November 28, 2011

In defense of nerd happiness

In my last post, someone responded they have never seen a nerd that is happy.  Bollocks I say!  Here is where I will list all my circumstantial evidence:

-Nerds know what makes them happy, and they pursue them without much hesitation
-It is now cool to be a nerd, so you can't claim they're lonely anymore
-Nerds are more likely to have close friends since not everyone is into their hobbies
-Nerds don't need people to reaffirm their awesomeness, they're used to being called out as weird and most life-long nerds learn not to care
-Depressed people are not as influential or successful as Gene Roddenberry, Isaac Asimov, Madame Curie,   or even Christopher Nolan.  You got to be dedicated to the nerdiness for that kind of success.
-Obama is a Trekkie and he's a genuinely happy guy in the public eye.

If you have never encountered a happy nerd, either you haven't looked, you don't know any nerds, or you're such a debbie downer  you never see happy people.  Nerd pride.

November 21, 2011

Graph Analysis. I promise it's fun!

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zach Weiner:

Now, why would this even be true?  Why do nerds have more fun when they're older?

Well, when you are younger it's hard to be into something that is misunderstood, but you get a good close group of friends that way.  Over time, you get used to having your own fun without having to depend on the mainstream ideas of what's ideal.  Do you know what you want?  Do you know what you think?  Do you care if anyone else validates it?  No?  Then you're more likely to be happy than the guy who needs to be reaffirmed about his life choices.

Over time, doubts occur in life because the unexpected happens.  You can do you best to plan out everything the way you've been taught it's "supposed" to be, but it never really turns out that way.  And I think nerds, or people that our more independent of thought in general, know that.  Knowing that makes it easier to take the punches and move on.

Also, nerds are better making their own fun.  My mother taught me that one and she's right!

November 17, 2011

Rules of Acquisition fair?

The Occupy Wall Street Movement is now a staple of culture, and is probably something that will be fleetingly mentioned in my children's 7th grade text books, but we're in the middle of it right now.  And that means there will be humor, like this nerdy meme.

Hilarious, yes, but then it got me to thinking:  Is this fair?

For those of you who don't know, the Ferengi of the Star Trek world, when not being horribly misogynist, are capitalists to the extreme.  The Rules of Acquisition are essentially a capitalist code to live by, where clever selfishness is rewarded, and getting ahead is considered the ultimate goal in their culture.  It's something for a lot of viewers to look at and reply "Oh my that is soooo savage!"

However, when you think about it in multiple ways, it's very fair.  For one, it's Darwinism evolved.  In a trade based society having the best connections and more ownership guarantees survival.  Mercantilism, within the Ferengi at least, is still somewhat valued within an intergalactic society.  Trade will always be necessary.  

Also, one of the things that make it fair is how ruthless the system is.  There isn't any laws protecting anyone, so it's all fair game.  You can get to the top from being on the bottom if you're ruthless and cunning enough.  When there are no rules set by no one person, anyone can win.  

But those are the cultural values of the Ferengi, which may be rooted in some scientific reason for why this cut-throat race to the top has survived.  And also, they have gone to the furthest extreme of capitalism.  The system works merely because no one is safeguarded.  This also gives more incentive to "work ahead".

I'm a dirty hoo-man who likes to look out for my own, and even when we're having discussions about the elite protecting themselves, they're still protecting themselves as a group, not necessarily on the individual level.  I think as time goes on, the definition of "our own" will widen to include the entirety of the human race, and it's a slow progress.  It makes figuring out a democratic system that benefits everyone harder, but it's not impossible.

So in a way, the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition are fair, but we as a culture have to decide what we value and how that can help our survival as a species.  We're some of the most complex organisms to ever live, alter, and explore Earth.  There's definitely a possibility that we can finally find a way to exist on it together without being ruthless.

November 16, 2011


I'm sorry I haven't been writing much, but luckily after the disappointment of Terra Nova, I've found a better show. Grimm!

Now is Grimm super duper fantastic?  Well the first episode was giving me some doubts.  They gave a lot of background in a short amount of time, letting the audience know as much as our hero Nick did before seeing his aunt take on a monster with her bare hands.  Turns out Nick and his family are Grimms--they can spot the supernatural threats to human society, including werebeasts and such.  First episode was based on Little Red Riding Hood, and that at first turned me off.  I fon't want to be reliving all the old fairytales ill fit for modern Oregan.

But the second and third episodes took care of that.  Werebears and bee-people are not something I expected.  And Nick, being a detective, has the know-how necessary to truly investigate.  He gets a little help from his aunt before she passes and he's off on his own with only her notes.  He also enlists the help of a werewolf named Monroe who has reformed his ways.  We haven't, 3 episodes in, have something that would endanger his girlfriend Juliette yet, but hopefully the writers will be creative with the trope.  Come on, we all know it's coming.

The cast is pretty good.  Phenomenal?  No, but they definitely get you hooked enough to the stories.  The setting in Oregon is perfect, the forest and urban areas intertwining is believable and not forced.  The writing is shaky in the first episode, but it gets better as the show goes on.  I will say on all fronts the show isn't shit-your-pants amazing, but I feel like that there is finally a good amount of nerdy shows and this is one is well done and not just milking the from the current nerd popularity teat or ratings.

