Archive | Op-Ed

Bald-headed Idiot-Assholes and the Quest to Identify what Enlightenment Isn’t

Keoni Cabral (CC BY 2.0)

Keoni Cabral (CC BY 2.0)

If you run in certain circles, and if you spend enough time around a certain kind of person (or if you live within hitchhiking distance of  Crestone, CO), you will eventually find yourself in the company of a person who has convinced themselves that they are “enlightened.” For me, I don’t know why, but it happens a lot. I know a lot of enlightened people. I know so many enlightened people I’m almost surprised that their enlightenment hasn’t somehow rubbed off on me through a spiritual osmosis of some kind. WHAT THE FUCK, UNIVERSE?!!!

In reality, though, it’s a good thing that their enlightenment has never infected me. At least, I think it’s a good thing. Most of these enlightened people are fucking incorrigible. They’re stuffy, haughty, self-serious asswipes who are always trying to point out that you suck because you don’t behave in an enlightened way.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Fine Line Between Awareness and Fanaticism

Humphrey King (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Humphrey King (CC BY-SA 2.0)

11:32am – I checked the clock on my microwave twice before sitting down in the desk chair with my morning coffee today. It was still steaming so as I began blowing a gentle stream of cool air into the cup, I hopped on YouTube realizing I had some time to kill before beginning my day.

A good headline should be attention grabbing. It should pop out at you amidst a sea of other unrelated clutter. More often than not, if it doesn’t stand out the first time my eyes glaze over it, I won’t even know I missed it, much less give it a second chance. So I begin to skim — typical Vine compilations, foreign music videos, and news segments of world events fill up most of my screen. Then, something along the lines of, ‘How the CIA manufactured Isis.’ Posted by TheAlexJonesNetwork. ‘Oh geez,’ I think to myself, almost rolling my eyes.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

3 Reasons To Go Against The Flow Hive

The Flow Hive

The Flow Hive

This article was originally published on HoneyColony.

 Against The Flow

Frankly, I am tired of people raving about how wonderful the Flow Hive invention is and posting it on my Facebook wall every other day. The viral-ity of this fundraising campaign has been astounding. During my travels in Central America, I even had a Belgium restaurant owner in Nicaragua ask me whether I’d heard about it.

“I love honey. This is amazing,” you read over and over again in the comments from people worldwide who have no clue about beekeeping. The gadget allows you to harvest honey without opening the hive, and Australian inventors Stuart and son Ceder Anderson promise that there is “no mess, no fuss, no expensive processing equipment, and [that] the bees are hardly even disturbed.”

But just because no disturbance is seemingly occurring to the naked eye doesn’t mean it’s not happening. How arrogant humans can be.

The Flow Hive has already raised upwards of $10 million and counting.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Is downloading really stealing? The ethics of digital piracy

Piracy might be theft, but it’s not the same as robbing someone of their material possessions. Josu/Flickr, CC BY

Piracy might be theft, but it’s not the same as robbing someone of their material possessions. Josu/Flickr, CC BY

Christian Barry, Australian National University

Many millions of people throughout the world will illegally download the fifth season of Game of Thrones, released today by HBO. Legally speaking, what they will be doing is a violation of intellectual property rights, or “piracy”. But will they be doing anything morally wrong?

It might seem obvious that what they will do is wrong. After all, it is illegal. But there are many things that have been illegal that people don’t think are morally wrong. Same-sex relationships, divorce and many other practices that are now widely accepted as morally acceptable were once outlawed and criminally sanctioned.

