There is no spoon

The best thing in the world, is the $1 book section at my university bookstore. $30 got me five non-fiction books, and a pretty hefty “dork” badge that followed me through the registers and out the door. One of the books I purchased was “My Year inside Radical Islam”.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book: It was an easy way to get an honest glimpse into the complicated social dynamic that exists when a semi obnoxious, but fairly brilliant twixter tries to integrate himself into the Islamic world; and ultimately the Wahhabi lifestyle.

On a more personal level, I appreciated having the opportunity to walk the footsteps of another college student, whose feelings of isolation via culture shock were similar to mine while I was at WVU. Additionally, his desire for religious and philosophical peace struck me, as I have had a similar desire to learn, but regularly struggle with my impatience when reading philosophy books written by authors who masturbate through wordy, often poorly written, long winded speculations. Anyways, the author, Daveed Gartenstien-Ross, gave me a much simpler option by allowing me to follow him through his personal spiritual journey.

So where has his journey lead me?  I really can’t say.  I was born of two atheists, religion was never a significant part of my life, unless you count my skipping out on Hebrew high school.  When it comes to religion, I simply can’t wrap my head around not having a concrete understanding of something with definite angles and lines. Am I missing out and totally not getting this god thing? Am I thinking too highly of myself, thinking I should understand something that’s beyond me? Is there some specific perspective I’m completely missing out on, or is religion as blind as it seems? Do I have a reason to give a fuck about living a particularly well accepted lifestyle in the name of some…Dark matter? What on earth does lie between the cracks of those various mathematically plausible dimensions? Is my intuition to prove and explain too “human” of a way of approaching something that’s probably completely non-human? Aren’t humans limited by their thinking, as we only perceive things as we see? Doesn’t it pose as a problem that we can’t break the mode of thinking which goes beyond seeing things through our eyes, our fierce seeing of things based on what we know from past experience, our inability to evolve from our prehistoric instinct to gather information and make something of a situation in less than two seconds with such certainty….But what else do we have?

I wish I could evaluate these questions with more clarity and understanding. Apparently I need to spend more money on more books.

In the meantime, I’m just gonna live how I know best to live as humanly possible.

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Remind me to never tell an acquaintance that I have no desire for children and am hesitant to get my tubes tied.

If there is one thing I hate talking about, its abortion.

Not like it isn’t an interesting issue! After all, in order to come up with a fairly sound answer to the abortion question, you have to touch upon philosophy, biology, psychology/child development, politics, sociology, and economics. That’s a lot of research. What kills me, is that regardless of whether you do all that research, the answer is still fucking vague.

A couple years ago, I used to be pretty interested in this issue. Hell, I used to debate in an online forum with this redneck, bible-thumping doctor from North Dakota about it. Thing is, one of the biggest problems we had in these debates was our inability to establish common ground. After all, we had awesomely different values, and assigned importance to completely different pieces of information. We clearly wern’t heading anywhere with our arguments, and I grew tired of debating the issue. In retrospect, neither of us were completely wrong. Our debates truly showed that the Supreme Court wasn’t too far off in declaring that abortion really is a personal moral issue thats halfway fucking impossible to tackle without writing a book on what 50 other books said.

I have no qualms with the way abortion is being handled in the United States, despite my rather extreme view on the issue. However, I realize it would be foolish for me to push these ideas on someone, since I feel the nature of the topic would require me to pursue a more rigorous academic approach to find an answer I can be confident in.

But, until I have time for that level of thoroughness and insanity, I’m going to simply argue that maybe more lives could be saved if we committed half the time, emotions, and energy into addressing other life threatening issues like war or health…Which we seem have a greater possibility of finding more concrete answers for.

Good enough, man. Good enough for me…Till I feel like writing a book.

The more I learn about economics, the more I swear B.F Skinner and Alan Greenspan are related.

What I love about economics is that it never ceases to amuse me, even if the idea’s aren’t always plausible.

I [finally] finished reading a book called “More Sex is Safer Sex” by Steven Landsburg. Each topic touches upon a variety of modern day dilemma’s, which Landsburg attempts to thwart for the benefit of the collective whole. With a little bit of math and the power of incentives, Landsberg tackles “Grade inflation”, obesity, juries, and long lines. But, my personal favorite is the book title, a thought experiment on how you could [completely theoretically, but to my endless amusement] reduce the instances of AIDS. Here’s an excerpt:

“Suppose you walk into a bar and find four potential sex partners. Two are highly promiscuous; the others venture out only once a year. The promiscuous ones are, of course, more likely to be HIV-positive. That gives you a 50-50 chance of finding a relatively safe match.

