Sometimes I'm serious.
I’ve been wrong about so many things so much in life that it is both humorous and sad. Although hard to admit, my beliefs and opinions may be partially incorrect at times. Having said that, I do all I can to think rationally and offer my thoughts to benefit myself and others by emphasizing what I believe to be best.
TO PEOPLE I OFFEND
Everything serious I write, I intend to use as a way to make life better for others. I admit that even though I’ve made efforts to be right, I’m still wrong sometimes. But even though I’m less than right about everything, I still believe there’s value in sharing my less than perfect opinions about life with others.
Everything humorous I write, I intend to use as a way to make life better for others. I admit that I can occasionally write ideas that are offensive or painful to others in a comedic context. I’m still prone to making errors.
Luckily, if you are offended by what I write, I tend to write rather bland, inoffensive material often.
If somehow, everything I’ve ever written is offensive to you, feel free to focus on one of the other countless parts of the universe.
REJECTED TITLES FOR THIS BOOK
Aardvarks to ZZ Top and everything in between
How to Deal with Uncertainty
Love me world!
The most important truths
Quest of Questions
Reasons for my faith reasons for my doubt
Odds and gods
Living well through heaven and hell
Coping with the miseries and mysteries of the universe
Is it wise to be rational in an irrational universe?
Good living in a hostile universe
Best advice ever
How to make a life worth living
Building a great life
Everything you ever wanted to know about life
Getting the life you really want
What REALLY makes life worth living?
Doing the best we can
Maximum life power
Another life changing book
Humble opinions on life’s biggest issues
Do what is important to you
Make the best of even the worst
Live love laugh leave
Have the life you want
Depths of my heart and soul: One man’s quest to try to find the meaning of life
Why are we here?
What matters most in life?
On meaning, life, God, truth, morality, and importance
Getting the most from life
The importance of truth in life
Feel love and avoid hate
Live the life you love
The thoughts of a wandering spirit
Finding what makes life worth living for you
The quest to find reasons to live
Become the miracle you want to be
Getting started on the road to glory
Make up your damn mind
Get reading get moving
Do your best live with the rest
Live well for what means the most
Journeying through the universe of possibilities
What should I do now?
The mess we’re all stuck in
What you should try to with your life
Fill in your own blanks on the questions in life
Do what you are and be what you want
Live the amazing life you really want
Be it all and have the best
Love life and live life
Deep thoughts on what really matters in life
Discovering your universe
Life advice for those seeking deeper meaning
The Book that Makes Life worth living, or at least tries to
Guide to the depths of humanity
The failed quest to understand reality
Enjoy life while you still can
Your life has no inherent purpose, so start living like it
How to Live Well in a Screwed up World
The Universe: An Introspective Look
What Makes Life Worth Living?
Finding Truth in a Lying World
The Meaning of Life is Mystery
No Inherent Meaning of Life
No evidence of God and other fun facts
God is not watching, take a break
Living Well through Madness
Loving Life Despite its Problems
Enjoy Temporary Living
Life is As Long As Anything You’ve Got and Still Too Short
Making Sense of the Universe
Another Failed Attempt to Discover the Meaning of Life
One Guy Tries to Understand the Universe
Mike’s lame attempt to solve everything
Making the world a better place in words
Getting better, one day at a time
Living well through living hell
Living well in a wacky universe
Guide to living well in a wacky universe
Random thoughts from a random guy
Doing what matters, at least in the opinion of one dude
Fight for what is best
Get a life
Don’t screw up like the author
Be the best at what you want, or at least come closer
Live Before You Die
Don’t Die and Other Good Advice
Defeat Death asterisk- temporarily
CHAPTER 1 PHILOSOPHY
Why nobody can tell you the meaning of life
My personal meaning of life
Nothing makes life worth living
The quest of questions
The nature of reality
Reality may be considered odd
Reality can be seen in many different ways
Coping with uncertainty
How to live well
Good long-term goals for humanity
CHAPTER 2 TRUTH
CHAPTER 3 AMAZING BITS
CHAPTER 4 BRIEF THOUGHTS
CHAPTER 5 ENTERTAINMENT
Favorite book lessons
Many books in the world
The value of art
Be great at any age
On the arts
Formal educations of a few great people
Heroes are great but not perfect
CHAPTER 6 FINANCE
Money and freedom
What to do about the power of financiers
What matters? Money!
CHAPTER 7 POLITICS
Law and race
What would a rational regime look like?
Gay rights shame
Why leaders lie
CHAPTER 8 QUESTIONS
CHAPTER 9 SCIENCE
Possibilities of technological singularity
A letter to the elite transhumanists
CHAPTER 10 THINK ABOUT IT
Change for the better
Don’t cause harm
Faith and doubt
Find multiple purposes
First thought best thought?
Help others survive
How do people end up do boring?
Nearly infinite amounts of creativity
Rising above limits
Top players in the English Premier League 2010
What creates dangerous people?
What’s the deal with conspiracy theories?
Why are people cruel?
CHAPTER 11 TIME
Enjoy the ride of life
Knowledge and time
What has lasted?
Truth about the present moment
CHAPTER 12 TRAVEL
Travel writings of the author
CHAPTER 13 WAR
CHAPTER 14 WORK
School and work
CHAPTER 15 AN ATTEMPT AT WISDOM
CHAPTER 16 FOOD
CHAPTER 17 LIFE
If life is just a game
Life’s a joke
Bring change to life
CHAPTER 18 DEATH
Dealing with death
33 OUTSTANDING WEBSITES
A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS
I hope this book was worth the effort.
CHAPTER 1 PHILOSOPHY
The greatest philosophy won’t mean much if nobody believes it.
There are philosophers who are geniuses who will never be recognized and there are hacks who make a living pretending to teach it.
The aim of philosophy shouldn’t be to create one that will stand the test of time, but to create one that will effectively adapt with change.
Philosophy is either the pursuit of wise individuals attempting to make sense of a confusing reality or confused individuals believing they can make sense of this confusing reality.
The philosophies of the best people often do even less to put food on the table than the crappy jobs many people have.
Never fully believe in any philosophy created by another person, but value bits and pieces of nearly every one you hear.
The ideas of a philosopher can create revolutions, but they are much more likely to create headaches.
If anything can be grasped from philosophy it’s that few people are even smart enough to realize just how clueless they should be about reality.
There’s no end to the possibilities that life may bring, but there’s also no end to the pain that’s potentially possible everywhere on Earth.
Live this day not like it’s your last, but like it could be.
No philosophy can be scientifically proven to be the most effective for all people.
The pursuit of philosophy is wonderful for people who expect no clear answers and more dry debates than one could possibly learn about in ten lifetimes.
There’s no use for philosophy to a fool. For intelligent people, philosophy is unavoidable.
Philosophy may be considered the only worthwhile human pursuit or a guaranteed way to waste time.
Anyone who calls themselves a philosopher could be a brilliant person full of vibrant and useful ideas to be used by collective humanity. But they might be a charlatan who doesn’t know shit, making up an arbitrary, pretentious title.
The greatest philosophies have changed the world, but only because many unoriginal people were willing to follow the ideas.
WHY NOBODY CAN TELL YOU THE MEANING OF LIFE
The universe is a rather large place. Humanity has only seen a tiny portion of it. There’s a lot that we have to learn as a species before we can say we know the meaning of life.
Life is temporary. How can there be a definite meaning in a life that’s destined to be lost, and could be lost at any time?
Change is constant. What makes life worth living at one stage in the life of an individual may be seen as useless just a few years later.
Individuals come to many different conclusions about the meaning of life. There’s a great amount of dispute about the meaning of life among members of team humanity.
Individuals have unique experiences. What makes life worth living to one person may literally never be experienced by billions of people living on Earth.
The amount of time in an individual lifespan is limited. There’s not enough time for an individual to test all the theories about what the meaning of life is. Each individual who wants to believe they’ve found the meaning of life bases their opinions on their subjective experiences in the objective world.
Individuals choose to value different parts of reality differently. People who value different parts of life often come to differing conclusions about the meaning of life.
Individuals take unique actions. People who act in different ways often come to differing conclusions about the meaning of life.
In most parts of the world, adults are expected to be responsible enough to take care of their own survival needs. Since there are many ways to potentially take care of survival needs, but none that are guaranteed to work, individuals tend to view the meaning of life differently based on how they choose to try to meet their survival needs.
Individuals have limited knowledge. What seems like a positive way to live in one time and place may be viewed as awful by individuals who live in another.
MY PERSONAL MEANING OF LIFE
What makes life worth living? Living well for meaningful purposes by creating, experiencing, and learning from what that the universe offers.
Life worth living- An existence with joys that make it worth tolerating pains
Living well- Trying to do what’s most valuable
Meaningful- Having significance
Purposes- Specific goals individuals attempt to achieve
Creating- Forming new ways of living and bringing originality into reality
Experiencing- Being personally involved in life events
Learning- Discovering new information and applying it in useful ways to make life better
Universe- The entirety of reality
Offers- Opportunities an individual is presented with
PROBLEMS WITH MY PERSONAL MEANING OF LIFE
1. Some individuals may not have the ability to “live well” due to severe mental or physical suffering.
2. Unfortunately, for some suffering people, even trying to survive may not be worth the struggle necessary to do so.
3. Some people aren’t able to believe they can create or find meaningful purposes.
4. Some people don’t value creating, experiencing, or learning.
Despite these potential flaws in my personal meaning of life, I believe there’s value for me in pursuing these goals. I believe my goals could inspire other people as well.
NOTHING MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING?
How can there be nothing of value in the entire universe? The type of value that doesn’t exist is inherent value. There’s nothing that every single person loves.
It’s irrational to try to get a baby to establish a position on abortion. It’s irrational to try to force a person of any age to conform to belief systems with no basis in reality. Too often, those who feel certain about their beliefs make attempts to change others until they profess identical beliefs. Establishing certainty in an uncertain world is pointless.
If nothing makes life worth living, why does it matter? The fact that nothing automatically makes life worth living for all people doesn’t mean that one can’t create a life of meaning. Noble people form their own standards of living based on their interests, beliefs, and desires.
Raising a child could be the most important thing in the world to a parent. The person who lives next door might dislike that same child, never want to have children, and might consider creating a great musical career more important than everything else. Some consider choosing to be a musician an immature choice. There is no universally agreed upon method that scientifically proves any specific moral beliefs to be objectively true. This leaves any people who are evolved enough free to create their own meaning of life, even if they aren’t able to prove that their way of life is perfect for everyone else.
People often want the world to be a certain way, but it just isn’t. Refusing to be involved in struggle is refusing to be involved in anything. Struggling is often what makes life interesting. It’s possible that the results of some struggles won’t matter in the end. Life may only have purposes if we have the courage to create them.
Much in life seems
uncertain. Is it best to be a
skeptic? Does it lead to a better way of
life? Skepticism is useful as a
short-term technique when changing negative beliefs. Professing excessive skepticism for long
periods of time is dangerous.
Nobody can grasp all the truth of the universe. If the possibility of a subjective reality exists, each person might be responsible for creating their own way of life. A skeptic should admit they don’t know if reality is objective or subjective for certain.
Goals are difficult to reach when one is skeptical. A completely skeptical view of the universe makes no sense. Making good decisions is based on probability instead of relying on total certainty. Waiting for definite answers leads to inaction since almost everything in life contains various degrees of uncertainty.
How could a skeptic know if water is poisoned? If they thought they could die from taking a drink, it’d be tough to make a choice. Anyone who REALLY thought it was possible their water was poisoned would be facing potential death constantly. Drinking water could kill by poison. Avoiding drinking could kill by dehydration.
How could one trust
filtration systems without some type of faith?
What sources of information could be believed? How could one trust anything? Life requires making decisions based on the
likelihoods of outcomes, not definite answers.
Many skeptics begin with good intentions to try to see truth. Failing to see the truth often results in feelings of despair. Coping with negative emotions is usually hard when one has no idea where to turn to for answers.
Skeptics arrive at doubt in many different ways. Nearly all pursue truth with great effort. Why do skeptics fail to perceive the truth about reality? They strive to achieve an impossible goal.
There’s too much information for anyone to know everything. Millions or billions of years of history can’t be fully grasped by humans with limited life spans. The universe is changing gradually. Truths that seem to be fixed may prove to be false.
Using skepticism to overcome irrational faith is highly practical. Adults would be stuck believing in irrational childish fears if they weren’t able to use skepticism to evolve. Would a thirty-year-old live well if they were still afraid of monster attacks? Applying doubt provides chances to grow.
Doubting all the time is no way to live well for a long-term period. Being skeptical of false, superstitious, irrational dogma is useful. Permanent doubt about everything in life may lead to inaction, depression, and maybe even suicide. Faith can be quite irrational at times, but sometimes faith is life enhancing.
If someone believes eating a normal candy bar would make their head explode, this would be an example of irrational faith. While it’s possible to eat an explosive chocolate candy bar, it’s highly unlikely. Having faith that one can check their mail box without facing a rhino stampede is quite sensible for most. Legitimate stampede threats should result in moving the mailbox. Faith is necessary to act.
There’s no sensible reason to be overly skeptical for a lengthy time period. Doubting the truths of the universe may be helpful at times. Dwelling on falsehood is often unhealthy, unproductive, and leads to individuals living in unnecessary fear. It’s usually worth the effort to have some faith in the universe, self, and many people, despite lacking knowledge about them being completely reliable. Maintaining faith that acknowledges reason helps people live well. Having faith in what’s probable is life enhancing.
Rediscovering how to have faith in the universe is tough. Using skepticism as a tool to dismiss unsupported evidence is beneficial. It’s illogical to worry about butterflies biting human heads off because there’s no evidence for it. When one becomes excessively skeptical it can lead to unnecessary depression. Living requires some level of risk at all times. Continual doubt is negative due to hope being lost. If there’s nothing good, why continue existing?
Faith supported by logic provides hope. Success is often reached by those who believe it’s possible. Motivation to stay positive in tough times is developed by those with patience. Creating a great life brings joy and peace. There’s no substitute for living a life full of sincere passion.
Any who rise above mediocrity are likely to have confidence in themselves. They can strongly believe in the activities they’re pursuing.
One never knows who’s being honest. Those who present themselves as confident tend to be seen as wiser. Those who have low self-esteem often seem less competent. The truth may be that seemingly confident people may also be afraid. Developing genuine confidence takes time.
There are times when it’s practical to avoid having faith in others. Caution should be exercised when evaluating who to trust. Having faith instead of skepticism involves taking reasonably calculated risks.
THE QUEST OF QUESTIONS
Is reality objective or subjective?
It’s most logical to believe there’s an objective reality that’s interpreted by individuals based on their subjective experiences. Nobody has effectively demonstrated a way to prove reality is subjective.
If reality is objective, evidence can show the likelihood of its probability. The universe is too large to fully test. Common truths acknowledged in different places provide evidence to support the existence of an objective reality. Forces beyond the control of humanity impact the way every single person lives. Every sane, rational person admits that there are elements of reality that they’re unable to control.
The environment an individual lives in dictates the reality they see at that particular moment. No person can witness all that occurs in the universe. This leads to individuals making general assumptions about the objective universe based on their subjective experiences. Humans tend to comprehend the larger framework of the universe through their subjective personal experiences
What motivates people?
Every person has different reasons for behaving the way they choose to. Some claim to be born with a certain nature. Others believe in constant change and are always looking beyond the horizon at the next great event around the corner. Many folks do everything in their power to establish wealth, status, and success. Others are content to merely get by. In extreme cases, people lose sight of motivation so much that they have no desires to achieve anything. A few people never seem to stop pursuing achievements long enough to take satisfaction in what they’ve done.
How can anyone find their passion?
Finding a calling may be discovered at an early age or it can be a lifelong process. People who dare to accomplish something uniquely meaningful have obstacles most office workers never face. Anyone with passion must often overcome adversity for lengthy time periods to have the success they desire. Hope for what one can achieve enables the dedicated to carry on through trials to establish their dreams.
There are many potential solutions to discover passions. Nobody is likely to reach the levels of success they dream about on their first attempt. The road to building towards high levels of achievement brings fulfilling rewards. Individuals with courage, conviction, and creativity often find ways to make their most sincere passions become realities.
Is faith important?
For some, faith is the most valuable part of their lives. For others, faith has nothing on facts. Many things that are considered valuable by people can’t be fully explained by logic. There’s an emotional attachment to virtually any component of life that’s wondrous. Faith is important when it gives people higher amounts of hope and peace.
The value of faith is highly dependent on what one places faith in. Having “faith” in concepts that can be proven to be false is delusional. It’s not of any great importance to have faith that a blade of grass won’t bring death upon a person who steps on it. Any ordinary blade of grass does no serious harm to people. It can be critically important for one to have faith in their choices. When one believes strongly in what they do, it can bring satisfaction. If one can’t have faith in the choices they make, it’s likely that they’ll feel like victims trapped in a confusing reality.
Is there destiny or free will?
Babies are born without the ability to provide for themselves. All babies are destined to be cared for by others just to survive or die. Every person has an eventual destiny of physical death. Many argue that elements of aging, pain, pleasure, and our DNA traits are destined without our desires in mind. Most moments in life require making decisions. Developed people past the point of early childhood are free to make their own choices about how to act. Adults have some degree of freedom to choose their interests, who to interact with, where to stay, and how to live.
Some people believe greatness is their destiny. But it’s usually through the course of great struggle and dedication to a chosen pursuit that anyone achieves a so called destiny. If everything is destined, can we know what our destinies are? Or do we watch them unfold like the plot of a movie?
It seems too fatalistic to believe that adults are completely helpless in determining what to do in life. Freedom only exists if choices are permitted. It seems most probable that people are born with certain traits and predispositions that are outside of their control. Nobody chooses to be born. Few decide with precision when they’ll die. Events between birth and death mostly contain elements of choice.
Is change inevitable?
Yes. The universe is in constant motion. Gradual change is taking place at all times. Even though people claim they’d like to remain in certain moments of pleasure forever, it’s impossible. Most forms of life on Earth grow gradually and with age eventually start gradual decay.
Specific actions can help encourage change to take place. There are methods that bring decline rapidly. Those who work for health usually foster more growth in the muscle tissues of their bodies than inactive people. If a person decides to indulge in harmful habits such as substance abuse, overeating, and sloth, the disintegration of their bodies is more likely to happen at a faster rate.
There’s no way to stop change from taking place. It’s possible to emphasize the same priorities every day, go to the same places, talk to the same people, and try to do everything by strict routine and structure. People continue to age. Events outside of familiar environments bring new ideas and influences to light. The element of surprise can become present at any time. Change dictates what happens in the world.
Why is there so much suffering?
All living beings are impermanent. This assures that all people will have to suffer through death. It’s likely that all people experience physical, mental, and emotional pains throughout the course of their life. Knowing these pains are temporary doesn’t tend to help those who are going through agony in the moment. The nature of reality dictates that pain can always be a part of life.
Many people suffer because they choose to give into feelings of despair instead of embracing blessings they’ve been granted. Nearly anyone who’s alive has the power to make changes to achieve better results. People suffer due to inhumane treatment by others. Institutionalized slavery, genocide, and torture have all been inflicted by those in power on weak people at various times and places in history. Many people feel pain when they dwell upon loss of loved ones, squandered opportunities, and when feeling hopeless in the face of desperate circumstances.
How an individual chooses to deal with pain ultimately determines their quality of life. Knowing that the potential for pain exists, it’s wise to find effective ways to cope with it. Some people cope by accepting pain as a part of being able to obtain greater long-term rewards. Ignoring minor pains can help one to stay focused on achievements rather than setbacks. Reducing pain can happen for many people by developing mental strength in areas where emotional stress is unnecessarily high.
THE NATURE OF REALITY
There’s suffering taking place somewhere on Earth at all times. A great deal of joy is also taking place in any given moment. Earth has more than six billion people. It’s likely to contain many individuals experiencing pain or joy. What one chooses to focus on is what one is most likely to experience.
No person has complete control over what happens in their life. This doesn’t dismiss personal responsibility. Everyone should take responsibility for the actions they can control.
No person completely determines their physical health. Actions of others aren’t always predictable. Total control over reality doesn’t exist.
Rational people who live well set specific goals. They form specific plans to take action to meet their goals. Some goals are rather simple to meet. Setting long-term goals requires diligence.
Failing is required to gain skills to become great at most pursuits. Anyone with visions of changing the planet experiences much difficulty. Starvation is a tragedy. Suffering is horrible. No person with compassion desires for others to suffer. Unfortunately, every person is limited in their ability to help.
Even those who devote their entire lives to helping others never achieve total success. With all the suffering taking place, how does one decide what to devote their time to? There’s no universal solution.
Life is chaos. As a species, we don’t know where we came from, why we’re here, or where we’re going. Every person makes decisions and hopes for the best. Decisions are made in the midst of uncertainty. Anyone could spend the rest of their life studying and still arrive at no definitive conclusions.
People suffer for many reasons. The most unfortunate have pain inflicted on them by cruel forces. Sympathy should be felt for those who suffer through no fault of their own. Many people suffer because reality isn’t what they want it to be.
It makes no logical sense to remain in a highly negative state of mind for too long if it can be avoided. It’s true that many suffer. Children starve to death every day. Corrupt powers rule over masses that have no idea that they’re being manipulated. Fantastic people sometimes experience great failure. Incompetent fools sometimes succeed. Problems exist constantly on Earth.
There are also great joys taking place. Beauty can be seen in many places on the planet. Happy children can be found almost everywhere. Making efforts to focus on what seems best is sensible. Despite the hardships of reality, there are wonderful things that happen somewhere on Earth every day.
Any rational person can demonstrate nobody knows EVERYTHING about the universe.
Can a genius in the field of quantum physics recite the name of every person born in New York City in the twentieth century in alphabetic order? Can respected religious leaders cite every word of the ten most popular religious texts in the world? Can the most brilliant person solve the problem of world hunger today? Even those with exceptional abilities make choices about what they focus their studies on.
Since individual knowledge is limited, people tend to seek the truth from reliable external sources. Honest individuals determine what they believe is most likely to be true. How does one best decide what seems most likely to be true from external sources?
Anyone can use their own reasoning to attempt to understand what’s true. Using critical thinking can lead a person to form sensible opinions based on information that seems accurate. Being rational allows room to change opinions if new evidence seems to be superior. Sensible people admit they can make errors. Ethical people change their opinions when they believe they’re wrong.
Irrational people insist on believing a certain way without any evidence to support their opinions. Harmful people make deliberate efforts to try to get others to do the same. Many irrational people refuse to change their opinions even when information demonstrates their opinions are wrong. Irrational causes are often supported by people who want an erroneous belief to be real. They ignore any evidence that doesn’t support their claims. Dismissing information isn’t a way to reach the best answers. It’s better to admit that one lacks knowledge than to falsely pretend to know everything.
thinkers accept that the universe is too large and complex to understand every
aspect of reality.
There are many principles that appear to be true for every single person. All people require oxygen to live. The sun will rise every day. The sky is blue.
Even these truths apply only to people based on consensus, not actual reality. People have survived while cut off from oxygen for periods of time ranging from a few seconds to several minutes. The sun may not appear to rise at the North or South poles depending on the time of the year. The sky often does not appear to be blue at all times everywhere in the world. Anyplace that has a blue sky at midnight is unusual.
Individual perceptions influence the way commonly accepted truths are interpreted. The concept of oxygen may not be understood by children who still receive its benefits. How will a blind man be able to perceive a sunrise? What would a blue sky mean to a colorblind man? Mature humans realize that a great deal of life and its contents are uncertain.
Individuals believe in their own imagined reality most of the time. This includes imagining what the universe looks like, what people do with their time, and what represents “factual” information. Nobody has seen the entire content of our planet.
Only a small part of the world can be seen at any given point in time. Individuals make rational guesses about what they believe is happening in the rest of the world outside of their sight. Individuals make educated guesses about what unseen places look like.
Similarities to the environment they know may form personal concepts of another place. Pictures might help individuals design ideas of distant lands. Descriptions from people who’ve been to a place may provide details for others to believe.
People believe the world looks a certain way based on partial information, but not truth. Those who’ve been to foreign lands describe to others with a lack of perfect memory. Limitations of language often prevent one from being able to convey precise information to others accurately.
Humans have limited focus. Individuals often try to make broad generalizations about what the world looks like. Who doesn't want more answers about what’s real? Who doesn't want to live a better life? In a universe full of nearly unlimited options, why focus on petty things?
Opinions are formed from guesses about what’s true. Many people have unique perspectives that may seem believable. Opinions are not facts. Imagination isn’t the actual truth. So what could be considered truth? The present moment can be considered true.
The past is a memory. Using recalled imaginary information isn’t full truth. Life is all about the present moment.
Even scientific claims have misled humanity several times. External sources can’t be completely trusted for truth.
Nearly all people
admit they’ve made errors in judgment. No
truth sources are always totally reliable.
Errors in judgment happen. Logic
and reason should be used to find what’s closest to truth.
Part of being human is accepting that our judgment and the judgment of our peers can be off at times. People often believe weird lies. It’s unlikely that anyone can provide a clear way to explain reality. Noble people try to find what’s most likely to be true and use imagination to fill in the gaps to explain probabilities about the unknown.
REALITY CAN BE SEEN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS
Truth is determined several different ways. Perspectives can be extremely negative, extremely positive, or centered. Which viewpoint is valid? It depends on perspective.
1. Truth does not exist. Nobody knows how to figure out any truth that matters. Everybody fails to grasp the meaning of life. All live and die alone in an absurd existence that makes no sense. Since everyone is deceived by lies, nobody can always tell what is true. Confusion gets tiresome.
Any brief hope leads to more unanswered questions. No one knows what is happening in the world today. It is impossible to know what will happen next. Humanity has tried and failed to find the truth. Many have tried repeatedly and failed miserably every time.
2. Truth exists. Those who want to realize the beauty of what reality is receive numerous blessings in their mind, body, and spirit. Anyone can feel the power of the universe flowing just by being alive. All are free to do whatever they really want to. Living beings are all connected. Love, joy, happiness, and peace come to those who seek wisdom.
3. Sometimes truth is hard to find. On occasion, certain truths are clear. It seems unlikely that every person lives isolated from all truths. Even those who claim to miss out on truth seem to know how to survive. Complex truths are not understood often. The “truth” about any issue is determined by individuals. Believers who sincerely feel they possess all the answers can’t prove it to unbelievers. Perspectives on truth depend on experiences. Desires are connected to personal beliefs about truth.
1. Purpose does not exist. Life is a random accident. Everyone experiences pain and suffering. All are destined to die alone. There is no purpose if there is no reason to live. No matter how hard anyone tries there is no way to escape the end of every story. Death is coming. Good luck finding purpose when the end is already known.
2. Purpose exists in all pursuits. Aim to find the purpose in activities. Much good is done in the world. Everybody who wants to live joyfully does by living for their purpose. All have the purpose to find what they love most. Nothing is greater than seeing purpose touch lives in meaningful ways.
3. Purpose is often hard to find. Each person chooses their purpose. It is optimal to try to find a meaningful purpose. Live well despite the fact that nothing may have significance. Purposeless existence is painful. Stay focused on what is important. The future is unknown. Someday the purpose of humanity may be revealed. Until that happens, each person determines their own purpose for themselves.
1. Music has gone to hell and looks like it is never coming back. Present styles of music have failed to evolve into complex forms of auditory sensations. It appears the simplistic and repetitive pop scene has defeated any morsel of musical genius that once existed. Access to amazing compositions from history is widely available. Geniuses are ignored while the masses choose to listen to sheer garbage that is played hourly by mindless drones.
Apparently thinly veiled sex references, the same three chords over and over, and terrible rhyme schemes are what lead to a successful song. Corporate structures dominate the music scene. Major labels produce a manufactured product that has all the heart, soul, and excitement of a stuffy board meeting. Current music scenes are rotten. They are getting worse and worse as times goes on.
2. Music has the ability to affect people in powerful ways. It can stir passions in most people of the world. Creative lyrics provide visions of distant lands and familiar friends. Sounds evoke the body to move physically in a rhythmic (or non-rhythmic) manner. The power to bring people together in a way that words alone can’t always express exists in music. A great song unites millions of people together. It can add fire to the flames of love, entertain countless numbers at their leisure, or inspire artists of other disciplines. Music has undeniable influence and a unique beauty among all other joys one can experience in the world.
3. Any music scene is bound to have some negative qualities. An amazing amount of what is happening in music is overwhelmingly positive. If one particular scene is in a state of lesser inspiration, millions of other sources for incredible sounds are available. There is so much potentially great music that one person is not able to hear it all in their lifetime. Many have access to large amounts of music from the past and present. Personal tastes dictate what is interpreted as “good” music.
1. Books are dead. Almost nobody reads anymore. What is the point of reading or writing books now? So much stuff already exists and is being ignored. On the whole, information is overloading society. Why add more dung to pile on the heap? The publishing industry is full of vicious, vindictive, and vain people who do anything to make money in a dying industry. Quit pretending anyone would rather read than watch TV.
2. Books are wonderful treasures that should be cherished. Value gained from books is tremendous. Knowledge, truth, and hope are conveyed through meaningful words in print. There are so many terrific books to choose from that it can be hard to decide what to read! Imagination is often illuminated through meaningful passages that can transport readers to other places in time and space. Great books reach an audience as long as humanity works to ensure wisdom of the ages is kept in print.
3. Books can be great or can be awful. A wide variety of reading material is available. Some choose to spend time reading books. Others still lack access to books. Those who choose to cherish the joys that books have to offer often find words to entertain, uplift, and help achieve goals. The most important books change the perspectives people hold. Powerful books influence actions that affect how people live.
1. Movies are becoming garbage that feed a system of glorified celebrities with little talent. All films within any given genre follow the same round of clichés. What film is good enough to warrant the excessive cover charge? When was the last time a new movie was exciting? The masses need to find better ways to spend their time than watching a bunch of adults pretending to be something as boring as most movie characters are.
2. Movies are absolutely delightful. There are so many fine performers. New releases are being made to satisfy movie lovers time and time again. Wishes come true on the big screen. Good guys beat the bad guys in dramatic fashion. The hero always gets the girl at the end. Films provide entertaining fantasies. Movies provide a format for just about anyone to view a dream world. Feelings experienced watching movies are some of the happiest moments in life.
3. Movies can be great or can be awful. Most people have seen several outstanding films. Wretched bombs that should never have been made have been seen by most too. Movies are staged and fictional. Brilliant movies seem real or provide a vision of what reality could be. A great movie may be inspiring. Many movies are average or below. Even bad movies show the ability of humanity to work together to live for creative visions. Appreciation for specific movies is subjective.
1. Sports are brutish distractions that take the focus of simpletons away from matters of actual importance. Adults make millions of dollars a year by playing games intended for children! Sports encourage bloody competition, violent behavior, and a simple mindset of following orders. A primal mentality dominates most competitions. Followers care more about “the game” than they do about their jobs, their supposed loved ones, and personal achievement.
What began as games meant to enjoy a bit of leisure time has developed into a gigantic industry that updates people about sports around the world 24 hours a day. What a ridiculous waste of time for so many people. Why care so much about which group of muscle bound morons defeats the other group of less successful jocks wearing a different colored shirt?
2. Sports are great entertainments that serve as a way for people to view incredible drama. Glory is achieved by champions. Overcoming difficult odds is essential to success. Painful defeat happens often despite hard work and dedication.
Unpredictability in outcomes mirror events that take place in all human endeavors. Individuals accomplish tasks that are stunning if they are able to maintain strict focus and discipline. Teams are able to cohesively strive towards a unified goal. Compelling stories about loss, ethics, honor, tradition, and other worthwhile values take place. People with tremendous talent display courage in competition. Sports inspire others to reach for their passions and dreams.
3. Sports can be viewed positively, negatively, or neutrally. Social issues are more important than athletics. Games do not inherently take away from the importance of more important aspects of life. Every sport has overzealous followers. Most fans develop a healthy interest in physical activities of their choice.
Positive community building, charity events, and promoting physical health are positive prospects for people of all ages. Sports outreach programs are numerous. Competitive games are significant to communities. In the midst of a great sporting moment it is hard not to be touched by the amazing potential of humanity.
1. Art is meaningless. Most of it is utterly ridiculous. How is making a turd sculpture of Jesus really improving the world? What purpose is there in making another painting of some dead rich count with a stuffy facial expression? Art fans seem to have all the passion of those attending a co-workers funeral. Pretentious jerks speak in snooty lingo like egotistical university professors while hanging out in galleries.
Contrived elitist snobbery focuses on glorifying the obscure. Artists themselves are all too often insane depressed substance abusers. Despite their pain they remain bitter narcissists, uninterested in any conversation other than their own greatness. Supposed beauty created by artists seems to be a way from escaping their own pointless lives.
2. Art is beautiful in so many forms. Creative expressions are nothing short of miraculous. Incredibly delicate attention is given to accurately capture minute physical details to perfection. Imagery represents larger ideals. Making something into an entirely new form is marvelous. Beauty is communicated through numerous mediums. Artists have the courage to give life to creative visions. Lives are enriched by providing perspectives that could not be seen by many until crafted.
3. Art can be awe inspiring or ridiculous depending on individual interpretation. Specific pieces are unimpressive when compared to grander works. Too many take art for granted. Personal preference is critical to find beauty. One person may love sculptures of ponies. Another might enjoy warped portrayals of strange objects in unusual combinations more than anything else. Wherever beauty exists it should be appreciated.
1. Food is a burden. It is a struggle for many to get enough to survive. Access to plentiful amounts of edibles brings problems with eating too much. Eating the right kinds of foods is hard to do. Processed garbage contains dangerous chemicals. Thousands of rules make it impossible to enjoy dining. All tasty cuisine makes people fat. Health products taste bad and cost too much. It can drive anyone crazy to think about.
2. Food is a blessing in life. Delightful dishes provide sensations to the taste buds. Recipes from throughout the world are available to be sampled. Every individual develops their own preparation techniques for their favorite dishes. Taste is a wonderful sensation. Trying new dishes adds variety to life. Enjoy fine dining!
3. Food is necessary for survival and should be enjoyed whenever possible. Negative aspects about food exist. Why focus on the few negatives when there are so many positive aspects? Numerous healthy dishes taste great. Healthy products are becoming cheaper and more available. Every person who can afford it is free to choose the way they eat. Choose to try a wide variety of goodness when opportunities are available.
1. Clothing is out of control! Society has gone mad with all the rules for wearing apparel. Bizarre concerns arrive when deciding what to wear. Should someone wear a tie to dinner with another couple? What if they are under dressed in comparison? Who is the jerk in cases where people don’t match? Better make sure not to match exactly.
Nobody wants to look like a group of tourists. Even tourists should avoid dressing in the same outfit. It is so expensive just to maintain a status quo wardrobe. Forget about getting the finest clothes. Prices are reserved for the five wealthiest kings of the world. Just take the mass marketed cheapo threads anyone can afford and shut up!
2. Clothing is amazing. Appropriate garments preserve life itself for those faced with extreme climates. Fashion options are nearly unlimited. Fortunate people have the freedom to decide what to wear. Creativity and innovations in design bring joy to nearly all people. Wardrobe selection makes the world a more interesting and fun place.
3. Clothes are required to be a functional member of most societies. Clothes can be expensive, but it is nice to only be naked when wants to be. Fashion is highly important to some. Others merely accept it as a part of life they occasionally deal with to get what they want. Clothes make the man? The more accurate statement is the man decides exactly how clothes make the man.
1. Housing costs are astronomically high. Often individuals use the majority of their earnings just to pay the rent or mortgage. Getting ahead is hard when slaving away just to avoid being homeless. It is a vicious cycle too many get trapped in. Shelter is a near necessity in life. Struggle is required to make sure some type of home is preserved.
Those who are allowed to borrow money from banks to get a house are not always much better off. They are often subjected to high interest rates that ensure they will be in debt for as long as they live. Almost all people fail to live well due to high housing costs.
2. Modern housing is terrific. Technology has opened up more options for homeowners. Private ownership can be achieved by most. Through hard work and planning, anyone can make their housing dreams a reality. Mobility and opportunities are at an all-time high for people throughout the world. Anyone can pursue their dreams to live where and how they want to.
3. Housing and rent costs are affordable for people who have the courage to live creatively. It is unfortunate that some people struggle to make ends meet. Most people probably think that the costs of living are high. Those who make housing a high priority have realistic chances to achieve goals of living comfortably.
It can be difficult to achieve home ownership. Tiresome labor is often necessary when pursuing improvement in living conditions. When rewards are not granted swiftly, it is easy to lose focus on what is desired. Making the choice to live in a decent place is important for personal satisfaction.
1. Love is a myth. No proof that shows it is possible, because it doesn’t exist. People act out of self-interest, self-preservation, and selfish pursuits. Lust definitely exists, but not love. Lovers pretend to be happy to avoid pain or to get something material they want. Those who say they are in love are fooling themselves. They are only setting themselves up for inevitable torment when their feelings crash and burn.
2. Love is one of the most wonderful experiences life has to offer. Falling in love feels like living a dream! Passionate moments belong to lovers. Physical, emotional, and spiritual senses are at their heights. Desires to spread the feelings of elation to everyone are fabulous. Feeling grateful for every moment allows one to live fully.
3. Love can be wonderful or disappointing. Some “love” seems as if it is based more in the fear of being alone, primal sexual attraction, or accepting conventional ways of living with another. Genuine concern for another is a huge commitment. Love may be a choice. Acting in a loving manner is a lifelong challenge.
The amount of love one can give and receive is great. Love lost is also painful. The benefit of risking loving seems to be worth the potential to lose it in most cases. It is a matter of having strength to fight against bitterness. Risk is involved with all parts of loving. Taking a chance to establish a meaningful connection with someone is almost always worth the risk.
1. Peace does not exist. The world is in a natural state of war. Since the dawn of time species have wrestled for control of precious resources and power. Conflict is no different now. Groups struggle to survive. Limited resources lead to disputes and wars. All people are involved in the struggle for power whether they realize it or not. Some form of life must die for humans to continue living.
2. Peace is achieved by approaching the world with love. Reason encourages cooperation to achieve mutual interests. Choosing to be a person of integrity can be done by anyone. If all people put down their weapons, there’d be no need for war. Taking responsibilities for actions is critical to live well in society. All people have the ability to choose to solve problems in a non-violent manner.
3. Peace is ideal, but hard to manifest when violence is taking place. Citizens living in peaceful lands are likely to embrace cooperation and non-violence to solve problems. Victims of violence find it difficult to believe non-violence works. Pain is greater for those who refuse to fight at times. Risking for the cause of peace is noble. As long as weapons are used, people will retaliate to preserve their lives and gain power.
1. Health is a temporary state at best. Nobody can stay healthy forever. All people are moving towards death. There is no way to defeat death. Why be too concerned about health? It will be gone no matter how hard anyone works. It is just a matter of when.
2. Health is a gift. It can’t be bought. In many cases, health cannot be overcome through individual efforts. Those with good health should enjoy every moment they have by living life fully. Do everything in your power to promote health. All enjoyments in life are enhanced by feeling healthy.
3. Health is a blessing, but it is a temporary blessing. All people are vulnerable to diseases. Physical pains happen to everyone. Ultimately, death eliminates health completely. Be grateful for every healthy moment. Few limits exist for a person with good health. More limits exist for those in poor health. People in poor health can overcome obstacles. Healthy people of the world have more options and usually live more freely. Make choices that increase health as much as possible for self and others.
1. Euphoria is a myth. If something can’t be seen, it is false. Mystical experiences can’t be proven. Shamans who claim they perform miracles should be placed in the same category as lunatics that believe they are Jesus. They might as well regress to a state where they play with imaginary friends. Time spent in prayer might as well be used to ask for magic to happen from the Easter bunny. Those seeking euphoria without reason might as well hunt leprechauns for a living.
2. Euphoria is a personal sense of heavenly bliss that transcends rational experiences. One feels deep peace and contentment while focusing on what is beautiful in the universe. Euphoria is different for every individual. Intense personal satisfaction is found while involved with meditation or prayer. Some find it in a chemically altered state. Others discover this feeling when moving gracefully in an athletic event. Some experience the feeling when they are at one with nature while totally alone. Those with the gift may find the feeling in the middle of a crowded street. Those who claim to have the strongest connections to euphoria live in a state of near constant bliss.
3. Euphoria can’t be proven. Bliss seems like a great thing to be wrong about. Mental healing and focus lead to a better quality of life. Physical benefits are achieved through feeling bliss for many. Those who believe in the soul claim they are able to arrive at a point of great peace. If one can’t believe in miracles, they probably have no mystical experiences. Being willing to experiment may lead to peace through mystical practices.
1. Laughter is for immature fools. What is so funny about a world where people die every day? Is there humor in a world where millions starve? Should anyone be happy in a world where misery is abundant? Even the most idiotic buffoon is unlikely to chuckle in the face of those who have just lost loved ones. Constant suffering is going on for many on the planet. There does not seem to be any reason to laugh.
2. Life is hilariously funny. Laughter should be heard frequently. The natural laughter of children playing is such a treat to hear. Snickers conveying sarcasm bring joy. The bellow of a hearty gut laugh is sure to spread wonderful feelings to many. Cackles of old ladies bring smiles to faces. The loss of control during repeated boisterous laughter is a release. Tiny laughs that express appreciation for witty comments are glorious in their own unique way.
How can one experience some of the absurdities of life and not laugh? How can one listen to a talented performer displaying outrageously creative bits and avoid laughter? Lightening the load of problems for self and others is a gift
3. Laughter is wonderful most of the time. It should not be used to cause needless suffering. Being aware of what is ridiculous in life is healthy and enjoyable. Laughing at the suffering of others may be cruel. It can also be an effective way to cope with pain. One must proceed with a bit of caution. Understand intentions with humor are to uplift and not bring down. Most of the time laughter is a joyous response to times when people see genuine humor to life.
1. Family is disappointing. Everyone takes something warped from their lineage. Family members tend to implant seeds of false religions. Parents often set poor priorities for their children. Youths are taught false facts about the nature of truth at home far too frequently. Families heavily encourage cycles of repeating pointless and harmful traditions. Unrealistic expectations in achievement place a great deal of stress on many. Family members often ridicule their own flesh and blood when they are either too successful or not successful enough.
2. Family is one of the great joys in life. It is wonderful to have a group to share joys with. It is vital to have a network to depend on when times are hard. Unique relationships happen with each member. Connecting with family leads to more options. Developing meaningful bonds is one of the most important parts of life. Being able to rely on a group of loving people is a treasure to be cherished forever.
3. Family members should earn respect and loyalty based on their actions just like everyone else. A family member that is encouraging is good to stay in touch with. Some individuals do not get along, even if they are family. Time is too valuable to spend with people that are not pleasant to be around. If a family member is harmful to be around, there is no obligation to spend any time with them. Family can be a great blessing or a great curse. It is up to each person to decide how they want to interact with family.
1. Friends are temporary at best and enemies at worst. All friendships end eventually. Many enemies pretend to be friendly to establish trust. These evildoers wait for the moment where they can swoop in and tear someone apart. Plenty of people have suffered greatly due to the betrayal of ones they considered friends.
2. Friends are one of the greatest joys in life. There is nothing quite like having a group of like-minded people that share positive interests. Friends can be counted on for honest assistance, advice, and companionship. True friends know intimate details about each other. Choose friends who have similar goals and watch how the good times roll.
3. Friends can be great, but all friendships experience change. The change can be positive or negative depending on how friends react to each other. A good friend lasts through periods of separation. Friends must allow for changes in identity to each other. A friend that was just an acquaintance is not remembered quite as fondly. Be grateful for the friends of the past. Show appreciation to present friends. Continue to make friends while experiencing growth.
1. Ethics are based in falsehood. There is no standard that exists for right and wrong that is true. Plenty of rules should be followed to avoid legal troubles. The legality of an issue does not make it morally right though. Slavery was once legal. Segregation was law. Murdering heathens has been policy in past societies. Rulers have had the power to order people to be executed on a whim. There is nothing noble about adopting all the rules of a political code as a personal ethical code too. One should live by ignoring ethical commandments.
2. Ethics provide needed boundaries for maintaining appropriate behaviors. The best ethical codes allow as much individual freedom as realistically possible while defending the rights of all people to live without harm. Everyone is responsible for creating their own set of personal ethics. Individual ethical systems need flexibility to accommodate changes.
3. Ethics can be based in falsehood, personal truth, or communally established rules. No true universal standards for right and wrong can be proven to exist. This means that ethical systems are prone to errors. Personal ethical systems are beneficial for individuals attempting to act in a responsible way.
Harm comes when people are willing to sacrifice the good of others to honor an inflexible code. Communally established rules are positive when they protect the rights people should be given to live in peace. Problems with rules come when people are obligated to harm others or suffer penalties if they peacefully protest laws they disagree with.
1. Philosophy is a bunch of lies. The answers to life’s questions are impossible to know. There is nothing special about a bunch of people who sit around and dream about theoretical possibilities instead of getting actual work done. Life is short and painful. Anyone who survives has to do a lot of garbage they hate. Everyone dies. That’s all the philosophy anyone ever sees in real life.
2. Philosophy is an amazing discipline that tries to answer the most important questions regarding existence and the universe. Brilliant theories have been formed that provide logical frameworks for comprehending the reasons that the universe and its contents operate the way they do. Almost any explanation is possible for unanswered questions. Philosophy expands understanding. Embracing deeper truths gives meaning and value to life.
3. Philosophy can be a huge headache or a fascinating pursuit. Certainty does not come easily. Questions of importance don’t often have definite answers. Some people are never satisfied and continue asking questions. One should pursue philosophy if they are ready to take on problems that unable to be resolved by direct observation. Rational thinkers should question their own belief system at times. Finding truth is a challenge that lasts a lifetime for those that are brave enough to pursue it.
1. Comedy is filled with a bunch of attention whores competing with each other to see who can make imbeciles the most amused. It is clearly the pursuit of strange individuals who gave up on doing something important with their lives. Supposedly funny people live sad personal lives. Comedy is often based in dishonesty. If comedy is rooted in truth, then it is a sick and twisted truth.
2. Comedy is one of the most uplifting forms of amusement in the universe. It can allow one to see new perspectives. Using creativity to help others live a happier life is a beautiful way to live. Bringing joy to situations that would be mundane otherwise requires great talent. Comedy changes the way others think. Humorous material can be appreciated by virtually anyone. Performing well takes a large amount of courage.
3. Comedy can be an intelligent creative artistic endeavor or a trivial hobby. The finest performers make people think and laugh about a wide variety of topics. The worst hacks use juvenile gimmicks and can be remarkably unfunny. Tastes in particular styles of comedy are subjective. Quality original material is bound to find an audience that appreciates insightful observations. Humor can be used effectively in nearly all areas of life.
1. Games are pointless activities that are only enjoyed by simpletons. Distractions from responsibilities are a pointless waste of time. Exploitation of the stupidity of game players occurs on a large scale at casinos. Tourists, get rich quick schemers, and unwise fools lose millions of dollars to the house. Gamers are usually greedy, self-centered, and out of touch with reality. It seems that most individual gamers believe they will win any given night they choose to. The house beats the gamers on the whole every night. Who is being fooled?
2. Games are a great way to meet others. Unwinding with relaxing activities is important for people of all ages. Good gaming skills require talent, intelligence, and strategy. Understanding human psychology can help with advanced games. Some gamers are in it for mere entertainment. The ones who are most dedicated to games are usually ruthless competitors. A nearly infinite amount of games exist for anyone to experience.
3. Games can be a simple leisure activity or a way of life. Playing games provides value to those who want to enjoy spare time. Anyone can be a part of social games that provide relaxation. Gamblers who take their activities to the next level should be careful to leave themselves some room for a bad night. Be a part of games and activities that seem interesting.
1. Alcohol leads many to do stupid things they would never normally do. The influence of it can lead one to violent behavior, poor judgment, and memory loss. Over a long period those who drink too much often live unhappy lives that result in poor health. Alcohol is addictive. More legal problems are rooted in alcohol abuse than any other source.
2. Alcohol is highly enjoyable as long as one takes minor precautions to ensure they have a good time. Don’t drink if there are more important priorities. Avoid putting others in dangerous situations. Make sure to pay the tab. If a reasonable degree of safety is established, drinking should be fun.
