Fractal Radio| Episode 18 – Legacy Pollutants Ramble

I ramble about odds and ends and the ongoing importance of raising environmental awareness. I cringe a tad writing that due to the baggage attached to ‘environmental awareness.’ It’s an unfair stigma that really detracts from a pretty sound idea. Taking care of our resources is taking care of ourselves.

I am aware the sound sucks. But re-rendering is another 2+ hours due to hardware limitations. I think its tolerable enough if you turn it up. I don’t ever yell so don’t worry about an ear blow out. | Social Media | Support Independent Content

Fractal Radio| Episode 4 – Sustainable Bags


In this episode…

1) Fiddling

2) Virtue Signaling

3) Virtual Water and E-guilt

4) Why is it so satisfying to create art, music, prose, code, furniture whatever…

5) Strategies for maintaining creativity

6) The New Yorker Cover Art

6) The plight of native populations in the Amazon according to a lazy writer

7) Wetlands are a litmus for social and environmental health

8) The shill – please support if can/want cause stuff costs money and I like beer | Stories, Novels, Essays, Webcomics and more! | Follow me on Minds!| Electricity is expensive and I like beer.

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Music, Shitposts, and Serious Business

The Fractal Journal (Official)

Legacy Vids



Water – The Case for Stewardship (Vlog)


Yet another rough draft towards a more professional coverage of the state of water as a resource.

Sources and Further Reading

Process Ramble + Why Care About Water (Vlog)

Just a quickie vlog on satisfaction, the creative process, and trying to find a succinct way to frame the importance of a critical topic.

Check out the Fractal Journal:

For stories, webcomics, essays, and more.

New uploads on TFJ every Tuesday and Thursday guaranteed! Unless you know…ninjas.

TFJ Vlogs: Bavarian Mood – Metaphysical Backbone

  • In this TFJ Vlog, you will find a discussion of the need to develop physical and metaphysical stamina. Public discourse and effective inquiry require strength and character. Both of these are inextricably tied and I give some quirky examples of how to attain them.
  • Mortality and the prosaic nature of megadeath are mentioned as a call to greater vigor and reverence for the potential lost.
  • There is also some discussion of the environment, especially water, and agriculture and how profoundly it affects our lives.
  • Due diligence must be given to such weighty issues and I just don’t see it being done on a large enough scale. So I raise the need for a more public engagement.


The Poem – Typical (Poem)

Mr. Ramanujan –

Banqiao –

Wernesgrüner –


Typical (Poem)

Image result for Banqiao Dam

Opened a book today

A million men died in its pages

A million widows wept, what can I say
A typical account of typical ages

A great river had promise

To make the land rich

They must never miss

The chance to satisfy that itch

Utility’s king

Futility’s felt without building a thing

So goes the ring, so goes the ring

The round circle tight as a noose

Choking the poets

Squeezing the juice

Potential is drained

Yeah you know it’s
The way it’s explained

Very matter of fact

That we must sacrifice

With a haste without tact

For we need things nice

Yet do we really know

What’s nice and what’s ill

What poets, muses, and sages

Are lost in the men that we kill

For the promise of better just slightly
The thing haunts me nightly

So my lamp burns more brightly
Till I see this dross is all gone

Life is a thing both febrile and strong

Both sacred and wrong

So I guard that flame

Doubly sure to maintain the song

For many have died and many are lame

While I have vigor
I’ll recall their name

Book Review: Consilience – The Unity of Knowledge (E.O. Wilson)

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge

Such, I believe, is the source of the Ionian Enchantment: Preferring a search for objective reality over revelations is another way of satisfying religious hunger. It is an endeavor almost as old as civilization and intertwined with traditional religion, but it follows a very different course – a stoic’s creed, an acquired taste, a guidebook to adventure plotted across rough terrain.’

– E.O. Wilson, Consilience – The Unity of Knowledge – Chapter One: The Ionian Enchantment

Introduction to this review: Stray Thoughts Regarding Craftsmanship via – E.O. Wilson’s – Consilience

The Review

Consilience is about consilience, how consilient. That’s the trouble with the word. It’s a bit of a tautology. One of those classifications that point to such a broad phenomenon that it has almost no meaning. It’s like ‘emergent properties.’ Almost everything has or is an emergent property.

I do think these are useful and indispensable concepts. So why do I begin a review by casting aspersions at them?

Well, what’s a review without a bit of taunting and teasing? A touch of play, that’s how you actually keep those austere leather-bound volumes open, rather than having the staid darlings nobly accrue dust on some high shelf.

It is of vast importance to not respect something so much that you never touch it.

For E.O. Wilson the history of humanity, the history of its philosophical, and scientific pursuits has a common thread. Consilience comes from Latin and means something akin to a jumping together. So it is that all knowledge all ken seems to jump together according to a certain logic. It is at such points of convergence that we can become confident in the reality of a given phenomenon and proceed to form a conceptual framework on the basis of this evidence. A conceptual framework which can then be used as a compass to navigate the world of knowledge and make valid predictions. This order this logic is a sort of ‘Ariadne’s thread.’ Allowing us to trace a path through the mysterious labyrinth called cosmos.

