All posts by Captain Anonymous

Internet lies and how to fight them.

I’m not going to talk about Trump.

That’s not true. I’m going to talk about him. I’m going to talk about him a lot, I’m sure. But for my first post here, I’d like to focus on a more pervasive issue, one that I believe can be blamed for his rise, but which existed long before it, and will continue to be a problem after he is, god willing, gone. It causes far more problems than Trump supporting, including, but not limited to, vaccine denialism, climate change denialism, fear of genetically-modified food, and pretty much every conspiracy theory. That problem is the inability of the average person to critically evaluate sources and determine whether or not a website, meme, video, etc. contains accurate information.

I am now 26. When I was in school, we didn’t really cover this. We spent about an hour learning about what sources could and could not be cited for research papers. The class basically boiled down to “not Wikipedia.” No one taught us about hoaxes, or lies, or outdated information.

My upbringing taught me to mistrust sources, because my dad thought it was really funny to make things up and tell me about them as if they were true. So from an early age, I learned to double-check things – if Dad said something that sounded a little suspicious, I’d go ask Mom to confirm. But most people don’t have parents who lie to them for shits and giggles, I imagine, and so they miss out on what turned out to be one of the most important lessons I ever learned.

You can see this throughout the internet. People see a meme or link making an outrageous claim and they just share it, even become outraged over it, without checking the facts. Older people seem to be particularly susceptible, but young people are by no means immune. Many humorous examples can be found at http://literallyunbelievable.org/, which is dedicated solely to people who do not know that The Onion and ClickHole are satirical.

Let’s play a game. I’ll post a few images and you decide whether or not each one is trustworthy and accurate. These are images I have created. I have chosen apolitical subjects for these memes (at least, as of 10/27/2016 – I do not pretend to know whether these poor animals will someday become politicized through some strange turn of fate).

firegoosememe

This one can be discounted immediately. It is unbelievable and cites no sources. If you want to be particularly skeptical, you can look it up online anyway.

 

wolfpackmeme
This one is believable and cites credible sources. If you go to those citations, you will see that the information is backed up.

 

hummingbirdmeme

This one is a little surprising, but again, the citations back up the information.

This one seems kind of odd, right? Even if you study birds, you’ve probably never heard this. But wait — there are citations. But they are very small citations, and I didn’t do you the courtesy of putting them into TinyURL first this time. What happens if you type either of those URLs in (which no one will really bother to do)? SPOILER ALERT: the claim actually doesn’t appear anywhere in the cited work. I made it up, then linked to related pages on credible sites so that on the off-chance that someone DOES go to the links, but doesn’t read them, they’ll think I must be telling the truth.

A common method for disseminating incorrect information is to link to a source that agrees with the statement, but which is biased and/or a complete hoax. If you can’t find a certain claim from a real mainstream news site or a scientific journal, you can assume that it is not true. Of course, this is rather difficult to get people to believe now that we have certain candidates openly saying that “the media” (actually an incredibly vast group of people consisting of news networks, newspapers, radio stations, and websites) is always lying. That’s an issue I’ll address in another blog post, however.

How can we stop people from falling for hoaxes on the internet? Through education. Every single time you see someone fall for a hoax, point it out. This is easier said than done, especially if it’s a family member, but it’s very important. They may not like you for it. They may not even believe you. But you have a chance to convince not just them, but the people around them (including people silently watching an internet discussion), if you bring facts. Children in schools are now being taught how to tell a good source from a bad source — reach out to your local school district and ask if they teach this skill. They probably do. The people left behind are people in their mid-twenties and older, and they need to be called out when they perpetuate misinformation. We can change the culture of the internet if we stop letting these things stand unchallenged.

Fix Your Fucking English.

Having been on the internet, and having used the world wide web since around 1995, I’ve seen trends in spelling errors which seem to crop up over the years. The more they’re used misspelt or misplaced, the more their misuse grows. This post isn’t about being grammatically correct, as it seems to be less of a problem on the internet than flat out blatant failure to spell common words (so it’s/its won’t be here). I know hundreds of these articles exist already, but I’m going to attempt to make this one slightly more comprehensive.  Here are some examples:

1) Your/You’re – I can’t believe this spelling error is still around. After all these years, kids are still coming out of school with the inability to distinguish between a word that denotes ownership (your) and an abbreviation of the word YOU ARE. I’ll use it in a sentence, so if you’re one of these people, you can see how to use the word properly. “YOU’RE FUCKING RETARDED. GO AND SLIT YOUR FUCKING WRISTS.”

