questions about death

Would you like to know the precise date of your death?

Ooo, I can’t help myself, yes. On the condition no one else knew that I knew, cause that could cause more trouble than necessary.

On the other hand, I might get depressed if it was coming soon, or who knows. I could likely develop trauma from knowing and expecting it. I doubt it’d ever leave my mind.

But, if I was given that piece of information (doesn’t matter how, like from who or where or whatnot, however intense the moment was), in this world, knowing what I know about this world, namely, that this would be nothing more than a prediction. Cause we never can really tell unless we’re the ones going to end someone’s life. The evidence to prove this would have to be an avalanche, able to destroy my preset biases against this kind of knowledge.

But let’s say I’m convinced. Yeah as cool as it would be I think I’d get depressed about it. If it was tomorrow, but I was so depressed I wanted to kill myself today, could I even do it, knowing my death is predetermined? Of course I couldn’t, and that would ruin me further. If it was predetermined and I still tried to end it one day prior, it might just be the injury that took a day to end me. I would not be in control of my life, and I’d likely set myself up for misery. You could be like “yeah but if our days are numbered and you know exactly that number than you could make the best of every day until that day and the quality of your life would increase,” but I’d tell you “nah I have a genetic disposition to get depressed, so that path is simply more likely.

But let’s say you’re right. Let’s say I find the motivation to give every day my all and more, and be happier..

Just kidding, I wouldn’t be motivated. I’d keep it to myself to the next life.

How might knowing when you’ll die help you plan your life?

Oh, I think I already answered this above. I feel like I’d lose control over my life. I mean, whether we knew or not, things would happen as they had to have, and knowing the date would do nothing but prove determinism: the notion that everything in the universe is determined, is set in stone to happen, that we have no way to will ourselves away from our fates. Something like that. There’s something sinister in realizing that everything in the universe other than us is guided by the natural forces of physics. What makes us think we’re special? That’s a debate I barely know anything about, so I’ll keep it there. hah..

Is life enhanced by feeling that death could strike at any time?

That’s the status quo, that’s what we’re living right now. It does motivate me, and it doesn’t drive me crazy not knowing. In fact, it does help not knowing, but we wouldn’t be able to compare right? Only if there were other universes, one in which we knew, and another in which we looked at the other two universes where we knew or not, the universe where we are comparing it might find some differences, but it would’ve help since we’d never know either way, or since we’d know either way.. that’s kinda weird to picture maybe. Let me start over..
Yes, not knowing when I’d die seems better. I could die in one day or in 60 years, and keeping it in mind that it could happen in any moment is definitely a motivation to keep improving in character.

Is life enhanced by not thinking about death at all?

Hell no. I feel like death is a topic lots of us avoid, because of just how yucky it feels to consider our death, or worse yet, a loved one’s death. And then a loved one dies and some people can’t handle it. It just rocks their foundation for months and then a year and they’ll be broken till forever. Therapy is the best solution, but many people don’t consider it.

I’ve thought about loved one’s dying a LOT. About my grandparents, and I know it will shatter my heart when it happens, but when I’ve brought this up before to others they are grossed out by the thought experiment. There’s a fear of not caring enough when it happens, which I think is bogus. The initial impact will be the same in my opinion, but it won’t affect my performance in school or work as much against actually thinking of it. I always come to cherish individuals when I think of losing them; I’m not saying I’m thinking of people dying all the time necessarily, but of more prevalent things like losing friendships to time. Every day we spend unconnected to someone is one more day we teach them to live without us, vice versa. Thinking of the potential lose makes me not want to lose it, cherish it more, ya feel? I hope you feel cause that makes my task here easier.

Think of losing people and voila you’ll be able to handle losing them. Sounds rash, but it works.

If you knew someone was dying, would you tell them the truth or deceive them about it?

Ohmygosh these questions get heavier.

I would deceive them. This is similar to why I wouldn’t want to know for myself. I think it’s a benefit for the agent to cherish their moments. It’s definitely a challenge for us if we see that person not living to their fullest, but who are we to judge? Since I wouldn’t want to know, I wouldn’t let others know. Kill me.

