Privacy is For Finding Out Who We Are When We Are Not Performing Ourselves

“Privacy is essential to human agency and dignity. Denying someone privacy—even when it’s as seemingly small as a parent who won’t let their kid close the door—has a corrosive effect, eroding trust as well as our sense of interiority. When we scale up the individual to a body politic, it is the private sphere that’s crucial for our capacity for democracy and self-determination. As individuals, we need privacy to figure out who we are when we’re no longer performing the self. As a collective, we have to be able to distinguish who we are as individuals hidden from the norms and pressures of the group in order to reason clearly about how we want to shape the group. Elections have secret ballots for a reason.

If we do care about privacy as a collective value, then it cannot be an individual burden. Right now, privacy is essentially a luxury good. If you can afford not to use coupons, you don’t have to let retailers track your shopping habits with loyalty points. If you’re technically savvy, you don’t have to let Gmail see all your emails. Not only does that make access to privacy incredibly inequitable, it also affects our collective understanding of what is a ‘normal’ amount of privacy.”

-Jenny, “left alone, together.” phirephoenix.com. May 3, 2021.

Immortality Potions

“Poisoned potions of immortality caused the death of up to seven Chinese emperors – the last less than three centuries ago.”

-“Death by immortality potion.” The Generalist Academy. May 4, 2021.

It occurs to me that the modern equivalent of the immortality potion is nutritional supplements, which offers extended or healthier life but are more likely to be causing harm. But, the good news is they won’t kill you as quickly as mercury sulfide.

Colette

“Colette has won the Academy Award in the category of best documentary short…90-year-old Colette Marin-Catherine confronts her past by visiting the German concentration camp Mittelbau-Dora where her brother was killed. As a young girl, she fought Hitler’s Nazis as a member of the French Resistance. For 74 years, she has refused to step foot in Germany, but that changes when a young history student named Lucie enters her life. Prepared to re-open old wounds and revisit the terrors of that time, Marin-Catherine offers important lessons for us all.”

–Anthony Giacchino, “Collette.” The Guardian. November 2020.

Running, Building a Base and R.O.T.C.

I’ve never actually looked up what R.O.T.C. meant, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps apparently, but it was always clear to me what it was about. It was a combination of education and military training. I’ve never really liked the idea, and it wasn’t until yesterday that I had some insight into why.

I’m in the process of getting back into my preferred exercise, running. After years of running too hard, too long or too fast when getting back into it, I’ve finally found an approach that works every time.

You start doing 10 miles a week. If you want to run 2 miles for 4 days and 1 mile for 3 days, that’s fine. If you want to do 6 miles 1 day and 4 miles another and take the rest of the week off, that’s fine too. It really depends on what your body can handle. Generally, I start with 3 or 4 miles a day and stop when I hit the weekly total.

And the next week, you do 2 more miles, which means 11 weeks of 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 miles a week. Once you reach 30 miles a week, then you can increment at 10% of your weekly mileage until you get to your goal weekly distance. If that goal distance is more than 60 miles a week, you need to think about doubling, or doing 2 runs a day and only running longer than 10 miles on your long run day, 1 day a week.

I’m currently on a week of 22 miles, so a little over halfway through this initial base building period. I’m thinking of a goal weekly distance of around 50 miles a week, something like this schedule:

  • Monday: 4 miles / hills, 8 * 0.5m speed
  • Tuesday: 9 miles, easy
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: 6 miles easy (morning), 9 miles easy (evening)
  • Friday: 6 miles, easy
  • Saturday, 16 miles
  • Sunday, Off

The nice thing about a weekly schedule is that you can modify it to conditions. If the weather forecast says rain on Thursday, then it is easy enough to shift your double to Wednesday. If you plan to go out Friday, then make Tuesday a double.

All of the above is a bit of prep for my anecdote. I was out running 6 miles yesterday when a group of R.O.T.C. cadets were preparing for a 1 mile run. They took off from my turn around point, a minute before I got there. Then, I passed about 1/3 of them before they got to their turn around point. Why? Because they went out and ran as fast as they could. They were poorly conditioned, and the non-commissioned officer was telling all the people that were turning around in front of me that they needed to run faster. While running past him, I said, “Their problem is they are walking.” And they are walking because they haven’t built a conditioning base. They are trying to run as fast as they can and a mile, much of it with a 4% or more grade, is not something you try to run without building up your conditioning first.

It’s a simple idea. You wouldn’t expect these cadets to go into combat without making sure they are competent with their weapons, would you? Shoot faster? No, you have to develop a training program that supports the capabilities you want to have to reach specific goals. Run faster would only make sense with this group if you were doing quarter mile sprints.

Of course, I suspect this is tied into the physical fitness test the military administers. I think tests are great, and I am all for them. But, you do not do physical conditioning to a test. A test is to help you understand what you need to work on. And the one thing that is obvious to me, as an observer of this group, is they need someone competent to run their physical fitness program.

The Kozmigroov Konnection (The Cosmic Jazz Groove Connection)

“Kozmigroov is a transgressive improvisational music which combines elements of psychedelia, spirituality, jazz, rock, soul, funk, and African, Latin, Brazillian, Indian and Asian influences culminating into an all encompassing cosmic groove. At its most accomplished, Kozmigroov is both expansive and highly rhythmic, and simultaneously finds connections with the mind, soul and body. (full definition)

Doug Watson created the first Kozmigroov Index in 1997 as a map through a minefield of kozmigroov recordings which range from the drop-dead brilliant to the outrageously bad. The Index moved here (freeform.org) in 2003, and was renamed The Kozmigroov Konnection. The Konnection has grown over the years with help and input from various people within the kozmic community, and continues to grow with contributions from people like you!

