– 500 Years Ago We Knew The Earth Was Flat: Imagine What We’ll Know Tomorrow-

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.”

Ahh Mr. Russel, I know so very little about you other than that quick Google search.  The words leaping from the screen, striking me in the forehead, there really isn’t a better way of putting the it.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve actually been moved enough by a single person in my life to actually write a full entry, most of the time people just warrant a mention, maybe a paragraph.  This particular topic hits a lot closer to home though.  In fact there’s going to be a slight aura of hypocrisy in this writing.

For those of you that have left your teenage years behind, by which I mean as young as 25+.  Do you recall what it was like when you were just out of your teens?  When everything made sense, and you knew so much better than everyone around you.  No?  .. Damn okay, well hopefully some of you do because I know I do.  When I was in my late teens extending into my mid 20’s I knew I was smarter than everyone around me.  The possibility of being out done by anyone was ludicrous to me.

The funny thing is, during this time I still suffered with absolutely no self-confidence in myself.  I knew I was smarter than everyone but didn’t mean I thought I was better.

Then it happened, I no longer found myself dazzling people by my smarts.  The act of simply going on what I deemed to be common sense, was being out done by people actually putting the effort in.  I hit university and after doing a few advanced courses it became clear that raw intelligence isn’t enough to excel… No. Scratch that… It was more than that.  I had a bit of an epiphany (man I use that word a lot when talking about my past).  Intelligence is a relative term.

After all the mindless debates I would have with one of my best friends Mr. Paul Vincent, it finally dawned on me that although it would be over-simplified to say that no one was “smarter” than another.  However, I didn’t deem the contrary to be anymore justified.

Once I came to this conclusion I finally understood the value of wisdom over intelligence.  Once upon a time I could tell you every tiny detail of every piece of silicone in my old Pentium 2, and how it all worked.  These days I usually just go to my buddy Moves when I got to do anything to extreme when it comes to technology.  I still can hold my own in conversation with the common Joe, but I’m pretty far from the tech geek I used to be.  Back then if I had a friend that was upset about something going on the best advice I could offer would be “it’ll be okay” as I just rehash clichés I’ve seen on TV.  I spent too much time wrapped up in knowledge that I didn’t completely grasp the human condition.

Given the trade off I am glad I didn’t keep up on the path I was going.  The group that I initially found myself being apart of when I first move to this town was.. erm, I guess “led” if that is the appropriate word… by an interesting fellow to say the least.  The freaky part is, I see a lot of parallels in his personality in  flashes of a younger me.  I’m convinced that this particular example is EXACTLY what I would’ve ended up becoming if I had stayed the course.

Wow, I honestly didn’t draw this connection until right now, but .. it’s so clear to me right now.  I was in Grenfell for Computer Science/Business.  A four year program that provided a degree in each. It was a great plan.. but, it was in my 3rd year (Well second of the course as I just had fun with some general studies the first year) when I got a little disinterested in what I was doing and became more fascinated in the people around me and why they do what they do… I wasn’t a powerful socialite or anything but human interaction became much more intriguing.

Among my own friends I was best kind, but in a crowd I was hardly noticeable.  I just dove into my games with my friends… I would’ve ended up in some IT position somewhere and never leaving the world of my games.  I would’ve basically been this guy I met out here.

Sorry, it’s not often I come up with this kind of revelation mid-post.  So I figured I’d share the moment.

*Ahem*..

Back on track…

Wait, where was I?  …

Ahh screw it.

When it comes to being “intelligent” you certainly have a right to be proud of it.  It isn’t something that is easily obtained for a lot of people. There are too many people who  spend their entire lives trying to feel smart.  Endless bouts with education and classes trying to get that level of intelligence that’ll make them feel good about themselves, and never really obtain it.  Academic intelligence is not something that can be achieved by everyone, and some will have it a lot easier than others.

Having knowledge and knowing facts is far less valuable in my opinion than the ability to comprehend and understand them.  Telling me the molecule composition of a snowflake show some intelligence… being able to describe the feeling of it as it lands on you tongue is understanding.  See the difference?

Thing is, when it comes to my intelligence I am actually confident.  I’m actually a lot more confident about the degree of my own intelligence that frankly I’ve outgrown the need to prove it to everyone I meet.  This is where we FINALLY get to the part that inspired this whole rant.  The inspiration of this post began with friend of mine.. well actually what I would best describe as a 20 year old version of myself. (before I made the realization that intelligence isn’t a competition. It’s not something that needs to be displayed at every opportunity, especially irrational ones.)

The real problem is that there really isn’t anything that I’m going to be able to say or do to make any kind of difference on anyone that is still going through this phase.  I guess for some it’s the natural stage of progression, 6 years ago I know how stubborn I was in the exact same way.  I guess the problem that is arising from this is that there’s still that inner child within me that wants to pick apart inconsistencies and psychoanalyze the reasoning behind the behavior…

Of course most of the time I then remember how it was like when I shared that mentality and how futile that actually is.  So I just laugh it off and wait for the subject to change.

What I feel people need to understand is that as Bertrand Russel put it.  The only people who are always so certain of themselves are fools and fanatics.  Anyone that truly has the correct combination of wisdom and knowledge will understand that doubt is actually more human, more enlightened… and dare I say “smarter”.

There is no one person on this planet who knows it all.  Even grand masters and scholars do not know it all… that are proficient in their given field but even within their field they are constantly experiencing new things and discovering new aspects of it. In the midst of one of these particular conversations  a friend decided to quote Men In Black to support his claim on whatever it was we were talking about.. right now I will do the same.

Coincidentally, it’s the very next line after what he quoted.
“Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow. “

Everything from language, to theology, to science… is constantly changing.

I stand by my two little mantras of life.

The smartest man in the room, is the one that doesn’t have to show it. He doesn’t need to.

and

If given a choice between the two, I’ll give wisdom the higher priority over knowledge.

Anyway, enough of this rant, I have another entry that needs to be written heh.

– The City Of Two Faces – Janus –

Writer’s block has been a cruel nemesis to my progression on this website in recent weeks.  I haven’t been able to put much new up here recently and I hope to change that soon.  There are so many new things going on in my life right now that I’m sure is going to inspire some new entries.

I’m back to going to the Gym…  I’m back in the poker scene… I’m in the midst of jamming with a colleague from work and has been asked if I was interested in performing a weekly show at a club downtown (so I of course bought a new electric guitar for the occasion)…  My romantic life…  well I’m not one to hold back on a post, but let’s just say this is a topic I’d prefer to keep offline for now.

Anyway this post is about the other ambitious project that I’ve decided to dive into.  It goes back to my earlier entry about Self-Publishing.  I longed to create a world and characters and begin to write stories that takes place in that world.  I’ve written fiction in the pass that has received some fairly high praise and I feel like I would be okay at it.  So the real work began.

In the midst of creating this new world, I realized a lot of my initial work has already been completed.  For a game of World of Darkness I created a shadow of St. John’s, Newfoundland and placed it in the world under the name of Janus.

Other than the the geographical position and a few locations that the cities share Janus is it’s own separate entity, in a world where St. John’s never existed.

—-

So it begins.  I’ve taken all that I’ve already established about Janus and have begun to expand on it.  This city is going to be my Wonderland… my Thieves World… my (lesser-man’s version of) Middle-Earth.  I’m creating a city, with it’s own system, it’s own residents and businesses.. essentially it’s own life.

It played host to a three-session game of World of Darkness already… but in this I made a fatal flaw.  I over-reached.  There were lots wrong and right with these sessions (and they may even eventually be put online).  But one thing I will openly admit is that I think the biggest failure to that game was that I tried to have too large of a scope for my game, especially considering that I am basically a first time story teller.

——-

Through writing this I only now realize that I have readers that may or may not have experience with this game so they may be getting lost by some of what I’m talking about.  So here’s the coles notes summary of what World Of Darkness is.

Picture Dungeons & Dragons if it took place in the real world and instead of Magic and dragons there were supernatural beasts like Vampires and Werewolves.  The game is played mostly in the imagination, as a player you get your sheet that has your character.  All of their abilities, physical traits, fears, hopes, and dreams are all put on paper and this is YOUR character.  One play runs the game called a “Storyteller” in D&D terms this is the “GM/DM”.  

The storyteller is the one who describes to the players what is happening and governs the world the characters are living in.  It is up to him/her to throw monsters at the characters, reveal or not reveal key items they may need, etc etc.  It’s a little over simplified but that’s the jist of the game.  Some people argue about whether something should be character-driven .. story-driven.. little munchkin-driven, I really don’t care about getting into the debates.  It’s a game where a group of friends hang out, have fun and go on a make believe adventure.

Now back to the post
——-

I’m going to be enlisting the assistance of a particular sidekick to help me populate my city.  To bounce ideas off, and to get a fresh perspective since we both think very different about a great deal of things.  So I’m actually getting pretty excited about what I believe to be the completion of Janus in its first incarnation.

It’s going to evolve and grow beyond I know for a fact… but just to have a place to call my own where my stories can have a home already feels great.  I’ve got a couple of stories in mind that were possibly going to be chronicles of World Of Darkness, but I think I’m just going to make them stories of the city.

In other news, the actual game of World Of Darkness is about to undergo a reboot.  I’m having a session Wednesday (even if it means I can’t make my card game).  This session is going to be built on a pre-made chronicle that was written by the designers of the game.  So the fact that it’s in Janus may or may not even be relevant… but the fact is let’s say I use a haunted building… all of a sudden that building is in Janus.. whatever lore and background associated with it comes along too.

Slowly through these games pieces like this will be added to the city.  So not only am I going to be writing and going to experience that kind of natural evolution that a writer experiences with a character or setting that he uses over time… but it’ll naturally be evolving through the help of other people playing a game.. their characters and adventures will help shape the landscape of this city.

