Friday, August 31, 2007

Music makes the people come together into a beast of doom

So if you the reader have paid any attention to my webpost you may have noticed it is at times slightly irregular in frequency. And by slightly I mean often, and by if you have paid any attention I mean if you have not you're a bum, and not just an ordinary bum, a mega-bum. But I think I have discovered an easy way to pump out a post that if it is not full is at least worth looking at and can keep a regular schedule. That is what I am going to do here, take 5 very good songs, and give links to lyrics and music videoes (their actual music videos and/or AMVs (anime music videos)). This way I can point out some nice and perhaps undervalued or appreciated but worth looking at again songs to my readers and thus do them a service even when I am not able to pump out a full post. Now the danger here is that I will become reliant on this method and my real posts will become even more irregular. Ah that is a real danger. But with change there is danger, with life there is danger, but I am a dangerous one myself, and so I Rand the Mighty and Glorious plunge in, "once more into the breach."

Unfortunately, sometimes even this meager goal is outside my time limitations, if I can I'll put up some videos and show you what I'm thinking of later.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Shottie your brain

I'm liking Riding Shotgun. It's got great music, nice visuals, a good atmosphere, and that sense of being part of something new but something that could be good. I like this idea of iManga. It's low-stress on Video cards so that it can be watched casually and produced low budget. Yet visually it's appealing. However, the bounty hunter setting is a bit cliche, even if it is part of the reason the atmosphere is good. The main character is also pretty cliche, the jaded bounty hunter, and I really haven't seen much depth with the characters yet. The main character isn't greatly likable either. The female lead seems better but I haven't got a good hold of her and I'm sort of reserving judgement until I have her full backstory. But anyways, I am liking the product as a whole. Given that these episodes are maybe a minute or two long, perhaps designed for cell-phones, and there's only 4 so far, I can't really give a judgement on it yet, but I will give it a SHOULD WATCH rating.

Here's ep. 1 + links to the other episodes:

Riding Shotgun iManga Episode 1

Riding Shotgun iManga Episode 2

Riding Shotgun iManga Episode 3

Riding Shotgun iManga Episode 4

A is A, and in any universe Luthor is Luthor

Just a little Justice League quote there. Doesn't really have to do much with anything, but it's a nice one, even if it actually wrong (the second part, not the first part which is the central basis of all actual logic) as is demonstrated in numerous alternate universe adventures in the Justice League and Superman comics, and to some extent in the one alternate universe adventure of the Justice League show.

But I just wanted to gripe a little, hopefully not just a wah-wah gripe, but something a little bit more significant. I remember Marget Cho once commented on the reaction to the Dixie Chicks disliking Bush controversy by saying that something along the lines of "yeah, sure, artists aren't supposed to comment on society." I see her point, artists are often very important commentators on society, but I think she misses some of the point of the Dixie Chicks controversy and the more general controversy over actors and musicians making political statements.

The thing is, most actors and musicians who make political statements have not established themselves with any legitimacy in the political sphere, so when they talk it's just like any normal guy making a statement, it's forgettable, and when they make a big deal about their political statements, it seems like a normal guy statement loudly, which can be annoying. An artist or actor or musician usually has some insight into his craft, he can be said to be an expert on that; often artists dwell especially on a subject matter, and if their work on that subject matter is high quality, they can be said to be an expert on that; but on all other subjects, I have to say I have no reason to believe the artist is an expert on those subjects and unless he's bringing some evidence to the table I have no reason to believe him.

