30 October, 2002


Aargh! I am so very mad right now...

And it's all my fault, of course... It always is. You see, I should have been studying tonight; I have a Chemistry midterm tomorrow, and a Calculus exam on Friday, plus I have to do around thirty math homework problems by Friday as well. 

But instead, I went to a Democratic rally, where all the local Democrats came together to talk about why people should vote for them. It was like a debate, except there was no debate; no republicans were present. And nobody gave any arguments as to why I should vote for them! They just spouted crap about why the position they are running for is important, and they said stuff like "I have experience" and "the other guy doesn't pay his taxes." Dear God, am I the only one who could hear the BS they were talking about? 

I asked three of them questions, mostly to the effect of: "You talked a lot about what it is that the office that you're running for does, but you gave ZERO reasons as to why you're a better candidate than the other guy." I got three different responses from each of them. The first said that it is because she currently holds the office so she knows the job better than a new guy would. The second said that he's the new guy, and he blamed all the current problems on the guy who's currently in office. The third said that her opponent got $60k in funding for his platform from a wealthy landowner in the area. 

WTF? How is that even a valid reason for not voting for him? Is she insinuating quid pro quo with no evidence? 


I got mad enough that I left as soon as it ended, without talking to the candidates afterward. 

And then I went to a talk put on by a group that is trying to dissolve the "School Of Americas". For those of you that watch the news, that's the school for combat training in the US that has trained current dictators in South America. You can get more information on it by going to www.soaw.org, but I wouldn't recommend it. The speech they gave tonight was full of logical errors and empty arguments. They talked for upwards of two hours, including a film session and Q&A to an audience upwards of two hundred people. They received a standing ovation. Every person in the room was mesmerized by what was said. Over fifty people signed up to go to the School Of Americas this upcoming November to stage a march. According to the information given at their speech, they are expecting over ten thousand people to come from all over the nation to march on this school. 

Yet they never once during the entire speech ever gave an argument as to why they want the school closed. 

Sure, we teach combat training there. Sure, some of the graduates have gone to become dictators. But we're not the ones who taught them to be dictators. How can they miss this simple logical fact? 

When the Q&A started, I wanted to tear up this guy's logical argument. But I hesitated. In the audience were people that knew me. They all clapped. They all agreed. I was the only person in the entire room who saw what this guy was preaching. But I hesitated. 

I was afraid to speak out. 

I was afraid because the guy that gave the speech spent two years in prison because he broke into the School of Americas by impersonating a colonel and doing crazy stupid stuff. This guytruly believed in what he was preaching. I could tell that he wasn't faking it; this guy actually believed that what he was saying was inherently right. He truly believed that the US gov't is immoral for allowing the School Of Americas to exist. 

I was afraid to raise my hand, because I knew that if I started an argument, I wouldn't stop until I had won. I would have started a shouting match in front of all these people that respect me. I was afraid to speak out because I was afraid my friends would think me bad for doing so. 

I chickened out. 

And it pisses me off. It pisses me off because what was said was so very obviously wrong, and they were deceiving so many of my fellow students. 

The problem is that I attend a Jesuit college, so all of my classmates are Christians. 

Yet I sat silently. I did not ask a question. I did not voice my thoughts. 

In the next philosophy club meeting, I will bring up this issue. But for now, I am silent. I am silent because I am alone in my opinion. Some of the people that I consider good friends, people that I have class with and eat lunch with... These people signed up to do an illegal march on the School Of Americas. Illegal as in ILLEGAL, because the School Of Americas is a military base where combat training is taught. 

I'm sorry, but you don't march on a US military base. If you're crazy enough to do that, then you've crossed the line. 

This march is something they do every year, and the speaker said that there are over three dozen people still in jail for participating in the last march.

Yet fifty people still signed that sheet

...and I sat, silently, watching them do it. If I had just spoken up, then maybe some people wouldn't have signed. If I had just torn apart that guy's logical arguments like I knew I could, then maybe my friends wouldn't have signed that sheet. Maybe my professors wouldn't have clapped for him. ::sigh:: I feel like I sold my soul, just so that I could fit in. Just so that others wouldn't know I was different. I feel used. I feel... like a second-hander. ...

Milton's Paradise Lost

The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. What matter where, if I be still the same, And wht I should be, all but less than hee Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least We shall be free; the'Almighty hath not built Here for his envy, will not drive us hence; Here we may reign secure, and in my choice To reign is worth ambition though in Hell: Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.

Wow. All I can say is wow. I respect Shakespeare, but Milton has got him beat. In case you haven't read Paradise Lost, in the quotation above, Satan is rallying his men, fellow devils that are fallen angels. They are ready to give up, and Satan acts as the Hero, giving them courage and getting them ready for the acts to come. Satan reminds me of Hal, the heroic Prince in Shakespeare's Henry IV, and the one good king in Henry V.

Whereas Shakespeare wrote for the common man, Milton writes far beyond it. Milton writes in ways I hadn't considered possible before... and I love it. I love how every line is a reference to stories of old... I love how every line is in blank verse... I love how it sounds when I read it aloud and I think on what it says... I love it all. Milton writes beautifully.

However, I have yet to cry, even at the sad scenes, simply because I am not Christian. I can see where if a Christian were to read this book, then it would be a hundred times better, simply because of the obvious parallels made between Jesus and Satan, and even Sin and Eve. If I believed in the bible, then this book would really rock my world... ...but I don't. I don't believe, and so the emotions Milton causes me to feel are not nearly as intense as they could be.

It is too bad Milton wrote nothing but religious and political crap. Not that it's crap -- as I said before, I love the way Milton writes -- but the points he makes just don't cause me to reel like they would to a Christian. I don't gasp when he shows how much more heroic Satan had to have been than Jesus. It doesn't bother me that Hell is more full of intellectuals than Heaven is. Sometimes, he will write a line and it is so obvious that this is a great line to him; it is almost as though he worked up through dozens of paragraphs just for that one line... and yet the line says nothing that interests me all that much.

