An Address to the World Concerning the Ford/Kavanaugh Debate

Alright.
 
I’m going to attempt something that may never have been attempted since the dawn of humanity: I am going to try and bridge this ridiculous divide and help people see this Ford/Kavanaugh thing from both sides. While I’m pretty sure this ain’t gonna change anything and everyone is still gonna throw rocks at each other, at least I can sleep knowing I tried.
 
Get comfy, because this is gonna take a minute. But this is a very important issue, and imo one that we SHOULD spend the time considering.
 
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So, to:
 
TEAM KAVAUNAUGHTY
 
First, try to understand the sheer magnitude of frustration and emboldened passion for their world views that most liberals and leftists are experiencing at the moment. Not only do they have no upper hand in Congress, but they recently lost one of the most emotionally charged Presidential elections in American History. Never has the general populace been exposed to the political process as intimately as we have been since the internet and mass communication entered the equation. So try and cut them some slack for being just a wee bit exasperated; any normal human being would be. It’s natural for people to speak up more aggressively/assertively when they are in a weakened position such as the current balance of power; the psychological instinct is to feel a need to defend their beliefs, which is perfectly understandable. Now I’m not saying you should put up with the hatred and vitriol a lot of liberal supporters/media outlets have been spewing, but on an individual level, try and at least get along and be considerate of the struggle when you butt heads. And let’s be fair, when Obama was in office I sure didn’t see a lot of love coming from the right, even when he did things that deserved positive recognition. If the tables were turned, I imagine many of you would be acting in a similar fashion (which is precisely what we saw from 2008-2016).
 
Now, as far as our current case of America’s divisive flavor of the week: the Ford allegations. Yes, the law and socially-accepted standards of judging whether someone is guilty or not is on your side. We all get that, and to my knowledge there aren’t any liberals/dems refuting that. What they ARE trying to make you understand, however, is that the simple fact that we are undergoing this process to begin with; primarily because it’s regarding a candidate for one of the most powerful positions in human history. A Supreme Court Justice has the ability to affect, and to a certain degree literally dictate, how we as citizens conduct our lives. Paying EXTREME attention to their character, reliability, and general trustworthiness is absolutely paramount when deciding if an individual is worthy of the power to tell us how we’re allowed to live. So yes, the fact that this hiccup has occurred is, in and of itself, profoundly alarming.
 
This is the main point of Ford’s side that you need to consider when discussing and debating this matter. Because at the end of the day, pretty much everyone falls into one of two categories: you either see past this, or you don’t. EITHER OF WHICH is a completely, rationally justifiable conclusion. It is not at all unfair for someone to say that they would prefer we find a candidate whose history is void of this kind of concern, false or not. Sure, as far as we can all legally say, it didn’t happen. But those who are shaken by the simple possibility that this MIGHT have happened is enough to keep someone up at night. After all, its not like they’re advocating we throw the guy behind bars. They’re just concerned. A reason, which you should know especially if you’ve ever hired someone before, that can be enough to move on to the next resume for some. It’s just a personal preference; nothing more.
 
Anyway, there are a lot of other moving parts to this side and their motives, but that’s my general take when I try to stand in your opponent’s shoes, Naughty peeps. Please be mindful of these things when you’re telling liberals they’re the devil for trying to deceive their way into power. Not everyone is as evil as we tend to make them out to be, hard as that might be to believe.
 
Moving on to
 
TEAM FORD
 
This won’t take as long because as I mentioned, it doesn’t take a lot of explaining when the law and society’s behavioral status quo is on your opponent’s side. Their argument is pretty easy to understand. Like it or not, the inarguable truth is that barring some kind of DNA trace, picture/non-existent-at-the-time cellphone video, or other form of empirical evidence somehow magically transporting itself through time into the hands of investigators…this ain’t gonna be provable. Even Ford herself gets that, evident through the fact that her attorneys announced that they don’t intend to refute Kav’s testimony. At the end of this week’s FBI probe, the chips will fall where they may, and life will go on.
 
