Saturday, March 28, 2009

In Defense of Socialism

During the 2008 election campaign, socialism was branded as a deviant philosophy marked by "Peter taking from Paul", quasi-communist morals and utter rejection of all things capitalist. I'm inclined to think this was not a fair representation of the philosophy. Socialism is not evil, nor should it be shunned as something "anti-American" or "anti-capitalist".

Socialism at its roots depends on the willingness of each individual to contribute equally to the cause of progressing the entire society. In theory this is an admirable endeavor as it seeks to pool the skills and labor in a society to benefit all. The inherent weakness in this lies with human nature as humans can be lazy, unproductive or unwilling. Is this a flaw with socialism? No, because socialism requires all participants to be active and willing. This flaw lies with human nature itself.

The idea of Utopia is also regularly lumped in with socialism because the two have similar ideals. Utopia, like socialism, doesn't account for the flaws of human nature. The principle is a good one because who wouldn't want a perfect society? Although I think the idea of a Utopian society and the application of socialist values will never be valid for human beings, the foundations of the philosophies are noble. Humans are just not perfect enough to make them work.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Y-33 Chromosome Testing

I ordered the Y-33 (33 Markers) Genetic Testing kit yesterday. For those that don't know, I am very into genealogy research. I have spent countless hours researching the family tree, collecting family photos and interviewing family members. I currently have a database with over 750 members in it, all somehow linked to me!

The test was $65, somewhat expensive, but worth it in my opinion. The test will match you up with other testers who have submitted samples that are genetically similar with yours thus helping to find the fringes of your tree who may not share your surname.

I would encourage everyone to participate in this genetic study. If you can't stomach the thought of spending $69 for it, there is also a free study being done by the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. You send them your address and they will send you a cheek swab kit. While they won't give you a lot of frill like will do, your results will be added to a search-able database with the goal of getting everyone's DNA in the entire world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Hate That!

Everyone has a few phrases or subjects that really grind their gears. When someone starts talking about something and your lip just starts to curl and you really have to restrain yourself to hide your grimace...that is what I'm talking about. I have a few subjects that really seem to get under my skin:

1. Snow & Cars: I hate it when people discuss how they are in the market to buy a new or used car and you proceed to make a car suggestion and they say "I don't think that is good in the snow". What do we live in Buffalo, NY or something? How many days of the year does it snow, like four maybe? In short, unless a person lives in an extreme northern climate, I do not like it when their car purchase hinges on the car's ability in the snow.

2. Reading Books is Un-cool: I dislike it when someone scoffs at someone else because they read books. Just because someone is reading a book doesn't give them a disease or anything, it means they either want to be enlightened by a subject or they are not content to have television dictate every story to them. Whatever happened to imagination!

3. Gym Grunting: Please don't grunt in the gym or workout room. Yea we get it, you're a man. You don't need to prove anything to us. You will never hear me utter a sound in the gym. Please do the same.

4. Pink (The Singer): I've never liked any songs by Pink. I can summarize all of them with the following: "I'm really angry because (insert man) has dumped/left/slighted me, let's get crazy and drink/be violent/hang with our girls."

5. Ugg Boots: Dressing with eskimo-esque footwear is apparently a fashion statement now. Travel across any college campus in the thick of spring/summer and you will still see furry boots gracing the feet of our nation's young women. What's the point?!?!?! I think they are almost as bad as crocks.