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#304484 - 02/06/08 08:41 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Bruja]
Raine Offline

Registered: 03/28/07
Posts: 46
Loc: North Carolina
I never really thought about listing these things until now, but I just realized almost everything on the list is something I managed to study in college. I think part of the reason I never went back [after taking what was going to be one semester off to go overseas] is that I realized that I was learning more by reading and studying on my own than I was sitting in lecture and completing the coursework. A lot of my interests/obsessions are somewhat tied together.

Survivalism & Disaster Preparedness I don't like the idea of having to rely on others if I'm a bad situation, so I like to prepare for as many situations as I can, as best as I can. I do volunteer work with a few groups as part of this interest, because it's a great way to get training and experience, and looks great on my resume when applying for advanced training in the field that I work in. I'm also part of a preparedness group that bases itself firmly on first-hand knowledge and experience, and cuts a lot of the bs that many "survivalists" suffer from, so I've had the chance to learn from people who are experts in various areas that I would have been hard pressed to meet otherwise.

Skinhead Culture This is where my roots are, I guess, and I've spent years as a skin or around skins, as well as doing research on various aspects of the culture and the music for school papers. This pretty much covers everything from understanding the different politics between crews and groups and how they evolved [from the early skins who were multi-racial but anti-immigrant, to the current scene which is split between non-racist, anti-racist, and racist crews]. It also cover the genres of music associated with the scene [skinhead reggae, ska, rocksteady, dancehall, punk, & oi], and the different types of fashion [from punk-influenced to the more "old school" look of tonic suits or button-down shirts and slacks].

American Far-Right Movements The two aren't always related, but there's enough of an overlap in most people's minds, and in much of the available research, to say this includes both racialist and patriot/militia and other nationalist type movements. I was pretty much raised in this and, again, it made for an easy source of research papers while studying sociology and criminal justice, because I had access to interviews, newsletters, events, etc that most other students wouldn't. It's another one of those things that I was able to study both as a participant and an observer, which is really the only way to "understand" most movements that are based in a large part on emotional or sentimental appeal. Reading Eric Hoffer in my early 20s, combined with studying these groups from the inside and reading the research and conclusions of those opposed to them taught me a lot about both myself and the nature of most mass movements and the people involved in them.

Historical Sociology The interconnect between a historical events the the social circumstances surrounding them, specifically the effects that gender roles/norms and economic conditions had on the course of history. To get even more specific, I'm fascinated by conditions in America between the War Between the States and WWII, the history of Ireland the the peoples of the British Isles, and the role of women in both guerrilla and resistance movements and in primarily male-oriented subcultures.

Sexuality Both as a part of sociology, because the popularity and views towards various fetishes and type of sexual activities often reflect other attitudes within the dominant culture, and on it's own because sex is just fascinating and fun. It's pretty cool finding new stuff to try, and then being like "well damn, never heard of that before, but it was pretty hot".

Books If there's such a thing as a compulsive reader, I may be one. I've got bookcases everywhere in the house that they will fit, and boxes of additional books stacked in what was the dining room, because there is nowhere else to put them [when I am able to build my own house, one of the main features will be a huge library off the master bedroom]. I'm probably not as selective a reader as some, but I've found several topics and authors that interested me by just picking up books at random, and oftentimes I'll try to collect every book I can find by an author I like or on a subject which interests me, so I always have several lists of "more books to buy" in my notebooks.

Kitty Pictures This is odd because I don't really care for cats as pets, but I've had a thing for collecting cute and weird pictures of cats for the last year or two, mostly Hello Kitty and derivatives, and a lot of "lolcatz" here lately. I've got 2 framed WWII prints of Nazi soldiers with kittens in the living room, and am looking for more of the same.

#304485 - 02/06/08 08:43 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
Mr. Obsidian Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 3120
Loc: Ohio
History, particularly American history, from pre-colonization to WWII. I need to delve deeper into the Great War, however. Post WWII I am intermediate, there is still much room for improvement of my Acumen.

