This is the site for all things Joe Gray. From the Joe’s Notes Blog to the Fleeting Thoughts Podcast and all the rest. Topics include philosophy, politics, culture, photography, exercise, personal development, self-help, fiction short stories, video games and more!
Consciousness is not singular. Our brain produces two consciousness potentials. They glide along the synapses representing a complex array of connections that may or may not contain meaning. They are like ethereal trains being ever created and ever changed by subconscious layers combining and cooperating to produce consciousness. Each side of the brain is capable of creating high fidelity conscious streams. Streams that, if focused on and stabilized, create what we call consciousness.
I used to work for a large video game store. One where you might Stop to buy Games. I mostly sold bullshit. Grown men coming up and saying "I wanna pretend I'm driving a car. Is there a game for that?" Pretending and having imaginary friends was once relegated to children but now, it seems, that children do not grow up. Looking for any excuse to feel accomplishment in virtual worlds to distract from the reality of a failure to accomplish personal goals is the purview of men who've been neglected by their parents and devalued by society. Getting self-esteem from simulated successes creates a fog of delusion that, if cleared away, reveals an inflated ego ready to burst.
Lonesome Dove is an engulfing western tale about more than just a cattle drive to Montana, which is one of the driving forces for the plot, by the way, but it is really about loneliness and regret. Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae are two retired Texas Rangers that take the advice their old rangering buddy, Jake Spoon, tells them of the riches they could make as the first cattle ranchers in Montana, which is only three thousand miles away from their small ranch in Texas. Captain Call, as they call him, decides to take Jake's advice and amasses a three thousand-headed herd of cattle and horses and a dozen or so green cowboys, and, along with the non-stop communicator Gus, they all make their way across almost three thousand miles of a mostly unsettled and completely wild frontier. None of the men had previously been that far north and none knew of the dangers that were waiting for them.
The problem with the story of Jesus and any other Hero stories is that we start looking for them in real people today. We look at famous people and categorize them as either the Hero or the Villain because we're so used to integrating stories into our thinking and communication. The truth is that real people are almost never all good or all bad. Stories try to simplify morality in a way that is easy to understand for many ages. The simplest and most effective parables are directed at children. Stories create context without requiring real turmoil and so can teach lessons "the easier way".
A man named John sits in a waiting room for his interview. He is not nervous or overly enthusiastic. After a few minutes waiting in the room, John is told by the secretary that Mr. Johnson is ready to see him. She opens the door for him and as he passes her she smiles and mouths, "good luck".
Mr. Johnson: Thank you for coming in today, John.
John: Thank you for seeing me. I'm excited to be here.
"Bro Virtue Signalling, or BVS, is when someone who is super cool also espouses virtues in a cool way. It is important that the signal is not preachy or trying to actually make someone feel worthless. It has to be empowering being perceived as being a "big deal".