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Big Brother

A deep and unshakable fear

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This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

Image of Big Brother from 1984This isn’t really a post about my life, it’s (another) political post, so if you’re looking for something else, look elsewhere. This has been hanging over my head lately, and I need to get it out.

I’ve never before been as terrified by the state of American politics as I am now.

A lot of the time, when I’ve written about politics, it’s been about single issues. One of my earliest blog posts ever was about the proposed amendment to ban the burning of the American flag. Recently, I blogged about Net Neutrality (in response to an issue in Canadian politics, but relevant in the US nonetheless). I’ve been frustrated over individual cases here and there, but never in my life have I been so honestly outraged and frightened by the state of politics.

Maybe I’m just getting older and realizing how messed up things are, but I think there’s more. I think things have taken a nasty turn recently. I can’t pin a finger on it– I don’t know when it happened or what caused it– but its many symptoms are starting to make me wonder just how diseased the entire system really is. It’s at the point that I’m eager to leave next year, and I’m sincerely considering the possibility of moving away after college. If these trends continue, I don’t want to be anywhere near the US.

Put simply, I’m scared shitless by the amount of power the government is accruing, in whose interests it’s being used, and how little oversight or regulation there seems to be.

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Tidbits

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There have been a number of minor thoughts buzzing around my head like gnats lately. They are bothersome and they take up otherwise useful space in my brain, so as an attempt to reclaim some territory, here are some minor thoughts from my head, in no particular order:

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Bewildered, Part II

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This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

Recall.

Only this time, it’s the rough draft of a Core paper, not a philosophical essay.

Nevertheless, it’s pretty much the same situation all over again. My brain won’t come up with original thoughts, or when I think I have a great idea, it gets completely and totally locked in my head the moment I sit down and try to write it. I can think about it, but the words just won’t flow in the slightest. I end up trying to back up my ideas with multiple snippets of quotes or episodes, rather than honing in on selective episodes and picking them apart for detail like I know I should. I know I should be doing close reading, analyzing smaller parts of the text, using a “microscope rather than a panoramic lens,” so to speak, but my brain just won’t do it. I don’t know how, or at least I feel like I don’t.

My brain feels like it’s not working at all– or if it is, it’s deliberately working against me.

What has gone wrong with me? Why, all of a sudden, am I unable to think well– or express my thoughts through words?

And again, I doubt my being here; and again, I feel hopelessly lost and crushed.

Bewildered

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I’m going to sleep tonight feeling as crappy as can be.

I have incredibly severe doubts about myself right now. I’m doubting my own capabilities, my supposed talents, and really anything that I once thought made me special. (Yes, it’s true, this is that kind of blog post.)

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Levenger Circa

Because Organization is COOL.

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This post was written a long time ago, and my views have almost certainly evolved since then. Please keep that in mind while reading, commenting, or sharing.

I am currently geeking out about this:

It’s called the Circa Notebook System, by Levenger. It’s basically best described as an intensely customizable notebook/binder/organizer. The design of the binding allows pages to be easily removed and replaced however necessary, without popping open binder rings or tearing pages. Dividers, a million different types of filler paper, and tons of other options are available in order to customize your notebook just as you need it, and you can buy a Circa hole punch so that anything can fit securely inside.

The idea of super-flexible, modular, and simple notebook/binder-type organization really appeals to me.


Header image: “My Levenger Circa notebook” by Jaime Wong. Original licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. Modified: desaturated, edited exposure. My modification is released under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

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I am not currently a happy Spencer.

For a month or so, I have been trying to find a job. It’s summer and I’m about to be a college student; there are things I really need to pay for and pay off. Among the items at the top of my list are a new bicycle and a number of accessories for it, as well as various items for my computer, new clothes… the works. I could definitely use a bit of an income, for a number of obvious and logical reasons.

Unfortunately for me, it feels as though there are a million and a half things stacked against me. For starters, I have no experience. I’ve been so busy being a high-achieving high school student in the last four years that I haven’t actually had time to hold a job. This is problematic by itself, but when coupled with the current state of the economy, it’s downright nasty.

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Riding the Wave

Riding the Wave

(or, “Why I’m excited about Google Wave, and why you should be too”)

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Google wave logoForgive me if I’m excited (especially to my really close friends, who have heard me geek out about this way too much). However, Google’s upcoming new development, called “Google Wave,” has (at least I think) the potential to totally revolutionize online communication.

I know, I know, I’m being a little dramatic. Revolutionize online communication? But I truly believe it. I think Google’s next development could totally change the way we communicate online, bringing it more in-line with the current developments in information technology.

More of my thoughts after the jump.

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Dear Disaffected Youth…

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Dear Disaffected Youth of America:

What haunts you?

I see you every day, walking down the street in your heavy black jackets or your baggy skater clothes. I’ve watched you angrily kick over the sign of a local business simply because it was nearby. You’ve shouted at my car, “What the fuck are you looking at?” when I took a look at you to see if I recognized you. You’ve tried to break into my theatre department late at night, and almost succeeded.

So what haunts you?

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Conviction

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Come on, people!

What’s happened to our conversation? We’ve become a bunch of spineless, light-footed lemurs, afraid to say anything that might step on someone else’s toes or offend anyone else in any way at all. All of us. We’re caught up in modifiers and justifiers, constantly making excuses in order to keep ourselves from pushing people too hard.

It’s too late at night to come up with examples, but watch your discourse with others. Watch others’ discourse. We’ve become ridiculously self-censoring, myself included.

I’m not advocating going out and being rude, that’s absurd. Manners have their place. But there are manners, and then there’s simply regularly cutting your feet out from under you, and the latter is happening one hell of a lot.

Random thought of the night.

Scraped Knees

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You see, the funny thing about other people is that they’re human.

Everyone messes up. Everyone has faults; everyone makes mistakes. And when they do, they often inadvertently end up causing someone else grief. It will be you at some point in your life. It may be you often in your life, if that way land the dice.

We get frustrated with the things other people do. We look at them and say “Oh my God, why can’t you just X?” or “Jeez, why do you Y?” But how many times have you been on the other side? How many times have you used the defense, in your own head or out loud, that you’re only human, or something to that extent? The fact of the matter is that sometimes people mess up.

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