Wednesday, December 15, 2010

thinkin' away

Who am I? Okay, let's tone it back a little. Or dial it back. Say that in the future this god stuff is going to happen. The masks aren't important, the feeling of being that thing is important. I walk around, what do I do? What am I? I'm a force that connects things.

What about people? How do other people treat me? I don't know if I can figure that out because the other people are going to be really strange too. Would everybody be like me? Would everybody be a force who connects things? Off the top of my head I would think not, I imagine going back and forth between people who are really stationary and focus on just one thing. I don't know why I assume those kinds of people are necessary though. Why would human energy and attention be necessary there? Couldn't that just be automated? I guess I'm sort of imagining a completely post Hegelian humanity. Basically human beings wouldn't do anything without understanding what and why they were doing it. You wouldn't have researchers. You would just have makers. So basically we, as people, would exist in a world of pieces, and we would understand the nature of those pieces (if we didn't then we would go about measuring their nature until we did) and connect them to eachother to create machines. People wouldn't randomly connect pieces. They wouldn't have any motivation to. Instead people would think about what they wanted to make and then figure out what pieces they needed to connect in what way to make that thing which they had imagined, and then they would make it. Sometimes they might have to travel or spend some time collecting the different pieces that they needed, or they might realize that the particular piece which they needed didn't exist so they'd figure out how it was supposed to work and they'd make it, before they could make the machine which they had imagined. That's pretty fucking inspiring to me, that sounds really cool to me.

How can I make this happen? Well, what are the steps? People imagine something that they want to make. That's no problem. I can get inspiration from anywhere. Then I would need to figure out the pieces I needed to make what I imagined. It seems like I would need to have some kind of searchable database of pieces. I would imagine that it would be impractical for me to try and remember all that stuff myself. So one step would be that once I imagined a machine that I wanted to make, I would have to be able to break it down somehow into its pieces. I would have to be able to break it down into a language that allowed me to find pieces that had that functionality. Would I have to understand where the parts are? I mean, I think that's sort of a no brainer. Maybe it isn't a no brainer though. Like say I have, okay, is machine the right word? Yes. Because everything that I make would exist to serve some purpose. That's kind of cool actually, if I did that. I could be relaxed sometimes and just be doing whatever, chilling with Amanda, but then when I made something, whenever I worked, it would ALWAYS be to serve a very specific purpose. I would work to create a machine which did something that I couldn't do unless that machine existed. And then I would use that machine once I made it because I wouldn't have created it just to add to my "toolset" I would have created it because I needed to use it for something. Then I guess maybe using machines themselves wouldn't have to be work? Because in just using the machines I could change things for no reason. Does that make any sense? I feel like I just might not have the right words here.

So, what is the purpose of these machines? The machines let me do something that I couldn't do otherwise. That's not exactly right. If these machines existed, there wouldn't be anything that I couldn't do. Making the machine would just be another step in the process of doing it. Okay. So it really does come back to intention. That's what I need to have. Hah. How would I make a machine that would let me manufacture intention?

Okay, okay, what would the processes be? Um, well, where would the intention come from? Ah, so the machine would need ingredients right? Where would it get the ingredients from?

Okay, that's interesting. I would say then that there are two kinds of machines. Well, no, that's an overgeneralization. I guess in this instance there's two scenarios that I could be describing with the words I used to describe my original idea, and one of them isn't what I want. A machine that manufactures intention, would it need to create intention once or would intention be something that the machine would have to continually generate? Well. Intentions are ideas. It's possible to talk about different intentions. So I could have the intention to do this and the intention to do that. In that sense, would I want my machine to be able to generate intentions to do multiple things, or would I only really need my machine (at this point) to create an intention to do one thing? Because if the machine only needed to create an intention to do one thing, then I wouldn't say that the intention needed ingredients to be manufactured. The ingredients would just be pieces of the machine. So then when the machine turned on it would generate the intention and maybe those pieces would be transformed into the intention, some parts of the machine would disappear, but the intention would exist so that would be that. I also would consider not saying that parts of the machine "disappeared" but that the machine went from being at rest to being in motion.

Okay, okay. That's interesting. That would be another fun thing to think about. Can I use this metaphor of a machine for figuring out what I want to do in the future? Hmm.

Okay, let's look at what the idea is supposed to be first. Do I need more than one idea of what to do in the future or just one? Ideally it would just be one. But then you definitely start to get into stuff like "how concrete are ideas?" I guess part of the requirement would be that, say this idea existed which satisfied what I wanted, I would want to have it compressed in a way that I could experience it consciously, symbolically in a relatively short period of time. Okay. And an idea is really just information. So I can say things about the kind of information it would have to have without knowing exactly what that information might be? Yeah. So I would say that it needed to have the information in it that, hmm. Okay, maybe I'm not saying what the information would say, but what it would allow me to do? I don't know if that's exactly it either. Okay. So I would need to have a piece that would allow me to think through the idea of what I wanted to do with myself in some kind of process that would eventually lead to concrete action on my part that would lead to this thing that I wanted to do with myself existing. So that's, say, the ability to plan. This compressed symbolic representation of the idea of what I want to do in the future would have a piece of information that would basically let me make an action plan. Another component would be some kind of informational piece that through whatever form of communication allowed me to really believe that this plan for the future was the right thing to do. Let's just call it the argument for now. So this compressed symbolic representation of what to do with my future would have an informational piece that would allow me to make an action plan that I believed would succeed, it would have an informational piece that convinced me that this idea of what to do with my future was something which I really wanted to do, I don't know if it would be another piece or if it would just be the symbolic packet itself, but it would also probably need to have an informational piece that gave me the ability to unpack the idea over the course of an hour or two into an adaptable conception of the pieces of the idea that I could use to communicate the idea in the most time efficient way possible to anyone I might need to explain the idea to.

Are there any other pieces that it would need to have? If I had the ability to believe that the idea was the best thing to do, I would have to understand the idea completely, right? I guess if it's a compressed symbolic representation of the idea, the things that I was getting might not be a complete logical argument because basically that would be refutations of a lot of common sense questions that I would ask. That would have to be something I'd get later when I spent some time unpacking the idea into the adaptable argument. For the part that would convince me, if it's really the right thing for me to do, I think it would just have to be a vision, basically a signifier collage, that gave me enough details about the state it was arguing for that it would be impossible for me to confuse it with any other state. If I saw it and there was tautologically no possibility that I was not being shown something that I could be convinced of being the right thing through a less compressed symbolic argument, then basically I would have to be experiencing something that gave me the exact same feeling I'd have once the state existed. That's how I would be able to be inspired. Then as I carried out the action plan which I was also able to create because of a piece of information in this compressed symbolic idea, I would have the reward of satisfaction once I got to the point in time that I was shown via the argument because I would be becoming more and more confident that the feeling I had from the arguing signifier collage was something real and not just some kind of "pipe dream." Then once I got to the point in the future where the state was realized, I would experience the excitement of everything I could do once I got to that state, even though that was something that I had been communicated in the original signifier collage. What I would have in addition to the feeling of excitement would be the satisfaction of having got to that point and the ability to actually act on the excitement, which had basically been frozen into a kind of anticipation after being transferred in the argument.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Well, shit. I just don't know. I'm glad that I got that one programming project done, but it's disappointing that it doesn't work as well as I'd like it to. I have so many formless anxieties. I hope that I'm not just pushing immediate concerns into a more subconscious place by writing all the time. Oh well, that's not my intention, so hopefully my intentions for this stuff have something to do with what effect they have on me. Everything seems so hard. It's interesting that my definition of hard has to do with "everything feels like it'll take a really long time." I guess there's stuff that I really want to make and do, but at a certain point of 'omg this'll take years', there's this part of my mind that starts ticking into some kind of dumb (or intelligent) cost benefit analysis and there you are. The interesting thing about what I'm doing with this writing and everything I'm thinking about on the computer, is that presumably I'm trying to make digital and intellectual and conceptual tools. So if I have something that I want to do but it seems like it'll take too long to do, then the idea is that I'll make some kind of time saving tool, and so on, making tools as I see needs, until I actually can do what I want to do in a managable amount of time. I don't know if it's realistic for me to expect that metaphor to hold in all the really practical aspects of my life too. I don't know if I need it to. I guess I'm okay with their being certain constraints that I can't change, like I'm not really interested in creating some kind of Rube-Goldberg-esque device that makes it so I can make dinner by pressing a button or anything like that. What I'm interested in is ways to have intangible qualities while I'm doing all these practical day to day tasks or whatever that are really nourishing and exciting and stuff to me. And I guess if I could multi-task and be working on some sort of intangible thing while I'm doing practical stuff too, that'd be really good. But I don't think it's so important that I'm actually getting stuff done, the important part for me would be the feeling of productively or creatively using my time that would come from that kind of "multi-tasking."

I think it's really important to me to feel like I'm doing something creative, but I'm not really sure what creativity is. Which is awesome. *sarcasm*. Um, I guess it's pretty expansive. I just want to make stuff! I want to make things that I feel like are expressions of my identity that really help me understand and cherish my own identity better. That's pretty much what I want I guess. That sort of fits into the idea of having my own identity that interacts with but is autonomous from my environment too.

Dude. I hate banks. Not Banks my cousin, but banking institutions. God they are dumb. They just, arr. Take up so much money and stuff. And it's like, of course I can't save if I'm always carrying around, essentially, all the money I own on a card in my pocket. God. I wonder how complicated it'll be to hook up to Paypal's backend? I just feel really... blah. It's fine. I'm grateful for this feeling, because again it's a feeling I've definitely had in the past and I would love to figure out what it takes to have a constructive relationship with it. But I feel down on my creativity and my ability to do anything cool before I die. Heh. Yay. So cliche. Which is, of course, fine. It's interesting though. Where the hell does that come from? What happens when you can't identify with the art that you make anymore? What happens when you're creating artistic artifacts but they don't move you anymore? Or they don't move you in the way that you're used to and that makes you uncomfortable? Or your idea of art and identity is tied to recognition from other people and you're afraid that since your art has changed and it doesn't move you in the same way, people will not like you as an "artist" anymore. And then you have to deal with all the social bullshit of them thinking that you've peaked and washed up and whatever. And I mean, in a way those descriptions could be accurate in describing a certain dynamic of change, but I think that the objects it's supposedly operating on literally and not metaphorically are completely nonsensical.

I mean, what is art? What does it mean to be an artist? People love artists because artists make things that are beautiful and beautiful objects bring us happiness, right? Kind of. I mean, I think all of those things are true, but it's easy to feel like that description touches on all the points and, while I feel like that's a really important dynamic to consider as an artist or even just as a human being, I think that leaves about a billion really important questions completely unexamined about what an artist is, what their purpose is, and what they're doing. Basically I think that's a pretty toxic understanding of self to have if you yourself are an artist or are trying to be an artist. But it's important to think about. This idea that your art can sustain you is part of it. You're an artist! You create beautiful things for your community! Your community then decides to support you because they're all like "you're great, maker of beautiful and interesting things!" That seems like a pretty simple and closed loop, but it doesn't really take into account you as the artist and as an individual. Yes all these things can be true, but then what? Are you just a cog of society that's making objects and artifacts that society desires? How is that any different than being a worker a bagel shop or something? The initial response might be "oh, well, I'm my own boss, yada yada, it's a lot more rewarding than being a drone serving people food." Maybe that's true. But are you really your own boss? The idea that society is supporting you as an artist is predicated on the concept that you are creating something which society finds beautiful or interesting. Do you just magically know that somehow? Or is it simply in your nature? Is everything you make, by definition, desirable by society? I don't think that either of these concepts are likely. More likely is that you randomly (or something) create "art" which society finds desirable, and maybe you have it in your nature to continue making stuff society finds desirable, maybe you don't, but more likely than not at some point your art is no longer desirable to society.

This is of course viewing "society" as being some kind of monolithic entity with some kind of continuity of identity, when in fact it is merely a sum of individuals in most ways. So what happens is that initially your "art" is desirable to some group of individuals for some reason. And then your art stops being desirable to that set of individuals. Therefore "society" has rejected you. But what's more likely is that the set of individuals who appreciate your creations have just changed. This is kind of like Bob Dylan going electric on a miniature scale. So if you want to continue to be supported materially or emotionally by others you have to somehow be able to understand who your new "audience" is. The thing is, this can be a really strange process depending on who your initial "audience" were and depending on what kind of relationship you had with them. More likely than not, the reason you created art in the first place (okay, maybe not more likely than not, but at least "very possibly") was because there was a group of people, a social group, that you wanted to be included in and recognized by. So the first works of art you created were based on an analysis and imitation of the things that they seemed to like as a group. This is the beginning of your artistic identity. But then what happens? This social group you wanted to be a part of, people you wanted to have romantic relationships or just friendships with, change. Or you change. And this mini social group may have some kind of clique-ish continuity of identity or it might not. If it doesn't then the individuals change and the group identity which to you as an outsider seemed so solid and real, dissolves. But part of your "artistic identity" literally is the continuity of that initial group identity. If it is a clique, and their is a continuity of group identity, then your challenge is different. Your challenge is to continue to create things which will be accepted by the clique. What kinds of things are these? Things that reaffirm that validity of the clique as an entity which does and should exist. People don't like to think of art as serving this purpose though (depending on the clique that is. The more "intellectual" or "artistic" they are, the less they'll like it), so to keep up the pretence that "no you're not just validating a narrow vision of identity and values", you have to go through the motions, sometimes in an incredibly convincing way, of being an "artist." That means that there has to be novelty in your work, because of course artists are fearless experimenters trying to find some answers or whatever, but you also can't create works that espouse values uncomfortable to the identity of the clique you're trying to produce for.

This might be easy, this might be really hard. I think this is especially hard if you believe that sincerity is an important quality in artwork and that in your work you're trying to express things which come from the heart. The reason this is difficult is because you're actually going to have explicit urges not to formally analyze the constraints which you're working on, so it'll be harder for you to intelligently and methodically explore the constraints that you're working in. Instead you're very likely to start creating work which doesn't jive with the clique that initially accepted you, and in this sense you've "peaked" and you're stuck as a has-been. Or however we think of artists who have achieved some kind of noteriety and then started to create unpalatable works.

So this is hard. Because basically, uh, it's complicated. I wouldn't say that I'm a genius. I wouldn't even say that I'm a meta-genius. I would say that, at least as an unconscious hobby, I'm an artist and my medium is the character of genius. It's definitely a creative pursuit for me. And I guess the rationale is that if I want to go to all the work to be a "genius" I had better be a genius that is really aesthetically pleasing to me and also one that will be able to practically survive well. I.e., tragic geniuses who die of T.B.-- interesting, but not something that I want to plan my life around. I mean, unless I was subjectively into the experience of dying painfully and unfulfilled, which I'm not. I might be unusual in thinking this way, but I think it's quite likely that I'm not really. I would just say that among people who think this way, I'm fairly imaginative and whimsical and Aspergers-y. Heh.

So many things to think about here. One is the whole concept. How I'm a supposed to translate some kind of emotional picture or aggregation of details based on an outsiders perspective of a certain kind of identity into the subjective experience of that identity? That's a huge one, and I think it's really important to try and understand the dynamics of what's going on here and to try and be pretty conscious of them, because I wouldn't be surprised if this has a strong sub-conscious effect on my behavior.

Fuck. I'm so fucking spacey. Dammit. I mean, I guess, fuck, I don't know. There's just so much stuff that I want to be really fucking good at! And I don't understand exactly what the easiest process will be for learning this stuff, but I feel like if I devoted energy to any of them, or if I had an organized resource that worked from my own idiosyncratic level of expertise and had the opportunity to do a lot of, like, hands on things, I could learn so much stuff. I guess maybe I'd be really obnoxious? I don't know. I guess I don't know how many tools there are online that you need a lot of money to learn about. So I feel like there are about a billion things that I could be learning how to do really well. But then there's this idea of programming as craft, where sometimes you have to learn about these stupid niggling errors through trial and error. And there's the stuff I make and that totally feels true. Browser incompatabilities, etc., irregular behavior, nothing is ever clean cut. And we have to work out work arounds, and there's no guarantee that the work around we make will be worth anything. I mean, shit. Should I learn visual basic? I could. That'd be kind of bad-ass. On the other hand, I might just start crying the moment that I had to deal with a variable address. I don't know why I have such strong emotional reactions to the conceptual spaces that I inhabit. BUt dood. There's so much fucking shit to learn. I guess one question... I mean, jesus. I could make things that allowed you to visualize chemical compounds and it could work through a website and it could look bad-ass as shit. I just don't know what to focus on, maybe.

And I want to view myself as a natural process? I just want friggin' insight, man. It's hard when so much of the data that's really important for me to be dealing with doesn't really have any physical and concrete symbolic signification. Of course there are signifiers around me, but that's a whole different kettle of fish than symbolic signification. And they all exist in something of a shared space because they're all things that I'm thinking about and so to a certain degree they're all being channeled through me. And most of them, well, I'd say that all of them are connected to at least one of these four things, my thoughts, feelings, time or actions. So they should be all considered in some kind of shared space so that my thoughts, feelings, time and actions can be intelligently managed. The real goal of intelligently managing it not being that I'm so grossly incapable of doing so without some kind of overarching system, I might even be able to do it really well without them all existing in the same plane, but once all this stuff is managed somehow on the same plane, then I have the ability to actually try to optimize this stuff using different forms of my intelligence, and whatever tools I have to do that kind of thing. Basically it's an abstraction, and I think it could be enormously interesting and useful. But it's super loaded. Incredibly loaded. It's really hard to be honest about what's on that space, because it's hard to be honest about who I am and isn't what I process one of the most damning/defining descriptions of ontologically what I am? So it's hard to put things into these categories and make those kinds of connections. Because it's a complicated task to grok in the first place. But on top of that, the things that I'm trying to define, which might be hard to put into words anyway, sometimes part of my emotional and social identity is trying to add stuff that practically isn't there, transform some things into what might appear to be more socially attractive, hide things that it's (I'm?) self conscious about. And there's all the fears. Like "oh, if this is on the list, I'm a OMG I SUCK.." and "shit, where is this on the list?" And then there's a part of my mind that's trying to jump the gun and start prioritizing all these things. And it's kind of complicated to start prioritizing things before I even really understand what I'm working with. I mean, this is kind of a description of the kinds of things which I interact with on a day to day basis, but what effect do they have on me? Why? How are they connected? How are they orderly and based on some real necessity? How are they completely arbitrary and useless? How can I tell the difference between the two? What are the potential benefits in focusing in one direction?

And then the idea of having some kind of system like this. Oh my god. Potentially so time consuming. And I think there is an incredibly high possibility that the first fifty ways I think of trying to represent this kind of stuff will be total failures. And what will be the thing that makes it click? It could be some kind of symbolic representation/level of meaning, it could be graphic design, it could be color, it could be animation, it could be sound, it could be agency on the part of something involved here. It could be navigation. I'm sure navigation is a huge part. And then it might be the question or the way that I'm posing it in the first place. And it would really suck if I spent a lot of time trying to explore and implement some visualization or management tool and it ended up that I was completely wrong about the premises I was trying to make it from. I mean, I do like the idea that at some point the design of the program, the actual program creation, wouldn't be thought of as some final process but actually as a part of the dynamics of thought formation and clarification.

But isn't this the whole problem about ADHD? That I can't focus? And then there's the question of am I focusing on what I need to emotionally process? Do I know how to emotionally process what I'm focusing on? What does it even mean to emotionally process something? Isn't emotion just some kind of short-hand thinking? Dealing with things that are inherited from our biological ancestors that are critically important but too nuanced to really be able to describe or view through words? I guess I feel that there is just a language of metaphors and concepts and literal vocabulary that would need to be developed as an individual of any living species before it would really be possible to use symbols instead of physiological responses to navigate your environment and possible future environments in a timely manner.

Another thing that I want to think about: I tend to think of myself as really idiosyncratic as my emotions and desires being really idiosyncratic. But what if if anyone could experience the subjective character of living in one of my best case scenarios, that's exactly what they'd want? Is it possible to overstate the pluralistic character of our natures? Are we all looking for essentially the same identity to eventually inhabit, and we're all trying to get there from different angles of attack which we vehemently beleive to be best? What if I have a pretty good idea of what that identity is? ANd what if what I really need to do is just make people feel okay about emulating me? And any problems or whatever that I would encounter in the people around me would be emotional and thus based in some aspect of who I want to be that hasn't been adequately translated into symbolic language yet that it can be managed and mulled over in a timely fashion? Hum. Maybe.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Fuck. So I have, if I really want to, at least two hours that I can give myself to writing. Which is fantastic. That is a lot of time. I have so many ideas floating around in my head right now. It's cold outside, but Derek's hat is warm and it keeps my ears warm. I guess it's interesting, writing something like that I'm afraid that I'll get distracted, that instead of writing about anything "relevant" I'll go off on a tangent about my head being warm for ten minutes. But how likely is that? Isn't it just as hard to write about my hat and my head being warm as it is to write about philosophical and intellectual issues? But that fear is always there. And it just creates an additional tension for me in the writing process that, honestly, I'm not sure is necessary. And of course I do go off on tangents and of course I do get distracted, but that's fine! I don't understand the causal link yet between what I'm thinking about and my day to day life. I could be incredibly simplistic about it and say "oh, I create thoughts and understandings of reality that literally are 'real' and then I act based on them," but no idea is ever real in that way. Every idea is always a theory, an observation, a story, a poetic statement. I wonder if, before the current backlash against the scientific worldview that is at least brewing in the back of my mind, people used to think of their thoughts as so incredibly real? Probably. And beleiving that your world is a cut and dried place like that has consequences on your personality. Obviously it makes you have blind spots. It also can tend to make you feel intolerant or at best smugly superior to people who haven't gone through the same random series of events to have the same thoughts as you. I wonder if that's a causal force behind the strength of the patriarchy in our society? Guys develop these theories, believe them to be objectively true. This makes them more effective because they can go into auto-pilot and not spend any energy experiencing what they are working on. This makes them materially sucessful, at least in the short term. They feel smugly superior to women and instead of explaining the way that they think (because that would just open it to criticism and it doesn't make much sense anyway) they tolerate women's "irrational", i.e. nuanced perspectives and support them materially because they're able to accumulate goods faster since in many ways they're cutting corners. Eventually this hierarchy becomes institutionalized and the upshot is that instead of being smugly benevolant it becomes actively repressive because it's trying to preserve itself (being equivelant to the hare) and meanwhile women and those who think like them (being the turtle) have been steadily working on their worldview which is now developed to the point where it's a real threat to the stability of the institutions based on a world view where every thought is related to a literal physical truth.

Which is to say: information is a tool. Information is neutral. Information does not dictate action. Action is what a person decides to do with a piece of information, and as time passes they might decide to act differently based on that same piece of information. Creating more information is always positive, it should never be repressive.

So. Life is adaptation. Life is brutal. It's not about approaching perfection (theoretically) it's about survival in the moment. This makes me think about the system I'm making. It doesn't make any sense to me to adapt myself to any kind of ecological or social niche that's available to me. I just don't have a lot of faith in their stability, and I feel like in the future it's going to be a huge advantage to be able to exist in a fluid state with all of those things. So I'm trying to figure out what homeostasis as an individual means to me. I would say that for me, personally, homeostasis is defined by having the ability to try and approach perfection (although never achieve it) at any given time. So that's what I'm trying to preserve, but I also need the ability to read my environment, create some way of acting, and then act upon it. As I'm saying that what's coming to my head is that maybe that's unneccesarily complicated. Why do I beleive that I have to think of a plan, that I have to fully form it, before I can begin implementing it? Because, dammit, I do want to have control over my environment. I believe in pluralism, I believe in live and let live, I'm not trying to subjugate anything, but I do want to have some reasonable degree of control over my environment. I guess control isn't even the right word. I want to be a powerful force in my environment, and I want to use that power as wisely and unobtrusively as possible. Because I don't want to fall into some kind of day dream of survival where I'm only living in the moment and I never have the space for myself to think more than a day ahead, I want to have the luxury of making plans. I want to have the luxury of taking on projects that might take more than a week, a month, or even a year to accomplish. Those things are all important to me. Because survival alone, it's what I'll work for, but it's not what I'm trying to aspire to.

So I want to be able to plan. And I want to be able to carry out those plans. I want to have projects, and I want to be able to carry out those projects. But I also want to be insanely ambitious. Right now I easily have thirty years to be at the prime of my life making shit. And depending on what I'm doing in the next thirty years, that number could change to a hundred or a thousand years. Life is beautiful to me. Let me rephrase, life can be scary to me, but living is always wonderful. I love living. I want to continue to live for as long as I possibly can. I'm not going to put that ahead of my morality, and not all means are justified by the ends (sometimes means can be too repressive). But I do want to live for a very long time. And I want to be able to have relationships that last for a very long time. If I'm going to live for a very long time, I want Amanda to be able to live for a very long time too. This is just as important to me as my own survival. It's good to remember that all this is going on in the background. And maybe to a certain degree, it is important for me to consciously remember every day what the stakes are that I'm aiming for. But I also have this philosophy about immortality that is something along the lines of "fake it till you make it." I guess I feel like people would already be immortal if it was possible for a human being, psychologically, to adapt to that. I think that freedom is kind of mind numbing. Most people couldn't handle the thought that they had nothing to fear and they could spend all their time and effort on, for instance, self-education. If someone, without fear and with only the idea of self-improvement and curiosity on their mind, was able to study and think intensely for a month? I can't even quite imagine what would happen. And that's the tricky thing about immortality, it almost accelerates the rate at which you change. And knowing that you have eons to change instead of decades, at a possible exponentially increasing rate of change, it just staggers the imagination.

But this is important to think about. What's going to happen? If I'm physically me. If I'm learning at an exponential rate. If there is a spirit world which is involved in all this. If hallucinations might not require drugs to persist (this is the huge wild card). Okay, well, the important thing to remember about hallucinations is that you can't eat them. Hallucinations can give you ideas, but they can't feed you, they can't keep your body safe from cold (if it's really cold out), they can't touch you, they can't help you carry heavy objects. And that is a distinction that I think it makes sense to keep. Although the only reason I say that is that I don't want my world to change at such a rapid rate that I no longer have any power over my environment compared to the things around me. The scary thought is if everything is happening based on my own imagination. I don't know if it's healthy for me to think that and i don't know where that idea comes from.

Back to reality. What is this adaptable system that I'm trying to make? Well, I feel like the first logical step is to get rid of negative things. Even if it takes work to get rid of them and I can't get rid of all of them at once, I should at least do some kind of inventory so I have an idea of what I'm dealing with and I can then confidently know when I've done enough that it's going to be more productive trying to invent constructive psychic structures.

Hey, here's one right here. My constructive psychic structure is that I'm going to take a look at myself and try and figure out all the negative and repressive ideas or feelings in me that I can.

How do I systematically go about doing that? I don't know. It seems like these are the kinds of things that come to me as mini-epiphanies throughout my day, especially if I've churned up a lot of data for me to compute. I want to make a list but I'm not sure if a list does the right thing to my mind. It's a totally different narrative, and I think it might, for me personally at this point in my development, be more likely to lead to forgetting than to remembering the important points.

One I was thinking about is how the Arant's sort of have a conservative "if you give a mouse a cookie" perspective towards helping people. Maybe it's true but if it isn't the cynicism and fear behind that perspective is super disappointing to me. Which isn't to say that they don't help! I think I've internalized this perspective so that I don't have to confront parts of my family that are ugly to me. Which means that I am able to avoid situations where it would even come up. So many of my issues I could tie back to Matt and his own realizations or insecurities. Maybe at this point I'm afraid of what Matt has learned through "hard knocks" in his life that doesn't make any sense to me. But does suffering really give anyone authority? Don't we all have to have the right to confront suffering on our own terms? Maybe going down a certain path Matt ran into a roadblock and now he feels like he can say "no, don't even try, this path is blocked." Because to him it is, that statement is true. But for me, maybe the same blocks wouldn't be so hard. Maybe the same blocks would be things that I would have the strength or understanding to transcend. This kind of thinking is difficult for me though. It's difficult for me because I feel like I'm criticizing my family. And I don't feel like I haven't a right to criticize my family because I wouldn't be here, I wouldn't have the opportunities that I do have without them. But I guess maybe in following that train of thought I should also think that perhaps my family doesn't have any reason or right to criticize and doubt me? Or maybe this criticism and doubt can be thought of a more impersonal way of deconstructing our own contexts that is necessary for us to grow as individuals but which is not meant as a personal attack or dissapointment in eachother in any way.

So the next idea I can think of is this criticism of my writing. Basically Mom trying to teach me how to be a good writer when I was a little kid. I suppose there are rules that I never understood the purpose of and that therefore never really made sense to me which I felt I was expected to follow. Otherwise, what? See, the nice thing about defining these fears is really trying to understand how they are operating. I guess the fear about not managing to follow these kinds of imprecise rules is literally not meeting the approval of my own mother. Which is kind of a silly thing to worry about. But I really respect the knowledge that my mom has, I think of her as a teacher, and I certainly would think that she has more knowledge about writing than I do. It's kind of really hard for me to imagine my mom as a peer. That we might have different pieces of information but that that's alright and we are both equals with different pieces of the puzzle. Mom doesn't really facilitate being viewed that way. She has such a hunger to be respected and viewed as a teacher. And after a certain point, I don't even see it as a hunger, it's more that she is a teacher in a lot of ways and then she demands to be respected like one. But I don't know. I don't know if I want to be putting Mom up on a pedestal like that. On the one hand maybe it's good for her and it nourishes her somehow, but on the other hand I think that she doesn't even realize how much of a burden that is on her. I think she struggles a lot every day to feel like she is respected by herself and by the people around her. I'm sure that got passed on to me in some weird way. I wonder how? I think for me it's a lot more internalized, I don't have any doubt that to myself I'm an intelligent and valuable person. That knows things that other people don't know and that they would benefit from learning from. It's easy because I do have a lot of fairly esoteric knowledge sets. But mom is also pretty self-aware, so who knows what she's thinking about.

