Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

What’s the Point

Operational Definition of the “purpose” of various constructs and concepts that may or may not matter to you, me or anyone else.

Big Data – Due to reduction in resource costs and improved technique, use and applications of data are no longer required to be defined before collecting data.

Business – sell goods and services for more than it costs a business to produce and deliver them in order to survive

Education – teach and learn strategies to survive (navigate the changing environments of our lives)

Technology – make established processes more efficient or enable previously impossible capabilities

Project Management – getting a project done with highest satisfaction evaluation

Career – a narrative about why you do what you do so that it makes more sense to those that might pay you to do more of it
Why state these?

A) it’s fun

B) too often people get confused about the details/specifics of an instance or implementation of said things. The problem this is thinking the instance is the thing. It’s the whole Forest / Trees thing.

C) consequences matter

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Below is a Washingtonpost.com article from 1-15-09 that encapsulates the events on the Hudson River in NYC that allowed 155 people to walk away for a ditched water landing in extremely chilly conditions.

(If you don’t like this particular description of events, pick another from the 1032 that were on the web by that evening. Any assessment will work for the questions I am raising under the sub titled heading that precedes the article.)

Determined but unpredictable

A Water Landing

An unlikely event plays out on the Hudson River

Friday, January 16, 2009; Page A18

THE NEXT TIME you’re tempted to ignore a flight attendant’s plea to direct your attention to the front of the cabin for safety instructions, remember yesterday’s dramatic Hudson River landing of U.S. Airways Flight 1549. The aircraft had just taken off from New York’s La Guardia Airport en route to Charlotte when both engines were reportedly knocked out after being hit by birds following takeoff. Remarkably, the 150 passengers, two pilots and three flight attendants were rescued.

This crash could have been so much worse. That it wasn’t is a testament to a number of actors in the drama, particularly the pilots, that unfolded above the river’s frigid waters. By all accounts, the pilots brought the Airbus 320 down in a controlled manner, and the crew prepared passengers during what little time they had. A passenger interviewed on television said, “We hit hard!” But because of the pilots’ actions, the plane neither broke apart on impact nor sank quickly. One can only imagine the fear inside the cabin, especially after water started to fill it. That everyone got off the plane without life-threatening injury, despite the bone-chilling air and water temperatures, speaks of their pulling together in a time of crisis. The stretch of the Hudson where Flight 1549 went down is served by a constant flow of ferries between Manhattan and New Jersey. Within minutes of the plane’s entering the water, eyewitnesses said, boats were on scene to help pull passengers to safety until New York law enforcement could get there to lead the rescue.

Federal investigators will examine the plane to find out what exactly happened. But the lesson for everyone in all this is to pay attention to those preflight instructions. “In the unlikely event of a water landing” now has special resonance.

The events of the day were just as you heard or read about in the media. 81 tons of metal with millions of interconnected parts and environment physics malfunctioned after take off. No one has paused long enough to pose and extend answers to any of three questions…

Do you believe this was a set of miracles or a consequence of the 437 hours of training of the pilot and crew?” Pick one…

After a problem was detected by the pilot and co-pilot, did their behavior or intervention of Allah, Buddha, God, chance or karma etc., result in the plane landing as it did in the river?” Select the interventionist you favor…

Did the pilot and crew depend on any other agency, including the tower, to do what they did? Select a contributor to their set of results…

Can you explain why the consequences of this aviation event were what they were and other aviation events ended had less desirable consequences?” Please respond and share your views, beliefs and theories…

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The image below is a newly released panoramic (biggest ever view) of the Milky Way.  (find more here)

We’re on a planet, in a city, so small and hidden in this picture.  Don’t bother squinting, you can’t see us :).  

Question: Does this indicate the improbability or inevitability of our existence to you? Why? 

Question 2: Does it suggest a purpose to you? Why?


(Click to enlarge)

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Lets consider a dying star. Any dying star. 

They are out there you know… dying, forming and changing as assuredly as Earth’s season’s change only their timeline is highly skewed toward the million year epoch.

