America: The Culture of Escapism

Over the last several months I have been working on a project titled “Escapism EP” and it is inspired by the realization that I used drug and entertainment as escapism. Upon further introspection I realized that this problem is a symptom of a much bigger and hidden disease that not only affects me, but the culture as a whole.

Before I delve deeper, let me say I am not against having fun. There’s a time and a place for fun, but I feel that for a lot of people that time is nearly all the time. That over time people use drug, entertainment, and sex as a life escape rather than a life enhancer, which it ideally should be.

Today, people worship the people or things that can take them away from the reality. Actors, Musicians, Sports Stars, YouTube, Video Games, T.V. make ridiculous amount of money because they help us forget the current situation. Take the edge off. This becomes unhealthy when all our mass media outlets are about the Kardashian’s or some sex scandal involving our favorite actors.

While chasing the American Dream at what point should we wake up and chase reality instead?

  Those are just my thoughts. What do you think?  Leave a comment below.

Two Types of Intelligence: Analytical v.s. Abstract

There are many types of intelligence that exist in this world. There’s social intelligence and academic intelligence, but I want to focus on two I am intimately familiar with; analytical and abstract intelligence.

Analytical Intelligence

We’ve all heard the saying “Think outside the box”. Well, analytical intelligence is the exact opposite of that. Analytical people will look inside the box, describe and break down every thing inside the boxes. They may even get lost in the boxes inside the boxes! This type of intelligence is great for understanding the nuances of specific objects. It’s like taking a magnifying glass and notating all the like cracks, crevices and colors. This lends well to math and science. The problem with this intelligence is that getting lost in the details is all too easy.

Abstract Intelligence

Abstract intelligence is the counterpart to analysis. Theses are the ones who “think outside of the box” and realize that all ideas are in one big box with infinite smaller boxes. Stated simply, abstraction is the act of generalization; stripping away the specifics and focusing on the similarities. For instance, “Color” is an abstraction of the specific colors “Blue” and “Orange” or “Sport” is an abstraction of the specific sports “Soccer” and “Baseball”. An abstraction is, like a big box that you fit other smaller boxes in to connect them together.  This lends well to poetry because you can abstract two unrelated words like, “bullet” and “shark”, into a simile such as “The shark swam like a speeding bullet”.  Abstract minded people usually are good at creative writing, art and music. The problem with abstract thought is that if the relation between the two ideas is too loose communicating the thought could be disastrous.

Final Thoughts

No intelligence is better than the other. I’d say analytical intelligence tends to be more practical, but abstract intelligence tends to be more beautiful. Although, in practice we use both simultaneously, there tends to be a preference for analytical over abstract. There’s nothing wrong wrong with this but without understanding the balance we miss one half of the equation that makes subjects like math interesting. Math is the analysis of an abstract concept called numbers. While writing composition classes are the abstractions of multiple pieces of writing. By framing school work or problems in this way it could help with finding solutions. If you know all the details and are still stuck, try to find a loosely similar situations that you relate to and try to tackle it that way (analytical to abstract). Or if you are confused on a dense concept, try to ground the idea in a metaphor, by relating the parts you do understand to something familiar. (abstract to analytical).

What do you think? Leave a comment. Thanks for reading.

Check out the new song I composed for the game I’m working on.

 

On Being Grateful

On Being Grateful

by: James Revels III

2014-11-26-gratitude2

The paradigm has switched from “Less is More” to “More is Less”. In a culture where we have worn down the soles of our shoes trying to keep up with the Jones, take this second with me to sit down, untie the laces and relax. Don’t worry that your iPhone doesn’t have an ‘S’ at the end. I won’t judge you for it.

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants. –Epictetus

Today, we live in an amazing time where we can have anything we want mail ordered to our homes or pre-ordered for pick up thanks to our magic plastic boxes in our pockets. We have more connections with friends and family via the internet and the social media it has spawned. We can swim in and drink clean water. (Well…99% of the time, sorry Michigan) Our cabinets are (for the most part) stocked with food, even if it’s only ramen noodles and canned goods. We are surrounded by so much cheap and accessible entertainment. We have video games, movies, music and, of course, everyone favorite, Netflix and Chill. Don’t get me started on the beauties of nature. This article would be a million words long so I’ll truncate it here.

Other Posts

Apex Round 1 (Pre-Alpha Play)

NEW MUSIC – Mesos

Word Origins Playlist

 

How to Overcome Writers Block

By: James Revels III

After making music daily for about 40 days for my YouTube Channel writer’s block was inevitable s here 3 things I try to do to overcome it.

Ignore the Initial Quality

Most people get stuck in writers block because they are trying to hard to make the Mona Lisa when they aren’t capable of it yet. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big and grand, but be aware of your limitations and go with the flow when something doesn’t come out how you want it initially. You can refine later. Use this as a first draft to at least get a first draft going so you have a springboard to jump from when inspiration does return.

Try Something New

One reason we fall in a rut artistically that we find a groove and stick with it. The way to counter this is to try something knew. Come at your work from another angle. Do you hate writing in first person perspective? Write a silly story that is in 1st person. Not only will it be good for practice, but it could inadvertently inspire a new idea.

Do  Something Else

Sometimes you just have to know when to quit and do something else. If you’ve tried and tried and it’s more frustrating than productive. Take a break and relax. Start another project or just go and play for a little while you calm down and let inspiration take its time. Inspiration is like a finicky girlfriend and you never know when she’ll be in the mood 😉

There we go another one bites the dust. If you liked this article check out my other articles linked below or watch an embed from my YouTube channel. Thanks for reading. James Out!

Further Reading

The Death of the Facebook Like Pages

Weird Genres: Abstract Hip-Hop?

Pros & Cons of Mass Media

Pros & Cons of Mass Media

We always hear about how TV is rotting our brains and video games making us violent, but lets take a step back and get an unbiased perspective shall we?

Pros

I think the biggest pro of mass media is the ability for shared experience. It makes the world feel smaller because we have shared experiences and references strengthening the culture as a whole.

Another major pro is the exposure for the arts and an outlet for those creative minds. Mass media also encourages collaboration which is necessary for the evolution of art.

Also,according to  the book “What’s Bad is Good for You” by Steven Johnson, he believes that the complex subplots and mechanics of video games, TV, etc help our critical thinking faculties and mental health overall.

Cons

Sadly, this connectivity comes at a cost. The major con I see with Mass media is the weakness with an system, it’s too rigid. Since, a lot of many for a lot of people are involved many of the innovations are sedated for profit. This not only makes the companies and artist unmotivated to change, but it also makes consumers numb. This is why there are so many reboots and sequels that sell and tend to disappoint most people.

The final con is geared towards informational rather than artistic media. Mass media has the power of misinformation and sensationalization. News outlets have to ability to  cause mass panic or distract the people from problems at hand. Although, it does have to power to unite, it usually doesn’t help the rating which is why it doesn’t happen often.

There’s my thoughts on the Pros and Cons of Mass Media.

Check out my other articles or my YouTube channel for more content.

Further Reading

The Death of the Facebook Like Pages

Journal Entry 12/07/2015

Weird Genres: Abstract Hip-Hop?