Category Archives: Personal

Walking While Working: An Experiment

For those of you that know me personally or follow me on my social feeds, you may have noticed pictures and posts regarding a recent undertaking of mine: walking while working. In a software-savvy job, there is little need to get up and move about during the course of a workday. Combine that with my hobbies in computers and video gaming, and you end up with a very sedentary lifestyle. The only chances I would get to move around would come on the weekend or special vacations. I am about a month into this new  initiative, and I feel I have enough data to share the motivation, tests, and results of my personal experiment thus far. In fact, this entire blog post has been written from a treadmill moving along at two miles per hour.

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Stigmas, Stereotypes, and Super Nintendo

So over the past couple of weeks, a whole slew of events at work and in my community has furthered demonstrated to me the culturally-based stigma towards video gaming. Thanks to mass media, the stereotypical gamer is reduced to a pimply-faced, pale-skinned male who lives in his parent’s basement. He is anti-social, wears only black clothes, and will end up being a mindless or violent drain on society because of these “evil” video games. Having lived in Taiwan for two years, I am amazed by how much societal pressures and norms impact individual personalities and behavior. It is more clear to me because of my exposure to other cultures how extreme Americans tend to be on many seemingly odd issues. I imagine every society has their quirks, but that doesn’t make me appreciate America’s antagonism towards gaming any more. I think it’s time to tell the other side of this story…

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In the 1990s, it had been the right wing—particularly the far right—that was up in arms over police militarization. Recall the outrage on the right over Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the raid to seize Elián González. The left had largely either remained silent or even defended the government’s tactics in those cases. But the right-wing diatribes against jackbooted thugs and federal storm-troopers all died down once the Clinton administration left office, and they were virtually nonexistent after September 11, 2001. By the time cops started cracking heads at the Occupy protests, some conservatives were downright gleeful. The militarization of federal law enforcement certainly didn’t stop, but the 9/11 attacks and a friendly administration seemed to quell the conservatives’ concerns. So long as law enforcement was targeting hippie protesters, undocumented immigrants, suspected drug offenders, and alleged terrorist sympathizers, they were back to being heroes.

http://www.salon.com/2013/07/10/militarized_police_overreach_oh_god_i_thought_they_were_going_to_shoot_me_next%E2%80%9D/

Just because legal and ethical overreach might coincide with your personal beliefs does not justify tolerating extrajudicial behavior.

The ends do not justify the means

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Ironic this quote comes from the very man scorned for his disagreements with popular opinion, and yet it is incredibly appropriate for the situation.

“America’s intellectual community has never been very bright. Or honest. They’re all sheep, following whatever the intellectual fashion of the decade happens to be. Demanding that everyone follow their dicta in lockstep. Everyone has to be open-minded and tolerant of the things they believe, but God forbid they should ever concede, even for a moment, that someone who disagrees with them might have some fingerhold on truth.”

—Card, Orson Scott (2009-11-30). Shadow of the Hegemon (The Shadow Series) (p. 176). Tom Doherty Associates. Kindle Edition.

I say long live the first amendment! Long live the true free exchange of ideas, opinions, and thought!

 

What frustrates me most about the religion of popular intellectualism

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Singing with the Men’s Chorus

I know it has been forever since I last posted anything of note, but hopefully I can make up for it with exciting new posts over the next few weeks. There is something extremely powerful about the music of the human voice. Though I never had any formal training in singing, my exposure to church choir along with studying the violin since I was six resulted gave me confidence in any sort of vocal endeavors.

This past weekend, I was able to participate in a Stake Conference, singing the 1st tenor part in the Men’s Chorus for an intermediate hymn and the closing song. While these are raw recordings, I really enjoyed the a cappella introduction to God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again. Great music with inspirational speakers made for a good  weekend overall. Enjoy!

Come, O Thou King of Kings:

God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again:

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