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Making Of JF
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Creation Date: 2002-04-15|
Sorry, no nothing tonight. I spent all my time writing the blue reply in the letter below.
The following is an e-mail from Ryan and Jacob entitled "Perfection is enough" and my response in blue:
If you are not looking for someone who thinks like yourself, there is no need to read further because it means that people who think just like you already surround you. There is something very wrong about the way people think, and I don't mean wrong in the ethical sense (I don't assume ethics or anything else, it's just that the language I'm forced to use makes it seem like it sometimes).
They come to conclusions way too quickly. They have all these opinions and philosophies that don't make any sense to me. I don't understand how everyone can so readily accept ideas simply because they are repeated so often or because everyone else believes in them.
In particular, I have a problem with how children often start out dreaming about omniscience, immortality, perfect relationships, and perfect worlds. Yet eventually, they give in to the notion that their passions are unrealistic, that they must give in to what is flawed and imperfect. I have a problem with this because it denies that there is an alternative to letting the world be controlled by random evolution.
It's not so much that everybody is indoctrinated with pointless beliefs that bothers me. It's their lack of a passion for seeking an alternative that I can't stand. Their philosophy is not one that envisions us collaborating toward a greater goal, but one of each of us pursuing personal wants. You can tell by looking at how people see nothing wrong with spending their time with irrelevant work, hobbies, and pastimes.
The act of acceptance of society occurs when an individual begins to try to find contentment or happiness within the existing society, or when he begins to engage in activities just for the experience. Once this occurs, any potential higher goal or purpose that society could strive towards is denied. If all I believe I exist for is to pursue some meaningless wants and feelings that I have been programmed to perceive as pleasurable and hence good, there is no true disagreement I can have with the way society functions now. I will have accepted society, and all its stupidity and senselessness along with it. Everywhere we look, people have accepted society. I sometimes doubt whether as many as one individual in every one billion will avoid acceptance.
It's been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember to find someone who hasn't yet accepted society. I used to think that if I am really right about this, then there must be people who agree with me. But since no one did, maybe it meant that my thinking is flawed because how could all these intelligent people in the world have missed what I had not? But whenever that thought occurred to me, I would think of how stupid this society is and I would realize that there is no way that their acceptance could be reasonable.
To this date, I have found one other individual who hasn't accepted society (over the internet). The two of us have vowed to use whatever means necessary to change this society, to create a society based on reason, to devote ourselves 100% to this goal, and to never give up. We may only be two, but we have the determination to succeed and we don't have any irrelevant goals or preferences to distract us.
To tell you more about us, we've posted some personal information about ourselves on a website. You'll also find past responses to us on that webpage.
If you reply to us we're open to anything you say that makes logical sense. However, we'll be judging you based on what indications you give that you have accepted and/or rejected society. We will ask you some questions to test how resistant you are to thinking like everyone else.
If you already have an essay or a web site that shows your way of thinking better than answering these questions would, just send us that instead.
(1) What is your view of religion and how did you derive it? What limitations do you see in a strictly scientific view of the world, and what is necessary to overcome those limitations?
I am a Christian, believer in Jesus, forgiver of sins and his Father, creator of the Heavens and Earth. I derived it from my work in physics, my logical observations of the universe, and the logical consistency of the Bible. It is proven to be more reliable than the Laws of Thermodynamics, which I have solid faith in quite by the same logical deduction.
A strictly scientific view of the world overlooks the motivation for the observation. To know the nature of the universe in itself is useless. My work in physics has proven this to me. To use one's knowledge of the universe to affect one's world is extremely powerful. Many diverse people have done this and I hope to lead my life similarly. For example, we can see how Newton used his knowledge of gravity to change the world, enabling all of aerospace technology to be derived from simple equations. Einstein furthered physics with his knowledge of relativity and light which has enabled much of high-level electronics and nuclear power as well as many other technologies. The functionality of scientific view is limited, but the technology that it produces is powerful.
