Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Like many of you I spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen. And a lot of the time its very straining on my eyes. But I didn't really realizes just how much unnecessary stress I was putting on my eyes until I started darkening certain things. So here is a list of things you can do to relieve the stress on your eyes.
Dark wallpaper. This one is the easiest. Just go download a darkish wallpaper and even though you may not spend that much time staring at your desktop, its must less jarring to see when you close your active programs.
Custom FireFox Extensions: This one I highly recommend. If you use FireFox (and you should), go and install the "Stylish" extension (link below). Now go the other link posted below and search for the sites you visit regularly. People have submitted a lot of custom templates that modify specific sites that change the background color, font, and other things. Take a look through them, find one you like, and install it. I recommend the dark versions of Wikipedia and Google.
Word Background: I'm really surprised I didn't figure this out sooner. Just open Word, go to Format and then Background. After a few seconds of staring at the default white background, switch to black. I don't know about you but as soon as I do that I feel like all this tension is listed off of me. I feels so much better to look at a dark screen.
Customize Web Sites
My Browser is very eye friendly
Friday, October 17, 2008
I've watched ZA twice now. The first time I just sat back and let it play. When it was finished I wasn't sure what to make of it. My first impression was that it was very persuading, but like all second hand reports I didn't think it was the whole truth. So I started asking around to see if anyone could verify some of the claims that it made. This was pretty hard because it makes a lot of claims and I don't have the time or know-how to check all their facts. But my research did yield some fruit. The last quarts of the film is about The Venus Project, a proposed new "Resource Based" economy by this guy Jaques Fresko. The film is pretty much a big ad for the project but even without the proposed new economy, the message of the film is still important on its own.
So I decided to watch it again but this time take notes on their main points so I could compile it all and check from there. Thats when I realized that it wasn't the facts that I needed to focus, it was the ideas and concepts. Even if someone says that unemployment in the US is 10% when its actually 8% doesn't change the fact that the unemployment rate is out of control (I just made up those numbers for the argument). So its counter productive to focus on each precise statistic than to the look at the main point.
The entire argument of the film is that our growth as a people is being held back from meaningful progress by long held institutions that are not longer relevant, and the point is to just get you to stop and think about the way things work. We could be so much more than we are now if we were not slowed down by the desire to keep things the way they are. The biggest institutions targeted in the film are the monetary system, capitalism, government, and religion.
I don't want to go into each one individually because I don't think I could explain them accurately the way the film does. However there are few overarching things I'd like to point out.
1: Capitalism values profit well above human welfare. The only reason most companies hire employees is because that job hasn't been automated yet. If I have a factory and can function at a fraction of the cost by using machines, why would I hire employees?
2: The only reason we don't usually have to pay for water and air is because its so abundant. Charging for it would be useless.
3: Our monetary system cannot keep up with technological advances. What happens when the population starts to really outweigh the number of jobs? The global population is rising every year and more jobs are being automated every year.
4: As I said in my last post, we have the technology to make clean, efficient transportation and energy but the oil and energy companies (and the government) stand in the way. Why? Because efficiency does not mean profit. The longer we use inefficient cars and energy, the longer they
will stay in business and maintain control. Its no secret that the oil companies hold electric car patents that prevent mass distribution.
There are more issued addressed in the film but, again, I don't want to screw up the message by the explaining it poorly. Take two hours, watch the film, and then look around and ask yourself "is this really the best we can do?"
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I'm going to do it! It can't be put off. As much as I hate it, it is time to talk about the economy.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I was desperate. My whole operation was going down the drain and I knew there was only one man I could turn to. One man who could get the job that I needed done right. I swore I would never speak to him again, but fate has a funny way of choking you with your own words.
“Its been a long time… Shoe Face.”
-I knew Flat Top would be back. Me and him have a long history. We knew everything about each other. That’s the kind of thing that happens when you used to be physically attached to someone. That’s right, we were conjoined twins. But I decided to play dumb, feel out the situation.
“You’ll have to forgive me, I… don’t speak English.”
-At that point I started to wonder if I had walked into the wrong brothel. But then I saw the enormous disfiguring scar on his head. There was no doubt about it, that used to be me. I knew he was playing dumb, so I tried to call his bluff.
“Could you hold this for a minute?”
-I had no idea why he just handed me a half eaten sandwich. But I could tell he was desperate. I figured I might as well come clean. He looked like he needed my help, and I did owe him one.
“Alright, Top. What’s your game? Has some red robin picked your basket for the last time? Have all your pawns jumped ship and made a suicide run for the muffin man? Spill it, buster.”
-I always hated his elaborate metaphors.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
However, the freedom of the internet is also it's biggest problem. Anyone can post anything they want online. Not only is it an incredibly good thing, its also something to be extremely wary of. There is a lot of good online, but there's also a lot of false information. Often times its hard to distinguish what is true or false. Ben Franklin famously said, "Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see". I would like to amend that statement but I don't think we can believe less than none.
I take everything I see or read online as simple a rumor. I like to see evidence and and proof of assertions. But its hard sometimes. I recently watched the documentary "Zeitgeist Addendum". It makes a lot of claims about how inflation works, that our monetary system is inherently flawed and unethical, and how our major corporations have locked us into a kind a slavery. A lot of it is very compelling and season pretty logical. But then there are a lot of people that say most of it is lies and made up. And then filmmakers have their own rebuttals saying otherwise. So who do you believe? The only way is to fact check for yourself. Thats the problem. There is simply too much to check. Its way too much to have to go and verify every single assertion or claim that the film or anyone makes. Even if someone makes a film countering every point the first film made, how can you be sure the second film is honest and factual? I don't know what to do anymore. There's a lot of stuff I want to believe but I can't just blindly take statements about important issues at face value.