Free Will

Every once in a while, I come across a blog post, or perhaps a youtube video, claiming to have finally debunked the notion of Free Will, or individualism, or some other “archaic notion” that is much too “dualistic.” They always present it as if it is a new idea, or as if science has suddenly proven that Free Will no longer exists because they used the scientific method to look at a philosophical question.

My real question is, why are humans always so eager to reason themselves out of existence? I do not decry the notion of rational thought here, but rather the urge to find a way to think, or perhaps a better word is “deduce,” our way out of humanity. It is astonishing to me every time I see it, and the funny thing is, these people hold onto it as if it is a new idea. Just look at this youtube video. It nicely summarizes all the arguments, and falls for them without question.

All of the old trappings of these philosophical debates come out in support of determinism. A combination of outside influences from social mores or pressure, to past experiences, to baser instincts all “determine” our actions for us before we ever actually make a choice. Now, neuroscience has joined the debate. Evidence shows that our brains send impulses to our body parts before we actually move them, unconsciously. That our brains, in effect, send the impulses before we make the choice. Therefore, we must again be determined, yes? Now, some determinists use this as “evidence” of the illusion of free will, but just imagine if you had to choose to breathe, or choose to make your brain work. Of course your brain sends out impulses before you make a decision to do something. Of course your brain is working at a faster and more complicated level than you can consciously comprehend. I still don’t see how this proves anything. Let me provide an example. Continue reading

Inspiration

Hello again readers and writers.

The writing has been going pretty well. I had a few days setback, completely of my own fault for not paying enough time to my writing each day.

Something I have major trouble with is consistency. I have issues getting up at that same time every day, and putting in the effort. After missing that time, whether it be dedicated to writing, working out, or even just waking up, when I miss I come up with bad excuses not to do it for the rest of the day. Now, I could just blame it on my “different” style, trying to pass it off as a good thing, or at least a product of my uniqueness… but that would be disingenuous. The fact is, I need consistency. Writers in general need consistency in order to work as they are meant to work, in order to glean as much creativity out of their fingers as they possibly can. Continue reading

Focus (or Lack Thereof)

Yesterday, I wrote another 500 words on my novel. The way I did it, however, is probably not the best way I could have gone about it. At about 5:30 AM, I decided that perhaps it was time to throw in the towel and go to sleep. I realize you never know when or where inspiration will hit, but this is ridiculous!

I seem to have a hard time stopping once I get rolling on a project or idea. It was about 1 in the morning, a decent hour for me, when I decided to start mass uploading videos to youtube using the new “scheduled uploads” option they have included. It lets you upload a video and have it released on a specific day and time. I like it, but I have found in the passing days that it has not worked perfectly, and sometimes doesn’t show up in subscription boxes. There are still some bugs to iron out, so I’ll be uploading traditionally most of the time, from now on. Continue reading

Gypsum – A Poem

The old high school

For maximum hypocrisy after my last post about not enjoying poetry, here’s a poem I wrote. It’s about rural Oklahoma, and became the basis for the aesthetic of the novel I’m writing at the moment. More updates about that later.

This poem is based on a trip I took to Hitchcock, Oklahoma with my girlfriend after my Grandfather died. I spent a lot of time there as a child, and it was weird going back.

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I Never Liked Poetry

I’ve never really liked poetry very much. This isn’t to say it’s not a worthwhile artistic pursuit, nor that it is dumb in some way. I just think to myself, when is the last time I sat down and said, “Man! I have GOT to read me some poems.”

The answer is a resounding “never.”

Not that this stopped me from writing poetry before. Continue reading

Retro Collecting, and The Mystery of the Pixel

As many of you may know, I’m a retro gamer. I’m a collector of old games and game systems, despite the fact that I could easily emulate most of the games I try to obtain, or play them in some Ps3 or virtual console port. Still, I like to have the originals whenever possible, even if I can’t always play them in their original formats. Some of the games are actually easier to play in their ported versions in fact, because of the advent of save stating, rescuing me from having to start Sonic 2 over every time I want to shut down the console and walk away. Sometimes you just don’t have 4 hours to sit down and finish Sonic.

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The Unfinisher- Tales of a Chronic Game Leaver

You didn't know how much, SEGA.

I have a problem. I don’t finish games.

It’s not that I don’t want to. No, believe me – I wish I could finish every game in my library. Part of the reason I keep all my old game systems and games is because I think “maybe I’ll go back and beat ‘Jurassic Park’ for the SEGA Genesis.” The problem, right now, is time. Continue reading

Mental Vomit Judo

It’s Friday, and I thought this would be the perfect time to start up a weekly link roundup, as well as a possible small post attached. I was reading a post on a new blog I discovered called “Quill Takes Flight,” which reminded me of an old post I made on my blogger account back when I still used it. It’s a post I’m very proud of, mostly because of the excellent pun I created with it. That, of course, after the jump.

Here’s the links:

Publishing and publishing,” an inspiring post by my good friend Josh about the importance of big P publishing for writers, but also about the dangers of making it one’s main focus.

Perfect: Good’s Nemesis,” a great post on the previously mentioned “Quill Takes Flight” about the looming (and exciting) 2012 NaNoWriMo competition, and getting one’s proverbial butt moving on a project.

Out of gas or where do ideas come from?” A quick and excellent read about where ideas come from (duh), and the importance of character.

Finally, a post by the incomparable Taylor Mali, one of my favorite poets, with a very moving and quick poem from Tuesday.

Onto the post after the jump.

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Hot Fuzz: Not a Venereal Disease

It's about to go off.

That was the first thing I said when I tried to convince this girl I liked in High School to watch Edgar Wright’s Buddy-Cop masterpiece.

It’s hard to get a girl to go out with you if you ask her to watch something like “Hot Fuzz,” because it does in fact sound like an infection in the nether regions. Although it wasn’t the best choice for a romantic night, I got to see the movie I wanted to see, and the girl wasn’t right for me anyway, so it all worked out in the end.

Hot Fuzz has become one of my favorite movies of all time, and is probably my favorite buddy-cop movie ever. I grew up a cop-film connoisseur, being that my father is a cop. By the time I was fifteen, I had seen all the classics. Dirty Harry, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon – you name it, I had seen it. When I reached College, we were (and are still) having a major drought in the action-cop-comedy genre. There just wasn’t a lot coming out that was good anymore. Owing to its origins across the pond, and it’s smallish budget, I wasn’t even aware of it till it came out on DVD. However, when I saw the preview online, I knew that it was for me. I thought perhaps it was the movie I had been waiting for.

How right I was.

Many people who haven’t seen the movie, or aren’t as familiar with the cop-genre as they should be usually see Hot Fuzz as a parody of the buddy-cop film genre. Let’s get a little something straight here. Parodies are films like Scary Movie and it’s much less funny spiritual descendants like Date Movie and The 41-Year-Old Virgin who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and felt Superbad about it (yes that’s a real title). A parody, like the ones mentioned before, is like a series of witty (or otherwise) pop-culture references that lasts for two-and-a-half hours.

This is not one of those films. Continue reading