Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Predestination and Free Will

I made mention a while back about my belief that predestination was not real and gave evidence to support this. I used a logic based argument to explain that if there were infinite choices in life that there would be no possible way for predestination to exist. Likewise, I theorized that there were infinite possibilities and therefore predestination could not exist. However, now I would like to take another approach to the subject and perhaps thicken it a bit.

Predestination can exist even if there are infinite choices. Look at it this way... You are only what you are made of. There is no external or "other-worldly" part of you. You are solely what your DNA makes you regardless of what religion tells you, without evidence I might add. Far be it from me to stick clear from speculation and stick to evidence-based scientific fact. Therefore, even if we have an infinite number of choices, we will always choose the one that we choose.
Like I said, we are what we're made of. Therefore, there is no exterior force deciding what we do. Our actions are our own and they are internal. This is free will.

However, you cannot break your own free will. That is the restriction on it. You are free to do exactly what you think is the best (consciously or subconsciously) and nothing more. Free will is your internal decision-making process and no external forces can impact that decision-making process in the grand scheme. Therefore, the decision made will be singular in intent, that of free will, and nothing more.

You are restricted in this way. You cannot interfere with free will. Therefore, your free will is predestined by the content of your internal decision-making process. This is predestination. Predestination and free will are the same thing. You are predestined to chose a course of action but it is of your own free will that it occurs. Free will and predestionation can co-exist and do because they are the same thing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I've Got It!

Talk about a brain wave... I was sitting around here reading past posts and it came to me finally... and as most things do... right out of thin air...

Predestination is real. The butterfly effect is real. From the beginning, everything was planned and everything was going to happen, even in infinity.

The sole realization however is that we WANT it to happen. People see predestination as what we don't want or are forced into, but it's the OPPOSITE. It's EVERYTHING that we want! Predestination is the physical manifestation in our actions of things we based on our genes and our interactions predetermined with others' genes whose result is also predetermined and WE WANT IT. It doesn't matter if it's predetermined so long as we want it.

I'll have more on this later... I have to think it over some

Also- Gun Laws Logic and a little something else.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Would You Rather Know Something about Everything or Everything about Something?

Mr. Benson, a secondary school history teacher, comes across a significant problem when reviewing his syllabus. He has simply too much to teach. History is different than most other subjects in that way as it is always being written and always changing. Two plus two and the square root of x always have and always are going to remain the same, but interpretations of history change greatly over time.

For much of the twentieth century, history was traditionally taught from the macrocosmic view, whereby for instance America would be studied by actions of the figureheads and events that created it: Washington, Lincoln, the Vietnam War, etc. However, by the end of the twentieth century an entirely different view of history had emerged based heavily on the ways that these figureheads and events impacted the common man. Now we speak not of Washington exclusively but of Washington and his troops at Valley Forge, not of Lincoln, but of Lincoln and his supporters and detractors, and not of the Vietnam War as a conflict supplementing the Cold War but of the lives of working class America that were impacted by fighting in it. Of course, the “traditional” view has not been forgotten, it has merely been connected with a second, bottom-up, view.

In addition to the changing views on how history will be seen, taught, and understood, there is the mere fact that history is being made every day. To take a personal example, I marvel at the fact that I now see history text books including the events of September 11th 2001 as part of the curriculum. We don't always see what happens today in the context of “history” as it is taught in schools. This in itself is evidenced greatly even in the case study prompt. A quote reads: “We all know that history teachers never do make it to the Twentieth Century. They always get bogged down somewhere in the boring stuff and never make it to the modern history part.” To this affect, I also agree. Much time is spent on the formation of (in this instance) the United States, its struggle with slavery, and perhaps its entrance into two world wars. Yet, rarely do teachers have enough time to focus on the material from only a single generation ago. It is this that impacts us the greatest and should be taught.

Herein lies a problem. Everything should be taught, but everything can't be taught because there isn't enough time in the semester. Option A would have the teacher breeze through the material making sure to encapsulate everything into the syllabus. But, honestly, how much could a student retain from this method? Studies show that students only actually are learning approximately one third of the time that they spend in class. In addition to that, one has to assume that they won't remember everything taught during that period. If you have fifty minutes of class time a day, five days a week, for 36 weeks, and students are only paying attention and you are only teaching one third of that time, one can certainly understand how difficult it would be to squash everything into that time.

First, the teacher needs a plan. Unlike Mr. Benson, who didn't seem to understand that he didn't have the course material under control, good teachers need to recognize the scope of material that needs to be taught. In addition to the syllabus, a teacher must also have a structure plan. They must first have a set of classroom guidelines. They must understand their students' capacity to learn and to retain knowledge. In addition to this, to be effective, teachers must install a punishment and reward system, punishing students who make poor choices (i.e. disrupt the classroom, cheat, verbally or physically abuse other students, etc.) and rewarding students who turn in their work on time, are courteous to others, and help foster a good learning environment. With this plan set in place, teaching and learning will both occur more smoothly.

In the case of Mr. Benson, the teacher must access the amount of knowledge available versus the amount of time they have to convey it. The syllabus must have realistically achievable goals. It seems that Mr. Benson spent much too much time on textbook reading and yet oddly enough didn't seem to know how many chapters the book had (hinting towards improper planning). Teachers cannot spend the entirety of class rehearsing knowledge from the textbook and neither can students spend all of their homework time reading textbooks. The classroom must encourage engagement

In other words, Mr. Benson should rework his syllabus to include activities that will interest his students. Clearly based on the responses that he had been getting from his class(es?), they are not finding textbook reading to be interesting and based on my own experience, if I don't find something interesting, I'm not going to worry about concentrating on it.

Mr. Benson needs to incorporate activities into his lessons that get students to think about the topic discussed that day. His examples of the Sistine Chapel pictures and the National Geographic articles are a good start. However, the way he connects it to the actual course material will be vital. He could give them all the activities that he wanted and they would still not learn anything if he did not significantly tie it back to the subject being discussed that day.
Through the use of these activities, he should also incorporate different methods of teaching such as group work which promotes independent discovery or class discussion which promotes the exchange of ideas and the building and maintaining of a sound working and learning environment. In the case of world history, perhaps Mr. Benson can have his class come up with a list of classroom rules and guidelines when they are talking about the Magna Carta or the Bill of Rights. This would serve three-fold to give students a perspective on how hard the creation of such a document can be, the experience of actually having a voice in how the classroom would be managed, and the promotion of a frank discourse between students and teachers so that everyone can understand what they want out of each other and the class. Likewise, Mr. Benson can use the last two weeks of class for group projects where each group will get to choose one topic that they find interesting from the semester and research it in greater depth for presentation to the class. By this, they learn about something they find interesting, learn how to find information on future topics of interest, and get to teach their classmates about something they find interesting in the hopes that they too will find that it piques their interests.

With these new activities and this new classroom environment, learning will be easier and students will be more apt to retain information presented. This method, or “Option B”, will make it possible for students and teacher to enjoy a positive working environment as well as allow for real learning to be accomplished. It is the sounder of the two options, where the student is actually interested in his or her own learning and has a voice in how it occurs. The biggest difference between this option and Option A is that it will be impossible, especially in Mr. Benson's case, to cover as much as you would otherwise. Of course, class must still contain some lecture-like format, simply to connect the activities together into a cohesive timeline, but for the most part, real learning will take place with in depth looks at small events along the long timeline of history.

In a perfect world, in my opinion, Option B would be implemented in all classrooms. Students would know above all that they are learning because they are interested and not because the teacher told them to. But, the world is not perfect (in my opinion) and Option B is certainly not implemented everywhere. As with Mr. Benson's case, two factors limit the usage of Option B: time and standardized tests. A teacher will not cover as much material in Option B than they would in Option A. Likewise, if a standardized test will be administered, such as the MCAS is in Massachusetts, teachers are instructed to “cover” all material that might appear on the exam. In both Mr. Benson's classroom example and all schools in Massachusetts, how well students do on those exams parallels with public funding and accreditation. If the school were to do badly on the test because they simply did not learn a wide enough breadth of information, regardless of whether they soundly grasped all that they did learn, those bad test scores could severely detriment the funding of that school or its accreditation. Why is this so? In my opinion, standardized tests as we know them today do not reward knowledge known but rather punish facts that are not known. A student may know everything that there is to know about the American Revolution, but know nothing about Industrial or Post-Industrial America and therefore fail the exam miserably even though what they did know was exemplary. This is a flaw within the test and it is this flaw that needs to be fixed.

Yet, as the flaws of standardized testing have not been fixed, classes must to some extent “teach to the test” merely for the good of the school. If they do not get funded, then they will not have the materials they need to teach adequately and their future students will not have as good of an education. Therefore, the best mode of teaching in the real world is something of an Option A-B, a combination of both techniques. Teachers must “cover” everything for the exams so that students do well and the school is seen as having exemplary students. And, the teacher must use group activities, discussions, and independent work to actually create these exemplary students that testing claims to find.

