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05/05/2010 / zacharycampbell1

God?

I just had an arguement with some friends of mine about God. What is it? Does it exist? How does religion define it? And is that correct? This obviously begs tons of questions. But the heated argument stayed pretty single minded. I told my friends that i thought god was science. In other words everything that governs the universe. I said i don’t think it was a being, but that i thought it was more supernatural and less comprehensible than most people make it out to be. They called me crazy, stupid, and laughed at me. They said, “HAHA you’re retarded, God is a being, who created everything, the bible even says so.”

“Christ, i thought, these motherfuckers are trying to make me change my fundamental beliefs.” I thought to myself, ‘wow they are arguing something that can’t be proved to exist.’ How the hell do you expect us to find God? Yeah, we don’t. That is why they created faith. Because since people can’t actually prove that god exists they just believe in him, because i guess people are illogical. Religion rests on the basis that since we can’t prove god doesn’t exist, he must exist. Personally i think that is stupid, faith is stupid. People believe in a ‘human like god’ so that when they die they can go to heaven. And heaven has been made out to be a fairytale land full of sun and beautiful white, fluffy clouds. To be honest, i don’t think that is possible. First off, we know you can’t stand on clouds, and second off it would get annoying if it was sunny all the time.

We, as humans, know that science exists and works and is real. It governs all we know of. When i think of god i think of what made the universe. Us as humans don’t know what made the universe, but presume it was something of epic proportions. It must have been a being that made all this, right? I don’t think so. I think it was just science. I think it can all be explained in a logical, mathematical format, that most of us could comprehend.

The fact that science hasn’t gotten past the big bang leaves us still in an area of obscurity, where these stupid arguments occur. Imagine, back when they thought the earth was flat, people believed God made the earth flat. No! Science has disproved that. More and more of the obscurities delineated by religion and god are dissipating due to science, math, and logic.

I don’t know if we’ll ever know what god is. But for me i believe that physics, chemistry, and biology govern all that we know of, and i don’t think anyone can argue that.

People will say that God governs all.

But we know that Science governs all.

Therefore God is Science.

There are two types of people, those who believe in religion and god because they hope there is something better, and those who believe that science governs all. I am the second one.

And i can tell you something that is definitely true, religion is a core cause of many conflicts in the world. Without it the world would probably be much more peaceful. Belief is hard wired into all of us. We hate being told that our beliefs are wrong, we hate when people try to change our beliefs. Different people have different interpretations of everything. When people argue they are right and butt heads–that’s where true rage emerges. It’s no wonder why in the middle east people are blowing things up. It is because their interpretations of holy texts differ from other people’s. The people who interpret the text differently want others to follow what they believe, and will inflict tragedies to do so.

I was pissed off when i was arguing about God and religion and science. I know i am right, because you can’t disprove me, but they know they are right because we can’t disprove them. I wanted to reach across the table and smash the dude in his face, but i didn’t because i realized it was all just about something that is not known.

So until it is fucking PROVEN, don’t tell me what is what. I know there are people out there that agree with me–so comment and let me know what you’re thinking.

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04/17/2010 / zacharycampbell1

College, Year uno

So i am a month away from finishing my first year of college. Despite what i had said in the beginning of the year. College has actually turned out to be a little life experience. And when i say that i mean it. College is like a free for all; you either swim or die. For me, the biggest thing college has done is let me discover who i am, and what i like, and why. It’s weird too. Because in college you are with other people and there are pressures and other things, but unlike high school there really isn’t anyone guiding you. Typically what ends up happening is the test, like, dislike method…for everything. If you like it, it’ll stick with you for a while, if you don’t then you’ll toss it. You’ll ask–isn’t anything like that. The answer is no. High school, for me at least, definitely felt like a cocoon. I had my parents around whenever i needed them. In college it’s you. Just you. No one else. You can’t really rely on anyone because as i’ve learned everyone is there own person–everyone has different motives and rarely things will motivate them to do things for you–unless it benefits them. I’m talking about selfishness people. It’s human nature i suppose. But people generally do things that only benefit themselves. Read up on John Smiths theory of the invisible hand. This selfishness is derived from the swim or die situation that, as i am learning, is life. College is a good transition from high school to the real world. But now it’s up to you to not fuck your life up. No one else. This is your life, i’ve learned that too, you have one, this is a key principle; make the most of it (in other words you MUST AT ALL COSTS SWIM).

