Reality, is it real?

religiousiconography

Many religious philosophies suggest that our reality is greatly influenced by the world around us and that we, in turn create the reality of the world. Almost universally these beliefs say the positive or negative elements we’re exposed to, become part of us and we in turn reflect and amplify those elements to all around us.

It’s always sounded a bit “Chicken or Egg” to me, and I was willing to ascribe the concept to whichever quaint religion was preaching it. I’d dismiss the idea with an appropriate level of condescension.

As I’ve been reading “self help” books, (I KNOW! Many of these books are nothing more than literary snake-oil) in an attempt to get a handle on my future, I’ve run across the same philosophical underpinning again and again. Except this time, those philosophies are coming from more scientific venues. Ok, psychologists, and neuroscientists, If you’re more of a “Sheldon” in your beliefs, you still think of that as hokum too.

Nonetheless, this has given me pause.

In many cases in my life I’ve chosen to believe and accept as true, information about “we humans” from ancient cultures. (Within Reason) I believe that wisdom is wisdom regardless of it’s source and that we shouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel every 200 years or so, even though it seems we do.

So it occurs to me that I’m inconsistent and perhaps have been discarding valuable information in a biased way because it came from a religion.

Someone once said to me “Perception is reality,” I’d have accepted that as a truth except that perception was not reality when it was inconvenient to that person.

Adam Savage

Still let’s look at that phrase. If perception is reality then reality is in fact just your perception of events or stimuli. Believe me, that phrase takes pages and pages of psychobabble and puts it into a single packet. I just saved you a ton of very tedious reading.

We know that at least part of this statement is completely true. When we touch something we feel that it’s real through tactile sensors in our hands. 

What if being happy or angry is really nothing more than the way we choose to process it? Doesn’t that open a whole new world of possibilities, and wouldn’t that be worth at least some investigation? 

So how do you test the premise?

The primary thing seem to be filtering your input and controlling how you process negative input. 

As Adam Savage humorously said on Myth Busters “I reject your reality and substitute my own.” Turns out if you want to be a happier person there might be a lot of truth in his humorous quip.

This is of course not to say that you need to lobotomize yourself. But suggests that you make damn sure your don’t internalize or dwell on the barrage of negative things happening in the world.


OccupyHippieMeme

After all we don’t all want to be poster children for stupidity as the Occupy Hippie Meme girl has become.

I feel sorry for this girl. I’m guessing that by now, she’s cut her hair, changed her style, dumped the glasses, is wearing Channel suits, and working for a defense contractor somewhere. I really do wish her well and hope that in time she fades from our collective memory to be replaced by someone more deserving of the national ire. I will say this, as a meme, she’s had staying power.

It’s gotta be tough being the face of a generation and being used time and again to represent irrational thinking.


For me this means avoiding the news completely. Right now, I can’t say I’m going to watch just one news broadcast or read GoogleNews for just a few minutes.

I get pissed, then I want to understand an event.

Palmyra being blown up by ISIS for example, pisses me off to no end.  I’d like to see ISIS carpet bombed with Nukes every time I read about another building being destroyed in the name of their hate. The existence of those buildings and artifacts didn’t harm or mean jack shit to ISIS. The could have ignored the city and moved on.

Which is exactly what I should do, instead of getting angry about it and reading all the articles I can find, then getting angrier. I need to acknowledge that it happened, there’s nothing I can do about it and move the hell on. I need to learn how to not take the actions of others so personally. 

Someone once told me that when I get angry, sad, or depressed, about stuff that other people do I’m giving those people, (In most cases, people I don’t even like) power over me. He went on to say, subconsciously my brain knows this, and responds by getting angry over the loss of control. But if I could be really honest with myself, acknowledging that I couldn’t change whatever happened, not take it personally, and not give strangers or others the power in the first place, I’d be a lot happier.

Ouroboros

I didn’t understand it then. I figured it was all a bunch of hokum psychobabble. I’m not completely sure I understand it now, but I’m willing to reconsider the issue.

In my reading, I stumbled across another philosophy which suggests that anger, depression, and bitterness are nothing more than distractions from your greater potential. (Not sure I buy that, in the lofty sense they presented it.) I am willing to buy into these feelings distracting me personally from my goals.

I’m equally willing to accept that not achieving my goals feeds these negative emotions because I berate myself for “Failing”.  And there it is again, Negative emotions feeding negative emotions.  How do you kill an ouroboros?

It’s always been easy for me to be negative. As I’ve become less young, it’s become a lot easier to feel that the world is against me and rail against circumstances over which I have zero control and then feel angry for having been upset about it in the first place.

It’s completely non-productive, I understand this, but it’s too easy for me to do.

WIndandtheLion

Raisuli: To Theodore Roosevelt – you are like the Wind and I like the Lion. You form the Tempest. The sand stings my eyes and the Ground is parched. I roar in defiance but you do not hear. But between us there is a difference. I, like the lion, must remain in my place. While you like the wind will never know yours. – Mulay Hamid El Raisuli, Lord of the Riff, Sultan to the Berbers, Last of the Barbary Pirates.