Mr. Benson was right, or at least more right, when he decided to go back and look at his syllabus again and reflect on what message he was sending his students by using an Option A method in class. He is also right to say that depth matters. Students will not get anything from glossing over dozens of subjects. Each subject must be given some meaning to the student for the student to care to learn and retain it or for him or her to even show the most general interest in the class. Depth fosters interest and interest fosters learning whereas glossing over fosters frustration and that certain haze that students seem to get about ten minutes into a lecture. While there are drawbacks to depth (i.e. you cover less) I'll argue that quality is far greater an asset than quantity.

What commander would rather take a thousand civilians into battle over five hundred finely trained soldiers? Who would prefer inane chatter to language? Who would take a handful of coal over the pristine beauty of a diamond? Then who would value someone who knows a little about everything over someone who knows everything about something?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Terrorism: Shooting From the Hip

Terrorism is the belief that the use of fear as a weapon is justified. Terror + ism = Terrorism. Attitudes towards terrorism can be defined in two ways and each definition is supported by someone based solely on their position to the reason for the terroristic idea to occur. One who believes that terrorism – the use of fear for gain – is a good thing sees the act of instilling fear in another group to be necessary to accomplish a goal. Those who hold the opposite opinion may also desire to accomplish the same goal, yet are not so taken by the by-all-means-necessary philosophy. They may disagree about the use of fear based on its ramifications, based on morals, or based on the rule of law. Likewise, those who do not desire this specific goal, will find themselves against the use of fear to accomplish it, out of sheer logic.

The seed of terrorism is the idea. Every terrorist has some sort of idea or ideology that they wish to procure. Let us take the actions of the Madrid subway bombers as an example. Their desire was to create discord and chaos, fear. Then we have Osama Bin Laden who used fear-based messages and a criminal organization as a means to procure fear not only in the United States but throughout the world in general. They are terrorists, ones who spread fear.

There is a question as to whether terrorists have to actually partake in physical activities, the maiming or murdering of innocent people (on September 11, 2001 for example). This is not necessarily the case. There are many different ways to go about terrorizing and physical threat is simply the bluntest of them. If you invade a sovereign nation you are a terrorist state, like Germany during World War I and World War II. However, if you soften the blow, envelope it with politicking and self-righteous candor, you could possibly pass off blatant terrorism as something in their best interest. This pseudo-political terrorism is called imperialism and it also goes by colonialism in a slightly varied form. It is simply the invasion of a territory and the usurpation of power from one group by another.

Now-a-days however, imperialism and colonialism are looked upon as a dark stain on world history by most of the first world. Imperialism and colonialism lead to exploitation no matter the intent. The war in Iraq is a good present day example of the backlash of imperialism. The President of the United States unilaterally decided that Iraq was enough of a threat to American national security that the situation warranted an invasion and occupying force. American troops conquered Iraq and set up a stagnant democratic government. However, the government is too weak to stand and if American forces pull out, it will fall into further chaos. While before there was a dictatorship and life was for the most part bearable, now with an inept democracy one might not have a life to bear. President Bush's act of pseudo-political terrorism caused more trouble than good in the region, destabilized the American economy, and created a breeding ground for contempt of American ideals.

So far terrorism has been described as an organizational or governmental action that occurs outside one's nation of origin. However, there are also forms of “home-grown” terrorism. Timothy McVeigh set off a bomb destroying a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 killing 168 and wounding at least 800 including over a dozen small children. The “Shoe-Bomber”, Richard Reid, failed to set of “shoe-bomb” explosives on a flight from Paris to Miami just three months after September 11, 2001. Likewise, terrorism can be undertaken by a government on one's own people. This was done most famously by Nazi Germany during World War II, exterminating millions of its own people (Jews, gypsies, gays, disabled, etc.) in death camps set up solely for the purpose of ethnic (and “weakness”) cleansing. It was also done by Stalin in Soviet Russia. He exterminated at least 3 million of his own people but may also directly or indirectly killed another 27 million, records are unclear. The most accepted number seems to be between 6-8 million. Again, there have been countless massacres throughout world history: Pol Pot in Cambodia, Pizarro, Cortes and the Spanish Conquistadors and the Native Americans, United States, French and British and the Native Americans, the Ottomans and the Armenian Genocide, and countless others. It is clear that throughout history, nations have killed millions of their own people and justified it.

With some examples of terrorism now given, it is also important to understand the motive behind why a person or group decides to partake in terrorism. What is clear is that as a whole, the groups or people in question seemed to feel that they have been wronged in one way or another. Whether or not they have actually been wronged is a matter for fierce debate, but the argument remains that they believe that they have been wronged nonetheless. The Palestinians for example believe that the Israeli Jews that settled in the former Palestine territory after World War I have wronged them by destroying their culture and uprooting their people. Perhaps they have a point; someone once said that if the world had any justice at all then Israel would be in eastern Germany. Yet, there are counterarguments to this statement, primarily that the Jews had been there even before the Palestinians.

Israel and Palestine, in fact, have an interesting relationship. They are terrorists against each other. Traditionally, one group or person who was wronged terrorized another group. In this instance however, two groups have wronged each other and have commenced terrorizing each other. The same had been true for Northern Ireland and Ireland as well as the conflict between Pakistani Muslims and Indian Hindus. Each was wronged by the other and decided that they were wronged so badly that it was worth killing each other over. This seems to be the driving point, that one must be angry enough at another that the rules of morality no longer apply.

There is a second reason for terrorism however that has nothing to do with being wronged and that was the example offered by Hitler: ethnic cleansing. These instances are not based on particular wrongs, but rather general wrongs, that the Jews were responsible for a plague or a famine, or some other stereotype. Racism is a powerful tool for terrorism. This shines true in many African nations, the conflicts in the Congo and Darfur to name two. Ethnic cleansing is also the goal of organizations like the Ku Klux Klan that believes that America should only be for white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestants and that all others are below them and below the reward of democracy. In truth, there does not have to be a specific wrong, a general wrong, a societal bias, is all that is needed to foment the ideals of terrorism and thereby the actors and actions of terrorism in kind.

Now finally, the question remains: Is terrorism justified? Yes and no. If you have been wronged then yes terrorism is a viable option, provided that you have been wronged enough. However, if you have not been wronged enough, or taught to think that you have been wronged enough, you will probably not see terrorism as a viable option. You may be against it or simply ambivalent to it. The only other view of terrorism is that of an outsider or of the group or person being terrorized. In these cases, the answer is always: No. Terrorism is never an option from their points of view either because they are affected directly by it or because they see it as barbaric and do not understand the blatant wrong committed on this group of people as they see it with their own eyes.

Most people are outsiders to terrorism or have had terrorism in some way affect their lives, their families, or their country, religion, or ethnicity and therefore are likely to hold the belief that terrorism is wrong. Regardless of whether a nation is democratic majority will rule. If a majority of people say terrorism is wrong then it is wrong. It is morally, ethically, and ideologically wrong. It is wrong to take an innocent life to make up for a personal loss. It is wrong to instill fear in another for any reason even if they seem to have justifiably deserved it. In terrorizing one merely continues the cycle of wronging and the cycle of pain and suffering. Nothing good comes out of this.

That ideology is essentially the unofficial official world doctrine on terrorism. A majority believes that it is wrong. It is wrong. The habit of violent solutions must be broken before you can rid the world of violence. For the habit to be broken, the cycle of wronging must also be broken. There have been many examples of terrorism throughout history and each has its own wrongs attached to them. Sometimes too there are wrongs attached to the solutions. In the end, the solution must be to treat terrorism like organized crime, because that is what it is. You must break the cycle of wrongs and bring these people to fair justice. Only this way will each party get what they want, retribution and justice. But, until the world understands that terror begets terror, there will be a lot more terrorism in the future.

Fairness and Equality

Wow, it's been a long time since my last entry. Let's make the most of it...

Logic is something that people have a lot of trouble with. People don't like logic, especially when it dismantles their long-held beliefs. God, religion, marriage, politics, the whole gambit really, I've made myself clear on. I've argued logically and I've been dismissed. I give proof but they say that it isn't true even if I can back it up. These people sneer in the face of reasoned argument and logical debate. They believe things that make them feel good, make them feel safe, and over all make them feel accepted. God, religion, marriage, politics in general, and a million more topics. It's a wonder why I haven't stopped yet. Maybe it is just to damn important.

