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cW  ·  14 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Neoliberalism is creating loneliness

Thanks for this. I connect with your descriptions of the ache of disconnection, even though my situations are all different. I'm rich in friends, even though most of them are scattered so far, and that is its own kind of different pain. Ibuprofen for social pain makes good sense, though I'd never thought of it before. It seems inflammation is the problem regardless, doesn't matter if the trigger is externally or internally initiated. I've been consuming turmeric paste in my coffee to combat inflammation, rhodiola rosea when I need a sanguine shot of energy, and kava kava when I need to chill. It does well enough most of the time.

I really enjoyed that How To Be Alone video. It's beautiful, and contains lots of helpful stuff in it, threads from some of the best traditions which promote solitude. I'm thinking of that Pascal quote right now, “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone," though I think he was selling it from the negative, rather than positive side. The Buddhist version sees the solitude as the link to the real source of connection, beyond people. That's present in some Christian mystics' thought as well. Not sure if it's what Pascal was getting at though. Regardless, we need a functional web of social interconnection whenever we leave the cell of solitude, meditation, prayer, what have you. That web's not there on its own though, and I find myself hamfistedly trying to pretend it is, or weave together a few inches of it. Playing music with strangers has been the best catalyst for unexpected connection lately.

Are you an Alaskan currently? I've never been, but I have a friend who moved out to Homer. He tells me it's one of the best places on earth.

If you make your facebook ad, let me know. I'd like to see it. You should cc: the guy who wrote the guardian article too, if you do.

I'm not joking and I don't think my views are dumb.

I'm comfortable with you not agreeing with me, you have your own belifes and values, doesn't make you right or me wrong to value and worry about different things.

Nice knee jerk, doesn't agree with me so it's dumb.

cgod  ·  214 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: So long hubski

Not advising you to do one thing or the other but I urge you to consider if giving up some freedom right now could help you achieve more freedom later.

You don't sound very free.

flagamuffin  ·  230 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A lil shindig in Hampden, Baltimore

5. myself

thenewgreen

moe  ·  304 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: [48 HOURS] Shockingly, original journalism didn't save Reddit

    If we can pull enough donations

Oo Hubski's funding meter isn't anywhere close to target.

steve, you still matchin'? doot

rob05c  ·  391 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religion broad topic, what are your experiences?

I had a similar experience. I was raised in a Conservative/Fundamentalist Christian environment. Sometime shortly after undergrad, I realised I didn't believe those things anymore, and how many were logically indefensible. I now identify as a Progressive Christian, sometimes leaning toward Deism.

I believe in God, as a fact, from philosophical arguments. Primarily First Cause and the Ontological Argument (maths minor here). Logically demonstrating Jesus is God is a bit harder, but, I think he was about as good as any man who lived, and the absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, so, eh. Theologically, I'm at a point where I'm not sure it matters. One of my favorite quotes is a paraphrase of Marcus Aurelius,

    Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

I have a lot of friends who outright rejected Theism when confronted with the indefensible. Which I understand, but don't agree with. I think that rejection is often a continuation of the black-and-white philosophy of Fundamentalism and Conservatism. When faced with incontrovertible facts against black, it's easy to flip to white, rather than recognising it's not "black" which is wrong, so much as the dualistic worldview itself.

    do you still believe that there is someone who will greet us after your death?

Again, I lean toward Deism. I'd like to believe in an afterlife, but I don't think it would be the horror many people think if there isn't. Time doesn't cease to exist after it happens, if that makes any sense. As Mark Twain said, "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

    Do you still talk to God and ask for his help even though the belief is fading away?

Yes. Though I wouldn't say my belief is fading away. I'd rather say I deconstructed my faith and rejected the indefensible, and am now rebuilding it.

I'd add, I think a great many people, especially Fundamentalists, mistake God for themselves. That is, "God" is whatever they want and whatever supports them. That may mean rationalising their selfishness, or it may mean condemning vices they dislike in themselves. But regardless, it's self-worship, and bad. It's something I actively think about and try to avoid in myself. And also, just because many people worship themselves and call it God, doesn't mean a real, impartial, omnipotent God doesn't exist.

I'd also add, that I think "good" and "evil" are immature misconceptions. People aren't "evil", they're broken. The conservative theology of eternal damnation is childish. The philosophy of punishment because people "deserve it" is childish. People need helped, and fixed, not "punished" because they're "bad". Children think "bad actions are punished"; adults realise "bad actions are given negative reinforcement to teach good behavior". The purpose of all pain is learning, not some warped concept of justice. Suffering is bad. It takes a sick or childish mind to think otherwise.

You might be interested in Fowler's theory of Stages of Faith.

Marcus Aurelius' Meditations is also a fantastic read, but especially for anyone caught between fanaticism and atheism. It doesn't have answers, so much as advice for living well, and honest, rational thought.

kleinbl00  ·  416 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 6, 2016

So as it turns out, I'm not my mother.

