dal niente

Month: June, 2010

I came, I saw, I left

So, I joined Twitter about a week ago, and it was interesting enough that ManillaJones was just writing about it the other day.

 

Didn’t really find anything interesting about it though, so I guess that’s that.  Another password I’ll forget eventually, another electronic husk of mostly zeroes  left on the internet under my netname.  I was told that Twitter is basically Facebook statuses, without the statuses.  I wasn’t dissapointed– but I guess I hoped that there would be something more to it.  The main reason why I tried it is because it’s integrated in my Android running HTC Magic, so I figure it might be cool to try out.  Didn’t really add anything to my life though.

I was served a pretty high compliment by a friend a couple of weeks ago– it was at [NitroNilla]’s place.  We were doing a bit of pre-drinking before heading out to Karaoke for the first time in perhaps a year together.  I got to meet his boyfriend, and we were talking about the music that he had playing on his laptop wihle Nitro cooked up some dinner.  At some point, a couple of songs came up that I thought– hey! Those’d be great to sing at the noaraebang!

So, I took out my phone, loaded up an app I have that basically ‘listens’ to the song and then tells you the title, artist and album.  When that kind of phone capability first came out, it was a pricey little feature that you could pay something like 50 cents for back in the pre-smartphone era, but nowadays those things are mostly free and pretty accurate.

 

“What are you doing?” asked Nilla’s boyfriend, when I held up my phone near the laptop speakers.

“I’m teaching my phone which songs I like,” I replied.

“Really? What do you mean?”

“Just building a list of songs for tonight.  I’m really bad with names, so when it comes to looking through the songbook, there’s probably a crapload of them that I know and want to do, but I don’t recognize the song name or artist.”

“And your phone can do that?  Tell you what music I’m playing, just by listening?”

I hold up my phone to him: It Must Have Been Love, by Roxette. (the best sort of song for singing at a karaoke joint with terrible singers, btw)

“That’s pretty cool!”

 

“Yeah, you know,” said Nilla, “nowadays you always see people going around with their iPhones and stupid shit… but ever since CEGEP, [Jinryu]’s one of the few people I know who buys things and actually uses them  the way they can be used. Not like for bling or something or to look cool, but like, to actually use it for it’s uses.”

 

I guess.. it’s one thing for me to be a certain way and pride myself on sticking to my principles.  But it is always nice to get some recognition every now and then!

 

-=-=-=-=-=-

 

I think that the trick to navigating anything in life is to do so with your full substance behind it.  If you’re going to do something, like make a commitment, you’re going to have to commit yourself to the commitment.  That sounds rather obvious, but consider this, from the realm of technology, just for an example: how many people pay for ultra high speed internet, with ridiculous  bandwidth caps and crazy speed, when they don’t need it?  The average person doesn’t need to pay 80$ per month for the most extreme internet services when you could actually get an unlimited bandwith plan in Montreal for something like 40$ per month.  You just need to learn to be a bit patient.

It’s not just the wasted money whose efficiency I’m concerned about– it’s also the wasted bandwith.  Why have something you’re not going to use?

The best way to not learn anything about something is to not use it.

Why is it that so many runners out there, who don’t have gym memberships, are in tons better shape than people who have gym memberships? The difference, mainly, is in motivation– a runner by default runs, but someone who has a gym membership doesn’t by definition entail anything except membership.

 

What I’m saying is that, when you talk to your friends and all those people who you want to look cool to, do you identify yourself as a member of something, or do you see yourself as somebody?

 

I think that the biggest source of anxiety and unhappiness in the world is a sense of disconnectedness.  How can we hope to conect to a world if we cant’ first connect to ourselves?  Tools can simplify a lot of our lives– but we need to understand tools.  Technology is just one example.  We have to keep in mind who works for who.  Tools aren’t mean to be frameworks that we have to learn our brains into– they’re meant to be means of extending ourselves.

 

If you use Twitter, that’s cool.  It’s just not something that I’ve decided I need in my life.

Advertisements

Standards of Favor

I’ll never quite understand why people think it’s such a great thing that some credit cards allow you to just pay off the interest.

I mean, what, do you think they’re doing you a favor?

 

People need to get it out of their heads that financial institutions work for you.

 

If, in the grand scheme of the way that the world works, you might consider “who works for who” as an analog meter that, on one end, goes from you making money off of them versus them making money off of you, I guarantee you– they make way more money off of you.  You shouldn’t be impressed by table scraps like them giving you a free checking account.  You surely shouldn’t think they’re being nice to you just because they allow you to pay off just the interest from month to month.

 

The way I look at it though, and this is being generous, they exist because we allow them to abuse us.  We need them, collectively, more than they need one of us, individually, so they can get away with lots of things.

 

And if you think that paying off just the interest on a credit card is  a great deal?  That’s probably indicative of what kind of person you are, from a financial responsibility/ability point of view, so maybe you take those table scraps because that’s quality of life you’re at.

 

Mind you– I’m not talking about people who get squeezed into really bad situations through trickery and the lies, and then need to buy groceries on their credit cards just to put food on the table. 

 

I’m talking about people who wonder where all their money went yet are always eating out at restaurants, going to see movies, and going drinking.

Sprawl

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow
 
-=-=-=-=-=-
The other day, I was playing a game of baduk (I’ll start calling it that instead of ‘go’ for the purposes of this blog, because it’s too easily confused with the english word) against [SiB]. And I learned something really important.
 
-=-=-=-=-
 
I haven’t really explained my recent obsession with baduk yet, so maybe I’ll start there?
 
Aside from SiB, my girlfriend, [CM], is the only other person I know in person who I’ve played  Baduk with.
 
Naturally, my relationship with them and baduk is more important than with any stranger I meet on the internet.  CM first introduced me to the idea of baduk somewhere over a year ago, when she was still attending the McGill University’s Go club.  From then on, it’s been a little side thing to play every now and then– I’d play against CM and she’d teach me as she’d destroy me. 
 
It’s been uphill work trying to get better at baduk, but I’m extremely humbled by the strong ‘teaching’ culture of baduk players, which is something I never really experienced or heard of in the chess community back when I used to play competitively.  People play games at clubs and have their moves reviewed by teachers.
 
There’s an official ranking system of kyu and dans that really makes figuring out where you stand a lot easier, which is a huge thing: it makes quantifying your improovement much easier.  The world of baduk players is divided into ranks.  At the basic level, there are “kyu” ranks, ranging from 30 (weakest) to 1 (strongest).  After you surpass the 1 kyu level, you move on to “dan” ranks.  It’s akin to the various belt systems in asian martial arts.
 
Like in the world of martial arts, higher ranks are’t just higher because they can kick around their juniors.  Higher ranks are almost expected to guide the lower ranks, and teach them how to advance.  People who play at baduk clubs often know who is stronger, but thanks to the handicap system, things get evened out a bit so that, with some limits, any social player can be a challenge to anyone else.  Roughly, for every 1 rank of difference, there is 1 stone of handicap start.  So, for example, if a 25kyu player takes on a 30kyu player, the 30kyu player starts off 5 stones ahead.
 
Learning to play baduk is really an intereting process, because although has an extremely technical aspect, it also has a largely philosophical one.
 
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
 
SiB and CM have been helping learn the basics of baduk shapes, that is to say, patterns which occur in the game, for the last month or so.  That about when I started more seriously playing this game online on the KGS Go server ( http://www.gokgs.com ).  The KGS system is great for this kinda thing because the system is designed such that there’s teaching integrated into it.  Every game you play is recorded on the servers– an old game can be loaded up so that it can be replayed, discussed, and alternate moves can be played out to do branches of alternate plays where “what if I played this instead?” questions could be answered.
 
Thanks to what they’ve taught me, I’ve climbed from the bottom of the fish barrel (somewhere around 30l-28k to 19k in less than two months! KGS is also so kind to provide daily updated ranking charts based on your game stats.  It may seem like a small thing, but I think it’s actually very helpful.  It’s a lot easier to stay motivated if you have some empirical way of measuring your progress.
 
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
 
Anyway, back to the begining of this message.  Why am I quoting Desperado?
 
It’s the Eagles’ song that comes to mind with the last bit of advice I got from SiB, regarding my baduk play.  I’m at about the 20k rank (although at the time of this posting, I’m 19k, I don’t know if that will actually last.  SiB is ranked between 2k and 4k.  So… if you want to understand what that means theoretically in terms of a handicap, his measured skill level is such that at the begining of a game, I should be allowed to make about 16-18 free moves before he gets to put down his first stone. 
 
