May 28, 2006
Human Destiny, Capitalism, The Controlling Elite, Antimarket Behavior, The Tragedy of the Commons, & Public Deception
The question is weather privledged elites should dominate mass communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must. Namely to impose necissary illusions to manipulate and decieve the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena.
The question in brief is weather democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existance democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured. They may well be essential to survival.
This is another reason I have a distaste for the word evil and for organized religious institutions in general. Largely because many popular religions teach people to be guided by fear and not question things. Manipulative leaders cater their manipulative efforts to those large markets.
I have allowed myself to remain far too ignorant on far too many issues for far too long. I don't think I have the linguistic skills or broad worldview necessary to be one who has any large lasting effect on humanity, but I can support the things I believe in and make sure I chip away at the things I do not.
My (somewhat limited) understanding of modern search technology and the web allows me to spread any message I believe in cheaply, even if I was not smart enough to think up the idea and am only marketing someone else's message.
The Tragedy of the Commons is a good read about the problem with capitalism in a finite world.
I know many people play up the importance of Google too much (and I give them lots of crap when they screw up), but I think they are one of the few company structures with enough power to eventually change or undermine many of the broken patterns in society. The would probably be the only company I would ever want to work at, although I doubt I would be smart enough to get hired there, and I still want to roam from topic to topic on my own for a while.
Filters on Life
When driving down the road I sing, perhaps obnoxiously loud to anyone not me. But just about nobody hears it so no harm no foul. Am the same way in town too. But when I pull up to a stop light I have to be in an exceptionally happy mood to keep up my obnoxious volume.
When I exercise I am rambunctious loud way more than when I am sedentary. But the sedentary me isn't the real me any more than the high on hard core drugs (been years since that sort of stuff happened) me is the real me.
Exercise and isolation are just filters on life.
When I used to drink more regularly than I do now sometimes I would act like a goofball after like a half a drink. Largely because it was an excuse to make it ok to act goofy...even if no effect had kicked in yet (don't get me wrong though, drinking like a fish is not rare when I do drink).
In that non verbal communication of dancing around and just acting dumb / funny so many girls flirted with me. Right now I couldn't do the same as I once did largely because of self image related reasons. I need to be in better shape before I can get happy from drinking without being shitfaced (and then when I do get shitfaced it is like walking a thin line between really bad drunk and semi socially acceptable drunk).
Most people would not write a post like this on the web...especially if they made their living off the web, but I would ;)
The web is like another filter for me...like being in really good shape, or having a drink or two (but not 20).
I have come to the conclusion that I make sure on the web that I am what labels me whatever I wish to be, and that largely those who think I am an asshole or full of shit will ignore me. Those who do not will say hi.
I recently told a friend "that's what i really like about the web ... people just help others without expecting stuff back ... more frequently than i notice in other 'mediums' of life".
The friend is much older and wiser than I, and explained it like this:
The medium allows for people to meet without preconceived ideas and prejudices. We meet people 'backwards' if you will.
Which makes a lot of sense.
Are there any largely damaging filters in your life? Have you found ways to lose them through some mediums or channels? Did you find it easy to carry that through to other mediums of life?
May 27, 2006
The Illegitimacy of Evil & All About My Logo
I didn't even realize that evil was in my site logo here....I forgot all about it, until we recently had a great thread at TW about evil.
What does my logo mean?I think the logo implies the notion that reductionism and viewing the world (and things within it) in terms of black and white or good vs evil is in and of itself pretty evil.
What is Truly Evil?The only thing in the world that is truly evil is describing things you are ignorant to as being evil. The creation of the word evil is in and of itself nothing more than a means to absolve oneself from guilt associated with ones deeds. Labeling something as evil gives us permission to perform massive acts of atrocity onto others without remorse or guilt.
Why a Penguin?Penguins are animals that are typically portrayed as cute and cuddly, but are animals that most people know little about.
Why Red?Red is the color most primitively associated with fear and / or death, from my understanding.
Why the Spelling Errors?I think many people in leadership positions try to portray a certain level of ignorance to allow them to squirm out of accountability when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.
I also think their use of the word evil is typically inappropriately applied most times.
Why NuclearThe penguin being nuclear and a terrorist has a couple different meanings to it as well.
The first and most basic level is that I was a nuclear reactor operator and know quite a bit about nuclear power.
