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Everyone's a Comedian in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #0
I have decided I would like a good laugh. Tell me a joke, any joke. Your favorite joke, your newest joke, your worst joke, your most clever joke, your stupidest joke, your worst pun, your most morbid and twisted tale or whatever else you think is likely to make your local Spiderweb chums laugh out loud. Keep in mind that we have a Code of Conduct and discriminate accordingly.

I'll go first.

A businessman from out of town walks into a bar high up in a metropolitan high rise tower. He sits at the bar and orders a drink. The man next to him glances over and says, "Sayyyy, you're not from around here, are you?" The businessman shakes his head and the second man says, "Well, hey, you might not believe this, but see how this office tower is so close to that one across the street? The winds through here create this terrific updraft between these two buildings. In fact, I could walk over there, jump out that window, and the updraft would push me right back up and into the window again!"

The businessman looks incredulous. "No way!"

The second man pulls out his wallet and plops a $50 bill down on the counter. "I'll bet you $50 that if I jump out that window, I'll get blown back in."

"You're on!" says the businessman.

The second man walks over to the window, slides it open, and steps out. He begins to fall, but sure enough, about ten feet down he suddenly begins to rise back up and pops back in through the window.

"That was amazing!" shouts the businessman. "I gotta try that!" He runs over to the window, jumps out.............falls.......................SPLAT!!!

The bartender looks at the second man and slowly shakes his head. "Superman, you sure are a mean drunk!"

And no...that's not my WORST joke. If your jokes fail to amuse me, I might had to dredge it up and get medieval on you. Fire away.

[ Sunday, October 09, 2005 06:09: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #75
When Alorael is feeling particularly snippy, his comeback is, "Theorize THIS!"

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Sleep in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #11
Bunch o' freakin' vampires around here...

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
First Kiss in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #8
Valentine's Day, 6th grade. Kara, the girl I had had a crush on since 5th grade and her best friend set up a kissing booth at morning recess. A kiss for a quarter. There was a big crowd of kids in the hall around the table the girls had set up, but no one was doing any kissing.

I was a pretty insecure kid at that point, but my friends who knew I had a crush on Kara pushed me up to the table, so I got out a quarter. The thing was, I had to kiss the other girl, Kathy, first. She was pretty cute too, but that wasn't what I was there for. I kissed Kathy first, on the lips, then plunked down another quarter so I could kiss Kara. It was a heady moment. I was suddenly cool and popular, ha. I was amazed no one else had the guts to kiss the girls after me.

At lunch break, I spent the entire hour wandering around the playground looking for the kissing booth again, but couldn't find it and I was devastated (those kiss things can be quickly addictive). After recess I was informed they had put the kissing booth out on the track, the one place I hadn't thought to look. Doh!

Soon after, Kara and I officially "went together" for about two weeks and then broke up acrimoniously during an argument in a game of handball. Young love. It's all pretty silly, but so huge at the time.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Kissing a girl in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #102
quote:
Originally written by Archmage Alex:

I'm an open-mined person
Ow, that sounds painful. Did they file an environmental impact statement first? Did they find gold?

--This has been "Tension-Relieving Fun With Typos" lesson number 242. This will not be on the final.--

[ Saturday, October 08, 2005 11:15: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Youth in Asia and the US Supreme Court in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #9
HA! You thought that was long. Don't worry, I think I said nearly all I really wanted to contribute to this one. I have to give my roommate some credit too. He quite some time back, first made a point of how scared we Americans are of death apparently, which led to a good discussion on the topic and further thinking on the matter by me.

It was interesting, Ephesos, to hear a bit more specifically how other nations have decided to approach those little ones in the far east.

It's a highly tricky one, this matter, no matter where we land on the issue. Pinning down how to handle it legally looks complicated, though to me, it could start as simple as, if you require being hooked up to some machine to keep living, you should have the right to disconnect the thing and turn it off and whatever happens after that is what happens.

Once we start considering lethal injections to hasten the process beyond a "natural" death, it gets much messier.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Fav Accent in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #20
Hey Aranea, you picked a picture of my all time favorite spider in the world...the formidable little Jumping Spider. They are fuzzy, have irridescent sheens of color (fangs!) on black (usually), have the best eyesight of all spiders, and run around and jump to catch prey, like flies, in midair. They move in quick little spurts of hyper motion, then stop, then zip along again. Really hyper, upbeat, and talented little guys who in reality are highly effective predators.

