More revelations with Dave.

[03:20 PM] John: You know what I hate? My fucking internal clock.
[03:21 PM] DiscoDave: You should be able to retrain yourself pretty easily, at your age.
[03:21 PM] John: If I have more than a day without school, I immideately reorient into nocturnal mode.
[03:21 PM] John: And it becomes pretty damn hard to shake, which basically leads to a lot of sleep deprivation, apathy and lethargy.
[03:21 PM] John: Doesn’t help that I’m moderately deperessed.
[03:21 PM] DiscoDave: I don’t think that’s your internal clock, I think that’s you being a freaking crazy nutjob person.  Plus you haven’t made God your pilot.
[03:22 PM] John: Yeah, you’re right. The crazy nutjob person thing would also explain why the women don’t love me. I used to think, “how couldn’t they?” I mean, what with my rugged good looks and sharp wit.
[03:22 PM] DiscoDave: I know exactly how you feel.
[03:23 PM] John: Except with men, right?
[03:23 PM] DiscoDave: Of course.
[03:23 PM] John: Hey Dave, I’ve been meaning to ask you…
[03:23 PM] John: Do you wanna go see Brokeback with me?
[03:23 PM] DiscoDave: Well, I’ve already seen it 17 times, but you can never watch it too many times.
[03:24 PM] John: Afterwards, we could dance with eachother all night. And make love by candlelight.
[03:24 PM] DiscoDave: *moan*
[03:24 PM] DiscoDave: Okay, I”m outa here…feel free to kill yourself, mmkay.
[03:24 PM] John: Oh wait. I’m not gay.
[03:24 PM] John: Fuck you.
[03:25 PM] John: Okay, I’ll slit my wrists if you slit yours.
[03:25 PM] DiscoDave: You first.
[03:25 PM] John: Let’s do it together.
[03:25 PM] DiscoDave: Um.  Okay.
[03:25 PM] John: It’s more romantic that way.
[03:25 PM] John: Oh, oh! I could slit yours and you could slit mine.
[03:25 PM] John: And we could make a little cross with our arms…
[03:26 PM] DiscoDave: Hrm.
[03:26 PM] John: Or not, because I hate you.
[03:26 PM] John: Die.

Tests (stolen from Kai’s Myspace)

Sure, some of them are weird. But I’m weird; fuck you.
You Are a Seeker Soul
You are on a quest for knowledge and life challenges. You love to be curious and ask a ton of questions. Since you know so much, you make for an interesting conversationalist. Mentally alert, you can outwit almost anyone (and have fun doing it!). Very introspective, you can be silently critical of others. And your quiet nature makes it difficult for people to get to know you. You see yourself as a philosopher, and you take everything philosophically. Your main talent is expressing and communicating ideas.
Souls you are most compatible with: Hunter Soul and Visionary Soul
What Kind of Soul Are You?
You Are 68%  evil
You are very evil. And you’re too evil to care.
Those who love you probably also fear you. A lot.
How Evil Are You?
The Letter
Ww – You’re the letter “w”. You’re inquisitive and creative, and always wondering about new things.
What letter of the (English) alphabet are you?
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Assassin
You are an assassin.
That means you are a professional and do your job without mixing any emotions in it. In your life you have probably been hurt many times and have gotten some mental scars. This results in you being distant from people. Though many think that you are evil, you are not. What you really are is a person, trying to forget your pain and past. You are the person who never seems to care and that is why being an assassin fits you good. At least, that’s what people think. Even if you don’t care that much for your victims, you still have the ability to care and to generally feel. It is not lost, just a little forgotten. In crowds you tend to not get to noticed, and dress in black or other discrete colours. You don’t being in the spotlight and wish people would just leave you alone. But once you do get close to someone you have a hard time letting go and get real down if you lose him/her.
Main weapon: Sniper
Quote: “The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the joy” -Jim Rohn
Facial expression: Narrowed eyes
What Type of Killer Are You? [cool pictures]
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Preamble

I’ve got this theory, I tell people.

