Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

you know life sucks most of the time, but that does not stop it from occasionally being freaking awesome

Free Steve Nash: Appreciating the Nash in Phoenix Era

Scott Winterton / Deseret News
Genuinely believing that the Jazz would beat the Suns on Tuesday night and clinch the final berth to the playoffs, I decided to invite over one of my friends to watch the game with me. Under different circumstances, I would choose to watch it alone and thereby free myself to express as much desperate sadness or indulgent exultation as I deemed cathartic. After all, there’s hardly any commiseration to be had when watching a game with an opponent’s fan. But this was different. This time, I realized that my emotional response to this game would be critically limited. As a Jazz fan, I could only experience what this game meant on a very self-interested level, and what I wanted to experience and appreciate was what this game meant for basketball. At least potentially, this game could mean the end of the Steve Nash era in Phoenix, and if the end of any era carried significance for the basketball cosmos, it was this end of this era.
So I invited this friend over. His name is Gerritt, and he’s a lifelong Suns fan. Over the course of the game, he admitted this season was more than a pleasant surprise. After the game, he even made a weak attempt to downplay the devastation of the loss, because “hey, we didn’t even expect to be competing for a playoff spot.” We both knew he said this less to portray an accurate sentiment and more to assuage some of my survivor’s guilt. This one hurt for him, and we both knew it. As the game wound down, I asked him if he wanted Nash back. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I would feel bad for him. He deserves better than this.” This obviously referred to the much-maligned supporting cast that the Suns front office has assembled for Nash, but it also suggested some debt owed to Nash–that someone, maybe the Basketball Gods, maybe Miami Heat GM Pat Riley, owed it to Nash to get him out of his Phoenix Fiat and into the driver’s seat of one of the NBA’s Lamborghinis.
I’m not presumptuous enough to conclude that because my altruistic Suns-fan friend can shirk self-interest and wish his team’s superstar a happier future somewhere else that every Suns fan feels the same way. But I’m also not cynical enough to think that a large portion of those fans–fans who have long been Nash’s strongest supporters–would have him collect dust on the shelf of NBA irrelevance. I’d like to believe that they recognize that whatever happens to their franchise player, it should not take away from the many years they spent enjoying him. Even as an unrelated bystander, I could not help but enjoy those years. Nash and his SSOL Suns represented a way of basketball that thrilled me aesthetically and more importantly, that inspired hope within me. Every time I watched Nash’s teams play (and the Suns-Jazz game was no different), I felt imbued with an extra dose of optimism about the NBA future. After all, if this team that played in this way could be successful, maybe one day, I’d be watching a league full of teams willing to push the ball off of made free throws, only to shoot transition threes. It was a naively romantic notion, to be sure, but it fascinated me.
It’s a sad truth, but it’s a truth nonetheless than an artist’s audience rarely wants to experience the whole uninhibited power of his genius. Even in those cases when the audience claims to want it or impetuously demands it, they do so ignorantly. They actually want it on their terms; they want an altered, streamlined version of that whole genius, fashioned to their needs and their tastes. It’s why The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece and most unobstructed burst of brilliance, was also a commercial failure by his standards. It’s also why Kobe Bryant was most maligned during his seasons of gratuitous and unrivaled gunnery.
Nash’s artistry, on the other hand, was one of the few exceptions to this trend. Not only was Nash given a shackles-free offensive system in which to shine freely, but he was also blessed with a fan base that adoringly revered everything that he was. With fans like Gerritt, Nash enjoyed a relationship as great as any in the NBA between fans and a player. With Nash in Phoenix, we saw a rare combination of uninhibited but truly appreciated genius.
This is not to say that the players that comprised Nash’s teams were perfectly suited to draw out the legendary talent within him (a ridiculous thought when considered side-by-side with a mental picture of Channing Frye’s face). Fortunately, Nash didn’t actually need that type of specialization in his team. The beauty of Nash’s brilliance was that it could not help but manifest itself, and its brightness was made all the more stark by contrast with his deeply flawed teammates. In Nash’s earlier years, his critics could point to Amar’e Stoudemire’s athleticism or Joe Johnson’s dead-eye shooting as explanations for his astounding assist statistics. But instead of exposing Nash with their departures, Nash’s former teammates exposed their considerable offensive detriments. Most statistical measurements of Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Shawn Marion, Jason Richardson or any of his other early teammates would show a distinct drop-off after their exodus from the vicinity of Nash’s contagious skill set.
Ironically, it was not until after their departures that we could see the true value in Nash as a basketball player. With this more recent motley crew as Nash’s collective sidekick, we saw Nash’s brilliance truly unleashed. Without the restriction of talented but entitled teammates demanding the ball, Nash achieved an even more transcendent level of statistical success. Not that his statistics were any better (though they weren’t worse), but that they remained static, even when saddled with the likes of Robin Lopez. Nash raised absolute nobodies to temporary levels of greatness. Nobodies like Marcin Gortat, Jared Dudley, and yes, even Channing Frye. Unlike other elite point guards like Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook, Nash did not need to be surrounded with blue-chippers in order to access his unadulterated genius. If anything, players of that talent level did and would detract from Nash’s accomplishments. Sad as it may have been to watch Nash direct his world-class symphonies with a high school orchestra, it was Nash’s true calling to do so. Steve Nash could make the most inexperienced violinist produce auditory gold and he could inspire even the sloppiest of cellists to play for stretches of clear, mistake-free beauty. In Phoenix, Nash received that opportunity, and every once in a while, we would get so caught up in the beauty of his performances that we would almost forget he was doing it with an inferior set of musicians. That such a thing was possible, that Nash could shine more brightly than he ever had before with players like this, proved his abilities in a way that being on a contender never could.
Now to the original point. Maybe Nash does deserve to move to a contender for a chance at that elusive grail, and maybe he does deserve better than this. Personally, I would love to see him playing in the postseason again. But whatever is decided about Nash’s future, Nash’s past should remain untouched by regret and his career should not be defined by a championship. Certainly championships are one form of success, but they are not the only form. At least in the case of Steve Nash, success was much more rewarding than a walk to a podium and a handshake with the President. In fact, in the case of Steve Nash, success was the rare unbridled expression of sincere brilliance, and that is what Nash deserves above all else: a standing ovation.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I prefer to think that that one of the most underrated virtues is that of consistency, i have often criticized people for acting differently around others than in private. I have felt that if we all acted the same then the vast majority of problems would be solved because then a reputation would be reflective of an individuals actual attributes rather than their portrayed attributes. This criticism is still valid, in my opinion. However, i am worse then most when it comes to the actual application of consistency, my behavior is heavily influenced by who is around and who might hear. Point in case last night, when i am by myself i act completely different than when it is the neighbor and i. And this behavior is drastically influenced when the roommates come home dragging a few people in behind them.
The worst part of this, being aware that it is taking place. There is little i do that i do not think about, and thus i know what i am doing and what i am changing.The entire time my behavior was changing i was thinking about the fact that i was buying into everything that i hate about society, our need to be accepted by others. Maybe it was because of the sheer discrepancy between my behaviors last night depending on who was around, but i have rarely been more ashamed of myself (not because of the actions themselves, but the change thereof, and how they affected those around me).
Moral of the story, why is there a disconnect between what we do and what we think is right? (Not really a moral, i know but the question is one i wish i knew the answer to)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Just going through some old essays and i found this,

