Imbak para sa Pebrero, 2012

I knew it couldn’t be real

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , , on Pebrero 23, 2012 by Blue Dela Kanluran

Last year I posted a story about how CERN physicists clocked neutrinos going faster than the speed of light. Overturning a fundamental concept in physics that laid the groundwork for quantum and theoretical physics as well as all the calculations of modern astronomy.

Many people have cited this occurence on the possible scientific faux pas in order to discredit other established theories such as the Big Bang. However, there is no reason to believe that a single test can actually overturn the theory of genral relativity and that a malfunction or miscalculation was more likely.

CERN just cited a possible defect that could have been the source of a misreading leading to the calculation clocking neutrinos travelling faster than light

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/einstein-wrong-cable-loose-233851318.html

Valentine Bluff #3. Don’t promise anything

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , on Pebrero 16, 2012 by Blue Dela Kanluran

 One of the best movies of all time would have to be the 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Directed by Frank Capra, starred in by James Stewart, Donna Reed, and Lionel Barrymore. The movie was significant like most films of that era for delivering the most unforgettable lines in film history. One of several from the movie was George Baily offering Mary Hatch the moon:

 

What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey. That’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon, Mary.”

 

This immortal line quickly became cliché within romantic circles and couples in promising physically impossible feats and offerings to present their beloved. Soon, all manner of celestial bodies fell prey to the sentiment. First the stars, then inevitably of course the sun, galaxies, even the concept of infinity became a physical bargaining chip as if infinity was an object within the comprehension of every romantic layman that decided it to be within their power to offer when their respective attention spans can be measured in less than five minutes.

The sentiment has been repeated laboriously in the following decades that it has almost lost all meaning. However, even today women of all ages, intelligence, financial status, race, religion, or creed still continuously fall for the ludicrous un-substantiated lip service that offers nothing in way of actual feeling or romantic sentiment besides boasting of doing impossible feats that he will never do anyway.

It becomes an exercise of pandering or in the local vernacular ‘pambobola’. It’s not a compliment, it has no meaning, it delivers no actual feeling, and proposes the impossible that the proposer has no intention of ever achieving or try to achieve.

Don’t get me wrong I have nothing personal against promising impossibilities especially if it allows the person to reach his/her goal of successfully courting his/her suitor. But therein lies an ugly possibility that if and when courtship is successful would not the entire relationship be built upon dressed up fantasies of lassoing the moon and stars, or in other words lies.

Moreso if the relationship that began as the result of succesful courtship via indiscriminate pandering falls so spectacularly short of expectations and actually run the negative or the complete opposite of what was promised. Instead of bringing the moon and the stars and the other celestial bodies we have in the solar system you instead ground her face into an odorous sea of muck and disease that would take divine intervention to save her from.

Sea of muck and disease of course being a metaphor for the usual ordinary problems faced by couples on a day to day basis. However, I do not exaggerate, if a relationship was built on actual shared experience all the normal everyday problems like the occasional high bills, interfering in-laws, disgusting bathroom habits, suspicions of affairs and all manner of pet peeves would be solved without incident.

Which is only the tip of the iceberg becausee of the derth of shared experience you have essentially no idea who exactly your partner is and will have no one to blame but yourself when, after all is said and done and you are trapped in a conjugal contract that current laws make it nearly impossible to escape withut proper funds, your partner suddenly turns violent brought on by innumerous vices he need no longer hide.

It is ironic that instead of inheriting the promise George Bailey you instead receive the heavens like U.S. President Harry S. Truman did in the 1995 TV biopic Truman:

 

I don’t know if any of you have had a bale of hay fall on you. Well, I feel like the sun, the stars and all the planets just fell on me. Don’t expect too much of me.”

 

If you bring down the heavens they might just fall on you. Don’t promise the impossible if all you can deliver is a serious migraine or an early grave.

Valentine Bluff #2 Don’t listen to your heart

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , on Pebrero 15, 2012 by Blue Dela Kanluran

Often heard at times of tribulation romantic or otherwise, reality or drama series is the time-worn phrase “Listen to your heart”.

It was the title of the third single issued in the United States from Swedish pop duo Roxette‘s 1988 album Look Sharp! It was written by Per Gessle and Mats M.P. Persson. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on November 4, 1989, their second chart-topper of the year. It was also the title of a 2010 movie directed by Matt Thompson, written and starred in by Kent Moran. It was an Official Selection of the New York International Film Festival, the Rhode Island International Film Festival, the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and the winner of the Alan J. Bailey Excellence Award for Screenwriting.

But what I’m actually talking about sentiment behind the culturally popular phrase that helped it gain so much notoriety not only in music, film and television but within the scope of reality as well where real people actually use this phrase as advice to other people who have problems that pertain to romance, bravery, hope etc.

