Ask Old Jules: Failures of society, Does luck exist, Places to talk about important things, Cloning of extinct animals, Getting rid of emotions

3.22.03 and back ups 1098

Old Jules, in which ways do many in society “grow up the wrong way” or are badly influenced? And why is this?

Rites of Passage got lost in the dust of history. In the past when a young man or woman reached the local age of adulthood a group of older folk took them apart and filled them in of a series of community standards summed up: 1] Here’s what is expected of you, 2] Here are some things you’ll encounter and you won’t necessarily understand, but here’s a set of guidelines we’ve found to work well enough to establish as rules. Behave within these guidelines and you’ll be okay. 3] Time you got out of your parents keeping and started carrying your own weight.

Old Jules, is there such thing as luck?

There’s something that walks, talks and acts a lot like the lady who mustn’t be named. It’s the reason gamblers of the gambling persuasion are among the most superstitious [which is to say, they acknowledge a piece of the human experience, the universe, and unseen strings being pulled as a matter of faith] people on the planet. The range of taboos in the air over a racetrack or a casino block of table games isn’t the product of casual gamblers. It’s the result of the observations of people who’ve spent enough of their lives watching cards fall and horses stumble to swallow their pride and treat the subject with conspicuous respect.

Old Jules, are there any places in real life where people talk about things that have substance to them?

Interesting question. Back in the day there were places where young people gathered and talked about things we believed had substance. Coffee klatches at university union buildings, Greenwich Village Coffee Houses [mid-1960s]. I’m guessing today if I had to be a fly on the wall I’d consider it fairly lightweight stuff, but back then it seemed weighty. We all took ourselves fairly seriously. A singing duet of the time actually did a song about the phenomenon I found a bit amusing years later. Loved it when it came out and thought it was hefty stuff. Perspectives change. (Simon & Garfunkel – The Dangling Conversation)

Old Jules, scientists are using cloning to bring back extinct animals. What’s your opinion?

When scientists apply science to create technologies they aren’t functioning as scientists. They’re functioning as engineers. Engineers will attempt to apply any capability science uncovers, whatever it might be. Engineering is single-minded, focused on intent. Weighing anything other than cost/benefit doesn’t come into consideration. If it can be done and if there’s money to be made from it, it will be done. I’m personally a lot more concerned about genetic engineering of feed and food grain crops than I am about animal cloning. Monsanto’s already got pollen from GE grain products drifting all over the planet on the winds. The engineered pollens don’t recognize boundaries, fences, human intentions or the desirability of maintaining the original species unchanged.

Old Jules, is it possible to rid myself of emotions?

The loyal opposition rears its ugly head. I disagree with the previous answerers insofar as the individual desirability of allowing emotion to play a large part in our lives unless we individually assess the issue and make conscious choices concerning it for our own lives. We can’t completely divest ourselves from emotion, but we can recognize it and insist on it staying in whatever corral we build for it. We can decide for ourselves the degree to which we allow ourselves to be herded around by anger, sadness, and boredom. We can relegate them to the passenger seat and not allow them access to the gas pedal, wheel, clutch or brakes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s