greybeta: (Star Trek Mini - Chekov Can Do That)
[ profile] fub's choices
Luck: Many of my friends have described me as a lucky man. Not only am I lucky to be alive, but I once won ten coinflips in a row to win a game of Magic that I otherwise could not have possibly won (the coinflip minotaur from Coldsnap).

Convictions: Many of my friends would also describe me as someone who knows who they are. As such, you're likely not to get me to budge on any of the stances I already have. That being said, I'm always open for listening.

Plans for the Future: Sun Tzu once said that the general who fails to plan has already lost the battle. I plan to be a history teacher in Arkansas, but beyond that I am not sure. Nonetheless, I have begun to prepare myself through my scheduling and financial habits for my teaching days.

Collecting: I collect items that interest me. So it's a hodgepodge of stuff. I used to collect Magic cards and anime, but those habits are a little pricey for an aspiring history teacher.

Movies: I wish I could watch more. My favorite movie of all time is Princess Bride, though I am partial to the Episodes V-VI and other science fiction movies. Oddly enough, my favorite non-science fiction movie is Memento. Something about that movie struck a chord with me. Also great line of "Why am I chasing this guy? Wait...he's chasing me!"

[ profile] alexmegami's choices
Cooking: Well, I've always said I'd never get married, so I'd better learn how to cook well for myself. And it's more alimentary friendly as well!

Calling: It's tough to explain, but I feel "called" to teach. There's no rational reasoning, it's purely a feeling.

Chekhov: I didn't watch too much of the original, but the new Chekov is awesome. I use him for cheerful "I can do that!" posts or when thinking about a complicated problem.

Confidence: When it comes to myself and the logical side of things, I'm supremely confident. When it comes to others and emotional side of things, I'm not very confident at all.

Child: I'm the youngest of two in my family, but I'm the only son. My dad was the third-to-last child in his family and my mom was the next-to-last. So I'm on the younger side of this generation of both my immediate and extended families. I grew up as a spoiled brat, as I did not clean after myself all and my mom and dad just did the cleaning for me. As I've matured, I realized that I needed to take responsibility and make decisions for myself. But worry not, for I will always be a curious child at heart!
greybeta: (Peanuts - Lucy Doctor is In)
I know, never say never. But nonetheless, a reader did ask me why I think I will never get married...

It's a long story, and I think I've told bits and pieces of it before. Eh, there are several aspects to this, but the biggest is that I'm supposed to get an arranged marriage.

Well, I say arranged marriage, but it's more like my parents are supposed to be my matchmakers. Now that's a love connection for ya.

You'd think this wouldn't work, but it actually works out more often than not. This is because parents often choose to match with another family of equal socioeconomic status, so there's a balance.

Besides, the kids usually know each other anyways. Having the parents be matchmakers is just tradition.

Where it doesn't work, of course, is when the match is made between two people who don't love each other but the marriage happens for political or business reasons. But hey, that happens in non-arranged marriages as well.

On a personal level, I am not quite as confident when it comes to relationships. I may have a good IQ, but my EQ is lacking, to put it lightly.

I don't know how I come across on my blog, but I'm pretty sure it's a lot more positive than I am in real life. I manage to edit away most of the negativity on my blog, but in real life it tends to creep out more and in the most unfortunate situations.

Then there's the whole thing about how being in love means being willing to have your heart crushed by another person. I'm not afraid of being crushed; rather, I'm afraid of doing the crushing.

Not only that, but I am called to be a history teacher in Arkansas. What kind of girl wants to be poor and live in Arkansas for the rest of her life?
greybeta: (Simpsons - Homer Brain)
It's also the first official day of summer, which reminded me of this song...

greybeta: (LOGH - Yang Wenli)
The Council on Foreign Relations recently did an interview with Iranian analyst Karim Sadjadpour. I found it quite enlightening with regards to the internal politics of the revolution. Here's a good excerpt...

It's important to try and understand the worldview of Ali Khamenei. [He] has long believed that when you're under pressure, you should never compromise. Compromise projects weakness and will invite even more pressure.
greybeta: (Grammar Führer)
[ profile] atdt1991's choices:

Black Lotus: I use the picture for the most expensive card for Magic: The Gathering when I talk about the game. Also useful when referring to the black lotus of the Odyssey.