In fact this phrase is so prevalent and used that it used as an explanation in itself rather than have an explanation for itself. When someone says Listen to your heart it is the de facto end of the discussion on your problem. And this is not a blind hypothesis, it is a solid cultural observation. Nothing shuts up a problem-laden friend faster than this phrase. It is culturally embedded that listen to your heart is self-explanatory and should be accepted as a real solution (and in some cases the only solution) on face value. Everyone can theoretically ascribe listen to your heart as a solution to almost any problem but no one rightly explains how the one with the problem actually goes about doing it, by which I mean actually solving the problem.

When, for example, the question ‘how’ comes into the picture as in “How am I supposed to do that?” the wise sage of a friend who in his/her benign all encompassing wisdom (who presumably possesses such wisdom in order to have the gall to give the most simplistic advice such as listen to your heart) will be hard put to explain his/her point in any other words precisely for the reason that he/she has no idea what he/she is saying.

It is then in my opinion a destructive phrase wherein advice is said but no actual advice is given. It’s tantamount to giving someone a cake to help them pound a nail into a plank of wood. It’s almost as non-sensical as the ‘be yourself’ advice in some ways though not as blatantly unhelpful with a hint of mysticism thrown in for good measure. Listen to your heart is so devoid of any type of useful information that the phrase could have said listen to your galbladder and it wouldn’t have made any difference.

Whenever someone says heart I assume they’re talking about the beating thing in your chest. Since the middle ages the heart has been ascribed as the seat of emotion, following the biological observations of Aristotle.

For the heart is the first of all the parts to be formed; and no sooner is it formed than it contains blood. Moreover, the motions of pain and pleasure, and generally of all sensation, plainly have their source in the heart, and find in it their ultimate termination.

DE PARTIBUS ANIMALIUM Book 3, Chapter 4

Biologically, science has established that the human heart (or any other heart for that matter) is merely an organ that pumps blood, nothing more nothing less. It is not as Aristotle believed the center of the human body, nor its source of heat, nor the originator of blood. It cannot talk, it cannot make conscious decisions, it cannot inform you of the varying difficulties involved with your situation and all its proposed solutions, it cannot think. All of these are functions of your brain.

No matter what you end up doing, no matter who you end up listening to, the constant decision maker that allows you to choose whatever solution to whichever degree you want to take it has always been and will always be your brain. The brain has always been compared with intellect and even called the seat of intellect. However, even with this already grand and honorable sentiment it is still a simplification of the brains function. It is not only the seat of intellect, it is the very foundation of who you are. Your personality, preferences, dreams, and even involuntary biological functions are all directed and connected to your brain.

The association of love to the heart stems from the organs behavior to pump faster when confronted with romantic situations, thus giving it its supposed importance in the matter. However, we now know that this behavior only comes about because of the surge of adrenaline released by the pituitary gland in our brains acting on attraction or infatuation based on the level of hormones present.

Possible arguments for it might say that the listen to your heart (non)advice is most commonly given to people who are torn or stricken in choosing between loves or lovers. No actual solution is necessary, it only involves the act of performing a choice which then makes listen to your heart valid advice. Still wrong, arguments like these or arguments like this ignore the fundamental reality already demonstrated. The heart is in charge of nothing but the distribution of oxygen carrying hemoglobin to the various parts of the body.

No matter what the situation, in every case, in every scenario, in every judgement the last word is left up to your brain, in other words, you.

Valentine Bluffs #1- Never try to define love

Posted in Gulo ng buhay with tags , , , , , on Pebrero 14, 2012 by Blue Dela Kanluran

 Valentines Day was originally the feast day of St. Valentine, a martyred saint first included into the list of Roman martyrs by Pope Gelasius I, though nothing about the saint is known save his name. Fast forward 18 centuries to the present day and his name is celebrated with mylar balloons and Hallmark gift cards celebrating an international day of love.

But in all the years of its celebration there have cropped up more than a few innocuous and sometimes destructive clichés that have preyed on the innocent minds of the romantic at heart. It is the perpetuation of these bluffs at a time during which young minds are more susceptible to such things they would have easily guarded against at any other time.

For Valentines is one of the most dangerous holidays in the calendar, not in the sense of bodily or physical harm but wherein one small mistake can haunt you for the rest of your natural life. This is a first in a four-part series where I rant/discuss about the different, most common clichés and bluffs on love and valentines.

 A couple of years ago a small gag test circulated around social networking sites, going viral for a few weeks before disappearing into the obscure black hole of thought known as teenage memory. It tried to demonstrated the ‘perfect prof’ who would (because he was so cool) give the ‘easiest quiz ever’.

