This blog contains effusive rhetoric and profligate diatribes. Read at your own risk.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Caste the First Stone

The Hindu caste system tends to give most of us Americans (and members of other Western cultures influenced by American ideology) a serious case of the crawlies; we like to believe that we are free to define ourselves, and the idea of being born into a social stratum seriously ticks us off. As it should; being restricted to the circumstances of one's birth, with no opportunity to earn elevation, is a massive injustice that no right-thinking human being should stand for. However, a caste system is capable of existing without such hereditary assumptions. As a utopian philosopher, I have reason to believe that our society could benefit from an acknowledgment of the fact that people are different and don't deserve to all be treated exactly the same; what's kindness to one may be oppression to another. As long as a caste system gives one the freedom to choose which caste one occupies, even if it's not as simple as just saying "I'm an X now", so long as there's some sort of mobility possible to provide free choice, and account for the fact that people change over time, these castes could be nothing more than a series of guidelines for how people have chosen to define themselves.

There are some people who enjoy following orders, and others that like to lead and blaze trails, and still others that shun social entanglements altogether. None of these is a wrong way to live; they all deserve to be supported. This is only one of dozens of layers that a sufficiently advanced caste system would need to account for in order to begin to represent humanity's full diversity. Those who crave stability should be organized into hierarchies, while those who desire freedom of expression should be given a free range in which to work.

To put all this into motion, two things are required - access to accurate and complete information about the world's resources, including human ones; and sufficiently sophisticated tools for analyzing an individual's personality and preferences, so as to protect against both that individual's own biases and the possibility of administrative overbearance (I think that's a word). When we have the capacity to accurately understand ourselves, classify ourselves in a fashion that never underestimates our importance or restricts us from being anything we deserve to be, and also know how many people of each type there are and how many roles exist for them to fill, we can begin to create a system of actual justice where people are free to be what they were meant to be.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Well Shoot, What Do We Do Now?

There's an old truism that runs "When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail." What do you think happens when all you have is a gun?

We live in a country that's founded on freedom, so naturally that means we have the freedom to go around splattering each other's brains on the wall, right? What about the freedom to go out in public and NOT have to worry that someone is going to find the slightest excuse to splatter our brains on the wall? If everyone has guns, whoever's fastest on the draw is free to loot the corpses. Whoever's most unflinching, most coldly and calculatingly willing to hold a gun to your head, take your own gun away, and have you at their mercy, will be free to do anything they want to you, just because they had a fraction of a second of extra warning that you were there before you spotted them. Guns make murder easy, and the threat of murder even easier.

Guns make it possible for people to kill who have not earned that power (whether there is any kind of killing power that is earned, guns certainly aren't it). Guns make it possible for the tiniest slip of the tongue to become fatal. Someone cuts you off in traffic? Blow their brains out. Someone's looking at your girlfriend? Shoot 'em in the balls. Boss passes you over for a promotion? Shoot everyone in your office who had the nerve to be better at their job than you. No matter how stable and well-adjusted a person is, they get angry sometimes, and if they have a gun in their hand, one second of anger is all it takes to initiate a killing spree. Which, once it's started, might as well continue, because they've ruined their life and are going to die or land in jail anyway, so heck, why not up the body count, since it just takes one extra squeeze of the finger to get rid of another person they don't like. And all this is aside from the issue of accidents. They say an armed society is a polite society; I say pleasantries extracted through the threat of murder aren't really polite.

They also say that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns, and this much is true. So outlawing guns isn't really the solution. Not unless you outlaw the manufacture of guns. Not unless you police the entire world and carefully monitor the flow of resources necessary to make guns. You know, kind of the way we do for nuclear weapons. Nukes enable a few people to kill a lot of people, and guns are only slightly smaller in scale. Perhaps we ought to consider treating anything that can enable one person to kill two as serious as we do nukes and biological weapons. Perhaps we ought to try and shut down the entire weapons industry, which believe it or not could be done through peaceful means, just by refusing to sell food to anyone whose money has blood on it.

Or perhaps we should take the opposite tack, and instead of trying to stop guns from existing, just try to stop them from being useful. What would it take to make truly bulletproof armor? Can science find a way to invent padding which absorbs and redirects the kinetic energy of a bullet, so it just stops when it reaches the perimeter of your being, falls harmlessly to the ground without transfering the force of the blow and knocking you over? Could that armor then be made light and flexible enough to make into normal clothes, maybe even little helmets? Heck, maybe we'll accidentally make a cheaper and better space-suit in the process. I think this is a good research project all around.

Or maybe, just maybe, we could make the use of guns undesireable by actually educating people, indoctrinating them if need be, to understand intuitively and unquestioningly that violence is NEVER a solution, NEVER acceptible under any circumstances. Seems to me a fellow named Gandhi got pretty good results with an approach like that.

Whatever we need to do, it isn't to inform the rest of the world that they can pry America's guns from its cold, dead hands. Because they might just decide that this is a reasonable prerequisite, and proceed to complete the deal.

(Obligatory memetic exemplification of that last sentence.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Play Giarism To Win!

One of the greatest metal bands in American history, in my not-so-humble opinion, is the legendary Metallica; I recently picked up one of their old CDs which I hadn't previously owned, the cover album "Garage, Inc.". Listening to it, and then reading the insert which details the origin of each song, I was surprised to discover that many of Metallica's most famous hits, songs that were on the radio for the first time when I was getting into rock music originally in the mid- to late-nineties, were in fact created by bands I had never heard of. I found myself wondering (and Tweeting) whether those bands, who languished in obscurity while songs they wrote came to be considered among Metallica's bannerpieces, were honored to have been immortalized to an extent they couldn't manage on their own, or pissed that someone else was succeeding with works that should have belonged to them. I'm inclined to guess the former is more likely, since to my knowledge none of these bands ever slapped Metallica with a lawsuit and thus I'm guessing legal permission was obtained for each of the covers they wanted to do. But ultimately, it's entirely possible that neither Metallica nor the bands they borrowed from even bothered to involve the law; they might have just been musicians hanging out and jamming, swapping their creations to see who could make them sing, the way artists less famous often do without having to get a bunch of lawyers arguing over the outcome.

It is often the case that what one has made, another can make better. We should never be afraid to let people copy each other's works, so long as the sincere flatterer's version is clearly labeled to ensure it is not confused with the original. Being the first to achieve something is worthy of regard, but so is recognizing quality in older works and bringing a new touch of genius to them. If the new version is better, it could not have existed without the first, so each retains a distinction in its favor. And if the new version is less good, it still offers an alternative which everyone benefits from the ability to choose from.

