Monday, December 25, 2006
I went looking for a good Nietzsche criticism and I found this piece by Santayana. This particular paragraph jumped out at me:
The first principle of his ethics was that the good is power. But this word power seems to have had a great range of meanings in his mind. Sometimes it suggests animal strength and size, as in the big blonde beast; sometimes vitality, sometimes fortitude, sometimes contempt for the will of others, sometimes (and this is perhaps the meaning he chiefly intended) dominion over natural forces and over the people, that is to say, wealth and military power.
This seems to me to be the classical misunderstanding of his philosophy. Santayana conflates Nietzsche's obsession with power with his value of it. Power is not always "the good." Hitler was powerful but he certainly wasn't good. Nietzsche didn't believe the power was good - but he did believe that without power, the good was impossible. People without power cannot be good. They are too easily manipulated, and they lack the understanding to appreciate the good when they run into it. The "good" form of power manifests itself in philosophy, science, knowledge, independence, and self-control (honesty falls under self-control).
First you must acquaint yourself with the timeline of the pivotal day. The North Tower was hit by Flight 11 at 8:46 AM. Flight 175 hit the South Tower at 9:03. At 9:59 the South Tower collapses, and at 10:28 the North Tower collapses. At 5:20 PM, the 7 World Trade Center collapses - a building which was not hit by any airplanes, and which was further away from the Two Towers than many of the buildings which are still standing today (though it has been rebuilt). It had a couple small fires in it. Curiously, it was also owned by Larry Silverstein, the owner of the Two Towers who collected an enormous amount of insurance money. The building, as the movie shows, contained offices for the Department of Defense, the CIA, and emergency response agencies (FEMA was one, I believe, as well the NYC Office of Emergency Management). As Dr S. Shyam Sunder said, NIST's lead WTC disaster investigator, "We are studying the horizontal movement east to west, internal to the structure, on the fifth to seventh floors.” and then added "But truthfully, I don’t really know. We’ve had trouble getting a handle on Building No. 7".
I checked out the Wikipedia article on the 9/11 Commission (and many others) and found this:
Even after Kissinger resigned, the White House was often cited as having attempted to block the release of information to the commission  and for refusing to give interviews without tight conditions attached (leading to threats to subpoena ). The Bush Administration has further been accused of attempting to derail the commission by giving it one of the smallest independent commission funding levels in recent history ($3 million ), and by giving the commission a very short deadline. The White House insists that they have given the commission "unprecedented cooperation".
While President Bush and Vice President Cheney did ultimately agree to testify, they did so only under several conditions:
- They would be allowed to testify jointly;
- They would not be required to take an oath before testifying;
- The testimony would not be recorded electronically or transcribed, and that the only record would be notes taken by one of the commission staffers;
- These notes would not be made public
Prisonplanet tells us why no F-16s were around to take down the planes.
Anyway, watch the movie and tell me your thoughts.
Not to say that I believe there was a conspiracy, but it is something that I would like to see seriously refuted. But I haven't been able to find a serious discussion on their points. Please point one out to me if you find it.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
He said, "Maybe you can be an ethicist."
I chuckled, "I don't think I'd be very successful. My ideas don't, ah, coincide with the rest of the world."
He raised his eyebrows, "What, Machievellan?"
I chuckled. Apparently he'd noticed that I'd been attracted to Nietzsche - not sure I mentioned it: "No, no. Just more ... secular. Unlike most of the people in our country. Unlike our president."
He seemed a trifle irritated at that. Religious? Most likely. "So I guess I know what your type is."
I snorted, "I doubt it. Well - libertarianism. (Maybe it's obvious.) I take the Friedman view on the war on drugs, for example."
"Oh? Let the market prevail?"
"Let people take responsibility."
I shook his hand and turned to go.
Today I remember that because I think back on the comment about Machievellanism. I have trouble shaking the belief that strength and knowledge should overcome weakness and ignorance. The reason they so often don't in our democratic society is that most peopole are weak. Humans are obsessed with power and aware of power differences to minute degrees, but they don't like to admit it. Everyone is either respected or not respected; those who are pitied are not respected, and they know it. Altruism is ultimately a selfish, egotistical act. Even offering one's attention to another is an empowering act with strings attached. What this means in public policy is debateable, but today I ran across James D. Watson's Wikipedia article:
He has also repeatedly supported genetic screening and genetic engineering in public lectures and interviews, arguing for instance that the "really stupid" bottom 10% of people should be aborted before birth; that all girls should be genetically engineered to be pretty  and has been quoted in The Sunday Telegraph as stating "that if the gene (for homosexuality) were discovered and a woman decided not to give birth to a child that may have a tendency to become homosexual, she should be able to abort the fetus."  The biologist Richard Dawkins wrote a letter to The Independent claiming that Watson's position was misrepresented by The Sunday Telegraph article and that Watson also considered the possibility of having a heterosexual child to be a valid reason for abortion. 
