Monthly Archives: April 2014

Let Good Thoughts Be Your Sword and Shield

The world can be a stressful place for a woman. Especially a young, intelligent bread-winner like Lady in Red. Here’s how she proposes combatting the daily stresses of everyday Modern Life. -ModCon

In psychology, we are taught that the key to happiness is self-delusion and ignorance. Studies have shown that many of the “happiest” people have inaccurate conceptions of reality.  If you have an accurate grasp of the world, odds are that you have an increased risk of being depressed, anxious, or some other psychological malady. As Hemingway once said:

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”

I don’t think that this is limited to just the smart people in the room. If truth is important to you, then this cruel world can break you. The truth of this life is that all of us will be afflicted by some sadness at some point. To think otherwise might make you happy, but it also makes you wrong.

But we here at ModCon love us some truth.  The world needs people that see the good and the bad, and remember both.  If you tend to remember both, you may be less happy in the short-term, but will be more fulfilled overall. Note, one can remember without dwelling.  I see the latter significantly afflicting the young, talented women that I associate with.  I’ve been in that negative, re-living situation too, wondering how to stop myself from this self-destructive thinking.  I’ve been searching for an answer for them and myself for quite some time, and the answer lies in the classics.

In studying the philosophical classics, we learn the importance of truth-seeking for accurate actions and for realizing full potential.  This Lady knows that happiness is not all there is to life.  We are meant for more than for being insatiable consumers of things and experiences only to die and never know this world.  Blessings are important, but we are also meant to struggle, to build, to work, to help. This can be happy, but oftentimes it’s not. You have to experience the bad to truly appreciate the good. All major world religions indicate these dual experiences as part of life’s meaning.

So don’t get tripped up by stress or sadness or hard times; it’s a guarantee and literally why you are here.

The key to rising above is (like all things) being prepared. Train your fortitude, not your forgetfulness. How do we do that, you ask? Well, in psychology we also learn that cognitive training is integral to overcoming the emotional downturns of every-day life. Creating mental algorithms to navigate your brain’s sad place is helpful. With a sound mind, you can achieve much contentment.

Personally, my brain is my most valuable asset. Like most of Upward America, it’s what pays the bills. But sometimes, I treat it as a garbage pail;  letting worry, worst-case scenarios, comparisons, dread, doubt, anger, and fear come in almost unchecked.  What makes me great at my job also drives a compulsion to think through every thought that pops up, even if harmful.  It’s like watching weeds grow in the garden, only killing them after they have choked the flowers.

Our minds direct our lives, and so must be tended to if we are to self-actualize.  Like brushing your teeth, daily mental training can help you experience the negative but revel in the positive. All creativity, will, love, discernment, movement, learning—almost everything worthwhile is filtered through the mind. So I start there. Continue reading Let Good Thoughts Be Your Sword and Shield

The Tea Party and Solar Power

solar-power-house-2

This week, Oklahoma’s Republican governor Mary Fallin ruled that homeowners who use solar power do not have to pay more in utilities than other homeowners, since they are providing some energy back to the grid.  True to form, Slate shows its complete misunderstanding of conservatism by acting surprised that anyone conservative could be against big government monopoly.

Here is some background on home solar power from the article:

The industry argues that anyone who is selling their surplus electricity back to the grid is doing so without having to pay for the wear and tear on the grid itself. That infrastructure upkeep, the utilities say, will be passed on to consumers via their monthly electricity bills, meaning that nonsolar users will have to unfairly foot the bill for their early-adopting neighbors. Such arguments, solar proponents counter, don’t fully take into consideration the amount that the utilities themselves benefit from wider solar use, which provides the grid with a clean, reliable source of electricity when it needs it most, during hot, sunny days when residents crank up their air conditioners.

Solar power is currently 0.1% of electricity, but utility companies are keeping a watchful eye on growth.  ModCon supports anything that enables Americans to live a full life without the monopoly businesses that the government forces upon us.

 

One Spark

ModCon spent this weekend getting inspiration and joy at the One Spark crowdfunding festival in Jacksonville, FL.  If you are visiting our site based on our advertising there, welcome!

