Candide: The Liminal Space

Where are you and where are you going?
candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

@grundomatic

I hope there is not too much unpleasantless with me leaving, but right now it does feel good.

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

Dropping Out of High School
======================

Well, I did turn in my resignation form on Wednesday, but instead of putting that very day as my final day or even the two week notice of other jobs, I decided to put December 15th, which ends the semester, but allows the job to be posted and a reasonable chance of getting a replacement hired and on-boarded in time for the next semester.

And while this is an act of kindness and consideration for students and my colleagues, it has also left me feeling a greater sense of freedom which has allowed me to face my days much more cheerfully. I’ll just do the parts I want to do, and ignore the rest with the facsimile of sociopathology that “how can you fire me when I’ve already quit?” allows for.

Even with that, 55 days (with 34 school days thanks to weekends, Thanksgiving Break, and one more professional day, which I will skip) is much easier to face than 214 days (with no calculation of work days that would be forthcoming).
Last edited by candide on Sat Nov 04, 2023 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ertyu
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by ertyu »

Congratulations!

What are you thinking next? Decompress?

shaz
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:05 pm
Location: Colorado, US

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by shaz »

Congratulations! That's very generous notice - I hope the people doing the hiring appreciate it. I have been trying to decide how much notice I will give once I decide my exact final day and the most I have considered is 30 days. Is the sense of freedom much greater than when you knew you would go but hadn't yet given notice?

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2023 2:52 am
Yeah, I'm taking at least a school semester off. I think I might try for my best all-time vegetable garden.
shaz wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2023 2:03 pm
Is the sense of freedom much greater than when you knew you would go but hadn't yet given notice?
Hard question to answer because I formulated the escape plan on a one-week break, and while that was a time of heavenly peace and attunement with my environment, there was no scope to resist anything, because there was nothing to turn down. For example, next Wednesday they are making all of the sophomores take a pre-ACT and since unlike the school ACT has requirements for conduct, the admin in charge is acting like students will be able to keep completely quiet and will just accept having their phones put up and to the side of the room... That's not an experiment I am all that interested in running, especially considering it will be with 26 students at random, so I will putting in a sick day.

So I would just say that it is very different feelings. One is the pleasure of the middle finger, the other living days at the right rhythm, based on what I want to do at the time... I think this also explains why I tend to gravitate toward mini-retirement over semi-retirement. I just love long stretches of time with no bad taste in my mouth. A day is great, but a week is even better.

shaz
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:05 pm
Location: Colorado, US

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by shaz »

The pre-ACT thing sounds like a good day to skip. A friend who is a teacher told me that the last time her students had to relinquish their phones for a period, some of them actually broke down into hysterics and it was generally a disaster. She said she will never participate in that again. Being a teacher seems a lot more difficult today than it was when I was in school. Enjoy the middle finger time while it lasts!

ertyu
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by ertyu »

Why do they not want to put their phones away? Are they worried about their phones being stolen? Or are the hysterics so they can keep their phone on them to cheat

shaz
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:05 pm
Location: Colorado, US

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by shaz »

@ertyu in my friend's case, it wasn't a testing situation so probably not about cheating. Best guess is too emotionally dependent on their phones. These were middle schoolers so a bit scary to think they would be that attached to phones. Or maybe just making drama, who knows?

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

ertyu wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2023 8:59 pm
I think stronger is the engineered addictions from the algorithms, slot machine games, and the fear of missing out.

In the case of my school for the (half)year, I can say that other than for standardized testing for other organizations (ie ACT), there is no point that the cell phone policy amounts to anything other than nagging children, and then begging their neglectful parents to look into it, please. Somewhat related, post covid there was two years of literally no attendance policy at all -- the students know of people who graduated with dozens of absences and did just enough word searches or computer "recovery" work to get through with that D... And while there has been a reinstatement of things like detentions and hall sweeps just this year, getting back to even approaching reasonable has taken some time.

I hope I have painted enough of a picture that you can see my students are in no way used to doing what they are asked to do. They are here for the free food, seeing people they know, easiest access to dealers, and getting a diploma that they feel (not without justification) is based on seat time. Other than my honors students, they have no buy-in for anything academic we have to teach. (Even then, several don't, and yes, are trying to cheat a lot, although very clumsily because they aren't used to someone who pays enough attention to catch them).

I don't see a standardized test giving off much of an aura for these students. It'll be either pulling teeth, or letting them get away with stuff. Neither sound that appealing to me when I stand to gain... nothing.

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

Pallet Nails
=========

As an update on this vital issue brought up here.

I had to rig up a structure for some poly sheeting to go over some vegetables before an impending frost, and since necessity is the mother of skipping steps, I just used some nails that had been pulled out of some pallets without removing the rust with vinegar first.

