Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blog resurrection, Part V

Does it ever stop!? I know, more than half a year has already slipped on by, and there's still plenty to go because as with most blogs the early days are the most prolific.


Oh and we stomped the SHIT out of UNCCH today, so go Wolfpack!!
posted by Seth # 12:54 AM

Todays second entry: Leah Hewett is one radical bitch.

So I got bored at work and rather than jerk my cock around with Bryce and Matt I decided to bust out my kickass blog. And I wanted to write about Clarity.

So I open (kind of) with this quote. "People who are quickest to preach that human wisdom is folly are the same who posess none of their own."

Now why would I make this quote? Because I thought of something else when i was swimming. Basically that church and porno are about the lowest rungs of the entertainment industry, and i'll tell you how i arrived at this.

Clarity, thats something I used to hold as a prime virtue (this was during the religion/swimming phase in late HS.) Not to be mistaken with clairvoyance, but just the ability to see the consequences of our actions and inactions. In a way, your level of clarity kind of defines your morality.

Consider perfect prescient vision. Every ripple from every stone would be layed out from now to the very ends of his earth. You could not function as a person. Talk about anxiety, every death you could cause or prevent would weigh on your conscious, every day things would happen that you could not stop and still go about your life. You'd be lucky to survive a nervous breakdown, and they'd happen all the time.

The opposite, someone blind to their decisions wouldn't give a damn about anything so you could do whatever you wanted or didn't want to do and neither would bother you one bit.

Now no one is like that, but the people more aware are more conscious of their decisions and weigh more consequences than others. Awareness becomes fairly important in this case, and yet...does religion emphasize knowing what you do and how that affects people?

No they don't. Oh but that doesn't make sense at first glance, but it does. Why does it make sense? Because if people started thinking about pressuring others to follow beliefs not grounded in fact but rather a book almost 2000 years old they might start questioning what they are doing. 'Maybe these people deserve to be helped without being converted' some might say. And the more people question, the less they blindly give their money and time to the church. Here's where church and porno come together.

Its about exploitation people. What happens when you go to church? You get dressed up, sit on a hard ass bench and sing hymns or (god help you) praise songs eat some bread, drink some vino get blessed go home and beat your wife. Unless you're an active participant in which case you just beat your beliefs into other people's heads. Those crazy christians.

What about porn. It takes people that need money and fuck em on camera.The point is its degrading and no one would like being forced into doing something so revolting and humiliating as get a load of come in the eye from some dude with a 70's mustache. Now i wouldn't like that very much. But more degrading would be people forcing you to think something contrary to your own personal happiness.

Not as blatant perhaps, but pretty bad when you think about it. Imagine a bunch of color blind people telling you there was no such thing as the color blue. How would eiffel 65 feel? Think about that.

So thus said, I go back to clarity. Its still an issue, but not the only one. Why, oh it all goes right back to presence. Clarity is just the opposite facet of strength in the total picture. Data for seeing and knowing, strength to make it happen. Thus said, I am going back to work.

I hope we win tonight.

posted by Seth # 3:24 PM
Today begins with a quote I concocted (too much alchemy these days) "Wise men cannot see the future, but they know that the world will not stop at their death nor for their children's deaths."

Its supposed to mean long term planning is the highest virtue, and i mean LONG term. Oh well, the topic for today is perception. Specifically, self perception.

First of all you're going to have to do some interaction with the outside world. Find a mirror, look at yourself at about 5 inches away and focus your vision on one of your eyes. You think your eyes catch everything? Now quickly shift your focus to the other eye...holy crap, your eyes did not appear to move did they. No they didn't, but they did in fact relocate inside your head.

This phenomenon is due to the differences in binding vision. Your sight takes place in your head, the eyes are just inputs they don't 'see' anything themselves. Now, as your eye begins to move it sends a signal to your occipital lobe telling the eye to 'shut down' temporarily until it has settled in a new location. This is a matter of microseconds, but as your eye shifts over it does not add any information. Move it slowly enough and you can still see, but there is a gap of visual information in between the time your eye catches the photons from one eyes focus when you switch over. What an awkward statement, but isn't that analogous to how everyone views themself?

