Monday, December 15, 2008

From Mundanity to Metafiction: An adventure in Meat Space (Part II)

If you missed it, check out Part I


Enough of this traveling shit. I am happy to shake the pins and needles down my khaki's as I pull into job #2. Five seconds in the door and I have identified my first problem, the office manager

It's not something personal, furthest thing from it, she's just playing an archetype. Hell, they all are. Having a big personal stake in something that's inherently problematic and without a heavy lid to keep the outbursts down always leads to trouble. Trying to manage an office either leads to futility or tyranny when dealing with employees. I do not envy anyone charged to this responsibility.

In this case the OM wasn't the root of the problem, the problem's true name was Carl.

Carl is not clever. Carl is just a dumb fucking voice attached to some pitiful short timer shackled to a desk in a big room full of cubicles doing thankless tech support for a single shoddy product over and over until his own fiends and subcon convince him to leave or blow his brains out the side door.

Misinformation abounds in my line of work. This retard made the mistake of selling a one-time configuration change as something the office would have to do every time they wanted to look at an x-ray. It was total bullshit, we just needed to activate some license keys. Five minutes later and I am done with problem one. Fuck Carl, he can suck the devil's cock in hell.

Problem #2 is the occupational equivalent of misinformation. We'll call it Sleaze. Consider your desktop's Ethernet cable. Whether you know it or not the exterior cladding conceals exactly 4 pairs of twisted wires. 10/100 Ethernet only uses 2 of these pairs for data transmission. Gigabit Ethernet uses all 4 pairs.

Now here's a dilemma for the guys who ran the office cable. One of the network drops needed to accommodate an additional computer. The normal protocol demands running an additional wire from the upstairs patch panel, down to the existing drop, and adding a 2-port plate instead of a 1 port. This is necessary so that both devices have their own jack, their own wire and their own connection to the patch panel, and from there the switch, router, modem and finally the Internet.

It's a pain to run the cable so you might be tempted to cut a corner and just slice open the existing cable and split the wires so each new jack uses two twisted pairs instead of the full four. You COULD do that but if you actually DID do that then you'd be employing Sleaze and guess what.

A little screwdriver work confirmed it. I showed the OM what was up and got to listen to a shrill and piercing phone conversation. Joyful.

Problem #3 was the Big One and it depended on a Switch that was, as yet, undelivered. While the OM worked on filing I retired to the upstairs lounge computer and remoted into the server to do some maintenance and check on the general network status. Packets were colliding like proton streams in the LHC for no sensible reason.

Hammering on the network turned up little hope. I would need the switch. That meant waiting. It seemed like a perfectly acceptable time to drop one on the deuce bowl.

I often reflect, when excreting waste of the solid or liquid variety, how strangely humans react to this sort of endeavor. Despite it being a normal part of everyday life the simple process of entering a bathroom to drop trow to relieve some biological burdens changes things. If someone watched my life all day and all night this part of my day would have gone from G-rated (barring internal dialog) to X-rated in two shakes. Literally.

I attribute this, perhaps too generously, to simple physics. After all exhalation is a form of waste management not so different from urination or defecation. However exhaled air, as with burps or flatulence is easily dispersed. I wonder if we were an aquatic species if taking a leak around others would cause any sort of offense or discomfort.

Too many imponderables to consider.

It wasn't that big of a shit, only 3 main pieces and all floaters. I absentmindedly reached out to flush and . . . (click)

Imagine you've spent your whole life tracking down the guy that killed your dad, raped your mom and burned your whole town into smoking cinders. You grow up consumed with hate, training your body and mind into killing implements and hunt your prey over the seas and across the mountains. And then, villain's head planted firmly in the iron sights, you pull the trigger . . . (click)

Panic doesn't come naturally to me. I deal with bits and electrons and something so crude as water and pressure, despite being infinitely simpler, still baffled me. I applied troubleshooting methods to see what I could do. The water was turned on but not refilling the empty tank.

