Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blog resurrection, Part VII

Tired yet? Its hard to believe at one point I actually hand typed all this drek when now even just copying and pasting into a text file to kill the busted old HTML and repasting then bolding the dates is sucking me dry.

Heigh-ho, we carry on until the job is done.

Before I go to sleep I have to make a last minute addition. No i'm not gonna gripe about how much my paper sucked tonight, bit I am gonna slam something home.

Every live and dead journal has little 'current mood' and 'song of the moment' shit. So I am gonna lay out my evening's tone via that example. From like 9 pm - 1 am

Current Mood: Intense physical pain.
Song of the moment: Rollin's Band - Liar
Quote of the day: "YOU LIARS, WHY DON'T YOU STOP LYING" from the Southpark 'butter's episode'
What kind of pie are you? The kind that could put a fist through plate glass without flinching.

Oh and I would just like to add that the pink toothbrush in my bathroom has been shoved up a chinese guy's butt for comic value.

It was good to talk to the brothers though. Now enough of this shit, i'm going to sleep.

posted by Seth # 10:13 PM

Well fuck my ass. I had already typed a good page before accidentally clicking a link and it didn't open a new window, it fucking ICED my last post.

Ironically though, it fits fairly well with what i was writing about. I'll attempt to resurrect the gist of it now. Common courtesy is the topic, it was brought up with Rice last night in a talk about life and whatnot.

Personnally I don't give a damn about rules for rules' sake. Every authority should have some kind of qualification or it just becomes stupid to obey... if someone is just as qualified or LESS than you, fuck that, do it yourself. Rules are necessary but not every rule serves the purpose it is intended to.

Consider Kosher laws. At the time when they were written it was VERY important to make sure you weren't going to accidentally poison or toxify your meals. But how to convince people...make it something God wants them to do! Its genius when you think about it. Maybe D.A.R.E. would have worked a little better if we'd had a holy mandate attached to it.

And some rules do not serve their purposes directly but are established so that one behavior is prevented and consequently so is another. Like making adultery a sin. True its horribly emotionally damaging to the other person...but it also cuts down on illegitimate children. By extension, not allowing premarital sex keeps the teen pregnancy rate down. Though it begs the question, is the rule really against teen sex or teen pregnancy?

The point I am about to drive home is that rules, despite their good intentions, are largely cumbersome and stupid roundabout ways of trying to solve problems that wouldn't exist under ideal situations. The most practical often apply to simple matters and the body of them sums up what we call 'common courtesy.'

Why should we fight with anyone in our own family? The family should be a unit of support in which everyone takes care of everyone else in some respect. Why should we hate anyone in our community? The community is just a collection of families and if everyone got along then we'd all be better off. Ok, you're smart enough to extend this all the way out to the whole planet. The answer to all these why's is of course competition.

Everyone needs and uses a certain amount of energy and consequently not everyone gets what all they need and want. This leads to friction and the overarching crumminess of human existence. But we shouldn't be so shortsighted or self-centered to just ignore one simple fact. Lots of people can take what not as many people have. So UNITE!! and steal the rest of the world for US, the USA.

Or toss the world aside and steal your neighbor's VCR, thats just as good i'm sure.

This friction does exist however, rather than lamenting it or blaming some flaw in the human soul to wallow in pity about i'm going to suggest a radical solution. TRY BEING NICE TO OTHER PEOPLE, not all the time, but certain things should be the norm that aren't. And when people start ignoring these good standards then all hell breaks loose.

Consider the american habit of calling Shotgun. Everyone knows that every group of people has their own rules and customs. Some barbarians say you have to see the car, or just have to be on the way to the car...but those are stupid suggestions because they have no clearcut way of deciding whether someone has a valid call or not. Stick to reason people, just be outside, unless you parked in a deck (that counts as outside, so does a garage)

Another good example, one held true by myself and the brothers, is seat surrender protocol. The scenario is this: several people are sitting in a room, usually watching TV or playing a videogame. One person, for whatever reason (note the PC use of 'person') has to get up and get a drink/take a piss. Now the cavemen probably just took the seat (or his woman as it were). But we are civilized people, and civilized people call 'fives' or 'common courtesy' to allow them temporary leave without someone sniping their chair.

This is a case where it is in your interest to obey among your closest friends or people you're living with. Why? Because it goes both ways. Yeah you can't get the good recliner every time, but when you do you won't have to suffer through an episode of Macguyver because you have to pee and can't get up without losing it. Let's face it, the forms must be obeyed.

