SUNDAY

1. Just heard they got a debt deal together. This would explain the rectal bleeding I am experiencing.

2. Amy Winehouse supposedly died from alcohol withdrawal. This means that if I had come over with a six pack I could have saved her.

3. I wonder if you could die from a Big Mac withdrawal.

4. I love how the public calls Tea Party people cruel and heartless for pointing out the obvious--WE ARE FUCKING BANKRUPT. Christ Fucking Almighty.

5. I wonder if you can die from welfare check withdrawal.

6. Hugh Hefner says he has sex weekly. So, why does he keep proposing marriage?

7. I wonder if you can die from Viagara withdrawal.

8. You could definitely die from Gisele Bundchen withdrawal:



9. 90% of the music they play on KEXP sucks ass. Sorry, but I had to say it.

10. This does not suck ass:



You may disagree. To each his own.

Quotable Quotes

A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason.
J.P. MORGAN

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected.
STEVE JOBS

Doing is a quantum leap from imagining.
BARBARA SHER

Everyone who's ever taken a shower has an idea. It's the person who gets out of the shower, dries off and does something about it who makes a difference.
NOLAN BUSHNELL

He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.
SUN TZU

[U.] Upocalypse 2012

boom boom shake the room. can you feel the u-quake? K-BOMBS RAINING DOWN. u-man is dropping the knowledge on you bitches. IN DA HOUSE.

crazy shit is coming. nibiru is on the way. SCIENTISTS don't want want you to know. but they know. and you will know too. get the gold and the spam and the bullets ready. THINGS ARE COMING TO AN END.

jesse ventura has the Special K on 2012:



shit is coming DOWN!! grab your nuts and butts and get ready!

alex jones has some Extra K on ufo's:



shit is REAL!

time to put some cheese on this burger. randy gage has some extreme cheddar to lay on them BRAINS:



the u-man is balls deep in your SWEATHOLE. time to bust that nut and cut.

SHIT ON THE HATERS. mother fuckers. ain't nothing but a bunch of hatin' BITCHES. take a mouthful of some U-ASS!!! peace to the u-fans. KEEPING IT REAL. u-man OUT.

u-bonus:




Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. SPORADIC BLOGGING

One of the things I have learned about being a blogger is to be consistent. You don't have to post every day. It could be just once a week. But no matter how frequently or infrequently you post, you always post on this schedule. This is because readers have expectations. A good blogger is a consistent blogger. (I am working on a post about being a good blogger, so I will have more of these nuggets of wisdom.)

The goal here at the C-blog is to post daily. This would be easy if I just tossed out some crap, but that doesn't cut it. So, I block off time to put together material, and most of this material is actually scheduled in advance to be published later in an act of time shifting. For instance, today I will write a couple of essays that won't hit the blog until Tuesday or Wednesday. This gives you, Gentle Reader, the illusion that I am a Superblogger who can work a 12 hour day, maintain my life, and also churn out two or three essays and commentary on a daily basis. But this isn't the reality. This was discovered this week when the boss gave me a call because he had a little bit of a crisis. This shattered the illusion as my writing schedule suddenly took a back seat to my first love which is work.

I think I can take things up a notch here, so I am going to try and do that. I feel a certain robustness lately along with a sense of daring. Things have felt stagnant for me for the last year or so. I am breaking out of this. Change is good. You need to mix things up once in awhile. Maybe take some LSD and make something psychedelic. Or end up like Syd Barrett with a smoking crater where your brain used to be.

I wouldn't expect the White Album here, but I am going to try and get more work done. The debate I have is this. Is writing work? Or is it a hobby? Should I treat it as fun or as a second job? Whether I get paid or not, I think it would help to treat this gig like a job.

2. THOSE DAMN REPUBLICANS

The debt limit stalemate continues with everyone blaming Republicans for not compromising and being more bipartisan. I have to shake my head and laugh. We have a President who has made no proposals of his own. We have the Democrats in the Senate who propose smaller cuts. Obama only seems to care about raising taxes which no Republican will go along with. Why? Because this was done before. The reason we are at this impasse is taxes.

Here's the deal. The government is going to default on its debt because of a political game. Democrats know that if they can get Republicans to agree to "revenue enhancements" they have won the game. The Dems know they have to cut spending, and the tax hikes are just a drop in the bucket in the big scheme of things. But, politically, those tax hikes demoralize the base of the Republican party. It infuriates those Tea Partiers. So, for the sake of trying to win valuable political points, Obama is willing to let the country default. By now, even Senate Democrats have caved on the tax issue. But not Obama.

What many Republicans have learned is that compromise is bullshit. It only comes back to bite you in the ass later. Stick to your principles and take the flak. As I write this, the House has passed a bill. The Senate merely needs to pass that bill as written, send it to the POTUS, and the crisis is ended. Democrats need to compromise on spending. They merely need to choose to spend less instead of more. When you consider that the government is bankrupt, this is a good idea. But they won't do it. Fuck reality. Obama has one more election to go, and he intends to win it. So, the Republicans are going to bear the blame for his veto. Amazing shit.

MEMO TO REPUBLICANS: Call that fucker's bluff.

3. NORWEGIAN NUTCASE

I have grown sick of reading all of the commentary about Anders Behring Breivik, the psycho who went on a murderous rampage in Norway. Everyone seems to be spending their time trying to understand his politics and his motivations. The most telling thing is how the guy plagiarized the Unabomber who was an extremist left winger. Breivik is some sort of extremist right winger. Naturally, left wingers try and make political points out of this. It is a tragedy turned into spin, and I am sick of it.

Here's the deal. This may shock you, but here it is. For almost any ideology or worldview you care to name--racism, Islam, Christianity, libertarianism, Luddism, veganism, environmentalism, animal rights, etc.--there are is some nutcase who thinks that violent acts are the way to accomplish the goal of getting others on board. Nevermind that these actions generate virtually zero sympathy for the cause. They actually undermine the cause.

There are some snarky types who like to lift passages verbatim from the Unabomber's manifesto and post them to lefty forums. Naturally, these passages get accolades from folks who don't realize they are praising the thoughts of a psycopath. But I could do the same thing with right wingers by lifting passages from Mein Kempf. Ultimately, ideas exist separate from these people. To support or refute these ideas based on the actions of these respective nutjobs is to fall into the ad hominem fallacy.

What is at issue here is terrorism or what I prefer to call "political violence." Political violence is distinct from criminal violence because criminal violence usually has its goal the acquisition of money, material, or pleasure at the expense of others. Political violence has as its goal the acquisition of political change at the expense of others. As such, the government is the greatest perpetrator of political violence as witnessed in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. When terrorists engage in political violence, they are seeking to be like the government.

Political violence does not work. It changes things but almost never in the way it was intended. This is true for both individuals and government. I am reminded of the animal rights activist who said that people who wear fur should have their heads bashed in with a brick. Statements like this make you look stupid. Carried into action, it makes you look like what you are--a psychopath.

Violence doesn't work. Gandhi and Martin Luther King proved this with their non-violent actions. By being peaceful, they made their overlords look like the psychopaths. This is an amazingly effective tactic. As such, I categorically reject violence except in cases of self-defense from the violence of others. If you want to affect change, give peaceful resistance a try. This is because it works at changing people's minds and gaining sympathy for your cause. It works way better than bombs and guns. This is something governments should consider as well when it comes to their foreign policy.

As for Anders Brehing Breivik, the only thing he accomplished is to make Muslims look civilized and rational.

