Give me back that word, you aren’t ready to use it yet: “Community”

There are some words I just want to yank away from people and put on a high shelf until they're big enough to know better.

"Community" is one of them.  There've been some particularly egregious violations of this word in my world lately, which is why I'm throwing it in the spotlight (and up on the high shelf), but it's hardly a new problem.  Rather than rail against the specific social groups and corporations I've seen rolling this word in the mud, though, I'm going to focus on what they're missing, and why it's important.

When we say "community", we are specifically referring to humanity's:

C1) need to BE SOCIAL — which is not just to co-exist, but to live intertwined with, and rely on, each other;

and 

C2) desire to ACT RATIONALLY, consciously, and with better long-term self-interest than our animal urges would have us do.

I can't stress how important BOTH of those are in order to have a community.  If you have social without rational, you just have an animal pack or a mob.  If you have rational without social, you have a business or a military or similar, but it's got none of the benefits of working together and mutual support that we look for in communities.  There can be many types of communal structure and communal actions, of course, but they all have those two things in common, or they're not "a community" (or "community-oriented", or what have you).  

Here are a few things that are NOT COMMUNITY:

1.  top-down organization systems where one or a few people are explicitly in charge of everyone else (violates C1: we're not being social and relying on each other just by all obeying the same, epecially the same faceless or distant, authority)

2.  "cliques" and social groups where, no matter what rational policies and procedures claim to be used or valued, the reality of inclusion and participation is that you'd better be liked by the handful of people with power, or they will be able to successfully punish or ostracize you (violates C2: this is straight-up pack-animal behavior, driven by fear, greed and isolationism rather than any desire to work together)

3.  corporate organizations where the sole reason people are together is to make (or spend) money, and/or where the only thing holding the group together is money (violates C1: if money is the sole thing holding a group together, it's a business, not a community.  In a business, the values of social cooperation and gain-for-everyone are often shoved aside in the interest of increasing and protecting money, because without the money there would be no business.  In a community, however, if we lose money, we lose it together, and then we work together to help each other get what we need without it.)

4.  groups and situations ruled by a "mob mentality", where people who are different or intimidating, or have unpopular habits or opinions, can be turned on and punished / excluded because there's no functioning mechanism to protect them from fear-based reactions (violates C2: rationally, we know that diversity is a strength, and that without fringey people who may make us uncomfortable at times, we'll never make progress…but as animals, violations of the status quo scare us, and we want to respond to perceived threats by pushing people down or out.  In a real community though, there are clear rules for what constitutes unacceptable behavior, and — and this is important — clear, preferably multiple, paths for people whose behavior doesn't mesh well to re-integrate.  Without those rules and those paths — which cannot be overseen by one or a few people, or you have a case of #1 — every group will inevitably exclude (or kill — no accident that that's how the animals do it; it's efficient) its mentally-ill, its geniuses, its differently-abled, and those in the group who come from different cultures.)

SO, to condense that a bit, the next time someone tries to sell you on their thing by talking about what a great "community" it is, ask yourself:

  • Is this a top-down organization where all the rules are coming from one or a few people (especially if those people are not subject to the same rules, or can choose to enforce them or not)?  –> NOT A COMMUNITY
  • Is this a group where you can be punished or kicked out simply for "getting on the wrong side" of the person or people in charge, and the group as a whole (or its rules and procedures) can't save you if you do?  –> NOT A COMMUNITY
  • Is this a group that exists mainly for the purpose of making money? –> NOT A COMMUNITY
  • Is this a group without rules and procedures in place to protect people who induce a fear-reaction in others, by being different or having uncomfortable ideas?  –> NOT A COMMUNITY

I LOVE communities, if you can't tell.  I think working together in social groups that use our talents for rational thought, planning, and self-awareness gives humanity a huge force-multiplier, and lets us make amazing leaps forward.  But I lament the day that someone figured out how to sell people on investing in groups by calling them "communities", becuase it was a tricky word to begin with, and has now been ridiculously watered-down and appropriated by everyone from office-managers to forum-moderators to event-planners and more.  And it makes me seethe with rage, pretty much equally whether the intent was to lure and fake people into participating, or to try and create a community and not have two neurons to rub together to bother figuring out what that actually is, or sticking by it when it gets hard (like when you need to tell your favorite leaders "no", or stand up for people that not everyone likes).  I don't see either of those failures as better than the other.

