Some days you wish that things had worked out the way you had wanted them too.
Part of you wants it because you wanted to stare into the face of the universe and laugh at it… You wanted to be the exception to the general rule, to be able to say that sometimes the seemingly impossible works out. Its something you can tell people to give them hope. Its something that you can feel lucky about.
Part of you wants it because you believe it would have made you happy… and maybe it would have. In some respect, if things had worked out as you dreamed, part of the dream is that them working out would make your life better. Its hard to imagine that the events you want to happen would actually lead in a poor direction… but then, not everyone shares your dream… and even something you want to work out isn’t going to necessarily have a happy ending.
“A man chooses a great woman as part of a Spiritual journey to bump up to a higher level. A great woman is the inspiration. If a man chooses a “lesser” woman for lower chakra reasons, i.e. casual sex for example, he does not want to do the work required to shift his consciousness into being a great man. You can always see the character of the man by the woman he chooses.”—John Dean (via muneca-blue)
Well, lets post something, but first a few comments.
First of all: Nice to have you all following me. Thanks for doing so.
Second: If you’re into more classical video games (as I am) you should follow Wicked Gaming. He’s found a lot of Metroid / Castlevania style games recently, all of which look pretty entertaining.
Third: Wil Wheaton, you’re such a jerk… I kid, I’ve been watching The Big Bang Theory.
Now that that’s all over with, something more… substantial. Recently I said I was thinking about doing some writing on math and math education, and I still intend to at some point, but I’m not feeling like doing that tonight. It’s an uphill battle, and there’s a strong fight for it, and I need to support it, but not tonight.
Instead, I’m going to talk about the “uber” serious topic of… reality.
(I don’t honestly think its going to be that serious… else I probably wouldn’t have used the word “uber” or be talking about it.)
What is reality? It’s an interesting and somewhat philosophical question relating to what we perceive and consider part of our world. Naturally we use our five senses to detect much of what we consider the real world. We can see, smell, taste, touch, and hear things and even if we can’t fully grasp what those things might be, we accept that they belong to things that are in the world around us. These senses are not the only way that we perceive reality though. While you are using your eyes to read the things on this page, if I was to write that there is a purple pterodactyl living in a mansion in Great Britain which bought and maintained off of his porno star salary, you might (but hopefully wouldn’t) accept that:
1: Pterodactyl’s came in the color purple
2: Pterodactyl’s lived in mansions
3: Pterodactyl’s made porno (funny story about that…)
4: There is a Pterodactyl population in Great Britain, even if it is as small as a population of one. (How great would that be to get statistics on. 100% of Pterodactyl’s in Britain are the color purple.)
My point being, that you haven’t actually seen a purple pterodactyl, maybe you haven’t even been to Great Britain (I haven’t), but you might still believe that there is such a thing as a purple pterodactyl owning a mansion in Great Britain (making porno of course.) We do this all the time. We read articles online and think “oh, that’s how things are.”
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, some articles online are written to inform you of what’s going on in the world. We can’t be everywhere, we can’t see everything that happens every second, and we can’t simply accept that only the things we can perceive through our five senses to be the only things that are happening in the world. We leave our bathrooms and come back hours later to find the lid off the toilet tank and left on the seat. We generally assume that someone has done this act, because that’s generally what has happened. We could come up with other theories, like the lid of the tank was in a fight with the tank itself and decided to go have an affair with the seat, but as we have never seen the lid move by itself before and do not generally believe that it is capable of cognitive thought, we stick to the theory that someone has taken it off the tank and put it on the seat of the toilet.
What’s my point? Mainly that we need to consider how we decide what to believe and what not to. I’m not saying that we should be skeptics, nor am I saying that we should believe everything we hear. However, in looking at the United States where I live and reside, we seem to reject a lot of logical arguments and follow a lot of things based on “faith” and “good will.” Furthermore, I’m not pointing at any one group of people when I talk about this. I can’t say that the followers of different religions take things on “faith” or “good will” more than atheists. From what I’ve seen, there are people who don’t believe in any sort of god who do so because someone else has told them that god(s) doesn’t exist. I’m not even really able to break it down into political parties (though… you know I’d like to) as some of the “peace loving hippies” are just as flimsy about what they accept as true as the “hate monger rednecks.”
What I’m saying is that a lot of people don’t really take the time to justify the logic behind accepting something as reality. Media reports a topic and reports that a chemist, a biologist, and a statistician have teamed up and ran tests and taken the time to provide evidence that smoking is bad for you. They also have decided to report that a senator says that smoking is not bad for you. Who do we believe, and why?
To me, the people who ran experiments and knew what they were doing in them are probably more legitimate than an un-backed politician.
But lets suppose that there are scientists on each side of the discussion (there might be…) and on one side you have the politician and his one scientist with a few experiments, but on the other side you have the rest of the scientific community with a large number of experiments. Who are you going to believe?
I would think that it should be rather obvious that the many outweigh the few, but apparently global warming is either a conspiracy theory or a scam. I don’t wish to diverge from the topic much, but consider that global warming is accepted over the scientific community (without a doubt) as being true, and yet there are many who don’t believe that its an issue or that its happening. I’m sure that you could go out online right now and find a case of someone talking about why global warming isn’t real, but I have my doubts that there are many sources that can legitimately disprove it, and the few that do have single cases against the overwhelming amount of evidence against it.
Let me be clear here. I’m not saying that the more people who believe something is true, the more likely it is to be true. Lots of people believe in God, and I would say right now that there isn’t really evidence one way or another to say whether he exists or not. This is because there is no fact in gods, there is simply belief. However, there are facts. I flip a coin and it comes up heads, that’s a fact. I flip a coin a thousand times and I get six hundred heads and four hundred tales, its not likely, but if it happened it would be a fact (I could have said any tow numbers that add up to a thousand and it wouldn’t be likely… if I put a range on it it becomes more likely.) If a scientist runs an experiment where he gets an outcome, that he got that outcome is a fact. If one scientist gets one outcome but a million others get a specific other outcome, then its fact that its a million to one case, and supposing that they went through the same procedures than we can accept the million cases as the norm and the one as the abnormal. An abnormal case can be useful for further scientific research, but just because it exists doesn’t mean that we should accept it as our reality. One test failing to show that smoking is bad for you isn’t really going to stand up to the one million showing that it is.
(I guess I’ve gotten a little serious about the topic.)
Anyhow, what I’m getting at is that a million people believing something doesn’t make it true, though it doesn’t make it false either. Rather, you have to ask the question of why do we believe in something. Is it logical? Does it really make sense?
On a more whimsical note, I re-watched the original Neon Genesis Evangelion over the last few weeks (it was dubbed… I’m a horrible person, I know) and that series does take a very philosophical look at what reality is. Its endings (yes, two endings…) really jumps at what a person is, and how our perceptions make up reality. The concept that who I am in my mind and who I am in someone else’s is not the same person, though may share similar qualities. To go a step farther, my friend was talking about someone she tutored and how at one point she had overheard him talking with his old football coach. She had been shocked to hear how different he acted around his coach. She generally perceives him as this nice, bright, thoughtful guy, and the way he acted around his coach was apparently more to the typical athlete but not so much to the qualities she normally saw… if you can imagine.
And consider video games. The book Reamde takes a look at massively multiplayer online (MMO) games and how they do in fact hold a place in our reality. Many of these games have serious players who are very serious about the game. It may not be a good thing, but its the case. Lots of these games sell things within the game for real life money. Its gotten to the point where Blizzard (if you don’t know, and I congratulate you if you don’t, its a large gaming company) has even moved to having a system in its games to sell items for “real” world money. This isn’t even a new thing, as Second Life (which you could argue that it is a game, or argue that it isn’t… as in some ways it really is a “second” life) has been allowing people to purchase lindens for ages to buy things in their virtual world, and some people sell things, and I believe that some people even some of their living (perhaps even all) doing this.
Its kind of late now, and I feel like I want to talk about this topic more, but I also feel like I’ve kind of been bouncing around a bit much in the last few paragraphs. There is something more to talk about in them, mainly more on where perception and multiple view points play into reality, and also where dreams and alternate realities fit into our reality. Still, I find that at some point in my weariness I have to realize that I could run on forever on things and it would make better sense in a piece of their own.
I've been kind of busy, but even when I have some time to sit down and post something, I'm not entirely sure about what I would like to post.
I get the feeling that there will be a series about math education coming up, but I think I'm going to finish "Innumeracy" (by John Allen Paulos) before I write on that area.
Now I realize that I only have a few people following me (7 from my count, but apparently tumblr. is convinced I have 8), and I don't have a lot of background with only two posts, but is there any particular topics that any of you would like to see discussed?
Recently I’ve been thinking about the word pervert, and words related to it like perverted and perversion. Most often pervert and perverted is used to describe things of a sexual nature. It can often be used to demoralize a person for their sexual interests. If a man is into being bound and gagged, we might call him a pervert. If a woman finds sexual arousal from being out in nature, we might do the same to her. In general we use the term pervert any time when we feel like someone is getting aroused at something we feel they should not get aroused by, or when we feel it is an inappropriate time to be aroused.
The term pervert is perhaps not the most used term for this degradation of our peers, but I feel that it is a word that best describes how we reflect on sexual desires which we see as “abnormal” or “strange.”
