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mrwinstonsmith's Blog


The Question of Abortion Solved.

As tends to happen when you set 2 extremely rational minds together equipped with good principles, they get talking about serious questions of the day, and as so often happens in this situation, they make good progress towards an answer.

So the question that my father and myself ended up discussing in my last phone call home was that of abortion, namely when and if it is ok to abort a baby/foetus. Note: we are talking about when it is ok, not when it is legally acceptable.

To reach our conclusion we first need the following facts:

1) A baby is less intelligent than your household pet
2) There is a point where doctors use the word "Terminal" which is before the point where likelihood of survival reaches 0 percent.

The current abortion age is an arbitrary number set on almost no actual real world information or development mile markers whatsoever. It has been called the time where a baby cannot survive outside the womb, however, babies have been born before the abortion cut-off who have then survived and gone on to be perfectly normal human beings, so we need a better way of determining when it is ok to end a babies existence.
 
The key to this lies in Facts 1. A baby is less intelligent than a household pet. A baby, realistically, is not even sentient, as it’s cognitive abilities have not developed to the point where it can perceive what it going on around it. The problem with abortion comes when you realise that a baby is developing into a human being, so by terminating that baby, you terminate the intelligent, feeling, and perceiving human being they will become. However, it is not guaranteed that they will become a human being, which is where the current abortion cut-off comes in, if they could not become a human being unassisted from their present state, they are ok to abort. This is wrong, it exists on the same lines as the idea that it is ok to kill jobless people because they would just die of starvation anyway. What we ACTUALLY do is we support the jobless and the infirm, so why should this not extend to humans-in-development?
 
So the problem with abortion is not that it is wrong to kill a baby, but that they defined a cut-off point that does not make sense with our current culture and laws. It doesn’t matter that a baby cannot survive unassisted, because we should be assisting, what matters, is if the baby can become a human at all, even with assistance.
 
So circling back: By killing a baby, you are killing a future-human, unless that baby will never reach the point at which it can be called sentient and human, in which case, the baby has no value other than that assigned to it by it’s caregivers, and if it’s caregivers, i.e. parents, decide to give this lump no value, then it has no value. The inherent human value of life only applies to a baby if it is capable of reaching the point where it is sentient and human.
 
Since we don’t have the ability to see the future, we have to rely on probabilities, and statistics is the backbone of probability calculation.
 
At any given point in a baby’s development it has a statistical likelihood of surviving to any given age, based on genetic profile and regional statistics. So we reach the real questions:

Q1) At what age does a child typically become sentient, and capable of reason, i.e. at what age can we realistically call this baby a full human.
Q2) At what probability is it unlikely enough that the baby will reach that age for us to assume that it wont.
 
Since the issue of abortion is not really the death of the lump, but the death of the resultant human being, once we have determined that a lump wont become a human being, it should be acceptable to kill it, just as we would take a brain-dead patient off life-support.
 
Q1 should be easy to figure out. We simply test children of every age between birth and 8 years old, to determine at what point it’s brain is developed enough to perceive the world around it to the extent where it can be called fully aware.
Once we have the lower boundary of the age range at which this happens (Lets call this X), we have the answer to Q1.
 
The answer to Q2 comes from Fact 2 mentioned at the start. Patients are called “Terminal” long before the likelihood of survival falls to 0, so at what point do doctors decide that it is outside the realm of probability that a patient will survive? Once you have the answer to this question, you have the answer to Q2 (lets call this Y).
 
So the age at which it is ok to abort a foetus can be very simply deduced by working out if the child is more or less likely than Y to survive to age X.
 
When working out a child’s statistical likelihood of survival, only regional data should be used, so that 1st world abortion ages are not increased by the high infant mortality rate of developing countries, abortion statistics should also be ignored, as they would no longer count as a possible cause of death under the new system.
 
Abuse, accidents, and child murder, however, should count towards the statistical likelihood of survival to age X.
 
So there you have it.

The Human Condition

I find many MANY things boring, but one thing that has never bored me, is myself. Egotistical as that may sound, and egotistical as I may be, the two do not match up, I am not quite as egotistical as my self-fascination would suggest so there must be another reason, a reason that finally occurred to me today.

Every time i finally come to a conclusion about myself, I instantly invalidate that conclusion. By reaching a conclusion about the entirety of my mind, i am adding to my mind both the conclusion, the knowledge that a conclusion exists and any emotion knock-on effects of said knowledge, thus adding to the puzzle, and invalidating the final conclusion. My mind, to me at least, is an infinite puzzle, as the very effort to solve it, adds to it, and as any good mathematician knows, no one can completely understand themselves, as no finite system can contain within itself a complete map of itself, as that is an infinite recursion.


As a side note, this finally explains why every earth-shattering revelation that I keep having does not make the slightest difference to me, as the knowledge of that revelation negates the revelation, like in hitch-hiker’s guide: If both the question and the answer are known simultaneously in the same universe, it is destroyed, and replaced with something even more bizarrely inexplicable. The revelation changes the architecture, and thus invalidates the structure the revelation was built upon, but I digress.

Another revelation occurred to me at this point: that people are not nearly as complex, or as simple as people commonly assume.
 
The two opposing arguments as I see them are
  1. People are not nearly as complicated as they think, we are all actually quite simple, and it is our own ego that refuses to admit it.

  2. People are infinitely complicated, and the only way people understand each other is to place each other in limiting boxes that ignore most of the information.


As it turns out, both are true.
 
The architecture of the human mind is actually quite simple, we have a basic framework laid out by our parents and the major choices we have made and the values we have. These form the boxes that people are so fond of putting each other in. The complexity comes in the minor details.
 
It is not the architecture that defines our individuality but the minor details that most people miss, the events, and memories and emotional tags that come with them clutter the architecture.
 
Imagine a metaphorical building. That building is all that the box-lovers see. They know that if you need food you will go down the hall to your kitchen, however, our minds are so cluttered that our paths through the halls, and which halls we take are dictated by which routes are still available to us, and how easy the clutter is to get past, we may have a corridor that leads directly to the kitchen, but if a nasty experience exists on that path, (represented by a rabid dog in this case) we are very likely to choose a different more indirect route, hence the inaccuracy of the box-model. The architecture is known, the clutter is not. All the box-lovers see is that we avoid that specific path for some reason.
 
Now imagine a more open plan version of this building. The structure still exists, of course, and still dictates, to some degree, our actions; however, the open plan is needed for the vast array of experiences we have accumulated and the clutter it represents in the building metaphor. Imagine you wish to predict how someone will react to a situation, (which path they will choose through the architecture) your only evidence for making this guess is the architecture itself, and the paths you have seen them take though what seems to you, an empty building. You see they take the same meandering path over and over. You can attempt to guess why, but without knowing the clutter they are navigating, you are almost always wrong. Now you may think you know how this person will react because of the paths you know they like, but imagine you dropped a new piece of clutter in that building. YOU know the addition you have made, but not the rest of the landscape. There is no way to predict if that person will take a minor detour, or a completely different route, or have to leave the building entirely and enter again in another entrance.
 
Without knowing the details of a person’s life, EVERY detail, there is no reliable way to know how a new event will be handled. They are likely to stick to the architecture, but the paths available in that architecture are almost limitless, and the option always exists, however uncomfortable to temporarily leave that architecture entirely, or “act out of character”.
 
It is these seemingly insignificant details that clutter the boxes that make us the varied and impossibly complex individuals we are. The more details you know, the better you can predict a response, but without knowing them all, you can never be certain you won’t be surprised. Knowing the architecture, the boxes, helps a great deal, but these are just blurry outlines of human nature, the canvas on which the life is drawn, the framework, nothing more.
 
Rooms might exist that you have never seen them enter, paths might be taken that you would never have predicted, we can never fully understand each other, as the detail required to understand each other is more than our minds can take on, on top of our own mess, and attempting to do so only adds to our own clutter, our own complexity. That is what makes the human condition one of my favourite puzzles, it is a puzzle that can never be solved, that varies infinitely at the tiniest detail, that is constantly changing, and perhaps as complex as the universe that supports it.

Getting Over Love

It seems that a lot of people find it difficult to get over someone they really love, and I understand that, it took me 3 years to get to a point where I can hang out with her and only feel crap for a single day.
It seems that a lot of people find it difficult to get over someone they really love, and I understand that, it took me 3 years to get to a point where I can hang out with her and only feel crap for a single day.

This is targeted specifically for unrequited love, as that is where my experience lies.
 
So let’s begin. The situation is as follows: You have fallen in love with someone, and for 1 reason or another, it has become clear that a relationship is not an option, and you must instead move on.
 
Unfortunately, the brain is an idiot. Upon being rejected, the brain attempts to encourage you to try harder by actually making your feelings even STRONGER than before, making it insanely difficult to move on once rejected.
 
Step 1: Separation
It is a cliché, but it is a cliché because it is true. The FIRST thing you need to do is cut them out of your life. Do not see them, speak to them, don’t even check their facebook profile or even talk ABOUT them. For all intents and purposes, they no longer exist.
 
