inquiry

whatever comes to mind

Be it foolishness or foolishness, this clown's for you!

For example:

One effective strategy can be prioritizing body language over symbolic communication. Processing is significantly faster, signalling occurring at many times the rate of the symbolic mind – who in turns labels the activity unconscious, perhaps out of spite.

Dang, I need to keep that in mind, because I'm perpetually frustrated with word communication feeling like lumbering sludge on a having-just-been-ghosted hangover.

It does take some practice, and signalling with high bandwidth through body language requires a good mind-body connection, typically achieved through strenuous work or physical exercise. Use it if available, as it is practically unbeatable.

Yes!

Clown because you have to, not because you feel a need.

Gold.

Eventually you may look back, or not, and discover that there were clowns helping you all along. Clowns in the attic, clowns in the mailbox, clowns even in the mind-body connection and the introverted extrovert.

That's a clown-load of clown!

Everyone's a clown.

<hits the body language pump with silent nods and air claps>

And is it just me, or has “self” suddenly become a warm(er) topic?

I decided I was far the fuck too conceited in the past several years on the WWW so that is ch aging starting Now! No more “I, I, I” bullshit. I wanna talk about things. Ideas. Concepts int he abstract. Things gotta be different.

To me it's a rather all or nothing proposition, because the very fact of a post – no matter how me/I-less – implies a past belief of sufficient seemingly-realness to have led the madness also known as me/I to writhe about texturally, and “work the controls” causing general availability of said textural froth.

In other words, it takes but a molecule of believing this world is anything but a dream to suddenly be in the agonizing throes of me-hood.

A couple back-to-back items in my command line popurl.com scraper:

11) http://www.popurls.com/go/pop/lf20a2e742d2db6ace0f45252616b889b (fhackernews) Giant Molecules Exist in Two Places at Once in Unprecedented Quantum Experiment

12) http://www.popurls.com/go/pop/l4fdc2f1500a1b3eb9de2caf5c38fe73b (fhackernews) Disney Blocks Winnie the Pooh Page in Hong Kong

Any questions on how “together” this species is on what's important in the world?

I'm wondering if this should have some consequences for how media report on rumours.

Seems to me the media is (haha per below) rumors we all but a few of us pretend not to be rumors.

My gosh, where has The Adventures of the Invisible Clown been my entire life? This offering thereby suggests the author ain't no Bozo.

Here, Marco Davi asks:

It’s almost a bit like asking if light is a particle or a wave?

Which, okay, I'm driving from Marco's topic. But isn't agonizing over what “is” often the beginning of settling for far less than reality, well, wordlessly “is”, for surely “is” is (haha) the most ridiculous oversimplification evar.

Hangover is (haha) somewhat of a factor this morning.

From Personal Values:

I generally hold certain values near to my heart and mind. The list sometimes shifts; but generally they are curiosity, love, faith, authenticity, and abundance.

For me, it's far and away solitude, then probably integrity.

Are any of your values rooted in fear?

Yes, integrity, as we all know the kind of havoc lying pieces of you-know-what can wreak in one's life.

But I guess solitude too, as I honestly fear having to listen to people that talk endlessly, poorly, and boringly. I literally just want to scream when someone doesn't seem to notice they're not letting anyone else talk.

(Unless their name is Kate Beckinsale, of course.... <cough>)

A truly blessed evening in progress, namely one in which the partner is elsewhere. I'm talking about for the love of breathers, here. Of breaks. Of vital solitude.

Meanwhile, the world looks like the usual madness. If I can believe anything I read/hear anymore. And if I can't, well, that's just plain madness anyway. So regardless.

I experienced the best customer service of my life a couple hours ago. I mean, granted, I'm not happy I needed it to begin with (product failure). But at least I wasn't kicked while down.

So nice to read here is distant again.

I reworked the command line utility I use to create write.as posts to be consistent with the way I create/save outbound email. Joy.

When do you arrive? When we get through our days, get what we need (thanks, Amazon), find what we're looking for? When we make friends? When we call it home? I don't know... but I guess, for the first time, I'll find out.

I'm pretty sure one arrives as soon as one has decided one has arrived.

Time that ticks madly away and makes you a slave to its whims.

Time is the seeming appearance of succession of thoughts. The madness is another way of referring to the possibility that all mental is illness.

Enter the vagabond. They have descended and see a world out there that slowly envelopes them, turns them on and takes them to the alley. Because what they have is not time. So this blog also exists away from time. Its words struck down on virtual paper with no time.