Though we have more input as to how our brain works and what we think/feel/desire, we cannot see ourselves without some kind of reflective surface. Consider, you've never actually seen your face except through mirrors, pictures, maybe video and in your own memory. In order to examine yourself you need reflection. Now, ideally a reflection is a perfect copy of reality that mimics you perfectly. But the photons bouncing off your skin and rebounding back through your eyes are just that. Little pieces of light you can only assume make up you.

Well, that's where your image comes in. All we see of ourselves is in images, and images can be faked or distorted. The movement example is just a taste of our vulnerability to deception. After all, your eye did move, but you still missed it. Now consider how many confounding optical illusions there are. Makes you wonder what we're missing otherwise. There is a tendency to assume that what we see is exactly what 'is.' But reality is far from that orderly.

Look at something nearby. I see a can of sundrop. Its obvious taht the can is a cylinder, its green in color, the words 'sun drop citrus soda' are easily visible and where the can starts and stops is concrete. How could anyone see it differently? Well a colorblind person might not see the green, other people with brain damage might not notice it all (the can is on my right, if the left side of my visual cortex were damaged i could only see on my left side.)

Binding is the problem. Consider your eyes as mailslots that get a bunch of pictures (24 per second) and pass these on to different areas of the brain. One image gets sent to color processing, they identify the colors and pass it on to central, other areas get identical images and fill in part of the bigger picture, here's the border, these are letters etc. Now all this gets dumped into your brain and you create a 'report' which is what we see in the subjective sense.

Its amazing to think that if you poked a hole in your brain you might lose the ability to recognize shapes or distinguish between squares and triangles. The analogy would be the guys get an image and their pneumatic tube is broken so it doesn't get passed on. Now here comes the shit that fucks me up.

Everyone has some differences in their brains so that each aspect of what they see if reported differently. Some may have better color processing, others better pattern or facial recognition. So you could be missing out something entirely and not even know it. Or, conversely, you could be crazy good at some aspect and just assume thats how everyone can see. How can we tell? Well it'd be awkward and time consuming but looking at brain activity and LOTS of eye charts and stuff could probably do that.

Think of the implications though. As a person I know that my color perception is sub par but my facial and pattern recognition skills are, well, phenomenal. As a guy, i can't count how many times some fucking girl has told me my clothes clash or to not wear this with that and all. Maybe they really can see stuff that is INVISIBLE to me. That seriously freaks me out. More so, humans have three types of cones to see color...but some women have 4. What do the other ones do!?

I believe the universe is a smooth and freeflowing place that seems jerky and confusing due to our sense imperfections than some quality of it. And if our vision is F'd, man you know everything else is just as imperfect. Vision being our primary defense mechanism against the environment. So it doesn't seem all that odd to extend this in metaphorical sense to our perceptions of other people

I'm sure the physical sense varies, but also what we see first about people. Some, girls here's where you get to strap on your feminist strappy boots, gender specific types see clothing first. I think guys notice it but if the girl is fit or hot underneath some rags its better off than a nice dressed ugly bitch. Same thing goes with sense of humor...its pretty cynical but come on now, lets be honest.

The presence of evil is another thing high on the list. There are always telltale signs of this, and i'm going by the nontraditional standard which is loosely shared among myself and lucas, and others i'm sure. Certain precursors should be considered not as disqualifiers of the person's merit, but just points to consider in their evaluation.
If someone wears a tshirt with a slogan or a band that gives you some insight into their personality. Some, like transformers/thundercats/voltron/w00t shirts are just kind of 'oh he's that kind of guy' but others, sad as I am to admit this, pretty much sum up someone's personality.

For example that atrocity of an attention ploy "You laugh because I'm different, I laugh because you're all the same" I laugh because you're still feeding the beast that you hate and there are 50 other people at state with that shirt. Gawd, what a bunch of tards. Then you have your various affilation shirts. Some are harmless if they are for like a party or a mixer or even a dance for some sorority or shit like that. Shirts like "Rednecks Rule" and "To cruel for you" [sarcasm] or my personal favorite "Girls kick ass." [/sarcasm] they just make me want to not talk to them. Go for something subtle or just fucking funny, like the WWJD for a klondike bar shirt. Or sum up your dorkitude and flaunt the bright blue 'Church 13' shirt from the popular webseries red vs blue. My least favorite of all shirts is the student patrol one.

Damn, i started to ramble about tshirts. I really wanna close with a positive observation that somewhat ties into the whole concept of evil. The world is beyond the scope of any human mind to fully grasp, any 'understanding' is sure to be limited and flawed in ways we cannot see becaues of these limitations. But the currents beneath what we see are more obvious than some people care to realize. Look at your hand, that's 270 million years of trial and error and its perfect. Notice the 5 digits, the two forearm bones and single humorus in your upper arm? That chicken you had for lunch has all the same bones, same for the legs as well. The hair on every animal possessing it is almost identical down to the molecule to what is sitting on your head. Elegance you see on the discovery channel of sprinting cheetahs and the inhuman bounds of the impala are older than any human civilization. And we put so much pride in dancing. If you can see the world as I see it you would know the boundless nature of progress, that evolution or technology are not ordered progressions but meandering forces that slosh over only the barest surface of our planet. No one is stupid enough to keep a geocentric view of the solar system in the present, but the attitude behind persists. Earth is not the center or the universe, the galaxy or of anything important. It is one of many, many such slime covered rocks barely shielded from the potent radiation and hostile gravities of our universe. Life from Earth came from earth, and when we die new life will come from our death, just as your life is possible by the deaths of so many others. We are all alone as far as we know on a lonely planet with savages and atrocity our close neighbors. But your life is your own, and on this planet we are lucky enough to be free with our awareness and I would not trade that freedom for the love of any god, the threat of any hell or the promise of any heaven.

posted by Seth # 11:38 AM
There is unforeseen savagery in even the meekest among us. Mmmm, but anger is not an enemy, it is an engine. Some just try and vent in every direction until the overheat and explode...but direct this and you can walk on broken glass.

Today I wanted to swim before lab. I got up 3 hours early, forsaking much needed sleep all in the name of visible triceps and a chance to bite my thumb at the universe. But alas, one small but crucial detail had been overlooked. My goggles vanished or were mistake as exotic skivvies by the underpants gnomes...and all my plans were ruined. I felt angry, first at myself but then irrationally at the necessity for goggles. Given the time to write in the book was nice, chapter 5 is all but done and in the new chronological scale thats outstanding.

I did get a chance to redeem myself in MacArthurian fashion by returning late that night. And swim I did, 3.1 miles (progress!) of twisted aquatic hydrobatics left me supercharged with chlorine and hormones. I know this because the water polo team was practicing and being jackasses about splashing people and shit. The high point of this exercise was when a stray water polo ball came right for my face...luckily I was doing back stroke and had prepared myself just in case this happened. The idea was to catch it or deflect, thus keeping my eyes and face from harm. However, much to their and my own surprise, I reacted quite differently.

The loud wet crack of me slapping the yellow sphere away was a fitting prelude to shouting 'watch that shit you fags!' and returning to motion in freestyle form. "Did I just call like 20 guys with ripped abs a bunch of fags?" was my first thought. "Those motherfuckers better not try and throw me out before I am done." After all, i was in the final 500 and like nick hexum I too revel in completion.

What happened though? One moment I was happily thinking about the growing bond between myself and several people in my psych class/lab when a piece of rubber sent me into a bloodlust. I know it was an accident, I know the guy probably knew deep down I could fuck him up as his buddies were pummeling me, and yet I just twitched off like nothing. Maybe I need to just sleep more, though its been a stressful week.

