Going to Mars is Stupid

A while ago, I posted about the time I first left home. I moved, cold, from the city in which I grew up, to a city about 2,500 miles from it. I was kind of happy, for a while, but my troubles caught up with me. In the intervening years, I moved to four different cities, each time starting fresh. All ended up in disaster. This was, ultimately, because I brought my issues with me.

Currently there is a push to go to Mars, and I think it’s a stupid idea. And much for the same reason.

I believe there is a reason why the Universe is so vast. I think that it is ultimately to keep us from being able to explore it until we have evolved to the point where we don’t need to use physical means of traveling. At least with current technology, the speed of light in a vacuum is the ultimate speed limit of the Universe, and our life spans are just too short to make such travel worth anything. Plus, and worse, we’ll take our mental illnesses with us. We’d end up conquering the galaxy and then making as big a mess of it as we have this planet, just on a much broader scale. I wish people would understand – space operas like Star Wars are a cautionary tale, not something to aspire to.

This planet is our womb. Wombs are there for an entity to grow and develop, in preparation for being introduced to the wider world. And until we learn to do something like teleport – something which I think is possible but requires a purity of spirit that we are not capable of at the moment – doing something silly like going to Mars is simply going to bring our problems to Mars. We could terraform it, maybe. But then we’d create countries, eventually Mars and Earth would go to war, and we’d end up right where we left off… just with much higher human casualties.

We have to solve our problems before we try to conquer the galaxy. Because human nature isn’t going to change, no matter how much we try to run from our problems.

But then, who’d listen to me anyway…

“Work Hard, Play Hard”? Run.

I have something that many people seem to consider a personality flaw – but less so as I grow older.

When I was a child, I believed it was important to have “professional” relationships.  Specifically, when I would go to an event where a specific thing was to happen, I would go expecting to do that specific thing.  Bible Studies?  I went expecting to actually open a Bible.  Basketball practice?  As bad as I was, I went expecting to throw a basketball.  I was never very tolerant of tomfoolery.

I remember one time when I was sixteen, I went to take a state mandated driving class.  I went expecting to learn how to drive.  The other teenagers in the class just went on talking about sex.  It bothered me so much I went to talk to the “teacher”, who basically just told me to suck it up, she’d pass me.  Or something like that.

I felt this way about college, as well.  I went to college to learn.  I did not go to party, I did not go to make friends, I did not go to have social events.  I went to learn, and I looked strongly down on anyone who did not share that same devotion to purpose.

(I will be clear that given my chosen major, which was well within the fine arts, this was an entirely unreasonable expectation, and quite frankly, I chose very, very badly when it came to majors.)

So I entered the workforce with the same attitude.  Generally, when I worked at a place where older folks worked, they shared somewhat my devotion to purpose.  There was a bit of tomfoolery, but generally they went to do a job and go home to their families.  I certainly respected this!

But later in my career, tech companies or teams were starting to take the attitude that to attract good employees they had to have a “work hard, play hard” attitude.  In theory this meant that they wanted to make sure their employees enjoyed their time there.

In practice, this meant a lot of drinking, probably a lot of sex I wasn’t aware of (thank goodness!), trying to get people to handle issues while drunk, alcoholic VPs…  it was a mess.  I didn’t respect them.  And they knew it.

But I don’t see that as my problem.  I was behaving responsibly.  They just wanted to drink.

I learned some valuable lessons from these experiences, though.  The biggest was that i I find a company that puts anything similar to “work hard, play hard” in a description of their company culture, to run away fast, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  It needs to nothing but trouble.  I can expect to be judged by how well I fit into the culture, which basically means “am I willing to drink, and how much.”  I can expect that there will be no work-life balance, as work is life and life is work.  I can expect that people will take the job seriously, but will not take the workplace seriously.  And I have no interest in ever dealing with that kind of culture again.

(This, by the way, is one reason why I so abhor the “woke” culture that is infecting so many workplaces right now.  I go there to work.  I don’t give a toss about anyone’s political views, and would prefer they don’t inflict them on me).

So what have I learned to look for instead?  Work-life balance.  A company that expects an honest day’s work out of you, and then you get to go home (or leave the home office, as it is now) and not think about work again until the next morning.  A company that may provide voluntary activities that some people will find fun (not so much alcohol related) but does not judge people for their lack of participation.  A company that values what I bring to the table professionally and otherwise just lets me be, because I have little interest in sharing anything that does not directly relate to work except with select coworkers I choose.

Maybe for young people just out of college “work hard, play hard” would be attractive.  They can have it.  The company will reap what they’ve sowed.  Me, I’d rather have nothing to do with it.  Just let me do my job in peace and don’t regale me with irrelevant shit.

Please and thank you.

“Work Hard, Play Hard”.  Run fast and hard.  It leads to nothing but trouble.