How many more years do you think you’ll live?

Gotta be careful with my words here.
My life expectancy is what, 86? I’m at least one quarter of my life through. If what the older folk keep saying is true, time is going to fly by. Why knows? I like to stick with base rates, or averages. So I’ll go with mid80s as my expectancy. There’s no reason for me to believe I’ll hit the luck of dying much sooner or much later, because most of that will be down to fortunate/unfortunate luck.

K, j’ai fini ici.


Washing roomates dishes

Before I begin let me apologize for any typos. I took off the feature of self-correcting text on my phone in order to challenge myself to text better, so I know I will be making more mistakes than I should. Also this is one of those rare moments I write from my phone. It’s 2am and I can’t sleep but I don’t want to wake up the computer anymore. I take naps in the afternoon to have more time to do stuff but at this hour I don’t do more than dine and think and workout and dance to disco music (always in that order), so I know I need to work on being more productive at this hour. Next week is finals week. Kk..

I have a roommate who does not wash his dishes; they pile up to the point we have no dishes we can use. I have two self rules: “keep the kitchen clean,” and “immediately clean up after yourself.” So you can see how much synergy my roomate and I have in the kitchen.

I don’t blame him, I’ll start there. Blaming people over their habits is the right thing to do, I wouldn’t get in the way of someone’s blame if it was well deserved, but it still just isn’t my thing to do. I’m too calm to let other’s acts trigger me to blame.

“Keep the kitchen clean” should be easy for one to understand.. Just keep it clean hah! There’s no purpose in keeping things unclean, even garbage trucks are cleaned often (one might say otherwise but we only often see them in action). Lots of homes when you enter have kitchens as the first room one walks into. There’s the idea of first impressions. So for a nice first impressions let’s keep the kitchen or living room clean, yeah? I don’t mean to beat a dead horse.

“Immediately clean up after yourself” is a different story. It’s my response to how many people live. Many. A lot of us don’t care about being responsible in cleaning up after ourselves. We litter public places with little consideration for outcome. I’m always puzzled as to why we do this. I can see myself doing it if I felt like a piece of shit human being and that means I’ll be depressed. But even when I’m depressed I don’t fuck over the world, because I get that it’s my own internal battle and no one else should pay for it. So I’m left clueless and too stubborn to judge.

Anywaysss to get to the issue. I see the dishes and I get that there’s an expectation of responsibility over my cleanliness and that others do not have that responsibility. These guys are all younger than me, and within the two years of advantage I have over them I can recognize that two years ago I did not walk the walk as much as I talked it (and by talked it I mean kept to myself cause I’m always a loner). To be responsible we gotta grow up, and we all grow up at different rates. I say most of it is out of our control but we need the challenges sooner than later either way.

I can respect their responsibility to clean up after themselves, but my grandma would not exactly do the same. She would ask me to clean the dishes regardless of whether they are mine or not. I can see why it makes more sense to listen to this inner abuelita in me; it at least gives me the opportunity to take on more responsibility than I need to. Doing this helps us grow up faster. Right, abuela?

If we always waited and expected others to clean up after themselves, beaches and city parks and river banks would just get dirtier and dirtier with litter. This would prove my observation that lots of people do not care to be responsible enough to clean up after themselves, they’d rather use it as their trash bins or whatever the fuck they think the world is to them. Now, I’m an optimist foremost so if one thinks I’m being too rash in saying LOTS of people don’t care, look, one person to shit on the world is enough to cause too much collateral damage.

And then those same people will complain that the local or regional or national government’s sanitation departments suck, and more unnecessary government policy will be created rather than focusing on personal habit. They already have too much on their hands but no fewer are willing to lend theirs.

This is why volunteers are heroes. They take on more responsibility than they need to, and they grow faster from the experience. To inflict certain pain on oneself in the name of competency in life. Volunteers take the challenge because they understand the gravity of the situation and have the time for such possibility. Lots of people have extra time on their hands, but I digress.

