I have heard many a citizen complain of the snow plowing in their neighborhoods — it takes them so long, they don’t finish the job, or the snow was piled up in an inconvenient place. Even during the spring, these streets are troublesome. We find ourselves dodging potholes and jostling over dangerous fissures that either bust our vehicles or earn a ticket from police.
Sadly, because a bureaucracy is in charge, if there is to be any hope of decent streets, we would need to vote in a representative who would press for improved infrastructure, which would inevitably mean raising taxes, without any certainty of improvement. Even with a wider budget, there is still no promise that the conditions of the streets will improve at all.
Libertarians have such a simple solution to all of these woes, and it’s only three words.
Today, couples all over the Western world are purchasing Hallmark gift cards, boxes of chocolate, expensive dinners and otherwise feasting from the trough of holiday commercialism. Within the next nine months, the human population might experience a peculiar spike. One thing is certain — none of those whipper snappers will share my genes.
But tomorrow is Singles Awareness Day. A time to soberly reflect on the tens of millions of souls who are buying themselves flowers or sitting alone at the bar giving a toast to their own health. Though it is fortunate to be loved, one must learn to love themselves first.
So to all of my unattached readers, I gift you with a list of seven historical figures who, despite (or even because of) their frustrated romantic desires or their sheer lack of interest, revolutionized the world.
I’ve returned to a hobby I picked up during my college years: designing computer games. As I’ve learned more about how to make a great game, I’ve also learned a thing or two about human nature.
Even in this era of HD graphics and complex story lines, the rooted premise of any great game remains fairly simple — “get from point A to point B,” or “kill these badguys,” or “defend your castle.” Gain levels, earn experience, grow stronger. Win, win, win.
A game is most addicting when the player is formidably challenged and yet rolling on a momentum of victory after victory. That’s the moment when the player loses himself in the game and forgets to feed the dog, along with his daily troubles and life’s anxieties, destroying enemies and achieving victory. Thus your mission as the game master is to generate this rush as long and often as possible.
Friedrich Nietzsche new about the philosophy of video games before they were even invented. “Happiness is the feeling that power increases — that resistance is being overcome.”
It is around this time of the year — when temperatures plunge below zero, the wind bites at your face, and snow piles around the roads in towering muddy ramparts — when I consider my choice to remain in Chautauqua County, the land where I was born and raised.
In the Book of Exodus, Yahweh vows to Moses via a burning bush that he will deliver the Hebrews from their suffering and enslavement at the hands of the Egyptians, and guide them to the Promised Land, a place that was allegedly “flowing with milk and honey.” But it wasn’t filled with milk and honey — just dirt, rocks, trees and lots of scary pagan giants. It’s my theory that this Biblical story has pervaded our culture so subtly that it has caused a psychological phenomenon we’ll coin “The Promised Land Complex.”
It is simply this: when life grows difficult or tedious and we feel enslaved by our circumstances — a bad marriage, a bad job, a bad neighborhood, or low self-esteem — the idea pops into our heads that packing up and moving somewhere else will solve our problems. I’ll be the first to admit that I was struggling with a strong itch to hitch.