what's been floating my boat lately:

"How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don't think."
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
-Albert Einstein-

3/20/23 (22:39)
  • Not a great day.
  • Last week we took 4 days off to go to the Grand Canyon. I've been there 5 times now and it's a great place. Not my favorite park, but I think it's the best sight to see in the NPS. The grandeur of the canyon is amazing and it has the best single viewing experience in the NPS system. Yellowstone is my favorite park (been there 3 times), but Grand Canyon is more of a must see.
  • Meryl's aunt has been battling cancer for a while now. She's a pretty amazing lady who used to do a ton of outdoorsy stuff (lots of rock climbing and hiking and white water rafting), but doesn't do as much as she'd probably like these days. But she did some of Half Dome with us (she broke it up into two days) and she did all of this one with us. In a big way, I think she's the reason her family is doing these hikes together so that's the motivation for taking time off and making time to do something I normally wouldn't. It was just the 5 of us (Meryl and her aunt, brother, dad, and me). GC down and up has been on my list for a little while so that was another reason to take the trip.
  • I have to admit that I underestimated the hike a bit. After doing Half Dome and several other 10+ mile hikes I thought it wouldn't be so bad. But there were a few new challenges with this hike. First of all, the NPS system doesn't recommend doing his hike in a day, but I think that's mostly because of the heat (which didn't apply to us in March). But also part of it is that it's a reverse hike in that you do the downhill first and then end with the climb after 7 miles of descent. In our case we also had to battle about 1.5 miles of snow/ice on the top section of the descent and then another 2 miles of snow on the ascent (the last 2 miles of the hike). We took a path that went down South Kaibab trail to Bright Angel campground (about 7 miles) and then took the Bright Angel trail to the top of a different trail head than we left from (another 10-ish miles). Actually, Meryl and I went up the long way and the other 3 went back up the way we went down. Meryl and I also went to the ranger station and campground a bit so we ended up doing about 18.5 miles and they ended up doing about 14.5.
  • After the descent, which I usually don't have a problem with so I went pretty quickly, my left knee started hurting. It didn't get better as the hike went along. Since we stopped a lot along the way down to wait for family and take pictures, we didn't have a lot of daylight left for the trek up hill. Meryl and I also stupidly left our headlamps at the air bnb so we kinda screwed ourselves into having to move quickly on the way up. The first couple miles of Bright Angel are quite flat and it was then that I realized the longer route wasn't actually going to be any less steep. I had read that it was an easier trail than Kaibab, but I guess that's because it's more shaded, not because the climb is any less difficult. My knee was really killing me on the way up, but there wasn't much I could do about it. Meryl brought hiking poles so she let me use one or two of them along the way and that helped. Other than that, I just had to deal with it. It was a pretty unpleasant 5 hours of climbing from the bottom to the top. We stopped twice on the way up for a total of 15 minutes, but climbed the rest without stopping or slowing much. The snow at the top of Bright Angel was definitely worse than Kaibab and it really made things more difficult. We were definitely counting down the steps the last couple miles. It's about 3,000' in elevation gain in 4 miles. The lowest elevation is about 3700' and the highest is about 6800'.
  • I'm no expert hiker, but this was the most brutal hike I've done. I think the descent being first really fucked with me. I thought it would be easier than it was. I never have knee problems on steep descents, but I did here and it was in the first 40% of the hike - which didn't help things for trying to get out of the canyon.
  • The other thing I probably didn't do well is enough prep for this long hike. In the last month I only went on two hikes for a total of less than 16 miles. I probably should have doubled that training for this hike.
  • Next marquee hikes on the horizon are (hopefully): Clouds Rest (12.5 mi, 3200'). Cactus to Clouds (21 mi, 10,800'). We have a bunch of other hikes that are in the area and supposed to be real nice, but those two are the big name hikes I'm looking forward to. I'm hoping the girls can do Clouds Rest with us. They've done at least one 12 mile hike before. Cactus to Clouds is one of the toughest day hikes in the world according to Backpacker Magazine and hiker lore. For whatever reason, doing that appeals to me. A year ago I would have thought it was just dumb to do something like that, but I like it now and I'm not sure why.
  • We're pretty lucky in CA to have so many great hikes and trails. It's amazing that we have such great natural resources and such shitty people/leaders.
