Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Us in the Future

Got linked this on fb, stay until the end for it to make sense.

The Chase by Philippe Gamer by Premiere-Heure

While in this case it can be forgiven, it still makes me sad that so much people seem to default to that blowing up policemen is fun. I always feel sad when I see those graffiti scribbles that say "cops are swine" or whatever, or when people talk down on them. As if "pigs" chose to be there so they only have themselves to blame for being shot. I tend to like cool bad guys, and cheer for them, but there's a limit to my acceptance for wanton destruction and the line goes where you're killing policemen excessively or for fun.

Killing civilians is fine. You get funny priorities from being a policeman's daughter ^^

Friday, March 16, 2012

An Unshakable Faith

For a long time I felt guilty about my faith shaking about total atheism, because it wasn't necessarily true; I still believed in *something* that I couldn't put words on but that I had a growing suspicion wasn't very fitting of an atheist. I adopted the Lifestream analogy as a way to ground my feelings, and I put up a "everyone has the right to believe what they want"-facade. Then I drifted on in slight discomfort, settling into a familiar tune of suspected guilt, and tried to leave the subject alone.

Religion came up again recently in my surroundings, and the conversations have made me realize that I no longer have a problem with it, personally. It's like the floating feeling has solidified into an unshakable truth about the divine in science and the science in the divine. I can go to church, because churches are like museums or giant monuments of human passion, no matter if that passion brought love or destruction. I can openly say I don't believe in god, because I know what I believe in instead; a pattern, a singular shape of the universe like a single line of the most perfect, beautiful code that could ever be produced. And the discomfort and guilt has more than gone away, it has turned into awe and appreciation and happiness for the amazing perfection that is the world.

I still have questions though. The most pressing question is this: is it right to condone religion? Is it right to not question religion where one finds it, but give it free way? Considering the good and bad religion accomplishes, it's hard to figure out if they balance out. How long and difficult would the road be before we've integrated the good of religion into other parts of our society, and would it be worth it? Are we ready for it?

Like the cells that make up our bodies, every human is now part of the neural (or you could call it cybernetic) network that is humanity (or in extension the creature that is the planet Earth, as of now). It would be foolish of me to say that not every single cell is needed, or that not every single decision is critical. Cancer starts with a single cell. It is also pretentious of me to say that the survival or condition of the human race as a whole is any more worth than a single cell in a single human's body, since our solar system could very well be the single cell in some other kind of life, but as a human, I would want to keep humanity around, for now (although that is not true all days).

What I'm trying to say is, I think the decisions we make concerning the inevitable adaptation of old religions that is coming might be one of those do or dies of our race, where the mistakes of a single cell and the ignorance of the cells surrounding it could spell a slow doom for our creature. But the implication paralyzes me. Personally I will never believe in God, and I will never join organized religion for any other reason than political ones, but my attitude towards others is also a part of this process. No one, nowhere, at any time, is excluded from the process, no matter how small their part is. So what is it? What does the pattern say? Am I to speak, or remain silent? Am I to cross the bridge and join in on shouting at people to come over, or sit down and wait for others to join me?

Who are we, those of us who are stuck between the conventions of religion vs science? Not confessing to religion, neither atheists. There's no word for us yet, but there will be I'm sure, because the symbolic answer is: We're evolution. We're synthesis. We're the future.

Monday, March 12, 2012

To the Future - Mass Effect leading the way

Thought this article had a very nice point, that I've been trying to put words on myself while playing it. It's short so go ahead and read it, but the summary of it is: the gender of your main character - Shepard - has little to no effect on the actual story and gameplay. There's a general limitation on who you can romance, which is quite realistic since not every person of every gender will throw themselves at you. Other than that your gender is basically never mentioned. In a future where people run around with biotic and tech implants left and right, complex AI's bordering on independent life, and fibers you can weave into your skin to make you sturdier, there's no reason why the gender of your soldiers would matter at all, rather you would want the right minds at the right places. Shepard has the mind of someone who gets shit done at any cost, and who can inspire people to do their best, and so she's a commander.

One can argue about the average boob size or the greatly uncommon and revealing dress of a certain news anchor and the frequency of female "dancers" but absence of male, but these are details. There are many things one can complain about in a game, but then again, there's a lot more one can complain about in reality. All I ever wanted out of games, as a female gamer and as a human being who believe we must abandon prejudice to grow as a species, was to see these minds in female bodies, because I know that they exist in real life already. There are women out there who make real commander Shepards, and while they still suffer from the limitations of their biology, there is no reason why that wouldn't be fixed in the future - why that wouldn't be one of the great things about the future. A world where what you are born as put even fewer limitations on what you can become.

Something that someone showed me recently made me think along these lines: If art and culture are to guide us into the future, if we are to learn morals and values and ascend through the works of Shakespear and Jane Austen, then that should be true of all creative accomplishments. Artwork, movies, and now in modern times, games. So here's to BioWare guiding us into the future, by showing us a possible future where it doesn't matter if you're black or white, girl or boy, a saint or a ruthless bastard. All that matters is that you get shit done, stand up for yourself and what is important to you, and are prepared to sacrifice everything if it comes to that.

Monday, March 5, 2012

So Easy

Shadowolf told me that female-to-male transsexuals start losing their hair with old age if they have the genes for it, like they would if they'd been born male. It made me wonder if it's as simple as that the body finds male hormones and goes off to check if you're supposed to keep your hair or not. If it is, doesn't that sound like a pretty natural thing? Like, just another day in the life of a human body? "Hey guys, the boys up top decided to import some wares in wait of trying to set up our own supply, so they wanted us to check the blueprints again to see how these new things fit in." Like sex and gender are like hard- and software of a computer, where yes, some combinations work poorly or not at all, and running with the standard pre-installed works pretty well for most, but sometimes there's better things for just your configuration and specs.