Archive for the ‘Methamphetamines’ Category

The Foundation – Piles Down – Zero Return Achieved

April 12, 2007

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PROFILE – If there has ever been a need for a classic ‘Call to Arms’, that time is now. To quote a famous man from what seems is a long time ago, but is not – ‘The only thing about me is that I am an average healthy human being. All the things I have been able to do, any human being or anyone of you could do equally well or better. I was able to accomplish what I did by refusing to be hooked on a game of life that had nothing to do with the way the universe was going. I was just a throwaway who was willing to commit myself to what needed to be done.’ – R. Buckminster Fuller

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The first piles have hit Zero Return. The steel driven hard so to be sure there is not wavering with the buffeting of the inevitable storm to come. It starts small with the general feeling that ‘if we ignore it, it will go away’ – ‘This does not affect me’ – ‘Ugly picture of a brain, that can’t be me, I’m invincible’. Time for the inevitable REALITY check. The question is asked, ‘Is it not simply a case of a Zero Sum Game?’ [REF] MATH Not METH – Is based on a premise developed in 1994 to break a cycle of Heroin addiction within an institutional setting. The premise was a simple one – If you can divert the attention of an addict away from the ‘Game of Getting’ and focused on the ‘Game of Knowledge’ the Pleasure associated with the ‘Score’ followed by the inevitable disappointment in the High, is replaced by the quest for Knowledge. Dr. Irving Biederman writes – ‘From hand-held DVD players to hundred-inch plasma screens, much of today’s technology is driven by the human appetite for pleasure through visual and auditory stimulation. What creates this appetite? Neuropsychologists have found that visual input activates receptors in the parts of the brain associated with pleasure and reward, and that the brain associates new images with old while also responding strongly to new ones. Using functional MRI imaging and other findings, they are exploring how human beings are ‘infovores’ whose brains love to learn. Children may enjoy Sesame Street’s fast pace because they get a ‘click of comprehension’ from each brief scene.

I suggest a reading of ‘Perceptual Pleasure and the Brain’[PDF] and if the information sparks an interest to to learn more, then explore: Visual Pathways In The Brain – [PPT] And/Or The Neural Basis Of Perceptual Organization And Object Recognition – Part I [PPT] – Part II [PPT] For a Definition of Pleasure – [REF] Dr. Irving Biederman – ‘In a fraction of a second — from a single visual fixation — humans are able to comprehend novel images of objects and scenes, often under highly degraded and novel viewing conditions. To account for this extraordinary capacity, we have proposed that objects are represented as an arrangement of simple, convex, viewpoint-invariant shape primitives, termed ‘geons’, such as bricks, cylinders, wedges, and cones, that serve to distinguish visual entities at a basic [or entry] level, so that a given image can be determined to be that of a chair, fork, or penguin [Biederman, 1987]. The geons can be distinguished by properties of edges that are invariant with orientation in depth [such as straight vs. curved contours] so representations distinguished by geons possess the same invariance. As long as two or three geons in their specified relations can be extracted from the image, entry-level classification will almost always be successful despite drastic variations in the object’s silhouette, specific contours, and occlusion of large regions of the object. In a series of priming experiments, we have demonstrated that all the priming can be attributed to the activation of the geons [in their specified relations], rather than to the local image features [lines and vertices; spatial frequency components] that initially activated the geons or an overall model of the object. Other experiments showed that, indeed, the invariant properties of edges are far more important in object classification than metric properties, properties that do not remain invariant under rotation in depth, such as degree of curvature or aspect ratio.’[REF]

