Your leaking thatched hut during the restoration of a pre-Enlightenment state.


Hello, my name is Judas Gutenberg and this is my blaag (pronounced as you would the vomit noise "hyroop-bleuach").


decay & ruin
Biosphere II
dead malls
Irving housing

got that wrong

appropriate tech
Arduino μcontrollers
Backwoods Home
Fractal antenna

fun social media stuff

(nobody does!)

Like my brownhouse:
   anthropic principle
Tuesday, December 9 1997

'd left my keys at home, and for various logistical reasons, this had the effect of forcing me to walk home from work this morning, leaving my bike chained inextricably to a pipe. After my post-work sleep, I walked back to the Corner with my keys, liberated my bicycle, and continued to the Downtown Mall, where I liberated my half gallon of vodka from captivity at the Downtown Artspace.

Jen Fariello and I had coffee together at Higher Grounds, talking about the various schemes we have to "make" money or otherwise advance our intangible art/creativity-centered "careers." Both of us have done a lot of work for people for which we have not been paid. This goes with the community "spirit" we both seem to have. Too bad we're not independently wealthy. Too bad we can't be Gertrude Steins and orchestrate a renaissance, although we're doing alright considering what little we actually have to work with. I see my donated time as an investment, or, if you prefer, good karma. Some day I will be richly rewarded. And if I never am, I'll probably never know anyway.

Jen told me she'd talked to Leah the other day about me. Leah is concerned that I'm being lost to the Internet. The way I see it, though, it's better than being lost to any of a number of things: heroin, boring dead-end careers, alcohol, needy relationships, tacky mind-controlling cults, etc. If being lost to something that puts my thoughts in hundreds of heads every day is a tragedy, who needs comedy?

Back at Kappa Mutha Fucka, I lured a group of wholesome Kansan online journal keepers from the diary-l mailing list into one of my old online haunts, Sam 'n' Ellas' Punk Rock Chat, where (duh!) we chatted. Those in attendance included Ja, Nilknarf, and possibly Shelly.


f you're a spy for some enemy nation, you may be interested in knowing that recently there's been a large increase in the number of big four-engine military cargo prop planes flying over Charlottesville, mostly going from southeast to northwest. Perhaps the West Virginians are in revolt and it's being covered up in the press.


'm a firm believer in the anthropic principle, which reasons that the universe must have whatever it takes to be conducive to the evolution of life since, if it didn't, we wouldn't be here to worry about it. I think we're all believers in the anthropic principle on some level. What were the chances that you the reader specifically would come into existence, God or no God? Pretty damn small. That fact used to really trouble me when I was a little kid. But I've subsequently come to grips with the fact that I actually did win the lottery and here I am. Furthermore, I had to come about if I was ever going to worry about it. That's a personal subset of the more general anthropic principle (which applies to the existence of the human race as a whole).

Depending on how far you want to go, the anthropic principle can explain an awful lot of known reality, independent of or in tandem with many other theories. One common extension of the anthropic principle states that the precise attributes of subatomic particles, the gravity constant, the speed of light and other universal parameters are the way they are because, if they were any different, the universe would have never advanced to this state. At this point in the logic, though, many people stop seeing the anthropic principle and start seeing God. For example, read this detailed religious outpouring by Al Schroeder, a Christian, on the subject of universal constants and other things that made him who he is. But, as I've already stated, while the existence of a creator might help explain the odds of the balance of constants, it can't explain my specific existence.

Today, in a daydream, I found myself carrying the anthropic principle to new extremes. Take for example, the fact that almost all terrestrial male mammals have testicles on the outside of their bodies. This has been explained by evolutionists as an imperfect solution to the problems attending the advancement to endothermy (warm bloodedness), to counter the deleterious effect of body heat upon developing sperm. But other endotherms (birds, whales and elephants, for example) solved the problem much more elegantly, in a way that did not leave testicles in an extremely vulnerable place outside the body. In a playful moment of my musing on this subject, I chose to explain external testicles with the anthropic principle. Here's how:

Early agrarian cultures needed to control the reproduction of their domesticated animals in order to provide food for their populations. If castration had been a difficult and dangerous procedure (as it would have been had testicles been located within the body) then those cultures may not have been able to advance to the point of real civilization, and we would have never had modern science (or the anthropic principle, for that matter).

If you list all the chance things that have happened that, had they not happened, we (or you) wouldn't have come to be where we (or you) are presently, you soon find yourself listing many items. What I'm saying is that I think all of them can be explained by the anthropic principle. In my personal case, then, the anthropic principle requires such things as the birth of Hitler and the fiscal exuberance of the NASA space program.

Hey, maybe God is just another word for "anthropic principle." I've come full circle.

I've uploaded a few additional stories from the good old Oberlin days:

Thanksgiving '91 (Nov, 1991)
- steal a turkey, have a few fights with "the others" and among ourselves, and feast
Tough Girl (Nov, 1991)
- growing up tough and ignorant on the streets of Cambridge, Mass.
Welfare Scandal (Nov, 1991)
- one girl takes a dim view of Shandi and Janie exploiting the system, and a big social rift forms

one year ago

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