Profound Sadness

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Ironic that on such a beautiful day I am so profoundly sad. My heart weighs heavy on my soul, and I feel alone when surrounded by others. Inside, a dark fire burns.

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Never Presume to Know Me Better than I know Myself

I am irritated at the moment. It seems silly to me to be so annoyed and perhaps a bit angry over such a trifle, but it irritated me.

I am an atheist. I do not believe in any god, gods, or other higher, omnipotent power by any other name. I do not believe there is any other force controlling our fate, our lives, or whatever else a deity might control. I am an atheist: traditionally, the word derives from the Greek meaning “against god.” It’s really that simple.

Last night, I was sitting at a table with a few friends and we attempting to engage in a philosophical discussion about religion and god and whatnot. As i explained that, despite my status as an atheist, I still participate in rituals such as Lent (I come from a long line of Catholics, you see), my best friend asked, “So what does the word atheist actually mean? Because I think you’re using it out of context.”

I became irritated. She demonstrated with that question that not only does she not understand what it is to be atheist, but she evidently never actually listened to my in-depth descriptions of my lack of religious beliefs and how I define things. First, religion, in my opinion, is just a broad word used to describe sets of rules and rituals originally created for groups of people to show devotion to whatever deity it is that they follow. That being said, the definition could be expanded to a point beyond deities; but I digress, as that is a different discussion.

Why do I practice things like Lent, then, if I don’t believe in any gods and I am not religious? The ritual itself is a form of personal challenge. I use it to try to improve myself in some small way. I use the idea of self-sacrifice to focus on improving the overall quality of human existence, which is really quite futile, because humans are actually quite terrible animals and selfish to boot. But, my motivation for practicing Lent has nothing to do with god or religion; just, having come from a long line of Catholics, I don’t know what else to call it or when else to challenge myself. Any time would do, I suppose.

Back to my main point: her implication that I misunderstand my own lack of beliefs and her inability to separate belief from dogma I found to be rather presumptuous and selfish on her part. It really irritated me. So, should I take her words to mean that I should stop participating in Easter rituals and Christmas rituals with my family, because those are also based in religion? My family doesn’t go to mass on those days; they usually just use them as a reason to bring us together while we’re all still alive.

I would try to explain this to the woman in question, but I do not think she’ll listen to me. I do not think she’ll accept my definitions and understanding of what it is to be religious or to not believe in something. That’s perfectly fine with me, until you presume that I lack understanding of my own self and my own definitions. I am an introvert with this vast inner life that I’ve attempted to explain, and yet, no one listens to what I actually tell them; they simply wait for me to finish speaking so they can tell me I’m wrong about my own self. No one will ever know me better than me; I resent that people project themselves on others and presume that they know them in turn. Miss (friend in question), I love you dearly, but also fuck you for being so reckless and presumptuous.

My apologies for the rant.

Auf wiedersehen,
Sid

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Love? Chemistry.

I begrudgingly wish you bloggers, you happy bloggers, a Happy Valentine’s Day. And while I do not wish to share the story of my first crush (on a person), I will share that love is an awesome feeling; because endorphins make you feel awesome. And, I just couldn’t resist this:

http://youtu.be/GIpEQfMVh2k

I’m to do things, and stuff!

Viele Liebe,
Sid

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Ghosts of the Pieces of Souls

I am filled with sorrow at the idea that you will never be able to understand my melancholy. Not only do I lack adequate vocabulary to express the depth and complexity of my tears, you lack the capacity to listen properly to my heart and the ability to understand, at its deepest level, what you are hearing.

The past is in the past for a reason. But sometimes, things that we do or things that are done to us mark us in profound ways. There are so many hypotheses in so many different cultures that attempt to explain and even apply a standard formula to the ways life events affect us. But how can there be a single formula? Every situation is different, and every person possesses different degrees of sensitivity to their environments. Sometimes we lose pieces of our souls (metaphorically speaking), and in the empty spaces those bits leave in their wake, ghosts may take up residence.

For our supposed brilliance in the animal kingdom and highly developed, complex emotions, humans sure do spend a lot of time hurting each other and being absolutely careless.http://youtu.be/Nv1-jwPXOCY

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Musik war meine erste Liebe

Valentine’s Day. I generally shudder at the idea of setting aside a single day to capitalize on the idea of love. I believe you should show people you love them as often as possible; this life is fleeting, and you can’t know when you will no longer be able to express that affection.

That being said, I have no “valentine.” But, I do have some dear friends and family. I love all of them in different ways. I love animals. I love coffee, social drinking, and philosophical discussions. But my first and everlasting love? Music.

I love rock, classical, jazz, electronic, industrial (I really love industrial), blues. I am a classically trained musician, for quite a long time, on top of my “day job.” I fell in love with music long ago, when I was wee. Music was my first and everlasting love.

I have this theory that if one were to translate Tool’s albums into physical equations, one could build an incredible temple.

Music goes back to math. Music is made of math, just as everything else. After math, it is the most important language with which humans communicate. It is capable of expressing the full range of human emotions. When words just can’t suffice, tunes can pick up the slack. It was my first and everlasting love, before I knew what math was.

