Howdy from a disabled Texas atheist

JonathanBC
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Howdy from a disabled Texas atheist

Howdy, my name is Jonathan Clements. I'm 21 years old, living in the southwest suburbs of Houston, Texas. I was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I was diagnosed at the age of ten months. My family was told that I would not live beyond my eighth birthday. I'm still alive by the grace of the big man upstairs. By which I mean my primary doctor, who has an office on the third floor of his building. He isn't actually a large man, I lied to make that funnier.

I live with my mother, a Christian. I have private duty nurses who care for me during the day. Five rotate, four Christian and one Jew. I'm entirely bedridden. I only leave my bed to bathe, and for a concert every two to four months. I have a trach, with a ventilator, and a feeding tube. I can only swallow liquids, generally coffee, tea, and sake, with the occasional beer. My muscles have atrophied to the point that all I can use are my thumbs and eyebrows. I can speak, though very softly and with a voice that resembles the lovechild of Darth Vader and Michael Jackson. Only my closest friends and family can understand a word I say.

I tell you this because I would like to give my stock answer to everyone who suggests that I must only be "questioning" or "angry at God." For a long time, I made a joke of it and said "yeah, Zeus was kind of a dick." Nobody ever understood my message through the humor, so now I'm more blunt. "I cannot be angry at something that doesn't exist." This hasn't helped, actually. Especially living in Texas. I have to pick and choose my fights, because not only am I an atheist, but also bisexual, far left wing politically, and I don't deny having previously had a vicodin addiction and now occasionally use marijuana. Texas is the wrong place for me to be, but I digress.

Growing up, I attended church every Sunday. The back room was where the children had what could vaguely be called Sunday school. Most of us just connected our Gameboy units to trade Pokemon, while Veggie Tails played on a 12 inch television in the corner. When a church member came to the back and actually tried to teach us something, it was only the standard excerpts. David and Goliath. The parting of the water. Noah's Ark. The birth of Jesus. When I was old enough to attend the "grown ups" sermon, something dawned on me. Noone was there to worship God. The entire purpose was for socializing. I'd already been doing that in the back.

When the pastor of the particular church moved, we stopped attending. I don't know if I ever actually believed in any God. I think I was mostly, not agnostic, but entirely indifferent. Around that time, my body was physically weakening. With only the use of my hands, computers became my escape. All I can really operate is a mouse, and I don't have anything else to do, so I've educated myself as well as possible. I don't think I need to further how this has made me an atheist, as I went into the issue of religion with an open, rational mind.

One last thing. I do not own a webcam and could not take part in the Blasphemy Challenge. Also, as mentioned above, I'm self conscious about my voice and most people can't understand it anyway. But I'd like to take part here, as part of my first post.

I am Jonathan Clements and I deny the existence of the Holy Spirit. I deny Jesus, Allah, Yahweh, Krishna, Apollo, Zeus, and Ra. I accept evolution by natural selection, abiogenesis, the use of condoms as contraceptives, photosynthesis, gravity, and thermodynamics.


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Welcome, Jonathan! Great

Welcome, Jonathan! Great story. What a terrible disease. I can only hope someday soon they either find a cure or treatment of some kind, or that general-purpose brain-to-computer interfaces become commercially available.

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Welcome Johnathan!!Glad you

Welcome Johnathan!!

Glad you found a voice here ~ you mentioned getting out of the house every so often; what concerts do you attend?

Jump right into the fun ~ post often  Smiling

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http://obsidianwords.wordpress.com/


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You are such an ingrate. The

You are such an ingrate. The unprovable fictional daddy in the sky allows you to suffer this, because Adam and Eve, prior to your birth, fucked up, and you see a problem with this logic?

It is not up to you to question. You got this because God can do what he wants. You got this because of his plan.

It couldn't be the natural non-magical randomness of nature.

And you lasted longer than doctors predicted so that must mean God exists. Forget the fact that this "all powerful" god could have gone about convincing you in a much less destructive way. If fucking up a kid's health or allowing a man with a pitchfork, to fuck it up, will bring daddy more cheerleaders, who are you to question?

That is my silly way of saying welcome.

Kudos to you for all you have endured without succumbing to superstition.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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I met a WW2 vet who was an

I met a WW2 vet who was an atheist during his tour in Europe and died a few years back an atheist.

