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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Cloud's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
12:06 am
PAX was weird.
It's like they wanted me to think I was in high school again. First, Freezepop ends their concert with "The Final Countdown", and -then- Jonathan Coulton wraps up his second encore with "Sweet Caroline". (Yes, I know that was on Friday, but I've been working. Yes, on Labor day. Shut up.)

I'm really weirded out. I half expected someone to ramble on about "googles" and pull a can opener on me.
Thursday, July 3rd, 2008
11:44 pm
Bet this will surprise a few people.
For the record, Wall-E is going on my list of top 10 films of all time. Maybe I'm overreacting having seen it earlier this evening, but it's simply THAT GOOD. If you haven't seen it, GO.

Oh, and no, I'm not dead. And you're not seeing things either. I just don't have much to say anymore.
Friday, July 20th, 2007
1:50 am
Well then.
So I managed to scrounge a copy of the new Harry Potter book, a wee bit early, and I finished it.

And that's all I'm going to say. Because I'm pretty sure everyone on my friends list would -kill- me if I said anything else.

So consider this a -well- and -thorough- taunting that -I- know what happens. Nyah nyah nyah.

-Alton
Friday, May 11th, 2007
5:54 am
Right-
On a more slightly personal note, I'm trying to put together a playlist of 'spiritual' music. Not in the religious sense, more in the sense that when I listen to it, I feel like it speaks to me regarding the 'widest possible context', so to speak. Music that, as a whole, tries (intentionally or otherwise) to express a truth of the human condition, either as a whole, or rather through one specific instance. Positive, -or- negative. If it's evocative of a pure human experience, then I'm interested in it.

For example, "Birth of a Cyborg" from the GitS movie, "Yakusoku no Chi" from AC, "Vicarious" by Tool, "The Downward Spiral" by NIN (The whole "Downward Spiral" album, really, but not all the tracks are as good as they could be), etc. Heck, I'm even considering a track from the old Quake 2 soundtrack as a pretty darn good approximation of masculinity as a whole. Myung's theme from Macross as a good representation of childlike innocence and dreams, etc.

I haven't made up my mind on any of those, but those are a start to give you an idea if you can think of any suggestions. Not really rigid so much in structure (verse-chorus-verse), but more thematic and expressive. I'm not really sure why, but the idea took root the other day.

Current Mood: amused
4:36 am
So, it's been a while.

I've been spending a lot of time with my close friends Nietzsche, Plato, Confucius, etc. Recently, mainly the first in the list there. I've had many conversations about what exactly 'Art' is, what it aspires to be, and I've had no small amount of discussions regarding how to describe what exactly people -want-- in an abstract sense. Essentially, trying to define the formulas of human nature, one abstract concept/term at a time. I've had some success- I spent about half an hour talking about eras of music, subcultures, and inter-connectivity with those not directly involved- and it really did make sense. I honestly feel like I've got a pretty solid handle for how to deconstruct, understand, and fully appreciate a work of art. It's rather satisfying to have the feeling that I have a fairly strong grip on what reality is, and how it 'works'.

Recently, though, I've found myself having more and more trouble giving definitions without large caveats, or contextualizing the definition so it loses out on the scope I'd originally aimed for. For example, I had a conversation wherein someone was talking about how "Everyone is searching for absolutes"- and I challenged them on the spot to go beyond that definition, and try to think of it in a more abstract sense. I objected to the idea on the grounds that it did not sum up the totality of human nature's manifestations- it was not even close to being categorical. The more she redefined, the more I pressed her, telling her that she was giving mere "context-specific frames of reference", and that she needed to go beyond such limitations.

Unfortunately, when she gave up, and asked -me- for a response, I couldn't give one. I had an idea in mind- a concept- but the definition eluded me, and every attempt I made to put it into language seemed euphemistic. After thinking about it for a day or two, though, I've come to the following statement:

People want a rational coherence to reality.

Now, that's about as abstract as you can get without becoming completely meaningless, but the point is that people are -looking- for a frame of reference that does not lend itself to contradiction- and will wholeheartedly embrace one, especially one that resolves an immediate paradox or contradiction, whether or not it is consciously apparent, or merely subconsciously so. Grappling with the idea, though, isn't as simple as the seven words first appear- at least, not to me. First, the frames of reference adopted by individuals directly affect reality, because the rational coherence of the world- being pre-existent- necessarily contains the pre-conceived notions of the individuals in question. The world is what we make of it, after all- and subjective aspects thereof necessarily so. So if we are to accept Aristotle's definition of the only intrinsic good being 'Happiness', so to speak- how does this affect the ability to develop any sort of independent definition of the concept? Is it entirely subjective? How does one pursue it?