Watson doesn't think much of the ambitiousness and energy of fat people, and is quoted as saying "Whenever you interview fat people, you feel bad, because you know you're not going to hire them" 
The last comment strikes me as grossly elitist; it's genetically impossible for some people to lose weight, it seems, and I haven't noticed a mental difference in these people. We aren't justified in viewing fat people as ambitious and unergenetic. If we were to test all of the fat people objectively and found that they were less ambitious and energetic than others as a rule, we might be able to - if you believe that judging less ambitious and energetic people is ok.
Regardless of that, the idea that fascinates me is artifical selection for the best traits. It's such a scary thought for some people. They wonder where the search for the best traits might stop. Yet if I were to have a kid, it would be my decision, and it wouldn't harm any living person if I artificially selected for the best traits (unless you believe a fetus is a person with the right to life).
The only non-religious argument against seems to be a pragmatic one, as the argument against the war on drugs inevitably is, and as all arguments against victimless crimes seem to be.
I'd rather not hear responses from people claiming that God's work should not be tampered with. People who have not reasoned themselves into a belief cannot, it seems, be reasoned out of it.
Friday, November 03, 2006
The first time I tried it I was hanging out with a gangsta' stoner buddy of mine. He refused to try it but watched me. After taking a long rip from his bong, I felt dazed and suddenly - paralyzed. I nearly dropped the bong. Then I sat down on his bed in a daze. He put on some Bob Marley music - "Buffalo Soldier". The music felt like a long wave, with entrancing ups and downs. I was so absorbed by the music that it controlled me, and I urgently felt that it needed to stop, or I would end. I was the song. I could hardly articulate it, but I shook my head at him forcefully and he turned off the music.
Then I sunk into a minute-long daze. Dreamlike scenes flashed before my eyes - an oasis in the middle of the desert. Light flashing across the cosmos. It's been so long that the experience is hazy. When I came to, I began to rant and rave existential nonsense:"We're all just stupid monkeys, blah blah blah, we pretend things have meaning, blah blah blah, everyone's too afraid of the truth, ect."
The second time I tried it I was in a room with a bunch of buddies, and proposed that we try smoking some salvia. A couple of them took big rips and felt nothing. I took a medium-sized rip out of the bong and immediately felt the initial effect: reality was getting fuzzy. I took another small rip and reality got fuzzier yet. I was into this strange zone. I looked around at everyone in awe. They were having some conversation.
"You all know it. You know it."
They chuckled and looked at me curiously.
"You know what I mean. You know the secret."
"What are ya talkin' about, man?"
I stared at everyone, then suddenly fear hit me: when this conversation ended - when this moment ended, I would be over. My consciousness at this moment would cease to exist. Time happens, and I keep dying - AHHH!
"Oh no, oh no...keep talking...when this is over..."
I shook my head, and suddenly it didn't seem so urgent anymore.
Maybe I'll post my other experiences later.
So I got 1 gram of salvia 10x and some kava kava. Kava kava is the real deal. It's been tested clinically to be as effective at treating anxiety as pharmaceuticals. I get the stuff with 84% kavalactones and pop 2-3 before I go out in public sometimes. Though my anxiety isn't bad, my perfectionism spills over into daily life - I'm often so anxious of screwing things up that I won't start projects.
Anyway, there goes another post. Next up: the pheromone controversy, or the rundown on the global warming skeptics such as Stephen Milloy of JunkScience (I won't link to the site - it's too ugly).
Saturday, October 21, 2006
To be honest, my eyes have been improving marginally for sometime. The last time I went to the optometrist (a year or two ago) he said that my vision was improving and dropped the prescription in one eye by .75.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Between browsing these I watched Zardoz. Incredible movie.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
My vanity overcomes me.
You might wonder what I mean.
I mean literally.
Every other second,
I pause to stare in the mirror.
I fancy myself,
In some way
Perhaps I'm pretty
I prefer to say handsome
I don't know a lick of poetry,
(I paused to look up lick - is that really used?)
You see me high as a kite,
wanting to say,
"No - I lie."