Anyways, in contrast to that experience, later I decided to walk back to varsity park and ride instead of waiting 50 mins for the bus. No problems happened on campus, I even made it across western blvd intact...but down varsity my luck stepped out for a pee break and I got douched in mud. See it was dark and I was on the left side of the road. So when a car passed on the right side I could see light, then the car would drive past. Oncoming traffic however bleached the rhodopsin right out of my eyes and I couldn't see shit. So I just kept walking in a straight line and hoped for the best. The best turned out to be a pitfall into a stinking mudhole about 6 feet across. It would have been as avoidable as a glacier in the daytime but the timing was setup better than a government ambush. So my whole right leg and most of my shorts turned wet and brown, worse I almost slipped out of my slimy flip flops and ended up walking to the car barefoot. The worst is knowing some asshole probably got to see it all and is still chuckling at my expense.

I say that with confidence because from his perspective I just walked right into it like a complete ass. Thats how it was from mine. But i'm sure he or she could see the mud puddle as I plunged right in. Oh, and rhodopsin is what your rods use to detect light and it affects your night vision.

Anyways, I did not pull a bruce banner, I just kind of shrugged it off with some kind of serenity. Strange, that an accidental occurence in two locations would upset me in the pool but not after. If anything the second time would seem more likely to flip out since I was already pissed. But that's not the case... what is the difference?

First of all the guy with the ball, I could see his fat face. I knew he was an amateur and probably embarrassed himself. But I still wanted to garrot him with a piece of monofilament wire. The car...was just a couple of bright lights moving quickly and utterly nonhuman. Like uh, getting mad at the rain would ever help, its pretty similar. More so than that when the ball almost hit me I was in my highest mental energy state. It gets harder and harder to try and maintain more than just trudge speed as you go on and I needed my focus just to keep my arms moving fluidly. Afterwards, I was done.

Victory has a way of smoothing things over for you. I had just swam 3 miles when most people can't swim one in an hour. To a degree that is exactly what I am aiming at. I won't lie, the whole bunn situation has me fucking messed up hard and sometimes i'm amazed i haven't flipped out more often lately. But insulation from the pain others always inflict is where the whole point of swimming comes in. Yeah its exercise for the body, but more than that its a daily dose of victory. Writing is similar, but the damned book is so big its hard to measure success when so much remains. No one celebrates 1/5 of the way up everest, its the top or not at all!

Ironic I suppose. Your heart beat races when you exercise or are stressed. But get in good shape and your heart beat slows and strengthens. A small period of excitation reduces the absolute number of beats per day. In a way, that is how I cope with anger. Get it out in some kind of method that allows me to also profit so that afterwards I am drained of it.

Either that or I was just to tired to pull a T-1000 and chase the guy's car down and pound him into carpet on the asphalt...
posted by Seth # 7:54 PM

Also, this is just a recent event. Mom always said it was a bad idea to burn bridges...but I really think that excising Bunn like a conceited cancer will probably work out for the best. Maybe not for a while, but eventually I think she'll realize that if we hung out or stayed together someone would probably be dead. At least she's proud of her slutting around.
posted by Seth # 12:23 PM

Nothing sentimental today, just an analysis of what I call "The Danger of Praise."

Now I know I talk a lot about ego and ego related matters, but this particular malady managed to affect even me so it deserves attention and prompt squashing.

Ok, no one likes a kissass right? But why? Is it because they're shameless and inflate the bosses/bitches ego for no reason other than their own ingratiation? Or perhaps because the boss then inflates his or her or its view about that person. Seeing them not as the soulless weasel that they are but rather a consider and kind person...or both.

Well I don't know, and I don't care, the point is we don't like people that flaunt inflated egos or the people filling them up with hot air (or smoke via the rectum.) Without again resorting to religion bashing, there is a certain tendency I know I have and I believe others share that rebels against delusion. This hunger for reality is my personal reason for despising those who feel 'blessed' by friends that are so supportive and all that cal.