That's why an actor or actress or musician known largely for personal material that has little to do with politics except in the most indirect sense has no special credentials to be talking about politics. But to be fair, and it is generally a good idea to be fair, some artists are personally well informed about politics even if their art doesn't show it. Part of the negative reaction to non-political artists speaking politically is the belief that the artist is essentially the sum of his or her art, and if that body of work does not include political pieces that person couldn't possibly know politics. But even non-political artists can know politics. They can know politics, but they might not on the other hand. They have about as much of a chance as any other person of knowing politics. But hey, people not famous in the political sphere sometimes come up with amazing political insights, so we shouldn't rule people out just because they have no political credentials, but we should look carefully at the evidence they bring to the table, and those people should not expect otherwise (of course, even with people with credentials we should examine the evidence they bring to the table, but if we don't have time to follow all their analysis, or don't understand the issues very well, but based on their other work in politics we trust the person to be an expert in politics, ie they have some credentials, we might be willing to be a little easier on their positions).

The same goes for other people who might be highly educated in one field, but don't have any credentials about politics. Like scientists for example. When a scientist says this congressman is bad or good and has not made known any political credentials or any good evidence, his opinion is only about as good as the next guy on the street. Just because you might be an expert on physics doesn't mean that you're an expert on politics. However, you might be, if say politics was a hoppy of yours that you indulged a lot. But then don't expect anyone to give you any slack because you're a scientist, show you know your stuff and support your point. I've known a lot of people who know a whole lot about science or math or computers, etc. but don't know anything about politics.

If I seem a bit harsh, perhaps it is because I'd like to be listen to a little more about politics, but I think my point stands pretty well. After all I am Rand, and that gives me credentials on all subjects including the subject of credentials. Because I'm just that awesome.

So anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And we keep swerving in and out of life

I'm feeling more or less crap like, or maybe it's just the time of the day or the thoughts that just seem to keep coming.
Blah, blah, blah
So anyhow:
Here's something old for now, an essay I wrote a while back that's pretty nice, if inteneded for an odd purpose

The purpose of schooling is to prepare people for life. This means teaching skills, concepts, methods and ways of thinking. It also means teaching how a person should live their life. This is a core value of the liberal arts education, one Cicero explained more than two thousand years ago when defending his teacher Archias. There are many ways to approach this goal, a teacher could explain the different doctrines of philosophy, great figures of the past and present can be presented as examples of different ways of living, and great books can be used to mentally and emotionally connect students to the great questions of life. In most schools, the last approach is used, usually in English or literature classes. This was the case in my school, and in my classes I was exposed to books containing scores of different answers of how to live one?s life. One book that particularly affected me was The Great Gatsby and its philosophy helped me through a very difficult time in my life.
During my high school years, I suffered from manic-depression and this disease often reduced me to thoughts of suicide. To defend myself against such thoughts it was necessary for me to construct a philosophy which would justify my life. To construct this philosophy I drew upon my religion, family, friends, experiences, achievements, failures and books. The Great Gatsby was one of the books which helped me to create that philosophy.
The Great Gatsby talked about the American dream, about the glorious potential of the human spirit and this helped me appreciate my own potential and worthiness to live. The story was of a man who had a dream and strove to completely redefine himself. The fact that his dream was flawed and that he was ultimately unsuccessful was not important, the man became something glorious in the effort. At least, that is my interpretation of the story. But that interpretation was very moving to me, it gave me hope that even if I had problems that made my life difficult, if I pursued my dreams I did not have to succeed to be a success.
However, the effect the book had on me would not be nearly as potent was it not for the in-depth analysis that accompanied it in my junior year American Literature class. My junior year reading of The Great Gatsby was actually the second time I read the book, I had read it a year or two before and found it a very good but not a great book. However, the analysis of the book that was done in my class showed me that not only was the book great, but it was inspiring. In this class, Gatsby?s American Dream was placed into the context of American literature and compared to Benjamin Franklin?s Autobiography. The characters other than Gatsby were also analyzed in ways that contrasted and complemented Gatsby?s role in the book. The language and era and events were examined and explicated. With the help of my able American Literature teacher Mr. Sullivan, and a class with healthy peer discussions, I was able to understand the book and take in its themes, ideas, and feel. I took this understanding of the book and drew from it an idea of glory, which I then incorporated into my life philosophy and that philosophy became my best defense against thoughts of suicide and self-hate.
Through my American Literature class I was exposed to the Great Gatsby and it was then analyzed in a way that enhanced the reading process and left me with ideas that helped me battle personal demons. My story shows the potential of a good literature class. It can shape an individual by exposing him to ideas and philosophies, both new and old, expressed in an excellent manner. Plato found danger in exposing people to philosophy at a young age, since young people are prone to radicalism and the reckless wholesale rejection of tradition. In my mind, this is a very real threat, but my experience has taught me that not teaching young people philosophy is an even greater threat. As a person turns into an adult he must decide how to direct his life, and without an idea of why this life is good or this life is bad, people become mentally and spiritually lost. If I was lost when I was in high school, I would lack the will to resist my disease and would likely be dead. That is why my English and literature classes were so important to me and are important to every student. The road of life is often dark, and books, when understood, can be valuable street lamps.

