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Showing posts from August, 2013

The social paradox

I noticed this today while I was eating lunch.  I've been eating at the student cafeteria.  But the faculty cafeteria just re-opened after some sort of break, so I went there to try it (surprisingly, they're the same cost).  It was so much fancier.  I really felt out of place.  But, the main point is that I was the only person in the whole room.  I ate nearly my entire meal in solitude.

While I was sitting there, I was on my phone.  Checking facebook, and other social networking apps and things that I have to chat with other people long distance.  What stuck out to me was when I considered the prospect of someone else coming into the dining hall, sitting at my table, and commencing a conversation with me.  It was a terrifying thought.

So, I spent the rest of my meal thinking about how odd it is.  In person, I believe I experience at least some degree of social anxiety.  Yet, online I do not.  I am the most extroverted and outgoing person I know while online.  I comment on ever…

We are not Homeless

I went to the ghetto food court in the ghetto mall near where I work.  It was ghetto.  While I was sitting there, eating my food, a man came up to me and said he was homeless and that he hadn't eaten anything today and begged me to buy him a lunch.

I didn't know what to do.  I sort of froze.  I could have bought him a lunch.  Perhaps I should have.  One memory that almost instantly popped into my head was a similar time when Conrad and I first met, and a guy asked him to buy his lunch.  Conrad gladly did so.  Apparently this man often begged for lunches near this establishment, and the workers knew him.  They were upset at the guy for doing it, and they told Conrad he didn't have to buy the guy lunch.  Conrad said he didn't mind.

So, one of the thoughts that came into my head was that the owner of the establishment probably didn't like guys begging for meals inside his own restaurant.  I didn't want to encourage that sort of behavior, so I felt that I shouldn…

Question authority

I posted this on my wall about a week ago.  Something I've been thinking about is how many of my friends do this.  In fact, I would say that most of the people I know are critical of the government, and of politicians.  Sadly, some of them are only critical of the "other" party, rather than of all politicians, but at least that's a start, I suppose.

But I really don't know too many people who say things like "We should trust the government absolutely" or "There's no need to be critical" or things like that.  Every once in a while, I encounter a statist of this type, but not that frequently.  It may be just because I'm a libertarian and tend to associate with other libertarians, but I find that many of my friends are entirely disenchanted with government and want to see a vast overhaul, or even a complete removal of government altogether.

At any rate, what I've been thinking about so much is how people apply this concept to gover…


A friend that I hadn't seen in a while came through town the other day, and I went to dinner with him.  He's a Christian.  He believes in God.  He believes the Bible.  He's one of the Christian friends I have who hasn't defriended me on Facebook for being a vocal atheist (and even anti-theist on many occasions).  One thing he said to me was that it's good to be able to disagree with people.

His attitude toward me and my irreligiosity was unusual and even a bit disarming.  I'm very accustomed to one of two different responses from people: either a bitter fight or and end of communication altogether (in many cases, both responses happen, in the order listed).  But he (and, admittedly, many other of my Christian friends) did not react this way.  The conversation we had was very good for me.  Rather than viewing religious people as opponents, which on occasion I do, I can view them as providing a different perspective in life.

He said that he actually enjoys my p…

Song of the righteous

I like music.  My dad was the ward choir director when I was a child, and I enjoyed going to choir practice with him.  He even owned his own music shop for a while, and I loved going to work with him, playing with the organs and pianos, and looking around at all of the goods.  I loved my music class in elementary school, and I enjoyed playing the french horn in high school.  It was lots of fun.

I love church music.  I remember one time when I was a teenager at choir practice (my dad was no longer the choir director), we were singing a hymn, and for some reason (I think because I was bragging), the director asked me what the first word of the next verse of the song was.  I was embarrassed because I knew the next verse, but I was having a brain fart and could not think of what the first word was on the spot like that.  But that embarrassment became motivation for me to memorize dozens of the hymns in the LDS hymnal.  I would stay awake late at night with the hymnbook in front of me, me…


The strangest things give me ideas to blog about.  Today, I was going to my fridge (as I do over 556 times per day) and noticed a refrigerator magnet.  It was a campaign magnet from Ron Paul's 2008 campaign.  What came to my attention (and it has bothered me many times before) was that the picture they used was from roughly 20 years ago.  I have seen people try to slam Ron Paul, and they invariably use current pictures, showing his true age, and with a ridiculous look on his face too.  Of course, this isn't unique to Ron Paul.  Nearly everyone famous does this--they use "good" pictures for themselves and their opponents use "bad" pictures of them.

First of all, the fact that something this shallow actually works the way it is intended to bothers me, but that's another discussion.  The truth is I don't think there's anything wrong with someone trying to look "good", to present emself well.  What bothers me is the fact that we, as a soci…