12-31-13 - My Philosophy

Note to self :

Any time you face a decision and you aren't sure what to do - just take the choice you are more afraid of, the bolder choice, the choice that's more risky with the larger possible upside.

(lol, yeah right, I'm not actually doing that)

12-31-13 - My Philosophy - 3

It's perfectly reasonable to shit on what most of the world does. Consumerism is awful, shopping is disgusting, TV is boring, dining out is awful, etc. etc. That's fine, that's true, that stuff is awful. But the alternative can't be just nothing. You have to have an idea in mind of how a good life is spent, and actually do that. It can't just be "I don't want to do that garbage everyone else does" and instead I'll do nothing, it has to be - instead I'll make my own glider and jump off my roof, or whatever, something worth doing.

12-31-13 - My Philosophy - 2

Note to self : Never ever listen to anyone about anything.

Several reasons why.

1. I am very vigilant about protecting my brain from poison. I avoid commercial TV and advertising of all kinds. I avoid TV news and the mass news in general. I avoid group-think garbage like Pollan and Gladwell and so on. There is horrible brain poison everywhere, and most sophomoric pseudo-intellectuals think that they are either strong enough to resist it or even get benefit from it. Nonsense, all you get is brain-washing and ruined opinions. Nobody else does research like I do. Nobody else protects themselves from bias like I do. Their opinions are shit. Just smile and nod and ignore them.

2. People who do great things strike out on their own and follow their own heart. Even if you are "wrong", who cares. Do your own thing. If Einstein or Prince were surely told by all the cowardly morons around them that they shouldn't strike out and do such odd things.

3. If you make your own decision, at least it's yours. You're making your own life, not following the herd. You can learn from your decision and hopefully do better in the future.

4. Getting things "right" is vastly over rated. Make mistakes. Try things. Have experiences, learn. Try more things.

5. People are fucking liars about their level of expertise and surety. People are constantly acting like they really know something and giving you advice about it like their answer is definitely right. It's not. They don't know shit. Thirty minutes of googling will teach you more about it than they know. In fact their "knowledge" is probably apocryphal or wives tales or widespread misunderstanding. It's almost impossibly rare to find someone who will actually admit "I'm no sure about this" or "I think I know the answer, but it's not based on much". Instead you get "oh yes, definitely this way, it works great, everybody knows this". Umm, no, I'm just going to competely ignore you because you have zero rigor in your analysis and zero honesty about your level of expertise.

12-16-13 - Baby Baby Baby

Sometimes I think we're being too good to the baby. Not that you can spoil a baby, or that you need to "toughen them up" for the real world (you fucking assholes, being shits to your baby and pretending that your self-serving neglect is good for them). But that we're pushing ourselves too hard, and it's not sustainable.

In some ways this is the least important phase to be a good parent. The baby won't remember anything; and even if they do remember a blissful early childhood, that's almost not a good thing. It creates a constant longing for the lost bliss of the sweet loving parents you had when you were tiny.

The big problem is if you can't keep it up and check out as the baby gets older, which is incredibly common. Lots of parents have their first baby and are super excited and devoted and loving. Then time goes on and they burn themselves out and they go back to work and take up their hobbies, and they start to just get annoyed that the kids still want them all the time. God dammit this kid is really getting in the way of my amateur donkey-porn-making habit!

It's much better to be consistent. Children don't understand the variations of adult interest; they think they are to blame, or something has gone horribly wrong; they don't understand boredom, or the feeling that you need to do more with your life, or that you need to be an independent person, or whatever it is that makes you draw away sometimes and come closer at other times.

12-14-13 - Male Misery

I feel like the human man in modern society is more fundamentally doomed to misery than the human female. Women can find relationships and have babies, which lets them fullfill their deep biological chemical needs. They may feel unfulfilled, or discriminated against, or whatever, but those are sort of intellectual problems, not deep biological problems. Men need to bash in the heads of other men and take their women; we need to scream and fight and fuck, and we are never allowed to do it, and that creates a deep misery that's uniquely male.

