Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Silence

Defending a point which does not need defending weakens the defence of that point. To make a correction only draws attention to the corrected part. To open something up produces questions of why it was closed to begin with.

For these reasons I can not say what I wish to say.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The lovers hold on,
to the beautiful moment,
in each other's arms.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Moon

Composed at the same time as this, but Hane did come up with the idea of a moon Haiku first.


Silver ball up high,
Rolling around nights black sky,
Timelessly watching.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Winter

Cold air bites my skin,
breath suspended in a cloud,
frosted leaves crunching.

Monday, November 21, 2005

One

It's clear what this is about, I've just written it, I'll never forget why.



Another leaves to join the one,
quickly fading yet never leaving.
To show my emotions, just a tear.
Memories' decay does bother me,
how will he survive through time?

Still standing is his work,
monuments built of stone and mind.
Across the skyline they give light.
I'll hold on, knowing it'll be fine,
Through the pillars you live on.

Nameless and praised.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Fan Death

I found this site about fan death the other day at work. I can't work out what to make of it.

Look around http://www.fandeath.net and have a think. I'm trying to decide if it's a serious commentary on a strange social phenomena, or just a bit of anti Korean racist rubbish. It does seem to touch (albeit very lightly) on some almost serious points, for example the way it might be used to report suicides in a sensitive way. However it just doesn't strike me as being altogether an objective approach to a cultural difference.

So should I dislike it or not? I really can't tell. I also don't want to just leave it as that and ignore it, that'd be just as bad as thinking it was great if in reality it was racist.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Why does rebellion make sense to middle class people? (Or why do we have mini goths?)

This started off as a conversation with Rosie last night about "who are we to judge our own actions". In the course of trying to explain it we started to talk about her liking gothicness (I'm sure that's a made up word). I was using this as an example of something which is most likely a rebellion against her middle class upbringing, where as she said that she enjoys listening to the music and wearing black and big knee high boots. I'm not going to use this example any more, as it can be argued either way (if it's rebellion or just taste), instead I'm going to make it abstract by renaming Rosie to Alice and assuming that some magic machine has said it's at heart driven by a desire for rebellion. Alice still thinks it is her own taste and style, mainly as this allows me to explore the idea of where the self hiding desire to rebel comes from. One more word of caution in my analysis is that I don't mean to exclude upper or lower class people, it's just that I should "write what I know" and the majority of goths (of all types) that I know are from middle class families. (In hindsight perhaps as well as renaming Rosie to Alice I should have made her a Jetialic instead of a goth, but making up a social group would really just generate more problems.)

So what of Alice's life? She's had what could be summed up as a good life. She's never been left hungry, she's been given a reasonable amount of freedom over where she goes out and who she's friends with. Yes there will have been times where her parents didn't want her going out with that boy, but on the whole they were reasonable, so surely there should be no reason for Alice to rebel.

My first idea for a reason was to do with the middle class conscious/guilt that most middle class people experience. This guild drives them to recycle, it drives them to give money to charity; so don't get me wrong, it's a good thing, but it could also be the cause for kids wanting to rebel. I see it contributing to this in two ways. The first is that there is a desire to get away from the guilt of being comfortable when others are not, or by being comfortable at the expense of the environment. This would seem to make sense but I'm not convinced, it implies all rebels are cowards,which simply can't be the case. The second thought I had is a bit more difficult to explain.

I think the easiest way to explain it is by a analogy. Imagine that one of your friends is in pain. There is nothing you can do about it, so you get frustrated and angry. In your frustration and anger you punch the wall or throw a plate at the wall. Some act of destruction which doesn't affect the thing which is actually causing the anger. In this way being a rebel doesn't help others live a better life, but it allows you to be distracted, to do something to help ease the guilt that has been taught to you since you were young.

However I strongly believe that rebellion does serve a purpose, that it's not just a side-effect of a different social phenomena. While the previously mentioned reason does have a role to play I believe that it is also serves two other purposes. The first is one of asserting a style. It's not a case of being and individual by being part of a big group (a common criticism of goths) it's being an individual by not being what your parents were. I also think that by trying another lifestyle it is easier to settle into a house with a wife and two kids. By trying a different life we can be more confident that the one we have is best suited for us.

On the other hand some people find their other choice more enjoyable and more to their tastes so go with it. Perhaps this is the most important factor, that while our parents might want to shape us in their image, a strong desire to rebel allows them to only offer a helping hand in our development. So we should all be thankful, not just for having a choice available but also to the desire to exercise it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The truth and the lies

Written by me just now to express something which I don't know how to express any other way



At some time in our lives we all lie. At some point in our lives we all tell the truth. It sometimes seems that lies are easier than the truth. It's even easier to say: I'm lying vs. I'm telling the truth. Yet is it ever possible to tell if another person is lying, is it ever possible to tell why? There seems a strong desire to tell if someone is lying or not; yet this isn't generally for practical reasons, it's mainly because 'it is the right thing to do'. Perhaps I should illustrate this with some examples:

I am a giraffe



This doesn't need any explanation. It is clearly a true statement, something that no decent human being would lie about. Oh wait... there's a problem there!

If I was to say this to someone they'd maybe laugh, they might think I was odd, but they'd never think I was a bad person; they'd not think I was trying to trick them with lies. So it is not the lies which are bad, but the deception which uses them.

It's 12 o'clock



You ask someone the time, they reply. I might just be a very trusting person, but I don't ever think they'd lie to me. There is no necessity to lying about this. I can't think of any (non contrived) way that it would be possible to deceive someone by lying about the time to them. Comments if you can think of ways. This is a statement which has implicit trust, but only because there is no reason not to trust.