Who has the right to stop children from getting an education? Really, who is it that has the right to tell someone that they cannot gain a proper education? Who is it that tells someone that they can or cannot marry someone else? Who is it that could possibly be allowed to hold a lean on the definition of such an idea? Who can tell someone that they are not allowed to be healthy, not allowed to survive and live a normal, long, healthy life?

More importantly, what KIND of person tries to stop children from getting an education? What KIND of person tries to stop two loving people from getting married? What KIND of person has the right to tell the ill that they cannot get well again? What KIND of morally and ethically unscrupulous individual was allowed to do these things?

How about this... What kind of person are you if you refuse a child an education? What kind of person are you if you intentionally refuse to help a child get an education if you can? What kind of person are you if you refuse to recognize not only love but two adults ability to understand their own personal emotions? What kind of person are you if you intentionally refuse to accept the marriage of two people solely based on the fact that you don't believe that they are or could be in love? What kind of person are you if you refuse medical care to the sick? What kind of a person are you if you intentionally refuse to help a sick person get care if you have the means to do so?

How does abject refusal of these subjects justify your moral and ethical standing? How could you possibly consider yourself moral or ethical if you refuse to help children grow up to be functioning members of society to the fullest of their ability? How could you possibly consider yourself moral or ethical if you believe that you above all others knows what's right for everyone regardless of what they believe, feel, or understand? How could you possibly consider yourself moral or ethical if you refuse to grant medical treatment to the ill when it is certainly in your power to do so?

It is your fault if this child grows up to become a statistic. It is your fault if they become a drain on the system, having not the means to raise their families or pay their bills, clogging the prison system costing the taxpayers millions more a year, or draining funds from the medical community because they are not able to hold down a job that provides insurance.

What kind of person are you?

It is your fault if hate is brought upon two people who want to marry. It is your fault if these people are dissuaded from the truth and assuage their true self with a mixture of gin, a loveless marriage, and clinical depression and self denial.

What kind of a person are you?

It is your fault if money is drained from the economy because you are unwilling to help someone who is ill before their situation become dire. It is your fault if their impending illness is left uncured and their families flirt with bankruptcy as a means to escape crippling drug payments. It is your fault if they fail to set up a proper environment for their children who then don't amount to anything and turn to a life of crime or substandard work with no insurance or benefits. It is your fault if they infect others with their illness unknowingly or unstoppably because of lack of proper treatment or counseling.

What kind of person are you?

This is why we need universal education for as far as they can advance. This is why we need to dump the Defense of Marriage Act. This is why we need not-for-profit health and dental insurance.

It is the right thing to do. It is the moral thing to do. It is the ethical thing to do. And only you can do it. Vote for the only candidate who supports these measures in the upcoming primary election season. Dennis Kucinich.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

On Government and Budgetary Manner

Government today holds many duties and there are many others in contention. However, there has to be a reasoned approach, a ranking system, delineating worth amongst these optional duties, as at the present rate of taxation all is impossible.

There is a fundamental flaw in the way we have set up government in this regard. That is, government has been made a top-down system, whereby federal ranks over state, and state ranks over local. While this is useful for the retention of a Union, it is unhelpful in regards to budget spending. Economically, government would work more smoothly in a bottom-up fashion whereby local leaders receive first dibs on funds, state second, and federal third. In this fashion, society would work more fluidly with schools funded, roads paved, and so forth first. Likewise funds would exist for city police and firefighters at a higher, yet still necessary, rate.

Contentions would be had to the lack of funds left available on state and federal levels after the city finished its budgeteering. This just goes to show how in need the local level is under our current system. I contend that this would be beneficial however. To get funds the federal government would need to raise taxes. This increase on useless items and agendas would remove from office Congressmen and Presidents, Governors, and State Legislators by the vote of the people in the next election.

Of course, a system is all well and good on paper, in practice it will need regulation and purpose. What is the purpose of government? Government is an assembly that represents the people of the nation. Therefore, it is responsible solely to the people. However, this is not a means for the majority to enslave or rule over the minority. Actually, the opposite is also false. The minority does not get favored treatment over the majority view either. However as the government represents all people individually it must also represent all of their interests individually. Rights are not bargainable and there are no such things as liberties, that is, government approved rights don't exist. Rights are universal and eternal as the government is not a body other than a shadow representation of the will of the people and cannot restrict rights just as one person could not restrict the rights of another for reasons other than criminal activity, and even therein only for an acceptable, fair amount of time.

In addition to this, we must understand the economic role of government. What should the government raise money for and who should get to decide where it goes? The government, as a mass-representation of the individual will, can only raise funds (that is tax) for the means to achieve goals that cannot be achieved by single people and small groups of people. Government money cannot be used to support or refute partisan causes as by definition government serves all people individually and to do so would infringe on that notion.

Thus, funds move from bottom-up, working for small causes first and the biggest, most important causes last. In this fashion, tax hikes will be made for important (people-willed) goals and their local goals will too be served an everyone will be happier. Large goals will also be accomplished if they are important because they tend to be vitally important or virtually fluff or baselessly useless. Local government will deal with local issues, then states will deal with state-wide issues, and finally the federal government will deal with national issues. Because of the constraint on usage of funds for states and federally, they will restrict themselves in order to their own business. And, by a simple rule, lower levels will not interfere with actions that extend outside their jurisdiction. Therefore, each body has their duties, each has its constraints, voters have power over taxation, and thereby they also have power over the budgetary matters of their city, state, and nation at a higher rate than they currently do. This system will lessen budgetary problems by giving the weakest the most power and the most powerful the least strength. Accountability will exist for taxation and wasteful spending will be shrunk back to the local level, where inherently it will be cheaper. Then our government will make economic sense.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Penny for Your Thoughts?

Time is not conducive to free thought. That is, time when used elsewise is useless to philosophical debate. Laborers and wage workers have little time for abstract thinking. They have jobs with duties and don't want to be fired. Some would say that education leads to erudite thought. This is false. Erudite thought is brought about by two things: necessity and interest. However, in kind, when bogged down in activity, the erudite are useless to thoughtful endeavour. They haven't got the time to do it.

This dichotomy seems at odds against itself, but you have to take into account that there are uneducated people who have created brilliance. Einstein, for instance, was a habitually bad student, yet he became the greatest thinker in many generations.

So now we see that education does not dictate success either. Interest does. An interested mind fosters learning, understanding, and inspiration. There are after all many educated people who are unsuccessful because of disinterest. If you are enormously wealthy then you needn't be interested in erudition.

That said, why do workers represent erudition at a lower rate and why do they also represent inspiration and thought at a lower rate? Simply put, mindless jobs detriment intelligent thought. When one is hopelessly busy trying to feed families and raise children they didn't have the time to set aside for independent thought. This is why fewer ideas of intellectual value can be seen coming of the lower classes. One who needs to work to get paid cannot take time off to find interest as easily as those who get vacation or those who don't need to work in a traditional sense.

Why is this important then? The person who cannot have time cannot think cannot better themselves. These people are stuck in a bitter struggle to pay bills who have little time or no time to sit and struggle with independent ideas. The problem becomes self-serving when you cannot get ahead, particularly in a culture of debt and even more so in the present economic condition. These people, with a lack of independent thought, become a mass of influencible people. One who hasn't the time to think for themselves will not object, will go along with everything those in power say provided that the status-quo remains.

Those without time for independent thought become a voting block that is easily used to achieve means detrimental to the well-being of these people themselves. A lack of time causes this. Education is a vague term with a vague applications. What is known is that education doesn't beget intelligent thought any more than a lack thereof creates the opposite. Time is required to stimulate interest. Interest is necessary to foment independent thought. Independent thought creates socio-economic movement and makes people responsible for the well-being of their own rights, just as it should be to procure happiness in general and a better society for all.

The question remains: How do we achieve the illusive goal of finding time?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

Traditional teaching styles conflict greatly with new ideas of what education should be developing. Old styles teach a rigid design where students learn and teachers teach. Students are treated more as animals whose urges and instincts are meant to be penned up. And, it is those student who successfully succumb to these guidelines that are most valued. Subservience. Yet, these actions, based on these systems do not correlate with action that must be taken in the real world. Schools would stress fact memorization and forgo independent thought. It does not matter why the book tells you that the Civil War happened, only that what it is said should be taken for truth unquestionably. Newer teaching styles promote input and break down the wall erected between the students and their teachers.

I believe that school should have purpose. It is not simply a daycare for children. It should be an institute of learning. Learning requires the free exchange of ideas. Therefore, schools should require no less. Questioning the knowledge of the textbook or a paper or even of the teacher should not be seen as detrimental to the learning process. Rigid guidelines and tome-like study guides and notebooks do not create learning they inhibit it. Learning can only take place when a person in interested in what they are trying to understand. Therefore, schools must find ways to cater to the interests of each of its students. An interested student will want to learn. A learning student will give school a purpose.

