Posts Tagged ‘bloggingfundamentals’

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Midnight Oil

In Life on October 14, 2016 by thebetweenthoughts Tagged:

Trying something a little different today – let’s see what the WordPress Daily Prompt can inspire: Candle

When you think of a candle, the first image that comes to mind is one of light.  A flame in the darkness that illuminates a room, a passageway, an entrance.  A candle becomes the one thing you treasure in an emergency.  A way to ensure that you have warmth or light when darkness is thrust upon you.  A candle is also associated with sensuality.  A way to set the mood with either scents or dim lighting.  While dulling your vision, a candle can be used to stimulate your other senses.

At this point in my life, I think I associate candles the most with…mortality.  It’s a symbol of our finite nature.  The minute we’re born…our wicks are lit.  And it’s just a matter of time until we burn out and are nothing more than a puddle on the floor.  Rather than reshape us into something stronger, the flame destroys us and breaks down our structure moment by moment.

If we all end up in the same state…is there a point in life?  Is there a point to the struggles?  A point to the constant search for riches and status?  A point to seeking out love?  A point to trying to create a legacy?

We spend most of our lives trying to survive (and we obviously all have different perspectives on what ‘surviving’ means), but how often do we actually stop and think about why we’re doing all of this?  There should be a greater point…some greater meaning to all of this…right?  Are we just meant to enjoy the time we spend as our candle burns?  Should we just acknowledge the wax puddle that we’re all moving towards and just let our lives melt away?

I tend to think of larger themes and bigger meanings…it’s a product of consuming too much fictional content over the years.  I yearn for some narrative…some structure and arc to life…

Maybe I’m just asking too much out of life…I should just be content with watching the flame move down candle…and creating some formless mass at the end.

;P

 

 

Articles

Do We Need More Nuanced Thinking? – Absolutely!

In Life on September 6, 2016 by thebetweenthoughts Tagged:

Black or white…

On or off…

Right or wrong…

We tend to reduce the world into binary choices – absolutes that wash away all of the nuances that provide any uncertainty.  As logical human beings, we aren’t big fans of uncertainty…the unknown frightens us, and so we do we everything we can to absorb those gray areas into black and white choices.

While perusing WordPress as part of Blogging Fundamentals, I came across this post talking about the dark side within all of us…and how we eventually need to “turn on the light” in order to extinguish it.  I didn’t necessarily see it this way.  I saw the value of a “dark side” – the necessity of aggression and destruction in order to create and basically live a complete life.  The need to vanquish our dark sides comes from this binary thinking though.  Since we associate dark sides with negative thoughts, we end up categorizing it as “evil” and something that shouldn’t exist in the world.

Isn’t that immature thinking though?  But more than that, is this a product of the “binarization” of thought as a whole?  With the rise of technology and its underlying binary language of on/off – has that forced us into only thinking there are two states to any situation?  As more and more of our lives are encoded in databases and driving by algorithms, do we risk losing the ability to make nuanced and multi-faceted decisions?  Does everything become a zero sum game with clear winners and losers?

The polarization of our current political system is a prime example of this.  It isn’t enough to consider Trump a bad candidate – he’s evil and a demagogue.  Hillary isn’t just careless with state secrets – she’s corrupt and conspiring against America.  Republicans are anti-science bigots…Democrats are trying to take our freedoms away.  It all seems so silly written out like this, but this is sadly the state of our political discourse these days.  We’ve somehow lost the fact that governing a country of over 300 million people is extremely difficult and in the end, everyone is going to be unhappy on some level.  But we’ve equated that “unhappiness” with the political system, the government, The Man – being an oppressive evil.  It’s as if we can’t even fathom that the government would have to balance the interests of the whole and sometimes our needs won’t be met.

In the end, it’s laziness and selfishness that drive the need for absolutes.  We just don’t want to put in the effort to think holistically…to think creatively…and so we’ve cut the world in half.  Maybe this binary tension is what drives us and inspires us to be something better…but that’s just wishful thinking.  Right?

;P

 

 

 

Articles

Thoughts from a former Republican

In Politics on July 26, 2016 by thebetweenthoughts Tagged: , , , , ,

I was raised to be a Republican.

Like most immigrant families…(specifically, Asian immigrants…a relevant distinction), my parents came to America with the hopes of fulfilling the American Dream.  They came for opportunity, for freedom, for safety and stability, for the chance for our family to become what they saw as the ultimate goal in the world – to be rich and white.

Naturally, the Republican party was their preferred choice of political party affiliation.  (The social conservatism also appealed to their Catholic upbringing…even though the party itself has a history of being skeptical of non-Protestant Christians.)  And so, throughout my life I was told that Republicans were superior to those dirty, socialist Democrats.  If you believed in capitalism and earning your own way (without any handouts), then you should be Republican.

As I’ve grown older, my perspective on social issues leaned toward the liberal side, but I still believed in the fiscal conservatism of the Republican party.  I was a moderate Republican…someone in the vein of (don’t laugh) Arnold Schwarzenegger, Colin Powell, or John Huntsman, Jr.

After watching the RNC (and really the whole primary process), I’m not sure if a moderate Republican exists anymore.  The Republican party is one that has cast off science (yes…climate change is real), cast off reason (just watch the logical contortions any Republican politician goes through when they talk about gun control or immigration), and cast off any sense of sanity (Donald freakin’ Trump).  What happened to this party?  How did it transform from the party of Reagan to the party of Trump (and Cruz…he’s as much at fault as anyone).  Based on the RNC, it’s now the party of anger, fear, and hate.  It no longer provides solutions…just obstructions.

And it’s so sad to see this transformation because I can’t fully support the Democratic platform.  I agree on many of the social issues (LGTBQ rights, pro-choice, etc.) but I still can’t fully buy into all of the measures they’re proposing on government programs.  It’s a highly progressive platform…that’s hard for me to accept because all that I’m wondering is how they’re going to pay for all of this.

Yet the Democrats haven’t rejected science, reason, or sanity.  In this current political environment, they’re the only party that’s actually presenting a clear vision for the future of the country.  I don’t necessarily agree with it…but it’s better than the vitriol of the Republicans.

Is that what our choices have come down to?  “Something” v. “an angry orange goblin”

If there’s anything that this primary season has proven, it’s that our current two-party system is broken.  We live in a fractured America that have very distinct needs and wants.  Shouldn’t we have a political system that services those individual needs, but also strives to build coalitions when those needs align?  We have forgotten that politics and governing is about compromise and we are creating an unnecessary binary choice.

Is it time for a real third party?  One that’s practical and pragmatic…and above the name calling and extremism present in our current parties. Is it time to vote Libertarian?

Haha…of course not.  I wouldn’t waste my vote on them.

I’m voting Democratic this year because the Republican party has left me behind.  More than that, they’ve left reality behind.

At least I’m still holding onto my core ideals of voting for rich and white.

;P

 

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