Three Ideas

Idle in-brain conversations. Background noise that rambles on and sometimes if we’re lucky goes somewhere. I was sitting eating a burrito the other day. This noise went somewhere; what do yo think?

1st idea: Evolution. Selection. The world of man. A species’ environment determines which genes are favored. It determines what genes stick around. In humans, self-determined environment (society) is usually more important than the natural world. So there’s a feedback loop. People create their environment, which favors people who can better live in it, and have children who continue to live a life to which they are suited. A possible genetic tendency towards cultural aspects. Accelerated specialization. Patterns within a culture and the ensuing sexual selection might explain geographic racial features. How an individual deals with turmoil and struggle is tied with one’s spiritual beliefs. We can have a culture that shapes its gods a certain way, and people within it who adhere to those gods. Feedback. Some concept emerges somewhere, spreads through society, and favors those predisposed to it. Or it might find more fertile minds somewhere else, and the seeds will grow elsewhere. Memetics influencing genetics. For instance, Greece no longer is made of Greeks, but ethnic Turks. Yet in academia, a major in Classics might as well be called “European Studies.” Through the influence of ideas their values live on in a populace both inheriting them and built to inherit them.

2nd idea: Predation. Digestion. Nature’s law. Organisms get better nutrition from sources closest to themselves. Carnivores spend less time eating than herbivores do, because it’s more work digesting plant fibers than animal protein. Go back far enough and all organisms are theoretically related. Life was just self-replicating bacteria. A few billion years later some became Eukaryotes, which are distinguished by their ability to eat other things (like bacteria). Everything that grew from them—animals, plants, fungi—inherited the capacity to derive sustenance from other life. The more alike, the easier that is.

3rd idea: I find those two ideas I just had quite interesting. I wonder if I can link them together. Let’s see.. they’re both centered around evolution and assimilation. Things diverge over countless years and then re-absorb quickly, converging like long-lost puddles. If they were puddles of oil and water they wouldn’t come together so easily. It’s about how easy it is. How easy it is to assimilate something is directly correlated to how similar it is. There’s my topic sentence.

Hm. That was interesting. Those idle thoughts led somewhere. Even if it turns out there’s an existing scientific theory that says about as much, it’s fun to derive these concepts myself. I do recommend trying it sometime.

photos by cwiener08 and rusty shackelfurt


November has Come

It’s raining outside.
It rained yesterday, in the evening.
It rained all last night.

It’s November, and it’s the first rain since I’ve been here. I used to love the rain, used to slosh around in it in rain boots that only ended up keeping the bottom third of my pants dry. I grew up in Palm Springs (well, Cathedral City) and rain was was warm and small and benign. We played in it because it was an unusual friend. But I’m not in Palm Springs, and now I think is the rain has come for a longer visit. It’s the difference between a visit and a visitor. November in San Francisco means rain. It means Dave was right when he said that the rain wouldn’t come till November, and then it would come like young travelers to a hostel—more and more. But it’s now off-season in the hostel, and I’m living here now, and writing a novel and trying not to be too presumptuous about it. The rain has its own reasons… it’s cold and falls in big drops that make the whole city darker turning the streets to black rivers. It keeps me inside. There’s a reason for everything. That’s practically a cosmic rule. I’ll stay in, and I’ll write, and I’ll clean, and I’ll craft for myself a sort of life. And what more could I hope for in such a month?


Smiling Eyes

The subtitle of this entry is “a fine example of the problems with revealing personal experiences in a public forum, especially as relates to sexual equality and hot chicks in the 21st century.”

Irish Smiling EyesSo I met this girl last Thursday. Mary Catherine. She’s Irish, full of spirit and sprite and more than a little bite. Master’s degree, English lit-er-a-ture. Carried around Jane Eyre the whole time I knew her, and had the romantic inclinations to match. We met not at a bar, but walking home from one. Thank God for girls with a poor sense of direction (and the male protection mechanism that helps their sorry situation). If not, I doubt that I’d have known her outside of a hostel stairwell. As it was, we feverishly debated feminism and modern sexual equality for the next hour. This is sometimes called “foreplay.” I was the first American with whom she could hold a conversation (so she said), and she spent a year in New York. This says a lot about me but perhaps more about New York.