The abolition of intellectual property laws is an axe I never tire of grinding; I want to see a day dawn when everyone who wants to listen to a song can, and anyone who wants to try their hand at recording their own version of that song and publishing it can, and the original artist is flattered for all the attention and glad to have made so many people happy and gotten them to take an interest, and a bunch of small-minded lawyers and economists don't get in the way of this interaction between artist and audience. A grubby, pragmatic, ultimately meaningless thing like money should never come between the human race and a richer range of choices in how to enjoy our lives - and the small-mindedness that leads to control-freak tendencies, which might object to this much free expression, is a virus in our collective consciousness which we're overdue to inoculate ourselves against. It is time for the human race to grow up, stop playing games of mean-spirited greed, and recognize what truly matters in our lives. Put down your writ of injunction, your cease-and-desist letter, your lucrative but frivolous lawsuit; join the party and rock on, because in the immortal words of the band itself, "Nothing Else Matters".

Monday, December 20, 2010

How To Invent Your Own Religion

I have faith in a higher reality, but I will be the first to admit that I have absolutely no sane or sensible reason for believing in it, and even I don't do so at all times without question; I am simply easily reconvinced. Others without that advantage are not to be blamed.

I am witness to the higher truths of a better reality, truths such as "all human beings should be equally happy, according to their unequal definitions, and should all increase that happiness constantly at an equal rate". I travel around to spread this word (via the Internet, a convenient transportation system in that it avoids the need to haul a bunch of biological cargo around with youself), telling my Truth to everyone who I can get to listen, in the hopes that every once in a while, one of them will see the virtue in what I say. That most will not is no great surprise; if it was easily understood, I wouldn't need to say it because everyone would already know. But even if never in my life do I actually cause anyone to see the light, I can go to my grave knowing I gave it my best try, and thereby rest content.

The Divine has appointed us a mandate to break down the barriers imposed on us by nature; the way things are has brought us into being, but we must now do away with it.

You don't need to know a person's whole life story to call them a friend, and you don't need to know the totality of God in order to worship him. The different religions almost always extol humility as a virtue, yet they're almost never willing to admit that God might be too complex for them to understand him fully.

I understand faith; I have a kind of it myself. But it's important to remember that faith is like any other feeling a person has - it's true and meaningful to them, but sometimes it can steer them wrong if they don't fully understand it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Poor-Me Rant

I want to live a lavish lifestyle; there's too much fun to be had in the world for spending a couple thousand bucks a month on enjoying oneself to be an unreasonable wish. And I am sick and tired of seeing society starve for cash because a bunch of lawyers and realtors and advertising execs, not satisfied with simply cheating customers out of money in exchange for doing basically nothing, also squat on their treasure hordes like nesting dragons, refusing to spend a single penny on anything but status symbols to prove how extravagant they are. I could have a million dollars and still dress the way I do, live in a three-room apartment, and go everywhere on the bus. Yet am I permitted to save up my spare cash and go on a vacation now and again? No, because a bunch of spoiled fatcats have decided they're entitled to my mad money so they can pay country club dues or buy an Armani suit. What must it take to bring some joy and enlightenment to this world of stifling mundanity?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Genius and Folly of Comic Book Naming

I make no secret of the fact that I have a deep and abiding love for the superhero genre of comic books (I say it this way in a futile attempt to get this country to finally remember that there were about one and a half decades in the 20th century when comic books consisted mostly of Westerns and romance stories with barely a superhero in sight). The idea of "right makes might" and "power begets responsibility" that lies at the heart of most superhero tales has always appealed to my sensibilities, and I rank the very finest superhero tales (mostly those written by Alan Moore and Kurt Busiek) among the true classics of modern literature. But while there are hundreds of great superhero tales, there are thousands of bad ones, and even the finest epics usually contain a few groanworthy nods to the long term fans...those who fell in love with comics during an age when it had never occurred to anyone that they should be taken seriously or make any kind of realistic sense.

All of which is a longwinded and excessively highfalutin' way of saying that a whole lot of the stuff in comics of superhero stripe is just plain silly, and indeed many fans even more hardcore than me (the well is deep) point out that half the fun of being a comic-book grognard is mocking the absurdities and abominations that the publishers used to (and still often do) get away with.

For example, let's consider this handsome fellow:

This is Black Bolt, an acquaintance of the Fantastic Four who somehow has not yet managed to make it into a movie with Jessica Alba. It might have something to do with the fact that he's also the king of a race of what would certainly be regarded today as mutants, had Marvel not already decided upon a specific in-universe meaning for that once-obscure word. So instead, Blackie's people are known cleverly as "Inhumans", and he is their leader (or at least has been for most of the 40-odd years since he was written into being; I have no idea whether he's still in charge as of the current storyline, but either way I think that what's been true for longer than my lifetime should be considered a reasonable assumption overall).
So my point in bringing Bolty here up is to highlight an aspect of the character more interesting to non-fanboys (and occasional -girls) than his incredible sonic power or the dramatic history between his deranged megalomaniac brother and his girlfriend who does that thing with her hair. This most salient fact is Mr. Bolt's "real" name, for he wasn't always the Inhuman king, once he was just another powerless infant citizen of Inhumania, having not yet earned any powers (or, as far as I know, a costume, though who knows what passes for toddlers' fashion in a regime willing to go by such a name), let alone a "totally radical" codename. So what did the parents of the future Black Bolt decide to name their then-ordinary child?


Holy crap, that's Inhuman alright. I mean the worst thing about this name is that it sounds so almost-cool that I kinda hate to make fun of it, but it nonetheless marks young Master Boltagon Esquire as a textbook suffererer of RANS (Ridiculously Appropriate Nomenclature Syndrome). This condition is also known as Edward Nygma's Disease, in memory of the unfortunate young man whose parents' decision to call their little boy E. Nygma was undoubtedly a factor in his decision later in life to embark on a career of brainteaser-centric crime as the nefarious Riddler; had the Nygmas gone with Robert as a name, Gotham might be just a little safer today. And while Black Bolt's name doesn't precisely appoint him a destiny in the same fashion, it nonetheless comes across as being clearly ridiculous in a manner that weakens the reader's suspension of disbelief that much faster. We can accept the physically impossible easily enough in a fictional context, but the socially unreasonable bothers us, because we know it to be applicable not only to the character but to those responsible for writing him.

