Monday, January 31, 2011

Time Dilation In Dreams, Reality, Inception

That's rather impressive, for a movie to be able to get my attention enough that I may use it as a partial inspiration to write about for three days in a row. I might of even mentioned it when I first watched it in theater on this blog, although it will be several pages back and I see no reason to go and find it.

Normally movies do not really catch my attention. If I try to watch a movie by myself there's a high chance I'm going to fall asleep, or at least drift into a semi-conscious state of mind. If there are people around me there is a high chance this will happen as well. The exception is if the people around don't mind conversation that is not necessarily related to the movie. If I can talk through a movie, point out what I see to be wrong or what I find interesting, then I will stay awake.

Inception blew my mind. There was little more I could say initial, then a metaphoric flood of expanding ideas, contemplated thoughts, and flexible opinions crashed at the flood gates of my ability to communicate and everyone who I knew had seen this movie was engaged in conversation about it for a moment or three. Over time this diminished and if the topic came up I would love to speak about it but I did not bring it up all that often. Now I've seen the movie again, or part of it atleast, and my mind has gone back into the need to share thoughts. Inspiration to write? Yes it is.

There is one large aspect of this movie that I found interesting, and I have discussed it in my last two posts (two? Perhaps only in my previous) but I am going to expand on it. Dream-time dilation. The idea that when you are in a dream time may appear to be going at a normal rate, however it is really going at a much faster rate than reality.

This is expanded on through the layering of dream. I think the number given is twenty, regarding how many times faster time goes by in a dream (in the world of Inception) in comparison to reality. If you are in a dream, and you enter a second dream this works exponential. Time is now passing at four hundred times the regular speed (normal speed, time twenty, times twenty).

Due to this time dilation being exponential (20^{#-of-dreams}) there is an issue with exterior forces within dreams canceling eachother out, but that's in my previous post. You should read it.

The math is sound and correct, but does anyone else see the problem with this? I'll expose it later on.

Normally time dilation is relating to special relativity. When something is traveling at incredible speeds, which are comparable to high percentages of c (the speed of light), the time around the object moving quickly moves slower according to a much slower frame of reference. When I say comparable to high percentages of c, you are considering speeds that are 95% of the speed or light or higher. There is a slight dilation at every day speeds but it is so small it is negligible and you should never worry about it. The fastest speeds that man has traveled (I think) has been of astronauts, who experience a one millionth of a second time difference. This may not be true, but I recall hearing it somewhere. If you want to do the math, I'm sure the equations will be found in the link (and they are quite manageable to work with if you have your tenth grade math, if not ask me. I'll run the numbers for you if you give them to me).

I won't go into the reasons for this much, but it relates to c being a constant speed no matter your frame of reference. In order for this to stay true time is slowed down when you are at incredibly high speeds. Instead of being able to change the m in meters per second (m/s) the s, second, is extended. These numbers are ridiculously out of place and should only be considered as an example with no context, but if you are moving at 10m/s that is ten meters in one second. If this was anywhere close to the speed of light, from a stationary observer's point of view it might become ten meters in two seconds. The distance traveled is the same, but the amount of time needed is more; hence time dilation.

Time dilation relating to dreams exists as well, but it is a mental dilation. This is possible only because time does not really exist in the way it is traditionally thought of. It is more or less a human (or at least conscious-requiring) invention. Humans have quantified it, so that we may keep track of various events. I like to think of time as a 'human invention that judges the distance between events,' but that's just my definition. I know it doesn't match up to any time definitions. Well, not exactly at least. I was rather surprised to find that the first definition related to what I like to think. This must be a very complex word, theory, or concept; there are sixty-four definitions in the first list.

When you are in a sleep state, and your consciousness is also in this sleep state, you have nothing to reference to for time. Time may pass as your mind wishes it to. This is why when you sleep you do not remember sleeping. Time does not exist in the time that it does not need to. Performing the same action for eight hours at a time would be fairly boring, but you do not really know it happened. You cannot observe yourself sleeping, it does not really exit to you. You may observe the results of sleeping but the act itself is rather invisible to the individual carrying out the action. The only time you can really observe yourself sleeping is when you are in a lucid dream.

Lucid dreams are the most wonderful type of dream. It is where you are aware of the fact you are in a dream. If you know you are in a dream, you will also know you are asleep. It is simple as that. In Inception, the characters enter others dreams. They are aware they are doing this, therefore it is a lucid dream for them at least. It is not always a lucid dream for the one dreaming. This full entering others dreams makes everything so much more complicated. I'm glad this cannot happen in reality, that I am aware of at least.

In a real dream, mental time dilation does not occur at a given rate. Further more, here's the problem with Inceptions dream time dilation being exponential I said I would point out, I do not think dreams can be layered as they do in the movie. I think you may have one dream at a time. A dream inside a dream is not possible.

But no, it is, I've had one! Or so several people may say, or they would if I had several readers. Perhaps a few people may say this. What about false awakenings? Is that not just a dream in a dream, or exiting a second layer of dream to expose the original dream? Even though the Wikipedia article also titles false awakenings as a 'dream within a dream' I think this is only a way to make it easier to explain.

Lets say you are in a dream, and then in this dream you fall asleep and find yourself in a different dream. I do not think that you are still existing in the first dream. I think that first dream stops existing until you 'wake up' from your second dream. However, any experiences I've had with dreams within dreams or lase awakenings have not lead me back to the original dream. Once I am in the second dream that is the only dream that is present.

Have you ever seen the old Daffy Duck cartoon, where he's selling a house? It's a rather impressive house that has the ability the change floors without the use of stairs. There is a fixed elevator instead. You walk into it, pick the floor you want, and the elevator stays where it is. Rather than it moving, the floor you want comes to you. The problem with it though, is it squishes what ever floor was under it. This was put in for comical reasons, but it is a great way to explain layered dreaming.

Once you enter the second layer of the house, the second layer of the dream, the first layer of the house is destroyed. The first layer of the dream no longer is there, and with dreams being non-physical there is nothing left of it but a memory (if you have remembered this dream).

I did some searches to find out how many dreams you can have in one night, and found several numbers ranging from 3 to 6, to 100, to an unlimited number. I think there is no limit to how many you could have but on average you will have a handful. You may remember some, all, or none of them. The reason to there being no limit is the time it takes for a dream to pass in comparison to the clock beside you as you sleep is not set. It could last one fraction of a second and yet still appear as long as a dream that will take several minutes to an hour to pass in real time. It's all in the perspective.

The point I'm getting to, is you will have several dreams a night but you will not remember all of them probobly. Who is to say the dreams do not sometimes come right after the other one. If you are monitoring brain waves, there could be a chance one dream flows seamlessly into another and it shows up as on dream on the chart but it is actually two. Perhaps this is a dream within a dream, just a dream fluctuating into another one so that you see no difference.

Inception is a great movie, but I just don't think a dream within a dream is a way to get deeper into someone's subconscious. I think they do not exist at all. I would love to speak to a neurologist, or someone else who was very knowledgeable regarding dreams, and see what they have to think about all of this. If anyone reads this and is of this status or a similar one, even if you have nothing to say; I know you have something to say. Am I right, am I wrong? If you're not of this position, tell me your opinion anyways.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dream Physics

If you happen to read my posts day-by-day you will know I rewatched part of Inception yesterday but was not given the time to view all of it again. A friend who was there watching the movie as well (their first time viewing it) asked me a question about the physics of dreams and exterior influence's effecting dreams.

In the movie, there is a scene where everyone is in a dream already. They have gone into another dream and are still in a moving van (in the first dream). One member stays in the first dream in order to drive, however the projections of the dream are attacking them. I suspect the individual they are trying to extract information from may have training in dream defence.

Oh, this reminds me of Harry Potter; in the fifth book (The Order Of The Phoenix), where Snape gives Harry Occlumency lessons. The individual who is having information removed from his subconscious may of been trained in dream protection.

There are far too many people around me. I will finish this later.
It is now several hours later, kind of like a time laps in a video... but you saw no change I suppose.

Anyways, he is driving rather quickly in order to create his distance as well as with some fast turns. This of course creates some sideways force due to inertia, making gravity feel as if it is shifting away from the direction that is being turned; as the turn is carried out. This is one of many examples of external influences having effects in dreams. Another example is water; water is used a couple times to create a very rainy situation in the dream. As the van drives through a puddle some water splashes into the windows creating a downpour.

This happens in real dreams as well, exterior influences may intrude on dreams much easier than you think. Have you ever heard of putting someone's hands in warm and cold water when they sleep? It's the same idea I believe. I'm not sure if this actually works, I don't intend on finding out myself. Sounds, scents, even light can change your dream as you are asleep. You can feel something different as you toss and turn in the real world and it may cause your dream to shift, change, or have something new introduced. There is a story of someone who had their headboard fall onto their throat when they slept triggering their dream to quickly relate to them being beheaded.

