We have some issues with pronouns, you and me.
"We, our, us" vs "they, their, them": When I hear people using any of these my skin crawls.
These pronouns encode a required dimension in English which imposes on your circumstances a reference in-group that is yours, and a reference out-group that is not yours. "We" are in "our" group, it's "us", and "they" are in "their" group, it's "them". Ugh. F that. It's functional if your society is designed for mob action, but I think we're kind of beyond that historically, and I just want to point out to the emotionally intelligent that this is bullshit and let's all please stop, or at least be a little less stupid and mean about it.
When some prestige-group member refers to members of some minority group as "them", it just repeats the outgroup assertion. "They" are over there, in a little minority, huddled, separate, and silent, while "We" are over here having "our" conversation without "them" participating, at most maybe "they" can listen while "we" talk. "They" is a group that doesn't have the right to respond in "our" conversation.
A tiny bit of diplomatic skill or emotional intelligence consists in this: Use your pronouns inclusively, unless you actually mean to communicate the exclusivist disempowering separating point that your pronouns actually communicate. Or are you being stupid and unfriendly on purpose?
"He, She, It": If you want to use a pronoun unspecified for gender, we have a solution in English: "it". In Hindi the wife refers to her husband as "my that", because the Hindi pronoun, "woh", is unmarked for gender and animacy. If you want gender-unmarked pronouns in English, we have some: "this", "that" or "it".
First draft posted today. It's super fun. Somebody please ask me to put in some parameter controls to refine it.
My job is to make it possible to find what you want here. Suggestions? Here are some ways.
Titles: short and memorable, might not reveal enough content to pull readers to their content. I'm drawn to the idea of a TL;DR index, with a short paragraph rather than just the title, maybe a twitter announcement of it. I'll use this blog for that in future.
Recency: a sidebar. I pander to you here, because the recency bias is stupid, loses signal for noise, as if the moment's news is more important than really learning something significant for generations, millenia, even evolutionary or cosmological time. But it's there.
Favorites: another sidebar. For now, this is also weakly informative, as the choices are more about my momentary mode while writing rather than your mood now.
Genres & Media Types: my primary outline structure. This seemed the best for quite a while, but my list has gotten long and even types of stuff like Projects or Services have become large and noisy.
Sciences: I was tickled to notice most of my essays fit into the subject tree of all sciences. See Deep Thoughts -> Mine.
Google: Wow, they actually sort of solved this. Google "tomveatch.com Gravity", and you'll probably get what you actually want. Hmm.
I've been thinking about galaxies again and I figured out: how spiral arms get sucked into the end of the bar of a bar galaxy; how the spiral arms are separated from the faster-spinning galactic core; how Doppler has higher energy as well as higher frequency; how spiral arms rotate so much more slowly than expected. See Gravity is BS.
I happened to be studying some Korean history where I found out that double entry accounting was invented there 500 years before the Italians figured it out. You know my interest in this so I clicked on double entry accounting in Wikipedia and Yes indeeed, they still have the inscrutable unexplained list of what's Dr and what's Cr which you have to memorize to be an accountant. This is the essence of the professional obfuscation that keeps the rest of us ignorant of their mysteries. Read Sweet Accounting if you want to (a) become one of them, or (b) never be flummoxed by one again, or simply (c) get the simple idea of it.
I thought I'd clarify how why the alternative explanations of galaxy spiral arms, namely standing waves and dark matter influences, are bad ideas. See Gravity is BS.
You know the Golden Rule: Do to others what you would have them do unto you. But do you know the Iron Rule? Don't do for others what they can do for themselves. The Iron Rule applies to children in development (so they can develop), to old folks in decline (so they can not decline so fast), and for volunteers in a volunteer organization (so it can multiply its powers). Where else?
First burn the herd, then have herd immunity.
Sorry, I'm not very PC. Actually I'm a great big snowflake, but also a plumber by trade, and cursing and sexism in language are par for the course in the trades, so get over it. Do you need your toilet fixed or not?
Truth be told: Cursing is a sign of intimacy with the listener, because when you don't curse, you are carefully not expressing passion, not revealing your true feelings, which is appropriate with remote strangers when you have to put on a good face. Therefore, consider it a good sign if someone is comfortable enough to curse in your presence.
Young man, listen to me. You're looking at someone, I know. And before you get her, it's Look, Don't Touch, and maybe for you, yes for me growing up, skinny looked hot. So if you're still 14, I understand.
