A Shot at Conscience

September 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm (Making Sense of Things) (, , , , , )

His mother spoke at the television as he stood from the dinner table, Don’t forget to clean your placemat, I wont, he replied, And go do your homework, I know, and with that their exchange halted. He ascended the six step staircase and entered his room. Sitting down, he had barely touched the power button when his mother called out again, Are you doing your homework, Of course I am, why do you ask such stupid questions, you were the one who told me to go and do that homework, If my question is so stupid, why you bark at me for my simple questions rather than simply answering? He was in silence, she was frowning, but was happy, amused by her success, and neither could see the other, but they didn’t need to see to know what the other was thinking. Because I don’t like it when you take a shot at my conscience, the boy almost said, but instead pressed the power button again, and as the computer whirred down he instead started his work.

I wrote that in August of 2005 as the preface to a 20 short-chapter Book of Summer for a Literature class. The style is meant to tribute Jose Saramago, author of Blindness.

I have always had trouble choosing to do what was necessary (read: dictated by others) over doing what was appealing. I still do, am doing so right now: writing is far more appealing than physical mechanics homework. Perhaps I am in the wrong major?

Still, why do we do what others dictate over what we want? The answer is society, and our obligation to it. We are taxed by our governments, forced to donate to them funds with which to perpetuate this way of life. We are also taxed by society of our time and energy, forced to learn professions and provide labor to perpetuate progress. When looked at life from that perspective, I find the humanist in my suddenly agreeing, accepting that conforming to the school to career progression is necessary. I get through the day, through my necessary but unwanted tasks knowing that I am working towards being a productive cell in that organism that is our world. If only our central processing unit would stop taking heavy shots of heroin that propagate down and affect us all.

So it doesn’t hurt to reiterate, to myself and others, that maxim that grandparents love to recite: Love what you do, and do what you love. My problem is figuring out if I love physics – I love the premise, but I might be doomed for philosophy rather than discrete phenomenology. (I also dislike calculus.) The question I have, though, is regarding getting to the thing you love. There are almost always obstacles in the way, so it is necessary to gauge if overcoming them is worth the end result. The equally important maxim here is that The thing you love might be nice from afar, but might be far from nice. What you want now might very well not be what you really wanted – perhaps I need to take a spirit walk, like Parkman, and figure out what lies in my future.

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Pharyngitis, Conjunctivitis, MyDoom, and other Viruses. And Politics. Maybe it’s a Mindvirus?

September 27, 2008 at 4:07 am (Wrongs of the World) (, , , )

I am sick, as is much of the rest of the campus. Cold, pink eye, and the last is a joke – I hope I’ve graduated to the point where computer viruses are in the past for me. Being sick means that I still go to class, still do homework, still take tests, still socialize. My routine is not so much broken as it is stressed: I can’t stay awake, I can’t concentrate, I can’t recall previous knowledge, and I can’t spend more than two minutes without breaking out into a scary volley of deep coughs, respectively. Which gets me thinking about the world’s problems.

We are all victims of the world, because of several groups of people: those who want to delegate, and advertisers. Which brings me to voting: the biggest lie out there, composed of a thick collaboration of those two groups of people. In my search for validation for reasons not voting I found Don’tVote.org, and I think they have the right idea. Unless politics are your passion, you have just about no place voting. Particular policies are generally flopped or flipped upon inauguration anyway, so standing by someone’s campaign is a false hope. Meanwhile, truly understanding a candidate’s motives and underlying plans is an impossible task: not only have that candidate’s views and plans been warped by their party and their staff, but political candidates are professional liars in the public eye. Such good liars, in fact, that they can lie to everyone flat out from one day to the next with no one thinking any worse of them.

When a country is okay with their leaders lying to them, well, it’s finally a proper country of the modern world, right? It’s painful how politics (in USA, Russia, everywhere else) hinges on clear-cut corruption, deception, propaganda, and abuse of power. Although that particular idea can be taken further, because the majority of non political organizations (companies, national agencies, societies, forums, etc) are built from, controlled by, and reliant on that very same political veil. One thing you might say is “Well, Yuriy, you say that’s a problem, but you are doing nothing to fix it!” and you would be missing the point. The problem with the world is that up-front, no-holds-barred, corrupt, deceptive, power-mongering manipulation works, so “fixing” it is out of the question. To convince all of humanity that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is NOT the best maxim to live by is a fool’s errand, but you’re welcome to try it! (It would be like reprogramming society. I might have to find Username God to promote the allegory of our insignificance.)

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