Personal examples I have of this are many. I use to frequently fall asleep on the couch in my living room as my family was watching Family Chanel. At this age I had many dreams, and quite often they would somehow be related to what was on the television if I happen to be resigning in my living room at the time. I remember the show Recess being a very common influence of my dreams, perhaps because I knew the episodes very well. I'm sure I still do.

Many times my alarm has gone off and I have still been in a deep REM sleep, or perhaps already in a dream. My dream will frequently turn to annoying beeping and I slowly drift into the real world. Several times this has happened and I've realized I was in a dream (lucid dreaming is amazing, I might write about it some time) but I also knew I heard my alarm going off and couldn't figure out how to turn it off.

Another example could be of a very vivid dream I had a long time ago but have not remembered until now. When I had this dream I think I was still in middle school, but my dream took place in the time I was in elementary school. I may of just been in one of the higher grades of elementary school when I had this dream. I remember at times everything in my dream was ridiculously bright, and I could not open my eyes in the dream. I actually ran about a bit looking for where it may be less bright. After a while I must of found it, or woken up. After waking up (immediately or some time after, I don't remember) I realized that I must of been facing my window when I was having this dream. At the time, the sun shone directly into my window onto my face in the morning. I'm not sure if, as I was having this dream, my eyes were open in the real world; or when I closed my eyes in my dream I was only shutting my eyes tighter in the real world, but the fact the sun was bombarding my pupils was a very influencing event for my dream. This has occurred several times.

In Inception, the scene with a the van and some sharp corners leaves the dreamers to feel as if gravity is shifting. It happens quite slowly though, due to the time dilation of the dream. I intend on writing about dream-time dilation at some point soon. I don't have time for it tonight, I need to dream for myself at some point soon.

As they turn right quickly, they are pulled to the left, and this happens in their dream as well. This is transferred over into the third level of dreaming as well but the time dilation is even more due to the time dilation being exponential by the level of dream. This causes gravity to shift, in the second and third dream, to the left a bit.

The question I was asked, was if there was an equal force to the force experienced in the first dream as in the second dream, would the two vector forces cancel out in the third dream? So, if you turn right quickly in the first dream you would have the force of gravity shift in the second and third dream. If in the second dream something caused a shift in gravity to the right, counteracting the gravity shift to the left due to the first dream, would the third dream have gravity remain as it is?

Wow, all this laying of dreams is confusing; and I think it might keep getting more so.

At a glance, I would say yes, but there is a little bit to think about in this. First of all dream-time dilation must be considered. A two second force in the first dream may cause a forty second force in the second dream and an eight hundred second force in the third dream (assuming each dream's time dilation is twenty fold, the number I think I remember hearing in the movie). This means that the force in the second dream must be much longer than the force in the first dream in order for the third dream to remain with gravity being normal.

A second feature to think of, is what gravity is in a dream and even more so in the world of Inception.

Have you ever had a dream where you are flying? Not by the power of any machine, but by your own power? I've had one dream like this that I can remember, probobly a few that I cannot recall. I do not remember the reasoning behind me realizing I could fly in this dream, perhaps it was a lucid dream. Assuming it was a lucid dream, I had complete faith that was in a dream. I believed it was a dream, I believed what happened in it would not harm me, and I trusted it completely. I did not think it was a dream but then was cautious not to do anything that may cause me harm in the real world but not in a dream. I took a leap of faith, literally.

I remember standing on a stoop, the back of someone's house. In fact it may of been based on my aunt and uncle's house now that I think of it, mixed into my backyard a bit. This concrete block had stairs to the left, but the flat part of it had no railings. I simply jumped off face first towards the ground. At the last moment, in a rather dramatic way for I'm sure I could of flown in this dream without this part, I pulled up and began to fly. I remember thinking I was just like Peter Pan. Several times I had issues figuring out how to fly exactly and things just wouldn't work. Random drops in height, though I never went very high. I suppose this was because of what I knew in the real world.

You can only view in dreams what you may synthesize with real information. I did not know of what the area looked like with a birds eye view, though I'm sure if I were to of gone up higher I would of found out somewhat. I would of made an interpretation of what it could be, or synthesized a completely new area. All in all, I stayed low to the ground.

So why did I go off about this all? Well I like to go off on tangents and I wanted to bring up the point, even if I could of done so this way much faster, that gravity is an illusion when you are in a dream.

In the real world gravity is the result of the huge quantity of matter that makes up earth, pulling us towards it. In a dream you do not have the entirety of the world to worry about. The only matter that exists is what you observe. There is simply not enough matter to create gravity. It's all in your head.

In Inception the dreams are made out by an 'architect' who builds the environment. They know every nook and cranny of it all, or should at least. These environments are closed systems that are made to look like they are a full building, park, city, etc, but really they are closed circuit that you cannot get out of. There is more mass than what is observable, however there is still not enough to create gravity. The gravity is still in the mind of the dreamer, and remember the dreamer may experience a shift in the real world that will be translated in the dream as a shift of gravity.

If I remember correctly, the third layer of dreaming has no gravity shifts but there is never anything to really cancel it out. I didn't get to see much of the third dream before my time was cut short, so I could be wrong. This could be because the gravity shift does not actually translate over more than one dream, or because of time dilation the shift never reaches the third dream maybe? It's hard to say, this is something I would like to ask the writer but I if you have read my last post you would know my thoughts on speaking to the writer.

So to answer my friends question, I think the two forces could cancel eachother out but it would be tricky to get the cancel to be perfect. Maybe not all forces are transfered into dreams, because it must be held in mind that not all exterior forces influence our dreams in the real world.

If everything that was around us influenced our dreams, all of mine would feature everything feeling like a very soft blanket that I fancy.


Inception and The Reality Test

I've decided I may be posting more shorter posts. I'll see how that goes. Some feedback would be nice, but again, no one loves me. No comments for the unloved. Also; huge spoilers for the movie Inception so:

Don't read this if you haven't seen the movie. View the movie, then come back and give me three more page views to make up for not viewing this amazing movie.

Inception. It hit theatres, it blew everyone's mind, and no one had the rewind button to rewatch parts when they were in their plush seat with some cardboard resembling popcorn and soft drink. Now it's out on legal disks (not sure how long it took for the illegal ones to get out) and I got to view it again, this time with comfort and a bit more freedom to chat.

This is one of those movies that must be watched twice. It must be discussed. It's great. Your mind will mull over the ideas in it, and in the end you will decide it's just a really good movie and not trying to inspire some test of your reality. Your reality should be fairly secure and real, if it isn't, well I can't help you too much there but you should watch this movie anyways.

One of the big features in this movie, even though it was subtle, was the reality testing idea. The (and here comes my poor remembering for names of items and people) tolken.. no.. avatar.. nope... not anchor.. the item that everyone carried to test if they were in a dream or not. One person had a top, the other person had a loaded die, and another had a chess piece. I'm sure there were more that were not mentioned or I just missed.

I'm going to focus on the die. My friend just messaged me informing me the name is a totem. I was close with tolken. The test was, in order to check if reality or a dream was present, if the die would stop or not. If it is spun and it does not stop then there is a dream occurring. There's a story behind this die.

Now I did not see this part of the movie this time, I got cut off about half way through though I remember it from my theatre viewing. When the husband and wife are in their very deep dreams (bleh, names? I have no idea) the totem is locked away. I'm not sure why this is, if someone knows I would love to find out but for now I forget or it was not revealed. Anyways, it is not used to test if they are in reality or not; rather it is just hidden away. There is no doubt that they are in a dream at this point.

Now, throughout the movie there is the occasional use of this die but all the tests I saw on this second viewing are interrupted. There may of been proper tests later on but I forget of them. Just note, the test is not used.

Another quick note to put in for later, remember that no one is able to touch or examine the totem but the owner. It is a matter of safety, so it cannot be simulated in a dream.

Now, in the final scene the die is spun and if it stops or not is not shown. In the background there is a dinosaur. It is the most exciting scene in the entire movie because of this. Lets consider the two possibilities.

If it stops, it means they are reality. He has become reunited with his family and it can be assumed all is good. He is safe from the law for now and will continue his life as he wished to.

If it does not stop, he is still in a dream. This dream has been presented as reality the entire time. This means he is in someone's dreams, maybe not his own? Likely it is his own though. If it is his own though, would he not be able to manipulate the top to continue going or stop even though he is in a dream? His subconscious could stop it from spinning in hopes of landing in a 'reality' to him. If it does not stop, guaranteeing he is in a dream, does this mean previous attempts to use it that have proven it does not work? The reality he was told was real by the top may of not been real.

This means if it stops there is still a chance there is a dream. There is also a chance it is his dream, or someone else's. If it is someone else's, who is it? Consider that in a dream it is shown that someone who is conscious of being in someone else's dream may disguise themselves.

A quick recap; if the die keeps spinning there is a garenteed dream. This could be his, this could be an outsiders dream. If the die stops he could be in reality, he could be in his dream, he could be in someone else's dream who has knowledge of the totem.

