Tuesday, April 29, 2014

New job, new possibilities?

If you are one of the very few people actually stumbling in here occasionally (usually by mistake, I'm sure), you might have guessed that the previous post was, in fact, about a new job. I'm currently at my new job and four months into it I can honstly say it's the best job I've ever had thus far in my career. Studying and doing research seems to be my thing.

Other things worthe mentioning might be that I'm striving for a motorcycle licence this summer, the bike itself is already aquired but it does not start.... yet. I inherited it from my uncle, who is a pedantic so I have no reason to believe it will require much work, but it has also not been used at all over the past thirteen years.

Four to five months in between posts on this blogg, one might wonder why I can't let it rest in peace? Well, perhaps it's there more as a reminder of a wish to become a writer. I probably never will be (apart from a scientific one that is, if that doesn't happen as well, then this new job is all for nothing), but there is that dream to become one. I also have this urge sometimes to write, I tend to have inner monologues with myself on a daily basis and I also have this weird idea for a fantasy/steampunk/sci-fi book that just won't go away. Unfortunatly I also know that actually writing that book(s) will require an amount of dedication and persistence that I honestly hesitate to ascribe to my person.

Perhaps the reason this blogg won't go away is also beccause in it, I see the necessary tool to implement a re-occuring habit of writing, from what I've read from other authors, an absolute key to becoming successful at all. It's a reminder of one of my dreams in that aspect I think, and one should never give up on ones dreams, isn't that what Hollywood tells us?

Dreams, symbols, heroes, super heroes, legends and myths, I honestly can't pciture a life without them. To me, they deliver that sense of wonder that makes you want to get up in the morning, that tickling sensation that you tend to strive for in everyday life, whether it be in relationships, work or spare time.

For some reason, the trend in movies, litterature and tv-series is moving away from the hero. Like the very concept is out-dated. Very strange, I think the world needs heroes, it has always needed heroes and it will always need heroes, but today you occasionally get the feeling that they are out-dated. The most critically acclaimed series (examples from my experience are Game of Thrones or A Song of Fire and Ice or Breaking Bad) are praised for their gritty presentation and "grey" characters (pitch black if you ask me, I have yet to find a character that I actually care about in them), the implication almost becoming that there are no such thing as a good person. A bit sad right? I miss my heroes, the ones I can root for, the ones that doesn't completely buy into that whole "it's a crappy world, I'm just trying to live in it" kind of mentality.

I used to be almost addicted to tv-series and fantasy, but as of late, I've started thinking allot about the very author that got me started on reading books without pictures and probably as well the whole sci-fi/fantasy track. The late great Jules Verne. Might be a reaction to my dissapointment with todays fantasy or a result of my home computer breaking down and it looks like I have to resort to books for a couple of months...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Press the button!

So, your're all locked up. Big time. We are talking super villain stuff here, thick steele and wires. All controlled by this big red button that is of course planted out of your reach. But you are not alone in the room, another being is there, but for some reason it does not speak any form of human language. In fact, you are pretty sure it is also deaf and blind. After screaming your throat raw and trying as best as you can by making minimal gestures from your restrained position for several months, the beeing has started to move towards the all important button. If it can just reach it, you will be free and you can help the beeing to a better place as well. On its agonizingly slow progress towards the button, it of course stumbles upon its own feet and it takes more than a month, just for it to get up on its feet again. But now, finally! You see it reaching towards the button with its hand!! Only to fall asleep... Hand hovering over the button and your release to freedome. To tip it off it also starts to alarmingly tilt towards that great bottomless hole in the ground that you hadn't noticed right next to it.

You know those good days you have once in a while? This is not one of them.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Source critisism and making an informed choice

Boy, is this ever getting harder to come by. As a sort of disclaimer early on, I will not provide any kind of links or such to back up eventual claims to any of my opinions or statements here.

There exists a hypothesis that this age of information technology and the access to the vast amount of information that it brings is actually making people dumber. Or, I guess you should say misinformed. It’s not really difficult to understand where this is coming from. Many people tend to only take in information that can claim some sort of consensus with their already state opinions. Coincidentally, in discussion boards all over the internet, the debate rages on in topics you had no idea people invested so much time in. But they are there and people invest vast amounts of time into them. And what happens when you invest vast amounts of time and interest into something? You tend to become pretty good at it. From my experience, there is a growing internet-specific type of rhetoric surfacing all over the place and the one well versed in this rhetoric can usually out-debate most people without much effort. Never mind that they have little to no actual insight into the topic at hand and the person they are having the discussion with have actual credentials. I’ve been caught myself once or twice until I stopped contributing to these boards at all.

