30 April, 2014

Why I Need Attractiveness

I believe in attractiveness.

When people say "that person looks hot", they can mean different things. Some people just like a face that's bilaterally symmetric, or a cute nose, or a special color combination in their hair and eyes. Physically attractiveness is in some ways subjective, based on personal preference it shape, size, color, and all of these little things that make you you instead of another. However, in some ways, it is very objective. Biologically people enjoy things that look healthy, and no one wants to date someone who looks attractive but has nothing to say about anything. (Of course, no one wants the other extreme where in reality or as a functional rule their partner never lets them speak.)

I've always believed in attractiveness, as it creates the one thing people seem to want most: Human connection. I've thought of myself as someone in the center of this spectrum.
Not this
But not quite this

Recently, however, I had an experience that caused me to question my attractiveness, the idea of attractiveness, and even the existence of a higher power, in light of my changed perceptions.

On February 30th, I was walking along the a river near my home, listening to "Firework" by Katy Perry. As the lyrics instructed me, I was attempting to stop feeling like some disposable polythene container without rigid structure. I was done feeling like a plastic bag, and was trying to ignite a light. A light is already capable of shining, and setting one on fire isn't advisable, but I was trying not to overthink my predicament and I did as Ms. Perry said.

I bought a lightbulb at a small shop and started heating it with a lighter. This wasn't just glass and filament, I bought one of those high cost, green-earth-saved-forever bulbs because I care. The chemicals in the bulb heated and exploded, launching my body and self esteem into the river below.

I slowly came to near the body of the river, my fantastic body refusing to sink entirely. The shock of being thrown backwards by a lightbulb combined with inhaling a "probably lethal chemical reaction" caused me to hallucinate to a major degree, as I swear a fish nearby looked at me stirring and called out "Hey everyone! Ugly here is awake!"

Well the shock of hearing a fish speak caused my frail and delicate system to shut me down again, and instead of drowning, I awoke slightly down steam, some number of  minutes later.

"Ug... ugly?" I mumbled, seeing a fish stare at me.

"Boy, you sure are. Your mother just decide to name you that?" The fish spat back at me, the current of his voice pushing me into the sand at the bottom.

At this, I began to cry. The fish went on with a couple of his mates to describe my condition. My hands were no new revelation, but the appearance of my burned hair, slightly discolored face, and disheveled clothes made shaming my appearance almost too easy for the aquatically biased steelheads. My hallucinations were not without some glimmer of hope however, as one of them was a Walleye, a notoriously kind species. After the other fish had left, I learned this Walleye (We'll call him Wally) watched over my unconscious body to ensure the other fish didn't nest in my hair, or draw penises on my face with marker.

I lapsed in and out of consciousness, my thoughts meandering to the location of the mean fish, why they fish were talking, why I hadn't died of asphyxiation. Most importantly I was questioning...

was I ugly?

This question left me scarred emotionally, even more so than the chemical burns on my cheek. I was numb from my shattered self image, and the water. It was like 45 degrees there!

I feel that this situation would have been different if I had had thumbs, or if I had long flowing hair that was blonde and glimmered through the polluted water. If I were white and blonde and pretty, I probably could have become aquaman to those animals.

In the end, my mother and everyone since has told me it was basically my fault. I should have known better than to heat a glass filed with flammable substances improperly. I should have just installed it in my room. I should have been prettier, taller, more muscular, more devilish in appearance.

Does it matter if I was a small minority with different sized eyes and drastically deformed hands? Does it give any being the right to ridicule my appearance? Yes, it does. If I were more attractive the entire situation would have fixed itself. The chemicals don't even hurt "pure people" I hear.

I've been told my thoughts on attractiveness are too unattainable, or that my definition makes everyone the exact same, or that my views are too narrow minded. That's not true, because I remind everyone that I'm representing a minority of people, or that they're simply wrong because they're resting in the existence and opinion that's never criticized.

Saying it doesn't make it true, but most people acknowledge that there's no point arguing with me after that. Those that do are usually ripped apart by my one of the few people who actually care about me.

