Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ionic crisis

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Relax, things are alright. Smile. Welcome to my happy place.

I love ideas. I get so happy and excited when a new idea strikes me. I spend the next 30 minutes exploring it, thinking of all the possibilities and implications. Most often, these ideas strike me towards the latter end of the night. After the day is through, I've had alot to stimulate my neurons, to get the synapses firing. There's a ton of ideas flowing everywhere through my head throughout the day, but as the sun goes down and things relax, my brain starts to eliminate the excess noise in the background and focus on the important things. I'm often by myself during this slowing down period. Not that I'm excluded from the world or isolating, I'm just throwing down some homework or doing another task that doesn't put me in the presence of friends or family. Everything just adds up to create a perfect haven for new ideas to amble through me and my consciousness.

When you create a good day at school, a great workout at the gym, relaxing stretches at home, an hour long nap, a full stomach and a few projects on the back burner, you set the stage for progressive ideas.

That's what I love, thinking. There is always such beauty and grace surrounding a brilliant and original idea. I love to sit and appreciate the aura of a solution to a problem that is both creative and highly effective. It always feels like my brain has been hit with the fuzziest and warmest semi-truck in the world. It's a feeling of total and utter shock, but along with this shock comes an intellectual hug of sorts- like the best girl in the world just smiled at your brain.

Example: is creating a question and answer project. You go and ask a question, and then a real person answers it. It's the next step, the logical place for the internet to go. Google is also developing something similar to this. With Google's design, you pay a very small monetary sum to receive your answer from a real person. Amazon didn't like this concept, so they created a new way. You ask your question, and then that question is presented to others. If you answer someone else's question, you receive "quest tokens". They're an imaginary currency that Amazon is going to use in a department that they're also currently developing. From the sounds of things, it'll be a game of sorts, but knowing Amazon it will be pretty clever.

So, they've solved the problem of getting real humans to answer real questions by offering them an imaginary currency. This costs them nothing, but can potentially offer the real humans some benefit in the "quest-ville" deal, whatever it is.

To me, it's brilliant. Check out the rundown by a guy who actually knows what he's talking about, here.

So, a few ideas that I've had tonight. Stuff I've explored, stuff I've liked. Here I stand.

I believe I have found my quest, my mission, my duty for Junior year. I believe my great job this year is to build networks. Not in a computing sense, but in a social sense. I want to bring people together to accomplish goals. I have two main projects branching off of this realization, things that have been going on for a while now, but things that are about to get bigger.

Number one is the Alliance, of course. Bringing together all of the Taylorsville bloggers is going to make us exponentially stronger. Our new community will empower more and more people to share their ideas and feelings, to leave traces of humanity for the world to find.

Number two, something I need to jump start, is the Ultimate network. We're sort of set up here at Taylorsville, and now it's time to expand our horizons and contact other high schools We need to find out if they've got an official club, or just a bunch of people that play. We need to encourage them to elect a leader and to get just a tiny bit more serious. We need to alert them to our presence, and the presence of every other high school's Ultimate groups.

The end goal of this Ultimate network is to establish a large Ultimate community in the valley that will perpetuate itself. Every few years an Ultimate advocate will manifest his or herself at every high school. They will get others excited and involved in playing, and the sport will flourish. Many good times will be had, but that will be the end of it. The advocate will graduate and move on, and that high school's Ultimate scene will struggle for breath for a year before dying until a new advocate will rise. This scenario will replay itself indefinitely until something is done to stop it. Enter the network.

There must be an external force to keep Ultimate rolling at these schools. In biology, there's a term called biodiversity. It talks about the number and variety of organisms living in an environment. The principle is that the greater the biodiversity, the stronger the community will be, and the longer it will last. If there's a virus that destroys alligators, and the environment is comprised of nothing but alligators, your environment is destroyed. That's how it works with high school Ultimate. If the Ultimate scene is dominated by one kind of kid, by just one group, then it is vulnerable to decay after graduation. In this case, it is an isolated group of kids that makes things happen, but loses its power to do so once everyone moves away to college. With a network of high school Ultimate that we are beginning to build, decay will be nearly impossible. Biodiversity, or for lack of a better term "Ulti-diversity" is greatly expanded. As a result, the individual high school Ultimate scenes are no longer isolated, but brought together. Whenever two communities are brought together the exchange of genes creates a more diverse and therefore a more secure future for that environment. The seeds of Cottonwood Ultimate will be spread throughout the valley, stored within everyone else. If Cottonwood withers up and dies, the seeds can be replanted from Murray, or Kearns, or Riverton. I'm using a scientific concept to model high school Ultimate, but it works.

With both projects that I've mentioned I stand in a perfect place to launch. As a blogger, I've been actively writing since the latter part of Ninth grade. I have 152 posts under my belt on this blog alone, not counting my now-defunct philosoblog. I've proven that I'm not going anywhere. I've seen the rise and fall of friends' and associates' blogs. There is already a loose group of bloggers flying around, all we need to do is rope them all together. We've got the resources necessary, and we're fully equipped with the proper timing. Let's make this Alliance fly.