I love you



This is something that you might lie about, but usually unless there is some money scam involving you won't lie about. At least not deliberately. You might be caught up in the moment, you might not realise the full extent of the meaning of it, but if you are of sane mind then you're not going to lie about this.

I think that's a good idea



Now we get to a grey area. This could be a lie, it could be truthful. Ignoring the uncertainty of not knowing if something will turn out well, I can still try to trick you into doing something for some other reason and claim it is a good idea. I might have any multitude of reasons for lying, so why do you trust me? From experience and a bond of friendship. We both seem to have a mutual understanding to not try to screw each other over; well at least not too much.

That is a red dress



You shouldn't trust me if I say that. I'm colour blind so don't really know what red is. I am aware that I am colour blind, and particularly bad at picking out reds. Knowing this, if I choose to make a statement about the redness of something, which I hope you'll trust, surely I am in some way lying. If I can't trust myself then me telling you something which I don't trust myself, while at the same time trying to convince you of it, is just one big lie from me.

That doesn't make me angry



How dare you even consider that I might be lying about my emotions! Really how dare you! If you were a true friend you'd not question me when I said that to you, why should I sit here and be nice if you're going to do hurtful things such as doubting things I say to you then I will fight back. It's not the same as the red dress, in that case you could point out to me that you doubt my ability to see colour and that maybe I am wrong for trusting my instincts. That would be fine, but saying I'm untrustworthy when I've told you something is like a slap in the face. Think about it, this statement is a combination of all of the above examples. Mixed together and cooked at gas mark 6 for 2 hours. The blend is so subtle. So why do you question? I feel it because you feel angry and don't want me not to be angry, yet still I kicked out.

Neither of us came out of that looking good did we?

Ok so quite blatant, but it needed to be said.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The illusion of emotions

This is all based on assuming everyone is like me, if you don't like that idea then why the hell are you here?

Think about it.

Emotions are one of the main driving forces behind our actions. They help us make quick decisions about things and they even free us from not having to consider many alternatives in a situations.

So why is it that drugs can control them so. Even just blood sugar levels can control the intensity of them.

I don't mean 'why is it', I mean isn't it strange that, given their importance, that drugs can influence them.

In the end drugs are all part of the world, all part of what influences our choices and as with all things neither negative nor positive.

So it all resolves into a neat ball.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Quotes, The reason for

I've just been trying to track down a quote which I can only remember the meaning of; I can't remember who said it or word for word what it was. This makes finding it on the internet difficult! To paraphrase it it's:

When all is done in our lives the important things we leave behind are not the works we have carve in stone but the ideas we weave into others.

Which is very fitting for what is playing on my mind at the moment. It is considered proper academic form to quote your sources as well as giving an accurate quote. Now in an academic context this makes sense; particularly when there is a big scope for interpretation of some statement. However it doesn't make much sense when communicating face to face.

So why do we ever quote people when talking face to face. I doubt it is just force of habit from when we write more formal discussions of ideas. I believe it is because we wish others to quote us, to have our ideas laid down in stone, rather than to have them woven into others. If it's all about the fame then the words words could lose all meaning and you'd still quote it.

So from now on I'm never going to mention my sources unless asked, so paraphrasing is best for communication, exact quotation is best for interpretation of works.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Slightly missing the point

Just read this article (via Boing Boing) and I can't help but think that it's really not the right way to go about things.

If you don't want to read the article the summary is that some gay marriage advocates in California are going to publish the names and addresses of people who signed an anti-gay marriage petition on the internet.

I really strongly disagree with this. I can't see anyway that it is constructive or helpful. It's just going to create further division and hate between the anti-gay marriage and pro-gay marriage groups. Progress towards a greater culture where people are not discriminated against for their beliefs and are accept for who they are will not come about from what is basically just throwing stones. When you're on opposite sites of a barricade it's impossible to shake hands.

I can understand that people can frustrated and angry when people seem so set in their ways that it can seem that nothing is going to change. I'm not even saying that the people planning to publish this list are bad people, just that this action is not going to be helpful and productive. Now I'm pro-gay marriage and would very easily get into a heated discussion with someone who was anti-gay marriage; yes I would be trying to change their mind, but by discussing with them how the ideas relate to all of us and how it will not cause the apocalypse etc. Never would I consider calling them a bigot or close minded (although I probably would after arguing for 3 hours and realising they're not at all open minded and just spouting rote learned lines).

However it's only partly from a respect for their views, I don't agree with their views and feel that I should explain why I have mine; in the hope that they realise they were missing some argument or some bit of information which lead to their (bigoted) beliefs. There is also a significant fact that as soon as you insult someone they will go to their back foot and become far more defensive. They close off their mind, start chanting their learnt statements and then just get angry and walk off.

A far better approach is to show them that you understand their point of view, that you can see where they are coming from and, most importantly, that you are a rational sane human, just like them. Once you've demonstrated this you can then go on to trying to convince them of a 'better' (more respectful) point of view.

So basically if you want them to show some understanding you have to show some understanding as well, else we'll just carry on throwing stones at each other and never realise the beauty that comes from diversity and open mindedness

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Hammer of Life

Long one today, written for an English lesson in year 9, so about 7 years ago I think... I think it's interesting to note this after re-reading it.


Holly loved David; David loved Holly: but not for the same
reason. David loved Holly because she listened to his problems
and loved him. Holly loved David because he gave her food! David
also loved Charlotte because: they spoke the same language;
Charlotte was about the same size as David and, the most
important thing, they loved each other for the same reasons.
Charlotte also loved Kate, Bob and Lara; Lara loved food, but
that is not relevant to the story and would take some time to
explain.

David and Charlotte are humans, if that is not clear. Kate and
Bob are also humans. Lara and Holly are animals, a hamster and a
guinea pig, respectively.

