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Not-quite-rotten Tomatoes

Winter came.

Winter came!

It’s weird looking towards a past self…do you venerate or look down, when there’re so many pro’s and cons? Realistically, it’s probably unwise to do either.

But one thing I’ve always liked was a concept of self-actualization, and one thing I’ve always thought about actualized people is they are healthy, happy, and work to produce what they desire. That last part means they’re creators in some way.

And all I want to think about is, how hard it is to find something that’s truly created. I still have a nagging feeling that modern American movies are mostly hacks. When you’re a younger, less exposed viewer, it’s harder to touch on the generic. But there are so many things like movies and games that just….I start to have trouble remembering their name. I don’t have a problem remembering why I don’t remember their name. What’s the last “I make a gang of specialists that Michael Bays through the world ridiculously” movie with Ryan Reynolds in it? Oh yeah, I have all the information I want right there. End of thinking — fuck off, glutamate.

I almost wish I could go back to a younger me that got sceered at horror movies because the concept of that kind of monster was new and awakening. Dawn of the Dead’s first remake was sexy as fuck because it featured running zombies and that was new to me, and most people I talked to. That idea of fighting against the most automated, all-out baseline sadist always scratches at a primal wonder — but there’s exploring and walking the beaten route. Now, there’re literally 300 movies since then doing the same thing. The most square guy and girl will make it to the end. Then it will have a question mark. Seen it.

This applies to games too.

None of this is to say that everything is blah — that’d be bullshit. It’s just… it does get harder and harder to bypass the external algorithm. It’s a gift to be able to say “I want to watching something like _____” and end up with something original that lets your mind cud for a while. It’s a gift to know how to explore the web that comes up with things like that. Pirates have said skills more often. Meanwhile, buyers know how to go to a market…..and this ends up with lots of points for pirates. I guess raiding for good content is what we’re getting at.

I do think we’re making an America that wants to know if you like superhero movies so they can pour superhero movies into your suggested queue. And that gets lame if you like superhero movies and get a deluge of black panther (ok) captain america (meh) thor (meh) thor 2 (double meh) ragnorok (ok lol) avengers (cool) endgame (meh) captain marvel (ok lets check out dc) batman (meh) batman (meh) batman v superman (uch) justice league (ok I’m not even going to bother) xmen (no) xmen 2 (ok can we stop) xmen 7 (bleh) New Mu- (THIS IS TOO MUCH JUNK AM I SICK OF SUPERHERO MOVIES?)

When it occurred to 97% of Americans to check out the above, but not say, Defendor, then that’s a national shame and I wish we learned how to raid for our interests outside of the algorithm, more.

Star Wars got way, way less cool, and that the same thing is happening to Harry Potter, because the American drive seems to want to movie via business model, where this kind of thru-put makes sense.

Imagine not having tasted anything sour in your life ever, and having a vitamin c deficiency. You might end up deciding to eat way too many tomatoes, and then getting sick of tomatoes.

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Cyberpunk anticipation was also making me think people have an appetite for cyberpunk, which is making me rub Disjuncture, although I also wonder if people have an appetite for Keanu. It’s weird because, that game ain’t Keanu. These are all words.

Speaking of games I’ve spent a bit much on silly games that I play for like, an hour and move on. Recently picked up the Warhammer game and….oof, what a miss. 32 bucks to frustrate hours of time, and I kind of knew going in that this was the type of stale, tropey story, artificial doofy rank, soulless combat shitfest it was going to be right off the bat and….can those types of products quit coming out?

I guess not.

Every game I’ve played that’s great offers something to the player. Not just fun, the way you’re grow into the game is the real thrill of it. Anyone can make a game, because anyone can almost call anything a game. But the games with substance — stuff that’s teaching me reflexes, tactics, strategy, organization — I keep shooting for, and missing.

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Health rant

I don’t disagree off the bat when people say “THE BODY IS SO RESILIENT!”

Although I always want to say most bodies are really resilient — depending on how you look at it.

And regardless, it’s nice when a person knows their body is resilient.

I had a period of actively trying to do little but get manuscripts turned into traditionally published novels. Maybe I’ll have another with some differences — who knows. Burns a lot of resources, that. Doing it in today’s age…takes lots of research, looking up, personally crafting….I think you can’t be an asocial author who is good at one form of writing without shooting yourself in both feet nowadays. If you want to take the modernized “traditional” route, or if you want to be marketed, you’ll need humans to open doors, and getting to a place where you can do that takes significant work and drive….not much pay out until it’s real.

(There’s a reason that the proportion of authors who come from more privileged backgrounds exists, and those reasons are crystalized in weird ways today — helps when folks can take internships, or a couple of years to develop. Not a requirement, but it sure af helps.)

Anyway, between that and dealing with some craziness around a big death in the family, I lost a lot of the discipline I carved out. I feel now that I really hit the ground running as a kid. Part of that was my muddah putting in really good food values, part was getting lucky, and part was weird stuff like…my wanting to get in better shape and skipping lunch to work in the stacks (stacks=part of the school library) and read what I read about what’s known in old readable books about health. Other weird stuff too.

And I went from living how I did to saying “eh how bad could a year of indulging and dishapwining this instead” (like learning better programming and work skills) get, really? The body is resilient. My body is resilient, raht?

Well, the above all feels true. But I think some things to consider are scope, and priorities around it here.
Scope – Besides “Resilient to what?”, how long are we talking here? 90 years? A 20 year old’s body should be resilient. Whose body are we talking here?

“The body…” what a weird generalization….and people who talk like that may be weirdos. “The body.” “The blood.” “The abstract concept I’m making generalizations about” . . .I used to know someone who talks like this when trying to be intellectual, and he probably still looks up to people who go to burning man.

Anyway, I think it’s better saying “my body is resilient to most concerning things now” because it leaves the door open for saying “…and I’d like to keep it that way.” I can say that a couple years of living how I did (6’4 proportions of calorific booze, saying ok to fried food to learning how to make it myself, going from getting all them good vitamins and mins and hydration and macros to saying, meh and enjoying that food is delicious and being glad to not be hungry and calling it a day.)

It’s significantly different. Not crazy different, at least not crazy different immediately since that’s how that works. But it’s significantly different, and I can feel that these decisions cause significantly different shifts. And I can’t really generalize fairly because there are so many layers to health, and another fun reality is, I can’t experiment with my health because while I don’t have a be freakish about it, it’s not a good experiment. Ignoring the stakes, personal health is also not a good experiment in weird, more trivial ways — easy example, I can’t replicate the same conditions as say when I was 16 and expect the same results simply because I’m not 16 exploding years old anymore. There probably aren’t magic bullets and healthy foods and tricks that’ll give me vitality better than good old fucking dishapwine, luck, and regularly good decisions. Taking care of older family members has made it abundantly clear that resilient bodies get side effects with age. Like, I think my old man was really resilient, but habits catch up, and das da fact.

I used to have a regular anx about cancer as a kid — like I’d get anxiety about sitting too close to the tv after hearing it’d give eye cancer, same around microwaves, second hand smoke, all of that. Lots of reasons that’s way more in the background today, but I’m almost getting that way about circulatory system issues. Stroke, heart attacks limpdick, getting winded after running 5 steps — these are pretty preventable horns on that bull of life so many Americans like to take on. Not feeling like moving is too. But there are really, really cool side effects of being healthy too — neurotransmitters make life better (no iron, no vitamin c = no serotonin production). And I’ve learned I’m much sharper throughout the day when I get movement in. Stuff like that.

Anyway time to go 530am workout now

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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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