3. Alcohol can be a lot of fun. Long term effects lead to unhappiness if alcohol consumption is not kept in check. There are numerous ways to spend time without drinking. Each person should make conscious decisions about the role they want alcohol to play in their life.
1. Sex is a foolish activity than can lead to unwanted babies, nasty diseases, or even death. There is no need to procreate on a planet with more than 6 billion people. There are pleasurable alternatives to heterosexual sexual intercourse. Getting involved with someone sexually complicates matters beyond belief.
2. Sex is one of the greatest experiences one can have. To become united with another person physically is the best part of living. It is the closest that most ever come to being united with another person. Not to mention, it feels great!
3. Sex is usually a great joy, but is harmful if one is not ready for the consequences of their actions. Everyone has unique sexual desires and acts on their desires differently. Enjoy all the sensual delights that sex has to offer. Do it in a loving and responsible manner that leaves all involved with dignity.
1. TV is useless trash that wastes the time of many willing zombies. Programs have no educational content. No clever ideas are explored on TV. Important messages fail to exist on TV. Hackneyed premises keep returning to similar shows that pass through the market research department. Messages broadcast are subtle to morons, but obvious to those who can think clearly. Work is too hard. Lay around and drink beer. Pay other people to take care of problems. Trust churches, schools, and governments. Keep buying amazing products. Be like everybody else. Do what the TV says.
2. TV is a miracle that brings non-stop access to the lives of billions around the world. There are many entertaining programs on thousands of networks. Programs feature a diverse array of options. Cooking, sports, movies, music, sitcoms, soap operas, black and white oldies, game shows, or news are available to most 24 hours a day. The quality of programs continues to rise. Individuals are able to choose to watch any type of show desired. What an age the modern era is!
3. TV has enormous potential to broadcast important content to worldwide audiences. Programs often focus more on entertainment than enlightenment. Individuals are free to choose to watch numerous shows about diverse interests at their leisure. Some watch none at all. TV watching remains a pleasant way to unwind and relax for many after a day filled with stress and hard work. TV becomes problematic when people choose to value it more than they value the rest of the world.
1. The universe full of pain, misery, meaninglessness, indifference, evil power structures, and death. People have no clue about what is going on. Everyone is dead and gone before long. Most people don’t try to make the world better. They just try to get their greedy little paws on whatever they can. Sometimes it’s hard to even think of any decent reason to wake up and go through the motions of pointless life yet again. The world is probably going to hell anyway.
2. The universe is a wonderful place full of infinite hope and opportunities. People are still constantly achieving new heights in virtually every area. More people are coming into a better world with more conveniences. Improved health care grants longer life spans to people than ever before. The universe is full of love. A higher power wants what is best for all. Everyone will be united with God in a perfect heaven eventually.
3. The universe is large and largely unknown. People create their opinions of the universe based on factors including experiences, culture, and wealth. Every person judges the value of their past, present, and anticipated future activities. Individuals have different personal experiences. Objective reality is interpreted subjectively. Total truth is never found due to human limitations. Innovations are being worked on to increase knowledge of reality.
WHAT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING
1. What makes life worth living? There is nothing to live for. The end of every story and every person is the same: death. Nothing is good. Moments of lesser pain make falling back down into full blown misery even worse. Truth will never be found. Any love or trust will disappoint. Nobody gets what they want. Give up. Just accept that life is miserable. Any honest person is not happy.
2. What makes life worth living? All are fortunate to live in a time where vast potential greatness exists. People work less. They own more. Progress is being made rapidly in many fields. Citizens are free to choose how to live. Everyone can decide what to believe in.
In most places of the world anyone can view spectacular scenes, hear fantastic music, attend amusing parties, or eat sensational food. Such delightful treasures exist for all who wish to partake! Paradise exists for all. Embrace and cherish how treasure filled all of creation is. Keep praying that everything will get even better!
3. What makes life worth living? Nothing for sure. Maybe anything. There is nothing in the universe that guarantees life is worth living. Nothing gives every person a reason to make them want to live. Anything has the potential to inspire.
Even though people decide to keep living for odd reasons, just about everybody’s odd reasons are different. It’s likely that most people decide life is worth living for several reasons. With no clear answers, we’re left to make up our own policies for good living.
COPING WITH UNCERTAINTY
The truth of the universe is uncertain.
All reasonable statements about truth are made based on beliefs of what’s most likely to be true. It’s unreasonable that any individual can fully account for every single accurate detail about the universe.
Each person has to decide for themselves based on their subjective experiences. It’s impossible for anyone to be exposed to every possibility in the universe within one lifetime. Each person takes chances to do what they believe is best without knowing for certain if they’re right.
No matter what one chooses to do, they’re taking risks. Successful people find ways to develop unique talents that are useful to others. There are no guarantees of success, but each person can use their intelligence to determine what seems most likely to lead to a positive way of living.
Dealing with fear
How important are your actions? In all of time and space, does what you’re doing matter? If not, what temporary experiences do you think would be valuable? Are you picking the wrong path out of fear? Is there anything that could matter in the grand scheme of time and space? If not, why worry about it? If so, why not devote your time, energy, and focus to what you believe it is?
Perhaps it’s sensible to have some amount of fear. There have been many things that happened in the past that were quite frightening. There are many things that are taking place now that are horrid. There are many frightening potential possibilities for the future.
For many people, it’s scary to admit that they don’t know what the point of living is. Instead of admitting this, they reconcile themselves to accepting commonly accepted societal standards. It’s easier for many to have their beliefs reinforced than to consciously pursue their own unique answers. Uncertainty is initially frightening for many, but admitting it is honest.
Many people have a vague feeling that their lives could be better. They doubt themselves and the “truths” they proclaim. But since it’s painful to admit they still have no answers, they pretend to be something they’re not.
Individuals can learn a lot about specific parts of the universe and can form opinions about what they believe is valuable. Each individual interprets the contents of the universe in a unique manner based on what they’re able to learn about reality.
Whether one is a great PHD scientist or the village idiot, the amount of experiences each individual has are limited. Richard Dawkins presumably knows little about soap operas even though he’s brilliant. It’s possible that individuals of much lesser general intelligence may know hundreds of plots from tawdry dramas. The value of this type of knowledge could be debated.
Anyone can learn a great deal of truth about life. Each person can try to live well despite lacking knowledge about many things. Anyone can increase their chances to accomplish specific goals if they focus on taking productive actions.
HOW TO LIVE WELL
The truth is that even the greatest individuals don’t offer perfect solutions to problems. Brilliant people create temporary solutions to help themselves and others. Some of these temporary solutions can last for quite a while, and lead to much better results for centuries. But nearly every human achievement is eventually topped, or discovered to have some flaws.
Since humans offer solutions to problems that aren’t perfect, it’s wise to aim to continuously grow while simultaneously accepting that we’re prone to making some errors.
Wise individuals accept a lack of perfection while still trying to obtain results that are as close to perfection as possible.
Nobody is judged according to their thought life. All personal problems are concealed until spoken. All dreams remain hidden until revealed. Those who choose to expose themselves take risks.
It’s vital that people stay firm in their strongest convictions. Establishing a positive life is tough, but worth the effort. There may be no way to get everything desired, but people can still get a great deal out of life if they’re willing to take reasonable risks.
It’s wise to amend goals to better suit the needs of the moment instead of committing to unwavering goals. The goals one has when they’re five years old are not likely to have much in common with the ones they set when they grow older. Individual desires often change.
Even the largest goals should be somewhat flexible when new information is discovered.
The largest goals one has in life can be significantly altered over the course of time. Many five-year-olds have dreams of becoming an astronaut, president, or sports superstar. Many fifteen-year-olds have no idea what they’ll be. Many twenty-five year-olds have begun to try to settle into some sort of workplace.
The specific goals that each individual has vary tremendously. Some have no responsibilities to anyone other than themselves. Others have wives, children, and mortgage payments on a house. A few have life altering duties in the military, hospitals, or financial institutions.
seen as most important will be likely to change many times for each person throughout
the course of their lives. The decision
to do what seems more valuable than anything else leads to continual
exploration, learning, and the freedom to make changes when they seem
If nobody dared to dream of developing language, electricity, or The Simpsons, where would we be as a species? At some point, everything in existence was an innovation that many thought would never happen in reality. It’s noble to make attempts to do things that have never been done. The advancement of humanity is due to innovators who work to create a better world.
It may not always seem life is great. There are times when life is difficult. Undesired events happen. Unexpected issues surface. Finding effective ways to cope with hardships allows people to appreciate positive moments more. Anyone can learn to enjoy life. They must be willing to cope with pain to achieve joy.
It sometimes appears that the secrets of living the good life are hidden. Advice is useful, but anyone who wants to do something significant has to take chances. Every person decides what makes a “good life.” Past experiences often dictate priorities. Clear focus provides a way to get what is most desired.
Present goals determine quality of life. Goals should be challenging and achievable. When impossible goals are set, it leads to frustration.
Nearly everything can be viewed as a challenge that must be overcome. Meeting challenges rationally is beneficial. Each individual reacts to life events. The way someone chooses to spend their time reflects what they value the most. Observe what a specific person does with their time. What they cherish becomes evident. Deciding how to act ethically is a challenge for everyone. Unfortunately, there are no definite answers that guarantee a good life.
There’s no definite, universally agreed upon standard that all humans abide by. There are certain actions that the vast majority of humanity believes to be unethical: Rape, unjust murder, theft of private property, or unjust torture. Since these tragedies still occur quite frequently on our planet, it’s reasonable to suggest that not all people respect these standards.
When one breaks down the philosophical, religious, psychological, political, and scientific ideals that are supposed to provide us with definite moral codes, they fail to meet the personal standards of everyone. There’s no specific list of morals that all people agree on.
All anyone can do is attempt to live the best life possible in an imperfect and uncertain reality. There are extremely few guarantees in life. To be able to live well, one must take chances to try to do what seems best.
But determining what’s best is subjective. Some people believe focusing on providing help to those who suffer unjustly is the best way to spend their time alive. Other people believe the best way to spend their time is to do what they want more than anything else, and trust others to do the same. Many people believe the accumulation of personal wealth is the way to live well and help others to do so too. A few who deviate from the norm may believe the best way to live is to kill others.
If there’s no universally agreed upon standard for ethics, is it senseless to discuss? One can come to a realization of what rulers require and desire from the masses. They can go along with the program of the ruling class or fight against popular morals. But neither choice can be proven to be “morally correct.” Each person makes their own value judgments for themselves.
If one believes that they’re going to live well, they should spend their time doing what seems best. If they don’t, they should at least attempt to do all they can to find joy for themselves.
How does one find joy? They have to take chances and hope that something specific consistently provides a positive way of life. They have to continually search from within and attempt to do all they can to live for what seems to matter most.
How does one provide joy to others? They have to take chances to attempt to meet others, and spend time focusing on what they believe provides others with joy. There’s no definite formula that leads to success. Making sincere efforts to give to others is a noble pursuit, even if it produces less than spectacular results.
How does one best live in a reality that is largely unknown? There are no definite answers. Each person has to take risks to try to do what seems best. Each person has to act at all times without definite knowledge of what the results of their efforts will be.
Those who live well significantly increase their odds of success by persistent effort to improve at their chosen activities. There’s no reliable evidence that shows anyone is born for any specific purpose. Observe a newborn baby and see how much willpower it has to do anything other than breathe, sleep, and cry. Humans come into the world as helpless creatures that need the help of others to live. As they develop, most find parts of life that they are drawn to more than others.
Deciding what to devote focus to in life is fairly simple for some. Others spend their entire lives searching for their purpose, but never find it. Each mature individual develops at a unique pace. The focus one has determines their quality of life.
Ethics is a tricky subject. To what extent are individuals held responsible for the suffering of more than six billion others? How should one treat others in less than ideal circumstances? Should one focus on building their own strengths, or focus more on directly assisting people who have less? There are ethical systems that produce better results than others, but there’s no way to prove for certain that any set of ethical rules is the best possible.
Each individual ultimately has to select their own subjective set of ethics in a world that is often full of uncertainty, pain, and suffering. Individuals may choose to adopt popular sets of ethics that are created by authorities. But they can’t be proven to be correct at all times.
Any standard of morality can’t be proven to be superior according to scientific testing. There are standards of morality that produce better results than others in specific categories. But there’s no moral code that can be proven to be best to follow in all cases. Because life contains unpredictability, it’s hard, if not impossible, to know what the most moral thing to do in a changing world is.
Despite this, honorable people try to do what is ethically right in an uncertain reality.
Limited amounts of control exist. Being born and dying happen to nearly all people without their consent. What are individuals incapable of controlling?
Passing of time can’t be controlled. Living beings have limits. Space and time have no known limits. Nobody can control the entire universe. There’s no evidence that anyone is able to snap their fingers and get whatever they want. Natural forces that can’t be fully controlled by humans operate the universe.
People, places, and external physical forces can’t be completely controlled. Numerous prophets have tried to spread messages about how to achieve self-control. No methods have been proven to work at all times for all people.
What can individuals control? Anyone can greatly increase their odds of experiencing positive situations. Taking action to improve is necessary to grow. Any individual is capable of making choices about what they value and how they plan to react to their surroundings. But nobody is capable of total control in life. Certain parts of reality aren’t able to be managed by humanity.
All people vary in ability, focus, and discipline. Some people display impressive amounts of self-control. Other people drift through life, seemingly devoid of any purpose. Many people feel powerless, yet many people are temporarily as powerful as they will themselves to be.
Various Factors Outside of Human Control
It seems probable that external forces have a large degree of influence over human affairs. A few items people have a hard time exercising control over include:
4. Their boss
5. Political powers
7. Birth (their own)
9. The economy
10. The choices other people make
11. Serious health problems
12. Major world problems- AIDS, starvation, homelessness, war, famine, poverty
13. How other people feel
14. Nearly all the events of the universe in any given moment
Fear allows people to stay alive. If one had absolutely no fear, they’d be likely to experiment with actions that would lead to death. Fear is negative when it unnecessarily prevents one from joy. Most fears are unproductive and lead to pain.
Just about everything in the universe is unknown to any individual. The events of the past can be analyzed but almost never fully understood. Present moments are limited to one time and place.
We can set clear
goals for the future. We can use the
most reliable information to make positive choices. Knowledge of the future doesn’t exist. Anything outside of the immediate moment can’t
be known with absolute certainty.
Guaranteed safety never exists. Many are fortunate enough to discover ways to survive. Fears that exist due to legitimate safety concerns are highly beneficial. Any time physical violence is a possibility, it’s necessary to make survival an immediate priority. Fears with no basis in reality too often prevent people from living the life they want. It’s almost guaranteed for most people to be initially uncomfortable in unknown situations.
The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the same might be true of the examined life. To many it’s much better to work, watch TV, and die than pursue philosophy. Each person must make their own choices on how to best live in a reality where so much is unknown.
The closest thing we have to certainty in life is that eventually it ends. What happens to us in between the present moment and death is unpredictable. Even those who stick to rigid routines have elements of surprise occur. Those who claim they have no fixed plans still meet their survival needs with some planning.
It’s best to be honest about how one feels about death. Denying death makes no sense. Denial leads one away from the basic truths of existence. If one chooses not to dwell on death due to being uncertain, they may be making a logical choice. Those who fear death should do their best to live well despite their fear.
It’s quite natural to fear the unknown. Once a reasonable amount of comfort is established, it can lead to repeated patterns of living well. Until comfort is established, it can be unnerving to deal with high levels of uncertainty.
Since most of life is unknown, it may be that fear of the unknown is fear of life itself. Reasonable people are not overly concerned with absolute certainty.
When safety is threatened, it’s unwise to stay put unless the potential reward is worth the risk. Cultural customs vary quite a bit depending on time and place. As long as a person can show basic respect to others, they should get along with nearly all people.
Elements of the unknown are likely to be present in nearly every moment. Choosing how to deal with the unknown determines how one lives. Learning how to best deal with the unknown is a lifelong process. Since life is constantly changing, individuals benefit from change frequently.
All people are vulnerable to making errors in judgment. Too many feel they have responded poorly to the chances they had in life. While it can be quite difficult to overcome negative thought processes, it must be done to live well. Intelligent people learn from mistakes and use negative experiences to attempt to live well in the present.
Perhaps life is exciting because no one knows what will occur. Continually seek knowledge. Accept that even if one is constantly learning, they still experience the unknown in most parts of life. Even those who make deliberate attempts to surround themselves with familiarity still live with uncertainty. Well-adjusted people embrace the changes and unpredictability of life. Strong individuals continue to make efforts to change to be who they want to be by defeating unnecessary fears.
Definite proof that shows exactly how humans were originally created doesn’t exist. Almost anything is possible in the quest to find what makes life worth living. Since there’s no universal meaning of life that can be proven, individuals adopt personal beliefs about life. Personal beliefs are often strange and illogical.
Hope for truth breeds action to do what one thinks is best. Numerous options exist for every person. A deeper understanding of the universe is available for those who recognize options.
Purposes are potentially found in many sources. Beliefs determine actions. Every individual decides how to spend time. Forces outside of the control of individuals impact their lives. Choices are made in every moment. Experiences shape purposes.
Moral laws are commonly believed to be true. Personal faith does not make beliefs universally true. Moral laws vary from region to region. There are disagreements within communities about morals. Truth claims are made by many without proper evidence.
Every person is unique. A lifestyle that’s satisfying for one may lead to a miserable existence for another. There’s nothing that can make everyone happy. Life is a process of constantly examining what makes one happy in the present. Happiness can come from almost anything.
With all the uncertainty present, how can anyone claim to know what will happen in life? The universe could have been created in a number of ways. Maybe it’s always been. With evidence being discovered that proves the vast size of the universe, it is hard to believe the entire universe was created just for inhabitants of Earth.
The universe is larger than anyone can grasp. With effort and good fortune, anyone could be just about anywhere on the planet. Almost anyone could be a pirate on the waters of the Caribbean, an accountant in Los Angeles, a missionary in Nigeria, a chess player in Moscow, a thief in Sydney, an artist in Rio, or a writer in Chicago if they take specific actions to make it happen.
Nearly infinite possibilities exist on this planet. Earth is just one planet in the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is one of many galaxies in the limited sphere of what has been discovered. There won’t be enough time to learn all the options in life. Few live long enough to experience everything they’d like to.
Mature thinkers can see miraculous elements that display hints of a larger framework than what is known. Anyone can choose to focus on parts of life that are as diverse as stars in the sky, a spice from a distant land, a song from another era, a memory of love, or a waterfront breeze. Making the best of limited experiences and time is important to live well.
Amazing feats can be achieved when people choose to develop courage. “Average” people have been able to travel by land, sea, and air around the world. Falling in love can happen at unpredictable times to anyone.
Powerful experiences happen to people every day. Mysteries exist everywhere. Learning, growing, and experiencing new ideas should never stop.
Reality is often less than dreams and better than fears. Almost everyone can imagine possibilities that could make life better or worse. Staying involved in present affairs is important to have happiness.
Nobody can change the past. Only information about the past can be changed. Altering the past is usually done with an agenda in mind. The future doesn’t yet exist. The only moment one can act in is the present.
Most people have strong reasons to believe any given moment won’t be their last. Some future preparation is probably wise. Futures can be planned, but not determined in precise detail. It’s best to remain hopeful for the future while staying connected to what’s current.
If the universe seems to be operating in undesirable ways, a person can take action. The simplest action one can take to change the universe is to alter their perspective. Changing perspectives can be done in numerous ways. Anyone can make efforts to change. This could be a simple task that takes place instantly or a lifelong struggle.
One can attempt to change others to make a difference in the world. This type of change is outside of the immediate control of any one person. It can be difficult to bring even a small amount of change to the world. Significant change is only brought about by those with courage.
Developing courage may take a lifetime. Until utopia is reached by humanity, there will always be a need for courageous people.
Any serious societal problem isn’t going to be solved easily. Racism might not be as bad as it was a few hundred years ago, but tell that to people who are killed because of the color of their skin today. Slavery isn’t as accepted as in the past, but who’s going to release billions of people in China from authoritarian rule?
Who will end corruption in places like communist Cuba? Who will end corruption for money in the USA? It’s unlikely that anyone will. Every place on Earth has people who are exploited and exploiters. The U.S. has a better benefits package for the top wage earners. But don’t believe any country or large population group of people isn’t exploiting or exploited.
How does one solve problems like world hunger, poverty, war, and individual suffering? These issues are far too difficult for almost anyone to solve individually. The sad truth is that many of the most serious problems humanity faces appear to be far too difficult for even the most efficient collective efforts to solve. But noble people may dedicate a significant amount of the time of their lives to making efforts to help improve the quality of life for others who suffer.
Nobody who’s prone to illness or death has total freedom. Every adult has some degree of choice involving their thought life. Most people are fortunate enough to be able to control some portion of the events of their lives. Even those who feel trapped often have a large degree of freedom they take for granted. No person can accurately plan their entire life.
Thinking can’t be directly seen by others. Thinking is a near constant activity for most people. Every person is free to choose how to think. Thoughts are influenced by the reality one experiences. One must commit to some form of communication to channel thoughts in meaningful ways to others. Communication requires some form of action taking place.
Each individual retains the freedom to imagine anything they want to. Imagination doesn’t reflect the real world. Reality contains elements of pain, unpredictability, and suffering. Imagination contains whatever the individual is able to conceive. Imagination can be part of a fulfilling life for anyone. Who doesn’t imagine themselves living a more enjoyable life at times?
Why is it so important to try to understand a universe that’s beyond our comprehension? Using reason to intelligently decide what seems most likely to be true is valuable. As valuable as reason is, it’s not a perfect method for full understanding. There are times when reasonable, well-thought out ideas fail.
GOOD LONG-TERM GOALS FOR HUMANITY
Implement technology to provide sufficient food, clothing, shelter, oxygen, and water to all living beings
Create methods to extend human life indefinitely through technological singularity
Develop methods to eliminate unwanted pregnancy and eliminate all potential STD’s
Explore the universe and learn more
Increase truthful knowledge of past, present, and future
Develop time travel
Permit people to be free by eliminating the need for labor
End unnecessary suffering
CHAPTER 2 TRUTH
Many people want to know truth, even if it’s just to live a selfish life.
Argue for truth. The truth is that humanity is generally clueless about everything.
Too many people place too much faith in commonly accepted versions of truth.
Arguing about the truth of the universe is like arguing about the contents of a black hole.
It’s not always rational to try to grasp fixed truths in a world where constant change takes place.
When people are prevented from expressing the truths that mean the most to them, hostile environments are likely to occur.
Individuals are often guilty of creating false facts in their heads without intending to do so.
The universe has more good options than can be counted, but getting any one of them in one day is nearly impossible.
Facts only matter if one is strong enough to resist embracing their own biased opinions.
The truth is that we are often unaware of the truth.
If nobody knows the full truth about everything this means that all people are wrong to various extents.
Filling the world with true information is valuable. If less than truth, why bother?
The sad truth is that every person is vulnerable to corruption. The glorious redemption is that all people have the potential to improve their lives.
Objective truth exists but individuals experience the truth subjectively.
One who searches for absolute truth rarely finds it.
Silly people claim to know the truth about the universe and wise people admit they don’t have a clue.
Personal preferences don’t dictate absolute truth.
There’s sense in following a dream, but not if that dream contradicts every truth in known reality.
People who expose the terrors of the world for what they are often buried before they communicate their message of truth.
Figuring out the truth about the universe is like learning languages from 111 solar systems away. Nobody has the answers, but we can make up whatever we want.
The facts aren’t always pleasant, but they’re more useful than pleasant lies.
Almost all people value truth, there are just huge disputes about what the truth is.
Have compassion for people with false beliefs, all of us.
You’re never going to believe most of the things others claim are true. Good for you.
Faith is silly to cling to when it can be physically demonstrated to be false.
Good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people because the universe is indifferent to individual human tragedies and rewards.
Too many people fail to realize the truth, probably because the universe is a little bigger than their neighborhood.
Understanding an illogical universe by purely logical means may not always achieve perfect results.
The world is full of facts, but nearly all of them can be disputed by someone who has intelligence.
Broad generalizations may often be true, but they can also imprison a believer in falsehood.
Too many people place too much faith in commonly accepted versions of truth.
Believe people who say they have no clue, chastise people who say they know the truth without providing evidence.
Respect anyone who tells the truth. Laugh at anyone who lies.
The truth, if there is any, may be tough to realize.
One good part of life is knowing that the bad parts of it are merely temporary.
Truth is only as valid as living people make it.
It’s hard to decide if it’s true that everyone lies.
If you make any truth claims, you’re being divisive.
The truth is a large amount of information, far greater than the collective knowledge of humanity. So avoid worrying about being ignorant at times and enjoy life as much as possible.
There are many people who claim to know the truth and clearly don’t, but are believed by many. There are others who tell the truth, but are believed by almost no one.
The truth about the universe may be much more than we are even able to comprehend. But the truth about a small part of life is often enough to keep us occupied.
People who live well don’t always find old truths, but might be able to create and demonstrate new truths.
If you’re lucky enough to realize a truth, use it now before it changes again.
The truth isn’t always obvious, or there’d be a lot less clubs making up bullshit versions of truth.
Offer the world something amazing, and if you can’t, at least offer truth.
Nobody ever realizes the full truth of the universe, but a few recognize enough truths to be ahead of a great deal of the pack.
Possibilities are nearly endless, but the amount of likely truths is much more limited.
Figuring out who’s telling the truth in life is a challenge for nearly everyone.
You want to know the truth? Here it is: One person is never able to understand all of reality. Everyone has quite limited time and only understands a small portion of their subjective experiences on one small planet in a universe larger than we can grasp at this time in history. But that answer satisfies few. Good luck finding your take on the truth.
Human beings have limited experiences in one geographic area at a time. It’s impossible to know what changes are taking place in most of the world, most of the time. Perhaps it’d be wiser to consult beings that have a broader perspective than humans if we want to gain a greater knowledge of truth. Unfortunately, none of the species we’ve encountered have been able to tell all either.
Is it better to live in a beautiful fiction or a mundane reality? Is it important to stay grounded in reality no matter what? Perhaps nothing can be demonstrated with 100 % reliability. Is absolute truth valuable if it makes people miserable?
It’s sad to know that truth is considered a funny joke by the masses while series of lies are taken seriously. Information can be easily distorted if most get their “facts” from sources that have an agenda of propaganda. Too many times in history, individuals have been scorned, tortured, or even killed just for trying to share truth instead of staying quiet about the falsehood of commonly accepted beliefs.
When removed from the mindless clutter that consumes society we realize many truths. The main truth we often find is that we are drawn to mindless clutter for some reason. Even if society has frustrations, it’s better to be connected to what’s happening with others than to be alone.
Just because millions or billions of others claim a truth, it’s not so. Imagination can be useful and fun. But if one bases their entire life on falsehood, it’s unlikely that they will ever do anything great.
A “truth” currently being disputed is the notion of homosexuality being morally wrong. A rational person understands there’s nothing that inherently makes inserting a penis into a vagina a morally sound act. There’s also no logical reason to believe inserting a penis into the anal cavity of a man is a morally reprehensible act. It’s irrational to believe any society will be destroyed by consensual sexual relations.
Trying to tell people the truth isn’t always productive. Many people couldn’t care less about the truth. They just want to live well.
There are a number of people who claim to have rational answers about how to live well. The truth is that every person faces different situations. The truth is that reality is experiencing slow, gradual change. The rules that work for one individual may not work at all for another.
Many people feel they live well without concerning themselves with deeper questions. Philosophy doesn’t change the fact that bills are due, kids need to be picked up, and dinner has to be made. Adults often feel drained enough after a day of labor that they just want to enjoy the simplicity of their immediate environment. Although it’d be a rather mundane world if everyone lived this way, it’s understandable that many individuals choose to adopt this mindset. If deeper truths don’t help with real problems, what’s their use?
There’s no reason to believe in anything without some form of evidence. Yet almost everyone does if they try to predict the future. There are facts that can demonstrate what’s likely to occur in the future. But there’s nothing that demonstrates anything close to facts about the future.
Possibilities are nearly endless. But there comes a time when individuals have to decide what seems most likely to be true. And to anyone of intelligence, it should be obvious that it’s highly likely that nearly all people are clueless about truth.
Finding the truth can be frightening. It can lead one to feel as if they lost their entire way of life. But having the courage to face reality as it is allows one to live the best life possible, even if it results in temporary panic.
Finding the truth in life isn’t an easy task. In fact, finding the entire truth about the universe isn’t possible. Aim to find the most relevant truths that lead to living a quality life, and try to help others to do so as well.
Lying to others is usually shameful. Lying to loved ones is usually a disgrace. Lying to yourself leads to mental problems.
The universe is large and hard to understand. Many things don’t seem to make rational sense. The beliefs some people claim to hold to help them cope with the hardships of reality. But no set of beliefs can be proven to be entirely accurate, even if one would like them to be so.
It makes no sense to put hope in ridiculous beliefs. But ridiculous beliefs may be the only hope that many people can find. Considering that all intelligent adults know that we live for 120 years maximum and then vanish from the only reality we can begin to understand, it makes sense that humans might create emotional myths about living forever to cope with their fear of death. But just because something feels good, it doesn’t make it true.
What source of information is trustworthy in this crazy world? No source is completely reliable. Any source may be reporting less than total truth. Most people admit that they’ve made some terrible mistakes in determining what’s true. We can’t completely trust others and we can’t completely trust ourselves.
How can anyone claim to know the definite truth? The universe is constantly changing. There are no fixed rules that always have and always will dictate how things are going to be forever. Making efforts to try to grasp everything about all that could be is often unproductive.
Knowledge is often difficult to gain but ignorance couldn’t be much easier. People who have knowledge tend to live well. Ignorant folks tend to struggle for their entire lives.
Even if someone realizes the truth about the moment, they can’t know what the future holds. Anyone who learns the truth only has it for a brief moment, and can only use it for something good if they’re willing to act in the moment.
With the wide variety of truth claims that exist, it can be quite difficult to even begin to know how to start searching for answers about meaningful questions. How does one begin to develop views on the truth of the universe? From birth, people are influenced heavily by their immediate environment and specific information taught by parental figures.
As growth continues, it’s common for individuals to begin to understand a sense of self. In childhood, it’s common for individuals to begin developing social relationships. Imagination tends to be encouraged. This seems to be logical due to the benefits of near constant questioning, experimentation, and growth in abilities.
In adolescence, it’s typical to find that the world is more complicated than previously thought. Physical, social, and environmental changes occur rapidly. Expectations are likely to be altered. Teens gradually assert themselves and establish their own personality based more on conscious choices instead of imitating the behaviors of others. Imitation by no means disappears; it’s often more of a conscious choice made to fit in to what is perceived as normal.
Adults are generally expected to be capable of making decisions about how to live. There are still aspects of development one is likely to retain from their past, but they have the ability to choose how to act. Adults should be fully accountable for their actions.
Finding truth heavily depends on the stage of development the individual is experiencing. For a youth, it’s important to learn simple facts about their local community. For an adolescent, it’s important to question, experience, and embrace different possibilities. This can prepare one to make the best choices about what one should spend their time doing once they achieve independence. Adults should be free to make their own choices.
What’s seen as truth in youth is viewed from different perspectives as one continues to grow mentally and physically. The ways that truths are interpreted as adults are influenced by events from youth, choices made in adolescence, and present information.
To begin comprehending the truth about something as large as the universe, a person must first understand basic facts about their local environment. The individual usually establishes self-identity in relationship to others in their immediate surroundings. Once a person has reached adulthood, they can make decisions about how to take action in the world based on what they believe to be true.
Every individual has different personal experiences and has been taught concepts about truth in different ways. An individual can make the choice to continue to embrace the worldviews they held when younger. Growth oriented individuals choose to try to expand their knowledge. They dismiss old beliefs they view as outdated, irrational, or false.
There isn’t enough time to learn everything about the universe. Establishing what one wants can help people to do what’s best. Concepts of truth change. If one chooses to live in a morally responsible way while seeking truth, they often choose to pursue what they believe is right.
CHAPTER 3 AMAZING BITS
Intense speculation is rarely as good as practical action.
Be happy if you can, but know that happiness is a temporary state of mind one has to find in different ways throughout life.
Never believe that you’ve accomplished all that you could. As long as there’s suffering, there’s more that anyone could do to make the world better.
Respond to hate with love, or more effective hate.
The past is gone, but it can be revisited as often as one likes if they have the technology to do so.
Take time to live, but also take time to give.
The best people figure out ways to merge who they are and what they do.
If one is never used, it is likely that they’re not very useful.
People still find hope in a planet full of tragedies.
Effort made to be better is easy, but being good enough to be paid by people with money is difficult.
Reality is bigger than any of us can see, at least we think so.
People who are told what to believe too often do.
There is nearly unlimited good anyone can do, but most choose to screw around.
People who never find an effective way to serve others never find peace.
Produce something of value or be left behind by team humanity.
Use the best thoughts you have to do something more than mental masturbation.
Fill your head with good ideas from others. Have the guts to create your own.
Help people in need. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s all of us.
Excel in something that makes you feel passion or you’ll be likely to take orders from others in something you have no passion for most of the rest of your life.
Decide what you want now, because you have even less time left in the future.
There’s a thin line between obsession and passion.
Go into the world uncertain, but enthusiastic.
Offer help to others, but let them make their own decisions. They’re going to anyway.
Deciding what to do is a big deal only if you make it one.
Studying history is valuable, but only if you apply it to the present and the future.
Honesty is the best policy in certain situations, but may be a terrible idea in others.
Zero can be done to help anyone who refuses to embrace opportunity.
Dreaming of the best things in the world is no substitute for actual success.
Thinking provocatively isn’t hard, acting provocatively is harder than most people can handle.
Easy living isn’t usually all that easy.
Leaders aren’t always great and people you’ve never heard of can be outstanding.
Trying new things usually leads to immediate failure. Never trying new things leads to a failure to live.
Experts built the Titanic. Amateurs invented most of the technology that has made our lives better.
If you ever need an excuse to quit, just tell people you were uncertain about how it would turn out.
No one knows what will happen ten seconds from now, much less 200 years in the future.
People who choose to stay alive are realists, dealing with the only reality they know they experience.
If life is meaningless, refuse to spend time making the bed.
If anyone is thinking about having a kid, imagine giving up most of your life just to take care of a defenseless creature.
Pleasing all people is never possible. Too many people have too many different ideals.
Passion and enthusiasm can produce greatness regardless of age
Nothing can prevent one from trying to achieve what they want more than anything else. But many things can prevent individuals from achieving their dreams in reality.
Arguing is often a bad way to spend time, and yet so many people get used to doing it a lot.
It seems implausible that individuals control the weather as a product of their mental manifestations.
The priorities of the dominant culture are often passed down to children through formal schooling.
Even in a cohesive group there are some who deviate from specific norms.
The universe is indifferent to humans and their affairs. People are often rewarded if they try to do positive things with their time.
facts and faith confused can bring great suffering.
When the entire universe is considered it seems silly to worry about anything.
One who causes suffering has to look over their shoulder to see what’s behind them constantly just to survive. Living in constant fear of being killed isn’t the best way to live.
Enlightened self-interest provides the maximum potential for individuals to pursue their passions while adding value to the lives of others along the way.
Nearly all people depend on the abilities of others to live well.
Basic needs are met by mass production for most people today.
Quality of life is highly improved by the interdependence of people serving each other.
Despite the potential value of hard work, good fortune is needed to achieve something noteworthy.
Question reality, but take time to live in it. Even if there are terrible tragedies, life isn’t all bad.
out what one believes in is an evolutionary process, not a final destination.
The tough part about getting ahead in life is that there are no guarantees about how to achieve success.
Fear is illogical if life is worth living. It’s self-defeating, unproductive, and leads to a less enjoyable life.
It’s extremely difficult to know what’s taking place in the present. It’s even harder to know how things used to be.
The difficulty for many is deciding which miracles to focus on.
Being noble is hard enough. Being noble and living well at the same time is a challenge for everyone.
Staying focused is important to accomplish goals. Energy spent worrying is better placed into work.
Coming to terms with the past is often necessary to move on to better ways of living.
In the midst of beauty, it’s possible to focus on suffering. While surrounded by atrocity, it’s still possible to find moments of hope.
If anyone has accomplished every single goal they ever had, they picked foolish goals.
Refusing to set goals can be enjoyable for short periods of time. Making the choice to live according to the whims of others for long periods of time is no way live well.
Don’t give others a higher status than the self. In the grand scheme of existence, we’re all equally small.
Taking action to be what one wants is a constant challenge.
For nearly all people, incorporating several elements of good living leads to a happy life.
To live well one must form a personal identity, learn enough to achieve a basic understanding of how the world works, and maintain a lifestyle that meets needs.
It takes time to develop rational views, particularly when one has been filled with tribal falsehoods.
Making decisions in the midst of chaos is what life is all about.
No matter what, we have to keep trying to make sense of this madness we live in.
People are rarely remembered for mere ideas. History judges most by the actions they take.
Seemingly negative events can inspire positive happenings. Great moments can be found to be fraudulent or even terrible in the near future.
Logic bridges the gap between uncertainty and knowledge.
Having joy means ignoring the suffering of thousands, if not more.
If one chooses to embrace suffering they ignore joy they could be having.
How to deal with continual troublemakers: proper education, incarceration, or elimination.
One can contemplate options for the rest of their life without taking action to change the world.
Abilities are almost always developed over time through initial imitation, a great deal of sacrifice, and continual commitment to improve in small achievable ways.
Maybe life has purpose because of struggle, uncertainty, failure, and pain. But it’s still nicer to avoid pains and experience joys.
No one gets exactly what they want in life, but a few people with almost no ambition come pretty close.
Even the ideas of the greatest minds of the past can be improved on in the present.
Losing isn’t fun, but neither is winning if the game isn’t worth playing.
Moaning and crying about personal problems isn’t going to accomplish anything productive, but it sure is easier than solving problems.
Honest people admit that there are many things in the universe they know nothing about.
Everyone is uncertain about the facts of the entire universe. Everyone is an agnostic whether they admit it or not.
We all have different desires and experiences. No wonder we all live so differently.
There’s never a perfect time to start doing anything. If it’s important, start now.
Knowing the world is much larger than your tiny life doesn’t matter if you never take action.
It’s difficult to understand what’s happening, but even harder to live well without trying.
One has to take chances on imperfect people to live well.
Regret is only meaningful if we take the pain of negative decisions to build a more constructive future.
It’s getting harder to discern who’s a charlatan.
Some people refuse to give up despite low odds of making their dreams a reality.
In a changing world, it’s wise to re-examine relevant evidence as frequently as possible.
defined or created by the individual.
To live well, take care of your basic survival needs of oxygen, water, food, clothing, shelter, and health. The rest is up to you.
Remember the past, hope for a better future, and live in the present.
Focus on what’s important. Conquer fears whenever possible.
Be honest and truthful with yourself. This usually works well with others too.
Creating a destiny is superior to following orders.
Everything you do is likely to eventually be lost.
Trying to be realistic while also living a great life can be tough.
Statistics do not always record the thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, or happiness of individuals.
Knowledge may be power in some cases. But in most cases, being able to apply knowledge is the much more necessary skill in creating and maintaining power.
Perhaps it’s better to expect nothing out of life. Then when you get anything it seems pretty good.
Take chances to do what seems best. You’ll be taking chances anyway.
If one focuses their time and energy on what they value, they should be able to live well.
Don’t confuse results and effort. Focused effort often leads to improved results, but others only value successful results.
Those who are trained to think a certain way often do.
In a world with infinite possibilities it’s unwise to focus on all that’s possible. It’s wise to focus on what’s probable.
Striving to learn all one can at a time is an important skill. The more a person learns the first time around, the more they can expand knowledge in other areas.
Change is inevitable. It’s vital to reinvent oneself to keep pace with a world that’s undergoing constant gradual change.
Adults too often spend time seeking answers to questions they solved when they were seven.
Even if one puts a lot of effort into something, it’s not automatically good.
Have the courage to suck at something you might eventually love.
Looking too far ahead can be even less motivating than living in the past.
Those who spend their lives fighting to help others ultimately lose, but their temporary successes are valuable.
Reality is bigger than we can see, but people still fight about the contents of their fishbowl in the ocean.
Interdependence runs the world. Few people live well by themselves.
People who want to be better are often bound to face failure for a great length of time before anything resembling success occurs.
Question all people who try to tell you what to do with your life.
Freedom is deciding what one wants more than anything else and being able to pursue it in reality.
Legalizing a drug isn’t the same as endorsing it. It’s allowing people to make the stupid choice to do drugs.
Journeys to new places help expand the mind to greater creative potential. There’s always something new to learn on such a large planet.
Choose to excel at getting the most out of life with the least amount of effort.
There are many ways any individual can experience pleasure or provide pleasure to others. There’s no perfect system for doing either.
Crying about past mistakes makes no sense in a world where one is capable of constant re-invention.
One can’t control the stupidity of the world. But one can control how they react to it.
If they say something negative about you, and they’re right, they’re justified in pointing your flaws. If they say something negative about you and they’re wrong, who cares?
Never maintain beliefs that make no sense.
It should be obvious that many people proclaim a belief and live in a manner that’s inconsistent.
The people who lack success often lack devotion to a particular cause.
The people in charge need to be reminded that they’re outnumbered and better not crack the whip.
The good guys used to be apparent. Now it’s hard to tell who’s good and who's evil.
Lots of people want a better life, but so few know how to get one.
Losing is never fun, unless one enjoys the lack of thrills and respect.
Effort to become a better person is often noble. Success isn’t always achieved, but the results of experiments that don’t work may provide valuable lessons.
Someone has to be willing to fail to do anything worthwhile.
Deciding what life is all about is a great way to delay doing anything productive.
Finding your place in life is only important if you believe you only have one place where you must be.
Nobody is perfect unless standards of perfection are severely skewed.
Open your mind or you’ll believe the same lies that you did when you were a kid.
Zero people find happiness that can be proven. Happiness is a concept, not a factual reality.
How to cope with internal moral perfectionism: Make mistakes, mix up habits, take chances, and relax.
Anyone can improve, but not everyone can be great. Statistically speaking, most people are always going to be quite far from being the best.
Greatness surrounds us, yet many people focus on the garbage pits of life.
Legal talk is a fancy way of confusing ignorant suspects.
Excellence is a problem for people who demand mediocrity and banality.
What you do in the time between birth and death is what makes the difference in quality of life.
Better get good at something, or else you’ll never have all the cool stuff you want.
Suffering occurs because humans want things to be better, but haven’t found how to do so.
Too many refuse to do right because they’re uncertain, afraid, and full of doubts.
None of us are responsible for being born. Almost all adults are responsible for how they choose to act.
When one realizes how large the universe is, they realize how small they are.
The cost of an education is better than the cost of a wasted life.
People don’t perform miracles. If they do anything, it’s by their own efforts.
Every person who says that they have a purpose in life may or may not be lying.
Doing what matters most can require a lifetime of sacrifice, or it can be as simple as falling asleep.
Variety is only one spice of life.
Zero people win every time, but some people put up a lot better fight against the casino of the universe.
A lot of people realize how pointless most of life is. The best people forget about it, and focus on creating a life worth living.
Good things are often hard to come by, but this is a poor reason to stop trying.
There’s nothing that’s guaranteed to make anyone happy. If there can be miserable people who get laid, what chance do other sources of happiness have in comparison?
Take calculated risks to become the type of person you want to be. There’s no substitute for trying to be what one wants most.
If improving just required a change in perspective, it’d be much easier to fix problems.
Living well isn’t a set formula, it’s improvisation in action.
Living well doesn’t depend on following predetermined rules; it comes from actively pursuing what seems best in life tirelessly.
Finding ways to get paid to do something creative and original may be tough, but worth the effort if one wants it badly enough.
A giver can be considered a fool or one who gets that life is best spent helping others.
There’s nothing to lose if there’s nothing to gain in the first place.
Question all authorities who obviously lie.
If you don’t love life, you probably don’t love anything.
Counseling should be conducted by people who have an ounce of happiness.
You may never accomplish your dreams, but your dreams are likely to change anyway.
Accept that the universe is more powerful than any of us individually or collectively.
Even though numerous mistakes have been made by the wisest people, those with willpower have the greatest odds of achieving success.
Fight to get what is best, or at least enough to pay rent.
Almost everyone is wrong about almost everything.
The time to go after what’s desired is now, not some vague distant time in the future.
Killing time is killing the only thing all living people have.
Question authority, but take at least a bit of time to try to live well too.
Caring about others often leads to disappointment, but refusing to care for others leads to even more.
Refusing to do things that make no logical sense may have you refusing to live.
Many people are only happy if someone else is making life easier for them.
If there’s any value in life, it’s because someone is able to find it or create it.
It’s hard to make long-term plans in a world where so many short-term plans fail.
All sane people acknowledge that there are forces of the universe they’re unable to control.
Admirable people are great because they act with confidence in spite of uncertainty.
While one may never be completely sure about what they should do, anyone can decide to try to live well.
Fearing sacrifices that have to be made to get to the top prevents most people from pursuing dreams.
Some of the people who’ve rarely faced rejection have settled for a life that’s boring, predictable, and just a fraction of what it could’ve been.
Everyone faces rejection at times. Life is all about how much energy and willpower we choose to exert when deciding how to fight against specific rejections.
If someone is waiting for absolute certainty to make decisions then they’ll be waiting to choose until they die. Choices are made based on the probability of outcomes, not definite facts.
The lives of many people look remarkably similar to a casual observer.
While there can be great frustrations while seeking what one wants, it’s better to look than give up.
If one can tolerate being disrespected by nearly all and still be happy, they’re likely to stay happy.
To some off beat individuals, self-respect is more valuable than money.
Imagine the amount of bravery that’d be required to try something out for the first time in history!
We all lack perfection, but many of us still try to attain it anyway.
There’s no universally accepted standard of perfection.
If nobody believes it can be done, it’s probably quite difficult, but not impossible.
Life involves taking risks, failing, and getting less incompetent as time moves on.
Those who have courage may be able to do many great things. Those who have no courage won’t even be able to make it out of bed in the morning.
It’s extremely difficult to separate personal beliefs from facts about reality.
Getting the best things in life requires talent and stamina.
Families: Some are great, others are terrible.
Laugh at people who take themselves too seriously, pity people who never take themselves seriously.
Studying the masters of any trade can be helpful. But unless one aims for exact imitation, they have to attempt to create on their own.
We may cause unintentional harm to others no matter how hard we try not to.
A proper balance between serving and savoring must be found to live well.
Powerful people always find ways to exploit those who aren’t clever.
No person is perfect. Those who claim to be are the most arrogant fools in the universe.
Confusion is the hallmark of a deep, yet uncommitted thinker.
While there may be some market for antiques, it’s hard to imagine my generation respecting the past. My generation doesn’t often respect the present.
Trusting the self to become a better person is vital to allow change.
It’s unlikely that anyone intends to live a life of misery.
It’s nearly impossible to understand a reality that one has never experienced.
People don’t judge you according to the great ideas you have. History judges us by the people we touch, the value we create, and the actions we take.
Those who aim to live a great life instead of a perfect one are wise.
All one has to say to a believer is “prove it” and it’s highly unlikely they’re able to.
Embrace the beauty of the world while recognizing it’s also full of tragedies.
Striving for something great is almost never easy. But it’s a lot better than dealing with people who tell you what to do most of the time you’re alive.
It’d be pointless to live if one accomplished every single thing they ever wanted. Actually, if you have already done everything you want, keep repeating what seems best.
Be kinder to those who deserve it and a bigger prick to those who deserve it.
There’s no way to fairly gauge how good you are, but relying on the opinions of others is never wise.
It’s nobler to live in constant uncertainty than to live for a comfortable lie.
Even those who control the world are vulnerable to death, illnesses, failure, and rejection.
It may be painful to get rid of things that have no meaning, but it’s necessary to improve.
Most intellectuals hold on to some ridiculous beliefs for many years. Most non-intellectuals never stop embracing ridiculous beliefs.
Having integrity is tough when there’s no evidence about how to best act.
Be bold and have courage, for this might be your last day.
Getting over the ego is one of the easiest things to recognize and one of the hardest things to change.
Everything in our individual lives will eventually vanish. That’s why it’s important to support ideals that are likely to have a positive impact on future generations.
Intentionally harming others in unproductive. Aiming to do anything other than intentionally helping others is a waste of time.