In reality, no more than a 6-9 stone handicap is given, but just to illustrate: I palyed SiB with a 6 stone handicap, and he raped me. I mean, raped.  He beat me by 134 points.  (For those of you with the KGS Client, you can take a look at the game here: http://files.gokgs.com/games/2010/6/24/smallseed-Jinryu.sgf .  SiB’s KGS name is Smallseed.)
 
Anyway, his advice– “settle first”.
 
As in, when given the choice between being aggresive versus first getting a stable foothold, get that stability first.   I’d imagine that at the advanced levels, one does both at the same time, but the point is, don’t attack when you’re incapable of deffending. 
 
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
 
It’s a lot like real life, when you think about it.  Where have you heard before,  you need to love yourself before you love others?  Clean your own backyard before trying to rebuild Central Park?  Don’t throw stones in a house of glass? That’s like a kettle telling a pot that it’s black?
 
All these things relate to overextending one’s limits, floudering about for action, but not really paying attention to one’s foundations.
 
I don’t use the word as often nowadays, but I used to call it ‘substace.’  Substance is what makes people feel ‘solid’ or ‘substantial’ in the sense that– well, how shall we put this?
 
Maybe it’s easier to describe what substance is not.
 
Substance is not what you see when someone is just bullshitting through their teeth.  It is not what you see when someone cowers because they’re afraid of being hurt.  Yet– substance is not recklessness or a willingness to to risk pain in exchange for bit returns– it is, on the contrary, an understanding, or an analytical ability, leading calculated risks, leading to experience, resulting in cofidence.
 
I guess if you needed to summarize, substance is probably anything you could respect in a person.
 
 
In the real world, you don’t get too far with assholery.  I mean, assholes do get far– but that’s in large part because the qi blasting that they do is overwhelming the qi deffenses of the weak people they prey on– basically, it’s not that assholes are actually all that powerful, it’s just that the people they pick on don’t necessarily know how to deffend themselves.
 
People of real substance don’t react to those sorts of inconsequential attacks, and aren’t at all opressed by all the bravado.  People of substance, in face of such things, simply go about their business.
 
It’s a lot like that in that baduk match I had with SiB.  I was going about the map, doing what I thought was best– but for every attack I attempted, he evaluated the situations in ways that I couldn’t even see.  His judgement? That this attack, or that attack, or that formation, was weak.  He didn’t have to worry about that.  He could go about his business of building his own bases up and spreading his influence over the board.  And then when it came down to the real fighting? Then we’d see who meant business.
 
I did mention that I lost by over 130 points right?
 
The thing about substance, in whatever the context, is that it’s a relative scale.  There’s always someone better than you, someone who is, in the real sense of the word, bigger and more immovable than you are.
 
The importance is to keep on trying.
 
 
I think if there’s anything that’s reinforced by this, it’s that one needs to get the basics first.  One can’t just be going about for kicks all the time, stirring shit up– there needs to be some anchor, some sense of stability, like a respect for classics before attempting to jazz it up.
 
The importance I suppose isn’t how much substance you have though… it’s that you continue to build it. 
 
 
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
 
If I can quote an idea that is well illustrated in Bleach, it’s one of the older episodes where we first meet the Captain, Zakarai Kenpachi.  Many people in the world of bleach are capable of kido (magic spells?) and special techniques… but not Kenpachi.  He’s only good at using his sword, and fighting with pure willpower.
 
In face of him, his reiatsu (life energy / battle aura) is so strong that most people are simply crushed by his presence, without him even having to cut them down.  People can break their own swords just trying to hit him.  Going too close to him without sufficient purpose is enough to knock you senseless.
 
That is what you want to build.
 
Not necessarily so you can kick the asses of anyone who wants to just say hello to you– but it has other applications in life.
 
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
 
CM and I have been doing our long distance relationship for almost 2 months now.  It really hasn’t been easy.   But what gets us through?
 
It’s everything that’s good about her, and everything that’s good about me– it’s our substance– the things that we learned through experiences, good and bad, that build us into the characters we are now.  Those things let us resist the hardships, overcome the obstacles… and there are plenty of times where we just wish that things were easier.  Always, actually.
 
I think we manage though because in both our separate lives, we’ve always bitten off quite a bit, and now this is how it’s paying off.  We’re surviving situations and levels of uncertainty that most couples would break up over.
 
Survival doesn’t sound all that great– it makes it sound like we’re on the deffensive.
 