As for Ultimate, we recently started a team at Taylorsville. We're not too good to scare anyone out of playing us, but we're not crappy enough to leave other teams laughing. We've got likable kids with numerous skills outside of the Ultimate field, kids with contacts around the valley. There's been more and more effort of a few other high schools to spread Ultimate, and so we're going to team up with them to create a lasting union of high school Ultimate.

Now is the time to come together and be strong.

Looking around me, there is a serious shortage of quests. Thinking about it, in all my 16 years of life I've never encountered an epic journey, a herculean task, or even a boss fight. While the passive and romantically spoken-for may prefer this style of life, it presents a considerable problem for people like me. Individuals like me are born and raised with the idea that the only way to discover and woo your true love is to be stuck with them on a quest, to save their lives in said quest, and with their support overcome incalculable odds and defeat the bad guys.

Often times I consider this as I run. I have determined that there are a few girls in my field of vision that would be suitable to fill the role of damsel in distress throughout my quest. The particular name of the lady doesn't matter much to a hero during an epic battle, so they are always nameless and faceless, but one knows that if our hero could see their faces they'd be cute and modest.

As I pass the threshold between Near-Taylorsville and Outer-Taylorsville, I long for such a quest. I long to be like Shrek or Hercules or any other character ever. The universal truth is always repeated. The Hero gets thrown into a quest, and he meets a damsel in distress early on. They must travel together, and are hurled through numerous tricky situations. Ninjas must be defeated, pirates brutally beaten in gun battles. At one point they will both be suspended over an endless chasm of death and destruction. Their eyes will meet, music will play, and the camera will zoom in for a close-up. Their lips grow closer and closer together, the damsel's eyes close, and just at that moment of dire temptation and near-pathogen transmit, they are saved from a terrible death and a terrible choice. After all, gotta save that sorta stuff for later.

The quest continues, and eventually our two patriots are victorious. They return to life as normal, but never to part again. It's a happy story, one that everyone loves to hear. Unfortunately, it leaves me in a terrible predicament. Hollywood and Disney have left me with no concept, aside from quests, of how to meet and get to know girls. I've been convinced from an early age that the only possible path for me to take involves a broadsword and a magical red potion. Without these necessary ingredients I am doomed to forever play an extra in the cast. Just one more ninja to get knocked out, one more pirate to have his beard blown off.

Pirates and ninjas don't live happily ever after. I don't want to be one more extra in the credits, I want to be the hero. More importantly, I want someone to ride off into the sunset with. History has proven time and time again that the only reliable way to ensure these parameters requires an epic quest.

I will embark, I will bicker and argue with my damsel in distress and exchange cliche's like so much dollar-menu food. I will offend the mob boss, the pirate captain, the CEO of a corrupt and intergalactic mining operation. I'll crash my ship, my car, my space-shovel, and be forced to proceed through the backwoods. Eventually I will find myself at the bad guy headquarters, and probability will be on my side. With an elite team of cameramen and stunt-doubles, I shall dodge bullets, lasers and flaming sharks. My broadsword shall be a blur of steel and computer generated whooshing noises as I battle my way to the final showdown. As I rush into the throne room and shout my macho repartee to the turned back of my mortal enemy, my pumping background music will suddenly halt. The royal robe will rustle back to reveal my most trusted friend and ally as the real enemy. A cry of anguish, and the battle music begins. After a roll of the dice to determine that yes, he did in fact fail his armor save, I shall hold my steel to his throat, and mercifully spare his life, but only on condition that he become a parrot for the rest of his existence.

Me and my damsel will ride off into the sunset, to live happily ever after until someone attempts to make a disappointing sequel that very few people will ever bother to investigate. After this minor annoyance my bride and I shall retire to the archives of wikipedia, where our tale shall be retold for generations to come.

Ladies and gentlemen, I need a quest.


Combat Kyle said...

Hhhahah, oh my heck Chris, that was bueno. So very well thought out. Seriously, how DOES one rescue a damsel in distress, when all the only damsels we see are definately not in distress? If I only I did have a broadsword and a certain damsel was in distress, then things would be easier for me to rescue that damsel. Alas, as it is, talking to the undistressed damsels presents a problem. I'll most likely be single forever without a broadsword.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. Hollywood teaches us that you will meet the girl of your dreams, and it will be perfect, you won't have to worry about it, unless you're a jerk, in which case you don't get a girl, and probably end up dying or having your schemes foiled by a goody-two-shoes.

I think I sense a post coming on...

Nathan said...

Bravo. Simply, bravo.

I say we organize a fellowship of sorts. Nothing fancy; just a bunch of guys with broadswords and magic potions who want to save damsels. Should be fun, right?

Hmm... I feel either a blog post or a story coming on....

Kortney said...

I love it! The ideas and all! Yay for thinking!