  • Part of the reason I guess I like hiking is that it's a distraction free time. I don't have to worry as much about work. I get to talk with Meryl or the kids and have relaxed conversations. Nature also orients you properly in the world. Especially a place like the Grand Canyon, which tells you exactly how much you matter in the world. The canyon took 6 million years to form and the rocks at the bottom are 1.8 billion years old. How much can you matter when you're looking at that? How seriously can you take anything you worry about while being amongst that.
  • One of the more depressing things about going to national parks is a stat I heard once (not sure of the exact numbers, but...), about 90% of park visitors don't go more than .25 miles from their car. It's pathetic. On the one hand, at least they are going to a national park and making some kind of effort. On the other hand, they've gone all this way and then they can't be bothered to get out of eyesight of their vehicle. When you hike these longer trails you see very few people along the way (maybe 30? over 17 miles) and then you see another 30 in the last .5 miles. And the closer you get to the end the dumber and less kind the people get. The first few hours of the hike we were being rained on and it was 40 degrees and we're trying not to slip on the ice and we're all basically just doing what we have to do to. Then we get close to the top at the very end of the hike and it's no longer raining and it's probably 50 degrees and yet teenagers are complaining to their parents about the temperature and not wanting to walk anymore. Meryl and I were blown away.
  • This year is going to be slooow. Definitely depressed today thinking about possibly needing to layoff or curtail hours. Trying to do everything I can to keep the guys busy while keeping the business profitable enough to at least tread water. If we get out of this year with all the guys and don't dip into savings much then I'll consider it a success. Last year we put a lot in savings and also bought our new house (if the city ever approves our plans). This year my expectations are drastically reduced. The Fed giveth and the Fed taketh away. That's about the most generous way I can interpret these events.
  • Merritt said the other day that when you are 13 through your 20s you are not wise at all. A very wise observation.
  • Federal outlays (spending) have tripled in the last 20 years. I mean, wtf. Just look at Bush's first proposed budget compared to Biden's latest. It's ridiculous.
  • Let's say you have a teenager who sucks at riding his bike. He can barely get to the end of the block, is constantly falling over, losing his bike, etc. Then he wants a car and you give it to him for some reason. He can't drive for shit either. Hits an old lady crossing the street, has dents all over the car, never changes the oil. But for some reason you decide to give the kid a big rig, and then a helicopter, and then a plane, and then a rocket ship. This is basically what we're doing with the government. It can't enforce child labor laws. It can't audit billionaire hedge funds. It can't regulate failing banks. It can't regulate trains. It can't even win wars it starts anymore. Yeah, let's give that same government more responsibility and power. Let's start another program. Let's expand its purview. Let's have another department.
  • How well are the recently added departments doing? Homeland Security (2002) is the most recent. I'd say it's a mixed bag with a lot of secondary issues that it created (like lack of privacy).
  • Veteran Affairs (1989). All I ever hear about the VA is how many problems there are. I used to go to camp near a VA hospital. It was basically just a hang out for homeless people. Nothing good seems to be happening there. Total shit show.
  • Department of Education (1979). Do I even need to comment on this one. If you charted US education relative to other OECD nations it would probably be a line straight down starting in 1979. We're not sniffing the top 10 anymore and we used to be at, or near, the top.
  • Just fire these people and start over. Shutter the departments if they're not performing. Accountability over everything at this point. Crack skulls or we're done for.
  • We're done for.
  • Friend Jon is leaving the country for New Zealand.
  • Also found out this week my aunt is leaving the country for Amsterdam.
  • The ship is sinking.
  • Sorry for another depressing post.

  • 3/13/23

  • Sometimes you just have to fight shit out. Maybe it's more of a guy thing. And that's coming from a guy who has never been in a fight in his life. But an old-fashioned fist fight is sometimes the best thing to set the hierarchy straight and get respect from someone who isn't willing to give it.

  • 3/7/23 (21:08)
  • Meryl's best friend from elementary school is a teacher who lives in Oakland. Today the catalytic converter was stolen off her car. This shit is just getting ridiculous. Oh, wait, I should have mentioned that this is the 3rd time in 5 months. Great city we have here.
  • No movement (or even response) from the multiple people who were on the email chain regarding the homeless encampment in front of the warehouse. Inmates are running the asylum.
  • Business really slow now. Almost as bad as its been since COVID. We have a couple things lined up, but not much. And money is low (though we are owed a lot, including the money from the guy who refuses to pay us $40k). Started putting out feelers and following up on jobs. The toughest thing is having 5 guys who rely on me and not wanting to cut their hours or anything. I think this year will be about 60% of last year.
  • Will try to focus on customer service and quality this year. May need to take some jobs at a loss just to keep everyone busy.
  • It wouldn't be so bad if we were able to get to work on the new house. Unfortunately it (plan set) hasn't even been submitted to the city yet (hopefully this week). Engineer took forever. Zoning took a while. Once the city (Alameda, not Oakland) gets it they will drag their feet and make comments and that dance will take anywhere from 2 weeks (yeah right) to 3+ months, depending upon how much bullshit they come up with and how many days off they take.
  • City of Oakland (RIP) was hacked a few weeks back (possibly more depending on who you ask). They didn't pay the ransom so now a bunch of personal information was leaked. What a shit show. Can't keep schools open. Can't run a police department (still under federal oversight). Can't keep own employees data safe. Can't get voicemails (because of the hack). Can't keep sports teams (Warriors left, Raiders left, A's want to leave). At what point does the State step in and just take over? Shoulda happened already.

  • 3/1/23 (20:34)

  • it's a long one. hopefully you read it all.
  • Official Oakland encampment management policy. Pretty good for a laugh, especially considering they don't execute their own plan. I wonder how many hours were spent coming up with this and debating it for them to just not enforce it in a meaningful way.
  • In the policy document they have the usual whereas clauses that layout the conditions of the policy. Then they have the exhibit section and the first part of that is the Introduction. After that they get into the meat of laying out the purpose and means of the policy. So what's the first thing they address? Equity. I've gotten past the point of feeling bad about pointing this kind of thing out. Equity is a nice enough idea - though I prefer Equality (yes, I know that saying that is an official microaggresion - like actually listed in a book, I'm not just making this up). But to put Equity above public safety seems a bridge too far.
  • Looked it up because things at our warehouse are not any better despite many calls and emails, etc. to the city about cleaning the area up. I called them today and they told me that their computer system is down so they can't put any new requests in. I said it didn't matter anyway and that I was just calling to see what to do to get something done in the real world (as opposed to creating a new virtual request that gets ignored). He said he understood my frustration. We got to talking a bit and he said that they can actually only shut down a certain number of encampments per month - by law. "So let me get this straight - you can only solve a certain number of murders a month so anything beyond that just doesn't get addressed?" "Uh, yeah there's only so many they're allowed to shut down each month." So I started asking if was a state law or city law or what. He said he didn't know. I asked "so if the quota for the month is already met and there's an encampment in front of the mayor's house or the chief of police then they...oh wait, we don't have a chief of police...but if there's an encampment in front of the mayor's house then they can't shut that down after they've met the monthly limit?" To which he replied in the affirmative. I'm just living in a dystopic movie at this point. And it's not a very good movie.
  • I had another conversation with another middle (wo)man who exists in the useless crevices of bureaucracy about the issue. She was, of course, very sad to hear about what we were dealing with and really wanted to help. She said that abandoned vehicles are not as difficult to get rid of, but when it becomes an encampment then it's a lot harder. I asked her if I could just say I live in my car to avoid getting tickets throughout the city from now on. She laughed and said unfortunately not. But why not? The reason, of course, is that the law only applies to those who are law-abiding. If you pay your taxes and try to do the right thing then you are subject to its control. If you don't give a fuck and just take the license plates off then you can park on the sidewalk. Maybe the law doesn't say that, but the reality of things does.
  • So, if this continues, I'll get closer and closer to hitching these vehicles up to my dump truck and dragging them somewhere else.
  • Other option is private security. Another example of G not doing its job so private enterprise needs to step into the void. Pathetic.
  • Here's what I wrote to the city, designed to hit their talking points as outlined in their own policy document (the things they supposedly want to prioritize)...
  • "The encampment and abandoned vehicles:

  • Are within 50' of a retail business.
    Within 150' of a childcare facility.
    Impede ADA required access on the street.
    Impede egress from my property
    Are within 50' of a residence.
