Monthly Archives: February 2014

the privilege of killing

alright. i’m tired.

tired of seeing killing everywhere as if nothing. in movies, in games, in shows.

of course we as a group made sure killing comes with punishment in our laws and constitutions (unless it’s for war or self-defense, we have agreed, apparently). but despite of that, we assume certain people will just still kill regardless. WE the good people in the other hand don’t do it. but i wonder how much of that has to do because we found it repulsive to our morality, and how much with the fact it’s something not convenient to do… cause after all, why would we otherwise need of a law to prevent it in the first place?

and so, games, movies and novels, and all of the other products that allow us to fantasize with all the things we cannot do in real life, are full of killing for us to consume in daily basis. indeed, they fulfill our fantasies. and indeed we do devour killing as if it was pop corn though these products.

now, why does killing has this privilege over other forms of horrific abomination such as, say, rapping? aha! imagine this scenario:

first think of games. the most successful video games involve YOU killing other people as part of the regular dynamic of the game in order for you to move forward. and of course we are totally fine with that. now, imagine what would happen if, instead, you published a game where YOU had to rape people systematically in order to move forwards in the game. ah, not such a popular game, to say the least.

what about movies? it seems super hero movies are back, and yep there’s lots of killing in them. no nipples in american screens though – you gotta protect kids’ morals! but lots of killing by the good guys in these movies for sure. that’s what heroes do apparently, kill. and not once or twice, but repeatedly all along the movie, although their actions are always well couched between gags and laughter. ah, directors know it’s good to keep a balance between of humor and killing, if only to give some time to the audience to eat their sweet popcorn. please note that this is not exclusive to hollywood, my alternative-culture and off-system friends. now, we cannot conceive a hero perform rapping, for this is what villains do. villains also murder. heroes, kill. and certainly don’t rape.

so, among all the horrifying things humans can do that we have banned from the ideal of a good person, why do we make killing an exception? what’s so special about it? why do we give killing such a privilege position?

it seems to me the answer is that we are trying very hard to justify killing when it’s for war or self-defense, which is conveniently backed in the very primitive instincts we still carry with us. so self defense is an obligation. and the way we present it is that, unlike villains, heroes kill only because they have to… and so you do in the narrative of games when you become the person protagonist of one. so perhaps it’s all just a way to prepare us to accept war under the excuse of self defense. cause, you know, there’s lots of dangerous stuff out there in fact in this world, such as villains, zombies, aliens, orcs, pirates, muslims, brown people, french people, etc. there’s a word for all of them as an idea – “enemies”. and of course, enemies are to fear. coincidentally, no other society in this world lives in fear as this one, the one that produces killing games and movies the most.

in short, it seems to me the fact that killing has this privilege in our social lives and morality is due to the interest there is in us all living in fear and hence justifying it. which i think this is fucking wrong, in too many ways.

it’s like the world has ended

Whenever I’m in the East Bay and I see the most recent FB feed is one hour old or more I fear the worst and regret not having one of those earthquake/nuclear holocaust survival kits.

(But then I look at the horizon, see the cityscape of SF intact, and I relax again. So, dear 4G carrier, don’t do this to me!)

this exists

taxidermy. skinning and stuffing of animals. it is a job. it is somebody’s job. and i wonder, at which point in your life you decide you want to become a taxidermist?

“typographcist”

I sort of doubt it’s going to be “The Event of the Year” when the flyer is written in Comic Sans…

Or am I being “typographcist”?

we, or we?

This quote from Nicolaus Copernicus got me thinking. “To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.”

The sentence is not as smart as you might think (unless you are one of those folks who send powerpoint slideshows, facebook pictures or youtube videos with teenage philosophy to their friends and work colleagues every Monday morning). Actually, the sentiment that most people think they know more than what they really know is indeed a pretty common sentiment.

What got me thinking in this quote is the use of the “we”. I don’t have enough context as to know if Copernicus was using “we” to refer to each of us individually, or if he was using it in a more global and abstract way, as in “we humankind”. I personally like to read it as in the latter.

Which reminds me that these days big parts of this country that hosts me now has little knowledge of what _we_ know and what has happened in the last few hundred years. There’s too much of that pretentious (and naive) _I_ and too little of _we_ and true knowledge.

can’t avoid it

call me sick, but when i see a cave entrance in a picture or documentary or real life, the first thing that comes to my mind is always “vagina”.

then i think of adventure, childhood, speleology and CaCo3 mineral reaction.

but first, it’s “vagina”.

it doesn’t happen with caves only, though

mathimage #49: shiny paint

I finally got a few minutes to spare, not much really, but enough to have a mathemagical quickie, such to speak…

Today’s discovery has to do with nested trigonometrics: this image is what happens when you embed a cosine in a cosine in a cosine, and you use that to iterate screen points: z += cos(z.yx + cos(z.yx + cos(z.yx) ) ).

I totally recommend seeing this one in movement (click here: https://www.shadertoy.com/view/MslXz8 for that)

we all can feel it

Today while in my cable car ride a lot of people smiled and waved to me! I wasn’t sure why, so I had to check there wasn’t any evidence of my earlier nutella creppe in my face. I guess it’s simply that SF is gorgeous and happy today, and that we all can feel it.

three!

How many mornings and breakfasts can you have in one same day? Three.

I just outdid myself

baffled

The fact that the flashlight app is requesting an update blows my mind. What could possibly need to be… I mean… Meh, whatever, forget it – I press “update”. As if there weren’t more important things in the world that I don’t understand anyways.

how to ruin a great idea

i think a sink and a shower inside a bedroom, all enclosed withing transparent glass, is something pornographic and hence really beautiful.

now, one advice for you dear hotel room designers: i truly admire your intentions, but please leave the toilet out of the transparent set, it kind of ruins the magic. transparent shower, by all means. transparent toilet, not so much. thanks!

global awareness

playing science fiction here

looking around one can only arrive to the conclusion that intelligence is clearly not a required skill for survival.

and i’m not just trying to be funny here.

i truly think that while evolution probably rewards intelligent lineages in one way or another, it is not an important mechanism in natural selection of individuals as one might infer from a literal application of the popular understanding of darwinism. basically, we are surrounded by stupid people and retards all over the place, and to be honest they seem to be doing pretty well to me. it’s all subject to your metric of awareness and awareness of your own happiness of course, but still i think the observation holds true. which might come as a surprise to many. hah.

clearly the scope of natural selection transcends the individual and operates at group level. as long as the group has an efficient set of leading politicians, moral builders, scientists, social workers, artists, engineers and entertainers, the group can move forward regardless of the particular intelligence of each of its members. in fact, the so called “less intelligent” portion of the population does fulfill other important functions for the group (although often in opposition and conflict with that socially leading group).

in such a system, the group could be seen as an living entity in itself with its different members playing specialized tasks, quite like cells specialize into functions (even organs) and are part of an autonomous creature. as such, human intelligence is not a differentiating evolutionary advantage for those individuals who posses it, but a convenient feature for the group. and perhaps, the same way evolution of unicellular creatures favored their arrangement into higher order creatures (which eventually had a single consciousness), maybe so it’s happening now with humans, where the individual survival is of no benefit really but the specialization into a function within the group as a whole. if things were going in such direction, a global intelligence might emerge and humanity as a whole might one day enjoy some sort of global awareness.

in fact, i think some humans do think that way already and sense that global awareness. probably, some of the most influential political and humanitarian figures we all know do in fact think that way.

-ytical

analytical thinking, i do that often.

and not unfrequently, without the “ytical” part