brute journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Riggerjack
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Re: brute journal

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:54 pm

Building patios for food money that one knows will not be subsequently used fills the belly, but probably doesn't provide satisfaction. Building patios for free that will never be used is work for works sake.
You seem very caught up in this work for works sake thing. Which is a bit odd on an early retirement site. But we each have our own life story.

The relevant part of building a patio is the learning and the doing, and the repeating. Not whether someone else uses it. If you learn to build a fire by rubbing sticks together, is that an empty experience because the fire burnt up all your carefully crafted materials? Is it empty because of the invention of matches? Before that, I was someone who knew that fire could be started by rubbing sticks together. After, I was someone who COULD start a fire with sticks.

The fire is nothing special, but I am changed. What I am describing is a system for identifying the change to make.
1- Washing dishes is the kind of activity that allows you to be present without having your mind jumping around

2- Resting is a status in wich you either disconnect your mind (by switching on tv, for example) or you let your mind jump around
I will be the first to say that mindfulness and meditation makes no sense to me. Each time I hear somebody describe it, I seems I'm completely missing something, or missing everything. But for me, washing dishes (my least favorite chore) or resting (at the time I wrote that, I was specifically thinking of standing in my living room, looking out the window at nothing much) would be nearly the same line of thoughts. Neither requires my attention, so my mind wanders... But, some people think very differently when doing a task and doing nothing. I was hoping to catch the activity that leads to a wandering mind. That speculative mindset.

So, when you are freely speculating, how happy are you? If the answer is not as happy as you want to be, then you have to figure out why.

For me, it was that I wasn't who I wanted to be, that I hadn't done what I wanted to have done. So I started doing those things, and learning those things, and in the process, became who I am. I'm not done, but I am happy.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: brute journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:51 pm

Riggerjack wrote:What I am describing is a system for identifying the change to make.
What I was suggesting is that there should be a metric which combines Complexity and Entropy to determine likelihood of Satisfaction from Work. The first time you build a patio, you increase Complexity in your brain, and in the environment. The second time you build a patio, you make the same increase to Complexity in the environment, but less of a change to Complexity in your brain. If you do no work, you will still convert complex food into less complex poop and heat, and you will not feel good because if a human did feel good when it did that, then humans would not have developed the capacity to create highly complex hive environments which greatly aid our survival. Then other creatures would have eaten us. Before humans started using fire, gnawed human bones were found in animal caves. After humans started using fire, gnawed animal bones were found in human caves. Therefore, BRUTE needs to at least do work that is as complex as is the work that would be required to hunt/forage and prepare the food he eats, if he LITERALLY wants to feel content/secure in his ability to experience SATISFACTION (root=sate) through the means of his work. Otherwise, he will retain a subconscious anxiety informing him that it is likely that the other members of his tribe will choose to eat him.

Fun Fact: Very young humans, pre-verbal-not-yet-acculturated, when given anything resembling a shovel and pail and a sandbox, will almost always choose to dump the sand out of the sandbox, even when repeatedly instructed to keep it in the box. It seems to me this is because it seems to them that they are accomplishing something when they dump it elsewhere. Babies aren't just cute. They are very interesting people to observe, because they have not yet entered "the cave."

classical_Liberal
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Re: brute journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:07 am

Riggerjack wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:54 pm
You seem very caught up in this work for works sake thing. Which is a bit odd on an early retirement site. But we each have our own life story.
Yes, perhaps I should have framed my queries more appropriately or at least provided some context. Since @brute has moved from total freedom of time and location to, now, working again, the level of satisfaction expressed in his posts has dramatically increased. This initially frightened me, as my major motivation for ERE was to have total freedom of time and location. I now realize this freedom may have appeal, for awhile, but eventually I'll likely face issues with this type of lifestyle, as so many others in this forum.