So here comes the creative analogy to describe ego reality vs ego delusion. The difference between the two is like the difference between nice tits and big tits. Ask almost any guy and they will prefer a girl with smaller but firmer boobs than some floppy chested bimbo with back problems and a custom bra.

The substance is not independent of the size, but it should match at least. A B or C cup with some muscle or firmness behind it is much more springy and satisfying than some girl with say H cups so lacking in resilience they are practically liquid. Here's the comparison, size is best when it can be supported (literally in this case) by itself. Big boobs are fun for a bit, but they do get old and in extreme cases they get heavy. Now lets consider how ego inflation happens.

A possible cause is relative disparity. Consider a bunch of shy, nerdy unathletic guys that manages to befriend someone who is better looking, tougher and more extroverted than them. This guy brings joy to the group they could not scrape together from their own sad homogeneity, but the newcomer is a breath of fresh air, EVEN if he's just a normal guy. Now this normal guy is much more popular relative to his group of friends, but this does not guarantee universal acceptance by his culture at large. I mean, if you're the coolest or most powerful among your friends are they really competitors or easy pickings...think about it.

Another possible source is the lure of novelty. Wade and I once discussed a scenario that should illustrate this perfectly. Basically, now get in character, you are at a party and two girls want to hook up with you. One is cute and has a tongue ring. The other is cuter, but does not have the tongue ring. Odds are (assuming little or no tongue ring experience) most guys will choose the girl with the tongue ring. Implications about the likelihood of a BJ aside, its new and different and you wanna see if the hype is true or not. Sometimes you just get sick of the same old same old and just need some kind of difference, any difference. This can be a problem and the boob analogy can be paralleled in real life to my unfortunate time with kelly. But see if you can sympathize with my motivations...H CUPS! People still don't believe me sometimes. And yeah it was a fun one-time experience. Good for a hook up, but by no means the basis for a relationship (this was also before I realized her 'sense of humor' was just a collection of stolen jokes, slang and quips)

Finally there can be a basis for incredible arrogance (out of proportion) as either a defense mechanism to conceal the absurd self-doubt and insecurity people seem stuck with or as the result of accidental conditioning. Accidental? Oh you know its one of those things that has to happen sometimes by accident. Consider someone has the secret belief that they aren't a total sack of shit. Through the filter of only considering good things happening as a result of them and ignoring bad things. (perhaps the example i should relate is how people guess something right every once in a while and feel they are psychic as a result. Well thats nice, but it also ignores that so much of the time they aren't correct. So there is probably a natural tendency towards arrogance in some people as a result of their reasonings and rationalization.

Anyways, there is a correcting force to this in some respects. Any elementary psych class should outline over compensation in conditioning. Consider the kid that likes to play with blocks. The kid's dad wants to encourage this so he starts paying the kid to play with blocks. Now the switch to extrinsic motivation (from intrinsic or just the joy of blocks) made this work, not play. Push someone to hard into something and they recoil.

This is where my own experience comes in. When I first started writing this here blog, it was just to focus my thoughts and save time usually spent gabbing on AIM and the Wolf Web. But then some motherfuckers started saying 'hey i like you weblog' or 'man this quote [~~~] is hilarious.'

You bastards, you fucking nazis! Well the obvious result was a nice swelling of pride. I am pretty confident about my writing and its nice to get some (well deserved?) praise from it. Just as soon as it happened I suddenly wanted everyone to read it and tell me it was good. I liked the praise, but the addiction soon became apparent. So i had to remind myself not to be a fuckhead or start getting 'sensational.' Cuz that's bullshit.

In conclusion, there is a plus side to having a deflated ego. I know that on an absolute scale I am not the smartest, strongest, best looking or best lay. But so what? Niether is anyone else I am likely to meet. And who the fuck am I to say that my scale is the same as even one other person's in this whole wide world. I'm not going to wax motivational, but this is one weasel that won't be getting sucked into a jet engine.

posted by Seth # 11:21 AM

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