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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Zombie Post...

It’s 3am and I am just not tired!?!? Last week was my exam block and I am SO RELIEVED, grade 11 is over, I can relax and be done with school. :). The only problem is, in my exam week I survived by drinking ‘V’ and Red Bull and other caffeinated drinks to keep me awake to study. So for the last two days I’ve been sleeping (haven’t gotten out of bed for TWO days!!). My sleep patterns are totally out of wack. I’ve tried warm milk (which was disgusting! who in their right mind would drink warm milk?), I read the whole of nineteen eighty-four by George Orwell. From 6pm – 2am and can I just add that George Orwell has managed to prove to me that ‘War is Peace’. That’s a pretty hard thing to do but he is a freaking legend. His predictions have come true, in saying that, if they hadn’t then it wouldn’t be a classic and that’d just screw him up.
ANYWAY, there is so much about nineteen eighty-four that I want to talk about but I’ll make a blog in detail and in sense (when I’m not a half zombie) sometime in the not-too-distant future.

I also want to thank my fiveawesomefollowers :) (That could totally be a Youtube channel). It made my day when I signed in two days ago to find I had one more follower. Five seems so insignificant compared to the people I follow but it has really been great and I get so excited when people agree with me on something. I hope what I say makes sense, they really are just random thoughts I have over the days. I’m glad to know I’m not crazy.

Thankyou guys, you’re awesome

Jess

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sorry

A apologize for the religious posts lately, I don’t mean any harm by them or to offend people. I received some rather rude emails from yahoo answer people about my religious answer to one of the questions. But I refuse to sit here and be slammed by people who don’t know what their talking about. It infuriates me. I am entitled to an opinion and I will have that opinion. Also – another thing that has spurred my sudden anger about religion – the local church up the road is putting signs everywhere about Jesus, when I say everywhere; I mean every second street light pole, flyers in everyone’s letter-boxes. Enough is enough! If they had any respect for others beliefs they would keep the postings to a minimal. One here and there is fine but I reckon church has become the biggest social scene. It has stopped being about God, and having a communal relationship with God. It’s a big advertisement. Also, the pictures of Jesus in churches; he is always nice looking and WHITE. People who were around Jerusalem and everywhere Jesus was were BLACK. Jesus if he existed was black. (I head two elderly ladies talking on the train about racial names towards people, then they had the nerve to say that white people belong in churches because white is so pure and black is so tainted and whatever)

People make me sick they really do, not all people, just the majority of the population. It’s disgusting.

You Think You're Open-Minded?

Whenever I head the words “you should be open-minded”, they are often spoken by a person talking about God. I say something like “There’s no evidence of a God” and they say “You have to be open-minded” – like there might be evidence in the future or something.

I regard open-mindedness as not being the opposite of closed-mindedness. If closed minded is ignorant and they won’t listen to reason, does that mean open-mindedness will listen to reason? I don’t think so.

Here’s what I think,
If you are “open-minded”, that means that you accept assertions that are arbitrary without evidence. Open-minded people by the definitions (from people you hear on streets on internet or whatever) is someone who accepts things uncritically, does not think about them, does not reject them based on reason, evidence or reality. So open-minded that we accept anything – If someone says there are gremlins on the other side of the moon who make busses for a living – you have to be open minded about that. You can’t be closed minded; you can’t just ignore the possibilities. So if someone says there’s someone in the sky who created the world and everything in it. Are you going to be open-minded about that?

It’s a false Dichotomy to say either you’re open minded or closed-minded. The correct alternative is to go straight down the middle. You’re like the open-minded person; you accept things you aren’t sure of if there’s evidence for them. And, you’re like the closed-minded person because you have principals that you won’t question. Like for example the fact you exist, the fact that you’re conscious and the fact that things around you are what they are. You’re not going to question those things, you’re closed minded on that subject. Yet you’re open-minded about certain other subjects, if someone shows evidence.

Now, this is simply an objective attitude; an attitude of objectivity. Not open-minded, not closed-minded but objective.

This can be related to Pecov’s ‘D.I.M’ hypothesis. – I’m just going to look at the idea of God, but it can be related to heaps of different things.

Disintegrated mentality – the agnostics, someone could go to an agnostic person and say “I have evidence of God because I have found Noah’s Ark” – He’s going to say “oh okay, I’ll accept that as a possibility, However I don’t think it’s conclusive” Then the person’s going to come to him again, and tell him about the Gremlins on the far side of the moon, and he will say “Okay, I don’t have evidence against that, I’m going to be open-minded”. He doesn’t want to think, he’s not going to say it’s not possible, he doesn’t need evidence he has an open-mind – which is a scattered mentality in my opinion.