02/08/2010 / zacharycampbell1

Top 10 most physically demanding sports

1.) MMA
2.) Crew (Rowing in sculls)
3.) Triathlons
4.) Boxing
5.) Basketball
6.) Football
7.) Lacrosse
8.) Rugby
9.) Soccer
10.) Ice Hockey

01/27/2010 / zacharycampbell1

David Heinemeier on Startups

01/27/2010 / zacharycampbell1

Paul Graham Speaks About Startups

01/26/2010 / zacharycampbell1

Apple Tablet, Jan 27th

Alright, so i wanted to get this out in the open before it actually happens–the longly awaited Apple Tablet is supposedly coming out this wednesday. They are holding a huge event all for a “product release”–everyone is assuming this/these products will encompass the tablet. So cross your fingers…until wednesday only a select few will know:)

11/08/2009 / zacharycampbell1

Androids, Blade Runners, and a Literary Critique… All by a College Kid

Who would have ever thought that a book written in the seventies would be germane in today’s society? I didn’t, but Phillip K. Dick proves to haven created something remarkable with his almost infamous novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Most of you probably don’t recognize that title, and that’s because not many people actually know of the novel, but instead the movie, Blade Runner, which is actually based off of the novel. Not many people recognize Dick’s novel as something amazing, a lot of people in-fact view it as more of a bloody mess and this is because his novel does, in many ways, go all over the place in terms of what it covers. But for me that was okay, and actually, I think, better because it gave Dick a chance to predict more of what the future would hold in his conjecturing novel. And no, we don’t have flying cars or robots that strangely resemble humans to the tee, but we do have the internet and other virtual mediums that are making it harder and harder to determine the differences between reality and the “simulated.” Through this post, I will delve into the real the simulated and how Dick kind-of predicted all this in a more futuristic way…

First off, let’s briefly establish whom I am writing this post for. Any of you who are into technology, into movies or literature, anyone who thinks of themselves as futurists—read this post because it is relevant to you and your respective ideologies. If you don’t read this you could possibly miss out on a great, worth-reading, and relevant novel, which are hard to come by now-a-days.

Set in 2021, the world has been in “fallout” following the years after the World War Terminus, which has annihilated most of the world. Since most of Earth has been destroyed the UN urges World Citizens to move to off Earth colonies. Each emigrant will be given an Android for moving. Dick’s novel fully encompasses the fact that some of these Androids escape back to Earth. These fugitive Androids are supposed to be “retired” by Bounty Hunters; or as you probably know, the Blade Runners.

 

How could Dick have predicted a world where our existence is almost only noted by the virtual sphere?

 

Two main aspects of Dick’s novel revolve around feelings—Mercerism and the Empathy Box. These two entities worked in conjunction to engender a world of Simulacra—or, one that is simulated. In today’s society there is actually much simulacra, all you have to do is just look around because it is everywhere. Some of today’s most utilized entities, the Internet (Facebook, Myspace, Google) and Online Multiplayer Games (Halo, Gears of War, etc…), are often times taken as ‘reality,’ but as we know this is not truly the case. But as time goes on there is becoming a thinner and thinner line between what is considered reality and what is considered the simulated or virtual. But before we get into Facebook and Xbox 360, let’s go over those two very keystone entities: Mercerism and the Empathy Box. What are these things, what do they represent, and how do they pertain to today’s society—or what is 12 years behind what Dick had predicted to be 2021.