To make these nails useful, I often have to straighten them out. One way to do that is to place the nail on a brick with the bent part sticking up, hammering that part down, and then turning the nail, and repeating until it is mostly straight. Doing this knocked some of the rust off, so there is that.

Cost: $0. (Though tetanus shots recommended if you want to do this project).


F-Droid
======

Also in the land of re-purposing what I have, when my wife upgraded her phone she was not able to trade in the old one because the screen was cracked, so I was given it to play with.

It just sat for a while I continue to grind through the last unfulfilling semester of my career, but this week I finally got to tinkering with it, and have discovered how easy it is to get the F-Droid app to then get other free and open-source apps to an android device.

As it is, the main use I will find for the device is a dedicated music player that stays in the shop (with over 300 songs currently saved to the device and a few hundred more coming soon from another project of mine), but it is nice to know I can do anything with it, including a terminal emulator that allows bash or python scripts to be ran without having to gain root access on the device.

A real killer app from this suite is Organic Maps, which lets you save maps locally, meaning you won't be screwed if the you lose the internet.

...

I would be remiss to not share that I have heard of a security concern with F-Droid, which in essence claims that if F-Droid is compromised, it would cascade through all the apps.

A work around is suggested, but in my case I don't use my phone for email, purchases, or any banking, so I feel somewhat comfortable.

homeschoolingfamily
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2023 1:04 am

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by homeschoolingfamily »

Hi Candide. I've been going back through your journal(s) and becoming familiar with your story. Thanks for sharing with us here.

You shared in my journal that the anxious feeling of needing to be full-time employed resonated with you. So on that note, I want to praise you for trusting yourself and quitting your most recent teaching job. In my life, I have never regretted quitting a job. The build-up to that point is agonizing because we are fighting against ourselves. Now you've opened up space to nurture new ideas. I wish you the best.

I saw earlier that you dismissed the idea of teaching internationally due to DW being unwilling to leave the US.I know numerous teachers who have found new inspiration and much higher pay on the international school circuit. Contracts are usually 2 or 3 years with great conditions. Might be worth revisiting with her or seeding the idea?

ertyu
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by ertyu »

I'm an expat, too, and I meet lots of international teachers. you'd be amazed how much neuroticism spins out of people that aren;t built for living abroad. they can't deal with the fact that people do things differently and end up spending insane amounts to replicate their developed country lifestyle in a country that's not built for it and where it's totally impractical. I'm not saying don;t do it, but know what you're getting into.

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

Alas, neurotic I believe I am.

My wife and I have talked about leaving this silly red state, and even this country, before. But ultimately, family is our core, and so that day can't happen until her parents pass. It is also likely that she find enough community at her school (she is a librarian for an elementary school embedded in a neighborhood) that leaving will be ruled out even then.
homeschoolingfamily wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2023 9:15 pm
In my life, I have never regretted quitting a job. The build-up to that point is agonizing because we are fighting against ourselves. Now you've opened up space to nurture new ideas. I wish you the best.
Thanks. I am sure this is the right move, and I pretty sure there will be no regret once I leave.

20 more work days left in this miserable job. But whose counting?

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

Today's post is brought to you by hooky, and not only hooky today, but the realization early in the morning that I am also going to play hooky tomorrow, so I can do some writing today and make the clerical work more of a batch tomorrow.

That will leave me going in Friday, Monday, taking Tuesday off again, Wednesday to hand out a study guide, see half of the kids on Thursday for the Final, the other half on Friday. So, that is 9 calendar days, 7 work days, 5 that I will go in.

... But yes, whose counting indeed?

And while we're on questions, is it really a journal post by me without some kind of project? [1]

Jailbreaking Chromebooks
====================

The glut of Chromebooks being retired by schools at the end of Google offering support of the operating systems means that the price of a used Chromebook on Ebay is around $30. You can get the unit price down to $27 if you are willing to buy in bulk. Also, don't care if it comes with a charger? Unit price of sub-20. Don't care if the screen works since you have other monitors? Even cheaper... I saw the cost of $9 quoted by someone trying to hype this project (and go after those who would pay more for Raspberry Pi), but he is talking about an untested lot, so some of them are well and truly busted, making the unit price higher than his quote.

In any case, I liked the idea of having a few more computers. I look at my daughter toddling around, touching and testing everything, and I like the peace of mind of knowing the laptop sitting out is cheap and can be cheaply replaced. More expensive computers can be saved for another room.

