Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Blog Post Concerning (Religious) Toleration

See what I did there? Yeah? Yeah? *crickets* hahaha...hint: check out John Locke. But I digress (haha...right after I just started, too.)

Here's a piece that I wrote up a couple of months ago:

I was working today, when someone gave me a self-made pamphlet with bible passages in it. She was probably one of the nicest ladies that I've ever met. I thanked her and we got into talking about how I used to be really devout; I told her I'd definitely read it, but that I lost faith a really long time ago.

She said, "who knows, maybe you'll get it back one day". I told her that maybe I would, but it's very unlikely. Then, she said something that I haven't heard a brochure-pusher say before: "that's fine. I can't do anything about that. But maybe someone else can. And all I can do is pray that you will". She smiled at me & left with who I'm guessing was her granddaughter (who was pretty cute, might I add...) & her husband.

They seemed like truly happy people - and it made me remember how far I've come, with regards to religious toleration.

I've always been raised as a traditional christian. I used to feel guilty when I prayed without sleeping. I used to go to mass every sunday, and even took pride in altar serving.

Then, I lost faith. Shortly after, I realize that I made a mistake, and prayed for forgiveness. Then, I lost faith again - and I think I've changed too much to ever get it back. Most people end up finding some sort of connection with god through some hard times, but I doubt that'll be me.

That's not to say that I'm not happy; because I'm happier than I've ever been WITH religion in my life. But the difference between me now, and me a couple of years ago, is that I've learned to tolerate spirituality.

After losing my faith "for good", I could never understand how people could continue to believe in something like that after giving it so much thought. I would always think to myself: "how can you blindly believe in something that probably doesn't exist?"

A couple of years later, I began to adopt a "to each their own" attitude. I realized that if you need god in your life to give you purpose, then by all means, go for it. And that's exactly why I have so much respect for the religious people that can tolerate non-religious people - they understand that the lack of belief is just as important as the choice of believing.

While I'll probably never support a deity-centred religion, I'll always support spirituality. Some of the happiest people that I've ever met are religious; they'll also probably be happier than I'll ever be (but I think that's more temperament-related, than anything). 

Again, I think it's all about the axiom "to each; their own" - Happiness doesn't have to be rational. In fact, it could even be argued that it's rational for you to be irrational, if that's what makes you happy. But I guess I'll stop here before the pseudo-shit comes in.


- knowledge
p.s. I've decided to give up on getting you guys to add a tag. It's definitely appreciated - but it's an uphill battle 'cause you guys are such pussies (lol). And if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Besides, anonymity allows you to be as brutally honest as possible - you can say what's REALLY on your mind without being embarrassed, proved wrong, or called out (aka being a giant pussy). But seriously, I'm kidding. I've realized that I'd rather you to commented and promoted discussion, even if I don't know who the fuck you are. But in my defence, it helps to know who's who (use a number, or something. At the very least, I want to know if it's the same person posting). For the people who DO post with tags, keep doing it (aka keep not being giant pussies...haha). Just kidding, guys.

And I know I said I'd be back with my weekly drops...but I guess I lied. Please subscribe if you haven't already.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

No Idea(')s Original

Do you ever wish that you grew up before the intellectual revolution? I always read books & thoughts that are widely-studied today, & can't help but think "I could've thought of that & written it down on paper."

With that in mind, it follows that being classified a genius isn't always a matter of capability - it's mostly a matter of order. The first one to think of something gets to coin it.

For example, did you know that someone came up with a similar theory about natural selection first? Darwin even read it - he was just the first to get his work published (that, and he an explanation for evolution as a mechanism).

I'm not saying that these geniuses aren't respectable, and I'm sure as hell not calling myself a genius...but sometimes I wonder how my life would've turned out if I was born a couple of centuries ago.

Imagine being in a time where you could come up with stuff, publish it, & call them YOUR ideas. Anyone after that (even if they never heard, read, or were influenced by your work) would be plagiarizing. & even if they weren't blamed for that, their work would hold substantially less merit.

It's only now that I finally understand the saying: "no ideas are original"

Or if you have one that is, you have to go to school for 8 years, become an understudy to someone who has a doctorate, take time off doing research. And only then will your work hold some value.