2) There/They’re/Their – Another 3 words idiots fuck up. As if it’s not bad enough that you were taught this shit in grade 1 or 2, in an attempt to sanitize your retardation as early as possible. But no, this remains one of the worst offenders. There denotes a location. Their denotes ownership, and they’re is like you’re – its short for THEY ARE. Let me use these in a sentence for you. “THERE ARE SOME RAZORS IN THE BATHROOM. THEIR BEST USE IS FOR SLITTING YOUR THROAT WITH. THEY’RE VERY USEFUL FOR REMOVING IDIOTS LIKE YOU FROM THE GENE POOL.”

3) Then/Than. This is a reasonably new trend on the internet, or so I’ve seen. Apparently people think that than and then are the same word. Then denotes a time, whereas than is comparitive. Using then in place of than is ultra retarded. If you pronounce them both the same, you should be shot at point blank. Heres a handy sentence: “DO A BETTER JOB THAN MICHAEL JACKSON. TAKE A SHOTGUN, THEN BLOW YOUR FUCKING HEAD OFF.”

4) Amok – I’ve seen this plenty of times – people saying they’re “running a muck”. It’s not a muck, it’s amok. They’re very barely even pronounced similar. This is one of those words you probably only saw at school 2 or 3 times in your entire time there, so it could almost be excusable – except running A MUCK doesn’t actually make sense. Muck is dirt, or the likes. You’re running a dirt? what? Fuck you. Sentence: “I’M GOING TO LOAD THIS SHOTGUN, AND RUN AMOK IN YOUR HOUSE LOOKING FOR YOU.”

5) Definitely – This word is one of the harder ones to spell, as depending on your pronounciation of the word, your brain may be tricked into thinking it has an A in it, or no Is at all. This is a fallacy. The word has finite in it – like infinite, which no one seems to spell “infenate”. Its about time you started using this word properly. Sentence: “I WILL DEFINITELY FUCKING KILL YOU IF YOU DONT LEARN TO SPELL”

6) Ridiculous – This word stems from the word Ridicule – as in to make fun of someone or something. It doesn’t magically change its base letters before the extension, nor does it change colour to red. Sentence: “YOUR RIDICULOUS LACK OF LITERACY SKILL IS GOING TO GET YOU MURDERED ONE DAY.”

brakes, tyres, genius, sandwich, human being, australia

cheap

A Thousand Pills.

A thousand pills and counting.
seeking sanctuary of an altered reality
time moves slowly, chemical reactions create a new life
reality is out of grasp
silent creeping sobriety sets in
despise everything you’ve let yourself become
A chemical distraction, fade into darkness
spare yourself from light.
the light that burns like a raging fire.
reality out of grasp again
make your way through fantasy
an alternate reality; forget who you are
sink into ignorance. bliss in which is found.
Two thousand pills and counting.

The Hornet’s Sting – A Chronicle

Finding myself in a position of having too much money, and too little to lose, I parted way with a few reds and met up with a delicious little number dubbed by myself as “Hornet”. 4-HO-MET, or 4-hydroxy-N-methyl-N-ethyltryptamine – a tasty little chemical string that is synthesized into psilocin – the chemical found in naturally occuring mushrooms of the psilocybin variety. My experience/s with this chemical are as follows:

Monday, 17th May 2010: Deliverance.

4pm – Open package containing sample, eyeball about 20mg, lick finger, stick into powder, then straight into the mouth. Blech, bitter disgusting fucking shit. Washed down with some coca-cola it really sticks around for 15-20 minutes. Licking my lips it remains around my mouth and in my ‘stache a little. Effects creep up slowly, excitement grows, however effects are quite mute and only barely noticeable. The computer monitor is breathing almost. Eyesight is cloudy, like I’ve taken an excessive amount of codeine. I don’t feel particularly lively, but I am quite happy and alert.

6pm, I lick my finger and poke it back into the sample and consume another 7-15mg. Rapid onset bolsters first dose, but barely. I get a little giggly with this. Monitor continues to breathe. I notice this even after I come down off the drug, and it’s 8 hours later.

Verdict: Drug seems non-potent. I wonder if it’s because I constantly dose myself with Tramadol, a known 5ht (serotonin) agonist, and norepinepherine reuptake inhibitor. It’s then and there I decide to abstain from taking tramadol, to observe the effects of the ‘Hornet’.