(2) How do the things that you do in your day to day life differ from the things that you'd like to be doing in your day to day life in the future?
Currently, I attend the University of Washington Physics Department. I plan to recieve my Bachelor's Degree in Physics next year so that I can research physics in the industry. So the future will involve less time at the Physics building learning and more time at my place of work learning and putting to use my knowledge. I also would like to finish my main project, "Javantea's Fate" (http://javantea.com/) in the next year or two. It is consuming most of my time and giving me no immediate rewards. I wish to reap the rewards that I have sown in the future. I also wish to gain more friends my age in the future. Currently, the only people I can talk to are thirty or forty. There are many limitations to talking with older people. I value my relationships with these people, but my idealism often falls on deaf ears.
(3) What values, morals, principles, and codes of conduct are most important to you? What if someone is in your way, or somehow interfering in the goal you are pursuing, would you consider killing them, given there were no consequences?
I have strong values that are all solidly based. I value human life above anything else, except of course, human life. I value human life for the future possibilities and the importance of everything that humans do. I am a pacifist, so murder is out of the question. The quality of my life is never in contention with other's lives. Your condition of no consequences is impossible. There are always consequences for murder. I watched police murder a man holding a sword across the street from me. Besides scarring me for life, it doubles my conviction. The police will not likely see justice from the internal investigation. But I am certain that they will not escape consequences. I have found that actions are often their own consequences. The police will never be able to truly justify it in their own minds and will suffer ever ounce of pain that they inflicted. They don't need the internal investigation to put them in jail because they are in their own jail. One of my favorite rock bands, Creed explains this well in "My Own Prison". One cannot act against value and survive unscathed.
(4) Do you prefer to follow your heart or your mind - why? Can you describe a time that you did something that went against your reason because of your heart? Did you regret doing it?
My heart and my mind? Certainly you don't mean that one's heart, a muscle that delivers oxygen to the body can influence one's behavior. Perhaps you mean emotion and reason. It's not my area of expertise to distinquish between the two, but from time to time I can tell. I usually follow my reason. I logically deduce methods of action. My friends often say that I lack emotion, only partly because of my monotonous tone. From time to time, I follow love and hate, but I try very much to follow love and forget my hate. Love is a powerful emotion. It is the motivation behind scientific achievement and is indispensible. I haven't done much against reason. Of course, my reason includes love since love is the motivation for scientific achievement and thus is reasonable. For example, I spent forty dollars that I should not have last friday to go to a concert for one of my favorite bands, Incubus. It served its purpose to motivate me and thus I can reason that my love for music is completely justified. I have regretted many things in my life, but connecting them to emotion and reason is not easy. For example, dating a girl for envy of my friend who was dating a gourgeous redhead. That would be a serious lack of reason, but at the time I reasoned it. That is one thing that I hold valuable: forgiveness and repentance. It means that no matter what I do wrong, I don't have to live with it. The girl I dated forgave me, Jesus forgave me, I have almost come to forgive myself, and I'm working hard on repentance by not dating anyone unless I truly love them, no matter how perfect it is. I haven't dated in three years, but that's normal for me, I guess. ^_^
(5) Imagine that you are given the opportunity to live on an isolated island for five years with up to three people of your choice. Survival will be extremely easy on this island because you will be given plenty of food, shelter, and other necessities for life. The only difference is that you are isolated from the rest of humanity and have no technology. Would you go? Who would you take with you and how many would you take with you?
Living on an island without technology would be a private hell for me. If put in such an island, I would survive for hope of rescue. I would make due and try to use my situation for the betterment of the world. I often research low level techology so that it could be replicated in worst-case scenario such as this island. I would not go to such an island willingly. If I had no choice in the matter, but still was able to choose three people, my first choice would be to bring three professors from my physics classes, Professor Miller, Professor Seidler, and Professor Romalis. Of course, they certainly would not go willingly. I would then have to pick as many people as I could find that would want to live in such an evironment. If I couldn't find any people, I would go alone rather than force productive people from their lives. I might choose to bring a cat in that case since cats don't mind deserted islands, so I hear.
