Appearances I

October 15, 2009

It’s been more than a month since I wrote and I indicated that it was quite possible that I’d write nothing at all. Now I’ve got the gall to put a Roman numeral one in the title of a post. I think that’s funny. The meaning of it is that I know that I’ve not reached a conclusion on what I’m going to say here.

My kids want to download a game that is “for good looking people.” The fact that that’s included in the title of the game is for the sake of humour. My children get that. That’s part of why they want the game. They like the humour. But that’s only part of it. They also think they qualify as “good looking.” Of course, as their parent, I don’t find any faults with their appearance. I’m able to go on about how much I like how they look but I think it is pointless. I’ve noticed that other parents like how their kids look. I think of this as a good thing. I drew the conclusion that (by any standard other than the rosy glasses of parenthood) my kids are normal looking. I’m only mildly concerned that they have inaccurately high self esteem. I feel that having them overrate their own appearances is preferable to them underrating themselves. I’ve known a few people who underrate their appearance and such underratings have resulted in considerable unpleasantness for those people.

As an adult, I’ve got a couple of advantages over my children. First off, I think of myself as “mature.” That is, I think that appearance isn’t a great big deal to me in choosing friends. I think that other aspects of personality matter more. I’m not entirely sure that this is the case. That’s why I qualified what I said with a batch of “I think”s. It doesn’t matter much for my question today.

Secondly, I don’t do this sort of over estimation thing. I use reasoning to deduce that I’m completely normal looking just as I’ve used reasoning to deduce that they’re normal looking. Of course, I might be dead wrong. I might be really ugly or I might be quite fetching. I don’t believe either of those and again, it doesn’t matter much for today’s question. Whatever my appearance, I go through life thinking that I’m behaving the way a normal looking person behaves and thinking the reactions. This feels normal to me.

The media portrays good looking people. I regularly get a window into the lives of good looking people by accidentally consuming television and magazines. From what I can tell, being good looking is mostly pleasant. I suppose having more random people wanting to take one’s photograph could get being a bit tiresome. One of my children gets kind of upset about being photographed. But I suspect that the benefits outweigh the annoyances. I suspect that good looking people on average get better service in shops and at restaurants than non-good looking people. I suspect they have an easier time getting jobs. I bet they have an easier time making friends. So, I wonder what is it like being ugly? Do ugly people have a harder go of things in life? I suspect so.

At this point it seems fair to ask myself some “difficult” questions. Am I part of that? That is, do I contribute to ugly people having a rough go of things? I probably do. (I’m not sure why such questions are called “difficult”. The questions weren’t really hard to answer at all. The answer isn’t pleasant but arriving at it was easy.)

With that answer in hand, I now have a pair of questions to which I don’t know the answer. How do I go about finding out if I really am causing ugly people to have a rough go of things? Supposing I am, how do I go about stopping such behaviour?


My Avatar

September 11, 2009

When I was a youngster, I thought that the word “avatar” had something to do with some religion that I didn’t understand. Since I don’t understand any religions, the last part of what I just said is hardly surprising at all. More recently, people have been using that word to mean something else. I wasn’t fond of the new meaning. I used to think that little pictures of people on computers were absurd in a foolish way as opposed to a really good and funny kind of way. Fortunately for me, I don’t think I’m going to stop everything that I think is foolish. I didn’t try to stop the fashion in having avatars. I got used to the idea. I got so that I kind of like them.

Even more recently, someone made up a new word: “gravatar.” I decided to make one of those. I haven’t registered it anywhere other than with wordpress so I don’t have any real reason to believe that it is globally recognized. Maybe it’s just an avatar instead of a gravatar. Maybe I’m being old fashioned in thinking of it as an avatar. I don’t think anyone besides me has seen it yet. I’ll describe it in a moment and leave a comment below so that you can inspect it at your leisure.

My gravatar is a picture of an astronomical phenomenon. One of my direct lineal descendants took that picture. I’m using it because I’m quite pleased with the picture. It’s a kind of homage to my child.

I suppose that someone could complain about it. Someone might say something like this:

The child was going to take a picture of the sun but somehow missed and took the picture when the sun was totally blocked by the moon. How much more can one botch a picture?

or this:

The foolish child has no respect for technological devices. Imagine pointing a digital camera directly at the sun and taking a picture. Daft! By pure good luck, the moon happened to be exactly in the way and the camera wasn’t ruined.

As is the way with people making up straw men, I made those up those nasty things so that I could kick them down. They’re not nice and they’re dishonest. I like the picture. My child knew the dangers of direct sunlight on cameras (and eyes). I like the other pictures my child took that day. I like the pictures before totality through a filter. I liked that whole day. I liked the feeling of excitement in the square that morning. The eclipse itself was stellar. Oh my! I’ve made myself laugh. Everybody I met that day was cheerful.

This Could So Easily Turn Into Nothing

September 10, 2009

Perhaps you’re already bored. This is a first post of a blog. Is this blog worth reading? If you’re reading it today (I’m writing from my point of view so that means before any other posts have been written if indeed they ever get written – I’ll have some more to say about that in a few moments; very few from your point of view if you just skip to the end of this paragraph), it is especially hard to say. I might add to your boredom. Maybe if I’d written “your already bored” instead of what I did write, you’d feel entertained. You’d laugh at me. Maybe you’re drinking lemonade. Your laughter would cause you to squirt lemonade out of your nose onto your keyboard. That would be a mess. You’d want to clean it up. You’d unplug your keyboard which would put just a little bit of stress on the rubber coating the wire leading from your computer to your keyboard. This could eventually lead to the rubber breaking and the wire being exposed but it won’t since you’ll throw out the keyboard and replace it with a wireless keyboard long before that happens. Oops. I rather ruined the point it would have looked like I was going to make except the title of this piece does match the conclusion one can draw from my fanciful tale: even if I had made the typographical sin that I described (OK. I illustrated it inside of quotation marks so that you knew and one hopes still knows that it was on purpose), nothing horribly bad would have happened.

If one were to survey the blogosphere by counting blogs rather than counting hits or posts, one might get the feeling that most blogs amount to nothing and not just the nothing that is intrinsic to the nature of blogs. Most blogs stop after a very few posts. That could happen to this blog. To see why, read my about page unless you’re reading this months or years after it was posted and zillions of posts have followed it and my about page has been changed to match the changing circumstances of my life.

I could end this post by not writing a third paragraph. I chose not to end that way. I haven’t thought at all about how to use tags. That is all for now.