Free Will… again

The physical non-living world around us is governed by the laws of nature. Water, due to the force of gravity, will move from a point of higher elevation to a point of lower elevation if it is permitted, but what if humans come along and erect a dam or divert the flow of water to go somewhere else? When we humans do something to our environment, is that action a complex manifestation of the physical and chemical laws of nature or are we separated from the non-living world in the sense that we choose to take a specific course of action through our own volition and free will? Does free will only exist for humans?

The London Terror Attack

Today, we read in the news that four people have been killed in London, England by a middle-eastern assailant, three of whom were killed by a vehicle and the fourth, a policeman, stabbed to death. In the recent articles written about the event, it is frequently mentioned that “ISIS claimed responsibility for this attack on its propaganda platform, Amaq News Agency.”

Supporting article here: Isil claims responsibility

However, there is one concerning detail about this: the authenticity of the amaq news agency is extremely difficult to verify.

Upon researching “amaq news agency” through google, one of the top search results is a link to the following page: 5 Things to Know about Amaq News Agency , which basically explains that members of the public cannot download nor access the amaq news agency app.

So in other words: the media is claiming that ISIS is responsible for the London terrorist attack based on a message, which we cannot verify, that was posted on a terrorist organization’s android app, which we cannot download, an app that is only available to members of ISIS through invite only and somehow the media are the only people who have unrestricted access to it. That’s too convenient.

What is the media hiding? This would suggest in fact that there is no amaq news agency. Which, in turn, would suggest that ISIS claiming responsibility for the attacks in London never really happened. This would also question the validity of other attacks for which ISIS has reportedly taken responsibility. This would also draw into question the true culpability of ISIS in general. Does ISIS even exist? What is really going on here?

Open letter to cable companies

I think I may have an idea to help cable companies reduce the number of people cutting the cord. This won’t eliminate cord-cutters entirely because most people are probably cutting the cord because of financial circumstances anyway.

If we like a show, we want to know when it airs. To find out these air-times, waiting for televised ads which tell us what day and time they air is impractical. There are simply too many shows to keep track of. We need to see a schedule. An all-in-one that shows each individual episode for every show we like for every day for one month. It sounds like it will be a lot to squeeze into one or two screens, but it should filter down given that 99% of TV we don’t watch.

Don’t get me started with “just go through the guide and look at each channel that airs your shows and then write down the air-times for each show.” You’d have to do that for too many shows and it’s too much headache. I once made a list of the TV shows I liked. In short, I was left with a list of about 25 shows. I would have had to look up the network that finances and produces each of those 25 shows and then go to their respective websites and look at the schedules for that show. After researching three shows, I had already forgotten the air-times of the episodes of first show I looked up. It’s too complicated. It’s too much of a headache. It’s impractical.

People who are cable subcribers are inherently consenting to paying for episodes of shows that are NOT immediately watchable: episodes that air in the future. We need one thing, one on-screen visual that displays the episodes of the shows we want for a month. We need to have a menu-screen or some easy application in which you can simply enter all of the shows you want to watch and then it will show you in return the showtimes of all of the episodes of the shows you want to watch and on what channels they air for the next month. Maybe if one month of episodes packed into one screen is too crowded, it could show the episodes and air-times for the next two weeks. Or maybe there should be a way to switch back and forth between viewing the two-week schedule and the one-month schedule. You get the idea.

I know that cable companies have probably collected obscene amounts of data and have done research in every which way about the state of television and according to their own data, they probably project that cable will become inevitably obsolete in the next twenty years. Thus making the giant cable companies unprofitable. However, I believe my idea will lessen the number of people leaving by a small margin. I’m not some corporate think-tank. I’m just one guy and I’m being more innovative than the cable companies.

It’s no secret that the vast majority of television is garbage. Nobody is paying for what is on NBC or CBS at 2:00 in the morning. Cable subscribers are paying for 1 percent of the television they receive and 113 million households in the USA still elect to pay for cable. You, cable companies, are lucky to have those dollars at all. The least you could do is innovate.

Quite frankly, cable companies are quite lucky that other services like Netflix have a poor selection of movies and shows. If there existed a cheaper, paid-service where you could watch literally any show you wanted, anytime, for a price less than $50 per month, there wouldn’t be any more cable.

Life

It dawned on me recently that all races and species of life on this planet are all manifestations of the same thing: a singularity, one organism. This organism called “life.” This organism seeks only to continue its existence.

