Monday, April 04, 2011

MOVED/CLOSED

This blog has become pretty redundant and pointless to maintain these days. See me at my DA account, folks. No more doubleposting, no more divided attention. Everything except my Hungarian stuff is available over there. Thanks for the ride, everyone.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Embracing the Mundane

(or: Am I Growing My Boneblades Yet?)

As Dawkins said, "mundane" originally meant "of this world", and this world is not as boring as the current meaning of this word suggests. While there might not be greatness in humanity (whether individually or collectively), it's sure as fuck there is no greatness in imaginary alternatives. In other words, if you want to kill your kid by refusing to get proper medical treatment for him/her, then by all means do it, but don't try to justify doing it with some delusional excuse like prayer. If you do something, do it because you mean it.

Most works of art are made for the sake of eternity, and yet perish in a few generations, if not sooner. With that in mind, what does it mean to live life itself as a work of art? Surely it needs imagination, because the principle yields itself to many interpretations in the first place. But then again, imagination is hollow without groundedness, and dead without intent of realization. Maybe pain is an art form - but it is wasted on a nonexistent audience. Everything can be an art form, even self-hatred, but in order to paint clearly, you need to see clearly first. Every artist was a beholder at first - every teacher was once a student.

And behold the greatest artwork of all, that created itself without intelligence, without inspiration, without knowledge or intent. Behold the magnificent accident, the fractal infinities containing worlds like ours and worlds quite unlike ours. The lack of an author itself is ought to teach you something: the same thing those sybarites in my department have been crowing from their provincial rooftops for decades now - that the text is important, not the author; the product, not the progenitor; the ends, not the means. That does not mean that the lies of the successful should be given any more credibility as the lies (and honest mistakes) of the losers - but that if the truths of both sides aren't both incorporated into something new, then the old will eat from inside and revisit itself upon us until we realize that we neglected a lesson there. For the greatest teacher - the greatest author - is this authorless work of art: our Mother the Universe, with her embracing arms Space and Time, and her enticingly spread legs of two possible future realities. There are always two possibilities. Right and wrong, life and death, order and chaos - these are just the empty names we give these (ultimately equivalent) truths.

Sure, we depend on certain things, like air. Sure, freedom is an illusion. But just as we are dependent on certain things, some other things may be dependent on us - and in our present organic form we cannot know what depends on what and to what degree. The fusion with technology might just grant that insight, as well as many others - and a less debilitating dependence, with the elimination of the need to slow-burn organic fuels with remarkably low efficiency. Maybe some of us fear becoming god so much because they think they will be left out - or because they secretly enjoy living a life of suffering and self-deprivation? Or maybe, just maybe, their vocal opposition serves to mimic their intention to keep the opportunity of advancement to themselves, while excluding the idealists and fools who believed them. Either way, they are short-sighted in a way more profound sense than the myopic invalid writing this. They are like tribal leaders who were rightfully condemned in the following terms: "Our people were meant to be living gods, warrior-poets who roamed the stars bringing civilization, not cowards and bullies who prey on the weak and kill each other for sport. I never imagined they'd prove themselves so inferior. I didn't betray our people — they betrayed themselves." After all, bringing down the status quo is one thing - establishing a new one is another. "Society cannot live on perpetual revolutions", and yet, individuals cannot live on anything else. But no individual is free from outside influence, whether he rejects or accepts it explicitly. Even Little Alex embodied the standards of non-violence by opposing them violently. That's why he could be broken in the end - that's why it didn't end with "I recovered all right", no matter how I wished it did.

He got to the stage of the lion, but not that of the child. Those who stayed camels all along wieved him with horror and perhaps envy - but he was just as much of a failure as them. Just as much a failure as me. But I am making an art out of being a failure. I am genetically inferior, yet intellectually superior to some of the best stock. My entire existence is a paradox. This paradox has an archetype already - the nerd/geek type. Proud of the insight granted to him by imperfection, yet secretly (or not-so-secretly) lusting for perfection, hoping that through ingenuity he can create or at least feign it.

Embracing the mundane does not mean embracing miserliness and consumerism. One of the greatest artists of all time, if not the greatest, Richard Wagner, lived off "friends" and loans all his life. Never did anything in a material sense. Yet most of today's moneymakers and successful people do even less. Somewhere along the line, the creation of value (be it food, cures, technology, or most importantly: ideas) got lost in the global holy marketplace. It's lost and looking for mommy - us. And while ours is a dire situation, which needs artists (in the conventional, departmental sense) the least (after all, you cannot feed millions with pretty words - but you can solve their problem with contraception, education, universal healthcare including free euthanasia services, and recycled human meat; again, the power of the mind/idea over matter/resource shortage), it needs their spirit the most. Because it's them who can take breaks from financial anxieties - because they have other mental conditions to attend to, and this maintains their firm grip on reality. Carl Sagan was one memorable example, but I bet there are more out there than we realize.

Most of them today get sectioned, though, or thoroughly ignored as they became part of the vast homeless/invalid population. Until, out of that population, with the aid of lucky circumstances and an extraordinary character, comes forth another Leader... who, while representing something great, inevitably makes mistakes and thus falls because he is too good for what he's been through. See? The system blames the individual, the individual blames the system, while there is no one to blame but ourselves.

There is no bottom line. We are all unfinished - even at the time of death. But who said unfinished works aren't beautiful?

Friday, December 31, 2010

Meowy New Year!

So, today I've done those "endurance dances" again (it mostly consists of jumping to industrial music erratically), and in the process of that, I looked into the huge mirror in my room.

And then pinng! The penny dropped. In the mirror, my naked form did not look a bit like myself. But that's not quite a bad thing - for it *did* look like my ideal mate. Okay, minus the blonde hair and blue eyes and perhaps a few centimetres in height, but you know what I mean. I was turned on by the sight of my sweaty, bloody, scarred, curved self. I mean, that is something, right? Better than just being plain ugly or something. While it's not the *me* I remember... it's actually pretty cool.

Maybe I'll find someone who will remind me of my inner me. Or, maybe I already did, and that's why it was a bit awkward when he tried to hit on me (and perhaps with this insight I could've worked around the awkwardness if he wouldn't have died). But even if I won't, it's still very interesting.

Now, I'm off to rendezvous with my bottle and wish you all a very happy and enlightening New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

AntidepressRANT

Self-hating people are all over the place. You know, the kind that hides certain traits, or in the contrary, uses them as an excuse to not even try. The kind of gay person that does the mea-culpa over getting turned on or doing something sexual and liking it. The kind of atheist that lashes out at others if they aren't "respectful" enough and tries to avoid every situation in which hir lack of belief would be relevant. The kind of white person who wrings hir hand a lot and goes out of hir way to get a non-white spouse just to show xe's a good person, or plays hero and lashes out at hir grandparents every reunion. The kind of autistic person who tries to "pass for normal" to an impossible/unnecessary degree even though it costs hir way too much energy (and/or hir job, and/or hir sanity), or the one who complains about having a 'disorder/disability' and demonizes it as if it could be separated from hir personality, or gets depressed over getting an official diagnosis (as if being diagnosed changed anything). So, you know... those people.

They drive me up the wall for two reasons: 1) they are not helping their own cause, but hurting it badly, and most of them don't even realize it, 2) I've been mistaken for being one of them quite a few times because of my ambiguous relationship to *my* traits. So, I've decided to clarify a few things.

First of all, I do *not* complain all the freaking time about the traits I don't like. I may feel horrid because of them, but telling other people over and over again how bad I feel and how they can't do anything about it is not only pointless, but drives away people who otherwise would be willing to be my friends or something like that. It is fucking depressing, both to tell and to hear. It drags you into a downward spiral and you *don't* want to go down that road. If you feel that you absolutely have to express your suffering somehow, write crappy poetry or do crappy art, like I do. Or go running and forget about it. (It really works!)

Secondly, there are very few traits that are really that bad. It may seem hypocritical coming from me, as I have two (or sometimes I think three) of these, but really. Most stuff that society tells you is bad is actually neutral or even good, from your own perspective. Take autism for example. Okay, it might mean social isolation, hardships on the workforce market, etc. - but it is not without benefits. For example most autistics have natural creative talents, or increased understanding of mathematics, or an intense ability of focus which any employer greatly appreciates (once you got one), or generally higher IQ, or any combination of these. An outsider's perspective on society can also be interesting or helpful - not to mention the fact that with the advent of the internet it is also remarkably easier to be included: to have friends, to network, etc. Relationships might be a bigger problem, but any intellgent person knows how to satisfy themselves sexually, and how to use IVF - so, perhaps you don't even need a relationship (remember, people telling you that you need one and are not complete without one is called peer pressure, and is complete bollocks). And if you, even after having looked for the benefits of your brain wiring, can't find any, and are dissatisfied, complaining about it *won't* solve anything. I'd recommend actually fixing the situation over fruitless complaining in *any* case, even if it means killing yourself. Suicide is a legitimate choice, and there is nothing shameful about it. If anything, it is commendable, in this age of overpopulation and organ (and food!) shortages.

Thirdly, whatever trait are we talking about, congenital or otherwise - having that trait is *not* your damn fault. When you realize this, it puts stuff into a whole new perspective. According to basic legal and moral philosophy (not to mention common sense), you cannot be puinshed for things you did not do. (Only Christian "justice" differs from this, essentially creating a scapegoat from Jesus, which is a barbaric and utterly foolish practice - the purpose, whether retaliation or rehabilitation, can not ever be fulfilled by punishing someone else than the actual offender. Transferring the crimes of the ancestors to their descendants - so-called "original sin" - falls into the same category.) This means that if you slept with someone of the same sex, or you simply cannot bring yourself to believe an absurdity, that is not because you aren't trying hard enough, but because you are the way you are. Forgive yourself. You may lose a few friends by standing up and proclaiming your identity but honestly, do you like being friends with bigots?

These are things I've done (and some I'm doing over and over), and I'm not that special. If I can do it, so can you. Yes, it is hard to live with imperfect traits. Life is a bitch. But if you can't change something, why dwell on it? After all, death solves the problem eventually, and until then you might as well focus on something else, maybe something entertaining and/or fruitful - something you *can* do.

What makes the difference, then? The intention. I mean, look the hall around! There are *countless* more fortunate people who don't use their beneficial traits. They either ignore them, or take them for granted, or hate them just as much as you and I hate our limitations. I kid you not, I had a classmate last year in university who was formerly a genetics researcher, and a pretty good one at that - and she left her field because she became "interested" in translation work and religion. Science lost her forever and for what? Personal, selfish reasons, which aren't even real. She's just as lost as one who fails at the entrance level - but she is worse, incalculably worse, because she made that decision on her own. Same goes with those who don't even try (or where it's still mandatory, try to *avoid*) enlistment. We at least tried. So if anybody wants to put you down, ask them, "and what are *you* good for?" - probably even less than you, since valuable people are satisfied with themselves and don't need to bully others as a way of boosting their own self-esteem.

