anonymous asked:

its sad though because you used to be some one to look uip to. i just dont think so anymore

Well, that’s entirely up to you. And I’m sorry. Not necessarily for my part, but that you considered me to be someone to look up to in the first place.

I used to do the same. I looked up to quite a few people. I took it to the extreme - I idolised them. Then, inevitably, they let me down. I was crushed - I thought this person was good! I thought they were better than others; someone to hold in high regard. Where is hope if not in good people? People better than I, that I can learn and grow from?

In fact the entirety of how I related to other people was coloured by this attitude: that others were either above or below me. Of course, at first I never thought of it as such. It happened inside my brain unspoken. But it’s true - everyone was on some rung of a social ladder to me; a hierarchy. 

It’s an awful way to see things. You feel pity for those ‘below’, you let them take so much from you because you feel guilty for being ‘higher’. Saying “no” to them is wrong, it’s your job to help them rise up. Anything else is unjust. Meanwhile, you are nervous around those ‘above’ you, because you don’t deserve to get along with them. You’re not as cool or clever as them, and you know deep down that you’re a burden on them just like others are a burden on you. 

Thanks to an excellent counsellor, and advice from my very wise mum, and a number of other things, I’m finally seeing things differently now. You see, everyone is more or less on the same level. We’re all human. We are neither demons nor angels. We’re not a hierarchy. We’re equal, regardless of small differences and variations.

And the best thing about this? You don’t need to look up to people. You can learn from anyone! You can emulate any number of actions that you think are good from any number of people. They don’t have to have it all figured out - rather, you can figure it all out alongside them. 

So often we disregard people and their ideas because of the differences between them and ourselves. But things really start getting interesting when we give regard to all people, even if we feel like some of the things they think or do are wrong. Because everyone is wrong. It’s more realistic to accept this, and move on, than to pretend that the few we select to praise are the only ones worthy of our attention.

Again, thanks for asking. It’s helped me to really get some of these ideas sorted out. It’s enabled me to clear the air, as it were, in my head.

After the last

mass shooting in Australia, the laws were changed, and since then there has been 18 years free of mass shootings in Australia.

But that’s not the whole story.

It’s not really thanks to the government. It was thanks to us.

You see, we Australians were shocked at the brutal killings. It was all over the media, the TV, everywhere. But we recognised that getting rid of guns would reduce the risk of this sort of wholesale murder-for-spectacle.

The government responded and restricted guns accordingly. As a reaction to the public response, as they should have. People then showed up in droves to hand their guns in. Even convicted criminals in many cases. 

Now can you imagine the same thing happening in the US? No? Why not?

It’s not their laws that are the problem. The lack of regulation only reveals the underlying problem: The US culture.

rkidd  asked:

So, uh, any plans for the weekend?


Got some dinner plans with friends. I’m a little behind on writing work soooooo probably try to tackle some of that? Hoping there’s some free time in there to like, y’know, hang out with Molly and Jack. Maybe play some Fallout?

Ethical thought experiment

Say you were a railway controller, and you knew there was a train heading towards a bridge that was out. The rail has a point where it diverges off to a different path at a switch, before the bridge.
You have a choice: leave the switch as is, dooming the 50 people on the train, or switch the tracks and send the train on the divergent path.

HOWEVER, if you do this, there is a 33% chance the train will derail into a poorly placed Bomb Factory, which will result in a detonation killing all of the passengers AND a further 500 people.

So, given these two options, which is the better choice?

Anyone care to help?

queenshulamit, scientiststhesis, nostalgebraist, solo1y, aprilwitching, limekarbonite, mikerugnetta, jtotheizzoe, cyborgbutterflies, errantgeek, ozymandias271, phil-zip, rachaelsoundslikeraycharles, spedz, voxsecundus, yxoque, zowl, anyone?

This is giving me all sorts of conflicting feelings.

God, I miss singing songs. By that I mean worship songs, surrounded by people. Getting swept up in it all. 

I may not believe in it any more, but it feels like nothing else in the world. God, I miss it.

And here is a song that’s stupendously more well-written and original than 90% of the songs I used to sing. I sit here listening and it moves me. I read the words and it stirs that well-remembered feeling. The dopamine flows, the pins and needles wash over me. It helps that it’s written by my favourite songwriter, Dustin Kensrue, formerly of Thrice.

And yet it sings for something that I’m not certain resonates with me any more.

It’s not enough? Why not? When will it be enough? Will you feel content… when? When you die and begin a second life, will it be enough then? How could that be if the seed of “more” is alive and strong?

Monks of old of various faiths instead espoused contentedness - learning to be satisfied with what you had. Learning to be at peace with your place in the world. 
What a different world, that would be. What a totally foreign faith to most in the west today.

And my mind moves to what I’ve learnt of capitalism - of consumerist values: It’s not enough. More is better. Greed is good. Ayn Rand’s rubbish and Tony Abbott and everything Zizek stands against, as a Prophet.

Vague notions of how Protestantism and the capitalist work ethic are interrelated come to mind. Is it really God you worship with a spirit of discontent? Or is it the current world order, the Way Things Are that go unnoticed and assumed as absolute Truth for most? 

A part of me still sings this tune; it’s not enough. But another part of me recalls a crazed old man who taught me. A man with the face of Sir Henry Parkes and the spirit of the Blue Mountains within him, who taught me what it means to be content. Mr Brooks said, cosmically, that contentedness is something few young people could understand, but it’s the only way an old man can live. He encouraged me to learn contentedness… and perhaps now I’m finally starting to understand. 

