Sunday, October 18, 2009

At times I can seem rather aloof and very cold emotionally.


It's nothing to fear though. I am after all, without proper diagnosis, a schizoid.

A schizoid is defined as having most of the following:

  1. neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family
  2. almost always chooses solitary activities
  3. has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
  4. takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
  5. lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
  6. appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
  7. shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affect
Generally it's difficult to really say if I fully have this disorder as it seems to come and go but I will say that after reading the profile it's possible that I do the best I can ignore these symptoms and lead a life that is free of complete solitude.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This is my Religion [repost from Facebook]

I consider myself to be agnostic in the strictest sense of the word. The reason being: I only know as much as our senses tell us. Hold on because it's not as clear cut as that.

Humans have achieved so much in their short History on this planet. I'm still in wonder about how we can dream up an invention, medicine, procedure, story, art, technology, etc and create it with enough effort, time, and care. The ability to create anything at will is god-like and I for one am very satisfied with the stance that we ourselves are gods in our right. We may not be omniscient, omni-benevolent, omni-present but we're working on all these areas. Look how far we've come since our lowly beginnings. We are evolving into the very beings we worshiped for 1000s of years. We dreamed of beings high in the sky that gave us rain, love, better living, power, etc when all along we had these abilities all along within us just waiting to explode to the outside.

For this reason I worship no being but humanity. Through humanity I have seen a great many triumphs occur in making our lives better. I pray to no being but to humanity. Humanity has given us communication by which we can talk to anyone across the globe and far beyond. I have no faith in any being but humanity. Humans require large amounts faith in their ability to peacefully co-exist and co-habitate or else demise is their fate. I seek no salvation except from that of humans. Humans have always been there for me in the realest sense possible and I cherish it completely from each and everyone of them. I await no afterlife except that of the next life of the next human. The progress of humans depends on us carrying on with the next advancement that will make our lives better for the next generation of us.

The last of these is extremely important and I want to emphasis to everyone that we must all do our part in giving the gift of a life even better than of the ones humans enjoy in majority today (and hopefully eventually everyone).

Gods, goddesses, It's have served us well throughout our tenure on this planet and I thank them for their service in giving us an enlightened view of how we can live together and make the world a real heaven on Earth through peace and understanding. Like any good tool though we must only use it when it's necessary and not clutter up our work bench with things that will confuse our overall goals. These beings that were once very useful to our progress seem to be relics of a past life that didn't enjoy the ability to live so richly. Times in centuries past were dark and dreary and required some sort of 'force' to believe in to make sense of why life was so miserable. That time is slowly approaching a complete fade out.

Times are still tough but the optimistic of humans have seen the light and the light is human ingenuity. I can think of no better happiness and atonement then one where humans themselves eradicate disease, pain, and hunger. We can only do this if our minds our set to a life dedicated to worshiping human kind and spending it's love to the other walks of life as well.

So some may be asking how I'm agnostic when it seems clear that I've cast off any sort of notion of needing a god-source. fair enough. Let me explain.

Humans also have a dark side to them. This side has the potential to make life on Earth a living Hell. These humans want nothing better than to spread their short-sighted ideas and beliefs unto everyone in the world or have them face a damnation according to their will. This worries me. All that we've striven to achieve could be crushed very shortly and fast by one or a group of individuals whom care more about getting people in line with their belief system
or ideas. Most of my friends and acquaintances know me as a very big peacenik however when it comes to fighting ignorance and hate you better believe I'm as militaristic as they come. I'm glad to be fighting a war against discrimination, intolerance, and overall judgment and i won't stop until the world sees it as a set goal to stop fighting over nonsense and get together and make a world safe and enjoyable for everyone.

So yeah, you're damned right I'm agnostic. I'm agnostic in the belief that we can be gods but i'm not quite sure at this point due to the destruction I'm seeing from some of my fellow tribesmen.

Here's to me having complete faith in humanity and believing in it. Won't you please pray with me and help us seek salvation in ourselves?



Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Let Your Ego Persuade You.

Person A: "That's very offensive. I don't think it's right of you to do that!"

Person B: "You're right. Let me fix that!"

Person A is now satisfied with the decision made to uphold his belief and the offending thing has been eliminated.


Sounds harmless to most. A person's wishes being upheld at the cost of someone's ego in admitting they were wrong for having said thing around in the first place. A good example of this is religious material like that of the Jesus v.s. Mohammad fighting game. Here we naturally have some religious persons who are offended at the content (namely their religious icon) and wish for the game to be banned due to their wishes.

Okay sure. The game is a bit tasteless. I also tend to think there are tasteless things out there as well such as reality television show. Greatly offended by these types of shows. Regardless I uphold the right for others to enjoy them despite my belief that it's annoying dribble. In perspective those who are offended at the religious fighting game should stand for the same principle.

Look. Your ego doesn't need (and shouldn't be) stroked every minute of the day. Furthermore your ability to not understand that your belief is just part of a large group of beliefs hinders your overall progress in how you understand the way our society works.

I feel these people should be informed of how their ego poisons themselves and the rest of the world. By asking society to conform to their wishes I believe they make it easier to conform to other group's opinions that use their belief structure to rally support. Let's say for example someone supports measures against gay marriage. You happen to agree with this person and want them to fight for your belief structure.

The thing is that this person also happens to a very corrupt individual in the sense that he steals or accepts bribes from shady organizations. However, to those who support his fight won't want to see that. Why? Because he's got you by the chain. He's stroking your ego and telling you everything he does is just and right therefore relieving him of the responsibility to act ethically because no matter what he knows you'll confide in him due to his concept of fighting for an egotistical belief system you support.

My point is the more egotistical your belief the more likely you are to follow blindly with those who support a similar belief structure into whatever abyss they lay out. Only by giving everyone the right to believe what they want without infringing on others rights and belief will you be able to critically evaluate each person despite their crusades. The reason being is you won't feel 'star struck' or over joyed when they tell you what you want to hear about how they're fighting for your favorite belief. It's easy to put somoene on a soap box and glorify them but it could end up costing you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Out With The Old. In With The New

Sixty years ago, digital computers made information readable. Twenty years ago, the Internet made it reachable. Ten years ago, the first search engine crawlers made it a single database. Now Google and like-minded companies are sifting through the most measured age in history, treating this massive corpus as a laboratory of the human condition. They are the children of the Petabyte Age.
Continue reading about how the theory is becoming obsolete at wired.com


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Confidence...it works!

I've had a pretty introspective set of revelations recently. All due to my confidence.

Let me explain.


Within a month I talked to two girls whom I've been friends with for years. These girls live in Ilinois and back when I did as well there was a time where I felt like I wanted a relationship with them however I was so under confident that I couldn't muster the courage to go beyond friendship. So, when I talked to both of them they both were really surprised that I had felt that way and just thought I was either not interested in them or a private person. Amazingly revealing! They both were interested in me at the time as well!

So it turns out a lot of people saw the side of me that I was blind to: my private side. I used my privacy to mask my under-confidence, and I did it well. Damn. Wow.

Who knows who else this was the same with. I can think of a few but I won't ever see them again probably. All I know now is my confidence has increased ten fold.

The question is. What sparked it? I can think of a few things. One thing is the job i'm at I've had to learn confidence in order to be productive with customers and training agents. I think what I was forced to learn on the job just leaked out into my outside life.

Another thing, more controversially, may have been this time I took a tablet of E. I was alone and I was thinking about my life and why I wasn't achieving certain goals and it dawned on me how much confidence plays a role in our lives in order to get what we want. In fact I began to see how much someone looks more intelligent when they have confidence. It was an Earth shattering point in my life.

Whatever it was i'm glad it happened. I can't imagine going back to the self I was.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sorting Out The Clutter Episode 2

video

Pssst...

