Words and Dreams and a Million Screams

a rarely updated repository for an inner voice that will occasionally and fleetingly force itself from my conscience

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

appliances have gone berserk

Lately, I've been feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders and within my chest. Not for any particular reason, but I seem to be gravitating towards angst-driven, pessimistic worldviews. An excerpt from a friend's blog, Expensive Waste:

On Nirvana's Bleach album, Kurt Cobain sings of school sans recess. "Won't you believe it, it's just my luck," Kurt recites in repetition (reoccurring, but rejecting redundancy), conveying the message of being fucked over by circumstances outside of his own control. A constant process of so-called learning devoid of any breaks. Enter the father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard.

Kierkegaard (1813-1855) posits that we are constantly and consistently in the condition of angst, which is that nagging feeling that makes you feel like shit due to your responsibilities in relation to your own principles and the expectations of others. Angst is more than something superficially conveyed through My Chemical Romance tunes. It's something that affects our beings and choices whether or not we're aware of it. We have x amount of time to do y amount of z, and then we die. As it was with old video games like Ms. Pac-Man or Space Invaders, the object of the game is to get as high a score as is attainable until the inevitable GAME OVER. Furthermore, you're out of quarters. Yes, Dear Reader, the end is indeed imminent. Why are you wasting this irreplaceable time reading this paragraph when you could be wasting this irreplaceable time looking at pornography? You're already online; you should fucking do it. Better yet, why not spend time with those who mean more than two shits to you?

To be honest, I've never read Kierkegaard, but this idea does resonate with how I've been feeling. Attempting to maximally enjoy each and every day can only combat the overwhelming and inescapable loss of youth. This may come as common sense to most people, but personally, I feel it a bit more difficult with the nagging reminder of inevitable fate. "Meaning of life" style question were not the intended purpose of my blog post today, so I will move away from it, but it might set a proper tone prior to reading the following discourse.

Along the theme of feeling overwhelmed and incapacitated, the flood of information that stacks itself upon my inbox, RSS feeds, Twitter flow, Facebook friend feed, and websites is staggering. Aside from not even having an ideal way to store and organize all the information, its all too much. Up to this point in my life, I've lived under the premise of acquiring all that I can, of always being connected. I regularly spend several minutes each day before the day begins attempting to not get behind on what has been published since I went to sleep or was away from a computer. Again, I know I'm not a pioneer on this subject, but this is a reflection of my own personal feelings. None of my computing devices purported to make my life simpler or get more done have really achieved that, in one sense, they have, because it is true that I'm much more capable of always being connected, but on the other, and much truer hand, the advances that these devices enable only create new opportunities for distraction from information that may not always be relevant to associate with on a 24 hour timetable.

My recent trip to San Francisco further influenced these thoughts. I think the sole determining factor was McSweeney's issue #33, in which they decided to make this quarterly edition in the form of a newspaper. To briefly summarize their intentions of why this published in this format, it was to investigate the good aspects of large-format paper printing. With all the closures of newspapers on a national scale, they thought it would be interesting to create a newspaper that reminded individuals of why newspapers were originally the world's key source of new information, before the advent of the Internet. The final product McSweeney's published is beautiful and staggering, I entirely wish this medium were available for purchase on a daily basis.

One of the flaws with reading the newspaper on the internet is that it feels like reading a typical web page, whereas reading it on paper, in large-format, enables the reader to take in all the descriptors, explanations, and photographs at the same time. Up to this point, newspapers have only relegated the stories to the Internet without really capturing the full potential of publishing on the web. I think one of the key aspects of reading a newspaper with quality journalism, is that your interest is captivated while you hold the newspaper, and move from story to story seamlessly; although the interest may not have been something that your attention immediately, you can't help but read because you are already sitting with the paper in front of you, and perhaps something else interests you about the article. On the web, you're given one story to read per page, with links to other articles, along with a slew of ads and graphics that encroach on the area meant for reading. Furthermore, I'm much less likely to click a link to read a story I'm unfamiliar with in the minuscule span of time that headline has to draw my attention. All in all, reading newspapers online is great for a story that grabs my interest initially, but the enjoyment factor is severely mitigated by an entirely non-conventional, impersonal format.

The monumental release of the iPad stirred more questions within. Although I was hardly convinced of it as an essential device, the technology is interesting and caused more questions to rise up. As a person who enjoys reading, will the iPad (or Kindle, etc.) make reading more enjoyable and accessible? Is this another device that will really revolutionize the way I intake information, or will it lead to similar feelings of being overwhelmed? Practicality is one of the key issues, and I would sincerely like to read in a way that is efficient and enjoyable. I'm not sure the iPad is capable of being the end-all answer to reading. There is something to be said about reading in all formats, and certain advantages and disadvantages of all formats. The iPad was sometimes lauded as an end-all, be-all device of multimedia synthesis, and while it might be for some, I doubt it will be for all. Of course, being able to peruse articles while watching videos and pictures in an integrated way is exciting, but I'll remain skeptic until I can test the technology on my own at my own pace. For now, I think its best to stick to the strength of what the various outlets offer: web pages for articles and video, newspapers for journalism, and books for reading.