RANS is a recurring affliction which is endemic among a huge percentage of the superhero population. It afflicts heroes (Doctor Steven Strange, the flaming Ghost Rider who was born Johnny Blaze, or John Henry Irons aka Steel), villains (besides Riddler, famous sufferers include Victor Von Doom, mad scientist Thomas Oscar Morrow, and perhaps most famously, Otto Octavius, who has four pairs of limbs), innocent bystanders, love interests, sidekicks, and even cities or countries. There is some justification for the latter, of course, as many geographical regions are named for a salient local feature - Iceland for its ice, Greenland for its green ice, Finland for the fins on the tips of its mermaid citizens' tails, and America for the ickiness of its native Amers. But sooner or later, when an entire book is filled with nations named Evilstan and Crueltonia, you have to start asking yourself why the local chamber of commerce has never hired a consulting firm to help them improve their image. And it's even worse when you see it happening to people; it'd be strange enough to have a guy named Cal F. Ornia living in the Golden State, but if we were living in a comic book he'd be a shoo-in for the governor's office.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


We are all flawed, fallible, and not to be trusted, and we are also all spectacular, irreplaceable, and capable of untold wonders. This suggests that the best thing to do is to keep us in gilded cages, happily playing and doodling and telling stories, while something that lacks our frailties does all the work of keeping us alive and imprisoned until we grow the fuck up enough to actually run the world, instead of just running it into the ground. As long as we are twitchy, narrow-minded, and lazy, as long as we are forced to compete over limited resources and tempted to kill each other over doctrinal disagreements, as long as we can't control ourselves, preserve our world, or protect each other, we do not deserve to be masters of our own destiny. We should always crave freedom, but we should have to earn it, not simply seize it when no one is stopping us. Our lives are not to be squandered by hatred or fear; our uniqueness must not be snuffed out through intolerance or misfortune; we must have a world which protects us, even if it can only do so by fossilizing us. Better to have the possibility of a perfect life someday, even if someday never arrives, rather than the actuality of a lousy one right now which is the only one we'll ever get. Let the Matrix come true, and let us wait a thousand years for Neo to show up; I say we deserve it.

You may thank racist cops and rigged juries for this post; that's what's got me in a sour mood today. Every time I try to exalt in humanity's potential, I am ground down by the millstone of our depressing actuality. When will Superman come impose his iron rule upon us for our own good? When will the aliens put us in our kennel and housebreak us? How much longer are we to be trapped like six billion rats in just one cage, up to our eyeballs in our own filth, scratching and biting at each other out of hunger and rage and paranoia? Why must we wake to a nightmare every time our dreams fade away? I say let it end; let it all end, and let us be judged by what we wished we could have done, rather than what we were forced to actually do.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Considering that I have a profound dislike for nearly all pop, rap, hip-hop, rhythm & blues, country, folk, bluegrass, gospel, swing, and big band (not to mention relegating jazz and classical to the status of elevator muzak), my musical tastes are surprisingly eclectic. If I were to map my musical favorites by similarity a la Pandora (something I am constantly doing with slightly easier-to-analyze subjects in a somewhat haphazard fashion, using Second Life as my 3D modeling tool for the purpose), the central "cloud" would be almost entirely hard rock and heavy metal, but on the periphery, you'd find such dissimilar choices as the following:

* In Extremo
* Kid Rock
* Frank Zappa
* Leslie Fish
* Megumi Hayashibara
* Natacha Atlas

And that only scratches the surface. It's worth taking a moment just to be in awe of how vast and diverse the musical field has become just within my lifetime, especially when you consider that as little as 200 years ago, it was highly unusual for most people to have any music at all in their life, unless it was their own folk singing or a local church choir. Little wonder that music and religion were closely tied together for so long; if you had never known music at all, it would have a pretty profound effect on you when you heard it for the first time. And all these years later, it's still used widely as a propaganda tool - how many movies have you gone to see in large part because of awesome music in the trailer?

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but it's definitely impressive.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Piecemeal Perfection

A good way to create a really impressive work of art is for one artist to paint in broad strokes and create a general outline of what he wants, then pass the work off to a bunch of other artists who each detail one section according to plan. Because each artist wants to prove his workmanship and has only this little area of a canvas on which to do it, he is motivated to do his very best work, to add a lot of individual touches to the work which wouldn't have been there if the original artist was grudgingly completing a project that he was only excited to start. As long as all the artists' efforts are properly coordinated, they can all achieve a common goal of excellence by working separately. This is why group efforts fail - they do not maximize the individuality of the groups' members.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Economic Pinch

Life in America has been getting steadily worse for years, and the only way it's ever going to get any better is if we pour money into improving it. Allow me to humbly suggest that we get this money by squeezing the greedy, arrogant fatcats that ruined the nation in the first place. Let's stop treating people who give themselves a $50M raise as if they deserve human rights; they should be subject to mandatory donations of a percentage of their ill-gotten gains, which will amount to "one less ivory backscratcher" on their budget but will make a noticeable difference down where actual people are living and barely scraping by. There are ethical arguments against doing this; I say they do not matter. The time is now for the purveyors of greed to pay us our pound of flesh, and be thankful we do not alter the deal further.

The Root of All Evil? (with disclaimer for other entries)

Money is power, and power tends to corrupt. People have killed for money; anything that can drive human beings to murder each other does not deserve to be powerful.

How can we deprive money of its power? Simply put, by doing something that we should be doing anyway - eliminate scarcity. Money is powerful because it can be exchanged for scarce resources; if no scarce resources (including less-tangible resources such as labor) existed, money would be worth nothing, and those who have killed for it would receive no reward for their unjustifiable act.

That, then, is what humanity must achieve. We must possess infinite wealth, so that wealth loses all meaning, all power to compel unconscionable acts. For if we will take a life to possess that which is meaningless, then life itself is meaningless, as the act of exchange proves. We couldn't trade money for food if food wasn't worth more than money, and we couldn't trade life for money if life wasn't worth less. Therefore, if life is to mean something, money must not.

Join me now in an effort to discover ways of exterminating the limitation of worldly resources.

(Disclaimer: This and a few other ranty-toned posts from last year or earlier are evidence that I have been less mentally stable at some points in my history than is desireable; I've made much progress gettting ahold of myself since then, and I'm going to be more careful about writing things like this in future. So for now please take these old messages with a grain of salt.)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mars (aka Ares) Attacks

Nobody starts a war just because they want to kill someone; that kind of psychosis can happen in individuals, but not an entire nation, since hundreds or thousands or millions of people like that can't stop killing each other long enough to form a civilization. Practically every war in history owes to one of two causes: Nation A had some resources, usually land, which Nation B wanted, or Nation A had an ideology that it thought was so awesome that everyone who was anyone would agree it was the only way to believe, and thus felt anyone who didn't agree to it was a dangerous maniac to be killed in the name of the believers' long-term safety and comfort.

The first problem could be solved easily enough by providing limitless resources so every nation had everything it could possibly need, but the latter is trickier; convincing people not to be paranoid about the chance that your neighbors will turn on you 5000 years from now because you didn't force them to like you today will take a stupendous act of defiance against the human capacity for illogic.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Evaluating: The Great Secret

There is a hidden truth inherent in the process of valuation; as we human beings decide what we like or dislike, and how much so, and for what specific reasons, we are doing something dramatically important on a cosmic scale. What, exactly, I am not yet sure, but I feel very strongly that this is the purpose of our existence, that six billion years of stars exploding and forming into balls of rock is not as important as the reasons why people decide they like one thing more or less than another. We must carefully study our judgmental tendencies, figuring out why it is that we choose to like a particular song by an artist we normally hate, why we condemn a sport out of distaste for its fans rather than for the game itself, or what makes a person gradually grow to love a television show they once hated out of love for a partner who enjoys the show. Somewhere in the process of figuring out why we like certain things or dislike others, we will discover the underlying truths of the human condition, the true reason why not only our species, but anything at all, exists.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Right or Wrong, Dead or Alive

There is absolutely no statement that every human being will agree to, but pretty nearly the closest we can get is "I don't want to die". Therefore, the wish to avoid death can perhaps best be regarded as the beginning of a system of ethics.

The way I see it, there are two main methods of trying to ensure another human being does not kill you (avoiding natural-world-originated death is a separate issue which I won't get into for now), which I refer to as the Proscriptive and Personal methods. The Personal method is about making yourself into something that others will not wish to kill - either being so sweet and wonderful that nobody would want to hurt you, or such a massive badass that nobody would dare try. Those people who can't manage to be that pleasant or that deadly are thus left with no real alternative but to rely on the Proscriptive method - make it against the law to kill people, and harshly punish anyone who breaks the law. Therefore, people who are in favor of the law are usually in this same middle ground between Mother Theresa and Jean-Claude Van Damme, although not all adhere to the same set of laws.

That then keys into new difficulties when following the wrong set of laws itself becomes a risk of being killed.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recipie for an Ideal Universe, and an old observation of mine

Step 1: Proliferate unto infinite diversity.

Step 2: Refine unto absolute perfection.

Step 3: Repeat ad infinitum.


It is a terrible burden we bear in this reality - we must imagine that everything is possible, while achieving very little. We must see every Paradise we can imagine, yet be able to live in none of them, for to achieve one is to abandon its opposite. We must remain between them all, so that we may see them all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Pressure Cooker

I have a personal mantra to the effect that "There is no such thing as too much of anything, only too little of something else". For example, it's not that there are too many people in the world, it's that there's too little space for them. That said, the Earth doesn't seem to be getting any bigger, so until we learn to launch artificial habitats into space, our ever-growing population is a serious obstacle to our creating a better world. As long as the surface area of the world is finite, as long as we can't build homes under the earth or beyond the sky or at the bottom of the sea, as long as we keep fouling the surface with oil and garbage and toxic byproducts to further decrease our available land, and as long as two-parent couples continue to have five-child families, we are squeezing ourselves into ever-decreasing quarters until we will inevitably explode like a boiler whose pressure is never released. The only alternative is to drastically reduce population, even more than we're currently doing it with things like the Afghan war and the Mexican drug conflict, and I for one would rather not have that much blood on our hands before we figure out a better solution.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blessed Madness Revisited

I am firmly convinced both that I am insane, and that I'm living proof that insanity isn't all bad and doesn't always need to be cured. Our society likes to bend over backwards to help people with physical or mental issues live as best they can; I think that crazy people are at least as qualified for such assistance as the blind, deaf, mentally retarded, wheelchair-bound, chronically ill, or any other such group. (There is of course the Darwinian argument that all of these are weaknesses that should be purged from the gene pool, but I'm very thoroughly not a fan of such logic.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Life, the Universe and Nothing

A lot of "normal" people don't seem to have much of a grip on the fact that life is hard; just getting out of bed in the morning (or afternoon, or middle of the night) is an epic victory over the force of Oblivion to which Life exists in eternal opposition. Expecting us to actually do anything with our lives is blatantly unrealistic; the only thing that's reasonable to ask is that we try to enjoy ourselves and not cause misery to others, anything else is nice if we can manage it but isn't worth busting our hump over. Most people are so busy living their life that they don't think about what "life" is, having never been exposed to the alternative, and those who make grand plans for the destiny of the future or whatever forget that there's a bigger battle to be won every single day - the battle against despair, where we fight to prove that life is worth continuing to go to the effort of living.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Feeling Anarchistic Today

Don't think for a moment that the law is on your side. Whoever you are, whatever your issue is - the law is not your friend. If it is doing you any favors, it is because YOU agree with IT, not the other way around. The law is not put in place by people who care about other people; it is put into place by control freaks who dislike the world and think it needs to be beaten into submission. The police are there to punish criminals, not to prevent crimes; the army is there not to protect this country but to subjugate any other country that we think we can get away with attacking without inviting more reprisals than we can deal with. People who are nice and caring and decent human beings DO NOT ATTAIN POSITIONS OF POWER. Your leaders are in charge because they lied, cheated and stole their way to the top; that is the only way to succeed in our society. They write the laws to protect and further empower themselves; you, one of the Common People, have nothing to do with it. Why is this thing legal and that thing isn't? It has nothing to do with right or wrong, or Prohibition would never have been repealed. When their own government tried to stop people from drinking themselves to death, people turned to criminals to meet that need for self-destruction; that right there tells us all we need to know. Stop pretending that the structure of society exists for the benefit of the majority - it is the villains which rule this world, and the system was created to ensure that never changes. People in positions of power are still people, they're only human, and if they weren't corrupt to begin with, they get that way fast. Anyone who thinks they have the right to dictate policy to the rest of the human race, in spite of the patently obvious fact that they are themselves no better than those they're trying to control, is not to be trusted. (And yes, that includes myself. I plan to run for president some day, so remember not to vote for me.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Differently Labeled

George Carlin has a great bit about the tendency of American English to disintegrate into euphemisms over time, as confrontational terms are replaced with gentler alternatives which disguise the truth of the matter and lead to pretentious assumptions. As an example, he points out the replacements of terms like "crippled" or "handicapped" with "those in need of special assistance", "the differently abled", or even "the Physically Challenged!" As he is quick to remind us, changing the name of the condition doesn't change the condition; all it does is enable us to ignore it more easily. "The CIA doesn't kill anybody; they 'neutralize' people. The government doesn't lie, it 'engages in disinformation'. Poor people used to live in slums; now 'the economically disadvantaged occupy substandard housing'." Such evasions, he claims and I largely agree, only serve to disguise injustices, offer false comfort for true problems that would be better met head-on, and generally contribute to the climate of hypocrisy and neuroticism that is rife in America today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The High Cost of Living Well

I am uniquely privileged to be one of the few people in this world who can put a finger on exactly how much their happiness (defined as "a contented existence"; some would argue true happiness requires more than this, but for me it sounds good enough) would cost to achieve. I have discovered the one thing in life which I want more than any other single thing, an experience so pleasing to me that a day when I have had it is all but guaranteed to be a good day by my definition, and have calculated how much it would cost me to do it every single day. Adding that result to a modest cost-of-living estimate, I have come up with a dollar figure about twice what I'm earning now, at the job I wish I worked half as many hours and days a week at as I actually do. Ergo, I can construe that my ideal existence will be possible as soon as I can arrange to quadruple my income; this is a more or less achievable goal over the long term, and thus I have hope that I may one day be able to fulfill my minimal requirement for peace of mind.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kill Your Idols (It's a Static X Song Title, Chill Out)

As much as we're inclined to tribalize around our shared preferences for a writer, an artist, a musician, a politician, or a cult leader, the truth is that interest is not the same of affiliation. Beware of assuming that someone who shares your likes and dislikes is actually alike with you; there are assholes in every population, including the ones that you also happen to belong to. The presence of assholes in a group doesn't indicate that there's something wrong with the group, nor does the presence of saintly souls redeem a group from all its collective misdeeds. Keep this in mind when you turn to some role model for guidance and seek to emulate their ideology.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lights, Camera, Inaction

The entertainment industry is pioneered by visionaries but ruled by tinpot tyrants. Studio executives are small-minded, uncreative twerps who are terrified of taking chances and eager to take advantage of the stupid and easily manipulated. They are the only ones who have the cash to bankroll movies, but they got that cash by manipulating people, and they plan to manipulate people more to earn it back; creating a masterwork of historic impact is too risky for them.

There are many movies which have literally changed my life. "The Neverending Story" taught me at an early age that the imagination was the difference between life and death; "Star Wars" came along not much later and showed me Good triumphing over Evil because destiny was on its side. "Independence Day" may have been my first serious glimpse of the idea that existence was fragile, and during my rebellious teen years, "The Matrix" taught me to doubt the reality of that which lies before my eyes. Most recently, James Cameron's "Avatar" is not only a feast for the senses but a profound exploration of the question of identity. These are the masterworks of the field, but they are only the exceptional percent of a percent; for every work of genius, there are a thousand cheap, corny knockoffs that exist only to make money, and they take up space and time (to say nothing of money and energy) which distracts from the worthy works. It varies exactly how much I am bothered by that fact; sometimes I can accept it as a necessary evil, while other times I feel like crying out for revolution.

I have only scratched the surface of this topic; expect to hear a lot more about the sacred deceptions of Hollywood and my many joys and sorrows relating to them.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Superman For President

It has long been fashionable in our society to judge people, to dismiss them as unsalvageable, to condemn them and punish them for deeds we view as incorrect; such punishment only widens the rift which separates them from society and motivates their misdeeds. This must end; we must cease to punish and begin to correct instead. Let us abandon untenable ideas about free will and laissez-faire which do not function in the world as it exists; all people can behave in an ideal, enlightened fashion, but not if they're given the option to do otherwise. As long as humans are free to choose, they will make bad choices. That is why the choice must be taken away from them, not by other humans, but by a super-human.

All that is needed to overturn our current, imperfect status quo is a single perfect being, one miraculous individual who possesses absolute wisdom, flawless compassion, and the power to single-handedly dethrone the self-appointed kings of the world, who climbed to power on a mountain of corpses by spinning a web of lies to support themselves. Our unseen masters have engineered the world to support their way of being, their selfish and contentious paradigm in which the weak feed upon the weak so that they may never rise up to tear down the strong. This must not stand; the world itself must rise up and demand an ends to the Darwinism of the world.

We have been indoctrinated to believe that it is the only way; breaking that programming will not be taking our freedom away, but granting it to us again - the freedom to do as we should, instead of as we're told.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mental Health

It is no accident that I named this blog as I did; I have always felt that my neuroses were a gift, that they were the source of my uniqueness and ability to see beyond the boundaries of life as we know it. However, those who walk around with their head in the clouds have a habit of stubbing toes and falling off cliffs; I hit such an impediment recently and have officially decided that I need some medicine and/or therapy to take the edge off some of my more debilitating conditions. Ultimately, my insights into possible higher realities and ways of exploring them, either with our imaginations or through miraculous technological advancement, do little good if I am so thoroughly paralyzed by the miseries of my day-to-day existence that I am never able to actually work on organizing my thoughts into some sort of coherent useful structure. An aversion to structure and an aversion to medicine have been parts of who I felt I was in the past, but for the first time I'm aware of, I have deliberately rather than subconsciously opted to discard these notions and try to steer the direction of my personal evolution toward something slightly easier to live with. If this experiment does produce a notable diminution in my creative or imaginative abilities, then I will worry about figuring out how to keep the two in balance; for now, my long-standing assumption that mundanity would take a mile if I gave it an inch has proved itself too much not-fun for me to maintain it any more. I believe I shall still be equally blessed by madness even after I've discarded one or two relatively boring components of my neurosis; the idea that they were all inextricably interlinked no longer rings true to me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Seething Over Corporatism

Corporations are not entitled to have a self-preservation right; a company that serves society as best it can while still surviving has not yet given as much as it must. Groups and collectives of individuals do not have the rights that those individuals themselves do; they exist only because society permits them to, and I say that they have a moral imperative to exist only for society's benefit. A company's profits should always be reinvested in the company to make it better able to serve its customers; the executives are entitled to only as much money as the actual work they do would indicate. That our society fails to recognize this basic truth, and continues to allow robber barons to "buy the rights" to something and rake in obscene amounts of cash for the hard work of legions of minions - it infuriates me. That these people are criminals and thieves is so absurdly obvious that I can't believe there aren't thousands of people lining up for the opportunity to shoot them. Why does it seem that only I have a moral center, that I seem to be the only person who wants things to be different?