But people are just not concerned about shit like this. Why? Well possibly because on the road or on a big asses college campus there aren't enough people to merit being nice. Why be nice when you can get away with being mean and the person you screwed isn't going to be there twice? Its sad people think that way, but they do.

Its also pathetic how rare manners are these days. And I don't mean tableside behaviour either, i eat anything with fingers that i'm capable of. I mean, like letting the occasional car turn in front of you, or holding a door for a few extra seconds. Two amusing examples should highlight the depth of this apathy.

First, just the other day I was returning to the apartment. Three fairly attractive girls were bringing in like 23 bags of groceries to the second floor and could not manage an 18 pack of water bottles. So the girl carrying it set it down on the stairs and they left it. I won't lie that I was tempted to sneak off with it just because that'd be pretty damned funny. But I decided to a do a good deed and carry it up for them.

Me: Hey, do you need some help with this?
Girl1: umm if you could get the water that'd be great
Me: Sure no problem
Girls: you're so nice...thank you so much...

Shameful, that even pretty girls aren't being catered to in a chivalrous manner. That just goes against common sense.

The second example of common courtesy's death happened last semester. I am walking towards my nutrition class in williams hall. There is a girl about 20 feet in front of me, and a guy with a broken leg on crutches maybe 4 feet behind me. As the girl reaches the door, she opens it, notices the guy on crutches and makes the motion that she's going to hold the door for him. However, after about 3 seconds she changes her mind and lets the door shut, right in my face. Chagrined but not surprised (it was a girl after all) I stop and hold the door for the dude on crutches. We make some cracks about how impatient people can be. Now behind us, there is a step up that the crutch dude has trouble negotiating, people are piling up. Maybe 5 seconds pass before he gets inside and people are already tapping their feet and checking watches and shit. Holy crap, how impatient! Worse, before even I can make it in, some other little asian girl jumps in front of me and shoulders her way past the guy on crutches.

All these people need to pause and remember one thing. Their lives just aren't important enough to merit being in such a hurry all the time.
posted by Seth # 5:24 PM

The following was inspirated by the indelible and indigestible Marcus Minimus Dickus of the Eckert province of Caucasia.

Ah criticism, barely a week and my fledgling online diary is being treated like diarhhea. If you don't like it, click somewhere else...here's a fun place where i'm sure you'll find much more entertaining crap.

But as I sit, sunburned from a day at the football game and sweating from my 99 pushups this evening I feel i should comment on critics. Lets start with the football game, its a fresh piece of reality just waiting to be analogized. We had seats in the backass of hell's lofty asshole today. Nosebleed? HA! Try the pulmonary adema section, christ it was easier hiking mountains in colorado than getting up to our seats.

Oh well.

Now I am not an expert in football or football related matters, but I can enjoy a sporting event or live execution as much as the next guy. As bereft of school spirit and nationalism as I am, there is an undeniable thrill at seeing a player from your team tackle the other guy and slide on him for about 6 yards into your own sidelines. I mean face it, that's a small step down from feeding christians to lions.

What I cannot fathom are these old, burned out chuckle heads screaming like freaks at plays that are going on almost half a mile away. More than that, they presume to yell suggestions as to what the player is doing wrong. Reality check dipshits, they are on the field, and your ass is in mountain goat territory. If you were that knowledgeable about the game you'd be on the sideline with 'coach' tatooed on your forehead or something to that effect.

I mean, what a bunch of assholes. I seriously pity these types, but not as much as I do their kids. Can you imagine the vicarious living situation with a dad like that? Holy crap, I am thanking my lucky stars the worst dad ever pushed me into sports was when I learned to do butterfly *the swimming stroke, sex position comes later at eleven* at six years old and was forever recruited to do beverly hills swim club swimming until I was 17.

There's some grain of kuh-nah-ledge tucked away there folks. If you're into football so damned much, get some of your old timey friends and start a company league or chase a bunch of kids and their big F'in dog out of a sandlot and just duke it out fight club style but with a pigskin instead of fisticuffs.

*********************(this is the end of inspiration from Mark****************

Oh, and there's been a revelation today that calls to mind another sort of criticism. Strange how finding out a little detail can change your opinion of someone you formerly cared about. I mean, just a little thing like making out with a bitch and people start losing their minds.

That's actually quite clever up there in that last paragraph. Why? Because I am not the one that made out with some bitch, i'm the fucker losing my fucking mind. But not entirely, I still have my little purple pills and my confidence grows under a single condition I am attending like a freezing man blowing at the embers of an infant fire: Every day I grow stronger.

