The rantings of a curious man in a very strange world

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Floating Island

Seems that I missed the news of spiral island, a floating island made of plastic bottles. I can see where much of my time this summer will be spent now.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Return

Sorry for the disappearance, my family was unfortunately stricken with a tragedy that still is unresolved. However I am coming back, with a new found passion. 
I attended a presentation by Kathleen Dean Moore this evening, who was speaking about the book Moral Ground she co-edited. Many of the global concerns I have had were solidified by her words and those of her audience. Vast amounts of resources have been stolen from my generation, my children, my grand children and so forth, by the modern system of economics. For most of my life I have felt a terrible weight from this relationship, silent victim to the wealthy and passive thief to those less fortunate. 
My passiveness ends tonight. This world can't survive our civilization mending it's ways, so I plan on creating a new civilization, without the abominable webbing we have entrenched ourselves in. 
It is time to decide, we know that human actions are destroying the planet, is human life precious enough to change our behavior, is our children's happiness, the planet, biodiversity, your own well being?
Time to choose your side.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Migraines

Hello,
for those of you who are fortunate enough not to experience migraines I envy you. As long as I can remember there has always been a constant pain in my skull, as if some pressure needed to be released or my brain was set on fire. I've gotten used to the pain over the years, but this weekend something was wrong and I couldn't figure it out. Then it hit me as I was walking along the river, my head wasn't hurting. Not feeling pain was such a wonderful experience, sadly it didn't last long as a smoker walked by and at first whiff of the smoke it felt like someone tapped my head with a baseball bat. So today marks the day that my second migraine has begun, which for someone who has had one, constant, searing, gnawing, burning pain, it was a euphoric experience.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Website

Hello all,
I've been the busiest I have ever been in my entire life and you know what! it kinda sucks. So I've been emotionally down for the last week or so and yesterday blindsided me with another emotional weight. Overall my life is good, but it hasn't been fun recently.
On a far more positive note, my website is online. Yes a website that is focused on nothing less than bringing about world peace is online. I have finished our sign in feature, but have yet to set up a registration form so new users can't make a profile yet. Though I'm going to focus on getting content for users to actually do before I let users not involved in the creation process register so it may be awhile before that is set up. In the mean time I will continue working on the navigation, profile editing and user posting systems.
That is all-
Duncan

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Morality

Alright, to begin my redefinition of morality I needed to determine what I was redefining. We often hear the terms good and evil being tossed around like they are absolutes but in reality they are little more than opinions. In fact, finding a way of quantifying an action as good or evil is incredibly difficult as only the most extreme behaviors are consistently given a label, and even then exceptions exist.

So I looked to the origin of good and evil to find out what they really meant. As it turns out the word good is a modification of the word god, roughly translating to god-following, or obedient. Evil interestingly enough began as goods opposite, starting out with the meaning uppity, or misbehaving.

Today we don't use good and evil as terms of obedience, but rather as terms to describe the conditions applied to those affected by our actions. So if we look at some actions of modern individuals, such as the protesters in Egypt, we will get two opposing descriptions if we use the newer or older meanings of good and evil. The protesters are clearly disobeying the Egyptian authority, being disobedient as it were and so you can say that protesters are evil. If one looks at the more modern meaning however you will see their actions as reducing suffering to the masses, and preventing future harm by the oppressive government, so the protesters are good.

There isn't a clear cut off point for when the meanings changed, though texts written before the 1700's will be using the original meanings for good and evil. Considering how many follow holy books scribed centuries before this, it is not surprising that the words good and evil are so misunderstood.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sanity

Hello World,
I've been feeling slightly insane of late. Don't worry, I'm going to have it checked out. But i has been weird not knowing what my mind has been making up and what I am actually experiencing. I hate siding with the concept of nothing is proven to exist, but it does make more sense when I can't tell the difference between imagined and real.

Your somewhat sane-
Duncan

Monday, February 7, 2011

Redefining Morals

I've been taking regular walks around the river nearby campus to clear my head after classes and find some level of sanity. Lots of internal monologues and brainstorms on life purpose, morality, and what sanity really means what with my own inner world being almost as real as the own outside my mind and how the psyche can influence ones perception so greatly. On that note I bumped into a most peculiar woman on my walk about a week ago, thankfully not literally. Walking along, lost in an inner monologue on the evil acts humans perform so frequently I realized I had been sharing the path with a young woman my age for longer than I could remember. Considering how passive I normally am it surprises me that I actually initiated conversation.

