Progress.

Jul. 12th, 2017 08:42 pm
Was outside for 20 minutes today, now have brilliant scarlet forearms and calves. Was wearing a hat, fortunately, so face is OK. Back of neck probably also colorful, but I can't see that.

(Wouldn't stalked eyeballs be *fun*?)

Got paperwork done to get insurance reinstated; should have coverage again by next week sometime. Hopefully I don't die first, but my record at that is pretty good so far. Searched storage area for shade canopies for next week's festival; didn't find 'em, but did find six folding chairs we can bring along. Arranged ride *to* ride on Wednesday. Need to fall over now while body repairs sunburn damage.
One of the big things I dealt with in early childhood was the problem that Mom was nuts. There are a lot of insufficiently defined terms there; part of the issue is that I’ve been very consciously aware of my self and my surroundings since roughly age 15 months, and so by the time I was four or five I had comparatively quite a lot of life-history behind me.

‘Nuts’ is also not well-defined; it might be more precise to say that Mom lived in her own little fantasy world, which occasionally came into contact with the default consensus reality surrounding her. Things actually got much more difficult for me years later (meaning, in this case, about age 8 or 9), when she got “cured”, meaning she learned how to pretend to outside consensus with much greater skill. The underlying worldview hadn’t changed at all; she’d just learned to lie about it better.

So I grew up with the idea that the loving people who cared for me might not be well-attached to reality. This wasn’t a major concern, because Dad always was, and didn’t waver in that at all until he hit seventy years old and the Orthodox Jewish life-plan he’d been imprinted with ran out. So part of what I grew up with was that some people are nuts, and that’s okay, and we live with it. It is necessary to learn how to interact with their world-views, and in many major and important cases to love them, but loving them and wishing them all sorts of well *cannot* mean surrendering our own integrity to them – they don’t know what to do with integrity; it can imperil the web of justifications they’ve built to provide themselves with stability.

So I have detailed and vivid memories of pondering at age 3 and 4 “How do I tell if *I’m* crazy?” It happened to Mom, obviously, so if it started happening to *me*, how would I know? Figuring out evidence procedures for that was the core issue of my preschool and nursery school days. As you might surmise, school-teachers were not helpful in this regard. One of their little charges couldn’t possibly be thinking such thoughts, so if it sounded like he said something like that, it must have been something else, like calling a classmate crazy. Juvenile name-calling they understood very well; evidence procedures, not so much. (Yes, “evidence procedures” was a term I didn’t come upon ‘til much later in life; my words at the time were “how do they (or I) tell how they (or I) know?” But the writer of this is me-now, not me-then.)

So doubting my own sanity has been a constant background function for me for a very long time. Doubt is my closest friend, because with doubt I think to ask questions, and if I don’t ask questions I can’t learn. And so it was that much more terrifying when I reached the first proximal end of my abilities to learn, and discovered there are things I *can’t* learn – not right now with the tools and means I have available to me, at any rate. And all the living I will have to do while devising and constructing new tools and learning new ways to use both the new ones and what I already have (and bearing in mind that even at 3 I thought of things like “intelligence” as tools I can use, not fundamental attributes of my being) had to be done with this yawning void of ignorance *right in front of me*.

So I burned out on ‘fear’ by around age five or so. Sources of existential terror are everywhere, and anything that’s everywhere eventually becomes boring. Okay, you can kill me. So? Losing my mind would be *much* worse, and I can do *that* all by myself. I don’t need your help.

So in a sense, the reason insanity doesn’t matter is that there *is* no such thing as sanity. We can extend our grasps of the universe further and further, and there is no end. What matters is whether our grasp of what’s right nearby is accurate and precise enough for us to deal with the issues and challenges we have to deal with *now*.

The most major threat is power. If I impose my will on my universe *without* understanding it, I can create an island of imposed order that is incongruent with the reality underlying it. And the most immediate and major problem of power is that it interferes with perception. If I am *making* the world do something, it becomes extraordinarily difficult for me to figure out what it would be doing if I *wasn’t*. And the reverse of that is that if I *don’t* make it do something, I am denying my *own* agency. So ‘Action’ is always a finely precise balancing act, and cannot be otherwise.

And action is one of the three legs that my self balances upon – Kindness, awareness, action. “Awareness” used to be “Study”, in my Dad’s early schooling. But while learning is the key to it, we can also learn things that *haven’t* already been learned by somebody else. (The meaning of the word “study” has changed over time; lying down on the sidewalk and staring at a dandelion could still be called “studying it”, but that’s no longer how we think of the word.)