Should I limit this growth? Well to the degree that I must also do school and work, but eventually where will I apex? Probably not to where I once was during my late high school years, but somewhere between then and my weakest is good.

The balance of this question becomes apparent when you look at the opposite sides of where my physical and mental states have taken me. Then we look at the opposite extremes as personified by recent neighbors and see the folly in reaching out to either side of the spectrum. Lets start with the extreme physical.

Stuckey, the name calls to mind a guy that walked around constantly shirtless and constantly retarded. Sadly there was a time when I resembled this former suitemate of mine in unfounded confidence and stupid flaunting. No one likes a muscle head, especially when you aren't even intimidating enough to develop an austrian accent. But the other side of extreme muscle fails as well.

Charles is proof of this. When you devote yourself totally to mental resource building and intellectual exercise you lose something. And not just muscle tissue, but confidence wanes as well. This may not generalize to others, but to me its an inverse relationship. Gain confidence, lose judgement. Gain mental enlightenment at the expense of physical self, lose mad confidence. Now if you'll look closely at this you see a big problem that reeks of the very essence of human existence.

Confidence influences your ability to impose yourself on others around you...yet in order to maintain this you exclude the benefit of sagely advice. Try to think to much and your forsake the very ability to act on what you can decide. In other words...a balance between knowing what to do and being able to kick yourself into doing it depends on both mental and physical status. Sound eerily familiar? Yeah, I just wrote about 'Presence Theory' the other day...just scroll down for more. (its a ways down there, i bet you can find it though)
posted by Seth # 8:40 PM
Something new before the swim today.

Some people, republicans notably, believe in allowing a certain state of social anarchy. Namely, that each person should stand on what they can earn without any help and assistance from or obligation to their fellow countrymen. This means lower taxes and lower amounts of social services.

But freedom cannot exist in every form without some standards of order.

In a perfect world, travel would be determined only by your means of conveyance and departure time. With the current road system one or even a few people could get by simply and without the need for traffic lights or rules. However, there are not just one or 10 drivers on the roads there are fucking millions of them.

Obviously this stresses the system and certain standards help alleviate the utter chaos that would occur if left to human nature. Wrecks, stoppages and horrible inefficiency would be pretty common. Lack of support and regulation would leave countless wrecks on the road sides to be abandoned and then scavenged or simply left to rot.

If I may make a strong parallel to current economics, consider the employment situation in America. We have a state in which housing cannot be purchased or leased simply by working a minimum wage job. Worse, local government (in raleigh anyways) is striving to limit the number of non-related people living together thus blocking an alternative to sleeping in one's car or a substandard structure. The justification is classic though, we don't like the way poor people are making raleigh look because it embarrasses us.

Yay for democracy though.

I mean, come on now, i'm sure that one of the richest and most developed countries in the world can come up with a decent solution to figure out what to do with all the unemployed people (and without resorting to genocide). If nothing else, take some of the ungodly sums we spend on defense and just pay people to do...well, anything. Give people a sense of purpose and something they can live on.

Though soon most people's jobs will be replaced by robots anyways. So maybe its just a matter of time, alas. Now, off to the pool.

posted by Seth # 11:14 AM
Not much in the way of current philosophical details, so i'll just outline a current longstanding belief of how the universe tends to work.

Its called 'presence theory.'

This, as far as I know, is not a codified philosophy or even qualifying as a way of life. Machiavelli is pretty close but lacks certain crucial aspects that make it a distinct theory.

On the one hand there is information theory. Basically, an organism's success depends largely not on simple animal instincts, but by keen detection and location skills. Consider migratory birds and insects. They cannot survive in one climate during part of the year, so instead of being evolved into something that can, they just go elsewhere. Its brilliant. Monkeys aren't much better off than squirrels and even then they can't claw or run nearly as fast. But they have color vision (squirrels do not and are incredibly wasteful as a result) and incredible coordination that allows them to better climb, swing and find food.

But intellect isn't everything. During WWII the german's had better tanks, better planes, to a large extent better generals and officership and a huge F'in army. But they still lost. Why? Well there are 3452654653465 reasons but here is a big one. Germans designed weapons of war to be perfect, absolutely unstoppable creations. The tiger and panzer tanks were far superior, just as the messerschmidts could terrorize the british and american airplanes. We on the other hand built to about 90%. Sure we didn't have tanks that could handle as much punishment or deal the same amount of damage, but we had three times as many of them. No, the key to Allied victory was in pure industry and awesome cryptography and intelligence.

