Sanity

mark-twain-pause-reflect

Sometimes it’s difficult to see how similar we all are as people. Or more importantly, it’s difficult to take a leap of faith in believing that many of our differences are slight. Tony Robbins, though I’m not a huge fan, has a great analogy in some talk on Youtube about this concept. He explained that failure and success are not very far apart and used plastic surgery, and our perception of beauty as an example. Turns out that the difference between ugly, and beautiful ,as it pertains to the human face, is only two centimeters. This is what it feels like to have just as many Republicans as Democrats on your Facebook newsfeed.

Let me explain. It’s not that one side is pretty and the other is not. All of cable news can prove that dead wrong. What my point is, is that neither side is very different despite each side feeling truly unique. They argue exactly the same, and the emotions they use to belittle the other side, despite their beliefs being somewhat different, is exactly the same.

There is a concept where people grow their social network in a way that most if not all of their friends think similarly on ideological views. When many of my politically inclined friends post something, the comments section is typically a gigantic wall of agreement. Dissent is like this weird missing ingredient in progress. Everyone avoids dissenters, or usually dismisses them all together. Doesn’t progress need to be open-minded by the nature of its definition?

I’m not saying that you should go out and disagree with everyone, but maybe the truth is not necessarily the same as reyling on some piece of media to do all the work for you. If you truly care about an issue, maybe all angles should be considered. Maybe it’s a strange concept to try and see all the viewpoints. Maybe being the person who sorts out, and looks at all the viewpoints is lonely. People do tend to hate loneliness after all.

Advertisements

Hope

Epicurus_bust2

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” – Epicurus

If you ever have the opportunity to get swept up in an ambitious undertaking, there will be many moments where all hope seems lost. Thus is the nature of doing big things. You have everything to lose when you put yourself out there, but also have twice as much to gain. Being passionate means being vulnerable. This is just the way it goes.

Some say success is a ladder. Others say it’s a long curvy road. While success is definitively subjective, it seems to me from stories, and from experience, success is more like a giant set of stairs which you can only climb with your hands. If you fall down a ladder you are fucked. And the road analogy works, except that it doesn’t portray failure correctly.

Climbing stairs with your bare hands is difficult. And when you get tired, or falter, you’ll get stuck on those stairs. In that period of being stuck, you’re left to ruminate on your next course of action. What could be the problem? Money, random bouts of self-deprecation,  a familialcrisis, procrastination?

Problems are numerous and come in many different forms. In the problematic moments, you have to dig deep and find that initial spark of hope that got you going in the first place. Fuck if that is easy to do. Fortunately, it gets easier and easier every time. Then you end up crafting a method to finding that spark. It’s a horribly wonderful thing. But it only ever comes with refusing to give up. Hope is like that secret ingredient in a dish. Sometimes it just doesn’t seem to make any sense.

Goodbye, And Please Understand

CJxpAB5UwAAwoSZ

This post is going to be somewhat unconventional, but sometimes that’s good.

My video gaming days are over. Essentially my fork in the road has been chosen, and some things needed to go. Regardless of my choices. video games were the best part of growing up.

It’s one thing to lose a loved one. That’s sad to the point that it shakes your existence. But to lose a man who is largely responsible for helping you, and many others alleviate your pain and suffering? That’s difficult to accept on a global level. Not to mention that, people like Iwata are a rare breed in this world.

As we get older, politics, gender politics, work politics, bullshit about politics our college professors taught us, and other worthless things seem to take up space. We callously criticize everything. We spew bile and hatred when misunderstandings arise, and most importantly we condescend to younger people.

Over the recent years, it’s been a huge letdown to be someone who still has an ear to the gaming community. There have been fights over nothing, there have been left-wing, and right-wing loons arguing over nothing, and there have been people raising pitchforks against a perceived “nerd culture problem”. Iwata said that all video games were just meant to be fun. Fun for everyone.  One of the most brilliant CEO’s of a video game company, and that is his simple idea of a video games intent.

Some like to argue over video games validity as art. Others argue that they’re a complete waste of time. More topically, many argue that video games and their culture represents misogyny. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if we could all for once just agree with the greats? Are any of these arguments going to do anything to proliferate fun? Dividing ourselves and letting the manipulators conquer doesn’t sound like fun, and it certainly undermines our own ideas of individualism.

Believe

soren-kierkegaard

Don’t forget to love yourself.” – Soren Kierkegaard

Over the last bunch of days, it’s dawned on me how few people truly believe themselves. It could just be the weird combination of “marriage season”, mixed with “bbq season”, and my recent marathon of True Detective season one. Admittedly, eight episodes is not much of a marathon, and as this paragraph digresses, it’s time to transition.

People tend to project their weaknesses if their faith is weak. This projection is usually an attempt to conceal their weakness. Ironically, it ends up broadcasting their weaknesses. What causes a weakness in faith? Fear, hunger, pettiness? Plenty of variables create weakness in faith.

Many months ago, my friend mocked my thinking on politics. At the time he said, “At least they believe in something.” Knowing my friend, I knew he was just being a contrarian. To me, both sides of the political spectrum are a mirror image. Each has it’s radicals,  and level-headed, and each has their own strong biases. (This idea of mine is exactly what he objected to.)

When it comes to politics, my stance is pretty neutral. Which is to say, wherever I go, it seems that people automatically assume me to be opposite of them. As it so happens, this assumption is always based on little to no evidence, zero previous conversations concerning politics, and my state of origin. Hell, some of my cousins believe me to be a Republican simply because my parents are. Truthfully, I do have a political stance. But “Economist”, isn’t exactly a political option to register.

Anyway my point is that it’s great to have absolute faith. Startlingly few people do. Many more people state that they do, and lie to themselves. Even my friend, who took a cynical jab at me, is right to some extent. Believe in your convictions as long as they don’t hurt anyone. Only the faithless will criticize you.

Stones

dede700a207650dc02db9c3d3c211d29

” You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” ~ Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird

Once upon a time, a bunch of people were going to stone a whore to death. A dude named Jesus stopped this by saying, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Let he who has never sinned cast the first stone.” No stones were thrown.

Sure that is a very spark notes version of the whole story, but it serves its purpose. Also yes Jesus was just called “a dude” by me. Whether he existed or not It’s a great lesson that constantly appears in numerous works of media. Most notably, in To Kill A Mockingbird; a true classic of American literature.

For whatever reason, the portion of persons in the USA who subscribe to the religious-like twenty-four-hour news media are often portrayed as the majority by the news media. The news media’s job has been, and always will be, to incite their fans, get them talking, and get them to throw proverbial stones. In our current iteration of life, money is almost literally generated by the comment section of an article. The news viewing public, generally speaking, is the same as this comment section. Emotion always trumps rationality

Within the span of a few weeks, a famous transgendered person graced the cover of Vanity Fair, a noteworthy scientist said some offensive remarks toward women, and gay marriage became federally legal. Each had a spark of controversy, the only one where it really mattered was where, renowned scientist, Tim Hunt resigned because of offensive remarks he said. Immediately, in the domain of public opinion, his work became irrelevant, and he was forced to resign from a few positions. Certainly every event has had at least one person face such verbal abuse in the name of “tolerance”.

To preach tolerance, doesn’t one have to be tolerant? Shouldn’t we question those who think differently and seek understanding? How is building a resentful person, who can’t voice their own opinion productive to the idea of tolerance at all? Perhaps the U.S. is a bit ingrained in it’s, “Burn the witch, ask questions later approach”, but it’s as harmful today as it was in The Crucible.