17 reasons why chess is not good for you

AiDeeDystopia

Chess is considered very good for the brain. Kids become intelligent overnight after learning the moves. Blue chip companies in Europe are on the lookout for Grandmasters with some sort of university degree. Parents of chess playing kids like to boast to other parents: ‘mine plays chess’. Chess is called ‘the royal game’, a game historically associated with the powerful and awesome, Genghis Khan, Napoleon and Vladimir Lenin. Chess represents in humanity some sort of super-intelligence only matched by creatures from outer space.

It’s one of the biggest lies ever told. Because chess is actually harmful to the mind, body and soul. It leads to bad habits like alcoholism, anti-semitism, extreme arrogance, vindictiveness and encourages the development of mental illnesses. I will present 17 solid reasons why this happens using the World Champions as examples.

Reason 1 – Paul Morphy (world champ 1857-1859): Regarded as the first unofficial World…

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1984 by George Orwell, Quotes, Monologues & Speeches From the Book

broles3

The whole book is a masterpiece, filled with memorable line after line. Ya gotta read the book. Here are a few quotes & lines from the book: 

  • “The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed–would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper–the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you.”
  • “People simply disappeared, always during the night. Your name was removed from the registers, every record of everything you had ever done was wiped out, your one-time existence was denied and then forgotten. You were abolished, annihilated: vaporized was the usual word.”
  • “Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such…

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Salon: Five atheists who ruin it for everyone else

sarcasticjefferson

Over at Salon.com, Ian Murphy has a piece profiling five atheists who “believe in some powerfully stupid stuff, thereby eroding the credibility of all atheists.” Well, he doesn’t so much profile them as he does offer ham-handed criticism of them.

Making the list are neuroscientist Sam Harris, talk show host and comedian Bill Maher, magician Penn Jillette, activist Ayaan Hersi Ali, and columnist S.E. Cupp. One quickly notices that three of the five (Jillette, Ali, and Cupp) could, generally speaking, be characterized as limited government advocates. This would not be striking, but for the fact this advocacy itself seems to be the greatest measure by which Murphy considers them to be ruinous to the reputation of the atheist community.

I always found it to be curious that many atheists, and indeed skeptics of religious institutions in general, fail to see the intellectual consistency in applying that same skepticism to the efficacy and efficiency of the state. One who applies the same standards to the state as…

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John Nash, A Beautiful Mind, interviewed

Mind Hacks

There’s a video interview with Nobel prize winning mathematician John Nash, the subject of the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind, over at 3QuarksDaily where he talks about his life, work and mental illness.

The film is a quite heavily fictionalised account of Nash’s life and he clearly has some disagreements with Sylvia Nasar’s award winning biography of the same name, so it’s interesting to get his own perspective.

Nash rarely gives interviews so this 20 minute discussion is quite comprehensive. In parts he discusses how he managed his work as a mathematician throughout his difficulties and even touches on some of his past delusions.

It’s fascinating, if not a little awkward in places, but a rare opportunity to hear Nash in person.

Link to video interview on 3QuarksDaily.

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The Illuminati Myth

Conspiracy theories; scapegoats; boogeymen – every era has them.

Just so happens that present day pop culture in general, and the hip hop community specifically, has ‘the Illuminati’ as its unhealthy fixation.

This was always a source of amusement for me – If I happened to find myself in a convo where the Illuminati became the topic, I’d entertain it a little without really speaking my mind. However, recently, my wife happened to mention that she believed the Illuminati was out there, too.

Oh boy…

She, like many other educated folk, believes that the Illuminati is a secret, satanic group who run the world. They, are therefore (obviously) responsible for the evils of society, in particular,. the debauchery of the record industry.

miley

I couldn’t resist, I had to pick apart her belief. I pressed wifey to reveal what was behind her conviction, and it quickly became clear that her knowledge of the Illuminati had been informed by hearsay.

But, this willingness to believe the hype represents more than Chinese whispers; it’s a combination of multiple factors.

Conspiracy

No doubt there are people out there, in the shadows, who conspire to commit and hide their despicable schemes.

If only this were acknowledged in moderation. Instead, what we have is a tiresome situation where anything that has the whiff of ‘undeserved’ success, immorality or esoteric symbolism is instinctively linked to that devilish gang: Illuminati.

The willingness to blame bad things on a conspiracy is part of the human condition; it happens in every era, and the fact that our generation blames the Illuminati, is an echo of a bygone period.

There is a documented, historical Illuminati, and if you’re inclined to, you could probably tie yourself in knots reading about their relatively minuscule exploits. In short, they were ‘free thinkers’ in an age where a powerful, oppressive Church and it’s dogma beat down the advance of scientific inquiry.

This is not to say that there is no possibility that there may have been ‘questionable people’ who identified themselves as Illuminati. But to use this as a basis for a present day conspiracy is a stretch that Armstrong would be proud of.

Victim-hood mentality

As a young’n I brought Tupac’s the don killuminati.

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I, too, got it twisted; Tupac was stating his intent to bring down the secret society – or so we thought. It wasn’t until over a decade later I heard one of his last interviews where he elaborated on the meaning behind the title. Tupac recognized that people’s willingness to believe in the Illuminati myth was just another manifestation of the ‘victim-hood mentality’ that poisons the mind of so many. He wanted to ‘kill’ the belief in the Illuminati myth because he saw it as detriment to self-esteem.

Put simply, it’s easier to blame some omnipresent, powerful force for society’s shortcomings – for your own shortcomings, rather than man up and accept a portion of responsibility for that thing you blame on others.

Immortal technique articulated it in a way that is right on the money. If you want to know who, more often than not, is at the heart of things, pulling strings; you need not look further than a corporation.

Wifey listened as I regurgitated Immortal Techniques jewels, and then she caught me off guard with her response: “the Illuminati could be the ones at the top of the corporation!”

Oh boy…

For the sake of courteous argument, I said this could be true, but, why is it important that we call them Illuminati – why the obsession with a defunct, now mythical group.

“We have to call them something”… and I had to bite the bullet; she was made a good point. Whether I object to the given name or not, powerful groups do exist; they push an agenda that puts money over everything (slight exaggeration), and they strive to increase their positions of power.

Where me and wifey diverge on our common ground though, is the religious connotations that tend to follow Illuminati chatter like a bad smell. My Christian friends are the same; Illuminati means something much more insidious to them – Illuminati are Satan’s henchman.

Their pawns are the Jay z’s, 2 Chainz and Rihanna’s of the music industry; basically, anyone whose (im)morality runs contrary to their Christian values.

It can be said that this type of finger-pointing and over-analyzing is the manifestation of a person own anxieties. Or to approach it from another angle, the virtuous need (perceived) bad guys to wag they’re finger at; just like Batman needs The Joker.

I would humbly say, the best place for all this Illuminati hogwash is with a heavy pinch of salt within fiction. We had a half-decent book from Dan Brown (horrible movie though) that toyed with the Illuminati legend – and Marvel put an interesting twist on it in The New Avengers.

¥MV03 WWH covers.indd

I don’t expect that my wife, or the many other conspiracy theorists will change their mind any time soon; but, at least we have some fictional silver lining to this enduring cloud.