Ready my short story: Korean Affair

The Greatest Echo Chamber Ever Created

The internet is the greatest echo chamber ever, it is a place where one can find their niche and stick to it with the strictest precision. The original goal of the internet was to create a place where open communication could be facilitated and ideas could be shared. In principle this is a great idea, but when it comes to the practical application, it is the opposite of what happened.

People are drawn to others like them, in the real world we befriend the people around us who share our interests. Luckily we can’t find people who are exactly like us, so we are forced to intermingle with people who share our interests but don’t totally overlap. In real life you might be a Toronto Blue Jays fan while your friend is into the Yankees or even basketball instead. Friends may share a mutual interest in sports, but not so much on the specifics so a larger range of common interest overlap. In real life we find people who we share some interests with but at the same time aren’t exactly like us.

However, when interests are pushed to the internet, they transcend the typical geographic barriers to relationships and allow people with similar interests from all around the world to connect. The range of people who can share the interest is extended to the extreme, so anyone who has the interest can be a part of the conversation. Unfortunately these groups self-select and members who don’t share the ideas exactly can leave and find another group that does.

This means that over time any group on the internet, more easily than in real life, will consist of only the most extreme members, thus the topics of conversation will become stricter and more limited. This also means that exposure to different ideas and opinions will become fewer as those who don’t agree will leave while new additions will come for the ultra-specificity of the group.

Online groups tend to be formed around specific niches, thus their focus is by necessity narrow. In real life situations, as a group spends more time together a greater range of topics may come up in conversation. On the internet with a cornucopia of groups for specific interests one must be a member of multiple communities to get exposure to different ideas, which can be difficult.

Specialized group play language games where words gain specific meanings, this leads to the a difficulty in understand of the claims of another group. When the meaning of our words change, we lose the ability to understand contradictory views.

The internet’s great offer was the spread information, but our natural tendency is to stick with people like us. As a result our ideas become supersaturated and we lose touch with information outside of our group and ideas. In time we become intolerant of alternative ideas and the only views we hear are the ones we already agree with.

It is easy to get caught up in these games, we usually don’t even realize we are playing them until we take a step back, but even that is difficult. The internet was supposed to liberate our minds, but it has actually created intellectual prisons for our thoughts. Hyperconnectivity only makes this worse, not only have we lost sight of the groups we aren’t a part of, we have started to forget that they even exist while we become more sure of what we already know.

If we want to expand our mind we need to step back and realize the echo chambers we have become a part of and free ourselves. The worst prisons are the ones we don’t even realize we are in, if we knew maybe we would wonder how we got into them in the first place.

Ready my short story: Korean Affair

We really want people who look different but have the same ideas

There is a common belief among those who lean left or consider themselves progressive, that there is a lack of diversity in various positions of power in our society. It is easy to see this as an issue as it is so obvious, checking the Forbes rich list and you will see a collection of mostly white males. Looking at the heads of many of the fortune 500 companies and you will see the same demographic. This observation of course is very superficial, it is true that these people look the same, but they also think the same way, which I would argue is much more important.

Be it their privilege as white males, or their life experiences, these people have grown to see themselves as powerful, and thus have moved through the ranks of the various institutions they can be found in. The skills they possess and how they were acquired is irrelevant, but nonetheless determine their ability to float to the top. Certainly their race and gender may have helped them, but is that the cause or simply a correlation.

When people seek to increase diversity they suggest that things will be better or at least different if there were more women or people of colour in positions of power, they criticize the systems for being white male dominated. Ironically, the people who make these arguments believe that because someone looks different they will by necessity have different views.

However, if a woman or person of colour is to hold a similar position, they will need to hold the same values and opinions as the currently leading group. The basics of business don’t change, profits and profit margins determine the success of any business. Being able to fit in with the people already in power requires having the same views as them.

This is to say, if we banished sexism and racism the people who floated to the top could look different, but they will all have the same ideology. Which is to say, if there is more diversity in appearance, institutions will continue to be the same. Processes and procedures will not change, neither will values or morality, things will be the same, with the exception of the way some of the people look.

A very simple example is the case of the current american president, his whole campaign revolved around the idea of change. But if you look at the facts, the only real difference is the colour of his skin and a slight adjustment for his political affiliations. The cause is that positions of power are determined by the systems they are found in. The president’s role and abilities are defined by the position he holds and his similarity to the people who held the position before him. The same could be said if a woman were to take his place next year, she too would be limited by the constraints of the system and the fact that her constitution is the same as any of the white males who have held the position before her.

If we are to be honest we can look at this a little further, a likely presidential candidate in the US will have grown up in an upper middle class family. They will likely have attended an elite university, which will mean that they were surrounded by a certain type of people. They will grow up around these people who will influence their way of seeing the world, regardless of their gender or the colour of their skin.

It takes a certain type of person to be able to succeed at any type of leadership. We should not look at appearances, that is missing the point, what we should look at is ideas. If we do then we will see that ideas are a greater connector than the colour of someone’s skin or the shape of their genitals. If we really only want diversity in appearance, than what we really want is a bunch of people who think the same way.

Ready my short story: Korean Affair

The biggest problem with social media is….

Ready my short story: Korean Affair

What is important, such a strange questions….

Still thinking about determinism, what I should do with my life ad nauseum, political correct / status quo stuff, and my own intelligence.

Over thanksgiving we went to my mom’s house for a couple of days, I knew there was a psycho-analysis I got done while I was at college, so I wanted to take a look at it, I knew there was something in particular that I was curious about.

The analysis was about all sorts of different things and skills, the conclusion was that I was around average with all things considered, but I also remember quite clearly the day of the test, it was early in the morning, like 8, so I was tired (i’m not a morning person), I was also smoking a lot of weed around that time, I smoked the night before (bad idea) and complained many times about how loud the room was and how hard it was to focus on the test. Given all those poor choice and external factors beyond my control, certain results were expected, especially those including short-term memory and focus…. But one stood out to me and that was fluid intelligence, you could look it up if you want, but the short of it, is the ability to problem solve in novel situations, or solve problems that don’t require previous knowledge… For that my score was 96th percentile, that doesn’t put me at the mensa level, but it is pretty high.

If I think back there are lots of times when I’ve been able to solve problems that other people around me have given up on, even simple things like getting pinball machine to work, or opening a mouse to change the batteries. Also while doing some research on intelligence I found this article, obviously it is pop-psychology (there are better ones), but it is something I have a problem with… My boss commented and I agree that while I was working at home my efficiency improved greatly, and even my friend has commented often about my sensitivity to noise, which probably explains why I like staying at home alone when I want to get things done – yet right now I am procrastinating.

I guess the point, beyond the humble-brag is that I’ve always been aware that I am different, but at least part of that is caused by intelligence, additionally I’m becoming more aware of myself, coming to understand why I do things and behave the ways I do, like a sense of becoming aware of self…. Spinoza said that the key to free will was to realize that while your behaviour is determined you become free by understanding the instinct and causes of your emotions and feelings, which are related to those actions.

That said, I can’t solve the biggest problem in my own life, knowing what to do, one thing I did learn during my at home time was that writing is what I want to do, but at the same time I’m worried that I could fail or not succeed – which in turn cause procrastination and laziness. At the same time even if I was great that wouldn’t guarantee success, which then means I have to keep on working at a job, but I have no desires to improve my lot at work, cause it isn’t what I want, it’s like being stuck in a hamster wheel and not knowing how to step out.

At the same time, I watch at work and know I don’t have the skills to be successful in an office, I can’t pretend to like people or work that I don’t and I’m cautions about answering work related questions with consequences. I’ve notice that the people who spit out BS confidently get more respect than the contemplatively correct. I’ve also noticed that the types of people who take charge of situations and work (leadership types) often are the biggest maintainers of the status quo and aren’t often right or original, but just confident (most but not all).

I think that monolog covered all the topics that were mentioned at the beginning, now please give me an answer that will solve my problems.

Ready my short story: Korean Affair

There Are No Great Men

In these times we always focus on the actions of individuals, in some cases as a culture we even idolize them, but this seems to be severely misguided.

That isn’t to say that people are irrelevant, but that individuals are irrelevant. The way that things are is a result of the times and the aggregate of all the people.

If it wasn’t Zuckerberg, Jobs or Gates it would have been someone else around the same time.

These people acted in their times, which is to say they were a product of their times, they are the result not the ’cause’ of what they do. We always seem to focus on the actions of ‘one man’, but the reality is that that ‘one man’ was nothing without the times and the people who did what he asked.

Maybe in order to understand why things happen we need to create some kind of focus, some point of worship, some great mover. The reality is that ‘we’ are all the great mover and all the product of our times. If it wasn’t us or them it would have been someone else.

“You can rise above yourself, But never the times that you live in.”
– Sam Roberts

Ready my short story: Korean Affair

Intangible Value is Where All the Money Is

In our world it would seem that the people who create intangible value make the most money, while those who create tangible value seem to make less. Take the example of pro athletes, they make lots of money but most of their value is intangible (entertainment).

Investment banking creates derivative value, usually intangible and off of the value created by others, the heads of banks make boatloads of money.

From the second point, we can assume that those who who create value might not be the ones who benefit most from it.

Ready my short story: Korean Affair

Hope Through Deception

When I first broke my ankle the doctors didn’t tell me how long it would before I recovered, they simply said “come in next time and we will tell you how things are going”. At first they said in three weeks we will have a better idea. After three weeks they said in four weeks we will have a better idea. After those seven weeks they said you will need six more weeks.

The reality is that they likely already knew from the beginning that a realistic timeline would be around 12 weeks, but they didn’t tell me. Is it possible that they kept it a secret of sorts so that I could go though the time with hope? Hope that in three weeks things would be better, then hope for four weeks. By the time I got to the point of knowing it would be 12 weeks it wasn’t so bad anymore. After seven weeks of immobility, the worst part was already over and the real getting better was starting.

Ready my short story: Korean Affair

The Real World is Our Collective Dream

If a dream is a place where we create a world on our own, then the real world is a place where we create a world with everyone else. This is to say that in the dream world we create the reality we experience and perceive individual, while in the real world we collectively create the reality collectively that we collectively experience and perceive. This likely happens through our thoughts and some other process, however the mechanism is likely impossible to comprehend.

Ready my short story: Korean Affair

A Rant about Fashion and Consumerism

Our society values fashion and style, people judge others based on their style and clothing. Clothing and the fashion industry are dangerous in their virtue of consumerism, this is seen in fashion changing every seasons thus requiring the fashionable to buy new clothes every season.

But why is fashion bad, to start it appeals to our narcissistic nature, it puts the focus on the outside. This in itself is bad for our souls, we should strive to be happy in ourselves not in the things we cover ourselves with.

But the bigger issue has to do with the environment, fashion creates waste, excessive waste. It creates trash and consumes resources. Pollution occurs through the production and processing of cotton (and other clothing materials) as well as in the shipping of those resources and products back and forth across the ocean. Trash is created when people ditch their cloths for new ones, that said trash doesn’t always go to the dump, sometimes it sits in closets for years.

Clothing for need is reasonable, though need is subjective, cloths in excess is dangerous and has a detrimental effect on the earth as a whole.

If these arguments don’t matter to you, consider that most cloths are created in 3rd world countries where conditions and exploitation are reasonable concerns and issues.

It should be pointed out that these types of issues exist in most of the supply changes of consumer products, but that doesn’t mean we should just ignore them.

Make the world a better place and save money by not buying so many clothes.

A collection of ideas that are quick to read