Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I love sports, i love basketball, and i love the utah jazz. Maybe it is from being in a small market that can't attract free agents, that gave me an appreciation for loyalty. If the Jazz want to be a successful team they have to build through the draft and then hope that the players are willing to stay. That is why players who are loyal, players who are willing to even take pay cuts to play for one team throughout a career, are special. And yes being a jazz fan i have to bring up John Stockton. He is arguably one of the best point guards to ever play basketball, has 33% more assists than any player ever, more steals than any player ever, all star game MVP, yet most importantly never left utah despite never winning a title. Players of his talent are rare, players of his character and unassuming nature are unheard of, in fact once at the olympics he went around asking people if they knew where USA basketball was playing, and they would have no clue who he was. His loyalty is something that has forever endeared himself to sports fans all thoughout utah. In an era of Lebron, Bosh and other determining who wins a title by changing teams every year, it is nice to know that people exist who are willing to dance with those that brought them.
Loyalty is something I value highly, in fact is consumes many other issues, consistency, something that in my mind would solve all problems if adopted by all, is subsumed by loyalty. Loyalty to one's words guarantees integrity, loyalty to ourselves, ensures a consistent behavior base. Loyalty in many cases however is something that is only brought up when it hurts, nobody cares if you are loyal when things are good because things are good. Yet that hurt is why loyalty is important, because sometimes your best solution is just to suck it up, and keep trudging. Thus loyalty is something that forces us to, even when we disagree with a situation, stay true to both others and ourselves. If we get mad, cut and run, or otherwise abandon others, just when it strikes our fancy, then any commitment we make is worthless. It is only through a concerted effort to make any situation work within the frame work of the commitment, that commitments are worth anything. Loyalty is something that is important, yet it is something that requires us to deal with bad situations, and is the thing that gives any commitment be it work, personal, sports any meaning.
Also please note that i understand myself better than i understand anyone else, and so it is impractical and impossible to expect the same ideals to be valued as high as i do, if they are present at all. So my expectations for myself, including loyalty, are different than they must be for other people.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How fine can any of us really be?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Despite the prejudices against men with blogs among several individuals out there, and the instistance of others to post more, this is the best that i have come up with in a week and a half.
Perspective is something that far too often we lose sight of (yes i did just pun perspective). I maintain that humans cannot have contra casual free will, that is to say we can not act contrary to how we would react under a specific set of circumstances. This is important because it means that events could never have occurred differently than the way they did, both the good and the bad. However in evaluating any particular event (something that itself is contained in the circumstances), it becomes necessary to determine whether a particular experience was good or bad for us. The crucial mistake that many of us make when doing this however, is evaluating the event based on the new individual we have become, instead of the individual we would be without the event. Thus while we never have could done things differently then the way they happened, considering reality without them is crucial to evaluating the benefit of the experience. What you have to consider, instead of how do i feel now about it, is how would i feel now if the experience had never happened. Often we lose sight of all the benefits that have come of a particular experience because that experience ended in a particular fashion, yet in many cases it is only because of the benefits existed that the ending was painful. In the cases where the ending cause us to hate the entire experience, gratitude should be our response, because the ending could only cause us to hate the entire experience, if the experience provided something that you would not have otherwise had, otherwise known as the benefits of the experience prior to the ending. Our attention should not be on the ending itself, but on the fact that the ending only hurts because of the experience, thus our response should be one of gratitude that the experience ever happened.
i have posted a couple of songs and i still cannot find any funny pictures so here you get another one, that is one of the few songs that has never gotten old or repetitive to me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I read an interesting article the other day, it stated that the burden of proof is on religious individuals. It says that if i told you i could fly the burden would be on me to prove that fact, now suppose i said that i knew it on faith. Most people would discount me as a lunatic or toss me out the window and say "well fly then".
For those of you that have seen the matrix, i feel that one of the essential questions of that movie, is for the red pill of blue pill, or put another way are you content with reality as you conceive it or would you prefer objective truth. This question is posed by multiple philosophers with varying conclusions, to me, the real question becomes what is happiness, an emotional state, or knowing truth. This question is crucial when considering the validity of divine providence. If happiness can be found in ignoring reality and (crucial and) in the belief of a supreme being, than religion should be something that is adopted by all, however if happiness is found in knowledge of truth then while not disproving the need for religion it does require then proof of the existence of divine beings independent of their relationship to us.
As i have watched my friends leave on the belief in something that i struggle for a knowledge for, i wish that i had either a. their ability to ignore reality, or b. their knowledge of truth. Those of you that have followed this from the beginning know that i posted several logical arguments for the existence of God, yet the reality is the only absolute proof i have is not the existence of a diving being but is instead on the happiness that religion entails. I don't know if a God exists or even if he/she/it knows of my existence, however i do know the comfort that a belief in those two things can give because i have observed, witnessed and felt it, yet that could just as easily be attributed to evolutionary biology as divine intervention. With that being said however there is a clear distinction between knowledge and belief, yet i still wish my belief was as solid as my friends' appears to be, because to this day i struggle.

Definitional debates are something i am not too fond of, yet they do have their place, for without them our ability to communicate would be distinctly hampered. Yet in many cases they have failed to reach a conclusion, in no words are these more clear than emotions. What is love or happiness? The inherent problem with trying to answer any of these questions, is that the words themselves seek to be symbolic of something that no two people have experienced. When we say that we are hot, we are appealing to previous experience of the individual we are talking too, specifically that of being near heat. However, when we say "i love you", we are relying on a similar experience being present in the individual we are referencing. This would not be a problem except for the fact that emotions are inherently internal, there is no reason why that individual we are referencing has even felt something similar to us let alone the same thing.
