Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Shibboleths of various kinds.  §

My Crumpler bag had a lotion or some such spill in it on my trip to Victoria. I didn’t notice this until now. Some sort of viscous, sticky stuff with a “girl section” aroma has seeped through multiple layers and into multiple storage sections.

This is not the sort of thing that makes me happy. At all.

— § —

These days, people mistake vanity for personal properties. Here’s a sort of cheat sheet.

If you ever see someone claim to be hardcore, they lie. Hardcore people do not boast about being hardcore.

If you ever see someone claim to be resilient, they lie. Resilient people do not boast about being resilient.

If you ever see someone claim to be generous, they lie. Generous people do not boast about being generous.


— § —

Every now and then you have those stretches of time that sort of come to haunt you because they were so tough. Often this is about illness, sometimes it’s about other things, but the basic experience is the same. You feel, as you’re there, as if you’re down in a rather deep pit looking up longingly at the sky.

Time passes slowly. I feels as though it’s taking forever for things to get better. You tell yourself often that at some point, you’ll be past all of this and then, at length, it will even fade from memory entirely. It’s a mere blip on a life-path.

Get through it.

Then, when you do begin to climb out of the pit, you’ve been in it for long enough to be a bit mistrustful of your judgment and of reality. Is this really the end? Are things really getting better? Is it all just wishful thinking? Steel yourself for the worst but hope for the best!

And then, at some point, you realize that you’re out, that you can declare victory. And you do actually feel just a bit victorious for a few weeks afterward. And then, you’re past all of it. And then, at length, it does fade from memory entirely, unless it’s brought up by someone else or the memory is recalled by a sight or a scent or an encounter with an artifact.

More YouTube porn for thinking folk. The program is called IQSquared.
© intelligence2

And even then, you only can bring back fragmentary impressions, along with the general concept that “That was really a tough stretch.”

Forgetfulness is merciful in that way. Remembering the tough stretches in detail would be rather harrowing, yet you might feel compelled to remember them because of their apparent significance.

— § —

I found a British debate series on YouTube. I already forgot what it’s called, which is a shame because I watched like four of the 1.5-hour programs in a row today. They were brilliant.

I got there via Jonathan Haidt, who was on a bit of a panel with Nick Clegg to talk about Trump and Brexit and the parallels, differences, consequences, and lessons to be learned. Then one thing led to another…

When I get a moment, I need to track it down and add it to my regular playlist. I’m hoping there are many, many of them, and that they’ve had Camille Paglia on at least once.

— § —

Culture gaps.
I don’t know.
It’s a miracle we get any communicating done at all.

As I get older, I’m more and more open to the classic wisdom that people should stick to their own kind. I mean this not just nationally or ethnically, although that’s one interesting way to understand things, but also by age—the old with the old, the young with the young, etc.—and by gender—the men hang out with the men and the women hang out with the women, etc.

This diversity thing does not seem to me to provide many real benefits that we are actually able to capitalize on. It seems to be more a sentimental thing and a way for capitalism to generate additional revenue.

Not that I think that this should be codified into law or anything like that, God forbid. Just that I think that it was beneficial when the guys could go to the lodge every night, the women could go to the womens’ circle while the guys were at the lodge, the kids had kids clubs, and the seniors could play shuffleboard with the other seniors.

We seem to have idealized this bizarre model in which every neighborhood is made up of multiple nuclear families with multiple strongly held, never-assimilated-away ethnic and national identities, and in which each of these nuclear families consists of two middle-aged people, one of each gender, and two children one of each gender.

Looking at that design for a social fabric, it’s hard to see just what most of these people can have in common with one another, or how a community can build and sustain a healthy identity that acts as a cultural resource for everyone to draw on in the “toolkit” sense of culture.

It seems to me that there have to be some shared characteristics across multiple members of a community for social cohesion and solidarity to be possible.