Useless information: A $100 bill is worth nearly twice its weight in gold.
I found this in my journal from about 15 years ago, and thought it was worth sharing:
The thing that came out of today's discussion was a visual concept: The juxtaposition of two contemporaneous images. On the one hand, you have the Via Flammia heading away from Rome, the road lined with crosses on which hang slaves in all states from screaming and writhing to rotting and disintegrating, and on the other hand you have a preacher who is so charismatic that PLANTS listen to him standing on a hilltop in Palestine saying, "Take up your cross and follow me." If you can't see the Via Flammia when Jesus talks about "taking up your cross", you are missing the point.
Life and Gaming:
Back on July 10, 2019, I decided to check out a Facebook game called "Hero Wars." They were running a lot of ads at the time which promised logic puzzles that intrigued me. The promised puzzles weren't immediately available, but there were several parts of the game for which access had to be earned, and the available gameplay was interesting enough that I was willing to wait.
I played, and opened the locked doors, and never found the promised puzzles. I did stumble into the multi-player portion of the game, but I wasn't interested in that at all. The part of me that loves games really doesn't like people very much. So I created a guild of my own, just enough to let me look around the multi-player landscape.
I didn't, at that point, know how to discourage other players from joining my guild. The next day the guild was full of the maximum 30 people, and I was a guild master. I was RESPONSIBLE. (If you don't know by now, I do my best to avoid responsibility, because I don't know how to respond to it half-way. If I don't ignore it, it bites me HARD.)
The game kept eating more and more of my life, and a few weeks ago, I had finally had enough. I made may apologies, and announced my departure date. And then I hung around at half strength for another week. But now it's GONE, and I'm free, and... NEVER AGAIN. Obligation kills joy. Maybe this time, I'll remember it.
It's Aphelion Day. Which is to say, this is the day when the Earth is the furthest from the sun that it will be all year. It is also the day on which the Earth will receive the LEAST solar radiation it will receive all year.
Makes you colder, just thinking about it, doesn't it?
No, I guess not.
For the first time since October of 2019, the van once again has a hat. I have had doubts about my ability to get the canoe onto the roof of the van due to shoulder injuries, but it went up with no trouble. Still haven't had it in the water, this year, but it's READY. This is a THING.
July 6 and subsequent, posted elsewhere:
Politicaly incorrect candid question (I have not found any formal research on the subject so I am curious to pick your mega brains, if you please):
Do you think that women are, on average, intrinsically/physiologicaly/emotionally/c
Why do you think so?
(I believe the way I formulated my question lets you guess my take on the subject... impression that I hope to be wrong! The idea came to me after having a discussion about what should be the implications of an undesired pregnancy with some of my male friends...)
It's a complex issue. It should be possible to have a binding legal agreement, pre-sex, to the extent that, regardless of the woman's subsequent choices, the man's liability is equal to one-half the price of an abortion and related expenses. No court would recognize such an agreement, and that is a problem. Under current law, if a man clearly states that he would rather have no sex than risk parenthood, and the woman lies to him, or changes her mind, he has no recourse, and that is WRONG. On the other hand, if you just enjoy playing paternity roulette and lose, you should absolutely be held responsible.
It might be a complex matter if we account for exceptional situations: man raped by a woman, woman intentionaly lying or stoping to take birth control on purpose..... But except for the rape case, responsible men I know that are serious about not procreating use their birth control method: condoms. And they don't negociate. But apparently "sex management" is not well taught or at least, not enough taught to counter balance what screens teach us...
And, hah, while we are at it: another sex issue where the lack of consideration never cease to amaze me...
(Image of text that says 'Could you take a hormonal pill with possible health risks EVERYDAY? Or you could wear a condom? Nah, that's inconvenient...)
To sum up: One, the law is conceptually flawed, BUT... Two, the law is the way it is because I significant percentage of men are lazy, honorless cads.
Maybe. But even in the case where the pregnancy is a surprise for both parties, I had friends arguing that if the woman choose to keep the baby while the man would not want to be a parent, he should be able to step out of child support... I just don't get how someone cannot consider that an abortion is not like a tooth extraction... the choice can be stressful and heartbreaking: whatever the choice that the woman makes, it comes with long term physical and emotional risks.
But it is HER choice, and under current law, the man is forced to follow her lead. The balancing option, where the man would be in a position to force an abortion, is of course abhorrent. But under current law, the woman makes a decision unilaterally which can be life changing for both of them. Abortion is never a good thing (and definitely NOT a tooth extraction), but it IS generally safer than carrying a child to term.
I think it is just reasonnable that a man should be forced to follow her lead. I know that an abortion has less physical risks that a pregnancy... but what about the psychological risks... Also, if a man could opt out of financial responsibility, it could be like a form of coercion toward abortion for some women with less financial means.
HoopZie On the other hand, the emotional and financial stresses of fatherhood could be suicide-inducing.
Then we could make sure they get a good insurance so the child stays financialy safe 😈....
