The Nautical World...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Progression of Thought

"If you're not Liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not Conservative when you're 35, you have no brain."-Winston Churchill

Curious quote, huh? I quoted this a little earlier this week in a class discussion (I think I transposed it, but let's be honest, was anyone paying attention?). I wasn't referring to liberals or conservatives in politics, I mentioned this to introduce the idea of progression of thought.

We start out in life with a basic concept of things, and we mosey along and things change. When you're little an apple is red or green and grows on trees. When you're older it's sold for a dollar a pound, filled with vitamins A and E, is the base for almost all fruit juices, needs to be scrubbed thoroughly because of the latest salmonella scare, and is utilized as an organic fertilizer due the high amount of nitrogen. As we live, our thought progresses to include more information and our opinions change.

In my class I spoke of this as pertaining to the concept of Anthropology. I said that as we go through this class our thoughts on things are constantly changing. In this certain case we study the Inuits and at the beginning we are strongly in favor of letting them do what they want. We read some more and then we go back and believe they need restrictions and favor the opposition. Then next week we read another article and we are back to supporting the Inuit. We entered this subject knowing nothing or very little, but as we travel along, opinions are made and our thoughts shift back and forth.

The shifting of thinking happens with everything you do. Some cases have more dramatic shifts, usually when it is a new subject, and some thinking shifts very little. This needs to be remembered not just with yourself, but with others. I am not who I was 8 years ago. My thoughts have shifted back and forth and they continue to do so. I continually build and reshape my thoughts, and I make myself aware that everyone else does the same.

Progression of thought is a concept that is important to understanding people. To know the process is to better understand people and their habits.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Human babies are Worthless

I drove to Dallas this weekend to see my family. It was supposed to be relaxing, but my niece and nephew were present and killed that notion. I love them to death but I felt like hiding under the bed the whole time like my dog, Nikita. Little kids are crazy and have some unending source of energy, it just freaks me out. Sometimes they can be sweet, but a lot of times they are brats. Do you think kids were just as bratty back in the day?
When I watch these little banshees run around, I like to wonder if, hundreds of years ago, children in a tribe of Cherokee acted like that. I mean, was a lady walking around with a papoose with a kid screaming bloody murder? If so I would quickly condone infanticide. It sounds cruel, but I swear to god these kids screamed non-stop for 2 days. I mean they didn't scream the whole time, sometimes they cried, whined, yelled, or pouted. Do you think Ghengis Khan put up with that? I bet he did because I notice the common denominator is that no matter how cool or tough you are, when you have a kid, that goes down the drain. I'm sure Tom cruise is somewhere having to change a diaper or going to McDonald's to get chicken nuggets. Actually, no I take that back, I'm sure the Scientology elders are probably feeding his baby alien food. Well you get my point though.
I feel guilty because the more time I spend around children the closer I get to a vasectomy. I went to Disney World a few weeks ago, and it was one of the seven circles of hell. Also, little kids smell weird. Maybe because they are constantly pooping and snotting themselves. They are so high maintenance. I mean, if you have a bunch of puppies or kittens, all you do is leave some food and water out, and you can go out an do stuff. But not human babies. If you leave those little grubs alone for 10 minutes they are screaming bloody murder, and there is no way they can feed themselves. Why didn't Darwinism wipe us out a long time ago? If you look at how many times a human baby gets sick or hurt or something in one day, it's miracle we have made it this far. And look what they grow up to, that's even scarier. Toddlers are the most disgusting brand of human spawn. They no longer wear diapers, but just constantly pee themselves. They also require constant attention. I think thats why the Spartans invented the Agoge, a training camp that took them at the age of 7. Man, that was a good idea.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

New Eyes

Your eyes take in everything around you. They are unbiased and flood your brain full of data. Then your brain analyzes it, throws out the unecessary, keeps the necessary and their you go, there are your thoughts. It is a pretty unchanging process and that is basically what is happening every nanosecond of your day. I figured out something kind of interesting though, and allthough it might be common knowledge to some people, it was new to me.

Everyday you walk around like a robot, doing the same thing and processing things the same exact way. I am no exception, but I noticed a change in that when I was in high school. I got a summer job at a place called Metro Maples. It is a tree farm that grows all types of decorative Japanese and Chinese maples trees as well as different types of plants. I was involved in every step of the process from seedling to full grown tree. I learned what the leaves looked like when they needed water, were deficient of nutrients, or if they were healthy or sick. Pretty soon I was no longer walking into work, but I was walking into an abundance of life. I noticed all of the trees and all of the messages they were conveying. This also didn't stop at the farm. When I was back at home or in Florida, I could tell you how the rainfall was this week, or even last year. That experience opened my eyes to a whole new way to view things. It forever changed my perception of the world around me. It doesn't stop there either.

This summer I got really into longboarding. Pumping and carving my way through the urban landscape brought a sense of peace and calm to my mind. I soon began to make a map in my head of all the best areas to longboard. And now when I walk to a new place, I no longer see malls or sidewalks, I see a concrete playground. When I'm running errands or going out to eat I'll spot a large parking garage and wish I'd brought my board. I'll see a vast parking lot and think about how cool it would be to skate that. Longboarding changed my perception of urban landscape forever.

These aren't the only two things that change my perception of the world, there are hundreds, and throughout my life I will gather many. This might be the key to our understanding of culture too. For Example, it is a common American stigma to dislike the French. Why? I think that answer has become convoluted and vague over the years, and we aren't really sure why. But I bet if we did a little bit of traveling in France and experienced their lifestyle, it would allow us interpret current events the same way they do and understand their thoughts on things. Our experiences not only define us, but they define how we interpret the world around us.