Spoiler spoilers. Thoughts on the Divergent series.
1. The basic premise is scientifically unsound. Personality is not a simple dominant-recessive binary trait, it is made of of myriad of different factors, both genetic and environmental. To definitively link a personality trope with susceptibility to a drug? To say that the same drug will work on A, B, C, D, and E individually but not at all on ABCDE, which is just a combination of the above? Especially when each “trait” is so ambiguous and multifactorial? Just, no. I think reality is a bit more like this, a melding of different combinations of the same underlying units. Bioengineering/medical brain is inwardly cringing. Also doing a DNA test by injecting stuff into you instead of taking blood out, why the heck would that ever be a good idea!?
2. Just like Hunger Games but worse. With less convincing character development and a TON more fluff.
3. Tris and Four please stop making out every other page. Oh my frickin’ god. It was eye-rollingly maybe a bit cute the first time (like, haha, I could see that coming from a mile away). NOT so much after the 500th time. “I don’t know how I feel about sex so let’s just make out like every time we see each other. And I’ll conveniently die at the end of the series to keep everything PG13.” Wut. Just leave it out, please.
4. Tris’s selfless suicide. Have to admit I kind of assumed that the fluffiness misled me to believe this was one of the typical YA books where main characters never die, and I didn’t see that coming at all.
Way to pull a George R. R. Martin, seriously. But I don’t know. I just didn’t feel like it was meaningful in anyway other than the shock factor, I guess.
But the good:
1. Solid interesting premise.
2. Wow the author is only 25!? And was probably younger when her book was published? Much respect and totally reasonable excuse for having some apparent flaws. Cringing at all the times I tried Nano and never finished, and of recent years when I honestly didn’t even try at all. Just ignored the peptalks in my email and continued surfing reddit or facebook or whatever.
3. We take what we want from books, and I doubt this was one of the intended themes, but I was reminded that despite how different everyone’s lives are, the one thing that we have in common is that we all want to be loved, acknowledged, and competent/useful. That is at the absolute core of being human.
TLDR; I powered through Divergent because our internet went out for a few days, and I needed something to curb my boredom. While somewhat unsatisfying, it reminded me of how amazing good books are, and why I used to read and write. Next on my to read list; 100 Year of Solitude, House of Leaves, things by Haruki Murakami and lots more!
Best part of finals season: finding good music. (:
Thanks Texas and life for teaching me of late:
1. Life is always going to be busy. As a vet student, sometimes we joke about vet school taking over our lives so much that I actually start believing and feeling comfortable with that statement. But life will always be busy. After school there will be (knock on wood) residency and job and family (?) and “real people stuff”. If I want to do things like project365, NaNoWriMo, guitar, etc, then I better frickin’ start now. I haven’t really touched my nice camera since August. Those days that I was “too lazy” to bring my camera to the zoo and the Renaissance fair? That day I considered taking capturing the smooth green gradient of my avocado, the light streaming through the translucent fibers of my grapefruit but didn’t, and just browsed Reddit for a few more hours before knocking out? Those are opportunities that I’ll never get back. -> So let’s not miss any more.
2. Life is about relationships and connections. The first few weeks in any environment are always the longest. After a while though, time kinda starts to blur as you get caught up in the routine. My long held theory on life has always been that the more new things you do, the longer you experience life to be, the longer you “live”. So do lots of things. I’m starting to think that this applies to people too. The more friends you have, the more directions your personality is pulled and stretched, the longer you experience life to be. I forget that getting to know people counts as a life experience too. -> So talk to all the people.
3. People genuinely cannot tell I am introverted. I am flabbergasted. This is such an empowering and liberating realization that my mind is still reeling from the ramifications. Its like, haha I have infiltrated the enemy camp. I am an imposer and this is so exciting. Oh golly! -> So platonically (or non platonically) hit on all the people!
4. People are inherently well-intentioned and have reasons for believing the things they do. Okay, we won’t go into religion, but I get that it helps some people be a better person, just like my lack of a religion helps me, so whatever. Another example: gun control. On the news you hear about mass shootings at movie theaters and schools, and it seems like a no brainer that the general public should not have guns. After all, what is there to lose right? And then you come to the south where hunting is a way of independence and self reliance, of personal environmental stewardship, and bonding with your family and friends during the holidays. You’re asking for a pretty gigantic sacrifice. You might as well be telling someone from Davis that bikes should be banned because they distract cars. Well yes but… they also do a lot of good things. -> So be more open minded about things.
Around last time this year I was moping because in didn’t get into Davis. Ha. So over that now. Happy Thanksgiving all. I hope I see you soon, my California friends.
Jeff Speck: The walkable city
It’s getting to the point where I genuinely enjoy being in Texas. Took long enough. Food, water, shelter, books, some working semblance of friends, and the belief that I’m on my way to being in a position where I can actually make some positive impact on the world and its various life forms.
I hate to be the pretentious “everything is so much better where I’m from” kid, and I really respect Texans for their practical know how, independence, and Southern hospitality, but this video just made me acutely miss Davis and the Bay. Biking isn’t just awesome because I’m a weirdo hipster, but just hands down better environmentally, physically, and mentally. Cannot even begin to argue.
I’m stubborn enough to believe that I can create happiness wherever the hell I go. And that is mostly true. But to put it in immunological terms per the exocrine lecture this morning, “you can survive without a working pituitary gland, but you’d have to regulate all your hormones extrinsically via drugs. It’s just a lot easier when your body is working correctly.” Gives you more time and energy to focus on other things.
Can I live in Portland someday? And Davis, can we be friends again?
n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate…
Man. Haha that was too fun, considering I am behind on finals cramming forever.