Mercerism is the dominant religion portrayed in Dick’s novel. Its foundation lies in the journey of a man named Wilbur Mercer who traversed up a mountain, being tormented by onlookers, only to fall down and repeat the process once he reaches the top. Followers of Mercerism use a device called the Empathy Box to empathize not only with the journey of Mercer, but with all other users of the Empathy Box, so that the joy or suffering of one contributes to the joy or suffering of all. Hence why the Androids don’t like this religion very much—due to their inability to empathize and feel. In today’s society we have the Internet. Now in Dick’s appraisal he proves correct in the fact that the simulated sphere of society grows while the reality sphere shrinks to a diminutive state. But what things are allowing the simulated world to grow, and why is Dick correct in his appeal to Mercerism and the Empathy Box, or in other words how do Mercerism and the Empathy Box prove to be germane in today’s society where the internet is the main source of simulacra.

Thee Internet, oh where to start? It’s such a vague word, because it applies to so much. But in this post we will be specifically dealing with the World Wide Web (which most of us, who aren’t studied in the topic of the Internet, know as the Internet), and the new culturally influential movement of Mass Online Gaming (or M.O.G.).  Now this is where it gets fun, because now we get to discuss Facebook, Myspace, Halo, and Gears of War—all of this! In a world that utilizes the Internet almost all the time it’s clearly evident that there are some strands of simulacra appearing from the depths of the Internet. What do I mean by this, you ask? Well I am particularly referring to these new social platforms that involve portraying oneself in a new typeface. The Internet gives the user the option to show only traits or characteristics he or she wants to show—and this in turn engenders people thinking that they’re these people.  But let’s get into what this post has been leading up to—Facebook and M.O.G. and how they relate to Dick’s novel.

 

Around 200 million people around the world use Facebook; that is around 1/30th of the world’s population! In this ever-expanding new sphere, people are treating it more and more like reality due to its “ubiquitousness.” The same thing is occurring with myspace, which also has around 200 million users—some of whom have accounts with both facebook and myspace. But with regards to Dick’s novel, he shows us that the “future” (near now) holds much of what society is, in the simulated world. Dick shows us this through the existence of the Empathy box. The Empathy box is a device that Mercer’s followers use to connect and share emotion with fellow followers. It works a tad like this: he explained, “This is the empathy box, my dear… when you take hold of these handles you’re no longer watching Wilbur Mercer. You’re actually participating in his apotheosis. Why, you’re feeling what he feels.” So in all, this device allows people to feel what you feel—see what you see and in a sense take part in each other’s lives. Now some will ask, “How the hell does Facebook, in any sense, relate to that?” And this is where I explain… as I nonchalantly this paper I cross over and check my Facebook status. I see what “friends” are doing, and I relate to them by commenting on their statuses. I can sympathize, empathize, pity, or simply as most people do now a days “lol” their statuses. Facebook is evolving into a modern day empathy box, and whether or not Dick knows it, it does indeed look like the world, or 1/30th of the world, is enjoying this virtual-emotional-sharing (V.E.S. for short). Let me give you an example: my friend, who shall not be named, put his/her status as this—“L sometimes it just doesn’t work out”—people empathized, sympathized, and “lol’d” his/her status; it was like they were trying to feel what he/she was feeling. So in some sense Facebook actually becomes synonymous to Dick’s Empathy box. Another great example of Mercerism, the Empathy Box, and how Dick predicts these things will be present in the future is Mass online gaming—somewhat of a new phenomena like Facebook.

 

 

Halo, Gears of War, NBA 2K10 (my new favorite game)… what do all these games have in common? The fact that games can be played in an online medium where players connect, chat, and play together via the Internet is quite amazing. This whole “M.O.G.” thing is a relatively new phenomenon and has been exponentially growing ever since the ideas conception in 1986. The thing about M.O.G’s is that, like facebook, they allow users (or players in this case) to make emotional connections, but unlike facebook in a team-like and competitive sense. With regards to the Empathy box, playing M.O.G’s allows teammates to talk about life, games, anything really—which leads to sympathy, empathy, laughs (not lol’s in this case), and sometimes even anger. In a more literal take, M.O.G.’s really do mimic the empathy box in a “physical” way by appearance. It’s said that the you go to your TV and grab hold of something where then you are linked into a sphere of emotional sharing. M.O.G.’s are extremely similar in the sense that you go to your TV, turn on your console, and are instantaneously streamed into a sphere of virtual competition.