But like I said in a previous post– sometimes, you just have to dig in, and wait until what turns out to be a weak (if not constant) attack starts to make more sense, and then  you can take sente back.  Rout it all. 
 
It all starts though from the base.

TGIF?

Yesterady was a national holiday in Quebec, so I had the day off.  Today is Friday.

 

I’m going to be at work in 40 minutes or so… it feels like a monday.  Especially since, for the last week, systems have been offline at work, and today they’re supposed to come back on.  That means that the usual weekend’s worth of catchup work just got about quitupled, just for today, considering that we had 4 full days of data accumulate that we couldn’t handle during the system’s downtime.

 

Fun!

 

But at least tomorrow is a day off, right?

what say you

“You see,” [Terminator] explained, “I’m lazy.”
 
Arguable it may be just how far be it from my place to judge people– it’s another thing entirely when people are frank, and judge themselves.  Perhaps that’s one of the greatest strengths of character– knowing oneself.
 
You really have to think about the nature of the truth though.  Take the idea of 1 + 1 = 2.  This is true, and this cannot be argued, because of the very definition of 2 being twice of 1.  We can’t argue this, because we’ve created definitions that exist perfectly in theory, outside of nature.
 
What if you said this orange added to this orange gave you two oranges?  We could challenge this fact: perhaps one orange was half eaten, is it then  still an orange; perhaps one orange has a baby orange growing out of it’s center, is it then more than just an orange; perhaps one is actually a shade of dark red and the other is dark yellow, and they are in fact, two colors, but not oranges at all.
 
What I’m saying is that when it comes to truth as observed of the real world (as opposed to truth in the perfection of arbitrary definitions) things are never simple.
 
He may consider himself lazy, but in perspective: he’s having motivational difficulties reading a book on Chinese that he borrowed from me.  On the other hand, he goes to the gym at least 4 times  a week, and maintains a strict diet.  Which nobody would call lazy at all.
 
Regardless, people usually have some idea in mind when they say something about themselves.
 
Questions are…
what context are they speaking in?
 
And more importantly…
do they actually know what they’re talking about?

House

When people think of hospitals, they usually refer to two sources.

One of them, although not necessarily the first thing they think of, are popular media sources.  People used to love ER when it was still airing.  And then there’s a whole string of others– Boston Hope, Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, House, HawthoRNe, and Nurse Jackie.

The second source of hospital impressions that people have come from their own experiences.  They’ve been in hospitals, either as patients or for other patients.  Lets not even get into the part about seeing loved ones pass away or anything.

My point is this: people, when they think about hospitals, they usually think of nurses and doctors.  But they seldom, if ever, think about the support staff that goes around and makes sure that the logistics of the working environment for the medical staff is in order.

We had a couple of patients today who came into the waiting room with infectious diseases.  Chicken pox was one, and that’s a pretty big deal in a children’s hospital; the other was impetigo, which is something I had the pleasure of catching back when I was working in Emergency.  Neither of these things are at all things that you would ever want to catch if you could at all avoid it.

Who sanitizes the waiting room though?  Simple things like that– how do you get infected droplets out of fabric?  Doctors don’t do that.  Neither do nurses.  Housekeeping does– and they do it systematically, as a team, and they do it well.

Doctors and nurses get patients out of this hospital one at a time– if you had no doctors for a day, probably a fair amount of people would die.  But, pound for pound, go a day without the houskeeping staff of a hospital? Maybe nobody would die immediately, but the actual costs of problems indirectly as a result of increased cross contamination would be huge.

But most people don’t even say hi to housekeeping.

Sente

I started playing a boardgame Go recently (known as Baduk in Korean and Weiqi in Chinese).  I would say that the game is similar to chess, but only in as much as soccer is similar to… hockey?  I mean, the mechanics are more or less completely different, but there are universal concepts that apply to both games: back your units up; make sacrifices for superior positioning if possible; position your pieces so that they are most capable of fighting well.  For those of you who really have never heard of it, you can look it up on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_%28game%29).  The big thing about Go that makes it different from most other 1 on 1 board games is that the playing space is huge– compared to Chess, which has 8×8 playable spaces, Go is 19×19.

Regardless, one primary concept common to both games is initiative.  In Japanese, initiative is known in the game as sente.

