Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Goal: 4 Deserts in 5 years.

"To build a city at the bottom of the sea... insanity. But where else could we be free from the clutching hands of the parasites? ... It was not impossible to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea. It was impossible to build it anywhere else." -- Andrew Ryan

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Further Thoughts On Attraction

After speaking with Shanella for the past few days on the nature of attraction, I've come to realize something.

As humans, by and large, and by that I mean that this is a generalization about the population and that there are expected to be numerous deviations and exceptions, but by and large we are only attracted to what our egos allow for us.

We cannot be attracted by someone of too low a status. They would drag us down and dim our candle. Yet, they cannot be of a higher status for we would be outshone. No, they must be of a slightly lower status as much as possible for then we would have the perfect accessory.

There are a number of errors here in this line of thinking:
1- It's reductive. People are reduced to accessories of ego.
2- It stems from low self-esteem and a fragile psyche. The mark of a second-rater is someone who resents the accomplishments of others for fear that it would demean their own. People who have truly accomplished something by their own ability don't worry about the accomplishments of others. In fact, the achiever is often very lonely. How few people understand that capable people yearn for the companionship of other capable persons.
3- It assumes people are static elements never growing, incapable of regressing. What happens when a person grows old, the firm, soft skin sags and grows coarse? Abandonment? Or what happens if the inferior partner suddenly finds enough self-esteem to rise beyond?

Decisions made with this kind of ego are doomed to endless strife and probably failure. I'm not sure if I can come up with 10 pairings that I know where this is not the case. I can likely think of 6-8, but I doubt if I can think of 10.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Kindest Cut

"People fail in direct proportion to their willingness to accept socially acceptable excuses for failure. Being a victim gives you a claim on the sympathy of others, and it means you're not responsible for what happens, and therefore escapes responsibility for your own failure. " -- 13 fatal errors managers make and how to avoid them

I remember years back a friend had told me that given the weight that I lost I was extremely good looking. She said that I should stop right there because at that point, I was perfect. That was 40 lbs. ago. A big reason why I was able to lose these last two bags of rice was that her comment meant nothing to me. She was a good friend, yes. It was ostensibly a compliment, yes. But I did not believe her. I look in the mirror and I see areas for improvement.

I suppose I was rather lucky. Back then, her comment meant nothing because I couldn't understand it. Now, I see differently. My current level of fitness carries with it a good amount of social currency. It opens doors, generates smiles and can get me a good way. A lot of my friends have no idea that I want to lose about 20 more lbs. Many women have recently remarked how "handsome," "strapping," and "gallant" I looked lately. To my shame, these comments are starting to get to me. Why shame? It is shameful because I am letting them slow down my progress. I have missed 3 workouts in the past 2 weeks. I've abbreviated God knows how many more of them. The weight is still dropping, but how long can that be sustained with a overdrawn diet? I've had 2 beers in the last 2 weeks.

Reader, do you understand what I'm saying? I've done this in the past. I bemoan my current failures because they are what many people would consider extraordinary success. What does it say when my shameful failure is something that you could not achieve at your best? I've done that in the past, but this is not what I am here to do. I am not here to inflate my ego.

This blog is for me. It's for my progress and growth in life. It's a record and testament to the world of who I am... no, not who I am; who I am going to be. I am going to be someone who is unaffected by compliments. I will not allow them to increase my self-esteem or influence my worldview. I must insulate my soul against the happiness that they bring.


Because they will slow me down.

How can I continue to push myself if I think I've already made it? What kind of runner keeps running at full bore past the finish line? How can I push the envelope when I believe I've already burst through it?

In the beginning, the difficulty lay in insulating my soul from the pain that the nay-sayers gave me. You can't do it. You're nobody. Diets never work. You're not seriously thinking of losing 100 lbs. Actually, I didn't have a plan for how many pounds I would lose. I just kept going because no one was strong enough to stop me. Now the difficulty lies in insulating my soul from pleasure that my friends want to give me. Stanley, you look so strapping. That suit fits you wonderfully! What got me here, will not get me there. I cannot allow the word "enough" to enter my vocabulary. I cannot allow myself to feel contentment. I can give myself a few moments to breathe before I get back to the grind, but never more than a few.