It really is too bad... I intend on researching to see if he ever wrote anything philosophical in nature, apart from religion. If so, then I'll be sure to read it. (c;

29 October, 2002

On Prejudice

My heart's just not into anything today. Although I went to class this morning at eight a.m., I remember none of the lecture at all. I don't recall falling asleep in class, nor do I recall waking up, so I'm pretty sure that I was awake the whole time; it is just that when the class was over, I really could not remember what it had been about. After class, I ate breakfast, which woke me up enough to pay attention in theology class. I'm glad that I did, too, because my theology class is hard. It's not that it's hard per se; most of my peers don't seem to have any problem with the class. But I'm just not good at memorization. In math, all you have to remember is one simple equation, and then you can rearrange the terms and substitute other terms to make up fifty different equations. Because of this, when I study for my math class, all I do is study one or two equations, and I can just figure out the rest from these original equations. Even if I miss a class, I still do fine on my tests, because even if I've never seen the material before, I can always just derive it from what I do know just by looking at clues in the questions on the tests. But in theology class, I am asked to remember things that don't logically follow. There are many different interpretations of the bible, and if I miss a class, then I don't know which one I am supposed to know for the tests. All it is is rote memorization, and it is very tough for me. But I stick to it. And I'm glad that I do; although I am an atheist, learning about religion is somewhat important to me. It gives me a view of the other side, which is something I don't always get to see.

I feel much better today than I have been feeling in the past. The talk I had with Emp yesterday night really did make me lighten up, even if only slightly. It makes me feel better to talk like that, especially to someone I respect and trust. Boy, it sounds really weird to say that... Yet it's true. Back when I was a different person, Emp was the only person who saw me for whom I really was. He knew, and I knew he knew, and yet it was never talked about. He tolerated me, even at my worst. He deserves my respect. I wonder... Would I respect him as much if he weren't as intelligent? That is a good question, I think. It really cuts to the heart of the matter. Am I prejudiced against unintelligent people? I don't wish to be prejudiced, but perhaps I am. My maternal-maternal-paternal-great-great-grandfather was very prejudiced.

Once, my grandmother was walking home from school with two of her friends and the school janitor, a jubilant black man, jumped out of a hiding spot behind some bushes and yelled 'boo!'. He was that kind of jokester; he always had been, and the students loved it. On this particular occasion, my grandmother and her two friends ran away, terrified (though it was mock terror, of course), and they exaggerated the account to my grandmother's grandfather. Immediately, he became furious when he heard what the friendly janitor had done, and he went straight to the school and beat that poor black janitor very harshly, telling him that he should never scare white girls as he did. From then on, that janitor never again joked with the school kids, and he always walked with a limp. That scares me.

I don't wish to be prejudiced. I intentionally strike up conversations with people of all walks of life, just so I can hear the differing views of each side. For example, I am a staunch capitalist, so once I purposely went to a mission and volunteered my time in a soup kitchen serving to needy people. I talked to many people there and did my best to understand their viewpoint. I had the same problem with homosexuality. I am an extreme heterosexual; just thinking of homosexuality makes me cringe. The fact that homosexuality bothered me was in itself bothersome, so I purposely tried to become friends with a stereotypical homosexual, even going so far as to spend time alone with him both in public places and in my private residence. That particular experiment was a failure, though; I absolutely hated spending time with him. Eventually, I decided that I disliked him because of his personality, and not his sexual orientation, but I think I only came to that conclusion so that I could convince myself to stop spending time with him.

But stupid people are far worse. I cannot stand talking to stupid people. It doesn't bother me so much to be around them or to sit next to them in the movie theater, but I physically cannot get in a conversation with a retard. I know that sounds stupid, but it's true. I've tried it before. I bring up a simple topic of conversation and every facet of their expression and their words and even their very blatant thought processes disgust me. It makes me want to puke. As in actually physically throwing up, just because of my proximity to their stupidity. Of course, this applies only to truly stupid people, like people who actually live in a home specially made for retarded people. But isn't that even worse? Why does it bother me so? They are people, just like you and me, and it's just that they're sick. That's all. They have a diagnosed condition of mental retardation. Why does that fact bother me? Why can't I talk to them?


I don't have any pets. I know why other people do; I would get a pet if it would keep me company. But pets don't keep me company. I can't talk to a pet. I get no response or argument from a pet. To pet owners, this doesn't matter. Their pet is their friend. But to me, I can't befriend a pet. Pets are stupid; they don't understand what I say when I talk to them. Pets can't argue philosophy with me. Thus, I could never enjoy having a pet. It all goes back to me being prejudiced. I don't mean to be. I don't feel that I should be. But I think that I am. And I don't know why.

Do you think, mayhaps, that I have a superiority complex? I am tempted to say no, for I actually consider myself quite humble. But what if subconsciously I view myself as humble so that I seem that much more superior? That's a scary thought. But even worse: what if I fear stupidity because I am afraid that I myself am stupid? I mean, I know I'm not retarded, but I have problems with such simple stuff... I didn't know what a pantry was until I was a teenager. I am unable to believe in the concept of 'good' without tearing such belief to pieces with my infernal logic. Even when I play Magic, I make stupid inane mistakes that I'd never mistake if I were watching over someone's shoulder; yet at Magic tournaments I screw up in ways that a beginner would. The world may consider me intelligent, but what if the world is wrong? What if I am the stupid one, and it is the religious fanatics that are truly in the right? Maybe that is why I am prejudiced. Maybe I am just afraid that I am wrong. ::sigh:: And maybe I just think too much.

An Intellectual Conversation

I received an interesting IM today from a person that I had not spoken to in quite a long while. He is one of my few truly intellectual friends, and the conversation that ensued was quite stimulating. I am recording parts of that conversation here, in my journal, so that in coming times I can look back on this journal and read this all over again.

