I’m Done with TV: Part 1

June 16, 2010
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     I’m done with Television. I can’t stand a lot about it. But advertisers, I really don’t like. They have stopped advertising products. They advertise lifestyles and fantasies; most of which has nothing to do with the product. A commercial I see a lot is a totino’s pizza rolls commercial. Aimed at little kids, teenagers too I guess. But it starts out with kids having a water fight and saying their favorite things of summer. “Having fun”, wearing our “favorite colors”(This color one is a stupid line), and then “Jamming to our favorite bands”. Then is goes “And Totino’s!” They eat and run around, promoting physical activity while advertising a not so healthy product. Then it continues, with a skateboarder(I forget what exactly he likes, then a girl underwater “Friends”(saying what she likes), and then a kid says “But most of all, Totino’s!”. The commercial is basically saying some tiny pizza roll is better than everything, friends, family, fun, etc. And it’s promoting a lifestyle like “Hey, if you eat Totimo’s you’ll have friends and be cool too, and you’ll automatically have a life.” It’s stupid how advertisers get us. Commercials like this sadly work too. I saw a commercial based just of blurry lights on a dark background. Just lights, then at the end, showed a car. I would go into what the appeals to the commercial is and so forth, but that would be an essay. I was purely using that as an example. Goodbye for now.


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The Sad Truth of Fans

June 16, 2010
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      Competitions are kinda depressing, I’ve realized. Because no matter what, one nation of fans is going to be let down. Fans, who have nothing to do with the team except that they support and buy team’s products; They have nothing to do with the team’s production, training, and have no say in what goes on with decisions. They are not stockholders, but they invest so much of themselves into a team, to see victory, to give them hope. But in the end, a whole nation of fans who’ve invested so much into the team, will be let down. And there’s no avoiding it. One team will win, and one team will lose, no matter what. I’m not the “Fan” type, really, I’m usually the person on the team. But I can deal with loss, because know I left everything on the field, court, or track. I know I trained as hard as I could and planned and mentally prepared, I devote myself to the sport and I still fail; that’s how life is. I love when I see myself do something that I didn’t know I had. It shows me more potential. I love it. I love playing the game, I get mad at losses, but I don’t hold on to it. I’ve noticed fans do, And more than that, they criticize so much, when they’re not in the game. People who simply watch, and take it for face value or what the see it as, when they’re not in the weightroom or the gym when it matters. That’s probably why I don’t watch games so much or invest myself in the careers of others.

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The Passion

June 1, 2010
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     This happened a while ago. Maybe two or three months ago. But I had it on my list to blog about, but I never did. Well, Here it is.

     The youth group I work for is for high school students. But if anyone wants to learn about Jesus or hang out, we don’t turn them away. As long as they don’t be a distraction. One of the kids, who actually is a freshman in college, asked me a question when I was driving kids home. it was a rhetorical question, but I still answered it. Because it not only shocked me, but it made me angry. It wasn’t really a crazy question, that’s not why it was shocking, but the ignorance and stupidity of the question. And on top of that, he was saying it rhetorically; like it was a good question to provoke thought.

     The question was “Why would they show “The Passion”(of The Christ) to high schoolers?” What shocked me about the question is the stupidity of it. He went on to explain that it was too graphic and scary..

     The context of this question is: at the youth group earlier the speaker spoke about Jesus’ love and showed clips of the movie. The clips were of Christ’s Crucifixion in the movie. I went on and crucified him with my answers. I hate putting people o\n the spot or attacking anyone’s thinking. But this struck me in its ignorance. He said it was too graphic for a generation that is desensitized to killing and vicious mindless murders in scary movies, that have no other purpose than for entertainment(I’m referring to slasher movies, and scary movies in general), with war all over the news and video games that glorify killing. And he has the audacity and lack of thought to say it’s too graphic? It’s a historical account of something more meaningful than a mindless evil killing, and it’s too graphic for high schoolers? That’s what made me mad.

     The reason why it is such a powerful imagery that is needed to see by christians, is because it only makes my faith grow. In the present, we can not comprehend the pain and emotion by purely words that we read. It was a different culture that we don’t have a complete understanding of their values, naturally, because our values and lifestyles are extremely different. We don’t have anything in our lives that we can compare His life to understand what he went through. So it has less meaning to what it really is since we don’t really understand it. But when we see what it is, by watching The Passion, we get a clear picture of it and it becomes that much more real to us. I have to admit to, that I cannot watch it and not cry. That scene of Christ being crucified is beautiful, and should be watched by all who are mature enough to.

The Illegal Immigration Battle

June 1, 2010
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     The argument of illegal immigration makes me a little mad. Because with Arizona’s new state law, the debate has been re-ignited. Now, all I hear is each side’s argument’s all the time in the news and editorials. I am a Californian, California-grown. And I hear about illegal immigrants a lot.