School must provide students with the necessary tools to lead a successful life. It is necessary to be successful in life to be able to think for oneself. How could you choose a good career, or have the courage and ability to speak up about something that you're interested in, or be happy at all if you do not have the ability to make decisions. Old teaching styles inhibit the growth of thinking and decision-making skills. Class is structured as a one-way street whereby the teacher conveys truth like a military instructor. Likewise, class is set up rigidly using bells to signify the end of each section and the point at which students must as if by magic change the station and turn to a new subject. This sort of division is unnecessary and illogical. Man's brain is not set up to switch gears so precisely. Such techniques foster boredom and alienation in the student's mind. Perhaps most importantly however, it turns them into creatures of habit. You move from class to class without thinking. It becomes increasingly easy to lose yourself in following this method.

In addition to this debate there is the issue of the student-teacher relationship. Under the old method, students were treated on a lower level than teachers. Respect dictated this form similar to the parent-child relationship in a highly autocratic family. The problem with this method is its impersonality. Students are not going to respect a teacher just because they sit up straight and sit in silence any more than a child will like a parent who requests the same. Therefore, part of a teacher's job is made self-defeating here. A teacher's responsibility is to their students, for their well-being, both educative and personal. A student will not come to their teacher if they have a problem if they do not trust them. However, if the teacher were to respect the student as a person and to respect their opinions and questions in addition to keeping them on the same level as themselves, then the student will be more likely to come for help if they need it.

In short, it is more profitable for the student in the long run, not to be taught using the older methods. Nonsensical regulation (hats, gum, etc.) belittle the independence and intelligence of the student. These regulations foster ill-will towards the administration and to the learning process in general. Likewise, students will grow to resent a teacher who does not treat them properly. Then, they will not be apt to come to the teacher when they have a problem and certainly they will not respect the teacher in return enough to bother to pay attention in their class. To be a successful teacher one must treat all students carefully, understanding them as people and not as naïve or belittled representations of future adults. They must be given the benefit of the doubt, at least unless they prove otherwise, that they are capable of acting mature, learning, and conducting themselves in a civil manner. To do less is to do a disservice to the learning process.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Take One

So yesterday I went on my first of five in-class observations. I visited a 12th grade AP US history class and then a 9th grade world history course. I went into it without much trepidation, probably due to the fact that I find it hard to feel nervous on four hours sleep and after an hour driving.

The school was immaculate, thus quickly putting mine to shame. It was a clean cut newer building. The people were great. I really mean that. The 12th grade class that I went to fit into the usual mold for AP students, but the 9th grade class I visited was head and shoulders above any standard level 9th grade history class that I have ever seen. The difference between my high school and it's atmosphere is the difference between please and thank-you and bitching and moaning. It was just awesome. Teacher and student alike brought a positive attitude to their presence there, even for a Monday. And even if they didn't want to be there it was commiserative they were all in it together. It seemed truly remarkable to me. Even if it be the exception to the rule, a better place to begin could not be found.

The teachers were equally as such. The atmosphere they fostered was one tending towards relaxed discussion where input seemed more free-flowing than it did in a traditional format in my high school. Rarely did one raise hands, rather the format tended towards communal discussion. This fostered a more comfortable class and thus a better learning environment.

At any rate, my decision to pursue a teaching career has been validated by this, my first observation. That's all for now; I need to decompress.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Letter to the Editor

Monday, January 21, 2009
Dear Department of Misplaced Items,
I hope that this letter finds you well. I, unfortunately, am not so well. I seemed to have misplaced a few household items. I would not be bothering you about them, if it were not for the fact that I assumed they would have turned up by now. I hope that you can help me locate them; they are of vital importance, and I have reason to believe that they have been stolen from me.

I approach you not without trepidation however, as I know your legendary ability to find lost objects, and too the complexities of your department to which occasionally one can contribute the lose of ones own self. But too, what I have lost track of is equally legendary, difficult to recover, and perhaps more so invaluable.

You see, dear sir or madam, that I seem to have lost my rights, and I cannot for the life of me understand where they have gone to. The situation has become grave, oh finder of misplaced items, for just yesterday, upon questioning my own kin as to the location of my rights, I was shocked to find that they did not recall my ever having rights. Indeed, they seemed a bit standoffish about the whole idea, as if I had uttered some dirty epithet.

I know that you are busy kind sir, genteel ma'am, so if undertaking my loss is too great at this time, I will certainly understand. If even a hundred others have lost that which I have, then you must be quite busy. Perhaps you could simply explain to me a few things regarding my loss in the hopes that such a thing need not happen again...

Why, kind person, does it seem that rights are such a scarce commodity? I should surely think that everyone would like at least a few. They seem so able to multiply. Yet, we lose them so easily. We do not fight to keep them safe from thieves and bandits. Quite frankly, I am baffled as to why this could be.

Why do we let our rights lie around gathering dust? Why do we shun those who wear their rights proudly? Why do we belittle their causes when, you see, they are fighting for all people's rights? It seems they do us a great service. Why then are they deemed dangerous? Crazy even? Was our great nation not built by people just like them?

And finally, my friend, I have noticed a new trend that I thought, if you do not already know of it, that I should tell you about. As of late, it seems that many people have been set to trade in their rights for material goods or monetary gain? They tell us that it brings us safety, but I cannot believe them. Safety from what exactly? What use is safety if we have not the rights that this safety is supposed to protect?
Thank-you for your time,
Guy Crestfallen
Monday, August 25, 2009
Dear Guy Crestfallen,
Thank you for your expressed interest in contacting the Department. However, due to reasons concerning national security, your rights have been transferred overseas to compel others to see our vision of democracy and our core Christian values and will not likely return soon, or realistically in the same shape that you had left them.

It is with greatest regret that I inform you that your rights are being, not sold off onto another, but that your government has seen the need to force them onto them. It is as if they do not want them. They are confused and need to be shown the light. But there is consolation for you. Perhaps you would like to participate in our Rights' Exchange Program (REP). We have many old sets of our new friends' rights now, the same as they have yours.

Please allow me to review the package deal before you decided... I know how much you loved your freedoms, but they are in short supply amongst our new allies and we simply cannot spare them for everyone. However, in lieu of speech, press, petition, assembly, and a few others you have likely already forgotten, which are in the shortest of supply, you will receive the freedom to practice the new Christian state religion and the right to the safety promised by your illustrious and benevolent Commander and Chief, the great American President, George Walker Bush.

Fear not change good sir. In time you will come to miss your old rights less and less and become accustomed to your new better ones. You probably cannot remember them all anymore anyways and certainly you cannot recite them word for word or understand the sheer context of everything that was haphazardly and foolishly promised oh so many years ago.

Just know that your government is looking out for your safety by sending your rights overseas. When this time of extraordinary crisis ends, trust in your government to allocate you a new set of rights. Do not worry, patriotic citizen, remain silent to our enemies' condemnation of your Great Leader and hold your head high for you are doing it for the betterment of our free society.
Rest assured honest patriot,
The Department of Unnecessary Items

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Foggy Future

My waking hours are blistered with terror this and war that. Fear. We live in a world where fear dictates our every move and our every decision. It wasn't always this way. In 1941 FDR reminded the American people that they had nothing to fear but fear itself. And sixty years later we forgot.

Benjamin Franklin once wrote "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." He knew too what FDR spoke of, that we cannot live our lives in fear and we cannot do things in haste because of fear.

The Bush presidency is littered with mistakes of this sort. And it is the future that will pay. I will not speak of the numerous and wide ranging violations of essential liberty that we've made. I will not speak of the fear that has gripped this nation, particularly in its heartland, where attacks are in the very least more unlikely than in urban America. These atrocities have been listed elsewhere, and as I'm sure there are others we've yet to uncover, I'll save my ramblings for a little while longer on those topics.

However, I do wish to speak of one thing. Independent thought. No matter what rights are stripped of us with the aim to defeat terrorism abroad, however that works, we still have our Independence. We are able to reason. We must reason. We must ask questions. It is our duty to question authority.


Authority is meant to be given to those who have our best interests at heart. It is to be used as a means of protection. This is government. However, from time to time we must understand that the government becomes cancerous to the people it represents and there must be turn over. However, sometimes such fatal flaws appear in the answers we discern that drastic action must be taken to alleviate this country of undue and possibly fatal harm.

There is a means to do this that is both legal, and indeed the patriotic duty of ALL Americans. Impeachment. There are those out there who say that it isn't right to use such drastic powers. Indeed there are others who claim that what has been done to this country over the past six and a half years has been for its benefit. As for the former, I can only ask if you are willing to endure in the next year and a half, what has transpired in the past six? Further, to those who believe that the last six and a half years have benefited us, I ask you to move to Canada. You are a cancer to freedom. You are a cancer to democracy. You are a cancer on the soul of America.

