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

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