The next fear I have is of being to boring. That somehow all these neuroses are what give my identity detail and beauty and any attempt to erase them is based out of some Apollonian idea of perfection which is actually destructive and based out of some kind of self-loathing. I don't think that's true though. I don't think that any of the qualities I'm talking about are necessarily bad, I think they're just subconscious and underdeveloped and underexamined and the effect that they're having on my life right now is undesirable. So what I'm trying to do when I bring these things up isn't to get rid of them. What I'm trying to do is examine them. I'm not sure how examining them really helps me but that's something I'll understand too. I feel like examining them allows me to perceive them as rational propositions just like any others that I can then decide to heed or ignore based on what I consider to be their merit. But what about this idea of my imperfections being necessary? Part of me thinks that trying to become better, trying to aspire towards a greater "perfection" is actually devoid of soul and harmful.


Well, fuck. That was just an unproductive afternoon lost forever to the internets without very much to show for myself except for sating my information metabolism.


Okay. Fuck it. I'm going to write whatever the fuck I want to until Amanda gets home because I'm drunk and my ass doesn't hurt and that's an option. Also did I mention that I'm listening to FUCKING MASTADON!?

Because, well, whatever. Fuck it. I don't have to write intelligent shit. I'm writing. Welcome to Fran's world. It's ridonks. It's awesome. It's awful. I don't give a shit what anyone thinks about it. Let's see what happens. Dude. Mastadon.

So, this is a story about how I am awesome. Once upon a time everyone was like you have to be a serious writer otherwise you are FUCKED. ANd I was all like, fuck that. I don't give a shit. And even though I worried about shit I did what I wanted to anyway. And you know what? I didn't even want to win the way that that thought winning had to be. I invented my own new way of winning. And it was so metal. It was more metal than most human beings even have the capacity to imagine.


See, this is unbounded creativity. Pfhear it yo. Because it ain't going anywhere and it is redonks. I can't believe that I have a whole new Mastadon album to listen to> I LOVE METAL SO FUCKING MUCH OH MY GOD.

Anyway. Metal is so good! Searching for Crystal? Seriously? What is this WoW? I mean. AM I right?

DUde, I don't even know how to describe all the ways that I am happy in the next two hours. Oh my god. Metal. I might end up REPEATING myself a little bit as I describe my enthusiasm for BLACK METAL. And baroque guitar solos. Fuck, I don't even know. I'm just really happy. I need to listen to Mastadon all the time. I think that would really help me with life. I just need to make sure that once I become some kind of gothic creation of my own imagination I'm not alienating Amanda somehow. Heh. What're the odds.

I mean, I could alienate her if it's like, "react to me, I'm darkness." But what if I'm, obviously, darkness, and I'm trying to play it straight and it's up to her to discover how metal I am or not and I always have that little thrill of possible discovery going on in the back of my mind?

I just need metal. I need to stop looking at stupid fucking bullshit on the internet. FUCK THE ONION AV CLUB. I LIKE MY OWN WRITING BETTER. Those guys are stuck up pricks who are bitter about... I don't even know. Being lazy? Hehe. Not trying to burn you guys. Because in some ways we are the same flora. Except I'm a completely different version who is so much more bad-ass because I am like a million times less self conscious. I hope I'm sober by dinner time. BWAJAJAAHHAH.

SO, anyway. I don't fucking care. YES THIS IS STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS. In my stream of consciousness I literally pluck out my own eyes with my hands. My stream of consciousness is cooler than whatever movie you're watching. OH WAIT THIS IS MY JOURNAL AND THERE ISN'T EVEN AN AUDIENCE. Bitches.

Now you're gonna say I'm just acting out. Hah. You would not like to see me acting out. If you ever saw me acting out you would be all "oh my goodness, why is he holding his breath for so long." And then I would laugh and laugh and laugh.

Dude I'm so fucked up. I tried to smother myself? What the fuck? What the hell leads a person to try to smother themselves? And I mean, that's a pretty hardcore way of trying to kill yourself. SMothering yourself? In the movies when someone smothers somebody it's always super hardcore because the person struggles a lot but it's all "this shit has to be quiet and I have the fortitude to commit to this murder." That was what my last suicide attempt was like. What the hell is up with that?

Anyway, I don't really care. I just want to feel good. Seriously, I just want to feel good. I'm not saying that I feel bad, but I really want to feel good. The smell of food downstairs is definitely helping me feel good. And Mastadon? I mean, there are certain contributions that are beyond words, for sure. I guess I feel so confident and comfortable liking them because they are so fucking well acclaimed critically. WHICH IS TOTAL BULLSHIT. I would like to be able to derive equal enjoyment from things in which the reviewers were like "this is bullshit, this is walt disney masturbating all over my cat's litter box." Just because you don't understand something that doesn't mean that it's not pregnant with meaning. At least, that's what I've heard.

Fuck, now I want to go buy treats. But fuck this vampire town trying to steal my money. Fucking fuck that. My money is hard earned. I don't need to be paying this god damned place for sandwiches when I've already bought myself dinner by paying to live at the place I live at. Right? I don't even know how into candy I am. I just feel so fucking neurotic and disconnected sometimes. BUT. It's all getting better. Because you had better believe that I have figured out how to be a fucking ratchet and anyway that you try to oppress me, I will inescapably find a way to counter it because that is my nature.

And that's awesome. I love metal. I love punk. I love noise so much. Okay I'm super refined or whatever, or at least I'm trying to think that way so that Amanda will like me, but seriously, I love punk rock. I love metal. And I'm happy about it. So that's that. I don't know what it means, but really, I'm starting to see a democratic hierarchy of influences on my life throughout my own history, and punk music/noise shows are super fucking influential, even though, for instance, they came after Tae Kwon Do so it's hard to quantify in certain ways. But any influence that comes first has an advantage, because it's given time to compound.

Oh no. I'm gettin fucking sleepy. Got to figure out a way that'll keep me typing,.

Duck ate the world and then
The moon spat up vaginal fluids
and they said to me
What the fuck did you think you were counting on
ANd I broke the arm of the robot
trying to remove my teeth with its rusty fingers
and the noise all around me
gave ghosts the space to sing in
And together we called this place Marduk's lair
And I was like
Fuck that, this town is called Fisca
And my Mom showed up as a ghost and she said
Hell no, this town is called Dai'san
ANd I was all, well, okay, whatever.

End of metal interlude. I shed tears.

I know that this might become too real
And you're afraid that this might become a vision quest
where you're unable to relate to the world around you
but this is what you're supposed to do
revisit your high school
you have grown so much
and if you had the opportunity to do then
what you have the capability to do now
you would be such a happier person
because you've learned a lot of stupid fucking stuff
that you need to know
to be happy.

and what's more metal than being happy?
drinking bat's blood?
fuck that, that's vh1 poser bs.

thisbird has been cold on my fire escape
for so long.
what's it trying to do.
why has it been there for so fucking long?
is there shit to eat?
i feel like there must be.
or maybe it feels the heat escaping from my windows
and part of it is like fuck yeah.

fuck man. what am I going to do? i'm getting sleeepy and that means that I'm going to descend into the metal oblivion and that would be fucked up right? or would that feel like home? fuck it, I'm not going to sleep until I have to. And I understand that metal whatever is a way of exploring myself and it's something deep and I don't have to be afraid of it even if I'm sleepy.

And you know what fuckers? Once I write a lot of shit, I'm going to go back and I'm going to read all the shit that I've written, and I'm going to get something from it because I'm smart and I know how to read and I know how to write.

Fucking slavery. Right now there is an underclass of non-artists and there is an overclass of creators and it's not even that subliminal, but the people who benefit from it don't even realize how much they do benefit from it. X-force or x-factor is the classic question. ANd then the question, after a certain point, becomes "am I dreaming"? What is my physical stamina to continue recording these ideas? Much more than it should be honestly and that's awesome. So I keep fucking going. I mean, where are the fucking metal/noise band philosophers. Everything isn't quite as clean cut as the fucking academics would like to think, thank god.

But that's going to be my strength. Is that I'm metal. I need to incorporate more of a metal attitude into my normal life. But the problem is that listening to metal is like jerking off, it's private and it requires a certain disconnect from self. You realize that the identity which you hold for yourself that could jerk off is different than your normal every day mentality. Which is actually total bullshit. That's just how categorization in our minds works.

Now part of my fucking body and mind and psyche is tired. And I think that that's a permanant fact of my life. But, I'm a sadist and a masochist, so my instinct is to take myself right to that place of really wanting to stop, to truly feel that feeling and try to understand what it means, and then to keep writing . To feel what kind of pain that inflicts on me. It's just like running, right? It'll make me stronger? But of course after this writing, well, no. It is sort of like an infection. I can't imagine how writing past the point that is comfortable to me will change me but it does. And I just keep on writing. And it is awesome. I want to listen to something other than Mastadon. But does the sadist part of me say, no? You have to listen to Mastadon? maybe. I don't know what I'm expecting to learn from it besides that I feel like it really does facilitate self-awareness. And it sucks. Oh my god it sucks. It makes you feel like shit.

But I'm not afraid of that. It's all psychological anyway. And at least I'm typing so hopefully I won't be stuck with any one uncomfortable feeling to the point of nausea. Except for the uncomfortable feeling of pushing myself. Is this what is going to kill me? Is this going to create impossible to release tension in my body that will eventually lead to cancer and death. Not really. I'd must rather.. fuck, forgot what I was talking about because I was almost dreaming. Something about money though and filling spaces in.

How can I say, is this any more productive than my own efforts? Don't know what that means. It's like I'm dreaming. Is this any better than just dreaming every night? It feels like it has the same flavor of auto-hypnosis. Well, whatever. This is good because I feel like I have the freedom to be drunk and imperfect. Still getting bored though.

Fuck that, these are my words. What is more important or interesting than the words coming out of my own mind or soul. Isn't that the biggest responsibility that I have as a living conscious being. To communicate what is uniquely in my soul to at least myself. How can that become boring to me? Why are the words that other people use so much more comfortable to me? are they? I think it's unhealthy to avoid myself because god knows that that's impossible. I don't know who I am but I do know who I'm not and I've felt like there was a ring that I had t o hold on to to really feel what's going on and to really forge myself into something strong not weak.

i don't even understand how my weakness works though. My weakness is that i get tired. I don't want to express myself anymore because I experience my sense of self like some kind of bullshit sense of pain that I never can fully relax into and sublimate. I don't kno w if I want to hold what secrets there are in my soul.

This is intense. I'm so close to falling asleep, but I understand how important it is to continue expressing myself and I don't know when or where but I really do believe that me expressing myself is building towards something in the future that will be really important and valuable. What I couldn't tell you. And then there's this crazy world of bullshit ideas and concepts that binds you to fucking plato. What does plato give a shit about anything? PLato's been dead for three thousand years.

But this is the way that the mind tries to understand itself. Oh well. It's okay. I can engage in this process. Do I think that i can make it for the next hour before amanda gets home? Fuck yeah I can, and then I'm going to smoke a fucking cigarette. WHich isn't to say that I'm sure I can make it. I jsut think that I can and I guess I'm going to learn something about myself by seeing what happens. Because if I am at war with myself, then anything I fuck with or destroy is going to be permanantly impeding to me in the future if I hope to be sovereign over this whole body or whatever.

And isn't it fucked that not thinking of yourself as completely being the master of your own psyche is equated with possession? Who the fuck gives a shit. Of course we don't understand ourselves. Is there a second, real, step beyond self-awareness. Epi-ego? Self-understanding? Self-leaving-behind-ness?

So am I swatting at stubborn shit that doesn't want to come off of the curtain of manifestation? Am I descending into some kind of psychic hell for myself? Fuck that. Even if I'm stirring up shit, things are okay. I have so many less issues than the average metal dude (presumably) and I should feel lucky that I can even channel the shit that's stirred up by trying to do this (which I can). ANd I don't want to go to the tobacco bowl. I know that the feeling of regrouping is to be treasured. But we have to recognize that there is no causal connection between any emotional states. Any emotional state can, a priori, be the seed of the entire universe. Which is to say that I don't have to switch to other states to feed this one that I'm in. This state that I'm in is self-sufficient.

And I don't know if I'm generating energy like a star. I'm probably not emmitting ultraviolet light. That's fine. I anticipate these death like moments where I completely surrender myself to some kind of deteriorating sense and then "surprise surprise" I am born again. That's all fine. But I'm not trying to be a part of some fucking tragic story about mortality. I'm trying to live in a beautiful, fun, exciting world that I gain energy from being in. That's what I'm trying to do. And maybe my mind and my psyche aren't ready to channel that kind of stuff. But maybe they are. And I'm just thinking about how the demons in that fucking warlords game I was playing are basically in the same european geography as hitler.

God this is an uncomfortable state. I don't know how to change that. I don't know how to channel more awareness into it. Maybe I can just accept that in this state I'm a little loopy, a little less conscious. I don't know what to do with that information though. It feels like I'm falling asleep. ANd I don't want to fall asleep. I want to keep writing. But there's definitely a part of me which goes "oh fran, it doesn't matter what you think, what you want." And then this angel who is amanda. What's up with that. I'm so glad she is staying with me, even though right now I'm trying to express an extremely deteriorated mind. But maybe as I describe the edges of it it will all become stronger and more able to survive.

Fuck. This is bullshit. This isn't great thinking. This is me drunk. But I don't understand the difference, honestly. I don't understand why I can't have important ideas why I'm drunk. And I keep nodding off, and part of me is going "how much time did I just lose" nodding off in that moment.

Because it's all connected to sleep. This is exactly what's going on at night while I'm trying to stay awake and I'm having problems. ANd fuck it. I understand that this might not be where i need to eventually end up in my life. But I'm not crazy about sleeping. And if by focusing on the individual letters I'm typing I can stay more awake and less likely to nod off into sleep, than so be it.

I'm not saying that useful stuff doesn't happen while I'm asleep, because probably useful stuff happens while I'm asleep. But I also feel like there's shit that I can't do when I'm asleep and it's super frustrating. Because I'm a hard worker and I like focusing super intensely on something and carrying it through past points that are comfortable because I feel like I can really learn from doing that. But sleep feels like this unwelcome interuption all the time. NOt that I don't like relaxing, not that I don't like snuggling with Amanda. But shit yo. I guess the fear might be that I'd fall into some repetitive thought pattern that I wouldn't be able to escape without falling asleep and resetting. Well fuck that. I can figure this shit out. I mean, god knows that I am a self-modifying process. I'm pretty fucking used to that idea.

