Category Archives: Uncategorized

Something Amiss

Skewed: Bias, Corruption & Hypocrisy in Contemporary Science & Medicine

HARM: Side & adverse effects of conventional medicine & hospitals vs. natural (alternative medicine or CAM) health care practitioners and supplements & Side & adverse effects of natural & wholistic health care practices & supplements (A Compendium)

http://www.something-amiss.org/pdf/SKEWED&HARM-10-2016.pdf

 

SOMETHING AMISS 2016

 

 

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All blog entries: Categorized with links

https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/for-seekers-other-heretics-blog-entries-menu.pdf

SEEKERS & OTHER HERETICS MENU - CATEGORIZED WITH LINKS

 

Highly recommended: The Equations of Life, Interview & Book

 

Rats in the Cosmic Laboratory: Is God a Scientist?

 

THE EQUATIONS OF LIFE

Unholy Hype: Many churches & religious organizations are following the playbook of Madison Avenue & Dr. Goebbels

https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/unholy-hype-by-dr-anthony-g-payne-june-20181.pdf

UNHOLY HYPE

To company owners & hiring managers: Do the human thing

Back in the early 1980s, while working towards a graduate degree in biological anthropology, I held down a full-time job as EDP (Electronic Data Processing) Operations Manager for a major portable oil rig manufacturer in Dallas (Texas.) When I joined this firm, I had two computer operators and two data entry operators helping run a two (2) shift data processing operation. Our IBM computer was state-of-the-art for its time (see photo below) and was primarily used to process financial, accounting, inventory and engineering data for company divisions throughout the US and overseas.

IBM_System3-15As the firm grew my department got busier and as a result needed to hire additional personnel. I made a point of seeking out qualified people who basically had been passed over by local businesses. In the span of a year or so my staff grew from four to thirteen with most being minorities (like myself.) The systems engineering group that interfaced with those of us in operations were almost exclusively middle-aged white men and women, most of whom did not readily welcome my diverse crew into the fold as-it-were.

Did I hire people of color simply because I was a minority myself (American Indian)? Not at all. The fact is I felt what I was doing would in some small way help offset unwritten policies that had constrained the hiring of qualified minorities.

What is interesting is that with the passage of time the all-white systems crew and my racially, ethnically and religiously diverse operations group began moving from a guarded, formal “business only please” level of interaction into a warmer comfort zone characterized by friendly banter and even playful joking. This was exactly what I had hoped for and anticipated.

The director of MIS (Management Information Systems) for the company, a former NASA systems analyst who had moved into corporate management after leaving the famed space agency, was so impressed with how much of a family the entire information systems department had become that he held it up as a model to higher-ups including the board of directors.

Of course, young working professionals sometimes seize more lucrative opportunities elsewhere, a reality that was visited upon my department when my third shift computer operator was offered a fatter paycheck and shorter commute by a competitor. I was sad to see her go but plowed ahead and began running ads in local newspapers and trade publications. Soon my mornings were filled with conducting interviews.

Now hang in with me – I have a point to make which ties into an egregious practice at work in companies across this nation.

During the course of conducting interviews a middle-aged gentleman came through myAged unhappy interviewer on job conversation office door clutching his resume. After handing me a one-page summary of his impressive qualifications he told me straight up that he had lost his job when his former employer closed its doors and had been unemployed and interviewing for over six months. It took little time to realize why so many firms were not quick to snap this chap up: He had worked his way up into middle-management and was thus “overqualified” (aka ill-suited) to fill a “simple computer operator’s job”. The logical thing to do was send him on his way. After all, if hired he would likely seize the first management job offered him and leave me back at square one – filling a slot on third shift.

This kind of logic undoubtedly had persuaded other prospective employers to quickly show this graying bespectacled soul the door. But I was less concerned about doing the logical thing then the human thing. So, I hired the guy on-the-spot. It was a move I never regretted as he did the work of any 2 operators of my staff, went the extra mile when asked, never belly-ached and never missed a day’s work. And he worked at the operator’s job for many years before finally moving on (Which means the company more than got its “money worth” out of him.)