This is important because love works remarkably like drug addiction. At first just being around them gives you a tremendous high, and a low when you are away from them, but the more you are around them, the more you long to be closer, to be more intimate, and the more intimacy is needed for the same high, and like all addictions, you cannot get over it until you stop taking it.
 
Step 2: Hope
Love is the most amazing thing you will ever have felt, and you will probably do anything to hold onto hope that you can get to keep it. You will concoct amazingly far-fetched fantasies where you can get together with your love interest and live happily ever after, and you hold onto hope that these fantasies COULD come true. STOP it. You will never get over your love until you accept the fact that there IS NO hope. You will never get together, he/she/(it) will NEVER love you, COULD never love you, WOULD never love you, no matter the scenario, or what you might say or do.
 
As long as you hold onto hope of a future together you will never be able to let go, just the tiniest hope is enough to keep you longing and miserable for years. So as soon as you separate yourself from you love interest, begin squashing all hope of ever getting together with them. TRUST me, separation will make this job easier, but it is still no easy task. Your brain will come up with 1001 different ways that you could end up together, if only you tried a little harder, held on a little longer…
 
Step 3: Wait
This could take months or even years, and will not work at all unless you have done step 1 and 2 first. Without fresh input, without hope, your mind will eventually begin to accept that it is over, and your feelings will begin to fade.
 
Good milestones to look out for as signs that you are getting over them:
-You are going longer and longer without thinking about them
-You can envision a happy-enough life without them
-You can identify faults in them you never could before
-You are interested in other people, not because of some vague longing to not be alone, but for the actual person of interest
 
Step 4: Test the water
Once you feel over them, phone them, or meet them, and see where you ACTUALLY are. It’s all well and good to feel ok without temptation, but you need to know how you react upon being faced with them again. First time I tried this it took me a month to get over the encounter, 2nd time, only a couple weeks, etc.
The test is to see how long it takes you to recover from seeing them. The longer it takes, the further you are from being over them.
 
Once you have seen where you are, repeat steps 1, 2 and 3. After a time, try 4 again. Repeat until you recover after a day or two.
 
It should get easier, if it isn’t, you aren’t waiting long enough between testing the water.
 
 
All in all, this process could take years, but it is how I did it, and it worked. I most recently spent a day with her, I felt miserable the entire day (hid it well though) but I felt all better by the next day. I don’t want her anymore, or at least I can say that without it being a COMPLETE lie. The main cause of my sadness now is not longing for her, but mourning the end of the most wonderful feeling I have ever felt.
It seems that a lot of people find it difficult to get over someone they really love, and I understand that, it took me 3 years to get to a point where I can hang out with her and only feel crap for a single day.

This is targeted specifically for unrequited love, as that is where my experience lies.
 
So let’s begin. The situation is as follows: You have fallen in love with someone, and for 1 reason or another, it has become clear that a relationship is not an option, and you must instead move on.
 
Unfortunately, the brain is an idiot. Upon being rejected, the brain attempts to encourage you to try harder by actually making your feelings even STRONGER than before, making it insanely difficult to move on once rejected.
 
Step 1: Separation
It is a cliché, but it is a cliché because it is true. The FIRST thing you need to do is cut them out of your life. Do not see them, speak to them, don’t even check their facebook profile or even talk ABOUT them. For all intents and purposes, they no longer exist.
 
This is important because love works remarkably like drug addiction. At first just being around them gives you a tremendous high, and a low when you are away from them, but the more you are around them, the more you long to be closer, to be more intimate, and the more intimacy is needed for the same high, and like all addictions, you cannot get over it until you stop taking it.
 
Step 2: Hope
Love is the most amazing thing you will ever have felt, and you will probably do anything to hold onto hope that you can get to keep it. You will concoct amazingly far-fetched fantasies where you can get together with your love interest and live happily ever after, and you hold onto hope that these fantasies COULD come true. STOP it. You will never get over your love until you accept the fact that there IS NO hope. You will never get together, he/she/(it) will NEVER love you, COULD never love you, WOULD never love you, no matter the scenario, or what you might say or do.
 
As long as you hold onto hope of a future together you will never be able to let go, just the tiniest hope is enough to keep you longing and miserable for years. So as soon as you separate yourself from you love interest, begin squashing all hope of ever getting together with them. TRUST me, separation will make this job easier, but it is still no easy task. Your brain will come up with 1001 different ways that you could end up together, if only you tried a little harder, held on a little longer…
 
Step 3: Wait
This could take months or even years, and will not work at all unless you have done step 1 and 2 first. Without fresh input, without hope, your mind will eventually begin to accept that it is over, and your feelings will begin to fade.
 
Good milestones to look out for as signs that you are getting over them:
-You are going longer and longer without thinking about them
-You can envision a happy-enough life without them
-You can identify faults in them you never could before
-You are interested in other people, not because of some vague longing to not be alone, but for the actual person of interest
 
Step 4: Test the water
Once you feel over them, phone them, or meet them, and see where you ACTUALLY are. It’s all well and good to feel ok without temptation, but you need to know how you react upon being faced with them again. First time I tried this it took me a month to get over the encounter, 2nd time, only a couple weeks, etc.
The test is to see how long it takes you to recover from seeing them. The longer it takes, the further you are from being over them.
 
Once you have seen where you are, repeat steps 1, 2 and 3. After a time, try 4 again. Repeat until you recover after a day or two.
 
It should get easier, if it isn’t, you aren’t waiting long enough between testing the water.
 
 
All in all, this process could take years, but it is how I did it, and it worked. I most recently spent a day with her, I felt miserable the entire day (hid it well though) but I felt all better by the next day. I don’t want her anymore, or at least I can say that without it being a COMPLETE lie. The main cause of my sadness now is not longing for her, but mourning the end of the most wonderful feeling I have ever felt.
It seems that a lot of people find it difficult to get over someone they really love, and I understand that, it took me 3 years to get to a point where I can hang out with her and only feel crap for a single day.

This is targeted specifically for unrequited love, as that is where my experience lies.
 
So let’s begin. The situation is as follows: You have fallen in love with someone, and for 1 reason or another, it has become clear that a relationship is not an option, and you must instead move on.
 
Unfortunately, the brain is an idiot. Upon being rejected, the brain attempts to encourage you to try harder by actually making your feelings even STRONGER than before, making it insanely difficult to move on once rejected.
 
Step 1: Separation
It is a cliché, but it is a cliché because it is true. The FIRST thing you need to do is cut them out of your life. Do not see them, speak to them, don’t even check their facebook profile or even talk ABOUT them. For all intents and purposes, they no longer exist.
 
This is important because love works remarkably like drug addiction. At first just being around them gives you a tremendous high, and a low when you are away from them, but the more you are around them, the more you long to be closer, to be more intimate, and the more intimacy is needed for the same high, and like all addictions, you cannot get over it until you stop taking it.
 
Step 2: Hope
Love is the most amazing thing you will ever have felt, and you will probably do anything to hold onto hope that you can get to keep it. You will concoct amazingly far-fetched fantasies where you can get together with your love interest and live happily ever after, and you hold onto hope that these fantasies COULD come true. STOP it. You will never get over your love until you accept the fact that there IS NO hope. You will never get together, he/she/(it) will NEVER love you, COULD never love you, WOULD never love you, no matter the scenario, or what you might say or do.
 
As long as you hold onto hope of a future together you will never be able to let go, just the tiniest hope is enough to keep you longing and miserable for years. So as soon as you separate yourself from you love interest, begin squashing all hope of ever getting together with them. TRUST me, separation will make this job easier, but it is still no easy task. Your brain will come up with 1001 different ways that you could end up together, if only you tried a little harder, held on a little longer…
 
Step 3: Wait
This could take months or even years, and will not work at all unless you have done step 1 and 2 first. Without fresh input, without hope, your mind will eventually begin to accept that it is over, and your feelings will begin to fade.
 
Good milestones to look out for as signs that you are getting over them:
-You are going longer and longer without thinking about them
-You can envision a happy-enough life without them
-You can identify faults in them you never could before
-You are interested in other people, not because of some vague longing to not be alone, but for the actual person of interest
 
Step 4: Test the water
Once you feel over them, phone them, or meet them, and see where you ACTUALLY are. It’s all well and good to feel ok without temptation, but you need to know how you react upon being faced with them again. First time I tried this it took me a month to get over the encounter, 2nd time, only a couple weeks, etc.
The test is to see how long it takes you to recover from seeing them. The longer it takes, the further you are from being over them.
 
Once you have seen where you are, repeat steps 1, 2 and 3. After a time, try 4 again. Repeat until you recover after a day or two.
 
It should get easier, if it isn’t, you aren’t waiting long enough between testing the water.
 
 
All in all, this process could take years, but it is how I did it, and it worked. I most recently spent a day with her, I felt miserable the entire day (hid it well though) but I felt all better by the next day. I don’t want her anymore, or at least I can say that without it being a COMPLETE lie. The main cause of my sadness now is not longing for her, but mourning the end of the most wonderful feeling I have ever felt.
wonderful feeling I have ever felt.



My ideal, (and vastly inappropriate) funeral.

In keeping with my often dark and serially inappropriate sense of humour, I have been coming up with ways to "improve" my funeral for years. Since I fully intend to put these little improvements in my Will, I need to keep a list, so below is a list of some of the things I want to take place at m funeral.

Burial:
-I want to be buried in the shallowest grave I can get away with, since I hate the idea of being buried alive. I have already looked up the best way to escape a grave, but I still want to make it as easy as possible.
 
Open Casket Wake:
-I want the person who closes my lid to check my pulse and prick me with a needle just prior to closing it.
-I also want to be dressed in an immaculate suit, except for 1 detail, instead of a shirt and tie, I want to be wearing a t-shirt saying “Aim for the Head” in bright letters (just incase)
 
Fancy Dress:
-I want a tall man at the funeral, dressed as death, to stand at the back for the duration. He will not talk to anyone, and leave at the end without saying a word.
 
Music
I want the following music played at either my funeral, or the wake, the silly at the wake, and the nice ones at the funeral.
-“Dumb Ways to Die”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJNR2EpS0jw
This is just for the cringe moment when people realise what is playing
-“Hands of Time” by Groove Armada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlNpks9WtnY
I like this song, and it seems to fit the occasion
-“Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful Life” by Izrael “IZ” Kamakawiwoole
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I
I really like this song, specifically this version, and I want it to play at the very end of my funeral as people are ushered out.
-The Ghostbusters theme song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oL8hvlYOrik
Just so they know what to do… :P
-“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz7ifClpT4g
Another cringe moment song :)
-“Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWsJcg-g1pg
Just keep ‘em cringing :D
“Never Gonna Give You Up”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Yes, I want to Rick Roll my own Funeral XD, preferably this is to be played as the first song of the wake.
-“I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuDeBcpLITQ
Let the cringes keep coming
-I would suggest “Highway to Hell” but I don’t want to jinx myself
 

Depression is beautiful.

There are horrors in this world, things to terrible to think about with dry trousers, things so perfectly evolved to cause harm to others that to meet it would be, well it would be the end of you, and in a way these things are beautiful. Such perfectly adapted machines, built-to-purpose, elegant and effective in their cruelty. However, of all the devices, processes and creatures out there so beautifully adapted to causing harm to other creatures, no process is so perfectly devised to harming the self as depression.


Every thing i learn about depression, every new bit of knowledge only increases my appreciation of it. So elegant in it's design, so inescapable in it's experience, so beautifully cruel in it's execution.

Not only do serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine levels drop drastically, causing every useful process to slow down, but monoamine oxidase A (the chemical that facilitates disposal of the aformentioned neurochemicals) increases, meaning that even if you replace those precious neurochemicals, they just get disposed of again.

On a more psychological note, you cannot process new information as well, you cant concentrate, you cant think, stopping any real organised mental resistance to depression, and only increasing your loss of self worth.

You become actually incapable of perceiving good things, they still happen to you, your day isnt any worse than anyone elses, it's just that you cannot recognise something as good anymore.

And my most recent discovery, the icing on the cake, the most amazingly and beautifully cruel part of the whole thing, through your haze, barely being able to think your way out of a paper bag, your thoughts then turn to yourself, and WOW does your brain light up. The MOMENT you think about yourself, the blood-oxygen levels in the appropriate parts of your brain go through the roof, allowing you a crystal clear look at yourself, at every flaw, every tiny mistake, every time you hurt anyone, in PERFECT clarity.

Depression blinds you to ANYTHING good, turns down the volume on the world, makes everything come through a haze, isolates you from everything and everyone in your life, and shines the worlds brightest light on everything you ever did wrong, every character flaw, every mistake, and leaves you alone, with nothing but your worst memories, and all the time in the world to learn to hate yourself for it.

As a method of causing harm, i cant think of anything better, just sit them alone in a room with the worst version of themselves as company, and watch them tear themselves apart. You have to admire it, it is so terrible yet so simple, it is almost poetry.

Why do we like stories about tortured souls?

We have such a fascination with stories about tortured men, struggling against trial and pain, and darkness, both external and internal, why is that? Why do we think men in pain is so fun to watch?

Perhaps it is a romanticism of the limits of human endurance, the idea that to be in pain  and suffer through is somehow noble or perhaps it is that we like to imagine that we could be that strong, that if we went through what they did, we could stand up against it, like children jumping down the stairs, each time jumping from a little higher, and seeing someone jump from the very top thinking "yea, I could do that if i tried"

But that belief in our potential just causes us to long to be tested, and either we get tested, and find out that we are not that strong, or that being that strong is not very fun at all, or we torture ourselves with ideas of pain and trial, and the thought that we will never be tested, never live up to a potential we have convinced ourselves we have.

The want to be tested, the need to be tested, to prove that we are as strong as those around us, just ends up being another form of torture, but for no reason, and we watch the shows, and read the books and tell the stories of tortured men, beating incredible trials telling ourselves "one day that will be me, one day they will all see, and i will be vindicated" and that day never comes, and our pain grows within us, or that day does come, and the realisation of how much time we wasted wishing to be tortured, and how stupid that wish is, just makes it all worse.

Why do we believe it is so noble? and why do we long so much for trial just to spend our trial wishing for peace. Perhaps we long for trial and pain because it carries with it the promise of enlightenment, the knowledge that there is nothing noble in carrying around pain, it just hurts.

And for those who have been tortured, who have been tried, and who have felt great pain, it is a comfort to see others hold the tried, the tortured, in such high regard, for that means we too, are in high regard, it wasnt all for nothing, we have earned some measure of respect, some right of passage, we share some kinship with these men that are considered great, and in that kinship we too are great.

But the only thing the painless idolising those in pain does is cause us to inflict pain on ourselves, to accept it too willingly, too readily, to think "finally, now is my trial, now i prove myself" and by the time we realise that there is no nobility in pain, only pain in pain, it is too late.

But to those in pain, maybe it is a comfort, that their pain comes with inherent worth, that it is not all for nothing, that they are having that right of passage, that nobility, that enlightenment bestowed upon them, and real or not, perhaps that idea is enough to help ease the pain.

The only sure thing we know is that we idolise those in pain. It is evident from out media, our heroes, the stories we tell, and the standards we set, we are fascinated with pain, and those who are in pain, enough to want it.

There is no bad, only the prelude to good.

First of all, i am going to explain how i came to this. My day started out pretty crappy. I was exhausted and aching all over from the night before, i was even slightly limping because i bashed my lag so hard the day before, and my computer has turned itself off about 20 minutes after i went to sleep, even though i was relying on it spending the night transferring files to a hard-drive, and it was raining, hard, and i had to get to work 2 miles away. However, on the way the wind completely shredded my favourite umbrella, i got totally soaked, and when i finally got to work, my boss pointed out a list of mistakes i had made the week before.

So not a great start to the day. However, the day slowly began to pick up, i instructed and chatted with some of the newbies on the office (i had a 2 week lead on them, so i had to help them out) and eventually even my boss, a usually rather stoic guy, got involved in the conversation, and we all were sitting around chatting and joking (and yes, working) My lunch was the best burger i have had in months, and then the day continued to improve.

By this point in the night, i am smiling, relaxed, and looking forward to another day tomorrow.

Then the answer hit me before the question:
Which is better?
1) To have the day start out shit, and get better and better
2) To start out having an awesome morning, and have it deteriorate for the rest of the day.
Obviously number 1. Also, days that start awful and stay awful all the way through are rather rare, so if you have a crappy morning, however bad your day starts, comparatively, it will be good by the end, which is far better than a day that gets worse as it goes, (and a day that starts awesome and ends equally awesome is equally as unlikely as one that starts crap and stays equally crap) So whenever you wake up, and you feel awful, and nothing goes right, then this is a great thing, because it just means your day will just get better from here. The only way is up.

So all the bad start is doing, is creating a context to make the good end even better, so good is great, but bad is just a prelude to good.

Of course, a negative person could make the opposing argument, that good is just the prelude to bad, but thats not how it works. When we are having a good time, we enjoy the good time, we are in the moment, but when we are having a bad time, we long for good again, we are looking for the future, so good is about the present: the good, and bad is about the future: the impending good.

So good or bad, it all comes to good in the end.

I remember Depression

I was depressed for several years, luckily in some ways, (and unluckily in others) i cant actually remember too much about it, especially towards the final year of my depression, it all becomes a bit of a blur.

I remembered a lot about how it felt to be depressed, but there is one thing i just didnt remember, until just now. I was feeling kinda miserable, and in a moment of self-indulgence, i allowed myself to listen to sad music whilst i was sad, something i have not let myself do since i was depressed. Because i spent so long depressed, i have a whole playlist of sad music on Spotify, and i started playing it, and an aspect of depression that i had completely forgotten came back to me, i remembered it because the music was full of it, more than any other feeling. The feeling of being lost.

I remembered the lack of concentration, the desperation, the all consuming loneliness and misery, the self-hatred, the self-pity, the longing, but in all this, i had completely forgotten the MAIN feeling that made depression so bad, that sense of being truly lost. Unconnected, unwanted, unneeded, no purpose in this world, no reason to be.

The worst feeling i felt was that i had business being at all.

