[Laszlo's Scrapbook] If you only knew.

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[Laszlo's Scrapbook] If you only knew.

Postby Laszlo on September 18th, 2012, 10:35 pm

Image

Fire. Tornado.

FIRE TORNADO.

WTH NATURE?
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[Laszlo's Scrapbook] If you only knew.

Postby Verilian on September 18th, 2012, 10:55 pm

Okay, so I have no proof of this other than maybe if you dug up a really obscure Baytown news article or something, but once while I was in Highschool I went outside and saw what looked like a fiery gateway to hell in the sky. Seriously, it looked like a crackling line of fire, like it was a rip in the sky leading to some fiery realm.

My initial reaction was to go inside and grab my sword, followed by calling up all my friends and telling them to do the same.

..so.. a few weeks later, after I have been scouring the internet (with my crappy old dial-up connection) I finally come across an article explaining the event. Apparently it was the reflection of a forest fire burning somewhere.. I don't remember where, but somewhere not too far away, and it was reflecting off the atmosphere. It just so happened to look like a tear in the fabric of reality leading to the fiery gates of hell.

A part of me still believes that is just a government cover up story though.. >.>
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Postby Ignotus Everto on September 18th, 2012, 11:22 pm

You think THAT is scary?

Image

Say hello to the dirty thunderstorm, or "what we would get if natural disasters could bolt together like Voltron."
A thousand thanks to Phoenix for the gorgeous blue frame, and a thousand more to Edreina for her beautiful magic-themed one!

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[Laszlo's Scrapbook] If you only knew.

Postby Cascade on September 19th, 2012, 8:21 am

I'd love to see a fire tornado or Voltron a dirty thunderstorm. Should probably run away when it happens, but I think I'd stare for a while.
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Postby Johanne on September 20th, 2012, 12:40 am

Fire tornado! That's my country!
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[Laszlo's Scrapbook] If you only knew.

Postby Laszlo on October 18th, 2012, 9:51 am

GIANT RANT
(Skip to last sentence to get the gist).


Oh, this stupid little website.

I am not a very intelligent person. I'm terrible at puzzles, I hate IQ tests, and I am not the greatest at putting 2 and 2 together. Often times, two very obvious and related things simply don't "click" for me. My intuition is awful.

What I am good at is learning and adaptation, and this is something I still get better at as years go by. When I mess up something colossally, I remember how awful it felt and I try to think about how it all went wrong so I can avoid having that happen again. I look for patterns, in events, in people, and in myself, so that I can brace myself for what's coming or perform some clever maneuver to avoid it.

If I seem like I'm good at understanding something or someone, it's because I've experienced it before and I'm drawing on past knowledge. So whenever I'm faced against something new, I am completely disarmed. That is, until I figure it out (or think I have it figured out).

Which is why I get better at this as I get older. I've had more time to fuck things up in new and creative ways.

I look at everything like it's a science, as if all things can be understood and predicted. Even human behavior to can subject to the laws of physics, such as cause and effect. If you say something that subtly undermines another person, that person is liable to become indignant and reciprocate. Herein you have the cause of every single internet debate you've ever seen in Youtube comments or Reddit threads.

Getting dramatic and existential for a second. Be warned.

Occasionally I have thought of free will as an illusion. What goes on inside our heads is literally a series of chemical reactions, a release of hormones—atoms and molecules reacting like so, which activates different areas of our brain (which of course is just more atoms and molecules and quarks and maybe some tiny astronauts living in the spaces between).

From then on it's all about basic animal instinct and primal human desires, mixed with personal familiarity and past experience, mixed with current mental and/or physical health (whether you're affected by the trials of puberty or some other hormonal imbalance like depression or just bad dieting).

Human behavior always seems to have precedent in books and studies. We all think and act in similar ways. Even though it's always for our own personal and unique reasons, someone somewhere has documented it and given it a name (bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive, borderline personality, superiority complex, etc).

If someone understood the machinery of the human mind, and mastered the words to say to incite a desired reaction, he could work a person like a computer.

