Elementary School.

I spent two different first grades in two different schools. As mentioned, Brenmar Elemtary and Ravenworth.

The reason was because I got held back after the first year after the first grade. Don’t remember much about Kindergarden or pre-school. I have some very strange memories of rainy days, girls, me clutching a Federal Express styrofoam airliner model that my Dad gave me. Have no idea from where or how but I think it had something to do with his work. He was a Word Processor early on, (yep!) and then later a Real Estate agent. I eventually crushed it I think, the airplane, after taking it with me to school too many times. I always hated the sound of crushing styrofoam. Always made me sad.

In terms of school, I had probably what was dyslexia, or something akin to it, but I was diagnosed ‘Reading Disabled,’ and therefore (I believe) LD, or ‘Learning Disabled.’ Ironically enough, I would later be put into GT, or Gifted and Talented (6th grade) and learn the difference between what boiled down to smart people and the rest. Yes, I can say that with a good bit of confidence. That’s later.

Mrs. Arola was my first grade teacher at Brennmar, Mrs. Shermetzler my second and first grade teacher at Ravensworth. All I remember from Shermetzler was that she didn’t like me standing out too much. One day I wore a white glove to class and even stretched it out in front of the kids one morning upon receiving a paper. When it met my white soft velvet gloved hand, Shermetzler said: “What’s with the glove?” I have no idea what I said back. Probably nothing. Felt ashamed. I always took everything WAY too seriously. Columbine shooter kind of geek kid in his infancy I suppose. Eh, those stupid Columbine kids are nothing, fuck em, I grew up on Hitler movies.

My father, interestingly enough, for bettwe or for worse (though we all know it’s for the better 😉 had a very interesting and dichotomous infatuation with ‘The Fuhrer.’

Well, our Fuhrer, Der Fuhrer. Okay. Well, anyway, we weren’t anti-semitic, at all. And I am not one to this day. Some of the most influential people in my life were Jews, and I have no problem with this. Tops Christians anyday.

Despite this, right along with it was my Dad’s big World War II interests coming out of the 1960’s Nuremburg trials. They are quite interesting indeed. My Dad’s Dad was a Colonel in the U.S. Army coming out of WW2 himself. So I can definitely see where the interest path lies to Hitler and the War. My Dad’s most notorious Hitler story from his youth was the time he decided to hang a swastika flag outside his room in his house I beleive on Long Pine Drive, Virginia. It was discovered by The Colenel’s boss I beleive when THE GENERAL came to dinner one night. Great. Must have made em wonder. Eh, oh well, nothing was said I don’t think until after the meal I bet.

Hitler, like the Columbine kids, was confused, creative, and angry at a depression filled country where you could never pay for coffee upon ordering coffee, but only upon leaving the shop cause inflation was so rapid that even 15 minutes not only could change the price, but did, basically every time I think. In those days. 30’s.

It wasn’t just Hitler. My parents, both of them, good ol’ liberals. I didn’t end up that way, but hey, they can’t be perfect right? Heh. Anyway, funny enough, Hitler was my introduction aside from my Dad into the life and mind of the Artist in terms of what I consider now to be genetics. Think Hannibal and his cell of fine cutlured items, his paintings, his wish to peer out a window. I can hear Anthony Hopkins doing Lector now…

“I want a view with water…” Chilling voice. So calm, so rational, yet, underneath…

My Dad yelled. A lot. Spontaneously in terms of our point of view. Perhaps that made for a metaphysics of constant alertness for me. I would later read this was similar for the Vienna based artist as well. 😉

The Themes were this: The relationship of, the fine lines between civility and barbarism, dark genius and altruism. Dynamism vs. Statis identity. As McLuhan says, “The Nazi is tribal.”

I grew up thinking of life on epic terms in the way that an Artist faces the world, and namely the Beurocrat. “Yes, the beaurocrat with his nice tidy desk, doesn’t know what to make of the Artist and his vivi-sectional (living section) view of life…”  -Marshall McLuhan

The story of the Artist is something I began to consider myself with reluctance and at every turn learned that ignoring this would be to my detriment. That’s why I was never pretentious in reality, an Artist is what I figured out who I was.

My mom played into this. I think Ruth Coombs (maiden name) thought I was some sort of Pariah. I swear. That woman treated me like a Price. Spoiled me, oh yeah. It’s a confidence that never goes away. Steve Jobs, I am learning recently was similar that way with, I forget, but I think it was his mom.

Tangent to this: Two of my closest friends would be El Salvadorian and I would learn that there were other mothers like mine, who made their sons into what was beyond ‘momma’s boys.’ I think it might have been the Jewish influence in my family. From my mom. Maybe somewhere down the line the value of knowledge was passed on.

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The Real Protest

“It’s happening now. Not tomorrow.” – David Bowie, Outside 1994

The Gen-Xers are more picky than the companies are. I never knew the change would come through being spoiled, but it has.

Right now I’m doing an all-new IT Recruitment Website and the company I’m doing it for is flabbergasted about an experience they had with a Gen-Xer candidate who turned down like, I believe her ideal job just because the company in question pissed her off. As a result the owner calls me up and says: “I want the website to be catered to YOUR generation.” It was the first time in my web career someone that owned a company really had ‘endowment’ in the right area, if you get my drift.

I’ve been hearing about recruiters having frustrations with younger, generation-x candidates for web, not taking jobs they really ‘should have’ taken. This is so funny. My father and I have the same difficulty.

What did they expect? We’re the instant gratification generation, even more than the baby boom-disposable income kids: the hippies gone yuppies (my Dad) who ended up being forced into a lower standard of living, only to turn the highest standard of living ever known to mankind in all 100,000 or whatever years of human history–over to their kids: us.

I remember what I grew up with: 7-hour Saturday morning cartoons and complaints about not having movie night, every night. Restaurant night, every weekend.

So last year I was 33 and my father walks into my apartment in Crystal City near D.C. and asks why exactly one needs a 70″ LED Screen. I answer with bravado: I don’t need a 70″, I want the wall to be a TV. I want better than 1080p, I want Kinect, Pizza delivery via my Kinect with cable TV going on in the background, beers, vodka, and I won’t work unless it’s from home–even if I can’t pay the bills.

His naive eyes then roll over the XBox, the PS3, the redundant games we bought cause we couldn’t find one or two of them probably still left in our closet, buried. They lay scattered all over the soft carpeted floor, the nicely warmed condo overlooking the city, both our Macs standing on either side of the Monolith HD Screen like sentries or sphinx, forever guarding our feasts. That Steve Jobs would guarantee our freedom from the Corporate consumer life (basically communist in a weird way) into a realer capitalism. I love capitalism. The Unknown Ideal!

Rotten teeth? Who cares. Death? Who cares. As long as we can have our vices our cake, eat it too, then eat Pizza. Were the bravest generation only because of what brats we are. The question is not: “Where is my iPad?” Because the answer is iPad2, not my frickin’ old ass iPad 1 sitting there in the corner. Why not sell it? It’s buried under laundry. Who wants to do the dishes anyway? Not me.

As the late great Marshall McLuhan I will forever constantly site, has foreseen since the 50’s: That with every newer generation, is a newer level of community involvement. This is where capitalism merges with tribalism to become something we’ve never seen embodied in a medium we are but deer in the headlights to. That is, unless you’re me. Ha.

That’s us, that’s Gen-X. I never knew the great decentralizing social change of our era would be due to a child’s resentment of ‘The Man.’

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

How Do You Know When You’re Right?

 Or at least more right, more often than not.

 The answer? By constructing an amendable matrix. Of differing lists.

 Along with the following concepts:

Integration

Subjectivity

Objectivity

Rationality                       MATRIX

Deduction

Induction

Context

Co-Occurrence

The concepts I don’t cover out of not having time to write more, you’re going to have to look up, but most of these are here at least used in a context.

1. I want you to think whether or not you consider yourself a follower or a leader, a conformist or a free thinker.

Okay, got that?

2. Now I want you to make a list of all the things you think of as 100% true in reality.

3. Then list all the things you know for 100% are agreed upon by all of your friends. You might notice that this is a very different list. It should be and would be the more you are a leader. As long as those truths remain rational.

4. Now list all the things you can think of that are ambiguous truths. These must be things in reality you really don’t have much of a clue about.

5. Then list all the things you think are good at. You can even make different lists so long as you identify them with an attribute that connects with reality.

6. Now list all the things you are passionately interested about.

7. Now list all the things you could care less about.

8. Then the things you are completely indifferent to.

9. The extent to which you are surprised is the round about extent to which you are aware or not.

10. Weed out contradictions or suspend them and proactively research the proper relevant information.

11. Combine and group similarities and make the proper conclusions and put them into their respective boxes: i.e. Deduction is the 100% true category. Induction is the ambiguous category.

Experiment by making shorter and longer lists. The point is to make you more aware via cross referencing elements that would never have co-occurred.

Howard Gardnener is his book Frames of Mind, points out that children begin by mere association i.e. Hammer and nail are more similar than hammer and screwdriver. Ayn Rand points out that we later (if we become rational people) move onto abstraction, removing and therefore grasping similarities and differences and then remembering them.