The totems do not always work. Perhaps his does not always work, or maybe it is all of them. It does not matter what is the case, there is a chance his totem does not work. I think this is the case and he has been in a dream all along but I'll expand on this more soon.

Thinking it was all in a dream was my initial thought after the movie was over, and I think so even more after watching parts of it more. This is a movie that must be watched twice, once you have had time to think about it. It's just too amazing to be viewed once. The details of it are so, amazing. Just like Wal-E. Watch Wal-E atleast three times.

Since totem do not work, or so I assume, the chance of the two (well three) situations become a bit blurred. More small details in the movie must be looked at. To find the key to all of this I thought of who was a reoccurring figure in the movie.

The Chinese guy who hires them (sorry for a lack of names), the elderly Chinese guy in the first dream that introduces the movie. He may be the same person. If I remember correctly, his mismatched eyes (one blue and one brown) matched the elderly individuals even though his eyes were grey with age and blindness perhaps. They also seem to answer questions in a similar fashion, and I did not notice this but Sleepingbeauty (who now has a blog that I might just link to in a different post for I frequently forget the URL's details and cannot reliably type it out. I could just copy and paste it, but I think I should finish this and sleep) said some of the dialog is almost the same if not matching perfectly. If this is wrong, blame her.

The elderly individual, after apprehending the main character and feeding him what I think is porridge, makes note of the top. He says he has seen something like this before. That could be reference to any top like the one he has found on the main character, or it could be a taunt or hint towards the fact he already knows he is in a dream and the situation around him. He is already aware of the top and what it is there for.

If the elderly man is the same individual as the buisness man, there is a problem in chronological order. The first scene of the movie should have a younger version, right? The only thing is though, what is the elderly/buisness man can manipulate chronological order a bit.

When you are a dream everything seams normal. When you exit the dream it doesn't really make sense. Our main character may of never exited the dream until the last scene of the movie. He may of never left a dream at the end. The kick could of pushed him through the last layer of dream that he was in.

It is said after using the sedative to dream, you are no longer able to dream by your own power. You need the sedative to dream. I think this would be terrible, I love my dreams.. but the sedative may have some upside. To be able to control when I dream and even parts of how would be phenomenal. Perhaps a bit too much power, but that is why the female college student comes back to the team. It's too much to just leave.

Our main character can no longer dream under his own power, but maybe the elderly/buisness man can. Maybe they are in a dream the entire time, his dream. Perhaps the reality that is conceived is his dream, or at least shared with him. He was able to present himself as an elderly individual when our main character was washed up onto the beach initially. He could do what ever he wished. I'm not sure his motives, but maybe I'll figure something out as I type.

I would like to make note of the beach. It was said you should not make dreams out of your reality, out of your memories. Only details of it should be incorporated. Consider the beach. The detail of it is where he viewed his dead wife playing with their children (in a dream of course.. for zombies just don't fit in this movie well), consider where they wash up on the 'edge of subconscious' at the start of their fifty year dream, and I think there was one more scene featuring a beach but it does not come to mind. The beach is reoccurring, it may even be the same beach. This beach could be a detail of the main character or the elderly/buisness man's reality.

How ever the beach is formed, the individual whos dream is being lived in has knowledge of the dream tapping. He knows of the token, and therefore perhaps may manipulate it. The elderly man mentioning he has seen something like it before, I think it was a hint towards the fact they were in a dream and he knew of it.

A second summarization. The tokens may not work, I think they do not. What is presented as reality, is really a dream, possibly of the elderly/busisness man who are the same person but one is an alter ego of the other. Now that I mention this, I think the elderly man may be the original and true being. This would allow himself to protect himself as a younger version of himself.

As for motives to all of this, I'm unsure. There's a chance that some members of the team could of been moles working for the original dream maker (assuming it's the elderly individual). Maybe everyone who was anchored in 'reality' was actually a mole, or perhaps they were just a clever projection. Maybe they were pulled into the dream as well.

Revenge is a common theme in movies, maybe there are some sort of relations to the elderly man and the main characters wife, who has a habit of being angry. Maybe this is all driven by the wife, who after sharing a dream with him for fifty years will know him amazingly well and might be able to manipulate his dreams better than he can.

Maybe power or knowledge is the motivation? There could be a full story, only known to the writer, that was not included in the movie. The true reason for going into dream after dream could be to extract information out of the main character's mind, and he has a persona in the real reality (more real than what is presented as the reality in the movie) of a very high position. The writer could of cut out the back story, leaving the back stories within the main story, just because it would be too much to fit all into one movie.

Perhaps, because dreams cause projections of your subconscious, the only individual in the the universe of the movie is the main character. Perhaps he is the only individual, and his projections have taken on a more personalized appearance than what one may expect of a projection. Perhaps the higher states of consciousness, that we do not see in the movie, can make projections of what we would view to be a real person in our reality but in actuality it's just another side of us.

The problem with this movie is the end is indeterminate and it is left for interpretation. That last idea was put there to emphasize this. There could be dozens of possibilities that I could think of, and more that others could think of. Even more that the writers could of thought of. The only way of knowing for sure what is happening, is to ask the writer. I kind of want to stay ignorant and keep thinking this through. Maybe I'll find a loop hole in my own ideas after watching this movie again. I kind of hope I do, just so all of this is wrong.

Maybe the movie is actually strait forward, he gets home, and the reality that is presented as reality is the real reality (for really).

Bugworlds . . . ,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Digital Media 2010/2011 Final Essay

Hello there world; I am sick, just in case you wanted to know. I might ramble a bit about it later. As for now, my Digital Media class has been assigned a final essay and after looking at the questions I thought this one should be shared with the world.

The questions we must answer are as follows:

  • What are your passions?

  • What is your personal philosophy in life?

  • What type of person do you want to become?

  • What does your future look like?

  • What do you think is needed to create a healthy, sustainable society for future generations?

  • What do you think is needed to motivate people to live passionately in the moment without Bordon or apathy?

What are my passions? To be honest, I am unable to tell. A passion is something you work towards perhaps. It is something you take pride in. It is something you are persistent about. It is a concept that you love. defines it as: Any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, such as love or hate. There are a few more interesting definitions, but that is the first. All of these aspects must be included for something to be a passion to an individual.

On a side note; the spacing system is being frustrating again and the spaces between my paragraphs may not be consistent.

What is something I am passionate about? There are so many topics, activities that I find interesting but few of them I put my full being towards. There are few activities that I go back to every day not out of habit, but out of desire to do so. I could go with the easy answer of my friends and Sleeping Beauty (In my mind she is in a different category than friends), which would be true, but this answer would have to be something almost everyone could use. There is no one who is apathetic about their friends and significant other, even if it may appear so. Humans are far too social creatures to completly cut themselves off from society. If it was possible, I would of probobly done so by now.

Not too long ago I may of answered this question rather naively. I would of jumped to activities that interested me such as speed cubbing. With some more examination I can say I am not passionate about this activity. I may go back to it often, but if I were to be passionate about it I would be going back to it every day. Some weeks I do, but within that I do not study every day. I do not push myself to learn more algorithms or new methods. I am casual about it all, as I am about almost everything.

I'm sure many people are passionate about school. I am not. I go every day, I do what I can to avoid missing school, I make sure I hand everything in finished and on time. I do not put my all into school though. I show up, I do my work, I leave. I do homework, I hand it in, and that is all. I could put more effort into almost every activity that is related to school. There is only one class that I can honestly say I have almost put all the effort I could into something.

I could be wrong with saying this, though I can honestly say there is an aspect of passion towards how I treat my Digital Media class. I'm sure my teacher will be quite amused with this statement, perhaps it may even bring him a smile. Because I have a very limited time to work in that class, I go to it every day and work through it all. The individuals who do nothing in that class annoy me. They are using up my broadband with their funny cat videos, because the "no more streaming anything" statement seemed to fall out of their consciousness after a week. I take pride in the work I do in that class, advertising it on my DeviantArt profile and showing it off to my peers.

What is my personal philosophy on life? Once again I will fall back to the 'I don't know' answer. I have considered this, I even wrote an essay on it last year for Digital Media. It's not that I don't have a philosophy, but I have a set of rules that I govern myself with. These may not all be conscious and they have not been put in place, just noted and observed though my own observations of my own actions. There are set ways I handle various situations. Everyone has these rules whether they are acknowledged or not.

Making note of them may mean very little to some, but I think it is an aspect of personal understanding that is needed. Once you have discovered them you cannot be ignorant to your discovery. If you present anyone with a situation, there will be an aspect of predictability in the way they react. This is testable if you don't believe me. Ask a friend who you know very well a question. Before you do so, think the question through, and consider how you think they may answer.

If I were asked to give these rules, I would not be able to. There are a few pointless things that I have made the decision to do so on a whim and stuck with, such as when I change the channel I always try to press the up button and avoid the down (sometimes looping through every channel is unavoidable), but on the most part I must be presented with the situation. I may not know how I will react, I may react differently than I say I will, but I know my actions are predictable.