What we consider to be choice and free will is really just a chain reaction inside our heads. There is nothing you can think or feel that hasn't been thought or felt by someone else before you. What REALLY separates us and makes us unique is our own personal collection of patterns and combinations of non-unique behaviors.

This morning, on my way to work, I got frustrated when a van changed lanes in front of me and missed my car by about 5 feet because I didn't know he was lane changing. I gestured wildly at them and said out loud, "It's called fucking signaling, you fucking idiot!"

I would have never said that to the person's face.

The Internet is a lot like road rage. You can't see the other person's face, so it's easier (and gratifying!) to be an asshat at someone without fearing repercussions like guilt or embarrassment. If something doesn't have a face, we don't have to empathize with it. You don't empathize with an orange being peeled or a lightbulb burning out, but if you saw someone stomp on a doll, you'd feel something. It has a face, so it invokes primal human instinct.

Ever notice that, when you look at someone, you're looking at their eyes? It's the same with animals. Even they look at your eyes when they want to pay attention to you. They see your face too, and it invokes whatever it invokes in them.

But the internet allows us to communicate with other humans without seeing their faces. The instinct to empathize is not triggered. Furthermore it soothes some inner need inside us to express what we would be afraid of expressing in real life. That's catharsis. We need catharsis. Our emotions and thoughts are tangled webs that need sorting. Supposedly, that's one reason why we dream (to review and untangle them).

They say it's hard to know someone over the internet, because the internet makes it easy for people to lie, or to not reveal the parts of us we'd rather keep a secret. We present ourselves the way we want to be seen.

But if we're not held back by guilt or apprehension, isn't it debatable to say that we are closer to our raw, unhindered selves when we're online? In some ways, maybe.

Connections made online can be just as real as ones we make in real life, though I still think we should try to avoid getting too carried away with our virtual lives. We're missing tone of voice, facial expression, communicative gestures and body language. When someone doesn't have a face, but we feel a bond, we visualize a persona for them. We see what we want to see, fill in the blanks of what we don't know, with what we perceive to be there.

That's why online dating is dangerous. It's possible to fall in love with an idea, but your idea might not be reality.

Getting back to me screwing up (and learning from it).

Mizahar is a community of writers, creative thinkers, people who enjoy exploring the fantasies of made-up characters and hypothetical headspaces. We are all here because we share that similar quality (whatever PUT that quality there is another rant entirely). Through the Internet, we've connected and made a community, established by the six founders who all came from a different community.

Communities, like humans, are things with precedented behavioral patterns, documented by the type of people who like studying that kind of thing (re: anthropology). This is not my first internet community. Somewhere, lost in dusty, forgotten internet tubes, are old screennames of mine, memories of my past screw ups. There are people who remember these names and still think, "Man that guy was sooo annoying".

There are people who see THIS name and think that. :P

Over time, I have learned from these different places, looked at patterns. I've made myself stop caring about internet arguments, about the "glory" of superficial places of power (the almighty forum moderator), and how to ignore the misplaced wrath of people who still do care. Becoming too impassioned about these things causes problems and gives me stress I don't need.

I have told people that I think Mizahar is a unique internet community, because it's more mature and maintained better than most places. I still believe this is absolutely true. The age average is a little higher. My closest friends on the site are mostly in or near their 30s. These are people at a different stage in their lives, who have gotten over the difficult years of teenagerhood and 20-somethinghood. They express themselves on the internet in slightly different ways, having outgrown the patterns I associate with immaturity (like insecurity, emotional instability, and manipulative natures).

The site continues to attract mature and more reasonable people (less the of the Youtube commenter variety) of all ages, giving the site a more digestible environment. We are less likely to become disenfranchised by immature forum moderators and heated internet arguments because all of these are nipped in the bud before they happen.

So when things do happen that can be upsetting, it's harder not to take them to heart. This website, this stupid little website, which in the grand scheme of things should NOT get to have a place in my life or in my heart, has stubbornly niggled its way into my life and my heart.

I have spent a great deal of effort shoving it back out. I like Mizahar, but it shouldn't become a focus. I'm here because I like to write. I don't need to care if some person doesn't like me, or if there's some rule I don't like, because it doesn't have an effect on my real life.