So give me that word back, assholes.  I'm putting everyone who misuses the term "community" in the same circle of logical hell, and may they abuse and ostracize each other there for all eternity, and leave the rest of us alone; and until then, you lose your right to say "community" without getting at least metaphorically slapped in the face.  (That's right.  I've learned how to backhand people with metaphors.  Or I will soon enough.  :D)

Posted in better thinking | 2 Comments

Words, Numbers, Lives, and Law: Things that Matter

Okay.  I haven't had a lot of time for blogging lately, but this is important. 

I'm not a journalist.  But I *am* a type of logician, and this one logical fail going on seemingly everywhere in my country is causing insane levels of harm.  Here it is:  It is not the same to say,

  • Police shot and killed a man on Storrow Drive today.  

    • He was suspected of a crime and carrying a knife.
    • The trooper who shot him was following protocol, and ordered the man to put down his knife before killing him.

      VS:
       

  • Police shot and killed roughly their 400th American citizen in 2015 today, based on an estimated count by the Washington Post.  [1]

    • Estimated counts by the press are necessary because the reporting of police killings in the US is entirely voluntary.
    • The number of fatal shootings by cops in England last year was ZERO.  In Australia, where the police do carry guns, the number was SIX.  [2]

I keep running over article after article like the former, and yet I hardly read ANY like the latter.  What a different point it makes!  What an entirely different world when you look at these police killings through the lens of how it is in other western countries.  By focusing so extremely tightly on "whether the victim deserved it" and "whether the cop was 'justified'" (more on that in a minute), American media is completely glossing over the UNBELIEVABLY HUGE PROBLEM this country has:  Our police are, as an organization, mad serial killers whom we hold almost completely unaccountable for their actions.  [3]

Even when it comes to light that they're abusing their power to further our awful racism problem, or to kill children and harmless old people in weapon-soaked and crazily mis-handled "drug raids" that read like something out of a KGB bedtime story, we keep that flashlight firmly focused on the individual incidents, on the victims and the details that may have contributed their own fault to their death; on the cop with the nice family and the details that may contribute to his innocence.  

Seriously, go read the news, go turn on your local stuff.  This is what 90+% of our media coverage about police shootings consists of:  Here's a(nother!) victim.  Here's what they did wrong.  Here's why we should maybe forgive this cop.  Roll credits.

It's getting too Orwellian for me by far.  Not that I could really stomach the news-o-tainment beforehand, but come on, people; this is positively end-of-the-world shit right here.  We as a country have cancer, and you're bringing us technically-accurate test results on our itchy toenail fungus.  And the problem isn't that your facts are wrong; it's that you're reporting the wrong facts.  This is what we in the logic world like to call a "framing problem", and here's how you fix it:

  1. THE LAW MATTERS.  And because of the law, it never, ever, ever matters whether the victim was suspected of a crime, so stop talking about it.  If the victim had been convicted of a crime which carried the death sentence, then their criminal record would be relevant here.  But in this (and every other civilized) country, we do NOT punish the vast majority of crimes by executing people in the street without a trial.  That is the law and IT MATTERS.

