Ek knipoog vir jou, en jy knipoog terug. So knipoog ons na mekaar vir dekades, nee eeue, alreeds. Jy verhelder my dag, en my nag, soos ek ook joune verlig. Al is die afstand tussen ons ver, kan ek jou enige tyd sien, en weet alles is nog reg, en ek het nog rede om te bestaan, en ek het nog nie my verstand verloor nie, want jy is 'n onbeweegbare toring in my donker lewensoseean, en jy knipoog nogsteeds na my.

[ Sjoe, ek het nogal lanklaas iets geskryf. Maar dis sekerlik omdat ek nou meer probeer tydmaak vir frizbee saam met vriende en vir lekker kuier met goeie geselskap. Ek wonder nogal wie sal kan raaksien watter vriendskap ek hierbo beskryf. ]


The law of biggest guns

[Please be warned that I am by no measure an expert on the topic discussed below. It mostly consists of my opinions and relies purely on my limited knowledge and my imperfect logical deductive reasoning abilities.]

In my previous entry on the topic of economic principles, one of my friends was curious to know how I could say that we actually steal from the Earth.

As FrancoisM correctly noted, the concept of theft depends on the idea of ownership.

At some point in our lives, we all start thinking in terms of ownership: "the toy is mine", "the bike is mine", "the car is mine", "the house is mine", and sometimes even "the wife is mine", as if any of these are property that can be owned, or conversely, stolen. In reality, though, we enter this world without owning anything and we leave it the same way.

So, where does this concept of ownership originate? I attribute it to the law of biggest guns. Although, I'm not necessarily talking about actual guns.

Before I explain, consider this: What actually takes place during a transaction? Is there a transfer of ownership of the product between two people? How did the original seller obtain ownership of the product?

Now, suppose we step a bit further back in history from the story about Abraham and Bartholomew in my previous entry. Go back to a time when the very first transaction was performed. I imagine it as a scrawny little man by the name of Cedric, who exchanged his pickings of fruit for some meat and other items from the local hunters in his tribe. Cedric was a gatherer. However, Cedric was the only person to know the location of the orchard of fruit trees, since the other men were always out hunting and the women were always busy feeding and raising the children.

One summer, many of the wild herds did not show up. There was very little food that the hunters could bring home. Cedric still had access to plenty of fruits, but he had a greedy mind and tried to use the opportunity to bargain for more valuable items.

It worked for a short while.

But, as you can imagine, one hunter, called Demetri, started disliking this deal and devised his own cunning plan. By following Cedric secretly one day, he discovered the location of the fruit orchard. The next day Demitri was waiting for Cedric at the orchard with his big hunting club. Cedric's only weapon was a finger-thin walking staff, which he used to chase away birds from his orchard. As soon as Cedric saw the club, he got such a big fright that he immediately darted away into the wilderness, never to be heard of again. Demitri proclaimed the orchard as his property and with five of his kinsmen prevented anyone from picking fruit without their permission. And, they used this ownership as leverage to secure more meat and other prizes for themselves.

Today, the same basic principle still applies. If you can prevent someone from entering a given piece of land or drive them out if they do, or if you can prevent someone from taking (stealing) anything inside the border, then you effectively own that piece of land. This has been true ever since life emerged on Earth. Of course, we do not defend our properties with sticks anymore.

In the modern world, by paying property tax (and other taxes), you effectively hire the government of your country to (among other things) protect your property on your behalf. This is why governments need a police force and military institutions. Of course, you are then also at the full mercy of your government and its armies, since you still do not have any defenses of your own. It is not unheard of, in some regions of the world, for governments to disown people of their property. I wonder if this might serve as an additional reason why a system of anarchy may be better.

Yet, even though your government may hold up to their promise of providing protection services, it may not be sufficiently capable of defending against any potential local or foreign invaders. In the case of local "invaders", you could of course hire the services of an armed-response security company, if you can afford it. Consider for a moment how this increases your cost of ownership. Why not just invest in big guns and your own private army?

In the end, we are all basically at the mercy of the most powerfull militaries in the world. It is merely their political good will that allows us to keep our respective properties. Of course, there are other forces that have up to now always resulted in the crumbling of even the mightiest empires. But, that is beyond the scope of this discussion, and my current, limited knowledge.

By the way: I am certainly not an advocate for the use of firearms. I am merely illuminating the true requirements of ownership. I would actually prefer that everyone just grow up so that we don't need guns anymore.

In a future entry, I shall discuss transfer of ownership through the perspective of natural physical laws. You may then see that the law of bigger guns is merely a partitioning mechanism and that there is an even deeper fundametal law that runs universally through all transactions.

[Please see my previous explanation about the reason why you don't see much English on this blog.]


Eendag as ek jonk is: Nog 'n happie

Na my vorige inskrywing, het ek nuwe inligting raakgeloop wat ek net eers hier moet deel voor ek verder gaan met ander onderwerpe.

