September 12th, 2009

Knitting up my brain

Judaism has been my Klein screwdriver. Let me explain that. When I worked as an electrician, the owner of the firm had a fetish for Klein tools, and insisted we all use 'em. No one objected; Klein makes perfectly fine tools. Not a whole lot different than any other good manufacturer, but from our perspective we needed screwdrivers, and Klein made fine screwdrivers. So we used 'em, we had tools that worked, and we made Dan happy.

A religion is a tool for figuring out who "I" am and how I want to live. There are lots of them, and while some of 'em are cheap pot-metal K-mart specials, most of 'em are reasonable, simple tools that work, and Judaism happens to be mine.

I, however, would like to use, and thus find myself forced to invent, a Makita electric screwdriver. A regular screwdriver has two parts, a good steel shank, and a comfortable handle. An electric has a few dozen parts, which I won't bother to list; you get the idea. So where am I getting my other parts from?

Neurodiversity is the first one. It's a special case of the more general concept of diversity, and I take it as a necessity from population genetics: To be healthy, we need to have a broad both gene and meme-pool to draw from. Bandwidth is Good.

Geekdom provides a number of points; I take Open Source as a fundamental principle. Openness is good.

I get some more from Fandom, particularly my early-childhood exposure to Heinlein -- specifically, competence and robustness are good.

The point I get from polyamory is simple; we don't own other people. (One exception, noted below.) We have to deal with each other from the POV of pleasing each other and making each other happy, rather than coercing each other to our individual wills.

The exception is from the kink world; one *can* *negotiate* an owner/owned relationship if that is what *does* make one happy. The principle I get here is that excitement and stimuli are good things, and it is valuable to train myself to accept as much intensity as I can manage. The kink world provides some other concepts, also; re "openness," above, most humans have dominance issues, and the best thing to do with 'em is get 'em out in the open where we *can* deal with 'em. Trying to ignore 'em is a sure recipe for ending up with Dick Cheneys and other abominations.

And I get one from my recent study of Place-Based Education: The Industrial Revolution let us go beyond the social boundary of "how far can I walk?", which is excellent. But roots are still a good idea, and logistics *do* matter, and it makes sense to pay attention to what's right in front of me first.

And there's a point from sustainability, which I haven't sussed out yet.

Okay, do I have enough pieces to build my Makita yet?