*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

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Dominate, pt. 1
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A few years prior to the release of Half-Life 2, there was an infamous source leak that lead to a long series of delays for the final release. Shortly after the leak, however, one physics professor, while looking through the code, remarked that the programmers had stumbled upon another approach to the Grand Unification Theory. The basic idea behind the GUT is that all of the forces of physics can actually be merged into one force - that ultimately every physical interaction in the world can be defined by one formula. A theory of everything. There is currently no evidence that this formula actually exists, but that's irrelevant for the topic at hand!

I am a universalist. I believe that humans are a part of a whole. I believe we've all got a lot in common, the foremost of which is that we're all human beings. I believe that as such, there are universal facts and laws that are true for every last one of us, that cannot be escaped. I believe a single model can fit every human being. A theory of everything.

"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but it is certainly old enough to know better."

#1: Humanity's flaws are timeless. The Western world may taut stories of a society with less racism, less sexism, and greater equality, but the reality is that half the world lives in utter poverty, that the wealthiest 1% own more than the poorest 50%, and that this situation is not changing for the better any time soon. We are as hurtful and hateful and selfish as we have always been - just perhaps more ignorant to reality than before.

#2: Humanity has never been happier, nor more depressed. While the Industrial Age is hailed as the saviour for much of the (Western) world's working class, I see no evidence that the Western world is, as a whole, any happier than before the divide was simply between rich and poor. The trick here is that it is impossible to gauge how happy any person is at any time. Yet, what did the poets and playwrights focus on in the Middle Ages? Love and war, politics and religion, friendship and hatred. What do our musicians sing about now? What kind of movies do we watch? Nothing has changed - we are much the same humans that we were back then. Our form of expression has changed, but that which we wish to express is in every way the same as it has always been.

#3: Humanity is in the constant pursuit of happiness, but most people will never find what they seek. I believe every person is ultimately looking for happiness, whether by money, power, love, family, enlightenment, or any combination thereof. If we could be happy shoveling sand all day and stopping occasionally to eat and reproduce, that's what we'd do. But for some reason, we can't. We always want more, no matter how unnecessary the extraneous portions are. I believe the process of seeking more simply makes us want more.

#4: No race, nation, culture, gender, or age is exempt from any of this. I believe every person is equally unhappy, and equally unsuccessful at making themselves permanently happier. This is especially important when examining culture. Many people praise other cultures for their difference in values. Consider the classic battle between independence/self-actualization versus selflessness/being part of a whole. The former is a highly Western concept, stating that you are responsible for your own happiness, that you are what you make of yourself and you are no one's bitch. If you're unhappy, it's your fault and you're simply not skilled enough to satisfy your own demands. The latter, a highly Eastern school of thought, states that fulfillment comes from serving the greater whole, that there is no greater honor than being a cog in the wheel, and that propelling others to greatness is what is truly worthwhile. I believe both result in equally unhappy populaces.

Once upon a time, a strong battle of cultures existed. Eastern cultures, especially, were highly ethnocentric, believing most (if not all) other races and cultures to be inferior, and therefore mandating domination and elimination. Globalization has toned down some of these conflicts (if only for the sake of doing good business), and in its place is the school of Relativism, that states it is not worthwhile to compare and contrast; every man knows what he needs, and if he is pursuing it, obviously that is what he needs. It states that we cannot know who is happy or unhappy, and as such, we can't say who is happier. Under Relativism, we must assume every person is perfectly happy. That is not what I am suggesting.

In my mind, nothing productive comes of the observations of Relativism, and it forgets the nature of what it is to know. Most of what we "know", we do not actually "know" - we heard it on the radio, we read it on Wikipedia, we saw it on TV. That is not knowledge, but a collection of factoids that, in the end, hold no relevance to what it means to be a human being. True knowledge comes from connecting the dots, putting the pieces together, seeing the whole picture. That is not anything that can be observed or proven. If I'm going to limit my powers of observation to everything that I can directly prove, then I may as well sit down, shut up, and accept that this world has nothing for me. No - we make thousands of choices, think thousands of thoughts every day based on what it is that we truly know, everything that we truly believe. I believe true knowledge is a matter of belief, and beliefs cannot be proven, nor disproven. What we truly know is going to trump what the reality is - if you truly believe it, it becomes a fact to us, a fact that can only be changed by altering our perception of reality.

Unfortunately, a handful of words and numbers are not what it takes to alter someone else's reality. That's why listing off a statistic like "half of the world lives on three dollars a day" does not evoke an emotional response. To allow our reality to be altered, we have to be presented with a compelling reason to change our perspective, and a viable means to change our reality accordingly. Relativism, I believe, can offer neither of those. It's a belief designed to conform. It rests on the hope that everything might be okay, but it's not willing to say one way or the other. When faced with conflict, it cannot offer a solution, because it is designed to work for anything and everything. It's like a blanket. It's comforting in times of peace and quiet, but is wholly useless when real conflict arises.

Hopefully to be continued.
posted by MC Froehlich at

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