    Are disproportionately affecting BIPOC communities who live in the neighborhood.
    There is an elderly lady who had to walk into the street with her walker because the car pictured was blocking the sidewalk last week.
    Today I hear about an aggressive dog at our entrance as well.
    They store tires on site.
    They are closer than within 6' of each other
    They routinely start fires outside as reported by a nearby resident and business owner
    Sometimes they park over the PG&E gas valve access point on the sidewalk which is a major hazard if there needed to be an emergency shut off.
    There is pervasive criminal activity in the area as previously reported - several instances of graffiti and stolen property (at the very least).
    I have heard from other neighbors who are afraid to say anything because of immigration status or fear of retribution that they are increasingly concerned about the growing encampment and dumping. What will it take to get this situation remedied before things get worse for those in the neighborhood?"
  • Told the city that I'm moving my business to Alameda because Oakland sucks (paraphrasing there). Need to jump through some hoops to close the business account in Oakland, but I'll be doing that.
  • People say, especially when you have kids, to savor the moment because you'll blink and they'll be all grown up and you'll wish you had enjoyed it more. I remember trying very hard to do this when both the girls were babies. I soaked up time with them as much as I could. I can't say that it paid off at all. It doesn't pay dividends today. I just wish that I could go back to those moments sometimes. But that same is true for good times I had with them last week. I think the "savor the moment" advice is just a way of acknowledging (and being sad about) the fact that time marches on. I wish I could pause and rewind, but no one can. I can regret not enjoying the time more, but what does that even mean? Certainly there is something there - don't split your attention between your kids and work, for example. But savoring the moment doesn't make the moment last any longer. And, years later, it doesn't make you feel any better. Or maybe I'm missing something.
  • Stand by Your Man is kind of a controversial song and Tammy Wynette got a fair amount of shit about it over the years. I guess the idea is that standing by your man is anti-feminist because a woman shouldn't put up with men?
  • Here are the lyrics. I don't find any of this controversial. But maybe that makes me a monster. You tell me.

  • Sometimes it's hard to be a woman (seems pro woman/feminist)
    Giving all your love to just one man (maybe monogamy is problematic?)
    You'll have bad times (life)
    And he'll have good times (life)
    Doin' things that you don't understand (real talk)
    But if you love him you'll forgive him (maybe you shouldn't forgive people you love? which part is problematic? loving a man or forgiving one?)
    Even though he's hard to understand (other people are often hard to understand. still not seeing a problem here)
    And if you love him, oh be proud of him (this seems about as innocuous as it gets)
    'Cause after all he's just a man (this seems slightly anti-man, if anything)
    Stand by your man (problem?)
    Give him two arms to cling to (maybe this is bad because it assumes a woman is just a physical play thing for men? seems a stretch. maybe it's ableist assuming people have two arms?)
    And something warm to come to (see above)
    When nights are cold and lonely (maybe it's problematic because it reinforces gender roles of the woman as comforter?)
    Stand by your man (see above)
    And show the world you love him (problem?)
    Keep giving all the love you can (this seems harmless)
    Stand by your man
    Stand by your man
    And show the world you love him
    Keep giving all the love you can
    Stand by your man
  • Okay, I've gone over it one line at a time and I don't see much there. There's one line that seems to indicate that men are less than women (After all he's JUST a man). Other than that it seems like she loves a guy and even though he does things she doesn't really understand, she wants to be there to love and support him (and only him). I'm really having trouble understanding the problem.
  • The state of the union speech was a good one. I guess we're just going towards the Parliamentary style where there's a call and response that's going to happen more. I actually didn't have much of a problem with it. I like that Justin Trudeau has to answer to Pierre Poilievre. I like seeing the back and forth. That said, maybe the SOTU address isn't the place for that and I would lean towards respecting the tradition of silence. I've been tough on Biden and his cognitive issues, but I felt like he mostly did pretty well on the spot here. He botched Tyre Nichols' name and there were other stumbles, but he wasn't in full drool cup Joe mode. He had one line about transgender kids that I didn't agree with, but it mostly seemed like some middle of the road stuff.
