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  • Category Archives Semantics
  • 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.



  • 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.



  • thinking you know more about women than you do

    I feel like communities like Redpill make men feel like they know more about women than they actually do.  Yes Redpill men do have a better idea of what women really want in a man, but that’s just one facet of womankind.   It’s kind of like a deer hunter thinking he would be a good veterinarian for deer.  The two things are completely different.



  • 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.

    See original post



  • being opaque

    Skimming this article on tech diversity, something that has always bothered me as an aspie is how opaque people are.  How they’ll use a whole ton of words to say nothing.  I think by and large conservatives are less opaque than liberals.  This isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing but I think it explains why a lot of times the two camps feel like they are talking past each other.  One of my favorite founts of wisdom Gordon Livingston is a conservative and a good example of not being opaque.

    I’m also not saying not being opaque means ones words are full of integrity.  Un opaque words are easier to parse for people who don’t pick up social cues so even if they are flat out lies they get latched on to.  But I think when one is opaque and lacks integrity it is seen as more sinister than people who just flat out lie to your face.

     



  • Men Without Chests [somewhat NSFW language]

    I read The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis and most of it went right over my head.  However he does talk about there being a third element in a man besides his brain and his carnal urges.  This third thing, the chest, consists of objective truths, Aristotelian virtues like duty, kindness, and temperance.  The thesis is modern society is stripping these things away and once these objective grounding truths are gone there is nothing standing in the way of propaganda swaying a person whichever way the masters’ please.  One can look at the approval of aid in dying that has jumped up precipitously (to 70%) in the last ten years.

    Then there was this thing called the Tao which isn’t very specifically defined but has the feel of all the moral laws of traditional cultures east and west.  Basically what was instilled in people to keep them behaving.  But he would say there is something innate in man that interacts with these codes, like humankind were supposed to live like this.  Sexual taboos come to mind, like how even in ancient Egypt there were sex acts that were verboten that one had to answer for in their afterlife.  And of course the most important of these codes was the golden rule.  Societies that were taoless, like Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia, didn’t have these things and propaganda took right over.

    I look at morality like the tradition where the king stands up everybody else has to.  Morality is caught, not taught and cascades down to the powerless from the powerful.  What has taught me I was living in a taoless society is how the people and institutions in power (in my case mostly Christian ones) over me have treated me throughout the years.  As Eminem said in the song “Who Knew”, “You want me to fix up lyrics while the President gets his dick sucked?”.



  • So now even millennial suicide bombers are too narcissistic:

    Mustafa Hamid, a former high-ranking Egyptian volunteer with the Afghan mujahideen in the 1980s, described his own frustration with many of the later waves of volunteers arriving to that conflict. “One of the negatives that emerged from the jihad, and which continues to have severe consequences today, was the tendency for the youth to focus not on success and achieving victory and liberating Afghanistan, but on their desire for martyrdom and to enter paradise,” Hamid wrote. This overriding preoccupation with becoming a martyr meant that participation in the conflict, “became individual instead of for the benefit of the group or the country where the fight for liberation is taking place.”

     



  • Is Everything Wrestling?

    Can you smell what The Rock is cookin’?

    Great NYTimes article on truth and stories:

    This is partly because the rest of the world has caught up to wrestling’s ethos. With each passing year, more and more facets of popular culture become something like wrestling: a stage-managed “reality” in which scripted stories bleed freely into real events, with the blurry line between truth and untruth seeming to heighten, not lessen, the audience’s addiction to the melodrama. The modern media landscape is littered with “reality” shows that audiences happily accept aren’t actually real; that, in essence, is wrestling. (“WWE Raw” leads to “The Real World,” which leads to “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” and so forth.) The way Beyoncé teased at marital problems in “Lemonade” — writing lyrics people were happy to interpret as literal accusations of her famous husband’s unfaithfulness — is wrestling. The question of whether Steve Harvey meant to announce the wrong Miss Universe winner is wrestling. Did Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj authentically snap at each other at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards? The surrounding confusion was straight out of a wrestling playbook.

     



  • persona

    I see people over and over again underestimating people and overestimating brands.  Everyone said Apple was going to remain innovative and unstoppable even after the passing of Steve Jobs.  People kept thinking Trump was a flash-in-the-pan candidates.  It’s just part of our evolution that we gravitate toward individuals and see our world through relationships with people instead of brands or principles (that’s why a lot of brands have spokes people).  Christianity is no stranger to this claiming their religion is a “personal relationship with God”.



  • Three Weak Words

    I have always felt like “I feel like” as a phrase was disingenuous:

    Writing in The New York Times, Molly Worthen, an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, calls out the three words you should stop using:

    “I feel like … ”

    They’re weak words, weasel words, conflict-avoiding words. Words that we use when we don’t have the courage of our convictions, and we’d rather hedge our bets and say something in a calculated way that sacrifices certainty for safety.

    And yet, they’re common–and only becoming more so. I’m sure you see it in your work and in your life. People who are afraid simply to say what they mean, and feel instead that they have to couch their convictions with language about how they feel.