Sunday, April 2, 2017

#16 (My 17 blog is below this one, it just messed up and reordered it weird)

".. With liberty and justice for all..."

A promise. A standard. A law for all to follow.

At least that's what we expect for it to be. Of course, as shown in the thousands of years of human existence, we don't seem to follow whats on paper as well when in practice on a social level. Social inequalities and injustices still very much exist in the United States of America, the country which promised life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to all who were legal citizens. The country which waves its "freedom" showing it off for many other countries to see and pursuit themselves. Yes, the country in which millions of sentient human beings had been stolen from their home and culture, forced to travel across the Atlantic sea in crowded ships rampant with disease and little food and water, and sold into slavery by some race claiming to be superior, the country in which women were and are still currently treated as lesser to men and weren't able to vote until the 1900's. It's a contradictory statement to claim that we provide the same opportunities, the same privileges, and equality.

As a matter of fact, how dare we state that. We are lying not only to ourselves, but the people who look at this country with hope. People who move here to protect themselves, their family. Them having a vision of the perfect american life.

They move here with a dream of success.

Yet... they are forced to be the scapegoat of american society, told that they are the reason the United States issues still consist and prevail today. They are told to go back to their country, that they aren't welcome to a country that was built on immigrants and foreign aliens. They're called rapists, terrorists, thieves, and are constantly attacked in politics as a result.

They are told that they're inadequate in society, when in reality its those who make this claim that trouble this country. Its these people that destroy the societal integrity and fuel racism.

In the video, by Kurzgesagt, he explains the complicated issue that plagues the middle east.

This issue has continually been pushed on by xenophobia in the United States. as he explained in the video, our infrastructure is far more capable than it needs to be to evacuate the refugees and allow them to immigrate to the United States. We have to power to do so, yet we force smaller and poor countries that are already stressed economically to care for the millions of people.

We continually prove time and time again that we are afraid of the "overtake" of our society yet the benefits of allowing immigrants and refugees would not only alleviate but completely repair many of the issues plaguing western society. Low birth rates, Economic stagnation, and mono diversity. Implications that a single minority has the ability to overrun the native population (a thought that within itself is absolutely absurd.) is literally impossible. Even if we accepted 4 million syrian refugees, the United States has a population of 320 million people. 4 million doesn't even constitute 2% of the population.

Its xenophobia that forces millions to experience the horrors that they are forced to call reality. We are afraid of an irrational fear that doesn't exist.

Image result for US flag

We are to blame for terrorism and foreign hatred for the United States. We've funded terrorist groups and war organizations, continually blame those who haven't done anything, and deny access to legal immigration to the United States.

We force ourselves to believe a false ideology when in fact its us who deteriorate this country's condition. We are at fault. Its not a hard concept to grab, but we seem to want to deny its legitimacy.

In Martin Luther King Jr's essay, "Three Ways to Fight Oppression", he explained that oppression should not be conformed to. We should not allow ourselves to be pushed down by those around us. This includes us. We need to stand up for those oppressed. We need to help those affected by xenophobia, we need to protest, we need to push out these social normalities and replace them with humane policies.

Its up to us to write our own history. We are causing human misery by establishing harmful policies that affect a minority based purely on false beliefs and xenophobia. We are all human, and nothing can change that. The only thing that can change here is more damage and death rates.

This video below shows just how far xenophobia and selective racism has gone and how harmful it is to both the self esteem of those affected and the mentality surrounding this issue.

We can't continually deny those who request access to our country. Its something that goes against the values that built America, and in doing so we condemn our country to utter failure. Stagnating populations and population decrease have affected the western world severely and continue to do so. Not only this, economic stagnation has become prevalent as well. Accepting these innocent souls and admitting them citizenship would allow for improvement and stability.

Its time for us to wake up and realize the truth that this problem isn't going away and it will only continue to worsen as time continues. If we are smart about this, we will take into consideration the facts above and produce an outcome that benefits not only ourselves, but those in need and the international community altogether.

Its our choice.

#17 The Dark truth of the Omelas, and those who walk away.

