r u mr. silverbeen?

hahaha, why yes I am

Abercrombie and Fitch: Is it wrong?

Let me start off with: yes.

Ok I’m glad we’re done here.

Wait no… shit. That’s what everyone’s doing without really justifying why. OK let’s take a step back.

First of all, if you’re not aware, Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO, Mike Jeffries, has publicly claimed that he purposely does not carry XL and larger sizes in his store and in general hopes to foster an exclusive environment for only the “coolest” and most attractive people. 

The one and ONLY thing that is immediately clear (to me) is that this guy is yet to receive his diploma… from middle school. If you’re actually concerned with being “cool” rather than being yourself past middle school… ok I’ll give you till past high school, then… well go shop at A&F.

The not so clear thing is WHY is this wrong? Obviously he’s a dick, but so are a lot of CEOs… So why is it wrong as a CEO to model your business in this manner? As a CEO, you obviously want to promote the interest of your stakeholders (all those who have a stake in your company: shareholders, customers, employees, etc.). So if what is defined as “correct” in the business world is actions that increase interest of stakeholders, and under the consideration that this statement contains sentiments of hate, wouldn’t publicizing it create disinterest amongst stakeholders? In other words, wouldn’t it be “wrong” to do so?

Well… let’s start off with shareholders. This is the first place I investigated to see the effects of Jeffries statements. I read this shit-spew from this douche nugget and I immediately was like “HA, this is gonna keeel this dude’s stock.” Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF) is on a two month high, increasing 7 points in the past month, with a P/E of 18ish (for those of you who don’t know, these are good things). I’m an engineering major not Econ or Finance or whatever deals with this shit, but all of ANF’s investors either don’t care, agree with these statements, or are just ignoring it and letting the market do its thang. Where as this is not my area of expertise (pretty sure I don’t have one of those anyways…) I’ll leave this to someone else to analyze why this is behavior that is being exhibited. What can be taken away though, is that shareholders clearly do not believe this to be “wrong”, in fact, with the increase in stock value, they must believe it this culture is “correct”.

Now for the customers: Without a doubt, the majority of people who shop at Abercrombie and Fitch are those who Jeffries wants to be there. Due to his statements, those who are excluded from the “crowd” are either going to feel like worthless sacks of shit or are going to feel even further empowered to fulfill their fabricated dreams of getting in with the kool kids. Regardless, they do not make up a significant amount of the customer population to really make a difference anyways. For the people who are in-line with Jeffries’s model, this is whole thing is just a self-fulfilling ego boost for them and will likely cause them to recruit their other worthless friends to join the cause. So, with the majority of the customer population in full boner on this one, the customers are also gauging this as a “correct” policy.

Employees, the face-face, everyday representation of the company. Seeing how Jeffries feels about his customers, there’s no doubt there are at least unofficial qualifications for employees. Under this pretense, employees of Abercrombie and Fitch are aware of the message they are promoting and most likely agree with it. What’s another way of saying that they agree with it?? Oh what’s that you said? They think the message CEO Mike Jeffries is promoting is “correct”, ok yeah… I agree.

Allllllrighty… SO in review, all of A&F’s stakeholders, (the opinions of the tangible representation of the company!) think that CEO’s Mike Jeffries statements are soooo… right? Shit. Yeah, I guess so… So I guess since a company actions are reflective of stakeholders feelings, A&F is “correct”!

Well, this has been fun…

BUT WAIT! There’s more to a company than their market impact… you mean… like their social impact? (Instructions for the following: scream WHAT? in your head), WHΩ≈ç√∫˜µugdf∞¡®¢¶ª™§¢ª¡¢aaTTT? cool, hope that was entertaining. 

Yeah crazy right?! And Jeffries agrees! Check out this shit stain from A&F’s Careers page:

“Diversity and inclusion are key to our organization’s success. We are determined to have a diverse culture, throughout our organization, that benefits from the perspectives of each individual.” -Mike Jeffries, Chairman & CEO

Well, guess what buddy… you’re kinda fuckin that one up. Diversity and inclusion are not only important to your shitty company’s success, but is important to the success of our entire country. It should be implicit that every single American corporation that has impact on the American public should be conscious of the American principles that allow it to exist AND what is so powerful about those principles. We have acted as the forefront of social change since our start, in fact, that’s how we, as a country, started!

Yes, you’re pleasing all of your stakeholders, but you are perpetuating a culture of hate that only has ONE long term consequence: the hindering of progress. This isn’t about whether you are allowed to make an exclusive environment or not, of course you are, but first of all, the message you are delivering is in stark contrast with what’s on your website (not that you actually believe that) but if you’re going to publicly make that a virtue of your company, stick to it! More importantly, (secondly, if you will), it is the sheer existence of a company like this that upsets me. There is so much potential for acceptance in this country and we have come so far, and every time there is some public showcase of taking that fact for granted, it becomes stupidly easy for an entire portion of society to grow ignorant to our progress. 

