February 11th, 2013

Not your father’s Captain Ahab

Did you know that there’s a campaign by shark attack survivors to save sharks?

I can understand this in the abstract, if sharks are indeed an important part of the ocean ecosystem, although it still seems rather odd, perhaps a strange form of Stockholm Syndrome. I found the article because I was reading a friend’s magazine called “More” and saw this piece about a woman named Michelle Glenn who had survived a horrific shark attack, and who apparently is part of this movement.

I was stunned by the fact that, unlike the people who were attacked while doing recreational ocean swimming, Glenn had gone on an expedition to purposely swim with sharks and photograph them [emphasis mine]:

Michelle “Micki” Glenn wasn’t just scuba diving for fun. She and the 20 other tourists aboard Sea Dancer, a 120-foot dive boat, were on a mission: to photograph sharks off uninhabited French Cay in Turks and Caicos. They were all relaxing after the first dive of the day when someone suggested they snorkel for a while…

Drifting below the surface, Glenn was not surprised to see a seven-foot female shark just beneath her fins. [Her husband] Mike, who’d put on scuba gear, had swum deeper, taking photographs in the cathedral light that fell through the bright blue water and faded to dark purple and then black as it dropped away to the benthic deep. Five days into the trip, Glenn had become accustomed to having sharks nearby. It was one of those unconscious adaptations that we make all the time, but this was not a good one. Glenn’s emotional system had relabeled sharks—formerly something to fear—as fascinating creatures. “I love animals,” she tells me. A lifelong equestrian, Glenn says she saw the sharks as “powerful, graceful—it was like watching horses.”

Horses? As far as I know, horses don’t consider people food—although I suppose a kick in the head or other vulnerable organ from a horse can kill a person. Long ago, I had to dissect a shark in bio lab, and let me just tell you I was impressed by how unhorselike—and strangely “primitive”—it was.

From the rest of the story as presented in the article, Glenn seems like an exemplary person in many ways, and she’s certainly brave. But where does one draw the line between brave and foolhardy? I imagine that most people who do this “swimming with the sharks” bit are not attacked by a shark the way she was, but still—it just seems like a profoundly stupid thing to do.

Of course, one could say that of any risky and extreme activity. Climbing Mt. Everest, for example, probably has a higher fatality rate than swimming with sharks. And as long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s her decision (and her husband’s, who obviously approves). Were there children? Other family? Was the experience worth the risk? It certainly wouldn’t be to me.

But then, I don’t ride horses, either.

43 Responses to “Not your father’s Captain Ahab”

  1. artfldgr Says:

    where does one draw the line between brave and foolhardy

    between serving lunch and being lunch

  2. Kentucky Packrat Says:

    I will admit to some sympathy for the pro-shark group of people here. We are entering the sharks’ territory acting like the sharks’ prey. Typically, sharks also back off the moment they figure out “hey, this seal tastes and acts really strange”.

    I don’t know sharks, but most animals that attack humans are put down because they have already learned that humans are food, and are therefore inherently dangerous. If sharks cannot learn this kind of behavior, or are no more dangerous post-attack than pre-attack, then we should leave them alone. If they are more dangerous post-attack, then we should kill them immediately, with no hesitation.

  3. neo-neocon Says:

    Kentucky Packrat: but what about purposely going out to swim with them, without any sort of protective cage?

  4. George Pal Says:

    “Long ago, I had to dissect a shark in bio lab…”

    So how come you got a shark and I got a damn frog?

    As to the post incident Ms Glenn and her rapprochement with the species, at least she hadn’t gone out of her way to hunt down and forgive the actual perp. That would be too much. That would be beyond Theodore Dalrymple’s ‘incontinent forgiveness’. That would be crazy. As it is, she’s just ‘eccentric’.

  5. Richard Aubrey Says:

    It is an absolute certainty that sharks took more sailors when the Indianapolis went down than were KIA in the Spanish American war.
    Their inshore brethren fed quite well in the Slot and the Bismarck Sea and other places forgotten by all but those trying to forget
    Somebody needs to be at the top of the food chain. I vote for us.
    Plus, eating humans is lese majeste. Capital crime.

  6. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “We are entering the sharks’ territory”

    “their” territory?

    No offense but that is self-species hatred and environmentalist garbage.

    Animals live by nature’s law of the jungle where might makes right. By their own standards, it is humans who sit at the top of the food chain and therefore ‘our’ territory.

    This woman is just the latest in a long line of fools, who suppose that they can ‘befriend’ natural predators.

    Eating others is what predators do and people who refuse to recognize it have declared themselves to be prey.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    George Pal: did you take biology in college?

    The frog was high school. College was, to the best of my recollection: clam, shark, fetal pig, and probably a host of others I’ve since repressed.

    I mostly left it to my lab partner, a friend of mine who loved to dissect. I watched.

  8. southernjames Says:

    I am my no means defending people who want to do dangerous stunts for the thrill of it, or whatever.

    And I understand that we humans are at the top of the chain, and don’t you critters forget it. (Chest thump!).

    But….sharks ARE indeed an important part of the ocean eco-system. Just as mammal predators are in important part of the on-shore ecosystem.

    Excessive greenie hysteria over stuff like stopping hydro electric projects due to a “snail darter,” is too much….BUT, I think we need to tread lightly and carefully before condemning any species to extinction. If sharks, for example, are hunted to extinction (and my understanding is that in many waters, their numbers are in very serious decline), we should not be so arrogant to assume that we can predict ahead of time, what the law of unintended consequences may bring, should they disappear altogether from the oceans.