I say, “the reason I can’t remember things is because I’ve had a bad life.” I say, “I’ve had an unpleasant life. Not worth remembering. So, I don’t. At least, that’s what I think.” Kinda.

Classmates will ask me, “John, what did you get on that essay?” or, “John, how’d the test go?” And the answer isn’t so simple. In about a second, you have to decide whether you tell the truth or you divert the question, because people don’t like braggarts. More accurately, people don’t like the truth. No matter how humble you try to sound, you tell somebody that you aced that test, and they’re going to hate your guts. You tell somebody that you just wrote the best essay of your life, and they’re not liable to talk to you again.

So after rapid deliberation, I’m most liable to respond, “you expect me to remember how I did on the test, when I can’t even remember what I ate for breakfast two days ago? When I can’t even remember what I did this weekend?” It’s not quite the truth, and it’s not quite a lie, and it works way better than either.

Because the truth is, I don’t eat breakfast. But if you tell someone that, even when they ask you, “how are you doing?” or, “how are you feeling?” and you’re pretty much guaranteed never to hear from them again.

Because the truth is, I spent my whole weekend playing video games, or talking to my virtual-friends on the internet, or trying (and failing) to advance a relationship with a faux-friend, or sleeping. Why don’t you try telling a classmate that you just spent your whole weekend playing CounterStrike: Source or Unreal Tournament 2004 with your gaming team, the “Furious bros.” to prepare for a “Cyber-Athlete Amateur League” match on Monday. Why don’t you try telling a classmate that you did a speed run on Super Metroid and beat the game in under three hours, and see if you hear much from them ever again.

Did I mention that when I write “classmate,” I really mean to say “girl?” Despite being a “minority,” girls outnumber guys in every single one of my classes at least 3 to 1 this year. Despite the social misconception that girls are a minority in public education, girls outnumber guys 9 to 1 in one of my classes this year. I am the only guy in my French class; the other one dropped out half way through the year. I don’t blame him.

But it doesn’t matter if you’re telling a teenage girl that you wasted your Saturday on “e-sports” and “cyberspace,” because teenage boys will judge you just as fast and quite similarly. Try telling a jock, “yeah, I went twenty-one and five on a de_train scrim, with three defuses.” Try telling a prep, “yeah, I had 44% with the sniper and twenty-five net.” These guys, they’ll be about as interested in that as you are in their stories about how many shots of rum they had, or how many girls they slept with at that awesome party down the block, or how fast they were driving on I-5 at two in the morning.

So I tell people, “I don’t remember what I did, honestly, because I don’t like my life.” And I’m not lying, because I really don’t like my life. But I’m not telling the truth, because ninety-nine percent of the time, I remember exactly what I did this weekend, or how my test went, or what my essay grade was.

In the debate world, we might call this impact calculus. What’s the magnitude of the impact if I tell this girl that I played video games for twelve straight hours? What’s the probability that I’ll never talk to her again after telling her the truth? What’s the time frame on this nullification of relations? All the answers are very predictable – the appropriate course of action, obvious.

In the business world, maybe people call this risk-benefit ratio analysis. The risk is, I shrink the circle of acquaintances in my life yet smaller and smaller. The benefit is, well, there really isn’t much benefit. Risk-benefit ratio analysis, impact calculus, all roads lead to the same destination: my theory.

My life sucks so I can’t remember it.

And to a certain extent, this is true.

I mean, everyone has lies they tell themselves to get through the day. My lie is that, nobody wants to hear about my life anyway.

So this book, this book here isn’t so much about your enjoyment as it is about my recovery. I’m writing this because I want to be able to forget. I want to chronicle my abundant failures and occasional triumphs so I don’t have to think about them anymore – archive them on paper to clear space in my head.

I hear that for your first book, you get (on average) a thousand dollars cash and no royalties. This has something to do with risk-benefit ratio analysis (new authors are risky ventures). That’s enough, at least, to table my problems for many moons to come. Drown yourself in a sea of video games, bury yourself under mounds of movies, lose yourself in a forest of books – inexpensive self-medication. Ineffective filler for the gaping holes in your life, like trying to force a square peg into a circular hole.

This, this is all based on a true story, on my life, but it isn’t precisely true. Why not? Memories aren’t facts, they’re fabrications – interpretations of reality, imperfect impressions of intangible events and moments. Everyone is the hero of their own personal drama, the star of their own personal movie. The stage is your life, the actors are your friends and family and colleagues. The villain is your boss, or your ex, or your mom, could be your dad, possibly it’s the system or alternatively it’s God or maybe, just maybe, it’s your best friend.

It’s not like that for me. In my movie, I’m my own villain – and the hero of the story? He’s an alcoholic. Nobody gets the girl at the end, and there probably isn’t even a moral. Maybe you walk away worse off for knowing it. It doesn’t sell well and isn’t critically acclaimed, but damn it, it’s my movie, and I can make it terrible if I want to. I mean, Uwe Boll is still in business, right?

The Truth is Out There – Or Is It?

J. Durden
Mr. Hoffman
Honors Physics
15 February 2006
The Truth is Out There – Or is It?
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is no god higher than truth.” The pursuit of truth has long been a motivator of man, and perhaps the sole motivator. Ever since humans came into existence, the pursuit of truth has marked our evolution. It began in the stone ages with mythical tales of creation and the inquisitive nature to understand the world around us – observing, and learning through these observations how to manipulate our environment. As time progressed, these two paths contrast more and more sharply.
Just as man has evolved over the years, so have these two schools of thought – into religion and science. Science can be understood as a comprehensive understanding of the truth – a pursuit that attempts to understand everything that is to be understood. In contrast, religion can be thought of as a conceptual understanding of the truth – its value inherent but not overtly stated, calling upon faith at an individual level with results not so easily repeatable by others. Both pursuits touch on the foundation of what the truth truly is, and yet neither understanding of the truth is correct.
Science has long been the endeavor of intellectual men, yet perhaps because of this, its validity is constantly under attack. Take, for example, a rudimentary history of science. First, Newton revolutionized scientific thinking with Newtonian Mechanics. Many years later, as his theories were debated and talked about, some realized that they implied a deterministic universe – ultimately one in which there was no choice, because everything was a reaction to something that had happened before it. Some sought new understanding with quantum mechanics (which itself implies a probabilistic universe), while others (led by Einstein) sought to retain most of Newtonian mechanics and merge it with a new theory – the theory of Relativity. Physicists have long sought for a Unified Field Theory, one that explains all there is to know about everything. Both quantum mechanics and relativity imply that reality is different for each observer. In the theory of relativity, each observer experiences time in a unique way, while in quantum mechanics, the observer affects reality merely through observing.
Many forget, however, that science is intrinsically incapable of discovering the truth. Due to the way the null hypothesis works, science never ‘proves’ a hypothesis. It simply attempts to mount enough evidence so that a hypothesis must be rejected for another, improved one. There is never enough evidence to say that a hypothesis is true. Scientists say “this is false,” but they never say “this is true.” Hypotheses may be particularly strong but never true. This is a fact that is often forgotten as the distinction between science and truth is blurred. Sometimes it is the scientists who are guilty of this blurring, but more often it is the ‘believers,’ those people who prescribe to the version of reality that science provides without technically being scientists themselves. Essentially, the truth is understood on an individual level, even though science never purports to know the truth.
In contrast to science, religion requires no proof of itself. There is no way to prove the central ideas of most religious texts (e.g., the existence of deities). Though certain stories (particularly from the Bible) have been verified through investigation, such verification is not necessary to understand the view of truth that religion provides. It is much more common that scientific theory and observation conflict with religion, in fact, than the alternative. (This tends to be a driving force for some scientists, who attempt to reconcile science with God but never seem to reach an agreeable compromise on the matter.)
Religion and its believers have no qualm with the fact that it can not be factually verified. In fact, religion calls for faith and not proof. Faith, by definition, is “belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence” (www.dictionary.com). One must believe, without fact, in order to understand the truth that religion provides. Yet this begs the question – what prompts the individual to believe in the first place? Most often it is a personal experience that is not verifiable by other individuals. Thus, religion is a view of the world whose truth relies on the experience of the individual, and is best understood individually.
Both science and religion touch on a core element of the truth, and that is that the truth is inevitably understood best on an individual basis. Yet both science and religion attempt to unify the populace in their understanding of truth – a practice that leads only to division, disagreement, and inevitably hatred. While both science and religion have their benefits, people must understand their practical limits. Truth is best understood on an individual level, and because of this, perceptions of truth will inevitably have differences. These differences must be respected in order to attain true progress and for individuals to be able to freely find their own personal truth in this world.