The second is that I think the US government labels people or things which they fear as terrorists or evil so that they can mislead the general populous into not caring about all the screwed up things we do to others.
The third thing is that I think organized religions and the United States, through the use of this deceptive manipulation of their members and citizens, teach them to fear anything outside of that which they understand, and the quest for imperial power has allowed the United States to become the largest terrorist organization in the world.
A nice quote for the United States and religion:
When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.
The fourth is that if you drop bombs on other people nearly every day and have a stockpile of nuclear weapons who are you to judge others for what they do? At the very least collecting all those nuclear weapons and maintaining them costs your own society a large sum of time, effort, and money that could go into creating a better society by trying to educate them instead of spending money to teach them to be afraid.
Why the Transparency at the Footing of the Penguin?It is rather transparent how manipulative many organizations are. As long as it is not regulated to death I think the web will undermine much of the corruption in the world by making many markets far more efficient and making it easy to become educated...being ignorant will become more of a conscious choice rather than a state of society.
While the web will kill many forms of fraud and manipulation it will also breed new types of it.
Large Organizations Are Shady:The bigger your organization is the more inefficiency it creates. This means as an organization grows it has to "stand for" more things to have enough resources to stay powerful and grow.
The problem with that are:
- that there are unintended consequences to any change
- evolving technology means that large organizations are not necessary to cause large change
- as an organization grows in scope it is harder to deliver clear messages to all members of the organization
- in hopes of creating clear messages that will spread many organizations use reductionism and keep things ultra general. This causes many members to miss the purpose or fully evaluate many criteria in deciding how correct the organizations are.
- As organizations grow rich or powerful corrupt ambitious people will be drawn toward them.
- Many organizations end up having a net end effect opposite to their original goal.
The larger an organization grows the more they have to put self interest and growth ahead of actually improving the world, and thus the less you should trust them as a credible information source...and that advice is coming from an individual who has been lucky enough to have far more influence than he would most likely prefer.
Nobody really reads this site, but some of my other sites have many readers and I have worked for some of the largest corporations in the world and I find that so perplexing. The world is a confusing place. Not an evil place...just a confusing one.
Teaching and Pseudoscience
I have read or watch books and DVDs of various levels of quality and depth. Many scientists claim that pseudo-scientists ruin the field for real scientists, but many real scientists format their works and findings in a way that most people can not understand it.
As long as there is a market for desiring information and the people creating it leave it inaccessible to most there will be a group of people who make of living translating it.
I struggle quite a bit with balancing teaching vs learning vs profit vs accessibility of information vs quality of information. It is hard to find a good balance with it all. That is part of the reason I have tried more to pick up on subtle but generalistic trends...so that content does not become dated and factually incorrect as quick as it otherwise might.
May 26, 2006
Erica Called Me Again
I haven't talked to Erica in years. I was sleeping at about 10 PM last night when the phone ringing woke me up.
It is sorta weird how every few years she somehow comes into my life before drifting out of it again. She sounds like she is doing well though, so that's good.
My biggest frustration with the call is that she has a boyfriend ;) but I guess that happens when you are fun to be around and super cute.
I don't know if things would ever be the same if we again met. I think I am less depressed and less needy than I used to be, but having a bit of experience in the business world (and further realizing just how scummy many businesses are and how scummy the business structure as a whole is) has made me become a bit more pragmatic in my worldviews as well.
She always mistook my shyness as being a gentleman. Am still rather shy and clueless about girls. But much of that is intentional personal isolation.
Part of my poor self image in some areas stems from
- a fear of being hurt by others
- a fear of hurting others
- a lack of self trust (how much authority am I willing to trust myself with when I have such a distaste for many authoritative figures once in my life and only succeed when I finally told them all to fuck off and learned to chose authority figures instead of letting environment dictate them for me)
- fear of change. (much of my success and over-devotion to what I do is driven from isolation and the need to do well to feel decent...if I allow myself to feel good via other means will I still be ok at business?) I think this one is kinda bullshit though because I can learn really quick and am fairly creative with a highly analytical mind
I shouldn't let fear guide me if I want to be a decent human being that lives a useful life worth living.
Not meeting her again means that I have a dream girl and can always say well that would have been cool, but that is a pretty shitty approach...always looking back not forward, and choosing to let ideal options exist over trying to meet people and form healthy social relationships. If I end up in New England again I will see if she wants to hang out.