While considering this whole mess, I was reminded of the quote above.  It’s from a movie, The Wind and the Lion, not to be confused with The Lion in Winter, another good film.

There is so much in this world that is out of my control. I need to take a step back, focus on my reality and leave the negativity of others behind.

I need to find and lay claim to my place…


From the really BAD idea column

peeple

You may have heard about this, you might not.

I just heard about an application that runs on IOS, slated for release in November that allows you to rate people in the same way Yelp rates businesses.

The applications name is “Peeple” 

Uhh…

WTF?

Apparently, this is the brainchild of Julia Cordray & Nicole McCullough and they’re presenting this as if it’s a good thing to be rated publicly.

Perhaps I’d agree if it was totally consensual.  —- It’s not

I might agree if everyone who is rated can affect, delete, or refute a rating —- They Can’t

All that’s needed to rate someone is the Peeple app and the person to be rated’s cell phone number. The other person does not have to be a member of Peeple. *(at least as it was explained yesterday)

The person that’s been rated will receive a text message saying someone on Peeple just rated them.

Okay.

The requirements to have a Peeple account are as follow. 

  • You have to have a facebook account that is older than 6 months.
  • You have to have a cell phone number
  • (I’m assuming there has to be some kind of minimum age?)
  • You have to have an IOS device.

So here’s where this whole mess falls down and I’m absolutely sure someone must have pointed this out in a developer design or SQA meeting.

This application (Service?) is based on a set of flawed assumptions.

Chilloutslut

Not everyone is nice.

There are in fact a lot of very nasty people for whom anonymity is not a gating factor on their nastiness, (Lena Dunham, Al Sharpton). Lots of people would take great delight in posting all the flaws of their most recent date, up to and including deficiencies in sexual prowess. 

“He didn’t take me to a nice restaurant.”
“She needed deodorant, and was still 1.5 hours late”
“He wouldn’t buy us wine and picked me up in a beat up car.”
“She had no clue how to behave in a nice restaurant, she drank too much, then threw up on the waiter.”
“All she wanted to do was talk about her last boyfriend.”
“We’d barely gotten our clothes off and he’d already gotten off.”
“Couldn’t give a blow job that didn’t feel like my dick was in a blender.”
“He couldn’t find my clitoris with landing lights, and me putting his finger in the right spot!”
“I’ve had better sex with fruits & vegetables.” 

Do we really need this kind of information?  

Not everyone has a facebook account.

If someone is rated unfairly, and doesn’t have a facebook account they’ll have to wait six months to even start to refute what’s being said. By that time, the damage is pretty much done and it’s irrevocable.

Imagine what happens if a guy is accused of rape, and doesn’t have a facebook account? The peeple application would be the least of his worries because in todays world a male is guilty of rape because a female says he is, regardless of the outcome of investigations, or trial.

Not everyone has an IOS device 

It’s probable that this app will be used to harm those who have no defense. The woman who’s using an Android device, The guy who doesn’t own a smart phone because he happens to like the simplicity of a flip phone. These people will be easy targets for victimization because they don’t own an Apple product. Talk about elitism and demanding conformity.

humiliation

Speaking of no defense;

The Peeple CEO says that there’s safety in the fact that for you to be a peeple user, you can’t be anonymous. Okay, that will probably make some people think about what they’re saying.

BUT

Those same people will have no trouble badmouthing someone they think will not be able to respond.

“Oh right, that bastard had an android… He really pissed me off so I can tell everyone else that he’s cheap, has a small dick, and doesn’t know how to kiss. He won’t get a date ever again!”

While I too wish that people would follow the angels of humanity’s better nature, you can’t read five minutes of any twitter timeline, or read any comments section at the bottom of any news article without learning that humanity always descends to it’s baser nature.

I’m pretty sure that this application will create another outlet for the basest and cruelest of our impulses.


Updates:

Peeple CEO defends new app after backlash from critics – Oct 2 2015

This is one of those things that reboots my brain.

I’ve been scouring ads pretty much everywhere for jobs and ran across this one on Craigslist.

Please be seated, take a deep breath and then read this ad.

Screen Shot 2015 09 16 at 1 43 23 PM

So what exactly does one’s dietary choice have to do with the addition of a pipe to someone’s pool?

Unless this is code for sex.

It’s my understanding that we carnivores smell different to vegans.

I’m assuming that would be problematic to a vegan who was interested in the addition of my pipe to their system.

People are very strange…

 

Less attractive Women of the world Unite!

BruceCaitlyn

I think Caitlyn Jenner has done a disservice to all the “plain” women in the world.

There! I said it, we’ve all been thinking it for a while, someone had to be the one to break the tension!

I was watching a documentary last night and paused the video to inspect an apparently female journalist because she looked like she might have been a man. As it turns out, maybe it was just a little too much botox, and a bone structure that looked more like John Lithgows’ in his performance as Roberta Muldoon in “The World According to Garp”.

Lithgow did a great job with the character but there was no way you could overlook that Roberta had at one time been a dude!

robertamuldoon

That’s unfortunately the way it is with Jenner.

