Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Think for Yourself, Schmuck! => Topic started by: LMNO on December 20, 2011, 07:18:28 pm

Title: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on December 20, 2011, 07:18:28 pm
What holds us back?

Spiders.

What holds us back?

The Machineô.

What holds us back?

Authority.

What holds us back?

The Black Iron Prison.

What holds us back?

OURSELVES.

In the end, it all boils down to this.  At least for anyone reading this.  For the most part, we didnít ask for these restraints.  They were given to us; we were tricked; we never noticed they were there.  Before we could make rational decisions, they were placed on our shoulders, wrapped around our ankles, diffused into our brains.  Theyíre even part of the hardware.  And, in the course of our days, we donít see them, or feel them.  Like the suckers in Harrison Bergeron (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Bergeron), we find ourselves weighted down, and masked.  Distractions are enforced, and vision is dimmed.  But we donít realize it.  Weíve grown used to the weight.

What we sometimes refer to as transcendence can simply be the recognition that weíve handicapped ourselves without really thinking about what weíve done, or what weíve had done to us.  To let go of these blinders is not a freedom from this world, itís freedom into the world.  But this isnít some simple Bartleby the Scrivner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartleby,_the_Scrivener) tale, proposing that freedom is a rejection of existence.  This isnít about Making Choices, nor is it a sociopathic narcissism of acting only in your personal self interest.

This is about why you have the thoughts you have, why you act the way you do.  Who gave them to you?  How much of your personality is actually from inside yourself, and how much accreted onto your soul from years of wading hip deep through the muck of the world?  How many of your thoughts have been twisted and warped after travelling through the biology of your brain, which was clearly not designed to handle rational thought very well?  I <3 Huckabees (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Heart_Huckabees) asks, ďHow can I not be myself?Ē, and hereís your answer:  By letting your history and your body overwhelm your mind. 

So, our first steps are to recognize what our various manacles look like, how the locking mechanism works, and how to pick the lock.  The intention of this thread is to figure that shit out.  In detail.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on December 20, 2011, 07:19:00 pm
Ouch.  That one hurt coming out.  It's been a while. 
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Nephew Twiddleton on December 20, 2011, 07:24:38 pm
Excellent lmno- im going to ponder this and get back to it tomorrow. I wont be back on my laptop until late.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Luna on December 20, 2011, 07:25:50 pm
Ooh, good...

This is something I've been working on in myself since things went to shit last year.  I thought of it as rediscovering the pieces that were carved off in order to fit elsewhere, but...  new angle, good.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Slurrealist on December 20, 2011, 09:22:05 pm
Emotions and emotional imprints are the strongest manacles IMO. Especially emotions such as fear, anger, guilt, and else...
When you are in fear, you are either paralyzed, and can do nothing to improve the situation, or hyperactive, which also influences the ability to think straight.
Anger is just a waste of energy, both physical and mental, and it drives to strokes.
Guilt is like a heavy stone that drags away dreams and life energy.
And, IMO, people are sitting in front of the cage's entrance - and it's open; maybe there aren't any walls at all - but because of fear people don't see it that they're free, and always were.


Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on December 20, 2011, 09:23:47 pm
I'm going to need to re-read this one a few times I think.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Slurrealist on December 20, 2011, 09:56:11 pm
It's like the parable about the elephant from the BIP, in some way.
There's always a choice; you can always choose which way to go; no one is stopping you from doing the thing that you like. Your own self is the last obstacle. The attachment to previous negative experiences stops the growth process.
To put it more simple, the negative events are bricks in the wall. Slowly, they create a wall that stops from seeing the beauty of the world. If you stop perceiving them as something negative, and let them free, the wall will fall.
Also, IMO, people stop learning or thinking about new ideas when someone says to them that it's absolute crap. The guilt trip becomes activated, the person will stop checking new ideologies/views/ideas in fear of being humiliated, ridiculed again, and with time the imprint blocks all learning at all. If this block is removed, people will be more tolerant and open to new ideas IMO.
These are just my thoughts.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: The Johnny on December 21, 2011, 03:19:19 am
Quote from:  .121 "The Gay Science", Nietzsche
... Life is not an argument; between the conditions for life, error could be one of them.

Quote from:  .344 "The Gay Science"
The want for truth could hide a want for death...

Quote from:  1.7 "Beyond Good and Evil"
The falseness of a judgement is not for us now an objection against it; maybe it is in this that our new language might sound most strange. The issue is to know up to which point this judgement favours life, preserves life, preserves the species, even maybe selects the speices... Admitting that non-truth is a condition for life: this means of course, facing dengerously the usual sentiments of value...

I consider that the amount of "truth" we see, is directly correlated to the amount of "horror" we can withstand without falling apart... religion is a self-delusion, but it is such an important part of human culture because it gives humans hope and deals with the short-comings of reality...

Freud spoke about angst, symptom and repression in the sense that repression is a response to angst, burying deeply into our unconscoius what troubles us so we dont become a wreck of nerves.

So deluding ourselves with bullshit is a defense mechanism, sometimes needed for our survival, be it on an individual or collective scale.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Pśs on December 21, 2011, 07:02:20 am
Here follows the imperfect expression of my feelings regarding our restraints. I recognise that I make points both for and against the Black Iron Prison metaphor, without resolving that conflict. I'm hoping there are ideas in here which others can work with and respond to which might aid my continuing with whatever inspired this. I'm sharing a space with a very loud television at present, so it's hard to form coherent thought on the topic, let alone translate it into text.

Quote
"You're locked in a prison", "restrained", "handcuffed", "you've carried this weight your whole life", "entangled in a web".

These are powerful images.

Emergency. Emergency. Initiate lockdown procedures.

The mind seizes up, reserving all of its processing power for survival-related functions. The Fear begins to creep into cracks in the mind. Into hollows which are vestigial remnants of a primitive intolerance to being trapped. We induce fight or flight when we frame the situation in this way. These images are more powerful because of their appeal to the animal within us... but neither fight not flight are useful ways of responding to The Prison.

The animal who chooses to fight wants to thrash around and tear it all down. The Discordian Abolitionist rebels against his self-imposed slavery.

