Updated at least twice a week! (best catchphrase EVER)


How to be a gangster

Last night, I was streaming GTAV online and one of my viewers (who is also a fellow streamer and a huge inspiration to my own streaming career so far) invited me to be the 4th member of the big prison heist they'd been planning.  The whole adventure will be on twitch.tv for a few weeks if you wanna check it out, but one moment really popped out to me.


Click on the link now and continue to read, because it will take a bit to load.  I'll edit this post soon as I figure out how to export it to youtube, but for now trust me.  It's only a minute long, but due to the way it is stored, twitch has to run through a lot of data to dig up the footage. 

While our buddies were on the other side of the city doing something insanely dangerous (I kinda spaced out during their briefing), Shadonite and I posed as cops, stole a cop car, and used our disguises at the local police department to steal the schedule for when the next prison bus was coming as we needed one for our master plan of rescuing some guy that looks like Walter White. 

This clip captures the burning of any evidence leading back to us.  It is so easy to get caught up in objectives and the rush of whatever world we find ourselves in.  We too often forget to simply enjoy the moment.  When I ripped the car around around to park and smoke to acknowledge the death of that vehicle we'd just had such good times in, I think I ripped Shado right out of that rush and directly into a moment of pure magic.  The rest of the night after just kept getting better and better from there.  Hope you enjoy.


Weirdness and Reality

One thing that never fails to surprise me is how often reality surprises me with its superb moments of humor, irony, weirdness, and beauty.  As humans, we ought to pride ourselves on our creativity.  Our media can invent worlds of insane happenings that are perfectly choreographed to deliver on these ideas of humor and irony and weirdness and most importantly beauty.  There are others, but it guess you can see where my priorities lie.  Either way, life surprises me.  It reminds me that we humans are but children at creativity, irony, and form.  No matter how cool we are, life will come up with something more perfect.

For example, humor.  A Nobel lauriette was traveling to see his grandmother.  He was going through airport security and was searched and questioned on his belongings.  When they saw the statue made of pure gold, they asked him if someone had given this to him.  He said of course someone had.  The king of Sweden gave it to him.  The TSA agents immediately shat themselves (exaggeration) as their training kicked in.  For after all, what if this man was smuggling drug money and was spoofed by someone impersonating the king of Sweden?  Mind you, they are in America.  They ask him why and he elegantly explains that he discovered that the universe's rate of expansion was accelerating; that he was a Nobel Prize winner.  They had only one more question: Why are you in Fargo?

It's so funny.  It's so beautiful.  I could NEVER have come up with something like that.  No comedy will ever trump what has happened in the countless lifetimes we as humanity have lived.  On that note, I've spoken a few times on my belief that there aught be no distinction between Fiction and Nonfiction.  This is a piece of my argument for that case.  When a comedian immortalizes that moment in a work of art, is it fiction or nonfiction?  What do we do with a nonfiction occurrence that is truly stranger than any fiction?  What do we do with a fiction like our financial system becoming more true than the nonfiction of reality?  

Dear reader, the lines of fiction and nonfiction are blurred by our every action.  When I birthed a toaster in high school physics out of plastic, metal, and silver, I turned fiction into fact.  When you hear my words transmitted to your mind from afar, you blur the line between magic and the mundane.  And when we all die (for die, we shall), what then will we learn about fiction and fact, magic and the mundane, fear and adventure-- the likes of which few can attempt to understand.



I handed off my favorite translation of the Tao Te Ching to a friend recently and one of my favorite stories lit up like a supernova in my mind.  The story goes something like this:

Once, a Chinese lord who followed the Tao was under siege by a local lord who thought him weak.  His people were in fear.  Their friends and farmers outside the keep could not approach.  Food stores were running low.  The king gathered his people together and called out to the greatest thief in the town.  Everyone in the town knew who this person was, but it took a while for her to step forward from her home in the shadows.  The lord got on his knees and asked her calmly to aid his fair city.  It may not have been kind to her, but she is the only one who can save their keep.  Obviously, this piqued the thief's curiosity and the king told her what he had to do.  

That night, the thief was sent out alone on a dangerous mission.  The following morning, one of the most agile boys in the town climbed down the side of the fort and delivered the jade hairpin of the sieging general to the standing army.  The siege continued and the thief was sent out into the night once more.  This time, the general was waiting on the front lines to retrieve his pillow from the young delivery boy.  

A curious thing then happened.  The siege stopped.  The people asked their king why this had worked.  He told them that he was demonstrating his power.  Taking his hairpin was easy, a catburglar could do that.  Taking the pillow gently enough that it could not be sensed was a step up to the level that if my people were to come to harm from his blockade, I could take his life at any moment I pleased.  He finally reminded his subjects to reflect on who had saved them from their plights and asked them to focus on aiding the worst of them that they might not have to resort to such desperate acts.

The story sticks with me to remind me that all beings have purpose.  There is no good or bad, there is simply what is.  A thief is a result, not a criminal.  A challenge is a door, and many keys exist if you are but creative enough to find them.


Fighting styles and metaphors

We've all heard some form of the saying, "style x counters or defeats style y."  The weird part about that is that we've all heard that saying from different places.  A gamer might say Soraka hard counters many top laners.  I might say Aikido will always triumph over Kung Fu.  A mother might say to her child, "with your sister, it's sometimes just best to just walk away."  This déjà vu of this statement is not accidental.  