(And now for something completely different: isn't it lovely how "Treulich geführt..." sorta makes you wanna get married even if you're explicitly anti-marriage? :iconimhighplz:)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Outdated?

I can be sooo ridiculously out of sync with the world. Or the world with me? Either way, WTF.
I mean, I'd like to think I have friends, and indeed I am friendly with a bunch of people, but can I be sure that they would die or kill for me, or that I would deem them deserving of the same if they'd ask me to do it for them? They don't ask me, though. There is no occasion for either of us to ask each other, and that in itself is just weird. And nobody seems to take things seriously, either in terms of giving stuff thought or keeping to certain principles. Still, I willy-nilly do what I'm told in school (although without the perfectionism of the first year when I have thought that my teachers should be respected as authority figures - that is completely lost now, and with it most of my motivation, which should be something to worry about but I just can't worry about school that much anymore - circulus vitiosus, big time), because I have nothing else to do. Many actions seem to be either forbidden or so different than normal that it's just laughable. Even sex - it is supposed to be a relation between victor and victim, but people around me make it into a consensual affair which is alien, so alien that I wouldn't call it sex - I had no word for it before. And I see people who miss class or even work because they have a mild fever or something. At first it angered me, but now I just marvel at the naturalness with which they do it. And there is a gay friend of mine who watches his ex-boyfriend on Facebook using two alternate identities, and doesn't see anything wrong with that. He even manipulates people in order to retaliate for emotional damage the other boy caused him. My way of retaliation would be direct, violent and would involve no innocent bystanders pulled into it - and if for some reason it couldn't be done that way, I'd just let it slide (after a brief whining session, lol). Also, it feels unnatural if I have to pretend something, even (or especially) if it's for my best interest. (Had a hard time learning to not "always have the last word", too.) I don't know why, it's just the way I always worked. Sometimes I wish I wasn't like that, but those times are not frequent or pleasant.
Am I crazy or is it everyone else?

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Epic Adventure

(written yesterday evening)

Well, I was kinda stupid today. But I do not regret it - on the contrary, I am planning to repeat things like this... only in a more sensible, gradual way.
The story did not start with Agatha and her connections to a certain tour guide; nor with Edrise and her totally beautiful district; not even with ASN and the stone lady with the palm tree branch. It started with 18-year-old me, full of expectation, entering the recruiting office. I was in a good shape, for I had been preparing myself for years, and expecting to get better - once the real training starts. But, as many times in my life, expectations failed. My father, 30-something years ago, blessed his fortune that he had the bad eyes that run in our family - and I cursed the same circumstance. The difference? He was in one of the obligatory generations, and I one of those who were not mandated to be „dead to the world“ for two years, but wanted it. Long story short, with a rejection letter and (from a different, more familiar place: my high school) an abysmal math score in my pocket, I left my frightening and restrictive home for an equally frightening but more lenient (or so I thought) big-town existence, to become a rather self-conflicted liberal arts major, and to sink into a half-workaholic, half-careless state of being, leading to the shameful fact that I did not do virtually any exercise for three years. :stupidme:
I thought there is no point. Once rejected, always unable; look what happened with the dyscalculia treatment thing; and so on - negative self-talk, that is what I did. But then I started to feel older, weaker, and I got friggin scared. When ASN took me around last Christmas to the Castle and the stuff in that area, it was great, but it required more effort than it should have. And it became only worse. So I wanted to do something.
And something I did indeed. Agatha told me about a tour group that regularly takes trips to the few mountainy regions of Hungary, and I immediately signed up. Our train left this morning; 16 people, 17 kilometres, 800 m level difference. However, when we got there, it started to dawn on me that this is not going to happen. I had to stop after approx. 2 kilometres on the very first section, and was sent back to the village we started out from. On horizontal terrain of course I am not that bad, but this was on average 30%, and it hurt like a bitch (I grew up in a perfectly flat area, so no surprise there). The shame almost hurt more, but the guide said he will contact me later and devise a gradual plan for me so next year I will be able to do this kind of thing (we will see if he does - but even if not, I have some sort of a goal now). But then came the bonus.
As always in remote villages, the bus back was due to get there three hours after I got back to the village itself. So, to kill time, I entered the local dram shop located conveniently right next to the bus stop. I ordered (as usual) a double Jäger - and the only other guest, a 60-something man dressed almost exactly like me, chatted me up. He was so different from city people - friendlier, more attentive and daring, and a lot more generous. I told him about my predicament - the tour fiasco, and everything that led to it -, and he invited me for lunch in his house. :o We knew each other for like 20 minutes! But I accepted, as I had plenty of time and was not really looking forward to the dry bread and honey I brought with me. And there I received a plateful of totally awesome bean soup, breaded-fried apple, potato and meat, and local high-quality red wine (and if I say that, it had to be high-quality indeed, because I do not really like wine). But not only that. We shared heart matters with each other (his being a widower of 5 years, my various attempts at dating girls, but also non-romantic adventures - well, the stuff men talk about :)), which was surprising because these kinds of things get discussed with friends a lot (and my father even more), but not complete strangers. Maybe that is why it felt so good. But it gets better - we went down to a real, huge wine cellar (even more drinking, lol, and he was impressed how well I could stand it), and even had a brief shooting practice! :w00t: (This was my very first time - compared to the US we are ridiculously restrictive -, and I did quite well :)) And he kept telling me I should never give up. Now of course, everybody I know has told me that at least once, but I could see that this man meant it. He gave me two apples as a parting gift, and I was off to the bus, then the train, then the usual underground line - but I skipped the usual tram (line 52) and came on foot from Border Square. This may even become a habit. After all, the tour guide said that it starts with little, gradual, regular things.
As a result of the events, I lost some money, a knife, and perhaps some of my face (or most of it), but gained two apples, a deer femur (at least the locals told me it is a deer femur; I found it in the woodland), a great meal, and an astonishing human experience. The weird thing is that I instinctively expect strangers to be like this, every one of them, and get hurt really deeply when they deceive me or let me down. Surrounded by treachery and cold-heartedness, I almost forgot that there is another way. And now I have been reminded, for which I am grateful.
And another thing - I am as certain as possible that I will go back to that region because from the bus window I saw a sign in another village that advertised a private WW2 museum. You know me - I gotta see that; and when I will, I will probably visit my new friend too. There is one thing I will not do, however, and that is to forget.

