Lemur Journal!

Where are you and where are you going?
RockyMtnLiving
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri May 08, 2020 8:49 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by RockyMtnLiving »

"Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" is a terrific book; I highly recommend it. I'm an existential nihilist -- at least I think I am -- and already tended to view philosophical matters from a scientific perspective. Indeed, if I had been smarter, I would have tried to be a cosmologist.

Anyway, that book was eye-opening on many levels about homo sapiens, and appealed to my nihilist tendencies. I believe that Harari is an atheist, so the book may not appeal to those who are religious.

User avatar
fiby41
Posts: 1357
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:09 am
Location: India
Contact:

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by fiby41 »

There are many reviews of Sapiens in its ERE book club thread that might be interesting to you but I'm not linking it here as it may contain spoilers.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

@RockyMtnLiving

Atheist here as well so no problem for me. My spouse is Catholic but from where she is from going to Church is more of a social function then anything. It is also walking distance and something to do on a Sunday morning I guess.

@fiby41

I'll have to hunt down that thread and fill up my 'To do reading list' notepad.

Now for the monthly update...a lot happened this month.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

October 1, 2020

Investments:
Invested - $294,000
Cash Savings - $7,900
Total - $301,900

1.) Moneywise a lot happened this month. Spouse & I decided to just simply pull all assets/investments together for 'Net Worth' purposes rather than track separately. Main reason there was simply no point since we're basically joined at the hip anyway. Any net profits that my Spouse is not re-investing into her business, she just gives to me to invest. Its a magical system really....2 people in synergy for the same goal. Also not tracking down to the decimal due to laziness.

2.) After 4 years of deliberation, the VA decided to award me a monthly payout for my back injuries. A 20% rating gives me $287.00 a month, every month, for life. Re-evaluations occur randomly or roughly every 5 years. Typically ratings will never decrease for chronic issues like mine. The payout also increases with inflation unless the Gov't decides not to do an inflation increase for any given year due to various political reasons. In any case, this is certainly a nice to have....last winter I was a real wreck so this could help cover the costs of doctor visits and physical therapies whenever I've flare ups. This also is the equivalent of [$287 * 12 = $3,444 / 0.04 = $86,100] for target net worth purposes. I can subtract this off the projected $600k.

Combining the 2 above; my SWR decreases a bit. From the SWR log with an update:

08/06/2020 - 12.44% [$600,000 * 0.04 = $24,000 / $193,000]
10/01/2020 - 6.81% [$513,900 * 0.04 = $20,556 / $301,900]

Physical Health / Diet: Down another 2 lbs only to 177. I am still right on track to reach my goal weight of 162lbs by February 1 or so. I took it a bit easier last month but will be more disciplined this month as I want to 'get this over with'. 15lbs to go.

Mental Health: Doing better but need to avoid political arguments with my Trump supporting friend. I've grown tired of being sent right-wing disinformation videos every other day. My ballot was sent out so to my friend; my decision has been made already so no more need to convince me who is right to vote and who isn't. This whole system blows anyway. On a positive note, having rid of Facebook, Reddit, and visiting no news sites other then Reuters has down wonders for my mental health and attention span.

Job:: Still seeking next project.

Gardening: Harvested the last two pumpkins and tossed the vines and grown weeds/grass into my compost bin. Pulled a lot of cucumbers last month. I've a lot of potatoes, some tomatoes, still growing. As we're likely to move next year, no big fall gardening projects for me.

Family: Posted in my last month update...but Spouse & I have come to an easy realization that being able to split housing costs and utility bills with my sister these past few years has been a huge boon to our savings. My sister is contemplating purchasing a house and having her boyfriend move in next year. Great news is that my sister recognizes the financial benefits as well and has invited us to live with her and continue splitting costs in the next few years. Her boyfriend and I ....have literally nothing in common lol but the ERE book had a good reminder about how people these days can't live together due to 'atrophied social skills'. We will make this work because the benefit far outweighs any social conflicts.

If the above doesn't work out or doesn't materialize, spouse and I will rent somewhere. We're both in sync that we do not want to purchase a house. In fact, I'm terrified of home purchasing anyway lol.

Other: Finished 'The Story of B'. Need to return that book to the library and choose the next book.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

Did pick up Sapiens book. Great read so far. That feeling you get 10 pages into a book knowing this is going to be a good investment of your time is priceless.

In other thoughts...my argument / debating skills suck IRL. I can’t help but be condescending when running constantly into arguments with my ‘conspiracy theory’ friend over everything from politics, to science, and to what constitutes as good information.

Like I read this and thought man are these disagreements even worth it lol.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wikiho ... %3Famp%3D1

Edit: One example of what I’m dealing with here. My friend believes that aliens created humans a few million years ago because scientists can’t find the transition fossil. 🙄 Enlightening my friend about evolution, how common ancestor works, etc and arguing with credible sources does not work...I don’t know why that doesn’t work but my friend will literally discredit the source immediately and double down on whatever conclusion he already picked. Anyone who has ever argued with a conspiracy theorists can relate...

