About

Updated July 11, 2019

Another update to my “About” page (the two previous updates are retained below, starting at the “The Old About “).

My name is Emilio J. D’Alise. I’m in my 66th year of life as I write this. I am a retired engineer, happily married. I dabble in writing fiction and opinion pieces, and one of my hobbies is photography. I think I have a fairly good sense of humor and am a nice guy, but then, who doesn’t. I’m told I’m opinionated, but then, who isn’t.

That’s a nice overview, and now onto particulars . . .

Political views.  
I have a strong opinion about the importance of individual freedom constrained by social responsibilities and no longer believe the two major parties of this country are even remotely close to representing any of my views.  As I write this, we are suffering yet another presidential election, and it dismays me to no end that anyone believes the people running are the best we can aspire to in a leader of this country.

Since the last election, the country has literally been carved out into two slices and woe is onto anyone not subscribing to one or the other fanatical views.

Frankly, I’ve lost all hope that this so-called American Experiment can survive the twin onslaught of willful ignorance and cognitive dearth that seems to have gripped the majority of the population. Never have so many claimed to hold moral superiority over others and done so while wallowing in a morass of hypocrisy and lies born out of a self-serving myopic belief that the end justifies the means. And the sad part? They don’t even know what the end entails. Idiots!  

Religious Views.  I do not believe in gods.  I do not believe in mystical forces.  I do not believe in a universal intelligence.  I hold no belief in anything which violates what we know about the real world.

I’ve lost all respect for anyone who doesn’t constantly challenge their beliefs, especially when those beliefs feed their desire to limit other people’s freedoms.

We came so close to elevating intellect and rationality and reason and critical thinking as virtues worth nurturing . . . only to see them ridiculed and eschewed for the sake of momentary gains in perceived relevance. History will judge harshly on those willfully denying the truth of evidence for the comfort of lies.

The Disperser Name.  Disperser came about from our 2007  trip to Yellowstone.  The wolf pictured on the header walked not 20 feet from me, and at the time I wasn’t sure (couldn’t believe) it was a wolf because I wasn’t aware they traveled alone.  Once home, I came across this definition:

Disperser – A wolf that leaves the pack and strikes out on its own.  Some of these “lone wolves” have no social territory, and they live on the fringes of established packs or in the areas where several territories come together. Their single status may make them vulnerable to malnutrition and to attacks by other wolves.  

That sounded familiar to me . . . it should because it’s an accurate description of my place in society.  I chose it as my blog name both because of the description, and because the other meaning of Disperser is to spread widely or disseminate, and that’s what my original aim is with the blog.  

I wanted to spread my views, opinions, observations, photographs I like, and the fiction I write.  Of course, the “widely” part is not entirely accurate; on a good day, this blog gets about ten unique visitors, most of them people who, within the limits of Internet contact, I consider friends. A few stragglers come and go, but few linger.

This Blog.  I currently have around 1,500 subscribers, but I subscribe to only a few blogs. If I subscribe to your blog, know I intend to read it, not just browse it. When I tire of it, I will unsubscribe.

If I subscribe to your blog, I don’t expect you to subscribe to mine. If you subscribe to my blog, don’t expect me to subscribe to yours.

With no exceptions, if I check out your blog and I see anything about thanking this or that god, invoking magical thinking, or mentioning anything I consider irrational and anti-science, I will avoid all contact. If I’m following you and find you closed to intellectual self-challenge, consider me gone.

This is for my protection. While not prone to depression, I no longer want exposure to people whose main objective is to not be challenged and especially not challenged by facts. There is zero benefit for me to attempt to educate, enlighten, or push anyone toward rational thinking. I tried it for more than forty years now, and I’ve grown weary of it.

Now, the above does not apply if you comment on my posts. I’ve lost whatever patience I had, and while I won’t be nasty, I will be blunt. If you hold beliefs not anchored in reason and rationality and not backed by research or supported by logic and you express them on my blog, you will be called on it. Present a sound argument, and I will listen because I love to be proven wrong. You heard correctly; prove me wrong and I will thank you for it because you’ll have made me a better person and improved my life. By all means, feel free to babble on about an unsupported belief but be aware of the consequences.

I say all that, and it sounds antagonistic . . . no; it’s just a fair warning; I’m old, I have little patience, and I am frank with my opinions. Some people don’t like that. If you are one of them, stay away.

Life in general.  I have a good life and I know it. I want to live the remainder of my life spending time with my wife and living in a constant state of amazement and wonder.

I am not blind to the problems of the world, the suffering of literally billions, and to the gathering darkness.  I give to charity, I help others, I keep up with world events, and cast my small voice hither and fro to join other voices in opposition of bad stuff, and in support of good stuff.

But, make no mistake: my personal commitment has shifted to my own self and to my wife.  I don’t know how much longer we have.  Either or both of our lives could literally end tomorrow, and I aim to live what time I have left in a manner that will not cause me to have regrets later on, and to leave the small portion of the world I can influence better off for me having been here.  Or at least no worse off.

