Given what’s happening in the USA, I’m retracting the article I titled “The Irrelevance of the American Presidential Race“. I was completely wrong on this point, and am leaving the article online (though completely
struckthrough) as a reminder.
While only time will tell whether these orders will be completely overturned, and I’m completely shocked that the various departments would just robotically enforce the executive orders, the thrust of my previous argument was that the President simply didn’t have the power to do what Trump is currently doing. Again: I’m completely wrong.
I’ve spent most of my life dealing with ‘rage’ issues. I’ve never been physically violent, but verbal vitriol, especially online, has been an issue in the past (and something that I continue to work on, of course). So I know of what I speak when I talk about the seductiveness of rage, and the appeal of anger, and the problems that can accompany them.
For the skimmers: if you conclude from this article that I believe that one should never feel or act on anger, then you have not read this article correctly.
In retrospect, I spent much of my teenage years and early twenties in a mild depression. The why of that is not pertinent to this article, but it’s important to understand that depression doesn’t simply mean ‘feeling sad’. Oftentimes there’s no feeling at all: feeling sad would be a positive change of affairs, because then I would have actually felt *something*.
Apple has released a new version of their desktop software, and have moved a bunch of things around in their user interface yet again, for reasons they haven’t disclosed. I, however, have a theory: it’s to make more money. Ultimately, this is a conspiracy theory (aka complete bullshit), but I’m going to spin the yarn anyway.
This video is intended for Americans (and only Americans) expressing the sentiment that ‘this is not the America I know’ or that ‘Trump does not represent American values’. To the Americans expressing these sentiments: where have you been all your life?
Why only Americans? Because they should be familiar with the history of their country, far more than those of us outside of it.
On November 8th, the American people are going to cast a relatively unimportant vote that nevertheless will tell us 1) how bigoted they are, generally, and 2) whether they understand ‘logic’ and ‘opportunity cost’. While the former should be fairly self-evident, I’d like to talk about the latter a little here.
If you read around on the internet, you’ll find many articles claiming that a vote for a 3rd party candidate is a waste of a vote, or a vote for ‘the other candidate’, and people defending that choice disagree.
Every so often, a sponsored Forbes post will pop up in my facebook feed, and it’s usually just some crappy clickbait title with some bullshit advice that only someone with a business degree would be tricked into thinking it’s useful.
But the latest one is just amazing. It’s the same old Buzzfeed-bullshit, where you have to click through 10 pages in order to see 10 short sentences (and generate 10-pages-worth of advertisement impressions….), but the author just lets the cat out of the bag on page 1:
“Readers have admonished me for failing to research each profession, but to do that properly, I’d need weeks if not months of reporting. I’d want to talk to at least two dozen people in each of the fields listed and to evaluate many other job titles, and my publishing schedule is such that I simply don’t have the time.” – Susan Adams
This kind of admission is amazing, and I’d like to dig into it a little more.
There’s a deep and profound irony that the people who insist that those who wish merely to be warned prior to being exposed to potentially triggering content are ‘weak’ and ‘need to be challenged’, while that the same time merely pointing out that the argument that they’re presenting is merely echoing factfree, right-wing talking points merits abuse and defriending.
It’s kinda weird* how quickly they object to being mildly challenged on holding ignorant and vapid viewpoints, but insist that other people are the ones that need hardening up. But not them, no no. That they fall apart in the face of mere disagreement is totally acceptable……
*No, not weird at all…..
Follow Brian on Twitter!
It’s currently Vancouver Pride weekend here, and that’s as good a time as any for self-reflection, especially with regards to self-identity and orientation. This article is entirely about me and how I see myself with regards to the LGBTQ labels, and no opinion about how I do (or do not) see other people should be inferred.
Moreover, this article deals with my sex-life, so if that’s not something you’re interested in stop reading here.
An acquaintance of mine sent me a link to a conversation between Dan Dennett and Sam Harris, wherein Dennett attempts to explain the holes in Harris’s puerile arguments against the concept of “free will”.
In any case, this particular post isn’t about Harris, but a particular point he reiterates repeatedly: that we can (and should) change our beliefs “in real-time”.
This view, regardless of who holds it, is incorrect, and here’s why.
Here’s a thing that I attribute to my anxiety, but perhaps other people (not suffering from anxiety) deal with it too.
I’ll get engrossed in reading articles/playing games that time passes and I get hungry. Not “omfg, I’m going to die if I don’t eat”-hungry, but the pangs aren’t minor. Noticing them, bringing them into attention, is uncomfortable.
So I’ll go back to reading articles/playing games “for just a couple more minutes”, moving the hunger back out of awareness such that I don’t feel the pangs anymore. Then I’ll think about getting some food, and the cycle continues.
This can mean that sometimes (on a day off) I don’t eat from the moment I wake up for 10+ hours, until I finally suck up the wherewithal to just go make something to eat. Or if I’ve made the mistake of doing this for several days in a row, such that I keep failing to go for groceries, I end up ordering food (which is, of course, expensive, but I can do it through the computer, so I can avoid thinking about it some more…..).
This is one of the many shitty things that anxiety does, and contributes to me not showing up places (because I’ve put off eating, which requires me to get groceries, and oh look, I’m supposed to be at x in 20 minutes…..), and wiping out my money.
(Posting this as a way of motivating myself to get to the grocery store before in closes in 75min. No suggestions/advice sought)