But isn't it more time consuming to change the operating system on a Chromebook? Oh yeah. You're adding at least an hour or so to the process. It's not just getting in there to get that write-protect screw, it's the forced waits that Google adds to getting to developer mode, and the multiple reboots you have to do in order to get a uefi bios installed. But that extra time is how you get the price down that low. And I found it a pleasant enough bit of tinker time, fun in the small dose it was done in.


===
[1] The answer is yes, there are times I don't have a project, and in fact I have a few theoretical posts in mind for when I get more time to myself, such as a postmortem on how I made such a decision as taking this job.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 15787
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 77
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by jacob »

candide wrote:
Wed Dec 06, 2023 5:10 pm
[...] being retired by schools [...]
This does seem to depress the market price by a lot. Also the Dell Optiplex. But most importantly, the Alphasmart Neo2, which is to the laptop what a smartwatch is to the Casio F91W. Unfortunately supplies seem to be drying up... they used to be available on eBay for $30+free shipping.

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

Postmortem
=========

I had started a draft on a much more long-winded postmortem on my last job and the absurd piece I used as justification/copium. Apparently many writers through time have come to the witticism that they would have written something shorter if they had had more time. Well, I do have time now, so I will boil it down to:

1. Be wary of teaching because you cannot exit as easily as other jobs. This makes it very silly game to play from a risk/reward perspective.

2. I drastically underestimated the importance of autonomy. Without it, it is too easy for an organization to impose on me anti-progress and anti-meaning so strong that it wears me down for home projects that I was planning on using compensate... Another way of putting it is I have always noticed that a little time away from school and my brain starts working again.

3. I don't want a commute that takes me away from my daughter in the mornings. Because of the early start time of the school, I was leaving the house either before my child woke up or just minutes after she had, leaving her to say "bye bye" right up seeing me, which led me to give myself the grim nickname "Mr. Bye-bye." This was in no way what I wanted out of life, sacrificing quality time for money. Adding to that the fact that I was accomplishing nothing, and it was a sad reality indeed.

The Cyrano/Perkins Plan
===================

... Allow me to introduce my 3-phase plan for what I can contribute to the happiness of my child over her life span. (Ah, it turns out this will be long-winded, just not staying narrowly to the postmortem).

Some time ago, my wife dragged me to the Cyrano movie with Peter Dinklage in it, and early on a character says in response to Roxanne's romanticism "children need love. Adults need money." And struck me as something useful to think about. Now, of course, it is not really money itself, but what money buys that adults need; it is more accurate to say adults needs wealth, the ability to make calls on society's resources to provide for different wants and needs. So ERE means a parent who wants to increase the wealth of a child-turned-adult can also teach and model a great many skills, rather than just work a miserable job to be a piggy bank.

So far, so good, but I also want to add the concept of memory dividends from Bill Perkin's book "Die with Zero." And yes, Perkins does advocate burning through all of your money when you are alive, but this is not to say screw over your kids -- the opposite, actually: give money to your children when they can use rather than following the default plan of hoarding it until you croak. Too many people have to struggle during their healthiest years only to be made wealthy in their 60s. So, again, adults need money (wealth).... But also, in the book Perkins explains that great experiences pay a memory dividend and that can compound over time. Okay, something else to save for.

Putting it all together, what I owe my child, divided into phases of life:

1. (now) attention galore -- which I was failing at because of my stupid job, but won't now
2. (when she can remember) experiences to build memory dividends
3. (adulthood) wealth -- both money and skills

==

End note. Do I recommend the Perkins' book? Eh, meh. I enjoyed it, but I am normie enough to want a few stories to illustrate a concept, which in turn helps me take it to heart. I think Perkins underestimates the opportunity costs of forgoing *financial* compound interest for people of normal economic means. He just assumed that the money cannon can always be fired to buy a better experience to remember later-- which ignores marginal utility, and the fact that most of the best things in life are either free or cheap. Even when it comes to his best idea, there is nothing on extending the emotional impacts of these experiences to get maximum dividends. I'm just a guy, but here's some ideas: journaling, scheduled reviews, or reading about the areas and histories can help you get more out your portfolio of experiences. Lastly, the book very much hand waves on how exactly to die with zero. Something something annuities, something something long term care insurance.

In short, it is very much a book that needs to be balanced with other books.

User avatar
grundomatic
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2021 9:04 am

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by grundomatic »

Yeah, it's been a while since I read it, but Die with Zero still seemed very consumer-oriented to me. Something like "since money isn't the only thing, use your money to buy those things before you die." I also wondered why the need to buy all these great experiences when many great experiences are free? Like you mentioned, what about the hedonic treadmill? Instead of amassing money you won't use, one has to spend ever more money when "experiences" are bought.