Misintegrated mentality – the Theists. They are going to say “There is a God; I know there’s a God because there’s a book called the bible. I prey to God every night and he answers my prayers.” They might tell a story about how they were out of petrol one time, and they preyed to God and suddenly the Petrol gage went right up. (An old lady told me this when I was in a church with my grand-parents one time, a long time ago). – I personally don’t believe it – so the Misintegrated person believes in a God, they know there’s a God, and they’ve seen evidence. They are going to ignore any sort of logic or reason that says you can’t have anyone be all powerful or all-knowing. They’re going to ignore the logical idea that God is an Anthropormorphisation of nature. Man saying nature can’t exist by itself; it has to exist by someone’s will-power. Because humans don’t understand anything, except for their own will-power. Will-power’s what makes everything move. That’s why the Indians had a spirit for every tree and rock and stone and every rainstorm and everything had its own volition because it wasn’t nature, it wasn’t natural for water to run down a hill. It was the spirit of the stream that wanted that water to run down hill. They project volition, they project thinking and desire and will power towards nature. When I do something, it’s because I choose to. So when nature does something, it’s because some spirit chooses to. Same with the earth and sun; so some spirit must have chosen to so there’s a God there. So they’re going to ignore evidence and logic, they have their principal and they’re done talking about it, they are misintegrated.

Integrated mentality – Atheists. “There is not a God”. There’s no wishy-washy rubbish, and allowing everyone to come to them about gremlins and Gods and what not. So they are not being arbitrary or ridiculous. Nor are they tying themselves to a principal that is not in reality. They accept evidence only in reality and accept it only if it is true. They accept logic and reason. They are atheists.

That is what Open-minded Vs Closed-minded is, a false dichotomy. Based on a total misunderstanding of thinking and the role on concepts and ideas etc.

So the next time someone tells you to be open-minded, you tell them you’re not open-minded. Because when you do, you’re brain usually falls out...

Religion

I’ve been thinking of writing this post for some time now,

I was a Christian, I also thought myself as an Alterist for some time (Taking parts of different religions and making my own). Up until the age of a14 I thought Alterism was true and real – this is before I read anything by Ayn Rand –. I used to think the ethics of Christianity were right, true and good, and that Mysticism and Alterism were a corruption. So I came up with the idea to throw away all the Gods in the sky, every society comes up with its own God so how does one choose. But I thought we should save Alterism and all the ethics of self sacrifice of “love thy neighbour”, and that pride and egoism are evil. Then I thought about the cardinal values in Christianity that were convincing to me – before I found objectivism – and I looked through psalms, some of the things I found attractive about the Christian ethics, one main thing was that you shouldn’t gain your sense of worth from other people (not be influenced by other people) but that you should gain your sense of self worth from yourself.

The way that is explained in the bible – the way ‘Christ’ explains in his teachings – was, for example, that people would prey out on the streets, throwing money away and religion was a big showcase for society. “Be even like those why prey in their closet with the door closed” – from the bible. So don’t just prey in you house, but prey inside your closet…then it went on to say… “Your reward will be in heaven or the kingdom of heaven shall have your reward or whatever.

Now, that didn’t convince me, I was agnostic against a heaven and an afterlife but I was – and still am – convinced that people who go around, trying to impress others PREACHING, are WRONG. I don’t think they know what the purpose of life is.

Christianity looks ridiculous to me now. It’s asinine to say a person who gets their self worth from others is self-centred and proud. How can you be self-centred and proud if you’re focused on other people and what they think of you?

So I was ripe for objectivism, because I’d already realised what’s important in life is what’s true, and not what other people think, and what’s important for you to achieve you’re happiness, what’s important for you to live your life, for you to be right and feel good what you wake up each day, and knowing that what you do is morally right. It’s NOT what you convince other people of.

e.g. the right to go to church: The bible says, “Thou shall not dwell in temples made from hands” – as though you needed anything – the point of it was that if you really worshipped in God, then you can worship him by going out into the field preying, you don’t need temples made from hands. ‘God’ does not need a house to live in, he made everything. So why do we have churches? I thought that was contradictory. I thought that if religion was truly a connection from a person to a ‘God’. Then that’s all it needs to be. Then we wouldn’t have all the humdrum of going to church and bustling around with other people and being part of a social scene. If it’s a connection between you and God, that’s all it needs to be.

