Monday, October 10, 2011

On Social Dynamics and Human Nature

Some reflective writing

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words what you really want to say. I’m not even sure how to word this properly. Sometimes I think about the world around me more than I think about the world within me. We all see the world through our subjective lens. It is therefore, very hard to see the world with you in it. Step out of consciousness and reflect. At any moment of the day, I am having multiple wars going on in my head. I have fear and paranoia, greed to get everything my way, fear and anxiety about the past and hope for the future. I dislike some of the voices I hear. Yet I also wish others would speak up louder. I turn to seek enjoyment in temporary pleasures through self destructive acts. I get jealous and horny and angry minute by minute. It is almost like my inner conscience is a mirror of the world today.

Social dynamics are a fascinating topic. I read a book a few years ago about a guy who wanted to get more successful with the ladies, so he travels around the world to meet men who are experts in getting women and getting laid. Overtime he learns how to get girl after girl, but what he also learns about through that process, is how important social dynamics take place in every social situation. First example, the idea of having such a social effect on people, that your reality becomes their reality. Such as walking into a group of people and now you’re putting on such a display, and you have such charisma that all of the people are now almost like actors in your life going according to exactly how you want them to act.

It’s like you are staring on your own movie, all about you and the people around you have no idea and have become unwitting supporting actors. Such an act, would be a vulgar display of narcissism and narcissism is something we all hate in others. Some people have that natural ability to be narcissistic, and you might have become an unwitting actor in the movie of their life. Sometimes it is OK, other times it is not depending on the situation.

It’s something I have studied closely in my interaction with other people. Sometimes, for example you have a certain skill which is in such high demand, that others wishing this knowledge are willing to act in your life like eager bulgy-eyed pupils in the front row of a classroom. It's the teacher/student relationship.

Mastering the art of social dynamics, and interpersonal relationships I think is one of the most beneficial skills one can have and capable of rewarding some of the highest dividends for years to come.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer is Over

Summer is over once again. I always get very depressed this time of the year. It's getting cool already and I'm already having dreams of hot weather once again. It will now be about sweaters and jackets. It does give me the opportunity for fall weather clothes. Not looking forward to a long cold winter at all. But if I done it before, I can do it again.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years After Septermber 11th

The ten year anniversary of September 11th is upon us. I knew I had to write a blog about my past reflections on the event. I was deeply touched by the events of that day and it had a huge effect on my viewpoints. The following is description on what I did that day and my life ....

At the end of the summer of 2001, I had enrolled in classes at LaGuardia Community college not far from where I live. I was 19 years old and was in search for some direction. I was also unemployed, virtually broke, and of course living with my mother. At LaGuardia, I was going to pursue a liberal arts curriculum, in hopes that somewhere along the line I would find a subject that I could make into my career.

My first day of college was September 10th. I remember I had grown my hair out long to look like the old school rock stars that I admired. I get to class and see that there is a friend from high school sitting in the back, and I sit next to him and we talk. We are shocked to hear from the professor, that the curriculum will be about hip hop music. After class we take a subway to forest hills to buy the textbook for the class, The Vibe History of Hip Hop, and talk about our lives since graduating high school the year before.

The next day of class is September 11th. I walk to the 52nd street train stop of the number 7 line. The station is angled just so that the World Trade Center is directly down the tracks. I can see that the north tower is up in smoke and I assume it is a fire. I remember seeing an old Asian lady point at the towers saying "oh my god". I didn't really even think about it that much and assumed that it was probably a fire. I take the train and get to class. I remember hearing from the professor say that a plane had hit the World Trade Center, but class continued as normal.

I can't remember if class dismissed early, but shortly thereafter, I remember my friend and I going to get our college ID cards in the basement. While on line, I remember hearing a woman who worked at the college screaming and running down the hall. We get a glimpse of the TV in one of the offices and it says that both World Trade Center Towers have collapsed. I am completely shocked at this moment and everyone is now talking about it. I get my ID card and my picture is taken at a moment just after the towers collapsed. I still have this ID card.

After we get our IDs the college is full of people talking about the news. The subways and buses are all not running and so we are forced to walk home. Gazing towards the location of the World Trade Center, we can see the wall of dust that are the remnants of the towers, being pushed towards the south east towards Brooklyn.

I get home and I turn on the TV and watch it for the rest of the day. My mom who has just woken up is shockingly unimpressed by the terrorist attacked and by the end of the day she is actually tired of all the new coverage. That's my mom for you.

The news did its job of dramatizing the events of that day. America was forever changed, but New York City was changed even more. It was here that the most dramatic and deadliest outcome of that day unfolded. My fellow classmates and I had developed a sort of bond because of the tragic events.

