December 26, 2017

Reflection

A graveyard in wintery Christmas-evening is a particularly sentimental place. 
It's a collection of what's left of people - their names chiseled in stones, which 
in turn, serve as memory cues for visiting family members. It's not that memories 
wouldn't exist otherwise. It's just different, when a lifespan is written on a stone 
in date numbers, and is amidst others just as absent.

The way a person dies, or even the cause of death, may not be telling 
of his/her life. What is symbolic, however, is the way his/her departure is 
mourned. In my father's case, both his life and the way he left, for many who 
knew him, are too difficult topics to discuss. 

In many ways he was a typical INTJ. Intellectually intense, deeply caring of the 
few although clumsy at showing it, widely sophisticated, at times biased with arrogance, 
immensely dependent on personal time and space, and unaware of his importance and 
exceptionality to a vulnerable extent. 

What might have helped him during his life, could have been his own recognition 
of being an INTJ, and the acceptance of both related needs and pitfalls.


In my own case, realization thereof came gradually. 


At first, in my teen years, my interests start to branch off from those of the masses. 
Others head to nightclubs and dating, I search for the appropriate physical and mental 
stimuli to learn something new. 

They prefer large crowds and noise, I prefer one person at a time at most. They prefer 
songs with a narrow set of vocabulary spiced up with a repetitive, unsurprising tune. 
I prefer either no vocabulary at all (why waste an entire song if there's not much to 
say), or a meaningful set of versatile words. They get their kicks over junk food, I 
require decent meals. To me, school dinners were always fine, and it seemed ironic, that 
the bunch who voluntarily headed to fast-food joints on their spare time, complained 
about meals cooked in the school's kitchen. They prefer instant gratification, I prefer 
a delayed one - although practically we all like gratifications, so the delineation is 
a bit artificial. They prefer emotional hype and drama, I prefer suspense by logic.

In my twenties I'm preoccupied by studying, and struggle finding enough time for 
hobbies (athletics, books, music). Others mainly deepen their relationship with partying 
and alcohol as the highlight of their pastime. They're on and off relationship-wise, 
trying lots of new stuff. I adhere to my basics, where dating is more of a random 
event than a rule, and in hindsight, also driven by aesthetic attraction clouding the 
judgement far too long.

Then I hit my thirties, and a pattern has developed. The same difficulties with men repeat 
themselves. At work, I struggle to find superiors actually worthy of pretty much anyone's 
respect. In my late thirties, I find that many have coupled up over the pressure of peers, 
because either one is hitting the due date, because it's tradition, because neighbors are 
too, or because it's in fashion. Many have even divorced already.

I, on the other hand, am still unattached, only rarely dated anyone, and deeply frustrated 
over pointless games of power play between men and women. Difficult the avoid the 
culture of 'who's caring least' or 'which one is the most difficult to get'. The massive 
shortcomings in getting any deeper than cosmetic titles, are disheartening. 

It seems I'm settling for the occasional distractions by manly good looks. Even if 
one of the lot chose to approach me, they'd eventually head home early. I have no 
motivation to introduce myself to a man in bits of facts, that need to be conveniently 
packed and spread evenly onto about three months. 

He can have his peachy reality somewhere else. 

Indeed, as years pack up, and you find that honest, frank people come in fractionated 
minorities, intellectually inspiring actions spent in solitude turn up as the most appealing 
(i.e. least disappointing) of their alternatives. It's efficient, since the likelihood of time 
being wasted, is practically zero. 

However.

Stating that one prefers the company of oneself, is a bit like suggesting that picking a 
low-hanging fruit takes effort. I'm not saying I'm the one who's less demanding. I'm 
just saying it's not easy to find likeminded people.

There are the exceptions of occasional improvised happenstances, when intuition tells 
me that it's time to shower myself with the randomness of a chance encounter. Who knows, 
maybe I'll get an inspiration as a result. Although being with knowledge (books, docs, 
debates..) is a type of interaction as well, it lacks the refreshing nature of live participance. 

And moving the goalposts of one's finite mind further, to me, is the lifeblood being alive 
in a worthy manner. 

December 20, 2017

Notes

Thus far in my life, having watched and listened - even participated in - a 
number of debates about religion, there's something about the theme I still 
occasionally wonder. Even though I'm not that active on that front anymore.

A couple of points I recently came across.


Point one. 