Oh, and he was white – but still a minority to my way of thinking. That is, he belonged to the chronically unemployed and seemingly unemployable. Which brings me at last to this: An article was posted to The Lookout blog  (on 7-14-11) titled “Down but not out: Voices of the long-term unemployed.” In it writer Zachery Roth shared this:

• We asked whether employers were wary of hiring readers when they found out how long they’d been jobless — a form of discrimination that appears to have been on the rise lately. “Very much so,” replied Susan W. “As if it were my fault I was unemployed, regardless of the fact that I had put out hundreds of resumes and applications.”

• An enormous number of older readers said they think their age is part of the problem for employers. Paula S., from Acworth, Georgia, who said she was “sixty-something,” described “two eye-opening experiences of blatant age discrimination . . . . One twenty-something supervisor asked me if I had ever thought about coloring my hair . . . . Another manager told his assistant with the door open when I showed up to complete an application and interview: ‘We can’t hire any more old people.’”

I was in my mid-twenties when I hired that middle-aged seasoned computer pro to be a third shift computer operator (He was 55, a biochronological marker I passed some 7 years ago). In hiring him I placed doing the human thing over the logical thing. I can only hope that some of the people trying to fill jobs across America will come across this account and then take it to heart and do likewise.

Dr. Anthony G. Payne

© 2018 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Have we made prophets of Mel Brooks and Gene Roddenberry et al?

The contemporary American empire

The (near) future American empire?

 

Some cautionary words about prosperity theology (The Prosperity Gospel)

BERT FARIASFor those of you who are believers and subscribe to prosperity theology aka “The Prosperity Gospel”: Please take some time and carefully read Rev. Bert M. Farias’s new Charisma article titled “8 Reasons to Flee From Carnal Prosperity Preachers“. As you will see, Rev. Farias marshalled some powerful scripture-centric reasoning in this insightful piece and, if I were a betting man, I’d wager the good Lord is going to have him write a book on this very topic (I know Dr. Michael Brown has written extensively about this topic but there is always room on the proverbial plate of life for another incisive tome on the subject).

If after reading Rev. Farias’s conclusions and cautionary warnings you are tempted to reject them, kindly check out the earliest known catechism for messianic non-Jews which is the Didache (Many scholars believe it was written and first circulated in 50 CE. Given that Yeshua HaMashiach was crucified by the imperial Roman government sometime between 30 and 33 CE, this means the Didache was penned perhaps as few as 17 years after his death, burial and resurrection). It has a few choice things to say about greed (The very first chapter of it includes instructions on “almsgiving”). Those who wish to read it in its entirety can do so online for free at http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lake.html

And for those good folks who appreciate authoritative and balanced commentaries, there is one on the Didache which IMO is top flight: The Way of Life (Didache: A New Translation and Messianic Jewish Commentary) by Toby Janicki (600 pages, Vine of David © 2017). I actually had a gift copy sent to Rev. Farias during early January of this year and have sent copies to many other people in my orbit as well since then.  

My fellow Roman Catholic Charismatics are invited to read Why the Prosperity Gospel Is Bankrupt by “Catholic Answers” writer Trent Horn. 

We are all explorimentalists by nature

On 6-16-2018 Rev. Bert M. Farias posted the request below on his very popular Facebook page. A number of replies followed including one comment from a Miss Alice. I responded to her comment, Rev. Farias to mine, and so it went back & forth between us. We did not exactly stay on topic but did kibitz on things that might, just might prove of interest to some of you.

