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  • Category Archives Matters of the Heart
  • Pride

    Pride isn’t so much of an entity in and of itself is it is a glue that holds everything else in one’s life together.  For example take your typical window shade.  It will have a shade and an apparatus to connect it to the window. Pride is like that apparatus.  Pride is commensurate with how much you have in your life just like the window shade apparatus would have to be stronger to hold up a heavier shade.

    Times in my life where I had the most I also had the most pride.  I have less now but it’s because I have less and less of what makes people worth something.  I find it ridiculous that Christians vilify pride.  This is because for a lot of people their pride is integral in holding up their faith (as it is to holding up everything else in their life).  Being right and righteous are two things that produce substantial amounts of pride and just happen to be integral to most people’s Christian experience.  Heck I was the most prideful when I was Christian.  Of course the party line is pride is a sin which is a ridiculous statement.  If you are going to invent a religion whose final product is prideful people, don’t bother calling pride a sin. It would be like selling cars with the emergency brake always engaged or having an over eaters anonymous meeting in a mall food court.



  • moated

    Most people are moated, particularly those society deems worth engaging.  This means there are barriers to getting into their life and often these barriers are insurmountable.  I have been in situations including a college surrounded by people society deemed worth engaging and it was generally useless trying to get into their lives.  It’s only gotten worse as I’ve gotten older.  The only people that don’t seem to be moated are people on the spectrum and a subset of those who struggle with mental illness.

    Of course no one tells you this fact.  This is because it is one of the unwritten rules society is ashamed of.



  • logarithmic scales in life

    Walk inside on a sunny day and you generally can see indoors without too much fuss (unless there is something wrong with your eyes).  This is because your pupils dilate.  The scale of light is actually logarithmic.  There is orders of magnitude more light outside than there is in a closed off room inside.  This can be most clearly seen by taking a picture indoors that has a window to the outside.  The outdoor portions wash out in white.

    I feel there are other things that operate on a logarithmic scale, chief among them suffering.  A lot of us experience a lot of slow burn misery when our lives are not actually very bad at all.  What makes things bad is we are living inside of our head and reading about the nation which is in a slow motion train wreck.  However once a tragedy strikes or we are sick or experience distressing physical pain suddenly our life is orders of magnitude worse but we often don’t feel that all the way.  I have in my life been under pretty serious physical pain which led to an eventual psychotic break.  My life was much worse then than it is now but my mood was only somewhat worse.  Of course some of this has to do with the fact that when you are in a lot of pain your stress response kicks in so you don’t feel as bad during it but the bill eventually comes later.

    The second thing I think works on a logarithmic scale is status (particularly for males).  The (now former) friends of mine that are high status have orders of magnitude more than me (CEO’s and senior engineers verses me fighting for scraps on the informal economy).  Another proof that the status curve is logarithmic is the Redpill trope that women are going after the top 10 or 20 percent of men and ignoring the bottom 50 percent entirely.  If what made men desirable wasn’t distributed logarithmically I don’t think you would see this so pronounced.



  • Conservative Christains’ Legacy

    Conservative Christians control all the levers of power in America.  Never mind how it happened here are three ways it will leave its legacy.

    Cuts in education are designed to produce an ignorant populace which will be more easily swayed by propaganda. Republicans know they can get the next generation by keeping them as far away from thinking critically as possible.  Religion can’t do this alone anymore, plus the younger generation is dropping out of religion like flies.

    The old chestnut romanticization of suffering.  When making people’s lives miserable you can claim it is for a “greater good” or “purpose”.  This doesn’t really work with most people but the people it does work for it works wonders.  They’ll put up with all the crap you throw their way because it’s “building character” or some other bull shit explanation.  Republicans are going to make the poor suffer but their greatest joy would be if we also loved it!

    Conservative Christians want to make the world such a bad place to live that one will need to rely on religion to survive it.  This is actually the goal of all religions.  That is why the worst places in the world are the most religious.  If you don’t have anything going in this life you might as well pretend you are going to get something good in the next one.  Republicans don’t believe in climate change and the usual explanation is it’s good for business, but the real reason is when the world burns more people are drawn to religion.