I wonder, when he died, if he reached the pearly gates and said “I’ve been here already, why are you offering me entry?”

Politics in Australia 101

So I wrote this for a friend, but I want to share it here too. I tried to be fair but you can probably tell that my left-bias comes through. Although I feel that the Liberals are to be judged by the facts, so that’s why I tried to keep this weighted language free. Let me know what you think!

Part 1

The super basic set-up is this: there are two main approaches to politics: ‘Left’ and 'Right’. they’re called left and right because some french pollies once had to vote on something and they went to the left or right of the room to show how they were voting.

In Australia the Right wing party are the Liberals, led by Tony Abbott. Generally, they support freeing up of businesses - so low taxes, rights for small business owners, building infrastructure like roads and airports, etc.

More recently they’ve focused on building a strong economy as their main commitment/what they’re about. They say the way to do this is lower taxes, less government spending, low unemployment, etc. They see the key to reducing unemployment is to create jobs, rather than to focus on welfare for those who don’t have jobs yet.

Underlying all that stuff, the Right was founded on the idea of Liberty - like it says in the American Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

That’s the key of what the Right typically believe, and that’s why the Liberals are called the Liberals - they want to give the individual freedom to pursue their own goals and make their own way in life. The focus, however is on *economic* freedom - freedoms to earn money, buy property, etc. They often believe that other freedoms hinge on economic freedoms.

Now if they’re all about liberty, then why don’t they support stuff like gay marriage, abortions, decriminalising of drug use, the separation of church and state, the right to seek asylum, and the rights of protestors?
Well, part of the answer is that they also have roots with Christians - lots of Catholics and non-Catholics alike. So anything the church perceives as wrong is unlikely to get the support of the Right.

(While some Christians think it sucks that Christian culture usually swings to the Right, there’s a shit-ton of Christians that feel like voting Liberals is the only way to go. Which i think is ridiculous but whatever).

Another part of the reason is their focus on economic stuff. They’re concerned asylum seekers would mess up the economy, which would mess with Australians’ economic freedoms. I disagree, but that’s how they see it.

WOah this was really long, and i haven’t talked about the Left yet.

Part 2 here we go….

The Left have their roots in Union groups fighting for the rights of the worker, the employer. In the early days they focused on stuff like the minimum wage, guaranteed sick pay and paid holidays, etc - good working conditions, basically. They also focused on education and on welfare - making sure the disadvantaged were given a leg-up.

In Australia, the Left are the Labor party, and even more Left is the Greens. Today, Labor is typically a fan of more taxes and a bigger government that spends a lot - this creates government jobs, and means they can spend more on stuff (like education, healthcare, etc). We have Labor to thank for setting up HECS, and Medicare - big stuff that gets the government involved in economics - in this case, student loans and healthcare payments. Whereas the Liberals believe in a hands-off approach, the Left believes in getting involved in the economy to make sure no-one’s getting left behind.

Now, Labor actually is quite similar to Liberals today - they’re both towards the 'Centre’ of politics. For example, they both try to be tough on asylum seekers, they both spend a shit ton of money, they both have introduced new taxes, they both want more immigrants moving in so our population grows steadily, and they both focus on trashing each other, because truth is that is what gets the votes - when people don’t care about politics, they vote for whoever seems like less of a dickhead.

I think that because they’re so similar, so many people don’t give a rats ass about politics these days. That’s part of why the Greens are becoming more popular - they are pretty different.

The Greens want much more taxing on big business, so they can spend a lot more on welfare, education, health (for eg they want dentistry to get covered by medicare). They want big cuts to defense, they want to give asylum seekers a fair go, they want to protect the environment as a big priority, and they want to legalise gay marriage. They generally side with Labor on a lot of things, like the Carbon Tax, but they also just generally keep the other bastards honest by questioning their proposals (called 'bills’).

Now there’s a bunch of other little parties too, but those are the main players. The big recent controversy with the Budget is that Liberals are starting to go much further Right - giving giant cuts to education and health, making HECS debt private instead of government owned, making people wait for 6 months for welfare, raising the pensioner age to 70, etc.

Meanwhile, they’re putting a lot into defense, into infrastructure (roads and airports, mostly) and into the rights of big businesses. This is particularly concerning seeing as they said they were going to get us back to “surplus” by paying back a lot of government debt… but instead, they’re just spending the money of this stuff. Not very honest!

ugh anyways this has been way too long, and if you stopped reading after the first sentence, then that’s cool, i get it.

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Agh so much good stuff.

-Loving living in ktown

-drumming group was awesome and SEVERAL HOTTIES

-cheap gearin drinks and

-Cool chillout with Tim, Murphy, ikabodj and her excellent friend Cinthiya, listening to good cover band that are friends with Tim’s sister, and they played Sweetness by Jimmy Eat World, making up for the fact that it wasn’t in karaoke, oh also fun dancing with Jen, Cinthiya and ikabodj

-freaking wet n wild with family, including the giant swing holy crap what even

-The Valeries gig at the lappo with literally everyone, got to see so many faces that I hadn’t seen for ages, amazing dance time and
-fun walk home with drunk lifie boys et al, including free 7/11 Krispy Kremes Oh yeah!

-star wars VI rotj with cousins, awesome

Life should be this good all the time. I think.