I have see so many women bearing the financial weight of children on their own (ever all the rest), I believe the solution to men suicide might not be to eliminate their responsibility: why women make it a point of honor to stay strong for the kids and men want to vanish? (I know, it is a complicated issue as well, multiple variables, but I believe just letting all the financial weight on mothers because they choose not to go through an abortion is revolting. As you say: people should learn early what are the consequences of intercourse and get serious about it )
I think we have arrived at Condition Three, at this point. I offered the idea of male suicide as a counter to the emotional costs of abortion, which does not seem to be the way you took it. The core of our disagreement is our respective concepts of what abortion is, I think. And I also think that that is not something which is likely to change significantly via discussion.
Now that I've already invoked "Condition Three", I feel I ought to make sure that you really do know where I am coming from. I'm about two steps short of being an anti-natalist (I don't believe life is fundamentally a bad thing, I just think that it fundamentally ambivalent), and I think that bringing an unwanted child into the world is profoundly immoral, and that bringing an abvialently wanted child into the world is REALLY morally quesitonable. So in the case of accidental pregnancy, outside of relationship, I have serious problems with forcing life-changing consequences on someone who had no voice in the critical go/no-go decision.
I am uncertain if we have reached condition three because I feel we might have similar views on abortion (I am oftentimes an antinatalist too, among other things). However, I don't know, but maybe we have reached the point I was trying to raise in the OP. Maybe where we differ is that I acknowledge that a pregnant woman might have a different view than mine on abortion. And that even if she had intellectualy, before the event, the same view as mine, something might change in her deeper self when "feeling a connection to the life inside her". I am able to respect that for some women, asking them to abort is like asking them to kill someone or cut their own leg. (I think this should be considered a reasonable feeling -- and not delusion-- considering the extent to which it is shared by different cultures, religions, spiritual systems and considering the biology of the pregnancy phenomenon). I don't see how financial underachievement can be put against that. Also, I don't see how it can be considered an equitable solution to absolve the geniter for his responsibility and put it all on the mother and child.
The "feeling a connection to the life inside her" is hormonally induced madness, and it fades when the pregnancy ends, and the body stops producing happy drugs. And if the woman involved knows she was drugged, and expects the withdrawal, the emotional repercussions are significantly reduced. I have problems with the idea of making decisions based on transient biological effects that predate humanity. And there is still the argument that the final go/no-go decision is, and must be, made by the woman alone, and, by inevitable extension, she must also be the person who takes primary responsibility.
I am sorry, I am about to reach condition four. To consider that the feeling of connection of the mother to the potential child as madness (and transient) and the potential suicidal ideations of the father as reason and determinent for decision making is either a "lack of interest in the truth", a relative lack of shared knowledge of biological processes (I don't pretend to be a specialist, so perhaps we don't "own" the same knowledge in regards of the biological frame of human interactions and it would be too fastidious, on my end, to go through it all), an irreconciliable epistemological standpoint or irreconciliable ethical views. I also question your affirmations that imply that abortion is without long term life-changing effects on the woman.
"Life changing consequences" are incured when the gametes are released in the reproductive space and this is where the window of go/no-go decision can be owned by the man.
I think I have found the disconnect. IF ones sees abortion as the logical default in the event of unplanned pregnancy (which I do), then the choice to bear the child becomes an extraordinary voluntary action for which the woman is wholly responsible. If one perceives childbirth as the logical default (which you seem to), then laying significant responsibility on the father makes sense.
Hum. Well yes. And now we could discuss why one should be the default mode over the other... and disagree 😆. I like you anyways, Paul.
I'm glad. I was beginning to fear I had lost that, and that made me sad. (For the record, I have had a LOT of first hand experience with being depressive/suicidal, and also a lot of first- and second-hand experience with the impact of body chemistry on rational thought and decision making, so I don't bring these things up lightly. I have the mileage, and the scars.)
I can vigourously disagree with someone and still like him/her as far as exchange of ideas is concerned (I like to read the variety of views different of mine). I also notice that you are courteous in your interventions, and I truly appreciate that someone takes the time to reply and develop on the subject, and even try to find the "core" of the diverging paths. (Obviously, if we were directly concerned by the decision, it might go otherwise! 😆)
I find that it can be a challenge in my own language to concisely align my thoughts to make them understandable to others, it is a little (!) more challenging in a second language. (In a perfect world, I would connect to Natalia Malysheva 's brain so she could synthesize what is in mine 😁)
I stumbled across this the other day, realized it would take me hours, if not days, to solve, and walked away, but I archived it. I have played with it a bit since then, and am convinced that *I* will never solve it; it's too alien to the way my mind works. But I would like to know the solution. Any takers?
Complete the five words below in such a way that the two letters that end the first word also start the second word, and the letters that end the second word also start the third word, etc. The two letters that end the fifth word also start the first word, completing the cycle.
Update: Two solutions (which match) so far.
Life in my household:
Hyena: Doesn't that (actor playing a ) newsreader look like...
Dementia: Alan Cumning? No, I don't see it.
Hyena was momentarily stunned while he caught up with what had just happened, and then they both laughed.
From the Dredge. Faire starts tomorrow, and I STILL haven't bought my season pass; I have a worse than usual case of threshold anxiety, for no reason I can name. But memories like this one are precious...
Respect the drive-by: Best Bristol moment of the day: She was sitting by herself in the Friends of Faire garden. I walked by, and said, "It has been my experience that pretty girls who are sitting by themselves prefer to remain that way," and smiled. Her face lit up, and I walked away.
In an unfettered free market, the price of unskilled labor will trend toward the cost of subsistence for one person, with no allowances for mishap. Trying to improve on this with minimum wage legislation is very much like trying to legislate the weather. A stable, long term solution REQUIRES some form of direct welfare, like UBI.
I just growled, loudly and excessively, at someone I care about. It was the result of a multi-element communication cascade failure, and the awful thing is that I CAN NOT apologize for what I said, only for the way I said it.
The nature of our world is such that sometimes you are called upon to love people who hold ideas which you find stupid or even abhorrent, and the only way to maintain balance is to avoid those topics altogether, and I tripped into one of those areas when my guard was down, and I spoke truth... and hurt someone I care about. I don't know if the rift can be repaired, and I feel sick about it.
Update: Repairs have been made, the toxic subject has been successfully reburied, and all is well. So far.
I may have sold a copy of "Fiddler's Rose" to the CVS cashier today, because I was wearing a tee shirt based on Disney's "Hercules". Arachne's web is very broad, indeed.
From the Dredge. I'm not sure I have this properly archived, and this makes sure I will. And it's worth re-reading, anyway.
There is a very small number of writers who, regardless of medium, routinely rip my heart out. Joss Whedon is one of them. At ComicCon this weekend, someone asked him the meaning of life. His answer follows.
The world is a random and meaningless terrifying place and then we all—spoiler alert—die. Most critters are designed not to know that. We are designed, uniquely, to transcend that, and to understand that—I can quote myself—a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.
The main function of the human brain, the primary instinct, is storytelling. Memory is storytelling. If we all remembered everything, we would be Rain Man, and would not be socially active at all. We learn to forget and to distort, but we [also] learn to tell a story about ourselves.
I keep hoping to be the hero of my story; I’m the annoying sidekick. I’m kind of like Rosie O’Donnell in that Tarzan movie. He keeps hoping to be Tarzan, but finding that he’s that weird monkey that nobody can tell if it’s a girl or a boy.
My idea is that stories that we then hear and see and internalize—and wear hats from and come to conventions about... We all come here to celebrate only exactly that: storytelling, and the shared experience of what that gives us. The shared experience of storytelling gives us strength and peace. You understand your story and everyone else’s story, and that it can be controlled by us. This is something we can survive, because unlike me, you all are the hero of your story.
From the Dredge. Again, not sure I have it properly archived.
While I am dumping out thoughts by writers I admire, we have the following from Warren Ellis (who hasn't ripped my heart out, that I can remember, but is generally worth reading) regarding a frequently repeated, and often wrong, piece of writing advice. He is talking specifically about comics, but the lesson generally applies. The heart of it? "Anyone who cannot imagine genuine storytelling reasons for telling something instead of showing something is an idiot." Yup.
Some people will quote a rule at you, often with a snotty air: “show, don't
tell.” They will tell you that it is bad storytelling if, for instance, the art
doesn't tell the story independently of the text, or, classically, if you are
telling the reader something instead of showing it to them.
This is crap.
Bruce Wagner's WILD PALMS graphic novel, wonderfully illustrated by the late
Julian Allen, frequently “tells” you in dialogue what you are seeing in the
art. So went the criticism. Except, of course, that it wasn't. What it was
frequently doing was striking subtle friction off the proximity of writing to
art – there was additional information in the art, and the blankness of the
text had its own subtextual payload.
Anyone who cannot imagine genuine storytelling reasons for telling something
instead of showing something is an idiot. Anyone who can't imagine the art and
the text telling you *two different stories* is an idiot.
Try not to describe the illustration in the dialogue or caption unless there's
a very specific reason for it. That's it. Anything else is fair game.
Posted to a Traveller board:
Heh. I write pseudo-medieval fantasy, and let me tell you, it is MUCH easier to include hard science in fantasy than it is to write actual hard SF. The problem is that as science expands, it is constantly slamming doors where there weren't even walls 150 years ago. It is becoming increasingly clear that interplanetary commerce will NEVER be viable. So you fall back on the "initial conditions" rule: IF we assume the following pretty much impossible things to be true, we will then follow our rules religiously. And by THOSE rules, "Traveller" is pretty hard.
From the Dredge. I was just thinking about this photo yesterday, and here it is. The reason... Yesterday, I was 40 pounds lighter than my all time high, in 2012, or, somewhat more relevantly, 25 pounds lighter than I was on January 1, 2020. (We didn't ALL gain weight during the quarantine...) On the other hand, I am still 25 pounds heavier than I was in 2009 (the low point of this millennium, so far), and 105 pounds heavier than the fellow in the picture. And I am farther away from him than that, actually, because he had muscle mass that I just DON'T. Youth is so very much wasted on the young... ("Highbinder" photo)