An Example of Over-reactions

Written by  on June 6, 2015

Something that gets noticed a lot is when people jump to conclusions right off the bat when it comes to breaking news. Even though not all of the information is out there or the situation hasn’t been fully evaluated yet, people always jump to a conclusion based off a few headlines. All humans are basically guilty of this, it’s part of human nature.

I’ve ran into a few different and odd situations where people’s conclusions put the people around them into rather dangerous situations. An example of this occurred with me several years ago when the auto industry in the US was bailed out.  Around that time, I and a few of my college classmates were about to celebrate our 21st birthdays. Just for kicks, we took a trip down to a local bar in a busy part of town that had quite a few places in terms of nightlife. Since most of us lived far enough away that it would require someone to drive, one of us who was yet to be 21 had to drive us there, and from that place after we were done, we were planning on going to my apartment to finish studying for a midterm that was going to happen at the end of the week. Seeing that it was a Monday, the four of us doubted that the area was going to be packed, excluding a lot of frat/sorority people who never went to class and just spent their entire college career drunk.

So we picked a random bar, it was a sports bar, and it was nearly 6pm that afternoon when we went in there. As we expected, the place was rather empty, except for a few guys, one of which looked like your stereotypical redneck you’d see if you do a images search for “redneck”.

This place had quite a few television sets all over the place. The barkeeper had one of them on a broadcast TV station, one of your big four stations that do their 6pm local news and then their 6:30pm national newscast. I think this was NBC, a channel I couldn’t stand due to their views on file sharing and tech. Now that I think about it, I still can’t stand them.

So they go on about talking about the auto bailout, and how GM was going to be getting a ton of money to stay afloat. We were already sitting a few seats away from two of the redneck guys who looked like they were slightly buzzed or drunk already. I think they were construction workers or something. One of the redneck guys turned to us, and starts saying:
“Whoever disagrees with that bailout is supporting communism.”

Now, a rough definition of Communism is as follows: An economic system where the state controls the means of production. The United States doesn’t technically fit that definition, the opposite system is a Lessie-faire (free-market) system in which the state doesn’t manage any means of economic function, except for levying taxes. The United States isn’t a total free-market system but isn’t a communist system either as regulations and restrictions on certain functions exist. One of my friends at this bar had this going on in his head and decided to rebuke the redneck guy.

If I recall, his comment was something like: “Um, that’s not communism. The government owning shares in a company and having a controlling stake is more communism than isn’t.”

This redneck guy immediately flips his lid and gets angry. Next thing that happened is the guy is pointing a handgun at us, starting to yell at us about how we were communists and kids don’t know anything about how the world works. At that point, I think all of us were nervous we’d get shot by this drunk guy and that would be the end. The guy behind the bar though had a different reaction. Before anyone could react, he jumped the bar and ripped the gun away from the guy and pointed it back at the redneck’s head. Later we’d learn the guy was an ex-navy seal or something like that who also taught MMA fighting on the side besides his bartending job. While the drunk was stuck in that chokehold with his own gun pointing to his head, the bartender decided to give him an lecture on economics. The police arrived about twenty minutes later and arrested the guy.

So what does this story have to do with overreactions?

It seems that lately, there’s always a social media outrage with people having a mob mentality jumping to conclusions before all facts are known. A good example is that one dentist who traveled to Africa to go hunting, following all laws even with a guide and killed a lion. Even though it seems that is acceptable on that side of the world on what he did, the rest of society in the west decided to grab pitchforks and do everything they can to destroy that guys reputation with comments like “how dare you kill that animal”. This has been happening more and more it seems and it seems only a matter of time before some people get so numb to the outrage that they will cycle outrage mobs as much as they can to cause even more issues. This can even possibly start causing loss of life the way it’s going.

This is something I kind of want to follow more going into the future as this has gotten more and more common with the growing presence of social media. Maybe it’ll be story worthy.

I’m in the mood to make fun of myself

Written by  on July 4, 2014

So while I was moving into my new place, I came across several notebooks from elementary school all the way up through high school. Looking at them now, I have to laugh at my inability to spell and some of the random drawings I came across. I decided I’d show off some of the ones I found since they seem… quite strange.

Hithler

Apparently as a kid, I couldn’t spell “Hitler” correctly. Why I selected that as a word for that hangman picture, I have no clue. So supposedly Nazi Germany used to say “Hail Hithler” instead of “Hail Hitler” . Also, “donut” planet? I didn’t know there was a planet of doughnuts.

Speaking of Hitler, I watched the cartoon Dilbert on Netflix and got these as suggestions:

hitlernetflix

old spacejunk character list

Old  Space Junk character list. Only three of those characters remain from the original list I created over 10 years ago, and they’ve changed compared to that. Also reminds me to get off my butt and complete my book. It’s now three years past its due date. I didn’t realize I came up with the idea that early though, apparently two years earlier than my first word document.

space junk ch1 03

The old Intro from Space Junk in 2003-04. Only thing that still remains is the first sentence, minus the character name. I enjoy seeing all those spelling errors. I think I wrote that while being bored in my high school English class.

old space junk species list

Old species list from 2003-04. None of those are used. Hell, even the later part of my plot was tossed not too long after this picture.

Going even older (the 90’s)…

Boyan Attack plane

This was in a book that was dated from 2nd grade if my years are correct. 999mph is kinda slow for a spacecraft or airplane. Also the amount of fire coming out of the engines is concerning. I had a habit of labeling who was the pilot/copilot, me and a childhood friend flying Swat Kats style (big cartoon when I was a kid). Also, why is it bombing an empty platform? Waste of ammo (or energy).