So I’ve rejected religion and Mysticism because I said wait a minute, there’s Zeus, Gods of Buddha, Viking Gods, every other God, God of the old testament and God of the new testament – so not even the bible can make up it’s mind – so I’ve thrown religion out. I was an Atheist (before I found objectivism).

I thought I was an Alterist Christian, then I discovered that not only is religion wrong, but Alterism is also wrong.

I think most people who become Atheists (not emo’s and Goths who just want everything to die, and also say it to piss people off). I’m talking about the people who are physically convinced of Atheism. I think those people are different from an earlier age – not sure how early –. I think they think about things differently and for a long time they make their decision that they are an Atheist. That’s how it was with me, even before being influenced by Ayn Rands books I had come to the conclusion that Religion was evil. So Christianity was out – the whole shebang – the God who brought it in, the Christ who died for it and the reasons for its existence are all nonsense, and that’s where I stand.

Atheism is logic, do you good to take a good dose of it. It is simply honesty, in the face of the facts of reality. I think some people end up believing in God because they are so scared of a world where nothing matters, that they are going to die and that’s the end of them. They want some eternal record of their soul. Believing in God is egotistical – egoism, good egotisticalism, not its egotistical to form a God, and to think your soul is that important. I have respect for my soul, and I don’t want to degrade it with unfounded, arbitrary beliefs and not to trick it into a false sense of security.

I think there are more important things than to fight religion, fighting religion is fine, fighting socialism needs to happen and fighting irrationality. (If you think socialism is dead look at Venus Whalen) They are just going to collapse, that’s true, but people are still doing this, still believing this. What lies in the future if we don’t change the trend. My own focus in thinking and ideas and philosophy is not so much on religion, exposing how ludicrous religion is, is fun. But at the end of the day it’s silly, it’s an old institution and you have to have total faith to believe it. I’d rather debate things with people that at least agrees there is not God.

I might be attacking religion in different ways. I just wanted to note that I’m against religion, but I think there are more important things to do. A lot of people identify with me because I’m an Atheist. The next minute they are against me for supporting capitalism or say we should trade with 3rd world countries or whatever. Atheists are a small group, something like 10% or something.

ANYWAY

Don’t get offended, this is where I stand and I’m just putting it out there.

Thanks for reading :)

Jess

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Spirit

My school is BIG on the idea of ‘spirit’. We suck at almost every sport there is (generally coming 8th out of 9 schools) and because of this, we try and make ourselves feel better by having a mentality that reads ‘yeah, well we lost, but we had way more spirit than you guys’.

REALLY!?!?

This is just some dumb excuse the seniors of ’07 came up with so that people would continue to participate no matter how bad you suck. I admit, it works….that is, with the younger grades, don’t get me wrong I think having this ‘spirit’ is a good thing in sport, however, it doesn’t need to be known or said out loud. It’s like good sportsmanship – you shouldn’t have to be told not to run away and cry like a baby wen you lose, but to be fair and honest and just be pleased that you did your best. But again; NO ONE SAYS THESE THINGS, they are something you learn with experience.

Also we have had numerous ‘war cry practices’ in assembly. I love spending ten minutes of my lunch time yelling in a crowded room…not.

On a totally unrelated topic, I passed Modern History :) - I’m happy, Also we are starting a new unit on china (YAAAAAAY….or not) and we’ve been talking about Mao – with his little red book.

Now the nerd that I am already did some reading about Mao and China, the only problem was, I was pronouncing it M-AY-O (like mayonnaise). I found out recently that you say M-OW or MEOW. But there is one good thing that came from MAYO,


Yes this is how I spend my free time…don’t judge me

I’m going to end this with a note to my epic friend Claire TO GET SOME FORM OF INTERNET PAGE :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What makes a book a 'good' book?

For Extension English we have to create a response to a quote by Italo Calvino 'Every reading of a classic is in fact a re-reading.' This question has been in my head for the last three weeks and FINALLY I have come up with an answer:


The word ‘Literature’ can be defined as the body of written works of a language about a particular period, or culture. For a book to become a ‘Literary Classic’, it needs to possess certain definable elements. It must contain a universal message, which can appeal to the reader via their capacity to relate in some way, whether it be through appeal to specific emotions, events in life, political views or even views on society or particular standards in a society. A classic needs to transcend the ordinary; for example it might ‘dare’ to challenge accepted social or moral boundaries. This is clearly evident in the Jane Austen series, where moral conscience outweighs traditional societal expectations of the time. The reader can relate to the trials and tribulations of the characters and often find themselves able to translate the incidents which befall the novel’s character to incidents affecting them in their own lives.

