Grandiose intentions sometimes are just grandiose intentions


Swinging back into a blogging routine has been more difficult than I imagined. Our work schedule has been unrelenting since May.

I’m hoping that by attempting to journal a bit this year and even blog a bit more will help me — at least in hindsight — identify the best way(s) to move into 2018.

Being a freelancer is both a fun and a challenging way to live a life. Achieving a circadian rhythm is something so many people seem to benefit from, and I can’t seem to ever get into any kind of consistent rhythm.

One thing I wanted to share quickly was this sheet of bullet points sitting in front of me since August. It’s kind of the prosperity gospel in secular form.

It describes the habits/thoughts of an abundance thinker versus a scarcity thinker.

 

  • Believe there is always more where that came from.
  • Share their knowledge, contacts, and compassion with others.
  • Default to trust and build rapport easily.
  • Welcome competition, believing it makes the pie bigger and them better.
  • Ask themselves, How can I give more than is expected?
  • Are optimistic about the future, believing the best is yet to come.
  • Think big, embracing risk.
  • Are thankful and confident.

In reverse, scarcity thinkers:

  • Believe there will never be enough.
  • Are stingy with their knowledge, contacts, and compassion.
  • Default to suspicion and find it difficult to build rapport.
  • Resent competition, believing it makes the pie smaller and them weaker.
  • Ask themselves, How can I get by with less than is expected?
  • Are pessimistic about the future, believing that tough times are ahead.
  • Think small, avoiding risk.
  • Are entitled and fearful.

And while I agree that the positivity of the first group is a good way to move through life, I didn’t get to where I am because I believed there will be more where that came from. If I did, I wouldn’t have made it through the 2007/2008 financial crash.

Being adaptive and realistic is what got me through.

Although, when I read the scarcity ideas, there is nothing worse than the thought: “How can I get by with less than is expected.” As an artist, I would almost give all my talents away. Charging money for what I do is so so hard. I am in love with what I do. So doing something and just getting by might seep into my mind if I’m way too busy … But even then, I wear myself out trying to do more than is expected.

In reverse, I expect that from others. But I’m constantly let down that so many people I associate with or know are okay with doing far less than expected.

Which in turn makes me pessimistic about others.

But sometimes I have to remember other people’s abilities don’t match my expectations.

There’s always that.

I have been doing more to be more optimistic. And to share my knowledge is really on top of my radar. I think that’s what my goal is when I think of trying to get back into the vLog game. I want to share with others our trials and tribulations. Whatever they may be. But I’ve gotten out of a routine. And routines are super easy to break and extremely tough to resume.

If you want to read the rest of the article about abundance thinking, go here.

Hopefully you’ll want to stick around and get more info out of the guy behind this blog. I’m getting there. I swear.

 

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With the horror of last night’s Las Vegas shooting comes a flood of responses


I don’t have time to properly respond with a personal reaction to the horrible terror shooting last night in Las Vegas.

I can say that: I hate violence. This stuff weighs on me. Hard. It makes me angry. It makes me emotional. It makes me sick. I’m sure I’m not alone.

The variety of responses though is sometimes awful on its own.

David Duke blames the Jews.

Alex Jones is claiming a liberal conspiracy by the Democrats and their Islamic allies.

Pat Robertson is blaming disrespect for president, flag and God.

President Trump sent his warmest condolences to those affected.

I spent about a minute reading the conspiracy nut blow jobs over at Breitbart on their thread about the shooting.

If the above five resources are any indication of the future, man, we’re fucked.

On the flip, I’m particularly drawn to bright minds like Jason Kottke, who wrote this morning:

America is a stuck in a Groundhog Day loop of gun violence. We’ll keep waking up, stuck in the same reality of oppression, carnage, and ruined lives until we can figure out how to effect meaningful change. I’ve collected some articles here about America’s dysfunctional relationship with guns, most of which I’ve shared before. Change is possible — there are good reasons to control the ownership of guns and control has a high likelihood of success — but how will our country find the political will to make it happen?

The whole post is worth a look. Link above.

