About Me

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Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Monday, January 15, 2007

War, Chess, and Medicine

I am provocative in a variety of ways. We learn everything better when we are fully engaged. When I teach chess, 90% of it is by combat. I give very few tutorials to the group. Lectures are often dull, dry and lifeless. I pose questions and generate problems with a point. I challenge the group to think. My class is a participatory event. My private sessions are even more vigorous.

One thing I have noticed in my group classes, is that the thinking process of an opponent is clearly different than that of the spectators. The opponent is much more fully engaged, focused. The spectators, even though many of them are in the lineup, waiting for their turn at combat, often "zone out" or chat idly with one another.

I would characterize most of the people on the Internet in much the same way. Mostly they are just "goofing around." They rarely are diligently trying to accomplish something of any importance or value. Perhaps this comes from our experiences as passive members of the audience when we watch movies. And when we watch TV matters are even worse, since about a third of the time is spent wading through a cesspool of commercials. There is no better encouragement to tune out than hearing the same repetitive nonsense ad infinitum.

For me, it is particularly irritating, since I pay $130 a month for my cable service without even being provided with cable Internet. And the HDTV programming provided is not compelling and is replete with technical defects, continuously freeze framing, pixelating, losing audio, etc. often dozens of times per hour. What is worse, Sudden Link broadcasts frequent commercials lauding how great they are. And, speaking of commercials, we now get more per hour than ever before, even though we are paying so much for the service, instead of getting the programming for free, as was the case before the cable and satellite companies. The cable company also sells program length commercials called "paid programs." These paid programs often clutter the "premium channels" which we have paid extra to get.

Other SuddenLink customers or those with other cable providers who have similar issues are welcome to post their comments here. I will start a whole separate Rant section for them if necessary.

I got one of SuddenLink's "technicians" out to try to shape things up. When I told him of one of the defects; the fact that I often totally lose audio and don't get it back until I change the channel and then change back. What did he say? "Yup. Can't do anything about that. Everybody with an HD box is having the same problem." That was the entire extent of the service that this fellow provided. How are you people with satellite service doing? Let me know. I don't want to jump from the frying pan only to wind up in the fire.

Skin Cell Forum has been around for several years. I stumbled on it last year when I was having some problems with my skin. I found the forum quite helpful and showed my appreciation by becoming pretty fully engaged with them. I have made over 700 posts there, some of them whimsical or controversial, but usually just helping people deal with their problems.

But look at the rest of the membership. Of the more than 11,000 members, at least 75% have made 0 to 5 posts. They are lurking, glazed over, in a fog, Peeping Tom's. Now if we look at the number who actually post things, but do so in a slapdash fashion, without a scintilla of thought, or providing downright dangerous advice, the situation is even sadder. It is a very small handful of dedicated people who make that forum a worthwhile place. The others are just littering or pleading for the help of others while being unwilling to do much to help themselves.

But getting back to chess. It is not just a game. It is martial arts for the mind. As a symbolic analogue of combat, it has great value in getting the mind in better shape to do important things in virtually any field. And it is certainly better for this purpose than the usual fare of video war games.

I do not teach people how to do things if I can teach them how to discover how to do them when they have the felt need to do so. Our own assumptions and preconceptions about things often blind us to important things in the real world. Sometimes I have students who will get stuck on a "plateau" and are dismayed because they can't discern any real progress in their game. Why can't I just make them better and better little by little every week? That's NOT how it works. We all have times when progress is not apparent.

I have been teaching chess for fifty years now. I had a stroke almost a year and a half ago that initially cost me 25 to 40 IQ points. This had substantial impact on my chess. For a while, I was losing a lot of games to my most ruthless and skilled students. That helped me determine the extent, approximate location of the brain damage, and the probable best course of action in dealing with it. For their part, most of my best students were delighted with my sudden vulnerability. I did lose a few students who apparently came to the conclusion that because I was damaged, I was no longer worthy of being their teacher. Good riddance to them! I won't have them back at any price. One of them comes sniffing around now and then. Bah!

I don't make my students better. I only point the way, or better yet, challenge them to find the way for themselves. I entertain, I cajole, I challenge, I make lame-brained mistakes purposely on the board for them to discover. Then I point them out immediately when they are not seen. When they are found, I congratulate my opponent and fight hard to regain my lost Queen or scramble out of the mating net that I have gotten myself into. This teaches them not to give up, even after suffering a major setback. I have lost count of the games that were certain to be lost which were made into draws or wins. I take risks. And I lose some games. Also, I teach by analogy and relate strategy and tactics to philosophy, the sciences, and real life.