Cold hard barren ground. Concrete, with only small slits of lights shining it. They sting when you stare at them, but they are the only beams of light that allow your dry eyes to see. You're hungry, cold, and you're in very bad condition. You sit in your own fecal matter and urine as you cry and scream at the top of your lungs, in hope that someone, anyone comes to save you.

Little do you know, you're doing the whole entire city of Omela a favor. Though many feel bad, everyone knows you're there and most barely think of it. They see you, and are enraged that you are forced to go through this. But then they return to their daily life of sanity and comfort, engorged in the luxury of civilization. This is the hard truth of Omela.

The dehumanize another of their own kind to such inhumane conditions that they are no longer "identifiable" as human. This child receives very little nutrients and food, starved to extremities, and continues to live a life of terror. Only to see others out on the street, living the high life and ignoring its cries for salvation. Can the Omelians really claim that they are saddened by this sight, only to do the complete opposite and continue their perfect lives?

A sick twisted truth. A child forced to experience these absolute screw ups that society has thrown onto them, without choice? This would never happen in the real world. We would never allow people, let alone children, to have to suffer these hardships.

Except we do, and it's happen right now this very second.

This story reflects much on western society, and its ability to "feel bad" for those who starve every day, living in unsanitary conditions, dying from easily preventable diseases such as measles and rabies. We tell ourselves that we care about our fellow man, yet we let petty xenophobia and outright racism affect our ability to help those in need.

This story represents a parallel of us and who we are. Throughout this decade, the crisis in the Middle east and Africa has been deteriorating. Terrorism, Starvation, Violence, and preventable diseases have rampaged those who inhabit these areas. They a forced to live in such deplorable conditions, they become use to this horrific reality. Lebanon and Iraq have taken thousands of refugees from war tattered zones such as Syria. The United Kingdom, The United States, and France, and Turkey altogether have taken less than half of what Lebanon has allowed in there borders.

The issue with this is that we, unlike Lebanon and Iraq, can provide better opportunities for those in need. Lebanon and Iraq, their government, and their economy has been under severe strain from this influx of refugees. But they continually bring them in. Western Governments economic state and stability could easily provide for refugees, without a dent in our society. We have much more resources than we require, yet we let xenophobia get the best of us.

Is this what we want to be remembered as? The people who stood high on a pedestal, yet we lacked the ability to provide BASIC humanitarian aid? It's absolutely disgusting that that statement has credibility.

Its up to us to prove ourselves, to help our fellow species. These videos below explain this dilemma extraordinarily.

Friday, February 17, 2017

#15 The Wine Stain

She was herself. She was truly her own person. Her stain, while a nuisance, was a part of her. It was a part of her identity. While sometimes making her feel self conscious, it made her happy. You can tell she regretted this decision when she said that she missed her stain.

Imagine having a part of you, something that made you who you are, being taken away. Its almost apart of your soul, its a part of you. Of course, maybe sometimes, you may feel that this part of you is a nuisance. But in reality, you couldn't live happily without it.

This is what she feels like. A piece of herself is missing. When she got her stain removed, many commented that her Norwegian accent went as well. In the narration it even claimed that "she felt a real sense of loss". She even felt as if she lost that certain special tone in which her voice had before the port wine stain was removed.

And even though she thought she looked better without her birthmark, people began to give her mixed compliments such as "Now you can wear your hair up and show off your face more".

She also felt bad because she knew her husband wouldn't have loved her, wouldn't have cared about her if she still had her port wine stain. Or so she thought. And the mark represented her and her uniqueness compared to others in the world. Most people would see her as one of a kind.

Her husband finally wanted to have a kid with her because he realized that he loved her, port wine stain or not. He would gladly have her as a wife and mothering his children because she really is beautiful and the connection and love in between them is real.