    Yes, I did kind of like that Croc Hunter Aussie guy. He truly demonstrated a love for the scary critters he used to interact with; and he used his platform to promote conservation and protection of animal species – even the scary ones.

    Conservation of nature and natural resources has alway been, to me, a “conservative” value and not lib or lefty one. Some of the biggest conservation and nature defenders you’ll ever meet, are hunters, who are also very politically conservative.

  9. George Pal Says:

    Neo-neocon:

    It was junior college, which is either remedial high school for those who need it or a taste of college for those unwilling to commit four years of time for five years of inculcation for three years of debt.

  10. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    southernjames,

    I for one view your comment as simple common sense. Anyone indifferent to ‘fouling our nest’ is an idiot. And conservation is a conservative value. The difference however between conservation and environmentalism is profound. One seeks to conserve and exercise wise dominion over the environment, the other is an ‘ism’.

  11. vanderleun Says:

    Rarely awarded Amusing Brevity medal to artfldgr. Learn from your successes artfldgr.

  12. ziontruth Says:

    I had some fun replacing every instance of “shark” in that article with “Muslim.” It proved very educating about today’s political situation.

  13. parker Says:

    I have no desire to exterminate sharks as I have no desire to exterminate cougars; but when in cougar country, carry firepower and shoot to kill if threatened.

    “I had some fun replacing every instance of “shark” in that article with “Muslim.”” It proved very educating about today’s political situation.” ;-) Carry firepower.

  14. Artfldgr Says:

    vanderleun,
    i would. but this crowd doesn’t do their side of the equation. as explained before, an inside joke and such brevity requires both people to know similar things. so if i make a reference that means something short, and you never read it, then what?

    remember, brevity is the soul of lingerie
    not communication…

    and if people want less text, then they have to bone up and learn lots more so i can reference it with a small thing…

    for instance. i put up a paper a couple of days ago. its really good covering jihadi stuff, and putin resurrection of soviet life and so on.

    i thought someone like you would read it and realize that the people in place to think, are not the dolts that we in the public pay attention to.

    in other words… the guys all trusted to taking care of things are not so far from this blog in their discussions… but the guys that make money endlessly giving pc opinions, they are what the public mostly hears

    you would never know unless you read what the think tanks who advise produce. do you really think that the politicos listen to the entertainment side of this game created for the people like you i to fiddle with?

    here from
    Active Measures 1 – The Institute of World Politics
    better known as IWP

    ever read what these things produce?

    the article on irans nuclear stuff is great compared to newsreek and the ny times!!!!!!!!!!!!

    pointing out that all a nuclear device will do for iran is make it hard to take them over. and that their REAL power is in the straight of Hormuz to which they can do a lot and not pay for it.

    Iran’s Real Nuclear Option: Closing the Strait—Darren Fazzino

    another excellent short piece is
    The Ideological Foundations of Islamic Terrorism—Cassandra L. Bales

    another one of the other good ones is
    Empire Under Reconstruction: The Grand Strategy of Post-Soviet Russia under Putin—
    Paweł Piotr Styrna

    they reference things that hte public left claims is tin hat, they mention important books people think are not..

    heck.. you woudl be surprised to read the putin article… as it has more substance than what most people talk and make up!!!

    they point out that a lot of whats going on, from islam, to china to europe, is part of what Aleksandr Dugin wrote and theorized..

    The theories of Aleksandr Dugin—the troubadour of Russian “Eurasianism”— closely parallel the actual practice of Putinist grand strategy.
    -=-=-=-=-
    His hefty 1997 magnum opus, The Foundations of Geopolitics (Osnovy Geopolitiki), serves as a text book at the Russian military’s General Staff Academy. As of yet, it remains to be translated into English.

    from the paper his strategy for the us is revealed

    For instance, in the United States, he advises a Machiavellian strategy of divide et impera, including the provoking of “Afro-American racists” and introducing “geopolitical disorder into internal American activity, encouraging all kinds of separatism and ethnic, social, and racial conflicts, actively supporting all dissident movements—extremist, racist, and sectarian groups, thus destabilizing internal political processes in the US. It would also make sense simultaneously to support isolationist tendencies in American politics.”

    sure seems like Obama is facilitating that, no?
    given you dont like a lot of big words
    and do not read my sources, and believe them to be tin hat and not Stratfor, or IWP, or Military College…

    I will end this with a quote from the article from a man who recently died.

    Sergei Tretyakov
    before you read his quote, you should know who he was… Sergei defected from Russia in 2000, and offered the FBI a huge fund in reference to spying in NY from the UN to businesses. he was “the second-in-command of the KGB/SVR in New York City between 1995 and 2000″ Pete Earley wrote a book about him called Comrade J. Tretyakov eventually led to the arrest of eleven Russian illegals, also known as sleeper agents, on June 28, 2010

    now… if you had read it, and i knew you did, i could say…

    “this reminds me of that quote Sergei made”

    instead, since you don’t know it, didn’t read it, and i am talking, i have to give you a lot more.