If you read/saw some worthy responses to the shooting, please share them in the comments. If you read some particularly disgusting ones, hell, post ’em too.

Thanks.

 

 

Yay! Science programing worth a good goddamn!


Tina’s going to be excited about the above.

Drawing from never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives, director Brett Morgen tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.

Then there’s this Blue Planet II delightfully created, produced and delivered beast of a show with an amazing sound track from Radiohead and Hans Zimmer. Dip below the fold for a behind the scenes look at the way the sound track was approached (amazing).

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Today’s quote of the day comes from a recently dead fake news propagator. Who knew?


In a Washington Post interview last year, Fake News writer and now dead (at 38) Paul Horner explained the following about his ability to fool people on social media:

Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.

My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.

More below the fold.

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Is reality real? The Simulation Argument


One simulation argument proposes that:

at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.

Hit the link to read more.

I really don’t know how I feel about all of this. I haven’t explored it enough.

I don’t have a degree in math. I accomplished a few viewings of sci-fi movies and took different philosophy classes in college that explore Cogito Ergo Sum. How do we know we exist exactly and what surrounds us is anymore than a computer construct.

I attended a Christian college in North Carolina called Montreat College. It’s a little school in the mountains with a Christian slant, but I feel that I got a pretty good liberal arts education. Our bible classes were pretty in depth and showed us scripture from a more rounded perspective. My freshman year challenged my level of evangelical faith more than any other time in my life.

In high school, we were brainwashed taught that a liberal arts education at a secular college would basically be — to put it in realistic terms —  the equivalent of being Satan’s bitch.

I chose Montreat because it promised a liberal arts education with a Presbyterian influence. The staff were all Christians, after all. Safe!

At the time, I felt like that was safer for my mortality. I kind of regret that choice now. I wish I had a more prestigious educational diploma to point at when people ask me what college I went to.

Since I spent a semester overseas and I wanted to graduate on time, I had to make up some classes the summer of my junior year. I took two or three literature classes and a Philosophy class at University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Going to a state school placed me close to whoring myself to Satan’s grasp. I assure you I thought I was going to hell just walking through their doors.

I remember being blown away by my Philosophy 100 or 200 class. It was as secular as nothing I had ever experienced. Extremely “Liberal” by my waining extremely conservative standards. There was not a hint of any familiarity with the “Christian” worldview that I came from.

I remember the classes discussing how philosophical thought brought us through some ideas of wondering about our existence and whether we know for sure whether its true or not.

When Matrix came out, all I could think of was that it was Philosophy 101. I thought it was beneath me, if you will. And I yawned the entire movie.

This is all to say that I’m somewhat turned on by the subject, but I feel like my level of education suffers too much to really make a statement of any substance.

Something that has been rattling around in my head again lately thanks to a few different current events in my world, though, has been the idea of the paranormal and the afterlife.

Think about it this way:

Many people think souls or life essence exists at the point of birth (yes, some at conception). Whether or not you’re a Christian or whatever, most people I know think that the body dies and a spirit lives on. Some think that the spirit then goes on to live in heaven (or hell). Some think that the spirit might dwell in an invisible realm at earth level with a kind of connection to the so-called tangible world we live in.

My problem with the whole idea that humans are born and then live their life and then die and then live in another dimension is that what in the world was going on before they were born. What were they before that point?

Say you think the world is 10,000 years old and you were born in 1975 and died in 2000.

The “they” is telling me that your spirit was not existent for 9,975 years. It floated around without a voice. Without a language. And it wasn’t until they passed through the vaginal wormhole that they were given the ability to possibly communicate with others in the “afterlife”. What about the goddamn prelife?

There are people out there waving their hands over crystal balls, turning over tarot cards or wiggling divining rods only access spirits of those who were born and died. The mediums only have access to those who were named, lived a life of some kind, and now speak through mediums who are sooo blessed with psychic gifts, they can talk to only the ones who passed through the vaginal wormhole into the world.

The spirits/souls all speak the language of the medium as well. Kudos to them.