  • A pet peeve of mine is how liberals will call tax cuts spending. It's not a pet peeve because I hate liberals or love tax cuts (neither is true), but many of my pet peeves surround the rejection of reality. A tax cut isn't spending. It's allowing a person or business to keep more of their money. It may affect the bottom line like spending, but it is not spending. The geniuses at the NYT and elsewhere are smart enough to figure out how math works and they know the definition of words so I can only conclude that they keep this up for political purposes.
  • I bring this up because the NYT Daily podcast on 1/23/23 had an episode about the debt (because of the debt ceiling bullshit the Republicans are putting us through again). They looked at how the debt grew under different presidents, but they neglected to mention the role Congress plays. Congress holds the purse strings so why shouldn't a Republican Congress get credit for low deficits while Clinton was president? Probably because it's not politically advantageous. I would have respected the reporting had they broken it down both ways. They also had an entire episode on debt and never did they put into context what spending looks like. So, they mention military spending (12 times according to the transcript), but they don't mention the level of spending that social security or medicare or medicaid is. If you knew nothing about federal outlays (most Americans) then you would come away thinking that military spending is the biggest part of our Federal outlays. In reality it isn't. They didn't talk about how much it costs to service the debt, either. So I'll do it here for you since you can't rely on the NYT to educate you anymore apparently. This is from Treasury.gov.
  • By agency:
  • $1.64 T Department of Health and Human Services
  • $1.28 T Social Security Administration
  • $1.16 T Department of the Treasury
  • $727 B Department of Defense--Military Programs
  • $639 B Department of Education
  • By category:
  • $1.22 T Social Security
  • $914 B Health
  • $865 B Income Security
  • $767 B National Defense
  • $755 B Medicare

  • Horrible podcast.
  • Home Depot does self checkout as many places do. What's always funny to me is watching two employees as they look at two customers checking themselves out to make sure the the customers aren't stealing or needing help. They will often have a 1:1 ratio in the worst HD locations. So what's the point? If you have one employee watching 3 customers I can see an argument for it, but that's not the ratio at the two locations I go to most frequently. Just so idiotic.
  • They're rewriting Roald Dahl books now. Making them less mean. Seriously, you can't make this shit up. Writing that someone is fat isn't acceptable apparently (among other things). And yet the people who think this also self identify as fat and call it a fat acceptance movement. To wit. More. NAAFA. These people are more fucking nut jobs. When does this shit end? Put another way...FUCK YOU, YOU FAT-HEADED ROALD DAHL-CENSORING FUCKERS
  • The chief justice who wrote the decision on Plessy v. Ferguson went to Harvard. The thief Sam Bankman-Fried went to Stanford. The architect of the Vietnam war went to Harvard. The list is endless. How many nut jobs, social engineers, warmongers, eugenicists, etc. do these places need to churn out for us to take them off a pedestal?
  • Wonder how many people know about the planned murder of justice Kavanaugh. Seems like a story that went under the radar because the guy was caught/turned himself in. Still odd that it didn't get much play. It wasn't just a spur of the moment thing...he traveled 3,000 miles and brought weapons. If security hadn't been there what would have happened? We're a couple nut jobs getting lucky away from seeing how deep this hole gets.
  • How's that short war in Ukraine going? Media was sure it was going to be a few weeks or months. How often do the experts need to be wrong before they're strung up and fucking killed? I'm tired of this shit. Let's cut to the chase and just kill everyone who's wrong more than twice. Maybe that'll teach people to hedge their bets and be careful with what they say.
  • It's actually funny how this cycle repeats itself. During WWI everyone said the troops would be home by Christmas. A few years later millions dead and a few hundred yards gained/lost in the battle lines. Real great decision making. Fuck all those morons.
  • Do people who think in pictures remember their early life farther back?
  • Kimberle Crenshaw is the super genius who came up with the idea of intersectionality. Basically that you have to consider more than just gender or race (or ability status or whatever else is en vogue these days) in isolation when examining the disadvantage of a person. Eventually an even bigger super genius will figure out that there are so many ways a person can be identified (autism status, gender, race, age, relative fatness, bad daddy issues, etc.) that all intersect to create an "individual" and that you actually have to examine each "individual" on their own. Basically it's intersectionality all the way down until you finally realize that people just need to be judged on their own, rather than as each separate identity they happen to inhabit, which may or may not even be recognized depending upon the wokeness of society at the time. Eventually we'll recognize not only neuro-divergent and gender-fluid identities, but also hair color status, freckle density identity, etc. One can only hope.
