Thursday, July 24, 2014

Downloaded & Outmodded

And it's only 2014!  I've been starting the new Freakonomics book - Think Like A Freak, by Levitt and Dubner, and I'm reminded of just how good the series is.  It was the other who originally put me on to these guys, and I'm forever grateful, because it's introduced me to a new way of thinking.  If you can account for all the variables, you can run a strictly numbers/data game and learn so much about the world.  Once you put aside ethics and human feeling, there's a lot to be ascertained about the world, and it's quite interesting!  The first 2 books in the series were mostly case studies and extrapolations, but the third one in the series blows it wide open by introducing you to the thinking methods behind the methodology.  That's very interesting.  What I've gotten out of it is that conventional wisdom is wrong most of the time.  Very wrong.  So why do we place so much emphasis on it?  There's so much that's unknown, the future is essentially a gamble, and we need to acknowledge that.  But it does make me query the use of heavy statistical analysis and it's applicability.  Perhaps it's because it's using the best data and all the relevant measures?  But yeah, I'll need to change how I view the world.  It'll stop me from getting too caught up in things.  And it also helps where I've gone wrong in the past!  We just don't know!  I don't know!  There, I said it!  Haha!

Guitar ran very well last night!  I need to put away some time for just a long session.  Something that will last longer than 40 minutes or what not.  I want to get my sweep picking chops back.  Although on an acoustic with high action, that's a bit of a tough ask.

It's got me thinking!  With all that's gone on at the moment, there has to be some sort of involvement in the clandestine.  There has to be a way to hit it where it hurts.  But that may all just be fantasy.  Though it shouldn't have to be. 

Can you believe it's almost August?  This year is going quickly.  Too quickly.  Okay, I suppose I better get on with some work today.  And it's getting there, slowly!  After all the brilliance of this week, I'm sort of running on empty here now.  Everything just sort of peters and sputters out at some point, doesn't it?  Even us.  I'm feeling very tired.  Oh crap, I have a long meeting this afternoon, I don't know how I'm going to stay awake for it.

Let's call it a day.

Joaquin out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Winter Sun

Is sometimes harsher than the sun in the middle of summer.  You go to bed, wake up and do it all over again.  Nothing changes, but you get slower as it repeats.  Life just gets away from you, not the other way around.  But I am finding that I'm getting a lot more done.  Just gotta beat the addictions and the jitters and I'll be living much more efficiently.  Guitar has been going swimmingly.  That's all it takes.  Just a few days of solid playing and it all just comes back to you.  It's all in the fingers, it's all in the feel.  Just let it flow!  Hahaha.  Well I've got a lot of work to do today, so I better make this as quick as possible.  Can I be happy with what I have?  How those words have meaning!

Well things are nuts, because I thought there would not be any updates to the Joaquin Rate List (JRL) for some time.  But the more I thought about it, I do have a few names to add!  For those of you not in the know, the JRL is a list (here) that I use to highlight the names of all the women I've found attractive in the entertainment business.  Soon I'll add some pics next to each name.

When you think about it, isn't Insurance really a form of gambling?  You put all this money into something via premiums, and then only in the chance of an unfortunate event are you covered.  But the general idea is a rip off - you get your premiums yes, but when something happens, you also need to pay an excess to be covered!  What?  That's just insane.  If you add up all those costs over your entire lifetime, I'm sure the payout would not come anywhere near close to what you would have saved up over your life from not having to pay these sorts of costs.  It's a strange system I tell you.  Insurance needs to be far more heavily regulated and cost competitive.

There was a troubling story the other day from the site of the MH17 crash in the Ukraine.  There was a photograph of a Russian backed Separatist removing a ring from a corpse, and understandably the world is up in arms about it.  There are a few things all cultures agree on, and one of them is graverobbing.  But what strikes me is the hypocrisy of what's going on.  All soldiers do it.  They collect trophies from their battles and they wig out, because killing people (and being conditioned to enjoy it) is not normal human behaviour.  But what really grinds my gears is when soldiers are guilty of war crimes or massacres and other unspeakable things, all these military tribunals (not real courts) just give them slaps on the wrists, and the public is usually never aware of what happens because they are closed to the media.  Then the military brass typically gives the line that war is a high pressure situation and people sometimes act out, as if it's some sort of justification for doing terrible things.  And the public accepts it and understands it as the price to pay for wearing the uniform?  What a joke!  How can they be angry at the actions of this separatist but not at their own army for doing the same sort of thing (and worse)?  Disgusting on all fronts.

I read that over the past century that humans are growing.  So I'm not insane when I look around and wonder why the kids are getting so much bigger these days!  I'm 173cms, so I'm about worldly average height for a male - definitely not Western average height for a male, which is about 5'10" or whatever.  But I look around and see teenagers who are already at my height (or taller) and still growing!  Apparently it's not to do with evolution, but changes to diet, health trends and hygiene.  Places that are thriving (US and Australia, Britain etc.) tend to generate taller and fatter children, due to the nutrition and what not they're receiving.  But it's a sliding scale, because previously flourishing communities that are experiencing war or changes to agricultural practices will start getting smaller.  That's very interesting, don't you think?

I've talked before about whether immortality is the endgame for God, and the ultimate objective in science.  The same report detailed that various CalTech scientists believe that in the next 30 years, immortality may become possible through science.  What a thought.  But by then, I will be far too old to enjoy the benefits.  If immortality is available then, I choose death.  There are too many strange ethical questions that arise due to immortality.  But maybe I'm applying human values to a thing that should exist objectively - just take the damn thing and live forever.  But resources don't last forever.  We need to find a way to get off this rock, it's the only answer.

Haha, wow!  Ok I was planning to make this short before I got into some work but I've already gotten a fair bit down.  Maybe I can come back to it, who knows.  We'll see.  Can I shine a light on the darkness?  Yes, but objectives and drive need to change.  But things have stagnated a bit.

Apparently lack of sleep creates false memories!  Who woulda thought it possible?  But I suppose it makes sense.  On that note, isn't it interesting that sexual dimorphism is more pronounced in pretty much every other species except humans?  Going out into the animal kingdom, on the whole, females tend to be larger than males.  But not with humans, how very interesting.  How did that evolution come to place? 

It's a crazy world out there!  Example?  Animals who have extra senses than we do.  There's echolocation by bats and dolphins - where you make a noise and track your location by the sound travelling into objects and bouncing back at you.  Then sharks can sense electromagnetic discharge in the water for movement!  That's insane.  I wonder what it would be like to experience that as a human?

This has been a very long day.  I'll keep it there for now.

Joaquin out.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reversal Of Fortunes

Especially when fortune favours the brave.  There's plenty more that could be said there.  What is there to find out?  There's not enough tools at my disposal.  If the game changes, then we could all be left holding the baby. 

There's a lot going on in the world today.  You'd be best placed to try and get an understanding of what's going on.  When you make the mistake of ignoring goings on, things get exacerbated, and you run the risk of it impacting you, and by that stage, you are totally caught off guard.  Take that Ukraine/Russia example with MH17.  Most of the world ignored what was going on with the Crimea annexation, and then had no idea that there was a completely separate matter going on in the Eastern part of Ukraine, which as now unfortunately entered the consciousness of the entire planet.  It works like that for any other conflict or seemingly small politically unstable nations.  So next time you're watching the news (and yes I know it's a depressing activity, considering how the news cycle works, and the news enjoying leading on violent and disturbing content first), just pay a bit more attention as to how it may impact you.  Have a little bit of empathy for others in the world who aren't as fortunate to have your trivial problems.  I've seen this new movement on tumblr which tries to state that trivial problems (or white whine issues) are actually legitimate, and you should be allowed to revel in them.  I call bullshit on that, because it's the first step to putting yourself ahead of others and making your problems seem worse than theirs, and that's the situation we are already in.  We have to be pragmatic and a bit more altruistic to get through this.  No Ayn Rand sympathisers or philosophisers here, thanks.

Can we talk about the Gaza situation objectively?  I don't know, because the media is so heavily divded on the issue.  What's occurring now is an invasion, clearly, but the media has been hesitant to label Israel's actions as an invasion and refer to it as military action.  That's not right.  We don't need to unpack the entire Middle Eastern conflict, because that's going to be impossible, because there's a lot of complexities and sensitivities involved.  For those who are not playing along at home, the Jewish people have a historical and spiritual connection to the land in Israel, stretching back many thousands of years.  Gradually, they spread out and immigrated to other areas, as people tend to do as they thrive.  After the nightmare that was World War 2, the survivors of the holocaust were not repatriated back to Europe (I don't know why, since that's where they were all from), and Britain and the US decided to carve up land in the precursor to Palestine and dump these people in a land where there were already other people living stateless and unprotected.  Then of course there's the religious tension, and political climate, and things are not going well.  Israel keeps expanding into territory that is not theirs.  They have a heavily militarised system, bordering on something reflecting ancient Sparta, with mandatory military service, to a very high level of skill.  This means military action is mandated and sanctioned by the State.  Whereas in Palestine, it's a fringe group of idiots being Hamas and Fattah which are the ones causing the problems and shooting rockets at civilian settlements.  So how can the Government or innocent people be responsible for that?  Whereas it is the Government of Israel who is responsible for the deaths of civilians in Palestine.  That cannot be termed as self defence.  What sickens me is that the descendants of those who survived the holocaust don't recognise the disgusting irony in the discrimination, land grabbing, dispossession and murder as the wheel turning again.  But because of the historical context, no Western government is willing to speak up and call out this ridiculous massacre for what it is.  Will the world wake up to what's going on?  Or will you turn right over to the tv page?

I've been trying to get back into guitar, but I've realised that I've lost a fair bit of skill in terms of playing faster and more complicated riffs.  Was playing some Megadeth last night, and I had some serious issues with Marty Friedman's second solo on Hangar 18 (despite it being something I used to be able to play), as well as the rhythm section on Holy Wars...the punishment due.  Might need to actively start practising. 

Wow, there's just so much going on today, it's nuts!  Just what is going on there?  It's a weird, weird world out there.

Have you heard about the concept that 10,000 hours is all it takes to become truly masterful at something?  To be a world champion?  I wonder if that's true?  Does it need to be focused training or just forced attempts to become good?  I've already touched on this as to whether geniuses are made, not born, with my previous post on Judit Polgar.  There needs to be more research in this area because it's utterly fascinating.  We could change the face of learning and education with the discoveries. 

I've always been in wonderment about the Superannuation scheme in Australia.  Whoever thought of the idea was a genius, but probably didn't look into the unintended consequences (I suspect).  Short sighted public policy dictated that the Australian Government made all employers contribute anywhere the equivalent of 9-15% of an employee's salary to be stashed away with a superannuation fund.  After the employee hits the retirement age, they pay 30% tax (a concessional amount) and can collect a lump sum, or get it paid as a pension.  That's fair enough, I guess they're protecting the workers.  But that's ridiculous.  If employers didn't have to pay this amount, they could increase actual salary payments, and people could enjoy better quality of life now.  Probably nowhere near the 9-15% that Super is, but even half of that would be fine as a salary increase.  Super protects the fiscally stupid and irresponsible.  If they burned through their money during their life, they will be ok when they retire.  It doesn't promote fiscal responsibility when people are younger.  But that's not my biggest gripe.  My issue is that these super funds (the organisations that manage the funds on behalf of employees) control such ridiculously massive amounts of cash, that they basically control all major investment in the country.  All major pieces of infrastructure and assets are owned by cartels of superfunds, with all the cash to spend.  Then when they get into property investment, they are encouraging price gouging and the artificial raising of real property.  It's ridiculous, because it pushes prices up.  And who profits?  The Government of course.  Taxes, levies, and the ability to have a willing buyer to any short sighted idea to sell public assets.  It has flow on effects for the rest of the economy, because the trickle down impact is that the ordinary people like you and I get screwed over.  It's something that needs to change.

Ahh we are pseudo-intellectuals here!  90 Minutes to go, I can do this! 

I've been reading that a lot of homegrown terror arrests in the United States are usually carried out with the FBI's direct input.  Ergo, the FBI are directly involved in entrapment and setting people up to be arrested for this sort of thing.  That's highly illegal and unconstitutional.  But the problem is that since there are draconian laws in place due to national security arrangements during this period of heightened fear and stupidity, so the collaborators are all anonymous, and can't be called on to be cross examined by defence lawyers.  Isn't it strange that there's a whole issue of self fulfilling prophecies for these security agencies?  They're basically planting ideas and schemes in people's heads to commit crimes, then arresting them just before committing the act.  Of course they're justifying their own existence, and it's a perpetual cycle of idiocy.  Do you know why the Tsarnev Boston Marathon plot succeeded (I mean it in the figurative, obviously it was a horrible, disgusting act)?  Because there was no FBI involvement, they committed it of their own will.  But I've read so many stories of plots being foiled right at the last minute due to the work of 'dedicated agencies'.  Well now I know that's a load of crap.  They're setting people up and throwing them away for the rest of their lives.  This sort of thing needs to be made public.

Well will you look at this?!  It's been a stupidly productive day here.  It might not be this great for the rest of the week.

Isn't it weird that in most popular music, the tendency is to rhyme words?  This is true regardless of culture or language.  What an interesting concept!

Anyway, it's been good.  I'm very worn out and I need some rest.  Surely this has been one of the biggest point filled posts ever? 

Joaquin out.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Melody Has Left Me

Sometimes I think that there are not enough hours in the day.  And then I realise that there is way too many hours in the day.  Time when I don't know what the hell is going on.  That makes me irrelevant.  And I know it's not me, it's everyone else.  I may my ideas.  I know what I'm doing.  There's a lot being said.  But there's nothing left to say when they need to be said.  It's a strange feeling.  I almost blogged on the weekend, cause I was in a weird mood.  But I didn't get a chance, so I'm sorry. 

These days are passing by quickly.  But I am more productive and getting a lot of things done.  All, we , you, us, me.  Does it grate?  Maybe I can't even read.  The world is moving on, and I just want to let go, and not let anything connect. 

I'm just looking to take it easy today.  3 hours to go!  Can this day be over already?  I've got things to do work wise, but I will get to them later on. 

Competition really is the best motivator.  But I'm not really being challenged in any facet of my life right now. 

And it's done.

