I warned Q at some point earlier tonight that he better not send me home to bed at 8:00 PM lest I wake up and start writing about crazy stuff. You see, I took the whole office to Mad Mex tonight for Kiwi Margs. And boy are they good. And boy should you not even try to have more than two big-ass ones! Anyhow this blog entry comes with the caveat that it is being written after two and a half big-ass Kiwi Margs.
I’m fascinated by ordinary people. By the people who I meet in ordinary locations in ordinary circumstances. here’s a “story” behind every person that is shielded by the ordinary-ness of every day interaction. It doesn’tcome out too often. But I’m fascinated by thinking about what that story might me. For a lot of the people I meet in these ordinary interactions I can concoct a story that fits, but being able to validate/change that story by getting to know the person is intriguing — figuring out why they became who they are and what shaped them so far.
Being a skeptic by nature, it is easier for me to doubt than not to doubt. But I know that I have been wrong before and very often the same people who I develop a very wrong firs impression of, turn out the be the most genuine individuals. It’s a matter of cracking the shell. And sometimes multiple shells. I’m probably the same way towards others, hiding behind a facade of normalcy or what I think other people would consider normal. But it’s intriguing to get to know people for who they really are, if that’s possible.
With that in mind, I love being in an environment where there are people from all over the world. Pittsburgh is not the first place that comes to mind when you think of a culurally diverse population. But, the area around Carnegie Mellon and it is probably so for all the areas which are around universities, is especially unique in that sense. I have had friends from so many different countries and ethnic origins — the US of course, china, vietnam, japan, ivory coast, guatemala, peru, spain, brazil, philippines, czech republic, turkey, malaysia, indonesia, india, canada, uk. And what’s notable is that the first time you meet any of these people, the first thing that comes to mind is the sterotype — or I won’t even say sterotype, but the general impressions of the culture that you would expect. But the fact of the matter is that we are a lot more global that most people think and a lot more similar than first impressions lead us to believe.
Change topic. The other thing I’ll ramble about today is dreams. Since that is what wakes me up in the middle of the night so often. Dreams are weird. Though I have read a little about Freud’s interpretation of dreams, I can only say that from the little I know, I do not agree with Freud’s opinions at all. I do not believe that dreams have any special meaning or subliminal message to them. For a while I was able to sleep fairly well without being “disturbed” by dreams. Lately however, I wake up from the dreams fairly often either because they are genuinely disturbing or because I can’t breathe in the dream and it’s because I can’t breathe in reality since the damned convection heating in my apartment doesn’t agree with the nose one bit! Anyhow, I figured it would be interesting to read more about Freud’s theory to see if I agree or disagree with it. So I ordered his book On Dreams from Amazon to check out.
My current belief is that Dreams are nothing more than a rambling of thoughts in a fairly unconnected and meaningless manner. Essentially different thoughts which are in your head and get smushed together – sometimes in a very disconnected and senseless way. If I were to draw an analogy, I would draw an analogy to a box in a zero gravity environment in which objects are held in place because of an electromagnet. As soon as you turn off the electromagnet, everything gets mixed up. Similarly when you go to sleep different physiological and psychological stimuli get mixed together. Now if you believe that the resulting “mixture” in this box has any hidden underlying meaning to it, then more power to you and I’m not even going to try to proceed any further since that would be equivalent to beating my head against a wall. But in essence, similar to the objects int he box which come loose in a zero-g environment when the force holding them in place is gone, thought patterns mix and result in dreams. What meaning we ascribe to them post-fact is up to us and essentially is a re-arranging of the objects in a conscious manner once the switch is flipped back on.
But I’ll read what Mr. Freud has to say about this since that is supposed to be his big thing – besides linking everything to sexually repressed childhood memories of course – and I’ll post what I think about his theories at some point.