The Internet Saved My Life

Without the advent of the internet I’d probably be a grunt worker unwilling to expand his mind which would leave me hopeless and unaware. Because of the internet I can easily research and invest in the stock market, accumulate knowledge, publish my writing, search for other opportunities and a list of other things. Without the internet I would be too discouraged to explore the aforementioned. Technology tends to remove the barrier to entry.

Not everyone and maybe most people do not use the internet for anything but entertainment and convenience. They look up sports highlights, prank videos on YouTube, stuff to buy and of course porn. Someone’s internet habits tells you a lot about them. When all the information in the world becomes very accessible but you spend all of your time on the internet watching fart videos it means you’re not interested in knowing any more than you already know. People generally only attain as much knowledge as they need to fit in with their peer group. If you’re much smarter or dumber than your group you risk the possibility of being ousted. No one admires the dummy or the person who makes them feel like a dummy.

Before the internet the winner of an argument was the one who could convince more people in the room that they were right. If Mike, Bob and Herb say dog shit is high in protein then they win. “Bob’s always right. He graduated from university.”

When I’m having a hard time convincing someone of a fact or historical data I stop myself and tell them to look it up on the internet. A question that I sometimes find odd is, “how do you know this stuff?” That was a valid question pre-internet because no one knew anything unless if it was their profession or knowledge passed down from family. Often my question to people is, why don’t you know? It’s your affliction or problem and you know next to nothing about it? I’m convinced that sometimes people are too scared of what they might discover. Ensuring comfort in the present is the priority.

 

 

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Brain Asylum

With age the stakes can become higher or at least feel that way. There’s often higher sums of money involved, time becomes more valuable and the potential of tremendous regret is one epiphany away. In desperate situations the mind often seeks comfort in any crazy way it can attain it.

Tell yourself that it will be blue skies ahead and those high hopes can leave you hanging from the neck. Was the blue sky you envisioned the one above you that everyone else could see or just a piece you painted that no one else was buying?  It’s easier to just continue to sail in the direction of the momentum even if the forecast calls for a 20 year storm.

When one cannot handle reality they often turn to religion, substances or insanity. The very latter is often the weapon of choice — it’s free and runs autonomously. Refusal of truth feeds the insanity. The mental madhouse of cards uses a weak mind to remain strong.

71 Year Olds

At the nearby park I saw an old guy walking around with his metal detector. He said he finds a few hundred dollars a year and his best year was about $1000. I forget how he segued into talking about his lady friend who is a pyschic and can read minds. Apparently she can also call on the spirits. My question to him was if he believed in her powers.

“Well, some of it seems far-fetched but I know she can read minds because she’s read mine before.”

I wouldn’t have discounted the possibility of her mind reading powers as much if he didn’t tell me the story of how she’s been divorced 3 times. Maybe those men had magnetic shields that blocked her powers.

At the supermarket I was eating my chicken pot pie when an old Asian guy sat by me. He said, “hi” and I asked him if he was on lunch. He wasn’t and said he works graveyards as a janitor. It’s very uncommon to be a 71-year-old Asian born in Canada and even more uncommon to have your even older Asian dad to also be born in Canada. “Your dad must have some stories,” I said. “Yep.”

He basically gave me his life story in the hour that we spoke. He said he’s still working because he’s a typical Western baby boomer who likes to live beyond his means. He also said working is one of his “interests.” I wanted to tell him to f-off. What 71-year-old likes working as a janitor on a graveyard shift? Who knows, maybe he does prefer it. Maybe it’s his way of getting away from his wife — work when she’s sleeping and sleep when she’s awake. He told me I should get a job. I wanted to tell him to f-off again.

“Don’t your folks and friends give you a hard time for not having a job?” he asked.

I don’t even remember what I replied. Surely, it was something cheeky.

He followed with, “yep, when your friends are married they all want you to get married. When they’re having kids they want you to have kids. And down the road if they regret it, it’s too late. They think about divorcing but then they’re reminded of having to divide assets.”

When I was in high school everyone wanted you to wear baggy jeans. After high school there was peer pressure to go to night clubs. When some were spending too much money modifying their cars it influenced everyone else to do the same. This list is endless. It was clearly a total waste of money, time and energy. There are no positive residuals from the foolishness of the past. People laugh and agree but don’t realize that nothing has changed. It just seems real when you’re under the influence. Many lives are a continuous series of acts to merely conform.

I indirectly told him that I thought Canadian baby boomers are assholes because they had it so easy in comparison. He didn’t disagree. They were born right after World War II, lived comfortably working menial jobs and now collect their undeserved pensions which are partly funded by the younger generation. They should be volunteering to help my generation do housework and babysit.

It was an enjoyable conversation. We shared some laughs and agreed on quite a bit. I hope to run in to him in the future.

Cole

In the late summer of 1990 some of us kids were at the park playing some kind of game. The sun had set and we were 11 years old so we all headed home. This white kid around our age I had never seen before was with us and apparently had no home to go to. The story was he ran away from the group home that was located just a few blocks away. He must have asked if he could stay at my place because I highly doubt I would have invited him. Every other summer I would be left alone for a month without supervision because Uncle Bill would leave town for a month and my mother would be working 12 hours a day.