But once you got her, now it's Snuggle Time and you need Squeezable, not all bones. I mean, are you a mammal or not? We are mammals; we snuggle.
So yes, squeezing and holding and nuzzling in and being close is WAY better than Looking, hello, so get your priorities straight.
So no, it's
not about Skinny for very long, unless you're some loser that
can't make a relationship work.
Just one (Cis/Man) opinion.
Think about Jefferson, yes he aimed at a place higher than where he stood, he wrote that all men are created equal while his brother in law was in the next room serving him as a slave. But consider how far we have come, and how much farther to go.
The original Roman laws said a man by right can kill his own son and it is no crime; worse yet, he can sell his son into slavery, the son can work himself out of slavery, he can sell his son into slavery again, and the son can work himself out of slavery again, and he can then kill his son, and it is still no crime. Only after three times selling his son into slavery does killing the son become a criminal act. Now THAT is patriarchy, THAT is an unjust society for a society that considered itself to be a democracy.
Did the Romans consider themselves a democracy? The Roman law said that if someone planned to become the king, then it was no crime to kill that person, without any further evidence than your belief that they have planned it. Because we don't tolerate anyone trying to be the king here where we have a democracy, and we are ready to fight, to kill, and to die for it. Yes it was a democracy. But no, not everyone had voting rights, not to start; the people who created the right to vote against tyrants and enemies all up in their faces gave themselves the right to vote first, and yes they had to establish the thing, and fight off those tyrants and enemies, and only after it became nice and safe and stable they started to let other people in from outside their small in-group of tough, mean, ready-to-fight, heartless, slave-keeping fathers who were very touchy about their rights.
We have come a long way since Rome, folks. Jefferson brought us a long way forward already, even just for having the idea of universal equality. And we have a long way to go still. Once we fix the bullshit of prejudice on the basis of race and gender, we are still far from done. Still we have severe, deep, prejudices when we call people fat or ugly or stupid or even foreign with negative intent and negative effects. Does disrespect on any of those dimensions hold water? F no. Humans deserve respect no matter what.
So yes, Black Lives Matter, let's move to a better future, but we can also recognize that even the Romans, those bastards also helped, by bringing us forward out of tyranny. Jefferson helped, bastard though he was and made of his own children, by writing the very words of the Declaration. Lincoln helped, bastard though he was, emancipating the slaves, even while thinking the slaves should all go back to Africa. Wilson helped, bastard though he was, pushing for a League of Nations. Johnson helped, bastard though he was, signing the Civil Rights act. And the whole society, backward though it was, has ultimately helped by gradually moving in the direction of justice. Let's all be some bastards that are helping, and seek the better Way, despite our flaws. As so many have done for thousands of years.
But if you can't tolerate in your allies in progress any trace of the flaws of our time and our culture, you're probably not going to have a lot of allies. Pick your battles, and win them. Then please, let's not forget to get to work afterwards against anti-fat, anti-ugly, anti-stupid, anti-foreign hates and prejudices.
Cop = Social Worker + Gun.
Don't hire Anger Management problems.
Is the issue police racism or police personality and character? If you hire people that share a character, don't be surprised if their culture has that character. If you hire cops for their concrete-minded, hard-headed, happily-punitive personality, don't be surprised if you have an unchangeable cop culture that is is emotionally and socially unintelligent.
Not All, but ... Plenty ... of cops are ex-military looking for a gun-toting civilian job, to maintain their gun-toting identities with as much opportunity to practice and use their gun-toting skills as civilian life can offer. Plenty are street bully characters who seek a legal outlet for their violent instincts. They would love to put the neck crank or the billy club on a deserving individual, subject to their authority and whim, and they especially love it that doing so is imagined as the right thing to do because the deserving individual is some low life criminal. Very satisfying! Such temperaments are frankly anti-social.
But the job of policing is MOSTLY calming disputes, settling social conflicts, guiding people back into the lanes of pro-social behavior. Convening and facilitating, not being quick on the draw. This is a job that requires social and emotional intelligence.
But those are sophisticated skills that are harder to teach. Better to hire social workers, and teach them to shoot, than to hire covert predators and try to teach them social skills which others learned in kindergarten.
The answer is simple: Every police candidate should be tested for social and emotional intelligence, and should be rejected, not hired, if Below Average in Social/Emotional Intelligence.