Hemorex: Hello.
Hemorex: (c:
Eric J Herboso: Good evening.
Eric J Herboso: Interesting emoticon you have there.
Hemorex: Yes. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and I have become needlessly sycophantic in my 'old age'
Eric J Herboso: Would you believe I actually had to look up 'sycophantic'? As though I couldn't figure it out from context...
Eric J Herboso: You are Emp, I presume?
Hemorex: *chuckle* If I can still challenge you, then life still has meaning... who else?
Hemorex: What was your tip-off? (c;
Eric J Herboso: 'Sycophantic'. I don't know any other smart people, you know.
Eric J Herboso: I am surprised that you still keep me on your AIM list, though.
Hemorex: Oh, but there are so many ... smat? people out there.
Hemorex: Much like my manhood, my instant messenger list is undersized, and anything that gets on it stays on it for as long as possible.[...]
Hemorex: So... how do you keep yourself amused these days?
Eric J Herboso: Very carefully.
Eric J Herboso: Mostly, I just think.
Eric J Herboso: I made a website.
Eric J Herboso: It will be in PHP within a couple of months; for now, it's just in HTML.
Eric J Herboso: I keep an online diary. (Yeah, I know it's weird, but it feels good to write to the public sometimes.)
Hemorex: Tres amusant. I barely do any coding anymore, and here you are, getting into PHP. I have lagged behind so much...
Eric J Herboso: Perhaps, but with your mind it would be simple to catch back up in any field you might so deem as worthy.
Eric J Herboso: I'm majoring in Mathematics at Spring Hill College. I plan on switching over to physics in grad school, just as I had always planned, but for now it is just mathematics, mostly because it's just fun.
Eric J Herboso: That was a horribly mangled sentence.
Eric J Herboso: Oh, well.
Hemorex: *laugh* In all truth, you know, you're still the only person who I can talk to. At all.
Eric J Herboso: Am I truly? I must admit to some surprise...
Eric J Herboso: ... I wasn't exactly the ideal friend, even in the best of times, now was I?
Hemorex: I was so turned off of science, mathematics, and every study produced by Western society by college. Never before had things so interesting before turned so boring to me.
Hemorex: No. Never. Does it matter?
Hemorex: Ideals don't exist in actuality.
Eric J Herboso: 'Tis an interesting observation....
Eric J Herboso: I'd considered it before, of course; but to apply such to whom I would call friends?
Hemorex: Why not?
Eric J Herboso: I have no logical argument against your reasoning... Rather it is just a feeling that an 'unideal' friend would not be considered "the only person who I can talk to."
Eric J Herboso: Why did college turn you off so very much?
Hemorex: Dropping the philosophical veneer for just a moment: Anyone else to whom I so much as uttered the word "sycophantic" would have given me a look as though I had grown horns, breathed fire, and was without pants.
Hemorex: It's really difficult to say, now. It was so long ago. I could throw a hundred excuses and theories out, but all of them would be meaningless.[...]
Hemorex: I'm reading the excerpts from your journal, however. Scathing indictments of the thoughtless masses, est-ce que?
Eric J Herboso: I guess I had thought that by going to college I might encounter actual intelligence... Boy was I wrong.
Hemorex: How low it is, to feel as the lone thinking creature in a swarm of insects; and how great the rush, to feel the violent superiority of the wolf in the pack of sheep.
Hemorex: *Laughs* I had the same delusion.
Eric J Herboso: I write what I feel in my journal, and I make absolute sure that I never lie there. It has become a haven for me; a place where I can type to my heart's content without concern for anything at all.
Eric J Herboso: I actually like college, you know. At least compared to how I lived before I went back to school.
Hemorex: I will respectfully avoid asking for detail.
Hemorex: What so fascinates about college now?
Eric J Herboso: I suppose it is because I am not as smart as you.
Eric J Herboso: I find myself actually challenged in a few of my classes.
Eric J Herboso: The people aren't highly intelligent, but I am learning stuff. A lot of my courses are extraneous, but in some classes, I actually have to think.
Hemorex: Self-depreciation, with that ever-looming threat of sarcasm, has no place now. But I am curious, what would challenge such as you?
Eric J Herboso: Mathematics. I know it sounds stupid, but I'm actually learning new things there.
Eric J Herboso: And Chemistry as well. Chemistry is not as hard, but it's not what I would call easy. I actually have to study out of class in order to get good scores on my tests.
Eric J Herboso: And although Literature is easy, my class is forcing me to read books that I've never read before, and it truly is expanding my knowledge.
Hemorex: So, by thus being challenged, and overcoming these challenges, what end have you acheived?
Eric J Herboso: I get to think.
Eric J Herboso: I was so very tired of not thinking.
Eric J Herboso: "Colleges are places where pebbles are polished and diamonds are dimmed." -- Robert Ingersoll
Eric J Herboso: I am but a pebble, Peter. I say this not because I wish to degrade my own knowledge, but because compared to the biographies I've read, I am nothing.
Hemorex: That's an extraordinary thought, yet I found college to be little more than a place where bits of paper flew about in exchange. Sometimes, to analyze the most basic generalities can be so frightening; intricate complexities are so comforting in their way.
Hemorex: Pebbles shatter glass as surely as any diamond when thrown with enough force. Biographies are written to flatter, and add sheen where there is none.
Hemorex: Were I to write an autobiography, I would be the grandest hero; slaying the demons of civilization while tormented only by the suffering of others. I would not eat,sleep, shit, or masturbate.
Eric J Herboso: But the average physicist puts out his best work when he is 24 years old! I am 21, and yet I know only the basics of quantum theory. Physics is what I am most interested in, but I am no genius. I have nothing extraordinary to add to the world of physics.
Hemorex: That is how we want to be remembered, as an ideal.
Hemorex: Neither does the "average" physicist.
Hemorex: Hence, they are called "average."
Hemorex: Now, there is so much to known; one has a long way to crawl to the giants' shoulders.
Hemorex: Scratch "to" in the previous sentence. My grammar has deteriorated through the years.
Eric J Herboso: And what of you? Have you any long term goal at all, or do you just plan upon contentment in the near future and leave it at that?
Eric J Herboso: "Colleges hate geniuses, just as convents hate saints." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hemorex: Define long-term. I would, of course, love to force people to think, but they do not wish to do this; leave the world better than I left it, but who is to decide what is better? So many things. And yet the end result is the same; eventually my existence will be meaningless, nothing more than a canceled-out variable in a overlarge equation. And I ask, "Why should I care?"
Hemorex: Sometimes I feel like there is so much to know, that no one could ever know it all. It is just a hopeless ideal. And then, it occurs; maybe there is very little to know, but perhaps people do not wish to know that little amount, so they create ideas and thoughts of neverending complexity to occupy theirselves.