Most thinking people live with constant failure. The intelligent find ways to cope with their feelings of inadequacy and make gradual improvements.
If one never makes an effort to accomplish, they exist only to pleasure themselves and to pay bills.
Young people have tons of energy and often have no clue about what to do with it.
Those who refuse to do anything in unison with others become isolated.
Real people are suffering every moment you’re alive.
Opportunities aren’t rare, but great ones definitely are.
Maybe the odds are that each person will experience a lot of failure and difficulty in life. Perhaps there’s no way to avoid pain and suffering at times.
Ignorant people can be found in almost every business or family, but few people claim to be ignorant.
Reality is often harsh. Fantasy can be whatever you decide to make it.
While many concern themselves with how to act morally, millions of people suffer and die.
Part of being human is losing to irrational forces at times.
There are many ways to get ahead. But people who get ahead by fighting constantly have to watch out for attacks.
Tolerance for others must exist to have peace. Too much tolerance leads to a society where extremists and bullies dominate.
Character is useful once developed, but is often torture to go through.
Total security is an illusion. All people are vulnerable to forces outside of their immediate control.
There are many self-proclaimed wise men, but few offer anything more than simple positive thinking.
There are many self-proclaimed wise men, but few offer anything that really works.
The wisest person can learn much from an infant who knows almost nothing.
seen as spiritual by some may be seen as negative to any particular person.
We have free choice in how we choose to react to what the universe has to offer. We don’t have the ability to control all that happens in reality.
We can’t know how we’ll act in the future. We can act in the present and try to build a better future.
Help anyone you can, but also make sure you’re still eating.
Goodness can be found in humanity, but sometimes one must look quite close.
Only people who have exceptional abilities and a good marketing team are remembered.
Tons of people have almost no hope. Many people aren’t fortunate enough to live as well as you do.
Freedom often requires a bunch of pain that’s not what a free person would opt for.
Getting people to change is wise, because they were going to anyway. But they might not change the way you want them to.
Knowing about the suffering of another does nothing to actually solve it.
Intelligent people know when to move on from the past. Average people dwell on mistakes made too frequently and fools can’t even remember the past.
Nothing can stop a person of integrity except bullets.
Excel in something that few people do, but many people value.
Zero people figure out everything about the universe, but wise people discover enough to live well.
Being the best often means doing a lot of things that are quite difficult most of the time.
Creating a better situation can always be done, but creating a perfect situation may be impossible.
Limit the mind and the rest of the body will follow.
Mental powers can be demonstrated only through physical actions.
Stealing a better way of life is impossible. If one is going to improve, they have to develop the courage to do something significant by themselves.
You’re often less than what you should be because you’ve given even less effort than you planned to.
Limiting abilities makes no sense, but neither does spending most of your life to be good at something you don’t care about.
Question reality, but don’t expect to fully understand it.
Reality is bigger than many people realize, but might be smaller than your imagination.
Violence isn’t the best way of life, but it’s the second best right after non-violence.
Idiots fail and quit, geniuses conceal their failures and focus attention on their successes.
Wise up kid. Don’t listen to any adults, take responsibility for the mistakes you're going to make, and do everything you can to live a great life.
Intelligence rarely helps people save an entire planet.
Excel at something you love, or you’ll have to get by at something you hate.
You shouldn’t do most things that are offered to you. The world is a big place.
No one ever got to the moon just by wishing for it to be true.
Question all people who think you’re less than perfect. They may be right.
Fear in sports makes no sense if one realizes they’re just playing kids games.
Creating problems is easy. Solving them is nearly impossible.
Every person who says that they have a purpose in life may or may not be lying.
Too many people refuse to do anything of value with their lives, but complain anyway.
Unspoken agreements make the world what it is.
It’s logical for individuals to desire temporary power. Any humans who become powerful are highly likely to experience a better way of life for themselves and the people they care about.
Humans require a certain amount of power merely to be able to meet their survival needs. In this imperfect world, gaining individual power often comes at the expense of others being less powerful.
There are many ways to achieve power, but all people are eventually destined to lose their power.
Youths are full of energy but often have little idea what to devote their lives to. Old people are full of experiences, but may never achieve recognized success.
Zero people ever achieve dreams merely by dreaming. Dreams take great effort to become realities.
Determining who is best isn’t wise in a world with billions of people. There’s not enough time to interview everyone.
Effort given to make the world a better place is noble. Even noble experiments that are ultimately unsuccessful provide value for humanity.
Freeing oneself from worry is vital to living well. Like many of the challenges of life, it’s often much harder to practice than to preach.
Getting the best things in life depends on what one wants more than anything else. If one is willing to make mistakes, they can take chances until they have a life of great value.
Allow people to come into your life. If you don’t, you’ll be all alone.
Curing a disease is somewhere between difficult to impossible. Yet it has been done multiple times.
Disaster is looming for people who make poor choices. Potential to become great waits for all people who pursue what they love with great interest.
Figuring out what the meaning of life is can be frustrating. Just give up and live instead.
It’s better to take a chance and fail than to do things that you don’t care about and fail.
Pain isn’t all that there is in life, but it’s always a possibility.
Always be prepared for the worst, but be okay if it never comes.
Listen to other people, but always reach your own conclusions.
Potential happiness exists in many things, but definite happiness resides nowhere on Earth.
Doing what one loves best is a nice fantasy, but in reality, there’s always potential for pain.
Never give up on your dreams, unless they’re stupid and unrealistic in the first place.
Respect anyone who deserves it, but nobody who doesn’t.
Anyone can say they want to be happy, but few are willing to go through the amount of unhappiness needed to have it.
Accepting a great deal of uncertainty is the first step to begin developing courage.
Intelligence is the greatest gift we have left, even though it’s only used sparingly by our species.
Only a fool would bet against a sure thing, but there are no sure things in life.
Excellence comes at a high price, the price of a lot of time.
Illegal things happen all the time, and unless you think they’re wrong, you shouldn’t care.
Everyone who tries to tell you how to live probably just wants more people on their team due to their own insecurities.
tragedies in life as an excuse for failure or as a drive to succeed.
Worrying too much about the future is spending time concerned about events that may never occur.
Most young students think hard in school. But how often do they think hard about life?
Commit all your time to plans and you won’t be free, commit none and you’ll be lazy.
What most people view as important I see as a waste of time, and vice versa.
Being secure can be dangerous when one settles for less than their full potential.
Fail now so you may have a better chance to succeed later.
Expect the worst and your actual life may seem better in comparison.
Nobody on Earth has it easy all the time.
It's tough to change, especially rapidly.
Getting old is when you value sleep more than sex, nutrition more than taste, and saving money rather than spending money.
It’s amazing that one can know so little and survive, or one can know so much and barely get by.
Life might be what you make it, so make it what you like.
Maybe the quiet ones are the wisest among us.
Supposed non-conformists often follow the same "anti-standard" many other non-conformists buy into.
Some troubles mean nothing when bigger problems surface.
Any person with a conscience who claims they haven’t failed is completely delusional.
Losing efforts are still often better than refusing to play because you’re afraid.
Question all the places in the world that make no sense, like everywhere.
One can’t achieve greatness by studying alone. Action needs to be taken to achieve greatness.
Perfection is judged by each individual for themselves.
Creativity is never useful if one doesn’t have the courage to try to reach others with it.
people struggle just to maintain a lifestyle that they’re mostly unhappy with.
Find what you think is good in life and repeat as often as possible.
If you want to live well, work to better the lives of many people you don’t even know.
People who look to others for answers about themselves are misguided.
People who want to know what’s best usually have good intentions, but often fail to realize there’s not one obvious, correct answer. Each individual has to decide what “best” entails on their own.
Too often, people remain in the same situations repeatedly due their fear of being unable to provide for themselves if they change.
There are a lot of people who try hard to get to the top, but there’s only room at the top for one in billions.
Question anyone who maintains they have a happy life, see if they mean it, and steal from them like mad if they’re honest.
Having the courage to speak out is the first step to achieve greatness, but it is step one of a billion steps.
Settling for less than what one wants happens to nearly everyone at times.
Even when one feels inspired, they’re not likely to have every single thought they produce come out to be the greatest possible message.
If you don’t believe in anything, you can’t sell out.
If you ever think you understand the meaning of life, look up to the sky and realize you only see a tiny portion of reality.
Minds can be warped to do some terrible things.
Jail is for people who have the courage to stand up to unjust laws or for violently primal psychopaths.
Hate anything that makes no sense, except for life.
Like it or not, you’re the universe’s play toy.
There’s no guaranteed way to lead a safe life. Whether you jump off cliffs or bake brownies in the kitchen, there’s risk involved.
Be careful in life, but not so careful that you miss out on everything good. If you’re too careful, you’ll never get laid. If you take too many chances, you die.
Teachers often pretend to know answers when all they have is a made up answer key.
Determining what the best thing to do in life is like a blind man judging a beauty contest.
Intelligent people value every second they live. Average people enjoy the pleasant moments. Fools always worry about something.
Wise people admit they’re fools. Fools don’t even manage that.
Old people know many things young people can’t, but too often convey their knowledge in the most dull and repetitive ways possible.
Following the ways of others is necessary for a while, but once you know how to talk and take a dump in the right place, you should do everything possible to be your own person.
One can never have enough education, especially the type that has nothing to do with school.
In the short-term, you look like a fool if you try to do something important. In the long-term, you look like a fool if you never try to do something important.
Opinions are best left to people with no real answers.
Open your mind, but not so much that you give equal consideration to really stupid stuff.
Have the mind of a poet and a free spirit, but pay your bills.
Even in the midst of paradise, a person with the wrong attitude can be in pain.
There are few who believe they can be great, and even fewer who can prove they are.
Many individuals are somewhere in between being a nobody and a never was.
Don’t try to be remembered. You have no control over that. Aim to live well now.
Stealing from individuals is wrong. Stealing from a corporation depends on circumstances. Stealing from thieves is the only way to get your stuff back.
Excellence comes at the price of not being able to screw around all the time.
Losing hurts unless one is smart enough to bet against the team they own.
Healthy living is only meant for those with no other options.
Nothing can prepare you for most things in life. Almost every task requires improvisation.
Defeat the forces of evil from within before you preach at others.
Nothing can stop you from living your dream if your dream is petty.
Nobody achieves every goal they have, but most find ways to stay alive for a while.
The wisdom of the ages is still not enough to make everyone happy.
Follow passions, but never so much that you don’t live well as a result.
Great people never try to figure out a perfect way of life, merely a good one.
People who believe liars often turn into unintentional liars.
Nothing can make me change my mind, except for better evidence.
Fear is not the only emotion, but it seems to be all many people know.
Great people focus on the things that matter long enough to develop unique skills.
Excel whenever possible, but don’t expect to be the best at everything.
Add joy to the lives of friends before they become enemies.
Nothing can prevent potential illnesses, but proper medicine can prevent actual illnesses.
Nobody starts at the top, unless the top has little to offer in the first place.
Zero people should care about outlawing gay marriage as long as one person is starving.
Losers fail and quit. Winners have the courage to fail until they finally get something right.
Violence is only a good solution to deal with other violent people.
We’re free to choose the actions we take, but all actions have consequences.
The universe seems likely to exist forever in some form. How could everything be eliminated?
Too many people forget important things and remember trivial things.
The majority of people prefer when things are simply stated and simply understood.
Some brave people are more intrigued by the unknown than what we know.
Personal beliefs are often strange and illogical.
No matter how hard you try to do everything, you won’t succeed. No matter how hard you try to do nothing, you won’t succeed.
Unless living off parents' money, winning the lottery, or some other freak accident occurs, you’ll have to work very hard to be average, and much harder to be successful.
Our desire to do an abundance of things often keeps us from greatness in any one area.
There’s almost always someone doing better than you and almost always someone doing worse.
Finding an identity can be as easy as opening a wallet or as hard as struggling for life to find purpose.
Saying something clever is harder than saying something honest. But the people who can say something honest in a clever way are the best people to listen to.
If there’s anyone who can solve every problem of every person, I have yet to meet them.
Many people never develop self-respect, and they’re often used as cannon fodder by people with no more ability, but much more confidence.
Question all people who present disputable evidence as fact. There’s a chance they may be trying to recruit others with their warped agendas.
Freedom is had at a price. The price may be as cheap as paying taxes or as expensive as death.
Anticipating good things in life may make you an optimist, a hopeful realist, or a delusional pessimist.
Focus on what seems best in life, even if it seems rather stupid to others.
Unless one is insane, they should never look to their past to solve future problems.
Violence is a part of many games, but few worth playing.
Fear is inside virtually every person, but only the brave do what they want despite fears.
The ways to build an empire are nearly infinite, but all require a great deal of sacrifice.
In Chicago, bums with change cups and guys in 4 figure suits co-exist in relative peace.
Anyone who claims they’re above the problems of the common man is either a liar or intelligent.
Reaching the top can be as hard as climbing a massive mountain or as easy as starting your own path.
There’s an element of luck in many things, but an even larger element of willpower involved in all significant human achievements.
It’s possible to screw up at any time, which is a good reason to salute the few who seem to rarely do so.
Opinions are rarely worth dying for. But if the right to have an opinion is under attack, we’re all going to be forced to be yes men or fighters.
Forgive the people who deserve it, but never excuse the people who torment unjustly.
Try to be a person of great value, but not perfect.
Odd things happen all the time on a planet that’s frequently quite predictable.
All living beings change reality just a little bit, forever.
Be an advocate for positive change, because change is going to happen anyway. We might as well make it positive change.
Ideas may never reach others, or they may resonate with billions of people for centuries.
The shame of life is that it’s impossible to know how things will turn out until after they’re over.
Learn by questioning, studying, and taking action in the real world.
The mission of life is to live well in spite of the serious problems we face.
Humans have to overcome major obstacles just to survive.
Have a vision for the future, or be swallowed whole in a world full of people who are easily forgotten.
The best people don’t always have the best ideas, but they do more often than fools.
There are nearly endless options in the world. Many people are confused about what they should do.
Harsh realities often force people to do certain things they hate just to survive.
We can’t know for certain what types of experiences we’ll enjoy until we try them in reality. There isn’t enough time to come close to having all the types of possible pleasurable experiences.
When one realizes they made errors in judgment or have become tired of one particular way of life, they’re free to change if they can summon the courage to do so.
If one wants to live well, one should never stop learning. Since life contains such a great deal of uncertainty, the individuals who reduce uncertainty more than others tend to live well.
In a changing reality, new facts are always becoming instantly relevant. Old facts should be discarded in favor of new, more accurate information.
Pleading for special treatment makes sense, but expecting it doesn’t.
Living well is a subjective formula, based on the past mistakes one makes.
There are gaps when people train themselves, but there are gaps when people only have formal lessons.
Many people try to make safe choices because they’d rather have comfort than triumph.
There’s a difference between pushing the self to be better and pushing the self to death.
Leaving a legacy is good, but too many people leave a trail of monotony and indifference.
Live freely, but be devoted to serving others. It tends to look bad when you don’t.
Skills are often tricky to learn, but life is much trickier without skills.
The most powerful people have little in common, except that they scare others into obeying orders.
Equality is a myth. People are born with different abilities, raised with different opportunities, and build skills according to their individual efforts.
Nobody lives forever, but that’s not a good reason to spend all the money you have right now.
There are many people who grow tired of being so insignificant, but few of them ever make efforts to do anything other than the bare minimum required to get by.
If you want to help others, go someplace where people are afraid, uncertain, struggling, and lonely. That’s every inhabited place on Earth.
No one is guaranteed victory, but many people are virtually guaranteed to lose.
Ignoring humanity is a terrible long-term plan, but there are advantages to ignoring humanity at times.
Taking chances is vital to living well, but so is persistent effort towards building skills at specific endeavors others value.
There’s no way to prove what’s best in life, but there are plenty of ways to experience awe and wonder.
Going broke is nothing compared to death. Broke people have a chance to make things better later.
Because reality is often disappointing and far beyond our understanding, it may be wise to settle for a life where one has a decent standard of living.
Understanding a culture is impossible. It’s only possible to understand small pieces of a culture.
Names that are spoken by many now are likely to be forgotten in 100 years.
Be bothered by injustice and find ways to reduce it.
The universe has more options than we can see, but most humans still end up doing mundane things to please leaders to make sure they have enough to eat.
People who believe they change the world usually fail to change their own families.
People who believe they change the world usually neglect to mention just how little of it they change.
People who believe they change the world are sometimes as gleefully oblivious to reality as school children, the mentally ill or brainwashed cult members.
Live for others so you can occasionally have pleasures for the self.
Ignore people who tell you that you’re doing wrong, unless you realize they’re right.
Needs of the many don’t come before the needs of the individual for anyone who wants to live.
In a world where the strong win, perhaps true compassion is gaining strength.
Any adult should be able to have consensual sex with any other adult without fear of punishment.
Any person should be free to indulge in any drug, but accept the consequences of what the drugs do.
Individuals should question the validity of the information they receive from the media.
Many people never find ways to be more productive because many people don’t want to.
Everyone gets bruises. How one heals from wounds determines their quality of life.
Zero people can prove they’re best at everything. There isn’t enough time to do so.
Never give up hope, unless hope destroys your preferred cynicism.
Life isn’t fair, but at least you’re breathing.
People offer less than perfect advice.
The greats from a former era can inspire, but one has to focus on the present to live well.
What could’ve been bothers every person if they let it. Most people struggle to cope with what they have compared to what they want.
When the biggest star in the world dies, people remember. But they have their own lives to live.
Individuals who try to prevent dreams are rare, but the collective efforts of humanity nearly always do.
Many people have good intentions but choose the wrong path in life.
There’s no universal solution that solves the problems of collective humanity. Even with all our wonders, our achievements, and our hopes, many suffer.
Youths are often taught enough to take care of menial tasks, but not enough competence to run the world.
Until one makes mistakes that are necessary to gain skills, they continue to be subservient to aggressive jerks who take advantage of others.
There’s no need to take advantage of people, but there’s a need to make a living. For many people that happens to involve taking advantage of others.
Reason alone might fail to provide personal values that make one want to stay alive. Decisions on how to live can be made according to subjective tastes and beliefs.
There are no definite criteria to explain precisely what qualifies as “spiritual.”
All people who choose to stay alive do so for irrational personal reasons. Those who choose to stay alive believe that, despite pain, there are positive reasons to live.
The only rational reasons to stay alive: to experience pleasure and help others to do so too. How to best have pleasure and help others to do so too is a mystery.
Individuals may base their ideas of what unseen places look like based on false information from others.
A “normal’ lifestyle doesn’t actually exist; it’s just a state of mind. Many people create this state of mind to feel safe and secure in a world that’s often confusing and chaotic.
The best things I’ve done in my life have been mostly forgotten. The worst things I’ve done have too, but those who know you bring up the worst parts more often.
To succeed, it’s vital to stand out above others, but not enough to be killed.
One probably doesn’t love anything they’re unwilling to risk time and resources for.
It’s quite hard to create easy living.
You don’t have to act any certain way just because some book tells you to.
Instead of getting honest and accurate information, many people would rather fit in, put up with enough pain to earn a pay check, and be able to watch TV during their off hours.
Giving to others is great when done properly. If a person literally gave away everything they had they’d defeat their future ability to give and their future ability to live.
Polite people aren’t always genuine. Genuine people aren’t always polite.
Reality is larger than we can individually taste, touch, see, hear, or smell. Because of this, many people form inaccurate beliefs that they use to explain reality.
In an unstable world, fighting to survive may be a necessity.
Whether one decides to trust magic or evidence is a matter of personal preference.
Common people are commonly forgotten.
There’s no way to know for certain how the future will turn out. But there are plenty of reasons to believe that the best things in life tend to go to those who make the best efforts to achieve them.
There’s never a shortage of amazing events or terrible tragedies happening on Earth.
Wars, starvation, famine, illness, and death are constant events on Earth. While your life may be less than glamorous, it’s unlikely that you typically experience anything close to the worst the planet offers.
It’s easy to lose sight of the beauty in the world due to personal and societal problems.
People who live well are constantly re-inventing and meeting new challenges in a changing world.
Question everything, but find ways to be happy while still being uncertain about many things.
People who mean the most to us should be celebrated as often as possible. People who mean little to us should be thought of as little as possible.
Aiming for absolute perfection can drive anyone to the brink of madness.
One of the oddest reasons people give for not getting what they want is “I don’t have the time.” Everyone has the same amount of time per day!
Maintain a happy emotional state as often as possible while dealing with the practical realities of life.
People who willingly choose to ignore facts are still going to be bombarded by them eventually.
Anyone who has courage uses their time to fight instead of complaining. There’s never an end to the amount of good one can attempt to make in the world.
Laugh about the mistakes of the past, but correct mistakes with a serious face in the present.
We choose how to react to what the universe offers. We don’t control all that happens in reality.
Youth is the perfect time to make a ton of mistakes that you’ll regret later.
If facts are what we personally experience, everyone knows little about almost everything.
Some ideas are better than others.
CHAPTER 4 BRIEF THOUGHTS
Helping anyone is a struggle. If people want to change, it may be worth the effort to offer help. If people have no desire to change, it’s a waste of time for everyone involved.
Intelligent people have made some of the largest mistakes in history. But they’ve been able to use their mental capabilities to have the courage to continue living well, despite failure. Not so for the idiots.
Sometimes we’re happy with small things, bored with great things, tired of all our things, engaged with trivial things, ignorant of important things, content with the wrong things, and concerned about nothing.
Some people strive to do many things in life. Others strive to do as little as possible. Is it worse to have many dreams and fail to accomplish them, or to have no dreams at all?
There are many wonderful things and many tragedies taking place in the universe at any given moment. Somewhere on Earth, it’s highly likely that someone is experiencing the birth of a new child right now. It’s almost guaranteed that someone is dying right now.
Coping with the unknown is one of life’s largest challenges. How do people best deal with facing so much that’s uncertain? Many attempt to eliminate unpredictability. Many find ways to effectively deal with their fears.
Individual experiences are far too limited. Many adults have had numerous chances to experience many options. Even those who’ve grown up wealthy, educated, and healthy have missed out on many events. More options are available now than ever before. Choices must be made about how to best spend limited time.
How does anyone best experience pleasure? They can indulge in many activities to find it, but ultimately each person has to find pleasure individually. One can have a lifestyle that’s considered wonderful by billions, but it still may not provide satisfaction for the one living it. One may live a lifestyle that most would find dreadful, but it’s still possible for that individual to find satisfaction.
It’s easy to lose sight of the beauty in the world when we get caught up in problems. Sure, millions of people went to bed at the end of the day hungry. That’s awful. No compassionate person would think otherwise. But does the hunger of millions distract from the beauty of a clear and starry night, a brilliant piece of music, or laughter?
Factors that can’t be predicted change perceptions of reality. Sometimes people develop more insight as time goes on. Certain events never make rational sense, even if they’re deliberated over for a lifetime.
Many legends viewed themselves as failures. Few people ever believe they accomplish what their heroes did. Some people who achieve financial success still lead depressing lives.
A psychic prediction can only be considered accurate if vague answers are accepted. A prediction like, “You are thinking about reality and dreams.” means nothing. This could apply to any situation. Anyone who claims to have psychic powers can be debunked by a mature thinker.
Fear is somewhat natural in the presence of the unknown, but can be negative when it’s focused on more than living well. Overcoming fears is essential to be able to enjoy the present and the future. Systems that heavily depend on fear to get people to comply with orders often result in brutality.
Treat people like individuals, not the labels they come with. People in various groups don’t always manage to act the same way. Christians aren’t all like Mother Theresa or like Jimmy Swaggart. George Bush and Vanilla Ice don’t necessarily have a ton in common because they’re both white. Some kid who just graduated with a psych degree isn’t the same as Freud. Individuals are all different.
Discovering the exact reasons why one wants what they do can be pointless. Life should be experienced and reflected on simultaneously. The truth is that we’re making up life as we go along. Excessive dwelling on options doesn’t make sense. Time is too precious to spend it mulling over minute details of what may be true. It’s more important to try to live well.
How does one best give back to the world? Answers vary. No guaranteed formula for success exists. Even if one does almost everything right, they still might fail to achieve their goals.
Preparing for loss is beneficial. It can also cause one to be overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, guilt, and depression. There’s nothing wrong with preparing for tough spots in life. The death of loved ones, job loss, and economic hardships happen to most. It’s unwise to focus so much on potential loss that one never appreciates what they have.
How can one choose their own way of life? Is it inevitable that one must follow the paths others have set? Life demands that one must use their time wisely or live in regret. Too many people live in fear and postpone doing what they feel might be most valuable. Action must be taken as soon as possible to get the most out of life.
How should one deal with conflict? Fight when it seems necessary. Remain peaceful whenever possible.
To be successful, one must take calculated risks. Gaining confidence is important to become great at most pursuits. Improvements can be made gradually when doubts are present.
Almost nothing can be done to convince anyone who already has their mind made up. Arguments and logical evidence usually can’t stop a faithful believer. All one can do is hope that moderate people can be persuaded to embrace better ideas.
Cultures teach values to individuals. Adults choose how to react to what they’ve been taught. There are many reasons to challenge and question cultural values. Those who conform to the values of their culture blindly are the easiest ones to screw over and send to die in a pointless war.
Love is a tricky subject. It can’t be fully understood scientifically. Chemicals that can be studied scientifically can be proven to provide humans with a positive physical experience. How to best experience love is subjective. Different people claim to love different things. Individuals fall in and out of love. There’s no proven method that works to guarantee love for all people in all places. The physical euphoria that many individuals claim to have when experiencing love is ultimately subjective.
Too many people question things too little. But too many people who question things never achieve meaningful answers. Is it better to lose curiosity and remain completely clueless, or to have insatiable curiosity that can never be satisfied?
Coping with loss is hard. In the end, everyone ultimately loses everything. So it’s best to embrace the present moment for all it’s worth.
Judging others is sometimes wise and sometimes foolish. If one refuses to judge someone who rapes, they excuse the behaviors of a rapist. If one judges someone for a non-crime like having private consensual sexual relations with another adult, they’re foolish.
Loving the worst people of the world can be tough to do. It’s hard to love the people who’ve committed the most wrong to humanity. Perhaps that’s why we fry them.
Nobody can prove that there’s a specific way of life that’s inherently better than any other. Even people with a lot of money and power don’t always have things better. Wealthy people still have to put up with pain, illnesses, pseudo-friends, and death.
Potential to do good exists in every person. Potential to do evil exists in every human being. Actions determine which is actually experienced by individuals.
Question everything, but not to the point that one can’t make healthy decisions. There are reasons to believe we’re being lied to by the government, the media, and the people we know. But there’s no reason to let lies stop us from trying to live the way we want to.
Collectively and individually, we’re all experimenting with how to best live in a reality that’s largely uncertain. Solidarity and strength can help reduce human troubles. But in a world where all people have the potential to experience pain, become ill, and die there are constant serious troubles humanity faces.
Virtual reality may be better than actual reality. If one is able to design their surroundings, it may bring many benefits. Temporarily living in a world without violence would be lovely.
Killing for the first time leads to horrible guilt. Killing for the 101st time is business as usual. People often become desensitized to even the most horrible things.
Lying to a loved one isn’t wise. Lying to a neighbor depends on circumstances. Lying to an enemy is standard issue.
Many people never experience what they should in life. A few are able to meet expectations. Even fewer exceed them.
Nothing ever changes? These are the words of a fool. Everything eventually changes. It’s merely a matter of how long change takes.
Jail sentences are too long for drug dealers and not long enough for adults who rape young children. We condemn those who get us high and forgive those who scar innocent children for life. We have messed up priorities. People who do drugs aren’t inherently hurting anyone other than themselves. People who rape children should be shot.
Vivid imaginations help kids get through school, young adults get through drudgery of mindless grunt work, middle aged adults through fear, fifty-something’s through disappointment, and senior citizens land into a care center for it.
Symbolism is usually a bunch of crap. If you have something to say, just say it. Don't hide behind fiction. Say what you want to.
Who benefits from the exploitation of others? Almost everyone does. Bankers, financiers, lawyers, politicians, and religious hucksters just do it better than others.
Religion, politics, and finance: the real unholy trinity. Religion lies to people by giving them false hope about an invisible man. Politics lies to people by giving them false hope in visible men. Finance lies to people by giving them hope in something they can touch but never get enough of.
Why do many people spend so much time doing things they don’t like? So they can have a better long-term standard of living. Many people go through proverbial hell to get to their version of heaven.
Youths are often physically fit, but rarely sound of mind. Young men are full of passion, but rarely practicality. Old men have wisdom, but are often too bitter to use it.
Youths have much potential and rarely realize it. Young adults have much potential, yet so often piss it away to impress others. Older adults have much potential, but have failed so many times they too often refuse to believe in themselves any longer. Elderly people have much potential, but rarely believe it.
Young people have gifts that they take for granted. But how could they know they have these gifts without the knowledge of experience? Old people take gifts for granted too. But with all the failure they’ve experienced in life, how could they avoid being jaded?
Anyone who tries to convince you to join their group may have ulterior motives. Or they may have good intentions. That’s why you need to examine claims by yourself.
Nothing can stop a determined person. Except for forces they can’t control. And nature. And other people. And death.
Potential problems exist everywhere. So do potential ways to improve. One must pick their battles wisely, and attempt to focus their efforts on what’s best.
Question potentially corrupt authorities, like every authority figure. Few are noble, and even fewer have a grand lifestyle without taking advantage of others. They’re the ones who have the most power to act unjustly. They’re the ones who commit the greatest atrocities.
Stealing is wrong. Far too often, powerful people steal from the disadvantaged. But until disadvantaged people have the courage to stand up to the powerful, they face persecution.
Many people have intelligence. A few people develop courage. But it’s rare to find an intelligent and courageous person.
Why not take more chances? Why not focus efforts into doing what seems better than anything else? Why not be honest and say what matters more than anything else?
People aren’t always honest because telling the truth can result in failure and pain. People are unsure about what’s best. Many people don’t believe they can do what’s best in life. Courage can lead to pain, imprisonment, torture, and death.
Excellence is expensive. Struggling to make it to the top of any game requires great focus, patience, and labor. Too many people refuse to even begin making efforts to become an excellent person.
Human behavior is often mysterious. It’s unfortunate that painful mental illnesses take their toll on so many people. Until humanity discovers more information about the scientific truths of brain processes, there will continue to be anguish for far too many people living today.
Tons of people have gifts. Few people know how to best use their gifts. Even fewer ever come close to realizing their potential.
Too many people try too hard to do things that matter little. Many people want to live better, but are afraid to try to do so. It isn’t possible to know for certain how to live the best life.
The most intelligent people are only able to describe an extremely tiny portion of one temporary area of all of existence at one specific time. This is a pretty minor achievement when the total of all that exists is taken into account.
Even those with an incredible amount of talent must choose to focus their energy on performing a specific skill over all other pursuits in life, or their brilliance will go unused. Depending on what the ability they possess happens to be, this could be a great loss for humanity or no big deal.
Tough people put up with hard situations to get what they value most. Weak people give up easily. The weakest people never even try.
Current youth rebellion is minimal. Sure, some kids do drugs, but not to prove anything to anyone. They just want to get high. American youths have mostly abandoned fighting for social or political change.
Most of today’s kids agree to sell out before they even hit puberty. Maybe they’re smart. They’ll have it easier in life. They’ll have 401 K’s and package vacations.
Achieving something great often requires sacrifice. Perhaps it will be the sacrifice of enjoyment of life, dignity, morals, ethics, or integrity. Or it may just be sacrificing sitting on your butt.
No matter what efforts we put forward now, it’s likely that someone in the future will do better. Strive to make a mark, but know that it’s almost assuredly going to be in pencil that can be erased.
Greed is natural. Being giving requires seeing a larger picture than the self. There are times when greedy people succeed more than givers, but givers tend to achieve the most value in the end.
Potential exists nearly everywhere. There are more options than one can ever realize. But getting something productive done in a specific pursuit destroys nearly all other options for the individual.
Stealing is wrong at times, but understandable in some situations. Is it wrong to take something back from someone who stole it from your family? What is the statute of limitations? What if it has been hundreds of years? What if people have continuously profited by exploitation?
Those who plan to be great are much more likely to meet their goals. Those who do nothing but plan contemplate forever, but never see the wondrous results of what taking chances could be.
Some people convince themselves that they’re living in a “normal” manner. There’s no such thing. Every person lives uniquely.
The mind is susceptible to the influence of biological limitations. Few choose to be mentally ill. Nobody chooses to be mentally retarded. It doesn’t make sense to choose negative emotions, yet so many seem to live unhappy lives. Overcoming misery takes time and patience. There may be no methods that work for all people.
It’s best to look at things rationally as much as possible. Rationalism alone doesn’t inherently provide specific goals or values. No system of thought does inherently. Each individual interprets what they believe is best and makes choices.
If it doesn’t seem like it can ever be done, stop doing it. If it can’t be done because of uncertainty, get over yourself and work to get it done. If it can’t be done because you don’t care, stop doing it. If it can’t be done unless you compromise, decide whether it’s worth doing.
People find ways to be joyful despite having knowledge of the terribly tragic problems of others in life. Is this right? It probably depends on the specific circumstances of the situation.
In certain times and places, physically ill people on the brink of death were left behind by the rest of the tribe. In other times, people have spent millions of dollars attempting to extend the lifespan of a loved one against tremendous odds.
It’s possible that too many people wait far too long to get started with living the type of life they dream about. Perhaps they aim too high without being willing to put in the work and the sacrifice to get moving on the projects they desire the most. It’s easy to become distracted by more immediate issues such as paying bills or making sure kids can eat.
The past can teach many valuable lessons. Since the universe is constantly changing, the past can’t be recreated. It can be imitated, but not returned to. One could spend their entire life trying to gain understanding of the universe and come nowhere even remotely close.
It could be argued that those who fear the unknown fear life itself. Reasonable people aren’t overly concerned with absolute certainty when making decisions. Unfamiliar situations may threaten basic safety. But it’s impossible to avoid change and uncertainty.
Even if one always strives to do what is best, they often experience tremendous pain. If one focuses on another point in time, they’re doing so in their present moment. If one has proper perspective, the present moment is eternal since it is the only moment that will ever be as long as anyone lives.
Potential worries exist for all people. Having the strength to confront fears honestly can help to reduce them. Too many people live in fear of things that never happen.
What joy can come from hurting others? Do people value temporary status and possessions more than their living brothers and sisters? It seems as if most of the world does.
It requires painful failure to do anything great in life. It requires painful failure to be able to do almost anything that isn’t great too. As long as you’re going to experience a great deal of painful failure, might as well aim to do what you might actually enjoy.
Even though pain hurts tremendously in the moment, perhaps it serves a long-term purpose. Maybe pain must be present for us to experience joy. How can one be joyous without a standard to compare it to that isn’t pleasurable?
How does one live and act how they want to? There’s no guaranteed method that works for every single person. Each person views life from a different perspective. Each person has different specific goals.
Since values are personal and based on unique experiences, each person is likely to have different specific dreams. Yet many people are able to see beauty in similar parts of life.
It’s difficult to see a single moment when a plant is growing, a child physically matures into an adolescent, or a season turns into another. Gradual events add up to giant changes in the lives of individuals. Pinpointing an exact moment when one can see change is quite difficult.
Hurting people isn’t good, unless you’re hurting the people who severely harm innocent people. They need to be stopped so they won’t destroy others. The trouble is that it’s often hard to tell who’s initiating the harm.
The best people don’t always get the best results. A lot of people hate the best people. Sometimes so much that they’re filled with bullets.
How can one have pleasure? They can indulge in many activities to find it, but each person has to find pleasure individually. One can have a lifestyle that’s considered wonderful by billions, but it still may not provide satisfaction for the one living it. One may live a lifestyle that most people would find dreadful, but it’s still possible for that individual to find satisfaction in the way they live.
Every person who succeeds depends on the contributions of many other people who will probably never get recognized. Check out the credits at the end of a movie. Realize how many people you don’t know.
Anyone who acts with courage and conviction is likely to be able to live a better quality of life than they already have. Anyone who gives up trying to be a good person is probably going to drain the resources of others, and may be a dangerous person to associate with.
Many people have difficulty believing their dreams could manifest in reality. Any step in evolution takes place because someone dared to do something differently until they found success. Those who dare to dream may change the world.
Anyone who tries to tell you that they can prove their tastes are superior is a fool. Even if they provide an argument, they’re not capable of having experienced all that life has to offer. Each person chooses the best from the limited amount of experiences they’ve had.
Treating others with dignity and respect is appropriate. When one treats others with more respect than they have for themselves, they develop feelings of inferiority. If one feels they have less value than others it can prevent healthy relationships.
How can social anxiety be overcome? It requires conscious efforts to change. Taking risks is important to transforming into a more socially aware individual. Accepting gradual improvements is vital.
Total knowledge of reality is a noble goal. It is not a realistic pursuit. Focusing on every bit of wisdom from human history is impossible. One can spend years studying without getting to fully experience the richness of life.
Realizing just about anything could happen in the future is liberating and frightening. Limited time places a lot of pressure on individuals to complete important tasks as soon as possible.
How free are people who struggle to meet their survival needs? How free are people who are constantly competing with others for limited resources? How free are people who submit to corrupt authorities? Undesired submission is a large part of life for many people.
Nothing can be done to change the past. Anything can be done to change the present. Which one is more sensible to dwell on?
Underdogs rise to the top only on rare occasions. That’s what makes it so much fun to root for those who aren’t expected to be winners. Few people understand the trials of a reigning champion. Almost everyone can sympathize with an underdog expected to lose.
Variety is a spice of life that’s usually highly enjoyable. Even if one doesn’t take to a particular spice, they experience a greater knowledge of a new part of life. Have the courage to step out and try new things from time to time. Unknown pleasure may be waiting.
Sometimes perfection is required. Imagine if people building a bridge thought “good enough” was fine for their project. They’d kill people.
Nothing can be done to save everyone. Few can save anyone else. For most, it’s a struggle just to save themselves.
Question all people who claim to know what you should be doing with your life. They’re almost always wrong. They’re generally hucksters, bullies, frauds, and people who rule by preying on others fears.
Beliefs people have are often odd and illogical. Every person probably has some odd beliefs. It’s hard to avoid in a world that’s often confusing and uncertain.
Why chase a dream? Dreams are often just fantasies. If one wants to achieve a goal, they probably have to work hard for a long time without knowing whether they’ll succeed or not.
Young people have potential, but are often lost about what to do with it. Middle age people know they aren’t sure what their life meant. Old people know they’ve made mistakes, but have lasted long enough to complain about all that has changed for the worse.
Desire to have wealth, status, and success are common motivators. Wealth provides the freedom to do what’s most desired. Status earns the respect of others. Success often leads to being able to do what one loves.
People still actively persecute gays. Who’s threatened by a man who consensually inserts his penis into another man? Few people raise their hands when that question is asked.
It isn’t strictly with knowledge that one learns how to do what they love in life. There must be some identification with personal emotions. If one refuses to do so, they fail to find passion.
Thoughts are powerful. They influence actions to a heavy degree. Thoughts alone don’t determine actions. Almost everyone is able to envision a world with slightly different options. Imagination isn’t the same as creation. To make personal visions a reality, one must commit to taking deliberate actions.
Mothers and fathers create life, DNA structure, and often raise their kids. Parents raise children in the midst of a larger culture. Cultures establish language development, identity of self in relation to others, and incorporate children into a larger reality outside of the home.
The world is still full of people who face violent conflict every day. Millions struggle to have enough to eat. Thousands of people in the wealthiest nations in the history of humanity remain homeless. Basic survival goals may be a lifelong challenge for some.
Only people who give up on dreams know what it’s like to live for something that’s unimportant. Only people who dare to dream ever advance the species. Only people who persist through tough times ever achieve something significant for humanity.
The people who care the most are the ones who keep trying in spite of numerous failures. The people who are average tolerate failure necessary to get by, and spend as much of their free time as possible in leisure. The people who are below average never make up their minds consciously about what they should do. They just go along with whatever cultural program seems convenient.
People who suffer usually start out struggling and never overcome their obstacles. Some people experience misfortunes that are beyond their control. Other people screw things up, and get what they deserve.
Fundamentalist movements are bound for destruction. They’re too far steeped in guilt. Nobody makes the grade when standards are too high.
Fools say “People never change.” They may rarely change to be the way you want them to be. But the only thing you can rely on people to do is change. Even pricks who try not to get older go through stages of life and eventually die. The only thing all people do is change.
Positive change is a different story all together. It’s hard to create positive change. It’s even harder to plant seeds of change in others. Nobody has even come close to achieving significant positive change for every single human being.
There are times when it’s hard to know what actions are least painful to take. Would it hurt a poor, sickly child to take them to a wealthier home, away from their impoverished family that they still loved? What if the child would rather “suffer” and be with the people they’re familiar with? Life isn’t simple, and definite answers about how humans should act are rare.
Getting older can’t be prevented. Age is a calculation of the amount of time an individual has been alive. Many believe there are certain behaviors one must live by based on this calculation. An alternative is to adopt a mindset that this calculated time has little bearing on the way one should live.
Most people believe in their own imagined reality about most things, most of the time. This includes imagining what most of the universe is like, what most people do, and what’s true. Nobody has seen the contents of the entire world. Think about how little most people you know have traveled, how little of the world they’ve seen.
How do people become resigned to nearly completely giving up on others? There’s plenty of evidence to prove the depravity of humanity. There’s even more to support the idea that humans can achieve when working together towards common goals.
It’s been said that people ultimately get the life they deserve. While this is true in many cases, there are quite noticeable exceptions in nearly all lives. People get sick, lose loved ones, break bones, get into traffic accidents, get lost, fail, and even die due to random forces outside of their control. Who doesn’t feel they had some setbacks that they didn’t deserve at times?
Some realize that they actually get more than what they deserve. Quality of life is heavily dictated by what one attempts to accomplish. Every person is vulnerable to bouts of luck and despair outside of their planning.
The perception of nobody caring is ridiculous. People care about lots of things. They may not always be focused on caring about the noblest topics. But anybody who intentionally fights to survive cares about something.
Many people are quite self-centered. Isn’t that logical? In a world where everything else can leave, change, or die, the only constant many have is the self.
Some people would rather see the world go to hell before they’d give up any of their comforts. Are the problems of the world too great? Or is the resolve of people to contribute to solving problems too weak? It’s probable that with most problems, both are true.
There are times when one should fight to get a goal as if it’s a fight for life and death itself. In extreme cases it may be. There are other times when pursuing a goal becomes trivial in light of new evidence discovered. Would someone benefit from committing to believing in a religion they were raised in after discovering it’s false? It’s perfectly fine to allow goals to change.
Time spent involved in an activity is likely to determine aptitude. The harder one tries to attain ability, the higher the odds of achieving success in that given area are. But there are exceptions.
Commonly accepted beliefs may create false beliefs. The mythology of religions may go undisputed in certain circles. But religions are often thought of as non-sense to those outside of the club. A man dressed in a suit isn’t necessarily wealthier, more successful, or a better employee than another guy who is wearing street clothes. Business people are taught that dressing for success makes one a success. This doesn’t make it an inherent truth.
Problems come when people establish beliefs that bring direct harm to others. A lack of critical thinking leads to isolating minority populations outside of commonly accepted norms. It’s atrocious when people are harmed just because they don’t believe what the majority do. All who live in lands that protect minority rights benefit, since a simple cultural shift could make anyone a minority.
Nothing great ever happens by complete accident. Nothing great ever happens exactly as planned. Veering away from plans is often a good idea because there are too many unpredictable things that happen. It’s unwise to pretend that humans can precisely control everything in an orderly fashion.
Stupidity can be even worse than anger. An angry man seeks vengeance. A stupid man can’t even get angry enough to seek vengeance.
Ultraconservative views lead to danger. There’s no way one can completely preserve the past. It’s unwise to refuse to allow potential progress to move things forward.
Intelligent people know that perfect is the enemy of the good. It can never be proven that one leads a perfect life. It’s possible to lead a good life.
No person is guaranteed to make every individual happy. No place will lead to definite bliss at all times. Nothing can definitely bring joy to all.
Respect all who question things, and none who provide false answers. Show respect to those who develop new ideas and the evidence to prove they’re true. Show contempt for people who exploit others with the same ridiculous lies over and over again.
Tons of things can be done to help the world. The difficulty doesn’t come from seeing problems. The tough part is finding out which problems one can actually contribute to solving in a competent manner.
Making logical decisions is wise. The world has nearly infinite possibilities. It can be quite difficult to determine exactly how one can best use their time. Some find what motivates them more than anything else at a young age. For many more people, their motivation changes several times throughout life.
Even if one has specific goals, it’s likely that individuals must learn how to be flexible when unexpected circumstances arise. Clear thinking allows individuals to keep idealistic hopes alive. When one thinks clearly, they’re able to make their best decisions.
There’s no certain way to live the best life. There isn’t enough time to even begin testing appropriately. Every person makes decisions with limited knowledge and limited abilities.
Babies are innovators. They do things that are unique to the time and place they exist in. But few adults ever remember they can be unique no matter what they choose to be. Too many end up being unsatisfied because they don’t do things that are seen as amazing to others. They live a shell of the life they feel they’re capable of living. They settle for conformity, simple pleasures, and monotonous joys instead of living well.
Imagination is simultaneously one of the greatest blessings and one of the biggest curses. Humans display the ability to envision realities that don’t actually exist. This doesn’t stop until death. Nearly all people can imagine a potentially better world. Who doesn’t dream of being the best at times? Picturing a world without famine, physical pain, death, starvation, and misery is possible for many. But eliminating any of these in reality is difficult, if not impossible.
There’s no universal method that can make each person a productive and satisfied member of society. Each individual has to attempt to figure out an irrational world as rationally as possible. Even the efforts to live well may result in complete failures along the way. There’s no method that guarantees people can live well.
Individuals can do great things. Sometimes they’re fortunate to be given natural gifts without any special effort on their own. But nearly all people who do something amazing achieve because they make deliberate efforts to do so.
You don’t need to know any more before you try to live well. You’ll never stop learning as long as you’re alive. But unless you find the ability to act with courage, you’ll never live the way you want to.
If there’s a good reason to stay alive, live for it. If one is uncertain if there’s a good reason to stay alive, keep searching. If one doesn’t want to live, they don’t have to.
Anyone who’s able to make better sense out of what has come before must do so in the present. Anyone who wants to build a better way of life for the future must do so in the present. To live well, it’s vital for people to take significant action in the present while they still can.
The people who bother to make efforts to live well at least have chances to do things that haven’t been done before. As individuals, we may only be able to make the tiniest mark in history. But as a species, we have a greater chance than any other generation in human history to do something important.
Intelligent humans know in the short-term they have total freedom to do whatever they want. They know that to live well in the long-term they’re likely to have to commit a great deal of time to things they don’t enjoy. They know that in the end, they’re completely screwed.
Studying is important. But studying alone is never going to lead to greatness. Imitating is important. But imitating alone is never going to lead to greatness. Greatness is found by people who have the courage to become as close to what they want as they can.
Continue to learn, but take significant action while learning. Action can help countless others. Until one couples learning with significant actions, they’re just learning for their own amusement.
Some people are born into wealthy families and have good health for 80 years. Other people are born with disabilities into poverty. Many people fail to achieve the reality they want. Some people acquire a great amount of things, but still lead unpleasant lives.
The universe doesn’t offer the same opportunities to everyone. Individuals can be determined to achieve a specific goal, work hard for years, and still fail to have the success they want. While individuals can choose to pursue what they want, humans aren’t able to fully control the universe.
Physical and emotional pain can be experienced by nearly everyone at any given moment. The universe appears to be indifferent to human affairs. There’s nothing wrong with chasing dreams. It may be what makes life worth living. But pursuing dreams in reality makes them a lot more likely to happen.
Too much power can lead to corruption. Not having enough power leads to death. Maybe it makes sense that most people want to be part of the forgotten herd.
Rational people know we live in world where individual humans and collective humanity have achieved many remarkable achievements. Rational human beings also know we live in a world where individuals and collective humanity have committed terrible atrocities. Just like every other time in human history, we live in an age where the sooner we get to creating improvements in the world, the better life will be for individuals and collective humanity.
Humans live best when they’re interdependent. Dependency leads to certain individuals taking away from the quality of life from others. Building skills leads to personal empowerment. Relevant skills help others live in better conditions. People who enslave others have personal power, but at the expense of the quality of life for others.
