Ko low, knealism and now, I’m a grey shun

Colonialism and imperialism have not settled their debt to us once they have withdrawn from our territories.”
“The wealth of the imperialist nations is also our wealth. Europe is literally the creation of the third world.”

Frantz Fanon 1962 Author of The Wretched of the Earth

Last week the New York Times had an article about European colonialism and reparations , After my morning walk I often make a salad and watch tv, usually NHK, DW or France24. The last few years both European stations have focused on news and cultural interests from the ex-colonies. NHK has programs about how Japanese high-tech is creating new products to make an affordable positive impact in the “emerging world” as well as presenting the beauty of their own cultural craftsmanship.These three tv networks view the world as their audience/

I read this book in 1960s, its a reflection on European colonization.

Much of the history of human beings is about survival—war, killing, stealing and various forms of evolving political institutions. Many not here left us no message.What is the “social solidarity necessary for survival” which can only be measured by whether the society survives. Here we are homo sapiens , 300,000 later, with all of our “baggage” some good, some bad and in the near past we let another last individual of a last society die without communicating with him. The rest of his society had been murdered decades ago by business interests seeking to cut down the trees of their home for financial profits. Their home was not their property, it belonged to a nation state with its sovereign rights and the right to deny any sovereign rights of a last society and a last man regardless of how long they had lived there —we did not bother to find out.

He died alone and afraid, afraid of the civilized people, and as it seems, quite rightly so.

What we have lost can never be brought back again This seems a very dark day for human beings and the whole world could be reflect on this treatment of another human being all alone and afraid while the “civilized people.were busy being the “exceptional people reaping the benefits of their special status as the god appointed stewards of Earth.

No chance to accept Jesus r as his Lord and Savior and get to heave,; no chance to awaken the sleeping buddha inside of him and end his cycle of suffering.

Alameda Creek

What is necessary for a society to survive? By society I mean a group of people who interact only with each other. Not real,!! Doesn’t exist—the whole globe is really a bunch of larger and smaller societies, intermingled with each other in may different and various ways and levels.

Its just an idea, think about at the beginnings of human beings there were no individuals—beginning families, clans which have evolved 300,000 years to cities and countries—at some point there were very small basic and much more independent societies.

How can there ever be a time when a human being was his or her own society? When one is a last individual of a last society, the end of that human society on Earth.

We learn about European colonialism in school, lessons which for the most runs off the backs of many like water off a duck, we don’t understand how inhuman it was. nor how it lead to the great wealth of the European society and we call “proof of our exceptionalism.”

We have survived, individuals surviving as a society . What we (human beings) did `enabled people to survive, to have social solidarity. to reach this duration.

Surviving of societies means individual people doing things must have some order —Value: when something works to find food, the individual does it over and over, just by definition it takes time out of your life. Doing over and over it becomes a common behavior pattern. Other people may copy you, and it becomes how people behave in the society.

Successful behavior is repeated regularly, it becomes normal in the society—Just being normal means it takes up time in a life, time that other behavior will not happen. It makes a common structure of behavior which is necessary and normal for the social solidarity of a society.

It also has to be sustainable. Normal is not relative, it is directly related to other specific things, i.e. meeting the necessary needs of the individuals.in the environmental experience of the individuals making up the society.

Imagine early life with small separated societies living in various places all over Earth. Even if there was a common “human Nature,” we know Earth is different in different places resulting in different experiences and different behaviors, each society creating a unique structure of behavior.

Some societies grew larger and more intertwined, with these unique behaviors undergoing varying degrees of assimilation, integration, conquest and political domination.

For many many years, probably 99% of the duration of homo sapiens ,—i.e. for about 279,000 years— when things were bad an individual or a family could move and find another place to live—migration was normal, not illegal. For most of that time, life was simple enough, often simple enough that people could start over somewhere anew.