I sometimes think about where books would fall on the ERE WL. Die with Zero seems like a book you'd hand to a WL3 to derail them. Rather than learning to be even more efficient with their money, they are taught to go back to spending it all. I suppose at least it's on a planned, intentional basis. Overall, it had a promising premise (money isn't everything, and spending the best years of your life to amass a hoard you won't even spend is a waste), but the wrong conclusion for me.

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

grundomatic wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2023 12:41 pm
I sometimes think about where books would fall on the ERE WL. Die with Zero seems like a book you'd hand to a WL3 to derail them.
Heh. Yeah. When you put it that way, I guess I don't recommend the book. :lol:

candide
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2022 9:25 pm
Location: red state America
Contact:

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by candide »

Copied over from the "phlog" I keep over in the gopher protocol at SDF.org. Hence the differences in formatting and tone.

===

I have recently ended a job that was so bad that I used
YouTube as a way to self-medicate. I'm not proud of that,
but I am even less proud of the fact that I took the job.
At least, I didn't do anything silly like join X, Facebook,
or even go back to Reddit. I also stayed away from news
other than sportsball... They're not going to get keep me
engaged through getting me enraged about what I have no
control over any more.

Now that I am done with the job, I am on an information
diet: no YouTube until the first weekend of the month. I
find that the YouTube algorithm tends to serve me up more
interesting things after I take a break, which allows for
the alternate possibility that there are only so many hours
of interesting (to me) content produced in a given period,
but I think there is also an effect of YT just giving me
more of the same as long I am scrolling, scrolling, but
showing some real diversity in the feed after a break.
But I hope that it is clear that it is more important to
not be on YT all the time than it is to improve the YT
experience when I am on it. In that spirit, I have made a
Chromebook that I have recently broken out of chrome OS
jail as my new daily driver. In true noob fashion, the
distro I installed is Mint, but to show some real gumption
I have taken the following steps: 1) uninstalled Firefox 2)
instead of a graphical browser, installed lynx 3) changed
the configuration file on lynx so it will ignore all cookie
requests -- changing his first .cfg file... our little noob
is growing up!

When I start up my device, I just open up the GNOME
terminal that ships with Mint (color theme changed to green
and black, if that helps anything) and I just stay with the
command line. It helps me to pay attention to what I really
want to in life. I have keep notes on the books I read,
nature around me, and the journal of my life and thoughts
in text files organized away in their appropriate place.
When I need information, I just jump over to Lynx, get what
I need, and move on. Here's my bookmarks in Lynx:

<LI><a href="gopher://gopher.floodgap.com/7/groundhog/us
/zipcode">Weather</a>
<LI><a href="gopher://gopher.club/1/phlogs/">SDF
PHLOGOSPHERE</a>
<LI><a href="http://www.ranprieur.com/">Ran Prieur</a>
<LI><a href="gopher://hngopher.com/">Hacker News</a>
<LI><a href="http://wiby.me/">wiby</a>
<LI><a href="https://portal.mozz.us/gemini/warmedal.se
/~antenna/">Antenna</a>
<LI><a href="https://theconversation.com/us/">The
Conversation</a>
<LI><a href="gopher://gopherpedia.com">gopherpedia</a>
<LI><a href="https://www.duckduckgo.com/">Duckduckgo</a>
<LI><a href="http://www.frogfind.com/">FrogFind!!</a>

Some notes on the list:

Lynx supports Gopher, which is how I got into it in the
first place. It does not support Gemini, but I still follow
that community using the portal.mozz web-proxy to
Antenna.

Now that I don't have easy access to a graphical browser,
gopher really is how I check the weather. As to when I have
questions, I try to use FrogFind often, but it is sometimes
down, so it is useful to have a link to Duckduckgo as
well... The rest are there for more general surfing, which
I am trying to avoid, but still find better than than
scrolling through the feeds produced by the recommendation
engines, with their aforementioned enrage to engage model.

OutOfTheBlue
Posts: 293
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2022 9:59 am

Re: Candide: The Liminal Space

Post by OutOfTheBlue »

Along with some other browser extensions to disable ads and sponsored content (such as UBlock Origin, SponsorbBock, etc,), I recommend Unhook, which let's you disable YouTube elements you don't want to see such as homepage videos, recommended content, etc. Another solution is LibRedirect to redirect websites like YouTube to privacy-respecting instances, such as Invidious. I prefer Unhook, since Invidious still shows homepage content.

On Android, NewPipe or LibreTube (both found on F-Droid) do the work and let you watch without ads, listen to content in the background (like with the screen off) and download audio/video, all without paying for the Premium version.

And here's a clip you might enjoy when you log back in: Bo Burnham - Welcome to the Internet - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1BneeJTDcU

Post Reply