The wisdom that temporary people provide merely applies to the era they live in. Good advice from 2000 years ago isn’t always good advice for today. Good advice for today might not even be good in five years, yet alone 5000 years.
Times change and so do individuals. People who live in a different era are going to view reality from different perspectives. If humanity progresses in the future, some of the current concerns much of the world has with money, war, illness, negative belief systems, and death could be irrelevant. If humanity regresses, some of the concerns such as good music, education, and sports may not exist while life is a constant struggle for mere survival.
There are many beautiful parts of the world and many parts that are less than inspiring. Each person is free to select what inspires them and what depresses them. But there are reasons why most people are inspired by a tropical beach and few are impressed with a landfill.
How do people become resigned to nearly completely giving up on others? There’s plenty of evidence to support terrible things happening frequently. Even more evidence supports the tendency towards gradual improvements made with great efforts.
We can’t see the total of the universe at any moment in the present. No matter where we are or what we do, we view a minuscule portion of all that exists in the entirety of reality. Whether looking at an apartment wall or the Grand Canyon, it’s a tiny slice of life that we experience.
Love is irrational. Love can’t be understood by science. Anyone who chooses to stay alive for love does so for irrational reasons.
All things end eventually. One can bank on only two things in life: pain and eventual death. Everything else is a happy little bonus that should be appreciated as much as possible.
You don’t like my beliefs? So what? Individuals have their own brand of “truths” that fail to meet perfect standards. Beliefs aren’t always aligned with facts.
Power in the present is economic power and physical power. People can deny this. But the truth is that spirituality, personal beliefs, art, or knowledge all pale in comparison in the present to the powers that control military and economic structures. All people who choose to live in capitalist society are in a submissive state towards the people who control the economy and the people who control the military.
The people who are able to make life better for others often don’t because it’d be a potential risk to their own well-being. It doesn’t make sense for anyone to believe that the people at the top are going to give up their power for billions of people they don’t even know.
There’s potential for a better way of life. Long-term goals for society should include increasing funding for technological singularity. If human beings had indefinite life spans, most of the current problems that plague the world would vanish. But creating methods that are guaranteed to grant humans indefinite life spans may not be possible. Depending on technology to maintain human lives could result in worldwide collapse, wars, and might even destroy the planet. But in a world where everyone is guaranteed to die eventually, shouldn’t humanity at least consider trying to implement better technology that can meet the biological needs of all individuals automatically?
Reporting facts about others can be done by interviewing. But facts are often hard to establish with absolute certainty. Sometimes individuals exaggerate or even lie about their own accomplishments. Friends and associates have imperfect memories, and may also lie.
What’s considered spiritual is based on the subjective experiences a person has. Spirituality can mean a wide variety of things to different people. Each person experiences situations in a personal manner that is unlike the exact experiences that any other person goes through. How the mysteries of the universe and the hardships of reality are dealt with determine how one lives.
Ultimately, the effects we have on others are never fully known. The smiles, laughter, and words of appreciation one is lucky enough to experience with others should be sufficient evidence of a job well done. It’s not an easy task to explain the problems of the world. It’s much harder to actually solve them.
It can be hard to keep up with proper hygiene, hold a job, and develop meaningful relationships when one is always drifting without a plan. Living randomly leads to excessive hedonism, going broke, and ultimately becoming much less free.
Perhaps what makes life worth living for many is just trying to live life without concerning themselves with deep questions. The nature of the universe doesn’t change the fact that survival needs must be met. So many feel drained enough after a day of labor. If deep truths don’t help with problems, what’s the point of learning deep truths?
HAVE I SEEN THESE BEFORE?
Are the problems of the world too great? Or is the resolve of people to contribute to solving problems too weak? It’s probable that with most problems, both are true.
There are times when one should fight for a goal as if it’s a fight for life itself. In extreme cases, it may be. There are other times when pursuing a goal becomes trivial in light of new evidence discovered. Would someone benefit from committing to believing in a religion they were raised in after discovering it’s not true? It’s fine to allow goals to change.
All too often, commonly accepted beliefs create perceptions of truth that are false. Religions go undisputed in certain circles while an outsider can’t imagine how anybody could believe in them. Communal standards are subjective.
One without goals achieves few meaningful accomplishments. If a person has too many goals, they rarely have time to enjoy success. The happiest people make valuable contributions to important causes, but also leave room to experience joys of life.
Perfectionism is a benefit in areas where the slightest misstep results in serious consequences. It’s beneficial to have perfectionist tendencies as a heart surgeon, a building contractor, or a flamethrower. Any errors for people in these professions results in serious injuries or deaths.
Other areas of life are disastrous when perfection is expected. Demanding romantic partners be perfect leads to a lot of unrealistic expectations. When one expects a job to be perfect, they’re probably out of touch with the reality of a universe filled with problems. Good work requires dedication to continue, even if problems occur.
How can an individual best achieve peace? Many like quiet beauty and serenity. Some find peace in the loud blaring music of a rock concert, the hustle and bustle of big city life, and some enjoy danger. There are no definite rules that lead to living peacefully.
Even the most talented individuals must sacrifice time if they want to be exceptional. Nearly all people have to work incredibly hard to find any amount of significant achievement. Greatness can be achieved in a number of ways.
People act inhumanely towards each other due to their own fears. They fear for their basic safety. In a universe where all intelligent people realize they could potentially die at any time, this is a justified fear. Primitive fear is why many people support the stupid ideas, the stupid people, and the stupid nations that they’re familiar with.
Individuals who offer the most to the world provide others with help despite their fears. They propose less than ideal solutions, but make efforts to evolve. They consistently encourage others to do so too.
To some extent, what’s positive in life is subjective. Most people agree that survival is generally considered good. Other than that, opinions seem pretty divided.
If everyone gave their best efforts, we could be living in utopia. Or we might be living in a constant state of war. Maybe having a great deal of the general public act like lemmings has advantages.
Solid values to one individual may be absolute lunacy to another. Pat Robertson and Osama Bin Laden are both considered to be moral leaders in different parts of the world. Yet many sane people believe both of them are evil.
Is it better to challenge others, or go along with the herd? It depends on the time and place one lives in. The people who go along with the herd are often treated like cattle. Challengers at least have a few interesting and unique stories.
Anyone who uses resources to keep themselves alive takes away from the quality of life from some other living beings. There are degrees of cruelty practiced towards living organisms to support your life. But never think for a moment that you stay alive without practicing some sort of cruelty to some other living organism.
There’s no automatic way to live well. Life is a struggle. Everyone who wants to live well has to accept that inevitable tragedies, uncertainty, and unfairness are all part of the reality humanity experiences.
Living well requires solidarity within a realm of competition for most of humanity in the present. If life were all about sheer force, only the people who control deadly weapons would survive. And while these people control a lot, they tend to keep billions of people out of their stupid wars in the present.
Evidence has been offered by many individuals to prove many theories, but the truth is often much different than initial evidence may provide. Ancient people used to believe that garbage turned into flies for a reason. That was what their eyes told them. Remaining skeptical may result in being right more often.
There’s a difference between learning and taking time to savor knowledge. Learning requires specific efforts to improve specific knowledge. Savoring is merely enjoying the moment. But the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Commitment to a cause or system of belief is often viewed as an admirable quality in human beings. People who commit to excellence and achieve are often admired by individuals who realize how hard it is to obtain excellence.
All people are born with the inability to meet their survival needs. All people eventually return to a state where they are unable to meet their survival needs. If survival is the goal, all human being are imperfect. Discovering ways to reduce imperfections is often viewed as “good” by others.
Einstein developed the theory of relativity while working in a patent office. Quit using past failures to justify inability to do something great in the present. Quit using lack of formal credentials as a reason to be unable to achieve greatness.
Any choice that one makes in life is limiting. We have limited options, limited time, and limited abilities. It’s wise to limit oneself to what seems better than anything else. We have no way of knowing for certain that we have made the right choices. But we can develop enough faith in ourselves to trust that despite our lack of knowledge, we can live well within the reality we attempt to create.
Learn to serve and savor life at the same time. People who learn to enjoy the service they provide to others are able to have joy and meaning. It’s possible to find joy in service to others in many ways.
The people who achieve greatness achieve it within a clear context. Prince is a brilliant musician, but may not be great at science. Richard Dawkins is a brilliant scientist, but who knows how good he is at ping pong? The individuals who have impressive talents in one area may not be impressive at all in other aspects of life.
In an objective universe, we all live and die alone. There’s no proven afterlife, and nearly all of us die forgotten. Even the most unique individuals only matter the tiniest bit in the grand scheme of humanity.
The amount of work that could be done to help others is never ending. At what point can one take a break and relax? For some, the answer is probably never.
It’s unreasonable to expect to be rewarded without producing something magnificent, unless you’re backed by powerful forces that ensure even if you produce crap, your work will be seen by millions of people.
Overcome problems by being willing to create more innovative and effective solutions. Refuse to dwell on the problems of the past. Have the courage to meet new challenges as they occur.
Nearly everyone experiences moments of fear and doubt in their life. But noble people who create change realize that any time spent in fear or doubt is a selfish waste of time. It’s more productive and life enhancing to participate in struggle.
Patience is a virtue only for beings who have unlimited time. Since no humans I’ve ever met have unlimited time, the people who are patient tend to get little done compared to the impatient people who bust their asses to get something amazing done as quickly as possible.
It’s ridiculous to act as if people can make decisions that aren’t divisive. Many parts of life are controversial. Taking any kind of stand or no stand at all is sure to offend some group of nuts.
Living for the moment would mean nobody ever agreeing to do most of the mundane tasks many people do to maintain a decent long-term standard of living. If they live long enough, nearly all people live for long-term rewards instead of immediate ones.
Using logic may be the most efficient way for our collective species to gain greater understanding of truths. But an individual who refuses to act until they achieve the most logical conclusion possible will never take any actions.
Each individual can only see the smallest fraction of one small part of one tiny planet in one solar system among countless numbers of solar systems. Yet many of us accept that fellow humans are capable of teaching the meaning of life in this universe. Why? Clueless and frightened people will turn to any source that provides a comforting solution, even if it’s one that’s almost assuredly imperfect.
It’s hard to understand the events of the past, nearly impossible to understand the events of the present, and literally impossible to understand anything about the future. But one can take reasonable guesses about what reality was, is, and could be.
Any project one creates is bound to be a unique one. Any project one joins is bound to be in the control of others. Which would you rather be involved in?
It’s possible that all human striving is for nothing. But it’s more likely that any positive efforts individuals make lead to temporary beings experiencing greater amounts of temporary joy. And that may be the meaning of life!
Having faith that life will turn out well allows one to have sincere hope for their future. Believing that everything will be fine when there’s evidence that it won’t is delusional. If one wants to be a better person, they should develop the courage to stand up for what they believe in.
there so many unhappy people in a world with nearly unlimited options? Because many people aren’t aware of the
options they have. Many don’t believe
they could ever do anything good. Many
have failed to have a better way of life when they’ve tried. Many can’t make up their minds about what
they believe could be best to pursue.
Many are uncommitted to doing what they’ve chosen and constantly wonder
about how much better things could’ve been if they’d acted differently.
Taking risks is necessary to move in the direction of goals. Establishing clarity about exactly what one wants is a better than constant indecision. Those who are strong act courageously despite their fears.
Appearances can be
deceiving. The truth is that most people want to live well, but feel lost. How do we encourage others to live in better
ways? Every person can choose to break
free from social conditioning.
Some struggle with habits they find undesirable for the rest of their lives. Conflict over what to do with time exists for everyone. It’s easy to break a habit of taking five minutes to comb hair if it could be done well in four minutes. Defeating long-term depression, alcoholism, or drug abuse can be a lifelong struggle.
It’s logical to want to avoid negative consequences in life. Fixating on the potential for negative consequences to occur can lead to inaction. Most people don’t feel good when experiencing pain. Fear is excessive when one refuses to take reasonable risks that they want to.
Advice from the greatest minds of all-time can be studied, but each person makes their own decisions about their life. There are many parts of life that can provide great value. Each person decides how they want to spend their time in an imperfect universe.
Nearly unlimited options exist. It’s illogical to dwell on problems that can’t be solved. Placing the energy one has into what matters is vital to feeling purpose. Committing to what’s valued leads to greatness.
With all of the suffering that exists, there are numerous ways one can help others. Finding how to devote the time, energy, and resources to people in need is a struggle. There may be a large percentage of failure when trying to help other people.
Question anyone who tells you that you’re not the best. How do they know? Are they the best? Is there even a “best” at the activity you are disputing? Who’s the best person of all-time? Hey, it’s disputable! Nobody can prove who’s best!
Thought life is the subjective imagination where one is free and has the power they want without any negative possibilities, unless they choose to embrace them. Actual life is the reality that can be seen and studied based on rational evidence by self and others. Many choose to dwell in thought life more than actual life. Thought life almost always has the potential to be pleasant. Real life is far less predictable and too often contains stress, disappointment, and danger. Some may even value their thought life more than actual life.
If we could all live forever, there’d be time to do all the things we want. We could spend time relaxing with family and friends while doing the things we always wanted to. We could sail around the world and check out other people living their dreams too. We could be superstar athletes, amazing artists, great writers, actors, scholars, dancers, lovers, preachers, lawyers, or we could do no work at all while simply enjoying the comforts of life. We could meet all the wonderful people we wanted to, defeat the ills of pain and suffering for any who’d somehow fallen into despair.
Unfortunately, there’s much violence in the world. Every person should attempt to avoid solving problems with physical force. But in an imperfect world, it’s wise if everyone knows how to best respond to attacks from others.
All morality is self-created. Getting drunk can be viewed as a sin or a blast. A proper Muslim would condemn drunken behavior based upon what they believe to be right. Many people believe there are times when it’s fine to get drunk, and times when it’s foolish. An alcoholic who drinks and gets violent on a regular basis should never consume alcohol.
When people are prevented from expressing the truths that mean the most to them, hostility and wars take place. Oppressive conditions are often made on the orders of powers that want servitude from the masses instead of questioning. Repression often turns into rebellion. People create ways to oppose systems that attempt to control them unjustly.
Optimists refuse to see the problems of much of the world. Realists know how lucky they are to live in a place of relative privilege or how unlucky they are to live in the midst of miserable disasters. Pessimists have difficulty enjoying life everywhere they go.
Accept uncertainty. The reality of the physical universe is much greater than we can understand, individually or collectively. By no means does this mean we should stop searching for answers. It just means that we’re wise to accept that we have limited knowledge.
Self-help programs often stress that positive thinking can solve all problems. This isn’t true. Positive thinking can help one feel better about certain pains and annoyances of life. But trying to think positively alone accomplishes little in reality.
Not all people who support war do so blindly. Many individuals study the conclusions of the media, leaders, and military figures and come to the conclusion that war, while unfortunate, is a better alternative than allowing corruption to take place in certain areas of the world.
Object to the mentality of “My country, right or wrong.” If your country pursues harmful actions, and you believe your country is wrong, don’t support its immoral policies. Matters of literal life and death shouldn’t be taken lightly. Think a little bit before you automatically jump to the conclusion that war is the best course of action. If anything, assume war is evil and wrong unless you genuinely believe it can be proven to be otherwise.
When horrible racist lies are embedded into a child’s psychology from speaking age until young adulthood, it’s tragic, but easy to see why they might believe racist things they’re taught if they’ve never been exposed to different teachings. But any adult who lives in an era of mass media, global exchanges, and struggle for billions of people must certainly know that being a racist is beyond ignorant. So much that racist individuals who live in large urban areas must make exceptionally illogical efforts to maintain their rigid brands of fear and intolerance.
The environmental movement is generally misguided. Sure, it’s noble to want the planet to function as cleanly as possible. It’s a great idea for humans to live in conditions that are environmentally sound. But recycling isn’t going to save the planet. Environmental causes won’t save the planet unless they can stop nuclear wars.
It isn’t true that anyone is completely responsible for everything that happens to them. The universe is indifferent to human affairs. There are elements of luck and chance in life. Some people have a relatively comfortable life despite never attempting to do anything significant. Others struggle for decades as hard as they can to be better people, only to face continual rejection and hardship. Anyone with eyes can see that sometimes life is simply not at all fair to individuals.
Everyone is responsible for how they choose to react to what the universe offers. Since most of reality is unknown, most people live in a state of confusion until they’re able to focus their efforts on specific goals. The people who have specific goals can take reasonable steps to achieve what they want. People who have no goals are almost destined to be lost, because there’s so much uncertainty in life.
It’s a shame that many of the things in life that seem tragic take place. The truth is that human beings are incapable of knowing how events would’ve unfolded if anything that’s ever happened had gone differently. This does nothing to offer comfort to people who come to believe that they’ve been oppressed, treated unjustly, or had loved ones taken away from them for seemingly senseless reasons.
People don’t choose to be born. Few choose when they die. Still, so many worry constantly about what will happen to them in between the two big events. Knowing we don’t control the big arrival and the grand finale, how much control do we really have in between?
Many people never figure out the meaning of life. In fact, that includes all honest people. Most people who claim to know the meaning of life have either created their own, or are fooling themselves.
CHAPTER 5 ENTERTAINMENT
Living in an era of non-stop entertainment is odd, because so much of it’s so bad.
Entertainers can make more money than people who discover cures to terrible diseases and there are still people who don’t believe life is absurd.
Distractions can lead to a lack of focus, but they can also provide the most joyous entertainment of life.
Nearly all people want distractions away from the terrifying parts of reality.
Music may not save the world, but it at least makes it tolerable.
Existential thoughts lead many to realize life has no obvious meaning, but that rarely takes away from the joys of listening to great music.
Killing an artistic dream may be a great tragedy or a gift. Everyone isn’t meant to be a rock star.
Listen to the best music in the world, unless it takes too much time to figure out what it is.
Dead rock stars still rock harder than many current corporate toads masquerading as pop stars.
Songs don’t often change the world, but people like songs more than most things that fail to change the world.
Music is never going to stop until the Earth is deaf or dead.
Music can inspire people to be better. But it can also make one feel like humanity is losing the fight against the universe.
There’s no end to the amount of bad music that can be listened to, but the amount of bad music it takes to find quality makes the good stuff seem even more amazing.
It’s strange that there are people who aspire to create tunes that have commercial value more than anything else on planet Earth.
Creating the greatest song of all-time is subjective, so as long as you create a song, you’re at least in the running along with every other songwriter.
There’s no end to the amount of joy music can provide, but most people tend to like the tunes they grew up with more than anything that comes out after.
Music can change the world, but usually in a way that seems more like screwing around.
Emulate your musical heroes if you must, but never try to be exactly like them, because it’s impossible.
Bands often misrepresent how hard they rock in a world where many bands claim to rock most.
The suffering of many doesn’t make a piece of great music any less great. But suffering people who can’t survive are unlikely to care about great music.
We live in a world where guys who write parody songs can be millionaires, and people who work 70 hours a week doing manual labor for 40 years may never make $30,000.
Music may not solve many problems, but it makes many people feel a lot better.
The Rolling Stones are still together in 2011! How can they still be considered to be playing edgy rock?
Good rap makes individuals think about awful circumstances that exist for quite a lot of people.
Surely there are brilliant composers producing fantastic classical music today. Why doesn’t the general public know more about them?
A lot of today’s music superstars are going to be forgotten in the not too distant future. The Britney Spears of the world are probably not going to be appreciated by the next generation. But one never knows for certain how bleak the future may be.
The best songs tend to have unique and familiar elements to them. It’s rare to come across a song that sounds nothing like other tunes. But if a song sounds too familiar, there’s nothing unique to distinguish it from others.
Just because a song is popular doesn’t mean it has universal appeal. Celine Dion isn’t considered better than Frank Zappa by anyone I know, but the sales figures say otherwise. Each person who learns to appreciate music experiences musical joy on a personal level.
The Beatles were considered the greatest band on Earth for years, arguably even now, and they sang non-sense lyrics like “I am the Egg man, they are the egg men. I am the walrus.” Brilliant lyrics aren’t necessary to make a great song. If The Beatles were the greatest, it wasn’t always because they had profound meaning in their songs.
Anyone who has internet access can hear more music than they’ll ever have a chance to listen to in one lifetime. But many people still pay hundreds of dollars to see one artist live for one night. Live music and recorded music aren't the exact same thing, but they’re usually not radically different. There are cashiers who would rather see Justin Timberlake than eat properly for a month. That’s just stupid.
We live in a world where a guy who refers to himself as Weird and makes PG-rated novelty songs mocking decent songs can be a millionaire. Most of the engineers, lawyers, and doctors you know will never have the fame or fortune of Weird Al. So to people who say comedy is just for laughs, read about Weird Al’s financial empire.
Most members of Western civilization become aware of incredibly complex music that was performed hundreds of years before they were born. Despite the presence of countless pieces by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and hundreds of other talented composers, Miley Cyrus has outsold all of them. We live in a world where billions of people ignore genius and worship kids who just learned how to drive as idols.
Making a career choice is odd. It’s bizarre that an individual can learn about how large the universe is, how many parts of existence still remain mysterious to humanity, and they still might decide that the most important thing they could do with their limited time on Earth is to make money while producing sounds out of one six stringed instrument.
The mere idea of a “music god” is rather laughable. People who play instruments well have impressive talents. Arguably, they should be recognized for their amazing talents and compensated well financially. But anyone who believes that musicians have supernatural powers is delusional. But it’s fun to think that mortals care so much about musical prowess that they can make deals with gods or demons.
It’s hilarious to watch kids in concert lines waiting to buy tickets to see a popular show. Especially in a place like Chicago, where there are more options to see bands play for free than most people can imagine. It seems preposterous to wait in a long line for more than one 24 hour period to spend a great deal of money just to see some punk band play loud and trashy rhythms that aren’t even half as good as listening to The Clash. But the things humans do to experience the music they love may be one of the most irrational things about an irrational species.
Rap: Get as much money as possible. Know you’re the best thing in the universe because you created one successful message that gets played on the airwaves. Do whatever you have to do to get rich. If that’s not a conservative message, I don’t know what is.
Pop music has almost nothing to do with actual music. It has to do with being blonde. All these airhead Barbie Dolls are pretty much the same thing. Smile, have fun, and dance. This is what we have regressed to.
Country: How does this fake cowboy stuff still exist? We should’ve moved way past this by now. Cowboys are long gone. Their music should be too. The human race should be ashamed that we have allowed this crap to continue.
There’s no need to be cruel about Michael Jackson. Millions have already done it. But even if he could be a sweet guy, and even if he was the greatest entertainer who ever lived, past a certain point in time no sane parent should have let their kids hang out with him overnight.
The truth is that he hadn’t released a new album since 2001. And the public was largely uninterested. Even his fans rarely tout the album as one of his greatest. Had he lived another decade, he may have just been increasingly mocked. He may have lived a life full of disappointments: child rape allegations, losing millions, while being a shell of his former self. It’s impossible to know for certain.
MTV was supposedly good once, at least according to the people who were in their teens or twenties when it first came out. I’ve watched many of the early videos MTV put out. And it’s no different than any other era. There were glimpses of brilliance, but most of the music of that era was forgettable. This is no different than the 1990’s, the music of today, the 1920’s or the 1820’s.
People tend to glorify what was considered good in the era when they were young. Life is often good when one is in their teens and twenties and has few responsibilities. There’s time to screw around and have fun listening to songs.
Many individuals allow their tastes to become set in stone once they pass a certain age. One who heard Frank Sinatra in their youth and thought he was the greatest musician was likely to be unimpressed by Elvis. Kids who thought Elvis was the greatest considered Sinatra an old man’s entertainer, and probably felt The Beatles were imitators. Each generation disrespects the artists of the older generation, promotes the heroes of their youth to god levels, and hates the musicians of the next generation for failing to live up to the musical gods of their days of youth. The truth is that there are a few amazing musical acts now, and there have been some god awful musicians at any time in history.
Anyone who goes through the efforts of writing is trying to get something accomplished. Writing focus is tough to maintain. Almost no one can produce fantastic work in one draft.
Writing is funny. Sometimes one tries hard to produce grand work only to come up with absolute crap. Other times the mind wanders and brilliant lines flow. It’s hard to believe any great literature has ever been produced completely by accident.
The greatest fiction writing means little compared to a book that can save your life.
Writers attempt to gain understanding by telling others about what they think they know. Or they merely make stuff up and go with it for as long as possible.
Journalism is mostly hacks pretending their subjective perspective is objective.
Few writers care about who reads what they write. They care about how much people buy.
Many human beings spend years of their lives trying to create beautiful words that almost no one will read in our anti-intellectual, work 70 hours a week, let’s watch more TV civilization.
Books that sell well are often the ones “written” by people who appear on the TV.
Editing isn’t always the most important part of writing, but it’s often the most necessary.
Writing a book should only be done by people who have some ideas that are useful.
One can’t write the great American novel if one can’t survive.
The most important book to an individual may mean nothing to others.
History repeatedly shows that some people will kill just to be in history books.
An attempt to create the most beautiful sentence the world has ever seen: I love living, even if I don’t get the point.
If bad writing is the sign of a bad mind, every writer has a bad mind. Geniuses learn to craft their crazy thoughts into something noble through re-writes and editing.
It’s odd that a bright person can become a millionaire and the work they’re most remembered for is writing the line “Hello dean, you’re a stupid head.”
Writing is the artistic domain of madmen and people who still think others read.
It’s odd to try to write a book, knowing how many have been written and go ignored, but also knowing how many potentially wonderful books remain yet to be written.
It’s odd that anyone wants to write a book, but it’s also odd that people drive Volvos.
MANY BOOKS IN THE WORLD
Have you ever looked around a large library? It’s one of the most humbling experiences. To see so many wonderful books collected in one place makes one realize how much greatness already exists. It’s simultaneously inspiring and depressing. It’s inspiring because people have collected so much wisdom. Studying the past could last more than a lifetime.
Books prove the extensive amount of intelligent work humanity has already done. Books are sometimes depressing, because even with all the knowledge that humanity has, there are no clear answers about how to best live. It’s depressing knowing so many unimportant books achieved success while the finest ideas of humanity sometimes made little to no difference for centuries. Still, with all the books available, anyone who wants a decent book to read should have no problem finding one.
Don’t write to make others think. Write to let them know that you’re thinking.
Write a great book if you can, but know that others may not love it as much as you do.
Comedy may be harder to do in a world that’s full of suffering than almost anything else.
Comedy should be funny, but it’s often full of bad imitations and clichés instead of unique ideas.
Comedy isn’t easy, but at least no one dies when things go awry.
Attempting to be funny sometimes fails, but it’s better to take some chances rather than live a dull life.
Humor is one of the best coping skills for getting through living in an absurd and uncertain reality.
It takes a great deal of focus to bring people an effective message. It takes an even greater skill to make people laugh while bringing them intelligent, relevant information.
Comedy can be viewed as a distraction from more important social issues. Or the only thing that makes life worth living.
Life is often funnier when things don’t work out.
Going through life without a sense of humor is cruel.
Having a demented sense of humor is one of the only things that keeps many sane.
Few jokes change the world, but so do few bits of material in anything.
The people who make a joke out of life may be making the only sacred thing a mockery. Or they may be the only ones who are right.
It’s funny what you forget to appreciate until it’s gone.
It seems everyone knows funny people but almost nobody is funny.
There’s never ending humor in the world, yet most people refuse to believe that this life is just a joke.
It’s funny to mock people who falsely think they’re better than others, but terrible to mock people who genuinely suffer.
Sometimes there’s no answer for the problems of life, so laugh away the pain at every opportunity.
Have a sense of humor about life. It’s only a temporary condition.
The greatest jokes only provide a temporary relief from suffering, but the greatest truths are the same.
People should be allowed to have their own private beliefs. And people should be allowed to make fun of those beliefs openly.
Joking with suffering people is real compassion.
There’s nothing funny about illness, but many people find Three Stooges types of injuries funny.
The funniest people are great, but rarely as funny as the absurd reality we happen to live in already.
Making light of the problems of the world may be childish, or the only way to experience any happiness.
Life is funny, but only if one has a sick sense of humor.
The best comedians said something relevant and were still funny. Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Sam Kinison, Bill Hicks: No question that those guys had something significant to say.
The most popular comedian of my generation seems to be Dane Cook. There’s no doubt that he’s talented. But does he say anything that’s important outside of a comedic context? It’s debatable, but I don’t think Dane himself believes he speaks about the cutting edge of social issues.
We’ve got great socially relevant comics like Doug Stanhope, Paul Mooney, David Cross, Dave Chappelle, Lewis Black, Bill Maher, and Chris Rock. And there are also thousands of hacks. In every part of life it’s probable that there are always a few people who are amazing and lots of people who suck.
If there’s an afterlife, it may be an even bigger joke.
THE VALUE OF ART
What is art? Something created to be beautiful? Is art music, books, movies, comedy, or pretty pictures often referred to as art? Art may be whatever one personally decides it is.
Art can affect people in profound ways. Shakespeare’s plays are still performed. Depictions of madness created by Dali are still valued. Songs by Bach still captivate people throughout the world.
What is good music? Complex arrangements, pleasant melodies, a significant message, high sales figures, radio airplay, mass media attention, rhythm that practically commands people to dance, anything that brings joy to another, unique and brilliant pieces of artistic merit, or just what one likes?
There’s no way to prove that any music is inherently better than any other. But there are reasons why people pay hundreds of dollars to see Lollapalooza and nothing to see campus kid bands.
The fact that someone likes “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” better than “Beethoven’s Fifth” is a personal preference. Neither is inherently better than the other. Many people find ways to creatively incorporate music into their lives. Some people honestly don’t care much about music.
The Spice Girls serve the same function as Jimi Hendrix. Both use auditory compositions to provide a beautiful distraction from the hardships of the world. Both try to uplift people and inspire.
Many people think Hendrix is incredible and the Spice Girls produce mass marketed candy pop. But it’s possible that someone could believe that the Spice Girls are great and Jimi just makes a bunch of psychedelic hippie noise of no value.
For many aspiring musicians, it must be depressing to be struggling when they know The Jonas Brothers made more than 1 million times the amount of money on their last trite piece of crap than they have for their entire life of work. But clearly, a lot of people buy Jonas Brothers products. Aesthetic value can be disputed, but economic value is objective.
Books can be proven to have complex structure, correct grammar, or a great deal of content. But the value people assign to books comes from individual judgment.
Anyone can value a book like Green Eggs and Ham more than Orwell’s 1984. To me, Green Eggs is pretty much a book full of silly rhymes with pretty pictures. 1984 describes the potential dangers of authoritarian political power and thought control. 1984 is often considered a masterpiece and Green Eggs and Ham is often viewed as a light hearted tale that lasts for five minutes.
Any who think Dr. Seuss is superior to Orwell are entitled to their opinion. It’s possible that a portrayal of horror wouldn’t be appreciated by a reader while simple silly rhymes seem great. I think Green Eggs and Ham has value, but I don’t think it’s a crowning cultural achievement. 1984 is a fantastic book that warns about the dark side of humanity for ages, if not for the rest of human history. In literature, some people hate Shakespeare and love Mad Magazine. Any writer may be considered the greatest writer ever, or a dull hack in the eyes of an individual.
It’s possible that a person could consider Encino Man with Pauly Shore a better movie than Citizen Kane. Although most film critics and “cultured” individuals would scoff at the notion, taste is a matter of individual choosing. Some youths may consider Kane dry and uninteresting.
Encino Man has moments of juvenile humor that uplifts many viewers. While Citizen Kane may continue to serve as the symbol of what a movie should be for many years, it’s possible that future generations will appreciate the genius of Pauly Shore more.
The greatest film of all-time is subjective. Titanic may have made the most money, but come on. Even teenage girls in 1997 had to know they were just jumping on a popularity bandwagon. Star Wars seems to be the most popular movie of all-time among the general American public. While Star Wars is a good movie, most people enjoy watching other movies more.
Comedy may be considered art, or a goofy distraction. Appreciation for a specific comic is subjective. Bill Hicks is brilliant to me, but if someone prefers the comedy of Tim Allen more there’s no way to prove they’re wrong. Some may feel The Simpsons is the funniest show of all-time, but if there are people who believe Saved by The Bell is the best TV comedy show, there’s no way to prove them wrong.
Ultimately, value in art is measured in subjective terms. What one person feels is a work of immaculate artistic design, another person may not care for. The quality of any specific art is determined by individuals. There’s no universal standard for an object of beauty.
Art is beautiful when it goes well and no big deal if it’s crap. Art never kills people.
Creating a masterpiece may take a considerable amount of effort, but any creative person can produce something unique.
Creating art is noble, but any creation is almost assuredly not going to last.
Creating an intricate painting can take a great deal of time, but some guys randomly throw paint at a canvas for a few minutes and are called geniuses.
Creating original art is more likely to happen if one has spent time studying the original work of others.
Creating gives people the chance to provide a unique personal imprint on the world.
Finding the best in art is like deciding which food is the tastiest. Each person has different tastes and limited time.
Respond to great art with awe, or if appropriate, laughter.
Stealing ideas from a great artist is easy. Producing what a great artist does is hard to do, maybe even impossible. Nobody can match a great artist easily.
Trying to produce great art and failing is the first step towards success for any aspiring artist.
Unless you’re freakishly lucky, you’ll have to work to get paid as an artist.
Where have all the wonderful and talented artists gone? There are still many, but they hide in corporate non-sense a great deal of the time these days.
There may be a huge difference between who achieves the highest sales figures and who achieves artistic greatness.
There’s no inherent value in art, but almost anyone can discern quality creations from lame ones.
Art is the only meaningless thing that has any beauty in a meaningless world.
Art isn’t always truth. But art can be used to convey truths that are openly met with violent opposition.
No art is worth dying for. Life is ultimately more important than achieving artistic success. But some lunatics aren’t able to quit trying to make it as an artist.
Even if one creates art they believe is wonderful, it’s able to be criticized by anyone with a voice.
Lists don’t accurately measure who the greatest artists of all-time are. Popularity isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality.
Art can make people feel inspired, but some things that are considered art may also be depressing.
It’s easy for great artists to get involved with lame projects when they listen to business people.
Famous artists might be worshipped, but it’s not worth it if they have to appear in gossip rags.
Art is subjective. Most of the potential beauty in life might be too.
The artists who figure out what they love at least spend life failing to achieve what they love.
A real artist never stops trying to do things they consider brilliant that most people consider awful.
Art can inspire one to do some crazy things, like spend an afternoon in a museum.
Art is one of the few things that makes life worth living, especially if you’re able to see both the beauty and potential pointlessness of most of it simultaneously.
Anyone who refers to themselves as an artist might be a genius or a guy at Subway sandwich shops.
There’s the potential for artistic beauty in nearly everything, but there’s also the potential for pain in every human creation.
There’s no end to the amount of art that can be viewed, particularly by anyone who believes that the entire world may be viewed as an intricate piece of work by God.
Anyone who has a vision of beauty is wise to capture it and share it with others who may hope to seek such beauty as well.
The vast amounts of physical beauty that can be seen throughout the world are incredible. But the beauty of the world makes the ugly parts of reality seem that much more atrocious.
It’s difficult to impossible to prove that art of any kind is clearly superior to any other specific creation.
An artist expresses ideas. That definition makes nearly all of us artists. But the ones who do it for a living ahead of all other options in life must be mad.
There are numerous objects of beauty in the world that one can see for free, but there are people who are paid millions of dollars to slap paint on a canvas. To boot, there are people who can afford to spend millions of dollars on pretty pictures while there are millions of people who starve. And there are people who still don’t believe we live on an absurd planet.
Creative people who desire to enlighten are often caught between expressing the purity of their message and finding a way to earn a living. Should an artist tone down the content of their message to reach a general public conventionally?
It depends on the individual artist, the message being conveyed, and the overall context of the situation. An artist who intends to sell their work to be used in traditional mediums has an easier way of life. Artists who use profanity, sexual imagery, and controversial themes are the ones who often have to face the decision to compromise.
There’s no clear definite answer. It’s best for people to do what they must to survive. Any starving artist should try to eat. One who becomes an artist to entertain should just stick to simple amusements to make a living. The wild ones who become artists to illuminate truth should stay true to their calling.
We live in a world where some people spend millions of dollars on art while millions starve. As a species, we value art so much that we’re willing to prioritize beautiful distractions over feeding living human beings who fail to be successful capitalists.
How is great art made? Does it come from someplace natural? Is it necessary to put forth tremendous effort? Creating great art takes time and patience. Almost anyone can create something. Almost nobody has the willpower to develop outstanding skills. The best way to create art is ultimately unknown.
No matter what art an individual may decide to devote their time to, it’s probably an absurd choice. Art is beautiful, but it’s an odd choice to decide to spend the majority of a lifetime slapping paint on a canvas in hopes of inspiring others with it for profit. Music is wonderful to listen to, but it’s an odd choice to believe that one can top the greats that have already come to pass.
Writing is wonderful to read, but it’s odd that individuals believe their work will inspire others as much as the libraries upon libraries of work that already exists. Movies are a joy to many, but it’s odd that adults pretend to be other people and capture it on film to be viewed by millions of others. Comedy is a great joy, but it’s odd that someone decides cracking jokes is more important than anything else on Earth.
Food is close to universally appreciated, but not always. Enjoyment of specific foods is subjective. Clothing is close to universally appreciated, but there are some nudists out there. Shelter is close to universally appreciated, but some people like to live in nature.
Artists create objects that didn’t exist until they were given specific form. Art is often created from materials that can be accessed by many people. Imitators can recreate images. Innovators can take raw materials and form new objects that didn’t exist until created. The way most of the world interprets something may differ greatly from what the creator initially intended.
Reality can be experienced and created simultaneously. Those who merely react to external events still experience reality. It’s admirable for one to attempt to create the type of world one would like.
Creating great art is often difficult. An artist may spend years toiling to create intricate details to produce a masterpiece. Or they could pick up a toilet.
Art may make life worth living for some individuals, but other people would rather take a nap than paint.
Art inspires many but may depress even more.
Art isn’t truth. Art is a lie. But when done well, art is the most beautiful lie.
TV is the new opium of the people.
The best TV show is just a show. The worst TV show is just a show too, but ideas from shows can be important.
There are places in the world where working people struggle to survive, and Americans complain about the lack of quality programs on TV.
Joy can be found from strange sources. Remember, millions of people still watch Full House.
Life can be lived billions of different ways, but most people just imitate folks they see on TV.
TV is the last refuge of people who are unable to think for themselves or the first entertainment source for people who live in places like Chicago in the winter.
TV can promote useful ideas, but there’s no way to know which shows will stand the test of time to leave meaningful messages for others of the future.
Movies show what could be, and at times, maybe even a bit of relevant truth.
Movie stars are the closest thing that the modern world has to gods. Why do people worship actors? The best actors enable others to view reality differently. A great actor can emulate a common person, a king, or a beggar if necessary. Superb acting presents intelligence that is easily recognized.
Are movies made to change the world? It could be argued that no movies change the world, but the people who are in them do.
In a world with more movies than anyone has the time to watch, the movie industry still puts out thousands upon thousands of awful new movies to add to the pile each year.
If life were fair, no actor would make 20 million dollars to make a subpar film while kids in third world countries work 18 hour days for 18 cents. But life isn’t often fair.
If Orson Wells struggled to secure financing most of his life to make movies and Tom Cruise is a multi-millionaire, this proves that the universe isn’t fair.
Even great people who make works of genius can stumble. The guys who made Swingers also made Couple’s Retreat. Woody Allen did Annie Hall, but also did Shadows and Fog. Mike Myers did Wayne’s World, but also did View from the Top. Nobody wins at all times, and anyone in the bizarre Hollywood machine has the ability to pick a bad project.
Even the worst movie is better than the best war. While sitting through a bad movie may be unpleasant, it’s nothing compared to awful human tragedies.
BE GREAT AT ANY AGE
Studying how people achieve greatness is fascinating. Some got their starts almost from birth. Drew Barrymore was born into an influential Hollywood family and had acting roles beginning as a baby in commercials. Individuals such as Mozart, Harry Shearer, and Mike Myers pursued their careers at a very young age. Rimbaud wrote beautiful poetry in his adolescent period and quit around age 18 or 19 to move to Africa. He never wrote again.
Many become famous in the years after school in their early twenties. Some find a great path in their thirties. John Swartzwelder has received credit for writing more episodes of The Simpsons than anyone else. He worked as an advertising executive until the age of 35 when he switched to comedy writing. Some find fame and fortune in their forties. Larry David was virtually unknown outside the comic world until Seinfeld came into the limelight.
Sherman Hemsley didn’t start acting until he was retired from the post office. Colonel Sanders, Grandma Moses, and Blue from Old School found success in the twilight of the golden years. Greatness can be experienced at any age.
LOWBROW NATION: WHY NOT?
If someone likes “Go Dog Go” better than Shakespeare, there are no facts that can prove them wrong. William may be more respected, may have more influence, and may have better sales figures. That doesn’t mean that his work is necessarily greater than a simple story if an individual chooses to perceive it that way.
Yet most rational people can see that composing Shakespeare’s works involves mastery of language and writing skills that are complex. “Go Dog Go” was written with the intention to give children a foundation to understand language. The value of work is subjective, but any intelligent person can appreciate quality.
The complex nature of a work doesn’t always lead to it being perceived to be superior. Many people genuinely enjoy the music of some two or three chord punk songs while they find a great deal of complex opera uninspired despite its incredible technical complexity. The vast majority of people would rather watch The Simpsons than attend an advanced scientific lecture about astrophysics. Millions prefer watching new teen sex comedies more than delicate period pieces about human nature.
It seems that most people want to be exposed to ideas that are enjoyable more than anything else. If ideas are too simple, a story seems too childish. If concepts are too advanced, people won’t understand what’s going on. Many adults would rather watch something childish than feel like they’re totally stupid.
FORMAL EDUCATION OF A FEW GREAT PEOPLE
Jimi Hendrix- high school dropout
Weird Al- BA in Architecture
The Doors- Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek, Bachelor’s degrees in film
The Beach Boys- high school
They Might Be Giants- high school
Tenacious D- high school
James Brown- grade school dropout
Christopher Hitchens- undergrad at Oxford
Steve Allen- college dropout
George Orwell- high school
Chinua Achebe- PHD
Writers of the Bible- unknown
Mike Myers- high school, extensive theatre training
Jim Carrey- high school dropout
Kevin Spacey- some college
Morgan Freeman- high school
Robert DeNiro- high school dropout, theatre training
Chris Farley- BA, theater training
Eddie Murphy- high school
Phil Hartman- BA
Bill Hicks- College drop out
Richard Pryor- high school dropout
George Carlin- high school drop out
Doug Stanhope- high school drop out
Jerry Seinfeld- BA
David Cross- College drop out
Sam Kinison- theology degree
Chris Rock- high school
Bill Maher- BA
Lewis Black- MFA
Gary Shandling- grad school drop out
Dave Chappelle- high school
Ingersoll- law school
Great people achieve with the help of formal education, but don’t necessarily need it.
The mainstream news only values the opinions of people with money. The entire aim of news is to distract the masses from how badly they’re being screwed by the ones in power. The news instills fear in the working class.
The masses are told the world is a horrible place. They’re told they should keep working while their leaders handle problems. But they’re sold on lies. Their leaders don’t care about them. Their leaders protect their own interests. They protect the interests of those who provide them with their comforts.
There’s no such thing as fair and balanced reporting. Every reporter has an agenda: to make money while providing information or entertainment to others. If a person had a completely open mind they’d be as likely to do reports on factory worker Dale Johnson as they would the president. Reports on the famous occur because of intentional agendas.
News information shouldn’t be controlled by the highest bidder. But it always has been, and probably always will be. The ones who control the money control the news. It’s true in America. It’s true in Europe. It’s true in “communist” China. Real power comes from economic control, not whatever the story on the 10 o’ clock news tells you.
HEROES ARE GREAT, BUT NOT PERFECT
Even heroes lack perfection. Even heroes suffer at times. Many artists struggle to get what they want the entire time they live.
Bill Hicks never received widespread fame or fortune while he was alive. He had periods of bitterness about his lack of success. Despite setbacks, he had the courage to press on anyway.
Jimi Hendrix had many lean years where he was broke. Jimi Hendrix! And it seemed like he was badgered by pricks who tried to take advantage of him even when he was successful.
George Orwell failed miserably to get things published for years. He never had a stable long-term job or vast material comforts. He suffered from poor health and was almost killed in war. Yet he managed to produce absolutely brilliant writings that are still relevant today.
Heroes do great things. But not perfect things.
Heroes display remarkable talents and are remembered. Average people are almost automatically forgotten.
Each person can choose to select their heroes, but many people tend to gravitate towards heroes who are widely acknowledged and recognized by many.
Many legitimate heroes go unrecognized while some who do so little receive honors.
Is it possible for someone to become too old to have living heroes?
People don’t necessarily make heroes out of those who go through the hardest times. I know few famous homeless people. Heroes are admired because they get results.
Heroes aren’t what they used to be. People don’t admire the President. Most know he’s a liar and a crook. Most don’t admire priests. There’s far too much child rape for that. People today admire entertainers and athletes. People respect those who distract from boredom.
Heroes are funny. Hugh Hefner could be considered a hero. Some believe he’s evil. The same is true for the Dalai Lama, the Pope, and every person who ever lived. It’s likely that every person has moments of decency. It’s likely that every person experiences less than noble moments too. Everyone who lives long enough experiences success and failure numerous times.
Everyone has a different concept of what a hero is. Heroes can be worshipped by one generation and completely forgotten by the next. Many who were considered great heroes were despised so much by others that they were murdered. Even the greatest heroes can be shot full of holes.
CHAPTER 6 FINANCE
Cooperating with folks who have money is necessary to live well for most in the capitalist world.
Great thinkers can devote themselves to many fields, but the brightest tend to go where the money is.
Terrible people exist in every society, but economic oppression often leads to inhumane societies.
Money doesn’t guarantee happiness, but the lack of it virtually guarantees unhappiness.
Live how you want as much as possible. If that doesn’t work, live the way that earns the most money.
There are people who actually care more about making profit than helping others. In fact, probably most people on the planet.
Ways to improve life are nearly endless. Life is almost always painful when one loses money or health.
Capitalism: save your own ass, but make sure you don’t stomp on the wrong guy while doing it.
Many people make many foolish decisions about life and money, despite the fact that they’re the only two things most people really care about.
The best that life has to offer waits for those who have financial freedom.
Any who own valuable possessions must pay the price to maintain them.
Reality is tough to figure out, but money solves many human problems.
Capitalism is soul crushing or life enhancing, depending on how much cash you’ve got.
Money makes people behave in a civil manner if they have just enough to meet their basic needs, but uncivil again when they earn enough to exploit others.
Anyone who tries to make money doing what they love is either a fool or a genius.
Maniacs are everywhere, but they appear more civilized when they have money.
Going broke is nothing compared to dying. Broke people have a chance to do better in the future.
There’s no way to know that one is making the best decisions possible, but most people rely on their bank statements for a rough idea.
Money alone doesn’t lead any particular person to be as happy as they possibly could be.
How individuals spend time might be more important than how they spend money.
Earning your keep is better than earning your jail meal.
Only people who inherit wealth start off with an easy life.
Losing builds character, but character isn’t as good as money.
Financiers run the world. This doesn’t take a genius to see.
Those who trade time for money often don’t realize how valuable time is.
Be the best person you can be, unless it’s not profitable.
To some offbeat individuals, self-respect is more valuable than money.
Gold isn’t as valuable as free oxygen.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a lot of things to improve the odds of it.
Living how you want to often requires doing absurd things to make money in a capitalist society.
Capitalism forces lazy people to do something with their lives if they want have nice stuff.
It’s petty that people become jealous of the success of others, especially if their achievements earn little to no financial gain.
Whoever controls banks systematically has a stranglehold on much of the world.
Individuals can afford to do little to nothing on a major scale without the consent, approval, and involvement of banks.
Being kind is helpful. But it’s got nothing on being competent at something that makes money.
Power comes from many sources, but in America, no form of power is as respected as economic power.
Animals may be primitive, but they never resort to systematic torture just to get a few more dollars.
People who preserve their peace of mind may have something more valuable than the capitalists who control the world. But struggling people rarely believe it.
You’re charged interest to start a business. You’re charged interest to go to school. If an individual does this to people they know, it’s considered usury. If an institution does it, it’s just business as usual.