Hemorex: Hallucinate, and know fear; reality, as we know it, is nothing more than electrical signals buzzing at lightspeed through a piece of meat. Solipsism, with a hint of nihilism? Absolutely, and intellectually reprehensible.
Hemorex: So where does this leave me? I can philosophize about a meaningless existence, build the definitions of a civilization that will one day crumble, work to build myself up, and crumble all the same. This makes an overreaching goal difficult.
Hemorex: And all the same, I must pause and notice: I am still the same. I still cannot give a simple, direct answer to a simply and directly stated question.
Hemorex: And I laugh at myself.
Hemorex: So, what do you think? Have I gone mad? Had my mind numbed into stupidity?
Hemorex: Has, not had... *grr*
Eric J Herboso: Mad? Hmm...
Eric J Herboso: I would not say mad, though others might disagree.
Eric J Herboso: I would say that you see the problem that no one else ever notices.
Eric J Herboso: Your thoughts are valid, of course. I see no flaw in your statements.
Eric J Herboso: Yet...
Eric J Herboso: If we are to interpret life solely as you have put it, then there is no point to anything at all.
Eric J Herboso: Look at it this way: either you're right or you're wrong. If you're right, then there really is no point to anything and we are all just "electrical signals buzzing at lightspeed through a piece of meat." But if you're wrong, then you will have wasted life for an incorrect assumption.
Hemorex: People have said as much before. When you look at just about any person's pattern of behavior, there is the strong suggestion that they feel that way regardless of anything else...
Hemorex: One simply has to go on what evidence they have. I would be happy to be proven wrong.
Eric J Herboso: Unfortunately, I would bet that such a proof does not exist.
Hemorex: You know, my cat was just sitting in my lap, a minute ago. And I wonder; does he think of things like this, in his animal fashion? Being unbound by language and rules, as we are, is everything simple to him? And he purred, and I enjoyed his company. Was there a greater purpose to this? Of course not. In a few years, he will be a rotting corpse, bringing life to plants. One day, I looked at him and I saw this. I understood the circle of his life all in an instant. And, for that moment, it depressed me. But it does not trouble me now. I do not know why.
Hemorex: I feel that the boundaries our ancient ancestors imposed on us; the strictures of thought caged by reason, are what limit us, as far as they may take us.
Hemorex: A cage travelling at the speed of light. But still a cage.
Eric J Herboso: But...
Eric J Herboso: There is nothing better than this cage.
Eric J Herboso: There is no alternative that even comes close to working this well.
Eric J Herboso: And you accept insignifigance... You accept it so lightly, so easily.
Eric J Herboso: It is as though you have spent years acclimating yourself to a life of insignifigance.
Eric J Herboso: I am tempted to say that it is disturbing, but I would be lying if I said that. I don't wish to lie.
Eric J Herboso: Peter...
Eric J Herboso: Although there is no proof that there is something more, wouldn't you say that to not at least try to believe in something more is harmful?
Eric J Herboso: I suppose you might counter by asking what is harmful, but I know you know what I mean here.
Hemorex: Acribing the existence of the universe to an anthropomorphized intelligence is dangerous, and intellectually bankrupt.
Hemorex: But that is not so much your question.
Eric J Herboso: What of boredom? Is boredom simply a collection of electrons, or is it something more?
Eric J Herboso: When you say you are bored, what is it that you are saying?
Hemorex: Eric, due to an... interesting turn of events, I have come to learn something of the old religions. And I looked into them, and I learned of demonology, and of cosmologies and mythologies so old that people laugh when they hear them now.
Eric J Herboso: Explain.
Hemorex: And then I played connect-the-dots.
Eric J Herboso: And?
Hemorex: I found confirmation that the same gods have been worshipped for thousands of years under different names.
Hemorex: And then, I broke it down.
Hemorex: For most people forget, that an essential part of analysis is studying the basics as much as the details.
Hemorex: People worship nothing, and they worship energy; they worship that which gives it form, and we call matter. They worship that which animates it and causes life. The worship the way life and the inanimate come together, love, war, friendship, hate, the attraction and repulsion of subatomic particles.
Hemorex: I remember, when I was young, I had a lunchbox; upon the lunchbox, was the image of the lunchbox itself, and, in turn, that microcosmic representation had another representation of itself, ad infinitum. And now, it seems like that is the only acceptable metaphor of existence, wherein a great drama is played out, and it is played in microcosm within itself.
Hemorex: The gods taught me that they were closer to concepts and thoughts than they are to you and me.
Eric J Herboso: And it is unnacceptable to worship such concepts and thoughts a la Pythagoreus et al?
Hemorex: No. Nothing is unacceptable, because, in its way, everything is necessary.
Eric J Herboso: ? Please explain.
Hemorex: At the subatomic level, existence is the result of opposition between forces.
Hemorex: For worshipping of a scientific theorem -- outright and openly, to build an altar to it...
Hemorex: Would create a conflict, and thus existence.
Hemorex: (On an unrelated note, I am strongly considering the purchase of a strongly caffeinated beverage. I am either getting more brilliant or incomprehensible.)
Eric J Herboso: ... Umm....
Eric J Herboso: So to consider an opposition between forces to be divine would create conflict?
Hemorex: I know it's a bizarre line of thought, but can you think of anything "signficant" in any way that is not one side of a conflict -- no matter how minor?
Eric J Herboso: No, ... No, I suppose not.
Hemorex: Does this point to an old man in the sky the watches you go to the bathroom? No.
Eric J Herboso: Forget religion, then.
Eric J Herboso: What of love?
Hemorex: Love is a series of conflicts.
Hemorex: Or ... chemical reactions.
Hemorex: Love is not significant. Nothing good really comes of love.... anything really beneficial seems to come from some kind of suffering.
Hemorex: An absolute? I cannot say. But if it were never cold, who would have thought to invent a heater?
Eric J Herboso: But surely there must be some absolute.
Eric J Herboso: If nothing else, then what of logic itself?
Eric J Herboso: Or, to be even more basic, what of mathematics?
Eric J Herboso: Surely, mathematics is 'something more'. Surely, if nothing else, then mathematics at least is pure and absolute.
Hemorex: I'm going out on a limb here, but my opinion is that a paradigm, e.g. logic, mathematics, and christianity, have no significance except in the "power" inherent in their existence.
Eric J Herboso: P... You can't be serious.
Hemorex: Christians will hallucinate if their faith is strong enough. The average person will find ghosts and bugbears if they fear enough. The scientist will discover laws if he is insightful and intelligent enough.
Eric J Herboso: ... You say this, and I cringe...
Eric J Herboso: Yet, what argument have I against it?
Hemorex: I decided a long time ago that a sacred cow is a sacred cow, even if it is a sacred cow of rationalism.
Eric J Herboso: ...
Hemorex: You know that I am not a vegetarian.
