Extremely thankful for the comments on Authonomy

Thank you to people who have given me comments on my book.  I’m appreciative for the feedback and it’s encouraging to me.  I haven’t been writing.  I’ve been watching Olympics and playing Wii golf and making things in C.  I’m not sure what I’m going to keep doing.  I’m feeling pretty reflective tonight.  I’m cultivating a certain mood.  One day aside, this last month has been extremely balanced, which is no accident and does not come easily to me.  I’m going to be an uncle in a few months.  I want to be a good uncle.  I want to be loving and present but only in ways that are desired.  I’m tired of being angry with people.  I think that I’m at a place in my life where I still think that, if people are to be measured, that there is a lot of suckage going on, in me and others.  But I’m tired of measuring it because I don’t like the way it makes me feel.  That doesn’t mean that stuff doesn’t suck when measured, it doesn’t mean that.  All it means is I’m no longer measuring.  Is this the fatality of growing older?  I don’t think it is exactly.  This is a release, and a surrender.  You could call it a sadness except it without the emotion of sadness…it is a loss, an intented loss, a desired loss, a calculated loss.  What I want now—what I want in a day—is balance, simplicity, and, essentially, art.  I want the art of washing dishes, the art of shoveling snow.  I want the art of writing and reading and reflecting and programming and building and creating things, and talking with the people who make sense to me, who are cut from the same fabric as me.  I’m not sincerely interested in impressing other people, I have found, at 32.  Psychologically, that’s not my real need.  In domains where I have made half-steps because I was only in it up to the point where I proved that I could accomplish whatever end, that was about showing myself that my belief in me was well-founded.  I don’t have to do that now…because I have over and over successfully proven to myself that I can do x,y,z…and I have over and over found that proof to be ultimately unassuaging.  It doesn’t mean what I thought it would mean.  I think I am now free to play.  Everything I said was shit, was shit.  I was as right about all that stuff as it’s possible for a person to be right.  But it doesn’t make me feel good.  This doesn’t fix anything.  The world really is in a terrible shape.  Parts of it are in wonderful shape.  A lot of it is in terrible shape.  That is all true.  But I don’t feel like I will try to fix it.  That is not, before anyone suggests it, some attitude that represents maturation or mellowing or growing up.  There is a distinction between pessimism, apathy, defeatism, and yet still between self-care.  I will never give up on the world.  I also won’t delude myself about its state.  What I will do, what I am doing, is—while I’m adding to it in the couple of ways I know how—I am drawing inward, letting a shore buffer me from that crazy world that I love and that, as best I can, I make things for.  I have dreams that dogs I love are biting me.  That imagery fits here.  For some, the advice is not to bite the hand that feeds you.  Right now, for me, it’s to protect your hand from the mouth of the dog you love.

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Extremely thankful for the comments on Authonomy

Emotional

I know I’m emotional. I’ve stated before that I subscribe to the idea that when intellect and emotion are posited as a dichotomy, that it’s a false one. There’s a great quote from the movie The Insider:

“Agent: Do you have a history of emotional problems, Mr. Wigand?
Jeffrey Wigand: Yes. Yes, I do. I get extremely emotional when assholes put bullets in my mailbox.”

In the movie, people are making death threats against Jeffrey Wigand’s family by putting bullets in his mailbox. He gets emotional about it.

Emotion is a crucial part of the mature mentality of (at the very least) organisms that have a body, or embodiment. Our language is filled with ways to discard and marginalize the value of “emotion”. The false dichotomy of intellect and emotion is one of them.

Recently I have gotten extremely emotional about the fact that some of my family have said racist things…actions which make it such that the only family I have (since we don’t get to choose)…that that family holds significant racist ideas in 2010. I’m also emotional about the fact that my last job wasted three years of my time with, essentially, a whole bunch of bullshit. I’m intellectually involved, I’m emotionally involved. If I have to use two distinct terms in this language to describe that, then so be it. The presence of two terms does not imply a dichotomy. There isn’t a dichotomy. Today is a day when I am not feeling emotional at all, I am in a distinctly intellectual mode. And I have this to say, to my family, to my work, to whoever reads this: to not be emotional about finding out your family promotes racist ideas in 2010, is to be non-functioning. To not be emotional when you’ve given three years of your life to a company whose key employee has actively sabotaged your technical contributions, sexually assaulted your female friend, and lied about his ownership of the company, to be completely dispassionate about that would be to be completely dispassionate about your job and your life, and that is, from my chair, non-functioning.

Too much emotion for the given action is hysteria, no doubt. But there is an opposite end to that spectrum—action without emotion—and that is psychopathology. For me to be too emotional about something is disordered, I agree. For one to be not emotional enough about something, is disordered too.

I stand by my guns. I love my family. My family is imperfect (it has me as a member, so it has to be). When I find out that my family harbors racist ideas in 2010, that is something to lament. Someone who harbors racist ideas is crippled intellectually. Someone who isn’t sad about their family harboring racist ideas is crippled emotionally. The way I express my hurt, as an expression of hate, is never appropriate. In the absence of some cooperation from the family culture there, without acknowledgement that the racism is present from those harboring it, there is no culturally appropriate way to express my hurt over the racism in my family.