Quote
"I will not be oppressed by mere concepts, by names, by categories, by biology. I refuse to play servant to societal expectations that I had no place in setting."

What does he want?

Quote
"To abolish God!" said Gregory, opening the eyes of a fanatic. "We do not only want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations; that sort of anarchism does exist, but it is a mere branch of the Nonconformists. We dig deeper and we blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions of vice and virtue, honour and treachery, upon which mere rebels base themselves. The silly sentimentalists of the French Revolution talked of the Rights of Man! We hate Rights as we hate Wrongs. We have abolished Right and Wrong."

Thus, he would tear down the walls in pursuit of freedom... but this freedom from The Prison is nihilism.

In portraying this as a prison, as restrictive and limiting, I fear we give some control over our reaction to it to our primitive mind.
The walls are not an obstacle to be removed from our path. They are experience, not just ours but that of our ancestors, who found that unconsciously learning and integrating the behaviour and beliefs of others was beneficial. Who didn't need to consciously understand this, but learned it by doing it and surviving where those without the predisposition towards recognising The Machine failed to continue their legacy.

The events that developed these walls are restricting us in the same way that all of the past is restricting us. From infinite possibilities they have selected one reality to be the current state of affairs and given us this to build upon. The Black Iron Prison isn't the enemy. What we need to attack is our ignorance of its topography.

Our biases: the tendency to force facts into narratives, reducing information for processing and disregarding the existence of lost data, consideration of information irrelevant to the subject at hand (previous belief, consideration of social influence, desirability of particular results), are not entirely without their merits. It might be foolish to exorcise these completely, but they need to recognised as tools for swift processing of information, rather than the default.

It takes a special kind of person to want to turn against these, or even examine then in any depth. We Truth Seekers are made of different stuff. This can only mean that the Truth Seeker, he who is inclined to attempt a jail break, has the good fortune of being locked in a cell which encourages his escape.

What are we doing with our knowledge of these things, outside of our own personal intellectual evolution, if the only ones who can "wake up" are those who are very light sleepers?
Maybe we're just looking for company. I do not think we can say that we seek to enlighten anyone or change the world.

Nobody gave me my thoughts. I took them from everyone I ever encountered, as I took this understanding.
Sometimes I take the blinders off, and open myself to every possibility and other times I put them on so I can focus only on the road ahead.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Demolition_Squid on December 21, 2011, 10:06:02 am
This was an incredible read; the OP and the responses. It is going to take me a little while to come back with a response worth reading, but I wanted to let you know that it was awesome.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on December 21, 2011, 12:05:26 pm
Quote
It takes a special kind of person to want to turn against these, or even examine then in any depth. We Truth Seekers are made of different stuff. This can only mean that the Truth Seeker, he who is inclined to attempt a jail break, has the good fortune of being locked in a cell which encourages his escape.

I quite like the recursive nature of this thought. More later.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Placid Dingo on December 21, 2011, 01:41:28 pm
Meow, read Cain's Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism. It does some way towards addressing some of your ideas.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Pśs on December 22, 2011, 12:11:23 pm
Meow, read Cain's Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism. It does some way towards addressing some of your ideas.
I think I read that when it was first posted... but it's a good idea to take another look at it with this in mind, cheers.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Pśs on December 23, 2011, 06:13:56 am
Meow, read Cain's Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism. It does some way towards addressing some of your ideas.

I read Cain's piece again. I don't see which parts of my post it relates to, apart from their both discussing nihilism.
I only meant to mention it as a dismissal of the attitude that some take where freedom has to be total liberation from all structural abstractions.
If I'm missing another connection, please tell me what it is.

That said, it was a good time to reread Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism, to get me thinking about that again.

Edited for clarity.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Placid Dingo on December 23, 2011, 09:00:37 am
The way I saw it is this:

You tear away at the facade and are disturbed. What's behind the curtain? Nothing. What does my life mean? Nothing. Where are we going? Nowhere. Nothing, nowhere nothing.

We realize the reality tunnels, frames, beliefs all give us meaning, but they also entrap us in their form. We are in a black iron prison formed by these elements, but when we dismantle them we are left staring at the void directly behind them. Nihilism.

To me, the way I read Cain's piece was that Discordia is perfect nihilism because it has the postmodern advantage of recognizing reality as partly a construction of reality tunnels, frames and ideologies. It accepts the horrible truths but adds new, useful, sometime beautiful truths. It's a a way of understanding the way things are, without embracing the void. You can make yor reality tunnel in front of the void, and when it doesn't meet your needs you replace it with another, or tack on a second, contradictory tunnel.

To me this helped to explain how to accept the inherent lack of meaning in many things without falling directly into nihilism.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Pśs on December 23, 2011, 09:35:19 am
Yeah, I see where you're coming from.

I was hoping to say that reacting to the knowledge of the BIP by becoming determined to ESCAPE isn't a useful reaction, because once you reject your reality tunnels, there's nothing else there and you're entering the territory of nihilism. I take for granted that nihilism is useless.

Which is why I am asking whether framing it as a prison is setting ourselves up for the reaction where we miss the point we're trying to get across with the metaphor and end up pursuing nihlism (pointlessness).

ETA for further clarification:
The perspective I'm writing from probably already incorporates Discordianism as Perfect Nihilism, or at least that the Barstool makes nihilism a useless point of view.
If you reach nihilism, you made a wrong turn. It's used to show that the "I'm not free until I'm OUT of the prison" is the wrong approach.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Placid Dingo on December 23, 2011, 09:54:56 am
Fair enough.

I actually really didn't like the language of the BiP metaphor at first, for that reason. A jailbreak implies escape, and redecorating your cell kind of implies surrender.

Handcuffs is actually a very good metaphor because what were saying is you can take them off and put them on again at will. It does miss somethig in that it still implies allrestricting views as inherenty bad.

I remember Pratchett being asked if the creation of the Discworld map would restrict him. His answer was good writing was restriction. If anything can happen nobody cares- if Mi4 had no limits Tom Cruise would have killed the baddies WITH HIS BRAIN in the first few minutes. Instead he is bound by limits, and this gives a tense story.

