Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Running Dry

My father once explained something to me about money. I'm not certain if his perspective on the gender division of these two philosophies is correct, but that actually isn't relevant to this conversation.

In his words men think of money as a river. You can take some out because more will come, and how much you can take out depends on how fast the river flows. Women think of money as a lake. It may have a lot more in it then the river, but taking any out is a risk because the lake will eventually go empty.

I tend to think about money with the same mindset as the metaphor of the river, and that's a problem because recently my actual finances are much more like a lake. Additional money comes yes, but it isn't flowing, it comes every few months in sudden deluges, and I find myself looking up the barren banks of a muddy creek that seemed like a roaring river only a few weeks ago.

What I think it comes down to is that I can find myself spending with the idea that it will be okay because more is coming. I can say that even without going through the proper process of thinking about how much more, when it's coming, and how sure we are that it's coming.

It's a problem because it makes me more vulnerable to impulse control problems. It also facilitates priority errors, and just generally mucks up the system.

Another thought occurs. If you assume that money is a stream it effects the way you think about purchases. I could spend $5 at any time because that isn't really much of the stream. My financial damage control tells the story well. Other then gym membership and gamefly I haven't spent more then $20 on nearly anything the last several months. I've just spent $5/$10 on a lot of things.

The one key exception to that is Gas. It is, in many ways, a new expense for me, and I've been using way too much of it. Especially because my car needs 92 octane to maintain peak condition.

So I know the problem. It's not all that hard to see what I've been doing recently that's foolish, especially because it can all be summarized with the phrase "Social Binge." I've gotten that under control, luckily, but the damage is done.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gap Years

I am told quite often that I seem a great deal more mature then my age. It's a nice thought, and I think that in many ways it's true, but at least once every few months I get a sharp reminder of my own immaturity, and I begin to think about gap years.

Lets run for a moment with the theory that most of us finish puberty and reach the cusp of physical maturity around the age of eighteen. We also finish high school at the age of eighteen, and for a lot of people I know, because I have the fortune to be born into the upper middle class of a first world nation, this means heading off to college to get your first real taste of independence.

I think that's a disastrously bad idea. I think this because we're giving independence the wrong way. These kids go off to college, they have room and board and tuition paid for them, and I assume they have some money on the side, probably given to them as well. They're given freedom, but they're still, in many ways, dependant.

Looking back on things I first tasted independence during Project Exodus. Independence is seeing the thousand tiny cruelties of life, and toughening yourself against them. Independence is about being responsible for yourself, and maturity is when you can actually pull off being independent.

Custom Language

I was writing what will probably be the next post when something occurred to me. A great many recent discussions require their own made up word. The gap between socio-cultural maturity and physical maturity gives rise to the word "Adultesence." Recent recession trends give rise to the "Staycation," and the sex positive movement doing something that isn't about LGBTQ issues gives us the word "Sexploration."

It's an odd phenomenon, one that interests me but I'm having trouble finding the point of this interest. I like it, because I believe fully that there are no actual synonyms. Every word has it's own meaning. Because of this new concepts, like the ones above, require new words.

That's a nice thought, but when I think about why this is actually happening, I'm pretty sure it's because it allows them to market the idea. It also allows the news to have a singular way of spreading the idea that this idea is spreading. It's a shame, but it's part of a new way of thinking I'm passively advocating. The basic principle of this way of thinking is that the naturalistic system that runs society is capitalism, not democracy or morality, etc. This belief that the works of currency and ownership define a society much more then its government is something I call "Econocentricisim." Go ahead and start using that word. If you all do enough it'll become a real word, like the entirety of the Brocabulary.

Big Round numbers

Before I did this I had exactly 1,100 posts. Shocking isn't it? I have a few things worth saying, so my goal for the rest of the day is to get another ten posts in after this one without B.S.ing it, and there's no good reason, there's the simple fact that I enjoy pattern numbers. It's rediculous.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


My head is a bit cloudy with experience, my body a bit cloudy with fatigue, and in this state I find myself able to look back unusually far, with unusual clarity, and perceive the thoughts that stood out in the fast few weeks. These were the thoughts that would have become blog posts if I spent all my time in front of my computer with nothing to do and no one to talk to.