November 2, 2011

4. Sneaking. Listen.

[If you want to reply to this entry in character/universe, feel free to do so with IC in parentheses in the beginning.]


I was bad.

Don't be surprised, not like I was going to be obedient this trip. I just snuck out without an escort. Back home that wasn't even a thing, but apparently when you're part of Titania society, you must always have an escort.

I didn't learn that until I talked to Georgia and Garrison. Georgia had mentioned this little jazz club that she thought I would like and she said she wanted to go but two women alone wouldn't be proper.

“Proper?” I said.
“Right, proper, you can't be out without an earning escort when you're in high society. It reflects poorly on the head of the household.”
“I never heard of that before. That's...really weird.”

Apparently around here if a person doesn't have the free time to treat his spouse it's a big deal. Or children, or anyone really. It's all a whole head of household thing. You want a job where you're important but you still have time. That explains Garrison's messed up schedule. I never know when he's going to be home. I guess that means he should be able to treat her to a meal every once in a while.

Garrison offered to take us but then he started complaining about jazz. “I would much prefer a classical show, the theramin is much more soothing and I hear blah blah blah blah blah” Yeah I made up the blahs but you see where I'm going with this. He just kept going. And it was all monotone too, like he was complaining but he didn't want to sound like he was complaining. It was weird. Georgia gave a face. Garrison is an only child, and it definitely shows.

This is not the only time he's done this. He tried to explain to me the other day why it was more logical for me to keep my shower soap outside the shower. This went on for 20 minutes. He's one of those guys.

Not someone I want to see a jazz show with.

I looked up the club that Georgia mentioned on the stream. It's open until really late. Alick knows, I'd drag him places until 3 a.m. Oh, I guess you weren't supposed to know that Dad. Oops.

So I decided to go when they were asleep. Garrison goes to bed early and Georgia usually follows soon after. Garrison also gets up early too, so that's the problem. I couldn't stay out too late, but at least I could leave the house early.

I waited a couple of days after I talked to them to do it, and it was totally worth it. First, I made sure to get a fashionable hat to hide my face. Hats aren't that popular here though. I guess when you stay away from the sun all day you don't need a hat. So it's really more like a fashionable brim across your face. You're supposed to style your hair over it. I did something “simple”, and by simple I mean something that took merely an hour and a half. Women here have way too much time on their hands.

Georgia and Garrison didn't notice, and by the time they must've been asleep I snuck out of my room and out of the apartment.

Took the el over to the club. It's literally just called The Club. I guess it was one of the first one's here, built when the company who started Titania was trying to look inviting. So I guess they only needed to call it The Club. It does look a little older inside, some of the walls need to be replaced, the edges are rusting and they have a collection of dents and punctures. The stage is an old-fashioned cabaret thing, but it has a grand piano. I didn't know they had grand pianos out here. It's kind of funny, I know they don't make wooden instruments out here so someone must've shuttled that thing over, possibly over a century ago.

They had some background music, I got myself some weird sounding drink made from some exotic liquor and some exotic juice. I just told the tender to make me something sweet, I was new. He did. It also was kind of strong, so I didn't drink anything else. Not ordering from that tender again, if I go back.

I sat close to the back. All the lighting was dim so no one would recognize me. And then around half an hour after I got in, I hear some dorky guy's voice announce “The sensation across Titania, Erin Kay!” There was some modest applause, and then this tall, slender woman with way too much orange hair on top of her square face came out. She had a simple short tunic and leggings, but they sparkled a bit and she had a little cape on too. I think that's something I forgot to mention, I guess people love capes here. It's like an evening wear must. I don't know why, they don't even have weather. Maybe they like to pretend they'll pump in some wind every once in a while.

This Erin chick could sing though. It's sounds like the old earth jazz singers, and I mean OLD earth jazz singers. The light voice and the high cooing and all that stuff. I never heard it in person before. Everyone back on earth is busy being loud in wide open spaces. I guess when everyone is cramped in together, you don't have to be loud. It's to everyone's benefit, I tell you. I could hear her so well, she had no mic or speakers or anything and she was playing the piano. It was great. I barely remember what she looked like because I closed my eyes to hear her sing, focus. One of those songs is stuck in my head.

I try to leave my past behind
Forget the day I walked away
But the cracks still show
And now I know
I'll be leaking forever

I'll try my best to save the tears
Another dance in the rain
And I'm crumbling
I'm still stumbling
And leaking forever

I think that song was my favorite. They way she sang it, I choked up a bit. I'm not a super emotional person, but she hit me in the ticker.

I got home way before Garrison would wake up. Before I got in I rode the elevator with the neighbor next door. Or one of them. The guy that was arguing. He looked tired Sunken eyes and messed up dark hair. Tall and slouched.

Why's he staying up? Cheating on his wife? I don't know. I'm so bored here that I'm sneaking out of the apartment and making up stories about my neighbors. I think I'm going to see Erin sing again. Got to figure out how. Maybe I can buy some of her music on the stream. I hope so.

Now to find another romance novel. Georgia's watching her vids all today.

Oh! New Year soon! Maybe I should schedule a hair appointment.