/minecraft sandbox


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A point to remember when writing for the web: the vast
majority of your audience is reading your material on their
phone or tablet whilst on the toilet.

/////////the commodification of nerd culture\\\\\\\\\\\\\

I happen to remember when “nerd” was not synonymous with
voraciously devouring inane pop culture twaddle, a cutesy
lack of fashion sense or any other stigma that enjoys a fair
amount of social acceptance. Wearing ugly glasses and
obsessing over a box with a glowing screen because of its
*pleasing shape* does not make one a “nerd” any more than
buying a beret and watching Bob Ross makes one an “artist.”

The affinity for dungeons and dragons, academic achievements,
comic books, live action role playing and technology comes
*after* the social awkwardness, the “poor hygeine,” the bullying,
abuse and complete ostracization from “popular society,”
because there’s *nothing left* for the outcast but to seek some
manner of companionship and social interaction with others who
have been thus marginalized.

It’s not like “normal people” hate intelligence or LARPers any
less than they did twenty years ago, they’ve just pilfered the
word “nerd” and attempted to remap its meaning to something
inoffensive and marketable. Popular society observed the nature
of “cult movies” and other forms of “nerd solidarity” (e.g.
supporting the efforts of other “nerds” as a gesture of goodwill)
and hit on it as a way to sell products— create a niche market,
build a cult atmosphere around said product, loudly proclaim the
use of said product by some facet of professional industry as proof
of said product’s credibility and imply that the possession of said
product guarantees membership in an exclusive club of people who are
intellectually superior to “others.”

So, there is now a class of consumers of glowing boxes who look down
on other users of glowing boxes for their perceived inadequacy and
unfashionable nature because the former class paid more for their
glowing box, regardless of the actual application of the glowing box.

Nothing changes except the words.

//////////////////drugs, etc.,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

I’ve had my fair share of interactions with people who can be commonly
referred to as kooks, conspiracy freaks and stereotypical slack-jawed hippies,
and I’ve digested more than my fill of their various, sometimes-lucid gibberish.
I will admit that during a great number of these encounters, the thought has
crossed my mind that perhaps the reason for their inane prattling is largely
related to their prodigious consumption of various psychoactive chemicals.
“Oh, they can’t distinguish fantasy from reality anymore, and their rant about
jews fluoridating our water is probably due to some manner of PTSD incurred by
a bad trip.” You know, “It’s just the drugs talking.”

But a few things occurred to me after witnessing scores of verbal sparring matches
between people arguing about the religious aspects of the current conflict in Gaza:

Most of the people arguing from a fundamentalist christian perspective are
probably doing so without ever having touched a microgram of any illicit
substance in their entire lives

These people are delivering senseless word-salads about “god’s love” or
“the one true truth” much in the same manner as the aforementioned stereotypical
drooling hippie will vomit various words and phrases about “universal consciousness”
or “extra dimensional beings.”

The religious fundamentalist can be very lucid about certain subjects, like
“intelligent design,” “young earth creationism” and the like, just as the stereotypical
stoner/hippie/conspiracy kook can be lucid about subjects like the Kennedy assassination,
the venus project, zendik farm or any other topics where the subject has been pumped into
the individual’s head. These lucid moments are so because their brain at this point is on
autopilot, and they have a whole *spiel* to give you, “if you’d only listen to the truth.”

So, if we consider that people who have never taken any “consciousness expanding substances”
are just as susceptible to repeat paranoid gibberish as those who have taken these substances,
I can’t say that I’m completely convinced that doing heroic amounts of psychedelics will
turn you into a mindless, hypersuggestive drone any more than being programmed with repetitive
dogma will.

If anything, it’s the repetitive dogma that’s the arch mind-scrambler more than anything else—
whether it’s Alex Jones, Jim Jones or Bob Jones transmitting that hogwash, *that* is what turns
people into irritating, rambling cranks more than anything else.

Don’t get me wrong— I’m not saying that eating a brick of windowpane won’t have some dire
consequences for the overall health of your brain, but I cannot believe that any substance can
program a vast number of people into repeating or advocating identical conspiracy theories—
the drug didn’t put those ideas in their heads, *people did*