Folks here have varied goals in ERE related to self-sufficiency or raising children, etc. Outside of a generic "wanting to be free", I have none. So I think it's important for me to understand what I'm running towards, particularly as the length of the race begins to shorten. If some form of work, or at least accomplishment, is the backbone of long term satisfaction; maybe my financial goals don't need to be as aggressive (ie money is a solved problem thread). Rather my time should focus more on what type of activities will bring me this satisfaction with the freedom I already have. Hence, understanding why some forms of work provide satisfaction and others do not seems important.
Riggerjack wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:54 pm
So, when you are freely speculating, how happy are you? If the answer is not as happy as you want to be, then you have to figure out why.
When I'm freely speculating I'm happy as hell. I love possibilities! When I have to make a choice, I very much get trapped in the paradox of choice.

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daylen
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Re: brute journal

Post by daylen » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:32 am

Riggerjack wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:54 pm
I will be the first to say that mindfulness and meditation makes no sense to me. Each time I hear somebody describe it, I seems I'm completely missing something, or missing everything.
You may have already developed the abilities; many rationalist do.

Essentially, meditation and mindfulness are intended as a set exercises towards disassociating from your thoughts and feelings. Once you start to do this instinctively you can move on to various meta-cognitive techniques which allow you to not only observe your stream of consciousness but to alter your thought patterns. Once you master meta-cognition you can reprogram your mind however you want. :D

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Re: brute journal

Post by rref » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:02 pm

.
Last edited by rref on Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

suomalainen
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Re: brute journal

Post by suomalainen » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:01 pm

A recent post to @brute’s point above about mmm being more a cult of personality compared to the ere approach.

https://www.caniretireyet.com/mr-money- ... more-10527

#19

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Riggerjack
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Re: brute journal

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:11 pm

Essentially, meditation and mindfulness are intended as a set exercises towards disassociating from your thoughts and feelings. Once you start to do this instinctively you can move on to various meta-cognitive techniques which allow you to not only observe your stream of consciousness but to alter your thought patterns. Once you master meta-cognition you can reprogram your mind however you want. :D
Uh huh. And what are you dissociating your thoughts and feelings from, exactly? And how exactly does that differ from a zombie? I've never been able to really, deeply, become one with the broom while sweeping, mainly because I was just sweeping. Adding more intensity makes it more difficult, without improving the job I'm doing. I just don't understand what the goal is.

Also, WTF would you want to reprogram your mind?!?

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daylen
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Re: brute journal

Post by daylen » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:58 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:11 pm
Uh huh. And what are you dissociating your thoughts and feelings from, exactly?
From your identity, beliefs, motivations, and so forth (all the subjective stuff). Some people don't do this automatically.
Riggerjack wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:11 pm
I've never been able to really, deeply, become one with the broom while sweeping, mainly because I was just sweeping. Adding more intensity makes it more difficult, without improving the job I'm doing. I just don't understand what the goal is.
Why would you want to become one with the broom? Where did that come from? What does that even mean? :lol:

Look up metacognition on Wikipedia if you want to know what I am talking about. Why wouldn't you want to have more control over the most vital system to your own existence?

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Riggerjack
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Re: brute journal

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:58 pm

Ok. I'm still confused. Bewildered. I looked up metacognition, it seemed slow and clunky, like showing my work in trig. I completely fail to understand the need or the appeal.

And I could probably go on not understanding for way too long to be sidetracking BRUTE's journal. I'll start a new thread, so I can tax many people's patience, and stop derailing this thread. I'll post a link here when I have it.

And here it is:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=9588

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bryan
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Re: brute journal

Post by bryan » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:47 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:11 pm
Also, WTF would you want to reprogram your mind?!?
I think that's the craziest thing I've seen you write on the forums! There's innumerable reasons why one would want to "reprogram" oneself.

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Riggerjack
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Re: brute journal

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:37 pm

I'll take your word for it.

My mental image of this looks like a guy with a fire ax and a hammer telling me how these are the right tools to reprogram my PC.