Something ticked off in my brain from a previous install. Most dental offices shut down their air, water and vacuum lines when the office isn't in use for safety reasons. I stepped cautiously back and strolled downstairs as casual as can be.

"Say, do you mind if I turn the water on I need to use your restroom," I say to the OM. Easy money, just turn the water on and problem sol . . .

"We can't," she tells me. "They are working on the pipes this weekend and we can't turn the water or air lines on. You can try next door if you want."

"Oh," I say. My poker face cracks a little as my left eye begins to twitch. "No big deal, I can wait until lunch." Inside my mind alarms and sprinklers are spraying wildly. The Fiend reminds me of a nearby gas station and its well advertised cigarette prices. I trod upstairs thinking wild thoughts of how to fix this problem.

There's a couch so I sit. The upper floor is a lounge/attic/storage space/meeting area. I do a mental inventory and spy a sink. Taps turn out nothing but a slight creak. There's a stove nearby, some kitchen miscellanea and an unopened case of bottled water. That's a start, I think to myself. I just need to get a hold of about a gallon of water.

Therein lies the problem. I can't very well go breaking into the bottled stuff, the doctor's tight enough to know that would cause trouble. I notice a side door that leads to an outside stairwell. Peaking out my head I see that the snow's really picked up. There was a light dusting when I rolled in and now about three inches of the pure white shit are all over everything. Water is running down the hood of my car, feeding the icicles around the base.

Bingo. I step back inside and find a few useful implements then get to work. I yank the bag out of a small plastic trash can and head out into the flurry. Shoveling the loose, powdery snow brings me to the brink of frostbite in seconds. I alternate hands trying to fill as much of the can as possible. It takes about 3 steps and some fist packing to add some solidness to the trash can. Once inside I can look for further help.

There's a big glass bowl full of moldering chocolates on the table. I empty it and beeline for the microwave. I know that I need to make the snow as compact as possible before I add it. Some more digit-chilling work yields about a dozen small snowballs, each as close to solid ice as I can make it.

It takes two trips and some leftover snow to fill the tank. Finally I have enough tepid slush to do some damage. Finger twitching on the trigger I depress and . . . (whoosh)

Fucking aces, I think. The poo is gone and I have one less problem to worry about. Now once the damned switch arrives I can put this place in the rear view. Twenty minutes later and I can't stand the waiting a second longer. I hit the Chinese buffet down the road, I don't even need the GPS to find it.

Now Boone's a pretty small town and less than a linear mile separates the office and the eatery. Along the way I witness one of those 'if only I had brought a video camera I could have taped this shit and it would have gotten 9 million hits on Youtube.' Alas, I have but memory to replay the event.

Some dip shit kid, maybe 16, is sitting in the passenger side of his friend's car. At a stoplight this wonder boy waves to an acquaintance across the intersection and then reaches up to the rooftop to harvest some snow for a snowball. The crafting of the spherical ice missile goes well and dandy, the execution falters a bit.

As wonder boy launches his snowball he has to lean out the open window. Some aspect of the throwing process causes him to lose balance and he slides out the window up to his waist. As this is happening the friend behind the wheel notices that the light is green and the car jumps forward. Wonder boy, still out the window, screams and tries to climb back in. His driver stops and the smart, smart boy decides he'll just climb out the window and then get back in.

I watch wonder boy fumble for the exterior door handle, he pops it and the door swings out enough for his feet to come crashing down onto the road. As he shimmies backwards out the window he slips and fall backwards into the road which is covered in an inch think slurry of dirty-as-shit snow, dirt, salt and buddha only knows what else. I laugh at the retard all through my lunch. Kung Pao chicken, excellent.

Back on scene we have a 24 port gigabit switch still warm from the truck!

Another run in with sleaze, the cunts who installed the existing network hardware used the cheapest shit on the market and it shows. That's the main reason why I am here. Also I don't have any screws that I can attach to the plywood sheet holding all the other stuff. I have to do some harvesting.

Ten minutes later I am done and out the door. There's just the question of the shipping box.

"You got a dumpster around here?" I ask.

