A Poliwhirl of Emotion

Compersion is the most wonderful part of the human experience. It is a state of happiness achieved while witnessing another’s happiness. Getting giggly because a small child is giggling is compersion. Having pride because your favorite sportsball team won a game match is compersion. Crying tears of joy while reading a story online about someone overcoming tragedy or demonstrating extreme altruism is compersion. Loving one of your partners more because they love someone else, and loving someone else because it makes your other partner love you more, is compersion. Getting excited that Pokemon trainers in your area have caught high leveled, rare, and shiny Pokemon which you haven’t found yet is compersion.


Compersion is the glue that holds our society together. We rely on it to coexist. Yet so many people remain focused on their individual accomplishments and attachments, unable to observe their true feelings of joy when confronted with the uncomfortable happiness of another. Instead of being excited for the winners in life, we tend to focus on our own losses. In some regards, this can be healthy, giving us opportunity to reconcile our mistakes and reflect on what we should learn. However, many of us hold resentments against life’s winners for doing better than us, whether we blame their genetics, upbringing, or sheer dumb luck.


I posit that we must be better than this. The human species is one being, one creature, made of many multi-celled pieces. One’s success and accomplishments is everyone’s success and accomplishment, for nothing would work without the collective whole. Much like the bacteria in your gut, separate living organisms that are as much their own entities as they are a part of you, we are sentient puzzle pieces that must fit together if we wish to be complete. The only route to enlightenment for us is through sharing all resources, knowledge, and emotion. True love is socialism.


We must unabashedly and unconditionally love everyone on Earth and want them to succeed and be happy. This often means making many personal sacrifices without reward as well as having an attitude that genuinely enjoys making these sacrifices. Furthermore, we must take personal responsibility for our own mood and happiness and not allow other’s actions to upset us. If someone cannot rise to the challenge of rolling with the flow, accepting their flaws, happily making sacrifices for other’s happiness, and being happy for them, they should remove themselves from the human experience, similar to a piece of fecal matter being excreted.


Our personal goals, agendas, and actions should never be at the expense of others. Our attitudes should never place blame for our discontent on sources external to ourselves. Eating an animal because it’s convenient or tasty is no different than raping a child because it’s easy and pleasurable. Deriving our contentment from these activities makes us equally reprehensible. We are responsible for pleasing ourselves and if our doing so makes one other creature suffer, we are as responsible for that suffering as Satan herself. If this seems contradictory, that is because love is a dichotomy of celebration. We must love that which would cause us misery while avoiding putting others in the same situation.


The most integral part of any romantic relationship is communication. Polyamorous units float or sink on their ability to properly convey complexly nuanced degrees of emotion, desire, and conflict. Realistically, intent is one of the most key ingredients in this, because a person with anything less than the best and most pure intent will fail to express themselves in any way less than dishonest. However, if I derive my happiness from the happiness of those around me, it is then in my best interest to share my everything with them, physical and metaphysical, in the hopes that it will help them and with the confidence that they will share theirs. To believe anything less is to succumb to the abyss.


My compersion for someone I love cannot be restrained by jealousy, disappointment, or unrealistic expectations. If she chooses to ride a bicycle through Wal-Mart at 1 in the morning without me, it is my obligation to be impressed and in awe. Any invasive feelings of “but *I* wanted to ride a bicycle through Wal-Mart at 1 in the morning TOO!” must be habitually eliminated and replaced with feelings of “I can also do cool things, with or without her, and she won’t get jealous, either.” This logic must be unilaterally applied to all issues of competition, achievement, and success across society if we wish to advance as a culture.


More importantly, it is a vital aspect of playing Pokemon Go with a sizeable squad. My local Discord group is hundreds, sometimes thousands, of players in the area with differing levels of skill and commitment. Some of us have been invited to 3 Mewtwo EX raids, some have been invited to none. Some have caught 2 perfect IV legendaries, some have caught none. Some have caught a shiny Magikarp and evolved a red Gyarados, some have not. Yet we continue to help each other to Catch ‘Em All™ without resentment and bitterness. Pokemon Go, like life in general, is a game, and the only way to lose is not to play. We all have our own pace, our own dedication, and the unity that that diversity inherently brings makes our proverbial gameplay all the spicier.


I believe that I am you and we are all the walrus. Reincarnation transcends time and the human soul is a singularity, existing within each of us as we experience ourselves from different faces. Your happiness is quite literally my own happiness because the boundaries of individualism are superfluous and arbitrary. Time itself is merely a matter of perspective and everything is happening at the exact same time in the exact same space with the exact same molecules. Whatever separations you want to draw to divide us are wrong.


I love you people all, even the ones that I hate. We will live or die as one human system of growth.

read more

Should people have guns and other stupid questions: a one-sided perspective


read more

Internet Culture: Social Media Marketing Beyond The Usual

Although there is still value in traditional advertising methods, the Internet is changing the way companies market themselves. Websites have their own domain, but social media is ruling lives and controlling perception. Standing out in this arena is much more than paying for ads and posting pictures to Facebook: being a part of Internet culture and joining trends makes your company remarkable. The most important thing to know about advertising on social media is that people are there to have fun and they respect a company that can join in the digital festivities.


To take social media marketing seriously, it’s vital that every team has an experienced user that regularly monitors a variety of platforms for emerging trends. Internet culture is a fast moving, continually evolving, sphere and it respects original content creators that understand the current in-jokes and discussion topics. It is not always easy to navigate, though, and there are pages on the internet dedicated to making fun of companies that unsuccessfully attempt to broach social media sites for purely commercial purposes without providing anything interesting or entertaining.


