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27 December 2011 @ 06:22 pm
I'm kind of glad the Pioneer plaque shows the wrong number of planets in our solar system. It includes Pluto, when we now know there are a few more “Plutos” than before.

In eons and eons the probes will eventually end up somewhere, whether we are around to know or not. If in that time another being sees it, it will hopefully tell them that we were both curious and fallible. I think it's worth being upfront with everyone out there that we had our faults too.
22 December 2011 @ 12:59 pm
Emphasis added by me.

"The reason we are all stuck in life's mud is that we ceaselessly run from our problems and after out desires. Meditation provides us with a laboratory situation in which we can examine this syndrome and devise strategies for dealing with it. The various snags and hassles that arise during meditation are grist for the mill. They are the material with which we work. There is no pleasure without some degree of pain. There is no pain without some amount of pleasure. Life is composed of joys and miseries. They go hand in hand. Meditation is no exception. You will experience good times and bad times, ecstasies and fear.

"So don't be surprised when you hit some experience that feels like a brick wall. Don't think you are special. All seasoned mediators have had their own brick walls. They come up again and again. Just expect them and be ready to cope. Your ability to come with trouble depends on your attitude. If you can learn to regard these hassles as opportunities, as chances to develop in your practice, you'll make progress. Your ability to deal with some issue that arises in meditation will carry over into the rest of your life and allow you to smooth out the big issues that really bother you. If you try to avoid each piece of nastiness that arises in meditation, you are reinforcing the habit that has already made life seem so unbearable at times.

"It is essential to learn to confront the less pleasant aspects of existence. Our job as mediators is to learn to be patient with ourselves, to see ourselves in an unbiased way, complete with all our sorrows and inadequacies. We have to learn to be hind to ourselves. In the long run, avoiding unpleasantness is a very unkind thing to do to yourself. Paradoxically, kindness entails confronting unpleasantness when it arises.

"One popular human strategy for dealing with difficulty is auto-suggestion: when something nasty pops up, you convince yourself it is not there, or you convince yourself it is pleasant rather than unpleasant. The Buddha's tactic is quite the reverse. Rather than hide it or disguise it, the Buddha's teaching urges you to examine it to death. Buddhism advises you not to implant feelings that you don't really have or avoid feelings that you do have. If you are miserable you are miserable; that is the reality, that is what is happening, so confront that. Look it square in the eye without flinching. When you are having a bad time, examine that experience, observe it mindfully, study the phenomenon and learn its mechanics. The way out of a trap is to study the trap itself, learn how it is built. You do this by taking the thing apart piece by piece. The trap can't trap you if it has been taken to pieces. The result is freedom."

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English
11 December 2011 @ 10:59 am
Even in philosophy, just like science, it seems god gets thrust into the gaps of what we don't (yet) understand. And with each new discovery we make, or truth we find, that hole gets smaller and smaller.

Descartes says, "since I conceive nothing except by means of this power which God has given me in order to conceive, no doubt everything I conceive I conceive properly.”

He says, to paraphrase: “Since I can observe, and since God has given me the power to observe, and since God is a perfect being and would never deceive, everything I observe must be true.” So in this he uses god to bypass even looking at the idea of whether what we see exists or not. God takes us away from having to look at it for ourselves.

I for one find it easy to affirm the existence of what I observe. First, I believe that my own mind and thoughts are merely the some of their parts: the organs, the cells, the molecules, atoms, and energy. It is a vast and staggeringly complex arrangement of interwoven parts, no doubt. It is a dance we can still barely understand, but it doesn't mean there is indication of a higher consciousness, or soul, beyond that.

Therefor, as the parts that I use to make these observations, all thought and sensory organs, are made up of exactly the same matter and energy as those objects which I am observing, I have no reason to doubt they are any less real than I am.

So you see, it's still the same conclusion, without any mythology or supernature in the gaps.

It is a comfort to think we must have been placed here for a well-thought purpose, but that's just part of our own egoist view that the universe "owes us" as sense of fairness, which it does not. However, I don't think it's worth bickering over whether the universe is here "for" us or not. I think we should all just enjoy the show.
21 November 2011 @ 06:18 pm
I'm having conversations with myself again.

I've started playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which is an amazing simulation. Needless to say, there personality fits the game well. As I intend to play very casually over a longer period, I'll have more time in between for the character to chronicle his adventures.
I have to start this short essay as I do most writings of a similar nature, with a disclaimer. I am not a professional critic, nor do I have any film experience of my own. I simply watch a lot of movies, and am very opinionated. Thus I'm posting it her with the rest of my opinions.

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13 November 2011 @ 06:22 pm

This is my first attempt from using my Wacom Bamboo tablet with Corel
Painter 4. I used the entire plethora of brush types, so it is a little

For Doc.
DA Link
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These days while going to see a new movie, I've learned a little trick. When I go see a movie based on a comic book, or some other much-loved franchise, I try to have the lowest expectations possible. We know what travesties can be done to the heroes we love, such that I won't even cite examples. So now, I just preemptively disappoint myself with delusions of the worst possible outcome. That way at the bare minimum, I can be mildly entertained by gratuitous action and innuendo for two to three hours.

That also allows me to keep being surprised by some movies. Recently, my lowered expectations paid off, with X-Men: First Class.


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13 June 2011 @ 07:42 pm
I just saw this yesterday, but they're showing the extended LotR movies in the theaters for only three nights. It starts tomorrow. I think I have to go.

08 June 2011 @ 05:33 pm

Whatever demotivated me yesterday has surely had the opposite affect on today.

Early last month, I took a couple vacation days from work, intending to get ready to go back to school, and possibly look for other jobs. But all that time spent worrying about the less-than-immediate future just spiraled me deep into an existential crisis. So I decided to let off some stress and spend an entire day wasting time on WoW.

Here, just about four weeks later, I'm finally coming out of that month-long WoW binge, finding many leftover items on which I needed to decide. The time I spent had gotten me no closer to any sort of epiphany. In fact, since I wasn't producing anything useful, it was making me impatient with myself, and I turned that impatience toward others.

Instead of going to some crazy college, I should finish up where I've been, just focusing on science rather than design. After my associates I can major in physics at either OSU, or somewhere closer to back home. Rather than trying to jump across the country again, I'll move into a small, cheap one-bedroom for now, hopefully closer to work or school.

So my free time is going to be rather accounted for, and with games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and The Old Republic on the near horizon, WoW is something that needs to be cut out with sooner or later.

Which now begs the last question: what am I going to do with my guild?