It's time that the grown-ups step in and take the reigns. It's time to ground the disobedient child not to leave him standing nude with batteries attached to his extremities and a bag over his head. It's time for adult solutions. Explanations and apologies. Humility and shame. Because we should all bear that shame. Each and every one of us who believed in this cause should feel shame for the actions that we've undertaken over the past six and a half years. And, the rest of us should feel shame for letting you do it. I believe in your own words, "pride goeth before a fall". And you've been far too prideful in what you call a just nation. We owe the world an explanation. We need to tell them why we did what we did. Why we really did it. Not some bullshit politicking, the real answer. And then we need to apologise. We need to beg forgiveness for ever soul we've killed, for ever family we've hurt. We need to apologise for breaking international law. And, somehow we have to find a way to make up for it.

This nation needs to grow up. It's been in the rebellious teenager stage for far too long. If we are going to last as a society, we must confront our own consciences and our national conscience. We have to learn to coexist. We have to learn to become a contributing member of the world society. We must do it soon. Every day that passes the cancer grows and soon this nation, which was founded on such great ideas, will succumb to an early, yet heartily asked for death. We have very little time to save ourselves. And we have even less to save what our country once was for it's being rewritten as we speak.

The key is knowledge. But the tools are everything at our disposal. And we all need to contribute. No longer can we allow our authority figures to take advantage of us. We must be knowledgeable; we must be alert; we must be persistent.

Do not fear what is to come. Fear only that we won't have the courage to correct ourselves. Continuing down the path we are on leads only to doom. We must be courageous.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

All Things Considered... Disappointed

While there once was a man from Nantucket, this is not his story, nor is it the story of a boy from Boston, a lad from Laurence, or a fellow from Framingham, but a story of a kid with yellow skin, a red cap, a give-em-hell attitude, and a fourth grade education. And hell yeah, he coulda made sergeant! But he didn't. No sir he did not. You would figure that something so big, so absolutely needed in this fucked up world of pale v. brown skin, may not live up to the high standards of one B. R. Superfan but of, in the very least, the promotion of the product itself. For shame. For shame, for you have failed us.

Twenty years ago you learned how to make us laugh and how to make us feel and we too learned these things from you. But time as it is today, status quo has gone stale. The same ol' same old is old and not worth paying for to see. It was eighteen years in the making and quite frankly it may take eighteen more before I'll pay to see another. Sure I'll still watch for free, but I'm Superfan, and there aren't enough of us to keep the this Bluberpust on his toes.

Yeah, we laughed and giggled and smirked a little. But it was just another episode in the end, around the length of three. I don't know what to say, I'm horribly conflicted about this whole idea, that a cartoon family can laugh and cry and feel. And though it's worked for so many years, I've seen it and what I saw tonight, though new, I have seen before. I needed something more to make my trip worthwhile, a little suspense or drama, or a point to come down and say, we can be real too, we're not just characters on a page, lines spit profusely, vaudeville comedy of the nth bombasity. Because that's what made you real to us. That's what made eighteen years. You were real. And tonight, your movie was fake.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

A Little Steam

Where do we get the delusion that we're so great here in America? Honestly, have you seen some of these fucked up people? It never ceases to amaze me that we can have a country, whose model of government was tantamount to epic at its outset, and fail so completely to create a nation of enlightened citizens to populate it. It's them too, who say our Arab friends are so uncivilized. It's them that believe that it is their job to "democratize" the Arab world.

Only in America do we put warning caps (the little orange thingy) on the ends of fake guns, but leave real ones alone. Oh please, forbid us from taking their manly obsession away. Let us not belittle their phallic stupidity. Fake guns need to stand out, while the real ones, you know the ones that actually kill, we can't make them stand out, the pre-injured quail might see Dick Cheney coming. Screw the old man, he wouldn't have seen the orange tip anyways.

There's only one reason we have guns, fundamentally. They fear the government and must protect themselves if the government invades their precious dairy farms and car parks. This is the kind of archaic people we're talking about.

Then there's those people who believe that it's the government's job to proliferate their views. This is particularly important to Christian conservatives. It's God this and God that to them. Unfortunately, "God" has no place in government. It's actually written in the Constitution. It is. Freedom of religion, from the First Amendment, also means freedom FROM religion. They just don't want you to realize this. Since Reagan and his crypto-fascist regime this understanding has all but disappeared.

Then there are those who think that because their religion says that it's necessary to discriminate against a group of people then the Constitution supports this. Umm, wrong. You have to remember that the freedoms promised in the Constitution do NOT apply to you, but to the ENTIRE country as a WHOLE. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created EQUAL." Not just one man or one group's beliefs. ALL. African Americans were property and then they were "seperate but equal". Women were the same. Gays are the latter. It's always the same excuses with these people and they're all intrinsically wrong. EVERYONE is entitled to their way of life ("persuit of happiness") regardless of which religion they choose to practice, or what gender they are, or what orientation they are. ALL Americans are created EQUAL from the beginning. If you are a citizen then you MUST be afforded the rights of Americans. There is NO in between. You cannot have some of the rights any more than some of the people can have all the rights.

Stem cell research and abortion are of the same problem. They think that they have the right to tell others how to live. Allow me to quote: "All men are created equal, and are endowed with certain inalienable rights: LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PERSUIT OF HAPPINESS." You fucking idiots. Just because you have a problem with it does not mean the government gives you the power to decide for them if they are going to live or how they're going to do it.

These are just a small smattering of the people in this nation that, given the choice, I'd use as proof against the Theory of Evolution (wouldn't they love that too). So hey, you guys, if you want to believe what you believe, go ahead and do it. But the moment you try to get the rest of us to go along, go fuck yourself. Oh wait, masturbation is a sin you naughty little pedophiles, go pretend to fuck yourself and then go rape little children.

It's what you do best you self-important mideaval fucktard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

#1: Recruited

The sun doesn't shine as brightly in North Upperton as it did before the bombs fell, before the air turned acrid and thick with the soot of fear and the indignation of governance. It wasn't the fault the Cook family that the wars of their husbands' wrought backlash on their sons. Nor was it Mr. Jones' fault that half of the town's children were born that way, deformed, malformed by the poor drinking water. Indeed, it was only one person's fault in North Upperton.

Mr. and Mrs. Paulson's son is shunned now. He took part in the war. He volunteered; he "joined up". There's only so many reasons to say no when they wave the flag in your face; only a short few excuses as to why you hate your country. Sooner or later, you're going to fold. Sooner or later, you're going to start believing things you'd never have believed before. More soon than not, taking the life of another will seem glamorous, necessary even. And by then, you've mortgaged your soul for the three up and three down.

Rich men and men in power seem more than eager to give you something and the more eager they become, the more they seem to have to give, an endlessly increasing supply of what you want. Too bad you don't realize that it was taken from those who came before you and from you soon enough too. The money was what finally got Tommy Paulson's J.H. He wanted to go to college, make something of himself. He wanted to make everyone proud back home.

Boot camp was hell, but what came next was worse. The bombs fell because of Tommy. He did his job just as the three up and three down told him. He was afraid, but he needed to protect his country and his town. He fought long and hard. He even received a shrapnel wound, which it seemed was all the rage of old war stories. It was a badge of honor, a sacrifice to protect his family. No one ever told him that it was friendly fire. There was no need. He was content with his spoon fed pipe dream.

Tommy came home with a limp and his pride. He saved North Upperton. But all was not as it should have been in his small town. No, something was very wrong. Mr. Jones' farm had turned to dust and Mrs. Cook and her daughter had moved away. The Peterson's hadn't their cattle herd anymore. And, they too had fled, unable to turn a profit. Even old Mathias Davidly was gone, succumbed to a poor man's grave.

Tommy Paulson was shunned now; he did this. His war took the crops and the cattle. It took jobs from hard workers like the Cooks. It bankrupted the economy and caused the banks to fail. It was a war fought to keep freedoms and provide security to a nation. It was to provide money for college for Tommy. And it was supposed to remain "over there". But all is connected. What effects one area affects the stability of the others.

Tommy killed himself two years later. Those who called him a patriot were silent that night. They later reminded his mother that he was a valiant war hero and a man of courage, and then they moved on to the next small town to find another Tommy without a second's hesitation.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Who We Are Part 1: A Summary of the Roles of Nature and Nurture

Once upon a time there were two good friends, nature and nurture. Nature consisted of all that was genetically oneself. And Nurture was the resulting person formed when one's Nature gained consciousness. It would be easy to say that Nurture is the effect of different peoples' Natures, as I previously contended, but this I now realize would be to belittle the significance of Nurture. It is in actuality, the end result, the person created based upon the rules outlined in the genes of man, Nature. Nurture is one's total being, both conscious and subconscious. It is the result of an interaction with another and one's Nature, the rule book.

