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stupidity^(1/2)

It comes up often between good humans that they disagree — and not how they disagree.

And there are ways to disagree stupidly, and ways to disagree awesomely. In an ideal world, no one disagrees stupidly. In the real world, most disagreements that matter are not “This side is right and this side is stupid.”

And I think life is groovy, in one of the realest states true for lots of us, because we can be safe, have healthy happy bellies, and enjoy the tech of our days. Everything from facebook to twitter — all the ‘interactive’ platforms make it pretty clear how many of us spend a good portion of our day, and a good amount of our energy and hours being pretty pissy because of disagreements.

And I’m not an expert, but I’m very confident that I’m not the worst either about how people disagree. I think there is a level of wisdom that should be fundamental — bare basic. Fun-da-mental, that level just beyond elementary that prepares people for adulthood. In fact, recently I think all this increased access over the last couple decades has led people to be able to seek out people who are also not operating like a cognitive adult, and it leads to a lot of the stuff that makes the stereotypical teenager at their worst a pain in the butt. These clumps of hur-durs have implications on a larger scale that make me go “oh dear, let’s avoid” so I’m kind of carving out this understanding for myself so I can know what to look for — I think. I’ve also noticed all of the below just makes interactions more seamless, comfortable, and valuable when dealing with my favorite people. Hell, I think they’re basic agreements that’ve led to my best relationships with folks being what they are today. So to start, here are semi-random 3 golden rules, because I’m pretty damned sure the world would be a better place if we all embraced this:

  1. Relevance assignment should be one of the earliest stages of information processing. If someone cares enough to carve out an understanding for their self, and get rooted in an understanding that to them feels deep and unmovable, they need to also understand the reasons why they care. That personality part in most of us — the one that gets pissy when people start to scoop reason-dirt over a mind that wants to tread the surface only — is very aware of this. This is why curiosity shouldn’t lead to war. Why trivia shouldn’t lead to fights. And why people sometimes need double down when a deep understanding is in danger of being moved. Basically, if people are arguing passionately, it’s really questionable if they can’t dispassionately say why if asked reasonably.

2. The Burden of Proof. I used to feel like the general majority definitely cringes when someone is an aggressive jackass about their point of view — unless it’s definitely funny. And today, after a certain guy became president by being an aggressive jackass about his point of view, I feel that most of the general majority cringes when someone is an aggressive jackass about their point of view. This is still ok. It still means that the resting state of collective social will is “don’t be a dick.” Messing with the burden of proof tenant is the most general way that people can be a dick:

If you make a claim, it is up to you to be able to prove it. If you make a feeling statement, that’s sharing a thought-probe, and that’s different. So if you say, “Bill Ted is evil and wants to eat all my cabbage” and want that to be taken seriously, you need to be able to evidence why you believe that. One of the most toxic and unpleasant people I’ve ever met crossed ways with me about 6 years ago, and this person would make outrageous claims like that lost Malaysian flight disappeared because passengers were experimenting with new black hole technology and that’s why they’ll never find the plane. When I tried to explain why I found it hard to believe that a black hole had probably not been formed on planet Earth I was clapped at, and told “Do your research!” with a real life exclamation point. This person had successfully blown my mind, I went out for a happy hour, and before my first sip was suddenly burdened with disproving that some scientist-agent had detonated a black-hole bomb on a passenger plane. The debate ended there because of golden rule #1, although I thought it was funny how that works and still do.

3. Know when you’re exploring something that you don’t know, and let’s call it insight arrogance. Thinkers and listeners are both responsible for managing insight arrogance. And insight arrogance — that false belief that you know or already understand more than you do, is a tricky thing when, at the same time — people should want to carve out an understanding for themselves when they believe they can.

Again, feeling statements make a big difference. Yes, sometimes people feeling something out like the confidence of hearing someone else say something like “You’ll have to….” because that’s so, much, easier than figuring out a whole understanding — but someone who is helping, and not certain, can just as easily say “I think you’ll have to…” because those two words add a lot. Those two words go to ownership of a belief more than a statement on objective reality.