Supply and demand don’t determine prices. Think about what people you know demand. They don’t get what they demand. They take what’s given to them. When’s the last time you saw anyone get exactly what they wanted on demand, without cash? But supply determines what people want. People want what they know.
The money you spend most of your life struggling to get has no guaranteed value. In some ways, it’s no different than Monopoly money.
Who imposes control over finance? The ones who ultimately determine value of money have no accountability to the public. The ones who run financial institutions run the world.
Whoever controls finances controls the world. Most people care little about traditional values (school, church, family, politics) compared to their love of money. Most people spend most of their existence struggling to get more money.
Money can’t buy happiness. It can’t buy euphoria, dementia, or ecstasy. It’s impossible to purchase an emotional state. But one can purchase goods and services that are much more likely to allow one to reach a positive emotional state.
The most irresponsible thing any adult can do is have a child. It cuts into income, ability to work more hours, and their amount of disposable income falls down the 50 year mortgaged toilet.
Taxes are avoided by many. Those who are unable to work don’t pay taxes. The mega-wealthy don’t pay taxes. Middle class suckers are the only ones who pay taxes.
Capitalism may be one of the best systems we’ve created thus far, but keep in mind that it’s one of the few ideas we’ve created at all that didn’t attribute all our powers to invisible gods guiding our actions. We could do better.
Money is a motive for nearly all. Family and friends aren’t what they used to be. Get money if you want to have influence.
Lying to bosses about your talents only makes sense if one needs to get paid. Lying to friends about abilities only makes sense if one needs approval. Lying to yourself about abilities never makes sense.
MONEY AND FREEDOM
Money has no inherent importance. The value of money is determined by complex systems that are outside of the direct control of nearly every living person. Anyone can have their fortune seized at any time. Governments that issue money can fail, businesses that have done well can go bankrupt, and thieves can take away material wealth.
Strictly as a physical object, money isn’t all that great. It’s not exceptionally pleasing aesthetically. There’s little that’s considered exceptional about most tiny pieces of paper or small coins that have no monetary value.
Despite its lack of perfection, money is the driving force behind most actions taken in the world today. There’s nothing as universally respected and valued as money. The amount of money one has often determines how well one lives.
Money allows most people to meet their survival needs. Where one lives is decided by money. How much free time one has is often decided by money. How much power and control a person has is decided by money.
Few people respect individuals until they make money. Check out how much respect homeless people are treated with. Even charitable people usually treat the homeless with pity, not respect.
Some people claim to be indifferent to the capitalist system and its values. Maybe a few individuals in remote areas are able to live well without monetary exchanges. Most of the world is deeply entrenched with a money obsession. Although money has a huge role in determining how people live in the present, it may have no influence in the future.
Money isn’t an absolute need. It’s quite helpful to have in most of the world today. People without money live dreadfully compared to those with financial comfort. Finding ways to make money to live how one wants is often a struggle. In a world where freedom and success are often equated to money, money leads to more power. Power enables one to act the way they want to.
There are numerous ways to make money. While many of them are widely considered undesirable, it’s essential for nearly all people to find labor. Work to find purpose in labor. This is the only way most people can have any amount of freedom.
Where does money come from? What human beings decide the precise value of money? Who’s able to provide fair checks and balances to ensure that those making decisions about the value of money are honest? Who understands how economics work?
Money determines the quality of life that one is able to experience in a capitalist world. Even the few nations that are supposedly communist depend on the money system to make their infrastructure function. Money controls most people, most of the time.
The money of the United States is created by the Federal Reserve. This isn’t done by the government. The Reserve is a private corporation that controls the amount of currency floating around. Few really know how they make their decisions. There doesn’t appear to be any group that can investigate or change the policies of the Federal Reserve in any significant way. They create money however they want and have no accountability to anyone for their actions.
The economy is fictional. There’s no inherent value in money or a bank account. The value assigned to money is made by powerful leaders. Billions of people dedicate most of their lives to earning purchasing power they can’t directly control.
If the government of the USA was toppled tomorrow, how much value would currency have? Are there any guarantees that money earned results in greater levels of happiness? There are no guarantees, but earning money to survive is a reality for nearly all people.
A small group of people determine the value of money. The same is true for stock values. Corrupt financial powers manipulate and control the general public through fear. Anyone who doesn’t properly follow series of bureaucratic procedures is left out of virtually any chance to make a decent living.
Bankers are practicing usury. The only difference between banks and the mafia is social acceptance. Any who want to get ahead are virtually forced to go into debt. Once an individual is in debt, it’s hard to avoid being an insignificant part of a corrupt financial system that ultimately serves a small amount of mega-wealthy individuals.
The ones who control finances have the real power. Politicians are just a front. All federal politicians are ultimately mere actors, no different than Dave Chappelle or Al Pacino. They pretend to be in power, but do nothing other than support the interests of big business and bankers.
Think about it. Who are the wealthiest people you know? What do they own? In Chicago anyone can see enormous buildings and businesses on a daily basis. Who owns these lovely structures? Probably nobody you know. Corporations and bankers own almost every business, every home, and essentially every person.
Almost any business gets started by borrowing from bankers. If a business fails, banks seize assets. If a business starts gradually succeeding, it pays back loans with interest to banks for many years. All banks do this systematically and reap the rewards of financial benefits from nearly all labor.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE POWER OF FINANCIERS
The world is controlled by banks. This doesn’t take a genius to see. Who controls the actions of the people, the faith of workers, and the empowerment of individuals? It has been, currently is, and always may be those who control money.
If financiers control every aspect of our lives, you have three options:
I don’t know how to beat the banking system. If I did, I’d tell you. I don’t think it can be done simply by informing people. Maybe that’s a step in the right direction, but I don’t think it will produce significant change.
How can we know who to trust for reliable financial information?
How does one get in the club that controls the money? If you prove to be a lifelong servant, you can move up in the club, but never truly belong. The ones at the top keep it in their hereditary families and will do so until they’re forcibly removed from power.
Would new bosses change things to benefit people they don’t know? Or would they remain corrupt and just hook up a new group of goodfellas? Power and corruption go hand in hand. There’s no logical reason to believe that the mega-wealthy will give away power to poor people. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the wealthy will never give away significant amount of power, until forced.
WHAT MATTERS? MONEY!
Money is created by humans who have great power. They determine its value.
Who owns the world? If you want to look at the larger picture, nobody does. The world is too screwed up to control. Who controls most of the world? Whoever controls finances rules. Although I have plenty of paranoid conspiracy theories, this isn’t one of them. I can explain my position based on logic:
How many people do you know who are in debt? Most of the people I know are. Who do they owe debt to? Almost everyone ultimately owes banks money. How does almost every business come to be in the first place? Most businesses only exist with bank approval and assistance.
How much do the people you know really own? Even in the best cases, they own some cool things, but could probably be subjected to bank or government seizure at any time.
Financiers achieve a systematic stranglehold over most people.
Financiers are able to practice legalized usury on ignorant people.
Financiers operate the top dogs in government.
Financiers operate the top dogs in the religious game.
What should be done about it? Exposing people to facts can be good. But would people really take action? Those who are powerless seem to mostly accept their low status. Those who are doing okay seem to be fine with exchanging some of their freedoms for comfort and security. Those who are wealthy have no reason to lead a revolution.
Trickle down economics is absurd! The people who are already wealthy beyond the dreams of the masses need more for lives to improve? We need more bottom up economics with poor people having realistic chances to earn more than they do to get to levels of financial security lucky individuals are fortunate enough to be born into.
Lack of money can get people to resort to some terrible things. But you can refuse to take a job where you willingly know that you’re harming other humans. There really shouldn’t be any tax collectors.
Poverty can make nearly anyone re-evaluate their priorities.
Poverty shouldn’t exist in a just world, but the world has never come close to being just.
Poverty can cause people to resort to desperate measures, like work a terrible and mundane job.
The people who say that it’s important to follow your passion even when broke have probably never been broke before.
Economic problems are the largest cause of suffering for individuals in the modern world.
The system in place is set up to create havoc for the working class.
There’s no way to know that one will be a success, but a guaranteed way to financial failure is to do nothing.
Money may not be everything, but it’s something rather significant to nearly all people.
Earn your keep, but make sure that you keep as much as possible.
On a planet with more than six billion people, it’s almost certain that financial powers can get hungry people to serve in positions that keep them safe and comfortable.
Anyone who tries to change economic policies takes on the most powerful living people who have vested interests in keeping large numbers of people hungry enough to do their bidding.
Time is supposedly money. For most middle class laborers, this is essentially true. But for people who have no money, or for people who have a great deal of money, this isn’t true at all.
The value of money is determined by individuals who don’t care about the interests of most of humanity. If anything, they tend to care about keeping the pockets of the most powerful people well lined to maintain order and keep the masses fearful and laboring.
Even with all of the power it has, money may not prevent any of us from being able to ward off the sadness of a friend having cancer or the loss of a loved one.
The neighborhood one lives in is often considered more important than the house one lives in. An adobe hut in Beverly Hills may be worth more than a mansion in Rwanda.
Steal a loaf of bread and you get locked into prison. Successfully steal a large chunk of everyone’s bread and you get statues built in your honor.
CHAPTER 7 POLITICS
People who want political power should never be allowed to have it.
Vote only if you want to waste time. Elections are determined by vote counters, not voters.
Vile things are done by awful leaders and many people just laugh.
Liars operate the world, but even more foolish liars pretend to believe them.
Duels are too rare with politicians today.
There’s no way to please all people, so focus on pleasing people with power.
Based on the utter stupidity of the common U.S. citizen, it might be good that democracy is fictitious.
Even if our system is bad, it is child’s play compared to the regime of Pol Pot. Redistribution, revolution, and change aren’t always good.
Stealing can get your hands cut off in certain parts of the world. In others places it can get you billions of tax dollars.
There’s no good reason to trust any government.
Powerful people who want to preserve their power denounce freethinkers, feed the masses a lie, and go about their business as they please far too often.
Many powerful people are smart enough to make sure that the masses never hear about them.
All people who want universal health care should make it happen without charging the rest of us for their childish plan.
Question authority, especially if they’re as obviously full of lies as the ones you’ve seen.
Government is often evil because it uses force to threaten masses into obeying mindless rules.
Phony patriotism is ridiculous because it encourages fear of unknown lands. Patriotism often demands that young men die to support the land they happened to be born in.
Deciding who you want to vote for is childish. Make decisions to lead your own life.
Basic tolerance for others must exist to have peace. Too much tolerance leads to a society where extremists and bullies dominate.
Illegal activities have produced positive changes. The law isn’t always good.
Stealing is usually wrong, but people with guns are rarely charged for crimes by people without them.
All governments lie, just to varying extents.
Zero people should care about outlawing gay marriage as long as one person is starving.
Settling for the lesser of two evils is still supporting evil.
The ruling classes could be more benevolent and allow humanity to live in improved conditions. They could also end up destroying most, or even all members of the human race.
We may soon be living in 1984. Privacy is soon to be a right of the past. The people who protest against the powerful may be crushed and submitted to brutal treatment of the worst kind.
The universe has more options than we can see, but most humans still end up doing mundane things to please leaders to make sure they have enough to eat.
Stealing money is punishable by death at times. It can also be completely ignored when it’s done by the people in charge.
There’s no need to live according to rules others set, unless they’ll kill you for disobedience.
Rebels who refuse to play along with the rules of the people in power are typically no longer persecuted by having their heads chopped off; they’re just left with nothing.
There’s no way to get to the top of an absurd chain of power unless you’re amazingly absurd.
There’s nothing wrong with believing that our political system is a decent one, but if you believe it’s the best system possible for all of humanity, you have no imagination.
Terror can happen anywhere in the world, but people tend to feel safer in Ohio than Jerusalem for a reason.
Political corruption tends to only bother people who don’t benefit from it.
All governments aim to keep comfort for the established wealthy at the expense of the masses.
A great lie may give hope to the masses, but the most effective lies are probably not even known to most of the general public.
It’s nearly impossible to control the actions of a freethinking individual and almost impossible to screw up controlling masses who follow the rules of crowds and leaders.
It’s wrong to lie, unless of course you’re in a position of power to do so.
Illegal actions aren’t always wrong. People in charge may be more villainous than some criminals.
Hiding behind a political position is often how the powerful tend to masquerade their exploitative deeds.
Complaining in the wealthiest nation in history is odd. No matter how much people have, they always want more. Because no matter how much people have, they know the people in charge have more.
Unjust causes experience success because wicked individuals instill fear into many people who merely want safety. People who want safety gang up on the weak to maintain their own comfort. The strong gradually crush all opposition until nearly all are obedient to corrupt powers due to fear.
Nobody should care if consenting adults pray to a phony god, do drugs, or have sex with each other in every orifice in private. But public behavior may be a different story.
The governments of the world own virtually everything, including land. We’re all tenants. Some just have nicer temporary residencies.
It’s funny that so many people believe politicians are going to change lives. Any politician who has achieved success has joined organized power for the rich, by the rich. Anything else they say is a joke, and anyone with intelligence knows it.
Stealing from family isn’t acceptable. Stealing from a stranger is rarely acceptable. Stealing from the government may be retribution.
In certain places, it’s better to embrace "corruption" than to follow laws. How noble were citizens in 1939 Germany who obeyed the law while their neighbors were dragged to concentration camps?
How does one take back power from the corrupt? Is it right to overthrow corruption if one doesn’t have a better plan? If you were in charge, would you remain pure, or would you join the corruption?
exercise control over people against their will are frightening. Horrifying atrocities have been committed by
corrupt powers that devalue human life.
Innocent people have been tortured and killed merely for having
dissenting opinions. The prospect of
being detained by malicious authorities is a legitimate concern.
One can usually prevent trouble with authorities if they comply with laws. Authority creates problems for individuals who actively oppose those in power. There are authorities who have little regard for the rights of people. Corrupt authorities abuse to increase power. Each individual makes decisions about how to deal with corrupt powers.
Just about every organization that has ever had power has had some corruption. There have been a few benevolent rulers who attempted to promote the best interests of people. Most places have been ruled by self-serving rulers.
It’s ridiculous that so many people continue to live under political tyranny. Yet it’s reality for billions of people. It’s reasonable to be concerned about corrupt powers. When demands are unreasonable, a person can always make attempts to create opposition to unfair policies. But they may pay for their opposition, and the cost can be as high as life itself.
LAW AND RACE
What if the law calls for the killing of an entire race of people? What if the law allows powerful businesses to rob the masses? What if law requires giving most of one’s personal income to the state? Laws can be evil. In fact, anyone with integrity is morally superior to corrupt leaders.
Every government in history has had some laws that were unfair. Following the law isn’t admirable in any way when laws are evil. Brave individuals have refused to cooperate with laws that encouraged slavery, unjust genocide, or unfair bias. But it’s easy to judge the past based on common standards of decency now practiced.
How about speaking out against the slavery, unfair genocide, and unfair bias happening today? Slavery still exists. Innocent children have their minds warped by adults who teach them racist falsehoods. Racism, sexism, and all sorts of regional “us versus them” biases hurt good people too often.
Penalizing people living in the present for the atrocities of the distant past makes no sense. There’s never a way to properly make amends for irrational oppression of dead people. The misery Japanese Americans were forced into by being placed in internment camps was horrible. These Americans suffered through a great deal of misery because of evil and moronic policies of the United States government in the 1940’s.
Hysteria caused by the general public could still result in an unpopular minority being tucked away in camps again. With the possible exception of mass genocide, slavery is the wickedest thing that can be done to a race of people. The great-grandchildren of slaves are highly likely to face a greater deal of economic hardships than the great-grandchildren of non-slaves.
Nonetheless, it’s a mistake to attempt to make up for the mistakes of the past by rewarding people living in the present. There are many black Americans who weren’t the products of slavery. There are many white people who never had ancestors involved with slavery.
There will never be fairness in the world, because we’re born with different capabilities. We’re all born into different circumstances. Every person has to make decisions about what to do with their own life.
Will any amount of money make up for the degradation of a race? It’s ridiculous to believe that oppression can be redeemed by allowing ancestors of victims to have the power to purchase a few nicer material goods.
If you’re a birth survivor, you experience suffering. Why should particular groups be rewarded for the pain of their ancestors while others are ignored? There have been African governments led by black people who killed white folks. Should they give money to every white person in their lands?
The past is gone. Acknowledging mistakes is wise. Giving money to make up for massive atrocities committed to dead people is unfair to people living now who had nothing to do with these evil actions.
Why wasn’t a homeland for the Jews carved out of Nazi Germany at the end of World War II? Who thought a land full of Jews in the middle of the Arab Muslim world would be accepted peacefully? Considering the oppression they suffered at the hands of biased rulers for thousands of years, how do most Jews feel about the way the state of Israel currently treats Palestinians? Why do some Evangelical Christians support the state of Israel so much when they often believe it’s the nation that will bring on the end times?
Can you believe that some Orthodox Jews still threaten to stone people in Jerusalem in the twenty-first century? Do you believe it’s possible that Israel initiates violence towards Palestinians at times? Would anyone care so much about Israel if it weren’t for religious beliefs?
WHAT WOULD A RATIONAL POLITICAL REGIME LOOK LIKE?
Having someone rational in charge of running a nation is a good idea. But is there any system that could be entirely rational? How does one decide what makes a rational regime?
There Still Be So Much Bizarre Prejudice Against Homosexuals?
There are places where homosexuality is illegal. Being gay may result in heavy fines. Kissing a person of the same sex might result in being jailed for decades. There are still places in the world where by law, being a homosexual is a punishment worthy of death.
Human behavior is
governed in different ways throughout the world. It’s odd that a sexual lifestyle celebrated
openly by millions in certain areas of the world results in slaughter in
certain locations. Why would anyone be
so concerned about what consenting adults do in private? Laws against homosexual practices in private
make absolutely no rational sense.
The presumed “benefits” to making homosexuality illegal are to keep the population at a higher moral standard, to follow the teachings of some widely practiced ancient religious book, or to encourage more breeding. With a global population over 6 billion, there isn’t a country in the world that needs more people. No current nation seems interested in increasing their population through breeding programs.
typically state that homosexuality leads to corruption by promoting
anti-traditional values. So what? What’s moral or honorable about the divorce
rate taking place with heterosexual couples throughout most of the world? If traditions are harmful, make no sense, or
encourage unnecessary cruelty, they should be abandoned.
Those who get their beliefs on ethical issues from religious standards are fine to do so within the confines of their individual lives. But enforcing religious codes on non-believers makes no sense. Religious texts such as The Bible and The Koran have passages that claim homosexuality is immoral. Some interpretations even cause believers to create policies that require death for those who engage in homosexual acts.
Nations heavily influenced by Islam have the harshest anti-gay laws. This isn’t a coincidence. These nations tend to have laws that apply their interpretations of the Koran literally.
laws that lead to unnecessary suffering. Unfortunately, these laws are unlikely
to change anytime soon. Supporters of
basic human rights may choose to fight back with form some type of economic sanctions
against nations that engage in barbaric anti-gay slaughter.
The religious sanctity of marriage was never a legitimate intelligent argument. If a relationship has any sanctity, it’s due to the choices of the individuals involved. A good relationship has nothing to do with following the dogmatic teachings of an organized religion.
Divorce rates for heterosexual couples are sky high throughout much of the world. Non-religious secularists have been able to marry for many years without creating anarchy in civilizations. Gay marriage won’t destroy any civilization.
Civil Unions make no sense. The government allows gay people to be recognized, but not to be married? Policies pushing for civil unions favor non-sense religious traditions ahead of granting people freedom. Marriage is ridiculous and makes no logical sense. But if gay people want to join the madness, they should be allowed without any restrictions.
The heterosexual divorce rate in America is around fifty percent. Many people involved in marriages are unhappy. Children are born out of wedlock all the time. Nearly all adults have engaged in promiscuous sex. What’s so sacred about heterosexual marriage now? If all that’s desired is tax breaks and irrationally biased government favoritism, start a church.
GAY RIGHTS SHAME
Are there people who still openly advocate for slavery in Western civilization? Slavery was a 50/50, controversial issue in the United States roughly 150 years ago. Future generations will look back at our treatment of homosexuals with a similar type of shame.
Until the 1970’s, homosexuality was thought to be a mental illness according to our top notch psychological standards. The religious groups that the majority of Americans belong to teach that homosexuality is an abomination, a sin, and results in eternal damnation in painful hell. Marriage rights are denied to homosexuals based on illogical, prejudiced, and false arguments.
Formal laws of a society reflect what’s moral in that time and place? Even a causal examination of history makes this idea look ridiculous. At various times slavery, torture, brutality, cruelty, mistreatment of minorities, misogyny, totalitarianism, and murder of those with dissenting viewpoints has been legal. Unjust and senseless laws don’t reflect proper morality.
Call abortion what it is. It’s the killing of an unborn potential life.
But jerking off is also the killing of unborn potential life. As is all sexual intercourse for billions of potential life forms. The taking of potential life may not be ideal. But it’s not the same thing as the literal murder of a living being.
Not all killing is wrong. Salad is murder. It’s not the murder of sentient life. But it’s depriving living cells the chance to survive. All living people are killers, but the life forms individuals destroy vary quite a bit.
Nobody loves abortion. You’d be sick if you did. Taking a stance on the abortion debate is a matter of deciding on the lesser of two evils. Is it worse to have an unwanted liability or destroy a potential life?
A law doesn’t make abortion morally acceptable. Laws don’t dictate morality. There can be moral laws, and there can be immoral laws. Don’t forget that slavery, racism, and sexism were all once legal. Off the record, there are still places in the United States where all of these things are legal.
There are benefits to having a society with legalized abortion. But is it ultimately worth the sacrifice?
Doctors in the United States treat all people who come to the Emergency Room due to fear of being sued if they refuse. That’s universal coverage, even if it results in guaranteed lifetime debt for anyone without proper coverage.
A large chunk of wasted money in medical practices is either due to keeping terminally ill patients in their last year of life alive, or doctors performing series of unnecessary tests to avoid lawsuits. This needs to be reformed more than anything else in health care spending.
What percentage of their current income do people who want socialized medicine donate to help others with medical needs? Although there are a few exceptions, the typical case is somewhere in the neighborhood of 0%.
Who thinks they have a right to life? In case people haven’t noticed, this is the one right that’s guaranteed to be revoked by the universe for everyone. Even the best doctors who treat patients with the best coverage are eventually guaranteed to fail in the quest for providing this supposed right to life.
WHY LEADERS LIE
Leaders lie to maintain their own power. They lie to varying extents, but almost all have to lie to even be where they are.
Why do religious leaders lie? Most of them lie so they can have more power in this life. A few of them lie unintentionally. Most would rather tell familiar lies that often fool people so their organization and their savings accounts can do well.
Religions exploit the fact that humans simply don’t have answers about many things in reality. The people who manage to live well accept uncertainty, and try their best to live vibrantly.
Why do politicians lie? Most of them lie so they can have more power. A few probably believe at least a few of the things they tell people.
Politicians exploit people who are uncertain about how to make sensible community policies. They take advantage of the fact that people are afraid and feel powerless.
Wealthy people often lie to maintain their own wealth and power. Many wealthy individuals probably believe they’re trying to live ethically. But most wealthy people care little about the suffering of the masses. The small circle of the wealthiest care none.
The people in charge would never do anything to harm commoners? Rulers usually remain in charge by finding the most effective ways to keep most people afraid, focusing on labor so much that they have no time to complain or question the harsh conditions of their lives.
Don’t ever trust a religious or political leader. Assume they’re liars. If they seem to prove you wrong on an individual basis, congratulate them on being a rare exception to a nearly universal truth.
CHAPTER 8 QUESTIONS
Knowing that our time is limited, what should we be doing ahead of all else?
Is it better to do something trivial and experience limited success or to try to be great and fail consistently?
If everyone were able to control their destiny, would there be any janitors?
If we have free choice and the universe is larger than we can see, why stick around this crap planet?
If the real world is far larger than anyone can grasp, why do we focus so much on fictional stories?
Is it better to cooperate with evil to get what one wants or better to fight against corrupt powers?
How can anyone save the world when any of us can die at any time?
Is it even possible to avoid propaganda?
How does a pacifist stop a man with a gun? Shouting for other people with guns is the only chance.
Is it worth finding the truth if it only makes you more miserable?
Why bother visiting Italy when you can just look at pictures of it online? Because it’s not the same!
If life is less than logical, why fight to make sense of a reality that’s often mysterious?
Question anyone who claims to speak for humanity. When did they find the time to talk to billions?
Is it freakier to experience déjà vu or something 100% new?
How can one do what they want? Each individual determines answers for themselves.
Anyone who’s a liar can’t fully be trusted, but do you know anyone who’s never lied?
In a world with great music, art, food, and dancing, why do so many people spend time whining about things that matter so little?
Is there any way to bring peace to a situation of hate instantly?
When did people become so entitled? Nobody inherently owes anyone anything.
How can a temporary being provide a true meaning of life that forever applies to all people?
Why do people watch TV shows they don't like repeatedly, especially when alone?
Why is it that the same people who support the pro-life movement are opposed to a national health care system that would save many lives?
What would perfection look like? How can we know if we’ve never seen such a thing?
Why believe the news when the real world is so much better than the one created on TV?
What can a person do that will have eternal value? Probably nothing, yet most people want to try.
Is there any point to all of the struggling? Not really, but it’s more interesting than doing nothing.
Why value truth? Truth is often troubling.
Why value truth if it’s unknown? When we get closer to finding truth, we often improve.
How do we achieve peace in an uncertain world? We have to do it on our own.
Is it better to give into absurd societal demands or live as an isolated weirdo?
How does one create a positive meaning to life? It requires tons of research, a great deal of planning, and even more improvising along the way.
If nobody gets everything they want, is it possible that some people never get anything that they want?
How does one achieve a positive balance between helping those in need and enjoying life?
Who wants to spend most of their waking hours completing pointless busywork?
Can a tired man be funny?
Why would any person choose to be tired?
The skeptic asks: why try to discover who you are? By the time you know you'll either be dead or too old to do anything about it, if it's possible to know at all.
Is it right to embrace hatred of enemies? Is it wrong to avoid hating people who intentionally commit harm to others for their own benefit?
If insanity is unwavering belief without evidence, how much of the world is insane?
What are the objective criteria to decide that someone is special? There isn’t any!
If life really is pointless, why bother trying to do anything at all? Because we value temporary life, we like to experience pleasure, and we like to help others experience pleasure.
Since life is temporary, shouldn’t we try to live the way we want to every moment? Most people would like to, but have no idea how to make it happen.
How does one choose how to help a suffering world? Too often, life becomes a simple equation of merely limiting personal suffering.
How can life be considered short? It’s literally longer than anything else you experience.
Why do people care so much about others sex lives?
What’s the point of existence? If there’s no answer, many people are living for so much less than what they should be.
Why isn’t the world fair? Because almost everyone wants to be better than others!
How does one commit their life to doing what they believe is best without knowing what it is? Taking chances and hoping for the best.
If people believe life is precious, why do they do so little to honor it?
Why do people try so hard to get nice things that they have no time to appreciate?
Nobody knows the definite truth, so why bother?
Respect has to be earned. But why bother if respect isn’t worth the effort anyway?
If there’s no inherent purpose to life, why bother doing the dishes?
If one is asked how they feel about their job by their boss, how honest should they be?
There may be no obvious reason to go to college, but is there any obvious reason to do anything?
When one views the entirety of human history, how many individual people are they impressed with?
Everybody needs to take care of themselves to survive. So why do so many people do so many things that are self-destructive?
Argue with fools and you’ll win, but what will be the point?
If there’s no example of anyone who’s perfect, how can one define perfection? We make up our own definitions.
If anyone lived each day like it was their last, would they ever go to work at some 9 to 5?
Who wants a better way of life? Everyone, but few work harder to attain it.
Out of all the things in the universe to dwell upon, why focus on your lack of perfection? It’s irrational and makes no sense.
Why can’t evil be eliminated from the Earth? Because it’s a concept, not something tangible that can be proven.
Why do so many people take life so seriously when they know they’re one living being out of billions on one small planet in one tiny galaxy in the grand scheme of the universe?
If lies are told by everyone, why do we look down on it?
Who in their right mind would work for absolutely no reason? Who would do no work if given freedom?
Who’s the best at doing what you love? How can you be more like them, while maintaining integrity?
How do people get rich? Either they inherit fortunes, steal, or earn through labor.
How can we embrace the future if we’re unwilling to let go of the past?
Isn’t it amazing that spiritual miracles can never be done in the presence of skeptics?
Why stick around a universe that can be painful if you know you could be experiencing eternal paradise?
Is it better to do something trivial with half effort and experience limited success or to try to be great and fail consistently?
If everyone were able to control their destiny, would there be any janitors?
If we have free choice and the universe is large, why are we sticking around this crap planet?
If reality is far larger than anyone can grasp, why do we bother focusing so much on fictional stories?
Is it better to cooperate with evil to get what one wants or better to fight against corrupt powers?
How can anyone save the world when any of us can die at any time?
Out of hope? Just remember, so are billions of others. Take advantage of their weakness while you can.
It’s possible to live for a dream, so why bother living a nightmare?
If we’re forced to make absurd choices in an absurd universe, why do so many of us try to be logical?
If life is cruel why is there strawberry ice cream?
How many animals would choose zoo life? Probably any that would be eaten in nature.
Should an individual relinquish their individual power to assist other suffering human beings? There’s no answer that’s able to be proven correct. Each individual looks to their own conscience to decide.
In a world where many people struggle just to meet their own survival needs, is it realistic to expect people who work hard most of their lives to gain power to give it away to help the poor?
Left to their own devices, how much are people willing to help those who live in need? Does it require being forced to do so by others?
Is it up to each individual to gain power or die?
To what extent should we be willing to serve others, versus savoring life? How an individual answers this question determines how they live their life.
Why pretend like everything is good when there are many things that are terrible?
Is it possible that perhaps the best answers about how to be an ethical person in a universe that contains so much uncertainty haven’t been developed yet?
Is it better to live in a place where one is constantly saturated with meaningless messages or to live in the middle of nowhere where nothing interesting ever happens?
Lost in a world of dreams? To get back to reality, try working at a slaughterhouse.
If one suffers so often that the majority of their existence is filled with awful feelings of insanity and pain, why bother to try to stay alive?
The real question: Is the universal cruel or do we suck?
QUESTIONS FOR THE PHILOSOPHERS?
What makes life worth living?
What’s the meaning of life?
What’s most important to you?
What’s the nature of reality?
What do you believe in?
What do you need to resolve from the past?
Who do you love and want to be around?
How do you want to spend your time?
What are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want?
What‘s the purpose of your life?
What do you want to happen now?
What do you want to happen in the future?
How can you live the life you really want to?
What can be done to live the life you want?
Where should you live?
How can you get started living the desired life?
Are you willing to change?
Are you willing to leave the familiar?
Are you willing to take risks?
Do you have a basic understanding of how to survive?
Are you able to support yourself and those you’re responsible for?
Do you want more out of life than what you currently have?
Are you willing to sacrifice immediate comfort for future rewards?
Do you feel connected to others in meaningful ways?
Do you have faith and confidence to be able to live the life you want?
Will you emphasize what’s most important to you?
Will you try to do what’s right?
Will you stay committed to your ideals for life or are they susceptible to change?
Are you happy now?
What will make you happy?
Do you believe your life has a purpose?
Can you imagine the way that you want your life to be?
Can you make a dream a reality?
What should you do right now?
What will you try to do with the rest of your life?
CHAPTER 9 SCIENCE
Science does its best to corroborate with evidence.
Science and reason are humanity’s most important tools for future development. False beliefs keep us from evolving, and just might destroy the entire planet.
Science isn’t a religion, but it has followers who treat it with great devotion. Scientists offer sensible reasons to refuse to believe superstitious dogma.
If quantum physics teaches anything clearly, it’s that the universe isn’t fully understood. Almost anything is possible.
Science can help delay many problems, but fails each one of us in the end.
Anyone who places faith in science should at least know a few elements of the periodic table.
In my lifetime, opinions about AIDS and homosexuality have been radically altered due to the influence of the scientific community.
I hope science saves us all. I hope every person lives in health, peace, and freedom due to medical advances. But I also live in a time where if many people in the world get sick, they simply die.
Nobody wants to be part of a failing species. But if the ultimate goal is survival, all mature humans live with the knowledge that this goal is destined to fail for all without major scientific advances.
If anyone wants to make progress to achieve eternal life, contribute to scientific research, not church.
Science would be much more successful in convincing people of the truth if it were communicated in simpler terms that could be processed by children.
There’s total freedom in thought but never in reality. All are bound by the natural laws of the universe.
The greatest scientists have the courage to seek the unknown and produce something valuable.
Evolution may lead us in exciting new directions, but it might also lead us to realize that we’re an unnecessary species harming far too many plants.
Biology isn’t the only truth, but try living without it.
Improving technology makes sense. The movement to oppose technology is destined to fail.
Science is going to improve lives, unless it’s unable to contain the weapons it creates from destroying our species.
In the man vs. nature battle we all eventually lose, unless we’re able to create methods that extend human life indefinitely with rational, scientific principles.
The problem of science: like religion, it asks most people to believe without any direct, personal ability to eyewitness truth. Examples: the origin of the universe, the size of the universe, evolution, the functioning of the mind, the inability of science to explain the parts of life that seem most valuable to the vast majority of humanity- love, sensual satisfaction, peace of mind.
The scientific community recognizes facts about the origin of the universe haven’t been proven conclusively. Many facts about the universe remain unclear. Theories remain entertaining and thought provoking. Nobody has definite answers.
Science has contributed many wonderful things to humanity. But injustice still exists. Many people suffer needlessly. Science isn’t living up to its full potential. Many impressive and useful discoveries have been made. Future development is still needed to help billions improve the quality of their lives.
It’s possible that super machine like beings may someday rule the human race. Given how much time the average person spends on a computer, watching TV, or listening to some musical device, doesn’t it seem the machines have already won?
How did living organisms arrive in the universe? The best scientific evidence available shows strong evidence that life evolved from single-celled organisms into the magnificent creatures of today. The widely accepted theory of evolution means many different things to people.
Many who claim to oppose evolution actually oppose the theory of evolution in reference to the origin of life. Although possible, it’s hard to imagine a person who opposes all progressive growth. Nobody knows with absolute certainty how life or the universe began. Peer reviewed tests repeatedly demonstrate historical gradual change in simpler life forms to become more complex. The theory of evolution has a rather high probability of being true.
Schools should teach that the exact origins of life are unknown, but evidence shows a high likelihood of evolution being true. Educators can accurately teach that most past civilizations expressed a belief in a divine Creator. They can teach that many individuals in the present continue to do so despite the lack of scientific evidence.
Perhaps this is an oversimplified solution to a complex and divisive issue. It seems as if this teaching acknowledges what appears to be true to the scientific community. While believers wouldn’t be conceded the truth of divine creation, religious opinions would be acknowledged.
Knowledge of the past is valuable in many areas. But the total truth about the origin of the universe remains unknown. It’d be wonderful if humanity could discover a clear answer about the origin of life. Until advanced time travel is invented, the truth remains a mystery. Leave the past to those who can’t let it go. Keep evolving.
Can science save humanity?
Scientific progress has resulted in a higher quality of life for many people in the world. Humans live longer now than at any other point in documented history. Information is widely available throughout the world. Technology has brought more options to more people.
The scientific community is constantly inventing new theories and explaining the falsehood of others. The development of improved technology could greatly reduce the problems of poverty. The impoverished won’t receive adequate help in the future if policies remain the same. It’s likely that more people will suffer if technology isn’t improved.
Many people live without adequate food, clothing, shelter, safety, or health. On a daily basis, it’s a struggle for millions of people just to survive. How can poverty be reduced on a massive scale?
Without continued improvements in technology, it’s probable that the world will have more people, more competition for resources, and more need for assistance programs. If the development of technology isn’t pursued, it’s likely to lead to increased amounts of suffering for people in the near future. This is a future no rational person wishes to see.
Technological singularity has the potential to make vast improvements in the world. What is technological singularity? It’s a theoretical point in time when artificial intelligence is expected to demonstrate greater intellectual capabilities than human minds.
Since singularity hasn’t been developed yet, what’s the basis for believing it may happen?
Over the last several decades the power of computers has been shown to double in capabilities on a consistent annual basis. Some scientists estimate that computers will have the power to surpass the intelligence of humans within the next twenty years.
Once artificial intelligence has more power than humans, possibilities are nearly endless. Nanotechnology might someday be able to operate a continent on a microchip. Artificial intelligence with the ability to complete human labor tasks could be part of everyday reality. Saving backup copies of DNA may allow a person to live much longer, have replacement parts for injuries, and could have cells completely recreated whenever desired.
The emergence of singularity could bring about a new era of freedom. Singularity could also literally destroy the entire planet.
If greater than human intelligence is developed, it’s quite possible that most of our present day worries will seem rather funny to future generations.
There are reasons to doubt that singularity will ever become reality. The scientific community hasn’t been able to display necessary advances in the fields of computer science, cloning, or nanotechnology. No evidence clearly displays singularity is possible in the present.
With all of the potential problems that exist in developing singularity, how can skeptics be convinced that it’s better to emphasize future benefits instead of present needs? It’s always difficult to decide how to best spend time and resources. There may be great efforts put into developing improved technology, only to see poor results.
In a world where millions struggle to survive, many aren’t willing to place faith in a technology that can’t be proven. Even those who are exposed to the ideas of singularity may not believe it’s possible. If stem cell research is controversial and underfunded, it seems likely that many people would actively oppose funding singularity projects. There’s a possibility that political, religious, and collective opposition to the development of singularity may be greater than forces that support its benefits.
Humanity may take another great step forward in evolution with singularity. New arguments about what constitutes a living organism may surface. Belief systems and values are likely to change with advancements in technology.
Further explorations of the universe may take place more easily with increases in the power of technology. The presumed continual advancement of artificial intelligence and computers could lead to even greater discoveries. New discoveries could lead to rapid increases in options available to individuals. Nearly endless positive possibilities exist for what could happen in the future.
The potential for humans to live indefinitely in an era of increased options should provide ample motivation to support funding for singularity. While it’s possible that great problems could arise with the advent of singularity, it appears more likely that it will bring benefits to humanity.
Is the potential benefit of Artificial Intelligence worth the potential risk? Yes. Singularity has the potential to help people living now. In a world where there’s universal death, it’s best to risk developing technology. The prospect of prolonging life is worth the low percentage risk of technology gone mad.
The high probability of technology improving the quality of human lives is far too important to ignore. The potential good that could be done could help every single person. How can one become directly involved in improving technology to combat social problems? Learning about technology, funding technology projects, and communicating to others about technology are all good initial steps to getting involved. The potential benefits of technological singularity are too important to ignore.
POSSIBILITIES OF TECHNOLOGICAL SINGULARITY:
1. It is going to work, and the people who control it have noble intentions to save all living beings.
2. It is not going to work fully, but the people who control it have noble intentions and will make improvements in humanity.
3. It is not going to work at all, but the people who control it have noble intentions and will keep trying to perfect it.
4. It is not going to work, and the people who control it have noble intentions and decide to spend their time and money on other pursuits.
5. It is going to work, and the people who control it don’t have noble intentions. This could lead to billions of people being left to die. It could lead to nearly all people being forced to serve powerful masters. It could lead to near total surveillance and totalitarian control.
6. It is not going to work well, but the advantages it provides will only be available to the most powerful people.
7. It is not going to work, but the people who control it never admit to it and keep using funds that could be used in better ways.
8. It is not going to work, and the people who control it have harmful intentions and find another way to exploit humanity.
If singularity becomes a reality, it will likely be out of the price range of nearly everyone at first. Once proven to work, the wealthy may start granting the semi-wealthy greater privileges, and so on down the economic line.
A LETTER TO THE ELITE TRANSHUMANISTS (who get to live indefinitely while most of us die)
Hey scientists and rich folks,
When you acquire superhuman strength, can live at least indefinitely and maybe forever, and can cruise over to different galaxies for holidays, could you find it in your god-like powers to help bring the rest of us foolish masses back to life? We’d surely not be as worthy as you brilliant ones, but we’d like the possibility of being able to watch all new exciting types of TV.
You could consider us a science experiment. We lost to that scary notion of death that we used to face together. We could be helpful. Maybe we could gradually evolve to enjoy the cool new things you’re getting to see throughout the universe.
Surely one of you god-like beings could recreate the lesser humans rather easily. If you’re alive for an indefinite amount of time, you could surely spare a few minutes to toss us a life line! But if for some reason, you don’t want to bring back the masses of a bygone era, could you at least be gracious enough to bring back Mike Nesteruk, born in Columbus, Ohio on October 4th, 1978? Causes of death not yet known. He’s a good guy, and just missed out on the gifts you have, even though he desperately wanted them.
Thanks in advance. See you on the flip side of eternity.
I appreciate the chance to live indefinitely!
CHAPTER 10 THINK ABOUT IT
It’s rather easy to dream. Achieving greatness in the real world is much more difficult. How does one discover talents? One must take chances to develop valued skills.
Most people have talents in several areas of life. Establishing clarity helps people pursue what’s most desirable. Seek advice from successful professionals. It’s much better to get paid for doing what one loves instead of spending time doing menial tasks.
Cooperating with others is almost always inevitable to provide for a better way of life. Difficulties should be expected along the way to living a dream. Even if one works hard and reaches high levels of skill, they still may not experience the success they want.
Those who burn with passion to use their talents do everything in their power to try to do what they want. Accept that temporary failure may be required to become extraordinary. No matter what, pursue what has value.
“Average” people may have greater knowledge than the most admired people. Those who achieve recognition accomplish feats that are seen as valuable to others. When a person spends their entire life focused on one pursuit, they have limited experience.
Compare Noam Chomsky’s life to the life of a person who is considered “average.” Noam is held in high regard because he changed the way people think about language. Anyone who accomplishes a grand intellectual feat has demonstrated great ability.
Noam may have more fame, fortune, and intellectual ability than an average person. Yet an average person may know a lot about multiple things that Noam knows nothing about. Perhaps a specific “average” person knows a great deal about the band Oingo Boingo, how to cut hair well, what it’s like to live in another part of the world, can speak Macedonian, is able to play beach volleyball well, knows about a new video game, and can juggle five balls at once while humming the national anthem.
Although it’s a possibility that Noam is capable of all these things, it’s unlikely. Each person tends to excel at matters they place focus on.
Areas of desire that frequently have a large amount of significance for individuals include relationships, leisure activities, entertainment, belief systems, money, work, and managing a home.
Relationships are important because they help establish meaningful ways to connect with loved ones. Many feel that their families are the most important aspect of their lives. Loved ones shouldn’t be taken for granted. Those who are lucky enough to have a loving family should do their best to set aside time to spend time with relatives.
Friendships are often as important in establishing balance as family bonds. It’s a gift to be free to choose who to associate with. Common interests typically attract friends to spend time with each other.
Romantic relationships allow people to fulfill physical and emotional desires. The bond one has with a lover is often unlike any other. Sensations of romance can be among the best moments of life.
The ability to reach out to others is available to everyone. One must have the courage to pursue new relationships. Find ways to show love to people who matter.
Leisure activities help establish peace of mind, provide relaxation, and fill one with joy. It’s beneficial to spend time doing what one loves as much as possible. Developing personal growth through activities provides assistance in other areas of life.
Entertainment is a joyous experience. There are numerous ways to be amused. Communicating beauty through senses is remarkable. It’s a gift to be touched by an artistic performance, a hilarious comedian, a fire breathing juggling act, or other brilliant performers.
Belief systems are vital to providing a framework to understand our role in the universe. Many belief systems exist. Useful belief systems improve lives. Creative people dare to design their own unique set of beliefs. The mind is best utilized by embracing meaningful beliefs.
Making money provides for needs and enhances the ability to pursue desires. The value of money comes from the freedom it grants people to make decisions regarding how they spend their time. Those with more money than they need have greater options to do what they want, obtain goods and services they desire more easily, and have increased influence in the world.
There are many potential ways to earn money to provide for survival needs. Discovering work that has meaning can be a difficult task, but is essential to live well. Various factors can be viewed as obstacles to obtaining the type of work that one can feel passionate about. These obstacles are challenges that one must overcome to live well.
Managing a home can be a daunting task, or a way to enjoy life. Shelter can be considered a need for survival to combat extreme elements of weather. Many people are privileged to be able to select where they make their home. Maintaining proper home care can seem trivial. Having a minimum level of safety, health, and comfort at home provides a foundation that enables one to pursue what they love.
So how can one achieve balance after meeting needs? There are no obvious answers that apply to everyone, because individuals face unique sets of circumstances. Everyone wants different things out of life. What one values is seen clearly according to how they choose to spend their time. Nearly all people strive to find balance to be able to pursue several different interests.
It can be hard to decide which messages and points of view are most important to consider in a world with more than six billion people. The suffering that takes place in the world is directly attributable to a system of corruption that makes no sense for billions. There are more than six billion people on the planet, yet many people live in loneliness. Nobody cares if you live or die unless you’re unique. And why should they? More than six billion others have a lot to offer.
Effort to become a better person is rarely wasted. Effort to fit in is almost always foolish. How can one be like others on a planet with more than 6 billion individuals? Terrible things happen virtually every moment. There are more than 6 billion people living today. Do the math. It’s likely that tragedies are non-stop on planet Earth.
CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
Make firm decisions to be great at whatever is valued, even if one isn’t a genius at first.
Decide what’s worth having faith in.
Make beneficial changes.
Take significant action instead of thinking about taking action.
Be serious enough to do what seems important while being wise enough to enjoy life.
Use time wisely.
Create a life worth living.
Appreciate what’s been given by others.
Try to do what seems most valuable even if success doesn’t come quickly.
Be a person of moral character while continuing to learn what that means.
Encourage others to live well.
Treat others with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Learn lessons from great people and apply them.
Act like a free spirit, not like a caged animal.
Decide where to place energy and focus.
Be strong enough to keep working through times of difficulty.
Be honest about what you want out of life.
Reach out to others, even if much failure is experienced.
Work hard to do what’s important so purposes can be served.
Use energy to enjoy life as much as possible.
Value the past, embrace the present and work to build hope towards a better future.
Persistently fight to become better.
Pursue practical ways of achieving dreams in reality.
Life is funny. Try to enjoy it.
Let life become what you want it to be before it is too late.
Love whatever you can however you can.
Be patient when necessary, but go after what you want like a madman.
Realize that all situations are temporary.
Enjoy the moment as much as possible. It may be your last.
Prepare for the future or be led by constant whims.
Do the best you can at what you love.
Don’t disregard blessings.
Support the people who mean the most to you.
Get work that you see purpose in.
Remember the glorious past for what it was, but live in the present.
Love life and embrace each moment for all that you can.
Be the miracle that you’ve always wanted to see in the world.
Continue to learn about what’s important.
Don’t forget the sacrifices that have been made to provide for your life.
Gain self-control and become the master of your own destiny.
Care for those who deserve it.
Let the mind, body, and spirit flow freely at times.
Think before you act, but act as quickly in the moment as possible.
Be honest with yourself.
Stand up for what’s right before it’s too late.
Know why you’re motivated.
Conquer fears and don’t allow doubts to dominate your life.
Experience what’s beautiful.
Learn to serve others in various capacities without expecting a direct return.
Find joy in areas where other people seem to struggle.
Have the courage to be the type of person that you’ve always wanted to be.
Don’t dwell on past errors but on future opportunities.
Make decisions based on logic, instinct, and personal desires.
Love the time that you’ve been given.
Don't be so rigid that you miss out on what’s even better.
Make the most of life.
As soon as a baby enters the world, they’ve got doctors smacking them, a bunch of grabby relatives, and others dictating what to do. Kids are told how to eat, how to act, and how to go to the bathroom according to societal expectations. Children are even curbed away from the natural instinct of masturbation.
School tests, homework, and grades prepare most for a life of taking orders from authorities and obeying without questioning. Creativity is beaten out of young children. Learning institutions become harmful when individuals are disregarded unless they’re drones.
Most work crushes individuality. There are vast differences in how people start out in life. Nearly everyone starts at the bottom. Many people say “Yes sir” more times than “I love you” throughout the course of their lives.
It doesn’t make sense to work hard for years just to live a life that’s barely tolerable. Why would anyone? They’re conditioned to avoid doing what they want. The only way of life they know is obeying authority.