    The Soviet-Russian defector offered a blunt warning to Americans: “As a people, you are very naïve about Russia and its intentions. You believe because the Soviet Union no longer exists, Russia is now your friend. It isn’t, and I can show you how the SVR is trying to destroy the U.S. even today and even more than the KGB did during the Cold War.”

    or the quote of Anna Walentynowicz who argued that “communism hasn’t collapsed; it has camouflaged itself.”

    its interesting to read these policy papers and such, as the wacky academia stuff is absent and they even talk about it (in the article about chinese spying and how american academic researchers have facilitated that)

    ah well…
    its hard to discuss such things when you have no peers who know as much.. imagine talking algebra with a kid learning their times tables… they dont want to learn algebra, and you cant explain things simply to them. so what can you do? you can only try to explain and fill in the reams they dont know to explain something…

    anyway…
    dont worry
    the worst of it is your problem not mine
    after all, i am not the one who is in the dark, wants tiny sentences, and to be entertained or they wont learn… (which is the ongoing thesis of such)

    really good reading in that document above..
    ESPECIALLY if the times and other gamesters have you down and thinking no one knows or cares…

  15. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    Neo: I took both Bio I and Bio II (the latter as an elective). I don’t recall doing ANY dissection in Bio I — around the same time as you, give or take 5-7 years but in Bio II we did both frogs and fetal pigs.

  16. parker Says:

    “remember, brevity is the soul of lingerie not communication…”

    And 10,000 words of spewed ‘wisdom’ is enlightenment? Artfldgr, you have many facts at your command, this does not mean you have the wisdom of communication. Your disdain of ‘lesser mortals’ does not serve you well. We, here, are not idiots; although we may a bit slow by your standars. If you continue to treat us as idiots, it is you who is the idiot savant.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    IGotBupkis: the college I went to required that all liberal arts students take 2 separate year-long lab sciences. That meant no “bio for phys ed majors.” We all had to take a year-long lab and lecture sequence (3 lectures a week, one three-hour lab a week) in something like bio, and then another year-long lab and lecture sequence in something like chemistry or geology. That was for people who had no interest in science. It was pretty rigorous.

    You could get out of one year of the science requirement by taking a one-year sequence of math at a pretty advanced level. That was NOT the easy way out.

  18. ziontruth Says:

    parker,

    “And 10,000 words of spewed ‘wisdom’ is enlightenment?”

    That’s putting your finger on the point: It’s not so much the length of those posts, but the fact that they’re so disordered. While Einstein did say things should be made as simple as possible but no simpler, meaning some ideas do pose a limit to the brevity they could be conveyed in, unstructured exposition is the enemy of understanding whether the words used are few in number or many.

    Writing an idea for being understood is like design a building to be inhabited: You want the building to be sturdily structured in order that the roof won’t fall in on the dwellers.

  19. ziontruth Says:

    like *designing* a building

    Previewing is also a good practice before submitting one’s work.

    ;)

  20. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    This idiocy is hardly confined to sharks:

    Sings to Grizzlies: Timothy Treadwell
    by Humberto Fontova

    Thankfully, the world of bears is no longer impinged by the idiotic and moronic Mr. Treadwell, who never quite grasped that those fangs and claws served a purpose…. And it unfortunately cost the lives of two bears as a result of that idiocy.

    The story above is tragicomic in nature — “dark comedy” at its finest in short essay form…

    This is an equally revealing, far more serious description of the events surrounding the deaths of Treadwell and his GF… and two bears.

    Yet another example of idiots finding predators interesting to hang around was dancer Juliet Prowse, who was attacked two times by a pet leopard, the second time very seriously. She was well known for keeping great cats as pets, and, despite them being very well habituated to human presence, they were still wild and vicious when startled or scared, and, in the relatively uncontrolled environment of the TV studio, that is pretty inevitable sooner or later. She required 20 stitches as a result of the second attack. One wonders if, after that, she Got It, and finally learned that predators predate… Nah. Probably not….

  21. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    }}} You could get out of one year of the science requirement by taking a one-year sequence of math at a pretty advanced level. That was NOT the easy way out.

    :^D

    For some, yes. For others… well, I taught myself Calculus at 15, when my HS would not ALLOW me to take it despite having completed the pre-reqs for it. I made if formal/official my senior year of HS when I took it at the local Jr. College. Math has always come remarkably easy for me.

    But I was noting my own HS experience compared to yours… I’m not surprised college courses would be at least somewhat rigorous by comparison.

    The key thing was how my own Bio I class did not, IIRC, have any dissection of significance. I think you’re a few years older than I (not many), so part of that was how the “hands on” stuff probably deteriorated.

  22. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    }}} That was for people who had no interest in science. It was pretty rigorous.

    P.S., by comparison, my own LAS required a year of a foreign language… even if
    1) That’s an imbecilic way to “learn” a language, as the “cram-for-exam and never again use it” nature of it inevitably means you’ve forgotten 90% of it within 3 months of the final Final.
    2) Its primary purpose — much as your bio/geo class reqs, is to justify the pay of departments that might otherwise be under-subsidized by their own major students.

    I think I’d actually learn a language “in context” pretty well. But in a class, it’s an annoying nightmare of boring, repetitious rote memorization, with limited to zero value of any kind.

  23. M J R Says:

    ziontruth, 8:44 pm — “Writing an idea for being understood is like . . . .”

    Do note, if one believes Karl Popper:

    “It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.”
    – Karl Popper

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    IGotBupkis: oh, we also had plenty of other requirements, including I think two years of foreign language (I don’t remember, because fortunately I placed out of that; they gave us a test when we arrived). There were all sorts of distribution requirements, but the only absolutely required course was Freshman English (which I also, fortunately, placed out of).

    Just a few years later most of these requirements were gone or quite softened, if I recall correctly.

  25. Lizzy Says:

    Reminds me of the book “The Beast in the Garden” about how mountain lions have flourished in parts of Colorado because so many people have stopped treating them as predators. In fact, these nocturnal hunters have started wandering & feeding in populated areas during the day.
    Sharks, grizzlies, and mountain lions are predators, regardless of one’s awe and wonder at them, and no amount of respect will stop them from attacking you (especially if you’re stupid enough to get close to them).