Wednesday, 19th May 2010:

Once again, around 6pm, I lick my finger and dip it into the sample. Unsure of dose, probably 10-20mg or so. Decide to order precision scale set online. Bitterness like the first time, yet somehow worse makes me gag. I wash the chemicals down with a good litre or so of coca-cola. Tongue is a little numb on the tip. A whole lot of nothing happens this time, apart from codeine-like vision haze. I consider taking more, but don’t. Remaining chem is about 1/3rd of what I had to start off with. Decide to wait til the weekend to take the last dose in one hit.

Saturday, 23rd May, 2010: Still Stings, These Shattered Nerves

Well, 3rd day of my experience, and by far the most remarkable. This day the chemical opened my mind to its true nature – the hornets sting. Tonight was the night I was going to take my largest single dose of Hornet, and I just so happened to be going to a poker night with some mates. At this point in time I’ve been awake for nearly 34 hours, kept stimulated by large doses of caffeineated energy drinks, and a somewhat unhappy stomach.

6:25pm – My friend messages to tell me he’ll be picking me up at 7. Cool I think, I have about an hour til the drug kicks in, so I might aswell take it, and then take a shit before I go out. I swallow a precautionary 10mg metaclopramide (for anti-nausea, and possibly anti-emetic qualities as needed – little did I realise that this would increase my gut problems). I up-end the sample bag onto my hand, and tap every last mg out. I lick the powder which is even more bitter than before. It takes several licks to get all the powder off my hands, each horrible bitter lick aided by a swig of Coca-Cola. I then tear the bag apart and lick the plastic clean of powder. This I remark to someone online, must look very desperate, however, I wished to just get as much of the chemical into me as possible. Swigging the rest of the bottle of Coke, I say farewell to my internet friends, and head to the toilet for a pre-night-out shit.

6:35pm – Sitting on the toilet emptying my stomach out, I sit with a crossword puzzle in a magazine, and start to resume where I left off with it last time. About 4-5 minutes into my shit, I start feeling my vision is getting heavy, and as I did not think the Hornet would be taking effect yet, I put it down to tiredness, exhaustion and caffeine intake. 4-5 crossword answers put in, and I start to notice my mental acuity decreasing, and my ability to fill spaces with synonyms becomes reasonably difficult. The crossword is starting to warp a little bit like if I was starting to get a migraine headache with a heavy visual aura.

6:40pm – Looking around me, the walls start to get more orange under the reasonably dim light. I hear the sound of indian instruments, possibly filtering in from a background source (I believe a TV in another room was on). The walls are starting to spin, throb, bleed, and blend together. At this point I begin to mentally talk to myself – Am I fatigued and passing out? Am I getting a migraine? ….Could the Hornet actually be kicking in? No, I tell myself, Don’t be silly. But the effects remain. I look at my watch. Normal. The only thing that isn’t spinning and changing. I stare at it, and see the minute had very slightly move every few seconds. Fuck. I am definitely starting to trip. And only after 20 minutes? What the fuck is going on? I start to try and hurry myself up a bit. The walls are starting to really blot, like fresh ink running over parchment. This is one thing I get as a first-onset symptom of LSD, and this is how I know it is most definitely the drug.

6:50pm – I finish up, and unsteadily, uncomfortably stand up. Automation takes hold, and I flush the toilet, spray deodouriser, and exit the toilet. I walk into the bathroom and turn on the tap. Leaning forward I look into my own eyes. My pupils are dilated so much that there is barely any of the iris showing, the pupil is just about the entire centre of the eye. This is not particularly surprising to me, and I wash my hands and stiff-legged walk into the livingroom. The TV is on, Funniest Home Videos plays on it, and the dining room light is on, but there is no one around. I take several paces up and down the living area and thru the kitchen, stopping to peer outside and down the driveway. The house feels very comforting, and much like I feel when I visit my grandparents house – a sense of warm familiarity. I am reminded of family Christmas.

6:55pm – I walk outside and under the cover of the pergola. There is reasonably windy showers expected, and I pace back and forth under the pergola, while feeling very shamanistic and almost at one with the earth and nature. I walk around the side of the house and into my room, and sit at my computer to report that the drug had kicked in to a friend online. I sit down and I start to hear a high-pitched, fast-sped giggling, like chipmunks talking. I also hear high pitched twanging music, which resonates after about every noise I hear. My computer monitor is a mess of colours like looking at it with a beaded curtain in the way, the chat window swirls and breathes. Surprisingly I can still manage to communicate online. My keyboard muscle memory remains, nearly unchallenged. My glasses become a window of which my monitor becomes another windows through. In the peripheral of my vision I see the characters from the original series of Star Trek – posing as if on the front of a DVD boxset. If I focus, I see only what is actually there – the top right is a tissue box if focussed, but Uhura in peripheral. I remark this to my friend who finds it absolutely fucking hilarious.