But at the same time, I can't complain that there's so much knowledge or information available. I suppose it's a love-hate relationship.

But then again, maybe it's a good thing - nowadays, for something to get really does have to be something else. I'm just tired of coming up with ideas & solid arguments, only to figure out someone published it hundreds of years before I even could.

I'm growing weary of having to say "I could've thought of that." If only I was born when slavery existed, women were treated as subordinates to men, humans had no rights, the world was in chaos, and philosophy wasn't so extensively developed.

If only.


- knowledge

p.s. oh yeah...I think Thursday drops are back. Please subscribe if you haven't.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Screw You, Weatherpeople

I woke up early today. "It's a good day!", I said to myself as I faced the mirror. I'm Just playing, I don't say shit like that to myself. I'm not a douchebag, lol.

But anyways...I checked the weather channel to see if it was going to rain today. No forecast for rain today, but it says that it might rain tomorrow.

Now, from experience, when they say it might rain tomorrow...they actually mean that it might rain some time tonight. So then I go online & check my trusty radar sites: one in Buffalo, & one in King City

I see some rain clouds coming in from the northwest, but it looks like it's either gonna miss us or will get here tomorrow morning.

Taking cp24's word for it...I decide to wear white shoes (that I haven't worn in 2 months since I cleaned them) & ride my motorcycle.

Then the fucking rain hits. Seriously? What good are weatherpeople? This isn't even the first time that this shit has happened.

I looked online & these guys get paid 50 000 dollars to arbitrarily pull forecasts out of their ass. & I swear they update their forecasts like twice a day. Now, I'm gonna go out on a limb here & assume that at the very least, it' an 8 hour job, or some sort of 9 to 5. You mean to tell me that in those 8 hours, it wasn't possible to update the forecast? It's fucking raining & your forecast still says that it'll be sunny with no clouds. 

Or maybe it's a pride thing - you guys have made a forecast & you don't wanna go back on your word. Something along the lines of "maybe if we don't tell them it's raining, they'll never know that it is".  At the very least, I swear it makes more sense to quietly correct the forecast & when people say "I swear it said 'sunny with no clouds'" you guys can just deny that it ever happened & just tell them they're crazy.

Where the hell do I get a job like this? You guys have one freaking task: to determine what the weather's gonna be like or at the very least, what it will most likely be. Yet you can't even do that.

What's a degree for meterology do for you? Did you guys not actually do any work, linked computers in the  lab & play counter-strike together for 4 years? Or is it a college diploma with 3 years of starcraft?

Shit happens & conditions change - I get it. But what I don't get is how you can have one task, the education to do that task, a whole tv show for that one task, and manage to get that task wrong most of the time.

If you guys are just guessing at the beginning of each day...then try a different variable in your guessing. Let's say that your first instinct's that it's NOT gonna rain - tell people that it's gonna rain. Your previous "methods" clearly haven't been maybe this is a better idea.

I mean, you know you're useless when the average layman is better off guessing what the weather's going to be like. But the last time I said "fuck you, weather people" & decided to predict it on my own...they ended up being right. How the fuck does this shit work?

In lieu of the weather channel, I've decided to hang a rock with this legend outside of my window:


- a frustrated guy with dirty white shoes & a muddy motorcycle

Friday, October 15, 2010

GLAAD, Anderson, & The Dilemma - "Electric Cars Are Gay"
Tl;dr: guy in comedy movie says "electric cars are gay", gay guy gets offended, & tells them to take that scene out.

As chris rock once said: "it's all about context"

Honestly, this guy needs to stop being such a fucking pussy.

Oh noes, someone said something offensive & outlandish in a comedy movie!!!!!11111oneoneone

It's comedy. It's supposed to be funny. That's actually an objectively funny line. I've got nothing against gay people - I even have a couple of them myself. "C'mon, son". Grow the fuck up.

It's a hard life for a gay person (hypothetically speaking, of course *looks around nervously*). If you're not used to getting bashed on by people who can't understand or tolerate gay people...then I'm not sure that there's much hope for you.

