Saturday, November 9, 2013

Porn: how sex is being used to ruin our kids

   It seems like I am not the only one who is taking a critical look at the use of pornography to satisfy the physical urges of young people and their genitalia, primarily young males. There is undoubtedly a physical response which could essentially be called addiction to the regular viewing of modern pornography. When this is combined with a little bit of neurological understanding about how the brain gets used to associating images and feelings, then building a mental connection between the two, it makes sense that young people's understanding of what is sexy is based on the ridiculous portrayal of sex in porn.
I can't say it better than this person^.

Or this guy:

"Higher" Education

No, that is not an allusion to a certain favorite herb at college campuses around the nation. Maybe the quotations are more aptly put around 'Education' because the paradigm for education simply does not work in the US. It is just as hard to make a living before or after college. Although most people come out of their respective higher education facility with more knowledge and improved skills, translating that into something to live off of is nearly impossible for the majority of young people. It used to be that college was for those who were to rule over the rest of the ignorant and simple folk, that after a degree from a college, a job was almost guaranteed.
After looking at recent numbers and trends, let alone living through my own specialized 'education', I have realized that the entire way we go about teaching people is flawed. Practical skills have all but been abandoned, and the theoretical aspects are outdated and unhelpful. People have more information, theory, and data at their finger tips than they could ever analyse, yet we still think that teachers can impart theoretical knowledge into children.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Way I Love

Polyamory  seemed to me, for a long time, as something that was other and strange. I was raised in such a traditional manner that I could not see the content and form of the relationships I had with those around me as anything other than the labels by which I called them. Yet, at the same time, there were relationships that I have had that I could not label. They meant so much more to me than society allowed for. There were adults in my life that I loved and cared for, and I knew they felt a similar way about me, but I was stuck with the labels of babysitter or teacher. There was this unspoken rule, or norm, that I shouldn't have a meaningful and caring relationship with somebody outside my family.
I don't recall exactly when this happened in my life, but I remember that after introducing these people in conversations with friends and peers as their societal labels, I felt like I was cheapening the real connection I had.  So I abandoned that practice. I began to, when prompted by a need for conversational context, to label them as someone important to me. "one of the people who raised me" or "an awesome adult I’m close with" became the labels that made the most sense. When I look back on it now, i realize that they were my loved ones, more than many of my extended family members to whom I was supposed to have these feelings for. This realization was the start of my journey questioning who I was supposed to love, and how to integrate the people I loved into my own sort of family.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Being Counter-Cultural: a how-to

Is culture collectively self-imposed? Is there an unspoken cycle of peer pressure and conformity which reinforces our beliefs about the way things work? I started thinking about this a while ago, ever since I came to Reed anyway, and I'm not sure if I have even gotten anywhere. Within a few weeks of being at college, I heard a term I had never experienced before, Stress Culture. hmm... Stress Culture? that sounds like... wait... i have no idea what that sounds like.

Well two years have gone by since this first happened to me. I now have a pretty good understanding of not only Stress Culture, but also Drug Culture, and Rape Culture. These terms  describe an intricately self-organized system of beliefs, habits, behaviors, and customs. This system doesn't have a purpose, it was not designed by someone or even a small group.

It is the result of years of widespread cognitive dissonance. When we, human beings, hold two contradicting ideas in our heads, we have an incredible ability to justify this dissonance, removing the appearance of contradiction. When hundreds of people do this individually, within their own heads, then talk about it, both online or in person, a system is collectively constructed that holds each belief to be true, ignoring inherent dissonance that started it all.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What to do with all that land?

assuming that we transition fully from petroleum based products to renewable resources, there will be an incredible opening of land. This could mark the beginning of the end for newly opened land in the US. Our country has, at its core, the character of the opportunist. The vast landscapes were taken as property, turning many places (honestly, most places at this point in history) into pure opportunity. the rights to use a space free of human form.

^ I wrote this a while ago; this just now =>

 This change i speak of above means one thing. Opportunity. It may be because of the way I have built myself, accepting the actuality of large scale, endemic, pollution yet refusing to entertain the possibility that this was a fight we could lose. The target of this fight is a lack of understanding. Once a human gets something, it becomes real. Whether an understanding of a physical property or an understanding of an idea like faith, once grasped, removing an idea is neigh impossible.
Anyway, I took to seeing time move by, and change chugging along, but never in the direction I had hoped. Maybe all these decisions were made in offices and buildings and nobody important saw how things worked? Maybe they are all just greedy? Maybe just power hungry?

I realize now that everybody is doing they best they know how to do, that is all. We were all just taught different ways to be successful or to be happy. When we don't realize the world is much more varied than that, we can start to align and self-organize, rather than be centrally organized and controlled.