How can one avoid this path? There are no definite answers about how to best live freely. Life is a battle between being able to live freely and serving others.
Unless one is independently wealthy, it’s nearly impossible to avoid obeying authority. Even those who have autonomy are still subjected to powerful forces. Actions affect life. Even the mightiest ruler is influenced by actions of others. A great ruler is sometimes helped by the simplest peasant.
Nobody has total freedom to do everything they want all the time. Who has total freedom? Is there a person who can’t be killed? Is there a person who doesn’t require oxygen to survive? Is there a person who lives without experiencing pain?
There’s a degree of freedom earned from having a reasonable level of comfort. Security is mostly an illusion. Life is temporary. All are headed for death; it’s just a question of when and how.
Lies are being communicated through money, politics, religion, and schools. Confused individuals with good intentions reach incorrect conclusions. The universe is far too large to comprehend. Even those who are highly rational admit they fail to comprehend most events that take place. Humans aren’t capable of seeing all that takes place in the universe.
Since all people fail to see the full truth of reality, they seek answers from external sources. The collective wisdom of humanity through the ages can provide more information than can be studied in an entire lifetime. Brilliant people fail to understand basic information about parts of the world they never experience. Nobody can be fluent in every single language on Earth. Every person has to decide what to focus on in the time they’re alive. Decisions are often made based on the reality that individuals have been made familiar with.
Most people follow others and attempt to live in comfort by following the actions of the majority. Since people realize they’re unable to find the truth for themselves, they look to external sources to provide them with truth. How do people decide which sources of information are true?
Experimentation determines what people believe. Those who accept what they’ve already experienced often depend on traditions to explain reality. Traditionalists often believe information that was considered true in the past must still be true. Experimentation involves making a great deal of errors. Challenging accepted notions of truth leads to a change in the way one perceives reality.
It’s likely that all people use elements of experimentation and acceptance in their lives. Traditionalists still age and are expected to take on new roles as they mature. Risk takers who take tons of chances still rely on a great deal of information learned through acceptance. The difference in risks taken versus relying on tradition determines quality of life.
Lies are told because many people lack knowledge. Honest people admit they fail to understand the entire universe. Liars can make any truth claim, regardless of how insane it may seem.
Lies are frequently told by those in power and those who have little power. Individuals usually lie because they’re afraid. Many people want others to respect them and want to live in agreement with the majority of society. Some lie to appear to be better than they actually are. Few individuals always act completely honestly.
Institutions lie to people to maintain power. They instill fear in the weak so they continue to do the bidding of rulers. These lies are despicable and trap many.
Money lenders lie so they can continue to get rich off the work of others. There’s evidence that the masses are being oppressed by a corrupt system of power. Many people live with much debt. Even those who work rarely own their own homes and spend most of their lives working to pay off debt to banks. The ones who control the money control nearly everyone.
Who decides what money is worth? The official explanation is that the Federal Reserve makes and determines the value of the dollar based on supply and demand of the consumers. In reality, there are no reliable checks and balances to regulate decisions made by the Federal Reserve.
Social control is in place from corrupt government bodies that are funded by people who control banks. Every person in the USA is born as a number. To find work one must have a valid government issued ID and a permanent address. Personal information can be traced by anyone with access to appropriate technology. Is there a need to track citizens so much?
Giving away freedoms has been accepted since most people are uncertain and afraid. Individuals are told they have to comply, or they’ll be left out of society with no chance of surviving on their own. Most expectations are so ingrained that few even question why they bother complying with rules.
Nearly all people are frustrated with the reality they experience. Few want terrible things to happen to anyone. Most realize how limited they are and believe they’re unable to make significant change. It’s much easier to follow the crowd, settle for getting by, and live in comfort. Until more people are willing to confront the lies of their culture, many people will continue to lead lives of conformity to serve powerful rulers.
DON’T CAUSE HARM
Why is it important to have regard for other people? If one is trying to do what they want, why should they be worried about others? Why should an individual bother concerning themselves with how they treat people? What if other people stand in the way of what they want? What if others always take and never offer anything in return?
Those who are born into hostile environments are taught the ways of hostility. They’re surrounded by hostile people and are likely to become hostile. Those who are born into healthy environments are taught to be healthy. They’re surrounded by healthy people who are likely to be healthy.
One can do what they want in life by themselves, but tasks become easier when an environment of interdependence is taking place. Interdependence allows individuals to focus on their personal goals while cooperating with others to achieve mutual goals. It’s burdensome and lonely to go through life trying to accomplish everything alone.
There are no definite rules that define what makes life worth living. It’s still important to be concerned with how to treat people. Everyone is impacted by the actions of others. If one makes efforts to contribute positively to other people, they’re much more likely to respond with kindness.
Expect nothing and you almost always get it.
Expect nothing and you’re rarely disappointed.
Expect nothing. It’s safer than having dreams crushed.
Expect nothing, except for eventual death. Everything else is a mystery.
Expect nothing, especially not all the stupid things you used to believe in.
Expect nothing except pain.
Expect nothing except the unexpected.
Expect nothing except for everything that seems highly likely to be true.
Expect nothing except for human stupidity.
Expect nothing except for a bunch of people who want what you have.
Expect nothing except for no. Then when you get a yes, it seems really sweet.
Expect nothing except for everything you ever wanted. When you don’t get that, expect a good life. When you don’t get that, expect a struggle. If you don’t get that, you aren’t alive.
Expect people to believe in less than total truth. Nobody knows that! Allow people to have their delusional beliefs, but never be afraid to tell others why you believe they’re moronic.
Expect rewards for people who maintain order. Expect the rewarded to punish people who try to bring just, but threatening change. But know that the people who try to preserve what has been always lose in the end. Change is going to happen, but probably not the exact change desired.
Expect people to be greedy. On the rare occasions when individuals aren’t, they seem that much more humane.
Expect people to disappoint. On the rare occasions when they don’t, they seem like geniuses.
Expect people to do less than they should. If they exceed expectations, they seem like noble souls.
Expect life to end. If it doesn’t, you may have something others want.
Expect youth to end. If it doesn’t, people would be babies forever.
Expect life to change. There’s never been a moment where it didn’t.
Expect reality to change just a little bit every day. But expect the fundamental laws of the universe to remain the same throughout your life.
Expect hardships. If good times come, you can enjoy them that much more.
Expect people to be harsh. On the occasions when individuals love, they’ll seem exceptional.
Expect to be humbled. It seems sweeter if one ever receives awards.
Expect to be treated as non-royalty, unless you’re actual royalty. Then quit the stupid ceremonial position, give money to charity, and try to make the world a little better.
Too many people feel that they’ve been unsuccessful. Potential reasons individuals experience failure to reach dreams:
1. They decide they’re nothing special and doomed to be average.
2. They avoid taking chances to live the way they want.
3. They stay away from taking risks to develop talents.
4. They depend on others to offer amazing opportunities.
5. They try to seek understanding of the universe by themselves.
6. They focus on their negative limitations instead of developing their positive potential.
7. They search for truth instead attempting to create the type of reality they want.
8. They allow others to intimidate them and dictate their behaviors.
9. They have difficulty asking for help.
10. They allow energy to be put into tasks that are immediate, but not important.
11. They settle for security instead of trying to live boldly.
12. They’re lazy.
13. They allow confusion to lead them to indecision.
14. They ignore what’s happening in the real world.
15. They let the people who matter most to them slip away.
16. They pursue foolish goals due to being out of touch with reality.
17. They never make strong efforts to be great.
18. They expect others to give into their desires on demand.
19. They don’t work to make their dreams become reality.
20. They become lost about who they are and what they’re doing.
21. They refuse to participate with imperfect people.
22. They’re not content with what they have.
23. They refuse to act due to uncertainty.
24. They aren’t able to find any hope for the future.
25. They don’t trust their own judgment due to their failure.
FAITH AND DOUBT
Everyone experiences moments of faith and doubt. Nearly every person is able to have enough faith in the universe to believe life is worth living. Conscious choices lead to specific goals being achieved.
Faith isn’t necessary when there’s evidence and knowledge. Faith is found when one has sincere belief that things will improve. Doubt occurs when one believes things will get worse. Many people wrestle with faith and doubt every day.
Faith can be used to give hope in painful situations. It can also disconnect one from reality. Faith is sometimes helpful in a world that contains uncertainty. Each person must decide what they have faith in by using their best judgment.
Doubt can be used to make important life changes. Without doubt, it’s impossible to question. It’s impossible to grow. Doubt is a useful tool when one discovers they’re pursuing a false path.
Faith and doubt are subject to change. Life doesn’t stop at any fixed point. The way each person perceives truth changes based on their personal perspectives.
The main reason one should have faith is to have hope. Hope can inspire one to live well in good times and bad times. The main reason one should doubt is to change false beliefs. Doubt allows people to change their minds when new evidence seems to support more accurate facts.
There are many reasons to have faith. There are many reasons to have doubts. Reasons for both are subject to change. Many people waver between faith and doubt.
As great as a famous basketball player may be, people living fifty years from now probably won’t care much about what was done on the basketball court. As great as many writers have been, most people won’t read what they’ve written. And so it is with every part of life. Even the few who are literally the best at what they do will almost assuredly be mostly forgotten by people of the future.
There aren’t many people who know who the best cattle herder of all-time is. Most professions get little to no recognition from the general public. And many who get recognition don’t deserve it.
Who will be remembered? It’s fun to speculate about the future, but one never knows what will happen. All of the efforts of humanity could be wiped away by one comet. Perhaps some things in life are more important than achieving fame.
FIND MULTIPLE PURPOSES
It’s often stated that one should try to find their purpose in life. A more accurate statement would encourage everyone to find their plural purposes. There’s rarely a time when a single aspect of life is all that provides value. Requirements for survival include diverse elements such as food, clothing, shelter, health, sleep, water, and oxygen.
Those who find happiness from only one source could easily lose everything they value. What if one freak accident, like an outburst at a board meeting, a lost report, or a hurricane destroys a job that was highly valued? To live well, it’s necessary to develop aptitude in several areas and embrace flexibility in the face of adversity.
FIRST THOUGHT BEST THOUGHT?
If one is
on fire, it doesn’t require intense speculation to put the fire out. Most decisions in life should be made using
logic. Nearly all people make decisions
about what to eat, what to read, and what to wear. Poor decisions result in low quality meals,
irrelevant reading selections, or goofy outfits. Taking too much time to decide can result in
going hungry instead of making a choice, reading a bunch of book titles instead
of diving into meaningful content, or wasting time instead of living well.
Decisions about major life issues often require intense speculation. Some people do better to make swift decisions and stick by them without exploring too many options. Others need to try many different things before they decide what they value most. There are some with insatiable curiosity who never stop examining options. It’s important to ask relevant questions that lead to a meaningful life.
Trusting instincts is essential for success in some areas of life. Nearly all people have to make quick decisions in a crisis. Few conversations with others are scripted. Quick decision making skills are vital to achieve success.
The first thought can be the best thought. It can also be an irrational thought that produces harm if carried out. A thought that one should use the bathroom upon waking up is likely to be beneficial. Taking care of biological needs prevents an unsanitary mess from occurring in the sleeping area. If the first thought one has when waking up is about riding to work on a giant pink brontosaurus, it’s not likely to have any relevance in reality.
Sometimes first thoughts are brilliant. At other times they’re ridiculous.
The quality of a first thought is dependent on content. First thoughts may yield great results. At other times, first thoughts result in absolute absurdity. It’s often wise to trust instincts. But it’s even wiser to trust human reasoning. Re-evaluating some thoughts is imperative before taking action.
Are people free? Everyone who’s alive has temporary freedom. Nearly all of us have the ability to do something fun immediately. But for most of us, that’d result in getting trouble with parents, bosses, or cops. How can one have as much long-term freedom as one wants?
The answers are often difficult to find. There’s no way to know for certain what’s best. The people who fight and lobby to get better parts of life often lose. Achieving long-term freedom nearly always depends on doing things that no sane person would do if they were actually free to do what they want.
Individuals have to find food to eat, a place to stay warm, and a way to keep clothes on their back to survive. Nearly all people like some additional perks as well.
So you’re probably not free now. You’re probably involved in struggle, hoping that maybe one day; you’ll actually be able to have the freedom you want. But even if you find that freedom, know that a bunch of people are going to come around and try to hassle you for some of your hard earned cash. Obvious roadblocks to freedom should be avoided at all costs.
Even if you dodge common mistakes, you’ll eventually get older and get sick. This sucks. This will almost assuredly make you less free than you want to be. So live it up while you can. Even if you manage to have some freedom when sick and old, you’re still going to die. And there’s about as much freedom in that as slavery.
What level of bothering others should be tolerated? If we’re all imperfect beings, how do we determine what level of imperfection should be punished?
When people commit unjustified, deliberate harm to others, they should be punished. If people don’t like most actions of others, they can usually just walk away.
If harmful people cause unjust violence to others, they should be eliminated.
Lack of economic opportunity is the primary reason most people commit crimes. But some people continue to harm others and act “unethically” even when they have a decent standard of living. Most people do as little as they can to get as much as they can.
HELP OTHERS SURVIVE
It’s beneficial to work towards goals to provide all people with basic survival needs. This doesn’t mean humanity can completely prevent death. It’s possible to make progress to help eliminate major social problems including starvation, homelessness, and disease.
It’s necessary to change political, economic, and personal policies that use resources to harm others. The amount of money spent on operating armies could be better used to help people in need. Reducing money spent on military operations and increasing funding to assist progressive social issues would be taking a step in the right direction.
Secure people tend to cooperate with others to live in peace. If people have enough to eat, comfortable homes to live in, and jobs that serve a purpose, they’re much less likely to harm others. Poverty can cause individuals to act in desperate ways to meet needs. Those with plenty live safer when everybody has their basic survival needs met.
It is horrifying knowing how little one knows.
It is horrifying knowing that no matter what one does, it’s all lost in the end.
It is horrifying knowing that even the best people are destined to go through pain and suffering.
It is horrifying knowing that our destiny is to be a shell of what we once were.
It is horrifying to think that one day we will simply cease to be.
It is horrifying to think that this life is all that we ever get to experience.
It is horrifying to think of the absurd things that people live for.
It is horrifying to think of all the people who are never even given a fair chance in life.
It is horrifying to realize that most people do things they don’t like most of their lives.
It is horrifying to realize that many people never reach anywhere near their potential.
HOW DO PEOPLE END UP SO BORING?
No logical person sets out to live a dull life. Many people experience the mundane due to being unwilling to create a life of beauty. Almost everyone suffers through moments of disappointment. Forces of the universe that are beyond human control influence all people. Each individual is responsible for how they choose to deal with the mysteries of life. Any who live in a boring manner ignore many great options.
It isn’t sensible to settle for living a mundane life. There are too many wonderful possibilities to spend too much time focused on dullness. It isn’t beneficial for people to suffer unnecessarily.
Accepting that one has to live a dull life makes a dreary reality. Settling for less than what one desires leads to hope being crushed. Being a boring person is a poor choice.
Truth- It’s vital to bring truth to light in many cases. But the entire truth of the universe is unknown. Human beings have limited knowledge, and are continuing to attempt to gain more knowledge in many areas. Aiming to comprehend the entire universe is delusional.
Meaning of life- There’s no universal, obvious, widely accepted meaning of life. Survival is vital for anyone who desires to continue living. Other than that, each individual has values and priorities that vary to some extent. Many people have theories about how to discover the meaning of life. But there’s no evidence that proves any of them are absolutely correct. Each individual can choose to believe certain parts of life are meaningful to them.
Purpose for living- There’s no inherent reason for any human being to live. Until medical technology is improved, all people who are born are destined to experience physical death. Any purpose any of us serve is temporary. Humans are free to select anything they choose to be their purpose. But there’s no universal, widely accepted purpose that all people must accept.
Living well- There’s no universal agreed upon formula that leads to living well for every single person. Each person has to take chances to do what they believe is best. They may realize that they’ve made errors, but they may be able to find something better in the future if they improve themselves.
Doing what’s best – What’s “best” is subjective. There’s no way to know that one is doing what’s best. Each rational individual can aim to live well, and attempt to enjoy the moments they experience.
Achieving – Each individual determines what it means to accomplish something “significant.”
Doing something that will last- It’s possible for virtually anyone to create something that will impact others. But it’s impossible to know if the creations one forms will last. The future is undetermined. All one can do is do their best work, and hope that it’ll be relevant to others.
Doing the right thing- There’s no universal, widely accepted standard that dictates precisely what the “right” thing is to everyone. Many behaviors are found to be unacceptable in most societies of the world, such as murder, rape, or theft. But murder, rape, and theft still take place. Clearly, not all people share commonly accepted values or acceptance of formal rules.
Acting without knowledge- While each person can attain more knowledge, each person has limited time. Every individual decides what they want to focus on more than anything else. All people take risks without ever attaining completely accurate information about nearly all things in the universe.
The most determined individuals have clear goals while allowing for some flexibility to occur.
People make horrible mistakes because they’re unsure about the past, present, and future. Being unaware of what will happen in the future sometimes leads to poor decisions. Those who live well are able to find what seems most likely to be true.
Full truth about past events is unknown. Although one may learn a great deal about the events of the past, accurate information is often limited. One can learn that Woodstock occurred in 1969. There’s no way one can know what it was like to be there unless they were actually there. Even if one was there, they were only able to directly experience a tiny portion of all the happenings of that event. There’s no way that anyone can understand all that takes place.
It’s easy to make mistakes about events of the past. Information that was once considered factual can become irrelevant. Personal biases often warp perceptions of the truth about events. Since nobody understands the full truth of the past, people make their decisions based on their beliefs.
When people realize that they acted in foolish ways, it often brings feelings of guilt and regret. Negative feelings about the past too often prevent present actions that could lead to greatness. Intelligent people realize that no matter where they are, they experience only a tiny portion of the universe.
With such limited understanding of all that takes place, it’s easy to see why individuals may believe they’re not doing what seems best. Most of the mistakes people make are due to their lack of knowledge about what will happen in the future. Possibilities often seem nearly endless. But what’s most likely to occur? One must try to decide what they believe will lead to the best possible life without knowing what will happen next.
It’s probable that some people are better off risking little and living in peace. Others will only be fulfilled if they’re taking bold risks to change the course of human history. Most probably want elements of safety and danger in their lives. Since the future is uncertain, all one can do is aim for the best future.
Each person is left to work out answers for themselves. Since there’s no definite answer, this leads to people making mistakes. It’s rather easy to make errors when there’s no way to know how to do exactly what’s right. People who take noble actions despite uncertainty are able to live well.
Mistakes are made because people are unsure about the truth of the past, present, and future. In an uncertain world, it’s likely that all people are prone to making mistakes at times. Forming strong personal beliefs that seem to be true can allow one to take positive actions to try to do what seems best. Accept the unknown while acting to do what is best. Live the best life possible according to your values. In an uncertain reality, what could be better?
What’s considered reasonable to an uneducated ten-year-old girl in a third world nation who’s been raised to believe in spirits may be considered ridiculous to an educated US citizen. It may be entirely possible for an uneducated child who believes in irrational teachings to bring joy to others despite her illogical belief in spirits. An educated US citizen may feel suicidal. Just because an individual is rational doesn’t mean they’re automatically superior to people with irrational beliefs.
One could argue that a rational person with opportunities wouldn’t be on the brink of suicide. There are often complex circumstances that plague the minds of those who feel they’re suffering. Poor reasoning can lead one to adopt faulty logic.
NEARLY INFINTE AMOUNTS OF CREATIVITY
There are a nearly infinite number of musical ideas that could be pursued. Anyone who does anything useful with music commits to learning specific tunes and does their best to master them in a uniquely.
There are a nearly infinite amount of books that could be written. Anyone who does anything useful with books commits to creating words that are useful to others regarding a specific topic.
There are nearly infinite numbers of movies that could be made. Anyone who does anything useful with films takes risks to shoot the stories they believe are valuable.
There is a nearly infinite amount of comedy that could be made. Anyone who does anything useful with comedy takes risks to perform in front of others.
There are a nearly infinite amount of people to have sex with. You’ll probably never get a chance to have sex with every single person you want to, but enjoy trying.
There are nearly infinite amounts of scientific advancements that could be made. But all of them will take intelligence and sacrifice to achieve.
There is a nearly infinite amount of philosophy that could be embraced. Anyone can make up their own philosophy; all they have to do is have the courage needed to do so.
There is a nearly infinite amount of food that exists. The food supply is limited in certain parts of the world. But there is enough food to keep more than six billion people alive.
There is a nearly infinite amount of clothing that exists. The tough part is finding ways to have the clothes one wants.
There is a nearly infinite amount of shelters that exist. The tough part is finding ways to afford the type of housing one wants.
There is a nearly infinite amount of sports that exist. The tough part is figuring out what one wants to focus on most.
There are a nearly infinite amount of games that exist. The tough part is figuring out which games one wants to play most.
feel alive? Or do you feel trapped? Why
do so many people work so hard to maintain a lifestyle that they find mostly
Too many people cope with a life of drudgery. Instead of taking risks to improve, they pursue comfort. They see no point in trying hard. They accept that they’ll never amount to anything great. So they live just to maintain the few comforts that they have.
Some people stay in miserable situations to improve the lives of others. Serving others doesn’t have to be done in misery. Anyone who has the courage to help others should do so with a sense of satisfaction and pride.
Many adults who live dull lives do so due to their own lack of imagination. Anyone who does things creatively has nearly endless opportunities. Fear prevents people from taking chances to live well. A lack of imagination occurs when people stop questioning.
a dull life due to fear is a strange way to live. It’s hard to believe anyone makes a conscious
choice to live a dull life. Negative
beliefs prevent people from living well.
Too many individuals focus on past failures instead of present options.
To avoid living a pointless life, stay focused on value. Find passion, and pursue it as long as possible.
Most people are able to understand what’s occurring right before their eyes in their immediate environment. Each person can only exist in one time and place. Every person must keep at least enough focus in their present location to stay alive. With the advent of modern technology, it’s possible to focus on events that are taking place in another part of the world.
If someone is in Hawaii, they don’t know what’s directly happening in London, England. It may be possible to view events taking place in London via technology while in Hawaii. Broadcast images only reflect a tiny portion of all that’s happening in London. What each person chooses to focus on determines how well they live.
Models aren’t the most admirable people on the planet. They may look the best, live glamorous lives, and have way more money than most of the people you know. But they aren’t as beneficial to the world as surgeons, charity workers, or even bus drivers. They just look good.
Working hard is important, but working efficiently is even more important. Nobody cares if an individual works for twenty hours or twenty minutes a day if they produce something that’s valuable.
Despite the lack of inherent meaning of life, many individuals choose to believe in concepts that teach there’s an inherent meaning of life. Groups with different beliefs often come into conflict. Since nobody can prove that their beliefs are true, perhaps it’s best to allow people to live according to their beliefs as long as they do no direct harm to others. But all people should also be permitted to openly criticize beliefs they don’t feel are true.
Fulfilling potential can be confusing or a tremendous blessing. If an individual demonstrates exceptional ability, they should consider themselves fortunate. With all the potential options that exist, how does one best use time?
Passions vary. Interests change. Many people change significantly several times throughout the course of their lives.
people retain the same type of interests they held at age five into their
mid-thirties? How many adults act like
they did when they were 13? Hopefully no
one! Life brings change, whether it’s
welcome or not. Change is going to
The future is ultimately unknown for all people. Why spend life just getting by and paying bills? Knowing that all people die, everyone should spend their time pursuing their goals.
If we don’t know how we got here, why we’re here, or where we’re going, just about anything is possible. Beliefs are often strange and illogical to begin with. Hope for truth breeds action to do what we think is best. But beliefs aren’t always based on facts. Just recognizing there are more options than can be counted provides a broader understanding about the universe.
The universe is larger than any person can experience. Many fret about the affairs of this planet. There are constantly numerous events taking place that humans know nothing about. Leave room for the unexpected.
How does one best use their talents, resources, and time? It depends on the specific individual and their goals. Taking risks to help others is vital to any pursuit. Initial attempts to do well are often frustrating failures. Finding the courage to stay dedicated while facing failure is necessary to find success in most pursuits.
great requires sacrifice. Although some
learn quickly, it’s unlikely that any person beginning any endeavor starts
better than those who spend years perfecting their craft. Those who keep aiming for the highest levels
of achievement are likely to see results that produce value.
Any special recognition makes people feel good about their pursuits. Difficulty comes when one doesn’t achieve the levels of success they hope for quickly.
There’s no guaranteed method to provide value. Unfortunately, people are vulnerable to making mistakes, even with good plans. Each person is unique and tries to discover how to provide value.
A few suggestions for success:
Strive to achieve the highest levels of performance at all times.
Spend time pursuing what seems most important.
Accept that many small tasks are a part of achieving larger goals.
Appreciate people deeply and provide genuine value.
Accept that mistakes are made in most human efforts.
Attempt to learn from errors by not repeating them.
Make sure work is completed with care, but take time to enjoy life too.
Serve others and accept rewards graciously.
Be clear about what your unique talents are.
Be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Seize each moment for all it’s worth.
RISING ABOVE LIMITS
Many feel limited by their own lack of abilities and experiences. Evolving to become better requires dedication to higher ideals. Limiting the self doesn’t make sense in an uncertain reality.
Developing greater faith in abilities requires taking risks. How does one decide what to focus on? What seems most likely to lead to the best life? Is it possible to excel in several aspects of life? Or is it better to place energy into one main pursuit?
Determining the truth is a lifelong quest and requires frequent re-examination. Each person is compelled to act in different ways. Those who have courage may fail to experience their dreams. It may be natural for people to question what would be best to pursue. Intelligent individuals realize that time is limited. The focus individuals choose depends on what they believe is important.
Following passion is important. Passion inspires living well in the present and hope for a better future. Elements of skepticism are present for many in life. It’s easy to wonder about other possibilities that could’ve happened. Many believe better choices could’ve led to improvements.
Nobody knows what would’ve happened if different choices had been made. Nobody can know what would’ve occurred if the actions they took had been different. Even when people choose to dwell on past moments, they do so in the present. One can choose to dwell on possibilities that differ from actual reality. Nearly all people seem to do so at times.
Being active in present moments provides value. The universe remains vast and largely unknown. The universe is enormous. Possibilities are nearly endless. Information is practically infinite.
Each person is limited in time and space. The greatest geniuses and the saddest individuals have limited time. Every person only experiences their life in one small part of one small planet. An individual only experiences a minute fraction of what’s taking place. Everyone misses out on most events.
Leaning to live well requires accepting that reality isn’t always aligned with personal desires. Those who live well are able to find peace even when things don’t go exactly their way.
There’s no accurate standard that defines a particular person as spiritual. Spirituality can’t be proven or demonstrated by scientific tests. Science is superior to spirituality. Any rational person chooses to be healed by a doctor instead of prayer.
are uncertain about their beliefs. Most
people have skepticism about many truth claims.
Perhaps it’s a natural reaction to a world that’s often involved in
Rational logic may lead some to believe that there’s no meaning of life. It’s possible that all people who believe in spiritual concepts deceive themselves with a form of delusional thinking.
Logical people often require proof before they acknowledge facts. A skeptic often withholds judgment until a definite answer is evident. Some skeptics believe that spirituality is impossible.
People who sleep too much are too lazy. People who don’t sleep enough are crazy.
While most of the world sleeps, great people build skills.
Anyone who sleeps through life sleeps through the only existence they get.
Sleep when you’re dead. The living should live.
Live as long as possible, but don’t expect to avoid eternal sleep.
No matter what time it is, somebody in the world is asleep.
Sleeping though the movie of life isn’t recommended until the middle to end.
Sleeping away problems isn’t a good long-term solution.
Soccer could be better if it had higher stakes, but not as high as the Roman gladiators had.
It’s hardly sporting to kill a docile animal, but it’s much more efficient for food production.
People who play sports are either lunatics who are failures or lunatics who are considered successful by other lunatics.
If fishing is sport, so is harvesting crops.
Why is dog fighting considered inhumane while fishing is shown on ESPN?
Why is dog fighting considered cruel but people fighting is a multi-million dollar enterprise?
Why do so many people spend so much time watching sports when there are so many other varieties of mindless distractions to occupy their time?
If poker is a sport, then so is Candy land.
Why would anyone, especially a wealthy person, pay to watch other people play golf?
I’ve never wanted to be a professional fighter, and my continual refusal to try is one of the few consistently wise decisions I’ve repeatedly made.
If we have to fight to survive anyway, why not offer to put yourself on display on pay per view?
If there’s anything in life that’s hard to understand, it’s the fact that so many people who could do anything with their lives willingly choose to pursue playing sports.
We pay millions of dollars to guys who are good at throwing balls through hoops and many scientists lack funding to launch programs that could bring great benefits to humanity.
Winning a sports trophy may result in glory and honor, but at the end of a lifetime, one has to realize that all they did was run faster than other guys.
Developing physical strengths often takes years, losing strengths may take only a few days off.
Sports make life better for a lot of people. There’s nothing on Earth that leads to more vicarious thrills for males.
Sports are meant to entertain, but for many people, sports have replaced traditional values that are also equally meaningless.
1. Someday you’re going to die. Why spend life pursuing tasks that have no value?
2. Just about everyone sucks at most things at first. If you really want something go for it. If you decide you don’t, quit at a later time and move on to whatever seems important.
3. If you refuse to take chances to grow, you’ll eventually get worse.
4. Initial pain pales in comparison to potential rewards.
5. It is better to live with the knowledge that you made efforts to do something of value instead of blindly conforming to social expectations.
6. It often takes many years for people to create unique innovations.
7. Your vision might inspire someone else to have a great life and reach others in important ways.
8. Realizing you’re not as sweet as you thought you’d be gives you a greater appreciation for how hard others work.
9. Saying “Yes sir” over and over again isn’t a pleasant prospect for a rational person to experience the majority of their time.
10. You’ve taken chances to get to the point you’re at. Why stop moving in positive directions?
11. The more you suck now, the less likely you’ll suck later.
12. It is better to fail to achieve something great than giving up.
13. Sucking rarely leads to death.
14. Sucking while deciding between different options is part of experiencing growth.
15. Feeling bad due to sucking is something that every person has experienced at one time or another. Learn lessons to become better.
16. Part of overcoming sucking is cooperating with others to try to become better at important tasks.
17. Pain may remain while continuing to suck, but gradual improvement leads to a better way of life.
18. One should love themselves and others, even if they suck.
19. Working to overcome the fact that one sucks is excellent motivation to become a better person.
20. Developing methods to avoid sucking is important.
21. Realizing what it takes not to suck can give one motivation to keep moving in positive directions.
22. Accepting that others may suck allows one to avoid harshly judging others without knowledge.
23. Sucking is a state of mind. What some individuals choose to see as sucking, others can frame as an opportunity to learn.
24. It is necessary to suck before one can reach their maximum potential.
25. It is virtually impossible to avoid believing ideas that suck that come from childhood cultural conditioning.
26. It is natural to suck unless one consistently practices to become great at any one aspect of life.
27. The fact that one sucks is temporary and can be solved by dedication to what matters.
28. One will always suck if they’re expecting perfection. Allow room for sucking while taking risks.
29. Sucking may be necessary to identify with those who suffer.
30. Sucking happens at unexpected times. Work to avoid mistakes.
31. Instead of criticizing what sucks about the world, try to personally change it to make it better. It’ll put the efforts of those who supposedly suck into proper perspective.
32. Don’t just assume things are going to suck. If they seem to, do whatever possible to try to make sure what you do doesn’t completely suck.
33. Avoid conforming to the ways of individuals who suck.
34. Accept that even if one spends their entire life to eliminate all that sucks, it probably won’t happen. Aim to reduce parts of life that suck, but don’t expect the world to be completely suck-free.
35. Suck at a new endeavor from time to time, just to avoid being too comfortable.
36. Try to laugh about what sucks in life when possible.
calculated risks is a necessary part of living well. Those who are willing to make significant
changes in the world work hard to achieve excellence. Mistakes are made by brilliant people and
failure is experienced even by the greats.
Discovering how to make good decisions when the future is unknown takes
One can attempt to learn all that’s known about a particular subject to make well-informed decisions. Even if a person tries to establish complete safety, it’s impossible. Some risks make a lot of sense to take. There’s risk in eating breakfast. It can nourish or it might be poisoned.
risks make little to no sense. It’s highly unlikely that a person will win one
million dollars by betting their entire life savings of five thousand dollars
exclusively on red until it becomes one million dollars. Calculated risk helps individuals determine
ways to have success.
Where would humanity be without those who dare to dream of a better world? If all maintained status quo, humanity would still be a bunch of chimps. Some important survival goals require little risk. It’s not risky for most to buy groceries, turn a water faucet to get a drink, or pay rent.
No matter what one chooses to do, they’re taking a chance. The future is unknown. Acting too conservatively isn’t wise. Life is a risk that can provide satisfaction and unpredictable rewards. Since life contains inherent risk, one should try to take the risks they believe are best.
TOP PLAYERS IN THE ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE IN 2010
Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, Edwin van der Sar, Shay Given
Defense: Ashley Cole, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, William Gallas
Midfielders: Gerrard, Lampard, Fabregas, Michael Essien
Strikers: Drogba, Van Persie, Torres, Rooney
WHAT CREATES DANGEROUS PEOPLE?
It’s a complex question with no direct and easy answer. My personal beliefs:
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH CONSPIRACY THEORIES?
Alternative media sources sometimes report stories that have information that’s radically different than coverage found in the mainstream media. Alex Jones is one of the more famous “freedom fighters” or “conspiracy loonies” depending on your interpretation of the meaning of his messages. Is Jones a fear mongering liar, or one of the only ones who’s brave enough to tell the truth?
I don’t know for certain. It’s wise to weigh truth claims on an individual basis. I don’t doubt the “conspiracy theories” that claim certain governments, law enforcement officials, militaries, and financiers do some awful things to humanity. There’s plenty of evidence to support some of these claims. I doubt truth claims from people who say they have proof that aliens run our governments. I’ve seen no reasonable evidence that demonstrates this to be true.
Something labeled a conspiracy may in fact be entirely true or entirely false. Statements from the mainstream media, a website, or a story from a friend should all be examined to see if they’re accurate. Do your best to have an accurate perception of reality, but don’t automatically dismiss a source because it’s labeled as conspiracy.
It’s unfair to lump everything that isn’t reported in the mainstream news as conspiracy. Intelligent people know that major media sources are run for profit, and tend to contain information that supports the interests of the wealthiest people. Consider why stories about specific controversial policies may not be widely reported on network news. Question the agenda of alternative information sources as well. It’s wise to reach your own conclusions about so-called conspiracy theories, and all supposed facts that are cited by socially accepted information sources.
WHY ARE PEOPLE CRUEL?
CHAPTER 11 TIME
Be satisfied with the temporary life one has, because there’s nothing else one really has.
Question any people who are only here temporarily.
There’s value in much, but permanence in nothing.
Peace can come, but it’s a temporary state.
There may be no point to living, but there are many ways one can enjoy their temporary time.
Life may be viewed as merely a temporary set of experiences.
The worst situations have the potential to improve. The best situations don’t last.
The way to offer temporary beings help is to be temporarily available.
There are ways to get ahead, but never ways to win permanently.
It’s possible that all struggles are futile in the end, but we can experience temporary joy.
Too many people experience unnecessary suffering because they’re uncertain about what to do with their temporary time.
If there are answers to problems, at best they’re temporary ones.
There’s value in the temporary life you have, but it is temporary value.
There’s nothing more to life than experiencing temporary pleasure and helping others to have temporary pleasure. But these pleasures come into conflict often.
Even when people manage to find temporary success they should live knowing that it can all be taken away from them at any time for no reason at all.
Zero people win forever, but many people are able to do something that’s temporarily useful.
Effort made to become a better person is really just effort to live better temporarily.
We’re all here temporarily, so temporarily quit being such a fool.
People have a lot of ridiculous beliefs. It’s likely that in 100 years, nearly all beliefs of today will be viewed by future humans as such.
Every victory is temporary, every disappointment is too.
There’s no permanent salvation, but temporary solutions to improve the condition of lives.
There’s value in living in solidarity, even if it’s not lasting value.
Zero people live forever, but some people actually live vibrantly for a while.
No one makes decisions for eternity. All people make temporary decisions.
Terrible people get ahead by offering others unique temporary value.
Even the best people are replaced after a brief reign at the top.
Enjoy the temporary joys of life, because they’re all that makes life worth living.
A feeling of calm should come when one realizes exactly what it means to be living a temporary existence. You’re done for, so you might as well enjoy the march to the end.
We’re temporary beings serving temporary purposes. Don’t take failure too hard or think success is permanent.
The people who refuse to experience temporary joy never experience it at all.
Perhaps it’s unwise for a finite being to hope for infinite wisdom.
There’s no obvious solution to solve the meaninglessness of life, but there are many interesting temporary solutions.
Anyone who has free time is lucky to be temporarily avoiding the struggle.
If there’s a good reason to live it is this: Your temporary life may be used for something wonderful that’s never been done before.
It’s too bad that youth is temporary in some cases, but quite a blessing in others.
Life may be temporary, but it’s unknown how well it would go if we were able to live forever.
The people who live passionately are the ones who can accept temporary rejection as mere roadblocks along the way to their life of living well.
Determining who one is in a universe larger than one can experience is simple. You’re a temporary being who can never begin to understand a great deal of reality.
Since life is only temporary, temporary joy is the greatest pleasure one can have.
Struggling to achieve success is part of life for nearly all people.
Some people realize how futile the pursuits of most people are most of the time. Perhaps all pursuits of beings who know their existence is temporary are absurd.
It’s strange to think that no matter how great one becomes, being the best is merely a temporary experience before becoming old, rusty, and dead.
Zero things can be done to make a significant change to eternity, but anyone who has courage can make a temporary difference.
Few people can honestly say that life is everything they want it to be. Few can be happy knowing that everything they work to be and achieve is eventually destined to fade away.
Tons of people are able to make up stories about their greatness. A few people can provide some evidence to back up their claim. Nobody can maintain greatness forever.
Zero can be done to save the entire world. It’s best to experience temporary success. It’s achievable, and may be all we have left.
The people who achieve something amazing still die, but they spend their temporary moments knowing that they at least gave all they could to live well.
Planning for the future is wise, but no further than 120 years.
The sad part about life is that even if one gets to a point they’ve always desired, it’s merely temporary.
Take life seriously enough to live well, but not seriously enough to believe that what you do will last.
Every relationship is temporary because humanity is temporary. We can choose to stay involved with a person for our entire lifetime, but death is a very real ending. It’s unfortunate that this is the case, but it’s important that we value people temporarily instead of never at all.
Temporary beings can offer temporary solutions. They can offer valuable opinions that seem worthwhile. But a temporary being doesn’t have the capacity to create a permanent meaning of life that applies to all people.
There are many ways to achieve temporary joy. The people who earn the privilege to have the most extreme joys of life may be the ones who go through the largest amounts of pain to get there.
Nobody stays on top forever. Success changes people. The greats in any field bow down to a new wave of hungry young go getters eventually. Enjoying life and being what one wants leads to a life of value for many individuals.
A human being is an individual who makes no choice to be created, experiencing a temporary life. A person can grow in capabilities temporarily before their physical death.
All people are running imperfect, temporary life experiments. Many people give up trying to do something unique to more easily provide their material needs. But the individuals who have the courage to try to run unique experiments with their lives challenge the status quo of humanity.
Why place total faith in anything temporary? Everything that exists is temporary. The planet we inhabit will probably be destroyed someday. The air we breathe will transform into something else. The water we drink will pass on to some other type of reality. Why would it be any different for humans?
How can a temporary being know eternal truth?
How can a temporary being have an eternal destiny?
How can a temporary being live for eternity?
How can a temporary being know what happened in the distant past?
How can a temporary being know what will happen in the distant future?
How can a temporary being believe they know the truth about the entire universe?
How can a temporary being believe any human institution is capable of fully explaining reality?
How should a temporary being best spend their temporary time?
Why do human beings who are aware of the fact that they’re destined to die choose to stay alive?
ENJOY THE RIDE OF LIFE
We only get to live one lifetime in our present form. We are temporary beings enduring temporary circumstances in a temporary setting. Nothing you’re going through that seems so terrible is going to last forever. Some may have to face situations and circumstances that are extremely difficult, while others have luxury.
All people experience pain frequently, unless they make deliberate efforts to live well.
Instead of thinking about life as eternal, think about it as a short trip. What would you want to do if you only had enough time for a short trip? What about a series of short trips? Life is merely a series of short trips.
Nothing lasts forever, so how can we enjoy our experiences? The answer is ultimately different for every person. There are times when we encounter greatness. There are times when life seems pointless for many.
Getting trapped in cycles of hoping for a better life without taking action is like wishing to be in water while floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Take action to get what you want.
Achieving successes comes from going through failures first. It can be painful to experience failure, but the rewards of living the life you want are too important to give up on. Unexpected events occur to everyone, but staying focused on what’s most important allows one to remain hopeful.
KNOWLEDGE AND TIME
The efforts of the greatest minds of all-time were unable able to eliminate death, pain, war, and uncertainty. Rational thinkers are able to predict the outcomes of certain events based on probability.
One can use reason to establish what has the
highest probability of being true about the past. The past is gone and can’t be fully
understood. Total knowledge of the past
isn’t required to live well.
Some truths appear to be fixed. Truths such as the present existence of gravity on Earth are rather difficult to dispute. It can be accurately stated that gravity is present on most parts of Earth right now.
be places in the world where gravity doesn’t exist. What about simulated
anti-gravity stations for astronauts? Truths
that seem universally correct are subject to specific exceptions.
Instead of aiming to discover absolute certainty, it’s better to use reason to establish what seems most likely to be true. The future can’t be accurately predicted. There are too many factors outside of human control. Individuals may experience unplanned events at any time.
WHAT HAS LASTED?
From ancient civilizations: writing, fire, methods of farming, hunting, sex, eating, cooking, religion, government, money, inventions like the wheel, weapons, war
From 500 years ago: machines, boats, clothing, brilliant art, literature, scientific advancements, knowledge of medicine, mathematics, printing press, and plumbing
From 100 years ago: crude airplanes, movies, electricity, steam powered engines, automobiles, scientific advancements, the theory of relativity, penicillin, better guns, top hats, giant capitalist factories, communism, brilliant art
What’s likely to last?
Any great scientific, intellectual, or social progress is likely to be remembered. Curing a major disease, solving an unknown question, or starting a revolution is likely to be valued by future generations.
Scientific progress is generally achieved by people with great knowledge who labor for many years.
Intellectual progress is generally achieved by people who’ve studied extensively and have expanded on a large body of knowledge already in existence.
Social progress is generally achieved by people with courage who learn to inspire others to take action on a large scale.
What will last? In the long-term, it’s quite possible that NOTHING we do is going to last. There was a time that existed before humanity. There’s probably going to be a time when humanity no longer does. Whether you’re a president or a garbage man, your work is probably going away in the end.
If nothing we do is going to last, what’s the point of doing anything? The point is to make life a better short trip. The problem with temporary life is that doing what makes our individual life better and what makes life better for others can often be conflicting. So we all have to decide if we want to use our temporary time to try but fail to make ourselves happy or whether to try but fail to make others happy.
TRUTH ABOUT THE PRESENT
The most important aspect of life for most is the present moment. It’s highly logical to enjoy the present moment as much as possible. Why would anyone dwell on past mistakes they’re unable to change? It’s best to move on to redeem the mistakes of the past.
To make the present miserable due to past failure or an unknown future is illogical.
Is there a way to guarantee success?
No. All people make decisions, take risks, and hope for the best in life.
Can anyone save the world?
Nobody is likely to save the world. It’s full of the problems of more than 6 billion people. Roughly 150,000 people die every day. Unless major technological developments are made, everyone living now will die sometime within the next 120 years or so. Anyone who believes they make a small contribution to help make the world a bit better is probably right. But anyone who believes they’re saving the world can be repeatedly proven wrong. All people fall short of achieving anything close to saving the world.
Why should we keep living?
People fight to stay alive if they feel life is worth living. If they really don’t, they can give up.
Who has all of the right answers?
Nobody has every right answer. Reality changes too much and too often for anyone to keep up with facts.
What should people do with their lives?
It depends on what they want.
How can one find what they believe in?
Take chances, make mistakes, and try to do things better.
Who can be trusted?
Most people can be trusted to act in self-interest. If you live in a time and place where resources are scarce, people are likely to behave in malicious ways. If living in a time and place of relative good fortune, most people use you for your talents or are indifferent to your activities.
Why is there so much pain in the world?
Natural disasters, limited human abilities, bad judgment, and atrocious actions taken by people all can lead to pain. Rules of nature allow sickness and death to occur to all living beings. This causes pain to all. Limits on human abilities prevent us from being able to ignore or defeat pain at all times. People often suffer unnecessarily because they make poor decisions. Some people are warped enough to kill, rape, and injure others.
Why do bad things happen to good people?
Humans are potentially vulnerable to natural disasters and personal tragedies regardless of their actions. Bad things happen to all people. It just seems unfair when bad things happen to people who try to be good.
Is there a way to be saved from tragedy?
It depends on what the individual considers tragic. All some people have to do to save themselves from tragedy is find their lost wallet. Others feel that life brings tragedy no matter what they do.
If one values human life, it seems reasonable that all people have some worth. Even the people who are considered some of the greatest still contributed little to the overall history of humanity. Each individual decides what makes a person valuable or important.
What is love?
Love is an emotion that produces positive feelings. It’s possible to love people, places, and things. Love can’t be proven to exist, but it’s a concept that seems to bring much good to life.
Is there any book that can tell me how to live?
Only if you decide that it can. There’s no book that can guide anyone directly to do anything. Each person makes their own decisions about how to believe and how to act. Anyone may be influenced by the contents of a book. How a book is interpreted depends on how each person thinks.
How should we treat other people?
It depends on how they act. If they’re going about their business, they should be treated courteously or be left alone. When someone is pointing a gun at you and threatening to take your life, you should run away quickly or fight to survive. Each situation in life is unique. We should prepare for what’s most likely to happen while adapting to unexpected events.
Should anyone give advice?
It depends on the individuals involved. Advice is craved by some and despised by others. Some are highly qualified to give advice. Others give advice with no real experience.
Take positive action
Positive action taken in the present is the best way to honor noble actions of the past. Positive action taken in the present is the best way to overcome past failures. Positive action taken in the present is the best way to live today. Positive action taken in the present should lead to the best possible future.
Unfortunately, humans don’t always know with certainty how to take positive actions. But if one uses their time to attempt to do so, it’s likely that their temporary experiences have value.
CHAPTER 12 TRAVEL
Journeys taken to exotic lands can open one up to imagination. But it can also produce confusion. The confusion is ultimately worth the price, because it’s never worth it to experience only one grain of sand on an entire beach.
Journeys to new places help expand the mind to greater creative potential. There’s always something new to learn on such a large planet.
It’s easy to be like people you grew up with and hard to understand the customs of a different culture.
Travel is a great way to realize how small one is in a rather large world.
Travel can be amazing, but it’s an odd decision for people to leave the place where they have comfort and security to strike out into the great unknown.
Travel to places that make one happy. If one isn’t able, at least spend time envisioning what’s there.
Travels to different lands can expand the imagination, but one who never takes risks while doing so is likely to remain the same.
Travel to new places, even if it’s just a few streets over on occasion.
There’s never a great homecoming if one never leaves.
Have the courage to see new places. You’ll be amazed at how people from across the world tend to work, eat, sleep, and repeat. It’s the non-sense that people engage in between those near universal parts of life that makes cultures and individuals unique.
TRAVEL WRITINGS OF THE AUTHOR
Sitting on a hill in Sydney, Australia
Life might be a never ending miracle full of hope and nearly endless options. Or it might be random, chaotic, and ultimately an accident devoid of meaning or purpose. I began to wonder about my own small seemingly insignificant reality in the grand scheme. But realizing that although small, I have been blessed to see, hear, do, experience, taste, touch, and smell many wonderful things.
I thought of all that I was getting to take in, opportunities that many may never have. Yet, I still think of how much I am missing and how much I will always miss. I thought of change, and as much as I tried, I couldn’t stop it. I met a lot of great folks, but never figured out how to keep most of them actively involved in my life. I laughed because I’d taken myself, the universe, and God so seriously for so long. All I wanted was definite answers where nobody I’ve met or read about has.
