[2023-09-06] Contentment is Stagnation

Dissatisfaction drives progress. Contentment with one's situation is a lack of desire for improvement.

People who encourage others to be content/happy may do so because they fear others causing unwanted change, such as improving themselves and surpassing them, destabilising established systems, and/or making it more difficult for them to achieve their own goals.

[2023-08-05] Dumb Books I Have Read #2
[2023-06-19] Dumb Books I Have Read

[2023-06-01] Debates Don't Work

Truly open-minded people are extremely rare. It is near impossible to change the average person's mind, no matter how sound your reasoning or how much evidence supports it. Most people are self-centred and emotional, and hence have great difficulty considering other viewpoints or admitting that their own are flawed.

Debate should be used to encourage people to explore and question the reasoning behind their beliefs and others'. However, due to the nature of most people, debate is treated like a game show. People engage in debates not to open minds or have their minds opened, but to humiliate people they disagree with. Many debaters deliberately choose inarticulate or unprepared opponents to make themselves appear correct. People watch debates not to gain insight into their own and others' perspectives, but to see people they disagree with 'destroyed' and 'owned'. People watching a debate will usually conclude that the person they agreed with in the first place has 'won', regardless of how that person argued.

Debate as it is currently practised only serves to reinforce people's preconceptions and propagate close-mindedness — the opposite of its actual purpose.

[2023-05-14] The Perversion of Science

Science is a process by which humanity can get closer to the truth. To be a scientist, one must employ rational and critical thought, and be prepared to have pre-existing assumptions and beliefs challenged and refuted. A scientist must not seek to prove, but to know.

Unfortunately, science today is being mispractised by people driven by irrational arrogance and greed, and proof is sought over knowledge. Politicians and companies fund biased studies and manipulate statistics to 'prove' the validity of their agendas and the efficacy of their products. Science is no longer considered a process to be examined and refined, but a doctrine to be trusted and believed. Questioning results and methods is now decried as 'science denial'. Studies and statistics are used like playing cards in petty debates.

Scientists must be motivated not by an egotistical desire to be right, but by a humble desire to know. They must stop being corralled by those in power into promoting their schemes and ultimately further obscuring the truth. Science must be restored to its true form.

[2022-12-25] Fairytale Beliefs

I never believed in Santa (or the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny or any other mythical being) as a kid. My parents didn't encourage it. When I tell people about this, they tend to be shocked, and some of them even try to make the case that I was deprived of holiday joy. I really don't get it.

People who vehemently defend kids' belief in fairytale beings claim that it helps them to be imaginative. I was extremely imaginative already; I created many stories, characters and fantasy lands with their own maps and histories. I played pretend a lot, and sometimes I'd get so deep into character that it would freak out my family. I was aware that nothing I made up was real, but that didn't make it less fun. To this day I can still remember some of the vivid mental images I had of my imaginary worlds.

I came up with my own Christmas lore, including a race of tiny people who lived in Christmas trees and used them as colourfully lit playgrounds. I never liked the concept of Santa anyway; the idea of some old guy constantly watching me and being able to get into my house creeped me out. One Christmas I tried writing a letter 'to Santa', because I'd heard of other kids doing it, and the whole time I was thinking to myself 'this is lame'. I preferred my own creations.

I was also a skeptical kid. My parents were having enough trouble trying to make me believe in God; if they'd encouraged me to believe in Santa it wouldn't have taken me long to call bullshit. I'd probably have been vexed about them lying to me.

I'll never understand why some people are so hell-bent on encouraging kids to believe things that aren't true and flaming those who don't play along. I've been told that I'm taking this too seriously, but people underestimate how seriously kids take things. It doesn't take much to get a kid to have fun or use their imagination.

[2022-12-23] Don't Explore Your Sexuality

Or rather: don't explore your sexuality past a certain point. However that doesn't make a snappy title.

Developing niche kinks/fetishes is like opening Pandora's box. You now desire things that you used to be content without, and attempting to indulge these desires may be just as unsatisfying as ignoring them. That is, if it's at all possible to indulge them (consider fetishes involving magic or mythical creatures).

Acting on kinks/fetishes may be costly (for instance, you might need to purchase toys or hire sex workers), unsafe, or otherwise inconvenient. You may have to handle logistical challenges. In order to find willing participants, you may have to compromise on other things you'd usually require in a partner. There's also the risk of the act being unlike how you imagined it; you could end up disappointed at best, traumatised at worst. Your existing relationships might suffer.

If you're someone who prioritises their sex life then these things probably aren't an issue. However, if you're not, it's best to let fantasies remain fantasies.

Reconciling yourself with not being able to act out your fantasies can be difficult. It's better to not have those fantasies in the first place. If you don't want to make sex a major focus in your life, being 'vanilla' is advantageous because you can be easily satisfied.

[2022-12-13] Christmas Music

I don't listen to the radio if I can help it, especially in December. Vapidly peppy corporate music is lousy enough; vapidly peppy corporate music about Christmas is painful.

Most Christmas pop songs fall into one of two categories: generic love songs that mention snow, bells or some other Christmas motif, or 'modernised' covers of classic Christmas songs where a grown adult wails about Santa and stockings over a bouncy pop instrumental. ('Modernisation' seems to necessitate choosing a singer with a plethora of annoying vocal affectations.) People who don't find this unfathomably lame perplex me.