The closest thought process that I know I have filtered into a philosophy relates to the concept of selfishness and selflessness. I am aware I am selfish, but I am also fairly selfless in some aspects. When asked to do something, generally I find myself doing what I was asked to do. I consider the reasonability of the request; is there any reason for me to not do so? The most common reason I may find will be the request is redundant or may cause me displeasure.

What type of person do I want to becomes? I am going to stay as I am, even if who I am now is dynamic. I will change, but natural change is not a bad thing. We are shaped by our environment, our peers, and what we observe in general. If you are to say you are going to stay the same for the rest of your life will need you to already have that mind set, and for you to be locked in a room where you are void of any influences.

I have no intention on forcing change onto myself. A forced change is almost always unnecessary, and will not be permanent. Your habits are shaped over time; to force a habit into place will quickly lead to your natural habits of overcoming this new action. Perhaps if you have the willpower and need to do so, this concept is possible. I think I would have the willpower to shape myself into some difference, but there is no desire to do so. I am who I am. You are who you are. We may boath change over time, and after a long length of time it could be observed that I am now you and you are now me... yet we are still ourselfs. I would have the characteristic of you, but I would still be me. You may have the characteristics of me, but you will still be you.

There are many answers that could fit this question such as ideals. Many want to be stronger, more wealthy, perhaps make a dramatic leap in personal being and attitude. Some may succeed in these, but only because they try to do so. Natural change can be positive or negative, but I have no intention on changing any other way. This reminds me of the question 'what do you want to be when you grow up?'

What do I want to be when I grow up? I want to be me, Bugworlds (for I generally avoid posting my real name on the Internet however still end up doing so occasionally), and no more or no less. I want to be alive, I want to have fun, I want to have a life that I view to be good.

What does my future look like? I would love to go off on a tangent about how I think the future and the past are the same; they are both time frames that are not in the current moment, the past is just observable and the future is unobservable. I also have a feeling this question isn't looking for my ideas on what time is.

I am quite unsure what my future holds. I can think of what I would like it to feature, but I am not able to quite tell what it will definitely hold. I suspect I may be in school or some form of education for some time longer, then simply be in the position where I have a job and I am living a simple, uninspiring life. I think my preferenced activities to pass time may shift a bit, but they will also stay the same in some aspects.

A running theme in my Digital Media and Psychology class this year has been living in the moment. I think it is a bit odd to ask what the future holds, assuming you are living in the moment. I am firm to believe I have found a state of living in the moment, with the future in mind but no worry about it. I want my future to unfold naturally, without a rigid concept and blueprint to follow. When I am asked about the future I do not think very far into the future. At the moment my mind jumps to post-secondary education, likely because going to a post-secondary education is becoming a personal reality to me.

What does my future look like? It looks like I get to go back to the 'I don't know' answer once again. I could reference to the essay I posted on my blog about where I think I will be in 2050 (I think that was the date given), which was posted some time after September 2010 for anyone who wants to find it in the fancy links to the left of my posts, however I am unable to expand on it.

As for the future in a more general sense; what is needed to create a healthy sustainable future for future generations? I think this is a bit of a utopian idea, for there to be a world wide balance. I also think this is the only way that this would be possible. Everyone must have the same value, everyone must have the same wealth, everyone must have the same living standards, same job standards, same environmental standards, same everything. Through equality in a system, one can find sustainability.

The alternative to all of this though, as unrealistic as it may be, I think would work just as well. A system that has all of these equalities and a way to govern it all. I've been reading 1984 in my English class, and this has made me realize the only way to have equality is a socialistic government. Even better than this would be a worldwide totalitarianism government.

I'm quite sure no one would enjoy the idea of this happening but it would create an equality amongst all peoples. I have no intention on encouraging this, or would I like to see this happen. I just want to bring up the point that the idea of a healthy, sustainable society is rather impossible. To have this perfectly is impossible at least. Perhaps we already have this, and it is just not balanced properly?

I know I live in a fairly healthy environment. I know my area is relatively sustainable even though we have so much imported into the local economy and not too much exported in comparison. It may be selfish to say, but I think this is all I need. I am aware there are individuals who live in areas with terrible living conditions and I know it would be a good thing for them to live in better conditions; but it does not affect me. The world is still in one piece on the most part, does this not mean our past has been sustainable? Even if it may not look like everything that is being done is positive, we have thrived and sustained ourselfs. Our natural resources may be depleted, but there are still some of them about. We could do something great for the future generations, but if we do not do so I will not be bothered.

And the final question revolving around motivation. What is needed to motivate people to live passionately in the moment without boredom or apathy? This will all just boil down to a case of living by example.

We are unable to directly affect people, we can only make attempts at doing so and hope our ideas spread a bit. I believe that living by example is much stronger than living with telling others how to live. If you are told you should be more kind to others, the thought may occur to you to try to do this. If you are surrounded by kind individuals I think it is difficult to not be kind.

All that is needed to motivate someones passion is for them to find a passion. Once you do this inspiration will not be needed to be found, it will just exist. As for boredom, that is a more-or-less a personal decision. It just takes the desire to do something, to do what is desired to be done. The same goes for apathy. If you wish to sit about all day with no motivation you may do so, I won't stop you even if I could, but life is so much better if you are living it.

If you are motivated, passionate, or inspired then you should not worry about others. Just keep living as you are and others will follow your example. It may take some time to sink in, but just keep up the good work. You're doing life right.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Effects Of Media

In Psychology class, along with the handout about our senses and the handout about positive psychology along with other branches of psychology, we received a handout titled 'Effects of Media.' Instantly I assumed this would be a biased report about how the media influences us negatively. I was not entirely correct. There are a few groupings of two or three sentences strewn here and there stating that the several paragraphs before those sentences could be wrong or 'this is rarely the case.'

How does the media effect us? This would have to be a case by case question, so generalizing will lead to something that may not apply to many or be full of bias ideas. I don't mind this all so much. I have my own opinion about media and I would love to hear all of your opinions about media.

So, how does the media effect you?

Lets start with the easy aspect of media. The television has a funny habit of persuading us to turn it on, and then waste our time away in front of it. It is easy to justify these actions, because you are tired, because you've had a long day, because you need some time to unwind, because you need some time to rest and relax. Everyone gets tired, everyone has long days, everyone needs some time to just settle down for a bit; not everyone has a television. Not everyone has cable, not everyone has Internet though that is a different paragraph or three.

First off, televisions are not evil devises. Paying too much for cable may be stupid but it is not a sin. You could say everything in moderation is a key idea when using televisions, but that's just too cliche for my liking.

Why do we watch televisions? Well the programs on them inspire us to do so. They are entertaining, educational, maybe even interesting at the best of times. Why do the individuals who make the shows we watch, want them to watch them? If it was just because they wanted them to be watched, the shows and movies would be posted for free viewing online (well, by the makers at least). There is more than just appreciation on the agenda for most producers, though I'm sure it does exist. Money is what is needed to fund the broadcasting, crew, actors, and everyone else involved in the process of making a movie. More money is needed if they wish to create a second piece, which will have the potential of being bigger and better due to profit.

There's that word that my handful of readers were most likely anticipating. Profit. There is the greed aspect of course. The money to create this profit comes mostly from advertisements. The commercials that you glaze over every day. We are bombarded with subliminal and much less discrete messages daily. This is not only done through television, but rather anything that has any advertising on it. I think television is dominant in the advertising market though, so this is why I have chosen to mention it here.

We may not realize how much attention we pay to the forty of seconds of 'buy this, look like this, be this' and not all commercials are so shallow. Some have a message, some are there to inspire the viewers to be better people. Sadly I must admit I think these commercials may be morally sound however when it comes to advertising quality, they are not put together as well. There is less research done for them, and they do not leave such a lasting impression except for some slightly stretched heartstrings. It's a good thing we've become desensationalized. (this will probably find it's way into another paragraph also) to it all.

I feel like I'm spending too much time on this topic; television may have its benefits such as a time to relax, though there are much better alternatives. Television is just an easy, lazy alternative. If you want to go and watch some cable shows, go for it. I'll be using my television for a more interactive entertainment.

Of course I'm speaking about video games. Not necessarily the violent, graphic, mature games that are a lot of fun, but any video games in general. These are not worse than television in many cases, just because they are much more engaging when contrasted to television. I find television boring because video games are interactive and watching something is not. I like to be emerged in something, more so than just observe it. Why watch others have a good time if you can be in control of your own entertainment?

Desensitization is a common theme when video games are discussed, and this is due to the violent, graphic, mature games. I enjoy a good first person shooter, although I'll admit the new games are not as good as the older first person shooters in my opinion. They are more in depth, they are more realistic, but I do not think this is necessarily a good thing. It takes away from the core game play, but still just an opinion. My typing is not to go over my opinion on what makes a good game and what doesn't.

Desensitization occurs after viewing or experiencing something that would normal be morally difficult to watch or go through with, eventually causing it to be not morally difficult. A common example around video games is the act of violence or killing. It is phenomenally easy to kill someone in most games. You simply aim the cross hairs over their head and left click, right trigger, I think the Wii features the B button. The savage act of murder has been committed with just a keystroke.