Logic itself is a testament to an inherent order that though far more chaotic than the straightforward of ‘fire hot don’t touch,’ is non-the-less intelligible to creatures accustomed to such essential syllogisms.

It is that quest for inherent order for unifying principle that defines the ‘consilience’ concept and serves as the focus of this book.

If one reads the leaflet of the Knopf hardcover edition he discovers a highlighting of this theme:

‘our explosive rise in intellectual mastery’ … ‘has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness’ …. ‘ a vision that found its apogee in the Age of Enlightenment’

Greece is the focus of the first chapter, in which E.O. Wilson recounts his youthful fascination with the natural beauty of his Alabama home. A fascination that would develop into a sense of mission, the poetically dubbed ‘Ionian Enchantment.’

‘The enchantment’ is a reference to the philosophical outlook of Thales of Miletus, the idea that the universe is intelligible and can be understood once the proper principles are isolated.

One of the great strengths of this book is that Wilson does not let his aesthetic sensibilities cloud his analysis. He readily assents to the difficulty of bottom up analysis, of the synthesis which is at the heart of consilience. Accurately portraying it as a task far more challenging than the more familiar reductionist strategies that have seen much success in the physical sciences.

In Ariadne’s Thread (another Greek allusion) Wilson points out that it is ‘easy’ to go from conceptual complexity to basic physical units. It is an altogether different thing to go from basic physical properties to conceptual complexity.

The myth of Theseus unravelling the ball of Ariadne’s thread in the minotaur’s maze, serves as an apt analogy for humanity’s attempt to make sense of its surroundings. We always find retracing our steps to be easier than finding valid routes through a labyrinth that ultimately has no center.

All we know is that there is something that allows us to navigate, something dear and precious, the yarn of a beautiful maiden that I’m going to take the liberty of identifying with ‘wisdom’ (sic) for the sake of conceptual convenience. This wisdom, this sense of the maze being navigable, is what will eventually allow us something like mastery of that puzzling terrain. Though as Wilson cautions, mastery of such a thing, may not be possible to fully realize.

I’d argue that such an impossibility is actually bliss. It means that the universe is intelligible to just the right degree. So that we may never know enough and grow weary and bored. That greatest joy of exploration will never be yanked from our species.
In fact the more we discover the more the avenues of mystery expand. The future as Wilson points out in the last chapter of his book belongs to synthesizers. People with a sense for consilience who can incorporate information into valid novel coherencies. The universe is thus a vast garden that intelligent creatures like ourselves can eternally cultivate.

This is what makes this book such a worthy read. The rekindling of the classical fire. That flame which was ‘lost’ in recent decades due to the intense specialization that became somewhat inevitable as knowledge and complexity increased.

It is a timely response to the relativism and ‘post modernism’ (sic) of the present age. Which far from providing the fecundity that they seemingly promise have served up something much more akin to stagnation.

I found this book to be a worthy read as a review of the history of science and philosophy through a biologist’s lens. You will encounter in-depth coverage of such perennial issues as nature vs. nurture, the role of genetics in culture, the physical functioning of the brain as it relates to the nature of consciousness, and much more.

The early chapters accounting of the development of the sciences and their underlying methodology has a historian’s flair, that is a timely remedy for the atomization of the knowledge of a ‘common core’ mind.

I’d urge anyone wishing to enrich both their passion and their knowledge to pick up this excellent book.

Retro and the Crow


What’s the point then?

A computer, a technology, should never be a tether. It should be a tool to enhance knowledge, productivity, and pleasure.

To use a tool properly, one must learn to get by, to get about one’s business without it.

That’s why, post-shower, I am making this hand-written entry with my PC turned off.

There is only the pen, the paper, the ticking of the clock, and the sound of a radio coming from the other room.

Here I am, at my task, the task of writing, with more pleasure, ease, and sentience.

There is no song, no YouTube video, no endless podcast, there are no headphones at all. I do not drown passively among other people’s voices. I select what’s relevant from memory.

I do not fear that my thoughts will be lost, that they will suffer in quality because they are a scrawl in afternoon light rather than coordinates on a glowing screen.

I feel no unease at the knowledge that digitally augmented ken, all the world’s libraries, and forums, are one further step away.

I am in fact as free and secure as the crow that just flew overhead.

Because I have made it possible, more likely to see him.

I have but to swivel in my squeaky office chair to boot the machine. Should I fancy to share my insights electronically.

Perhaps soon I will. But not before I visit a long neglected couch to read a hand-held book.

Such is the exercise I choose to assure a firmer grip upon my faculties.

Through this I find my freedom, my mobility expanded, and my electric bill a touch more modest.