My Epitaph

If you don't question everything, you will know nothing and believe anything!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

I have been busy with preparing for the holiday season with my Fulfilled By Amazon retail store, but in an annual lunch for the family friend I have known longer than I have known some of my family a comment was made that I felt worthy of at least a quick posting in regards.

Not only does this friend likely recall the holidays before I can recall him because he's about 6 months older than me, but at that time we would not have gone to high school together since my family was not living in that city at the time.  However, although we went to different elementary schools after we moved back to said city/school district, we were in the same middle and high school and were football teammates (I should type an Al Bundy-esque tribute to my team since we only lost one game our senior year: we lost 3-0 in Semi-State) in high school together.  (I was so mad at my mother when she wouldn't let me visit him in the hospital when he came down with encephalitis a week after I had it because I knew exactly the hell he was enduring and wanted to encourage him that it does get better!)  After he earned his bachelor's, he entered a year-long master;s program at Northwestern, after which he was hired by Eli Lilly as a research scientist and Lilly paid for him to earn his PhD while doing research for them.

When I got the job working aboard Clipper Cruise Line, he gave me permission to call him collect because, as he put it then, what else did he really spend money on since he was pretty much working about 80 hours a week at that time.  The only thing he was spending any of his discretionary income on at that time was splitting a 10 game or half season ticket package for the Indiana Pacers with my brother.  Of course, I was not much of one to make many phone calls while off the ship when I could be doing something more exciting that talking to people that weren't with me (except of course for playing "See if you can guess where I am now" with someone if I passed an open payphone/booth), but I also knew I could call him after I got off the ship after dinner service on my way out to do whatever I was going to do (drink away from my crewmates) and that was the likely time he would be at home for the day.

Anyways, since being sucked back into the Black Hole of Anti-Intelligence that IS Indiana when I got pericarditis in 2012, we get together for a lunch around each our birthdays.  Since my brother has moved back from Chicago, he sometimes joins us, as well as another friend since childhood who represented me against an insurance company when an old woman broke 5 of my vertebrae on 11/27/2006 (but who couldn't make lunch yesterday).  During the course of conversation at yesterday's lunch, my friend, whose PhD is in endocrinology I believe, made some comment about my memory being too good (because I don't forget names and scandals the media wishes everyone would forget).  My response was along the lines of even though we didn't have cable at the time, I did everything I could to watch as much of the Iran Contra hearings on C-Span when he and I were 16, and I haven't forgotten all the names associated with the scandals of our teenage years (Raygun/Bush).

What's the point of this posting?  How many of you would have a PhD/research scientist make a remark about your memory being of a superior quality?  I know the internet, especially Facebook as well as YouTube comments (most likely any "social" media shares the same "quality") is where everyone believes/acts like they are a genius (at least among those "friends" on Facebook that you've never met, or strangers in Facebook groups/YouTube comment section) among the best and brightest in the world, but how many of these self-proclaimed (more self-projected, I suppose, would be the more precise term because few actually proclaim they're the smartest person in the room/group, but they sure can project that attitude in their comments).  I hope to begin recording a vlog as I drive around the US to procure inventory for my Amazon store next year.  However, I will not likely have the comment section open; just like I try not to leave a comment section open on this little home online: this is my current online home and I will not invite the vampires inside!  I am more than well aware that my thoughts and opinions are heretical to any dogmas, but I also know how easy it is for me to gain respect from professionals when encountering them in person.

Let me finish with two more examples of respect given to me by serious professionals.  I only wish I could have had a conversation with Manly P Hall, but when I was spending time in the Philosophical Research Society library in January 2012, both the president of the PRS and the librarian complimented me on both my intellect and level of scholasticism.  In 2013 when I was spending time in the Archives of Indiana University (I should still seek legal action against the University for the "breech of contract" with the state I was researching in the archives), I was explaining to the current Archivist (then only an associate or whatever the actual subordinate title was used) the research I had conducted also on the 4th floor of the East Tower of the library while in my back brace in 2007 (I was spending my evenings that summer in the East Tower going through all the encyclopedias on the 4th floor: the oldest being from 1860, choosing to read one subject through the years and differing publications which led to scrutinizing the primary sources cited on multiple items to ascertain the validity of the change in primary source); after I had explained to her these efforts (and how I also remained critical of both author, editor and publisher for as many agendas as I could postulate - especially why I consider the 9th (and by extension the 10th since it reprinted the 9th but added new articles) Edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica to be a "high water mark" of information because the 11th Edition (1910/11) began editing out some of the most important information and changing primary sources (it appears that the 11th Edition was the first published by its new owners after it moved to Chicago) - when I explained to her my efforts on that 4th floor in 2007, the woman now the head Archivist at Indiana University stated "You're a scholar!"

In real life I seem to have little problem earning the respect of those who would rank among those professionals that would likely truly represent the level of intellect that the typical Facebook group member falsely believes themselves to possess.  In real life, among the intellectuals of the world, although I may still come across as heretical to their definition of "reality" I will nonetheless earn their respect for both my intellect as well as the high standards of scholarship I strive to uphold.  You don't have to even have a Bachelor's degree to exercise the same scholarship as that required for a PhD, but anyone striving to operate at the highest levels of scholarship will be far less likely to be seduced into believing ideas that cannot be verified.

This is not an attempt to brag or boast, but just a reporting of a recent statement to me about me by someone who has had a career as a research scientist for a major pharmaceutical conglomerate.  Also, an explanation as to why I do not allow comments on The Evolving Door.  Feel free to provide links to The Evolving Door if you feel a desire to discuss anything I have explored on this medium, but I don't need the "likes" or praise of people nor the hatred by those who hold beliefs I have questioned and found lacking.  Maybe since my writing style is not typical I don't attract the types that can only read at a, say, 10th grade level and would find comments from my readers as being mentally invigorating (I LOVE entertaining new thoughts!); however, I have also scored No Child Left Behind standardized tests (usually math and/or science from the highest grade tested by that state) and know that I am not really interested in carrying on online conversations with the overwhelming majority of online commenters on social media - I have far better ways to invest my time and efforts.

Even though my Bachelor's is in Marketing, I really haven't given much though about who the target market of this blog's writings.  I suppose it's more for me than for anyone else: a place where I can express unedited thoughts - or at least I am the only editor in finding the words to convey said thoughts as best as I can.  If you get anything out of my ramblings, then I suppose it serves a greater purpose than the outlet for me to congeal my thoughts into words.

If you celebrate any holidays this season, I would prefer you to question the tradition instead of blindly following it, but I at least wish you warm greetings to enjoy friends and family this holiday season.  I have spent many a holiday away from family, sometimes surrounded by others because I was working, sometimes choosing not to visit relatives because I wasn't in the mood to be around people because of the chronic back pain I endure.  And try to share that same love you have towards friends and family to those who lack both and struggle to survive: the holidays for far too many are depressive times filled with loneliness and a general emptiness and despair.
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