Firestarter: Living in a superconservative area like Northwest Arkansas means that it's difficult to find people who can discuss different perspectives. LiveJournal has the opposite demographic of the area I live in, so I figure it's the best place to go to ask about certain topics. And I find that most people are civil even over controversial issues as long as you frame the issue properly.

Conservative: I'm a registered Republican. I interned one summer for Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), one of the top five most conservative senators in the U.S. Senate. I attend a Southern Baptist Church. Need I say more?

Potato: Uh, I started doing a cooking series recently and potatoes came up. Potatoes are very popular. I get tired of fried potatoes so I'm always looking for ways to change things up. In this day and age of the Internet, it's simple to find a recipe. However, it's harder to find people who have experience with that particular recipe. That's where LiveJournal comes to the rescue!

God: I believe.

[ profile] exrandu's choices
Education: Well, I've been fortunate in that I've had a lot of great teachers throughout my time in school. I hope to be an excellent educator myself one day.

Damnation: I'm pretty sure I'm doomed to fire and brimstone.

History: Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who study history are doomed to watch it repeat.

Philosophy: I've heard it said that philosophy is a road that leads to nowhere. I guess that's also why I've heard it said that the journey is more important than the destination.

Alchemy: My favorite book is Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. It's an amazing book. I've also been called an alchemist in real life for my ability to charm people. Apparently I tend to make people laugh a lot with little effort.

[ profile] kisekinotenshi's choices
Teaching: Teaching and learning are related. I've been inspired by many teachers in my life, and the one who has had the most effect is my senior AP English teacher from high school. Back then, I was not very confident in my writing and had trouble coming up with the right words. The slavedriver (that's what we nicknamed her) worked with me a lot and by the end of that class I had learned most of the tricks to become the writer I am now. That's how I want to be remembered by my students: The hardball who actually taught.

Geekery: Both my parents worked, leaving me to surf the Internet hours on end during the summer. So I did, and learned many geeky things. Also, I was one of the kids who sat outside during lunch because I didn't really fit in with any of the crowds. Turns out the rest of the group played MMORPG's, Magic: The Gathering, D&D and/or watched Star Wars, Star Trek, anime...

Anime: Robotech was my first anime and holds a special place in my heart, as I am a big fan of science fiction/mecha series. The best anime that few people have ever seen is Legend of the Galactic Heroes. LOGH was written by a historian and it shows in a four season, 110 episode arc. Many of my icons come from my favorite series, including Kare Kano, Irresponsible Captain Tylor, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, Record of Lodoss War, Slayers, and Read or Die.

Intelligence: I scored 120 on an IQ test one time, but my education classes have taught me there are several kinds of intelligence. Also, intelligence merely represents capacity. You still have to make use of it.

Star Trek: I grew up on The Next Generation. Data's my favorite character, and being a kid I actually kinda liked Wesley Crusher on the series. I liked the time loop episode, and I also liked the one episode where Wesley comes back from the Academy and they investigate an accident that took place. Eventually, I managed to catch episodes on the Internet and made sense of DS9 and Voyager.

First post

May. 4th, 2009 09:56 pm
greybeta: (Default)
It will be awhile before I will be active on DreamWidth. I'm currently only active on Facebook and LiveJournal.


greybeta: (Garfield - Jon Good Morning)
I reserved greybeta on DreamWidth, just in case. For those not in the know, Dreamwidth is a service similar to LiveJournal but supposedly better. They went live a couple of days ago, so you can sign up and check it out. I also have three invite codes for some reason, so if somebody needs one just let me know.

I'm not planning on migrating over there at the current time. I already have a permanent account on LiveJournal and I want to wait until they get more of the bugs ironed out on DreamWidth (they've already had someone try to register a bunch of popular community names and sell them).

EDIT: Out of invite codes.
greybeta: (Jesus saves)
Another one of my good friends made a nice video for Oklahoma's Wesley Foundations (Methodist college ministries). Clever use of Haddaway's "What is Love" and excellent visual effects!

greybeta: (Suzumiya Haruhi - Haruhi Tongue Face)
The tagline says:
From BBC's All the Small Things, the funniest show on television. Too bad it's supposed to be a drama.

greybeta: (Simon Cowell - pout)

This is from The Simpsons episode "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds", when Mr. Burns breaks out into song. I plan on using this icon whenever I get some frivolous clothing or when commenting on animal rights.

