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Topics - zackli

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1
Bring and Brag / Hunting Bigfoot
« on: August 22, 2014, 03:52:50 am »
Poem I wrote, with intent to turn it into a song if some nasty thief doesn't come take my obviously already gone dreams of fame/stardom/wealth.


On patrol, just another day
when a baby bigfoot comes out to play
watching, waiting to hear
what it has to say

"You have nothing to fear"
Just what I wanted to hear
gun raised, fired and aimed
fucking hell, got blood in my beer

On patrol, just another day
When a teenage bigfoot gets in my way
watching, waiting to see
if and what it has to say

"Look behind that tree
You will find all that you seek"
gun raised, aimed and ...
"It's all just for fun, and I'm on a streak"

On patrol, just another day
When a ripe old bigfoot enters the fray
watching, ready to deal
with all of the theatrics, without delay

I know how you feel
and on that day, both of their lives, their fates were sealed
gun raised, aimed and ...
It's tough not knowing what is real

If anyone wants to interpret it, feel free. It would be interesting to see how its perception being created and its perception being read are similar and different. Or you can tell me it sucks. That's cool too.

2
Aneristic Illusions / "I create my own reality!"
« on: August 14, 2014, 07:23:26 am »
Zack went through a phase where he thought like that. He blames his intelligence, which more accurately translated would be his ability to absorb information and act on it in his head. Because who needs real life when you've got an imagination that awesome!

He also read an article on psychology today about how thinking to oneself in the third person makes one calmer and more rational. He doesn't actually think he's irrational or tensed up, but he is always open to trying new ways to eliminate his self concept, so that he can then go about life and strive to reach the goals he threw out with the bathwater that was his self. He is not regretting it, because it's so much easier not having to be disappointed while maintaining perfectly plausible rationalizations that he is more rational and less emotional as a result, when in fact(tm) he is simply in a different prison of self-delusions designed to give him the indirect narcissistic sense of superiority over others he doesn't know he needs for reasons he doesn't or can't or won't fully understand.

Or something. He actually was just having trouble getting used to talking in third person to himself because he didn't have any context through which to apply it, but he figured he couldn't go wrong with self-introspecting, thereby manipulating the way he introspects about his introspecting. He was also largely similar to what he sounds like now, only with a few fancy psychology terms he doesn't usually use and he could write a book about himself right now, but is choosing not to because that is too obvious a sign of narcissism (which is too loaded of a term for him to use in his own writing or every day language).

Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-happiness-project/201112/think-yourself-in-the-third-person

But the thing is, it really works. (from the top of the web page) Zack isn't sure yet, but he definitely sees himself being even more honest with himself in the future.


3
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / !
« on: August 11, 2014, 11:09:27 am »
First off, I'm going to be using authoritative language to explain this idea, which has probably been espoused at least 5 times before, but this is only because I'm too lazy to make it more "exactly" what I mean due to the number of words that would be required and the fact that I don't have much time before I have to get ready for work.

The PCL-R:

glib and superficial charm
grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
need for stimulation
pathological lying
cunning and manipulativeness
lack of remorse or guilt
shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
callousness and lack of empathy
parasitic lifestyle
poor behavioral controls
sexual promiscuity
early behavior problems
lack of realistic long-term goals
impulsivity
irresponsibility
failure to accept responsibility for own actions
many short-term marital relationships
juvenile delinquency
revocation of conditional release
criminal versatility

This is a somewhat official/somewhat unofficial method used by psychologists to diagnose the subject with "psychopathy" which practically makes them the devil incarnate; official in that it is "to be used by trained officials only" and unofficial in the sense that the DCM doesn't list it as a valid disorder. On a scale of 0-2, how much money do you give to the homeless?

It has been used to suggest both that the criminal should have longer sentences (because they're the devil incarnate) and that they should have shorter sentences (because they're obviously not responsible for their crimes due to a brain defect). It is also used by all of your friends to give them a reason for not liking certain people who apparently do not meet their standards for what "normal" is.

