Life in a tunnel

Human beings often get stuck in tunnels. It’s pretty natural and nothing to be ashamed of. It just happens. You either constructed the tunnel yourself, or maybe the people you’re with constructed it, maybe the people on TV constructed parts of it.

Reality is a strange thing. Things happen, but whatever happens has a different meaning depending from what tunnel you’re viewing it. One person might view a rock crashing into the earths’ atmosphere as a falling star ready to fulfil your wish, the other might see at as an omen for dark days to come. But the rock itself, didn’t mean anything by it, it was just following a fixed path through our solar system and earth was in the way this time. It just happened.

Crazy things happen when other human beings step into our vision. With our tunnel vision glasses on, we seem to know exactly why other people do certain things and how angry we should get about it. Especially when it isn’t according to our carefully constructed rules of our tunnel.

One person might decide that getting angry and violent at a seemingly gay couple holding hands is an appropriate reaction to people not abiding the rules of the tunnel. The other might decide a violent massacre is the appropriate response.

These are the worst of situations where people are restricted in living on this earth, because they don’t follow the rules of someone’s tunnel. In the luckiest of cases you’ll just get a frown and a conversation about you that your behaviour or the way you dress is “not appropriate”.

It’s extremely common for people to talk about what things are appropriate or not in certain environments, because everybody’s tunnel has rules about these things and it’s easy to find people who have similar rules. Tabloids and celebrity gossip shows abuse the heck out of this nifty little thing about human nature, to bond about the rules of their tunnels.

But when a couple is walking on the street, and they’re in love, and they feel they need to express their love for each other, neither is thinking about any rules, they just want to love, hold hands, kiss and dance. Because that’s what sometimes reality is, it just happens, it’s not to annoy you, it’s not a cry for attention, it’s not intended to affect anyone but themselves.

The only reason why it affects you in any kind of way, is because you’re looking at reality from that carefully constructed tunnel you built for yourself. The tunnel that has rules for just about anything, because you figured there was an opinion to have about it.

When people tell you you should “live life like it’s your last day”, or “follow your heart”, or any kind of silly – easier to say than to execute – phrase; it’s mostly about getting rid of your tunnel vision. Getting rid of that tunnel that started to live a life of its own, making you angry all the time about all sorts of things that don’t actually affect anyone else in actual reality.

When you should decide to keep living in your tunnel, or a different version of it, perhaps consider and ponder about the concept of freedom. All kinds of freedom. And not just for yourself, but consider letting other people have the same freedom. Freedom to love whomever they love, freedom to feel and express however they feel, freedom to dress however they want. And most important of all: the freedom to not fear for their lives.

#unscripted – I don’t understand how life happened

I’m 31 years old and somehow life is here and gone by. Everything that seemed to be so significant in the past, really wasn’t.

Somehow I’m only now grasping at the incredible privilege I’ve had that I just got this bachelor degree, got jobs, got a place to live in, and I don’t understand why.

Life in the Netherlands is very different from any movie you’ve seen that involved schools. There are no fancy school balls, no dorms, no fancy graduation gowns and ceremonies. I can hardly remember school. I learned things, I think. But all 3 school levels were just a blur of general brain building without memorable events. Brain building is a good thing, important thing, so important, but I can imagine people in later life forgetting about that. It’s easy to forget and suppress school.

It’s also easy to forget the privilege involved in these things. I was born at the right time, from the right parents. I was able to live at my parents’ for the entire time, our government payed for most of all 3 schools throughout my life. And because I somehow ended up being ok enough and finished things in time, I was gifted the money owed by our gov. Something that has changed since.

I think I did some of things by myself, I passed tests and exams, I got internships and jobs by myself, did the work by myself. At least I think I did. But it did involve a lot of help I wouldn’t have gotten if I was born somewhere else or at a different time.

And now I have some kind of job, live on my own, can somehow pay for so much. So much. And I don’t understand why, anymore.

#unscripted – Learning to swipe right

I’m so new to this – not just Tinder – but even just having a conversation with anyone, that I have every reason to hide under the bed and never get out from under it.

One can say a lot about the people on Tinder, but you know we all like and dislike certain things, but in the end we’re all different despite the similarities you see sometimes. There’s a lot of people to swipe right in the world, and some are fine to do it just by a glance at someone’s pictures. Most people seem to have some kind of type it seems and can swipe left and right accordingly.

Me, not so much. I like a lot more people, which is actually a problem. Because it makes me having to rely on personality, which is a big unknown even when some has a long description with the emoji’s signifying what things they like in life. More often than not, it doesn’t actually say anything, and I have to somehow figure out who someone might be through their photo’s.

Currently my “strategy” is to swipe left, unless there are some really big hints going on that I could swipe right, because that’s when I put my phone away and hope the decision goes away without me actually swiping right.

Which isn’t just really silly, it’s actually problematic that this is somehow a really big deal in my head. It shouldn’t be. But what if I’ll actually be faced with having to have an actual conversation with someone I don’t know. What’s up with that. How. Can’t I just watch Netflix instead? It’s so much easier. Life is so much easier when you don’t have to socialize with other people… But I know sometimes it’s worth it, even if it’s scary.

So here’s to more swiping to the right without thinking too much about it.

But let me watch this series on Netflix first…

“Feminists are the worst”

“you caved to pressure from SJW rhetoric. It’s the same kind of vitriolic garbage that caused things like gamergate and the stuff con-artists like Anita Sarkeesian thrive off.”

 

“It’s pretty clear to me you guys folded over one very stupid and unreasonable complaint by a feminist.”

