Tuesday, May 31, 2005
I'm a collector
Monday, May 30, 2005
Book Review: An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
I like Vikram Seth. Prior to this I had read "A Suitable Boy", which I enjoyed. But this book was different. I loved this book. Perhaps it's because it features musicians. Perhaps it's because it is about some of my favourite things: love, music and loss. Perhaps it's because, in a way, it opened a door.
I can't remember if I blogged about getting my keyboard out and resuming teaching myself Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Well. That was inspired by this book. I think this book may also have played a part in me picking up my guitar and writing a song in the weekend.
There is a language of music that I have been missing. I have been reminded of it. This is a beautiful book.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Merriam-Webster asks "What's your favourite word that is not in a dictionary?" Surprisingly I have actually heard of some of the top ten. I like chillax and cognitive displaysia.
Overcoming Serious Indecisiveness. I'm sure I should read this information about decision making. I know I am very bad at decision making.
I'm also sure that some people would say I need to think more responsibly. Some people might say that I need to read this: How Can We Avoid Believing Things That Aren't True? Maybe I'll read it. Maybe I'll even read it critically.
This news article caught my eye, because I am kind of fond of Wicca Judge: Parents Can't Teach Pagan Beliefs.
And finally, because I could always do with a better brain. New Scientists 11 Steps to a Better Brain.
1st place = A Fairly Good Tale by Crash Zoom (Fairytale)
Runner up = The Donor by Film Destruction (Mystery)
The nzshortfilm.com has the 2004 finalists for your viewing pleasure. When they get around to adding the 2005 finalists I highly recommend my personal favourites: A Fairly Good Tale and Mystery of DeReznys Limp by Bras Bras Bras (Mystery).
Friday, May 27, 2005
Alcohol & Masks
A comment from a friend about "drinking in order to have fun" made me think about why I drink alcohol.
I have several reasons. None of them are "to have fun."
I drink cocktails because I like the taste and because I like the creative and aesthetic aspect. I have lots of spirits/liquers so that I can create masterpieces on a whim.
What else? I never drink to get drunk. I very rarely drink alone. Sometimes (2-3 times a year maybe) I drink alone after a stressful day at work.
Quite often I drink alcohol when I am with friends. This is a convivial thing. Like eating with friends. In fact the drinking with friends is often accompanied by sharing a meal together.
But most often I drink before and at social occasions where there are going to be a lot of people. Like parties. Part of the reason is so I can "fit in" or at least so I can have something to do while being an outcast. Most of the reason is to be more sociable. Alcohol has a nice numbing effect. It numbs all those extra senses and allows me to act a somewhat appropriate part.
The curious thing is that the attempts to fit in and be more sociable are often for the benefit for other people. People seem to be uncomfortable if I am being reserved and interior. They don't seem to like it if I don't talk to people. Being excitedly animated and exaggeratedly glad to be there seems to be the correct party persona. Fake verve over isolated but sincere contentment.
It annoys me sometimes. Is it so strange that I might actually prefer to be
alone at a party? That I might enjoy the party more by not saying a word to anyone? That mixing and mingling might actually be a painful chore?
Car wheels spin at different speeds. Especially when turning.
I didn't know this! Although now that I think about it it makes sense. Basic physics.
Having all the wheels spin at the same speed while turning would be nasty, hence the device called the differential (ie diff). A differential is something that allows the wheels to spin at different speeds. It does this by splitting the engine torque (rotational force).
I'm sure there is a lot more to know about differentials, but I think this is all I need.
All this is from How Stuff Works where you can see animations of how a diff works.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Aucklands Transport Dilemma Part 2: Auckland is Designed for Cars
Auckland is a very sprawled city and it is apparently continuing to spread at a very fast rate (1Ha per day?). The sprawl (ie low density) means that the most efficient form of transport in Auckland is the car. No surprises there. Any Aucklander knows that unless you are willing to severely limit your activities, you cannot survive without a car.
I am carless and live in the inner city. The transport situation is such that I do not go past the city fringe. I don't even think about it. Ideally I try and stay within 30 minutes walking distance of home/work. If I was carless and lived in the suburbs, life would be hell.
Anyway some interesting information (I can't remember the numbers):
- Cars are the most efficient form of transport for low density
- Buses are the most efficient form of transport for medium density
- Rail is the most efficient form of transport for high density
What this means, is that unless the density patterns change, then rail and buses aren't going to be particularly efficient. It doesn't mean we can't have rail and buses. It just means that someone is going to have to pay a lot of money to maintain these public transport services. I guess this is what the ARC does with it's subsidies.
The car as the perfect form of Auckland transport is not very good for the carless (ie me!). Carless people are reliant on the inefficient, ineffective and expensive public transport system. I hate that public transport doesn't really go anywhere you want to go when you want to go there. Ironically, the situation is not very good for car owners either. There are increasing numbers of cars on the road (due to population growth, cheaper cars, and social changes). And from what I see and hear, the congestion can be a nightmare. Not only is the congestion wasting time and money (cause we all know that time IS money), it is also creating a lot of stress. I wouldn't be surprised if road rage is on the rise.
What to do about it? I think I'll leave that till next time.
A Music "Meme"
Total volume of Music on my Computer
I have space issues at work and at home.
Work: 70 Kb (Moonlight Sonata Movements 1 & 3 in midi)
Song playing right now
We Came Along This Road - Nick Cave
Last CD I Bought
pluto - pipelineundertheocean
Five songs I listen to a lot/mean a lot to me
- Nine Inch Nails/Johnny Cash - Hurt
- Asteroid Andy - So Cold
- Tool - H
- Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise
- System of A Down - Spiders
UPDATE: Detailed version here.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Reading Political Blogs
I was right when I said that politics is very bad for me. I should've listened to myself.
But I love this new political blog: Artificial Intelligentsia. It's the one that I will keep reading if/when I stop reading the others. It is so beautifully snarky. I may not agree with everything that Ruth says, but it sums up my attitude to politics perfectly.
