Archive

Introspection

A narrative on how Energy is real and imagined, commutable, attained and ordained.

I puzzled over fixing up one of Jamie’s computers for a while because it had these weird vibes. It’s an old Alienware brand. A going-to-college gift or whatever, because the product was released in a similar timeframe, and I can picture it when I visited him at his first apartment.

It had a mostly vanilla Windows 7 install, a couple games, last login in 2011. And a handful of crippling viruses, which was odd since he was my mentor growing up in all things computers. His account username was “Magistrate,” which belongs to the lexicon of “cool words” we both intuitively knew and used since early childhood, derived from fantasy books, games, etc.

I spent several days running different kinds of antivirus and restorative techniques. But it was super fucked beyond my competency to repair. Rather; by the books, the correct and safest thing to do with an infected “black box” is wipe it clean. So I junked it for Ubuntu. Not just to be practical; the power port is still broken and the specs are obsolete, this is not a practical machine.

Rather, it’s this feeling I had staring at his login, “Magistrate.” I wanted to salvage Windows to preserve this sentiment. Ultimately, I erased it to erase it.

His other rigs never bothered me, I never once considered preserving their similar entitlements. Of course, Jamie would name his other computer “Psionic Master.” Duh. And I wouldn’t. But we’re talking about you and me.

What bothers me is the juxtaposition of his persistent, unique, and likable personality traits (naming his computer Magistrate is fucking cool) with evidence dating to the beginning of his acute deterioration, around 2011, as denoted by the computer’s dysfunction. Like a disappointing time capsule.

Anyway, what’s done is done. Now when I see that machine, it’s empty. Bland. Dull. It’s like, literally just a computer. A thing that there is. A discomfort was once contained in this object and I could choose to engage with or avoid it, dictating the experience or lack thereof.

And yet this vague tension I have surrounding “Magistrate” persists because in destroying this thing, I took the dark energy from it and into myself.

I caught a computer virus.

Whether or not you like someone is either a choice or a habit; in either case, the onus is on you for this relationship, and not on them. To lay blame upon another for your affection is to concede that you have no agency in determining what people are included in your life.

Certainly there are bad people. That’s cool. But to cast judgment is to relate with them, and relating with them is to selectively internalize them.

So when someone’s a jackass to you, who’s the bigger jackass? If you put them into the plane of being your peer, then you’re also a jackass.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else—you are the one who gets burned.” – Buddha

Feel compassion for those who are lost, not anger. In their time, they will find their way or they won’t; you can take people only as they are, not as you want them to be. You can only reliably invest in yourself in the present. Waste no time casting and evaluating projections upon others.

There are no adversaries, only leaders and obstacles.

I’m an introvert and sometimes I get shy in social situations. Other times I can be suave and charismatic. It’s my life purpose to figure out how the fuck to control this on command. Following is a proposed solution.

I glazed over a theory in the canon of Communication studies: Social Penetration Theory. From this name I derived my crass title because it exhibits some cute metaphors if you think about it. The gist is simple: closeness, or intimacy between people is achieved through self disclosure. Duh, but there are broad implications.

Consider how self disclosure occurs. Telling people personal information is the obvious, but supposing communication is incredibly multifaceted, this is barely the tip (innuendo; see “Social Fucking) of the iceberg. People express themselves in many, many ways at all times, and we are naturally attune to these nonverbal communications.

An example: I was in a group and we began to play a Wii dancing game. Self disclosure here is expressed through a body’s movement. Body movement is typically very inhibited, and so sharing something to this degree of intimacy is the main operation behind playing this sort of game. Dancing is fun in and of itself, but consider why this activity is uniquely a social enterprise, and is a totally different experience to do alone.

To suppose this is obvious, therein lies my point: To haphazardly dawdle through any social interaction is an incomplete experience. Unfortunately the introvert may be overwhelmed by the noise in viewing the dancing scenario as courting the group; while the extrovert just “has fun” dancing with friends. These are two entirely valid claims: Yes, you ARE being judged. But also yes, you ARE just having fun with friends. This demonstrates two types of perspective; introspective and extrospective. And the introspective, in its extreme, is confined by thinking too much, and the extrospective is confined by not thinking enough.

I think the latter view (“just having fun”) is the proto-norm of most of society in socializing. But I argue  that it is moreso rewarding to build relationships than to do an activity. So in order to reconcile the introspective and extrospective, I propose to redirect from thinking about the ostensible activity, instead to think of the actual activity. You are in fact doing an activity, so the introspective noise should not be disruptive to whatever you are “supposed” to be thinking about. If you are aware that what you are actually doing is relating with people and not just doing things, you will find that social libido flows freer.

So as relating to Social Penetration Theory, how do we self disclose in a way conducive to the social codes, while advancing our ultimate motive towards achieving true relational intimacy? How do we silence the noise, self doubt, and anxiety, behave well, and still maintain our existential humanity?

Worry about what you mean, not what you say or do.

Behind your intentions, your actions will follow. And thus you will disclose your Self, not a Persona, as only you, yourself, can experience closeness and intimacy.

An analogy: You can typically tell a liar, because no matter how “good” they may be at it, they will never have full mastery of every possible channel of their expression.

Sometimes you are made uncomfortable in a group because of things that they say or do, or by their conduct of self expression/disclosure. If someone is rude, or if the group is hazing you for admission, carefully evaluate your goals. If it’s to your benefit to play the social dance, still: play by your own terms and not theirs. If you begin to adjust your self expression to match with theirs, you are forfeiting your own identity for the group identity. Is that what you wanted?