4. FACEBOOK DOES SOMETHING RIGHT

Facebook is paying people $500 for each flaw they find in the company's infrastructure. This is an amazing stroke of genius. The fact is that many people and white hat hackers find these vulnerabilities and report them. The problem is they get ignored. Grey hats go the next step by exploiting these flaws for the "Lulz." It is embarrassing for the company, but it gets the message across to the shitheads in corporate that NEVER FUCKING LISTEN. The last resort are the black hats who actively exploit the flaws for the sake of Russian mobsters who will have much fun with your private data.

Facebook has made a bold move in recognizing how valuable the white hats are to what they do. I think others will follow their lead. Pure fucking genius.

5. HOOTERS



I've been going to Hooters each week now. This is usually Friday after work. I eat chicken wings mostly. Shit is good. But I admit that I go to ogle tits and ass. Plus, they have sports on multiple TV sets. In short, Hooters is the ultimate man cave.

Hooters has also given a boost to the concept people call the "breastaurant." There are other chains like Twin Peaks and Mugs 'N Jugs that are competing in this space. But Hooters is the king for now. What is the appeal? Hot chicks. What else? That is a dumb question.

Hooters isn't like a strip club though. It's more like a sports bar with better looking bartenders and waitresses. The food isn't the greatest, but it is cheap. For a blue collar guy like me after work, it is heaven on earth.

MONDRIAN, Windmill

VIDEO-Dangerous Knowledge



Dangerous Knowledge is a BBC documentary about four mathematicians--Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing--who explored the infinite in mathematics. The result of their labors was insanity and suicide. Can infinity and uncertainty lead to madness?

I remember a story one of my college professors told me about when he was a salesman for Honeywell. He would give sales pitches for mechanical calculating machines, and he would allow the customers to try the machine. But he also had to be close to the plug in to the wall in case the customer did something not recommended for the device. You could never divide by zero. If you attempted the feat, the machine would begin whirring and never stop. He would yank the cord from the wall to stop the damn thing. Try this with modern calculators, and you will receive a simple error message.

The story of those mechanical calculators illustrates a similar phenomenon that happened inside the brains of these four brilliant men. Lesser mathematicians either ignored or shunned the avenues these men explored with a certain intuitive sense that it would yield them nothing. They were correct because the men who explored these avenues all went insane and killed themselves. Their brains worked feverishly in attempting to find proofs and certainty for the most certain of disciplines--mathematics. All four of them failed. And as one of them--Turing--showed to the world, the rest of us cannot escape it either.

The documentary begins with the story of Georg Cantor and gives the beginnings of the problems of infinity. The ideas will set your brain on fire, and you immediately understand why all four men would want to find a solution to the puzzle. But there is no solution. Some paradoxes simply are. If you have ever fucked with a Mobius strip, you can spend a lifetime trying to understand why it is what it is. But that is relatively a simple matter compared to what these men were attempting.

The fact is that the world is uncertain. As finite beings, the infinite escapes us. There are simply things we can never know. These men upset the world but not for the better. The world shunned them for it. And they destroyed themselves in trying to reconcile it all. They should have done like Galileo and let it go. But they couldn't.

I highly recommend this documentary. You can watch it here.

THURSDAY

1. It has been a crazy week for me. I apologize for not posting more, but my schedule got altered.

2. Jesse James and Kat Von D busted up. Apparently, Jesse ran out of shit to read after sex.

3. Oprah's cable network is struggling. I am all broke up about that shit.

4. I have to admit that I am looking forward to the US defaulting on the debt. It's like a cliffhanger on some TV show except it is real. Plus, grandma might have to eat Alpo if her check isn't in the mail.



5. I've never understood why the elderly turn to pet food when things get tough. A can of Spam can't cost much more than a can of Alpo. Must be the gravy.

6. You can never go wrong with a Mila Kunis pic:



7. Up at 2 am tomorrow, so this is all you're gonna get tonight.

[SOC]

I am thinking about taking Udo's Oil. Between fish oil, flaxseed oil, and all the rest, I keep reading and hearing about the beneficial effects of Omega-6 fatty acids. Udo's seems like the best of the bunch, so I will give that shit a try.

Amy Winehouse is dead. I saw that coming. I thought she was a great singer but a troubled soul. She definitely liked drugs, and I often wonder why some people can use drugs recreationally while others like Winehouse go to such self-destructive ends. I think it is because they hurt inside, and being fucked up out of your gourd makes that pain recede for awhile. Kurt Cobain was like this. Creativity is a way to address and deal with the pain. But drugs work way better. Being rich and famous does nothing to deal with that pain.

What these people have is what I call the Hurt. I have the Hurt. When I stop working for a bit, it stabs into me. The Hurt is not depression. It is the accumulation of the wounds that the people you love have laid on you in your life. It can lead to depression, but it is a symptom and not the cause.

It would be easy to lay the blame for the Hurt on the people that inflicted it, but it gets stupid after a bit. Sometimes, the Hurt is nothing more than a child blaming himself for a parent's divorce. The fact is that the Hurt is often the product of unintentional actions. The Hurt is collateral damage.

I find that entertainers, artists, musicians, and the like are the ones most susceptible to the Hurt. Their performances and crafts are pursued in a vain attempt to garner the love of someone--anyone. But as Kurt Cobain showed, you can be one of the most famous people on the planet and also be the loneliest. Being famous, rich, and revered is no substitute for the love these people seek.

Another substitute people pursue is depraved sexual lifestyles. Most porn stars, strippers, and prostitutes have the Hurt. For others, it is simply a matter of being a harlot. I have talked to some of these people, and they all seem to have a history of sexual abuse at a young age in their background.

I am no psychologist, so I don't understand all this shit. I just know that the Hurt makes people destroy themselves. I deal with my hurt with frequent binges of work, writing, reading, and Facebook. I don't have an answer to the Hurt. I just know that it disappears when you are able to forget. For some, forgetting is found in a pill bottle or a liquor bottle. For others, it is being in one or more sexual relationships. For me, it is in the world of work and ideas and activity.

If you live long enough, the Hurt fades away. I think this is why older people are happier than younger people. But this is a general rule. Hemingway seemed as miserable in his old age as he did in his youth.

I think the answer to the Hurt may lie in acknowledgment of the fact that the people who we want to love us just don't have that capability. The world is full of fucked up people, and you have to accept this reality. I can't do the Oprah Winfrey horseshit and tell someone they need to try and reconcile with their alcoholic father that beat them when he was both drunk and sober. This tries and covers over the simple fact that people like this are human garbage. This is "forgiveness." But you don't forgive a rabid animal. Likewise, you don't forgive depraved and fucked up people. You just get them out of your life and move on.

You have to get to a place where you don't care anymore what people think about you, care about you, say about you, or whatever. You have to turn your back on the people that hurt you. Shun them, and remove them from the picture. You must forget those people. You can't change them. You can't forgive them. So, you must forget them. This forgetting can either be a negative such as Cobain and Winehouse. Or, it can be a positive. You can choose to live, produce, and be somebody. This is what I choose. No amount of navel gazing will ever change the reality of what has happened to you. It won't make it better. What makes things better is to focus outward and upward. If you do this long enough and with consistency, that emotional baggage will disappear.