Joaquin out.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The World Turns, As The World Burns

Just for us to repeat the mistakes of the past in a different age, in different contexts, but always with the same consequences.  As I went to bed last night and woke up this morning, I was wondering what I would blog about today.  Well, it looks like that's already been answered for me.  Looks like there's been some crazy goings on in the world over the past few hours.  It wasn't just a dream, a Malaysian Airlines flight has been shot down over Ukrainian airspace, by what looks to be Russian Rebels/Separatists.  MH17 looks to add to the pre-existing tragedy that was MH370.  What makes this worse is that we seem to have a clearer indication of what happened, as opposed to MH370, where we are completely in the dark about what occurred.  That seemed to touch everybody's conscience in some way.  How does a plane just disappear in these times with all of our technology?  I'm sure we'll get our answers some day, but not any time soon.  I wonder what the answer will be?  But moving back to the recent happenings, a flight from Amsterdamn to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over the Ukraine, with about 300 people on board, no survivors have been accounted for.  The Russians are blaming the Ukrainians and the Ukrainians are blaming the Russians.  President Putin has placed the blame on the Ukraine, by saying that airspace above the Ukraine is their responsibility, and it is the Ukraine that has been responsible for re-engaging with separatists in military maneouvres.  What a load of crap, we have damning evidence of Russian intel talking to the separatists about shooting down a plane, and a little while before that, the separatist army showed they had recently acquired surface to air missiles.  They are funded by the Russians, they are backed by the Russians, probably so that there can be a return to a USSR like power of yesteryear.  Putin does nothing to show any remorse here, he is looking more like a psychotic monster with each media engagement, and I'm doing my best to separate the government from the people, but how can his approval be so big across Russia?  Something doesn't make sense. 

But odds are this is a Russian act, and it would most likely be tantamount to an act of war.  So in a conflict that practically no Australians cared about, it has ended up claiming about 27 Australian lives.  Funny how the world works like that.  We are living in an ever smaller world.  What affects your neighbours will affect you too.  But how will the world respond to this?  You can't just go in and bomb someone because you don't like what their military did.  Let's not forget that it's not the first time that an army has shot down a passenger jet.  The Americans and Israelis and Koreans have done it plenty of times, and there was never any retaliation for it, so for there to be one now, is entirely hypocritical.  It's like something out of the pre-amble to a Call of Duty game.  Modern Warfare 5 perhaps?  We need to start paying more attention to these seemingly far away conflicts. 

There are some questions.  What were Russians doing in possession of the surface to air missiles?  Did they know how to fire them?  Why was MH17 flying so low over Ukraine airspace?  Why do planes even fly over warzones?  Who is going to be paying compensation?  Will the Americans man up and actually call this an act of terrorism (which it is), or will they just say it's an accident and refuse to label anyone because we all know that Americans can't consider anyone a terrorist unless they're muslim.  The world edges closer to crisis point.  What do we do?

What's it doing to me?  I don't know, it doesn't tell me what I need to know...or does it?  I'm a little concerned, but there's always something in motion.  I'm left stranded in the dark.  Shine a light on everything you do. 

I read on the Guardian this morning that blogging is referred to as a dying thing.  Most people are on social media preferring to talk about content created by other people.  I guess that's definitely true.  Social media is considered play, while blogging is very niche and could be considered work.  But as pointed out in that article, it is very cathartic and therapeutic.  It's essentially an online diary.  How it became blog and not on-ry is beyond me!  Well it may be dying off as people get older and find less time to post, and children being more focused on social media.  But I'll be here!  I'll be blogging, you can count on that.  Anarchy Inside My Mind will not die until I do.  In terms of the other?  Who knows? 

Yowza, this one is getting somewhere pretty quickly.  2 hours to go! 

It's been good.

Joaquin out.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tell Them Stories

Totally plagiarised from another source, and I don't even care!  What are you going to do about it?  So much incompetence in the world.  I really need to wake up in the morning, but lately I've just stopped giving a toss.  It'd be refreshing, but only if I didn't have to go to work.  Am I missing something completely?  Cause it could be staring me right in the face.  There's no such thing as opportunity unless you grab it right in the face.  Or punch it right in the face.  There's no resolution yet.  But there will be.  It's all about the same words, the same concepts, the same feelings.  How is anything like that happening?  It makes no sense in the passivity of it all.  Is that even a word??  It doesn't matter, I make up my own rules here.  I have a picture in my mind, maybe it's becoming clearer. 

So when do I begin the blog intro/retrospective?  Probably next month, it'll give me a clear month of reading before the actual 10 year anniversary hits.  The look of the blog won't change, but I'll do my best to get rid of the Disqus comment system to make it easier to comment on posts and what not.  But no guarantees, cause it looks like some pretty significant coding, and I don't possess the other's skill in programming.

There's a new law being introduced into Australian Parliament that allows journalists to be prosecuted for reporting on leaked government/spy documents.  What an absolute load of crap!  This is not democracy!  This is pretty much a dictatorial fascist regime!  This is not free speech.  Some idiots commented on the articles saying that the laws are justified because in WW2, what if the press had reported on allied plans to assassinate Hitler, or to invade Europe?  Well it's not the same at all, that was somewhat pragmatic and not a national security issue.  Governments back then were not actively subverting their constitutions to spy on their own people or violate rights.  What's going on now is totalitarian and absolutely wrong.  Journalists have every right to report on this kind of subversion and all the war crimes that are occurring right now.  They need to be exposed.  The public deserve to know.  Unlike our Attorney-General, George Brandis (aka inhuman monster who loves to protect racists and government spying thugs), who believes that people's rights are not inalienable.  Nobody should be supporting this law, and we need to let our politicians know.

That brings me to another point.  There's a petroleum deposit North West of Australia near East Timor.  The day after East Timor gained Independence, we signed a treaty to allow geographical water boundaries to be re-drawn, so that Australia could lay claim to that petroleum, despite it being far out of reach of our jurisdiction.  This is incredibly troubling, and goes to our role in South East Asia and the South Pacific islands.  It's no secret we contribute a lot of aid to our less well off neighbours, but in return there is a lot of political spying and cultural imperialism that comes with it.  We have maintained friendly governments, helped put down foreign rebellions (that actually were looking after the best interests of the people), so that we can maintain a stranglehold on the poorer nations nearby, so we can claim their resources, keep them unstable, and stop them migrating to our country to seek a fairer, better life.  The genesis of our spy agencies lies in East Timorese indepdence, where we were essentially playing all sides - Indonesia and East Timor.  Australia cannot stand up to direct confrontation with Indonesia, so was obviously working covertly to ensure independence, but also wanted to ensure that we had access to this petroleum deposit.  Australians died during that campaign - journalists, we knew about it and still kept quiet (I'm referring to the Balibo Five and Roger East).  But all was covered up to help smooth relations with Indonesia, and to placate the East Timorese.  There's no justice is there?

There needs to be some sort of release, doesn't there?  Addiction is a tough thing to beat.  But I'm reading, and days are just passing.  One at a time.  There will be a time.  I can make it so.  And the panic attacks are back.  Great.

Joaquin out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Reppin' The Hoofnagels

Don't even get me started on that, because I don't know what I mean.  Wednesday is quickly becoming the worst day of the week.  I'm more fatigued than Tuesday, and on top of that, despite it feeling like it's Thursday, it's only Wednesday, and there's still literally 3 days to get to until I can relax.  Got into a bit of guitar last night and I played terribly, but that was to be expected.  I'll keep at it.  Boy, I really need some sleep.  Getting this old has really struck me from out of nowhere.  I can't stay up as long as I used to, lack of sleep really impacts my entire week, rather than just the morning, it takes much longer to recover from exercise than it used to.  And that's it, I've physically peaked.  It's all over from here.  Confidence and paranoia, you might say.

It's been a busy morning, but I'll try to let it slide this afternoon so I can blog a bit more, and then from tomorrow I'll probably be busy again.  Nothing like a pay week to lift the spirits.  That's all I'm living for, to get paid. 