Took a few hits and now I'm completely stoned. I always forget how good it is to be stoned. Either my tolerance level is real low or this is pretty good weed.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Read up on this. It makes me fuckin' sick. I just read about GHB in this book (Grow Young with HGH) and looked around to buy it - and I found out there's this huge conspiracy of ignorant bureaucrats who vilified it and ultimately made it a SCHEDULE I drug because they're too dumb to do anything better, like test prescription drugs or get coke off the streets.
God help us if this shit continues, cause the government sure ain't going to. Libertarians unite before it's too late!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
"You seem silly. That's funny. You're very random, aren't you?"
"You're very irrational and emotional, aren't you?"
"You like attention."
Everything I can think about most of these girls applies to all of them, and none are very complimentary.
I'm in a bad mood.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Winding Alleyway [NE]
Worn and cracked walls of red-clay brick and old stone flank the sides
of this narrow and twisting alleyway. Trash, excrement and old gnawed bones
lie in scattered heaps on the hard-packed earthen ground giving off foul,
sickly odours that thicken the air with the telltale reek of disease. The
entire length of the alley lies in shadow, the sky being but a narrow crack
overhead between the shattered tops of leaning ramshackle buildings. The
air hangs thick and deathly still, as if even Whira found it too repellent a
place to move about in.
This dank alleyway snakes off to the north and east.
The tall figure in a dark, hooded cloak is standing here.
The very short figure in a dark, hooded cloak is standing here.
You search for a good place to hide.
<96|113|66|sneakingYou groan loudly as someone sticks a fang between your ribs!
Your concentration is broken!
Someone slams a halfsword into your back - hitting your heart!
Your vision goes black.
(~) ~-_ ~-_ _-~ _-~
(~) ~-_ ~-_ _-~ /-~
Welcome to Armageddon! (~) `~-_ ~_======_--~~ __~
I hadn't even realized that they were following me when - BEEP, it was over. The character's life was cut short. He had things going on which will never be finished. Some other characters will probably never figure out what happened to him. It always bugs me when shit like that happens, but it also makes me realize how transitory our life and our experiences are. They're so fleeting. Opportunities pass by so quickly. Life goes so fast. It's just annoying. It makes life bittersweet. That's why I have to live forever. ;)
What else is happening? I finished Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. It was a crazy book, and somewhat related to what I wrote - the bittersweetness of life, the craziness of it all, and the difficulty one has in accepting it.
I'm sorta facing a crossroads right now where I have to make the decision: have good times now, or get serious now and and have good times later. Maybe it's not so clear-cut, but I really have been fuckin' around for a long, long time, and even though I realize it, on some level I don't want to stop it. It's damn fun to have fun. I won't be this age ever again.
Then again, maybe I could get serious: do more studying, do more working, and do more meaningful things in life while still having fun. But something has to go, and Armageddon is just as fun as most of the other stuff I do to me. Who knows.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
- Investigating possible celiac sprue
- Playing Armageddon in my freetime. My assassin of 3 days, 16 hours has branched many of the skills some people take 10 days to branch.
- Working, looking for a new job.
- Being made fun of by the hordes of little girls at my work.
- Wishing I had the initiative to start up an online business.
- Dreaming of becoming muscular.
Which gives me an idea. I could start a blog with all the funny, stupid things I see on Armageddon. Good idea.
So I started White Nights today and was intrigued by the nature of the story. It was a self-styled dreamer, shy and introspective, who somehow happened upon a girl, one who he happened to understand well. He was obviously tripping all over himself with her romantically, but the girl understood him completely and they became friends. The boy - I should say man, since he's 26 - constantly exposes his weakness. He nearly cries, constantly decries his silly dreaming ways, and declares his love for Nastenka constantly.
There's a few telling quotes in the story: "And you know, I compared the two of you and decided that you are the better of the two, though I love him more."
I won't spoil the rest of the story, plus I'm lazy. Highly, highly reccomended poignant little story. Mine was in a compilation with Notes from Underground - likely my favorite story.
Friday, May 12, 2006
After I woke up at 4 AM, I did some searching for a good personal finance program. I need to watch every single thing I pay, and track where the money is going monthly. I need to get in control of my spending.
I found a lot of things. Most weren't good. The two very simple downloadable programs I could use are Simple Money and Home Bookkeeping. Neither are free. HBk is better; you can transfer values from one account to another. I'll have an account for my petty cash and categorize where that's going. I need to watch how much I spend on marijuana.
I've decided to use a strangely well-designed but abandoned project at over at www.fncentral.com. It's completely unsupported; the email addresses don't work, but it's the best designed web-based accounting program I've found. Its dates end at 2005.The other promising one I found at www.mvelopes.com costs money but looks much better.
So much to do with so little time. I feel bad...sorta sad...in a few days I probably won't see one of the girls I appreciate and like the most for a long time...
Best album I've heard in a while: Nada Surf's "Let Go".
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
On a related note, I found out today that the government only needs "probable cause" to seize your assets in connection with drug use/manufacturing/trafficking. Check this site out:
Astounding. Check the earlier parts too. The government tries to grab up whatever it can. It's bullshit.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Someone clocked me hard in the eye for no real reason. What sort of punishment should they get?
It's a test. I took the 'high road', but was it because of fear or compassion? Through my head runs the thought, again and again: it was fear.
It's a test
I took the high road
but was it fear or compassion
through my head runs the thought
again and again
it was fear
I suppose it's a poem. Not a great one, but it rhymes, sorta. If you pronounce it how I do.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
How can I cut away the things that are actually unnecessary - the MUDing, the (perhaps) reading, the endless browsing. I always have something consuming my life.
Hell, that shit sounds like a poem. I'm gonna put it into verse:
The internet really complicates my life
I need to simplify it.
How can I cut away the things that are actually necessary
the MUDing, the (perhaps) reading, the endless browsing
I always have something consuming my life.
My own lyrical sense is prolly shitty. I never write poetry. I should, to become a better writer. There's a quote from Fitzgerald about poetry ... let me find it. Couldn't find it. It states that one is never a good writer until they've tried to write lyrical poetry, even if they failed. And by that I suppose he means really tried.
Monday, April 10, 2006
- Went to all my classes.
- Took my supplements right.
- Did a little homework.
- Got a girl's phone number.
I did the following wrong:
- Didn't do enough homework.
I smoked some weed. Smoked a joint and hit a solar bowl. Saw a pound today. Bought an eighth.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
In other days, I'm trying to gain weight. I've been drinking Heavyweight Gainer 900. It tastes delicious, but I'm losing weight. Incomprehensible. I must be consuming 2000 calories a day, and I only weigh 110-115 pounds.
Life is going ok. Wrote up a humongous philosophy paper, but it wasn't a piece of quality. It was near 20 pages double-spaced. That's all.
EDIT 3/8/08: It turns out that celiac sprue caused my sickness.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
- Pledging. It's finally finished, so my life is back now.
- Smoking weed. Still an everyday thing.
- Catching up on classes.
- Pursuing online businesses.
- Doing errands.
The Profit-Plan: "Make a profit TODAY or your money back TODAY" is the tagline. As far as I can tell, it's possible to make a lot of money on this. I've made my money back and a little profit, but I'm not having a ton of success. Wish me luck and check it out.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Damn it feels good to be sober. I just aced a test and I've got the weekend to work on my other shit. It feels like I just stepped out of a shower.
On a sidenote, this school has shitty teachers. I'm gonna start ragging on them.
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
My life feels like a nightmare. I walk by people that I can't talk to everyday, exchanging shallow hellos or furtive glances. When I do talk, I exchange meaningless pleasantries boredly. I stink from not taking a shower, and I'm still sitting on the internet listening to mind-numbing music when I should be doing homework.
Yesterday, for a few sober hours, I felt like I'd moved past a barrier and finally became confident again. Then I took a couple more bong-rips and again sunk into philosophical, jittery oblivion.
Now I'm sober again, and starting to trip less. I'm beginning to take my fucked up existence for granted again, like we all do. But I still have this horrible fear in the pit of my stomach. The last few days have lasted forever.
I went to a psychological therapist yesterday, though. It doesn't look promising.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
"You see, right now I'm on the run. I'm on the run from every fuckin'
opportunity I come by. I need psychological help. I need to call the
counseling center and book myself for proscratination, perfectionism,
shyness, inferiority complex, and whatever else." - myself to mirror,
acting out an imaginary scene.
Monday, January 30, 2006
I still haven't declared my major...just keep putting it off...
God my writing must suck. I read literature but my words never flow; here I second-guess myself again. Empty, narcisstic prattle.
I'm going through weed withdrawals.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Bowie's 'alpha male' leadership skills leave a lot to be desired. If someone had ever beaten up someone who was down at my school, he'd get a lotta shit. Someone who has to force respect like that is not a good alpha male.
I haven't taken anyone's advice on how to deal with my Jen situation, who 'just wants to be friends'. She hints that she's dropping her bf. The other day she said I made her dizzy when I was around her. Yet she shows all the classic signs of friendship. I'm hardly even trying anymore.