There’s so much new in my life right now, I am stoked.  There should be much more activity here on The World is Broken.

After spending a lot of time following the Spoony Experiement, I really like what he’s doing with his Counter Monkey off-shoot.  So I figured World is Broken is my internet outlet for the insanity that goes through my mind, I might as well include the madness of my pastimes.  So Janus has it’s own separate online home.

If you’re curious at all about Janus or the games about to take place/stories take place in the city… then you can check out

The City of Janus Which is where I house information that the players use.. having real updates on the news of the city.  It hasn’t been updated too much lately since there hasn’t been a game in a while.  But as new aspects get added to the city they will be here.

The Janus Chronicles – This is where you’ll be able to read or listen to the stories that have been happenin in this city.  Like I said, the first few sessions have been recorded but I am unsure if they’ll ever make it online.  Time will tell.

What y’all think?

Losing Sight Of The Shore

French author and Nobel Prize winner Andre Gide said, “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”  I know this quote is a little over used but it just happens to be applicable to this feeling.  As this particular season of my life comes to an whimpering close I find myself drifting further from the proverbial shore that made my foundation in this newest chapter of my life in the province’s capital.  

Maybe it’s sleep deprivation finally catching up with me after yet being awake for the entire night yet again, expecting to operate coherently on just adrenaline and energy drinks, but today there’s a large reflective aura in the air.  I am looking at everything with what feels like new eyes as I begin to contemplate the issues that have plagued my mind in recent weeks.  Issues that have largely been neglected under the guise of trivial and denied the attention they deserve.

First and foremost is most definitely the amount of childishness that I seem to find myself wrapped up in.  There are so many cyclical problems that keep coming around and biting me yet I idly sit by and just wait for the inevitable.  Things lately have become to far out of control and I once again find myself a passenger in my own life.  This is something that is going to cease and desist immediately.

I’m all about there when people need me, but some of this stuff is getting a bit ridiculous.  This isn’t even truly including just random insanity that seems to surround me for the most irrelevant reasons.  There has been so many times in the past week that I received information or news of some sort that I wanted to simply respond with,  “This has nothing to do with me… I really couldn’t care any less…  please stop talking”  But of course I lack the conviction to say that unless it is something that becomes a major issue.

I understand that a lot of this is going to be completely uninteresting to you the readers because I am not getting into specifics and frankly this post in and of itself is a sort of childish banter about the mild inconveniences in my life… so my apologies, but this verbal diarrhea is the original purpose of The World Is Broken so I need to just get it out.

Next up we have my little mission.  The “let’s get in shape goals” that I set for myself two months ago.  That was going strong until I hit a bit of a snag and ended up bailing on that particular objective.  The kick-in-the-ass I needed came from a very unlikely, yet welcome source.  One of the new faces in my life that I met after moving to St. John’s took it upon himself to … shall we say “remind” me how important it was to not give up on it.

For that I want to thank Mr. Banko for the wake up call.  I am fairly confident that I would’ve returned on my path of my own accord, but his unexpected encouragement/borderline-berating helped me find my head a lot sooner than I could have expected on my own.

I was driving to work today and “Over and Out” came on through the car stereo.  This is the song that nearly destroyed me as I was driving back to the west coast from Elaine’s funeral.  I started thinking about her, and for a strange reason I looked up.  I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in heaven, hell, etc.. but in my reflection I looked up and for the briefest moment I had an image of her looking back… this is when I truly started to consider what I have really been doing with my time recently.

I was on such a great path earlier… Gym almost every day, finances were getting in order, new car, new attitude… everything was finally going they way I wanted them to go.  What happened?  Why did I let all that go away.  I’m now worse financially than I was at the start of all this, and until my semi-rude-awakening I was completely neglectful of the gym, and even work has become a chore… even though I don’t dislike my job yet.

It may be betting a dead horse in saying this because I know long-time readers of World Is Broken are probably tired of hearing me reference Elaine… but I’m glad I am still able to hold onto her memory.  Truthfully, I’m ever confident that my mindset is returning back to where it should be and I’m slowly returning back to the track I was supposed to follow.

Two very important people are going to be sadly absent from this new season.  One of them being one of my best friends… probably the best non-St. John’s-based friend I’ve ever had.  He returns to the west coast in search for opportunity of advancing his career.  I wish him the best of luck, but it’s going to be a somber tone when it truly sinks in that he’s going to be gone.  Also, another has already traveled to the west coast.  The second is a friend that is new to this season, a former work-colleague but so much more than that.  Can I call this friend a failed endeavor?  Technically Yes… yet not really.  It’s a very difficult association to explain, the only real sentiment that I can describe with any degree of articulation is that this friend was someone that has impacted my life in a large way… moreso than she’ll ever actually understand I’m sure.

When I find the words to describe it better… this’ll be the first place I go.  Until then that’s all I got.

I felt the credits rolling on this season finale earlier today.  This next season is going to be interesting… without a doubt.  Stay tuned.