BLINK

Malcolm Gladwell wrote in his monumental tome ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’ – ‘Addicts can articulate very well the consequences of their behavior. But they fail to act accordingly. The damage to the ventromedial area of the brain causes a disconnect between what you know and what you do. What is lacking is the cranial valet pushing them in the right direction, adding the little emotional extra to make sure they do the right thing. In high-stakes fats moving situations, we want to be as dispassionate and purely rational as the next person. We don’t want to stand there endlessly talking – grinding – through our options. Sometimes we’re better off if the mind behind the locked door makes our decisions for us.’ [P:60][REF] Later he referred to an incident in New York City: – ‘Tragedy on Wheeler Avenue’ – ‘So there they were: Sean Carroll – Ed McMellon – Richard Murphy – Ken Boss. It was late. They were in the South Bronx. They saw a young black man and he seemed to be behaving oddly. They were driving past, so they couldn’t see him well, but right away they began to construct a system to explain his behavior. He’s not a big man, for instance. He’s quite small. – What does small mean? It means he’s got a gun. . . He’s out there alone. At twelve-thirty in the morning. In this lousy neighborhood. . . Alone. . . A black guy. He’s got a gun – otherwise he wouldn’t be there. And he’s little to boot. Where’s he get the balls to stand out there in the middle of the night? He’s got a gun. – That’s the story you tell yourself. . . They back the car up. Carroll said later he was – amazed – that [Amadou] Diallo was still standing there. Don’t bad guys run at the sight of police officers? Carroll and McMellon get out of the car. McMellon calls out ‘Police. Can we have a word?’ Diallo pauses. He is terrified, of course, and his terror is written all over his face. Two towering white men, utterly out of place, in that neighborhood at that time of night, have confronted him. But the mind-reading moment is lost because Diallo turns and runs back into the building. Now it’s a pursuit, and Carrol and Mcmellon are not experienced officers. . . They are raw. They are new to the Bronx and new to the Street Crime Unit and new to the unimaginable stresses of chasing what they think is an armed man down a darkened hallway. Their heart rates soar. Their attention narrows. Wheeler Avenue is an old part of the Bronx. The sidewalk is flush to the curb, and Diallo’s apartment building is flush to the sidewalk, separated be a four-step stoop. There is no White Space there. Now Diallo runs. When they step out of the squad car, McMellon and Carrol are no more than ten or fifteen feet away from Diallo. Diallo runs. It’s a chase! Carrol and McMellon were just a little aroused before. What is their heart rate now? 175? 200? Diallo is now inside the the vestibule, up against the the inner door of his building. He twists his body sideways and digs at something in his pocket. Carrol and McMellon have neither cover nor concealment: there is no door pillar to shield them, to allow them to slow the moment down. They are in the line of fire, and what Carrol sees is Diallo’s hand and the tip of something black. As it happens, it is a wallet. But Diallo is black, and it’s late, and it’s the South Bronx, and time is being measured no in milliseconds, and under those circumstances we know that wallets invariably look like guns. Diallo’s face might tell him something different, but Carrol isn’t looking at Diallo’s face – even if he were, it isn’t clear that he would understand what he saw there. He’s not mind-reading now. He’s effectively autistic. He’s locked in on whatever is coming out of Diallo’s pocket. Carrol yells out – HE’S GOT A GUN! – and he starts firing. McMellon falls backward and starts firing – and a man falling backward in combination with the report of a gun seem like it can mean only one thing. – He’s Been Shot! So Carrol keeps firing, and McMellon sees Carrol firing, so he keeps firing, and Boss and Murphy see Carrol and McMurphy firing, so they jump out of the car and start firing too. The papers the next day will make much of the fact that forty-one bullets were fired, but the truth is that four people with semi-automatic pistols can fire forty-one bullets in about two and a half seconds. The entire incident, in fact, from start to finish, was probably over in less time than it has taken you to read this paragraph. But packed into those few seconds were enough steps and decisions to fill a lifetime. Carrol and McMellon call out to Diallo – One Thousand One – He turns back into the house – One Thousand Two – They run after him, across the street and up the steps – One Thousand Three – Diallo is in the hallway, tugging at something in his pocket – One Thousand Four – Carrol yells out HE’S GOT A GUN! The shooting starts – One Thousand Five – One Thousand Six – Bang! Bang! Bang! – One Thousand Seven – Silence. Boss runs up to Diallo, looks down on the floor, and yells out, ‘Where’s The Fucking Gun?’ and thens runs up the street toward Westchester Avenue, because he has lost track in the shouting and the shooting of where he is. Carrol sits down on the steps next to Diallo’s bullet-ridden body and starts to cry.’ [P:242] [REF I] [REF II] [REF III] Bruce Springsteen wrote ‘41 Shots’ based on the Amadou Diallo Incident:

41 shots 41 shots 41 shots 41 shots 41 shots 41 shots 41 shots 41 shots…. and we’ll take that ride ‘cross this bloody river to the other side 41 shots… cut through the night You’re kneeling over his body in the vestibule Praying for his life

Is it a gun, is it a knife Is it a wallet, this is your life It ain’t no secret It ain’t no secret No secret my friend You can get killed just for living In your American skin

41 shots Lena gets her son ready for school She says “on these streets, Charles You’ve got to understand the rules If an officer stops you Promise you’ll always be polite, that you’ll never ever run away Promise Mama you’ll keep your hands in sight”

Is it a gun, is it a knife Is it a wallet, this is your life It ain’t no secret It ain’t no secret No secret my friend You can get killed just for living In your American skin

Is it a gun, is it a knife Is it in your heart, is it in your eyes It ain’t no secret

41 shots… and we’ll take that ride ‘Cross this bloody river To the other side 41 shots… got my boots caked in this mud We’re baptized in these waters and in each other’s blood

Is it a gun, is it a knife Is it a wallet, this is your life It ain’t no secret It ain’t no secret No secret my friend You can get killed just for living In your American skin

Copyright © Bruce Springsteen [ASCAP][REF]

Malcolm Gladwell also wrote an article in the New Yorker [REF] which has become somewhat of a battle cry for those advocating for change, at least in one area – Million Dollar Murray – [PDF]. The rule applies here.

