Wurdz of Wisdum
October 21, 2014
Guns don’t kill people, but they always make the best scapegoat…..Bahhhhhhhhh.
Re-Post — The Promise of Freedom
October 20, 2014
Recently I discovered a nest of yellow jackets in the front yard of my parent’s home. The nest happens to be underground, in the path of my daily outdoor trips of Frisbee throwing and the tailoring of my golf swing. Naturally I was disturbed to see vast numbers of these wasps crawling from their hole, a disturbance which forced me to alter my habits and eventually turn in early. To resolve the problem I took two buckets and dowsed them in several attracting and destructive chemicals, then placed the barrels over the observed entry and exit holes to the nest.
But as I sit here typing away late at night, the realization of my actions has brought to mind the similar problem of freedom that all nations all face: Proximity.
You see we want minority factions to have the freedom to do as they please, despite habits or rituals that we find destructive, unusual or downright repulsive. Like a nest of wasps or an infestation of any kind, the rights and freedoms of other minority groups such as homosexual, black, Hispanic, or any religious population always disrupt majority populations to the brink of intolerance.
When a nest of wasps is in their environment you don’t seem to mind them. They pose no danger to you nor mean you no harm. Like you they seek survival. They are a form of life guided by the necessity of food, shelter and social interaction, the same necessities that all forms of life adhere to in distinct ways.
So why do we view them as cruel, evil or destructive?
Is it simply based on the knowledge of a few experiences, or is it something more?
I believe it is the association of certain habits or characteristics that lead us to form our dogmatic views on minority populations. A great example of this is when the movie “Jaws” came to theaters in 1975. Upon viewing the film, shark hunting exploded, causing many shark populations to greatly diminish. We continue to see such patterns in the world of today, especially in Asian regions where the fins of sharks are used for culinary purposes. And why did this happen? Simple: it was the association of a giant, terrifying, man-eating shark that shocked people into the act of killing as many as they could.
The same process of association is seen in the ways we view not only different species but different races within our own species.
We believe we live under the promise of freedom, but we constantly seek to remove the freedoms of that which we perceive as terrifying, disgusting or more simply, not like us. We seem to all strive for freedom on a universal level. But for thousands of years we have constantly engaged in the process of removing the freedoms of others in order to preserve that of our own. There is nothing to fear from minority populations, despite the consistent invention of stereotypical associations that drive us to disenfranchise them within society.
But like the song goes: “And after all, we’re only ordinary men.”
No truer words have been spoken.
Wurds of Wizdom
October 16, 2014
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Where they go to, who the hell knows.
Video Game Trader #30 Now Available
October 15, 2014
Video Game Trader #30 is now available in digital and print-on-demand.
This 58 page issue includes:
Homebrew Reviews: Match 5 (Intellivision) and Wildlife! (Odyssey2)
How to Form a Local Game Club
Interview with Matt Harmon of It Came From the Desert
Exclusive Excerpts from The 100 Greatest Console Video Games, 1977-1987 by Brett Weiss
Press Start Comic
Full Retro Video Game Price Guide
For more information, please visit www.vgtradermag.com. You can also visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/VGTMag) to find out how to win a free print copy of issue #30.
Re-Post — The Freedom of Opportunity
October 13, 2014
Of all the words and phrases found in the Declaration of Independence, the one that stands out most is the “pursuit of happiness.”
In President Obama’s speech today at Knox College he spoke about the rapid deterioration of upward mobility and the creation of opportunities for success. Consistently labeled “The American Dream,” this fancy form of rhetoric can simply be referred to as “the pursuit of happiness.” Better yet, the lack of the pursuit of happiness.
What we’ve seen happen in the United States over the past few decades has been the natural, systematic degradation of the freedom to pursue happiness. Even though the right to pursue happiness does not guarantee future happiness, the removal of the ability to pursue it takes away the purpose of the right in itself. Without the ability to do something, you no longer have the right to do it. You are hindered, handicapped in many ways.
This is what the President closely touched on in his speech, but I am not here to discuss his policies nor the political divide among them. However I do not mind moderating a spirited debate on his policies.
The point I am trying to get across is that in the United States, aristocratic rule has removed the ability to pursue happiness. Perhaps not completely, but still enough to warrant the attention of national leaders, writers and scholars everywhere.