Yes, it's gotten better...but homophobia still exists. My advice is for you to stop being such a pansy. I don't cry to the media when they make asian jokes ('cause you know, comedy movies do make jokes from time to time).

Tl;dr? Dear gay guy, stop being such a prissy faggot. And this is coming from someone who has nothing against the LGBT community, appreciates the seriousness of bullying, but can appreciate humour objectively.


- knowledge

Friday, October 1, 2010

Picking A Folder For My "Meaning Of Life"

I was going to pick a folder for my "Meaning Of Life" (Philosophy) course, and I decided to go with black one. After all, life's an unfair, grim thing. 

But then I realized that you gravitate towards what you'd like to then I decided to use a yellow folder - life's great, joyful, and full of pleasure. Unfortunately, I had no yellow folders left.

So I settled for white. Life starts off pure. So do we. We're innocent, carefree, and even optimistic about things. But over time, the folder gets scuffed up. No matter how much you take care of it, it won't be perfect. It won't always be how you want it to be - it's ever-changing.

I guess what matters the most, are the contents of the folder: "the meaning of life," so to speak. Our unfinished works, our failures, our successful works, our evaluated works, and everything about us determines how important that folder is. We fill the pages, and if we're lucky...we make it to the end of the course with the folder still intact (albeit torn up and raggedy).

But then I realized that it's just a folder for some papers. 

I suppose it depends how you look at it. I've been doing lots of existentialist readings, so things could get interesting.


- knowledge

p.s. it's the same (non-b.s. excuse): I have too much to say, and can't decide what. Ideas keep piling in, new arguments keep getting thought of, and pieces just keep adding up. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Is Voter Apathy A Good Sign Of A Democracy?

On a forum that I frequent, the topic of "who are you voting for" came up, and I decided to post my 2 cents:

"I saw highlights of the debate on cp24. I want Ford in office just for the entertainment value. I couldn't even believe when the guy called out his dead father.

I used to follow politics back when I was in high school, but as the years pass, it just seems to confirm that: 
- the people are never going to be satisfied with the government
- the government's never going to satisfy the people  

No, I don't think it's asking too much to manage taxpayer money better...but I have a feeling that it's just never going to happen.  

Is there even a point of caring any more? What kind of system leaves us voting not for the best candidate, but for who's gonna screw things up the least? Do campaign promises even mean anything - who's to stop someone from doing a complete 180 once they're actually in office? 

I know it's really just [I]called[/I] a democracy, but it seems that I just get more and more indifferent every year - and that worries me"

To which Duster 929 replied:
"I really don't like it when people say we don't really live in a democracy, and that they're apathetic because they think our democracy is a joke.  

Voter apathy is a sign of a democracy that works quite well. Voters are apathetic because they don't have particularly large problems. They're relatively comfortable, have enough to keep their time occupied, and don't suffer daily persecution and violence. When a society has MAJOR problems, voters are not apathetic. They're in the streets, first with banners, then with rocks and clubs, and then with explosives. Toronto's problems: public transit isn't very good, taxes are going up by a few percent too much each year, there's a persistent shortfall in the budget that is filled in by more senior levels of government. Heck, even at the national level, it seems our biggest problem is that the government wants shotgun owners to register their weapons. 

These are not the problems that many people in the world have. So, don't feel bad about being apathetic, and don't blame it on the fact that the system doesn't work. Be thankful that you can afford to be. Voters aren't apathetic in Afghanistan or Palestine, because they've got real problems, and they rarely even get the chance to vote."

Anyways, my mind = blown. I still don't think it's much of a democracy...but I now have a way to justify my apathy towards things. Whether the happiness of a country hinges on a "democracy" like ours is still something that I'm thinking about...but this is something I would have never considered.


- knowledge

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Be-All-End-All-To-Inception Note (aka STFU)

Maybe reality's what you want it to be. Maybe it's irrelevant whether or not the top was spinning. Maybe there was another level of dreaming left...but maybe he didn't care. Did you notice that he spinned it and walked away?