"Oh you can leave that for the maid," says the OM. Right, like the maid's life isn't sad enough without a fucking IT guy that can't take a box out to the trash. I press her for info. "It's out back," she finally says.

Around the building I dump the box. Everything is lousy with snow, real fine and loose shit that flies off at the slightest gust. I am thinking of taking a picture with my phone when a real blast takes about 8 pounds of particulate ice off the roof. I catch a shower right at the neck and face. Sweet bleeding christ its like getting hit with a spray from a sea of liquid nitrogen.

"Should have left the shit for the maid," I grumble.

I say goodbye and ask the requisite 'last' question.

"Is there anything else I can do for you today?" I hate this question because 99% of the time there is something and it's always painful. I would rather suck botulism through a lead straw but in the interest of job security and not being one of the fuckheads that makes life difficult I feel compelled.

My lucky day, she says no. I get to leave, sleaze free and ahead of schedule.

On the way back I take a little more care through my shady spot where I decided to write all this down. Lucky for me a quarter of the cars on the road are trucks sporting ice blades and there's enough salt on the roads to pickle everyone driving on it.

The drive home begins pleasantly enough. I pass Tweetsie Rail Road, it doesn't reopen until May. That's probably for the best, no one wants to see cowboys and indians shooting blanks in sub 20's weather.

Another ten miles and I realize I need to stop for gas. If I had been smart I would have topped off during my cigarette run. Singular purposes fail sometimes. This is one of those times and the Fiend moves to capitalize on it.

Every gas station on earth sells cigarettes. The Fiend knows this and he's already scratching at my cranial bumps. I have to stop, but I don't have to go inside. That's what I tell myself. Right on cue the Fiend reminds me that I have to take a mad leak. So I do have to go inside.

Fucking nagger!

The refill and defill go pretty smoothly, I decide to grab a drink while I am in the store. Maybe having something to suck on (fuck off, Freud) will keep the Fiend docile. The place is a wreck. They only have the weirdly narrow necked 20oz bottles of Diet Sundrop. Figures.

The guy in front of me is even more of a wreck. He's got to be somewhere in his 80's, a tiny old man wearing a fur lined leather bomber's jacket. It's so flaked off and crusty that he must have worn it every day since the end of World War II. I feel a stab of pity as he transacts his business.

The bombadier shakily hands the clerk a lotto ticket with a bar code. She scans it, nothing pops, he buys a few more tickets and shambles out the door. I buy my drink with no fuss. The clerk gets a real big smile from me. It wasn't that she was nice or pretty or anything so pedestrian. She's got to be 70 years old, face looking like the old man's jacket but her name tag says it all.


Every time I try to rankle the wife with a story of hanging out with another girl I mention Jill. Jill's not a real person just a recurring name to let the wife know I'm kidding. It's not an uncommon name but I only run into real Jills rarely. I don't like to dwell, there's too much road left for pleasantry so I resume the trip.

Twenty minutes from home and I am besieged with misery. This has been a long slow buildup stemming from the Fiend's ever increasing agitation and a bad road habit. I have a huge bladder, think mini-keg sized so I go long periods, normally. However when I remarked about getting a drink I really meant getting 2 drinks because I am a fucking diet soda addict. There is probably a Fiend for that but I don't even fuck around when it comes to the caffeine supply.

So I have to piss, my eyes are practically watering, and the Fiend won't shut his squawking beak. But I am only twenty minutes away and that makes it too close for me to stop. Just a few more miles on 77 and it'll all be over soon.

The last five minutes are excruciating but I manage to hold it together without feeding the Fiend or wetting my pants. It's a pretty close race but I manage to get inside and unzipped without incident. For about three minutes even the Fiend shuts up and just savors the sweet feeling of release. Two shakes and he's out to get me again, fuck. I walk upstairs, not running or jogging, just pacing deliberately towards my nicotine gum. The Fiend whispers about how its not the same every single step of the way.

I bite through the absurdly fruity tasting shell right down into the peppery meat of the gum. Only a minute later I feel the Nicofiend starting to get drowsy and sluggish. He pulls up a foot and dozes, not asleep but at least contented for now.

