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Dave's Random Thoughts
A "first draft" for the book of everything
Recent Entries 
12th-Oct-2012 10:00 pm - The Fallacy of Fairness
allgods
Many people talk about ways to maintain harmony and balance in their various relationships, not just Poly people. You can go far more broadly into life in general and discuss life/work balance, dietary balance, and untold other variations on the theme. But as I am wont to do, I am focusing on the concept within relationships, and even more specifically, in Polyamorous relationships in this article.

There is a common train of thought among inexperienced poly people (and even some who have experience) that there needs to be some sort of balance in their relationships, a form of quid pro quo bargaining which I see frequently referred to as "fairness".

Click here for many more wordsCollapse )
10th-Oct-2012 10:41 pm - Cognitive Dissonance
allgods
glass in window

Emotional StuffCollapse )
6th-Oct-2012 04:10 pm - What is the what?
allgods
Hey there. How's things?

I decided that since I often can't weigh myself until the weekend, or occasionally until Tuesday morning (when the family is up and out the door earlier than usual), I changed my "weigh-in day" to Tuesdays. Because of that, I'm posting today without having an update about my weight, or as I have renamed it, a "Health Update".

So, what to talk about? You have anything? No, okay, well, I'll throw a couple of things out.

About my last post. It was an interesting process. I started off ranting at the destructive force of well-meaning people ignorant of the natural consequences of their own behaviors. I modified it slightly to be underhandedly snarky with an overtone of "I'm a nice person being helpful". I find that fairly deplorable, so I backed off that a bit, focusing on how to be genuinely helpful.

What emerged as a first draft was a document that was trying to be helpful, kind of, but still had lots of snark just under the surface, and some on the surface, and stopped short of having any actual, actionable advice. So, second draft, proactive advice, and I removed most of the surface snark, and tried to mitigate a fair amount of the undertones. Not sure how much I succeeded, but there it is. Draft 2 is up.

I also spent part of my time today writing a couple of essays for a scholarship application. We'll see what happens with that. Kind of out of the blue. No harm if I don't get it. If I do get it, cool. Many paths to the goal. If one doesn't work, take a step to the side, and try the next.

It's been about a month since I last opened a piece of software that falls into the category of "computer game", much less played one. Longest period of time since the 1980's. Bizarre. Truly bizarre. Not sure how long that's going to last, but yeah, I'm busy. Got things to do.

I'm preparing to start my own website. Eager to do that. I will likely continue a blog here, or somewhere, or something, separate from that. Not certain exactly what I'm going to do as far as keeping personal separate from the site. I think there will be overlap. We'll see.

Work is going gangbusters. Happy about that. Found a good sushi place in Vancouver. Shocking. Happy about that. Tai Chi is going great. Happy about that. Met with a personal trainer yesterday and I'm all set up to start regular work outs, strength training. Happy about that. Been out on the basketball court a few times in the past week, trying to get some of my fundamentals back. Happy about that, though, not so much with the skillful. Happily clumsy.

What else? I'm prioritizing writing above most else. I've been teaching myself math again, learning statistics. Doubling back to pick up some stuff. After going halfway through Stats I found that I was missing some pieces. Happy about that. It's fun. Doing more writing, but I will keep up with the math too. Yay math.

That's a pretty good snapshot of what's going on at the moment. Juggling a lot. Enjoying it a lot. Working toward short term and long term goals. That's nice. Feeling very productive. Things are really good. Yay me.

Hope things are really good with you.
allgods
This article is a long, technical discussion of what being a "Unicorn Hunter" means, what's wrong with it, and how people in such a situation can try to avoid the negative stereotypes associated with such behavior and get the things that they are ultimately looking for. It is written in a conversational style so as to make it as "approachable" as possible, but it is not watered-down or simplified.

This is not a touchy-feely, happy-go-lucky, or pithy endeavor. This is substantive. I have taken pains to avoid personal attacks or insults, but I have not held back from being critical about fundamental problems with such approaches. This is not an attack on anyone, this is a blunt explanation of what it is and why it has the stereotype it does.