If there's anything to be learned from that movie, it's that "catharsis" is possible in dreams AND in reality - you can gain closure just as easily in your dreams/memory as you can in reality. Yeah, ignorance is bliss...but knowledge can be just as equally fulfilling. Picking between the two means deciding between you'd "rather be happy or right" (thanks to Adam Veroni, who said this 2 years ago).  

Has it not occurred to you people that maybe there's a reason Nolan left the ending ambiguous and gave just as many clues to either interpretation?  

Yeah, it was a great hop off its nuts. All of a sudden, everyone's a beard-massaging philosopher.  

In closing...shut the fuck up. If this is seriously the first time you guys have ever tripped the fuck out...then maybe you should pick up a book up more often. Or maybe try thinking about shit - I guarantee it'll mess you up as much as this movie did (if you're not retarded). 

I also don't care if this contains spoilers - It had the words "BE-ALL-END-ALL" beside "Inception" & if you didn't see that coming, I wouldn't recommend for you to even watch the movie. You'd probably be just as equally entertained if you lit shit on fire and threw stuff in it.

Conclusiveness can only ever be as solid as the actual answer is.


- knowledge

Friday, July 9, 2010

HST & Democracy Reform Pt. 2

Now it's time for my hypothetical democracy reform.
I've seen so many people decline to vote because they don't support any of the candidates...and I'm starting to see why.
Instead of deferring your vote, or voting for who you want, how about the option to vote for who you DON'T want. This is a better way of appeasing the masses, and it ensures that ALL minorities do get heard.

After e-mailing the MP in my constituency, I came to a dead end and eventually got ignored after a couple of back-and-forths.

After this, I got no reply. So, I've decided that I'm definitely not voting for the Liberals. I also doubt that I'm going to vote for the Convervatives. That leaves the green or NDP...which aren't strong runners to me, either. I'll most likely withold my vote...but that's because there isn't a good alternative.

I don't understand how voting isn't more necessary. An unheard voice is not a function of democracy because you're opting to silence yourself. That would be fine...if a part of our government wasn't a democracy. The problem with opting for silence is that you make the winner your choice, by default.
No vote is an unheard voice, and I'm sad to say that it seems like the best option.
We seriously need a REAL reform coupled with some public awareness. The problem is that no one gives a shit. And no one ever will, until it's too late and all they can do is jump ship. Ontarians are known for complaining (myself included), but never actually doing anything. I try to, but I'll admit that I don't do enough.
I love living in Toronto, and I hate the slippery slope that we're headed towards, but maybe a move somewhere else is in order when I get older.
It seems that we're not voting for positive progress, we seem to be voting for who will most likely screw us over the least - and if McGuinty's that option, I'm afraid to see what the others would do.

Oh yeah, and the eco tax just got introduced. 


- knowledge

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

HST & Democracy Reform Pt. 1

Having recently been screwed over YET again by the government (yeah yeah, fuck the government, Anarchy, etc.) makes me wonder whether we need a democracy reform.

I'm finally legally old enough to vote, and I'm not even sure if I'm going to exercise my right. Why? Because what choices are there?

It seems that no matter who gets elected, we get screwed over anyways. I do recognize and remember the politicians that have done wonders for Canada, and I really hate to paint politicians with the same brush...but it's getting ridiculous.

The real topic at hand is the HST. I posted a while back about this (click here). For the longest time, McGuinty's been denying that this would negatively affect families. For the longest time, he's been claiming that it's revenue-neutral. Now, he's finally admitted the truth. It WILL hit families. While the tax is arguably negligible, it still contradicts his original promise of not raising taxes.

I was unfortunate enough to tune in to a debate between McGuinty and (opposition of Convervatives), and it was like watching 2 people repeat each other. That wasn't a debate. McGuinty's "think of the children" arguments vs. (oppositions) "you lied" was volleyed over and over again.

If you still don't know what the HST is, it's the Harmonized Sales Tax. Basically, in order to save administration costs (primarily), they've decided to merge the GST and PST into one. Sounds great, in theory...until you realize how it's going to be implemented. (Cost) of reparation packages are being paid for the people who will lose their jobs (that means severance pay to all the employees getting the boot). But it doesn't end there.