So, no. It's not that I can't see the appeal of reprogramming or optimizing. It's that our understanding of the mind and the tools, is so far from where I would need it to be before I started crowbarring, it's not even worth considering.

Or maybe I just think the reward is just too small and risk too great.

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bryan
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Re: brute journal

Post by bryan » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:15 pm

You can reprogram yourself with, again, innumerable tools/methods. So it sounds like you are just suspicious of meta-cognition/meditation/mindfulness/etc (whereas you said "WTF would you want to reprogram your mind")? I don't do any of that but still reprogram myself (says me, at least) regularly (usually with something like a book/movie).

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Re: brute journal

Post by jennypenny » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:18 pm

I would use the word 'rewire' instead of 'reprogram'. It's not changing your mind, but helping it function better.

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bryan
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Re: brute journal

Post by bryan » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:46 pm

Well it's true I don't know much about how the brain and bodily networks actually work (for instance, is it more akin to a PLC or the internet or fungus or ??).. but reprogram seems to make good sense (since we are doing it from a higher level than whatever actual alleged rewiring might happen). Both could be correct. I grant that the brain is not structured or works exactly like a von Neumann CPU+memory: a configuration that most people might think of when you say "reprogram". I suppose "machine learning" may be the most analogous to human learning?

Of course in computing you have different philosophies and paradigms, just like in other subjects. Apt is the "code as data" thing.

Writing a human program (so far) happens inside a previous human (first compilation too?) and the assembly/linking probably happens inside the womb. Humans seem to be quite flexible after birth, so I think they are constantly reprogramming themselves as well. Or at least it is a good analogy until we better understand human biology etc.

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BRUTE
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Re: brute journal

Post by BRUTE » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:22 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:01 pm
This is about being the man I wish to be.
how does Riggerjack know what kind of man he wants to be?

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7Wannabe5
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Re: brute journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:45 am

What differentiates an animal from a rock is that if a rock is rolling down a mountain towards you, it is in your rational self-interest to not ascribe it with any internal systemic motivation, but if an animal is running down a mountain towards you it is in your rational self-interest to ascribe it internal systemic motivation. What differentiates Riggerjack from any other animals currently inhabiting this planet is that he has the ability to name, and thereby objectify, his internal systemic motivations.

IOW, Riggerjack knows the qualities of the man he wishes to be by the same process that he knows the taste of the animal he hunts and roasts prior to placing morsel in mouth.

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BRUTE
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Re: brute journal

Post by BRUTE » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:39 am

5 years of expenses

classical_Liberal
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Re: brute journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:33 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:39 am
5 years of expenses
Volatility remains volatile

Forgive me for using your journal as my own personal sounding board, but I’m in the process of synthesizing some perspectives and I appreciate your thoughts.

The recent thread on Jordan Peterson (I had never heard of him), spawned some reading and viewing re his theories. His ideas on the archetypal heroes/gods/serpents serving as valuable contributors to overall human psyche as part of a biological, evolutionary process have been particularly helpful. I’m now able to reconcile why people I care about continue to hold onto their religious ideals as fact, even when faced with obvious evidence to the contrary. This theory is really helping my personal relationships with people and helped me to reconcile my own tendency to want to believe in good/evil, God/devil, known/unknown, ect.

All of this reminded me of a comment you made on your journal back when I first began posting in this forum
BRUTE wrote:
Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:57 pm
probably right. brute has always despised humans that are just running after a carrot dangles before them, but maybe that's just what they're wired to do. recognizing this does not invalidate its mechanism.
I find this very insightful now, when synthesizing it with the above. Perhaps chasing this dangling carrot is an inherent part of the human psyche. Maybe it’s part of natural selection and something important to human fulfillment. Maybe it’s a biological imperative for which we have little control, much like Peterson’s theories of the need for the ideas of good/evil.

Now that you are employed again, your posts seem to emanate a more fulfilled, or maybe positive tone. I’m curious, do you think this the result of having carrots to chase on your hamster wheel? Obviously you’re fully aware of the fact you’re on the wheel, but it doesn’t seem to be taking away from the enjoyment of running. Put another way, do you think the distraction to trying to reach proverbial carrot, even if unattainable, a better distraction than just running the wheel?