"David! The 'phone," shouted David's mum, through two walls and a
door. Despite the fact that most people could not tell what she
had shouted meant after going through 2 walls and a door, or 3
doors depending on how you look at the world. David knew what it
meant as it happened every Sunday at 10 o'clock.

"OK just feeding Holly," his usual reply to this weekly event.
Despite it sounding like a very quiet power-drill to his mum, she
knew what it meant. This all was very confusing to Holly as such
an intelligent creature, as her, can't understand human customs.
(Refer to 23rd of April 1999 edition of Nature, page 64,
left-hand column.) As we should all know Holly the guinea pig was
one of the important contributors to sub-space travel.

After closing and bolting the cage in his room, David ran
downstairs, after opening the door to his room, skidded across
the hall and opened the last two doors to get to his mum in the
kitchen. His mum was holding the cordless 'phone for him to grab.
After this, so far, routine Sunday he heard the first blow to his
perfect life.

"Hi, Charlotte."

"Hi, Dave." It would be unfair to say that it was impossible, but
it was fairly hard for Dave or David to hear Charlotte: because
of the Alanis Morissette coming from Charlotte's 80 watt
Hi-fi

"You wanna go in to town?" shouted Dave.

"Hang on," the music faded to a shopping centre level. "Yea, I've
got some really good news!" As David heard her voice he thought
of her: her long blonde hair, which flowed like a small brook;
her body which was not as thin as a match but not as fat as an
orange, it was perfect. In fact everything about her was perfect
to Dave. He even remembered when they met, 11 years ago. Now they
were 16, David had liked Charlotte form the start, when they were
5 and met at school on the first day. They started going out 6
years ago, when Dave had finally plucked up the courage to ask
her out.

Holly looked at the bolt on her cage door and thought.

"Meet you under the clock at 2', "said Dave with an interested
tone.

"Bye."

"Bye."

"Love, respect and peace."

"Shut up Charlotte," David said, nearly laughing. Charlotte
always made David laugh.

"You hang up."

"No you."

"OK."

Holly still looked at the bolt.

David put the 'phone in the charging base upstairs. He then went
in to his room, turned on the computer and started to fight the
evil Quake.

"1:30! I'm going to be late," said Dave as he ran into the
garage, jumped on his bike and sped out on to the road. He
skidded down the main road and over the cross road, left to the
pub and chained his bike up to the tree outside the pub. He then
ran to the clock and was just coming down the High Street when
the clock stuck 2'. He could see the clock and was 1 minute away
from it. He was too busy looking for Charlotte that he ran in to
someone.

Still Holly looked at the bolt.

When David stopped falling he saw some hair, he recognised the
hair. It was light blonde, then he saw a face he remembered,
Charlotte.

"Hi."

"Is that the kind of way you treat a millionairess, Dave?"

"A what."

"A Millionaire."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"Really?"

"Yes."

"Really?"

"Yes," shouted Charlotte, "well my parents actually, they won 11
million and have given me 10 grand to spend."

"Cool," Dave said. Despite that anyone else would have said 'well
done' or 'can I have some'

Holly looked at the bolt and started squeaking very loud. The
whole point of this was to make the bolt shatter by getting the
resonate frequency. It sort of worked: David's mum came up with
some lettuce and put it in the cage. It sort of worked as she
forgot to put the bolt back. Holly started eating the lettuce, no
point in wasting good food. When I said that the point of this
was to shater the bolt that is what lesser being would have
thought. And this exactly what Holly wanted you to think.

"Do you want a Series 5, Dave? Dave?"

"What?"

"Do you want a Psion Series 5?"

"Yea," Said Dave unconvincingly. One interest, the only interest,
they didn't share was Dave's for computers. Charlotte could never
remember the name of the Psion Series 5.

After they had got the money from the cash-machine they went and
bought a Psion. As they walked out of the Link, Dave looked at
Charlotte and thought how lucky he was.

Bleep Bleep

"Sorry Dave, my bleeper," her face turned snow white as she read
the message. Then she ran away from Dave. Dave being not as fit
as her and holding a Psion couldn't keep up.

"Wait," Dave shouted, "where are you going?"

"New-York, 5 o'clock today, I love you." Then she stopped and ran
back. "I can't leave you Dave."

"Come on there will be lots of good looking people in
America."

"But I can't leave you."

"Go forget about me, go," Dave knew he would hate himself later
for saying that.

"Bye Dave, I'll never forget about you!" and with that she kissed
him and left.

Crunch. Dave knew someone was coming up the drive and saw, out of
the window, that it was Charlotte. But it was 6:22 she must have
stayed. With this he ran down the corridor and down the stairs,
two at a time. Too late he saw Holly who had escaped and was
going down slowly, very slowly.

As David landed, on his head, Charlotte put her head round the
door just in time to see the impact, and hear the bone sickening
crunch of his spine braking. She ran over just in time to hear
him say, weakly, "I love you Charlotte." Then he closed his eyes
and breathed out for the last time. David's mum came in to see
Charlotte crying over David's body.

Through the tears Charlotte said, "I came to tell him, that, that
he was right and I was going to go, but that I had to say
goodbye. I never knew it would be the final Goodbye. We were just
going on Holiday for 2 weeks.

As the police sirens became louder Holly sat on the stair she had
been on all the time, nibbling a mouldy peanut and thinking about
how to revive people who had been killed years before using a
piece of DNA. Then Holly walked down the few stairs left and took
a bit of David's dandruff so that one day, soon, they will be
reunited. After she has explained to Charlotte, somehow, that
they can be reunited.



David awoke to a different world. True, at first he saw only
blackness and did not know if he was alive. This was mainly due
to the fact that the last thing the remember was flying through
the air and seeing Charlotte over him crying. As his hearing
gradually came back, as if someone was turning his volume of
hearing up. Then his eyesight faded in and he could see, he could
have seen before but his brain had made a unanimous vote to stay
relaxed, on his back, and not to see the world around.

As Dave looked around he could hear a strange mechanical sound:
he stopped moving his eye and the noise stopped. Unknown to him
at the time he was actually a computer with a biological
processor.

Since 2004 after the Bob disaster, basically some one transferred
their mind to a computer and almost wiped out all the data in the
world! All Biological and electronic integration had been banned,
so what Holly, Dave's pet guinea pig, and Charlotte, his girl
friend, had done and put him in a computer was banned!

What had driven both of them was completely different, Holly did
it as she had a will to disobey law (Other wise being the most
clever animal on the planet would be boring), Charlotte did it
because she wanted to get David back. Holly was the main person,
or guinea pig, behind this illegal activity as she was 'involved'
in the Bob disaster 1 year ago.

Dave found being a robot all right, but boring! For one he was
not allowed to go out of the underground lab as if he was seen he
would be killed almost instantly, still Charlotte stayed with him
most of the time.

"Hi Dave."

"Hi Charlotte."

"I've got some bad news!"

"What?" said Dave questionably.

"People are getting suspicious, I can only come once a week. Good
bye my boss is waiting. Until the weekend, Good bye, I'm so so
sorry," and with that she left.

As Dave heard her feet echo down the corridor the decided to see
the world. He wasn't living! This was not living! So he chased
Charlotte, following at some distance. He saw her climb a ladder
and the close a manhole-cover. He was going to see the world.

He poked his head out and looked around and saw Charlotte. Then a
car hit her, hard. The police chasing didn't stop, only one
passer-by stopped. So this is what society is today it not worth
living in. With that he walked back to his underground den.

Once he was there he cried but no tears came, he had no tears. He
started pulling wires form his body and as they fell his system
stopped him. He couldn't escape, he was trapped. He ran, well
more hopped, at a wall his internal speed measurer registered 20
mph when he hit the wall.

As the building collapsed around him he felt all of it. He wanted
to blackout but he couldn't, he was a perfect machine. Now as the
bricks fell he thinks of life and how it should never be played
with, he also thought about the hammer of life, you rise and rise
up but then it all falls down and shatters your life. As his
power core exploded it took Holly and him with it. As David's
power faded he thought only of Charlotte.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Well it worked last time

From almost exactly 3 years ago, from a real conversation/rant.


Me: I believe very strongly that: It'll be ok in the end, and if it isn't ok, it isn't the end

Them: Wow... that's good, is it true?

Me: I don't know, it seems to work some of the times, but other times it doesn't seem to be true, but then I suppose it isn't the end. Some things just seem to have a habit of all slotting together nicely in life sometimes while sometimes they just tear at each other like giant cogs.
Life is about change, the change which made us decide to crawl out of the ocean, the change which made us decide to walk upright, the change when industrialisation occurred. While not every part of the changes were pleasant, or fun, in the end they all came together for a far greater thing. Life without change wouldn't be life.
Change is the very thing which makes life so special. And life can adapt to the changes, whether good or bad, and make the best we can out of them.
Finally, change can't be all good, we are not all knowing beings, we have to test our limits, explore our environment, and each others minds. We are bound to put some wrong foots along the way, but we can see these, and then adjust to avoid taking any more bad paths.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Noise Filter

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Hi!

We live in an age with noise all around us. Just think about it, all the fields from the current through all the wires through all the buildings we live in. Think about all the radio waves passing through your head every second, think about how much information they hold. We all live in a mess of electro-magnetic fields, a mess of photons, a mess of information. Yet it doesn't effect us, or so we think.

And before you stop reading, thinking this is another piece of 'new age hippy rubbish', I promise you it isn't, thats just the dramatic start to get your attention! I'm going to talk about the impacts of various 'evil' new technological inventions, there is plenty of that crap floating about on the 'net. Instead I'm going to talk about the actual information. Perhaps this will make a little more sense if I put it into context: I am a white middle class 18 year old, I'm
currently sitting in my room, with an empty house, thinking about the war on Saddam Hussein. Well I say war, I'm not sure it can be called that, possibly a military conflict with him, but I wouldn't class it as war. But I digress, it's the second week of this conflict (the second one against Iraq, it's early to mid 2003), and I was sitting watching BBC News 24, putting off doing any real work (a great skill to be able to pull it off and not get bored, as any student will tell you) and it struck me how we are all bombarded with information.

All the time new images flash up on the screen, images of bombs dropping, people with white flags, people with guns, people talking, impressive 3D logos... if you've seen a 24 hour news channel you'll know what I mean. It struck me how it's fairly similar to the bit in the Clockwork Orange where the main character is brainwashed (I forget his name). A risk of losing my main focus again, I've always regretted not taking any form of psychology/sociology etc. at A-level. While I feel at home with the safe and firm assertions made by the physical sciences, I've always enjoyed participating in useless banter about possible ideas about how things work. One particular thing which has always puzzled me is people, they are just one great big box of
unanswered questions, which is why I will probably write lots on the human mind. So I regret not taking any 'official' subjects close to this interest, but at the same time I am quite pleased, as it means I can take a completely different view, which might well be silly and wrong, but I'll take it anyway.

Anyway I'll plant this musing firmly back on the path it was meant to take, and was so rudely stopped from taking. I'm not saying that the media is actually brainwashing, I know that involves intensive techniques (or so I've heard). Having said that the link still existed in my mind, but I passed over it as a slight amusement which I might bring up in later conversations with someone. Then I had a link sent to me by a friend, on war crimes and the US, one of the many random ideas bouncing around the 'net, but it illuminated something in my mind: I remembered something that someone had said to me a long time ago, no-one does anything for no reason, whether hidden or not, there is always a personal agenda to everything.

