The “Let them” theory

November 23, 2023 — ~tonm

The next time you feel left out.

Your friends all go out together and don’t invite you. Let them…

Your company is laying people off. Let them…

Or perhaps your colleagues don’t listen to any word you say. Let them…

You spend so much time and energy trying to control other people. And getting emotionally worked up about things that are beyond your control. You can tap into peace and true control if you let them be themselves.

And here’s the other thing. If you let them. People will then reveal who they truly are.

And when they reveal who they truly are to you.

You now know what you can choose next that’s right for you.

Battling My Own Mind: A Tale of Navigating the Inner Boss Battle

November 13, 2023 — ~tonm

Life often feels like a boss battle, doesn’t it? But sometimes, the fiercest adversary you face is the one inside your own mind. Today, I want to share a personal experience that reminds me of this constant struggle. Recently, I had the privilege of helping my adult niece with an email to her dean. She’s on the verge of graduating from nursing school, a huge achievement we’re all incredibly proud of. 🎓 However, as I sat down to compose that email, my body betrayed me. Tears welled up, my voice trembled, and articulating my words became an uphill battle.

Enter the brain weasels - those pesky, nagging doubts that tell you you’re meddling and that you’re bound to make things worse. It’s ironic because, consciously, I knew better. For seven years, I’ve been involved in student advocacy, guiding countless individuals through similar challenges. I realized then that this battle wasn’t just about helping my niece; it was a reminder of the relentless war we wage against our own inner demons. The fear of making a wrong move, the anxiety that our actions might backfire - it’s all part of the struggle.

But here’s the thing: we can’t let those fears paralyse us. We must trust ourselves and our experience, knowing that we’re doing the best we can for the ones we love. So, I pushed through. I reached out to the dean, advocating for next steps in my niece’s accreditation registration and requesting cultural support within the university. It was a reminder that sometimes, the most important battles are fought not with swords and shields, but with determination, empathy, and a belief in the good that we can do.

If you’ve ever found yourself in a similar boss battle with your own mind, remember, you’re not alone. We all have our moments of doubt, but we also possess incredible strength within us. Keep fighting, keep advocating, and keep supporting those you love. Together, we’ll conquer even the most challenging foes - whether they’re in our minds or out in the world.

HORSE SENSE

November 07, 2023 — ~tonm

If you work for a man, in Heaven’s name work for him. If he pays wages that supply you your bread and butter, wor for him, speak well of him, think well of him, and stand by him, and stand by the institution he represents. I think if I worked for a man, I would work for him. I would not work for him a part of his time, but all of his time. I would give an undivided service or none. If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness. If you must vilify, condemn, and eternally disparage, why, resign your position, and when you are outside, damn to your heart’s content.
But, I pray you, so long as you are a part of an institution, do not condemn it. Not that you will injure the institution –not that– but when you disparage the concern of which you are a part, you disparage yourself. And don’t forget – “I forgot” won’t do in business.

Dances at work

October 17, 2023 — ~tonm

My job involves many meetings every week. This is a known issue in my team, and some time ago we had a formal discussion about what could be done to make the whole situation less onerous. I agreed with the consensus that the majority of meetings were essential and that having fewer was impractical. I did not agree with the conclusion that, as an alternative, we would “spice them up” (this isn’t the exact wording used, but you get the idea). Now, before several meetings, we all dance.

I’m not sure if I can express how much I dislike this new practice. I don’t feel comfortable dancing in front of colleagues (often first thing in the morning), but I can swallow my pride and even my embarrassment. What I can’t stomach is the feeling that we’re being infantilised and the implication that if you don’t laugh and show enthusiasm, you’re somehow not a team player. Am I just too old and boring for the modern workplace?

Plestinians and Israelis

October 14, 2023 — ~tonm

I’m old and have been watching this for a long time so let me clue in anyone new how this works and if they are trying to figure out who is the baddie.

So at one point in the cycle Israel will be the baddie slowly pushing Palestinians off their land and filling their wells with cement and generally just being bullies to them every day and world sentiment will slowly swing towards sympathy for for them but just when it seems there might be enough of that to put some meaningful pressure on Tel Aviv Hamas will blow up a school bus/music festival or Hezbollah will rain rockets down on civilians and the public opinion sympathy pendulum will swing solidly back towards sympathy for Israel.

We are currently here in a big way because of the massive terror attack.

BUT THEN Israel will piss all that away bombing the shit out the captive population of Gaza and demanding that a million people move in a day while cutting off power and water and food. After a month or two of this mass collective punishment and when the pile of bodies is high enough the sympathy pendulum will swing back towards Palestine and at that exact moment Hamas will be all “I am very mentally stable, OH LOOK A CIVILIAN AIRLINER!!” and the cycle will begin again.

Resign yourself to this, it’s been this way for a looong time.