Basically the smartest of us know when they don’t know something. This is why dumb psychologist wanna-be’s start diagnosing people in ways they shouldn’t. And this is where flat earthers line up with people eating tide-pods. This is why it’s called taking responsibility when you choose to ask questions, over asserting false answers. Easy example would be, if you don’t like vaccines, you could ask if the ingredients are harmful, rather than insist they are harmful and then make experts #2 for you. Basically, I think only fools think they’re an expert when they’re not.

Anyway that’s my random garble for today time to 5am workout now.

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Rant 35

I’m kind of moving with the current. I always want to begin these posts with nice little quips, simplistic rules that feel right, observations that ought to reek as poignant. And while I kind of have those, the truth is I’m swimming with the current

(Lots of internal and external forces try to keep a reasonable level of buoyant. Fish do that as a full time job, even the ones in little bowls and aquariums, and as safe as that is I think I’d rather be a dolphin.

See, now I want to point out that dolphin are eaten in Japan, that a good number of people prefer them in seaworld, and that you, dear reader, are someone who is guilty of stereotyping dolphins.

Ok. Guess I’m in one of those kind of moods)

I’ve hit 35 more than a work week ago. The 9 days since that happened somehow feels like less time than a regular week ago. Big takeaways from that are that if you double my lifespan it’s inarguably closer to 70 than it is to 40, because math. Men on my dad’s side of the family — which I’d like to believe I’m pretty damned different from, die around mid-70’s.
It’s just….knowing it’s appropriate to start applying phrases like “mid-life”, you know what I’m so ready to start raging against stupid thilly new mentalities and talk about how sharp AND basic we had to be in the 90’s — and how we liked it.

I’m time-poor AF, but healthy and doing ok, in fact newp much better than ok by any metric. I wasn’t always sure I’d be able to say that in nyc rent, nevermind during a pandemic, but I can coitenly say it.

One thing I think is a top priority forever and ever is going to be the ability to adapt and roll with it. (Oh gosh, I want to say being agile. No. God no.) But seriously, I was raised on print is media (and not media can be print.) Cursive is educated (and not being able to communicate across multiple mediums well is king.) Penmanship is marksmanship (rather than real marksmanship on the keyboard matters most). Weird work things too like showing up breeds company loyalty (whereas work smart, period). Or company loyalty defines a career (and not career steps define a career). I don’t know, I still sort of wonder how much of the majority of folks are actually faking it and still trying to figure it out, and I just hope I’m adapting and catching on.

Maybe a lot of my original lessons and values I kind of rethink ….maybe we could have rewritten those to be better as examples, but still, things would have and did change anyway. One thing I know that I don’t know is, I have no fucking clue how many ideals I have today will one day be ideal to change.

That is both a relieving and a frightening thing to know. But it makes it so much easier to smile when you’re falling back on both core tenants of 1) don’t be dumb and 2) try your best

As for 2020…..

I guess I’m in the minority because I still think we’re in a sort of amazing age — I think digital beats gold in many ways — but there is also a fucking plague, global issues and lots of lunacy afoot. My contribution to that thought bubble has become, humans are weird in ways that’s showing how fantastically amazing we all are. Of course we’re going to come up with a vaccine in record time! Let’s also distract ourselves with neurolinked VR and photograph it with drones — man we plagued it this year like we never did before in human history. A bunch of us teleworked. A bunch of us somehow got way fatter because ordering food by typing on your phone is easy. A bunch of us made Florida look cool by drowning a bunch of boats in some weird boat-for-a-cause. A bunch of us learned new skills and hobbies in forging the amazon empire — this has been WAY better than the Spanish flu. And let’s also try too, but there’s only so much you can sanely do on an individual scale (which is still more than ever before.)

I’m still starting to back up my own ego against the idea of rearing good hellspawn and saying “OK you take a shot and just try and don’t foul!”

Hey a couple of weeks ago, I was on wikipedia reading about the word slacker. I don’t know why, it just felt right at the time, but I came away with a lot that made me go “Yeah.”

You know, there’s a view of “slacker” that’s NOT someone who’s lazy….but someone who wants to do something interesting, or nothing at all? Now sure, we can throw all sorts of slurs like lazy, or entitled at that, but I can comfortably say that fits me at least in high school, and I certainly think calling me lazy is misguided, as is entitled. That’s like saying someone who is alone is lonely, and wants privacy.