My biggest gripe with this tax is that it taxes things that we were previously exempt: 
  • Internet access will increase from 5% GST to the full 13% HST
  • Airfare, bus & taxi travel origination from Ontario will be taxed HST
  • Hairstyling and hair cuts will be taxed HST in Ontario
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Legal services will be taxed HST (legal aid is HST exempt)
  • Natural gas will be subject to harmonized sales tax
  • Electricity in Ontario is subject to HST
  • Gym memberships will be subject to HST (sports and athletic memberships included)
  • Accountants will have to tax you HST in Ontario
  • Real estate commission is now taxed HST
  • Lawn care, landscaping and snow removal services  
  • Gasoline is subject to HST in Ontario
  • Heating fuels in Ontario will be taxed HST
  • Tobacco will be subject to HST in Ontario
  • Quit smoking aids (nicotine gum etc.)
  • Newspaper & magazines subscriptions
  • Fast food items exceeding $4.00 will be taxed HST
  • New houses over $400,000 will be subject to HST tax
  • Vitamins will be subject to HST along with natural health products
  • Used vehicles sold by private sale
For a lower-class family, it's ALMOST practically revenue-neutral. For a middle-class family, it IS arguably negligible (and I say this loosely, because that depends how you consider an extra $1000 a year in expenses would be), and for an upper-class family, it definitely IS noticeable. The bottom line, is that in all 3 socio-economic ISN'T exactly as revenue-neutral as McGuinty wants us to think.

The justification behind this (besides saving on admin costs) is that what businesses save will be passed on to the consumer (what's funny is that this seems completely conservative, to begin with). I'm not holding it against them, but why the hell would a business pass on savings to a consumer when it can just make more money? In theory, the HST's great. But in practice, not so much. 

To offset this "apparently" revenue-neutral (read NOT revenue-neutral), McGuinty's going to give ~$1000 in rebates to all families that qualify. The first year WILL be offsetted, more or less, so that it is negligible. But how about the year after that? And the year after that? I highly doubt that the cost of living is going to lower itself, any time soon. When your family opens that cheque from the government, and goes "gee golly, free money from the government! They're so kind!" Remember that it's the taxpayer dollars (essentially a fraction of your money) being given back to you. A bit of a hyperbole, but imagine giving someone a gift card, and them giving it to you in some nice packaging (with a bow, of course) and acting like they're trying to do YOU a favour.

What pisses me off the most is how Ontarians are just bending over, and how ill-informed everyone else is.  I'm not saying "fuck the government", because I do appreciate how it's better than most...but how about some more accountability on their part? God forbid they curb or spend efficiently. Spending the money wisely never seems to be a solution (there are MANY examples of this year alone where the government threw away money (hand sanitizer fiasco, annual budget breakdowns, mass audits, and bridge inspections are just a couple of examples that come to mind off the top of my head). The result of this brainless spending is a need for a bigger budget next year.

The problem IS also within administration. If you don't spend all of the budget, you get less next year. So intead fo re-directing those extra funds, they'll spend on some other crap that they really don't need to...just to maintain the budget. BUT the budget isn't maintained! Instead, they need more money, the following year. That's where you and I come in - the taxpayers that feed this mess.

Fill up tonight, 'cause as of're getting less gas for the same amount of money. Not only are the truckers going to feel this increase (for every dollar you spend on gas (add 7 cents, or less gas per dollar). And guess who's most likely going to shoulder the increase in gas expenses? Us, the consumers that these trucks deliver to.

It must be a real democracy when you're voting with your wallet.


- knowledge

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Likeness Breeds Familiarity

We haven't known each other long...and you wonder how I know you so well. It's because you easily recognize fragments of yourself in other people - likeness breeds familiarity. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Blog Update: New Direction

In case anyone's wondering why I haven't posted in the past 2's because I've been trying to decide what direction to take this blog in.

I haven't run out of things to talk about (it's actually the complete opposite). I've decided to get rid of the weekly post. I've realized that the problem lies in having too many ideas at the same time. For the longest time, I've typed up pieces, and waited until Thursday to drop them. During the days spent waiting to drop the new piece, I'd have more ideas and things to write about. When Thursday came along, I couldn't decide which ones to post. I've decided that I'm just going to post whenever. No guidelines, no restrictions, no quotas.