This is the point where people will start jumping up and down and start shouting things like: 'He's making wild generalisations', 'What about charity work?', 'He's just seen the bad side of humans'. If you, my dear reader, are one of these, I ask of you one more small favour, read until the end of this paragraph, if only to finish on an easy to remember part. I shall now pen short responses to these possible questions: I may well be making a generalisation, but we do all share a massive amount of DNA, cultural ideas and morals, so some generalisations, at least to simplify the system, must be possible; Charity work is done according to that persons belief that that is what is 'right' to do in that situation; Why is saying that everyone does something for a reason the same as saying everyone is evil? People aren't a radioactive atom decaying, they have reasons for everything, think about it, it's almost a tautology. Going from this idea/generalisation/model/thing (delete as appropriate) that people do everything for a reason we can draw some interesting conclusions.

First look at this very page you are reading, I wrote this for a reason, and that reason is to let other people hear my view point on this subject, and maybe open a few minds. I have different motives than the media, but very similar motives to the writer who wrote about war crimes and the US. The media is there to make money (another wild generalisation, see above). In a capitalist society this is a fairly easy idea to accept (at least as a possibility), so you're probably expecting me to start going on about how evil this is, but no, I have a surprise. While the media wants to get more viewers/readers etc. so shows the most popular stories and images, they don't have total control over what they can get their hands on. In a conflict such as Iraq the army has the say over where journalists can go, and what information is given to them. I state this so clearly as I'm not saying it's one big conspiracy, I'm just saying that the army's reasons are the ones which influence what we get to hear/see.

This means that when ever you watch anything, read anything, hear anything, and start to process the information from it, stop to think. There are no unbiased sources (this musing included) and you need to apply a noise filter, and make sure only useful information which you can be sure of it's truth, is accepted into your world view. This doesn't mean you should discard all the other information, just always take it with a pinch of salt. Another, even more important, realisation I came across is that no information is also an indication of something. Use just as strong a filter on a lack of information as you do on information which is shoved right in your face. Use your noise filter to find silence as well as voices, and you can keep your individual thoughts and ideas.

I say keep, but obviously it will have some influence, we are not static things, but it'll help you keep control, and not become a pawn to someone else. Looking back and re-reading I realise how obvious this all is, and how you probably already knew it all, but that doesn't make it useless. To have someone else have stated it, or having stated it in writing myself, gives me/you a firm point to throw ideas about from, and new ideas to start thinking about. It's like when you speak something which everyone else always knew, it somehow makes it more real and likely than when it was just a concept in your head, and that is why I wrote this, not for any of you readers, it's all for me. I told you I had my reasons.

Toby,
26th March 2003, Guildford.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Sparks

Moonlight and stardust,
dreams of chasing a dancing star,
we all fall alone.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The unhappy

An old 'poem' as I'm too lazy to type anything else!


I shout for equality and fairness.
I stamp my foot for justice and rights.
I scream for cooperation and coordination.
But do I ever step off the back line,
do I ever face up to my words?
One voice can't change anything, I say,
one person can't do anything, I think,
so I sink back into my world,
until next month, when I am next feeling lonely,
or I am next feeling upset,
or the next time I get victimised,
or when I next get a parking ticket,
or the emptiness bubbles to the surface.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The world around us, the world our children will have

This post was going to be a chapter from Times Tides, but instead it is going to be some political discussion thing... well why the hell not!


I feel I should start this with a nice picture to keep people in a good mood...


So where are we? What do we know? There are people in this world who are willing to sacrifice their life to kill others in the process. Normally I can usually empathise with others view points, even if I do not agree with them. However I can't see why some people would want to do such a thing.

This does not mean they are unjustified with their actions nor does it mean that they are justified. A dark cloud of ignorance surrounds me. I can't help but feel that this cloud is deliberate, whether by the individuals performing such terrible acts or by the media, to make sure we never see them as individuals, only as crazy mindless marauding monsters. I'm not suggesting a wild conspiracy, it is almost certainly just the way that people cope, by not acknowledging that the enemy are people, dehumanizing them makes them all the more easy to hate.

The other possibility is equally possible, that these acts are not directly related to England, but are just being used to show power and control for some group elsewhere. Yet another possibility is that there are no demands or claims of responsibility as the perpetrators hope that the government will know and understand what they want. Like I said, it's all covered over, it's a darkened path. So I shall take the easy route, I shall avoid attempting to work out what is hidden in the dark, surely there is enough in the light to help guide actions.

So to that end, what the hell can we do about it? Two bombs and a shooting by the police will not be easily forgotten by the public, nor should they be. In some ways the shooting has more power, at least descriptively for the media, as it is a more face to face fight, almost more human and personal in a way. So should we avoid the tube on Thursdays now, should we carry on our lives in a stalwart way or should we let every individual be X-rayed before getting on the tube. None of these solutions seem ideal.

While the first is not necessarily letting the terrorists win, for it is unclear what their motives are/were, it is giving up and caving in, something different from acceptance. Think about those words. The second option is too trusting and naive, and is more cowardly than the first. Instead of doing something with our own lives to solve the issue, we'd be almost saying: "it's the police's job, let them sort it out". We all live in this world, we are all part of it. So that just leaves the third option, a security crackdown, with us losing liberty and freedom to help preserve life and maintain security.

While I disagree with people who say that liberty is a fundamental human right, in a similar way that racists who assert that one race is superior to the other; liberty is just as subjective as any other opinion in this world and in some ways it is even more self contradictory than other beliefs. However I do believe that liberty should be strived for, respect and trust work very well in friendships, so surely they can possibly work in wider scales. So am I pro tougher security or anti? I'll take the easy way out and say neither! The choice of more or less security measures will ultimately have very little effect.