In life we could be limitless like this : refuse to define our name, our identity, our gender, our purpose. But we get narrative out of limits and meaning out of narrative so really our limits define us. What we want to do by jailbreaking is step out of the circle to become both the author and the protagonist and DEFINE the limits that define us and find ways to interchange limits when convenient.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on December 23, 2011, 01:26:37 pm
In terms of the OP:  I haven't followed up immediately, because the details are incredibly hard to pin down.  You try to chase a behavior or mode of thought to its origin, and it gets all slippery.  The mind immediately self-justifies, and you're left with ashes and shadows.

And, to be honest, it's a bit frightening.  Do I really want to find out that some of my favorite patterns were imposed upon me, rather than self-generated?  In the end, I suppose it all adds up to "me", but this Doktor business can be unsettling.

Over the weekend, I'm going to track down a small piece, see if I can get my hands on it, and offer up something concrete.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Pśs on December 24, 2011, 12:52:55 am
You try to chase a behavior or mode of thought to its origin, and it gets all slippery.  The mind immediately self-justifies, and you're left with ashes and shadows.

(http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/photos/images/newsfeed/000/107/432/i_hug_that_feel.png?1318992465)
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on January 25, 2012, 02:44:03 pm
In life we could be limitless like this : refuse to define our name, our identity, our gender, our purpose.

OMG THIS.

I've been trying to get down some stuff on the subject of identity for the book I've been working on and haven't been able to get anything down, but this is the core of it. I've spent the past four years Anonymous. I answer to pseudonyms more comfortably than to my given name. My clothes are costumes and hand-me-downs. I look in the mirror and I see nothing. Okay, not NOTHING nothing, but just a meatsack, unrelated to who I am. The face is strange, angles wrong. I don't know myself in photographs.

I did it to myself, I know. Consumed too many weird ideas too fast, filled up on the mental equivalent of magic mushrooms instead of eating my peas like a good girl. Stared in the mirror in the dark, til my face vanished and I saw the monster beneath.

I see the walls, see the bars, know them for what they are and what they deny me and what they protect me from. But me? The thing pacing inside this elaborate psychic construction of memory and shame and chemicals? It's a gaping void. A tiny black hole, self-contained, around which my consciousness orbits desperately attempting to weave a narrative structure around it, to close the wound in space.  But the inexorable gravity of the void sucks it all in, spaghettifying identities to the breaking point and leaving nothing but radiation.


Huh. I guess that's a pretty good metaphor for self-centeredness. I should probably cut that out.
Thanks, guys.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: navkat on January 25, 2012, 03:02:32 pm
In terms of the OP:  I haven't followed up immediately, because the details are incredibly hard to pin down.  You try to chase a behavior or mode of thought to its origin, and it gets all slippery.  The mind immediately self-justifies, and you're left with ashes and shadows.

And, to be honest, it's a bit frightening.  Do I really want to find out that some of my favorite patterns were imposed upon me, rather than self-generated?  In the end, I suppose it all adds up to "me", but this Doktor business can be unsettling.

Over the weekend, I'm going to track down a small piece, see if I can get my hands on it, and offer up something concrete.

And then you get hit with "Fuck, it's an incredibly spoiled mind that could even conceive to have this arrogant argument with myself in the first fucking place."

*rattle rattle*

It's like being high and realizing you've spent the whole night looking for something but you forgot what...only to realize you're still doing it.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Elder Iptuous on January 25, 2012, 03:35:56 pm
...
And, to be honest, it's a bit frightening.  Do I really want to find out that some of my favorite patterns were imposed upon me, rather than self-generated?  In the end, I suppose it all adds up to "me", but this Doktor business can be unsettling.....

Do you know of any discussions (here or elsewhere) that have convincingly argued that the self is anything beyond the body we're born with, and the accumulation of experiences 'imposed' on us?
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 25, 2012, 03:59:08 pm
So when you recognize your self and your self-imposed limitations, what do you do with the limitations imposed upon you by society?
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Cramulus on January 25, 2012, 04:18:56 pm
So, our first steps are to recognize what our various manacles look like, how the locking mechanism works, and how to pick the lock.  The intention of this thread is to figure that shit out.  In detail.

Here's one way of solving it...


from Zen Without Zen Masters:
(http://i.imgur.com/E17Bk.png)
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on January 25, 2012, 06:02:37 pm
...
And, to be honest, it's a bit frightening.  Do I really want to find out that some of my favorite patterns were imposed upon me, rather than self-generated?  In the end, I suppose it all adds up to "me", but this Doktor business can be unsettling.....

Do you know of any discussions (here or elsewhere) that have convincingly argued that the self is anything beyond the body we're born with, and the accumulation of experiences 'imposed' on us?

I don't think I'm specifically referring to the notion of a priori thoughts or behaviors.  Naturally, the majority of our ideas and thoughts are a jumble of experiences, conditioning, and external education.  Even so-called "new" thoughts are often a conflation of two previously existing thoughts.

What I'm getting at is the difference between, for example, liking a band because someone said I should like it, and liking a band because someone said I should like it and then I decided for myself that it appealed to me.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on January 25, 2012, 06:05:01 pm
So when you recognize your self and your self-imposed limitations, what do you do with the limitations imposed upon you by society?

I would say that much the same way you pick and choose the self-imposed limitations you may want to keep for now based upon a full assesment of benefits and consequences, you do the same for social limitations.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 25, 2012, 08:04:20 pm
So when you recognize your self and your self-imposed limitations, what do you do with the limitations imposed upon you by society?

I would say that much the same way you pick and choose the self-imposed limitations you may want to keep for now based upon a full assesment of benefits and consequences, you do the same for social limitations.

Oh, I didn't realize it was that easy! In that case, I am going to pick democracy and egalitarianism, and do away with racism, sexism, and poverty. Thanks!
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 25, 2012, 08:05:34 pm
I totally just got rid of rape and classism, too. Man, life is great this way, I wish I'd known before.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on January 25, 2012, 08:07:38 pm
I'm pretty sure nowhere in my post I ever said it was easy.




