This probably isn’t something that most people are going to care anything about but I think it’s important that we keep this kind of stuff in mind. When ISIS first came on the scene that was the name that everyone knew and even now it is probably the most commonly used name for the group. Somewhere along the way however, some of our politicians and other public figures including president Obama began using the name ISIL when making speeches where they referred to the group by name.
The problem with them using one name over the other stems from what they are acronyms of obviously. ISIS stands for ‘Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’, a fairly accurate name for the group since those are the areas in which they operate most and where they currently hold territory. ISIL on the other hand stands for ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’. Why this is significant lies with that last word ‘Levant’.
According to Wikipedia the levant is a ‘historical geographical’ term that can be broadly used to refer to an area encompassing the entire mediterranean. Though the modern usage of the word usually refers to a smaller area covering Syria, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and sometimes Egypt.
To me that implies a claim the group is making on that entire area including Israel, though I am sure they would very much like to extend their control out to the historical levant which includes parts of Turkey, Greece and large parts of northern Africa including Libya. They are basically making their intentions clear, and it is not difficult to believe given how aggressively they have already taken territory in Iraq and Syria.
By using ISIL instead of ISIS in their speeches our politicians, including the president are in a sense legitimizing this claim by ISIS, since there was no need to stop using the original name for the group. I can only assume this is intentional, because otherwise why the change?
I realize this is only one small, seemingly insignificant issue at a time when the political world is more of a clusterfuck than usual, but I think it is important that we point this stuff out. If only so there is a record of what people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton truly are. The use of ISIL instead of ISIS may mean nothing at all, but when we are talking about people who won’t say Islamic Extremists, who have imported thousands of refugees from the middle east without being able to vet them, and who have been lying to us about what is happening with ISIS for a long time, I’d say it’s best to assume the worst and hope for the best.
As a side note, there is another name used for the group that may be more appropriate even than ISIS. Daesh is apparently and acronym for the arabic version of ‘Islamic State of Syria and the Levant’, but one that ISIS itself does not want used because it sounds similar to another arabic word ‘Daes’ which means ‘One who crushes something underfoot.’ and the arabic word ‘Dahes’ or ‘One who sows discord’.
Not really derogatory enough for my taste but anything that pisses them of is probably a good thing.
Earlier this week I stumbled upon an amazing resource for learning to code, something that I’ve wanted to do for years, and not only is right up my alley it’s also free.
Freecodecamp.com provides what is called a full stack development certification which includes Front End development, back end development, and data visualisation. It’s a pretty long course but they say companies seek out people who do this course, even hiring some before they can complete the whole program.
At the end of the course you pair up with another (student?) to complete two real world projects for Non-Profits. Once you’ve completed that you get the full stack certification.
This whole process is different than it used to be, where you either went to college and learned computers and programming there, or like me you taught yourself to code in which case it could be difficult to get a job because you have no certifications or degrees.
Also trying to learn from internet can be difficult. There is tons of info out there but you have to know where to look and keep trying different things without much guidance or structure. Not an ideal way to learn.
Freecodecamp however includes everything you need in one place with support and help when you need it as well as other coders to get to know and learn from.
I have looked around and there are a few other sites out there like freecodecamp, however a lot of them are not free or only have limited courses available for free. There are also sites that aren’t as much like a school where you can just go and pick what you want to learn about.
I signed up the day I found freecodecamp have been going at it hard ever since, I’m up around 100 completed challenges.
Everything in our universe is subject to entropy and decay, and the United States of America is certainly no exception. The fact is that the decline of this once great nation is itself just a symptom of a larger problem; the moral and cultural decay of western civilization as a whole. While it may briefly been true that where the US went the world would follow, those days came and went in the blink of an eye and what we are left with is a shell of an empire that wasn’t and the lingering delusion that the American dream ever actually existed. If there was a golden age in this country it lasted no more than two decades and I strongly suspect it only ever existed in the imagination of a small segment of American society.
Now, none of that is new or original, and I’m hardly the first person to suggest such things. The only reason I’ve brought it up is because of a particular side effect that I have noticed. People have a tendancy to pick out a few issues or topics on which to focus their displeasure while ignoring the larger picture and the ways in which those smaller issues relate to it and to one another. They take these things in isolation, choosing to exrapolate everything that is wrong with society from the handful of issues that irritate them most, rather than digging a little deeper to find the root causes of those issues. If they were to dig deeper or take a broader view what they would find is that all of the problems that we have in society today are not the result of todays politicians, or todays laws, or the rampant corruption in our government today. The cause of all these ills started long before you or I were born and there isn’t a thing that any of us could ever have done about it.
When I was younger I fell into this same trap of feeling like I had been cheated somehow by being born into times when it seemed like the whole country was coming apart at the seams and everything was generally going to shit. I couldn’t see that it wouldn’t have mattered what generation I was born into because just like human beings, our societies begin dying as soon as they are born and it is up to each one of us to make the best of the times in which we live.
I am not suggesting some kind of vast conspiracy going back hundreds of years. No masons or illuminati or New World Order. For all I know every one of those conspiracies could be completely true, it doesn’t really matter if some rich people want to dance around in robes and do weird shit in secret, the fact of the matter is that human nature is the true cause of the problems of this age and every age. Entropy and decay are as much a part of the nature of our universe as space or time and when you truly come to accept that idea, its amazing how small the day to day problems seem to become.
So, it is with all this in mind that I have chosen “Entropy and Decay” as the new name of my blog. While that may seem negative at first glance, the truth is that it’s not. It is a reminder of why we shouldn’t let the craziness in the world around us determine what kind of life we are going to have. There are some things that are not in our control but when we give up the control we do have out of frustration with the world around us, we are giving in to the worst part of our own natures and choosing to be unhappy when we don’t need to be.
I thought I would share some of the more interesting stuff I’ve found about nootropics and more specifically piracetam in the research I’ve done so far. More to come in the future I hope.
Many of these are forum threads, I will try and post more journal articles/studies next time. It takes some digging to find free ones and there is already a limited pool of research on these topics to begin with.
Today I am starting a daily regimen of nootropic supplements in the hopes of improving my cognitive ability and learning what supplements work best both alone and in combinations. The stack I am starting with is pretty basic but I will be continuing to add and remove things to achieve the best possible results.
- Piracetam 2400mg twice daily (4800mg total daily)
- Alpha GPC 600mg once daily
- DMAE 260mg once daily
- Vitamin B6 20mg once daily
- Pantothenic Acid 100mg once daily
- Magnesium (from 2000mg Magnesium L-Threonate) 144mg once daily
Possible future additions
- CDP Choline/Citicoline
Below are links to the wikipedia pages for some of the above listed substances if you want more information on what they are.
There are two giant entities at work in our country, and they both have an amazing influence on our daily lives. . . one has given us radar, sonar, stereo, teletype, the transistor, hearing aids, artificial larynxes, talking movies, and the telephone. The other has given us the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, double-digit inflation, double-digit unemployment, the Great Depression, the gasoline crisis, and the Watergate fiasco. Guess which one is now trying to tell the other one how to run its business?