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that thing we do here every year

I don't know how many year's-end memes I will get to--depends on my coffee consumption over the next few days.

but I thought I'd start off with the Title and First Line from Each Month post:



new years day report
I had breakfast with b this morning, who is thinking of taking a job in hong kong.

still kicking
or rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

how it is. how is it?
I guess I've been kind of quiet lately, huh? mostly I've been trying to get my editing speed up to the point that I can do more than one paper a night but so far this is about my limit.

just a note. er, a very long note.
I'm putting this down more as an index than anything but man I am feeling sick as a skunk this "morning."

here I am over here
so I got a dreamwidth account because everyone was doing it.

need a job? willing to move to Durham NC?
The company I do telecommuting editing for is looking for a web developer.

happy t-day
today is my T-birthday: on July 1, 1997 I received my first testosterone injection.

early to bed
I seem to be more or less on eastern time the past couple of days, although yesterday I slept in my chair from 3-5am after thinking I was up.

future perfect
I posted this to asperger yesterday afternoon before I went to bed. I managed to stay awake for about four hours this morning but now I'm going back to bed because I keep falling asleep in my chair and dropping my book and pencil and I think if I just let my sleeping binge run its course then I might end up with about twenty hours or so in which to hammer this thing out.

shaving cream
for no reason that I can really comprehend, "shaving cream" is going through my head this morning. you know: the baby fell out of the window / we thought that her head would be split / ...

oh hai!
I'm fine, in case you were wondering. I haven't left the house in two days but it's good because I have gotten lots of reading and writing done and it's amazing the number of things I can think of to do sitting here in this chair with my computer in front of me, books surrounding me on all sides, and my guitar on my left.

chapter closed. or conclusion being written
I just quit teaching. I feel like a half ton brick has been removed from my back.



that was relatively painless. not terribly enlightening on the face of it but the actual posts some of them I don't remember writing at all! I think it is amazing how much of life is simply lost on us. when I think about things that I've forgotten, the person I was then doing this thing that I was to forget almost immediately--is that person dead? if the continuity of memory is the only thing that gives us a sense of "self," being able to reflect on our own history, then are those parts of our history that are forgotten the realm of ghosts? I wonder about this sometimes. last week, for instance. pick a day: wednesday. I honestly have no idea what I was doing when, although I probably sat in my chair and read quite a bit. but parts of me that day are forever gone. isn't that what death is?

ok I'll try to lighten up. but really, this is not a morbid question so much as it is about continuity and the illusion of a continuous self. it seems obvious to me that "I" am only remembered punctually rather than continuously. in between those moments that stand out, I don't remember being or doing anything, and it doesn't hurt to have lost that day or two or a few thousand, so in some ways I think that death must not be very different except that I'll just lose those few memories that I currently have and the ability to reflect upon them. back into the unconscious of the universe, as I was saying else-LJ the other day. how much of life do we carry out completely unconscious of what we are doing?

I might do another meme a little later. I think I have to check my Farmville farm. I've been losing whole harvests lately because I forget to check it. but I've kind of run out of things to buy, so now I'm just collecting virtual money for no reason. still, I enjoy making patterns with the crops and I like to be able to plant something new each time I level up.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
ridethegallows
Dec. 30th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
yes! that last part about time is something i always wonder about. from what i can tell i think i have a below average ability to remember events in my life, which can make it very surreal at times. i've probably already told you this before (hah), but a few summers ago when i was living almost completely isolated in the bird refuge i started really losing grip on reality and started feeling like i couldn't be certain any of my life had actually happened. rationally i could reason that it must have, but all the same i had the feeling of just "going along with" that conclusion, as you might if you were humoring somebody else who was telling you something you didn't quite believe. clearly it wasn't non-existence, but it felt like it (in the same way as when you're dreaming and you somehow know something that you have no way of knowing, but yet you just understand it). anyway, i'm sounding crazy here but yes i often feel i'm on the edge of unconsciousness, and i agree that death might not be not too different.
eriktrips
Dec. 31st, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
that sounds like a really interesting experience, and no you hadn't mentioned it before. :) I'd like to try something like that, isolated out in the middle of nowhere for a long time. see what happens. we're social animals, and I think if we stop yapping at each other we can start to hear the rest of world, but it may feel a lot like ego dissolution. and maybe it is--maybe we cannot be truly connected to the universe without giving our selves up. that is one of the main premises of zen buddhism, and I think it has a lot to do with its insistence that life and death are not that different, but you cannot see it as long as you are tied up in your own selfhood.

