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Semiformalishmaybe

Philosophical Caltrops

If you lose something in a dream, even if you are in a sealed container, it is typically scrubbed from "reality" - if it's hard to find, it's not worth looking for it. Such are the rules, although I wonder if different people have substantially different average "reality quotients" in their dreams. Alas, going up to people and asking them "how real are your dreams?" is more likely to get odd looks than answers.

Idea and its challenge:

  • It is very reasonable to have a policy say 「X should be difficult」
  • With all the ways people are practicing self-betterment, such policies tend not to hold, except in rare circumstances. Is it even appropriate to have such self-betterment be considered a wrong?
  • Sometimes?
How to fail to get the girl (a possibly funny, definitely mopey path):
  • For starters, it helps to have a large faction of oneself that is deeply afraid of being hurt that will need to be persuaded by progress in a front where it is determined not to allow even a beginning. Having terrible self-esteem and shyness helps too, as does human relations being really the only thing that one can get nervous about.
  • Found someone on OkC who's attractive, brainy, atheist, and academically oriented. OkC put her at the highest match percentage I've ever seen (a bit above the people I know IRL who are clearly not interested in friendship, let alone a relationship, who tend to generally fill the top-tiers)
  • Background research - Pitt English department puts its grad students up, and it's easy enough to match pictures, didn't spot any showstoppers and her interests look pretty awesome. I used to feel weird about doing this, but at least according to OkC's questions, trying to do it is pretty common and accepted. I have a bit of a knack for finding things out that in theory should be hard
  • Start to write a nice, long letter to her, but keep getting nervous as that crazy terrified deer-in-headlights part of me keeps working to convince me not to send it or to sabotage it. The "status quo" of making broad-but-futile gestures that I know beforehand won't succeed so I can feel hurt when none of my friendships and relationship attempts work is surprisingly seductive and self-destructive. Sure, I'll never say hi to this person that I adore, and I'll still feel terribly hurt that they never say hi to me, and only when I'm far enough away from the actual event will I consider that maybe they don't actually hate me and I'm deeply in the wrong for all this bitterness in this unfair dance I play in every human relation in my life.
  • Look at that long letter, and think, 「I should trim this」, thus starting a inner debate that makes the US Congress look functional when debating health care
  • Look at their picture at the websites again
  • Trim, fight, trim, damn this is going nowhere
  • Gut it almost randomly and send it off
  • Relax. Inner tension is lessened
  • Look at what I said OH NO I AM AN IDIOT ALL I SAID WAS READ MY PROFILE I AM MAYBE INTERESTING FOR YOU LETS DO TEA OR INDIAN FOOD SOON
  • sigh
  • Days later, see she's logged several times since, no response. No surprise, and the terrified part of me relaxes a bit, happy that it has sabotaged any real risky changes in my life no matter how much I need them
  • More days later, see she's added to her profile that she's often busy and takes awhile to get back to people
  • Aha maybe I will recommend a book to her in the guise of I am not pathetically still trying to talk to someone whose silence has already spoken for them. Another message
  • sigh
  • reread it OH NO THE MOPEY CAME OUT "I realise that it's unlikely tea is going to happen, but I thought I would suggest a book" ..
  • Facepalm. sigh. Repeat both many times.
  • Conclude self is hopelessly dysfunctional when it comes to interacting people when I am sure I actually want a friendship or more from them.
  • Recall by contrast very successful, productive conversations with people where I am uncertain that I want more than acquaintancehood with them but want to talk about some scientific, philosophical, or other idea or bring people back from tension, which is where I seem to interpersonally shine.
  • More facepalms and sighs
  • Resist urges to make a third contact attempt because that would be ridiculous. Socially-terrified-of-new-people-and-change-self celebrates at another victory, doesn't seem to care that I remain profoundly alone.
I guess maybe I should be happy that I managed to find someone new attractive and managed to make some effort at all?

Sigh. Half-baked economic ideas are still only half-baked. Maybe I'll just present part of it.
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the goods close-to-necessity (and to a lesser extent, strongly-dependent-on-physical-resources, being more profoundly inelastic in demand, should be managed with different priorities than luxury and cultural good production and should be isolated from the rest of the economy (perhaps with a different type of currency).and should be isolated from the rest of the economy (perhaps with a different type of currency).and should be isolated from the rest of the economy (perhaps with a different type of currency).and should be isolated from the rest of the economy (perhaps with a different type of currency).and should be isolated from the rest of the economy (perhaps with a different type of currency).

I remain interested, theoretically, in the intersection between macroeconomics-in-current-framework and how people actually reasonably live (even given my broader commitment towards radical economic and social restructuring). The notion of human effort and attention as being categorically different forms of capital from material resources - not sure about it but I think there's something to it. The notion of structuring an economy to privilege certain priorities (security of essentials) - also interesting when one moves towards particulars.

I like the word 「bespeak」.

I sometimes wonder how much the Vatican's 「position on condoms」 is because backing down and changing would cause them to lose face. The notion that it denies the gift of life is pretty broken - using the rhythm method is not substantially different, nor are other methods. It'd be nice if they would reconsider their position on the matter.

On 1 April, I'm generally stuck between three impressions

  • People are doing cool things don't take them down! (Goooogle has added an aalib-esque display for most videos, although those of us with mplayer can generally get the same thing with "-vo aalib" - it's neat how one's eye really can get used to parsing video in this form)
  • There's a fair amount of information where I'm not entirely sure if it's real or not, and possibly less real information travelling today. This is kind of irritating.
  • Occasional general silliness is nice
Still trying to decide on whether it's more worthwhile or interesting to talk about philosophy and morality (I've probably written about moral relativism before here), about my particular value framework (which I have also probably written about before here and elsewhere), or to address concerns and particular arguments and misunderstandings people have about secular morality. Maybe all this has been done to death to the point where the chances that I (or anyone else) will contribute something new is pretty low. I imagine that in the broad scale it's very difficult to say something really new, one just popularises some intuitions and integrates them together into a whole. Maybe in that sense, modern philosophy is a lot like contract programming - grab some code from here, build partly on somebody's program there, smoothe the edges a bit, etc..

Having less success than I would like in improving diet and exercise, but more success than zero. It would probably help if I had a jogging partner that was also a fairly bad jogger, but both shyness and the fact that there are probably few people who are likely bad enough at running who would nontheless be interested in doing it. It's like with my accordion, I think - it'd be great to have large groups of people who enjoy being really bad at their activities (or possibly enjoy them despite being really bad and are also not competitive about getting better?).

I've recently been enjoying Final Fan-Tasy, which is reasonably well done. I haven't really followed the Final Fantasy series after FFVI/Chrono Trigger, but I'm guessing the music is mostly unique to the fanseries and was crafted to be in-genre for Final Fantasy (which is pretty cool). Unfortunately, this has exposed me to some of the stupidity (gunblades, wow what a dumb idea) in the later parts of the series :P

Also recently sorted all my "youtube favourites" (hundreds of them, ugh) into playlists. People who enjoy browsing other people's collections of things (and who doesn't? If your sense of humour is anything like mine, the 「Geek」 and 「Funny」 sections will be particularly to your liking) , hop on over to my youtube channel (which has practically no content *by* me) and click on the "Playlists" tab.

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I believe I'll be attending. When do you expect to leave?