Nice goin'.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Beta Testing Testing One Two Three Four in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #14
Heh, Eph, my eyes quickly began to glaze over trying to read that NDA myself. Not easy to chew through at all, and I had to look at it several times to feel confident I had not missed something critical.

I might holler at you at some point if I get stuck or sumthin' if that's cool (privately of course) and you're welcome to do the same if you want. If anyone else knows this is not acceptable according to either the NDA or Jeff's wishes, please pipe up.

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Kissing a girl in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #100
Alex, thanks for having the courage to share that. Really...thanks! I just shot this reply off from the heart, and I guess it’s rather ridiculously long, but I don’t know what I could cut out to shorten it. All due apologies to any who find it annoying, unneccessary, preachy, disturbingly and obsessively overlong, or anything else you’d rather it wasn’t.

It must be such an ordeal wrestling with these issues and decisions, especially as a Mormon. I love it when people have the guts to be real and vulnerable, and your issue hits home with me. It’s not that I am wrestling with homosexual feelings, but I am wrestling with trying to understand what homosexuality is. I’m in a psych masters program right now because I am going to become a counseling psychologist. My roots are strongly religious, and I grew up with very strong convictions about sexuality from a Protestant Christian viewpoint. These evoked much guilt and conflict in me about whether or not to be sexual and how to date.. For the most part, I abstained and was frustrated...okay, miserable.

In my teens I rejected organized Christianity as I knew it, seeing too much hypocrisy and theological contradiction, and a lack of true love being expressed, but I had a strong sense of what love is, and something of Who God is and THAT God is (existent and underlying all things), even if I didn’t understand why so much else seems to be such a mess. A bit later in my life, I came across some new perspectives on God and spirituality which freed me from my former religious hangups, but gave me a new passion for truth and spirituality and seeking. That’s some background so you know where I am coming from.

One thing I came to understand about spiritual language, and therefore scriptures which both Christians and Mormons subscribe to, is that it has many layers of meaning, and its truest significance is in the spiritual realm at the deeper layers, rather than the surface literal. Many Christians recognize this to one degree or another, but usually not in any coherent or consistent way to my experience. For the very little that the conglomeration of 66 disparate writings Christians call Bible discusses homosexuality, I think there are deeper meanings rather than literals we are meant to glean from them. Male and female and sexual uniting and the new life resulting in which two truly become one (fused!) are powerful spiritual symbols we can understand to some degree because we understand the natural. In spiritual symbology, homosexuality represents a spiritual condition of relationship which cannot produce spiritual life and represents something out of order.

Under the new gospel, Paul talked about salvation by grace, whereas Peter and the twelve apostles taught grace mixed with works for salvation, a fact little recognized by the instituations of faith, but plainly there on the page. Paul was given a revelation of truth to extend to all the world (the Gentiles) while the original apostles were sent to the Jews, who were steeped in religious history and the law.

Paul made it abundantly clear that we are freed from ANY law other than the inner law God would write inside upon one’s heart. The law becomes an inner mandate operating out of a spirit and principle of love which changes our very nature and desire rather than leaving us to struggle to follow an outer law we really don’t want to follow. Capture someone’s heart in love, and you capture all their behavior. Capture someone’s behavior through shackles and tyranny (which the OT Law truly was), and that someone is out the cell door first chance he gets. You haven’t changed his will or allegiance one bit. The bonds of love are the strongest in the universe because nothing can break them.

Surely you know all this. I just wanted to preface that for what Paul also said about marriage. After all he said to describe the relationships of men and women in marriage, he said the whole point of what he was saying was to represent Christ and the Church. Christ is just a Greek word (rather than a name) which means “anointing” or “anointed”. Church is from ekklesia in the Greek meaning “the called out.” The Christ Spirit (the anointed spirit of God)—the Bridegroom is male and has a “masculine” function. Church—the bride, is female as we know.

Paul was establishing a relationship between the “masculine” Spirit of God (which is love and which changes hearts and natures from within in an infusing, proactive, creative, and procreative sense) and the church (which is the receptive female part of the equation and can be seen symbolically as our own soul which is the soil in which a new spiritual life can grow and express as a fusion of the two together in harmony.)