     One argument I hear all the time is illegal immigrants and their economical footprint. defenders of illegal immigrants claim that they contribute more than they take. That is a flawed argument in many ways to me.

     Just because they contribute more, does it make it alright that they are illegal? If you murdered a very bad person, not because of self-defense or anything, purely because he was bad, does it make it right to murder? If you were poor, does it make it legal to steal? Yes, these are two extremes of the situation, but are just the same situation as illegal immigration. It’s illegal no matter what the situation is. Just because they contribute more, doesn’t make it right.

     And another thing is their rights in America. They get less rights and paid less, treated less than citizens. Anyone living here indefinitely should be treated right. But as long as they are illegal, they can’t and shouldn’t be given rights. So there should never be illegal immigrants in the first place. It would be unfair if they are illegal and given he rights as tax-paying citizens, but at the same time they are being paid meagerly, and treated like lesser people, which also isn’t right. So to solve this paradox, there shouldn’t be illegal citizens in the first place. Businesses should be moral and turn away their work and government must act on their being here.

     If you take an economical argument to the situation, you need also to take a political view, as they go hand in hand. Political meaning the if it’s legal. Because the law and economics should be together. And In legal terms, illegal immigration isn’t right. Businesses are taking advantage of illegals and it lowers the standard of living for illegals. It abuses their illegal status.

     One thing, if history has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t need illegals to work for us, we can adapt. Another argument that stems from the economical contribution argument. It’s that no one wants the jobs they do and that how much they get paid keeps prices low. This is eerily similar to slavery. Thats the same thing they said about abolishing slavery. That will destroy the southerner’s economy. It shook it up after slavery was abolished, almost destroyed it, but we adapted, and everything worked out, and slaves were free. This to me is the same thing as slavery, just not to an extreme and it’s hidden behind politics to make it seem less than it seems.

     I love America. I love people. I don’t have anything against immigrants. My mom immigrated from Japan, legally. I just don’t like it when they are here illegally, and when people are treated unfairly. Just because I think they illegal immigrants should be treated fairly, doesn’t mean I think they should be paid more or get healthcare. in fact, I think the opposite. I think that they should be refused those things since they are illegal. But businesses that are exploiting them treat them unfairly, not the government. I would love for them to work and be treated fairly, but only as them being citizens. If they became citizens then they could complain about their country. But until then, they have no country.

     All this is, is slavery-lite. We need to stop this, and as long as they can get any type of work, they’ll continue to come here illegally. That has to start with businesses running fair and moral practices.

Our brain is smart

April 28, 2010
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Our brain is extremely slow. Can’t process as much information as you think you can. No, there isn’t a contradiction between the first sentence and the title. Our brain is very slow, but very smart at the same time, in fact, because how it handles its disabilities shows how smart the brain is.

Our brain cannot process all the information we take in. For example, we cannot take in every single little color and every single little sound. Because the number of that we take in is so large, our brain cannot process it. But our brain takes shortcuts.

Let me further explain. Your brain sees everything, and sees them again, but they are never seen in the same light or at the same exact angle, ever. Same with sounds too. So your brain “matches” to things in the long-term memory. And does a kind of database search, similar to the fingerprint matches on CSI, how it scrolls through all the possible matches until it finds something similar.

This makes your brain label everything it sees in comparison to things already seen in the past. This shortcut makes you generalize things. But it’s a very useful shortcut that puts things in categories and saves memory space. Puts it in a mental “File cabinet” with all the other things it’s similar too. And also gives it “tags” for search purposes so when something triggers a certain thought, your brain goes through everything that matches. It keeps every foreign thing from being unknown. We naturally cannot be content with the unknown, so our brain caters to that fear and labels everything.

The journey from our eyes to our brain is a far one. Our brain cannot possibly process and mange all the colors and sights we see every second. And to process it in milliseconds like we do. Also, if we were to just take it for exactly what it were instead of relating it to other objects seen in the past, we would only recognize them as lines and nothing more. But this isn’t so. We do recognize and/or label everything we see. But also, we do not take in everything and process everything. We process a fraction of it. Pieces that give it a kind of outline, just enough information is gathered so you recognize and can match it to something in your database of information. This is a shortcut. Saves a lot of time and it makes everything easier to grasp and comprehend. You never know exactly how many leaves are on a tree or how many raindrops are on a window in the rain. Your brain doesn’t take every speck of information, it takes only the main parts to analyze. When you see a tree, you just see the large amount of leaves(or lack thereof), and then classify it as a big or small tree. Same with color. The brain does not take in every single shade of color, just the general description of it.

When seeing things, the brain classifies and labels to relate and identify. The same also applies to hearing. Not every wave is the same length and taken at the same frequency, and size, and angle. All these factors distort what you hear, so your brain relates it, and takes parts of it, and matches to what they hear. A good example is that voices are never the same, but you can recognize if a southern person says “automobile” or if a New Yorker says “automobile”. It all goes through the brain and processes as taking the main parts of the sound and analyzing it. And when hearing sentences too, the brain matches whole sentences and the context to what they know in order to understand better, which makes comprehension easier.