  • freedom

    the one with the most power
    is not the one who makes the decision for you
    but the one who forces you to choose in the first place

    People don’t understand what freedom is.  They equate freedom with having the widest array of choices.  But what they fail to grasp is the people in power and society in general are the ones forcing them to make choices in the first place.  For example these anonymous apps like Sarahah which are detrimental to those further down.  Once your peer group starts getting into the app you are pressured to get into getting it too.  You have already lost.  When I was growing up we didn’t have to make the choice whether to join this app so we had more freedom even if to the untrained eye it seemed like we had less.  Freedom is also expressed in the choices you didn’t have to make.



  • Forgiveness is an NT construct

    Forgiveness is like the horizon.  Everyone says it exists but you can never get there.  Forgiveness is like lotto winnings.  I remember being at a gas station and there was a LED ticker denoting winnings in towns around us.  And we hear about the big wins in the news.  What this sets up is we think lotto winnings happen more than they actually do.  The same goes for forgiveness.  We are taught from the cradle that it exists and, especially with Christian upbringing, read and hear about it all the time.  So it makes it seem like it happens a lot more than it actually does.  Which is bad because we think we can wrong and be forgiven when this is usually a lie.

    As for me people have done things to me that have ruined my life and I don’t have the capacity to forgive, I can treat them cordially but I can’t change my emotions around what happened.  Of course therapists would want to guilt me for not being able to let go, because guilt is like the jackhammer you pull out when none of your other manipulative tools have worked.  You wrong me, the wrong stays in my muscle memory for future dealings with you.  You can label me bitter and angry (which implies I am culpable for my emotions which I have little to no control over).

    For the NT world I would offer the advice, “don’t fetishize and romanticize forgiveness and pretend it happens more than it actually does”.  I have found (particularly looking at my brother’s divorce) that the words you say are either water off their back or mercury in the blood (remaining in them indefinitely).  Everyone opines about forgiveness but, especially for people struggling with depression, damage of words and actions is often permanent (because people struggling with depression often don’t have control what pops and remains in their mind so your wrong’s effect is amplified).

    Also stop demonizing people like me who say forgiveness is a farce.  Because more often than not, it is.



  • Men are different than women

    Imagine if you had the ability to clone adults with technology similar to the Star Trek transporter.  If you cloned a desirable women there would be another desirable women.  If you cloned a desirable man not so much.  This is because you’d have to clone his good job as well and simple economics wouldn’t make that possible.



  • The Myth of Disability ‘Sob Stories’

    Insightful post on disability:

    But most people with disabilities will not be remembered by history. They are usually living challenging lives with little to show for it: Unemployment rates are disturbingly high, health care costs are often debilitating, and the emotional toll of living with an “aberration” can rend families apart. The only thing that a fidelity to positive stereotypes accomplishes, then, is to absolve society of maintaining commitments to the disabled, like making places more accessible, since it would be ridiculous to aid people who already have a leg up with added perks.



  • Brain as Computer Revisited

    I think modern psychology has latched on to the brain as computer model of the brain and do their detriment.  It’s an easy thing to fall into.  A computer has an operating system, files, and programs.  As long as everyone has the same operating system, programs will work seamlessly on any computer you try to run them on.  Therapies seem to presuppose this brain uniformity and when one doesn’t have a brain like this they’re left not knowing what to do.  For example some therapies try to strengthen one’s positive voice in their inner monologue.  But what if they don’t have a positive voice to begin with?  Therapies claim to work seamlessly on all brains (at least ones acculturated to western values).  But the brain is messy, there is no operating system/programs/files trifecta.  I know my experience has been just tearing apart the things therapists tell me, clearly seeing them as false.  But for some people believing what makes them feel good is preferable to believing what is factual.  But my brain doesn’t play that way, especially because eventually wishful thinking will bite you in the butt.  There is some understanding in the psychology profession that therapies aren’t supercultural and that’s a good start.  But even within western culture there is such variation from brain to brain.

    I actually think the brain is more organized like a regime.  Depending on where in the world you go there can be many types of regimes.  Democracies, dictatorships, failed states, tribal power sharing arrangements, etc..  sometimes it’s better to work with the patterns of thinking that are already there than try to go full on and try to throw them all out.  Just like it’s not a good idea to forcibly change regimes in the Middle East.

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