Its pretty much that simple for Team K. They are the type of folks who view due process as the governing dictator as to how we should formulate opinions and conclusions. Again, perfectly reasonable; especially considering that the entire legal system our forefathers created for us is based upon this exact sentiment. You are innocent until proven guilty, period. Making judgments based on anything less is impermissible and an egregious violation to a dignified, fair society. The line is blurred in this instance, however, because it’s not technically a “legal” matter; it’s an interview. So the question we have to ask is can we take a concern of unsubstantiated allegations into account since this is a slightly more discretionary situation than a formal legal matter? As with all of this, your answer will reflect your own personal beliefs; there’s no black and white correct answer here.
 
So for you Ford folks, that’s basically what you should consider when you’re accusing Kav supporters of “mansplaining”, bigotry, etc. They are simply a different type of person than you; not the kind who let’s the existence of (you must admit) un-provable doubt bother them when weighing the merits of a candidate. A conflicting, but equally as understandable and fair as your own, world view. This does not in any way make them “insensitive”, condescending to women, or otherwise sinister. I want to be clear on that, because I have seen a ton of these kinds of comments arising out of this case. #METOO is an inexplicably important and beneficial movement, but let’s not get lost in the momentum and unjustly overextend its influence.
 
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And that’s it, everyone. My point is that we all need to realize that human beings are a very dynamic, diverse, and different (alliteration ftw) group of individuals. The day when we all agree on everything will never arrive, much as we’d like it to. Debates such as the one we’re having right now will always hinder our ability to unite as not only a country, but a species in general. The only choice we have, if we are to ever achieve this unity thing we always hear about (which, confusingly, no one seems to ever do anything about), is to place ourselves in the minds of others and sincerely try to understand them and the forces driving their views. You’ll find that most people have honest intentions.
 
Oh, and speaking of sincerity. This essay was all a waste of time unless you have asked yourself this very important question: do I SINCERELY, genuinely care about any of this? Dam I truly even concerned about the grand scheme of things and people getting along? Because if we’re speaking plainly, it’s a biologically wired instinct among the Animal Kingdom to be content with our own lives and relationships, without much thought as to what’s going on outside of them. Doesn’t make you a bad person. I say this because it seems a lot of people instead just use these little pop-up conflicts as a convenient means to satisfy the need to share their own opinions, ignoring any concerns to the contrary (the satisfaction of winning Facebook tiffs must be very real, indeed). So if you’ve never looked in a mirror and asked these things, I strongly suggest you do a little soul-searching and self-discovery. Find out who you really are and what you care about; because I think we all know that the biggest lies we tend to tell are the ones we tell ourselves.
 
One last point. There is another group of people that none of this applies to (and tbh, the cynic in me is concerned this might actually be the majority, if social media is any indicator). These are the ones whose decisions and stances on these things are driven solely by their partisan politics and personal predispositions. No matter how much evidence, logic, or reason they are presented with; they ain’t gonna budge, because they are basically God and always right about everything, ever. These are the guys who will sooner go the grave before admitting they might be wrong about something or attempt to be more open minded. You all know who I’m talking about – those friends and acquaintances who you’ve literally never heard say “I’m sorry” in their lives. Yeah…don’t be one of them.
 
So to summarize every one of the almost 1,800 words you just read – for Christ’s, Allah’s, Buddha’s, Brahman’s, Vishnu’s, any other Gods I’m leaving outs, and the Universe’s sake: PLEASE try to get along. Like, really make the effort. Next time you feel the anger sharks swimming in your head, take a deep breath. Be the bigger person if someone’s being an ass and kill them with kindness. That’s how you win anyway, isn’t it? Don’t let the jerks think they said anything significant enough to affect you. Set the example they should aspire to.
 
There. If you made it this far, thank you for listening. If you feel inclined to share this message please do, because this is something which desperately needed to be said and we all know our media/politicians aren’t going to be advocating for the masses coming together anytime soon. If we could begin to think more along the lines mentioned here and start coming together, the power and influence we would hold as a united unit is immeasurable to the point of the world quite literally being transformed. After all, isn’t that the “change” we all like to talk about and wish for? We’ve waited long enough you guys.
 