Household disputes, epic battles, nail-biting duels, philosophical debates, fighting of every kind is a metaphor; timespace's representation of the battle between the wills of the participants.  In my opinion, the most successful participants are the ones who can read the style of their opponent and change their mindset to counter it.  The tenacity of their focus on this mindset will win them exchanges safely.  While switch ups are necessary, the fewer actions that violate the style they are countering with, the greater their chance of success.  This is all well and good if I am talking about fighting as not many can say they have battled to the extent that I have, but what about all that stuff about disputes and debates?  How does all that sort out?  Dear reader, the two are but shadows of the same truth.  Let me explain with a personal example.

When speaking to my own mother, it is common for me to become irritated at how often she throws out the same bits of information out at me.  I don't have a problem with it per say, I understand it is from the best of places, but it is just one of those things that just gets me.  We all find them in the ones we love, so overcoming them is most probably a universal battle waged by all humans past a certain age.  If this were some fantasy battle, I'd characterize my mom's comments like a cloud of gas around her that deals a tiny bit of damage while around her for long periods of time without movement or action.  In said fantasy battle, if I were to leave the poison cloud, I'd no longer take damage, but I'd also deal damage to her because she wants to talk to me.  So I can't leave.  What do I do?  I'd probably cast a spell or just cover my mouth to stop myself from ingesting the poison.  Ironically, this technique works equally well when not in the fantasy setting.  I love the word irony here and I think it is perfect, but I want to expound on that point by saying that this mirroring of actions across mediums of expression is more than metaphor.  It is true congruency.  

Next time you feel someone's presence is defeating you, consider observing their mindset and asking yourself what mindset you must be loyal to in order to benefit the current situation.  If they are hurting you, are you going to hurt them to show them that you are in pain because of them?  Are you going to do something that will protect yourself from the actions you know you can defend against?  Are you going to simply leave the battle because you can't defend against it?  Are you going to burn bright and warm to pacify and heal?  We all know the coworker with the stonewall smile and I-don't-give-a-shit to their boss.  We all have met someone who strikes the most exposed nerve you have just to make you feel as in pain as they are.  How do you deal with those tactics?  Do you defend yourself?  Do you fall like a soccer player to show them how successful their strike was?  Do you make the first move or the second?

Ask these questions as martial artists do, modify your footwork and your tactics, let that mindset lead your actions.  Remind the world that all forms of expression are the real metaphor.  For all of it is metaphor for the truth as it is in this very moment.


College, redefined

Many of you know that I am neck-deep in the wake of the tidal wave that is the programming project I am working on.  As I work, I think to myself, "I wish I had some kind of place I could go to learn and have help giving physical form to the ideas I have."  Then I stop.  I am reminded of a game I played where the fantasy land had a college that was just like this.  It was a place where all the brilliant eccentrics hung out together.  The college had floors of research labs open for all to participate and discover with.  One wasn't ever a "graduate", academics were simply judged on how long, and how much, they gave to that community.

I want one of those for my world.  While I do know the first thing about programming, I am nowhere near knowledgable enough to complete this programming project without help.  So I picture a world where these colleges and their inhabitants are updated in real time via the internet.  I can know where all my favorite minds are (looks like Sir Ken Robinson is in Scotland today), I can search for communities of programmers (looks like there is a campus ten miles out where Wiemar used to be that is home to some programmers who could help me), and I can have access to all these resources at any time (looks like my tax dollars for education will be well spent this year).  Picturing all of this in my head is the first step.  Pulling the present forward to meet this imago is the next step.

The way I see it, first world countries would not have to build a single building or earn a single cent to turn this into a reality.  Dump administration teams and testing coordinators and curriculum designers and let the WORLD decide what needs taught.  School presidents would become gigadeans and their whole campus would now be rentable with access to equipment to students looking to learn and do.  I'm sure many teachers would rent out their room and hold classes of their fancy open to all.  I'm sure a few hundred local teachers of pottery, martial arts, yoga, or literature would be overjoyed to be able to have their midnight class in a safe place with free rent.  This would facilitate lower prices which is the direction we must go, for it is in direct incompliance with our current economic model.  If you wanna know more about that direction, stay tuned for next post.  Dear reader, thank you as always.  Til next time.



Watch this.  Please.  Come back when you are done.

So.  Yeah.  He's 13.  No one judges him but him.  He is free and awake and confident, independent and idealistic.  What changed?  Well, he became basically uncivilized by our societal standards.  He hacked his world wide open like a watermelon and is devouring every delicious piece of eternity.  He didn't do what someone told him to do, he learned how to find what makes him alive.  He was homeschooled.  He was rescued from the modern paradigm.


Tokes of Awe 2

Welcome back to episode 2 of Tokes of Awe where we honor the show Shots of Awe by taking QUITE a bit more weed than Mr. Silva before sitting down to write.

I love plants.  They are so beautiful and hopeful and resilient.  Their babies, their SEEDS, have the strength to break through concrete in order to reach up towards their energy source, the sun.  Once they reach the sun, abundance is found; all of their wants and needs disappear and they party in the vast plenitude of it's radiance.  They begin to produce fruits and seeds to GIVE to the world for free because they are so satiated by this concert in the sky.  

Now I have partied with some intense disciples of the universe, but plants take the cake.  Sticking with this concert metaphor, plants extend with exuberance like groupies on the roadshow of their life EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Even if they run out of food and water, they'll still rock out until they wrinkle into crunchy husks.

So take care of your plants.  Give them water with the same care as you would give to a groupie barely conscious from rocking out too hard on without a water bottle.  Do that and she'll share with you the joys of her life completely freely.  ... Yeah, that's what I came here to say.