Rainy day

Did not go out walking today since it rained all afternoon. Spent some time on the exercise bike though.

It has been overcast with frequent rain for the last half or so of May, and chillier than April. I enjoy this, of course. I am weak to heat. Also, if there is a small hole in the clouds where the sun shines through, it is a good bet that it shines on me. That is the kind of guy I am. Or perhaps I am just more likely to notice it. Probably. ^_^

Summer should arrive tomorrow afternoon or the day after.

Spinrite ran on my machine from bedtime yesterday until I came home today.  It managed to recover “most of” a couple dozen bad sectors. This may seem like an accomplishment, but this was on my OS partition. Recovering “most of” programs and system files means they contain some garbage while still looking usable, which means there is a pretty high risk they will send the computer careening into sheer madness if they ever get called upon.

This also came to pass. At the end of the day, Windows would not even boot. I tried to repair it with the original disk from one of the older XP machines. It gave up at 40%, but miraculously it has actually worked (and fast, too) after that. Well, there is the occasional sudden pause, but overall it is the best it has been in weeks, I think. Of course, you hear about terminally ill patients getting a lucid moment before the end…


This was where the machine crashed for the night. And a little later, so did I. ^_^

Another computer entry

The hard disk of my main computer is in bad shape. I am running Spinrite 6 on it each night now, but modern disks are huge compared to what this tool was made for. And this huge disk has lots of bad spots. Spinrite has recovered some lost sectors and rewritten a number of weak ones. But frankly, at this speed it could be weeks or even months of nightly disk recovery before it is back in perfect surface health.

According to my earlier notes, the TERRA is from November 2007, meaning it is over 3 years old. It is not a record exactly, but usually I bought a new one every other year or so. This may be the first time I actually wear out a computer, rather than it breaking down suddenly or (usually) being stowed away while still usable but slow. The computer from 2004 is still workable, but so slow that you can go make some food while it starts a program.

It is not like I could not buy a new computer, I guess.  The price for a similar machine is not too bad by zeroth world standards. But that’s the thing… it is a similar machine. There are small improvements: I can get it with built-in SSD as main disk and the 1TB disk as second disk, which would give a significantly faster machine in some ways. Much faster start, and a small improvement whenever a program calls the operating system and uses a part that is not in memory. Faster swapping, but I already have that now with the add-in SSD. Also, there is USB 3.0, which would allow me to add super fast external hard disks. Because I need those… not really.

That’s it, there is no “killer application”, nothing that would change my life, so to speak. I’m not eager to shell out $1200 (plus the taxi to get it home from the post office…) for a machine that is marginally faster. So I will probably keep this one until either it breaks down or I do. But for now, I’m running Spinrite each night. Over the next few weeks I hope this will restore the hard disk to working order, in which case it will only hang once a day or so from the widescreen driver…


If you have an Android phone, you may want to get JuiceDefender, a program that extends battery life by turning off various features that are not in use at any given time. For instance, there is no point in having Internet access running all the time while the phone is in your pocket. It can go online a few seconds every five minutes, for instance, to check for mail, Twitter or Facebook updates. You can set how often, and various other things, but I haven’t. I use the free version with standard settings, and it seems to roughly triple battery life for me, possibly a bit more. I used to have to recharge it for a while in the middle of the day, now it is not even half empty at bedtime. Which, incidentally, is now.

Tomatoes vs cancer: Fight!

Actually we don’t know whether I even have cancer, but we do know that I have tomatoes!

Today I walked briskly for about an hour (burning 650 calories, according to my pulse watch.) This is supposed to be a good thing (see my earlier entry on this topic). Then again, I usually do that on Saturday anyway.

Unfortunately, it turns out that today it is vegetables that cure cancer, more exactly tomatoes and broccoli. And there are limits.  They go somewhere before broccoli. I find it impossible to believe that a merciful God would intend broccoli as human food, at least for regular use. It may not be as poisonous as it looks and tastes, but that’s the most credit I will give it.