    1. If you doubt that this law matters, consider what it would be like to live in a place where it wasn't the law:  Where the cops could, in fact, legally shoot you if they wanted to.  …I believe those are ISIS and the Taliban's laws.‚Äč
    2. Therefore, being shot by the police is NEVER "justified" unless such extraordinary circumstances apply that we would, as a democracy, actually be ok with applying a summary death-sentence without a trial.  (Such circumstances could happen:  Take the two sniper-murderers from a few years ago, who were caught red-handed shooting innocent people and ran away, firing guns and obviously intending to kill more — that probably justified a murder for the sake of protecting other citizens.  Um, except that the police managed to take them alive.  ::cough::theywerewhite::cough::)

      1. STOP USING THE WORD "JUSTIFIED" unless the above applies.
      2. As a reminder, aiming a gun at a police officer is ALSO NOT a crime that is punishable by summary execution in the streets without a trial.  Neither is refusing to obey an order, wielding a knife, running away, or having a criminal record.  STOP USING THE WORD "JUSTIFIED".
  2. IT MATTERS that this is NOT a problem other countries share.  This isn't human nature or unfortunate coincidence — this is a sickness, and it's killing people who are NOT supposed to die, and ruining lives, and now causing civil unrest across the country.  Can we please take it seriously as a national crisis already?

    1. The international statistics are not invisible or hard to find.  They're actually easier to find than ours, since in most other countries, reporting an incident like a police shooting is mandatory — whereas for some unbelievable reason no-one seems to be able to articulate, in the US, police departments can choose to report the incidents or not, as they like.  More evidence of just how serious and systemic this problem is.  
    2. The fact that the numbers are SO UNBELIEVABLY DIFFERENT — basically they're under ten deaths a year for every country except America, who reported (reported) 400 in 2012 [4] — is NOT a reason to ignore them.  Seriously, you guys are always looking for shock-value — why not admit and treat these numbers as the jaw-dropping WTF they are?  

      1. We spend a TON of taxpayer money on our police departments, and we have every right to expect them to do at least as good a job as other developed countries. 
      2. The police work for us, and we did not hire them to kill us — but how do we hold them accountable, especially when things have gotten so corrupt that they don't even have to report murdering someone when they do it?  In the seven years ending in 2011, only 41 officers were even charged with a crime relating to killing someone — not convicted; charged. [5]  The answer is that we MUST TALK ABOUT IT:  We MUST keep the frequency and unacceptability of these incidents in the light.  This weird silence we keep about the shocking difference between US and other countries' death-tolls by police is one of the major things allowing it to continue happening.

        1. And it's also one of the major causes of the civil unrest, too.  People's family-members are dying and nobody's even getting in trouble for it.  When we aren't talking about it in the media, when looking around it's obvious that nobody cares this is happening, what do you expect them to do?  Nothing?
  3. IT MATTERS that the murders are racist.  The media's treatment of the blindingly obvious racial elements of police murders is almost comically see-no-evil … but that approach is causing a lot more evil, and it's stupid and preventable.  By acknowledging that police forces overall are clearly racist, and part of the greater racism problem in America, the media could make it possible for us to start fixing those problems.  Continuing to hide them is only letting them get worse.

    1. It's uncomfortable as a white person to acknowledge that you have the privilege of being somewhat less likely to be murdered by the police; I get it.  Do some reading on how to acknowledge your privilege without being a jerk — it exists; it's not that difficult — and get over it.  If you can't talk about uncomfortable things, you prooooobably shouldn't be in journalism.  And it doesn't take much perspective to realize what the result of weighing your discomfort against other people's murders ought to be.
    2. If you don't actually agree that BLACK LIVES MATTER, stop typing that article right now and get the fuck out of this country, because equality is one of our most fundamental founding principles.  Seriously, GTFO.  I'll wait.
    3. Stop being so damn flinchy about bringing up race, as though as soon as you do, everything else goes out the window.  In case you never noticed this before, dark-skinned people are people, and have many of the same concerns as light-skinned people.  You can, in fact, say "Well it's obvious that there's a racist element here, since 75% of the deaths due to police shootings in this area last year were of black people.  Also, we should talk about the number of deaths this year compared to European countries, and whether there will be charges brought, and the fact that this victim is a child," and most people will follow you just fine.  You do not in fact need to teach a college course on racism in order to acknowledge that it clearly exists, so quit using that excuse to avoid it.