One of the things these new discussion board experts have in common is their attitude towards source criticism. They constantly demand a source to every statement that is being made and when a source is provided, unless you can pinpoint them to the actual quote, they will inevitably nit-pick it apart until your whole argument is turned around. If the quote is actually present, they will find some way to completely write the whole source of. Commonly by using an argument involving sponsorship and/or investment. “Follow the money” is rarely spoken out loud, but that’s basically the motto they go by.

Seems fair you think? Maybe. Allot of the time at least. But as always, people tend to take things to the extremes, in order to protect their perceived truth. I’ve seen examples of nit-picking a valid scientific research paper to the point of where the whole thing just became absurd. Also people completely writing of anything at all reported through western financed media, because they of course have their own agenda and can’t be trusted. Wow. In a period of enlightenment, surely the existence of conspiracy theories should decrease? But apparently not. They thrive (pun intended).

Of course, the conspiracy theorists usually are the ones most versed in the art of internet rhetoric and are not slow to point out that since you cannot out-debate them, you the fool for not seeing the truth.

So where is this post going you ask? Well, I guess I just want to mention that I see a danger that skilled people (yes, these internet rhetoric are undoubtedly skilled, albeit sometimes misinformed) can show so much devotion and intellect in their debates but still be hung up on an idea that is completely off the charts stupid. How, in their search to destroy their opponents’ arguments, is it possible that they never seem to start to question their basic standpoint in the matter? Because that, my friends, is something you very rarely see on a discussion board anywhere. I guess there is just something fundamentally frightening with smart but misinformed people to me. The situation seems like a paradox, yet I see too much of it for it not to be a concern.

I realise now that I haven't adressed the "informed choice" part of the title yet. Well, suffice to say, even if you are versed in source critisism and you don't have a subjective stand on anything, it can be really hard today to actually find our oppinion on the matter. In fact, sometimes it's so hard you end up envying the rhetorics simpler approach of taking a stand and refusing to budge, instead jus learn to more fiercly defend your point or/and attack other points of view...

Proud to be a man

Really? Together with “proud to be a woman”, surely this must fall under the category of “weirdest declaration of pride ever”. You are born as a woman or a man, albeit sometimes in the wrong body. Always remember the transgender. But how is something you are born as something to be proud of? Isn’t pride something you feel for something you achieved? It’s like being proud over being heterosexual (or homosexual for that matter, even if the concept of Pride can be hard to explain here, but I do feel Pride is more about being proud to be true to one self and dare to challenge societies’ norm rather than the basic fact that you are a homosexual) or human. I say be proud of the person you are, if you have a problem with that, well, then it’s time to take a really good look in the mirror.

In Sweden, the debate for gender equality still rages on. As it should, we are nowhere near equality between sexes yet, but we continue to make progress. Sometimes, it’s agonizingly slow; sometimes it’s by leaps and bounds. The headline and the first sentences in this blog entry came to me when I came across another chronicle in a major Swedish newspaper, written by a guy that tries to describe how he loathes many things that are synonymous with being a man today. The culture of violence, how men are supposed to be tough, take what they want, be aggressive, compete and, especially concerning this subject, treat women as sex objects and solely there to provide the man with pleasure. It’s really no use trying to debate whether this is true or not. It simply is. This attitude/culture unfortunately exists. Not everywhere, but it is common enough, the fact that it exist at all is all the proof we need that this is something we need to adress. Now reading the comments to this article (I KNOW, you are not supposed to do that if you want to stay in a good mood, what can I say, I have compulsive curiosity sometimes, some people watch “The Bachelor”, don’t judge me!) you immediately see that most comments are from guys that have taken this entire article as an attack on them personally on account of them being men. Taking it from their perspective, naturally they are pissed off and more than just a little defensive. Some comments are from people with a certain amount of common sense, but they tend to be drowned or dealt with using very questionable rhetoric’s.

Now the problem that I’m starting to see here is that this is starting to happen much too often. This type of articles serves a certain purpose in creating reactions and making people aware and start discussing. But they are starting to become too popular in the main media. I would like to see more about how we are to come about these changes that we want. Less of the “just stand up and say NO!”. Some men are starting to become more aware and they are frankly getting tired of being painted out as animals, rapists or murderers simply because they were born with a penis. As a response, they get defensive. A bit immature and a sign of some insecurity, sure, but this is a common reaction nonetheless, and if change is going to happen, these men are needed.

We need more debate concerning how we are to accomplish this change. More specific actions we can take. We also need to start looking at younger generations, is the chauvinistic behavior something that is still present in younger generations to the same extent? If not, perhaps we need different approaches towards different generations. Otherwise, the entire debate possesses the risk of alienating many people that could make the change come that much faster.

