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Messages - tyrannosaurus vex

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1
You need a computer guy, right?

I have a computer guy.  He's adorable.  He is a very confused conservative.  He voted for Trump, and Trump won, but then it turns out the billionaire isn't actually on his side, and is happily selling him and everyone he knows to Wall Street.  He honestly can't get his head around it, and now he's questioning whether or not conservativism is actually functional.  Imagine a libertarian who bounces off of reality, and then questions his beliefs instead of reality.  Like I said, adorable.

Also, like many IT guys, he is more or less self-educated in his field.  He's pretty fucking good, but he has gaps in his knowledge.  Delta programming controls had him terrified, then I pointed out that it's basic, from like 1990, with a few syntax quirks.  BAM.  Shit's getting done.

However, we are in the market for my old job slot, which is a combination facilities coordinator/analyst.  80% keeping contractors on their jobs, 20% wading through data.  There doesn't seem to be any actual work involved.

If you get the job, we can sit around figuring out how shit falls apart, and get paid for it.

Well, that's a job I could probably do, but not a screening process or an interview I could pass, unfortunately.

2
You need a computer guy, right?

3
Why is it that when someone who usually has very little authority gets to be the boss of a situation, no matter how small or fleeting​, they magically transform into a little Napoleon? I have encountered two such people in the last week and it annoyed me more than I expected it to.

I think it's because they feel powerless in almost every arena of their lives, so they overcompensate to a totally inappropriate level when they finally feel they have their chance.

There is probably some truth here. I had considered something similar. Some kind of getting back at whoever happens to be in the room when they finally get their chance at greatness, or whatever.

Also, someone in IRC mentioned something I hadn't thought of that I thought was interesting. Maybe their lack of familiarity with authority leaves them a little lost in such situations, so they latch on to some archetypal or stereotypical "authority figure" identity they only know from TV or their shitty father. "Bosses are assholes, and I'm the boss right now so I need to be an asshole if anyone's going to take me seriously". Maybe our present Asshole in Chief has a little bit of this going on as well.

There's probably not really much discussion to be had here. I just get annoyed at people who suddenly have all the power in the world (they think) and wield it exactly how people with power should not use their power.

4
Why is it that when someone who usually has very little authority gets to be the boss of a situation, no matter how small or fleeting​, they magically transform into a little Napoleon? I have encountered two such people in the last week and it annoyed me more than I expected it to.

5
Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: April 26, 2017, 06:23:29 pm »
There may be no such thing as a true "higher state of consciousness", but if there is something both indistinguishable from that to the experiencer and apparently that to the observer, there might as well be. There are states of awareness that can be and have been achieved almost as a matter of course by, say, indigenous Americans or yogis in Nepal, which endow them with a much greater awareness of their environments than the human default. See also many martial arts. I don't buy that these are the result of a spiritual awakening so much as deep training of one's senses, but what's the harm in allowing yourself to believe it's spiritual, if that makes it more interesting?

These states are context-dependent, and, at risk of being accused of being reductionist, seem largely to boil down to "people get good at doing that which they do frequently". So it's not the *human* default, it's the *environmental* default; what environment is this person in? What do they do frequently? A yogi in Nepal might be very bad at driving in Boston traffic, for example.

Yes. Absolutely. I think what I was trying to get at was, in the pursuit of "consciousness", the kind self-awareness one seeks inevitably colors the kind one gets. So there is no truly "transcendental" state where one is both "enlightened" in the Buddhist sense and also a master motorcycle mechanic (for example) just because they meditated past all the steps required to achieve one or the other. There is no 'parent' consciousness that includes all varieties that you can get to. But if the 'yogi' state is what you are after, and you work to get there, it is no less valid than the art of Zen and motorcycle maintenance.

6
Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: April 26, 2017, 06:18:46 pm »
The short answer is that metaphors can be incredibly deceptive and can lead to entirely false notions of how the universe works.

Cf: metaphors for quantum behavior leading to the belief that consciousness literally changes objective reality.

I understand the argument. But all understandings of the universe are imperfect metaphors. I agree that scientific "metaphors" are far more accurate and can at least be tested through experiment and prediction, and I'd never dream of using anything other than those when describing the actual universe. But when discussing the elements of one's own psyche, in the confines of a consciousness which one understands to be self-generated and not translatable to outside forces, I don't see any harm in ritualizing or spiritualizing those elements and behaviors. This is only labeling, and all exercises in categorizing the various internal forces and desires driving oneself are exercises in labeling and categorizing those desires and the relationships between them. Whether we use language and conventions derived from modern psychology or (for example) Hindu mythology is more or less inconsequential except in the outward expression of such exercises. It's just a matter of personal aesthetics.

There is also a lot of dismissal of anecdotal experience just because it does not fit with materialist assumptions, and I find that unfortunate. People subscribing to a spiritual or even religious context for their self-awareness have had as much if not more success than the reductive materialist approach of throwing pills at everything. I don't believe it's because there is really anything in such spiritualism, but I don't discount the possibility that there may be a path to genuine self-knowledge that lies through such.