I agree that my hate expression is not helping. I acknowledge that and I’m working on it. I love my family, and I love the people I worked with at my last job. But, all emotion aside, let’s be honest:

  • Pragmatic Solutions supporting Josh English’s consummate idiocy (or his keeping a bottle of vodka in his desk at work)…that’s crazy, it’s the reason that people drop like flies from your company and the reason for your chronic inability to produce viable technology.
  • My family members, some of them, harboring anti-black racism in the United States in 2010…that’s fucked up. And no matter how emotional or unemotional I am in saying it, it doesn’t make your position any better.

That’s some straight talk, no emotion involved.

Emotional

fuck you, go live in Singapore

if you’re anti-gay, anti-black, and against other people’s religious freedom, fuck you, go live in Singapore, you’re not American and **I don’t want you in my country** :: I’m serious :: Christian fundamentalists, you’re a-Constitutional, get the fuck out of my country :: racists, you’re a-Constitutional, get the fuck out of my country :: your presence is no longer needed here :: exercise your free speech to hate, that’s fine, but when you’re infiltrating American government to mix up your hate with legislation, that’s when you can get the fuck out of my country :: you’re not wanted here

fuck you, go live in Singapore

"Iraq invasion violated international law, Dutch inquiry finds"

Hey, Bush/Cheney and other assholes…stop messing up *my* country. This is my country, and by pitting the rest of the world against U.S., you are messing up my country. Stop messing up my country.

guardian: The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a violation of international law, an independent inquiry in the Netherlands has found. In a damning series of findings on the decision of the Dutch government to support Tony Blair and George Bush in the strategy of regime change in Iraq, the inquiry found the action had “no basis in international law”.

This is bad. When you do shit that is so egregious that other countries go out of their way to damn us in writing, in reports, in inquiries, and in the press, you are doing the U.S. a grave disservice. Stop messing up my country assholes!!

During the build-up to the war, in 2003, the US abandoned an attempt to get a UN security council resolution approving the invasion when it became apparent it would not be granted. In 2004, the UN secretary general at the time, Kofi Annan, said the invasion was illegal.

Holy fucking shit.

Bush/Cheney et al.: I’m one of the saps who just happens to be a citizen because I was born here—I’m not rich, I’m just some jerk who pays taxes and likes walking in New York neighborhoods and putting fried eggs on hamburgers and seeing action movies and making out with my girl in the movie theater. I, and people like me, pay your motherfucking salaries. We’re the ones funding your wars and paying your dumb-ass Blackwaters. When you take advantage of people, you’ve got to keep them healthy enough so that you can keep taking advantage of them. Get your shit together. Don’t violate the United Nations.

Citizens here who think the U.S. should act unilaterally: wake the fuck up. True patriots aren’t about doing things that leave us in anything but a strong position globally. Our Iraq invasion wasn’t a wash…it was a big step backward. And that’s leaving out humanitarian issues…I’m talking strictly in a political sense.

Bush/Cheney: you fucked us in so many ways. You’re not real Americans. You’re traitors. And you get a big “fuck you” from this patriot. Not a vote of no confidence; a straight-up fuck you.

U.S. media (for playing ball with the last administration and for generally feeding the American people frozen yogurt when you should be serving up prime Angus): guess what, you get a big fuck you too.

"Iraq invasion violated international law, Dutch inquiry finds"

To a Spark

Just ran across a couple of your videos while doing 9/11 research.

You are beautiful :: you are (as those I know say) a *spark*.

Change the world, you; this place needs a few sparks :: sometimes it is the province of those who can most deeply feel sadness, to set the rest on fire.

“I saw this woman today. She was like you but…she was maybe forty-five, fifty, somewhere in there. And… You know how time has a tendency to wear us down? This woman…it was like she had somehow resisted that. Some people, even when they smile, there’s this…sadness in their eyes. But then there’s this rare example, every ten-thousand people you cross paths with, who have…a spark…of some sort…an elegance, an ease about them. I used to think only some people had it, but now I think that everyone is born with that spark. What’s rare is to find someone who over all those years would never let it be taken away.” (A Simple Love Story)

Looking through 9/11 videos to try to find shreds of truth I happen upon Decky11 on YouTube, who was promoting Zeitgeist and sharing opinions. Then I click on this video and I get a dose of something I was in need of but which is in short supply: and that is reminding. Reminding that there are others who hurt but are bright, others who feel and feel so much it hurts them.

I don’t know a thing about this person, but like can see like, and when I watch this video I am reminded of something that is true about me. Which is that I am a beautiful person, a raw person, a person with a rare view into this world.

And it hurts me so much to be around people who are showing their ugly sides :: and I cannot say it any other way than that people in my most recent work situation, and people in my family, some of them, have shown me unspeakable ugliness as of late. And sometimes that’s the side I show, unfortunately. Part of who I am is that when my uncle, or my boss, or my dad, shows me their ugliness, I call it like it is. And you all hate me for it.

But you have to know that there are people out there, like me, and like the person in this video I stumbled upon, who have seen the beautiful world :: and even though it hurts us to do so, and even though you hurt us for doing so :: and even though you think the things we do are crazy :: we are trying to do something very specific with the beautiful world we know :: we are trying to show it to you.

To a Spark