Aucklands Transport Dilemma Part 1: Transport Does Not Exist in a Vacuum
Is it just me, or does everyone else continually hear comments like this? I am no fan of Auckland's public transport system, but surely the situation is as bad as it is for a reason other than beauracratic and governmental stupidity? If it was as easy as doing what all the casual commenters suggest, then surely someone would have done something? I'm sure that transport planners aren't completely stupid. I'm sure the problems are more complex than they seem.
Coincidentally enough I recently went to a talk by Dr Wayne Stewart from Opus about Auckland's transport problems. It was very interesting. It introduced me to a lot of ideas I wouldn't have thought about if I had actually been seriously thinking about the issue. Some of these ideas explained why the simple "obvious" solutions like the one I overheard today won't work. All these ideas made sense to me. I wish I could find a reference, but I can't. I will just have to rely on my somewhat sketchy memory.
I have been having trouble with this and there is a lot of information, so I will divide it into parts. Better to write it crappily now in a series of manageable posts, than never write it. All the ideas in this series will be from Dr Stewart's talk I have tried not to mangle them, but mangling is inevitable.
The main gist of the talk was that transport does not exist in a vacuum. Instead, it both creates and is created by other factors, most importantly city form, and socio-cultural aspects. If you want to understand and try to solve the transport problems you need to consider these other factors as well.
Makes sense to me. I was a little taken aback by the fact that people might actually be considering the transport problems in a vacuum.
It's about time I posted another photo. Here is Nikki from Sonic. The picture is a bit blurry, but I like the composition.
Forest Girl and Tree Boy: On Irritants and Arguments
Everyone who knows me knows that I am a lovely, peaceful, and apparently non-opinionated person. I am disinclined to argue. If someone says something that I disagree with I usually just let it slide. Occasionally I will ask a few clarifying questions to be sure they mean something similar to what I think they mean. But in general I don't argue. I don't expect or need other people to agree with me.
Of course, as with everything else, there are exceptions.
Tree Boy is one of these exceptions. It's not that I want him to agree with me, it's more that for some reason Tree Boy brings out the worst in me. When Tree Boy and I have a discussion I always feel a very strong urge to argue. It doesn't matter whether I agree with what I am arguing for or not.
I think maybe I have this reaction because Tree Boy has such strong opinions. Tree Boy knows he is right until proven wrong. And a proof of Tree Boy being wrong has to be through unassailable facts, collected from a source he approves of in an appropriately scientific manner. Who has time to do that?
As you can imagine all of this irritates me no end. And I guess this irritation brings out the Devils Advocate in me.
When it comes down to it I think that Tree Boy and I would probably agree on a lot of things, but the problem is that we have completely different frames of reference and completely different ways of arriving at an opinion. For example, I don't expect everyone to see sense and agree with me. In fact I can quite easily see why other people think the things they do. I think maybe Tree Boy doesn't understand why people don't agree with him. I try and explain, and argue from the other point of view. But that doesn't seem to help. Perhaps I confuse him, by completely switching tack. I suppose arguing with him immediately after agreeing with him about the exact same topic might be confusing and annoying.
My side of the conversation often follows these lines:
Yes. I agree with you.
Other people don't? How stupid of them.
Maybe they think of it this way ...
That's right, it doesn't make sense. Why do you expect people to make sense?
Sometimes I wonder why we bother with our little discussions. I suspect I irritate him as much as he irritates me, and I often come out of them exhausted and frustrated. We never seem to make any progress.
However, after think about it, I am grateful for our disagreements. Tree Boy forces me to think more rigorously and about topics I would never even consider otherwise. Our discussions have probably influenced my thinking more than I like to admit.
So, thank you Tree Boy. I hope that you also get something out of our discussions. And even if you don't, just think, when I am Queen of the World or Goddess of the Forest (I haven't decided which yet) you can take comfort in the knowledge that you had a part in shaping my thoughts and opinions.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
I didn't even know she majored in poltical studies! The things you find out from online journals. Just think, we could be having political discussions & drinking instead of doing things like watching ANTM & drinking or beading & drinking or just drinking.
Quiz Time: Morality
Your Moralising Quotient is: 0.00.
Your Interference Factor is: 0.00.
Your Universalising Factor is: -1.
ie Fully Permissive.
via Not PC
Suze and Politics Part 7: Characteristics I look for in an MP/PM
Anyway, here is the list of characteristics. Although I should note that having all of these characteristics is meaningless if I have an irrational dislike of a particular person.
haha! Are there any honest politicians?
I'm not sure this is the right word. If you can think of a better word please let me know.
I mean someone who does not go on and on about the latest scandal affecting an opposing party. Someone who does not muckrake. Perhaps I mean mana.
Strong Beliefs yet Flexible
Stands up for what they believe in but is willing to listen to other points of view and is able to change their mind if they are obviously wrong. I guess I also mean the ability to admit when they are wrong.
In addition the PM should have:
Charisma would be a nice bonus, but I would rather have a bland PM with all the other qualities.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
I think the main problem is that I don't know what I am trying to say. Too many ideas and not enough focus. Maybe I will just say nothing.
Battlestar Galactica, Song Star and Handstands
Anyway, tonight I watched the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. I haven't seen any of this new version, and I am kicking myself. I thought it was great! Even better than the original. Why haven't I been watching this every Saturday? I hope there is another series on the way.
After Battlestar Galactica finished I switched to the last part of Song Star. Song Star was a one off program, obviously put together for NZ Music Month. Five unknown songwriters were given a week and all the resources they needed to create a professional recording of their song. The public voted on the songs and the winner got a $10,000 cheque!!! I could have done with a $10,000 cheque. How come I never heard about this competition? Obviously I need to watch more TV.
The songs were OK, and a couple were pretty good. But I know a lot of unknown songwriters with better songs. Even I could write something just as good as the songs in the competition. Sigh.