We quickly got into an argument about morality and whether humans are innately good, evil or neither, ending our formerly peaceful walks with anger (I'd like to say that I won).
Turns out we both exercise at the same time, as I have seen her two times since on the path, during which we have continued our debate.
Today we came to something of an agreement on the nature of humans, one that I don't believe has been presented by any of the more popular philosophers. I'll be describing our idea soon, as I don't want to steal a partnership created inspiration for only my own I need to check with her. Oh and we saw a nutria on our walk.

-Duncan

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Programming

I have been painfully busy over the last week. Not because of the amount of things I have needed to do but because of how I have faced them.
My ADD trail medication ran out and the difference in productivity was apparent within a day. It has since been replenished, but I now know just how much my subconscious maelstrom of ideas has been negatively influencing my work ethic.
In other news I've been learning how to program in php, giving me new insight in the complexity of the most basic website. The site I am building has taken up nearly all my focus in the recent past, ideally that will result in a tangible product in the near future. Sorry for not giving any new information on said project, but its secrecy will make it all the more exciting.
-Duncan

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ruling the World

A conversation with a good friend of mine got me to thinking about how governments form and grow, spread and eventually die out. Then my imagination really kicked in and I started thinking about the classic villain whose goal is to "Rule the World."
Imagine trying to keep things running, even if you went for the oppressive dictatorship managing the entire globe would be so much work that even if you had the title of ruling the world you would be so overwhelmed with work that you couldn't take much pleasure in it. Saying that you would have servants do that for you also makes it a moot point as managing them and making sure the decisions you would make and enforced would be a full time job.
Personally, ruling the world sounds like too much work for a person to enjoy, unless they are workaholics. Perhaps all the villains wanted were steady jobs and intellectual stimulation, though if they have enough genius to coordinate a hostile take-over of the world they should have the common sense that they could find the same work load by applying for a job in the tech industry. I'm sure tech is cruel enough to meet their moral standards.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sociology

I had a very enlightening sociology lecture today, the image that hit me the hardest is that if Facebook was a country, it would be the fourth largest in the world.
We live in an era of electronic communication beyond anything we would have expected at the beginning of this millennium. Today in the age a single person can go onto their computer and communicate with any of their fellow internet users which constitute around a fifth of the planet.
But still that is a lot of power that is controlled by corporations, whose legal obligation is to make money. Is that something we really want?

Monday, January 24, 2011

World Peace

Hello All,
It has been a while since I posted about my peace efforts. College has been good this term so far, keeping me busy. However I had something of a revelation, so I am kicking my efforts for world peace into high gear. If you want to be a part of this you will have to approach me IN PERSON, i don't want idle promises or extra baggage. Those who want to be a part of this will need to work to join in this secret effort.
-Duncan

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Myer Briggs

Early on in the school year I met a very eccentric young woman, whom with I have become good friends with. The primary reason we hit it off so well, despite coming from incredibly different worlds and her career choices (military then business) are things that I openly disdain, is that she could tell me exactly who I was almost better than I could within an hour of talking to me. She quickly introduced me to the Myer Briggs personality type indicator, a system that you can use to evaluate how a person acts and receive a moderately accurate description of how they make decisions.
Now since the systems creation it has been considered wrong by many, either because it isn’t narrow enough in its description or because it is too narrow, ironically the system also can tell you which personalities are more likely to think which of those two ideas. Whether or not it actually is universally correct doesn’t matter, as it acts as an extremely useful tool for social interaction. Once I have identified an individual’s personality type I know how I should approach interaction with them, avoid stepping on their toes and how to get on their good side.
There are those who would say utilizing the Myer Briggs system is unethical in any situation besides self-evaluation, but we I would have to argue that it is simply a way to categorize traits we see in people even without the system. Perhaps giving the knowledge of how everyone reacts is dangerous in the more manipulative personalities, but it also provides the less intuitive a way of identifying those who would manipulate them, how to work well with people and how to see who people are behind their outward persona. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Return from the Holidays

Greetings World, I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season I certainly did. With the holidays over and myself having settled back into school I am feeling revived and ready for a new year. Updates should be happening more often, though if I end up getting a job that could slow down, either way I will work to update more consistently.
                Speaking of jobs I am currently applying for a resident advisor position at the University of Oregon. Last term I filled the position of counselor, supervisor and organizer in my hall and if I can get paid for my work that would be amazing. Coming back from Portland has given me a new interest in school, less overwhelmed with work and the future I foresee a better term.