What I do NOT encourage is the memorization of various lines and Openings. There is nothing creative about remembering various strings of moves. The important thing is knowing WHY the moves are made.

My thoughts about the First and Second World Wars and all the other disastrous conflicts in recent history, tend to come down on the side of finding better ways of resolving our conflicts than war. That does not mean that I do not realize that war has also been the motivating force for great discoveries which have changed the course of human destiny. Certainly we should not lose sight of the fact that the trillions we have spent in raging hostilities during the twentieth century have also brought about innovation and invention beyond our capacity to comprehend. Certainly one could make the case that that we might not have landed on the moon. Our daily lives have been transformed with all of the wonders that have come out of the advances in all the sciences. These are not good enough reasons to fight modern wars.


Could we perhaps have done even better if we had been more cooperative with one another internationally along the way? Should we just be patting each other complacently on the back when we "win" an international conflict, idiotically applauding our success?

Our Alpha leader told us three weeks after our precipitous invasion of Iraq that we had won. A Pollyanna approach is not just dangerous, it is disaster. Leaving aside these deliberate fanatic insanities, pandemics, tsunamis, earthquakes, eruptions, hurricanes and cyclones will all continue to occur on an increasingly crowded planet which increasingly has dwindling resources to deal with them.

In my lifespan the human population has more than tripled. Our disaster systems are a disaster in themselves. They now fail in bigger ways than ever before and they fail more and more often. Should we not minimize our own production of disaster? And should we not divert our resources to more beneficial activities that salvage and repair rather than destroy?

By current reckoning, Americans are on the hook for almost half a trillion dollars for just this current imbecilic war. That's TRILLION. That is just what has been squandered so far. It does not account for the costs of caring for our permanently wounded.

The current administration now has a new generation of nuclear weapons in the works. I am steadfast in my resolve not to call our chief leaders idiots. Wouldn't be prudent. Particularly since habeas corpus is no longer currently a protection. Our leaders have shown that they can skillfully run our country into the ground with their eyes tightly closed. Leaving aside the monumental waste, widespread corruption, fraud and outright theft, what have we gotten in return? More stability in the Middle East? No, things in the region are more volatile and less predictable.

And yet throughout the world, in spite of what we should all have learned from history, there are virtually no major nations who do not spend more on preparations for war than they do on anything else. Considering all of our other problems, this "defense" spending is indefensible.

Okay, my blood pressure needs some attention. I am going to just change the subject for now.

Let me say a word about medicine and doctors. I am not sanguine about how they are doing. I am not alone in this perspective. Even so, looking through my previous posts on Skin Cell Forum,I notice I have encouraged people to be forthright with their doctors, to be as complete as possible in the information they give them. I have even suggested, now and then, that someone go to the doctor.

One of my sons, an extremely successful teacher in his own right, suggests that I am unduly focused on what doctors and politicians collectively do wrong. There is some merit in his perspective. But the fact is, the failings are much more important to talk about than the successes. Both doctors and politicians blow their own horns quite nicely without my additional help.

I have made some caustic remarks about the specific ACTIONS of two dentists, which I believe were designed to benefit them, to my great detriment. More specific details on this subject can be found on Skin Cell Forum in the General Health Section on the thread called Biting the Dentist.

In both cases, I said nothing about them that I would retract in their presence. Indeed, I have been circumspect. I am quite angry enough with them to post their names. I have not done so. Do they have the opportunity to defend themselves? The most recent one does. He knows the name Anthropositor. He knows that I participate in Skin Cell Forum. I taught him and some members of his staff how to prevent viral infection. I did so without charge I might add, in spite of the bald-faced profiteering of this particular dentist. I am prepared to debate the matter in any venue at any time.

There are important things wrong with many doctors and the way they practice medicine. Medical systems, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry/government subsidy systems are in many ways out of whack. We need them. We need to fix them. I for one, would be quite pleased if any doctor showed up here to share his wisdom with us. If a doctor showed up here, I would be of the opinion that he was a part of the solution, more than being a part of the problem. None ever do seem to show up in any of these venues. I think that is significant. They feel quite above it all. As time goes on I will be saying more about the devolution of medicine and the alternatives we have open to us if we are capable and have the courage to implement them.

Thanks to all the doctors who save lives and make the lives of their patients better. Thanks especially to the ones that retain their humanity along the way. And thanks most of all to the mavericks among you who think more of the patients than scientific dogma and dollars. No one is in a better position to make things better. I would be overjoyed if any of you came here to share your views. I'll help as best I can.

Thinking back, I realize that I have not been to an optometrist for fifty years or other doctor for twenty-five. Of course I do not advocate that kind of extended period for others. For me it has worked out to my entire satisfaction.

As to dentists, in the past ten years I have been to four dentists. One pleased me greatly with his services, his skills and his ethics. I believe I have recommended him to at least a hundred people. Another, I have no strong feelings about at all. The remaining two did me intrinsic injury. I have made my feelings known to them and to others. I will continue to do so, particularly with the most recent one.

Now I have a well-developed cataract in my right eye. I will need the services of a skilled ophthalmological surgeon. I will need to weigh the respective advantages of a polymethyl acrylate or a silicone replacement lens. I will need to consult on such matters as using a symmetrical lens (advantage: if it changes rotational position, there will be no effect on the vision that will need additional surgical intervention), or a bifocal implant (which would need some haptics to maintain it's orientation and might have some complications later). The most challenging prospect I have facing me right now is the selection of the appropriate surgeon. I will let you know if I am able to interview any candidates for even five minutes prior to committing myself to their services. It does not seem unreasonable to me to require this for something that is going to cost several thousands of dollars per hour of actual work

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Present and Future Pandemics

Currently H5N1 (avian flu) is not demonstrably transmissible from human to human. It is widespread in various populations of wild birds and is a major threat to overcrowded farmed populations of chickens and ducks throughout the world. But it would be unwise for us to be complacent about this. A prominent element of viruses, including the influenza's and rhino viruses (which cause the common cold), is that they often mutate, and in the process, become more virulent or move to new species not previously affected. That possibility is the main concern here.

Another concern is that the various health organizations like WHO and the CDC and national authorities accross the world are currently focused on killing entire populations of farmed birds if isolated infections occur. This gives the farmers some considerable incentive to fail to report disease in their flocks and is, in the end, counterproductive in a variety of ways. It is also unfortunate that we are betting on the possibility of developing a vaccine that can be produced industrially within a short enough time-frame to be useful to more than a few percent of the world population, if the virus were to mutate to a form which was not only virulent, but easily transmissible from human to human.

As far as I know, no public health agency is doing much of anything to investigate better methods of prophylaxis for viruses in general. Furthermore, the authorities often impede progress in this area by the exclusionary and myopic way grants for research are issued.

I also know, with a considerable degree of certainty, that gauze masks and the like are not an effective prophylactic measure. I also know that other methods in this area work quite well. I know this because I haven't had a cold or bout of flu since 1984 and there are now thousands of other people who now have a similar record of being free of these viruses since as far back as 1990 (when I began teaching others how to protect themselves).

My motive in life is not to accumulate a lot of money. (I have never made a dime for many thousands of hours of research and dissemination of the Prevention Procedure). I have never applied for a research grant, and do not intend to. Even now, while recovering from a stroke, I will present or debate the subject in any venue which gives the chance of teaching new people how and why to engage in a process of protection, which, if done consistently, will afford them a high degree of protection even in the event of a pandemic. I impede no one if they wish to quote me, as long as they are accurate, complete and give me proper attribution, so that people can check with me if questions arise.

If I have any regrets, they are that I did not spend another 10,000 hours doing what I have been doing. On the other hand, from the first moment someone speculated on the idea that malaria was transmitted by mosquitoes, it was nineteen years before the notion was accepted as fact. In that time many, many thousands of people died because of fallacious ideas held by the authorities. And of course the AIDS crisis is considerably worse today because of the inept and ill-advised response by the authorities throughout the years.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Micro-organisms in Health

Soon we will be talking about some ideas relating to fermentation and the value of micro-organisms in human health and nutrition. But my next post will focus on prevention of viruses and reducing allergic reactions. My approach as a general rule is observational, experimental, and speculative rather than entirely rigorous, tightly controlled and with documented results. But the Viral and Allergy Protection is now well proven and established. The results are outstanding and clear cut. If colds and flu and allergies are making you miserable each year, put off the rest of this thread for now and go to Prevention of Viruses.