I actually drew a comic book series around the same time as the picture above that when I saw years later cleaning out trash in high school. That comic book series is actually what Space Junk came out of, although the original story and meaning has long been trashed and replaced with stuff that makes more sense. Who knew that random drawings from my childhood would give me an idea for a book 7 years later (well now 17 years later)? Maybe I’ll scan that eventually, I still have it with the other stuff.

Not forgotten…

Written by  on June 28, 2014

It’s been almost a year since I posted any updates on here. Between moving and setting up for a new job, I haven’t had the time to sit down and come up with original content like I planned on. Hopefully that will change soon. I have a bit of a priority to spend some time working on my book in the next few months so I’ll finally be getting around to doing an update to that.

I have a good guideline I want to follow that’s 90% done, however the hardest part I’m struggling with is out of all things, the beginning.  I have a few other things I might post about here soon that aren’t really rants and not stupid things like me going off on license plate frames.

On a side note… Arguing with environmentalists is just like arguing with someone who doesn’t think evolution exists, it seems like their brains are wired exactly the same.  (More on this later)

An Open Letter to Other Small Blog Owners

Written by  on September 8, 2013

There’s times I cross around online to find other smaller blogs and the content they have, usually because the content is typically unique compared to what you see on major sites.
However, I do have a major gripe with some I’ve come across….
First thing you and I both know already, your page views are going to be small.
Second, not every user has a 50mbit or higher internet connection. Cramming 30MB of ads onto the sidebars, top and bottom of the page is stupid. That many ads will likely not recoup your server costs, and if you think you can make a living off of that, you’re insane.
Third, forcing your users who may perhaps have a metered connection (think mobile) to download all 30mb worth of ads before they can view your content is pure greed. Also, some of us who do use mobile connections, like me who’s in the process of moving, put in adblockers to SAVE our data.
Basically, what I’m saying is if you’re running a small blog like this one, cut out the bullshit. You’re denying yourselves regular readers all in the name of making a buck.

(Blog names omitted currently because wordpress likes to do pingbacks to them.)

This post was done from my phone. It might be edited for clarity later.

Curse my inability to draw

Written by  on August 14, 2013

So, being done with college now and having a somewhat more predictable free time schedule, I decided it’s time I attempt to dedicate more time for my very neglected projects.
I’ve never been quite too fond of the current theme I have setup, I wanted something a bit more… neonish, dark but somewhat scifi for a theme. Older versions of this site that I never got off my butt to finish always had a black background with either blue or green text, attempting to mimic the old monochrome monitors of the early 80s. I still want a variation of that, but themeing WordPress seems to take up a bit of my time. I have a prototype theme I think needs a bit more work, so I’ll clean it up soon and launch that as the primary theme.

Next is the logo. I’m a horrible drawer, personally I haven’t done much besides cad drawings and schematics in probably 5 years. Stuff for fun even longer than that. As a kid, a few friends and I used to draw these really embarrassing (in my eyes now) comics depicting humans fighting various alien species and some times humans of the opposite sex or different countries. It was something that led to me being made fun of by people, which I honestly didn’t really care about at the time since I thought they were wonderful. That stuff dropped off in middle school, when I started to gain interest in doing fanfiction and began to teach myself about computers. I rediscovered the comics I drew as a kid a few years later in high school when I was trying to find leftover school supplies. On the back of one of the comics was a plot guideline for the entire series we had planned. That guideline became the rough edges for my incomplete story Space Junk.

As for the logo, the idea is a variation of some of the old Strangeness Networks logos I made on paper back in high school when this site was set up to be an “alternative media” website.  It never took off because we all lost interest a week in. Basically, the site was supposed to display a different logo every 24 hours, usually something unusual. One logo was the sites name drawn with a smoke trail of a Saturn V rocket (yes impossible). Another was with frogs. Some were kinda plain, for example one was a schematic drawing for a building but instead drew the site name, whereas some were super unusual as they involved measuring equipment or kitchen utensils. My idea for a logo was a combination of all of the above, each random object representing a letter for Strangeness Blog. I was thinking of a rocket drawing an S, the T being a fork and spoon, the R as a ladle, and so forth. I know I did want the L to be a ruler and the G a extension cord. Think of it like the Google logo when it changes for special occasions. Also, if I could figure out how to integrate the lochness monster for the “ness”, that might be awesome, who knows?

I purchased strangenessblog.net the other day, and I intend to move the site over to that. What happens to strangenessnetworks.com, I’m not sure yet. I intend to set a 301 “Moved Permanently” message for any webcrawler that hits this blog to be sent to the new domain. I don’t intend to do away with the old domain as all my emails go to it, but I’m debating having a go with possibly doing a media hosting site a year or two down the road again. For now it’ll meet the same fate as bigbiteindustries.net, mainly a redirect to this blog. I don’t feel right letting that domain go even though I have no idea what to do with it. I do offer subdomains for strangenessnetworks.com if people are interested, for now.

Speaking of Space Junk, yes, I will actually upload chapters soon. I actually finished rewriting Chapter 1 the other day. A weakness I seemed to notice with my writing from 2007-2008 was it was all damn dialogue, so you had little to no idea what the characters were seeing or experiencing, just what they were saying. I actually have a complete chapter guide, plotline and everything done for one story, and a transition into a second story, but that’s another blog post. I really wanted each chapter polished enough to the point that I don’t have to go back and revise anything as much so I could possibly make a pdf of the entire at the end with little modification and make it look much like a real ebook that can be read on a tablet.

I was in a debate of finishing a old fanfiction series I started writing before Space Junk. I did revise several sections and started uploading them to fanfiction.net a few years ago, but stopped right before the good part. I might possibly work on that a bit for the heck of it. I read back on it last week and noticed some continuity errors that kinda are nagging me now, which is why I’m now considering it.