Quotable Quotes

The greatest university of all is a collection of books.
THOMAS CARLYLE

America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
HUNTER S. THOMPSON

Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass.
ANN LANDERS

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.
RONALD REAGAN

An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
BUDDHA

[U.] Wall Street. Plus, TRUTH on the Oslo Bomber

can you hear that sound? that is the U-TRAIN coming into the station. get ready bitches. the U-MAN is coming to town. get ready for the SPECIAL K.

evil bankers. the rothschilds and rockefellers. government. ALL FUCKING YOU. get the straight scoop.

jesse ventura drops the k-bomb on WALL STREET:



nutcase in NORWAY. think again. you know he wasn't alone. probably a MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. don't believe the hype.

alex jones with TRUTH on oslo bombing:



eyewitness account:



total conspiracy! white people are the number 1 terror threat? don't fall for the BULLSHIT!!

some words from the CHEESE WHIZ randy gage:



quit fucking yourself. go for the CHEESE!

the u-train has unloaded the k-bombs for your brains. your mind is now BLOWN like hugh grant and bill clinton. you know the rest. SHIT ON THE HATERS. PEACE TO THE U-FANS. clean yourself up because the u-man has just HIT IT AND QUIT IT. out this motherfucker til next week. bitches.



MONDRIAN, Red Tree

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. GREECE

I'm having a fun time watching Europe go to shit as they bail out Greece again. Welfare junkies in Greece demonstrate in the streets to loot more cash from German citizens. Germany sees it is the mark in that giant con known as the EU. Italy, Portugal, Spain, and other welfare bum states are right behind Greece. You are witnessing the Welfare Effect on an international level.

Germany will leave the EU. They have to do it. Once Germany leaves, the EU is history along with the euro. European social welfare states do not work.

2. CENK UYGUR

Cenk was very candid about why he is out at MSNBC, and his story is absolutely stunning. It shows just how murky and nasty the MSM is. The MSM is a joke. I expect Cenk to join Olbermann over at Current.

I don't share Cenk's politics, but I give him credit for telling the truth about Obama. The guy is a great journalist. The media needs more people like Cenk who are willing to challenge the Establishment instead of being co-opted by it. Alternative media is where it is at.

3. MURDOCH

The other huge scandal is the phone hacking fiasco over at News Corp. Murdoch and Co. would like you to believe that the practice was just the product of rogues at one subsidiary of a giant media conglomerate. I think the reality is that the practice was spread much wider and will swallow many more including Piers Morgan and Rupert Murdoch himself. Of course, the people riding piggyback on this issue are really doing it to make political hay against right wing media especially Fox News. As a libertarian, I don't care. The MSM both Left and Right needs some daylight. Daylight has come.

4. A PRIMARY CHALLENGE FOR OBAMA?

With cuts to social programs and the wars, progressives are not too happy with their POTUS, and there are quiet rumblings of a primary challenger to Obama. I would love to see this. We haven't had this since Kennedy challenged Carter. This challenger could be Bernie Sanders or some other progressive type with a maverick streak. I wholeheartedly support this move.

VIDEO-The Star Chamber



The Star Chamber is a 1983 movie starring Michael Douglas who plays the idealistic Judge Hardin who ends up letting guilty criminals go because of technicalities. This was a big deal back in the 70's and 80's which gave rise to vigilante movies like Dirty Harry and Death Wish. Racked by remorse and guilt for letting scum back on the streets, Hardin is approached by another judge--Hal Holbrook--to join a secret court or "star chamber" to right the flaws in the legitimate court system. Hardin accepts. Made up of nine judges, the star chamber rules on the guilt of the accused and dispatches a hit man to carry out the sentence.

The movie is very excellent at stoking our sense of outrage and injustice. Then, it sucker punches us when it is revealed that the two men Hardin wanted killed are actually innocent of their crime. Nevermind that they are fucking scum. Hardin goes to warn them, and the scum tries to kill him. I won't give away anymore of the story since I don't want to spoil the ending.

The movie is ambiguous. It leaves you thinking, but it doesn't resolve the issues to my liking. The ending seems unreal as well. This movie is due for a really good remake with less of a pat ending. It could have been done better. If you're going to get into moral complexity, don't go for a storybook ending.

Millionaire Minimalists

These young millionaires are completely uprooting the notion of keeping up with the Joneses. They’re subverting the message that Madison Avenue has been sending us for decades: that success equates to status symbols and conspicuous consumption. They’re setting an example that you can want less, no matter what your net worth, and use your money in ways that are important to you (rather than as society expects).

So what does that mean to those of us many rungs below on the economic ladder? Use your resources in the ways you find fulfilling, no matter what anyone else thinks. Don’t hesitate to keep driving your old junker, and spend your paycheck on art classes instead. Feel free to put money into your kid’s college fund, rather than upgrade your living room furniture. Live your dream of travel, instead of taking on a big mortgage. Donate to your favorite charity, instead of splurging on the designer handbag all your friends have.


Minimalist Inspiration From Millionaires

It is easy to be a minimalist when you're broke. But what if you're rich? The same principles still apply. The fact is that past a certain level consumer items yield a diminishing return. I won't get into the law of marginal utility here. The fact is that a gold plated faucet is virtually no better than a regular faucet and may even be worse.

Being rich only affords you the luxuries of conspicuous consumption. You can spend money in the same way that peacocks grow tails. It is a way to show off how wasteful you are. For these particular millionaires, this is stupid. So, they opt to spend their money in ways they find more useful and beneficial as opposed to what some rapper might buy in the way of bling.

I keep my level of consumption at the same level. My life is so full now that I can't enjoy all that I have because of the limits of time. More money is not going to change this for me. For me, money goes into the bank to sit for some future need. The peace of mind having money brings beats whatever that money could buy.

Google+ vs. Facebook



G+ has a lot of buzz. Facebook is scared for good reason. My advice to Mark Zuckerberg is to IPO as fast as possible and move on to another project. There are so many lessons here that I have to explore them and share them.

1. There are no survivorship trends on the internet.

Before Facebook, there was MySpace. Before MySpace, there was AOL. These companies think they are like Levi's and Coke. They aren't. They are more like Laverne & Shirley and Happy Days. They are the flavor of the moment, and these web companies last about as long as a decent sitcom. This is because they are fundamentally entertainment. Products and services like Amazon and Google last a bit longer but not entertainment.

2. It pays to sell at the first opportunity.

If you have a hot start up, sell it and walk away. The only assets a company like Facebook has are the eyeballs of its users who are a fickle herd. Mark Cuban sold his shit early, and this was a wise move. The fact is that most internet start ups are not going to last over the long haul. Exit at the first opportunity or when they started using the B-word--"billions." None of these companies are worth billions. This is because they are a trademark and an idea. That's it. The ideas are easily duplicated, and the rest is just marketing. Facebook is the internet equivalent of Tommy Hilfiger.

3. Offer something unique that can't be duplicated.

This is a general business rule and not necessarily an internet rule. G+ is essentially a Facebook clone that is less annoying to use. Companies try to use copyright and patent to prevent duplication, but I find this to be a worthless strategy though it works for the time being. But as a blogger, I find that people follow trends and make copies. Right now, this would be the minimalist bloggers who make virtually identical websites with the same advice. What I do is make something unique with my blog. No one can copy what I do here. Granted, being part of a bigger movement is more lucrative as a business, but the lifespan is way shorter. Unique businesses aren't as big, but they last a long time.

4. Have faith that you can create something new.

People want to rest on their laurels. They invent something, and then they ride that innovation into the ground. It pays to move on to the next project instead of dwelling on the old project. Apple has learned this lesson which is why they are always innovating. Google knows this lesson as well. Companies like Microsoft have forgotten this. Zuckerberg was a one-trick pony which is the kiss of death in tech. Ideas have a shelf life, and you need to always be looking to the next project. Leave the old projects to the managers to tend to as they wither and die.