No time, because no mind (i.e. thoughts).

But the phantom of the clock-era magically reappears when fed said virtual paper.

I suspect that in most cases the phrase “sell out” tells us more about the jealousy of those wielding it than the reality of what they believe about what they're observing.

My shadow follows me, carrying a deep truth far from the edges. The edges that define my shadow distract me from the interior. I have spent years exploring my shadow, nearly all of them at the edges. To date I have only caught a glance at shadow's center. Constantly I have been pulled to the edges. I have discovered cultural stories, familiar mythology, and personal wounds. At these edges I have found more than enough to explain it all. Yet I know there is more to my shadow that these edges. I continue to explore, that I might better know myself. I hope and pray that one day I will catch more than glance of my shadow's center. ...and I am afraid. Most of all when I won't admit it to myself.

Beautiful(ly put)!

A whirlwind of a weekend, as they often are.

Of course, that amounts to snooze-losing in read.write.as – at least until diving in and taking the gold in catching up.

<lights dim and flicker>

Software is never done and there are things always you see and ask why is a thing the way it is. Always room for changes and creation of new paradigms for management and use of the important or not so important data you have. I have found for me, a single layer of presentation is the best. If a thing is in three places or more, I may not find it in the second or third and its hidden away in the first. With all the stuff in a single basket I am able to drill down and reach the final thing which is the use. The four things lead to use.

Possibly at the very top of the most important software realm thingies I've learned is proficiency in the combination of text files, Unix text-processing line commands, and one or more simple scripting languages (I favor Lua). That lets me store things in the simplest possible way, with endless formatting possibilities, and no what I want to call “fearful dependencies”, i.e. any of that software wherewithal changing in fundamental ways such that I have to respond with refactoring.

This week's not been awesome. I'm not sure where I'm headed, and I don't know what I want.

<listening>

I do feel a lot of sadness not being with my ex-girlfriend. I don't know if this break-up-slash-pause is a good thing or not. The positive is that it's a change for me, and I needed a change. It's a trigger that is going to have an impact. But it's really difficult. And I hate it. But I guess it's part of life. Hey, so I tried meditation but I'm bad at keeping up at it. I'm much better at drinking a glass or two. Sometimes I'm unsure how much of a friend I am with my own mind. You know that feeling when it's 2am and you want to sleep and all of a sudden you start thinking about something you really don't want to think about? Well that happens a lot. Why though?

Late breaking theory:

Thoughts themselves have zero mass, and thus zero momentum – hence their flightiness in the absence of anything else “taking and running with them”.

Emotions, well, they're tapped directly into the energy/mass of bodily function. So once they get going, they don't just stop to be replaced by another (although they can be if a sufficiently energetic/massive shock comes along). And that “don't just stop” momentum can feel/seem a sort of “near term bodily memory” in a self-perpetuation sense.

I think your phrase “really don't want” represents a fear-based emotion with energy/momentum to retain its overall bodily state, which in turn predisposes mind (being an emergent property of body) to thoughts that may have been innocently present when said emotion reached its self-perpetuating energy/momentum level.

So the “really don't want” emotion(s) are at the root of the self-perpetuation, i.e. “can't get it out of mind”.

So – assuming this rather unprofessional theory has sufficient merit to it – I suspect the only solution is to find a way to replace that emotion with either another, or none at all.

But, again, it has a sort of momentum, so we're talking energy expenditure to supplant it.

So I'm cleaning. Both physically and mentally. Put things in boxes. Throw things away. Wash some stuff. There's a sense of progression. I wouldn't say I like it but hey, it keeps me busy. I'm also enjoying more and more reading articles from strangers on this platform. I love to connect and see what others are experiencing. I don't need images or movies. Simple text works better for me. It doesn't need to be fancy as long as it's honest.

Honest? OH NOES!!! ;–)

But, yeah, mmm, text – sweet text.

Today I've gotten myself back to programming. Python, to be precise. I'm starting a side project of a writing service heavily inspired by write.as, since I like it a lot. I'm curious about the engagement aspect, and want to see what we can built that makes it simple for people to engage and know they've been mentioned. But I want to stay true simplicity. But I'm mainly doing it for fun!

Coolness.

That was a lengthy update!

It's about time! ;–)

I'm usually happy to save money, but September 14 was a bit of a sad day for me, as it signified the end of my subscription to The Economist. A few months ago, I'd decided I needed to keep up with what's going on in the world. I'd already taken a chance on The Washington Post during a particular promotion, but the publication has always felt biased on one end of the political spectrum. And the same felt true of The New York Times, so I wasn't sure of where else to go.

