this week i

lived out of a backpack.

checked into a hotel carved in stone.

created a makeshift laundry bag with two shower caps.

hiked isalo national park.  the highlight of the trip, the season, the year..

four-eyed mountains

fearsome species you'd thought were extinct

fuchsia dragonflies

sprouting silver bulbs

..oh hello.

spotted all three daytime lemurs, just monkeys in spacesuits.

secured a car to the capital, felt just like janis joplin when she rode all the way to new orleans.

tried anyway.  okay, just mint.

found the cutest child on earth, hope she takes care of that smile.  by the way: johnson & johnson has discontinued dinosaur-shaped wild flossers.  time to corner the children's flossing market with more suitably-named flossiraptors™ - profitable public health campaign, anyone?

noticed the hollywood sign.

admired the architecture.

am a sucker for good data visualization..

..less so for cheap, creepy mannequins.

greased a moth.

chilled out in style.  hey wait, where's the bathroom wall?  lots of waiting outside.

visited a croc farm.

scared 2,500 babies at once.

identified chamelia.

fed the fossa.

went home.

watched a fiery debate between jordan peterson and some philosopher guy on the sacred.

the dialogue between evolutionary biologists and people who theorize about religious beliefs has barely even begun.  and the reason it hasn't yet begun is because the evolutionary biologists and the rationalists don't know a damn thing about religion.  and their way around that is to make the most pathetic straw man possible out of the complex structure of ancient beliefs, attribute them to someone who has the mental capacity of a thirteen year old, and then proceed to use their high iq to crush their opponents.  well, that's just not going to work because systems of thought that are derided by evolutionary biologists and rationalists are complex beyond belief.  and they haven't spent the time unpacking them.

goodall discovered that, lo and behold, chimpanzees did territorial raiding and killed their enemies.  now unless you're willing to believe that chimpanzees are doing that for religious purposes, you're pretty much stuck with having to deal with something that could arguably be more fundamental than motivation for killing the evil other than anything religious.  and this is a real tough point, right?  lots of things died with goodall's discovery.  and one of the things that died was the idea that the reason that people were warlike was because of what they believe.  it's deeper than thatif you take a rat out of his dominance hierarchy, and you wash him so he no longer smells like a rat, and you put him back in to the rat hierarchy that's composed of his loving family, the other rats will immediately tear him to pieces.  and the probability of them doing that because he's a heretical rat is pretty much zero.

the sorts of things that you accuse the religious of doing are so fundamental that they precede religion.  the facts are already in guys, there's no more debate about this.

the fact that you can think psychologically about sacrifice is a consequence of eons of work done by your progenitors in the attempt to solve an unbelievably difficult problem.  and although they might have made some mistakes along the way..they certainly got us to where we are now.  and you tell me whether or not you believe that if you sacrifice the right things in the present that god the transcendent reality is more likely to shine his face on you in the future.

the sense of meaning that evolution..has blessed you with is precisely the pre-rational mechanism that allows you to do that kind of maneuvering.  and i would say that attending to that is actually a sacred duty.  how about that.  and i think you guys know that.  do you like to do meaningful things or not meaningful things?