Verbeel jou 'n toekoms waarin jy presies weet watter invloed 'n gegewe eetbare of drinkbare item op jou liggaam se chemiese samestelling het. Het jy geweet dat sekere voedingstowwe direk kan bepaal watter gene in jou DNA (of meer korrek, DNS) aan- of afgeskakel word? Wel, binnekort kan jy maar totsiens wuif aan medisynes (of ten minste sommige soorte). Want, jy sal dan jou dieet kan fatsoeneer volgens jou unieke behoeftes, om te verhoed dat jy in die eerste plek siek word. En, dit blykbaar nog binne die volgende dekade - sekerlik as jy in 'n eerste-wêreld land woon, met 'n paar monetêre bates om prys te gee.

In my vorige inskrywing het ek verwys na 'n artikel oor die gebruik van multivitamien aanvullings. Daardie skrywer het vertel van Ray Kurzweil wat 250 dieetaanvullingspille per dag sluk met die doel om langer te lewe. Ek is toevallig besig om (teen 'n vreeeeeslike staaaaadige pas) Ray Kurzweil se boek "The Singularity is Near" te lees. Francois M was gaaf genoeg om dit vir my te leen (is dit al twee jaar gelede? volgens my gmail argief was dit werklik in April 2008!)

Hierdie afgelope langnaweek het ek weer 'n paar bladsye onder oë gehad en toe op bladsy 211 afgekom op mnr. Kurzweil se eie verklaring oor die onderwerp. Nogal 'n heel interessante stukkie om te lees. Dit kom basies daarop neer dat hy sy liggaam se chemiese samestelling volledig manipuleer om 'n toestand te onderhou wat hom gesond hou. Die pille wat hy sluk is slegs 'n deel van die program wat hy volg. Hy kry ook ses keer 'n week binne-aarse voedingsterapie, om die regte voedingstowwe direk in sy bloedstroom in te pomp. Dit klink nogal nes 'n vreesaanjaende wetenskapfiksiefliek. Maar dit werk vir hom, en hy is bereid om al daardie moeite te doen. Lees gerus die volgende uittreksel uit die boek (hoop nie mnr. Kurzweil gee om nie):
My own story is instructive. More than twenty years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The conventional treatment made my condition worse, so I approached this health challenge from my perspective as an inventor. I immersed myself in the scientific literature and came up with a unique program that successfully reversed my diabetes. In 1993 I wrote a health book (The 10% Solution for a Healthy Life) about this experience, and I continue today to be free of any indication or complication of this disease.
In addition, when I was twenty-two, my father died of heart disease at the age of fifty-eight, and I have inherited his genes predisposing me to this illness. Twenty years ago, despite following the public guidelines of the American Heart Association, my cholesterol was in the high 200s (it should be well below 180), my HDL (high-density lipoprotein, the "good" cholesterol) below 30 (it should be above 50), and my homocysteine (a measure of the health of a biochemical process called methylation) was an unhealthy 11 (it should be below 7.5). By following a longevity program that Grossman and I developed, my current cholesterol level is 130, my HDL is 55, my homocysteine is 6.2, my C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation in the body) is a very healthy 0.01, and all of my other indexes (for heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions) are at ideal levels.
When I was forty, my biological age was around thirty-eight. Although I am now fifty-six, a comprehensive test of my biological aging (measuring various sensory sensitivities, lung capacity, reaction times, memory, and related tests) conducted at Grossman's longevity clinic measured my biological age at forty. Although there is not yet a consensus on how to measure biological age, my scores on these tests matched population norms for this age. So, according to this set of tests, I have not aged very much in the last sixteen years, which is confirmed by the many blood tests I take, as well as the way I feel.
These results are not accidental; I have been very aggressive about reprogramming my biochemistry. I take 250 supplements (pills) a day and receive a half-dozen intravenous therapies each week (basically nutritional supplements delivered directly into my bloodstream, thereby bypassing my GI tract). As a result, the metabolic reactions in my body are completely different than they would otherwise be. Approaching this as an engineer, I measure dozens of levels of nutrients (such as vitamins, minerals, and fats), hormones, and metabolic by-products in my blood and other body samples (such as hair and saliva). Overall, my levels are where I want them to be, although I continually finetune my program based on the research that I conduct with Grossman. Although my program may seem extreme, it is actually conservative—and optimal (based on my current knowledge). Grossman and I have extensively researched each of the several hundred therapies that I use for safety and efficacy. I stay away from ideas that are unproven or appear to be risky (the use of human-growth hormone, for example).
We consider the process of reversing and overcoming the dangerous progression of disease as a war. As in any war it is important to mobilize all the means of intelligence and weaponry that can be harnessed, throwing everything we have at the enemy. For this reason we advocate that key dangers—such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and aging—be attacked on multiple fronts. For example, our strategy for preventing heart disease is to adopt ten different heart-disease-prevention therapies that attack each of the known risk factors.
By adopting such multipronged strategies for each disease process and each aging process, even baby boomers like myself can remain in good health until the full blossoming of the biotechnology revolution (which we call "bridge two"), which is already in its early stages and will reach its peak in the second decade of this century.
Biotechnology will provide the means to actually change your genes: not just designer babies will be feasible but designer baby boomers. We'll also be able to rejuvenate all of your body's tissues and organs by transforming your skin cells into youthful versions of every other cell type. Already, new drug development is precisely targeting key steps in the process of atherosclerosis (the cause of heart disease), cancerous tumor formation, and the metabolic processes underlying each major disease and aging process.