A scene from the anime The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. It was an interesting anime because they purposely aired the episodes out of order. I love the character designs from this anime. Here, the main character Haruhi is licking the cute maid character Mikuru. I use this icon when I'm being completely silly or when I want to make an annoying comment.

Taken from a TV blog website. They don't like reality shows. I don't either, for the most part, and yet I can't help but watch them sometimes. I plan to use this icon when talking about reality shows...or reality.

Jayne of Firefly fame. Who doesn't love the Hero of Canton? This pic of Adam Baldwin wearing an orange cap cracks me up. I'll probably use this when discussing some kind of "c'mon man" or "I need to go to my bunk" moment.

My sister loves American Idol, so I'll watch the show from time to time or catch some performances on YouTube. Season Six saw Jordin Sparks win with a jaw dropping rendition of "I Who Have Nothing". But the most memorable contestant that season was Sanjaya Malakar. He had a decent voice but not a spectacular won so he went for entertainment factor. His rendition of "You Really Got Me" pushed him to fame (thanks to this odd crying girl in the audience), and I think he actually did the best job one week with "Besame Mucho". But nothing will ever match the sheer entertainment value of his rendition of "Bathwater" and the infamous ponyhawk. I mean, dude, he's singing on national television, with a ponyhawk!

greybeta: (House - Bored)
Stolen from [ profile] theferrett.

One question.

One chance (well, I'm sure they'll be more down the road).

One honest answer.

That's all you get.

You get to ask me one question.

If it's something that I'll most likely answer "I honestly don't want to answer that in public", you can ask me the question in an email to my Gmail account on my user info.

Give me your best shot! I'm editing a photo album DVD for my sister's wedding today.
greybeta: (Star Wars - Admiral Akbar)
Recently, I made the mistake of commenting on the age-old debate of free will versus determinism on a friend’s Facebook note the other day. I should know well enough to leave well enough alone, but I just couldn’t help myself. You see, this friend posted a series of lengthy forum posts on why we lack free will. I couldn’t help but be annoyed by the fallacious logic used to promote determinism.

Deterministic View
Point 1: God is all-knowing.
Sub Point 1: God knows everything that's going to happen.
Sub Point 2: God is always right.

Conclusion: Everything has to happen the way God knows it will, or God would be wrong.
If God is all-powerful, then he could have made the world in any way he chose. Assuming God is all-knowing, this means that God knew the outcomes of each kind of world that he would build.

This means that God decided what we would do before he made the world (this jives with what Christians say; God has a plan, right?). He chose this exact path of history, down to what shirt you wore yesterday. If that's true, then there is no way that we can have free will. God already chose everything for us.

Free Will View
God granted us the right to make our choices in life.

D2’s View
There are many ways to resolve free will versus determinism. Someone came up with the idea of “soft” determinism, for example, to try to make the two ideas compatible. But that is not the interesting case. No, the interesting cases are where one idea directly opposes the other.

Here’s an example I’ve heard. Say you roll a dice. You know the outcome must be an integer value ranging from one to six. Does knowing all those outcomes prevent you from throwing the dice?

Perhaps you’ve watched the Matrix trilogy. If you haven’t, allow me to spoil the following exchange for you.

Neo Vs. Agent Smith
Free Will vs. Determinism

Agent Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you're fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can't win. It's pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?
Neo: Because I choose to.

Of course, a determinist might argue that we’re merely programmed to believe we have free will. Alright, how about a Buddhist koan?

One day, a student of Shunryu Suzuki-Roshi confronted him at Sokoji, in his office, and said, “If you believe in freedom why do you keep your bird locked up in a cage?” Suzuki Roshi went over and opened the door of the cage and the bird flew out of the cage and out of the window. It is said that then Shunryu Suzuki turned to the student and said “That bird is free – you owe me a bird.”

Also, look at our legal system. Our legal system is predicated on the theory that we have free will. We punish people for making poor choices. After all, if that weren’t the case, we shouldn’t charge anyone with a crime because they were meant to do it. Oh, I know, we’re meant to punish those that were meant to commit those crimes.

All that being said, if determinism works for you, then more power to you. However, I’m determined to believe that free will triumphs over determinism. You’re always free to disagree.

Maktub. It is written.
greybeta: (Suzumiya Haruhi - Haruhi Tongue Face)
This is an old video (5 weeks or so), but it's a pretty good summary of the downsides of Twitter. Twitter does have its good uses!

July 2009

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