I think also this is something that, if Europeans and their descendants ever knew it, they forgot it somewhere along the line, at least at the cultural level. one reason I am researching various cultural revolutions in Europe is because I want to know what went wrong when or whether we've always been fucked up in our approach to the world we are a part of.

of course, it is nonsensical to talk about how death "is" because it is to not be as an individual. but I think while our bodies are individuated we can still approach non-being in a (non)cognitive sense. that is why zen says that form is emptiness and emptiness is form: being and non-being are not as distinct as they seem. and yet to approach non-being, one has to give up the ability to talk about it, because language itself is generative of being insofar as it gives us names for things and so concretizes them out of what raw experience would be if we could actually touch it--but we can't until we find a way to breach the boundaries of the ego.

I can go on about this. let me know if I should stop. I get carried away, but that's sort of the point. :)
ridethegallows
Jan. 2nd, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)
i really like what you wrote there about ego dissolution and connecting to the universe. my dad is really serious about meditation and kriya yoga and occasionally tries to get me to read books on those subjects (about spiritual transcendence and emptying the mind, letting go of the ego, etc), but it always sounded so bogus to me in the past (but lately i've been wanting to make more of an effort to understand it). i think a lot of my resistance is/was due to the language that is often used to describe the concepts, which i actually suspect i would find truth in if they were described with less magical-sounding words. for example, a lot of the books often talk about "god", which they then define as "consciousness" or "life energy" or whatever else, but i am resistant to the idea of redefining words and then adopting them as different conceptions of god, and i'm also not really looking to have something to believe in and call "god" in my life. but under the surface i think that the actual content would probably make a lot of sense to me. the concept of emptiness in particular is something i connect with, but at the same time i also find it unsettling and difficult to accept.

anyway, as usual i really enjoyed what you wrote here. if you did want to go on i would be happy to read it! :)
daisydumont
Dec. 30th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
your crops die when you neglect them? for a while, years ago, ted had one of Neopets that would almost starve to death if you didn't feed them. i hated that game -- the guilt of it! maybe having corn or soybeans go belly-up wouldn't be as bad, though. heh.
eriktrips
Dec. 30th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
no, digital crops dying is not nearly as traumatic as digital animals doing poorly--I bought Zoo Tycoon for my Mac years ago and played it once or twice. one of my lion cubs got sick and I was having trouble getting a veterinarian to him. I pulled up the game to see him lying on his side and I thought OMG he's dead! he wasn't; he was just very sick and a vet visit finally got him back on his feet, but I was never able to play the game again. it was horrible to see him lying there!

I should sell the game or give it away I guess. I can't play it; no way do I want to deal with virtual sick animals.
daisydumont
Dec. 30th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
that's kind of awful, really. i hated it that the game inflicted the guilt of that on little kids and tender-hearted adults who played it. to me, it didn't seem like innocuous fun.

i'm sorry if i brought up ugly thoughts!
eriktrips
Dec. 30th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
oh no worries! I think about it occasionally when I survey my Games folder for things to waste time with and laugh at myself a little. but still, can't deal with sick virtual animals! it may be fun for some people but it was unfun for me. if they didn't let the animals get sick, I might play. in fact, ZooVille, or whatever it's called, on facebook looks tempting, but I need to find out if your animals can get sick or die. that would be terrible. it's not guilt exactly, but just that I am very empathetic towards suffering animals and it doesn't really make a difference if they aren't "real."

people on the other hand, well, not so empathetic there. I thought the Sims Torture Test was insanely hilarious--it was an LJ post from a few years back that went viral. if you want a link I'll put one up, but if you don't like watching virtual people suffer, you won't like it.

it's interesting that I cannot see a digital cub down with a kitty flu but I don't have a problem with--I'd best not say. you'll see for yourself if you want.
daisydumont
Dec. 30th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
pink freud! hahaha! :D

ah, nah, i better not look at suffering sims. i'd take it to heart. you know, seriously, that's one reason i've hidden from the world so many decades -- i overempathize and can't stop my imagination from taking off in horrible directions. things i read twenty or more years ago can still haunt me.

wish i had a tougher hide! Magua's my Shadow for a reason.
eriktrips
Dec. 30th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
yeah I thought you might not be as callous toward virtual people as I am. I'm just like you with the animals though. I cannot stand to watch Animal Cops on Animal Planet, even though the good guys win. knowing there are animals out there still suffering just about does me in.

but I'm just misanthropic enough to believe that people probably deserve a little of what they get. especially if they abuse animals! but I know that most people don't.

I dunno if a tough hide is all that valuable. the world needs bleeding hearts or it could get to be a very cruel place. it's bad enough as-is.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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