Archive for July, 2008

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect, and Me.

Monday, July 21st, 2008

So, over the years, I have come to the conclusion that much as I believe in PLUR (or at least PLR – I’m still not convinced that I know what ‘unity’ means in this context, or that it’s a universally good things) as a ideal for human behavior, I am a very long way from living up to it.

Today I’m fighting with the temptation to poke back at someone who I felt like was poking at me – over the weekend, I was listing cognitive distortions that we all fall into to $PERSON, and they said something to the effect of ‘Does your list have anything about blaming other people for your problems?’. Which, I take it to mean, $PERSON thinks that I blame other people for my problems. [Perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions, maybe it was just something that was on eir mind at the time, who knows…]

Anyway, the peaceful thing to do is to let it drop – assume that they didn’t mean any harm by it, and that if they did, it still isn’t a good idea to get into a fight over it, and bringing it up with the person could lead one of two ways – either to a resolution or to a fight – so the safest thing to do is just to leave it alone..

As far as Respect goes, I can’t really think about Christianity without getting angry, which certainly isn’t a very respectful atittude to take towards what is possibly the world’s majority religion. (And yes, I understand that the Christians are no more all one group and all the same than any other large block of people)

It’s sad to not be able to live up to my ideals. I think it’s probably normal, though.

Rambling sheer-post

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Okay. So, over the last few months, a lot of you have heard me talking about what the universe ‘should’ be like. This is actually in direct violation of one of the things I’ve been trying to take some guidence from (Smart Recovery) but I feel sort of strongly that I should (there’s that word again ;-)) try to figure out what I think Utopia for Sheer looks like so I’ll have some idea when I’ve arrived, assuming I ever get there.

I don’t know if I’ve already done so or not, but I’m sure if I have, my views have changed, so I’m going to enumerate what my latest version of it looks like here.

First of all, a system of file permissions – including blocks on individual actions and grouped blocks on types of actions, which can be applied to individuals or groups. In other words, I can set it so people I don’t know can’t shoot me – or even so people I don’t know can’t communicate with me at all in any way. Or so that some particular person I do know can’t hit me. Or whatever. Protection from each other should be a natural law, like the law of gravity.

In one version of this, if you shoot me, you see me shot but I don’t see myself being shot, and our realities are divergant – tools would need to exist to help bring back togeather divergent realities. In another version – probably more practical to impliment – attempts to violate the file permissions of the universe just result in error messages.

Second of all, nearly limitless resources for all. Yes, that’s right, I think we all should be wealthy beyond our wildest dreams without needing to work for it. I think no life form should ever fear for hunger, or shelter, or physical safety. This isn’t saying that I don’t think we should be able to work, or that I don’t think there will be many worthwhile things to do. Just that I don’t think lack of will to work should result in any threat or danger to the non-worker.

Third of all, a better understanding of how to make human relationships work. I think that there should be a manual given to every child that explains what we know so far about how to live together as friends, and how to make love relationships work. Heinlien suggested in Stranger in a Strange Land that the problem is the language we are currently using isn’t well shaped to this task, and I think that’s one of many possible avenues that should be explored. I’d like to see a fair chunk of resources put into the task of writing such a book – I realize that we have more pressing concerns, like energy and war and whatnot, but I think that our lack of knowing how to be human without hurting each other costs us considerably in how far we get in achiving our other goals, and I think that a ‘work-smarter-not-harder’ approach might be to figure out human relationships and how to make them work without making us unhappy sooner rather than later.

Fourth of all, a lack of coercion. I would not want to force anyone to live in my utopia, and I’d like to think that no one would want to force me to live in theirs. It should be possible to build a universe where it’s not necessary to punish children for anything, because they can’t do anything truly dangerous and they will learn that hurting other people isn’t good on their own. Of course, it’s not like I’m raising a child so I’m really not in much of a position to talk, but I do feel like a lot of the things we do to our children are horrible. I really question whether any person – of any sort, be it diety, human, cat, etc – should have any authority over any other person.

I know I certainly keep abusing my power with my cat by picking him up and hugging him when he doesn’t want hugged. And I feel guilty about it, and I’m working on stopping, but if I abuse power – after thinking so much about how bad power is and how bad abuse of it is – who can we trust?

Happy 4th of july, somewhat belatedly

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

So, we went to Seattle for the 4th and bought many fireworks at boom city (though still not *enough* fireworks – I should plan a longer shopping trip, and a shopping trip equipped with a wheeled cart, for next year)

We saw too many old friends to name at Tory’s annual 4th of July house party, which was fun and good.

We partied like rock stars at Bruce’s – complete with a jam session on the piano, two hours of continuous fireworks, turkey and stuffing and homemade fruit sherbert that was beyond compare, video gaming, playing with light sabres in the middle of the street whilest smoke bombs went off all around (yes, really, I have pictures), discussing me + Bruce’s charger controller board (Bruce did $300 worth of fireworks in a few seconds by not plugging Rich’s charger into a isolation transformer before programming it, or something similar 😉 bet he’s glad that I consider toasted programmers part of the parts cost for a project), and generally I think a good time was had by all.

I even felt mildly patriotic, in a Utah Phillips / Mark Twain kind of way (‘loyalty to the country always, loyalty to the government when it deserves it’). Of course, it helps that there’s some hope that our next president will be a progressive (i.e. Obama, who I’ve been liking more and more as I see him do the difficult dance of finding a way to express who he is that doesn’t leave us all thinking he’ll tell us anything, and does leave us all having hope that he’ll represent a little bit of us somehow).

I played a Sheerized version of the Star Spangled Banner, which was funny to me and possibly not annoying to the rest of the house. Now we’re off to Portland for portabeulahburgers and hanging out with my cousin, then back home to hug my Allie-cat and promise to him that we won’t go away again for at least a month. (Actually, he’s probably grateful to have some time to himself where he doesn’t get petted, scolded, etc. I’m still a petophile and a cat molester, although I’m getting better and better at respecting his needs)