Chapter 48
If Order and Disorder are illusions,
then turning one into the other
is simple as changing your mind.*
But we tense our muscles, furrow our brows
and plug away at life.
Meanwhile, our Lady laughs at the silly Cabbages
trying too hard to be spontaneous.

*Please note that changing your mind is not simple.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 25, 2012, 08:09:02 pm
I'm pretty sure nowhere in my post I ever said it was easy.




Chapter 48
If Order and Disorder are illusions,
then turning one into the other
is simple as changing your mind.*
But we tense our muscles, furrow our brows
and plug away at life.
Meanwhile, our Lady laughs at the silly Cabbages
trying too hard to be spontaneous.

*Please note that changing your mind is not simple.

You seem to be saying that divesting myself of socially imposed limitations is a matter of changing my mind about them. Is that actually what you're saying, or am I misunderstanding you?
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on January 25, 2012, 08:12:10 pm
Hmm.


I think I may have partially been speaking from a place of limited social priviledge; I may have been viewing the problem too narrowly.


In which case, I apologize. 



And, of course, this means I have no answer.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 25, 2012, 08:15:17 pm
Hmm.


I think I may have partially been speaking from a place of limited social priviledge; I may have been viewing the problem too narrowly.


In which case, I apologize. 



And, of course, this means I have no answer.

Fair enough, and I admire your bipedality.

I don't know the answer either.

I love the idea of examining and rejecting self-imposed limitations; I just want to be careful about assigning all limitations to that category, because down that road lies something disturbingly similar to manifest destiny.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Placid Dingo on January 26, 2012, 01:13:37 am
In life we could be limitless like this : refuse to define our name, our identity, our gender, our purpose.

OMG THIS.

I've been trying to get down some stuff on the subject of identity for the book I've been working on and haven't been able to get anything down, but this is the core of it. I've spent the past four years Anonymous. I answer to pseudonyms more comfortably than to my given name. My clothes are costumes and hand-me-downs. I look in the mirror and I see nothing. Okay, not NOTHING nothing, but just a meatsack, unrelated to who I am. The face is strange, angles wrong. I don't know myself in photographs.

I did it to myself, I know. Consumed too many weird ideas too fast, filled up on the mental equivalent of magic mushrooms instead of eating my peas like a good girl. Stared in the mirror in the dark, til my face vanished and I saw the monster beneath.

I see the walls, see the bars, know them for what they are and what they deny me and what they protect me from. But me? The thing pacing inside this elaborate psychic construction of memory and shame and chemicals? It's a gaping void. A tiny black hole, self-contained, around which my consciousness orbits desperately attempting to weave a narrative structure around it, to close the wound in space.  But the inexorable gravity of the void sucks it all in, spaghettifying identities to the breaking point and leaving nothing but radiation.


Huh. I guess that's a pretty good metaphor for self-centeredness. I should probably cut that out.
Thanks, guys.

I want to make it clear that I feel limits are a positive creative force here. I think the above is possible but not desirable. We need to recognise what limits or categories we belong to and thus take control over them to the extent possible; but not just destroy them.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on January 26, 2012, 12:20:45 pm
I want to make it clear that I feel limits are a positive creative force here. I think the above is possible but not desirable. We need to recognise what limits or categories we belong to and thus take control over them to the extent possible; but not just destroy them.

Oh, I was definitely not saying that it was desirable. Kind of the opposite, in fact.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on January 26, 2012, 12:53:03 pm
So when you recognize your self and your self-imposed limitations, what do you do with the limitations imposed upon you by society?

When I examine this further, my gut reaction is, "Well, shit.  We can't self reflect our way clear of fully instituted social violence.  I guess we're FUCKED FOREVER."

But that seems just as bad as the magical thinking trap I almost made for myself.  It reeks of helpless nihilistic determinism.  And, you know, fuck that.  There is nothing wrong with trying to improve your wiring to filter out bad signal, even if it won't end socially sanctioned sexism.

So, I guess the OP is aimed soley at a state of mind that is not being threatened by immediate existential threats of violence.  There are some social limitations that fall into this frame, but by no means does it intend to fix everything.  To be quite honest, even if you can figure out what personal traits were critically examined, and what was swallowed whole without a second thought, that doesn't change what's happening to you, it changes your understanding of it.

In a way, it's trying to find a way to identify bad signal.  It won't stop the bad signal, but at least you'll understand what it is you're dealing with a bit better.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Cramulus on January 26, 2012, 03:03:59 pm
I think that while there are limitations outside of your control, you DO have a degree of control over how you relate to that limitation and how those limitations impact your internal state. That in turn effects your degree of freedom / wellbeing.

When you recognize a limitation, you create a version of itself inside you so that you don't keep running into it. The internal version can get out of sync with the external version.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on January 26, 2012, 03:13:32 pm
I kind of agree, but run your post through the filter of Nigel's "uncomfortable topic:race" thread. I would hesitate to say that by identifying entrenched racism, you can construct a brain state to avoid it completely.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 26, 2012, 03:22:28 pm
So when you recognize your self and your self-imposed limitations, what do you do with the limitations imposed upon you by society?

When I examine this further, my gut reaction is, "Well, shit.  We can't self reflect our way clear of fully instituted social violence.  I guess we're FUCKED FOREVER."

But that seems just as bad as the magical thinking trap I almost made for myself.  It reeks of helpless nihilistic determinism.  And, you know, fuck that.  There is nothing wrong with trying to improve your wiring to filter out bad signal, even if it won't end socially sanctioned sexism.

So, I guess the OP is aimed soley at a state of mind that is not being threatened by immediate existential threats of violence.  There are some social limitations that fall into this frame, but by no means does it intend to fix everything.  To be quite honest, even if you can figure out what personal traits were critically examined, and what was swallowed whole without a second thought, that doesn't change what's happening to you, it changes your understanding of it.

In a way, it's trying to find a way to identify bad signal.  It won't stop the bad signal, but at least you'll understand what it is you're dealing with a bit better.