For the time being, I am on Facebook. I was on MySpace before this, and I am on Google+ as it begins to take off. If I could change one thing on Facebook, it would be the 5000 friend limit. I chafe against that limit. That limit doesn't seem to exist on G+, so I can't wait for the new service to come into its own. Right now, it is just populated by tech geeks, but I see the world catching this wave.

Fuck Mark Zuckerberg. I hope you end up detailing cars somewhere you stupid dorky fuck.

Q & A

Q: What is the meaning of life?

A: I don't know if I have answered this question before, but I think I have. Either way, I think it is worthwhile to answer it again.

Life has no meaning. This is because there is no God. There is no afterlife. There is no Big Daddy in the sky watching over us all. This reality is more than most people can bear, but I live with it on a daily basis.

Peopl accuse me of being a nihilist, but I am not a nihilist. Nihilists believe in nothing, and there are things I believe in. I believe in the world that exists. Even though there is no God to create order, order emerges spontaneously from our lives. This is true in biology, economics, chemistry, mathematics, and if the quantum people are correct, physics. Behind all of it is chaos. Order emerges from the chaos.

If there is anything we have that is close to a God, it is this self-ordering principle in the universe. This is natural selection in evolution. This is the invisible hand of the market. I read a lot of science, and this self-ordering keeps popping up again and again.

Life is without meaning, but it is not without consequence. This is why my philosophy and worldview revolve around the outcomes of various strategies. For instance, I can't say that communism is superior to libertarianism in any transcendant sense. I can say that communism can never bring about either equality or human flourishing relative to capitalism. The historical evidence demonstrates this again and again.

In terms of living your life, this life without meaning presents certain problems and difficulties. For the existentialists such as Nietzsche and Sartre, this death of God was a big deal. Yet, we seem to live in their post-God world with few if any philosophical difficulties. The fact is that religion gave us prescribed meanings for life. Without religion, we are free to live our lives as we see fit. For Nietzsche and Sartre, this was just too much which is why they both found admiration in totalitarian systems of government.

The reality is that you are free. You are free to live in the way you choose. Some choices are made for us because of circumstances. Other choices are made for us by consequences. For instance, the quadriplegic can never choose to be a star basketball player. Circumstances prevent this. Similarly, you can't be both a bodybuilder and a world class marathoner since one cancels out the other. This is the product of consequences. When we make choices, we also make other choices as a result of the original choice.

People don't all make the same choices, so this is why everyone is different. This is why we have so much flourishing in our free societies. This is why I champion individualism. The civilization we inhabit is the spontaneous order that emerges from all these self-directed beings doing their own thing. Trying to impose some order either through religion or government goes against this human flourishing. This is why I am a secularist and a libertarian. I see freedom as being integral to my own flourishing but also the freedom of others as being integral to my flourishing. I am never going to cure cancer, but I want the man or woman who does to have the freedom to pull it off.

This brings it all back to the personal. If life has no meaning and I am free to choose how to live, how should I then live? I can't answer this for you. For some people this freedom is more than they can bear. They become depressed, self-destructive, and suicidal. For others, it is the liberation they need to be what they want to be. This would be Nietzsche's Superman. The fact is that we are all Supermen and Superwomen as we determine our own values, our own choices, and our own destinies. If you have the courage to live with this unfettered freedom, the world belongs to you. You will enjoy life, and you will find happiness. If you lack this courage, you will remain either in delusion or despair.

For me, it all comes down to projects. I pursue projects. It may be my job. It may be a sink full of dishes. It may be a blog post. But I create meaning in my life by doing things. Idleness leads to despair because it makes you contemplate things that simply aren't real. Idleness leads to regret over past failures and mistakes. Idleness leads to daydreams that will never materialize. Idleness leads to asking pointless questions such as the meaning of life. All of these things are a substitute fantasy life as opposed to the real life that you have.

If I have any advice for people suffering from existential angst, here it is. Be active. Stop thinking and start doing. This seems like a counsel to escape akin to telling someone to crawl into a bottle of liquor. But it isn't. Remember, order emerges spontaneously in existence. When you start doing things, this order will emerge for you. Sloth was the old word for depression. Inactivity produces depression and despair. When you do things, this darkness peels away.

Happy people are people of action. You get this insight from Aristotle. Happiness is kinetic. It is the byproduct of your meaningful activity. This is why truly happy people are robust and extremely busy people. They are always doing. This activity is what separates Aristotle from other philosophers of his day because all those other thinkers proffered philosophies of sloth. Sloth is death.

If you want meaning in life, the short answer is to get off your ass and go out and make it.

[SOC]

Right now, I am in the pre-caffeinated stage of my day. My brain is not really working. I am in the fog. But I can hear the fog lifter brewing right now.

I got an email from some lady that is semi-spam. She is representing some website about insurance that I am not going to share, but she had shared an article on this website about the dangers of workaholism. Here are the dangers of workaholism--money, success, and happiness.

Workaholism is not a syndrome or a disease. I don't know who decided that it was. This is the current fucked up state of our society where virtues are turned into vices. The other "vice" is fitness addiction. Trust me, this country is nowhere close to being overly fit and overly worked. We are fat, out of shape, and out of work.

I stay busy. I am 40 years old, and I have explored different philosophies and lifestyles. It all comes back to work. If you want to be happy, commit to working every single day. Fuck vacations. Fuck holidays. Fuck weekends.

The opposite of happiness is boredom. It isn't sadness, depression, anger, or any of that. It is boredom. If you want to see someone bored, go look at some guy fishing off the end of a pier. Or go look at a family cooped up in their vacation condo watching TV. This is boredom. This is what happens when you have a surplus of leisure.

Coffee is ready.

Caffeine is now working its way into my bloodstream and my fucking foggy brain. Where was I?

Work is the answer. Work destroys boredom. Work is the difference between purpose and despair. When you work, your life has meaning. This is because life is ultimately meaningless. When you are bored, this realization hits you. This is why you get sleepy when you are bored. Your brain wants to shutdown and get some rest. It doesn't want to think.

What if you are unemployed? The answer to that is simple. Turn finding a job into a job. Trust me, I have been unemployed before, and I would spend 8-10 hours per day either applying for jobs, interviewing for jobs, or what have you. Thanks to the internet, you can literally apply for a hundred jobs per week. Out of that, someone is going to hire you.

Are you underemployed? Find a second job or keep applying until you find full time work. It is no different than if you were unemployed.

Inevitably, you will find yourself with free time. The best way to fill free time is with more constructive activity. It may be cleaning house, working out at the gym, or banging out the Great American Novel. No matter what, you want to be doing something productive.

Goofing off is what you do in the evening prior to bed. This would be sex with your significant other, hanging out with friends, tossing the ball with the kids, or just watching TV. Then, there is sleep.

First cup down. Second cup.

I can feel the Hum. Beer drinkers get the Buzz. Coffee drinkers get the Hum. The Hum is much better. I suspect smokers get the Hum as well. Of course, some smart ass commenter will talk about "hummers" and Monica Lewinsky.

The dangers of work revolve around two things. The first is burnout. The second is relationships. Curing burnout is easy. Seek variety. Explore new options, realms, careers, or what have you. Burn out is a form of working boredom where you are busy but no longer challenged. The answer is definitely not to stop working. That is stupid.