Philosophy and logic, from Thales to present. Argumentation and logical fallacies.

The Law, primarily U.S. for the time being. Case law is an especially large body of thought, and one could immerse himself for a lifetime and merely scratch the surface. I enjoy case law because it provides analysis and lends insight on just how variant interpretation can be from one locale to another. Right now I'm focused on litigation, torts, and contract law (both common law and UCC).

Nanotechnology, Moore's Law, Exponential growth, etc. These are interwoven subjects with which I have been obsessed for the last 11 years. I make it a point to keep up with such technology because I think it has the potential to greatly change the world in my lifetime.

Archeology/Paleontology/Anthropology -- interwoven subjects which have captivated me since I was a child. From dinosaurs to crystal skulls, rocks, minerals, arrowheads, old coins, bullets, lost civilizations -- you name it. Basically anything which involves digging old things up from the ground.

Animals -- I like learning both of animals in the wild, their behaviorism, breeding, habitats, etc. and of animal husbandry. I have quite a few animals, many of them rescues, and I find it interesting to read about all aspects of an animals life and needs.

I've many other quasi-obsessions, which wax and wane, but the above are the most consistent.
~ Mr. Obsidian (JP)


Flesh and Bones

“For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can't readily accept the God formula, the big answers don't remain stone-written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command nor faith a dictum. I am my own god. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
~ Charles Bukowski

#304488 - 02/06/08 08:51 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Raine]
Shegeek Offline

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 33
Loc: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Autism spectrum & awareness- One of my dream jobs is working as an autistic support aid. I've done it in the past, and it's extremely personally rewarding work.

Coffee- I know it's odd, I just adore coffee.

Film- I love movies. Going through a 1920's-1950's kinda thing right now.

Traveling circus sideshows and carnivals.


Travel- Recently hopped on a plane alone and took my chances overseas in the UK. Never regretted it for a second. It lit a fire under my butt.

Social Studies.

The rest is kind of week by week. If I find something I don't know anything about but would like to, I read up.

**Edit- Forgot Cryptids. An animal which has been reported as existing, but has not been proven to exist yet. I.E. the giant squid who has since been removed from the Cryptid list.

Edited by Shegeek (02/06/08 09:00 AM)
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand

Kurt Vonnegut

#304492 - 02/06/08 09:00 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
tovasshi Offline

Registered: 02/15/05
Posts: 1419
Loc: Banana, Canada
Technology - Professional. I just finished a diploma and I'm hoping to start a degree by the end of this year or next year. I want to go into research and development.

Art - non-professional. I like finding new ways to make art. For the past couple of weeks I have been messing around with fractals and attempting to learn how to use Maya 2008, no where near being a pro at it.

#304493 - 02/06/08 09:31 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: tovasshi]
DaggerJack Offline

Registered: 10/25/07
Posts: 88
Loc: California, USA
Billiards- I find daily practice is the only thing that keeps me from killing my dorm mates. I can shoot accurately with either hand too, but it took a lot of practice as I am not ambidextrous.

The Middle East- Hate most of the religion, hate most of the culture born from it, LOVE the land. The art and architecture are beautiful, as is the language, in both it's written and spoken form. Plus, I don't see anything wrong with cutting off the thief's hand. Flogging the rape victim is wrong, but amputating the thief's hand is good policy in my book.
Clever signature pending

#304498 - 02/06/08 09:56 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
Drake_Bamboozle Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 06/25/02
Posts: 10770
Loc: England
I think mine is pretty obvious. Mine is more than an interest. It is what certain psychologists have referred to as having a life’s cause or mission. I have heard it said on these forums that “you are not what you do” and here is where I differ from that. This is what I do. This is what I stand for. This is the essence of who I am in words. This is who I am and what I will be remembered for.

I started writing when I was seven years old. War stories. Spy stories. The stuff of a boy's fantasy world. By the time I was eleven it had evolved into poetry, which has become my life work.

