TED Talk: Ze Frank: Are you human?

This was an absolutely wonderful talk (which was presented in a way I did not expect.) He does a wonderful job of carrying through the human spectrum of funny, awkward, social, personal, happy, sad, hopeful, and tragic, all with just a few questions.

thenderson said: If you could move to any place in United States to live for a year where would you move and why? Any place in the world?

As usual, I’ve put these questions off for a very long time.

My answer is going to be very temporally-locked, that is, it’s my answer for right now, but not necessarily my answer for two months ago, or my answer for a year from now.

Any place in the US: Right now it’s probably New Hampshire. I just got back from visiting the state on a conference for work, and it was beautiful. It doesn’t sound like it to anyone who has just been watching where I’ve been the last year (hint: I moved to the coast, and further south) but I really do love/prefer the mountains. Combine that with the whole different attitude of New Hampshire, and I could see myself really enjoying it there. I want to live somewhere that is totally different, a whole retreat from what I’ve been used to my entire life, maybe even do something that isn’t really a step “forward” professionally, but just something that would be helpful to me psychologically. I loved all the history and the way in which the world keeps turning in those areas, despite all the history there (or maybe because of all the history.) There are also some other reasons that New Hampshire as a geopolitical state appeals to me, but that’s beside the point. The only downside I can think of right now is that I really didn’t enjoy that regional accent (I’m from the South,) and I really would miss the friendliness (again, I’m from the South.)

Anywhere in the world? Honestly, and I have no good reason for this thought, but somewhere near Scandinavia (Finland, Norway, or Sweden) or even Estonia, Denmark, or Netherlands would just sit well with me right now. The culture is very different but lately there’s some kind of attraction I have to this whole area that doesn’t typically attract the Western World. It feels like it would be an entire escape from everything going on and everything I know in life. That appeals to me very much.

The First Americans to Observe the 4th Were Moravian Pacifists

[via kre-do:]

Fascinating history—a peace church was the first group to celebrate Independence Day:

At the nation’s first official Independence Day celebration, there were no fireworks, no sparklers, and no rowdy parties. The parade was solemn, with reverent music and the call-and-response singing of two choirs. Songs were sung in German.

Those marking the nation’s hard-won independence at that first celebration had not participated in the long and bloody war, and they were not celebrating the newly free nation’s victory over the British oppressors at Yorktown. They were thanking God for peace.

An Open Letter to Nationalism

A lot of people lately (especially in the workplace) ask why I don’t participate in Memorial Day, Independence Day, the pledge of allegiance, or support the troops initiatives. Anyway, just consider this.

[via laliberty:]

An appropriate piece to offer on July 4th … here’s Don Boudreaux, expanding:

I don’t care about America as such.  I care about freedom and human flourishing.  If America is a useful set of institutions to make humans more free than they would otherwise be, then I am all for “saving” it – but only because America is then a means to the end of a freer and more prosperous human civilization.  If America is not a useful set of institutions to make humans more free than otherwise, then I am, at best, indifferent to it.  If America is a set of institutions that makes humans less free than they would otherwise be, then I oppose it.

There is the question of what, exactly, is the “it” to which I refer above as “America.”  Using blogger’s license, it’s a question that I’ll not here explore, except to say that I emphatically reject the notion that the U.S. Government is synonymous with America.  I reject also the superstition that that particular political institution – Uncle Sam – is a faithful representative of that multitudinous and extraordinarily complex and diverse group of individuals commonly called “the American people.”  Indeed, I go further and reject even the possibility that such a group of people can possibly ever have anything reasonably called “a representative” or an agent or agency that carries out its ‘will.’  (Groups of people have no ‘will.’  It is mistaken anthropomorphism to imagine otherwise.)

I feel no, I owe no, and I will never give any allegiance to any nation or any government as such.  My allegiance is to whatever peoples and institutions promote human freedom, flourishing, and peace.  (And I hardly need to add that nationalism and governments have a damn poor record on this front.)

(via paleolibertarian)

[via pleatedjeans:death bulge]

[via pleatedjeans:death bulge]

(via cant-elope)

thenderson said: If you could only save Rachel Dawes or Harvey Dent who would you have chosen?

I haven’t answered enough of these lately.

Harvey Dent. Why? Ignoring the fact that he still suffered physically for his loss of Rachel Dawes (and his mental split represented physically in his appearance), I think Harvey was the chance to redeem the city through a legitimate means, someone who would know humanity and can be the savior.