I had classmates who unironically liked songs like 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' and would dramatically sing along to them. The same people would get sentimental over megacorporations' high-budget Christmas ads. Obviously, such people would have to exist in large numbers, otherwise corporate Christmas schmaltz would disappear due to being unprofitable. It's things like this that make me wonder whether the NPC meme is real.

I don't hate all Christmas music though. Although I'm not religious, I quite like traditional hymns/carols (some of my favourites are 'In Dulci Jubilo', 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen', 'Personent Hodie', 'Carol of the Bells' and 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel'). For me, good Christmas music is sedate and nostalgic.

[2022-10-16] Sex is Overrated

Sex is possibly the most overrated thing known to man. Advertising, pop music, films, TV, social media etc constantly bombard us with sexual references of varying degrees of subtlety. Countless stories exist, real and fictional, of people doing reckless and ridiculous things just to get laid. To me, very few things deserve this level of ubiquitous non-stop hype, and sex isn't one of them.

People may assume that my opinion is due to me being asexual (not the case), or a virgin (also not the case). I feel sexual attraction¹, and I have had sex and enjoyed it, but there are so many other things I can do that feel just as good if not better, such as winning a competition or solving a difficult puzzle or listening to a great piece of music for the second time. Sex is optional for me. If I could never have sex again, I'd be annoyed; if I could never listen to music or do maths again, I'd be distraught.

Others may conclude that I just haven't had good enough sex. I don't think so, and if 'good sex' is in fact as mind-melting and life-changing as society makes it out to be, I'd rather not know what I'm missing out on. Instances in fiction where a character changes personality, forsakes their priorities and/or does moronic and dangerous things out of sheer horniness always irked me, and I find the prospect of that happening in real life quite unsettling. I hate acting irrationally.

For a long time, I didn't want to get into a relationship or have sex because I thought it would turn me into a sentimental sucker who makes wild coombrained decisions. (I remember when I was around 16 I overheard one of my classmates who had recently gotten into a relationship saying, "Once you start having sex you keep needing it," and that troubled me.) When I eventually did, I was relieved to find that I didn't change at all.

Since then I've wondered why society emphasises virginity so much. Having sex doesn't make you a different person. I also don't think it has anything to do with purity; virgins can have degenerate minds/habits, and non-virgins can be moral.

¹Though probably not as frequently as others. To be sexually attracted to someone I encounter irl, I have to have befriended them first.

[2022-10-08] Why I Don't Drink
[2022-09-29] Why Label Sexualities?

[2022-08-31] Happiness is Not the Goal

It seems that most people, when asked what they want from life, will answer 'happiness'. This is a bad mindset.

'Happiness' is just chemicals in the brain. Many things can be done to trigger or maintain the presence of these chemicals, such as winning a prize, or learning a skill, or making friends, or living in ignorance, or experiencing mania, or shooting up heroin, or spending your life in the pleasure cube.

Happiness is not the goal. Happiness is merely a side effect of achieving a truly meaningful goal.

[2022-08-15] Consoom Heatwave, Get Excited for Next Heatwave

I swear there's been a heatwave every summer for the past 3 years where I live. I am getting really fed up of this; I already despise hot weather.

The usual 'yay hot summer' advertising seems even more abrasive now. Perhaps it's corporate propaganda to get people to stop caring about climate change. Earth is dying of heatstroke — so what? Muh tan! Muh bikini! Muh Caribbean vacation right here at home!

It always perplexed me why people would go on vacation to hotter countries. That's something I would do if I wanted to torture myself; summer at home is bad enough (and getting worse). I would prefer to spend summer in a colder country to escape the heat.

It also baffles me why people are so obsessed with tanning. Tanning is one of the dumbest activities invented by mankind. Baking yourself like a rotisserie chicken must be uncomfortable and boring, and the results are only good for starting the most inane conversations on earth ('Wow how'd you get so tanned? I'm so pale, I look like a vampire teehee') and speedrunning skin cancer. It doesn't even look that good.

[2022-07-27] Only Cowards Censor Opinions

No opinion should be censored. To clarify, it is not censorship/infringement on freedom of speech when someone is criticised or shunned for their views; after all, the critics are also free to express their disapproval. It is censorship when others attempt to make what they have said inaccessible by deleting records of it, banning them from their platform, etc.

Censoring the views of those who disagree with you is a cop-out. It implies that you don't have a counterargument and have to resort to breaking off the debate so you don't lose. People will suspect that you have ulterior motives for doing so, and will become curious as to whether your opponent has a point. (See the Streisand effect.)

If you disagree with someone, either debate them or ignore them. Interacting with them will give them attention, and you would want them to be getting either attention for being proven wrong or no attention, not attention for potentially being right.

[2022-06-25] The Scouring of the Shire
[2022-06-03] Character Tropes I Hate
[2022-06-02] Safe Spaces are Unnecessary
[2022-05-24] Programming Language Name Tier List
[2022-05-16] Summer is the Worst Season
[2022-05-05] Neon Genesis Evangelion is Grossly Overrated
[2022-04-05] How to Win an Online Argument
[2022-01-10] Programming Memes Suck