< < < < < < < < < < o o o o > > > > > > > > > > 

The Old “About”

Updated March 1, 2016

I thought it time I should update my “About” page (the old write-up is retained below, starting at the “The Old About “).

My name is Emilio J. D’Alise. I’m in my 63rd year of life as I write this. I am a retired engineer, happily married. I dabble in writing fiction and opinion pieces, and one of my hobbies is photography. I think I have a fairly good sense of humor and am a nice guy, but then, who doesn’t. I’m told I’m opinionated, but then, who isn’t.

That’s a nice overview, and now onto particulars . . .

Political views.  Whatever illusion I had that we live in a country where our individual voices can be heard and make a difference has been beaten out of me in the past ten years or so.

I have a strong opinion about the importance of individual freedom constrained by social responsibilities and no longer believe the two major parties of this country are even remotely close to representing any of my views.  As I write this, we are in the middle of yet another presidential election, and it dismays me to no end that anyone believes the people running are the best we can aspire to in a leader of this country.

I’m also tired of hearing the phrase “lesser of two evils” as a reason to vote for one person versus the other. We don’t accept that in any other part of our lives:

Well, let me see . . . you can either eat Broccoli or Cauliflower. What about pasta? No, no, your only choices are Broccoli or Cauliflower.

We resign ourselves to the farce of an illusory choice, and it’s never been more obvious than the current farce of a Presidential Race.

As for individual issues, please interpret “the importance of individual freedom constrained by social responsibilities” as a good guideline in deciding where I stand on hot or even tepid issues. 

Religious Views.  I do not believe in gods.  I do not believe in mystical forces.  I do not believe in a universal intelligence.  I hold no belief in anything which violates what we know about the real world.

I am very close to losing all respect for anyone who does not constantly challenge their beliefs, especially when those beliefs feeds their desire to limit other people’s freedoms.

Whatever reasons you find within yourself for not following a religion different than your own, know those are the same reason I don’t follow yours.

The Disperser Name.  Disperser came about from our 2007  trip to Yellowstone.  The wolf pictured on the header walked not 20 feet from me, and at the time I wasn’t sure (couldn’t believe) it was a wolf because I wasn’t aware they traveled alone.  Once home, I came across this definition:

Disperser – A wolf that leaves the pack and strikes out on its own.  Some of these “lone wolves” have no social territory, and they live on the fringes of established packs or in the areas where several territories come together. Their single status may make them vulnerable to malnutrition and to attacks by other wolves.  

That sounded familiar to me . . . it should because it’s an accurate description of my place in society.  I chose it as my blog name both because of the description, and because the other meaning of Disperser is to spread widely, or disseminate, and that’s what my original aim is with the blog.  

I wanted to spread my views, opinions, observations, photographs I like, and the fiction I write.  Of course, the “widely” part is not entirely accurate; on a good day, this blog gets about ten unique visitors, most of them people who, within the limits of Internet contact, I consider friends. A few stragglers come and go, but few linger.

This Blog.  I currently have around 900 subscribers, but I subscribe to only a few blogs. If I subscribe to your blog, know I intend to read it, not just browse it. When I tire of it, I will unsubscribe.

If I subscribe to your blog, I don’t expect you to subscribe to mine. If you subscribe to my blog, don’t expect me to subscribe to yours.

With very few exceptions, if I check out your blog and I see anything about thanking this or that god, invoking magical thinking, or mentioning anything I consider irrational and anti-science, I will, within reason, avoid all contact. I say ‘within reason’ but it’s a certainty, especially these days.

This is to protect you, not me. Meaning, you probably don’t want me challenging your cherished beliefs. Besides, contrary to what I once thought, there is zero benefit for me to attempt to educate, enlighten, or push anyone toward rational thinking. I tried it for more than forty years now, and I’ve grown weary of it.

Now, the above does not apply if you comment on my posts. Other than in extraordinary circumstances, I won’t be nasty, but I will be blunt. If you hold beliefs not anchored in reason and rationality and you express them on my blog, prepare to defend them because they will be challenged.

I say all that, and it sounds antagonistic . . . no; it’s just a fair warning; I’m old, I have little patience, and I am frank with my opinions. Some people don’t like that. If you are one of them, stay away.

Life in general.  I have a good life and I know it. I want to live the remaining of my life trying for the most part to enjoy it.  Broadly speaking this means spending time with my wife and living in a constant state of amazement and wonder.

I am not blind to the problems of the world, the suffering of literally billions, and to the gathering darkness.  I give to charity, I help others, I keep up with world events, and cast my small voice hither and fro to join other voices in opposition of bad stuff, and in support of good stuff.

But, make no mistake: my personal commitment has shifted to my own self and to my wife.  I don’t know how much longer we have.  Either or both of our lives could literally end tomorrow, and I aim to live what time I have left in a manner that will not cause me to have regrets later on, and to leave the small portion of the world I can influence better off for me having been here.  Or at least no worse off.

< < < < < < < < < < o o o o > > > > > > > > > > 

The Old-Old “About”

The following is the short bio I wrote for Slice of SciFi (I am listed as a reporter, but mostly I write opinion pieces).

