draconis: Default icon (Default)
2017-07-09 09:05 pm

Thinky thoughts, on the nature of democracy and violence

I've recently begun re-reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher: "The Aeronaut's Windlass." He has one of those conversations in it that makes you stop and think -- or at least it made me do so.

The conversation is about dueling. The first speaker is saying that dueling is outdated, no longer necessary.


"We're a civilized society, are we not?"

Esterbrook blinked. "Since when, miss? We're a democracy."

"Just what I mean We have dispensed with violence as a means of governing ourselves, have we not?"

"The heart of democracy is violence, Miss Tagwynn," Esterwood said. "In order to decide what to do, we take a count of everone for and against it, and then do whatever the larger side wishes to do. We're having a symbolic battle, its outcome decided by simple numbers. It saves us time and no end of trouble counting actual bodies -- but don't mistake it for anything but ritualized violence. And every few years, if the person we elected doesn't do the job we wanted, we vote him out of office -- we symbolically behead him and replace him with someone else. Again, without the actual pain and bloodshed, bit acting out the ritual of violence nonetheless. It's actually a very practical way of getting things done."


An interesting way of looking at it. Thank you, Jim Butcher
draconis: Default icon (oriental green)
2017-04-09 11:37 pm

I'm bailing out

I haven't been terribly active on this site for a long time. Most of my posts here have been written on DW and cross-posted to here.

The recent changes here are ones that I am not willing to endorse or operate under. As such, I am importing all of my LJ posts over to my DW account and will be deleting all content here ASAP.

Those here who wish to keep in touch, please feel free to contact me as "Draconis" on DW.
draconis: (Torii)
2017-03-09 09:32 pm

Qigong weekend

For those interested in qigong and are in (or feel like coming to) the Memphis area, I will be holding a 2-day qigong workshop the last weekend in March. Let me know if you're interested and I'll shoot you the details. :-)
draconis: (Thank you)
2017-02-05 10:09 pm

Superbowl thoughts, more important than the game

Honestly, I didn't give a tinker's damn about the game tonight, although I did think it was interesting that we've had 50 Superbowl games and none of them have gone into overtime before.

I did have it on for background noise and to catch the commercials... and it didn't take long to notice a common thread between the commercials. Even the halftime show fit the theme.

I would just like to say that I am incredibly proud to see so many companies spending millions of dollars to buy a commercial slot to basically say, "No, this is NOT who/what we are, and we will NOT be made into that travesty of what our nation stands for!"
draconis: (misty autumn lake)
2016-12-27 11:39 pm

Carrie Fisher's most fitting tribute

In 2017, BE Princess Leia.

Fight on the front lines. Strangle the fascists with the very chains they would have you wear. Be a motherfuckin' General!

Can you imagine a more fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher than if women started living up to that?

Rest in peace, Princess. I'm sure Artoo was waiting to welcome you.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
2016-12-22 12:35 am

Solstice Blessings

To my friends who find a spiritual significance in today's date... a Blessed Midwinter's Day to you.

To those for whom it has an astronomical significance, a Happy Solstice to you.

To those for whom it is just another day of the week, a happy hump day!

And for those who get upset at seeing something listed above that doesn't fit your favorite belief system? Please, chill out and maybe try generating some LIGHT in this darkest time of the year. You might even surprise yourself when you find that it doesn't MATTER whose life you bring some light into, it still feels good.

(Not that I think I need to tell that to anybody HERE!)
draconis: (Dragon breathing fire)
2016-09-11 10:30 pm

9/11 thoughts

On this anniversary of one of our darkest days in recent memory, I've been thinking.
Proceed at your own risk. )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
2016-09-08 10:56 pm

Warp speed, Mr. Sulu!

"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."
The challenge? )
draconis: (Better than nerve disruptor)
2016-09-07 11:26 pm

50 years

50 years ago tomorrow marks the date of a cultural shift that is still being felt today.
Warning: There be Geekery ahead )
draconis: (Torii)
2016-08-30 11:22 pm

Passing through another gate

Well, this week has gotten off to a VERY interesting start, thanks to a pair of phone calls I've had.

In the last two days, I've spoken to my sensei from Nashville and to my grandmaster -- yours truly has been promoted!

Thinky thoughts ahead )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
2016-01-08 10:23 pm

(no subject)

Okay, I've had enough of the mess in Oregon. It is such utter and absolute crap that I'm simply fed up with the BS and misdirection.

Here's a novel idea: let's look at some facts. )
In short, Bundy and his associates have no legal justification for their actions. They have themselves committed several crimes in the course of these events. They have been asked to leave by the local law enforcement and have refused to do so. They have therefore shown themselves to be nothing but thugs and scofflaws who feel that the fact that they own firearms grants them the right to go where ever they please and do whatever they want.

Go home, Bundy, and take your pals with you. Be thankful you're not already rotting in a dark cell somewhere.

And for the record? I'm more than willing to discuss this with anyone who doesn't agree. But I do ask that you support your positions. If you can't or won't do that, kindly keep them to yourself.
draconis: Default icon (Default)
2015-11-02 10:32 pm

Shodan thoughts

A question from a fellow instructor made me start thinking again about what it means to become a black belt. Not to have one, not to be awarded one, not to wear one, but to become one and to BE one.

clicky )
draconis: Default icon (Default)
2015-11-01 11:02 pm

An awesome, and humbling, weekend

This weekend, I was privileged to attend the wedding of a lovely, highly intelligent young lady that I've known since she was a little girl. It was absolutely wonderful to get to see her, to share her special day, and to catch up with her and with with several old friends and to meet several new ones.

I have quite a few memories of this weekend, most of which were of the sort you'd expect from this kind of weekend. The one I didn't expect was when the bride's mother got me all choked up.

clicky )
draconis: (wisdom)
2015-10-20 10:44 pm

Acquainted with darkness, gestating light

A poem that was written for me after my fall last year.

Thank you. This is... something special.

The Day You Didn't Die )
draconis: (Thank you)
2015-10-20 10:17 pm

Will you join me in a celebration?

Wow... I didn't realize I've been away from DW so long. Going to have to do better about that!

And now, on to the post at hand...

Will you join me in a celebration? )
draconis: (success)
2015-02-02 11:31 pm


Yay, the doctors have removed all medical restrictions and said I can resume normal activities -- and yes, I told them what "normal" is for me.

More thoughts to follow on this, but for now? Yay!
draconis: Default icon (Default)
2014-12-31 11:22 pm

Happy New Year - 2014, get thee behind me!

2014 is almost gone, and I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. Still, for all of the dark spots of this year, taken as a whole I will call it a good year. I've lost too damned many people this year, and I was almost one of them, but I'm too stubborn to "go gently into that good night."

Two months ago, I had a VERY nasty accident -- one that by most standards I should not have survived. Instead of pushing up daisies, I am less than a month away from being finished with my brace, and only one remaining issue still do deal with.

2014 was the year this world tried to kill me. I have a scar on the side of my head that I'll carry the rest of my days, and I'm strange enough to consider it a good-luck charm. I have come to realize what a scar means: that something did hurt me, but that I was stronger than whatever it was, and the scar is the proof of that.

I hope 2015 brings better things for all of us. And when it hits those dark spots, I hope that you'll do what I've found works well for me, which is to remember and follow the advice given in Stan Rogers' song, "The Mary Ellen Carter:"

And you. to whom Adversity has dealt the final blow,
With smiling bastards lying to you everywhere you go,
Turn to! And put out ALL your strength, of Arm and Heart and Brain,
And like the Mary Ellen Carter...