Tuesday, April 13, 2010

“Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.”

I am a lucky person. I get to listen to impassioned speeches about how great las positas is because when I go to “real” college (or “a four-year”) there won’t be all this support to help me learn the material. I’ll be in a big room with two hundred students and a professor that doesn’t know my name and the class will be entirely lecture and then a midterm and a final and that’s it. The only people who will really be helping me will be graduate student researchers (interestingly enough, the very people my aunt hires at berkeley) who are essentially TAs. It will apparently be a horrifying experience, compared to the high-school-like student numbers at laspo. I am very lucky I do not have to go through this.

The thing is, it’s the high-school-like classes that are killing my grade and me as I keep getting hit with mundane busywork assignments that serve only to inflate the grade, rather than assist in comprehension. Sure, ultimately it’s my responsibility to complete this stuff, but when I can take a class that’s purely a midterm and a final and get an immensely better grade than a class that has homework and projects up the wazoo, there’s clearly a problem somewhere. Humh.

“Jake you’re just a lazy asshole”

Yeah, pretty much.

It’s my choice to be one, I suppose. It’s my freedom here in America to choose lazy assholedom over studious application of talent. Capitalists and libertarians might say “well, you’ll never get anything that way. There’s no way to make money without working hard (besides inheritance, which you clearly don’t have).” I hugely beg to differ. If I wanted to make money I could totally do it. Lots of lazy assholes do, somehow. They trade stocks. They make connections in a business and jump straight to manager. They start businesses and cheat on their taxes. They start websites based off of other people’s ideas and then spin them off to be sold for huge chunks of money to suckers larger businesses who think that the advertising revenues alone is totally worth it.

“Jake, those people work hard.”

No, they don’t. They most certainly do not work as hard as the millions of people who hold more than one job just to pay rent and utilities. What’s the difference? They’ve got connections. Or they’re smarter. Or they’ve just got a different worldview. I dunno. Tim Rogers, still my favorite writer even though he hasn’t responded to my legit and totally awesome game ideas, wrote recently “All around the world, people like myself and Bob [Pelloni, of bob’s game fame] are finding ourselves in a state where legitimately earning money is about as complicated as downloading pirated music.” And it’s sorta kinda true. It’s really bugging me for two reasons, those being “fucking fuck you capitalism” and “why am I not getting some of that?”

I dunno, this stuff sucks dicks to think about. I have been wildly blitzing through money lately, a shocking twist from last year when making rent was such a huge deal that I would often end up finding myself with exactly twenty dollars to last me two weeks and budgeting out groceries to fit. Now I ended up moving back in with my dad and my attitude has gone totally downhill (so regardless of what happens this fall I’m moving the hell out). I don’t know what to tell you.

I love school, though. I can’t tell you how much joy I take in listening to lectures on rituals and anthropoidal evolution and political maneuverings and all of this stuff. I want to be in academia for the rest of my life. I want to do research and learn everything I can about anything I feel like. Leave no stone unturned, no argument mystified. I want to be one of those people that news magazines call up and say “hey what is your opinion on this?” and I whomp out some two thousand totally accurate words stating and defining a position. I want to start a cultural movement that sweeps the entire world and paves way for a proper unified world government and hegemony, giving globalization a real chance at succeeding and incentivizing space exploration as the next logical step of human existence, now that all of earth is one unified government and wars are outmoded methods of expression and limited to skirmishes between rival local factions that are quickly pacified by a council of affair and police corps made of the countrymen of that region.


It’s all very radical and I’ll bet people who’ll argue against it are a dime a dozen. I want to shoot these people. Ugh. I hate traditionalists. I hate people who thrive solely on nostalgia for a time they hardly remember. I hate people who are old and don’t appreciate the new. I’m not saying that novelty is really a great factor in decision making (no suh) but for christ’s sake, neither is nostalgia. Seriously, social conservatives and reaganites and all those people who seem to think the middle ages were the best ages because “knights were still chivalrous and wars were fought with honor” (HAH) and then they dress up and prance around and pine for something they have absolutely no experience with outside of what little writing and oral histories survived them are infuriating. It gets worse as the years move up. People who whine about how cell phones are destroying the capacity for people to form communities and neighborhoods (that shit died in the fifties) or that the internet and video games are the devil because they’re teaching kids things without censorship are even worse. No renaissance fan, no matter how rabid, legitimately considers the idea of re-instituting a medieval society. At worst they simply want to integrate parts of it they like into the modern era. But those other folks have hundreds of thousands of people who support the censorship and destruction of our communications infrastructure simply for the cause of recreating an idyllic past that exists solely in their minds.

It’s a stubborn, dogmatic point of view, and it’s remarkably difficult to defeat. Just a hint of the mindset was demonstrated in the demonization of the healthcare bill and the uncanny lockstep reaction to its passage. This is not the way humans will survive. This is not the way we have survived. The reason we have all this great shit, hell the reason these people can behave like this is because some humans were deviant little bastards who decided the world ought to be different than it was or is. Social conservatism is literally the cancer that is killing the human race. They’re eating the telomeres of society. We’re going to end up with another dark age because we’re halting innovation in favor of delusion.

Man, that just bugs the fuck out of me.

So let’s kick ass, you and me. Let’s tell those fuckers to shove it up their crusty assholes and forge ahead to a brilliant new future. Let’s maniacally flail around in desperation, doing everything we can to do anything we can. Let us lose the wisdom to know the difference between what we can and can’t change, but gain the courage to change it anyway. Let us ditch the patience and understanding to accept what is and forge our own path through life. Let us make mistakes, let us triumph, let us fail spectacularly and succeed amazingly.

Let us live our lives on our terms, not the terms others shackle us with. We are alive and we are always free.

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