Eendag as ek jonk is: Jy is mos wat jy eet

Ek het vantevore genoem dat ek probeer kyk na praktiese metodes waarmee jy kan rebelleer teen veroudering van jou liggaam. Tot dusver het ek heelwat gedek oor belowende pogings vir die behoud van 'n jeugdige voorkoms.

Vandag raak ek vinnig aan gesondheid - die afwesigheid van siektes en liggaamlike kwale. Sommige mense handhaaf uitstekende gesondheid tot 'n baie hoë ouderdom, maar meeste mense kry maar swaar onder verswakkende gesondheid soos die jare aanstap.

Jy kan verskeie eenvoudige gewoontes aanleer om 'n goeie gesondheid te handhaaf, maar ek wil eers net 'n paar punte rondom dieet bespreek - m.a.w. die dinge wat jy eet en drink.

Sommige mense beweer dat die gemiddelde moderne dieet nie besonders optimaal is vir ons liggaam se werkverrigting nie, en dat dit soms lei tot 'n tekort aan sekere vitamiene en minerale (en dit is sekerlik waar vir baie mense). Sulke tekorte kan lei tot allerhande siektes as dit oor 'n lang tydperk nie verbeter nie. Op grond hiervan, sal mense maklik 'n handvol multivitamienpille in die oggend sluk om te probeer kompenseer daarvoor. Wat meeste mense egter nie besef nie, is dat vitamien- en mineraalaanvullings ook sleg vir jou kan wees as jy nie 'n tekort het nie. Lees gerus hierdie artikel wat Francois M vir my destyds aangestuur het. Die Amerikaanse Dieetkundige Vereniging het ook onlangs 'n verslag oor die onderwerp uitgereik.

Dit klink of die beste bron van belangrike voedingstowwe maar nogsteeds 'n verskeidenheid van vars groente en vrugte bly. Dis seker nie toevallig dat dit dan ook op die lys van goeie gewoontes vir 'n langer, gesonde lewe is nie.

Daar is gereeld berigte in die nuus wat aandui hoe kaloriebeperking ook kan bydra tot 'n langer, gesonder lewe. Maar, totdat 'n beter begrip van die uitwerking van so 'n dieet ontwikkel is, sal dit 'n goeie idee wees om dit dop te hou met 'n gesonde mate van skeptisisme. Daar is egter alreeds 'n aantal interessante ontdekkings oor hierdie onderwerp gemaak. Die laaste artikel, wat aandui dat beperking in die inname van glukose die hoofrol speel, is vir my interessant. Glukose word hoofsaaklik verkry uit stysel-gebasseerde kossoorte, as ek reg verstaan.

Verder, is daar ook aanduidings dat sekere voedselsoorte spesifieke voordele kan bied, soos bv. appels, bessies (soos bloubessies), groen tee, wit tee, melk en selfs koffie. Let egter op dat die gebruik van alkohol nie noodwendig enige inherente voordele inhou nie.

As jy, soos ek, probeer hou by 'n gesonde leefstyl en gereelde oefening inkry, sal jy dalk ook wil weet dat jou maaltye na oefensessies 'n invloed op jou gesondheid het.

Voornemende moeders moet maar versigtig wees met wat hulle eet, siende dat hul dieet tydens en selfs voor swangerskap 'n groot invloed op die gesondheid van hul kinders het, selfs tot ver in hul grootmenslewens. Dit wil voorkom of dit ook nie noodwendig baie wys is om verskeie vitamienaanvullings vir jou kinders te voer as die dokter dit nie aanbeveel het nie. Daar is dalk waarde in die raadpleeg van 'n professionele, geregistreerde dieetkundige.

Maar onthou ook: 'n gesonde dieet en ander goeie leefstyl gewoontes is nooit 'n 100% waarborg dat jy nie sal siek word nie. Vir daardie ongelukkige tye het ons darem vandag al heelwat goeie mediese behandelings beskikbaar. En, alhoewel ek sug dat die dokters nie eens weet hoe om my liggaam te genees van die enkele kwale wat my teister nie, vind ek hoop in die gedagte dat daar elke dag nuwe mediese ontdekkings en deurbrake gemaak word.