But suppose all once-a-year revelers could be transformed into twice-a-year revelers. Then, on any given night, you’d run into twice as many of them. Those two promiscuous bar patrons would be outnumbered by four of their more cautious rivals. Your odds of a relatively safe match just went up from 50-50 to four out of six.

That’s why increased activity by sexual conservatives can slow down the rate of infection and reduce the prevalence of AIDS. In fact, according to Professor Michael Kremer of MIT’s economics department, the spread of AIDS in England could plausibly be retarded if everyone with fewer than about 2.25 partners per year were to take additional partners more frequently. That covers three-quarters of British heterosexuals between the ages of 18 and 45.”

Naturally, there are countless assumptions being made, creating plenty of room for argument. In order for this idea to work, would there be a ceiling for how high the rate of HIV infection can be in a particular country? How would you use incentives to coerce the sexual conservatives to put aside their personal morals? Etc. Etc.

The purpose here is to get people thinking, and I hope those who read Landsburg’s book can see that. Economists speculate on how things should be, not how to get there. They aren’t necessarily providing us with a fail safe solution. After all, any solution to anything will always have the possibility of being unfair to someone else…And in Landsberg’s excerpt, this unfairness will lie in the luck of a sexual conservative who gets AIDS. But the general idea isn’t to inadvertently punish the good, it’s to reduce a problem. And oftentimes, economics can present strange, but creative ways to do it.

Either way, I hope my all my art friends will stop calling me boring for liking business and number crunching. Economics never fails to give you a new perspective on approaching a problem, be it personal or political. You just have to get used to the kind of thinking economists employ, which isn’t always easy.

Besides, I’m just l want to be able to say that I can do my part for the world by…Having sex with the world, for the collective good.

Meet my best friend at school, Brianna

howohsopasse (11:00:09 PM): BreeMB430 (10:57:58 PM): http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-general/20080908/Recruiting.Jews/
BreeMB430 (10:58:04 PM): send this to your peoples
BreeMB430 (10:58:21 PM): the great exodus, via brianna barnes
BreeMB430 (10:58:40 PM): can i be jewish too? $50,000 buys some great tits

BreeMB430 (10:35:05 PM): dugg
BreeMB430 (10:35:07 PM): suhh*
BreeMB430 (10:35:12 PM): duhh*
BreeMB430 (10:35:15 PM): whoa drugs
howohsopasse (10:35:15 PM): drugsssss
BreeMB430 (10:35:21 PM): get out of my head.
howohsopasse (10:35:30 PM): dont operate heavy machinery
BreeMB430 (10:35:55 PM): i left my dildo home
BreeMB430 (10:36:03 PM): zing.
This girl is the light of my life.
…..Too bad she broke both her legs a week before school and couldn’t come back this semseter.
Yup, that’s Bree.

Do you like the world around you? Are you ready to behave?

“I haven’t fucked much with the past, but I’ve fucked plenty with the future.

Over the skin of silk are scars from the splinters of stations and walls I’ve caressed. A stage is like each bolt of wood, like a log of Helen, is my pleasure. I would measure the success of a night by the way by the way by the amount of piss and seed I could exude over the columns that nestled the P.A.

Some nights I’d surprise everybody by skipping off with a skirt of green net sewed over with flat metallic circles which dazzled and flashed. The lights were violet and white. I had an ornamental veil, but I couldn’t bear to use it. When my hair was cropped, I craved covering, but now my hair itself is a veil, and the scalp inside is a scalp of a crazy and sleepy Comanche lies beneath this netting of the skin.

I wake up. I am lying peacefully I am lying peacefully and my knees are open to the sun. I desire him, and he is absolutely ready to seize me. In heart I am a Moslem; in heart I am an American; in heart I am Moslem, in heart I’man American artist, and I have no guilt.

I seek pleasure. I seek the nerves under your skin. The narrow archway; the layers; the scroll of ancient lettuce. We worship the flaw, the belly, the belly, the mole on the belly of an exquisite whore. He spared the child and spoiled the rod.

I have not sold myself to God.”

-Patti Smith