Are You A Member of A Sub-species? 

We all share different cultures. Look at Eminem. If you say his “race” is “white”, what do you mean? You must be referring to his his biology, right? – because of conventions in your language and your culture – and their interpretations of his apparent simplified color (He’s not really “white”, correct?; I mean, you don’t have to go to art school, as I have, to be able to tell white from an off-white or pale pink, do you?).

What If You Only Heard Eminem’s Music Before You first Saw Him? 
Imagine you had never seen Eminem’s face: If you were to attribute one homogenized cultural perspective or set of behaviors and attributes to Eminem’s sound, what would you be called?

What if You Saw Eminem’s Face, But Didn’t Hear His Speech or Music?
If you saw Eminem for the first time and did not hear him – you saw only his “whiteness”, omitting his character, demeanor, style of clothing, speech and music – would you be likely to think he was more than “white”, culturally? Would you be likely to feel he was multi-cultural? Then, were someone to tell you he was a musical performer, what kind of music would you guess his being involved in?

Automatic attributions and knee-jerk determinations about a person or group, especially before seeing and learning of the person or group, or in judging his or her “race” by other-than-certain means (though completely cognitively natural for most people, whether they admit the tendency or not) causes us to be vilified in much of today’s American and otherwise western neo-liberal culture. Were you to do this in regard to Eminem, as suggested in the scenarios above, you quickly would be labeled a “racist” by many politically “correct” people, wouldn’t you? “His culture is hip hop, inner city – more “black” than “white,” we could expect to hear, no? Or we would hear that he is an exception or that he is multi-cultural.

The On-The-Street Meaning of “Race”
“Race” includes biology, which makes no sense – because this suggests biologically distinct* differences in people- beyond superficiality- while in actuality, scientifically (really) – all noticeable differences between us are superficial, such as those in hair-, eye- and skin- color differences; you’re not a different race from your family-members for these reasons, are you? So why would you think you are a different “race” from others who possesses only this level of difference between you – general height, cheek bone and eye shape, ear-lobe attachment, or complexion? In fact, we judge by color when all else seems the same or similar! haven’t you seen two people of two different “races” who have virtually all the same or similar styles of physical features except for color and thought, ‘these persons seem to be from the same “race” except for color’? Why would the color variation between people be more a determining factor in “race” than their actual physical structural differences – which appear to be the same?! It’s like saying a tabby and a calico are not simply felis domesticus, just because they have different colors of fur!

These shallow differences do not stop the “races” (ethnicities with similar hereditary DNA strains, really) from mating across “racial lines” (ethnicities with similar hereditary DNA strains, really) – which is a major defining point in the argument between sub-species or species “races”. These differences don’t affect our behavior – unless there are strains for physical and mental ability being passed among a population that insists on only mating with those who look the same.

There are “white” Muslims, “white” Buddhists, “black” Republicans. Do you see? I am a multicultural Caucasian: I am a “white” man highly acculturated in the ways of the East – and this process is only going to increase when I move to Japan. What good is calling me a “white man”? It’s fucking nonsense.

These arbitrary broad-brushed categories are so porous that they are not categories once you take a closer lookㅡespecially if you do a genome sequencing: we share DNA from so many other “groups”!

Ever see a “brown” “black” personㅡa “black” “black” person? I lived in South Korea fifteen years. There are very dark South Koreans. Are they “black”? Why should eye and cheek-bone shape trump color – as I asked above? If two people of a species look similar but differ by color, you would think we should group them by color, like a red Tesla and Blue one, so why aren’t dark Philippine, Korean and African or West Indies people just “black”? Well, to some ignorant people, they are.

