Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bozeman Explosion

Bozeman, Montana is one of those places I visited through the pages of a book before being there physically. I walked through the campus of Montana State University in my mind's eye while reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which would become the first book along my travels down the rabbit hole of heady material. For those who have read it Robert Pirsig's descriptions of this collegiate mountain town give the place an electric but dissonant feel. It was here the author began his personal demolition into a being of more than one simultaneous opinion.

Today there was an explosion in the real Bozeman. It is not clear at this point what the cause of this conflagration was but the video seen below scares me. This was recorded only a few blocks away from the incident only a few months ago. I am not claiming these are the culprits but merely suggesting that the alibis of this group be collected and assessed. Displayed here is exactly the type of deleterious reprogramming the human brain can undergo; fervent righteousness - the enemy of reason - certainty.

PZ Myers on his blog Pharyngula describes this phenomenon in more detail while discussing points made by Richard Dawkins at a recent lecture.

"He talked quite a bit about the flexibility of the human brain, a property that was the product of selection, yet that same flexibility means it can be reprogrammed into deleterious byways, such as religion or fanaticism or unthinking patriotism."

I truly believe the most effective way to battle fanatically driven domestic terrorism (Waco, Oklahoma city, 9/11 etc. etc.) is not by building bigger prisons but by building larger libraries, and larger universities.

Regardless if this incident was accidental or intentional may the families affected by the explosion find solace in knowing that people all around the world are thinking about them and wishing that they do not suffer.

...I heard about this story on Twitter and though some may call this new form of media silly I think it the ultimate bypass of the corporate gatekeepers.

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