It wasnt just a momentary thing, it wasnt something that came from a lack of things to do, it was in my very soul: "I have no purpose, there is no point in living"

Just thinking of it now, actually remembering what it was like is heart-breaking. How i lived through it is a complete mystery to me, how anyone does.

Im reminded, as i so often am, of a film quote, this one being from Unbreakable:

Elijah Price: Do you know what the scariest thing is? To not know your place in this world, to not know why you're here. That's... that's just an awful feeling.

That kind of aimlessness really can break a person. I'm seeing this film scene in a whole new light now, i always thought that Elijah having gone that crazy was kind of unbelievable. I don't anymore.

The problem with old people.

The internet has given us so much, it has given us access to the collective knowledge of the entire world, (and their collective perversion, but lets skip over that for now). Lifetimes of knowledge and information at our fingertips, but that is all it is, information. Within every elderly man and woman, lies a lifetime of wisdom, decades of life, followed by decades more of reflection. Refined wisdom to the point of being "truth" in the philosophical meaning of the word.

Every single elderly person carries a lifetime of revelation, and wisdom, and experience, that it would take half their lifetime again to impart on another, but they give it a go anyway.

And that is the problem, they just dont stop talking. There is SO much wisdom to impart, SO many experiences to share, and SUCH a condensed form of information, that no one person can take in any of it.

Old people roam around our civilisation, hunting down the young, and when they catch one, they open the floodgates, and pour out a lifetime of knowledge onto the poor kid. Whole lives condensed into 30 minute cliff-notes, massive universal truths, condensed into a sentence, a young mind just does not have the experience or ability to take in that much information in such a short period of time, but at the same time realise that it is an old person passing on their wisdom, and so are stuck listening, out of propriety, respect or politeness, so young people just avoid the old in fear of these 2-3 hour talks covering all topics, and too much information to remember.

If old people just stood back, and allowed us to seek them out, and even then, give only SOME of their wisdom, then they would be respected and honoured by the young. Young people would go to the elderly with their problems, they would seek out an elderly person with relevant experience, and have a conversation with them, they would ASK for their knowledge, for their guidance, and their wisdom, and cherish their responses, and their conversations, and would REALLY LISTEN to what they had to say. I know this, because i have done this.

I met an elderly gentleman who did not feel the need to impart any great wisdom, or keep me there for hours, he just chatted, and when one of us needed to go, we parted. He was a next door neighbour of mine, and always fun to talk to, i began hoping to run into him, to hear more, to learn more, every conversation with him was so intelligent, so rich in information, there were few platitudes, and so much wisdom, but not too much for me to take in. When it came time for me and my house-mates to move away, everyone in the house wanted to get him something, to say thank you for being a good neighbour, we went to great lengths to find the right present, and i miss our conversations.

The elderly could be such a powerful and good part of our lives, inspiring conversation, REAL conversation, and imparting wisdom to eager listeners, if only they allowed us to come to them, and did not resent it when we had to leave, if they joined into conversations, not took them over.

Remember this for when you get old. Talk with people, not to them, talk about the present, not the past, interesting facts, not life stories. Draw on your experience, and your life in a conversation, dont simply talk about it all at once, and soon, they will ask you for your story.

The rape argument.

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Error

Apologies to anyone who actually reads what I post here, thought i doubt anyone really does, i left a page open which seemed to re-post my latest blog entry every time i opened my browser, resulting in 4 copies of my latest post "Man Therapy".

I deleted all but the one with an actual comment on it.

Man Therapy

I have always known that if something bad happens, i have 2 standard reactions:

1) Get sad
2) Get mad

I always just thought of this as a choice, the mad/sad fork response, however, i have recently been working on a new theory, that men aren't complete idiots.

As any woman will tell you, men don't process their emotions well. They bury them, and act out. However, as most men will tell you, men aren't that simple, so where does the emotion go when we bury it? I have recently had a seriously distressing month, and yet, i have not processed any emotions on the subject.

The emotion that we refuse to process in fact gets processed on it's own my our subconscious, however, without our concious mind learning from and coming to terms with the results, it just gets turned into a general sense of sadness.

The manly thing to do is to grunt and punch walls, or pick a fight, and this is generally viewed as a rather unhealthy response, however, as i previously said, men aren't idiots, and this behaviour has been perfected over the generations by billions of men for thousands of years, so if we aren't idiots, why do we do it?

It turns out that the manly display is remarkably therapeutic.

I was feeling rather miserable earlier, and i decided that i wasnt ok with this, so for once, i acted out, i used the wall as a punching bag, a couple dozen good punches later, and a few manly grunts of pain and dominance, the sadness was gone. This surprised me, but thinking about it, it makes quite a bit of sense.

Imagine a guy gets into a fight, and holds his own, what happens?

1) Pain - People self harm for several reasons, but one very good one is that it releases dopamine, which generally makes you feel good.
2) Adrenaline - It gives you power, strength, energy, and greater awareness of your surroundings. As many psychologists have claimed, people who focus on the here and now are less miserable than those who are always in their heads. The Problem-Solution process is far more satisfying than asking the existential questions with no answers.
3) Testosterone - This natural steroid gives you greater strength, confidence, and a sense of control over your world, and makes you more competitive.
4) Holding their own in a fight causes not only an increase of the above, but a very real demonstration of their power, control and dominance over their surroundings.

So the "manly display" that we guys are drawn to when we feel down floods our brains with neurotransmitters, steroids and stimulants, giving us a vastly inflated sense of our own abilities and power, whilst simultaneously giving us a visual example of said power. In effect, we get the chorus of friends all saying "yes you ARE pretty, he doesnt know what he is saying" that girls use to vent sadness, except that since ours are in our own minds, we BELIEVE ours.

My punching of the wall gave me all those chemical responses, and the satisfaction of seeing that the conditioning of my fists hasnt worn off in the last year of apathy, that i can still punch a wall a couple dozen times at full force without injury.

So burying our feelings and then curing the resulting sadness with manly displays allows us to deal with our emotions cleanly and completely, without ever having to face them, and without ever lowering our guard. The overeating of ice cream, movie marathons, and weeping with our friends that women use to get over emotional problems is completely unnecessary as we simply ignore it until it is ready to be released as a burst of manly dominance that can be unleashed on similarly geared men, or on punching bags or walls, or even by simply beating the other team at football.

We have evolved a system to completely nullify sadness, and men who are prone to manly displays naturally don't even have time to feel the sadness before expelling it in another characteristic celebration of their team's latest win.

It turns out that my standard response to every-day bad events was not a choice, that i simply got sad, but had access to an in-built sadness-release-valve of manly displays of anger and dominance.

So next time you are feeling sad and like you don't want to do anything, that the world doesn't make sense and that you are useless, lift some weights, punch a wall, beat your friends at Xbox, or just hulk out at someone or something, take a bat and an old computer you don't need any more, and smash that thing into oblivion. You will feel a LOT better for it.

Man Therapy: if it didn't work, then we wouldn't be so stubbornly hanging onto the concept.

Being a Man - A self-check-list.

=WORK IN PROGRESS=
-Suggestions Welcome-


I am quite interested in defining exactly what makes someone a real man, mainly because there seem to be such a shortage of real men today, and such a vast amount of people claiming to be, who aren't.

My common answer of "A real man should be a mixture of James Bond and Jesus" doesn't really seem to cut it, especially to people who are devout atheists, or don't like James Bond, besides, both of them were terminally single, so it doesn't give much of a useful framework for what a non-single real-man should be like.

So below, i shall compile a check-list of what it means to be a real man, and if you can (honestly) say you match all of them, then well done, you just might be a real man among the narcissistic boys that make up our society.

There may be drastic organisational differences between versions, but I assure you, the existing content has not been removed, only added to. Restructuring is simply an attempt to organise each feature into groups, to identify the most fundamental features of a real man. Also, old versions will be kept at the end.

Disclaimer: I do not claim to meet all of these, in fact i actively claim i dont, but i do aspire to meet all these one day.




Version 2:
=CURRENT=



As you can see, i have split the check-list into 3 categories that i think everyone can agree on: "Honour", "Strength" and "Nobility".