Jokes aside...some humans are complicated. I have been doing research in what draws people to conspiracy theories in the first place and how to argue with someone who is prone to these lines of thinking. My short research is telling me that it isn’t worth it and I have better things to do with my time. OTOH, I value the relationship I have with this friend too so ... best policy might be to either avoid these discussion or just become an active listener primarily. Maybe just do Socratic questioning or just go the Lebowski route “well that is just like your opinion man.”

daylen
Posts: 1712
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by daylen »

Try not to think of it as argumentation but rather as mutual self-discovery (and later on as mutual self-development... then as self-transformation).

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

Thanks @daylen. I try to be objective but it’s pretty tough sometimes as anti-science tends to trigger me I guess.

The question ‘is humanity worth saving’ used to be debatable before for me but after 2020 and really learning about my average countrymen ...my answer changed to No. I don’t think we humans are capable of getting to the next type civilization. It’s like we’re missing a wiring somewhere...our technology is progressing faster then our brains can evolve I guess.

Anyway that was off a bit off topic. Thanks for a succinct post...my friend is gonna draw his own conclusions anyway . Maybe I just plant seeds and hope they sprout rather than over water. I need to work on patience, maybe some empathy (people drawn to conspiracy don’t all have bad intentions), and maybe like you said don’t view as an argument but rather a conversation.

daylen
Posts: 1712
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by daylen »

When conversing with others I have found that if I instinctionally jump to the conclusion that their view is arrogant then it is always possible to re-frame the situation such that their view is expected/rational. This frame could make use of incomplete information, skewed sampling, or hidden attractors. Though, I try to also invert the situation such that there exist a frame in which my view is also partial, and hence there must exist a potential conversation with an embedded lesson that allows me to transcend my current view. For instance, within this conversation I am attempting to work out how I might later water the seed it has created in my own mind.
Last edited by daylen on Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12871
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by jacob »

If you really want to ... try to change their "operating system". His/their current epistemology runs on confirmation bias. In this case "doing his research" means confirming his pre-existing beliefs/hypothesis, typically by googling and finding a link to confirm. This only serves to strengthen his beliefs by adding yet another quanta/data point and not only does he get exposed to more disinformation that way but he also thinks he is being scientific about it. If you guys keep engaging, he'll become increasingly sure of his "skepticism" but also get committed to the position effectively moving in the direction of having to double down.

Confirmation bias is one of the strongest and most common biases. The lack of critical thinking follows from that => confirmation bias is literally uncritical thinking. Science is actively constructed to attempt to eliminate it by seeking to disconfirm (reject the hypothesis) rather than confirm. The best way out of this quagmire is to ask "if there's a more probable explanation ... " because it implicitly points in the direction of seeking disconfirmation + it gives the person a face-saving way out.

However, it is extremely hard if not impossible to "fix stupid", so it might be that efforts are better spent trying to contain the damage or/and use [stupid] to serve an example of what not to do. This depends on how harmless the beliefs are.

User avatar
Egg
Posts: 209
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:59 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Egg »

Might be off topic or too abstract, but thinking that 'fixing stupid' is a worthwhile exercise only really makes sense if you think being wrong - in the sense of incorrectly perceiving an objective truth - is a bad thing. I'm not so sure that's the case. Truth is overrated imho.

daylen
Posts: 1712
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by daylen »

@Egg I would tend to agree on an individual basis concerning topics of a more philosophical nature, but stupidity on practical topics often hurts/kills others. Some stupid people end up just hurting/killing themselves, but often they end up doing more harm to those around them without even realizing it.

Oh, and let's pretend I didn't conflate stupidity with specific people above and instead assume I was speaking of actions or goals. :)

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

In our polarized political environment, learning how to “agree to disagree” has become a lost art. Luckily, I believe that most amounts of stupid are not harmful...until they lead to things like anti-vaccine, anti-mask wearing, or belligerent conspiracy theories that turn violent.

Hence why Jacob’s point of ‘containing the stupid’ makes sense. Maybe preventing one from going down the nonsense rabbit holes should be the primary goal as opposed to outright disagreeing with whatever point is being made by opposition because they’re already sucked in via confirmation bias.

daylen
Posts: 1712
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by daylen »

Lemur wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:15 pm
Luckily, I believe that most amounts of stupid are not harmful...until they lead to things like anti-vaccine, anti-mask wearing, or belligerent conspiracy theories that turn violent.
I worry more about drunk driving, unhealthy habits, thrill seeking, gang violence, industrial accidents and the like which make up the majority of pre-mature deaths/injuries these days and can usually be linked back to a single stupid decision as opposed to becoming possessed with an idea/ideology which is easier to contain.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

@daylen

I see.