A slacker is that pain in the ass who doesn’t get a high grade because they don’t try. Teachers get frustrated because they can’t attribute that lack of motivation to incompetence — lots of slackers pass tests without doing the work, because the test is fucking boring. They slack and still pass to show that.

The funny thing about what I’d call the slacker is, they tend to be motivated. Slackers geek out, and can smell their own. And one thing that motivates the slacker, I’d say, is fear.

Well, as someone who was a slacker in grade and high school, I can say that one of my fears was leading a life I found to be boring, numbing, and tedious every day, and having nothing but uninteresting things to do, and being surrounded by people who didn’t really want to say anything interesting. I can say that while every goal wasn’t met, I’m kind of more than ok with how things are turning out.

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There are people who can look at a situation with people involved, and who get irritated at the premise and results of the people’s involvement.

Then there are people who look at the same situations but can’t see beyond their irritation at the people, and these people simply suck at making evaluations.

Seriously, it’s amazing how many folks feel the need to keep mum since engaging politics is engaging a shitshow, but meanwhile, hearing people actually have a back and forth about things that don’t deserve a back and forth makes me think this is what’s wrong with america.

 

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Lets have this live on with posterity:
Untitled

I have the week off.  I’ve still got the urges to wake up around the same time and log in to make sure fires don’t need putting out….pretty sure that’s a testament to habit-echoes.  Do something regularly for 40 days, and your brain goes “Why aren’t we doing that.”

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Pugiles pergere. De victus turpisque podagras.

We love anti-heroes. Heroes are kind of cliche and I think the only people who try to be heroes are kind of weird.  I’m talking about actions that smell like they’re coming from a dopey white-knight specifically.

Anti-heroes meanwhile, great entertainment. Great model. The badass of one is badass — need I say more?

So what about anti-villains?

If the anti-hero is someone with villainous traits who ultimately ends up being the hero, how do we feel about the converse?

For me, the trade-off is equal. Anti-villains are just as revolting as anti-heroes are attractive.

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I feel like putting down some of 2020’s mind nuggets


1) Always first consider the cost of doing nothing.  There’s a surprising amount of struggling procrastinators who check their procrastinating nature and as a result make great PMs for a reason.

 

2) You chase your dreams, and you make it your job to not give a hoot about the opinions of assholes with shitty opinions.  Some assholes will probably make fun of you in the process, but that’s just another reason why it’s important to actually gauge opinions well.

 

3) Finishing an item will always and forever be more historical than starting an item.

 

4) In today’s world, the ability to relate and predict are the most powerful.  Figuring out where you can relate and predict the most lets you know where you trip the least, and therefore be your most mighty.

 

5) Don’t assume offense when incompetence is possible. Correcting something nicely has its paybacks too.

 

6)  Brats throw tantrums and real bosses don’t: a little politeness almost always accomplishes anything better than an infinite amount of vitriol.

7)  #6 includes being nasty.  Anyone who confuses kindness for weakness is an idiot who suffers their own station in life.  The polite person always has more potential to commit more scathing shit than the brazenly aggressive one.

 

8) You can put duct tape over broken integrity, but you can’t ever fix it. And you can try to have a spine, but you won’t have a good one if it doesn’t have integrity.

 

9) Admit mistakes. People make everything so goddamn obnoxious and more complicated than they need to be, and one of the nice things about owning a mistake is that it reduces the people follow-up necessary.

 

10) Some people think modesty and ownership are mutually exclusive and that’s dumb. The trick is not to be a bragging ass about it.  I do it all the time and that’s why people love it when I’m awesome.

 

11) Never trust anyone who is less than willing to laugh.

12) Malicious adversaries are more dangerous than stupid adversaries, but the most dangerous of all are stupid malicious adversaries.

 

13) Culture > Race.  But SES is always going to be the strongest correlate of anything in America.

14) Be 6’4 if possible. You may not live as long, but you’ll make an impression.
15)  Learn how much money costs: Set price points on luxury goods and premium brands.  Don’t tolerate anything beyond that price point ever, unless you’re the type of jackass who’s ok with 15 dollar dumplings.

 

16) Urges are there to explore and establish a personal pattern from — and it’s worth noting that all urges eventually diminish.  They’re not there to determine the behavior. Creating urges actually takes a crazy amount of magic and work happening in the body, and there are reasons why young people have a stupid number of them more.

17) Whenever people can choose between apathy or confrontation, and apathy is more polite, they’re going to choose apathy 99% of the time.  This is why Chad is Chad.

 

18) Don’t forget to adore the number of unspoken heroes who can put “High-functioning” in front of whatever they are.

19) Rocking the boat is only ok if it’s because you’re grabbing the oars to steer in a better direction.

 

20) 20 minutes of physical activity a day has so many benefits that it’s pretty much free time and unless you seriously do not have 20 minutes, not doing so is dumb.

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From the never posted archives – 7/24/2018 “I’ve been dreaming lots lately”

Reread this.   lol and holy fak.
Had a hard heart thud the moment I saw the date, and then put life then in perspective.
Occasionally I have to wonder if my subconscious is my most aware conscious.

————————————-

And they’re not normal dreams:

We were at Grand Central, and my mom came but it was too crowded

And I tried to get her to follow, but she identified wrong person as part of our group, and the protesting crowd made things too hard, and was too loud, and somehow she was too fast and she couldn’t hear me go nooo so she split the group
so I was frustrated that we got so separated from the main party, and mom couldn’t understand that the guy she was following totally wasn’t with us….there was like a donald trump protest

so it was me and her

and I kept trying to call Jaidree, but something weird kept happening EVERY time I tried to press to her number, like someone would bump my hand, so I couldn’t call straight

and then mom said “here” and handed me a flip phone (lol) but on it, I couldn’t find Jaidree’s damn number, and then after getting more frustrated, I looked up and mom wasn’t there. Lost in the crowd.

So now I hate this crowd. They’re blocking everything, and going around them seems like so much jostling, I actually decided to climb a crane over them.

next thing I know, for some reason I’m jumping off a crane to get into a skyscraper because, I’m determined, (clearly) to not go into the crowd of protesters, who I still super hate.

but there’s a problem, it turns out the skyscraper is full of people who are puking green gakt, and turning into zombies. Very 80’s bad special effect zombies

but it’s ok…ish…..because (clearly) walking dead style, I can take a hard object and whack ’em on the head

But there’re too many, I end up in a clear glass office, and then eventually two other people join (but one of them’s bitten) and more and more zombies start swarming this glass office, and I start to feel DA FEAR for the first time. It’s that moment where I realize how few alternatives there are besides, being eaten. But then I get pissy again. More and more bad 80’s zombie are puking neon green gackt at the windows at us, hungrily

I try calling again and again, and finally get mom on the mechanical button phone.

She says she’s at some party at carnegie hall….I don’t have the heart to tell her I’m kind of fucked, so I tell her I’ll be there as soon as I can.  That’s kind of true.

I get an idea, kill all the lights. Now it’s dark. The second they can’t see us with their dead eyes, they go into random zombie-over-here-mode.  Over time, half the zombies have wandered away. That’s enough. There’s space to move between them now, and swing.

I look to the group like an even worse 80’s hero and say that we’re ready. We grab the hardest objects we can, and unfortunately, mine’s an empty plastic potter.

But that’s enough.

we whack our way through, but we all get bitten on the way, and the door with EXIT over it is too blocked. So we jump out a window, onto a nearby skyscraper’s roof, and ride another cable to the street level. Logically.

Because of this ordeal, we have now bonded, we believe we’re going to die, we’re all like “fak!” and I say “not like this.”
I somehow know there’s a weird construction platform, surrounded by a giant hole that goes into the subway, I push through, am followed by the other three, and descend until I’m on a ladder of a giant square platform, with a giant hole that plunges into god-knows, but it’s a big fall

my logic is that if I turn, I’ll be so stupid that I’ll fall, and I won’t turn anyone else. The rest of the group sits with me. It is anime

but then it gets even MORE anime because we will ourselves out of the transformation. Somehow we survive,

and after sitting for what feels like ever, the urge to throw up green gackt goes away. We are saved. I can visit my mom who, clearly, is still waiting at carnegie hall, because #DreamTiming.

Well waddyaknow, there’s the subway. While sitting on that big square platform, with it’s massively long ladder, we’ve heard trains coming and going, so now I say my goodbye, and descend to get a free ride.