"I'm becoming more and more concerned that I may have to choose between the constant mild bliss of living a healthy and successful life and the pursuit of wild ecstasy."

"Having a social life is expensive. I've been worrying too much about the toll it's been taking on my sleep schedule, I should be more worried about the toll it's taking on my wallet."

"As much as I've criticised them in the past, the Wu-Tang had one piece of immortal wisdom. 'Cash Rules Everything Around Me, C.R.E.A.M. get the money, dolla' dolla' bill yall.'"

"I used to think that I could eat forever for next to zero money because I could buy thirty pounds of rice for twenty bucks. It turns out I was getting screwed, because I can buy thirty pounds of Safeway brand rice for thirteen bucks. All the off brand food you could ever want for next to zero."

"I believe in love at first sight, but that doesn't mean I think it's a good idea"

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cross Post

I was thinking a little less then "about 6 hours ago" that I'm glad certain people don't use twitter. I'm glad certain people don't read my blog, and I'm glad I have the division of [censored] and Facebook, and I realized that a year ago I didn't need any of that.

A year ago I had my blog, which started as a way of updating all of my relatives at once when I went to college, and eventually became an actual journal. It chronicled most of the interesting stories of my life, and it didn't matter that my parents could read it, because back then all of the stories I had to tell were... well they weren't tame, I didn't tone my my use of profanity as literary flourish, but none of it was really secret.

Over the last seven or eight months that started to change. My life began to shift as I emerged from my social larval form into the person that I am now (note that in this case larval form is a reference to the monster from Alien, not to any puny Terran creature.) So now I have a private life, and I have the brand new need to actually keep things private. It was around that time I picked up twitter as well, which satisfied my prideful need to broadcast my story to the internet, but twitter was limited to a select few people. Even as life became all the more complicated I had a division of information. A simple, unplanned system by which I could adjust my broadcasts, telling my secrets, and keeping them at once.

And as someone who has a need to tell his own story, I'm really glad I have such a simple way of dividing it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Genetic Success

Every now and then I find myself coming back to the topic of genetic success. It's one of a subset of ways of thinking that I call "Life Scoring." These are various ways of thinking about the world in which your life is scored in pretty simple terms. This one is evolutionary, where the question is "How many genetic offspring do I have?"

It gets into another system of thought which occurred to me while I was outlining this post in my head before class yesterday. That is the idea of cognitive management of genetic/instinctual needs. It sounds pretty profound off the bat, but the more I think about it the more I realize it's basically just neo-freudianisim where I credit the id to instinctual and physiological drives rather then unconscious ones.

Anyway, I've come back to this discussion recently because it's lined up with the much more important discussion of "How can I get more money?" I've been doing a lot of work as a research participant, which has been good, but for the real research money I either need to be part of a set of genetic twins raised apart, or a girl with HPV. I found another alternative though, selling sperm.

It's an interesting subject because it's one that seems like it should have a lot of discussion with it, but to me it never really did. I have no problem with the thought that there will be some person out there who is my genetic offspring, because to me that doesn't even come close to making me their father. I'm also just generally confident in my genetics. I'm offering the hybrid vigor cocktail of Samurai, Highlander and Native American backed up by a Professor and a Department administrator, backing up further to a patent lawyer and a Green Beret. It's physical power, mental power, and dare I say even charisma. Plus the things I have in my family history (depression, diabetes) can both be overcome with diet and exercise. As it stands right now pretty much the only thing that makes me qualified to procreate is my genetics.

Also, every time someone is genetically related to me the average height of the world goes up a little bit, and I can't help but thinking that for some reason that's a good thing.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekly Report (Black Box in the Weckage edition)

So those of you playing along at home have certainly noted that I didn't do a weekly report last week. The details of that week have slipped my mind at this point, so I'm not going to do it late, but I think the story should be recorded, lest the problems happen again.