The next thing I was going to stir into the pot was sexuality, but this is a big enough chunk to start with. I’ll add that next time.
I'm just snapping out of about a week of funk. Haven't been letting my inner pirate/tyrant/monster/whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it out of its cage, and it got bored with me, curled up, and took a nap. Leaving me with not enough energy to run the rest.

I *seem* to have that momentarily resolved, and now it's being Warm. Not *Hot*, yet, but still excessively conducive to naps.
Ordinarily I'm fairly introspective. Right now I'm finding that difficult for some reason, so I think I'll try explaining me to *you* rather than me, and see if that helps.

Yesterday I spent at the HCAO (Health Care for All Oregon) annual statewide meeting, at which I got reminded that I'd volunteered to do some database work for them, which I had forgotten. Fortunately the account data for their database was still on my laptop, so I could log in and take a look at what they had. While they do have a lot of DB problems, the underlying problem is that they have never really known what they're doing, and all the people involved in the DB work are amateurs, and so have no idea of what they could or should be doing, and so the *data* is a near-complete mess. Coming up with better ways to manipulate already-known-to-be-bad data will *not* make it better.

Other than that, it was mostly a waste of a day, in that they spent it telling me and each other with great enthusiasm how good an idea single-payer health care is, which everyone in the room already agreed upon. So it was mostly a cheerleading session, which I can tolerate well but doesn't do anything for me. Sorta like babysitting a toddler who's obsessed with playing with blocks, and has a nice set of blocks to play with -- I have to stay in the room and keep watch, but the kid's happily amused and not bothering anybody.

I'm involved with HCAO in the first place because a few years ago I'd hit on the idea of being personally involved with at least one organization pursuing each identified basic need of civilization. Health care is one such need; I have a list on this machine somewhere of about 17 I've identified so far. Air, water, food, shelter, security, and medical care start it off.

For tactical (and thus easily dismissable) reasons, the three ventures I've recently been most involved with are a Housing and a Representation project, XCRH and Civic Consul respectively, and Metaculture, which is an indirect project, a tool that both of the above have great use for.

I've been reading David Deutsch's "The Beginnings of Infinity" recently, and find it has a lot of applicability to both Metaculture and Civic Consul, and to a lesser extent XCRH. It's also a very "busy" book; there's a lot going on it that's neat and interesting and *not* related to any immediate practical use I have for it. I think I need to do a chapter-by-chapter summary of it before I continue -- I'm on chapter six of 18 -- so I can keep track of which chapters I have use for, and hold on to Deutsch's train of thought 'til I get to the end of the book and can figure out what he's trying to accomplish. I don't yet know where he's going with this, and so can't figure out if *his* point is something I have use for.

Deutsch reads like a geek who has invented a marvelously elaborate tool of which he is very proud, and wants everyone to admire it. In the process of so doing, he has invented a number of contributory tools I am finding very useful in *my* work, which is good for me even if his Grand Opus turns out to be a glorified whirligig. Chapter Six deals with a number of models of infinity, which may be useful to *his* point but don't do anything for *me*.

An online flirtation I'd been involved with also seems to be involved here, but I can't yet tell how or why. I use the past tense because it now seems my nominal inamorata was simply a con artist trying to get me to send money. I was willing to be stung for a few bucks to keep the action going, but then devised a way to enforce third-party verification before sending any more, and the conversation abruptly ceased. That was yesterday morning; it's still not impossible that my correspondent is simply stupid rather than dishonest, and might continue the conversation. I *doubt* it, but as said, not impossible.

And also as said, I don't know *why* that flirtation is relevant here. To speculate, it may take a lot of emotional “energy” on my part to stay emotionally involved with a concept as abstract as metaculture, and I may have been getting some of that from the thoughts of my flirtation. Hmm, that may have some truth in it, but if so, it’s incomplete, because Deutsch's book is also a part of this, and that explanation doesn’t account for Deutsch.

Deutsch's subtitle is “Explanations that transform the world”, and I think his explanations *are* transformative, but I haven’t yet figured out what he’s trying to transform to what-else, or why. I suspect his purpose and mine are overlapping Venn-sets, and that it’s taking yet *more* energy to only take out of his work what’s good and useful to *me* without being shanghai’d off on *his* as-yet-unidentified crusade.

So those are two purposes for which I have use of inexactly-defined emotional energy, and one abortive source for such energy. I have a couple of other sources for such energy which don’t seem to be easily adapted to either of these particular purposes. And I haven’t as yet generated a model of emotional ‘energy’ of sufficient complexity to be of use to me here. Maybe I need to go work on one. Unless you happen to have one handy you’d care to share?
So yesterday I got new frames for my glasses, got back on the steering committee at Jobs with Justice, attended both Food not Bombs and GEARCon, and read fifty more pages of Deutsch (The Beginning of Infinity, highly recommended). Sunday was weekly meeting with the boys, and getting the minutes out, and lots of housekeeping, which got done.