Still, it has inspired me to get out my guitar. It's about time I wrote another song. Maybe an ultra catchy commercial song so I can make some money.
Battlestar Galactica and Song Star were pretty entertaining as far as tv programs go, but they were not enthralling, so during the boring parts I was doing handstands. Or, more accurately, attempting to do handstands. I was a bit upset to discover that I can no longer do a handstand. Cartwheels, are likewise a bit beyond me now. Maybe I will spend the winter brushing up on my basic gymnastic skills.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Numerology: What does your day of birth mean?
Saw this a while ago somewhere, but I had real things to blog about at the time, so left it. I was reminded about it today because it appeared at Chaos Theory.
...you are inclined to work well with people and enjoy them.
You are talented and versatile, very good at presenting ideas.
You may have a tendency to get itchy feet at times and need change and travel.
You tend to be very progressive, imaginative and adaptable.
Your mind is quick, clever and analytical.
A restlessness in your nature may make you a bit impatient and easily bored with routine.
You may have a tendency to shirk responsibility.
I like to think it's all true! :)
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?
Kofi Annan appears on Sesame Street
Forget "The Interpreter," Sesame Street is Where It's At
via Why Law.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
budget induced travel thoughts
Or go and make some decent money somewhere else?
If I didn't have a thesis to finish, I think I'd be leaving. If Labour wins this election I probably will leave despite the thesis.
My Thoughts Exactly (minus the cats)
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Ignore This. Do Not Read. For Suze Only: Watchdog
The following post is for me only. It is boring. Don't read the rest of it. Stop here.
This is interesting and I need to store it somewhere and I cannot think of an appropriate delicious tag and I am having trouble with backpack and if you are reading this why are you reading this?
Who Watches the Watchdog?
Issue twelve, 16th May 2005
The New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists.
via The Scroll of Emptiness
So yeah, if you have read this far I'd like to know why? :-) And I'd like to know if the title made you read the post. Might as well turn this into an experiment...
You don't belong to her
I'm a forest kind of girl. I like bold sweeping generalisations. I like ignoring the inconvenient details. And I like succint summaries. The shorter the better, especially when it comes to things that do not really interest me.
Other people are not your property.
How cool! How convenient. How efficient. So many ideas intimated in just six words.
What I love about this sentence is that, not only does it apparently sum up Libetarianism, it also sums up my attitude to life. By "life" I mean everything related to people and not just the socio-political aspects of life. It is a great mantra for that stickiest of all aspects: relationships.
For example, my friend Bob has been having difficulties with females. Specifically with females staking a claim and treating him like they own him. When he told me about this difficulty, the first thing that popped into my mind was "other people are not your property." So I emailed this revelation to him.
I was far too subtle though because he missed the point. He said he agreed with the statement, and that he was good at not treating other people like property. Ummm...yeah...I know that Bob! I must remember to be direct and blunt when communicating, especially with males.
So I spelled out what I was trying to say to Bob, which was the flip side of the Libertarian sentence:
You are not other peoples property.
(translation: "you don't belong to her", or alternatively "grow a spine")
I was very impressed with myself, although I'm sure millions have thought about this before me.
I really like this reflected perspective. It is much more useful to me. I am currently meditating on it. As is Bob.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Sidetracked! by Omnipelagos
Omnipelagos is a "meandering" search engine that finds connections between two things. Like Six Degrees of Separation, except not necessarily six and not necessarily people.
For example (and yes I have been reading far too many political blogs):
From The Von Bondies to Helen Clark:
- The Von Bondies
- The Von Bondies are a garage rock/blues band from Detroit, Michigan
- Detroit, Michigan
- [Colleges and universities / Politics] which was founded in Detroit in 1817 then later moved to Ann Arbor in 1837, Detroit has several universities and colleges within its borders
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- [Events] There has been a tradition of students running naked through the streets once a year at the end of the University of Michigan winter semester
- now a television presenter offered a monetary reward for anyone who streaked in front of Prime Minister Helen Clark.
- Helen Clark
New Template Search
This has been on my todo list ever since I started this blog.
I need a new template. The current one isn't working properly and is in general unsatisfactory (ie it doesn't look like I want it to look).
All I want a VERY simple, aesthetically pleasing template. I am resigned to the fact that I may need to create my own, or majorly modify an existing one. But before I do that, I'm off on one last search...
Monday, May 16, 2005
A Brief Brief History of Time
A Brief Brief History of Time, this time via the awesome ALTG. Something I found without delicious - woohoo! I have been sneakily peeking at it all day.
Anyway it is the key points from Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, without all that boring stuff. And it's written in a much more entertaining way and with random HHGTTG references. What more could you want?
However, before you get too excited remember I am a bit of a science geek and find physics interesting. It is probably a lot less entertaining for people who could care less about physics and science.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
free and home again
that I'm dancing over
if I looked down maybe I'd see your footprints
walking in that one direction
I don't know where you're going
I just know that you're going
and this is an old chord
that I'm listening to
and pulling a melody out of
just like you pulled a melody out of me when you were still here
my eyes are closed
to welcome this feeling
familiar, lost and drifting
free and home again
Changes in how we access the news AND Why are some people resistant to new technology?
Adults age 18-to-34 are not interested in getting the news the way previous generations did, which is driving fundamental, technology-influenced changes in the news business.
It is nice to be in the young generation category :-)
New technology is not just influencing the way I get news, it seems to be influencing every aspect of my life.
Is the adoption of new technology related to age? I would never have thought so, because I seem to be adopting new technology faster now than I did several years ago. However, even with my enthusiastic recommendations, a lot of my friends are very slow about adopting new technology. My parents are even slower, and my grandparents just don't.
Is the resistance to new technology fear based or is it due a lack of time? Or maybe there is another reason. Maybe it is a brain thing, a lifestyle thing, or a personality thing.
Financial Advice and Gingerbread
Attention turbo savers! Foldedspace has an interesting post summarising several financial advice books. Yes I know all this stuff, but hearing it again doesn't hurt, especially in light of ZenTigers recent comments about purpose, money, time etc.
