Saturday, November 22, 2008

If Pride Goeth Before the Fall, I Hope Some God Will Save Us All

"I've heard that your Gods older 
Buddha Allah Krishna 
Manifest with many faces 
Worshipped the world over in foreign places 
I assume your God must love you 

I know Jesus loves me 
And my God is good and great and true 
But if pride goeth before the fall 
I hope someones God will save us all 
Save us all 
And love the sinners too"
-"Save Us All" by Tracy Chapman

This is the end to one of Tracy Chapman's songs on her album Our Bright Future. It's a folk song, but it is so witty with lyrics, rhythm, and rhyme that I just love it. And what an interesting concept she introduces at the end of this song. The first few verses are about how she knows Jesus loves her and how great he is, but at the end she demonstrates a sort of acceptance for all other religions (mentioning Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism to be exact). At the end she sums up the idea that she ascribes to her Christianity, but it would seem she only hopes there is some God that will save her - even if it is not a Christian one.

That's such an interesting idea. We can believe what we want, and in the end hope for the best. I would say that she is speaking about relativism, but it really is not that. I seems as though she accepts the idea of an absolute diety situation, but she just hopes that diety will take care of her. It's rather reminiscent of Sikhism or Bahai. Such an idea is difficult to put into a blog, but anyway, I hope you understood what she is singing about.

That's just a thought for the day. Nothing very interesting has been happening here except the heater in my house is broken so I'm sitting next to the fire. Cute.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Has It Really Been This Long? Well, Here Is an Update and a Discussion on If the World Is Real. is a short update with some other thoughts. 

Apparently, I'm not that great at keeping constant with my blog. I should do better, though. Here is an update on what has been happening in my phenomenal field (to use a psychology term, lol).

I have planned my graduation date - April 2010. If everything goes as planned, I will have a B.S. in psychology as well as a minor in logic a year earlier than traditionally scheduled. I have gone through the rest of my semesters and terms at BYU and selected what classes I will take and when. Also, I'm am planning on trying to graduate with Univeristy Honors, in
 which case I will have to write a thesis. At this point I am still deciding what the topic should be, but I will let you know when I decide. I am taking the LSAT next summer, too.

Tracy Chapman released a new  album a week ago, and I love it. It's very different from her older stuff - as each album is unique for her - and this one is quite eclectic in its style. She is going on a solo tour this year to celebrate 20 years since she started performing. I can't wait for her to come to the US to tour (she is touring in Europe right now), and I will not miss her concert for anything!

Aside from that wonderful bit of news, I'll leave with a thought. I've been thinking a lot about how the only thing a person can prove is that he/she is thinking. Descartes coined the thought, "Cognito ergo sum," or "I think, therefore I am." However, beyond that, anything we think is true is based on an assumption. If I interpret what I am looking at as an external reality, that is assuming that my mind is not producing the image for any other reason than photons striking the retina. However, we must remember that our visual field exists only in the mind. What we hear, smell, taste, etc. is all just an experience interpreted by senses of the mind. We also experience feelings and drives in a real way, and these are brought to the attention of our consciousness. Yet, they are not objective because it exists only in the mind as interpretations. So, we can never know for certaint that they are accurate representations of the external world, assuming that there is one. Those with schizophrenia, for example, really do experience things that we do not. Yet, it is very real to them, and they act in a reasonable manner as to how to work with that.

So how do we solve this problem of uncertainty that the world might not be real? Well, I know that when I am hungry, feeding the body that I experience has having some sort of control over usually takes that hunger drive away. I may not know for certain that I am really feeding a body I claim is mine, but every time I do, that unpleasant feeling seems to go away. And so, we may be able to know that the world is real, that experience is objective, and so on, but my solution is that it is impractal to act in a way that disregards the experience. If I choose not to eat because I don't know if it is really doing anything, I will still feel hungry. I might as well cause this body to eat.

From this bottom-up reasoning, it is important to remember that everything we experience is completely subjective. That being the case, no one will ever experience the same things, assuming they are real and not figments in your mind (I say "your" instead of "my" because you are reading this now, not me). We are fundamentally different from experiencing senses, emotions, drives, etc. We cannot judge other people because we do not and cannot know their experiences and why they act the way they do. We cannot tell them how they ought to act, either, with absolute authority. To do so would be so overreach our boundaries. Sure, we have tendencies that are studied in psychology, but I am sure one reason that the discipline has trouble defining actual laws is because we are diverse from personal experience. I'm sure that could be worked into a law at some point, though.

And that is one of my thoughts. I hope it made sense to you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Coming to Terms with the Fact That I Watch Reality TV

Sorry it has been such a long time since I have written anything. A lot has happened, but I'm sorry I do not have time to fill you in on everything.

I am slowly admitting that I like reality television. It's a big deal because I find much of TV to be mindless entertainment, but when Tila Tequila or America's Next Top Model appear on my monitor I am taken in and held there, in focus, until the episode is complete. And I think I know why, which adds a little bit to my justification of being able to consider myself an intellectual while still being interest in a pseudo-bisexual's far-fetched love lives (yes, she has love lives).

My justification, I am a psychology major. Now hear me out, I think I am fascinated by the psychological phenomenon of "falling into roles." Clearly, it is not common for one female to "fall in love" with ten to twenty people at one time, for them to "fall in love" with her, and for her to date them all simultaneously. However, I do think that it is legitimate because of that psychological theory. I'm not really going to go into the details as I'm sure you'd click the "X" on the browser at the top of the window at the definition, but I'm just throwing it out there.

So that's my reasoning. Does it explain entirely why I watch the shows? Maybe. But we'll just leave it at that.

One of my favorite TV shows (the only one that I actually follow; I usually just catch others when I see them) is So You Think You Can Dance. Last week, my favorite couple was voted off! Really, America? Really?! Kourtni and Matt were awesome, and I tried to vote, but the three or four times I called the lines were busy. Sadness!

I will leave you with one of my favorite performances by them. And hopefully I'll write on here more regularly, like tomorrow.

The video has introduction and stuff, so fast forward if you don't want to watch that part.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just a Quick Comment on Protons

I just want to ask, how many times are we going to learn about the existence of protons that make up atoms? I remember first learning about them somewhere in middle school, like 6th or 7th grade maybe. Perhaps even earlier.

But then they were reintroduced to me my freshman year of high school in biology. Oh yeah, and chemistry sophomore year. Ah, and we learned the same things about then again in Chem II. And in Biology II, just in case we forgot.

And I was just reading in my geology text book; there is a section devoted to protons in there too. Protons, neutrons, electrons, seriously. After freshman year of high school, they should be fair game.

Bill Nye the Science Guy, I miss you. Where did he go? That guy is great.

And I'm becoming addicted to the song "Blackout" by Lovedrug. So, go listen to it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I'm Not Going to Lie; Using BYU Internet Makes Me Paranoid

Seriously, it does. I always feel like there is someone in OIT monitoring everything that I am doing on the internet, as if he is paid to make sure I "hold to the rod." And every time I attempt to access a page that is blocked by BYU servers, whether I am aware it was or not, I feel like an additional flag goes by my name to tell that worker, "Heads up! This student maybe be deviating!"

I was getting on my computer tonight, of course to access the internet, and for some reason I was signed off of the internet. To use BYU internet, you have to sign in first so they know you're a student (and so they know who you are and what you're looking at). It was weird because normally I do not have to sign back in if my computer was just in sleep mode. Anyway, I went to sign in, and Firefox (that I have just recently converted to) warned me something about how I was trying to access one server, but another one was in the way (BYU). And then it said that "this server may be trying to intercept the information that you are transferring" or something. Basically, it was warning me that BYU could intercept anything that was going through my computer. And that creeps me out.

And ugh, AOL is extremely slow now. I used it to get passed the filter for MySpace and YouTube, but I guess they figured that the only way to stop AOL considering the way it works was by making it impossible to use. Ridiculous. Sorry for wanting to network with my friends back home or watch a YouTube video of stand-up or maybe dance.

Anyway, BYU has a few different filters. There is one for violence, sexual content, and then "Custom Block List." The last one is absolutely ridiculous. Those are the websites that BYU deems immoral for its students, but the rest of the world uses. Such websites are MySpace and YouTube. But wait, those sites might have PORN on them. Maybe, just maybe you'll stumble upon them and become addicted! Because no other website in the entire world will have an ad on it with something scandalous that BYU hasn't missed.

BYU is all-powerful in cyberspace, didn't you know? I feel excessively spiritual when I use the internet, as if President Samuelson himself was looking over my shoulder and approving each website I visited.

I think this censoring of the internet and everything we view does not make the world our campus, as BYU's slogan implies. Rather, it blocks out the real world. The bubble that is BYU campus does not help the students learn to cope in the real world; it numbs them to it, so they won't know what to do when they leave.

I am convinced, and I would totally invest in this TV show if it were considered, that I have a good idea for TV. I think there should be a reality show that follows Molly Mormons or Peter Priesthoods after they leave BYU to move into a larger city. New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, or any sizeable city with enough stuff that doesn't meet the Honor Code to make their hair stand on ends. There could even be a portion to bet whether they can assimilate into the real world or if they move back to the Happy Valley! That show would make bank. MTV, where are you?

Cynical, yes. But realistic, too.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I Know I Had a Typo in My Previous Title, But Whatever

Yeah, I forgot the 's' in 'reason.' But, whatever. You probably didn't notice it anyway.

I would like to strongly recommend a movie - The Great Debaters. It is a fantastic film about an African American debate team in the 1930's in Texas working its way to greatness. They have to fight against prejudice, of course, and their own internal struggles.

I know what you're thinking, "not another Remember the Titans." This one is different. The Great Debaters discusses even broader ideas than Civil Rights, and that is not necessarily the main focus. It is historical, intellectual, and enjoyable.

So, if you live up here in Provo, get your four quarters and head over to the Dollar Movie. That's where I just saw it.

I do not recommend movies that often, especially on a blog. So, this must be a big deal. Do it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

For Some Reaon, Brand New Makes Me Artsy. Oh, and I Don't Like American Idol

Well, they put me in an artistic mood. I started a new painting a few days ago, and I'm pretty excited about it. I'm not sure if any of you have seen pictures of some of my art, but it's kinda like the one with the little pebbles and stuff. Yeah, you have no idea what I'm talking about.

Later I'll put some pictures on here maybe. I just get paranoid that sometimes someone will find them, put them on another page, and claims that they are his work. Stupid jerk.

Anyway, I am here to tell you I do not really like American Idol. I don't like how they are so mean to the contestants in the beginning, especially Temptress! If you saw the openning episode for this season, she was the really big black girl that played football for her high school with the ill mother and stuff. I hated watching that because she was such a sweet girl giving her all, and they shot her down. And everyone around me laughed. UGH! I want to see you get up there and sing for Simon, and then later cry yourself to sleep.

Not bitter at all ;P

Anyway, here is a clip of Wanda Sykes talking about why she loves American Idol. Love her.

They makes the losers sing!