Relationships are different. I think it is possible to work so much that you neglect your family. But this is rare. The reality is that women and children get bored, and they expect dad to entertain them. When I was a kid, my old man would put my sorry lazy ass to work cutting grass or washing cars when he was home from work while he sat back and popped a few cold ones watching a ball game or NASCAR. It wouldn't have bothered me a bit if he worked seven days a week. Looking back, he did the right thing because kids are lazy. The earlier kids start working the better. I was put to work at age 13, and it made a huge difference in the way I am today.

Just ate breakfast. Caffeine is working. Heading for the shower and work. Have a great fucking day.

Quotable Quotes

What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us, that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves. If all the means of production were vested in a single hand, whether it be nominally that of "society" as a whole or that of a dictator, whoever exercises this control has complete power over us.
F.A. HAYEK

You live and you learn. Or you don't live long.
LAZARUS LONG

But the power of science lies in open publication, which, with the rise of the Internet, is no longer constrained by the price of paper.
MICHAEL SHERMER

Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.
LAO TZU

I never thought of losing, but now that it' s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That's my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.
MUHAMMAD ALI

[U.] JFK

it's that time, bitches. you know what time it is. it is U-TIME. i got what you need right here. get naked and get ready for the ride. the u-man is going to HIT IT AND QUIT IT!

the granddaddy of them all. they killed the prez and covered it up. jesse has the TRUTH:



SHIT IS REAL!

u know what else is real? CHEESE! everybody wants it. everybody needs it. follow the DREAM with randy gage:



don't listen to broke ass haters. do they gots that cheese? FUCK NO. haters gotta hate. get the prosperity mind and SHIT ON THE HATERS. they holding you back.

u-man has busted his nut and its time to jet while you still wet. ALWAYS STACKING CHEESE. peace out and holla at yo boy.

u-bonus:



SATURDAY

1. Things are getting ugly in Facebook vs. Google+. Mark Fuckerberg wouldn't have this headache if he had simply stopped being what he is--a clueless fuck.

2. That Facebook IPO is not looking so hot now.

3. Chavez heads to Cuba for cancer treatment. Too bad he can't come to the USA because he might have a better chance of living. Fuck that commie bastard.

4. I got a call from Rupert Murdoch telling me that if I write anything bad about him that he will fist fuck me and keep me from ever being on Fox. He also told me that he cleared out my voicemail for me. Thanks, Mr. Murdoch! You are a swell guy.

5. Casey Anthony might be getting out of jail tomorrow. That poor bitch might wish she could stay in.

6. I wonder if Nancy Grace will send a cab to pick her up.

MONDRIAN, Grey Tree

Random Thoughts on Various Subjects

1. DEBT TALKS

There is so many stories swirling around this issue. Obama shows his ass. Cantor feels his balls. Boehner and McConnell spread their ass cheeks. On and on, it goes. What gets lost in this discussion is these men are debating cuts to increases in future spending. This is not austerity. The most absurd moment was when Obama scared people with the idea that seniors wouldn't be getting their Social Security checks in August. Even if the debt limit wasn't raised, those checks are still going out.

The government needs austerity. It isn't going to happen, but this is what is needed. Two debates ongoing. Whose fault is it for the current debt? And who is going to take the blame for the cuts? None of these slimebags wants to take responsibility for their actions either past or future. What you are seeing is the CYA principle on display at the national level.

2. CAYLEE'S LAW

I have this saying at work. Rules don't make people honest. They just make honest people become dishonest in order to do their jobs. Similarly, laws don't make bad parents good. But they can make good parents bad. Under various proposals, parents that don't notify authorities of something involving their kids--missing or dead--within a certain time frame will result in jail time. Naturally, anyone with a brain can see the unintended consequences flowing from this bad law. You can thank that Casey Anthony trial and that stupid shit-for-brains bitch Nancy Grace for this latest round of bullshit.

Radley Balko explains better than I can why this is a bad law.

Balko on Caylee's Law

3. CELEBRITY MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE

Nick Lachey gets married while J.Lo. gets divorced. Why does anyone do it? We laugh at the stars, but regular folks are no different. Partnerships don't work, and marriage is a partnership. Is individualism to blame for all these marriages breaking up? Perhaps. You have to be selfless to make that shit work, and being selfless means choosing someone else's happiness over your own. That is stupid.

4. PALIN IS OVER

The only thing Palin could do now to get a reset on her fifteen minutes of fame is to go run for President. Will she do it? The fact is she is an embarrassment. She is a whore for fame, and she needs to do some MILF porn or something. But I think even she thinks running for POTUS is a really dumb idea. But she will do it. She has to do it. I expect her announcement any day now.

5. RON PAUL

Can Ron Paul win? I am beginning to think he can. The other candidates are just so damn awful, and this tanking economy is precisely why Ron Paul has so much credibility. The MSM keeps writing him off, but I really think that this is the moment for him. I see Gary Johnson being his veep. I was predicting Bachmann as the one to take it, but I think we are on the verge of a complete mental shift in the country. The reason Paul is becoming so credible is because all of the other politicians are looking ridiculous. The public is taking note.

FRIDAY

1. Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez are busting up. Big surprise!

2. A gratuitous (but clean) picture of porn star Stoya:



3. I would post a pic of J.Lo., but her ass is played out.

4. Word has it that Tiger Woods is broke after his divorce settlement, loss of endorsements, and sucking ass on the golf course. My heart just breaks for that bastard.

5. The US recognizes a rebel group in Libya as the "legitimate" government. In other news, I have declared myself the King of Spain.

6. Huge Chavez vs. Cancer. Go, Cancer!

7. Rupert Murdoch is in a lot of hot water because of that phone hacking scandal. 5% of the population are genuinely upset while the other 95% are piggybacking just because they hate the fucker.

8. I have read all of the Harry Potter books and watched zero of the movies.

9. Emma Watson has matured nicely though.



10. Yo, Tiger: J.Lo. is back on the market. Go for some of that Latin spice!



I was wrong. That ass will never be played out!

VIDEO-In Search of Shakespeare



In Search of Shakespeare is a PBS production that takes a life of the Bard and a thesis and runs with it making a very compelling case that Shakespeare was a closet Catholic sympathizer and a product of his times. The problem with any reading of Shakespeare is that it divorces Shakes from his time. This video puts him back in time where he belongs.

In Elizabethan times, being a Catholic in England could get you fucked up in a bad way. In those days, they would execute you by hanging, drawing, and quartering which anyone who has watched Braveheart knows very well. This is where they hang you slow to let you strangle for a bit. Then, they would remove your guts and burn them while you watched. They would finish by tearing out your heart, and if you were lucky, you would get to see that beat one last time. Then, they chopped you in four bits or "quarters." Against this backdrop, you begin to appreciate how brave someone like Shakespeare was.

The series also answers an important question. Did Shakespeare really write all those plays? The main criticism was that Shakespeare could not have been educated enough to write those plays, but the series makes the compelling argument that Shakespeare was educated in secret. Shakespeare got his education from the "Catholic underground." He had access to books and educated himself and received instruction from others and also taught.

The series goes on to describe how Shakespeare made a name for himself and became what he was--the greatest writer in the English language. You also learn where he got many of his ideas and also why he wrote the stories that he wrote. Every bit of it is tied to the politics of his day.

In Search of Shakespeare is a fine work, and I highly recommend it to both lovers of literature and history. You will enjoy this one immensely.