Meanwhile I have adapted to people, and to Mizahar, observing patterns and trying to learn from them. The internet is a great place to learn about cause and effect behavior. Behind every string of text is a thinking, feeling brain, imbued with its own reasons and its own desires, which can be understood with a bit of effort and good observation (and a little guesswork). Mizahar is a wealth of some very ripe and mature minds, more colorful and varied than your average prepubescent Youtube commenter (is that analogy getting old yet? TOO BAD.)

Holding onto things like hurt feelings, violated principles, and the desire for vindication, is pointless because it only ever causes more problems. If someone says something you disagree with, and you voice your rebuttal, it's only going to be beaten down. If one of your friends gets in trouble, you may feel the need to come up in their defense, but that never really ends well.

Over time I've learned to let go of petty transgressions. I try to see the large picture and stand somewhere close to the sidelines. Everyone else can go on as they will, do what people do, but I'm not going to be pulled in the same patterns I've seen repeated over and over. Not because I'm smart, but because I've done it so many times before and I don't want to fall into it again. I can foresee how it will end, and I want to avoid screwing up and getting upset by stupid Internet things.

The whole point in making Mizahar not matter to me is a self-defeating cause, because Mizahar has now become the source of so many lessons for me.

Though I wonder if letting go of little things has made me cold. Through my most recent romantic relationship, too, I've been forced to develop thick skin and to let go of heated disagreements and cruel things said. Where before I would always seek resolution, now I see an impossible task, and my instinct is to retract, let go, and move on.

I feel like I've learned how to turn off my connection to other people, and I'm not sure how to turn it back on. I'm not intuitive, I'm not intelligent, I'm just a good learner and I educate myself through my mistakes.

I don't know why I wrote this. I made someone upset, and I'm having a really hard time figuring out what happened. This is new to me. I'm usually aware of what I've done. But all of my reasoning and searching for patterns isn't helping me at all, haha. This is what happens when I think of people like machinery. I become a stupid, insensitive idiot.

Well it's not really that complicated. I am WAY overanalyzing. This entire rant is just bogus. This is just what I get for thinking so highly of myself. I'm not in control of every situation. Humans aren't like machinery, and I'm really not qualified to analyze them. I need to pull my head out of my ass and start remembering that I'm really not as great as I think I am.

So there's my thought process. Despite all that BS I just pulled out of nowhere, I really don't know anything. This shit is not that complicated.
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Postby Laszlo on December 7th, 2012, 7:33 pm

Don't worry so much.

I recently had separate conversations with two of my roommates, on different days. While riding in the car with one, who suffers from a severe case of road rage at all times unless the roads are COMPLETELY empty (and the streetlights do as he wishes), we discussed the concept of learning how to drive. This was, of course, because we were trying to pull up reasons why the person ahead of us would go so freaking slow.

I mentioned that while learning how to drive, students are assured that it's okay to go slow, and not to worry about other drivers may think of you. My roommate said his instructor told him the same thing, but that he couldn't help but feel anxious about how he was holding up traffic. He was pressured to follow the speed of other cars, while unsure of his ability to control the car as a novice.

My response was telling him, "You don't have to feel anxious." He laughed at me and batted me off with so much sarcasm and loathing. But I was completely serious.

So I brought up this anecdote to an online friend (what else are anecdotes for?) who told me she actually agreed with my roommate. If I told her to simply stop feeling anxious, she would have slapped me right there. I thought this was interesting and filed it in my memory banks for later.

Last night, my other roommate and I were discussing his new job (it was about 10pm and I was just out of the shower in a bathrobe making some microwave macaroni and I really didn't want to have a converstion). So as I was trying to make a sly escape by going "uh huh" and "sure", he mentioned that he feels anxious at his new job because he worries about any mistake he makes costing the company tens of thousands of dollars. So what did I say?

"You shouldn't worry so much."