As most here know, my work has appeared in publications around the world and I continue to achieve real world recognition as a contemporary poet.

As a friend of mine said a while ago “one day you will really be considered something. And in one hundred years they’ll be teaching you in schools.”

I continue my evolution as a writer and my ultimate goal is for them to one day call me the greatest poet of my generation.

Of course, you requested that we keep it outside of Satanism. But here that is impossible; rather than struggle to fabricate “Satanic art” mine is intrinsically me. Therefore it is by nature Satanic at the most fundamental level.

Though I have other what could be called mild interests in life, for me, there is only this. Nothing else.

Human beings are as significant as a cigarette burn in the sun.

#304501 - 02/06/08 10:03 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
Shade Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/08/06
Posts: 6135
Loc: A Trailer Park
I narrowed it down to three broad categories but they all relate and jigsaw together. It’s perfectly clear to me where those connections are but maybe not to the casual passersby. I am amassing a small library on all of these subjects. I’ve also found a lot of great resources on the internet.

Puppets, marionettes, toys – History of and making... This is how I spend the majority of my days: tinkering with/building puppet body parts, reading about them, researching how and what to make, drawing, finding inspiration in all manner of curiosities, scouting through junk and antique stores for widgets and whirligigs.
Offshoots of this are:
-Automata, mechanization, sculpture
-Artists like Brothers Quay, Jessica Joslin, Vladimir Gvozdev

Anatomy (mostly human) – skeletal and muscular systems. Illustration and construction mainly. I love to draw and learn about how the body works. Helps with the puppets.
Off shoots of this are:
-Medical anomalies and teratology – from 15th century depictions of werewolves and mermaids to 20th century sideshow freaks.
(General curiosities fit in here: Museums, taxidermy, carnivals, haunted houses)
-Medical instruments (mostly antique): Dentistry, Gynecological, Funerary
-Collecting bones

Death (just your friendly neighborhood thanatophile) - there is no easy way to sum this one up but it relates to the prior two.
-Culture of dissection – History (Renaissance era, anatomie theatres)
-Forensics: pathology, anthropology, taphonomy, entomology
-Funerary customs, death taboos
-Gallows humour – Edward Gorey, Addams Family, Tim Burton

"What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade." ~ The Brothers Quay

We're Just Regular People

#304504 - 02/06/08 10:23 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Shade]
TrojZyr Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/25/01
Posts: 12990
Loc: The Solid State
My primary obsessions and focused areas of interest and study include:

*Human nature and culture. (I was going to say "psychology," but that implies that I'm a Freud groupie, or that I know every last thing about every theorist or every last experiment ever conducted. That's not so much my focus, as I am much more interested in probing how people behave and think, and why, and how one ought to respond to this.)
*Strange miscellaneous trivia and odd facts
*Movies, especially the more unusual or obscure ones. (And, to a lesser degree, music, with the same qualifier.)
*Books and reading.

When I go to the book store, I tend to zero in on the social sciences, religion, and nature-related sections.

Those who know me realize that bringing up any of these subjects is akin to pressing a "magic button." Instantly, I become animated, and ready to talk your ear off.

This thread is exciting, because now I know who to go to when I, say, want to learn more about puppetry, or comic books.

"Gentlemen, the verdict is guilty, on all ten counts of first-degree stupidity. The penalty phase will now begin."--Divine, "Pink Flamingos."

"The strong rule the weak, and the cunning rule over all." HS!

#304507 - 02/06/08 10:29 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
G.F.V. Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/31/04
Posts: 1963
I wouldn't consider myself one dimensional, but I enjoy spending most of my time learning about what intesrests me the most. In this case, it's definitely The Arts.

Specifically, I enjoy studying the history of early 20th Century Composers, the breaking down of traditional Major/Minor tonality, and the use of incorporating imagery along with the musical arrangements. I also enjoy reading/studying the evolution of Music from as early as the Renaissance period, the formation of early instruments (such as the Lute, which would pave the way for the Guitar), and how different cultures/mythology have an influence on the musical works themselves.