Here is the related quote:
"Your PURPOSE explains WHAT you are doing with your life. Your VISION explains how you are living your PURPOSE. Your GOALS enable you to realise your VISION." Bob ProctorI like the quote but I don't know what I am doing with my life, so am a bit stuck!
I made gingerbread. Although it should probably be called clove bread. I got a bit carried away with the cloves because I got to grind them with a mortar and pestle. Grinding spices is fun! The ginger was already ground and therefore not as much fun.
There were lots of gingerbread recipes on the interweb, so I chose the Laura Ingalls Wilder recipe. I loved the Little House on the Prairie!
Anyway the recipe was pretty good, apart from the excess cloves which was totally my fault.
I am not very good with recipes at the best of times, but when the recipe is on my computer screen upstairs, and the kitchen is downstairs I guess amounts and ingredients far more than usual.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Why are combo meals cheaper?
Bendy visited and we were talking about fast food and "Super Size Me", which I haven't seen, but have now added to my movieshack queue. Then, because all that talk of fast food made me hungry, I went to Wendys.
I bought a burger and fries. I did not buy a combo meal. I don't like combo meals because they force me to have a soft drink that I don't really like or want. Then, when I throw the drink away, I feel bad about wasting the drink and I feel bad about the disposable cup. Usually I don't even feel like fries. Usually I just buy a burger.
Anyway, today I noticed how much I paid for the burger and fries. I think (the prices were a bit blurry) I paid an extra 25 cents to not have the combo. WTF?! I am paying extra to not have the drink?! I really should pay more attention to how much money I am spending.
Why do combo meals cost less? It's not even like they are giving you a free drink. It is more like they are strongly encouraging you to have the free drink. And its not just a financial incentive. It is much easier to order a combo. I don't like getting asked for confirmation that yes I want "just the burger" every single time. Or asked if I want a combo instead.
Next time I go to McDs/BK/Wendy's I am going to ask if I can have the combo meal without the drink. I wonder if they will let me do that?
A quick Google wasn't very helpful with the question, but I did find a vaguely interesting article on super sized "value" meals here.
I don't have time for this
Sleep = 65 hours
Work = 50 hours
Travel = 9 hours
Thesis = 2 hours
Socialising/Gigs etc = 20 hours
Misc Necessary Boring Stuff = 12 hours
Creative Things = 2 hours
Internet = 8 hours
RESULT = Not enough time!
I want to add an Exercise catergory. I want to nap more. I want to increase the time spent on my thesis and on being creative. I want to increase Internet time, so that I can research all the interesting ideas I have been coming across. I also want to socialise more. Even with that rather large amount of time spent socialising, there are lots of people I haven't caught up with.
I suppose it was an atypical week with bus drivers striking, mothers visiting, 2 gigs, and a thesis meeting (usually the thesis value = 0 hours). Yet, if it had been a typical week I still think I wouldn't have enough time. Besides, I don't really have typical weeks.
For Amanda: Here are the Gospel Singers
Nick Cave was great! Such a showman, but not in a bad way. Fantastic musicians, and two drummers! Imagine being in a band with two drummers! Perhaps it's best if I just stop there. Who knows how many drummers read this.
I took lots of photos, but I am going to have to figure out a way to photoshop them without Photoshop.
It turns out I am not a very good gig photographer for a couple of reasons. A) I have a standard compact camera with only a 3.1 optical zoom, and B) I am a silly scaredy cat when it comes to crowds. I tried going somehwere near the middle, but freaked out straight away and had to retreat. I ended up standing behind the sound desk and taking all my photos from there.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Why I think there aren't more Libertarians.
Disclaimer: I am lazy. I have not read much about politics, and
I'm sure I have skimmed the little I have read. This Libertarian idea is new to me, although it does seem to echo my favourite ethical law: The Law of Thelema (i.e. do what you will).
I could wait until I was more knowledgeable about such things before posting, but then I'd spend all my time reading and researching. I'd never write anything. So here goes. Here are my thoughts on something I know next to nothing about.
This is what I currently think Libertarians are (if I am wrong, then this whole piece of writing should be trashed): Libertarians believe in personal freedom, that is people decide for themselves what they should do. People do not go around telling other people what to do. This might be a generalisation, and I am sure there is tension and dissension within the Libertarian ranks. How could it be otherwise?
If I know so little about Libertarians how could I possibly comment on why there aren't more of them? Well, while I was trying to find out more about Libertarianism, I read the following policy statement from the Libetrianz Party:
SOCIAL WELFAREI like to think I am above such things, but my first reaction was "they can't do that!" It was a very strong gut reaction. It was a fear reaction.
Libertarianz will leave you free to practice voluntary charity. All state benefits would be abolished - unemployment, sickness, and DPB - to permit the growth of voluntary charities and private insurance...
Once I had calmed down enough to think about it I realised that it all boiled down to the fact that I was afraid that I wouldn't have any support if I got sick or couldn't work or just got old. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that other (eg poor) people would suffer. It had nothing to do with disadvantaging others. It was all about me. Maybe my recent sickness and support issues had something to do with my reaction, or maybe I am not as freedom loving as I thought I was.
Usually I like to think I believe that people are naturally charitable and generous. But believing something in the comfort and privacy of your own mind is quite different from having to rely on those beliefs in the real world. Even now, I am not sure I would be completely comfortable living in a society with no safeguards. It just goes to show how weak my beliefs are.
Anyway, if I am put off Libertarianism by the fear of leaping into the abyss and trusting that other people will be generous in my times of need, then surely other people have a similar, stronger and perhaps subconscious fear. I'm not sure they'd admit it even to themselves, but isn't it a natural reaction to be concerned for your own wellbeing?
