7Wannabe5- Take 6

Where are you and where are you going?
ertyu
Posts: 1441
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by ertyu »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 3:38 pm
@ertyu:

It’s a collection of tinged wry short stories centered around the lives of several intelligent, relatively affluent women living in the same neighborhood in London. They are all completely overwhelmed by attempting some variety of solution or minor escape from the twin burdens of running household and maintaining or not maintaining careers. Very well written, but a bit retrospective for me, since I am now almost 20 years out from the absolutely exhausting commute/career/kids/house/husband phase of life. From the perspective of the 15 year old daughter of one of these women, none of them have “a life.”

Likely not what you imagined?
Sounds like "meditations on marathon running" when I need a "get off the couch" program :lol:

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

This month I read or finished reading:

1) Mrs Fyttons Country Life- Mavis Cheek
2) My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands- Chelsea Handler
3) In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life- Robert Kegan
4) The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millenium
5) Sarah's Cottage- D.E. Stevenson
6) This Civilization is Finished: Conversations on the End of Empire and What Lies Beyond- Rupert Read
7) Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet- Tim Jackson
8) Nudge: Improving Decision About Health, Wealth, and Happiness- Richard Thaler
9) Les Parents Terribles- Jean Cocteau
10) Don't Do Stuff You Suck At: Roadmap to your Front Seat Life for Entrepreneurs, Direct Sellers, and Others That Want to Change the World- Jessica Butts
11) Living in the Long Emergency: Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward- James Kunstler
12) Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilization- Samuel Alexander
13) Tools for Conviviality- Ivan Illich
14) Gender- Ivan Illich


I also started or continued reading a good many other books this month, including "Utopia or Oblivion" by Buckminster Fuller. One thing that struck me was that "The Evolving Self" and "In Over Our Heads" which were both published in 1994, both seemed more old-fashioned to me than Fuller's and Illich's works which were published back in the 60s/70s. All of these books were very good, but the earlier ones had more of the zing of prescient retro to me; maybe because written from a juncture where more options seemed possible?

For instance, the last paragraph from "Gender":
I have no strategy to offer. I refuse to speculate on the probabilities of any cure. I shall not allow the shadow of the future to fall on the concepts with which I try to grasp what is and what has been. As the ascetic and the poet meditate on death and thus gratefully enjoy the exquisite aliveness of the present, so we must gratefully face the sad loss of gender. I strongly suspect that a contemporary art of living can be recovered, so long as our austere and clear-sighted acceptance of the double ghetto of economic neuters then moves us to renounce the comforts of economic sex. The hope for such a life rests upon the rejection of sentimentality and on openness to surprise.
Kegan and Illich write from quite different perspectives. Kegan being very much embedded within the professional educational institution towards Level 4 functioning, and Illich being in radical favor of tearing this institution back down to human scale. I read an essay comparing Illich's thought to Jordan Peterson's, but this seems like a superficial misreading of his brilliance. I would place him more at the level of Taleb.

Fuller's writing was also interesting because he was an early adopter of the rational optimist technophile philosophy. He writes about his grandfather telling him that when humans used to believe the world was flat, this implied endless possibilities at the unexplored horizon, but those who have fully comprehended the reality of the finite globe understand that resources are limited and if you want a decent life for yourself and your family, you must accept as natural and unavoidable that there are 500 other humans who will be losing as you win. So, to the young Fuller, the prospect that technology and innovation might transcend this grim pseudo-Darwinian tooth-and-claw competion with the rest of humanity as described by family patriarch, was a wonderful thing. I found this description interesting because it adds one more level to this dialectic, because the notion of the ancient flat world order implying endless resources hadn't occurred to me.

Anyways, one thought that emerged for me from these various readings was that if, as Illich argues, the modern educational institutions are the same sort of structural technology as the highway system, and these same systems have as their primary goal the achievement of "professionalism" which, as Kegan suggests, is a clear hallmark of Level 4 functioning, then isn't it more likely than not that Level 4 functioning is less a level of lifetime development of the individual, and more a level of human integration with the machine oriented hive-mind of a highly technological/bureaucratic/gender-neutered/culture-bleached modern environment?

As further evidence of this, it occurred to me that the earliest novel with a "modern voice" I can think of is "Tristram Shandy" and the very first humorous incident in the narrator's biography has to do with how his conception was correlated with his father's habit of winding the clocks and engaging in coitus on the same day each month.

*********
Unfortunately, I remain unable to make plans for my future beyond extending my reading list due to Covid vulnerability and excruciatingly slow healing of injuries due to what was either intestinal version of covid or some other ghastly infection. My mother is also hospitalized in ICU with several serious problems, but my sisters are doing all the necessary tasks. Since I am rather accustomed to oldest sister role, the fact that I am too incapacitated myself to help at all makes me feel rather like a character from Kafka.

