Opinionated Chrysilis

I would like to share something that happened at work recently, and I feel that it is important to maintain the same tone in which it occurred so I will not censor the verbiage.

I work in a food warehouse and get to see many different things people buy that I would not normally look for on my own (like pickled pigs feet). A friend of mine drove up and blocked me off, then asked me this: “What the hell is up with all this roasted seaweed and shit? What ever just happened to regular potato chips?”

“Well,” I responded, “I don’t think that is anything new, its probably been around a while. Its just something that we…”

“They got all those weird-ass chips,” he interrupted, “and the seaweed –the last time I looked, there was nothing wrong with the plain old fuckin’ potato chip!” he declared with a bit of aggravation.

“Well yah, but people probably just want to try…” I tried to respond but he interrupted again.

“There is one over there,” he said as he nodded to another part of the warehouse, “that says Sustainable. What the fuck does sustainable mean?!”

I was a bit confused why he was getting so worked up, especially since I was just minding my own business and it seemed like he sought me out. I felt like I needed to respond, but he seemed a bit insincere with his questions.

“Well they are just trying to do something good for the environment.” I guess my response was not what he wanted, so he eloquently rephrased the question.

“No, I don’t know what it means — Sustainable, what does it mean?”

“Oh!” I replied, “you don’t know?”

“No, I don’t” He seemed receptive now, so I thought I might get a word in and help clear up some of his confusion.

“It has to do with reducing your carbon footprint.” His posture changed and he tilted his head like I told him something sarcastic. “Well its more than just that,” I added, “It’s more about the entire process: from the tractors, to the…”

“What!?” he exclaimed. “Don’t these people already know that all the carbon that the tractors make is absorbed by the potatoes already?!”

My thoughts were that I would prefer to not eat exhaust laden potatoes, but that would have to wait until I finished so I continued, “Well it includes the packaging, the facility, its water-source, irrigation, the…”

“So basically, its a bunch of people who are dumb-asses that don’t know what they’re doing, but think they are doing something good for the environment.” He seemed pretty confident in his opinion and sat awaiting my response.

A long time ago I learned that you should not waste your time arguing with someone who is convinced they are right. If you do, then you will fall into the fools trap and have all your credibility wasted in a single effort to convince a single baboon that you know the correct order of colors in a rainbow. The baboon doesn’t care if it is right or wrong, just as long as you agree and encourage the nature of the baboon. I know it is wrong, but I also knew that I already wasted enough time as it was, and wasting more was the greater tragedy. So I shrugged my shoulders and threw my hands up, then said,

“Yah…Sure.”

The look of satisfaction swept through his body like he was given a massage. Then he happily told me why all these people were so stupid, and then started to give his dissertation on what they should do if they were “really smart.” He did tell me how well I explained it even-though I don’t think I explained anything. He felt pretty good about himself, and I just wanted to leave so badly.

If I have ever done this in the past I would like to offer an apology. I hope that I have come far enough in maturity to strive to understand what is truly important. I wouldn’t want to be remembered that way and I should be better off outside that opinionated chrysalis.

Change Your Clock to Save Energy?

Daylight savings time has been with us through most of our history. The familiar reason is that we do this because it helps us save energy and farmers like losing an hour of sleep when they get up to milk the cows. Most countries participate in a time change based on the premise of energy reduction, but there are a few rebels who get along just fine without twisting their clocks into knots. If you have noticed that this is a global bi-annual pastime, you may think that there is some real evidence and study to prove that this whole time change thing is really worth all the wacky trouble.

In the U.S.A., the law is part of the Energy Policy Act that even has some allowance of penalty for not jumping off the bridge like everyone else, except for Arizona and a handful of others. This whole idea of daylight savings was made law back in the early 1900’s, and the days for springing forward and falling back were shuffled around and toyed with until the late 70’s and again in 2005. Each time the government changes the date for a time change, they have to produce a report that qualifies their decision.

I could not find those reports but I did find other studies, like this one here, that show how ineffective the whole DLS theory really is. The most interesting one I came across was from here, where the daylight savings mess is really about making money off of you. There is more evidence that dumblight savings actually increases your carbon emissions and causes more pollution than having one unadulterated time.

I guess the environment doesn’t really lobby for itself very well. People tried to tell the sun when to rise and when the morning should come, but it didn’t listen. I think we should follow the sun on this one and look for a brighter day without the clock mangling.