I don't remember the source anymore. Suffice it to say, it's on the internet. 

Anyhow, a discussion included a comment, where the participant made a 
valid point about the eagerness in some people to believe in the existence of an 
alleged divine, moral dictator. 

For people with atheistically tuned mindset, it may be difficult to relate 
themselves to that very enthusiasm. The mix of being convinced of a creature 
that cannot be investigated, is perplexing to say the least. And how religious 
people pass this confusing state, is puzzling.

To us non-religious, the slate seems clear: when rational thinking, sense of 
responsibility, empathy and learning by experience are implemented, 
causations can be understood. For that's what morality is ultimately about: 
understanding the humane laws of cause and consequence.

Thereby, the absolute necessity of adding a mysterious figure in the mix 
seems like a dramatic, redundant trick. 

The person in the debate, however, made a decent point:

The thinking above, which I also adhere to, may be indicative of an 
incompetence to understand different needs in people. 

To some people, an idea about life without any instance dramatically more 
capable than humans, can be so appalling, that they're willing to perform even 
the most laborious of mental leaps to see it differently. Also, they may 
become very defensive about it, since it offers a space with less feelings of 
fear. 

In this sense, religiousness may not be so much about e.g. disinterest in science, 
although it is occasionally the case, but rather, a deed to counteract their fear. 
To them, a godless world can seem like a chaotic one.

Thereby, the willingness of religious people to even try and take obviously 
personal beliefs as universal evidence, is actually logical, since it offers solace. 
Aiming at emotional rewards applies to all of us, the forms only vary.

So who can blame a person for seeking more comfort? We all do it in our own 
ways, or we wouldn't be humans. 


Point two.


One reason, why debates with religious people so seldom lead to any drastic 
changes in either side, may also be the following.

When a person thinks he's already found something, the general likelihood of 
having doors open for a competitor, is slim. Particularly, if its packed up with 
personal convictions. 

They've simply stopped looking. 

The fact that many religions demand absolute dedication, only closes their minds 
more firmly. They rarely admit it, and actually, they don't have to. 

Although morality as a context is of the utmost importance (so it would be nice, 
if they admitted that their minds are fixed, so we could all save the time from 
useless debates), yet we've probably all stopped looking for something in our lives.

Regardless of one's background, if you've found your ideal spouse, job, home, 
car, hobby, or whatnot, why would you actively try and change that? It would be 
utterly pointless (unless one is merely greedy). 

I for example, unsurprisingly, have stopped looking for a religious belief. Also, 
I don't actively seek companion anymore. What remains in life without these, 
seems to bring more meaningfulness than the attempt thus far of their inclusion. 
And limited lifetime is precious.

Whenever an ideology commands not to adopt any other values from elsewhere, 
it's a red flag saying: "You've found _the book_, now stop reading". 

If one picks up a decent practice from a lowly regarded book, putting that into 
action doesn't necessarily make the entire book come true. 


Indeed. Gems may appear with crappy escorts.


With a continuous sense of responsibility, the inevitable outcome is a lifelong journey, 
where home is anywhere I choose to be. There's an old Zen -saying: 


"If your home is not where you are, then where else could it be?"

December 13, 2017

Home

There is something absolutely holy about nature remaining untouched by the 
human hand. Ever since being a kid, nothing has touched me more deeply than 
the wild elements captured on this film.


When the time of my permanent departure comes, I'll be absolutely privileged 
to have my remains become part of the very soil the film is about. In its majestic 
grandeur, I cannot imagine a more holy and sacred place. 

I want it to be remembered, perhaps as an epitaph, that as soon as I came to my 
senses (it took long, but fortunately it happened - in 2007), I resigned from cults 
that were so obviously man-made, self-serving, and placed human beings on top. 

Truth be told, I hope many will follow the same path. Not just for the sake of 
allowing nature certain patterns of both development and preservation, but for 
the well-being of future generations - were they humans or other living creatures.

No human can ever donate like nature does. 

Nothing is higher than nature. 

December 04, 2017

Honors

We are approaching our 100th independent birthday. 

These men made it happen.

As was noted by a commentator below the video, the men singing 
in the choir eradicated slavery from here. No deed more honorable
Both my grandfathers belonged to these troops, although their 
presence ceased already earlier than this performance: from my 
father's side in 1980's and from my mother's side in early 2000's.