Soul must marry to Spirit to produce harmony and a new inner life. Soul must submit to the Spirit in order for the two to grow together as one and for the new law to be written within. It’s all about spiritual relationship (given through the window of sexual relationship) within each human being rather than any new external law aimed at sexual or relational behavior....or pointing to the subjecting of women to men, I might add. I also might add, is that it implies the intimacy and joy of tapping into that Spirit of Love and becoming one with it. Sex is an awesomely wonderful thing and also has its awesomely wonderful spiritual counterpart. I also assume you probably know much or all of this. I’m not sure how much the Mormom perspective differs on the symbology or implications.

In this simple context, to follow the gospel of the Bible should give you complete liberty to follow what your heart is telling you, your responsibility being only to seek to submit to the Spirit of love within which is God. It may lead you in surprising directions over time, but you can’t go wrong following it. You don’t need to second guess it, if you trust the Source to which you are connected. There is no absolute law of “do” and “do not do” any longer. Paul was not seeking to establish new rules for the natural life, despite his advisings to specific churches on more practical immediate matters.

Literal laws of marriage (and sexual relationship) are easily the one huge lynchpin of the Christian Churches, yet I think they got hung up on the natural and missed out on the spiritual, which is what it was all about to begin with. In reality, I think God has no concern about whether a man has one wife or five (polygamy was the norm throughout the OT with no word or condemnation to it), or vice-versa (!) or who experiences sexual pleasure with whom. The real issue is do you do out of love for the greater good of the many or out of self-serving?

The law is now in our hearts, not on a page. And the only law, as Jesus said, was to love God with all your heart and your neighbor as you love yourself. It is important we love ourselves so we can love our neighbor. We are not to condemn ourselves, for we are not condemned. If we can condemn ourselves, we can and will condemn our neighbor.

Remember the vision Peter had of unclean animals being offered to him from heaven for food, representing the liberation from the Hebrew law and a new dispensation of grace? The voice from heaven said three times to take and eat these things. Peter recoiled in horror and was unable to accept, because as a good Jew, he was powerfully conditioned to see them as vile, unclean, and impossible things to consider for consumption. He did not accept the new liberty in the gospel and remained partially in bondage to the old law, preaching a gospel of both works (law) and grace. Institutionalized Christianity claims Peter as much of its foundation (which I might dispute); either way, much law was dragged back into a new simple word of grace and liberty and hope and good news to all.

Guess what I think would be lowered from heaven upon a sheet in a vision for the modern day Christian to recoil at and find impossible to accept or embrace in any way? Sexual issues, different concepts of marriage, and homosexuality very much in particular. What would one say if a voice said, “Partake freely of these things? These have been external laws and burdens to you, but I say you are free from them, for these are not what make you who you are spiritually.” It’s the same kind of law hangup with the same degree of conviction in modern times. And the same degree of unneccessity. I don’t think God is at all concerned with one’s sexuality. It is not what one puts into a man which defiles him, but what comes out...think about it.

So...what I personally am wrestling with is no longer the “morality” of homosexuality, but what it represents in the natural. From a natural, biological view, it suggests something gone awry, as any homosexual animal is not going to reproduce and will die out. But I am not an evolutionist or biological determinist in my thinking, though I don’t rule out their relevance. I still sense that homosexuality represents something that has gone a bit off in psychological development, as you are suggesting as well. Is it evil? No. Is it “wrong”? Not in the moral sense. I think it is unfortunate, considering the grief and guilt it causes so many. I also think it *could* be possible to “remedy”.

I also wanted to add here that to Love is all that truly matters. I know longer know a God Who judges the context of love. I have seen some homosexual partnerships which I think demonstrate the most inspiring and awesome example of true committment, respect, and love which puts to shame the majority of typical marriages I have observed.

Love is spirit and spirit is energy and energy has power to affect other things. We affect one another with how we love and demonstrate love. Whoever it is you wish to love in your heart, I say do it with all your heart. I see all outer rules have been dissolved. It is a degree of liberty given that most of organized religion has not yet been able to truly comprehend, accept, or permit. There is safety inside the box. You can see the walls. You know the parameters. But you don’t get to see much of anything or go much of anywhere, and your own expansion is limited. Boxes are coffins. Kick the sides out of the box and it’s amazing how big and diverse and wondrous the universe is beyond it. It’s also very very scary after a lifetime safely within...this degree of liberty. But there’s no going back once you get a taste.