When everyone knew he was on his deathbed, many of his friends, and I went to visit him. Some were theists but all of us knew he was an atheist. So when we went to visit him, we knew his disposition and he DID NOT want us being bubbering idiots waling over what happens to all of us. Of course all of us were fighting back tears, but once in the room, what was important to all of us was putting a smile on his face. He had already and rightfully accepted what was going to happen.

So AND MIND YOU, the company I was with was not all atheist. When we entered the room, we made small talk and I cracked a joke, "Let us pray" EVERYONE, including Ben, the dying vet, and the theists all laughed.

At that point is wasn't about god, or me or anything, it was about a fellow human we all cared about and HIS attitude wasn't about left or right, his attitude was that this is going to happen so why not enjoy what you can while you have it.

You've been dealt a harsh deck, but not by a man with a pitchfork or a man in a white robe or by the godless. SHIT happens. And from what you have said here in the OP, you seem to be dealing with it without rose colored glasses, which is far more than most humans want to face.

Again, kudos to you.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Welcome Jonathon

 

Nice to meet you - I'm sure you'll have fun here.

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natural wrote:Welcome,

natural wrote:

Welcome, Jonathan! Great story. What a terrible disease. I can only hope someday soon they either find a cure or treatment of some kind, or that general-purpose brain-to-computer interfaces become commercially available.

I quite enjoyed watching these! I didn't know the technology was at a consumer ready stage. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on that when I have money to spare. Even better, it seems to be a reasonable price. My major worry is that the general population is moving in the opposite direction and that could cause these companies to struggle. With the rise of the Nintendo Wii and the now dozens of cell phones with touch screens and motion detection, popular technology has seemed to bring physical movement back in to the way we interact with things. I hope that these innovators in brain computer interfacing can succeed against the opposite idea of body computer interfacing.

Renee Obsidianwords wrote:
Glad you found a voice here ~ you mentioned getting out of the house every so often; what concerts do you attend?

Getting out as rarely as I do, it's hard to really say I have a "scene" as much of generation Y does. But I have a favorite bar in downtown Houston that hosts independent bands. The capacity is 300 though I have seen the fire marshal show up when a great few bands are booked on one bill. There are no chairs, so it was a crowded fire hazard. The bands kept playing. I'm not a pop fan in the least, or what passes as rock. I like the obscure bands on small labels that people generally have never heard of. Being online so much has made it possible to find these gems and listen to them make interesting, unappreciated music. I could probably write pages on it, but I'll save that for another place and time.

Brian37 wrote:

I met a WW2 vet who was an atheist during his tour in Europe and died a few years back an atheist.

When everyone knew he was on his deathbed, many of his friends, and I went to visit him. Some were theists but all of us knew he was an atheist. So when we went to visit him, we knew his disposition and he DID NOT want us being bubbering idiots waling over what happens to all of us. Of course all of us were fighting back tears, but once in the room, what was important to all of us was putting a smile on his face. He had already and rightfully accepted what was going to happen.

So AND MIND YOU, the company I was with was not all atheist. When we entered the room, we made small talk and I cracked a joke, "Let us pray" EVERYONE, including Ben, the dying vet, and the theists all laughed.

At that point is wasn't about god, or me or anything, it was about a fellow human we all cared about and HIS attitude wasn't about left or right, his attitude was that this is going to happen so why not enjoy what you can while you have it.

That was inspiring, as an incredible example of human interaction. I hope you share that story often, any time it is suggested atheism leads to a lack of compassion and morals. I also hope that when I'm in that situation, on my deathbed, those around me are as understanding and respectful of my wishes. God bless you. Eye-wink


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JonathanBC wrote: I quite

JonathanBC wrote:

I quite enjoyed watching these! I didn't know the technology was at a consumer ready stage. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on that when I have money to spare. Even better, it seems to be a reasonable price. My major worry is that the general population is moving in the opposite direction and that could cause these companies to struggle. With the rise of the Nintendo Wii and the now dozens of cell phones with touch screens and motion detection, popular technology has seemed to bring physical movement back in to the way we interact with things. I hope that these innovators in brain computer interfacing can succeed against the opposite idea of body computer interfacing.

Come on! Who wouldn't want to make a computer do something by just thinking? I've been waiting for this for 20 years!