  • Cancer survivor cuts off her breasts and everyone says she's a hero and no less of a woman even though she doesn't have boobs.
  • Trans man can't live with breasts because they make him feel like a woman. Hm.
  • According to NYT podcast the abortion rate has gone up from 17% to 20%, meaning 20% of pregnancies now end in an abortion. This is much higher than I would have thought. But the interesting note is that it's gone up since the "abortion ban decision."
  • Black patients get less opiods and antibiotics. The only theory I've heard from the NPR crowd on this is that it's because of anti-black racism. Blacks are seen as less deserving of care. Less trusted in their experience of pain. Another interpretation without actual data, could be that white people complain more or are more likely to sue so there's more defensive medicine or are seen as physically weaker and thus needing more medicine. Unless they report this shit with some data from doctors who are justifying their decisions, it's just random speculation and I think my nonsense speculation is as good as theirs. Further, what does it say about your shitty profession that there would be an appreciable difference in treatments to similar symptoms? Clean that shit up.
  • Earlier this year there was a heat wave and the county decided to shut down the parks. They don't trust people to use their own judgment about how hot it is. How is it possible to have such a nanny state? If I were trying to take the best possible care of every person in a given place, it wouldn't ever occur to me to shut down parks because it's too hot. I'd think of other things that I (in reality) don't believe should happen like: free fans for everyone, free visits to the movie theater or mall or other air conditioned spaces for all, free ice, advise people to stay inside, advise people to check on fragile loved ones and neighbors, information on how to make a homemade swamp cooler, tell the fire department to open fire hydrants in strategic locations. That's 30 seconds of brain storming. I'm just an idiot contractor trying to prove a point and I came up with half a dozen better ideas than chaining parks closed like some idiot fascists.
  • They closed the parks in the entire state during COVID. The thinking was that they wanted to encourage everyone to stay home and that being out in parks hiking or playing was going to lead to spreading.
  • How many times have I seen people wearing things they don't actually believe. Shirts like "mindset over everything" or "the future is female." But these are (likely) the same people who complain about the patriarchy or systemic oppression. If we live in a patriarchy in the present how is the future ever going to be female? If mindset over everything is what you believe then why would systemic oppression be a thing? Just change your mindset to get over it. You can only believe one of the things, so choose one.
  • I love Chloe Valdary.
  • I was at the bank the other day waiting in line and I watched an employee wander around changing out signs. They had a sign up that said you should apply for their cash back credit card. "Earn 3% cash back on every coffee" She spent like 3 minutes changing out that sign to one that read "Earn 3% cash back on every Poke bowl." I mean we really have to be at peak stupidity here. This lady probably has a college degree and she's getting paid to change out this dumb fucking signs with no meaningful difference. I swear to god I wouldn't mind a nuke just dropping on this fucking place. What the fuck are we doing here?
  • Does anyone understand what we're given? Our species has defied all laws of entropy. We're here standing up against the winds of chaos and time, floating on a blue ball in the middle of a fucking infinite nothingness and we're spending our time changing out this sign, scratching our collective head thinking about how the sign looks while our fellow humans have pieces of their bodies rotting while asking for money on the corner? This is how we're going to treat this fucking blessing of life? What a fucking tragedy.
  • Yeah, I saw a guy the other day with an open sore (not the first, second or third time I've seen such a thing) on his leg about the size of a fist. Probably infected as fuck. Probably will end up losing his leg in the future. I called it in and the supposedly sent the fire department. Total waste of human potential. 50 years ago that guy's mom gave birth to him and (probably) loved him more than anything in that moment. Today he's begging for money on the side of the road probably looking for his next fix.
  • And there are people who wear D.A.R.E. t-shirts ironically because it's funny how much the man doesn't want us to drugs. Maybe we should take drugs as seriously as we take racism.
  • I have zero faith that we can keep a hold of any technology we create. We've got a tiger by the tail, best case scenario. Actually, the Church, was probably once a good check on this phenomenon. The Church was once as powerful as G and was probably threatened by "black magic" and science and told all sorts of stories to try to slow technological progress down. Maybe not because the Church saw around the curve and thought this was the best thing for society...probably more likely because those things were a threat to its own power. Nevertheless it seems like that was one of the few checks we've had on technological progress getting out of control. You'll have a Unabomber type every once in a while who has zero effect. You'll have some conservatives telling stories about Pandora's Box and no one really cares much. But it's really just a steady march towards more technology and all that that brings. Nukes. Social Media. AI. To what extent are we better off?