By round about 2 o’clock, when all the others arrived home from the barbary-coast brewery/bar, I’m content to think I had her English-lit educated, female-favoring Gaelic greymatter headily haywire, helped certainly by our intermediate intoxication. Jane Eyre is justifiably lambastable—melodramatic moth-magnet that it is—necessitating nearly not-nice opining on my part. Being quite respectable, she took umbrage (very well). XXX yakking zinged zealosly zereafter.

Did I mention we had fun? Not just with words (which we did). The kind of fun two people of opposite sexes can have after a night of drinking and sharply sparked conversation. Oh yes, there was thumb-wrestling. Of course with 6 people per room in a hostel, it limits how much fun two people can respectably have. We passed those limits. Not too much! Just enough. Enough to wake people up, ahem. But by this time it was… what, maybe 6 o’clock in the morning? And I learned that girls who still travel with teddy bears have a tendency to fall asleep when they happen to hug them. Even if they are 24 and have a Master’s. Even if it’s not the best time to be falling asleep.

We had a good time the next few days. She gave me life outside of emailing my résumé. I gave her a sense of class, romance, and a deeper understanding of the fine line between confidence and arrogance. What can I say?—I played “the American.” She played “vulnerably self-empowered and inexperienced yet highly educated 21st-century 20-something Catholic-guilt-having yet steamy-romance-needing girl/woman with an endearing foreign manner.” She played it well. There wasn’t ever a moment when the tension left. I did things I’m certain I wouldn’t have done otherwise. It was, in short, a really good thing that happened to both of us. Our last night together was eventful. I won’t write about it here, as it’s too complicated. And still too close. And really, not the kind of story I’d share with everyone on the internet. We never… how can I say? Consumated our relationship. She left, and I haven’t heard from her since.

Around this point, most men would say something along the emotions of “dammit, I was so close, but oh well.” I know better. Everything worth doing will be bittersweet in the end. She left, and I haven’t heard from her since.

Now, here’s the problem with writing this story, and its attraction. I’m exposing myself. I’ve invited full-frontal unsolicited judgement of my character. You probably came here Googling me, seeing if I’m fit to date or employ or write a book with, and here I’ve just shared a deeply personal experience with strangers. Not only did I just voluntarily share an intimate experience in a public forum, I featured my own dummy-moves doing it! I didn’t pair it with the standard-issue “that’s the way I am” or “I don’t care what you think” attitude. Maybe you now think I’m a player who plays with girls, goes for the drunk ones cause their easy. Maybe you think I’m a love-starved loser, quick-to-love. Maybe you think I’m really, really considering this whole thing too much. I’m practically inviting, nay, demanding unseen repercussions. I’m the trenchcoat-flasher who squints his eyes closed.

That’s my problem—I’m willing to share, I’m not ready to accept the consequences for doing so. I’m unwilling to let certain people (who know who they are! who’ve been named! who’ve read too much already! who have disobeyed my specific hints!) find it and read it.

This means you, Mom.

But God, it’s fun to do. And I think I may have solved my problem, in the process of spelling it out. Being explicit about the expected judgment places that judgment in the forefront of a reader’s cerebrum, thereby making it a conscious choice instead of an pre-conscious one. This is much the same mechanism detailed in Post #45. For me, it’s also an elegant (but partial) solution to the troubling axiom proposed in Post #35. I shall henceforth refer to this as:

  • Counter-intuitive rule #110: if you expect something to happen, then say what you’re expecting, the actual result is guaranteed to change (Heisenberg’s readership principle)



As of 7:38 am Pacific Daylight Savings time, WordGlot theme 0.9 has gone live. Whoo! One chromo-glot-gasm to rule them all.

Take a look around… doesn’t look like an 8th grader did it anymore, does it? Well, there’s still a few wrinkles. For instance the entire sidebar. But dammit, I wasted half a day just retrofitting the stupid thing and countless hours refining the design itself — now I’m gonna reap the reward of all this.

Reward… reward… hm.
I’m not sure what that is now. I seem to have forgotten the point. The point in doing all this. Of fixing up a blog that’s hardly read, that’s irregularly written. And while we’re on the subject, hey YOU: who are you thinking that this is good reading material? You have better things to do and you know it. I want you to stop reading this. Now.

  • Counter-intuitive Rule #422 — If you want someone to do something, discourage them from doing it. Their essential contrarianism will cause them to do it more.
  • Counter-intuitive Rule #422a — Unless, however, you point out their essential contrarianism, in which case they will not do it just to prove they aren’t contrarian (corollary).
  • Counter-intuitive Rule #422b — If you point out that, they will most likely just get confused (counter-corollary).
Glot Glot-glot

The Boringest

Somtimes a realization can spring upon you like a nightmare in the… in the night. And that realization for me is: I am boring.

Now this is not the kind of thing I like to admit openly. And in this day and age, where coolness is a personal commodity, this is not a paltry thing to admit. Especially for a 21 year-old. Especailly for me—I’m the coolest person I know. What does that say about the rest of you fuckers? Poor sad bastards. No wonder I’m so boring. I’m bored.

Has the world lost it’s luster? Or has the stunningly doldrum-hohum warm-piss wooden-shoehorn nature of this stucco’ed strip mall of a town finally begun to egg away at the colorful and wild-hearted edifice that is ME. Maybe this ham-it-up phone operator spchpiz-niz is getting to me—the need to speak clearly and in an elevated tone, having to to say things like “how may I direct your call?” and “I’m sorry, sir, I’ll have those bath towels delivered right away.” I need to do something soon, man, soon. I just used the word spchpiz-niz in a sentence and it made perfect sense.

I swear I have never listened to a rap song on purpose.

What brings on this tide of troubled thoughts to my toiling cerebrum? I’ll tell you: girls, goddamn… damn… girls. Being all, there, and all. They taunt me with their… making me think about them. That’s the best I can explain my feelings at the moment.

I am reminded of the cosmic precept (not quite a law), that is applicable in a situation such as mine. The more you need something, the more you feel you have to have it, the less likely you are to get it. Conversely, if you are terribly afraid of something and obsess about it happening it will happen. You’re going to lose your hair. The germs are going to get you.That airliner’s going down. And you know what—this isn’t just some cheeky-tongued blaaah-zay adage here. It deals with the primal force of manifestation, and a powerful force it is.

This is science (or philosophy—depending on how you view the very nature of consciousness). I’ll give you an example: you’ve heard of that cheesy R&B song, “I Beleive I Can Fly?” Well that song is full of crap, no one can fly unless they’re on a feakin’ plane. Now, that’s an example of negative manifestation: I believe it’s impossible ergo you can’t fly. And it’s true! See what I’m saying? This same principle keeps me from being suave with women: I know I could be reallly good. But I know I’m not. I think myself into doing the wrong things even though I know what the right things are, and this happens because… because…

Damn I’m bored. I need a hobby. Like web design. Or blogging. Wait—you know what, fuck that shit—I’m gonna go whittle a boat or something. I hate tha intarweb. I hate calling it ‘tha intarweb’. You heard me, Internet. I know you’re out there. Sending you’re little robots to check up on me alla time. Coming in 12:15, 12:30, 12:55, what do you think I am, a blog junkie? You’re lucky if you get one entry a week from me Internet. That’s cooler than Kottke can say, working his b.s. as a full-time gig. What a loser

Please, like me. If I blogged more would you like me? Would you grant me the graciousness of your pagerank, send me the beloved unique IP hits that pad my ego so? Tell me, in so many bits, that not only is my prose lively and un-boring but is worthy of actual readership? Well fine then. I’ll do that, and I’ll make it XHTML-compliant-valid-and-douched just like you told me to. But you gotta get me a girlfriend, Internet. You know the kind—smart, pretty, willing to engage in long bouts of smart-assness. And she better be from this country too you ass, stop sending me girls with surnames like Iripov or Kerpletzka. If you have to pay for it that’s cheating (I don’t know if you realize that, being a formless amalgam of machines and all). Also I’m cheap; tell her that just in case. Other than that she should know I don’t need her, but uh, you know it’d be nice. Just make it sound cooler than that when you say it. I don’t want to sound boring.