Monday, July 23, 2012

Response to a friend's existential crisis

This post is a response to my friend Kara's existential crisis blog post which can be found HERE.

There is no "point". No inherent meaning/purpose. We are not even a blip on the radar of the universe. The universe (including time and space) is so vast that you can't begin to imagine how big it is. There are more stars than there are grains of sand...on all of the beaches of the Earth. Unless humanity is the only intelligent species, which would seem very unlikely given the size of the universe, then humanity too is likely not as important as we think we are. Given enough time, no one will remember us. Us being individuals and perhaps humanity itself.

I have decided after some thought that, once you decide that living is better than being dead, the purpose for your life should be to achieve optimum happiness for yourself and to do good for others/make others happier. I have also added a personal purpose: to understand myself and the universe.

You said that you'll be dead by next century. Maybe. But with the exponential growth of technology, and thereby medical technology, we may be the first people to see the point where medicine/technology can advance our life and youth indefinitely (I've done research into this; I'm not just pulling it out of thin air).  This isn't to say that we will live forever. But you might have enough time to do everything you want to do and then decide when you want to stop prolonging your life. This is mostly theoretical at this point but it is the main reason why I don't take drugs or drink alcohol and try to eat well and exercise.

I think when someone realizes that there is no afterlife/heaven/God/reason that they are alive then you can begin to understand how UNLIKELY it is that you should exist. You can think about all the random things that happened since the begginning of the universe that resulted in your existence. You'll realize that your existence is almost unimaginably unlikely. THEREFORE, I think it is very selfish and stupid to end your life early. Even if there is no inherent purpose to it and you won't be remembered regardless of how long you might be able to live, you can still enjoy your life and try to make the lives of others better. If you believe that sadness, pain, and suffering are inherently bad then I feel motivated to strive for happiness for myself and others.

I disagree with you that if everyone came to the conclusion that you did that the world would end or disaster would ensue. My proof is myself, you, and others who have realized the finality of death can continue to live happy and moral lives without religion or a deity telling us what to do or how to live our lives. Just because it makes people "feel better" or gives them comfort does not mean it is a good reason to keep upholding that false belief.

The last thing I will say is this: be prepared. Be prepared to die. We all know it's inevitable. Once you're in college and beginning to live your own life you should take responsibility not only for your life but for your death. You can put your affairs in order so that when you die, you're family will know what to do.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stats Class

This is what I'm doing in Stats class.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Sad Man with a Box

I will be reviewing "The Sad Man with a Box" by inklou from the website It was difficult to decide on an artwork to review. At first I was going to do review something by DaVinci; but that seemed to obvious a choice. Then I thought of reviewing the most recent episode of Doctor Who; but I thought that would be too complex for this paper. So I searched online for some Doctor Who art. I had to decide between this work and another. I chose this one because it was inspired by the episode that I was going to review.

For those unfamiliar with Doctor Who: it is a British science fiction TV series about a 900 year old alien from the planet Gallifrey who is the last of his people, the Time Lords, and who travels around in space and time in his ship called a TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space). And, he is called The Doctor.

At the top of the drawing are the words "I've been running my whole life, Now it's time for me to stop." These are the some of the last words The Doctor speaks before being shot and killed in the opening episode the current series. The words ad to the emotion of the piece and given insight into what is going through the Doctor's mind.

The background is simple, a bright white fading to a pale gray at the top The white background suggests an end. A white light is commonly associated with death. The only thing visible besides the white background and the text, is The Doctor in the foreground seen from behind. The TARDIS, which looks like a British police box, is absent from the photo, despite the work being called "The Sad Man with a Box." The drawing suggests that the viewer is watching the Doctor walk forward, away from his machine, into the white background.

The Doctor is drawn in primarily three colours: dark brown, dark blue, and a white skin tone. The Doctor's body posture is one of  defeat, head looking down, but also strength with his arms drawn up and back and hands curled; not in anger or defense but in courage. The dark brown and blue of his shirt and pants are drawn in a water-colour crinkled style, symbolizing his chronological age in contrast to the penciled, clean drawing of his youthful face and hair. The weathered clothes suggest a man who has been through much in his life.

Overall, I like this drawing. It is sad and simple, but it seems that thought was put into each part of the work. My only displeasure is that the words are in a small white font and therefor hard to read.
In writing my review, I did not do any research or preparation. I have never been very interested in art and don't feel that any knowledge I gain in reviewing art would be put to much use. I walk into an art museum and quickly find myself bored and longing for a book to read. Perhaps if there were art museums filled with works that interest me, about subjects I like, I might feel differently.

I felt that I was supposed to describe the piece. I needed to provide a background of what it was about for the symbolism I saw to make sense to the reader. I also felt that I needed to comment on the style of drawing and make note of the colours.

I said I liked the work because, to me at least, it appears that thought was put into each part of the work. I feel that I liked the work because I like and understand the show and who the Doctor is. Someone who is unfamiliar with the show might not get the same feelings that I did from it. But as Hume says, a critic must put themselves in the shoes of the intended audience. A critic would have to watch the show to fully understand what the artist was trying to convey.

I don't think the fact that the audience being mainly college students would have much of an influence. The show is for all ages. What really matters is if you have seen the show.  A better audience would be British college students though.

My review is likely not as valid as an art critic; especially one who has seen the show. They will have a better understanding of the principles of art and how they work together to make a good artwork.

As a result of this evaluation I have learned that looking at art of subjects I'm interested in can be enjoyable. If you have an understanding/connection to a subject, an artwork about that subject is more likely to move you emotionally.


Everyone seems to be saying "bucks" instead of "dollars". It's so red-necked. Our currency is not called a "buck". It's called a DOLLAR! Add this to the ever growing list of reasons that I prefer Australia over America.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reason to live: to experience happiness

After some deep thought while walking around the lake tonight on campus, I decided on a reason to live. Not what gives my life meaning. Just a reason, a justification, to keep living. Not that I have any other alternative. Quite simply the reason is to maximize happiness. If there is something that is not making me unhappy or an alternative that will make me happier than what I am doing now, then I should make changes.

Finding what gives my life meaning will be much more difficult.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


As Americans celebrate Easter, Australians mourn and remember our fallen on ANZAC day.

"They shall grow not old,
As we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
......And in the morning
We will remember them."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dear Australia

Dear Australia,

My heart longs for you. I want to be home again.


I miss Fed Square, Torquay, the trains, the trams, my friends, the surf, the footy, the possibility of new adventures. I miss riding in the car with Chris. I miss reading Mx on the way home. I miss Australians; their friendliness and kindness. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!