Yes. The phrase “all the bias that's unfit to print as though unbiased” comes to mind.

A couple months ago, I made the decision to consciously unplug. I started by deleting my mainstream social media accounts—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—and disabled most notifications on my phone. I worked on clearing a path to reading and writing on a regular basis. I eventually got into bullet journaling. These small changes gradually helped me to reach my goal. And so here I am now, enlightened and wiser and better than everyone else. Err, I mean, better than I was before.

Love it!

And so I now find myself not wanting to keep up with the news.

The fact it's called “news” instead of something more honest like “opinions from necessarily limited mind contexts” indicates more than a little dishonest pretense.

For me, unplugging is about enabling me to focus on the things that truly matter. And for the most part, the happenings of the world don't matter all that much. Some would point a finger at me and say I can have such an attitude due to certain social statuses and identities. Perhaps others don't have the luxury of dismissiveness. I ultimately can't pretend to understand the challenges of another, but I'm also not going to pretend I need to stay wired to every worldly event or that every such event affects my day-to-day. My doing so would be disingenuous and would enable my own anxiety and mental unrest.

Yes. The absence of what might be called “sympathetic mindbrations” is second in bliss only to ignorance.

(NOTE: the last word of that sentence was not use as a synonym of 'stupidity', but simply to indicate IGNORE-ance, i.e. a state of ignoring.)

It took me over 30 years to realize that I needed to stop looking outwardly so much. The true progress has come from looking inwardly.

I suspect several spiritual traditions would agree.

Want to/need to do it. I don't have thick enough skin to live in the USA anymore.

Canada is nice

Canada is safe

The U.S. is mean

The U.S. is not safe

Not wanting to seem too much an empathy void, here, but AFAIK nothing at the level/size of a country absolutely either is or isn't some specific narrow attribute. Heck, not even individuals are all good or bad. So how could neighborhoods.. then towns/cities.. then states/provinces.. then countries bed?

In other words, prepare to be eventually disappointed in ways regardless where you go – hence the superiority of developing the skin you referred to (which, of course, is actually an attitude – aka collection of related thoughts).

Browsing is part of the enjoyment. But I find it ironic that I do more of the opposite here – Bix read the article and I grabbed a quotation of the article from him. No need to browse. Then again, I was browsing his blog and happened across the post. And I know not how he came across the article in question – perhaps in a similar way as I did or perhaps not (unless if you care to explain Bix).

I just... well, I guess I mostly don't care about the who/where/when/how – never mind how the “who” part so quickly degenerates into a sort of ongoing blind faith idolatry anyway, thus giving an author ongoing creds their actual current work(s) might not deserve simply because, because.. well, because “XXX” said it. And that attention sapping deprives one of others' gems (for there being only so much time in the day).

Far more important (to me) than that all that potentially more intellectually nutritious meta skin, phrases/sentences strike then light a fire under me – preferably consume me.

This brings up an interesting point – “browse” is not a catch-all term. There are many different types of browsing one can do. The person who asks for the librarian to retrieve a book for her could have browsed an online newsletter and came across the book. Is that the same kind of browsing as combing the fiction shelves?

How can we better attune ourselves to the different forms of browsing? How can knowing these inform how we operate on the web and outside of it?

Reaching a bit in the direction of a casino as an analogy, I want to say the “browsing devices” are to slot machines what true, old-school browsing is to the craps table. Can one win/lose at each? Yes. But whereas a slot machine is essentially an all-focus-consuming screen for experiencing a finite set of audio/visual events, the craps table is writhing sea of activity – bets coming in from all around the table in ways both independent and motivated by others (“Oh.. I should be a 'yo' too...”), activity/interaction that isn't specifically betting related, people walking by, the beverage servers, the rotation of the dealers, etc., etc.

Tall and stout, or so it always seemed. Ecstatic about the treat in his front pocket, my eyes always gleamed. Blue denim, cowboy shirts and bolo ties, Across the county you could spot this guy. A honk from the van and clear blue skies, We took that silly van from pow wows, to fairs, and even elephant rides. Laughing, smiling and always joking is the game, My Grandfather is the best, Cleatus is his name.

<mental note to try writing as though a specific, self-consistent (for the duration of a piece) character>

<mental note to try reading that way too>

<realization it's unlikely either will ever happen>

<realization I'll likely have forgotten about it all forever by this afternoon>

We take our medicine, and we take it together. We conform and normalize the expectations imposed on us by faceless corporations who offer money in exchange for hours of our lives, and we do so willingly understanding that refusing treatment is to refuse better outcomes in this market. The myth of the market society that embraces all individuals is a naked lie: and we lay with it every night.

