Friday, July 8, 2011

Quote re: future

"Take wrong turns. Talk to strangers. Open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they are doing. Do things without always knowing how they'll turn out. You're curious and smart and bored, and all you see is the choice between working hard and slacking off. There are so many adventures that you miss because you're waiting to think of a plan. To find them, look for tiny interesting choices. And remember that you are always making up the future as you go."
— Randall Munroe (xkcd: volume 0) (via http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3089156.Randall_Munroe )

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"We've always been at war with Eastasia"

This is what's wrong with the (American) world today. CNN World News Headline: "What's the deal with Kate's dress?"

Bah. Humbug.

Anywho. The latest events around the world got me thinking a bit. Our current state of media is incredibly, incredibly fickle. They're like the girl of your dreams who leaves you once she finds a suitable upgrade. The process repeats with the next guy and so on.

We're getting plenty of news regarding Libya. But what happened to our buddies from last month: Egypt?

But I digress. Right now it looks as if Gadhafi may regain control of Libya and is pushing back the rebels. The UK and France seem to be pushing the U.N. to control the airspace of Libya so Gadhafi can't gun down the rebels with his air force. The USA is undecided apparently - though earlier Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had mentioned supporting such an action. Additionally, it's stated that Russia and China are likely to vote against such an action: "such a move is unlikely to win the backing of veto-wielding Security Council members Russia and China, which traditionally object to such steps as infringements on national sovereignty".

An interesting thing that's forming amid this is Gadhafi's claim "that the foreigners' aim was to seize oil and take their freedom away" followed by "'If al-Qaida seizes Libya, that will amount to a huge disaster,' Gadhafi said. 'If they (al-Qaida fighters) take this place over, the whole region, including Israel, will be dragged into chaos. Then, (al-Qaida leader Osama) Bin Laden may seize all of north Africa that faces Europe.'"

I find it strange that he could make such seemingly contradicting claims. Perhaps there's truth in both.

Ref: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/af_libya

--

Following this I started thinking about The Chrysalids, 1984, and Aeon Flux and their closed-society nature. In The Chrysalids (which is the most recent of the three I've read/watched) the setting begins in what appears to be a small town where everybody knows each other and they all think their town is the best place on Earth. Anything else is some hellish nightmare. Combine that with 1984's point made by mentioning in the book something to the effect of "We've always been at war with Eastasia" changed from how they had always been at war with Eurasia.

At a whim the leaders in these novels have singlehandedly changed the perception of the people living inside their walls, but the theme is the same - Their land is the best. Anyone outside of their land must be an infidel.

Which brings me to North Korea.

We see practically precisely the same scenario playing out in our lifetimes right now. Right in front of us. News articles come out here and there and you catch little things that reflect what's going on.


There's practically an everlasting famine over there. Some reports are sprouting up now claiming that they're going as far as asking for food from Zimbabwe - an already impoverished country.

--

I was poking around articles on North Korea hoping to find some first hand accounts from North Korean defectors and stumbled across this which discusses an account of a man who was a prisoner there.

Further down in the article it mentions "One Seoul-based humanitarian organization interviewed 100 prison camp torture victims, who reported caning, electric torture and the kicking of genitals. Many, in months and years after, suffered from insomnia, nervous breakdowns and social phobias."

At first I'm appalled. How can other humans treat each other like this. But then I remember the events at Abu Gharib and realize that this isn't a political issue. This isn't some behavior of only barbaric nations. This is a problem with people as a whole. There's some disconnect with some individuals...something that makes them feel ok with treating others so horribly. Where does this come from? Is there some biological reason for this? Is this found elsewhere in the animal kingdom?

Which reminds me of yet another thing. It "was a series of social psychology experiments" "which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience".

Lots worth pondering here...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jump, Little Children & Jay Clifford

For those of you not yet familiar with the band Jump, Little Children - they kind of a semi-secret favorite past time of mine. They semi-started in North Carolina, moved to Boston and then later adopted Charleston, SC as their hometown. They love Charleston and we loved them.


However, when they were really into the scene here I wasn't smart enough to realize that some good things just don't last. Especially really good things.


Needless to say - I never got to see them live. I sort of figured they'd always be here.


And well - they sort of are.


Jay Clifford, the singer of JLC, still lives here and has been working on a solo career. Upon discovering this (probably also belatedly) I came across this tune:





Pretty catchy, especially if you're already into the original JLC stuff. And if you're not familiar - here's one of their bigger hits:





Funny side note - this video is shot in the venue where I ended up catching Wu-Tang Clan (sans ODB) with my good friend Chucks (whom you'll probably all become familiar with as I write more - we tend to find ourselves in some interesting antics).


/Nostalgia.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Möbius?







You know what really grinds my gears? People who complain about taxes. And don't vote.


Or people who complain about cops. Because they get caught...breaking the law.


These types obviously are disconnected from what the problems really are and perceive the immediate signs as "obviously" being the problem.


Hate not haven't enough money? To hell with taxes.


Hate that you can speed or smoke pot freely? To hell with cops.


Blah.


If you have a problem with it - then vote. These are mostly legislative matters. That is - matters for your congressmen and women to answer to. That's the beauty of a democracy.


The problem is that our peers that do vote are greedily chugging down information from news outlets that gather large audience members from shock media. However, much of the information they deliver isn't just skewed or taken out of context - much of it is often patently false.


Mind you - I'm not the best voter either. But I'll typically keep my heated arguments away from fires I know nothing about because I know better. It's a large undertaking to digest all the data that's flying left and right (harhar). And that's precisely why we DO rely on our journalists to get it right. But good journalism is hard to find these days?


Why?


People like us.


Factual news is boring. Sensational news isn't.


It's the same reason Jersey Shore is thriving and other equally jacked up avenues of entertainment. The same reason both Bill O'Reily and Michael Moore gather such large audiences.


You want to complain about the constraints of the world around you - don't blame the results. Blame yourselves.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Today's People

Current events are getting interesting.

Take a look at the current revolts in Egypt.

And the "green revolution" in Iran a year or two ago - similar deal.

Sudan may be dividing peacefully after the nightmare that was simply know as "Darfur" which amounted to attempted genocide (from what I understand).

Tunisia - similar deal to Egypt though it's not getting nearly the same coverage. It appeared to have been what sparked Egypt's people to get out of their houses and get moving.

I don't know what to really make of it all. I see opportunity for positive change but only time will tell the result of that.

Same goes for the western occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.



What interests me though - my ignorance of the world shows strongly when I start to really think about it: how many of these places did I *really* know anything about until everything went crazy with each? How do I even personally know all of this is really happening? Have we really always been at war with Eurasia? Or was it Eastasia?

With that said - I suspect the majority of the entirely population of the world simply wants to lived and be left the hell alone. It's probably 1000 men and women who control most of the violence in our world. Is that really fair?


Saturday, January 29, 2011

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