The USS Quad Damage


Maybe it's just my own life that sinks and floats in simple harmonic motion. Maybe it's just that I'm reading everyone wrong in recent times. However, it is the case that life oscillates between "everything's going to be fine" and "It's only a matter of time until we're all fucked." It's the oscillation that's got me thinking on a higher level at my "I hate everyone" philosophy.

People say I laugh at the wrong times in movies.

There are a lot of people who "do the right thing". At least those who try. I consider myself to be one of those. I think we feel hard done by, because we feel that doing the right thing ought to be worth something. I have a friend who's finding it hard to find a job. He's smart, he's fun, he's outgoing, and compared to me he's a downright optimist. He ought to get a job. He's been through a world of hard knocks and he still comes out with hope. I find that amazing.

But he's tired of all the optimism. I can see it in his eyes, he wears it on his breath. He loses his cool, and that only makes things worse. When the walls are closing in, it's hard not to push out. He said "I just want something convenient." He wants an answer, and he wants it now, and he doesn't want to compromise.

I have another friend. A female in engineering. As much as we all feel it, guys tend to suck it up a lot more - The feeling that maybe we're just not "cut out" for engineering. Women have that feeling a lot stronger, I think. Anyway, on top of occasionally dealing with engineering cold feet, I try to steer female engineers away from the "dark side" of management, finance, or law. Her arguement is that because she's an engineer, she can apply that same knowledge to anything else, and piss all over that field, be it management, finance, or whatever else she puts her mind to. Why not? They get paid more, are generally better respected, and are higher in the social food chain. Screw the fact that they don't actually create wealth, they're what society values, they're what society wants. It's an easier job with greater pay.

It's like society wants to get fucked in the ass. Who is she to say "no"?

It's hard to argue. It's hard to explain. I think there's some pride every engineer has in them in regards to engineering. We're like fucking monks or something, because we know we won't get paid nearly as much as we could be, but we do it anyway, because it's right. Whether it actually is right is another matter, because the lawyers, the merchants, the managers are the ones pulling the strings, but that's a story for another time. Some dude said that it'd only take about 20 sufficiently intelligent people to take over the world. I'd wager there's thousands of groups of 20 engineers that could do it, if they wanted to.

Everything I just said about engineering above is possibly a lie, but I've seen the amount we've worked in relation to all the other faculties at uni, and that's why I believe it. Fair enough, the actuaries seem a lot more tense, but they're the type that get tense. It looks like we lot can manage actuarial stuff. We survived electromag (barely). Bring it on (he said nervously).

There's another thread, and I'm going to try to join these together: I have a theory. I think that our intelligence works against evolution, because of addiction. I define "addiction" loosely here. Something that is rewarding, even when done repeatedly. Breathing would be an example. Breathing keeps us alive, which is a good thing, but breathe too quickly, and we hyperventilate.

We have certain things which we have practically wired on repeat, because it's ordinarily so hard to repeat these actions anyway. Breathing is something we can do as fast as we want, at will, but we manage to keep a slow rhythm. However, eating is something that (uncontrolled) we'll do as much as possible. We've got to manage a lot of self control to keep a steady diet. Look at the industry that's cropped up around eating and it's easy to see that self control often loses to instinct. A lot of friends have recently come off Evercrack, and some are going into WoW. These games have a lot of repetetive but rewarding actions. However, these rewards are purely fictional.

I had an RSS addiction. During some of my breaks between sessions at uni, I'd find I'd often spend entire days reading articles on the internet, and then I'd go to sleep, wondering where the day went. I still find it amazing how much can be achieved in a single day, compared to the amount you feel you've achieved by reading stuff all day. It's under control now, but it's still there. I've actually got to make myself get off the computer. I don't create anything when I'm reading stuff. Arguably, I'm learning the stuff that I'm reading, but to what end? If I don't put my knowledge to use, there's little point in having it. The time it really hit home was when I read an article I had read a few years earlier and I could only remember fleeting bits of it!

Point being, intelligence subverts evolution. Evolution is a struggle, intelligence is convenience. We have our drug of choice right here ready for the next hit. It can be complex. It can be love. It can be fulfilling, but sometimes it can be excessive. Maybe that's why we get so irritated when we don't get what we want. Maybe suicide rates are so high not because life is so hard, but because it's so easy. The second someone is up against adversity, it hits them like a brick wall. Morality, ethics, ideals, everything goes out the window and we run scampering back to our ritual. It's easy, it's instant, it's rewarding.

So it's feels sad that we're all affected by it. It's sad that we don't even notice it sometimes. Life's become a wierd struggle against getting what we want. Maybe we'll get over it. The bobbing between hope and hopelessness is the difference between seeing something beautiful and different and seeing something the same. Seeing someone giving up. Even if we're destined to fail, we should still try. The path to evolution lies in adversity. Maybe that's what I should have told my friends.