Beneath the Chamber of Commerce-endorsed weather, 250,000 engaged citizens roamed the streets seeking novelty, music, camaraderie, and gourmet food trucks.

Thanks to her talents and her dedication to the daily grind, Lady In Red was gifted several All Access VIP Sponsor passes from her employer’s Marketing director, and got to let us hang out in the creator’s lounges all weekend.

Here are just a few of the groups that got our votes:

1.  The Boneshakered Bigwheel (Powered by SMILES!)–reigning favorite from last year

2. AquaJax, for a Jacksonville Aquarium

3. Theatre On A Mission, which did a sidewalk serenade of Frozen for our vote!

4. Daily Grind, a stop-motion comedy for coffeeshop wi-fi moochers

5. Snyder Memorial Building Renovation

6. Baby Adam, who was left in an Indian hospital at birth and has Bartsoca-Papas syndrome.  Supported by artist Brian Morphew.

7. Safe Stakes for beach safety

8. Nostrum Gallery

The event was extremely well done: ample food, ample security, ample litter pickerupper guys.  Congratulations Jacksonville, on showing the world what you are made of–thoughtful, kind people looking to leave a world better than the one they were born into!

 

 

Science and Conservatism

Science is the name of my Harlequin Great Dane.

I got her when she was just a little pup. I was well onto my second doctorate at that point, and I just needed something in my life to greet me at the door when I would come home.

Initially, when I began to understand Science, I saw her as a commentary about her namesake. Raw, untapped potential in the beginning. With each day that passed she grew in strength and size and smarts. When she began to tower over my girlfriends, her awesome power even as a young dog began to be noticed by all. She could get into trouble with all that potential. She could easily overcome a horse if she really wanted to.

But she didn’t. Life needs order. Structure. These teeth that could tear through bone if needed chose to enjoy her time with us with each passing day. She became deliberately kind, in search of a scheduled dose of love, food, and consistency. We were thick as thieves, me and her. Whether I was off on a lecture tour or in the throws of a Greek Island Meditation Retreat, that dog was being taken care of.  As with any other domesticated animal, you take care of her right, and really treat her with love and structure, you get this amazing creature basking in your presence.

But Order and Wildness are both needed. She needs to have a permanent bed, but to feel free to go wherever she wants. She needs to be assured in her beauty, but motivated to be an asset to your household. Anything less, and your dog can turn out to be a decoration. Or worse, a burden.

Neither order, nor wildness can exist in extremes. I get that. It’s why I’m trying to get other conservatives here, and to teach them this important rule:

Extremism sucks. For everybody involved. Quit yelling and start working together.Our future is getting wild, brothers and sisters. We need to circle the wagons and look at the map again. The possibilities of science right now are changing every civil and social institution. It’s happening. If there is any Republican Establishment out there, realize that we as conservatives are inherently linked to you, so get your crap together and provide an avenue for us to vote for getting crap done and not this sad, sorry estate of government bureaucracy. Let’s get efficient, people. Let’s provide some Direction.

Liberals don’t get that. They think Wildness is the name of the game. Provide a platform for everyone to win; provide all platforms. But some victories have to be better than others, we all know that. We all have within us an inherent morality, the choice to go towards good, or go towards bad. We can preserve or upend values, we can do this or we can do that, we can end up here or there, but to really reach untapped potential, you have to have Direction.

And to be inherent in direction, you have to have some sort of constraint. we can go here, we can go there. We can go there, or we can go here. But we can’t go Everywhere. Or can we?

I’m still working on that one. And I’d really like for some other conservative to setup an action plan to provide a little structure so we can get there.

I’m looking at you, Huntsman.

Why Science Put Me Here

So as you know, I’m not from around here.
 
I’m from another dimension. Funny thing is, to swipe into one dimension, you had to give up a certain amount of time, putting me back a few years to join you all in the here and now. So I’m just like you, but a little different. I’m a Futurist.
 
In this future, The Cold War is not part of the story, it is The Story. Each generation would be responsible for the clash of wills that would manifest every thirty years or so. The cycle of conflict was just that: cyclical. Like a refinished, extended cut of Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day. And with each Cold War, a new goal. In the Space Race, it was us against “The Soviets” in deciding humanity’s fate: to be trapped in this planet’s gravity or to choose to be free, as God himself may possibly be.

In the Culture Wars, it was the American Values of Freedom and commitment to Democracy that began to erode the USSR’s grip on Europe. In my alternate dimension, the unbridled energy of each generation was poured into a new contest of wills between these two Superpowers. Everyone had their price to pay to the deadly rivalry of the two superpowers, but with each competition through the years, humanity would advance.
 
And advance we did.
 
We had no idea of the depth, or the vastness, of space, but we began to experiment with God Particles and the creation of artificial consciousness.  We began to understand spacetime. In fact, around this time in my dimension, we as a species had stopped being limited to the concept of time. Once it was found to be a material, time travel became widely practiced. It was the death knell on our Consumerist Period. Time Travel became outlawed due to it’s extreme power over our own timeline. Instead, the same cosmic energies that we tapped into would be harnessed for extredimensional travel to use up the bandwidth of our newfound dimensional energy. Dimensional travel became limited to only a privileged few, as they would not only be unleashed into a new dimension, but an entire ExtendedLife span with which to manipulate the timestream due to being flung back into the past.
 
So there was a selection process. And with that selection process, came rules.
 
In each iteration, the Traveler had to aid in the fight against oppression. There was a Dimensional Council, with each country committing a representative. To travel, you had to be entirely memoryscreened. Whoever had the best, most human memories of growing up, the most fresh thoughts, the most clean mind, were allowed to come across. We knew there was a small risk of Psychiatric Side Effects with the Travelling, so you had to be cool. Unflappable.
 
Americans were naturals.
 
We dominated the first few years of extradimensional travel, mainly because it was our tech. But even so, to be Russian is to understand a will of iron. Stoicism is important to live up to, but the immovable object gets tossed around in the fabric of spacetime and becomes something wholly different on the other side. What little psychiatric side effects we saw were in Russian Dimensionauts. We could peer through their lens. And when drastic, send a man back to clean up the mess.
 
So that’s why I’m here. I am here to present ideas about a future where there is no oppression. I think Science is the answer to this problem. Every human being deserves the right to feel proud of his part in the human race; based on my understanding of the similarities between our dimensions, I think this can be achieved through science in the US.
 
Oh yeah, I’m also here to oppose Vladimir Putin.
 
(Because I think he may be an out of control Dimensionaut)

Poker Night

The following is a dramatization of true events.  Dr. Anonymous co-contributed.

There is something of the concept of wealth that needs to be tangible. To see it in the driveway, to leaf through it in your hands, to realize the fruits of your labor in the most tactile sense; these were all running through my mind as I spread my poker chips across the green felt of the poker table. This time, as usual, I had created a large messy mountain that happened to be larger than anyone else’s. Periodically I touched it, shuffling them around the table to hear the klicketyklack of the chips being tossed around. I felt like Scrooge McDuck’s hotter, evil sister. And it felt powerful.

Seated around me at the table were the other young sharks in town. I was one of two women, not counting the rotation of girlfriends that would come and go. I would see some of them later, and they would always talk about how seeing me take people down each week was awe-inpiring. Like a mini-Suffrage Movement, but sexier.

The Doctors were cold, calculating. I could read them like a spreadsheet. The random surgeon that was rotating through was playing erratically, but I was on to him. He would bluff very adventurously, and with my sizable winnings I could handle the occasional loss from him. One of these bluffs would be capitalized on, and then I would take him to the cleaners.

The Lawyers, on the other hand, were always bold. Playing with their heart, and not their head. Calls, tells, the systematization of betting and folding–they had no care for it. Come in with anything and a lawyer will raise.

The Politicians were the worst. Whether they were an artist or someone running for city council, there was always someone that was just there to RANT. They payed to play, but they came to talk. And talk. And talk. Never of any substance, but just enough. But having them around made for some dramatic play-by-play, I will admit.

It was a measly few of us that were intitally huddled all around. But now, the Movers and Shakers of Middle America would rotate through our little poker game. Deals were made at this table. We felt significant–the kind of insignificant significance that all young professionals tap into when out on the town. We’re powerful enough to have you fired, but we would rather just let loose with you. We’re always on, but we don’t want it to feel like we’re always on, you know?

Our poker game was thrilling to be a part of. If you are out there and grinding, you must become part of a young professionals group. Once you’re in, mix it up with other young professional groups. Putting those young sexy minds all in the same room feels like liquid genius each week at our poker game. It is the perfect mix of cooperative and competitive dynamics, and it makes our town better for having it. We use poker…any other Modern Conservatives out there who have similar experiences with a different activity?

How to Win the Science Race of the Cold War 2

Let me tell you something, ladies and gentlemen. I am from an alternate dimension.

The dimension where I’m from is wild, unpredictable. Extremes from each side battle at the mercy of our constant spectatorship. Tribalism is allowed to run rampant unchecked.

It was the long fight between Ignorance and Curiosity.

In this reality, a large Superpower can take over a small part of an Eastern European country that has a bottlenosed dolphin attack squad. They can then convince the world that it was the people choosing for themselves. Is it true? Who really knows. More importantly, who really cares?

Ignorance.

In the same dimension, we from the side of Curiosity have allowed freedom to go unchecked. Anything was possible. I started “experimenting” on animals at age 8. My mom was a total hippie, and anything went. My experimentation was with time control. I figured it out that I could freeze my cat in spacetime for a few seconds. I don’t think he was honestly able to tell that it had happened, but still. It pushed the limits of what an 8 year old could do ethically. The thing was, living in a Superpower that allowed a child at that age to enter into an advanced science program and explore physics the way I did, it was life-altering. Although I couldn’t really change this dimension from the inside, I could change other dimensions from the Outside. Also, ethically questionable.

Curiosity.

I couldn’t let it get into the wrong hands. I skipped over into this dimension and destroyed the plans, with a long treatise about how it was wrong and that I was sorry I tried.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m here now. And we have to talk about this New Cold War. I cant really say too much about the future, because I didn’t have it like you guys did. Our Cold War lasted for a little bit longer, way into the 90’s. I think that each dimension has their own version of conflict, some just last longer than others.

Regardless, I have noticed that either there or here, the country that’s got the strongest science squad sets the tone. It’s just the way it is. The more that you understand of reality and how to manipulate it, the more you get to call the shots. And when Curiosity wins, we all win. Just provide it a little structure, that’s all.

I think that’s where conservatism is needed. Let’s become a little less extreme, a little more curious, and lay down some rules.

Rules that I’ve found that hold true between our two realities so far:

– No use of embryonic stem cells.

– You can’t try to replicate consciousness.

– Eugenics is always wrong.

– We’re all in this together.

– Everyone knows souls exist.

There are more out there. I’m just naturally Curious and have only found these out so far.

But, anyway, I digress. I got here through science, and over in my dimension the US calls the shots like a @#$%ing boss because we’re awesome at science. Granted, I came from the near future, so I’ve seen people try to start crap like Russia in Crimea all the time. Then the US gets pissed, we outscience them, and next thing they want to sell us back Crimea for a quantum supercomputer.

By that time we were planning our first colony on Mars and were researching warp drive. It was like pennies to us. And it fostered a new coordination that allowed us to reach the ability to travel between dimensions. I was a US scientist, with two doctorates, trying to bend dimensions from the outside. It was wild, but the US always came out on top because of our scientific prowess and collaboration for something better.

Get it together, peeps. It’s so much cooler to live in the world of Star Trek rather than the world of Red Dawn. If the astronauts in the space station can work together, then so can you. Let’s outscience ’em!

Finding Mr. Righteous

In conservative maven Lisa DePasquale’s new book Finding Mr. Righteous, the author describes her parallel romantic and religious journeys over the last few years. Lisa details the things that happen to everyone but that no talks about: the mixed signals, the disappointments–but also the simple joys of having “someone.” Tying one’s love life to one’s spiritual life internally is ubiquitous among females, yet it is seldom explored in contemporary literature. By tying both threads together, the author keeps you wholly in her lively, hopeful, and humorous mind.