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Saturday, February 28, 2004

Macrosick

I recommend everyone keep an eye on an up and coming band called Macrosick. They're a derivative of Earthsuit. I'm really excited to hear Macrosick, although they haven't released an album, and their website has almost nothing on it. Here it is anyway. You might like to read the background image on their Info section.

My post on Hatrack

Here's something I posted on Hatrack. It's on a thread dealing with Orson Scott Card's latest commentary. Here's the commentary: http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2004-02-15-1.html

We all must remember that OSC comes from the LDS church which has about the strongest "family values" in the country. I, however, agree with most of his points(except that I think homosexual couples should get some financial compensation).

Note: I haven't read any of the previous posts. I hope my ideas are semi-original

Somehow I think this phenomenon of high rates of homosexuality is a natural occurence due to the high population of humans in the world. When there are few people, as earlier in history was the case, everyone was a generalized contributor to society. You provided almost everything for your family, and had responsibility for the success of the future of your community as the very purpose of your life.

As the population increaes, more food is produced than is consumed per capita. This leads to specialization of jobs. Families don't need to provide everything for themselves. Thus, women shirk their naturally occuring roles as keepers of a stable place we call home and as bearers of children. At least, this can be put off for a longer period of time. Because of this, males have less available females who need a mate and a protector. So the male is left to his own devices as well.

People are so specialized in their jobs today that people don't have to have responsibility except to their own job, if they so choose. Their parents will be put in nursing homes. Their children are put in day care/school so the parents can work. The grocery stores will have all the food they need and more. The hospitals will be there in case anything is wrong with a body. There is a service available for every conceivable need, and this is all because we produce more food than we need for ourselves. Since survival is not the core issue of life anymore, people take for granted that all those people responsible for providing these convenient services will always be there. Everything is now about gaining material wealth or the advancement of human knowledge from here on out.

Since there are so many people and nearly everyone is well cared for, we have no reason to worry about the survival of the human race. Thus, if there is any person who feels homosexual urges, he/she will be more likely to act on these urges. The survival motivation is simply not there in any way. It has been shown that even lower animals such as rats will have an increased tendency towards homosexuality as population density increases. While human sociology is more complicated, it seems these are correlative phenomena. When there is no need to propagate the species, activities which do not promote it are more likely to be followed. So yes, acting on homosexual urges would seem to be a choice, to a large extent. I think it is only genetic to the extent that we can recognize the attractiveness of another of the same sex. This is of course necessary for survival in order to know who our mating rivals are. But in our current situation, maybe people are more likely to act on this recognition in a non-competitive way, as is most often the case.

Anyway, that's enough from me. Have fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Got a place to live!

Hey all, I just want to let you know about the place I'll be moving to. I'm renting a room in a house from an Indian couple. They're Christian, and so is the tenant who lives there with them. So I'm really happy about that. The room is big enough to fit all my stuff and has two closets.

I'll get a cable connection and pretty much free reign in the house. It's pretty much like how I've been living for the last year and a half, except it'll cost a lot more. I've really been spoiled up till now, in any case. Anyway, I think I'll enjoy living there.

But I HATE making decisions like that! I somehow have a complex where I don't feel confident in myself to make certain decisions. I can buy a computer just fine, but a place to live I just have no expertise in. I brought my friend Chris along to back me up in looking at the house. He did a very good job for me. My friend Sasha went with me to the last place I looked, and he is absolutely ruthless about being critical of a place. I think I end up being more concerned about the people I'll be living with rather than the actual place. But I tried my best and Chris helped me out.

But I'm still nervous as hell to see what Sasha has to say about the place! I guess I just really need to have other people's approval about this sort of thing. I am naturally a follower. It is actually one of my strengths that I can do what someone says reliably. So hopefully this place will work out well.

Look for the fourth chapter of the story next week.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Metal Urger

Chapter 1 - The First Wind

Chapter 2 - The Second Wind

She made good time, soon passing the outlying shepherds and farmers. Her capper-cross was strong under her, as the spinners whipped wildly around in all directions. The spinners of the capper-cross spanned about eight feet in radius and it appeared as though she was a dragonfly. She neared the village center, with its various huts and crafters and people going about their daily work, to and fro. Then Lorri came upon the tall hut known as Lookpost. This is where all those whose calling it was to be a scout would come to make reports and get assignments. It's where she got her assignment to go across to the leeward side of the mountain, and now she would return with her report.

She landed the capper-cross and rushed inside. No one was there. Where could everyone have gone? She went out the door and looked around. Then Lorri saw the Captain of the Watch, Narr, walking quickly and with worry in his eyes.