There is the poison of a scorpion whose mythology says that should the victim ever stop moving, that victim will die. We've all been stung. Contentment, pleasure, retirement is the poison. Keep your ass moving.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


New workout: "Burn in Hell"

40x5 kneeling ab-wheel roll-outs


20 extended arm push-ups
20 crunches
20 bicycle crunches
for 5 rounds, 30 seconds rest between rounds


100 turkish get-ups

finish with

66 second plank hold

Total: 600 reps, 66 second plank

I have a couple of special workouts designed for nights like these. Internalize the pain, don't dull it. Don't do what others do, drinking away their pain, trying their best to forget. No, be awake. Feel it. Intensify it. Do what you can to make it hurt more. Use the special playlist you've saved for this occasion. Let the pressure build.

"Self-improvement is masturbation. Self-destruction on the other hand..." - Tyler Durden

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The parasite sees the product and divorces it from the means of production. It is not the inventor nor the work that brings forth a light bulb, a computer or a space ship, it is merely metal and minerals come together by chance.

The parasite sees a rich man in fine clothes driving around town in a foreign car with a beautiful woman. How rare it is to think that it was that man's mind which secured that life! No, the first inclination was that it was inherited, a gift, the next, that it was achieved through unscrupulous means, and the last begrudging one, he was just luckier than me.

Are there any who have seen past this illusion? Who? The truest, most honest of women, the gold-digger. She dispenses with the deception that other women foist upon the world. Her purpose is naked before the world: she is nature's way of dispensing righteous justice upon one-dimensional men. She divorces the man's wealth from the man who is incapable of controlling his emotions to defend it.

One must not only be smart enough to win his life. One need also use his mind to defend it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ghosts and Corpses

The religionists would have us believe that we are nothing but ghosts, spirits trapped in a delusion of physicality.

Their mechanism-worshipping counterparts would have you believe that we are nothing but corpses waiting to fall, bodies moving by nothing more than conditioning and instinct.

I believe I am neither. I am more. I am a man.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Reformation of Choice

"Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice—and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal. Man has to be man—by choice; he has to hold his life as a value—by choice: he has to learn to sustain it—by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues—by choice." -- excerpted from John Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged

A Christian must be a Christian by choice. I have only now realized this fact. Be careful in reading these words and thinking that you know what I'm writing.

A Christian does not become a Christian by choice. It is not his decision making that produces conversion, a change in acknowledged beliefs and allegiances, it is merely one of the first signs of it. But a Christian must be a Christian by choice. It cannot be sustained by habit. Neither can it be sustained by fear of hell, of social shunning, of parental disapproval, of God knows what.

A Christian must be a Christian because he values his existence as a Christian, as someone who holds his allegiance to the God described in his Scriptures, as someone who understands and chooses to obey, as someone who understands what set of values he is acquiring.

I didn't understand this before now. As far back as I can remember, people have always called me "smart," "precocious," "intelligent," and a million other empty flattering phrases. But I never felt that they were accurate. It was a self-esteem issue, yes, but I believe there was more. It was an issue of the conscious ownership of my own mind.

Only in the last 2 years have I begun reclaiming my mind from the world. Before then I was only a curator of facts to which anyone with any illusion of competence or confidence could deposit their thoughts. But reader, do you know what you call a system with no standards? It is a sewer. And we should greet a sewer-like mind with the same convulsed face of disgust that we use for an open manhole cover. My mind was such a thing.

But now, I have acquired a powerful talisman to ward off the world and to protect value, the word 'No.' No, I think that is a stupid idea. No, I do not understand what you are saying. No, I will not for the sake of being polite, acquiesce to your irrational claims.

And most importantly: No, I will not keep quiet on questions I've long held to myself. I've shuttled all my concerns and worries to the basement of my mind. No one else would understand. No one else even thinks in the same categories that I do! I have to protect them from my own thoughts!

What was I wishing for? What was I waiting for? Was I hoping that someone more intelligent than me, someone whose reason was trustworthy could come along, wave their magic wand and banish these thoughts from my mind? What an infinitely depraved desire! It's the equivalent of wishing to win a mental-spiritual lottery! If I have incurred these debts with my extravagant thinking then why should I expect any way to pay them off except through my effort and my exercise of rationality? I despise compulsive lottery-players and gamblers as one of the lowest forms of existence. I have damned myself by my own values.