It’s this idea that for all time, before you were born, you were ABSOLUTELY nothing. Somehow a zillion other people became brains of thought millions of years ago. They, and only THEY are either in heaven, hell or wandering the earth communicating through psychics.

Given passage through a vagina, these people, and these people only, landed the opportunity to pass into heaven, hell or whatever the fuck you believe in.

I happen to accept that the universe is billions of years old. And the idea that all these “souls” waited eons before mental birth some millions of years ago … and that that birth, life and finally death passage through the wormhole into the next life or eternal life … and that that ONLY pertains to human spirits … that shit needs to be revisited when looking at the Bible, the Koran, the Matrix, et al … except the Simulation Argument.

That one is safe from this kind of head scratching.

 

Is the atmosphere changing the quality of our food?


Will you have to start eating two servings of vegetables to get the same nutrients as you did when you were five? Or six McDonald’s hamburgers to get the same nutrients as you did 20 years ago?

Wait. Are there nutrients in McDonald’s Hamburgers?

That’s for another story.

Scientists are starting to study the effects of rising CO2 in the air and how its affecting food.

From an article in Politico called, “The Great Nutrient Collapse“:

Loladze and a handful of other scientists have come to suspect that’s not the whole story and that the atmosphere itself may be changing the food we eat. Plants need carbon dioxide to live like humans need oxygen. And in the increasingly polarized debate about climate science, one thing that isn’t up for debate is that the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising. Before the industrial revolution, the earth’s atmosphere had about 280 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Last year, the planet crossed over the 400 parts per million threshold; scientists predict we will likely reach 550 parts per million within the next half-century—essentially twice the amount that was in the air when Americans started farming with tractors.

Snip

In 2014, Myers and a team of other scientists published a large, data-rich study in the journal Nature that looked at key crops grown at several sites in Japan, Australia and the United States that also found rising CO2 led to a drop in protein, iron and zinc. It was the first time the issue had attracted any real media attention.

“The public health implications of global climate change are difficult to predict, and we expect many surprises,” the researchers wrote. “The finding that raising atmospheric CO2 lowers the nutritional value of C3 crops is one such surprise that we can now better predict and prepare for.”

Hit the link for much more.

Via Kottke. 

Downsize me!


The official trailer for Downsizing, a new movie from Director Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways) was released this week. Check it above. It stars Kristin Wiig, Matt Damon, and Christoph Waltz. It’s about a world where humans are able to shrink themselves down to five inches tall in an effort to save the planet and live richer.

The concept makes me think back to the fantasies of my youth. I imagine I’m not alone when I say that I fantasized about being small like that. The ability to do things that larger people couldn’t. To be able to escape into walls and pop out in other places. To spy on others without their knowing.

I’m not sure if this fantasy was inspired by the cartoon “The Littles” or if I came up with it on my own and it was embellished by the cartoon. Probably the former.

Like other kids, my fantasies often included super powers, like flight, invisibility, speed of movement, laser shooting hands or eyes, telepathy, etc.

There was one fantasy space I lived in in which I could descend into a haven space, a world where I was the only one or I could bring a friend. No matter how long I spent there, no time passed in the real world. So I could be gone for years and return to the same exact time when I left.

In my world, I could do all the things I couldn’t do, or was too young to do. I had cars or go-carts, and four wheelers. I had laser guns and other boys stuff. I had free reign to big buildings or malls to race around in and have access to toys I didn’t have in the real world. The world resembled where I lived in North Carolina, only empty of people, cars and other obstacles.

I know! Fantastical.

Ha.

I can’t say I do not return to my fantasies now. I can’t say that I don’t remember them fondly and wander through those thoughts once in a while as an adult.

To access that child-hood creativity, though, that would be amazing.

There’s a book out that’s getting media attention. I don’t know its name. But it talks about the power of boredom. That there’s power in boredom to inspire creativity. I feel like I fill my days too full with responsibilities some times that I don’t give myself the opportunity to be bored enough.

I think I want to be bored. I’m going to work on that.

Where’s the movie about being bored?