And then we die. Yep.

I don't really believe in the “we” part of that, though – or at least not if that implies we're acting in some sort of intentional concert. I think it's more like wave collisions/interference: something seemingly wound it up, the unraveling being what seems to be happening from endless points of views (i.e. nexuses of consciousness pretending to be separate, individual selves).

I participated in a somber yet fun memorial for a local musician recently passed, last night.

The aforementioned “collisions/interference” was alive and well, there. I'm thinking particularly of how the deceased's sister – whom I'd never met – came running over to me after I waved to someone next to her, and started talking to me as though we knew each other, how she was so glad to see me, etc., etc.

But we took turns performing, and all was well. Especially the Jameson...

Partner and I hit some unhealth food and more drink upon returning home, which went on later than it should have in the context of having to work the next day. But there was just this incredible crisp, blustery autumn thing going on that proved an irresistible to serious drink/smoke-assisted contemplation.

I kind of just want to eat and type today. But there's a bunch of unborn code awaiting my midwifery in the dark amorphous not-yet-thought-erized consciousness murk.

So let us begin:

#!/usr/bin/env lua

           as blog is
        to write.as world
             self is
          to real world

           it's all in
        the presentation
         the putting it
            out there
                
             or not

But then is it miso to the engagement rescue!

What I know is that those who really want to engage, will engage. But that's not a lot of people. It's the minority.

Does that suggest they're not very engaging people? <sarcastic cough>

Now what's in between is people that might engage, potentially. If it's easy. If it's not too demanding. If there's a way to do it that's simple. But there's no such way here — which is actually pretty interesting. Having the technical possibility to do it in an easier way might increase engagement on the surface, but I'm not sure it would do it in a very meaningful way.

It doesn't help that “meaningful” means different things to different people.

Seat of the pants theorizing about possible “engagement events”:

  • article-read
  • article-url-referenced
  • blog-url-referenced
  • content-quoted

(There are likely others I'm not thinking of, so I defer to CJ Eller for technical completeness.)

Given something like the above, a blogger's “stats” page could reflect those counts, but also provide a search mechanism whose queries were logical combinations of those engagement event names. Searching on “article-read” would surface a lot more results than “article-url-referenced and content-quoted”, for example.

And, of course, one could be even pickier about what constituted engagement. Perhaps someone doesn't feel an engagement is worth their time unless someone else not only read their article, but quoted from it and referenced both the article and author URLs in another article (i.e. “article-read and article-url-referenced and blog-url-referenced and content-quoted”).

(It occurs to me the reason “article-read” is important is that prevents hits against articles in which someone else's engagement events were merely copied, but they never read the URL being referenced.)

Those who don't mind notifications could provide such a query to a notification engine, which wouldn't be too different from the query mechanism except one is notified through some mechanism every time the query matches a new post.

That's actually appealing. Anyone can write without ever knowing if someone interacted or reacted with what they have written. It's kind of liberating too. We're broadcasting messages in a unidirectional way. Engaging is a hack. The writing from people seem much more genuine than on other places. We're not here to look cool in front of others, just to exchange with our own experience and self reflections. It's like a social network that's not social and offers no real network.

Yeah, there's no doubt about the bliss of ignorance.

Until curiosity knocks at the front door, of course.

But maybe it's better one can't satisfy that curiosity without working for it?

People not looking to engage can simply ignore it. We're all on our own virtual island radioing (is that a word?) to each other, and we decide if we want to tune-in to other islands transmitters.

But I want to be on an island with both Ginger and Mary Ann! Ginger and Mary Ann! :–)

Elsewhere, miso shared this simple breathing exercise

  1. Breath in deeply
  2. Breath in deeply
  3. Breath in deeply
  4. Ask yourself: what is important right now?

That's it.

I will try to do that every now and then.

which was some pretty fun timing given I did exactly that last night – albeit with a cigar.... >_<

This here post gives me hope for the future of the species.

I can definitely relate to aspects of miso's backstep. Solitude is super important to me. But I also like having a relationship, and Requests For Solitude can invoke hurt feelings, which can lead to arguments – which is, of course, practically the precise relationship-mathematical inverse of solitude.

tmo never fails to be the consummate “virtual island” (see above's engagement ruminations with miso) blogger, this time with his suggesting a little something called “trying” tends to be absent in social networking realms. This is just scary too spot on:

I feel bad for those still using FB and sites like it. Almost every social networking platform have made it abundantly clear that they have no interest in helping the human race, changing their ad-based methodology of user manipulation, or even being a company that provides a positive experience. They are social cancer.