  26. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    }}} including I think two years of foreign language (I don’t remember, because fortunately I placed out of that; they gave us a test when we arrived)

    That’s one thing they actually don’t really let you do any more. All the “AP” type tests only mean you have to take higher level courses when you get in, instead of taking the courses that would be trivially easy and take no time for you in terms of studying, since you already know all of the basic stuff…

    After all — the primary reason for college-wide requirements has nothing to do, any more, with instilling a “breadth of knowledge” — it’s about keeping professors, TAs, and departments fully funded by asses in classes. How can you do that if you let people skip out of classes by showing you that they already know that sh**…?

  27. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces Says:

    }}} “It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood.”
    – Karl Popper

    To be honest, this follows tautologically from Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems, which say that any given mathematical rule set cannot be self-contained. There will always need to be some complexly defined “special case” which lies outside the basic rules you attempt to define. The classical case of this (if you took HS Geometry) is the “Parallel Postulate”, which is far more complex than any of the other simple rules which define Classical Greek Geometry.

    And hence the universe will always need Lawyers.

    Yes, Lawyers are actually built into the universe’s design…. LOLZ.

    Because if you think about it, if you can’t say something exact so that it doesn’t need special cases and exceptions for something as naturally precise as mathematics, how the hell can you hope to do it with something naturally nuanced and flexible as human language?

    There is no such thing as an absolute rule in human experience.

    It’s not just hard, it’s not just unlikely… It’s impossible.

    ;-)

  28. SCOTTtheBADGER Says:

    Well, I get to speak as someone with scars on his right hand from shark’s teeth. Back in the ’80′s, while on a dock, I came across a dead Bull Shark. Having always heard about how sharp their theeth are, I crouched down, and reached over to tap the tips of the teeth in the lower jaw. Tapping gentley assured me that they do, indeed have a mouth full of XACTO knives, and I stood up, to go one my way. I had neglected, alas, to remember that the upper jaw is slightly forward than the lower, and I recieved some rather impressive slashes down the back of my right paw. I retired a rather chasened Badger.

    On the other hand, so to speak, I was the The Minnesota Zoo, where they have a tank with 2 foot Leopard Sharks, that you can pet. It turns out that Leopards like being stroked down their flanks. I imagine it stimulates the lateral line, and might be the sharkesian equiviant of being scratched behind the ears on a cat. It sounds silly, but it is strangely satisfying to make a small shark happy

  29. Daniel Says:

    I’m a scuba diver and have been in the water with a myriad of different sharks; unpredictable and dangerous Bulls and Tigers, timid Hammerheads as well as smaller and much more docile White Tipped and Silver Tipped Reef Sharks and Nurse sharks. With basic precautions a scuba diver has pretty much nothing to fear of an encounter with a shark since we probably look very terrifying to them underwater. Snorkelers are in more of a precarious position since they look somewhat natural and surfers look like lunch.

    But the likelihood that someone is going to get bitten by a shark is so incredibly remote as to not be worth the math to figure it out. In the meantime, we slaughter them by the millions, mostly just for their fins. We are very much still at the top of the food chain no matter what the environment, but we always need “tools” in order to stay there.

    People like Micki Glenn knew this before the shark attack and know and understand this now. They were unfortunately the drawers of that short straw, but are intelligent enough to know that the conditions have not changed at all. Sharks were, and still are, very beautiful creatures and an amazing sight underwater.

    Hysteria towards sharks is incredibly misplaced. Even simple fear of sharks is vastly overblown. One should have a healthy respect for them, of course, and recognize that no one can control their decision to attack. I applaud Micki because she knows and understands this dynamic and works to help protect one of the more misunderstood of God’s creation.

  30. ziontruth Says:

    M J R,

    “Do note, if one believes Karl Popper…”

    Even if one does, that’s no excuse for an unstructured spew of verbiage. Readers shouldn’t be turned into gold prospectors.

  31. artfldgr Says:

    i was going to post something different…
    but becaue of above, this is what you get.
    sometimes, not kicking the dog is a better answer

    And 10,000 words of spewed ‘wisdom’ is enlightenment? Artfldgr, you have many facts at your command, this does not mean you have the wisdom of communication. Your disdain of ‘lesser mortals’ does not serve you well. We, here, are not idiots; although we may a bit slow by your standars. If you continue to treat us as idiots, it is you who is the idiot savant.

    naw… i am not calling everyone IDIOTS
    Though if you’re left trained it may FEEL like that as you can’t make the distinction between what applies to you and what doesn’t. I am calling people who do left handed compliments as a form of positive reinforcement training of other people around them IDIOTS.
    ie. i hate manipulative F*cks…
    and I hate even more passive aggressive manipulative F*cks…
    If you think its ok to pat someone on the head out of context and make a snide comment then I guess you’re one of those manipulative idiots, and it’s apropos. [and vanderluen should be old enough to know that doing that, results in the opposite of what he wants… unless what? They are what?]
    But if your not and idiot.. then why beef? I am obviously not talking to you…
    you weren’t part of the discussion vanderluen started, and this is not your blog
    So other than leftist totalitarian urges, where do you get the right to do what you just did?

    When someone says “hey idiot” are you stupid enough to answer and get upset they called you idiot?”
    Or are you smart enough to shut up and wait to see what idiot answers?
    How genius is that? And what did you do?

    And i never said what i was transferring was wisdom
    What i said was i was giving KNOWLEDGE – with the effort being to reduce the babble effect.
    Ie. People who don’t know, who don’t want to admit they don’t know, make up stuff, or repeat garbage.

    Now. Call me silly, but if we are all discussing a plan of action or things, and 75% of what we are talking about is wrong, or not even applicable. Was the discussion valuable, or a waste of time stealing minutes away from a life that will not last forever? Do you value yourself? Do you value your time if you value yourself?
    From what I see, if you don’t want validity in the discussions, and your seeking entertainment in them, and not something more meaningful, your basically masturbating. Ie. self pleasure.
    Some of us are not here to masturbate (collectively)… how bout you?
    My life and time is valuable. I value it. I don’t want to waste my time discussing non facts that never happened to resolve a real life issue and get to a real life answer. How when most of it is fantasy, or distracting bs, or trying to avoid real information that would then lead to a conclusion OTHER Than what they wanted.
    So dont get all snarky and reflexive on attacking someone who claims to be NOT EQUAL
    Can’t you tolerate NOT EQUAL?
    I mean if you want to celebrate the individual and not the collective, then why are you not celebrating my differences rather than trying to excise them for your idea of a more entertaining and homogenous thinking collective?
    Read what you said and realize you’re attacking like a leftist!!!
    At what point am I allowed to know more than you? I do not have disdain for lesser mortals
    I have disdain for manipulative people. I have disdain for collectivists who seek to impose, like you, their world view and morals and all that on someone else for their own pleasure. (it’s the most selfish thing, and you will see that in a second).
    Shall i comb your post and comb my writing and note that i never said what you said i am saying.
    although we may a bit slow by your standars
    First, I never called anyone an idiot. Go ahead. Look at my post, where is that word?
    Two, ignorant is not slow. Ignorant is not knowing…
    slow is lacking capacity – do you understand the difference?
    you have the capacity, but not the will, ie. lazy, not stupid.
    Though it can be considered stupid to BE lazy – but lazy is not the same as idiot. Is it?
    By peer i mean someone that knows as much as i do about the subject. If you do know as much as I do on it, you would not be so quick. But you see, your ego is the issue here, not mine. I am SELF CONFIDENT, and you don’t like it. Why? Why am I not allowed to say I can do X and you cant?
    Want to prove you can? Lets compete! I am perfectly happy to put my gun on the table and square off with you on knowing and all that. In fact, I would find it fun…
    But I suspect that what your doing is removing the tall poppy.
    The thing that makes you look short…
    after all, if your 6 feet tall, and above the average of 5’9”, you’re going to feel short next to 7’8”
    But would you be idiot enough to take up the procrustean sword and cut6 him off at the knees to make him equal to you (or a bit more to make them lesser)?
    I cant help being 7’ 8”… and I paid a heavy price for it. A price your not willing to pay…
    Which is fine… I don’t mind, I share it… but you? You mind. Your just one of those kids in class that made my life a living hell for blowing the curve and making them look bad. A bully, who replaces can do and self confidence with some form of attack to bully the person… its just the way you do it is passive aggressive and you hope they will be looking more at me, than at you!
    Your also hoping the collective will join your tiny revolution and attack me and push me out and so you feel powerful, not powerless when you find out I don’t respond to anything like that. And I have good reasons not to. Reasons you just don’t know, don’t care, didn’t ask, and won’t listen to.
    By the way… here is something I know that maybe you don’t. if I called you a genius you would not think so, and would be angry at me!!!!!!!! Why? You self selected yourself and and will be angry if I put you in the wrong category… but since you don’t like the category you self selected (by answering) you don’t like that truth either. So you can’t be happy, can you? That is not my problem, nor will I let it be.
    But I posit the question again.
    When am I allowed to show I know more? NEVER? When you give permission? When you file papers with me to let me know what you don’t know and what you do know and so I can restrict my conversation to that?
    I really want an answer from you… when can I be not equal to you?
    When can I be an individual and be accepted? When I meet your classification?
    What if I don’t? what would you do to me if you had absolute power and no repercussions?
    Put me in an education camp to teach me the way you want me to write?
    Exterminate me if I cant?
    What would you do? You certainly have demonstrated that you have no room for me in your world
    And your very clear I don’t belong in it as long as I am me. Am I right?
    After all, your complaining about something I cant change, like the color of my skin… how about teaching me? You want to give up a few hours a day or week and teach me how to write better? Why not? You find it more entertaining to tell someone in other terms you want them to suicide so your life is better?
    how’s that for putting words into your mouth? After all, you want me to be someone else, I cant be someone else and so I will make you forever unhappy. You don’t want me in this world, obviously. So what is the end result your wishing for? My end? My banishment? If the former then how does that happen? And ergo ipso facto… your telling me to drop dead or change… yeah, I can play that freaked out unhealthy twisted game you think is normal.
    When I was learning what were you doing? I know what I was missing out on… do you?
    I was missing out on birthday parties, baseball games, going places, and being with people.