I'm no longer on Facebook or Myspace. It was too involving and I felt my time could be spent doing other things like, oh say, reading, hanging out with others, making mixes, or even...hell most everything actually.


Good riddance!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

What Spirituality Is

Hi, remember me? My name is Marc and today I'd like to talk to you about spirituality and how we all have it.

....

Don't fret. I'm still an atheist. However, I do want to show you how easy it is to have a spiritual 'feeling' or 'enlightenment' and not have one ounce of religious beliefs in your life. How? Well, it's easy as having a hobby!

You see to be spiritual means that you find yourself in what you do in the world. If you are an artist you will be spiritual through the art you create. If you play sports really well you will feel a sense of bonding with the sport you particularly like. Oh and how about praying to a god every Sunday? If you do any one of these things chances are you're going to feel very good and whole inside.

Now some who read this might argue that the feeling of hobbies is different from that of religious conviction. Well, I can certainly see how that argument might be made but let me be clear about something: I used to be a Christian and I remember quite well the feeling you'd get from having a 'moment with God/Jesus'. And you know what? It was simply amazing and invigorating. The problem is though when you throw belief into the a situation it becomes very discriminating against anything else that happens to share good feelings. When someone has a belief in a deity or 'force' they start to make believe that the feelings they're getting are from this religious conviction. It feels good doesn't it? This is why, I believe, religious people get very excited about their god and/or force because it makes them feel good. Their hobby, more or less, is belief in that god or force.

Disagree with me? Well take my example then of late. I've been attending a Unitarian Universalist Church (see my article below about my visit). During my visit I had an amazing spiritual awakening. I felt good, really good...self aware you might say. I could see all the problems in my life melt away and love was flowing through my body. I had a goofy smile on my face and damn if I didn't feel as if I was on top of the world! Reminds you of something huh? Well, I assure you this was not from the presence of a god. I was feeling the love of the community I was surrounded by and by my own feelings of self worth. Talk about enlightenment.

That feeling conjured up feelings from my past from, you guessed it, my time as a Christian. Shocking I know. Yes part of it was me going to the UU church, however, it was also my willingness to get up and go to the church as I'm not usually a morning riser. I expected this would help me spiritually and it did and thus I fulfilled my own goal and as we know accomplishing goals makes us feel good!

Another time I'd like to mention is when I went on a 2 hour hike into a canyon. The trip was long and arduous to be sure however it was the feeling I had when I came down that made all the difference. Can you guess how I felt? That's right, the exact same way I did at the UU church. Here I attribute it to a few things: exercise, fresh air, a great friend whom joined me, and nature. I remember afterwards exclaiming to my friend how I felt more clear than I have in years. Ideas and optimism seemed to be flowing. I felt like a spirit had embued me. Well, it had...it was my spirit; the spirit of marc eriksen. Spirituality is thus this: You actualizing your goals and asperations and in turn getting motivated to continue on with them and the like.

Unfortunately, we can't all have spiritual moments in our life because life can sometimes be too busy. I don't mean to say that life is montenous and boring but rather when you do the things you enjoy you will find meaning in the tasks you do in your life. It's that simple. If you find yourself in a slump or just completely 'stuck' in a world you feel out of place in then make yourself appear in it by doing something like I did and I promise you will feel the spirituality of youself blossom into the world and take form. You are spiritual, when you want to be and it has nothing to do with a god-like being or religion.

Thank you for your time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

An Atheist in a Church


In our society, atheism and church tend to be strange bed fellows. Well, to most anyway. If you happen to have attended, or heard of, a Unitarian Universalist Congregation than you'll understand that atheists and churches are not as of a funny thing as most would imagine.

Today I, an atheist, attended one of these congregations in Chandler, AZ. I'd been meaning to for quite some time but alas things stopped me from going every time I attempted to get up for their service.