And they left bloody footprints in the snow

A writer who wrote a book called the Three Georges or something like that, compared the current Iraqi insurgency to George Washington's forces. That is an analogy that is superficial on many, many levels. Sunni insurgents at the very least cannot be termed freedom fighters, even if US occupation is regarded as a lack of independence, since they aren't simply aiming at removing US troops, rather they want complete removal of any Shi'ite led government, which given the fact that Shi'ites are a majority in Iraq and the fact that Sunnis no longer have the establishment or establishment-backed advantage, would require an external push.

The Shi'ite militias might fit the comparison somewhat better, but again their vision is more focused on establishing a strongly Islamist, more certainly Shi'ite state, than simply getting US troops out. George Washington's focus during the Revolutionary War was simple, get the British out. It was only after several years of the weak government of the Articles of Confederation did he try to influence the ultimate political outcome, and even there he did not really dictate the facts.

But these comparisons are largely irrelevant. If you pick and choose characteristics a lot of things can seem similiar. What they do encourage though is thought, and while a sloppy comparison such as this one, I might try to pick it apart further but I'd rather not waste time on it, does encourage sloppy thought, it occassionally brings to the surface some interesting thoughts.

Such as a memory of a fact read long ago, of when in the deep winter George Washington's forces were forced to march down long cold roads, and his poorly stocked army often had bad or even no footware, so they left bloody footprints in the snow.

Not that this image has much to do with anything, it is just an interesting one, perhaps thought-provoking (hopefully not but possibly sloppy thought provoking), and it minces nicely with the image of troops or rebels moving, even when the rebels are on the side of forces I would never endorse.

The news shows now that Iraqi insurgents are on the move, or at least that's what the statistics show, moving to areas outside of Anbar province and Bagdhad to escape in the first case the changing political environment and in the second case the US troop surge. Overall violence, has not gone down this year however. That is not to say that violence since the troop surge has not gone down, I don't know the statistics for that, but violence for Jan. to Aug. 2007 compared to the entire year of 2006 has gone up significantly.

There are reasons for why this could have happened. A large degree of the increase in violence I think has to do with the fact the insurgents moved from areas that had gotten used to them to areas largely spared, also in the case of Anbar province they've gone from an area where they largely concentrated on US troops to one where they now find civilians as targets, and civilians are easier to kill. Overall the focus has gone from US troop and Iraqi police and army targeting to targeting civilians. I hesitate to say this is desperation, it could be, but it might simply be that bombings on civilians are easier and get higher body counts. Thus the change in focus might also explain the higher death toll as well.

It could also be that the insurgency is getting better at its end, for internal or external reasons, or it could be that the US and Iraqi army are getting worse on their end, again for internal or external reason. Maybe the insurgency is getting larger, or maybe more civilians are supporting it (although that is questionable since they lost a lot of local support in Anbar province). It could simply be that matters are getting much, much worse.

Even if we use reasons that lessen the significance of the increase in violence, it makes it hard to see progress in Iraq. But the fact that insurgents are moving away from Bagdhad and the Anbar province are I think, in the long term good, even if that might be the reason for this spike in violence, which has been so monsterously deadly.