…I'll stop there, because I'm mentally exhausted, and also completely disgusted with blogging platforms lately — seriously, I have a ton of writing to do; I can NOT deal with how revoltingly awful WordPress' interface is, and the fact that I can't even just copy/paste standard markdown and have it work like it does in a zillion less-complex platforms…I'm tearing my hair out trying to write this and properly format a simple ordered list, because even though I can see the HTML it's sloppy as fuck and I *know* it won't display correctly…ugh.  Ugh ugh ugh.  Anyway, hopefully I'll find a fix to that problem (maybe I'll just start writing in markdown and posting it as plain text, since unformatted md is often easier to read that the crap WP formats), and other problems besides; but for now, at least I got some air on this topic before I turn into a shooter myself.  (Don't worry, I'd get my police-badge first, to make sure I wouldn't be punished for it.  AMERICAN POLIZE POSSE UNPROSECUTED KILLAZ 4EVA YEAAAAH!)

::faceflops::

[1] http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/31/411027052/fatal-shootings-by-police-twice-as-high-as-official-number-report-says
[2] http://www.businessinsider.com/why-do-us-police-kill-so-many-people-2014-8?op=1
[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/04/11/thousands-dead-few-prosecuted/
[4] http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2014/08/armed-police
[5] http://www.wsj.com/articles/police-rarely-criminally-charged-for-on-duty-shootings-1416874955

Posted in better thinking | 1 Comment

Blanket Distrust

(no no, not distrust of blankets. we like blankets. they’re like towels, but they mean business. the fully-automatic not-effing-around of douglasadamsian towels.)

(but I digress, before I’ve begun. BECAUSE THAT’S HOW I ROLL, obviously.)

It’s hard to know what thoughts to trust when your brain lies all the time. Even more so when you’re obsessed with logical consistency (or allergic to cognitive dissonance, to look at it another way), and can’t be comfortable with making faith-based declarations or sweeping inductive-reasonings that are somehow expected to hold up for decades.

Today I thought of something that I can always distrust, which is a huge win. It’s a bit less treadmill-cogitating I have to do when I’m already stressed; something I can lean on and actually be comfortable leaning on, because it’s logically sound, and will continue to be. Here it is:

WHENEVER SOME THOUGHT-PROCESS DETERMINES THAT YOU MUST BE A FAILURE, it is wrong; or at least has no standing as viable evidence of jackshit, and can be thrown away.

Why? Because to claim that you “are” “a failure” — a verb of being, an adjective of permanence — requires the completely unacceptable assumption that things are finished in some sense. And to look back (especially to look back on a single segment or point of view, which these thoughts often do) and then interpret from that that what you’ve decided you see now IS THIS THING PERIOD FOREVERMORE UNH YEAH BABY…is the sloppiest thinking imaginable.

If someone pointed to a foot-high sprout and claimed that that’s what an oak tree is, you’d think they were daft. If they pointed at a child with dirt on its face and declared that person forevermore a filthy mess, we’d give them the Worst Judgmental Asshole Ever award without thinking twice.

Yet why is it different, to call yourself a failure? So you lost your job — in a decade, you’ll be in a completely different place professionally anyway. So you’re single and would rather not be — a condition you’re likely to look back on with gratitude from the beginning of your next relationship. By saying that you’ve failed at anything, you’re saying “I’m done”, and EVEN if you’re on death’s door, that’s the kind of sweeping, arrogant intellectual assumption that makes me physically ill.

So no more. From now on whenever my brain says “You’re a failure,” I’m going to say back, “Who the hell do you think you are; Father Time? How, by all that’s holy, do you think you can judge me as a totality, when I’m still in the middle of this ride and you, you’re a plastic statue stuck on my dashboard, with anything but a bird’s-eye view?!

“Shut. Up. Forever.”

Posted in 3D, better thinking, philosophy | 4 Comments

Sleepdex, come on down! You’re the next contestant on Wrong About Polyphasic Sleep!