Honour
1.1) You have principles
-No man can be anything without first setting forth the parameters for what is right, what is wrong, what is acceptable, and what is not. These are called principles. They should be the basis of his actions, his thoughts, his feelings and his decisions. All things should stem from his principles, without them, any real man is lost.
-Your beliefs, your ideology, your views, your morals, all these are your principles (look up the word) and without them, you are nothing. So you must stick to them, or face being nothing. And no real man is nothing.
1.2) You keep your word
- A person who doesn't keep their word is not exactly telling the truth about himself (see 1.4)
-Of course there are extreme cases where your word simply cannot be kept, in which case, an apology is always owed. Depending on the circumstances, reparations for any damages caused because you failed to keep your word may also be owed. (An example being agreeing to go on holiday with a friend, then something happens that prevents it after the friend has already paid for the tickets, you still owe them the cost of your ticket, if they then choose to absolve you of this debt, and pay for both themselves, it is a gift from them, not absolution.)
- A real man should also not give his word if he isnt sure he can keep it, in such cases, he should only give his word that he will try, and if he does give said word, he MUST try his best.
- Again there are a couple extreme circumstances where giving your word, knowing you may not be able to keep it, is acceptable, for example to comfort someone who may die. "You will be ok, i give you my word" In this case, you are sacrificing the value of your "word" to comfort someone in need, which is a worthy reason.
1.3) You are humble
- False modesty is not the sign of a real man, neither is boastfulness. You should not think overly highly of yourself. Be honest with yourself about who you are, because who you really are should be enough.
- A real man does not feel the need to show off, he has nothing to prove, knowledge that he tries his best is enough.
- Being overly obsessed with your appearance is not being humble, it is vanity, which is the opposite of modesty, and true modesty is the essence of humility.
-Of course it is understandable to make the odd small boast, you can throw a ball really far, you can lift this much weight, you made out with this many girls, but your self-worth should not hinge on the response to these boasts, nor should your opinion of those who do or do not respond. Any boast you make should be anecdotal, nothing more. No real man should blow his own trumpet.
1.4) You are honest about yourself
- If who you are and what you do cannot stand up to scrutiny, then be better and do better! Your mind, and heart, and life should stand on its own merit, you should not need to lie about yourself or your life, and if you do need to, if there is some mistake you have made, or a failing you have, own up to it. Only a weak man hides from who he is or what he has done.
- Of course this does not mean practice total honesty; white lies exist for a reason, because sometimes the blunt truth hurts people.
- Don't spill other's secrets. Be honest about yourself, let others choose if they are going to be honest about themselves. You should not be so anxious to tell the truth that you will throw someone else under a metaphorical bus in order to let you do so.
- If you set an aim you cannot reach, or a task you cannot complete, then you should be honest with yourself, and others, and admit your shortcomings, that you cannot do it alone.
-p.s. telling someone you love them when you don’t, is not being honest, even if it means you could get laid, just saying, NO real man lies about love.
1.5) You are Just
- A real man should have a good sense of justice. He does not harm others, or think himself above others. All things have consequences, all injustice should be punished. No one is so beneath another person that you can treat them as you like. Everyone deserves justice, and everyone is accountable for their actions, including you.
-Hypocrisy is not justice. Though you cannot encourage wrong behaviour, you can't punish others for what you have done yourself in the past, unless you then punish yourself equally.
-The same goes for telling others of someone’s wrongdoings. If you have shared their wrongdoings, a real man would tell both their wrongdoings and his own, and accept or even demand equal punishment.
1.6) You are respectful
- All people deserve some measure of respect, if not by their own merit, buy the merit of their effect, for not man has ever been entirely useless, every man woman or child has made some positive contribution to the world around them, no matter how small.
- No one is completely inferior to another, and if anyone can out-do you in any way, you owe respect to their achievement, even if you don’t owe it to them.
- Everyone has flaws, everyone makes mistakes, and everyone can be seen as an idiot or a bad person in the sight of someone better, to disrespect someone because they are stupid or doing wrong is hypocritical, because we all do wrong, and we can all be idiots sometimes.
- A real man is respectful of other people’s principles, until they directly conflict with his own. No man is perfect, so no man is infallible. You may be wrong, and unless you are 100% sure you aren't, you should respect the fact that maybe the other guy’s choice of belief or view of morals is as valid as yours. Only a fool thinks he is infallible.
-The simple act of disagreement is NOT a direct conflict with your principles, anyone who is so insecure that they cannot stand anyone disagreeing with them is not a real man.

Strength
2.1) You are self sufficient
- A real man should be fully capable of surviving his life alone, without any emotional, physical or financial support from anyone, and without dumping on anyone, complaining to people or taking any frustration out on anyone else. You should be able to move through life without relying on ANYONE to be there for you, or to take abuse from you.
-Physical support is of course allowed for the disabled, but in this case you should still push yourself to the limits of independence that your disability allows you.
-Of course this is not to say you are a loner, just because you can make it through life alone doesn't mean you should, but you should choose to rely on others, not need to.
- If you have chosen to be in a relationship with someone, and that person needs you to be open with them, then denying them any opportunity to share your burdens, and help you, is the same as forcing them to carry a burden they did not want, as it is making them pay the price for your pride. If you cannot share your burdens with them, then you should not have chosen to be in a relationship that requires it. -This applies for every-day life, for extreme circumstances; see number 2 on this list.
2.2) You are Prepared
- I don't mean that you should have guns and an emergency bug-out bag under your bed, but that you are physically and mentally prepared for ANY conceivable eventuality. Deaths, pain, disability, losing your job, war, being mugged, finding yourself stranded in the wilderness... If you can keep your cool and get yourself through any reasonable eventuality, then you are prepared.
- However, there are some things that are unreasonable, there are some tasks that are too great for anyone to take on alone, some things that just cannot be done, and some hurt that cannot be withstood, and no man can be prepared for these things, these things are terrible but these things are rare, and if more than 1 of these happen to you in a lifetime, you are an unlucky man.
2.3) You show no weakness
-To be weak is to be unprepared. We all have weaknesses, little cracks in our armour, words or phrases or events or actions that at the right time can hit home and do us damage. We cannot defend against our own weaknesses, so the only defence is to deny the battle. By hiding our weaknesses, we deny people the opportunity to use them against us. With our weaknesses covered by anonymity, we can be prepared for what may come.
- A real man should take pride in his appearance, to look dishevelled and unhealthy is to show weakness, but by the same token, to show vanity is to show weakness. You should look smart, but not vain. (Think "James Bond") Staying in shape (to a point) is also part of taking pride in your appearance.
- A real man should not allow himself to cry in front of others, crying is a sign of weakness. However, again, not being able to cry is also a weakness. Crying is an emotional outlet; not having that outlet is a weakness. Not crying should be a force of will, not just a lack of the ability.
- As with all things, there is an exception. Betrayal by someone trusted and loved is unforeseeable and you cannot be expected to be prepared for it, so if there is someone you trust, and love, a parent, wife, girlfriend, or brother (by blood or friendship), then it is understandable, acceptable, and often encouraged to show weakness in front of them, but only them.
2.4) You are brave
- I was going to say "You are confident", but many shy people can be real men, and confidence isn’t always the sign of a real man, overconfidence is a form of confidence, is only a sign of an idiot. A real man should be brave, so confident or not, he should be willing to put himself forward to any task, whether it is easy or not. The confident man, who takes on a task he knows to be beyond him, or the shy man, who takes on a leadership role, these are brave men.
-Of course there is a very real difference between bravery and stupidity, no man is invincible, and taking on an impossible task is not brave, it is foolish. So with bravery, there should be an understanding of your limitations.
2.5) You know your limits
-A real, man knows his limitations, what he can and cannot do, and he knows this, because he has pushed himself to those limits before, he doesn't take the easy path at the expense of himself, of others, or his goals, he pushes himself to his limits, and once he reaches them, he works to push his limits further
- A real man accepts his failings, and works towards fixing them. Denial helps no one.
- A real man should also not be deluded. Unless you make your living making rap music, you are not a rapper. Unless you make your living breaking the law as part of a criminal organisation, you are not a gangster. Unless enough women agree with you, you are not a prolific lover. The list goes on. If you want to be something, make it happen, or stop talking about it, and don’t claim to be it until you are.
- You don’t sell yourself short. In knowing your limits, this doesn't just mean knowing what you can’t do, but what you can.
- If the worst does happen, and you do reach your limit, and you cannot go on, you should not let yourself fail because of your pride and arrogance. When the task is so great that 1 man cannot do it alone, then swallowing your pride, admitting your shortcomings, and asking for help is the right thing to do, and what a real man would do. No man is all powerful, and a real man would know that.
2.6) You hold your ground
- If something you aim for is worth it, you don’t give up easy, you hold strong, and bear whatever it takes to reach your goal. A real man can push his limits far further than he ever thought possible. He can stand against extreme opposition, he does not get discouraged, he does not get dissuaded. If the goal is worth it, a real man can and will give everything he has to reach it.
- This does not mean never concede defeat, or stubbornly hold to what is wrong. If you are wrong, accept it. Pride is not humility, and humility is 1.3 on the list. You only hold to what is true, and right, if you find you are wrong. You accept it, and move on.
- In the field of relationship, this does not mean become a stalker dude, or don’t take no for an answer. Putting your want for someone ahead of their own wants, is you dumping your problems on others, which is not being self-sufficient.