So maybe if I keep pushing my limits, like an athelete, and I have a ton of respect for real athletes, I'll get to a point where I'm not so much a slave of my own "tiredness." Because I feel like a huge part of the problem is psychological. It's like my mind doesn't have room for some big picture of which most things that I deal with on a day to day basis are just parts. And so I'm trying to stretch my mind out so that I can hold this whole fucking picture in it which, if held as one piece, is actually super contructive.

I like history can't die. If you think of every thought as a little historian, the moment it's written down, the moment it's created it's immortal. Which is kind of relieving. I would hate to be losing parts of the story I was trying to document or reconstruct as I went.

I mean, what are the odds that as a human being I'm going to evolve a completely different relationship to sleep than anyone has had before? I have no idea. I don't even know if this stuff coming out of typing, as an outside observer, is aesthetically pleasing to me as a narrative. But isn't that bullshit too? I don't know exactly what I'm supposed to beleive at this point. I just keep going and I know that I'm slowly gathering together unique pieces. It's like a wound healing kind of. And this story that I'm inventing is supposed to have an effect on real life, but who knows if it will. I guess time will show. And seriously, if this is the kind of fatigue I have to deal with, this isn't bad at all.

Maybe I can compare not writing to stopping during a run and walking for awhile. That is such a failure and a betrayal of self. I mean, not to say the psychology of a runner is complicated, but I think in some ways running is the most intense thing that you can do as a modern human being. And at least while engaging in the psychology which I am at least fairly good at, I'm not going to get fucking shin splits that incapacitate my physically. The worst thing that could happen in this situation is that I don't read the onion av club for about ten minutes instead if taking care my psychic discomfort. That's not really that big of a deal.

But what's going on? seriously, I'm curious and I'd like to figure it out. And this is a very uncomfortable and scary psychological place that I'm quick to try and escape from, but I don't know why. Maybe because I have no idea how it might end and it seems like I'm trying to literally escape from my body? But even in this situation that doesn't seem possible. Of course I'm going to return to my body. I guess it's about my psychological and emotional definition of homeostasis. How am I going to feel when I stop writing in the next half-hour or so? Relieved? That's what scares me.

And I keep blanking out for brief moments of time, like I'm dreaming. I don't know what to make of that either. Because why am I so sleepy? The alcohol? It hasn't even been that comprehensive.

But back to that feeling of relief. That's super important. Because thinking about this intense stuff has the potential to alienate me from the people in my environment unless I have some philosophical idea which will allow me to survive this and integrate it into my symbollically different futures in a positive. Way. What's going to happen in the future? Are we going to have programmer types with claws? They that program things in a certain way out of necessity and thus save our asses?

I keep falling asleep and it's such bullshit. I don't want to keep falling asleep. And I don't want to have this repressive idea that there's no escape from sleeping. Sure it might be intense and crazy to hold in the worldview that was based upon or emerged from not sleeping. See, what's going to happen when my sentences stop making sense? I'm not completely sure. I kind of really want a smoke.


Well, this has been an interesting day. I feel like I'm not connecting to Amanda very well tonight. I don't feel like it's going to be a permanent problem, but I'm not sure what I need to change or what I need to start being aware of to do a better job. What am I trying to problem solve? If I have to change myself to cater to Amanda's interests am I generous enough with my time and attention to do that? It think so. I just need to figure out how to do that.

What does Amanda love? What does Amanda think about? I really don't know. I go by intuition but sometimes I think that that's very narcissitic and I only know how to fix my own problems with intuition. Which is great, and I'm not saying that that process is over and that it's something that I still don't need to spend time and energy on.

I really love Amanda. I think I really love her because I feel like she's such a good person? She's really beautiful to me, but more and more I'm realizing how much I love her just because she's such a good person. I'm afraid of our relationship deteriorating the way that Chelsea and mine's did. I don't know what happened between me and Chelsea (still) and I don't know what I need to do to make this work really well with Amanda. It's also hard because I don't really have any examples of what I'm aiming at. All the relationships I have a shallow perspective of and am like "well, maybe they have it together," just make me feel self-conscious without really giving me anything constructive to do. It's so frustrating not knowing what to do to connect to her. And I really, really want to connect to her.

I wonder why? Is that selfish of me? I don't think so. I don't think that it's wrong to want to connect. I worry that my procrastination and my practical, um, issues? Will become some kind of wedge between us. Because if I can't stand up for myself and believe in myself, then how is Amanda going to respect me? I think she does anyway. Sigh. I don't know. What's the use of being able to solve any problem if you can't solve problems in time? I'm just so self-conscious about myself and sometimes I don't know if I know how to appreciate all the wonderful things about being in a relationship with her. And then she says stuff that is completely out of left field because of course her issues (if there are many) are going to be hard for me to anticipate because she's like no one that I know. It's really scary. I love her sooo much, but it's really scary. And I don't want my fear to enter into this relationship and poison it somehow? I don't think it will, but I'd hate for that to happen. I think we're both good people and I think that we really love eachother and we really care about eachother. Fuck though, I don't know how to change. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to be doing something different? How the hell am I going to figure this out? Maybe if I can just pay attention to her more and start noticing concrete things that make her happy. The problem is that I'm not that self-confident in the things that I do notice and I feel like all the things that I know about cost money? Which is fine. It's only a problem because I don't have a lot of money and I don't want her to stop liking me because of that. Which is silly. I really think that Amanda would love me no matter what, honestly. Which is really amazing. But that doesn't seem really realistic. Maybe if I knew better what I didn't understand about her and what would be helpful for me to know about her than I could actually ask questions that would be super useful to me, instead of trying to engage in conversation just as a process that makes us both feel better and feel connected to eachother. But I want conversation to be able to do that too. It's hard. It's all really hard. But it feels silly that it's so hard. I don't want it to be hard in any way.

I guess I feel like as she gets to know me, what will she find in me to love? I'm just going to be myself and when people are themselves they are boring. I'm too scared to engage in my own creative projects around her because I'm afraid that she'll judge them and she won't think that they're cool or that I'll reveal too much information about myself and she'll realize or decide that I'm not right for her somehow. But honestly that's the clearest way I can think of to be admirable to her. Is to be spending time and energy doing things that I'm passionate about and that nourish me. It's just scary because I feel like all of those things require a certain amount of mental space and perspective for me? A certain amount of isolation? And that's total bullshit. I don't want all the things that I care about doing to be isolating from Amanda for me. I guess I also feel like anything I would try and do would be stuff that I'm not super passionate about and so she would pick up on that and I would be projecting my own self-doubt as I worked on stuff that I thought she would find endearing and then... um, self-loathing which would make me worthy of loathing? I don't know. I just have so little confidence in anything that I make to be truly beautiful. But I really want to be making art, constantly making art, that Amanda, specifically, as an audience would find beautiful. It's hard though.

I guess when I think about that, I don't know how I could possibly be constantly making stuff that she would find beautiful. And I think that being around me as I struggled to make something that I really cared about would be more endearing and lovable than me creating thousands of artifacts that were "beautiful" but didn't have a lot of heart. I don't know though. That might be in my nature to create lots and lots of stuff. But does that come from some deep level of lack of faith in myself? Because the idea is that as I create a ton of shit I'm learning from every piece I make. But honestly I don't really have the capacity, or I haven't really had the capacity to focus and think and really learn from the stuff that I'm making. So in a certain way creating lots of stuff feels really hollow to me. I don't know. Thank god that I'm thinking about this stuff because I feel like that's super important to be able to eventually divine solutions. Not that there are even necessarily problems, I just feel like I have to set up the terms of what I'm trying to have in a relationship or what the realities are for me of trying to have a relationship so that I can actually feel good about what I'm doing and not scared all the time.

But then am I trying to control Amanda somehow? Am I trying to gain control over the whole situation that we're in together and would that be repressive to her? Would she feel this pressure to conform to my expectations of what my "tools" would deliver to me? I think I need a more nuanced idea of what the results I'm looking for are. I'm not looking for Amanda to be predictable to me. That's for sure. But if I'm not trying to make Amanda predictable to me, then how do I quantify what I am trying to do? I don't know. I want to make Amanda happy. But I don't really know what Amanda is like when she's happy. I don't really know what makes Amanda happy. So I'm in a position where I have to be really intelligent in figuring out what those things are in a very specific way. Because Amanda isn't a generality, she's a specific person whose having specific feelings at any moment in time. It's just hard for me to think about because I'm such a verbal/symbolic person and it's hard to quantify so many semi-precise things that I don't have precise words or concepts for yet.

In some ways all I care about is being a good boy friend for Amanda though. That is like, my number one goal in life right now. Which is an intense thing to say, but it's kind of true. I guess, one thing, is when I do something nice for Amanda, what am I then supposed to do with it? Because I'm trying, in my head, to do some kind of cost benefit thing. Like there might be a lot of nice things that I could do for Amanda right now, but in my head I'm trying to quantify the benefits of each one so that I can focus on the ones that yield the best return. That's super mathematical I guess, but I think that's just a natural part of how my mind works. So it's hard for me to just do nice things and not care about what the result is, even in a "disinterested" kind of observing way. But I think it's disingenuous to say that I'm disinterested, because I am interested. I want to have a good result. And even if I'm somehow trying to say to myself that I'll be neutral and that I won't be disappointed by any reaction, there still has got to be some level of disappointment going on in there that I really should be trying to address somehow. So. Hmm.

This is really hard to think about. I don't know how I'm supposed to think about this stuff. I don't know what I'm supposed to observe. I mean, I could observe that, tonight, Amanda is being quiet. I could observe that the girl at the tobacco bowl commented on me having shaved and that's the kind of thing that might make Amanda jealous. I could observe that she hasn't said much tonight and that I've been talking a lot. I could observe that she's been talking about self-loathing and self-censorship and being unable to love. All those things are just observations and they're all as factual as anything else, but what am I supposed to do with those pieces of information? This is like rocket science times brain surgery times jung times frued to the power of quantum physics. In a haiku. Heh. That's scary to think about.

So. Amanda is shaving her legs, which means that she wants time to herself? That means she isn't feeling beautiful? I wonder what would make her feel beautiful? And the room is a mess. And I don't know if that's just something that I care about or if that's something that makes a difference to Amanda too. And I want to make Amanda feel beautiful, and I want her to not feel jealous? But I don't know how to do either of those things. Does me kissing and hugging Amanda make her feel beautiful or does it make her feel objectified? I have no idea. The scary thing is that even if Amanda and I had perfect communication I don't know if that's something that she could communicate to me. I know she's tired. I know she probably is feeling bummed out by work because I mean, what has she been doing that feels fun and productive to her? I don't know. I don't know what her threshhold is, how much she has to be doing to feel like what she's doing is fun and productive. I really need to teach her how to program. I think that's an awesome idea and I really want to do it. I just want it to be fun and easy for her and I don't want her to have to deal with all the frustrating stuff that I've had to deal with in trying to get all these different things to work and not having the tools to make it work and being super frustrated by it. I want to give her super comprehensive tools so that she can just figure this shit out super easily. And I have to get to that place first by myself before I can figure out how to share it and I think there might be some new braids that I have to figure out and accentuate with tools to really make that a fun and fast moving process.

And then the other thing is this, what if I'm intellectualizing all of this way too much? What if that's my problem, that I'm too intellectual? Well, every problem is a potential solution. I guess what I'm trying to say, is that what if the issue that I'm having is that it's difficult for me to feel because I'm always trying to understand things super specifically, and that makes me no fun to hang out with.

Shouldn't I, at the very least, be able to contribute and not detract to/from Amanda's concrete material well being? Right now I don't have any money, and I think in a lot of ways I'm making it harder for Amanda to materially survive, not easier. It's kind of bad that we're drinking every night. For me, uh, it's definitely relaxing and I think I know how to use it in a positive way? But I don't want it to be something that causes us to avoid problems. Of course then in comes my thinking that everything can be reduced and simplified into these axiomatic rules. Everything is and should be situational. Of course univeral ethics are important, but they're important because they're statements about who we want to be, they're not necessarily prescriptive in any way of what the universe is like. The universe is something that we have to adapt to and try to understand. Situationally, every day, in every moment. The dream of having these universal axioms of action that we can just adhere to and then go on auto-pilot? I think that's bullshit. I don't think that that's ever atainable, especially not in the way that we think about it. Maybe we can start to develop tools of perception, but that's a very, very different thing than categorical rules of action even if they bear some similarities. Because perception is, thank god, a different sphere than action. I can categorically say that perception has different practical consequences than action. And that's good. That's okay. But that means that the tools we have to perceive, which is really the limit of what are actions can be, is incredibly important. And I need, or at least, would like, to become a lot better at perceiving Amanda. I don't know what kinds of questions to ask her though. I don't know what kinds of questions are hard for her to answer. I don't know what kinds of questions, what kinds of subjects, are depressing for her to think about. I don't think it's random. I think if I'm super observant and focused and perceptive I can figure it out, but it's not going to be something that I'll just magically understand while I'm on any kind of auto-pilot.

I think I can learn about Amanda from her art. It's scary though, because that is such a murky and messy and unspecific and yet terrifyingly specific way to learn about someone. Like: Amanda. She really likes cute things. There's a simplification of surface but that doesn't translate into a simplification of form. Her form is very complicated and not necessarily following some kind of cookie cutter Apollonian idea. Tends towards weirdness. Is self conscious about that tendency towards weirdness. Extremely sensual? I don't understand why she's so interested in naked women, honestly. I mean, I guess she used to date a girl, so that makes sense. Dreams of neatness?


Well, this has been an interesting day. A lot to think about. A lot to think about how tenuously stable I really feel like my identity is sometimes. But then, what is an identity? I don't really know. I think it's super important to start remembering stuff. To look back on my day and say, "Oh, this is what happened, this is where I was." Because all of my identities seem so tenuous in certain ways and momentary it gives however I'm feeling in the momen a little bit of authenticity and it gives me some belief that I'm not being completely insincere in who I am at the moment.

So I have a lot to figure out. I sort of feel like I'm in a rut and it's interesting. It's not the worst rut I've ever been in by any means. What is all the stuff I've been doing for? What are all these systems, the rings, Oc, what are they for? What do I need to do to be who I want to be? Who do I want to be? What's up with my expectations that are directly causally contradictory to who I think I can be and who I want to be? I don't know but I really want to figure it out. I feel like I'm an animal in the moment, like I have no memory and I'm trying to create some kind of system that will help me remember and process what is going on around me so that I can "act" or act appropriately.