Like my other roommate, he scoffed at me too. So I stopped and turned around (I was halfway down the stairs at this point). I said, "I'm serious. Don't worry so much. Anxiety makes everything worse, including your performance." He told me, "It's not that easy." I said, "It's what I do. I don't worry. It's seriously my philosophy. When things go wrong, I'll deal with it, but until they do, I'm 100% fine."

I mentioned that the other day I was late for work and traffic was especially bad. But I said, being angry wouldn't get me there any faster, and crazy driving would be dangerous. Yelling in my car would only stress ME out and wouldn't solve anything. So beyond a mild, grating frustration, I was really at ease.

Because my roommate is a studious individual, or a dishonest one trying to appease me, he nodded and appeared to take this to heart.

Now lately I've been perusing imgur for funny images, and occasionally I'll see more poignant ones that talk about happiness and feelings of insecurity. All of these images encourage you to stop TRYING to be happy and to simply BE happy. Choose happiness. Forget insecurity—what does it get you to worry? Stress. Does it actually MATTER what someone thinks of you? Is it actually WORTH it to worry about something going wrong before it does? By all means, brace yourself and anticipate the worst that could happen, but don't stress yourself over what is more imagined than real.

Just to point out that I myself am not perfectly zen (hell no I'm not), I do have a few triggers. If I can't find something at the last minute, say my keys before work, THEN I'm insane and freaking out. But otherwise, I don't waste my energy worrying.

I'm not saying it's the secret of happiness, but here's one thing I've discovered. Even if you do manage to be happy despite your circumstances, it doesn't solve your problems. They're still there. You still have to deal with them. But if you don't WORRY over much about them, then at least you can spare the energy to smile and enjoy yourself in other ways despite. It beats feeling depressed and insecure.
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Postby Invictus on December 14th, 2012, 5:37 am

Your last post made me think of this. Zen Pencils is a good source for inspirational entertainment most of the time. But yeah... I like that shit you write because it speaks to me, dawg.
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Postby Verilian on December 14th, 2012, 2:53 pm

So, your last two posts are very similar to scraps I have done in the past, or things I have felt in the past. Your philosophy is almost 100% identical to mine. The only difference is I've been doing it longer and have gotten better at it. I have been preaching these words for years. I may have even said some of these things to you back when you were my AS, before everything went crazy. I am quite possibly the most content person you will ever meet, because of this philosophy.

Notice that I say content, and not happy. There is a difference. I am satisfied with my life, no matter what happens. I can be extremely happy when life calls for it, but I have learned to control those emotions that I deem negative, like anger. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I think I've gotten gotten pretty good. When something that might have made me angry at one point happens, my brain asks, "Is this truly worth affecting me so negatively?" 99% of the time the answer is no, and so I just let it go. Does that mean I ignore it completely? No. If its something that needs to be dealt with, I deal with it. But I do not get angry over it.

Anyway, I don't need to preach all this to you, you already know it. The point I wanted to make was I used to share the fear that I was becoming too detached. All I can say is that for me, once I started feeling that fear, it started to fix itself. I used to be completely emotionally detached, even towards things that should make me happy. All I know is that eventually that got better. I'm not sure how long it took, but it did.

Anyway.. just felt like saying that. So....

~V
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Postby Laszlo on December 18th, 2012, 5:07 am

That was awesome, Adam. :D

Thank you for that post, V. Admittedly I have often been curious about your philosophy. You've always seemed like such a levelheaded person, no matter what seemed to be going on. It was almost unfathomable.

But I think you're right, and you discovered these truths long before I did. I only really reached this state of mind over this past year, but for the first time in a while I can honestly say I don't feel at all depressed. Despite the wrenches that keep getting thrown into the gears of my life (that was the corniest metaphor ever), I find myself remarkably calm in most circumstances. Instead of getting upset or feeling despair, I just look at the problem logically, approach it the best way I can, then I make a special detour after work to get myself a coffee so I can enjoy that, forget about what happened, and move on with my day.

There are of course odd exceptions. Some days are just perfect storms of things that go wrong.

Some days are rougher than others, but more often than not, by the time I get home I'm feeling pretty relaxed and positive. It's nice appreciating the little things, like just kicking off my shoes.
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