    But let me say one more thing… then I will post what I came to post.
    Hitler killed the jews and the jews are hated worldwide because they are smart. Not because they worship god, they are Jewish, they make good bagels. Because they are smart, they blow the curve, and everyone attacks smart in socialist societies. They do not worry about the lesser, who are on welfare, and they are their pets and their power. They only care YOU stop me, so that YOU don’t learn what they know, and so can’t stop them. Hitler never murdered the north Africans, or the Arabs. Why? Because those who are not smart enough are not a threat.
    Ie. They have taught you to attack the people who have the knowledge and experience you need to get out of your trap so as to be sure your trapped. They also dumbed down your schooling so that if you did have the capacity, you would not have the knowledge to operate.
    I had a different education… I had no one to dumb me down, and the school never taught me.
    I was always way ahead of my class based on age…
    But let me tell you about my childhood, and what people like you did… there was the day that someone who didn’t like the same thing you don’t like, beat up my best friend. Who they then threatened to hurt more if he did not bait me into a trap. There they decided to beat my head in with a brick.
    Then there was another kid, like you… didn’t like that I was not like him. He hit me in the back of the head with a board. Then there was the kid that held me down and dislocated 8 of my fingers. Then the other kid who had his friends hold me down, and ripped out my red hair in locks. Then there was the guy that surprised me, kicked me in the balls, then picked me up trying to impale me on a fence spike.
    All those people were the most violent expressions of not wanting people like me to be here in the world.
    Yours is less violent but the same welcome mat.
    Your never going to succeed in ending totalitarianism when your already changed and don’t know it. You cant tolerate differences. Nor even the idea that someone who isn’t famous and certified can be considered by you to know more.
    Matthew 7:5
    You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
    So you can stop telling me I should be gone… dead… hit in the head to be dumber so you feel better. That I should be someone else so you can be happy. I have already been beaten up, abused and such as a way to cure me of my smarts and cure me of writing too much.
    I understand there is no place on earth where I belong..
    You don’t have to magnify it and celebrate my being dead by dancing on my grave before I am in it!
    I will always be ME… and if you can’t handle me, then that’s YOUR problem not mine. I know you would rather see me dead and gone, or do you expect there to be a place somewhere else for me? Where? Let me know!
    Where can a person who writes like the old school go when the new school has the attention span of a gnat and demands masturbatory pleasure in order to hear someone else?
    Where would you have me go but the grave?
    Then I guess I will have to just elbow my way in and say I have as much right to be me as you have to be you. And that you have no right to dictate how I should be or shouldn’t be and to banish me or in not so many terms tell me I have no place in the world.
    You’re going to be a great communist fascist. You speak for masses you don’t speak for. You’re willing to exterminate someone for not being the same, or knowing more than you. You jump into fights collectively to pick a winner and fix the odds. You think your equal to everyone, or else. And you cant accept that someone is different, has different goals, knows other things and all that, as you require you and I to be equal. You love false self confidence, but hate real self confidence, not realizing that the label of arrogant or not depends on how you feel about the other, not how the other is.
    Your right…
    Everyone in the world, would be happier if I didn’t exist
    ESPECIOALLY people like you. Eh Tovarish?

  32. JuliB Says:

    The pity of it all is that there are no conservation organizations for conservatives.

  33. b9broompusher Says:

    You guys are funny. I feel like I’m at a Mensa RG. Everyone holds forth, while there’s a shortage of applauding grandparents.

    What I’m dying to hear about is the shark and the shark admirer as metaphors for …

    elected officials and local party caucuses? maybe?

    federal regulatory bureaucrats and grant writers?

    wind turbine manufacturers and aquarium parks? (the aquarium being dependent on the “green” power source for filtration and lighting, but hosting marine occupants which are vulnerable to the infrasound and strobe emitted by said wind turbines)

  34. ziontruth Says:

    “But let me tell you about my childhood,…”

    Holden, it’s not other people’s fault that you dropped that shellac record of swing music and it was smashed to smithereens. Sheesh.

  35. artfldgr Says:

    every way i try to post a response its swallowedf by the spaminator. and of course there is no response as to why…

    neo.
    can you put up the last version of what i been trying to post?

  36. b9broompusher Says:

    I will add artfldgr to my prayer list. Such a well-stocked intellect, braced against so much pain!

  37. artfldgr Says:

    ‘Difficult Employee’ or Asperger’s Syndrome?

    http://www.forwardmotion.info/archive/insights.pdf

    “Allan”2 is a brilliant programmer
    who forgets to make eye contact
    and to smile. He irritates colleagues
    by interrupting them and by making
    painfully blunt but usually accurate
    assessments of their ideas (“Th at’s
    dumb and won’t work!”).

    Remarkable as it seems, these individuals are intending to be friendly, helpful and effi cient and simply do not understand the unspoken rules of social interaction that most people take for granted.

    It is estimated that 93 percent of human communication take place non-verbally via body language, facial expression, tone and volume of voice and even physical proximity to others.

    People with Asperger’s Syndrome have great difficulty understanding nonverbal cues often equate navigating the social world with living in a foreign culture or hailing from a different planet.

    Imagine not being able to tell whether someone’s facial expression or tone of voice is happy, sad or angry.

    Or hearing language very literally and thinking, for example, that a “bad hair day” at work is a grooming issue.

    Suppose you wanted to join your colleagues for lunch but did not know how to make small talk, or found looking someone in the eye to be distracting or painful?

    Unlike their “neurotypical” peers, who intuitively learn to recognize idiomatic expressions, sarcasm, social “rules” and nonverbal cues in childhood, Asperger individuals must learn these things intellectually, which oft en becomes a lifelong process of trial and lots of error.