Bert Farias
For those who have the time and interest:Bert M Farias FACEBOOK page
I’d like some feedback on this comment to my recent article. I’m constantly searching my heart on these issues, never wanting to be high-minded about these things, but to remain teachable. I guess the core question I found myself asking after reading this comment is this: What are some indicators of preachers who teach the gain is godliness message, and that financial prosperity equates to spirituality? (the article is on my timeline as I didn’t want to repost it).
READER COMMENT: “There are some things worth considering in this article but it is hard to judge someone’s heart and steweardship (sic) based only on their wealth. I will say that it seems extreme to compare someone like Joyce Meyer 35 million in estimated net worth to Bill Gates 91 billion, (A 2600 times difference) If I followed this logic, a typical minister in the USA might have 200k in net worth, while many poor have only debt. This is worse than 2600 times. Should ministers be allowed to have two cars when much of the world does not have a bike? Using the same standard, such relativism could apply the label false teacher to any Western Christian that has a skilled occupation. No, fortunately, God looks on the heart. Are you ruled by money or are you ruled by God? There is no certain dollar standard, lest all Westerners be guilty. Never mind that it takes LARGE Christian donors to move policy to the right..such as what occurred in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital.”
THOUGHTS ANYONE?

Alice: And one more comment: I once had a lady ask me why God didn’t let Christians win things like PCH millions of dollars prizes. My answer, without evening thinking about it, was that to many Christians can’t /won’t tithe on a $1,000, how can God trust them with millions. I believe God will bless obedience. It’s not just money, but in everything that concerns us. I don’t believe in all this “give $49.52 and God will multiply it 100 fold” stuff. That is just manipulation. But the Word does say that we are blessed with faithful Abraham. Again, that’s not JUST money.

Anthony G. Payne Right on, Miss Alice. I would add: If God rigged drawings & lotteries to favor specific Christians or others winning he would be guilty of engaging in a form of cheating (When chance is violated in such lotteries by people who profit from it or do so to profit others this is a crime. Of course, human law is not binding on God in instances in which it violates his articulated rules and ways, but he does respect these when they spring from or dovetail with his rules & ways, i.e., his prescribed laws/instructions & ethics).

Bert Farias Anthony G. Payne Dr. Payne! Nice of you to chime in. 😁

Anthony G. Payne I’ll be sending you something from my laboratory shortly, Herr Reverend (It took a while, yes, to process it). Oh vey! Oh, and here’s a link to my “What’s Up, Doc?” fill-in-the-blanks video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zdIRLuTTgU (Do I know how to have fun or what?!?!)


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/275281155″>Eh, what’s up doc?</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user86267628″>Dr. Anthony G. Payne</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Bert Farias Not only do you know how to have fun, but you are brilliant! To God be the glory! While you’re putting the finishing touches on your lab work, I’m gonna need about a gallon of that hair stuff! 😂

Bert Farias I’ll pay for it!

Bert Farias And if both of these things work for me I will spread the good cheer and joy and market it in my circles.

Anthony G. Payne As a boy I was smitten by astronomer Edwin Hubble’s writings including this beautiful, powerful gem….

“The scientist explores the world of phenomena by successive approximations. He knows that his data are not precise and that his theories must always be tested. It is quite natural that he tends to develop healthy skepticism, suspended judgment, and disciplined imagination.”

Later on, as an adult, I got into explor-i-menting and discovered firsthand how my own musings & handiwork are but “successive approximations”. Sometimes a hypothesis or idea or invention will pan out quickly, while at other times it needs retooling & retesting or, worst case scenario, proves an irredeemable dud (And, yes, sometimes an invention or product creation will work for some or a few and not the many). But above all I strive to question my own findings & conclusions. The alternative tends to birth dogma which is anathema for the theorist as well as the experimentalist.

Bert Farias Anthony G. Payne Our God of wonders and selection put this in your heart at a young age. You not only have to have an acute sense of fascination but incredible patience to explore such things.

Anthony G. Payne Most of us are natural born explor-i-mentalists, Herr Reverend. We are all engaged in testing this against that and weighing the preponderance of evidence & logic for and against things (albeit to varying degrees). The sad part if that so many folks have had their curiosity and willingness to question & test certain beliefs & such constrained or eroded by dogmatic teachers or preachers or family or others who prefer to dole out pat answers & solutions that are never to be questioned (The truth is these people should actually welcome such questioning and even argumentation as it might just compel them to closely examine, revise and even discard that which is unfruitful or useless). IMO we should all take to heart the approach of scientists and rabbis who question almost everything and take nothing as absolutely settled or final (Which is to say any claim, pet theory, finding or even law of nature can be overturned by sufficient contrary evidence).

