Saturday, February 26, 2011

Distance and love

According to Einstein, everything is relative. If we applied this to our everyday lives we would recognize that the third dimension (space aka up, down, and across) is relative too. Realizing this tells us that no matter how far away that other person is, it really doesn't matter, your feelings and friendship will continue.
 Yes, I am now officially the boyfriend of my best friend in the whole world. She's a wonderful beautiful person and I love her a lot. It may be a long-distance relationship, but when did that matter?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In honor of Jules Verne, why Science Fiction is the greatest genre from a literary standpoint

Paraphrased from a speech I gave to my debate team.

Throughout human history, there are many conflicts that we experience throughout life as an individual and socially. Currently, one issue I am experiencing is an unofficial long-distance relationship. 4000 KM seems like the other end of the Universe to me, and it happens to many people throughout their lives. What if the relationship is across a galaxy? In terms of Dune there are times when Jessica is a long distance from her husband Leto. It makes the pitiful 4000 KM seem short, even though it isn't. It allows authors and philosophers to put issues in our personal lives into a format that is understandable regardless of race, sex, or creed. A major part of the crusade for Civil Rights was when Captain Kirk and Ahura had a very informal relationship. Not to mention Spock's father, a Vulcan, and his mother, a Human. This is a format that probably persuaded some people who were indifferent then had to side with  the civil rights movement.

Other issues include the origins of religion. In Dune we see the creation of an entire religion with all the complexities. By the third book Muad'Dib has already taken on supernatural aspects of things that did not happen yet the Fremen believed it with all their hearts. To have such a comparison in a modernistic setting would either look and read as a very silly book that people would be offended by. By putting his insight into a format that would reach across faiths, Frank Herbert created what I consider to be the greatest book that is accessible to people from all ethnicities and faiths. Philosophy is included in this topic too, giving the Litany Against Fear which is influential to all fans of Dune.

On the Scientific level Science Fiction has it's most obvious gift to society. In Arthur C. Clarke's writing he explains the scientific principles behind his ideas having video calls and walking on the moon in his most famous work, 2001. In his work Rendezvous with Rama he has a gigantic spaceship the size of a small planet come into the Solar System on it's long journey. This concept was little explored and was given in great scientific detail. In I, Robot by Isaac Asimov we see the original example of robots gone evil, a concept that has been used in countless stories after then.

To sum it up cleanly, putting raw human emotions and political controversies in a format accessible to many people. By doing this, science fiction authors are able to delve into a topic with a freedom not available to many other genres that truly makes it a wondrous tool for explaining answers to that question of humanity.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Halfway through the quarter, what I have learned.

Here I am, February 3, halfway through my college quarter at the local community college. This quarter I took Math, Developmental Psychology, and Spanish, all 5 credits each. I have learned a lot in Psychology and will be a better person by knowing how people grow up and will know more about what the person is thinking ( or not) and will be able to give appropriate responses that I haven't had time to practice yet. Psychology is definitely a beneficial subject for being a responsible citizen and should be taught in high school. In Spanish I have learned a lot of course, I haven't known much Spanish since Elementary school,  and am able to make basic sentences now. After taking two quarters of German last year, the second language is a lot easier because I know how to learn a language and how languages are put together. I am thoroughly convinced that languages should be taught by the European model, first language in the first four years (usually English) than another language in year 5-8, and finally finish with a third language in the last part of your public education. My psychology learning has taught me that learning languages makes connections in the brain during the golden period of languages in the single digits that makes someone more intelligent throughout their entire life.

I took my band final yesterday. We are playing awesome music as usual. Everything else has been steady since December. In SOGO we are playing the Barber of Seville for my last concert (the first piece I played in SOGO in fact) and selected scenes from Carmen. It is going to be a great ending for my SOGO career.

I am also working now at Evergreen. I am designing the web page for the lab I work in and helping to set up the science meeting. Everything is coming together.