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Riggerjack
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Re: brute journal

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:19 am

how does Riggerjack know what kind of man he wants to be?
Wow. Sorry for the slow response, I had to think about it.

I'm just not that rigorous. I didn't plan out who I wanted to be.

As a kid I was poor. Drugs, dirty clothes, evicted, and homeless kind of poor. I went to 20 schools before I graduated early. I never attended the same school 2 years in a row.

Being geeky, and moving that much, and all the other baggage, by the time I was an adult, I had been judged and found wanting by pretty much everyone I had ever known.

So primarily, initially, the man I wanted to be was just a man without so much baggage. I started with money, by getting a job, and normalizing that.

Then I joined the army as a hard reset to my life and self. Not that I saw myself as wanting to be a soldier, but more as a way out of where I was and what I was doing. Find new skills, try something completely contrary to my nature. And I got a lot out of the army. I just wish I enlisted for 2 years rather than four, as most of the learning curve flattened after 2.

I got out, bummed about for a year or two, then got into cabling. This, unlike previous jobs at least had career potential, and in my mid twenties, I worked my way into being a foreman.

Being a foreman was a great, and incredibly stressful experience for me. It forced me to pay continual attention to social games. Usually, I lost patience with social positioning scrambling. But now I needed to know who did what tasks better, who works well with whom, who loses productivity when tired, or hungry, who had troubles at home, or my favorite, who could work on their own, without me checking up on them. I dreamed about this, and thought about it as I got ready for work, at work, when I got home, then I dreamed about it again.

And during those years, I experimented with my behaviors, and how to use body language and social positioning to help my crew focus on my goals.

I can't tell you how horrific it would be, to have me as a boss. Someone dedicating their life to finding ways to help you focus on his goals, has to be about as uncomfortable and messed up as it sounds. But the plus side for me, is that having been that horrible manic obsessive boss, is that I have developed some extreme tolerance for the failings of other bosses. I don't want the job, so I have a much easier time letting go of the bad decisions of people doing jobs I don't want to do.

Then I got a job in engineering, where I can rest at work, and focus on my life outside of work.

So, deciding who I wanted to be wasn't a well thought out process, but rather it was me fixing areas that I felt were weak.

First I fixed money, by getting a job.

Then I picked a hard reset with the army, and learned lessons about peers I had never had before.

Then I found a job that could be a career, and had to pay attention to social games, learn to accept leadership and to help others accept my leadership.

At the same time, I had to work on my relationship skills. Figuring out how to be a partner, then how to expect/demand partnership from my partner, which is an entirely different thing. Then I found my wife, who has really brought all the pieces together.

And for the last decade, I have been focused on not needing a job anymore.

So really, I don't have a recipe for deciding who the man is that you want to be. I started by patching the holes, then cutting out the parts I didn't like, then grafting on the pieces I wanted, but didn't have. None of which is terribly helpful if you don't feel inadequacies, and don't have areas to you want to grow into more.

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Riggerjack
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Re: brute journal

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:17 pm

On a separate note, I have a friend, Humberto, a Puerto Rican by way of NYC. Hard geek, then Navy, now a tech. Great, smart guy, but he enjoys rubbing people the wrong way. Loves showing the world who is smarter, because usually it's him. This isn't what I would describe as a smart pattern.

But, because we are both exmilitary geeks, we get along fine. And he was telling me about being treated poorly when buying flowers for his wife. That despite having spent ridiculous amounts of money over the years, when he went inside and dealt with a new storekeeper, she kept trying to sell him the bargain flowers. Yeah, he's in a torn up jacket and dirty jeans from work, and he hasn't shaved in a few days, but she shouldn't assume he can't pay for better flowers...

At this point, I tried to break it down from the sales ladies' perspective, that she was trying to help. And more to the point, she's working at a flower shop, dealing with the public.