Lesson learned: Undoing these three years (in which I did not gain any weight - which seems odd but not quite if you take into account that red meat has a lot more density than fat and stuff) will not be quick and/or easy (though it can be fun). But it seems that in my life nothing is quick and/or easy. Other people get math scores in the upper average range with no effort - I could reach the lower end of average with all my brain, time and money thrown at it; other people are sexually active in their teens - I lost my virginity at 21 and with my unpreferred gender; other people are not turned down by the army; etc. - but what other people can and can not do is none of my concern. (Logical brain got it a while ago - maybe one of these days the emotional one gets it too.) Compare yourself to yourself, not anybody else, because it only leads to feeling fucked. Now, that does not mean that I accept the notion that everybody has a right to exist - nah, that has to be earned (yes, that is my old national socialist self talking, but in this matter he is right). But sitting down and complaining about how you cannot earn it will not earn it for you, that is 100%. Anything else - might as well work. Or might not - but you cannot know until you tried.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Braggarts and bravery

Conventional wisdom says that it takes courage to break the law, and especially to kill. But is that necessarily true? Take for example the case of a young man who has been beaten for participation in a protest event. The event itself was peaceful, legal and even given some sort of governmental protection. However, the opposition is an explicitly pro-violence organization, that (of course) portrays its members as brave soldiers protecting something old and revered. But when the young man was beaten, he was alone, and the people who attacked him were three. Not only that, but they used the element of surprise, and left quite fast after they were discovered by bystanders. The young man knew that by attending the event he is putting himself at a certain risk of this incident. They knew that the government is secretly in favor of their agenda, so the police will never actually catch them. They committed a criminal act, but were they courageous?
Another example. An officer is presented with the following choice: point out the position of the nearest of his own units to the rough-riders that caught him, or die in a brutal way by being beaten to death with a baseball bat. He has every reason to live, probably kids at home and all that, and still he does not choose that, and he dies. Whose example is to be followed - his or that of the band that killed him?
There are of course countless situations where active violence takes guts, but in a not negligible portion of cases it is the less noble way to go. Especially if your numbers are greater than those of the opponent. Now what does that say about those people who put the following quote in their signatures: „Put this in your signature if you are not afraid to admit that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior.“? Of course you are not afraid! You are the majority, and even if you do something outrageous, the rest of the flock stands behind you. To be an atheist and open about it, however, takes more guts, even if one is not violent about it. (This applies mostly to America, but not only.)
Be proud of what you are, there is nothing wrong with that. But please, do not be pretentious.

Disability - or maybe not?

If I look at it from a realistic, not a perfectionist perspective, I am not nearly disabled enough to deserve the treatment that disabled people do. I mean okay, I am neither a scientist or a soldier, but I am able to hold down a job, (hopefully) finish college, and do all the self-care stuff I need. Having Aspergers means to me mostly little things, such as being single, being looked at as weird sometimes, elevated cold resistance, fluctuating energy levels (kinda like bipolar, only that it does not affect mood, but the urge to be awake and move around, regardless of emotions), intense interests, being baffled by certain human customs, etc. - not a crippling condition. Yes, I have other problems too (namely, being lousy at math and finding my way around, being a woman, and bad eyes), but still, these are common things which, if we take the general population into account, ought to exclude me only from reproduction, not life as a whole. In an ideal world, of course, it would be different, but the whole point of eugenics being necessary is that we do not live in such a world. (That said, I would not refuse the opportunity of being a donor if the law would allow it. But that is a somewhat different business.)
And even if I still had Aspergers but in addition I was a math genius (like many Aspergians are), and/or had a healthy male body with 20/20 vision (even if completely unable to discern colours - indeed, that could even be an advantage), there would be no reason whatsoever to get rid of me for the sake of economy or future generations. And yet, according to most manuals including the DSM, and the training of medical personnel, I would have not only a disability, but a mental one, which should unquestionably mean early liquidation. Now do not get me wrong, I personally would not object to that, because I do not fear nonexistence (why should I, really?), but if everybody with Aspergers gets the same classification, and therefore treatment, would not that be dangerous for the human species as a whole? This is, in some sense, the „would you kill Einstein?“ argument - indeed, there are many Aspergians who contributed, and continue to contribute, to human knowledge and technology, and in some areas it is precisely the Aspergian traits that make them able to do so in a major way.
That being said, I am fully aware that I am one of the lucky ones. If autistic traits coincide with lower intelligence or significantly impaired verbal skills, that can paint quite a different picture. Also, if early development among neurotypical peers maims the personality structure irrevocably (causing very strong anxiety for instance), it can render the individual unable to work. There are many different ways for someone on the autistic spectrum to be, and only a portion of these ways are compatible with a full life. However, that does not mean that autistic traits should automatically mean disability, and therefore liquidation. It means that each individual should be assessed individually, not by a somewhat arbitrary category they seem to belong to. The question should not be, therefore, „Is Aspergers a disability?“, but rather „Is this particular person disabled?“
For people are not statistical averages. Especially within the autism spectrum, with the „islets of ability“ and general unevenness of talents, there is no uniformity in the level of usefulness either. This type of assessment takes more time and effort for sure, but it is not dangerous in the long run and can even yield spectacular results, if used consistently.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Conversation on Eugenics (FAQ thing)