(6) Who or what is so important to you that you can't live without it? What things or people truly matter to you in your life? Why?
What can I not live without? Food and water? If we're back to the island question, I would say that a five-year supply of yellow notepads (~50 notepads) would be that one thing. With that, I can recreate everything that I need, assuming that I am not living in a steel box. If there is material on the island, I can build a sailboat, a house, a radio tower, a human-powered airplane, and almost anything I need. Yellow notepads is the big important thing because I cannot visualize without one. A computer would be nice, but it would get quite boring after a while only having text, graphics, and sound which have a limited amount of replayability compared to a yellow notepad.
(7) How do you justify doing something for fun or enjoyment?
As I said before, I justify love as the motivation for all achievement. If humans didn't love, they would not do what they do, nor would there be any reason to. Fun is an emotion connected to love. It must be balanced by productivity. Passive entertainment is so common these days that it is hard for a creative person to distinquish between actual creativity and imitation. I often remind myself that artists who create passive forms of entertainment might actually be creative themselves. Active entertainment requries more from a person, but passive entertainment requires a creative inspiration behind it (whether original or imitation).
(8) Do you see that there is anything wrong with the way people act, or with the way our society exists? What exactly? Can you imagine how it could be changed?
There are many bad things about the way people act and how our society exists. I often try to find roots of a certain problem and often come up empty-handed. I can say that I am entirely guilty of the same actions that I condemn. The reason I condemn certain actions is the hope that myself and other people would cease the actions and replace them with valuable activities. Specifically, I find war, drugs, and government to be abominations of human culture. They need to be changed and I am working on being part of the destruction of all three. I haven't gotten a perfect hold of any of the three, so I have to continue my research. There are many solutions to these three problems that are all simple and easy to enact, but completely wrong. Specifically, throwing money at the drug problem will never work. Just saying no would be so easy if everyone just did. Reagan did as much to prevent drug use with that statement as Pablo Escobar did by sending tons of drugs to the US. One solution that I know of was presented by R. Buckminster Fuller and I continue to use this as my first solution to every problem: "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obselete." Solving those three problems are my current social focus. While most of my research is in physics and 3d computer programming, I feel that they are interconnected with my invention of a new model.
Beyond those three subject of my constant struggle, I find that most of the problems I face deal with the inherent imperfection of humanity. Not that it is a bad thing. I find the human problem to be the one thing that makes me work harder. From Christianity, I know that all humans are sinners. Priests are sinners, too. Read the Boston newspapers on the web and you'll see. It doesn't take a physicist or a psychic to know that you are also a sinner. I would suggest that perhaps you need to let go of your ego. I am guilty as well of ego, but I'm repenting. It's too easy for a person who does not break the last few commandments (kill, adultery, steal, lie) and who has never been arrested or convicted of a crime to assume that they are perfect. I can assure you that I fit those two categories, but am far from perfect. My value of human life is far lower than what I say and I'm really trying to improve it. Helping people who are in poor states is one of my plans.
I left a bunch of friends back in my hometown and they're going nowhere with their lives. They all live with their parents, have large credit-card debts, are delaying graduating college, work full-time, and only participate in passive entertainment. I feel that your position is to segregate yourself from these people. I know these people personally to be good people with flaws that have stalled their enlightenment. I feel that it is the responsibility of the enlightened people to enlighten others. I feel that your motives are good, but your condecending tone is not good.
I've seen and heard of many movements that start with exclusion. They usually have really good goals. But the means and the real ends are impure and always screw things up. Take for example Nazi Germany. Saving their families from starving is a noble goal. So they go about it by killing people and stealing their money and enslaving them. They exclude undesirables and attack the world. That's a simple case of good goals going bad. More complex cases exist, but I'm not in a thinking mood anymore tonight.
I feel that the thing that would improve your movement would be to be inclusive and to express your desire to find intelligent people. Those puzzles were fun and caught my attention more than other letters I have recieved. I'll be truthful with you and say that I didn't get either of your puzzles on the first try. I look for fast solutions before I look for correct solutions. Call me imperfect, but it's helped me a bit in physics exams. A similar e-mail I recieved recently about goals would be http://ificandream.com/. He has a similar goal of finding like-minded people for a project of immense proportions and has a generalized idea of changing the world. However, he, has a perfectly solid plan. Sailing a boat around the world is fairly neutral and somewhat daring. Perhaps you have a similar idea of building a floating city in the middle of the Pacific like Atlantis.
Feel free to tell me or ask me anything at anytime. If you didn't like this message for some reason, you can always show me how to do it right by sending me a better one.
Do not simply reply to this email, if you do, we will likely not read your reply. If you do wish to communicate, first demonstrate your interest by solving a puzzle to obtain our website address and our second e-mail address. Only if you write to that address are we going to read your letter. Since there is the possibility that either the website or the corresponding e-mail address doesn't work, we have a third e-mail address for you to use. To find the third e-mail address, solve the puzzle given below. For this third e-mail address, you'll find a Java applet on our website that allows you to check whether or not you have solved the puzzle correctly.
When you send me e-mail to my second or my third e-mail address, mention that you solved "puzzle 5" in the subject of your e-mail, that will immediately get my attention, and make it impossible to mistake your e-mail for junk mail.
The puzzle for the third e-mail address:
The solution to the puzzle is a string. When you solve the puzzle, take the resulting string and add "@yahoo.com" and that will be my email address. So the resulting email will look like "firstname.lastname@example.org". The solution string is ten characters long, three English letters followed by seven digits. There are ten parts to the puzzle that you must solve, one for each character.
In the five lines of text below, find the least frequently occurring letter. This is the first character of the solution string.
In the five lines of text below, find the most frequently occurring letter. This is the second character of the solution string.
The third character of the solution string is "n".
The fourth character of the solution string is "3".
The fifth character of the solution string is "6".
The sixth character of the solution string is "2".
Subtract one from the least significant digit of Albert Einstein's year of birth. (For example, if Albert Einstein was born in 1842, then the least significant digit is "2", and one less would be "1".) Part 8
Subtract 17 from the number of prime numbers between 1 and 100. Part 9
What is the least significant digit of the sum of all the prime numbers between 1 and 100 (2+3+5+7+...89+97)? Part 10
The tenth character of the solution string is "0".
Puzzle for the second e-mail address:
The second e-mail address is the preferred e-mail address to write to. Solving this puzzle will give you both our URL and our second e-mail address. When you solve the puzzle, take the resulting string and add ".freeservers.com" and that will be our website address. So the resulting URL will look like "http://your_answer.freeservers.com". The second e-mail address is 72618@your_answer.freeservers.com
a-d = 1-4
e-h = 5-8
i-l = 9-12
m-p = 13-16
q-t = 17-20
u-x = 21-24
y-z = 25-26
start string = fedcba21
12abcdef [read backwards]
23bcdefg [add one to all]
32cbedgf [switch two at a time]
3 c e g [discard every other character]
33cceegg [duplicate every character]
cc335577 [translate every character]
ee557799 [add two to every character]
e 5 7 9 [discard every other character]
j 101418 [double all characters]
j j n r [translate the numbers; leaves letters the same]
k l q v [+1 +2 +3 +4]
k l q 22 [translate the last letter]
k l q 44 [double the numbers; leave letters the same]
kkllqq44 [duplicate letters; leave numbers the same]
qkrlwq44 [add six to every other letter; leave numbers the same]
qwlrkq44 [read letters backwards; leave numbers the same]
qwl 44 [discard last three letters; leave numbers the same]
qqwwll44 [duplicate all letters; leave numbers the same]
hqnwcl44 [subtract nine from every other letter; leave numbers the same]
hq w l44 [discard third and fifth letter; leave numbers the same]
hqwl44 [all done]
To find the solution string, repeat the above procedure for
start string = abcdef12