Re-Post — The Struggle for Love and Acceptance
October 6, 2014
From Vindicius: Aug 13, 2013
Turn on the radio and chances are you’ll stumble on a song dealing with love or acceptance. Pick up a novel and you’ll probably find a similar instance. Love, acceptance, denial, suffering. They’re seemingly everywhere in everyday life. Of course nowadays sexual love seems to be the dominant form of discussion within the forum.
Regardless of style or form, love’s connection to freedom may be one of the strongest there is. From a young age you’re either taught to love whoever you choose, or raised on certain standards of who you should choose as a partner.
Through time you experience the ways of love and acceptance within society and learn how to find your way through. You’re taught that there’s someone out there for everyone, though it often seems that the majority that are out there are centered on a particular mindset: get married, make money and have kids.
It’s not our fault, it’s just natural programming over centuries of evolution; find the most suitable partner, reproduce and provide for the survival of the family.
And love? Well, divorce rates in the U.S. are quite high despite the reputation of being a monogamous nation in relation to companionship. People in marriages often struggle with the inevitable circumstances of growing tired of living with another human being for so long. Coupled with a depleting sex life and financial issues, marriage seems more like a front for love than an actual demonstration of it. Sure, there are those who manage to make it to 50+ years, but their ranks are continuously thin.
It is said that no one wants to be alone, that everyone needs some sort of love in their life, that everyone wants to feel accepted by their peers. To some extent I believe that’s true, but only to a certain degree.
Rather I believe it is the desire to be free from loneliness, unhappiness and the inevitability of dying without leaving something behind that drives us all to search for what we call “love.” Does it exist? Is it something worth searching for?
I’m really not sure.
Coming Soon: Video Game Trader #30.
October 4, 2014
LIKE US on Facebook for exciting updates. Giveaways are still ongoing!
Re-Post — A Lack of Care: Or “The Pollution of Our Oceans”
September 29, 2014
From Vindicius: Aug. 12, 2013
Our garbage is being thrown into the oceans at a rather brisk pace nowadays. Like the orbit around Earth, our junk is seemingly everywhere. Unlike the space junk the (primarily) plastic heap of trash in our oceans is being eaten by the organisms that populate them. Some of this is good (microorganisms) and some of this is bad (fish that eat the microbes and plastic).
Recently there have been many dolphin deaths found on the beaches of the east coast of the U.S. In the report, scientists said that these deaths were expected, but were occurring on a level that was alarmingly worse than previous occurrences. Many other species have seen these die-offs, but usually in lesser magnitude.
So what’s the cause? Well, the answer for me is simple enough. I may be wrong and the whole “alarming die-off” of ocean life could be an isolated event unrelated to our pollution of the oceans.
Assuming I’m right (which doesn’t happen very often) then it will be that our lack of care for the oceans is the primary cause. Of course, lack of implemented solutions is right up there too, but the pollution par plastics, fertilizer drain off, oil spills, over fishing, melting of glacial environments and atmospheric carbon pollution (up for debate) and the overall lack of care for a relatively undiscovered environment are, to me, the main reasons for such events.
But what will happen next? We as humans are notoriously delayed in our responses to problems, waiting until they “swim up and bite us in the ass” before we decide to act on them. Usually it’s too late.
So what will happen next? Well, to quote the brilliant (but flawed) Montesquieu:
“Nature repairs everything.”
That’s right, nature will fix our problems for us, more than likely leaving us to fend for ourselves as nature works out the kinks in the system. The oceans will probably survive, unless nature decides they need to disappear, in which case humans will be in trouble. Either way, I believe nature knows where the apex of the problem lies, and nature will do everything in its power to remove that problem in order to protect the system it has built.
- Meet the Plastisphere: Ocean plastic pollution is so bad, it is now its own ecosystem. (treehugger.com)
- Microbes Thriving on Plastic Ocean Pollution (ecogeek.org)
- Air Force might shutter satellite- and space junk-tracking Space Fence soon (engadget.com)
- Green sea turtles eating more plastic than ever, researchers say (abc.net.au)
- New space junk disposal effort (stuff.co.nz)
- Welcome to the ‘Plastiphere': new eco-system ‘living on ocean’s rubbish heap (telegraph.co.uk)
FDA approves promising new drug to treat Bad Manners and Rudeness(BMR)
September 24, 2014
By Andy Alt / Mental Dimensions
In a recent press release, the FDA has announced approval of a new drug that has — in clinical trials — demonstrated remarkable efficacy in treating the participants. The clinical trials lasted a grueling two weeks, but the results indicate that people who frequently (more than three times a day) exhibit symptoms of bad manners or rudeness(BMR) experience mediocre reductions in discourteous and inappropriate behavior.