The legacy of humanity as a whole and individuals specifically is that of their actions, not their intent or what actions they refrained from. However one’s actions do not exist solely without provocation of circumstance, they are triggered by certain stimuli and are the resultant of multiple factors. Plato asserted that the highest form of thinking was that of philosophy, the discussion and contemplation of the various esoteric aspects of reality. This proposition is based on the assumption that one’s thoughts lead to one’s actions. Thus humanities’ legacy is based on its thoughts or its belief system. This is what interests me, what and why people believe a certain way. Far too often individuals don’t understand why they believe the way they do. Too many beliefs are gained from others with no thought as to why the original owner of the belief thought it and as George Orwell said “if [one] cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them”[1].
People’s beliefs are influenced by those they respect as a natural by-product of voluntary association. We succumb to not only “peer” pressure but to pressure due to society in which we are exist. It is this society that installs one’s moral code and their conduct. Yet individuals respond differently to similar societal influence. By analyzing how individuals act and why they act one can determine if it is these slight differences in society causes the massive difference between saints and demons or if it is due to the inherent character of the individual. Therefore, questioning the beliefs of others allows one to glimpse the very nature of humanity and whether one is doomed to eternal incompetency. This is why I intend to both informally and formally continue in my examination of the origin of others actions. In essence I intend to follow the Socratic Method of asking why to every response I receive. Debate has helped me in developing the instinct to ask the questions that can be most productive; however I have been stymied in examining the psychology of individuals, an inherent part of determining the origin of thoughts. This is what I hope to gain, an understanding of the electrical processes behind mankind’s inclinations.  
Being born and raised in Utah has been both a boon and a detriment to me. It has been a boon in instilling the highest code of ethical behavior, however it has been a detriment in strongly encouraging me to reject all “lower” forms of behavior. I have found that often one’s beliefs are rooted in tradition and parents without any consideration for the merit of the idea independent of external influence. Questioning others beliefs has not only helped me to clarify my own, I hope that it has forced others to defend their ideas. Our legacy will be our actions, which will be determined by our beliefs; it is wise that our beliefs be based in independent merit and are subjected to scrutiny.