Bright note would be that my BF and I seem to be getting along rather well in captivity. He was recently called back to work in his office a couple days/week which neither of us is thrilled about, but he is hyper-alert to his physical surroundings type, and he has his own office with door, so I'm not fretting too much because I am too invalid to go solo anyways. IOW, my outlook is more fatalistic than optimistic.

ertyu
Posts: 1441
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by ertyu »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:25 am
the earlier ones had more of the zing of prescient retro to me; maybe because written from a juncture where more options seemed possible?
this is likely survivor bias: the not-so-precient and not-so-insightful have probably long been relegated to the garbage bin whereas the works of truly exceptional thinkers stood the test of time.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@ertyu:

You may be right, but I'm not at all sure that Illich is being read widely these-a-days. Actually, both Illich and Fuller strike me as being brilliant in their observations whether right or wrong in their conclusions.

reepicheep
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by reepicheep »

I want to meet you someday.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@reepicheep:

That would be fun. I am contemplating a trip West next year.

reepicheep
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:45 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by reepicheep »

Come stay at my dysfunctional hippy cult!

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Thanks for the offer. I will likely be traveling with my dysfunctional hippie sister back to her old west coast haunts, so would be good fit :lol:

mooretrees
Posts: 388
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by mooretrees »

I want to meet you too! If you're doing an Oregon visit, count us in as willing hosts!

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@mooretrees:

Thanks! Obviously, all plans extremely tentative at this juncture, but rough plan is permaculture sites and old hippie haunts tour with possibility I will land at one project for a while.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 2049
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by classical_Liberal »

If you drive, post your itinerary so I can meet up with you somewhere too!

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@classical_Liberal:

Will do :)

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

This month I read or finished reading:

"This One is Mine"- Maria Semple
"Investing: The Last Liberal Art"- Robert Hagstrom
"In Free Fall"-Juli Zeh
"Heat Wave"-Penelope Lively
"Monkeys"-Susan Minot
"Super Sad True Love Story"- Gary Shteyngart
"Say When"- Elizabeth Berg
"Crazy in Alabama"- Mark Childress
"The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States"- Founding Fathers
"As the Pig Turns"- M.C. Beaton
"The Golden Spiders"- Rex Stout
"The Future is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives"- Peter Diamandis
"Life is in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age"- Bruce Feiler

So, running a bit further behind on my arbitrary annual goal and a bit heavy on the light reading this month. I started and did not finish many more books.

I noted that "Investing: The Last Liberal Art" was on Jacob's reading list after I finished it. Makes sense, because very congruent with "ERE." Hagstrom suggests that being/becoming a well-read generalist is a valid strategy towards some degree of success in investment. I am not qualified to offer judgment on this suggestion, but the upside of this strategy in my book is that it tends towards making the activity of investment more interesting in the same way that it lends more depth to activities such as travel. IMO, the "skin in the game" can go either way if you hold financial and knowledge gains as equally valuable.

In other news, my life has taken another turn towards the surreal. I am currently "employed" as pet-sitter/end-of-life companion to a highly eccentric, extremely wealthy friend. My "duties" are pretty light; ordering groceries for delivery from high end market, driving dog to parking lot of vet's office, texting health status reports to relatives, etc. If/when his condition goes into further decline, skilled health care professionals will be hired by his trustees, so I won't be on call for anything awkward like helping him to shower. The only bills I have to pay are my cell, car insurance, and rent on very small storage locker, so my savings rate is around 95%, give or take for miscellaneous.

Alphaville
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by Alphaville »

oh damn, i wasn’t aware that howard hughes (my code name for him) was in bad shape. i’m sorry to learn this about your friend. i hope you’re okay, emotionally i mean. you’re doing good work...

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Well, he’s the same age as my mother (who is not in great shape either), Nancy Pelosi, John Lewis and Anthony Fauci, so not entirely upsetting because unexpected. The Greatest Generation has pretty much entirely left the stage and now some of the youngest of the Silent Generation are checking out while others are still running the show. OTOH, he is a very disciplined rationalist, so bad luck relative to his level of health practices. Maybe around age 80 is when the stuff you can’t control begins to take larger role in longevity?

Alphaville
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by Alphaville »

i know... still sucks though. nevertheless, it’s great that he gets to have you around, so that certainly beats the gloom.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 2049
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by classical_Liberal »

It's an honor to be chosen to fill this roll at the end of life. Particularly by someone who obviously has options to choose as they please. Enjoy the time you have.

enigmaT120
Posts: 1212
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Location: Falls City, OR

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by enigmaT120 »

Where do you find all these wealthy friends? I think I might be the richest person I know....

More seriously, what a privilege. To care for a friend in need.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6632
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

My wealthy friend died. He gifted me with some shares of Google he bought umpteen years ago.

I started writing a novel. So far, it mostly sucks, but it is maybe a little bit funny. I decided that I needed to write a book that was maybe a little bit funny, because I ran out of amusing books to read that might cheer me up. Most of the best books are more on the serious side, but sometimes you just want a cookie. Obviously, one of my problems with this project will be that I never mastered punctuation due to liberal 1970s public education experience and/or the fact that I generally don't take a breath while I am talking, so it is hard for me to know where to put a comma when I am writing from my free verbal center.

Alphaville
Posts: 2072
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: 7Wannabe5- Take 6

Post by Alphaville »

i’m sorry about you friend dying, and i’m sorry you had to go through whatever trauma you hinted at in the other thread.

but about writing, 1) you’re very funny, so that’s great, and 2) don’t worry about the commas, they have copy editors for that, and many great writers have sucked at punctuation, grammar, spelling, etc

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