Insurgents rely on civilian support, it is one of the most important equalizing factors for insurgents who are unequal in terms of weaponry and troop numbers, it allows them to blend into the population, live off the land, establish secret logistic chains, etc. And for the Sunni insurgents this has largely been Sunni Arab support. It could have been different, if the targets had been focused on US and Iraqi army and Iraqi infrastructure, the Sunni insurgents might have been able to make an easy alliance with those who were focused on anti-Americanism in the Shi'ite community. But because of the horrific civilian bombings and especially the attacks on the Shi'ite religious community, alliance with Shi'ites is probably rare among the Sunni insurgents. So they rely on Sunni Arab civilian support. But the two largest concentrations of this have been Anbar and Bagdhad. If the insurgents are leaving those areas they are leaving the base of their strength and moving into territory less sympathetic to them, more likely to reveal their presence, less likely to give them supplies, etc.

So the Sunni insurgents have moved into areas with more targets but less support. It is possible that this could strongly weaken the long-term viability of the Sunni insurgency. However, steps must be taken to help this along. Security measures must be improved elsewhere in Iraq, that would be less difficult given a population in the Kurdish areas less antagonistic to the US, and in the Shi'ite areas less antagonistic to the Iraqi army. However, it might leave Baghdad open for the insurgents to come back. Chasing them out did disrupt their bases but unless more civilians in Bagdhad are won over to the Iraqi government, which is possible if the lull in violence is used to improve infrastructure, the insurgent bases could be re-established. So that's a tough one. It should also be made sure that the civilians in the North and the South remain with the Iraqi government. Efforts should be made to reach out to Turkamen and Assyrians in the North, and Shi'ites in the south must be charmed as well, perhaps by offering federalism but supporting non-Sadr parties.

All this said, matters are still more complex. Insurgents don't get defeated they die down slowly with spurts of blood, and Sadr still remains as a threat to his country. Most of all, even if things might get better in the long term, they are still horrible in the short term. They are very, very bloody. And that's just horrible, and I don't know if anything can be done to stop it immediately, I don't think a sudden stop is possible. So blood will come, and it will be awful. And so utterly sad.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And I never said that it would be okay

So I lied when I said I was going to post more, or well not lied, but did not follow through. So if I had established things as a contract you could sue me. But for the record I did not establish things as a contract and if you try to sue me

(takes off shoe and starts banging it on the table)
I WILL BURY YOU!!!! (anyone get the history reference? If you didn't you're a bum. BUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

So I'm not going to say things are going badly, yes I'm still dealing with depressive feelings and those have probably taken an uptick lately, but I'm still getting things done, my life overall is still chugging along. Still anxiety is building and one must always be vigilant towards insanity, but not so vigilant as to make it a self-fullfilling prophecy.

It's always been an issue that balance of work and relaxation for me. I mean I tend to go through intense periods of trying to take on as many projects as I can then I burn out, get depressed and let all those things fall apart. It sucks I got to say. But if I concentrate too much on taking it easy, I put things off and then they fall all over me. Not too good either. Oh well, just got to tinker with things till I get it right.

That's something my psychologist has been saying to me a lot, that I need to experiment with my life. Usually I'm always trying to figure out mentally what I need to do with my life, but probably the best thing is to just throw myself out there and see what sticks. Sure, there's a little bit of danger, but life is dangerous.

There's a nice quote by CS Lewis, it doesn't exactly apply here, but it's good nevertheless:

"The only place the heart is safe outside of heaven is in hell"

It means basically you protect your heart from all danger too much you condemn yourself to misery or at the very least to emptiness, and that's not what I want for my life.

Anyways, that's just what I'm thinking about that. I got to get out there, I got to keep on chugging, even if my brain keeps throwing road blocks in my way I got to keep on keeping on, until one day the time is ready for me to receive my rest.

So anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's been a while

So yeah, it's been a little while since I've done some posting, what of it, you want to fight?

Ah, you guys never want to fight. When I was a kid I always used to love play fighting, but as I grew older, A. I realized that I had trouble giving a hard punch, I'm not sure whether it's because I'm afraid of hurting someone or just weakness, and that scared me away from fighting for some time, and B. it's hard to find someone who just wants to do playfighting you're older. Or maybe it isn't and I just have trouble recognizing people who share my interests. If I could find one of those underground fight clubs I would join like that (snaps his fingers, actually no, I can't really snap, not a real loud snap, but I can do a sort of semi-snap). Anyways, I don't have time now, but I'll try to get a bigger post in later.

Until then enjoy the archieves, check out The World of Rand and live your life to the max, because it could be over like that (attempts to snap his fingers again).

Monday, August 13, 2007

I see the future and I see enthropy

Philip K. Dick is an amazing author. Weird though. He wrote a nice little novel called the Martian Time Slip about autitstic kids who see into the future but the reason why they have such trouble interacting with normal people is they see the decay that all things, including all people become. Lately, history has seemed to me more and more like a force of chaos rather than a force of progress. And so what of it?

Basically there is this drive within me, and I think I'm not the only one in this respect, to be on the winning side of history. And if the winning side is enthropy than I want to be on the side enthropy.

What is on the side of enthropy? Not necessarily destruction, because that requires a bit of passion to motivate it and the act of becoming passionate is in itself almost an act of creation. Rather it is pure apathy.

I know God is out there, I know that the truth exists, I know that right and wrong exist. I know these things.

And yet I cannot see anything beyond chaos in history, and inevitably without any force opposing it chaos will yield to decay. And maybe that doesn't matter. Maybe it doesn't matter that decay might overtake the human race one day (if Judgement Day doesn't come sooner (I think that's one of the factors that makes it so attractive to fix a time to Judgement Day, a certainty that if we can just make it to this day or that day thing will end up alrgiht, but in the end we don't have a fixed date, least not according to the Bible)), maybe it doesn't matter if decay overtakes the legacy of my life. Maybe it's ok if I'm not on the side of history. In fact I know it's ok.

It's alright to defy history. It's ok to fight for lost causes.

But I feel like it's not ok, I feel like if history favors enthropy than I must embrace apathy just so I can be on the winning team.

That's why I increasingly have realized that I have to be careful in trusting my feelings. Ultimately you always start out with your feelings, you pick a certain worldview because it seems right, but once you get that you must temper the worldview you picked on instinct with reason, cutting away the contradictions, refining it, so that you can reach ever more towards the truth... even if truth in this life is perhaps just another lost cause.

So anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Things sometimes are as they are

It is an odd world with borders and all. I feel like many nation-states have been searching for "organic" borders but truly that rarely exists. Most states are the result of empires which forcefully included several ethnicities or are the result of colonial administrative units which did the same. The exceptions are largely in Europe and the Americas, but even there there is massive controversy in many cases. Usually the only areas where controversy over borders is week is where borders have existed in their current form for a hundred or so years. This is pretty rare however when you think globally, so people are bound to be upset by borders and claim that this land was ours historically, or this land has a demographic for us now, or this land had a demographic for us 80 years ago. The truth is demographics change, sometimes forcefully, sometimes non-forcefully, but they always change, and in the end we have to just get used to it. Ultimately the only way to have borders fit populations is to have some world body draw up new borders across the world (because like I said most countries don't have borders that fit with their national demographics), expel all the minorities (usually a process that involves much carnage and heartbreak), and then repeat every so often to account for changing borders. Or we could live with the borders we have, maybe making an exception for massive human rights violations in an area where most of the population favors independence (not just where most of the population is a certain ethnicity). Just a thought.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

A meditation of extreme importance

I would just like to say Booga-wooga-wooga. That is all

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Quotable, boatable, John

I think perhaps it has come time to if not lighten up the atmosphere a little bit, at least I should tangentilize the atmosphere a little bit, because I am a wild tangent, ready to rock your world, etc., etc. (you know etc. usually means and all else in the same manner but I'm not sure you really know what else follows the same manner as I am a wild tangent, ready to rock your world, well too bad, you BUMMMMMMMS!!!!!)