“The only treatment that approached the tomato/broccoli diet’s level of effectiveness was castration” according to the article. That makes sense – it is also the only treatment that surpasses the tomato & broccoli diet on a scale of pure horror and revulsion…

Actually, the connection may be closer than that. “Another recent Erdman study shows that rats fed the tomato carotenoids phytofluene, lycopene, or a diet containing 10 percent tomato powder for four days had significantly reduced testosterone levels.” Yeah. Significantly reduced testosterone levels may help in consuming broccoli too, I guess. It is the archetypal spinster food, after all. Eat broccoli, avoid men, live till you are 90 and donate your fortune to a pet cemetery.

Even tomatoes and I don’t have the most cordial relationship. I have (repeatedly) been told that when I was little, I enthusiastically grabbed my first tomato and bit into it. Then I declared: “Tomatoes taste best in fresh air” and went outdoors and threw the tomato as far as I could. Which was at the time not very far, and it was found not much later. My brothers will probably not let that story go until we are old. If we grow old at all. Old age may be the source of many complaints, but most still prefer it to the alternative.

During my long walk I thought a bit, although not much. Here is an overview of what I thought:

So, in order to outpace cancer and various other common but grisly deaths, you have to walk briskly. The study drew a line at 3 hours a week, but this was probably more for practical reasons (there are probably not enough Americans who walk 7 hours a week to be statistically significant). So probably the more the better.

Now in addition to this, you are to eat lots of tomato and broccoli. But you can not eat sugar, sugar is poison (again).  Some fats are healthy (this year) but that does not much help me, since I get violently ill if I eat more than a few grams a meal of any fat. Actually I may be able to eat slightly more milk fat than other fats, but it is hard to say. My main source of fat is cheese, and it is not like I eat pounds of the stuff. Anyway, for now suffice it to say that I can’t eat fat and am not supposed to eat sugar (unless I am willing to die a grisly death).

Well, if all I can eat is veggies, and I am traipsing around the countryside every day, at least I won’t get aggressive prostate cancer from overweight. On the contrary, I will probably end up as something closer to a walking skeleton. Perhaps I could get a part time job showing medical students the various bones of the human body?

We already found out that sitting might kill me, but on the other hand Meditation can Boost the Immune System. So, meditation without sitting? Perhaps I should meditate while walking. Actually, that is something I occasionally do, but it tends to be less deep than classic meditation, for the obvious reason that one does not want to fall into a ditch or get run over by a car or stumble over roots.

There sure are a lot of things to do and not do if one wants to avoid an untimely death! And not least, Do Not Worry! For on the day you do that, you shall surely die. Or at least raze your immune system to the ground or something.


At this point, we are pretty close to what the ancient called “reductio ad absurdum”. Trying to live a healthy life can be so stressful that it kills you.  Later in the day, I listened to the latest weekly broadcast from Happy Science NZ. To my amusement, this week’s short lecture by Master Okawa was how to achieve definite health.

It is really a miracle that you can create illness in your body by the power of your thoughts, says Okawa. Even an ordinary person has this amazing power, to create illness. About 70% of illness is created this way, with the power of the mind. Despite this, people seem unable to create health. Isn’t that strange? Perhaps you really want to be sick, so you have an excuse for your failures. But if you want to be healthy (or only 30% sick, I guess), you should focus on thinking bright, positive thoughts. Reflect on yourself to get rid of hate and accusation. Practice gratitude to bring happiness into your life. Hold on to healthy habits. Make a life plan that is in accordance with the will of Heaven.

Mind you, I am not a big fan of the “if you had faith, you would not be sick” theology. But Okawa’s estimate that about 70% of illness is self-inflicted in one way or another seems reasonable. In our civilization, “lifestyle diseases” and stress-related illnesses are dominating the charts, massively so. So until further notice, I will continue to take my walks when feasible, eat tomatoes when feasible, and live with brightness and gratitude in my heart, hopefully for the remainder of my life, whether it is 6 months or 60 years. So far I’m planning for the latter though.


Killer commute?

I’m not normal! Not exactly news, I guess, but here is another example. Perhaps.

OK, this is baffling to me, but evidently ordinary humans can recognize themselves in it:

Your Commute Is Killing You: Long commutes cause obesity, neck pain, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia.”