Other areas I like to study, but am not 100% the best informed on, are Political Ideologies (notably Conservatism, Libertarianism), History pertaining to wars (French Revolution, WWI, WWII), Science pertaining to Physics (mostly Sound, Acoustics) and Biology (Evolution, Anatomy, medicine, etc.)

#304509 - 02/06/08 10:39 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Drake_Bamboozle]
reprobate Offline

CoS Warlock

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 7141
Loc: Canada
I think mine is pretty obvious. Mine is more than an interest. It is what certain psychologists have referred to as having a life’s cause or mission. I have heard it said on these forums that “you are not what you do” and here is where I differ from that. This is what I do. This is what I stand for. This is the essence of who I am in words. This is who I am and what I will be remembered for.

I feel the same way about my own work.

#304512 - 02/06/08 10:56 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
Incubus Offline

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 242
Loc: Connecticut, USA
In no particular order:

Computer animation, specifically how to improve my own workflow and product (graphic arts and illustration also, but in support of my animation work)

Computers in general, Linux and other free software

World War 2 history, specifically Nazi Germany and the SS

Military history and strategy, and World War 2 leaders such as Patton, Rommel, Guderian, etc.

Edited by Incubus (02/06/08 08:35 PM)
Edit Reason: Removed subjects of new or less serious interest
"The might of aithęr chases it into the sea, sea spits it out onto solid ground, earth spits it up into rays of the radiant sun and sun hurls it into the whirlpools of aithęr. One receives it from another, then another from another, and they all hate it. This is the way that I too am now going, an exile from the gods and a wanderer, placing my trust in mad Strife."

-Empedocles (c.490 - 430 BCE)

#304518 - 02/06/08 11:17 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
Jack_Lantern Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 07/06/05
Posts: 2785
Loc: America
1. The history of science, particularly alchemy, and the old formulas and methods of making chemicals. So much so that I've considered getting a masters in history after my BS in chemistry, but for now it is still an amateur interest.

2. The evolutionary psychology of Homo Sapiens with particular focus on that mental machinery that makes religion a persistent feature of H. Sapiens cultural and social make-up.

3. Internet culture (what internet culture). No really, it does exist, and for some reason I'm fascinated by it.

4. Silver smithing, metallurgy.

5. Cryptozoology.
"If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest." -Benjamin Franklin

#304520 - 02/06/08 11:35 AM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
Discipline Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 6796
Loc: Forever West
My obsessions:

Firearms: I am far from an expert but I very interested in utility more than anything else. I have met a lot of people who can spout off models and calibers all day. But my focus is what gets the job done best and what I can use legally and when.

Self-defense: Again, I am no expert. I have only trained in a few. My main focus is Krav Maga, but I try to incorporate all kinds of things from traditional training to just dirty little tricks. I like considering different opportunities and scenarios to keep my wits about me.

Electromagnetism/circuits: I am professionally educated in this field and will soon be beginning a career in it. I love circuits, they are like little puzzles. I like electromagnetism because I find electricity in its various different forms just fascinating. It is a lot of fun learning all the physics, theories, and mathematics that make up the science of it. I also like putting myself through the grinder of engineering school because it is rewarding and makes me appreciate all the hard work engineers really do. Also, plasma is another aspect of EM I love and will be soon taking three engineering classes on the subject. It is going to be hard but very rewarding.

Transhumanism: I like the concept of improving the human body and mind through technology. I also like the idea of improving the human condition. It is amazing what leaps and bounds science makes and the change in human behavior that occurs because of it. It also give me an idea of what direct certain areas of society might travel to.

Nanotechnolgoy: Love the stuff and if I can I would also like to do it professionally in terms of microelectronics and fabricating materials at the molecular level. The possibilities with such a technology are immense. I read every book I can find on the subject and I plan to take a few classes on the application of it.

Military History: Since I was a child I loved history, especially military history. The strategy and tactics used by some of the greatest generals are simply grand. I find men like Patton, Lee, and Genghis Khan admirable. I also love the whole mechanics and function of the military at its peak (during war).

Smart Drugs (nootropics): I am self-educating myself in the realm of brain enhancers. Developing a real life working knowledge on legal and safe substances that you can use to improve your memory, critical thinking, and mood. However, this is not a subject for those who are unwilling to do research or who have no patience.

Alternative science: I like exploring ideas and theories that are not normally encountered in the day to day academic world. I like reading on theories that certain people have devoted their lives and careers on that could possibly lead to new innovations or observations on nature. It is a hobby considering that I am trained in traditional science and will be working in traditional science. But I think it is smart to keep your eyes on other concepts that may one day prove useful in your field or even just for pure adventure.

My artwork: Like Ravenhael said. I am a amateur artist. I have done three public art shows. I am no professional but I have fun and enjoy the ability to manipulate visual and audio sensations. If you want a sample of my work, you can go to the links in my signature.

Edited by Discipline (02/06/08 12:55 PM)
Edit Reason: Addition
"I've learned . . . that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes." ~Andy Rooney

"At last I shall have time to devote myself seriously and freely to the destruction of all my former opinions." ~Descartes

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” ~Richard Feynman

#304536 - 02/06/08 12:50 PM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: DickSteele]
AztecRed Offline

Registered: 05/28/07
Posts: 65
Loc: Oklahoma
My obsession is music technology. Everything from pipe organs and carillons up to the newest synthesizers. I probably know more about how musical instruments work than any normal person should.

I especially love old electro-mechanical equipment like tone-wheel organs, theater organs, rotary speakers, tape machines, spring reverbs, Rhodes pianos, Wurlitzer piano, clavinets. One of these days I may try my hand at building something from scratch.

That's probably the only thing I can claim any real competence at. Everything else i'm just a dabbler in.

#304544 - 02/06/08 01:31 PM Re: Obsessions & Studies [Re: Svengali]
Philotechnic Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 08/02/07
Posts: 745
Loc: US
I enjoy so much that it is at some points hard to choose what to get into, needless to say I will never be bored with anything.

1. Design - I've spent several years walking the walk, designing things from CD liners, shirts, band logos, promo ads, doing photo retouching and tons of other work, honing my skills to where they are now, on my own. Eventually I will need to get a degree in order to work in marketing at my current job, but I think it will be a breeze.

2. Music - Everything from creating to just listening, I love it all. My greatest fascinations right now are electronic orchestrated music much like Goblin, Angelo Badalamenti, Zombi, Wendy Carlos, Le' Rue Delashay, as well as classical. I would like in the future to collect vintage synthesizers like old Moogs and various effects so that I can further one of my projects, which I am looking at doing a soundtrack for a movie with. Again, I have trained myself musically, I do understand a bit of music theory and general songwriting structuring.

3. Cooking - Being a bigger guy, I love to cook, and to cook well. While I don't cook for others often, I mostly like cooking for myself when I have time when I'm not doing either of the two above. While I somewhat consider my skills higher than average, I do get better everyday.

4. David Lynch - Quite possibly my favorite director right now, Lynch carries this brooding emotion through his films that captures me and places me in the movie. Lynch is a director that isn't for most people, and that's why I like him, he's a true artist with a different message than what mainstream Hollywood is pumping out year after year. I have most of his movies, and I've been collecting the music for his films that Angelo Badalamenti has mostly conducted.

5. General Art - I've always been around art all of my life, so I've naturally grown accustom to it and I can generally pick out what I like with somewhat of a educated view on it. I have always been a person who considers the artwork itself more important than the name of the author. I tend to favor Renaissance and Medieval art a lot, but even some modern styles like Art Deco and Art Nouveau greatly has my attention as well.

I could probably go on forever, but those are the highlights.

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