Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Random (European) Thoughts

These are some random thoughts from my trip to Europe. I’ll probably expand on some of them later for blog posts, but for now the raw notes will do.

A lifetime spent in ignorance, regardless of how long, is no recipe for wisdom.

Might cannot make right; might merely gets its way. The threat of violence is a display of frustration at being unable, or unwilling, to debate through logic.

As far as Gods go, Mercury is way better than Jesus. Mercury has a line of cars, a planet, and an element on the periodic table named after him. What does Jesus have? Christmas? His name used in anger? A bunch of buildings people can’t wait to get out of so they can enjoy the rest of their weekend?

How can we overcome our primeval programming to distrust what is slightly different now that we are faced with overwhelming evidence that diversity, not uniformity, is beneficial from an evolutionary standpoint?

I prefer to eat animals over plants, out of respect. All animals live on other life forms, and I find this justifies their death. Plants, on the other hand, live off of the sun and nutrients in the soil, completely blameless of murder. Sure, there’s Venus Fly Traps, but they’re the exception. So I guess a salad of Venus Fly Traps or other carnivorous plants would be alright.

If one wishes to kill no life, one must consume milk, honey, and eggs (if pro-coice). Cheese and yogurt have bacterial cultures in them, so they aren’t allowed. Nuts, fruits and seeds are probably allowed if they naturally fall off the plant. Animals that die of natural causes may be morally acceptable, though not necessarily safe.

All movies are in 3D. Some are just in 4D. You see, a still image would be two dimensional. A moving image is three dimensional: it exhibits length, width, and time. With special glasses, one can experience a fourth dimension, one normally not experienced: depth.

Technology relieves mankind of the drudgery of manual labor, but not of the drudges themselves.

The armies of the world are not true enemies, but are instead codependent allies who rely upon each other to justify their own existence. There is no war between the US and Al Qaeda; they are allies in the battle against a civil existence. It is the violent forces of the world competing for funds against those of us who are peaceful and have real jobs. Let the animals play GI Joe on their own dime.

Peace must always be the goal of war, just as leisure is the goal of work. Those who work without leisure are slaves, and those who fight without peace are slaves to the labor of war.

I can’t wait to be an old man, then I’ll finally have an excuse.

When those who have been told all their lives that they are weak and powerless finally pick up their torches and hammers, I hope to have a good view.

Much scorn is heaped upon leaders who treat their citizens harshly, but it is my opinion that they are better than those who allow their citizens complete freedom, while allowing tyranny to be the nation’s chief export. At least the tyrant at home harms only those who have created him.

No one of wealth ought to feel safe in a healthy democracy.

Studying the Bible will make one educated. Believing it will make one a fool.

The lesson of Jesus is played out in much of history, from Kennedy to MLK to Gandhi: to kill the body is to immortalize their image and message.

One must do better than to destroy one’s enemies; one must correct them.

At places where rich people congregate, all kinds of free things are given out. It is a travesty that we live in a system where those with the most are freely given more, while those with very little must fight to the death for everything they get.

I don’t know for certain the importance of love, but I do know that I have never heard of a dying person saying, “I wish I had told more people I hated them.”

Sometimes the most direct path forward requires a step to the side, or even backwards.

Our first impulse is to trust our first impulse, but consider the source. What a tricky instinct our first impulse can be.

It is an odd fact of human nature that we are moderate when we believe the state to be at peace, and fanatical when we believe the state to be at war.

There’s at least one guy out there who owns a Segway and a treadmill, and I bet he doesn’t even see the irony in it.

It has always been a battle between the interests of the many and the interests of the few who have become accustomed to wealth.

Those who are politically unaffiliated in America are not considered neutral, but are instead attacked from both sides.

The greatest sin of Socrates and Jesus was their complete lack of written exposition. As far as we know, neither one wrote a single word. They both left their legacies in the hands of their fans; what a dangerous thought.

Do not fear death, for it is a simple process. It is easy. Anyone from a newborn to the feeble elderly can do it, and billions before you have experienced it without returning to complain.

The conservative paranoid delusion of liberalism:
The liberals will gouge out our eyes at birth so we cannot see our differences. They will puncture our ear drums so we cannot hear lies. They will chop off our hands so we cannot make more than we are given. They will cripple our legs so we cannot explore or escape. They fear greatness, stifling its development at every turn, because it would disprove the grand ideal of equality. They will not be satisfied until we are all prisoners in broken bodies, sharing the same universal experience of misery.

A political party always enacts the opposite of their rhetoric. The liberal preaches diversity while seeking to make sure everyone is treated the same. The conservative preaches fiscal and moral responsibility while assuming neither.

Everyone has these ribbons now, and breast cancer is one of the most funded diseases at the moment. However, prostate cancer kills more men than breast cancer kills women. So, I suggest October become Proctober for Brown Ribbon Month. Give a shit about prostate cancer! And there won’t be any 5k walks, maybe a 5 hour sit-on-your-butt-athon. Maybe a NASCAR event would be appropriate; those people seem to have something up their ass.

Women appear more intelligent in many relationships because they usually wait to speak second.

Are there any Christians who won’t wear Nike shoes because its named after a heathen goddess? Or that won’t drive Saturn or Mercury cars?

Display your power and wealth through art, for wars only inspire awe in the lifetime of those who fought them.