So there’s my unnecessary reasoning for why I washed all my roommate’s dishes, and why we should be more responsible than we need to be. It took time but the best things in life aren’t quick things, right abuela?

questions on animals

Can animals reason?

I don’t think most animals do. There are definitely species who have more sophisticated methods of communicating with us and themselves, if they can do it with us at all, and I’m thinking of dolphins or chimpanzees. Though there are clear ways to see they can’t reason as much as we can; we can reflect on our desires the way animals cant: Both humans and non human animals can want shelter, food, sex, but animals don’t regret or second-guess or make evaluations on their actions, much less on their desires, as we do. Hell, we even regret things we do as we do them.

Imagine a dog second-guessing himself, or a cat regretting her decisions. That’s not what they do; that’s the job of the cartoonist.

Do animals have rights?

Sure, we grant them their rights, as we do for ourselves. Given, we don’t treat them as we do ourselves, but that’s the resulting attitude of the dominant species. Since we’re above them, and they taste exquisite, we’ll eat them too. My diet has been slowly moving away from meat, it’s considerably less meat in the last six months, and I intend to acquire a vegetarian diet once I have full control over my life (as as full-time student with limited resources and no job, it’s not as easy as I’d like).

We even grant a few animals the privilege of being in our homes as pets, and fewer of those on our beds, heck, even with their own beds, heck, with their own beds on our beds. Some of them gotta be in cages tho, or glass tanks. That’s a privilege. And some we grant the privilege of longevity of life in zoos: larger cages.

I’m not saying it’s all bad, but I’m saying the rights and privileges we give animals are pretty weird. Birds don’t belong in cages. Snakes and fish don’t belong in tanks. Dogs and cats are miniature and less dangerous versions of dinosaurs that have the primary purpose of being pets, so they get the golden ticket. Wild animals being domesticated for showing them off. Sure, if we don’t do this, then I never would have been able to see a lion from 40 feet away; so there’s that edge of the sword.

If we eat chickens, why not dogs, dolphins, or babies?

Because they don’t taste as great.

I’m not sure, maybe it can be that chickens are easier to produce than those other animals. I mean, I understand that it sucks but if we have to have meat eaters then chickens are faster to make. Human babies (assuming the question refers to human babies…) take 9 months, dolphin babies take a year, sooo. And it’s not like other places don’t eat these other things, we just eat chickens in the states more cause we’ve mastered the production of it. My preference is only to eat free range dairy/eggs, though as I’ve said I can’t make that call yet.

If super-intelligent aliens want to eat humans, are they wrong?

Nope. “a chicken eye for a chicken eye” mentality here. We were the dominant species letting it be known, and if they want to eat us, well the least we can do is fight them at first, then be born into the production line. *winky face goes here…*

I can get into a side rant of people being more hypocritical than they think they are. No one wants to focus on the bad side of themselves, they’ll remember the good things others or themselves have to say about them, but quickly reason out of or hide from any criticism that they might fall under.. so of course we won’t admit sometime’s we’re hypocritical, but we are. Always. We like to think we’re the better angels. And then we never change cause there’s nothing to change, or cause change is harder than the norm. But yaaa tangent!

If meat can be grown using stem cells, is there any reason not to eat meat?

People will definitely say YO NAH GET AWAY THAT AIN’T REAL BACON..

But I’m down. As long as it’s regulated and not too tampered with, and the taste made similar to what it’s trying to imitate, then I’ll have no problem with it. I mean, that’s only because the argument I make about not wanting to eat or harm animals is because all beings deserve to flourish on earth in any way we can make it so, they don’t deserve the pain we inflict them. If we can replace having to hurt them and mass produce them, then it’s worth the shot.

If you can be an animal for a day which would you be?

This is the toughest question yet. After many a thought I think I’ll go with being a bird. A pigeon. In downtown LA. See the city from above. I’d spend the day looking for abandoned buildings or rooms and getting meals in grand central market. I’d go with the wind from high spaces and fly with the crowd to figure out what all that fuss really feels like. I’ll ask around for places where the peopleeee feed, then get beaten up for asking so openly (there’s pigeon gangs ya know). No no I’ll look for photographers and get in their way for some spectacular shots of myself. Then I’ll start a jazz band and call it The Pigeons and our first record album will be called “Here We Come” and I’ll know just the guy to reach for a cover idea. Yup.