Of course we're civilized and we don't do those things, blah blah blah, but the constant urges and supressions just creates this unpleasant impotent feeling, like I'm not the man I'm supposed to be. I'm supposed to murder you all and take your land and women, and I just don't get to. (I suppose I could do it by becoming a banker or a lawyer, but I don't want to do it that slimy way, with paperwork and manipulation, I want to do it by stabbing you in the gut).

(of course there are shared miseries that men and women all face like the inherent illogicalness of life, the feeling that we need to do something significant with ourselves but also the knowledge that all things are pointless, the inability to ever really connect to another human being, the permanent solitude inside our own heads, the paradox of following a moral code that's based on nothing but convention, etc.)

I think this is part of why there are more male writers and poets and such, because we have this horrible yearning inside that we can't fullfill in any reasonable way, so we have to get it out with expression. (and of course more serial killers and rapists and so on).

Anyway, I thought about this because I watched TT3D, which is only okay (bad luck for the film makers that they didn't get the real life drama to play out the way they wanted). It occurred to me that the TT is one of those rare opportunities for a man to be a man, to risk your life, to do something at the absolute limits of what a human can do, to show the world what you are fucking capable of, to battle other men to the death essentially. Stupid observers see it and say "it's too dangerous" or "it's illogical to risk your life like that". Nonsense, when your daily life is a constant misery of unfullfilled desires, going out and doing something that makes you feel really right is completely logical. What's not logical is all the people who are so safe and responsible and careful with their lives, for what? What are you saving yourself for? So you can watch The Price is Right in a nursing home?

12-14-13 - cbloomco product design

1. All cbloomco products will have a hard-switch to disable all status lights and beeps. This could be just a little slider toggle. You switch it to off, and you get absolutely zero lights, and zero beeps. We make routers, stereos, etc. Flip the switch and you have beautiful silent dark boxes.

2. All cbloomco products ship without any stickers or logos on them whatsoever. Not even a "cbloomco" printed anywhere. When stickers are required by law, they are done in ways that make them easily removable without leaving any residue. For example they might be put on a removable panel, and a replacement panel is included without any stickers so you can just swap it. Or they might be put on a non-functional piece that you can just detach and throw away. (cbloomco clothing ships with no tags)

3. All cbloomco electronics have real hard-switches and physical knobs. No digital shuttles, real knobs that save your position and can be adjusted even when the product is off. No digital toggle buttons that have no state, but real up/down switches.

4. All cbloomco electronics have UI's that are 100% *stateless*. That is, every button has a single well-defined function and it does that function all the time. One of the very common statefull buttons that pisses me off on a regular basis is the "Play/Pause". What a moronic abomination. I hit "Play", and I seem to get no response, so I hit it again, oh crap now its Paused, hit it again, wait did that work, oh my god just play I want a damn button that always means play and has no context!

12-14-13 - Bullies

One of the nasty ways that men bully women (and sometimes other men, but it's a particular weapon for men against their female lovers) is with "rational thought".

Basically this consists of ignoring the subtext and real meaning of what she's saying and forcing her to express something in a factual rational way. This is a really nasty form of abuse and bullying. You'll see the man saying things like "that doesn't make any sense" or "can you explain what that means, because I really don't understand what you're asking for" or "no, that doesn't follow from that, just tell me what you're trying to acheive", etc. Then she gets upset and the man is self-righteous "I didn't do anything! I'm just trying to talk to you and get you to make sense!".

You fucking dick. What she's saying is "I want to do this, and I want you to support me" or "please show me how to do this in a kind way" or "you're shutting me out" or "you're being selfish" or "open up to me" or "I feel insecure and need love" or "just let me have this without explaining it" or whatever it is. Usually an unspoken message, that's quite clear if you would just get off your "rational argument" high horse and actually listen.

I find this type of bullying particularly offensive, because I love rational arguments, and it's a shame to see them used as a nasty weapon.

Another type of bullying, often used by husband against wife, but also often used in the work place, is the "let's talk about" / "we have to agree on this".

These assholes will pretend that they're just being fair - "look, this decision affects both of us, so we need to talk and come up with a solution we're both happy with".

In fact they are using talking as a weapon. They will keep talking until you agree with their way. They will say we need a meeting to establish a "consensus" , but to them consensus means their way. Even if the meeting goes against them, they'll keep talking about their way and call more meetings until everyone agrees. They won't let it go until you get frustrated and annoyed and just let them win.

Again these guys will be all self-righteous and act like they are being totally reasonable - "you can't just make decisions that affect all of us without getting an agreement first". Oh yes I can, because if I talk to you about anything you will make it a big problem every time.

Talking and agreeing is all well and good, but only if all parties are willing to compromise and let the other side win sometimes. If one side is unreasonable then the "discussions" are just bullying and abuse.

12-13-13 - QUIET PLEASE

Recently I've been taking baby for drives to get her to fall asleep. I prefer using walks, but in the rain at 20 degrees they aren't so fun.

So I'll drive a bit and she falls asleep quickly, and then I'll park and listen to the radio. And then the annoyance begins. The fucking Porsche automatically turns off the electronics after 5 minutes of engine-off time. I have to turn the car off and back on, and then it makes a ton of fucking beeps, which wakes baby. My other cars turn off the heat, and if I turn the ignition up to the spot where the heat will come back on, they beep beep beep. Of course if you open the door they beep beep beep.

QUIT FUCKING BEEPING AT ME. I know the god damn key is in the ignition. I don't need your help! Just never ever fucking beep at me.

Sometimes when walking baby to get her to sleep I'll have her almost asleep, or just right on the edge, and I'll walk past some car and the owner will lock or unlock it and the fucking thing HONKS. How vulgar, how fucking scummy. Cars do not need to make noise ever. If you need a sign that your car is locked, your key-fob could give you a little zap. Hell it can go ahead and electrocute you to death, you fucking moron.

(part of the problem is that so many cars use a lock/unlock toggle, which is fucking retarded awful design. UIs should be stateless. But that's another rant).

(and there's a separate problem that so many owners are fucking inconsiderate assholes/retards and decide to fire up their ridiculous huge truck right as I'm walking the sleeping baby past. You could have waited five seconds you useless waste of oxygen.)

12-12-13 - Baby Baby Baby

Baby has taught me the idea of unconditional love.

Romantic adults like to talk about "true love" and "till death do us part" and shit like that, but of course all adult love is conditional. If you beat me, I will leave, if you cheat on me, I will leave, if you just start to treat me like shit and nag me and put me down all the time, I will leave, if you get really fat and lazy, I will leave, etc. Of course its conditional, if you really think you have unconditional love for someone, you're either a moron or a victim of abuse, or just a pathetic unmotivated martyr. Decent people don't stay in bad adult relationships.

But with Emmy, I just want the best for her. I want to give her sweetness and love and a happy life, no matter what. I know she will be bad to me. As a child she will pout and yell and punch me and be a jerk, and I will love her anyway. As a teenager she will probably be really deeply awful to me for many years, and I will feel like our love is entirely one sided, but that's okay I'll let her go through that.

It's an entirely different feeling of love than anything I've experienced before.

Even the best adult love, the feeling is more like hope - I hope this works out, I hope she keeps loving me; it's an optimistic happy feeling. This is different, I guess I feel like this love for Emmy is inside me, it's not determined by anything in the outside world, and in that sense I have complete control over it, it's not vulnerable.

My relationship with baby is incredibly satisfying and rewarding. But it occurs to me that if I put the same amount of time and effort into other relationships, they would probably be rewarding too. It's just so much fucking work, and so much emotional engagement all the time, I've never given this much of myself to another person ever.

I suppose if you went around giving unconditional love to everyone, you would probably be pretty happy; blissed out like the Dalai Fucking Lama.

12-11-13 - Baby Baby Baby

Emmy's been using a walker for a while. (the kind you sit in and your feet can touch the ground and it has wheels so she scoots around)

Aside : jesus christ I need to be in charge of designing every product in the world. Everyone is fired. The god damn walker has a *square* base. That means she's constantly getting stuck on things or in the corner of the room and I have to get off my lazy ass and get her unstuck. Of course the base should be a circle. Somebody needs to give Fisher-Price a lesson in squares vs. circles. WTF.