So, with this perspective of true spiritual freedom in mind which is not at odds with God and His nature, I am myself thinking and wondering more about the spiritual, emotional, situational, and generational influences which might be at the root of homosexual development in an infant or child. I don’t believe genetics determine us absolutely or permanently, quite contrary to the current enchantment in scientific thinking. I have seen too much evidence which suggests we have tremendous power through thoughts, attitudes, and words, even with babies in the womb, to activate and trigger genes. Our environment, or more specifically, our perception of our environment, triggers differing genes in our own bodies and even in eggs and sperm of the unborn and unfertilized! It’s pretty tripppy research I’d love to go into—maybe elsewhere...this is huge enough. It makes good sense to anyone who has a perception of the power in the energy of thoughts and attitudes and words. I find it a most compelling fusion of biology meets psychology meets spirituality. Very cool and for me, very exciting.

I don’t think most people who are homosexual would choose such a challenging and frequently unhappy lifestyle for themselves if they truly felt they had a choice. I don’t think it was a choice, any more than someone chooses to grow up with a personality disorder. But I think something was lacking and/or present to permit its development rather than “normal” sexual development which can result in reproduction as nature designed.

I really care about this subject and I hope I’m not being misunderstood here. I’d like to believe in and will continue to explore the possibilities that just as homosexuality can be triggered and gendered in a human being somehow, that we also have the power, through what I might call spiritual means primarily (and others might call psychological) to flip those genes, if you will, whether any literal genes are involved or not. I suppose I do believe in “miracles” though I wouldn’t call the means miraculous any more than the more obvious natural laws of the universe we do think we understand. I think spiritual laws operate just as surely, but we don’t yet really comprehend them. I think there is great hope for anything you can put your mind and heart and soul into. We have the power to shape and reshape ourselves in ways many of us probably wouldn’t imagine or consider. It’s all a battle for the mind primarily. The power of belief in a thing is not to be underestimated. And many things simply take time. God may not be in the hurry we think He is and we know we are.

If there is anything I can possibly encourage you with, Alex, I hope it is to recognize that even within your religious conviction, you have that true liberty Paul described so simply. There can be no condemnation to you, whatever path you take. If it is in your heart to seek a reorienting in your sexuality, I see no hindrance to you finding the way in Spirit to accomplish it in time. “I can do all things through Christ (the anointing) which strengthens me”....right?

If you need to explore and experience homosexuality first, you will have to contend with the judgement of the Church and some in the world, but not from God who concerns Himself with what is in your heart and that you love, not whom or how. Jesus’ best buddies were the scum of the earth: cussing fishermen, sleazy tax collectors, prostitutes, and so forth. I think Jesus was way cooler and more controversial that our sanitized view of him permits. He was a punk and a rebel in his day in his way. If you feel comfortable to remain in homosexuality, then that too is grace to you I should think. You express a desire for children one day, a noble desire. May it be granted to you in whatever fashion your heart truly seeks.

In seeking God and truth as an adult, I gained a new paradigm of how we grow up spiritually and of how God see us. We act our age (spiritually and physically) and that is always okay. We will continue to mature and grow up, usually faster as we experience things, rather than amass knowledge and opinions of things. It is okay to make mistakes and fall on our faces. That is how we learn—by experience. We are not condemned at any stage, and we are not left unattended at any stage either, no matter our perception. What Father neglects the rearing of His own children? Truly all is permissible to us just as Paul said. That is the true extent of the kind of grace God demonstrates. And as he also said, not everything is profitable and edifying to us. That is for you to discover for you with God in you and AS you. Two become one, right?

Here is the bottom line of the kind of relationship I think God actually intends with us. If it is deeply in your heart to do a thing, you better go ahead and do it...so you can get it over with if necessary, or figure out its value by experience. The principle Jesus stated was that to desire a thing in your heart is the same as to do it. And if we desire an unprofitable thing for ourselves, we may need to go through the experience to have any hope of putting it in our past. We may be amazed to discover that things we are certain are “unprofitable” may not actually be the things we find unprofitable in our lives.

I personally find religious hangups and boxes and burdensome laws to be unprofitable. Yet, all children start out with very strict absolute black and white rules, for young minds don’t comprehend the whys and the nuances. There is a place for that. Thus, the nature of God’s dealing with Old Testament Israel...it was all law and discipline, as if dealing with stubborn little two year old spiritual infants...which He was in essence. As we grow older, we get more understanding, more responsibility, and more liberty. The lessons were for all of us to learn from, not just one nation. We don’t have to go back there.

I believe collectively we as humanity are progressing spiritually and will continue to do so, with much much more to come, and getting better all the time. That’s the kind of God I know, even when the process looks so utterly bleak and messy and interminable. I still have a young mind. I can’t comprehend many things yet which are over my head. But I am not an infant any longer and God is not dealing with humanity in those terms. I and we have spiritual liberty to love according to the law written by Spirit upon our hearts. That is the law we are required to follow.