We have been pretty pervasively conditioned to an extreme dislike and mistrust of organisms at the microscopic scale. We call them GERMS. We overlook all the good that they do. In terms of numbers, pathological organisms represent a minuscule portion of the microscopic domain.

The differences between the industrially produced wines and the natural ferments are great and may be of considerable importance. While a lot of people are brewing their own beer and making their own wines, not too many are looking at it from this perspective, and they usually use commercial yeast for the purpose. In my fermented beverages I use only wild yeasts. No commercial fungi or bacteria either. I have consumed most of the industrially supplied organisms in substantial amounts, for many years, in such things as yogurt and kefir and acidophilus milk and various cheeses, and did not stop doing so for the duration of this ongoing experiment. The so-called "probiotics" need not be purchased at inflated prices to get the nutritional benefits. Making your own yogurt, clabber or kefir is extremly easy.

In the past few months, I have done some experimental fermentation of such things as coffee, tea, purple grape juice and apple cider. In my production of these drinks, made generally a gallon at a time, I used only the wild organisms from the ambient air.

During this time, I have deliberately loaded up my system with these ferments, with a view to determining if dangers to health began to appear. The point is, if mistakes are easy to make and the average guy on the street might easily hurt himself fermenting while using reasonable methods and care, then it is not something I want to encourage other people to do.

As I write this I am eating a bowl of chilled stewed cranberries combined with raisins which have been fermenting for about a month. An hour or so ago I had a tall glass of fermented green tea mixed with Hard cider. It was entirely unfiltered, leaving the glass with a thin layer of whitish residue, a remainder of the wild yeasts and perhaps other airborne bacteria that grew during the fermentation. I even made some cheeses for the same purpose, also only using wild organisms, except for one batch which included a gram of chevre (goat cheese) culture. That had one notable side-effect. I ate a lot of it. I think it was mostly the cheese that caused me to gain perhaps ten pounds over the past few months. I have now reduced my intake.

All this fermentation is quite new to me and I am learning as I go along. But I have found that most of my efforts have turned out well. In the few batches that developed minor problems, I used only my own senses to detect them. No testing devices or instruments. I haven't even measured pH. I simply started with liquids I knew to be on the acidic side of the pH scale for wine.

Later on, I will be producing some sourdough starter for baking breads. The principle is the same but it will be on it's own thread because these yeasts and other organisms are not ultimately consumed while living. Here the objective was deliberately to load the diet with the live yeasts to determine their impacts on health and nutrition.

Anybody with any questions or comments so far? Or opinions, speculations or ideas?

Ideas Too Formless to Share Widely

It occurs to me that some of you have ideas still in the formative stage, not ready for publication, brainstorming, debate or testing. Under those circumstances of course, just send me a private E-mail: eurekaideas@centurytel.net

What's the big idea?

Hi. This is a new blog today (1-11-07). I will be putting up some things in the next few days. Meanwhile, please leave your name and say something interesting. Put Anthropositor in your search engine to find out more! Some of the things on the agenda are Prevention of Viral Infections, Climate Change, and Crises of Conflict.

On the longer term, we will also be talking about alternatives to the choices currently presented by the medical/pharmaceutical/industrial establishment. The method of preventing virus infection is the first thing presented. Substantially reducing allergic reactions to airborne allergens is a significant side effect of that procedure. These are no longer speculative ideas. They have been tested quite thoroughly by a great many people. They work. All that is required is that you do them as outlined. Regularly.

Some of the other things on the agenda are considerably more complex and will require real stamina and study and mental effort to master. As in anything else, the rewards will be greatest for those who do the best work and attain the greatest understanding. The two fields next up are Herbal Medicine and Enzymes. Of course, there is always the chance that someone will persuade me that there is even more compelling subject matter to investigate.

We might even talk about tactics and strategy once in a while, along with goals and objectives.

What's the big idea? Well, don't just sit there... say something.

All Blog contents copyright © 2007 by H.C.Benson.All posts on this blog are deemed to have copyright protection by publication. Check with me before publishing them elsewhere without proper attribution. Write to: Anthropositor eurekaideas@centurytel.net

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