Quiver & Sonic @ Studio (12th May 2005)
Both Quiver and Sonic have extremely catchy songs and I think they played well. I must admit I wasn't paying too much attention to the technical side as I was pretending to be Miss Rock Photographer. Here are a couple of my favourite photos from the gig. I'm sure I will post more photos later because I am quite pleased with how they turned out.
If Amanda is still sick tonight I will go to Nick Cave and get some more live gig pics. Only I have a crap zoom, and I don't like crowds, so I'm not expecting much.
Oh and in Runninghouse news (cause I ran into Rich): Runninghouse music will feature in the next Bikini Bandits film. Apparently the boys may also get to appear in the film. Rock stars and film stars all at the same time. Whatever next?
Thursday, May 12, 2005
via The Map Room.
Popularity or Respect?
I immediately said I would rather be liked. Other people said they didn't care whether people liked them and that they just worked on liking and respecting themselves. Those other answers are cool answers. They seem like the right answers. In comparison my answer seems shallow.
Why is it that I automatically think that wanting people to like me is the wrong answer? Why does it seem that I shouldn't care what other people think? Maybe it's my regular diet of self-help books/dogma.
Through some lucky fluke (because it certainly wasn't the self-help books), I don't have to work on liking and respecting myself. I have always liked and respected myself. It is harder for me to like and respect other people. But that's irrelevant to the question.
I would choose popularity over respect because:
- I value popularity more than respect.
- Not being liked makes my struggle with loneliness even more difficult.
- I can't control my popularity.
I Value Popularity More Than Respect
I think the answer to the question depends on your values. I place a very low value on whether other people think highly of me or not. This could be because I have never been in a situation where I did not feel respected. Always having and endless supply of something tends to make you value it less.
I have never really been in a situation where people did not like me. I definitely don't fit in, and I find it very hard to meet people I would want to be close to, but I am not unpopular. People seem to look after me and I don't recall ever being actively disliked. Bob would say this is because I have lived a very sheltered life. Maybe he is right. Nonetheless, for me popularity and respect are intertwined.
I think I would always choose being liked over being respected. Living in a world where no one liked me would be very lonely and loneliness is something I struggle enough with even when there are people who like me. There is no point in making the loneliness thing harder than it already is.
I Can't Control My Popularity
I tend to think of respect from others as something I can control to a certain extent. I perceive respect as having something to do with the way I behave, the things I say, my attitude. Conversely, I don't believe I have any real control over whether people like me.
I Can't Like Someone I Don't Respect
Having spent all this time thinking and changing my mind, and rewriting this, I have just realised that I always respect the people I like. If I don't respect them, then there is no way that I will like them. For me, liking someone and respecting someone are intertwined.
How are people going to like me if they don't respect me? Can other people actually like someone they don't respect?
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
A Paintings Progress - Part 1
Here is Part 1 (lots of pictures):
What follows probably took an hour or so of actual painting time over a period of 24 hours. Photographing the painting and trying to get an appropriate setting took longer than the actual painting part.
1. I started with a very strong urge to paint. So I spent most of Saturday clearing space, finding paints and brushes and basically setting up.
2. Saturday evening I had a blank canvas and no idea what to paint. The not knowing what to paint wasn't a problem because I needed to paint. Anyway, I came up with the following. I did the red bits first. This first step took less than a minute, and it looks like it!
3. Then I added some blue dots. Don't know why. At this point I have decided that the red things are obviously two dandelions.
4...dithering about where the painting is going...
5. I am sick of dithering so I decide the painting needs something dark and dramatic in the bottom right corner.
As soon as I painted this I realised it was in the wrong place. It needed to be further to the right and maybe a bit lower.
6. So I play around some more trying to get the balance right. Usually I don't think these things. Usually it is a subconscious process. Maybe taking the photos made me more conscious of the process.
7. Current state. Now I really like the right hand side, and I am thinking maybe the "dandelions" belong in a different painting.
A ramble on my political dithering and fence-sitting
Up until recently I was under the illusion that I was a lefty (sp?). I have no idea why I thought such a thing, but it has been quite disturbing to have my political self-image shattered. I now realise I am anything but a lefty.
I don't believe in equality, and I especially don't believe in enforced equality, which is what I think the left-side of the political spectrum (economic dimension) is about. Although I guess I could be completely wrong about that.
Unfortunately I don't like the right-side of the political spectrum at all. Why? Just because. I don't have to be rational about it...actually maybe that's it. I don't like it when people imply that rational is right and everything else is wrong. And now that I think about it, it is not just the right-wing that does this...people on the left-wing can also be militantly rational. I haven't thought about this properly yet, but I don't think rational and right are the same thing. Maybe it is related to my sporadic belief that there is no such thing as wrong. However, it will have to be a question for another day.
Maybe I am a centrist (aka fence-sitter). I can quite easily see how both sides are arguing "rationally" from their own completely different frameworks. It's like everything else in my life. I have a tendency to empathise and to whatever-the-intellectual-equivalent-of-empathise-is. It's why I am dithering. No one is completely wrong. Both sides make good points.
But I don't want to be a fence-sitter. That is not a satisfactory or appealing category. Maybe extra dimensions, like an apathy dimension, would be useful.
Anyway, I think I might be a Libertarian. I am going to investigate further.
I am currently craving gingerbread. The coffee shop next to work sells divine and expensive gingerbread. I need to start baking.
The Universe seems to have handled it's first assignment (thesis motivation) well. I have now assigned it "thesis admin sorting out."
Backpack reminders are working.
There must be a solution to the hem-length/shoe-height dilemma. I just need to find it.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
What is my World View?
You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational
What is Your World View?
created with QuizFarm.com
So if you are interested or know anyone who might be interested, let me know!
ps... Quiver (another old band) and Sonic (a band I like) are both playing at The Studio this Thursday. $5 on the door. Apparently it starts at 8:30pm (but you know what THAT means!)
Monday, May 09, 2005
new blogs on my reading list and general blog stuff
I have removed actual real life friends' blogs from the sidebar because reading their blogs is an unchangeable fact. Unchangeable facts don't belong on my everchanging list. Of course this may all change when I redefine the list contents again.
I have also removed the political section. It is too tiring and not exactly fun reading political comments with an election just around the corner. Besides, I have assigned the task of keeping up with politics to the Universe. I have better things to do, such as paint and sleep and populate this blog with completely random ramblings.
And just in case the Universe forgets, I still have my aggregator. All the blogs that have ever been in the sidebar, and indeed all the blogs that I have ever had a passing interest in are accumulating in my aggregator. I very rarely delete. I'm always positive that at some time in the future I may want to revisit a long forgotten blog interest.
Anyway, getting to the original point of this post: I really really like AgnostoLibertarianTechnoGeek (ALTG). It seems that ALTG is not particularly concerned with defending his opinion. Yay! How refreshing! Yay! Someone like me! It is so rare to find someone like me that when I do find a similarity, no matter how small, it makes my day.
Actually ALTG may be nothing like me in other ways, who knows?
It was funny (or maybe really boring) how I found ALTG ...
A post about whether a 4 year old should have to wear Nappies at the Pool on Sir Humphrey's caught my eye.
I don't have a strong opinion on this topic at all as I detest and avoid public swimming pools (although I am curious as to what the opinionated people would think if the swimming pool had been privately owned). Anyway I thought that seeing as the post featured such universally interesting topics like "poos" and "rights" it might generate relatively heated (ie interesting) discussion.
The comments weren't that heated perhaps due to the recent effort at sir humphrey's to avoid profanity and personal insults (how boring!). But I did discover this interesting site: www.enlightenedcaveman.com and this interesting blog: Chaos Theory.
And then Chaos Theory had this thoughtful quote by David at AgnostoLibertarianTechnoGeek
I think the mistake that we make sometimes is assuming that people are interested in *ideas*. People are not interested in ideas. People are interested in picking sides, then listening to cheerleaders for their side confirming over and over again why their side is right. When confronted with an opposing opinion, generally anger is the result, as they are unequipped to challenge the opinion with actual rational thoughtSuch a thoughtful piece of writing. It resonates completely and at the same time I disagree slightly. After all I am interested in ideas and I am a person. I do not mind being opposed and actually enjoy reading opposing views. I like having my perceptions and ideas shifted by something or someone. Although perhaps that is because I am unequipped to challenge opinion with rational thought! Yes, I readily admit it, and no, I don't particularly care :)
Yet...I tend to think that in general people are incredibly defensive of their opinions and not particularly willing to listen to different ideas/viewpoints. So many people seem to know they are right. And I have no desire to even begin to communicate with such people. There is no point.
Yet...debating can be fun. Sometimes I like disagreeing just for the sake of an argument. I don't actually need to believe/agree with what I am saying/writing (is this lying?). I like arguing for things I disagree with because it forces me to rethink and re-evaluate. Who knows. I might even change my mind.
I wish there was a spellcheck. This post has been far too long to have no errors.
I think it is fairly obvious that I am not going to vote for Labour, any religious parties, progressives, the outdoor whatsits party, or NZ First. No point wasting time keeping up with the pre-election crap/news.
I think that leaves National, Act, Libertarianz, Democrats, Greens and maybe some minor parties. I think I will leave the Universe to sort out who, of these rather unpalatable options, I should vote for. My intuition is working far more reliably than by rational brain at the moment.
You are in charge of arranging the following aspects of my life so that they are at least 100 times better than what I can imagine.
Universe is in charge of the following aspects of my life:
paying the bills
affording fun and yummy things
housework and chores
I expect each of these aspects of my life to improve by at least 100% over the next few months and I will provide you with detailed requests as I think of them.
I will be responsible for getting myself out of bed most mornings and being creative when I feel like it.
First detailed request: over the next 24 hours I want an inspirational brain wave about my phd thesis. This brain wave will be such that it will either motivate me to finish or to quit. It will provide me with the energy and inspiration to follow through with whatever decision I make.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Nothing makes me feel quite like this.
Tonight it is the Eagles of Death Metal, Pinot Noir and my paints. Nothing else makes me feel quite like this. It is the closest to flow that I get.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
(sort of) GIS Related: GeoTagging Images
Combining Google Maps and Flickr. It works by tagging images with the latitude and longitude.Of course, Google Maps only works for the states, so it is only interesting idea at the moment.
For a minute or so I got all enthusiastic and I thought about geotagging my photos, but I don't have a GPS and tagging photos with coordinates only makes sense if you have a device that does it automatically.
Then I thought about it a little bit more and decided that most of my photos are geotagged anyway (eg muriwai or auckland albertpark). Placename tags are more useful, more meaningful and much much easier than fiddling around with coordinates and coordinate systems.
Of course I could easily create something to convert my placename tags into coordinates. I could even include a function to convert between different coordinate systems. But I won't. That would be too much like this blog, ie a pointless waste of time.
From my Backpack
I just wish it was a little more integrated. I want to be able to tag things, and have seamless integration with flickr, delicious, this blog, and anything else I may fall in love with.
I am just looking at what I put in my backpack today. Ah. Links. Of course. What else.
And thanks to delicious this is my linky find of the day:
How to Fold a Fitted Sheet. I never knew this! I always try to have fitted sheets because when it comes to housework I am very lazy. Of course, it is best if I time things so that I don't need to fold sheets, but occasionally I have a fit of domesticity and spend a day doing laundry. On such days, I fold fitted sheets very badly. But not any more!
I'm absolutely thrilled! Although I guess you might think I am exaggerating a little. But really in comparison with the rest of my life finding out how to fold a fitted sheet IS thrilling!
And in keeping with the general laziness in household maintenance theme of this post here is a link that may come in handy in later years:
Organic Lawn Care for the Cheap and Lazy
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
An essay on truth, perception and communication. Part 1: Truth is God, but we are just playing Chinese Whispers
Perception is more important than truth.