If I found that people could easily pick my front door, so that every time I went away for the weekend half the stuff in my house was stolen, what would I do? Would I just ignore it, hoping that others in the world would just be nice. I could try helping local drug addicts, in the hope that it was them who were stealing my stuff and hopefully prevent them wanting/needing to take my stuff anymore. If I replaced the lock it would be a mild inconvenience for me, and would probably just cause them to start taking from my neighbors, but I'd be safe. I could spent thousands and have solid metal shutters added to all my doors and windows. The list of possibilities is long.

So which is the best solution? I'm guessing you'll have picked up on one of them as being the best idea as you read. Personally I think that replacing the lock is most practical, while helping local drug addicts is a nice idea, but totally impractical. Hopefully you can see equivalent analogies to do with terrorists, I mean, I've made it fairly blatant in that hope! So what gets in the way of choosing the best solution. What makes something the best is one major problem, would it be the cheapest, the quickest or the easiest. Also not fully knowing the situation makes it difficult to say as well.

Once more we are back to the problem of the dark fogs that prevents us from seeing all the world. Much like poledancing the best solution is not quick, not easy and not easy to explain. Learning to take a different world view, to realize why we should be tolerant, and not just being tolerant through learnt behavior or because it is the right thing to do is the closest I can get. Trying to sum it up in a sentence, a paragraph or a book would still leave it not fully covered, it seems to be an idea or concept that I just can't put into words easily, maybe because it can't be spoon fed to you.

And where are we left for the moment? We will need to be more careful, need to understanding and let the police search us at random, but with the constant though in our heads that it is only a stop gap. It is only a measure to help us reach a goal with less bloodshed and with less destroyed lives. That's not to say it's second best, or not necessary, but is the best we can do for the moment while we wait for other actions to run their course.

Well that's my vision anyway.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Elementalist: The beginning

One of my many short stories which I really should finish. Written about 4 years ago I think.


10 minutes left.

9 minutes left.

Now only 8 minutes.

The sound of feet on concrete approached, John's head jerked up and saw the shoes. As soon as he saw them he knew, it was time once more. Should he look at the face, should he look to the ground, should he look to the side? Down, show you're theirs. At this time you are theirs, but later you are yours.

'So John, how's your pet? How's your little fluffy pet? I heard it tasted quiet nice when your mother cooked it for lunch.' John kept his head lowered, mouth closed.

'Chickens should not be allowed to keep chickens,' the feet to the left stumbled, as if Philip had been hit by Pete. The yelp of Philip confirmed this.

As Pete's feet stepped slowly, deliberately, towards John, he started to step back, almost hypnotised by the slow thud of Pete's feet. John was so hypnotised he did not notice Philip coming to his left until he had hit. John hit the ground on his right side, his head followed shortly after; pain reverberated around his head. He turned his head up wards to see Pete, Philip and Andrew approaching, yet something was different. Some thing was different about them, they had the same menacing filled expression, but there was something else, something unusual.

John shot a look behind him, 2 meters of playground, then the field, but no escape, no hope. As he turned his head back his check was met with a boot, and was forced to the floor and held there. The voice of Pete rang out through his head, 'I heard from a little bird, that a chicken had been talking. I thought we agreed no talking, a simple arrange meant for someone simple like you. But you could not understand could you?' The pressure on Johns head increased, he was sure, somehow, that it was Pete's boot, somehow he was unerringly sure. The boots pressure released and lifted off. John turned to face Pete, and saw destruction in his eyes.

John dug his hands into the ground and push himself backwards, helped by his feet he manages to scramble back 2 or 3 meters, and could feel the soft, stony earth between his hands. But he was too slow; Pete was above him, with Andrew on one side, Philip on the other. He clasped his hands; readying for the first blow, he closed his eyes and thought. Why me, why now, why do they hit me, what is it they gain, is it a rush, why? It is the way of the gods. Yes it is the way of the gods. But can any gods allow this, why is this allowed. Why was he thinking of this, he was only a 16 year old, he should think of other, more normal things.

As these thoughts rushed through his mind, he realised he was still unhurt, he opened his eyes to see his attackers looking in the direction of the playground, shouting, 'Look it's old Mr Slinky, run.'

As they parted and the sun once more glared into his eyes he looked over the playground, not a teacher in sight, he then felt a feeling of self-survival and power in his right hand. He turned his hand over, realising he was griping a stone from the ground, it had a faint yellow glow to it, with a clear depression pressing into his palm he turned the stone over and saw a symbol of a star over a heart. He stood up and faced the sun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Silence

No comment, from 20th July 2003


I have been silent for too long.
Something inside of me has slowly been dying.
Is it my self doubt? My inquisitiveness?
My individuality?
Do I want to bring it back?
Can I even bring it back?
What is being my self?
Who am I?
I am just a mould.
just a reflection of you.
An echo.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Padded Life

A few years old now, I still like it though, unlike a lot of my other poems.


We all walk a padded life,
strapped in,
disinfected,
risk assessed,
whitewashed,
buckled up,
quality controlled.
But if I stray from this padded line,
will I walk in to a padded room?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Art and Action

This was just going to be 3 lines in my other blog, but it started to turn into a mammoth beast, so I moved here and finished it off.



I would hope that very few people would disagree with the idea that art is open to personal interpretation. Whether it be a piece of music, a painting or a novel, different works of art mean different things to different people. This can appear in a very wide scale way, such as Elton John's 'Candle in the wind' being re-released when Princess Diana died, or it can be a very personal reason; e.g. our own past experiences shape the imagery presented by a poem. I would hope that the reader is familiar and accepting of this idea that a work of art can have a different meaning for different individuals and in particular that it can have a different meaning from that intended by the original artist.