The Coup de Grace: We Blame And Claim
What is Obama? With a “white” father and “black” mother, is he an “Oreo”? (Well – what else should I call him?) Is that a “race”? Why is he called “black”?, because he looks “black”? Isn’t he heavy cream or light-brown?” “He’s the first black president.” That’s “racist” – from both the pride AND prejudice perspectives! Do we not see the stupidity in this word and the Devil’s Food richness of the thick-as-molasses use of it? (No pun intended “racially” – I mean ‘thick’ as in “stupid”.) One group blames him and the other claims him. He is neither “black” nor “white”. He is a Homo Sapiens Sapien. There are dark ones and light ones but they are all the same “race” (species and sub-species).

If you had a baby with a “black” woman or man – or a “white” woman or man -what “race” would it be? By “racial” reasoning, s/he would be a half-breed. In some countries in Asia, they still talk this way. However, there are no half-breeds of human at this time on the planet. There is no more than one sub-species and one species of human on the planet at this time (in this geological epoch) and we are all members of that group – period. It is an unequivocal scientific and anthropological fact. No one can claim differently without being incorrect. It is not a matter of “belief”, either (that stupid, meaningless and misleading word). There have not been two subspecies of human since the time of Cromagnon and Neanderthal Man. If you insist you are a different “race”, than you insist you are a scientific anomaly: a sub-species.


Copyright © Carl卍道Atteniese 2018, All Rights Reserved.
*This word has a special meaning in biology
beyond differences in appearance

In a time when fake news is an issue, this is the antidote ー in a manner of thought.

Someone asked why lying is wrong, and this was my answer:

Honesty is the kernel of spirituality, all higher perception and related reason, self-knowledge, mental health, cognition, and relationships ーincluding with the self. 

If you lie to yourself about anything, especially your about your observations, feelings, or beliefs, you will lie to others, which in the case of those who trust you amounts to a human rights abuse. People who trust you, in private life or in business, depend on your honesty to understand the world that you reveal to them. If you lie, you paint a false image where they depend on you for an accurate one; this is deception. It makes a fool of them in the worst way, because it makes a fool of them in such a way as it facilitates their making a fool of themselves–because they decided to trust you. That is the heavy answer to your question and the one that matters most.

The light answer is: Honesty that is self-serving is a vice or a tool for self-aggrandizement; honesty for the benefit of others is a virtue.

In conclusion, dishonesty is the root of all problems as a factor in one’s not loving oneself and thus others. The only time lying is virtuous is when it saves lives and promotes righteous justice (which never, ever includes harm to anyone, for any reason (not even to facilitate punishment, which is pmitive and which will one day be done away with).

Copyright Mando ( Carl Atteniese Jr.), All rights reserved.

The Buddha said it. Sages have said it. Jim Carrey says it. Even Sam Harris would say it — after a long, drawn-out answer to a question on the subject: that there is no subject. There is no “I”.

I have taken to saying things such as: I experienced this image/thought/idea… because though the conventions of Standard English demand I use the first-person pronoun to allow a listener to know who is doing the doing or the experiencing in my sentences (not all other languages require this — Korean, Japanese and Chinese don’t require the use of subjects), I do not feel authorship for most of what happens in my brain, and ‘I’ usually (not always) implies a sense of authorship.

We witness our actions and thought, but we say “I thought of something,” “I came up with an idea/solution/poem. I did this thing.” In reality, you might be good enough to admit, we have ideas, we witness solutions, we discover poetic verses. These things come to us. And when we finally get up to go to the bathroom, doesn’t it seem as if we could honestly say, ‘my body finally got up’, when I had just been thinking about it? Think carefully. How often have you decided your favorite color, taste, or even dating type. Doesn’t something inside you do this for “you”? I have been thinking about this for decades – long before I heard of or read Sam Harris. The point is, it is a phenomenon common to us all – if we are observant and honest.

The Buddha said the brain was a witnessing gland, an interpreter, an observer; actually he said it was a sense organ. We can manipulate what we interpret in the world, design sentences to describe it,  formulate equations around the properties we observe or imagine to  be responsible for the properties we think we sense in the universe and edit the words that come to us in the writing of a poem. But these things — these processes we invent come from inspirations, flash-points, touchstones.

Ideas: Whence Do They Come?