Any organized Church will have its own rules and laws in addition. You show you wish to remain true to your Church as a Mormon if I understand you right, Alex. If that is your heart’s wish, you should surely seek to do so. So, to me, what you face is the conflict, not between you and God or between what is right and wrong or permissible, but it will be between your spiritual liberty freely given and the lesser liberty your Church will permit. These are not easy choices, but I wish you the best in your undertaking of them.

And in writing these thoughts to share with you, now I betray my vulnerability through some of my beliefs which are a very intimate thing to a person and can cause division with others merely by being known. I realize you might even greatly disagree with the understanding I shared here, and that’s okay too. I shared it because this perspective of God and what is even written in scripture I found very hopeful and helpful and, well, revolutionary in my own spiritual evolution, and thought maybe it could be just a little bit useful or provocative for you or someone else. If I failed utterly, well that’s okay too...it was a good exercise, and as we can all see, I have no aversion to writing.

I SAY: Cheers to Alex, a really cool guy and gifted cartoonist who brings much mirth and merriment to many through his great artistic gift. Anyone who can bring joy and laughter to many is a most precious commodity, my friend. Of incalculable worth indeed, and that’s just speaking for myself alone. Love ya, man. I think you’re great. And I of course wish you the best and to find the support you need through whatever happens next.

[ Sunday, October 09, 2005 13:03: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Kissing a girl in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #98
quote:
Originally written by Marlenny:

hopefully I’ll be important some day too.
I'd say you're important right now, Marlenny. Why must we measure things by quantity? How about by quality? You've plainly got plenty of that.

And that's all I have to say about that.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #65
Aranea H. said: "If we were to lean on each other to the extent Synergy67 said, no one would take responsibility for their actions...I am willing to help someone out when they have demonstrated a strong desire to help themselves."

I think I’m with you more than it may appear. I neither believe in rewarding or enabling irresponsible and selfish behavior. The incalcitrant need to experience the inevitable consequences of extremely self-serving and uncaring choices. I also think it is necessary to see how even knowingly self-destructive behavior is pitiable and no less in need of attention, redress, and intervention. In many ways, it is more sorrowful and critical than deeds done in ignorance and suggests a very fatalistic and desperate place to be in.

Sometimes tough love knows when to intervene in the behavior of those who aren’t asking for help. If we have a sense of accountability to others in our culture, we have the incentive and the mandate to do so. Every case requires its own evaluation by those with the wisdom and resources to address it. I do not believe in blanket applications of much of anything.

I also do not believe that education of the facts about sexuality is sufficient to prevent sexual irresponsible behavior any more than facts prevent people from smoking, drinking, and eating at McDonalds. We’re swimming in information in this country, and we worship knowledge in the western world, but it has no power in and of itself despite the saying that knowledge is power.

What I believe we are lacking are the deeper foundations which enable one to harness information from a place of security, support, and empowerment. It’s a hierarchy of needs issue. Emotionally crippled and socially-detached people who never knew good parental or sexual role models are not in any condition to make responsible and intellectual sexual choices based on the right information. They will often be operating on auto-pilot seeking out the fulfillment of much more primitive and basic needs. In lieu of having hope of fulfilling them, they may self medicate against the void. And ironically, sexual activity is one of those alleviating drugs for many as well as a means of seeking fulfillment.

[ Saturday, October 08, 2005 06:34: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Fav Accent in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #10
Y'all come back now, ya hear?

—Courtesy of a Washington State native who spent seven years in Texan exile and insisted on saying, "You guys" (like we do up here) instead of "Y'all". The cutest girl I ever met in my life was a li'l Texan blonde with that sweet Southern accent.

[ Saturday, October 08, 2005 01:18: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Beta Testing Testing One Two Three Four in Avernum 4
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #12
Skippy—ah, so I see. Now it all adds up. If you felt so inclined, you could hop on over to sevcom.com, select Classic Albums in the scroll box, find the Severed Heads album Cuisine and click on the MP3 for Skippy Roo Kangaroo. It's really very silly. What is it that makes so many Aussies so delightfully whacked, anyway? ;)

Ephesos—hey, good goin'! Your first time too it sounds like? I take it you got your NDA via email, so I'm not sure why you were asking me about the policy? You know what I'm really wondering now is whether it is permissible (or useful) to have private dialog with other beta testers during the testing? Or maybe Jeff sends lots of feedback to everyone about snags and issues people are encountering. I'd hate to get stuck with no FAQ to consult, heh.

