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Sunday, September 29th, 2002
5:15p - Heh
You are 44% geek
You are a geek liaison, which means you go both ways. You can hang out with normal people or you can hang out with geeks which means you often have geeks as friends and/or have a job where you have to mediate between geeks and normal people. This is an important role and one of which you should be proud. In fact, you can make a good deal of money as a translator.

Normal: Tell our geek we need him to work this weekend.


You [to Geek]: We need more than that, Scotty. You'll have to stay until you can squeeze more outta them engines!


Geek [to You]: I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain, but we need more dilithium crystals!


You [to Normal]: He wants to know if he gets overtime.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at Thudfactor.com

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6:51p - American Concerns, Part 2
My visits to the United States were of short duration--more or less six days in Virginia, more or less three days in New York City. Still, I was able to leave the United States with some definite impressions. I don't think I'm too badly unqualified to comment on the United States. Between Toronto on the one hand and the United States on the other, the thing that struck me most was the energy of the United States. I'm pretty sure that this impression didn't spring fully-formed from my wide-eyed Islander innocence: Toronto struck me as more relaxed than New York City, more even than Richmond. it wasn't a matter of ethnic diversity or lack thereof, of wealth or lack thereof, just a kind of doggedness. The United States has a certain energy to it that Canada doesn't have, and that the rest of the West doesn't have.

The United States strikes me as a Nietzchean society, and not necessarily in a bad way, either. Though Nietzche's philosophy did lend itself to a justification of Naziism, Nietzcheanism isn't destined to end in apocalypse and genocide: Nietzche himself disdained anti-Semitism and wasn't a racist, and wouldn't have approved of his sister's very odd colony in Paraguay. Still, in the United States' aggressiveness--will to power, if you will--in its embrace of a dynamic capitalist economy driven by the need for Schumpeterian creative destruction, its social Darwinism, I do see a philosophy of public life that does bear some resemblance to nietzcheanism. After all, Ayn Rand is by far biggest in the United States: Hardly anyone reads The Fountainhead outside of the US.

That said, the United States might be Nietzchean, but if it is it is a kind Nietzcheanism. I do agree with James Bodi, my Toronto host and friend, that "the US has been as decent to Canada as a huge, aggressive and chaotically governed polity can be." I'm just afraid what might happen to the US if its Nietzcheanism isn't moderated.


current mood: worried

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8:33p - A Question
I'll just toss this question out into the sea of LJ communities and see if it gets any answer:

Assuming that you're a Marxist or you adhere to Marxist-influenced theories, why would you necessarily understand globalization in all of its manifestations?

From my understanding of Marx, a global capitalist economy that breaks up old traditional modes of subsistence is a prerequisite for the creation of a proletariat. The examples of the Soviet Union and China would seem to confirm, if nothing else, that it's impossible to move directly from traditional modes of subsistence to Marxist communism, and that it's rather difficult for a Communist state to challenge a world that was either capitalistic or capitalism-influenced. (The country formerly known as Zaire wasn't a capitalist economy like 18th century Britain, but it was definitely plugged into global capitalism, as evidenced by the West's support for Mobutu.)

So. Given the demonstrated inability of semiperipheral and peripheral areas of the world economy to challenge the capitalist core, and the need for the entire planet to be a globally-integrated economy in order to produce a world proletariat that cares about it's subordination, wouldn't the best route to go be a largely uncritical acceptance of globalization followed by proletarian revolution when you get the masses in New Guinea and central Africa to care about global inequality?


current mood: curious

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10:53p - Confusion
Right now, I'm confused about my future.

This isn't unusual, I suppose, though I've reason to suspect that people who know me might be surprised by this. So far, I've no idea what to do with my life, apart from vague inclinations towards academia and writing. I'll be going to Student Services and taking the Meyers-Briggs test; hopefully it will help me clarify things.

I'm not too concerned with this, though, since I've already gone through a much more serious confusion--linked with gut-gripping existential fear, too--already this year and emerged the stronger for it. (Yes, it was discovering I was bi.)

Lately, I've been going through my E-mail archives, when I came across the messages I'd exchanged with
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<lj-user="schillerium">') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

Right now, I'm confused about my future.

This isn't unusual, I suppose, though I've reason to suspect that people who know me might be surprised by this. So far, I've no idea what to do with my life, apart from vague inclinations towards academia and writing. I'll be going to Student Services and taking the Meyers-Briggs test; hopefully it will help me clarify things.

I'm not too concerned with this, though, since I've already gone through a much more serious confusion--linked with gut-gripping existential fear, too--already this year and emerged the stronger for it. (Yes, it was <A HREF="http://www.livejournal.com/talkread.bml?journal=rfmcdpei&itemid=21995">discovering I was bi</A>.)

Lately, I've been going through my E-mail archives, when I came across the messages I'd exchanged with <lj-user="schillerium"> barely two weeks after my fateful realization. Craig was kind enough to offer to talk with my privately, and in his first message to me he'd set up a simple scenario for me:


<i>First, imagine that you decide not to do anything about your current
feelings. You decide at the age of 22 that it isn't worth the risk of
rejection, so you choose not to explore the possibility of what your
feelings might mean. How does Randy at 40 feel about that? What does his
life look like? Is he happy? Has he found a life he really wants? Or has he
spent the last 18 years feeling empty and unfulfilled?

Now, imagine that you decide instead to take the risk and explore where
your feelings are leading you. Ask yourself the same questions: how does
Randy at 40 feel about that? What does his life look like? Is he happy? Has
he found a life he really wants? Or has he spent the last 18 years feeling
empty and unfulfilled?</i>


In response, I'd written that "[i]f I deny myself, I really don't see me even making it to the age of 40. On the other hand, I still have no idea what I do if I accept myself: I've been uncertain about so many things, about my future residence, about my choice of career, that adding my sexuality on top of that blurs things beyond recognition."

And Craig simply noted:


<i>Interesting. Have you noticed that in this scenario you're just confused
about your future, but in the denial scenario you don't even <i>have</i> a
future to </i>be<i> confused about?

Just think about that for a minute.</i>


I really needed that perspective then, you know, Craig. My infinite thanks for exposing me to it.

The general principle that Craig described above works very well with areas of my life--or areas of anybody's life--apart from sexuality. All I have to do is discover a career that will make me happy--fit with my needs and desires, hopefully provide me with some scope for public accomplishment--and avoid the ones that'd be deadening. Like library science.

This task doesn't sound nearly as difficult as it might have sounded seven months ago.


current mood: grateful

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