Chained Reality

Hyper-Contagious Brain Emissions from a Science Junkie.

Chained Reality immerses you in the world of Science and Philosophy. Taking a look at the world around you and seeking the questions we all want to ask, but may have been afraid to. Are you ready to seek answers you never knew were there?

Quarter Life Thesis

This year has certainly been an interesting one. A lot of things have happened that caused me to re-think what I want from my life. For a long time, I felt like this: 

That's one scary ocean.

That's one scary ocean.

Then that, went to this: 

Supes Mad bro. Like So help me Glob bro.

Supes Mad bro. Like So help me Glob bro.

Now I'm more like this:

What is Finn?

What is Finn?

While there's a lot of good things in my life, there are still a lot of things that I absolutely despise. I've always wanted to travel, and after having an opportunity to do so, I am realizing just how unhappy I am being stuck in the same place. The choices I've made in my life keep me locked down because of debt and previous obligations.

As much as I'd like to leave it all behind and say Math the consequences, I know doing so would put a few others in tough situations themselves. I'm a pretty smart guy(how smart you ask? Smart enough to know that you're probably reading this in Finn's voice, and if you weren't, you are now assuming you've seen Adventure Time before), so understanding the steps I need to take in order to achieve where I want to be isn't much of an issue.

Finding motivation to take these steps and stick with them is the difficult part when your every day tends to leave you feeling downtrodden. Which is why I must broaden my horizons, seek a greater audience of people who wish to truly encourage me in my endeavors. Making people care about you isn't easy, especially when you have to sell yourself as well as your writing. 

No matter what happens, I know that my life is on it's way to looking more like this: 

S'all good dawg. I mean Jake. 

S'all good dawg. I mean Jake. 

While this weighs heavy on my head and heart, at least I can poke fun at it and hopefully make someone else smile in the meantime. At least I know I'm good at that. Although sometimes it just boils down to this:

Thinking too much is what I do.

Thinking too much is what I do.

Podcast: Coffee Shops

Coffee Shops have been a large part of modern culture for quite a while now. The U.S. Constitution was conceived in a coffee shop, and the Declaration of Independence was read publicly in a coffee shop! 

There are many advantages that coffee shops have to the community. Not only is it a place for artists(musicians, painters, writers) to come together and display their works. Business minded folks can meet potential clients and discuss new business ventures. Students find a place to get a stimulant and work on their studies.

If you really think about it, coffee shops have had a major cultural impact on our communities. Even if you don't drink coffee, or even visit a coffee shop ever, chances are good that the coffee shops around you have impacted your life in some way.

Here are some links: 

http://blog.evenues.com/2012/02/07/a-brief-history-of-coffee-houses-as-meeting-places/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffeehouse

Forming a System: http://www.amazon.com/Forming-System-Andrew-Uphoff-ebook/dp/B00K2IQ0EU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412969707&sr=8-1&keywords=Forming+a+System

Video Game Corner - Destiny Review

Destiny is a game that has been majorly hyped up over the last year, and it's release has stirred up a lot of mixed feelings. Understandably so, when the model Bungie used to create the game was highly ambitious and difficult to pull off. Mixing multiple play styles and genres, from First Person Shooter, Hack and Slash fighter, Role Playing Game, and Massively Multiplayer Online templates they have created a highly unique game.

While this model is not in itself flawed, the execution and capability of hardware makes this a very difficult thing to make a really great game. Gameplay appears solid at first, but unfortunately grows highly repetitive and stale fairly quickly. I am a story driven gamer, and multiplayer for me means co-operative play. Destiny definitely does it's best to deliver co-operative play. It's easy to jump into the game and play with your friends. It rewards you for working together, and punishes you for abandoning each other.

I did not play the multiplayer versus Crucible, because it's just not my kind of game to play versus on. All in all, there are a lot of things to cover on this so I decided to do a podcast covering all of the pros and cons of the game. But, if you don't wish to listen, here's the final verdict:

I give Destiny a 6/10, with plenty of room for improvement with DLC.