Inequality

Why did God create us unequal? Why did he disadvantage some and give advantages to others? There can be no denying that this diversity is the plan of god (or nature, if you don’t believe in god.) This therefore means that a crusade against inequality is a crusade against god. Also accordingly, to bring about diversity must be to do the work of god.

“Arbeit macht frei”

“Arbeit macht frei.” Or put in English: “Work will set you free.”

You know, I haven’t appreciated the validity and value of these words until now. When things get a little unpleasant or a little tough, we cope with it by finding something with which to escape, usually something external. This type of coping is the wrong path.

To demonstrate, think of one thing you really want in your life. Think about your dreams. For argument’s sake, you want a late-model red dodge viper convertible. You know how good it would feel to drive down the road showing off a sexy new sports car to your neighbors and elicit envy from them. Shortly after these thoughts, you are faced with the stark and obvious truth: you are presently not living your dream. A vacuum has been created in your mind. How do too many of us deal with such emptiness? Do we pursue what we want with all our vigor and strength? Ashamedly, no. Often, we seek escape to compensate for the ever-daunting reality that is slowly setting in: we may never live our dreams, so why even bother trying to achieve our dreams? Too many of us have given up inside. We compensate by watching TV, watching movies, watching porn, playing video games, taking drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking or eating too much. However, as any drug addict or gluttonous person knows, these things do not provide true escape. True escape can only be found with the attainment of one’s dreams. True escape is innate in the knowledge that with every passing hour that we work, we are one step closer to living our dream.

What if it takes me years of work in order to fulfill my dreams, you ask? What will placate me while I toil, you ask? Unlike the false escapes mentioned earlier which ultimately bring us shame and guilt, with every hour of hard work comes pride, meaning and self-worth. With every hour of work comes a little bit of freedom. Remember Corinthians 10:13: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Often, we can be so unhappy, but what we don’t recognize is that what we seek the most is right in front of our noses. We simply have to choose to get it.

Animal Cruelty

[Originally composed in 2015]

Animals, in fact, do have rights. While those rights are different than the rights entitled to humans, animal rights encompass everything that the animal naturally needs. This includes the right of the animal not to be physically disfigured or have an part of its physical being altered before death. We must grant animals with the freedom to move about as they would with others of their own kind in a free and open space. We must abolish the clipping of birds’ wings and beaks, the tagging and branding of animals, and even the practice of spading and neutering domestic animals.
Furthermore, all animals of poultry, livestock or swine must be anesthetized before any slaughter to ensure there is no pain suffered.
Violators of animal rights are violators of the principles and canons of our civilized folk and must be punished. Those who abuse their power to deliberately harm a defenseless animal should be punished with the strictest of wrath.

Movie Review – “Fifty Shades Darker”

Usually when other people give movie reviews, they rank the movie out of five stars. When I give a movie review, I either give it a yes or a no. Yes – As in it’s worth the price of admission. No – It’s not worth spending money on.

I have to give this movie a no. This movie was essentially Christian and Anastasia having sex every ten minutes with interludes of the two of them going on dates. This movie had no story. Usually, in a story, the protagonist is pitted against another force be it himself or another person but there was simply no antagonist in this movie at all. This movie was essentially candy and rainbows from start to finish, but hey, if that’s the kind of thing you like, it’s worth it. I’m not judging, I can certainly respect it if you like those kind of movies. The escape factor in this movie is big.

Movie Review [Spoilers] – “A Cure for Wellness”

True, twentieth century fox has come out with some good pictures, however this was definitely not one of them. I have to give this movie a no. Let me put it this way, the antagonist in this movie turned out to be a reptilian-human hybrid pretending to be a psychiatrist.

I anticipated that this movie was going to essentially be the same “shutter island,” so I was nicely surprised when this movie differentiated itself from the other.

Where to start, first of all: There could be the very real possibility that I simply can not intellectually understand the story which could explain why I didn’t like it. However, in the scenario that that is not the case, this movie was totally confusing and raises question after question. When the psychiatric staff held down Lockhart and drilled his tooth out, how come in the next scene he has all of his teeth back? After the chief doctor forced Lockhart to drink fluid containing live eels, why did that suddenly turn Lockhart into a submissive patient? If the chief doctor really is a reptilian creature disguising himself as a human, does he even have a penis with which to rape Hannah? What does he have going on down there?