I get tears every time listening to this. They have my utmost 
respect and eternal gratitude. 


'Take care, soon our brothers will be gone
Remember, that for them, this land cost dearly
Keep telling on, to grandchildren by songs
The memories must never fade'


I am, literally, one of those grandchildren.

December 03, 2017

Lot

Recently, a commentator wrote:

"Usually, men realize the level of oppression women experience only when the 
time comes for their own daughters."

How very true.

In this sense, it's harder for wives with their husbands than for daughters 
with their dads. For some very odd reason(s), men tend to want their daughters 
to reach their best with only sky as the limit, but for their wives, only within the 
limits of men's own achievements.


To all whom it may concern, 

may it be reminded, that all of us women are someone's daughters. 


Forget that and you'll find the fool's lot as the most proper place for yourself.

December 02, 2017

Paragraph

Now that the floodgates have opened - if not fully, at least distinctively wider than 
before - a confusion needs to be clarified.

The wave of admissions - mostly from women - of having survived harassment, 
has taken me by surprise. Sure, I knew it was happening also here in the West, but the 
extent is staggering. Especially considering, that the women telling about 
their painful memories, very likely are only a fraction.

Sometimes these discussions involve topics concerning the related circumstances. 
Where were they, when the incident occurred? Were there other people around? 
Were they drunk? And particularly, was the woman drunk? If so, how drunk? 
What the woman was wearing? 

All relationships, with varying proportions, go down to power struggles between 
the counterparts. Once one lets someone in his/her life, vulnerability develops. 
Even a short moment of shared time and space with specific circumstances may be 
enough for the power distribution to go awry. 

How the related blame should be dealt, is an odd but frequent sidetone in these 
discussions.

No matter how unconscious, flirtatious or seductively dressed the woman may be, 
none of them are acceptable invitations. Being flirty is no permission for others to 
come and grab

The only relevant dimension these cosmetics have, is probabilities.

Certain factors increase the risk for women to become assaulted or harassed. 
Some of them are related to where women go, are they alone, how drunk are they, and 
how are they equipped. 

The likelihood of a certain event to occur, and how the blame shall be distributed
should the event in question take place, are two entirely different things. The fact that 
women can have an effect on the likelihood of becoming assaulted, is not an accusation. 
It is, indeed, only a fact. 

Women can have an influence on some likelihoods, but by this, no responsibility of 
an unwanted approach can be poured on them.

What defines the correct address and magnitude for the due blame and punishment, is 
not the woman's decision to be in a certain place at a certain time wearing certain 
clothes. Instead, it is the decision of the attacker to proceed with an assault.

Or at least it should. 

November 22, 2017

Proposal

It has come to this.
A confession of substantial proportions needs to be made. 


I am a subscriber of Merriam-Webster's 'word of the day'.


Reason?

When given enough time and context, the line between trivial and 
fundamental is a very fine one.


While recently visiting their webpage, they made the most compelling 
proposition for a really long, long time in advertising history.

And, when one thinks of something compelling, advertisements 
rarely meet the required bar. This time it sunk right in. Once entering 
their homepage, a box popped up: 

'We know you're excited to learn a new word. We are too.'

Ok, a bit over the top... 'excitement' is not putting it mildly, but 
basically, they make a point. (Why would I bother using their webpage, 
if words were inconsequential? I'd just skip the word and wouldn't 
care.)

With the risk of tangling myself up in semantics (it's often fun, though), 
excitement of words is a symptom. Pragmatism and the deep need to avoid 
mental boredom are the causes. Even so, reading a text with painfully 
narrow vocabulary is frustrating to an agonizing extent - it might as well be 
added to the library of torturing mechanisms for prisoners. But digress...


Here comes the offer, then:

'Sign up for our Word of the Day daily newsletter and get excited 
every day!' 

Below this is the necessary box for e-mail address with a subscribe-button.

As for the reluctant visitors, to be able to close the box, they bother to offer 
an actual alternative for clicking the ordinary cross on the top right corner. 
Below the subscribe-button is a line written in gray color - more specifically, 
in the shade 'boring gray', saying:


'No thanks, I don't want to learn anything new.'


That has to be the most successful sarcastically tuned farewell to the 
disinterested audience I've come across in the internet. As if it was saying:


'No thanks, I'd rather haste my cognitive decay with ignorance.'


Bravo, Merriam-Webster.