"Lorri, we saw the smoke signal and made preparations for an attack!" said Narr.

"Oh! I completely forgot about that! Sir, the Demaij...it was following me. But then it collapsed. I sent the smoke flare up just before," said Lorri.

"Girl, you must've been dreaming! I've never heard such a story in twenty years as a Watcher," Narr snarled.

"Fine, go check it for yourself, sir. But, I think the days will get more - interesting - from now on," Lorri replied.

"They certainly will," said the captain, as he stared past Lorri and pointed in disbelief. Lorri spun around. There was the Demaij, carried toward the two by other Watchers, and followed at a distance by a number of villagers. It was an amazing sight, and no doubt unparalleled in all remembrance of those present.
"Get that thing to Coil, now!" barked the captain.

Lorri followed as the group moved toward Master Coil's workshop. Coil was the most highly respected crafter in the village. He was talented in working with contraptions. He was known as a Metal Urger. Metal Urgers were rare, and any village would pay handsomely to have one. A Metal Urger wasn't just a blacksmith. Every village had one of those. A Metal Urger was more than that. He could make things. Things like the capper-cross. Wonderful inventions of machinery that no one else could've contrived. In fact, no one knew why the things he made worked.

Once inside the Metal Urger's workshop, the bearers of the Demaij laid the broken or unconscious thing on a large table in the middle of the room. The dark and strong man with deep black eyes looked strangely at the ore-beast, and then spoke up.

"Where in hell did you pull this thing out of?!" Coil boomed.

"Master Coil, one of my Watchers was hunted by this Demaij," said Narr. "It was Lorri. She claims the thing followed her through the mountain pass and then collapsed.

"Girl, is this what happened?" Coil asked.

"Yes, sir. The beast just crashed to the ground at full speed. I had already sent up a warning signal by then," said Lorri. "Sir, the Demaij are very frightening. I didn't know if I would escape with my life. What will you do?"

Coil replied, "Don't worry your pretty little head. You did well. I can't imagine why the beast has fallen. I will look and pry. For your sake and all of us, I think this is one of the greatest oppourtunities in a long time. Perhaps I can reveal some weakness in the Demaij that caused this one to fall. Maybe we will save our own lives. Every day will be dangerous now." The Master paused for a moment and looked over the Demaij. "Now, go! I have much work to do!"...

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Got a REAL job!

Hi all! My internet has been down until now because of Verizon screwing up the cable lines for a few miles around. Anyway, I'll get to work on the third chapter following our lovely heroine, Lorri. What the heck is a Demaij anyway? Guess we'll find out eventually!

In other news, I got offered a job at the Language Research Center of McNeil Technologies! I will be working on a project in which I will attempt to find new Arabic words hidden in a gigantic amount of contemporary Arabic text, mostly from newspapers. So, I'll be learning some Arabic and some programming and some linguistics all wrapped in one! My specialty! Thanks to Drew Foerster for referring the director of the Center to my resume.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Since when did humans have litters?

I was hearing on the radio about another woman who gave birth to many babies in one pregnancy. This is more and more common these days with the advent of in vitro fertilization(IVF). Surely, this treatment achieves for many the dream of having a baby that they couldn't otherwise have. However, this treatment is hardly perfect, and perhaps there should be more controls on it than there are, at least until the technique is perfected more.

Besides the fact that babies born from this method tend to have more problems generally, it hit me last night that it just doesn't sound right. Since when did humans have litters of babies? That's literally what's happening these days. Human females having litters. I mean, I've heard of a cat having a litter of kittens, or a dog having a litter of puppies. These species naturally have a high occurrence of multiple births. It is something that they were made to do and the females are made to handle this in order to survive. But I don't think a human female was created to handle six or seven babies floating around in her womb. Crazy.

People have not used this perspective very often and take these occurrences as mere oddities, but joyful ones, since so much life is being brought into the world. I think it's great when babies are born, and I want to have some of my own, when I get a wife.

But perhaps we should consider the impact of this unnatural occurrence in our females when they are subjected to supporting so many inside themselves. And each baby must be under more stress if it is trying to sustain itself among so many others. Scientists have studied these things, and evidently have found that women and babies are able to handle these situations, which is why it's legal. And of course there have been successful multiple births. I just think it's a little weird that humans are giving birth like dogs or cats when we are generally made to only house one or maybe two babies at a time.

As further evidence of the imperfections of IVF, read this article on irregularities of single-baby IVF births. I'm not suggesting to get rid of this treatment all together, but just to have more restrictions on it until it is improved so these pregnancies will mirror natural ones more closely.