Almost everyone has heard of a “meme” and seen the funny image macros floating around the web. However, few people understand the deeper connotations involved. A popular meme is often just an oft repeated line of text that can be applied to varied situations or discussions. A hashtag can also be considered a meme of sorts when used cleverly, ironically, or satirically instead of purely descriptively, categorically, or promotionally.


What’s more, the colloquial definitions of these concepts can change radically over time, allowing more diverse interpretations and usage depending on timing. Observing these quick progressions and being able to react and engage the online audience in real-time allows your brand to reach maximum exposure. Furthermore, generating shareable content in response to current events and trends is an easy path to organic word-of-mouth exposure.


A modern marketing strategy has to include the flexibility required to use social media. Subtly incorporating overall branding messages into popular conversations requires a blend of traditional techniques and innovative approaches. It is also a hit-or-miss game involving persistence and becoming a part of the community: the Internet knows when it’s being advertised at.


One way to really connect and be personable is to conduct a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) where a spokesperson or representative spends or hour or more answering direct questions on Reddit’s dedicated page. While providing a chance to discuss current initiatives, it is also a platform to create humor as well as answer odd questions about the company or industry that may otherwise never come up. Many major celebrities and companies, including President Obama and astronauts then currently in space, have participated.


Netizens also love to learn. Providing educational opportunities sets your brand up as a thought leader and committed member of the international dialogue on any number of subjects. Responding to questions on Facebook and Twitter is a good start. Posting original infographics that do more than simply promote your company goes a bit further. Participating in online forums that actually explore complex topics and conduct their own ad hoc research for purely academic purposes makes your company’s brand valuable.


If you’re looking to take social media marketing seriously, give me a call or text at 847-363-5286 and I will consult with your business to get you on the right track.

read more

I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.

I am not an economist. I’ve taken some basic business classes, played around on the stock exchange, and sit on an elected board overseeing a multi-million dollar budget, but I’m certainly not an expert in the financial sector or global market. However, I think people a lot less qualified than me have stood up and weighed in their opinions so, fuck it.


Everything is your fault.


Corporations rule everything because we are dependent on them. They have recklessly crashed our economy because it’s not objectively bad for business. I think most people realize that big business always stands to profit from bad conditions and makes far more money off of the poor and down-trodden than it does from the dwindling middle-class. Even still, much of this dependency is propaganda driven. People don’t know their options, and they’re constantly bombarded with conflicting information that’s truly only trying to sell them one thing or another. Guided like the cattle we know we are, of course we make the choices that lead us to support the six corporations that secretly rule the world.


But we can change. The Internet is putting more and more control of our economy into our hands. But we, as individual people, have to choose to support small local businesses. They’re often more expensive while being less convenient, less prepared, and less flashy, but the alternative is just handing the keys to the national water reserves over to Nestle and then buying it back at retail price, one bottle at a time. Everyone knows that buying local keeps more money in the local economy, giving more money to the local schools, libraries, and park districts. They know it employs local people, and that local production typically means less transportation costs which means less greenhouse gasses. Most people even know that you can often find really awesome, unique, and high-quality stuff when you explore your lesser known options instead of just getting whatever’s at the supermarket.


What people don’t know, though, is how easy and rewarding it is to be your own business. A lot of people balk at the expression “find a job doing something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” They interpret it to mean just get your dream job and make tons of money and live the American dream, but it’s not that simple unless you live in a comic book. For most people, a small business can start as a side job doing something maybe even only ancillary to your actual passion or hobby. For example, if you’re really into comic books and have many framed around your home or properly preserved and stored, maybe it just so happens you can help people frame or properly preserve a whole number of items, documents, and photographs. You could start small, helping some friends and family decorate their homes, maybe offer your services at the local flea market, soon you could open up a comic book themed frame shop that showcases your favorite issues but caters to a wide array of framing related clientele.


The point I’m trying to make is that there are ways to make money doing what you love if you widen the parameters a bit. Utilizing the Internet, you can use social media, online storefronts, cryptocurrency, and international customers to grow your business bigger than a niche business ever could be before. What’s more, you can attend local networking groups for other small business owners to discuss strategies and exchange goods or services. Even if you never make a profit, why not offer your skills up for trade with your friends and neighbors? Sure, there’s a certain stigma about people with horrible business ideas that try to take advantage of their loved ones, but those are usually pyramid schemes and if *everyone* was a business, there would be a lot less of that going on. How cool would it be to live in a society where we get back to that primal communal sense of togetherness and sharing while also taking advantage of the digital age? While the Internet is known for bridging the gap across magnificent distances, it’s also been known to bring neighbors together who otherwise never would have connected.


The Internet is still an emerging thing. It’s my dream that as it catches on, it will be used to network more and more people who otherwise would have just used whatever the biggest, most advertised, most popular brand name company is for their next purchase. It’s a cyclical thing, though, because as the concept gets more popular, more people will be able to make a profit using it, so more stuff will be available, so more people will use it, and so on and so on. Soon, you’ll get your laundry detergent from Debbie down the street, your eggs from a coop downtown, all of your paper products from a small lumber mill two towns over, and an app on your phone will manage it all and keep it as convenient as it possibly can be. But in the meantime, it’s a bit of a struggle.


If you’re interested in actually starting a business but have no idea how to get started, holla at me and we’ll rap about your options.

read more