(Aside 2 : the baby walker should totally have a little vacuum cleaner with brushes on the bottom of it so that she can clean the floor as she walks around)

All the over-anxious-parent literature these days says you should not use walkers because they "slow development". (and of course they're dangerous death traps because you're a moron who lets baby use a walker unsupervised right next to a pit full of punji sticks). In this case "development" is measured as the age at which baby walks on its own. The claim is that because walkers teach muscle movements that are not the same as real walking, it slows "development".

What a load of shit. This is the typical modern dumb-like-Bill-Gates use of narrow metrics.

If your metric for "development" is "age of autonomous walking" then almost anything you have baby do other than walk-training will slow "development". How fucking sophomoric. It's like the dumb studies that say things like teaching music doesn't help children's education, where "education" is measured only in standardized test results.

Now of course if you plop your baby in the walker and ignore it, that's bad for development. Spending time paying attention interacting with your baby is good for it. I don't need any damn study to tell me that, it's fucking obvious. Leaving your baby alone neglected is bad for it. Duh.

I guess this is sort of a reminder to myself. Yes I'm sure that in a mass population study, walkers correlate with bad things (like dead or dumb babies), because the average parent puts baby in there and then leaves the room to watch TV. But I don't do that, so it doesn't apply to me. Nothing that anybody says applies to me because I'm not a fucking moron.

12-11-13 - Baby Baby Baby - 2

There are moments when I'm playing with Baby and Mom when it just feels so sweet, like this is what life is for, that there's nothing else I'd rather do. Those moments are delightful but brief. It's really easy to be with baby for 1-2 hours a day, beyond that it gets hard.

Moms that have nannies and jobs are not real "moms". I can say that because that's how I'm defining the word "mom". A real Mom is broken down by the constant care of the baby. A real mom is frazzled, exhausted, totally bonded to the baby but also sort of fed up with the baby. A real mom gets a bit neglectful; well, neglectful is too strong, but there's a certain relaxedness that a real mom gets, it's a good thing. Part time moms have too much energy to devote when they are with baby and they're all hyper super-momming. Real moms know that babies are gonna crawl down stairs and play with electrical sockets and meh what are you gonna do, chill out and keep drinking your tea the baby will be fine.

"Real moms" become wonderfully chill about everything. You develop a new idea of how much you can accomplish in a day. The bar for "being dressed" or "clean house" is reset. I know these sound like bad things, but they're really very good. Adults without babies who are striving and trying to act all cool and expecting to accomplish things all the time are so frustrating. Fucking chill out. We're with out baby, the baby is healthy, nothing else matters, stop stressing.

Parents (ignoring the case of nannies / grandparent help / daycare / etc. real do it yourself full-time parents) generally spend linearly less time on their children as they get older. You spend almost 100% of your time with baby at first, then as baby grows up you spend less time simply because you *can*. Basically we parents want to spend as little time as possible with our children. That's not the conscious thought, but it is the reality based on actual behavior. As our children become more independent, we spend less time with them. It goes down and down until high school when you hardly speak to each other any more.

I'm now quite immune to the sound of babies crying. In fact I almost like it. I can fly on a plane now with a crying baby right behind me, and my reaction is to turn around so I can see the cute little bugger, not to turn around so I can glare meanly at the parents.

I have a new love of seeing other babies around the world. I guess I've always loved babies and children, but in my adult life I developed an uptightness that kept me from just going up to them and saying "coo coo" or playing with them. Now that I have my own baby I feel like it's a free pass to play with other babies.

One of the nice things about having a baby is when you go out in the world, you get to interact with people in their "you have a baby" mode, which for most people is better than the way they normally treat you. (adults are so fucking awful to each other all the time). You get to see people doing "ga ga" faces at the baby which is a great laugh, and they just smile and talk to you like a fucking human being. Anyone who doesn't smile and play with the baby I immediately judge and write off as a monster. At the opposite extreme, some people come up and immediately start poking their fingers at the baby, WTF keep your hands off my baby!

(it's sad to see people who are so uptight and boring and grumpy with other adults, but who light up and are sweet and playful with children. You can tell that the sweet/playful side is their true self, and the goodness has just been crushed out of them and they've learned to have this horrible closed off interaction with adults. Like me of course)

Baby was insanely hard from 0-3 months and has been pretty sweet and easy since then (relatively). Going through that hard time was good I suppose, because in a relative sense it makes everything else seem so easy.