August 26th, 2008

Application! (I hate doing applications...)

Hello, kids and kiddies!

I'm William. I thought this community would give me an opportunity to dig this unused LJ account out of mothballs and give me something to do. I love to delve into "deep conversations", so not being a part of this group would be something of a crime against myself, methinks. I think I could provide some welcome input to this community. I could probably always come up with something to talk about if the community goes quiet... do I need references on that?

PREPARE... to think.

(I don't think I'm that full of myself in real life, but I'm definitely this obnoxious.)

Dangerous Thinking

I've noticed a lot of people in general will consider certain "evil" people in history and even today as "stupid morons", which violates the basic rule of combat according to Sun Tzu, which is "Know your enemy as you do yourself and you shall always be victorious". To that end, I recently watched a fascinating program on Ted Kaczinsky, better known as "The Uni-bomber", on National Geographic. This is the guy who spend nearly 20 years in a shack in Montana building bombs and sending them to Universities. I was so fascinated by the way this guy's mind ticked, that I proceeded to read most of his "Uni-bomber Manifesto", which he kinda forced the media to print under the threat of more bombings, and while I don't agree with his methods, or the very core of his argument, I thought his commentary on the world in which we live in to be thought provoking and disturbing. I even agreed with some of it. Some people would think that's a bad thing, but remember it's a logical fallacy to assume an idea is bad because someone who is bad came up with it or agrees with it...

Anyway, I was discussing this at work with a number of my co-workers on our break, and one of my workers mumbled "Oh, he was an idiot.". To call Ted Kaczinsky an idiot shows a gross understanding of the Uni-bomber. By no means am I trying to say he was a great guy- he was a mass murderer, but as an eleven year old, he was already considered a genius. He skipped a few grades and went to Harvard. He was smarter than the FBI who was trying to chase him, and had it not been for his family turning him in when they realized the Manifesto matched the things he was known for writing, he would still be out there today blowing people up. The FBI's first "sketch" on this guy's personality was 100 percent wrong.

The same could be applied to Hitler, who, once again, was one of the worst individuals of humanity's history. I've heard people call him an idiot, too, but let's not forget this guy took a completely destroyed and bankrupt nation, and in less than a decade, came within a hair's width of taking over the world.

Or here's the current day example: Osama Bin Laden. Again, terrible person, mass murderer, but here's a guy who's been behind countless attacks, including September 11th, and the United States can't seem to figure out where the hell he's at! We're really going to call him stupid? He's very intelligent, and dangerous.

Now all of this isn't to say any of these men are "great", but I think to call them "stupid people" is dangerous thinking because it's a gross underestimation of your enemies strength and wit. If we confront our enemies with this smug overconfidence and this imagined ineptitude of who we're fighting, we'll be in for an unpleasant shock. What's to gain by thinking your enemy is stupid? Their ideas may be messed up and wrong and even stupid, but it doesn't hide the fact they're clever, otherwise, they wouldn't be such a threat to begin with.

I feel like I'm going in circles here, so I'll summarize...

To regard an enemy as "stupid" seems to be a typical mentality for most people.
To acknowledge an enemies' abilities and intelligence is not treason, but an honest assessment of what you're up against.
Overconfidence leads to quick defeat, something most people know, but don't seem to practice when it comes to these matters.

Am I on to something?

Most important event of the past 100 years?

I will say right off the bat, I am mildly plagiarizing an essay I read on Writing.com several years back by an author by the name of “Kane Rowel”, though his piece, "The Gunshot That Killed 100 Milllion People" didn't delve much further than World War II...

That said, I want you, dear reader, to think of everything going on in the world today, from way of living, to technology, to war. All of the events of the past century can be traced down to a single gunshot by a Serbian nationalist named Gavrillo Princip.

In 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated by Princip, a Serbian nationalist. The event led to a break down of the fragile diplomatic relationship between Austria Hungry and Serbia, which caused the Austro Hungarians to retaliate against the Serbian kingdom. A war had broken out, but because the major nations of the world were allied with one nation or the other, they got pulled into this tiny conflict and it became the Great War.

Somehow, when the War ended and the Treaty of Versailles was created,  Germany was blamed for the conflict and had to pay massive war reparations; it destroyed their country. Additionally, the war gave the opportunity for Lenin and the Bolsheviks to over through the Russian monarchy and give rise to the Soviet Union and communism. After this war, the world order established after the Napoleonic Wars was gone forever. This war led to the creation of the League of Nations, which was sort of a prototype to the United Nations.

World War I was a direct cause of World War II, primarily because of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in post war Germany. Because of Hitler, countless Jews, Catholics, Communists, handicapped, (the list goes on for a while) were murdered in a genocidal campaign to conquer the world. From this war, the A-Bomb was developed, and Japan took two of those which effectively eliminated their status as a serious “empire”. Additionally, countless nations turned to democracies in post-war times, and the United States and the Soviet Union came out of the war as Super Powers. The United Nations succeeded the League of Nations and the state of Israel was created.

This, of course, leads right into the Cold War. Back when the Treaty of Versailles was being developed, a young Vietnamese man went to the French city to see how the treaty could help his country. He was promptly thrown out of the Palace of Versailles. This man decided to turn for help somewhere else- China, and communism… and that man was Ho Chi Minh. This would ultimately lead to what we know as the Vietnam War (though THAT war has roots tracing back to the 8th century if I‘m not mistaken). In addition to that, there was plenty of other conflicts that were Cold War related that used several third world nations as pawns. Because of this, lots of Islamist terrorists to this day, are using weapons the United States gave them to fight the Soviets twenty five years ago.

And of course, it was the attack on U.S. soil on September 11th that George W. Bush and his little buddies used to rally the public to invade Iraq, though Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden had no connections whatsoever…

But going back to the Cold War. Without that “war”, there never would have been a drive to reach the stars. There would have been no reason to have Sputnik I or Apollo 11. We were in a race with them, and in that race, we got a lot of technologies. Microwaves and cell phones are just a few of the countless things we have in our world today that came out of technologies from those days.

There you have it (summarized very poorly). Everything today, even Operation Iraqi Freedom, can be traced to that single assassination 94 years ago that could have very easily been forgotten over the years had it not been for a series of convoluted alliances.*

*Okay, I know world history is a HELLUVA lot more complicated than what I just painted it out to be, but I just wanted to come up with a bare bones outline that hopefully can be filled in with further discussion on this topic.

(no subject)

I was just thinking about people who automatically assume that a job (besides the one they work, obviously) is just like that field is portrayed on screen. You know, being a doctor is obviously like Grey's Anatomy, or E.R. If I met an Asian surgeon, I might assume they're agressive, bitchy, and screwing their attending just like Sandra Oh in Grey's! But they wouldn't be, because this isn't T.V.

People sometimes ask me what it's like being a cocktail waitress, or DJ. These are things that I sometimes get asked:

Do you get hit on all the time by drunk guys?
Not nearly as much as you probably would think. It's a rare occasion, or just that one asshole - repeatedly.

Is it like the bar in Coyote Ugly/Cheers/Knocked Up?
No.

I'm not really complaining; these are exactly the types of questions I would ask if I weren't working in this field. It's like being a college student and having people ask what your major is. Or like when you're a hooker and people ask you what positions you do. It's not the most thought-provoking or interesting question, but it's relevant, logical, and really just something people feel obligated to ask so they can get to the next step in the conversation. Like "All right, then, I'll have a blow j."

Or in the case of the hooker, "What do you charge?"

Haha, you see what I did there? I made a funny.

(Sorry, I've started having to explain my jokes, because the people I work with don't "get" my humor. One of the waitresses kept dropping quarters and subsequently complained, "Man, I hate change!" To which I replied, "So, I guess you're not going to be voting for Obama then!..." - Crickets. Nothing. "'Cause, you know, he's all about change... pun... double entendre... humorous... no?)

Anyway, why wouldn't people realize that jobs aren't like those portrayed on screen? They know theirs isn't like what they've seen on TV or in movies, so why would they assume mine is?