The Evolution of Fear

The Evolution of Fear

As we have been living in the age of social media for a while now, most aspects or concepts of the past has become a thing of the past. Just like our fears!!!

Lethal diseases that we feared greatly, have become minor health problems… Monsters have evolved into children’s entertainment in the form of toys and cartoons… and werewolves have found their literal and lexical meaning as in “were feared”…but not anymore. These days, we use vampires and werewolves merely for entertainment as seen in movies and novels. Even romance has been a popular subject amongst the supernatural beings. We do not really fear them, we love them.

But, what do we fear nowadays?

Of course; the dangers of social media and insensible posting…and the consequences.

After a little thinking, I have made a list of modern fears related to the internet and some popular social media apps and number 3  and 7 really give me the creeps!

Here goes:

1. You’re lost in the middle of nowhere and you have no wifi…

2. Finding out that a stranger has dethroned you at your own house (private address) on swarm.

3. Booking a place on AirBnB and once there discovering that it’s a freshly dug empty grave with your name on the tombstone.

4. A stranger posts photos of your most intimate moments, tagging you on Instagram.

5. Your Facebook page is suddenly liked by over a thousand users who have recently passed away and they say they can’t wait to meet you in the comments section.

6. Your match on Tinder turns out to be your sibling…after your chat with each other for hours about each other’s sexual fantasies.

7. Posting a short video clip onto YouTube titled “the best way to kill your neighbour”, then waking up the next morning with the police knocking on the door as your neighbour had been murdered the same way as shown on your video clip. The video watch count shows 0 visitors…

8. Trying out a diner’s burger, licking your fingertips due to its delicacy and then discovering thousands of negative comments on Four Square mentioning the restaurant’s use of rat meat in their burgers.

9. Getting lost and needing rescue in New Zealand’s Porangahau region: “Tetaumatawhakatangihangakoauaotamateaurehaeaturipukapihimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuaakitanarahu” after a hiking accident and discovering that the only means of communication with the authorities seem to be by Twitter, limiting your report of what has happened to you and your whereabouts in only 140 characters. To make things worse, your phone has juice left only for one tweet!

What do you say?


Ain’t modern life scary?

The Landlord’s Fury for Art

I once read about an ancient nomad tribe vagabonding the Earth, hunting and gathering and having no concept or even a simple word for a domestic residence we call home. Every piece of land was temporary and arose no feeling of belonging. The tribesmen were literally homeless yet they owned the whole land. Then, there were the cavemen: primitive people; the first settlers in dark and damp corners of the world. The first settlements were nature’s present and sheltered many. But, there was something missing in those caves; something that would transform simple dwellings to places with a soul… 

Nope… it was not furniture or a huge, flat screen TV. 

When people feel safe and hunger is not an issue anymore, they tend to create… from rumors to music and art.

Art in the form of cave paintings, like hunting scenes was perfect as it not only brought a soul to their living quarters, it also gave people a chance to brag about and immortalize their favorite memories for ages to come. In a way, art made us who we are today. Since we are safe and not starving anymore, why don’t we keep doing what our ancestors did. Hanging landscape paintings with frames is never the same as it has limitations. Plus banging nails into your walls ruins your house. Just let your imagination run wild and free. Use the wall and paint freely…it is your house as long as you live in it.

But, today’s society led by the kinds of my landlord have ridiculous objections as why we can’t live the way we like. “The society does not approve that” they say. I highly doubt the society approves anything that is creative, fun and free…

“Did you know freedom exists in a school book?” J.Morrison…

Archaeology of the Present

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Imagine our current civilization ended up in flames; totally wiped out… a few remaining survivors of the human kind (possibly stripped of all advanced technological knowledge and know-how) started all over from scratch.
In a millennium, every advancement is already long forgotten and our civilization at present is regarded as an ancient one, pretty much like ancient Egypt in our era.
The new civilization follows more or less a similar path as ours to flourish. However, some things have never been invented or some ideas have never been thought of. At least, they invent the notion of archaeology; digging up the past (and trying to uncover our secrets).
Let’s do a thought experiment…
It’s the year 2116; a thousand years from now and the future archaeologists uncover the following:
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1. The personal library of a sci-fi enthusiast, which survived a millennium in a nuclear shelter/bunker. All the books that survived are works of fiction…about intergalactic wars, time travel, aliens, etc… and after decades of hard work, they are able to crack the code of our language. What would they think? Would they regard them as works of fiction or consider them as ancient history? We seem to regard every written record of ancient civilizations as real…
2. An email message printed on a browned out paper (actually the paper browned out much later :), containing letters of the alphabet as well as characters like @,#,_,&,* and :). (From the same library mentioned above) Would they combine these symbols into our ancient language and overthink about their function?
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3. A dozen autographed baseball bats by some of the baseball idols of our era dug out from the ruins of a sports shop. Luckily, the UV coating on the bats preserved the signatures from smearing out through ages. What would a baseball bat suggest to a culture who has not invented the concept of sports (for entertainment)? Perhaps, a primitive weapon of war; inscribed with an ancient god’s name to channel divine power to the wielder? How about the sports shop? Would the future archaeologists be happy that they unearthed an ancient armory?
4. A huge, curvy water slide in an abandoned amusement park: An aqueduct?
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5  A bowling ball… Let me be more specific: A size 14, shiny, purple bowling ball. Hmmm… What are the three holes for? For fingers? But why three? Would they think that ancient humans had two less fingers? Oh wait! That’s how we depict some aliens!!!
The moral of this article?
No matter what your intentions are (when you invent or create something), you will most likely to be misunderstood …

The colors of colors

What color is the sky?

It’s light blue when clear and cloudless…

Bright red at sun dawn…

A different shade of orange at sunset…

Pitch black with tiny bright white dots at night…

White when it snows…

And even green when northern lights make an appearence in the Arctic night…

How about trees? Do they have green leaves and a brown body? Or is it something we were taught in our infancy?

Nature doesn’t have one color per each creation. There are endless color combinations there but do we lack the vocabulary to describe each hue?

Homer described honey as green, and sea as the color of champagne. The words for color he used in his works never got more various than a simple black and white mentioned hundreds of times, with a tad of green and red appearing once or twice. Was he colorblind? Can honey be green? Can seas be the color of champagne? The color blue was not mentioned even once in his works. Since it was never mentioned that he was criticized about how he perceived colors in his time, should we assume that the whole ancient Greek population was incapable of distinguishing between colors?

Or are we still colorblind in the modern era in such a way that we have compound nouns that do not represent the colors of that we have in mind; is white wine, white? Are blackberries, black? Even a blackeye isn’t black.

Is it the evolution of the human eye or the creation of synthetic colors that created this confusion?

For more detailed insight, I recommend you read the first chapter of “Through the Language Glass” by Guy Deutscher…

It changed my perception of perception. 

Investigating Mermaids … Do they exist?

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A mermaid is an aquatic creature which has the upper body of a beautiful female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids exist in different cultures worldwide regardless of location.

According to legends; mermaids are rumoured to sit on rocks and lure sailors to their deaths by singing irresistable songs that make sailors jump ship and drown or crash into rocks.

“It was all a misconception….”

Imagine the sailors of the time the first mermaids were presumably seen. Sailors used to sail for 11 months; crossing vast seas and oceans with no land to set their foot upon and certainly no women. This caused a similar phenomena like mirages. Having missed the sight of a beautiful woman for so long, sailors began seeing seals and walrus as women, and not being able to hold onto themselves they tried to reach them, resulting in a lot of sailors jumping ship and drowning, trying to reach the beautiful women that their minds showed them. As for the beautiful voice and songs of the mermaids, that was seal and walrus sounds combined with the sound of strong winds hitting the sails. If the first sailors that claimed to have seen mermaids, had been all women, the legend would have favored “mermen” or men with fish tails and we would have a “The giant merman” story instead of “The little mermaid”.

“The proof that mermaids don’t exist!”

  1. They don’t seem to have reproductory organs since they are fish from waist down, which means they are unable to reproduce unless they lay eggs like fish. Considering how caviar is pricy, fish eggs, the size of baby mermaids would have been on the market long ago as we are greedy and would have found them and hunted them down (See: elephant tusks).
  2. Their upper body parts would freeze for being in water all the time or they would at least have very wrinkly skins. No wrinkly skinned mermaids reported so far.
  3. Mammals are warm-blooded while fish are cold-blooded and this makes them an impossible breed.
  4. We can presume that mermaids have lungs, not gills because of their humanly upper bits. This means that they need to breathe and most probably live on land. No mermaid settlement on land has been found, yet.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia and 13

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Since today is Friday the thirteenth, I’ll write about Friday the thirteenth and fear of the number 13 in general.

The long word in the title starting with “Paraskev. …” (Yay copy-paste!) is a less known phobia which is the fear of this date-day combination. But, what is the origin of this unlucky/scary day?

Rumor says it all started with the Knights Templar when Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of them on 13 October 1307, which was as you guessed: a Friday. Had he done this a day earlier, like Thursday the 12th, this date would have never become a popular date ( no Michael Myers) let alone a meaningless phobia. 13 is the key number here, the pure evil number that dates far back in history or fiction like the fable of the sleeping beauty where the thirteenth witch placed a curse on our heroine.

Some hotels in America still don’t have a room 13 and room 14 follows room 12. Perhaps the phobia is based on this number 13 being unlucky as how on earth the last working day of the week can be considered to be unlucky?

My thesis is supported by the fact that there’s a completely different phobia solely of number 13 which has a scientific name of its own: “triskaidekaphobia”.

Scroll down for a little test to see if you have “triskaidekaphobia”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you still on the page?