    (with very expensive failures – artfldgr)
    </blockquote

    Asperger’s Syndrome confers specifi c strengths that make
    these individuals particularly well-suited to jobs requiring
    attention to detail and prolonged focus. Careers in computer
    programming, technical documentation, academic and scientifi
    c research, engineering and academia are among the choices
    that make good use of their logic and analytical skills, excellent memory for facts, vast knowledge of specialized fi elds, tolerance of routine and creative problem solving.

    so the whole gender thing kicking me out of my lifes path into academic research from bronx science ended up putting me in the sand box with the average people and all their mean ways, their lack of undertsanding their abusive lessons and so on.

    you think einstein was normal, but he had aspergers too
    want to hear the abnormalities they dont bring up?

    he wore one color suit… and had 7 of them
    that way he wouldn’t waste thinking on what to wear

    you probably never read what he actually wrote, and your quoting what he learned from not being able to do that naturally. ie. he had to learn to write concisely and such and had school training in such. but his failure gives him insight and so he can say clever things. when someone else who writes well would never notice the parts that make it that way.

    nokolai tesla also had aspergers… (and ocd?), he would count and compute the cubic size of the meals he ate. he would use 9 forks and such… and if walked passed a place would have to walk about the block a few times before he could enter

    your judging them as having to be normal because you like their great works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and dont know them. and their quirks and so on.

    in fact. if you DID know their quirks and such you would realize that some of the stories and things and insights come from their not knowing and discovering what would normally be internalized.

    Asperger’s Syndrome confers specifi c strengths that make
    these individuals particularly well-suited to jobs requiring
    attention to detail and prolonged focus. Careers in computer
    programming, technical documentation, academic and scientifi
    c research, engineering and academia are among the choices
    that make good use of their logic and analytical skills, excellent memory for facts, vast knowledge of specialized fields, tolerance of routine and creative problem solving.

    Specialisterne, a Danish soft ware company, specifi cally hires
    people on the autism spectrum because, according to its founder, “…they are methodical and exhibit great attention to detail.” He also notes strengths in “motivation, focus, persistence, precision and ability to follow instructions.” 4

    we are better at things people value..

    so on this blog, by some, i am harangued…
    but by others, and people i work with (researchers in genetics, super computing (mnerva), and all that) to them i am amazing and they haev said so, and they called up the president of the hospital/school, and requested that they keep me.
    ie. docs pooled together to tell the mean people who dont get it, to keep me as they need me.

    they use me as a super google… ie. they ask questions in passing and i give them answers from the memory pool. these answers span chemistry, physics, biology, genetics, systems, programing, mathemastics, history, psychology, leletronics, and so on and so on. [aspergers people usually have an obsessive interest... mine is how does everything work!]

    without human interaction being too important and not sleeping i could spend my time devouring all that, and my almost eidetic memory lets me reference it and pull it up

    AND What the researchers love most is that i am empirical. not only do i ahve the fact, but i have the papers, can find them, and give the whole line of thought.

    this is why a high school grad can work with people you guys would say are very smart and famous and i am not in their league… when those people themselves work with me because they need what i do.

    without that, this job would be perfectly hellish

  38. artfldgr Says:

    some facts on those people you brought up, like einstein

    ALBERT Einstein was three or four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read, and slouched his way through school. He also had some trouble remembering his address -

    he very rarely wore socks…
    he forgot his family, buring himself in his work

    his family referred to him as “Der Depperte”
    “the dopey one”

    Whenever he had something to
    say, he would try it out on himself, whispering it softly until it sounded good enough to pronounce aloud. “Every sentence he uttered,” his worshipful younger
    sister recalled, “no matter how routine, he repeated to himself softly, moving his lips.” It was all very worrying, she said. “He had such difficulty with language that those around him feared he would never learn.”

    so please stop using albert einstein as a man i should copy. we both have aspergers and we both showed problems in language and expressing

    what neurotypicals who are ignorant do, is imagine the great man as perfect as they are… NOT that such people have severe differences that their greatness made people ignore – which is why the normal people imagine them as normal

    so you guys, stupidly used a man with bad language skills and serious problems (some more than i have), to be someone i shoudl copy.

    why?

    because you assume in order for him to be great he didnt havfe that, not that he had that and was great because of other things that were more positive from that!

    ie. you knew the myth, not the man… and you wanted me to be the myth, not the man too

    His slow development was combined with a cheeky rebelliousness toward authority

    i am more like him than you all would think..
    when you guys act with authority telling me what to do, dont i get cheeky (obstinate?)

    These traits made Albert Einstein the patron saint of distracted school kids everywhere.
    But they also helped make him, or so he later surmised, the most creative scientific genius of modern times.

    His cocky contempt for authority led him to question received wisdom in ways that well-trained acolytes in the academy never contemplated.

    And as for his slow verbal development, he thought that it allowed him to observe with wonder the everyday phenomena that others took for granted.

    Instead of puzzling over mysterious things, he puzzled over the commonplace.

    “When I ask myself how it happened that I in particular discovered the relativity theory, it seemed to lie in the following circumstance,” Einstein once explained. “The ordinary adult never bothers his head about the problems of space and time. These are things he has thought of as a child. But I developed so slowly that I began to wonder about space and time only when I was already grown up. Consequently, I probed more deeply into the problem than an ordinary child would have.”

    see the movie ADAM…

    ie. i notice what others dont as i dont have the programming to ignore it and operate. i have to think everything through. is my leg i the right place, am i looking them in the eye and not staring through them which makes the social experts very scared… did i remember to smile… (i rarely smile)

    it was nice you picked einstein as a pillar of writing ability and normalicy
    its a perfect illustration of the level of inacuracy used to win a debate

    ie. you thought the mention would be a point in a debate. but not for my side

    and you thought that because you credited your asumptions as if they were facts and in a world of most people who dont have facts, assumptions with authority sounds right. which is why people dont like me, i have the facts, i kow what they are, i know when they are bullshi**ing, even when THEY dont know…

    how do you show a man that he is bullshi**ing himself?

    you cant… they will defend and harp on non things, like size of content, rather than facts in content. if you cant compete on facts, fight over punctuation, length, flow, ANYTHING BUT content where you come up short.

    and while the athiets love to quote einstein about his dropping judaism at 12…
    they sure dont read him either

    “The fanatical atheists,” he wrote in a letter, “are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who-in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium of the masses’– cannot hear the music of the spheres.”