Eric J Herboso: But nature herself follows mathematical rules regardless of whether or not we discover them.
Eric J Herboso: Even before man understood the concept of mathematics, speed was equal to distance per time traveled.
Eric J Herboso: Doesn't this make s=d/t an absolute?
Hemorex: Truly? But we cannot know this unless this has been observed, and the scientist cannot observe this except through the lens of science.
Hemorex: Is the cat dead, or alive?
Hemorex: What, in the end, makes the determination of the indeterminate?
Eric J Herboso: But who is to say that this indeterminancy isn't there simply because it is just a flux of possible determinants? And if so, then doesn't the very existence of indeterminancy require multiple values that are specifically determinant?
Hemorex: First: Perhaps, but what if the range is infinite? Could the cat not turn into a dead dog, even though we do not consider it possible, due to some law we do not understand or know?
Hemorex: Second: The existence of the concept of indeterminacy requires its opposite, but why would one have to know something in order to not know something?
Eric J Herboso: First, who cares if the range is infinite? Is an infinite number of choices any less 'real' than a finite number of choices?
Hemorex: It's less tangible to a rational concept. Can infinity logically exist?
Hemorex: I'm sure I've seen proofs that it can and does, and cannot and does not.
Eric J Herboso: Why can't it?
Hemorex: If infinity exists, does everything exist? Will a monkey necesaarily type hamlet or eventually invent interstellar drive systems?
Eric J Herboso: Eventually, why not?
Eric J Herboso: Even chaotic graphs produce orderly fractals.
Hemorex: Even orderly thoughts produce chaotic actions.
Hemorex: Why? Are there blocks in the pieces of meat in our skulls?
Eric J Herboso: I do not claim to know how the brain works. But if a flower can come from nothing but three flavors of quarks and their antiparticles plus electrons, then anything is possible.
Hemorex: Bits of energy that have imperceptible wars; we find the end result to be a beautiful, if stationary object. But it's not; even from what we DO understand, it's existence is a raging battlefield. Battling the force of gravity to stand upright; battling diseases within itself ... et al. The nature of existence is not really "substance," it would seem, but something closer to "motion"
Hemorex: Perhaps "balance"
Eric J Herboso: True enough.
Eric J Herboso: But why can't you view that 'balance' as beautiful in and of itself?
Hemorex: It is. But it does not lend credence to absolutes.
Eric J Herboso: But is it not absolutely beautiful?
Hemorex: There is pain and suffering and ugliness in it as well.
Eric J Herboso: ::sigh:: I cannot argue against what I know to be true.
Eric J Herboso: But unlike you, I still yearn for something... Anything.
Hemorex: People talk of True Love, True Belief, True Beauty ... "True", and "Absolute", are words that are my Devils. They imply rejection of "Untrue" and "Partial". But I have never seen, touched, heard, or felt, "Absolute." I cannot find faith in it, and my instinct cannot find it.
Eric J Herboso: How can you live life in a world devoid of absolutes of any kind?
Hemorex: Why do you try to create absolutes where there are none?
Eric J Herboso: Because reality sucks. I refuse to admit belief in reality when I have an alternative option that is much more beautiful.
Eric J Herboso: I'm not saying I have blind belief. I am not retarded.
Hemorex: There is no need for absolutes, or even belief in such. The aspiration to the ideal is a good meaning, but not the only one.
Hemorex: Refusal to admit belief in reality, even when presented with a more attractive option, is not a logical solution unless necessary to retain one's sanity.
Eric J Herboso: But the allure of an absolute is too great... I'm not saying I disbelieve reality. I'm not saying I believe in fantasy.
Eric J Herboso: But to throw out the concept of absolutes completely?
Eric J Herboso: I don't mean to sound religious. I am not religious.
Eric J Herboso: But Peter... If this is all life is, then I want no part in it.
Hemorex: When you remove absolutes and limitations, all you have is possibility. This, I believe, is as godlike as anyone can be. What is wrong with that?
Eric J Herboso: What is wrong? What is wrong? Are you blind?
Eric J Herboso: Without absolutes, you are left with merely possibility.
Eric J Herboso: Possibility alone is nothing!
Hemorex: But it can be anything.
Hemorex: .. and everything.
Hemorex: Everything is open.
Eric J Herboso: But a statement that says anything and everything says nothing! Without specifics, of what use is any adjective at all?
Hemorex: As I recall, a common concept in japanese literature is thus; The two great warriors, great enemies, ride upon the hilltop to meet in final battle. And there the book ends.
Hemorex: For years, you will think, and ponder about this.
Hemorex: You will discuss it with others that read the same.
Hemorex: Imagination will unfold, and you will be inspired.
Hemorex: A closed story, as it were, will leave you with nothing. Everything has happened. There is no uncertainty, and nothing else can be but what is.
Hemorex: It lives its purpose and is gone.
Hemorex: This frightens me more.
Eric J Herboso: I'm sorry, but I refuse to accept this.
Eric J Herboso: The logic points your way over mine, but logic means nothing without its premises.
Eric J Herboso: There does exist a way in which I can be where I would be better than any other choice of ways in that I can exist.
Eric J Herboso: If not, then what is the point in striving?
Hemorex: What makes you so sure? Perhaps, there are many, n'est-ce pas?Eric J Herboso: Unnacceptable.
Hemorex: On what grounds?
Eric J Herboso: If there are at least two different shades of grey, then there must exist at least the possibility of both pure white and pure black.
Eric J Herboso: Thus, if a thing that I do is more favored than another, then there must exist a most favored way that is purely and absolutely correct.
Hemorex: But also, then, the possibility of colors outside that spectrum.
Hemorex: Favored by whom?
Eric J Herboso: Not by whom. Favored by reality.
Hemorex: Then you ascribe a consciousness to "reality
Hemorex: "?
Eric J Herboso: No... I merely am stating that the existence of reality means that a favorable position within that reality exists as well.
Hemorex: "favorable" is a concept that exists only within the mind of a living observer. It is unfavorable for me to contract a disease, but favorable for the virus that feeds on me. It is neither favorable nor unfavorable, except within our own minds, that our planet explodes and we all die.
Eric J Herboso: Fuck that. Life, as a whole, is favorable to no life. Struggling versus entropy is a heroic act.
Hemorex: Thermodynamics says entropy will win.
Eric J Herboso: Fuck thermodynamics.
Hemorex: Life likes to be there. Maybe rocks don't like it.
Eric J Herboso: "Maybe rocks don't like it"?
Hemorex: It's dumb, but it illustrates a point;
Hemorex: what we think is favorable, may not be favorable.
Hemorex: to something else.
Hemorex: Maybe the inanimate is "happy" not to have the animate around.
Eric J Herboso: ... Perhaps...
Hemorex: Of course, this assumes a kind of animism. Logically, animism could be best described as a "crock of shit." But from a religious or instinctual perspective, there is no problem with the thought.
Eric J Herboso: ::sigh:: ... Okay, I accede.
Eric J Herboso: You're right, of course.