Nobility
3.1) You are generous
- Just because you can survive on your own, without any help from anyone, does not mean you should expect the same from others, and if you cant go it alone, then it is hypocritical to expect it from others. Besides, there WILL come a time when your strength fails you, when you meet a task you cannot achieve alone, and in that time, if you are man enough to admit your shortcomings, and ask for help, then you should be man enough to give that help when others are in need.
- A real man shares his success. If you have extra, and someone has too little, by denying them your help, you are valuing yourself above them, which is not humble, it is arrogant. If someone needs help, and you can give help, you give it.
- Of course there is a limit to the amount of help you can give, and if you have earned success, then it is your right to enjoy it, so choose who to help, but you as long as you have more to give, you should not shy away from giving.
3.2) You aspire to be more than you are
- All real men aspire to be better than they are. To be stronger, smarter, kinder, more loyal, more forgiving, more understanding, to be the best they can possibly be. This should be a life-long pursuit. Until you are the perfect man, (and no one ever is,) you should not stop trying to be better. A better boyfriend, a better husband, a better father, a better brother, a better friend, whatever you do, and whatever you are, aspire to be better.
- To not try to be better is either to claim you are perfect as you are, which is arrogant presumption and hardly the humility of a real man, or that your failings and your wrongdoings are not your responsibility, which means you are making them someone else’s responsibility, you are dumping your problems on other people, and if you need to do that, you are not a real man.
3.3) You are merciful
- Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. Forgiveness is the sign of a great man, and all real man should aspire to be great men. Sometimes people need to learn their lesson, but other times, forgiveness is just as important.
-p.s. no one likes a tyrant.
3.4) You stand up for what is right
- If the time comes when you are given a choice, to enjoy yourself, or improve yourself, to feel pleasure, or to make yourself better, to give in to desire or virtue, if these choices are mutually exclusive, you should ALWAYS forgo what is fun, and choose to do what is right.
- All real men should aspire to make the world around them a better place for them having been there.
- All people know what is right and wrong, even if they don’t all agree on what right and wrong is, they know what they think is right and wrong, and if you can defend your beliefs with words, but not act on them, your beliefs are hollow, and you are lying to yourself, and everyone around you.
3.5) You take responsibility
- A real man takes responsibility for his actions and his choices. If you don’t take responsibility, someone will be made to, and dumping the consequences of your actions and choices on someone else is not what a real man would do.
- If you have chosen a path, and if you have chosen beliefs and principles, and someone takes issue with this, you should take responsibility for your choice. Either be man enough to admit you are wrong, and change your ways, or be man enough to defend your convictions. Hiding your principles and beliefs is not taking responsibility for them. You made a choice, own that choice.
3.6) You have a sense of dignity
-Dignity is an odd one, there are so many different views on dignity, so i shall simply state what i mean by dignity here. Dignity is a state of mind and behaviour.
- Being in a state of non-humiliation covers the state of mind, whether this is by always conforming yourself to a high standard of discipline in order to avoid humiliation, or simply by being comfortable with who you are makes no difference, as long as your actions do not harm others.
- The state of behaviour is again twofold, it is composing yourself with grown-up behaviour governed by grown up decision making.
-The grown-up behaviour of dignity can be waved in certain circumstances, e.g. playing with a child, as long said behaviour is still governed by grown-up decision making.
-I am relatively sure that every part of the concept of dignity that i have not covered in 3.6 is covered on the rest of the checklist.


If you are diligent enough to have read this far, thank you for reading. If you have any objections to the list, or think i have made an error, please feel free to point out your objections/my errors in the form of a comment.

p.s. I may still update this list.



Version 1
=OUTDATED=


1) You are self-sufficient
- A real man should be fully capable of surviving his life alone, without any emotional, physical or financial support from anyone, and without dumping on anyone, complaining to people or taking any frustration out on anyone else. You should be able to move through life without relying on ANYONE to be there for you.
-Physical support is of course allowed for the disabled, but in this case you should still push yourself to the limits of independence that your disability allows you.
-Of course this is not to say you are a loner, just because you can make it through life alone doesn't mean you should, but you should choose to rely on others, not need to.
- If you have chosen to be in a relationship with someone, and that person needs you to be open with them, then denying them any opportunity to share your burdens, and help you, is the same as forcing them to carry a burden they did not want, as it is making them pay the price for your pride. If you cannot share your burdens with them, then you should not have chosen to be in a relationship that requires it.
-This applies for every day life, for extreme circumstances, see number 2 on this list.

2.1) You are prepared
- I don't mean that you should have guns and an emergency bug-out bag under your bed, but that you are physically and mentally prepared for ANY conceivable eventuality. Deaths, pain, disability, losing your job, war, being mugged, finding yourself stranded in the wilderness... If you can keep your cool and get yourself through any reasonable eventuality, then you are prepared.
- However, there are some things that are unreasonable, there are some tasks that are too great for anyone to take on alone, some things that just cannot be done, and some hurt that cannot be withstood, and no man can be prepared for these things, these things are terrible but these things are rare, and if more than 1 of these happen to you in a lifetime, you are an unlucky man.

2.2) You don't broadcast your weaknesses
-To be weak is to be unprepared. We all have weaknesses, little cracks in our armour, words or phrases or events or actions that at the right time can hit home and do us damage. We cannot defend against our own weaknesses, so the only defence is to deny the battle. By hiding our weaknesses, we deny people the opportunity to use them against us. With our weaknesses covered by anonymity, we can be prepared for what may come.
- A real man should take pride in his appearance, to look dishevelled and unhealthy is to show weakness, but by the same token, to show vanity is to show weakness. You should look smart, but not vain. (Think "James Bond") Staying in shape (to a point) is also part of taking pride in your appearance.
- A real man should not allow himself to cry in front of others, crying is a sign of weakness. However, again, not being able to cry is also a weakness. Crying is an emotional outlet, not having that outlet is a weakness. Not crying should be a force of will, not just a lack of the ability.
-As with all things, there is an exception. Betrayal by someone trusted and loved is unforeseeable and you cannot be expected to be prepared for it, so if there is someone you trust, and love, a parent, wife, girlfriend, or brother (by blood or friendship), then it is understandable, acceptable, and often encouraged to show weakness in front of them, but only them.

3) You are modest
- I am not talking false modesty, and I don't mean that you have to hide all your achievements, but you shouldn't flaunt your achievements either. Say someone was getting mugged, and you ran in and saved them, fighting off the attacker. This is a pretty awesome thing you just did, but you should not then go and flaunt this. If the person you saved feels the need to tell others, that is her business, but you should not blow your own trumpet, and unless it comes up, you probably shouldn't mention it at all. Everyone likes the hero, but the hero doesn't then spend the next few days seeking out adulation from everyone he can find.
-False modesty is also not the sign of a real man. You should not think overly highly of yourself. Be honest with yourself about who you are, because who you really are should be enough.
-Being overly obsessed with your appearance is not modesty, it is vanity, which is the opposite of modesty.

4) You are brave
- I was going to say "You are confident", but many shy people can be real men, and confidence isnt always the sign of a real man, overconfidence is a form of confidence, is only a sign of an idiot. A real man should be brave, so confident or not, he should be willing to put himself forward to any task, whether it is easy or not. The confident man, who takes on a task he knows to be beyond him, or the shy man, who takes on a leadership role, these are brave men.
-Of course there is a very real difference between bravery and stupidity, no man is invincible, and taking on an impossible task is not brave, it is foolish. So with bravery, there should be an understanding of your limitations.

5) You know your limits
-A real, man knows his limitations, what he can and cannot do, and he knows this, because he has pushed himself to those limits before, he doesn't take the easy path at the expense of himself, of others, or his goals, he pushes himself to his limits, and once he reaches them, he works to push his limits further.
-A real man accepts his failings, and works towards fixing them. Denial helps no one.
-A real man should also not be deluded. Unless you make your living making rap music, you are not a rapper. Unless you make your living breaking the law as part of a criminal organisation, you are not a gangster. Unless enough women agree with you, you are not a prolific lover. The list goes on. If you want to be something, make it happen, or stop talking about it, and dont claim to be it until you are.
-Dont sell yourself short. In knowing your limits, this doesnt just mean knowing what you cant do, but what you can.
-If the worst does happen, and you do reach your limit, and you cannot go on, you should not let yourself fail because of your pride and arrogance. When the task is so great that 1 man cannot do it alone, then swallowing your pride, admitting your shortcomings, and asking for help is the right thing to do, and what a real man would do. No man is all powerful, and a real man would know that.

6) You hold your ground
-If something you aim for is worth it, you dont give up easy, you hold strong, and bear whatever it takes to reach your goal. A real man can push his limits far further than he ever thought possible. He can stand against extreme opposition, he does not get discouraged, he does not get dissuaded. If the goal is worth it, a real man can and will give everything he has to reach it.
-This does not mean never concede defeat, or stubbornly hold to what is wrong. If you are wrong, accept it. Pride is not modesty, and modesty is number 3 on the list. You only hold to what is true, and right, if you find you are wrong. You stop.
-In the field of relationship, this does not mean become a stalker dude, or dont take no for an answer. Putting your want for someone ahead of their own wants, is you dumping your problems on others, which is against number 1 on this list.

7.1) You are just
-A real man should have a good sense of justice. He does not harm others, or think himself above others. All things have consequences, all injustice should be punished. No one is so beneath another person that you can treat them as you like. Everyone deserves justice, and everyone is accountable for their actions, including you.
-Hypocrisy is not justice. Though you cannot encourage wrong behaviour, you can't punish others for what you have done yourself in the past, unless you then punish yourself equally.

7.2) You are merciful
-Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. Forgiveness is the sign of a great man, and all real man should aspire to be great men. Sometimes people need to learn their lesson, but other times, forgiveness is just as important.
p.s. no one likes a tyrant.