    The realm of science, he said, was to ascertain what was the case, but not evaluate human thoughts and actions about what should be the case. Religion had the reverse
    mandate. Yet the endeavors worked together at times. “Science can be created only by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and
    understanding,” he said. “This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion.”

    here is a picture of albert in fuzzy slippers
    http://maudelynn.tumblr.com/

    in fact, the einstein of the theory is not the einstine we love
    the einstein we love is the old man who learned to deal with people better
    who, because he didnt know waht was proper, did improper things that people today see as breaking convention. like the picture with his toungue out. he got tired of the paparazzi, and stuck his tounge out at them.

    my uncle knew einstein… they lived in the same place in jersy when einstein was at princeton. i used to visit and he would take me to see the locations, by then einstein was dead… and feynman would die before i got to meet him too ..

    here are some more einstein things

    One of Einstein’s favorite things was to walk around without wearing socks. He felt that the big toe always just put a hole in the sock, so there was really no point in wearing them in the first place.

    Although his mind was very keen and able to figure out some of the most complicated and difficult questions of man, Einstein was a very poor speller. He learned English as a second language and spoke it fluently, but was never able to write very well in English.

    When Einstein was 17, he applied for an early admission to the Swill Federal Polytechnical School but failed his entrance exam. Of course, he passed the math and science sections with flying colors, but didn’t do well on the history, languages and geography parts.

  39. b9broompusher Says:

    John Elder Robison wrote “Look Me In The Eye” about growing up with Asperger’s (but without a diagnosis, or educators familiar with it).

    I first heard of the Trait (for me, Syndrome is too often associated with Disorders) from a co-worker whose daughter wasn’t quite high functioning enough to live alone.

    When I married and met my brother-in-law, I knew right away what was going on. I went online to learn more, which was when I found Robison’s book. When it arrived in the mail, I found that the author had signed it himself!

    For the Trait-bearer and his two brothers and parents, life was very difficult. The Trait-bearer was the eldest, but didn’t seem to fit the Big Brother mold which was expected by his younger siblings. His father was traveling on business quite a lot. His mother was an endurance athlete of maternity. Very devoted to all three boys.

    What breaks my heart for the Trait-bearer is that he can’t understand that the people who want to love him are every bit as confounded by the Trait as he is. Both sides of the Opaque Wall of Asperger’s are occupied by frustration to be understood (and to understand).

    The Trait-bearer bears the main brunt of the Opacities of life among non-Traitors. But what he doesn’t realize is that loving ones (often relatives) see what he’s going through, and care deeply — without an impactful way of being able to express it to the Trait-bearer.

    I came late to the party in that family. I often found myself wishing that the Trait-bearer could self-edit and summarize and try to be more patient with those who are not capable of walking the Tangential Tightrope of Aspergian thinking — or, if not incapable of it, then, certainly too fearful of getting lost out there.

    May G~d bless the Trait-bearers, of every type.
    In my tradition, G~d has an alias: Jesus. In that person, He said, “Feed my sheep.” I pray that G~d will help me to remember: He said, “Feed my sheep.” He didn’t specify which ones. He didn’t appoint me to vet them; but, He did also say to “Love one another.” (Easy for Jesus to say!!) lol

    Oh, my! I have droned on!

    [Please forgive my typos. I have a bad habit of eating popcorn over my laptop. It sometimes shows.]

  40. ziontruth Says:

    Holden, I wasn’t bringing Einstein as an example of clarity in writing. My quote of Einstein goes like this: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” It is a concession that brevity isn’t an ironclad rule; that sometimes you have to use many words to make a certain point understood, that in some cases there is no condensing the message without garbling it.

    I conceded the point that verbal generosity is sometimes necessary; thereafter, however, I cautioned that that does not mean a license to spew words in total anarchy and disorder, which is surely the greatest impediment to understanding.

    If your posts need the length to make your point, I’d be the last to complain; I’m capable of making my posts just as long. The trouble is, when reading your stuff, I feel like a prospector dipping his basin in the water and trying, trying, ever trying to sift out those gold nuggets of, uh, that thing called “the point”; y’know, the actual message you intended to convey with your words. I don’t always succeed, and even when I do I find the effort to have been more than it needed to be. Not so much because of the length, but because you make a direct brain-to-keyboard transfer action without the medial stage of structuring the information.

    It may be that this isn’t your fault, Art. But, then you should understand people’s point of view when they look at your posts and file each and every one of ‘em under the “TL;DR” header.

  41. b9broompusher Says:

    No opaque. Translucent.

  42. parker Says:

    artfldgr,

    With total sincerity…. no one who regularly reads your posts (or portions of your posts) doubts that you possess an encyclopedia of facts at your fingertips and a keen intellect to interpret that knowledge, and the ability to make connections that are valuable and unique. But my friendly advice is to slow down and be as succinct as possible. Otherwise, you leave your intended audience behind and quickly bored.

  43. nolanimrod Says:

    I have been injured by two horses and both times they meant to do it. But in neither case were they trying to kill me. And in neither case was there any possibility that the notion I am going to play a little joke on this clown might be followed by the thought and then I’m going to eat him.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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