Khanism

The Basics

A small group of us would heard to Camp Washington Chili after the Thursday night dances. The six or seven of us, ages ranging from college students to young professionals to retirees, would occupy the table of the diner long into the night and past the hour when it would be reasonable for us to go to sleep. We were dancers, and although the discussion meandered, the topic I spoke of more reverently than any other was that of dance philosophy. The group grew to the point where it was no longer intimate, and those who I enjoyed the company of the most stopped dancing, but the philosophy of dance is a subject that can be carried into almost every aspect of one’s life.

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Trapped in the Cubical

The modern office cubicle came about sometime in the 1960s. A cubicle seeks to grant some degree of privacy while taking up a minimal amount of space on open office floors. They are usually easy to assemble, dismantle, move and resize. People who work in cubicles typically have all sorts of photos, toys and other knickknacks on display if the work environment allows it. In this way they are all slightly unique, as unique as each individual worker. In the same way, under the decorations and personal items, each cube is exactly the same, just like all their occupants.

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Created Equal

In the United States Deceleration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” a phrase which, in the context of his time period, was indicative of a people who opposed the political and religious notion of The Divine Right of the King. But in a modern context, there are two things clearly wrong with this statement. Humans were not created, we evolved, and we did not evolve equally.

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How Social Media Destroyed my Generation

Years ago, I found a online journal of an aerospace engineer. Her hopes, desires and random thoughts were placed out there on the web. Fascinated, I created a website of my own. Starting out as just a journal, it later expended to music, band and even movie reviews. I watched as friends around me created Live Journals, Dead Journals and Blogger accounts. Then slowly, one by one, I saw them either totally delete their accounts or restrict them to friends or by password. Some of their posts were hilarious, but for many, it was too much, too exposed and too open.

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Legality

Upon the discussion of illegal immigration, specifically people from one nation working in another state while being undocumented, a common argument against immigrants is that the act is itself illegal. Regardless of the reasons why one would chose to leave their home and their lives to travel to a new land, the issue of legality as an argument against such individuals is a funny one. There are places in this world were it is illegal for women to show their faces in public. In many developed countries, there were times when it was legal to own slaves, or illegal for a person from one race to sit at the same table or drink from the same water fountain of someone from another race. It was once illegal to divorce and in many places, it is still illegal to admit to being a homosexual. Although both realms are somewhat subjective, it can be argued that legality does not necessarily equivocate with what is morally right.

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It was a bit of a letdown

By some virtue I don’t fully understand, I have a lot of friends from various walks of life. I am surrounded by those who are both older and younger than myself; those who are professionals, students, professional students and those who are barely making it. For New Years Eve, I’m one of those people who often jumps from one party or group to another in a futile attempt to spend a little time with everyone. It was at a dinner event this past year, an event that left my coffers a bit more drained than I would have liked, that taught me a valuable lesson about clothing.

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Shopping

Last year my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told them they didn’t need to get me anything. I no longer celebrated Christmas. I’ve grown tired of the rampant consumerism associated with a holiday season that originally came about because humans were simple thankful they had survived another frigid, harsh winter. Although I have no problem with people celebrating any of the winter holidays, I can say my life has been amazingly less stressful during this time of the year. Meanwhile others bustle around to buy gifts, half of which well end up in a storage bin anyway.

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The Non-theists Wager

Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician from the 1600’s, once proposed that people should live their lives as if there were a God, because by doing so, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Although Pascal never intended this statement as a proof, it’s often used by religious apologists as an argument for the belief in God. It places the assumption of a god and the afterlife into a weighted game around such beliefs, instead of first looking at the benefits of a good life in relation to the possibility of a god.

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Police

“We’re fighting them terrorists there, so we don’t have to fight them here,” is a common nonsensical catch phrase used in many variations during the Bush presidency from 2000 until 2008. In the past few years, the exact opposite has happened. United States policy and military training has left the war theaters of the middle east. With military style weapons and training given to SWAT teams in municipal police departments around the country, infantry tactics are often used domestically now against US citizens in non-violent drug crimes. In some cases, this has lead to accidental deaths, police brutality and the destruction of lives for non-violent peaceful citizens.

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Military

The concept of supporting our troops has become its own mantra in the United States. We talk about those who “sacrifice” and “defend our freedom,” in such that we should honor them for their service. We go as far as to place yellow plastic magnets on the back of our vehicles as a symbolic gesture of our support (with the money typically going to some manufacturing company in China). Even liberals have taken up the “Support our Troops” mantra by tacking on “Bring them Home” in a way to attach a degree of appeasement to the staunch advocates of continued war. But the reality is not some pretty idealized view of American bringing democracy and freedom to the world. The reality is that as a nation, we’ve accepted blanket statements and embraced nationalism without taking time to discern the facts of our history and understand all the wrong our government does in order to sustain our standard of living.

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