Philosophy Tuesday

This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

I take exception to the explanation “oh, it’s just human nature” when discussing violence, war, or continued conflict, like an inevitability mantra. I take exception for it is equally human nature to rush in and save people from burning buildings or drownings, to be unquestionably generous, or to put yourself in harm’s way in the place of another.

Humans do have the capacity to be absolutely nasty creatures.

Humans equally have the capacity to be wondrous and generous creatures.

As “Dance Monkeys Dance” puts it, we are at once the most beautiful and the most ugly creatures on the planet.

We have these two sides. But saying “It’s just human nature” (or “boys will be boys”, or similar) about why we fight is simply a way to avoid responsibility (not blame, responsibility).

The automatic inside of “It’s just (unavoidable) human nature” robs us of our agency.

Black Rock Kwoon and Dojo

For everyone heading out to Burning Man this year, stop on by to visit the Black Rock Kwoon and Dojo, the prime locus for the martial and meditative arts on the playa!

logos - black rock kwoon-1


We will have sessions of all styles of martial and meditative arts all week, and our traditional martial sharing session is happening again on Thursday in the afternoon.  And anytime a class is not in session, the kwoon is open for anyone to stop by and train.

See you in the dust!


Philosophy Tuesday

This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

I recently overheard a conversation about a trip to the doctor’s office that included a “stress test”. The conversation grew, until there were a gaggle of people all speaking about their respective stress tests. And from these conversations, they usually didn’t go well.

The conversation quickly turned to tips and strategies for faking out the test and how to lower their blood pressure before going into the doctor’s office.

What I find fascinating about this conversation was that it veered quickly away from anything to do about stress (nor did it talk about the impact on their body/health) it was only about how not to look bad in front of the doctors.

The view and reality that would give rise to that kind of conversation is:

“Stress is expected and unavoidable.”

“I feel fine telling you about my stress, because it looks good to be stressed because it means I’m leading a successful life and I’m like you.”

“I don’t want my doctor to know about my stress, because that looks bad, like I’m not taking care of my health.”

Inside those views, there’s no room for action to alter stress levels. On the most basic level, there’s no way to manage the circumstances to reduce or manage stress. It is automatic and eternal. And the only way to manage it would be to stop being successful in some way.

On a higher level, stress is external (“it’s life”), not internal (“it’s how I relate and respond to life”).   There’s no opportunity or even realm of possibility to eliminate stress without having to manage circumstances.

In other words, there was nothing to be done but be trapped.  And I don’t think their view is all that unique;  I’d wager they were espousing what’s prevalent in our area.

Wonderland boo!

I just heard some unfortunate news — this labour day at 8p will be the last run for Skyrider, the stand-up coaster over by the Minebuster.  I liked Skyrider, it was simple-ish, but it did it well with great pickup, letting you feel the Gs in your legs on the loop, counter-steering before a turn, and a harness design that wasn’t a head masher.  Standup was a good gimmick and a great experience unlike any of the other coasters in the park.  I don’t know what they’ll be putting in that spot, but if they’re losing a standup coaster that’s too bad.  Please don’t put in another hyper-giga-mega-mondo-coaster — you’ve got two already!  Something nifty — another standup would be great, or a Nemesis-like inverted terrain coaster.  I’d be keen on a rocking new woodie too.   (And I’m still rooting for my Dragon Fyre replacement coaster idea someday…)

How I found out about Skyrider’s demise was searching for a vid of the new 3D action adventure “coaster”/dark box Wonder Mountain’s Guardian.  I won’t say much about the ride, for it impressed me not, but I will say something for the entry area — egads!  You’re in the freakin’ mountain!  And the ride loading area has a bit of rock… and a black, flat, unadorned, section of gyp wall with some painted signs on it?  With a ceiling to match?  Looking all the much like a part of a shopping mall currently walled off with temporary partitions for renovations?  THEMEING PEOPLE, THEMEING!  And with that, my rant is over.

Still a bummer about Skyrider, though.  If you’re heading by Toronto (or live closeby) between now and Labour day — please head to Wonderland and ride Skyrider for me, one more time.

Philosophy Tuesday QotD

“And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.”

– Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame