man about town

It is Sunday and because I am not braining today, I thought I would share pics from my random walks in the city. They are not as beautiful as those shared by Quixie but we will make do with what we have.

Have a pleasant Sunday everyone.

is it ever justified to overthrow the government?

Fidel Castro, in the Havana Declarations makes the case that it is lawful and even a duty to overthrow a regime that is tyrannical

There is a lot of written material that support this position from the US declaration of independence to writings by Locke, Greeks and Roman philosophers, and even from Africa and Asia where it was the practice in some places to send to the maker a tyrant.

Why, then, do we have few insurrections when obviously we can count many countries living under a despot?

10 (new) questions for atheists

The link to the questions is here. I don’t think the questions are new but I will treat them as such.

  • What is your religious background? Did you grow up in a religious home?

Catholic. Yes. In Kenya every stone you throw is likely to land on a religious person. And in some places, it may land on a church/mosque or an open crusade.

  • Was there a time when you were open to Christianity or another religion?

Yes, the whole time I was religious.

  • Did you have an unfavourable experience with Christians or people of another religion that turned you off?

Not that I recall. I just became clever. That’s all.

  • Which religion do you take most offense to and why?

Christianity. Convinced my forefathers that what they were doing was the wrong way and left them confused.

  • What is your primary objection to the Christian faith?

Evidence haiko.

  • Have you ever had a supernatural experience?

Not supernatural but I was once so high I thought my bed was floating at an angle.

  • If there is no afterlife and we cease to exist after death, do you believe your life has purpose and meaning beyond the survival of the human species? In what way?

Before we were born, we didn’t exist and it wasn’t a bother, same with death. Life becomes more meaningful when you realize that all the shit you need to do can only be done here and now. Does it mean those who don’t have children or who have died sooner have not led meaningful lives because without an afterlife, it is all about the survival of the species?

  • How would you describe your worldview?

Dynamic

  • Do you believe in right and wrong? What determines the ethics you live by?

I prefer right and left. I prefer to do the things my non existent cat approves of.

  • Do you consider yourself a good person? Why or why not?

Sometimes. Especially when I make a bbq of Methodist babies.

 

How to ride 300km

You do it hard! Because there is no other way to do it. But I go ahead of myself or is it putting the cart before the horse.

So yesterday, the usual suspect and I left Nairobi at first light to go to Namanga (for those reading from elsewhere- majority of my readers), that’s the border with Tanzania, 102.5 miles. The plan is to have brunch halfway point- that is at Namanga so we can start our journey back.

Did I mention that most of our roads are not well lit? Now i have. So in this semidarkness, the usual suspect hit a stone, and had a flat. He gets a 10 for preparedness. There was no time to check for the puncture, he quickly replaced the clincher and off we were at a steady pace before we could release the brakes and go full throttle. Which we did for hundred of kilometers until we got to Bisil from where we battled crosswinds and headwinds for 57km! I have ridden in bad weather, in hilly terrain but not in wind that’s unrelenting.

The good news is we got to Namanga in one piece.

The winds were not as bad as the onward trip but I think after having had a good brunch, we must have been heavier on the bike because we didn’t ride as hard. Eventually we decided to do the rest of the 30km to home in a cab as it was also late, and you don’t want to be out on an unlit road on a bike with 9pm curfew quickly approaching.

Since this a boring story. No, I know, I will post photos to make for the lack of a good story and I hope they speak 4K words that I have failed to do. This time there was no video. Still no sports cam, you see ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Question for atheists

Whenever this block suffers a dearth of posts, I go to that wormhole otherwise known as Quora to just stroll and see what questions people are asking. I like it for other things. The stories lies people tell. And so today I saw this question

Imagine you died, and then you find out the afterlife and God are real. God presents himself to you, satisfying whatever proof you need to know it’s him, and he then asks you to explain your lack of faith. What would you say?

I can tell that this question is loaded with assumptions. I can bet, I didn’t bother to check, that the enquirer is a Christian. They tend to hog the god name with a capital G. So the first question would be of identity, which god are we talking about? The god of the philosophers who set the ball rolling and went to sleep, maybe even died, or the god of my forefather- indifferent. Or that of the Abrahamic faiths- petty, jealous and murderous?

Two, this god appears after I am dead. Isn’t that a wee bit late. The answer simply is you didn’t present yourself when it counted.

Thinking more about the question, it is a weaker version of Pascal’s argument. You are implored to just believe, without evidence because maybe this angry god might be waiting for you the other side of the grave. Not happening. Don’t fear death my friend, nor the gods. If they exist and love us, we have no reason to be afraid. If they exist and they are capricious, then worshiping them is no guarantee that you’ll be spared from their bouts of anger.

Don’t lend your support to crooks

In this Stoic meditation Massimo Pigliucci offers caution not to support leaders who drag their offices to the mud. I think he needs a session with out government. I am not sure whether there is any low they can go beyond where they have reached. But I am reminded that incompetent people are never short of surprises. When you think they can’t surprise you further, they outdo their last incompetence with something even worse.

And maybe Carl Sagan was right about politicians.

The words of Castro in History will Absolve me, can be used to refer to the present regime in Kenya. He said, in part

The previous regime was guilty of petty politics, theft, pillage and disrespect for human life; but the present regime increased political skulduggery fivefold, pillage tenfold, and has increased a hundredfold the lack of respect for human life.

The graft is mind boggling. The incompetence is beyond speech. Extrajudicial killings, demolitions and evictions the less said the better. And I am just beginning. And the same fellows are lined up to be in the next regime. How can a whole country be so collectively duped to elect thieves, idiots but I repeat myself.

In the same essay/ defense, he notes, of the Batista regime but which seems to be a mirror copy of the Uhuru/ Ruto regime

His regime brought merely a change of hands and a redistribution of the loot among a new collection of friends, relatives, accomplices and parasitical dregs that constitute the political retinue of a dictator.

Have you a warm day, will you.

Jose Marti quotes

A true man does not seek the path where advantage lies, but rather the path where duty lies, and this is the only practical man, whose dream of today will be the law of tomorrow, because he who has looked back on the upheavals of history and has seen civilizations going up in flames, crying out in bloody struggle, throughout the centuries, knows that, without a single exception, the future lies on the side of duty

Jose Marti, Cuban revolutionary and poet

I miss my mother

This morning I caught myself shedding a tear for my mama. I miss her. It’s been 13 years since she became an ancestor and not a single day goes by when i don’t ask myself what would life be with her around here.

What would she think of my crazy cycling? Would I be cycling?

What would she think of the relationships we have all built? What we have become? Would she be proud of her grand kids? Daughters in law?

Would she have aged gracefully? She left us too soon. We were still children.

And this reminds me of Narcissus and Goldmund-

โ€œBut how will you die when your time comes, Narcissus, since you have no mother? Without a mother, one cannot love. Without a mother, one cannot die.โ€

Maybe when our time comes, we will not suffer a similar fate for we had a mother and we have loved.

I miss her, my mother, my teacher, my friend. She was such a giant in our lives and that space remains unfilled.

 

Nairobi- Meru- Nanyuki bike tour

This was a 300km bike tour. On day 1, we covered 225km and decided that was enough work and found ourselves a good place to sleep and relax the muscles. After being on the saddle for close to 10hrs, my butt felt like a fire had been lit below it.

But I go ahead of myself. This trip has been in the oven since February when we (with others not in the present tour) attempted this ride and yours truly abandoned the ride 160+km in. I wasn’t giving up this time round. The many runs and practice rides paid off.

Keep it here for the next tour. Hopefully I will get a sponsor for a GoPro camera which will mean you have longer videos of the tours.