Now all real estate on Earth has been claimed by nation-states and their geo-political boundaries. There is no place people can migrate for a new life without being threatened by the violence of the nation state, and last week civilization has chased a last individual of a last society away to his death, a society and an individual and a society which had no “legal”right to the property which had been their home, for how many years? oh, we did not take the time or did not have the ability to find out.


A shrine squeezed in among city building, daily you can pause for a moment on your way to work to appreciate the spirit of the shrine and feel yourJapanese.

Sometimes people like being in public places. Japanese like to read .They also have a great respect for others in public places which makes Japan a nice place to visit. Oh,and safe.

On Sunday afternoons people may be dancing in the street, others like to watch and listen. Cultural things which are imported from other countries are massaged until they find a fit into Japanese life. They call oknomiyaki a “Japanese pancake” but the name really means “as you like it.”

People and architecture have a Japanese feel to their fit, its a comfortable and righteous feeling.

A residential street in Tokyo—being drunk and backing your car into the garage on a street like this can be challenging. Sometimes it a better choice to sleep it off on your host’s floor.

Gate gate paragate parasamgate BodhiSvaha

Heart Sutra and birthday mooncake

Homeless hearts hear

I turned back to see
But the man I passed was veiled
In mist already

Shiki Japanese Haiku translation by Kenneth Yasuda

In Tokyo the shapes often take on its own sense of rhythm

Positioning in public reflects a rhythm , we are all people on Earth, made of the same stuff, but each one different . . .

and we live in societies, call them cultures, or countries, or civilizations, each with a structure of human behavior patterns, A one time these societies were smaller and less interconnected

Media emerged generating tools and techniques to communicate without face to face situations. Mass media, print and later electronic devices have enabled information to be instantly and ubiquitously available anywhere on Earth.

Home sapiens are been on Earth for over 300,000 years, developing many different types of societies —remember all of societies or civilizations we see were successful—they are here. The unsuccessful ones we do no know.

Most of the 300,000 years was spent in homo sapien individuals finding successful solutions to survival, Those solutions created societies with structures of human behavior—patterns, norms cultures—which have brought us some “humane” and some less than “human” solutions and behaviors to survival as “normal behaviors”—

Everyone has a birth right to be on this Earth, but it is a right not recognized or respected by history, laws, nation states, or business. Without justice for the inhumanties of our human past .Although most of these inhumanties were done in the name of God or social order, the real result is severe economic inequality creating economic and social disorder. Justice to enable a sense of Peace on Earth must address —this.Earth or any part of it is not anyone’s private property.

Alameda Creek

Science keeps pushing on to know the Universe , recently visual news from the James Webb Space Telescope were in popular news.

Science seems to push on, there always seem to be more things.

Whether you study larger or smaller, there is always some “thing” more larger or more smaller.

The larger limit is finite, its the size of the Universe—by definition the universe is one, there is nothing else that we “know,” People talk about multiple universes but by definition there can only be one. This is a concern with word usage, not observation. But what how small can you go until there is emptiness.

When we think we have reached the end —The End! that would be having identified and counted all of the things in the Universe.

Stephen Hawking said science will one day know every “thing” in the universe — the whole universe, The Universal Catalog and probably more “things” than any single human individual could memorize in a lifetime.

Still not mate what, its a “no.” Because “things” are a human concept.

It appears to me that the Universe keeps creating new things, or maybe its the people doing the “knowing” who are creating new things.

If science were discovering things which were all created at one time then that would be the same finite number then and now . . . are we creating or finding “things.”

Regarding the number of things in the Universe, it appears, we have not reached the end of the Large or Small continuum, humans just keep finding more and there is not way to determine whether they were here before or we created them.

Or, maybe, while we are busy “knowing it”— the Universe is busy “creating it.” The chicken or the egg ?? Does a “thing” exist whether or not we have a name for it: or we can see, or touch, or smell, or hear, or taste it?