I wanted to live the absolute best life with the absolute best people doing the absolute best things in the absolute best places. But I realized that “absolute best” in life doesn’t exist, is temporary, or is subjective.
I thought about love and who I really missed. I missed Tessa, the first girl I ever really loved. I missed the way she made me feel, as if everything was going to be alright throughout the world. I was finally cared for and accepted for being who I was. I was even cherished for being myself. I know I may be a fool for leaving her, even temporarily.
Israel- I see that I will experience the amazing and the nerve racking.
My time in the “holy” land of Israel was mostly spent in contemplation and relaxation. As I predicted, I did not find God in the three major religions of Western Civilization. But I saw natural beauty and history in many places.
Guess I’ve always been one to take irrational chances from time to time to face my fears.
Jerusalem is a fucked up place. You see history and tension all over. It’s like a religious Disneyland. A nice fantasy world, but disconnected with reality. The religious seem to be full of hatred, mistrust, fear, and exclusion rather than compassion or tolerance. Funny how the city shuts down so early, yet the district where people party is only blocks away from the holy sites of the Old City.
Chilling in a park in Bangkok- Travel is always bound to twist your perspectives a little bit.
Greece appears to be quite nice. For once, I seemed to pick a winner in the accommodations department. In searching for the place I found the ass end of The Parthenon, unquestionably a spectacular specimen.
I made it to Veles! It was a series of near misses, trusting others, and not really knowing what was going on. The outskirts of Veles look like they probably did a century ago. But upon entering the town, the first thing I saw was a 50 Cent video.
I grow weary of constantly booking and changing flights. I’m tired of stinking, finding hotels. I’m tired of being overcharged by locals and having to pay it. I’m tired of not being able to hold a real conversation with people.
England is quite nice, it’s just so ENGLISH! Everybody seems to be from a Monty Python sketch. Brits parody themselves without trying. The food was better than expected and the museums were outstanding. England would be quite a nice place without the dreadful weather and the English people.
CHAPTER 13 WAR
If there’s a just cause for most people to participate in any war where they’re not being directly attacked, I have yet to hear it.
Bombs are dropped on innocents every day. Knowing this puts your mundane life in a better light.
Perhaps we shouldn’t blow up the planet until we have a better one.
Nobody likes war, but many people like the benefits that are gained from the spoils of war.
Sitting still while wars are going on is wise, as long as you’re nowhere near where war is taking place.
Every person should defend themselves when attacked. But it’s unwise to die for forces you don’t lead.
Kindness is a virtue, but only in places of relative peace.
Fight against anyone who sends ignorant and powerless people to die for profit.
Freedom is hard to bring to others through war. In fact, war is the most horrible product of freedom.
Millions may die while entire nations are traded like baseball cards peacefully at the negotiation table.
Forming positive social relationships and maintaining peace is vital for happiness. War is the ultimate failure of both on a massive level.
Only join the military if you need to be told what to do while risking your life every waking moment.
The wittiest person is still defeated by a simple gun.
No one has a moral responsibility to die to earn profit for bankers.
Systematic alienation of an entire race of people is viewed as ethical treatment by some governmental leaders. It may be when the only other alternative for leaders to take is mass genocide.
Being ethical in war is like being a pacifist cage match fighter.
War is hell, but so is paying for it.
War is the worst part of life, and the main reason it exists is because people profit from it.
War is the ultimate motivator that puts individuals to the test to see what they value. In the current war, many are dying needlessly. What is the suffering for? Many people suffer just so a few can profit.
At their best, militaries keep peace. At their worst, militaries initiate violence. The tough part is that there’s often no accurate way to tell which any specific army is engaging in.
War is a terrible thing to go through, but humans never seem to cease blowing each other up over disputes as unimportant as misreading the headlines in the fake news or fake information from fake political leaders, or fake information about the fake economy, or fake information from fake books written by a fake God. With all the fake information out there, is it any wonder most of us believe lies?
Iraqis are fighting for control of a nation that has existed for less than one hundred years. Few have any real allegiance to the state. Most want power for their immediate local area and their tribe. How many more need to die? The dictator is gone. America doesn’t invade everywhere there’s political instability. Far too many mistakes have been made by the military in Iraq. Authorities continue to fund a war that brings pain to all involved.
Although I can envision what war is like, I don’t know what it’s like. Luckily, I’ve never had to face large scale violence. Logic leads me to believe that being in war has got to be one of the worst possibilities.
I can't believe anyone would die for a flag. I serve my nation by creative expression and showing good cheer to others, not by obeying the orders of a trained killing corps without questioning. I feel sympathy for anyone on any side of any war. But people who kill and command others to kill should be accountable for their actions. There’s nothing noble about serving your country if your country is wrong.
Every soldier fighting for the US military is a volunteer. Many of them signed up to get a comfortable benefits package and got a big surprise. The soldiers are partially to blame for their own situation. Anyone intelligent enough to sign an army contract has to know that there’s a chance that they might have to kill for their country. Anyone who views the military for what it is knows that soldiers take orders and aren’t allowed to question them without reprisal.
I don’t advocate for any US citizen to volunteer for military service. I’m going to avoid military service. I wouldn’t want to be a part of any force that expected me to kill others without asking questions. Leaders often make decisions that aren’t logical. The military is worse than having to obey a boss at a retail store. Human lives are at stake.
I understand that the world has many conflicting groups vying for power. I understand that the regime I live under isn’t perfect. I understand that the regime I live under has obvious flaws. I understand that many have died believing they were protecting my freedom.
I understand that some people profit from the blood of their own countrymen. I understand that no large scale war could take place without the participation of large financial institutions. I understand that there will probably always be people willing to die to defend the powers of their nation. I understand that there’s a definite possibility that any war could be justified with false pretenses.
I understand that I’ve been fortunate to be able to avoid major warfare. I understand that many people throughout history haven’t been this fortunate. I can’t understand why anyone would want to be a part of the military.
But I understand that many people reach different conclusions than mine on military issues.
For many years, people have been debating about the best way to get out of the negative situation in Iraq. If the aim of the war was to prevent an attack on the US from Iraq, the mission is accomplished. If it was to topple their government and allow new rulers to be set up, the mission is accomplished. If the aim is to bring stability to a war torn nation by imposing control from outsiders, it’s a poor aim. Stability isn’t likely to be accomplished in the near future.
bloodshed should be a concern for any compassionate person. It’s a matter of life or death. Wasting time, money, and lives isn’t a noble
cause for the United States.
The argument that it’s impossible to evacuate everyone right away is absurd. In a state of emergency, efforts would be made to get people out efficiently. A land of violence is an active danger zone. Since massive efforts were required to get troops there, massive efforts should be necessary to get troops out. The sooner US soldiers are out of Iraq, the better.
How does one help stop a war? By picketing, political processes, killing the other team off, or refusing to personally fight? The wars I’ve seen my nation fight have now involved personal friends of mine. As strongly as I oppose the wars, I don’t consider my friends who participate in them as inherently evil, psychotic, bloodthirsty individuals.
My friends decided to get into military life for the economic benefits. They follow orders and try to make sure their fellow soldiers aren’t killed. I may feel that fighting in a war is a foolish decision. I realize that anyone who becomes part of a violent force will probably have to face violent opposition and will suffer consequences from their actions.
CHAPTER 14 WORK
We live in a world where certain people get paid millions for acting like fools and millions of people struggle to survive.
Being middle management is rarely a goal children set, and yet many adults never even achieve that level of “success.”
Teen dreams often include sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, but rarely mid-level corporate management gigs. But reality tends to hit 5 to 20 years later.
Laboring to produce something that only has subjective value is an odd way to spend life.
Be the best person you can be for the people who matter: whoever has cash.
Passion can be wonderful, but most people have to work to get what they want out of life.
People who live for nothing but pleasure never accomplish anything worthwhile. People who live for nothing but work never find pleasure.
Get past fears. If they persist, work harder on defeating them. If that doesn’t work, learn how to do good work in spite of fears.
So many people work so hard for no obvious reason other than survival.
Most men only work hard if forced.
Just because someone works hard doesn’t mean their efforts are meaningful.
There are people who are so desperate that they trade their precious time for money.
People who are focused can at least have chances to get paid to screw up and produce trite work that’s unimpressive.
End on a high note and people may forgive the crap you produced in between birth and death.
The amount of work that can be done in a lifetime is vast, but the amount of work that can be done in one day usually isn’t.
Too many people want unique recognition without creating unique work.
Get better at what you love, or spend a lot of time doing things you hate to make money.
The greatest times only last for a while before one finds their destiny is to work.
Produce something of value or be left behind by team humanity.
The best people figure out ways to merge who they are and what they do.
Effort made to be better is easy, but being good enough to be paid by people with money is difficult.
Excel in something you have passion for or you’ll be likely to take orders from others in something you have no passion for most of the rest of your life.
If you work to maintain a lifestyle you hate, your entire life is illogical.
It’s absurd to work for no good reason.
People who experience good fortune combined with hard work achieve something noteworthy.
The world seems better when dreaming, but dreams alone don’t accomplish anything without labor.
Staying focused is important to accomplish goals. Energy spent worrying is better placed into work.
Some people find purpose in their work, but most work just to make a living.
All work is initiated with a goal in mind, without knowing what the results will be.
Defeat is agonizing, but winning is a lot harder work.
Numerous people want to be the best, but they’re almost always unwilling to put the amount of work necessary in an uncertain reality.
Earning your keep isn’t fun compared to living off interest.
People don’t perform miracles. If they do anything, it’s by their own efforts.
There are elements of luck in most parts of life, but there’s much more that can be attributed to hard work and devotion for most people.
The big reason society is messed up: Everybody wants stuff but doesn’t want to work for it.
Cry of the oppressed: We just hope to be lucky enough to serve a corporate master.
Be the best person you’re capable of being as long as you’re being paid the most they can pay.
If one never relaxes they’re missing the point of life. If one never works they probably are too.
Quick workers may get more done initially, but those who work on what matters most contribute to the projects that last.
Some people make more money playing card games than others do in a lifetime of real work.
One must work hard just to be average. If you are going to work anyway, why not work to be the best?
Delightful activities are taking place all over the world while you’re working.
Being a great person may involve glory, but it’s more likely to involve hard work.
If you can solve every problem of humanity, I bet they’d hire you.
Nobody starts at the top, unless the top has little to offer in the first place.
Unless living off parents' money, a lottery win, or some other freak accident occurs, you’ll have to work very hard to be average, and much harder to be successful.
There’s no way to get to the top automatically, unless you have the courage to start your own company.
Until one makes mistakes that are necessary to gain skills, they continue to be subservient to aggressive jerks who take advantage of others.
There’s no need to take advantage of people, but there’s a need to make a living. For many people that happens to involve taking advantage of others.
It’s a beautiful thing to do work you love, but it’s almost always better when work is finally done!
Work can be rewarding, but most people look forward to down time more.
Too many people do too much for too little.
Decide what you want, fail at it, and fail until you get paid.
Job openings aren’t hard to find but people who will actually hire you often are.
Taking chances is vital to living well, but so is taking chances that actually earn money.
There are people who’d kill to have your awful job.
Work hard now so that one day you won’t have to.
Mondays are no different than Saturdays for the upper class who realize how silly middle class jobs are.
Hard workers still usually have 18 bosses.
Finding ways to get paid to do something creative and original may be tough, but it’s well worth the effort if one wants it badly enough.
Selling is tough, but it beats having to clean toilets in a third world country.
Playing along with the corruption of the world is vital to most professions. The question is whether to make attempts to create small positive changes, or to live well and forget about the suffering of others.
The amount of work left to do in the world is vast. So is the amount of joy that could be had once one acquires enough wealth to do so.
Work hard so you can live as easily as possible in the times when you’re not working hard.
Living well is being able to do what you want as much as possible while spending as little time as possible doing what you don’t want to earn that privilege.
Nobody wants to live in a powerless way, but many people get so used to defeat that they tolerate what they come to believe they have to just to survive.
Anyone who finds ways to live well is likely to gain value from the labor of others.
A genius takes advantage of others without them knowing it.
Business people are greedy liars disguised in suits and cheesy smiles.
A salesperson convinces strangers to buy things they don’t need.
Thinking on a global scale often reduces the work we do to seem rather small.
It’s impossible to know if the work one does will have any lasting impression on others.
Work at anything that matters, unless you find nothing matters. Then work at something that can get you nice things in your meaningless life.
How can so many unprofessional people do so well professionally?
Perhaps nobody would work if humanity had their needs taken care of. And the problem with this is?
One of the strangest parts of modern life is office workers who put in extra hours just to avoid their home life. Go somewhere else!
Jobs can be ended at any time by anyone more powerful arbitrarily deciding “You’re fired.”
Terrible people get ahead in work because they deal with pain better than the good guys.
Work success often comes at the expense of dominating weaker people.
Working hard has nothing on working efficiently.
There’s no end to the amount of work that can be done, so try not to take it hard when you fail to get all done that you want to.
Begging isn’t dignified, but neither are the crappy jobs most people claim to have pride in.
The work of an individual often means little in the end, but the amount of work one determined person can leave behind is sure to impress all but the dimmest and most cold hearted.
Despite the inherent uncertainty about many parts of life, the people who take the most consistent risks to build specific skills are nearly always the most rewarded. This makes completely logical sense. Anyone who’s willing to offer genuine value to others is almost assuredly going to do so. Anyone who fails to achieve this is almost assuredly not going to succeed in life.
All companies want the same thing: Lose the attitude. Be a mindless drone that does what they’re told. Be glad you get what we give you. Pretend to maintain a sense of dignity while you whore yourself and everything you once loved for cash.
Jobs aren’t always as exciting as they seem to be. Being in a movie requires sleepless nights of uttering the same words again and again and again. Sports can be horribly repetitive. Being a musician often requires mastering complex scales for years. All jobs have some degree of monotony.
Work can be a great gift or an unbearable burden. Those who find a calling with their work feel fulfillment. Those who feel forced to labor just to stay alive often turn bitter and weary.
Interesting people live all around you. They often hide under the guise of being corporate professionals. There are wonderful people in virtually every sphere of life, they just get lost in responsibilities and rarely show their true colors.
Giving into corporate demands can lead to a life of meaninglessness. Taking the risk to make money on your own can also result in meaninglessness and an even higher likelihood of failure.
Should everyone learn to “get ahead?” What would that get you? Maybe you’ll get a corner office, a suburban house, fifty hours a week of droning “Yes sir?” It’s a way to stay alive, but it’s no way to live.
Get used to discipline or suffer through agony of being a loser. Accept that time is required to get great at almost any part of life. Devote the time that’s necessary to do what you love and what you feel is best. Regret will come from chances not taken. Short-term pain and discomfort is worth the experience of gaining skills and developing to become a better person.
If one does nothing other than work, they’re likely to experience stress and burnout.
It’s easier to follow societal demands than to chase dreams. It’s easier to complete eight hours of tasks per day instead of starting a business. Most people would rather avoid thinking for themselves.
Many intelligent people do nothing of value with their lives. Too many intelligent people try to do something unique that matters without interesting those with money. Too many idiots refuse to quit until they get fired and eventually move up just by never leaving.
Middle class wage earners will likely be viewed as semi-willing slaves of a dark age of exploitation if humanity continues to evolve in positive directions. If things take a turn for the worse, it’s likely that middle class laborers will be viewed as lucky fools.
Most working people give up great dreams for the illusion of security. They do things that don’t matter for simplistic material comforts. They moan about their working conditions and rarely do anything active to improve their situations.
They never plan on how to get ahead. They settle for beers with the boys at the bar. They depend on the intelligent people to lead. They’re scoundrels. They’re content to have small and petty lives.
Jobs that make money rely on human suffering. People always get sick and die. Doctors are always needed. Government exists because many people are afraid of leading. Politicians almost always create the illusion that they’re needed. Bankers prey off the inability of the masses to spend money wisely. Lawyers depend on conflict and misery.
Beer can lead to a career, but it can also be the biggest setback to a career. Someone is the President of Coors. But beer has also destroyed any chance at professional achievement for many people you know.
SCHOOL AND WORK
Getting a basic education that allows you to be able to count, read and speak a language is positive. But as an adult, school becomes rather pointless compared to doing what one wants most in life. How many businessmen benefit professionally from time spent playing dodgeball in gym class? There aren’t too many people who use algebra, history, or art in any practical way in their entire adult life. Once someone is old enough to make their own decisions they should be able to skip unnecessary classes and focus on what they want.
That’s assuming that high school kids have a clue about what they want to do with their lives. Most don’t. Most who think they do change as they grow up.
Imagine if you were stuck with a career path you chose at age 15. We’d have a lot more unemployed, failed rock stars. Nobody would be around to sell insurance, work at Wal-Mart, be a receptionist, or fulfill most of the pointless duties most grow up to accept as a way to pay bills.
CHAPTER 15 AN ATTEMPT AT WISDOM
Appreciate the time and place you live in. It might be all you have left.
There are many ways to live well, but few ways to do it easily.
Losers give up. Winners never give up making losers work for them.
Never conform blindly, except for when placing faith in most of the universe, because you can’t see most of the universe.
Many people sacrifice the well-being of others to have a more comfortable lifestyle.
Over thinking matters leads to inaction, but under thinking matters leads to a wasted life.
We don’t have all the answers about how to live well, but a good start is having oxygen.
Produce value, or be left out in the dust with the animal kingdom.
There are more wonders than we have time to understand. Many people never see the wonders due to oppression and cruelty.
Some educated people still hold irrational prejudices. What hope is there for a culture full of illiterate people who are taught to hate from birth?
It’s possible for anyone to screw up. But so many of us do little else, it’s hard to believe there are people who experience success.
Being single past a certain age is ridiculous, but being married is too.
Freedom is the ability to do what one wants to without restrictions. Freedom often comes at a price since the universe limits certain freedoms.
Use your head or other people might fill it with terrible ideas.
It takes courage to do almost anything worthwhile. No matter what you desire in life, courage can be helpful to get what you want.
People who never make mistakes never live. People who make too many mistakes die.
Supposed winners lose quite a bit too.
Never forget where you came from, unless that place sucks.
Quit bad habits, but never all of them. Bad habits make you human.
Stop thinking about what could lead to the best possible life and have the courage to pursue it.
Balance between pushing to be better and having moments of satisfaction with what one has done.
Celebrate life, because in comparison, there’s nothing worth celebrating.
Formal education can allow one to enter a career path, or it can be a few years of wasted time spending lots of money without gaining any tangible skills.
There’s no inherent reason to live, but there are many subjective ones individuals can choose.
Logic alone doesn’t save people. Find emotional motivation to live well.
Be part of the times you live in, or you’ll never exist in the only reality you have.
There’s no end to what can be accomplished by someone with determination.
Actions we take can have an impact on humanity for the ages if we can find ways to act with courage.
Do what you believe is your destiny. You may be wrong, but you can at least know that you try to do what you believe is most important.
Stand up for what you believe is right. You may be wrong, but at least you try to be honorable.
Love life whenever it’s possible, even when it seems indifferent to cruel.
Learn lessons from great people of the past and present, but never expect to be just like them. You have your own life to lead.
Don’t take rejection as final. Work harder to avoid rejections in the future.
Refuse to be dull and boring, unless there’s a good reason to act that way temporarily.
There’s no way to impress everyone, but there are plenty of ways to depress almost everyone.
Big events take place every day, but that doesn’t necessarily make them great.
The quality of life is determined by individuals for themselves to a large extent, but only in lands where people can afford to eat.
There’s no way to preserve the past, but in many cases that’s better than people realize.
Nobody can tell you how to find your soul. It’s like finding your melancholy. It’s a concept, not a tangible part of you.
Love is going to change the world for a few, but not much at all for the suffering.
There’s no way to know that one is going to live well, but most people seem to be willing to take chances to do so.
Think hard about what one values, but never so hard that one doesn’t take significant action.
Having fun and enjoying life is positive, but if one never sacrifices to help others, they probably make little positive contribution to the world.
Learn by making mistakes, but don’t use it as an excuse to continue making mistakes.
Vent about problems to your worst enemies, because no friend deserves that.
Hoping to live well without gaining skills is crazy.
Making mistakes is natural. Becoming powerful in spite of them is what great people learn to do.
Acknowledge the problems of the world, but it’s foolish to only dwell on its negative points.
There’s no way that anyone can prove opinions to be correct. People can only make others aware of facts, and provide reasons for their opinions.
Have the courage to stand up for what seems right, even if one never achieves the acclaim they want.
There are people who never stop living in pain. But all living people at least have a slim chance of being able to improve their situation.
There’s no need to live well, but most people tend to prefer it anyway.
Never get tired of trying to do right in spite of all the corruption.
Time changes individuals, but the universe as a whole tends to change fairly slowly.
Tragedy is when you or someone you know suffers. Triumph is when people you don’t know suffer to make your life better.
Massacres seem worse than slayings. But I’m not sure what the official requirements for either are.
There are never ways to gain skills in everything. Time is too limited.
People who have determination excel at many things they choose to. People who have no determination never excel at anything.
People choose to be average because it’s easier to fit in with the herd than challenge ideas.
There’s no good reason to act like most people, yet that doesn’t stop most people from doing it.
End all the non-sense, except for life itself.
History teaches over and over again that humanity is ridiculous.
The past is history, but everything you do will eventually be too.
The past was better because we can reinterpret it to be whatever we want.
The past won’t last, live now, somehow.
Improve your own life, because no one else can do it for you.
The odds of finding your destiny are so slim that you’re better off settling for whatever you get.
Games of life never stop, but the rules are always changing.
Professional wrestlers must often wonder how good they could’ve been at real sports.
There’s no good reason to tolerate non-sense, but people tend to anyway.
Chasing a dream is recommended for ages 1-10. Everyone else is expected to earn their keep.
Use the skills you’ve developed to be a person of value, or know that you’re going to be destroyed by more determined people or an indifferent universe.
Irrational beliefs can be destructive, but it’s hard to believe anyone can avoid all irrational beliefs.
Some people sacrifice nearly their entire life to help others. Others create constant misery.
Make mistakes to improve, but make sure mistakes are being reduced as much as possible.
It’s always possible to make a mistake, but it’s possible to avoid making most mistakes.
No matter what decision we make, we’re destined to wonder about what could’ve been, unless we genuinely do what we believe is better than anything else at all times.
The best times are grand, but the worst times of life may be worse than death.
There’s an abundance of great things in the world, but people have to put up with an abundance of terrible things to get them a great deal of the time.
There’s no need to pretend to be normal. There’s no such thing anyway.
It’s impossible to know what the best way to live is for certain. But there are many experiences that may lead to people being happier.
Overall excellence in life is subjective. But some forms of excellence can be measured objectively.
Little can be achieved just from reading. One has to participate in struggle to become better.
People who have great ideas may also have some terrible ideas.
It’s a mistake to try to constantly avoid making mistakes.
There’s something genuine about the way certain fictional tales are told.
Respect individuals who agree not to persecute you, but don’t show respect to irrational beliefs. Bad ideas shouldn’t be respected.
Use intelligence to reduce problems, but rarely expect to defeat them.
Telling kids what to do may be saving them when they’re naïve. Telling adults what to do destroys lives.
Motivation to live in the present: The past is gone and the future may never arrive.
Idiots keep trying to repeat bad ideas. Intelligent people gradually improve upon their bad ideas.
Nobody can stop the world from having problems, but each person should be able to handle their own more competently.
People who refuse to sacrifice for others ultimately demand that others pick up their slack.
The rights of men are no different than the rights of women. Except in most of the world officially, and even more of the world unofficially.
Figuring out the best way to live is impossible. We don’t have enough time.
Giving orders to morons is barely better than taking orders from morons.
Intelligence leads to one realizing how little they know.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but small parts of it were.
Anyone who claims to understand the universe probably struggles to comprehend a great deal of things that happen in their own home.
It is better to hurt feelings than lie to others in much more harmful ways.
Being intelligent isn’t enough for most people. They want to experience a genuine emotional connection with others that’s enjoyable.
Decide how you want to live or someone else will be busy doing it for you.
Making a contribution is valuable, but spending most of life doing things one hates makes no sense.
The ones who figure out what they love at least spend life failing to achieve what they love.
Being normal is about the worst idea for everyone.
It’s impossible to be normal in every way, but it’s possible to be unexceptional at everything.
There are many things one can do to improve. For many of us, doing anything other than eating potato chips on the couch would be an improvement.
If one is never lazy, they never learn the joy of relaxation. If all one does is relax, they probably aren’t doing much of value.
There’s no good reason to do many of the things many people do in life. It’s odd to think that humans who have some intelligence so often make such poor decisions.
Getting advice from mediocre people is one of the worst ideas.
Never underestimate the laziness of much of the human species.
Many people successfully reject living the way they’re told they have to in school.
The arrogance of people who assume they know the meaning of life is patently absurd.
Agreeing to participate in struggle with others is what makes life worth living.
Powerful leaders teach that it’s wrong to lie unless you’re in a position of power to do so.
Many people aren’t convinced that they’re living the best life possible for a good reason.
Stop envisioning a better world without trying to create one
People who use their talents to help others are held in high regard for a good reason.
Stop listening to others about how to best live. Nobody knows for sure how each person can best live.
Think hard, but act even harder.
The people who proceed with caution in life almost always appear to be wise in the short-term. But people who are always cautious never really live.
If one is afraid to take chances, they’re ultimately afraid to live.
Becoming rational about all things is difficult, if not impossible to do.
Making fun of others is easy, but being better than the best at anything is nearly impossible.
Making sense of the world is one of the hardest things to do.
Looking for the meaning of life isn’t wise. It’s better to try things, see how they fit, and become devoted to them if they seem like the best thing to do.
While there are few guarantees in life, the people who work the hardest often have the best results.
Handling failure with dignity is one of the toughest things to do in life, but one must until they succeed.
Even a brilliant idea or product has to improve to keep up with advances others make.
Struggling to be something better is what most people do most of the time.
Figuring out the best way to live is nearly impossible. Aim to live well and continue to improve instead.
Keeping life simple isn’t always possible in a complex reality.
Love is often hard to find, but lust couldn’t be much easier.
It’s impossible to hit a home run with every idea, but the people who get the most at bats are most likely to get the highest tallies.
The contradiction of life: We need to be self-centered to survive, but we only achieve a reason to live if we participate in struggle to make life better for others.
Anyone who has intelligence should be able to live well in some capacity.
Some people never realize the beauty of the world. It’s hard to do so in a prison cell.
To live in true freedom, one would have to eliminate all their needs.
Nobody can tell you what to do, but a lot of people are going to try.
Make an effort to talk to people who used to intimidate you. There’s no good reason to be intimidated by people who are also less than perfect.
Figure out how to effectively serve others or effectively take advantage of others.
Together we can make a difference. Alone we live in isolation.
Terrible things happen to all people, but the smartest people get others to take much pain for them.
Few people matter to millions of others. Few people living today will matter to millions of others living one hundred years from now.
Get over the past, or remain stuck in it.
Thinkers who look too far ahead often get stuck in unnecessary fatalism. Looking way too far ahead results in realizing it’s possible that the entire universe you know will be destroyed.
It’s odd that “intelligent” young people often go into debt for years just to be formally educated while most idiotic young folks manage to break even and learn some things anyway.
Knowing about a subject doesn’t always prepare one for anything useful or productive.
Too many people take too much credit for achieving far too little.
There’s no room for your own ideas if you’re constantly learning about others. Have the courage to form original thoughts.
Too many people try to rise to the top without ever bothering to look up.
Comfort and security are nothing compared to evolving and adventure.
Fools lose. Winners lose and keep losing until they at least break even temporarily with the universe.
Choose wisely or you’ll be like most of the people you know.
Certain parts of life are terrible, but worrying without taking action to improve may be worst of all.
Some of the ideas one has about how to live well are incorrect, but all one can do in an uncertain world is make efforts to live well in less than ideal circumstances.
Be selective about who and how you help, because we all are whether we admit it or not.
Create a life worth living or you’ll never find one.
Figure out the best way to live despite having a lack of knowledge about how to best do so.
Style is subjective. Nudity isn’t.
Violence is a potential tragedy for anyone to face at any time.
People get better through taking action, not through planning.
Some people are so desperate that they resort to imitating others instead of embracing who they are.
Know that no matter what, life can be improved. Know that no matter what, it’s highly likely that your life could always be worse.
Violence is always tragic, unless done to people who are violent.
Join good people or you’ll be stuck with the rest by default.
Learn to be a better person, and if there’s no one who can teach, create your own way of life.
Hate anything that causes pain or grief, except for life.
There are a lot of people in the world, so to be remembered you have to do something unique.
There are people who live inside their heads and others who live out loud in the real world as a testimony to the great things that can be done in life.
Preparing for the future is only wise if you believe it’s ultimately worth sacrificing your present.
The amount of great things that can be done swiftly is severely limited. The amount of great things that could be done in a lifetime is nearly infinite.
Looking back only serves a point if one can use it to improve life in the present.
Perfection is a concept, not something tangible. One can achieve a goal, but individual goals are set through subjective criteria.
Lists often act as if there are objective ways to measure who the greatest artists of all-time are. Popularity isn’t necessarily an indicator of quality.
The amount of good that can be done to make the world a better place is nearly limitless, but your time and abilities are often quite limited.
There are nearly unlimited options for a creative person and almost none for the unimaginative.
Only edited versions of history teach great things. A lot of history is awful and full of tedium.
Work hard to make sense of the world, one sentence at a time.
Living in the middle with a pack of mundane people is no way to spend life.
Time is as valuable as one makes it, but it has no inherent value.
There are people who’d kill for a chance to live the way you do on a daily basis. Others would kill themselves if they had to live like you do on a regular basis.
Study others if one has intellectual interest, but never study others just to get ideas about what you should do with your life. You have to decide that on your own.
have the humility to admit that you don’t know what reality is all about.
There are reasons to be concerned about problems, but worrying does nothing to solve any of them.
The most amazing people act with courage in the face of uncertainty.
An assertive person lets others know how they feel while a prick lets them know too much. A wimp never lets them know at all.
If one never tries hard to live well they almost assuredly won’t.
People may act as if a diploma makes someone better than others, but there are people who have little formal education who’ve changed the world in significant ways.
If one forgets about passion, they’re probably not fully living.
Anarchy could lead to one prick destroying the lives of all pacifists.
Systems are in order to help people live well, but they often do anything but.
There’s no way to solve all problems, but some can be kept at bay for a while.
Awful people dictate the rules to most of society, but the people who allow it to happen may be the ones who are the real problem in the first place.
False teachings may circle the globe, but that’s not a good reason to allow them to continue.
There’s no way to know for sure if one is sane. Comparing yourself to an insane world isn’t an accurate barometer.
Parts of life are painful, but almost anyone can find moments of hope and joy.
Don’t wait for perfection, but always be willing to improve.
Life is a mystery, but you see fewer clues to solve its various puzzles if all you do is sit around the house.
Quit studying the past as the way to the future. The way to the future comes from creating it.
Perhaps life has no meaning, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a few laughs on the way out.
Unless one is skeptical, they’ll never break from social conditioning. Unless one places faith in humanity, they live in isolation.
Being intense is good. Being so intense that one is stressed is bad.
Quit measuring yourself compared to the greatest people of all-time unless you’ve also given some of the greatest efforts of all-time.
Supposedly tried and true methods aren’t always true.
Being negative is a terrible cycle to be trapped in, but being positive can be delusional. It’s better to be a realist and find ways to live well in spite of problems.
Being destined for greatness has nothing on working to earn it.
It takes courage to live well. It takes stupidity to avoid developing courage.
Take consistent chances to fail at one pursuit rather than failing badly at all of them at the same time.
People who achieve fortune typically put up with much more pain than any sane person can deal with.
It’s better to participate in an imperfect world than to wait for divine inspiration before taking action.
Most people would save the world if they could. The much more relevant question: What would you do if you knew you couldn’t save the world and only had limited time?
Being honest with people is always a risk, but so is lying. So anytime you communicate with others, you’re taking a risk.
Change to be the kind of person you want to be as much as possible, and refuse to quit until you’re at least as close as you genuinely believe you can be in reality.
Losers never even try to reach others with their creations. Winners find ways to make mundane ideas seem important to others.
Don’t expect to create a masterpiece every time you try, but expect to give the types of effort that result in the potential for a masterpiece being created.
To live well in an absurd world you must convince people that you won’t add to the absurdity.
There’s potential for pain and suffering at nearly any time of life, but the people who learn how to effectively deal with pain can live in ways that are temporarily enjoyable.
Spend time well, or watch it spend you cruelly.
If time were frozen there’d be no action taking place.
Anyone who threatens a power structure in any significant way can usually be bought off. But if not, the cost of bullets is often even cheaper.
People who live well don’t know everything, but they know what’s most important to them.
It’s possible to make mistakes no matter how good one is. But systematic methods ensure that mistakes are kept to a minimal amount.
Knowing what the right thing to do in life is may not result in better choices being made.
Giving up is the worst solution to any problem, because it results in a virtual guarantee of failure.
Getting married makes no sense. You don’t need a government or a religion involved in your loved life. Tax cuts are a poor reason to risk losing at least half of your stuff.
Taking things too seriously ruins them. Not taking things seriously enough ruins them. It’s hard to know how seriously to take most things in life.
Power is a drug, and like most drugs, it’s quite enjoyable until the supply runs out.
It’s impossible to avoid making mistakes. It’s possible to demonstrate how one plans to redeem themselves from making mistakes.
Ending a way of life may be sad, or it can be viewed as a chance to move on to better things.
Many people search for a messiah, but nearly all are disappointed when they discover that they’re left to their own devices.
Have different goals than the ones society establishes for you, but make sure that you still believe you have some kind of meaning in life.
Love individuals and hate the terrible ideologies that they often support.
Some people are going to try to get you to do things that are foolish and maybe even deadly to improve their lives at the cost of yours.
There are many perspectives to view reality from, but you’ll never leave your own.
Make the best choices possible while knowing it’s unlikely that you can know what those are.
Understand reality as much as possible, but appreciate living despite being uncertain about so much.
Never waste time. It can’t be bought back.
Appreciate life. Have more public disrespect for terrible ideas that keep humanity oppressed.
People are conditioned to think certain ways, but the truth is often fairly obvious if people are willing and able to admit what’s most sensible.
Thinking is done for the self. Writing is done for others.
Evolution explains why for many people, life is still merely a struggle for survival.
Being conventional is oddly becoming one of the least conventional things around.
Get over self-pity and join the struggle with the rest of humanity.
If one is willing to participate in struggle, they have do things that are widely considered unpleasant.
Trying to be certain in an uncertain reality makes no sense.
It’s terrible that so many people have things so hard in life, but the truth is that we still live in a time with limited resources on a planet with more than six billion people.
Aim to get the most out of life. But don’t become so obsessed with it that you miss out on joy. Some people search for happiness and somehow miss when it could be present.
People who find ways to meet needs automatically focus most of their time fulfilling their wants.
Appreciate all that’s been done for you, but know that even the best parts of life aren’t going to last.
It’s shameful to take advantage of innocent victims while offering little of value in return.
There may be no inherent point to life, but many individuals find subjective reasons to stay alive.
It’s hard to imagine some people are as lucky as they are, but it’s also hard to imagine some people are so clueless.
Expertise is being less incompetent than total fools.
The people you love may leave, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t express love.
If one is crazy enough to believe they can make a difference, prove it in the real world.
There’s no end to the amount of possibilities in the world, but as long as you keep pursuing none of them, you’re likely to be denied wonderful opportunities in life.
Food is needed to make any individual healthy, but many people take something life sustaining and make it unhealthy again.
Clothing is worn by people who want to protect themselves from the natural elements and display a consumer item that advertises status.
Shelter provides people with warmth and is used as a bragging point for many individuals who’ve done little else to brag about.
Watching another movie can always be an excuse for a film student, especially an unofficial one.
It’s odd to live in an era where everything could be lost, or every single person may be able to live indefinitely within my lifetime.
People who want to make life better for humanity are often noble, but misguided.
Dreams are the best part of life for many people, which is why they spend their life with their heads in the clouds instead of working to become something better.
Creativity is never ending, except for with finite beings.
There’s almost no end to the amount of amazing things that exist on the planet, but so many people get caught up in doing the same things over and over again until they die.
Evolve and have the courage to embrace changes, even if they’re not fully understood.
Why we can quit worrying: if we completely fail, we still achieve the same end result of all of humanity who have lived thus far- complete failure in death.
If we achieve partial successes, we can live better and future generations can live in better ways.
If we achieve great successes, we can live better immediately and may be able to develop better future possibilities as well.
Numerous people rant about the problems of the world, but most of them aren’t even willing to sacrifice a few minutes a day to help others.
Potential greatness is inside most of humanity, but many people are too busy fighting wars and making money to live the way we’re meant to.
Life isn’t often fair, and for people who have a lot, they’re probably glad about it.
Most adults are obsessed with health but lack it while many kids care none and have it naturally.
Anyone can retract what they did in the days of their youth and replace it with something better.
Great thinkers devote themselves to many fields, but the brightest go where the money is.
If technology goes nuts, at least it’ll be an entertaining blaze of glory into death.
People who are afraid of change are afraid of life itself.
If the goal of life is mere survival, we have billions of success stories. But if there’s anything more to life, billions of people are probably failing at any given moment.
The lives we lead are temporary, and until we pursue a specific path to live well, it’s likely that we’ll never have the life we want.
Anyone who claims to be a good person has a hard time demonstrating it with science.
Do what matters most, but don’t expect to if you can’t decide what it is.
If life is absurd maybe it is better if we act absurd to fit in.
There are never ending funny jokes in the world, and many people fail to remember any of them.
Change or you may not have the privilege of being able to decide how you’ll change.
If we never move past thanking people who’ve done something, all we’ll do is thank until we die.
Sooner or later we’re all going to lose our minds.
There are nearly endless pleasures that could be had, but if one doesn’t know how to have them, they’re rather pointless.
Read books, but don’t be afraid to develop your own unique ideas.
There are more people than I’ll ever be able to meet and I worry about the opinions of a few people who I happen to live around? How absurd is that?
It takes a great mind to create genuine joy among the suffering and dying people of humanity.
There are numerous ways to live well, yet many people still manage to pick none of them.
Planning a life of value is rather difficult to plan for, and even harder to achieve. This is why most people resort to living lives of quiet desperation.
Laugh at the possibilities that exist, but know that some of the more serious ones are probably going to become an issue even if you try hard to laugh them off.
Try to rationally assess an often irrational reality, despite knowing that you’re often destined to fail to comprehend all that you’d like to know.
There are times when one must be bold enough to act or face dire results if they refuse. It’s hard to be neutral when direct danger is knocking on the door.
Whether life is about finding ways to achieve freedom or simply existing to pay bills is up to each individual to decide.
Individual efforts made to grow can lead to much better results for collective humanity as well.
Making mistakes is part of being human, but overcoming mistakes is needed to survive.
Many of the things we worry about have no importance to anyone else.
Manufactured dissent and control operate nearly the entire planet, and most people go along willingly as long as their personal comfort isn’t an issue.
I don’t know the best way to live, but I don’t think anyone does. The human species is full of gamblers, each placing their chips on various bets against the casino of the universe.
The purpose of life is a temporary one at best, until humanity evolves to become something better than temporary beings.
Disinformation is easily confused with truth if one isn’t applying their own critical thinking skills to every judgment they make.
It’s hard enough to survive, which is why many people never even attempt to thrive.
The mistakes we make and the failures we experience do more to shape who we are than “success” at pursuits that don’t matter.
Laugh about life, and if you really have courage, try to get other people to laugh along with you.
Ego can get in the way of progress, but so can a lack of ego. Find what ego balance works best for you.
Anyone who tries to fully control their destiny is a fool, but anyone who doesn’t try is a bigger fool.
Being too serious isn’t a good trait in a world where there are already billions of serious problems.
You’re one person out of billions, with billions more likely to be soon on the way, and you still strive to be something special. How funny.
Life is hard to figure out. That’s why most people quit trying to do so and just work day jobs, watch TV, go to sleep, and repeat.
Good people take action to help others despite their uncertainties and imperfections. We shouldn’t expect any perfect saviors.
Those who refuse to improve never change for the better and ultimately become much worse.
The amount of suffering taking place on Earth is greater than any one human can solve. Collectively, suffering is too great a problem to defeat with our current abilities.
One of the worst parts of life is seeing how people are treated when they’re not exceptional.
Refuse to control emotions and live with guaranteed unhappiness.
Stop settling for thinking about doing great things and bother to actually do some great things.
It’s sad when one becomes indifferent to the state of all of reality outside of themselves.
Spending time with loved ones is the best way to feel like problems don’t seem quite as serious.
Love may be one of the only things that makes life worth living, but the pain of love lost is so bad that it makes certain people want to give up entirely.
Funny people view the world in unique ways, but they often tone down their ideas to make money.
Individuals who distract the most people from misery are the most rewarded.
There’s no way to prove that one is perfect. It’s much easier to prove that one isn’t.
People who agree to serve often have to sacrifice their own comfort. But people who never agree to serve often have no comfort to begin with.
There’s no guaranteed way to live well. But people who place their bets on pocket aces tend to beat the ones who just randomly go all in.
Profiting from a better way of life is wise for all people who manage to live well. People who earn no profits tend to end up dead, in jail, or hungry.
Even after all this time, humanity seems divided about whether life is a precious gift or a big joke.
Justifying selfishness is odd, but avoiding justifying it leads to constant guilt or giving away everything one owns.
It’s possible to do many things well in the span of a lifetime, but it’s hard to do several things extremely well at once.
Noble individuals desire success for the right reasons, not to be better than others. Success isn’t about controlling others, but is about empowering the self and others to achieve noble goals.
Reconcile the horrid atrocities in the world with all its gorgeous parts. It seems probable that people are able to see elements of suffering and beauty virtually anywhere.
Courageous living takes time to manifest clear, positive results.
The amount of time that we spend involved in an activity is likely to determine our aptitude with it. The harder one tries, the higher the odds of achieving success.
Being compared to your relatives can be tough. The world may never hear about Steve Gates, Ted Winfrey, or Tim Jordan, despite their close association with famous people.
No what matter decisions one makes, they’re likely to be absurd in a universe where we have nearly unlimited potential options, but near certain death.
It’s unwise to refuse to act until one has achieved a full understanding of a given subject. If this were the case, no one would ever do anything!
Anyone who can laugh at their own pain is probably going to laugh quite a bit.
People skilled at providing laughter are at least impressive clowns and at best mighty philosophers.
The refusal to make mistakes and making mistakes are both mistakes. No matter what, you’re going to make some mistakes.
Nothing can be done to help a lazy man. Anything can be done to help one with motivation.
Guilt is often experienced by people who have every reason to feel guilty.
A fool can do anything. A wise person limits options to good things.
Note the suffering in the world and be glad if you are temporarily dodging it.
The people who get the most done are the ones who push themselves to try new things, and despite doubts and imperfections, continue to press on anyway.
Part of being human is learning how to live well in an absurd reality where we can never come anywhere close to understanding everything we’d like to know.
Part of being human is learning how to make enough money to survive while still trying to find time to enjoy life.
Part of being human is providing value to others, but another part is learning how to take advantage of the value others create.
Learning how to live well is often hard, but it’s a better lesson than any other ones.
Stop believing that you’re going to cure the world’s problems. Accept that they exist, make fun of them, and move on to better things.
Life is bigger than all of us, but a few special individuals temporarily seem larger than it.
Waiting for the right moment is unwise, because there’s never a perfect moment. Go for what seems to matter more than anything else right now, in spite of imperfections.
Science can solve many problems, but has yet to provide humans with a reason to stay alive.
Sacrificing for the well-being of loved ones may be one of the only things that makes life worth the struggle.
There are people who are so blind that they miss the joys in life that are right in front of them.
Knowing that you have to change or die should be pretty big incentive to change.
Some people never give up. Others give up far too easily. Which group would you rather be in?
Ambitious people fight as long as they can to live well. People who have no ambition may not even make it out of bed today.
Struggle to get better, or struggle with being worse.
Fight for what’s right, or at least what seems right according to your subjective point of view.
No one is pure evil. Through effort, anyone can live the life of a sinner or a saint.
Interesting people exist in many places, but if you never leave Wyoming, you may never be a rock star.
Elderly people often realize the mistakes they made, but their wisdom about how to live well in 1950 doesn’t always help the kids of today.
Failure is often disappointing, but people who overcome it often do so by making bigger failures work for them.
Since life could end for any one of us at any time, it’s best to pursue what seems to be most important in life ahead of all other things.
Balance in life isn’t always the way to success. The people who excel are obsessed with one part of life, spend nearly all of their life pursuing it, and provide unique value to others.
People who refuse to see what takes place in reality eventually pay the consequences for doing so.
Reality may not be what you perceive it to be. Or reality may be only what you perceive.
The suffering of the world may be great. But hopefully, our collective resolve can be even stronger.
Nothing great is done without the benefit of a great deal of courage.
Fight to win, but if you don’t win, you still have to fight.
Even those who plan everything are surprised by life at times. Even those who claim to plan nothing typically have several routines.
Something can be done at any time. Anything can be done sometimes.
Take risks, fail, get better, and have the courage to keep improving while failing.
Acknowledge the value of past contributions, but also have the courage to try new things in the present to build towards a better future.
Create your own way of life, or know that you’ll face pressure from people who aren’t amazing to be more like them.
Critics have no clue about good art most of the time and many people treat their reviews as gospel.
Zoos are great fun for all people who are able to find a few hours to observe their ancient ancestors.
Intending to harm others makes little to no sense, but there are many people on the planet who don’t care about the suffering of others.
Figuring out the world isn’t necessary to function in it, or the world population would be reduced from billions to zero.
Love life as much as possible, but learn how to prepare for moments that are less than wonderful.
Evolution is hard to force, but people who try are able to evolve past the ones who aren’t willing to try.
People who have a vision for a better world are wise to do all they can to try to create it.
There are many impressive things in the world, but it’s hard to know which impressive aspect of reality is best to focus on with our limited time.
Amazing people have a hard time getting used to the non-sense many people submit to just to survive.
Anyone who tries to tell you how to live should at least be required to be alive.
Good advice: Don’t listen to anyone. Make your own mistakes and your own triumphs.
There are nearly infinite options in life, and the odd part is that we almost always have to narrow our focus to one of them to do anything specific well.
The result of living in a mad world is often resorting to madness just to fit in.
Powerful people manipulate public indifference and fear to their favor.
Having faith in the universe is hard enough, but having enough faith in imperfect humans to support your efforts is more than many people can handle.
There’s no end to the amount of pursuits one could be participating in, but there’s an ending to the amount of time one has, so use time wisely.
People who value life value temporary circumstances that bring the emotion of joy, or logical experiences that bring a feeling of purpose.
People who fight put their lives on the line to support causes they don’t always understand.
Your dream may never become a reality, but no one knows what reality is going to be for certain. So aim to make reality as much like your dreams as possible.
Arguably, everything that makes life worth living is based on subjective opinions, not objective facts.
Taking action is often painful, but taking no action leads to an even more pain filled existence.
Risking everything one has to live a dream may seem like madness, but the people who refuse to do so merely exist to pay some bills before they die.
Accepting uncertainty is sensible in most of life, but not in the way one is determined to act.
Helping others is the noblest thing a human can do. Hurting others may be noble or atrocious, depending on who is being hurt.
Knowing that the world is going to end does little to prevent people from wanting to live in it.
Education can help people realize how little they know about nearly everything.
Comfort is often an illusion. But tell that to people who live in relative comfort.
Daring to be something amazing often takes years of not so amazing duties to get to be amazing.
We live in a reality that’s often absurd and unpredictable, so the people who provide sensible and predictable value often live well.
There’s never enough time to do everything, so do everything you can to make time for what’s important.
Accept uncertainty, but aim to reduce it as much as possible to live well.
While you’re trying to figure everything out, other people are busy living.
Wise folks make more money in one day than some fools make in a lifetime.
Whatever we do is likely to be topped in the future by people who have access to superior information.
All people are capable of making irrational judgments, because a completely logical worldview has yet to be proven.
Even with great efforts, it’s possible that everything we aim to achieve may result in failure.
Belief may be the only thing that keeps many individuals going, but beliefs should never be respected more than facts.