A great example of this exists in colors because of their nonessential characteristic to items (or that i can have both a blue or a yellow ball), the question is, is there any indication that you and i are both observing the same color, or is what i view as blue and call it as such, you view as yellow and call it blue. So when i say that i have a blue ball, there is no reason to suggest that you have a ball that i will view as blue.
Yet descriptions of our emotions (emotions, another thing i am none too fond of) are useful on the off chance that the individual we are communicating is feeling the same thing or something similar and thus able to understand. Yet perfect understanding is physically impossible, because our emotions are shaped by our experiences, something that is different for everyone, so while someone may sympathize with your emotions they can never empathize. Yet (yes i just started all sentences in this paragraph with the word yet), our inability to communicate our emotions perfectly, does not remove the existence of that emotion or its prevalence in our lives.
My condolences if you read all of that because it probably means you have no life. And i probably don't have one either for that matter because i spent much more time writing it then you did reading it.And if you can understand all of that, wait i forgot you can't perfectly understand the reasoning behind my arguments, both because of my terrible ability in expressing and articulating them, the shakiness of the arguments themselves, and the fact that you can't perfectly understand anything i do, because you aren't me.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We often praise that are inherently opposed. We idealize the man that holds to his beliefs no matter the cost, yet we also manage to praise the man that is willing to make compromises so a better solution is found for all. This plays an important role when attempting to engineer a perception of yourself that prevails in society. This means that individuals will find something to praise in those they like, because any characteristic can be construed as being good, that also means that individuals will dislike who they will, and will find reasons to justify that decision.
I am opposed to the attitude that i have noticed which places importance on "being yourself", because yourself is how you are, there is not a person that you "really" are that you could act like, the person you act like is the person you are. Most individuals care about other's perceptions of them, and alter their behavior accordingly, this does not mean that they are acting contrary to who they "really" are, merely that who they are takes others perceptions of them into consideration. The majority of people, if not everyone, falls into this course of action, altering their behavior to create an image for society (ironically that image could be someone who is trying to be themselves). While this behavior is not wrong or objectionable, it does fall into a fallacy, the fact that individuals will find both reason to praise and criticize in any image we choose to create. 
So while altering our behavior to gain society's liking, is flawed, our altering our behavior to gain any particular person's liking is not, because each person will find reason to criticize or praise, as opposed to criticize and praise. The distinction is key because altering your behavior to gain a particular persons liking, makes logical sense because they can, exclusively, like a particular image. The question becomes then how to determine what image is liked by which person, to this i have no answer, for i am as equally likely to be called thrifty and cheap for not spending money, and i have noticed no correlation between one type of person favoring one and one favoring the other.  Thus while it makes logical sense, it is an impracticality that i have no solution to.
And thus ends my philosophical thinking, for those that care the score currently stands at attic 7, cameron 2. And finally i don't have a funny picture to post and so i will post another song despite my aversion to repetitiveness. This song is one of my favorites, especially because of the fact that it has such a strong Vienesse Waltz beat.
Next post: why not having mood swings leads to a happier life.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

What is it that causes us to invest ourselves in something we have no control over?
While this question has many applications, in this instance i choose to apply to sports, because the reality is (with a few notable exceptions) sports is the only thing that i choose to get emotionally involved with. The joy of success and the pain of failure only exist because we emotionally invest ourselves in the outcome. Why do we choose to do this when most teams don't win championships and most players fail to be remembered? The answer has several reasons.
1. There has been interesting research in something called mirror neurons, these are neurons that essentially cause us to picture ourselves doing something we have not yet done. These exist in evolutionary terms because instead of growing a coat of hair over hundreds of generations, you just see your parents kill a bear and wear its coat and you do the same. This is important to sports because they allow us to picture ourselves out there, thus even though we may never play on a professional sports team, we can still see ourselves out there succeeding or failing with those that are. (for those that want more info. see
2. We care about sports because it exemplifies what we hate/love, and what we wish to be. Sports is home to some of the most inspiring stories i am aware of, from Magic Johnson's all-star game despite the fact that he had HIV, to Brett Farve's 399 yard 4 touchdown performance on monday night football despite the fact that his father had just died, to phillip humber's perfect game despite multiple teams discrediting him (please note all of the above performed 'despite' something, another beauty of sports), and these are just individuals success stories there are plenty of underdog teams winning against the odds. Yet sports is also home to individuals that we despise, from Michael Vick hosting dog fights, to the white sox world series betting scandal, to the patriots spying on other players to win. Sports allows us to see individuals on the extremes of the spectrum like no other occupation does, due to the constant media attention and the fact that they do not have to gain your approval to perform.
3. Finally we watch sports to see others succeed where we have not. The phrase "Any Given Sunday" exists because it imports one fact, that your team could win any game. Many sports stories that we cherish deal with the fact that the team beat the odds to win. This allows us to hope that our team may win that next game, or championship. This hope can then transfer to ourselves, if we haven't won yet we still could, or inspite of ourselves, even if i don't win my team can. This is the root cause that many of us watch sports, because in a world where it increasingly seems you can't win, sports allows us to think that we still can
I spend countless hours reading papers, boxscores, watching sportscenter, and the games themselves, yet despite all the disappointment and the losses, i still love it. Even if i won't say that sports "has always been there for me", it has always seemed to be around, from games as a little kid to watching the most recent OKC, Dallas game and Durrant missing the game winner (despite what sportscenter says). Sports is one of the extremely few illogical/emotional things i enjoy. Both its beauty, Ray Allen's jump shot is prettier than most women, to its lack of beauty, Meta World Peace elbowing a guy in the face (yes his name is meta world peace).  And now as the NBA season draws to a close, it just reminds me of how thing were, when the the jazz were fighting for a playoff spot and played pheonix, back before i realized how much i would miss it as soon as it was gone.
I love sports and so should you.