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A4 ItemsA4 SingletonG4 ItemsG4 ForgingG4 Infiltrator NR Items The Lonely Celt
Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Youth in Asia and the US Supreme Court in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #5
In some western cultures, America in particular which I know best, it is apparent to me that we are quite afraid of death.

We resort to going to extreme and extremely expensive lengths to stave off death for as long as possible. We have developed medical technologies which now enable us to cling to a life far beyond the place where all in nature has decreed otherwise, even when the quality of life is virtually non-existent.

Does this make sense? Is this necessary? Why are we compelled to worship every last possible rasping breath to the degree that we use technology to cheat death, often after not caring for our bodies while we live and invoking disease as a consequence?

New technologies are not given pause for philsophical debate. They are implemented because they can be without much question as to the overall need or affect. They are implemented because there is money to be made. There is much money to be made off the fear of death.

I think clinging to life to such an unreal degree is only necessary if we are terrified to die in some timely, reasonable, and—yes—dignified fashion. I don’t know about you, but I’m not shuffling off this mortal coil after languishing for weeks, months, or years in some rapaciously and mercenarily overpriced hospital bed, costing unimaginable thousands or millions of my family’s and country’s finances.

Similarly, we are so quick to sue and blame others when accidents occur and claim lives. There is no way we can prevent all such situations nor is it necessarily the case that someone messed up or a cut a corner and is to blame for a technological failure. Life is often messy and unpredictable. Our inventions are dangerous and imperfect by nature. Much technological progress rides on a foundation of much spilt blood—intentionally or accidentally. There are no guarantees in life or for the length of life. I believe in reasonable caution and accountability, for sure. Beyond a certain point, we cross over into hysterical selfishness and unreasonableness. No one and nothing can protect us from everything all the time.

Being so viciously litigous and not particularly stoic in the face of tragic and accidental deaths also betrays our fear of death. We are simply terrified to die. It is a part of life we find unthinkable and unacceptable, a fact betrayed by our behavior.

If one embraces a more natural, whollistic kind of life in general, then being sustained for long periods by tubes and machines is not living at all anyway, and not a viable option for ending a life. Who would want to live or die like that? The expense is incredible...and for what? In the cases of the very old, it really is their time to go when bodies fail to that degree, but we are so afraid to let people go, to let them die (or I daresay to reap what they have sown), that we will bankrupt our families and the living on behalf of the dying.

This is insane imbalance and nature does not work this way. What I am not sure of is whether it is the elderly dying or the living families around them who are more the promoter of this behavior. I suspect it is plenty of both, but perhaps more the latter. Ironically, I think it is selfish, to cling to anyone’s life when perhaps it is time to let them go for the good of us all. Staving off the inevitable simply because it CAN be done is not the greatest good. It is self-serving and ultimately futile.

The values represented by our present approach in America are quite surreal and nonsensical to me the longer I look at them. Underneath it all, I see the simple fear of death. We haven’t really come to terms with it yet in a healthy and meaningful way.

The fact that we don’t really permit anyone to grieve in the necessary and healthy fashion in various intellectualized western nations is another matter all its own.

[ Saturday, October 08, 2005 00:41: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Politics and Beliefs in General
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #56
All right, Ephesos, you talked me into it. I don't feel like getting beat up just now anyway. ;) Thanks for your kind words too.

I think it's quite cool that people who came here because of a love of some silly and insanely fun computer games can also dig into many real issues of life—I hope with respect and with open-minds.

On Abortion:

I’m thinking perhaps we might concern ourselves less with what we feel we should legislate and enforce upon persons, but how as a society we wish to demonstrate amd promote our valuing of children. How much support do we really offer a pregnant woman in crisis? I don’t mean bureaucratically or financially primarily, as those things are largely soulless by themselves. A woman in crisis needs support far beyond those vital starting points. I especially mean socially, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and so forth. What sort of help and attitudes do we offer as acquaintances, friends, neighbors, employers, coworkers, and communities? What sort of unspoken stigmas might we place upon such persons? They are felt, and they do damage.

