Monday, December 17, 2012

Random Thoughts

(Note 24 August 2015: I removed a lot of the text here. What little is left, is what I still agree with today.)

I used to do this every now and then when my writing was still done on a physical medium (some of which I plan to transfer here some day), and I decided to do it here, too. Each paragraph is a thought that I feel explains itself without needing to become a full post. I hope everybody who read this gets something good out of them.

Black metal fans seem to love artists who do what they want without thinking about what the fans want or expect, but when God does something that does not fit their desires, even if it ends up being for the best, they throw fits. Is anyone else seeing something wrong there? And no, it is not only because the music sounds good. The whole general attitude is highly praised.

People are so attached to material possessions, and they don't want to give them up. But whether you believe in an afterlife or not (that afterlife is still real! - August 2015), you know for a fact that you are going to lose those possessions one day. There will be a time when people are not going to have these material possessions. Life is going to be different, and people need to be prepared for that. Even if you don't just out and get rid of everything you own (as that can be a very long and tiring process, depending on how much people want your stuff), how prepared are you to get rid of it if the occasion arises? Are you prepared to do that?

Isn't it a bit funny how a lot of people don't take ramblings like this seriously, but they watch news stations religiously?



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Interested in Space, or Science?

(Note 24 August 2015: This post has been edited. It's one of a few old posts that doesn't really warrant deletion, but I edited it a bit anyway.)

Let's get something straight: having an interest in science is not the same thing as having an interest in space. Liking rocket ships and running experiments on the moon does not mean that you are interested in the subject of space. A lot of people compare science to "discovery" as though conducting experiments in a room were ever "discovery". There is a lot to discover in space, but you don't learn about it by studying the effects of gravity in it, or how far manmade machines would need to go in manmade numbers to reach something, you learn about it by observing how vast it is firsthand, by observing the planets that have the systems of gravity, rather than studying how that gravity works. The workings of this world are nothing compared to the beauty of the world itself; if you study its behavior, you never see the beauty in all of it. Space is an infinite void, full of stars and planets, nebulae and solar systems, magellanic clouds and black holes, moons and landscapes, and a whole bunch of gravityless wonder in between. You could either observe that beauty and realize what a gift it is, or you could just scrutinize it, and ask questions about how such-and-such a moon was formed, or why it does what it does. It's knowledge, but it's useless knowledge.

If you want knowledge that space has to offer, stand out on a clear night under the night sky. Sit in the grass, and look up at it. Feel the air blowing on you. Take a telescope if you like. You don't need to make a starchart with the telescope, it's just a corrective lens for your eyes that can't see that far.

The beauty of space goes way beyond any science lab, or its understanding. Anybody who desires something more than what they can find in a classroom can at least get a foretaste of it in the night sky; it's not everything, but it's something. Science can never capture true wonder in a jar, or study it on a lab table; science can never capture the real beauty of space. It can create tools that help us to see it better, but its manner of scrutiny and mundane examination does not begin to do justice to the wonder of outer space.

A lot of people see that beauty, and then hear that our physical bodies were made from it, and are amazed, as though it were completely irregular. That's still getting away from the main point; it doesn't matter how it happens or why it happens. The point is that it happens, and it's something to behold, not something to scrutinize. That's missing the entire point of it. Realizing that is what it means to have an interest in space. It's what real discovery is. (Note 24 August 2015: I'm a Young Earth Creationist, so I don't agree that we are made from star matter anyway.)

Understanding space is a very non-scientific concept. Do not confuse a passion for one with a passion for the other.


Remember to always protest movements to put garbage in outer space. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Modern Gaming

Something seems different about video games today. I was once a fairly avid gamer, but then I got away from it for several years, got back into it, and now I am usually very indifferent to video games. The last one to come into my possession came out in 2008, and my dedication to gaming shows that. I've completely missed the releases of the PS3 and all of the X-boxes, the thin PS2s, the DS, and many, many more systems, but today, I was playing some video games with my friend at his house, and those games just felt bland. Sure, the elements of fantasy were there, advanced technology, new landscapes, bosses that you would be quite stunned to find on the streets, and more, and all of these elements were present in the video games I liked as a child, but something... something was still missing.

The most socially acceptable way I could describe it is a lack of magic. The games I remember playing tickled the imagination, inspired the mind, and really expanded around you as you played, which only increased the effects of the first 2. The games I played today, like Resident Evil 6 and Knights Contract, were more like walking around with a giant wallet that had no money in it, or unscented perfume that came in a fancy bottle and shiny label; there was something there, but the effects of owning it that you'd expect weren't there. With games like this, and all of the (presumably) unreal things happening in them, you'd probably expect the magical effects of seeing those unreal things to carry over into your experience, but no matter how many lights flew out of people's hands and no matter how many giant monsters there were and no matter how many special effects there were with the graphics, none of that magic was there. Magic doesn't have to mean that kind of magic you see in kids' cartoons, either. Magic in that sense like wonder and amazement at previously un-thought-of concepts, can apply at any age and style; it was completely absent though.

My problem with that is that while all video games are basically escapism, there are games with benefits that can come from that escapism. An example is Spyro. Regardless of what age I was when I played those games, they always expanded my imaginative horizons, which is very important to me since I'm an artist. Games today, though don't carry that with them as I explained above. Therefore, there is little healthiness coming from that escapism. This is happening at a time when video games are becoming more popular, and are influencing the minds of more people. I don't care if GTA is making people violent or not, video games do indeed influence the minds of players, and games with that dryness to them can't be good for impressionable people.

This is just something I needed to get out. Think about it before you spend another 6 hours on whatever modern system you use.

Wasn't listening to anything as I wrote this