There was no way this kid was going to stay under the same roof as us but the back of the house was kind of a junkyard. The back porch was a hoarding area that never saw light because of the enormous orange tarp sheltering it like a tent. I can’t remember any of the items on that porch except a very large rolled up carpet. It’s possible it’s the only thing I can recall because nothing else ever had any significance. I told him he could sleep on the rolled up carpet if he wanted to. He accepted. His name was Cole, I think.

The next morning I must have fed him something then Cole and I walked down to the railroad tracks. At that age I didn’t know that stories involving a strange kid and railroad tracks often had bad endings. Instead of me getting bashed over the head with a large rock though we found a pornographic magazine still mostly intact. The pages had been wearing out probably from several days or weeks of the effects of morning dew and sunshine. I think it was my first dirty magazine. Cole might have went back to his group home that day or not, I can’t remember.

Cole showed up another day. By this time Uncle Bill had come home. Cole wanted to sleep on the rolled up carpet again but he also asked for a pillow. I had to ask for permission this time. I can’t imagine that I asked Uncle Bill if some strange kid could sleep on our dirty, rolled up rug outside but I must have. I do remember asking though if I could give him a pillow because I remember his response was to give him the crappier pillow. Uncle Bill wasn’t very amused with what I brought home.

Some other day soon after he showed up on my doorstep again wanting to come in. We played a board game or a card game together. He would uncontrollably shake his head every minute or so. He told me his dad used to hit him in the head a lot. While we were playing our game he distracted me but I heard the sound of coins clanging together and then disappearing. I accused him of stealing my money. He put the coins back on the table and then I asked him to leave. Looking back now I should have just let him have the money.

He wasn’t a bad kid at all. It seemed as though he had morals and was easy to be around with. A few days later he came by again when it was pouring rain. He wanted to come in but I refused. That was the last time I ever saw him.

 

Productivity Monday

It was a great normal day. At breakfast I was wondering why my mood was above average. More than sufficient sleep will do that to a person. If I had to choose between good sleep every day with only McDonald’s meals versus poor sleep every day with healthy food I would choose the former. Since I don’t have to choose I went and had a Big Mac today.

I want to say I did laundry today too but how can I take credit for something the washing machine did. It was effortless to decide to go to the gym after. My gym pants are about 10 years out of style but I don’t like the ‘in’ ones. They’re all slim fit and tapered.

My piano teacher said I shouldn’t even try to practice for 1 hour every day. “Just try half an hour,” she said. So I did. Jordan Peterson said don’t even try to read for 2 hours a day, start with 20 minutes. I did that too. All of this sounds like it could have came out of a book titled, Improvement for Dummies. Chapter 1: Sleep.

If I could do all of this regularly I could be a somebody with clean underwear.

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Dog watching me take a shit today

Employment Opportunities

A person I know sent me a message today with a job offer.

“Do you want to pack weed for $18 an hour?”

I’m not sure what packing weed entails but I think it’s packaging consumer amounts for illegal online sales. Some people have been making a ton of money blatantly selling marijuana online and in storefronts. It’s 100% illegal but the story is the city does not have enough resources to deal with it. Although marijuana is legal now the black market is still a large supplier for consumers.

Packing weed is probably an easy job but for $18 an hour there’s no risk premium and I’m doubtful a dental plan is included. I can get paid that much moving boxes at some warehouse without having to worry about the law or getting robbed. If it was $50 an hour I’d have to consider it. Everyone has a price.

There’s a labour shortage of skilled workers as well as low wage positions that are located in areas not easily accessible by public transit. Being a plumber pays well and is important but you have to be a plumber 5 days of the week. Easy jobs are plentiful but pay you dog shit in an expensive city. No one wants a tough commute to a low paying job. Many restaurants have had to shorten their opening hours or even close altogether because of lack of workers.

Even the 8-year-old kid in my neighbourhood quit his paper route because they cut his pay by half. Most of this city haven’t been getting their shopping flyers for the last 12 months.

If you don’t want depressing pay then you have to be somewhat valuable to society. Scarcity equals value.

 

Life Lessons From the Internet

A 77-year-old man on Quora wrote that he is very wealthy, married 2 beautiful women, has 2 great sons, retired at 49, lived a full life but none of it mattered. Us common folk will come across such wisdom and rejoice at the idea that winners are still losers. He goes on to say that he wished he spent his life learning piano, painting, sculpting, reading, owning more dogs instead of, “chasing someone else’s dream.”

A common theme in many of his other answers is that “you’re going to die.” He disparages what many wrestle with in life such as passions, purpose, money and our feelings. Often, the ego owns your life until there’s not much life left. It kicks you to the curb and spits on you while you come to realize the universe was just using you.

Something else he mentions on a few occasions is that he wished he realized that, “you have to want what you have before you get what you want.” It’s like a life hack because if you let the mind run its natural course it will always want more which will always leave you dissatisfied. I’m not sure if I know how to do it though. I’d imagine I’d have to block out or deflect many of my thoughts. Shut up brain or I’ll stab you with a Q-tip.

It’s true though, winner or loser, you’re going to die and quickly be forgotten. Your perceived accomplishments were probably no more impressive than that of any 4 legged mammal or 6 legged insect. Some ants can carry 1000 times its own weight. I believe the lesson isn’t to do nothing but maybe not pick such a painful route that is going to get you to the same destination anyway.