On Cognitive Models, Existence, and Wikipedia Rabbit Holes

“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?” Well, the answer is yes. To even begin to process the definition of reality — “the state or quality of having existence or substance” — we must first ascertain what exactly is meant by “existence”. Google, tells us that existence is “the fact or state of living or having objective reality.” So the simple definition of reality and existence tells us that they are essentially the same thing. To be real is to exist and to exist is to be real. So how do we determine reality?

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5 FREE Backyard Games Way Cooler Than Cornhole

Labor Day is over but if you’re like us then you‘re probably desperate to squeeze as much summer out of the next few weeks as possible, before September ends and all of Twitter makes the same bad Green Day joke. That means BBQs, camping, and of course backyard games! Cornhole, though relatively uncool, has occupied the top spot of outdoor activities ever since lawn darts were made (probably rightfully) illegal. A close second would be bocce ball, but is somehow even less cool and infinitely more expensive. I recently heard of a game called kubb, which is a Viking Age leisure activity (cool) played with wooden blocks and various lengths of rope. However, much like disc golf (thoroughly non-cool) the vast majority of kubb players are balding men named ‘Mike’ and therefore can also never be considered cool.

00-kubb-x_0
Pictured: Mike

But your guests still need something to do and we’re running out of ancient civilizations’ games of skill to revitalize! Once again Vegan Dogfood has you covered with five cheap alternatives that are sure to be more fun than cornhole. Starting with:
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12 Things That Are Okay on the Last Day of a Music Festival

Illustrated by Nate McDonough

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Reflections on a Post Normcore Future

Mini-essay by Brett Sullivan Santry

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Stop Appropriating My (Nerd) Culture!

As you casually wear that Superman shirt, do you know his backstory? Can you name any of the writers and artists that brought it to life? What of the ancient Els on Krypton? None of that “On my planet it means hope” crap either. See, a real nerd can’t just go home after watching the latest DC movie flop, lick their wounds and re-watch The Wire for the sixth time. Actual nerds turn to things like the Smallville podcast or obsessing through the Superman wiki—lest we torment our friends and coworkers with all the fan theories and canon discrepancies that we physically can’t hold back. Meanwhile, non-nerds have the benefit of catching a few episodes of Doctor Who and grabbing a Funko Pop doll, instead of agonizing over the Face of Bo’s timeline or if the Silurians have the same makeup in each iteration. Nerds wield the responsibility of having an encyclopedic knowledge of the inane—that comes up in no normal daily conversation—which is why we overflow with excitement when someone indulges our discussions about which Comic Book universe is better or which season marked the decline of The Simpsons. This culture has gotten to enjoy the fruits of our laborious tending while we watch our passions rot into oblivion. It’s fine to like stuff that’s cool but it’s become far too easy to claim the nerd struggle as your own just by transiently consuming various “nerd” things. Things like:

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Qué Onda Güero? – A Thorough Evisceration of the Mexican “Bistro”

Is there any quicker way to tell if your neighborhood Mexican restaurant is bullshit than if the food there is described as zesty? How about chalkboard wall menus detailing various brunch specials? Or perhaps the mere presence of brunch specials at all? For what purpose are there rotating taps of craft beer? Surely we all know at this point that Modelo is the only acceptable non-margarita beverage for Mexican cuisine. Look around you. Is that an all-white wait staff? I guess she’s kind of tan—nope, nope. This place is boojie as fuck. Taco Tuesday used to mean something, dammit!

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Untitled (How’s it going?)

Free form by Brett Sullivan Santry

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Dimly Lit Food – Burrito & Burrito & Omelet Superslam

Welcome to a new column here on this site, a step by step recipe guide on how to prepare delicious and (sometimes healthy) meals while perpetually broke. My last submission was just me following the directions on a standard package of ramen and got rejected immediately, so this time I decided to up my game. It took me a few beers to think of what to make and then, when I came up with the idea, I realized I didn’t have the ingredients. So I decided to just scrounge for what I had in the kitchen anyway. I’ll level with you, I had gone out to the grocery store a few days ago but I just didn’t want to go again. After sleeping in my own indolence until noon I had no desire to start being productive. I did however wish to eat, which is how you get:

TWO MEALS IN ONE!!!!

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The 10 All Time Greatest Fun Runs!

Illustrated by Nate McDonough

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5 Things My Bratty Cousin Gets Wrong about Drug Testing for Government Assistance

Scientists have recently found a correlation in the brain patterns of teenagers and republicans. As it turns out, conservatives tend to have larger amygdala, the parts of the brain responsible for the majority of our survival instincts like fear and disgust, but also community and emotion. While people on the left generally have a more defined anterior cingulate cortex, the brain region most closely associated with coping, delayed gratification, and the ability to look at multiple solutions. This also happens to be the region of our brain that matures the slowest—not fully formed until age 25 or so—mainly due to the inherent dangers our species faced before this failed social contract of ours.

So in order for early humans to stay alive long enough to have children of their own, their brains needed to be hyper aware of anything that could potentially kill them; anything that could sap their resources; and all of the things that could take away their stuff. It’s not until we reach adulthood that the grey matter in our brains expands and the constant fight-or-flight triggers presumably subside.

Still, even though we can pinpoint the evolutionary and developmental reasons why, it doesn’t stop me from telling my nineteen year old cousin to go to hell when she passes around some Change.org petition to drug test those in need of federal aid. Here are five reasons Megan needs to shut the fuck up! Continue reading “5 Things My Bratty Cousin Gets Wrong about Drug Testing for Government Assistance”