May 20, 2006
I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across The Meatrix II tonight.
While not as kick ass as the original, I love the use of art to spread messages about how consumers are only sold part of the story when they buy things.
I would hope that
if you wrote this to me
that I would be understanding
of the world you see
I may have been with a guy or two
but I was never gay
it was a phase
they were attracted to me
as for steve
he is a lot of fun
he and I made out a time or two
but I was never into him
he is just a friend
it is all it has ever been
he hates women
his mom beat him
so anything he does wrong is ok
though he is 30 I still feel for him
he wants me
he thinks I am exotic looking
and will make lots of money
so I can get rich and take care of him
when he was living wrong
fucking a half dozen people
he told me to be with him
and leave you behind
when he was living wrong
fucking a half dozen people
I told him what I thought
and he called me insensitive
when I lost you
he told me I deserved better
and be with him
when I told him we were engaged
all he could say is no
and that it was too soon
I didn't know what I was doing
he said I should get you to buy me something expensive
then spit in your face and say thanks
or maybe do one better and
decide to never talk to you again
when I brought you over to his house
and you went to the bathroom
he tried to make out with me
no biggie... we are just friends
I hope you understand
I am getting better at choosing my friends
May 16, 2006
This is like my 6th favorite song on the album, and I rarely listen to whole albumbs.
I wish I could live free.
I hope it's not beyond me.
Settling down, it takes time.
One day we'll live together,
and life will be better.
I have it here yeah in my mind.
Baby, you know someday you'll slow.
and baby, my heart's been breaking
I gave a lot to you.
I take a lot from you too.
You slave a lot from me.
Guess you could say I gave you my edge.
But I can't pretend I need to defend some part of me from you.
I know I've spent some time lying.
I can't pretend I don't need to defend some part of me from you.
I know I've spent some time lying.
You're looking alright tonight.
I think we should go.
You're looking alright tonight.
I think we should go.
I have slowed down quite a bit in the last few years, especially the past few months. I need to unslow for a few months while spring / summer is still here :)
May 15, 2006
Crunch Pop Jaw
So I got my second root canal filled in today. While at the dentist they noticed that I couldn't open my jaw very far without popping it really bad.
I think that has something to do with either being skittish around other people (especially other people touching me in the face) or something with being leaning back in the dentist chair.
They asked me the last time I noticed the jaw pop problems and I told them that it was nothing I would normally notice, but I was making out with a girl a few years ago and my jaw popped a few times while we were kissing (so gross).
I wonder if my jaw is totally screwed? Or only screwed when nervous? or horizontal? or horizontal and nervous?
I so have screwed myself over physically :( Worse yet, there is no need to live that way anymore...it should not be hard to eat healthy, exercise daily, and find purpose in life away from the computer. Or should it? I feel like a whiner who does not even know what he is whining about...
Sprint PCS Crystal Clear Shit Services Nationwide Guaranteed
What cell phone operator cuts out in Brooklyn, downtown Boston, and State College Pennsylvania?
Suck ass services.
Appalling that you want to charge me roam rates to make calls from my own home because your services are shameful and suck ass.
May 9, 2006
The Joys of Root Canals
I had a sore tooth Thursday and Friday. Visited the dentist today and sure enough, the tooth was in trouble. No cavity there, but a dead nerve. Time for another root canal. $600 down the drain, don't pass go :)
The money doesn't really matter, but I am disappointed in myself for not taking better care of myself. Sometimes I think I am intentionally negligent so others will help me improve and so that I can appreciate how lucky I have been in certain aspects of life.
Take teeth, for example.
When I was a kid my teeth went through my lip and I think some of them may have came out when I smmooooooked my head off a coffee table. Not to be outdone, I have been determined to destroy my adult teeth too.
Keep in mind you only have 2 upper front teeth, but in the last 15 years I have...
- pushed down on end of this one weird table and had the other side come up and hit me in the face so hard that it broke off a large part of one of my front teeth
- needed a root canal
- I think that tooth got a cavity too :(
other front tooth
- caught a brick in the mouth
- fixed the tooth that the brick broke
- had that fix fall out
- got it fixed again
- had that nerve die, and needed a root canal
right now I have the temporary filling in that second root canal and am going to go back for the longterm filling in the next week or two I hope.
when the first tooth was filled a Navy dentist did it. They filled it in so well that the filled in too much tooth and bonded one tooth next to the tooth next to it. If that wasn't gross enough sounding, they started grinding apart the teeth without even giving me any novocaine.