BMR is a condition that starts in the brain. The chemicals in the brain interact with each other and coalesce to form thoughts and actions that spread into one’s mouth, hands, or other extremities. Little is known about BMR, but pharmacologists are convinced it’s a disease that will never have a cure, and that people who think they have — or might have — BMR should visit their doctor so a prescription can be obtained. If you don’t have BMR, after several weeks of taking the drug you may start displaying symptoms of BMR. That is only a minor side effect. Do not stop taking the medication without talking to your doctor, or you will experience side effects much worse than BMR, and more similar to the withdrawal symptoms of a heroin addict. Continue Reading
Re-Post — The Myth of Democracy
September 22, 2014
From Vindicius: Aug. 7, 2013
When you’re young you often hear democracy as being associated with “freedom” or “free peoples” of the world. As you grow up you begin to believe yourself as a member of this often dramatized elite club of citizens. Everyone else is in chains.
The reality behind modern democracy is more in tune with the thinking of Rousseau; to paraphrase: man is in chains, everywhere.
In the media and state portrayals of democracy, this simply cannot be true. They attempt to fix this problem by publicizing the noble lie of “we live in a democracy, which makes us better than the rest of the world because we’re free.”
In denial, many people then presume that democracy works best in the United States (and other parts of the world) because the Founders laid out a plan that perfected it. This is not true.
A pure (true) democracy (that being one of the classical school) is only compatible with small nations or states, usually upwards of a million people, at most. The reason for this is participation; in the United States a citizen of proper age is allowed to vote for candidates and assorted state and township proposals. From this, the average American citizen believes that they live in a democracy because they choose the people who “represent them” in the lawmaking process. This is a misconception that is dangerous, both for the government and the people living within. Once the people glance behind the curtain of denial, they quickly realize that they have been living under a lie their entire lives. For the government, it risks revolution.
With the ancient Greek conception of democracy, this is not the case. In classical Athens, the participation of the masses (though not entirely open) lead to the construction of laws. Naturally the city fell into oligarchic rule, though in its history it established the near-perfect example of how to execute a democracy. With an estimated population of around 300,000 at its peak (during the classical period that is) Athens was a perfectly situated city to perform such an experiment. American citizens do not have this ability.
In reality, the average American citizen has more power over what toilet paper to buy than they do in the lawmaking process. The citizen votes for their lawmakers, but in retrospect it is the money from corporations and special interest groups that influence legislative development. This process is hidden in political speeches whenever the phrase “the American people” rears its head. Listen to a lawmaker talk about important legislative measures and pay particular attention to that phrase. You will hear it…a lot.
At face value, the United States government is a simple, yet over-complicated classification; it is a representative aristocracy acting as a dysfunctional republic, yet believing it is a democracy.
In the study of political theory, one will never find a more complicated classification. It is both genius in its construct yet unrivaled in volatility and instability. Not even the long and bloody history of the Roman Empire can produce such a product. Give credit to the Founders, for they accomplished their goal of creating a government that the world had never seen before. Democracy, raped into becoming a myth.
But in recent years this myth has been exposed to a great extent. People have begun to realize that it is not the voice of mass participation that leads to legislative change, but instead the sway of monetary power. I compare the fall of this myth to the story of the title character in the film “The Truman Show”: an occasional peek behind the curtain leads to increasing curiosity, until one day the desire to escape becomes so great that there will be nothing to stop it from happening, not even a deep voice from the heavens.
- Gingrich: There are Limits to U.S. Ability to ‘Export Democracy’ (pensitoreview.com)
- The Federalist Papers: A Democracy vs. A Republic (bubbler.wordpress.com)
- Tocqueville on Religion and the Limits of the Political Imagination (clrforum.org)
- Is Democracy a Hoax? (socyberty.com)
- Democracy and Freedom according to Atatürk (marcusampe.wordpress.com)
- Democracy Promotion (brainiac-conspiracy.typepad.com)