kam zarrabiThis column is written by Kam Zarrabi of Silver City. He considers his writings random refections, He has authored two books, "Zarathushtra’s Shadow," and "Necessary Illusions." He says "they deal with various aspects of the cultural and psychological evolution of our species as the illustrious, in our own minds, the Homo sapiens sapiens; yes, double sapiens!"

Lusting for Identity

The Don't Take Me Lightly Syndrome
By Kam Zarrabi

About a year ago I noticed a shiny new pickup truck parked next to my car at the Wal-Mart parking lot. The truck's chassis was raised almost three feet off the ground, making it almost a struggle for an average person to get into without a stepping stool. The necessary reconstruction of the suspension system and the understructure, not to mention those enormous oversized offroad tires, must have cost the owner many thousands; it all looked very impressive.

The owner of the beast, as he approached the vehicle, was not some tall, brawny lumberjack; instead, I saw a young, small-framed fellow who had to struggle a bit to get inside the vehicle. As he drove away, I thought the young man's somewhat diminutive physical stature was well compensated for by the size and power of the vehicle he was driving. The throaty roar of the engine sounded a warning to everyone: Don't mess with this dude.

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The Charm of Meaninglessness


By Kam Zarrabi
August 2023

Running on a treadmill you don't get anywhere, but the physical exercise is beneficial for your cardiovascular conditioning. Similarly, resting on your recliner and focusing on a Tao or Zen sounding phrase and trying to figure out what wisdom message is hidden therein, also exercises the mind, especially when, no matter how you try, you don't get anywhere!

Vagueness, bordering on meaninglessness, offers a hell of a lot more for the mind to chew on than any straight out message or wisdom statement. The vaguer a concept is, the more the mind can create and visualize its own imageries of some hidden message. And interestingly, when no answer is found, no matter how the mind tries, whatever is hidden is perceived to attain a higher stature deserving of even more effort to decipher: A vicious circle of sorts.

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Faith and Reason

Just Thinking
A Never Ending Tug Of War
July, 2023

Thanks to a glitch in our evolutionary process, we humans are indeed fortunate to be blessed by two separate compartments in our brains, which like the three branches of the government, each operates independently of the other while they jointly complement each other and contribute to the functional integrity and sanity of the host. Again, similar to the branches of the government, problems inevitably arise whenever one department attempts to intrude into and interfere with the affairs of the other. I am, of course, referring to the two windows through which we view the world around us and our existences in it, namely the separate windows of faith and reason.

Unquestionably, faith or unreasoned belief (make-believe, superstition, etc.) must have provided mankind with the needed answers to the puzzles and mysteries of its world for hundreds of millennia before reason or scientific knowledge began to claim its role as recently as a few hundred years ago. Even then many if not most scientific principles were assumed to have been rooted in some faith-based metaphysical grounds. The reasons for that are quite logical and yes, ironically scientific!

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Problems with Intelligence
Kam Zarrabi

It may come to most people as an unpleasant shock that our genetic makeup, our DNA, which makes us human is almost 99 percent the same as our nearest ape relative, the Chimpanzee – and more so its Bonobo variety found today in the jungles of the Republic of Congo. So, what genetic ingredients are packaged in that one percent that set us so dramatically apart from our ape cousins? Without doubt the most significant difference is our elevated cognitive capacity, our unique intellect.

I recently published the updated version of my book, Necessary Illusions, with the subtitle, Coping with the Dilemma of Intellect. Perhaps that subtitle should have been the main title of the book, as our heightened cognitive capacity or intellect has proven to be more than a blessing as we prefer to believe; it has been a curse, as well, with devastating potentials!

Intelligence has been the most potent or consequential tool or, better put, weapon of competition, survival and supremacy for the Homo sapiens species, the anatomically and intellectually modern human. And, as we are finding out, our recent successes in the development of artificial intelligence, AI, which can far surpass our own natural mental processing capabilities, are already creating great causes for concern for its potential to be weaponized.

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Language Evolving

Just Thinking

I don't own a smart phone; perhaps I am not smart enough to own one. I got a text message on my tiny foldup cell phone the other day from someone, I am sure by mistake, which I had a hard time reading. The text was in some kind of shorthand, I thought, with abbreviated or truncated words and acronyms. But with a little effort I did manage to unravel the text and figure out what the message was.

Obviously, this newly evolving type of writing is facilitating text type communications, especially among the younger people who use their more nimble fingers dancing around those little keyboards on hand-held smart phones. The messages, often lacking proper grammatical structure, get through and are becoming ever more intuitively decipherable. I can easily imagine books and other publications gradually adopting this form of writing, much to my wife's chagrin; she is an excellent proofreader!

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The Delicious Curse of Gluttony

Just Thinking
April, 2023
Kam Zarrabi

There is a growing shortage of the diabetes drug, Ozempic, after the news spread that the users might also lose some weight. Using a powerful diabetes medication with all its side effects to lose weight is almost as crazy as another method used about a hundred years ago: swallowing the live head of a tapeworm kept in a capsule, dispensed by a local apothecarist, and letting that awful parasite grow inside the intestine, then taking medications to get rid of it once the desired weight was achieved! That is not an urban legend; my own grandmother, I have been told, had done that back in the 1890s, and she wasn't the only nutcase who had used that method for losing some weight.

Most of us who have visible reasons to lose some weight might try any promising way to get rid of that blubber around our midsection: I know I would. But being a normal human being, ignoring the beckoning sight of luscious creamy pastry or the mouthwatering aroma of sizzling bacon doesn't come naturally.

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