I feel daring typing these words. Daring and disloyal. They are bald, unequivocable statements and I can hear the shouts of disagreement now: Truth is what matters; Truth is the holy grail; Truth is god.
I want to agree with you. You see truth is my god too. It's just that I am beginning to think that in the end perception is more important.
Reality (aka Truth) is perceived and filtered through our senses. And as such I think it is always distorted to some extent. If we were to live in complete isolation, with no human contact, then the truth might only be slightly distorted. Still distorted though because it is still filtered through our senses and our thought processes (which are probably slightly skewed and extremely self-centered from all that isolation). However, most of us don't live in isolation. Most of us live among many others and the truth is filtered through many perceptions
Aside/Footnote: I have just had a thought. The shrinking of the globe and the development of technology means that people today have access to exponentially more ideas, information, and different cultures than people just a hundred years ago. More pieces of the truth to discover and integrate, more pieces of crap to evaluate and discard, more voices and ideas and tools to confuse the issue. More accessibility. More truth. More smokescreens. But this is digression and an idea for another time.
Anyway, back to the idea at hand...that truth is filtered through many perceptions. For example, someone could perceive a "truth", filter it, process it, then communicate their version of it to someone else, who in turn perceives/filters and processes the "truth' with their different perceptions and cognitive system. They might even get the wrong end of the stick. And that's completely disregarding egos and emotions, which tend to confuse things and result in the truth being completely mangled up.
It's like a very subtle, very complex game of Chinese Whispers on an unimaginable scale played over centuries. Except this version of Chinese Whispers not only deals with random trivia, it also deals with life and death and power and emotions and egos and religion. Bloody stuff. Fascinating stuff.
Why am I thinking and writing about such things?
You may think it is procrastination, and you would be partly right. It is procrastination and it is also fascination. I have been procrastinating by trying to take an interest in politics. I have an aversion to both politics and traditional news sources such as newspapers, books, magazines, tv so "taking an interest in politics" roughly translates to "adding random political blogs to my rss aggregator and regularly skim reading a few interesting posts".
I would have given up on politics weeks ago if I hadn't been fascinated with the various little disputes amongst bloggers. I hate to say it, but the posts that interest me are the ones where people are heatedly arguing with each other, especially if the arguments have degenerated into personal attacks with the original issue long forgotten.
I guess that although I find the political issues boring, the interaction between the various personalities is fascinating. There are a huge variety of perceptions and ideas and communication styles. It also makes me think.
I guess reading"offensive" comments and personal "attacks" and not identifying with them or conversely reading "humorous" remarks that I find more offensive than funny have made me think about how I define certain abstract ideas like right, wrong, truth, and lies. They have made me think about why I find certain things offensive and certain things humourous. They have made me consciously consider how I perceive different words and what smokescreens I have up at the moment and why I put them there in the first place. Not a bad result from reading a series of childish arguments!
Maybe this is part one of a series that continues discussing these ideas. Or maybe this is the end.
The bus drivers are striking for 6 days!!! It is so inconvenient. Fortunately I am within walking distance of work but still.
The most direct route from home to work is about 45 mins walk. It is up and down two very steep hills and through two very large and not-safe-to-walk-through-in-the-dark parks. The unsafe parks and short days means that I will have to take a less direct route at least once a day, and probably twice a day. I have no idea how long it will take me to walk the less direct but safer routes. I expect it will be more than an hour each way.
In addition, the bus strike coincides with two major deadlines at work. This means that a) I can't just stay at home, b) I will be wasting valuable work time walking, and c) I may have to walk to work in the weekend as well.
I also expect the Auckland weather to cooperate by providing rain, hail, thunder, wind and a dramatic drop in temperature while the bus drivers are on strike.
And I have organised a phd meeting next week. I don't know when I am going to fit in phd work amongst all this working and walking.
We are not allowed to use webmail at work. My whole life revolves around my webmail account. It is a major inconvenience not to be able to use it. Now I have to set up my gmail to forward to my work email address, which will work, but is certainly not efficient. I don't like having to handle the same email more than once.
I hate to think about whether they have a policy about using a particular webbrowser. Being forced to use IE would be a straw for quitting I think.
Today we had a department lunch, which is a very nice idea but I didn't want to go. I didn't feel like being sociable and I didn't want to spend two hours at lunch when I have deadlines looming.
This particular lunch was stressful for two completely separate reasons. First because I didn't feel like being sociable. I always find socialising draining to some extent, and if I don't feel like it, I also find it extremely stressful. Second, I didn't have time to sit at lunch for two hours. Usually it wouldn't be a big deal, but today it was. It means I will have to make up the two hours I spent at lunch either tonight or very early tomorrow morning because the deadline is tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Mind Dump: Blogging My Thesis?
Today I came across someone who used their blog as a research notebook. I think they may actually be researching blogs. I didn't read any of their posts so I don't know what they are researching. Perhaps it is an idea I could steal. All my words seem to be coming out here. Maybe I could blog about my thesis instead of about random butterflies.
Although this is a rather public forum. I mean people might know if I went back and crossed things out and changed my mind. People might point me to vital information. People might know about my stupid mistakes. People might spark some good ideas. People might steal things and people might help me. So many good and/or bad things to consider.
As well as using my most recent obsession (ie blogs) to help progress my thesis. Perhaps I could use my not so recent but still current obsessions as well. Those obsessions would be: tagging, rss, flickr, photography and the general folksonomy thing. A while ago I came across spatial annotation projects and research. I think it may have been at Elastic Space. I have come across many marginally related things. and at the moment it is all a vague amorphous cloud of ideas floating around in my head. I'm not sure whether to leave it to cook for a while longer, or whether to try and force it into something tangible.
Pyramid of Fire
2. Things to hold on to
3. What is coming
Sharing. Abundance. Love.
Monday, May 02, 2005
Drainspotting was mentioned in this interesting post on Creating Passionate Users. The post is about the difference between the US and Japan, and how it is represented by the very different manhole cover designs.