I might go weeks without posting, or there might be weeks where I post several times within that one week. 

I'd also like to say that the pieces and ideas that I post are not necessarily my personal views. I enjoy playing devil's advocate, and often do so, from time to time. I'd like to remind you guys that no matter how passionate a post might might not be my worldview - and it shouldn't matter. The point is to discuss, not to learn about me.

I would suggest subscribing(top-left corner), as it's more convenient, anyways. 

I will be taking this to a new medium, but I'm not sure if/when I'll be ready to switch over.

Please subscribe & comment. It's always appreciated.


- knowledge

Friday, April 30, 2010

Good Ain't Good, If It Ain't Reciprocal?

A couple of months ago, I found a cellphone after working out at school. My mind raced:
- Should I sell it for $450?
- Should I return it to the owner?

If I were to sell it, that would've been my gas money for the next 2 and a half months. I had nothing to gain if I returned it. I certainly wasn't going to sleep easier, 'cause I sure as hell didn't care about whether or not some guy I didn't know needed a new phone because he was dumb/careless/absent-minded/whatever it may be to leave it there to begin with.

While I was looking the phone, I found a picture of what seemed to be dude's turntables. As someone who used to spin, I decided to go against my better judgment and return the phone.

After finalizing plans to return it...I began to think how this would benefit me in any way, whatsoever. I don't get a warm tingly feeling from "doing the right thing". I know that if I ever lost my phone, I probably wouldn't get it back. Given that premise, it made more sense to sell the phone and use that as a reserve for when I do lose my phone (because I most likely wouldn't get it back). But it was too late...I already told dude that I was gonna give his phone back.

What's funny is that I got absolutely nothing from this. Dude didn't even have the decency to meet up with me - and his girlfriend wasn't even hot. 

This got me thinking: what's the point of doing good, if it isn't even reciprocal?

Yeah, yeah, I know that the world could use less people like me...but does it make any sense to do something that doesn't benefit you whatsoever? I ended up just losing time and being late for a class - hardly even close to worth it, in my opinion. 


- knowledge

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Trolling & Political Correctness

This is a shout-out to the real life trolls. You guys are hilarious.

If I could get someone that spurred up, I would die happy. People are too damn sensitive, these days...and that's what you get for taking life too seriously.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm a troll. Now that I think about it... I'm pretty lucky to have my teeth intact. Facebook, forums, real-life...nothing's funnier than someone getting all riled up about something stupid and me being the cause of that. It has nothing to do with attention, and has everything to do with how funny it can get.

It's because of this, that I advocate anti-political correctness...or pro-political correctness removal (if you want to be politically correct. Wait...what?!) 

50 years down the road, when the world's a big sack of emotional instability, we can blame political correctness for making everyone too damn sensitive. 

Black vs. African-American", White vs. Caucasian, and retarded kid vs. Mentally-disabled are all ways around calling a spade, a spade. I once tried to figure out how political correctness might be good...but I realized that it'd be like trying to figure out whether or not Leona Lewis sort of looks like a man (it's a waste of time, and I already know the answer to begin with.)

People have argued that it's better to silence one person, in order to appease hundreds...but that isn't the case.

My biggest problem with political correctness i s that it starts off as a whole society being silenced in order to cater to the sensitivity of a select few. The only reason that political correctness is so prominent today is because people have gotten used to being pampered. Political correctness has given way for people to inconvenience reality, instead of changing the way that it's perceived. Instead of toughening up and shrugging off something that isn't actually offensive, we catch feelings over trivial crap.

Political correctness teaches people to focus on semantics, rather than content. A slip of a word or being specific results in the speaker being "insensitive". When you think about it....that really doesn't matter, because whether or not the speaker is insensitive has no bearing on the point that they're trying to prove.

Not only is speaking politically correct's also a waste of time. Political correctness breeds vagueness and ambiguity - polar opposites of objectivity. If political correctness has no place in an argument/discussion, then it has no place in society; especially in a democratic one, where free speech (used loosely) is rudimentary to the political system, itself.

