Sunday, March 29, 2009

Make it so.

Do you think too much? Do you have trouble taking advice to not think so much? Do you partly believe you ought think less, but feel it is a struggle against your very nature?

If by simply thinking you are directly made unhappy, then yes, stop all that thinking! Either let your brain take on other tasks (suggest letting it drift on detailed ambient music), or change the way you think, towards something more positive.

However, if thinking doesn't directly make you unhappy, ask yourself: Do the results of all my thinking lead me to take the actions I want to take? If you believe you think too much, the answer is probably "no". But the problem is not always the quantity of thought that you produce; it may be a disconnect between thought and action. If through rigorous analytical thought you can figure out any situation, solve any problem, answer any nagging question, but you still avoid taking the actions you want, then fix your failure to act.
  • Reconnect thought and action. If the conclusion to a thought is that an action should be taken, do not be satisfied with its completion until the action is taken. Do not let the thought stand on its own, if it only means you're making plans which will never be followed through. Correct behavior involves neither thought nor action exclusively, but both working together.
  • Do not replace action with thought. If a situation affords you the time to either think or act but not both, try acting. Train yourself to do this (commit to taking more risks, accept the idea of making decisions on partial information, etc). You can always think about it later. Avoid also treating "thinking about it" as having taken an action. Remind yourself that you won't accept that.
Now you can do more of the things you want to do, without feeling you've "dumbed yourself down"!

For your health!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's not impossible. I used to bull's-eye womp rats in my T-16 back home.

Now this is clever. Much more genuine-sounding and humorously naive than the spider drawings.

It reminds me of Adrian Mole... intellectual but oblivious. Failed helpfulness and unintentional arrogance.

Shortly after reading that, I came across this:
On the Photoshop Disasters blog it's common to find comments such as "This isn't a disaster because [whatever strange reason]," and I've often wondered if such comments are simply trolls. Inspired (by the party RSVP as well as this info on Victor Lewis-Smith) and in the mood for playing dumb, mischief, and maybe some Socratic irony or at least trying my hand at some playful trolling, I wrote this comment (it's about 3/4 down the page):

Michael Devine said...
You can tell the grass is darkened because a couple pieces in front of her arm and leg are left mysteriously bright. It's easy to see that the image was extended on the right... yes, that's a bit sloppy. You can tell it's flopped because on her top the pocket is on the wrong side. But talk about nit-picking! I had to really look at every pixel in detail to find the problems, and I have a good eye for details. Really, there's nothing all that wrong with this image and I'd go so far as to call it a photoshop success. Definitely not a disaster, come on people! Grab a brain!

and I got some return fire and it pleased me...

pootpoot said...

"Grab a brain!"

You failed. Grab a pair of eyes and either have another look at the ad or read the comments.

"I had to really look at every pixel in detail to find the problems, and I have a good eye for details."

You made me roll on the floor, laughing my ass off. Thank you!

It pleased me that I brought some laughter to someone, regardless of whether they appreciated my joke or they just thought I was worthy of ridicule. Probably the latter... but then they could be having me on, too.

Only today did I notice something else. In the comments of my other blog, I found this:

Raffaella Arnaldi said...

Psst... Look again at the AT&T ad in PhotoshopDisasters and this time read the texts too... :-))

It was written in the comments of a post about dancing at a valentine's day ball! The lengths people will go to point out that you're an idiot! A troll on another blog's comments was followed, traced through the author, to a completely unrelated blog, and responded to in a completely unrelated post. I imagine it winding through the tubes of the internets. Somehow it brings this to mind...
The approach will not be easy. You are required to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point. The target area is only two meters wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port, right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station.

Only a precise hit will set up a chain reaction. The shaft is
ray-shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedoes.

WEDGE: That's impossible, even for a computer.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saturday, Sunday, Here, There, Another Place, Another Time, Everywhere, Monday, Monthly.

Some old quotes that were just laying around...

I personally am not willing to trust these mega... corporazis, and nucleo industrial deathglomerates...
-- Russ Lieber

The proprietary LifeGem creation process creates diamonds from the true essence of our loved ones, the carbon.
-- LifeGem

Nothing says you love her like layers of freshly made premium vanilla and chocolate ice cream separated by a layer of chocolate crunchies, covered in white and pink icing.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Without planning it, I have taken up collecting used books. It is the one impulse buy I seem to be regularly allowing myself. The price is right, at least.

Now I've got to get myself around to reading some of them! In all likelihood, you've been following this blog now for some time, and equally likely you had guessed that I was on page 3 of Down and Out in Paris and London. Well, I'm still there!

There is only one book that my "collection" feels incomplete without, and that is No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories by Miranda July. I read the first short story in an overpriced chain bookstore and I am in love. Miranda turns the most common or familiarly melancholic thought on its head, into something peculiar and interesting, and then goes on to make it endearing. I can't help feeling acceptance of my own similarly screwed up thoughts, when she can make hers so touching, funny, and beautiful:
"Are you angry? Punch a pillow. Was it satisfying? Not hardly. These days people are too angry for punching. What you might try is stabbing. Take an old pillow and lay it on the front lawn. Stab it with a big pointy knife. Again and again and again. Stab hard enough for the point of the knife to go into the ground. Stab until the pillow is gone and you are just stabbing the Earth, again and again, as if you want to kill it for continuing to spin, as if you are getting revenge for having to live on this planet, day after day, alone."
I'm a half ta get me a libary card (mostly for movies, I imagine, since I've canceled my satellite subscription). But that is one book I'm a half ta buy. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

Friday, March 13, 2009

On unemployment

"The Paris slums are a gathering-place for eccentric people -- people who have fallen into solitary, half-mad grooves of life and given up trying to be normal or decent. Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behaviour, just as money frees people from work."
- George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London