Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: What’s Your Favorite Thing on the Internet Right Now?

Well hi there, and happy Friday, everyone! And what are Fridays good for other than wasting a little time online? I figured it was high time to share some of our favorite internet-stuffs in the interest of making one another’s Friday afternoons procrast-tastic!So, what’s your favorite thing you’ve read out there in the wide open spaces of the Internet lately? I know. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that there are other blogs out there, but it’s true.

My personal favorite is Courtney Enlow’s Titanic liveblog over at Pajiba. I was literally shaking with silent laughter in my cubicle while I read it. It’s long, but it’s worth every second.

Who else has something they want to share?

29 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: What’s Your Favorite Thing on the Internet Right Now?”

This might not be a blog, but I think it’s worth mentioning: the My Drunk Kitchen series on Youtube.

Hannah Hart is so fucking funny.

Also, as an off-topic thought, I was hoping to get some input from other folks who have more experience than I with subjects that some people deem “superstition,” whether it is belief in paranormal, ghosts, aliens…or, as in my case, reincarnation.

I had a particularly unpleasant interaction with a colleague over this. I don’t remember how the conversation came up, but I started talking about how, despite the fact that I am an atheist who likes science, I seem to believe in reincarnation. I struggle with this belief a lot. I don’t know the details of what I think that entails. All I know is, when I hear stories about people having experience related to reincarnation, it makes sense to me. When I look at worldviews that talk about reincarnation, it also makes sense to me. For some reason, I keep coming back to it. Even though it blatantly contradicts other pieces of what I believe.

I think it’s because of the contradiction that I don’t know where my beliefs on reincarnation stand. On one day, I will feel it very strongly, but on other days I find myself dismissing it. But it keeps coming back to me, and I’ve been wondering lately if I should just embrace it.

But the minute I mentioned these contradicting beliefs to my colleague, I immediately got the “Oh, you’re one of those superstitious people” reaction. He was very…condescending about it. He said something about how philosophers shouldn’t have contradictions in their beliefs. Which, to be honest, is kind of offensive to me, because some of my favorite professors openly admit to having contradictions they can’t figure out how to rectify. And because that comment was shaped to make me feel small for admitting to it.

I’m starting to think that it is this fear of being viewed as superstitious and subsequently dismissed that really holds me back from embracing a belief in reincarnation. How do you handle this sort of thing?

It kinda sounds like you might be in a similar place to myself a few years back regarding my Christianity and Catholicism. One of the sticky things about spirituality is that there are no final answers, just a bunch of open ended questions that you have to sort out for yourself. But here are a few things that helped me when I was dealing with my big crisis of faith:

People who try to tell you what you believe are jerks. You do not need to listen to them or take them seriously. If I had a nickel for every time someone has told me that I am an idolater because I pray for the intercession of saints I would, well, probably have enough for some movie tickets maybe. You get to decide what you believe.

People who try to make you feel small about your beliefs or spiritual search are also jerks. Unless you are trying to divine the future in the entrails of a slaughtered kitten or something, it ain’t none of their business.

Don’t pressure yourself to make hard-fast decisions. It is perfectly fine to let your spirituality be a thing that evolves and changes. There is no objective test to prove the issue one way or the other, so reevaluating your feelings about the subject on a constant basis is fine. Questions are fine. Uncertainty is also fine. From my own experience I have my days when I am not 100% on board with the idea that Jesus was God incarnate. I’m firm in my belief that he was profoundly spiritual, possibly superhuman, and that his teachings are of real value to me, but I waver on the whole son of God thing. I’ve learned to accept that. Questioning just means that the answer is important enough to you to merit time and thought.

And above all else, trust yourself. You are a capable person and your experiences and feelings are valid. Spirituality is about you and your connection to the world around you. You are the expert on you. You can find the way to be at peace with your beliefs.

Thank you for your input. It did occur to me that the response was similar to ones you and others had mentioned about various responses to talking about Christianity and the practice of it.

It can sure be hard sometimes in this world when you try to walk a spiritual path. It boggles my mind how many people are resistant to it.

There are people out there who make themselves feel bigger by trying to run everyone else’s life for them. They are no fun, but they seem to crop up on every personal decision a person can make from, “Skirts or pants?” to “Do I believe in a god?” The more personal the question, the more their meddling rankles. For what it’s worth I totally trust you to make the right decisions about your spirituality, and I promise to make every effort not to be dictatorial in whatever advice I offer.

There’s most definitely truth to that. :) I think it’s especially hard because, with my field, we’re trying to get rid of contradictions in our ideas and better understand what we mean by what we say, as well as come up with better systems of thought that more accurately reflect our experiences.

But apparently, for some people, this means ANY contradiction is bad, a failure to come to answers means it’s wrong, and certain (well-thought out) points of view are wrong simply because they are less “decisive” than others.

But I was thinking more on this, and I know that this helps to build masculine/feminine splits in modes of thought, along with the rejection of what is deemed more “feminine.”

Since when is it an admission of fault to talk about uncertanties and issues with coming to a conclusion with ideas when there are so many ideas out there? I don’t think it is that simple to simply say that mine is the “right one.” What would that even mean?

This colleague seemed to be one of those people who believed whatever they thought was a convincing argument, and other people MUST AGREE.

Now, this is coming from not a philosopher, so take it with a grain of salt: I think there is a significant difference between unintentional contradictions of thought and knowingly holding two contradictory ideas.  Yes, the former can be seen as a weak or poorly thought out argument, but the latter is, like you are saying, thinking through the idea and realizing that two (or more) contradictory ideas can both be argued and for that matter, believed.  Ideas by definition (mine anyway) are never universally right or wrong – they are ideas: changeable, fallible, fluid and at times contradictory.

Oh, no worries, I try to regularly seek out opinions of people who aren’t from my field. It’s because we’re taught to follow certain methodologies, we learn about certain questions from certain approaches…it can bias us, and it is fascinating to talk about these questions with people with different backgrounds!

I like the way you worded that. It definitely gives me something to think about.

It’s very interesting for me to think about it that way BECAUSE of the way my field functions; there’s a lot of voices that say allowing contradictions is bad.

But a lot of our ideas contradict each other; maybe the real journey shouldn’t be to eliminate contradictions, but rather to figure out what we believe is most important and what it means for us and the world. And sure, we should think about the contradictions…but does that automatically mean something is wrong?

HA!  I remember when I was in college at a fraternity party and somehow it came up in conversation that I was a Christian.  I was instantly hit with three fraternity boys insisting that I meet . . . shit . . . I think his name was Craig?  Anywhat, he was so excited to, in his words, debate faith with me. He was a pastor’s kid who had converted to atheism.  He couldn’t WAIT to tell me that my ideas were wrong.   From what I remember of the discussion (admittedly, I was purty drunk – it was a frat party after all) his responses to my ideas were: “But that’s incorrect because . . .” and “That’s an invalid argument because . . . ” and finally after just a few minutes “Well, we are at an impasse because of your flawed logic.”  I was floored!  That sanctimonious prick decided it was game over for having a real discussion of ideas because I couldn’t argue well enough for his standards.  Bastard.  I hope he still gets acne.

Oh what a douche! I can’t stand people like that.

I bet for him “arguing well enough for his standards” meant “agreeing with everything he said.”

When that sort of thing happens to me, usually people trying to convince me being an atheist is somehow “fallacious” or some shit like that, I must admit, I thoroughly enjoy making them look stupid. But that’s because I don’t give one flying fuck about “debating faith.” I’m not so conceited in my own ideas to dare challenge someone to a debate in order to try to prove them wrong.

Have you seen Dave Chapelle’s Block Party?  There’s a scene where Jill Scott is watching Erica Badu on a monitor backstage and she’s commenting on how much ass Erica is kicking, which is a lot of ass.  Anywhy,the camera man asks her if she’s intimidated going on after her and she gives him the greatest fuck-off look I have ever seen in my life.  I don’t remember exactly how she responds, but it’s something to the effect of: “I can never touch her’s, but she sure as hell can never touch mine.”

It’s been my experience that people who are super-excited to debate really just want to exploit their own confirmation bias. . . . much like I’m doing . . . aw fuck.

Sorry – didn’t really explain that reference well – I have a problem with that!

I was struck by your comment that you were so conceited in your own ideas to challenge someone else in theirs.  I couldn’t agree more.  I’ve spent years and years solidifying what I believe to be true for me and my assumption is that others have done the same.  So if someone has spent a significant amount of time and effort in developing their self, why would I want to challenge that?  I have my ideas and someone else has theirs, they are both beautiful in their own way, but neither is superior.  Jill is not in competition with Erica nor am I in competition with someone who is Islamic, Humanist, Atheist, Buddhist, Hindu, what have you.



Aaaand we hit the comment limit! :)

Ah, gotcha! Yes, I absolutely agree. I think, too, we have to be open-minded to other ideas/experiences, because if we close ourselves to them, we limit the amount we can learn from. If someone dearly holds a particular worldview they’ve cultivated over their whole life, there must be a reason why it speaks to them. IMO, if you don’t try to understand those reasons, you’re totally missing the mark!

Usually the only ideas I have NO tolerance for are those I think build into “isms.” That is one thing I will not compromise on.

agreed – changing your mind about something because you have learned more about it and gained new insight is one of the hallmarks of a good and decent person.  However, one has to be in a consciously receptive state to gain that new information.  I guess my point is, if I seek out someone who has differing views from mine and attempt to convince them that they are wrong, if they are not willing to be open to the fact that they may be wrong, or haven’t invited this exchange of ideas, I’m really just trying to listen to myself talk.  I.E. – protesters outside Planned Parenthood, funeral picketers, etc. I can place myself in the position of being open to new ways of thinking, but I cannot force someone else into that position.

Boyfriend pointed me to this today:

It’s a website of old pictures from Chicago.  Especially fun if you know what corners the pictures are on.  The one of the boys in the tree looking over the walls of Wrigley Field was probably taken one block or less away from my apartment.  I wasted an hour on it this morning.

2birds1blog is always absolutely hilarious.

Thought Catalog is pretty cool. Someone just suggested it the other day, and I’ve read through almost 50 pages already.

Manolo for the Big Girl, just because I like both of the writers on there.

Tom and Lorenzo for fashion and tv reviews.

Forever Young Adult for YA book reviews and incredibly funny recaps of tv shows based on YA books.

95% sure that at least 95% of you all have seen these, but worth sharing nonetheless. I have written up several of these as stress relievers.  I have a little file of unsent formal notices that make me happy when I’m crabby with people.

Also, I just had a great interaction with a company my University works with.  It is so refreshing to work with a for-profit company that actually wants to help their customers – to the point of searching tech support blogs for me to find an answer (in this case three possible answers) to my problem.

Additionally, I had the funniest voice mail when I came in this morning from a colleague.  She’s usually extremely professional but on occasion has the greatest dry humor of anyone I’ve ever met.  Gonna be a good day!

Erm .. let me look at my bookmarks. Erm ..

The ladies of Go Fug Yourself
Galadarling (although I sometimes think she’s a bit too full of it, but Pretty Stuff!)
Polyvore (get all the stuff I will never be able to pay)
LiveJournal (ONTD = gossip/celebs & a private community)
foodporndaily and follow to every recipe site
And for crazy customers and if you can watch and listen to trailers, weird and beautiful short films and strange gadgets.

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