________________________________________

 

Roles, deeds and commitments

Life often revolves around roles we play and things we do.  You undoubtedly have many passions, interests and commitments (Some of mine are reflected in the 1m29s video below), which I hope also includes doing good works and cultivating a solid relationship with the Almighty.  Ever onward in shalom!

God & Satan: Clash of the Experimentalists

https://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2018/05/rats-in-the-cosmic-laboratory-nl-may-2018.pdf

RATS IN THE COSMIC LABORATORY NL - May 2018

 

How much vitamin C should one take?

Vitamin CRecently I was asked (on Facebook) how much vitamin C I take, which begs the question: What is the optimal intake of vitamin C for most people?

This is from my Facebook reply:

In order to answer this, I need to jump in the Way Back machine:

Back when I was studying for my doctorate in nutritional medicine (mid 1980s) there was a spirited debate going on among researchers, doctors, nutritionists and others concerning how much vitamin C a human being needed and could handle. Because I came into the realm of human nutrition with a background in biological anthropology (BS, MA) – training I actually undertook purposely not only because I dearly love bio anthro but also because I consider the insights and tools it provides foundational to understanding evolutionary players in human health & disease (and by virtue of this helpful in setting the stage for medical or paramedical studies) – I looked at the quantities of vitamin C produced in mammals that have retained the capacity to do so (Humans and many other primates such as gorillas lost this ability long ago). What emerged is that most nonhuman primates synthesis 25 mg of vitamin C per kilogram of body weight. If one applies this figure to an average (70 kg) human, this comes out to 1750 mg total daily.

There are, of course, mitigating factors. We know 70-90% of the vitamin C people get from food and supplemental forms are absorbed. However, too much taken all at one time reduces absorption! (If you take 1 gram of vitamin C only 50% will be absorbed). However, people with certain chronic diseases appear to absorb and use more even at high intakes.

With all this said, conventional thinking indicates that any amount of vitamin C over 180 mg daily will exceed what the tissues throughout the body can handle (i.e., saturation is reached) and the excess will be processed by the kidneys and dumped in the urine.

After years of dealing with people with chronic diseases, I have come to believe they should be taking 1750 mg to as much as 4 grams of vitamin C in divided doses daily (as their bodies can handle so much more C and apparently need this to support innate disease fighting processes). For healthy young to middle-aged folks, 180 mgs in divided doses or in slow or time release form should be adequate to meet the body’s demands for vitamin C.

Now to your specific question: How much C do I take daily? 500 mg Metabolic C in divided doses (100 mg every 3 hours from morning until evening). I take more than the 180 mg I mentioned above because I am getting older (62) and believe additional C is a good preventative measure as chronic disease processes are often subtlety at work (in even the healthiest of us) with increasing age.

Some folks argue for mega dosing – to “bowel tolerance” – whether healthy or not – which I think is a bit reckless (Most do it to “prevent various diseases especially cancer”). Vitamin C works as an antioxidant at low doses but can promote the production of ROS (reactive oxygen species) molecules when serum levels are very high. These ROS molecules can damage cell membranes and cause other biophysiological problems. As I recall, Nobel prize winning chemist Dr. Linus Pauling ingested mega doses of C daily for years on end. He lived to be 93 but died of prostate cancer. Some have argued his disease was triggered by his mega dosing on C. Dr. Pauling contended his high dose C kept his cancer at bay for years. One thing is certain: Years before Pauling’s’ demise, controlled studies were carried out to see if high dose C impacted various forms of cancer in animals and humans. The bottom line: It was ineffective. Advocates of high dose use of C rejected these studies for various reasons, while most of the scientific community accepted them as valid. The debate goes on to this day in various quarters

A parting word of advice: Do not “super mega dose” to prevent or treat disease. Those individuals reading this who have cancer and are considering using vitamin C to fight it should peruse https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq 

And so it goes……as do I…….

Living the faith is countercultural & radical

messianicjew-06

Following Messiah and living the faith authentically is countercultural & radical. One way to do so is in community as a lay monk or nun (Married or single, Catholic or non-Catholic is OK)

FYE (For Your Edification): Brother “Practicing the Presence of God” Lawrence was a lay monk.