This story was really important to me because to me it showed that you shouldn't be ashamed of your unique qualities. You truly are a masterpiece and no one can say otherwise. Whether its your unique personality, disability, or birthmark, you shouldn't let others decide whether or not you are worthy, because you are.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

#13 Gilberts TED talk

True happiness and synthetic happiness. What are these, and what is the difference between them? Dan Gilbert  in his TED talk, "The surprising science of happiness", he proposed to us a simple philosophy. Synthetic happiness is true happiness, and can be more effective as a type of happiness over "true happiness". He illustrated this by explaining that "true" happiness and synthetic happiness are both true happiness. The difference is not what emotions they emit, but how they are achieved.

Synthetic happiness comes from events in which you cannot control. These events may be someone making a decision between which burger you buy. You didn't get the choice, but hey you still got a burger. This burger was probably better than the other one you would have ordered. You made yourself happy, although you didn't get the choice and maybe the other burger was better. You made yourself believe yours was better.

Some people try to make the claim that synthetic happiness is not a true type of happiness, but Gilbert refuted this claim by explaining that people who have synthetic happiness still exert the same behaviors and emotions as those who have "true" happiness.

The issue with trying to differentiate these two kinds of happiness is that both of them cannot be accurately described. Both of them are in the moment, and they both give off the same emotion. They are the same and they have the same effect. Happiness is defined, by google at least, as "the state of being happy". It's obvious that if you ask someone that is experiencing synthetic happiness if they are happy that they will say yes. Of course, when you begin to question your own happiness you automatically cease to be. That argument is rendered invalid.

Gilbert believes that the only difference between these two types of happiness are how they are achieved. Calling synthetic happiness false, and the other true is not only ignorant, but it's an incompetent statement to make. How is it possible to have a double standard for types of happiness, especially when they are both the same emotions and are only differentiated in how they are achieved.

In the end, whether you think that "true" happiness is a more effective happiness than "synthetic" happiness, it is indisputable that both of them are true forms of happiness and both can bring joy and light into our lives. So go out there and be happy. Whether you get what you want, or you get what you get, you'll be happy with what you have because we are very fortunate to have what we have.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

#12 Happiness


How do we define this word. How do we describe the euphoric emotions and laughter, the beauty, peace, and the serenity in which true happiness appears. Happiness is freedom, a liberation of the burdens that plague humanity, the struggles that life brings so suddenly and randomly. Happiness is an eternal desire, something that we chase, in hope to achieve, yet we are thrown down so mercilessly by reality. Happiness is a moment. Its near impossible to describe, because happiness is raw. Its real. Its life.

Happiness cannot be bought. It has no connection to materialistic products. Happiness is the complete opposite. We become attached to these objects, and when taken away, they cause pain. They cause suffering, harm, and sorrow. Yet we still desire them.

How is this possible that humans can want something so bad, to go to extremities to get it, yet it can easily bring pain to them.

We desire these things because we are materialistic. We are greedy. We value objects over true happiness. In Gilbert's TED talk "The Surprising Science of Happiness", he talked about synthetic happiness. He talked about making the best out of a situation, and how even when everything seems bad you could be worse off. Now imagine your mother gave you a brand new iPhone 7. Chances are, you would be happy. Now imagine two days later, it gets stolen. You would be devastated (if you're anything like my sister at least).

But at least you're alive. At least you're healthy. At least you have food on the table, and you have a roof over your head. And hey, you still got your older iPhone 5 right? So maybe it isn't as bad as it seems. As a matter of fact, you iPhone 5 is better. The iPhone 7 was to big for your hands anyways.

That, above, is synthetic happiness. Now, how do we prevent this altogether? How do we stop this pain that objects bring us. How do we reach true happiness, and not just synthetic happiness.

True happiness is no desire for anything. True happiness is no attachment to materialistic objects.

True happiness is Nirvana.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

#11 My Independent Reading Project

I decided to make a comic styled summary for one of the book's I read this semester. It was called Mars, by Ben Bova. It is part of the grand tour book series.

It was a great book, SciFi themed, and it's main protagonist was a Native American Geologist on the Martian expedition team named Jamie Waterman. He was on the first team to ever make touchdown on Mars.

They have to survive the rough conditions of the martian surface, as well as the physiological effects.

National prejudice, bits of romance, and suspense are all aspects of this book.