*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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I've done it. I have produced another podcast. When I was failing for the third time to complete a decent written post, I realized that it was time to resort to drastic measures.

I'll say it straight out - this isn't my best, and I think there's another direction I could have taken it that would have resulted in a more coherent point overall. However, I think it's important enough that I keep at this, regardless of the quality of each individual creation. Hopefully it is worth your time.

#2 - Growing Up
The song at the end is B Complex - Beautiful Lies. Hint: it's probably techno. I haven't found enough new music recently, so some of you might have heard it in my presence before.

It's a lot harder than it used to be to do this. I feel less confident in my ability to communicate at the level I think is required to demand the attention of my little handful of readers. I'm also certain a portion of it is my current creative ability has been surpassed by my capacity for critical analysis. Makes it hard not to agonize over every sentence. Lastly, I worry quite constantly about offending in a personal manner. It's not so much that I fear controversy, but that I don't wish to damage my trustworthiness by saying too much.
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I love conversations that spin wildly out of control. One moment can be spent talking about something incredibly mundane, but an off-key observation sparks a fast-paced back-and-forth and a solid fifteen minutes are spent hashing out the finer details of the disagreement, ensuring that no logical paths have been left unwalked. The ever-present danger in such a conversation is that things might get too complicated to enable a strong and coherent analysis and response at each turn. Creative thinking has to be applied within the box that the initiation of the conversation set. The best conversations make use of all the space within that box before expanding outwards as may become necessary, and they end when enough has been said, regardless of whether a consensus has been found.

This story originally started with two guys at a middle school dance recital. I'll let your imagination fill in what could have led up to this.

"Dude, I just can't see how the risk of finding yourself in a situation like this is justified by whatever perceived benefit you gain from doing it."

"Because in doing it I implicitly believe I am capable of ensuring those situations do not occur - and if they do, I believe I am capable of performing satisfactory damage control. Obviously, if I did not believe I was capable, I would not take that risk."

"Clearly, dude, you're incapable, otherwise this would not have happened."

"Just because I failed does not mean I am incapable. Alternatively, if I were incapable before, I might be capable now since I have now experienced the risk. My odds are good."

"Maybe, but you still don't have evidence of your capability, merely postulations of what you think could be likely. You're banking on what you hope you'll do, not what you know you will do."

"The hardest part about doing most things is wanting to do it. There is no point in wanting something you can't reasonably hope to achieve. If we have a chance, then we can hope. The reason we can want something for a long time is hope."

"But dude, hope has to be grounded in reasonable suspicion. It's foolish to hope for something that has no root in truth."

"I think it is reasonable suspicion enough to know that others have succeeded in the same endeavor."

"Just because one person can do it doesn't guarantee that you can. People are really different from one another, having totally different strengths and weaknesses."

"Granted, but you are assuming that those are hard and fast barriers. If we only engaged in activities for which we possessed all the necessary strengths, it is likely that we would do nothing but eat, sleep, and fuck. We are not perfectly equipped for many of the things we do every day, but we still manage."

"I'm not arguing against taking dudely risks - I'm just saying, not everything can be done by everyone. Stephen Hawking is never going to pole-vault. Your mom will never stop being such a whore. It's a fact of their existence that these things simply cannot be."

"And I am not arguing that all things are possible, always. I know that certain things are beyond our ability, and that our abilities can only extend so far in each direction. It is not about achieving exactly what we desire, but about getting something like what we want. No one wants precisely the same car as their neighbor - they want a car that's as good (perhaps better), and preferably different in a way that resonates with their identity. Pole-vaulting is a specific niche in a large variety of activities that all communicate precisely the same message: I am athletic. I am at the peak of my physical capability. I have worked hard to achieve this. All of these are qualities that can be replicated, even if only on a smaller scale. It is not about duplicating, but replicating."

"That just sounds like a convoluted justification for settling. Not that settling is necessarily wrong or bad, but it seems like that logic is primarily focused on justifying the belief that getting halfway is as good as going all the way."

"Only if you shift contexts mid-way through. Remember, we are talking about people with limitations in capability, not desire or dedication. If their limitations are great, but they still manage to achieve something that most others are not capable of, then we must conclude that their desire and dedication are very great. Because of this, we can be justified in respecting their achievement without demeaning the respect we have for quantitatively more impressive feats."

"Still sounds relativistic to me, dude. Can you really say that two quantitatively unequal achievements might demand the same level of respect? Not to make respect sound too one-dimensional, but I'd rather get the autograph from the guy that set the world-record, no qualifiers attached."

"And that is a matter of perspective. What is minimally required, however, is that the lesser achievements are still worthy of respect. Other people with perspectives that enable them to know and understand the unique challenges of the lesser achievement will probably hold higher respect - but that is the nature of all performance. We are always more impressed by our friend that did the backflip than the guy on youtube."

"How is this not relativistic again?"

"It is not relativistic because I am not ignoring the numbers. I am not crossing out the world record and scribbling in the person that tried harder but did not quite make it. The numbers are an important standard for measuring performance and progress. The point is simply that the numbers are not the only way in which success and achievement can be witnessed. How we react as individuals to these achievements is a matter of personal choice. How we respect these achievements as a society is a matter of consensus, and we don't always agree. Which is fine."

"At your own admission, I am able to choose whether or not I respect your failure. I think that's an easy choice."

"And let it be an indicator of my desire and dedication that I do not heed your lack of respect for my course of action, particularly when there exist many important instances where I seek out your approval."

"As recompense, you should give me my hat back, dude."

Stellamara - Prituri Se Planinata (NiT GriT Remix)
- download
- youtube

This is a little more classic me, I guess. No lyrics here, just some sick vwom vwoms and a woman oooaaaing in the background.
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