It's really a very simple story. I have three spheres of activity in my life. Academic, Physical, and Social. In the last two weeks Social started grabbing up resources like crazy, hitting the other two pretty hard.

In theory harmony is the key, but I don't think that's true. The key to this is going to be keeping the spheres in the right order of priority. I came to this conclusion when reflecting on Aristotelian Justice while driving up I-5 at 10 p.m. Think about where I am. Think about where I'm going. Think about what I have to do to get there. Think about what I want. Think about what I need to do to get those things. Think about if I'm ready for those things. It's a little bit of a bitter process, seeing the self justly, but I don't see it as a condemnation, simply an acknowledgement of where I am. So I respect where I am, and then I advance from there.

With that in mind the ordering here is pretty clear. Academic reigns supreme. Physical feeds well into it, so it's second, and social, for now, has to be third. Not ignored, but rarely given preference over Academia.

So, lets get this back on track, My goals for this week.

Academic: Have all readings done before lectures, in accordance with what we've learned about schema and memory.

Physicall: Wake up at 6 every morning this week, without sleeping in at all.

Social: Three in person social experiences.

Also, from now on all goals will be written such that they fit the three key rules of goal setting. Specific, Behavioral, and Timed. Each of the ones I've set this week can be broken down into smaller goals too. Academic and Social are just single point things for each day, and I have three social things in mind for this week.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I have a habit of talking to myself in an odd way. It consist of thinking out my response to a presumed next line of conversation or social interaction. It's a behavior about which I can't decide if it's extremely good for me, like playing chess one step ahead, or if it's terrible for me because I presume incorrect directions and have a tendency to presume conflict and negativity.

Funny how writing things out makes things more obvious some times isn't it?

Anyway, I bring this up because in these moments, particularly when the conversation/interaction doesn't follow the vein I was presuming it would, I occasionally come up with some image or phrase which I then end up storing. These are, in theory, for later use, but most of the time they just get forgotten. I'm writing this post partially to talk about this phenomena, but mostly so that I can preserve a particular image I just had.

"..., but unfortunately the ongoing battle between passion and reason in my head still consists of passion sitting on reasons chest, twisting it's nipples while it continuously cries 'Uncle'"

I wonder if that will still be as amusing when I'm not sleep deprived.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Car Talk

I kind of wish this was a coherent story, but when I look at it I realize it's more like a twitter feed then anything else. Isolated incidents of thought resolving into action, forming a coherent story, but not truly a coherent narrative.

Or is that the job of the writer? To make a narrative out of a story. Interesting...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Missing the Point Entirelly

There was something discussed in my "Human Excellence" class today. It's a classic motivational exercise. Imagine what you want people to say about you after you've died, then think "what am I doing to become more like that today."

It's not a bad idea, if you do it right. I can't, because when I think of people hanging around, talking about someone after they've died, I think of one man. Bill Brasky.

Watch To be Bill Brasky in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Going mad with Twitter

Like everything else involving, on, or relating to twitter this post is rambling and at times profane. You were warned.

I learned moments ago that there's an astronaut on twitter. He's sent twitters from space. It's a good thing that I was never offered this opportunity, because I know exactly what mine would say.

ArcaneInsane: WHAT NOW GEOTAG!?!?

I've also grown more and more fascinated by the twitter games. It all started with #3wordsdrunk, which I like mostly because it reminds me of a story from... Lander, I think. I forget the exact context, but I was in large group, everyone was drinking, and a bunch of people were playing the game of trying to write Haikus while drunk.

This is part of the larger "Taking simple things and making them into challenging and fun games by adding liquor" series of games.

Anyway, I remember this story because they knew I'd be able to do it. My response to this was

Fucking Syllables
Japanese poetry sucks
Doesn't even rhyme

And I swear I didn't plan it ahead of time. Epic victory.