BTW this point was very useful today actually...
if I instinctionally jump to the conclusion that their view is arrogant then it is always possible to re-frame the situation such that their view is expected/rational.
Same friend texted me that "Dude did you see the VP debate last night? Pence WRECKED Harris".

My first reaction was to fire back....instead I didn't act so surprised. Revisited these late posts and thought for a bit. Of course this happened. My friend has an incredible bias here as a Trump supporter....And being candid with myself, of course I've at least some bias towards supporting Biden/Harris (more to do with being anti-Trump...) but reminding myself this isn't a sports game.

Keeping this in mind, instead I said something along these lines: "I don't know if I agree with wreckage, but Pence was obviously very well prepared and caught Harris in some contradictions. What part of Pence's points did you like most btw?"

I let him get out with his thought process...and instead of him going down a "shit on Harris / DEM' tirade, I let this be more positive by letting him talk about positive points of another person (Pence). It was a interesting discussion. One where I compromised (Edit: Maybe not so much as compromising but just finding middle grounds...there are certain things I will never compromise on ...) a bit and thought carefully with my language but still stood my ground. I noted how it was nice that Pence & Harris were generally respectful towards one another could agree to disagree and felt that most viewers found that important and something we should do ourselves. We personally hadn't had a polite conversation in a while lol.

ertyu
Posts: 1435
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by ertyu »

This is the part that's within your power to do. For me, the question would be, is the other person willing to also stop and express interest in my views and ask me about the points I found persuasive? If they can't extend to me the same courtesy, attention, and respect, I would question the friendship: not because our views disagree, but because of how the person behaves towards me when our views disagree.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

@Ertyu

Good point. I've been too forgiving in this regards...telling my friends/family that I think it is generally okay that people get a little emotional talking about political topics within a month of the election. I can't wait until this whole thing blows over.

I had a good conversation with my friend about why we get into these arguments. He doesn't think its too big a deal but I told him its been bothering me a bit. I'm glad we had this conversation. We concluded essentially that people tend to tie their identities a bit to their political identities in one way or another...and some issues people just feel too strongly about.

Case in point (paraphrasing):

Me: Hopefully our State will be 100% off fossil fuels one day...the sooner the better.
Friend: Yeah but we can't stop fracking; at least it needs to be phased out plus solar energy isn't economically viable.
Me: Maybe true. Haven't seen the prices myself, I would imagine it is location dependent but a good 25% of our energy already comes from Nuclear.
Friend: Yea..Nuclear scares me though.
Me: Continuing to burn fossil fuels scares me more.
Friend: [changes topic as he probably figured this is going to lead to my climate change diatribe lol].

In any case...I've voted, he has voted, I said lets agree to watch the election from an 'outside observer' lens. Middle ground met here. Takes the pressure off of us (not tying to identify) and just discussing / watching the news as it if were a sitcom...a very bad sitcom.

ertyu
Posts: 1435
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by ertyu »

Give yourself a break from the news if you've already voted man; it's not even my country and I feel like I need self-care from all the BS you guys have got going :lol:

Glad you and friend are finding common ground. One thing that was told to me by a physics dude is that in its regular course of operation, a coal power plant emits more radiation than a nuclear power plant. It's only when shtf that it gets bad.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

One more month and I'm on a new project with my firm. 85% chance I get a new project, 10% chance I take a different job altogether, 5% chance I hang on in irrational loyalty to my company and end up on the unemployment line.

I'm re-reading the Gervais principle at the moment. I'm gaining new insights now after having been in the same corporate role almost 2 years and I actually watched 'The Office' this time around.

It is more clear to me now...I am, in reality, an over-performing loser and current Senior Mgmt knows it and hence why there is always this push to get me to middle management (babytalk) ...because they think I'm clueless. If it weren't for FIRE/ERE money, I probably would be a full-blown clueless having lacked the social skills and political skills of a sociopath.

My actions say clueless but my mind says loser. The Gervais Principal is a fun read :) The only reason I don't totally slack off and just under-perform is because I don't get inner-satisfaction from that.

Maybe I can spice things up by turning sociopath and taking chances...I have like ...10x+ years of expenses anyway lol. Actually nevermind, that sounds stressful.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 1467
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

It’s stressful but worth it. I come in early, stay late, work weekends, essentially do all the work other people would do if they weren’t hiding at home doing God knows what, and as a consultant I get paid for every hour I work.

My contract is winding down and they dangled the full time position in front of me. Gee, the opportunity to be a donkey with a lower salary who does not get paid overtime. I got another 15%+ boost to take another project elsewhere. Cya.

User avatar
Lemur
Posts: 819
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Lemur Journal!

Post by Lemur »

Interesting Watch: The battle against climate change by Paul Kingsnorth - Docu https://youtu.be/Q_s8Vo00Xug

Post Reply