If I'm a "horrible person" for wanting to speak accurately and concisely, then feel free to think less of me.


- knowledge

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Slender Shaper!

I saw this commercial the other day, and I have nothing but praise for this product.

Entrepreneurs make products that cater to a niche, or somethign that the market needs...and apparently, the market needs an exercise machine that doesn't actually require you to exercise.

Isn't this great?! I can wear this when I'm watching TV. I can wear this when I'm playing video games. And best of all, I can wear this while having a 24 ounce steak, gulping down a 2 litre coke, and finishing off a bag of pork rinds.

Who knew that exercise could be so convenient? Now, I can stay in shape without actually having to do any work.

It's getting so hard to find half an hour to exercise and feel healthy. It's thanks to products like these that I don't have to focus on self-responsibility and time management. After all, why would I do that, when I can just make my fat burn itself. (Ever heard that saying, you can teach a man to fish...and all the fat will burn itself?)

After all, why exercise my muscles, when my muscles can exercise me? (In Soviet Russia, car drives you!)


- knowledge

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update: sorry for the delay, folks.

I'll be posting Monday night, Wednesday night, and Friday night to make up for the missed posts. Then it's back to regular Thursday drops.


- knowledge

Friday, April 9, 2010

A REAL Step Towards Equality

I've come to realize that you need to be two things in this world, in order to succeed: good-looking and/or intelligent. Having only one one these can land you a pretty comfortable life. Having one and a bit of the other can land you a really comfortable life. Having both pretty much guarantees you a really good life.

Sadly, we're not all equal. Some people are lucky enough to have one of these two. Some are blessed with both. Others don't have either - these ones are shit out of luck. And I feel sorry for them, but that's how it is.

We're not all equal. You'd be foolish to think that we are. Disparities DO exist between race, geography, location, caste, ethnicity, culture, etc. While these are all only factors, they can be worked around...but the real "luck" lies in the inheritance of good looks and intelligence.

People seem to gravitate towards others who are good-looking because of the halo effect - we tend to see them as more sociable, friendly, and warmer than less-attractive people. Although there's no truth in this bias, we all seem to have pre-wired in us that "what's beautiful is good" (although it does hold weight as an evolutionary adaptation.) This is also the reason that people with baby faces tend to seem more trustworthy, nice, etc.

Because of this, these people are often given opportunities that aren't available to others. We like to believe that everyone has equal potential...but the truth is that some simply don't. Attractiveness (for the most part) decides the variety of opportunity, and intelligence (for the most part) determines the degree of potential within opportunities.

Where am I going with this? Some of the most intelligent people aren't the best-looking. Some of the best-looking people aren't the most intelligent. And as Kanye said, "[Sometimes] the people highest up, have the lowest self-esteem. The prettiest people, do the ugliest things". My point is that we use a stupid brush for painting people. This might go against evolutionary predispositions, but I don't think that matters at this point - survival of the fittest has shifted to intellect, not beauty.

Self-serving bias only feeds this problem. We tell ourselves that everything we've accomplished is due to our blood, sweat, and tears - that we've worked hard to be where we're at. But how much of it can we truly accredit only to ourselves?

It's funny because every time someone messes up, we tend to blame it on something THEY did (fundamental attribution error). When WE mess up, we tend to blame it on external circumstances.  The same is true of success: you get a job, and it's because of your hard work. They get a job, and they were "lucky". The truth is that it's probably both. 

The reason for this self-serving bias and attribution error seems to stem from a defense mechanism. What's surprising is that it isn't for coping at the individual's for coping at a collective level. The just world hypothesis posits that everyone rationalizes for negative events in order to tell themselves that the world is just - that we all get what we deserve.

The reality is that we don't...and acting according to the just world phenomenon/theory/hypothesis doesn't do anything to help. The world isn't just. It SHOULD be..but It never will be. However, it's also not as just as it COULD be. 

Prejudice, bias, and preconceived beliefs are almost always unjustified. And I'm not talking about racism...I'm talking about our gravitation towards beauty.