Today will be the Eastside Democratic Club, which this time I'm going to consciously and deliberately use as a networking opportunity, and writing and sending a followup to Dianne about last Thursday's meeting (badly overdue), visiting the DMV, and reading more Deutsch. (There are also about half a dozen trivia-items on the list, which are important to get done but not worth wasting time describing.)

Over the last couple of weeks I've suddenly developed bags under my eyes, which are more or less a standard sign of aging. They're annoying, and I want to do some reading-up to find out how to minimize or get rid of them. This leads me to more general musings on aging and what to do about it, and so I have some old habits I want to re-develop:

Daily exercise. As soon as i'm done blathering at y'all, I'm going to toss on some workout clothes and go for a ride, 3x 'round the circle. That's about a third of a day's exercise; I'll figure out the rest later.

Defining meals as "eating leafy greens". I haven't been eating much green lately, and that seems to be the key to *my* dietary regulation. Trying to count calories just doesn't work.

Regular and dependable tooth-brushing. I've been skipping much more often than is good.

Enough. 3 habits is probably 2 more than I should be working on at one time. But I do think they heterodyne, and that I'll have better fortune trying all 3 at once.

So what's good with you?
I'm trying to write an SF short, and need to compromise more between 'Aliens Are Weird' and the famed Star Trek error of making all aliens be humans with corrugated foreheads.

Context is a young human having relationship problems making some friends at an intergalactic dance club and sharing those problems with them. They are friendly and want to help, but the swarm intelligence grows by concatenation of more insect-like elements, and trying to explain the emotional consequences of sexual reproduction are a lost cause, there. And to the octopoid, sex is exciting, but fatal.

Hmm, writing to yez is helping generate ideas. I'm imagining a species with two sexes and two body forms, and relationships can occur between different-sexed or same-sexed members of either form, and they have different concepts for male-hard/female-soft, female-hard/male-soft, female-hard/female-soft, and male-hard/male-soft relationships. Whether you're male or female can change at each molt (you can *influence*, but not *control*, your possible gender change) but you're hard or soft for life. Parents can produce offspring of same or different hardness, and there are substantial cultural mythos about the problems of soft parents raising hard kids, and so on.

Ah, detail develops. They live near a galactic core, and hard people are much more radiation resistant, where softfolk are much better at negotiating the cave and tunnel networks they live in. The couple that our human meets are female-hard/male-soft, causing the first of several mild confusions as the hards are spiky and aggressive-looking, where softs look somewhat like lumpfish.

What are the effects re evolution with being civilized for a *long* time? We grew boobs as a way of differentiating females from males at spear-throwing ranges, and that's only in a few hundred thousand years.

More soon, I hope.
Okay, so the core of the idea is that we are not a civilization, we are a metaculture, )
Does anyone have a recommendation for a class for reforming abusers in the Washington D.C. area?
What I have to do is sell or give away everything Dad isn't taking with him, and clean the house. Dad moves on the 25th, and we have to be clear of the house by the 28th. I had been relying on family friends down here for help and resources, and have reluctantly concluded that they're all at this point either senile or hapless.

We've just finished the first day of the first garage sale, and while it was fairly decent from a money-generating point of view, no furniture was sold and the house doesn't look any emptier than it did when we started. This is only from the Daily Breeze ad, the LA Times ad doesn't start running until Saturday. While I have *hopes* that there will be a lot of people who worked Friday and also that the Times reaches more people than the Breeze, I am not optimistic about my hopes. As backups, I've made lists of consignment shops and 'man with a van' services locally available, and have phone numbers for the former.

The best thing I could really do right now is go to sleep so I'm reasonably fresh in the morning. The market at the corner opens at 7am, and I can be out the door at 6:45 so as to get milk and eggs so we can have breakfast. Sale starts at 9. I'm kinda keyed up and there aren't any people I know of I can talk to at 4am local.
Have been in Pedro for a week and a half now, and just spent four hours making 'SALE' signs for the garage sale starting tomorrow. (Block caps are easiest, also squared-off S's.)

Sale is closed, *escrow* closes the day after I leave on the 27th. Gotta get everything but the curtains out of the house and everything cleaned by then.

Right now trying to chill out enough to go back to bed, as it's 3:17am. (I'd slept from 9:30 'til 11:30) Mobs (hopefully) arrive at 9am tomorrow, but local custom suggests some opportunist will be dragging me out of bed at 7am even though the ads say "No earlybirds."