In keeping with this:

Getting back to pre-paganized Christian beliefs & practices

Ekklesia: Rediscovering God’s Instrument for Global Transformation by Dr. Ed Silvoso

The Real Jesus by Rev. Bert M. Farias

 

The Dark Charisma of Donald Trump

FARIAS ON CRUZWhat follows below is a slightly truncated & edited email I sent to Rev. Bert M. Farias in response to a 5-4-16 article of his concerning the ever-growing embrace of Donald Trump by many Republicans, evangelical Christians and others.   

Good Thursday (May 5, 2016), Rev. Farias!

I perused your 5-4-2016 Flaming Herald entry titled How Cruz’s Dropout Exposes the Corruption of the American Soul and thought you might welcome some feedback on it.

First off, I have no doubt but that some of your readers and even supporters (especially any diehard Trump supporters) will take exception with your article and make an exit, stage far right (of course). As you yourself stated, “I know I may lose followers, readers and even friends over this article, but that’s OK”.

I am not a Trump supporter or fellow traveler — quite the opposite actually (I’ve been a democratic socialist since 1986). But even if I were, I would not head for the door after reading your article. One of the things I discovered early on in my work as a theorist is that truth, not only in science but in most other areas of life, is arrived at haltingly in the form of what famed astronomer Edwin Hubble characterized as “successive approximations”.

Read the rest of this entry

What begins with the Confederate battle flag ends where?

By

. Dr. Anthony G. Payne

Battle_flag_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America_svg

Judging from articles such as this, this and this, there is now almost a mania sweeping the land to remove every vestige of the Confederacy (Even TV Land got swept up in this by cancelling airing of old “Dukes of Hazzard” episodes) . Don’t get me wrong, I understand why so many people are incensed by Confederate flags and monuments on public lands. And although my ancestors on both the European (paternal) and American Indian (maternal) sides of my family tree lived in the CSA and in some instances served in its armed forces, I have never displayed a Confederate flag in any form anywhere at any time. Nor was the N-word ever uttered by my parents or any expression of religious, ethnic or racial bigotry or elitism. And as for my Civil War era forbearers, most were simple farmers and none owned slaves. As a boy I was told by various relatives that those who donned the grey in our family did so to repel Northern aggression and preserve the rights of individual states to chart their own destiny.

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Killing cancer, sparing the patient (Targeting tumor cells while leaving normal ones unaffected)

BULLSEYE - FREE MSOn Sunday December 7 (2014) CBS’s famed 60 Minutes devoted a thirteen minute segment titled “Disrupting Cancer” to physician and billionaire businessman c, MD‘s advocacy and use of the rapid gene sequencing of tumor cells to help zero in specific drugs or other agents that will eradicate them. Later the same day, Forbes’s writer Matthew Herper published an article in which he stated something virtually everyone doing cancer work knows, namely that “Everyone is looking to use DNA sequencing to better pick cancer drugs. And in some ways, Soon-Shiong is an odd person to pick as a spokesperson for this, because he’s just getting started. ” (Here Is What ’60 Minutes’ Didn’t Tell You About The Billionaire Who Is Trying To Disrupt Cancer Care).

This is not to say that with Dr. Soon-Shiong’s deep pockets and army of computer experts and researchers he will not wind up making major inroads in this area of biomedicine. And with cancer striking so many, progress is welcome whether it comes out of a one person lab or a research enterprise that fills buildings or is stretched across many continents.C

CLICK TO ACCESS & READ THE REST OF THE STORY

Not your grandfather’s Jesus

Judaism Starburst grunge backgroundIf you grew up embracing the Americanized Jesus I’d like you to take a moment and read Jesus and Yeshua: An Examination of Cultural Icons. This insightful article was written by a perceptive young man named Jeriah Bowser who is the Ecology & Sustainability Department chair at the Hampton Institute.

Naturally, we all tend to endorse views that parallel or even mirror our own, and I am no exception. However, while we all cherry-pick reality  to varying degrees, the thrust of critical biblical scholarship does IMO tend to favor Bowser’s perspective (Which is one I pretty much arrived at many moons ago).

CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS BLOG ENTRY

Did the Almighty send an emissary to the ancient Cahokian (American Indian) people?

for-choctaw-doc-blogDo you believe the Almighty ever spoke directly to an American Indian tribe? I do not mean face-to-face but through an emissary. I do and will now share with you the particulars behind my conviction that God/HaShem/The Great Spirit did reach out to the Cahokian peoples (American Indians, yes, but their exact ethnicity much less language is unknown):

Long before Columbus and other 15th century European explorers & adventurers landed in North America, there was the Cahokia, a Mississippian American Indian “mound building” people who thrived from about 750 CE to 1300 CE with their biggest city being about 6 miles from present day St. Louis. My own tribe, the Choctaw Nation, has its roots in the Mississippian culture which naturally makes Cahokia of great interest to me.

To read the rest CLICK THIS LINK

Nota bene, my fellow American Indians: Prophetic Word: Restoration Promised to the First Nations of America

Following Messiah and living the faith authentically is countercultural & radical. One way to do so is in community as a monk or nun (Married or single is OK)

“Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!”

At the tail end of Stanley Kubrick’s satirical and brilliant 1964 anti-Cold War movie “Dr. Strangelove” the wheelchair bound German scientist (played by Peter Sellers) manages to stand up and take a step or two forward and then excitedly proclaim, “Mein Fuhrer! I can walk!” (This was reportedly an unscripted improvisation on the part of actor Peter Sellers) People in the throes of extreme excitement, passion or even religious ecstasy sometimes yell out to God, their mate or, in the case of Dr. Strangelove, to his leader (The American President whom he not infrequently calls “Mein Fuhrer” during the course of Kubrick’s cinematic masterpiece).

I suspect Sellers added the dramatic final touch not as an expression of the neurologic malady which landed his character in a wheelchair but, rather, as an upwelling of Dr. Strangelove’s impossible to suppress fascist sentiments and loyalty to Hitler.

In addition, I would offer a slightly different take on Dr. Strangelove’s outburst: I believe it was meant to represent the transcendent march of evil across time. That is, Seller’s was acting out the fact that evil, like death, haunts humankind and is impossible to totally suppress, manage or banish. Of course, we all know that those who do not resist and oppose evil not infrequently find their lives overshadowed by it.

The late writer-director-producer Rod Serling actually captured this theme very adroitly in a 1963 episode of the Twilight Zone titled “He’s Alive” (“He” being Hitler) that focuses on a “bush league Fuhrer” named Peter Vollmer.  

Of course, we all are cognizant of the fact that evil permeates the human experience and has countless modern day incarnations. It is certainly one wheel that gets reinvented without ever showing much wear or loss of perpetrators and victims.  Sometimes, though, the expressions are so continuous across time they appear to come out of some kind of historical-cosmic Xerox® machine. Click these links and reflect for a moment:

 http://weirdthings.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/skitched-20120111-150835.jpg

http://theheartthrills.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/north-korean-soldiers-drilling-2.jpg

OK, so evil is perennial. What we can do about it? Laugh at and ponder comic portrayals such as Seller’s, yes, but never make the mistake of viewing evil people as clowns or easy to control (A mistake many German pre-Nazi leaders made with respect to Hitler and his cronies). But above all learn everything we can about the nature of evil and its subtlest expressions and then work to expose and oppose them.

How do you kill 12 million people? Evil then and now: Recognizing & containing it by Choctaw Doc

The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen

Copyright 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

The dog you feed the most will dominate your life

AGNES OF GOD - AMAZONIn 1985 the Broadway hit “Agnes of God” was released as a movie directed by Normal Jewison. Marshall Fine tendered this review on Amazon.com:

This Broadway hit gets a solid film treatment by director Norman Jewison, but that can’t make up for the weaknesses of the script (which were as true onstage as they are here). Jane Fonda plays a chain-smoking shrink sent to a convent to do a psychological evaluation of a novice (Meg Tilly) who gave birth to a baby and then killed it in her little room. Was it a virgin birth? A miracle? And what of the bloody stigmata that seem to spontaneously appear on her hands? Fonda also finds herself clashing with the Mother Superior (Anne Bancroft) over the line between faith and science. But writer John Pielmeier can’t flesh this out beyond an idea; in the end, the solution is a disappointingly earthbound one that even the strong acting in this film can’t elevate.