The Universe is a bunch of small particles and using our senses we experience the Universe as “things,” give these things a name and call it “knowing.”

But to the Universe—as far as I know—there are just these particles, it does not experience things separated from itself, it is people that do it.


My photographs are like little insta-poems . . . a moment of something interesting to me and I make an image.

Two of my gutter hangers disconnected and I had to get up on the ladder to see what was wrong.

City governments paint the word “STOP” on the street, probably gadzillions of times and the letters slowly develop their own appearance.
The top of the “T” in the word STOP.

A program like Photoshop enables one to see the image differently. I don’t feel any constraints to an “artistic purity” “or a “photographic purity,” perhaps the main reason is when I used film I had a couple of Nikon Fs, a a 135mm, a 24mm and a infrequently used 50m lens.

The top of the “O” in the word STOP.

Even then, 1960s, I remember an exhibition taken down by the f64 “wing ” on the board because it violated their sense of “photographic purity.”

Mostly I jam just very whimsical, or maybe I cannot afford all the top level digital camera equipment. My first NikonF, secondhand, was $50.

With the radish he
Pulls out, a radish-worker
Shows the road to me.

Issa Japanese Haiku translation by Kenneth Yasuda

Gate gate paragate parasamgate Bodhi svaha

World Words, Work or Wore?

world words

Relentlessly Earth is becoming smaller and smaller, not in physical size but in the number of people and their increasingly accessibility created and enabled by the internet.


That is probably a major factor driving migration. Even with tv and landlines there was not the person-to-person contact enabled by the Internet. As population increases while space decreases the world is evolving and growing global culture

Sunday afternoon in the pizza store

Just think if one could just reach out and grab a piece of light and see the images it carries on your iPhone!!


Worn out. woman

When confronted with survival challenges for over 300,000 years homo sapiens, have used migration as a major solution resulting in various forms of political control for social solidarity. Since the 30 Years War and treaty of Westphalia, about 400 years ago mucho Earth has accepted the nation state, the geopolitical unit — the nation-state and endowed it with complete political sovereignty—the right to murder inits own interest.

Alameda Creek

Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation within the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is perceived by the human eye.,” (Where a photograph is also perceived.)

In physics, electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of the electromagnetic field, propagating through space, carrying electromagnetic radiant energy. It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared, light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays. All of these waves form part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

A photograph is an image created by light falling on a photosensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic image sensor, such as a CCD or a CMOS chip.

Light is expressed on the screen, and the gradation of light expressed on the screen determines the color and value of the printed image. Its like 4-color CMYK process inks on an offset press mixed in “screen mix” to print a photograph or a soup can except in CMYK more color is darker, in RGB less (reducing the color light) color is darker.

Light is traveling through Universe, transporting information as latent photographic images, if it meets no reflective thing on the way, then its last “latent images” might be accessible, and perhaps even more.

Or perhaps as light keeps reflecting off things its ability to express gets weaker. Maybe traveling through dark has a cost to light and maybe light has a limit.

Where does light go when it gets to the end of the universe?

When light is not light is “it” black, maybe its not that the light is black, but the absence of light is black. Or is it the “Presence of Black.”

If light is absent where did it go? Why would light be here, or there, or anywhere at all ?

Light is a mystical tour of the Universe waiting to be viewed—all over the Universe are gazillions of latent photographs —.It would be nice to see them — We do actually, i.e. X-Rays, CRT . . . and that technology keeps developing.


Is it intrusive to make this image? I didn’t know these people, I took their picture as if they were a carved stone in a Japanese garden.

The visual landscape in Tokyo, like Japanese in general, it has a unique Japanese feel and the Japanese sense of design is always a part of it ,

Tokyo land used for an automated two vehicle pay to park parking lot.

A photograph can be visually “more poetic” than “more real” . . .

It is difficult 
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is  found there.

from Asphodel, That Greeny Flower Pictures from Bruegel William Carlos Williams

Will, low feel, good

Graphic design—
which fulfills esthetic needs,
complies with the laws of form
and the exigencies of two-dimensional space:
which speaks in semiotics, sans-serifs,
and geometrics;
which abstracts, transforms, translates,
rotates, dilates, repeats, mirrors,
groups and regroups—
is not good design
if it is irrelevant.

Thoughts on Design Paul Rand

Japanese “block print” calendar from the year 2000. Every month the style of the numbers is different and feels block printed. Flat colors are used.. This one is for July, 2000. Hand made art, often seasonal, such as this folk style calendar are highly appreciated by Japanese

Japanese restaurant facade contrasting rectangles

In Tokyo much of the wiring of older homes was added years after the home was built and is blatantly located on the outside.

Business and residential are often side by side, Tokyo residents like to have some nature at the front door.

Land is expensive inTokyo, but I have no idea for what this Building in Tokyo is used. Even here something is wildly growing green in containers at the front door.

A photograph of people—maybe most 20-35— standing at the Shibuya Scramble Crossing traffic light, in the back is a photograph of a photograph printed into posters.

Car in garage of house in Asakusa, Tokyo.

Alameda Creek

Everyday Alameda Creek is a little different. Most people are there for the same thing—exercise in a pleasant outside environment.

Some take their dog out for a walk,.they bring a plastic poop bag, use it to pick up the poop, put it into the bag, carry the bag a little way and then discard the bag —with the poop inside—along the trail.

There are many “regulars,” some I see two or three times a week, others at an irregular pattern,—well may be regular for them and irregular for others. Some who I have had conversations with and while no longer are there conversations along the trail we are cordial . . .

understanding we shared a piece of our lives through something in common.

That moment may never come back again, and in most of the future moments of our lives there may be small compatibility we still had that moment and will have it again with someone else in the future.

Relatively speaking, why is there enough order in human relationships to enable survival? Some places on Earth there is more or less stability, making both local and any global business and just-living-in-general , more riskier.

People live in a social order, maybe not so much in Nature, Humans “naturally” differentiate things and define them i.e. give them a name. When humans sensually experience “same things” — a tree, the sky—they develop a common meaning socially.

300,000+ years of evolution—Homo sapiens— how long for homo sapiens to connect seeing “things” and developing a common sound to represent the “thing ?”

How long between having a language and having a writing system ( a “legal” record-keeping system) to create a “legal record keeping document.”

Maybe not all who tried could make it here, but the ones who did deserve the accolades of success Societies developed in relatively isolated environments with much interaction negative. creating, developing and establishing many social patterns of negative tribal behavior.

We are all here, we all have a birth right to a place on Earth, Some of the things, which we value, are things which enabled us to get here, and includes behavior which is inhumane, cruel, violent, some is personal such as crime, and other is social-political such as war and empire. Earth is full up now, people cannot pick up and move to another frontier, we have all earned a right to be here and we can choose to find a way to make it work for everyone.


San means mountain and it also is used to show respect for other people. When you first meet some one named Nakamura they will say “I am Nakamura” and you will acknowledge with . . . Nakamura-san, their last name with a san after it, such as, Yoshida-san Tora-san . . Japanese often refer to the mountain as Fuji-san, the double meaning is intended..
Da Vince used the term “atmospheric perspective” to describe the gradation of blue haziness in far away objects— lighter and bluer was how a painter could show further away.

Subject and object, sometimes it seems my photographs are only about myself, sometimes when the loneliness overwhelms me it can be fun to include posters in stores as background, its just guessing where to position the camera,

Will a photograph actually help me find myself? Will it tell me more about myself? Perhaps it will become a part of myself, like the object becoming the subject.

I have questions, and I have answers, but the answers I have don’t answer the questions I have.

And another day gone bye.
Niles CA

Know bridge over ripples

Nihonbashi 日本橋

Nihon means Japan, Bashi means bridge.. Edo (now Tokyo) was, and Tokyo is, a city of rivers with roads connecting bridges over those rivers. Each bridge has a story to tell, a story often told on a plaque posted somewhere. Nihon means Japan and bashi means bridge—Japan bridge.

What does that mean?? Chinese characters do not use many parts of grammar used in phonetic languages, parts which are often used for more detailed information. That information is communicated in other ways.

If you have a Chinese or Japanese friend . . . and if you like poetry, . . . and if you have a book of Chinese or Japanese poetry with translation, ask your friend to sit with you and translate the poem—haiku works well because it is short—without looking at the book translation and then compare the two. My personal for Chinese poet would be Su Tung Po (1037–1101).

The differences and sames which will teach you about the poem, about the language and, most interesting, you will learn some insights into english words.

Do other people share a similar view of who I am? Am I different to different people? The former might be boring, the latter two faced.

Be diplomatic to initiate such an event, your friend might think you are “testing them” and be reluctant, but if can find a friend to do it, its a valuable experience. It has nothing to do with their English ability, its not about their proficiency with English, but the words that they select from their English vocabulary to fill in the details will give you insight into the English language.

Think of our paths, each uniquely winding around Earth, and how at the different places of intersections we look back at them and think —That’s not the real me!

Alameda Creek

Who am I to myself and compared to how others see me.

Its not really possible, there is no right or wrong answer. We cannot read the minds of others, and knowing our own mind is a difficult job in its own right.

I imagine that people who are successful in popular medium, especially as“personalities” have a disciplined approach to how they present themselves to others. Doing behavior “A” gets response “B” from others.

If a behavior “A” which always gets a behavior “B” from most others, and it fits a behavior used by popular media, some can become very popular.

On the other hand when you look at all the different people out there, popularity in popular media is not just about communicating with others, but with a lot of others, you need to find lowest common denominators, KISS—Keep it simple stupid.

Others are more concerned with their personal expression. The point is not to do any “some thing” to get popular but to do some “thing” which meets a standard —a professional standard, a skilled craft standard, the Scientific Method— basically a respected independent standard.

Can we do something which makes the world a better place and others do not appreciate it?

Or we do something which makes the world a worse place and become very popular . . .

The photograph is the unchanging gateway between the constantly changing past and future—the “reality” of the image is in the past but the hard copy image is in the present.


I can play this guitar, I can sing a few notes,
I’m old enough now in this country to vote
So I wrote me a song ’bout the white winged dove
And a toy gun for Christmas in place of love.

White Winged Dove Mark Spoelstra

In a public park, Maine about 1973, the grandson gets out the car and starts shooting his toy gun at people in the park.

Cynics would have us believe that altruism is rare. It seems possible, however, that the best of intentions are not nearly so rare as the wisdom that is necessary to implement them.

H.G. Creel Chinese Thought From Confucius to Mao-Tse-tung pub.1954

I picked my way over corpse after corpse in the gloom, until I heard one voice raised above the gentle undulating moaning. I found girl, she was a living skeleton, impossible to gauge her age for she had practically no hair left, and he face on a yellow parchment sheet with two holes in it for eyes . . . And beyond her down the passage and in the hut there were the convulsive movements of dying people too weak to raise themselves from the floor.

Richard Dimbleby, BBC reporter describing entering Belson concentration camp April 1945 THE EYE OF WAR Words and photographs from the Front Line

Feel, feel for your heart
Is it still beating
Or has it died
Dead in its shell
And is your blood wine
. . .
Mark Spoelstra from the song Born to Die

Poster, Cambridge, MA , 1971

Drink, drink you war mongers,
Cut with your cold blade of fear.
But your power is dyin’
So let it be told.
Your blood and your bones

Will age with decay
and rot in your soul.

Mark Spoelstra from the song Born to Die

Alone in the temple, trying to hide from the Heart Sutra:

Gate gate paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha