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When in doubt, go for the groin

Classic article from Black Belt magazine on the blackest magic known to martial arts.

Finding the Wellspring of Fortune

This is some “get rich quick” magic clap sales copy that I wrote for a job application:

Finding the Wellspring of Fortune

The last time that I had to struggle was in realizing that I am Free. I was once lost, wanting everything that life had to offer, but not knowing how to get it. I struggled for years, following one treasure map after another, but then I realized something: All treasure maps must eventually lead to the heart, and in our hearts we are Free.

Something Greater is in Store

If you have a feeling that life has something greater in store for you, then you are already on the road to Freedom and Fortune. But there is also a secret to Freedom and Fortune, and you aren’t going to find it unless you look in the right places. Realizing this secret is said to unlock unlimited creative potential, and it does.

Real Freedom

Freedom is not just about being able to say and do what makes you happy; this is a relatively modern idea. Humankind has always been Free – Free in Spirit. Even a man in chains is Free. Realizing you are Free is the secret to Fortune, and realizing that you are Free has always been potential in Humankind. The rest is up to you.

Who Am I, and How I Can Help You?

It doesn’t require the life of a monk; anybody can realize this secret. I am not a holy man or spiritual master; I am an ordinary person. Realizing that you are Free is not as hard as you imagine, but realizing this does require some things. On the surface, it requires some time and energy from you. That is the easy part. Beyond this, it requires the strength to leap into the unknown.

You do not yet know the you that you will become. You may have romantic ideas about this person, but as of yet they are just ideas. The you to come is far greater than you have yet imagined, and this is also where I can help you.

Realizing this potential is like learning a second language: once you achieve fluency, you discover new ways to express your potential. One must become comfortable with different ways of thinking and talking, and this takes time (but not as much time as it takes to learn a language!).

Another way that realizing your potential is like learning a language is that it takes practice. Practice is crucial, and I have created a workshop for just this purpose. This workshop was created for the busy lifestyles of the modern world as well as the more contemplative lifestyles. The “workshop” consists of an introductory lecture followed by the Ten Keys to Freedom and Fortune. I call it a “workshop” because each listen requires something from you. If you can provide that something, I guarantee that each listen will bring new realizations on your path to Freedom and Fortune.

Email to an academic philosopher friend of mine

Implicit to everything I was saying was that a re-enchantment of the world is in order. Look at all the students you taught here at [insert institution of higher learning]: they called themselves ‘Christian’ (which is supposed to be a “spiritual” tradition), but how spiritual are they? *Maybe* they pray, but I’m guessing that (if they do) it is more like begging. Here is the question: would you rather just watch the movie, or play a role in the outcome of the movie? You know this difference; we have talked about it before. I’m saying, fuck all this “so-and-so said such-and-such and they are wrong because…”…whatever. Look at all the confused fucked-up people! I’ve met them. I was out with them the other night! The world is fucked-up dude. You know this shit dude.

The philosophy that is done today is not going to save the world. At best, it is going to be forgotten for millenia, and some day someone will say, “oh shit, those old dudes knew what they were talking about!”, and then they can cite it as support for something. More likely, the centuries and centuries of philosophy will be too much for any generation of graduate student to study, and the same shit will be re-hashed again and again, and it will be re-discovered again and again. That is what we do now. And who reads it?…academic philosophers.
What was it that you found someone saying? Badass philosophy and pussy-ass philosophy? The only philosophy that will make a difference is the “badass” variety.
What is it that philosophers are looking for? Truth? HAHAHAHHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAA! Science is pragmatic at best. Philosophy should be mysticism like it used to be, then it might have some impact.
(comment on the previous email)
You may take issue with my statement about all the ‘”fucked-up people”. I’m serious dude. Don’t get too far up that ivory tower. Most (MOST) people are FUCKED-UP CONFUSED: hedonistic, enjoy it while we can, screw as many people as we can, who gives a shit whether we are remembered, whether we live an Aristotelian eudaimonistic life, where our life is remembered as an exemplar of a life well-lived. How many people live like this?…really… What kind of role model does the life of your average academic philosopher serve? Here is model that the life of the average academic philosopher portrays: how to be a cloistered dork (this is CERTAINLY not an attack on you personally).

Academic philosophers have left the people behind in search of… I don’t know.
Implicit to everything I was saying was that a re-enchantment of the world is in order. Look at all the students you taught here at GSU: they called themselves ‘Christian’ (which is supposed to be a “spiritual” tradition), but how spiritual are they? *Maybe* they pray, but I’m guessing that (if they do) it is more like begging. Here is the question: would you rather just watch the movie, or play a role in the outcome of the movie? You know this difference; we have talked about it before. I’m saying, fuck all this “so-and-so said such-and-such and they are wrong because…”…whatever. Look at all the confused fucked-up people! I’ve met them. I was out with them the other night! The world is fucked-up dude. You know this shit dude.
The philosophy that is done today is not going to save the world. At best, it is going to be forgotten for millenia, and some day someone will say, “oh shit, those old dudes knew what they were talking about!”, and then they can cite it as support for something. More likely, the centuries and centuries of philosophy will be too much for any generation of graduate student to study, and the same shit will be re-hashed again and again, and it will be re-discovered again and again. That is what we do now. And who reads it?…academic philosophers.
What was it that you found someone saying? Badass philosophy and pussy-ass philosophy? The only philosophy that will make a difference is the “badass” variety.
What is it that philosophers are looking for? Truth? HAHAHAHHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAA! Science is pragmatic at best. Philosophy should be mysticism like it used to be, then it might have some impact.

Addiction, the Sorites Paradox and Rationality

There is an essential similarity between addiction (esp. quitting) and sorites paradoxes: What difference does one more cigarette/margarita/pebble/hair/etc. make?
First of all: sorites paradoxes (or ‘the paradox of the heap’). 1,000 pebbles together certainly constitutes a heap. 3 pebbles certainly doesn’t. What about 999 pebbles? Yes. 998? Yes. The question is: Where is the line? Is there a line where the collection of pebbles is no longer a heap? It seems not.
The same pattern is found in the reasoning of the addict who wants to quit: I’ll buy one more pack…What difference will one more day of smoking make? (I’ll quit tomorrow.)
The pattern should be clear, but what does it say? I’m not sure yet, but it says a lot.
The answer is to come.

There is an essential similarity between addiction (esp. quitting) and sorites paradoxes: What difference does one more cigarette/margarita/pebble/hair/etc. make?

First of all: sorites paradoxes (or ‘the paradox of the heap’). 1,000 pebbles together certainly constitutes a heap. 3 pebbles certainly doesn’t. What about 999 pebbles? Yes. 998? Yes. The question is: Where is the line? Is there a line where the collection of pebbles is no longer a heap? It seems not.

The same pattern is found in the reasoning of the addict who wants to quit: I’ll buy one more pack…What difference will one more day of smoking make? (I’ll quit tomorrow.)

The pattern should be clear, but what does it say? I’m not sure yet, but it says a lot.

The answer is to come.

thefreedictionary.com

of all the free online dictionaries, i don’t go to thefreedictionary.com because it is so free. somehow it is freer than the other free ones, but i can’t even conceive of how it could be. and for that reason i don’t like it. i don’t trust it because it is so free. if i’m looking to buy a bicycle and someone offers me a free one, i’d probably be suspicious at least. I’m suspicious and there are other free online dictionaries, so i use those ones.

On children

It has been awhile.

I was walking past a Boys and Girls club today and I saw a bunch of large paintings in the window that were done in a very childish style, but couldn’t have been painted by a child. It made me think that it is probably adults that like childish painting more than kids actually like to paint them. Do kids actually like to do art? I know kids are forced/expected to do art from the very get go, but I suspect that kids actually don’t have any kind of desire or preference for it one way or another. We have all just been brought up to assume that that is something that kids do; when you go out, bring some crayons so that the kid can have something to do, because kids love art. Is it not that adults love kids’ art, and kids like to do things that get that kind of loving approbation?

Another thing I was thinking: I was walking down the road and I looked down and saw a kid in his yard with a baseball bat and a tennis ball, looking like he was about to toss the ball up and hit it up over the fence into the road. Then he saw me, and ran away and went inside. The kid knew that it is wrong to hit balls into the street. Sometimes people will say that kids don’t really understand the difference between right and wrong, that kids can be so cruel, etc. Kids know that shit is wrong. I remember doing terrible things that I knew were horrible, but I did them anyways.

I have realized later in life that my father subjected me to his flatulence for decades. I smell my own mature flatulence and recognize the smell. I never knew what that smell was all that time.

Plight of the Pedestrian: Part 2

Here is another (Part 1here) inherent drawback to pedestrianism (more below on the problem with terminology). Dudes have flashy-ass cars that change color, and rims that appear to spin backwards and everyone looks at them and says: ‘That is a crazy-ass lookin’ car, and inside that must be the driver‘. Some people skateboard, and so they are often seen on skateboards, or carrying skateboards, and people look at them and say: ‘Oh look, a skateboarder‘. Some people ride a push-bike/bicycle and they are all accessorized and fancy, so fancy that you can tell just from their dress and accessories that they are a rider or a bicyclist or whatever. They get to hang out on the street standing on their bikes chatting because they are all riders. So what if you are a walker? The problem with being a walker is that you are indistinct from a driver who is walking to his/her car. Once they get in their car: ‘Ah, I knew he was something: a driver‘. If you are a walker and standing on your feet on the sidewalk chatting without a bike or a skateboard or something, people would just think that you had nothing to do. Do you see what I’m getting at?

How do you distinguish a walker (stupid term)? The problem with being a walker is that you are indistinct from a driver who is walking to his/her car. There is no such concept analogous to a driver, or a skater, or whatever. Once the dude gets in his car: ‘Ah, I knew he was something: a driver‘. Or what if you are walking super fast with marching arms or jogging or whatever; you know what they are. They’re only doing that because they’ve been driving and sitting all day. But if you are a walker and walking or hanging around on your feet on the sidewalk, chatting, smelling the butterflies, without a bike or a skateboard or something, people would just think that you had nothing to do. Hence the negative connotations with the term ‘pedestrian’ (see my previous post about the problems with this term). Do you see what I’m getting at?

One of the problems I would like to address here is terminology. The word ‘pedestrian’ doesn’t even capture the concept I’m envisaging. Drivers are pedestrians when they are walking back and forth from their cars. I guess skateboarders are even kinda pedestrians. But then ‘walker’ doesn’t really capture it either, because the concept I have in mind isn’t limited to only walking. The concept I am trying to define is one who walks, takes buses, trains, subways, and isn’t averse to biking, but not as cliquey hipster thing, just as another means of transportation. Anyways, here is my candidate term that best captures this concept: an ambler. To amble is to “to go at a slow, easy pace; stroll; saunter” (dictionary.com). I’ll get there by some manner or means/route/etc. I’m not just going to hop in my car and plow through town honking and cutting off people and then fall out all over the place. An ambler. ‘Amble’ is at least better than ‘rambler’, or ‘drifter’. And what about ‘loiterer’? What the fuck?! You see what I mean – all these words for going slow by foot, or standing on feet have these loser connotations.

The problem I will address next time is: how to distinguish yourself (from all those silly-ass drivers and riders) as an ambler.

The Year of Skankiness

This post is over a month old – something I started, but never finished, but here it is:

Take a look out the window. Doesn’t it look a little skankier than it did before? I’m talking general skankiness, and not any bullshit gender specific variety. For example, I just got home from vacation and there was a skanky blanket on my doorstep. It probably didn’t help that I got some smoked salmon for Christmas, and that was all I had to eat when I got back from the airport. But still, I’ve never gotten smoked salmon for Christmas before, so it still supports my point. Also, after I got back from vacation it was really humid and warm, so humid that it was beaded up and running down every surface around. Sweaty skank. Also, suddenly my jeans that I hadn’t washed for months since I bought them started smelling like mildew, and I can’t get rid of it.

Parallel to entropy (or perhaps identical with entropy) is an increase in skankiness. Look at movies from the 50’s or something compared to movies today.  Clearly an increase in skankiness. Actually, on second thought, there must be cycles of skankiness. Cave men were probably pretty skanky. The primordeal soup had to be pretty skanky, but before the primordeal soup, the water probably wasn’t very skanky. The heat death of the universe doesn’t sound very skanky, but some time after the Big Bang, when all kinds of shit is going down like physical laws separating out, and unfathomable forces, atomic particles fused together, etc. that all sounds pretty skanky. The weather has been doing some skanky stuff in recent years you’d have to admit, but an ice age certainly isn’t skanky.

My impression has been that 2009 is pretty skanky. I would welcome any other confimatory evidence from my readership.

Mall stampedes

I think we should try to cover up events like mall stampedes and shootings, brawls, etc. We can’t let the rest of the world know this shit happens. We Americans like to hear about it, but people in other countries would get the wrong idea if they caught word of it. Newspapers shouldn’t carry the stories, people shouldn’t talk about it, malls should be cloaked in a surveilance and media-free zone. Maybe malls should be granted autonomous status, enter at your own risk, so America can wash their hands of mall stampedes and shit. They should be granted some kind of fronteir wild west trading post status. People should know that if there is a really big sale, then the employees and the customers need to come armed.  Damn that sounds American! Back to the cloaking idea. There needs to be a kind of cloaking bubble, the malls shouldn’t have windows either, maybe underground would be better, underground with nightvision goggles, except there would probably be way more deadly stampedes if the malls were underground. There should be no windows and lots of blind corners with those globe mirrors to see around the corners. There would probably be a crowds of vigilante/mercenaries standing at the edge of the cloaked shopping zone that will go shopping for you. It will need to just become silently understood that if someone went shopping and didn’t come back, then you don’t talk about it, the coronar understands, etc. (Americans, y’all understand this I know.)

Here is another idea: maybe they could create a kind of Everquest or what the hell ever other reality-usurping online games people play, an online game that is combined with online shopping, but not just a game – you actually buy stuff this way. Now we can put the malls underground, and you have to buy nightvision goggles and shit if you really want the good deals. There will still be mercenaries too. They are the people who make a living off this online shopping world. I like that idea, and I bet other Americans will like it too.

Afterthought: this second idea should be incorported into the Tron sequel that is coming (see my tronsequel.com blog). Getting sucked into some kind of second life/Everquest whatever shopping world, and then there would be all these stampedes in the dark, and a cloaked black market that is underneath the underground mall, where the really big deals go down.

Earf

I just realized that the English name for our planet is really weird: Earth. I’ve been reading a paper that uses this name over-and-over again. At some point I looked at the word and didn’t recognize it. It made me think of elephant ears, shaggy turf hanging over a drop-off out of a Loony Toons cartoon, like Bugs Bunny’s burrow. Like Dr. Seuss goofy looking elephants with shaggy tufts of hair. ‘Earth’ sounds like the name of the planet where all these tufty goofy creatures burrow in the shaggy turf, and have crooked bucked teeth and are named Earl and they can’t even pronounce ‘Earth’ because of their teeth, sounds more like “Earf”.