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In search of balance

In a world of extremes, people with no sense of scale disperse

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When I first created my LiveJournal account, I did so just to have the ability to comment on other people's posts; I didn't actually intend to write anything myself. The reason was not because I didn't like writing (I always liked writing), but simply because I felt like a blog format was far from the best way to express what I was trying to say--a blog is a series of dated entries, whereas I was trying to shoot for timeless entries that would be as relevant 100 years hence as the day they were written. Today, I still maintain this stance, but I've started dropping my thoughts here simply because I don't really have any other place to do so, and at least here other people can comment on what I write. Not that anyone ever does, but, you know, it's a theoretical possibility, like finding intelligent life on planet Earth. Nonetheless, I can't shake the feeling that I'm doing something wrong by posting megabytes worth of philosophical and social commentary in a place where no one will ever read them. If you have a better idea for a place where I can actually make any of this material presentable, please let me know; I'm open to suggestions.

About me, as if anyone cares: I am no longer ashamed to be considered a philosopher. I am politically liberal, which means I am politically conservative. I am an engineer and an artist, but not a scientist. Though both lecherous and asexual, I am a hopeless romantic, but also enough of a rationalist as to value logos over pathos. People do not like me because I am not a "fun" person. I have a sense of humor (honestly, I really do), but I'm genuinely sick and tired of what I see as an excess of ridiculous, mindless exuberance in the developed world, and so I try to temper this by being an excessive killjoy. Also, my actual sense of humor is quite dry and deadpan, so if you're not paying attention, you might think I'm being a killjoy when I'm actually trying to play along in my own subtle way.

I am a geek, a nerd. No, not that kind of nerd--I'm an actual nerd, in the sense that I like programming computers in machine language and soldering circuit boards in a basement at 2:00 AM. I do not have any interest in Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Dr. Who, or the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and I think that people who do should use different words than "nerd" to describe themselves. Sorry, but being a sci-fi lover doesn't make you a nerd, and vice-versa.

I am often extremely judgmental, and consider this a Good Thing, but I try to be patient and understanding with people who do not share my opinions, so if you strongly disagree with me about something, please let me know so that we may both benefit via discussions among people with differing perspectives instead of silently fuming in rage at the fact that someone is wrong on the Internet.

Oh, and while I've never actually been asked, I suspect a lot of people wonder this a lot when browsing other people's online profiles (I'll admit that I do), so: I'm a heterosexual male, currently not looking.

Some spoilers and explanations on my "interests" listed below:

By "Republic," I'm referring to Plato's Republic.

Yes, I know that Louder Than Love and Badmotorfinger were good albums, but they weren't life changing albums the way Superunknown and Down On The Upside were.

"Don't you put it in your head!" is borrowed from "Don't you put it in your mouth!," which was a song used in a television public-service announcement cautioning children against putting things in their mouths unless they were sure that it was safe to do so. The analogy with putting ideas into one's head is obvious.

"When I say computer, I mean computer" is a reference to a sentence I often use in my head when people misapply what they think a computer is. When I tell people that I am "into" computers, they often get excited and start talking about something that has nothing to do with computers, and then I feel like explaining to them that what they are talking about is actually not a computer. "Is MySQL a computer? No, it is not. When I say computer, I mean computer." "Is Java a computer? No, it is not. When I say computer, I mean computer."

Oh yeah, and if you're wondering what "Darwinian vegetarianism" is, it's my long-standing belief that humans should not eat animals, but rather they should eat humans who do eat animals. There will always be plenty of the latter humans to go around, making them an abundant food source, and they're an inferior form of life, so they deserve to die. No, I'm not a huge Darwin fan, so please don't send me your erotic Darwin fantasies.

Finally, when I say "Willful ignorance," please understand that I'm not actually advocating ignorance as a lifestyle, but rather acceptance of the idea that there are some things we cannot know, consideration of the idea that there may be some things we shouldn't know, and remembrance of the idea that there will always be some things we do not know, even if we should.

I also feel like I should add that I'm actually not quite as full of myself as my "Interests" list makes me appear. Yeah, I know stuff like "intellectualism" and "literati" just makes me sound like I'm trying too hard to associate myself with some ridiculously pretentious clique of rich yuppies who think they're hot because they read Nietzsche, but LiveJournal's "Interests" lists specifically exist so that other people can search for these interests and find people based on them, so I put them there because I figured they would be things that my type of people would be likely to search for. Like most middle-aged first-worlders who came to intellectualism later in life after a misspent youth playing video games and eating way too much sugar, I actually don't read as much as I should or as I probably pretend to, but I honestly think that I make the time to read on a regular basis, and so I probably read more than the person you'd be most likely to hit if you threw a rock out your window right now.

Interests which LiveJournal, in its infinite wisdom, won't let me list because they're too thoughtful to be reduced to inane buzzwords and bullet points:

- Activities which conceal maximal use of time in the guise of an utter waste of time
- Don't you put it in your head!
- Fringe mainstream but not mainstream fringe
- Seemingly-contradictory stances which actually make sense to any thinking person
- Taking everything either too seriously or not seriously enough
- When I say computer, I mean computer
- Willful ignorance, but not ignorant willfulness
anarcho-communism, anathem, asexuality, benevolent arrogance, books, candor, darwinian vegetarianism, dickens, dostoevsky, freedos, intellectualism, libraries, linux, literati, literature, moderate extremism, ms-dos, neal stephenson, pedantry, philosophy, plato, post-badmotorfinger soundgarden, project gutenberg, reading, republic, seemingly-pointless arguments, slackware, writing, xkcd, zygmunt bauman

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