If sufficient numbers of people in a society demonstrate a genuine, personal loving and caring attitude rather than a divisive and condemning one towards those who feel they can’t see a baby through to term, the long-term results will be remarkable. If many people who cherish life to the degree they profess put their time and money where their mouths are—aiding and supporting would-be mothers, offering to provide for or adopt unwanted babies, giving personal resources to nurture and support the troubled pregnant, what would shift? Everything is interconnected. Many diverse causes of unwanted pregnancy are also potentially countered and resolved the more nurturing we are of one another across the board over time.

It’s an underlying remedy for many similar “issues”, I believe. If we better learn to connect and serve each other, while shifting from our self-serving, individualistic, materialistic preoccupations (I am plenty guilty myself), I believe we will surely see less drug use, fewer runaways, fewer gangs, and fewer unwanted pregnancies over time. More women might carry babies to term knowing that loving people are offering support needed to get there as well as someone to adopt the baby if it is unwanted. Maybe the underlying truth is many would rather condemn one life than be troubled to support another.

When people feel safe, loved, essential, noticed, relevant, and looked after to a sufficient degree, behavior changes from within dramatically. It’s a very simple and powerful principle, but it requires a high degree of personal accountability in the world. External law and legislation can only lop off the tops of weeds, but never get at the roots of societal maladies. Make abortion legal—or illegal. Neither situation addresses the tragedy which is the life of the mother and the baby alike, both in need of support and valuing. Neither addresses the dangerous detachment we perpetuate based on our perverse degree of valuing individualism (self-centrism). We have chosen to value some mighty hollow things ultimately...largely being exactly that: THINGS—in addition to how we can cater to our own needs, desires, and ambitions. But the secret of life and fulfillment quite simply is found in relationships and in attachment.

Rather than concerning ourselves with the laws of abortion which at best is holding fingers in a dam, why not demonstrate the value of life through consistent and self-sacrificing behavior and promoting the nurtuing of the unloved and unloveable? This means the life of the mother just as much as the child. For those who are Christian, their instruction is not to judge, but to serve and to love. This leaves no place for condemning or excluding (even just by attitude) a woman even if she does abort her baby, legally or otherwise. Ideally, we would be immediately concerned with, “What caused this woman to do this? What are we not doing as individuals and collectively to offer options, perspectives, support, and hope?

Bottom line: It’s a lot easier to make our issues matters of law, religion, and politics, when in reality, it is we ourselves who have failed, we who are accountable, and we who have the power to remedy the malady. Rather than putting the power into the abstract collective hands of institutions which of themselves often have no real focus, perspective, or life, we can take the power into our own hands by affecting the lives of others and promoting that which truly nurtures life, one person at a time. Laws don’t fail us. We fail us.

[ Friday, October 07, 2005 23:42: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Beta Testing Testing One Two Three Four in Avernum 4
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The NDA focuses on keeping confidential all aspects of the game itself or anything specified as confidential (which didn't include the NDA itself), rather than the somewhat peripheral fact that one is involved in beta-testing. I was hesitant to say it, because no one else appears to be mentioning their confirmation, and I don't want to look smug either. I'm quite pleased of course, and I know it's also going to be a lot of work. I have mixed feelings about doing it, but am sure it will be worth it or I wouldn't have applied in the first place. I'm quite new around here still, so it feels good to be able to give something helpful to the community by doing this.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Lag in Blades of Avernum
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Are you using Virtual Memory? Seems to me that if you are, and your drive needs defragging or is nearly full, this could significantly slow things down.

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Politics and Beliefs in General
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Holy hyper hot-buttons, Nic! What were you thinking, man? Are you insane? ;) Any one of these questions should have been its own individual thread. I’m probably gonna catch some heavy flak for it, but I’m breaking my replies out into discrete threads of their own and anyone else can run with them or ignore them as they like. [Edit: Ephesos convinced me to reconsider.]

For starters, let me say that I have problems with virtually any test or poll with multiple choice answers. They never seem to offer the kinds of choices for answers I actually wish to give, or I find exceptions to my answers I’d wish to qualify. I think one hugely important simple truth of life to keep in mind is that there are always more variables and possibilities in nearly any situation than we are able to think up ourselves. That said, obviously, throwing together any kind of controversial poll as we have here is going to provoke a lot of dialog.

Politics. I agree with Ischi that laws (and politics) are not the solution to the world’s woes, and never can or will be. It’s a values issue at heart, and values come from a very internal, personal space. It’s in essence, a spiritual matter. If you really want to change the world, you have to change hearts from selfish focus to esteeming others more than the self. This requires a perspective and conviction that sees intrinsic and unconditional value in the human being. This is largely a one-by-one influence we can hope to exert on others to demonstrate and inspire such values. It works by slow degrees. The fable of the Sun vs. the Wind is a good analogy.