This is how it happens.

Plans

I don’t like to think about the things they think they know

Cause they won’t ever know about the things I like to think

Perhaps my methods madness, you might be right. So?

Patience is a virtue; can someone hold my drink?

3 years ago I sacrificed my one true life to words

Now as I look back, that time was split into three thirds

Year 1 was only pain

The second turned to hate

3 should have been love, but I fear it came too late

Forward’s where we’re headed

Up is where we go

The auditions almost over

It’s time to start the show

They say a fail to plan is just a way to plan to fail

That’s cool because this plan in mind; it doesn’t fit to scale

This path is not a linear one, this journey is 3D

My WHY is not defined by adding up MX and B

The equation is not simple; its variables, complex

Milestones are many, as are its balances and checks

We’ve only penned the Prologue, now it’s on to Chapter 1

A lifetime lies before us, till the time this tale is done.

Grow

So many things there are to do
A world of options for me and you
Our differences, endless; you and me
A truth for all humanity
Our actions; things we choose to do
They are the answer when we’re asked: who?
Who is the person that lies inside
Behind those ever piercing eyes
It complicated, this question, see
Dynamic, complex, all are we
So often judgment rules the land
A world that asks for what we stand
Such clouded lenses worn, it seems
By this whole world, expecting dreams
They labels others, as they reduce
To one dimension, they just induce
A one closed minded, simple view
Though sadly it just isn’t true
For any who’s enlightened sees
Both violent wind and gentle breeze
They know that perfect, no one is
They understand, they can forgive
And so, my friend, please answer true
My question is: which kind are you?
Where do you fall, which is your sect?
Is perfection a thing that you expect?
Or one of the kind, compassionate few
Who looks unto others as you look at you?
The answer, you see, is not why I ask
Reflection and thought are my only task
If only one thing you take from this, friend
We always evolve, the chance has no end
And so I shall add, if these words offend
One thing understand, one thing comprehend
Nothing can sting like raw truth, I know
The choice is our own – and I choose to grow

Politics

Politics

 

Vote for me folks, your candidate of change!

(My glistening smile can sell anything)

Don’t be shy guys, my numbers are great!

(Mostly my budget will pay any rate)

The rest are corrupt! I say what I mean

(And hope that my lines aren’t read in between)

Once I’m in office, you’ll smile and cheer!

(Regret your decision, and long for next year)

Don’t wait any longer, just run to the polls!

(Shut up and vote, my foods getting cold)

For man and for country, I’ll represent all!

(But mainly the folks that I golfed with last Fall)

Elections are over, let’s tally the vote!

(I hope they paid off, invites to my boat)

Yes! Here we are, in office I stand!

(Time to wreak havoc on your forsaken land)

 

What do you care about? How to literally change everything.

I don’t know why what I’m about to tell you is the case. I can’t explain the strange, even eerie, shifts in my frame of mind that I’ve experienced recently. What I do know, however, is that what I’m about to type is 100% legitimate, real and deadly serious. This is not something I am making up.

I’ve put more thought into what life is all about than ever, as of late. I’ve questioned what my purpose is, and why I’m even here to begin with. Now, for some inexplicable reason, I think I know the answer to that most meaningful, profound question.

That answer is to change the world.

Now understandably, I assume your first reaction to that statement is the thought that this guy’s ego is out of hand, or perhaps that I need to get over myself. And a month ago, I would even agree. But something in my mind has changed. This isn’t even about me. Not at all. On the contrary, it’s about you. 

You see, I no longer care what people’s perception of me is anymore. Because I know, internally, that my only purpose is to make the world one that rewards good, and kindness. Before my Mom died, I admit that I don’t think I was a good person. I was selfish. But now, I know better. My priorities have changed, and I can now consider myself good. And that assured self-awareness completely shields me from having to concern myself with others’ opinion of me. I know who I am. And ultimately, that’s really all that matters. Because caring about people caring about what people think of you are two very different things. 