One example of how our brain uses shortcuts is shown in a WordPress article I’ve seen today, it’s here:

Now onto the bad parts of these shortcuts. With sight, we generalize, and to make it easier. But also, we don’t collect all the information, and with what we match it to, we fill in the blank spaces we didn’t pick up. Just like you can’t count the leaves in a tree from memory, even though the tree may be very vivid, it’s because we add those leaves, and since they are fake, we don’t let ourselves pay attention to the leaves so we cannot count them, they are in a way, blurred by our minds even though they look very vivid. But if we see something with a more exact quantity, but didn’t pay attention to the quantity, such as coins on a table, we may fabricate the number and it may not be accurate, but even then, it’s a little more harder to count. When it comes to people, the reason why we do a “double-take”, and see something that resembles something, and we could be so sure that it was whatever you thought, maybe an old friend, it’s because our brain fills in the blanks. Only when we get a good look at someone, do we recognize who or what they are.

We generalize, this process isn’t restricted to our brain’s subconscious workings like I showed in the above paragraph. We also do it consciously, and this leads to disputes and the creation of phrases like “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, etc. I hope I don’t need to explain how stereotyping is wrong, it’ll save me a little ink and you time because you won’t have to read my overly long paragraphs.

Here is a bad example of how our brain uses a shortcut to get out of things, it’s also a classic word puzzle. Read it once through, don’t go slow, read it as if any other sentence, and count the f’s along the way, and then don’t read it again until you know the answer which is in the next paragraph: “Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of years.” How many f’s are in the sentence?

If you have seen this puzzle before, you probably felt smart that you knew, but every time from what I know nobody gets it the first time(unless you stare at each individual letter or went to a similar extreme). It is because your brain processes the word “of” as “ov”, so your brain naturally passes over the letter. The actual number of f’s is six. So, the brain is slow, but in being slow, the best is shown as it didn’t settle with being slow, it used what it had and now is very proficient in its duties.

     Which is how we should be. We, as a culture, should not be alright with mediocre. Being smart isn’t about what you know, it’s about how you handle what you have, how you use knowledge, not how you store it. Same with us. It’s not about complaining about what we don’t have, but doing the best with what we have, and we shouldn’t be happy with less than what we can do. We shouldn’t be happy with being given and being heir to things. We shouldn’t be happy being given what we don’t work for, or settling for what we’re given or told what our limitations keep us from doing. We should strive for something higher. We have become complacent, that’s just not right. We are not great for having it all, we are great for doing great things.

     In comic books, if the struggle were against all-powerful heroes against people who aren’t as powerful that make superheroes great, it’s the lack of power and overcoming their disadvantages that make them great. They are heroes because they realize what they can’t do but then still save the world in spite of that, or in the face of a greater evil power. The lack of power creates a doubt if they can accomplish the herculean task before them, and how they face it, that makes the stories suspenseful, and in the end, gives the reader a better story. We always dream of being heroes because of the power they have, but in reality, it’s not the power that makes them great, but the accomplishments in spite of not being as powerful that make them great.

     It’s the David and Goliath complex. We dream of being Goliath, but he had won, it wouldn’t have mattered, because he was the one with power, who was expected to win, but it’s the David’s that we really are, that we should really want to be. We need can’t lose sight of our shortcomings, but we shouldn’t focus on them, they hold us back. They make us feel like it’s alright to be less than what we can be, who we were meant to be. We should want to be greater, and we naturally have this negative attitude making us less than what we can. Don’t settle for ok. Be versatile. Be creative. Be smart. Utilize what’s in front of you. What we are is wasted potential. But we were never meant to be that. So much potential out there, but we are less because we fail to use it. Mediocre shouldn’t be in our vocabulary.

“Gotta Have ’em”

April 21, 2010
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Our consumerist culture is being cultured by the ads we see, and is reflected by the ads we see. this trend of products being advertised as “needs” isn’t good and blurs the lines between what we do need and what we just want.

Octogenerians fight over lottery ticket

March 25, 2010
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Two octogenerian sisters are fighting over a lottery ticket worth half a million dollars. This petty feud is something that shouldn’t happen. They took it to court. I hope I never take my brothers to court over money especially in my later days when i would want to cherish everyone around and not worry, just live and love.

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“The Fall”

March 19, 2010
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The fall is really poetic, it is the ultimate ultimatum. What it gives you is two choices: to lay there or to get up and finish the race you see ahead of you. To walk off or to press on through this hurt.

Pleasantries of Business

March 18, 2010
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Being genuine seems to be a lost art that being replacing by a social structure that is engineered to make everyone happy. This isn’t right.