Thursday, March 26, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
So, I'm back up at school and just as suspected, classes began full force without any ease into the learning process. I came back to a test, complex matrix calculations, t-distribution statistics and the horror of "change of variable" calculus.... Fun. I feel sometimes like I'm living the famous opening to "Tale of Two Cities":
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way" -Charles Dickens
In my case, "the other way" just so happens to be "change of variable" calculus and the final test worth 34% of my grade looming over my head. H-E- double hockeysticks. I love it here though, I really do; I just feel like a worker ant in a colony full of queens. I study and study and study, I get decent grades, 86 here, 91 there, 70 (oops) in some places, but when I look around and see everyone elses 100's I must be doing something wrong. Oh well, got to get back to homework... back to the daily grind.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Often times, when people hear a song, they simply bob their heads to the music, tap their feet to the beat and maybe even sing long with the chorus if they happen to know that noone is around to hear. Just as well, when mos people read a poem, they see a grouping of words that rhyme and comment on the flow that the combination of words creates. This is a very sad thing indeed...
The true power of words is frequently underrated and in such, the meaning of said pieces of literature are either forgotten for the general populus' ignorance, or much worse, overanalyzed and thus the meaning lost. Take the following as an example:
I clamber in the darkness,
From one folly to the next,
And tell myself that things are right.
But the truth I must confess.
One of my favorite pieces of writing, it is short and concise and seemingly has no point. In general, someone would look at this and see crap. For me though, the beauty of this poem doesn't lie in the words written before me, but rather in the void felt when reading this poem; it almost sets up a setting, it almost creates a character and it almost sets up the plot, and leaves the reader hanging asking themselves several questions. In a sense, the meaning behind this poem, rather than being defined by the words the readers have before them but by the emotions required to fill in the blanks.
To get to my point, words are mearly symbols. Using my belief system in this case, these symbols we rely on day to day have evolved through the centuries showing us the true power of the words we use from day to day. They began as simple symbols like the sound for "water" and the sound for "sabertooth tiger right behind you" and slowly became more complex as our need for communication grew. Words become more powerful, more complex, and yet more mysterious as the meanings for them become less specific. I tell you a story about a man walking into a bar and seeing a dwarf, and every person who hears it sees a different man, a different dwarf and even a different setting altogether. Then we move onto the abstract words, the less specific words and thus, the more powerful words such as frustration, anger and most controversial of all, love. I say the word love and the sound waves move through the air, enter your ear, travel through this byzantine conduit in your brain and reach all of your memories of past love, future love and even feelings that are mistaken for love. I ask you if you know what I mean by love and you tell me that you do. But how can I be certain that you really understand?
Words are mearly symbols that we, as humans share and link our lives with and when one truly understands the meaning for words such as love, you feel a sort of connection with that person; something so beyond physical that you have no choice but to accept the importance of that communication we share. But even without words, we communicate on so many other levels and they all link back to the metaphysical power of a single word. Almost as if, in a way, humans have the ability to share thoughts and feelings.
There was a study done once where there was a large group of people that were isolated from society for a large amount of time, and they were given crossword puzzles daily and graded based on how well they could fill them out. Randomly, without any knowledge to the subjects, the scientists gave them a crossword puzzle that was a day old, that thousands of people around the world had already successfully finished and on average, they did 20% better on those than the others. Almost as if once an idea is out there, it can be shared with anyone else in the world. Many neuroscientists actually agree that once a memory is created, it has about half a billion years for people to draw off of it. This directly relates the the idea of reincarnation, where some people believe that they were cleopatra or someone great in the future. This reincarnation idea can easily be disproved though because in the last 40 years alone, the population has doubled, giving you a 1/2 chance to be the reincarnate of someone from 40 years, and an astronomically small chance that you were someone from thousands of years ago. This is invariably linked back to the power of the spoken and written word.
This could easily explain the reason why over a dozen independent scientists all around the world often "coincidentally" make huge technological advancements almost simultaneously.
Just something to think about next time you have a conversation, or read a poem or listen to a song. Maybe even food for thought next time you learn something you swear you've already heard before. The words we use (or don't use) have a power still unknown to us and it could prove to be a powerful tool in everyday life...
Friday, March 20, 2009
"I do not consider Hitler as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing, and seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed." -Ghandi
I'm assuming he said this before Hitler found out about Buffalo's death wish...
But, as said by Ronald Reagan (he must have been a Buffalo fan) "What should happen when you make a mistake is this: you take your knocks, you learn your lessons, and then you move on."
I think George Orwell hit the nail on the head when he said, "If there is a wrong thing to do, it will be done, infallibly."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I'm glad to see we're finding something fun to do with our new technologies. A simple blend of old with new... I could go into more details, but the video says it for me... simply poetic.
It may be a blatant ad for samsung, but worth watching nonetheless...
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
20 years of life...