It seems to me that you can't really be in business and successful without some scumbag suing you. Recently the MPAA sued Shawn Hogan. I hope he kicks their asses and destroys their business model and rackettering lawsuit schemes.
Colbert Report on President Bush
Brilliant stuff. And even funnier that he was able to do it live.
Down With the ROTC!
Surprising how little media coverage there is of people vandalizing ROTC offices. Hopefully a tipping point of some sort? I would like to see this spread like a weed.
Police still are looking for vandals who painted anti-war slogans and splashed red paint early Wednesday on the buildings used by Reserve Officers' Training Corps at N.C. State University and UNC-Chapel Hill.
An e-mail message sent to local media that morning to claim credit and to solicit questions from journalists wasn't much help to investigators, said Sgt. Jon Barnwell of the N.C. State campus police department.
The e-mail message, from someone claiming to be "celest ialbeing" at firstname.lastname@example.org, turned out to have been sent from a public computer such as those available at libraries.
"They were a little smarter than we had thought," Barnwell said.
I love the idea of media coverage of the military exploiting the poor to fight in scummy wars created to drive demand for sleazy military contractors and oil companies.
Whoever you are hopefully you don't let down and hopefully more people start being active in fighting these bullshit wars. The scumbags in charge focus on their image, and IMHO with how bad the war stuff is anything that causes a few people to question motive or see the larger picture is most likely a justified action.
May 6, 2006
Genius in Hiding
Its always funny to read how brilliant one of your friends is for doing something when you gave the friend the idea or did a good amount of the work but did not tell others. It makes me giggle...and wonder, if the person knew that was my idea would they have just wrote that the person who did it was a genius? In the most recent case I am thinking about I think the answer to that last question would have been no.
Not surprisingly a friend who I did this sort of work for told me they trust very few people, but I was one of them that they did trust.
It also reminds me of another guy who used to be a bit of an asshole to me. I never let him being mean to me get in the way of recommending him if I thought he would provide good services for someone. At the last conference I went to a person came up to me and told me they were doing work with the guy on a big campaign due to my recommendation.
I was wondering why the guy I recommended a while ago went from indifferent or not liking me to treating me nicely a year or two ago, but maybe getting him that large contract was part of it?
The thing is, in this industry there is far more demand than quality service, I don't think it hurts to help build up others business models as more often than not they will help you increase your marketshare and mindshare.
Back to the genius thing... I am not saying I think I am one of the smartest people in the world, but I think most people are geniuses...just at different topics.
Some people are good at SEO, others are good at writing, others are good at manipulating people. The world is a competitive place. No matter what you do strive to be great at it. Strive to be a topical genius.
May 4, 2006
I usually like music that is about being sad, depressed, or isolated, but kudos to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for making a song about being different that is highly uplifting and totally happy. Even cooler is that he uses a crackely sounding voice that really emphasis the point and purpose of the change and hope in the song.
The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth
Once - The dogs have quit their barking
"Son," - my neighbor said to me.
"Know the emptiness of talking blue the same old sheep."
Run - I'll do no more this walking
Haunted by a past I just can't see
But let me tell you I have never planned
To let go of the hand that has been
Clinging by its thick country skin
To my yellow country teeth
To my yellow country teeth
Far - Far away from West Virginia
I - Will try on New York City
Explaining that the sky holds the
Wind the sun rushes in and a child
With a shotgun can shoot down
Honeybees that sting
But this boy could use a little sting
Who - Will get me to a party?
Who - Do I have yet to meet?
You - You look a bit like coffee
And you taste a bit like me
How - Can I keep me from moving?
Now - I need a change of scenery
Just listen to me I won't pretend to
Understand the movement of the wind
Or the waves out in the ocean or how
Like the hours I change softly slowly
Plainly blindly oh me oh my!
May 2, 2006
When is it Ok to Lie to Someone You Love?
What if you didn't like feeling pushed, even if you knew the person pushing you in a direction cares for you and was doing so to try to help you? What if they didn't realize that in spite of you respecting them greatly that pushing you just frustrates you and causes unnecessary friction?
In these cases is it best to just be straight up? Or when does it make sense to lie?