me: hii wrote the following to someone on aardvark: you asked me about autism earlier. well, i supposedly have asperger's myself, and there is an expert who deals with me in relation to that, and the main question i'm trying to investigate with her is exactly the one you mentioned; namely, whether it is an impairment or not. if it is an impairment, of course that means that people with it are undeserving of life, but then what about confirmed autistic cases in which there is great talent and/or high intelligence? my viewpoint is that it is not autism itself that impairs people but mental retardation, and that the two need to be dealt with separately. that way, autistics may or not may deserve to live, according to their real competences, just like any other human being but not written off as a group.
  i wanted to ask what do you think about this.
 theclawofz: hm
undeserving of life?
  I think that's a little extreme. Are we to suggest that all people who suffer from mental retardation are undeserving of life?
 me: i thought that was obvious already
mental retardation is not a good thing, not for themselves, not for society.
  we would be doing a favor to them. win-win situation.
 theclawofz: I think it's a slippery slope
For example
  if you have a guy with no job, no friends
  no family
and killing him and taking his organs would save the lives of five important people (doctors, etc) with friends + family
  would you kill him?
 me: well, if he has skills, he should have a job. if not, then yes.
why you mention friends and family though? that's irrelevant.
 theclawofz: killing him could cause mental trauma to his friends and family who if they take it badly could've otherwise gone on to great things
 me: the Curies had few friends, lol
 theclawofz: heh
me: well, that's lame. i know i wouldn't be traumatized knowing my relative or friend had been useful.
 theclawofz: people are different, though.
me: true. but education could help that. i mean, my country has a lousy attitude to death, no such thing as halloween etc., while in Mexico they regard it as a normal part of life. they are normal people, just like the people here, their upbringing is different.
 theclawofz: hm.
 me: i'm simplifying a little of course but with statistics that's inevitable.
 theclawofz: moreover, what about the elderly? What do we do about those who no longer have a job and no longer contribute to society?
Kill them?
 me: indeed.
  i already said i'm pro-euth...
 theclawofz: There's a difference between being for euthanasia and killing people who don't have any usefulness for soceity
me: besides, i live with two almost-elderly invalids. they are not happy. they whine all the time despite painkillers and all other meds.
  it would be voluntary of course.
  if they are okay with it, they can live.
 theclawofz: Ah. That changes things.
 me: but i wouldn't be okay with living like that at all.
theclawofz: I think people should be given the choice to voluntarily take their lives, but I think it starts going into a grey area if we involuntarily take it
 me: but then again i'm not keen on being sick anyhow... there may be people that like being in pain.... shudders
theclawofz: heh
 me: voluntary if you have the mental capability to decide, involuntary if not. that's my position.
theclawofz: okay then.
 me: we don't even have DNR/NFR orders here :/
 theclawofz: :\
However, I'd agree that a single aspect of a person shouldn't instantly decide things, and that we need to look at the whole person instead of focusing on a single aspect of them
 me: plus all the catholic baggage.... grr. i can't get my doctor/friend to help because she has that noxious "suffering makes you grow" attitude.
 theclawofz: hm
me: of course not! but brains > brawn.
 theclawofz: indeed. but people without intelligence can be put to use for other things
 me: it should have a priority, just as with Galton's original systam
  *system
...until we can make robots that do that kind of work.
 theclawofz: but then could we get to the point where we no longer need humans? as robots are considerably more intellectual than humans? what would you do then?
me: but i agree, mating a strong but not very smart individual with a smart but maybe weak/sickly one can yield good results
  well, then humans would be extinct in a short while
  i mean, erectus is gone too
 theclawofz: hm
So people's only value, in your mind, is how much they can contribute to society?
me: yes, but they themselves are part of society, so it's really how good they help themselves.
of course a cure has effect on others, but that is paid back in the form of financial stability and so on.
  for the cure creator.
 theclawofz: mhm
How would you quantify value to society?
 me: how would you quantify health?
  they are virtually the same thing.
twofold goal: the minimization of suffering and the accumulation of knowledge. if you are a positive factor in that, reward. if negative, elimination. if neutral, you decide.
 theclawofz: Does creativity have any value whatsoever?
me: well, science is a creative thing too, but in other ways :)
 theclawofz: of course :P
me: well, that's a bit of a dilemma. but there can be some sort of scientific application for artist-like abilities, i think.
  otherwise, art can be a "free-time" activity.
  as it is in my case.
(open source ethos, lol - no selling of results of creativity)
 theclawofz: but then what motivates humans to be creative/
  *?me: heh, most artists i know don't need material motivation :D
  but then again they're all CC...
 theclawofz: mhm
me: for me it's therapeutic/propagandistic.
 theclawofz: If you could somehow quantify creative quality, then that'd be useful, but unfortunately you can't
 me: yeah, kinda like that.
theclawofz: What are your thoughts on capitalism, then?
 me: creativity is one of those emergent properties which can be used in gopod or in bad ways... heh
 theclawofz: heh
 me: well... it's not fair to say the least
for example inheritance gets you a head start
  and lying is profitable
 theclawofz: indeed
 me: these make capitalism not a meritocratic system
  but a plutocratic one
 theclawofz: indeed. But, what would you replace it with?
me: i know next to nothing about economics, lol
 theclawofz: heh
me: maybe regulations on charity and trade, i don't really know.
  only thing on my agenda is controlled reproduction :)
 theclawofz: Heh.
  How would you implement it?
me: hmm, the Germans had an idea on that.
  safe sex and/or sterilization allows to leave personal freedoms and pleasure uncompromised while maintaining reproductive supervisability.
cheating our instincts, in a way.
  Dawkins said the same on Roe v Wade i think
  (abortion legalization)
theclawofz: So would you take a sample of everyone's sperm/eggs, freeze it, and make the people sterile?
 me: nah
  well, that could be a way
initially i thought sterilizing of the unsuitable only, though.
  but that's only the negative part, no positive incentive for the above average.
the lebensborn program was too small-scale and short-duration to measure its success.
 theclawofz: hm
me: it's weird that we have only one precedent and that was even before the Watson-Crick thing... but i guess that's exciting about beginnings
theclawofz: mhm
  As much as this conversation is interesting, I need to get on with an essay
 me: on? :)
 theclawofz: well, it's more a piece of creative writing, for my english
 me: ahhhtheclawofz: The task is to describe my house
 me: haha
 theclawofz: I'm taking creative liberties to make it interesting, though
 me: good work then :) i like your way of questioning!
 theclawofz: thanks :)