The Kozmigroov Konnection

For some future moment when you are thinking want to listen to something a little different, a little funky, etc. The Kozmigroov “A” list and some searching of YouTube is probably not a bad way to go.

The Library of the Great Silence

“Founded on the principle that knowledge about catastrophic risks and strategies of survival are of universal interest – and that all beings throughout the cosmos want to thrive for as long as possible – the Library of the Great Silence will invite beings throughout the universe to collaboratively research planetary futures. At the core of this new research center, managed in partnership with the SETI Institute at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, will be an archive of transformations presented in the most accessible form possible: Instead of texts, the library will collect objects associated with transformational moments, including natural disturbances (instantiated in materials such as lava and meteorites and fossils of extinct species), and human impact (instantiated in artifacts ranging from handaxes and money to trinitite and plastiglomerate). The library will also provide an open space to explore relationships between collected items, enabling representation of phenomena ranging from chance to complexity to overreach. An open invitation to contribute information and ideas will be broadcast throughout the cosmos.”

The Library of the Great Silence

The obvious conclusion is that anyone in a position to contribute will likely have already seen a standard set of transformational moments and survived them. The work is probably best focused on those that didn’t survive edge cases, which is the work of archeology.

Zuihitsu: 2021-04

Collecting these little ideas has become a major focus. Here’s this month’s installment.

  1. Social media turns life into episodes.
  2. When money exchanges hands,  something is being bought.
  3. Constraints liberate, liberties constrain. —Runar Bjarnson
  4. Software is eating the world.
  5. Never forget that society can go balls-up at any moment.
  6. Pleasures deferred can be pleasures foregone.
  7. “A compromise is an agreement between two men to do what both agree is wrong.”—Lord Edward Cecil
  8. Use it right away.
  9. Use research and make a decision.
  10. You get what you pay for.
  11. Take risks, make mistakes.
  12. “We tend to get what we measure, so we should measure what we want.”—James Gustave Speth
  13. Most people are full of crap and not worth listening to. They only know what they know, which is not much.
  14. You’re an individual, no one thinks exactly like you, no one completely understands you, so factor that in in the decisions you make.
  15. Just do your own practice.
  16. Keep doing the experiment as best as you can.
  17. Integration of insights takes time.
  18. Practice, take time to develop, persist and respect the insight of good teachers.
  19. People aren’t perfectable.
  20. Narcissism and arrogance aren’t the same thing.
  21. Prioritize mental training.
  22. Understand the problem before selecting your tools. Before selecting your tools, know what they can and can’t do.
  23. “Telling the truth to someone who can’t understand it is tantamount to telling that person a lie.”—Eliphas Levi
  24. Wisdom is knowing the truth deeply enough to optimize the specifics.
  25. Perseverance furthers.
  26. Only ideologues ignore experts.
  27. Everybody needs shelter, calories, and resources.
  28. Addition is the default for solving problems. Try substraction.
  29. Large organisations are intrinsically sociopathic.
  30. Don’t tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.
  31. To give everyone a loud speaker is to assure that no one can be heard.
  32. Sounds are a scaffold for thought when logic and imagery elude us.
  33. ”To trust people is a luxury in which only the wealthy can indulge; the poor cannot afford it.”—E. M. Forster
  34. “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”—John Shedd
  35. Transformation happens when you tire of your own bullshit.
  36. Find the people and things you love and make time for them.
  37. Does this need to be said? Does it need to be said by me? Does it need to be said now? Yes * 3, say it.
  38. Change your perspective. The view of a river from a canoe at water level is different from  a bass boat or a bicycle on the side of the river.
  39. There is a difference between contradiction and prosecution.
  40. In every interaction, try to go in heart first and let the  mind view through a filter of compassion.
  41. Good intentions don’t work. Mechanisms do.
  42. Is your view based on reality or a fantasy?
  43. Destruction / Creation, the asteroid that formed the Amazon also killed the dinosaurs.
  44. Men are most likely to believe what they least understand.—Montaigne
  45. People are fearful of whatever they don’t understand, and creativity, by definition, means operating outside collective  understanding.
  46. It”s not how old you are, it’s how you are old.—Jules Renard
  47. ”One fifth of the people are against everything all the time.” —Robert Kennedy
  48. “I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.”—Kurt Vonnegut
  49. Try your best. After that, leave it.
  50. A good mentor can save you a lot of pain.
  51. The secret to a good life is to enjoy your work.
  52. Don’t ask unless you already know.
  53. Ninety percent of problems are in your head.
  54. Everyone is dangling at the end of a supply chain.
  55. Communities evolve away from reason to affirmation.
  56. “We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.”—Charlie Chaplin
  57. “Making mistakes is better than faking perfection.”
  58. “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”—Harry S. Truman
  59. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.—Stephen Stills
  60. Sometimes you’ll make a mistake. You’ve got two choices: live with it or fix it.
  61. Goals and desires are always underspecified in human language and thought.
  62. Plans impose boundaries, which can be both good and bad.
  63. It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.– Jiddu Krishnamurti
  64. “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as means of escape.”–bell hooks
  65. There is only one hatred: the hatred of recognition.
  66. The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.—Gustave Le Bon
  67. No one else can look out for your inner life.
  68. We don’t know other people’s thought
  69. What are the seven thoughts you keep coming back to? Want to change your life? Change the way you think.
  70. What haunts you?
  71. We often don’t value something until we are about to lose it.
  72. If you live the life you love, you’ll get the blessings from above.
  73. People only change when not changing is more painful.
  74. Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, check to see if you aren’t just surrounded by assholes.