There's been a big uproar about Google Glass and the supposed impacts on privacy.  This has lead to a lot of people in the San Francisco area being assaulted if they're out and about wearing them.  I think this is just people being silly and afraid of new technology (as per usual).  Your privacy is already being invaded by the Government - think NSA spying, wire tapping, info dumping and what not, and then CCTV and surveillance cameras everywhere.  It's not the same world it was 20 years ago, let me tell you!  But at least with Google Glass, you can learn things and it can enhance new experiences.  If you're so retentive about the privacy issues, why aren't you beating up cyclists and sports people who wear Go Pro cameras?  They're in public areas and they are filming you go about your activities!  At least with Google Glass you have an internet connection and you're getting real world data, but the Go Pro exists solely to record things!  Double standard, perhaps?

Look at yourself.  How you are you.  There's the external, the defineable, and then there's what's inside, which is always shaped by environmental factors and nurturing.  Yes, there are elements of your physiology that shape your personality, but to what extent?  We don't know.  Or at least, we can't say for sure.  Take a drop of your blood, for example.  It contains the entire portion of your DNA, replicated many times over.  It pretty much determines what you will look like, what your health will be like, what your predisposition to diseases are and so on.  Why haven't we done DNA mapping for all of humanity?  I know we've mapped the human genome (or at least started), but I fear that genetic testing is something that will be reserved solely for the rich and powerful, and it will never affordably fall into the hands of those who need it most.  If we poured our resources into something like this, it would be truly monumental, no other scientific endeavour in the history of humanity would come close to matching it.  But instead of inspiring our curiosity and better natures by engaging in something like this, instead we waste money and lives on things like wars and conjured up conflicts to remain in power.  The fact is this, if you support any war, you are being duped by your Government and you are a moron.  There's no 2 ways about it.  Humanity as a whole needs to do better if we stand a chance.

There's a lot of talk about finding life in other parts of the Universe and how it will validate humanity's own feeling of loneliness and isolation.  There's things like SETI and the Voyager 1 project which are all about the search for extra terrestrial life.  I'm not so sure how wise that is.  Why would we want to advertise ourselves to anyone else out there?  We have great resources, and why do we assume aliens will be anything remotely like us?  Professor Stephen Hawking realises this, and he is aware that we are a pretty terrible species.  We would probably go to war with or harm aliens, and they would most likely wipe us out.  We are pretty pathetic in the grand scheme of things, so it makes no sense to actively seek out these beings that may destroy us.  The universe is big, so just randomly stumbling upon us is almost impossible, but advertising our existence makes it somewhat probable.

Just need to eke out some time before I can get out of here.  Just under 2 hours to go.  Ahhhhhh!  So long! 

Let's call it here.

Joaquin out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Darubel Winds Up In Hell

Spoiler alert.  I don't know who or what Darubel is, but it does sound pretty cool.  I guess we're slightly with the program today.  I slept, not as much as I wanted to, but it's still better than the previous night.  At least I'm functional enough to get some work done today.  The routine commences again and this is what I was warned about.  I suppose I should get back on that point.  It's been too long without guitar.  Maybe I've forgotten how to play.  I'll get back into it tonight and see. 

There's a big thing in America about Cops and how there's a real public hatred of them, which is somewhat caught up in right wing propaganda about being anti police and anti military.  This has been attributed to the increased amount of cop shootings (by civilians) over the past year.  I think it's due to the tyrannical nature of police in most Western countries.  They act like they are the law.  No, they are there to enforce it.  Just because you are given a badge and a gun does not mean you are above society.  Everyone is accountable to the rules.  Fear leads the way, of course, and these macho idiots (anyone can become a cop), presume everyone to be a potential criminal.  That's not right, that's not how you're meant to help society.  Police brutality, unjustified shootings and surveillance has gotten out of hand everywhere.  They're like a Gestapo unto themselves, to the point where a lot of the time, even the politicians don't even know what the police are doing.  Then who are they accountable to?  Of course society is going to decide that enough is enough and they will lash out.  The net result will be police dying, and nobody will care.  Hopefully they will recruit less people, and common sense can start to reign supreme in law and order.

Everything always comes as a bit of a surprise.  There's too many attachments.  Too many things keeping me grounded.  Not grounded, crushed under the weight of no expectations.  I suppose I should do a bit of work this morning.

With that out of the way, I recall telling you all that we tend to pick our friends based on personal attractiveness.  Essentially, we are friends with people who are about as attractive as we are.  Don't get me started on the 'ugly best friend' syndrome, because that's a statistical outlier.  But now I've read that our friends are actually genetically similar to ourselves!  How is that possible?  Well race is not really that much of a function of genetics (well it is to a degree), but not as much as we all think.  You could be more genetically similar to someone of a different race, than to someone who looks very similar to you.  So there's an element of gene protection and propagation going on there.  How interesting!  Science, you're a very strange beast.  We don't do enough work on genetic traits do we?  I guess it's all considered taboo in light of World War 2 and eugenics and all that jazz.  I guess we always take things too far. 

I better write this down now before I lose it to the ether of time, but one of my favourite memories was when I was a child, out at some mall with my parents well into the evening (as usual), when I saw the latest Where's Wally Book.  I think it may have been the third in the proper series, and I wanted it so bad!  So I got it and I spent the next month just finding everything in that book.  It was one of the ones with Wally, his girlfriend, the wizard, the dog, Odlaw, and the scrolls and the books!  Man there was so much.  I loved that book a lot!  Good times.

I go back to something the other said in one of his first blog posts (most likely referencing song lyrics) - the land of the free?  Whoever told you that is your enemy.  So true.

Let's call it a day.

Joaquin out.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Looking For A Place

To rest my weary head.  I'm zoning out, I'm totally losing the plot over here.  And soon like me, you'll be bleeding cash.  Just who are these people?  I'm in no shape to face the world.  It's all getting a bit existentialist and fatalist up in my head right now.  Can I just keep my eyes down and the time will just pass like that and it'll all be over?  It's all just a bit too much, you know?  It all just goes down.  Can I just go home and sleep?  That's all I want to do. 

The government has some weird idea of having an online system to manage all your interactions with the Government.  I don't know how safe that kind of system is, considering how unsafe everything online is generally, but because government systems are never safe from tampering.  And then what?  Would the Government pay damages?  I don't think so.  Is the free market really free?  I don't think so, because you can't trade all items.  There'll always be a black market for things, and under free trade, Governments still profit at the expense of the other party.  How does that make sense?  It's against the spirit of the agreement.

Am I passing the Turing test?  I don't think I am.  At least I can pretend to be working.  Why am I doing this?  Why am I even here?  Non-existence has to be better than this.  I'm seriously done with all of this.  I'm really struggling.  I need to sleep.  How am I meant to get through the next 5 and a half hours?  This is pure torture.

I think I'm starting to hallucinate, or just see things.  No normal thoughts going on here. 

Are there people with skills out there?  I just want to ask the question and make things happen.  Is there nobody like that around?  If there is, this is not where I need to be, because they're not here.

Can this day be over already?!  Please?!  You pay for the views here.

Joaquin out.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Watching For Plot Holes

But there's not even one single thread of narrative to keep this story on course.  Does it begin the next day?  I'm not Eastbound and down, at least not yet anyway.  Will attempt to get some serious blogging out of the way today.  Yesterday I was just in a weird mood.  Though it should be exacerbated somewhat more now, I'm feeling strangely fine.  Is my life being watched for plot holes?  Go ahead.  Watch me, I pity the person who has to sift through this jumbled mess. 

It's been one hell of a morning!  My own laziness has caught up to me and bit me right on the ass.  I have so many blognotes to write about, but I also have a fair bit of work to do, and on top of that, I'm leaving early.  So let's just get down to it!

