Re: temporal leave-taking (was leaving religion and changing beliefs (I share my own experiences))

From: phil osborn (
Date: Sat Jun 24 2000 - 21:49:47 MDT

>From: "altamira" <>
>Subject: temporal leave-taking (was leaving religion and changing beliefs
>(I share my own experiences))
>Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 20:12:33 -0500
>When I visit cities with subways I like to get on and pick stops at random,
>go up & walk around. I love not having any idea what sort of neighborhood
>I'll find myself in (there are those who would say this is dangerous, but
>the only times I've ever been attacked by another human have been times
>I was in "good" neighborhoods--maybe because I let my guard down in the
You've been very lucky. Not that I don't try the same sort of thing when I
have the time, but there have been times when I was definitely in real
physical danger. (Sometimes I imagine that there really are infinite
parallel universes, and, of that infinity, the only one left in which I have
actually survived all the many times of extreme physical peril is the one
I'm in now.)

The last extropy meeting I attended, some years ago, I ran out of gas on the
freeway - there was an intermitent clog in my reserve fuel line - managed to
coast/limp off in a bad area of East L.A., and just made it to a gas station
about a half mile off the freeway in what appeared to be a bombed-out, post
nuclear war neighborhood, with not a person in sight except for the little
crew at the station. It was late at night, and a whole crew of ghouls had
gathered in the gas station lot. A Vietnamese-looking old guy ran the
little armored blockhouse where you paid, secure - except perhaps from fire
bombing - behind four inches of bullet proof glass, complete with pock

One of the locals, a filthy black woman who weighed at least 350 pounds
insisted on pumping my gas - for cash, of course. She had no idea,
naturally, of how to gas a motorcycle. While I was arguing with her about
that, trying to force her to relinquish my gas hose, because of the delays,
my pump cut off, and it took a major effort to convince the Vietnamese guy
to turn it back on. He was contemptuous and insulting, asking me if I had
never pumped gas before, and I imagine he got a cut of the action there.

Meanwhile, some of the other surrounding ghouls managed to steal my second
helmet and some papers off the back of the bike. I'm sure that this was all
a team effort. If I were not somewhat physically intimidating, I doubt I
would have gotten out of there at all.

I've had other experiences almost as bad, almost always in the low-income
black areas of L.A., where I used to provide computer systems to home
schoolers and do volunteer tutoring at a black school. You know that you
are totally on your own there as a white person.
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