So, fuck your investors, screw your customers, and… idk… POOP your employees (got’em), because when you make statements like this, the effect extends beyond your stakeholders. You’re up against progress, you’re up against change, you’re up against the future. For the sake of everyone, please don’t fuck it up.

P.S. You would be outcast from your own store. You’re just so gross looking. Idk man, somethings telling me your trying to compensate for your shitty childhood when you were constantly made fun of for looking like a battered turtle. Y’know, you’re only recreating that same horror you experienced for all of the other battered turtle children…


Ascending the concrete pavement on my way to class today was nothing out of the ordinary. The smallish artificial hills surrounded me with the enormous parking lots just beyond the tops. The soccer field to my left. Open space. And twigs all over the ground. Wait what… twigs? I looked down at the ground and then around me again. There are no trees within hundreds of yards… how are there..? Oooohhh haha, there’s just a bunch of dead worms! Haha, I’m gonna go make a FB status about how I just confused hundreds… of dead worms.. for…. twigs?

Wait a second, why am I laughing? Scattered around me is the remains of what used to be life! Living organisms, taken by the tumultuous, pouring rain of the night before. Drowned and left for all of humanity to simply walk over them, and possibly confuse them as twigs.

Why is it that we can look at these deaths and laugh. Many smirk at the thought of this question and reply: “Der… it’s just a worm,” or “it’s just an ant.” Anything can be simplified by using objectifying language though, you could say: “it was just the Holocaust,” or “it  was just 9/11” or “it was just concern.” Explicitly stating any fact obviously does not simply delegate  power to it, it is the concept within the fact that is important. “NO!” someone would reply if you said: “it was just the Holocaust”, they would say “IT WAS THE HOLOCAUST.” So what quality are worms and ants lacking that leave us apathetic when hundreds of them are just laying around dead. One may argue: “They are defenseless and die so frequently that their deaths are commonplace enough that they are insignificant.” Well, the same goes for all of the human genocides ever to exist and I’m sure no one would be willing to demean the gravity of those situations. So, this of course prompts the question: is the value of life on a spectrum?

Yes! Of course it is! I genuinely cracked up into laughter when the thought of the death of those worms crossed my mind. Since my emotions were genuine, they must be true. After all, your own individual emotions are the MOST objective truth possible because you can only experience your life from your own perspective. And it’s not only me! Your probably sitting here thinking: “Dude, chill out… it was just a bunch of worms.” So now I’m not even talking about a personal objective truth, this potentially could be a universal objective truth! If we are all collectively agreeing on something derived from our NATURAL emotions, then the belief must be objectively true. This is about the point where you realize this bull shit… if not keep reading

No… yeah. No… The falsehood does not lie in my emotions: my emotions were true and so are yours when you… confuse worms to be twigs. Look, I was tired! Ok, anyways, of course our emotions are natural, but there is also for sure a learned component. Remember when you were young and you lost your little league baseball game, your grandmother changed the TV from Barney to the news, your ice cream fell out of the cone, you scratched your toe, blah blah nostalgic blah. But do you remember?! Holy shit, it was like the world was over! How would you react now to any of these things? (Ok the Barney thing would definitely still piss me off…) But we have learned a lot since then! And guess what, back then our emotions were genuine too! That IS how we felt! We WERE upset, just like when I saw the dead worms and thought of them as twigs (wow… now that I think about this… what type of tree has that small of branches, wtf was I thinking…) I really believed that was funny. Completely under the influences of my emotions which have been developed up to this point, I made an objective, self-conscious assessment of the situation I fell into. So, taking a step back: it seems strange, cruel, and potentially wrong to rank life on a spectrum AND the emotions that lead us to feel this way are malleable… where does this leave us now?!

Experiences. That is the key. Every single thing you have down in your life has somehow developed you in some way which has structured your emotions to make personal objective claims. The whole and objective truth is not a reasonable concept to grasp hold of, but the journey it takes to try is where you can find everything you need. Each person you meet, each book you read, each problem you solve allows you to understand the world that much better. Applying a completely tolerant and accepting model to your interactions with the complex systems around you will allow you to learn and give you the tools to attempt to understand. 

Alright big shot “I’m minoring in philosophy” guy, you’re telling me that experiences help you to understand the world around you… what experiences would ever cause you to not mistake goddamn worms for twigs?! Besides hanging out with my friends who study optics… everything. Really. Every experience has the possibility to teach you the value of something else. There is so much to value about every facet of life, and taking the time to look around and notice all of the unique intricacies can provide an infinite source of knowledge. And stop asking me! I only know as much as my experiences allow me to. What I do know for certain is that all I have learned and the very essences that compromises my soul is from internal and external exploration.

Will the day ever come that I can successfully distinguish worms from twigs? Maybe, but one thing’s for certain, it never will if all I ever do is stroll by and laugh.