I read a great article this morning about how racism and government stupidity are the real threats to national security.  I 100% agree with that, and I believe it was on the Huffington Post (though I could be mistaken).  What really struck me is that people are more concerned about what could eventually happen to the rest of them - i.e. that the government will start being as unfair to the entire population as compared to the normal profiling and spying on ordinary citizens at the moment.  So at the moment, most of them are apathetic and don't even care about the racism and fear that's being generated at the moment.  They support it to a degree, and they want to continue surveillance on their own citizens as long as they're Muslim.  That's utterly ridiculous, because I read that the goal of the NSA is to have data on all people, and through that, be able to control the population.  It's not that far-fetched, which is scary, because it sounds like the punchline to a bad conspiracy theory joke.  These agencies are taking more taxpayer dollars every single year to spy on its own citizens, concoct lies, engage in illegal and unconstitutional conduct, cover it up, and brand those who point out their behaviour as traitors, and expect to get away with it.  And you know what?  The Government is gutless to stop them.  They are just snowballing things to justify their own existence.  To me, that's a threat to national security.  They are giving justification to silly terrorists who believe they are being unfairly targeted.  This helps them swell their recruitment and the cycle continues.  Well if you don't care about what happens to your neighbours, just wait, they will be coming to extradite you next, as soon as you disagree.

But that story also went to show me the ignorance of the people, Americans are so blind to their own system of fascism, that the hypocrisy literally astounds me.  I'm basically lost for words.  They care about freedom and liberty, and the first thing they want to justify now is breaking the laws, acting unjustly, taking away people's freedom and liberty, because let's face it, deep down, they truly believe that rich white Americans are the only ones who can be Americans, or normal, and everyone else is on the outer and doesn't belong there.  The comments in support of citizen surveillance without warrants was mind-blogging.  This is why news stories shouldn't allow comments.  Why does news have to be interactive?  So every Tom, Dick and Harry can give their 2 cents?  If they want to comment, start a blog, have a political rally, start a bloody discussion.  They don't make the news, so they shouldn't have to open their uneducated, uninformed mouths. 

Well it all just goes to show that the NSA and other spying agencies are bad people.  It's not just this military industrial complex, but other areas of Government.  I'm talking about the regulators.  If they are told to carry out policy that is discriminatory, unlawful and unjust, they should refuse to carry it out.  Where's the guts of people?  They need to get back at politicians and bad policy makers, and make them understand that there's a limit to this sort of bad behaviour.  But just like Nazi Germany, people are complicit through apathy, and not asking questions, not getting angry about what happens to their fellow citizens.

I also read today (damn I've been doing a lot of reading) that Australian teenage girls are among the most financially literate in the world.  I don't find that hard to believe.  Their parents are usually more wealthy, and have bucketloads of disposable income to pass along to their children.  So if you're cashed up, of course you're going to be literate in this sort of stuff.  I remember when I was that age, I didn't have a job.  My folks would say they would pay for things if I needed them, but I never asked for anything, cause I didn't need it.  Of course I learned all my financial literacy after I got a job.

Is it true that guys get better looking as they get older?  I wouldn't know?  But it's definitely not true for women!

What's the deal with that news story about that American cheerleader who went missing, after leaving a note saying she was either missing or dead, and something bad must have happened to her?  Well they apparently found her in a Mall the other day, nothing wrong with her or anything.  But they were so scared that it was related to sexual trafficking and what not, and there was a manhunt and all the things associated with a pretty white girl going missing.  We don't know what went on, but considering the facts surrounding her 'rescue' it's most likely a cry for help, and it takes attention away from real sexual trafficking and kidnapping issues in the world, because it usually happens to ethnic women.  But once it's a white girl in trouble?  Oh stop the presses, we must do what we can to find her!

Are you familiar with the chess player Judit Polgar?  She's a Grandmaster who was trained since she was young to be a chess champion.  Her father was of the opinion that geniuses are made, not born.  Well she's been the strongest player in women's chess for a long time, and she's defeated all the major male champions at one time or another.  This gives some credence to her father's theory, but I've always wondered this.  Is intelligence a genetic trait?  Some dumb parents have smart kids, but also vice versa.  It's way too hard to tell.  I just don't know, but I think there should be more research into these areas. 

Who are these idiots from fields such as the military and the police force who believe in the hierarchy?  Just because someone outranks you doesn't mean they know what they're talking about, and that sure as hell doesn't mean you should listen to them.  Idiots, all of them.

Ahhh good effort I say!  Though there's a lot to get tonight and over the weekend.  We'll leave it here.

Joaquin out.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Rejoining The Action

Back into the fold.  I'm sort of with the program today, but don't have a whole lot I need to get done.  Getting back into reading and guitaring.  My creative output continues unabated.  It's almost scary.  I've never had this level of productivity in anything before.  I guess you really can re-train your brain to do whatever you need.  That's promising stuff.  But it really is dependent on you realising this and actively taking steps to ensure there's enough elasticity in your brain to shape the neural pathways properly.  Learn some new tasks!  Keep learning, and don't let things settle and become stagnant, it's not good for the brain.

Because it's not me, that's why.  That's reason enough, and there does not need to be any other justification.  It was longer than I thought.  I'll listen to those words, and I know what's required.  Oh wow, has it been this long already?  The iron is hot.  Or at least it was, a long time ago.  I feel like watching some movies.  Just lounging about and doing nothing.  This is a nicely wasted life.  I haven't played a computer game in ages!  I don't even remember the last time I was on Steam.  Just a few minutes of casual gaming on my phone is all I get these days.  But hey, that's ok.  Everything just seems to be in disarray, there's some level of 'non focus' that pervades everything.  I'm not sure what it is. 

What is there to talk about today?  My other thoughts are stunted.  What is there to be angry about?  What is there to tell you?  Too much, all at once, obviously!  What the hell am I going to do with the rest of the day? 

These days, there's a whole teenage rights movement - in that we need to listen to and respect what a lot of teenagers have to say.  I think on the whole, that's a dumb idea.  Children and teenagers are idiots, most of the time.  Teenagers are so pent up full of rage and confusion, they believe in their misguided arrogance that they know everything! What use is that to anyone?  Yes, they're people, and shouldn't be discounted, so listen to them.  But apply some logic and empathy simultaneously.  I'm almost 30 and I'm wise enough to know that I don't know a damn thing.

I learned how to play poker and chess not that long ago.  It's interesting, considering most people learn how to play these games as children.  There's a whole exciting world of strategy and tactics there.  Odd calculation and pot odds and stuff like that is a bit outside my mental faculties for now.  I like to just play the cards I have.  But even then, I haven't played either game in a very long time.  I'm sure I've lost all the skill I once had.

Is man's ultimate objective immortality?  Can we really cheat death?  If that's the case, is that how we destroy religion?  If the fear of death and the unknown is gone, what use is there for God?  Can we improve ourselves to the point where we become transhuman?  There was a tv show ages ago called Spellbinder 2, where Kathy goes to a place where the residents obtained immortality, at the cost of the ability to reproduce.  It raised a lot of interesting questions about boredom, life, existence, and mastery over all the skills in humanity. 

I'd like to be able to just focus and write.  But the damage is done.

Joaquin out.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Beautiful Horizon

But the entire sky is grey.  Seriously, it's overcast and weird out there.  And the mercury on the dial just drops from here on out.  I read a good quote yesterday, which I suspect was from Roger Ebert, where he said that for a man, when he is young he is concerned with politics and social causes.  Then when he enters middle age, he is concerned with the existential and the metaphysical.  Then when he is old, he turns to his own life for answers to questions.  How right that is.  But I guess I'm stuck somewhere between youth and middle age?  I don't have that many memories to rely on.  Or I 'm just not willing to explore that.