But how does this relate to the real world? When so many are willing to state that video games desensitize individuals I will admit they are right, but the act of shooting someone in a game and in the real world are very polar. In a game you are encouraged to do so and rewarded in the action of doing so. In real life there is a general social displeasure with murder, along with a hefty legal punishment. I think desensitization is legitimate but has been exaggerated.

Another stereotype related to video games is they make you lazy. I'll just throw in a mention that my favorite games are DDR and drumming on Rockband. Drumming for Rockband may not be very physically demanding (but much more so than most games), although I know I'll get a better workout from playing DDR than I would going for a run. Just watch this amazing kid. He's edging on being my hero.

Media is also found in many other commercial aspects. Billboard scatter cityscapes, magazines are everywhere, videos are shared over E-Mail, and lets take a look at the most desired media form. Lets think about the Internet.

Is the Internet making us stupid? Is Google making us stupid? How the Internet is rewiring our brains. These are all articles that I have read at least part of and I would recomend they be read. For those who don't want to read them but get the gist of them, I will summarize. Also, there are many similar articles for those who are willing to jump to Google by their own means, without a link and everything.

Is the Internet making us stupid, and Is Google making us stupid fit together well. They discuss how we no longer need to think through our own problems. The only effort we need to find an answer to our question is typing it into the search bar. Personally, I love this and I abuse it just as much as most people. I don't think it is a bad thing, although I can see how it could teach our brain that we don't need to think through our own problems.

How the Internet is rewiring our brains looks at our brains, and the Internet, and the connection between the two. I would go into more detail but I need to go at the moment. The next few paragraphs have been typed out before I got to this part of my post.

Pfft, chronological order.

These were the two aspects of the media that were examined in my handout. They are both very easy topics when you consider the media. Other aspects of media consist of everything produced with intention of showing others, commercially or otherwise. We absorb adds every day, we view art every day, we create our own media every day. This post that you are reading right now is a form of media. Think all the media is bad still? I'm hoping not.


Positive Psychology and some other views ;; A-notso-Quick Reply ;; And A Nice Keyboard

In reply to the comment (yes, that's right. I got a comment.) on my post regarding graffiti: I completley forgot about that history of it. I thinking tagging as a form of territory marking may be an easy way to put a claim down on something, however it has moved away from that a bit. There are still gangs putting their symbols and names up on various locations in order to state that it is theirs; there are also many individuals who tag with no intent on the scribing to be relating to organized crime. A tag can be a signature, it can be artistic, it can have a message or a story. It does not have to be related to its history. You still brought up a great point that I should of included.

Tagging has moved from criminal activities, to 'wanna be gangsters', to artists. I wish I had been more inspired to write that post, for I am now thinking of the 'wanna be artists' who will take a pen, pencil, felt, what ever they can get their hands on; and put text on a wall. This is not graffiti. Graffiti is an art. Simply writing on a surface that is not yours is vandalism.

It can be argued that graffiti in a public place (or nonpublic for that matter) is also vandalism. This may depend on the intent and quality of the piece. I am very aware if you are trying to sell a building and a large, unexpected painting shows up over night it will not add value no matter how good it is. Shouldn't adding art to something make it more valuable? Not everyone views graffiti as art, only vandalism.

At the moment I'm in my school's library. I had a Math test last block, which was an exam that was being treated as a test. We've been doing these to prepare us for the optional exam (that I was planning on not taking however if I have had the correct questions answered it appears that even if I do terribly on the exam it will not lower my overall mark) and they are suppose to take around two hours. We can normaly leave an exam after an hour, and that has been the rule for the in-class exams. My first attempt at one of these in-class exams resulted in me finishing with only ten minutes to spare. This time the bell went (1:15 into the exam) as I was finishing the last question.

Now originally I was intending on getting a ride with Sleeping Beauty, who has a class after school that ends around 5-6pm. It varies a bit. I expected to finish after my bus had left so I would have time to do homework (writing for psychology, which I am kind of doing right now) and then get a ride home with her. Her puppy dog face (I am still looking for the legal clause stating that girls may not use this to get what they want) was enough to push my opinion that was already leaning towards me staying to do work over the metaphoric cliff of my choice making process. I am now here. My friend, who will go by the alias.. hmm.. Mohawk (for all of you who know him, and even those who don't can probably figure this out, that this is a very unoriginal name) was gracious enough to allow me to use his amazing headphones to listen to music as I did work. I did not wish to hear those around me, so some gentle trance music would be great to block out the unavoidable 332m/s waves that would strike my ear drum.

So this is why I am here, typing on an amazing keyboard, kind of doing my psychology work by writing as our teacher wants us to do; however not addressing the topic I need to. Onto that now:

Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that is more devoted and tuned to what makes people happy. I'm sure that isn't the best definition, so I found a link. Wikipedia is convenient. Positive psychology has been the most discussed branch of psychology that we have looked at in psychology class and one of the more ignored aspects of psychology in my own occasional casual readings.

This type of psychology focuses on positive aspects in humans, a glance into the bright side of humans. I love the idea of this, I don't know why I was not already familiar with it. In our hand out it shows us a few concepts within this branch such as (my favorite that is mentioned) "problems only come up when other people get in th[e] way." I may not agree with this entirely, but it is accompanied with the thought experiment of a child that is being hindered in natural growth by adult and authoritarian figures.

I can relate this to my own childhood a bit, although I also believe that mature intervention is required in the growing and maturing process. You can leave an apple tree to grow apples by itself, you can leave a fish egg to hatch and know how to get to the ocean, but you cannot leave a child on a rock and expect it to start a fire. There's a high chance the shear number of negative possibilities will be too much for the individual's mind to comprehend and they will break down in a crying fit. Clearly, children lack the intuition of a fish.

Humans have lost their natural instincts in exchange for knowledge (or so I think). It is expected that knowledge will be passed down through memes (better defined for the context I am relating to here) rather than through birth. I think it may be safe to say that each individual human knows more than any individual animal does. I would love to be proved wrong though; just in case there's a chance that I will get a second comment in a week.

Back on topic; the hand out we received also explains psychological perspectives. I think of them more as psychological bias. Depending on your view and style of analyzing an event from a psychological angle, you are going to ask different questions. In the end the same answer may be achieved. I do not think the same answer will always be achieved.

The perspectives and their style of asking a question around an event are as follows: Psychoanalytic, what forces drove an individual to partake in this event; Behaviorist, what have been the previous consequences when this event had taken place; Humanist, was the individual partaking in the event to feel loved and/or respected; Cognitive, What was the individual thinking during the event; Sociocultural, what in society has taught the individual to partake in this action; Biological, was there an undetected medical condition to encourage the event; Evolutionary, was this an example of adaptive behavior not working correctly? The event used an example leads to the individual being harmed, possibly intentional and possibly unintentional, by their own means. I find it amusing how none of these perspectives look to see if the individual is okay, but that is understanding considering what the example is looking at.

These all show different views regarding psychology. It really shows how much psychology has progressed, considering before Sigmand Freud there was a high chance that to learn more about the human mind there was a high chance of a hole being drilled into your head; well there may be a bit of a time gap there but it gave me a good opportunity to link to an article about Sigmund and I'm sure the idea was understood.

I sure do enjoy this keyboard. It has good depth, the keys make pleasant sounds when I press them, and it's all very easy to use in a standard layout.

;; Bugworlds

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Electronic Life ; Internet Addictions

Hello world. I'm falling asleep tired almost and there's no guarantee I will find the will power to finish this, although it is due tomorrow. My ability to keep track of what day is what escaped me over yesterday and today, leaving me with the thought that I had one more day to complete this. I was intending on doing it in one sitting. I guess this one sitting will be here and now.

In Digital Media we watched a documentary about Internet addictions, online games, electronic lives, etc. The name of the documentary escapes me at the moment, though I already knew a large amount about these topics.

The games presented in this documentary were amongst some of the prominent MMORPG world wide. World Of Warcraft (WoW) and Second Life were mentioned. Just as the name of the documentary, the third one has escaped my memory. I didn't think I would need to write anything down about this but it looks as if I was wrong. Perhaps I did not learn much about the topic at hand, but there has been a learning oportunity (or as many may call, a failure).

I am only speaking about WoW, however this is applicable to most games of this genre.

World Of Warcraft is a game that takes place in a fictional world. There are various creatures, classes, and races that you may play as. Within the game there are many activities you may participate in such as fighting monsters, going on quests, exploring, trading, the occasional party may even spring up. Most activities will reward you through in game currency or experience which will get you closer to leveling up your character so you are stronger. There are many multi player activities within the game that offer a social content as well.

Everything that I have listed so far can be done in a small or large group of people. These groups, often called guilds, will meet regularly online in order to play together. This is not always the case, but it is a frequent event. This interaction is one of the reasons why this game may appear appealing to so many. Social interaction from the comforts of your own home. The players may never meet in person, but they will know eachother better than the people they know in the real world.

Another appealing aspect, and what I think perpetuates this game to be addictive is the work and reword system. The joy you get from leveling up is great in games like this, or atleast I've always enjoyed it. You set a goal and then work towards it. When you get this goal achieved it is great, however then your only next goal is to set another goal.

At first achieving your goals is easy. You start out with low levels that will only take a few minutes to work up into higher levels. Over time this progresses. It will not take much time for you to be grinding (repetitive actions to get your level up) for ten hours total to get your level up. In order to put this into perspective, I know of several people who play this game or similar games, or played this game or similar games, and see a total of ten hours of grinding to be a very short amount of time to get a level up.

Initially the joy of getting your level, your goal, is easily obtained. You are eased into spending more and more time playing the game. For those who become very addicted to Wow, they don't mind this.

As for Second Life, it offers you the chance to live in a perfect world. I am much less knowledgeable with this game however and it is a much less popular game amongst my peer group compared to WoW. It is appealing just in the fact that reality sucks in comparison to the virtual world. In a virtual world you can remain anonymous, do what you want, and life is easier all around. You don't need to put effort into doing anything, when everything takes the same amount of effort. Just point and click, maybe hold down a couple of keys.

I'm loosing steam, sleep is approaching on me.

I think these games are boath great, or at least great concepts. I have never had an interest in playing Second Life however I think WoW would be a game I would enjoy. I can see it also eating away at my life a bit for I'm sure I would be quick to get hooked on the work and reward system. The real world is difficult, but I can be a hero online with no effort at all.

These games must be played in moderation, to avoid cutting off the real world. For some it must be a conscious decision. For others, they may need will power to sit down and play a game like this for any given amount of time.

Another virtual world that has become very popular recently is Facebook. It is a slight connection between the real world and its virtual counterpart. The individuals who most people have added as friends are known in the real world, the events gossiped about it are based in the real world, and the pictures posted (for no apparent reason often) are also taken in the real world. The only difference is there is now a screen connecting the real world to the rest of the real world.

Did the real world just get simulated?

It would seem that this is the case for many. I have seen countless cases of Facebook becoming first thought for so many people. I cringe when my much older but not yet elderly relatives are far too happy to say, "That would make a good Facebook status," or in any manner like that; integrating the website into every day activities. I liked it when Facebok was new and hip and no one knew all that much about it other than it was convenient.

Then the truth about it went a bit more mainstream, people actually read the privacy policies, and the older generations caught onto it as well. Soon as that happened it lost even more appeal to me; but this is all to the side of the main question. Is Facebook real? How real is it?

As I mentioned before, I believe it bridges the gap between virtual reality and real reality. Now, instead of being criticized for grinding a dungeon for ten hours, you can be rewarded by your peers for being so up to date with all the social problems and parties that are happening on the weekend. There's very little difference in how people use Facebook in comparison to addictive games. What holds people to it more than many things have in the past, is it's versatility.

Facebook has everything you need for your computing experience except for a Google search built into it, and if that happens I will be doing even more to stay away from Facebook. E-mail has been replaced by Facebook Inbox. Blogging has been replaced by a 420 character limit 'status' posting system and a notes application for those who are still literate. Inviting people to events has been replaced by an events applications. Calendars by a calendar application; games by gaming applications; instant messaging by an instant messaging system; graphics uploads by a pictures system; even those annoying online quizzes that always catch so many people's attention are everywhere and they're easy to make yourself. Everything that use to be done on the Internet by the average user has been simplified so you may shift your attention back and forth between several events without needing to put thought into anything, and it is all on one website. All your friends use it, it is an inconvenience for you to use it as well; correct?

Well personally, if you have not noticed this by my previous comments, have been pulling away from Facebook for some time and I would advise many other's to do the same. Go read a book, perhaps even play a game off the computer. Hardcore gaming is still popular off PC's, and they often have the same problems with addictiveness once you can play online against real people.

In South Korea, gaming is a huge franchise. It's a cultural phenomenon, and it is dangerous for many. There are cheap Internet cafes that are open 24/7 with nothing stopping young gamers from playing for days at a time with limited food or water. This is dangerous. People have died doing this. My inner gamer almost wants to declare them heroes, but the common sense side of me says that gaming has been taken too far in these situations.

Everything in moderation may be difficult when your job is to game. South Korea is famous for their video game tournaments. Players who are the best at some of the greatest games that have been released for some time will duke it out behind screens for hours on end until two people have won every match they have played in. Once it is down to this everyone is watching, even if the match only lasts a few seconds, and then it is all over. One person walks away in the second place position, where the individual who won just earned several thousand dollars to pay off for their time gaming.

Perhaps gaming is just a passion for some. For too many it is an addiction. I've caught myself addicted to games a few times, it isn't the greatest thing in the world but because you are so hooked on the game you don't care at the time. This is where the problem lies, but as long as money is being made by the makes of the games there is no sign of this industry slowing down.


It is now the next morning, I have slept and I feel much better and focused. In Digital Media class I am filtering pictures fifty at a time, so I have a bit of a wait in between doing anything on my computer. Since my friend, Patlikmerah, is more or less asleep beside me I have taken over his computer.

The details on the assignment are sitting on the white board behind me. It turns out the name that escaped me, of the documentary, was Frontline. A topic I did not address was how the every day use of media technology effects the individual, family and society in general.

A constant stream of media can be found in every day activities. Most every day activities are based around media, or it would be easy to mistake them to be so. It is common practice to wake up, turn on the TV and listen to the news as you make your coffee in the morning. Your commute to work will take you past many adds, posted everywhere. At work you will be using a computer, so if it has any Internet access you will be bombarded with even more adds.

The result of this, is the media has become a normal. It is expected for you to be constantly absorbing information against your own knowledge, and when there is a lack of it there is an uneasy different that haunts the atmosphere. Does your family have the television on when you're eating dinner, if you even still eat as a family? How much conversation goes on during that time.

My family has always had the television on during the few minutes of dinner. Making conversation is difficult because if you speak there is a chance that someone cannot hear the constant grovel of the news. The media has killed the ability for my family to communicate over what use to be a staple of being a family.

When I am out with friends, just speaking to them may be a difficulty at times. Every few seconds there's a high chance of someone getting a text message and by force of habit they will cut their sentence short in order to answer it; no matter how trivial the message or their reply is.

iPods can hold far too much music, and they are around far too often. I'm not sure if iPod's fit into media, but I will force them into it anyways for now. I know people who have ridiculously unbalanced hearing because they always have their ear bud sticking in their ear pumping out compressed audio. They've listened to it so much they've lost any hope of appreciating it, in my opinion. That is for a different post of complaints about our society and how I can fix it with my ideas.

I wish to finish this quickly, so I will.

The individual is overwhelmed by media, surrounded by it, and eaten alive by it (more or less). There is a constant stream of media that is influencing us, and we cannot escape it in many cases. It has found its way into our daily schedules and the media producers love that. As long as you're insecure with change it will stay in your life.

As for families, well it has killed communication. Media encourages us to communicate with our friends, but not with the individuals who are around us at the time.

An for society in general, is has reshaped society. There is an entire industry devoted to the creation and consumption of media.

Once again I have ran out of inspiration to ramble.


Graffiti ; Street Art

This was a topic that was brought up during Psychology but it is not a required writing. I actually get to do some leisurely writing; I could use an emoticon here but I want to keep my blog slightly literate.

Graffiti is a street art, yet if you state graffiti and you state street art you are going to be receiving very differed opinions on the coexist topics. The line between what is what crosses often and irregularity. I think it all boils down to opinion, though opinions can be persuaded and shifted, if I can have anything to do with it.

Graffiti can be artistic, there is no question about it. There is a very large amount of graffiti that not artistic however. It is an art style, that has very diverse mediums and tools of the trade. My favorite style of graffiti usually features spray-paint or heavy-inked markers. Within these two materials there are many styles that could be explored.

Bleh, I walked away from this post and then have come back to it during a Tuesday flex block. My desire to write this post has fallen apart, so I will go into a listing style.

Tagging is usually simple appearing but it takes a lot of work to make a good tag, no matter how simple it is. Taggers may practice their tag for hours to ensure they are done quickly, consistently, and look good by their opinion. Others may disagree they will ever look good, but I think tagging makes an area look more interesting. This type of graffiti should not be put in the public's eye, such as on the front of buildings, but rather as a back street artistic splash.

Graffiti that should be put in the public's eye is what I may consider street art. Work that is more than a word or phrase. Pieces that are appealing to the viewer, or purposely unappealing to the viewer. Street art is where political messages can be found, where personal stories can be hidden behind a poster, or a mural can be put up over night with the intention on seeing how others interpret it.

Street art, along with most forms of graffiti, have been pushed to stay in an underground culture. Recently there has been an artistic movement that has been bringing it more into a mainstream idealism. Graffiti styles are found in advertising, for it's what the customers enjoy viewing. Graffiti artists are becoming popular, and some are even being featured in art displays.

