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“Christmas Time”

Everyone loves Christmas time. Or so it seems. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas, I love this time of year. Winter is my favorite season for lots of reasons, but one of the main ones is that everyone appears happier. Upon discussing this with my family, my father disagreed. He said that when he goes out to run errands this time of year, everyone is more vicious that normal. One theory is that people are happy and jolly, but only around their family. Out in the real world where they don’t know everyone personally, they don’t care about anyone but themselves.

I, on the other hand, would like to have more faith in humanity. Sure, people get violent while shopping for the holidays, but it’s only because they want to get the best presents for their loved ones. People at my school are more relaxed because they know winter break is coming, teachers assign less homework because they have to spend time with their family, and they understand that we do too. There’s always someone who despises this time of year, but that person will disguise their hatred in candy canes and twinkly lights.

Maybe it’s the rain, snow, and lights talking, but to me- this really is the best time of year.

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Being Genuine

All day everyday if you’re out in the world, you’re engaging in small talk. I can’t stand small talk- but I can fake it. Is that the best method though? 

Recently I realized that when I encounter a moment where someone is expressing complete sincerity, I was startled. During a secret Santa card gifting, the person who made my card wrote really nice things, so I asked them if they’re a “hug” person. They said yes and we promptly hugged. It was the best hug I’ve experienced in a startlingly long time. I’m trying to think of a better way to describe this other than the feel of their energy. There are only two people I know who give this level of quality hugs where they place their hands on your back and actually… Hug. Not just the chest bump and move on, but a true hug that lingers- eyes shut with smiles on their face from the true happiness of being able to share that moment. 

I had another moment where I threw out a phrase that some people take very seriously, others lightly. I will say “I love you” to my parents, close friends, and genuinely mean it, but there’s something airy about how it’s said. I was buying coffee from the schools coffee shop and a girl who is my friend’s friend was making my coffee. She’s new to the cafe, so it was taking some learning time (which I’m completely fine with). She finally delivered my coffee and as my hand grabbed the warm cup, I said “I love you” and she said “I love you too” back to me. I walked away feeling warm and fuzzy- this person provided me with my first coffee of the day and I had let her work through how to make my drink. The I-love-yous were real. More real than than when I tell my mom I love her as I jump out of the car. More real than two high schoolers saying they love each other after three months of dating. With someone I barely knew. 

There’s something beautiful about genuine exchanges and it’s more than just the connection. I’d like to think that it’s the connection that’s amazing, but it’s the surrounding factors that affect it. Whether we like it or not, the world is gigantic and chaotic, and in the midst of chaos, interactions like this are rare. 

I’ve been brainstorming New Years resolutions to have for 2016, and now I have a good one to add to my list: “Be genuine.”

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Eugenics 

This rant and summary is in relation to the article “Can we engineer love and morality?” By Richard Weikart September 14th, 2012. 

Oxford philosophy professor Julian Salvulescu made his “moral enhancement” eugenics campaign public. Historian Richard Weikart finds scientific fault with Salvulescu’s ideas as well as personal conflicts regarding values. Salvulescu’s plan is to provide selective and voluntary abortions for genetically “less moral” embryos.The philosopher believes our values are entirely genetic and we can create a better world through selecting the apparently moral embryos. This is a tempting idea from a philosophical standpoint, especially with all of the recent worldwide mass shootings and bombings. However, Weikart points out that this is scientifically illogical and irrelevant. The philosopher believes that it is our moral obligation to make this advancement in genetics while Weikart argues that it isn’t. In the conclusion, it’s pointed out that engineering people to be more loving and moral is contradictory with the way it would be done, implying that physically engineering loving people is wrong. To create kind, loving humans we need to be kind, loving and accepting of all humans. If we were to simply eliminate morally lesser humans from the genetic evolutionary process well… History would repeat itself. Salvescu’s ideas are reminiscent of Hitler’s even though Salvescu argues that it’s different because he’s thinking through it more rationally and not acting impulsively. Weikart begins the article bringing the reader up to date with the campaigns and histories. As the article goes on, it becomes more and more opinionated until the very end where he ends with a personal rhetorical question. This is an effective way to persuade the reader to agree with Weikart because he plays on emotions after beginning with facts and reasoning. 