Your brain doesn’t integrate similarities across the board in a wide-scale fashion necessarily, it is extremely easy to default to compartmentalization. This is what the Matrix gives you: regardless of whether one element is right or wrong, the total context as a categorical board that progressively links and groups things together, is called mental integration. It is this that is most severely missing from our cultural understanding.

The question “How do you know when you’re right,” is an important one, but the real question is “How does a fairly rational person live an intelligent life in a culture that is severely and self-confessed to be anti-intellectual and is in fact highly irrational?”

That is the last concept I will give you today to chew on. Make no mistake, I have more often than not wound up correct in more situations than anyone I know, relative to my interests.

Practice Matrix List Making and I guarantee you will learn something substantial about yourself and reality. Keep these lists and even write them up in a program like Excel, Adobe Illustrator, etc. The computer makes it real easy. That is, until I come out with  the cognitive learning software to do it for you 😉

Temporary Like Achilles

It’s hard to know who a traitor is.

“Treason doth never prosper. Why? Because if treason prospered, none dare call it treason.” – JFK, Oliver Stone

The major reigning institution of our time, primarily government dominated corporatism, or oligarchy, a business run society, finds it convenient to pour propaganda into believing in the Achilles tendon approach to life and logic by always going after non-sequitors to debunk claims.

Why?

Well consider that most people you know are probably oriented toward reasoning that looks for anything to disprove any theory. Whether you know it or not. I’ve even been duped by the present form of business and remnant Christendom in the form of skepticism.

That is, the skeptic movement is extremely convenient for big business that depends on making big theories into hash. We don’t see it but it’s there. For the right, the American oligarchy is trying pit the right against the left out of poking ‘holes’ in evolution. For the left, big business is trying to poke holes in anything philosophical that challenges the so-called capitalist story while supporting judeo-christian values in their propaganda. Its kind of like when I saw all of a 4 year old cousin’s Lego set of you know, random houses and people painted all in red white and blue. The advertising agenda had a conservative parental strategy in mind to sell patriotic Lego sets.

I’ve witnessed the veiling of christian ethics in the guise of the real and true science of skepticism, (vs. the philosophy I believe to be inherently flawed) which I believe in good enough numbers, to be a hidden Christian movement, as many skeptics are also former Church goers. Michael Shermer, a former Christian himself and now a leader of the skeptics movement is a poster boy for the allegedly converted atheist. Yet he is extremely populist in Rhetoric and the Things he writes about Tend to be politically motivated, yet, go figure–sound in content. Practically being raised atheist, myself, I see where the interpersonal gaps are.

The truth is not in what we’re saying (cause people will think your crazy) but even the most adamant conservative brainwashed Fox News junky, or conditioned liberal MSNBC monk, will reveal things about how desperate they feel through implicit means such as inflection, but also content, when their living space is under attack. My late grandfather, a very conservative christian former WW2 Colonel railed against corporate clear cutting of forests in Maine, as said, only cause he lived there, but still, it shows what people actually believe once their interests are threatened.

I’ve had 4 close friends pose as Intellectuals who are actually touting status quo religious attitudes. Funny enough, I have to admit I am partially a religious thinker in method. That is, I think the mental process of  rapture is necessary to a healthy epistemology. Another story for another time.

I am not saying that all skeptics are synonymous with Christian values, but that business is profiting off of playing one group against another so that the acquisition of threatening quantities of Capitol are kept at shallow equadistant levels for the common ‘Peasantry.’ According to Michael Moore which I later verified, Citibank group leaked a document describing the American people as ‘Peasantry.’

It’s no secret that those in power consider things from a medieval point of view since their real business is power and force. Global domination. At present I do not see major signs that the global corporate agenda is coming at all exclusively from the right, though it may.

My point here is that people are translating bottom lines into lived philosophy. The bottom line inside the corporate model, is a job in which (unless it’s tech, and most often even then) you must work all of your vital weekly hours inside someone else’s dream of your life. This consumer model environment has been rendered temporary by the advent of the Internet and its decentralization of culture. Meanwhile centralized authority strives to make all countries sit stagnant together, as Chomsky points out, into ‘a low wage equilibrium’ within a blanket of constant war and low scale innovation. He has a tantamount quantity of controlled evidence to support this.

So when a close friend or family tells you that trying to get rich is a pipe dream,they may be correct, or they may not, but don’t ever close the door on any idea because people are telling you it just isn’t gonna happen. What you’re confronting is not an opinion, but very possibly, a conditioned reflex.

Sent from my iPad

The ‘As If’ Tense

Pretending that something has been the case in the ‘as if’ tense as I call it. This means that someone is put up a ‘living straw man’ and role plays (is in denial) of a situation as if it were one case, when its really another. Wow. What logical fallacy is this?