I quoted the late R. Buckminster Fuller at the beginning of this post. Many will still question the rationale for all of this. Therefor, allow me to leave you with this:

A Tribute To Albert Lee Jimmy [REF] – December 11, 2006 was marked with the passing of Albert [Alby] Lee Jimmy. Alby was a person who left a wake wherever he chose to point his life’s canoe. He left an impression, irrepressibly positive, with everyone he met and could be counted on to bring smiles and laughter to even the most depressed crowd, just by walking among them.

Alby was the Joker in a deck of cards, hard dealt, never one to blame anyone for the game of life he had chosen to play. While he had many historical issues which marked the way he was, he bristled with a flash of anger, and then ran at the first sign of anyone trying to coddle him.

His last days were marked with an acknowledgment of the risks that stood before him, and choosing to take that one last stand, taking the chance that he might once again be able to walk the land. But that was not to be, and he died as he had lived, the quiet man.

I share with you a eulogy I wrote for a friend some years back, I often find it fits for many:

THE RANGE OF AFFECT [A Tribute to Ginger Baker]

The range of affect has been great; Just as a stone thrown skips across the surface of a still pond; As it slips below the surface, it leaves only you to know it was ever there;

And yet, as the stone settles to the water’s floor; It changes the surface forever; Such is the Range of Affect.

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While Alby’s stone has slipped from view, the wave to be felt for times to come, and the wake of his passing canoe leaving pause for thought.

As said Before:

You can Lead –

You can Follow –

Or You can Stand By and Watch

Change, It Comes

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The Bridge – Foundation

April 4, 2007

 

 

PROFILE – If there has ever been a need for a classic ‘Call to Arms’, that time is now. To quote a famous man from what seems is a long time ago, but is not – ‘The only thing about me is that I am an average healthy human being. All the things I have been able to do, any human being or anyone of you could do equally well or better. I was able to accomplish what I did by refusing to be hooked on a game of life that had nothing to do with the way the universe was going. I was just a throwaway who was willing to commit myself to what needed to be done.’ – R. Buckminster Fuller

MATH Not METH – Is based on a premise developed in 1994 to break a cycle of Heroin addiction within an institutional setting. The premise was a simple one – If you can divert the attention of an addict away from the ‘Game of Getting’ and focused on the ‘Game of Knowledge’ the Pleasure associated with the ‘Score’ followed by the inevitable disappointment in the High, is replaced by the quest for Knowledge.

 

 

Liongs Gate Bridge

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Construction has started, the movement begins, slowly, ever so slowly the momentum builds. With an estimated infrastructure cost cost of close to US$5 Million from the start the question is thus asked, is it worth it.

To this, the answer is most assuredly, Yes.

I for one, compare it to the cost of not doing anything, acceding to a more conventional approach with a system that quite simply fails to address the underlying issue of Chrystal Meth addiction.

With all the information now before, perhaps there is some understanding of how the process will work.

Think of the damage [REF] which is being inflicted on a large segment of our young and not so young. Then think about ways to Grasp the Pleasure Principle, [REF] to divert the mind to a learned path. This is about MATH Not METH, but it matters not what is learned, more that learning takes place.

Lest you think there is not a problem, or worse that it is somebody else’s problem to deal with or even that because brute force is not working, ‘they’ are not using enough of it – I suggest, a walkabout is in order. Take a walk, six blocks in any direction from where you are now, be it your house, the building where perhaps you are employed, and if that is the case, start walking the stairwells instead of the elevator. Take a look around you and see what is happening. Then, start talking about it, start building the foundation, for as Arlo Guthrie said and sang is his famous song [REF] – ‘It’s a Movement’, and it is coming your way. So as I said once, too many years ago.

The time has come to put a fence at the top of the cliff – Instead of a net at the bottom: Thus giving a chance to build a bridge.

In a world of complexity and contradiction, apathy has become sort of a survival technique. How could you face the evening news without it? Another famine, another flood, another casualty of war – if we truly identified with the pain and suffering of others, it would paralyze us.
And so our apathy extends not only to those on the other side of the world but to or families, friends neighbors, selves.
When was the last time you questioned the way things are? The last time you refused the unacceptable? The last time you turned your apathy into activity?
. . . Ask Yourself [LINK]

There is much to be learned [REF], Can be learned [REF], Will be learned [REF] all, just for the asking:

Will you Lead, Follow –

Or stand by the way. . .