 

Although Facebook and other social networks cover more of the emotional element of the Empathy box, M.O.G.’s definitely cover the physical element, and together they are, in EVERY sense, the Empathy box. Dick was correct in his prediction that the future would contain devices that allow and encourage emotional sharing through the virtual world.  However is this a good or a bad thing? As time goes on, we continuously see the virtual world growing—more people are using it everyday, and now more people are spending more time on this virtual sphere. This engenders less actual human interaction, because people now resort to instead of hanging out, chatting on facebook for 5 hours. People are now evaluating social status by their “friend” count. Instead of playing a legitamate game of basketball, people are now playing NBA 2K10 for half the day, adding more and more people the morbidly obese group of the country. Some will say that this virtual world is helping in an economic sense, and although that may be true, it is hurting us as a species in other senses. Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, is a great look at where the world is heading because of the virtual world. Anyone reading my blog should read this book, because if you enjoy reading what I have to say, you will definitely enjoy reading what Dick has to say. His novel is creative, unique, and very technologically oriented. So fellow geeks do yourself a favor and put down the Xbox controller just for one day, and instead read Dicks novel; your outlook on life may change, you’ll be surprised!

go to amazon and get his book—

 

PEACE

 

PS–this is a mostly academic piece of writing, sorry for the non-diminutive length.

10/22/2009 / zacharycampbell1

Business Major-Film Major

This post is going to be one of those more personal ones, i am going to talk about choosing a major and how it pertains to me. Hopefully some of you high-school juniors and seniors out there read this and realize that college is much more than making yourself look good for your first “real” job.

As some of you may know, I am a student at Chapman University–a college in orange county California. Anyways, from a high-school perspective i felt like majoring in business would be good because it would help me in terms of getting a good first job. And although that may be the case, now as a freshman in college and currently majoring in business administration i feel like i could have possibly made the wrong choice in my major selection. Back during my sophomore year in high-school i took a year long film class; needless to say it was amazing. I came out of that class everyday haven learnt something new and exciting. I mean all the collaboration and “moments of genius,” as i like to call them, that were had; film was amazing. And after that class that year i knew, KNEW, that i wanted to major in film–and so all that following summer i researched film schools. I came to the conclusion that there were three that really turned me on: NYU, Chapman, and USC.

That summer, however, i had moved to Santa Barbara with my family–previously we had lived in Vancouver Canada, AKA Hollywood north. I felt like in terms of Film Santa Barbara would be almost better than Vancouver because it was closer to Hollywood, and maybe there was more of a Hollywood presence there… As it turns out, I was totally wrong. The film program my new school had running shouldn’t even be called a “film program.” It was more like a movie making class for retards. I mean, in Vancouver we had great Panasonic DV camcorders with Final Cut Pro working on huge Mac screens–maybe it was too good. But going to Santa Barbara, one of the richest places in America, and none the less the school i was at was the most prestigious in Santa Barbara–they had us using $199 cameras from Canon, which is a good company, but come on, really?! It was like i had moved from a hollywood movie aura to a home-made movie making aura. And the kids in my new school were so unambitious it wasn’t even funny. Everyone in the class definitely had film low on the priority list, but i wanted it to keep high because i knew how good film could be, so i kept striving. But after a year of that bullshit i had lost faith, and i lost touch with how i truly felt for film making. I am at Chapman University now majoring in Business Administration, good or bad?

I have a good friend in Chapman’s film school who absolutely loves it; he says it is challenging but amazing. Just recently we found ourselves along with another friend up at my house in Santa Barbara shooting what they call a “docu-narrative.” I was the protagonist of the film. Not only was shooting the film nostalgic, but it was also well done–Chapman really brings in motivated, level headed students for the film program, and that’s impressive to me. After we had shot the film, we headed back down to Chapman–a grueling two-and-a-half hour drive. The next day Ryan, my good friend in the film program began editing. Me and my other friend Forest, who also came to Santa Barbara with us and actually became the antagonist of the film, popped by to see how the editing was going. For me, editing was one of my favorite parts about movie making: one because i love technology, and two because it allows you to perfect the unperfected. We sat and watched and commented and criticized and collaborated for hours–it brought back great memories and reminded me how much film fascinates me.

