tyrsalvia: (avatar)
2013-09-18 11:01 pm

a family story

Back in the early 1960s, Ma Bell had an informal employee jug band made up of (mostly) ladies from the (all manual) billing department. They didn't have anywhere to go during their lunch breaks, so one of them who happened to have a ukulele asked if the others wanted to play. One had a ukulele from her grandmother that she didn't know how to play, and another couple bought them, and then someone made a washtub bass, and pretty soon there were 10 of them jamming on the patio every day at lunch. They called themselves The Gut-Tub Banjo Ukulele Band.

They got to be pretty good, practicing every day like that. Eventually, when the company would throw parties for them when they did really well at work, they'd get booked to play. Ma Bell built them a small stage, and they'd play parties and coffee breaks. My Aunt Joann played the washboard. Many of them sang.

As the years went by, enough people transferred to different departments that they gave it up for a while. But then, people started to retire, and they had a lot of free time. That first woman with the ukulele called them up and asked it maybe they wanted to get together every couple of months and play. And so they did. And then, a friend asked to join, and then somebody's husband, and someone else's cousin. They got to be more than 20 people, alternating houses every other month to spend one day eating and talking and laughing and singing and playing songs on their strange and improvised instruments.

Most of them are in their 70s now. They have arthritis, and can't hold the frets on the banjo-ukulele so well anymore. My aunt has died, as have several others; still others are too sick to go. Those that do go don't sing so well anymore. But still, they stay connected, see each other and talk and laugh and keep up the energy of The Gut-Tub Banjo Ukulele Band.
tyrsalvia: (santa)
2013-05-16 11:06 pm

SF Cacophony

When I was a teenager, an older friend in SF that I'd met online told me about the Cacophony Society. She told me about the first ever SantaCon, and some of their other events. I was enthralled. I had to meet these people! It was 1995, and I spent ages looking through pages and pages of internet search results until I found them. I cajoled a friend who had a car, and we drove to SF to sneak into a bar to attend a meeting. I was already a member. To the month, it was 18 years ago.

Tonight, I went to the book release party for a book by many of the folks who started some of that fine trouble. I saw people I hadn't seen in 15 years. It was old home night on the freak front. It reminded me of why I love SF.

Friends, I strongly encourage you to purchase a copy of this book. Buy it for your favorite weirdo. Buy it for yourself. Buy it for every teenager you know. Spread the gospel of Cacophony!

http://talesofsfcacophony.com/
tyrsalvia: (roses)
2013-04-05 08:02 pm

women in tech: a happy story, for once

A friend/co-worker and I went out to lunch today. We were talking about some of the cool things about our workplace culture, particularly how it is not sexist. Since we work in an operations department for a software company, that quality isn't necessarily a given.

One thing she pointed out that hadn't even really crossed my mind was that the new dev ops woman we just hired was introduced in an email with her name and picture, and mentioned that her hobbies are decorating and cooking - and that no one asked if she could code. Because, well, duh - that's what she was hired for. If she couldn't code, we wouldn't have hired her for that job.

This reminded me of another new hire email, a recent male hire for the support team who mentioned that his hobbies also include decorating and cooking - not hobbies a man could admit to in every workplace.

This is what diversity and professionalism is supposed to be like, and it's awesome. I hope more companies will join us.
tyrsalvia: (bouncydead)
2013-02-18 10:53 pm

... Hello world?

"My people are going back to LiveJournal."

More people seem to be returning. Perhaps the zeitgeist will return here. One can hope.

At any rate, it's been forever since I've posted here, but having seen several fantastic people comment lately that they are returning... I shall do so, see how it works out.
tyrsalvia: (crack the whip)
2011-12-22 03:24 pm

FUCK CENSORSHIP

If you have been following the debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act SOPA, you'll know that this proposed legislation would break the internet by allowing censorship of anything even vaguely kinda sorta resembling copyrighted material. It's extremely important for anyone who cares about art or technology or culture to oppose this.

I have been unimpressed with GoDaddy as a company for some time now, due to their sexist advertising and general douchebaggery. I didn't think it would happen, but they have reached a new low: they support SOPA.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/godaddys_sopa_support_sparks_calls_for_boycotts_an.php

If you own domains that are registered with GoDaddy, I strongly urge you to move them. I have been meaning to move my domains for a while, and this just provided the kick in the pants necessary to overcome my laziness on the matter.

There are a number of domain registrars who hate SOPA and are excited to take GoDaddy's customers. The following Reddit thread contains information on other registrars who are offering discounts and promotions to GoDaddy customers who wish to move:

http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/nmnie/godaddy_supports_sopa_im_transferring_51_domains/

Edit: Win! Looks like they dropped their support for SOPA: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/12/victory-boycott-forces-godaddy-to-drop-its-support-for-sopa.ars

Let's make it clear, though - a sudden reversal of opinion when presented with angry customers is not enough. GoDaddy actually participated in writing SOPA. A single press release does not makes this OK.
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2011-11-28 04:53 pm

where are the limits?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/28/BAJM1M338E.DTL

I am really fascinated with the above article. The story is about an injunction against new business licenses for gold buyers while the city council looks into limits on this industry.

