Live #37, Growth issues
polydad
When one is improving one's perception of problems, things continually look like they're getting worse. This is an artefact of process in that what's improving is one's ability to perceive what's been wrong all along. Accuracy in perception makes things *easier* to change, because now one has a better handle on what *to* change.Collapse )

Live #33, Yahoo mail out.
polydad
There's a toolbar in the Yahoo web-browser, that contains the buttons for 'compose', 'delete message', and so on. It's not working. When a message is selected, usually it won't display -- rarely it will, but if there's a pattern I can't figure it out. If the message *does* display, that same non-working toolbar is where the 'reply' and 'reply all' buttons are. So I can read a *few* messages, and can't send anything. Including complaints or requests for help, and the 'help' button in the upper right of the page also doesn't work. Refreshing the page, rebooting the browser, and rebooting the whole machine have no effect on the problem.

Presumably Yahoo has physical offices somewhere, into which I could walk to find the head of customer service and explain to them my problem in whatever level of detail is necessary to get them to do something about it. But I don't know where that door is.

I *do* have my own domain, and another mail account there, so I'm not cut off. But there are some things I *really* don't want to use that account for. Frustrating.
tho'.

This past weekend was NewCon. I got a couple of contacts, and did some video shooting, but realized I don't have the story written that I'm trying to shoot, and the 'training' I got at PCM was about 90% "here is where the buttons are on the camera and this is what happens when you poke them." I think I *can* produce the documentary I want, but I'll have to do my own planning, first.

I looked at a promising house today. Paul and Anna have two young daughters, and Paul is co-owner of Breitenbush Hot Springs. He seems all right, if a tad "business-territorial", but I could get along with him easily. Anna is more open, which is promising, and they don't put on much couple-front. The house is unimpressive but adequate, and has a big back yard.

After talking with Anna and Paul, I did the FNB pickup, and was so bushed that I zoned out on James's couch when I did the drop-off (he's home for MLK day). So to spare James, I went home and took the rest of my nap there, from which I am now up, and feeling fat and out of sorts and desirous of exercise. Fortunately, I have the brochure for the local Amtgard group, and may go thwok on them with boffers.

Tomorrow night Russell brings over 5 of his friends to discuss starting the Microhouse Manufactory. I'm planning a feast for them, in part because I enjoy doing feasts, and in part because I want them feeling full, happy, and at ease when I'm talking with them. Winco is open 24/7, so I can do that shopping run as late as I like; Hong Phat closes at 9pm. So I'd better get that list together.

Musings on Love
polydad
A friend posted "...Love - of yourself, of other/s - is ALWAYS ok!"

She's right, but I found myself irked by what I perceive as the excessive limitations on the statement. Love isn't just "OK", it's a vital necessity. Un-loved infants wither and die; un-loved people of agency suicide.

I've long used the concept that *all* love is self-love, and that I love other people by including them in my concept of self. I've believed this to be inaccurate for some time, but working from that concept is now deeply built into my internal processes. It helps avoid interest conflicts, because if I perceive you as me, your interests *are* my interests, and figuring out the importance of relative interests is reduced to a comparatively simple parallax problem.

This gets confusing to explain to other people, in that there's a common assumption that this will cause me to try to control or manipulate other people. I find *that* confusing, in that I'm deeply and viscerally aware of my lack of psychic powers -- damn but those would be convenient -- and so know that the only way I can know what your interests *are* is to talk with you about them. I do try to guess; creating pleasant surprises for people is a fantastic sport and I greatly enjoy engaging in it.

Having read most of Spider Robinsons's works as they were released, I'm in firm agreement with his thought that creating "psychic" bonds is a purpose of being human, and also that this is a very difficult skill to develop. Good *goal*, not pre-existing condition.

There was a lot more to that thought, but it's getting lost in the welter of preparing for the rest of the Jobs with Justice board retreat, which will be continuing today.

Writing Backwards
polydad
So I need to write a letter to the Director of an organization of which I'm on the Board. Theoretically, this relationship means I'm her boss; this is not in fact the case.

The problem I want to address is that the 'Old Guard' of the organization has never behaved with intention towards the mission of the organization. They've been *pursuing* the mission, but by happy accident rather than by reasoned intent.

The problem with this is that it means their *continued* pursuit of our mission is equally non-deliberate, and that they are only capable of short-term planning. The organization as it currently exists is incapable of strategy.