No gallant knight is going to gallop in on a white horse to save my mind. But that's OK. I am no damsel in distress.

This is MY mind. This is MY life. I must choose. What will my values be? What life will those values produce? I can hear the cries of some of my friends already.

"But man is so limited! He can only reason so much! God is bigger than man! You can't put God in a box! Stanley, you just have to stop thinking and believe!"

Then what is my alternative? It is my reason or it is the judgment of another, and how do I know what that person may have in his mind? I know what I have in my own.

There is a good reason I stopped listening to Christian music by and large. I will not go wherever someone tells me. I will not do whatever someone tells me. I will not speak another person's words in place of my own. I began, instinctively at first, consciously later, to realize that so much of what I saw in Christianity was a negation of identity. Not me, but God.

This is the exact disaster of thought that I escaped from in Buddhism. My ideological reason for leaving Buddhism was the fact that I wanted to live and exist, as Stanley, not as Brahman. As Atman approached Brahman, I would wake up from the illusion and realize that we were never separate entities at all. I began to sense a similar strain in Christianity, that my existence was evil and that it should be exterminated by God's grandeur.

The sloppy reader will think that I have thrown in the towel. I have not. Absence of proof is not proof of an absence. I do not have the answers, but what I do have is questions. These, I think, are worthwhile questions. They need to be answered.

What kind of integrity would I have if I did not endeavor to answer them. What kind of integrity would I have if I threw away God's gift of rationality and thought and instead plugged my ears and screamed "SATAN YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET ME I BELIEVE IN GOD NYAHNYAHNYAH." If that is what it takes to continue in faith, I will not continue in faith. If what it takes to continue in faith is a moving set of songs in a dimly lit church, a preacher's fervent pleas to the congregation to come back to the Father who loves so much as the Spirit moves through the piano subtly playing in the background (it's hilarious how when this is done at church, it is the movement of the Spirit, the very Hand of God, and when it's done on a TV show, it's only emotional manipulation)... if that is what I need to continue in faith, then I will drop everything and not continue.

I value my mind. This is the battleground. I must choose. I must value. I.

My existence is an inarguable premise and I will not surrender it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Roots and Seeds

Why is it that the love of money is the root of all evil?

Monday, October 6, 2008


"Many experts thought it impossible for a man to run a mile in under four minutes. Many even thought it would cause instant death from over-exertion. Then, of course Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes. In the next year, TWELVE more people broke the four-minute barrier." -- DD

Forget what you know.
Believe what you'll see.

"And to all the people who tell me I'll never make it, keep on talking. It only gives me more motivation." -- Dallas Robinson

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A = A

"To exist is to be something, as distinguished from the nothing of non-existence, it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes. Centuries ago, , the man who was - no matter what his errors - the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself. You have never grasped the meaning of his statement. I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification."

This is the answer to all the years of soul-searching and asking "Who am I?" The answer is "I am the person asking that question." In quite a different way, I am who I am. I can be nothing else. Maybe I'll write a blog on the tetragrammaton one day and how it links to that specific part of the John Galt speech. It's fecundity intrigues me. But not enough and not today. Today I want to talk about me because I've come to realize my identity.

Or rather, I've realized it awhile ago but the thought needs to sublimate and become words.

A is A.

Stanley is Stanley.

Who I am is who I am. Who I will be is not necessarily who I am. Who I was is not necessarily who I am. Who I was is not necessarily who I will be. I exist, but only in the present. The past exists only in memory, the future does not exist until it comes to be. I exist, now and only ever now.

The linguistic turn "I existed." is a contradiction. Existence is only ever in the present. The past is not who I am. It's who I was. It is contributory not determinative. I exist and I choose to exist. I choose how I exist. I create the future.

And we all do. But how many people, how few people realize this truth. How many people see their lives as nothing but machinery set on course and forgotten. How many people are truly nothing more than animals trying to scratch various itches of food, sex, sleep, shelter? But that is not for me? I was not born to scratch itches. I was born with a mind and a mind that chooses.

But what are my choices?

"Saul, Saul! Why must you kick against the prick?"