Wow, it's been a busy day, but I don't know what I've accomplished.  Tomorrow should bode better. 

Joaquin out.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Metaphysical Files

But I bet you live in denial.  I wanted to talk about so much today, but now that I'm here and typing, I'm just drawing blanks.  That's okay though, we'll just plod along as usual.  What I'm concerned about in this day and age is education.  There's so much emphasis on the wrong things, and the actual way we learn and assess things is completely wrong.  The tests for intelligence are completely arbitrary and culturally imperialistic.  But picture this, we study for things that we have covered over that learning period, but then come exam time, we are usually tested on something we've never covered before.  If we haven't had time to evaluate how other principles can be related or tested in other settings, then of course nobody is going to do well.  And then come the inevitable bad marks, and people lose motivation for studying.  So many people drop out of school in High School and College, and it's terrible.  The will to learn, the drive and innovation and creativity and inherent curiosity of their nature has been beaten out of them through attrition and bad teaching.  Learning is mocked, treated as the 'nerd's game' while others chase frivolous pursuits.  I think society would be better served if we changed how we view education, and how children are taught.  Learning should be for learning's sake, not for assessment and rankings.  Then comes the other end of the spectrum, where schools progress people without proper teaching.  There's so many adults out there who lack basic literacy and numeracy skills.  How could this not have been picked up or addressed when they were still in primary school?  The system has failed them.  Let's not talk about the bridge between private and public education, but there's something wrong.  Class sizes are too big, teachers are underpaid (and they're usually not entirely skilled).  And disruptive students rule the roost.  This is probably different in the US, where I imagine the drunken jockocracy rules the roost.

If it's a lie, then I'll believe the lie, but at least I'll feel better.  I wanna get metaphysical, metaphysical, I wanna get!  Well I did, until I totally forgot what my point was going to be.  Things seem to alternate between guitar, politics, and education on this blog.  Well they're pretty major themes in my life, aren't they?  Well that and whole load of other crap.  Am I stronger now than I ever have been?  There's no way of knowing that.  In fact, there's a whole lot of things I don't know.  The clock is winding down and I wonder if it's all just a bunch of idle loose change, just stuck in a maze.  And there's no way out. 

Is there a greater purpose?  Who are all these people?  Sometimes my life just feels like less interesting version of the Truman Show.  None of this can be real, it feels like a big hoax, but I sort of know it is?  How can that be right?  You can explain what something is, very easily, but you can hardly explain what something means. 

It would be better to not be connected to anything, because you must let everything go at some point. 

There is an easy middle ground in Australian politics.  The Conservative party here is just whacko, and they are the absolute worst of 1950's conservative tropes.  Women as housewives, poor as useless slaves, and minorities/ethnic people as enemies to be feared.  The issue with the current 2 party system is that the liberal party (which is comically known has the Labor party) is so aligned with the Trade and Worker Unions, that it cannot be objective in workplace issues.  All of the big wigs from that party are all former Union heavyweights, and when they retire, they handpick others from past jobs to take their place.  This leads to a very 'friend for friend' attitude, and of course the best person for the task never gets the role.  So when their reputation is preceded by their work in the unions, how can they effectively govern?  Besides Criminal Law, the next cornerstone of a society in an industrialised world is Employment and Workplace Law.  It governs how all workers operate in light of their employment.  Employees already have the upper hand, because they're the ones paying the cheques, overworking employees and in other cases, underpaying them.  But sometimes unions go too far in terms of what they want, so who will protect the employer and provide a common sense approach?  Certainly not the Labor government.  And certainly not the Coalition, who seek to protect the employers at all expenses of the worker.

Ahh here's the metaphysical!  It struck me while I was out at lunch.  Is there an inherent balance to life?  Just say you had the power to bring the dead to life, would something else need to die in order to maintain that balance?  We operate in such a narrow field of view, we can only see such a slim shade of reality (that is our own), and there's still so much out there which we're not aware of.  If you could reverse time, would it need to be fast forwarded somewhere else, considering it's a circular concept?  But all of this is predicated on there being balance.  What if there is none, and this is all just a random collection of events and memories that are all just doomed to be lost in the ether?  How terrifying. 

In all cultural portrayals of Death as a humanoid figure, it's almost always evil.  Why is that?  Death is a natural part of life.  It belongs with life.  Life cannot exist without death.  Are the answers in my memories?  Where is home?  Some weird things are going to happen, I suspect.

Joaquin out.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Should Have Known

Should have grown.  But left looking clueless anyway.  You just have to speak up when you get the opportunity, or at least create your own.  I've cut my nails and I'm playing like a genius.  I'm scaring myself with my own creativity here.  Whenever I've picked up my guitar, something new and interesting is coming out.  I've never been so productive or prolific on anything besides blogging!  It's good to see.  I guess all that practice is paying off, considering I've been playing for a pretty long time now.  Though, considering how far I've come, I don't think I would change a thing about my practice schedule or methods.  I guess I should have just started performing in public much earlier.  Damn it, I just remembered that last night before I was drifting off to sleep, I came up with the best lyrics I've ever thought of, and I thought to myself that I should write it down.  Alas, I did not, and now they're lost in the ether. 

I get in to work and realise that I don't have a lot to do today.  So let's see how much I can blog.  For those of you who think Australia is a bastion of freedom and fairness and laid back goodness, think again.  Australia is a ridiculously expensive place, that it's so tough for those who are just below middle class to survive.  I've talked about health care and taxation and the inequities built into the system (which are indicative of any Western nation).  What kind of system is fair where the biggest earners are the ones paying the least amount of tax?  CEOs and Managing Directors of massive companies pay less tax than their Secretaries, is that right?  Then the companies themselves, who flaut international laws and tax regimes in order to pay minimal tax (if they even pay).  Let me use a common example here, car registration.  Cars are expensive enough on their own, but registration itself is ridiculous.  You'd think renewals would be cheaper for registration, but the silly system in place in some jurisdictions just makes it insane.  If your car is insured for comprehensive stuff, which would cost about $650 per year, approximately, you have to pay additional compulsory third party coverage in addition to your registration.  Registration itself is okay, it's usually in the realm of $350 per year, but the third party stuff is insanely ridiculous - it's an additional $550 per year!  So for insurance, registration (with the third party stuff built in) it's $1,550 per year!  You can buy a second hand car for that kind of price!  It's absolutely stupid.  I could live with it if there were actual other side benefits, but the cost of public transport always rises (for a service that is not effective), and the state of the roads (at least in my city) is horrible!  There's always roadworks, traffic backed up everywhere and the roads are degrading.  And they're taking my money why?!  And it makes no sense, because a car depreciates in value as it ages, but the renewal cost will always be the same (or it will increase with the insurance premium).  Let's add to that the stupid idea of stamp duty (WHAT THE HELL) and concepts such as a luxury car tax!  That's right, in Australia, if you buy a car over $60,000, the government will charge you an additional premium because they think you're rich!  What gouging of the public.

This all harkens back to a bigger problem - just bad government.  I don't believe in a two party system anywhere, because that's not real democracy.  They conservative and liberal governments in Australia have stupid policies.  You just can't avoid them, there's no common sense or thought given to the long term.  Can we have better?  We deserve better! 

Damn, overall this has been a very lazy day.  Things are a little bit sketchy.  But let's call it a day.  I want to just turn to mind off and sleep.