Anyway, peoples, just your friendly blogborhood engagement hound with a little of this, and a little of that while kinda sorta working in degrees of post THC/alcohol cloudiness from the night before after attending a dinner party I could have taken or left. The discourse was often pleasant, but for the most part it was cookie-cutter “same old”.

However, the hostess surprised me quite pleasantly by having me taste a vodka, which I described as being rather Ketel One (my fave) -ish... but it turns out she's able to acquire for just $NINE per 1.75L, which is utterly unprecedented given the quality. I took two off her hands at the end of the visit, and now am actually mourning the fact she and her partner are planning on leaving the area for a quite remote place in a few months.

I don't blame her, but dang... that means eventually traveling into the city to score some, which I'm wincing at even as I type for the city in question seeming rather sucky to me.

It hit me on the crapper that people quite simply not wanting to engage is far deeper in the Occam's Razor end zone as an explanation for the lack of engagement than technology not being sufficiently supportive of it, because there's a way when there's a will, and a couple of us demonstrated that magical tech mechanisms are hardly prerequisite to engaging.

It got me wondering if perhaps write.as as it is attracts bloggers looking to get their thoughts before other minds/eyes without the possibility of dwelling on any past aspects thereof, so as to not have engagement eating up precious time/attention/focus from knitting the next offering?

Which, of course, is absolutely fine – although I can imagine engagement attempts in such an environment coming off as anywhere from annoying to offensive, a sort of pathetic coaxing of others to get naked.

I guess I've just never been in such an online place before. To me, the earliest roots of all this had engagement as a primary goal, even when the means were akin to opening a can of paint with a rubber mallet.

These days I'm really contemplating taking a sabbatical. Taking a few month far away from my day to day. Have a change in scenery. Embrace a new culture for a while. Be with different people. Wait, no, actually, be alone but far away from people I know. I think I sort of alluded to that on one week of quiet.

To me the ideal life is absolutely zero plans, hopes, and dreams (all of which can both succeed and – more likely <waves at Murphy> – fail), but accepting and responding to each and every moment without attempting to escape it down purely mental miasmic rabbit – or otherwise furry – holes.

My partner is soon going to be learning it's either going to be that way, or she needs to find someone else to suffer with her on her roller coaster of plans, hopes, and dreams fulfillment/derailment. It's just plain becoming impossible for me to deal with the ongoing mind-swirl.

This. No real goal. It really appeals to me. There's a sense of adventure. Far from home, you don't know who you are going to meet or where you will be sleeping. No wonders one of my favorite books in On The Road.

Here/now is exactly like that, would we “simply” not keep escaping it in the aforementioned purely mental way.

One might say, “No it's not!”

But to me that would indicate having never experienced it for being so addicted to the aforementioned purely mental way.

I'm not sure I'd be able to do it. I've lived in a city all my life, and I'm accustomed to comfort. I love the idea but doing it is a whole different story. I could do it for a week or two, but more? Not sure.

Do it this moment. Put the <deity>-danged screen down (away forever, preferably..), take in your surroundings and only your surroundings sans mental excursions/narratives about either those surroundings, or other even more mentally distant narrativia.

So much to see and yet most of us never really leave our home town. It takes courage to move.

I could argue “move” is more often than not “ineffectual escape” for it not having a chance of working because we bring our mind with us, and that's what we need the relief/distance from.

Do you listen to sad songs? Don't. Not worth it. It's way too sad! Honestly, these days I've been doing it, not sure why. It's a little addicting actually. I listen to one sad song and then decide oh but that one is even sadder, let's see. Ah but I know! That song, that one is the saddest ever!

They've tended to feel/seem more real to me, a more accurate reflection of the misery of mental narrativia.

Why?

What's wrong with me?

Do I like to inflict sadness over myself? Is that it?

As a matter of fact, it is. :P

But at the same time, this week is about acknowledging feelings. I'm glad I'm keeping a written record of that otherwise I would have forgotten it. So yes, I'm welcoming sadness. Hey sadness, let's be friend and all the bullshit. Let's drink whisky together.

Mindfulness like a pro.

I'm still not really sure what 'mindfulness' means. Most of my experience suggests 'mindlessness' is The Ticket™. But maybe they paradoxically both refer to the same state?