Assuming the Platonic ideas about a harmonization between all aspects of the psyche, and the underlying rationality of the universe, does this predicate that for an inherently subjective and hence disjointed perspective-holder, happiness is an abstract rational "formula" adapted to the variables of the individual in question? And, if so, to what extent does the one aspect justify the submission of the other? What balance makes sense? And is the question of balance necessarily -also- subjective?

Leaving those questions aside for now, I have to admit that the lack of definition makes perfect sense. If the true health of a soul is to be found in a balance between humanity and individuality, then obviously all you have is a bunch of variables and terms with no obvious correlation or "formula" to relate them to one another. As a metaphor, I suppose discovery of that equation (so to speak) could be argued to be self-knowledge, in one aspect or another... though I would not be entirely satisfied with that. After all, 'learning without thought' is time wasted. But lest we find ourselves 'thinking without learning', especially in ethical regards, such reflection is paramount.

So, then, what way is best to convey the meaning of such a balance of things? Is it simply enough to stoke the flames already present evidenced in the inquiry presented? To what extent can I guide another? I think, perhaps, the answer lies in my old maxim of due diligence- 'consider the thought solely in the broadest possible context'. If someone is looking for the truth, and will accept any rationally coherent worldview that allows for resolution of the individual inconsistency, then perhaps pushing to a more abstract, wider understanding is best? Perhaps then, by not offering answers, only posing questions -without- answers, will the frame of reference where the answers are obvious be attained. After all, Plato's dialectic, at its best, avoids definition- it merely offers the criticisms. So, too, does Nietzsche provide endless deconstruction of rigidity- in law, religion, and culture. It reminds me a bit of a passage from the book of tea- how wise men spoke like fools, to avoid contradiction, but ended by making their listeners wise.

So if that is the case, then the essence of philosophical life (as I would phrase it), would again by necessity be defined less by "truth", and more of a way of understanding and coming to terms with the world and ideas. A constant yearning for freedom from limited thought and opinionated judgment.

Or is that merely one half of the harmony?

Something to think on, at least. That's what you get for 5am when you can't sleep. Maybe that's what he meant by "I know the psychologies of the ancients"- and why he never seemed happy, for all his 'rarefied air'.

---------------------------

Stream of consciousness does that to you. It's been so long since I've been around 'normal' people that I feel like I must be speaking a strange dialect- that communication and personal connections have become such alien concepts in a world full of stimuli and responses. There are so few sources of humanity left in the world, and I least of all, for my inability to express my understanding of such consistently, given how out of balance my "other" half seems to be. I think all my self-denial may be catching up to me, though it was not entirely of my choosing.

I have a new friend- one I'm not sure quite what to make of. She's simultaneously the most direct and honest person I've met in a long time, and yet the most guarded and reclusive. I'm not sure how to approach her or talk to her to make a sincere friendship- I've never really been good at getting past those trivial frivolities without thinking -way- too hard about things. Or so I've been accused.

She's... different, though. I can't quite tell if she's a strong, independent woman, with experiences to match her directness and comfort with subjects... or that there isn't something behind that that leaves her at ease with her self-consciousness simply because the topic lies on some external thing. Or whether or not this is just me over-thinking things because I'm so out of practice at making friends- or whether or not I've even made a friend like the one I wish to have, at all.

I don't know if I really have.

In any case, I think I've abused the simplicity of my vocabulary and my audience's patience with euphemisms enough for one evening. I'll figure it out.


My book proceeds apace, I might add. I've shifted topics quite a bit in my musings in the past year or so, but mainly I've stayed true to my original intentions of describing human nature, as I see it. I find it difficult to stay focused, though, without digressing into more concrete, less abstract grounds- like trying to explain why XYZ event happened, or why sincerity is completely misunderstood as a mechanism of speech rather than as an aspect of character- i.e. losing myself in the functional, rather than the descriptive, and arcane formulae of things. I suppose it'll be less pragmatic, but if it isn't comprehensive, I'm not sure if it'll be understood.

Hell, I don't even know if anyone will read what I write, ever. It all just makes so much sense to me... it's hard not to get lost in the connections between individual ideas, because the universal is present in every specific case, and every specific case is a perfect microcosm of the universal. Manitou, indeed.