It's been a long day and knowing that the Fiend is finally off my back I can relax.

"Better get used to it, bitch." I tell him.

"No surrender," the Fiend mumbles back. He's right of course, but tomorrow is another day. Saturdays mean a lot of time with the wife and the little one. Familial disapproval is a powerful ally against the Fiend.

Going it alone through unfamiliar territory is when the Fiend wins. I sigh and sit down at my computer. There's writing to be done.

Allow me to peel back some of the glossy fondant hiding the gooey frosting of my soul. This is poem I wrote about a girl named Monique. She was in my writing class, in fact she was the only attractive girl in the class.

When I was 20 she was 24 and I wrote this because it was my writing ‘skill’ that allowed me to hook up with her at the end of sophomore year.

Bele Bazaar

What a deal, a lover for a letter.
In the vain economy of mankind
have you ever heard a bargain better?
So I wrote to her heart hoping to find

true purchase for my weary affections.
Yet scared, for broken fingers past agree.
So through long pondered night I score sections
of mind to tender figures lovingly.

So we danced, as lovers do, one evening
my step laid out like whispers of true thought
that, like Cupid’s arrow or David’s sling
penetrated softly from string pulled taut.

It was not lust that drove my will that day
for if love steered fate, my course would not stray.

This is one of my last poems about absolution and trying to struggle with my newfound lack of a moral compass. It’s another throwback to 2003 when I really started to become comfortable with being godless. It’s also part of the transition from being ashamed of my atheism to being god damned proud of it.


Give me power over what terrifies
the soul, some faith or spirit to find.
Sight and blindness help me realize
concordance of soft heart and prideful mind.

Take away this doubt, and leave me not shrewd
cut me from decisions burden heavy.
Tax me with decency. make choice subdued
to each wish outside your guiding levy.

Save my soul and forgive my dirty meat
for attempting to skew your grand design.
Take this burdened flesh and gladly eat
leave me alone with my soul, it is mine.

More crap, and a teaser story!

I remember getting shit stone drunk on Skyy Vodka and Southern Comfort and writing this while Matt and I were laughing stupidly about how alcohol is yeast excrement. We were commiserating about our mutual lack of girlfriends. I pulled this from a notebook that was so badly scrawled it took half an hour just to puzzle through some of the finer details. For example the “(wanna fuck)” looked like “Uwannd7uckI”

Maybe my future time traveling self will go back and tell me not to be so soggy since I ended up marrying the girl a few years later.


yeast poop makes me happy
one creatures waste gets me wasted
but the taste leaves someone to be desired
like that girl I ‘love, care for, appreciate’ (wanna fuck)

the best substitute for intoxication
is sex con amigas, ya dig?
why else would I be drunk
when sobriety becomes society you
gotta make a change towards impiety
and cut loose the obligations
all for naught or more they are
or aren’t if you’re stuck
nobody knows whats going
on but they’ll tell you anyhow
that’s why Christians are tight fucks
they can’t relax to save themselves

This is one of the complementary short stories to my first novel, Fair Coin. Before I finished the whole story I really wanted to set up a bigger ‘world’ and then use the book to just draw a line through it.

In Fair Coin one of the Defining Moments comes when protagonist Maynard revisits a dark chapter (literally a deep crimson) by visiting a page in his journal that was marred by a tragic encounter with a troubled student.

In a nutshell Maynard happened to be in the library when a psychotic kid shot the girl who rejected him and then himself. Blood spattered all over the open page (hence it became crimson, actually a rusty brown color) and then the troubled kid shot himself in the head.

There’s an allusion to a third casualty because the bullet travels through the troubled kid’s head and (after being slowed and deformed) hits another student in the head.
This story is about the third casualty. It is incomplete but I may get around to digging out the paper version and finishing the transcription at a later date.

