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Emotional Work Startups

Day 1231 and Conviction

Patience may be a virtue but it sure sucks to practice. When things are slow and life’s problems are feel intractable, patience is no easy discipline.

The best I can do is find conviction in my positions and live slowly in the consequences unfolding. The agony of slow progress can make patience feels more like a fool’s errand.

But then there are days when the work of months and even years show themselves and the conviction that was once so hard seems suddenly effortless.

I have had many slow months (even years) where nothing seems to get accomplished. Startups are notorious for their uneven progress. You believe and yet must live with the slowness building that belief into reality.

Patience is no easy virtue. Conviction wouldn’t be impressive if it were.

Categories
Finance Politics

Day 1223 and Human Wants Are Endless

The curriculum of classical economics can be a bit of a blackpill if you are an optimist about the good in humanity.

Economists operate from a model that presumes human wants are infinite but our resources are not. Yes it is reductive, but if your goal is to model something on spreadsheet give got to start from where and somehow the economists picked non-satiation.

I’m using Perplexity more than Google Search these days so I’m delving (apologies to Paul Graham) into deep Reddit territory anytime I’ve got a random query.

Which incidentally is not paying off for Reddit just yet.

Reddit, which is trading about 40 per cent above its opening initial public offering price, is expected to report a net loss of about $610mn on $213mn in revenue.

Via Financial Times (which oddly I can’t share a link to for unclear reasons but here is a link to old reporting in Reuters and I’m writing this before earnings are released today.

Reddit’s artificial intelligence licensing deals have made them more useful to me than ever but it’s unclear how anyone gets paid for the mountain of work required to make it remain useful. Such is the tragedy of the internet commons. Anyways.

I’m feeling particularly sad about infinite wants as a framework for anything today. Ive been disappointed by just how much others view me as a source of want gratification even when I explicitly ask them to clarify their needs.

Much of the language of human wands must be couched in the language of need. Asking someone to be obligated to another person spirals quickly into a sticky web of moralists insisting on the value of their chosen wants. Id be more inclined to say yes to an ask if someone was clear about their needs upfront. Just in case you find yourself asking me for something.

Categories
Emotional Work Internet Culture

Day 1222 and No Exit

Even the most niche corner of the Internet can deliver fame instantly and irrevocably. I don’t think your average person is aware of just how much fame can be delivered by algorithm and how impossible it can be to shed it once you’ve gotten it.

If Andy Warhol could revise his “15 minutes of fame” conceit for the Internet age he’d probably have to grapple with how extended the event horizon of Internet fame can be.

The best you can hope for with algorithmic fame is that it fully dissipates into the background radiation of other people’s more concerted efforts to acquire fame for themselves. There is alas no exit.

Internet fame is mostly about being legible to other people and if you project something that makes sense into the wide abyss you will be known by someone.

If this doesn’t make any sense to you I’d recommend picking up some Satre. The ending isn’t very satisfying but it does repeat. So don’t worry too much about getting it right away

Eh bien, continuons…” 

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1217 and Triggered

I deliberately put myself into an exercise today where I gave another person permission to trigger me. I mean trigger in the emotional sense.

caused to feel an intense and usually negative emotional reaction affected by an emotional trigger

Merriam Webster

I very much recommend the experience. If we workout our bodies and our minds surely we should consider the value in working our emotions over.

Openly welcoming emotional punches may seem about as sane as welcoming an actual punch but like in all things practice makes perfect. It’s good to prepare with the relevant skills for all kinds of things.

I am not a boxer or martial artist myself but I appreciate fight metaphors and their applications in the power dynamics of life. Much of living feels like a conflict to even the most level headed of us. Which I’m not sure is a title I can claim honestly but I do try to follow the maxim in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

Don’t panic”

Douglas Adams

Even if we opted into some level of being available in the rituals of being alive we can find ourselves surprised to be considered fair game in the agendas and power struggles of others.

We are all civilians in our own mind. Sometimes we’ve stepped conflict without even knowing and you’d best keep your wits about you. Consequences for actions have a tendency to come back around for even the most cautious.

So if you’ve got the opportunity to be put into “fight or flight” you might find the opportunity worth the while. After all, everyone’s got a plan till they are punched in the face. So stay safe everyone!

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1215 and Impartiality

I am taking the Connections course run by Joe Hudson’s Art of Accomplishment. I was introduced to the approach through Johnny Miller’s Nervous System Mastery course. I was lucky enough that be able to participate in one of Joe’s live coaching sessions I was so inspired by the work I saw I committed to a longer course of study.

The Connections curriculum takes you through an approach whose acronym can be shortened to VIEW.

Vulnerability

Impartiality

Empathy

Wonder

Art of Accomplishment

Today’s sessions was on impartiality. Impartiality is owning what you want without imposing it on yourself or others. It’s harder than it sounds discovering an agenda for yourself and others.

