Per fmobserver.com/trump-to-use-lgbtq-to-make-america-great-again , LGBTQ now stands for Laser Guided Bomb Testing Quadrants. Y'know, just in case you thought you might be entitled to your own identity, or something.

*Rumble*

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:27 am
Okay, it’s quarter to 5am, and I’ve wasted an hour playing idiot games, and a lot of good is going on, and I need to be better focused to respond to it appropriately.

My primary and ongoing problem has been social aversion. Right now I have 3 potential new recruits – Michael, David, and Autumn – and the upside from each of them is substantial. Glorying in that upside and figuring out how to cause it to occur is good and useful, and I should get to that. Longer-term, I need to figure out and execute a systemic approach for dealing with the social aversion. I met Michael through JwJ, Autumn through CSB, and David through a lot of mutual groups. Going to groups is obviously good, and going to more and a larger assortment of groups would be better. But just *going* is insufficient.

At both JwJ and CSB, I’ve been there several years and put in substantial effort, and the payoff of meeting these people has no obvious and direct correlation with what I’ve been doing. And if I fish for unobvious indirect correlations, I can correlate anything with anything else. Building new imagination filters is not on this morning’s agenda.

And now it’s 10:16am, and I’ve gotten the morning medical routine done and the airing-out tent in the driveway folded and put away, and not much else. I think this is at least in part due to the emotional consequences of the antibiotics – one of the side effects of Keflex is that it kills off beneficial intestinal flora, and it’s hard to concentrate on other things when one has to pay such attention to “when is the next time I need to sprint to the bathroom?” I call this an “emotional” consequence because that’s what it feels like – it’s not simply the physical discomfort of constant belly-rumbles, but a feeling of apprehension. At least it’s working; the infection on my leg isn’t *gone*, but it is much reduced. And I take my last Keflex tomorrow morning.

I’ve invited Autumn to the Gearcon meeting tonight, and suggested to David that we meet Wednesday morning for coffee. I’ve been a bit too enthusiastic towards Michael, and have sent him a short email apologizing for that and asking him to contact me when he’s ready. And I guess I’m spending the rest of the morning listening to my belly.
So I've now been stood up 3 times in 3 days, which is getting annoying. I don't *think* it's me or something I'm doing, and I don't want to put it down to "culture", but I'm running out of explanations.

Today's kinda stung; had had high hopes for it, and he's not rescheduling. And again, don't know why.

For some time now I've been trying to imagine what it would be like to have a conversation with an octopus. (I'm going to check out giant squid also; not sure that works.) This today led to an imagining of four sapient nonhuman terrestrials discussing problems with humans; the speakers were a cephalopod, a cetacean, an elephant, and I'm not remembering the fourth, my imagination substituting an Orang instead.
So I just got back from SHIFT, and still don't know what it's an acronym for. Then again, I'd been to SOAK earlier, and haven't learned that one yet either. I don't think the names actually matter to anyone but the organizers; to the attendees, it's a specific type of party, and what matters is there be lots of very loud music, drugs, presumably sex (no one in my perception expressed any interest in sixty-year-old men, but there did seem to be a fair amount of smooching going on).

I don't know yet where the energy sustaining this community is coming from. I've witnessed the boil, so there has to be a fire under the pot. Or possibly a solar reflector or resistance element; I haven't gotten that level of detail yet.

There's a lot of need here for language I haven't witnessed yet. I don't like having to invent jargon, but it may be necessary. Festivals are a culture?/subculture?/counterculture?/something-else?, and there are similar such in politics and philanthropic works. Together this makes a great test case for metaculture. CSB (Community Supported Brewing), a group I've been involved with since its inception four years ago, now has several other people in it who are getting serious about influencing their own culture. And this past weekend I made firm contact with one of them and two people from either the festival or the main act at it (there seems to be a fuzzy boundary there).

And now I'm back, a bit sunburned, and need to pick up all the *other* pieces I'd left behind and make sure all the plates are still spinning. The Wolf-PAC/Progressive axis needs tending, and HCAO may become part of that axis also. And I need to find out what Colby's doing and how it fits in; I don't know what it is yet, but I *do* know Colby, and so I'm sure there's *some* kind of fit hiding in there somewheres.

And there's still XCRH, Civic Consul, and GEARCon. I'm not cranking hard enough on any of these, and I need to both do that and find more things to be cranking. And not die in the process; I've just spent the morning waiting on the health bureaucracy, and at least got a detailed outline of what I have to do over the next two weeks to get my healthcare *activated*. (I am now *technically* insured, except the insurance doesn't *work* unless I can get it "assigned". If I try to get health-care now, I spend the rest of my life in court fighting monstrous corporate legal departments. With any luck, I can stay healthy for two weeks and get it all fixed. For 11 months, then I have to do it again.)

In 2.5 hours I get a visit from "TomCat", who will be returning my cooler and taking me to another CSB meeting. He represents an even lower (and thus more fundamental) level of the pyramid; he builds things we need.

So I might as well fold laundry. I can talk with more people later, see if I can find the right words to get this story started.

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'.
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