Sexual desire itself is a strange concept in our society. We use sexual desires to sell goods, primarily to men but also to women, and then we turn around to say that sexual desire is something that shouldn’t be talked about outside of limited circumstances. You can talk about how you think red heads are hot with your friends, or you can make a comment about how you would like to “bang” a women or man at a bar while grabbing a beer with some same sex co-workers. Its okay to talk to your partner about such things, though admittedly your partner should be of the opposite sex as you if you’re male. Same sex relationships are seen as entirely wrong between males, and seen as entertainment for men if it’s between females, who also have to hold up to a standard of attractiveness. Basically, our society fits legitimate sexual desire into a small box of one man liking one woman and vice verse, and when the clothes come off you should be excited enough to get it on. If you can’t meet this standard, society in general sees you as either incompetent or perverse.
In my opinion, it’s a problem. I know I’m not the only one who holds this opinion either. In more pro-active communities around the country gender and sexuality has become a more open space. The college at which I attended had a Queer Resource Center. One of the big pushes at the college is being supportive of a queer community, and allowing people to be safe regardless of their sexual preference. It was from the QRC that I was given the idea that sexuality is a vast area, not some binary “you’re homosexual or you’re straight” with that little gray area for the bisexuals. Ideally we should be open and understanding of different sexual desires. We should not box people into thinking they’re strange for desiring things that we believe are strange.
It seems to me that most sexual interests don’t belong to only one person. For every man who wants a woman to put on a strap on and give him anal sex, there is a woman who wants to be on the other end of that. The misconception is when you try to suggest that the woman wants to be a male or the male is gay. I’m not saying that there aren’t any cases where this is true, but rather that we can not jump to this conclusion. Some women may just have a dominant personality, where they want to feel in control and this is how they do it. Some men may have more of a subordinate sexual personality, and some men may just find that this is pleasurable but still find that they are more attracted to women over any other gender, and even some other men may be attracted to transsexuals.
I also believe that almost every person has some sort of “perversion” that makes them sexually attracted to some scenario that is out of the “one male and one female” norm. There are undoubtedly a lot of people who repress these interests, as we can make an example with the devout religious followers degrade the people who enjoy their perversions and are more open and willing to express them. My parents generation also grew up on the beliefs that such things should not be expressed, attempted, or allowed; their parents before them went even further with it. Our generation is lucky enough to have people interested in the subject from many walks of life. We’re lucky that we have the internet, and we can meet up with people who are like minded, and we know that we are not alone. We’re fortunate that with time, future generations will be able to live with more access to sexual exploration and what is and is not safe to try. We have a lot of these things now, but we’re still in the process where people who are interested in such things are shunned for not traveling down the beaten path.
That being said, some things should be researched when people take on sexual exploration. Personally, I have fantasies of taking pictures of a significant other being exposed in a public place. I dream of them wearing a dress and not wearing panties, and while we don’t think anyone is looking, taking a picture of her lower rear or front end naked. I know that if I end up living out this fantasy then I should probably know what the legal repercussions are for being caught. I personally would also consider the morality in some situations. If we go to the park and the area around us is littered with children, it might not be the best place to attempt such a thing. While my fantasy is what some might consider light, and at the worst probably ends up with a fine, other sexual desires require more careful treading. If you look on Wikipedia, you can find a page on the health implications of being a zoophile . There are diseases and quite a few other nasty things that you can get from such an action. I only bring this up as an example of an area where people who are interested in it should be careful about exploring it. I do question it from a moral standing as well, but only because I feel that it’s hard to get the consent of an animal. Otherwise, I hold no judgment on the matter.
I know I don’t have any devoted viewers yet, but if you are reading this feel free to send me a line about your ideas on the subject. I know that there is a lot more that can be said about it, and this is probably not as straight forward as it could be. If you know a good book or other source for information on this topic, feel free to let me know.
I would like to say that I do not have a degree relating to what I have just talked about, and that this should not be used as any sort of reference in a research paper.
I don’t expect this blog to be read. In fact, it is my belief that it will go relatively unnoticed for a lengthy period of time.
This blog is my voice on what’s going on in the world. It may not be popular, it may not always be as informed as it should be, but its a voice none the less.
If I do get readers, hopefully this voice will be an opening to discussions on a vast variety of life’s different aspects.
That being said, let me give you a vague idea to my identity (as of this post):
I’m 23 years old
I like games in general (meaning video games, board games, card games, table top RPGs, and so on)
I’m currently enrolled in a graduate program based around applied mathematics
I have an interest in the subjects of statistics, business, economics, finance, marketing, and sustainability
I like to create art
I want to learn more about Bio-Statistics (I think I’d like to get a Phd in the field)
I’m enjoy looking at difficult problems from any walk of life
I can’t promise you that this blog will not have grammatical errors in it
That being said. If I sound like a person who you would like to talk to, or this sounds like a blog you’d like to read. Feel free to follow me, and hopefully together we can find ways to learn and grow. Who knows, maybe we’ll even make a difference some day.