Many issues are not ones where there is only one truth, and many issues are irrational in nature. Not saying my path is correct or whatever, but what if there are multiple ways to a goal. How do you make a person respect your opinion on issues where many people are typically irrational? Take religion, as an example.
What if I understand humanity far greater than I let myself believe I do, but only allowed myself to express understanding online...and let myself keep the perception that I am a social outlier in the offline world?
It is not uncommon for people to be dumb at some stuff and smart at others. It is not uncommon for people to see the world through a filter. Why should I think I am any different?
May 1, 2006
Arrrrg, I Am Fat Again
So I started working for one of the largest websites. Adding that to an already tight schedule meant that I did the wrong thing and threw exercise out the window, having only done it about 3 times in the last 2 months.
Eating a worthless low fat muffin earlier today showed me the error of my ways. It being gross made me realize that it was beautiful outside and I had no business eating low fat muffins, instead I should be exercising. When I went to the mailbox there were two checks in the mail, so I walked downtown to the post office to put them in the post office box. Its like 2.5 miles each way, so that is a decent walk, especially with all the big hills on the way.
After I got back I weighed myself and was 245, which is an exceptionally fat and worthless weight. I then did the right thing, ;) and had a caffeine / weight loss pill and went to the gym for another 5,000 steps on the elliptical trainer.
I know it is probably not the best for you, but I like working out until my lungs feel clearer and I start having visual hallucinations...like I like working out really really hard.
I am thinking if I started working out with 2 a days for the next 45 days I might be able to lose about a pound a day and weigh in at 200 for Bonnaroo. Surely not the safest and best way to lose weight, but what is the point in losing 5 or 10 pounds then getting lazy or sick or overworked and gaining em right back?
I weighed around 185 to 190 when I was in killer good shape. I am sneaking up on 30 years old here, so if I don't get serious about losing weight quickly I am destined to be a fat ass forever.
I also came to a wonderful realization a couple nights ago when a bit drunk. I realized that many people get drunk to hook up or whatever, but when I used to get drunk I never really wanted to do that. At times cute girls flirted with me so much and danced on me so much that THEY got kicked out of the clubs, and that is pretty hard for cute girls to do. Also even when I am this fat plenty of cute girls still talk to me or whatever, but I am so used to being actively engaged in something (reading a book, writing on the web, exercising hard, etc etc etc) that I find most people rather boring to talk to.
One thing I really really love about the field of SEO is that so many of the people are super smart bad asses willing to push the borders of normal thinking patters and societal norms. Our jobs are essentially to spot and take advantage of market inefficiencies, and many people in the field are far better than I am at it.
Low Fat Muffins
No hate directed toward you mom ;) but for some strange reason I bought low fat muffins yesterday. They tasted like cardboard.
No self respecting man should ever eat low fat muffins. Instead just go to the gym to earn the privledge of eating whatever you want.
Why Civil Disobedience is Important
Describing the fall of the Alexandria library Carl Sagan said:
“there is no record, in the entire history of the Library, that any of its illustrious scientists and scholars ever seriously challenged the political, economic and religious assumptions of their society. The permanence of the stars was questioned; the justice of slavery was not.”
Daft Punk at Coachella
When I went to Coachella in 2004 my favorite band to see was not Radiohead or the Pixies...it was Basement Jaxx. And I never would have been sure how cool they were unless I saw them.
This year I gave away my Coachella ticket (what am I thinking) and it turned out one of the really suprisingly cool acts was Daft Punk.
I don't know what I think of live blogging events like concerts but some people have blogged about them.
- cool photo from last night
- video from last night - poor audio quality, but check out the crowd reaction
- past video
Daft Punk's music has, IMO, an advantage over other electronic acts in terms of appealing to mainstream audiences, and I think this advantage is based on their simplicity. Yes, Daft Punk makes simple, 4/4 based music which rarely strays from the techno/house framework. They do, however, bring a lot of personality and texture to the music, giving it an advanteage over more austere techno acts. But ultimately, I think Daft Punk may be more successful in terms of crossover appeal than other, less orthodox dance acts just because their music is so damnedly simple and primal. I'm convinced that dance music, at its core, is universally appealing, and that only the weird socialization of American culture under the dominance of record companies prevents dance music from being more popular here.I don't think most people can tell the difference between ad and content, but what people are talking about also leads to additional searches and purchases.