Author’s Advantage
By Seth Keipper
Copyright 2003

Imagine, friend, that you could be reborn in the midst of your busy American life. I can tell you what its like if you care to shuffle a few pages of my busy life into yours. Wiped clean, with only your most basic functions intact you would reenter this world trembling. But life is not so gentle as to allow smoothness of this sort. Your tale would be as a marathon through a hurricane on the darkest day the world has seen.
Some will call me cynical no doubt. They themselves have never been teleported from a quiet evening of study to the bottom of an icy lake of dread. Nothing compares to the horror of your forced ascent, lungs and mind burning in equal time to the top. Only when you arrive there is ice. So much ice blocks you that all your willful blows create not even cracks. Yet somehow through the pain you survive long enough to penetrate and escape. For a fleeting moment you burst forth, a triumphant whale into the shining night landscape. And the lungful of air you were so desperately fighting to exchange for another is ripped from your body into the vacuum of naked space.
Not so many words will assuage your ills if you do not let them. This can solve nothing without proper reception and that can only be provided by you. Keep in mind, no rules, reject rules without choice behind them. Simply become aware and then attack as soon as you are able. Make Patton proud.
Afterwards you may look back on this passage and wonder why I wrote you in the first place. But a night or two spent away from my usual vocation is no great loss to me, and the potential gain is limited only by your resolve. But though black is a great comfort to me, I shall paint you a picture with as much prismatic flair as I possess. And I will hope you reject your spectrum as I have. We begin.

Bang. You awake in stillness. Everything is white, bright and an echo of a very loud noise hangs on the edge of echoes. Dreams you have left behind in awareness, none followed you into this new world.
Nothing is here though. Well, wait a bit, there is a rustling noise somewhere. You have no sense of self, of time or direction and locating it would be impossible. All of your world is white and you don’t know what white is. Nothing is different, nothing contrasts and white is as meaningless a word as zero and amount. But you couldn’t even count that high if you tried.
The sound you cannot identify is the friction being caused by your exhaled air molecules onto the sheet lying on your face. Tiny little blips rubbing and bumping into each other form eddies and currents invisible and undetectable. Sheets have no apparent need or function, they merely are. And the concept of a molecule is as inconceivably remote as extra galactic politics.
You don’t even wonder if anything lies behind the sheet.
Vague discomfort accompanies spent time under the sheet. Without sense of self, of purpose, of place, desire and ability you simply feel irritated. If you were a microbe you could at least flagellate elsewhere. Instead you lie under the sheet and latch onto whatever little sensory data comes your way. Then there’s that sound again. But different this time, unlike the friction of breath this sound is sharper and more distant. It must be outside the sheet. Outside?
Another sensation is creeping up on your awareness now. Not that your awareness is in any kind of shape to exist beyond animal reactions. Your brain is still gearing up and knowing that might bring solution or comfort in and of itself, but its mighty faculties are not yet fully operational. All this has no place in the sheet, confusion at last. This first feeling is progress, a very vague and remote distinction between what should be and what is. You still have no idea that your oxygen supply is decreasing, but your cells do.
Invisible things change inside your infrastructure. Hormones speed to your heart which speeds nutrient delivery to cells more quickly. Your ignorance lies in front of an operation as complicated as Overlord and as mundane as blinking. The body does not need higher order thinking though. About a billion chemical clutches slam successively into high gear. Muscles, that cannot be exercised but by living, contract in perfect concert. The result is an awesome alteration in lung pressure suddenly increased and the resulting cough. What tempestuous fury your body has created! The boundary of your universe leaps away briefly and settles back on your brow.
It works. Breath comes much easier now that a pesky wall of phlegm has been resettled. Such wonders your hulking automaton body can do for you, and you aren’t even aware you possess it yet. Sounds outside the sheet grow louder. Louder?
Finally the rudimentary gears of your brain crank out a pitiful and weak realization, something is beyond the sheet. You are not yet a thing though. Only the sheet is a thing for you. Speech, worry, nurses, awareness and miracles are miles down the road. So are miles, so are roads.
Barely in contact with your nose the sheet, having resettled itself, causes a strange blindingly quick reaction that causes you to wrinkle your nose. You have a nose! What’s more you have a face and feet and other parts of the body. One by one they come to your awareness still without name or form. Now you are a thing, awareness of body but not yet of self is achieved. Also after long effort you succeed in wiggling your fingers. If you could comprehend a word like universe you would be lord and master of it. But for now you are the ruler of the sheet!
Like any good leader, you explore this new and uncharted world. Fingers send signals of ‘cool’ and ‘soft’ to your brain. Feet curl in ecstasy you did not know could exist, legs bend stiffly in discomfort. With your arms at your sides your hands begin to wander. No purpose but discovery motivates them over the muscle of your legs, the swell of your abdomen and the wrinkled patch of sensation that is your penis.
Ignoring the obvious aspect of self exploration you soon have the inexplicable desire to touch your face. What shape is it that lies beneath the sheet? Where do these images come from? Only your nose is discovered by its height, and the mouth by its activity. Moving your hand is surprisingly difficult. It can only bend in two places below the shoulder. And something resists when you press against the sheet.
But like the persistent being you are, your right hand finally manages to find your face. Delighted by the bristling cheeks and slippery nose you continue to explore. First you feel eyebrows, then the right ear and then around to the left side. Disaster strikes you just above your left ear.
Sound comes, like the sun to a man who knows only moonlight, into your ears. And it is you who makes it. Ignoring this, you shriek out in pain at the horrible feeling of something soft and wet on your head. Guided by forces that are not entirely your own, the right hand is thrust forward and to the side, sweeping the sheet away. White was first your world, then pain for a moment and now terror is all you know.
Imagine Cain being pulled from the Garden of Eden and dropped into New York City rush hour traffic. Your mind balks at this new place with its new things and new rules. None of it makes sense, everything you know fizzles away. The size, the shapes, the colors and the movement send you scrambling. All the world is awash in fractal nonsense and your brain is at a loss to comprehend. You long for the sheet but cannot think or move to get it. The reality of the sheet and the room are totally at odds.

I admit I cannot well convey the horrified helplessness of being wholly confused. Since I awoke screaming and nurses came in to see what the dead kid was yelling about I have only found one account of a similarly horrifying experience. This was a page from a journal entry of Isaac Moines, a veteran from Vietnam that was accidentally put on the receiving end of a full B-52 bombing run.

Explosions tore through the ground and air alike. One second passed from them being distant thunder to instantly upon us. Watching the twenty men in front of me engulfed and dissolved was the last conscious thing I remember. After that I could not breathe, the air was literally sucked out of our lungs by the bombs. Shockwaves turned the air into hammers that pounded me from all sides and shoved me through the brush a foot or a mile off the ground. Rational thought was impossible. It seemed the only thing that was real was fear. My brained screamed incomprehensible orders to flee but in the face of impossible confusion they went unheeded. I could only crumple under the forces around me. It was hell writ large. Afterwards the stench of cordite, burning blood and hair filled the air. The world has been utterly silent since. No man or God has devised a situation as terrible on earth or hell, and there isn’t a man or God in this universe that could convince me otherwise.

The shock and horror of those few moments were drawn out into my first day. I was actually almost seventy-five hundred days old, but three days before my first day I got shot in the head and had to rearrange my calendar. Funny thing about bullets, they keep going a lot further than most people realize.
No, I wasn’t the victim of any sort of murder attempt or assassination, it was an accident. The bullet passed fully through another man’s head before tumbling into mine and cracking my skull. Lucky for me the other fellow’s skull and brains slowed and deformed the bullet enough so that it only knocked me completely unconscious and largely unaware of my former life.
Life for me and death for the guy and some poor girl he shot. The girl died first, and then the guy’s and my brain’s death occurred within a few milliseconds of each other. However long it takes a .38 slug to travel through a skull and about 50 feet of air, I never bothered to figure it out. But though my memory died I somehow lived. In a sense I did indeed die. Three days after coming in my heart suddenly stopped and was utterly resistant to resuscitation. And about two minutes after that it just started beating again. Now it’s no miracle I am sure, stranger things have happened. But if living made me want to give God a high-five, the state of my first week made me want to punch god in his fucking face.
When I stuck my finger into the socket of my wound (the first part was about me you know) I awoke screaming. My barely functioning brain was so unable to function I could not distinguish them walking in or when two of them passed out. Only nurse Jones had the good sense to sedate me and calmly hold me until I could breathe again. The earliest time I barely remember now, but wrote it down when it was still fresh in my mind. Some semblance of normalcy returned in the next week or so, but not my memory.
Long before knowledge of the past became important Nurse Jones explained a good deal of the present to me. First, she told me that I was in a hospital, a place to heal. Then, that I was in an accident and needed to be healed before I would be ok. Thirdly, that I had a loving family of two moms and a brother. And they would come visit me soon.