Although Weikart and Salvescu are coming from educated places, neither are scientists. Weikart points out the scientifically impossibly complicated ideas from Salvescu, but Weikart is a historian, not a scientist. 

I mean. I’m not a scientist either, but this is just my innocent, third party opinion. 
Q

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Destroyed Dreams Confirmed

Remember that post I wrote on hoverboards recently? Yeah. Amazon is officially not selling them due to the spontaneous combustion. I’m sad, but at least there won’t be any more rolling flame starters being sold. 

I’ve recently been dealing with confidence. I’ve been feeling pretty confident recently- I started freelance writing on iWriter and got a pretty sweet gig. On the side of that, I wrote a couple articles for other people and I’ve only gotten one rejection. Ironically, that one rejection was an article I wrote titled “How to Find Your Inner Confidence”. I’m so glad I got a good start before that instance because if that was the first article I wrote and it got rejected, well… I would need to read it to gain confidence back. Even better- the feedback I was given: “2.5 stars, Didnt like it.” Thanks. Was that necessary? As a person that wants to be able to improve, that was possibly the least helpful advice I could have been given. I’ve been able to laugh it off, but it’s still an interesting thought. 

My “Confidence” article was produced because it was requested. At the time, I believed I was making high quality content- was it really? Apparently not, but no harm was done. The hoverboard companies supplied when there was demand- holiday time after the infamous Back to the Future day. Did they know that they were making dangerous, low quality toys? Or did they honestly believe, like I did, that they were making quality content. If they did think that, I’m not sure confidence should be enough reason to sell something that you’re certain will be bought and accepted with enthusiasm. Research needs to be done on how much money those companies made before they were identified as dangerous and stopped selling. Are people getting their money back? Is anyone suing them? I sure hope so. 

Confidence can take you a long way, but would you choose being confident if it meant ignorance? Let me know in the comments.
Q

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Hoverboard High Hopes Destroyed

Like any other fun-loving sci fi nerd, I was thrilled when the new two wheeled, self stabilizing scooter/hoverboards came out. I’ve been begging all my friends and family to buy me one as a present but now I’m not so sure that I want one. As the days go by, more and more mishaps have been occurring on these boards- bus crashes, spontaneous combustions, and malfunctions. No thank you!

An overlooked contributing factors to these tragedies are consumer ignorance. No one wants to admit their fault, but some of the people spending $300+ on a hoverboard are not checking the weight limit! There is in fact a weight limit, just like other things that hold people up (like elevators) and they’re meant to be noticed as well as noted. Another possibly error in the system of how they’re being made. Scooters are being made in China at an extremely fast pace- so fast that the safety of the boards isn’t the priority.

Some sources say that this is just another trend that we will move on from, like selfie-sticks, but while we’re obsessed with the current trends, quantity will remain more important that quality.

One way to avoid low quality products would be to not buy any off of Amazon or Ebay that cost any less than $300. Yes, you do get what you pay for. Although it’s tempting to get one at a low price and save money, you might end up with a weak fire-starter.

I’ll let you know if I find a reliable board to buy, but until then: Stay safe!

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The Title Is Not the Story

Six word stories are really interesting and poetic. The point is that they leave a lot to the imagination, but I’m not sure I’m okay with that. I love them, don’t get me wrong, but I was assigned to write a six word memoir. A memoir is a small chunk of your life described, but everywhere on the internet people are treating them like autobiographies. Can anything be described in six words? I don’t think so, but I’m open to be proven wrong.

 

For now, here is my “six word autobiography”…

 

Just another tired teen attempting originality.