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Second Chance November 4, 2013

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Being rich doesn’t make you happy, because our collective consciousness is aware of all the miseries we create. We put innocent people in jail for smoking pot for $40,000 a year, while millions of homeless people go without basic food and shelter. Billions of animals suffer unspeakable cruelty and die horrible deaths because we want cheap meat. Billions and billions of dollars wasted on manufacturing of weapons and brainwashing, because our ideas of what life is about is stuck in the Stone Age.

We are miserable, even if we are comfortable, because we sense all this injustice and misery around us. We numb ourselves with consumption and materialism, and build ourselves comfortable prisons. The best we can hope for is to die without too much discomfort after we are used up (aka retirement). We are told we are powerless to change it, that it is just the way it is and always will be. That’s a lie.

The way it is is the way we allow it to be.

As Bill Hicks said, evolution did not stop with us growing thumbs. It is time to evolve ideas. Religion and governments are not working because they are no longer relevant. They were training wheels of our past and it’s time to let them go because they are holding us back.

As a sentient species, we are at the point of being able to control the direction of our evolution. It is up to us to decide what kind of future reality we will create. Evolution is happening right now, at an accelerating pace. Every day, we are deciding what kind of species we are evolving towards – angry, warlike, selfish enslavers, or happy, peaceful and benevolent liberators.

Prisons and military are how enslavers breed more enslavers. Governments are nothing more than protection rackets that take the fruits of our labor and turn them into weapons which they use to enforce their slavery of us. Don’t believe it? Try not paying taxes and see what happens.

What’s at stake is not just the suffering of the imprisoned and enslaved, but the future of our species. We are not citizens, we are enslaved subjects of the state.

War on Drugs is more correctly understood as War on Consciousness, because psychedelics can temporarily free our minds and see the reality of our situation. War on Drugs directly feeds the prison industrial complex to create more enslavers. As my friend David said, we used to exile or kill criminals because we thought the cruelty of locking them up in cages was beneath us. Now we have a government that systematically imprison and torture people in the name of “national security”. We have a surveillance state that is global in scale.

So what do we do now? It’s tempting to want to start a revolution, to fight fire with fire, dismantle civilization and start over. The problem is that we cannot afford to do that at this point. Even if we could overthrow the current regime of violent enslavers, our planet doesn’t have that much more left for us to start over from scratch. Violence will beget more violence and we’d end up where we started.

What we need is a second chance.

Give yourself a second chance, by giving someone else a second chance.

Giving ourselves a second chance, by giving each other a second chance.

We shall seek redemption not from above, not in isolation, but from each other. By helping others who will then in turn help more people, we will create more liberators and push back against the enslaver strand of our species. We can’t get off this planet until we eradicate or at least subdue the enslavers, such virulent species cannot be allowed to run amok in the galaxy.

Look around and reach out directly to other people. Ignore mass media and propaganda, the enslavers control almost all of our social apparatus at this point. Instead, focus on what we can do at a personal, one on one basis. It is not enough to just survive individually, we need to liberate ourselves and our species.

To be continued…


Think Different March 11, 2013

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As human beings, we all crave acceptance, it’s part of our evolutionary heritage as social primates. However, when acceptance is not possible, shoot for something higher – shoot for being true to yourself

Biting the hand that feeds you August 28, 2012

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Heard on radio this morning – Republican Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal asking President Obama for more Federal aid to help prepare for hurricane season.

This is the same guy who, delivering the Republican response to Obama’s address of Congress, said “Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us, those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina, we have our doubts.”

At this point, Republicans can’t even be bothered to create any pretense of rationality and responsibility, because they grasp the basic fact that politics in America is no longer about governance that requires compromise, but a spectator sport between different tribes.

For once, I am going to agree with Rush Limbaugh. Liberals are responsible for this mess, liberals are responsible for this tribalization of America. Their postmodern moral equivalence has led to a value-free society, a vacuum seized upon by the religious right. When you insist all belief systems are equally valid and deserving the same respect, you no longer have the ability to articulate why we should reject religious fundamentalism and support liberal pluralism. We’ve handcuffed ourselves so we have no coherent response to “my ignorance is as good as your knowledge”. Willful ignorance beats intellectual superiority, every time, if we lack the courage in our own convictions.