This is not thorough. There are large areas that I don't touch. I wouldn't be able to write this here if I were to try to be exhaustive on the topic. For instance, I only hint at people who are trying Polyamory to save their relationship. I don't mention the concept of Poly Triads within D/s relationships. There is a lot more meat on these bones.

What I've discussed here is pretty much a best case scenario, avoiding any pretext of a Straw Man argument. I assume the highest and best goals and intentions of an inexperienced Poly couple, and go from there, showing that this endeavor is still entirely problematic. If you are still up for it, feel free to click on the link.



What's the big deal about “Unicorn Hunters” anyway?Collapse )
21st-Sep-2012 09:08 am - My first health update
allgods
Had another surprise this week. Really not sure what all this means. Still okay with it.

189.

That's 5 pounds off from last week. So, the past 3 weeks have been 192 -> 194 -> 189.

Does that mean that I'm done? Does that mean I had a blip? Does that mean anything at all?

Humans are narrative creatures (going to do an article on that sometime, it's on the list now) and I'm searching for meaning. I think I would be well served to let go of that. Things are so good at this point, I don't see a benefit in investing more time building narrative/understanding this process. I want to continue to execute my plan for physical health, which includes much, much more than Medifast at this point, and stop myself from wasting time spinning a story out of straw.

Here's what I know, I weigh 189 this morning. That's the kind of awesome that I can't really verbalize. I'm going to stick to my plan. Begin to transition off of Medifast the first week of November. I'm going to start Tai Chi in 6 days. I'm going to research options for meditation today. I'm going to continue with my push-ups/sit-ups. I'm going to make a plan to begin running soon. I'm continuing my journey toward fitness, and after the first week of November, I'm not going to really worry about scales or "weight updates" again until I have a pressing reason to.

I'm going to transition to "health updates". In fact, maybe I start that now.
20th-Sep-2012 09:35 pm - Abandonment
allgods
I am putting this on here because I'm ready to write it, I want to store it, and I'm not opposed to sharing it. This is where I write. This is not a piece full of happy happy joy joy, so please skip it unless you want to dive into a big ball of emotional processing. I have no expectations that anyone but myself will read this, that's not why it's here. But, if you want to, you are welcome to peruse as much or as little as you like.

Yes, my writing style conflicts with my statement above. Yes, it is written for an audience. No, I don't know how to reconcile those two statements. No, I'm not worried about that cognitive dissonance. My logical brain tells me that I am writing for someone, I just don't know who. My feelings aren't prepared to admit that it might be one of the other people described in the narrative. For some inexplicable reason it is nearly impossible for me to face the idea that someone else might in some way benefit from my personal narrative.

Alright, that's all the stalling I can think of, let's dig in.

Cut for emotional contentCollapse )
15th-Sep-2012 09:49 am - Posting from Redmond, WA
allgods
So, had a surprise on Friday. Weighed in at 194.

+2 pounds.

I gained 2 pounds.

I'm on plan, no cheating, everything the same as before... mostly. Had a week+ long migraine, so that means I was more sedentary than usual, taking some Kava (natural depressant), possible that is slowing my metabolism (stretching to say that, I don't know that would actually happen). Just guessing at this point.

The first question that you might have, or one of the first, is "Did you freak out?"

Nope.

I'm just fine with that result. I don't know if my metabolism slowed, if I was retaining fluids, or if it is the result of muscle gain from my ramping-up doing push-ups. No idea.

And it doesn't matter.

I don't feel threatened. I'm not worried. I'm accepting of reality, aware of it, considering it, and withholding judgment for more data. Everything is fine. We'll see what happens next week.

My money (not that I have any money) is on muscle mass accumulation causing a net gain in weight. I am doing a lot of push-ups lately and I am getting stronger. It is awesome! I can see and feel a very slow, gradual increase in muscles. That is one possible explanation for the +2 pounds. There are other possible explanations as well. I'm actually comfortable with any of them.