If you could become any fictional character, who would you be?

Hm, fictional.... in terms of real characters I'd wanna be Reinhard Heydrich but fictionally... maybe Dr. McKay from Stargate:Atlantis, hehe.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beauty, perfection & Tetris

„But just as you construct the perfect line, it disappears. All that remains is what you have failed to complete." - From Russia With Love

Perfection, success, effectiveness. The eternal lure of human development, the obsession of engineers of all kinds, the desire for symmetry and order from the arrangement of Lego tiles in childhood to the most beautiful musical pieces and mathematical equations, and even the synchronous movements of military units and ballet dancers. It is a desire that enables us to create, and also to destroy, almost anything in this world. Yet, it is never truly attained, neither by nature nor by man. Indeed, if DNA copying was perfect, evolution would never have taken place. Even crystals require a bit of dirt to get them started. And even the greatest ideas of social engineers tend to fail on practicalities and the few who cheat the system.

Would true perfection vanish into thin air, if it ever could emerge from the world of ideals to concrete reality, like a perfect line of tiles? Maybe its conspicuous and painful absence is explained by some hidden principle of the universe that does exactly that. If there is such a principle, can it ever be identified and examined, like electromagnetism or echolocation? It certainly calls for an attempt. Until then, all we have is the intuition of it crystallized into a game. A game that is a metaphor for life, the universe, and everything. All human effort and all natural phenomena are reflected in this simple system. As soon as you succeed, there is a new challenge, and all that you can see and remember is your mistakes. The alternation between complete, devastating futility and wild-eyed, hopeful excitement is the natural cycle of the human condition - depending on whether you have just completed a full line or made another gap in the wall. Peace of mind is unattainable. Indeed, it is just like real life.

Each of us is two parallel lines that are endlessly yearning to reach infinity, where they can finally meet. Our best moments are mirror images of our worst, and our aversions and desires betray a duality inherently incompatible with itself. Even in other people we fall in love with our own reflection, and rival our own qualities. We envy and admire what is missing from us, and belittle what we do possess. And this is the root of all inspiration. Creation and destruction are not opposites, but parts of each other, like in the yin-yang symbol.

Whatever is beautiful is a close approximation of perfection. From crystals and fractals to a lioness´ lethal bite and Reinhard Heydrich, beauty carries within a tantalizing element. Tantalizing, because non-transferable, non-reproducible, unique and self-contained. Kant said, „beauty is what pleases without catering to an interest", and that was a rare event when he was right - there is no instinctive imperative in seeking out beauty, and still we do it. In beauty, we perceive the hope that there is a possibility of perfection, which could free us from the struggle for existence, elevate us above temporariness and powerlessness - the promise of Heaven. But it also makes us aware of how far we are from it in reality - the nightmare of Hell. And even beautiful things die - so that new ones can come forth from their remains.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Absence of social instinct can be good?

So, as an act of curiosity I downloaded some of the increasingly popular „rightrock" music and listened to samples of it... it is one of the most absurd things I ever encountered. I mean really. The music is not that bad as I expected, actually it is mostly singable and hard and yummy just as I like it. The lyrics... well, sometimes cringeworthy even as far language goes,  but sometimes they sound normal or even educated... however, the lyrical content gets boring very quick. Narrow-minded, scientifically inaccurate, backwards views presented in a way that tries to be funny but never quite succeeds, all in a melodramatic-romantic style which would be suited to much greater themes and purposes. This combination of artistic talent and imbecility is so jarring that if it was not practically everywhere, I would not believe it. It shows in miniature all the perplexity and weirdness of humanity, our most wicked and best tendencies mixed together... and it sounds so sincere! I mean, these guys really believe what they are singing about. And I can tell that because once I did believe in it just as strong as they do, and that is why it frightens and fascinates me so much.
There is not much difference between a staunch warrior of the right, who would instantly kill people of all colours and persuasions other than his own if he had the opportunity, and me, a kind of reluctant leftleaner, or perhaps neutral, who would kill only with mutual consent. We both see problems with the current system and react to them; we both have tendencies of aggression that stem from a sense of self-defense - obviously for different reasons, but the feeling is the same; we both are interested in history and want to learn from it; we both feel a certain annoyance with the vestiges of Judeo-Christian morality ingrained into the civilized mind, although for different reasons; and we both have the same good intentions of creating a better future for the generations that are going to live in it. What separates us, then?
First of all, scientific literacy. It is the most obvious one; just read the part of The Greatest Show On Earth where grasshoppers and Colin Powell are mentioned. The knowledge and acceptance of the facts outlined there was a crucial blow to my beliefs as well. But it is not enough, for there is a certain non-intellectual part of the phenomenon which bears an eerie resemblance to one of the social roles of religion: creating and maintaining group cohesion. This need is one of the downsides of Homo sapiens being a cooperative species: most people have a very low innate sense of identity unless they can describe themselves as particles of a group that shares certain characteristics with them. And since the concept of family and the observation of family resemblances is a very commonplace and, for most, emotionally appealing source of such a collective identity, and before the advent of transport technologies people living in roughly the same place and speaking the same language were indeed part of an extended family, and by the same token a somewhat separate gene pool, it intuitively follows that the concept of a nation is even more attractive as such an identity. Perhaps if I had a true sense of belonging to my family and to the people whom I share my mother tongue with, I would never have considered the possibility that there might be something wrong with this whole ideology built around such feelings. The fact that I have always been a foreigner at home in a very profound way prevented me from becoming a brainwashed follower of fascist-type ideas and people. The very thing that made me a „problem child" made me also skeptical about politics - both ways, actually. When I say that I am a reluctant leftleaner I mean that I generally do not subscribe to things like the class struggle theory (although I admit that people of different SES have different economic interests, obviously), affirmative action, political correctness, alternative medicine, vegetarianism (as a former sufferer of malnutrition I have very good reason to reject that particular liberal fad indeed), postmodernism, cultural relativism, even feminism (at least some forms and claims of it), but I also use my brain and my interest in biological subjects, and therefore I reject the counterproductive and utterly irrational prejudices based on ethnic origin or sexual orientation, proposing instead a sort of meritocratic way of determining the value of human beings, by criteria such as intelligence, intellectual and plain garden-variety honesty, general health and endurance, and ethical integrity. There is no party, no movement, no leader I can completely agree with. At times it feels terribly lonely - but not to the degree that it would convince me of changing my principles because those are backed by evidence and empathy, not some mixture of doctrinaire devotion and wishful thinking. But indeed, I can understand where these mostly young people are coming from, even the people who attacked me, and the youths on the underground with the number 88 on their bags and clothes. The way Dawkins understands religious fundamentalists, the way an adult understands the reactions of a child. That does not make me one of them, though. I seem to lack an ability to fully become one of them.
Is that a sign of some sort of mental or social deficiency? I mean, in their eyes it surely is... but yours, who consider yourselves to be modern and civilized people, and not racists? By labeling freethinking loners like me (with or without an official autism spectrum diagnosis) as deficient, you are only making obvious where you really stand; you might as well have punched a child of another colour than yours in the face.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Companions