On a gross level, all those stars out there dying do pretty much similar things when they die.   Eventually they turn into ‘white dwarfs’ and, as they cool from exhausting their nuclear fuel, they gain mass and become very dense cinders in the sky.  The consensus is that white dwarfs are the end stages of the evolution of low or medium-mass stars – like our Sun, which is why dying stars are interesting.

Once the hydrogen content of our Sun is exhausted, the Sun will balloon into a ‘red giant’ on the way to becoming a ‘white dwarf.’  Besides colorful and taking a long time, the Sun will slough off its outer layers for a couple million light years and in so doing will destroy the balance that used to exist in our space time continuum.  The dying star’s planetary nebula that forms will engulf everything in our solar system as far out as Mars.  Long before that happens of course, it will completely and irrevocably change everything in our solar system for a couple of million light years out. More to the point, it will envelope Earth.  That’s right.  Earth get’s zapped millions of years prior to the Sun’s end and there is ‘zip’ one can do about it.  It’s over. 

Long before the planetary nebula is sloughed off and changes our solar system, Earth will be destroyed along with all life and McDonalds.  Even cockroaches will be zapped back to energy stuff.

While we are all content today on watching the unfolding of the latest hockey standings or Brittany Spears’ faux pas, there are some things out there that are even more important than world peace and redistribution of wealth. 

Which brings up some interesting questions...

The first question I have is, “Whose god is going to intervene and prevent this from happening?”  I mean you can’t have it both ways… you can’t have subjects of your faith if you mess them up that badly.  If you call this end to everything ‘your’ omnipotent doing then you are some weird deity to what that to happen.  If you say it that is due to misbehavior mankind, then why zap my gardenias?   Why put an end to anteaters?  What I am suggesting to the gods out there, if you want a bunch of followers come up with a different solution than the Big Zap.  You may want to advocate a less drastic set of consequences. If you do you’ll get a lot of followers.   Just a thought.

If this is an Armageddon promised by some gods, I’d like to know which one because I am pretty sure me and my friends want to invest in a different one; one with a different value system or one that doesn’t view all everything (life and non-life) as cataclysmally irrelevant. Until the end is here or near I’ll put my efforts in that one and see if I can’t steer him or her or it to come to some middle ground.  So, find me that deity and I’ll become a priest. 

The next question I need an answer to is, “Who is going to discuss whose mystical work this is and what justification it has?”  I’d like to know. Today it would seem to be Islam vs. Christianity but that may not be the players in the future.  Maybe the players in the future will be some minor deities like minor gospels in Christianity that were passed over for various reasons.  If that is the case, now is your time to shine and speak up.  Then again, it seems like if you are going to start a new religion or overtake an existing one you’d have to do some planning on this topic.

Let’s move on…

I’d like to know what the actions are available to those that think empiricism and science can get us off Earth to a youthful and vital planet in another solar system related to a newer or younger star that will support my lifestyle.  So here is the question:  “Should I study religion or physics to make that happen?”  I mean, if there is a chance of a solution without solving some transporter problems to exoplanets that will support life, I’d like to take a shot at that or tell my tetra-giga-grandchildren to forsake nano-polymer mica-physics and take up numerology or Poly. Sci. courses so that we can talk this over somewhere down the road.

So, “If talk will not work then what courses do you suggest?”   “Should I go the way of philosophy and semantics of S. I. Hayakawanot the actor – or a minor scholar at a major university?”

Another question… “If things were to get really ecumenical, how will I approach it if I am here in the Northern Hemisphere and the deity or transporter headquarters is in Rio de Janeiro?” 

And a follow-up question or two…

“Will there be subjects or delegates if there is immigration to another planet?” 

“Is biotelemetry going to be involved or some other form of information transfer?”

“Will my lineage be a factor or is there going to be some other criteria?”


I think that anyone’s answers to these questions will help a lot and get me headed in the right direction so feel free to share what you know.



Mason Ross

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