I agree with you about the usefulness of the OP; self-reflection is useful in identifying and removing self-imposed limitations. Once you have recognized that a limitation is socially imposed, you can act against the limitation through activism and education. You may not change that limitation in your lifetime, but you can make progress. For example, currently most schools are primarily funded by their neighborhood's property taxes. The predictable results are that the schools in wealthy neighborhoods are much better and have more educational resources than schools in poor neighborhoods. We as a society are imposing a limitation on access to quality education on poor children. As a poor child, I might grow up to reflect on this and resent it. I may also take action to remedy my lack of education, but what do I do to remedy the inequity that caused it? It makes sense to support campaigns for starting a state-wide pool from which schools are funded equally on a per-student basis. Schools in wealthy neighborhoods will still receive donations from wealthy parents, of course, but the education provided by the public for the public good will be equalized.

Some ways of changing your world are internal. Others are external.   

Of course, as an aside, it should be recognized that due to resource constraints it's relatively less likely that poor people will have the luxury of all this self-reflection; it is by nature a luxury.

I just wanted to ask the question about socially imposed limitations because it seemed like the tenor of the thread was moving in that magical-thinking direction where all obstacles can be overcome by wishing them away, and I wanted to ground it a little.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on January 26, 2012, 03:29:44 pm
I kind of agree, but run your post through the filter of Nigel's "uncomfortable topic:race" thread. I would hesitate to say that by identifying entrenched racism, you can construct a brain state to avoid it completely.

It may be possible to avoid seeing racism completely if you're white, and it may be possible to avoid seeing sexism if you're male. But that brain-state is just a form of avoidance, and doesn't actually serve any higher purpose than making the user feel more comfortable in their world. If you are black, your avoidant brain-state isn't going to prevent you from being pulled over by the cops for driving while black. If you're female, that avoidant brain-state isn't going to prevent you from being approached with unwanted, insulting, and lewd propositions by strangers.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Cramulus on January 26, 2012, 03:34:08 pm
I kind of agree, but run your post through the filter of Nigel's "uncomfortable topic:race" thread. I would hesitate to say that by identifying entrenched racism, you can construct a brain state to avoid it completely.

the goal isn't to avoid it completely


the goal is to not let it become a bigger limitation than it actually is
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on January 26, 2012, 04:33:46 pm
I think we're all in agreement. You can't wish away racism, but you shouldn't be mentally trapped by others' racism, either.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: navkat on January 27, 2012, 09:56:26 pm
I kind of agree, but run your post through the filter of Nigel's "uncomfortable topic:race" thread. I would hesitate to say that by identifying entrenched racism, you can construct a brain state to avoid it completely.

the goal isn't to avoid it completely


the goal is to not let it become a bigger limitation than it actually is

Right, but as it's been pointed out, those of us who aren't made to be aware of it on the daily are in danger of a nasty case of inadvertent solipsism.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 09, 2012, 12:26:08 am
I can understand that there aren't any things higher than us. They are just memes that infect us with fear so we never want to let them go. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. Does this mean that by being stoic nihilists and pragmatists that all our problems will be solved?That I'm not so sure about.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Freeky on February 09, 2012, 12:39:45 am
I can understand that there aren't any things higher than us. They are just memes that infect us with fear so we never want to let them go. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. Does this mean that by being stoic nihilists and pragmatists that all our problems will be solved?That I'm not so sure about.

What the hell are you talking about?  I don't think you even understand what's going on here. 
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 09, 2012, 12:56:54 am
I can understand that there aren't any things higher than us. They are just memes that infect us with fear so we never want to let them go. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. Does this mean that by being stoic nihilists and pragmatists that all our problems will be solved?That I'm not so sure about.

What the hell are you talking about?  I don't think you even understand what's going on here.
He is talking about the argument that the instutitions that oppress us, The MachineTM et al, are just other people right? The only one who is really holding each of us back and limiting our freedom is ourselves. We give in to fear, hate, and ingrained assumptions and that is what stops us. Internalization of petty external rules is the true source of individual oppression.
So if we abandoned our emotions, stoicism, if we rejected external restrictions, part of embracing nihilism, we could remove these limitations and truly be free.
The proposed solution is social revolution but I am skeptical.
This is how I understand the argument but I suppose that it could be fatally flawed. Could you tell me where I went wrong please?
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 09, 2012, 01:15:35 am
I can understand that there aren't any things higher than us. They are just memes that infect us with fear so we never want to let them go. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. Does this mean that by being stoic nihilists and pragmatists that all our problems will be solved?That I'm not so sure about.

What the hell are you talking about?  I don't think you even understand what's going on here.
He is talking about the argument that the instutitions that oppress us, The MachineTM et al, are just other people right? The only one who is really holding each of us back and limiting our freedom is ourselves. We give in to fear, hate, and ingrained assumptions and that is what stops us. Internalization of petty external rules is the true source of individual oppression.
So if we abandoned our emotions, stoicism, if we rejected external restrictions, part of embracing nihilism, we could remove these limitations and truly be free.
The proposed solution is social revolution but I am skeptical.
This is how I understand the argument but I suppose that it could be fatally flawed. Could you tell me where I went wrong please?
The only way to "truly be free" is to eat a shotgun, kid.

Not a recommendation, a warning.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 09, 2012, 01:22:22 am
I can understand that there aren't any things higher than us. They are just memes that infect us with fear so we never want to let them go. The only ones holding us back are ourselves. Does this mean that by being stoic nihilists and pragmatists that all our problems will be solved?That I'm not so sure about.

What the hell are you talking about?  I don't think you even understand what's going on here.
He is talking about the argument that the instutitions that oppress us, The MachineTM et al, are just other people right? The only one who is really holding each of us back and limiting our freedom is ourselves. We give in to fear, hate, and ingrained assumptions and that is what stops us. Internalization of petty external rules is the true source of individual oppression.
So if we abandoned our emotions, stoicism, if we rejected external restrictions, part of embracing nihilism, we could remove these limitations and truly be free.
The proposed solution is social revolution but I am skeptical.
This is how I understand the argument but I suppose that it could be fatally flawed. Could you tell me where I went wrong please?
The only way to "truly be free" is to eat a shotgun, kid.