Almost completely off topic, I have this weird notion that your behavior should have nothing to do with your gender. It comes down to choices and learnt behavior. On the other hand, I do believe that your gender can play a role when finding your interests and hobbies. See, my main idea is that women and men are same, same but different. Frustrating, but no one ever said it was supposed to be simple.

This subject can be discussed for years on end, but those are my two cents for today.

This feeling in my stomach

For the non-existent follower of this blogg, it should not come as a surprise that I have some depressive tendencies. They are not what they used to be though, and today that is more evident than ever. I was sitting at my desk with this feeling I so very well recognized but I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out what it was about. It was distinctly unpleasant though. Sort of a strong sense of frustration, with a sinking feeling of impending doom, sprinkled with a dash of hopelessness. Sounds rather horrid huh? Well, I started thinking about it and first I realized that it wasn’t that bad. This realization caught me a bit off guard, since when is such a felling “not that bad”? Well, the answer came to me in a memory. Sitting by a similar desk, in a similar office, but in another time and at this time, this feeling near brought me to tears.

Never before has it been so clear to me that depression actually is a disease, and not a chosen state of mind. See, the difference between my memory and now, is that I really have nothing to be upset or depressed about today. I didn’t have too much at that time either, but whatever it was, it was enough. Even if I, as a Swede with a born need to whine about my situation, probably could list a couple of things I’m not entirely satisfied with, I know deep down they are barely worth mentioning. Sure, I wish my next job would giddy up and get here, and I would like to be able to spend more time with my girlfriend, and I wouldn’t mind some more financial freedom at the end of the month. But I know my next job is coming, and the time I do get to spend with my girl makes up for time lost, and the only reason I don’t have more money at the end of the month is because I tend to live exactly on my financial limits. It’s not like I don’t have a good salary.

Friday, May 10, 2013

In the middle of the night, in the middle of whatever...

Today I've spent sleeping more than most, taking a pretty much agonizing run in the surrounding area and watching Sweden get pummeled but good in hockey by Canada in the World Cup. These past hours since, I've used to look at some old videos from this TV program here in Sweden. See, a couple of days ago, I got some weird news from my job, pretty bad, but not "we are going to let you go" bad. This kind of put me in a bit of a funk, and then, all of a sudden, I woke up with this song i my head, which turned out to be this cover made from this TV show. This show put together some Swedish artists in a house for a week, and let them come up with an enterpretation of each others songs. As you might have guessed by this point, one of them hit home pretty hard for me. Translated it's called "Me and my father".

...and just now I realised I shouldn't try to hold on to good ideas when I've had more than one drink, it doesn't work. Whatever I was going to say, I hope it was good. Let's just see this as a start to get back to writing as a whole, ok? I mean, it's been seven months..

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Let's talk more about weird habits

I've mentioned before, I think, that one of the quickest and easiest ways to loose hope in humankind is to start reading the comments on varied youtube videos. If you can keep it up for more than an hour or two without having your thoughts moving towards self-destruct-mode when you start to realise that you actually share the planet with these people, congratulations, you have a stronger mind than me.

But, since a part of my brain obviously have a masochistic side, this is something I still do from time to time. The most recent time enlightened me about yet another weird hobby for some people. Ok, so the story from the beginning; Apparently this cinema in Nottingham was supposed to show Madagaskar 3, but as the movie started playing it turned out to be Paranormal Activity 4, a movie targeted towards a slightly different demografic audience. According to the journalist, chaos ensued. That's actually beside the point. What I came across when I started my dangerous activity of reading the comments to the article, I came upon all these guys (beccause it's for some reason almost only guys) that feel the need to tell the world that they absolutley watched all the scary horror movies when they where five years old and that they thought it was a hoot and a half. Yawn. Myself, I believe, stood with the majority of kids in that age in that scaring me wasn't exactly something you had to work hard on achieving. At five years old, the traditional BOO! would send me screaming nine times out of ten.

Nothing strange about that, those kind of comments and those kind of people are everywhere. But it also got me thinking about forums that I've read through when searching for good horror movies. It so appears that these people that apparently couldn't care less about murder, gore and sadistic killers when they where five still watches these kind of movies and still talk about how nothing scare them. Now I can to some degree understand the need to tell the rest of the world that the horror movie to actually scare me has not been made, nor will it ever be. But the practice of continuously watching horror movies that does not scare you... Isn't that kind of like a person completley devoid of any kind of humour dedicating their life to watching comedy just to be able to tell people they have no sense of humour?

If you cannot be scared from anything fictional on a tv or moviescreen, doesn't that make every single minute spent in front of a horror movie something akin to the most pointless usage of your time like... ever? Thoughts?