Anywho, or any moo for that matter, I thought in that spirit I'd give you some quotes of various peoples and peoplenesses for a little break in the flow of things as it were (so much of what I have just said is absolute nonsense, so very, very much nonsense, anyways, here's some quotes):

Freedom is a possession of inestimable value. - Cicero, a great sentiment, but I think I could probably find sometime a better quote

"History drives her lovers mad,"-Rand

"And so does your face,"-Rand

"No—Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men."

"Everyone suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known."

"I'm... too old to lie to myself and call it honor."

"Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther … And one fine morning -

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

"One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?'

'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.'" - The Gospel according to Mark, Chapter 12

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."- 1 Corinthians 13, St. Paul

"If you were x, I would be x squared over 2, because I want to be the area beneath your curves."-TE

"I shall rule the world!"-Rand

"I like to quote myself, because I'm just that awesome."-Rand

"I am Rand the mighty and glorious, and I am also might and glorious in a very mightly and gloriousily fashion. I AM RAND!" - Rand

Saturday, August 4, 2007

You're not really white, you're more pinkish

I'm Indian, and I love my Indian heritage, and I'd call India my second most favorite country, but my primary nationality identity (although my primary overall identity would probably be Christian) is American. Still I like to joke occasionally about brown pride. I mean it's more of an ethnicity thing (although I tend to identify more my identity as Malayali). I also acknowledge the legitimacy of black pride among African Americans. But then when you go with white pride, I've got to really to object.

Well if you can have black pride why not white pride. Well, let me explain a little bit. With African Americans you have a common history, common customs, and a common artistic history, although it is integrally mixed and integrated with general American culture (that's why although I admit to the idea of an African American ethnic identity, I'm a bit more skeptical about the idea of a purely black culture). However, whites... well who are whites? European descendants? Well I guess, but most of them immigrated before the idea of a pan-European identity was that well-established, many are from ethnicities that historically have not been identified as European, and many of the communities in the US have histories of deep conflicts between each other. When it comes down to it, although white is used in the census as all Caucasian (including Arabs), it really amounts to basically the non-minorities. And so basically white identity is based on the idea of who it excludes, and well, that seems pretty shallow, and honestly very easily and almost always hateful, with very little to hold it together as a source of love.

But then what should white people do about their identities? Well, come on, they have their own ethnicities. There aren't really white Americans, but there are Irish Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans, English Americans, etc. And sure you can celebrate that heritage and you can have pride in that, because it is a celebration of a common history of community and experience.

So to all you white pride people out there, get back to your roots, and I mean your real roots, look up what country your ancestors came from and use that for pride, or simply chuck it all out the window and just use American for everything (even though even with a strong ethnic identity, you can still keep your primary nationality identity as American), but just remember, it's not just you pinkish skinned people who are Americans, it's anyone who loves America deeply and truly.

News and lews (whatever that is)

The news is biased. I understand that. It's inevitable, people are inherently biased, we all see the world through our own perspective. But that doesn't mean the news isn't useful. Especially when it tries to be objective and tries to provide both sides of the story, because then there's probably at least some useful information you can use after you filter out what you regard as "unfair" bias (there's always some degree of what people judge as "fair" or "honest" bias which is pretty much where the reader's biases and the reporter's biases overlap (I'm using bias in a very broad sense, you can be perfectly correct in your opinions but that'll still affect how you report the issue, maybe it'll lead you to tilt your article towards the correct analysis of the issue, that's fine but it's still bias), and if you can get some information you can think about the issues yourself.