Joaquin out.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Science v. Love

Does love conquer common sense or the bigger picture or the greater good?  I think so.  But we must be wary of how Hollywood and popular culture influences people's perceptions of love.  It's not realistic in the slightest, and I think it stops a lot of people from being legitimately happy.  Anyway, the thought struck me this morning about how Google's founders were working on genetic screening and testing.  That way you can see what sort of diseases and maladies you might be susceptible to.  The next logical step is screening at the pre-birth or even pre-conception stage.  To some extent, society already does that, you can get some babies 'made to order' so that you can have a baby with a certain eye colour or hair colour, or gender and what not.  So that brings me to this, there are so many people that are not genetically compatible.  So what do they do if they love each other?  Their children may have horrible genetic deficiencies that may affect quality of life.  My opinion is that society is messed up, science wouldn't normally be able to overcome things like genetic pre-dispositions to certain diseases, but in the situation where someone found a genetic incompatibility with someone, I bet you we would magically start to master genetic therapy.  That's a bit messed up, but I suppose it just follows that if there's no real impetus to make scientific leaps, nothing is going to happen.  It is also a bit weird and hard to measure because love isn't science, it's not logical, and the laws of scientific scrutiny don't stand up to it.  But that's a story for another time.

BNP Paribas (a French bank) was recently in a lot of trouble for banking within Cuba, Iran and Sudan, all countries subject to economic and trade sanctions at the moment.  I wholeheartedly disagree with sanctioning countries.  If you don't like how a Government is behaving, why are you punishing its innocent citizens?  Most of the time, it's places with corrupt political systems (and who says democratic countries aren't as bad), so the people don't even popularly vote for whoever is in power anyway!  Yet people are dying from starvation and what not because they can't get supplies in.  The bank was fined $9 billion USD by an American (!) court for banking with these countries.  Okay, I'll understand if they were dealing with the Governments, to prop up dictatorships or deal with weapons and all that, but if it was dealing with private citizens or on positive initiatives, then how disgusting!  That's no crime, it's almost pragmatic (in a heavily disjointed way).  And the nerve of it to be tried in an American court!  That's the thing, if you don't play by their rules, they will want to punish you.  Why don't the Arab countries band together and put an oil sanction on the Americans?  Or an Arab-Chinese alliance?  Woo, there's something to think about for future reference!

The Prime Minister recently made a gaffe regarding foreign investment in a speech.  Let's ignore the fact he said Australia was unsettled before the British invaded (ummm what were all the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders doing here for the 40,000 years prior?!), because it sets a dangerous precedent about what that means for Indigenous land rights, but it just goes to show how dangerous and racist and unhinged these conservative people are.  They don't regard native populations as civilised or as humans.  They pass these ideas on to their children and the cycle of discrimination and hate continues.  But anyway, that's not the point I want to make.  He said that he has selfish views on foreign investment.  If he wanted to sell his property, he wouldn't mind selling to foreign investors, but if his neighbour wanted to do the same thing, he would take issue with that.  That right there is the epitome of conservative thinking and what's wrong with the Liberal/National Party Coalition in Australia.  One rule for them, another rule for everyone else.  Pure selfishness and greed.  Let's read between the lines here, he's referring to Asian foreign investment.  The Asian dollar is going a long way in Western countries because they are experiencing a great boom and the West is just commencing its slide into obscurity.  So Asians are buying large swathes of land in Australia and America and this has annoyed many local residents, as they are priced out of areas they used to be able to afford.  The Prime Minister doesn't want people to benefit from the same opportunities that he would have, and on top of that, he doesn't want to see Asians in his neighbourhood.  Well it works both ways, there's a lot of foreign investment running the other way.  Westerners are buying up large tracts of land in developing nations, often at a premium, and subject to shady practices from the local populace.  They're pricing the local population out of homes, and what happens when a local land developer just grabs the land, sells it to a Westerner for a tidy sum, and then somewhere down the line there's a local person who has a real claim to the land?  What happens then?  Ahh the unfairness of the system, but I've gone on enough about that for one week.

Goddamn, this has seriously been a productive week blog wise.  I'm very proud!  Cause at least I know not every week (or month, or even year) is going to be the same.  Got around to tabbing some of my new ideas last night, and a bit of guitar.  I'll need to cut my nails this weekend so I can get some good playing in next week.  I've also got a bit of work to do today, so I'll turn some attention to that and see what happens by the end of the day. 

Only 2 hours to go until I can get out of here, yes!  I can't wait.  TGIF and all that stuff!  I'm running out of things to say, but I'm also running out of time.  I think today I'm just going to go home and sleep.  I never really buy anything online except for books, but I do enjoy window shopping online.  It's amazing to see how much cheaper it is to purchase something online, compared to the rip off merchants operating in malls, especially in Australia!  I don't care if they all lose business and go bankrupt, in this crazy system, I'll decide who my money goes to.  And you can bet your ass it's going to be to the person charging the least amount for the same product.

Sigh, it's never quiet around here, is it?

None of this was an accident.  It couldn't be.  But what could be driving it? 

I think I'll call it a day, if not a week here.  It's been fun.

Joaquin out.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Lies & Misapprehensions

Look to the sky for your misconceptions.  With razored hands and a whole bunch of nothing, we continue on.  Not feeling 100% with the program, but at least it's Thursday and pay day.  Just experienced my first pay cycle with the new tax rates, which results in more money being withheld for tax compared to before, meaning I lose out from a net result.  I've explained it yesterday, so I won't go into it again, but it sucks.  At least my HECS debt will be paid off when I lodge my tax return.  That's an ordeal that should never have happened.  I've been technically losing money ever since I've been working to repay this debt that the generation above mine didn't have to pay.  They really did so well, free higher education, cheaper property prices, and wage increases were much higher than the cost of living increases.  Then they work to screw over the younger generation.  Things have to change.  I've just got this massive problem with so called democracy and capitalism.  We work in a rigid system of rules in which nobody is happy.  So many people are suffering and struggling, but there's no impetus to actively help them because things are distributed in such stupid ways by Government (not just Conservative ones).  Welfare is skewed to far to unemployment, and usually to people who want to stay unemployed, not those who legitimately cannot work.  Where's the assistance for youth, mental health, healthcare, and disability?  There is none.  It's all being cut and focused on silly infrastructure projects.  I'm telling you, none of it makes sense.  The rules need to be changed, things need to be more flexible, and there has to be more of a balance.

The world is being ruined by an over-reliance on military aggression as diversion, fear-mongering and stupidity of the majority of the population (with a mixture of apathy), and career made politicians.  There's no longer a cross section of society in politics.  You see political science people and political advisers and lawyers making up the bulk of Government these days.  They've been doing it for almost their entire lives, from their university days onwards.  And where's the recognition of society?  Of those who are not like them?  They are so far removed from society!  Yet they've set up a system where independent candidates have a difficult time getting in because they don't have the money to spend on campaigning.  That leaves the door open for only the mega rich megalomaniacs, and those the parties pre-determine as being okay to be preselected for party nomination.  That's not real democracy.  It's all a bunch of crap.  Add in the capitalist element, and these items work to screw over the majority of citizens.  Reliance on capitalism and this 'faux' democracy is a conservative concept that has no basis in reality.  It may sound good in theory, but the practical outcome (when you add in the outside factor of human nature), and everything only succeeds in being unfair and exploitative.  Tell me what's right about that.

