Dec 21, 2012

H is for Handmade

English: Handmade Soap
H was a surprisingly hard letter to fill on this list. There's always holly and Herod but the former never really interested me and the latter is just a tad gruesome (although I did just read his Wikipedia entry and was surprised by the fact that he got married so often that he surely didn't have time for child massacres!) There was also holidays and happiness but I didn't really see how either of them were distinct from any other entry on the list. As a result I struggled but eventually realized this was the great addition.

H is for Handmade

(Just so you know, I'm just considering things that are handmade by family and friends (though come to think of it I can't ever remember getting something handmade from a friend) and not professionally handmade products).

I guess that, once again, this is a phrase that comes up more around this time of year than any other. From cards to toys and almost certainly something to do with family photos, we find ourselves bombarded with the poorly made it's-the-thought-that-counts items. Every parent of a child aged from about 4 to about 10 years old can expect to receive as many as ten different cards made of various foodstuffs, glitter and those cheap calendar things that you stick on to pictures. It is likely that they will receive at least one box made of cardboard and PVA glue which will likely contain a tasteless cake of some sort. Do I envy them? Of course I do. I can't help but feel that the giving of homemade gifts is something which is actually touching and truly worthy of the it's-the-thought-that-counts tag. (That being said there's nothing worse than getting photos of crappy relatives and their smug worthier-than-thou expressions.)

Nov 30, 2012

Objectivity, Real and Perceived

Portrait of John Locke, by Sir Godfrey Kneller...

We are all complex compilations of the real world. I use the term real world to refer to the reality outside, but not separate of our own perceived notion of ourselves.

Politics is the negotiations and pursuance of power. It is negotiated and pursued by people. Politics in essence exists solely in the actions of people. To understand the causes and effects of politics it is necessary to analyze the operating systems, the mediums of politics: people.

Everything that we are is derived from the real world. What makes us “We,” what gives us any identity at all, are our minds. The whole content of our minds is comprised from ideas. In turn, every idea we ever had is rooted in perceptions we received of the world. The thought of ice cream is from the multiple perceptions of the sight, taste, smell, and feel. More difficult and generalized terms such as justice are abstracted from many complex ideas which in turn were generated from experience and natural inclinations. Experiencing pain and the natural inclination of seeking to avoid pain, create the idea that people that induce pain should be punished; and justice is coined. The identity each of us has of ourselves is generated from experiencing the world through our own unique viewpoint, partnered with certain genetically inherited mental characteristics which play more of a minimal role in actually defining who we are; whereas no one is born with a significantly more pronounced self-conscious then anyone else.

Now the entire content of our minds are ultimately taken from the external world, but it is important to note that our minds are not separate from the external world. It is human nature to perceive the happenings inside your mind as separate from the external world and thus give us our own self identities; that feature was developed through evolutionary steps within the human species allowed each individual to differentiate between oneself and its environment. This ability gave us self identity and preference for oneself over anything external to our sensory receptors; and this selfishness was a prominent factor in the flourishing of the human species.

The arrogance of individual identity make us feel we are worlds unto ourselves; that my thoughts exist in my mind and not in the external world. The reality of the situation is that the mind exists in the external world and ipso facto thoughts are apart of the external world. It is true you cannot know what I am thinking, but I cannot see through a cardboard box either, I have to open it to find out. One cannot know what another is thinking, however that claim can be or soon will be at least partially refuted by the advancement of the neural sciences.

This introduction following the path of empiricists such as John Locke and David Hume is necessary, because to know anything of the external world such as politics, we must know ourselves; we must know the limits and characteristics of our own operating systems, such as our natural arrogance based upon self identity, for us to come to an unbiased truth.

Oct 15, 2012

Bombing Doesn't Solve Too Much

Balochistan (Baluchistan): Next Stop In Amerik...

This was apparently the threat made by the Americans to the Pakistanis if they didn't cooperate in removing the Taliban from Afghanistan. The claim does have some threads of credibility. Pakistan is basically a nerve center for global terrorism and Pakistani intelligence services helped establish and maintain the Taliban. They were useful to keep order in an otherwise violent and chaotic country with the possibility that it would spill over into Pakistan.

Pakistan is alleged to have sponsored terrorism against it hated neighbour and regional rival India. India appears a more committed ally to the West than Pakistan. Also, many elements within Pakistan’s hierarchy - military, intelligence and certainly religious - are basically anti-western anyway.

So it could well have taken the threat of bombing, the big stick, with promises of aid, the carrot, to get the Pakistanis to play ball. However, if they are doing so under duress it does bring into question just how reliable an ally they are and just how committed they really are to the war on terror.

May 15, 2012


okay so i'm bored and a little sleepy. i went out with friends last night and didn't get home till midnight. nothing big if i was 21 still but rushing up on 31 is making a sister tire more easily when unexpected things transpire. then i was coughing and feeling a mess till i fell asleep. okay so yeah really didn't work and now my latest addiction (blogshares) is down and i can't increase my fictional networth (i'm hovering around 335 billion right now). i'm watching an abc family film and it's making me nuts that i am being so lazy that i haven't changed the channel yet. i also went out with my mother today and true to my word four and half hours after we left we were back at home. a few simple modifications of how i interact with her made that more enjoyable for me. if i take her with me when i need to get my hair done and let her loose in the mall then i get at least ninety minutes alone while she roams about. if i go to one or two stores that i want to go with her then i can ignore her hovering while i shop lol. if i just force her to make a decision then i don't get annoyed when she asks me to take her somewhere. we hit three stores in the mall, went over to Chili's and then up to Wally-World after i got my hair done and made it back to my home after checking the mail in four and a half hours. the only thing i didn't get was my brownie fudge sundae and a margarita so i'll go mix that up in a bit and bake a fresh pan of brownies and sit down and enjoy myself.

i found a cute card for Roaming Soldier, well two--a belated birthday since i should have mailed His card with the first batch of letters to make sure it was there before His birthday and another for father's day, while stuck in Wally-World. i also got a birthday card for Night Owl and an anniversary card for my brother and sister in law. they are gonna go "you make me sick" which means i did good with the choosing. He is going to smile and smirk i'm quite positive. Night Owl is just going to tell me to shut up most likely--especially since Dallas will hopefully be up 2-0 in the series and she will be 2 more Miami losses away from eating delicious frosted cake. regardless it was a good day out and as you can see i got quiz happy. now i want sugar and liquor. oh and a nice side of Roaming Soldier would do me nicely as well.

see ya