What am I going to do with Amanda when we get back? I have no idea, and I don't feel like I have a lot of internal resources to draw upon that are like "this is my plan, I want to do this." Is it possible for me to develop those things for myself? Is it desirable? I think it probably is. I guess part of me feels like I should be some kind of well known or recognized artist because of all the options that exist around me that makes the most sense with who I am. But that doesn't mean that it makes a whole lot of sense with who I am. Is there something better than I can imagine and aspire to be? I think so. I just have to imagine it. And it's complicated to imagine because it's dealing with all these hard to define quantities. It's dealing with subjective states. I definitely prioritize subjective states over objective states. Which I am comfortable with. But what if I can be subjectively feeling good but it leads to objective degradation? I would say that in that case, well, maybe it's not impossible for me to feel subjectively good. But saying that I prioritize subjective wholeness and happiness doesn't mean that objective concerns are completely unimportant. I still feel like they're important. I just don't know how to handle them without comprimising my subjective state. But that's my challenge. I need to start creating subjective states that feel good and then as an side effect create objectively delicious situations. It's also hard because I can say that I want to be subjectively happy, but what if I can be more or less subjectively happy? Happiness is happiness right? Either your happy or your not. But that's, obviously, a super simplistic perspective. And I think it's just the beginning of some kind of groping towards concrete understanding, which is of course going to be so much more multi-faceted an numinous than my initial ideas.

Right now as far as interesting subjective tools, I have the idea of just starting to ruminate on other people's perspectives and expectations of me. There's no reason to be actively trying to have people feel like they don't know what's going on with me unless I have a reason to. And maybe it's true that at some level, people aren't going to understand what's going on with me, but I don't think that's even true. I think that I actually have a really sensible and understanding perspective of all this stuff, it's just that I come from an unusual background and so I'm this very American soul trying to figure shit out in a weird but possible priveleged situation. Which is fine. It's probably a waste of my time to try to explain where I am to other people though. I just need to figure it out for myself and take it to a place where I can really start reaping all the opportunities that are available to me. It's so strange how emergent all these rewards are though. For instance in this process of writing you'd assume that what I learn from it is some kind of very specific insight that I can summarize in a sentence. But instead the thing that I've learned from this the most is the night I was super drunk and writing anyway and it taught me something about the subjective processes in my own consciousness that I have access to and can try and manipulate or have a relationship with. I wonder if everything I learn from this will be emergentin that way or if at some point I'm going to start learning things which I feel like are really direct insights.

I like having this to do as something that feels assertively constructive. I like having assertively constructive things that benefit me in some way that I really care about. It's funny that Mom wrote for so many years and then she burned her journals because she felt like it was just too much shit. That's definitely something going on in the back of my mind, that my mother has engaged in the process and found it "useless." I mean, in some ways she didn't get what she wanted. It didn't help her stay in a relationship with my dad and I'm sure that's something that was really consciously important to her at the time she was writing. But this kind of writing is about such huge generalities. I can't see how it's easy for it to really help you in specific situations in your real life. And I think it's easy to obsess on things in a really self-loathing way where you don't really push things to their limit and then surmount them, you push them to your own limit, and then once they've regenerated to where they were or past there and they're starting to really bug you again, you push them back part way again, but nothing is ever really fully resolved. I think you have to have an enormous faith in this process of self-inquiry and of discovery for it to work. Otherwise it's so fucking terrifying. I'm still terrified by it and I have a lot more faith in this process than I think the average person does. I don't know what about my personality ended up putting me into a place where I had that much faith, but something did and I think that I'm grateful for it, because I don't feel like I could figure this stuff out by walking around. Or by having a job! That's a really interesting observation about today. I don't feel like I was in a place where it was really easy to develop clarified self-insights at Kleffmann today. I felt like I was in a place where I was focused on my job and I was grateful for it, for sure. But that means that even once I get a job, if this kind of understanding is important to me, I'm still going to need some kind of process where I'm able to try and figure stuff out. And it seems like this really works. So that's great.

Am I too impatient? I feel like another conflict I have with my perspective or ability to respect myself is this idea that I don't know how to be patient enough. Like if I just "let go" and surrendered myself to my practical responsibilities in life then I would somehow have all my problems resolved by a mysterious unspecifiable force. Of course that's kind of a weird superstitious bullshit idea. But I even have problems with the idea that I haven't been waiting. I'm such a patient person. And I feel like I've waited for a long time for the understanding or whatever to really make my life click into perspective instead of actively pursuing that understanding. Which is fine, I have no real big problems with it, but Jesus, I'm ready for a change of pace. I don't know exactly what that change of pace will lead me to. I kind of imagine it like some kind of metamorphisis. I'll develop new skills at a steady pace and I'll learn how to use them and have a relationship with them at a pace that isn't overwhelming, but as I incorporate these new behaviors and ways of thinking, they won't be able to help but really change who I am overall. That's a comfortable way to change for me. Really based around this idea of having the modular pieces of who I am. In that perspective it's not like I have this architecture of who I'm trying to become in some perfect way and then I fundamentally change, it's that I find new things and I add them to myself, and sometimes I change little pieces of myself or get rid of little pieces of myself that I don't really feel like are my or that I have a desire to fully embrace. That is a comforting perspective of change. It kind of runs head on into my perspective of habits though. It's hard for me to beleive that I can create a new "module" because to me that seems synonymous with a new habit. It's not true though! Let me metaphorize!

It's like you're playing a game and you get a new ability. You might forget to use that ability, so in that sense the ability isn't in any way a habit, but you also have the possibility of using that ability at any time, even if you don't remember to. And if you're a dilligent person intruiged by novelty, then of course you're going to explore novel possibilities and you're going to strive to really understand them in some useful way. That's all I'm saying.

Is it so naive of me to be talking about "abilities?" I mean, it is in some ways. I don't want to be naive. That's for sure. But, whatever. I'll figure something out. And I don't know why I'd say it's naive except for it being awesome! It's a little scary how much joy and comfort I take from stupid shit on the internet. I have no idea what it means that I do. I'm not really conflicted anymore by the fact that the internet is such a huge part of my life. Honestly I'm kind of comfortable with it. But I guess I'm not sure what I think about how important the internet might be to me on an a very specific and emotional level. How intertwined it might be with my future. But I guess I'm less afraid of the internet going away. It's really hard for me to even imagine what effect on me the internet has every day. I mean, what would the past week have been like for me if I hadn't had the internet? I don't know. It's interesting to think about though. It's probably important. I mean, the internet is like this steady stream of... something. I'm not sure really what the internet contributes to my life. What does the internet contribute to my life? Mostly I read new stories and pieces of criticism. And I feel like indirectly the criticism at least fulfills the purpose that I would assign to good criticism in that it makes me think about my world in a more inquisitive way? It helps me appreciate things about my world that I wouldn't otherwise? I really need to understand my perspective on escapism. Because I haven't thought about it for a long time and I think the perspective that I used to have was super simplistic and now that has changed and I don't know what it means. I don't understand how it has changed. But emotionally I'm still living in my old perspectives of escapism even if they don't make sense to me anymore.

What does escapism mean to a hedonist? Isn't escapism only wrong from a stoic perspective? I.e. Matt. But Matt has been a user of escapism almost to a greater degree than anyone I know. And he doesn't seem incredibly conflicted about it. So it's funny that my stoic "paragon" doesn't even give a shit about escapism, but I do for some reason. It's also interesting that I was born into the midst of some really new and high intensity philosophical questions. Hum. And so if I'm thinking of them in an intense philosophical way now, maybe I really have needed all the time without answers that I've had just to collect enough to data to even attempt to intelligently answer these kinds of questions. And once you have at least three big murky philosophical questions, let alone twenty or a hundred, I mean, shit. That is a lot of confusion to exist in. And some of these questions have been brewing socially and emotionally for a really long fucking time. And it's all just coming to a head right now. Which is interesting.

I wonder how important it is to share my thoughts with other people? It's been really important to me that other people have shared their thoughts with me. So on the one hand there's a part of me that's like "oh, I need to give back." Hum. Fuck, I have like, zero money in my bank account. But Amanda owes me money? How's that work? She didn't really buy anything. Oh well. I don't really care. I should care though! But I totally don't. It's interesting. Where did all the money go yesterday? Did she give me twenty dollars back? I mean, oh that's right. Twenty-five dollars for the coat. That's what it was. Oh well. I really should owe Amanda money anyway. Man, history is not on the side of people who haven't embraced tools. Maybe morally it is, maybe morally the luddites were somehow able to hold onto some kind of aetheric sensibility that's completely absent in modern society. But to me it's really like the idea that no one can even be a vegan. The luddites still are a part of this world, they still consume people, no one can help but consume people. And it's an inescapable fact that the people of this modern world have been shapped to a ridiculous degree by technology. I don't know how you can even argue that point. Which is fine. It's just interesting. So maybe I'm being shaped by tools too. And I think I would be a lot happier if I was able to be a little more blindly enthusiastic about that process. If I was able to have a little more faith that this process will take me to a good place. But I guess I think doubt is important too. As we become so heavily fused and influenced by technology, isn't it important to try to hold on to our own common sense? Not that our common sense isn't necessarily short sighted and arbitrary. It's just so important to me to remember everything that we are because as we change so much, it'd be a shame if we forgot about anything that it took hundreds of millions of years to put into us. But seriously yo. It has sucked so hard to be alive for like, a billion years. It has just plain sucked to exist. I'm sure there's always some mystic transcendental plain where shit is going on that is like "oh everything is a beautiful dance." But that's for the enlightened. And isn't most everything, almost by definition, unenlightened? I guess I'm saying that I don't know how the future could be any worse than the past. And I guess I'm talking about it on a global scale and even just on the level of my own life. I don't really know what could happen to me in the future that could be worse than my past. And I'm not asking for bad shit to happen, and I'm not saying that I'm not lucky, and I'm not saying that there isn't still horrible shit that could happen to me. But I feel like in some ways I'm just so numbed out and desensitized to it. It's like that one time I got high and I was just sitting in the yard and all that was going through my mind was "broken broken broken broken." That is a fucking intense moment. I felt the feelings of being fundamentally broken even if it wasn't true. And if you can feel the feelings of that kind of shit, I mean, that's what makes it real to me in certain ways. I don't want to be a bad person, I don't want to create hardships for anyone, but I don't know if I can feel bad as I have felt in the past in the future. I'm just too traumatized in certain ways. Everything begins to take on this air of routineness. So the question for me isn't so much how do I avoid the suffering which I'm in some ways terrified by, but how do I really create the world that I want to live in? Answer is, I don't know.


Okay. Well I got derailed by a bug in my programming. I had no idea how to fix it, but presumably I could have made a workaround. I was also really sleepy. But that might have been brought on by frustration with not being able to fix what I was working on. I guess I feel bad about it? Which I know is counter productive. I really want to try and make this month into an awesome month where I get a lot of shit done that I need to get done. But it's still scary. I guess I need to analyze each reason why it might suck individually? Maybe part of my genius is that I need to worry about things? This is so cliche. So fucking cliche. And now I feel like, okay, and I'm grateful to have these feelings because I'm grateful to get a chance to process them. Now I feel like, um, just stupid. I feel stupid and like a waste of space and I feel like I'm never going to get anything done and that everything I do is pointless, etc. But I really do want happiness to come from inside and then manifest? I just don't fucking know. There's a lot of fucking shit and it's super disheartening to me today that I can run into road blocks with programming and it can derail my whole day. Because I've somewhat purposefully (or at least that's what it feels like) choosing challenges and structuring things in a way where I hoped that I wouldn't run into as many of these derailing problems as I might otherwise. Does that now mean that all my enthusiasm was false or something? Fuck. I don't know. It's just depressing. I need to make todo lists. I actually feel really good, which is awesome. If I can have this level of depression and still just be cool about shit then I'm doing really well. Like, maybe the programming thing was derailed for the day, but I don't feel like my day will be derailed for the day out of some kind of depression. Which is really about all that I can ask for.

I don't really have any justification for not voting. But fuck people for trying to impose so many different moralities on me. I mean, it's one thing if there's something that I have to do to survive, although I think that I should try to set that up in something that's more compatible with me (as I figure out what that means), but fuck people who are like, you have to do this. I mean. Okay, that's not very articulate. But whatever. I mean, it's a sentiment. I'm not sure if I'm behind it or not but I'm glad it was expressed. So much fucking shit to think about. Jesus. I feel like I need to sit down and I need to be typing here for like, eight hours a day for a week and that somebody needs to feed me. Good god. I mean, what would I figure out? It's like I'm starting to develop this slot machine mentality to all this self-inquiry/inquiry stuff. When is it going to give me a good drop? Yadda yadda.

Not too interested in a lot of my thoughts right now. Which is fine. I don't take that at all personally. It's actually interesting that I'm not. I mean, where do my thoughts come from? Where do interesting thoughts come from? I don't fucking know. Where does the energy come from to use a tool of inquiry or whatever? I don't know. Where do thoughts which make me money come from? Jesus, money. I think I could almost settle in and just say to myself, okay. I'm fucking stressed out about money. Maybe I need to really enjoy this feeling and not be so afraid or stressed out about it. Maybe it's an insescapable part of the feeling to be stressed out, but at least maybe it'll be stress which is structured in a more focused and productive and practical way. Because I feel like the stress I have about a lot of stuff at this point isn't even practical stress, it's ideological stress. Which is kind of ridiculous. Heh.

God. I'm so interested to see how my thoughts affect my life. I guess I could be stressed about going downstairs and getting a cigarette, but I could just type for the next half-hour and think about the cigarette later. Whooo, I'm loopy! Hah. Where do all these self-opinions come from in my brain? It's not like I even have any very clear idea of what the practical effects are of writing. I mean, can I even say whether or not it's ever gotten me a job or helped me crack some puzzle or anything like that? Not really. Not that I can remember anyway. And yet I'm so fucking judgemental about what I'm spending my time thinking about. I mean, ideally writing would be working on solving all my problems. Which maybe it is. I don't really know. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.Fuck. Fuck.

So. I guess I'm stressed out. I just want to be able to pull some miraculous pattern, some miraculous mental pattern out of this writing that will suddenly pull into focus everything about reality and let me really understand all the pieces of everything around me. I just hate to be certain kinds of people. But the thing is, there are people that I'm not who I sort of go "oh, but I'll be like that someday." Do I need to just start acting like these people now, because if not now then time will slip by and yadda yadda, um, something? Omg. I'm going to be twenty-six soon. That's ridiculous. So much fucking shit has happened this year though. O mg.

So utterances have to be censored? I mean, I guess anything that makes me a better conversationalist will be better. I don't really feel a need to build an identity out of things that I think are cool anymore. I'd much rather start building an identity that allows me to have really cool experiences. And just to feel really good and satisfied and be able to work on all the stuff that I want to. That'd be really fucking nice. Hah.