Needless to say i am kind of into the idea of switching majors now. The question remains, what do i need to do to get accepted into the film program here, i hear it’s the hardest major to get accepted into…

But before i begin a full-fledges go at this thing, i need to consult friends and family; i need some feedback for this “stroke of genius” thought.

If there is anything to be taken away from this whole thing it’s that college is a place for you to discover who you are and what you like. For high schoolers it helps a lot, from a college perspective, to have a good idea of what you are really into, because it feels like transferring majors is going to be a bitch–but definitely worth it. So yeah, really figure out what intrigues you, or has intrigued you and then pursue it through all the tribulations you may face, because believe me it will be worth it in the end…

until next time guys,

peace.

oh by the way, leave comments and tell me what you think i should do, because i love to hear feedback.

10/13/2009 / zacharycampbell1

Capitalism: a fat-shit story

As a fellow Michigander, i support Michael Moore in his quest to spread his obscured and often convoluted messages…that was until i saw his latest attempt at a film: Capitalism: a love story. And i know, i know that i hyped this piece of shit of a movie up in previous posts, but that was only because i bought a “capitalism: a love story” poster and it’s  beautiful, and i mean good movies usually have good posters right? Apparently not always…

Who’s ever walked into a movie theatre and seen 3 people sitting there? And im not talking about a small ass theatre im talking about the biggest of the biggest ass theatres: AMC 30 in Irvine CA. So yeah, that was my first hint that some bad ass shit was up, and another was the fact that the beginning of the movie resembled an amateur high-school film, like i could’ve done it better than him.

Anyways im gonna tell you the entire movie in one short sentence that my brother, weirdly enough, conjured up. He said that moores movie attempts to “put the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest, to ruins.” Wow, how concise and right is that? If you’ve seen the movie you, like me, know that moore redundantly attempts to tell stories of old fat people, and how banks foreclosed on their houses. Usually these characters embody what i would call a redneck-like persona. Every time these morbidly obese people would talk all would hear is “ain’t, darn, and whootin’,” maybe not whootin’ but still… It became infuriatingly annoying and i mean he uses the same dead-beat characters over and over again–as if we don’t know that rednecks are retarded. Obviously these people are going to be in financial ruts with unemployment ramming them up their asses–who the fuck wants to hire an uneducated, ignorant fatty? Not me, and obviously not America.

Anyways the movie goes on and moore tries to make entertaining “citizens arrests,” but fails miserably. i think the best part of the entire movie is where Moore is standing outside of the NYSE (new york stock exchange) and asks the brokers “for advice,” one guy quickly and frankly responded “yeah, stop making movies.” I agree with who ever that was, and thank -you for saying that. Moore your days as a movie maker are over, now it’s time for you and your international camera men to pack up and leave, ¿Entendido?

capitalism_a_love_story_logo

Mr. Moore, i am here to make a citizens arrest on you and your movie; it sucked a big one.

10/07/2009 / zacharycampbell1

ThreadLESS–clothes man, im talking about clothes

yesterday while i was nonchalantly surfing the web i ran into an amazing website, one that is destined for greatness. If any of you guys are into style, which i presume you are, then you gotta check this place out: Threadless.com. Not only does the site have amazingly attractive and inexpensive products, but the company operates on a collaborative premise where users create designs and give the website legal ownership, and in turn you get some of the profits if the design is printed on shirts and sold from their website. You, as a buyer, have the ability to place the design on either a guys shirt/girls shirt/or hoody–whichever one floats your boat…

It’s like a creative mecca or something, i love it. Don’t be afraid to check it out, really the only thing you should be afraid of, with regards to this site, is if you have enough space in your closet to fit all the clothes your gonna buy. haha

here’s one of the designs they sell, im gonna get it on a t-shirt–how about you?

Inexpensive and cool–what’s not to like?

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