Eric J Herboso: But it still pisses me off.
Eric J Herboso: I can't argue against what is correct and expect to win.
Hemorex: That's fine. But the justification for your viewpoint is feeling. Logic tells you that it's wrong, but every ounce of you that's not driving to destroy yourself tells you that, on some level you're still right.
Hemorex: If that's your justification, then what's wrong with it?
Eric J Herboso: But that's what makes it so horrible... If I am to be logical, then I have to be wholly logical. I cannot allow such whimsical 'feelings' to decide how I think about a subject, no matter what that subject may be.
Eric J Herboso: Either I accept logic or I deny it. There is no halfway. Either I accept all of logic, or I deny all of logic. To believe only part of logic is in itself illogical.
Hemorex: To use logic where it serves you, rather than at all times, even to your detriment, would seem more logical to me.
Eric J Herboso: How so? If I allow myself the luxury of discarding logic whenever I feel like it, then how do I decide when to feel like it?
Eric J Herboso: All or none, Emp. You cannot believe in addition without necessarily believing in multiplication.
Hemorex: Bifurcation is a fallacy I thought only the religious clung to.
Hemorex: You're going back to absolutes, there.
Eric J Herboso: Yes, I know.
Hemorex: I don't have conflicts like "all or none" when it comes to logic or any other paradigm; I accept what it useful to me, and trash what is not.
Hemorex: No one system can be right all the time.
Eric J Herboso: Einstein missed out on discovering that the universe is expanding because he decided to throw out the information that was logically handed to him.
Hemorex: How often do computers crash, or otherwise fuck things up? They're absolutely logical. They do only what they're told with no initiative, and as a result, without a competing viewpoint to provide additional input (e.g., a human operator), they are worthless.
Eric J Herboso: Computers crash because of programming errors.
Hemorex: Does Einstein care now?
Eric J Herboso: Mathematics is always right.
Eric J Herboso: Always.
Hemorex: Remember that 2 = 1, eric.
Eric J Herboso: Fuck 2=1.
Hemorex: 2 = 1.
Hemorex: You proved that, remember?
Hemorex: Broken down, you divided by zero. But you provided a situation for which logic could not compensate.
Eric J Herboso: Division by zero is unnaceptable.
Hemorex: Zero is a number. You divide by a number, you get a result.
Hemorex: Division ... it works for... Most numbers? But not all? Always?
Eric J Herboso: ...
Hemorex: Why the living fuck can't I divide by zero if I want to?
Hemorex: Because it doesn't work. Why doesn't it work?
Hemorex: Pure logic, without an instinctual drive to survive (illogical) or a religious sense of higher meaning (even more illogical) tells me that I really have no reason to be having this conversation, as the end result of the universe will most likely be the same regardless.
Eric J Herboso: Mathematics is absolute.
Eric J Herboso: Any number divided by zero returns the set of all complex numbers.
Hemorex: And thus proudly declares that 2 = 1.
Eric J Herboso: Only because both 1 and 2 are in the set of all complex numbers.
Hemorex: So all numbers are therefore equivalent?
Eric J Herboso: No.
Hemorex: Then how the fuck does 2 = 1?
Eric J Herboso: You cannot equate a set of one value with a set of infinite values.
Eric J Herboso: All that equation said was that in the set of all complex numbers, there exists the value 2 and the value 1.
Hemorex: The infinite values were equated with one another in the form of (supposedly) finite variables.
Hemorex: Any caveman could have told you that there is a One and a Two, possibly up to Five, or perhaps even Ten.
Hemorex: The equation itself was based on simple, finite variables.
Hemorex: Now, when someone says, "If God is all-powerful, can he create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it," someone will most likely counter with a semi-plausible explanation of it, but it never really proves the existence of an omnipotent deity.
Hemorex: When someone breathes in volcanic vapors and spurts gibberish, another can try to say there is a meaning to it and say that the gibberish spurter is an Oracle. But that does not make the volcanic vapors magic or the gibberish spurter divine.
Hemorex: So I'm cynical. And I apply logic's own scrutiny and laws to itself. Or is logic above its own laws?
Hemorex: Is logic a tyrant, and a dictator?
Eric J Herboso: You're just plain mean to poor old logic.
Hemorex: Cruelty is the spice of life.
Hemorex: So? Any more thoughts?
Eric J Herboso: ...
Eric J Herboso: You use logic flawlessly.
Eric J Herboso: It is interesting to hear someone like you talk again.
Hemorex: But I'm a nut. (c:
Eric J Herboso: That you are. (c;
Hemorex: That is what a couple of bored years spent sitting, walking, and philosophizing will do to a man.
Hemorex: unrelated: I hope I'm not unnecessarily keeping you up if you have to be somewhere in the morning...
Eric J Herboso: I have class in the morning.
Eric J Herboso: At 8 am.
Hemorex: Ugh.
Hemorex: No other word utterance would do, simply: Ugh.
Eric J Herboso: Yes, I know.
Eric J Herboso: But I enjoy it, so it's all good.
Hemorex: *laugh* I can barely get myself up when I have to go to work at that time, for there is no reward for doing so, except to hear the adulation of the clamoring masses. And this is not wholly in sarcasm, for a part of the clamoring masses has incredibly interesting jiggling asses...
Eric J Herboso: When I envision Hertz, I see people sitting, not jiggling assess.
Hemorex: Ah, but sometimes the cute ones walk, and being in such a nerve-center of activity as I am, they frequently have to deal with me. And frequently they call. I've got my eye on one in particular. Would I ever consider spending the rest of my life with her? No. Would I ever love her? It depends on your definition. But it would be ... enjoyable.
Eric J Herboso: Interesting... You know, it may sound odd, but I don't think upon such things too often anymore...
Eric J Herboso: I mean, the thoughts are still there, of course, but it is a remarkable difference in quantity of thought as compared to how I was in the past.
Hemorex: Not odd at all. Generally speaking, ass is inconsquential. But sometimes, animal lusts take over. Why suppress them entirely? It's a denial of one's own nature to do so.
Eric J Herboso: Agreed. But it is not intentional.
Hemorex: Not an accusation per se, but an observation.
Eric J Herboso: Perhaps I am sick. Or maybe it is that I actually think hard about stuff nowadays and my brain is too weak to multitask.
Hemorex: Or too focused to cast attention randomly, shotgun fashion.
Eric J Herboso: Or maybe I'm just weird.
Hemorex: You are. But that really doesn't apply in this situation (c:
Hemorex: You know, reading your journal... all these people you talk about; they way they talk to you is the way everybody always has. I'm not sure why, but I find that creepy, how the majority of society will react in the same way to the same thought patterns. I would have thought there would be more individualism, but I suppose that is a ray of idealism trying vainly to shine through the clouds of reality ... hmm
Hemorex: in any case, I'm going to run along now. It has been most enlightening to speak with you again, and I hope to converse further, soon. Goodnight.
Eric J Herboso: Goodnight, then.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to me, Emp. You really did make my night. (c:

28 October, 2002

Thoughts On Thoughts...

Today, I discovered Milton.

I'd never read Paradise Lost before today, but this morning I read a great deal of it, and I must say that I am quite impressed. Milton is definitely my kind of poet, though I'll admit his choice of subject matter in Paradise Lost wasn't entirely appealing to me. Still, it is good to know that there does exist out there a particular style that I love, though the man who actually wrote in that style was too religious for my tastes.

Just the first sentence alone was enough to draw me into his work... Never has any poem ever affected me as this one has in but its first two sentences:
Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of CHAOS: Or if SION Hill
Delight thee more, and SILOA'S Brook that flow'd
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' AONIAN Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert th' Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.

He writes so eloquently that it doesn't even matter that the subject of which he writes is so uninteresting...
He is the Toohey to my Catherine.
You know what scares me the most? It's not anything in specific, but just the concept that I am capable of fear in the first place. For example, when I argue, I argue with myself; yet when I talk aloud, I am directing my thoughts to an imaginary person of whom is in fact very much real, though that reality is copiously obscured because I never see the reality, just the idealized fiction inside my own head. If you'll allow me a simple tangent, I'll quikly prove a slight point: just the other day I received communication from the reality, and not the illusion, and my emotion from it was nonexistent. It was not the fear of the person, but rather the fear of the idea that was important; by relegating the idea to mere reality, the scope of the fear was greatly reduced.
I wonder... Were my dreams to become reality, would I cry less? It is an interesting thought, though not terribly productive, since reality can never conform to what I wish it would be.
Jimmy thought it strange when I remarked upon concrete the other day to him. Though I was being completely serious, he mocked my efforts, not from absence of thought, but from absence of significance. He is enjoyable to be around though, as he is more knowledgable than me in Chemistry class, and I respect that. I cannot but help respect those that exceed myself.
That is the only true problem I have with Rand. For some reason, she portrays Keating as not understanding Roark. I feel this to be a fallacy in the extreme, as Keating, of all people, should understand Roark best. Rand does admit a few points where Keating notices it: most obviously in the scene where Katie is flustered and Keating recognizes the significance of Toohey's shadow; the scene where Keating asks Roark for help; the scene where Keating hears Toohey's speech; etc. But Rand does not build on these scenes; she leaves them open for speculation. And so here I am, speculating.
I tried talking to Mary about it the other day, but m words fell on deaf ears. It seems that no matter whom I speak to, my words fall on deaf ears. Sure, some people leave notes on this or that, and some people even e-mail about the stuff I put up online, but no one ever talks to me. Not in reality.
It wouldn't bother me so much, except that the fictional person I always talk to is gone; or, not gone, perhaps instead I should say that the fictional person I used to talk to isn't listening anymore. And that leaves me very lonely indeed. More so, in fact, than I was previously, for then I at least had the option of talking whilst alone.
Michael expressed disbelief when I at first told him that I spoke to the statue in Cooper Riverside Park. Even when it looked as though he had accepted that I was telling him the truth in this matter, he still could not help but feel inwardly that it could not possibly be true.
I mean, I'm Eric. Eric may be a lot of things, but one thing he is not is out of his mind looney, right?
Or so they think. 

Today, I was reminded of Paul. The week that Liar, Liar came out, Paul died in a car accident. I found out about it at school, and it devastated me. He wasn't my best friend, but I was pretty close to him. We were in the band together, and he was one of the few people that truly showed any interest in my kinds of things back then. When he died, I went into a daze, not really knowing or listening to what was going on around me.

I stayed in classes all day on that Monday, though I remember nothing of it -- all I can remember is learning about his car accident that morning when I got off the bus, and the next thing I knew it was time to go home.

My mother picked me up that day because I didn't want to ride the bus. One of my other friends stayed with me while I waited for my mother that afternoon. He knew I was upset, though I wasn't crying. I was in a daze, and it just wouldn't go away.

When my mother got there, my friend gave her the idea that maybe we should go see a movie; I guess he thought it might calm my nerves. My mother agreed, and so we went to see Liar, Liar.

When we got to the movie, I didn't laugh. Nothing seemed funny now that my friend was gone. But fifteen minutes into the movie, I couldn't help but start to smile. By the time the movie ended, I was laughing out loud.

Don't get me wrong; I was still sad that my friend was dead, and it took many weeks before I felt okay about his death. But Liar, Liar helped me a lot on the day that I heard the news. It made me realize that life goes on.