This could spark a discussion on if the best pieces of art are the ones which invoke similar ideas in each observer, or if the best pieces of art will have a meaning that is as unique to the individual as their experiences of the world. However that is for another time and a place, although I'd particularly like to discuss works such as this novel. Still I must remain focused on the original point, the relation of art and life. I also want to state explicitly, although doing this did not help when I discussed this point with my parents, that this is not about what is art and what is not. While the issue of "but is it art?" is an interesting one, it does not, as far as I can see, have any significance in this discussion. This discussion relies on the concept of actions that people do and that works of art exist. Whether these are the same or separate does feature as a concept, but I do not feel that it is pertinent to the central discussion.

I will use actions to describe the influence that an individual has upon the world. I can perform an action of drinking from my glass, I can also perform an action of throwing the glass across the room; I have many actions that I can do, many of which are mutually exclusive. I could also present an item to you, say a renaissance picture in gilded frame, that we would both easily agree was a work of art. We might disagree on the meaning of it, of what the artist intended and of what it means to us (two different things) and you might even say it is a terrible work of art, while I would be willing to pay millions for it. Assuming that we both are open minded enough to know that there is not one right way, we would hopefully be accepting of each others differing opinions.

That's not to say that I might not try to explain to you the beauty of the shading in the painting, or that you might not try to persuade me that it is badly composed; but in any discussion of this type we would be attempting to at least express to each other how the work of art affects us. There would never be any question of your interpretation being wrong, just different. This is so much the case that you, as the reader, might require some time to think this idea over. What are your motivations for the appreciation and discussion of works of art? Hopefully you'll reach the same conclusion as me, whether your favorite form of art is music, poetry or garden design.

So, you may ask, how does this relate to actions that we perform in life? Let me start off by telling a short story. Imagine being sat at a table in a pub chatting about life with some friends. You make some witty comment and glance up from staring in the foam of you pint. You notice that two people on the table are smiling, while the other two have a combination of shock and disgust on their face. You then explain that you meant it as a joke and not in the way they understood it originally. It's all good once more and you can get back to enjoying yourself.

So what is the point in this story. There is not really! I would like to bring up the point that in this situation there was a very definite meaning that you were trying to portray. This is the case with every form of communication (written or verbal) between people. I want to make sure that when I say to a friend that "I would like a cheese sandwich" that they do not take that to mean that I actually want a ham sandwich. These are both extreme examples, but cases exist in the middle, but are too long winded, and personal, to explain in enough depth here. Draw on your own personal experience and you will hopefully find a personal example.

The problem arises when you consider if art is also not just a form of communication. The communication of ideas and emotions. So is speech, it is just that with speech it is a form of communication that most people can take part in. So why is unambiguity in actions important, e.g. offering someone a hand to help them up and not to push them down again, yet ambiguity is accepted in art and possibly even encouraged. I have only been able to devise some very general and misty reasons for this.

One of these is that actions need to be unambiguous to aid in the practical nature of continued survival, where as differences in opinion on art allow us to better explore ideas and concepts by seeing different points of view. However I dislike this option as it makes a definite distinction between material survival and intellectual masturbation. This separation is dangerous as it allows us to forego ideals and principles with the defense that it is for physical survival; considering the body and mind as separate is a dangerous path, but once more this is a topic for a different essay.

Another option I have managed to come up with is based on the idea of post modern historical analysis, or at least how Sam explained it to me. The idea is that it does not actually matter if two of us interpret actions in different ways, it comes about from the very nature of us being different. This makes reality and fact totally flexible, eliminating the problem of different interpretations of actions by saying that our worry of different interpretations is the problem. However I'm not content with this idea either, it leads to a very lonely and disconcerting idea of the universe where we are all in our own separate spheres of interpretation and can never hope to communicate/share ideas and concepts.

The idea that I have found which resolves the problem of the meaning of actions and art is to remember that the individual is not a single entity. Within out own mind when deciding actions we will not just have one reason for anything. Even if we are not aware of it many things contribute to the reasons for our actions. There is no one reason for anything. This is what leads to the ambiguity that others can see in our actions, but also leads to the resolution. It is not the case that with actions we wish to communicate the one meaning for something, with actions we wish to communicate the meaning that we consciously intended for that action. This leads to the idea that we should not assign only one meaning to actions, but in a totally different way to the idea in the previous paragraph.

Instead of solving the problem by splitting the universe into individual pockets of reality, this resolves the issue by saying we are all mixed within the same universe, with many meanings for each action flying around. When we correct someone who has misinterpreted us we do not do so to get them to know the meaning of the actions, we do so to let them know the conscious meaning we had for that action. By accepting that there are other meanings that we might have meant, but not thought about consciously, the problem disappears. Actions become open to as much interpretation as art, although the ambiguity is at different stages of the conscious experience for each.


Constructive comments on if this is utter rubbish or not, please...

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Gertrude

Free-form poetry from a couple of years after when I started being vegetarian, so about 1999


I once had a cow
her name was Gertrude
and when she died
I ate her
and then used other bits for other things
and I made a nice coat
out of her skin
and out of her bones, I made a trifle
and out of her tail, I made a charm
and now when ever I walk the fields
Gertrude is proud
for she knows, that she has been useful
and that none of her was wasted
not even a scrap.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Luck of the draw

Written this afternoon. It's amazing how a focus on rhythm and rhyme can help settle the mind.


By the fear of feeling,
and the dread I see.
Ignorant of the meaning,
a trying time for me.
Glance in a mirror,
disgust has been drawn forth.
No love for the self,
actions come about by force.
False desire leads nowhere,
eyes gaze at the unknown.
Lacking emotions for others,
by a reflection of loathing.
How can I be for another,
when the self is half formed?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

There's revolutions, Revolutions and REVOLUTIONS.