7.04pm – My friend calls me – He’s out the front. I stumble outside to walk around the house, and practically lose vision, as the light turns to dark very quickly. I walk blind for a few steps and my vision slowly returns to me, all at once (yes – slowly all at once. Very fucking weird). I walk under the pergola and thru the living room, then out the front door, locking it behind me. I walk unsteadily to my friends car and open the door and sit. “Sup man” he says “Dude. I am fucking tripping. Absolutely tripping” is the first thing I say. “good thing I’m driving then” he says “Fuck yeah.” says I. we proceed on our way.

7:08pm – We cruise down the street and I babble something about hornet and tripping balls. Out the windscreen all I see is a colourful mass of swirling, moving dark pastels as the rain and fog mist the windscreen. My friend asks me where another friend we’re picking up lives. I reply autonomously, yet unsure of what I was saying. Turned out to be correct, and we end up outside said friends place. He gets in, says what’s up, says he has a present for us, and hands us both a Rockstar Cola. I tell him I have a present for him – I hand him a Romeo Y Julieta No. 1 cigar I meant to give him at Christmas.I tell him what I’ve taken, and he says I’ll probably only want to go one round in poker. He mentions something about getting fucked up on weed (I think).

7:12pm – I lose track of conversation for a moment as the drug takes a hold of my concentration. Outside the window the streaming colour mass is fascinating. I snap back to conversation when personal limits of alcohol consumption are mentioned. Certain people are named and shamed as saying they can drink far more than they actually can. My friend asks me how much alcohol I could put down in one sitting “back in [my] good old days” (2 years ago or so now). I say about 1500mL of spirit (40%/80proof) on a good night. easily 1 litre, and then some, I tell them. The debate other peoples ability to consume alcohol in such high volumes. Conversation switches to how Friend 2 went at the pub the previous night. Titties were mentioned. Fascination for me switched to what I was seeing as the car went around the round-about we had made it to.

7:15pm – I unsteadily drag myself out of the car, holding my can of Rockstar Cola. I remember I forgot my 4-pack of V energy drinks and mention it. I make my way unsteadily towards the house. Standing outside the garage door, Friend 2 starts imitating an humourous accent, through which my other 2 friends who are setup with the poker equipment respond to. The garage door is opened (which knocks over a table leaning against it, beaning Friend3 on the head – which I don’t see, luckily or I probably would have laughed hard). I walk in and stand next to Friend 4 who is sitting down. I am slightly confused at this point, and finding normal comprehension of words and social interaction more challenging. I  sit down between Friend 3 and 4, and exclaim “I am so unbelievably Fucking high right now. You have no idea.”, this elicits laughter and an exclaimation from Friend 3 that “yeah man, you look fucked.”

7:20pm – We’re all settled in for a game of poker and I’m having trouble comprehending what people are even saying. As their mouths move, it seems a second, phantom-like mouth is ghosting their real mouth, and is out of synch with their actual mouth. I am a little giggly at this stage, and start to laugh somewhat uncontrollably for no reason. This creates a kind of “lets see how much we can make him laugh” game by my friends, which, while annoying and frustrating on LSD, was actually kind of enjoyable on Hornet. I chuckle and compose myself. Friend 1 owes me for a cigar I purchased for him, and he buys me in for the first round and hands me the change over the table. Automation takes over for this task.

7:25pm – Cards are dealt and I’m told to play my bet. I am confused as what to do, however my mind is still reasonably coherent. I remember the rules of the game and which chips are which. I place my bet and play my hand reasonably well. Strong visuals make the world seem like it is shifting in front of itself – existing objects start to ghost other objects. The table throbs. The cards bleed into the fabric. My brain is nearly on another plain of existence.

8:00pm – Lost track of time. I play cards reasonably decently, however I bet somewhat non-characteristically. I sip my Rockstar cola every now and then, which Friend 3 helpfully opened for me after he saw me staring at it. Friend 3 and 4 continually make references to how fucked up I seem, and that they will be violating me sexually should I pass out. I assure them I’m not taking a drug which will make me tired, and to instead violate Friend 2 after he passes out from bourbon and weed. I end up wit hthe dealer chip, and have to deal the deck. I actually manage to not fuck it up. Effects of the drug seem to have plateaud very nicely at this stage.