Creating A Standard

Lately I haven't been keeping updates on the site like I used to. I know this may be a disappoint to some, and I apologize to those of you who looked forward to updates every day. More and more lately I'm beginning to understand who I am, and accepting my ideas are worth getting out there.

It's always been difficult for me to spread my knowledge because I've always felt that whatever I have to share has already been shared. Who am I to re-spread that information? Then I realized, that's exactly how the blogosphere works! There are many places to obtain information and expand your knowledge, but some of you chose to come here. Perhaps it's due to knowing me previously, or it's just something you stumbled on that interested you.

Either way, I'm looking to go back to my standard of daily updates, and I would love to have the community be a part in expanding my post range! If you have any topics you would like to see me cover, feel free to comment on a post or e-mail me directly with any comments you'd like to share.

For now, I'm going to start making a standard of a post a day on whatever nonsense my brain feels like. Soon, the posts will be more organized and resemble more articles. Once the swing of that gets going, I'd like to do a Podcast in the future and have a Youtube channel dedicated to all the random things life throws our way.

Stay tuned folks! We're getting this engine rolling again!

The Last Life To Live

 Name's Wayne. I'm just a simple guy, looking for something so complex you can't possibly comprehend the nature of it's existence. If there is a purpose to it, it's a cosmic joke. Someone, somewhere is laughing at my pain. My suffering. Glowing bright red it can attach itself to any surface and move about with a speed that doesn't seem natural. I feel like it's haunted me in past lives... And will continue to haunt me until the day I die.

It's been on my mind a lot more than normal lately. Something just doesn't feel right. Bruce has been distant as of late... Can't say I blame her. Someone who is so obsessed with something they may never be able to obtain can't possibly be healthy to be around. Maybe that's why I feel more stressed than normal. Haven't had my gal at my side when I need her most.

Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Bruce is a girl? Well you can't blame her for the name her crazy mother gave her. Needless to say once she could get out of that house she did. No need to keep ties with people who seem hellbent on making your life infinitely more difficult. What are parents for though, right? I need something to calm my nerves. 

Standing up from my desk I know what I need the most. A glass of warm milk. It isn't just a bedtime tradition for me. It was the only way for me to relax without having Bruce around. There's just something about it that calms the soul. Relaxes you. Or maybe that's just me. My office is a mess. I may want to think about cleaning it up.

But when you're so obsessed with finding out as much as you can about the red,  cleanliness isn't exactly on your mind. Papers are strewn out across the floor, marked with sightings of the red. The boxes I had kept them in are all empty and lining the room. It's been appearing more and more lately, and not just to me. It seems like it's been haunting the entire town. Even Jerry, the town rat has been getting grief from it.

Walking through the papers was difficult without disturbing them. So much for being a professional detective. I'm not sure if having so much research material out like this is seen as a sign of a thorough job, or insanity. Either way, people still seem to keep coming through to find what they're looking for. No matter what that may be. A lost toy, a lost love, and even their lost sanity.

I may not be a psychologist, but sometimes people just need someone to talk to. It's all the same to me. I still help them find what they're looking for, even if that's just peace of mind. The kitchen was filthy. Coffee stains on the counter, crumbs all over the floor, and dishes piled up in the sink. Do I at least have a clean glass for milk? Looking around this dinky kitchen didn't take me long to find something to use. It wasn't a real glass, so much as it was a coffee mug.

It all works out in the end. Opening the fridge made me realize even more of how obsessed I've been about all this. There's nothing in it but some butter, old vegetables, and various condiments. Not even an old milk bottle to be found. With a sigh, I realized that I needed to go visit Bruce. I want to see her anyway, but I don't want her to feel like I'm just using her. Either way, I need something to calm my nerves.

Closing the fridge, I heard a knock on the door. I'm not expecting any appointments today, and I don't get many walk-ins. I suppose it's best to not keep them waiting. Walking out of the kitchen and into the main room, there she was standing and waiting for me like she always used to. Bruce was a beautiful dame, the kind you could sit on the couch with and cuddle all day.

