Woes of an Engineer

Computer Engineering will be the death of me,
Many people warned me but I did not believe.
I’ve been told it’s really not that bad,
But as I get deeper in it, I think I’ve been had.
Why oh why didn’t I change majors to something else,
That way I wouldn’t be in this library at 2am, going insane, talking to
But I’m way too far to turn back now,
When I walk into the building, I feel like a cow.
Or a sheep, being led to the green pastures,
so I can learn just enough and be a pawn for my bossmaster.
That’s alright because at least I’ll have money,
But money can’t but love or happiness, isn’t that funny?

Build People Up

“Always look for ways that you can be of assistance to your fellow Beings. Being of encouragement to others. Build people up, and do not put people down. Be a beacon of light in a dark world.”

The day I read that, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I were planning not to leave the house so I decided to be of assistance to her. I knew it would be easy since that is part of why we are together. Examples of that I will keep to myself.

The next day, we went out into the world which made it even easier to find ways to be of assistance and to build people up.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx and I strolled to the main grocery stores in Ciudad Vieja. While in the first store, ABCDEFG (changed the name), we talked about how wonderful it is that our refrigerator at home is already full and we still have the luxury of going to the grocery store for fun and to get anything that really called out to us.

After wandering through each aisle no less than twice, we made our way to the register. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx stepped back into the store to search for a box of white fudge oreos while I waited in line. I noticed the lady in front of us had done something we had done just last week: we grabbed everything our hearts desired yet we did not bring enough quetzales to exchange for those items. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx reappeared, and I immediately suggested we buy the thing she had to put back and give it to her. The manager came to turn her key so the lady wouldn’t have to pay for it. Then the lady paid and disappeared from the store.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx asked the cashier for that item, got it scanned, and ran after the lady who just left. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx came back about a minute later slightly out of breath but with a smile on her face.

I know that action changed the course of our lives together. We came upon an opportunity to treat others the way we would like to be treated, accepted that opportunity, and I can imagine the delight that lady felt as well as the joy she will give to others when she shares that story.

What are some random acts of kindness that you’ve done for someone lately? Can you think of any acts for which you’d be extremely grateful if someone did them for you? Consider doing them for someone else first and accepting what karma gives you in return.

Originally posted March 15, 2014.

How we may become content

Some antient philosophers have said, that happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances; and that he who cannot be happy in any state, can be so in no state. To be happy, they tell us we must be content. Right. But they do not teach how we may become content. Poor Richard shall give you a short good rule for that. To be content, look backward on those who possess less than yourself, not forward on those who possess more. If this does not make you content, you don’t deserve to be happy.

-Benjamin Franklin

Red Pill

In the parlance of our times, to “red pill” is to become aware of the lies that undergird modern civilization, thereby giving you license to act like a douche online. Since most of the people who believe they have “red pilled” were already acting like douches online, the effect of this concept boils down to a slightly greater sense of entitlement among insular communities of already-entitled douches. All of this is well known, and not very interesting.

The interesting thing about the red pill concept is that it is actually the exact inverse of what its proponents claim. The reference is to the 1999 movie The Matrix, in which a hacker bro is offered a choice between a blue pill, to “believe whatever you want.” Or a red pill, to “see how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

In spite of the reference to the drug-induced hallucinations of Alice in Wonderland, he takes the red pill. He then experiences the physical death of his body, leaves the confines of the apparent world, and comes to the realization that he is no mere hacker bro — he is in fact the One True Hacker Jesus, Webmaster of the Universe.

The ludicrousness of this savior scenario is painfully emphasized in the Matrix sequels, in which Hacker Jesus engages in utterly pointless fake fights in a fake world, and confronts the Father God instantiated as Colonel Sanders. To raise the stakes, the Hacker Jesus Powers eventually bleed over into the “real” world, revealing the entire scenario for what it is — a delusion.

The red pill was in fact a trap. And what better trap for someone who thinks they’re special than to make them think they’ve escaped the world and become its savior?

What is eventually revealed by the Matrix sequels — the way they’re irrational-yet-boring like listening to someone narrate their dreams — is that from the point of swallowing the “red pill,” we are actually watching the extended hallucination at the end of the movie Brazil. With no hope for escape, the prisoner fever-dreams themselves as a heroic savior, free of all constraints.

The red pill is the final, most horrifying imprisoning illusion — escape from the world itself.

(swiped from here http://obscurantist.com/oma/red-pill/)