  • There's an idea espoused by lots of philosophers and religions and cultural texts about time as a flat circle. Reincarnation. Reliving the same life over and over. Different variations on the theme that we redo the same thing over and over and repeat the cycle. Graham Hancock proffers a version of this in a way as well. An ancient buried society and we're redoing what's already been done. I have definitely had the feeling that society has a cycle from 1. nothing to 2. something to 3. something great to 4. too much of a good thing to 5. things fall apart. I haven't thought at all about the stages or anything, but it's basically like the quote "Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times." Ray Dalio has his own civilization cycle mapped out and it's essentially the same story of starting off small, doing well and prospering, taking things for granted, going into debt and losing your edge, collapse.
  • We have the opportunity to learn from the past and live the next civilizational life better than the last and I don't see the progress I'd like to see. Maybe it's all been done before and god hit the reset because the whole thing fell apart. The Matrix touches on this as well. If time is a flat circle then it means we're just repeating the same shit over and over. I'd like to think that we get to roll the dice anew each time and maybe some day we'll make the right moves.
  • Listened to "I Am A Rock" with Zoe the other day while driving home alone with her. She didn't think all that much about the song at first. Then I told her to listen to the lyrics a bit and think about it. and we talked about its meaning. She cried and I cried with her. Great song. Hopefully this shit world doesn't ruin her.
  • How do you make home both a respite from the cruelty and stupidity of the world, but also a training ground for it? They seem to be in opposition. I want my kids to be able to laugh off someone who calls them shitty things. I want them to be able to stand up for themselves when cornered. I want them to not be shocked by things that happen in the world. I want them to be able to fend for themselves. But I can't be the one to directly put them through these trials. The school of hard knocks teaches all these lessons most quickly, but it sucks. There doesn't seem to be any way around it - experience teaches better than anything, but you don't want them to have to experience every shitty thing in order to learn every lesson. Some people learn their lessons by watching others. I learned from my parents that getting into drugs wasn't going to be a good life. My sister (who didn't witness as much as I did [fortunately/unfortunately]) didn't learn the same lesson and she went down that path and has experienced its pain. The other day we were trying to decide what activity to do (I forget the specifics) and it was clear that Zoe was going along to get along, and wasn't really telling us what she thought. She sorta grunted her approval with the plan even though she didn't mean it. I told her that she needed to communicate her actual feelings more clearly than with grunts. I roughly said: "There will come a time when you'll need to be very clear about what you do or don't want and you'll need to have the ability to stand up for yourself in that moment so now's the time to practice." You just hope they remember these lessons with your words instead of some other way.
  • NYT podcast on conservatives who are trying to ban books on race and gender identity a while back. Thing that was funny is that they never really got into what the issue was with any of the books. They didn't read any of the supposedly bad passages from the books that the conservative parents were up in arms about. They talk about the existence of controversial passages, but they never quoted any of them. So, does that mean that they didn't have enough time? Or maybe they weren't acceptable for the podcast? I guess we'll never know. Stellar reporting.
  • "You can't have it all" says someone with exasperation. Yeah, who the hell ever thought you could? Was there a promise I missed somewhere where someone said you can have it all if you follow the rules or if you try hard or act nice or whatever? I didn't get that memo. Don't be surprised or upset when you can't have it all because no one can. It's called life. Sack up.
  • Is it wrong to assume people are straight? Is that a microaggresion? I mean that's literally the one way human life continues so I don't think it's much of a stretch to assume such a thing. Would it be wrong to assume that my kids are going to have boyfriends? Or do I have to say "someday when you have a boyfriend I'm going to tell him about such and such embarrassing story. Or girlfriend or non-binary friend. Whatever you choose because it's totally up to you and I wouldn't want to assume and of course there's no judgment and you can do whatever you want." Not sure anymore.
  • "Demisexuality is a sexual orientation. People who identify as demisexual only feel sexual attraction to someone after they've formed a strong emotional bond with them." Hmm.
  • 12:42a.


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