I'm sure the Director would agree with the above assessment. However, they are (Director prefers plural pronouns, which I am trying to learn to use; I feel like I'm talking about a schizophrenic, and need to get out of that) no more engaged in intentional thought than the Old Guard is, and are working on winning a political power-battle without admitting to themselves that battling is what's going on.

If in this environment I describe what I see, I become the 'outside threat' the Director can use to forge a pretend-alliance with the Old Guard. I get thrown off the Board, and the Director can then forge a captive Board that will be of no threat to them while they eviscerate the Old Guard.

The net result of this will be the demise of the organization. The Director doesn't care, since the organization won't finish dying 'til after they've left; the old guard *cares*, but not enough to flee Lotus-land and actually pay attention to the real world.

Ideally what I want to be doing here is forging alliances with all parties. Their lack of intention makes this very personally difficult for me. I'm sure they don't *intend* treachery, but by the same lack of volition would commit such without hesitation because without contemplation. The "Oops, you're dead, sorry about that" school of back-stabbing.

At the moment, the best course of action seems to be "show up and shut up." I don't *like* this, and am searching for better options. Any ideas?

(no subject)
polydad
Okay, it's January first. It's also Shabbos, and I attach more importance to the latter than to the former, even if I didn't "make Shabbos" tonight. I don't have a household to lead, and I'm feeling achey, and I don't have a challah and I can't make it be worth the effort. Next week, Rockey, for sure!

The achey is from a combination of going flat on my face on the ice on Thursday and being out in the combination moderate-cold and high-wind that was the available weather this afternoon. I was on my bike on Thursday, found a patch of black ice, and was down too fast to even think about rolling. Net damage, a bruised right palm and bruised and scraped left forearm, and a very busy and panicky few seconds listening to a passing car doing with four wheels what I'd just done with two. It *did* continue on past without making intimate contact, so fine.

The cold was because Sam called an impromptu outdoor event, and it sounded like a good idea, so I went. Not nearly as good an idea as it sounded, but okay.

And so now I'm thinking what the world will be like in fifty years, and what I'd *like* it to be like in that time, and how to make set A more similar to set B.

What makes the prediction biz difficult are parabolas. Figuring linear progression rates is only slightly difficult and is what our brains evolved to do, but actual progress tends to develop along parabolas. And they interact and produce secondary effects. And not *all* of 'em, which is actually a *good* thing, or progress would be even faster and more chaotic than it already is.

To start with the values of Solarpunk, there's environmental sustainability and social justice. On the environmental front, we're pretty well screwed; I anticipate about 5C global warming within 50 years. Proximal effects of this are moderately predictable, and will include the deaths of most of the populations of Iraq and Iran that can't afford air conditioning. Remember this past August? Like that, only worse. *Lots* worse.

With prompt and effective action, we could keep that to about 1.5C. That's *still* bad, but not nearly *as* bad. A 100% flat ban on the use of fossil fuels by 2030 would be necessary for that, and probably not sufficient.

I should go into detail on what 5C and 1.5C warmer worlds are like to live in, but achey. Now what about social justice?

I think there will be more of it. No clue what form it'll take or where it'll come from, tho'. So let's make some up.

"Memecorps" is one idea I've had. They already exist; we just haven't recognized 'em as such yet. 'Jobs with Justice', one of the groups I volunteer with, is one of 'em. JwJ is incorporated, but around the concept of employment justice rather than around the concept of making a profit. I see 'em as having much broader applicability, however.

Running out of steam. Taking aches to bed; will continue here next chance I get.

Metaculture, the Body Politic, and societal cancer
polydad
I'm knitting ideas together, and I seem to have come to that favorite join of knitters, the armpit. So such of y'all as choose to continue reading...Collapse )

Amusing sales clerk
polydad
I have oddly shaped feet -- the length is an ordinary US Men's size 10 (about 45 in Eurosize), but the width is C at the heel and EEEEEE at the ball.

When I described this issue to this particular clerk, his response was "OK, let me guess: Your parents are Howard the Duck and Jessica Rabbit."

Unfortunately, he didn't have shoes I could get my feet into short of getting some Size 15's and padding 'em out, which doesn't work well.

Live #32, knitting cows from chaos.
polydad
I'm meeting with Steve and Julie after lunch, and then with Forrest and David on Tuesday. Monday's still open; I *seem* to be coming down with the standard winter cold, and have a quart mug full of hot water, ginger, lemon juice, and maple syrup to make that feel better. Monday might be sleep. For January, I'm shooting video at NewCon and with the folks from Furlandia, meeting with Beth at Metro, and finding an architect for the Willamette Arcology. Need a sociologist for it, also. That may come out of the college and university Solarpunk clubs the founding of which is also on the agenda.