On the way upstairs from subway platform, I bump into my old english teacher, Ms. Lerhman, she is happy to see me.

She tails me to carnegie hall for some reason. Mom bought me tickets, which turn out to be drink and meal tickets. Little red cheap raffle tickets that are symbolic and usable. I figure Ms. lerhman can tag along as long as she can because I like her, and how can she have a problem with Carnegie culture?

At the party, something lavish and groupy, I find my mom is seated, by herself, and I say I’m gonna get a drink. After the zombies that I don’t want to tell her about, I certainly feel I’ve earned one. She says sure, so I go to the lower level of this grand Carnegie party. For some reason no one else is there except one red-vested bartender. I’m famished. I’m also thirsty. I ask the bartender what does he have on shelf — and by this I clearly mean, what are these classic cocktails in front of him. He spends an inordinate amount of time explaining the drinks, and they’re not ingredients I understand at all, but they all look lovely, and all I know is the first one is a spritzer. I want the one that’s in a clear solo cup, he says no problem, and after looking up, I look back down to the tray where, mysteriously, all the drinks are gone.

He says “FUCK, AGAIN!” and rages out and gets really shitty at his job. He walks away, yelling about some guy named Harold, and annoyed (it feels like it’s been 15-20 minutes at this drink station) I reach over, grab this bottle of the blue stuff, and some clear spirit, and make my own drink, and I also eat his hero out of revenge. It is meaty and delicious. He comes back, and gets fixated on finding his sandwich and this makes him even shittier about his job. I realize I have one more drink/food ticket, and somehow, am still starving.

The entire rest of the party gets in line behind me the second I grab a plate for the buffet, and this doesn’t seem weird to me. For some reason, the evil ninja woman from skyscraper is leaning over and narrating behind the scenes things to me and shittalking the guy who threw the party. I feel like she is being flirty, and putting me in some in-club, I nod politely and smile, as I don’t want her to notice that I’m making the HUGEST plate at their buffet, and filling it with deliciouses like salmon, poached eggs, different steak with savory sauces – and one noodle.  A lot of the buffet trays have tons of meaty, noodle dishes, and I’m scooping the meat, and taking one noodle. Skyscraper villainess does the same.

Because the line is so long, I am so thorough with loading my plate with a massive amount of food. This takes what feels like 15 more minutes, but I delay gratification. I keep thinking soon, at last, I can sit next to mom, with this sweetass blue cocktail with its fancy blue ingredient, and with this mega-buffet plate done my way. And the evil ninja does notice. But that’s ok, because she’s still building a plate EXACTLY like mine…until I steal the last salmon fillet.

She says “is there no more salmon” and for some reason I put my plate down for a second and look up to act like maybe that shitty bartender, who’s now rage-smoking a cig in the corner, knows where to find more.

When I look back to my plate, everything is gone except the poached egg.

And there is a fat man, with bulging eyes, and his mouth is full of everything else from my plate, he is chewing madly

I am enraged

I yell DAMMIT HAROLD

the bartender goes IS THAT HAROLD

I’m enraged, I wring his neck and throttle him. I yell “SO MUCH FOOD”

I tell him to spit it out. It doesn’t matter that I won’t eat it. Just, the principal. That was my salmon, motherfucker.

He does. It’s not enough for me. The rage has taken over

I yell “SO MUCH FOOD!”

the bartender comes over, we start clobbering him on the head, it’s almost mean, but it’s also slapstick. It feels like slapstick.

And naturally

Paul Rudd comes over

He goes “IS THAT HAROLD? DID HE DO IT AGAIN?”

The bartender goes “YEAH!”

Paul rudd goes “DAMMIT HAROLD!”

somehow, he produces three empty bottles

we all whack him on the head at the same time

they shatter, like it’s sillyglass

I wake up now

IRL I literally say “SO MUCH FOOD!”

I realize the egg sammich with mozzerlla, collard greens, and refried beans with lemon are right next to me

I scarf it down as I realize it was aaaallllll a dream.

Wtf.

 

 

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We’re in a time where I can read someone’s post on social media, and if it’s political, more than half the time I can accurately guess their race, family situation, SES, and the color of their state.