The consequence of Jenner’s  highly publicized transition, is that every woman who’s tall, or has an overly strong jawline or higher than expected forehead, or has a touch too much botox is looked at far more critically. Before Caitlyn, we knew that there were transgendered people but we weren’t sure if we’d met one, moreover, it generally didn’t matter if we had.

After Caitlyn we’re sure that any woman that doesn’t meet an idealized version of womanhood is a transgendered person.

GladysCravitz

I felt bad that I’d paused the video and clinically examined the journalist, but with the constant Kardashian fueled drumbeat of Caitlyn’s latest antics I’m far more likely to be curious, even judgemental (I know…Me?).

It’s a case of unintended consequences, and perhaps a lesson in why it’s best to keep some aspects of your private life private.

Can’t take it anymore…

IBM PC XT

I’ve been pointedly ignoring all the bullshit about Trump, the billion or so goofball Republican candidates, Megan Kelly (Who the hell is she?) And Hillary freakin Clinton.

I can’t remain silent anymore.

Hillary Clinton should be in Leavenworth, in a deep dark hole of a cell, shackled and awaiting trial. The FBI should have picked her happy ass up wherever the hell she was on the campaign trail the moment it was discovered that she had sent classified material over her private little server.

Hillarys Email Server

I’m not talking about material that has since been classified, or material that has been declassified, because there is no distinction. The business of the State department of the United States of America, should by default be considered Confidential if not Classified from the get-go. That’s why the United States has a whole bunch of Operational Security specialists, and requires employees and contractors to be re-certified in Operational Security every six months to a year, (Depending on the materials employees are handling,) just to keep it straight. And the rule of thumb is ASSUME a document is Classified and you’ll never go wrong. 

Classified

Which means this private email server should never have been allowed to exist. Innumerable agencies within the government who are charged with maintaining the security of the United States had to know about this server, its location, and its security status. They were told to “ignore it” because… why?

If I’d done what Hillary did… I’d be lucky to be sitting in Leavenworth. I think it’s more likely I’d have been sent someplace really nasty, provided the government didn’t put me on trial for treason then shoot me.

Leavenworth Penitentiary

I don’t think treason can be proven but the government tends to “over charge” in this kind of litigation because they want to make sure you don’t get off on a technicality.

One only has to look at the case of Aaron Swartz as example.  

Aaron Swartz

Swartz was simply making academic articles available via a P2P network from JSTOR and the issue had been settled between JSTOR and Swartz when the Federal Government stepped in.  Once involved, the Feds slapped Swartz with 13 criminal charges carrying a potential 35 years in prison and 1 million in fines. The case was pending when Swartz killed himself. By the way, most if not all, of the information Swartz distributed, was free, and still is today. I think the majority of Swartz’s crime was that he used the P2P distribution system to bypass JSTOR’s requirement for you to be a registered subscriber. I’m not clear on if he was costing JSTOR money.

So here we have a guy who’s maybe costing someone a little cash.

Hillary Clinton

Then we have Hillary who, for her own convenience hired a company that appears to have been unvetted by the US government, whose employees were apparently not subject to background security checks, to set up a server outside the control of the US government, handling Classified material and emails from one of the highest levels of the US government.

As the onion got peeled Hillary denied that classified emails were on the server. (Turns out there were classified emails on the server.) Hillary then said SHE decided what was important to turn over to the government, and deleted the rest of the information. Uhh that’s not how this works ma’am.  Now we’re finding out that the security of the server is in question. (Was there encryption? Who had physical access to the machine?)

Hillary Clinton

Hummm. IS IT JUST ME?

I thought rules and the law were supposed to apply equally to everyone. Yet here we have a clear example of someone who is not only above the law and social constructs, but they are still running a campaign to become President!

For God’s sake people, we’ve burned other politicians down for far less.

It’s well past time to force Hillary out of the Presidential Race.

This is not the kind of elitism we need in our government. We don’t need another liar in the White House. We don’t need yet another person in office who doesn’t understand and obey the rules.

I admit, I look forward to Hillary’s arrest for Contempt of Congress. That will be a day to be watching CSPAN.

 

It must be the apocalypse…

Screen Shot 2015 07 17 at 7 21 21 PM

But if it’s the apocalypse… I’d have expected less traffic!

In the course of one day sitting here minding my own business I’ve seen alerts for Flash Flooding, The sky is clear and blue.

CajonFire

Then we’ve had a big fire. Which went from 50 acres to over 2000 acres and which our amazing firemen have taken care of.

The I-15 was closed north and south for several hours. I’m really glad that I didn’t go off the mountain today.

And THEN I got my first Emergency Alert EVER on my cell phone. BOY that is A LOUD sound if you’re not expecting it!

smoke

But the real kicker is what the alert is about.

I’d have maybe expected something about the fire. I might even have been good with something about the potential for flood.

But this one… I have no clue, where am I? The Sahara???

All is fine, there’s nothing anywhere near us.

IMG 0509

There’s not even any wind to speak of. I don’t even want to think about what you get if you mix brush fire with dust storm.

I suppose it would be…

Apocalyptic!