Another piece of insight was recently expunged from the “Shift Age” episode of Berkeley Groks, the science podcast I subscribe to. David Houle was the guest on the show, who is a strategist and futurist, and author of the website evolutionshift.com. During the episode he talked about three factors that are contributing to a shift in the way humanity is going about its business, and these factors combine to create a new way of looking at the world is the present day and the direction it is heading. The three factors Mr. Houle mentions are:
1. The shift from nation-states to a global scale.
2. The flow to the individual, the amount of connectedness and mobility an individual is able to ascertain.
3. Accelerating electronic connectedness.

These forces have all been acting for the past few decades, but he believes the technology is culminating and coming to a head that will serve to connect the smallest unit of population, an individual, with the world on a global scale to an extent that has yet to be tested. It’s interesting to listen to the rest of the podcast, because he goes on to talk about the ramifications for society (like future energy issues), and what individuals can do to anticipate and shift their perspectives for the impending changes to be brought about by the future.

Although this post is disjointed without the focus of a truly unified theme, I feel the ideas are at least somewhat loosely connected. Personally, these tidal waves of information perpetuate the system of keeping up with the Jones’, and just when you think you’ve developed a system that works, along comes another invention that will supposedly enhance and ease your life like never before. There is no doubt this gimmick has been perpetuated throughout our society, but I’m slowly and surely becoming more aware of it; and hopefully more resistant to it.

I also started reading “You Are Not A Gadget,” by Jaron Lanier, and hope to learn more about why the Web was created as it is, while gaining insight to the future.

I love ripping off artist's song titles and lyrics and catering them to my own specific need.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009


Definitely a simple but unavoidable observation. Before, under the Bush presidency, there would be certain individuals from my news feed who would make posts declaring the errors of the policy making. Now, it seems with Obama, there is another, completely new group of individuals exclaiming the errors with policy. Personally, I'm more politically declined and apathetic, so I prefer to take a hands-off approach and observe from the outside; although I wouldn't mind sharing ideas over a pint or two, but I can't think of a more boring place to do it than at the solitary confinement of my desk. Note: this is in no way intended to be an insult to individuals who enjoy writing about political thoughts and issues, because the majority of the time I enjoy reading these ideas, particularly of people I know and associate with. What makes these posts interesting is when an idea is brought up and explained, with rationales for agreement or derision. So often, "half-ideas" I feel get posted that lack direction and it really doesn't serve to bring up any new or interesting viewpoints but rather only serve to advance one's ideological close-mindedness.

Friday, July 24, 2009

80s Cartoon

YouTube is featuring 80s cartoons right now, and I watched a bit of He-Man. Not only is that best name for a hero, but I also love his Aryan-esque appearance, with the long blond hair and iron-cross emblazoned chest. And Skeletor is probably one of the coolest looking bad guys I've ever seen.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I downloaded the Hulu Desktop for Mac application and now I can watch shows whenever the hell I want, even though you could do the same thing before, just as easily. After watching the series premier of "Michael and Michael Have Issues" last night, I'm motivated to watch the entire series of Stella, which is on Hulu. Hopefully this show doesn't get cancelled after a season or two which always seems to happen with good shows.

Chef BoyorTom

Hey! I love cooking. It's like a science lab experiment every time you do it. Tonight I made coq au vin and it turned out pretty OK. Actually I wasn't too disappointed. That could be due to the fact that my expectations were extremely low, but considering everything came out on nearly on time, the chicken wasn't undercooked, and I went the extra mile to make asparagus and bacon as a topping to the chicken, I'm pretty content with the result. The only complaint Greg had was that his dad wouldn't have overcooked the chicken. That brings up two points: a) I'm not a dad yet (at least to my knowledge), and therefore I should not be expected to cook chicken as a dad would, and b) That the chicken wasn't too overcooked in my opinion, although a little dry, I'm much more satisfied knowing I'm eating tender chicken rather than contracting Salmonella. Without a doubt that is a blatant cop out and excuse, but cooking is something I hope to get better at with time, so suck it.

the guy

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Long Beach, California, United States
I'm a registered nurse, working at Long Beach Memorial. I enjoy my job very much, though it can be very stressful and difficult at times. In my free time, I read, throw frisbees, and try to score goals for my roller hockey team. I read every piece of information available that pertains to the LA Kings, I rip movies to my hard drive to watch them later, and I love Xbox live. I recently bought a new bike that I pedal around all the time; if you're ever in Long Beach look for me. I love drinking coffee and beer, occasionally to the point of excess, but I make it a point to always have fun.