There are a fair number of these traits which are either being instilled into the citizenry or that the media is trying to make you think the traits are being instilled into the citizenry. I won't go into too much depth because I have to get ready for work soon, but here are some of the traits and the ways in which they are being instilled. If you want, feel free to add to this list.

glib and superficial charm - The inherent importance of beauty is greatly exaggerated, "techniques" for appearing nice and friendly regardless of actual intent are available to those interested
grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self - You're an awesome person! Sure, you may have no life and be a pedophile and be stuck in prison, but it's just because you haven't been taught how awesome you are. Self-help books, religion, rugged individualism, etc.
need for stimulation - teenagers on their phones all the time, more?
pathological lying - Possibly techniques for appearing nice and friendly (depends on the individual using them) More?
cunning and manipulativeness - Same as above, game theory, more?
callousness and lack of empathy - the capability of most to walk or drive by people in need without a second glance

The inherent subjectivity in applying all of these "traits" based on whatever perception a "trained" psychologist (or your friend) has of the person's background and a detailed interview is like calling something a dog upon hearing that it is a four legged mammal with teeth and sometimes makes noises. That dog, however, is being judged by a jury of cats (and dogs like it are responsible for all of the problems with society).

Basically, this is a rant on the mis-use of science applied to one specific instance. Obviously, some people aren't nice and having "guidelines" for things to watch for might be helpful, or it might turn out terribly and alienate the entire population because of priming, confirmation bias and the fundamental attribution error.

4
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Hypocrisy
« on: August 08, 2014, 11:58:44 pm »
NOTE: This was a rant I made in response to a comment I saw by someone on a different forum, but thought it was applicable here as well. Not to anyone in particular, to everyone. The subject area is probably one that people here know about confronting.

Most people I know, and I know this may or may not be you so please don't say "BUT THAT'S NOT ME!", would probably lie unless they were "really" your friend when they are confronted with an awkward situation regarding the opinion of the askee in regards to something that the asker has. I know that sounds confusing, but in a more specific way: your friend asks you if you like his or her new jacket. Do you tell them the truth? Do you value honesty? Do you value the friendship of the person to whom you are referring?

in this rock-and-hard-place dilemma, you have two options: 1. to lie and to maintain the good graces of your friend or 2. tell the truth because you A) care about the person and are trying to help her or B) something else that I'm too lazy to think of right now. In either case, assuming you are empathetic in the slightest, care about the friend you imagined for this scenario and value honesty, you have been inconsistent with your thoughts about yourself. "I'm an honest person" and "I just lied", so I'm told, are conflicting thoughts in regards to cognitive dissonance theory. You can justify it to yourself however you want to, either by reducing the significance of the lie (it was a "little white lie") or you can try to justify the lie by saying you were helping your friend (or something else, obviously). All of this is only correlational with the real reason you did it, however. If you think you actually know the real reasons you do things, take an intro to social psychology class at a college or watch this one[1] on Youtube. It's free and is bound to change your perception on people as a whole if you are open to knowing such things. But what is learned can't be unlearned, that's my only ominous warning.

I'm a hypocrite because I don't actually think I care about telling people and I know it will all eventually all be for naught in the grand scheme of things. Hell, even in the small scheme of things. In two weeks, this will just be another rant I made, barely memorable in the slightest.

The only solution to this that I can think of, which doesn't actually resolve this, is a hierarchy of values that (in theory) you memorize and logically follow through to the end (or you'd be a hypocrite for that, too) in your day-to-day life. This, however, doesn't resolve the dilemma. It merely ignores the dilemma entirely, with the added bonus of giving you a reason for ignoring that dilemma.

The point of this post (or lack thereof) was to say that there really isn't any reason to call someone a hypocrite except to shame them for not doing something or doing something that you think they think they should be doing but aren't.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V17Ead_YAxc&list=PL3E423E294511D174

5
If blogs are to be believed, there is apparently a claim that a 1500 year old bible suggests that Jesus Christ was not crucified. The blog goes on to elucidate the fact that the Vatican is surprised, but is it really that surprising? Not if you consider it in the context of Discordianism, where everything is true, false, meaningful and meaningless.

Even more proof for our completely arbitrary and completely holy belief system in the divine and lack thereof, wouldn't you all agree, disagree, agree to disagree, disagree to agree, agree to disagree to agree, disagree to agree to disagree, and agree to agree to agree?

Source: http://www.themindawakened.com/2014/05/1500-year-old-bible-claims-jesus-chris.html

6
It is often said that through empathy we can overcome our animal nature because that is basically the difference between animals and humans (the fact that some animals DO experience empathy, or otherwise that they show all of the tell-tale signs is a fairly ironic lack of empathy on the part of the individuals who do claim such things). The fact that it is impossible to tell the difference between "showing all of the tell-tale signs" and genuinely experiencing it, even in humans, is also fairly ironic and indicative of a complete lack of it. Empathy is a topic for another day, though...

The question is, what does it mean to "overcome" our animal nature? Another question, somewhat related, is how would we know if we did and how do we tell the difference between our genuinely overcoming our animal nature and "thinking" and "feeling like" we've overcome our animal nature? There would be no apparent difference between "overcoming" it and deluding ourselves into thinking we've overcome it.

Is this just another campfire the neanderthals build to gather around in order to not realize how insignificant they really are?

7
I've started reading "the Black Iron Prison", and it has expressed an idea that I've heard countless times in books I've read that I should have paid for but didn't (more out of a lack of actual money to pay for it rather than any sense of rebellion). I realize I didn't have to pay for any of it, making the title ironic. Someone, somewhere, paid for it. Most of these books are guilty of the exact same pigeonholing that the BIP is guilty of, however. It claims that, paraphrasing, everyone is responsible for the mess we're in, blah blah blah BUT YOU CAN BE DIFFERENT.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not doubting the truth of any of the preceding claims. That would be absurd. The genre of book I'm referring to where this idea is found is "self-development"/"self help" (for men/women, respectively). There are some fairly disturbing statistics on the amount of money given to people with claims like this ($11 billion market size circa 2013)[1]. I'm not 100% on the veracity of that claim, and am simply saying that up front. How much it is isn't really as important past a certain point. Friends will talk to friends and people will download things *cough cough* and the important thing is that there are already a lot of people out there being "freed" from their black iron prison, albeit with a different name and a different metaphor. The question is, does this idea really lead to action or just a bunch of drones who know they're imprisoned?

Personally, I don't think the metaphor in the BIP was extended out far enough. Life itself is like a prison. No one we can ever know of asked if we wanted to be born beforehand. It's quite hilarious, in an absurd sort of way, that your existence was the decision of (hopefully) two people who had no information on the outcome of that decision and who would ultimately play a large part in whatever outcomes proceeded without having any information about what those outcomes would be. I can't think of any similar metaphors, but imagine yourself being one of the parents of Dyllyn Klebold or Eric Harris. Now, statistically, the odds of something like that happening are worse than winning the lottery (I think? I didn't calculate any odds and found it hard to calculate), but it is interesting (to me) to note how little attention is paid culturally to the future parents of children in 'Murika. There are no requirements to be a parent other than another person who chose you or you got drunk, yet in order to drive (which, compared to the scale another Columbine can have, is relatively harmless) you need to pass a stringent (as sarcastically as possible) written and performed test.