 

Parents

It seems to me, that when parents have daughters, life becomes complicated. This isn’t because of the daughters, but the instinct within the parents to protect their children. It sounds really reasonable, even if you have a feminist approach to life, reality is very real and finite when you consider throwing your child into the world.

Covering up your daughter’s eyes to not make her see possible influential images of women showing off their bodies, to somehow prevent them from doing so themselves, in an attempt to protect them from potential harassment, rape or worse. All the while, from a feminist perspective, it’s not the women who are to blame when they are victim of said crimes. Generally, it doesn’t even matter how you dress. Women get harassed, just because of their gender, period.

 

Shame on you little girl

When it comes to the subject of showing off your body, if it comes from the actual person’s initiative (important detail), should not be the “wrong” thing to do. Both men and women judge women’s bodies and the way they dress*, and it doesn’t actually matter in what direction of the ‘sexy’ scale, it’s never good enough.

Body shaming happens to men too, especially when they are considered to be “fat” by others for example, but still so very much less.

*) includes catcalling, insults, dress too short, dress too long, too much cleavage, not enough makeup, too much makeup, top too short, belly too big, breasts too small, not enough smiling, too much smiling, too sexy, too prude, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

 

Body positive

So when it comes to feminism, most of the feminists I’ve seen and read, are pro-choice, sex-positive, body-positive. When you can’t ever do anything right in the eyes of the straight-male-gaze, the best approach is to combat body shaming, self deprecation and be happy about who you are and what you look like.

It gets really complicated when the choice is not yours, but when it comes from a movie script or director for example, because when we wind back time to the pre-body-positive era – women had to appeal to the straight-male-gaze and were, and still aren’t considered equal to those men. So is this choice coming from the movie script that portray the woman as a full person And body-positive, or is there really no person to speak of beside the body parts.

Game developers are in the same realm of “it’s complicated”, where they have to find a way to develop characters as people first regardless of gender or body type.

General line of thought: if the person is an actual person first, you know, like you’d write your male characters, then there are no rules about bodies – although always by choice, even if “inconsistent” with their general way of expressing themselves.

Ok, maybe if you have Anita Sarkeesian judging your game you might have to go the extra mile to rise above the generic sexist movie script. It’s complicated.

 

Back to the parents

Is this parent concerned and hiding their daughter from the Internet a feminist? Probably not. Based on the victimizing the daughter that is… Based on body positivity, or lack of, it’s still complicated.

But as a parent, life is even more complicated. And their worries aren’t invalid. Perhaps misguided about the the cause of their worry.

 

Either way

It was interesting to read all the unfiltered rage.

Ok, I enjoyed the talk about butts on twitter more.

 

Butts

 

 

 

 

We’re not part of the Internet

Being human is hearing and reading other humans say you’re social creatures. And we are, but mostly, we’re not. This isn’t because we don’t want to be social with other people, it’s because of the option not to.

Our brains are not part of the Internet, nobody (yet?) is able to actually see what’s going on in your brain. Unless you yourself decide to tell someone what you’re thinking about and what feelings you have about these things, there’s no way of someone else knowing exactly what that is.

What’s interesting to realize, is that this doesn’t just apply to your brain, but to others as well. You don’t know what your friend, neighbor, prime minister or whoever else are really thinking, either. You may think you know because of what they say, do or don’t say, but you really don’t actually know.

Being human is not hard because of not really knowing if someone else will care about what you’re thinking about, but because you think you’re the only one freaking out and worrying about these things.

Earthly photographs

There are a lot of satellites, spacecraft and debris of previous spacecrafts floating around in space, most of these objects are registered and tracked and can be found on websites like stuffin.space.

Very little of these spacecraft however actually carry camera’s to take regular pictures of the earth in a single frame. Those that do take pictures take close-ups of certain area’s. Most other satellites are used for communication, navigation or measurements and do not use camera’s.

Then there’s the ISS of course which has camera’s onboard and some that are operated by the crew, which results in the most spectacular images of our home planet.

There are a lot of space agencies, countries and organisations invested in space and I took the liberty to collect a few images on pinterest of the Earth taken by the spacecraft and satellites of various space agencies that aren’t NASA.

It’s because of extensive library at The Planetary Society that I was able to find most of these, and there’s a special page with pictures of the Earth taken by all the other satellites and spacecraft as well.

[spoiler] SW7: About this new Death Star

I’m no physicist, but it seems to me they made this new death star partially believable. Partially.

So, one could imagine somehow harnessing a star and draw power from that to destroy a planet. The stream of matter moving from a star to the death star’s energy collector seems to be inspired by how 2 stars would compete on each other on gravity and attract each other’s matter. Also the hypothetical Dyson sphere could be part of it, although that would probably bigger than the planet that is the new Death Star.

But what’s important here to consider is gravity, or well, the warping of space-time. Because whether you attract just new energy or actual matter from another object that wasn’t already a part of you, adds to your gravity. So as the energy intake increases, the mass and gravity would increase as well. Even if the planet could withstand the pull of star that a Dyson sphere could do, or was somehow protected from it, the people and everything else flying around it would not be protected from it.

Meaning by the time all the star’s energy was taken in, it would also have squished the people on it, and buildings, and trees, and crashed all the spaceships around it. The slowing down (or faster? errr time dilation is complicated) of time would probably be less relevant at that time since anyone caring about it would be dead. It could probably work if it was remote controlled, but that would probably be less exciting.

I can also imagine the collapse of the planet would form another star. Though I wouldn’t know if it would form that quickly as it did in the movie. But who knows, it might.

Still, nice try.

Awesome movie.