"Yeah, well I work with the public, too."

No, he has to deal with customers, who have arranged for him to get there, and he's going to solve a technical problem for them that they cannot solve for themselves. This is entirely different from dealing with the random public.

I believe in the principal of charity. Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by stupidity or incompetence. Never assume that an ambiguous comment was meant in the negative light. She didn't treat you like you wanted to be treated. Was this by malice or incompetence? Well, she's working at a flower desk for minimum wage, at the peak of a long boom cycle in the economy; that doesn't argue for her being overly competent, does it?

"That really is charitable. So you think she's just not capable of being a better flower salesgirl, so I should cut her some slack. You can be a really condescending prick, man. Maybe she was just having a bad day,"

I don't ascribe to her a charitable interpretation of her actions, for her. I do it for me.

"WTF are you talking about?"

You had a bad buying experience. You were not helped by a sales person in the way you wanted to be. You decided it was because you were being judged for your appearance, that this judgement was inaccurate, and you are still pissed off as you describe the situation to me. I used to do this, and I was angry all the time. But as I have watched people make a hash of their lives all around me, I have really come to realize how little thought most people put into most of their decisions, and most of what they are doing is reacting badly to bad situations, often of their own making, that I am only part of, by interacting with them. From this, I take:
1. Control. I'm only getting this BS from this person because I chose to interact with this person. This was my choice, and if we continue, that is also my choice. Accepting my role in the current unpleasant situation, gives me the choice as to continue to be there or not. This is something that is happening in my presence, it is NOT something someone is doing to me.

2. By removing malice as a cause, it stops being personal. This isn't the salesperson being mean to me, this is me dealing with someone not capable or interested in doing her job better. If she's being a bitch to me, I need to do something about it, making her problem, my problem. If she is incompetent, her problem is her boss' problem, and I don't have to care.

The principal of charity allows me to let go of her, and her problems, and allows me to focus on my life. Not carrying around the possible injustices makes me a happier man. Not internalizing her judgement of me, dismissing her opinion, allows me to continue to be happy with me.

Now I'm not saying to just ignore negative feedback. I'm saying to judge the judgement of others. If people are always giving you the stink eye, maybe look to what would cause that reaction. If someone is having a bad day, you don't have to share it. And if someone thinks you are foolish/ugly/stupid, that only matters as much as you care what they think. You can't please everyone all the time, so there's no reason to carry around the judgement of others, especially the impersonal judgements.

Now, as I described in the previous post, I was judged in well deserved harsh light in my youth. I know what it is to subconsciously expect rejection. I'm a geek, my wife and friends are geeks, and I'm old enough that the term held no power in my youth. Geeks were the smart rejects, but nobody would fail to recognize the rejection. And now as adults, they still, when in public, carry that defensive posture, the expectation of rejection to a greater or lesser degree.

And they get treated differently than I do. It sounds fcuked up, but it's true. I have watched people being very rude to my wife when I am not right there. She's grinding coffee at Costco, and some slightly older and bigger woman will try to dominate the space. Standing right next to her, invading personal space trying to rush her out, so she can use the grinder. People drive carts to cut her off, and try to edge in, and force her to give way. Humberto has the same problem. My wife thinks it is because I am big and she isn't. Humberto thinks it's because I am white, and he isn't. I think it has everything to do with bearing. Because I was treated like that when I was young, but now I'm not. I was big and white in my youth, but I didn't know how to signal "clear a path" or "I have infinite patience" without explicitly stating such things. So I didn't. And I was treated like it.

This a side effect of my time as a foreman, of learning to move people by helping them find themselves where I wanted them to be. I don't really know how to describe it, and I don't usually do it on purpose, it is just a fringe benefit of being who I am.

So part of what makes me a happy man, is not taking on the negative judgement of random strangers, and part of it is not experiencing the negative judgement very much.

Rereading this, it seems hopelessly muddled. But I hope it helps.

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