Brian’s Column: The Fifth Dream (1/13/18)

Anyone want to run with something like this?
By Brian R. Wright

Here’s the dream:

“0300 – 0700, it seemed that long—just chewing on the scenes. Associated with Pete Hendrkickson, doing some talk re: CtC ideas or living independently.

“The notion of burning waste paper comes up as a concept for energy [dream was envisioning one such system in a CtC person’s basement]. Using subterranean holes connected to one another, somehow smoldering and generating thermal energy, and the gasses are managed somehow. But it’s a very DIY implementation an individuals in Pete’s entourage become their own all-American redneck Buckminster Fullers.

“Got me to thinking [Jon] Rappoport-like of urban farming, prepping, just taking off the mental barriers to build self-reliant true enterprises that build a society in the ashes of the current toxocracy.”

So the immediate question is how would such a system work in waking light?

Let’s imagine we have a regular basement, say room sized 10 x 12 feet with six lined burn holes capable of processing waste paper [or some other readily available fuel]. We would need a source of ignition and air flow. Also, an automated conveyor system to direct the fuel to the burn holes… nope, this is already getting into never-never land. Continue reading

Movie Review: Religulous (2008)

Thanks a bunch, Bill, it needed to be said __ 8/10

ReligulousWritten by Bill Maher
Directed by Larry Charles

Bill Maher … Himself
Several: Including his sister and mother

Bill Maher: It seems, people, that this is the very spot … [Megiddo, Israel] … where a lot of Christians believe life on earth will end. The irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses, the world actually could come to an end.

Based on the trailers, I didn’t encounter anything too unexpected with Religulous: it’s a essentially a home movie about a man in the public eye, Bill Maher (comedian, political gadfly) who questions the standard Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedism (Islam)—not as a theologian or philosopher might, rather as a conscientious Joe Lunchbucket might. He starts out with his remaining family, simply sitting down in a room with his sister and mother. I believe his ancestors professed Judaism, but he was raised to believe in the Catholic religion. Continue reading

Book Review: The End of Faith (2004)

Religion, terror, and the future of reason
by Sam Harris
Reviewed by Brian Wright

FaithThe End of Faith is the watershed book for uniting rational, spiritual—and yes, libertarian—humanists in an unprecedented worldwide exercise in the elevation of consciousness.  Several books recently have taken up the cause of releasing our minds from specters of the past, particularly any sorts of deities that insist upon abandonment of natural reason for salvation.

All published in 2006, we have Harris’s own Letter to a Christian Nation, which cleverly skewers the most extreme faith-based positions of too many of our neighbors; UK scientist and author Richard Dawkins gave us The God Delusion, a more academic dance around the escape hatches from reality; and on the lighter side we got The Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) by the one and only Bobby Henderson. Continue reading

Movie Review: Life of Pi (2012)

Rudyard Kipling meets the Dalai Lama ____ 9/10
by Brian Wright

A remarkable experience, this film by Ang Lee. A significant cinematic achievement on several levels, three that I can think of immediately:

  1. the exploration of faith and spirituality as it develops in a freethinking Indian boy whose father is an advocate of reason
  2. an unusual, gripping adventure story that captures the imagination of young and old alike
  3. a technical marvel integrating spectacular computer-generated imagery (CGI) with live action seamlessly

And to top it all off, perhaps the most important quality lies in the story’s tug on the heartstrings as one puts oneself in the shoes of the protagonist at the end. The emotional scale is huge in this resolution, amplified by the fact that the viewer has been through the wringer of a 200+ day ordeal of survival at sea. Continue reading