Halfway through hour 16 of my day.

And I’m about to head off to school. That’s another 9 hours (6 am to 3 pm). So I will have been awake for 25 hours by the time I get home (woke up at 2 pm Sunday). Then I have to go to work at 5 PM. So I might catch an hour or two between 3 and 5, though I’ll try not to. I’ll get back at 8 PM. Even if I do get sleep, I don’t really count it as “sleep” but as “rest” between now and then. Even game shows give the contestants an hour of sleep a day in those sleepless marathons. At 8 PM I have to play in a CS match. So I think I will have been up for over 30 hours by that point. I hate my life.
A real blog is up on my real blog website, by the way.

Holy crap I suck.

I haven’t seriously done homework, like, at home, since October, I think.

That was right around the time I lost an important friend. Probability of a statistical correlation: quite high.

I’ve been meaning to update for you all, but I don’t have much to say. I guess I’ll comment on something that’s been bothering me a bit lately (whilst simultaneously coining a phrase): half-friends. And that’s a “friend” in a much broader sense than I usually define friends. (People tend to define a “friend” much more broadly than I do.)

So a half-friend must really suck in my book, right? And right you are. These are the people you can’t quite qualify as acquaintances because you know them a bit better than that, maybe had a good chat or two, but you can’t qualify as friends because you’ve only had that one good chat (or two). And the relationship dies there. My whole life is filled with potentially great friendships that died in the half-friend phase.

There are tons of people at my school I’d love to be friends with. I think they’re all amazing in their own ways. I’ll concede that I’m smart, sure, but that’s not as impressive as being TALENTED. There are so many talented people at my school, and I’d LOVE to get the chance to talk to them, talk to them about their talents and passions and about how they see the world and maybe understand where they discovered their talent. Instead, I have this reputation as an unapproachable asshole (my own fault) so nobody’s going to come up to me for a chat.

I’ve mentioned before that I can go through whole days without speaking a word to another soul. That’s still largely true, in school at least. Once I get home and get online, there are people that might message me now, though that’s not a guarantee. But at school, it’s very easy to go through a day without saying anything if I want to.

If I want to talk to these fascinating people, I have to initiate the conversations. So, I try to. But they clearly aren’t interested, especially at school. Image is everything, and being seen with JJ Durden? Screw that. That guy’s a jerk. A nerd. An eccentric. You can’t be seen with him. So I try alternative forms of communication. Email. The phone. Instant messengers. MySpace (sigh).

And sometimes I hit pay dirt: a reply! A real reply, damn it. Somebody writes back! Holy shit! What do I do now? Read it? Yes, that’s it John! Read the message! Wow, they really are as interesting as you thought they could be! Holy crap, they can spell (for the most part)! Wow, they used a word you have to look up because it’s been so long since you’ve heard it!

So you write a reply. You write a bit too much, divulge a bit too much. They reply, shorter now than the first reply. And you write back, and you try to keep your message shorter so as not to scare them off. But the damage is done, you’ve come on too strong, they won’t talk to you again.

But wait! They claim they’re still interested! They’re just busy, you see. Busy. And they’ll be busy for the next week. Busy for the next month. Busy for the next semester. Busy for the next year. And the next year. And busy for every year since you’ve been in high school. And during the summer? They’re still busy, you see. Don’t you understand? They like you. They’re just busy, darling.

That is the half-friend. They’re not really even half-friends. They’re dishonest liars. They put you off for as long as they can. They lead you on; they make you believe that a friendship is possible when really they have no interest. They’re too mild mannered to admit the fact that they can’t stand you. They “don’t want to hurt your feelings.”

What hurts more? Being told to fuck off in one day after building up the courage of trying to talk to someone for a week, or being led for a year and continually building up that courage to keep writing messages and calling and trying to get something rolling only to be put off again and again? Just as time can heal wounds, it can sharpen the ones that are continually reopened.

You wake up one morning and you have an epiphany. That person doesn’t ACTUALLY like you. One can’t possibly be THAT busy. So busy that one can’t find twenty minutes between now and next February to write you an email more substantive than “I’m busy, I’ll talk to you later?” Nobody is that busy. The truth is, that person doesn’t care. These people don’t want to be your friends. They want you to like them, but they don’t care about being your friend.

I have far too many half friends. And to be perfectly honest, I’ve shed far too many tears over them. I always have and I likely always will. What prompted this? None of these half friends take the effort to read this blog, which in part exists for them. Everyday I hope that one of these half friends would take the plunge and click the link. Take that first step and, maybe, become a real friend?

Alas, it hasn’t happened. It won’t happen. But that’s okay. Maybe it’s better that way.

::EDIT:: Maybe I have a lot to say. I just don’t like to say it. I’m eternally introverted. This blog was a lot longer than I originally intended when I started the post – I figured I’d write two or three lines and get back to you all later. Har har. I’ll leave you with this old blog:

:. If Deezee were a goth whore: || 08/12/2004 – 11:06 AM

My life is like a box of leftover pizza. What’s gone is lost forever and what’s there has suffered irrevocable damage. Though you could stick it in the microwave and attempt to save it, it’ll never taste as good as when it was from the oven. It’s cold and lifeless, and eventually it’ll mold.

Plan exodus GO!

So I really hope that things work out and I get outta B-ham-a-lam. The city’s great, don’t get my wrong. The people here are nice. The school’s pretty good. I favor the climate.

But there’s nothing here for me anymore. And it’s my fault, but, blegh. I need a new start. I need to go somewhere where nobody knows me (well, except for Nate I guess, but that’s okay) and try again.

Hell, I just need to get out of my house. I’ve needed to get out of my house for a long time. It just hasn’t happened. It almost happened at the end of last year, but my sister conspired against me to get me to stay. My mom convinced my sister that it would be a bad idea for me to move out using lies (I could’ve moved out to a friend’s house and paid nothing and stayed in Bellingham, but my mom lied to my sister and said that I’d have to work two jobs or some ridiculous bullcrap). So I’m here, still.

I would’ve stayed in Bellingham for longer if I’d gotten to move out into Nick’s place last year. Maybe I would’ve tried to mend some relationships that needed mending… then again, I dunno. I was still dating Haley back then, har, so maybe I wouldn’t have tried mending those relationships. I’ve only got one regret in my life (and no, it’s not Haley) and I really wish I could go back in time and fix crap. But here I am, and I’ve got to do what’s best for me to do.

And that’s to get a new start. If I don’t get to go to SLC this summer and start anew down there, I’ll probably go nuts. But that’s okay. And then as soon as school ends I’ll move as far away as possible for me to move and start anew somewhere else. I think the only person I’d keep in contact with is my brother. Maybe not even him. He’s kinda cancerous at this point, you see. Maybe what I really do need is a completely fresh start.

But that’d be hard to do. It’s always hard to leave what you know and do something new. I doubt I could pull it off. After a few weeks, I’d probably be back on the web, trying to track down Nate and Mark and Cody and Nick and Kai and see how they were all doing. I’d probably try and give my brother a call.

But it’s always been a “dream” of mine to leave for college and basically drop off the face of the earth for everyone that used to know me. Of course, when I had this “dream” I felt like nobody much cared for me anyway, so it wouldn’t matter if I did that or not. Now, though, I’ve got a handful of real friends, so…

I didn’t really have a point to this, it’s just kind of a long ramble. In other news, somebody owes me $5 because the Steelers “won.”

Not something I’d normally do

But I forgot to do it earlier, and, well, yeah.
(I wish) stayed single the whole year.
(x) got your first kiss
(x) kissed someone new
(x) made-out for the first time
(I don’t wish) made-out in/on a car
( ) kissed in the snow
( ) kissed in the rain
(x) fell in love
(Define fool) fell in love with a fool
(x) had my heart broken
(Don’t think so) broke someone else’s heart
( ) had a stalker
(Had a bad one. Had a few good friendships this year, if that counts) had a good relationship with someone
( ) gotten pregnant
( ) gotten someone else pregnant
( ) had an abortion
( ) gotten married
( ) had a divorce
( ) had a gay marriage
( ) kissed someone of the same sex
(Do you ever forget your first? Wish I could) dated someone you’ll never forget
(Only have one regret in my life, and it kinda continued in 05. Oh well.) done something you’ve regretted
( ) lost your true love
(x) lost faith in love
( ) kissed under miseltoe
WORK/SCHOOL
( ) got a promotion
(x) got a pay raise
( ) changed jobs
( ) got a job
( ) lost your job
( ) quit your job
( ) dated a co-worker
( ) dated your boss
( ) dated your boss’ daughter/son
( ) got fired from your job
( ) got straight A’s
(x) met one teacher you really like
( ) met one teacher you really hated
( ) found the subject you love
( ) failed a class
( ) cut class
(x) skipped school
( ) got into a fight with a classmate
( ) did something you were proud of
( ) discovered a new talent
( ) gave the teachers a reason to teach
(x) proved yourself an idiot
( ) embarassed yourself in front of the class
( ) fell in love with a teacher
( ) got a lead in the school play
( ) made a varsity team
( ) made a junior varsity team
( ) were involved in something you’ll never forget
( ) got sent to the office
OTHER
( ) painted a picture
( ) wrote a poem/song
( ) ran a mile
(x) listened to music you couldn’t stand
(x) double-dipped
( ) skinny-dipped
( ) went to a sleepover
( ) went to camp
( ) threw a surprise party
( ) laughed till you cried
( ) laughed till you peed in your pants
( ) flirted shamelessly
( ) visited a foreign country
( ) visted a foreign state
( ) cooked a disasterous meal
(x) lost something important to you
( ) got a gift you adore
(x) realized something new about yourself
( ) went on a diet
( ) tried to gain weight
( ) dyed your hair
( ) came close to losing your life
( ) someone close to you died
(not one with alcohol) went to a party
(never) drank alchohol
(never) drank alchohol underage
(never) tried drug(s)
(never) got drunk (define drunk)
( ) got arrested
(x) read a great book
(x) saw a great movie
( ) saw a movie so scary that it made you cry
( ) saw your favorite band/artist live
( ) saw someone famous in person
( ) did something you want to tell everyone
( ) Enjoyed this year overall 

The Horatio Alger Essay (in-class write, APUSH)

J. Durden
Mr. Michel
APUSH
2 Feb 2006
THE HORATIO ALGER ESSAY
“There is not a single man in the United States who is poor for any reason other than his own lack of ability.” This paraphrased quote from a Reverend preaching the Gospel of Wealth reflects the mindset of the rich during the Gilded Age (1865-1900) – a time remembered for its excesses and rampant corruption. After the Civil War, technology (such as the railroad and steel) as well as attitude (the government’s laissez-faire approach to business) combined to create unique opportunities for those with the ingenuity to seek them. The opportunities seized upon in this time would never again be available, and led to the creation of great social disparity. The wealthy practice philanthropy, which benefited the downtrodden class they helped to create. Even minority groups found a new chance to become a bigger piece of the social milieu. It was opportunity, seized upon by the few but felt by the man, that had the most impact on people’s lives throughout America in this epochal time period.
The severe economic disparity attached to this era was itself a result of opportunity. While America had had millionaires before, they had been few and far between. For the first time in American history, a whole class of millionaires existed, with luminaries such as Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller and the Vanderbeldts at the top of the heap. These men (sometimes rising to their wealth from veritable poverty, as Carnegie had) fueled the industrialization of America. Their factories attracted farmers and immigrants alike to the cities, further entrenching wage slaves and implicitly, disparity, into the fabric of American culture. Their railroads funneled people to the West, where many tried (and failed) to strike it rich, requiring these people to also become wage slaves. Towards the end of the Gilded Age, Patronage fell out of favor, leaving a vacuum of power filled by these entrepreneurial titans – a wedding of business and government that would last well beyond the era being discussed, and one that helped ensure the rich would stay that way. Business would provide campaign funds and politicians would provide favorable legislation – even the Sherman Anti-trust Act of 1890 (supposedly designed to crush monopolies) was used as an anti-labor union tool by businesses. And while disparity had existed prior to the Gilded Age, it was no where near the extent to which it was widened during these short 35 years.
In part perhaps to soothe their guilt, the wealthy aided the poor they helped create through philanthropy. In this way, the money made by the few was infused back into the public schools, libraries, universities and other public institutions. Fueled by a paradoxical Gospel of Wealth (that at once stated ability was God-given and blamed the poor for being too lazy to make themselves rich), millionaires sought to depart with their money before they should “die in disgrace.” Carnegie, for example, gave away about $350 million of his total $400 million before dying. One could even argue that political bosses (who seized opportunity via graft) practiced philanthropy to a degree – they brought necessities such as plumbing to poor immigrant neighborhoods in exchange for votes. This was during a time when most – including the government (e.g. Chinese Exclusion Act) – were outwardly racist and contemptuous of the New Immigrants (Irish, Itallian…) that flocked to America during this period.
Minority groups, such as the New Immigrants, found many new opportunities in this era as well. While many bemoan the New Immigrant’s squalid living conditions in cities (especially New York), few recall that these conditions, and the wages these people earned, were better than those found in their home countries. Women were the ones to see the most improvement in this time. Inventions such as the telephone and typewriter greatly expanded the amount of jobs women could take. While it may true that working women were predominantly single due to lingering prejudices, women from all walks of life could become leaders of reform movements. A forerunner of the Populist party, Mary E. Lewis, urged Kansas to “raise less corn and more hell.” Expanded opportunities for African Americans (living in the North – Southern blacks were still largely disenfranchised thanks to the Black Codes and the court decision Plessey v Ferguson which legalized segregation) was reflected in W.E.B. Du Bois, the first African American to earn a Ph.D. From Harvard.
The Gilded Age was not a period dominated by disparity, but one ripe with opportunity. Disparity was actually a result of the seizure of this opportunity by business tycoons like Andrew Carnegie. Philanthropy helped spread the wealth, and minorities continued to gain new opportunities – a trend that would extend beyond the Gilded Age itself.

You know what really matters in this world?

Just about everything you never study in high school.
Plenty of important shit is about to go down in the world. Oil peaking, the advent of nanotechnology, possible work-arounds for immortality, possible work-arounds for cybernetics and nano-augmentations, and so forth. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, that I know of. I’m sure there’s plenty more going on.
Plenty more that I don’t have the time to learn about because I waste my time writing crappy, meaningless essays about the relativity of good and evil and what happened in 1877-1896 in the United States. Well, to be fair, history is kind of important. But shouldn’t we also be learning about what’s going on here and now in our world, ESPECIALLY when we live in such a crucial time?
Our generation is going to get a mess of a world. In our lifetime, it is most probable we will see the end of oil as an energy source, widespread implementation of nanotechnology, new types of global terrorism, so on and so forth.
Hell, I might even die before some of that comes out. Especially if estimates for the oil-peak are true (even conservative estimates say it’ll happen in 2015).
Oh well.
There isn’t much point anyway. I should become a philosopher and make my doctoral thesis an examination on why its inevitable that humans will extinct themselves. Among other things. Being a physicist and, y’know, inventing a time machine might be fun too.
On a side note, maybe I should save up some money, go see a counsellor, and get diagnosed for whatever handful of mental illnesses I have. Then I could get drugs to either A) abuse, B) sell for profit, or C) use as perscribed.
Have fun coasting through life until it throws you a curve (or punches you in the face).