I'm not quite sure what I want, though. I don't think I've ever really had a firm grasp on any one thing that I could set forth and say "This will make me happy". People make me happy- individual things can make me happy- but a career as itself never could... I suppose I write what I write because if people read it, and understand it, maybe then they'll have the self-knowledge so that I won't have to take care of them anymore. So I can talk to them as equals. I think, for instance, that part of my withdrawal has been simply the fact that I have so very little left to give to 'just anyone'. It's kinda a contradiction- I know myself well enough to know that my earnest desire to see other people enjoying themselves and life lends itself to burnout all too easily, and that I lack discipline in that regard- but my withdrawal from common social circles is almost an antipathetic reaction to that frustration.

I can recognize a few elements of an unhealthy cycle of resenting others for not understanding me in here, and I'll do my best to try to see beyond that- but self-knowledge is fairly difficult. I know who I am, I know my patterns of behavior, but I don't think I can nail down exactly the context I need in order to be happy. Whether that's a sign of dependence on some third party due to my social psychology, or simply an expression of negative emotions associated with a certain weariness, I'm not sure. Probably both.

In any case, I don't know where I'm going with this- which is basically a one-sentence summary of the above.

I'll be doing my best though. I'm trying to have fun, at the very least. I kinda wish that I could find that intellectual mentor I've always been looking for.

Maybe you'll make more sense out of this than I will. Hell, it's 5:30 am, and I think I see the sun rising.

-Alton

Current Mood: pensive
Sunday, September 3rd, 2006
5:23 pm
http://media.putfile.com/Weird-Al-White-And-Nerdy

This had me dying for hours.

It's practically my theme song some days :-P
Monday, August 28th, 2006
12:28 pm
You scored as II - The High Priestess. The High Priestess is a card of intuition, instinct and hidden knowledge. She knows all your secrets, you can hide nothing from her. Yet you will never know the secrets she herself protects.If well aspected in a Tarot spread, this card can indicate the use of intuition to solve problems; trust to your instincts. If badly aspected, it can mean suppression and ignoring of such instincts - following your head at the expense of your heart.

</td>

II - The High Priestess

81%

XIII: Death

81%

III - The Empress

69%

XI: Justice

63%

X - Wheel of Fortune

56%

VIII - Strength

56%

I - Magician

50%

XIX: The Sun

50%

VI: The Lovers

50%

XVI: The Tower

50%

IV - The Emperor

31%

0 - The Fool

13%

XV: The Devil

13%

Which Major Arcana Tarot Card Are You?
created with QuizFarm.com
Tuesday, April 25th, 2006
8:41 pm
Cute.
This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
8.6
Mind:
8.6
Body:
6.9
Spirit:
9.6
Friends/Family:
6.2
Love:
7.7
Finance:
6.5
Take the Rate My Life Quiz


Current Mood: amused
Friday, February 17th, 2006
3:29 pm
You scored as Psychology. You should be a Psychology major!

</td>

Psychology

100%

Mathematics

92%

Anthropology

83%

English

83%

Sociology

83%

Biology

75%

Philosophy

75%

Linguistics

75%

Engineering

75%

Dance

67%

Journalism

67%

Chemistry

50%

Art

33%

Theater

33%

What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
created with QuizFarm.com



I only scored low on Philosophy because I thought "I think, therefore I am" was a little patronizing and overly simplistic, hence I disagreed with it :-P

And apparently being fascinated with logic and humanity also raises mathematics and biology.

Badly written quiz, but I suppose it's somewhat interesting.

Current Mood: calm
Thursday, February 16th, 2006
2:00 am
http://kevan.org/johari?name=Ebyn

This really is rather interesting, if self-serving and rather euphemistic as well.

That being said, I'll bite.

Current Mood: Whimsical.
Friday, February 10th, 2006
8:31 pm
Serenity/Star Trek meme fun.Collapse )

Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, February 7th, 2006
1:28 pm
Most of you won't care, and if you didn't think I was a fanboy before...

Happy birthday, Aeris.

Current Mood: relaxed
Friday, January 13th, 2006
1:30 am




You're the United Nations!

Most people think you're ineffective, but you are trying to
completely save the world from itself, so there's always going to be a long
way to go.  You're always the one trying to get friends to talk to each
other, enemies to talk to each other, anyone who can to just talk instead of
beating each other about the head and torso.  Sometimes it works and sometimes
it doesn't, and you get very schizophrenic as a result.  But your heart
is in the right place, and sometimes also in New York.



Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid





Ha. :D
Monday, December 19th, 2005
2:38 am
Tarot, I suppose.Collapse )

EDIT: Changed one answer, and...

Heh.Collapse )

-Ebyn.
Sunday, December 18th, 2005
2:29 pm
Spelling Nazi
You scored 96 Spelling smarts!

Okay so you've either cheated, or you know all the vocabulary rules by
now. "I before E, except after c." bla bla bla. Great job. You know how
to spell, and you might be a bit anal retentive about it too. Not a bad
thing mind you, but I get picked on for it. An answer key is what
you're after? http://quizanswerkey.blogspot.com/



My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 77% on Spelling smarts
Link: The Everyday Spelling Test written by charlifeathers on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


I >missed< one?

*dies*
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2005
2:14 pm
Anarcho-socialist
You placed 28% difference on action versus inaction and 85% importance on consent!
Your results indicate that you believe:

- Failing to prevent the suffering of another is just as bad (or nearly
as bad) as causing it. People have a responsibility to others.

- So-called "consensual crimes" are not wrong and should not be treated
as such. People have the freedom to deviate from the majority or to
make potentially poor decisions.


This is a combination of altruism and the freedom for each individual
person to make potentially self-harmful or unpopular decisions. These
beliefs may conflict to some degree, as people who are obligated to
help others who have placed themselves in danger may grow resentful.
One ideology which may appeal to you is socialism, perhaps
anarcho-socialism. You might be a hippie or a buddhist.



My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 20% on inaction
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 42% on consent
Link: The Moral Attribute Importance Test written by megasatan3000 on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Interesting way of putting it- the answer is really far more complex than that, though I guess this makes a decent cursory overview of things.

-Cloud
Monday, November 7th, 2005
3:24 am
More Scientific


You have:
92% SCIENTIFIC INTUITION and
85% EMOTIONAL INTUITION
The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored well above average on emotional intuition and super high on scientific intuition.Your scientific intuition is stronger than your emotional intuition.



Your Emotional Intuition
score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their
unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates
social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good
at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition
score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well
you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with
high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the
sciences.



Try my other test!
The 3 Variable Funny Test
It rules.






My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 98% on Scientific
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 95% on Interpersonal
Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


Current Mood: awake
Wednesday, October 12th, 2005
11:52 pm
I'm only posting this 'cause some of them are pretty amusing.

Alton needs a third person in the rotation.
When Alton needs advice on equipment, he turns to his mistress of equipment.
Alton needs tightening.
Alton needs to fix the typo in his recipe.
Lord Alton needs absolutely no support from me.
Alton needs to open his eyes and do something to fix his ridiculous ignorance.
Alton needs a copy of "How to Quit When You're Ahead."
Alton needs a modern bridge for a modern age, and everyone knows it.
Alton needs a minimum of $660,000 from the federal government, according to the mayor's office.
Alton needs 222 yards for a second straight 1,000-yard season.
Alton needs a ride like this to fill the hole left by Boneshaker.
Alton needs to aggravate the village!

And so on.

Pretty quirky list.

-Alton.
Monday, October 3rd, 2005
3:05 am
Enneagram test again, for fun.
www.9types.com

RHETI test I got:
5 8 2 2 3 4 4 4 4

New test I got:
4 6 -3 2 -2 -5 -1 -2 1




Interesting. I'm far less extreme than I used to be.

I like that.

-Cloud
Wednesday, September 28th, 2005
11:27 pm
Water
Your element is Water: Understanding, intelligent,
quiet and calm. You know who you are and no one
can change that. Usually quiet but only because
your listening, don't let anyone think you
haven't got an opinion! Your not quiet because
your shy or sad, your usually quiet because you
are thinking. Your answers are well planned and
helpful so people generally seek your advice.
Your the perfect balance between solitary and
outgoing. But sometimes you need a little time
to yourself to sort out your emotions and
figure things out. You understand the phrase
'sticks and stone' and rarely let things get to
you. What's that important for you to have to
get so upset over? You know what you want out
of life but are simply taking your time and
enjoying things. To you your life is fine as it
is, you can always change things later if your
not happy.


.:-|What is your true element?|-:. -With Anime Pictures and detailed answers-
brought to you by Quizilla


As if I would ever get anything else.

-Cloud
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