As a way to deal with this, I propose that you guys mess with the natural order, at the most basic level. 

My solution is to treat good-looking people like shit (lol). Just playin'. My REAL solution is to treat good-looking people as equally as you treat everyone else. It's easier said then done. Furthermore, social desirability urges people to say that they do...even though they probably don't.

To the dudes that bend over for hot chicks (in the hopes of getting in her pants)...quit doing that crap. You're most likely not gonna get in her pants, you're only feeding her feeling of self-entitlement, and worst of all, you're reinforcing the idea that looking good is a legitimate REASON to get anything that they want. To the ladies who bend over for good-looking dudes...the same applies. Stop being dumbasses and feeding a flawed system. 

Not only is this solution "good"'s also entertaining/hilarious. For the past 2 years, it's been absolutely enthralling seeing how confused hot chicks are when you refuse to grant them a privilege that they're used to never being denied (ie. cutting in line, hooking them up, etc.) What's even more shocking, is that the reaction they give implies that it's unheard of to not get what they want. Think about what this means, and it's truly troubling to know that actions like this are so uncommon.

If you guys want to see an equal society, it doesn't start with eliminating cultural barriers, or racial discrimination, or even monetary equity (actually, never mind on this last one. Let's not get crazy now...) It starts with eliminating bias.

 Give credit where credit is actually due.


- knowledge

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good Friday?!

What's the deal with good Friday?

It's a good Friday 'cause I'll be getting paid time and half, and it's a "good" Friday because I don't have class.

Aside from that...I don't understand ANYTHING about "good friday". Sure, there's the history, but how about the traditions?

My mom told me not to ride because it's bad luck. Apparently, it's bad to go out because Jesus is dead and he won't be able to protect me. News flash: god's probably still alive. And I also highly doubt that god/jesus/whoever cares, either. Plus, if anything...the roads are safer 'cause everyone's either: a) staying at home, afraid of anything bad that might happen outside the protective barrier of their house b) everything's closed, so families tend to stay home. 

On top of that...I don't see why everyone has to suddenly become all sad. Relax, Jesus is going to rise from the dead on Monday. He's done so for the past 2009 years...I highly doubt that he's going to break this metaphorical tradition out of nowhere. "OMG, Jesus, you're alive? I didn't see that coming."

Furthermore, how is it a good friday if Jesus was nailed to a cross and died because people basically thought he was a witch?! 

Small post, I know. I promise that my next one's going to be really good. I've just been really busy. Ironically, it's not with school or work.


- knowledge

Monday, March 29, 2010

Everybody Gets Used For Something

"Everybody gets used for something. And if you're not being used...then that means you're useless. And well, that's not something that you want to be." - Mordeth13 

 I heard someone say this about 2 years ago...and if I could find the video, I'd post it.

 That right there, is how the world works. After seeing the world, and reason for why people do makes hard to think that there's any merit in altruism (last topic on this for a while, I swear!) 

 But either way, that isn't the point. It's about the valuable life lesson that people get used. Sometimes you let them, and sometimes you don't. 

 Success in life seems to be about diversifying yourself and making yourself marketable - you need to make yourself exploitable...but limit who exploits you, and how much they exploit you.

After all, isn't that what "working" is? You provide your service, for a fee. 

The more degrees/credibilities/experience that you have...the more of an asset you become.  

 I'm not suggesting that you kiss everyone's ass, but what I AM suggesting is that you understand the give & take needed, if you ever plan on getting what you want. 

 Think about it: what are friendships? It's essentially a companionship. If you're not enjoyable to be around, you're not "useable". If you're not're not "useable".

If you want to have your way, you need to make it so that others WANT you to have your way...or at least don't mind if you do. I'm not advocating that you be a sneaky, deceitful, deceptive bastard...but know your cards and when to play them. 

 This all sounds like common sense, but I've realized that not a lot of people know this. 

 In short: sell your soul to the devil, if you can buy it back for less. 

 Do what you NEED to do, in order to do what you WANT to. 


- knowledge

 P.s. Would that last part about selling your soul to the devil be as bad if I just chose to say "make yourself useful"? 

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