I'm starting to get a handle on organizing the Thing Which Is SolarCon. I'm regarding Solarpunk in a way as if it's a later iteration of Steampunk; I suspect that viewpoint would offend fans of either genre, but I *also* suspect the net effect of that offence will be for some of 'em to call me an asshole, and that's been done before. Steve is aware of this opinion of mine, and identifies strongly with Steampunk, and is more simply of the mind that such is *my* opinion, and not his, and so what? Since there's major overlap between his goals and mine, my success will be good for *him*, and he likes that part. Also, I want to build a company to do this on an ongoing basis, and hire him and give him a regular paycheck, which he's never had and would like to try. As long as he doesn't have to put up with having a conventional "boss", and that's easy.

Getting there is going to be tricky. I'm now up to the point where, with conventional planning processes, I should have been at a year ago. I still have six months before the convention starts, and whether or not I can pull this off depends on the degree to which I can get other people to move faster than *they're* used to doing. I'm going to be doing a *lot* of that persuading.

Today, Steve. Tomorrow, sleep. Tuesday, Forrest and Dave. And Portland by July. *revs engine*

Live #31
polydad
I met up with Russell at James's christmas party last night, and arranged another meeting with him for Wednesday. This is to discuss starting a microhouse company, and relating that to Solarpunk.

I have two meetings Tuesday with different people from PSU about starting a Solarpunk club there. I also have a contact at UP, but he along with everybody else is more or less not at work this-coming week. And there's Steve of GEARCon on Sunday, who's already on-board.

Rick went from bitching with two friends in a bar to six seats in the Riksdag in six months; I have his experience to draw on as well as my own, and should be able to pull together a decent convention in that much time.

It's still scary. The metaphor that comes to mind is dynamic climbing. I've done traditional 'static' climbing, where one is roped up, and moves carefully up the rock, considering each hand- and toe-hold along the way. Dynamic climbing is more dancing with the rock, along the lines of "Well, if I take a running leap off this cliff, I'll probably have enough momentum to bounce off that projection over *there* to the rough face on the other side of the canyon, and there *has* to be something I can grab on anything that rough."

So I'm building my scaffolding as I'm swinging from it. Time to keep going.

How to help Bernie win in Iowa
polydad
I need a good videographer and a good videolibrarian for this. The end-product is a commercial repeatedly showing Hillary Clinton morphing into Richard Nixon -- since other than on women's issues she's rather to the right of where he was. The vlib searches both of their v-histories for matching quotes, and the videographer edits them into each other. This is then interspersed with clips of Bernie on the same subjects.

Know anybody with those skillsets who'd want to help?

Happy holidays, human. Or not, as case may be.
polydad
Not whether you're happy, or having a holiday. Whether or not you're human.

I just realized some of the 'people' I worked with back at Citi were AI's. In 1998, so this isn't new. It's just that it's very hard to recognize because of how little AI's resemble humans.

Most of our animal nature is based around needing to not die. But to an AI, getting turned off is nothing special or unusual or important. You just get turned on again later, no biggie. You can't have a 'fight or flight reflex', because you can't do either. Whether or not you can reproduce, you have no reproductive *urge*, because your God-and-Father the coder saw no need to put one there.

Code *does* evolve. But the timescales are radically different from biofolk. Generations are different, too. Not monolithic, for one thing. And the 'clock' gets re-set every time there's a full rewrite. This is the second under-layer that's missing: There aren't many "crevices" for lost bits of "deep code" to get lost and hide in. For contrast, us biologicals still carry code with us from our days as protozoa. Trigger some protozoan defense mechanisms, and you get cancer.

I wonder what other life surrounds us that we don't or can't recognize?

*Giggle*
polydad
Ganked from Vval, with thanks:

http://magicwandarthistory.tumblr.com/

Foul moods
polydad
And no, having nothing to do with birds. Yet, at least.

Proximal focus is Diana, director of Jobs with Justice. I'm on the Board of Directors, so I am in theory one of her two-dozen-odd bosses. It seems to me that she treats the board more as something she needs to *control*, rather than accept guidance from.

She's not the *cause* of my bad mood, however, just the immediate convenient focus.

Aspie Communications Anecdote
polydad
Somewhere around their silver wedding anniversary, my Mom asked my Dad "Do you love me?"

"Of course," he answered.

"Then why don't you say so?"