I''ll see if I can post in more detail when the sale's over.

ADDENDUM: Weather report for sale-day: Three to five inches of rain between noon and 4pm, 70mph winds. Might get some morning activity, but sounds like I can take an after-lunch nap.
I have four letters I want to get written today. They've been on hold for over two weeks while I try to regain focus, that's way too long. I have to get used to the fact that there's going to be a media tantrum going on about the Cheeto-In-Chief every day until his impeachment is over, get used to it, and get work done anyway.

There's also a phone interview with the disability people, where I need to point out to them that my dead cardiac tissue hasn't and won't spontaneously regenerate. And a Gearcon meeting tonight.

This hasn't been enough writing to get me focused. I'll try a shower and another cup of coffee and see if that works.
I'm continuing to heal, which is I suppose the best form of frustrating. What I need right now is a powerful, heavy-handed massage of my right thigh, and all the MST's I know in Portland are wonderful women with small, delicate hands. The job I need done on my thigh needs huge meaty mitts, and improvising with a knee not only won't work, but would probably re-do the injury.

Time spent healing has gotten me very much behind in a large number of things. It gets hard to schedule when the body keeps dictating "You are now going to sleep; you have two minutes to find a place to lie down if you'd rather sleep that way."

First thing I'm going to try for today is getting supplies over to James's place for tomorrow night's party. Next is writing my letter to Reb Stone by hand and delivering it, then comes writing to Dad by hand and mailing that. I've got four more on stack after that, but those-all can be done by email, and I'm considering them extra credit anyway, because I anticipate getting a couple of armloads of shopping to James's will wear me out.

New inspiration for anti-Trump activism: We need a cornpone comic, to play the role of the rube who got taken in by Donny's City Slicker. We need a *real* cornpone comic, not yet another New York Jew playing let's pretend. Know anybody?
I've found a self-labeled "progressive" synagogue on the upper SE side, and have written a letter to the rabbi. Unfortunately, the fancy little "send us an email" app on their website doesn't work. I may have to transcribe it by hand and carry it up there.

First today have to get out to the lab for a blood-test and to pick up a glucose meter. And I've got 5 other letters on stack.
My sister is visiting my Dad, for the nominal purpose of helping him close out the house. I called Dad this morning, and he was sounding more out of it than I'd ever heard him, and he suggested I talk it over with her. So I called back an hour later to do so, and she started in telling me what she wanted me to take and how she wanted me to be doing it. I asked not to be lectured at, so she hung up on me and sent me a snotty email telling me all about how it was all my fault and she was just going to do everything her way without my input.

My sister is a pain in the ass, but not an evil human being. Yet I still have this overwhelming temptation to wait for her next phone call, even though I anticipate that'll take a couple of years, and to simply respond to her hello with "Hi. I don't feel like being lectured at today. *click*"

I reasonably anticipate that if I do that, she'll never call again. I'm wondering whether it's worth it. She has acted as a back-street line of communication with my ex, letting me know things about my sons that I otherwise would never have discovered.

She should not be of any importance to me right now. Nor my brother. Dad I still have some respect for, and I'd like to hang onto that. I need to be building new connections that I *can* respect.

Maybe I'll find something at the new group on Monday.
Had the colonoscopy today, which is actually only a minor nuisance compounded into absurdity by a medical establishment run by old white male homophobes, who are absolutely terrified that somebody might shove something up *their* asses. One moment of moderate discomfort, when the officiating doctor overestimated the length of my large intestine and gave me a vigorous poke in the appendix. No damage, I have no polyps, gut is healthy and I've seen every inch of it, as they kept the viewscreen where I could see it.

Intestines are boring.

However, during the festivities, we discovered I have a blood sugar count of either 248 or 251, depending on which of two successive tests we believe. 100 is the upper edge of normal, so either I'm now diabetic or the test was off because of the fasting, gatorade, and so on. I call my GP in the morning to discuss.

They also told me I have a basketball-sized technicolor bruise at the top of my right thigh/underside of my ass, which would explain why I'm healing from the popped hamstring a lot more slowly than I thought would be appropriate. Also to discuss with GP, to find out if there have been any advances in the sciences of treating such since I was last current in the field in '88.

I have three sets of technical issues and four letters to write tomorrow, and also a Shabbos dinner to prepare and company coming over to share and engage in discussion. *Something's* gonna sluff.

The two issues under discussion are:
1.) The 'Convert Arkansas' project briefly noted in my last post.
2.) The problem of the Duties of the Citizen, which have grown vastly past the abilities of *any* citizen to fulfill.

Posting this fast before the browser-bunnies eat it.
My leg still hurts like a sonuvabitch, and I canceled on going to the Climate Jobs meeting tonight and the FnB prep this afternoon due to an inability to bend sufficiently to put my socks on. Barely-above-freezing weather ain't horrible, but I'm going to wear socks in it anyway.

But I'm *getting* better. Also arranged for a ride to the hospital for my colonoscopy on Thursday. I've had one before; they're no big deal.

New idea popped up today, and I sent it out to 3 or 4 people for feedback: Pick one red state, and start sending "secular missionaries" to it. Find the locals in need of services, and *start providing them*. Give them what a liberal civilization provides for its citizens, and do so as a freely given gift. The Old Culture *does* believe in shame, and strongly. Giving them something and asking for nothing at all in return will result in them seeking something they can give back. It will *also* cause a shift in whom/what they consider 'friends', and 'loyalty to friends' is another high value in that culture. And Barrett, whom I have had high hopes for, just moved back home to Arkansas, which is as good a candidate state as I could hope for. (He's one of the people I asked for feedback.)

That would make *seven* on my project list. I will either have to trim the list, or develop better resource-sharing algorithms. Self-test: The projects are CRH, Service Bureau, FFRN, HCAO, Fremling Friending, Secular Missionaries, and, as usual, I'm missing one. *checks notes* Ah. Asgardia. This is *why* I keep notes.

Gotta stop all this damn getting hurt nonsense, first. I wish I could tell *how* I pulled my hamstring, in hopes that it's something I could avoid repeating. Doubt it, tho'.
I have never hurt myself doing anything hazardous. Walking, now *that's* dangerous. This morning I pulled a hamstring while walking, and went over like a pine in a high wind. Not bothering with formal medical care, as I can figure out RICE without their assistance (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation for those who don't keep a collection of medical abbreviations).

I should really go do something dangerous, so I can be safe. Unfortnately, right now I wouldn't be able to get to it.
So, listy-type PM stuff first, then introspection:

DONE Refill prescriptions
DONE Exercise, shower
Read colonoscopy instructions
Nuke kitchen
Call and email NAYA re CRH, Solarpunk
Call and email PSUBSU, Deyalo re: same
DONE Go to Ross, shop for pan, buy serving dishes

I haven't done *much* exercise, but I'm trying to ease into it and make it enjoyable. So I'm starting with stepping-up-on-the-box, and will add floor abdominal exercises as I feel comfortable with them.

I can't seem to *do* introspection today. Not out loud, at least.
So, Projects:

Community Reinvigoration Homesteading
Fremling Friending
Service Bureau (sub-projects: Bike co-op, computer co-op, tool library, Food-not-Bombs-by-another-name)
SolarCon
FFRN Union Pacific Charter Challenge
Asgardia

Wait, wait, wait. That's the right way to approach the problem from a PM perspective. But self-care isn't part of that model, and that's what I need to be keeping track of, or I'll end up dropping days because I run out of emotional resources and go catatonic.

This is a simultaneous problem, because I *do* get energy out of my self-esteem at being a *good* PM. But that's insufficient, because I need to have enough other positive sources of energy for me to get a project started in the first place. I do need to keep in mind that 'insufficient' is by no means 'bad', it's just 'not enough'.

I can use food as a source of energy. Not only in the most literal sense; I enjoy good cooking and I am a very good cook, and enjoy *doing* good cooking -- a different thing than enjoying the eating of it. I do have to pay attention to not vest *too* much energy here, as I eat more than is optimal as it is.

Sex used to work. Subject not worthy of discussion.

I'm not going to be able to finish this thought now. Maybe in the morning.
My five projects are the program I'm managing. Before I even get to that, I have to manage *myself*. Self-management is taken as given in a professional setting, even though a lot of my popularity among the techs at Citi back in the '90's was because in addition to being boss I also acted as social worker for many of 'em. ("I need workers who can do X. If stresses in your private life are making it hard for you to do X, tell me what the stresses are and I'll see if I can help you resolve them.")

The new Fremling Friending project can be the introduction-to-metaculture element I've been looking for. This is at least 3 orders of abstraction out from "here's what's in it for Joel", though. It's being hard for me to care about me. Or, more accurately, I see my metaculture as myself more than I see *me* as myself. Since by identity I *am* me, there's an obvious problem here.

Since right now I'm not getting anything productive done, I'll head on out to FnB early, take the machine with me, and see if I can get any decent writing done offline. If I do, I'll edit this post to include it.
Page generated Jul. 25th, 2017 02:48 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios