Of Memes and of Genes

Memes are like societal mind viruses, they can infect the cultural zeitgeist, mutating and replicating with every utterance in whatever social eddy they may drift.  Slogans, tropes and limericks can change the societal direction.

Taken to the extreme, memes can become integrated into the permanence and replicability of the human genome through the standard paradigm of isolated interbreeding populations.  Take as exemplari gratis, the physical differences between species of animals, begin as location memes that are then ensconced in DNA, the Camel vs the goat: water conservation vs Alpine rock scaling. Or rabbits and elephants, totally different reproductive strategies (r vs. K)..


Two Wrongs Really Can Make a Right

In mathematics, when two negative numbers are multitelplied together, a positive product results.

Quite similarly, when my roommate, Brad, goes into one of his schizophrenic (just my lay opinion, not diagnosed) fugues, it is my wont to tell him,"Shut up, Old man. "

When anyone else tells him to hush up or even be quiet, he gets very put out. 

Telling him to shut up is an insult, a negative (-) comment, as is calling him an old man (I'm ~20 years younger than him).  I knew that from the start.  I juxtapose the two phrases to soften, mititigate, and diffuse the impact of my rhetoric.  I always say it with a smile on my face and always get a chuckle in response.  And half the.time, that's the intended effect, the other half of the time, I really do want him to shut up.  Either way, it still works.  When you have a hammer, the world seems full of nails 

Sure, I could be very polite and deferential, but then that would be tantamount to lying, because it's just not in my nature.  As one of my other roommates wryly tells me, "you've got jokes for days."

I suppose I use humor as a defense mechanism, a tool in my arsenal; and, oh what a pluripotent tool it is.


Bob Frost's Writing on Division May be Germane to Our Current Age

Early in the last century (1914), poet Robert Frost wrote in his iconic poem, Mending Wall: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.  For what purpose does one erect a fence?  as Dexter Holland sang with the Offspring, 'You gotta keep 'em separated.' What is a better partition than even a fence?  That's right, a wall.

In sparsely populated areas, fences work just fine.  Id est, on the back 40 of a large acreage farm or some remote ranch, where the fence is used to keep animals on the property, or on the wide open hinterland of the Canadian/United States border where crossings are infrequent. On the other face of the coin, at the frequently traversed, United States/Mexico border,  if fences are good (and they must be, for they are not unusual down Mexico-way), wouldn't a wall be even better?

It could also be beneficial (term is inapt, but gets the general point across) for Mexico as well.  To become a modern society, one not so socially stratified and riddled with cartels, the underclass would have to revolt.  As it stands currently, whenever the underclass gets restless, they are just directed across the Rio Bravo (Rio Grande) to El Norte (America).

As Thomas Paine wrote at the birth of our nation,']T]hese are the days that try mens' souls,' I'd also posit that the current era is trying in its own right


:Per the Meat Puppets, I'm taking it to the next Plateau

Well Thursday, I made a quantum leap with my weight training routine.  Heretofore, I'd not been pushing myself and had been only chest pressing 75-lbs for like 3 sets of 25 reps.  But that day, I stepped it up to a set of 10 reps at 100-lbs and a set of 15 reps at that same 100-lbs

Right from the outset, I knew I'd be stepping it up.  Two sets of 50 at 200-lbs on the leg press.Two sets of 25 at 30-lbs on the crunchboard

That regiment is sufficient to use up my allotted workout time thrice weekly.
Per the Tempe college band Meat Puppets:

Nothing on top but a bucket and a mop and an illustrated book about birds,
     There's a lot up there,
     But don't be scared,
     Who needs action when you've got words.

I've been accused of being both indecisive and lugubriously locacous.  I plead guilty on both counts. The former, ala Jason Mraz, I'm trying to remedy; the latter, I wholeheartedly embrace.

I think I'll increase reps, while maintaining weight.

Also quite similar to when I took Weightlifting as my and then independent study in college, I initially lost weight (presumably from loss of adipose), but then I've been, ever so slightly, gaining weight (quite assuredly from slight muscle hypertrophy).

I maintained that schemata at my Saturday workout.


In War, We Must All Choose a Side

I yearn for a simpler time, irregardless of whether such a time truly existed. I like constancy, or in Tevia's words, "TRADITION."

It is in that vein that I support Coca-Cola over Pepsi. Over the years, I've grown to love the bite Coke has that Pepsi does not.

Pepsi is sweeter, sure, more saccharine sweet but in this age where sugar is verboten because it is the source of most  weight gain, I find Coke's crispness a pleasantly subtle reminder to try to shy away from the allure of the seductive carbohydrate.

Additionally, to me Coke is more associated with the masculine and Pepsi, the feminine; id est, my dad drank Coke, my mom, my aunt, my grandma, Pepsi.

Even in their color schemes, Coke is red, Pepsi blue. And I tend to align more with the rebellious red Republicans than the blue of the collectivist Democrats.

And as I opined in a previous post, i tend to align more with the red British than the blue Continentals (read: French, Germans). That despite being mostly Dutch and a fair bit of German.  But hey,  my grandfather was a rancher of Dutch descent,  and he got a kick out of Benny Hill and the rest of the comical Brits; so, I suppose more than a little of the old cowboy survives in me.

A Leopard Changes His Stripes

It is summertime, time fro a wardrobe update.
I think I'll embrace my Libertarian leanings and start wearing zany clothing. Plaids will be juxtaposed with stripes. Polka dots and paisleys mixed.  Hawaiian shirts and golf pants/board shorts ala Magnum P.I.  But, ala Tom Selleck, I do wear a mustache; however,  i sport a fu Manchu like Sam Elliott not a chevron like Tom Selleck's Thomas Magnum. Ala Nirvana's motto: Oh well,whatever, nevermind.

Colors of clothing will be selected for maximum impact.  Like MTV's Real World once claimed: it's just what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.  After all we only go around once on this big spinning planet of love.

Time to embrace the chaos.  Ala Sellers' Strangelove, it's time I stop worrying what others may think and learn to love the chaos.  After all, randomness is the most sustainable, durable pattern. Either go with the flow or get trampled by the herd. I opt to chart an individualistic course, as is my Libertarian wont and ethos.


Dark Day Dawning

Tomorrow will be the 22nd anniversary of my injury.  Seems high time for a retrospective.  Well,  let's demarcate my  accomplishments:
1. Survived a brain injury with some modicum of wit and aplomb.
2. Returned to and graduated from the high school I attended before the injury. Sure it took me 5 academic years to complete (4 usual and 1 reintegration) and I did slow my courseload, but where there's a will there's a way, and I have been called willful on more than one one occasion. Who am I trying to kid, I wear the appellation of 'stubborn Dutchman' with pride.  To wit, most people being called a stubborn Dutchman would be an insult, but I think of it as tantamount to being called unwavering and independent.
3. Graduated debt free and with honors from the college of my choice. Sure it took 5 years, but I did change majors once and then resume my original plan. But those weren't wasted years; I incorporated much of those curricular wanderings into my minor. And what's more, I followed the general, while in college, path of that course of study (social sciences: mostly economics) on to a master's level study (business administration: mostly big think leadership and investing). I never really aspired to be an academic (honestly, I kind of looked down on them).  I always esteemed businessmen. My favorite scene in all of cinema is from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, when they visited the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
4. Graduated debt free, and on time, with an M.B.A. from the really local branch of the State University. I live in Glendale, a west valley suburb of Phoenix. ASU West is literally only a few blocks north of my house.  In fact, when I was in high school, my neighborhood buddy and I  Rollerbladed up to the campus one summer day, it was quite the summer sojourn. Also,for a Vertebrate Zoology course project, my college brother and I did a study on desert rat burrow configuration, utilizing the population of desert rodentia on the spacious northwest Phoenix campus locale.
5,  Past is prologue.  Id est, I probably have more exploits ahead of me than behind me, but I must be ever cognizant to never waste one moment.  I know that's not realistic, but carpe the most diem that I can.


Once more unto the breach dear friends, again

This evening I went to that support group thing I alluded to in a previous post.  It was pretty good.  I saw people I'd meet previously. Makes connections (id est, friendships, acquaintances, et cetera) stronger. I'm pumped that I'll be better able to maintain the processes reinitiated (?) today. I had been going before, but my aunt was having trouble dusk-driving. I'm now riding with the caregiver who takes me to the local adaptive gym on Saturdays. Prospectively, I'll have him take me more places. Good pattern initiated tonight. Humans are pattern recognition, paradigm initiation, machines. So, what I'm saying is at least thrice more unto the breach, probably more, dear friends.


Prospective social group

Arrangements have been made to ensue my attendance at a local brain injury social group facilitated by my counselor.   It should be hood.  Change will be good.   As is my wont, ' Any steep forward is a move in the right direction, even if only in baby steps, ala What About Bob. After all, my first name is Robert,

A Rose by Any Other Name

The founder of the binomial nomenclature organismal classification system was 18th century. Swedish taxonomist (Latinized) Carlous Linnaeus.

My own name Robert Mark Heemstra is a river with many tributaries: My first name is taken from my maternal grandfather's first name, which is itself, as family history reports, taken from the Confederate General of the Civil War. My middle and last names are taken directly from my dad's middle and last names. I've always gone by Mark in common parlance.  However for my legal signature, I followed the Linnaeus formula and retained my grandfather's name with the leading initial R.

While pursuing my undergraduate biology degree, I noticed that the second author on academic papers was usually denoted as the first two initials and a last name; so, I adopted that formula for all of my papers and tests.  My college brother, a guy with whom I matriculated in many a class, was baptized, I was even a groomsman at his wedding, id est, we're birds of a feather.  He noticed that and began referring to me as simply RM.  I like it.

When I was trying to set up this website, was already taken; so, instead of trying to make a whole loot of permutations to my name or use a more esoteric and expensive suffix (e.g. .us, .biz, .me), I simply reverted back to a form of my scholastic nomenclature:

Although my site currently hosts my blog, Gen-X-Perspectives, I reserved the site from my Google overlords; such that, as I change, evolve, and mature, I can repurpose the site to meet my eventual growing needs. In the words of Fleetwood Mac, I thought 'don't stop thinking about tomorrow.'