8:15pm (approx) – I decide I need to take a piss, and decide to do so outside. It is raining quite heavily and I am determined not to give a shit. I walk straight out into the rain and start pissing up against a shed, not realising how soaked im getting. I finish up and walk back, drying my glasses on the way. I get back and I’m apparently drenched. Everyone laughs and comments how fucked up I must be. I’m totally nonchalant about it, and I’m not feeling heat or cold at the time. Now am I feeling my usually aching back. I continue to sip my drink and play poker (almost).

My mind wanders heavily during this stage, and I end up zoning out quite a bit, thinking about life, existence, the universe, and certain people I hold dear to me. Friends, family, and others. Humanity, and its ability to live like a bacteria. Right strains of bacteria go on to continue their existence and to evolve, whereby the stragglers of humanity branch out – the rednecks, hillbillies, and other degenerates, exploring and colonising the most uninhabitable shitholes on the planet, doing so just to continue their existence, and spread themselves onto the next generation. Facts of life, drug use, chemical reactions on my brain become very surreal, as if this may be the clear conscious, and my sober self the troubled, unrealistic person. I think about death. I think it’d probably suck, but at the moment I am very much alive. I wish for clarity, but then I quickly stop the thought, and instead embrace the trip.

9:00pm – By this stage I’m out at poker. Friend 4 put me all-in. It was for the best, I had no idea what the fuck was going on anymore. I stare at my watch. It’s still real. 9:00 on the dot. Still set to singapore date. all is normal. Brain wanders incredibly, vastly contemplating all the other above mentioned things. I get asked if I’m ok. “What?” I reply after a long pause. Friend 3 remarks that its rude, and I should say excuse me. At the time I can not properly distinguish if he’s joking or serious. I lapse back into deep thought

9:05pm – About 30 minutes later…oh wait, it was less than 5 minutes. I zone out thinking and snap back to my watch. 5 Minutes. Really? Seemed I was out for 30. I take my focus off the watch. The game continues on in front of me. Friend 2 is out of the game also, his pipe ready for the smoking. I zone out again

9:15pm – Around 10pm….no wait – its still only 9:15? what the fuck? How could I have so many thoughts in just 10 minutes? I am amazed. Observable time is dramatically slowed down. Living time is sped up. Confusion is very slowly starting to clear up around this point. I think I’m on the comedown. Visuals still persist but are becoming more muted. Psychological effects are still in gear.

9:45pm – Observable time returns slowly to normal around this point. Total mental haze clears up a very slight amount. Thought about humans being extremely complex animals begins to circulate in my head. I think of humans forming relationships with members of the opposite sex, and how the pursuit in life is still so basically and instinctually drive, even when some humans choose to pursue other feats, the human drive is to ultimately reproduce, or to atleast simulate reproduction. The man who deludes himself is only fighting the very core that he is built upon. I think about how a relationship would effect me at this time, and I start to think about certain people on a slightly deeper level. I become slightly lonely and begin to miss certain people. I wonder what they’re up to, and how I am suddenly very interested in whatever they have to say. This troubles me slightly as I realise my instincts are still at my thought basis. I decide this is probably not going to change. I miss cetain people more.

10:30pm – The effect of the drug is definitely wearing down quite a bit now. There is only residual mental cloudyness. Visual effects are all but gone, but slightly persistant. Visual bleeding still occuring slightly, as is objects breathing. I am feeling like taking a little tramadol to up my serotonin so I can shift back to normality a little quicker

10:45pm – I excuse myself to take a crap, as my stomach has been churning the whole time I’ve been tripping. “seeya in 30 minutes” comes the chorus back. I stand up and stumble a little, unsteady on my feet, and I make my way into the house. Passing a couple of people lounging, I say hi, and get hassled by the stupid dog, which yaps at me until I get to the toilet and close the door. As I’m sitting there I look at the tiles, and notice they seem to have a pattern on them which looks very 3-dimensional. I sit and think a bit more about life and stare at my watch. Time moves extremely fast, and by 11:15 I decide I had better get the fuck out.

11:20pm – I walk back through the house, and into the garage where the poker game is still going. I’m asked if I’m ok, of which I am, and then I take a glass and have a few coca colas. This is about where my memory cuts off as it took me a good two weeks to write this article. However, I must say that 4-HO-MET is a very fun, and extraordinary drug. I would recommend it to anyone (except those with possible underlying mental issues)

EOF

Auditory Hallucinations: The Rundown (Part 2)

Over the past several weeks/months I’ve been writing down anything I hallucinate while on the come-down of any sort of psychoactive drug. If you require a re-cap, you can check out part 1 here. Most of these current sentences were heard mainly during the come-down after tramadol, promethazine, or heavy doses of caffeine, whereas the last few are due to dextroamphetamine.

