DSPN Presents: Opening Day 2011

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Thursday, March 31, 2011 | Published in

Ladies and Gentlemen, Rejoice! For today officially signals the beginning of spring (forget that noise about the equinoxes). Yes, today is the official start of baseball season in the United States. For the foreign people in the audience, baseball is a little like Cricket but the pitchers are more likely to throw at your head, there are four bases to run to, and hitting it over the fence is extremely good.

I've always felt that baseball is the sport of choice for the goddess Eris. Mainly because there are so many statistics involved. I know that sounds boring to most people who don't know their OPS from their WAR or their ERA+ from their WHIP. But baseball is so interesting because of sample size.

Baseball season is ridiculously long. It starts today, the last day of March, and won't be over until last out of the World Series sometime in October. During that time every single team will play 162 games (plus playoff games). Every starting player will see around 4 or 5 plate appearances during each of those games. There will be roughly 120 pitches thrown during those contests. On each pitch, almost anything can happen. A liner back to the pitcher. A dribbler to short. A monster 400 foot homerun. A weak foul ball to the third base side. A bean ball placed in the third rib of the batter. Each at bat is a paragraph. Each pitch is a sentence.

There are so many games each season that odd outliers start to crop up. Teams will score 20 runs in a game. Players will hit 4 home runs in a game. Guys will go on 30 game hitting streaks. Relief pitchers will hit three run homers in their first major league at bat. Second basemen will pull off unassisted triple plays. And yes, at some point you will have a pitcher throw a no-hitter while high on LSD.

Baseball is exciting because the possibilities are endless and ever new season is a blank canvas just waiting for something strange to happen. So get the lawn mowed, pop open a beer, and let's play ball.

Go Cardinals!

Why Immortality Would Suck

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | Published in

(Comic via SMBC.)

At some point in the future mankind will figure out how to live forever and I am convinced that that is what will cause the final destruction of our species. I know that sounds contradictory, but just hear me out.

Society currently has a way of refreshing itself every 20 years or so and that it called "Kill off the old fuckers and make some new babies." It's not the most efficient method in the world but it has served us well for the last several millennia. This is caused by strange bit of brain chemistry. Almost all of your beliefs about the world are set by your mid 20s. Not set like concrete but set more like a tasty jello mold. Your brain is done being bombarded with hormones from puberty, your pineal gland calcifies around the age of 23 (fnord!), and after that it is almost impossible to change someone's view of the world. Once you hit your 30s you are set in your ways and your personal narrative is a third of the way down its path.

What's good about this though is that during their teens and twenties most people are open-minded, liberal, tolerant, and willing to consider new ideas and try new experiences. Every generation says, "Let us strive to be better than our parents!" But also says, "Hey, let's not take this too far." And so, society changes by generational quanta. Things never progress steadily but in small leaps. And not always for the best but always in a new direction. Each generation has their own memes, causes, art, and beliefs that makes the culture has a whole just slightly different.

Immortality would mess this up is that we would miss out on the "Kill off the old fuckers" part. People with antiquated ideas would linger on for eternity. Just imagine your grandparents not only alive but healthy, active, of sound mind, and eager to vote. Ok, now imagine your great-grandparents alive, healthy active, of sound mind and eager to vote. And now your great-great-grandparent. And so on. Immortality would change the average age of humanity, if not the mean age. Over time young people would be forced out of the marketplace of ideas. We would have the equivalent of not only geocentricists, as in the comic at the top of the screen, but also people who still think slavery is a great idea, that women should never leave the home, and think that germs are "just a theory". (Wait, we still have the last two.)

At any rate, society would quickly stagnate. New ideas would never stand a chance. We would repeat the same memes for eternity. Nothing of interest would be produced without everyone complaining about how derivative it is. Hopefully people would refuse the immortality treatment or start to kill themselves out of sheer boredom.

The Secret Life Of Chaos BBC

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Tuesday, March 15, 2011 | Published in

Everything Went Better Than Expected

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Sunday, March 13, 2011 | Published in

I know I've been blogging about Facebook stuff too much lately, but this is too good not to share. Unless you are living under a rock, you already know about the situation over in Japan. Earthquake, tsunami, possible nuclear meltdown. Horrific stuff. "Pray for Japan" was a popular topic on both Twitter and Facebook this weekend. You can imagine how I feel about that. I posted "Prayer: the original slacktivism. Get off your knees and give to the Red Cross" to both Facebook and Twitter to get the word out that the Japanese people need food, shelter, and clothing more than they need prayer and empty platitudes. Got a pretty good response although I have no idea how many people took my advice.

About 24 hours after I posted that status on Facebook I got a notification text on my phone that one of the three preachers that I'm friends with had posted a response to my status. I was busy playing Wii bowling with my daughter so I just glance at it, see that it's a Bible verse and expect the worst. I didn't check my Facebook wall until several hours later because getting into a public theological debate in front of most of my friends and family is not exactly my idea of a fun time. When I finally did check it, I was pleasantly surprised:

Everything went better than expected. Sometimes it's good to remember that not all Christians are evil conservative bastards who ironically hate the poor and meek.

Sorry for the smudging in the picture, btw. I decided to share this with Reddit before I put it here. (Upboat if you love me.)

At any rate, go donate to the Red Cross RIGHT NOW. Give whatever you are capable of. You can even specify that your donates go towards Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami. If you have a cell phone you can Text REDCROSS to 90999. If you don't have money then give blood. Every drop helps.

Running the World

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Sunday, March 6, 2011 | Published in

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. - Kurt Vonnegut

I made the simple mistake just the other day of looking at my hometown newspaper's website the other day. I don't do this very often because typically the only thing they are good for is obituaries, high school sports, and whatever the chamber of commerce has been up to lately. But it was through this little website that I discovered someone that I went to high school with is currently the mayor of the tiny town my older sister currently lives in.

As you can probably surmise from the Vonnegut quote up there, this kinda freaks me out. Sure, this is a village of barely 300 people and I assume that he got the job because no one else wanted it but still this is a bit hard for me fathom. This particular "kid" wasn't even that big on leadership in school. I remember him as an annoying little ginger that hung around the band nerds. And now he is running his own village.

It bothers me even more to realize that this isn't an isolated incident. People I grew up with are now executives, police officers, lawyers, teachers, doctors (and chiropractors, unfortunately), and yes, politicians. In a few short years, people my age will be running the world and that scares me. I know what these people used to be like. I remember them with acne and bad braces. I remember them being unable to go a week without relationship drama. I remember many of them being unable to pass basic science, math, and social studies classes. Hell, I've seen about half of these drunk. These are not the people you want running the planet.

If you thought things had changed, friend you’d better think again. Bluntly put in the fewest of words, "Cunts are still running the world." - Jarvis Cocker

But then, I take a step back and making an interesting realization. These are the people that have always been running the planet. My generation is not unique in any way. This is the way things have always be done. One generation passes and hands the reigns off to a younger generation that is roughly the same in capability but with room to improve.

Someone has to fill the shoes when our leaders retire and it doesn't always go to the Best and Brightest. It typically goes to a person that was at the right place at the right time. If it is a good position it goes to the asshole most willing to stab everyone else in the back. Not exactly the best process to decide your leaders but "the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all."

The world has always been lead by mostly mediocre men. We are destined to have more George W. Bushes and Warren G. Hardings than we are Lincolns and FDRs. The Fates have decided to curse us with more shitty leaders than good ones. It's amazing we've even made it this far.