Not a recommendation, a warning.
A well yes. Suicide would remove all restrictions, mostly because we would cease to exist. I would contend that as we exist as human beings we are limited in some ways permanently and irreversibly. I might not be able to destroy an illusion of self, but I might be able to remove other illusions that cloud my perception.This is the freeing process I refer to.

When you say it is a warning, not a recommendation, do you mean that we shouldn't try to free ourselves from the aforementioned shackles.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 09, 2012, 01:36:04 am
There's been a lot of discussion on how well we can survive without all these limits, and the answer as far as any of us can tell is "not very well at all, thanks." You're not aware of the feeling of your tongue in your mouth until I mention it, the objects in your peripheral vision, the smell of your own socks, even though you are completely capable of noticing all of those things based on your physical limitations. Your brain needs filters, or you drown in excess, irrelevant information.

You said you wanted to be enlightened, well what the fuck does that mean to you anyway? You want to love your fellow man? Try watching the news and actually allowing yourself to feel the anguish of losing that many brothers and sisters every day.

I've been trying, poorly, to find the words to explain what I went and did to my sense of identity. I'm not doing that because I want to provide people with a roadmap to follow me to some higher state of being, but to warn everyone about the goddamn black ice on the road. You want to believe in things, so you're very open to all kinds of stuff right now, which makes you prone to every kind of bad thought running around the world. And if you don't have a self, and don't hold on to it, the world will eat you right up and there won't be anything left for the mirror to reflect any more.

There is nothing out there. This is your house.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Freeky on February 09, 2012, 02:16:42 am
He is talking about the argument that the instutitions that oppress us, The MachineTM et al, are just other people right?
What?

Quote
The only one who is really holding each of us back and limiting our freedom is ourselves.
Okay...

Quote
We give in to fear, hate, and ingrained assumptions and that is what stops us.
   
Maybe...

Quote
Internalization of petty external rules is the true source of individual oppression.

There's two ways I could go with this, and they both are "What???" but in different degrees of disbelief.
 
Quote
So if we abandoned our emotions, stoicism, if we rejected external restrictions, part of embracing nihilism, we could remove these limitations and truly be free.

Nobody said anything about rejecting their emotions, but self reflection, examining what a person believes, and deciding what is mostly outside influence based and what was outside social influence based and then further subjected to personal analysis, with an emphasis on discarding ideas the person doesn't actually like.

Minus the stuff that can't be gotten rid of by thinking happy thoughts, of course.

Quote
The proposed solution is social revolution but I am skeptical.

What?
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 09, 2012, 02:21:39 am
Well if you put it then way then I guess it is clear to see. There is nothing to be done. I can accept that.

Enlightenment means moving to understand more than I do now. I move toward enlightenment all the time. Constructive discourse is one of the best methods, maybe only equaled by self-reflection.

As for the next part, I did want to love my fellow man unconditionally and do the whole jesus thing. This was of course just as I was coming out of the church. When I did that of course all it did was fill me with rage as I saw all the needless violence. Anytime I try to engage my emotions into any kind of thinking about how I want the world to be I end up either a benevolent dictator or radical anarchist hinging on voluntarism. I am not sure however after thinking logically that those are really great answers. So I tried disengaging my emotions and that led me partly to where I am now.

I've been trying, poorly, to find the words to explain what I went and did to my sense of identity. I'm not doing that because I want to provide people with a roadmap to follow me to some higher state of being, but to warn everyone about the goddamn black ice on the road.

I think maybe thats a fairly universal problem, at least for those who bother to think about this crap. I too am trying to find who I am if I am not any of the artificial crap society convinces me to pile in my apartment and shovels down my throat. Helping others in that manner is still noble I suppose.
You want to believe in things, so you're very open to all kinds of stuff right now, which makes you prone to every kind of bad thought running around the world. And if you don't have a self, and don't hold on to it, the world will eat you right up and there won't be anything left for the mirror to reflect any more.
There isn't any reason I should close out all the new things. Obviously I discriminate based on practicality, reasonability, and logical integrity; but I don't know that I could just stop examining new ideas as I hear them altogether. That would be the worst kind of hubris to say that these new ideas are not even worth my time. I would also clarify that I want to understand, not really to believe.
That last sentence is probably the most important though. I'm trying to find a self under all the garbage and rust. I won't survive if I don't. Or at least any sense of self won't survive. I would still physically exist as that guy with the shirt and tie. He does his work very well and always follows orders. 

Maybe the real point here is that there are no answers. What can one hope for? Nothing.

And of course this is my house. I can agree with that.
_____________________________________________
Then answering The Freeky of Science.
Err. I guess I might not know what I'm talking about at all then. Let me try again.
The OP is saying that our oppression is caused by ourselves. I then say that the reason we oppress ourselves is due mostly to uncontrolled emotions and unrefined logical thinking. If we controlled our emotions and logicked (not-a-word) really well during self-reflection we could get out of our shackles( the social ones, not the biological ones). Social revolution would be if we all did this and we all got rid of our shackles. Unless the shackles aren't a problem in which case nothing I've mentioned is a solution and I don't actually know what I'm talking about at all.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 09, 2012, 03:09:38 am
There may be hope for you yet :)

To clarify: I was not saying that you should reject all outside ideas, just that you should also not accept all ideas blindly. Some perimeter defenses are mandatory for our mental health. Optimism and an open mind are not bad things, but they come with significant risks that we have to be aware of at all times.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Wolfgang Absolutus on February 09, 2012, 03:16:11 am
There may be hope for you yet :)

To clarify: I was not saying that you should reject all outside ideas, just that you should also not accept all ideas blindly. Some perimeter defenses are mandatory for our mental health. Optimism and an open mind are not bad things, but they come with significant risks that we have to be aware of at all times.
Can't disagree with that Freddie. Salud.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Placid Dingo on February 09, 2012, 05:55:22 am
You can also believe certain things about humans (for example the ideal of human rights) and accept that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally as a person without having to actually like them all.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on February 29, 2012, 04:39:19 pm
Handcuffs 2

Itís taken some digging, but I finally managed to grab that little fucker by the neck.  Self-destruction.  Itís something thatís been following me around for years, maybe even decades.  It hides in my shadow, stalking me, waiting for the moment when vigilance falls.