Anyway, back to changing the world. I doubt anyone would disagree that we live in very corrupt, evil times. So many of the people at the top of society are manipulative, ego-driven monsters that will literally do anything to fuel their status and power. And the ironic part of this is that we have allowed these people to dominate because in all honesty, they’re basically smarter and played their pieces with ingenuous precision.

Now here’s the part that I’m going to try really, really hard to articulate in a way that people understand, because its an extremely deep rooted thought.

We literally have to change our entire value systems if the world is ever going to change. 

Now what do I mean by that? I mean that all of those corrupt people, all of those incredibly smart psychopaths who lack remorse and empathy, have risen to the top because they are playing the game we have created. We have created a society in which money, materials, and otherwise needless luxuries is the key to being perceived as successful. Think about that. The reason people manipulate and deceive is to climb above the rest and appeal to their ego. These people will always exist. They will never go away.

So we have to change the rules. We have to act, behave, and truly believe that real self-worth and happiness is ones ability to be compassionate. To be good. That has to become the currency for how big ones ego can be. After all, these people only desire to be better than others. So if being better means you donated more to charity, or helped the most people, or acted most ethically, then these people will do those things simply because the more they do, the more respected and powerful they will become. After all, why do oil companies, or big pharma, or corporate industries, or anyone for that matter do the things they do? They do it for money. If they couldn’t get rich by doing those things, they wouldn’t do them. They do it because they know people value money, and those with the most money are viewed at as the best. Thus, they do whatever it takes to obtain more of it.

Simply put, we have to control and direct the actions of these people into something that betters the world. Which, funny as it may be since these people think they’re smarter than everyone, is basically outsmarting them and getting them to do what we want – not vice versa like it currently stands today. 

We have to change things, folks. We have to change ourselves, and stop judging people by money, or possessions, or power. We have to all start valuing benevolence, so if you’re truly better than someone, all it means is that you’re a better person and less selfish than they are. Once we change our ways of thinking, it’ll be a fight to who’s the kindest…not the richest.

I really, really hope people get my point here. Because there is nothing in this universe I care more about than making the world a better place, and I will do absolutely whatever it takes to do that. And I think most will understand what I said. I just hope it sparks action. Because the change we all want has to begin with us.

Pushing Boundaries: My Day at iCube

Let’s be honest – we all have a nerdy side to us.

Whether it’s experiencing a new Star Wars movie at an IMAX theater or wreaking havoc in the latest GTA game, we all enjoy an occasional escape into the newest tech. This is all well and good, considering we live in an age where technology dictates the quality of huge portions of our day to day lives. In such a rapidly advancing industry, there’s always something new right around the corner to satiate our appetites for the cutting edge.

Earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to get a full on peek at several ground-breaking technologies that are being worked on by the brilliant minds at iCube – a fast growing technology firm located on the campus of TN Technological University (Cookeville, TN).


When you first enter iCube, you are greeted by one of their core philosophies: IMAGINE

iCube, a firm with hardly a year of operation under its belt, has already garnered a plethora of multi million dollar projects. They’ve contracted with private and public entities, their work ranging from hospitals to municipalities.

A friend of mine, Mack Lunn, is a project manager for the institution and was kind enough to give me an in depth look at some of the projects they’re working on. Read about my experience below.


The Oculus Rift – a gateway to another world

My introductory “lesson” was to familiarize myself with one of the primary outlets they work with – virtual reality. Not long after I arrived, Mack had me strapped in and ready to delve into (for me) completely uncharted territories. Once I was positioned correctly, he tuned me into a few of the on board programs that ship with the oculus by default. They were rudimentary apps developed (I imagine) for that very purpose – familiarization. I stepped into the shoes of a virtual line cook, taking orders and cooking digital food. I protected my castle as it was besieged by hundreds of little e-barbarians. I warped into the future and defended myself from dozens of laser shooting drones, moving about in my small space to dodge their fiery attacks. Needless to say, it was freakin’ awesome.