This essay was inspired by the preface to 'Brave New World', so does show some similar elements at some points.


This is from early 2001 when I was an angry teenager obsessed with the idea that mankind was doomed unless we changed our ways massively.


Through out history there has been many examples of revolutions, revolutions of various sizes and proportions. Now I am not very good at history and don't know much about dates and the like, so I will be speaking in general about revolutions. As far as I can see, there are 3 main types of revolutions:
  • revolutions - These are the revolutions when nothing much actually happens in the end, some of the 'rich' people have been killed and replaced by the 'poor' people who started the revolution.

  • Revolutions - These are when there is a major change in the way peoples' lives are run, moving from capitalism to communism or back again.

  • REVOLUTIONS - These are absolutely massive changes going from hunting and gathering to farming for example. Living up trees instead of in huts.



You may puzzle over how Revolutions and REVOLUTIONS are different. I agree that Revolutions are fairly big events, and there is big social change, but the basic goals are still the same; show that your way of life is much better, as it is the only right way. Both the Americans and the Russians wanted to win the space race, not for mankind, but to show how much greater their way of life was at achieving things. People in communist Russia still went to work for food, people in America still went to work for food; there are big similarities. The main difference is how wealth is distributed. (I won't even start on why communism does not seem to work, there are many books on the subject so go read one of them, its just that its better to dream of being rich, than be as rich as your neighbor.)

REVOLUTIONS change the way we live, instead of hunting for food when you are hungry, you go out to work every day for money, major changes like this do not happen over night. I think that the time each revolution takes increases as you go from revolutions to Revolutions to REVOLUTIONS. 'revolutions' can happen in a matter of days, a group of people get together and plan to overthrow the people in power, although they can take years of planning and years of terrorism etc.

These revolutions, personally, I think are the most useless type, terrorism only works by inciting terror in the people, and once you have got into power or to your goal, people will still be scared of you, and resent you. They then start planning a revolution and it all goes round in circles. I know revolutions of this sort don't always involve terrorism, but the majority do, and so there for the majority of them may well work, but they also fail at the same time.

'Revolutions' can appear to only take a couple of days, like revolutions, but for all the effects to come into force, takes several months, so they are more long term, and because of this they seem to be slightly more stable than revolutions. Another reason for this stability might be because of the fact that most people who cause Revolutions have a vision, while the ones who create revolutions only have ideas. Revolutions aim to change the vision of everybody (the good joke 'Come the revolution we shall all have peaches and cream', 'But I don't like peaches and cream', 'Come the revolution we shall all like peaches and cream'.) While revolutions try to change the ideas of who should be in power, and how power should be divided.

Having said that Revolutions have a vision, is not entirely true, I think, the recent anti capitalist riots in London, England, show this. While most of the anti capitalists (the one with the true vision) probably protested peacefully, with a very low number becoming violent; I am willing to put money on many of the violent protesters on people coming along, not because they believe in anti capitalism, but because they just wanted a fight and some action.
This might be a very naive point of view, and in actual fact almost all anti capitalist are violent protesters, and I am willing to be corrected on this, but as I see it, its a group of individuals who are, in effect shunning people away from even thinking about questioning their lives, because the riots are shown in bad light in the media.

Then we get onto REVOLUTIONS, these are major events, and take years to really reach their full potential. Changing from hunting and gathering to farming is one of these REVOLUTIONS, and shows that they are not necessarily violent, or destructive, but just change the paradigm (central beliefs) of the population as a whole. These REVOLUTIONS, I believe, are not lead by anyone, they just happen as a group effort, there was not one person standing there telling all the hunters to grab a hoe and start farming. REVOLUTIONS just happen. A REVOLUTION is what is need for us to shed the lie, for us to become free and live happily. Another thing about REVOLUTIONs is that the end is almost never seen, I don't know if the REVOLUTION to shed the lie will end up in caves with big sticks or with a government system similar to our current one. REVOLUTIONs have the blind leading the blind, and whether we will lead each other off a cliff, or onto a hill top, is undecided, we shall see when we get there. I am fairly confident that some major even is brewing, no one can tell whether it will be an extinction or a REVOLUTION. Having said that what is a REVOLUTION if not an extinction of the old ideas? So in rephrasing that I shall say: no one can tell whether it will be an extinction of the human species or a extinction of the lie.

City at Night

Written early on the 28th March 2003


When I say city, I actually mean small suburb of a town. As I cycled through the empty streets a strange feeling came over me. I was hoping that when I tried to describe it, that I'd be able to, but I can't. It's the most annoying feeling... I want to be able to describe the feeling of freedom and separation that I had with the wind rushing through my hair, passing the dark houses. I felt like I controlled this domain, that this was my time, my place, and my worlds. Even when
I saw a light on in a window, the brightness creeping around the edges of the curtain, invading my domain, I didn't mind, I was still in control, I still had unrestricted movement. And then I breathed in...

I don't just mean I drew breath, I actually really opened my lungs, and tasted the air, and felt it move inside me, feeding the fire burning with in me. I felt the coldness of that breath all the way down my wind pipe. But it grew warmer the more it was inside me, it stopped being the external, and became the internal, it became part of me. Then I realized: I wasn't feeling that this was my world, I was feeling that I had a place in this world. I fitted in somewhere, while
I might not have had a purpose, I had a place, and that place was mine, and mine alone. Lost were all my feelings of trying to fit in, trying to do what was right, I was free. It wasn't that I was lord over all of it, it was that I was a link in the chain, a stitch in the
material, I was part of the world, as much as an atom is part of an object. I felt something close to being needed and feeling important. What I mean is I could have not been there, I wasn't vital, but it would not have been the same without me there.