There is tremendous power in a spirit of love, joy, peace, etc. when they are genuine in a person. People crave these very precious commodities in a world primarily operating through and out of deep-rooted fears, fear being the direct adversary to love and the basis of all tyranny. Genuine love sells itself and the rewards are great, even exponential in time, having the power to radiate out in a butterfly-effect that goes well beyond a solitary lifetime.

I am convinced that the single best way anyone can hope to change the world over time is through the kind of children you ultimately send out into it. It’s often a patient and humble numbers game. If we give them something genuinely vital, powerful, compelling, real, and positive, it will multiply in generations for the same simple reason that smiles and laughter are contagious. Changing hearts and values cannot be enforced at gunpoint, which is why no law. politcal system, or tyranny will ever be effective at creating some new moral state in the world. Even the Hebrews, with their Old Testament full of moral law were perpetually unable to live by that law, imposed from the outside in.

And then that most curious fellow Jesus came around to commit the unthinkable by doing away with external religious laws and said he was going to write laws on the fleshy tablets of hearts instead. This kind of liberty cannot be tolerated in a world ruled by religious laws and fear, so he had to die. Any law written on the heart from the inside out...the law of love...cannot be taken away by externals. It’s a simple and powerful principle almost entirely ignored or unseen by those who would hope to fix the world through enforcement. So, it’s a dirty job (politics) and someone gots to do it, but I say let the dead bury the dead and leave to Caesar what is Caesars. I have an understanding and accommodating personal responsibilty how to leave this world better than when I came into it which depends not at all what either the political or the religious are seeking to impose from without. They will forever continue to do so until they are swallowed up in number by a new kind of thinking and behaving.

The problem with so many of these kinds of questions, to me, is that maybe we aren’t asking the right questions or we make the mistake of the either/or fallacy in proposing only so many possible solutions, when in reality, there may be a solution which lies in a whole new direction entirely.

When people ask me if I am left or right, I like to say neither. I choose the vertical axis. I like to rise up above the two-dimensional thinking of left—right limited choices. We have three dimensions to work with (at the very least) and when you step up above the political plane, you can have a new perspective with new possible solutions entirely.

[ Friday, October 07, 2005 23:52: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Kissing a girl in General
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darn double post

[ Saturday, October 08, 2005 06:37: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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quote:
Originally written by Marlenny:

There will never be good enough newbies to replace our beloved oldies.
That's kind of pessimistic, doncha think, Marlenny? There are all kinds of cool people in the world who can come along at any time and bring something new to the scene. If you mean that every person is unique and no one is really replaceable, I agree with you fully there. I don't like it when anyone goes away in life. It just doesn't feel right. It's like taking a backwards step.

[ Saturday, October 08, 2005 06:45: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Beta Testing Testing One Two Three Four in Avernum 4
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So...Skippy...very good. Did you know it already or did you have to Google it? I take it you noted the song ("Skippy-Roo Kangaroo") which inspired my inquiry regarding Severed Heads, a band originally from Sydney and now centered in Darlinghurst? Where is that? I didn't see it on my world map.

What you knew and I did not was where Skippy the bush kangaroo orginally came from, so thanks for that trivia. Most amusing. Severed Heads are a very quirky, silly tongue-in cheek techno-pop-industrial-tape loop kind of band which have sounded like anything from a wall of looped noise to sort of New-Orderish.

....

I asked about beta testing because I have been graciously invited to participate, and I am curious to know what I'm in for. I was expecting to not be selected and never got around to asking these questions in advance which would have been smarter.

[ Friday, October 07, 2005 20:28: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Kissing a girl in General
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So, Stugri...you're saying you don't mind taking sloppy seconds, huh? ;)

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Tell me random events... in General
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Superglue was first designed for medical application, which is why it so perfectly glues skin together. Its other uses were secondary. If you cut yourself and are in a pinch where you can't get medical attention quickly, you can glue a wound together. No stitches—no stitching scars.

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Tell me random events... in General
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Why do you think your life's so sucky Kingy?

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Beta Testing Testing One Two Three Four in Avernum 4
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Thanks 'roo. If I randomly mentioned "Severed Heads", would you know why?

P.S. I counted 18 beta testers for BOA.

[ Tuesday, October 04, 2005 22:35: Message edited by: Synergy67 ]

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