So to recap on these animal thoughts:

  • We’re better than them cause they can’t do stuff like regret their actions.
  • We’re better then them cause we can eat them in so many ways.
  • We’re better than them cause we have the capacity to recreate their meat.
  • I’ll be a pigeon for a day. I’ll be in a band called The Pigeons.

Here’s a picture I made 5 years ago:

The Pigeons - Here We Come.jpg

I’ve been feeling really anxious lately. Hopefully it didn’t translate in this post as seemingly condescending. I think I did. *winky face goes here…

mini rant on Twitter

I’ve never been a fan of Twitter, thought I’ve had my account for like seven years. I never cared enough to develop some kind of a following, I’ve never cared enough to share it; it just never appealed to me as my main social media. And in a practical sense, I’m not able to express my ideas in the short character counts Twitter has, though the recent jump to 280 characters did make it one-tenth of a percent more appealing.

My biggest issue of the platform is the content I see people post. Friends who I likely would never read angry or sad or degrading tweets from have made Twitter a commonplace to dump such thoughts, and at first I was disgusted by that. But at this point I interpret those close-to-heart messages as an escape, as a chance to complain for let that steam out, a chance to be depressed out of our fucking minds.

But I can’t help but think to myself “How do you not think this isn’t gonna hurt you in the long run, to reveal these thoughts?” You’re not talking to wall, you’re publishing your mind unfiltered. I do nothing but filter and overthink what I wanna share online, but when it comes to being so petty, I gotta give it to those people.

I’m not saying I like the people I follow any less because of this, they’re all friends or classmates, and my level of tolerance is a thick wall you’ll rarely chafe, rather this has helped me understand that people want their anguish, their struggle, their depression, to not go unnoticed. Whether that’s accurate or not, or given that it is, whether it’s right or not, I don’t know. But I can see that is a result from something. What that is can be a lack of support, of certain people to be able to talk to. I hope that’s the case. Given this though, I wouldn’t expect to not be judged based on the actualization of my petty thoughts on Twitter, and I’d expect others to feel that way too, but that’s a tricky route to take.

I hope I’m not wrong. My perspective is always one that never assumes the worst of the world, even thought the world is pretty shitty. But I guess it all depends on the angle you’re looking at it.

If we really are as petty as our Tweets seem to be, then that’s that.

Mini-rant because it’s a non-issue in my opinion, and I needed to release my steam on it before it got to me any more. I’m never going to attack any particular person or thing, just whatever the idea is.

pictures from Sept. and Oct.

These are a few pictures I took in the last couple months; I’ll try to supplement them with words


There was some sort of luck to this shot, but each time I see this I ask myself how the hell I took such a nice shot. I sat on a field at the park next to the state capitol and saw the dandelion, decided why not and half-assed the shot. Turned out to be one of my favorites I’ve taken this year. It looks so warm and fluffy..


I brought my little panda to Grand Park in front of the LA city hall. One of my favorite shots of the panda so far.


A shot towards Sacramento. Haven’t taken one like this in a while.


The Broad. wanted to wait for someone to pass by for the shot but it felt wrong to do that to a stranger.


California Plaza one, looking up.


a proposal in front of the Griffith Observatory, blurred

thought experiment: best friend’s funeral

I have a problem of being too quiet during class discussions. I can’t ever find my break into one, though I’m aware all I need to do is raise my hand. A year ago in community college I told myself to not be so quiet during discussions, because I know I always have something to say, but I’ve convinced myself by now it’s all the cause of thinking I’ve had no worth in my opinion, or wanting to be too much of a sponge absorbing what all my peers want to say, thinking of myself as being in some sort of outside perspective, simply watching, and not being a quick enough thinker. I’ve been having some ideas as to what I can do about this, but those ideas I still need to flesh out internally.

