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Drawing Inspiration From a Polymath
Normally I would cite Jesus Christ, Nikola Tesla and Rob Prufer as the source of my primary inspiration. As of late however I realized I have more in common with another figure from history.

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci

At a Thanksgiving gathering this year we played a name game where everyone was given a name on a tag placed on their back. Using only questions we all had to ask questions of someone else at the party to discover what name we were each given. This was a fun game. Perhaps aptly so I was given a name tag with Leonardo da Vinci's name written on it. 

My interests are not limited to one field, I find almost everything interesting in some way or another. There are unique dynamics to each observable phenomenon in this world. Everything from thought to other people and inanimate objects has an complex subtle and interesting history. Part of the fascinating nature of existence can be traced to the ephemeral and temporary dynamics of the world. Everything is always changing as part of a dynamic flux. Entropy breaking down everything from organized to disorganized.

Living being like Trees with their long lives seem to operate against this trend of breaking down, adding beautiful structures to the world as they self assemble carbon into an elaborate array of different kinds of wood : stretching toward the sun like living statues that buffer the rain and wind while providing habitat to some many different species. Ironically nothing could be father from the truth, the tree like everything else eventually break down. Soil infact is made of decomposing tree and plant and animal matter. Teaming with billions of insects, microbes, invertebrates, and fungi the soil and humus which bears life to everything is a living substance: not just grit and minerals and decaying tree parts. The things which break down the trees are very similar to the the things that live inside our gastro intestinal system: the flora that breaks down our food.

I see the world through a lens that fuses art, science, ethics, logic and emotion. Like most other people I have highly varied and seemingly disconnected interests. More like Leonardo, I see everything as connected not separate. Every action no matter how seemingly insignificant has a sequence of reactions and consequences. Our thoughts become our emotions, our emotions become our choices, our choices become our actions, our actions become our behaviors and our behaviors become our Characters. Other people affect us by influencing our thoughts and emotions with their words, ideas and actions.

There is a lot of negative broken thinking and ideas circulating in the world. We have to be very careful to acknowledge and steer clear of these toxic influences. Equally powerful is the ability of a person to choose positive thinking and positive emotions. Faith, Family and Friendship inspired, sustained and secured by love.

The world Leonardo lived in very different

The highly local organic agriculture of his day has been replaced by an industrial system of global food commerce laden with synthetic components that cause sickness. The clear brilliant night sky of stars that Leonardo enjoyed has been replaced by light pollution from industrialization and poorly designed lighting installations. The clean air that Leonardo enjoyed has been replaced by a smog of strange industrial coal, oil, gas and other emissions.

One could probably write a lengthy disertation about how the world has changed between the 1400's and today; but we can sum that up by saying that humans have been tearing down and polluting the world at an ever increasingly scale that really took off in the 1950's/ growing exponentially worse as we add 5 more people for every 2 that die: like a virus our population has gone totally out of control: the impacts of which are far reaching and deeply negative on every living system in the world. Huge swaths of forest have been replaced by oil palm so that Unilever can produce cheaper soap. The worlds water filtering wetlands have been destroyed with toxic industrial wastes and development. The words fisheries have been depleted, exhausted and degraded by extensive over fishing. Aluminum is thrown in the trash along side plastic bottles, steel and paper: all of which can be feasibly recycled.

Overpopulation in developing countries is the primary causes of hunger, malnutrition and poverty. Genocide and inequities of epic proportionality punish millions of people. The world spends 12x more on war and weapons that it does helping the poorest of people. The inequity between the rich and the poor has been increasing lately. We toil away polluting billions of gallons of fresh water to extract oil from sand in Canada to fuel a growing global gas burning vehicle fleet that is picking up more and more as billions of people in developing countries gain traction with industrialization.

Globalization moving more and more people into cities and going full steam ahead with rape, pillage and plunder the natural world: we ignorantly poison the air, water and land that produces our food: we overproduce grain with unsustainable agriculture fueled by foreign oil and fertilized by synthetic chemicals to feed hormone pumped fast food meet: the soil washing away not a tree in sight to regenerate it or mitigate erosion. Fossil water is a non renewable resource being exploited and rapidly depleted. We have gas companies fracking over fresh water aquifers to extract natural gas with exotic toxic chemicals that leak into the water table from which irrigation and municipal water is withdrawn. I could go on and on; but the world is clearly full of broken ideas and problems that are very unique to this point in history.

He Was and I am

Regardless of our differences and the difference between the times, I increasingly find Leonardo's life to be a source of inspiration. I hope to challenge the status quo the way that he did by looking to the future and inspiring others to do the same. The world might be sick with over population and the abuse, neglect, misappropriation and destruction of natural resources; but human innovation and creativity is unlimited. We can and we must choose to change the course of history using intelligent positive ideas and thoughts. We can cure diseases and balance the relationship between mankind and the natural world that supports our existence if we can learn to teach each other intelligent moderation, humility, kindness and love.


  1. Thought of the day: Change

    With every passing moment everything has changed. Everything from your mind to the universe around you is constantly changing.

    Entropy, Rust, Combustion, Decomposition: Even the human body breaks down as it ages, so do tree's (they dont live forever either- just longer than us).

    The world as we know it is never the same, it is always changing. How are you choosing to change and what are you changing?

  2. Aaron, I see a Renaissance man emerging from what was a 'fairly' narrow minded boy! Please take this as the compliment it is. I remember well when your world was black and white, not many shades of grey. I think the thing I am most impressed with is your willingness to explore and expand. It is so easy for one to settle into a way of thought in their teens and 20's and get 'stuck'. Have you ever read any works by William F. Buckley Jr.? Fascinating man and one that could sway others with quietness, thoughtfulness and a very disarming smile. One of my favorites. Keep on growing Aaron, you have a lot to say

  3. Thank you Dianne,

    Yes, my world view and perspective has changed dramatically over the past 10 years.

    Two major things happened that really opened my eyes.

    1. I adopted Fallibilism as the axiomatic foundation of my thinking: it is the philosophical principle that I could be wrong about my beliefs, expectations, or understanding of the world. This keeps me open minded. I always willing to listen to a new idea. I was clearly wrong in the past a great number of times and I am sure that my views now will continue to evolve as I learn more about life. Since every moment is a learning experience I will continue changing over time just like everything else: nothing in this world is static: so absolutes rarely make sense.

    2. Megan and I became partners. She brought me to a bible study and helped me to rediscover my faith in God, to incorporate Christ's teachings into more of my thoughts and choices, to give Love another chance. Through loving God more and loving Meg I have come to love everything and everyone more. My heart overflows with love now where it was once filled with anger and frustration. I am able to differentiate actively the difference between a sin and the sinner. I look at others through eyes of love instead of eyes of Judgement. I see the prostitute, crook, pedophile, greedy person and others with a problem as sick people who are lost and who need help. There is a lot of broken thinking out there that causes people to do sick things that are unhealthy for them and bad for everyone else. I want to be a natural helper, a counselor, a source of information and inspiration to others: not a judge. I kneel before the Lord and humble myself as just one life in his creation of billions of living beings.

    Other people have noted a change in my personality as well: specifically in the last 2 years, and for the better I might add. It is not one, or two but actually many things that have helped me to see the world through eyes of love.

    Each person is unique and there are indeed many sides to every story. I know that more often then not we dont know someone else's whole story: we have never lived in their shoes, experienced life they way they have lived; we dont know what its like to be them or how we would have chosen if we were in that persons place. I don't know enough about others to cast judgement against anyone. We can agree that rape, murder, molestation, theft, corruption; that those kind of things are wrong: but each case is unique and deserves careful consideration. Most of the time the person doing something wrong is just misguided and in need of help. Think of all of the people that suffer with addictions to food, substance, gambling, ect. Think of all of the people who suffer from poor diet and depression: because they lack information to make healthier choices and don't know how or where to find the truth: that negative ideas are toxic: that synthetic food chemicals are toxic, ect.

    Joel Osteen recently gave a talk called "Seeing Others Through Eyes of Love" that really resonated with me. Seeing this was the straw that finally broke to give way to a totally improved world view. I still have convictions about a lot of issues (education, recycling, medicine, public policy, agriculture, health, energy, ect); but these views are now tempered by a more informed perspective. As I grow and age I acquire new information and it is through this constant learning that I learned the power of letting go, the power of compassion, the power of understanding and the power of love.

  4. This blog was formed because my sister wrote me a very thoughtful email about my misuse of facebook as a publishing platform to spread information. My facebook will now be use for more personal content and less op-ed content. Philosophical works like the article above and or other op-ed material like the other posts on this blog are accessible to the whole world. My private facebook page is a personal space. Both can be viewed by anyone trying hard to understand me: and this will likely be the case when I run for public office in the future. What I post online in this blog and elsewhere is a direct reflection of my thinking and worldviews. Over time my posts will paint a perfectly clear picture about me: and in many ways they already have.

    Thank you for your kind words!

  5. I love you Aaron! I feel there is little for me to add but feel a deep sense of agreement with all you have said in your blog as well as your comments on your blog which resonates within me. You have inspired change in me and I am thankful for you and thankful that you are sharing your thoughts here. I will support you forever and always.