Brilliant humans figure out how to have food, clothing, shelter, and sex while doing what they want most of the time.
Many people sit around and watch. Only a few strive to make the world a significantly better place.
Admirable people move forward despite pain and rejection.
There are many absurd paths and maybe only a few that make any sense.
Living forever is a noble goal, but one that’s been met with universal failure thus far.
A human is a collection of hopes or failed dreams.
Harder times may be upon us, but the good thing is that they’ll only be temporary.
Two is too many people to decide how to live your life.
Idiots never stop thinking about their failures. Smart people focus their energy on moving ahead.
Delayed gratification is vital to all people who want to live well most of the time.
The way to the top is rarely easy, so most people avoid it like the plague.
The meaning of life can’t be guaranteed to be found anywhere, but could be found virtually anywhere.
Risking all can result in glory, but is much more likely to lead to losing it all without glory.
Love is often hard to understand, but well worth the effort despite a lack of being able to understand it.
There’s no good reason to live other than to experience pleasure and help others experience pleasure. Unfortunately, these two basic reasons to live are often in conflict with each other.
There are life altering choices. Technically, this is every choice.
If human life has any value, it’s only temporary value until we can find a way to last.
Health is important. The people who cheat at this part of life are almost always burned.
Too many people make too many mistakes, but there are nearly always people who are willing to clean up the mess for profit.
Laugh at some of the things people used to be impressed by. It’s almost certain that future generations will laugh at things you haven’t even been clever enough to consider.
Steady improvement in the human race has led to amazing gadgets, but we retain our inhumane treatment of fellow humans in all parts of the world.
The potential for pain always exists, but individuals with determination nearly always find ways to at least cope with it, and maybe even ways to temporarily defeat it.
There are many joys that most of us never get to experience, but there are also many joys that so many of us get to have that billions of people never even imagine.
The amount of things that could be done is nearly unlimited. The amount of things that should be done ahead of all other pursuits should be much more narrowly defined.
There’s no sense in pretending that life is always good, but there’s also no sense in pretending that it’s impossible for life to be good.
Sacrifice to do what’s best, but have enough sense to try to figure out what that is first.
It’s possible to change, but it’s quite difficult to force quick change. Submit to the slow, steady hands of time, and watch how reality may be able to turn in your favor.
It’s possible to delay making certain decisions, but it’s impossible to avoid making decisions.
Striving to be average makes no sense because there’s no way to accurately determine what that’d be on a planet with more than six billion people.
People who agree to commit genocide often act on orders from a mysterious higher power, a military commander, a king, or a president. Avoid taking orders from these sources at all costs.
Stop degrading the work of others until you create something more impressive.
Having a realistic notion of reality is helpful for all people who sincerely desire to live well.
Knowing you’re afraid is one of the easiest things to be aware of and one of the hardest things to overcome.
Stop waiting for a savior. Save yourself.
If the best minds of the previous generations were destroyed by madness, it helps explain why things are as screwed up as they are now.
No one can do much unless they’re able to tolerate pain.
Don’t respect nature. It’s been too cruel to you and your species.
Integrity helps individuals, but societies that act like aggressive bastards have been the most successful throughout human history.
Anyone who’s too honest may be killed by the people who don’t want their business disturbed.
Nothing takes more talent than living.
People who realize the truth of the universe is beyond human understanding are years ahead of the crazy dreamers who try to find it.
Tough times are ahead for all people who want to breathe.
Living up to the standards of decency of society isn’t worth the effort.
The people who are able to make slightly more sense out this crazy universe than the rest of the clueless sheep may be labeled geniuses.
People who convince themselves that they’ve learned the truth about the universe are all too often unwilling to hear of the many changes that have come since they made up their mind.
It makes sense for people in power to produce workers who don’t question orders, but it’s hard to envision how a country with such an educational system could remain the “greatest” nation.
Pretending to be indifferent to money won’t help anyone solve their problems. Only those who live in a self-sufficient manner can live happily without any money at all.
Revolutionaries often prove to be hypocrites when their personal financial comfort is an issue.
The old times weren’t perfect, the present isn’t either, and the future may be even worse.
Troubles are bound to be lied about by various media sources.
It’s rarely a bad idea to do what makes a lot of money.
Life is all about being a unique person, even though it’s technically impossible to fail.
Doing something more amazing may be as hard as aging gracefully and as easy as getting off the couch.
The plight of millions of people often means little to billions who are never directly impacted by the suffering.
It’s never possible to know what could’ve been. What exists is already plenty confusing for even the greatest minds.
Never expect perfection out of any institution or individual.
If all humans are prone to corruption, the only way to bond with others is to embrace some amount of corruption.
If there are any virtuous people, they’re almost always left on the sidelines of life, or snuffed out before they lead lemmings away from their cliff.
Revisionist history can make anything possible, but the formal histories that are taught are also revisionary histories.
To live a life of joy is a great mission, but one that’s refused by far too many people.
The pursuits of one man may not last, but the noblest ideas of the species may live on until we’re all collectively wiped out.
Having wealth would be pleasant for most people. Fame would be a burden for almost everyone.
Since we have to fight just to be ordinary, might as well fight to be something exceptional.
Being a rational person doesn’t happen quickly for most. It requires discipline, dedication, and consistent effort to defeat years of faulty mental conditioning.
Cooperating so much that one ignores their deepest desires leads to mediocrity.
Treat others with respect. They’re likely to extend the same courtesy.
If problems can’t be solved, accept it and move on.
Prepare for bad situations, but don’t live in excessive fear.
There’s more than enough to go around for people who are willing to sacrifice to get it. But most people have to sacrifice most of their life to get anything close to what they want.
Many individuals aren’t willing to sacrifice their comfort to provide a better way of life for others because there’s no guarantee that helping others will succeed.
We’re changing individually and collectively. The potential of humanity hasn’t yet been discovered.
Idealists are nutty dreamers who fail to impress capitalists until they offer a near guarantee to sell well.
Refuse to do things that have resulted in less than perfect ways of life, unless you want to live in reality.
Worth is determined by people who have money according to capitalism. But values are still determined by individuals for themselves, whether they realize it or not.
A man should overcome fears enough to at least provide a way to afford food, clothing, and shelter.
If there’s profit in keeping people spending money on medical services, there’s always incentive to keep people ill.
Sex may be the best part of life for some people, but others may feel it’s wicked and sinful.
Sports may be the most exciting part of life for some, but others feel sports are primal and pointless.
Games may be a way of life for some, but others shun games to do what they think is more important.
Many people hold on to superstitions in a world where everyone dies and little seems certain.
Rational people don’t deny reality. They admit that they don’t understand most of it.
Even if we’re less than perfect, we may be able to provide some help to other imperfect individuals.
The people who use the powers of their mind tend to do much better when they use their whole bodies.
Life’s too short and too long to spend it devoting the majority of time one is alive to pointless endeavors. But nearly all of us seem to.
Get over your petty problems of the past and move on to the petty hopes of the future.
Some people make bad decisions. Other people make REALLY bad decisions.
End on a good note, because it might be your last note.
CHAPTER 16 FOOD
It’s a privilege to be able to eat how one wants to. Millions of people have to worry about starving to death on this planet as a realistic worry every day. Billions of people struggle to afford the types of foods they want. Only people who are fortunate are able to eat the food they want to.
The well-fed bastard often appears to be better off than a hungry man with integrity.
The best philosophy doesn’t mean as much to most people as a good sandwich.
Nothing is as important as fulfilling a deeply felt purpose, except having enough to eat.
Happiness can’t be directly bought, but anyone who’s starving might argue otherwise.
Quality of life is determined by individuals for themselves to a large extent, but only in lands where people can afford to eat.
Food is amazing and somehow almost always better than I expect.
Eating is more important than making the world a better place to nearly all people.
If one is fortunate enough to travel, take full advantage of the cuisine that’s available that one may not be able to experience otherwise.
It’s unclear about what’s needed to qualify as “organic food.” Some stores just slap this label on foods and jack up the price.
Processed food is nearly always worse than naturally grown food. While processed food is often unhealthy, it’s better to eat it than unsanitary naturally grown food.
I have no scientific facts, but it seems unnatural to make food as hot as it gets in microwaves so quickly. I prefer making my food hot gradually.
Wheat products are almost always healthier than white.
Grilled food is almost always delicious.
George Foreman grills are easy, cheap, and recommended. They make everything good.
Vegetarian grill outs- Not the same as the meat fests, but still quite good.
No bake cookies and other items that require little effort: plain bread, fruit, cookies, granola, bag o’ chips.
Instant foods can be great, but they can also be filled with awful things that can harm anyone.
Large international food emporiums represent freedom of choice for all who can afford it. But to those who can’t, it merely serves as a reminder of all the wonderful items you can’t have.
Food should be enjoyed and appreciated.
As long as one can eat, they’re doing better than a lot of people on this planet.
WORRIED ABOUT WORLD HUNGER OR WEIGHT LOSS?
While much of the world is insecure about their food situation, many Americans still act as if they have no idea how to lose weight. Global food distribution is absurd.
SOLVING WORLD HUNGER
The problem of world hunger is as serious as anything humanity currently faces. There are many opinions about the best way to solve this issue. There’s no evidence that proves what the best solution to this tragedy is. Nobody can claim to be absolutely certain about the best way to feed the world.
Scientific, political, economic, and geographic factors all play a part in potential solutions. If science can discover methods to create food easily in all parts of the world, world hunger could be greatly reduced or eliminated. Ending unnecessary political strife and using funds going to corrupt leaders to instead go towards feeding the hungry of the world would result in major improvements for millions. Providing realistic economic opportunities for individuals in poverty stricken locations would do a great deal to help those who face starvation. Getting individuals who live in places where food growth is difficult to implement to move to better places would be highly beneficial to solve hunger.
It’s also a great idea to teach poverty stricken individuals not to have kids. Educating the world about the joys of masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, and condoms will make the world a better place. Seriously!
Figuring out how to lose weight is simple! For more than 99% of humanity, burn more calories than you consume. For most, problem solved. But if you need specific pointers to trim pounds:
Eat smaller portions
Eat twice a day instead of three times- you won’t die from it
Eat balanced meals
Make healthier lifestyle choices
Skip dessert most of the time
Avoid all you can eat buffets (easier said than done)
Match charity donations with the amount you spend on food
Get off the couch sometimes
CHAPTER 17 LIFE
Celebrate life. It’s the only thing you’re guaranteed to have until you’re gone.
Celebrate life. There’s nothing that’ll prove to be more useful to you.
Celebrate life. Don’t waste it.
Celebrate life. Enjoy the absurdity that one often finds in reality.
Celebrate life. Create a better one.
Celebrate life. Treat others with love and respect.
Celebrate life. Defeat death for another day.
Celebrate life. Never squander it.
Celebrate life. Eat all the chili cheese dogs you can before you die.
Celebrate life, one off day at a time.
Celebrate life, but not so much that you forget that you could die.
Celebrate life, but not so much that you end up screwing over the rest of us.
Celebrate life, but never more than Dylan Thomas did when on a vodka binge.
Celebrate life, but take it down a notch if you end up in a hospital without knowing how you got there.
Celebrate life, but not enough to end it immediately.
Celebrate life, or you’ll spend most of it working and sleeping.
Celebrate life, or know that you’re just focusing on the never ending tragedies it offers.
Celebrate life, because there’s some great stuff despite all the problems.
Celebrate life. You live in a world with chocolate candy, brilliant music, and the possibility of love.
Celebrate life, or know that it’ll waste you before you ever live well.
Celebrate life, or it’ll force you to work a boring job for the rest of your life.
Celebrate life, even if problems arise.
Celebrate life, and do it on your own terms as much as possible.
Celebrate life, and never let anyone tell you that you have to do it their way.
IF LIFE IS JUST A GAME
If life is just a game, I wish we weren’t playing with such serious stakes as life or death.
If life is just a game, I’d prefer to watch instead of risking my life.
If life is just a game, let’s invent a new and better one.
If life is just a game, let’s play a far less dangerous game.
If life is just a game, let’s make it less competitive and more peaceful.
If life is just a game, stop taking such trivial rules so seriously.
If life is just a game, refuse to obey the rules.
If life is just a game, quit right before you lose.
If life is just a game, I want to know what better prizes could be offered.
If life is just a game, I’d like to change the rules.
If life is just a game, why do so many people take it so seriously?
If life is just a game, why don’t we all play a scoreless game of kickball instead?
If life is just a game, it’s a shame that we all end up losers.
If life is just a game, I’d like to re-pick my squad.
If life is just a game, why do we spend so much time watching other people play?
If life is just a game, there seem to be at least millions of different versions of rules.
If life is just a game, why can’t we all just agree to play for fun?
If life is just a game, we should create a more imaginative and fun game.
If life is just a game, let’s try to find a way to extend it before it ends.
If life is just a game, too many people take too many things way too seriously.
If life is just a game, let’s enjoy it and do what we have to do to be included in it.
Music can make life better for all people who are able to hear its beauty.
Books can make life better for all people who learn to appreciate the wisdom of words.
Movies can make life better for all people who are able to appreciate fine cinema.
Comedy can make life better for all people who are able to laugh at the absurd world we live in.
Sex can make life better for all who have the biological capability to appreciate it.
Art can make life better for all people who can appreciate visually stunning displays.
Philosophy can make life better for all people who are able to accept uncertainty.
Science can make life better for all who can accept the wonders of its method.
Travel can make life better for all people who are lucky enough to see foreign lands.
Food can make life better for all people who survive.
Sports can make life better for all people who appreciate the physical struggles.
Games can make life better for all people who are able to appreciate the leisurely pursuits of life.
Clothing can make life better for all people who are able to appreciate the warmth it provides.
Shelter can make life better for all people who can afford it.
LIFE’S A JOKE
If life is all a big joke, I hope it’s worth sitting through the years of pathetic warm up acts.
If life is all a big joke, why is it necessary for so much time to go by without a punchline?
If life is all a big joke, perhaps comedians are the only ones who do anything worthwhile.
If life is all a big joke, be happy that it’s okay not to get it.
If life is all a big joke, I hope that whoever is telling it can remember how it’s supposed to end.
If life is all a big joke, I hope it has a wittier ending than death.
If life is all a big joke, perhaps we should fake laughing at it until we die.
If life is all a big joke, please have the decency to laugh along with it.
If life is all a big joke, I’d hate to see what happens when a comedian better than God comes around.
If life is all a big joke, I think the ones who tell it best are the people who think they understand it.
If life is all a big joke, is the joke on us or the universe?
If life is all a big joke, let’s pray that someone comes along who can actually explain it to the rest of us.
If life is all a big joke, I’d like a refund.
If life is all a big joke, there are better ways to get a chuckle out of folks.
If life is all a big joke, keep laughing until you realize the joke’s on you too.
Love life, until it cheats on you with death.
Love life, but know it’s a love that’s destined to leave you.
Love life, because you’ll have to deal with it as long as you’re alive.
Love life, or at least learn to tolerate it if you’re going to stick around planet Earth.
Love life until it starts treating you worse than you treat it.
Love life as long as it’s faithful to you.
Love life and watch how some of the living will be drawn to you.
Love life and have a more enjoyable temporary time.
Love life and watch how others flock to hear what you have to say.
Love life and you’ll be ahead of billions of people.
Love life but hate its ending.
Love life, but hate anything that impedes it.
Love life and create a better one if you have any intelligence or courage.
Love life and watch how amazing things may be able to happen for you.
Love life and all of the good people you’re able to meet.
Love life, but expect to understand it even less than love.
BRING CHANGE TO LIFE
BRING POLITICAL CHANGE
How we can make our votes count: Vote to fire every politician. Cross their names off every ballot. Select a write-in candidate and write- Fuck the rich, corrupt pricks! Let the money we’d waste on an asshole in a suit feed hungry people!
That’ll send a message to those bastards who think they have the right to control you.
BRING PHILOSOPHICAL CHANGE
If possible, try to have an original thought.
BRING SCIENTIFIC CHANGE
This is hard. Good luck.
BRING FINANCIAL CHANGE
Spend on what you sincerely believe is important and valuable.
BRING SOCIAL CHANGE
Speak honestly and show enough decency to others not to kill them.
BRING INTELLECTUAL CHANGE
Study and try to top what’s already been achieved.
BRING RELIGIOUS CHANGE
Quit religion. It does no actual good. Encourage others to quit religion too.
BRING MUSICAL CHANGE
Listen to what you genuinely love and encourage others to do the same.
BRING LITERARY CHANGE
Write a book that you think needs to exist and want others to spend their precious time on.
BRING CINEMATIC CHANGE
Create an original movie that’s amazing.
BRING ARTISTIC CHANGE
Develop a unique creation for the world.
BRING COMEDIC CHANGE
Support local comedians. They desperately want money and attention. Make unique jokes of your own.
BRING CHANGE WITH FOOD
Eat as healthily as you can afford to. Eat real food and encourage others to do so.
BRING CHANGE WITH SHELTER
Live in a place you can afford. If you can afford to, try to help others who struggle to find decent housing. If you can’t afford any shelter, do what you need to live.
BRING CHANGE WITH CLOTHING
Wear cheap threads that are comfortable and have a creative design or message.
BRING CHANGE IN SPORTS
Don’t support ridiculously overpriced leagues, unless you think it’s worth your time. Play more sports.
BRING CHANGE IN GAMES
new one, or keep screwing around in new ways with the ones we have.
BRING CHANGE IN TRAVEL
Go to new places and encourage others to do so too.
BRING CHANGE IN THE WAY YOU LIVE
Have the courage to try to be a better person every day you live.
BRING CHANGE IN OTHERS LIVES
Have the courage to take a risk trying to help imperfect people.
CHAPTER 18 DEATH
The terrible thing about life is that it can be lost at any time.
Life is unfair. Nothing is fairer than death.
The best way to live is to avoid death.
Death is frightening only if one values their life.
Nothing can stop a determined person except death.
Having dead heroes is a weird way to live in the present.
It’s strange to think that no matter how great one becomes, being the best is merely a temporary experience before becoming old or dead.
Many absurd things happen in a world where we all know that no matter what we do, we’re destined to eventually die.
I’m biding my time until death. I suppose I have no other choice.
Never believe the people who say that you’re less than them, because in the grand scheme of time, we’re all destined to die.
Everyone dies in the end and few people live the way they should before it happens.
Intelligent people know they have short-term freedom but are completely screwed in the end.
If one looks too far ahead they see that no matter what they do, they’re going to die.
We’re all guaranteed death, so everyone who lives values temporary joy.
Have faith that somehow, life is worth living. Unless you’re in the act of suicide, you already believe it.
Remember that the “gift” of life can be rejected.
There’s no bigger event than death, because it tends to ruin all of the rest of your plans.
It’s funny that people spend their entire lives worried about defeating death. Throughout human history it’s been the only guarantee we have.
Accept that death is an eventuality for each person and use it as a motivation to live how one wants.
Tell people the truth: There’s no proof of eternal salvation and someday you’re going to die.
The end is already determined, but nothing in life is.
Tombstones are often morbid and might be lying.
Everyone should make life plans that include dying at the end.
Humans don’t choose to be born and probably don’t choose when to die. Yet many worry so much about what happens to them in between the two biggest events.
We live in a world where roughly 150,000 people die every day. Many people try to ignore death until it comes to someone we personally love.
Everyone is at least selfish enough to take care of their own survival needs before others needs. If they aren’t, they die fast.
Dealing with death rationally provides freedom, but not eternal freedom.
Whether one is a king or a slave, we all die one day.
Feel compassion for dying people. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s everyone.
If the dead could see their funerals, many of them would probably have lived differently.
Consider death to be more likely than anything else.
You’re not going to make it in the end, so enjoy the ride as much as possible.
There’s ultimately nothing that can be done to help you, but try to smile on your way out.
Life may suck, but at least you know it’s all going to be over soon.
We’re lucky to be alive. We’re unlucky to know we’re part of a species that’s destined to die.
A black belt may train for decades to attain peak physical performance levels. And yet they can still be killed by a five-year-old with a gun.
Accept anything better than death as a temporary success in comparison.
Effort made to be a better person is a great short-term plan, but don’t forget everyone’s long-term plan should be death.
I believe I’m right. You think I’m wrong. In the end one of us will be right and we’ll both be dead.
Aging isn’t as bad as the alternative.
It’s hard to have a sense of humor when one is dying, like all of us are.
Live well, even though you’re going to die in the process.
Live for what matters most now, because you could die at any moment.
You’re not alone in the universe. There are countless other life forms living on Earth right now. But you’re going to die eventually in an indifferent universe.
You’re not special. You’re one out of billions on one small rock in one small galaxy, and destined to die in a short time. There’s nothing special about that.
Perhaps the only way to live well temporarily is to accept an uncertain reality and a certain death.
Allow yourself room to make mistakes, but not so many that you die.
If there’s any way to save the world, it’d probably be best for humanity to die. But most humans care a lot more about themselves than the world.
Eventually, everyone you love is going to die.
All of us are eventually going to lose every good personality trait we have. It’s important to focus on living well temporarily, but also to know that death is coming.
There’s a difference between pushing the self to be better and pushing the self to death.
Being depressed about the state of the world makes no sense when you consider that you’ve known since childhood that we’re all destined to die.
Illness may keep millions from living their dreams, and eventually probably everyone.
Effort given to being a person of unique abilities still results in death.
The best times are grand, but the worst times of life may be worse than death.
It’s hard to give up what one loves, but eventually we all have to.
The past is history, but everything you do will eventually be too.
Change or die. That’s a good reason to adopt change as individuals and as a species.
Accept death. Use the rest of life to continuously try to be a better person.
There are people who are so busy living that they have little time to think about their imminent death.
The people who are afraid to end it all are most of us, probably for a good reason. Even if this life is hard, nearly all people come to believe it beats automatically giving up.
Act as if you can’t fail, because in the grand scheme of life we all experience complete failure at the end.
Treat people well. They’re the only ones who have any way to keep anything you do alive after you die.
Knowing physical death is guaranteed, why do people pursue trivial matters? Why does anyone decide to dedicate their life to processing mortgage loans 40+ hours a week?
One should be prepared for death, because the truth is that anyone could die at any moment.
Living for what one believes in more than anything else can be difficult. Especially since it only takes one accident, angry person, or violent event to end the life of an individual.
Seek to be a better person, but never a perfect person. In a world where roughly 150,000 people die every day, it’s hard to believe anyone claims perfection.
The most meaningful part of one’s life may be completely forgotten shortly after they die.
Nobody lives forever, but nobody dies permanently more than once.
Breaking up with a partner can be difficult, but it’s pretty much over in the case of murder.
The insult “You’ll never amount to anything” is eventually true for everyone.
Accept that death may come at any time, but fight like hell to delay it.
I don’t want to die, and I don’t want to get older. It’s like the universe is indifferent to my wishes.
Live well until the universe makes it impossible.
Life is almost assuredly going to end at some point, so get good living out of the way now.
Taking risks is essential to living well, but taking too many risks leads to instability or death.
Offering hope and benefit to others is still likely to result in their eventual death.
If anyone says they want to know the truth of life tell them, “Imminent death.”
How can a finite being that can die at any time have an inherent purpose to life? One small tweak and that purpose is lost.
Most people never want to die, but they also don’t want to live the way they do.
Perhaps there’s no meaning to life, but there’s no good reason to dwell on that when there are so many fun ways to screw around in the meantime until death.
Stop acting as if you have all the time in the world left and instead act as if you have virtually no time left. For all you know, it might be true.
The healthy habits one hones lead to better ways of life being developed. The unhealthy habits may be a lot of temporary fun, but it’s unwise to embrace them for so long that they kill you.
It’s impressive that so many people manage to survive, but it’s depressing that none of them ever manage to do it very long.
One of the tough parts about life is knowing that unless the rules change drastically, everyone you’ve ever loved isn’t going to make it in the end.
Cheating death is my long-term goal.
Is there any permanent end to suffering? The only known permanent solution is death. But if you want temporary solutions, there’s no limit to what you can discover in a lifetime.
Reality is often harsh. Too many prepare for the worst by working hard and saving. Be smart and prepare for the worst the way you should. Accept inevitable death.
Most individuals don’t often see others undergoing actual death. Most people can clearly see gradual natural processes leading to aging. Changes in nature allow people to conceive of how their time will go by, eventually leading to death.
It’s possible that the only things that make life worth living are the things that distract us from uncertain reality and certain death. Music, movies, food, love, sex, and arts may serve grand purposes. It’s harder to dwell on death when one is doing what they believe is valuable in life.
If all we ever did in life was focus on suffering, we’d never do anything great. Roughly 150,000 people die every day. Think about that and realize just how good most people have it.
Sympathy for sick people should be natural. We’re all capable of becoming sick at any time. We’re all capable of dying at any time.
Nobody lives in an ideal situation. We live on a planet where millions of people lack basic survival needs. We live on a planet where billions of people may lack happiness. We live on a planet where every single living being is still destined to die. There’s much work to be done for anyone who has the courage to take on important tasks.
Those who do great things still have to cope with physical pain and death. Any who choose to stay alive are constantly vulnerable to threats that are real. Anyone can be surrounded by a natural disaster that’s more powerful than any individual.
We’re all blessed and we’re all screwed. We’re lucky to be alive. We’re all screwed because of pain, uncertainty, tragedy, and death.
If one determines that they no longer feel like fighting to sustain their survival, they should be free to choose to end their life. The suffering of another person can’t be fully understood by an outsider. For some, living is more painful than ceasing to exist. While it’s probably not a good idea for many people to make the decision to die, it should be up to each person to decide without fear of reprisal.
We live with the knowledge that we’ll one day die, but we don’t know when. Look at each day as if it were a precious gift. How would you spend your time if you viewed it as a precious gift instead of a series of obligations to do things you mostly hate?
We’re on the brink of being able to push back potential death for many more years, but many people remain unaware and spend their time watching sitcoms instead. If it turns out science fails, maybe the sitcom watchers were the wise ones all along.
Death is almost always a tragedy, but only in the eye of the beholder. Few people ever mourn the loss of a virus, a pesky insect, or an unpredictable animal in the wild. Human death is the loss of a being with consciousness, but the death of humans means less to dolphins than we often realize.
It’s a challenge to take life seriously. No matter what, you’re going to die. It’s highly unlikely that anything you do will last. Knowing this is almost assuredly true, why should anyone take life seriously?
It’s always a tragedy when someone dies before they reach their potential. Unfortunately, everyone dies before they reach their potential.
Even if one gives a great amount of effort to win in life, in the end the game is always lost.
Sports arguments are ridiculous to have in a world where roughly 150,000 people die every day.
Laugh about all you can. If possible, even your own impending doom.
No one has to die for a poor reason, but many people do anyway.
DEALING WITH DEATH
My essence has already died several times. Who I am in my twenties is almost nothing like I was when I was five. I don’t perceive reality in the same way. I have the physical traits of a man. My perception of significance is altered. The essence of who I was at age five no longer exists for me. My five-year-old essence doesn’t exist in anything other than memories created in the present.
Knowing my essence has changed and will change repeatedly leads me to fear death less. Death is just the final phase of my essence undergoing change. I don’t like the finality of the change. Knowing that my essence has already died many times should lead me to be more comfortable with my eventual physical disappearance.
33 OUTSTANDING WEBSITES
www.google.com- Obvious, but links to most of the universe
www.wikipedia.org- Maybe not 100% reliable in the facts department, but still pretty impressive
www.espn.com- Covers pretty much all of the most popular sports in the world
www.imdb.com- Ridiculously thorough site about film, TV, actors, and entertainment news
http://www.infidels.org/- Detailed information about secular topics
www.ironchariots.org- Well designed refutation of creationism and support for evolution
www.yahoo.com- Like Google, links to nearly everything humans have ever done
www.theonion.com- Possibly the funniest mock news in history
www.madmagazine.com- Not as good as the magazine, but makes me laugh
www.snopes.com- Weird and wonderful treasure
http://www.peterrussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php- A reminder of how much tragedy the world faces
www.publicradiofan.com- Never complain about the crappy stations in your hometown again
www.youtube.com- Has some limitations, but it’s unbelievably captivating
www.hulu.com- Offers a lot of TV shows and movies for free
www.facebook.com- This satisfies the 13-year-old in me
www.stevepavlina.com- Candid articles on personal development
http://godisimaginary.com/- A straightforward refutation of theism
http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/- Another brilliant critique of theism and the power of religion
http://www.hitchensweb.com/- Despite disagreeing with him on some major issues (like war) he may be the greatest journalist of our times
www.couchsurfing.com- A great concept that serves millions of wanderlust wanderers
http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/- Not as good as the books, but still pretty cool
http://refdesk.com/- Tons of information about nearly everything
http://www.billhicks.com/- One of the greatest comedians of all-time
http://www.chaser.com.au/- A goofy group of excellent Aussie comedians
http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page- Offers over 30,000 free e-books in many languages
www.playboy.com- Classic lust, but genuinely good articles and other features
http://www.infowars.com/- Conspiracy theories or truth? I don’t know for sure, but if any of this is true, people had better wake up.
www.billboard.com- For the music geek in all of us
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/- Wonderful collections of guitar tablature
http://yudkowsky.net/obsolete/tmol-faq.html- Labeled as obsolete, but made a difference for me in how I view science and philosophy. Yudkowsky’s relevant site material is quality.
http://www.kurzweilai.net/index.html?flash=1-Tons of information about technological singularity and other relevant scientific projects
http://www.thp.org/- Encourages empowering people to end the problems of world hunger
http://servenet.org/- For anyone who wants to find ways to help people in need
There have been many terrific people, places, and things I’ve been blessed with. I’ve lost touch with friends at times due to my own agenda. Sometimes connections I thought would last a lifetime ran their course. I haven’t fully expressed appreciation for the most important people in my life. Thanks to:
My woman Tessa- Your love and support give me reasons to wake up and be grateful every day. Let’s keep the love going through mitochondrial DNA to me kissing you goodbye this morning!
My family- Thanks for everything Ma. You’ve given me tremendous gifts my whole life. I love you and miss you like crazy. I couldn’t have asked for a better Ma.
My brother Drew-You inspire me to be a better person. I love to talk to you about virtually everything and will value your opinions for a lifetime. Keep me posted on all the deep thoughts you have.
My sister Tine- Hey girl! I hope you’re rockin’ Columbus. Good luck in everything you do.
Gran- Thanks for all the love, for teaching me about business decisions I ignored at my own peril and how to play some sweet card games. Enjoy Pataskala.
Pop- I appreciate all the wisdom on how to try to live a good and clean life. You remain my definition of how to be a man. Your kindness and honesty are gifts I won’t forget.
The Mackris clan- Thanks for all the great conversations, for treating me like a son or brother.
Tessa’s fam- John, Sara, Travis, Lisa, Johnny, Colin, Tristan, Seth, Mary Kate and the MANY people they’re related to, Kerri, Ryan, Calista, Nolan, Steve, Toke, Maggie, and the MANY people Tess loves
The good people in London, Ohio- Now that I’m gone from the town, I miss several parts of my youth. I wish I’d appreciated the good times I had here more fully. Thanks for an intro class on life.
Special thanks to Marc Hunter, Lou Ann Smith, Mike Smith, Brad Cannon, Barb Cannon, Gran Cannon, Chaz Fleming, Shelly Fleming, Jim and Ruth Roddy, Jill Roddy, Farley and Mrs. Farley, Carrie Bodle, Nicole Nelson, Mary Lindsay, Kathy Garges, Imran and Saima Khan, Adam, Rick, and Amris Bennett, Gunther, Bully, Bo and Jenny Langley, Barb May, Heath Elliot, Pat Leonard, Dave Gustin, Steve Allen, Ms. Broyles, Pat Conard, Mark Byard, Mark Collier, Mr. Adkins, Mrs. Gates, Mrs. Good, Mr. Love, Paul Porter, Barb Morris, Mrs. Bach, The Hamiltons, Jason Sony, The McKenzie’s, Mad Dog, Zach Ward, Kelly Farish, Roger Clerk, Erin Nance, Kathy and Suzy Wilson, Ben and Matt Goodyear, Eric and Katie Chin, The Rutans, Ice Man and the rest of the Isaacs, Tim Knowles, the Brills, the Strobles, Barb Gunning, the Schwartz’s, the Sanders
Columbus, Ohio- The place of my birth and the city I grew up around. I appreciate all that you gave.
Special thanks to Kevin, Mitch, Julie, and Maranda Libster, J. Dials, Greg and Jason Potts, John Peters, Jason, Steph, Ella, Riley, and Cross Nichols, Brian Eddy, Tim Sturgill, Albertis Miller, Ernie Collins, Tim Lowe, Callaghan, Tiff Huff, Roy, Jack, Jim, and Angie Thomas, Judy Miller, McShan, Thaddeus, John Gunther, Leslie, Tom Standish, Dustin, the loonies on third shift, ICC, Dusty, Steph, Joe, Justin, Don Scott, Calvin, Janice, Paula, Tonya, the ladies at base, Phil, Jen, and Eric the RN’s, Anyone I left out from The Buckeye Ranch!
Cincinnati, Ohio- I loved college. Even though I’m a radically different person now, I still treasure the time I spent there. Thanks to UC and all the great people I knew in the Christian scene, the libraries, and the battlefields of sports.
Special thanks to Kurt, Steph, and Cooper Caudill, Consuelo and Emily Evilsizor, Dan and Beth Weber, Dwight, Kris, Brad, Amanda, and Mama Doig, J-Rock and Beth McNeeley, Khoi Duong, Dave and Margo Heizman, Ben Ickes, Luke Stedke, Dan Wagner, Rajesh, 4th floor Calhoun 1997-1998, Sigma Theta Epsilon, Matt Adam, Matt “Mont” Evans, Matt Brandon, Matt Hill, Matt Orweiler, Tyler Young, Ben Harder, Fred Taylor, Derek and Jen Blank, Rick Stevens, Thomas and Jean, Mike Murrell, Steve Shary, Kidd, Brian and Amy Marks, Brian and Beth Dick, Dan and Arian Armstrong, Hilton Haynes, Tim Withem, Brian Bailey, Steve Humble, Dave and Heidi Churpa, Ike and Patty Green, Ike Woodby, Pete Lucas, Walt, Nate Snyder, Marshall Pursley, Larry Peterson, Adam Harold, Jeremy Harder, Greg Peters, Evan Griffin, The University of Cincinnati- especially the Judaic Studies and Communication departments, Sara Huenke, Rob and April Gregerson, Brian and Alyssa Wolf, Josh Purcell, Joe Welling
Chicago, IL- This town has heart! I’m still making decisions about how to best spend my time here.
The lands I’ve visited- 40 something of the grand US states (I’m still missing Alaska and a few others I only exchanged planes in) are spectacular in their own unique and special ways. From coast to coast we can boast the most, rock and talk around the clock, and put the pedal to the metal to the extreme!
Our friendly neighbors:
Australia- Passionate land with people who work hard and play harder. If I had to live anywhere outside the USA it’d be here. Worked on a fruit farm, took surfing lessons, and met a lot of interesting people.
New Zealand- I only saw Auckland for a few hours, but it seemed quite lovely.
Thailand- I was treated well by kind folks. The most unique culture I’ve been lucky enough to experience. It was eye opening for me to see vast differences and comfortable familiarities there.
Greece- Delicious food, friendly people, pretty scenes in Athens and Thessalonica. Had a great time with my girlfriend- we took in everything we could.
Macedonia- Amazing experience for me to be the first in my family to visit Veles- the town my great-grandparents came from. According to Pop, when he asked his father if he ever wanted to go back to Macedonia, his father replied, “If I could only see just one stone…” I brought some stones back so Pop could bury one at his father’s grave in Ohio. I also enjoyed the time I had in Skopje with Phillip and his friends, getting a tooth pulled, and the unique Macedonian take on rock n’ roll.
Spain- Laid back, family oriented people who are absolutely beautiful. Had a broken bottle held to my neck by a local on the beach in Barcelona, but otherwise had a killer time. My first real experience with culture shock came when I saw the women dancing at a Cuban bar. Good Lord!
Italy- The thinnest people in the Western world live in Milan. One of my good friends and I hung out with a few attractive Ukrainian girls all the way from exotic Cincinnati, but no great romance stories. I meant to go to Rome twice but never did. Good wine, but not the emphasis on food that I was expecting.
Belgium- People with the best beer in the world! Fun multicultural people who like to celebrate the finer things in a down to earth manner.
Germany- Speakers of remarkably impeccable English, highly intelligent, take work and drink seriously. Into soccer and fancy cars from what I gathered.
Switzerland- Definitely not a cheap land, but spectacular natural scenery. Surprisingly lots of non-Caucasians in Zurich. Had a fun afternoon at an international festival.
England- Full of living British stereotypes, but loads of fun. Many spectacular museums are free throughout London. A visually stunning city, especially at night by the Thames. The most insane fans in the world are supporters of Liverpool F.C. It is amazing that there are people who care THAT MUCH about a game. It’s a bit frightening to be around if you’re not wearing the right colors and don’t know the chants. Luckily it takes about 2 minutes to learn all of them enough to avoid assault.
Ireland- Beautiful rolling green hills. Had a pint while picking up a few souvenirs for my woman’s Irish family at Dublin airport.
Canada- Terrific in the summer. Tranquil people who have health care, clean environments, and a sort of humble dignity. Toronto is more similar to Ohio than Kentucky is.
Mexico- Tijuana could be a great time for the adventurous soul, but was filled with too many beggars and prostitutes to have mass appeal. I’ve heard that most of Mexico is spectacular and a joy to experience.
Places I’ve been that could be nice, but were often less than friendly:
Paris, France- Unbelievable art and even cheap wine is delicious. Most Parisians seemed annoyed with me. Never experienced a place where women were so actively uninterested in me or anything I said.
Israel- The most dangerous, tense, and fearful place I’ve been to. Bad history and an active air of tension are present in Jerusalem. The old city is like religious Disneyland. Vendors sell pizza, tacky t-shirts, and kitschy statues right by the place where Jesus supposedly ascended to heaven. Tel Aviv was gorgeous and had spectacular beaches. Unfortunately bombs from Lebanon hit the city about a year after I left. Full of modern eccentrics and traditional zealots.
Steak- 1.Fresh from the farm in Ohio
Burgers- 1.Thurman’s Café in Columbus, OH
Pizza- 1.Uno’s, Chicago Style in general
Potato-1.Belgian frites with Samurai sauce
Desert- 1.Hot Fudge Sundae
Seafood- 1.Lobster Bisque in Ft. Lauderdale
Lamb- 1.Doner Kebab in Sydney, Australia
Beer- 1.Leffe Blond on draft
Mixed drink- 1.Hurricane from New Orleans
Shot- 1.Chocolate schnapps with Bailey’s Irish cream
Various favorite dishes- New Orleans Jambalaya, Israeli shawarma and humus, Spanish Paella
Products from Trader Joe’s and Morning Star Farms: The chips and salsa, Cuban style black beans, and the peanut butter granola bars are especially desirable at Trader Joe’s. The vegetarian buffalo chicken tenders, vegan grillers, and imitation sausage are all quite good from Morning Star Farms.
Books: The Bible- It’s one of the cornerstones of Western civilization. If you read it, there’s some odd stuff in its pages. I recommend reading it, but definitely not obeying it.
The Art of Looking Sideways by Alan Fletcher- One of the best books about perspectives, designs, and viewpoints that’s ever been created. Full of brilliant photography, vivid colors, and meaningful words.
Simple Truths by Kent Nerburn- Terrific compilation of a father’s advice to his son on big topics of life.
Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, and Morality by Steve Allen- Numerous thought provoking essays about serious religious, philosophical, and ethical topics. Presents viewpoints of a humanist persuading against blind faith without scientific observation.
How We Choose to Be Happy by Foster and Hicks- Outstanding study of 9 specific traits people deliberately choose to achieve happiness. Compelling and realistic stories about people finding happiness through adversity.
God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens- There are a lot of good books about religion written by atheists, but few, if any, go for the throat of religion so well.
Other wonderful classic books- 1984, Does God Believe in Atheists?, Things Fall Apart, Philosophy for Beginners, Comparative Religions, The Guinness Book of World Records, Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers, Ripley’s Believe it or Not series, The Chronicle of America, The Freedom Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson
Humor- Our Dumb Century from The Onion, works by Chris Rock, Dennis Miller, George Carlin, Matt Groening, Gary Larson, Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Moore, Al Franken, Jack Handey, George Meyer, David Cross, hell, anybody who comes up with enough funny material to fill a book is impressive
Enjoyable magazines- Mad magazine, Cracked, Quality sports, music, and entertainment publications, the independent souls who make fan zines
Everyone who has contributed to great comedy movies- The Naked Gun, Wayne’s World, Austin Powers, Dumb and Dumber, The Naked Gun 2 ½, Tommy Boy, Spaceballs, Ace Ventura, Robin Hood Men in Tights, Brain Donors, Dazed and Confused, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail, Wedding Crashers, Major League, Swingers, Mallrats, Happy Gilmore, Super Troopers, Old School, Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine, A Night at the Roxbury, The Wedding Singer, Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, Wayne’s World 2, Coming to America, Wrongfully Accused, Kuffs, Airplane, The Hangover, Superbad, Religulous, any other obvious greats I somehow forgot
Everyone who has contributed to great non-comedy movies- The Truman Show, The Godfather parts 1 and 2, Goodfellas, Scarface, The Usual Suspects, Donnie Darko, Rounders, City of God, The Shawshank Redemption, Gladiator, The 7th Seal, 8 ½, God’s Army, The Negotiator, Fahrenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, Ray, American History X, Tombstone, Do the Right Thing, A Bronx Tale, I Heart Huckabees, Coach Carter, Hoop Dreams, Back to the Future, Run Lola Run, The Siege, Status Anxiety, The Corporation, Network, Outlaw Comic
TV shows of the highest caliber- The Simpsons, Chappelle’s Show, SNL, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, King of the Hill, The Ben Stiller Show, In Living Color, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Jeopardy!, The Twilight Zone, Sportscenter, Mr. Show, Night Court, Chaser’s War on Everything, The Boondocks, Lookwell, The Larry Sanders Show, Arrested Development, The Office, Extras, Sports Action Team, Bullshit!, Entourage, Real Time, Politically Incorrect and other TV shows that make people think or laugh
Musicians who played like gods at their heights- The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Beach Boys, Weird Al Yankovic, They Might Be Giants, Tenacious D, Flogging Molly, The Who, The Doors, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Santana, Simon and Garfunkel, Tito Puente, Stevie Wonder, Oingo Boingo, Talking Heads, The B52’s, Marvin Gaye, Cream, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, Motown, surf tunes, James Brown and all things funky, Ennio Morricone, theme song people, many with little fame
More incredible elements in music- soundtracks, theme songs, great composers, independent rockers, street performers, karaoke singers, “world” musicians, numerous other famous artists, and anyone brave enough to pursue music as a way to make a living
Tremendous actors- Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Dave Chappelle, Chris Farley, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, the cast of Seinfeld, Ben Stiller, Jeff Daniels, Owen Wilson, Jason Lee, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, Pauly Shore, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Denzel Washington, Ed Norton, Val Kilmer, Steve Buscemi, Matt Damon, Jack Black, Samuel L. Jackson, John Candy, and many other lesser known stars who dare to take the stage and perform for others
Comedians- Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, David Cross, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Lewis Black, Bill Maher, Robin Williams, Doug Stanhope, George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Pauly Shore, Carrot Top, Dave Attell, Gary Shandling, Paul Mooney, Bob Odenkirk, non-famous improv players, and soon to be stand up giants
Chicago Improv/Sketch Comedians I’ve been blessed to watch-
The Panty Filers- Knute Horwitz, Robert Cass, Abby Abraham, Seth Davis, Krissy K. Duane Touloy
Koleno- Mike “Tuz”, Dan Luebbe, Peter Sebastian, Steve Fleming, Aaron Capinigro
Hair Club for Men- Mike Bauman, Scott Levy, Lucia Bonifazi, Peter Kremidas, Geoff Crump, P. Russ
3033- Danny Mora, Alex F., Andy St. Clair, Rush Howell, Bill Arnett
Big News Chicago- Michael McCarthy, James Engel, Tony Werner, Brandon Taylor, Matt Higbee, Brian Henning, EJ, John Hartman, Brijul, Amrita, Tierza, Jameelah, Ritter, Sprague, Jake, John Mahr, Scott, George, and Keith, among others
Middle Age Comeback, Cook County Social Club, The Best Church of God, Armando, Black Out, Clydesdale Lane, Neapolitan, Carl and The Passions, Shotgun, The Reckoning, Improvised Shakespeare, Ron Harlow, James Tierney, Cowgill, Susan Messing, Emily Candini, Lisa Linke, Mike Enriquez, Matt Manley, Jim Carlson, TJ Jagadowski, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, various at IO, Second City, The Annoyance, The Neo-Futurist Theatre, The Cornservatory, The Playground
All artists who’ve provided beautiful creations to the world- Dali, Escher, Picasso, and any who create works that touch others
Intellectuals who help make a positive difference: Christopher Hitchens, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Dawkins, Richard Feynman, Sam Harris, Pat Condell, The Atheist Experience of Austin, Texas, Daniel Dennett, Noam Chomsky, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov, Marvin Minsky, Eleizer Yudkowsky, Stephen Hawking
Personal Development gurus who give great advice- especially Steve Pavlina
The futurists, transhumanists, scientists, and others of various professions and labels working to create a better reality through singularity and other inventions most of us can’t begin to understand
Groups that bring about socially beneficial change- The ones fighting against homelessness, poverty, starvation, war, diseases, unnecessary death, and any causes that bring benefits to the well-being of others
All people who have clung to hope in times of hardship and have had the graciousness to be giving to others when experiencing success. Your contributions have made the world a better place.
Despite my attempt to be thorough, anyone obvious who deserved thanks that I left out.
All the non-prick members of team humanity. You’re becoming quite rare.
Any good parts of the universe left.
Anyone who helps make this book relevant.
P.S. Sorry if I misspelled your names. No disrespect intended.
A FEW FINAL THOUGHTS
I have little knowledge about most of reality, which makes me equal with every theologian, philosopher, or politician.
There are so many books written that have so much crap in them, that it’s a wonder anyone bothers to find something good.
It’s idiocy to expect a better way of life without a great effort to do so.
The difference between garbage and joy is worth the effort to find joy.
Perhaps it’s wisest to concentrate on how to live well instead of finding an unknown truth.
The world isn’t perfect, but it’s possible for nearly anyone to experience lesser levels of pain.
Leaders often take what belongs to those who work for it, but wouldn’t most people do the same thing?
Having good intentions doesn’t mean anything to a buyer, only a terrific product or service does.
There’s a difference between experiencing something in the mind and doing it in the real world. Stop merely reacting to the world. Have the courage to be an active part of it.
Until a politician is worth voting for and you’re convinced votes actually matter, don’t bother voting.
The non-sense that people focus on is what determines their non-sense existence.
Many parts of the world should give people hope, but other parts shouldn’t.
We all take chances to try to live well, but all of us fail to varying degrees.
The mysteries of life never stop, so it’s best to be in awe of them instead of constant fear.
If you haven’t failed, you’ve probably set some ridiculously petty goals.
Social, intellectual, and scientific progress may be able to make life much better for humanity. Combined, they may achieve great leaps forward towards “saving” us.
Live well now, because there’s no telling if you’ll be able to do so in the future.
Unfortunately, honesty isn’t necessarily the best policy to get what one wants in life. It seems that many people benefit a great deal from marketing their bullshit to others in the most ruthless ways possible.
All humans are like a fingernail to the universe. We’re a tiny part that exists for a while, has almost no influence on the total, and are destined to be clipped off and thrown into the garbage.
A perfect ending is nearly impossible.
Biography of the author
Mike Nesteruk is an unusual person. He’s lucky have to have an amazing woman named Tessa who lets him live with her in Chicago or Ohio. Despite his many faults he has some great family and friends. He has written a more detailed twisted unpublished “autobiography” of himself titled I DABBLED IN PLAYING MYSELF. He’s also written unpublished books titled LAUGH AT SELF, OTHERS, GOD, AND THE UNIVERSE- an offensive and pretentious comedy book, COMBAT EVIL WITH POEMS!, and I CAN’T SEE JESUS OR THE OTHER FAKE GODS- a humorous look at humorous god claims.
It’s a big universe. Try to experience some good parts of it while you still can.