Anarchists are like political cleaners who wash away the scum, or wrecking balls that break down the walls, all in an effort to start fresh.

Some will try to tell you painting is art and graffiti is vandalism, but I fail to see the difference.

Everyone is sick and tired of being told what the word Islam means; it is potentially as violent as every other religion.

The time for barbaric rivalries is coming to an end. We must turn to civilized cooperation over savage competition.

It is funny that so many Americans scoff at Europe for being largely Socialized. Americans believe Europeans do not partake in the same self-destructive displays of excess that so many Americans recklessly flaunt as “success.” However, the truth is there are still plenty of selfish assholes in Europe. They didn’t ship them all to America, but they did a good job getting rid of most of them.

Some would like us to believe the romantic lie that competition breeds progress, but I have yet to see this supposed competition. I see only a system of power and control which masquerades as a free market, the reins of which are handed down between a few families.

Economic free markets are not competition in the same sense as in sports. If a team like the Yankees, which has been around a long time, was allowed to have 20 men on the field, while a new expansion team was allowed 9, this would more closely resemble the supposed competition within the marketplace. Competition only occurs when a market is new, and then dies quickly into a coercive oligopoly.

If greatness were genetic or taught, there should be endless lineages of great people. Instead, if we look at history, we see only a transmission of wealth through inheritance, with spoiled brats being the most common spawn of randomly occurring greatness.

Small talk is for small minds. The ignorant take offense at the mere existence of differing opinions on matters such as religion or politics. Intellectuals revel in discussion and debate, even though they may (and often do) disagree. This is the easiest way to distinguish between people based on the power of their mind: willingness to confront and discuss different ideas.

We are all called to be heroes. But what is a hero? I would say a hero is one who ignores the possibility of failure while doing what they feel is right, and who scoffs at everything that stands in their way – especially death.

The only substantial decision made by most CEO’s is how many zeros will be on their own pay check.

We should replace the heads of every company in the nation. I am not suggesting the decapitation of every corporation, merely the trimming of unruly hair.

The myth of the entrepreneur is a sales pitch for capitalism made by ambitious shysters in an attempt to justify their wealth. I do not believe in the greatness of a person, only the greatness of the people, for theirs are the giant shoulders upon which these “elite” con men have dubiously perched. Why are these few who stand atop the others valued more? Would those at the bottom or in the middle not bring the whole thing lower without their presence? How can we weigh the influence of every person who has affected these “great” individuals, from crib to grave? No one makes their journey to the top alone, like a solitary mystic on a mountain top receiving revelations. This is a myth; a lie meant to blind us to what the wealthy withhold from the whole.

The possibility of change for the worse must be an accepted risk, so that change for the better remains possible. We must never insist on stasis.

A Christian from one century would not approve the Christian doctrine of any other, and it is this constant evolution which has allowed it to persist.

He with the most toys is most distracted.

Someone must reconcile Jesus and Marx if we are to ever progress in America. They really were very similar people, despite Marx’s complete dismissal of Jesus. Both are champions for the poor against the wealthy powers of the world, and both had beards. Never underestimate the beards.

The moral values of most Americans are trapped in the 20th Century. Perhaps this is an attempt to hold onto our lost glory. Maybe we believe if we keep acting as we did back then, greatness will return. However, this is not how evolution works. We must adapt, change, and improve, or die.

Conservative economists are quick to point out that economics is not zero sum. They stress this idea, and it is true, in an attempt to prove that the rich cannot possibly be guilty of withholding from the poor. However, if I owned an apple tree, every year apples would grow. I would gain far more than I put in, much like an economy. The apples are not zero-sum, but are instead a steady and nearly endless supply of apples over the long run. However, if every year I only give some of my apples to my friends, denying apples to others, I am still withholding the fruits of my work. If I colluded with other apple tree owners, we could ensure entire generations of people never tasted an apple. This is the model of our current economy. The principle is the same with all renewable commodities, and even more apparent in industries like mining and drilling, where resources are much tighter.

How convenient to the rebel that what takes generations to build can be burned in a day.

I am a citizen of civilization, and all good people are my fellow nationals. Only the brutes and savages in suits are foreign to me.

There is a reason so many of our best and brightest go insane.

I attribute my intelligence to never wearing a tie. More blood to the brain.

As for my intelligence, I am smart enough to recognize when I have made a mistake, but not smart enough to prevent me from making it.

I fear getting a job, especially a job doing something awful, because I have always excelled at everything I attempted.

Men get women to wear heels so they can’t run away.

Has anyone ever seen or even heard of a Church of Gideon?

Consumer culture has convinced the average person to willingly pay a premium to be a billboard.

It is clearly within the capacity of the religious to exhibit skepticism. Just listen to their feelings on “cults.” A religious person will tell you all about how they brainwash good, innocent people and then get them to do dirty work for an evil organization bent only on gaining more members and money. If only there was such a thing as a mirror for criticism…

A revolution is best run by both the young and the elderly together on one side, as both are disenfranchised by the middle. The young can out-fight the middle, and the elderly and out-think them.

It requires not benevolence, but either naivety or cruelty to treat your friends the same as your enemies.

Intellect is like gold; it can flow freely through the stream of the mind, but for most it must be arduously mined.

I can’t stand people who know where everything ought to be, but not where anything is.

I really value self-sacrifice, but only in other people.

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