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Category: Philosophy
Monday, October 6th, 2008 @ 07:46 pm
Posted By xerxes7
I'm here to make an update. A little something to keep the conversation flowing.

See, first I read an essay that really made sense to me. You can find it here.

An escerpt:
Ask yourself: how has "elitism" become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence.

I was so impressed by it, that I had to find out about the guy who wrote it. This is a link to lots of his essays.

But most of all, somewhere off of one of those links, I found something else. This has a rather inflammatory title, but it's also some pretty interesting reading.

So there's something to chew on. How the hell is everybody?


Category: Philosophy
Thursday, February 10th, 2005 @ 12:24 pm
Posted By Brent
When I was in grade school, maybe fifth or sixth grade, my class was taken to the cafeteria to see the junior high choir sing. I remember noticing how much older these kids were compared to me and how much more mature they seemed. Every time I've conjured up that memory from that day until this one, in the mental image I have of those kids in the choir they have consistently been a good bit older than me. When I was 11, they were 14. When I was 18, they were 26. And now that I'm 28, they're a good 35 or 36 years old. My delusion doesn't end there.

The other day I was watching some TV show in which a married couple were renewing their vows on their tenth anniversary. Somehow in the course of the show it was said that they were both forty years old and I remember thinking how young they looked for forty. This then made me realize that I've been noticing a lot of people around the age of forty looking pretty sharp as of late; it hit me like a fucking lightening bolt. Forty-year-olds ain't getting better looking, I'm getting more forty-year-old looking.

Inversely, teenage girls are getting exponentially hotter, but I digress.

Do not trust your mind. Do not trust what your senses tell you about the reality in which you exist. You see the world around you through a million gauzy layers of mental filth and filters that your self preservation instincts have installed. Every now and then something comes along and accidentally snags the corner of this filter and pulls it up for a split second and you get a full on frontal view of just how ugly the world actually is when your subconscious isn't protecting your from it.


Category: Philosophy
Friday, December 10th, 2004 @ 03:37 pm
Posted By Brent
A week or so ago John had posted his stance on drugs on his site which caused a small conversation on a live journal somewhere buried in the internet. This conversation included a few people explaining their stances, and verbalizing pros and cons. Because I missed out on joining this conversation, and I felt that with my modicum of experience in the area I should just go ahead and pick my own brain on the topic for all to read on my website. Please keep in mind that all statements made here are from my experience. You may virulently disagree with some or all of them, but I am only able to opine on what I've been exposed to or experienced.

First things first, a small note about addiction. I stick to my guns on the assumption that the majority of all drugs are on average equally mentally addictive. I've seen potheads need pot, and I've seen part time heroin users. There are a billion outside variables that can influence how addictive substances appear such as social acceptance, ease of use, and cost, but in the end you're really just addicted to either a)fun, b)introspection/spirituality, or c)memories tied to the drug's use or influence (and sometimes d)your ability to seduce the opposite sex with substances). There's my two cents on addiction. Physical addiction is something I have little to no experience with outside of nicotine.

The way I see it, there are basically two "greater" categories of drugs, with members of each broken further down within these categories. These are A) active drugs, drugs that consume the majority of your attention while you are under their influence, and there are B) passive drugs, meaning drugs that you can passively enjoy (or lament) their effects.

A passive drug would be marijuana or cocaine. Something you do, then go out (or do while you're out) and it either heightens the fun you have while out, or adds another "layer" to the festivities. These tend to be more popular due to their ability to be consumed alongside virtually any other activity and the moderate to non-existent crash associated with them, especially in the case of marijuana. I also often compare these drugs to their more socially acceptable (and legal) cousins such as alcohol and tabacco in effect and morality.

An active drug would be something like LSD (acid) or ecstasy (x, MDMA) that you would usually just want a comfortable place to hang out in and feel the effects. This of course isn't to say that you can't, or people don't go out or socialize while under the influence of these drugs, it's just that the consensus is that a more "controlled" atmosphere is more conducive to enjoying these experiences. They also usually tend to make you feel disconnected (but functional) for days after their use. People usually really dig these when they're younger, but tend to "grown out" of them because they don't have two to three days to set aside for drug use and recovery.

Further breaking things down, I divide things on what I call advertising. This is how I label and factor down a drugs perception in terms of popular opinion and stereotyping. All drugs have bad advertising, but not all drugs also have good advertising. I realize that "good" and "bad" are subjective terms in this context, so I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to digest this as a singular point of view.

For example, crack has a shit-ton of bad advertising, from crack heads, to crack whores, to crack babies, to crack pipe burns, to ashy lips. But never is there any glamorous portrayal of consuming crack, or luxuriously reclining in a chaise lounge while enjoying the "high off crack" experience. Nope, just mental images of people in ripped up pants with twigs sticking out of their nappy hair, twitching and scratching their torsos. With an advertising campaign like that one has to wonder why anyone ever tries crack to begin with.

There is no opposite end of the spectrum, due to what I said before about all drugs having bad advertising, so I'll just have to grab one out of the pile. Marijuana has bad advertising in so far as people's perceptions that "pot heads" just sit around all day with no ambition trying to MacGuyver-up bongs out of esoteric household items. But you also have an image of Snoop Dog, puffing on a Philly blunt, sitting in a hot tub situated on the veranda of a beautiful estate, surrounded by bikini clad women that you would gladly trade your soul for one hour of bliss with. Now that's some damn good advertising. Now you probably won't ever achieve that latter by smoking pot, but you're not going to end up the former without being a lazy shit to begin with either.

I hope you're beginning to understand the scales with which I weigh the pros and cons of the cornucopia of deleterious substances that pervade our day to day lives. It's not a perfect system by any means, but a perfect system outside of complete avoidance does not exist. By the way, this is not professional advice an any way. Please do not mistake me for an expert in anything outside of laying the manpipe on beautiful women.


Category: Philosophy
Monday, August 30th, 2004 @ 09:59 am
Posted By Brent
When showering, always start with your hair and work your way down:

If you start with your legs and work your way up, all the grease from the top half of your body will recontaminate the already clean lower half as it rinses down.

When drying off after a shower, always start with your hair and work your way down:

If you go about drying off in a chaotic fashion, you risk the chance of rubbing your face with a part of the towel that's been in your ass crack.


Category: Philosophy
Thursday, September 18th, 2003 @ 11:22 am
Posted By Brent
Dear Nice Weather,

I hate you. You come but once, maybe twice a year, stay for a few weeks then leave. Why do you feel the need to tempt us? Is there some kind of masochistic side of you that enjoys tormenting us?

We are but simple people who have accepted the fact that we live in a steamy cesspool of a city, yet you feel obliged to come and show us how the rich people are living, but not long enough for us to enjoy it, just long enough for the seeds of discontent to be sown.

Soon, it will be winter. While many people feel relieved that cold weather is imminent, that's just the heat talking. Once it starts we curse it almost louder than we curse the heat. It's amazing how a city so famous for its unbearable heat can be so cold that you want to kill people -- but, of course, nice weather, you already know this.



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