And so, as a pre-Valentine’s Day gift for the blogosphere, I bring you something beautiful.

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We Are All Made of Stars, by Moby

“I see spaces, worlds, alternate realities, alternate timelines, faraway pieces of the universe all the time, in my mind; and, because of mankind’s strict adherence to limits he’s placed upon himself, and the cold fear he feels about opening his mind to such vast possibilities, I must keep all this to myself. On an every-day basis, mind you. As of yet, no human language, save for mathematics, has been invented that can adequately describe my ‘visions’ to others without being labelled insane.”–SMV

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Rosetta what? The Universal Language

Hello, my name is Sidney (you can call me Sid for short), and I am a nerd.

I use mathematics of various types every day. This ranges from simple counting to complex physics problems. Many people think I’m insane because I kind of enjoy it. Many people have what I’ve heard called “math anxiety,” which I believe is a learned mental state brought on during early schooling by improper teaching. The thing with learning math of any kind is, apart from methods of teaching it, a person’s personality and ways of understanding information can make or break them. As far as mental makeup, I’ve heard many people claim they’re “just not wired for it.” These are usually the same people who are hopeless in the area of learning languages. But, anyone is capable of learning any kind of math and being good at it, just as anyone is capable of learning any other language and being good at it. They just have to want to; and, ideally, they should be exposed to such things as other languages and mathematics fairly early in life. This way, as their brains change, they can continue to exercise this ability.

But wait. Let me back up a little, and do a little explaining. First of all, math, very generally, is just a language with myriad “dialects,” specified to describe just about everything in the physical universe (save the things we can still only hypothesize about). Math can even be used to describe spoken languages, for these have patterns and involve physical processes to produce them. When a child is shown that math is just a language to describe everything they see, touch, smell, hear, taste, and perceive, it becomes less scary and can, if properly fostered, lead to not only a deeper understanding of their environments, but also a sort of appreciation (bordering on what we English-speakers might call love) for the beauty math’s ultimate simplicity has built. Of course, this is an ideal situation; and I’m sure we all know that ideal situations are rare.

So, to answer the question, if I were to wake up one day and find that I was fluent in any language, the language I choose is mathematics. This would include the dialects with which we (we humans) are not yet familiar. I would then take it upon myself to travel the world, and I would do my best to reach every person I could and teach them this most amazing language. I would reach out to physicists, mathemeticians, biologists, engineers of all sorts, scientists of all sorts, teachers, and housewives alike. I would use my fluency to show them the vast possibilities in life, the truth of the universe, the secret of immortality! Furthermore, I choose math because, of all the human languages I’ve studied, I’ve yet to find one with adequate vocabulary to describe the depth and vastness of what I perceive in this world all the time. German pings on it a bit, often because when a German-speaker says something, the receiver is meant to imply greater depth and meaning than the superficial words. But, in math, there is such vocabulary. With math, one can create an absolutely beautiful universe. And, it’s universal. Yes, I’m quoting Lindsay Lohan’s character in Mean Girls, but it rings true: “[Math’s] the same in every language.” One can unlock all the secrets of the universe with math.

How’s that for idealism?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/10/daily-post-take-that-rosetta/

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Blame it on my A.D.D.

http://youtu.be/uc5CQXy5Ubs

I find myself simultaneously burnt out and motivated. I need a break from these equations, but I need to make some progress on them. Four sections finished, four more to the next check point. I suppose I could work on processing this other stuff, but that’s already been meted for my weekly tasks. I kind of want to work on my graphic novella, but all my drafts are at home. It seems I am unable to concentrate on much right now. Apparently Attention Deficit Disorder is a thing I have. I always do my best work at night and in the wee hours of the morn, when few others are awake and restless as I.

Meanwhile, though I am unable to really focus at the moment, I find myself in quite a contemplative state. If you were to ask me nine months ago what my life would be like now, I would not have even begun to fathom what it’s become. I’ve experienced myriad changes, to the point where my life is completely different than what I initially had in mind. This is not to say it’s all bad; in fact, I’d argue that many of the changes have been good. Even the one that did the most damage hasn’t been all bad. If nothing else, it showed me how much of myself I lost, how much I sacrificed, for another’s success. It showed me just how wrong that whole situation was to begin with; any relationship should involve all parties balancing the give-and-take; one should not be giving more than the other (or others, as the case may be). That being said, if one feels they are contributing a lot already, but another feels it is in the wrong ways, then either tactfully sort your shite out or use the situation to determine the greater implications of such disjointedness, and figure out what the best course(s) of action might be. But I digress on that point; during this time, I’ve also fallen in love with someone very dear to me who I wish I could see more often. I don’t think that he feels quite the same, but even if he does, the timing’s not right for anything serious. More importantly, after all that I’ve been through in this life, it stokes a little warm fire inside me that I am still capable of loving another so completely, with no expectation for him to change or even love me back. See the video inserted in this post.