Anyway, I am glad to have found other people who like taking photos of the ground.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Shihad live at Aotea Square
Woohooo!!!! Shihad have their real name back and they continue to rock. It poured with rain for a while and I got drenched, but it was worth it. Hopefully the rest of NZ Music Month will continue in a similar vein minus the rain.
I missed the first few songs because I had to go back and get my camera.I'm not sure if it was worth it though. I have decided that I need a camera that is a) waterproof, and b) has a better zoom. My current zoom is nowhere near good enough. I'm not one to brave moshpits or security guards just to get a good photo.
The new material sounds like it is worth owning a copy of. I will probably go out and buy Love is the New Hate as soon as my finances improve.
Apparently Jon Toogood had his photo taken with Helen Clark today. Ummm. Yay? From various comments I have heard I suspect that a lot of musicians are Labour supporters. I feel a little traitorous not being a Helen Clark/Labour supporter. I mean, not only am I a musician and a supporter of NZ Music, but I am also an artist and a supporter of the various arts.
Technorati Tags: shihad, aoteasquare, nzmusic, nzmusicmonth, live, gig
Lionel Ritchie, Chilli Tim Tams, and Feedburner
On Friday I saw these delicously vintage Lionel sketchbooks for sale on Champion and restrained myself from buying them. However, I visited Champion HQ last night, and seeing the sketchbooks in real life was too much! I ended up buying both.
Thanks to dontcom for creating them and also for introducing me to Chocolate Chilli Tim Tams and Feedburner.
The Chilli Tim Tams are delicious, and although I haven't gotten around to looking at Feedburner yet, I am sure it will be fantastic too. I love rss and feeds and not having to bookmark things and remember to return to websites! I love having a piece of software remember what I think is cool and keep me updated on the cool things.
Suze and Politics Part 6: Destiny NZ
Should I vote for Destiny NZ? No!
I would only consider voting for Destiny NZ if I was a Christian and married or planning on getting married. But I'm not. Destiny NZ's policies and philosophies disadvantage me and would probably take away many of my freedoms given that "they recognize the Holy Bible to be the Word of God, which is infallible and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and morals, upon which governing mandates should be founded and measured".
Probability that I will vote for Destiny NZ: 0%
Destiny NZ Principles
Destiny NZ's philosophy and policies are apparently based on the Holy Bible. I say "apparently" because I haven't read the bible properly, so it's hard for me to judge whether or not this is the case. From what I remember though, the bible is written as parables and is not particularly clear, so I guess they are basing everything on their particular interpretation of the bible.
This seems to be the cornerstone to their philosophy:
Believe there is only one God, who is undivided and inseparable in essence, and within this one essence, there are three eternal distinctions, the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. They recognize the Holy Bible to be the Word of God, which is infallible and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and morals, upon which governing mandates should be founded and measured.This is a complete mismatch with my philosophy and I guess it completely rules out Destiny NZ as an option for me. However, they do say quite a lot of things that I agree with. If I was a devout Christian, they would be an option.
Here are the rest of their principles:
Pledge to be faithful and loyal to our Country and to govern in the best interests of present and future generations, upholding principles of truth, integrity, and honour.I like this. Truth, integrity , and honour are good. They are characteristics that seem to be lacking in politicians.
Honour the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ (Te Tiriti o Waitangi) as a significant foundational document. Moreover, the Treaty is recognized as a ‘covenant’ agreement, which is perpetually relevant and binding.
Believe that in the best interests of the health, wealth, and prosperity of our nation, the ‘family’ (For the purposes of our Constitution defined as a legally married husband and wife, and their children) must be protected, esteemed, and empowered to realize its fullest potential.Um. Well. I agree that families are important, however I do not like a lot of their family policies which advantage married people:
Where is the support for me? Married people already have financial advantages especially in homebuying, shared costs and general support. I don't like the idea of my tax money helping to pay for other people's houses and family life because they are married and I'm not. I don't like the idea of married people with kids being normal and the "ideal" and anything else (ie me) being a disadvantaged outcast.
- Tax credits in the form of 'marriage milestones' for fixed terms of unbroken marriage i.e. years 5, 10, 15 & 20 etc,
- Financial support for married first-homebuyers,
- Greater financial support for full-time mothers,
- Income splitting for marriage-centred families to alleviate the tax burden,
- Abolition of the marriage licence fee of $170.
If this ever happened, I would leave NZ.
Will strive for liberty and opportunity for every New Zealander regardless of race, gender, or status, promoting social harmony and national unity.I am a little confused here. I assume that this "liberty" and "opportunity"are only liberty and opportunity within the moral guidelines of the Holy Bible? Which is not really liberty at all. What about liberty for those who do not follow the Holy Bible's moral guidelines? Or for those who disagree on what the Holy Bible's moral guidelines are?
I am not going to follow the moral guidelines of the Holy Bible. I wonder if Destiny NZ still strive for my liberty and opportunity?
Will pursue economic excellence in an open market economy, supporting the development of local enterprise in pursuit of both local and global significance. Moreover, Destiny New Zealand will maintain sound economic practice and judgement vested in the best interests of all New Zealanders.The "best interests of all New Zealanders"...hmmm...is it possible to do things that are in the best interests of everyone? If so, that would be quite impressive.
Are committed to protecting and maintaining a safe and clean natural environment for all New Zealanders.
Regard first-class quality services pertaining to health, welfare, and education to be an inherent right of every New Zealander.
Will uphold the rule of Law, Order and Justice, protect the sanctity of life and the freedom of every New Zealander to live within the parameters of God-honouring moral principles.Sanctity of life. I'm sure I will disagree there.
Oh, here it is! It is not real freedom it is "the freedom of every New Zealander to live within the parameters of God-honouring moral principles".
Will present the Nation of New Zealand to the international community as one rich in heritage, culture, unity, and strength, uncompromising in truth, justice, and integrity, a model for international harmony, generational blessing and prosperity.