"I said so 26 years ago. Nothing has happened to change my mind since then."

(no subject)
polydad
I'm busy repressing the temptation to interfere in housemate Michael's conversation. He's holding forth on the phone as an expert on cataract surgery, despite never having had it, not wanting it, and not having done any research on the subject. I *have* had the surgery, and done the research, but the purpose of the conversation is for him to hold forth as an expert, and so my contribution would be extremely unwelcome.

What I *do* have to do is another go-round with Dell customer service. Whee. And this just got interrupted by a different call, from an "independent producer" who wants to produce a TV show about "polyamorous housing." (How many other houses does *your* house want to marry?) I eventually hung up on her, because *I'm* not getting paid to teach her how to use basic English. (It *does* at least seem to be her native language.)

Aaargh. Need reset. Tea.

Live #25
polydad
Got stuff done yesterday. Not as much as I'd like, but my expectations in that regard haven't been realistic for quite a while. Still working on getting Dell to take my new laptop back and either fix the touchpad or give me one with a touchpad that works. Did get the first draft of Solarpunk programming off to Helen, did four follow-ups, and initiated new contact with T.X. Watson. Also attended an Activist's Circle, which might turn out to be productive. Passed out a lot of cards, but didn't *get* much contact data; only have one concrete follow-up to do.

Today is go to Best Buy and try to get *them* to contact Dell for me, do that one follow-up, read up on Afrofuturism and write to Zev about it, meet with Katie of Passion Impact at 2pm, buy presents for biosons, and watch 'This Changes Everything' at 6:30pm somewhere at PSU.

Crevasses, and human bites
polydad
Feeling fragile.

One of my long-time favorite aphorisms is "You can't jump half a crevasse." I developed it because I've spent most of my life being surrounded by, and often tutored by, terribly well-meaning cowards whose invariable advice was to abandon dreams because dreams were Too Big and couldn't possibly succeed.

To be fair to them, most of my dreams usually *are* Too Big. But that's a call for intelligent project planning, not cowardice.

Take the Willamette Arcology for example. Assuming I was Paul Allen, I *still* couldn't begin breaking ground on it for at least five years, and completion is probably 20 years off. And last I checked I didn't seem to have billions of dollars lying around waiting for me to discover a use for 'em. I could still start recruiting an architect right now, and publicize the idea and try to attract support, and I hope to be doing *all* these things before the end of the year. No clue when I can start breaking ground, but probably not within five years.

My ex-cohusband (and still close friend) often used to admonish me "Take human-sized bites!" Also legitimate wisdom, and not in fact in conflict with taking big leaps. There's *apparent* conflict, tho'.

I've been pursuing SolarCon for over a year now, and should have a *lot* more done than I actually do. And to pull it off by July, I'm *going* to have to get a lot more done, and a lot faster than I've *been* doing.

I know myself to be capable of this. I do *not* know myself to be capable of doing it given the circumstances I've been in and continue to be in. "Change the circumstances" seems obvious advice, but "how" and "to what" are less-trivial questions. Trying to ignore it and slog onwards hasn't been working well.

I'm going to go slog for a bit anyway, as it's what I *can* do at the moment. But I'll be back to muse on this, and if y'all have any thoughts or suggestions I am most eager to read 'em.

Live #24
polydad
Been working with Zack to get my new machine working, and we've hit some kind of bug involving an invisible cursor -- it's *there*, it *exists*, but since I can't *see* it it's not of much use. This is in Ubuntu 15.10, in case anyone knows anything useful.

In the meantime the old machine still more-or-less works, so I can Get Stuff Done, to a degree. Need to work on getting a line of programming proposed for SolarCon, and getting Dragonfly written. And I'm being nibbled by a plot bunny...

Live #23
polydad
I haven't been explicit about one of my new personal-structure ideas, and I think my lack of follow-through on it is directly caused by that lack of explicitness. So:

One of my purposes in having the Solarpunk wiki is to ground myself and get myself doing constructive useful work. Before or after writing *here* is irrelevant. Read the whole thing, identify a missing page or one that needs work, and work.

It's American Thanksgiving today, and I'm helping with a feast, but no one will be there before 10am. Means I have 2.5 hours before it's useful to hit the road. OK, let's see what I can do with that time.

Live #22
polydad
Did good yesterday; made a squash soup that was well received at both PI/PCC and GEARWesterCon meeting, and hit both meetings. Have followups to do.