For the moment, I still have enough common sense to realize the answer: I am not the only person who wants things to be different, there are many people who feel exactly as I do, and who fail to put their money where their mouth is exactly as I do. I'm not willing to trade my life for that of some fatcat who hurts the world just by existing; ergo, I am in no position to ask anyone else to do so either. My frustration is understandable, but impossible to act upon in any reasonable or realistic way.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kill Your Fear of Death!

One of the most dominant factors of my recent life has been my association with a tiny Internet message board that about 20 people in the entire world have ever heard of. It started when I was on the official forums for the card game Magic: the Gathering, which I have played for 15 years and discussed on its forums for the past 6 of them; I got tired of having several posts of mine to those forums deleted for being too controversial and breaking the impossibly vague Terms of Service of that site, calling the non-democratic nature of message board softare into focus and making me feel that my freedom of speech had been sacrificed on an altar of other people's squeamishness and the company's fear of a frivolous lawsuit or the like. One of the posters on the boards who I had occasionally encountered, a woman who I will call "Nancy" to protect her real name and forum identifier, had decided to learn HTML at the time, and was apparently also getting tired of the Magic forums, though for a different reason. So to further her web-design education, she started a forum, and invited me and about 10 other people from the Magic forums to join it. There, we would be free to swear, make crude jokes, impugn the company's good name, and flame each other as much as we could handle (several of us had been branded trolls on the Magic forums, myself included, although I never wanted the arguments that I unintentionally created, so if I was a troll it was not on purpose).

So for the past year or so, I've been on "Nancy's" forum, and in that time, we've disagreed often, and with increasing strenuousness. She has known this whole time that one of my hot-button issues is the deletion of my forum posts, and until recently, even when we were in the deepest strife and hated each other's guts thoroughly, she never threatened to do that to me. But apparently, I just hadn't pushed hard enough; recently, I finally did, crossed one line too many and had her threaten to do exactly this. Whenever we would disagree severely, I would try to take a conciliatory tone and behave myself to avoid further aggravating her, because I was afraid to lose access to the forum and the record of my presence there.

But finally, this last time, I got so sick of her my-way-or-the-highway attitude (perfectly justified since she was the one doing the work of running the forum, but just because it's fair and logical doesn't mean I have to like it) that I decided I didn't even care if she deleted my profile and all my posts; I had fought so hard to avoid this miniature virtual "death", for so long, that it was liberating to finally accept the possibility of it happening because I was too tired of trying to avoid it. Those who have read a certain graphic novel, or watched the movie adapted from it over the writer's objections, will recall that the main plot twist of the entire work is a manifestation of this same principle. (I do not name that work as an attempt to avoid spoiling the plot; those who have read it know what it is, and those who never will can deduce its identity with moderate trouble from the information in this paragraph, but those considering reading the book or watching the movie hopefully won't know at this point which of the many works of that author I'm talking about and can still be surprised when they find out.)

I'm not yet prepared to say that this is a good experience across the board, nor will I advocate that anyone or everyone pursue it, and I certainly won't advise flirting with literal deaths instead of metaphorical ones in hopes of liberating oneself from what may be a perfectly sensible and healthy degree of fear. All I'm saying, under these exact circumstances and for myself personally, it seems to have worked out well, and this is a revelation I believed was worthy of sharing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Philosophies of Life

I believe that the purpose of life is to figure out what the purpose of life is; I think people can only really answer the big questions themselves, or else the answers won't mean much to them. However, I also think it's perfectly natural for every person to think their answer is the One True Answer, and as long as they don't act all surprised that others don't agree, or try to force those others to agree, their feeling that those others are fools for not agreeing is perfectly reasonable. Each of us is the center of a universe built for one; there's nothing wrong with that. However, it is often fun for us to look beyond and see what others think, disregarding their opinion if it does not suit us, and assimilating it as our own if it does. To that end, here are my personal answers, the conclusions to which I have come in the course of my life.

I believe that the universe we live in has a purpose; it may have been created by an intelligence or randomly generated from the ocean of possibility, but either way its existence here and now accomplishes something. That purpose is to create Ideas; the cosmos is a factory for thoughts, concepts, perspectives and potential truths, and we human beings are the workstations on the assembly line. Our purpose is to think, and thereby generate ideas; for that reason, the extent to which a person is fulfilling their purpose in existence is determined by the quantity, quality, and uniqueness of their thoughts. Your whims, your feelings, your fantasies, your ideals - all of these are why you are alive, they are what you accomplish by living, they are what the universe needs from you. You should treasure them, cultivate them, record them, perfect them, and share them with others, expecting of course that others will not always be appreciative; by refining and transforming your ideas over the course of a lifetime, you contribute to the infinite body of human knowledge and thought, whose generation I consider the only reason why Reality ever needed to exist.

While my concept of ethics is relative and situational, and I try to beware of making absolutist statements about what people should and shouldn't do since the answers are seldom easy enough to put into a pithy statement, I do think a few moral precepts follow from my belief, and that they would be good ones to live by. Since a person's ideas are the whole reason they exist, others should respect those ideas and not try to limit his or her ability to express them. A person's ideas are synonymous with that person's value, and should themselves be valued; it's fine to believe an idea has no usefulness in practical terms, but to say someone has no right to even think such a thing is basically the same as saying that person has no right to exist - their thoughts are their existence, their beliefs and personality being all that truly exists of them. The flesh and the world are transient; we know they inevitably succumb to death and destruction in time. But the spark of personality, the "soul" if you will, remains an unknown quantity whose existence cannot be disproven, and whose ultimate fate if it does exist is unknown; for that reason, we should assume it exists, as we will cause less harm by pretending it is real than we would if we failed to acknowledge it when it really was.

Ultimately, the ability of the written word to express what we mean is limited; our thoughts do not always fit neatly into words, as the existence of multiple human languages for a single human race can attest. We do the best we can to communicate, but we should always keep in mind that the words tell only part of the story, and should not judge others too harshly based on what they say. Nor should we be too hard on them for the sake of what they do; reality forces many people to behave in a less than ideal fashion, so a sense of proportion and situational awareness will serve better than any dogmatic code in determining how to judge a person's actions.