Liberals created this monster which is now eating them alive. That’s the uncomfortable truth we have to confront. It’s time to reassert values found in during the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, we don’t have to offer equal respect to all belief systems. Religious fundamentalism does not deserve respect, whether they are the Taliban or Christian variety. Equal rights does not mean equal respect. Rights are protected for all, but respect have to be earned on their own merit.

It’s time to end this idiotic nonsense before they end the crowning achievement of humanity – the great American experiment in true Democracy.

Courage August 11, 2012

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Every now and then people would say to me that they think I am brave, courageous, or some other words to that effect. For some reason, the word would never sit well with me, but I couldn’t quite explain why.

I just figured it out.

Most of the time when I’m compelled to act, it’s because I’ve figured out something else that frightens me more than inaction. That’s all it is.

That’s why the word feels incongruent, because I never feel courageous, quite the opposite. Courage is not being fearless, it’s to keep going in the face of fear.

Hiroshima July 21, 2012

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I just got back from a vacation in Japan, visited four major cities – Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima. As amazing and wonderful those cities were, Hiroshima is the one that made a lasting impression.

Hiroshima is the anti-911. I am not talking about the moral (and pointless) evaluation of which one is worse, the dead couldn’t care less if it was terrorists or the US army that killed them. What I’m talking about is the way the two cultures chose to memorialize and interpret these horrible events.

In both cases, the victims are innocent civilians. The difference is that the Japanese don’t call the victims “heroes”. The dead in both tragedies are victims of terrible violence and don’t deserve what happened to them, but how does the concept of heroism get mixed into this?

Without exception, the Japanese memorials all speak of hope for lasting world peace, whereas the 911 slogan is “never forget”. Never forget what, exactly? Yes, it’s very skillful (someone’s mass communications professor would be proud) to leave it ambiguous, so everyone can fill in the blanks on their own. But it’s also manipulative, dishonest and ultimately disrespectful to the actual victims of the atrocities.

Why I am against marriage January 29, 2012

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Contrary to popular belief, marriage is neither a natural nor inevitable conclusion to a monogamous relationship. It’s a Christian institution that was popularized via Western conquest of the world, before which monogamous marriage as we know it did not exist in any other human culture. It is as intrinsic to the human experience as male circumcision, both of which are Judeo-Christian gifts to the world, bequeathed as part of their subjugation of the local population.

If something is not intrinsic, but rather a human construct, then it should bear examination on its merits. Supporting something just because it’s customary is not a good idea, otherwise we’d all be in support of foot binding and arranged marriages. Having gone through divorce twice against my wishes, I have every incentive to think deeply and honestly about what exactly marriage is and isn’t.

So let’s take a closer look. First, why do people get married in the first place? Most would say it’s a commitment to staying together, until death do them apart. But isn’t it also common sense to say that two people who want to be in a committed monogamous relationship can do so without marriage? Furthermore, most people would agree that no marriage should survive if one or both people are no longer happy together.

In other words, marriage is superfluous to whether or not two people will stay together in a committed monogamous relationship. It’s superfluous in the same way that God is superfluous for understanding how the planets go around the sun – ” Je n’avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là”You can choose to believe in God if you wish, but it makes no difference to the outcome.

Second, and my more serious objection to marriage is how it ends. When couples decide to go their separate ways, the only difference marriage makes is that it forcefully involves the government into what should be the most personal and private area of your life. It gives the state the power to delve deep into every corner of your life. In particular, the state has the power to interrogate your children about your relationship with them and decide exactly how many hours you are allowed to see them. Anyone who has kids can tell you just how unimaginably harrowing that is.

I’ve been called a cynic for my stance on marriage. I am not a cynic. A cynic is someone picks apart other people’s beliefs without any of their own. I have strong beliefs about relationships, which I will state clearly here. I believe that people should be free to pursue happiness without government intervention, especially in personal relationships. I believe that true love, connection and commitment can and should exist without marriage. Instead of focusing on marriage, I’d rather focus on building a relationship that doesn’t need external validation. I think that’s a far more honest and romantic position to take than the conventional ideal, which basically amounts to “get married and stay married”.