This means it’s really not that stimulating to keep taking in new information to back up these stereotypes.

This means discussions on social media are not healthy pieces of info as much as empty calories for my emotional digestion.

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Tonight I played a vr game that was half-way towards the vr game that’s featured in Disjuncture, thought that was kind of cool.

It’s funky, I can’t say I’m getting more or less tolerant overall, as much as picky about things I choose to be tolerant about…..like ok I’ll do some bullshit to accomplish a goal even if it means a 14 hour workday is what it takes? Fine.
But then also, I switch a few windows and suddenly my brain is firing on “…..” to “….?” to “…..!! DUMB”

 

 

 

For example, I MAY have encountered a racist, or an asshole, or someone who simply is so caught up in a picture I can’t see all of that they come off like a big jerk.  Unfortunately, this was in a more professional situation, and the only thing I KNOW is, that I don’t know all the gears that are turning, or how hard.
One of the things about the folks I’ve been dealing with lately that I like is, manners seem basic.  Politeness and courtesy are more than professional lubricants to me, but things are definitely lubed up during most interactions — let’s put it that way.

The thing I don’t like about that is, it stands out when people don’t have these niceties, and one guy in particular was clearly playing games with a project I was growing involved in. Lot of friction, lot of back-tracking to figure out what his end-goal was, and once I did, hey, ok.  I think it’s a weird and lame end-goal, I think the guy’s a frustrated dork more than a respectable person, but I’m going to contribute my piece and whatever.
I think 10 years ago I’d have thought it was admirable in a way to put this person on an open blast.  But one of the most responsible ways to possess big balls is to keep them in your pants. Frankly, I think he’s going to get what he wants — and even though I think it’s silly, and it’s bad for the project….can I just not be on that project? I’m covering my ass and happily letting him eat the project his way, I don’t really need to disrupt that.  And he was even a little rude about it, and some things rubbed me as impractical waste of times and you know what? *Deep breath* Yeah it’s actually ok.

Meanwhile, there’s other stuff that I don’t have a tolerance for.  And I know it’s dumb, but it’s so….*button clicks in brain* “Hey I’m done.”  I can’t indulge the same things the way I used to….

First example I can think of….people who want to jerk off vapid things on facebook, and I mean VAPID — “Here is an obscure show I watched, and I just want to write this essay that’s completely off point and I sound stoned but I’m not, and I’m going to argue with people in the comments even if they’ve got credentials in this field and I’m a guy who’s 35 who’s trying to out-do the thought patterns of others from my very own pc in my mom’s house.”  Or, fucking dolts asking if I want to go do things with them that are influencer-y, but DUMB AS FUCK.  NO I DONT WANT TO GO TO A FUCKING AIR BNB TO SIT AROUND SOMEONE ELSE’S HOME. NO I DONT WANT TO BRUNCH.  NO I DONT WANT TO EXPLAIN THAT THERE’S A FUCKING PLAGUE AND I THINK ADDING ‘SOCIAL DISTANCING’ BEFORE AN IN-PERSON GROUP ACTIVITY SOUNDS LAME AF.

Wow.  All caps.

Gosh I’m touchy.

I don’t know, my brain reacts to some things with a “that’s dumb.” or “arrgh” and maybe it’s sharper in some ways but it’s also less cool too.
And then I get neurotic in how confident I want to be a prick about things I find dumb, because I don’t want to be an asshole at the world, but also, some crap is really dumb. Like ok, new easy example: My blog. I know my blog can be dumb (even though objectively it is the greatest page on the interwebz ever) but the point is I didn’t make you come here. I’m not asking you to go through stupid costs to engage it.  (Not to mention, if you disagree with something I say here you’re just wrong anyway.) I think these are key differences with what I’m less tolerant, and more eye-rolling for.
But if I went on facebook and started pushing my nonsense in your feed?
Maybe then that’s my problem.
And that’s my point — I think some people are starting to push that.

Meh, maybe I’m also just tired — 2 60 hour weeks in a row is a really weird way to preface my upcoming week off and I’m curious how that’ll go.
Blah, de fooking blah.

I think midday naps and 11pm coffee is lovely but maybe it’s making me feel a bit internally raw too.

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