[1] (Memorable Quotations)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is honesty ever actually wise? This question arises because on my way back from a jazz game (yeah we are in the playoffs), i did something that i have not done before, given someone opportunity  to ask any questions and they would receive a honest answer. This is not to say that i lie with every statement i make, but merely the possibility that i could lie allows for both, the other parties uncertainty in my answer, and the knowledge that i am not bound to answer questions that otherwise would remain unanswered (for a reason). The actual questions asked are irrelevant to this discussion, and will remained unanswered (for a reason) to the rest of you. However because the world is a worse place because of the honesty, should i have given them the knowledge  that the answers would be honest. Because there is a distinction between honesty and the knowledge of both parties that the answers are honest. Of this i am unsure, maybe the world is better because of it and i am just ignorant of the change
Oh dd i say we made the playoffs

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Friday, April 20, 2012

as i am in a melancholy mood here is one of my favorite songs,
"Those Nights" Skillet

I remember when
We used to laugh
About nothing at all
It was better than going mad
From trying to solve all the problems we're going through
Forget 'em all
Cause on those nights we would stand and never fall
Together we faced it all
Remember when we'd

Stay up late and we'd talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We'd listen to the radio play all night
Didn't want to go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

I remember when
We used to drive
Anywhere but here
As long as we'd forget our lives
We were so young and confused that we didn't know
To laugh or cry
Those nights were ours
They will live and never die
Together we'd stand forever
Remember when we'd

I remember when
We used to laugh
And now I wish those nights would last

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

St. Thomas Aquinas' Cosmological argument for God
  1. Every finite being must have a cause.
  2. A casual loop cannot exist.
  3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length. That is to say an infinite regress is impermissible.
  4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist
  5. This first cause, we call God
Now in the issue of fairness,
The evil argument against god
  1. God is all powerful
  2. God is all good 
  3. God is all knowing
  4. an all powerful and all knowing god could have created no evil
  5. good and evil are inherently contradictory, therefore God cannot be or stand evil
  6. Evil exists in the world
  7. Therefore, God as a all powerful, knowing, and good being does not exist
 the one Linux user who checked this blog, nice,

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Despite all my years of training in debate and argument,
despite all of my deep thinking of logical reasons for every part of something based on faith,
despite all of my discussions on deep doctrine
i can't do what my RM of a roommate just did,
put something plain and heartfelt into a couple of sentences
Those sentences convinced someone that i have been talking to all year, to do something i never thought possible, one thing i learned in debate, is that to actually convince someone you have to do several things, 1. admit some of their premises (say you are right except for this tiny little thing, even admit they are right if it is something tiny) 2. respond honestly to their questions, don't try to prove a point 3. listen more than you talk,
Yet despite all of these strategies the best way to convince someone is to just simply ask, i hope that i can someday have the power of, not the best educated, eloquent, social, or objective, person that is my roommate. For his power and strength of belief in his ideas, completely overwhelmed my logical arguments that i used.
On a sadder (or happier) note, one of my good friends called off a wedding today; I actually do feel about this (something that doesn't happen often, maybe i am just in a reflective mood), he is to young to get married and should not. Yet that in no way removes any of the pain that he must be feeling now. Sometimes what is right and what feels right are two completely different things.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Does the knowledge of a definition of a thing change the nature of that same thing (in essence does knowing something change it)?i realize that this is a complex question which seems irrelevant, however this is most applicable in the definition of relationships. The question then becomes by me terming a relationship something does that change the nature of the relationship, or when i term a relationship something does the relationship remain the same as it was before i could pinpoint a precise definition? This begs the question, is the nature of a relationship dependent on our perception of it? While most would argue that it does, my point is that the nature of the relationship is inherent in your definition, when you change your term for the relationship, that change was inherent in the previous relationship. This is also used to explain the lack of relationships, both Platonic and romantic, why is there a need to term you relationship as friends if that is what you already are, unless (which i disagree with) your putting a term on our interactions inherently changes those same actions.
Slightly confusing and to all appearances irrelevant, this are the questions i waste my time contemplating

