Geoffrey West has captured my free mind space with his book “Scale”. It’s a bit of a scientific lecture distilled down for somewhat less than a scientific audience. The underlying premise is the innate mathematical correlation between the growth of all life, and the systems from which it prevails. Conveying the same mathematical foundation supporting chemistry and physics to the discipline of biology opens up a conversation about life itself.  Overlaying this scientific connection with ideological mythology brings about much emotionally charged controversy. Seemingly, for everything we don’t have concrete answers for, we reach for mystical support from faith, absent of fact. Then, as the facts evolve through better understanding supported by innovation and scientific discovery, we rationalize and adjust the parameters of that faith. For example, Galileo was arrested and convicted of heiricy for his theories of early scientific discovery. Placed under house arrest by the Roman Catholic Church, he spent his final days isolated and publicly disgraced. Ultimately, his theoretical hypothesis were given credibility as the dawn of modern science, and the church apologized in the 1990’s. Devout followers didn’t discredit the institution as unsubstantiated gossip, but rather made Rationalized excuses for how it attempted to suppress revolutionary discovery. The miracle lies in the fact anyone ever attempted to discredit their mythological teachings. In spite of all these ideological pitfalls, varying perspectives on semantics concerning faith, and even the misguided threat of imprisonment, or even death, humanity has pushed forward with innovation and discovery. Social order comes from evolutionary tendencies, not ideological restraints. 


The realization that all living organisms are fundamentally extricably connected beyond a Devine construct is quite progressive. Scaling validates this correlation through logarithmic computation to link biological structure and their systems by their metabolic capacity. All mammals share an average total number of heartbeats over their lifetimes. Scaled up or down using the quarter power connection, and we know why mice and whales live distinctly different lifetimes. Apply this to social structure such as cities and organizations, and we can gain insight as to how we derive a better existence. Conversely, the dissemination of understanding and knowledge isn’t linear amongst our species. Distribution of any piece of information doesn’t spread evenly. Varying degrees of capacity, along with cultural distinctions, and language barriers make this process a bumpy disproportionate one. For me, it shifts to awareness and leveling those barriers with increased diversity among our species. These exclusionary roadblocks have risen from the ideological dogma of only the most recent time period. More innovative ideas have come about in the past 100 years, than the previous 100,000 years combined. We have yet to as a species resolve the barrier of distribution in regards to innovation and benefits. Ideological entities don’t like being challenged (remember Galileo) so delivery of change is slower than its creation. Progress on this front is cumbersome and slow as well, given the cloak of ideological influence that blankets so many of those available for engagement, verses the vast majority who won't benefit short of a grand awakening throughout all of Asia, Africa, and South America. Cultural influences have supported the massive increases in population among these regions in just the last century, thus challenging the political and economic capacity to distribute resources to all of these people living there. We are finally realizing our planet has physical and biological limitations for its capacity to support the excesses of this mythology driven trajectory for our species, and averting a future of forced scarcity for the laggards lies in the hands of today’s progressive visionaries, not the faithful. 


Seemingly everywhere you turn these days, there are encounters with people supposedly doing their jobs, yet the experience leaves you feeling like they simply didn't give a shit about fulfilling your expectations of them. These disenfranchised individuals lack enthusiasm for our perspectives of their worlds. It’s like sitting through someone else’s photo exhibit of their vacation, it lacks the emotional correlation for you, because you weren’t a part of that experience. Income inequality is a component of this separation on a societal level, but it doesn’t reverse itself whenever we trickle down minute particles of resources via government redistribution mechanisms. Building better understandings via supporting more even childhoods is a much better tool to enhance more lives, yet getting that message to tenor with more people is extremely challenging as well. Being a gossip driven species, homo sapiens lean more on hearsay than reality for support. We tend to address what strikes our emotional buttons with whatever makes us feel better, than doing the much harder work of digging through this cloak of bullshit for these particles of truth. Sprinkle a bit of ideology over all of this, and encouraging individuals to simply accept this assigned station of life replaces that hope I talked about previously. 


Humans are inherently emotionally lazy critters, whenever it comes to pushing outside of what’s comfortable for us. This is evident in the explosion of media/entertainment engagement over my lifetime.  Rather than spending time in introspective thoughts, we spend huge amounts of time in mind numbing watching of precisely choreographed make believe pseudo reality. Because it’s so compelling to us, we ultimately create huge pockets of wasted financial resources to support this lunacy, only to ponder the problems of why our society has real life inequalities. I’m not even suggesting that there’s not substantial benefit from what is truly art and the creative process here. There is a significant role for social benefit from how that molds the human experience. I’m merely suggesting on an individual basis, we shift our attitude towards personal growth by acknowledging the current status quo is a bit fucked up. It’s exactly what’s transpired in my life over the past fifty-five years. I don’t consider myself any kind of role model here, but if a guy from Arkansas without a string of college degrees can gain a better perspective than the one supported by the average person surrounding me. It makes me believe anyone with a thirst for more from life can attain similar results. For me it all started with someone encouraging me to have higher expectations for myself in whatever I do. Remember the disenfranchised person I described in the beginning of this writing, put yourself in their shoes, then instead of cowering to the expectations of those around you, start trying to exceed them. After a while, you begin to set that bar just beyond your accepted comfort zone, and the evolution has begun. 


"All work and no play...makes Jack a dull boy"

I fish to avert the dull boy syndrome in my life. My wife would suggest it's more of a male bonding ritual, but either way I do enjoy the brief diversion from the everyday. There are a multitude of activities people use for this same purpose, but I've been fishing since I was two years old. It delivers a level of satisfaction, and feeds the me beneath the surface, down at a core level of personal being. It’s difficult to articulate without sounding somewhat selfish to myself, but there’s so much more to the balance it delivers to the rest of my life. 


Our tournament was canceled due to a thick fog covering the lake. It was unsafe to allow the participants to blast off in boats capable of sixty plus miles per hour speeds. While we waited for the tournament director to reach this conclusion, we spent five hours under the pavilion socializing with other fishermen. Granted, there were a couple of female anglers in the crowd, the vast majority though were men ranging from their late teens to maybe early seventies. The median age fell somewhere in the mid forty’s, so a somewhat older demographic. This common thread woven through this group of individuals is their passion for fishing. Competition amongst any group of similarly persuaded folks adds some kindling to that passionate fire, but the spark lies within the therapy of fishing. Countless stories of precious moments spent engaged in the quest to master a species existing for thousands of years with nothing more than the instinct to survive. Their voices rise, and eyes widen as those stories roll off their tongues, just as if they were actually in that very moment all over again. No talk of politics or ideology of any kind there. No disagreements over being right or wrong. Not so much as a cross word about race, gender, or ethnicity. No, these people bond over a hobby that fills something inside them, as it does for me. Each of us caught within an unexplainable serinity over being on the water, trying desperately to identify how to better understand a fish...