To further demonstrate my mad ADD skills (as I sit here listening to some great electronic/club tracks kind of wishing I was at a rave), let’s completely change direction. I’ve been seeing quite a lot of press lately about the…shall we say…lower standards of amenities in Sochi. Having been in similar situations in my life (not tied to any kind of international sporting event [though there was a lot of news coverage], but I’ll never take a flushing toilet or a shower for granted again, to put it mildly), I can understand the massive frustration that many involved must be feeling. I would also like to point out what decades of Stalinist ideology, communism, and very well-developed KGB tactics have left Russian culture: the Cold War and its effects still linger all over the world’s largest country (in terms of land area). Their infrastructure is still being rebuilt from its original inception in the 1950s-1980s. The workers’ attitudes reflect conditions that were common there during the Cold War: see the story of Johnnie Balfour (http://www.news.com.au/sport/olympic-contractors-sochi-horror-story/story-fnl6khi7-1226821745956). And, there are many more stories of this ilk. Russia is still recovering from the economic collapse that brought her communist days to an end. Vladimir Putin himself is (forgive me if this offends) a bit of a Cold War relic. Second time in premiereship, the first having been during the “war” itself? And he’s a “true believer”? Yeah. All this makes me wonder. The fact that Russia put in a bid for hosting the Olympics (Russia does have an excellent environment for the Winter Games) could have been an attempt to show the world Russia’s greatness; it could have been a way for Putin to demonstrate that his country is on equal footing with the other superpowers. It could have been a way for them to overshadow the U.S., which, let’s recall, was what they hoped to accomplish out of the Cold War (not quite that simple, but you get the idea). One fact of the Cold War that is often over the heads of the general populus: Russia (the Soviet Union) wanted to be seen as equal with the U.S.; in reality, during the early days of the “war” (1946ish to the 1960s), and perhaps even through today, the only way they were ever truly equal was in the area of nuclear weapons. The rest was all a show of force, a front designed to blind the world against the truth of Soviet conditions everywhere. I was always taught that the Cold War ended when the Soviet Union collapsed; but did it really? Many Americans I come across are still taught how absolutely evil communism is, with no differentiation between Stalinism and, for example, Vietnamese nationalist communism (*NOTE: communism is an economic system, like capitalism an economic system). Further, many Americans have never been taught what communism actually is. If the world generally agrees that the Cold War in fact ended when the Soviet Union collapsed, then is Vladimir Putin attempting to revive the old conflict under a new name, like some sort of revenge for “losing” the first time? Let us also keep in mind the Cold War had no winners; but it did have one big loser, and arguably many other casualties along the way. As those of us in the world who are able to see and hear what’s going on in Sochi marvel at the Soviet-era ghosts, let us remember the Summer Olympics in Berlin in 1936 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1936_Summer_Olympics). Are the Olympic Games really about international cooperation through universal sports competition, or are they about promoting nationalism and showing off in an attempt to garner favorable international political attention?

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Get Lucky

I know I haven’t posted in quite a long while, so to commemorate my reentry into the blogosphere, here is a song that makes me want to dance. Life is a constant struggle and it is nice to occassionally escape the disappointing and often cruel reality of the world (and humanity) with a feel-good tune and some dancing.

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Pro.Cras.Ti.Nate.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/daily-prompt-time/

I put the PRO in PROCRASTINATE! Just kidding. Or am I?

I did not set an alarm last night, because today I had no pressing commitments. Other than some electronic paperwork. That will likely take a while to complete. I’ve been awake since around 6:30 a.m. or so. But, I’ve yet to even look at this paperwork. Instead, I am reading and writing a blog. I am listening to music. I watched a couple episodes of a show on Netflix.

I made more coffee. I thought about doing laundry. I thought about going for a jog (I’ll probably still do that, just as soon as I finish this). I’ve been thinking on and off about what tomorrow’s obligations, and what I may need to do today to be prepared. But doing things at the last minute is so much more fulfilling!

This is my problem. I often have so much going on that I am unable to properly focus. This causes me to stay motionless, thinking about all the things I have to do. And then, before I know it, I’ve just watched an entire season of Battlestar Galactica or read half of a 2,000-page book, and I have to rush to get my obligations done. This ADD thing can literally paralyze me.

There is not one particular thing I am procrastinating on. In fact, there are only a minute percentage of things I put off on purpose. Most of the time, it’s unintentional. Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent my entire life putting things off as a way to cope with the anxiety of “what if?” syndrome.

But I’m changing that. I’ve learned other coping mechanisms. I have to constantly remind myself that results only come from action. I have to remind myself not to think too much.

Stranger yet, I never have this problem at work. At least, it is seldom a problem as a result of my own inaction. Usually if something at work is pushed off, it’s because I have to wait on one or more of the other powers that be.

My most recent musical obsession is A Perfect Circle’s album Thirteenth Step. Transformative. I can take solace in knowing that I don’t need to make people understand the incredible depths I can see when there is beauty like that.

I suppose I should stop procrastinating and do something useful today.

Auf wiedersehen,

Sid

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