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You are currently viewing archive for March 2008
Posted By Bakari

Wait, actually go up and watch the video before you read the following text.

No, really.

Otherwise you’ll ruin it. It’s really short, honest.

OK. I’m going to bet you missed it.
Everyone does.

You’d think something so out of the ordinary would stand out, right?

Their point is that when you are driving you are expecting cars, not bikes, and that you need to be consciously aware of the possibility of bikes, so that you don’t run into them.

I’ve seen this demonstration before, on TV.
In addition they had a person go up to a receptionist. The receptionist said they had to get some papers from under the desk, and when they stood up again, it was a different person.

Sometimes a twin in different clothes, sometimes someone who looked different but in the same clothes.

No one noticed that either.

In addition to reacting to things you don’t notice (like a bike in the street)

This has serious implications for the justice system.

Certainly something like a crime in progress would be a suitable distraction from seeing all the details. Yet the most valued evidence is eye witness testimony.

If there is gunfire and shouting and confusion going on, one of the robbers could be a moonwalking bear, and we might not notice.

Consider the simple optical illusion - usually nothing more than a way to amuse grade schoolers, but it has similar implications about our minds.
The Ancient Greeks were aware of this. When they built the Parthenon, they built it deliberately imperfect - they curved the floor and other lines a tiny bit; exactly enough to compensate for the optical illusion that makes a perpendicular line among a row of straight lines appear curved. So from a distance it appears perfect, but only because of the flaws of human perception.

But even more, consider your own mind and perception.

We usually look at this academically, "people" are like that. "People" have unreliable memories, faulty perception, fail to notice certain details. No, its not just people. Its you. You, reading this right now. Its me. Its individuals, and no one is exempt.

Which begs the question, how sure are you of... well, anything, really? How do you know it’s true?
Of course drugs and insanity and religion make people "know" things which are really not true, but how much of what you remember really happened, or happened exactly the way you think it did?

I wonder if its ever reasonable to be 100% confident.

Trust no one. Not even yourself.

Posted By Bakari


We are at home, bed time.

Once we settled into bed, I spent some time rubbing your back, while we spoke of things we had been thinking about.
Nothing particularly important, but we were still awake, and it’s always nice to talk.

Now we are both getting sleepy, are ready to actually fall asleep.

You lie on your side, facing away from me.
I lie behind you, facing you, our bodies lightly against each other.
It’s a cool night, but not cold
naked, beneath the blankets, our natural warmth together is the perfect amount to combat the night air,
you, of course, have your feet outside of the blankets.

My arm is over and across you, my hand around your breast
your arm overlaps mine, your hand on my hand.

And we fall asleep feeling the subtle expansion and contraction of each other’s breathing
You, with the light touch of my breath on the back of your neck, me, with the subtle scent of your hair in my breath
For me, I fall asleep to the thought that I cannot imagine a more perfect existence

than spending my time with so beautiful a person
the only lover I have ever had, have ever wanted

than falling asleep next to my best friend

Posted By Bakari

I realized relatively recently that I have finally achieved my lifelong dream.

Back in high school I had the common dilemma of trying to decide what to do next.
I had been thinking engineer, cause of interest in how mechanical stuff works, but then I hated calculus.
Everyone assumed it would be something science related, because I was supposedly "smart" or something (I was actually a fairly average student, yet even my teachers assumed otherwise - which helped become a self fulfilling prophesy in some classes)
Since everyone assumed it, I assumed it.

But nothing specific seemed appealing.

Then there was the bike trip to Mexico.
I rolled through the day, listening to many musics, pedaling and pedaling, lots of food, not too much English.
There were Mexican truck drivers, through the desert, turning down their headlights at dawn and dusk, some of them perhaps pre-power steering, at stops, they seemed like happy people.
I came back, with all those miles behind me, I got a job as a bike messenger, at the first place I applied.

I don't know when the realization hit me.
Quite likely back in high school, probably.  Or maybe during the trip, maybe just after.
I can't remember.

Everyone tells you, told me, "reach for the stars" "fulfill your potential" "do your best" "if you work hard you can succeed" "dream big" "set goals" "be all you can be".
I always felt like, if I was intelligent, it wasn't so that the world could benefit.  It was just something to make my life a little easier, maybe a little more enjoyable.  To me, doing something complex and technical and prestigious, something that might require "intelligence", doing something like that, if it doesn't actually make you happy, it isn't really that intelligent, is it?  I mean, doing something which isn't whatever makes you happiest, for a lifetime, just because you can, that seems pretty stupid to me.


What I realized one day is: I don't need to ever be famous.  I don't need to climb the social ladder.  I don't ever want to be upper class.  I don't want to be remembered in the history books for something.  I have no need, no reason, no desire to excel.  In anything.  Not even in my own narrow field.  Everyone can't be on top.  Obviously.  Why waste so much effort playing king of the hill with all the other jerks who want to be on top?

My goal, my desire, was to be a perfectly ordinary, average kind of guy, who went to work, made enough to get by, did enjoyable stuff on his time off.
I wanted maybe a wife, and probably kids someday - eventually.  Of course there are some hiccups on that part right now, but I'm still working on it.  I can't say I am optimistic about it right now, but I'm not pessimistic either.
Anyway... I didn't want to change the world. 

I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren stories someday, and not bore them with the same ones over and over, not have to make stuff up.


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