8) You aspire to be more than you are
-All real men aspire to be better than they are. To be stronger, smarter, kinder, more loyal, more forgiving, more understanding, to be the best they can possibly be. This should be a life-long pursuit, until you are the perfect man (and no one ever is) you should not stop trying to be better. A better boyfriend, a better husband, a better father, a better brother, a better friend, whatever you do, and whatever you are, aspire to be better.
-If the time comes when you are given a choice, to enjoy yourself, or improve yourself, to feel pleasure, or to make yourself better, to give in to desire or virtue, if these choices are mutually exclusive, you should ALWAYS forgo what is fun, and choose to do what is right, and what will make you better.

9) You are generous
- Just because you can survive on your own, without any help from anyone, does not mean you should expect the same from others, and if you cant go it alone, then it is hypocritical to expect it from others. Besides, there WILL come a time when your strength fails you, when you meet a task you cannot achieve alone, and in that time, if you are man enough to admit your shortcomings, and ask for help, then you should be man enough to give that help when others are in need.

10) You are honest about yourself
- If who you are and what you do cannot stand up to scrutiny, then be better and do better! Your mind, and heart, and life should stand on it's own merit, you should not need to lie about yourself or your life, and if you do need to, if there is some mistake you have made, or a failing you have, own up to it. Only a weak man hides from who he is or what he has done.
- Of course this does not mean practice total honesty, white lies exist for a reason, because sometimes the truth hurts people.
- Don't spill other's secrets. Be honest about yourself, let others choose if they are going to be honest about themselves. You should not be so anxious to tell the truth that you will throw someone else under a metaphorical bus in order to let you do so.
- If you set a aim you cannot reach, or a task you cannot complete, then you should be honest with yourself, and others, and admit your shortcomings, that you cannot do it alone.
-p.s. telling someone you love them when you dont, is not being honest, even if it means you could get laid.

11.1) You are a man of honour

11.2) You keep your word

- A person who doesnt keep their word is untrustworthy, hardly an admirable trait, hardly the best someone can be, and if you dont aspire to be the best you can be (see number 8) you are not a real man.
-Of course there are extreme cases where your word simply cannot be kept, in which case, an apology is always owed. Depending on the circumstances, reparations for any damages caused because you failed to keep your word may also be owed. (An example being agreeing to go on holiday with a friend, then something happens that prevents it after the friend has already paid for the tickets, you still owe them the cost of your ticket, if they then choose to absolve you of this debt, and pay for both themselves, it is a gift from them, not absolution.)
- A real man should also not give his word if he isnt sure he can keep it, in such cases, he should only give his word that he will try, and if he does give said word, he MUST try his best.
-Again there are a couple extreme circumstances where giving your word, knowing you may not be able to keep it, is acceptable, for example to comfort someone who may die. "You will be ok, i give you my word" In this case, you are sacrificing the value of your "word" to comfort someone in need, which is a worthy reason.

11.3) You show respect

House is a genius.

Many people have claimed this over time, however, House is not a genius. The genius is the conglomeration of the collective knowledge and wisdom of all the people working towards the script. House appears to have the knowledge and wisdom and intelligence of 10 men because he actually does have that much wisdom and knowledge and intelligence going into his character.

The same effect goes for any film or TV character that people try to make look smart, they gain the collective intellect and experience of everyone who writes them.

In this case, a beautiful moment of truth was spoken in House, one i would like to remember, as it wraps up something i am always saying, except this is said by the awesome House, so idiots will hear it and without the intelligence to understand it will defer to "House is a genius" and accept the statement's wisdom.

"Skinny, socially privileged, white people get to draw this neat little circle, everyone inside the circle is normal. Anyone outside the circle should be beaten, broken and reset so they can be brought into the circle. Failing that they should be institutionalised, or worse, pitied....    ....why feel sorry for someone who gets to opt out of the inane courteous formalities which are utterly meaningless, insincere, and therefore degrading? This kid doesnt have to pretend to be interested in your back pain or your excretions, or your grandma's itchy place, you mentioned how liberating it would be to live a life free of all the mind-numbing social niceties. I dont pity this kid, i envy him."

House - Season 3 Episode 4

The pertinent question.

Everyone with an IQ above that of a suspiciously moist gym sock at some time or other asks the question "what is the point?" They can ask this specifically, wondering what was the point of a single thing that annoys them, or generally, as in what is the point of everything.

Obviously the point of everything is to do good. Nothing in the world exists that does no good, even if that good is only done to itself, so the basic idea is that everything should do some good, the more good it does, the more pointed it's existence.

When we get to a complicated system like a human being this question becomes more complicated. What is the point of a person? To do good right? But how?

A human system is split into many different facets.
Actions/Thoughts/Feelings
Overt/Covert
Intention/Result
Cognitive/Impulsive

So which is more worthy? which is supposed to be the ultimate goal?

Is direct good better? or maybe net good? Bad actions can have good results, so are doing those bad actions, intentionally or accidentally, good or bad?

Cognitive good or Impulsive good? Which is the better person, the one who likes everyone and so never gets on anyone's nerves, or the person who secretly wants to hurt people and small animals but forces themselves to help others?

Good Feelings, Good Thoughts or Good actions? If a person recognises your importance, and makes an effort to help you, does it matter if they really care about you or not? or lets go further, if a person forces themselves to help others regardless of their own desires, feelings or thoughts, does it matter that that person doesn't care about you or even want to help you?

Polar opposites here, If a person living in a poor neighbourhood loves everyone as they would their own child, and does everything they can to personally help those in the neighbourhood, and another person doesnt really care about those people, but decides to pour money into the neighbourhood and bring all those inhabitants out of poverty, which is the better person? The one who did the more objective good, or the person who WANTED to do the more good?

As people what should we aspire more to be? Caring or effective? A hated do-gooder or popular and apathetic?

There are so many approaches to doing good, but are any objectively better than the others, does taking one route make you an objectively better person than any other?

Personal Example:
If a son logically arrives at a set of values and principles that would cause him to do everything he can to help his family, and sticks to those principles, even though emotionally there isnt much real attachment there, is he as good as a child who does it out of love? Is he better because he can be objective about how to get to the best positive outcome? Is he worse for not really caring?

What constitutes a good person? A good friend, son, brother, boyfriend? Does it matter if he cares as long as his chosen principles cause you to be held in high personal station, and as a result cause him to act as if he cares?

Is a comforting hug any less comforting if he doesnt feel warm and fuzzy feelings about you? or is a rational and principled obligation enough?

The House Example:
Is a person who is a complete uncaring asshole a better person than someone who is kind and caring if the asshole saves lives every day, but the caring person works in wallmart?

Does it matter what a person's motivations are if he does good either way?


What part of the human system, if any, is superfluous? Is there anything that is kinda nice, but holds no real purpose if you are trying to be the best person you can be?


The Fuck-up Example

If a person tries to do good, but always fails, and his net contribution to society is negative as a result, is he a bad person? or is he just unlucky?

Extreme Example:

Can a hated, loner, asshole who just wants to hurt people and does nothing but bad, be a great person if all that bad is specifically and intentionally targeted to bring out the best in others?

If he decides to only do bad things that cause other people to do great things where before they wouldn't have, does it matter that he enjoyed causing the initial pain in people?

The direct result of his life is that he is a horrible person who enjoys hurting people, but the net result is that he has improved dozens or hundreds or people and the human experience overall. Is he a horrible person? or a visionary?



WHAT makes a person great? Net result? Intention? Feeling? Choice? Principle? Action? Intention? That people love him?

A rude awakening.

About 18 months ago, i was put in a strange situation, i was a student, but had no lectures, i was waiting a year for an exam that was very poorly scheduled. Trying to get a job seemed futile, as i never received any replies, or interviews, and my heart really wasn't in it, eventually, i gave up, and decided to simply wait for my degree to finish, and try again.

In this past 18 months, i have had very little money, and very little to do. My life has been on pause, and i have adjusted to my hibernation, learning to relax.

Now i have my degree, and fearing the looming shadow of my gargantuan overdraft, i signed up to receive job seekers allowance as a way to motivate me to job hunt again (seeing as they require you to do a minimum amount of searching to keep JSA), this was about a week ago.

Since that time my life has become suddenly very active, there have been obligations, meeting, letters, forms, job applications, interviews, and at the same time, a friend i havent seen in a long time turned up as did my parents, and to top it all, my friend wanted to spend every waking second hanging out with me, filling every last spare second i had between everything else suddenly going on, (and now only 4 hours sleep a night) and my mum declared in her visit that she has cancer.

It is like my life has suddenly, in the space of a day or two, and without any warning, restarted it's original rhythm (and yes, news on the order of "my mum has cancer" is in line with the usual rhythm), a rude and violent re-awakening to real life, and i am struggling to get myself back into the swing of it. I expected a slow and arduous waking process as my life slowly came back from it's hibernation, but no, it was sudden and abrupt, and i am having trouble adjusting fast enough, or coping with an adjustment process so sped up.

The Government is needed, get over it.