"Hey Sugar, need some company?" She's definitely a class act. "How'd you know? I was just about to come over to see you." My smile must have revealed how relieved I was to see her, because her smile turned to a grin. She pulled her arm out from behind her back to reveal a fresh bottle of milk. Bruce always knew what it is I wanted. "Care for a drink?" Batting her eyelashes was always my weakness. Even if I wasn't in the mood to be with her I would still be putty in her hands.

"If you're offering, I certainly won't say no to a drink with such a class act." That one made her giggle and blush, just like it always did. Oh how I had missed this girl. I had to clear off some papers from the love seat in order to find space for us to sit. Taking the bottle of milk from her, I offered her a seat. She sat so gingerly on the couch it reminded me of all the fun times we've had.

"I'll be right back sweetheart, don't you go anywhere!" She smiled at me, but her eyes were glancing across the room at all the papers. "Don't worry about those doll, it's work for a client. He's lookin for the same thing I am." I could hear her shift on the couch. "What's he looking for?" The indignance in her voice told me she's still wary about the red.

"Answers." Best to leave it vague. Don't need her thinking I'm in too deep. Going into the kitchen made me realize I can't hand a pretty lady a drink in an old coffee mug. I gotta get some glasses clean. Washing two glass cups didn't take long, especially since I had to set the milk in a pan to warm it up. "So how have you been Bruce? I haven't seen you in a while."

There was some hesitation, which is never a good sign. "Trying to stay sane. How about you?" Ouch. This kitty's got claws. "I'd like to say I'm doing the same but I don't think you'd believe me even if I said it." Let's just get it out in the air I guess. She's obviously here for a reason. "You're right, I wouldn't believe you considering all of this you've got lying around." She sounds angry, but I think we can get past this.

"It's for a client. What do you want me to tell you?" Pouring the milk into the glasses, I turned to go back into the main office. Except she was standing in the doorway to the kitchen. "I want you to tell me that you're going to give up on this red thing and come back to me. Don't forget who it was that ended it in the first place." Was that me? I could have swore she ended it. Considering her words were It's either me or this red thing!.

"You're right. But sometimes you gotta find truth in your life doll. There's nothing wrong with chasing a dream." The look on her face went from angry to sad. "I know... But I want you to wake up. And live in the real world. With me Sugar." She walked tenderly over to me and touched my face. Looking into those fierce eyes I couldn't help but wonder if what I was chasing was the right thing.

"I do live in the real world darling. Sometimes the real world is crazy, and that's just the part of life I'm stuck in. The red won't go away just because I pretend it's not there." A tear streaked down her soft face. It's hard to see such a sweet girl in so much pain. Love isn't an easy thing to understand. "If that's how you really feel..." I put the glasses of milk on the counter behind me, and grabbed her shoulders.

"Do you honestly think I can't chase this and love you at the same time Bruce? I do love you doll, but it seems like you can't handle me being a man of ambition." Her eyes watered even more, and she started crying completely. Digging her head into my chest I waited for her to calm down. The milk was cold again by the time she had finished. "Wayne, I know you can! But it scares me! What if something were to happen to you! This is dangerous, and I can't... I can't stand the thought of losing you!"

Her tears swelled up again. "Life is dangerous doll. You can't shy away from what you want just because you're afraid. You gotta reach out there and take it!" That seemed to do something to calm her. She looked into my eyes, and I couldn't help myself. A kiss was exactly what we both wanted, so we did. It was long, and sweet. I missed this feeling. Looking down at her after made me realize I truly did love this woman.

I don't want to lose her either, but I still can't shy away from the truth about the red. That's when something came out of the corner of my eye. It moved so fast, and was so bright. There was no mistake. That was the red. She saw the look in my eyes and stepped back. "Please! No! Don't go Wayne!" She cried out at the top of her lungs, but it still couldn't sway me. I had to find it.

Dashing out of the kitchen towards the door, I ignored the papers on the ground. They scattered beneath my feet and flew around the room. Once I opened the door my suspicions were confirmed. The red was waiting for me outside in the street. Laying flat on the ground in the middle of the intersection, while the cars stopped to gaze at it. I made a run for it, trying to make it to the red before it disappeared again.