TUESDAY

1. I admit it. I watch RT for this woman:



2. And this woman:



3. But NOT this woman:



4. Eat your peas? Have we come to this? Has balancing the federal budget become the equivalent of flossing your teeth?

5. Ron Paul is not running for re-election for his congressional seat. He is all in on this presidential run. It is too bad that he can't win against a flim-flam Mormon fuck from Massachussetts. Stupid people cannot elect a smart or honest president.

6. Netflix wants you to quit the DVD habit and go with streaming. So, they are jacking up the rates making people go to Redbox for the time being. I will discontinue the DVD rentals when they put their whole library on streaming.

7. Will Assange escape extradition? Even if he wins in a British court, he is virtually locked in the UK for life. Australia will send his ass straight to the USA, and I expect the USA to try and extradite him directly from the UK. Sweden was just easier, but they are going to get Assange. He should go ahead and save himself the trouble and get on the next flight to New York and challenge the US directly. Sometimes, you have to look tyranny in the eye and dare it to blink.

8. A woman chopped off her husband's penis and tossed it in a garbage disposal. Women worldwide cheer this action. What is it about women wanting to sever a man's dick?



9. Greece gets some bailout. Now, Italy and Ireland are bleeding out. I just want to see those dominoes topple across Europe. I want to see the utter implosion of the European welfare state, so I can rub it in the faces of American leftards.

10. I'm going to eat some peas and floss my teeth now.

Is Everett Bogue the Most Annoying Man on the Planet?



Seattle is beautiful this summer. Every day I head out into the world to find a good cup of coffee, sit in the sun and craft the work. My biggest project right now is taking a digital sabbatical for the month of July. I won’t be answering emails, reading online, or interacting.

In solitude, I find the work that’s truly alive in me.


Minimalism & Beyond: A Conversation with Ev Bogue about Minimalism, Untethering, Evolving, and Living a Meaningful Life

Here's the deal. Imagine a guy who is a total slacker. This guy has no job. He doesn't work. He doesn't do anything. But like the makers of the emperor's new clothes, he is able to turn doing nothing into a total moneymaker. Sound impossible? Meet Everett Bogue, the guy who turned doing absolutely nothing into a business.

I read this interview with Ev, and I asked myself the same question I always ask myself when I read about this guy. What does this guy do? And who takes a sabbatical from goofing off?

I'd be really cool with Ev if he was a painter or a musician living a bohemian lifestyle. I'd point to his work and say, "This guy paints." But I can't. Ev says he writes. What the fuck does he write? I write. The only thing Ev Bogue does is write enough to get people to follow him and then flips them the bird. Then, he takes a "sabbatical" from all this hard work.

Ev's newest project is charging people $25 a month to read his shit. Goddamn, how fucking stupid do people have to be to pony up the cash to listen to some guy tell them to nuke their Facebook account and get off the internet? This is the cyber equivalent of collecting another person's feces and then selling it back to them with a sprig of parsley on top.

Here's the straight shit on Ev Bogue. This is a guy who does not want to work. The moment something becomes work for him he drops it. This is why he quit his job to become a minimalist with a blog. This is why he nuked that blog and flipped all the minimalists a giant fucking bird. And people pay him for this?

Vincent van Gogh was a broke motherfucker living on the patronage of his brother. You could make the credible case that Vince was a fucking bum. But he got up and painted every day, and he gave his brother the paintings. The guy had a work ethic even if he didn't have two nickels to rub together. Ev Bogue is the opposite of van Gogh. He gets up everyday and does nothing and manages to get paid for it. I have to give Ev credit. He is the smartest bum I have ever known.

I advocate minimalism as a thrifty response to a world gone mad on credit card fueled fantasies. I counsel minimalism as a sane response to a world filled with an overload of information. I think minimalism is the answer to the stress of not having enough time, money, and energy to fulfill the many projects we can pursue. But the key difference between me and many other minimalists is that I do not nor ever will tell people to embrace minimalism as an escape from work. Work is not the enemy. Work is your friend.

Ev talks about his "work" and his "craft." I don't see any work or craft. I just see this. This is the great insight Mr. Bogue gives us. I told you one thing. Now, I'm telling you to fuck off. By the way, you can buy my book for the low price of $17.

Ev Bogue is simply the most annoying person I know on the internet. This is the most charitable description I can give to a guy who expects the world to pay him for nothing. But the joke is on me because the world actually does pay him for nothing. The reality is that Everett Bogue is the Jackson Pollock of bloggers who turns nothing into celebrity and cash. But there is one key difference between Pollock and Bogue. Pollock had the decency to drink himself to oblivion and kill himself in a car wreck at age 44.

Here's a tip for Ev. Get a job. Do some work for a change. Fold up the yoga mat and wait some tables somewhere. Even Jesus had a job. Create something of real value instead of duping people into buying your bullshit books and then telling them to fuck off. As for fans of Everett Bogue, you need to wise the fuck up. Go read Thoreau. He will give you more, and it is free.

Q & A

Q: Have you ever considered producing a podcast or videos for YouTube?

A: It has crossed my mind. The cool thing about writing is that I can produce a ton of content with little effort. The same is not true for making podcasts and videos. Those eat time.

I am a fan of two people who do the podcast/video thing. The first is Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio who produces both podcasts and videos. The other is Jack Hunter better known as the "Southern Avenger" who does a weekly video that is usually under ten minutes. If I did a video, it would be a weekly thing and combine what those two guys do. The video would be short and more philosophically oriented in a sort of PowerPoint presentation.

I don't like watching people talk into a camera on YouTube. Most of the time, I just hit play and open some other window while I just listen. I have zero interest in making one of those videos. I like the way the Jack Hunter videos are. Here's an example:



This is way better than watching some talking head. But making a video like this takes time. First, you have to write it. Then, you have to put together a video presentation. Then, you have to edit it. That's a ton of work. It would be fun, but I don't know if I can logistically pull that off every week. But if I did it, the videos would be five minutes long at a maximum and cover more timeless subjects.

A podcast is a different beast. I would do thirty minute segments, and it would be interviews with various people. This would be easy to do with Skype and some recording software. But since it would require the cooperation of other people, I think it would be a doomed project. I have learned that working with others on creative projects is a certain path to disaster. An interview is a collaboration and matching my crazy schedule with someone new week in and week out is just a huge burden.

The other aspect is the quality aspect. I don't think I am the greatest blogger on the internet, but I do have a certain standard that I expect for my projects. This standard is what I believe I can deliver on a consistent basis. Imagine a guitar player who sings and plays his three chord songs. Then, he decides he wants to go Eddie Van Halen on people. I'm not Eddie Van Halen. I just keep it simple.

To do a broadcast medium, you have to speak well. I am a good speaker in terms of words and being able to be in front of people without losing my shit. I can do a Steve Jobs like presentation with no problem. But I don't have a pleasant voice. I think people gravitate to the medium they do the best in. For me, this has always been the printed word.

When people stray from their medium, it usually sucks. This is when a rock star tries his hand at acting. This is when an actor tries to be a rock star. I can say that I have never received positive feedback on my speaking abilities. I haven't received negative feedback either because I know I am competent as a speaker. I can get the job done. But I am like Gwyneth Paltrow singing country songs. I'm good enough to not embarrass myself, but nobody is going to flock to buy my albums.

I just write. I am good at that. I doubt I will ever win a Pulitzer or a Nobel. But I know that when my words hit the page, people find them worth reading. Those same words uttered in my usual Southern drawl monotone are not going to produce the same reaction as seeing them on the screen or the printed page. But then again, such considerations never stopped Bob Dylan.

The Cheese in the Mouse Trap



J.K. Rowling was living on welfare and scraping by. She would spend her days writing outlines for a series of books that were epic in nature. She wrote the first novel which was rejected by several publishers and would have been forgotten had it not been for the daughter of one of the people at Scholastic who read the first bit of the book and wanted to know how it ended. The company took a risk on the unknown author, and the Harry Potter books would go on to be the bestselling series of the last decade. Rowling is now the richest woman in the UK. She is even richer than Queen Elizabeth.

Now, this is a fabulous story of rags-to-riches. Yet, what made Rowling so successful? Is it because she is so talented? Or was it luck? Or was it a combination of both things? And should other aspiring writers quit their jobs and start writing stories about young wizards?

The fact is that you could repeat the story of Rowling all over again and remove one or two key pieces of luck, and she is someone that is waiting tables today in some restaurant or maybe teaching school somewhere. We know this because it happens to many other writers. Most aspiring writers of fiction make virtually nothing from their dream. Even the ones who do make it to print rarely make enough to live on from their royalties. They must supplement their incomes from other sources such as teaching or doing blue collar stuff.

We know Rowling made it by sheer dumb luck. We know this because we consider anyone else following in her footsteps to be foolish dreamers. It doesn't have to be the aspiring novelist. It could be the aspiring rock star, actor, politician, entrepreneur, etc. We have all heard the advice to boldly follow our dreams. The reality is that most of the people who follow their dreams end up in a nightmare.

The fact is that the example of Rowling and many others serve as bait. They are the cheese in various mouse traps meant to entice people into doing very foolish things with their lives. I see these traps everywhere. I see them in every lottery ticket I see at the convenience store. I see the trap of college as young people rack up debt that they expect to pay off with six figure jobs that don't exist. I see people working in crappy management jobs hoping to move up the chain and maybe become CEO. This isn't going to happen.

Here's a story I pulled from a messageboard:

I graduated 12/2001 as an Electrical Engineer. I worked hard and even did my own work, a very novel concept I learned. (Who knew that wouldn’t be such a hot time to enter the work force?) A year earlier, people in my major could expect to be hired right out of school for about 50-60k a year. I spent about 6 months looking for an Engineering job in an area I actually knew something about, it went nowhere. After 6 months of climbing the walls at home, I enrolled in a community college to take some welding and automotive classes. I really enjoyed them, but never really expected to finish the program. In May 2004, I finished the Automotive Technology program. In July, I moved to the San Jose area in search of an entry level engineering job, I would have taken just about anything. When I did get a bite, I would get a call and said they would get back to me. They never did. I took a job at a car dealership fixing cars, it didn’t quite work out and after a couple of months, I decided to cut my losses (It ain’t cheap to live in San Jose), put all my stuff in storage, and moved BACK IN with my parents in lovely Phoenix, AZ. There is very little here for engineers and even less for engineers with my technical interests.

I actually called a couple of companies and inquired about the status of my resume in San Jose. One HR person told me I didn’t have enough experience to be considered for an “Engineer 2" position. Realistically, anyone with a pulse and the ability to take direction could have done it – no college degree was necessary. I asked if I could be an Engineer 1. “No, we don’t have those.” Well how do you get to Engineer 2 if you can’t get the requisite experience? “You go to another company.” Well, there aren’t many companies that do this. “Well, then vote your conscience (inferred vote Kerry) in the upcoming election.” Yeah, like that would have made a difference. I gleaned that this company wasn’t serious about really filling the job. The posting sat on their website for months. I don’t know if this HR experience was typical for San Jose, but the serious lack of hiring was. There was nothing, even temp agencies had few jobs. I recently ran into an Engineer with 23 years of experience who was now working at a Ford dealership in the San Francisco peninsula area. It just sucks out there. He had been out of work nearly 2 years.

So here I am – 28 years old, living with my parents once again, and still no realistic job possibilities. I have more education than I know what to do with and I’m still not qualified to do anything. (It seems I need a Masters and 5 years of x, y, z to be considered for anything above janitor.) My life has been on hold for 4 years. I figured I would buy a new car when I got my first job out of college, which doesn’t seem to be happening. I’m fortunate I know how to fix the one I have. I figured I could deal with high deductible health insurance because it was cheap and I’d have better insurance as soon as I got a job. I’ve had the same crappy health insurance since 2001 and fear having to use it. If I developed any conditions, they could be excluded from new coverage. I really thought I would have been part of a large group health plan by now

There is no light at the end of the tunnel and I’m more convinced than ever that higher education is America’s most overrated product. In short, I’m a very unhappy camper. I appear to be in good company.


This was written in 2005 before the housing bubble burst and the economy went to shit. I don't know if this guy ever got a job in his field or what he is doing today. The reason the story is so fascinating to me is because this was happening long before the recession, and this guy has a technical major. This is not the English major working at Starbucks.

Here's a controversial viewpoint, but it is one that I stand behind. That unemployed electrical engineer was every bit as deluded as the English major thinking she was going to be the next J.K. Rowling. He went for the cheese in the trap, and the trap broke his fucking neck. This is because the conventional wisdom that if you go to college and get a degree in something marketable (like electrical engineering) you will be on the first class express to being middle class. If you read his story, you can see where the cheese was. A year earlier, people in my major could expect to be hired right out of school for about 50-60k a year. That sounds really familiar to me because when I was in college they were saying that comp sci majors could make $60K to start. There must be something magical about that $60K figure. Right now, the hot major is petroleum engineering, and I bet they are quoting $60K for that job, too.

All of this crap is just symptomatic of the higher ed bubble. Because of the bubble, tuition has skyrocketed. Student loan debts are at an all time high. Graduates struggle to pay off the loans. There are no jobs waiting for them. But all of this dances around the fundamental issue which gets overlooked. The biggest problem in this bubble is the fact that too many people go to college, and no amount of news about the bubble is deterring them from going in much the same way that the vast majority of failed writers does not keep people from trying to be the next J.K. Rowling. But there is a big difference between Rowling and these college kids. The price of her failure was merely a humdrum boring life. The price of their failure is a lifetime of debt.

I am an elitist. I don't think everyone should go to college. Yet, everyone is going to college. They are all cramming into universities and financing it courtesy of Sallie Mae. They expect to have office jobs pulling down six figures when they graduate. But this is a delusion. The cost of their pride and ambition is working menial jobs and watching it all go to pay for their useless degrees. Our unemployed electrical engineer is actually an electrician. But he opted to go to college instead of taking an apprenticeship with an electrician. The result is that he makes less money than a journeyman electrician.

Are these delusions the product of federal student loan aid? Nope. The delusions have always been there. I talk to a lot of baby boomer types who express regret that they didn't go to college, but I set their minds at ease. I tell them they didn't have the brains to go to college, and it is true. I don't say this as an insult but in the same spirit that I might tell someone like myself that I don't have the looks to make it as a model. But that is the nature of that cheese in the trap. It traps some mice and makes others say, "I could have had that cheese."

The reality is that the majority of us are average people. That is basic elementary statistics. I learned some time ago to not measure myself by the outliers but by the mean. This goes against the conventional wisdom to "reach for the stars." But measured against the mean, my life is pretty damn good. The fact that I don't have a bunch of debts actually makes me better off than the average person who carries over $3K in debt on credit cards and over $10K in total debt. I have zero. I have more in savings than people have in debt. I'm not rich, and I don't feel rich. I'm just a mouse who didn't go after the cheese.