I don't know how fast you can type, or if this will be much help (it's still basically a prototype), but check out this Dasher project (wiki description, more info linked from Dasher homepage). I've tried it, and it's quite cool, except I can simply type faster. But give me a brain-computer interface and a suped-up Dasher interface, and I would be living the dream, man! Try it out for a bit and let me know what you think. Compare it to how fast you can type with whatever method you are currently using. If you've got a Java-enabled browser you can try the online demo here. But also download it, since I think you get more options that way. Here's some tips on how to use it. Oh, there's also this info on how to adapt it for special needs. Look around on that site. I'm sure you'll be able to find if there's a good way you can use it. Here's a video (full size):

 

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Welcome JonanthanBC,I look

Welcome JonanthanBC,

I look forward to hearing your voice in the limited scope in which we, the thinking, find ourselves; I can't begin to imagine the struggles you've endured over the years and to say that I sympathize is patronizing and gauche. Suffice it to say, I am very happy to have a person who has endured much, but refuses to place either blame or salvation in an ill-constructed image of questionable qualities. I hope that you find the entries herein interesting (or at least amusing).

Regards,

UE 


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natural wrote:JonathanBC

natural wrote:

JonathanBC wrote:

I quite enjoyed watching these! I didn't know the technology was at a consumer ready stage. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on that when I have money to spare. Even better, it seems to be a reasonable price. My major worry is that the general population is moving in the opposite direction and that could cause these companies to struggle. With the rise of the Nintendo Wii and the now dozens of cell phones with touch screens and motion detection, popular technology has seemed to bring physical movement back in to the way we interact with things. I hope that these innovators in brain computer interfacing can succeed against the opposite idea of body computer interfacing.

Come on! Who wouldn't want to make a computer do something by just thinking? I've been waiting for this for 20 years!

I don't know how fast you can type, or if this will be much help (it's still basically a prototype), but check out this Dasher project (wiki description, more info linked from Dasher homepage). I've tried it, and it's quite cool, except I can simply type faster. But give me a brain-computer interface and a suped-up Dasher interface, and I would be living the dream, man! Try it out for a bit and let me know what you think. Compare it to how fast you can type with whatever method you are currently using. If you've got a Java-enabled browser you can try the online demo here. But also download it, since I think you get more options that way. Here's some tips on how to use it. Oh, there's also this info on how to adapt it for special needs. Look around on that site. I'm sure you'll be able to find if there's a good way you can use it. Here's a video (full size):

 

Hilarious! I've been using Dasher for a couple of years now. I'm absolutely in love with it. The funny thing is, nobody who recommends things like it have ever heard of it. I've had doctors, nurses, and a wide variety of therapists whose job it is to discover and suggest accessibility devices and software. When I was in junior high, though the teacher came to my home, the school district shelled out over $400 for a software keyboard almost identical to the one that comes with Windows. I found Dasher myself (via Google) when it dawned on me that there must be something better than clicking every letter, space, and punctuation mark. It really is amazing how big the difference is between someone working and someone like yourself who just genuinely wants to help.

My current system works like this. I have a Logitech trackball mouse under my left thumb. It lays at a 90 degree rotation (x axis,) but has an option to let you move up down left and right when prompted to orientate the direction. When somebody else tries to use it, they get confused since the logical up direction moves left. Under my right thumb is a "normal" mouse, rotated 180 degrees so that the cord and therefore left click button points toward me. Simplified, I move my cursor with one thumb and click with the other.

The other piece of software I can hardly imagine life without is the mouse gestures extension for Firefox. The one shortcoming of Dasher is the lack of hotkey support. There's no alt left for back, or F5 for refreshing. I could press the buttons at the top left, sure, but it isn't ideal. With mouse gestures, it doesn't matter where my cursor is on a page, I can just swipe left. There are other cool uses for it as well, like selecting a piece of text, performing a gesture, and having a new tab open with the text as a Google query.


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 Jonathan, I like you.  I

 Jonathan,

 

I like you.  I like you an awful lot.  Thanks for coming here, and inspiring me in your own little way.  I hope you stick around.  Let me know if there's anything I can do for you.