Too dramatic?  Then Iíll use my new favorite word to describe it: Akrasia.  The state of acting against oneís better judgment.  To act again oneís best interests.  To do what you know is wrong.  Wrong?  Not ďwrong in the eyes of society/law/godĒ but wrong like ďthis isnít what I want to do, but Iím doing it anyway.Ē  Itís not irrationality Ė sometimes, being irrational is the best thing you can do.  And itís not doing things you donít want to do but have to do.  Is it hypocrisy?  In some way, I suppose.  If someone was to comment on your behavior, they might use that wordÖ but it seems to me that hypocrisy has more of an implied deception to it, you know how youíre going to behave, but you speak cross-wise to it.

No, Akrasia is that troubling way that you find yourself, for example, opening another bottle of wine on Tuesday evening, and then you find yourself on the couch at 1:00 in the morning on your third bottle, knowing full well that the alarmís going to go off in four hours, and youíre meeting with the VP at 8:00.  Itís finding yourself shoving a handful of greasy Chinese food into your mouth when youíre thirty pounds overweight.  Itís doing too many shots at the bar when you know youíre going to be playing a show in an hour, and things are going to get sloppy.

This isnít just laziness, this isnít necessarily a Spider.  You know, deep in your guts, what the right thing to do is.  And you watch yourself doing the opposite.  And you find yourself unable to stop.  Itís not addiction, because itís not necessarily a drug, or a habitual behavior like gambling, or OCD.  Itís like part of your brain is taking over, while another part watches.  A part of your brain that is there to undermine you.  Itís the part that keeps you at home when you really should be going out.  Itís the part that keeps you out when you really should be going home. 

Itís not something that doesnít think of the consequences.  It knows the consequencesÖ In a way, it wants those consequences.  It moves ahead, knowing that itís fucking up the other brainís goals and desires Ė and itís that other brain that you consider ďyouĒ, or at least the ďyouĒ that you like best.

(Not to say that this is some sort of split-brain or schizophrenic tendency.  Itís only a metaphor.  Donít take it too literally.)

Maybe some of you will call this a lack of Will.  Maybe youíre right.  But it doesnít feel like that.  Itís not like you know what you need to do but say, Ďeh, fuck it.í  Youíre actively doing what you want to do, but itís either not doing you any favors, itís setting you up for failure, or itís simply going to fuck you up down the road.

Iíd like to say thereís a conclusion to all of this, that I found a way around or over it, but Iím still coming to terms that itís even there.  Iím in my own way, Iím tripping myself up.  And part of me wants that to happen, and I donít know why.

Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Freeky on February 29, 2012, 05:03:02 pm
Oh, damn.  I know exactly what you're on about, LMNO.  Well said.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Freeky on February 29, 2012, 05:04:55 pm
Sometimes its not even the thing you want to be doing, but you can't stop yourself, its like a reflexive action.  You can see it coming, and nothing you do can stop yourself from doing the exact wrong thing. 
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Oysters Rockefeller on February 29, 2012, 06:50:09 pm
This is pretty great stuff. I feel what you're talking about. I always kind of think of it as domestic addiction. Things that aren't considered really wrong, but you know it's not okay anyway. Chinese food was a really good example.
I think a good example we might overlook is our attitude to people in certain situations. For instance, I've had people I like say things I don't want to hear, for whatever reason, and been a dick about it. Whether they made a true statement or not, honest communication is good, and being a jackass creating causing. (destructive?) space in a relationship, not positive (creative?) space. It's instantly gratifying for people when they get to act out, but ultimately harmful.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: minuspace on March 05, 2012, 08:13:02 am
This is pretty great stuff... It's instantly gratifying for people when they get to act out, but ultimately harmful.
Is there a difference between necessity and desire?  I'd like to think so.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Oysters Rockefeller on March 05, 2012, 01:17:11 pm
This is pretty great stuff... It's instantly gratifying for people when they get to act out, but ultimately harmful.
Is there a difference between necessity and desire?  I'd like to think so.

Well, that blurb only applies within the context around it, but yes. There is a difference.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: minuspace on March 06, 2012, 01:53:45 am
Handcuffs 2

Itís taken some digging, but I finally managed to grab that little fucker by the neck.  Self-destruction.  Itís something thatís been following me around for years, maybe even decades.  It hides in my shadow, stalking me, waiting for the moment when vigilance falls.

Too dramatic?  Then Iíll use my new favorite word to describe it: Akrasia.  The state of acting against oneís better judgment.  To act again oneís best interests.  To do what you know is wrong.  Wrong? 

...

This isnít just laziness, this isnít necessarily a Spider.  You know, deep in your guts, what the right thing to do is.  And you watch yourself doing the opposite.  And you find yourself unable to stop.  Itís not addiction, because itís not necessarily a drug, or a habitual behavior like gambling, or OCD.  Itís like part of your brain is taking over, while another part watches.  A part of your brain that is there to undermine you...

Iíd like to say thereís a conclusion to all of this, that I found a way around or over it, but Iím still coming to terms that itís even there.  Iím in my own way, Iím tripping myself up.  And part of me wants that to happen, and I donít know why.

One way I found helpful for articulating the above is positing a distinction between first and second order desires (there's an "ontics" paper somewhere out there on the subject).  Essentially, the first order is what you want, the second is what you want to want.  When these two are in disagreement, (self) destructive tendencies result.  Contradiction is somehow then a function of this ontic structure.  I think this stems from a more fundamental error of misidentification.

The subject identifies with it's purported causal efficacy by imposing artificial delimitations on the placement of choices.  I assume my involvement in effecting change is determined to the extent that I can efficaciously choose either/or, however, the error is to identify with the result of involvement instead of the involvement itself.  The conflict of identity is the product of thinking I can take sides on the issue instead of just being the possibility that makes an issue of itself.  I am in conflict with myself because I misread myself. (that, and the thread between my mittens)


Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Doktor Howl on March 19, 2012, 11:46:05 pm
Horrible bad poetry derail split and moved to:

http://www.principiadiscordia.com/forum/index.php/topic,31969.0.html
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 17, 2017, 01:21:08 pm
New version of Handcuffs II. I think it's done? The bit on the right for the aside is still bothering me a little but if I keep poking it right now I'll never finish.