We've got a real problem now with the transparency within Government.  Let's avoid the Snowden leaks and how Government is lying about its surveillance of people under the auspice of national security, and focus on something else.  The Conservative Government in Australia has recently introduced changes to the Freedom of Information Act which make it harder to get information out of Government if you are a member of the public.  That act is the cornerstone of democracy and good government.  Any attempt to restrict the freedoms it affords the citizens is an attack on free thought and true democracy.  The Government wants to be secretive and not tell the public the reality about any situation.  One aspect is the new policy on asylum seekers.  Since it's somehow a hot button issue for the public (for some unknown goddamn reason), the government has been unable to stop the boats, but instead just pretend they don't exist.  They don't tell the media or the public anything about any boats that have been picked up, or that are in distress and what not.  One boat apparently went missing and the Government won't tell anyone what's happened to it.  People's lives are at stake and the Government is lying to people and what's worse, is that the public doesn't care.  They want to be wilfully blind to the plight of people dying.  If you think people should remain where they are because of the 'luck of the draw' of being born into the 'wrong country' then fuck you.  You deserve nothing but pain and darkness.

Alright, it's been a busy day and now I've only got an hour until I'm done!  Not bad at all.  Let's call it a day.

Joaquin out.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

No Longer Time To Play

There's no impetus to pray, either.  Time is a funny old thing isn't it?  It becomes so relative depending on your experience.  Boring times get stretched out into near infinite lengths, but the second you start having fun, hours pass by in the blink of an eye.  There's objective time, and then there is experienced time.  The brain is a powerful organ, and it is responsible for how your perceptions interpret the world.  Evidence is before us that the brain actively disengages with reality to focus on certain tasks, because if it really took in everything that was happening to you, the experience would be overwhelming.  So essentially, what you think is real may not actually be how reality is.  Isn't that scary?  None of what's around us right now could be real.  Haha, how very Matrix like!

So a new financial year is upon us, and with it, many changes as a result of the Federal budget.  Typically you would see changes to the tax brackets (or tax rates), but for the past 2 years, they have been exactly the same.  No better outcome, but technically worse.  Wages don't rise in line with cost of living, so when you don't get tax breaks year on year, it actually equals a worse net result for everyone.  The cost of living is just taking off, and it needs to be reined in.  Another thing that irks me is that this so called Conservative Government is raising taxes via the Medicare Levy.  Normally it's 1.5%, but they've increased it to 2% for the foreseeable future.  That's ridiculous, I have private health insurance, which doesn't even really cover all medical expenses.  I don't rely on the public system, yet I'm subsidising it, and I'm getting screwed because if I want to use the public system, I have to pay lifetime health cover loading, which increases several percentage points each year.  I lose so much more money as a result, and I'm in a relatively good financial position.  I'd hate to see what would happen to people who are struggling.  This Government fails on public policy, finance and foreign policy.  What good are they??  On top of that, they are phasing out offsets to net medical expenses.  Gee thanks a lot.  This isn't a government that supports people.

Wow, I can't believe it's only Wednesday.  I'd be able to live if it was Thursday, but we're not quite there yet.  Don't ever change.  There's still yet to be the comeback.

Over the entire industrialised world, we are seeing increased instances of superbugs and diseases that are resistant to drugs and antibiotics.  We don't live in a static world, these things are evolving, and this includes diseases and viruses.  It just goes to show you that nature wins out in the end.  There will be some point where we have exhausted every possible combination of useful drug and antibiotic, and nothing will prove effective against future diseases.  We will die, or some of us will adapt.  Maybe it's what's needed to kickstart evolution again.  Forgive me for quoting Iam Malcolm from Jurassic Park, but "life finds a way". 

There's no work to do so that gives me time to blog, which is a welcome relief from the monotony of life.  This seems new and exciting still. 

It is way too cold for any of this!  We used to have discussions that humans are very attuned to nature, and that we are dominated by the cycles.  Sun is up, we wake up.  Sun is down, and we go to sleep.  So in Winter when it's freezing, why on Earth would we stick to regular schedules and keep working normal hours?  It doesn't make sense.  People are tired, people are cold and they're just not productive.  I'm also a big believer in a 3 day weekend.  People can be just as productive in 4 days if they know 3 days will be used to recharge and relax.

Good grief!  It's only 11:50 in the morning!  There's still stacks of time before I can go home.  As I mentioned earlier about time being relative, it seems to be at a complete standstill for me now. 

Foiled like a zany plan of Batmanian proportions.  I've just coined a new term, thank you very much.  I just need some time!  That's the way to go.  All is not gone yet.  Did I make things too hard for myself?  Yes and no.  Who knows?  Not me, that's who.

Played some great guitar last night.  I don't know what the hell is going on, but just playing 15-20 mins a day only has improved my creativity.  Maybe cause I'm doing things to actively stimulate the creative centre of my brain, but I'm coming up with new and interesting ideas pretty much every time I lay a hand on the guitar!  I've never played like this before.  It's wonderful and I feel inspired to keep going. 

This is just not my day!  Can I be a person who just gets things done?  Wow, in hindsight, this has been one hell of a post.  That reminds me!  It's only 2 months to go until the blog's 10 year anniversary.  That's a bit creepy!  How life has changed since then.  On that note, I'll probably need to stop posting soon, to allow me time to read posts and tag stuff.

I really dislike how Apple prices its products.  The key difference is the iPhone 5S and 5C.  The 5S is meant to be the premium phone, but the 5C is still expensive, weighing in at about $740 AUD for a 16gig model.  That's premium price right there, so the fact the 5S is more expensive is more of a joke.  It hasn't had a full cycle, considering an iPhone 6 is meant to d├ębut in September, yet it's still operating at that price.  And the Galaxy S5 is even more expensive than either of them!  Upwards of $700 for a 2 year cycle is not worth the hassle to me.  It's not smart buying.  If you're going to use a smartphone, it makes sense to buy a phone outright and get a sim only plan, since at the end of a hypothetical 2 year period (on a contract plan with a phone), you're much better off.  Why let go of money when you don't have to?  You want a phone that's going to last at least 4 years.  So be careful when you have firmware and OS updates, because sometimes they will slow your phone down.  Sometimes you gotta give up a little bit of security and optimisation to make sure you get your money's worth out of your phone. 

Alright, 45 minutes to go until I can get out of here.  It can't come soon enough!!  But in the interest of brevity, I'll keep it there.

Joaquin out.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Best Of Intentions, Blurred Reflections

Because you can't see what's in front of you.  Not even yourself.  There's no bigger picture.  You just go from day to day, hoping to see out the week, for a weekend where you don't do anything anyway.  I never claimed to know what was going on.  People acting like they already knew.  SMH.  Hahaha, things don't make sense more often than they do actually do.  I've really gotta get out of here, just escape.  Got some guitar in last night, but not enough.  It was good!  Enjoyed playing, but I'm hoping my skills aren't disappearing with the lack of formal practice.  Is this a case of the grass being greener on the other side again?  Maybe I need to go back to the dark days and revisit some of those earlier posts.  I wonder what my frame of mind was?  Not good, is my guess.

What really irks me is idiots who wonder why people from third world or war torn countries want to create better lives for themselves in the West.  It should be a no brainer!  These places haven't had the same opportunities as the West to benefit from natural resources, trading, waging warfare against a technologically inferior people, to rely on.  Therefore, they are stuck in situations where governments are corrupt, or their lives are in danger for being voices of dissent, or just being individuals, and then people get annoyed when they dare to leave (often at great personal risk) and find a better life for themselves.  People are just not willing to share, unless it is with the same rich white folk they just implicitly trust.  Society doesn't move forward if we continue on this course.  I have to tell you that the world changes, it's not the same place it was 100 years ago, and this scares people.  But society changes, for either better or worse.  But it changes, and there's nothing you can do to prevent it.  So why bother?  How about getting on with your life? 

What the shit is this fuck?!  2 hours until I can go home?  This is whacky.  Time is taking on interesting properties. 

Like how it's time to go right now!  Haha.

Joaquin out.