Sunday, March 30, 2003

I am I am, I said I'm not myself / I'm not dead and I'm not for sale.
-Stone Temple Pilots, "Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart"

I'm trying to find ways to counter a current philosophical trend. A lot of people have recently (and perhaps, not so recently) concluded that just maybe, all that we perceive is utterly false, and the universe is nothing like we think it is. Think The Matrix. Some people are also entertaining the notion that objective reality may as well not exist, since all we have to work from is perception. That is to say, we may as well act as though our perceptions define reality.

Perception is indeed important. Arguably, it is all we have to go on. Thing is, I tend to belive that reality is real, and will be what it is regardless of what I think of it. My example is this: if you're hit by a truck that you don't believe in, are you any less squished? Someone I know answered "yes" to that question, and I was flabbergasted to the point of inexcusable rudeness.

If peception is that important, I thought, then why is it that "you never see the one that gets you?" Still, my words should have been kinder. I have a tendency to be nasty when I disagree with someone intellectually. With God's help, I'll put that bit of pride to rest.

...lately, I've been wondering about the usefulness of philosophy. Philosophy is based on observation and interpretation, which means it is based solely in the human perspective. Let us not forget how limited our own perspectives are, and how little we actually know about the universe. I do not deny that there is a great deal of useful knowledge out there... but let's just say I'm waiting for the next sweeping change of paradigm to come along in just about every branch of science. I would say that in regard to a lot of the big, important questions, we don't have enough information to philosophize.

That's one area where religion wins out in the search for truth... provided that the assumptions upon which the religion is based are correct. I mean, come on... if you've got facts coming straight from the creator of the universe, you don't have to puzzle out the big questions. So, if you take that route, the problem becomes finding the correct religion.

And yes, as offensive as that is, I think there is such a thing.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Recently, my house received a friendly oversized postcard from our local real estate agent. Both sides of the card were filled with handy conversion tables for cooking: cups to ounces, how many crumbled vanilla wafers make a cup, the tablespooon equivalent of a jigger (jigger?), etc. One side was adorned with a picture of the softly smirking realtor in question, her phone number, and her office address. But a little something occupying the space below all this was what really caught my eye.

It goes without saying that the card was an advertisement, but an advertisement with an attempted personal touch. The truth of the whole matter was summed up by a single phrase, printed in white within a black box, in the lower right corner of the card. It said simply, I'm your neighbor...I want to be your Realtor. A nice, catchy, vaguely warm sentiment. A statement followed by this symbol:

Because nothing says "neighborly" like a registered trademark.

If ever you get sick of being advertised at, check out the "Spoof Ads" section under "Creative Resistance" at Adbusters. If nothing else, they get people thinking about consumerism. And thinking, while painful, is generally good to do from time to time.
There are a few careers that I would really like to have.

1) Fight coreographer. How awesome would that be? I could get paid to tell guys when and where to hit each other, then make them do flips and run on walls. They might let me play on the wires, too, so then I could run on walls. He, he, he.

2) Consultant for cable documentaries. You've seen these people, with their name at the bottom of the screen next to "Root Beer Expert" or "Klezmer Music Fan." Cash for sitting in front of a camera and pretending to be knowledgable. Of course, there are a few things I am actually qualified to speak about: gimme "Roleplaying Conniseur" or "One-Eyed." Then sign the check. Mwahahahaha.

3) Mattress tester. Oh, come on. You know they exist. But they probably have to do more paperwork than I'd like to think.

4) Greeting card writer. I think up one liners on a constant basis. It's only logical that I should write some of them down and sell them to Hallmark so you can sign them in the car on the way to the party and hand them to the host so they'll think you're clever and thoughtful. That sounded more cynical than it should have.

Note that "video game tester" is not on the list. That's because carpal tunnel sucks, and I want to keep what eyesight I've got.
Today's attempt at wit was inspired by the humor of Lore Sjoberg. Check out his ratings of just about everything.

Semper fi, and carry on.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Obviously, the most important thing about a blog is the color scheme of the webpage. That is what I am currently fiddling with.

It is that which with I am currently fiddling.

English is just dumb, sometimes. I mean, look at the word love. When a word has been so helplessly confused as to mean opposite things to different people, you gotta wonder.

More when the colors come together.