349 What Needs Must.

We all have to do things we don’t like to survive sometimes.  Such is life, as they say.

As you probably know, I am interested in the paranormal. The thing is, I’m also pretty skeptical. I enjoy shows like Ghost hunters, but I also realize that a lot of what they do is based on logical fallacy. I realize Ghost Hunters is entertainment, not science. Still, I’d like to think that we live on in some way after death… Even though there is no proof. I bring this up because I’ve learned a lot about spotting logical fallacy from listening to the podcast Skeptoid: Critical Analysis Of Pop Phenomena.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Didn’t he just tell us he liked a podcast about ghost stories? Yeah I did, and I still enjoy it. I like to see both sides of an argument though. I can enjoy the paranormal in spite of the fact that there is no testable evidence of it. Much like I can enjoy pre-classic Star Wars even though all data suggests that it sucks.

I bring this up now because we’re on the cusp of a presidential election, and another significant anniversary.  A healthy dose of critical thinking can help you spot the weaknesses in the statements made by either side of a debate. Critical thinking can apply to almost any aspect of your life, and logic is a powerful tool in any situation. If you listen to nothing else of the Skeptoid podcast as least listen to #73 & #74. They’re a beginner’s guide to spotting logical fallacy.  If you’d rather not listen to the podcasts there are written transcripts in the episode guide. 


I always hate when you are introduced to someone for the first time and near the top of the list of questions you ask each other is ” what do you do?” Meaning what is your job that you do in order to eat and have shelter. Very few people ever stop and ponder that question enough, “What do I do?” I read comics and try to get girls to like me and go see concerts and play drums and every now and then I like to take trips to other parts of the world, that’s what I do. My job is something entirely different that I don’t much enjoy but it pays the bills. It’s not what I “Do” it’s what I have to do in order to do the things I do do.

Heh doodoo

I was thinking about life the other day and about what if there was nothing after this and we’ve made it all up just to make ourselves feel better. I’m kind of anti-religion but not so much anti-supernatural, etc. Anyway, nothing really ever came of it. Just thinking how much our lives would suck if there was nothing else and we only had this one shot and here we are screwing it up as much as we can.

If there is nothing outside of this life, then there is no point and it doesn’t matter.

Personally, I think the deceptive viewpoint is the word ¨afterlife¨. It suggests that all life is created in this one. I think that’s fundamentally wrong.

I don’t know if some life is created in this world or not, but I personally feel like I had an existence before this one, which featured not one but multiple lives. Unlike most people I’ve talked to who talk about reincarnation, I don’t particularly think they were all *here*, as such. I think I’d compare it to playing a MMORPG. Some people just play WoW, others just play Final Fantasy, and so on and so forth. And some people try their hands at all the games. Of course, the big difference between what we have in this ¨game¨ and the MMORPGs we’ve made is that when you die here, you have to reroll, like a pencil and paper RPG. It’s my impression the others are like that also.

I got cornered by an old timer at church who went on and on about jobs going overseas. He kept me there for 27 min talking about the evils of big business and what about poor working americans. I understood all this and sympathized but I replied that if someone somewhere can do the same job for less money, in a capitalist society, it would make more sense to hire them instead.

Well he didnt like that. And he didnt like that I told him since that was the case we should focus on making more upscale products at a higher quality because our tech base gave us that advantage. Not disregarding that Americans can hold their own with anyone quality wise in a fair trading environment.

……… I still hate Wal-Mart.

‘Course, kicking the oil dependency would mean jobs that can’t be practically outsourced while we refitted the whole damn infrastructure. :D
And yeah. Fuck Wal-Mart, sideways, with a chainsaw.

“We must embrace our enemy, that we may drive the knife deeper.” – old chinese dude.

And on an unrelated note:

…What I do? I….

dodo do doo dodo do doo (twilight zone intro, still creepy enough to make them stop asking)

dun dun…. dun dun…. dun dun dun dun dun dun done done DA-DA- DONE!!! (the Jaws theme)

(as sung watching the clock, about one song length from the end of shift or closing time and often repeated while clocking out and leaving)

Back on topic:

I prefer the knife I drive to be a scalpel rather than a butcher, as much as I’d like to “have a piece.” I consider that there are some things that aren’t so bad about the big stores once you excise the cancerous growth of fail. Excuse my terminology, but can you imagine one of those super shopping centers gutted out and remade as wall to wall books?

That outdoor garden center? Redone as a big porch leading out to a poetry garden.

That corner way off in the distance? A dusty depository of used books you must traverse mazelike shelves like some archaeologist adventurer to reach. I’m torn between having the used books on shelves to keep them preserved or piling them on the floor so I can dig my arms through them like the treasure trove that they are. You deserve such a pile to dig through at the end of your journey.

A comic selection the size of the grocery department, small press replacing the produce section!

A clothing department with every round rack a rotary display of romantic fiction.

Have you ever seen one of those giant, chained up displays of tires? Yeah, we keep the naughty stuff on the high shelf, but its worth the climb.

And speaking of climbing, how can you look up at those high shelves and not want to walk across the top of them like some roof jumping protagonist? Its all on my list of things to do after the apocalypse. However, I would need to be a full-time employee at such an establishment in order to ensure that I am indeed safely inside such a place when the Event occurs, rather than driving to or from it, and I should probably try to be management of some sort if only to have the authority to lock the doors against the mutant zombie “customers.”

The funny thing is that people always ask me if I’m thinking about the future, and give me the oddest looks of I tell them I hope to be a wage slave all my life, maybe even management some day. Maybe its my accent.

Crave: Well, as long as you’re happy…

The Ghost Hunters guys are plumbers in their day jobs. My favorite “haunting” was one where they discovered that all the weird sounds were just defects in the house’s plumbing.

Looking back from over a decade in the future puts a whole different perspective on this. These days almost all of the big chains are fading memories, while smaller local stores are finding ways to survive by offering more personal service or adapting to specific market niches.

OTOH, Skeptoid is still going strong. Some pretty interesting stuff, so thanks for sending me there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.