(http://i.imgur.com/0PUsLAh.jpg)
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Ziegejunge on February 17, 2017, 06:19:19 pm
Thanks for this, LMNO and Q.G.

Self-destruction is, out of necessity, an interest of mine. I've suffered from dermatophagia and dermatillomania since the age of three. I don't think OCD was really defined back then. I doubt it was much in the mainstream if so.

I understand this piece is explicitly not about OCD, but it's hard for me to avoid seeing a few parallels between Akrasia and biting the hell out of my fingers until I'm barely able to perform everyday tasks. It's probably dangerous to conflate the two, despite what appear to be parallels, so I guess this is sort of an ego-driven derail in a way. Apologies if that rankles anyone.

It was around the time I first read the Principia that I had an epiphany: if I did this to anyone else's fingers, I would be locked up in a cell right now. But apparently it's acceptable to do it to my own? It's... odd, watching my coworkers actively ignoring my band-aids, pretending I don't have a problem, because it's a pretty disgusting problem to have and I suppose it's socially easier to just ignore it? If nothing else, I'm grateful said affliction helped me better understand society and the concept of reality tunnels.

And then there's my HMO's primary care provider, who, when I told him I suffer from dermatophagia, replied with a straight face: "That's just Latin for skin eating," as though translating the fucking word for me would make the problem go away. As though I didn't already know it was Latin for skin eating. I'm not sure I've ever wanted to punch a face more than that moment. Nothing like, "oh the DSM-5 might be addressing that soon," or "I know cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful for similar problems. Let me refer you to a therapist." No help, no sympathy. Just a fucking smartest guy in the room explaining my own problem to me in words my presumably stupid brain could understand.

One facet of my personal philosophy is that every human has creative and destructive tendencies, and that sometimes the destructive tendencies are directed outward, and sometimes they are directed inward/self-afflicted. Again, I don't mean to confuse my specific quirk with the bigger picture, despite the parallels. Like the piece says, "I wish there was a conclusion to all of this," but there isn't. There is only considering the implications and doing one's best to integrate one's flaws and foibles into one's life while trying to improve them, trying to get on despite them, trying not to let the self-destruction go too far.

Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 17, 2017, 06:38:13 pm
I hope you have medical professionals who are less shitty now, ziegejunge. Have you had any luck with replacement behaviors in the past?
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Junkenstein on February 17, 2017, 06:56:10 pm
Sorry to note a typo in the first paragraph, "Mfoment".

Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Ziegejunge on February 17, 2017, 07:36:59 pm
Thanks Q.G.

I sort of gave up on my primary doc after that. Finding a new one is near the top of my to-do list. In the meantime, I sought out therapists on my own who would be covered by my HMO and have spent the past few years working with a couple of them. While those experiences were indeed helpful in some aspects -- dealing with the death of my father-in-law after he moved in with us and was placed on hospice care, losing my own dad a year and a half later, and some major on-the-job stressors at the same time...

Yes, there was some help. Unfortunately none of it really seemed to relate much with the OCD behaviors.

My best success with replacement behaviors was prior to therapy, though, and entailed wearing a rubber band around my wrist and snapping it when I caught myself biting. Ultimately that did more to increase awareness with regard to behavioral frequency, and not so much with prevention -- I ended up with LOTS of broken rubber bands and an incredibly sore, perpetually red wrist. I had to give up on that when I came close to breaking the skin on my wrist a few times. Negative reinforcement only goes so far sometimes, and I didn't see the point in developing a surrogate behavior that was comparatively as self-destructive.

I'm always open to new ideas and suggestions, but after almost 35 years of dealing with this I'm not holding my breath expecting a "cure." I do have some strategies for dealing with the behavior and the resulting pain, but to date I have "tried everything," and nothing has really helped as much as I'd hoped it would.

Oddly, I find that when I'm ill -- like, laid up in bed sick -- that I rarely bite. Because I'm human and I like to believe there are reasons for things, I feel like maybe that's a clue, but so far I haven't been able to connect the dots in any kind of meaningful way beyond total crackpot theories involving my immune system playing some sort of esoteric role in the behavior.

Akrasia was not in my vocabulary prior to today, which I find odd since I enjoy vocabulary and it's so apropos. Just a reminder that we're always, constantly learning new things which give us new insight and perspective. I remember how life changing it was just to learn the word "dermatophagia" -- to know that there was a word for this gave me some power over it. Knowing that it was a kind of OCD and not just a "bad habit" like my folks always labeled it realigned my psyche in incredibly positive ways, even if it didn't help prevent the behavior itself. Grabbing "that little fucker by the neck," as the piece says, seems like a vital first step to me, even if there doesn't seem to be a "conclusion to all this" at this point in time.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on February 21, 2017, 01:48:42 am
After all that this is gonna sound petty, but the kerning on the right half of the page is making me twitch.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 21, 2017, 02:10:31 am
After all that this is gonna sound petty, but the kerning on the right half of the page is making me twitch.

That's always the concern with justify. Are there some specific points bothering you I can try to clean up manually, or should I just switch the alignment?
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on February 21, 2017, 02:20:38 am
The thing that's jumping out the most is the "It's not something that doesn't think..." line roughly halfway down.

But if it's a pain in the ass, I get it.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on February 21, 2017, 02:38:58 am
Kerning's better in this version, but I mangled a bunch of your words to make it happen.
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: LMNO on February 21, 2017, 03:53:53 am
  Nah, that's decent editing. Thanks for the upgrade!
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Ziegejunge on February 21, 2017, 06:28:57 pm
After all that this is gonna sound petty, but the kerning on the right half of the page is making me twitch.

Whatever helps get the message across! It's a beautiful reminder for me; it may be a total epiphany for someone else!
Title: Re: Handcuffs
Post by: Meunster on February 21, 2017, 06:49:26 pm
Ziegejunge, really well said. I can relate imenssenly. Wish I  could give some advice,  but you seem to be taking the best course of action.  Best wishes hope you find something  that helps.