Now admittedly this is from Slate, which I rank slightly below the Watchtower in unbiased science. It is one of those places dissatisfied leftists congregate to reinforce their discontent. (Actually, there are no happy, content leftists. That would be a contradiction in terms: Happy people naturally want to conserve their current happy life and all it entails, which would automatically make them conservative, literally so.) So unless you feel good watching leftists whine and despair, it may be wiser to go closer to the source. Luckily they are meticulous in linking back.

Long commutes ‘bad for marriage’: Swedish study (theLocal.se).

Now, arguably Sweden is also a place stuffed with leftists, at least by conservative American measure. But the Swedes are leftist mostly out of habit. The social democrats, when they rule at all, are the ones trying to stick to the past. Sweden is a country of “after the revolution”, although a quiet and bloodless revolution, where the former revolutionaries are now the ones defending status quo. Anyway, you may notice that taking one step closer to the source, the claim of utter and pervasive evil is toned a bit down.

The Swedish  article also have the hilarious comments, as can be expected. “I actually prefer long commutes. It gives me more time to spend with my girlfriend and less time around that seething bitch that I married.” “This is why I quit my job and went on welfare 20 years ago. My marriage is too important to me to jeopardize it.” (These are almost certainly facetious, as they play on popular stereotypes in Scandinavian humor. Your humor may vary.)

In all fairness, the Slate article also draws on other studies, among them one of 900 Texan women who liked sex best (what? NOT going to church?) and commute least.

The most surprising was the finding that time spent on commute is actually worse than time spent at work when it comes to reducing motivation for exercise and healthy eating. I had expected them to be equal at most. After all, for the majority who don’t have manual labor, we still come home from work with the feeling that we have worked all day and want to rest. It takes an effort of will (or fear, I suppose) to come home from work and change into your sweater.

(By the way, after the commute home from work today, I spent 10 minutes on the exercise bike and took a 45 minute fast walk. See previous entry for why.)

Now, if you were to see me on the street, you would probably mistake me for an ordinary human. I don’t radiate light in the visible spectrum, honest, nor do I have wings.  But once again I have to pick the opposite side from your average human: I love my commute and wish I had more of it. Well, except when I have diarrhea.

Part of it is that I use bus instead of car, I suppose. This means I can concentrate on the things I don’t always take the time to do at work or at home: Checking Facebook and Twitter, and especially reading Kindle books on my high-resolution cell phone. In fact, I have been known to lug along paper books in some cases, but I currently have a backlog of unread Kindle books, so that goes here. On the commute home from work I also habitually nap – so habitually in fact that I have set an alarm to avoid driving past my stop! (That was mostly a problem when this commute was new to me though. These days I usually wake up when we leave the Europe road, basically Interstate. The road standard is rather different.)

As I said back when I was preparing my (so far) last move, I seriously considered a two hour commute. The reason was that you could rent a house of high standard up in the valleys at a very affordable price. It was even theoretically possible for a one-person household to buy a house up there, which it hardly is here. And the two hour commute I counted as a benefit, not a problem. (This is even more the case today, when I finally have the go-ahead to work from home the days my digestion is haunting me. But even before, it was like 1 day a month most of the time.)

Four hours a day for reading and napping? That sounds great. Of course, that would mean that much less time writing my journal and playing City of Heroes, but I think that is a good trade. I already find myself playing less computer games than I did.

Now, I have from numerous sources that City of Heroes is better than sex, but I am not sure how it stacks up against spending time with your kids. My impression is that most adults are rather less enthusiastic about this than are the kids, but that does not mean God or Evolution won’t punish them if they fail to do it, I suppose. We are after all descendants from those whose kids were not eaten by predators and did not fall into rivers, so there may be some implicit genetic contract here.

But for the few actual singles in the world who are not monks, commute seems a lot less threatening than it does to the Slate crowd. Or perhaps it is just me. I doubt I am quite that unique, though.


Outpacing cancer and such

“I guess exercise really is important.” Yeah, and more so for us guys, perhaps.

In case you didn’t know (I didn’t) and couldn’t guess, walking briskly for several hours a week drastically reduces the dangers from prostate cancer. While doing so, it also happens to drastically reduce mortality from pretty much anything else (except getting run over by bikes, I strongly suspect).

So yeah. Half an hour today. ^_^

(Actually I was aiming for one hour, but it began to rain after a quarter. Anyway, half an hour should be about right – the article mentions 3 hours a week. Of course, there is reason to doubt that I will do this every day, especially if I am not diagnosed with cancer. Then again, who knows. I used to walk like crazy for much of my life, and still do by American and modern Norwegian standards.)


On a vaguely related note, I woke up to a bulk e-mail from my “friend” Bill Harris, of Centerpointe Research Institute. These are the people from whom I bought the Holosync brainwave entrainment solution, my first of that kind and one of the best known. I mostly use LifeFlow these days, but I like to keep up with my old supplier. Plus, the almost daily e-mails make me appreciate LifeFlow and the Project Meditation that supplies it. You see, they are not only about Holosync. Far from it.

Today, for instance, brings the good news “Amazing non-toxic liquid kills cancer cells”. Which is probably true. I am sure clean water will do that under the right conditions, and probably various other substances. Not all cancer cells are robust enough to survive for long outside the body. Anyway, the lengthy e-mail does not offer any clue as to what this non-toxic liquid is, only that it is available over the counter. (Could still be water, I suppose, depending on the counter.) There are repeated links to one of his innumerable business friends, who will tell us more.

It is a very, very safe bet that if I were to follow the link, I would get a long and somewhat multimedia-based spiel about the awesomeness of the cancer-killing substance, which the health establishment does not want us to know, and still no hint as to what it is. To find out, we will have to buy some kind of report or something from Mr Friend, of which I assume Mr Harris gets a small percentage for sending the sheep for shearing. Not to say slaughter, if one is such a prime case of Darwinian evolution in action as to substitute this for actual medical treatment. Or long walks, I guess. For some reason the evil medical establishment seems to have no problem whatsoever with letting us know that we can actually walk away from cancer, heart infarct, stroke, diabetes etc at little or no cost to us and no income to them.

Then again, perhaps they know very few people will actually do it, even though it is free, harmless and pretty fun if you have an MP3 player.


SSD day 2

I almost thought my main computer was gone (again). Each time it started, it wanted to check the C: disk, and every time it found various errors and then hung up completely. If I skipped the disk check, it started, but crashed after a little while. So, not a pretty sight. I am not sure how much of this came from the bluescreen problems I have had the last few days, and how much from trying to use CCleaner to fix them. But I was seriously wondering if a full reinstall of Windows was in order.

Upgrading to Win7 would anyway wipe my disk, evidently. That’s rather a big difference from upgrading Ubuntu Linux, which may take some hours but leaves pretty much everything running as before (or better) afterwards, no reinstall required for any programs. (Although it will replace some programs with newer if you allow it to.)

Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do before Windows gets as good as Ubuntu Linux. But then, I don’t use Windows because it is a great operating system, but because some of my favorite programs need it to run. Thanks to the fact that most people have bad taste in operating systems (as had I for much of my life), many programs are simply never made for other systems. Hopefully this will change gradually as computing disappears from the desktop and into the clouds on one hand and the smartphones on the other.

Well, the system is running again finally, at no extra cost, for as long as it lasts. And bedtime is approaching.


Good news from work: Boss says I can take my laptop home each day so I can work from home if I get sick again.  I would estimate that 14 of the 19 sick days the last year were of a sort where I could have worked from home. In most cases, I simply could not travel too far from the toilet. A 55 minute commute is a bit far in these cases, although I love the commute otherwise. With the new opportunity, my life is even more perfect. Long may it last.

I can’t convert vacation into sick days though. Norwegian law is very strict, you are not allowed to dodge your vacation! If I could, I could have reduced my sick days to zero, and at the same time gotten rid of the excessive vacation. I usually take NaNoWriMo off, of course, but lately that is not enough: Mandatory vacation has increased to 5 weeks a few years ago, and I have reached the limit of how much I can carry over to the next year.

Now that is what I call zeroth world problems! ^_^


Edit to add before midnight: Ordered this year’s CD (not sure if there was one last year?), from CDJapan. The beautiful (well, to me at least) lullaby that you can hear here on YouTube until the copyright holders get it removed (and thus stop more people from hearing it and buying it…)


SSD day

The Intel 80GB Solid State Device that I ordered this weekend arrived today already. Multicom.no are quite fast! So most of the evening was lost to installing it and trying to make use of it.

The SSD is a modern alternative to the hard disk. It uses a bit less power, is faster (at least in reading and in writing randomly) and shock-resistant. The latter part is useful in laptops, not so much in the desktop when I installed it.

The packet contained only the disk itself (2.5″), no cables or brackets or anything. Well, a brief description of how to install it. I snagged a SATA cable from an old computer that melted down years ago, that I had the foresight to bring along when I moved. Well, not had the foresight to throw away really, but it came in handy now.

Once it was properly connected, I started the computer again. It did not show a new drive in “My computer”, but in the hardware part of Control Panel – System, it was said to work properly.

Reading a bit on the Net, I eventually found out that I had to right click on My Computer, Manage, and Disk management. The drive was listed but did not have a letter and was not initialized. I initialized it, formatted it, and let it get the next free letter (L:).

I spent a considerable time trying to clone or copy the C: partition (where Windows is) to the new drive, but it seems not doable. It would have been if the C: drive had been a separate physical drive, but on my computer it is a small part of a 500GB drive, and the cloning programs demand that the receiving drive is as least as big as the source drive (not the source partition). So that dream (and a fast booting Windows) went down the drain.

Fast booting would have become more useful lately, since the computer dies the blue screen of death about once a day, some days two. It seems to happen randomly, sometimes while I sleep at night. The error message this time does not list a driver, just some hexadecimal addresses.

After I gave up that (it was now beginning to become night), I put the Windows swapfile on the SSD. This was a success. After a restart, Windows is now more snappy. Once I have closed a big program, Windows is ready to take my order immediately, where it until now have had to unwind for a bit. Swapping between large programs is also fast now. The max swapfil I was allowed to set was 4095, which is a bit small, but good enough for me. It is also about twice what I had on the C: drive before.

I also moved City of Heroes to the SSD. It starts faster now, and zones load faster, but no faster than on the Vista machine. I suspect the load time now consists of the variable data downloaded from the servers, which would explain why both machines have virtually the same load time. Before, the XP machine was slower.

I’d like to move Dragon NaturallySpeaking also over to the SSD, it is my slowest program not load now. But since it is a major cause of crashes, this may have to wait.

If I can’t figure out the crashes, I may upgrade to Windows 7 soon. Both the widescreen monitor, the video card and now the SSD are from after the time of Windows XP, so the drivers for them don’t really fit with the rest of the system. I suspect either the monitor driver or video card driver (the problem was there before I got the SSD). Win7 is also supposedly faster.  And maybe, just maybe I can get it to install on the SSD. In that case, the new hardware may actually be worth the price. Otherwise, not quite.

I hope this information may be useful for others who pick up a SSD, but I don’t really know.

Growing up

I disagree a bit – kids do need to be looked after. But it is true that you have limited influence on who they become in the end: That will increasingly depend on their own decisions. Each child is an individual, whether you want it to or not.

I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Over the last years, I have noticed that I am beginning to grow up. It has kind of accelerated after I hit 50, it seems…

“Growing up” is really a very vague concept. When are you a grown-up? For much of history, childhood was very short, in so far as it existed at all. There were infants, and then there were small, stupid workers. But you generally were not considered grown-up until you were able to reproduce. That did not stop girls in particular from being married off as young as 5, although more commonly around 9 years old. The notion that pedophilia was wrong, rather than just impractical, is fairly new. The word itself was unknown a hundred years ago, but we have had some idea about this for longer than that. The ancient Greeks and Romans, however, did not. Judaism stood out in this area by not actually shipping the girls off for marriage until their first menstruation (which was generally later than today, due to less nourishing foods and vitamins).

Today, we have almost certainly gone too far in the opposite direction. People are now “kids” until they graduate from college, and are not expected to take responsibility for their own lives until then. (Kind of hard to do in a capitalist society without money, really.) Needless to say, most people won’t be celibate that long, but are discouraged from forming a family. By the time they take their place in adult society, they have a decade’s practice of fooling around. To everyone’s great surprise, some of them continue to do this after they marry and/or have kids, and acrimony ensues.


But there is another meaning of growing up, and that is internally. Some people don’t really much care about what happens inside their own mind, much less others, but in that case you would probably not be hanging out here. So…

Ryuho Okawa (of Happy Science fame) says that you are fully responsible for your own life from around the age of 30.  He bases this on both his own experience and Jesus Christ, neither of which started their religious work until the age of 30. Even then, one may notice, Jesus’ mother managed to get him to perform his first miracle by putting him in a situation where she would be regarded as a weirdo if he didn’t. Or that is one way of seeing it at least. He warned her at the time that she could not expect to have any say in his life anymore, and from what it seems, she didn’t after that one time.

It is a gradual thing though. We start shaping our own lives much earlier. Jesus asserted himself when he was 12 and stayed behind in the temple, although we don’t hear of any further such episodes. But for the rest of us too, it is common that some sense of identity awakens late in childhood or at the onset of puberty. In my case, I discovered my free will the summer when I was 15, I believe, shortly before leaving home for high school. So that was convenient. I read a small tract by Elias Aslaksen, a Norwegian preacher of Truth, where he convinced me that nobody can lift our hand to strike or open our mouth to speak. We are not responsible for what others do to us, but we are responsible for how we react. What we do depends on what we think, how we see that which happens to us. The way we see things can be completely opposite, depending on ourselves.

In a matter of minutes, my life turned around. Of course, in the heat of emotion this insight was often forgotten, but not permanently. Gradually, my power over my own body increased. It still does – it is still not complete, even at this age. I’d like to be able to say with Confusius (Analects chapter 2):
The Master said, “At fifteen, I had my mind bent on learning.
“At thirty, I stood firm.
“At forty, I had no doubts.
“At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven.
“At sixty, my ear was an obedient organ for the reception of truth.
“At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, without transgressing what was right.”

Intriguingly, reception of Truth is what I am “specializing in” now, I guess. There is still so much Truth to absorb. But I really wish to arrive at having no desires that transgress what is right. At that point, I suppose I may call myself a grown-up, even spiritually.

Alien fiction revisited

Actually, aliens seem to be particularly popular in Japan. But there’s always Smallville, Kansas, too.

I dug out my old box with Smallville Season 1 on DVD. Bought and paid, from Amazon.co.UK, I think. Definitely legit, original box and all. I have like five or six of these. Although if I were to get the rest, I would probably get them from Pirate Bay or something. It is pretty good for TV, but I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve paid much more for these than they are worth. This is the kind of stuff one should rent, not buy, but there’s no obvious place to do that here in Norway. So it is buying or copying. Or a bit of each, I guess.

Actually I mostly wanted to hear the theme song, Somebody save me, an old favorite of mine. Even as late as then, I kind of felt a bit like that. Like I wasn’t really saved. And like it was all about me. Well, I guess if one is to write an online journal almost every day, “all about me” is a useful attitude to have. But it is kind of fading, or at least changing.

Watching the first couple episodes (nostalgic, it is really around a decade?) I began to think of my own alien fiction, which I have rebooted a number of times. I vaguely remember four instances of it, there may have been a fifth. It seems to never quite get off the ground. So I do another “Kami reboot” as I call them when I write about it here. The main character is not named Kami, of course. Rather a kami is a generic name for a deity or spirit in Japanese, at least in the Shinto religion. Even dead people become honorary kami. So in this particular fiction of mine, the kami are actually aliens who live in small numbers on Earth and on many other planets. They are millions of years more advanced than us, and can shapeshift using their alien technology. (Not on the spot – they need to rebuild the body so it is a pretty big deal, but the resulting body can be whatever they decide, including human.) Earth is considered a great place for them to raise kids, so they hide among us and when the kid grows up – which may take a hundred years or more – to reach its full powers, it leaves Earth to travel among the stars.