Ye buddha, my brain hath swelt mightily in the last half-decade

And here is proof:

A bit of ancient philosophy (from sophomore year)

I was still struggling off an on with the vestiges of my religious faith at this point in life. For a time I was basically an atheist yet still clung to many ideals and paradigms of the Christian faith. I cannot recall if this was an apologetic or just some musings.

Thank Buddha I have become wizened and grizzled in my old age. Since it was written in 2001 I am guessing that it was one of my attempts at playing Devil’s advocate with myself in order to try and expose extant weaknesses in my worldview.

This is the kind of thing that scares me because who knows what I will consider stupid or shallow 7 more years down the road?

Argument for the Afterlife

Man is a creature so unlike any other on the planet earth that many people do not recognize us as animals. What separates us from other life is basically one trait, reason. This difference gives rise to everything human and beautiful, culture, imagination, art and expression would not be possible without some understanding of the universe beyond “get food, get water, reproduce, sleep now.” Mankind’s greatest strength lies in this capacity for reason.

One of the basic conflicts among us though is the question of religion. Atheism vs theism, theism vs deism, and faith vs skepticism are among the most common. Though there are countless evidences and reasons to believe in many faiths, certain details can only be sorted by choice. Regarding life after death however, can be settled by a simple progression of logic.

Intelligence is not limited to human beings; many animals can learn behavior and shape their reactions accordingly. Higher animals even dream, perhaps as vividly as people. It is the existence of dreams that allow an afterlife to be easily and reasonably proved to exist.

Dreams are a function of the mind during a state of unconsciousness, beyond the boundaries of objective observation. Many times dreams are forgotten very quickly and many are not remembered at all. What determines the importance of a dream is whether or not it is remembered. If a dream is forgotten, and there is no physical evidence of it, did the dream actually happen?

The answer is yes, but only if one remembers that at least a dream occurred, regardless of content. Having some perspective outside of the actual experience is what defines that a dream definitely occurred. For dreams, unlike the waking world, are consequence-free.

Knowing that experience is only made real by perspective, having some point to look backwards from, we can easily prove life after physical death. Right now, the smell of the air, the ambient lighting, the heat and humidity of your surroundings are all being dutifully processed by your brain. Naturally this means you will remember how you felt at this current time.

If you dream that find the secret to happiness for the entire world, and forget that it ever happened, you have no knowledge or experience to show for that dream. Without some perspective after you actually die, you could not possibly be existing and remembering now. Without an indefinite and eternal point of perspective, consciousness could not occur.

At least, not according to reason.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Newegg, you tell me exactly what I need to know in a language only the geeks can read.

And I don't mean C++ either.  Check this out.

When I checked this out earlier today there were 28 reviews and every single one of them was a 5.  Add 6 and finally there's a 4 but this is still an INSANE rating for a brand new chip.  Intel must have done something remarkable.

Heh, an odd bit of recursion thanks to scribe fire and GIMP being unruly tonight.

So apparently imagechan decided to prank on linksys support.

I mean for the love of buddha it's impossible to get through to anything except screen caps of linksys chat types being harassed by lame jokes, ascii art, bel airs, rick rolls and all the other goodness we've come to expect from the internet.

Here's an example.