There's a lesson to be learned there. Superior technology can succumb to sheer numbers, and intelligence (as far as knowing where, what and how to deal with things are) can make all the difference.

So while one can usurp the other, the best solution is to know how to defeat your enemy or solve a problem and to have the means to do it. Presence is the combined result of having working technical or logistical knowledge (like expertise in metal working) as well as the means of acting on that knowledge (like having arc welders and steel lathes).

Real world application is fairly straightforward.

Consider any problem you can have. Lets try...smoking. If you're addicted to smoking, and want to quit, what is the best way to do it. Strategy: What are you capable of? If you can handle cold turkey, then go for that. But most people aren't. So you look at how long you can deal without cigarettes before giving in.

Even knowing this, exactly what the best method is requires data. Data in this case is personal preference, level of addiction and all that mess. However, knowing the best solution may not help at all because of cost or availability of what you need. Thats when the means aspect comes into play.

Getting the means can be a simple matter of cost, or a difficult process only made available with a strong component of info. Its a pretty simple concept once you understand it, explaining seems to be more difficult than i imagined.
posted by Seth # 10:59 AM

This is rare midday entry mediated by an attempt to restabilize my life. So I need to focus my thoughts real quick before launching myself into this project. The source of instability is of course recent trauma with the girlfriend. Now to meet any threat or attack there are two options 1) Dull the attackers teeth or 2) toughen your own hide.

Now normally I am against simple armor. After all, its much easier to teach little kids to look both ways before crossing the street than making kids car proof. So I am going for the hybrid solution, one that will allow me to better anticipate and resist difficult emotional periods. In a word, Melange.

If you're unfamiliar with Dune (then SHAME ON YOU) Melange is a substance only found in the deep deserts of a single planet. Its called 'the spice' but is actually a potent narcotic that adds vitality and extends life many times over what normal humans can sustain. Pretty strange for a drug to actually lengthen and improve life when every other narcotic worsens and shortens it.

But this isn't a literal seeking, the stuff does not exist in physical form at all, but there is a mental precedent that has all the qualities of this miraculous spice. In a word: Confidence.

Consider, quality of life is basically determined to a degree by your physical comforts but more so on the outlook. We have more than enough essentials to deal with for the rest of our lives but people are so stuck on satisfying their needs. Well that's fine and good if not for the fact that desire is infinite and goods are certainly not.

Rather than satisfy myself with drugs or extrinsic pleasures, a lessening of needs is my course. But how can one do this, doesn't it feel like defeat when you are denied something? Yes? Well maybe, but sacrifice in the short term can lead to great things later on. So I seek confidence to fill the gaps of unchecked desire. Intrinsic motivation is more powerful than extrinsic, rewards are much better motivators than punishments...so my answers are simply laid out before me.

Gain confidence! This for me at least is a simple matter. There are cases where meeting a single desire can be a good or even better substitute for other pleasures. For most guys part, just having a girlfriend makes it ok to have less money time and sanity. Or perhaps a better way of looking at it is that when you have a girlfriend (or whatever your key desire is) things are more pleasurable in general.

Such trust is dangerous, leaving your happiness at the mercy of another person? That's lunacy in my book. Its also somewhat unavoidable but can be circumvented for the most part. If you have confidence, then you don't need a lot of other crap, it just depends on how you get it. Getting confidence from dressing nice will not make wearing shabby clothes no big deal because you depend on it. However, someone that frets over their weight might compensate by dressing nicely and removing the dependence on fitness in favor of style.

Ah, this is the addiction aspect however. And all drugs are in some form addictive, never forget that no matter how small the thing may seem. Your source of confidence is something that must be maintained at all costs. Else, you lose it and slip back into a shitty spot. For me, confidence is having an outward appearence that matches my personality and brain power.

When I could afford to swim 5 hours a day this was no problem, i was in damn good shape, but my brain was fucked as a result. (Its interesting to note that physical exercise drains me mentally and my stint with religion and idealism was strongest during the height of my physical exertions) So a balance must be met. Else why extend life if you hate it, or why increase quality if it decreases your time on earth. Eh?