Nature is solely your genes. It labels your tendencies and your desires. It creates the basic model for your life. All information and stimuli that pass through you in one manner or another must be translated by your Nature into a response suitable its genetically implaced rules. Nature determines when you get happy, when you get sad, the job you'll desire, the dreams you will have. However, you future is not pre-written by your Nature. As I said, Nature is only rules, not the result. That is what Nurture is.

Nurture represents everything you are. While Nature is the reason why you do something, nurture is the doing of the action. Nurture decides your dreams. Nurture decides your desires. It is an assemblage of hopes, urges, and effects that create your personality and too your person itself.

How is this so? Your Nurture is only the end result. It does not actually exist as an entity, concrete in the world as Nature, your genes, are. However, it is the grouping of all that makes you the person that you are. It is the filler between birth and death that distinguishes you from everyone else. It's worth saying that everyone is different because of their Nurture. Two people with different sets of Natures will have different reactions to stimuli, that is different Nurture variations. Therefore, no two people are the same and likewise, if no two people are the same, there is no basis for comparison (except for in the vaguest terms) and you cannot predict fully one's actions. That is, there is no predestination.

Now that we understand what Nature is (the rule book) and what Nurture is (the filler reactions of your life), we can begin to understand the vast (that is total) affect that it has on who we are and who we will become.

Please allow me to thoroughly irritate you by saying outright that your sexuality is fully dependant on your Nurture. You have no control over it. And, there is no gene that decides it for you. As close as we can come to Nature's role in sexuality is this: Evolutionarily, man's first role is to survive to breeding age and man's second role is to reproduce. Thirdly, one can argue raising children to reproduction age could also be one of Nature's rules for man. After that, Nature's rule regarding evolution has finished it's job and man can move onto something else.

This Natural Rule of Reproduction (or Specieal Survival, if you will) is one of the strongest of Nature's Rules. However, it can be broken. Easily, given the right conditions. Will you not sacrifice your life to save a loved one, whether you are sexually interested in them or not? Will you not forgo sexual reproduction if an attractive member of the opposite sex isn't available. (Although it's notable that one's requirements for a mate do tend downwards as they get older and continue to fail to find a suitable person with whom to produce the next generation.)

One of the largest breaks of the Natural Rule of Reproduction is of course the occurrence of non-heterosexual tendencies in all their forms. They are not in the norm insofar as they are not the majority and thereby must be somehow deviant from said norm. This is not necessarily a bad thing unless you are the Natural Rule of Reproduction and desire solely to reproduce. (People in whom this gene is strong, or overtly-strong, tend to foster ill will towards non-heterosexuals incidentally.)

I did say however that it is not a gene that causes non-heterosexuality. And it's not. The gene (the Natural Rule of Reproduction) is only a guide and when acted upon by an outside force with great enough strength will crumble just as any other Natural Rule will. This outside force is usually, although not always, another person. I will say that you cannot be "turned" non-heterosexual, you are born with the Nature that you have throughout your life and what ever you become you become based on those rules. However, it is certain that at some point in a non-heterosexual's life they will appear to deviate from the norm. Sometimes this happens at puberty. Sometimes this happens earlier or later as determined by the end result of your Nature coming in contact with another's Nurture. That is, you may realize that you are non-heterosexual when you meet someone who's Nurture is so significant enough to your other Natural Rules that the Natural Rule of Reproduction is forsaken. Maybe it's because you find them attractive. Maybe it's because of their intelligence. It may be any number of different stimuli that they provide that causes you to forsake the Natural Rule of Reproduction. For instance, "I knew I was a lesbian the moment I got to know her. She made me happy to be alive. I enjoyed myself with her more than with anyone else. We complimented each other."

The only difference between heterosexual relationships (which work of the same premise as the last example) and non-heterosexual relationships is that the Natural Rule of Reproduction must be broken. That is why there are fewer non-heterosexuals than heterosexuals, because it is easier to perchance a stimuli (be it a person, event, or series of events) that will not amount to enough to break the Natural Rule of Reproduction than it is to perchance a stimuli great enough to overcome the pull of the Natural Rule of Reproduction. That is, everyone has the potential to be all sexualities, if the right stimuli are present. Although, for some people, it is more difficult to break with the Natural Rule of Reproduction because either the stimuli isn't present or not present in great enough quantity, in effect that the Natural Rule of Reproduction is more dominant in that person than it, by de facto results, in the other who broke the Rule of Reproduction.

Alcohol and drug usage are similar to sexuality in a few respects, however genes do NOT, I repeat DO NOT, cause alcoholism or drug use. They are the products of a larger problem. Allow me to introduce another of Nature's Rules, the Natural Rule of Happiness. It is Natural, that is it is in your genes, to be happy. The Natural Rule of Happiness is linked heavily to the Natural Rule of Reproduction. A happy creature is a productive creature and therefore is most likely a reproductive creature. Depression has no benefit to your life or your reproduction, therefore it is a result of a breach of the Happiness Rule. If your Happiness Rule is not sufficiently strong enough in a particular instance then you will become depressed by the Nurtural stimuli received. That is, you will become depressed. Alcoholism and drug usage are physical means to dull the senses to avoid overcoming depression. (I will come back to what overcoming is later.)

People who live in a climate conducive to alcohol and drug usage are more likely to do so. Yes. However, that is because they too are in the presence of the same mitigating factors' attack on the Natural Rule of Happiness in say your parents or siblings as well as other mitigating factors that will result in depression. That is, their Nurture is more likely to realize that their other dreams are less likely to come true, be those dreams be of a loving family, a safe home environment, healthy social relationships, or any number of other things one can desire.

Therein this we can find the solution to alcoholism and or drug usage. Find an alternate way to satisfy these desires. Find a way to create a loving family by getting your parents, siblings, spouse, etc., help dealing with their problems, expand outside the home and create strong social connections, etc. as the desire requires. However, it is also necessary to point out that sometimes, the Happiness Rule can be broken so well that one cannot fix it on their own and that another person must help them achieve their dreams in order to fix their depression and thereby their addiction or familial's addiction (and likely pending personal addiction). Some people can be so far gone that they don't know that they need help and may even become irritated or violent because of their depression. However, by understanding the underlying causes for alcoholism and drug usage, a breach of the Rule of Happiness, one can help them cure it or one can cure it for themselves if they are not too far gone.

How do you keep a person who has family members who are addicted and/or depressed (tending towards addiction in time)? Find out what would make them happy and make it happen. Sometimes, just fulfilling one or two of these desires, say for a stable home life or a strong social life, can boost them enough so that they can fix the rest of the problem themselves.

Also be aware that alcohol and drugs are not the only addictions. Anything that obscures one's sense of reality in any way is an addiction. I contend that anyone who uses these things at any point whatsoever has some level of depression and some internal problem that they desire to fuzz over. Perhaps they drink socially. They aren't satisfied with their social life or they feel too introverted. Perhaps they smoke for the pleasure it brings them. They are lacking true pleasure in their lives, particularly in an emotional or sexual sense. Regardless, on some level they feel empty or missing something.

Those who have a weaker Natural Rule of Survival of the Fittest tend to be egalitarian. The Natural Rule of Survival is the precursor to the Natural Rule of Reproduction (survive to reproductive age). People with a weaker Natural Rule of Survival of the Fittest when acted upon by outside stimuli showing others who are less advantaged then themselves or less advantaged than they believe one should be (even if they too are disadvantaged, perhaps even more) will attempt to help them. Likewise, a second Natural Rule could exist to the same effect, the Natural Rule of Society. This Rule states that man will help his fellow man so that society as a whole will rise up and profit. Consider it a big example of sharing excess if you will. These people will be designated Type A or Survival of the Fittest Weak or Society Strong. As near to an actual political group as I can designate them, they would be equivalent to post-Napoleon French Liberals. Warren Buffett, Ted Kennedy, and Oprah Winfrey would be examples of these people, those who tend to care for the common man.

Those whose Natural Rule of Survival of the Fittest is stronger than stimuli tend to favor personal well being (and perhaps familial well being) over the well being of Society as a whole. These people have a weak Natural Rule of Society. In today's society, these people tend to care more about money and other tradeable assets than anything else. They are today's stereotypical Big Business Executives or (equivalent to) French post-Napoleon monarchists and nobles. People who are good examples of this are Adolf Hitler and any number of other dictators or absolute monarchs.

The only way to sway political leanings is to satisfy enough of one's Nurture's desires to overcome the difference in their Natural Rule of Survival 0f the Fittest / Society. It is the same method used to decide sexuality and the same to foment happiness. However these Rules are weaker than the other two mentioned and therefore are easier to influence.