It's useful to be reminded of this because whenever I lose patience with my kid, the specter of my mother looms behind me. It's useful because whenever I'm depressed and feeling needy, my mother's face stares back at me from behind my forehead. And it's interesting to note that my clearest memories of my mother's parenting involve half-full jelly jars full of Franzia sloshing around and a shaky barefoot thing in terrycloth shorts towering over me shouting "most mommies say they love their children even when they're angry but I'm not most mommies and if you cross me right now I will FUCKING KILL YOU" and perfectly reasonable conversations on Sunday afternoons about how she never wanted kids in the first place so it's pleasantly surprising we turned out okay anyway and my memories still fall short of the reality.

She's medicated now, so that's useful. My biggest apprehension was that she'd scar my kid for life, but discovering that we were opening a birth center with a (gasp) profit motive was enough to flip her switch from "manic" to "depressive" so she spent the bulk of her visit under a haze of lorazepam, two of which my daughter found on the floor after they left. And I was able to get the raised beds in and half the yard thatched because rather than entertain them all weekend, they holed up in my bedroom and slept all day such that we were incapable of, you know, getting clothes and stuff. She would occasionally send her husband out to request food, usually an hour or two after we mentioned in passing on their way to the bathroom that meals would be prepared. The food requested rarely aligned with the meals prepared. At one point my stepfather was instructed to accompany me to the store because I cannot be trusted to purchase canned soup.

And that's an interesting one, too. My relationship with my stepfather is complex but objectively speaking, he's the best grandparent my side of the family can produce. He can hold a conversation, he's healthy and hale, he expresses interest in small people and he remembers names. My stepmonster is a quaint fellow that bears a striking resemblance to Dr. Huer from Buck Rogers that can take my daughter out on her pushbike for an hour and a half. I had lengthy discussions with him about Umberto Eco and Zoroastrianism. He's a career bureaucrat with the federal government whose exceedingly piss-poor taste in women happens to benefit my current family and my aims greatly while also destroying my former family. Which, hey, needed to be destroyed from before I was born. So... emotions are complex around that one.

The couch, as it turns out, isn't a bad place to sleep. Other than the fact that you can't cuddle with your loved one. We spent 4 days there. My mother took one shower the entire time, but never changed her clothes. She's long been fond of polyester blends and has always considered deodorant to be a plot of the patriarchy; I had to smuggle it in as a teenager. But the laundry is done (WASH ALL THE THINGS) and they're a memory and I will never be my mother.

My father has had a new girlfriend for about five years now. She's compulsive and a hoarder. As my father put it "I went from one crazy woman to another, but at least this one's just crazy. The first one was crazy and mean." It was interesting me to see her deprived of alcohol, medicated to the gills, sort of a Mrs. Potatohead of disdain and flatulence. She never lashed out, she never hit anyone, her verbal pyrotechnics were much diminished, but her face pinched up in disapproval every time anyone but her husband spoke. It was like watching a trigger pulled on an empty gun. You're safe, but you know that someone wants you dead.

And it's easier grappling with my bullshit emotions surrounding money when I recognize what a truly crazy place they come from. My sister described my parents as "antipreneurial" and commented that the last time my mother flipped the switch while visiting her, it was because she floated the idea of flipping houses with her housing-contractor husband. Never mind the fact that the stepmonster owned an 8-plex and flipped a half-dozen houses with his dead wife; if we do it, it's because we're yuppie scum. Pretty easy to look down your nose at people when you're pulling down a 95% government pension until you die and social security and, somehow, not sure how she wrangled this, a $3k a month alimony payment even though she remarried.

There are about two pickup truck bed's worth of plumbing fixtures in boxes in the spare bedroom. Faucetdirect.com had a sale that ended March 31 and our contractor is still a few weeks out from plumbing. Home Depot, for their part, canceled part of our order because who the fuck orders five sinks?

I do. Because I'm a filthy fucking capitalist.

But at least I'm not a mean filthy fucking capitalist.

cW  ·  460 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body

Glad you dug it, thenewgreen, and thanks for the post, vile.

In my experience, guided meditations (whether app or audio file or live) can really go one way or another. Some create that extra layer ooli is talking about, making it even harder to escape the thought-snarl, and some surgically detach you from it. Not sure, but probably that style which functions best for one depends upon one. Sam Harris's deployment is some of the most effective I've experienced, personally.

It makes good sense to me, though, that guided meditation COULD work wonders for the one meditating, whether beginner or experienced. As near as I can science my way through this, when it works, it works by engaging the language centers of the brain. These same language centers might otherwise be spooling out an endless torrent of thought, drama, narrative, analysis, and all the rest of that which obscures the bliss of being in the present moment. The guided meditation, if executed deftly, occupies these centers without arousing criticism or accelerating the thought stream. In this sense, in my opinion, it performs the same primary function of the mantra, which drives other words off the tongue/mind by occupying that space, and thereby prevents more complex thought-forms from building in the mindspace. It's much the same principle by which drishti organizes vision and focus in yoga.

Anyhow, that's how it all shakes out for me. I frequently meditate in silence, but as silence is so hard to come by, and also for their many wonderful properties, I frequently meditate to the accompaniment of the singing bowls -- and if the mantra/guide feels absent, toning works well too. Here's a few tracks I have really benefited from:

This guy does some great composite crystal singing bowl tracks:

Emile de Leon gives you 70 minutes, all 7 chakras!

Don't really know if others share these leaps I've offered, but I owe my extrapolations to a great segment on Radiolab concerning language and bliss, and numerous conversations with my behaviorist colleague. Happy transcending.

elizabeth  ·  493 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 20, 2016

Got an email this morning about registering a tradestone profile as a vendor for Urban Outfitters, it's a bit frustrating that things are happening right before we leave to Asia for 4 months, but we'll figure it out, this is huge :D

Speaking of Asia, I'm finally done with my site: http://elizabethtravels.com/

I even filmed a little intro video! I'm not a huge expert on web design and SEO so if any of you has suggestions on improvements, I'll be super happy.

Looks like a lot of progress but since I'm out of school, I've been feeling really unproductive. I went and bought a notebook and started reading Getting things Done, hopefully with a system I will somehow make things better :)

I'm going to correct a few of your misconceptions.

1) "It facilitates that desired community very well exactly because a crude community of immaturity could exist on the same site and not touch their conversation. But that crude community is never given the chance."

This is simply not true.

Let's be honest: There's a core of maybe 50 people that essentially keep the lights on in here. This page shows the community, essentially. A lot of it is old. Some of it is new. We all remember when nowaypablo showed up because suddenly he was everywhere and he added a lot. Existentialist, on the other hand, has been here less than a month and is already contributing lots of content. Who remembers when the CIRCLEJERKERS showed up? Nobody... because they left. Who remembers when Laurelei showed up? Nobody... because the Circlebroke posse left, too. There's a large percentage of Reddit that thinks Hubski was founded by Syncretic, because he bailed on Reddit, flashed around here for a week, then went back to Reddit... but he left essentially no mark here.

2) "The site hasn't seen an influx of waste in its gutters because not enough people are there to dump things in."

Au contraire. All one needs to do is wait for Reddit to get mad. As I recall, you were here for one wave, forgot your username, then came back and were annoyed that the username you wanted was already taken (by you). We've had plenty of "waste in our gutters." The thing is, the community that sticks around here is self-reinforcing and self-refreshing while the other communities that attempt to exploit what Hubski offers... aren't.

I'm not willing to say the hubski crew has built a bomb-proof site, but it really does seem that the architecture and interface of the site supports the community we all want and doesn't support the community we don't.

3) "The second is, maybe this is just the work of a strong personality. Klein is a strong personality. I have a hunch he would be the first person to tell you that. If that's true, there might just be a case of "this town's not big enough for the two of us" and instead of trying to create a different atmosphere, new cowboys just move on to greener pastures."

Certainly. However, as I've said, me and _wage worked out just fine, despite the fact that we really didn't get along. theadvancedapes and I are civil, despite the fact that we are about 100% diametrically opposed on most things. yellowoftops likes to snark at me but he's still here and has been. My interactions with insom are pretty much archetypal: strong people interact, conflict, grow, accept and cherish. We aren't all gonna be bosom buddies but if we all have something to add, we all have reason to stick around.

People do get pushed out. We've lost a lot of good ones (and I include _wage in that list, despite the fact that I wouldn't trust her as far as I could spit). But the community maintains an attractive level of discourse that persists.

You have a lot of theories. We have a lot of practice. What you see is what we've built. Not me, not mk, not thenewgreen, not anybody, but everybody. We're invested in it, so it reflects what we like.

That's essentially what defines a community.

yellowoftops  ·  562 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 3 Questions With @briandmyers

Good morning! This is Brian. It’s Tuesday morning, the 10th of November, 2015 and I’m about to read Steve’s questions and answer them.

First question: What are you working on?

At the moment I’m working on an F-POSS solution for a cab company in Australia.

Question Number 2:. What is a memorable discussion that you have had on Hubski? Who was it with and why has it stuck with you?

There are a few of those I think, but probably my favorite conversation on Hubski was the discussion we had about The Watchmen; the graphic novel not the movie. It was just really interesting, in depth, a lot of good comments. There have also been a lot of good comments about self-driving cars.

Go on to question 3. What is your message? Interesting question. I don’t think I really have a message other than, I don’t know, just off the top of my head: the secret to a happy life is keeping busy, having lots of things to do. I’m maybe a little bit too far in that extreme. I have lots of side hobbies and projects. And I have so many that I never have enough time to get anything done. But I’m a home brewer and a bee keeper. Never have enough time to spend on my boat. Just having a lot of things to do is a good way to go about your life.

That wasn’t very long, but maybe Steve can flesh it out and make something good out of it. Thank you all, Hubski, and I’ll talk to you later.