So the story is about this high school kid who is actually an alien. That’s the connection with Smallville, there really isn’t much else in common. No Kryptonite, no supervillains. Which may be why even I don’t find it interesting enough to write for long…

Strangely I found only one of the reboots. Or perhaps it was even the original. It was the one in which the boy knew and had always known that he was an alien. (In most of the reboots he was only told so sometime during high school.) He still felt kind of human when he was among them, and secretly wished he could be human. No, it is not autobiographical…  I can’t remember ever having felt that longing to be human. ^_^

Not very exciting, I know! Oh, and I downloaded and installed VLC, the free open source video player, since the DVD did not show properly in MicroSoft Media Player. The pictures were square instead of rectangular, so everyone looked ridiculously tall and thin in full-screen mode. VLC, which is open source software made by volunteers, rendered it perfectly.


The end of the world

Even if the world ends today, we still want to protect you.

Rumors of the death of the world have so far been exaggerated. Although these days, for the first time in history, we may actually have the power to make the planet go Krypton in the manner depicted above. If Stephen Hawking is wrong about some small detail in his theory of black holes – which very few humans alive understand except Hawking – then the Large Hadron Collider at CERN could actually cause just such an event, where a microscopic black hole sinks to the center of the planet and eats it from the inside. It would be a spectacular sight, but we wouldn’t be around to see it.

So far, however, there is no sign of the end. I consider this a good thing. Some angsty teens may disagree. And also, evidently, a few of my fellow Christians. Or at least one old preacher who doesn’t want to die, which I can certainly understand. I’m afraid he is mistaken, though, if he thinks the experience of the Rapture as depicted in Christian tradition will be significantly different from death. There would still be a transition. It is not like you get taken in a spaceship to another terrestrial planet. Probably. There are some who think this is what happened to Enoch and Elijah, especially since Enoch wrote a book with numerous astronomical references. Or so I have been told. But that does not seem to be what is happening here. Nor is the elderly preacher putting his baby son in a rocket and sending him to a planet circling a white sun.  If you’re going to the phantom zone, you may as well die and become a phantom that way, you know.

And that, my dear reader, is what I have been thinking on today, while taking a walk and listening to Angela’s beautiful song, The End of the World. This was the song that inspired me to write my groundbreaking series of gray entries in June 2005, starting with “The Next Big Thing”, in which I proposed that the end of human history was near: Not in the form of a physical disaster, but by a total conversion of the human mind to a new and higher level, resulting in the extinction of the current way of thinking in the same way as the Neanderthals and others like them just fell by the wayside after our minds achieved symbolic thinking that we have today.

Back then, those who could not keep up – not only the Neanderthals but most branches of humanity at the time – suddenly disappeared, and we descend from those few who invented symbolic thinking and those who were able to learn it.  (For instance, almost all humans descend from the “genetic Adam” who lived 60 000 – 90 000 years ago, but the Khoisan people do not. They parted way with our ancestors at least 110 000 years ago. Of all human groups that lived up to 65 000 years ago, only they and we survive, it seems.)

The Neanderthals had larger brains than we have. The various human tribes that existed around the time of the Dawn of the Mind were for all purposes identical, as far as we can guess from the fossil record and from the traces of crude stone axes made everywhere. And yet, with the sudden outbreak of the human mind as we know it, some were endowed with it and others were… left behind.

When I wrote all that stuff on 18-23 June 2005, it was pretty vague to me still. I am not sure if I had yet found One Cosmos, it certainly had not impressed me if so. I had read a little Ken Wilber, but I think that is pretty much it. I was not sure whether it was just me and a couple others in the world who were “getting it” even at a mostly theoretical level. It seemed impossible that the Transition would happen for generations yet. And indeed, most of the New Age seems to be spiritual fog and magic in modern clothes. But there really are some people here and there, often hidden among the ordinary religious masses, who are “downloading” the higher consciousness. We are on our way. Though we are not there today, and almost certainly not in 2012.

But when the Transition comes, I hope “we” (though I may no longer be there bodily) will be able to protect as many as possible in the chaos and turmoil that follows among those “left behind”. It is not like those who ascend sit up there and laugh at the maggots who fry down below. Those who look forward to such an ascent are likely to get a very unpleasant surprise, I suspect.