Few people think they were wrong just before they were legalised. Rather, they tend to think the laws governing these behaviours were unjust. So appeal only to the illegality of downloading doesn’t settle whether it is okay, morally speaking.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Self-Help and Existential DIY

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Hartwig HKD (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Everybody’s got qualms. Nobody I know is assessing their reality and the realities around them as something to be thrilled about. Even spirited people draped in “joie de vivre have their misgivings, and their vibrancy is in spite of them, not without them. There is a brand of millennial millenarianism wherein a palpable feeling of tension and accumulating energy on the cusp of discharge is identified as a harbinger of doom and gloom: we all feel the anxiety and the prickliness, the shakiness of the old foundational assumptions about the ways of the world. Things can be better. Things aren’t working the way they used to, or at least the way they are supposed to. Government is corrupt, unresponsive, increasingly authoritarian and in bed with Big Business, all while Big Business wrecks the planet so the rich get can richer and the poor get poorer.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Dear Cities of the World: Please Stop Trying to Copy Dubai

Lars Plougmann (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Lars Plougmann (CC BY-SA 2.0)

So, the results are in for the recent elections in Nigeria (I’m sure everyone was paying close attention), and the big winner is Muhammadu Buhari. Last week, Buhari, who has already served as Nigerian head of state (albeit as a dictator, not an elected president), defeated incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan. His luck was bound to run out at some point.

The elections have drawn a fair amount of international attention for a number of reasons. First of all, democratic elections in Africa (such as they are) are sadly something of a rarity. Endless progressions of military coups have been the dominant status quo for many of these countries since the bad, old days of European colonialism. Second, Boko Haram, Nigeria’s resident sect of religious wackos, has been doing its best to be as evil as possible lately to suck up international headlines.

There’s also the fact that Nigeria has become increasingly important to Africa as a whole.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Alien God Species

alien god 300The Alien God Species – The Watchers are HERE!

There is a species of extraterrestrials that are often referred to as being mythological, but, in fact, are very real. I call them “The Watchers” or “The God Species.” I know this because I believe I encountered one, and it altered my entire reality. At first and for the longest time, I believed my encounter was with a UFO. It wasn’t until years later that I deduced it was an entity, and that it was here for me. “Why me?” It’s as if someone lifted a curtain, wanting to reveal to me a certain amount of esoteric knowledge. I’ve read that this is rare but that throughout history this is the way it has always been done.

In most esoteric belief systems it usually takes years of disciplined meditation, study, ritual, or by other means to attain this secret knowledge. For the chosen few, the circumstances are frequently described similarly: a light coming down from the sky, an entity materializes often with a vision or a message.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Sympathy for the Robot

Johnny 5 and CHAPPiE: Heralds of the End Times or cute widdle wobots?

Cute widdle wobots or heralds of human extinction?

[Editor’s Note: This article may contain spoilers.]

Most of the time, I couldn’t care less about a computer’s feelings. I distrust them, frequently cuss at them, and occasionally smash them to pieces. Pretty callous, right?

You’d think a colorful robot on the silver screen would tug at my heartstrings, but no, not really. They usually make me uneasy. I didn’t bat an eye when C-3PO got blasted apart in The Empire Strikes Back. As a kid I thought The Terminator was super-cool, but seriously, it wasn’t a big deal to see half of his face crunched off—he’s tough, he can take it, he’s just a machine!

Things were different with Neill Blomkamp’s CHAPPiE.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Trevor Noah’s “Daily Show”: A New Era of Punching Down?

daily_show_logo

Though I don’t consider myself a huge TV critic, I’ve been following the Daily Show’s efforts to crown Jon Stewart’s successor relatively closely. This is important, people. As goes the Daily Show, so goes the entire Dorito-eating, couch-sleeping, occasionally shaven 18–30 demographic. This demographic has proven crucial in political issues such as – well, I can’t really think of any. But you get the point.

Seriously, as easy as the show’s target demo is to make fun of (one which, I should add, includes myself), it does play an important role in the American political process. It’s the one program on mainstream television that comes closest to adequately calling out the mountains of bullshit heaped on average citizens by the unholy alliance of corporate interests and political elites that runs America, and for that matter, pretty much the entire world.

Though maybe I’m wrong for liking it. In my last post on the Daily Show, I took some heat for not being reflexively dismissive of the show, and therefore having sold out to the Man, or something.… Read the rest

Continue Reading