With their exercises and a partner you find your own assumptions and defensive thinking in short order

I don’t want to get reveal more than is available online but I encourage you to go check it out if it sounds interesting for your own emotional work. The podcast on Impartiality is available for anyone to listen online.

Categories
Culture Finance

Day 1211 and Price of Civilization

Whenever I travel I am reminded of just how good a life I have be virtue of being born American.

I’m kept alive, fed, clothed and connected by a vast web of abstractions undergirding modern civilization thanks to the value of my passport and the exorbitant privilege of the dollar.

Constructs like private property have given rise to elaborate norms of obligation, honors, debts and expectations that enable coordination mechanisms like markets. This seems like a good thing from

All of this feels so astonishingly fragile. We listen when our bankers fret about “rules based western civilization” being under siege because we know those rules are what enables the niceties of our lives.

All it takes are a few assholes breaking the rules and the fabric frays a little more. Blessedly capitalism has its own immune system that is happy to attack all types of hostility.

If you are not integrated into the body politic of the dominant civilization you generally know it. I’ve found those outside of it generally wish they could be assimilated from simple envy. If you want these benefits be prepared to be assimilated to the rules and values of civilization.

Your alternative is struggle to hold yourself apart by your own rules and cultural values and insist others abide by them. This has generally required coercion, violence or shame in the past.

You can say “no” to civilizational benefits simply by opting out. To be left alone is to accept your status and stay outside of the great game of civilization. But to accept the benefits is to in some sense accept to accept that there are rules. You can’t break rules if you don’t know their importance. If you know the rules and break them however you can’t be surprised when it’s viewed as a thread.

Categories
Internet Culture Reading

Day 1208 and 16 Years

I don’t recall exactly when I first began using WordPress. If memory serves, it was a friend James in the philosophy department at my university who set up and hosted my first blog sometime around 2003. Eventually I went out on my own.

While I’ve only been writing on JFredrickson.com for 1208 days (ha only) the current account I’ve been using since 2008 has an anniversary today.

Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 16 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

I’m delighted to be a long time user of the service. I believe in the value of open source software and the stewardship of Matt Mullenweg. While there are plenty of other social media platforms where I can reach an audience no one has earned my trust like WordPress. II use many other content management systems, social media accounts and the like but for my own identity under my own control nothing else compares.

Categories
Emotional Work

Day 1201 and It Shows On Your Face

I was at the dermatologist today. Despite my age (I am forty) I don’t have much in the way of wrinkles. I don’t have anything deep that can’t be managed with retinol and sunscreen.

I started Botox this year only because I was literally the only one I knew in my age and social cohort that wasn’t doing it. I thought this was a good thing.

But it has recently struck me as sad that I don’t have laugh lines. You’d be hard pressed to find me smiling in any pictures. The thing with tamping down on emotions is that it works in both directions. I don’t get that angry either. I don’t have any laugh lines but I don’t know how to scowl either.

I had to be moved and instructed into position today to get Botox as I couldn’t scowl. What kind of person doesn’t know how to scowl? Isn’t the joke that resting bitch face is the default for white women?

If I don’t smile I won’t get laugh lines. But I’m not angry and so I’m not scowling either. When cut down on variance you cut out the highs and the lows. You lose the good and the bad. And that’s its own form of nihilism. Which we’d do all well to remember. To be shielded from life showing on your face requires quite a bit of resources.

Categories
Chronicle

Day 1200 and Nice Round Numbers

Even after twelve hundred days of writing every single day I still get great pleasure from seeing a nice round number when it comes around. I don’t have anything grand to say this far into the experiment except that it’s good to have consistent habits.

There is a category of the extremely online that subscribes to “nothing ever happens” but you find if you journal long enough that quite a bit happens all the time. It’s not so much that “it’s happening” but rather that life continues to find a way.

Things fall apart but so do they come together. The round numbers of consistency are m simply reminder to myself that taking action is what makes your life come together.

Categories
Homesteading

Day 1199 and Homelife

I really love a Saturday dedicated to home projects. No matter how busy things are (and it’s not exactly been quiet few weeks) I enjoy the comfort of weekend afternoon routines.

Perhaps some aspect of adulthood is simply meant to keep us within routines so the entropy doesn’t get us without a bit of a fight. Protecting and nurturing the systems that keep us alive is its own spiritual battle.

Some people, like my husband, literally chop wood and carry water. Today he was clearing fallen branches so the mountain water can flow through our small stream.

Spring is slowly approaching so there is a lot to do both inside and outside. I myself was more focused on closet organizing and laundry. Few household chores provide quite as much serenity as clean sheets.

Pushing back against the chaos of one’s own life is so relaxing, I found myself taking a nap on the fresh made bed almost immediately. It would be lovely if I could work more on household chores tomorrow. It’s likely to be other more pressing outside world concerns for me, but I enjoyed the pleasure of a day focused on hearth and home.