In all of this I’m assuming intimacy is universally good. To invite intimacy into your life, you must self disclose. In being mindful of your self disclosure such that it presents your true self, only thus can you achieve intimacy.

And in mindfully listening to the self disclosure of other people, you will better understand what your relationships consist of and what they do not.

Foreword: I’ve been inactive in this blog lately, so today I sat down and tried writing. I’ve fallen flat on momentum in my writing exploits, so I just went and saw what happened. This is what poured out. I’ve never written poetry before, nor is it a shtick of mine. Critics: forgive my sophomoric attempt 🙂

***

A ship at sea, submissive to the mercy, will and temperament of the deluging heavens, surmises a defiant course in the face of overwhelming obstacle. Among the contours of the icy, boiling water there is no reprieve.

A metaphor in tribute to the throes of daily living, are we but cast about in the illusion of direction, as we encircle the maelstrom that should suck us under?

As rag dolls, we are merely docile creatures of potential. And though the machinations of the daily grind are so entrenching, we envision our vessels forthbound.

The only choice in the matter pertains to your crew and who’s in charge. Those you invite to navigate the wayward journey with you are thus of the most vital importance.

A vessel alone, that now upon whence there is only a chance should the mainstay prevail
Whose faculty, fortune and virtue attend now to challenge the peril, so as to curtail
A monstrously wicked, miscreant delinquent; the sea an assailant that brooks no avail.

And yet

I like it to be on the deck so that when I should fall,
With allies I’ll be as we fight for the health of the whole.
To live or let die is all well in the end should have all gave their all;
What’s now is no matter if long live the soul.

 

I’m going to deviate from contemporary language use and position myself among the 99%. You know it’s funny when executive archetypes in movies cuss. Also I’m being ironic, not bourgeois.

I want to disclaim the language of this entry with its origin: the popularized expression “I don’t give a fuck,” and all its fallout in various media channels (“Not one fuck was given” etc).

Thus.

The Fuck-Giving Quotient

This ratio is comprised of fucks-given to fucks-received; whose ideal is to remain as close to 0 as possible. Let’s explore the nuances.

  • The fuck is the essential, indivisible unit for this analysis. Thus fucks given and fucks received are of equal value; transactions can be comprised of many fucks, increasing the magnitude of the ratio. However, for the purpose of this model, the ratio is reduced to manageable figures.
  • If giving a fuck is to be avoided, the fuck given is something better off possessed. Thus fucks are a coveted psychic currency.
  • As fucks are psychic currency–immaterial–there is no determinate finite quantity. Fiat, if you will. They can be printed. But as they are also inherently valuable, inflation does not apply.
  • As currency, transactions are voluntary.

The danger in “Not giving a fuck” is the purpose behind this definition. In an intersocial, and intrasocial economy, a lack of cash-flow (fuck-flow) leads to a depression.

It’s rational self-interest in a depression to save your $ (fucks) and avoid expenditure. Thus, commonly a defense mantra, “I don’t give a fuck” is in reference to fuck-scarcity a priori.

The solution is a stimulated economy. To merely not give a fuck exacerbates the problem; fucks must be given. But a fuck-investor will not haphazardly place these investments; they must be smart investments and yield a return.

Of course it’s wise to be frugal where you invest yourself, in what you give a fuck for. So do continue not giving fucks as necessary.

I recommend a 1:3 fucks given to received. Here’s why.

  • If you give one fuck and receive one fuck, the ratio is 1. This is technically sustainable, better than alternatives, but alas you’re stagnant. Only from a growing portfolio are you likely to be invested in.
  • If you give one fuck and receive two, the ratio is .5. Keep it up, but this rounds up to 1. You can do better.
  • If you give one fuck and receive three: Now we’re talking business.
  • If you give zero fucks and receive any, you’re feudal lord status.
  • Zero given and zero received means you’re dead.

The moral of the story is to monitor your fuck-giving quotient. For what all you give, what is the return?

Ideas are born in a very different way from which they are commonly portrayed. I’m talking about the  “light bulb” that goes off in your head; sharp, crisp, concise, instant. Certainly that moment exists, once the critical mass of clarity is achieved. My point is that idea genesis is a process.

“Too often we are so preoccupied with the destination, we forget the journey.” -Some unknown on Google who was more articulate than the others

Writing entries such as this, for me, is, in part, to tap into the locus of creativity. Not that I’m writing creative things, but that the act pours out my consciousness into an abstraction; indexing and documenting it. In mapping my consciousness, I may be become closer to mastery of this creative complex.

And so the formation of an idea must first be understood. This is my attempt:

An idea is like the bursting of a bubble in a boiling vat of tar that is your subconscious.

Certainly there is more charismatic imagery to make this metaphor (See ‘lightbulb.’ Also, yes I know it’s a simile). However this prompted me to write in the first place, and has many effective aspects.

  • It concedes to the arbitrary nature of inspiration, in that the bubble may surface anywhere in the reservoir. The convergence of whatever microcosms in the conscious pallet are temporal and corporeal (experience, environment); yet unplanned exactly how they converge.
  • There is a simmering period whereupon the idea is formed over time.
  • The motion of “bursting” is the unfurling of the idea from the mind, suddenly visible and apparent for what it is.
  • There is a heat source, or source of the fumes — the point is there is a “source.” This is the creative locus.

Really I should have used a solar flare for this entry, come to think of it.

Anyways, that last bullet point is the main point. Beneath the entire conscious being is a source that drives the entropy of creativity. It’s not the point to direct this creativity; the dialectic of randomness and thought occupations are what define the “bubbles.” The goal is to have more source energy, to create more bubbles.