Well thats a tough question and you're certainly not going to find it hanging out with a bunch of half-asses or at the bottom of your beer glass. Its within, not without. You've merely got to reach out, snatch ahold of your ideal and wring it from the reality around you. In theory you could just trick yourself into thinking you're a good person. Hell, everyone already does, but to the point where it has no firm roots in reality. Thats a problem I face, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And being skeptical about everything includes my own strengths...but also my own weaknesses.

So, having laid it down and said my piece its time for relevant action. Action potential that I cannot yet reach in my current state is just waiting to be strengthened and released just as my muscles are beginning to learn the long road ahead of them. And these words on the screen only exercise the fingers.
posted by Seth # 10:32 AM

So my relationships never seem to work out, this past one being no new exception. Maybe its due to my unconventional approach to dating, or more likely that my personality is psychomagnetic. This I discussed with Jodie tonight after our futile attempt to crack open the stupidity coming up on the Research Psych test.

It occurs to me now that this blog is in a serious state of potential failure. What the hell can I really write about if not the stupid trivial shit that's choking the whole world's bandwidth and tripping off guilt and voyeuristic centers in adolescent central cortexes the whole country over? Maybe ranting, but that will get old. So musing will have to do, not that anyone reads this.

If nothing else this could prove useful in a limited sense, like talking to yourself. My theory about outlooks goes something like this right hyeah: In normal operation the brain is aware of the world without, reacting based on instinct and learning on a semiconscious level that allows us to get through the bulk of life without realizing what a dull crazy and fucked up planet this is. But there is also the introspection mode, when you examine your own self. Not just what you're thinking either, you can analyze desires or feelings towards things and decide stances on controversy all within the confines of your brain.

Still with me? Well thats just the first part of the picture. See, if there's one thing I learned in my 4 or so years of psych its that interaction is the key to dealing with people, learning and making yourself known. It all goes back to the grand design and my presence theory. For now content yourself with the notion that the mind can also be geared towards the outside world in an active sense of interaction with the environment. Completing the punnett's square is the inner sort of interaction. And there the possibilites multiply.

Self conversation is not the same as introspection. Why? Well consider the difference between listening to a conversation and participating. You can learn from both, but if you converse yourself you can direct the content, alter opinions and steer ideas around. Not always for the better, but it should always have some affect on what is said and what is learned. So why not talking to yourself? It seems pretty relevant. But there is only one brain to deal with, how can you get more out of the same thing?

Maybe you can't, but then again maybe you can. I think you can based on my own experience of trying to break down problems. Just thinking about math or verbal problems usually works, but in the case of stickier stuff like emotional issues or how you 'feel' about something it's better to have a second opinion. Kind of like the devil and angel that pop up on your shoulders, but its YOUR angel and your devil. They are you and you are them, or however you decide on it. For me the device best suited to dual thinking involves the sensitive and passive person vs the absolute practical and super selfish aspect of the brain.

Obviously it varies, but in dealing with girls...sometimes you just need someone to tell you its a fucking lost cause and you need to just break the fuck out or stand on your own principles. Pride can be nurtured by either side, but any time you have a thought like 'man I really want to be with this person' you should follow with a 'but what do you really want from them.' This is for uncertainty mainly, because you can't always evaluate your friends and lovers on a constant basis.

Mmmm, on an unrelated note the book is becoming more and more of a real thing lately. All my chapter summaries are finally done for the three storylines and the book as a whole has a very coherent sense in my head. Now only 300 more pages to type and I am DONE!! Well then editing like a motherfucker takes over, but you get me.

Next on the agenda is my philisophical comment of the day. I sometimes waver between the whole being nice to strangers and cutting people out of the pack that get in my way. Today I have decided my motto towards common courtesy will be geared towards the sharper of the two types. "I walk in straight lines." Its a pretty deceptively simple statement, but here comes a long winded explanation of my justification.

First, it occurred to me seeing a little skinny kid shoulder his way through two guys that probably added up to 3 or more of him and run into the bathroom to take what sounded like a well-deserved piss. Now, I have had a class with this kid so I know at least a bit of the background. He was shy as hell, could barely talk to girls and I am pretty sure I scared him (not on purpose, he was just an uppity guy). Now, when he had to piss, he turned into a tiger and did what he had to do to get his way. Kind of like being backed into a corner, but with more of a chance to ruin your shorts.

So necessity breeds courage or temporary audacity. But how often is it an actually day to day part of someone's character? From riding the bus, shopping and various other qualities I can hazard that its rare in most circumstances. Example: Someone gets up on the bus and there are several people standing up, who gets that seat first? This is kind of cloudy because i'm sure like other guys I personnally would rather give the seat to a girl then be a bastard and take it. But just the way people organize themselves into lines and orders. Or at the store when a register opens who jumps at the chance, or in traffic people being really bold when its the last moment and they just GOTTA get over.

