (in God's name, how?), or the satellite data is somehow wrong, this is conclusive unless you are willing to accept God the liar or God the fool. I would very much like to know what the Egyptian values for this are.
        Indeed, the very fact that only the first five books of the Bible are encoded in this fashion is strong evidence to support my thesis. Of all the Bible—even of all known religious works—the books written by Moses are the only ones with this sort of coding. Why? Why would God never do this again? I say it is because it was Moses himself, not God, who composed the pentateuch and the code within, based on his great arcane knowledge he learned from the Egyptians (Much thanks to Graham Hancock and his The Sign and the Seal, particularly chapters 12 and 13, for the inspiration for all of this).

Update: Monday, July 25, 2005
I have come to the conclusion that the entire Bible Code is fraudulent. Though I haven't made an extremely extensive study of the matter, the very method that is used to find coded material (deciding what you want to find and then looking for it) pretty much shows the entire Code to be spurious. You can (and people have) find any number of things in a complex work like the Bible, but that doesn't mean that they're authentic or prophetic. The Code only tells us what we want to hear. What finally convinced me was a History Channel special that, while it doesn't set out to debunk the Code, lays out far more clearly than the book mentioned above does the incredibly subjective and non-scientific way the Code's messages are "discovered." Too bad. And it fit in so nicely with Hancock too. has some more information on the subject.

Sunday, May 24, 1998


Here is the test of slavery—is your work something you do of your own choice, or do you work for fear of punishment from other people? By this definition, nearly all children are slaves. It is also possible to be in a slavery situation of your own devising, where a simple choice will release you. No, members of the military are not slaves; they are indentured servants. They knew what they were doing when they signed up. Draftees, on the other hand, are slave warriors, unless they were given the choice to renounce their citizenship to avoid being drafted.

More Work

So—time to write about what I originally meant to write. Work. What is work? Work is the effort we put out in order to achieve our goals and dreams. How perverse then, that we (or just I? ? ?) are taught as children, by school, by parents, that work is the unpleasant thing you must do or else get in trouble which keeps you from doing the things you want! Perverse. Insane. How—why—do we do this?


I think it would greatly behoove me to study occult magic. I started on a book about it last night, and it seemed to me nothing more than sophisticated Zen-like mind control—or mind access. I think it would work—as far as possible, anyway. And if magical powers were stored inside the mind, that would be how to get at them.


Genius: the ability to come up with new ideas.


        Last night was a good night. I have finally made a positive difference with my new ideas. Admittedly, this seems like one of the most obvious of my ideas, but, as I know all too well, just because something seems obvious, that doesn't mean that anyone actually knows it! Myself included. So—Elizabeth was wanting to know what happened after death. She said it had gone past grieving or fearful wishes into clinical curiosity [2007: Someone close to her had died recently; I don’t recall who]. So I told her. And it worked. She found (as I have) that the logic was irrefutable, given our current knowledge of physiology and chemistry. Which only reaffirms my conclusion that it is only quite recently, in our modern scientific age, that it has truly been possible to supplant religion with personal, logical, scientific knowledge, at least as far as the answers about the Universe go. Not to say that there haven't been people before now who have believed in a real, physical, non-supernatural universe—they've existed at least since the Renaissance. But their belief was also based on faith—not as much blind faith as the religionists, perhaps, but faith nonetheless. They didn't—couldn't—really know the answers to questions like How did the Universe come to be? What happens when we die? What is life? Why are we here? They could only have faith that logic and science and the human mind would one day find answers to the questions. And their faith has been justified. But it is only in the last 50 years that we have evolved modern genetic theory, the only thing which can allow relative surety in the large human answers. Everything before was merely shrewd guesses and extrapolation. The people I have been looking to for answers—Rand, Pirsig, Asimov, Heinlein—are my grandparents' age. Even people of my parents' generation—Card, for example—grew up in an age which believed in the power of hard science to solve any problem on one hand, while on the other, was very suspicious of this powerful, distant Science thing and was not, generally, personally aware of the personal philosophical ramifications of science. Besides which they were—as a generation—raised by staunch religionists. That's very difficult to get past. It has long been my belief that it takes two full generations for a social change to completely take effect. So what I'm saying is that it's possible that the reason I feel like the only one with the answers, and get so frustrated with all of the above-named genius authors for knowing only parts of the truth and not seeing the whole, is that my generation is the first with the tools to put all these pieces together, living in an environment where people who think as differently as I do do not have to carefully hide their views to be able to live and interact with society (a result of my intellectual forebears' efforts? If so, thank you), and I am not alone, but instead in the vanguard of a new way of thinking.
        And these people who went before me are not deluded geniuses possessed of almost-truths, but pioneers laying the groundwork, clearing a path for me—us—to build on and lay a foundation for the future, making the best conclusions they could form from the knowledge they had—just as I do. For I fear it will be for the generation that comes after me—my intellectual descendants—to actually do the work I envision. That's OK. It's enough for me to make the vision possible.

        How I want to be different from them is by writing down my misgivings. They were all so sure—and so wrong in many particulars, however true their overall vision was. I'm sure the same is and will be true of me. But what I have always—always—wanted to do is separate those things I am certain of from my speculations, no matter how sure of them I feel.

        So the likelihood—the great likelihood—is that there are several others out there who have found much the same answers I have. Are they just like me? Do they have my goals and dreams, my strengths, my exact beliefs (or better)? Probably not. How many Heinleins were there? How many Rands? One of each, who did what they did. But these people—these brothers and sisters in mind—are out there. I just have to find them. I think I have already found one—Nooreen. She just hasn't had time to develop the ideas yet.