Dear ChatGPT, why do people record and publish illegal things they do?

October 04, 2023 — ~tonm

People may record and publish illegal activities for various reasons, though it’s essential to note that such actions can have significant legal and ethical consequences. Some of the reasons why people engage in this behavior include:

  • Thrill-seeking: Some individuals are drawn to illegal activities for the excitement and adrenaline rush they provide. Recording and sharing these activities can amplify that thrill.
  • Attention and validation: Social media and online platforms have created an environment where individuals seek attention and validation through likes, comments, and shares. Posting illegal content can generate a significant amount of attention and feedback, which may be rewarding to some.
  • Ignorance of consequences: Some people may not fully understand or appreciate the potential legal consequences of their actions. They may underestimate the seriousness of their behavior or believe they can evade the law.
  • Peer pressure and social influence: Friends or peer groups may encourage individuals to participate in illegal activities and record them. The desire to fit in or gain approval from these groups can be a powerful motivator.
  • Disregard for the law: Some individuals may have a disregard for the law or believe that they can act with impunity. They may not be concerned about the potential consequences of their actions.
  • Misguided sense of activism: In some cases, people record and share illegal activities as a form of activism or protest. They may believe that what they are doing is morally just, even if it goes against the law.
  • Financial gain: Individuals involved in illegal activities such as drug trafficking or illegal gambling may use recordings to promote their products or services and attract customers.

It’s important to emphasize that recording and sharing illegal activities can lead to serious legal repercussions, including arrest, prosecution, fines, and imprisonment. Additionally, it can negatively impact one’s reputation, future opportunities, and personal relationships. Engaging in illegal activities is never advisable, and individuals should be aware of the potential consequences before taking such actions. If someone encounters illegal content online, they should report it to the appropriate authorities or platform administrators.

What about you, Bard? What do you think?

There are a number of reasons why people might record and publish illegal things they do. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • To show off. Some people may record and publish illegal things they do to show off to their friends or followers on social media. They may want to be perceived as daring or rebellious, or they may simply enjoy the attention.
  • For money. Some people may record and publish illegal things they do to make money. They may sell the footage to news organizations or other media outlets, or they may post it online with the hope of generating clicks and advertising revenue.
  • To expose wrongdoing. In some cases, people may record and publish illegal things they do to expose wrongdoing or corruption. For example, a whistleblower might record a conversation with their employer in which they are instructed to commit fraud.
  • For revenge. Some people may record and publish illegal things they do to get revenge on someone. For example, an ex-partner might post a video of their ex cheating on them.
  • Because they are mentally ill. In some cases, people may record and publish illegal things they do because they are mentally ill. For example, someone with schizophrenia might believe that they are being persecuted by the government and record and publish videos of themselves ranting about it.

It is important to note that there is no justification for recording and publishing illegal activities. Even if someone has a good reason for doing it, they are still putting themselves and others at risk.

Here are some additional thoughts on the matter:

  • The rise of social media has made it easier than ever for people to record and publish illegal things. In the past, people who wanted to record and publish illegal things had to find a way to get their footage to the media or to sell it on the black market. Now, anyone can simply upload a video to social media and share it with the world.
  • The anonymity of the internet can encourage people to do things they would not normally do. When people feel like they can’t be identified, they are more likely to take risks and engage in illegal behavior.
  • Some people may be unaware of the legal consequences of recording and publishing illegal activities. They may not realize that they could be arrested and charged with a crime.

Overall, there are a number of reasons why people might record and publish illegal things they do. It is important to remember that there is no justification for doing this, and that it can have serious consequences.

Smartphones undermine social interactions

October 03, 2023 — ~tonm

From https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2023.104506

Smartphones can undermine the well-being people derive from social interactions, and yet nearly 90% of smartphone owners report having used their phones in their most recent social interaction.

Why do people so readily turn to their devices, if doing so makes them less happy? To investigate this question, we asked participants to spend 20 min with 2–3 unacquainted peers in a makeshift recreation room. We randomly assigned groups to either have their phones accessible or to leave them stored away, and we assessed enjoyment for each 5-min phase of the 20-min period. We predicted that phones would provide some initial benefits; but, over time they would increasingly undermine the enjoyment people would derive otherwise by connecting with others.

Contrary to our hypothesis, phones failed to confer any detectable benefits. Instead, participants who had access to their phones reported worse overall subjective experience and socialized significantly less (on both self-report and objective measures) compared to those who did not have access to their phones. The findings from this registered report cast doubt on the possibility that people are making sensible—albeit myopic—choices to use their phones, suggesting that people may be acting against their own best interest when they use phones in social situations.

AI girlfriends on the rise

September 26, 2023 — ~tonm

I wonder, if AI girlfriends really do become as pervasive as online porn, what this will mean for girls and young women? Who feel they need to compete with this?