Oh look, another source of almost completely wrong information on polyphasic sleep! Thanks to Chantel for turning that one up. Apparently polysleep (which is misdefined as equalling Dymaxion, but not Uberman, what) doesn’t occur in the wild, except later in the article when it does, but with an implicit assumption that the tribes doing it must be attempting to do it for some reason — more free time? — and probably failing because that’s how it works. (Sort of. The logic here isn’t exactly easy to follow.)

Maybe the huge portion of the world that’s biphasic (and unmentioned), as well as the polyphasic sleepers in tribal and nomadic societies and oh yeah basically all of the primates anywhere, are trying to be polyphasic because, as the author speculates is true of all of us, they’re men in their 20s who want to think of themselves as geniuses. Citation needed, dude. >,<

Posted in polyphasic sleep | 3 Comments

Penguicon Report And How

Dear holy crapgods wow. Penguicon was — as always, granted — amazing. Still just one of the best cons anywhere.

This time I just did the one polyphasic talk — I’ve done two in past years, to give room for a “birds of a feather” or specialized aspect of napping — and it worked out fine, though I did feel a little rushed to give everyone enough information. I’m running into enough people who are doing or have done polyphasic sleep that I might have to start splitting the talks up that way. WHEW! …As always though, everyone was exceedingly nice; and I want to say “ALSO, EXCITINGLY, I met someone working on a thing that might turn into a cool project!”…but really, that’s not exciting; it happens every single year. :D

I actually DID unearth a potential cool project, though; and also, there’s another one that’s not only unearthed, but underway and will definitely be a thing by summer! (And a third one that’s just, if you ask me, a really good idea, and I intend on doing it. Um. Soon?)

Augh, but I can’t talk about any of them just yet. Stay tuned, darnit!

And hello to all my new friends from the con!

Posted in better thinking | Leave a comment

The power of defaults: Exercise

Greetings from Penguicon! The polyphasic sleep panel is tomorrow; today is full of teaching and learning martial arts and other great stuff; in short, I could barely be happier if Buddha showed up and demanded it. ;P

I thought of a great example of something I blather about a lot, on the way here: Defaults. “Setting your defaults” refers to the bones of habit-forming. It’s a pre-negotiation between your will, and your mind and body, where you deliberately dig a rut that makes deciding in a certain direction automatically easier than making other decisions. The example I’m going to use today is exercise, though this technique can be used with anything.

The default is what will get done a huge percentage of the time. We don’t have the capacity to be making every decision from scratch, in the moment; when you’re moving through life at speed, you will naturally do the “default thing” a large chunk of the time. This is why it’s so important to deliberately and correctly set your defaults.

Say you want to, as we mentioned, get more exercise. Many modern societies are very sedentary by default — they ingrain in us the tendency to choose not to move, not to exert ourselves, a huge proportion of the time. It’s important to remember that defaults that YOU don’t set are still set — you just didn’t choose what they’re set TO. If that doesn’t squick you out…well, maybe you should be reading another blog. :) For me personally, I feel confident that my base / initial cultural training is NOT setting defaults in me that I think are the best (or sometimes even acceptable) ones; and so I have a great interest in finding and improving them.

One is definitely exercise. Being sedentary is terrible for your health, and as you get older, lack of exercise allows your body, your abilities, and your skills to deteriorate at a much faster rate than they would if you kept moving. Our bodies and minds were both designed to move, and moving in a concerted and/or intense way for at least an hour a day is essential to maintaining good physical AND MENTAL health.

So how do you set these defaults, so that you can benefit from an automatic tendency to get enough exercise?