Best hw music ever

I ask, “Do you think I’m pretty?”
The boy, Leonard, his dreamy brown eyes flit all over me, alighting like wasps on my stubby legs, my pop-bottle eyeglasses, my crooked nose and flat chest. He glances at Babette. He looks at me, again, his eyebrows jump up toward his hairline, wrinkling his forehead into long accordion folds. He smiles, but shakes his head, No.
“Just testing”, I say, and cover my own smile by pretending to scratch the eczema I don’t have on my cheek.
Chuck Palahniuk on the uncomfortable beauty of Truth in his new book Damned


Prejudice… yes the concept of creating a judgement about someone by their appearance and their actions before personally knowing them. For many years I too associated a negative connotation with this idea, not anymore. 

In the morning when we get dressed, we dress ourselves. At night when we chose to stay in and watch a movie, or get blasted and go to a party, or get high and contemplate the creation of Cheetos, we make those those choices as well. The public image we create of ourselves is defined by the choices WE make, yet for some reason making “assumptions” based on the actions of others is ignorant. 

People can have bad first impressions, and second, and third, and so on… But at a certain point, you’re not making an unrepresentative impression anymore, you’re just being yourself. As you should be! We chose the clothes we put on, even if we don’t care what we are wearing. We make decisions based on what we like.

The reason why prejudiceness gets a bad rep is because of generalizations (these are different!). A generalization is an unsupported assumption made about someone based on how they present themselves based on OTHER PEOPLE who have appeared similarly to that person. For example: just because someone is proud to be a Muslim, does not mean they’re a terrorist; just because someone plays a lot of World of Warcraft does not mean they don’t have “real friends”; and so on. Yes other Muslims have performed acts of terrorism and yes some people who play WOW have no real friends, but those factors are not directly inherent to the things in which they represent themselves by. Sometimes we define ourselves by certain standards that can lead to certain outcomes, but it would be generalizing to take your general knowledge and immediately apply it to all cases you see. Being prejudice in these two scenarios would produce the following the conclusions: the first person seems to be a devote Muslim the second seems to like WOW. This is because these are traits that the individuals themselves are promoting, and you can not consistently mistakingly misrepresent yourself.

We are all trying to define ourselves and in the process we represent ourselves to the best of our abilities. Let’s not put those efforts to waste. I think we should pre-judge the shit out of each other, and if our judgments are correct, then you’re doing a good job.

You’re Beautiful, Respect Yourself

This theme is so god damn hackneyed, unfortunately generally in a disingenuous way. There really is truth to this statement though, you just have to find it. Truly finding yourself is no easy task and can quickly be tainted by anxiety and over-thinking. This is because we expect some grand conclusion to appear; this expectation is too high. We live with ourselves every single day. Finding yourself is more about admitting your abilities and faults than actually inquiring what they are. Regardless of what these may be, we all have both and can always improve what we are not satisfied with. Improvement is a long term process, where as praise of who you are can start now.

During my ongoing personal journey to self-understanding, I am constructive about my self-respect in a way generally seen as superficial. I started WORKING OUT! Yes… yes I know, this concept generally conjures images of mindless brutes exhausting their massive bodies in an attempt to ultimately attract other mindless mates who will mindlessly offer their bodies for mindless engagements. While this is certainly prevalent (every facet of society has its faults), I find a far deeper meaning in physical strengthening. 

Your body is the chassis to your soul. It is the physical boundary that contains everything about you. As important as abstract ideas (such as desires) are, they are limited by the physical bounds of your body. I am not proposing that you can not simultaneously be successful and fat. The point I’m trying to make is that the respect we all show ourselves internally when discovering who we really are should also be represented externally. And not necessarily in the sense for the world to see, but for you to further respect who you are in all aspects. 

We can hope and dream and be at peace, but our body is what sustains our lives and makes our dreams possible. You owe it to your body. Stay healthy, respect yourself, and live your life to the fullest.


Excerpt from my favorite speech at the Reason Rally.


Excerpt from my favorite speech at the Reason Rally.

(via papyrus-codice)

The Two Door Paradox

Sheep. They follow without giving a single thought of why or where. They lack individuality, creativity, of initiative. If you don’t use the second door, you’re most likely a sheep.

Whenever I am traveling by foot in a public area, it is quite common for me to enter and exit buildings… this isn’t too special, most people do this. In order to ease the flow of foot traffic, some buildings have two doors installed; when people are only flowing in one direction, both doors are accessible, but people always stuff themselves into one door. This door is always the first one to be open. People blindly make their lives harder in such a simple way by not waking up to take any sort of initiative.

A part of the problem is trust, we trust the choices of others regardless of who they are and what they believe. The bigger problem is laziness, we don’t care and we don’t want to care. We’ll settle for that one door and we’ll cause our self and others more harm by unnecessarily slowing the flow.

I am not at all suggesting that we must keep up with the fast paced world around us, there are a lot of beautiful things we must stop and slow down for. But we should never settle for less, we should never let others solely chose for us, we should always be individuals, and we should always use the second door.