At what point should you restrict licenses for a certain type of business to maintain profitability for existing businesses, if ever? How should a city handle a class of business that could easily be a part of blatant crime? At what point should we restrict licenses based on regulation capability?

In general, I like regulated capitalism. This article poses a lot of questions on what limits are appropriate, and I've been thinking about it all day. In theory, it seems like licensing fees should cover the cost of regulation enforcement.

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of regulating the numbers of businesses to protect profits for those already existing. It seems like some of the business owners quoted in the article love the idea of limits on their businesses because they think it will protect their profits, which seems sketchy to me. What if existing businesses offer bad deals or poor service? The golden ideal of regulated capitalism is that the best businesses win the most customers, and protecting existing businesses against competition sounds like bad news.

I am comfortable with other reasons for regulation, though. I like consumer protection laws, employee protection laws, environmental protection laws. I support profit, not rapaciousness.

For pawn shops and gold buyers, one of the most important regulations has to do with what records they should keep. Given that these places buy valuable things, it seems reasonable to make sure that these things belong to the sellers. How do you protect against the sale of stolen property without creating an undue burden on either buyer or seller?

I guess the reason I find this so interesting is that there are no right answers to these questions. Even within traditional American economic ideologies, I can imagine a pretty broad spectrum of answers for what is appropriate or acceptable.

Thoughts?
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2011-11-16 10:39 pm

...did that actually work?

I got this in email today, regarding my last post:

On behalf of the SFMTA Board of Directors, thank you for taking the time to write. Please know that this item is not proceeding at this time.

Thanks again,

Roberta Boomer
Secretary, SFMTA Board of Directors

***

Awesome.
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2011-11-12 07:16 pm

proposed tow away zone: how the "war on fun" comes to the SFMTA

Today, I received the following email from San Francisco's Mighty:

MIGHTY NEEDS YOUR HELP

On November 4th, the Sustainable Streets Division of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency passed the following resolution:

ESTABLISH – TOW-AWAY, NO STOPPING, 10PM TO 6AM, DAILY
Utah Street, both sides, between Alameda and 16th streets
San Bruno Avenue, both sides, between Alameda and 16th streets

see the rest of the message )

I crafted the following email in response, sent to the MTA and the supervisor's office:

To whom it may concern,

It has come to my attention that there is a proposal to establish a
tow-away zone on Utah street between 16th and Alameda from 10pm to
6am. I urge you to oppose this measure.

This area supplies much-needed safe and well-lit parking for numerous
businesses in the area. Eliminating these spots will increase the
traffic burden on the area as people spend more time driving trying to
find a parking spot. Eliminating these parking spots will increase the
danger to residents, patrons and their vehicles as they have to park
further from their destinations, making both the people and their
vehicles easier prey for thieves. Perhaps most importantly,
eliminating these parking spots will hurt San Francisco, as a number
of people will simply go elsewhere for entertainment.

If you care about safety, traffic, and business revenue in San
Francisco, you should oppose the establishment of a night time
tow-away zone on Utah Street.


Thanks,

Autumn Tyr-Salvia

*****

This really makes me angry. This is how cities are shaped, by making some things convenient and other things inconvenient. This is what the "war on fun" looks like. This is how urban planning shapes acceptable use. It's subtle. It's hard to get people excited about fighting parking zone changes, which is why they do things like this. It seems small, so people don't fight back. But after enough small things, it starts to be such a pain to go out that people don't anymore. Enough people stay home, the clubs close, and we lose out on legal spaces to create experiences outside the pale.

I wish The Mighty and others the best of luck in fighting this.


Edit 11/16: I received the following email today:

On behalf of the SFMTA Board of Directors, thank you for taking the time to write. Please know that this item is not proceeding at this time.

Thanks again,

Roberta Boomer
Secretary, SFMTA Board of Directors

Win!
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2011-10-30 06:25 pm

all hallow's workday

People are dressing up at work tomorrow, and management has specifically asked my team to so they don't feel alone in their costumes. What should I wear?

I could wear the costume I just made, but I really don't want to explain 'self-transforming machine elf' to people at work. I could call it "being from another dimension." I dunno, it feels like it might be a little too weird for work.

Another choice is to go as a calavera, a Mexican Dia de los Muertos skeleton person. If I did that, I guess I'd just wear a big floofy dress and a skull mask, and maybe my pink Burning Man skeleton hat. Is that a cop out?

The real cop out costumes are gypsy or witch. Which is to say, normal clothes, though things I probably wouldn't wear to the office normally. Is "gypsy" an offensive costume now?

Bah. I am going to start making the three of us very good pirate costumes. Everyone needs a pirate costume, and it's simple and good to wear to work. Next year, piracy! This year... I dunno.

Advice welcome.