Let me back up just a skosh: I do exercise daily, but hey, I’m a busy person. I may certainly not go to the pool/gym, or take or teach a martial arts class, every single day. But I definitely get an accumulated hour or more of intense exercise every day, simply because my defaults are configured correctly. I’ve done a lot of work in the last decade to become active, strong and healthy, but setting good defaults was THE SINGLE BEST THING I’ve done to make that happen. Seriously, I’m walking around this convention (for barely 24h now) and people are pulling me aside to compliment me on how fit, vital and healthy I seem. I’m getting hit on by people ten years my junior who are obviously attracted to my springiness, speed, and alertness; all of which are born of this work.

So here’s the payoff: How I set my exercise defaults.

HOW TO DEFAULT TO EXERCISE

  • Travel under your own power. If time allows for either the car or the bike, take the bike. If you can walk it, walk it; if you like to run, run it. Grab the skateboard, the rollerblades, the whatever, every single time that it’s not imperative for some reason that you don’t. Stop thinking of the car as the way you get everywhere. Don’t just assume it’s faster or easier — ASK the Internet for real data on how long it will take to do something self-powered, and take that option whenever you can.

And never, ever take an elevator or escalator if you can take the stairs instead. If you are on an escalator or movable walkway, also walk while it’s moving — don’t just stand there passively. Our world is built disturbingly like the Wall-E future in some ways: sitting or standing and letting your body be carried is treated as the default “best” option in so, so many places. But fuck that. You WANT to move, so whenever the choice is stand (or sit) vs move, MOVE. Those minutes add up!

  • Lift the heavy thing. If there’s a thing that needs moving and you can safely lift it, lift it. Offer to help whenever tables or chairs need to be set up, or someone is carrying boxes. If you think “hmmm, I could clean behind there if I moved the couch,” move the couch. Always lift and move objects when it’s useful and appropriate. Weightlifting is stellar exercise, and so many of us pass up the opportunity tens of times a day.

Note that this (and all the others) apply whether you’re old, sick, a kid, whatever. It’s always best for your health to move as much as you can. Even if all you can do is pick up and put down something light, you’re better off doing that than sitting still. If you want to gain and maintain health, you need to MOVE, and the easiest way to do that is to DEFAULT TO MOVING.

Moving on…

  • Say yes to your practice. Your default answer for “should I do my practice?” is YES, DO IT RIGHT NOW. Similarly, the default answer for “Eh, I’m not sure, should I go to class / the gym / for a run / whatever?” is YES, DO IT NOW. The only thing that should prevent you from whatever your physical studies are is some emergency that makes it impossible, that overrides your default. If things are iffy enough that you’re asking the question, the answer is YES.

This default, by the way, is the entire reason I learned taiji. Ten years ago I joined a school, and man, going to class was harrrrrd. It was embarrassing and scary and poked all of my social anxieties right in the face…but I was determined to make it happen. So I told myself early on that “Unless I totally CAN’T, my default behavior is ‘go to class’.” And because I haven’t said it yet, I’ll add here that defaults get easier to execute with time: When you’re just starting, doing that thing you decided you’d always do feels different, and is tricky; but after the 100th time, it’s as easy as any other habit. The hard work is in doing it those first 10, 50, 100 times, when you have to motivate yourself. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that it’ll always be hard! By a year in, I felt downright crappy and angry if something made me miss my classes, and my studies progressed with pleasing speed as a result.

And lastly,

  • Say yes to fun things. “Fun” often involves moving around, which is why you see more young than older people doing it. Many more young people haven’t yet “learned” from our culture to be sedentary, and moving feels good (even if you’ve forgotten that it does), so hey, fun. But if you’re an adult, you’ve probably been trained to not do things that are fun and involve moving: Swimming, dancing, jumping in on an obstacle course, running, jumping and climbing on things…adults tend to neglect these things because being sedentary seems more, well, adult.