I ordered food a few minutes ago and went downstairs to watch TV whilst i waited, since i cant hear the from door from my room (my computer and Tv is set up in there, and my housemates keep the house in a disgusting mess, so i pretty much live in my bedroom)

Anyway, i come down to hear a video conversation my friend is having, and one of them just keeps going on about how the world would be a better place if organised government didnt exist, if nations werent there, if there was no army, and how politicians are all just in it for themselves etc, but how, even if we dont have a govornment, we should still have free healthcare and stuff like that.

I was squirming in my seat it was all so fucking retarded, i had to actually leave and go back upstairs, trusting my housemate to call me when my food gets here.

1) Organised government is necessary!!
Those free services you all love so much rely on the people who run them, who rely on their wages to let them live, who rely on the taxes to get their wages from, which relies on some form of organised government.
Without organised government, you would have no taxes, no stupid laws, no innocent people in jail, but you would also have no guilty people in jail, no jail at all, no police, no roads, no NHS, no assistance for the unemployed or the elderly, basically, without government, without some organisation running the services, you would HAVE NO SERVICES! 
It would be the wild west, but worse, since we wouldnt even have a town sheriff, because that would be organised government again. We would all just be bandits and farmers, and the farmers would live under the oppressive heal of the bandits. So how would that be better?
We live in an organised and largely safe society, and the main thing holding that society together is government. I would like to take this opportunity to explain that i dont think we have the ideal government, and i think that many of their rules are stupid and oppressive, but it is a millions times better than having no government at all, so instead of complaining about wanting to get rid of government, these idiots should instead get INTO government and try to FIX it.

2) Government runs entirely on self interest.
Duh! Of course it does. Everyone who gets into government has an idea of what would make the country and the government better, and you vote for the candidate you agree with the most, that's how government works! If you dont like their ideas, dont vote them in, and if they do things you werent expecting, and you dont agree with, dont vote them in next time (America and Obama, you voted him in twice, so stop complaining).

Conclusion:
-Government is necessary,  if you say it isnt, you are a moron.
-If you dont like government, change it, dont just bitch about it.
-Everyone is looking out for their own agenda, if you want your agenda heard, become an MP, or vote for one you agree with. I.e. participate in government!

p.s. Organisation on any level generates bureaucracy, it's just how organisations account for everything and keep things moving (if slowly) and the Government is organising a nation, so of course there is bureaucracy, and again: if you dont like it, change it, dont bitch about it.

The assumption of trust

A year ago i moved into a new house, i couldn't afford a place of my own that wasn't a bedsit, and i could see myself going crazy in one of those, so i found a house with a vacancy, and moved in with 3 perfect strangers.

It didn't really occur to me until months later the remarkable level of unwarranted trust that is involved with that.

We spend crazy amounts of money on security, locks, and so on, and even more on taxes to fund the police. All to protect us from the crazies and strangers outside the front door, and to stop strangers getting in. But here i was, voluntarily LIVING with 3 strangers.

We lock the doors, and close the windows at night thinking that we are safe, but ever night i was locking myself in with 3 people i didnt even know, and then, i would go to sleep, unconscious only a few meters and 2 unlocked doors away from 3 people who could be axe murderers or thieves, or gangsters, or anything in the world, and i meet them once, and feel safe to sleep in their company, and give them access to all of my possessions.

It seems perfectly normal to trust your house mates, but it is no more normal to trust house mates as it is to trust anyone you have known for the same amount of time.

So every day, i leave the house, and trust these strangers to not steal, break or abuse my things, to not go through my possessions, and every night i trust them to respect the unlocked, and unprotected door of my bedroom, to not harm me in my sleep, or take pictures, or any 1 of a million other abuses that someone could do to you whilst you sleep, including kill you.

This absolute trust in complete strangers is insane, but here i am, doing it again, because a new house mate moved in only a couple weeks ago, to replace one that moved out, and i dont know him either. He keeps to himself, and i still dont even know his last name, or anything about him really. SO every night i lock myself in with this complete stranger..

I have no point to this, i just feel that this strange and almost inhuman trust, in a world that finds trust so difficult, should be discussed, and acknowledged. Trust DOES exist, every time we stand next to someone in the cutlary section in a shop, we trust them not to stab us, every time we drive in the road, we trust others not to ram us off of it, every time we order food in a restaurant  or a drink in a pub, we trust that this is clean food and drink, without poison, or spittle.. We trust so readily in our lives, and i think it is time someone acknowledged mankind's profound ability to trust his fellow man, without evidence or reason, to just trust.

Love has lost it's meaning

Many people throw around the word love now-a-days. People say "i love you" in any relationship and strangely are not that broken up about it when it ends. People say "i love you" as soon as the impulse occurs to them, they never stop and really search their heart to see if what they are feeling is love or just strong attraction or obsession. Worse than that, people use love as a mechanism to get people into bed, as a way of showing approval or even just randomly to strangers.

If someone says "i love you" to you, it is a pretty commonplace occurrence. It is standard, and if a girl says it to you, she actually has to stop and explain that she really means it before you take it seriously.

Love used to be this powerful word, this forbidden word, something you only ever say to one person in your whole life. It used to be that even hinting at the word "love" would move people to tears of joy.

I want that word back. I want Love to be what it used to be. I want it so that if i say it to someone, the weight and power and beauty of that word and all that it signifies would take her breath away, would make her realise that she is one in 7 billion, to see the total devotion and be in awe of the feeling itself, before she even considers where the feeling comes from.

To love and to be loved is powerful and beautiful and magical, it changes a person forever, it can push a person beyond their limits, turn enormous toil into a stroll, make them fly. Love is something to be awed and respected and revered as the highest point of humanity. But again, if i came to you and told you i loved you, it would probably not mean much to you.

"Love" has lost it's meaning. The word has been completely disconnected from the raw power and beauty that i once signified, and the English language is paler and poorer for it.

Argument cheats

There is a certain civility to a disagreement between friends when nothing is on the line. You avoid sensitive subjects, you don't raise your voice, and if you get to a point where you both run out of arguments to make, the argument ends with an acceptance that it is unresolved.

There are however, some people who break these rules, and in doing so, in my opinion are being incredibly rude.
1) Insulting the other person
2) Insisting that your opinion is Fact
3) Ending the argument with a "im not wasting my time on you anymore" flourish
4) Making a final sum-up statement before forcing an end to the conversation (hanging up a phone, closing a door, etc)

These are rude in that you are refusing to acknowledge the other person's argument, and in doing so refusing to accept the validity of their opinion/view. In it's basest form, the above is patronising, and pretty-much telling your friend that they are ignorant and/or stupid.

This kind of cheating in an argument is only ever used by 2 kinds of people.
1) People who are too proud to accept defeat ever
2) People so close minded, they honestly don't believe they can ever be wrong.

These kind of people are not worth arguing with, and i live with one of them. He is 100% convinced of everything he knows and believes, even when it is factually in error. Every argument i have ever had with him has ended either in me recognising that he is right, and conceding, or him saying he is right, and ending the argument, sometimes with an insult or two, and a veiled threat. Every minor error must be pointed out, difference in opinion must be "corrected".

More and more i am running into these people. The kind of arrogance it takes to be like that is beyond my understanding. Every time an argument ends to one of these dirty cheats it makes me want to purge humanity of these people, the people so close minded that any progress or free expression is stamped out.

A civilised argument between friends is a forum whereby two people present their arguments and give counter arguments until they either reach a consensus, or are unable to continue, and must leave the issue unresolved. If you aren't willing to abide by this simple edict, then you are either not my friend, in which case: no holds barred, or you are not worth my time, since what is the point in an argument that you cannot win, even if you are right? In that case you may as well be presenting your argument to a chimp for all the headway you will make.

1-20 of 27 Blogs   

Previous Posts
The Question of Abortion Solved., posted March 15th, 2014
The Human Condition, posted February 1st, 2014
Getting Over Love, posted January 10th, 2014
My ideal, (and vastly inappropriate) funeral., posted December 17th, 2013
Depression is beautiful., posted December 7th, 2013
Why do we like stories about tortured souls?, posted November 17th, 2013
There is no bad, only the prelude to good., posted October 28th, 2013
I remember Depression, posted October 5th, 2013
The problem with old people., posted September 29th, 2013, 4 comments
The rape argument., posted September 27th, 2013
Error, posted September 26th, 2013
Man Therapy, posted September 25th, 2013
Being a Man - A self-check-list., posted September 20th, 2013
House is a genius., posted September 12th, 2013
The pertinent question., posted September 11th, 2013
A rude awakening., posted September 9th, 2013, 2 comments
The Government is needed, get over it., posted July 14th, 2013
The assumption of trust, posted July 12th, 2013
Love has lost it's meaning, posted May 27th, 2013
Argument cheats, posted April 22nd, 2013
3 Pilots, 1 Brain., posted April 10th, 2013
I need my defences back, posted March 21st, 2013
Nice Guys Finish Last, posted March 19th, 2013, 3 comments
Thoughts on Wisdom, posted March 18th, 2013
Pandora's Box, posted March 7th, 2013
I love soft heartbreak, posted March 4th, 2013
Superficiallife had a question., posted January 30th, 2013
My quiet friends annoy me., posted December 20th, 2012

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