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Spleen, world. World, spleen. Now play nice.
polydad
I've got a grant proposal to write. The first question on the form is "What's your website?" so I need to create a website for the project. Fine, I started writing. And I find myself continually distracted by the inabilities of the people around me to recognize simple and straightforward *evil* when they trip over it.

We have in the United States two political parties, the Party of Malevolence, currently in power, and the Party of Incompetence, busily waiting for them to fall out of it. We're trapped between Bumblefuck and Murderthug.

What we are suffering from is poor storytelling. Look at the whole Marvel cinematic universe for a case example. There are two teams, the Good Guys and the Bad Guys, and the Good guys will always win and the bad guys will always lose and that's it. As a culture we've learned that winning makes you good, so if you won you must be good, never mind how many innocents you slaughtered in the process.

Yeah, OK, recently they've backed off from that a bit and made effort to Save The Innocents. But at this point that entire genre has gone so far off the Suspenders of Disbelief that it doesn't matter any more. The Bad Guys will always score just enough hits to allow the defending Good Guys to work up a good head of Righteous Indignation, whereupon they throw physics out the window, dial up the super-powers to about 25 or so (even those heros who don't *have* any), and engage in some righteous ass-whooping. The righteous ass-whooping is the orgasm of the story, and all the rest of it is just window-dressing setting up the stage for it.

Damn, there's too much going on here for me to keep hold of it. We can end the positive feedback loop and get back to telling better stories by focusing on building rather than fighting. In a fight, everybody loses, it's just that some folks lose a little less than other folks. If we build something, the project is the story, and its coming into existence is the success, and it leaves us richer by one whatever-the-fuck-it-is.

It will almost certainly be necessary to remove some of these malignant boils from our species. Rather than indulge our sadistic impulses, we should simply end them as quickly and expediently as possible, redistribute all the resources they have managed to sequester, and move on. Gloating is actively counterproductive, no matter how good it feels. We don't want to glory in the defeat of our enemies, we want to get back to making something beautiful.

So the evil that we're tripping over is that we've been subsumed by the sports-game mentality. Playing games is fine, it's fun, and it only becomes a problem when we start mistaking games for life. The model is not the thing. We need to look at what *surrounds* the simulation and not get bogged down in doing ever-better simulating. We're already *too good* at lying to ourselves.So since Thursday I've bought and installed a second, bar-sized (3.3 cu. ft.) refrigerator, put a couple of bread-boxes in the corner, and hung a big hanging basket next to the new fridge. I've also gotten some trays to put the spices on, tho' one of the tray needs legs so it can go above the other tray, and I'm not done with that part yet. (Bought steel bar-stock, bent it to shape, drilled holes in 'em for mounting, and drilled 'em too small. And my arm is too tired to drill 'em out wider for at least the next two or three hours.)

Place looks vastly better. Liam has already started ignoring the new changes and dumping his purchases on the counter, and I've already nagged him about it. We'll see how long *that* continues.

Spleen, world. World, spleen. Now play nice.
polydad
I've got a grant proposal to write. The first question on the form is "What's your website?" so I need to create a website for the project. Fine, I started writing. And I find myself continually distracted by the inabilities of the people around me to recognize simple and straightforward *evil* when they trip over it.

We have in the United States two political parties, the Party of Malevolence, currently in power, and the Party of Incompetence, busily waiting for them to fall out of it. We're trapped between Bumblefuck and Murderthug.

What we are suffering from is poor storytelling. Look at the whole Marvel cinematic universe for a case example. There are two teams, the Good Guys and the Bad Guys, and the Good guys will always win and the bad guys will always lose and that's it. As a culture we've learned that winning makes you good, so if you won you must be good, never mind how many innocents you slaughtered in the process.

Yeah, OK, recently they've backed off from that a bit and made effort to Save The Innocents. But at this point that entire genre has gone so far off the Suspenders of Disbelief that it doesn't matter any more. The Bad Guys will always score just enough hits to allow the defending Good Guys to work up a good head of Righteous Indignation, whereupon they throw physics out the window, dial up the super-powers to about 25 or so (even those heros who don't *have* any), and engage in some righteous ass-whooping. The righteous ass-whooping is the orgasm of the story, and all the rest of it is just window-dressing setting up the stage for it.

Damn, there's too much going on here for me to keep hold of it. We can end the positive feedback loop and get back to telling better stories by focusing on building rather than fighting. In a fight, everybody loses, it's just that some folks lose a little less than other folks. If we build something, the project is the story, and its coming into existence is the success, and it leaves us richer by one whatever-the-fuck-it-is.

It will almost certainly be necessary to remove some of these malignant boils from our species. Rather than indulge our sadistic impulses, we should simply end them as quickly and expediently as possible, redistribute all the resources they have managed to sequester, and move on. Gloating is actively counterproductive, no matter how good it feels. We don't want to glory in the defeat of our enemies, we want to get back to making something beautiful.

So the evil that we're tripping over is that we've been subsumed by the sports-game mentality. Playing games is fine, it's fun, and it only becomes a problem when we start mistaking games for life. The model is not the thing. We need to look at what *surrounds* the simulation and not get bogged down in doing ever-better simulating. We're already *too good* at lying to ourselves.So since Thursday I've bought and installed a second, bar-sized (3.3 cu. ft.) refrigerator, put a couple of bread-boxes in the corner, and hung a big hanging basket next to the new fridge. I've also gotten some trays to put the spices on, tho' one of the tray needs legs so it can go above the other tray, and I'm not done with that part yet. (Bought steel bar-stock, bent it to shape, drilled holes in 'em for mounting, and drilled 'em too small. And my arm is too tired to drill 'em out wider for at least the next two or three hours.)

Place looks vastly better. Liam has already started ignoring the new changes and dumping his purchases on the counter, and I've already nagged him about it. We'll see how long *that* continues.

Successful Failure
polydad
I've never been so pleased to throw away work.

I posted this morning about my distraction. Then I went and wrote out a proposal, and it was awful. It *really* stunk.

And then I threw it away and started over. Only got a few paragraphs start, but now it's a good start and I can do something with it. And if I hadn't written my previous pile of dreck I wouldn't have been able to.

So yay for successful failure, and on with the project!