Overcoming a predisposed Nurtural condition, say unhappiness, is done by finding factors that will make them happy. The process of doing this is called Making Up for the Rules. Making Up for the Rules is the process by which one uses other Rules to Make Up for a weakness or strength in another. The example of a stable home and strong social life is an example of this. However, it can be taken the opposite way as well. You can make someone unhappy by removing Nurtural stimuli that fortifies the Natural Rule of Happiness.

This means that we all play by the same type of rule book, Nature. Each person's Nature is different, because Nature is your genes. Each persons' Nurture, that is the content of your life from birth to death, is different because it is processed through the rules of your Nature, which as I said are different in everyone, and because you do not receive the same stimuli as everyone else.

Furthermore, people's Nurtural being can be influenced if one knows which stimuli to use. All people are able to control and manipulate all people if they have the ability to comprehend other people's Natural Rules with some accuracy by providing stimuli and understanding the Nurture produced and the context within.

And finally, given the right stimuli resultant from the accurate knowledge attained from other stimuli about another's Nature, one can manipulate them at will. It is done subconsciously and consciously (especially by politicians) every day. Therefore, we must be constantly vigilant that we are not being exploited by others for their means, and although we cannot change our Nature, I hope sincerely that this stimuli has in some way affected your Nurtural being in a way so as to make it possible for you to realize that you have the power to resist exploitation.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Useful Useless Quotations

"We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." - Richard Dawkins

"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them." -Mark Twain

"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying." -Woody Allen

"On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does." -Will Rogers

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

"If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain." -Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.

"Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none." -William Shakespeare

"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." -George Bernard Shaw

"You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race." -George Bernard Shaw

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." -Samuel Johnson

"You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance." -Ray Bradbury

"It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded." -W. Somerset Maugham

Nature and the Creation of False Logic

"If there were no God, there would be no Atheists." -G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

Hmm... this one had me thinking for a while because, if you've been keeping up with my philosophy, I have previously mentioned that man does not gain knowledge; he steals it; man does not create something new; he builds on something old. Essentially what I was saying is that there is no originality in human thought because we are incapable of actually creating a new thought. Think of any invention that we've made; they're all a fusion of two or more different old ideas. It is the evolution of thought.

That brings me to the aforementioned quote "If there were no God, there would be no Atheists." Usually, when I read something at some point during the reading I come to a conclusion about what they were trying to say, what their stance was, and especially in politics or philosophy, what they really meant.

Analyze any speech or essay and you'll learn a great deal about why the author is writing and what the world is like when he's writing it. Example: analyze Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and you'll understand a great deal about the 1960's civil rights movement, even if you don't call it that by name.

However, upon reading this quote, I was stuck. This marveled me, modesty aside, I don't frequent the realms of dumbfoundedness. What made this so eye-catching for me? Well, it follows my logic, that man cannot create something that doesn't already exist, and then takes it to a completely opposite conclusion, that there is a god.

Of course, I realized that both of us couldn't be right and likewise both of us cannot be wrong. There either is a god or there isn't, there is no middle ground. Even politicians can't find a gray area for this one. Then again perhaps I'm giving them too little credit. At any rate, one of us has to be wrong. And, therein I saw my problem. Either of us could be true based on the logic we provide. As we can't both be correct, there must be some flaw in our logic.

It got me to thinking about where knowledge came from and I realized just that, it comes from somewhere. That is, we don't have it already; we must discover it. Knowledge comes from our interpretation of nature. Remember that we are all part of nature and that without nature we would cease to exist, purely on a feeding level in the least. Therefore when we talk about whether or not a god exists we have come to two different solutions based on two different chains of interpretation.

Of course, and here's where human error comes in, we don't always go back to nature to find truth. Sometimes we solely look to man and other people's interpretations. So to find out who is right, we must trace back our chains of interpretation back to nature, to the truth. It goes as follows, in my opinion.

I believe that based on the laws of nature, there can be no omnipotent being. That is, to be omnipotent we must be devoid of time and if devoid of time, we cannot do anything because the moment we do there's time again and omnipotence cannot exist again. A paradox, an omnipotent being cannot exist without not existing.

All this serves to do is remind us that there is no middle ground. Either god exists or doesn't. In the opinion of G.K. Chesterton, because Atheists exist, god must. But what if all his logic was just a lie manufactured under the premise of truth, fused with other truths to create fiction. The sum of all parts and the total all of the parts taken individually mean different things remember.

When it comes right down to it, after all the muck is sifted through, he will say that his faith proves that god exists. However, we must ask ourselves where his faith came from. Well, directly, likely family or teachers or perhaps society as a whole. But really, it comes from the Church. And what does the Church want more than anything? Your redeemed soul? No, actually they want your money. That's all, they are the biggest example of a greedy corporate interest in the history of the world.

Of course some say they exist to unveil the secrets of the world. No, this is not true. Science does this job. Religion only seeks to prove the world based on a set of rules that earns them power and money. Greed. Corporatism run amok.

So what have I learned from this quote. There is false logic. The sum of the parts of true logic can be assembled to create false logic and from that false logic stem the evils of society. The creators of Church doctrine realized that to profit themselves they can combine the truths contained in the laws of nature and the truths in the desire of man to understand the truths of the laws of nature. This fusion of ideas leads to the understanding that man can gain profit off man by combining truths to make lies. Knowing this, the founders of the Church pieced truths together like "the universe was created" with truths like "there was a beginning of the universe" and "there was something before there was the beginning of you" and extrapolated these ideas onto the universe errantly to create a doctrine of false truths in order to brainwash man into giving them money because it is the key to salvation.

So which of us is right? Well, false logic is never true. So G.K. Chesterton must be wrong. And if you can either be right or wrong, and he's wrong, then I must be right even if I couldn't prove it, which I can and have.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Rantings of a Mad Man XVII: Unadultered Truthiness

Morgan Freeman is god; he's merely playing an actor.

Near bankruptcy, Pepsi once offered to sell the Pepsi brand to Coke. They rejected. Oops.

I write these things because I can't think of ways to make these things into full entries.

You will spend in upwards of 30 years of your life sleeping.

Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez both are ahead of Barry Bonds in home runs for their ages.

Green eyes are a mutation.

A chromosome controls whether or not you can curl your tongue lengthwise.

Annual flowers must be replanted every year, yet annual events happen every year of their own volition.

Evolutionarily, penis size is shrinking.

Apparently, making out in the backseat of a car is now a sin to the Catholic Church.

The guy that plays on The Shield is the only person who could play the Kingpin if they choose to have him appear in the Spiderman movies. Seriously, you know which guy I'm talking about.

There is trace amounts of cocaine in Coke.

Democrats sandbag failed candidates while Republicans run the same failed candidates again and again. Nixon and McCain for instance.

Want less acne? Sweat more, it clears the pores.

They say that everyone needs more fiber. Then, everyone needs more calcium. Then everyone needs more Vitamin D. Fucking hell! Can't we all live in peace?

If you think all batteries are the same... erm... realize that Energizer batteries are the longest lasting of ALL batteries. I mean, hasn't every fourth grade science fair ever proven this? The same goes for Bounty paper towels as most absorbent and strongest paper towel. What else... drinking fountains are dirtier than public toilets. Use Brita filters because our drinking water has far too much lead in it. Volcanoes are cool... well, at least the first sixteen times. Earthquake models are NOT experiments! And finally, there are FAR too many websites giving free science fair ideas, it's not rocket science, really. Well, unless it is rocket science...

What is the big problem we have with nudity? Honestly, I think we'd learn a lot about what we value in society if we all get rid of clothes for a year.

Of course conjugal visit sex is great, that way you can tell Bubba that you have a headache that night.

What is the big deal about personal space? Hey you, you've invaded my personal space! The United Kingdom of My Knuckles are going to impact the Confederation of Your Teeth if you don't apologise? C'mon.

Why doesn't Last Comic Standing get ratings? It's far better than Dancing with the Stars, America's Got Talent, and Big Brother 9(?). In the very least, it's different every night.

What's the deal with ripping telephone books in half? Seriously those things are useful. How about ripping apart a book I won't need for the rest of the year. The Bible anyone? Please? The edges are gilded and it's leatherbound, might pose an interesting challenge if you're interested.

What does the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and god have in common? That's right, they all cost way too much money to support especially if you're dating someone.

With all the men who've died in wars, general stupidity, and whatnot, there still is a basic 50-50ish split between the male and female population. Not to mention the live expectancy gap. See, men need to be promiscuous , it keeps the balance in check. Either that or women start killing themselves in greater quantities. Maybe that's why ancient tribes sacrificed virgin women. See they were on to something.