- Brian Sapient

 

 

- Brian Sapient


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Hello JonathanVery happy to

Hello Jonathan

Very happy to meet you.There are many interesting minds on this forum, hope you'll stick around and share your views with us. Smiling

All forms of tampering with human beings, getting at them, shaping them against their will to your own pattern, all thought control and conditioning is, therefore, a denial of that in men which makes them men and their values ultimate.
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I'm truly overwhelmed by the

I'm truly overwhelmed by the welcome. I greatly appreciate everyone's genuine greetings, and I'm honored for some reason I can't explain that Brian Sapient likes me. I have a great deal of respect for all of you, and I thank Brian for taking the time to see to and respond to the introduction forums.


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Great post. Welcome!

Great post. Welcome! Laughing out loud

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Welcome.  I am looking

Welcome.  I am looking forward to your perspective, I hope you stick around!

 

Questions: How fast can you type?  Are you still considered terminal? (If you don't want to answer, just ignore the questions.)

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:Welcome.  I

mellestad wrote:

Welcome.  I am looking forward to your perspective, I hope you stick around!

 

Questions: How fast can you type?  Are you still considered terminal? (If you don't want to answer, just ignore the questions.)

I certainly plan to stay and post daily, I'm very impressed with the community and hope to add something to it.

I've never tested my typing speed, I'll have to do that some time. I'm kind of curious now myself. Still much slower than most who use a regular keyboard, though I do have the speed on Dasher turned well above default. Everybody types at different speeds, but I'd guess between a quarter and a third of the speed of an adept typist.

As for being terminally ill, well, aren't we all? But I understand what you were asking and applaud you for actually asking. I'm no fan of shy political correctness. Yes, I am, because with SMA you reach the point of no return during childhood. If the progress of the disease, the atrophying, were to stop right now, nothing would change for me. I can't breathe without a ventilator because I've hit that point in muscle weakness, and there isn't really even a theoretical "cure" at all. My body has, currently at the age of 21, ceased development. I mean, cells are born and die all the time, but the major things are done.

If I'm not mistaken again, the oldest anyone has lived is 33. His was not as severe as mine, as there are three types. When I was born, there were two. One that will kill you in a year or two (1) or one that won't (2.) Then, I was called a type one and a half, now I'd be a two, while the oldest guy I mentioned would be a three. I've got a few years left, I think. I'm not quite ready to kick the bucket yet, there are things I'm not happy with that I'd like to do or correct first. Own a house, visit Europe, get married, lose my virginity. Not in that order. But yeah, anywhere from two to five years is what I have now.


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JonathanBC wrote:I certainly

JonathanBC wrote:

I certainly plan to stay and post daily, I'm very impressed with the community and hope to add something to it.

The community does have some very sharp people.  As well as the bitterness, snobbery and hate, lol.

JonathanBC wrote:

I've never tested my typing speed, I'll have to do that some time. I'm kind of curious now myself. Still much slower than most who use a regular keyboard, though I do have the speed on Dasher turned well above default. Everybody types at different speeds, but I'd guess between a quarter and a third of the speed of an adept typist.

Wow, just watched a demo of Dasher, that is crazy.  I had no idea it even existed.

JonathanBC wrote:

As for being terminally ill, well, aren't we all? But I understand what you were asking and applaud you for actually asking. I'm no fan of shy political correctness. Yes, I am, because with SMA you reach the point of no return during childhood. If the progress of the disease, the atrophying, were to stop right now, nothing would change for me. I can't breathe without a ventilator because I've hit that point in muscle weakness, and there isn't really even a theoretical "cure" at all. My body has, currently at the age of 21, ceased development. I mean, cells are born and die all the time, but the major things are done.

If I'm not mistaken again, the oldest anyone has lived is 33. His was not as severe as mine, as there are three types. When I was born, there were two. One that will kill you in a year or two (1) or one that won't (2.) Then, I was called a type one and a half, now I'd be a two, while the oldest guy I mentioned would be a three. I've got a few years left, I think. I'm not quite ready to kick the bucket yet, there are things I'm not happy with that I'd like to do or correct first. Own a house, visit Europe, get married, lose my virginity. Not in that order. But yeah, anywhere from two to five years is what I have now.

That's...fairly horrific.  I imagine your outlook on mortality is significantly immediate, that is something most people your (our, I suppose, I am only 25) age don't have.  Christ, honestly I have a hard time putting myself in your shoes.  Or your parent's shoes, for that matter.