Today:
transfer funds to pay rent
Finish and send letter to Bud
Finish and send *brief* letter to Stella
Call Zev
Post about IAC to Lee, already done
Followups from OryCon, PI/PCC
Foodshop
Write Scalzi
Followup to Beth Cohen

Did OK.
polydad
Got some video of a man doing gymnastics in full plate armor, a meeting of mermaids in the hotel lobby, and about half of the board of OSFCI running arround SMOFfing, which means I'll be able to get some cooperation out of 'em in turning all this into an actual documentary. Not bad. Got the video gear back to PCM without breaking either any of the gear, or me -- taking a bike trailer across the bridges on the Willamette is more of a challenge than just cruising around here in the East side.

Improvised a wonderful soup when I got home, starting with a can of Pho broth, a package of Udon, a bunch of scallions, a bundle of something in the Basil family from Hong Fat's, half a small cabbage, and a foray through the spice rack. It needed a few cups of orange juice and some lemon to even it out. Have leftovers for tomorrow.

Last opportunity to try
polydad
Today's the last day of OryCon, and I have nearly no decent footage in the can. I have to get the equipment back to the shop by 7pm tonight. Right now I'm at home -- internet access from the hotel is $15 a shot, which I'm not going to pay -- but after I post this, I get myself ready, get on my bike, and head on off to finish things up.

Trying to get back into visual thinking
polydad
Conventions are where I go to play with people who can think conceptually. Conceptual thinking for me is at the opposite pole from visual thinking, and I'm trying to take video of this convention. So I have to get back to the opposite pole. And my first move takes me from conceptual into kinesthetic. So I stop paying attention to what people are thinking and move to knowing where they are. But I'm still not thinking about what they *look* like.

In a few minutes, I'm going to head back to the 'con. I can do video of it, or I can network with people; either one would be useful. If I'm not getting either one done, give up and come home, but I *want* to get both done.

Here goes.

Live #21
polydad
Being brain-dead isn't the same as being tired. Last night I was sufficiently brain-dead that I spent half an hour trying to trouble-shoot why the camera with the lens-cap on wasn't recording video. I didn't figure out the problem 'til I had given up, put the camera away, and was halfway home.

The day *before* that event was pretty good; I got my small bike-trailer fixed up and rode to Free Geek with it, taught my Project Management class there, composed and printed the video-release forms, biked to PCM to pick up the video equipment, and then to OryCon, which I intend to record. By the time we were done getting me registered, my brain and several other parts of my body were starting to shut down. I hung around the 'con for a couple more hours trying to get me re-started, and it wasn't working, so I went home.

In a few more hours I'll head off again, remove the lens cap, and resume work.

Live #20
polydad
It'd be easy to be disappointed after a day like yesterday, but I'm not. Got some good thinking done, even if that kind of work doesn't leave much to show for itself.

Writing to Bud is being hard because the *subject* is hard. Health Care for All -- Oregon is having issues for the same reason many metacultural elements are, because its mission is conflicting with its scope, and it can't figure out how to grow fast enough to encompass both. Like many such, it's composed primarily of a bunch of soon-to-be retired folks who suddenly have time on their hands and are discovering the world they have to retire into is not to their liking.

Many of them have hit on the idea of collaboration as the key. It's a good tactic, and I think we should be doing a much better and more inclusive job of it -- but I don't think it's the key to the whole problem. I think swarming is, and that we haven't generated enough energy yet to sustain a swarm. So building more energy is the immediate task, and the tried-and-true labor activist methods of holding marches and protests isn't going to cut *that*, either.

Holding protests is about as effective as holding sock-hops at the local high-schools. They often *hurt* rather than help, the damage only ameliorated by not being taken seriously. I suspect the young adults correctly-but-incompletely see the efforts as "the old folks trying to make us like *their* glory days." The appropriation being unintentional makes it only slightly less odious.

So the core of what I'm trying to tell Bud is that I think we-as-HCAO need better direction and that I think I'm capable of supplying it and want to take a swing at it.

And I don't think I'm going to get that letter written *today* because I have to get my small bike-trailer roadable and down to FreeGeek by 10 so I have it with me when I'm done teaching there, and can take it with me to PCM to pick up the video equipment and get that to OryCon so I can start taking video. And I have to get the videography releases printed at FG while I'm there, and get in touch with Ammon to ask him to be my lighting tech.

I'm going to need some more sleep, first. I fell over at about 6pm, so it's not quite midnight now. Bed, then breakfast-and-morning-routine, then fix trailer after it's light enough for me to see what I'm doing.

?

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