Archive for September, 2011

The Other Shoe

Posted by on Friday, 30 September, 2011

In a prior post, I said some unkind things about Christians, and I wanted to follow up with a post on what I hate about atheists, but my heart just has not been in it, and I have avoided the topic for several weeks. I actually had a lot of specifics in mind, but ultimately I am just going to say that I find the arrogance and bitterness of militant atheists (that is, atheists that want you to also be an atheist) to be off-putting, and quite frankly, if being right means being like them then I would rather be wrong.

I understand that that is not a rational argument, but it is what I have.

Instead I will share a thought that I had with no real conclusion: The Bible was obviously written (or at least, written down) by literate people in a time when literacy was far from the norm. Education and intelligence are not the same thing, of course, but there is some correlation there. So, while the skeptic might conclude that the greatest supporters of the Bible are not necessarily the finest minds of today, it would be a mistake to assume that held true throughout history. Basically, what I am saying is that there is a high chance that the authors of the Bible were smarter than you or me.


Posted by on Thursday, 22 September, 2011

I am a person that values privacy. That should not come as a surprise to anyone, I think? It is perhaps odd that I choose to reveal personal thoughts to the world via this blog then, but I think that more often than not, I am generally so vague in the specific personal details that one would not actually know what I am talking about unless they already knew what I was talking about.

One of my FB friends posted an article about the latest round of changes to that site and, of course, the privacy concerns that always accompany that. One of their friends then expressed a lack of concern because their life is “BORING!” [emphasis original].

This is not the first time that I have encountered this attitude, and I never know how to respond. Yet this particular example was so concise in wording that it made me realize something. The fact is that NOT everyone leads such a boring life, and no one should have to worry about choosing between a life that is boring or a life that is scrutinized. It does not matter who is doing the monitoring; be it Facebook, Google, Apple, the U.S. government, the Chinese government… The complacency of people who do not think that they are “interesting” enough to have a problem ruins it for everyone.


Posted by on Saturday, 17 September, 2011

I had several topics in mind to talk about this week, but I also had a busy week and I am pushing all of those ideas aside in the 11tth hour in favor of this one.

For some reason, at some point within the last few days I remembered that I once had a post entitled Swallow. I could not remember what the post itself was about, I only recalled that the title was essentially a random word completely unrelated to the topic that I never-the-less thought created an appropriate mood for what I was discussing.

“Swallow” can mean many things. Most commonly, after you chew, you swallow. It could also be a perhaps involuntary reaction when one suddenly becomes nervous. Metaphorically, it can mean to “suck it up”; your pride for instance. Unfortunately, I can not ignore that it also has a certain sexual connotation. Or maybe it refers to a kind of bird.

I can safely say that none of these were what I had in mind when I wrote it. To be perfectly honest, I believe that I was thinking of the Bush song Swallowed, which I also happen to have no idea of what it is about, because that dude simply does not enunciate well. However, it does have an overall bleak tone to it, which is really all that I was interested in at the time.

The important thing to remember is that it was a random word unrelated to the post topic. Also, thinking about it reminded me of a certain person, but I did not know why. It turns out that I actually mentioned that person in that post, though cryptically as always. So on some level, I guess I did remember what that post was about.

In what I was almost about to write when I sat down at my computer tonight, I was going to refer to the board game “Loaded Questions”, which I know that I have mentioned in the past. I searched the blog to find exactly where and what I had said previously, and surprisingly, that very post was the only result. (Although, I feel that I must have talked about the game elsewhere, but perhaps did not specifically mention by name.)

Curiously, earlier today I was thinking about how I never had an actual email signature, as in something that gets automatically appended to the end of each email sent, but I did used to have a certain sign off technique where I would end with some phrase with all the words run together with no spaces.  I do not remember how or why I started that, but I must have kept it up for a good ten years or so before one day I simply decided, “You know what, I don’t want to do that anymore.” However, I thought it might be a fun throwback to end a blog post like that one of these days, you know, for the fans. Yet it turns out, I did that exact thing in that same damn post.

So it is either a massive multi-level coincidence, or there is something about that particular post that is weighing heavily on my subconscious. So I thought, what the heck, why don’t we all give it a read?


Speaking of post titles and coincidences, anyone else notice how many of my recent entries all begin with the letter ‘F’? Totally unintentional. I had already titled this post before I noticed. Weird.


Posted by on Friday, 9 September, 2011

I tried to post this on fb a while ago, but I was having trouble editing to fit the character limits. The vigilant might have seen some of this in your news feed for three minutes a month ago.

In conversation, I mentioned to someone that I had taken a couple of physics classes at a community college who then asked, “Why did you stop?” I was stumped by this and admitted that I did not know.

Now, anyone familiar with my situation might recognize that the question itself was flawed. The fact is, if you take enough classes then they eventually give you a piece of paper that says that you do not have to go anymore. That explains why I *did* stop, but does not address why I *wanted* to stop, which is essentially what I was being asked. I still do not know the answer.

As I recall, this came up when I was asked if I knew anything about sound waves and I boasted that I knew “a lot” about sound waves. From an objective viewpoint, it is quite curious that when questioned further, I went with “a couple of classes at community college” and not “I have a degree in electrical engineering.”

Of course, the explanation for that is that I have spent the last few years trying to forget that the whole university thing ever happened. But again, what I can not answer is “Why?”

There is something very wrong in my head. A block, a disconnect, something that just is not right. And I have no idea what to do about it.

On Hypocrisy

Posted by on Saturday, 3 September, 2011

There were several incidences of me being hypocritical in my previous post. There were going to be even more, but I did not manage to fit in all of the things that I was thinking about last week. Yet it started me thinking about what hypocrisy really is, or more accurately, what it is not.

According to Merriam-Webster, hypocrisy is: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not; especially : the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion.

This is actually a little bit different from my working definition. I think of hypocrisy as saying one thing but doing the opposite; specifically, condemning others for things that you also do yourself. The difference between the dictionary definition and mine is that theirs seems to mean an intentional deceit, whereas my definition could in some cases be interpreted as arrogant yet not dishonest. “It is O.K. for me to do that, but you can’t.”

If I criticize the actions and traits of others that I also despise about myself, should that be considered hypocritical? To me it just seems consistent, even if not particularly helpful. Or a situation that seems to come up often with political and public figures: if someone criticizes or condemns something with which they are (or have been) involved, is that hypocritical? Their opponents are always quick to claim so, but consider it like this: a smoker who tells others not to smoke might seem hypocritical, yet the very fact that they do it, they know that it is wrong, but they can not stop, actually makes their opinion more valuable.

If I do something and it turns out badly, then it seems reasonable for me to advise, possibly even demand, that others not do that. However, it is not always so clear cut. A particular decision yields some benefits and some disadvantages. Maybe you even readily admit that the disadvantages outweigh the benefits, yet you can not fully bring yourself to give up those benefits, so you find yourself trapped in that particular course of action. Weak… yes; lazy… perhaps. But is it hypocritical?