It was honestly intimidating at first. The church property is a lot bigger than I imagined it and a lot more people showed up than I thought would be interested in their group. However, I walked up to the door knowing this place would be accepting of a mindset such as mine as UU accepts all creeds, faiths, religions, etc. Their core belief is love and the ability for all humans of all beliefs to come together as one and work together with this love.

Love, as it turns out, was the central focus for the day (it having been Valentines Day and all yesterday). The church interior was like most churches. It had two sections of pews divided by a walk way to the pulpit and had hymnals sitting underneath the pew in front of where ever you chose to sit. The people looked no different from those you'd find in a Christian church or any other church for that matter. Some were dressed up and some were wearing more casual clothing. This isn't to say that the church had it's share of differences from that of a traditional religion's church.

Along the western wall a very humbling thing could be seen. Symbols from many religions together including Christianity, Toaism, Islam, Judiasm, Wicca, and even the Humanist logo for us atheists. turning to the south I saw beautiful abstract paintings hung up behind the pulpit that seemed to really give the building a warm glow. Clearly this place felt a lot more welcoming then even I imagined.

The service began with a few hymns sang to the tune of a piano. These hymns were not about a god though. They were about peace, loving, and sharing. I gladly sang each one knowing that I wasn't ascribing to a deity. The songs shortly transitioned into a welcoming to all the new comers and new children that were brought in. As it turns out today there was a special event where the children were being blessed by the preistess.

Each child came up to the pulpit with their parents and said their name; then was given a yellow rose and blessed with a thumb of water on the face with a short secular verse. The verse basically said "this child will be a peaceful force for our earth". After all the children and parents came up it was now time to do the bridge. This was something unique. Between the two rows of pews people would each across to the other side and grasp the other's hands to form an arch/bridge. This continued from one end of the pews to the others. For those not standing at the end they were encouraged to place their hands on the shoulders of those beside them as to all join in on the bridge. Upon construction the children and parents ducked through the bridge and out the other side. When the last child went to the end we sang a few more hymns followed by a few charities asking for donations for their organizations. Next, the sermon was given by the preistess.

As I stated earlier the sermon was about love. I couldn't even prepare myself for how blunt, funny, and enriching it was. First off the preistess joked about love as being caused by seratonin in our brain and how it was hard to imagine anything coming from that taken seriously. Some other highlights including joking about homosexuality and even a story wherein she married two women 20 years ago. It truly was a sermon about love and how it knows no bounds. I believe my favorite part of this came when she asked us all to meditate for five minutes while speaking to us about love and clearing/grounding ourselves. This was very special to me as I'm not real huge on prayer but love meditation.

The service eventually came to an end with an ancedote given by the preistess. It sent us all in a chuckle as some made their way to the door and others stayed around to mingle and partake in the snacks. I myself stayed to mingle and found some very fascinating people. One was an agnostic lawyer whom I talked to a bit about my beliefs and my future in studying law. Before he left he gave me his card and said I should call him if I want to talk to him about law.

Another couple talked to me for a bit about the service and religion in general. The man described to me a book by karen armstrong and recommeded I read it as it was a real great critique of religion. Out of all the people I met though there were three that I talked the most with: Caroline, Caralina, and Bryan.

I got into a discussion with these three about my standing on atheism and religion as well as politics. Each were very open and every enthuisastic to my point of view. Rather than attempt to debate my beleifs they listened with an open ear and asked more questions to find out more about how I came to their church. One of them exclaimed that the preistess is a Christian but that not all here are. I nodded and told her I saw that based on the sermon she gave but believe that it wasn't the central focus of what everyone believed, just her belief.

We ended up talking until the head of the building was locking up. We said our good-byes and they welcomed me back. "I think I will be back." I said optimistically. Well, upon taking it all in I think I'd better change that now. I will be back.

visit www.vuu.org for more information on UU and the congregation.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Dogfish Head Extravaganza!

A while back I gave two short reviews on beers that I enjoy very much. I said I'd follow up on it and like most things I left it in a corner to gather dust. However, I'm happy to say I'm finally blowing off the dust and putting it on display again with a couple more additions:

Black & Blue

Dogfish Head Breweries.