Mentat Computation: People will allow themselves to be cut in front of, overlooked or shoved to the side when they are not in some kind of stress or hurry greater than normal conditions present.

Lesson: You can walk on the grass and 9 times out of 10 no one will say shit to you. So walk in a straight line, and odds are slight that someone will call you out on being assertive even aggressive. Also, just be warned that this rule can be exempted by people whose job it is to mete out punishment (like those motherfuckers in transportation) because they've been desensitized to ruining someone else's day.

Wait, what the fuck does this have to do with your relationships? I'm getting to that assmunch. (an example of self conversation)

So the norm has apparently been my unintentional stepping on Bunn's grass and not being yelled at because of typical circumstance. However, with the increased stress of work and another insidious force soon to be addressed I have been pissing her off lately. But everyone's been pissy lately.

Ok, another factor, and some may argue that this is part of the 'stress and necessity' but I don't. Individual differences vary on a permanent, semi permanent and temporary basis. The biggest temporary difference in my significant other has been the combination of a semi-permanent change thrown together with a recent revelation.

Consider having a source of unswerving praise. No matter what you did or said or thought is deemed correct by this person or persons. This negatively affects your judgement, and yes i can prove this too. Well, i consider it proof but I shun anecdotal evidence, so you may not give a shit.

A former roomate of mine (Mike Hughes) made me aware of a problem that plagues people everywhere. This problem? People that laugh too easily. Both Mike and his friend Tom would go into hysterical fits of laughing whenever I made the slightest attempt at humor. I mean, comments that should have gotten a grin or at best a chuckle were psychotically amusing to these two. Sound nice? Well it wasn't to me.

The affects of such people are the following...1) People that aren't funny think they are, thus encouraging them to make stupid ass jokes that crack up retards and the like while genuine humor goes unappreciated or is not realized as better or even good. 2) People that are funny get accustomed to constant laughter. This is so bad because then you don't get your conditioning from people laughing at everything you say, leading to both resentment and decline in joke quality owing to less performance pressure.

What can we draw from this observation? Well first that it is bad for everyone because it inflicts artificial conceit onto people that don't deserve getting shitty jokes crammed down their throats. It lowers joke quality because it reduces confidence in previously funny jokers, sometimes but not always.

Anyone with half a sense of humor knows the gritting frustration of stupidity prevailing in a social setting due to the lowered standards of a particular group. An ex of mine (KELLY) is a prime example of this. People that didn't know shit told her she was funny and as a consequence we all had to deal with her stealing slang and trying to act cool with pitiable displays of fake arrogance and weakly disguised complement fishing under the auspices of 'self deprecating humor.' Self defecation would have been better than her shit.

The only solution to this problem is a harsh one, but one that must be addressed and applied without fail. Punish the wicked. (I could write it a hundred times but I won't.)

If we keep letting people get away with this shit they aren't going to stop or learn of their own accord. This relates to the very core of humanity (ie not just reacting simply but with articulate reasoning as well). This is not a laughing matter either. Dogs don't house train themselves (here comes a dual lesson from a single metaphor, it'll switch viewpoints so don't get confused) So, if you can, shit all over the place! However, don't expect the dog to start crapping outside if you just grumble and clean it up. SHOVE THE NOSE SHITWARD, punish the wicked and the good shall thrive.

So the grand combination of these...whatever, i Kind of lost myself. But that's life I guess, its pretty f'in complicated. I guess the moral of the day is to do what you can when you can and punish the wicked whenever possible to discourage their negative and sometimes evil effects on society and your social health. This is a good idea, and your children won't thank you for it, but it'll help them also.
posted by Seth # 8:27 PM
This is actually my second attempt at publicizing my private thoughts. The first was for History of American Tech. which i took this summer at NC State. OH WAIT THIS IS TERRIBLY EXCITING.

I'll move on.

Typical posts should include one relevant fact or recollection of the day and one or more philosophical musings (and don't worry, i'll never inflict a 'what if god's a woman' or 'is nature more important than nurture' on you) So here goes, and format will vary according to my merest whims, so don't be surprised.