Now, years later, when I watch Liar, Liar, I don't think it is really all that funny. It's funny, but not overly so. I'm not sure why I laughed the way I did when I first saw the movie. But I do know that I'm glad it did.

But the real question is why did it make me laugh? What about that movie helped me during this moment of grief?

When I remember Paul, it hurts me. Not so much because of Paul anymore (it has been years and years since I got over his death), but because of the fact that when Paul died, I was hurt.

The question I'm trying to hit upon here is why was I hurt?

I'm sure that when I ask that question aloud I'm probably turning a few heads. Perhaps most of you out there are even thinking that it is dumb for me to even think of this question. But that's the problem with logic. You can't not question; if it is questionable, then you must question it, otherwise you are not employing logic.

So why did it hurt? I honestly don't know. Furthermore, I find it questionable to even act as if I could know.

Why was Roark never bothered? Why was it that nothing phased him, not even when he had to work in sub-par conditions, not even when Cameron had to shut down, not even when Dominique stopped him from achieving his goals? Why was it that he was never bothered? And yet! Look when he had his chance for the very first time; why was it that then and only then did he feel, I mean truly feel what he said and did? Why then?

Roark is no Jesus. But that doesn't make him any less saintly.

Do you recall, I wonder, the first time you had a thought? 'Of course not', you answer cursorily, yet have you answered too quickly? Have you not even given it some thought before answering?

And now, now that you've given it thought and you still say 'No, there's no way I could remember that far back', now do you still accept as truth what has been given you? Have you not simply pretended to think it through and instead of giving it true thought are acting as though you thought about the question I asked of you?

I remember my first thought.

Now don't get me wrong; I do not remember events from when I was truly young, but none of that matters. If I cannot now recall the thought, then it wasn't a fully formed thought in the first place, correct?

I had my first thought while in bed. I was at the least over seven years of age, though it is more likely I was around ten or eleven. I had just finished a book and I had laid down in my bed pondering upon the possibilities of said book. I can remember being sleepy, but not yet willing to sleep until I had finished this one single thought. And so I thought with previously unheard of ferocity as I laid in that bed... There were stickers on the wall, glow-in-the-dark stickers that resembled stars and moons and planets and rocket ships... And I thought... I recall a blue bedsheet, upon which there were designs of some kind, yet it mattered not; I lay thinking still... There was a bank in the shape of a Mr. T head on the dresser, and a small figurine depicting the purple dragon from Epcot sitting next to it. And still I thought...

Until... Until I reached my conclusion.

I could tell you what I thought then, but would it matter? All that matters is that I thought; all else is secondary. It is that aspect of thinking that is important and nothing else.


I wonder how many people actually read through all this... And I wonder how many are actually going to respond to it...


25 October, 2002

Miching Mallecho & Dostoevsky

From miching mallecho's diary on FreeOpenDiary.com, concerning an upcoming competition:
For I am jaded, perhaps more jaded than I ought to be in this position. I realize the most probable outcome. It really doesn't matter what efforts I make now, because they will thud softly against the inevitable and fall to the ground, cold. As though they had never been audible.

However...on approximately my twentieth try during warm-ups to make a handstand-pirouette over the bar, I realized that I am incapable of being passive. I am incapable of not kicking it in during this final stretch of the race. I am incapable of not looking at this puzzle and twisting my neck, squinching my gaze, squeezing the smallest of strategy and chance out. I am incapable of not making a damn good attempt.

That is what I call living. If a man does not do what is described above, then that man does not truly live. I am envious... Although I get to study physics in college today, it has truly been a very long time since physics has so enthralled me as to do what is described above.
I suppose this is because the newness of the subject is gone... Oh, how I wish I could learn all of physics over again! To know a thing for the first time is the most beautiful of feelings; to actually discover it yourself is orgasmic -- but alas, I am at a point in my knowledge where just keeping up is hard in itself. I haven't independently come up with anything for a very very long time... ::sigh::

More from miching mallecho's diary on FreeOpenDiary.com:
It's good to feel alive again.
I suppose I want to record these things, so that if I fail, I am able to look back and know that I made a valiant attempt. It was the best I could do, the best it could feel, and maybe circumstances were too great for my control.

Dostoevsky was the same way, and he, like miching mallecho realized it.
Am I that way? If so, then I don't realize it. Or is my questioning of the fact now proof that I at least suspect it?
It didn't make me happy to be as I was, so why was I that way? Could it be that I wanted an unconscious excuse to get away, though consciously I wanted nothing but? When was I last truly happy? I am tempted to answer right away, but if I do, then the answer means nothing.
When was I last truly happy?
When I started this diary [originally published on FreeOpenDiary.com], I chose the pseudonym Garacan. I would have chosen EricJHerboso, but the legal notice that you agree to when you start the online diary states that it is necessary to not use your full name in the title, though it is permissable within the context of the journal. But why Garacan?
When I first got online, it was on an old 80286, and I used MG377 as my username. I chose that name because it defined the three main characters in a book I was then in the process of writing. The pseudonym Garacan is also from this book, which is still left unfinished.
Why did I choose this name?
Could it be that subconsciously it reminds me of happier times? Could it be that the last truly happy thought I've had is from back when our 80286 was new?
That's a scary thought. Especially since I'm afraid it might be true.
It was in mid-1996 that I had my first major epiphany.
It was in late 1999 that I had my second one.
I wonder what Dostoevsky would say if he were here next to me.
"Eric, my boy, you need to think," he would say. "You talk all high and mightily, yet you still know nothing." I imagine his eyes would sparkle as he spoke. "Go out and suffer first, and then you might be somebody. Until then, you are but an ant."
Knowing myself, I'd likely argue with him.
"But sir, have I not suffered enough already? Look at all that I've gone through! And beyond that, what purpose does suffering serve? Is it not enough to be heroic without being misunderstood?"
"Do not call me 'sir', boy! You know nothing of suffering! You have gone through nothing in your short pathetic life! Hah! You don't even know that without suffering there is no such thing as a hero!"
At that, I imagine he would disappear into thin air, not bothering to even allow me to argue further with him, and not even caring whether or not I understood his stance on the subject.
::sigh:: Not even an imagined Dostoevsky will talk to me. I must truly be pathetic.