Now 10 years later I can reflect back on that day. The rebuilding is underway, after a long delay. I have to say that I am quite impressed with the new World Trade Center design. I hate to say it but, I actually like the new design better than the twin towers. I felt the twin towers were actually simplistically bland. They were icons of the boxy international style that was so popular after World War II. The new towers are sleek, glass emeralds. Post modern complexions, yet relatively simple at the same time. I am particularly excited about Tower 2, with its 4 diamonds slicing the building diagonally. I cannot wait until it's all finished.

Tower 2:

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Are There Universal Morals?

It's true. I haven't wrote a decent blog in months. Too much has been on my plate to even sit down for an hour or so and write on a topic I am passionate for. I work way too many hours, and I am forced to spend a lot of time concentrating on work related issues that I have no real passion for. That being said, it doesn't mean that I haven't been engaging in intellectual discussions of which my true passion lies.

I have a saying that an intellectual conversation is the only conversation worth having. I often steer the going topic at hand towards one of my many passions in social situations. That is of course, religion, politics, philosophy, science, history, and a few other noteworthy side passions I have like architecture, music and art.

Lately, I have found that the morality debate is one of the most interesting debates to be engaged in. I recently watched a panel of philosophers speak about morality without god, at an event hosted by the Center for Free Inquiry, of which I am a part of. All four of the panelists agreed for the most part that there is no such thing as a universal morality, or moral truth. I have been struggling internally with the notion that there is no universal moral. I believe that there has to be some, at least one, although I am not completely committed to the idea.

A universal moral is one in which there are no exceptions, that is true regardless of the culture, location or time in which it takes place. Take for example of the idea of human rights, quite radical for its time. Is it a universal moral that all human beings are entitled to a basic set of rights that cannot be abridged by any other human beings or acting authority, and if so violated, would be wrong regardless of the time, culture or circumstances? Or is the concept of human rights, along with every other moral position, simply just relative to whomever says it?

We all know that total moral relativity results in some problems. A society can for example, develop a moral code in which to live by, dependent on their collective circumstance, and turn it into their culture. It will then be wrong to do "A" in this society, but right to do "B". And children growing up in this society will be inculcated accordingly on what is right and what is wrong. Now, when someone from another society, where they learned that doing A is right enters this culture, the newcomer will have to learn to adjust their behavior or face consequences. They may still believe that doing A is morally right, but their new society had deemed this wrong and set up rules to prevent it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Truth About Mohammad

Things that I already knew for the most part, but maybe you didn't. An insightful look into the "prophet" Mohammad, the man considered by Muslims to be the best example of the perfect human being. See why an analysis of Mohammad's life can so easily dismiss this disingenuous claim.

Noam Chomsky on the falacy of free-markets

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back From D.C.

Summer 2011 is almost over. Where did it go? I just got back from a vacation to Washington D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. I was suppose to fly out to the west coast but hurricane Irene ruined that. So as for my trip to D.C., I can say that for sure, I'd rather live in New York. D.C. is the political capitol of the U.S. of course, and with that comes a bit more of a straight laced, button down culture.

Now I didn't explore the whole city, and stuck mainly to the downtown touristy areas. I saw the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the White House. I also took a walk downtown during the middle of the day. It's nice to see all the historic monuments that I've seen so many times on T.V. in person.

It is amazing how geographically close NYC is from "the South". The Mason-Dixon line is actually the southern border of Pennsylvania and is considered the cultural boundary of the north and southern U.S. and was also the line that divided the slave states and the non slave states for much of the 1800s. It lies a mere 120 miles southeast of Midtown Manhattan.

South of the Mason-Dixon line, exists the southern culture of which many northerners know from stereotypes. While I was in rural Virginia, and West Virginia I saw the southern country lifestyle up close in person. I went to a Casino in Charles Town West Virginia, where you can drink, smoke, gamble and maybe even meet a prostitute in the same room. I actually won 30 dollars gambling on the slot machines, the only time I think I ever gambled in a casino. In Virginia, I got cursed at by a redneck for hitting his car when I opened the car door in an IHOP parking lot. I got many stares at various places whenever we went out to many places. I never felt uncomfortable to the point of feeling unsafe, but did not feel like rural Virginia could be home to me. My friend says he feels at home down south and he's an ex-New Yorker. Go figure.

I did learn that in the south, different towns have very different feelings and cultures towards race. Where one town might frown upon an inter-racial couple, another town miles away would have no problem. In other words, communities must be judged on an individual basis. That is something I failed to consider.


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