I saw in another thead you mentioned the Kindle...are you able to read the kindle in the standard way, or do you use the text to speech portion?  What kind of stuff do you read?

I know living in Texas as an atheist must not be easy.  I live in a rural town where atheism is almost unknown.  Have you ever check our the Austin Atheist people?  They have a weekly TV show and bi-weekly radio show that I often enjoy.  http://www.atheist-community.org/

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Nothing wrong with a little

Nothing wrong with a little bitterness and snobbery. I think I could even defend it as a positive thing. Communities like this have less chance to fall victim to group think and blind obedience. I'm not going to get political in this thread, but I think it is inherent and obvious why atheists are so under represented in office. Getting atheists together is like herding cats. Add political issues unrelated to atheism and it gets even more divisive. I like that.

I debate with myself all the time about whether my condition has majorly impacted my outlook on mortality. I suspect it must have, though I don't feel it was the defining factor. You can prove both nature and nurture in different contexts, even before you get to the more complex areas of psychology or philosophy. It gets extremely complex extremely quickly, and I'm not well enough educated to productively add to the serious conversation. As for parents, mine divorced when I was small. I haven't seen my father for many years and while I see my mother daily, we have a strained relationship. I accept it can't be easy for them.

I can't use a hardware Kindle at all, instead I use the "Kindle for PC" software. Ebooks have been around for over a decade, in various forms. There isn't much a consumer base, though, for ebooks on full desktop computers. No consumer base meant no publishers signing on, making the few places that offered ebooks pretty useless. So I've found it difficult until recently. I was actually upset when I first heard about the Kindle and its clones in the past year or two. I thought it would be the last straw. Luckily for me, Amazon released desktop software for Kindle. I think their intention was more along the lines of "now you can sync your notes to your computer" and things like that. It is pretty basic, but I won't complain. I can purchase books on the Amazon website and open the Kindle program, start reading.

As for what I read, that is more interesting. I haven't read fiction of any sort since graduating, and even then, only required reading. Fiction doesn't interest me, I'm too cynical. I lack willing suspension of disbelief, because I want books to say something. For example, 1984, wonderful book. But it is blunt, unlike reading Tolkien. I don't find Lord of the Rings interesting enough to make it worth the World War 2 references. For that, I'd rather read history books and skip the 450 page metaphor that boils down one step further to good defeating evil. If I wanted art in written form, I'd read poetry. Sometimes I do.

So what DO I read? Well, I guess you can start with the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens. Throw in Victor Stenger, I'm two thirds through "The New Atheism" right now. I'm a huge fan of Richard Feynman, I'd put him very high if I ever made a list. Malcolm Gladwell has some interesting work, as does Mary Roach, so they go up there. Michio Kaku, mostly because he's so ridiculously out there with analogies and pop culture references it's entertaining. Speaking of entertaining, David Sedaris is my "light reading" of choice. Sarah Vowell as well because of how she goes about history. I try not to specialize in any historic or political fields. I think it may not open the door to being closed minded, but it does leave the door ajar and wink at it nudgingly.

I wasn't aware of the Atheist Community of Austin, so I really appreciate that link! I've bookmarked it and subscribed to the podcast of the radio show. Thanks!


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Yea, not having anything to

Yea, not having anything to unite us besides being riled up by religion makes it difficult to have any sort of platform.

I can also see how, considering your limited time, you might find fiction a waste of a precious resource?  I can see where, were I in your situation, I would want to spend my leisure time more productively.

What's your favorite book?

I like the ACA...some of the contributors are not that great, but Matt, the fat bald guy, is actually very, very sharp and I love listening to him.  If I ever make it to Texas again I want to visit with them at the after-show dinner they do weekly.

 

It has been a pleasure to 'meet' you though, I hope you continue to find meaning and joy in your pursuits!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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JonathanBC wrote:Howdy, my

JonathanBC wrote:

Howdy, my name is Jonathan Clements. I'm 21 years old, living in the southwest suburbs of Houston, Texas. I was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is a form of Muscular Dystrophy. I was diagnosed at the age of ten months. My family was told that I would not live beyond my eighth birthday. I'm still alive by the grace of the big man upstairs. By which I mean my primary doctor, who has an office on the third floor of his building. He isn't actually a large man, I lied to make that funnier.