 

The quiz was basically a conflation of non-sensical and irrelevant questions like ‘What’s your favorite time of the school day’ to which the proper answer was ‘Dismissal’. It held ten questions of the same caliber altogether but there was one item that always stood out because it never made sense. One of the questions (the very first in fact) asked the student to define love.

 

It made no sense because it seemed wholly out-of-place in a quiz that was supposed to be the easiest ever given. Given that the definition of love is one of the hardest questions no one has ever tackled seriously.

 

Wordsmiths, poets, Etymologists, bibliographer, and Lexicographers of all disciplines and schools of thought have grappled with the abstract concept of love and its meaning in order to translate it into the common vernacular. Many have come close but civilized man has yet to achieve a fully realized and complete definition of this simple four lettered word.

 

The problem lies in the duality afforded by the concept and its subsequent study. There is the poetic approach which needs no formal knowledge on the subject, requiring only a fragmentary experience of the said emotion and a certain amount of training in literary expression. Out of which come the flowery interpretations of romance. From crossing the innumerable miles of the universe and the epic struggles and sacrifice of overcoming the most titanic and difficult of tasks in the name of its fulfillment, to the shallow one-liner thought up in less than thirty seconds like a pizza from a second-rate restaurant.

 

This approach supposedly gets to the ‘heart’ of the matter. Piercing the complexity of the unknown status of the human soul when afflicted with the elusive and enigmatic contours of emotion manifested in the simple word love. An excellent example would be Shakespeare’s Sonnets, for the purpose of this article I chose Sonnet no. 96:

 

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

 

 

Other excellent letters are the works of Edward A. Bordi. However, no matter how fully poets and bards prostrate themselves in the expression of loves efficacy, torturous longing, consistency in time etc. their expressions and sentiments simply will not suffice.

 

These words may express love but none of them actually explain it or defines what it is. In order to define a word the process must meet a certain requirement of study. This is the only way we can ensure a sort-of check and balance when it comes to the troublesomeness of a certain term. And no word is more problematic than love.

 

The impact and reach of certain words is universal, in that they not only affect everyone on the planet, they also affect every aspect of our lives. Do not be fooled into thinking that the word love merely translates into romantic or sexual encounters, they more often than not invade the legal arena.

 

In recent months the gay marriage movement quickly gained steam primarily in the United States affecting attitudes towards homosexuals and sparking similar movements all over the world.

 

One of the loudest arguments for the gay marriage movement is the argument of love in that it is the only thing that matters in a marriage.

 “The number one reason that heterosexuals marry is not to establish legal status, allow joint filing of taxes, or protect each other in medical decision-making. They marry because it is the ultimate expression of a person’s love for another. Marriage is a commitment that says “I love you so much that I want to live the rest of my life with you. I want to share the ups and downs, forsake all others, and be together until death do us part.” Should it matter that the couple doesn’t fit into what society is used to? Some people talk about living wills and other legal contracts that can give homosexuals essentially the same rights as a married couple. If that is the case, why don’t all heterosexual couples use these legal maneuvers instead of marriage? Just maybe there’s something more to it.

 http://www.balancedpolitics.org/same_sex_marriages.htm

 

However, this same argument proves problematic when applied to other alternative lifestyles that are more extreme like incest, bestiality and fetishists as well as other forms of paraphilia and neo-sexualism.

 

Which leads us to the second mode of defining love, the scientific process. Drawing lines on what can and cannot be called love. Utilizing cold calculation and methodical naturalism in order to most accurately define the human condition of love either in its biological processes or within the intricate working mechanisms of the neuro-electrochecmical brain. There are many arguments against the bibliotechnical use and definition of the word as the methodical approach is antithetical to the main components of love ie. passion and romance and thus falls short of its expected meaning.

 

An excellent example would be the Oxford dictionarys definition of the word which defines love as 1. a strong feeling of affection; 2. a great interest and pleasure in something. Needless to say these two statements do almost nothing in achieving the monumental task of defining the word love, they have not even scratched the surface. They for example make no distinctions between other strong feeling of affection that may arise but do not qualify to be called love. It then becomes obvious that both methods of approaching a definition to love fail.

 

This then is the dilemma of love. No one understands it as much in order to ascribe a complete and easily understood definition for the phenomenon. The solution then seems to be is to somehow merge the two disciplines in order to find the complete definition sought. However, this project is virtually impossible because the two are mutually exclusive to the point that they are almost conflicting not only in their approach but in the conclusions reached as well. They are two necessary halves that cannot become a whole. And the tragedy is, everybody thinks they do understand it to the point that the one question that has never been completely and satisfactorily answered is considered an easy question on a meme gag quiz.