Competition

You don’t know what you don’t know. Truer words cannot be said. One morning, I was asked to accompany a father to a middle school where they would be discussing a new program the school might be adopting. This program would level the playing field in STEM for all students. Sounds great right? Great. But it had to be voted on and many parents were not happy with the program. Why? Because this program would in effect, do away with classifying students into curriculum for “advanced learners” or “regular” learners. Those in advanced classes get higher quality instruction and learning. Parents were concerned that their “advanced learners” would be held back in a class of all students at all learning stages. They demanded that “advanced learning” classes continue.

This whole meeting changed yet another one of my perspectives on education and the failures of us depending too heavily on systematic things. I thought back to my childhood. I was one of those “advanced learner” students. I took tests and was placed into upper level classes. It was mostly in high school. Looking back now, I do see that this was its own kind of segregation. Most of the students in advanced learning were from more affluent backgrounds when compared to overall students. As a student I was not so much concerned with this.

As an adult, this made me want to know what drove us here? As parents, what makes it okay to segregate your children? I think I knew what it was. Socially programmed competition. Adults program their children this way from birth. They give them the lay of the land that life is a huge competition and there are only a limited number of winners and the resources are finite. If you want to win, you have to beat the others. You have to fiercely compete. how do they program children like this? By trying their best to maintain advanced learner programs and urging their kids to push harder for higher grades….for the purpose of having higher grades than peers. By underlining comparisons for the purpose of competition. By awarding when their kid competes and wins. By pushing competition over collaboration. And also, they live it by example when they go to work each day in the spirit of competition and reward. Life just becomes a  competition. And somewhere along the way, our morals and ethics are tested. We become to believe that its okay to cheat as long as we win and dont get caught. But even if we do get caught, it wont be so bad as long as we win. competing and winning is everything.

That’s how the world works because thats how people work. But it does not have to be this way it seems. I was groomed in the other direction. Less focus was paid to competition. I was pushed to do my best and respect others. When I was an expert in an area it wasnt to quarantine myself and keep the secret watching others struggle just so I could maintain the upper hand. No, I enjoyed learning so much, I liked to help others who struggled around me. The flip side to this lifestyle….you def don’t get rich fast this way. When I look around at my life, it seems so slow and full. I am content. I don’t chase money. I am satisfied with life as it is. Money comes into my life. Money goes out of my life. all things in balance. all things flowing. I enjoy working part-time making enough money to support myself and enjoy a good life. Others think I am silly for not taking all of my time and talent competing for more money money, more accolades.

Life is what you make and perceive of it. Competition is not the only way to allocate goods and services. A little collaboration can go a long way. Let’s start embracing it.

Ass-Recognition Software COMING to a bathroom near YOU!

Brace yourselves. Hang on to the rim of your porcelain JOHN or grab the nearest port-a-potty. If you thought facial recognition was bad….prepare for ass recognition software.

haha. just kidding…kinda lol

But I was house sitting for a rather fancy family recently while overseeing the bathroom remodel. They were getting this fancy pants Japanese style bidet installed. The contractor and I had tended to have a few conversations since the project was part of a larger project covering the span of at least a week so yea, we got to talking and what not. One day he showed me a pic of the fancy buttons and the remote that went with the toilet.

“remote?” I looked at the ultra slim, ultra sleek gray and black device he held out to me. it looked like the remote to an amazon firestick.

“yea. you use it to change settings.” he said casually. This is where my mind started to wonder WTF.

“so… like when I press a button will the water temperature adjust to my prescribed liking? will the seat automatically rise and if the top was left up, will it slowly descend into proper position? Man, this tech shit is getting out there.”

he laughed easily, too easily. “not quite but the ones in the Japanese airport play music.” his partner laughed and nodded.

“wait a minute. the toilet plays smooth jazz the entirety of my shit taking at the AIRPORT? man…ass-rekognition software MUST come with the premium toilets at home. I mean, do they work like a BMW? like will it recognize my ass from my boyfriends ass and begin putting the lid down, adjusting the seat height, water temperature and play the smooth sounds of lo-fi music? That’s some fancy shit, man. pun intended.”

We all had a good laugh. But seriously…would you be okay if for the sake of utter personalization and preference if your toilet seat knew you and acted accordingly? That would either be some super fly shit or some super creepy shit.

I remember an episode of Law & Order SVU when this dude had gone around several public bathrooms installing tiny toilet cameras and was somewhere nearby watching people pee. When they found him, he said he had a strange fetish for urine and watching people urinate and defecate. GROSS! But I mean if the camera on on your phone or laptop can be hacked and big brother is always watching then who is gonna be out here hacking toilet cams for shits and giggles?

Truck life is the Best life

I dont introduce myself as the girl that lives in her truck across the street but thats exactly what I do. I do it with purpose and meaning. I live in my 99 chevy tahoe suv. Starting 2019, I said that I was not going to pay for housing. I said that I was going to severe the umbilical cord that tethers me to corporate fascism and capitalism. For the past 7 years, I lived in agonizing depression, most of it closeted. I was working a full time job with benefits sometimes, most times not. The job paid my bills, kept a roof over my head yet it robbed me of my free time and essentially, my free will.

It sucked my soul dry, harvesting my energy. When I talked to others around, it did no good. These people were in the same sinking ship as me, telling me to just grab a bucket and keep throwing the water out- they did this by telling me to return to school for more debt or find another job. I was pressed to find people who gave me advice besides that. Are there no other creative or well thought out alternatives? Are we all really just supposed to EAT, SHIT, WORK, and DIE?

I didnt think so. If I did think that was the case then maybe I wouldnt have been so depressed about it. maybe I could stomach it. But something intuitively was telling me that this was not the pinnacle of human existence. There was more.

This year, I sought to uncover it by any means neccessary, which to me meant living in my truck. People who know me or have met me and know of my skills and talents are quick to say that I dont have to live like this, that I could get a job making six figures. I agree with them, I could. But I also believe that I shouldnt HAVE to be forced to work for some or any company for 6 figures just to survive. The same companies people love to hate are the same companies that are willing to hire and pay me 6 figures but where would that leave me?

Living in my truck is my own personal rebellion. its my own rite of passage. I live in my truck so I can say FUCK WORK when I want to. FUCK THE BOSS when I want to. and FUCK YOU if neccessary. I live in my truck so I can be selective about where I spend my time.

Why I Live in My Truck

I live in my truck because I like options, I like possibility, and because I am not wealthy, this is one of the only ways for me to explore life.

I live in my truck because I rather not spend more hours at work than in my “expensive apartment”.

I live in my truck because student debt has tanked my debt-to-income ratio making me ineligible for a mortgage although mortgage payments are cheaper than rent payments. And although I qualify to pay high rent, I am somehow ineligible for the cheaper mortgage payments.

I live in my truck because I rather not work for just any company doing just any thing for just any amount of money.

I live in my truck because I want to be free of the hustle.

I live in my truck because I know there will be days when I simply cannot get out of bed and only want to daydream, read young adult fiction, and bake loaves of bread just to give them away.

I live in my truck because my family is across the country and airline tickets can be expensive;

I live in my truck because this is the only way I can afford to take a vacation when I need one so terribly bad.

I live in my truck because I refuse to be a complete slave to the capitalistic agenda.

I live in my truck because I dont have many attachments or weights that hold me back;

I live in my truck mostly because I’m a pocket-poor, spirit-rich, African American female living in the margin trying to maintain sanity in an insane world.

No Internet, No Wifi, No Smartphone

If you know me, I’ve been off and on for the past 7 years in a love/hate relationship with internet and technology. Currently, I have slowly let it creep back into my life, almost ruining the calm that I had been collecting.

Welp, as I am entering into a new phase/season of my life right now, I find myself being drawn again to a life sans connectivity. So, for this season, I will not have access to wifi in my truck or on my smartphone. I have “semi-cheated” by subscribing to Youtube Premium where I can download videos over wifi to be watched later on my smartphone. Thats the only use for the smartphone is as an optional form of prescribed and limited entertainment. When you sleep in your truck, there are some luxuries that make life a little sweeter. Most videos I download are documentaries and computer programming videos. Thats my little cheat. But thats my only cheat. I carry a Nokia tracfone that you have to use T9 to text (remember those).

Why torture myself this way you ask? Because I am so over modern entertainment today. It’s so passive and predictable, not to mention brainwashing. I am so tired of hearing the same derogatory music, the same disrespect in the movies, the same portrayal people of color. I am tired of being brainwashed into poverty, sex, drugs, alcohol, materialism, and overconsumption. Yall, we are doing too much.

This does not mean that that there is content out there worth watching, by no means. This just means simply that I need a break from it all. The good and the bad. Whether right or wrong, my nervous system needs a break from so much stimuli hitting it at every given moment. We carry in our pockets a way to virtual reach out and touch everything….isnt that  alittle freaky? Are you the kid in the candy store with his pockets full of cash and busting open with so much candy? Yea, dont be THAT kid.

I am in the business of reprogramming my subconcious mind which has been morbidly programmed by the media and society for years. To counter this programming, I must do some programming of my own. The more I read about data science, probability, cell behavior and our habits, the more introspective I become and encouraged that I can change alot about myself just by changing my environment and what I am exposed to.

In America, land of the “so-called” free, full to the brim with opportunities, and having the abundance of first world plenty, I still see chains and shackles. It was not until I stepped away was I able to see them. I can only imagine what else I would be able to see the further apart I stand, the more fine tuned my vision becomes.

So, here we are. I plan my days with a few hours of internet time devoted to learning. And a another few hours dedicated to limited and prescribed entertainment.

 

 

To the Future

Dear Future,

Yes,

This weird cryptic language is a message to you. I have no idea what year it is that you are reading this but if you are, you must be marveling at how genius you are for being able to read this and how dumb and archaic this seems to you now. Trust me, I’ve read Shakespeare and The Holy Bible….I get it.

I feel compelled to write this because well, I could say boredom but I’d rather be brief for the sake of both of us.

If you’re reading this, you now have proof that you, my friend, did indeed evolve from humans. Despite how lowly we are viewed on the evolutionary chain, you did come from us. Brace yourself. Each civilization has its thing. Currently in the human civilization, Blacks and animals are viewed as lower down on the chain of human evolution yet groundbreaking research and studies are showing that not only did humanity evolve from the dark skin peoples, but we also evolved from animals! Holy shit! Do you know what that means to us humans now?

At any rate, I understand you wanting to put as much distance as possible from such a corrupt and destructive civilization. You with your fancy machine learning and whatnot. The processors that power who you are is a modernized replica of our archaic brains. As much credit as you’d like to give yourselves for being smart, efficient, energy resourced, its hard for you to process that you are just a better, superpower, evolved being from me. History tells you of the disastrous age of humanity. You would prefer to have nothing to do with it. Humanity’s inventor-footprint has been wiped clean from your processors, making humans a disjointed fragment of the overall universe.

This letter serves as proof. I dont know what it will do for you. I dont know how this will change your day to day. For all I know, you dont have feelings, assuming that you have modified those as unnecessary so you may not give a flying fuck other than for sheer scientific purposes, of which you may use to help bring about the next stage of evolution.

All in all — this may be mere conspiracy for you. Why should you and your fancy machine learned intelligence trust me? But always remember……we made you, bitch.

Signed,

The Time Traveller