In my ethics class there was a thought experiment that came up, in a lecture promoting virtue ethics, that went something like this:

  • Imagine your best friend has just died, you’re at their  funeral with two friends, a utilitarian and a kantian. You’re grief stricken, crying, inconsolable.
  • Utilitarian friend offers a pill that promises to wipe out the grief. You’ll still remember the friend, but you won’t feel any pain at their death ever again.
  • Kantian friend considers the categorical imperative and gives a thumbs up. Taking the pill doesn’t use anyone as a mere means and can be universalized.
  • Would you take the pill?

I know this would require a lot of supplementary info for one who doesn’t know much about these ideas, but cutting that out would still show the basic problem, and I’m not  knowledgeable in all this to try, so on to the question..

There were a lot of people in the discussion that brought up interesting points to the question, like they’d be considerate of their friend in various ways, like maybe they had a feeling their friend would or would not have wanted people to grieve for them at their funeral, maybe there was some kind of will they wanted respected, maybe the manner in which they died would point to the appropriateness of the mourning.

People were looking for external factors to base their grief upon, but after thinking it through I’ve found out my response, much thanks to the discussion. The focus on whether we grieve or not is not dependent on the outside factors, but rather on the inside factors.

I don’t think any of those things matter, in whether or not I should grieve for my best friend at their funeral. We have to consider what kind of person we would be to our best friend if we did grieve for them, if we didn’t grieve for them. A  person would grieve as much as they need to for their best friend; to erase the grief would erase a part of what the best friend meant to us. That reflection would show to those other two friends at the funeral, though I know their interpretation of the grief would be different. I think of how this could build us as a character to mourn for our best friends. Hopefully it wouldn’t need to last long once we’re allowed to let the rest of the factors, the external ones, come into play.

So I wouldn’t take the pill. I’d want myself and the world to know how much it meant to me to lose someone I love as much as the grief can show.

One of my core beliefs is the idea that the love we are willing to share with the world can be a direct reflection of the pain we went through. The pain could be devastating experiences, and/or simply the realization that at face value there’s a lot of shitty things going on in the world, and those shitty things want precedence. An openly loving person knows what is at stake, puts much of their love on the line, knowing it can all go to waste. The risk is worth it, more than keeping what love one has to themselves, hiding it, reserving it for a limited amount of people. As valuable as that love can be, it can be more easily robbed. It would serve them well for it to be robbed, to feel that pain, and then we would notice how much love they really had. I think my flowery language might seem too flowery for people, and I notice that, but oh well it’s just my belief.

Love reflects inner pain, pain reflects inner love. It’s equally reciprocal. That’s the point I’m trying to make.. sheesh that did a better job than the previous paragraph hah..

deep in my convictions

I’ve finally been accumulating ideas for this blog. It’s more of what I’ve already been posting, like philosophy/religion/ethics.. just a little more of it. But as we know, half the battle is simply showing up, thus the lack of consistent posting. I’ve been adamant before on not wanting to post too often: my argument for it a half-assed quality over quantity, so this will always be a struggle, and I invite that over the comfort of letting my mind out more often. Being comfortable of what I have to say and being able to say it often, that sounds like I have an ideology that I am applying to whatever comes my way; interpreting a thing as such. There isn’t much to learn from that, not for the self.

Right now I’m taking an Ethics course. Not my first. It’s a constant breaking of my moral core that I love. It reaffirms my belief that I’m a sponge: I’ll soak up anybody’s viewpoint/idea wholeheartedly, never ready to judge for myself. That leaves me in a fuzzy uncomfortable area. A valid point against this line of thought is “but when will you have you’re own moral code to stick by; you can’t stay studying forever.” It reminds me of when we are asked at such a young age what we want to be when we grow up, what we will be majoring in college before we’ve been given our high school diplomas.

My response/conclusion always seems to be the same these days: why should I know exactly what I want to be before I’m there. Why do I need a plan more than five years ahead of me when I can’t get there without steady focus on this year. It’s like climbing a staircase while only looking at the tip top step; you’re bound to trip up more often that way, you’ll risk hitting your shin. If you just keep your gaze within the next five, seven steps, you’ll fall less risk of getting hurt.