The way to avoid the trap is to be humble. I have learned this lesson. It is the most valuable lesson I have ever learned. Be humble as the dust. I think you have to get to a certain age to appreciate that lesson. Some people never learn that lesson. The misery of this age is that everyone is working, striving, borrowing, and pretending to be more than they actually are. This is ambition, but it has a high cost. That cost is tremendous failure, poverty, and despair.

The lesson of humility is not a popular one. Thrift and hard work are not popular either. But those are the values that will serve you well in life. I posted a link for an article on Facebook that talked about how few high schoolers were considering the trades as a career option, and it got the typical response you would expect. Those jobs are dirty, low paying, destructive of the body, and exposes you to the elements. The person who made these remarks went on to say that a person couldn't get by on less than $65K a year. I thought this was odd considering I don't make that much. In fact, 90% of the population makes less than $75K a year. The median income is around $40K which is what I make. I do just fine.

Today, our college educated youth can expect to have a lower income than their high school educated parents. The reason for this is because too many people are going to college. You can't make everyone above average. I am someone who did go to college, and I can tell you the jobs I can take requiring a college degree don't pay any better than the blue collar job I have now. Faced with this reality, I had to decide which I liked better. Did I want to teach school or work in management somewhere? Or did I want to keep doing blue collar work? The answer for me was simple. I had more fun being blue collar, so I went that way and have not regretted it. If I can't be rich, I at least want to be happy.

I find myself in the middle of two worlds. It was like this for me in high school, and it continues for me to this day. I have snobs on one side, and I have blue collars on the other side. The one thing the snobs and the blue collars have in common is the belief that the snobs are better people and are better off. Being educated, I know better. My knowledge has not made me richer, but it has made me more content. For that reason, I do not regret going to college or reading all those books after college. My life is no different than if I had simply not gone to college in terms of career or income, but it is profoundly different in that I appreciate the life I have in a way that others in my peer group never can. I have traveled to an exotic land and discovered it to be a shithole, so I laugh a bit when people yearn to visit that exotic land. I have been there and know better.

I don't expect people to change their thinking on these things. I don't see a massive rush for people suckered by the system to go learn a blue collar trade. At least our electrical engineer had the good sense to go learn welding and auto repair. For most people, their trade is what they settle for instead of what they aim for. I see a growing number of people who began on an ambitious route but are now on the humble path. I have already rubbed shoulders with engineers, fired middle managers, people with master's degrees, and what have you in my blue collar world. I have even been envied by people who have good white collar jobs they hate.

I know this is not a popular message. This isn't the dream. This is the reality. But think about it like a dream. Imagine a job that you enjoy doing everyday. You do the job, and it is demanding. But at the end of the day, you feel good about that job both physically and mentally. You go to sleep at night, and you sleep soundly. You have no moral conflicts or regrets. You don't make six figures, but you aren't scraping by either. You live a modest life in a modest home. Your stress levels are low. There isn't a day that goes by that you don't have a dozen hearty laughs. I don't have to dream this life because it is my life.

What people want is the status. That is the cheese in that trap. People would rather make less working in an office than make more working as a plumber. They would rather be miserable on the corporate ladder than be happy as a wage earner. They would rather compromise their integrity than live with honor. What does all this pride and ambition bring? All that happens is the trap springs, and your neck is broken.


MONDAY

1. Super Clap is joining MRSA as the new superbug that can't be cured with antibiotics. I would make a joke, but this shit ain't funny.

2. Folks in Southern California want to secede and create "South California." They don't want LA for obvious reasons.

3. Apple is suing me for patent infringement because I touched myself.

4. Things are not looking good for a debt deal in Washington. Things are so bad that Uncle Sam now has to show two forms of ID to cash a check.

5. Assange gets his extradition hearing for that non-rape rape he did. The irony is that he is almost certainly going to be raped by the Swedish judicial system. I wonder if he can press charges for "sex by surprise."

6. My cellphone was hacked, and my voice messages intercepted. The only thing they heard was a reminder from Blockbuster back in 07 that I had a movie out. That is kinda old news.

7. Chivalry is dead because women killed it.

8. Michelle Bachmann is right. Blacks fared better under slavery because sometimes the white master would feed the slave before raping her.

[SOC]

I am banging this out right before I have to go to work. Facebook is down due to a site issue. I was reading an article that says they built the platform on MySQL that is not optimal for a site like Facebook because they put it together with no idea how big it would blow up. The site needs to start over from scratch, but they can't. They are chained to decisions made when Fuckerberg was just some pimply ass college geek.

A bunch of people are adding me on Google+, but I am not ready to rock hard on that platform anytime soon. It has to reach a critical mass for me to spend the time on it. I was a late adopter to Facebook, but I got up to speed fairly quickly.

G+ will succeed to the extent that Facebook will fail. Facebook does a lot of dumb shit to piss off its users. This is because Mark Fuckerberg is a clueless socially inept shit-for-brains fucking dork. That company's biggest liability is its founder. Fuckerberg is the anti-Steve Jobs. That site would be worth more if that fool stepped away from the company.

This brings us to the left brain/right brain thing. You need both to really succeed today. This is what Steve Jobs was able to do. That guy has the brain of both a geek and an artist. I was reading where the most valuable people in tech today are people who are both designers and engineers.

I am a minimalist when it comes to lifestyle, but when it comes to work and skills, I am a maximalist. I believe in the Renaissance ideal in that regard. The most valuable people are the ones with a diversified skill set and who never stop learning.

Off to work.


Ron Paul 2012

Is Twitter Worth the Time?



I hear it all the time. "You've got to be on Twitter." Well, I am on Twitter, and I don't see the big deal. Trust me, I've tried to find something redeeming in that platform, but I can't. Then, I happened across this infographic which tells the real story of Twitter:



Basically, Twitter is a platform for celebrities and important people to keep in touch with followers. Otherwise, it is a waste. It isn't social the way Facebook is. The only real advantage of Twitter is that it allows you to have more than 5000 followers. This is ideal for people in the public eye like Lance Armstrong. But for the rest of us, it really makes no sense.

I asked the question on Facebook about whether Twitter was worth the time. The response was an overwhelming NO. Most people on the internet just find no value in Twitter. Twitter has 106 million users while Facebook has 500 million. People will say that this is an apples vs. oranges comparison, but you can keep people notified just as easily on Facebook.

I break it down like this. There are two things you can do with Twitter. You can broadcast, and you can receive. As a broadcast medium, Twitter absolutely sucks. Unless you are some kind of famous person, it just isn't worth it. It is on the reception end that Twitter rocks.

If you are someone who uses Twitter simply as a tool for listening to others, it is superb. This is Twitter's "secret." Because the tweets are short, timely, and from people who matter and know what the fuck is going on, the platform is very good at giving you immediate news. But how many people need this sort of thing?

Twitter appeals to the young and to those with extremely short attention spans. For the rest of us, it makes a quick news aggregator especially if you are using a smartphone. I have a dumbphone, so I don't use Twitter on the go.

My advice is to use Twitter in the same way you would use Google News or a feed reader. Just read and forget tweeting. For the most part, Twitter is dead.

Quotable Quotes

It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

The essence of the liberal position is the denial of all privilege.
F. A. HAYEK

The tricks and artifices of advertising are available to the seller of the better product no less than to the seller of the poorer product. But only the former enjoys the advantage derived from the better quality of his product.
LUDWIG VON MISES

More frightening than any particular beliefs or policies is an utter lack of any sense of a need to test those beliefs and policies against hard evidence. Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts ... dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.
THOMAS SOWELL

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
DOUGLAS ADAMS