Here are 15 more.

1. “There’s like, a carpet sledgehammer that comes in rolls.”
2. “You guys planning to do? Not have a Christmas party.”
3. “Bit big is it? During the month?”
4. (Male) “We’re getting in touch with our clone soon” (Female) “HAHA! Cannae go local”
5. “We’ve been inspiring the hippies for…hundreds of years”
6. “What about 1…1….1:30. 1:30?”
7. “Fuck off cunt, you think they’re mine to limit?”
8. “You’ve gotta time it, then you’ve gotta mount their heads.”
9. “Fishy crab bath celery soup”
10. “No wonder I can’t pick up now, I feel seedy as”
11. (Robocop) “Somebody TURNED MY COMPUTER OFF” *gunfire*
12.  “Cut the goat out, man. Seriously whack”
13. “So like when did you lose your license and stuff, mate? You were going so good, and we’re glad you kicked him out. He’s a terrorist; wears a  suit when he comes out for a walk around the back yard”
14 “I have no idea how that idea gives me other ideas.”
15. “Water pipe rock ‘n’ roll”

Another 15 down, another unlimited supply to go. Until then,

EOF

15 Things To Teach Your Kids As Young As Possible

Heres an article I’ve been thinking of random bits and pieces for over the week, so I’ve decided to compile them and post them. So here it is – 15 things to teach your kid as young as possible – the 15 kinds of things that should never go untaught. Ever.

1) If it ends up in the toilet, its gone forever. FOR. EVER.
2) Don’t touch anything that doesn’t belong to you. Assume everything that isn’t yours is full of spiders and KEEP YOUR GODDAMNED HANDS OFF IT.
3) Walking barefoot in sand will get you hosed the fuck down. With ice cold water.
4) Throwing your food on the floor at home, or the bin at school will get you 1: belted and 2: starved in your room until the next day.
5) Touching a dog and then touching food/other people warrants a hosing down also.
6) The computer is more valuable than you are. Remember this forever.
7) Drinking daddy/mummy’s beer/wine/bourbon while they’re not looking will get you 5 across the eyes.
8 ) Assume every adult you see is a paedophile (except your family, of course).
9) Playing in the kitchen will get you belted. Hard.
10) Playing with the telephone, or a mobile phone will get you double-belted, especially if either of them suddenly disappear.
11) Touching a toilet in any way warrants instant hand washing – with SOAP. NO EXCUSES.
12) Trying to get daddy’s attention while he’s playing videogames/watching a movie will see you locked in your bedroom until the following day.
13) Liars always get found out. Being dishonest will eventually get you belted really hard. It’s much better to tell the truth and accept a small belting  up front, than getting found out in the future and being belted until sitting down brings tears to your eyes.
14) Hitting your mother will result in your father hitting you in a way that will teach you not to try that again.
15) Running amok in a shopping centre, or out in public where running amok is generally not acceptable, will result in you having the belting of a lifetime, which doubles in intensity per public outing you misbehave in. Wooden spoons may snap over your arse if belting intensity reaches certain heights.

Print these out and stick them on your fridge, or laminate them and give them to your kids. Make sure you follow through with the epic beltings though, or you’ll look soft, and everybody knows soft parents breed thugs, drug addicts, murderers and general scum!

Of Broken Bones And Gods

People seem to be entertained when I tell stories of norse myth, so why not add one of these stories here?

In this story Thor and Loki are returning from Udgard after a troll hunt.

Alright, ok, I might need getting you up to speed on a few things. First of all, the gods. There are many gods and godlike creatures and beings and spirits. Thor is one of the big ones, and while you probably have heard of Thor before, you got it all wrong. Thor is NOT a blonde bimbo hunk like the Marvel Thor. The REAL Thor is a force of nature, a man of huge girth and strength, with a temper to match his red hair and beard. Think “fat drunken Irishman” and you’re not far off, only he’s not drunk, he’s just not the brightest god there is. Thor is the thing you put between you and the enemy, and tell him to make them dead. His main weapon is the hammer Mjølner, a magical hammer that he can throw at people and it will return to his hand at his command.

And his buddy on this trip is Loki. Loki is… hard to put in a box. He’s a god, but also a free spirit. He’s been called the “God of Lies” but that’s only part of the story, as he is the gods’ main diplomat and an intellect to be admired. Problem is he gets bored. He then get into problems. And the problems usually grow to such an extent that he has to use all his intellect and diplomacy to get out of the problems. And, uh, lie and cheat. You might call him the prototype politician.