Severe physical disability can make a person cynical in a hurry.

entirely bedridden?? ouch, man. In the short time I've spent in hospitals due to (potentially fatal) endocrine disease, it sucked royally.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


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I think that description

I think that description fits well. Especially since so much fiction can be boiled down to one or two sentences. Everything else is prose, which I can find elsewhere. To make a fair analogy, I don't listen to the radio for music. So much of it is cookie cutter, verse chorus verse chorus, all in middle C. That isn't interesting at all, to me. I feel that way about a lot of things. Landscape and portrait art, sitcoms, and sports cars to name a few.

Favorite book is tough. I think I have to go with Feynman's "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." Least favorite is easier. Genesis. Cheap shot, but couldn't resist. What about your own? I'm always looking for recommendations.

If you do ever make it to Texas again, anywhere near Houston, I'd welcome you as a guest here. That goes for most here, save a few nutters.

 


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JonathanBC wrote:I think

JonathanBC wrote:

I think that description fits well. Especially since so much fiction can be boiled down to one or two sentences. Everything else is prose, which I can find elsewhere. To make a fair analogy, I don't listen to the radio for music. So much of it is cookie cutter, verse chorus verse chorus, all in middle C. That isn't interesting at all, to me. I feel that way about a lot of things. Landscape and portrait art, sitcoms, and sports cars to name a few.

Favorite book is tough. I think I have to go with Feynman's "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." Least favorite is easier. Genesis. Cheap shot, but couldn't resist. What about your own? I'm always looking for recommendations.

If you do ever make it to Texas again, anywhere near Houston, I'd welcome you as a guest here. That goes for most here, save a few nutters.

 

 

I'm not high-brow like you are, most of my favorite books are trashy fiction...I probably don't have an appreciable concept of my own mortality Smiling

A Song of Ice and Fire is a pretty amazing book though.  I love the complexity and emotion.

 

I'll check out the Feynman book as my next non-fiction read, and thanks for the invite!

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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mellestad wrote:I'm not

mellestad wrote:


I'm not high-brow like you are, most of my favorite books are trashy fiction...I probably don't have an appreciable concept of my own mortality Smiling

A Song of Ice and Fire is a pretty amazing book though.  I love the complexity and emotion.

 

I'll check out the Feynman book as my next non-fiction read, and thanks for the invite!

I've just purchased the first book, A Game of Thrones, on your recommendation alone! It will be the first fiction novel I've read in years, so the pressure is on! But not really, because I got Melvyn Bragg's "The Adventure of English" at the same time. Those are my two books for February. I'd hate to spam the introduction forum more than I have, but I will let you know what I think when I finish it.

On a somewhat related note, I'm curious what others will think of this. As can be easily guessed, I'm unemployed. My income is solely from Social Security. I don't actually like this, I'd much rather work. I've tried, but I can't be consistent because of my health, even working from home. Now, I will say I get a very modest monthly sum. Under 500. Now, I do spend the great majority of that appropriately. Clothing twice a year, drink, telephone and internet bill, gas, you can imagine. But I don't think its a terribly bad thing that I spend a modest amount, around 20 bucks a month, on literature. But sometimes I do wonder, what would people think if they knew a tiny fraction of a penny of their tax payment went to an ebook by someone like Richard Dawkins. It isn't like I'm spending it all on porn and hookers, but is that any better? Philosophically speaking. I think I actually use it more responsibly than average, but I'm curious what those here think about the concept in general. What would be going too far? Donations to FFRF or JREF? Prostitution? Tithing? Alcohol? Cocaine?


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Welcome,

You are not alone, if it is any comfort, everybody gets a shitty deal somewhere along the road and no one gets out of here alive.

Now, before that day, you need some fun once in a while, may I suggest defiance.

I also found poking fun at other's ideas to be very amusing.  I like being outrageous perhaps because they may remember me when they try and ignore me.

If there were a god have some pitty on the guy, his job lasts for ever and he doesn't even get drunk or fucked either. Everyone just blames him. So take a breath and enjoy the fact that you are real and  we acknowledge the fact.

 You can write and God hasn't made the effort. You are way ahead of the slacker.

I had to write because a dear friend recently died of Cystic Fibrosis at 23 years of age. I had known him since he was 10 or so.