I share this story to remind everyone that the solution isn't to accept that perspectives are constantly new based on the individual, because that would take too much effort on my part. The solution is to agree with me. The solution is for everyone to become attractive, because if everyone is hot, no one is. I share this story so no one has to feel inferior merely because they're different. I need attractiveness, because if I can have it, good; but if I can't have it then everyone else should be like me. 

If you're not yet convinced by my amazing writing that I'm right and others are wrong, please click one   of   these   links.

09 March, 2014

On evolution.

So a couple of my friends posted a link to a very creationist article. Basically it says that because scientists are finding soft tissues and heme and other such parts that shouldn't survive if dinosaurs are millions of years old, they have to be younger, and creationism is by extent true. While a creationist, I still think scientifically, and creationists who don't think scientifically lose credibility to most other people. The author uses credible sources such as 60 minutes, and has good base evidence that yes, we are finding things in dinosaur fossils we shouldn't. However the author then goes on to assert this almost proves creationism. The lack of objectivity and poor conclusion from evidence weakens the article, but not the points made. With minimal thought and some more structured extrapolation, evidence in both directions can be seen.


The author is terrible at citation, not giving full credit to most sources, though you can tell he is using other people's words, and trying to give them credit. I can't find the actual source of most of the quotes though, and paraphrases have been put in quotation marks, which is misleading. Again, the point made is fair, though the author is not a scientist and should not be thought of as such. Neither should I.

There are many possible solutions to the evidence this article gives, and some of them support either side of this debate, so it's not conclusive enough to offer significant pull to evolution or creationism. I will however offer my thoughts which could support either side of the debate.

  1. When the scientists say iron and the author ridicules it, the author is wrong. When scientists who are paid and educated for this field bring up a suggestion, it should be taken with more weight. Not only was it poorly paraphrased in quotation marks, but iron is a proven thing that exists in blood. Metals preserve the things around them because they are metal. It is literally the process of fossilization, and can potentially explain some soft tissue surviving longer than first thought.
  2. Other anomalies (pockets of gases from decaying life that we lose upon unearthing the fossil: ie we can't keep and analyze it) are preserving the life in the same principle suggested of iron, and we simply are unable to record it. This is weakened by the idea trace amounts would be within the sample itself. Basically, we still have human error even at the top levels. Because we can't follow the fossil all the way to the point where it was alive and muddy, we can't tell you exactly why its preserved as is.
  3. Dinosaurs are not alive today, and so it's quite possible they had living cells much tougher than anything we can imagine feasible today. This could put dinosaurs in the evolutionist's timetable, while allowing the evidence we see today. They just had tougher stuff and we haven't proved it yet.
  4. The dinosaurs are younger than we originally thought. There may exist a space old enough to defy Judeo-Christian creationism and young enough to allow soft tissue survival.  This is the most neutral conclusion I could think of, all of the others visibly supporting evolution or creationism.
  5. In a very loose interpretation of the Genesis story, the seven days would not be literal. This could say God created everything, or even that he simply defied the laws of probability in inducing life, but at a slower pace than what we think of as seven days now. The time table of evolution is condensed due to a Creator speeding things up, solving the issue given here. This is more of a Deist thought though.
  6. Literal seven day creation story, but opposing number 2, with anomalies in gases and such aging some things, which would show credibility to evolution, which we simply haven't proven incorrect.
  7. Either directly for or against the author, all evidence is supportive of creationism or evolution. There are gaps in evidence and when not firmly connected it can be misconstrued as evidence for the opposition. The author assume evidence is going to creationism and due to gaps in what we know and unbelieving people there is an argument for evolution.
Also, several combination of these 7 exist, and while writing this response I've thought of about 20 different combinations of events or phenomena or places where humanity is ignorant of fact that could show a range of theories true or not. The largest thing I've thought of today is the true periodic table of elements, which does not look like this:

Add caption

These are the pure elements we know of. The full list of possibilities is actually found here:

This full table is not needed for most sciences courses, but shows the vanilla elements on a regular periodic table, and all possible isotopes. My favorite element Gallium exists in 32 different ways, only 2 of them stable.

I guess all of this is just to show that objectivity doesn't exist? Humanity is willed and stubborn, we have preconceived notions we have and we bend the evidence to support what we want. The idea of not knowing scares us as a species and it is why we have sciences at all. We want to know everything we can, out of natural curiosity.