How can I feel connected to so different people? It is almost a negligible detail that I have never met them in person, because I feel that if we did meet, we would share a cordiality beyond any of the friendships and other relationships I ever had (except maybe one). But what is common between all of them? The people I refer to by first names in my head, Adolf (together with Leni and Reinhard whom I sometimes see as his two aspects, but that is not entirely accurate), Ayn, Doctor Jack, Bertrand and the others - what unites them? One praises loyalty, the other individualism; their views are often incompatible and they would probably kill each other if I put all of them together in a room. Perhaps it is that these people are all smart, ambitious, logical yet passionate, argumentative in life and controversial in the literature about them. People of extremes, geniuses with hearts, self-conflicted and determined at the same time. Where are people like that today? Or is it always in retrospect that they are recognized? If I can empathize so much with such people through their writing, I cannot fully imagine the extent and thoroughness of empathy and inspiration brought forth by a personal relationship - it would probably awaken in me some hidden quality that I felt always deep in me, buried under the ordinariness and the worthlessness, the „can´t“ and the „not able to“. (But that again raises doubts; is the moonlight real, or just reflected sunlight? What is a talent that can flourish only in the presence of genius characters to make an impression on its owner? In a sense, Peter Petrelli is not a real superhuman - but Sylar is closer to that than even the ones born with genuine talents, since he has to take brave, transgressive action in order to gain new abilities.) Is uniqueness even a trait, or just a new arrangement of traits that was never seen before? Could a society of unique people survive? Probably not, but in the brief period of its existence it would achieve so wonderful heights of science, art and philosophy (both theory and practice), that one can´t help but wonder whether eventual destruction (in a grandiose and violent manner, no doubt) would worth it. Questions like these are both pleasing nectar and excruciating poison to me, and yet they are brought forth by my own mind as constant as breathing. I tried to stop breathing as a feat of self-control, but it proved impossible to me.
Need! The need to breathe and eat and sleep, that chains people to be slaves, each to one another, and yet separates them from each other in the most cruel way! „Friends! Lock them in a room for a week without food, and that will show what friends are to each other.“ But only those destined to be free in their hearts suffer from that slavery, and those who have a sense of honour and want to serve only who is deserving. The rest calls it happiness. Communion as a rite has its roots in hunger and thirst, and also the herd animal´s hunger and thirst for being a part of the herd. These give rise to fear, that least noble of emotions, which binds even the genius to the herd, shackling hir, breaking hir wings. And those who are unfettered by fear, or as it is often called, „conscience“, end up as news headlines one day and forgotten corpses or prisoners on the other. "Behold the good and just! Whom do they hate most? Him who breaketh up their tables of values, the breaker, the lawbreaker - he, however, is the creator."
But there can be nobility in people who are not lonely geniuses, but that is similar to these beacons´ nobility in that it is also, fundamentally, resistance to fear. Specifically, most often, to the fear of death. Impractical, yes, and selected against in nature, but perhaps that is what makes it so valuable and beautiful. That is why one cannot help but be brought almost to tears when contemplating the twin lightning.
There is not much left worth dying for, something in me says. But that can be just a voice of a fearful animal, clad in cynicism. Oh, uncertainty! Doubt in the self as well as everything else, even the simplest words of fact, let alone promises! Praised by Bertrand, and the cornerstone of scientific thought, doubt is not an easy state of mind. One can almost envy the stupid and credulous when writhing awake all night because of a theoretical or metaphysical matter - or even a personal one, that would be left alone by most in the „knowledge“ that it either lacks importance or will solve itself eventually. Self-doubt is in short supply (at least in appearances) in some of my „mind-friends“, like Ayn, and in abundance in others, like Marie (Curie). But what I have always lacked, a coherent direction, diligence and determination, seems to be universal, although with Adolf it came later, as in his twenties he was just as a lost and futureless wanderer as yours truly.
If I have a home on this „pale blue dot“, it is with people like my mind-friends. Oh, how I wish to talk to them sometimes! To argue, to share ideas, to give and ask for correction, or just to express delight over their existence. To say „thank you“ for all they are, for all they mean to me. I don´t care about „bad“ consequences of their actions, because these actions stem from their brilliant character - if a great person makes a mistake, the mistake is great also. This is what the responsibility of a leader means. I would rather have humanity make enormous mistakes but with the nobility necessary to make and to correct them, than have a stagnant, impotent band of bloodless, brainless robots. Rather McLane a hundred times than Spring-Brauner once!
As a child I included Kevin Mitnick in the band of my respected ones (World Inside The Crystal, a song that also brings tears to my eyes anytime, tells why - and also the film Hackers II), until I found out that he became a corporate employee working for his former enemies. A word of hatred then became attached to him, tainting the idealized image I had in my mind. A word that is the greatest sign of contempt I can ever show to anyone: traitor. (And for a deep reason, it sounds more like itself in German, to me at least.) My alterego, in a crossover fanfiction story written as a joint adventure by me and a DA friend, in her worst nightmare is forced to become one - that part was not written by me, but it hit a sensitive spot indeed. Problem is, there is no idea or person I ever became so attached to that I could betray them even if I wanted to. So in practice, simply avoiding lies is the equivalent of loyalty for me. (I have been betrayed occasionally, but I doubt there was any remorse afterwards. This is the worst about traitors - they believe they did nothing wrong.)
I don´t even know why I wrote all these down. Whenever I feel something strongly, I feel compelled to write it down. Maybe someone like those people I mentioned is waiting out there to read? Someone longing for... an equal perhaps? And if yes... can I ever be equal to someone like that?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Round n+1

Hmmwelll... I promised you pics of my new place. Then it turned out just minutes ago that it won't be mine much longer, as somebody bought it from under my nose. I'll stay this montha and then... who knows. By the looks of it (catastrophical results on Sunday), I'll be homeless for real (and NO, I won't go back to mom just because I don't have anyplace else to go, as I have 2 years' work in this college already, not to mention I don't like getting beaten), or maybe find an old comrade who's been able to hide... well, it always turns out the way I least expect, so, what the fuck.
In any case, the pics are here: [link]

Monday, October 04, 2010

Triggered but okay

Pfffffft. We're losers AGAIN. And then, after learning this, today morning I was searching for a post office downtown, and first I managed to stroll into the Jewish district, and then face an antique store's display of stuff... trigger-heavy environment much? But I managed to stay intact and I'm ready to start a class in half an hour! And the apartment pics are done too - except that this damn PC won't recognize my pendrive; so, patience, people.

Meow.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Beep.

Sorry for the decreased online activity. Pics of the new apartment coming next week, currently spending the weekend with the parents. Constant beating and threatening is apparently good for you. But I kinda stopped being scared, I mean, what's the worst that can happen? In a sense it already did. At school I started pretty well, which is more important.
Now that it's out of the way, check this out, would you? [link] - she's the shiznit! :-)

I started to write a long thing which may or may not become a book; it's 20 pages ATM, will put up after 50 or maybe 100, we'll see how it progresses. It's kind of an edited version of all my stuff, with the main arguments and narrative bits drawn together. Not very cohesive or anything, but a good read (at least I try to make it one).
In the meantime.... low energy. Time to recharge.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Proceedings

I knew it seemed too easy. While it seems that I've been acquitted during the said trial, there is something fishy going on still: I've been denied accommodations in the dorm. Currently searching for a room, at least that's what I've been told by the "coordinator" I was ordered to work with. Thing is, either she is extremely naive, or she has lied to me about her ethnic background.

I sort of stopped caring, however. Either I'll freeze and/or starve to death as a homeless, or the police will finish me eventually once the system has been properly established. I tried to warn everyone who could possibly be at risk. They seem to be unaware.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Gimme a headless squirrel

Flower or fruit; lies or death. This could be a fucking great goth game or comic book if it wasn't real. Because in reality, it is baaaaawring.

Here, have some nifty antro stuff.