Yesterday I spent at the HCAO (Health Care for All Oregon) annual statewide meeting, at which I got reminded that I'd volunteered to do some database work for them, which I had forgotten. Fortunately the account data for their database was still on my laptop, so I could log in and take a look at what they had. While they do have a lot of DB problems, the underlying problem is that they have never really known what they're doing, and all the people involved in the DB work are amateurs, and so have no idea of what they could or should be doing, and so the *data* is a near-complete mess. Coming up with better ways to manipulate already-known-to-be-bad data will *not* make it better.
Other than that, it was mostly a waste of a day, in that they spent it telling me and each other with great enthusiasm how good an idea single-payer health care is, which everyone in the room already agreed upon. So it was mostly a cheerleading session, which I can tolerate well but doesn't do anything for me. Sorta like babysitting a toddler who's obsessed with playing with blocks, and has a nice set of blocks to play with -- I have to stay in the room and keep watch, but the kid's happily amused and not bothering anybody.
I'm involved with HCAO in the first place because a few years ago I'd hit on the idea of being personally involved with at least one organization pursuing each identified basic need of civilization. Health care is one such need; I have a list on this machine somewhere of about 17 I've identified so far. Air, water, food, shelter, security, and medical care start it off.
For tactical (and thus easily dismissable) reasons, the three ventures I've recently been most involved with are a Housing and a Representation project, XCRH and Civic Consul respectively, and Metaculture, which is an indirect project, a tool that both of the above have great use for.
I've been reading David Deutsch's "The Beginnings of Infinity" recently, and find it has a lot of applicability to both Metaculture and Civic Consul, and to a lesser extent XCRH. It's also a very "busy" book; there's a lot going on it that's neat and interesting and *not* related to any immediate practical use I have for it. I think I need to do a chapter-by-chapter summary of it before I continue -- I'm on chapter six of 18 -- so I can keep track of which chapters I have use for, and hold on to Deutsch's train of thought 'til I get to the end of the book and can figure out what he's trying to accomplish. I don't yet know where he's going with this, and so can't figure out if *his* point is something I have use for.
Deutsch reads like a geek who has invented a marvelously elaborate tool of which he is very proud, and wants everyone to admire it. In the process of so doing, he has invented a number of contributory tools I am finding very useful in *my* work, which is good for me even if his Grand Opus turns out to be a glorified whirligig. Chapter Six deals with a number of models of infinity, which may be useful to *his* point but don't do anything for *me*.
An online flirtation I'd been involved with also seems to be involved here, but I can't yet tell how or why. I use the past tense because it now seems my nominal inamorata was simply a con artist trying to get me to send money. I was willing to be stung for a few bucks to keep the action going, but then devised a way to enforce third-party verification before sending any more, and the conversation abruptly ceased. That was yesterday morning; it's still not impossible that my correspondent is simply stupid rather than dishonest, and might continue the conversation. I *doubt* it, but as said, not impossible.
And also as said, I don't know *why* that flirtation is relevant here. To speculate, it may take a lot of emotional “energy” on my part to stay emotionally involved with a concept as abstract as metaculture, and I may have been getting some of that from the thoughts of my flirtation. Hmm, that may have some truth in it, but if so, it’s incomplete, because Deutsch's book is also a part of this, and that explanation doesn’t account for Deutsch.
Deutsch's subtitle is “Explanations that transform the world”, and I think his explanations *are* transformative, but I haven’t yet figured out what he’s trying to transform to what-else, or why. I suspect his purpose and mine are overlapping Venn-sets, and that it’s taking yet *more* energy to only take out of his work what’s good and useful to *me* without being shanghai’d off on *his* as-yet-unidentified crusade.
So those are two purposes for which I have use of inexactly-defined emotional energy, and one abortive source for such energy. I have a couple of other sources for such energy which don’t seem to be easily adapted to either of these particular purposes. And I haven’t as yet generated a model of emotional ‘energy’ of sufficient complexity to be of use to me here. Maybe I need to go work on one. Unless you happen to have one handy you’d care to share?