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My thought of the day, why is it that we know people by one thing and often harm them because of it?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I am going to have to learn to love the devil rays and the buccaneers because i am going to be spending the next two years of my life, starting July 25, in Tampa Florida 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

C. S. Lewis Natural Law Argument for God (Mere Christianity)
1. Good and Evil exist
2. Humans are capable of distinguishing the two
3. something must exist to make good, good, else bad and good would merely be two opposing forces neither better or worse than the other
4. because good is better than evil, a god does exist
Note: this is a extreme simplification of a great read, this also only proves the existence of a power which has the ability to determine morality or lack thereof
Descartes Ontological Argument for God (Meditations on First Philosophy)
1. Truth must be something we can trust beyond a doubt to be true
2. Our very act of thinking proves our existence to be truth (Congnitus Ergo Sum)\
3. Man can only understand something that he has previously conceived
4. Man can only conceive something he has previously experienced or can extrapolate from experience
5. Infinite is inherently inconceivable to finite beings, because of the inherently contradictory nature
6. God is an infinite being
7. Therefore, the idea of God cannot have originated from man, it must have come from God
8. In order to implant the idea God must exist
Note: this only proves the existence of an infinite power that can interact at a intellectual level with man, not necessarily that God is a flesh and blood being

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The differences between individuals are the causes of the greatest joy and suffering that exist in life. The fact that opposites attract is only interesting because of the fact that we like something that is inherently contradictory. This contradiction goes far beyond good girls liking bad boys, there is actually a biological tendency to be attracted to someone with differing genetic codes (they actually smell different depending on your own genetic code). This tendency has profound implications, we cannot be harmed by those similar to us, by their very nature they resemble us and  thus we can't blame them for their actions, not only that but their actions were anticipated by us because we would have done the same and thus are not surprising. This surprise is the worst part of any action that hurts us, the fact that we didn't see it coming.
That is why relationships are best served when they are with individuals that we cannot understand. Because the greatest pain and suffering exist from those we cannot understand, however the world is not all dark thus, the great joy and happiness exist from those we cannot understand as well. I often deny the existence of love, and in a conventional sense i am correct, love doesn't exist (at least for me) in some emotional experience, it only exists as a capitulation of yourself to another. This is neither good nor bad but is unique, therefore the greatest joy one can experience in a capitulation of yourself to another completely.
This discussion has multiple reasons for arising, one is my neighbor and all that has happened, another is the fact that i have a letter lying on the counter at home. Opening up is often stated as something good, i disagree, however this is my only justification for that letter, my happiness and others. Capitulation to something greater than yourself is the truest form of joy because you can never be happy doing what you would naturally do, happiness or sadness can only arise from a change on yourself by yourself (the existence of this ability is something i will discuss at a latter date). Sometimes (as i watch the matrix) ignorance is not bliss, and truth and happiness are not mutually exclusive.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I am an introspected person, i care first and foremost about myself. In every case my involvement with the outside world consists others involving themselves in my life as opposed to the alternative.
Yet in reading many of the blogs of my few friends and of people in general, i have realized one crucial thing, we are unaware of our own attempts to meet the social norm. Often the most happy people i knew were those that struggled the most, one of my neighbors recently went to the hospital for depression, funny she seemed like the happiest person i knew, several of the people i know through debate, are struggling with unknown demons. Whether this tendency to want to make others like us is good or bad is irrelevant, the fact that it occurs is what is interesting.  But most importantly most time we are unaware of what is going on. Thus in reading the blogs of those i know, i have discovered not who they want to be, but who they are, that begs the question how do we wish to be known for whoare desire to be or for how we are.
Therefore, in an attempt to find, what i hope are nonexistent appeasement tendencies, i have started this, for all of the two months i have left.