Shifting gears to a slightly different metaphor I probably didn't think of but came out of twisting some things with NLP was that everyone is stuck in a box that encompasses everything they are and everything that is important to them. Now, outside of this box is another box which contains everyone with similar ideas and similar important things, and without awareness that you are in that box, that box is all that there is. When you break out of your individual box, you are able to see other people who are in boxes and you are freed from your box, stuck in a bigger box that again becomes all that there is. This metaphor gives the user the illusion of superiority because the others haven't yet managed to see that they are in a box. As you progressively open up more boxes, you start to see fewer and fewer boxes and the box you're in progressively becomes bigger. After a certain point, it becomes seemingly impossible to even see any other people, let alone the end of your box. It also makes you wonder what the hell they're all doing, because they're all so "inferior" compared to you and what the big deal with all of their "petty" issues is. However, all you see are people in boxes. The people who reverted to going back into their boxes look exactly the same as those who have not yet broken out.

Combining the two metaphors from above makes it a little bit different from the BIP: everyone is trapped in a prison regardless of how independently they think. It is simply a bigger or smaller prison that you trap yourself in. In theory, so long as recognition that you are still in a box doesn't leave your awareness, you may be able to escape the illusion of superiority. The art of navigating the social world, then, would require moving into and out of smaller and bigger boxes as the situation called for it.

Basically, this thread is about the dangers in this idea of "freeing your mind" becoming simply another cultural movement that looks good on paper that doesn't pan out in reality. While overt racism (calling someone the n-word, for instance) may have largely been thwarted, there is another much more insidious form of racism quite aptly named "covert" racism which is either done while conscious but in a way that the individual can not be blamed for it (an employer firing a gay person for being gay, but saying that it was because they were a terrible employee for some reason), or without conscious intention in a way where they give the other person subtle body language differences that make the employee act differently and therefore come off in such a way that confirms an unlikable personality, bad worker, etc. Neither of those types of racism is limited to strictly that form, either; as long as each is done with the respective conscious/unconscious styles of thinking, it is considered that specific type of racism. While I don't ordinarily go to extreme lengths in citing things, because I have what appears to be a good memory for shit I'm interested in and don't really research them (sometimes leading to surprises when it isn't as I remembered), here is a link that, at the very least, gives a better description of the differences between the two than I did. [2]

Summed up, this is my "unboxed" brain looking at all of what appear to be boxed brains. I have some ideas about where this could head, but this is a lot of shit already written and interaction would be nice, but it is not COMPLETELY necessary; It wouldn't be the first time I've rambled on and on for pages. :wink:

PS: Please do not let any sense of superiority that seeps through in my authoritative claimsmaking put you off; any and all of these claims can be called out and any and all of the things that follow from the flawed logic, if deemed to be so, are then also called into question. I wouldn't go to the trouble of thinking this shit up and typing it if I didn't want input.

Sources cited:
[1] http://nymag.com/health/self-help/2013/schulz-self-searching/
[2] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2007.00057.x/abstract

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Do nothing with this post, unless you have the authority to delete it please. It was especially stupid and clearly in the wrong forum.

9
I can see benefits to both sides... Personally, I don't tell most people as it isn't really a topic that comes up in conversation. I've actually only told one person I know about my personal philosophy, and it's only because she has a very similar philosophy. My inner circle of friends has a pretty limited grasp of my indifference, but that's only because they've known me for years and things sometimes come out inadvertently.

What about you guys? Does your family know? I'm sure it would make for a nice dinner conversation with some more conservative parents.

10
Obviously there is the objective definition that none of us have access to, and then there is the subjective definition(s) that are interpreted and reinterpreted and reinterpreted and reinterpreted and reinterpreted ad infinitum until one of them got to your wonderful little sensing organ (not that one, the OTHER sensing organ. No, I didn't mean it was small; stop being so insecure.).

I'm asking for lots of reasons, but I will boil it down to five:
1. Seemed like a good first thread
2. I just read the book last night (yea, all by myself)
3. I HAD to know.
4. Another awesome reason
5. My mommy made me do it

I'm also curious how all of you stumbled upon it. I'll need specific times, dates and places unless you were stoned or drunk. In that case, I'll just settle for whatever days, times and places you feel like saying. Circumstances would be nice too, though not too much detail because no one wants to hear your life story unless you say they do.

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