Many people will tell you — myself included — that we get the best ideas in the shower, or during other mundane acts, when basically the mind and body are united in a task that does not allow for too much ego-driven control. Some might be tempted to say that during these deeds, such as in the act of bathing, we are following patterns — some learned, some programmed by habit, and some just common sense: you drop the soap and pick it up in the exact same way you had when you were five years old — minus any age- or injury- inducing changes in your locomotion.

And this deed, be it watering the garden, washing your hair, or doing the washing up (the dishes) is a “thoughtless” activity — and yet, the brain “thinks” as freely as if we were dreaming. And we get ideas. Some might say these mundane acts should indicate the brain is in its programming (programmed) modse. We are doing tasks — such as cleansing, organizing or even driving the car — a more or less programmed set of rituals and scripted responses to the world outside — which we ingrained the memory and motor circuits of the brain to come to engage in unconsciously. But during these acts of washing, working mindless tasks and driving, we sometimes find it more obvious to notice what the brain is doing behind the scenes all the time: thinking for itself.  So, I would say that that part of the brain is on “auto-pilot”, whilst the rest is in “free-flight” mode. And this is where our genius comes from.

Einstein imagined the scenes that became his basis for the theory of relativity. He saw himself riding a light beam through the cosmos. He wasn’t in the shower, but haven’y we — in our busy lives — been deeply involved in working with water, as I alluded to, before — when we have experienced ideas we wouldn’t honestly say we authored?

Bears And Big Thoughts

I remember the first time I bathed in a roaring creek. I was on a back country camping expedition in Colorado — with a girlfriend. We had no other way to wash. Well, I can tell you that in bear country, you don’t blithely dream away a twenty-minute period amidst dense forest as you throw frigid water on your naked body in the out-of-doors. First, you want to get the task over with, because the water is nearly freezing cold. Next, you are scanning the horizon – which is basically a hundred yards in any direction, except up and down stream — for something big and furry that might want to miss the fish for a day for a side of human sushi and creek drink.

In the hunter-gatherer days, this is how people washed — carefully. Could it be that this was one of our first meditative acts in which the mind and body are engaged in auto pilot, whilst in the background the stirrings of conscious dreaming were in their infancy, in such a way as they could be called up today whilst we are in water? And in the time that ensued in which people became more used to this — effectively having our brains say, ‘fuck the bears’, I need a bath, this act of washing became more and more relaxed and automatic and so our contemplative thoughts increased at this time.

Sow we find ourselves, today, a hundred thousand years hence washing in total abandon — unless we have to make a commute. Could it be the body (or the part of the brain that is the body) tells the mind it is okay, now, to take over — when we are touched with water — because of our nascent experiences as a species, always in thought — with that medium?

More to Come on This…

A Reader on Facebook (to me): “Your notion of correct English doesn’t line up with what we all consider natural English. Something all native speakers of the language are capable of.

I, in Reaponse:

I speak standard English to preserve it, because I taught English as a Second Language for 18 years and know that because there are more non-native speakers of the language than native speakers, the accuracy — and thus the beauty and nuance of it — is being destroyed, or is at least devolving.

In addition, I realized that I would have fewer incidences of confusion in the classroom, if I modeled correct English first — before speaking the dialectical incorrect versions of the language so common to many today.

I knew I would also have less of a hard time re-explaining structure if my students learned English correctly the first time.

I speak Standard English properly to the best of my ability, also because I am a burgeoning essayist, poet, comic and activist to the best of my abilities, and I feel that accuracy in language often — if not always — conveys meaning more precisely in those endeavors — and less ambiguously, if one utilizes it.

I have suffered occupationally and socially due to ignorance of the language on the part of others (a huge problem in the PC world of today).

I am interested in aviation and aerospace. There are hyper-important reasons illustrating why English is the international language of those endeavors and they aren’t in the realm of hegemony; its about accuracy.

English is a low-context, highly democratic and accurate language for “level-the-playing field” communication, which prevents plane crashes.