So. Is it in my nature to start tons of ideas and never finish them? But you say that like it's a bad thing. Heh. I mean, whatever. Honestly, whatever. I guess that saying this crazy stuff and not following through on it can color people's perceptions of me in a positive and then I think in a negative way, but I really don't give a shit. What I do give a shit about is if it's managing to push my thoughts in a direction that I want them to go in. Or really "the" direction that I want them to go in. I don't know. Because I have no idea where my thoughts are at. And it's that crazy and it's that simple. I mean, really. But I like that I've been able to isolate myself more lately, that's been feeling good. The other thing that I want to keep working on is narrative threads of subjective experience that last for longer than just a moment. I think that there's this very human tendency to project ourselves into "avatars" in our environment and I think that it's, well, hard. Because it makes us forget who we are and it kind of helps us tune out and I think it might lead to loops in thought patterns that are lame. I also need to get rid of this paranoia that something in the universe is actively trying to keep me down. Because that's a super real paranoia that I have and that I have had for forever. And it's a thought habit that I fall into regularly and then waste time thinking about. I'm not saying that such a situation couldn't potentially exist at some point in time, but I feel like it probably doesn't exist with anything near or even approaching coming near the regularity that I'm all paranoid and looking for it. And we're all floating in some kind of informational fluid that we don't understand anyway. It's okay. Fuck.

The other thought I just had is that I need to stop thinking that I'm so fucking cool sitting here in the middle of the night typing. I'm not saying that it's not cool, but coolness is actually (who'd have thought?) an incredibly repressive idea. I think coolness co-opts other qualities that are, well, what they are. They're desirable and they're usually immediately visible. There's a lot of intangible desirable qualities as well that are just as important. But the thing is that in this life I want to be able to focus on everything that's important to me. I don't know why besides, well, it's a human experiment right? And when else will the universe get to run an experiment like me? It almost feels like an enormous waste if I end up too much like "everyone else." Which I feel like is a trap thought, because there is no abstract everyone else. There are just people. And it's amazing how the internet has transformed my life so that there are tons of people, people I might not even get along with very well, on the internet, who are way more real and influential on me than the people of my life. Fuck the programming cabal. I'm going rogue. I'm going to say that I can use programming for my life and for my people, but I don't need to use it for furthering programming people's ideas and whatever. It's just not necessary. It's necessary, or anyway it can be super useful to be aware of, but there is no way that I'm running for any kind of "most popular programmer."

Fuck, I feel like what all this writing is doing is super mundane and it won't amount to anything super cool just some kind of slow realignment of my personality. But I can see that maybe it's something where once my personality was aligned with the right paths it could go zap and fill out things like dyes in water floating to fill up their troughs that have divided the running stream of the rainbow. Which is actually three dimensional and more beautiful and alive than is imaginable.

So am I a good writer at this point? Fuck I don't know. But I'm not going to stop writing. Maybe that means that I'm a good writer. I guess I could wonder if I'm channeling my writing "abilities" in the right ways. In the ways that I should. Fuck. I mean, I'm going to hang out with Cooper and Amanda tonight what were my insights that I'll take with me? I mean, I just typed a lot, probably slower than my actual thinking processs would be if I was just sitting in a chair and free-associating. Why am I doing this. Why am I spending time doing this when I could be doing something else. Do I think that this is going to save me in some Deus Ex Machina kind of way? I mean I'm not saying that it can't, but maybe it can't. Maybe this just feels really good for my fingers and the thoguhts are al incidental.

That's an interesting thought. I mean, wow, I can sure type a pretty broad range of emotional content through my fingers pretty fucking quickly. And I lot of stuff that I'm concerned about is trying to have more interesting things to do with my hands. Fuck fears. I have so many fucknig fears. I use the word fucking too much for instance. I mean, it's all interesting to think about but what the hell does it mean. Am I putting on some kind of facade? Am I posing somehow as some kind of persona that I'm trying to emulate? I don't think that I am in this writing process at all and that makes me really happy actually. But what am I doing, really?

I was just thinking about how fucked up human society was by darwinism. Or would it be better to say that the concept of Darwinism identified something in our society that had existed for a really long time and was really fucked up. God, I don't want to sleep outside. I don't want to be scared. I don't want to be scared. That's really important to me. I would like to connect again to my childlike innocence please. I think that as a child I was in some ways more prepared to live in the world than I am now. It was just a big unknown to me and that made it a really scary process. And I knew that I wasn't perfect. And I felt like I was definitely and experiment. Or maybe I should say that I feel like that now. That my life and how I was raised was some kind of big experiment. Soo. Do I keep writing?

I think I'll keep writing for a little bit longer. I feel like I live in my imagination subconsciously and my imagination is really fucking weird and I don't know where it comes from. Like I want to say that I get useful information from it because all information is useful, but as a mechanism can't it be applied in some directions that are more useful? Like, I feel like a lot of the directions that my imagination goes in are emotionally damaging to me. Poor baby. I'm sorry little Fran. I wonder who I'd have to pick as the most abusive force in my life. I would probably say myself. And I don't know why I would do that kind of thing. So that's something. Hmm. I don't want to justify it in any way. I can't destroy any parts of myself, even if I don't like them, because there's nothing that I'll be able to replace them with. I don't need to forgive myself, do I? That might not hurt. Not that I necessarily deserve to be forgiven. I guess all I can say is that I didn't know what I was and I didn't know a lot of the world, and I was really worried, and I had no idea how I was going to be able to take care of myself. And that was horrible to me because I really liked who I was. I didn't push myself always in the right ways. And I had a lot of fears and sorrows that I projected onto the healthier parts of my psyche. I feel like I can be something incredible though. And I have beleived that for such a long time. So that's part of the reason that I've felt justified in taking such huge risks, creating, knowingly, such huge hardships for myself. But I don't believe in my own ideas of greatness anymore. And there's nothing that I have to take their place. So I don't know what to say. I'm really at a loss. And I love the person that I am so deeply. If I was a piece of art, I would think that I was such an interesting and amazing creation. I'm proud of that, and maybe I shouldnt' be. But I don't mind that I'm proud of that. I don't believe in a heart. I don't think that there's any "heart" that I'm trying to speak from. A lot that's going on in my mind is really transitory. Some things are super solid. I want to do something creative with the way that I interact with people. But I want it to be based on things that intelligently work, not things that are unintendedly abrasive. Somehow I'm going to think about that and maybe I'll figure out how to be that way. I don't know if I need to hold more in my working memory or what. But I don't think I'm going to find the subjective answers to how or who I want to be in another person. Thank God for that. I like being an artist. I like feeling like I have total control over what I'm making, and there's no way that it could exist if not for me. I love making shit up. I love talking to myself. Let's call a spade a spade.


Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. fuck. Heh. I don't know what to say. As usual. It'd be nice if I had cool ideas going into this typing stuff and didn't always have to develop something interesting to say as an emergent property of just banging away at this shit. What do I want to do today?

Clean the room! Do laundry!

Then I don't know. It's hard because I want to do something cool so that I can feel good when I'm around Amanda and she won't think I'm a loser. Dude, I wish, as a human being, that I had so many hours a day that I could just spend typing and understanding shit. Like, as much time as I wanted. That'd be soooo good. Self-reflection right? I mean, it's so important. I feel like even if I don't get any programming stuff done today as long as I can clean my room and do some laundry (or even just clean my room) I'll be pretty happy. I just want to figure out how to start doing stuff. I feel like, okay, one thing I realized today is that it's important not to give myself time pressures while I'm doing stuff, because that makes it not fun. I mean, part of me is like "oh, I have to get as much stuff done today as I possibly can." And I don't completely disagree with that, but the end result is that it makes things not fun and who likes things being not fun? No one! I also want to start drawing more. But see, I think the whole philosophy of being like "oh I want to do this," I mean, there's something there, but it's also kind of wrong? I don't know. I really don't understand what I'm trying to make. I guess I could say that I'm also a little scared to try and describe what I want to make because I feel like it's so out there and impractical and dreamy. Which maybe it is. God, I don't know. I love being alive though. I think. I want money. Money money money. It's crazy. I feel crazy sometimes. But I'm trying to do the best I can. And I really do think that I can evolve as a human being if I really try. I hope I can anyway. I'm dealing with so many intangibles though. How do I go about defining these things? Am I going to run into "thought" bugs as I level up somehow? Maybe leveling isn't the best paradigm. I certainly don't feel like it is. It's a fun way to facilitate story and it feels good, but it's also really limiting in some ways. Because you become invested in the status quo, being your skills or whatever, that give you your power. But it's not about being powerful, it's about having cool experiences I think. That is a lot harder to qualify. And it's also about practical survival. Whatever the hell that means. Well, it means having a place to live. It's hard because honestly part of me doesn't feel like it's very real that, for instance, I would get kicked out of here. I guess it's possible. And it's something that I really don't want. On the other hand, in some ways I might be a lot less stressed out? And I mean, something would have to be figured out and maybe it would be better than what's going on now. Like maybe Amanda and I would move to California. Maybe I would live with my dad and not worry about money for awhile and spend a lot of time programming. Of course there would still be problems, whatever the situation was, because I carry my problems with me, they're not something that exists in my environment that I'm encountering. You know, as much as they are problems.

It's hard though. Because it's like, there's so many things I want to devote time thinking to. Part of me is like "program, program, program," part of me is like, clean, part of me is like "must think of awesome things to represent so that amanda won't think that I'm a loser." But whatever. I think that last one is the least important thing for me to be, um, trying to devote energy to in a frentic way. So things are like a dadaist play? It feels like that sometimes. The other thing is, what about my dream of succeeding? Of basically being a superman, pulling myself up into something incredible by myself? There are probably negative things attached to that perspective, but honestly I feel like that is what will have to happen in some ways. Shit, I wish I could quantify how fast I'm thinking. I feel like there are so many things that I have to think about. And I don't know how I'm translating this stuff into practical tools. Ah. It'll get there. I don't know how, but it will. I mean, I don't know what else to do besides being an optimist. Hopefully as I get more happy it'll just get easier to do practical stuff? I feel like I'm becoming something strange that might horrify any of my parents but that I think will be really cool. I feel like a lot of my ideas for house-keeping are super immature? Buy candles? I mean, they're really tentative and coming from a place of trying to imitate shit that I've seen on TV. I don't think that I consciously or even unconsciously am trying to avoid thinking about things which are "difficult" or require a lot of energy to think about. I don't even know how to quantify that, how difficult something is to think about. How do I deal with all the little irritants of day to day life? How can I start nurturing a more poetic conception of experience? Can I ever go back to feeling ways that I have felt in the past? Why would I want to? Shouldn't I just focus on the way that I feel now and hope that by focusing careful and loving and intelligent attention to it it will become something really cool? 'Cause that'd be nice. Fuck. Well, fuck. Hmm. So, that's good. But what does that have to do with programming? Oh my god.

See, there's no, like, filter? Everything needs to be done right now at once. Hehheheehe. Wheee. It's crazy. But it's real? I mean, I guess I would liken it to the metaphor of juggling lots of different concerns at once. I don't know if the experience should feel explicitly that way though. Not that I know what the experience should feel like. But it should... I would like my environment to support my own awareness of myself as an autonomous unique agent, instead of existing in an environment that subliminates my sense of self into my environment so that I feel like an extension of my environment instead of vice versa.

Now I'm going to do that bad kid thing. I just had an urge to check out news and shit on the internet. Which is fine. It's just a time conflict. I feel like I'm starting to get diminishing returns from all that kind of information though. I mean, it's all random. It's not that I don't think the internet is a great tool, but I'm looking at these portals and in a lot of ways the information that they're presenting to me is so fucking unfocused. I think that's interesting actually. As human beings we (or at least I) have this conception of myself as a student. Which means that I have to be aware of all the input coming in to me. I have to be open to learning? It's almost like I exist in an environment where text can impose learning on me super easily at any time. But really what I want is to be able to take learning from text to create specific goals that I want or have imagined. Isn't that the purpose of learning in some ways? Taking the tools that you realize you don't have and that you need from some kind of resource that can provide them? I think that that's an incredibly positive conception of learning. Instead we have this thing with all these stories that confuse our subconscious mind. I'm not against it. It just complicates things. Or at least it feels like it complicates things in a sort of unnecessary way sometimes. I mean, as much as my conception of myself is incomplete or lacking, then I probably need to have these perspectives that expand my conception of what I can be. But once I get to a certain point, I think it starts to become somewhat harmful? Because these perspectives are very skewed in certain ways, I'm not getting all the context that is super important to put these things into the right place. Instead I just empathize with these writers I'm reading interviews with, and I just imagine that I'm them, with all the things in my life the same as they are now, except somehow I'm still a really good writer who is sucessful. But the thing is, there must be huge differences between what I spend my time thinking about every day and what they spend their time thinking about every day. I assume so anyway. Or in how we think. Not that it really matters. I mean, I think the whole metaphor of comparing myself to other people or comparing people in any way is just super unuseful to me at this point. Which is good. I mean, I think it can evolve into something that serves the same positive purposes that exist in that behavior pattern, but that also does a lot of other stuff and that isn't weighed down by all the faults of that system. Which are that it makes me feel bad more often that it doesn't. And that it creates this idea in my mind of the lowest person on the scale. And I think of myself as that person often times. Or I'm afraid of ending up as that person. And that is so depressing and debilitating.

What about people? What do I say to them? I want to say cool things to them. But really, I want to have a natural reason to talk, coming out of myself, from some quarter be it emotional or more intellectual, that leads to my behavior towards that person. I don't want to waste my time interacting with people in a way that is super meaningless to me. But that is just keeping up appearances somehow? It's just dumb. I still feel like I have to create some idea from inside myself that will shine out on the world around me. But the problem is that I feel like it's an either or thing. Either I'm working on that or I'm doing practical stuff. I guess I'm afraid that accepting that I can be doing practical stuff while developing that transcendental light in myself is a little scary to me. Like, how will I trust that I will create working on that transcendental light? And then, how long will it take to develop? Because it feels like that's super out of my control. So I guess it just takes a lot of trust that it will continue to develop when I'm not actively spending all my time on developing it to the exclusion of everything else. But it should be some kind of process where once it's started it has it's own engine of development. It should communicate to me through epiphanies and whatnot, but it shouldn't require my active input to develop and gradually overpower who I am. So that I become this new thing that's lurking in the background. Which brings up interesting issues. How much do I think I have to change? I want my environment to change, so I assume that there's something wrong with me that needs to change. But maybe my sense of being myself is just fine. I just need to work on the understandings I have of my environment. And so it's not so much that this transcendental light growing inside of me on its own accord will overwhelm my own sense of self, as it will strengthen my own sense of self so that I begin to overwhelm my environment. I guess I'd prefer that. Still, a lot of questions come up though. It's just really hard for me to imagine what I'm trying to become. Because from a certain sense, it's like, "everything!"

I think the most important thing, honestly, is for me to figure out how to strengthen the part of me that can form long term thoughts and perspectives. Because I don't really understand that part of myself very well right now. And I feel like a huge limitation in my personality is my ability to prioritize. And to have system in my mind for the use of prioritizing. Something generally useful. That treats everything equally and then will chart a path that will truly maximize my future happiness. I mean, that's a general enough goal that it should be achievable whatever possible things I'm trying to think through and plan through.

Okay. This is actually really interesting. I think that the most useful thing that I could figure out right now is some kind of system that I really whole heartedly have trust in that helps me prioritize. I don't know exactly how that would work, but it seems like a great idea. It requires the development of some new skills. Like one thing I have to do is be able to somehow, presumably semi-methodically consider my options via some method so that I can choose one without any kind of lingering doubt or fear that I'm working on the wrong thing. Also I have to be able to do this without somehow making it really limit the way that I view the world. So maybe I'll have to make lists, I have no idea. But something presumably will help with this. Then the next thing I need to do is have some kind of criteria for judging stuff. I need to be able to make goals that I really respect or beleive in somehow? I don't know what I need to do to be able to do that. I mean, will goals go out of favor at some point? Will I just continue to accrue more and more things that I'm trying to balance indefinitely? That seems like it might be a little impractical. I'd kind of like some kind of sandbox where my metagoal can be optimizing this process, but I can have a really clear way to think about and execute experiments in prioritizing and to see what they do. But part of the thing is that it's hard for me to interpret what the results are. Because I don't, really, want to be separating off parts of my life into pure "experiment" anyway. And I feel like it's a little naive to think of myself as a perfectly rational actor who only has to decide "what to do" with the results I get from my experiments.

So. How do I figure out this system for prioritization? And dude. I'm tired of this puritan bullshit that denigrates hedonism. Of course I'm trying to make my life easy and fun. I know that it's important to be open to a wide range of experience, but can't you choose what kind of actor you want to be, and then let that be true even if the world that you live in is full of pain or sorrow or bitter-sweet beauty? Or insanity? I mean, I don't want to have to be a pure representation of my environment. I want to be my own little world. I want to meet my world as an emotional equal. I think I really have to understand myself though before I can start extricating my feelings from my environment. Because I need to understand the relationship between what I am emotionally and what the things in my environment are emotionally. And I would feel like that almost requires some abstract understanding of what the world is that those different emotional states exist in. What the possibilities are in a platonic way, what kinds of platonic relationships they have, and then being able to understand and recognize how they're manifesting in my environment around me. And then to do that I'm going to have to have some idea of where the emotions come from. What is that causal force that causes the platonic world of emotions in the first place. Otherwise I don't think I can really recognize what signifiers in my environment are connected to emotion and what signifiers in my environment are completely incidental and what signifiers in my environment have nothing to do with emotion.

That's a trick question though, the cause of emotion. Do I take a neurological/evolutionary perspective? Do only people have emotions? Do animals have emotions? Do inanimate objects have emotions? Do scenes? Or is that all shit that I'm just projecting and thus stuff that I have to try somehow to interpret as part of my own emotional state, thus breaking down the barrier I'm trying to make between my emotional state and the emotional state of my environment.

Well, it's totally "irrational," but I'm inclined to just assume that the stuff around me has a semi-"objective" or completly objective emotional content that is perhaps fluid and responding to my own emotional state, but that my own emotional state should be allowed to have an independent and somewhat self-contained reality outside of. I like how that sounds. But what are the consequences of believing in these "objective" emotional states existing in the environment around me when they are actually completely subjective and other people will projecting completely different emotional states onto them. I guess I would say that if objects have emotional states, then of course different people would perceive them differently because of the possibility of extending the metaphor of normal relationships, to say that the inanimate object is responding in different ways to the other objects of its environment. That doesn't mean that the object itself can't have an internally contiguous emotional quality, it just means that other emotional qualities interact with it in different ways.

Well, all this is well and good. I guess my question is, how do I really know how I'm feeling if I don't have concrete symbols outside of myself to reference? What if people in my environment disagree with me about how I'm feeling? What if I have ulterior motivations in my asessement of my own emotional state and I end up engaging in trivially useful but emotionally destructive wishful thinking and so end up viewing myself as something other than I am?

Well, I would say that the fact that I'm spending so much time and so many thought cycles on trying to understand this is a good sign. I would say that as long as the spirit of inquiry and curiosity remains true, then even if the current understanding is imperfect, it'll develop in time and hopefully continue to approach the most positive "truth" more and more closely. Also, presumably there are a lot of interpretations that are true or not true to varying degrees. And it's not like my emotional state is a completely solid thing. Presumably if I continue to try and interpret myself I'm going to be engaging in some kind of wishful thinking, and if my emotional state is converging on my perspective of myself to at least some small degree, I will converge on feeling or having an emotional state that is as close as possible to my most dearly held wishes. Unless I'm punishing myself somehow. By trying to impose negative interpretations on myself? Because I'm trying to justify pain that I'm feeling from other people? Something like that. It's hard though. I guess those really intense feelings of self-destruction are probably more of a defensive thing honestly. I think it's kind of like playing possum. It's like pre-emptively attacking yourself in some way, because it can be easier to endure self attacks then the attacks of others, in the hope that you will engage the pity of the person who you thought was about to attack you. I think this is strongly connected to feelings which we feel that the people around us think of as dishonorable, but that we are not willing to completely clear from our heart. Because maybe just maybe they're possible? But I think these are generally built around super confused understandings of the people around you, super negative perspectives of the people around you, and extreme inarticulateness of some kind. And then maybe some frustration with yourself about what articulation reveals about who you are? Some kind of lack of imaginative faith in the future as well I think.

So, who am I emotionally? What is the world of emotions? How can I use these pieces of information to positively prioritize how I spend my time in a way that will maximize my happiness? One thing that makes me think of, is that sometimes not any of your plans or options will really maximize your happiness. But that doesn't mean that you can't still choose between them, in order, which ones will help your happiness the most. And that you can't at some point say that "looking for new ideas" will be what will maximize your happiness the most. But how do you deal with impulses? Impulses are the worst. Kind of. I don't feel like impulses do me a whole lot of favors, but I'm not attached to having a negative perspective of them. It's just that I feel like if I'm looking in the long term, sometimes there is behavior that will really help my overall happiness a lot more than my impulses do. But impulses are so powerful, partially I think, because even though the reward can be really shitty, they give immediate stimulus reward. Things that have any kind of delayed gratification element are super tricky for me to handle. I don't know why exactly. I mean, and I'm not talking about delayed gratification of weeks or something, I'm talking about delayed gratification of minutes can be pretty difficult for me. So that's a really important thing to be able to balance I think. There are also momentary negative impulses, as in, not wanting to do something. Those are a super powerful force in my life as well. I mean, are they based on some kind of real need or metabolism that i'm not consciously aware of and that it's important to use impulses to pay attention to? I feel like it doesn't really lead to a deeper sense of myself though. It leads to a solidification of the conception of myself as a somewhat mindless consumer. And I think that it's harmful to say that the only other alternative is a "mindless creator," in some way. I feel like there are an infinite amount of very uniquely defined identities that are just as comprehensive and encompassingly descriptive but that aren't defined by where they exist on the spectrum "consumer to creator."

I feel like I use impulses to avoid things that are uncomfortable to me. In that way they really are escapism. It's a way to delegate my sense of self to my environment in some way so that it's not as hard for me to be who I am in the moment. I guess I have some pretty concrete fears about being myself. One fear is that if I'm myself for too much time I'll "wear it out" somehow and then I really will just be this mindless process defined by my environment. I don't think that that makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. Another fear is just the physical discomfort of becoming really jittery. Not crazy about that. Another fear would be that I would become super manic? Or that the longer that I avoid giving into my impulses the stronger of a "backlash" there will end up being, very disproportionate negatively than the negativity of just giving into the impulses as they came up. I don't think that there's any real incontrovertible reason to believe that any of those things are true.

Another thing is the fear that I'll reach some kind of wall in whatever I'm doing and it's important to "take a break" to let my unconscious mind process things for awhile. But then once I have that idea of, like, "oh I could go get a sandwich at Jimmy John's", it's really hard for that not to happen immediately. I guess maybe the reward part of my mind gets focused on that instead of on what I'm doing? And I feel like it's important to maintain that idea of going to go get a sandwich somewhere in my active consciousness because I would be really disappointed if I didn't go get the sandwich at some point in the next couple hours. But then there's another part of my mind that's thinking about rewards and stuff which is like "oh fuck man, it's going to be so disappointing for you once you go get that sandwich. It's not going to be the life-changing event that it's getting built up to be in your mind," and then you're going to feel really guilty, and then once you get back you won't keep writing, you'll feel like you have wasted too much time satisfying an impractical and expensive random need. Interesting point though. It's not a completely random need. I really like Jimmy Johns, and as far as making myself have a pleasing afternoon, it's actually pretty smart to go get Jimmy John's because it will make me feel really good. I mean, okay, that's up for debate, but the fact that I have an urge to go eat Jimmy John's instead of Mesa, Falbo's or going to the natural history museum doesn't feel completely random to me. I think it's important to respect that urge as coming from somewhere in my identity and not being something completely random. I don't know what the consequence is of that observation, but there it is. The other thing, which is somewhat immaterial, just a casual observation, is that if I go eat at Jimmy John's, then I'm going to be putting myself in an environment where I'm surrounded by a lot of new stimulus and where it's really likely that I'll get distracted and end up "wasting" even more time before I can come back and return to this writing.

Okay. This is the other thing. It's also based on my doubt in and of the utility of this writing stuff. Or at least some kind of confusion. Because there's the possibility that I'm wasting my time writing. Which I don't really think is probable, but I guess part of my mind still thinks that that's a possibility because my life is still somewhat in shambles and until it's better maybe every part of my behavior that isn't actively sanctioned by society is open to questioning. The other thing is what if writing is super useful? Then the amount of time I spend writing is super important, and then I should try to make something here instead of going to Jimmy John's because it'll be a lot more time effective. But then, like I said, I feel like part of me would be really disappointed, and I would come up here to keep writing and all my inspiration would be gone because I had just eaten something that I'm not all that excited about.

But. On that note: an important thing is that I need to be able to start making a distinction between things which cost me money and things which are free. Or something. Money feels like it's as important as it can bring me pleasure. Heh. And obviously my time is way more important to me than money. Otherwise I would have a job (oh snap). But what are the costs to me of not having that five dollars later today? It could be forty or more dollars of overdraft fees because I buy a forty and go a dollar over my account balance. I guess there's this feeling that somehow having money in my account my save my ass occassionaly. The funny thing is that that is so far from the case, looking at the money I have in my bank account is never a positive thing to me, so that idea that having an extra ten dollars in my account might actually mean that I have enough money for something important seems redonkulously hypothetical to me. Anyway. The other thing is that I'm actually really happy right now, even though I'm really hungry and I feel like Jimmy John's could make me really happy. But it could also make me unhappy. Like, it might be really cold outside, I might start thinking about shit that is boring or depressing to me, instead of sitting here and thinking about things that are pretty dang cool to me. And I'm sure part of me really likes the idea of Jimmy John's a lot more than the experience of Jimmy John's can possibly be. So I really dislike the anticipation of being disappointed.

I had an idea that I think is cool. Okay, there's this subjective identity of my own emotional experience. But that has two sides. There's the subjective experience of being that subjective identity, and there's the subjective experience of experiencing that subjective identity without being it. And then I guess a third part would be the objective understanding or analysis of that subjective identity. Which is kind of interesting. Because basically it's just an informational transposition, and the fact that it's a transposition of "this subjective identity" means that it's associated with it as opposed to some other random thing, but that doesn't mean that it's objectively true. I guess you could say that it's objective in as much as it doesn't have an emotional state of its own. Or in as much as the unique emotional identity it has is able to manifest in it's own signifiers only at an informational density below a certain thresh-hold.

Going to go get Jimmy John's, and maybe some coffee. We'll see what happens!

Okay. I got a sandwich and some coffee. Also I thought a lot. I thought about myself as an individual. I thought about how counter-productive it is to feel ashamed of the choices that I make as a consumer. I thought about eating sandwiches or any kind of food and how I can appreciate the process of eating and make the last bite something special and satisfying that will leave me feeling fulfilled and happy. I thought about food, and how important food is. That's probably one of the most important practical and financial things for me to understand outside of getting a job. That might be an overstatement, but I feel like a lot of my discretionary money is spent on eating out. And maybe I don't have the time to make all the stuff that I'm eating out at home even if it was a ton cheaper. But when I don't even understand how I differentiate and rank the different options I have for eating, I think it becomes important. There are a lot of motivations that go into what I want to eat, when I want to eat, how I feel afterwards, all that stuff. And I think there's potential for eating more regularly, less expensively and more better might have the potential to really have a lot of positive effects on my life. I think it also has the potential to make me feel more self-confident. And it's a great small model for understanding some aspect of my behavior and not necessarily trying to control it, but trying to reiterate over it until it becomes something that is a lot more positive. It's also really good practice for long term thinking and longer reward cycles. Long term benefit.

Another thought I had: how important is advertising in my life? Because I think in the specifics and the abstract, advertising is extremely fucking important in my life. I mean, how else do I understand the material aspects of my relationships and communications with others except through the metaphors and discipline of advertising? I'm not super excited about advertising as a concept, but I think it's really interesting and I know that it's operating on me on a subconscious level creating anxieties and half-baked opinions, so I guess it might as well be something that I'm a little more aware of. Advertising is a language. It is a language that is meant, to a certain degree, to be subliminal. It is meant to raise questions that perhaps you haven't thought of or that are notoriously difficult to answer and then somehow channel your doubt into some kind of behavioral change. I'm sure that advertising has existed on rawer levels previous to the past hundred and fifty years, and it was probably just something that pissed people off because they weren't rich and that sucks, so at least people have some way to resolve those feelings at this point. You can materially be really poor (relatively speaking) and yet you can resolve your feelings of being a subclass through the products that you purchase. Of course, I think at a certain point, i.e. soon, we're going to start entering a post-advertising era and that's going to be super fucking interesting. But that doesn't mean that even the majority of advertising is going to go away any time soon. It just means that it'll be up against a new paradigm that it won't really have any tools to be fitter than.

How do I want to understand advertising? Well I feel like it's really important to my own conception of my identity. They are basically working with the same materials. But a lot of my conceptions of my identity are going to be a little bit twisted, I think, in the way that they have been tangled up and created by advertising (which is not necessarily bad, but I think it's incredibly important to be very conscious of). Like, how would I advertise myself? I feel like I need to advertise myself to a certain degree. Just because I have all these hidden qualities that I really need to have some kind of encouragement and support from my environment to develop easily. I mean, presumably it might be possible to be whoever I am completely independently of my environment at that moment. Not to be actively trying to convince people that I am what I am. That's kind of an ideal to me. I guess I would like my understanding and perspective of myself to be solid enough that it kind of radiates some reality and if people don't understand it, at least it neutralizes them to a certain degree and they're not going to be actively trying to neutralize me through their own misunderstandings. I don't want it to be something which is in any way oppressive in my environment, like I don't want people to feel like I'm in any way actively trying to muddle up their ease of action. But I want to be really clear about what I am. And if I'm something which other people don't understand, um, that's okay. And if I am something that people understand, that's even better. But I don't want that to have to even be a consideration for me. I just want to be able to do my thing. And I guess I want any conflicts I have with people to be real, not just based on misunderstandings of who I am? I don't want to cater to people's misperceptions of me. I don't want to cater to what people are projecting onto me. In this way: I know that those are things that possibly I won't be able to completely discount. But I don't want them to be able to shake my sense of self when they are literally illusionary, and if I'm taking them into consideration in my actions, I want it to be because I will benefit somehow by taking them into consideration, not something that just caters to making the people around me's lives "easier" by protecting them from having to engage in any kind of questioning or self-examination.

And that applies to myself as well. I don't want to be catering to false senses of comfort for me. I don't want to be catering to fear of change in myself. I don't want to be catering to fear of the unknown in myself. That's true especially. So. That's some stuff.

But down to the brass tacks! I.e., trying to define stuff. There's so much stuff to define. I guess I'm afraid of making lots of specific statements that might be true or completely untrue because, well, at least I'm probably not going to base any direct action on a literal interpretation of any statement. It's going to be more about shifting the gestalt in some fashion. So who am I? Honestly, I feel like a programmer. I feel pretty self-contained. I feel smart. I feel like I have a pretty adventurous fashion sense. I feel like I don't get bored easily. I feel really mature for my age. I feel like I tend to have pretty detailed and accurate perspectives of what I'm aware of. I feel like I'm super optimistic by nature. But then, all these things are such shallow descriptions, not that they're bad, because I feel like they're still based in comparing myself to my environment somehow. And how does that work except by making you aware of yourself when you find something in your environment that is opposite or the same as one of your own qualities? That can't be the most common trigger. I want a sense of self that doesn't come from comparisons with others, but from something indestructibly inside of myself. Whatever that might be. And I want it to be something that I can believe in, so that when I'm getting contradictory messages from my environment I can try to interpret it in a way that will actually tie back down to something I believe in and understand not just create a new contradictory perspective in my mind that leads to weird kinds of blind spots, insecurities and cognitive dissonance.

I feel like I'm not very midwestern. I feel like I dream big. I feel like I have a lot of faith in my environment. I don't feel like money is very important to me. But what are these things? Are these the ways that I would describe myself to someone else? I think so. Is that really what I'm trying to figure out? Or am I trying to figure out what it subjectively feels like to be me? How is that any different than poetry? I feel like that's really hard to describe. I mean, I'm listening to New Order, it's making me feel good. I'm typing which makes me feel in control. I'm barefoot which makes me feel comfortable. I'm next to a big window which I feel like gives me perspective. I feel pleasantly full which I think makes me feel less worried about the future. I feel a little dissonance about some of the decorations in my room. That makes me feel kind of choosy. I don't feel dirty. I feel big but I think as the sun goes down I'm going to start feeling smaller and smaller. I feel happy because I'm pretty confident that I'm going to clean the room before Amanda gets home. I feel like a good planner because I still have an hour left of programming before I have to start cleaning the room. I feel like I have room to breath because I'm giving myself a good amount of time to type. I have an afro! I don't feel very black or non-straight-edge or counter-cultural in a lot of ways so I actually feel kind of weird that I have an afro a lot of the times. I feel good that I changed the litter in Dinah's litter box.

I feel connected to Amanda because I'm listening to this playlist that she sent me. I feel old-timey because I'm listening to old-timey music. I feel disorganized, but I myself don't feel disorganized, I feel like my environment is pretty disorganized. I feel a little bit on edge, but I feel like I'm almost always on edge a little bit. I feel really serious. I feel an enormous sense of space somewhere in my mind, which is where I feel like my soul lives. I just feel like I'm being focused through a really constrictive point and like it's some kind of hard and sort of annoying work that is my day job to figure out how to make that point I'm passing through work better. I feel like I'm surrounded by a lot of things that are really slow and sleepy. I feel like I'm not to where I want to be in my life yet. I feel like it's an incredible gift to be able to be with Amanda. I feel like I've been in a lot of tough fights. I feel like my body and soul are still recovering from them. I feel like I'm always planning things. I feel really aware of the passing of the seasons. I feel like the decoration of this room is all wrong. I feel like I want it to be darker and more comfortable in here. I feel really ready to have a job. I feel like I'm a little impatient with giving people the time to explain the stuff that they have to say to me that feels really irrelevant but that they think is really important. I feel a little bit genderless. Like I feel like I'm a human man, but I feel like I have a much larger identity that is outside of that and kind of encompasses that. I feel like a fourteen year old boy who has been fourteen for forever. I feel heavy? Not heavy. I feel very, very thoughtful. I feel comforted by the touch of my hand on my face. I feel resigned. I feel weird about having a wound on the palm of my hand. It makes me really aware of my hand somehow? It makes me feel like my hand is really a part of me, not just an object with its own soul that I'm attached to. I feel some kind of darkness attached to the setting sun. I feel a little cleaner. Like a cold clear glass of water at night. I feel like there are highlights of reflections all over my body. I feel like my face is shaggy. I feel like my face is young. I feel like my face is thoughtful. I feel like my face is complicated. I feel like my face is wistful. I feel like my face is sticking with it because it has to. I feel like my face is settling in for the long haul. I feel like my face is getting to know me. I feel like I smell like a messy human being. I feel like I'm sitting up really straight. I feel like I'm asymetrical because I'm sitting cross-legged but I'm not in the full lotus position. I feel like I'm trying to figure something out, and that I'm only starting to get understanding of it.

I feel like I have a lot of mannerisms that suggest a lot more than what created them. I feel like a monkey gaining awareness of my self and my world. I feel like a confused animal. I feel like a weird ball of blood and meat and tendons and movement and bacteria. I feel purple with blue highlights? But super streaky and transparent. Not so much like water as streaking light stains. I feel like a baby because of looking at my belly. I feel like my fingers have a will of their own. I feel like I'm wearing a helmet and information is just getting pumped into me. I feel like a make-beleive astronaut on some kind of soviet sitcom comedy. I feel like I'm considering. I feel like my thoughts and feelings come to me slowly. I feel wistful when I look at the sky. I feel like I'm trying to focus. I feel like I'm unselfconsciously moving my body in a kind of weird little dance thing. I feel like I'm not really that sleepy but that I'm yawning some. I feel like I was just dropped here from outerspace. I feel like a nerd. I feel like I'm someone who doesn't know how to take care of themselves. I feel like a writer. I feel like an old man. I feel like a father. I feel like a son. I feel alive. I feel optimistic. I feel like I'm sitting in a chair. I feel like I'm twenty-five years old. I feel like I'm in my own room, not somebody elses. I feel like I have a lot of stuff to do. I feel a little bit laconic. I feel self-deprecating. I feel warm. I feel like I'm considering a lot of stuff. I feel comfortable being with myself. I feel like I'm changing, but relatively speaking, really slowly. I feel like there's this big room behind my head that's full of stuff and that who I am right now is like a kind of dreamy reflection of that. Like I'm the imperfect robot trying to carry out perfect intentions in an imperfect world. I feel really happy that I'm listening to music. I feel a little bit more focused. I feel the passage of time. I feel the passing of time. I feel my eyes water. I felt myself just sniff. I feel my knees and my arm touching my desk. I feel the keyboard's keys on my fingers. I feel a strain in my wrist from typing. I feel nothing. I feel everything. I feel my skull. I feel my eye-sockets. I feel my nose. I feel my eyes again. I feel my eyelids. I feel my lips. I feel my smile. I feel wry. I forgot what I wanted to feel. I feel slowly? I feel like I am my environment and I don't want to. I feel like my emotions are so slow and simple and that they don't really build on to eachother at all. I feel like my thoughts and feelings just all melt out of me as soon as I have them leaving me with this feeling of something approaching peace. I feel broke. I feel a little bit lazy. I feel like I'm in love. I feel completely self-contained. I feel like I have a lot to learn. I feel not that humble. I feel like a healthily smelly man. I feel like it's the winter of 2010 and I'm twenty five years old sitting at a computer and listening to cat power. I feel like I'm wearing headphones. I feel like tonight is going to be a disappointment to me. I feel like I'm not very melancholy right now. I feel like my emotions aren't very organized. I feel like my emotions are very slow. I feel like my emotions are grey. I feel like my emotions are downtrodden. I feel like my emotions are resigned. I feel like my emotions are asleep. I feel like I overcompensate for my sleepy emotions sometimes. I feel a little bit confused. I feel happy that there's a picture of my grandpa ahead of me. I feel like I wish I didn't have to clean soon. I feel like it's important that I clean. I feel like a failure. I feel like the trees of the city through my window are really beautiful. I feel the hair on my face. I feel happy Dinah is in the room with me. I feel happy I'm wearing a tight shirt. I feel like my emotions are really complicated. I feel like I'm worried by complicated emotions. I feel less cultured than I could be. I feel the smell of the open desert behind the landscape I'm seeing. I feel dust on my face that only exists in my imagination. I feel like I have a clean spot around my eyes because I had a mask that was protecting them from dust. I feel like I should have a bandanna around my neck. I feel like emotions are hard to translate into understanding. I feel super comfortable being in my room even though it's a mess. I feel like it's going to be cold outside when I take garbage out. I feel like a complicated joke. I feel like I don't really care what I feel like. I feel everything is connected. I feel like there is no God. I feel like I'm purposely trying not to be dramatic. I feel like my bank account is probably overdrawn. That makes me feel irritated. I don't feel very focused. I feel a little afraid that I'm not very focused. I feel like I want to be happy about what I did today when I see Amanda. I feel like I'm going to have to subtly lie for that to be the case. I feel very sedentary. I feel like I should want to dance, but that I don't. I just turned my face away dramatically. I feel like this is a very roundabout way of trying to understand who I am. I feel like I have to work with this basic material of my emotions to get anything useful done. I feel like these emotions are the most basic part of who I am that I can be aware of. I feel like these emotions are enormously influential and important. I feel a little disinterested. I feel unemployed. I feel like I have smelly feet. I feel like I've been at this process for a long time. I feel like I might want to play music tonight. I feel like I should play music to see if I'm still good at it. I feel like I'll still be good at it. I feel like it's really complicated to try and organize all these feelings into some coherent symbolic identity that I can hold in my consciousness easily. I kind of feel like I'm trying to simplify myself. I feel down. I feel mopey. I don't feel depressed. I feel a little bit morose. I feel misunderstood. I feel transparent. I feel empty. I feel like I'm really stiff. I feel unobservant. I feel like I'm young but not that young. I feel like a human being from the seventies. I feel like I'm in a future that I can't even really understand anymore. I feel like i was born into a really weird time. I feel like it's really hard to be totally aware. I feel like these feelings might even be fake. I feel like it's impossible to say what it means for a feeling to be fake or not. I feel like I'm drifting. I feel like I can only think of one thing at once. I feel like I have a bad memory. I feel like something inside me is wearing away over time. I feel like I should sit up straight. I feel like I have trouble sharing my emotions with other people. I feel like my emotions are too simple to be interesting. I feel like I don't have to share my emotions with anyone else. I feel like a little bit of a hopeless boyfriend. I feel like I want to lie down on my bed. I feel like I could lie down and stare at the ceiling now for a very long time. I feel like I won't have anything to say to Amanda when she gets home. I feel like I'm being self-indulgent. I feel like it's okay that I'm being self-indulgent. I feel like I'm some kind of repressed mousey business-man whose never had a chance to say what's really in his heart. I feel like a lot of things are super lovely. I feel a little bit culturally retarded. I feel like the gradient of pink to blue on the horizon is really pretty. I feel like there are a lot of people outside walking around that are a lot more pumped up than I am right now. I feel like I don't even know how to get really stressed anymore. I feel melancholy again. I feel brain-damaged. I feel completely unable to make plans. I do feel pretty relaxed. I'm happy that I'm relaxed. I wish I was happier. I wish I could describe how I feel better. I feel like the grammer I have to describe my internal state is really impercise. I wish I had that vocabulary and grammer to really say how I was feeling. I feel like there might be things that I understand that I can't put into words very easily. I feel like it's so important that I'm in a relationship with a girl that I'm super attracted to and whose really attracted to me. I feel like I'm not thinking about culture as much as I should be right now. I feel like it's important to think about culture because that gives me something in common with other people that we can talk about together. I feel like sometimes I think I understand who I am and then I become a little bit more aware of myself and there's something there that makes my feeling of self confusing and that scares me a little bit because it shakes a confidence that I don't examine very often. I feel like I'm going to stomp around cleaning but I'm not going to be very invested in it. I feel like I wish that cleaning could be super theuraputic and healing. I feel like I need to relax while I'm cleaning. I feel like it's not a big deal if I take my time healing. I feel like it's really complicated to try and accurately summarize anyone. I feel like Led Zepplin sound a little bit like the White Stripes. I feel like my feelings are super grounded sometimes. I feel like my feelings are too grounded because I can't get worked up about the future as easily or as much as I should.

I feel relaxed. I feel happy that I'm listening to Neutral Milk Hotel. I feel pretty unworried that Amanda isn't home yet. I feel kind of strange after smoking that cigarette. It isn't exactly bad, it's just, heavy? I feel kind of heavy after smoking that cigarette. I feel super chill. I feel warm.

I think it's good thinking about how I feel, but I don't know what to do with all these feelings. They feel pretty isolated. And they do feel like a lot of them are based on moment to moment things, even though I know that that's not completely true. I feel bad that I didn't get more done today. I feel bad that I didn't get more done today. I feel kind of lazy. I think I might be really lazy and I think I kind of glorify laziness. Which isn't in and of itself totally bad, but I wish that I glorified getting stuff done too. I just feel like it gets so complicated when I try to exist in these complicated structures of stuff to do. I feel like I need to have a job to motivate myself or get myself out of a sort of slump? But I really want to have to impetus to change come from inside myself, not putting myself in sink or swim situations where I'm sort of forced to change somehow? Not that I'm against that if it's necessary, it's just, meh. It's kind of weird. I feel like I'm too easy on myself sometimes. But I don't want to engage my fight or flight responses, even though I feel like that's going on on some low level all the time? Maybe not. It's just something that I think about sometimes. I hope that Amanda is happy that the room is cleaner when she get's home. But I feel like that's a sort of half-assed attempt at trying to do something for her. I wish it was easier for me to do more beautiful or wonderful things for Amanda during the day when she's at work. I feel like I still don't understand Amanda very well. Which is kind of silly. But what do I need? Do I need to learn more? I don't know. I could focus on learning more I just don't understand how that's going to help me be the person that I want to be, but maybe that's in the nature of learning. But what would I learn about? I don't know. I feel like I analyze myself too much, but I don't know what the alternative is. This is, not exactly easy, but it's simple and clear and I feel like I can choose to do this and figure out how to do this pretty easily. But I feel like it's pushing things that I feel like I have to do forward into the future a lot. Which is, I don't know, I feel like that's only a short term solution. I don't know what the long term solution is. I hope Amanda is happy. I think she's happy. Now I feel worried. Now I feel pissed off at myself that I felt good and now I feel all worried and stuff. But it's okay. I don't think that it's that unnatural.