The reader needs to be able to relate to and understand the motivations of the author. ‘classics,’ needs to express elements of morality and it should makes a valued judgment on aspects of life which influence or impact human beings. A classic often serves to draw attention to moral issues or dilemmas, and it should applaud or condemn certain points of view. A classic often challenges particular viewpoints popular at the time the novel was set, and the reader can clearly identify the purpose the author has for doing so.

A piece of classical literature should include effective language. The type and style of language needs to be appropriate for the point or message of the text. Finally, classics need to have a level of truthfulness and sincerity; the reader must be able to relate to the moral message of the particular classical literature. Many classics make statements or judgments on the status of women, the morality of a society of different classes and the inequity that often results as a consequence of this. These examples remain prevalent as much in today’s society as they were at the time of writing of many of the recognized classics.

A classic needs to maintain lasting interest for the reader. These types of novels are eternal, and their universal message is so strong that they will withstand the test of time and can be open to modern interpretation. ‘A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say’ – Italo Calvino.

The statement by Italo Calvino; ‘Every reading of a classic is in fact a re-reading,’ can be a description or an interpretation of a ‘Literary Classic”. In essence a classic is simply a retelling of an age old moral statement or pronouncement that can transcend each historical era and relate in some tangible way to modern times.

I hope that makes sense, I'd like to remember this response and that is the reason for posting it - my intention was not to bore you to death, i just want to keep a record of this to see if my writing improves - I think that's the main reasons I'm keeping this blog. Unlike my journal, this seems to be a more constructive way of tackling questions that make me think, instead of the 'Just because' way of thinking i seem to portray in my journal.

One more thing, I've hit almost 7, 500 words for NaNoWriMo, I was extremely annoyed that the website that keeps track of my writing has decided to revert to '0' I have no idea why, but now the graph says I hadn't started writing until yesterday, when in actual fact I started on 2/11. - Just a tad annoyed.

besides that I have exams fast approaching - this year has gone so fast it's unbelievable. I spent long, tiresome days in middle school, wishing my senior year would come, and now it's like time is just falling away, the start of the year feels like yesterday and assignments are all due tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Poetry

Let me just start by saying: IT'S NaNoWriMo MONTH! This year I vow to finish, although I've gotten off to a slow start. It's the 4/11/'10 today and I have only written near 2000 words. I have never finished a NaNoWriMo before; I found it last year and only got to 35000 words. But NaNoWriMo isn't what I want to talk about today.

Poetry - In English I've started learning about poetry, (again, I have done it in the past) but I always thought I hated poetry, I thought that if it didn't rhyme then it wasn’t a poem and couldn’t be classified as poetry because I thought it was just shotty and scrappy and didn’t make any sense.

I was wrong – really wrong – You need to have a complete open mind while reading poetry, and really put yourself in the poet’s position (This really only applies to pre 19C poetry but I guess it’s still relevant with anything). If you put yourself in their position and ignore the fact that you are against feminists and against religion or whatever, and just see what they see, you begin to realize that these poets who wrote in the time they did were some of the wisest people and were taking on the questions and emotions that define us.

I’m studying Christina Rossetti, I think although her poems are about religion – she was a very religious person and grew up with it – She write about femininity and about how men are evil, firstly in the Victorian Era women WERE treated badly, as much as I disagree with that today, back then it would have been hard for her, and secondly men ARE evil – I don’t mean that literally just think about it and I think you’ll agree –. Her poems are fruitful and beautiful and for those people who think that poetry is for angst-ridden teens, hopeless romantics and the aforementioned weirdos in berets, those people clearly have little understanding about tackling something from an objectivist’s perspective.

Poetry isn’t bound to the depressing emo poetry you write in middle school, as soon as you deconstruct it, you realize that it is a lot harder and more complex than just rhyming words.

Poetry, good poetry that is, bites and stings. It arouses your senses. It burns a hole in your brain. It stimulates your imagination. You think, "I never thought it like that before." Yet, It (whatever it is) was always there for everyone to see. A fork in the road - some snow in the woods at night - some gold rushers slugging it out in a Yukon saloon… the difference is the view that the writer brings to the reader. And that has made all the difference ages.