First, the story. Ok, for those of you that don't know I work as a Student Patrol Officer (forever SPO henceforth) and that means I walk around at night for 7 or 8 hours at a time. Increasingly, this fairly small detail has been affecting my personal life elsewhere in somewhat obscure and random ways. Example, a few weeks ago I attended a film festival with a friend from UNCCH. We parked in such a way that my car and the restaurant were on opposite diagonal sides of one city block. Now, the distance seemed short and easy for me, but Kristina (the friend) claimed it was 'way down there.' What kind of conclusion can I draw from this...perhaps you could consider the bias inherent due to differences in habit and occupation. On another note your could examine the oddity of measuring distance linearly when we clearly cannot walk diagonally through a building to get to our destination and how that affects our entire cultural and social outlook on the universe.

Or you could follow logic thoroughly to the result that I concluded "Women are clearly weaker and more apt to complain about trivial hardships."

Now, I know that was a pretty deep observation, but the real philisophical part is right here. It begins in the pool, and doesn't end in a hottub full of naked women and champagne.

Still water is the medium through which I temporarily reversed the most obvious of my physical flaws. There was a time when I would swim for 3 or 4 hours at a time, on 5 or more days of the week. No arrogance intended but i was fucking good. Not on an absolute scale, I always got wrecked at state and regional events, but considering i had no coach and no one to force me to go but myself.

That kind of ruthless self-improvement fell by the wayside after the february in 2000. After states i had only placed 11th in the state and wasn't going to swim in college. I had no motivation, nothing to keep me going and so i retreated from the water onto dry land. It was not only the time and desire to win that pushed me, but also a kind of idealism I can no longer imagine myself maintaining.

But that is all backdrop, the meat of it goes back to what I began with, the concept of still water. If you know much about swimming you know that people do not get injured by swimming. Not in the actual act, swimmers are all the time breaking their shoulders and stuff. Its always in the gym, or from trying to lift weights, but never in the water. For a present comparison, when I went swimming saturday (as i do from time to time) I tried to sprint a single lap of butterfly. The first length went smoothly and for a brief moment the power and grace of my past were right there with me. If you have swam this stroke before you know that it is more exhausting than ANYTHING (and I have wrestled before, they are pretty close) and I could not maintain my pace through the duration.

Performance wise it was pretty sad, but unlike trying to push myself by running faster or throwing some more weight on the bar I simply slowed down. No horrible wrenching dislocations or snapping tendons...just a soft wall of water keeping me from the wall. I was pissed at first, but then grateful. Water is good for that, it absorbs mechanical and heat energy incredibly efficiently. Two years of laps and every fit of angst or disappointed rage just got swallowed up and I was just fine.

But water is the gentlest knife as well as cushion. A tiny trickle of water carved the relatively monstrous grand canyon, it carved away 55 lbs of fat on me. Time time time, is the only issue, given time water cuts through anything. Its just a matter of flow and duration.

So, the relevance between the two posts is the consolidation of the past lessons learned and present demands on time. Consolidate what though? My thoughts turn not only to the considerable time I have spent in college focusing on the mental equivalent of 20 hours of exercise per week (studying or reading for the same amount or most times longer.) But either is pretty lame without the other.

The sharpest vision wouldn't help a weakling in a fight, nor would the strongest muscles on a blind man...so obviously some kind of balance is the best option. And so, that's my first post. I'm going to do something more interesting now.
posted by Seth # 7:40 PM

09/01/2003 - 09/30/2003 10/01/2003 - 10/31/2003 11/01/2003 - 11/30/2003 12/01/2003 - 12/31/2003

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Searching for subtlety...
So everyone else has a stupid live/dead journal or some kind of weblog... but they all suck, and mine will be a grandiose departure from the norm. I think, so you don't have to. Email me if you feel the urge to comment or something. (seth.keipper@gmail.com)


I have often wondered, based on the inevitable heart wrenching failure of every single one of my romantic relationships, just what it is that brings people together. Recent events with a certain ex and certain others have made this a relevant enough topic to stick it in the blog of life.

First consider something with me. On the one hand I don’t believe that just liking someone a whole bunch merits them liking you back. People tend to abuse that sort of devotion (see Dan and Natalie for examples) whether they realize it or not. That is wrong, you shouldn’t mislead of misuse people just because you can. Unless they deserve it, then punish them as is right and fitting.

So there has to be something more. What should we call this...chemistry, attraction, animal magnetism, disguised lust? There are many things actually, but in every case there is something more than just affection that goes along with it. Some people need security, some people need someone greater than them to feel better about themself and some just need a punching bag to fuck around on. I am sure, in a culture without arranged marriages anyways, that there are many things people need. But a partner is the fundamental unit.