Still it's also useful to get other points of view on things and also to read people who share your point of view but take a deeper analysis than you do or perhaps than you are capable of doing so you can expand your opinions. Still that doesn't stop me from getting riled up by stuff I read in the news. Unfortunately, I can rarely remember who exactly I read the information from which leads me to aggregate the opinions into a general positions, more unfortunately, sometimes I aggregate a lot of more sophisticated opinions opposed to me with some rather ridiculous opinions opposed to me (usually cultivated from Wikipedia, wander through the criticism section of various intellectual sections), but occasionally I remember legitimate opposition opinions, or if not legitimate, opposition opinions that were actually popular.

Take for example the idea that because we have no right to dictate to people in the Middle East how to run their governments we should support the current governments there. That makes no sense, because if we can't dictate how they should run their governments than what right do we have to tell them they should have their current governments which are for most part really quite awful. (But I have to say overall I would agree that we cannot invade countries to for our ideals, not because an ideal like democracy for everyone is wrong, but because it would lead to international chaos. (However, if we do invade a country for self-defense, or for defense of an ally, or perhaps to prevent genocide, we have no right to set up any government but democracy.)

Least that's what I think, and that's all that really matters. So take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Face it all up with the Facebook

I've been using Facebook for a while now, not since the beginning but since relatively early on, back when it was restricted to a limited number of colleges. I have to say I like it. It's a nice way to keep track of friends and you can always just look someone up some day and send them a message. All of my life I've worried about losing touch with friends so this is nice. Granted, this doesn't guarantee that I'll remember my friends and my friends will remember me, but it still is very nice.

However, I'm not found of the direction Facebook is heading in. All those complex applications and crap, most of it is just annoying and fills up the mini-feed with useless information. The only applications that are useful are the ones which are just for fun like the Zombies app or the Happy Hour app, but seriously stuff like the Questions app is just annoying since it tends to just pester people and stuff. I suppose ultimately I'll check out some more applications but I don't think I can ever really use Facebook as mySpace. I mean I use Facebook to keep in contact with friends, MySpace is for me more about networking and sharing ideas and videos and crap. But Facebook I guess wants all the prestige of being able to swallow mySpace and everything and so they'll keep adding crappy applications, ah whatever, I'll still probably use it anyways.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Rand Show - The next level

So I've been working on revamping Comikier into something that can be published as a strip
And so here it is
The first strip of the Rand Show

Sigh, never mind

I've got to start actually investing some effort in this stuff

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The song remains the same, until it changes

So I've been a bit late in posting of late, so sue me. Well, I'm not going to give a whole post today either so sue me some more. Actually don't sue me, sue Joe, he deserves to be sued, sue him now!!! Anyways, I thought maybe though I'd give you a story I've heard, it's recounted in the Sandman book called the Wake, but I've heard it before then, and I think originally it was attributed to Calvin Coolidge.

Party representatives gather around an ex-president.

"Why won't you run again? You still can have another term! And you'll be in the highest seat of power in the world!" they say.

The ex-president is quiet for a moment and then calmly replies "There is an old tiger skin rug in the Oval Office. Theodore Roosevelt, I believe shot it on one of his hunting expeditions and made it a part of the office decor. That rug has seen every major diplomatic deal, it has seen the greatest backdoor deals and the most humiliating arm-twistings, it has seen great men rise and fall. It is certainly at the center of world politics. Yet do you think that tiger would rather be back in the jungle, far away from world affairs or if it had a choice do you think it would remain on the office floor?"

They said, "In the jungle of course, it would rather be alive than dead even dead in the Oval Office."

And he, without a smile, without an inflection in his voice simply said, "So would I."

Nice story.

Applicable to me? Well not directly so. Maybe it just reminds me that if I groan under the strain of the desire for power, is real power something I would want to take on. Maybe it means nothing to me. But maybe when looking at public officials, you temper your feelings of respect or contempt with a little bit of pity. For their own reasons, noble or ignoble they have left the jungle.

So anyways, take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!