Monday, January 31, 2011

True Human

Maybe we're not even true humans anymore.

A definition for species (though often contested) is a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. No problems there, since we're all capable of interbreeding.

But this merely means that we're all the same species, not necessarily that we're human. Perhaps we've acquired so many minute mutations, so many incremental changes, that we're too different.

If there was a time machine, would we be able to successfully mate with an ancestor from many millennia ago?

Sunday, January 30, 2011


"At a young age I realized an uncomfortable truth- that only I am important, that at the heart of it I care only for myself. I struggled with this fact for some time, trying to reason matters, trying to reconcile my thoughts and feelings.

I am indeed selfish, but what held me back, what made me feel that that was wrong? Surely not the popular notions of morality, which like all products of the masses must always be viewed with suspicion. No, instead it was an innate emotion, a raw feeling that by elevating myself to some loftier position I was inherently demeaning the value of friends, of family.

But after a while some things became apparent to my mind. Friends and family were indeed valuable, perhaps things to be cherished. But their value was not intrinsic, merely instrumental. A friend is valuable because he is my friend, not because he is a person. Anyone could be a person, but that fact is meaningless; they would be as unimportant to me as grains of sand on a distant beach."

"Madness. You are mad."

"Does it matter? I see and say things as there are. There is a massive hypocrisy being perpetuated, or perhaps Man does indeed believe in lies of their own construct. We are all egotists, are we not? There is no true altruism or charity. One gives because it grants one a fuzzy sense of warmth, of communion. Not that there is anything wrong with being an egotist, though, only that it is a meaningless charade to pretend otherwise."

"Sophistry. A person does something, therefore he fulfills his desire to do something, therefore he is an egotist. A tautology."

"Yes, it is indeed a tautology. But it is one that invokes stammering denials and outraged half-arguments. It is a statement that is such a threat to the common psyche, such a dissonant voice, that most people do all they can to oppose it. It is because very much of it is true, and they are trying not to contest its veracity, but to convince themselves that they are not egotists."

--- Denouement,
Aphelion, immortal, criminal, psychopath

Monday, January 24, 2011

Voices in an Empty Room

Do you have a voice that no one has ever heard, a voice that only sounds when you are alone, a voice that chatters to you when you're in an empty room, a voice that speaks and seems not of your own?

A person has a great number of voices, each for a certain audience, and each to never show to another crowd. And of these voices, perhaps one, or perhaps a few, perform for none other than the private self.

And it is not the prime voice that we use internally. It may be voiced as an ally, praising and propping the very views one holds; or it may serve as an antithesis, standing in opposition. And at other times it acts in both roles, in synthesis. But the key is, they sound different, foreign perhaps.

They do not reside in the crevices of one's mind; they must be spoken out loud, given form in pitch and timbre. Madness, maybe, appearances of a person speaking to himself. But perhaps there are some things, or a great many things, that cannot be granted any other audience or counsel.

And in such cases we can only invoke the voices in an empty room.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Buy Green

On some level, there is an irony with telling people to buy more green products. Buying green doesn't necessarily translate into saving the planet, because consumption is antithetical to greenness.

Displacement works, yes. If you're changing incandescents to fluorescents, then it helps, yes it is better than before. But it doesn't need to be said that if you insist on lighting your entire property, then it's not green regardless of what lights you use.

Rather than the type of product we use, perhaps more attention should be paid to how much we use, and how we use it. Our consumption and usage habits should be more important, though this requires much more effort that simply replacing the type of things we use.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Riddles about Pants and Shorts

One day I met four men, only one of whom was wearing purple pants. Each of them made one statement, then left.

A: At least two of us are lying.
B: The purple pants person is lying.
C: Everyone here is lying.
D: Only one of the other people is lying.

Who is wearing the purple pants?

On another day, I met another three people, only one of whom was wearing scarlet shorts. They made one statement each, and then left.

A) B wears the scarlet shorts!
B) A wears the scarlet shorts!
C) If B is lying, so am I. If B is telling the truth, so am I.

Who wears the scarlet shorts?