Sente begins with the first move– whoever’s turn it is to move has the opportunity to attack.  The person who follows is said to be responding to the threat.  Generally speaking, it’s good to take sente, and good to play in such a way that you maintain it.  Conversely, it’s bad to lose it, and bad to play in any way that doesn’t somehow reverse the situation.  If you lose it, you’re at the mercy of the opponent’s game plan, and you spend all your time playing catchup and barely surviving– wihch isn’t good enough, because the object of a game isn’t just to survive– it is to win.  No matter how awesome your soccer team is at deffense, you cannot win if you don’t have the ball.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I almost got into a bit of an argument with [SoCool], one of my roomies yesterday.

“I guess I’m only sleeping 4 hours tonight again,” she said.

“Whys that?” I asked. 

“Because I have to be at work at about 7 tomorrow.”

At that point, it was almost 2 in the morning. I  would be retiring to my quarters soon, since I needed to be awake by 9:30AM.

“But… why don’t you sleep more?  You’ve been home since 11.”

For those of you who can’t do the math– (11 – 7) = 8 hours, which is a standard, full headed amount of sleep for most people.  This isn’t the first day that she sleeps only 4 hours.  I think it’s the third time this week.

“You know, that’s really bad for you…” I said with that voice I use when I’m just… reservedly shocked. “It’s really unhealthy.  One of these days you’re just going to collapse.”

“I think I can last a few more days before I collapse.”

My problem with her situation is that she doesn’t need to stay awake this long every day.  She convinces herself that she’s doing what she needs to do because she needs to do it.  She’s lost sente.

Last time I counted, after she dropped out of CEGEP (college), she was working 3 different jobs.  For the past year she’s had as many as 4 simultaneous jobs, but no less than 2.  She owes me two months rent, and scrounges through my food cabinet to take cup ramen that [Supergirl] and I bought.  Yesterday, she realized that she’s been defrauded on her credit card for an amount of 87 US dollars per month for the past 2 months.  When she complained out loud to everyone in the apartment, [Zak] asked the obvious question: “How did they rip you off for two months in a row?”  To which her indignant response was that she never checks the statement that she’s mailed, because she almost never uses the card.  A couple of weeks ago, someone from Royal Bank of Canada managed to sell her a life insurance policy– which is, in my opinion, pointless, since she has no dependants, but she was someohow convinced that it was a good deal.  I got into a bit of debate with her as to why life insurance is useless to her and would just be an added expense for nothing, but….  

The other night, she was using a blender at 11:30pm to make an avocado drink. It consisted of avocado, some cream, and about a 3/4 cup of sugar to make two cups of the drink.

“Why are you putting so much sugar?” I made the mistake of asking her once.

“I like sugar!” she looked at me despondently, as if she thought I was annoyed at her for using so much of the sugar for cost reasons.

“That’s… really unhealthy…” And she eats like this all the time.  She says it tastes good and it gives her energy.

“You do know it’s 11:30PM right? The neighbors…”

But apparently the neighbors wake up [Terminator] (her boyrfriend, my other roomie) in the morning when they come down the stairs in the front, so it’s okay to run the world’s noisiest blender at 11:30PM.  A proverb about everyone being blind and toothless comes to mind.

Tonight, I’m certain, she’s going to be going to play at a weekly poker game with Terminator and friends.  Okay.  So maybe it’s just me, and I’ve got a grudge against her and how she runs her life or something.

I guess you can say, overal, she’s lost sente. Everything she’s doing is reactionary, it’s defensive and in response to threats.  She’s a perpetual victim, because she’s getting so caught up in the energy burning of fighting those small battles that she doesn’t see that she’s totally losing a war.  She’s lost sight of the board, or, she’s too lazy to go about the process of sacrifice and planning to reclaim sente.

But who is her opopnent?  Who has taken initiative away from her?

Life.

If it weren’t for the fact that she was dating Terminator, she would be in even deeper shit, in my opinion.

-=-=-=-=-=-

Moreso in Go than in Chess, it’s necessary to make exchanges or sacrifices to gain either the coniditions that will allow you not only to steal initiative, but to keep the momentum of initiative up.  Right now, SoCool is fighting micromangement battles that are ‘too small.’  She’s picking battles that she can win easily rather than taking the time to plan the big plays, and that means, she’s taking the easy way out.  When you really think about it, the ‘easy way out’ isn’t exactly as easy as it seems, since it only seems easy because one is looking from a low altitude… how much harder is it when the game is lost overal?

I think part of the way that one acheives sente is to keep in mind that it’s not a question of effort– it’s a question of winning. 