Most obvious to me is the ramping up of already unrealistic beauty standards. I know conservatives often get frustrated with feminists calling everything unattainable, and I agree they can go too far — but still, it’s hard to deny that the pressure to look perfect today is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. And I don’t think that’s necessarily pressure from men but I do very much think it’s pressure from a network of profit-driven industries that take what men like and mangle it into an impossible ideal. Until the pressure isn’t just to be pretty but filtered, edited and surgically enhanced to perfection. Until the most lusted after women in our culture look like virtual avatars. And until even the most beautiful among us start to be seen as average.

Now add to all that a world of fully customisable AI girlfriends, each with flawless avatar faces and cartoonish body proportions. Eva AI’s Dream Girl Builder, for example, allows users to personalise every feature of their virtual girlfriend, from face style to butt size. Which could clearly be unhealthy for men who already have warped expectations. But it’s also unhealthy for a generation of girls already hating how they look, suffering with facial and body dysmorphia, and seeking cosmetic surgery in record numbers. Already many girls feel as if they are in constant competition with hyper-sexualised Instagram influencers and infinitely accessible porn stars. Now the next generation will grow up not just with all that but knowing the boys they like can build and sext their ideal woman, and feeling as if they must constantly modify themselves to compete. I find that tragic.

The Radical Moderate’s Manifesto

September 17, 2023 — ~tonm
Konstantin Kisin on https://konstantinkisin.substack.com/p/the-radical-moderates-manifesto

One of the most weird things that I experience every day is that my views are considered ‘controversial’. I find this a hilarious reflection on how mad society has become.

I want maths teachers to teach maths, history teachers to teach history, literature teachers to educate children about the best writers, poets and playwrights.

I want the police to investigate actual crimes like rape, burglary, stabbings and muggings, not paint their cars rainbow colours and police jokes, banter in WhatsApp groups and offensive tweets.

I want the media to tell me the facts of what is going on and let me decide what to think about it. If I want a journalist’s opinion, which I mostly don’t, I’ll read opinion columns. Just tell me what’s happening.

I want banks to provide bank services, ice cream makers to make ice cream and razor companies to make razors. I want transnational corporations to pay their taxes. I don’t want them to tell me what to think - I don’t need a moral lecture from Mr Burns off the Simpsons.

I want doctors to help me choose the best treatment for me and my family, not enforce a one-size-fits-all solution on me because of Government diktats. I don’t need scary advertising campaigns that misrepresent the threat to encourage me to look after my health.

I want the military to spend every waking moment working to get better at killing people who want to kill me, my family and my fellow citizens. I don’t care how diverse, progressive or inclusive they are. And I am outright hostile to this if it affects performance.

I want the legal system to reward productive, lawful behaviour and deter unproductive, unlawful behaviour. I want psychopathic, evil and dangerous people to be kept away from me, my family and my fellow law-abiding citizens.

I want politicians to implement the democratic wishes of the people of this country, even when I don’t personally agree with them. If the majority of my fellow citizens vote for something I don’t agree with, I can campaign against this while accepting the democratic outcome.

I want Government to interfere in my life as little as possible, while recognising that Government is necessary. I want to pay as little tax as lawfully possible, but enough to fund the things only Government can do.

I want an absolute meritocracy. Hard work, dedication and talent must always be rewarded. If you are lazy, don’t apply yourself or aren’t contributing, you don’t deserve to be rewarded as much as people who work their arse off.

I want people to be treated equally. Not as inferior OR superior. Just equal. There is no such thing as positive discrimination, just discrimination. If you want true equality, see previous paragraph.

I am NOT playing The Game

September 14, 2023 — ~tonm

Gameplay There are three commonly reported rules to The Game:

  1. Everyone in the world is playing The Game. (This is alternatively expressed as, “Everybody in the world who knows about The Game is playing The Game” or “You are always playing The Game.”) A person cannot refuse to play The Game; it does not require consent to play and one can never stop playing.
  2. Whenever one thinks about The Game, one loses.
  3. Losses must be announced. This can be verbally, with a phrase such as “I just lost The Game”, or in any other way: for example, via Facebook or other social media. Some people may have ways to remind others of The Game.

The definition of “thinking about The Game” is not always clear. If one discusses The Game without realizing that they have lost, this may or may not constitute a loss. If someone says “What is The Game?” before understanding the rules, whether they have lost is up for interpretation. According to some interpretations, one does not lose when someone else announces their loss, although the second rule implies that one loses regardless of what made them think about The Game. After a player has announced a loss, or after one thinks of The Game, some variants allow for a grace period between three seconds to thirty minutes to forget about the game, during which the player cannot lose the game again.

The common rules do not define a point at which The Game ends. However, some players state that The Game ends when the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announces on television that “The Game is up.”

Some people just don’t know what to do with their life.