My behavior is on target. My reasons are sound. I'm doing it right. The results are the results. The numbers don't actually matter. From the very beginning they never did. My result has always been health, not an arbitrary number. After doing this for a long time, seeing numbers, focusing a bit on numbers, it is easy to derail that focus and begin to confuse goals.

I am keeping my focus on the goal. The goal is health. The numbers are what they are, and I am going to keep tracking them for the short term... however, they are of diminishing import. I am going to continue to add physical exertion into my routine to increase my physical strength and stamina. I am going to accept that my weight will go up and down any given day/week/month, and that is fine.

I am sane. I will not become reactive and focused on the wrong things. I will not allow distractions to derail me from my goals.

I am excited!
13th-Sep-2012 07:03 pm - Level up
allgods
September 12th & 13th.
8th-Sep-2012 06:45 pm - Scorn Decay
allgods
Scorn Decay is the idea that when someone does something monumentally offensive and/or stupid, an act truly worthy of contempt and derision, that it generates two things that can be measured in duration. The first product of such an event is Humor (Hu) which is measured in "Laugh Life" (LL), and the second is Outrage (Ou) which is measured in “duration of Righteous Indignation” (dRI).

So far, attempts to measure the actual quantities of Hu & Ou have proven challenging. The best efforts have shown limited effectiveness at rating such events relative to each other, but given the widely varying responses of individual receptors, this is problematic at best.

Both Hu and Ou have different “Flavors”, depending on the topic. Common flavors include; Political (P), Religious/Spiritual (X), Gender (G), Sexual (S), Competition/Cheating (C), Financial/Theft ($), Race/Nationality (R).

There are some situations that follow atypical models. Rather than a contiguous period of measurement of LL and/or dRI, there can be a delay involved before the onset of symptoms. One such model is referred to as the “Too Soon” effect. Occasionally, particularly high Ou levels can suppress the efficacy of the Hu particles. Once the dRI has run it's course, in part or in full, then a delayed LL may appear.

There are times when the Ou levels are so high that they obliterate any of the relatively weaker Hu particles that may be present. Examples of this include slavery in early American History and the Jewish Holocaust in Nazi Germany.


Examples


Event Description #1: Rep. Anthony Weiner, shares pictures of privates. LL: 4 months, dRI: 1 week.

Commentary: Garden variety Hu/S outburst with very low Ou/P emissions. The only reason there were measurable levels of Ou/P was his attempt at lying about the incident.


Event Description #2: Pres. George W. Bush, "Mission Accomplished" speech. LL: 9 years, 4 months, 7 days and counting... potentially unlimited source of Hu/P. dRI: 6 months.

Commentary: Massive burst of Hu/P, with large quantities of Ou/P. Truly significant event. LL estimates are 10+ years at this point, 12 to 15 are not out of the realm of possibility.


Event Description #3: Daniel Tosh, "comedian", "Rape joke aimed at audience member". LL: 0 days (this event was very low in actual Hu emissions, ironic, given that Mr. Tosh is supposed to be funny for a living). dRI: 1 month.

Commentary #4: While the Tosh event produced a large quantity of Ou/G, the relatively brief dRI is indicative of rapidly diminishing Ou levels. From this we can infer that events that generate Ou/G are probably common place enough that the people who are sensitive to such outbursts have some sort of context-specific adaptive mechanism in place to disperse Ou/G.


Event Description: Candidate Todd Akin, “Legitimate Rape” comment. LL: ?. dRI: 1 month.

Commentary: A very interesting example which looks similar to the Tosh event at first glance, but has a notably different profile. There is a real possibility of this event following a “Too Soon” model, that sufficient Hu/G particles will remain to generate a recognizable LL after the far more toxic Ou/P, Ou/G, & Ou/S particles that this event emitted have dispersed.


There is certainly more work to be done in the burgeoning study of Scorn Decay. Hopefully this primer has introduced you to some of the basic concepts and perhaps even sparked an interest in the field. Thank you for reading!
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