My interests are as eclectic as they are numerous. Racquetball, photography, reading, shooting, traveling, eating, and writing are activities I enjoy, all the while stressing a lack of expertise in any particular one.

A refugee of the auto industry, I now live in sunny Colorado. Currently making little use of my engineering degree, I often wonder what might have been had I listened to the English professor who, in 1976, strongly suggested I switch my major from Engineering to English. Showing a remarkable lack of foresight, I opted to continue on the path to becoming a pretty good, but uninspired, Mechanical Engineer. But for that one decision, I could today be a little known writer, working for little money, and struggling to get some recognition.

That’s a nice generic description, but I figure I should add a little more about me and this blog because, you know, so many people care.

The name.  Disperser came about from our trip to Yellowstone a few years ago.  The wolf pictured on the header walked not 20 feet from me, and at the time I was not sure it was a wolf because I was not aware they traveled alone.  I then came across this definition:

Disperser – A wolf that leaves the pack and strikes out on its own.  Some of these “lone wolves” have no social territory, and they live on the fringes of established packs or in the areas where several territories come together. Their single status may make them vulnerable to malnutrition and to attacks by other wolves.  

This sounded familiar to me . . . it should because it’s an accurate description of my place in society.  I chose it as my blog name both because of the description, and because the other meaning of Disperser is to spread widely, or disseminate, and that’s what my aim is with the blog.  I want to spread my views, opinions, observations, photographs I like, and the fiction I write.  Of course, the “widely” part is not entirely accurate; I count on one hand the people who read my stuff.  

Political views.  I would say I am in the middle, but I am not.  On some things I am to the right, on some things I am to the left.  And even that is not accurate.  

For instance, just because I hold the view I should be able to own and carry a gun does not mean I am in the camp of typical guns proponents.  It does mean I am not a fan of anti-gun activists.

Abortion and gay marriage are not issues affecting me, so I don’t have strong feeling about the subjects themselves.  I do have strong feelings regarding people seeking to curtail or deny others the freedom of personal choice, so those two topics peripherally fall inside the circle of things I care about.  

In general my political views have a libertarian slant.  I am of the strong belief government should play a minimal role in the lives of people, especially since the majority of politicians appear and act as if they have been corrupted by the power they hold, and seduced by the easy money (meaning: bribes) associated with catering to special interest groups and corporations.

I have no illusion about either of the major party serving my needs or interests, and the smaller parties are often bat-shit crazies organized around simplistic and unrealistic agendas.  I vote based on what I believe will be least harmful to things I am interested in.

Religious Views.  I do not believe in gods.  I do not believe in mystical forces.  I do not believe in a universal intelligence.  I hold no belief in anything which violates what we know about the real world.

I was born into a Catholic family.  Around the age of 8 I started to ask questions about stuff that even at that tender age contradicted what I knew about the world.  I was told I was too young to understand, and eventually I would understand.  Eventually I did, but not the way they thought.  By 14 I told my parents I did not want to go to mass, confession, or have communion.  I remember them not being happy (my uncle, recently deceased, was a priest all his life).   At the time I did not know about atheism, skepticism, and all them other isms.

Through my teens there were still times I wanted to believe in something, so beginning in my late teens and into my twenties I look into other religions, beliefs, etc.  I am kind when I say I found them lacking.  Back then I firmly believed people should educate themselves about their own religion and about competing religious views.  I believed if they did, they would soon realize the emperor indeed has no clothes.  I was naive.  People resist challenges to their beliefs, even becoming more entrenched as problems with their belief system are pointed out to them.

These days my concern goes back to that personal choice and freedom thing.  Unfortunately religion is at the base of nearly every attack on personal freedom.  So religion and I are often at odds.

I think people can believe, worship, and live to whatever cockamamie creation story, wacked-out god, and spiritual force they choose.  The moment they start to actively pursue a course aimed at having others conform to their self-determined rules, is the moment I raise my voice in opposition.

This, of course, is a simplistic summary.  Individual issues are a lot more complex than can be examined here, but in general if one person seeks to infringe on the rights of another based on religious beliefs, they are greatly diminished in my eyes.

And if a person refuses to constantly challenge what they believe in, I have little respect for them.  As one might imagine, I have few friends.

Life in general.  I am 58 years of age as I write this.  I am tired.  I want to live the remaining of my life trying for the most part to enjoy it.  Broadly speaking this means spending time with my wife and living in a constant state of amazement and wonder.

I am not blind to the problems of the world, the suffering of literally billions, and to the gathering darkness.  I give to charity, I help others, I keep up with what is happening, and cast my small voice hither and fro to join other voices in opposition of bad stuff, and support of good stuff.

But my personal commitment is slowly shifting to my own self and to my wife.  I don’t know how much longer we have.  Either or both of our lives could literally end tomorrow, and I aim to live what time I have left in a manner that will not cause me to have regrets later on, and so as to leave the small portion of the world I can influence better off for me having been here.  Or at least no worse off.