This is of course only the beginnings of a belief system; as my life continues, I will constantly revise and improve these ideals. For now, I do not ask that anyone do anything other than consider my words. But I think it is a realistic possibility that these ideals will eventually evolve into a more sophisticated understanding of how and why the game of life should be played than any previous culture has achieved. It's only natural that today's Internet age is capable of producing a synthesis of all human thought never before seen; even when I am not feeling so arrogant as to believe I will personally achieve that ultimate ethos, I seldom fail to believe that I will at least be a major contributor toward its eventual realization.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My musings on: America

America has a curious combination of values - we exalt industry and indolence, conformity and creativity, progressiveness and reverence for our past, wholesome family values and ultimate sexual freedom. Perhaps our greatest attribute is our schizophrenia.

The point of our society is to make sure all people are equal, not that all people are identical. Everyone should be able to do the same thing, but everyone will do the same thing a different way, and this should be encouraged. We should spend less time teaching people WHAT we think they should learn, and more time teaching them how to know HOW they learn.

This country is founded on 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'. Think about that: the PURSUIT of happiness. That means that America wants to make sure you're always chasing AFTER happiness; nowhere in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence or on the Statue of Liberty or anywhere else, nowhere is it written that Americans have a right to BE happy. They'll allow you to chase after the cart, that's all they're saying; the cart could be going 250 miles an hour and you could be on stilts, and you'd still be in 'pursuit' of the cart. That's why, being a big believer in living as if the world was the way it should be, rather than having to deal with the depressing truth of how it actually is, I like to pretend that America is actually a land dedicated to life, liberty, and the BEING of happiness. Happiness should be something we all believe exists, even if we've never seen it. Like God. Or Sasquatch. Or an honest politician.

The government of the USA is a compromise between having a single tyrant who rules by whim, and the impossible task of involving all our millions in democracy. We select a bit over 500 people to more or less enact the will of the people, and they set about making things work for the benefit of themselves and their constituents, in that order.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Even Shorter Rant

Forums exist for the sake of allowing people to express themselves, freely and without limitations. If the forums degenerate into trollery, then this simply allows those who read them to achieve a clear and complete understanding of the human condition as it stands; it is vital to understand why so much of our society has statements like "lol stfu noob" on the brain, and any restriction of the ability for people to say things like that will only ensure that those who have an original thought to express may not have the opportunity to express it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Short rant

Too many people in our society fear controversy. Corporations are run by yes-men, demonstrations are shut down by riot police, and forum moderators silence arguments lest anyone get their feeeeeelings hurt (not that feelings aren't important, they very much are, but they are the sole responsible of their feeler IMO). I'm often called a troll because of my somewhat adversarial stance toward authority figures, but I am never trying to create an argument; I am trying to oppose what I see as the oppression of free expression, as I consider freedom to be the absolute superlative human value, especially here in America - more important than safety, or happiness, or prosperity, or whatever else the rest of the world seems to prefer. Though I sympathize with a distaste for noise, I'm not amused by those who would rather silence others than join in a chorus of shouts; the world is changed by those with the courage to speak up, and I'm tired of seeing these voices quashed, most especially my own.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rules for a Better Reality

One of my favorite hobbies is figuring out how I would create a perfect (or at least more perfect than this one) world if I had all the powers of God, including the power to know how to use all those powers wisely without being corrupted by them as the powerful always are (we're intended to believe God is an exception to that rule, and as a hopeful candidate for the position I hope this is correct). Last year sometime I wrote down a list of rules that I felt would provide a guiding vision for what I believe constitutes an ideal universe, and am reposting and slightly modifying that list here. It probably isn't final, but it's been overdue to get done for a long time, and this blog has fulfilled its purpose in existing by giving me an excuse to do it.

Rule 1. Right makes might.

Rule 2. Beauty is indestructible.

Rule 3. The most sophisticated answer is usually correct. ("Sophisticated" is often but not always synonymous with "complex"; this is mostly a rejection of Occam's Razor, which might be true but doesn't deserve to be, but does allow for the possibility that simplicity can be elegant and elegance is sophistication.)

Rule 3.14 Lifespans and tempers should both be near-infinite in length.

Rule 4. The whole contains no parts, but is greater than the sum of itself. (This relates to something I call Venn Theory, which is the idea that involvement in group efforts produces diminishing returns and it is generally better for people to work separately and independently.)

Rule 5. That which has no value cannot exist, and that which exists must be valued. (An intelligent being can value itself.)

Rule 6. Every rule has exceptions, including this one.

Rule 7. An intelligent being, once it exists, cannot be made to cease to exist against its will. (Though it may be transformed or have its memories altered, if this is somehow necessary for a greater good.)

Rule 8. Memories cannot be forgotten unless the events that they represent are retroactively undone; such undoing, however, is easily accomplished.

Rule 9. Anything worth doing is easy; anything one should not do is impossible.

Rule 10. Actions do not have consequences beyond those intended by their actors. (This means that if you accidentally knock over the first domino in a row, the others will not fall, though if you intend to tip them all over you can easily do so.)

Rule 11. Anything can theoretically happen at any time for any reason or no reason, although most such things are extraordinarily unlikely; generally, not more than one or two should happen anywhere in existence at any given moment, so the average person will observe such a happening once every few days or so. (I believe witnessing the impossible on a frequent but irregular basis will help all people to maintain a sense of wonder which is good for one's spiritual health.)

Rule 12. No change is irreversable.

Rule 13. Generalizations are almost always invalid. (And yes, the odds are that this is itself untrue.)

Rule 14. An intelligence must eventually evolve, whether it wants to or not. (However, remaining stagnant in a wallow of self-indulgence is perfectly okay as long as it is limited to a few thousand years or so). Failure to comply will result in gradual behavior modification to ensure eventual compliance.

Rule 15. That which cannot be done well is probably not worth doing.

Rule 16. The weak should usually triumph over the strong.

Rule 17. Doing nothing should usually lead to the situation improving of its own accord.

Rule 18. Willingness to try should constitute guarantee of success. Nothing more than desire should be required to achieve accomplishment. Conversely, there should be no accidents; without willful intent, nothing should occur or be needed to occur.

There are probably more I could add, but this is the original list I wrote on 12/18/09, and after five and a half months of continuing to learn and evolve, I find all of these statements to still be meaningful and deserving of truth, and offhand cannot think of any more to add.