So, they’re returning from Udgard, which is where the trolls live. Udgard is one of the three major portions of the world, the other being Midgard, where the mortal humans live, and Asgard, where the Asir, a flavour of gods, lives. Udgard is a nasty place, full of foul creatures. Here be dragons. Oh, did I mention that Loki came from there originaly? As for trolls, all you need to know is that they are not nice and need to be hunted from time to time.

So there we have it. Thor and Loki returning from the troll hunt, a bro-thing. They’re riding along in Thor’s sweet ride, the goat cart, powered by the biggest meanest goats ever. I’m trying hard here to make them sound awesome. Oh, yeah, they can fly! Also their hooves make the thunderous sound, AKA “thunder”. Did I mention that Thor is the god of thunder and lightning? This is partly why. Yeah, because of… goats. Anyway…

In order to get from Udgard to Asgard, where they live, they have to pass over Midgard. They’re running a bit late, so they decide to stay in Midgard for the night, so Thor swings the cart down from the skies and into the farmyard of a small farm.

The farm is run by a man and his wife, and their son and daughter, Tjalfe and Røskva. Yes, those are names. Anyway, here comes the God of Thunder and the God of Skillful Avoiding of a Beatdown and they demand to be fed for the night. The farmer complains that they are poor people, and if they had only gotten an advance notice they could have started soaking the dried meat and maybe brought out the spare bed, but Thor laughs at the silly humans and promptly slays one of his goats with a stroke of his hammer and goes, there, cook that. It’s good goat. Only don’t break any bones, for reasons that will be apparent later. So the farmer sets his kids and wife at work with preparing the dead goats.

So, they have a nice evening with Thor eating, drinking and telling stories of how many trolls he slew and so forth. Meanwhile Loki, having heard the same old bullshit stories over and over again, grows bored. He notices that the kid, Tjalfe, is eyeing the bones, and scoots over to him and ask him what the deal is? The kid really likes marrow, it seems, but Thor told him not to break the bones. What are you, chicken?, asks Loki, and Tjalfe, while being a good kid, is a teenage boy, which is another way of saying he is not thinking with his head half of the time, so he’s all Me? Chicken? Never! Loki proceeds to make clucking sounds and even dares him, yes, even double dares him to break the bones. It’s just a goddamn bone, Thor will never notice. Or perhaps mortals just lack the guts. Prove me wrong, kid, prove me wrong. So the kid does so, eats the marrow, and tosses the broken bone in the pile with the others.

So, yeah, the next morning, Thor gets up and goes to the bone pile and swings his hammer over them, and PRESTO, a live goat appears. See, the goats are getting more and more awesome, yeah? Anyway, the goat walks around with a limp, obviously a broken bone, so Thor goes into a rage and pulls the poor farmer out of his bed, shakes him like a maracas and threatens to punch his fucking face in, you shithead! Tjalfe wakes up and goes oh CRAP when he remembers the broken bone from last night, but goes to face the music, or in this case face the red-faced gorilla shaking his father, and soon Thor is shaking the kid instead, while he tries to explain that Lllloki mmmade mme doooo ittttt. Loki steps in and tells Thor to settle down, maybe we can find a solution, let’s not get violent towards the mortals we are usually protecting, chill bro, chill, while the farmer agrees that we would also like that he and his family remained living.

Loki puts forth that the kid, as a penance, could work for Thor as a manservant. Thor is still mad and starts complaining that this is little comfort since they now have to WALK the whole norndamned way home which is literally at the end of the world and back, so the Farmer, still shook up and scared offers his daughter as well. The red mist finally subsides and Thor see the benefits and agrees.

So, well, that’s the story really. Loki was a dick as usual, but it worked out in the end, for the gods at least. The goat eventually got better too, so don’t feel sad about it.

There may be a moral to this story somewhere. Maybe something about not going along on a dare, I dunno. Anyway, it’s a story with magic goats, so there is that.

A world with technology

I must start by offering my condolences to Jezza for the temporary loss of his Internet. Clearly the stresses of this event have warped his mind into the belief that a world without technology would be anything but a nightmare. Certainly, in this increasingly hectic modern world, it is worthwhile taking the time to contemplate one’s surroundings, and even occasionally vacate oneself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but to eschew technology all together would be utter madness.

Meeting a friend in person is only a superior experience to contacting them technologically due to the comparative infancy of the technology and the sophistication of our senses. Given the current developments in processing power, eye-mounted displays, neural interfaces and associated technologies, it’s not unreasonable to expect that within 10 years one will be able too talk to a friend as if a very convincing facsimile of them were in the room, and within 20 the avatar representing them will be indistinguishable from the real thing.

It may be true that, in the event of a return to a primitive society, many of the larger problems facing the world would dissolve away, but this is only because they would be replaced by much more immediate personal perils. It is folly to suppose that a lack of technology would also remove social inequality- if anything, it would accentuate it. The physically strong would be able to rule over the defenseless weak, and tribal power structures would quickly emerge, with or without the existence of money. Money is merely a convenient fiction to facilitate easier bartering. The physical goods or labour that it represents will still exist (at least, the non-technological ones) and will still be able to be used to exert power over others.

As Jezza correctly states, there would be war and disease, but I suspect he underestimates the scale. Peace is largely predicated on economic interdependence- if I have goods that you want, and you have goods that I want, it’s far more efficient to trade them rather than fighting over the matter- but without the technological advancements that support that interdependence (ships, planes, the internet, etc), the largest societies possible would be small regional affairs and the lack of modern food production techniques would see billions starving to death. Without the spread of education that technology facilitates, future generations would swiftly become superstitious and fully embrace the tribal lifestyle, leading to widespread conflict. Those who were merely wounded in the tribal wars could look forward to a slow death from a minor wound infection, or from slowly bleeding internally. The ones lucky enough to not be wounded could expect to live to a ripe old age of 30, whereupon they would die from a kidney stone growing septic. I humbly posit that yes, this would be “so bad”.

It is a commonly used fallacy to assume that the rate of population increase necessarily means that the world is being destroyed. As we further master our technologies, we devise methods for feeding more people using less land and water, for generating power for our cities in a more efficient manner, and for spreading knowledge of these advances.

I’m not arguing, of course, that technology is perfect, but so far it has managed to solve far more problems than it has caused, and indeed allows us the opportunity to engage in these sort of idle metaphysical musings. Our new developments will doubtless bring more problems in the future, but I anticipate these to be, on the whole, less severe than the problems that the developments were designed to solve, and the new problems will almost certainly be amenable to further technological solutions.

A world without technology

Recently i spent a weekend without the internet (and therefore the laptop), or a phone. What a weekend it was, by far the most interesting, humurous, entertaining weekend i’ve had in a long time. While some didn’t know what to do, and sat around playing solitaire trying to beat their top scores for hours on end, most of us at UniResort enjoyed 3 long days of 25+ weather, out by the pool, kicking the footy, eating, enjoying a good laugh. In all my my 6 months here at UniResort, i’ve not once encountered so many people out of their rooms at one time. I met so many new people that had been living here for longer than i have. Of course, i myself don’t rely on the internet or phone much, most of the time i have better things to do, if it’s not 1am and i can’t sleep. In a place where students live, you’d think it’d happen quite often, it doesn’t, so it was quite amazing. Technology has such a grip on so many people, their lives are the complete opposite without access to something like the internet or a mobile phone. How many of you check your facebook every day, sometimes every hour, on your mobile phone, because you can’t sit back and appreciate how lucky we are. How many of you have sat for at least an hour, staring, thinking about the world, what life has to offer. No ipods, phones, internet, no distractions. Just listen to the birds, watch the clouds, see leaves and branches blowing in the wind.

This got me thinking, imagine a world without the technology we have today. Most people nowdays would probably hear that and think “wtf is wrong with you, go eat shit and die asshole”, but really think about it. How many of your friends do you contact on a regular basis on a phone or the internet? Ok yeah it’s convenient, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing it. Now think about this. How much more of an impact on your life does it have when you meet up with them face to face? How often does this happen? Not very. When people can’t be assed to walk down the road, knock on their friends front door, just to see if he/she is home and say hello, they need to find some appreciation for what we have, and not take it for granted so much.

So many of the worlds issues would not exist, we’d all hunt for our food. Build our own shelter. There’d be no “mines better than yours so i’m better than you too”. Without money, there’d be no power. Of course, it wouldn’t be a perfect world, otherwise we wouldn’t have evolved the way we have. There’d still be “war” between tribes, disease, hunger for the weak. However, would this be so bad? Our population has sky rocketed, and continues to. The world is being destroyed because of it. Just another issue that would not exist.

Unfortunately, the closest we will ever get to knowing what a world like that could be like, is camping in the middle of Australia without any phones, internet, toilets, 3-ply ultra soft touch patterened toilet paper, and the like.

Of course then i snapped back to reality, realised that all that wondering was pointless, jumped onto the laptop, opened my browser window, logged onto facebook and sat there for an hour playing tetris.

Peace!