I can hear it laughing. Cackling at my pain, my suffering and my inability to end this. I will end it. I will find out what it is! In usual fashion, once I reached it it had moved out of the way at the last moment as I pounced on it. The corner of my eye revealed it was now trailing itself along a line of cars parked on the side of the street. I had to get it and end this!

Chasing it down the street, it managed to always stay one step ahead of me. Moving from car to car, jumping onto the street and onto the sides of buildings. Whatever this thing was it didn't live by our rules! But I had to try and stop it! There it was. It had stopped in the middle of the street again. Sitting still and ready to be taken. This time, I wanted to catch it by surprise. Hiding behind a car for a moment, I decided to make my move.

I jumped on it, and knew it didn't have time to move out of the way this time. I knew I had it. This time, it hadn't gotten away. It was right below me, and I could just barely make it out. I had never actually caught it before. It didn't stay too long, and it didn't feel like I was even holding anything. But this time, I could hear the real laughing. The universe was cackling at me. Laughing at my pain... My suffering... Why?... Why?!... WHY?!

*****

"Come on Kenzie, time for dinner!" A little girl, short and blonde was holding a small laser pointer while a black and white cat ran around and dashed at it. She let it catch the small red dot on the floor between her brother's toy car sets he was playing with and the plastic mat to make it look like driving in the city. The cat looked down at the mat and then back around at the cars frantically.

"Oh Wayne! You're so funny! Bruce where are you? Mom why doesn't Bruce like playing with the laser pointer?" A tall woman with an apron peeked her head into the living room with a smile on her face. "I don't know honey. Maybe we can find out after dinner. So come on or your food will get cold!" The little girl dropped the pointer and stood up enthusiastically. "Ok momma!"

Another black and white cat came over to the one hurdled on top of the mat, and began to purr while it rubbed up against it. They both walked away from the mat, and jumped up onto the couch and lay next to each other.

#####
 

Motivating To Write

Lately motivation to write has been weird. I want to write, and have been doing a lot more than I normally have, but it still isn't quite enough it feels. Perhaps it's because I have life to live outside of it and am trying to get a lot of other things in order before I can actually get started on pushing for my writing career.

I want to move out of state next spring, which costs a good bit of money to do. I don't quite have the job at the moment to really get that going the way I'd like to, but I'm also working on that. I'm currently training for a serving job which will hopefully net me a bit more income than my current one so I can start really saving for this move. 

Even still, I try to make time to write. It's not difficult for me to sit down and write out a few hundred words in raw form to get the story really going. You can view them all in bite sized pieces in the Forming A System tab if you're interested in reading them! Just remember they're rough and unedited, but I think it's interesting to see how the writing process works. It's much easier for me to hammer out a full book by cutting it into bite sized pieces and filling in the gaps where there are any.

So at the very least I know I'm getting work done and once I feel like the story is ready to be edited and turned into a full fledged novel it will definitely be done as such! I'm going to try to also take time for my science and political posts to keep you interested in what's going on in the world. It's a big dynamic shift in life right now so trying to keep all of the balls balanced is kind of difficult at times.

Thanks for staying loyal folks! I'm on the job once again! Take care!

Chaotic Control

Chaos seems to be all my brain ever knows. I can't sleep because there's always too much to think about. I can't enjoy the time I have to enjoy because there's always something else I could be doing. I can't think about something that's important for me too long because so many things are important to me that I can't keep my mind on just one of them.

This issue is nothing new, of course. I'm just for some reason more aware of it at the moment. I know how to change it, but It's not something I can change chemically, or through a medicine. I could try, but it would just be a cover up of the real problem. It's just scary to try because I don't know how I'll come out on the other end of it, and hope that it doesn't change who I am at the core. I don't think it will, but you never know. Change isn't always predictable.

So as a forewarning to all of my friends, if my behavior is... abnormal for me, please bear with me. If it's a change that you really don't like, please don't hesitate to tell me. It's difficult to rewire my thought process and takes a lot of conditioning that you can't see the direct process of. But trust me, I'm doing what I can to move towards a better way of thinking for myself.