The Unbearable Arrogance of Wokeness

I am not, and will never be, “woke”.

I don’t even really need to go into what the term means, as that’s not even really germane to the conversation. The word itself should be sufficient to not want to go anywhere near it. Without even knowing what it pertains to, it’s an arrogant word. It says that you are awake while everyone else is asleep. It says that you are superior to those who are not “woke”. It says that being “woke” is a desirable state and that those who are not “woke” are in a less desirable state.

Basically, it is a divisive and arrogant word.

And those who self-describe with it are divisive and arrogant.

Those who are truly “woke” would never label themselves as such, because they would recognize the division and dualism the word engenders, and would consider using it to be utterly stupid and distateful. However, even if they did consider themselves awake while everyone else is asleep (which is not entirely an irrational thing to think in some cases), a truly “woke” person would then think about what would be needed to wake someone up. They would then realize that the only way to wake someone up would be to appear in their dreams. Or to put it another way, they would recognize that first you would have to make the other person aware that they were asleep and that waking up would be a desirable state of being. You do NOT do that by putting them down for being asleep.

But that’s what wokeness has degenerate into.

Hell, it’s not even gramatically correct!

I personally think that anyone who calls themselves “woke” is admitting tacitly that they are divisive, stupid people who are not aware of, or do not care, exactly how arrogant and not woke they actually are. I think anyone who calls themselves “woke” would be better off thinking about exactly what that word means, recognizing that they should stop using it, and then stop using it.

Is it arrogant of me to say this? Maybe, I guess. But you know what the difference between me and a “woke” person is?

I think “woke” people are still human. Stupid and arrogant, maybe. But still human.

Divisive language leads to divisive actions. Divisive actions lead to discrimination. Discrimination leads to dehumanization. Dehumanization leads to hatred. Hatred leads to murder. And murder leads to genocide.

And it all starts with the arrogance of thinking you’re “woke”. Stop it. You’re making it worse.

Why I am not an “ally”.

There is a reason I keep myself semi-anonymous on this blog.

Don’t get me wrong. You could probably track me down if you wanted to put forth the effort. There are enough clues in this blog to get a general idea of where I live, etc. But I’ve intentionally made it difficult. I did this because I want at least some freedom to say what I want to without fear of some moron going to my workplace and trying to get me fired. I doubt it would work, as my workplace is better than most at respecting everyone, including folks like me, but I don’t need the trouble. Even on Facebook, I don’t broadcast who I work for, and I deleted my LinkedIn profile, again, for that reason.

I did this because social justice warriors are short-sighted idiots who would rather shut down opinions that they don’t agree with than debate them on their merits.

Are there some opinions that are beyond the pale? Yeah. I think any right-thinking person would agree that supporting the actions of a certain German dude with a distinctive mustache should never be tolerated. Personally, I try to separate the actions from the person (until he killed his dog, I doubt his dog cared), but even so, that’s intolerable. However, I think those that hold that opinion should be allowed to express it – even if only so that the rest of us know what they think and can avoid them.

But there are many other opinions that do not rise to that level of malevolence, and sane people can disagree with them. There are quite a few debates going on right now about all sorts of different topics, and I happen to hold my own opinion on them. I won’t go into them right now except to say that they generally are directly opposed to what leftist orthodoxy things they should be. I didn’t come to these opinions through hatred or malice, I came to them by thinking through the problem and coming to a different conclusion.

So why am I not an ally? Well, the first answer is, this isn’t a war. Or shouldn’t be, anyway.

But the second answer is that the idea of being an ally is predicated on the idea that I must support someone in some aspect of their identity in such a way as they deem appropriate. If I were to, for an example, call myself an ally to women, I would be ceding control of my autonomy to them, because they would then have a right to dictate what is appropriate in my behavior, words, and thought. I’m not interested in ceding that kind of control to any group. How I think, speak, and act towards someone or a group of people is a negotiation, not something that may be dictated. Want to be treated in a certain way? Act in a way in which you prove you deserve to be treated that way, and I’ll likely cooperate. Don’t, and I won’t.

But allies don’t get that freedom.

This is why I refuse to consider myself an ally of any group. It’s the same reason why I refuse to keep my mouth closed when it would probably be better for me if I did. I’m not willing or prepared to cede my personal autonomy at the altar of social justice. If I think a cause is worth supporting, I’ll support it. If I don’t, I won’t. But ultimately, that’s my choice, and it’s a choice I refuse to cede to anyone else, no matter what pressure is brought to bear.

Keep in mind that in this post I am not speaking against or for any aspect of social justice (except for the concept of allyship). I’m simply stating that I reserve the unequivocal right to decide whether to do that for myself. And, sadly, even that can be enough to get one in trouble. But given my personality, there is little to be done about that..