A valuable, potentially fragile, and presumed-innocent public deserves to not have emotional retards as the go-to professionals who come to calm and help resolve our local social conflicts. So instead of Defund the Police, I say:
EQ-Test the Police!
Another invention to improve the world: Make a small device, size of a pill, swallowable, with one side open revealing a length of sterilized mesh tape, containing a reel-to-reel tape mechanism, motor to turn it, power source to last the duration of transit, perhaps electronic logic to control speed, turn it on and off on a schedule, even open/close the window. Turn it on, swallow it, and wait for it to pop out the other end. Rinse it off, take it to the lab, pull the tape out, cut it into short bits each containing what sloshed into it during the moments it was exposed inside; the populations of what's there at each point give a map of the microbiome along the length of the gut.
In yesterday's news I read that some cancer researchers have just discovered that toxicity of cancer drugs can vary 100x from tolerable up to ultra-toxic based on small differences in nutrition, adding a single amino acid to an animal subject's food. Presumably the gut biome is involved, some bugs flourish and interact with the body system with huge effects like this. I had this invention in mind some years before October 2018 when I mentioned it to a micro-biome researcher that I met at a class reunion. I haven't heard anyone doing it still, so here I share it with the world. Somebody move on this, please. It should enable better study of what is going on inside, and one may hope can contribute to science and medicine.
Everyone is so Attached to their Self-declared Identity, whether sexual, ethnic, national, or otherwise. What bullshit! We are all wandering around like ducklings in the story, Are you my Mommy? Are you my Mommy? But instead we ask, This is Me? This is Me?
All identities are false, humans! Male, female, trans, black, white, whatever. For example: Yes I "am" a straight white male, I've had my own share of oppression, go fuck yourself. Really, that's what I'm supposed to do? How was that for you? It wasn't so pleasant for me either, though the identity-bound (i.e., the ignorant) will look at each statement and consider it all "true".
No, I am against all identities whether it's about you being gay, man, woman, whatever, the whole identity capture process, which is what we go through psychologically when we make such a claim, is fundamentally all about being fearful, tightly grasping, socially posturing like an over performing semi-member, a joiner. False, false!
Your true identity is distinction-inclusive, non-finite. You are, and have the right to be treated as, a divine spark from heaven. You have no business occluding that brightness with some attachment game that prevents you seeing your true nature.
Imagine a competent normal person by day, who enters a Narnian wonderworld of out-of-control nightmare every evening when lying down to sleep, where you can't even scream out in your pain, you can't escape your miserable trap, all you can do is hang in there like a suffering dog through the long night until enough rest has been collected that you can awaken again, shake off the immobility and stupidity, and find the normal daytime powers of perception and logic once again at your service, so that unreasonable fears can be banished and fantastical disasters detected as false. Seems like a temporary problem, wouldn't you think? Yet every night once again I lay myself down to sleep, I enter that world again. No wonder I don't like to go to bed.
Blogs are repulsive, to me, being, imagine it, a Time! sequence of what may randomly occur to click-bait writers as clickable at the time. Historians may be interested in blogs as historical data, and current readers may indeed click the bait, but it is increasingly and painfully evident that clicking some bait brings no improvement in your understanding, yourself, or the world. Really, the internet, which is to say, all this technological support for learning and intellectual growth, was suddenly made available to the entire world beyond the university library customer and now what we get is cat videos and intellectual mush. Really?
The essence of a log is to record what's happening now, to be specifically relevant to today as opposed to any other time, and therefore is irrelevant to tomorrow. Don't you hope, don't I aspire, to have a more lasting significance than that?, to learn what won't change, what will be widely relevant, what can be understood without reference to current news or people's false thought that the micro changes of the current historical micro-instant have changed everything and made everything suddenly so significant and suddenly requiring complete reinterpretation of everything? Whereas, actually, as Borges pointed out, all places are "here", all times are "now" (and all people are "me"), so the fact the entire web of people basically organize their thoughts calendrically means their thoughts lack an better alternative organization or you might say, any actual content. Yes Now is the time to Be, but Speech allows abstraction, generalization, saying things that are True, significant beyond the current moment, so why would you essentially assert the universal meaninglessness of what you have to say by sticking it in a log, a web log, a blog? This is why, for 20 years, I refrained.
Even so, here I begin my own blog. A log of data points, of small or hopefully at least concise thoughts or observations, tidbits which have no home, yet. A reader interested in what's going on Here, Now, with Me can peek here for the fun of it. Have fun!