Defiance came up so often that I hope it benefits you in some ways. He dreamed of becoming a writer,  his first publication went into print weeks after his death. His defiance was Majestic and he inspired an old screwed up bastard like me to try writing. Excuse my bad typing. I was a scientist he was a little kid. The universe is big and very weird things happen when you watch. The little kid was way more than anyone expected.

He managed to provoke the hell out of people and honestly he left a huge wake that none of us long livers will ever manage.

You  must keep writing and readers should make efforts to prop you up when you need help. To be  Human is to tell your own story.

God has ghost writers so I am told. And have you read the stuff with all the smiting and begatting it is boring and those guys seemed to have limited imagination. In my day Penthouse was more interesting The Happy Hooker was funny. 

I am new to the group as well and would suggest that accomodation might be rewarding. You never know what this guy might say, given some help. 

Defiance can be so funny, people are never expecting it. 

Just think of them and me as your toys. Look they have no idea what is going on, you could pull fast ones on all of us, so give it a try. I love the Three Stooges and Groucho Marx.

..

vburach "Cossack"

 

What could I do to make you smile?

vburach "Cossack"


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Jonathan Clement and books

 Hi Jonathon,

I have a ton of books that i collected over the years, lots of Sci Fi no porn sorry.

 

Hey if you want a good laugh try and find a copy of the PEARL,  Victorian English pornographic literature. You need a glossary to explain some of the strange words they invented to describe the female genitalia. But when I was 12  it was scandolous. Fucking hasn't changed much since then ,the parts are still all the same and there are only so many permutations physically possible. Besides every woman wants to think she was special for the last million years. When you read the book you will be surprised at what people thought was sexy. I get a kick out of old porno, especially French Post cards. I occasionally see the modern stuff and the shaved pussies just shock the hellout of me. No matter what I keep thinking that it looks infantile. But what the hell I guess women today want their men to have a streak of the child molester in them. I am and old fur burger fan.  Back in university we used to call it the "Fergus Burger" after the little town north of my University. As a proud Canadian we refrred to the "Beaver" as our national symbol.  The hairless beaver just doesn't quite capture the imagination.

I live alone and somedays I find the worst of the pulp and use it in my fireplace. I live North of you In Canada.

I remember once hearing that Canadians spend an average of $150 per year on literature of all kinds.

Damn, I thought I spend that every few weeks.

So I am a lot older than you so much is no longer fashionable. But some was quite amusing. Anyway I could send you pounds or so of assorted stuff that you might find amusing. I will leave out all the Physics Chemistry and shit that is pretty dated by the time it is published. Besides it is still winter here and textbooks are good for a couple of hours in the Fireplace.

Honestly I do not care what you are, you can put a sentence together and that is good enough. I still read Yukio Mishima after finding out that he was a homosexual suicidal samurai wanabe. Jose Phillip Farmer and his classic weirdo sex vampire sci fi stuff was pretty screwed up long before the Goths ever came along.

You have to find another target for your amusment God slamming is depressing I tried it long ago and I gave it up.

If you can get your hands on a bottle of crazy glue it can be very funny. I once glued my fat old secretary's shoes to the floor of her office after she left. In the morning I waited for her to arrive and I laughed for hours watching her struggle. i was a lowly Grad student and she was aan absolute tyrant over all of us. Eventually te old girl brought in Campus sedurity the office was crammed with people trying to figure out what happened.

 

The official explanation was excess floor wax, by the night cleaning crew. But they never were present during the interval in question. But they protested their innocence and presented documentation and were ignored. Due to budget cutbacks they were only in the place once a week.

I love a good prank. A beer and a good argument.

If you  can find a way to give me your address I would love to give it a try and donate my junk to you.

I had extra web cams but I hacked them up and use them on telescopes. I have trouble seeing small items now. It sucks but technology can help in some cases.

What gives with the book allowance and your freedom of choice, never heard of such a thing. They actually care what you read?

You might also find Jaroslav Hasek funny with the Good soldier Svec. But I am ancient and out of fashion today.

Iain M Banks might be the best sci fi in the last 30 years I am an old fan starting half a century back. My kids were  great fans of his work.

At 21  every human being is seriously impaired. It takes a period of time and much suffering to become Human. I think you are qualified ahead of schedule.

 

vburach"Cossack"

 

 

 

 


Pillowpants
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 I extend a warm welcome to

 I extend a warm welcome to you into our community.  Such a debilitating disease would be unbearable for me.  You have a strong heart.


Sapient
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Jonathan,It was suggested

Jonathan,

It was suggested that I elevate your account by one of the top members of this site.  I agree with the user and his reasons.  So I've affixed a free silver membership to your account, which allows you to blog, send personal messages, download shows, and access some private areas.  Here are the private areas:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forums/privatespecialforums

 

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


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JonathanBC wrote:mellestad

JonathanBC wrote:

mellestad wrote:


 

I'm not high-brow like you are, most of my favorite books are trashy fiction...I probably don't have an appreciable concept of my own mortality Smiling

A Song of Ice and Fire is a pretty amazing book though.  I love the complexity and emotion.

 

I'll check out the Feynman book as my next non-fiction read, and thanks for the invite!

I've just purchased the first book, A Game of Thrones, on your recommendation alone! It will be the first fiction novel I've read in years, so the pressure is on! But not really, because I got Melvyn Bragg's "The Adventure of English" at the same time. Those are my two books for February. I'd hate to spam the introduction forum more than I have, but I will let you know what I think when I finish it.

On a somewhat related note, I'm curious what others will think of this. As can be easily guessed, I'm unemployed. My income is solely from Social Security. I don't actually like this, I'd much rather work. I've tried, but I can't be consistent because of my health, even working from home. Now, I will say I get a very modest monthly sum. Under 500. Now, I do spend the great majority of that appropriately. Clothing twice a year, drink, telephone and internet bill, gas, you can imagine. But I don't think its a terribly bad thing that I spend a modest amount, around 20 bucks a month, on literature. But sometimes I do wonder, what would people think if they knew a tiny fraction of a penny of their tax payment went to an ebook by someone like Richard Dawkins. It isn't like I'm spending it all on porn and hookers, but is that any better? Philosophically speaking. I think I actually use it more responsibly than average, but I'm curious what those here think about the concept in general. What would be going too far? Donations to FFRF or JREF? Prostitution? Tithing? Alcohol? Cocaine?

 

I'm about half way through the Feynman book right now (I only read it about once a week at lunch, in my truck, when my wife is busy doing something else).  The stuff about Los Alamos was awesome, especially the bomb test and his reaction, right now he is elaborating on his dating theory, which is amusing.  I love it when he writes things like, "So there I was, with Oppenheimer and Einstein, and..."

 

And on your last point, I think you can spend it on whatever you want.  I pay taxes, if I ever get fucked up I'm damned well going to use disability money for personal amusement when I can spare it.  Honestly, if someone in your situation wants to go out in a blaze of hookers and blow I don't mind.

 

Hope all is well.  You are a permanent fixture in my 'sucks circle'.  Which doesn't sound very flattering, and might be insulting, but I mean well.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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welcome

JonathanBC wrote:

Favorite book is tough. I think I have to go with Feynman's "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman." Least favorite is easier. Genesis. Cheap shot, but couldn't resist. What about your own? I'm always looking for recommendations.

Feynman's book is one of the best, I love it.  If you can get a hold of anything else of his, it's all great.  There are a lot of websites with his stuff - just google him.  I liked his account of being on the Challenger review board.  Hilarious.

And I also thought the Pearl was fun when I read it years ago.  Wildly improbable, but hey, isn't all porn just fantasy?  Uh, you say you haven't had sex yet, I guess you will have to take my word for it - most of us can't bend that way or that other way, either. 

Hmm - I'll throw out some authors I like and maybe you have already read some or maybe you would like to start.

Donald R. Prothero

Robert T. Pennock

Michael Sherman and The Skeptic online

Douglas Futuyma

Stephen Gould - yeah, I know a lot of people don't agree with him, but I like his style

Spencer Wells

Permaculture by Bill Mollison is the original and there are lots of new books on the subject.  Interesting to see how we are digging our hole deeper instead of getting out of it.

Feathered Dinosaurs: the Origin of Birds by John A Long.  Hope you have a sturdy book support, but it is beautiful.

The best way I found to find books to read is to go to the bibliography of one I like and start looking up books from there.  I often find myself way off from the original topic reading about stuff I didn't know I was interested in - slasher bios, abnormal psych, anorexia through the ages -

Please do spend my tax dollars on books or vids or tunes or hookers or booze or whatever.  Cram all the life in you can.

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.