Unfortunately, Rachel Dawes is a crutch holding me back. She’s what I want and need, but not the ONE I want and need. Similarly, I’m not the one she wants and needs. Saving Rachel Dawes means I have a weakness, and she’s forever stuck with the guilt that I sacrificed a greater good for a lesson I didn’t want to learn. Save Harvey Dent, and his loss becomes the lesson learned on which society begins to rebuild.

Rachel Dawes is the sacrificial lamb we have to let go. Harvey Dent is the savior. You don’t sacrifice the savior for the lamb.

The mind plays tricks.

I’ve been dealing a lot with the difference between reality and perceived reality lately. (of course this is all after the fact that I realized this).

For example: what one group of people sees as a moment of hesitation in me and a moment of weakness when I’m not being bold and outgoing and talking to strangers, another group sees as a moment of oddity in the fact that I’m somewhat talking to strangers though possibly with awkwardness or otherwise with social anxiety. In this situation, what is the reality and what is just perception of those around me seeing life through their own personal filters?

I’ve discovered in the past few years that I have anxiety and that my anxiety stems from one thing: I’m a perfectionist. But I don’t get anxiety about the dishes not being spotless, or finding a perfect job, or ruining relationships, or failing a test, or stumbling in front of a huge crowd. No. I get anxiety about things that cannot be changed or replaced once a mistake has been made. Things like paralysis, diseases, death, murder.. heavy stuff.. but I worry about these the most.

So it’s weird when I throw myself into a very social situation, and suddenly feel more outgoing, and surprise myself by the situations and life experiences I get back. There was a point that anxiety would have kept me at a debilitating distance from these places, but I’m starting to basically throw myself head first into the deep end and discovering that while I’m not exactly swimming the breast stroke, I’m not drowning either.

I think I’m learning, changing, and my mind is growing.

I was listening to an interview today and the guest said that all mental growth and all major changes in life come collaterally with interpersonal relations, that is, you will never overcome a fear, succeed greatly, or change your outlook on life without having someone there to talk to, to discuss things with, or to experience that trial with you.

I think that’s why my anxiety is going away in baby steps. The more I live and the more I talk and the more I just experience life, the less I’m concerned about things that I still (even now) consider very serious problems should they arise in my life.

That’s scary as hell.

But I hope I learn to love those little problems, and life’s curveballs (big or small).

I know it seems that girls can do more damage than bullets, but it’s not true.
DS Miles (Whitechapel)

This is one of those things that I love watching, and really wish I had the skill to do myself. I looks like so much fun. Absolutely amazing, and every single person there has a giant smile on their face.

(Source: yournovemberguest, via lizandthelions)

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face she inquired, “How heavy is this glass of water?” The answers called out ranged from 8oz to 20 oz. She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “The stress and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them for a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed - incapable of doing anything.” Always remember to put the glass down.
(via nofatnowhip)

(Source: keepclassy, via hashley00)

Just because your pain is understandable, doesn’t mean your behavior is acceptable.
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience (via derikisu)

I feel like this is something I’ve been discussing with people lately… not directly… sorta more like dancing around the subject.

(Source: quotes-shape-us, via bryarly)

And that’s how he knew you were gonna have a long and full life. And it filled him up with so much sadness, because in a life that’s long and well lived, there’s gonna be pain and darkness that can’t be understood by those who live day to day like it’s any other. You loved her, she loved you, and you’re never gonna be the same again. And these are all good things.
Lynda Rumancek - Hemlock Grove

Bon Iver - Towers

This has been the song I’m obsessed with lately. Also, I want to live where this man lives.

Enjoy.

Hide here.

Hide here.

(Source: i-heart-a-frames, via bootsbluebonnets)

This picture triggers all of my senses. I can smell it, hear it, feel it, taste it. Pictures aren’t just visual porn, they are an convey an entire emotion and unique experience.
[via with-grace-and-guts:]

Poncho-pup by blue mountain thyme on Flickr.

This picture triggers all of my senses. I can smell it, hear it, feel it, taste it. Pictures aren’t just visual porn, they are an convey an entire emotion and unique experience.

[via with-grace-and-guts:]

Poncho-pup by blue mountain thyme on Flickr.

(via bootsbluebonnets)