Finally, I seek an audience with the righteous, academic and political — as well as with common people such as myself, for the current era and for posterity, such that I can help improve the world. Saying things correctly makes that easier on all fronts — in my opinion.

I do step outside proper English to convey points, too, however — especially when I want to be humorous!

These are wonderfully good reasons to speak the language according to its best devised rules and conventions, in my opinion.

Some of you know I have been on a crusade to eliminate the use of the word race outside scientific discourse, because of its erroneous and pernicious hand in ethnic prejudice.

When an issue comes up such as the Charlottesville clashes and the like, I post a few paragraphs on this.

Invariably the idea gets approval, but people continue to use the word, and there are always one or two of you who push back on insignificant grounds, citing semantics and lingual tradition or maybe revisionism.

On Youtube I have even been told that I am wrong in supporting the scientific and social consensus; those are opinions in disguise of the true ethniphobes and xenophobes, I think.

The thing some of us don’t understand is if you want people to get along, it should make you happy that the genome project a few years ago proved what scientists knew all along, and that is that we are one species (“race”). Why this fact doesn’t excite  all of the good hearted people and encourage them to see the problem with the word race, I cannot fathom.

So when I meditate on it, I come to these conclusions about why:

1. Some are afraid of losing their special status as “black,” “white,” “Korean,” whatever.

2. Others are afraid of being lumped in with everyone else (another angle on number 1).

3. Some feel it is a semantic difference (when it clearly is not), and just don’t understand what I and others are saying. They obviously think a change in language won’t affect the problem. To me, this is like saying we should continue using the “N-word,” because it does no harm.

4. Some feel the phasing out of the use of the word race will erode their political and social agenda which more than being about concerns about prejudice, I suspect involve false pride.

As far as the issue of prejudice — institutional or otherwise — is concerned, I feel this is not true. No one is whitewashing the history these days unless they are white supremacists, which I obviously am not, and my call for the use of other words besides and in place of “race” should prove that.

‘Race’ in non-scientific discourse just makes it easier to incorrectly assert that people are permanently different. How does that advance the agenda of equality?

5. This is the most disturbing and another version of number 1: Some want to continue to assert their superiority so insist there are actually different races. This is the position science deniers are in for the sake of fossil fuel profits, pretending global warming is a hoax, and of course it is as equally evil, because it obscures the truth and perpetuates suffering.

Just remember: believing in seperate races among humans is science denial and a major cause of the problem.

Also remember that if you refrain from using the word ‘race’ and its derivitives, and you use species, instead, you will see what is so wrong with ‘race.’

When you want to refer to an ethnicity, a culture, a nationality, you can still do that, just leave biology out of it — because that’s not only incorrect, it’s bigoted. Then you’ll see there are no grounds for using ‘race’ without asserting your belief in its fiction — which makes one a “racist,” like being a believe in the living Elvis, only that’s harmless; thinking others are a different species just because of their skin or skeletal variation is incorrect — and has been hurting people for hundreds of years.