This doesn’t mean I have no plan beyond five years, or that one shouldn’t have goals that require to think ahead five or ten or twenty years. I just don’t want to trip up hard enough to give in to major failures. I definitely have a “general direction,” and I know I’m heading that way, but there’s no need to rush it. Plan B is never as great as plan A, but I’d rather that than nothing. The biggest concern I notice in my peers, whether they say it explicitly or I sense it as part of their subconscious framework, is what we need to get the college degree as soon as possible, to get ahead of the game and do the whole “career and family thing.” Of course this doesn’t apply to a large swath of people already. Some already gave in to the basic goals of this society. A lot skip the school thing, do their best to get by, and still want to rush to the family step.

I never understood, not just rushing it to the family step, but the CONCEPT of rushing a thing ahead, rushing a project that can definitely use the time. I tackled with this less and less the last five or so years, and it seems all there is to me is time. Taking things slow, having the patience for things, is a huge relief. I understand though that responsibilities build, and it becomes time consuming to take one’s time to get to the secondary things when the primary thing is still “semesters” away, one family away.

I’m reminded of the idea “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” I understand the idea behind it, but I don’t think it’s a good suggestion. My response is the same as before, it’s too uncertain that we become what we want to. It’s known that people change careers, that they change majors in college often, that they aspire many different things. Wanting a job isn’t good enough motivation to dress well when most jobs don’t have uniforms, and to wear the uniform before you’re there will do injustice to those who have been in the job. I’m getting carried away, because as we know most uniforms aren’t part of greater things to aspire too; they are great identifiers though. Also, it’s not like we can tell an accomplished person by their attire alone. Sure there’s great variation, and we might tell a politician from a homeless person, but the clothing speaks nothing to the character it decorates.

My method is patience. Just stepping back, relaxing, letting the world fall into place around me, or as I tend to say “letting the grand scheme of things do its thing.” and doing what I need to when I need to do it. Finding what I am afraid to do, and doing it, assuming it’s not dangerous and more likely something new I just haven’t tried. I can talk a whole post on that, but know it’s essential to push your fears because to me the fear is the limit. Having a morning routine, a breakfast. A good “you’re wasting your time” detector. A job to give me a sense of responsibility and effort spent. Not well spent, just spent, for the experience. I can talk more broadly but I’ll end up writing too much more. I’ll expand on these ideas later.

I know my morality has been shaken a lot. I’m realizing the virtue ethicist that was I was all along: I was one before I knew it, I’ve said that before on Utilitarianism, but this has happened only because I didn’t know there were more accurate descriptors of how I lived my life. I’d rather the journey of finding my own moral code by the guidance of philosophers and day to day life rather than the adherence to religious doctrine and its application to day to day life I was initially raised with. Anyways, my newfound views on virture ethics is better suited for a separate post.

general direction: goal. pathway. plan A.. I also call life the “grand scheme of things” pretty often, when it comes up.

basic: in this case it’s my own belief that a college degree is basic necessity. High school is below basic. And not having that is yet below basic. There’s an asterisk though, that I apply this to my peers, not the parental folk. Education is necessary, and of course I think it is, right? It’s all I know, so I apply my standard to the rest. And there lies my arrogance, that you’re either below me or not, depending on amount of education maybe? My real standard is not such, it’s the pursuit of education. If you stop trying to get that diploma, that associates degree, then I don’t want to help you. Once you get there I won’t see you below me. There’s the belief that “every one is equal.” That only applies when arguing on the federal level. I am no federalist. I apply this standard of mine to people because as time goes by it does seem the least we can expect of one to at least get the diploma, and aim for the associates. Otherwise you better be happy with the living you’re making, which I am sure a few are, and that can be fine with me too.

time: it’s real whether it exists either outside of us or within us. Both ideas are fine enough. the philosophy of time isn’t something I’ve ever focused on, but science in philosophy is still so interesting to learn about. I’ll dismiss it real quick for this post by saying I don’t have time for that… hah

apologies for any typos, I’ll fx thm as I fine tem.