Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Hope and other four-letter words

Against my better judgement, I went to the KGB auction, and put six hours of my time up for auction. I wasn't bought (or bid on) by any of the people who I would strongly object to spending time with (there are only a few in KGB, and their presence there was minimal). Apparently, I will either be used as a minstrel (which may be fun) or as a DM (also fun, although something I'm up for for free). Truth be told, I've been wanting to run a DnD campaign for quite some time, and although the thing with J and R is interesting and fun, I'm not sure if it's going to start up again, and I'm not willing to deal with one of the other gamers in the group anymore. Even if it does start up again, I'd like to do some DMing of my own (Jason is GMing the game, which is done in Cyberpunk 2020). I'll keep my fingers crossed for being asked to DM, but if not, there may be some other people in KGB who are up for that, which'd be pretty cool. I need to mix up my social circle a bit, time permitting -- I have four very good friends (two sets of two) who are probably the most important ties I have here, along with a few other friends who I see less often. I will probably never be a social butterfly, but some variety is good, and may eventually lead to my next relationship. I think I've come to a realisation about my mannerisms -- when I'm feeling particularly shy, and have trouble trying to build social connections, I use excessive wordplay jokes to have something to say. A bit of this is fine, but when I take it to the degree I have, I become a court jester, and get the same interpersonal distance jesters traditionally have. I need to force myself not to be shy, and failing that, to shut up to stop myself from being comfortable "socialising" without building actual social ties. There is a lot more to me than clever wordplay, and I need to get better at showing that. I think I realised this from reflecting how a certain few people acted at my party -- loudness and distraction was used to mask who they really were, in behaviour very different from what little I've observed of them in less crowded circumstances. There is something about large crowds that creates interpersonal/emotional distance that brings this out in a lot of people.

Somewhat related, the auction had some elements to it that made me a bit uncomfortable -- as the bids on roughly half the females up for auction (and one or two of the guys) went up, they began to disrobe as a reward for higher bids, a few of them getting fairly indecent. That in itself didn't bother me that much, but the atmosphere that was created by several of the guys began to feel a bit seedy, and perhaps like when I was in Amsterdam a little over a year ago, I felt a bit embarassed and ashamed to be there, and averted my eyes. The auction was for 6 hours of labour for each person, but some of the bidders, including their wrangling to get others to give more money to "go in on the 6 hours" (really to see more disrobement) made it feel, to me, like a public striptease. I'm not sure anyone else really minded. I don't think such things should be banned, but I don't think that part was really the kind of thing I want to see regularly.

I've grown more disturbed at Guy Kawasaki's BLOG -- he's clearly a bright guy, and his advice on becoming a perfect very high-level sales guy/CEO/Venture Capitalist is probably good. The problem is that I don't particularly respect those positions, and think that a lot of his advice is based out of a very capital and personal status-centric way of thinking about the world. It is essentially amoral, with no concept of societal good, just personal advancement and selling things. As disappointing as I find their philosophy, even libertarians and objectivists are doing a little bit of thinking on a philosophical level, whereas I suspect that Kawasaki would either laugh or say he's not interested in anything more abstract. I suppose I take things to almost the exact opposite extreme -- I feel it is better to live a principled, ethical life that is not particularly successful by other measures than to live an unethical one that's otherwise successful. (Brief reference back to above -- I hope that when I end up with someone, one of the things they can respect me for is my integrity, because integrity means a lot to me and is central to my self-esteem). I view many of the popular forms of gathering wealth with a lot of suspicion, ethically. I am reminded though by an interesting line from some conversations with .. friends and other folk -- the world is full of two kinds of people, the pragmatists, who are out to screw everyone over to advance themselves, and the idealists, who are far more dangerous because they can't be bought and will tear things down to achieve their ideal. Fatalistic deep cynicism is, I think, one of the worst pitfalls people can fall into if/when they open their eyes and start to see the world. I am hoping that it can be undone.

I find the contrast between these visions of the next few decades and the long-term future of humanity striking and fascinating.


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