Banksy anyone?

My flex block is ending, I think I'll cut this off now; with less words than intended but my opinion forced into the topic just enough.


Senses, All Five

I'm posting, on behalf of Psychology class again. Surprised? I'm not, but soon I will be writing on my own topics for a day or two.. maybe.

We must write about an experience we have had where our attention was fully focused on one sense. Easy enough? I want to read others replies to this topic.

First up, touch. I can only think of one moment where I've been only focused on touch, and it occurred a few years ago. It was during lunch break, some friends were sitting in a circle playing cards, I was outside of the circle sitting behind my girlfriend of the time. After what must of been several minutes I realized that my eyes were open but I didn't see anything. In that moment I snapped back to reality, though for a large amount of that lunch period I must of just sat there with my hand on her back. I remember being quite mystified about how the time went by so quickly, how I knew there had to be sounds around me but I didn't hear any, and most of all how all I remembered from the time was the texture of her shirt. I can recall knowing this now though not that original memory. I can't remember what made it distinct at the time other than the isolation of memory.

As for smell, I have a few vague memories to piece together. Many times I've walked into my house after school only to feel as if I just walked into a wall of aroma. The scent is usually from meat, and that may be why I remember this so distinctly. I have been a vegetarian for six years, however there have been many cases where the smell of meat cooking has been instinctively considered pleasant smelling. There are many cases where I found the scent of flesh being chemically altered (It sounds much worse that way, doesn't it?)

My audio receptors have over focused and turned the rest of my senses of many times when speaking on the phone, especially to Sleeping Beauty. I have a habit of lying on my back, anywhere in my room, when speaking on the phone to her. I may be on the ground, on my bed, in my box fort (yes, I have a box fort). The phone will be resting on my face with the speaker near the top of my face and the mic closer to my chin. A couple of times an hour has gone by and I have realized I have not moved, not even opened my eyes. All I know for those moments is Sleeping Beauty's voice. I find it difficult to speak on the phone when I'm on the computer, and slightly less when I'm involving myself in other activities. There's little to stimulate me in my room once the sun has gone down, for there is little light. My blinds are always down and I have a poster over half my window to encourage darkness. As long as I'm comfortable I have no reason to pay attention to anything else other than what is important.

Taste and vision have escaped me for a unique memory surrounding them. I can think of some instances where've I've consumed very flavorful food, some very spicy food, and that sensation I get when really hungry and about to make some food. I can recollect some amazing sights I've seen; but nothing stands out to be a blind-and-dumb-food-testing experience or vision so crisp and memorable it has embedded into my memory with no concept of anything more than a bombardment of artistic photons.

That is all for now. Next up Street Art vs Graffiti and how they're boath great.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More Psychology Kind Of ;; YouTube Videos

At the moment I'm at Sleeping Beauty's house. She's not too far away doing homework, not cleaning her room like she's suppose to. I hope she read this later. I'm sure she will if I prompt her.

Today in Psychology (well a few days ago but this makes me sound like I'm caught up on everything), we did as we usually do and I had troubles relating it to Psychology, but it was fun. We looked over a few videos on the list of the top fifty Youtube videos. I'm not sure how they were selected, I believe it was according to popularity. We were instructed to pick three or so videos and discuss them.

Of these videos, I selected Daft Hands, Where the Hell is Matt?, and LED Sheep; all for various reasons.

First of all, Daft Hands. I can admit I picked this video for the music more than the actual video. If it was the same idea applied to music I don't like, I would of probably picked another one of the amazing videos in the list of top fifty Youtube videos. I'm a Daft Punk fan. I don't listen to them as much as I use to however when I hear their music it will always catch my attention. As for the video itself, it should be viewed to understand fully. Even if you don't have audio, even if you have to wait for it to buffer because your computer doesn't like Youtube much, even if you despise any music that resembles any house genr├ęs; this should be viewed.

The substance of the video features someone's hands which have the words from Harder Better Faster Stronger by Daft Punk, a fairly simple set of lyrics but I enjoy them, and the words are shown in time to the lyrics. This may not sound like a very impressive feat although considering many of the words are broken up over both hands (such as -er being on the right hand that requires the individual to close their hands together at the proper times) and even though there are few words the margin for error is great, it's done perfectly. I have not watched this video for a while, in class we only watched a couple minutes starting near the middle and when calling up the URL to link to it I only listened to the music, but I recall it being performed perfectly.

It may be difficult to remember the lyrics at first, let alone have them so well known that you can recite them according to the location you have written them onto your hand. This video has caught my attention with the music, although what makes it special is how complex it appears to be. If you want something a bit more complex though, type in Daft Hands Technologic into the search bar next time you're on Youtube.

Next up is Where The Hell Is Matt? I dislike this video. That is all I have to say about it.

Well that was a hollow bluff. I have reason to my disliking of this video along with a small rant. As for the individual in the video, I think he may have a stroke of genius (or a stroke of luck) hidden up in his dancing mind. He has gotten sponsored to go all around the world just to dance and advertise (I think he has a deal with Stride gum? I could be wrong), just because he can do a silly dance. Props to him for this, but why he is famous is what grinds my gears a bit.

I understand there is an aspect of any group activity will get attention, and if something happens all around the world it will also gain some followers. This is a great idea in some aspects: it takes something interesting and then interests many people in doing so, it is something anyone can do, it is easy to do, and it is a relatively original idea (these may not be the exact parameters for what I am about to link to, but have any of you ever heard of Pogopalooza?); although there is an overwhelming aspect of stupid in my opinion.

I see someone doing a silly dance, doing something that takes very limited ability and very little thought, and getting famous for it. He's payed to travel and dance! That sounds great for the dancer, but for all of you corporate sponsors who have shown interest in him... well I think you could of thought of that yourself and payed less for it.

This is just my opinion, though I hope others may have kindred thoughts towards this, but if you become famous it should be for a better reason. Great skill, a great accomplishment, or be a (future) historical figure may deserve fame. Silly dancing does not. This leaves me with only one question that I will answer myself, before anyone else gets the chance to do so (Hey guess what!?! Don't guess, I'll tell you).

Humans like stupidity. We enjoy others being ridiculous, demonstrating great acts of unintelligent, even falling down is kind of amusing. I'm not sure why this is, but we seem to find pleasure out of the cute, silly, and ignorant. Popular television is saturated with it, online video sites such as Youtube will get millions of hits on videos that are posted just so we can laugh at them. I enjoy them, but I just don't like this one.

Where The Hell Is Matt? Where ever he's payed to dance.

This last video has a clever name along with an amazing concept. Lets dress some sheep up with light and heard them in creative shapes. Not all of the shapes are creative, they're rather expected actually, but enjoyable still. This is a fresh idea far as I know. I've never seen anything like this before except in one scene of Disney Pixar's Finding Nemo featuring some fish.

Blah blah blah, me me blah, blah blah blah blah me me nee. 0:47 if you want to skip to the good part of the video.

After watching the video I was struck by a moment of realization. Sheep are very easy to heard, they are rather dependant on having a non-sheep leader to avoid falling upside down in the middle of roads where they don't know they are going to be hit by the car that is blazing towards them. Their intelligence may be a bit more advanced than what I have described, but they are not very smart. They are nature's ultimate blind followers, which makes them great for this idea.

The dogs in the video are even more amazing than the sheep. The sheep are just the colours and light of the picture in this. The dogs are who are doing the work. I think they may be even more important than the humans arranging this all. The dogs drive the sheep into the correct formations, and make sure they stay in it. I have no idea how they know what the shape should be, but there is no doubt they cannot make any shape desired. Perhaps making hollow shapes may be difficult, but making an old-school game board with stationary and animated aspects is done amazingly well. I don't want to give it away, in case you have not watched the video, but it is the best display of the game that is being displayed that I have ever seen. Even better than my favorite Pixar movie; no, not Finding Nemo. Captain Nemo's name has done nothing to deserve such ridicule.

This video was made well and the music is not bad from what I remember; it has an intelligent, unique idea; and it features glowing, lovable mammals. It's great.

If you don't watch the videos I've mentioned you are only depriving yourself from a few minutes of entertainment. If you do watch the videos, post your comments. I would love to get some opinions.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Self Discovery

In Psychology we had to write an essay on self discovery. I'm disapointed at the quanity of this, especialy after editing it down a bit, but I was rather impressed with it. Innitialy I did not intend on sharing it with the world, but I think part of it needs to be shared at least. I'm hoping the formatting will transfer properly. If not I do not intend on fixing it.

