Monthly Archives: March 2002

More blah blah blah from Shannon

Well, a couple people said they liked it, so here's another brief section from that manifesto I was playing with… Most of it is pretty incendiary, so I've been trying to tune it into something easier to read for the average person (although maybe that's exactly what I shouldn't be doing, I don't know):

On the subject of societal norms

Fleeting changes in the whims of the lowest common denominator, grains of sand barely understood by the hundredth monkey that blindly follows, represent our collective “statistically normal” deaths. We declare those who adhere to norms for the sake of conformity to be traitors to everything that makes humanity beautiful. We, the people full of daring creativity and energy, declare them vile creatures devoid of life and a scourge upon our planet.

The entire concept of a “societal norm” as far as aesthetic definitions go is a flawed concept. It suggests that somehow there are blanket laws that apply to all of us. The very fact that these laws change radically from region to region and time to time points out their fallacies — are we expected to believe that humans are different in 2002 than they were in 1802? Or that humans are different in Britain than they are in India?

Following these norms is an easy way out that surrenders much of what we should value in ourselves. Any free person knows that “societal norm” is just another term for “prison”.

Anyway, just a couple things in the news I wanted to mention before I get to work… I'm sure many of you have seen Apple's ousting of a young coder (15 years old). Because he's underage, the fact that he's a solid contributor is irrelevant to them since he can't legally sign their contracts. I was less experienced at 15, but my mind was a lot sharper than it is now, and I know I was an asset to the companies I programmed for… I really think Apple made a big mistake on this one.

And did you know that it's illegal to protest the KKK in Alabama? The KKK were protesting that school children were being asked to do a report for black history month (although a 30 page report seems a little strange for 6th grade, doesn't it), and a motorist driving by their protest yelled out his window, “y'all need to grow up“. He was arrested and charged with two counts of inciting a riot and resisting arrest.

Finally, I see that Yahoo! is going to start charging for its email service. Thank god this is finally happening. It's about time — now maybe people will clue in to the fact that it's expensive to publish online and start being more willing to contribute. Next I expect we'll start seeing radical changes and maybe even the death of things like msn communities. Microsoft is perfectly aware that a significant percentage of those communities exist for minors to trade stolen porn, and eventually they'll get sick of footing the bill…

Pain…

In about an hour I have to hand over a cheque for over $20,000 to cover the remainder of the printing bill for the ModCon book. Sales are going well though, so I'm not worried about breaking even. Now I have to raise around $8000 to publish the second book…

I've been writing a manifesto… It's mostly just for myself, to help me think through why I do the things I do. It actually started as a “modified manifesto” but it moved away from that… Anyway, I was thinking — as I often do — about what a person's responsibilities are in life, a question akin to “what is the meaning of life?”

On the subject of responsibility

A living human's first responsibility is to themselves, to sustain the essentials of life. Their second responsibility is to ensure the health and continuity of life on this planet. All other responsibilities are illusionary lies.

Sustaining the essentials of one's own life means the pursuit of nourishment (food and drink), shelter, and Love (family and friends). Pursuing these things is a right, and achieving them is permitted by any means necessary as long as no harm is done to other living people.

Ensuring the health and continuity of life on this planet is achieved by working to ensure that those around us are able to also sustain the essentials of their own life. This is done by helping them to reach their goals, and together building an environment where it is possible for all people to live in freedom and liberty, not by selling them their lives, or forcing our lives upon them.

These are simple ideas with simple solutions, resulting in a beautiful truth.

On the subject of the cost of life

Sustaining life is not expensive — we need only food and shelter, and both of these things cost no more than a small amount of our time if we are willing to build them for ourselves. The notion that we are required to purchase them at a huge markup from a pyramid of faceless corporations is a symptom of humans becoming food for finance. It is the feeding of life to sustain non-life, and is the greatest evil the world knows.

One of the greatest challenges in the modern world is extracting oneself from this hideous cycle. The climb out of its abyss can be terrifying, but the path is safe and the rewards are boundless.

Functional arguments against leading the modified life hinge around the notion that money has value. Money can not be eaten. Money can not shelter you from the cold. Yes, money can to some extent be traded for these things, but only at such a staggering loss to make the purchase ludicrous on any objective level.

We the modified, as people who strive to see truth and speak truth, pledge to never confuse quality of life with a number on a piece of paper.

I'm just a kid without the experience needed to write any of that. It seems true to me, and I hope it continues to as I grow older and hopefully wiser. Well, now I've got to help my sister with some entries to a photography contest (I'm printing her photos on my printer). I bought some paper at Staples for it, here is the exchange:

Her: “Did you find everything you need, sir?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Her: “Business or pleasure, sir?”
Me: “Business.”
Her: “How many people in your business, sir?”
Me: “About fifteen thousand.”
Her: “I'm sorry, sir, the computer won't let me enter that many people. Do you mind if I put one thousand five hundred instead?”
Me: “Whatever.”

How was that even relevant? I hate these “scripts” they force tellers through, with all the “did you find everything you want” and “would you like to buy a butt plug, we have them on special for $5.99” annoyances. I'm not an idiot. I understand that it is my job to find the things I need, take them to the check-out, pay for them, and leave. I don't need special help on it!

Well then

Maybe I should take it all back, considering that God has showed himself to dislike Afghanistan as well. Anyway, I think I've patched the holes in the gallery and picture custom layout (I am pretty sure they were done yesterday, and I just accidentally uploaded the wrong version)…

Ummm…

Unless I'm missing something, didn't this turn out real bad the last time?

Yummy

I just had an awesome supper at a little place called Shanghai Cowgirl just around the corner. I'd eaten there once before with Ryan but just had a fiarly non-descript omlette. This time I had the Trailer Trash Sushi (chicken breast, wasabi mayo, and watercress on a great soft bun) along with some blackened potatoe (who am I, Dan Quayle?) salad (baked potatoes with what tasted like peanut butter on them, actually really good). The side salad had a super dressing as well. Anyway, point is, I recommend the place… If you're in downtown Toronto, they're roughly across the street from Stainless Studios.