Again, F that. Those little fun things are the best parts of exercise: The easy, the different, the pleasurable. Doing squats is good for your legs, but jumping up and down off of chairs or posts is just as good, and totally doesn’t feel like work. Throwing, chasing, climbing, hanging, swinging, running, [+++], dancing, splashing in the water…these are all exercise, and though small, if it’s your default to do them, they can easily add up to hundreds of calories burned, and tons of strength, balance and coordination built, every single day. (And let’s not even discuss the other life-benefits of things like “playing frisbee with your dog”, “going swimming with your kids”, “dancing your face off with friends”, or “being the grownup that gets on the jungle-gym”, because they are myriad.) I certainly have other reasons for having decided that “say yes to the fun things” should be my default, but simply for exercise reasons, it makes plenty of sense.

So,
SET YOUR DEFAULTS — they are getting set anyway; the only question is, are you deciding how?

NEGOTIATE them with yourself, and decide what your unless-something-is-seriously-preventing-it answer is, to “do I take the stairs”, “Do I go to the gym”, “do I get in the pool with the kids”, etc.

LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES to get a little bit of what you need, be it exercise, education, contemplation, etc., every time some silly little decision comes up (like “should I take the stairs?”).

Good luck, and enjoy your defaults!
(Seriously, can I get an “I <3 my defaults” bumper sticker?)
(…Oh wait…one of my defaults is to ride my bike over taking the car, and as a result of using that default, I haven’t owned a car for two years…so I guess I don’t need a bumper sticker. It’s probably worth it for being able to cycle 20 miles without getting sore though… :D)

[+++] also fucking. I mean, let’s be honest; it’s exercise, it’s fun, and getting accustomed to being sedentary (and by corollary, less comfortable with your body) often gets in the way of people saying “yes” to it. Plus one can argue that there are many additional emotional and psychological benefits to it as well. So do that thing too!

Posted in better thinking | 2 Comments

Napping that explicates fiddles while implicating swimming. What?

Tons of things going on!

  • First of all, I was hoping to adapt back to Uberman, and got some way through planning it before realizing that yeah, that’s idiotic of me…I’m off work right now, but full-time officey gig is coming back soon, and why on earth would I adapt just to have to give it up in a month or so?? Wishful thinking, of course. But I learned a good bit from the planning:
    • Nutrition is important: For me at least, making the gathering and shopping-for of good smoothie ingredients part of any adaptation is really key.
    • The Group Adaptation’s Shared BFL is truly a thing of beauty! I and others are continually adding to it, and waooooow is it huge and useful. I was thinking I’d need to roll a new BFL, but nope, all there and square and brilliant. -@-
    • The single best “step one” for planning is to identify all your challenges; and step two is to WAIT a few days and see if anything you identified comes bobbing back into your consciousness as a “Heyyyyyy”-type potential problem (like my having to abandon the schedule right after adapting did!). Letting other people know your plans is totally useful for staying on-track, but….maybe do that third. :P
  • A recent trip to a music-oriented town left me thirsty as hell to get back into music. I haven’t done anything with it for years, and I’ve been semi-seriously into several instruments and styles throughout my life, and always gotten a ton out of music.
    • Anybody who knows anything about procuring a fiddle or fiddle lessons, please contact me; I’d love your advice! It took a while to ponder possible instruments enough, but…yeah, fiddle. I want something raucous I can move with and also sing while playing. :D
  • …And art. Long story. But suffice to say that a metric shittonne of things are demanding attention now, and after staring blankly at them all and wondering how the hell this was going to work, I realized that I need to make a change: Specifically, I need an hour-by-hour schedule again — something I haven’t had for years, in favor of flexibility. …But the thing is, I need to keep the flexibility too…the schedule will have to have options for when I’m not at home, or alternative ways to practice or even just meditate on a thing when reality (which has gone completely untrustworthy at this point) sticks me with the inevitable weird circumstance.

Would you like to see that schedule? Oh good, because probably I’m going to show it to you anyway. Other things that have gone on have involved some pretty major successes with gaining more confidence and surety about doing my thing and talking about it — maybe people don’t care, but maybe they do, and if they don’t, it still helps me to keep my fingers busy and a record going for future reference. Thank you in advance if you’re reading this stuff, though; your attention and comments are super useful!

More sooner rather than later ;)

PD

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