7
Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: April 26, 2017, 03:18:23 pm »
There may be no such thing as a true "higher state of consciousness", but if there is something both indistinguishable from that to the experiencer and apparently that to the observer, there might as well be. There are states of awareness that can be and have been achieved almost as a matter of course by, say, indigenous Americans or yogis in Nepal, which endow them with a much greater awareness of their environments than the human default. See also many martial arts. I don't buy that these are the result of a spiritual awakening so much as deep training of one's senses, but what's the harm in allowing yourself to believe it's spiritual, if that makes it more interesting?

8
I must be doing something wrong. Just passed my 12th anniversary and have not yet resorted to slut-shaming or female oppression. I mean, maybe trapping women in loveless marriages and shoving them down into 2nd- or 3rd-class citizenship is one way to make a marriage last. But it seems a like a whole lot of not very rewarding work when you can get the same result just by not being an incredible asshole.

9
Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: April 25, 2017, 11:20:25 pm »
So, escaping the prison of being ruled and defined by your reaction to external stimulus requires a conscious awareness of what forces exist inside and outside you. That's true. I may have been seeing the 'mindfulness' thing from the wrong angle.


re: your tangent on art

I see what you're saying about finding that space between intellect and intuition. I am not an accomplished artist myself, but I have experience in creative pursuits. I write music, I play music alone and in a band. Personally the "intellect" side of the equation is the most frustrating and annoying part of that process. I find dwelling on myself, my immediate environment, my emotions, etc. to detract from and almost always completely disable my creativity. I think of the intellectual side as a general direction to go in, but once that's been established, it has to be discarded, otherwise it'll keep popping up and second-guessing everything the intuitive side is trying to do. So, sure, there's a partnership there, but it's a very unequal one.

10
Or Kill Me / Re: You're not conscious
« on: April 25, 2017, 06:18:02 am »
I'm intrigued by all kinds of consciousness, and I'm not convinced that "mindfulness" is an appropriate measuring stick for it. It isn't particularly useful to define "levels" (or gradiations, or whatever) of consciousness as becoming more true or real or appropriate as they approach greater proximity to the "here and now". A lollygagging daydream that steals whole minutes or hours from one's memory or perception of the immediate moment or environment isn't evidence that consciousness itself is waning to anyone except maybe an outside observer. It seems better to approach the fitness of one's state of mind in terms of how useful that state is to one's chosen objective: Mindfulness is probably a good idea when interacting with other people or studying psychology or the environment. It may be less useful or even wholly inappropriate for other pursuits, as in artistic or creative work.

I'm also going to say I find reductive materialism so incredibly, mercilessly dull that it is its own excuse for intentionally believing preposterous woo just to escape it.

11
Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« on: April 21, 2017, 03:43:31 am »

12
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 19, 2017, 05:29:05 am »
In the near but not too-near future, advancements in AI and robotics have rendered all jobs obsolete while solving global food, energy, and housing shortages. However, due to some very heated debates during this time of great progress, one of the automation systems' most sacred directives is that some labor must be preserved for humans, because "a person is nothing without work". Because of this, the AI has created an entire economy based on completely useless labor. Some people produce little plastic widgets, other people transport them, others deliver them, and others dispose of them in recycling centers so the process can continue. Anyone who shirks their responsibility is punished with the withholding of some luxury goods.

There are no distinct characters in this story. It just keeps going like that, forever.

This has actually been done.



where? i must have it.

13
Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« on: April 19, 2017, 04:19:43 am »
In the near but not too-near future, advancements in AI and robotics have rendered all jobs obsolete while solving global food, energy, and housing shortages. However, due to some very heated debates during this time of great progress, one of the automation systems' most sacred directives is that some labor must be preserved for humans, because "a person is nothing without work". Because of this, the AI has created an entire economy based on completely useless labor. Some people produce little plastic widgets, other people transport them, others deliver them, and others dispose of them in recycling centers so the process can continue. Anyone who shirks their responsibility is punished with the withholding of some luxury goods.

There are no distinct characters in this story. It just keeps going like that, forever.

14
But you know what?  This is just another man talking about abortion.  I'll just re-quote QG.

Most relevant statement ITT.

15
I just see absolutely no value in trying to convince the religious conviction out of someone in order to get them to stop believing anything. The amount of time and effort that goes into doing a thing like that on purpose is so immense and so likely to fail anyway that it's a fool's errand. No amount of biological or cognitive science is going to sway one person, let alone enough people to change the dynamics of the debate.

Maybe the need to do this arises from some weird desire to have everyone on the same page, or in thinking that a lasting truce cannot be built between opposing sides until they agree on some very basic facts that just happen to saw the legs out from under one or the other of them. But it seems to me that it's beyond useless to pursue any such goal. We'll never have a frame of reference common to the two sides that includes the definition of life or the existence of a soul, so it's a waste to even try.

What we can agree on is what to do about the situation we are in right now. Presumably, the anti-choice crusaders want to end abortion. It makes a lot more sense to me to show them how their current tactics are unlikely to succeed in that goal and give them an alternative that can succeed without any need to threaten their religious or moral convictions and also with a long-term understanding that simple prohibition is a failure of an idea no matter how strictly they imagine it can be enforced. They won't like the moral fuzziness of it, but at least it isn't a direct assault on their moral foundation. And the pro-choice side won't like the continued existence of a faction of people who pass moral judgment against a woman's basic bodily autonomy, but at least it's a moral judgment rather than a criminal one.

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