OK, so the film isn’t flawless and has garnered more than its fair share of “1 or 2 thumbs down”. With this said, I like this flick. Why so? In-a-word it lays in the fact Agnes the novice nun somehow manages to interact with the world thorough a lens of innocence. That is, the unjaded aspects of her being for the most part dominate her day-to-day existence and how she perceives life and those around her.

Hollywood nonsense, you say? I might have agreed with you if this were early 1999. But not afterwards. What changed for me? I spent more than four years in Japan living and teaching classes of Japanese young people from pre-school through doctoral level plus many corporate classes filled with adult working professionals. What I discovered was that virtually all the young folks were, well, in some ways “Agnes of God” like. Mind you, I was aware that there were exceptions and many expats I shared sake and chat with were quick to point out their bad experiences with pretty jaded Japanese characters. But on-the-whole even they agreed most Japanese people they had encountered while teaching and in society at-large exhibited less of the cynicism and sheer nastiness that appeared commonplace back in the US and the West in general (Some of these expats came from the UK, New Zealand and Australia).

My then girlfriend and later (2001) wife thought I was seeing her people through rose colored glasses. This changed once we moved from Japan to southern California in early 2003. Having left being the corporate world in Japan (18 years work for a major multinational corporation in Tokyo), she pursued her long held dream of becoming a marriage and family therapist. This journey took her through the MS in Counseling program at Cal State Fullerton (she graduated with honors) and internships at a number of places including the Salvation Army residential program in Anaheim. While doing an internship at MiraCosta College in Oceanside, she happened to counsel a number of Japanese students who had come to the US in order to obtain specific educational credentials in an English language environment. What she discovered — and made a point of mentioning to me — is that her Japanese charges were very “unjaded” compared to the American students she counseled. Maybe my glasses were not so rose-colored after all.

At the very least, there seems to be at least a modicum of real world evidence that my original observation was spot on: The Japanese were and are on-a-whole less jaded (“more innocent”) than Americans.

Were Americans less jaded in the past? It seemed that way to me when I was a youngster. TV and movies in the late 1950s into the 1960s tended to reflect a certain un-worldliness (Less cynical, less nasty). This began to go out the window with the advance of the sexual revolution, Vietnam and all that entailed, and the general rejection of authority and conventional ways among many young folks of that era (including moi).

Can we ever recapture what we lost short of embarking on a 2nd childhood (individually and collectively)? Is the genie out of the bottle for good? Is there any way to truly be “as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves” (Rabbi Yehoshua’s admonition). Good questions, I think. We American Indians (Choctaws) have a saying that goes like this: “The dog you feed the most becomes biggest”. By this token if we as Americans feed ourselves on jaded & cynical things such as pornography, greed, pride, and other vices then the dogs that will steer our sled (lives) will be these vices. On the other hand, if we feed virtues and starve vices, well, we just might find ourselves less jaded and “wicked”. And while we may not become a nation of “Agnes of God” characters or even Japanese-like, we could inch a little closer to it.

Dr. Anthony G. Payne

Copyright 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Do natural algorithms account for the origins and evolution of life?

ALGORITHM - EXAMINER ARTICLELet’s step into a time machine of sorts or a “Wayback Machine” (to borrow from one of my favorite boyhood TV series “The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show“) and take a trip back to 2003. During May of that year a paper appeared in the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals titled “Minimal-cell system created in laboratory by self-organization” [October 2003, vol. 18, iss. 2, pp. 335-343(9) Elsevier Science)]. This quote is from the introduction…. Click to access full article

Rocking the Boat Blog Site Debuts

Through the CAM looking Glass

Looking glass worldshttps://biotheorist.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/natural-medicine-a-cautionary-look.pdf

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