Hitting your VR tour guide with a clipboard is exactly as much fun as it sounds

After realizing I was having entirely too much fun with the default video games that all Oculus devices ship with, Mack’s next step was to show me one of the actual projects that iCube is working on. The first thing he showed me was perhaps the most relevant in terms of scope and benefit to society, which I’ll get to shortly.

In the grand scheme of things, the virtual reality arena is in its infant stages. The technology is finally available on a wide basis, and firms are just now beginning to apply it to all sorts of different industries in a practical manner. In iCubes case, they are currently working on a program with hospitals that will benefit diabetic patients. Here’s how:


The coolest $500K ride I’ve ever been on

Apparently doctors have experienced significant difficulty with getting diabetic patients to follow nutritional and health guidelines, leading to negative results. This is a big problem in the medical field, and one that I’m sure anyone in the medical industry can attest to. So, seeing the problem, there was a behavioral psychologist who one day said “Hey, why don’t we show people what’s happening in their bodies if they ignore our instructions? Maybe then they’ll get it and start eating right.”

This is where iCube comes in. The hospital basically tells them “We have this problem. We want to show people what’s going on in their bodies, and we want them to be able to experience it as if they were inside themselves. People are more likely to respond well and follow directions if they can actually see what’s happening to them.”

iCubes response? “Say no more.”


We come in peace. Take me to your leader

Cue the visbox, the thing you just saw in the photo above. This was one of the coolest things I’ve seen in quite a long time. I got to strap on some goofy looking glasses that made me feel like I had alien antennaes and then took a holographic ride into clogged arteries, walked around inside a human heart, and was apart of a group of red blood cells straight chillin’ in someone’s veins. Needless to say the visbox experience was, as the bards would put it, “totes amaze balls”. And to cap it all, the best part is that these programs are having a positive impact on people’s health, furthering the humanitarian mission of iCube.

The next thing I got to do was tour the development studio. This was great because I’ve always wondered how things go from being an idea in someone’s head into a real program that you can fiddle around with. So Mack took me into what I can only call the Main Event Room, because it looked like that’s where most of the work was getting done. It reminded me of the pictures I’ve seen of Bethesda Studios, Bioware, and the like. Lots of figureines, loads of dual monitor setups, and some super-bad computers.


And now, the main event!

Here I was again strapped into an Oculus, only this time I was sitting in a chair. I got to play around with a project that the firm is developing for the Tennessee Aquarium, virtually snorkeling through a river as I watched contamination levels rise and fall, noting the impact it had on the aquatic ecosystem. The program they ran for me here was one that illustrated how important environmental factors are in regard to marine life.

Finally, one of the last things Mack walked me through was the world of 3D printing. Now I’m sure you’ve all heard of this, but actually seeing and fiddling around with the stuff is so much cooler than watching it online or on TV. Truthfully, I’m still somewhat floored by the fact that human beings have figured out how to literally print objects, but I digress. I doubt that’s something I’ll ever be able to wrap my head around.


3D Printed T-Rex. Rawr!

The stuff starts out as just a simple thin line of plastic, almost like a thick spool of fishing line. Moments later you might have yourself a dragon for your desk, or perhaps a tyrannosaurus if you prefer the Dino route. In any case, the 3D printing process is one of the coolest concepts I can think of in our recent history. And there’s no telling how it’s going to impact different industries. There was one story I was told where a paleontologist used to dig up dinosaur bones and make casts of the incomplete parts, selling the skeletons to museums and collectors for about $30K. His casts costed about 20/25K to produce at the end of the day, so he saw a somewhat healthy profit, right?

Well, when the 3D printers heard about this, they offered to scan the pieces bit by bit and simply print them out of their material, ultimately resulting in an absurd decrease in production costs (down to like, $500/$750). And these pieces were even more durable than the ones created before! How’s that for efficiency? This was a mere glimpse at how the world is going to be changing due to technological advances.


A 3D printed dino who’s name I can’t pronounce 

There were several other things I got to toy with during my time at iCube, but for brevity I’ll stop here. It really was one of the coolest days I’ve had in quite awhile, and I must give a very loud shout out to my friend Mack Lunn for giving me the tour. Thanks man!

The future is now.