If you know me then you know my love of Dogfish Head's brewings. In the last review I talked a bit about 60 Minute IPA and it's complex nature. Well, not to put it to shame but Black and Blue blows it out of the water.

To be fair, Black and Blue is a fruit beer so it can't exactly be compared with 60 Minute IPA. The
thing is it's an occasional rarity so finding it makes me extremely excited enough to want to put it ahead of most beers I drink fallaciously. Basically Black and Blue is a mix of fermented Blackberries and Blue berries. While the berries used are very dark and blue in color the beer isn't as blue as the glass that young gent is holding in his hand above. The taste however....WOW....i'd definitely say it's the best fruit beer I've had. Period. The alcohol is hidden quite nicely considering its 10% ABV and the fruit really comes through and doesn't mesh with the beer at all. One thing about it though is that it's hard to distinguish between the black and blue berries when sipping it but that didn't stop me from killing an entire bottle in one evening. Hell, I even liked it more than Dogfish Head's Fort, which most fans of Dogfish Head seem to like more.

World Wide Stout

Amazing. That's the best way to describe this one of a kind stout. No, wait. Strong. Okay, there are actually two ways to describe it. On second thought....It's also dark as fucking midnight in medieval london! The point is I could go on dishing out positive attributes of this beer. Why? I'm a stout lover; that's why.

Dogfish Head has truly worked their magic with this beer to make it smooth and flavorful as a stout should be. In my Guinness review I stated how I loved it because there wasn't a taste of alcohol. The only taste you had was the malts and fermentation and MITHRA is it delicious. Well, World Wide Stout puts Guinness to shame (GASP!). Two reasons: complex taste and alcohol content. Let me try to explain.

First off, it's important to note that when it comes down to price and availability I won't be drinking many of these. World Wide Stout is an occasional rarity much like Black and Blue. The stuff also sells for a wicked $10 for EACH 12 ounce bottle. So far I've only had two and that's probably all I'll end up having during this batch's roll out. Let me stress to you (if I haven't already enough) this IS a fucking kick you in the ass good stout! It's flavor has so many notes and hints that listing it would go on for a quite awhile. A few to note though are chocolate, coffee, black cherry, chicory, concurrent, etc. It blows my mind! As a double whammy these tastes not only over power your senses but they help to prevent the alcohol from over powering your taste. At 18% + that's pretty damn hard to do.

This beer is a sipper and I think you can understand why. It will be your stout if you love stouts. If you don't like stouts you'll believe you have just wasted $10. If that's the case send that shit to me even if the bottles been open. I love it that much!


A man
A machine
A heart
A mind
A love
A body
A a....
A.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Do You Have Dyscalculia?

After reading this article I wonder if I too have this sort of disorder:

Last November, Jill got herself screened for learning disabilities. She found that while her IQ is above average, her numerical ability is equivalent to that of an 11-year-old because she has something called dyscalculia. The diagnosis came partly as a relief, because it explained a lot of difficulties she had in her day-to-day life. She can't easily read a traditional, analogue clock, for example, and always arrives 20 minutes early for fear of being late. When it comes to paying in shops or restaurants, she hands her wallet to a friend and asks them to do the calculation, knowing that she is likely to get it wrong.
continue reading the article at New Scientist.

Saturday, January 3, 2009



The Obama Logo and Chandler, AZ's Logo

Obama's Presidential logo (left) Chandler Arizona's logo (right).

Okay, so first off I'm not claiming Obama nor the advertising agency that created his logo for his presidential campaign got the idea for their logo from Chandler, AZ (which is located minutes from me in Tempe, AZ) however I must say it's not hard to imagine if they did due to Chandler's logo being around for 23 years. Regardless, you should have seen my face when I drove by one of the street signs in Chandler and saw that logo for the first time....I almost thought Chandler had unanimously gathered around Obama.