Phonics and diction are related

Something that I find irritating, is when people say that the correct spelling of a word is wrong, because no one says it that way. There are groups who protest at spelling bees claiming that we need to spell all words phonetically. That does not sound like a bad idea at all.
What they would discover, is that they all mispronounce common words and speak with poor diction. Allow me to rephrase this: most words are spelled phonetically, they are pronounced wrong. You may ask about words like “city” and “hour” and their phonetic spelling.
These words have rules which  govern their spelling. These rules were first written for American spelling by Noah Webster, the same man who wrote the first dictionary. He corrected much of the accepted spellings from the British, so that they would be more phonetic. Back in that time, words had multiple accepted spellings, as did names. If you don’t believe me, look through some old manuscripts.
Another point of interest is that many of our words come from other languages, like fjord or rendezvous. Should these be respelled to accommodate a more phonetic approach?
I hear that phonics are taught in schools, but I do not see very much of it. The list of “sight words” seems to be growing as more textbook authors don’t truly understand the language. The rules of phonics are being traded for rules of test taking and bubble filling. The need to pass students quickly through a semester has a higher priority than learning proper elocution.

Evolution: a victim of its own theory

Evolution is the prevailing belief of most scientists and biologists world-wide. The concept that life came from some single cell critters and slowly, over millions of years, they evolved into some sort of fragile life form is attributed to Charles Darwin. His book, The Origin of The Species, goes over much of this in a more biological approach.
In relation to his studies of the Galapagos Islands, he lays the foundation for his theory for the “survival of the fittest.” This is important to understand. When one species is inferior, it becomes extinct or evolves to adapt to the environment. This adaptation is how the dinosaurs turned into birds and how the mammals came to be so prominent during the ice age.
What is so impressive about this is that we now have our environment being ruined by pollution and forests being destroyed by greedy and desperate people. For some reason, ecologists and other people who ascribe to evolution, are very vexed by this. It would follow that the changing environment would trigger some progress in the flora and fauna. However, they want to preserve the forests and save the endangered animals. Don’t they understand that they need to evolve? All of this time and they have not evolved to be more adaptable?
This could only mean that evolution is not relevant. It seems that they doubt their own science. They should be happy that things are changing, but they fear it. What is really happening is that the long held theory is looking as bleak as our environment, and soon it will change to be more religious in nature, or become extinct.

How to find your dream job and make money

One thing that the everyone knows, is that making money is essential to living comfortably. There is no coincidence that it is also known as “making a living.” Making loads of cash, through legitimate means or illegally, is not always equatable to happiness.
During an interview, I was once asked if I would do the job if it meant waking up at 3am on my day off to come in. Of course I wouldn’t! I didn’t like the job that much, and I really was in it only for the money. He rephrased the question for me and asked what I wouldn’t mind doing for free. I had never thought about that, and over the course of a few days I really began to think about those questions.
I thought about the hobbies I have and the things I already do that could make money. Instantly I realized all the missed opportunities and felt stupid that I had chosen otherwise. I could have been on a path to a successfully career before I graduated highschool, but I had to learn that 10 years later.
I made the mistake of listening to what others thought I should do, and was even talked out of my passion by my own mother shortly after she recommended it to me. Now I am playing catch up. I need to practice rudimentary skills and regain what I abandoned. The things I was slowly learning then, I have to re-learn now.
There is hope, but it will be a lesson for everyone to not follow your dream, but do the thing you already do naturally. Your dreams are sometimes not what they seem, and what you really like doing is often so obvious that you never consider it.

Lets over complicate things

It seems that we have a desire to make things complicated in order to justify our status. Things sure seem complicated when we don’t understand what is going on, but the person who knows what is going on, is perfectly at ease. Our tasks and choices in life also need the justification and validation of being difficult or confusing, but are they?

If you are hunting for Easter eggs with a bunch of people, and you don’t get as many as the next kid, there is a higher chance of saying that your eggs were “surrounded by ants, were hidden better, and you didn’t want those other eggs because they were easier to find.” When you are at the doctors office, the practitioner will probably use official sounding words, and say you have minor ecchymosis.  The field of science is notorious about using weird words, but those weird words are really just old words from old languages. Find any animal’s scientific name, or any meteorological term, and enter it here.

Nothing is that complicated when you are moderately educated in the subject. Some people would like you to think and believe they are brilliant, so they will do their best to make things complicated and difficult to understand. My favourite is the meaningless adage. “The way forward, is sometimes the way backwards. If the blind can see, the deaf can hear.” If you can’t explain what you are talking about, it is probably nonsense, or you have difficulty explaining things.

The only complicated things should be a long process or a collection of simple things put together in a complicated arrangement. Take Beethoven’s 5th Symphony for example. This is not so complicated that you can’t hum the opening melody, and if you wanted to, the other instruments are not too difficult to hum as well. Some of the solos might not be that easy, but in general, it is the collection of different simple things which makes the piece so complicated.

A basic education and knowledge of different subjects will aid you in so many ways. There is no need to be a professional, unless it is a career. Understanding several simple things will always make you sound smart, so never stop learning. Nothing has to be terribly complicated.