Talk to The Power You Control
Often and most recently, I have encouraged people to be politically active, using the pen, the keyboard, the phone and twitter. I say tweet to the Trumps and to our representatives at this sensitive and dangerous political and historical time. In response, people have told me they were not “on Twitter”, that they ‘couldn’t figure it out’ or that they ‘weren’t sure whether tweeting to politicians was an effective method.’ What on Earth is Trump doing?
Here is a paraphrased, expanded and developed composite of my responses:
You can remedy your lack of a Twitter account in minutes. You can figure out how it works in equal time. The tools for democracy and sinfully easy participation were never better.
Do you only do things with a guarantee of success? If a man had his finger on the button, would you not lunge at him without doing a statistical analysis of your possible failure rate, first? And what is “effective” in your book?
No one is asking that your small democratic participation and responsibility solve everything. I do it to simply say, ‘hey, primate-like-me, I’m one of the citizens you’re dumping on and leaving in a lurch with your stupid, cowardly and selfish policies, and I am watching you.’ I also do it out of love. These are people and they get caught up in the corrupt system you and I maintain — so, it is a reminder that it is not okay. I am often quite polite about it, too, but now that we are literally being bent over and kicked in the ass, along with the rest of the world — due to our power, influence and responsibilities, by these usurpers and traitors, I can’t stand tall as a man without at least saying something.
As a matter of fact, I just tweeted to my representatives in the Senate (see below), to make sure they fight Mitch McConnell on his irresponsible and climate-killing energy bill.
You see, I don’t find this the most enjoyable pastime — my political outreach; as a matter of fact, I am very far behind in many areas of my life — and this is not my chosen vocation — although it does involve quite a bit of philosophy (which I do enjoy in principle, but which could be applied to grander designs of much more interesting subjects, if we had only responsible, intellectual, educated and spiritually mature people in government).
It is infuriating and boring to me, that I have to deal with such childishness when I would love to turn my full attention to bigger problems of humanity, such as understanding the human mind, saving the environment (though that is part of this), spaceflight, art and poetry — and so it feels like a giant obstacle in the course of my life trajectory (I have school work to do; I am alone, between private places to live and I need another job); but it is not ‘a waste time. Political participation is, in the smallest way, my part in democracy.   not enough. Voting is the hiring. Political participation is the day-to-day work of being the boss. That’s our job! Did you ever have a job wherein you were hired and you never saw your boss or a supervisor, again? Did you ever get a job and have the boss say, ‘hey, now you’re on your own; do what you want. Sit at my desk, use my phone, have a party, take a vacation, set fire to the building, if you like.’
Indeed voting, alone, in America, is extremely flawed, as we know — and Trump and the Republicans are working to restrict that, too. That’s why I included the issue of voting in my petition to ban private campaign finance.
If I am not at least slightly politically active — tweeting — how can I call myself an American and be deserving of our democracy? How can I expect my representatives to represent me if I don’t stand up to have my opinions counted?
I had family die in wars for this country, I have worked and paid taxes, I see Americans and our enemies and allies suffer because of our decisions. And Trump and the Republicans are dumping on all of us with their conduct and undeserved positions at the helm of the most powerful nation on Earth.
Have you ever considered that millions of people and trillions of other species died around the world for our ’empire’, as well as Americans and foreign nationals. And these unscrupulous nitwits are taking your taxes to spit upon the memory of those souls, by running the country into fascism and the environment straight into hell.
I don’t know about you, but I want to earn my right to the legacy of Jefferson, Adams, Paine, Washington, Lafayette, Lincoln, Kennedy, and all the people in between and since who fought for this Republic in government and private life — as soldiers and private citizens paying taxes. Hell, what did John F. Kennedy live and die for — this? It is disgraceful and should shame us all. And what about the world we are handing over to our children? I saw a headline yesterday that asked when the earth would be too hot for us. The sub-title answered ‘maybe in our childrens’ lifetime. How can you sit by and accept that?
So, I don’t see how people can make excuses about what’s “effective” — to explain away why they won’t do something. It’s BS. Come on; you know that.
You either do your part or you are dead weight. You have the tools to talk to your oppressors and supporters — instantly. Why would you attempt to find an excuse not to?
As I said in my twenties, “democracy is not a spectator sport.” So ‘if you don’t like democracy and don’t want to do its work, you belong in China, Russia, North Korea, Thailand….’
Also, when I was in my twenties, there was no Twitter. I had to write a letter and take it to the PO. But I did that. A lot.
I am aghast at American excuses for not participating. If you have time for Facebook, you have time for your employees: the government. We, are responsible — and we do not do enough to rein in our government; that is why Osama Bin Laden attacked us.
Own it, friend. Or lose it. And according to recent 18th, 19th and 20th century history, we are on course to lose it as they had — through their vote and inaction.
© M∧N⊃⊙ (Carl Atteniese Jr.) 2017 All Rights Reserved