What is self discovery? I believe that is just a matter of opinion, and my opinion states it is a realization that an individual experiences about themselves. Others may define it as a realization of what your opinion is, or finding what you truly enjoy. This are also true, though I think my opinion sums these points up well.
Self discovery, like focus, cannot be found. It cannot be forced and it cannot be created. You should not seek it for it is like a lost remote. If you look for it you will never find it; though once in a more relaxed mental state you’ll realize that you’ve had your hand resting over it for an hour and have even utilized it. It must be stumbled into, if you want to personify the concept you could even say you must let it find you.
But like finding a hopelessly lost remote in a cluttered room, there are ways you can encourage self discovery. One key feature of discovering it rests in focus and passion.
By focusing on what you are doing, the task at hand should be the only task you are participating in it. In this time your mind is free from distraction. A clear mind will be the page-light on your remote. It will let you tune into what it is you are looking for exactly, and this is needed. Because the concept of self discovery could be considered to be so diverse, finding out what you are looking for is going to help in amazing amounts. In many cases you will realize you have found what you have been looking for, and even what it was you were looking for in the first place, after it is found. If this is not the case an area of self weakness or question would be a good place to start.
In passion you will also find out what you are looking for. If you are pushing yourself through an action or event you do not wish to participate in, time will drag on. The time spent on it will not be desirable. In enjoying yourself the temptation of doing something different will not be as apparent. If you are searching for this lost remote that will allow you to focus on what you are looking at, and all you would rather to do make a sandwich, there’s no reason to hesitate making the snack.

By the way. The television is your own self understanding.

Everyone must find their remote, their self discovery, through their own method.

-->There was some more in here, that lead up to final four or five line blurb. It has no need to be here now though. It looks like my formatting did not transfer properly. I wonder what this will look like once it has been posted?

It is easy to think what you are viewing is in focus,
But it may only be in focus by what you are familiar with.
Maybe, with the simple act of putting some glasses on
Your television will be more in focus.

An Almost Continue ;; Man On Wire and American Movie

It feels as if my inspiration to do any sorts of writing has diminished a ridiculous amount recently. The only writing I have been doing is for school and the only writing I've put up on here has been for school, with the exception of my last post that was written during a flex block a week ago.

It's been a week since I've done any writing, but I don't mind really. I figure since I have not been inspired to do so, forcing myself to do so may not be a good thing. I don't think it would be a bad event though; for if I don't I may get out of the habit. Vortex B says he feels like he's missed part of his day if he doesn't get a chance to do some writing. I do not think I have been writing consistently enough, for long enough, to have that feeling. A few days of only verbal, non-recorded conversation, doesn't feel like a huge burden.

My last post was cut off due to flex ending. I had time to shove my point into it although the end felt a bit deflated. I didn't get a chance to expand on my point, though during my English class I had the chance to bring it up during the class discussion.. well the class's version of Spark Notes.

I think my English class may be illiterate, or atleast a large portion of it. We are given two weeks to read a bit more of one hundred pages of a book that has the dimensions of 6 by 18 cm, with a 8pt font (perhaps, just rough measurements and an estimate). The result was expected: half of the class, if not more, did not read anything. We were then given a week or so to read the next fifty pages. At the moment I'm one of five people who consistently read it when we are told we need to. How well you do in a class is a reflection of how much effort you put into it. I may not put much effort into it, but if I can maintain my high B (as of last time I checked) with very little effort I'm sure some of the most literary challenged individuals can hold onto their forty percent with hope of last second redemption?

Anyways, illiteracy aside, it turns out the point is not that great and a quick glance at what I had posted revealed a fairly transparent hesitation of what was to be explained. If anyone has any questions, just comment. I really wouldn't mind, I might even like the question no matter how basic or complex it appears.

Spark Notes, for anyone who doesn't know, is a website where you can get notes on books without needing to read it yourself. It's a great cheat sheet. Don't use it as a cheat sheet if you can. Read yourself, then study with it. Be literate. If you can read any of my regular length posts I trust you can read a book yourself. It just may take a little patience if the topic at hand does not interest you. I know that many people find my blogging to be dull.

Maybe my need to get some writing done will allow me to get into the habit of writing for leisure again. I think it probably won't, but hoping there is a chance won't hurt.

For now my topic consists of two documentaries we watched in Psychology class. One is called Man On Wire. It is a story of an individual who had a passion for wire walking. His actions eventually get him into trouble, but in the mean time he has a great time setting up various wire walks just because he could. No publicity, no payment, nothing more than the enjoyment of doing what he loved to. The second documentary is titled American Movie. It portrays the life of a film producer who is just unable to produce anything. Eventualy he does finish what he is working on, but it takes far longer than the time it should of and probably never made it to any top ten lists (well, for positive attributes at least).

In Man On Wire, the individual portrayed is simply amazing. He has spent hour on hours perfecting his art of walking on an incredibly small surface. I've heard, from several sources, that it takes around ten-thousand hours to master something. I think he has done so. Dedication. He must be so dedicated. Day in and day out training, it must sound incredibly boring. Repeating the same actions, movements, challenges ever day.

Though despite how challenging this would be, or not be after so much training, I do not think it would be a tedious action. An action is boring when it is not interesting. When you are interested in something, the time may fly by without a thought of it. Have you ever put your mind to doing something you enjoy for several hours? Lost track of time in a game, a book, a walk, anything? How many times have you done this? I'm sure it happens to everyone frequently, and this is why I do not think that ten-thousand hours would be a very hard accomplishment.

Imagine every time you got lost in time, practicing something, you were getting lost in the same event. Not the same event in time, but the same action at least. Imagine how much time you have no put towards this? Finding what this is for each individual may be difficult, but when one does find what they are looking for it may be hard to stop doing it. Once one finds a passion there is no telling how much time can be spent perfecting it with no tedious actions, even from a third persons observations it seems to be pointless.

What about focus? One of the topics we must look at is focus, but I see no reason to do this. Focus is a great topic; but not today. Not with the previous topic of dedication from the perspective I have examined it at. If you are dedicated to something and enjoying it, if you are participating with your passion, there is no reason to look for focus. It will find you, or something profound like that should occur. Focus is not something that must be found but rather something that must be realized. It may need to be refined, tuned, perhaps focus may need some mental focus to get to; but it is always there.

So many people are surrounded by stimulation in our society, at a constant amount. Looking for stimulation, even when you are asleep, is sometimes needed. How can you be focused when you are so stimulated. When the stray words of "how am I ever going to find the time to get this done" or words to the same effect great my ears, I would love to send out a long blurb about how the brain concentrates and focuses but few wish to hear my ramblings. That's why I post a few of them on the Internet. To sum up what I would like to say about those who cannot find the time or focus, I think this is what I should give as a default reply:

Do not look for focus. Do not look for time. Let it find you, or even better forget about it. Every time you think about the fact you are not focusing, you are now focusing on your lack of focus. Every time you think about the time, the urge to check the time will creep into the recess of your mind and pick away at your concentration until the elephant in your mind storms into the limelight of your mind and you have to check the time. Lock yourself in a small room, as clean and as empty as it can be. Turn away clocks, leave your electronics at the door, if you are one of the few who still wear a watch you can blend into the crowd for a few minutes. Leave behind all distractions and indications of time. Start working and finish when you are done. Don't stop. I believe time appears to go slower when you are alone or unstimulated. Though, you will get more done if you are working constantly and not worrying about time.

Focus is not needed to be found. If you are working within your passion it will not be a problem. The more difficult action may be to leave your focus. The concept of being in 'the zone' will be achieved when you are not trying to reach the mental state of intense focus.

Determination is also a futile concept when relating to passion. If you love something, the problem will not be determination. The problem will be inspiration to get something else done. The problem will be the fact that you do not wish to do anything else until you have to.

Determination may be considered the desire to get something finished, or even started. If you need determination, if you need to focus, if you need dedication, you have not found the passion you are looking for. Just remember old habits die hard, and if something hinders what you love if may be difficult to pull yourself away from it initially but once you look back at the event you will know it was worth it.

Many find determination, passion, but lack one key aspect. Focus. When you try to do something but loose interest in it, nothing will ever be finished. Nothing can be finished if the determination to finish it is nothing more than a foreign concept that could be imported into your physical vocabulary but it would be easier to just find some cheaper import free, pre-boxed and assembled ideas.

In American Movie, the film producer lacks the ability to finish anything he starts. When he starts the first project presented in the movie, he realizes he must first finish the first movie he starts. This is hard to do, for the desire to switch movies is strong. Focus is impossible for many to find when they lack the mental maturity to hang on to anything.

I have no intent on insulting the individual, however from what he says I think it is easy to see that he partied too hard in high school. Everyone loves a good social gathering, despite the negative after effects of many of them. There are open confessions of smoking too much marijuana and drinking too much. I wouldn't be surprised if there were other foreign substances that had worn away at the brain. Do I think all of these substances are terrible? Not at all. Some can be, though for the substances that are directly stated I think moderation is all that is needed.

When moderation is not present you can, to put it simply, fry your brain. The individual and a couple of his friends often lack the ability to comprehend what is happening. They cannot apply their ideas to reality, and their maturity is just not where it should be for an individual of their ages.

My over all opinion on this documentary was it was mediocre. I would expect to get some sort of information or thought provoking moments out of a documentary. This was more like a comedy. What I learned was simple: you need some huge score marks on a board if you intend on shoving someone's head through it.

Bugworlds =D