No, I am not a cynic. Nor am I a dolt, which is someone who makes major commitments like marriage without figuring out for themselves exactly what it is they are committing to. Socrates said  “unexamined life is not worth living”, I’d like to add that “unexamined beliefs are not worth having”.

We become the monsters we fight October 10, 2011

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… and that’s a good thing!

No, really. Hear me out.

Like many people, I consider Steve Jobs to be a life long inspiration. His life philosophy has inspired and informed many of my own attitudes and decisions, and the main reason why I chose to spent 11 years at Apple under him.

However, I did feel conflicted about one aspect of his incredible life story – his evolution from being the guy who made boxes that hacked phone companies for free calls, who proclaimed “1984 wont be like 1984”, to the man responsible for creating the most authoritarian, locked down ecosystem in the history of the world. It’s as if he got tired of fighting The Man and decided to instead show them how it’s done.

But I had an epiphany after reflecting on his life after his death. I realized that being the very thing you started off fighting against is, in fact, the proof that you have lived your life to the fullest and fulfilled your life mission…

Bear with me for a bit more…

If you step back a bit from the good/evil, black/white, order/chaos dichotomy, you will see that they are simply two sides of the same coin. There is no absolute good or evil, just a giant pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other. The sixties counterculture flower children became the “greed is good” yuppies in the eighties. Most people, myself included, would say that the Boomers have sold out, but now I realize it’s not that simple. It’s irrelevant whether or not the Boomers have sold out, it was their destiny to rebel against the stifling social order, and they pushed the pendulum from one end to the other, and back again. The seed of its destruction is planted at the apex of any movement, that is how pendulums work.

Our lives are not solely our own, we are all part of something larger. We exist to push the evolution of the human civilization forward, and the way we do that is to swing that pendulum as hard as we can in the direction that was assigned to us. You can picture it as a grand theatre, in which you don’t get to pick your part, but you can choose how well you play your assigned role. It is not our place to question why, but it is our individual choice to embrace our destiny or turn away from it.

The lesson of Steve Jobs is not to be like Steve – it is to be yourself, and never settle for anything less.

May you live well and long enough to become the very thing you loath in your youth, and be at peace knowing that is as it should be.

Oh, and cheers, Boomers, I don’t hate you anymore. 🙂

Why we fail (Epic Edition) March 29, 2011

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Like most of us, I had fantasies of doing amazing deeds that earn the adoration and admiration of millions in my youth. These fantasies mostly involve my creating some amazing breakthrough in science or technology, but I think we’d all agree nothing is more epic than saving the entire world from some terrible disaster.

So what happens in real life if you do, indeed, save the world from nuclear holocaust?

As it turns out, nothing. Nada. You are lucky if they let you keep your job.

Stanislav Petrov single handedly prevented, in all likelihood, an all out nuclear war between US and USSR back in the 80s. If Stanislav didn’t exercise his judgement and ignored the false alarm due to faulty equipment, we’d probably all be eating cans of dog food, wielding shotguns and have extremely bad personal hygiene at this point.

So what did he get for this most epic prevention of failures, not to mention the end of human civilization?

He was reassigned to a less sensitive post, took early retirement (although he emphasizes that he was not “forced out” of the army, as the case is presented by some Western sources), and suffered a nervous breakdown.

“we, as a society, only reward apparent success, and never prevention of failure.”

I was wrong about one thing though. It’s not just corporate America, it’s pretty much yet another serious design flaw of the human mind.

So much for Intelligent Design, eh?

Love potion March 1, 2011

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If we accept that scientific fact that romantic love is chemical based, and has an average lifespan of 2~3 years, it’s not a huge leap to think that we can come up with a drug to sustain romantic love in the near future.

Conceptually, it’s really no different from antidepressants and other drugs that eliminate undesirable mental states. One can argue that it’s a design flaw of the human species that we are built for infidelity and suffer for the transiency of romantic love.

Note, this hypothetical drug won’t work unless you are already in a romantic relationship. It’s not a love potion to make people fall in love, all it does is to sustain what’s already there.

Now would you take this drug with your partner? If not, why not?

Chief Tyrol and The Junior Knuckledragger (that’s me!) April 5, 2010

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