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A Bridge Over The Abyss – The ABOTA Project – Part One

February 21, 2007

ABSTRACT – It is said – ‘If you give me a fish – you have fed me for a day. If you teach me to fish, then you have fed me until the river is contaminated or the shoreline seized for development. But if you teach me to organize, then whatever the challenge – I can join together with my peers. . . and we will fashion together our own solution’: – [LINK] profound words coming from a young activist, in an increasingly lost generation.

I work Front line on Vancouver Island, British Columbia in the Crystal Meth Community. A program developed out of the need for a pro-active solution to the issue. Walkabout is a free standing program which is focused mainly on Crystal Meth addiction. This brings me to a developing issue within our community and I suggest many others. The is a rapidly growing prevalence of the drug in the school systems on Vancouver Island, and given the apparently unprecedented success of the ‘Walkabout’, Ihave now been approached to develop an intervention strategy to take to the schools. While the most logical approach might be suggested as locking down the school and putting everyone on detox for 100 days, a method which has proved successful in custody settings, a less aggressive approach is needed to be approved by the authorities.

Albert Speer – The architect of Adolf Hitler’s mass appeal commented on Methanphetamines as to how successful the drug was in ‘Turning the human into a feral animal which could then be manipulated for the purposes of the Reich’, and yet today it has become the cheap ‘drug of choice’ leaving one to wonder how it all happened.

Coming to the end of what has been more than ‘Such A Night’ as said the great Dr John, lo it has been Such a Year.

 

Remembering my early incursion into the world of Blogs – not used to all the jargon: Not used to all the agendas, at least not in this context. But now, slowly I am warming to the idea of using this medium to get the message out, at least this way if people are ignoring me, I won’t have to look at their faces feigning interest as the try to get out of the line of dialog, going home to their warm comfy lives until one day their son or daughter or an neighbor’ son or daughter or even themselves become afflicted by the scourge

There are those famous lines penned by Arlo Guthrie in ‘66

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say “Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant.”.

And walk out. You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and they won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony, they may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.

And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.’ [L]


Too, I am reminded of the lessons of White Rose and Sophie Scholl –
The famous leaflets of the movement [1] – [2] – [3] – [4] – [5] – [6] – [7?] 

 

 

If there has ever been a need for a classic ‘Call to Arms’, that time is now. To quote a famous man from what seems is a long time ago, but is not – ‘The only thing about me is that I am an average healthy human being. All the things I have been able to do, any human being or anyone of you could do equally well or better. I was able to accomplish what I did by refusing to be hooked on a game of life that had nothing to do with the way the universe was going. I was just a throwaway who was willing to commit myself to what needed to be done.’ – R. Buckminster Fuller – THAT TIME IS NOW.

Too often, today people will tend to drop into what will hopefully be termed ‘911’ syndrome, a prevalent behavior before 2001-09-11 yet having become all too pervasive, even institutionalized, today.

By definition, people act out of context of or connection to what is right, either morally or lawfully, imposing their agenda[s] on other regardless and/or with little regard to consequences – However, when they are called on their acts, held accountable for their words, or are responded to in a manner unexpected or heretofor regarded as impossible, they cry foul, become instant victims, especially when those responding were victims, themselves.

I suggest it is incumbent on we, the people, society as a whole to come together with the common goal of defeating what has too rapidly become a scourge. There is, as has too often become the norm, to dissect the root cause of any issue and ascribe blame, and thus abdicate responsibility.
What has happened here, however, it is with blame ascribe, the guilty are wee the people for allowing it to happen. Therefor I would suggest a more appropriate approach would be to accept , of necessity, our culpability and get on with the job of repairing the error.
The first point of entry should be telling those with the ‘Authority’ to change policy within a given operation structure – to STOP NOW. Stop the free distribution of amphetamines to pilot in the AirForces of the world and immediately impost rational Flying/Hour restriction. There will be long and seemingly rational arguments against this, all of which should, of necessity be responded to with ‘THIS STOPS NOW!!
From this beginning, the move should next be made to the civilian sector. Any laboratories found and the buildings containing them should be demolished and the property left clear, with the bill becoming the responsibility and thus liability of the property owner. It should not matter whether th building is free standing or part of a larger complex, the property should be cleared to the boundaries.

Having now brought the scenario to a grinding, yet abrupt halt, the question begs, what to do next. There can be no action justified without constructive solutions to follow. While there will be the fascists who believe that the ‘Final Solution‘, is best, there remain hope that reality, or at least a version of it will prevail and solutions will be found.

That then is the purpose of A Bridge Over The Abyss – to look at constructive solutions.