Too much salt leads to high blood pressure. Too much sugar leads to diabetes. Too much fat leads to obesity. Too much cholesterol leads to heard disease. Do you see a pattern? Only in America could one or more of these things be a factor.

The United States, Canada, Belize, South America, India, Australia, and New Zealand were all, in part or whole, English colonies. Yet, India is the only one which rejected the English language after the end of imperialism.

Why are dimes smaller than pennies and nickels?

And finally... AOL used to be the shit. Now it's just shit.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I really don't have anything to say, but my posts have been infrequent lately so I figured I should try something. Then again, the page views have been just as infrequent, so I don't know why it matters. Hehehe. It's not that I care really, just add it to the pile of shit.

And what a pile of shit it is too. That's where it all goes for me, the pile of shit. Vacation, family, summer, to the pile with them all.

How many people can say that they hate summer vacation? I know, it's scary; I wouldn't have believed it myself before college. Well live and learn. How many people truly, honestly, completely and utterly cannot stand their families? Me! Me! Ohh! Ohhh! If I could sleep away June-August I'd be more than happy. Why? The atmosphere! It's night and day, good and bad, heaven and hell, open and closed. Plus there's no one around

Friday, June 15, 2007

An Interesting Take

According to Wikipedia there are between 12-14 million Jews in the world, the biggest piece of which (40% or 5-6 million) live in the United States. If the United States were to prohibit civil marriage to the Jews because they didn't follow the Christian moral code there would be a massive uproar in the world as we know it today. But if we take all this nation's non-heterosexual population, whose population following the idea of 2 in 20 would be around 30 million in the United States and 500-600 million in the world, and decide that prohibiting them from civil marriage is a good idea, far fewer would care.

Would someone please explain this to me? Is it residual from the Holocaust, because really that excuse is getting old? Non-heterosexuals have been discriminated against in very much the same way since the beginning too, even in the Holocaust. Any ideas?


Tuesday, June 5, 2007


It just goes to show that the human race is a complete intellectual failure that we cannot even agree to treat everyone as they want to be treated. We haven't the foresight to see that this will more than make up for itself.

What is all this about homosexuality being a choice. Sure that's an easy solution, providing we forget about all the countries that prohibit it at the penalty of death and still it remains. You can't get much harsher than that.

What's the worst thing to grab while fumbling around in the dark for a bath towel? Well, based on my experience I'd say my teenage sister's lace bra. But, hey my mom's would come in a close second.

Have you ever noticed that the things in life that we can't live without cost the most. Houses, cars, children, refrigerators, washers, dryers, you name it.

Milk prices are going up this week because of the cost of fuel. Some are also blaming the cost of corn feed for cows. With increased ethanol production, corn prices are allegedly skyrocketing. Shoot, can we tear down the wall and have Mexican workers bring corn over the boarder with them? We could even make a game show out of it. The person who gets around security first wins citizenship. For the sake of reality TV, call it The Bored Maize.

Did you know that the people on survivor actually lived in hotels after the cameras turned off.

A man is a person, not an island. Well, except for Prince Edward Island, that's both apparently.

Are there any cutthroat vocalists?

I've sworn off eating out. Last week I ordered the Peking Duck at a Chinese restaurant and was mortified by the bill.

Is anyone else mad at those "Get Zwinky" commercials? I don't even know what it is and I won't buy it.

Here's a free tip: If you want to cool off on a hot summer day, take a hot shower not a cold one. When you get out of the shower you will feel refreshed for almost an hour rather than feeling oppressive immediately.

What ever happened to the mullet? I think someone should bring it back. Paris Hilton anyone?

Look this up Mitt Romney's first name. It's Willard! I'm not joking!

Imagine if all the fetuses that were aborted actually weren't. Talk about overcrowding. Nevermind the financial implications. I wonder how heavy that drain would be on our social services. That settles it, get an abortion; it makes economical sense; it's patriotic.

Why are zoos legal? Honestly, it's just this side of San Quentin to really get me going. At least in jail you get reamed in the ass every now and then.

Why do baseball pitchers like old gloves but need new balls every couple of minutes?

I wonder how many people actually know where the name Deepthroat came from.

In the summer we make it cooler; in the winter we make it warmer. What a waste of energy. If we could all just do the opposite it would save us a hell of a lot of money.

Honestly what did the world do before plastics? It's frightening!

If I could have one wish I'd like to have football players and soccer players switch jobs for one week. It would be enlightening.

You want the surest investment that you can possibly get? Here it is... When the next big video game console comes out, buy as many as you can right up front, no matter the cost. Then sell them on EBay immediately. You'll make at least double, maybe triple your money back.

Ron Jeremy's new bestiality porn: Sex, Pugs & Lies.

Shower before you go to bed and your sheets will last twice as long.

How pointless is it to wash laundry every day? Well how many times a year do you wash your winter coat? Your comforter? Your dress work shoes? Your toothbrush? The chairs at your dinner table? The couch? Or better yet... Your mattress?

Why was the cartoon "Doug" so popular?

Why is true love so rare if everyone wants it?

Tone deaf? Bullshit! That's just an excuse for bad vocal performance.

I used to believe that everything has to have a purpose. But what could possibly be the purpose of stage fright?

What is the big deal with authority and things that make us feel good? They've been trying to stamp them out since ancient times. We even have an organization solely devoted to the stamping out of life's pleasures: The Catholic Church.

Oprah spends millions of dollars building an all-girls school in South Africa, while the boys starve.

Why do the bands that appear on late night television profoundly suck?

Does every golf ball have the same number of dimples. You'd think they'd have to coming from the same mold. Maybe now and then they add or subtract a few just to mess with our game.

If you'd like to be a successful poker player by all means watch as much poker on TV as you can. It makes you easier to beat.

Guys can walk around without shirts on why can women? I sense a conspiracy.

If there's one look that I'm certain will never be attractive, it's got to be the redneck mustache.

And one last one...

I've never seen a one-legged dog. Now I have a reason to live.

Monday, June 4, 2007

A Joke

Alright, I heard a great joke today, so I'm going to share:

Q. Why do girls like Jesus?

A. Because he's hung like this (extends arms) and promises a second coming.



Rantings of a Mad Man Part XV

Here are a few things to think about. I mean it, really think about them.

1. It's commencement season yet again and I found something rather interesting regarding high school graduations. The people who get the most applause are those who, for whatever reason, were very unlikely to graduate while those who actually did a lot of work and earned their diploma. The applause is gauged on how unlikely it was for them to stand there rather than as a measure of the quality of their work. Doesn't anyone find this slightly odd?

2. The Democratic and Republican Parties first primary debates have occurred. Both were extensively and exhaustively covered on cable, but barely at all on broadcast television. What kind of message does this send America's voters? If you're poor you aren't important?

3. If Paris Hilton was anyone else, not famous that is, then should would have been seen as the drunk driving maniac that she is. But, no, because she is Paris Hilton, people have decried the sub-standard sentence she had been given, commuted as much as it has been, even so far as to petitioning Governor Schwarzenegger to pardon her! She's a danger to the public. AND, because of her public renown, a weak sentence only serves to PROMOTE DRUNK DRIVING!

4. Why can certain government officials (governors, presidents, etc.) pardon criminals? Where's the logic in allowing them to bypass the Judicial Branch altogether? Can they do the opposite and CONVICT people without trial? Well Bush can apparently, but that's besides the point. Why don't people have a bigger problem with this obstruction of justice? All it is is political meandering.

5. People are moaning about the sanctity of life a lot lately. And no, this time I'm not talking about abortion. I mean this new reality TV show where a terminally ill woman volunteers one of her kidneys to one of three people in need of a donor. The audience votes to decide who gets the organ. First, I'd like to help you realize that if everyone thinks this is in poor taste, then no one will watch the show or vote for a benefactor. However, more importantly I'd like to point out that not only is this woman helping save the life of one person, but the TV show will also give the other two (the losers) a spectacular chance of receiving a kidney in their own right just because of compassion by the viewing audience. And moreover, this show will raise awareness for the necessity of vital organ donor programs.

6. Imperialism is the reason for the spread of so-called "terrorism". Think of the regions that these terrorists come from: Africa, South-East Asia, and the Middle East. They all have it in for the U.S. and its allies (or those who remain) or the Western World in general because they feel they have somehow been wronged by the party in question. Many then choose the Muslim faith, because there is no dominant Muslim nation in the West. Therefore it is seen as an act of defiance, and just as neo-cons twist Christianity for their uses so do these groups twist Islam. The reality is that they have been wronged and they have every right to be angry. But, just as in the West (rather debatable as of late), violence should not be an acceptable outlet.

And lastly... just a question to think about...

7. Would you rather twenty acquaintances or two really good friends?

That's all for tonight. As always, FLYFREEFOREVER!