No basketball team in their right mind goes into a basketball expecting to win against a better team if they haven’t done their training.  And if they spend all their time fundraising for fancy uniforms when some good old elbow grease to actually  learn to do a layup

In Go, because of the size of the board, it’s possible to fight battles in little areas.  You can win these battles, capturing enemy pieces and securing territory in the process.  But, while you’re doing this, the opponent might be making bigger, more influential plays that secure him position to take the rest of the board.  Basicaly, though some fights are easily won, they’re not necessarily good fights to pick.

The trap, I think, is that it always feels good when we start something and finish it.  But the trap of doing things we’re good at is that we ignore the things that we’re not good at, and give ourselves a false sense of security by only looking at the things we’re succeeding at.  In reality though, too many small wins without a unifying strategy leads to inefficiency.  Left unchecked, it leads to total rout.  Weakest link, and all that.

And that’s assuming you can see the bigger board, or bigger picture, in the first place– because if you don’t, you don’t even know that it’s happening.

-=-=-=-=-

I’m not sure what more to say on the subject of SoCool.  She’s good company– as in, she’s fun to be around, she’s fun to have at gatherings.  But with anything that has to do with managing her life, I need to avoid those conversations with her with a 10 foot pole.  I’ve said my bits about what I think– that’s the most I can do.   You can imagine I have a whloe lot more to say… but I just wonder what her future has in store for her.

How is it that people can just complain and complain, and just never take responsibility for leading their own lives?

 

Zoom out

“It’s for the children,” chided [Chere].  “And you’re going to give them 20 bucks.”
“How much did [Jinryu] give?” complained [Kell]. Kell is a gym rat, and it shows– he weighs about 220lbs, and is 100% beef.  But that doesn’t stop Chere. My officemate speaks with qi in her voice, and if people think they can resist, they are mistaken– it is only because she allows them to think so.
“I gave 5,” I say.  A week ago, I gave 5 dollars for someone else’s kid’s walkathon. And two weeks before that, I spent 5 bucks buying the world’s smallest box of chocolate covered almonds on the planet.
“What is this, discrimination?”
“Kell, we’re both black.  I’m allowed to discriminate against you.”
“You know, there’s a word for people like you in Barbados: CRAZY.”
“How come he gives 5 while I have to give 20?”
“He bought me a dozen eggrolls Kell.  The poor chinaman’s eggrolls are worth more than the rich man’s twenty.”
“Word,” I say, raising a fist, then turning back to my data entry.

Definition is something that is arbitrary.  The camera’s focus analogy is relevant… the particular difference between looking at a photograph and simply using your sight to look in a direction is the focus of attention.  The moment you focus attention, something becomes distinct and individual.

In some ways, it’s important to be able to define things.  Analytical skills are important in any field of work.  You need to be able to identify problems, and break them down into simpler components.

 

On the other hand, the shift in paradigm over the last decade has been towards seeing the whole.  That means that you can’t just look at the problem– you have to look at yourself.  Honest instrospection is what leads to understanding of the self, and it’s composition of both strengths and weaknesses. 

From that point, one needs to set a smaller more appropriate focal length to get the big picture– how do I, as an individual, occupy this same terrain as the problem?  How will our strengths and weaknesses clash?

Sometimes even, with enough of a broad perspective (and herein lies my respect for people who travel and learn about other cultures and ways of thought) we may find that those who we’d hold at adversity’s length at first will turn out to be allies in the big picture of things.  It’s not just a question of perspective, from the point of view that we as individuals put on different glasses– that would be still us, looking ultimately from where we are– it’s a question of challenging our thoughts completely and understanding relativity; stepping outside of ourselves to see what is the basis of our focus.  Treating ourselves and our obstacles from the third person.

Learn that shit

In case the image link to the comic from a Softer World (http://www.asofterworld.com/index.php?id=556) doesn’t work anymore, the caption reads:

Moderation
is life a foreign language.

You have to learn that shit when when you’re young.

The basic controversy of Darwin’s Natural Selection was it’s proposal that that God’s creations were not immutable.

Are we? Immutable?

I mean, suppose our very growth function is set.  You are born a certain way, and, left to the natural course of things, you will grow and grow and grow, until you become who you were meant to become.

Do you believe in destiny?

Do you believe in luck?

If you see bad people out there– do you think they can be reformed?

If at some point, you think you need to change– is it possible?