I look back at my own ‘partners’ and try and see exactly why we dated and how things got together. Natalie and Bunn quickly emerged as the only two ‘real’ girlfriends. Keep in mind this isn’t an evaluation based on guilt of who I’ve dated, they were just the only two with any depth of emotional attachment. Now that kicks 5 out for many and various reasons, but what about the girls that I have liked but not dated for whatever reason.

Consider a few. Actually we’re only looking at three for my example’s sake. The first is Jenny Wade.

Jenny has already been mentioned as a figure of legend. She’s your typical blonde haired, blue eyed angel next door. Yes she’s hot, yes she’s a nice person (if you’re on her good side) and yes I really wanted to date her for a long ass time. She was one of those people that was good and make you feel better just because you know they’re a nicer person than you. But she never treated me like someone she’d be happy with. Hence, we did not date. If you’ll make a quick note that is a pretty fucking strong archetype for girls that I tend to like but not end up with. You’ll see Robin Hunter and Jennifer Ever pop up there also.

Now I wonder, and Mike and I have long discussed this, is it more important to like the person for being cool in general or for treating you well. Its not quite as pointless to argue this as it is for nature versus nurture. I say that because I have an example of each that doesn’t fly.

Amber Weant, aka Ambuh Lee, is prime for the ‘good person’ question. Most, if not almost everyone would agree that she’s another pure piece of southern joy and purity. But I wouldn’t be happy with her for a second. But why, she’s nice, and if she treated me well shouldn’t that make her somehow worthy of liking back just as much?

I hesitate to naysay but it really doesn’t...strange, but we’ll come back to this.

The next example would be someone that likes me but that is not a good person or cool or even worth the air in her lungs. We can all imagine another fun big rant about Kelly now, but I’m not gonna give it. Instead I am going to talk about a slut from high school named Kristen. This dirty slut had a funny idea about life and dating.

On the one hand she wanted chase goodman’s nuts. On the other she let me fondle her in exchange for compliments (you’ll have to use your imagination, but that about sums it up)
Now pause for a second as I try to explain...I at no time wanted her to be my girlfriend. At first I thought she liked me but just not enough (as is usually the case) but it turns out she was just fucking around with me. However the merest realization that she was just dicking me around made me laugh because knowing that I could manipulate things to where she thought she was affecting me...but wasn’t! It was a masterful bunch of social maneuvering on my part and if I ever write a book on Machiavellian dating tactics that’ll be chapter one.

The point is, even when I thought she was into me and treated me better than most girls I didn’t give a fuck. So maybe niether matter or its just the interaction of coolness and coolness towards you. Or maybe the whole notion is a chimaera that I have been chasing in the wrong direction.

A recent email from Helen sparked a new and much better hypothesis. Every fucking person wants something different and whoever they date affect that and whoever they have or haven’t dated in the past affects that.

It’s a classic physics equation. You have two bodies (you and the other person) each person has a past (we’ll call this their velocity) and a personality (this will be location.) Now as any decent physics student could tell you there is no fucking way to discern the exact location and velocity of any particle in the whole universe. This is the heisenberg uncertainty principle. Now the heisenberg uncertainty principle of dating is that you can never, ever learn everything about someone’s past and personality.

It just ain’t gonna happen.

You can’t find out about someone’s past without becoming part of it yourself, and any attempt to measure personality will also affect it. So there’s no way to get a flawless picture of someone without being able to take the entire intereaction between you, your pasts and your present personalities into account. Worse, and this is no conceptual problem, there is the matter of external forces. You cannot ignore gravity or air resistance in real life any more than you can ignore the rest of the world in terms of dating someone.

Lets look at a few confounding variables...other people, where you live, economic concerns, appearance, health, family, government, war, aliens, pop culture, crime, disease, drugs...you can see how this is evolving. Its just impossible to tell, the only way is to just fucking guess.

Luckily the brain is uniquely equipped for this. Consider trying to write a computer program for compatibility based on an evolving relationship...it would be a fucking undertaking. But then again, would it be more difficult to describe the act of throwing a ball at something or just picking it up and giving it a toss? Mmm, so that’s what relationships are. Fundamentally there has got to be an objective bunch of little truths that you can sum up into a relationship. Its just much easier to give it a toss and see what you can hit. Too bad missing sucks communist nuts.
posted by Seth # 9:14 PM

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