Most would see it as a time of celebration and excitement; they would walk around as if they were a new person. Officially, I've been in this forsaken world for 20 years. Rather than jumping up for joy, my mind instead decides to ponder what I've accomplished in 20 years. Zilch. If that were a number, zilch would represent the total accomplishments, the number of notches I can proudly wear upon my belt. Not that it has all been pointless, but I just don't see the point in stopping to celebrate the existence of time. It'll pass whether I acknowledge it or not, and all urges in my mind tell me that such time would be wasted to relish in its existence. I hear people all around me talking of growing up to do bigger and better things. I just don't see the point. If one were to take into account the meaning of all human existence, we are yet but another animal out into the wilderness. We joined hands in order to make life easier for each other and to join forces against the stoic laws of nature that lie in front of our faces. With even the slightest observation, it is obvious that we've done the exact opposite.
We've imprisoned ourselves in this realm that we call society; a society that commands us to compete rather than help. Phil Collins strikes the cord on its head when discussing the human's uncanny desire to place each other among ranks:
"She calls out to the man on the street
sir, can you help me?
Its cold and Ive nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?
He walks on, doesnt look back
He pretends he cant hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there"
To many (often much older than myself) this combination of words, of symbols seems discernibly recognizable. These are words from a song that the very culture that I write to today once cherished as its own. But where is the line drawn between words or symbols and real life? As sad as it sounds, these words capture a scene not impossible and even common in our world. If we banded together to make life easier, to pool resources, what is the problem with helping this young woman; sharing resources?
I often find myself placing everything in the world within a ranking system. We, as humans travel along like ants: bumping antennae wit each other and flowing through a world that we perceive to be black and white. Will that be cash or credit, paper or plastic, rich or poor... even democrat or republican(liberal or conservative for those who wish to kid themselves). We're trapped within this maze of loneliness and obsession searching for a piece of cheese that will never exist. Labels labels labels placing us upon a hierachy telling us what we can do and what we can't do. Forget it, or shall I say refuse to remember it and tell the world, nay, prove to the world that you are capable of seeing the bigger picture.
You are nothing, none of us are anything. In today's day and age, we are nothing but a number. Another head of lettuce upon the chopping block. That is, unless you do something to change that. Release yourself from this prison, this grave you have dug for yourself and that everyone else around has dug for you and make a name for yourself. Rather than moving up and down on the ladder of life, just side to side and maybe you'll find that you're relation to the ground has no significance whatsoever. Maybe you'll find that the meaning of life is not to end up the richest, the meaning of life does not rely on your popularity or lack thereof. Instead, maybe you'll find that the meaning of life lies outside the barriers of conventional thought. I shouldn't be sitting here celebrating the 20th anniversary of my life, but I should be making an impression on the lives around me. Sharing my resources in attempt to receive some back. I should be celebrating the existence of that lady on the street. I should be trading her my life savings for the possible advice that she can provide. I have no need to place myself among the ladder of society, but yet, share my spot with those less fortunate, or rather jumping to their ladder and helping sturdy it. Life is often confused with that of what we've been programmed to think is the resources in which we have to offer. You aren't a computer though, you're a human. Take advantage of this group that we've created over the past thousands of years and prove to the world that it can be done.
"As the pattern gets more intricate and subtle, being swept along is no longer enough,"
From your fellow compadre in that battle against the cheese,
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
As I take my first steps outside today, other than the lingering 2 feet of snow, I notice the smell of potatoes and think to myself "Oh YES, it is Saint Patty's day again." Then I consider the thought that crossed my mind and here I am left wondering why our obese world has to abreviate the name Patrick. Is it really that hard? Are people simply saving their breath for bigger and better things such as the mindless gossip they feed off of throughout the day? Or could it be a reason much less obvious? Possibly, as Americans, we feel guilty because a holiday we happen to celebrate by harrassing friends and coworkers for not wearing green, drinking overpriced green beer til we can't even walk straight and possibly even driving home afterwards is named for a real Saint. Of a Church. An institution who frowns upon such behavior. And isn't Patty a woman's name?! Maybe it's a result of my youth watching endless episodes of Doug, but Patty is a girl's name, and Saint Patrick isn't a female. Maybe, just maybe we call it Saint Patty's day because we aren't praying to the same God up in the clouds that we're accustomed to, but rather the porcelin God right in front of our faces as we curiously find out that our puke is the same odd green as the beer that went into our stomachs. And so, there it is... We can no longer call it Saint Patrick's day because it has evolved, through the Irish tradition of binge drinking, into a holiday used to celebrate the ability to celebrate(and puke funny collors). I myself will not be partaking in the tradition of praying to the porcelin God, no... Tomorrow is my birthday, forever overshadowed by the holiday preceding it, I would rather not wake up to an ungodly hangover on the 20th anniversary of my birth. But I wish all of those who would like to subject their bodies to such torture tonight the best luck and I will write again tomorrow.