Because that's what I want. Out of desire to have more control over my life and how I think and act. I Love all of you, and if you have questions about it feel free to ask. It's going to be an interesting few months.

The Nature of Understanding

Understanding, isn't something that is truly easy to understand. While you may know what understanding means by definition, actually putting the idea into practice is a different problem altogether.

"I know" is a highly common response to suggestions and rebuttals in certain situations. Although I always question the truth to that person's claim. I'm sure many of us do. But I also question whether or not I truly do grasp the entirety of the subject when I say it myself. So where does the nature of understanding come from?

Does it come from our ability to not only simulate certain situations, but also our ability to emulate certain situations in our own minds with a certain level of accuracy? Or does it come from our ability to process others' experiences as closely to our own as possible? Does it come from a whole separate psychological capacity?

The nature of understanding may indeed even come from a basic human need to fit in with those around us. Is it possible that we can truly understand things better if it is explained within a situation that our lives have seen? I'd say we have sufficient evidence within our own personal lives to say so.  Perhaps understanding is an innate trait in itself. It would certainly fit the Occam's Razor dynamic.

Do we understand the implications of understanding? Am I over-complicating it? Probably. However, I tend to value understanding things on as many angles as possible. Even if some of them don't make sense. Even if there's really only one option to go with in order to understand. Sometimes, that full understanding is what helps you create a deeper knowledge and appreciation.

Or I'm just over-complicating things.

Living Life Behind a Screen

With the age of technology, we face some new and previously unknown problems with increased integration with others. We all value experiences throughout life, but the real question is to what level are those experiences worth? Can we honestly say an experience someone shares over the internet is valued on the same level as experiencing that event for yourself?

For example, many of us like to watch the Travel Channel and see what cool and different places we visit could be. Yet most of us have the sense to know that seeing it on TV is nothing like seeing it in person. I would argue that a generation that values interactions online to the level we do today may not fully understand that concept. 

One of the adverse effects social media has had on us is posting life experiences on Facebook is all about getting likes. Twitter is all about getting followers and retweets. Instagram is all about getting followers and likes on photos. This has changed our psychology from valuing experiences for ourselves, and created a sense of valuing experiences based on how others value them.

Our sense of identity no longer exists within ourselves and our endeavors, it exists within others and how they perceive them. At least for the younger generations. The real question is: Is this really something we should be worried about? I would say yes. I grew up on video games and behind a computer screen. The value of my world was defined by how powerful my character was. By how many reliable friends I had to raid with. Whether or not I fit in with the world I was playing in, not the real world around me.

This has, in many unforeseen ways, negatively impacted me severely. I'm 26 and still trying to figure out what it means to make my way in the real world. As difficult as it is to admit, I have problems valuing interactions with others in the real world. I have problems placing value in experiences beyond a screen, and it's something I'm working on for myself. At this age, and with a strong desire to experience things in the real world, things change overwhelmingly quickly.

A lot of time was lost when I was more capable and receptive to placing value in interactions. My childhood was hardly a sob story, and it's difficult to regret things when you truly understand where your life has taken you. However, it doesn't mean I don't wish to provide a warning for others on how these things truly effect us as people. 

I see similarities in others and how they interact with technology and how I grew up, and it makes me question how it effects their psychology. Someone who is attached to their phone and social media exhibits similar problems, but in a different fashion. We can be sociable with others and get out into the world and still not value those experiences the way we should. I cannot speak for anyone buy myself, but I truly take issue with how I perceive and value the world because of this problem.

Hopefully, this is an individual case of how life has unfolded for me. I would hate to see others have to struggle with the same problems. However, I can't help but feel like I've become a lot more understanding and intelligent simply because of these psychological hurdles. Perhaps on the other end, I will learn to appreciate things on a deeper level. I guess I will let you know when that happens.

In any case, I think this is an important issue to keep in mind. The moral of this story is moderation applies to all things in life. Time and place are always important when experiencing life. You cannot substitute experience with understanding. Sometimes, thinking it through, just doesn't cut it.

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This work by www.chainedreality.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Follow Andrew Uphoff at Freelanced.com