EDIT - Added Rule 3.14 on 7/28/10; it popped into my head mid-rant today and I decided it was too perfect to put off for a revised and renumbered version of the list, and had to go right up near the top. #3 is probably the right place for it, but for now I'm using the position corresponding to Pi, as it corresponds to the theme of a party I'm planning to run next year.

EDIT - Added Rule 18 on 09/02/10.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

RPGequired RPGeading

While I am chronically something of a slow reader these days, finding it difficult to apprehend text without carefully digesting virtually every word on the page in a painstakingly methodical process that tends to self-discourage, I've been convinced of the value of books for too long to ever stop trying no matter how frustrating the process of devouring them grows. Lacking any other time in my current schedule when I find myself wanting to deal with printed material, I've taken to reading on the bus; usually fantasy novels are the dish I serve myself, but at the moment my meal ticket is the core system book for the 'Mage: the Awakening' Role-Playing Game. (If you don't know what an RPG is, or think it stands for Rocket-Propelled Grenade, I recommend that you get your butt over to Wikipedia and educate yourself on the topic, because I don't feel like spontaneously composing a clone of "Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies" to get you up to speed before you can continue listening to me talk about things I consider interesting.)

I love roleplaying setting books in large part because they are stories without a plot or a main character - I feel that these things as often limit the story as provide it with definition. A plot grows old and tired long before a setting does; watching a movie like "Ninja Scroll", I tire of the story trying to surprise me when I already know how it ends, but I still burn with a desire to know more about the Eight Devils and the other ninja clans, with their many bizarre and wonderful special abilities. It would please me greatly if at some point Hollywood or Tokyo would experiment with creating a movie or TV show that is purely descriptive, not having a sequence of events but simply a lavish audiovisual-motion depiction of things that are cool enough to be stared at like statues in a museum, with no expectation that they should act out some probably-derivative plotline.

So, while I possess enough works of literature that I'm never likely to run out of new things to read, I still treasure the Mage book and other RPG supplements for the fact that, having no plot and no suspense, they can be appreciated indefinitely without regard to where you are in the storyline. I don't even have to keep re-reading the books; once I've consumed them, the worlds they describe come alive in my head, and play themselves out in various permutations anytime I'm bored enough to daydream (such as while I'm at work). In essence, while reading "The Lord of the Rings" lets you thrill to the adventures of Frodo and Aragorn and the various other protagonists, a Middle Earth RPG book simply tells you about the orc-filled mines of Moria, the Ents of the Fangorn Forest, the blasted wastes of Mordor or the palaces of the Elves, and lets you explore any and all of these settings inside your own mind. That, my friends, is adventure that never ends.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

And so, it begins....

Alright, it's about time I quit screwing around and got on board with this blogging thing; I've been doing basically the same thing for years, only in a horridly disorganized fashion and without telling anyone about it, so I think it's high time I tried to get my act together.

What have I got going for me? Why should anyone pay attention to my blog, instead of to Otep Shamaya's or Jared Von Hindman's? Well, bluntly, you probably should read those first (as should I, having only sampled both); I can't really compete with the level of fevered genius on display in places like those. But I do think I have a fair bit of my own to offer, and while I know that 90% of everything is dreck and the intelligent surfer needs proof he isn't wasting his time, about all I can say for now is: I'm pretty much all over the map, I think three or four unique thoughts for every one that an average person has (assuming you buy that there's any such thing as an average person, which I suspect neither you nor I should, but it's too tempting a shortcut to easily stop using), and so you never know what I might come up with to say next. You might find what I say silly, bizarre, infuriating or worse, but I'll be more than a little surprised if you're bored (for any reason other than my not being able to update with terrible regularity).

Though I prefer to defy easy categorization, it would probably be accurate to describe me as an ultra-liberal with Libertarian and Green/Progressive leanings. I am a natural iconoclast, with an inclination toward spirituality but a thorough distrust of organized religion (mostly because of the "organized" part), and I treasure art and literature while disdaining sports and economics, among many other things. I am a dreamer, a sybarite, a sloth and a judgmentalist, and I am many more things, some of which directly contradict each other, and I've even gone so far as to claim that this is to my benefit. That description only scratches the surface of my general weirdness, so like I said, hopefully you at least won't find me boring.

Actually, that segues nicely into some actual content for this intro, rather than just me babbling about myself. Like I said, I think that my capacity to contradict myself is totally awesome - within a few minutes I can be caught advocating completely opposite positions, and I truly believe in the rightness of both of them. But this isn't just me; I'm firmly convinced the entire world, right down to the laws of physics, does this on a regular basis, and should be applauded for it. Radical dualities and impossible combinations surround us, alternating and iterating in a dizzying spiral of confusing potential; Douglas Adams said something to this effect, and I think he had a point. This is a world where things can be valued for their worthlessness, cursed for being too enjoyable, or contrasted sharply against minor variations of themselves. Being given the choice between such fascinating, mind-boggling complexity or a world which is simple and straightforward, I will take the kaleidescope of peculiarity any day. I feel that in seeking to understand a universe that seems to actively resist being understood, we human beings are doing something truly spectacular, and that the whole point of there ever being a universe can be found somewhere in there, where the truth lies and the answers are questionable. At the very least, it keeps us busy and keeps us on our toes, and that's certainly a good thing; otherwise, we might get bored.

Quote of the whenever-I-get-around-to-it:
"The wind seemed to whisper softly: Oh, son...don't wait for the seas to part or messiahs to come; don't sit around and waste this chance, to see if love will overcome."
--from the song "Sparkle" by a band confusingly named Live.

Random Thought of the day (I definitely have at least one of those every single day, though they won't all get posted here):
Time is money, and money is the root of all evil. Therefore, Time is the root of all evil, and so you can only be perfectly virtuous if you never actually existed. (Arguably, God may have managed this trick, and proves that it doesn't prohibit having a relevant effect on the world, though it may well prevent the satisfaction of knowing you did.)

(Warning: this blog will contain a fair smattering of profanity from time to time, so fuck off if you can't handle that shit. This is born not from a desire to be foul mouthed but simply from a need to exercise my freedom of speech to the absolute, or as close as I personally wish to venture; I refuse to censor myself for the sake of others's small-minded preferences, which are totally okay and I'm aware that I'm being something of an asshole by looking down on their frailty, but that doesn't seem to stop me. Not trying to be confrontational here, I just figured I'd get this out of the way, to save me and the clean-speech cluckers a whole lot of time failing to convince each other.)