I'm not objective. You're not objective. We're all not objective. And even scarier than the idea humanity might not be able to see truth because of this subjective filter is the mixing of possibilities. Not only could I be wrong, but you could be wrong too, and we'd have to agree on our points somewhere in the middle? Agree? With them? It's tough, but until a definite answer is found, most things remain viable.

02 March, 2014

I'm going to be married someday.

I'll have a little ring with some random piece of Carbon in it.

I'll have to wear this little adornment on my finger. And this will not go well.

I may not wear it on my finger, maybe a necklace or something.

-Thoughts from 2:55 am

18 February, 2014

So the collection is actually beginning to grow! By the end of there month I will have 5 songs finished, and then it's consistently one a month until summer. I have 2 one the same day on two separate occasions, because my friends are not considerate enough to space their birthdays.

It's color coded now, in a rough way.

09 February, 2014

Samuel is a junior, and his future plans include overpaying for college, being crippled by disillusionment and alienation, and displays of manic depression.

05 February, 2014

Stuck in a Rut

I did not go to school today.

I'm not the type to constantly skip because I don't like it, I understand the benefit and necessity of something like education, and in fact I have felt a little pressurized all day, but allergies played an almost secondary role in my absence.

I just can't.... cope. The stress of academics isn't too terrible. I'm upset over the quantity and over my IOP score some, but I've always been self confident enough. I'm a decent student, I'm capable of retaining most of what I learn and not have to cram for tests or finals.

The schedule is okay. I have 7am until 2:30pm four days a week and the play from 5-8pm most days, but I'm okay with it. I have a sleep schedule more or less.

My social life is taking a hit. And not in the shallow "I can't party all the time" way. I can't connect to people, and it's more prominent when I'm lacking time to try and socialize. It's more prominent when I'm stressed, and all my friends are more of circumstance than choice. Don't get me wrong, they're cool people I like them a lot, I've just felt it become less mutual in recent days. I like them, and I think to an extent they like me, but I feel like an intruder wherever I am.

12 January, 2014

January 12 2014

Today was unfortunate an evening in many ways. Just bizarre, from bio to English to ear sight to funerals to epiphany and sadness to nice movement on my project.

I can't even form coherent sentences, so please listen to me from the past singing a song.

https://soundcloud.com/samuelklahn/were-going-to-be-friends

Have a better night than I.

07 January, 2014

Snow

This snow is bumming me out. I'm pretty upset with it. I can work on making songs instead of covering, I can work on my voice over skills for a video game I'm helping with I can draw write and sing and watch movies.

I just can't be with people. I can't walk down the street in the snow or make snowmen with people I care about, and that's bumming me out. Snow is beautiful but it prevents a lot of social interaction.

Second Snow Day in a row.

I'm using it to work on homework because I've procrastinated too much.

Also I'm thinking about either drawing a little after this, or writing. I'm in a sci-fi mood, so writing would end up being Doctor Who related and drawing would be models of Discovery or other NASA things. Maybe looking down at the planet and seeing a ship leaving atmosphere? I'm terrible at both though.

04 January, 2014

1/4/14 update on Birthdays are People, Too

I worked on the second cover song from the album last night. It sounds good, melodically at least.

However when it comes to my singing it might be tricky. Not only is it again in the upper third of my voice, it's a 12 bar blues song and when it switches to the IV chord I tend to transition my singing into its relative minor key for some reason.

If I drop it a whole step in key from D to C it sounds alright melodically and I have a bit more control vocally, but I'm unsure if I want to scrap 4 hours of last night over so little an effect. I refuse to digital change it all a step down. I think because improvement is marginal at best I'm just going to practice singing the words independently of the key I'm in. I've got no reason why I move to singing in B minor, but I'll fix it.

Every song is for someone, I make it dedicated to them on their birthday, hence the album title. This second song means a lot to me, not because of the song but the person I've recently met and she and her family are pretty cool. I think it just fits how I think and feel about this relatively new series of friendships growing out of mutual circles.

I'll look at it tonight, but I need to work on IB homework too. I'm just not feeling it, I'm stressed and overwhelmed a bit by everything I just don't have the willpower to push through.

-Sam