Edit: Because I know you're all dying to know, I went as a calavera. The machine elf costume is really amazingly awesome, but it just felt like opening too much of myself to work. I'm pretty open about who I am in general, but it felt ... vulnerable. I suppose it's worth considering why.
tyrsalvia: (beholder)
2011-09-06 03:13 pm

overheard at Burning Man

The people camped behind us had some loud sex one afternoon. Not long after, I overheard this exchange.

Girl 1, speaking to boy: "Average."
Girl 2: "What?"
Girl 1: "Oh, he asked how he was, and I said he was average. I mean, what some people would call good sex, I just call average. I think I'm just used to good sex, you know? I mean, some guys are really bad at it. Sometimes, it's not even worth stopping them to tell them how to get better. You just want them to hurry up and finish so you can never fuck them again. But anyways, he wasn't bad, just average."
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2011-08-18 10:20 am

welcome home

Well, that was brief. Google+ was totally perfect... except for the bullshit "real name" campaign that left out the marginalized and blocked identity experimentation. Fuck that. Shabby and broken as it is, I guess this is home again. I hate feeling dispossessed. Anyways, if you're just adding me from Google+, please comment. I enjoyed meeting lots of cool people there, I hope we can stay friends in venues without such asinine problems.

Edit: If you're interested, there is a pretty good discussion about this on G+. I am genuinely sad to see it go, because I had a lot of good discussions there. Sigh. "Ignominious uselessness" indeed. https://plus.google.com/103312810027078945406?tab=h#103312810027078945406/posts/Dc9MtB3Wc84
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2011-03-17 08:44 pm

please, trust the government!

When you have had repeatedly demonstrated proof that you can't always trust your government, it's very hard to trust your government when they ask you to. You'd think this would be obvious.

This is especially frustrating when the government is one of the only sources of information about a scary topic, and has a vested interest in keeping people calm.

On the one hand, the government does have the best information about what's actually going on in Japan, and they also have climatologists and meteorologists and radiation scientists and geological experts and so on and so forth. I expect that they really do have the best data of anyone in the US on what's actually happening, and whether or not people in California should be concerned about radiation.

On the other hand, if the US government said "everyone on the west coast should take iodine because you are getting increased doses of radiation," can you imagine what would happen? People would panic! People would pack up their stuff and flee, resulting in crazy traffic and looting and people going nuts robbing stores to get supplies to "save their children" and stuff. Businesses would shut down. People who wanted to leave but felt compelled to stay by family or work would be angry and frightened and have accidents and start fights.

So... I'm kind of stuck. Yes, our government and their scientists genuinely do have the best information and scientific perspective on what's happening and whether or not it affects us here. And yet, our government also has a vested interest in keeping people quiet and calm, and has shown in the past a willingness to compromise the health of the populace in the interests of keeping a lid on things and profit.

At the moment, I am so far assuming the risk is minimal because I am willing to trust the sheer volume of scientists and scientific evidence coming from both government and non-governmental sources alike.

Beyond this frightening tragedy, I am left feeling unsettled about the larger issue. When I know my government does not always tell the truth, and does not always act in the best interests of the people even when they are explicitly aware of the consequences (not to mention the times they are simply ill-informed) - how do I know who and what to trust in a situation where the government is the main source of information? I don't want to be either uncritically trusting nor automatically distrusting anything from "the man."

This dilemma comes up to a lesser degree with journalism. Do I trust The New York Times? Do I trust Fox News? Do I trust The Economist or The Christian Science Monitor? The way I generally try to figure out what is trustworthy and authoritative is to try to get a sample from a few sources, and find the median stories. I try to average out the bias.

With government, that's less of an option. It feels like my choices are two extremes. Either I join up with the paranoids and freak out over the fluoride in the water and the cell phone towers and the smart meters, or I trust that our government would never knowingly and purposefully infect people with syphilis and that Saddam really did have those weapons of mass destruction.

How do you handle this? How do you decide when to trust an authority that has proven to be untrustworthy at times in the past?
tyrsalvia: (towersage)
2010-12-08 12:00 pm

something that is bothering me: commentary on Assange's rape charge

I posted this to Facebook, and it bears repeating here.

I am really disgusted by people who would normally find it unacceptable to dismiss rape charges without trial but who suddenly think that's ok because it's their hero who stands accused. This article says it better than I can:

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/12/07/julian_assange_rape_accuser_smeared/index.html

One thing that gets me is that people seem to see this as either exactly true OR politically motivated. It's entirely possible that it's both.

Here's a possible scenario: girl has a fucked up sexual encounter with Assange where she asks him to stop and he doesn't. She believes in his mission, fundraises for him. Even after this encounter, she still believes in what he's doing - but feels conflicted, violated. She stays quiet. Things heat up, and she is approached by others who ask her about the situation. Maybe they tell her they have ties to those who hate WL, maybe they don't. They show her the endless praise for Assange from certain segments, and it makes her sick. They convince her that her violation is more important than staying quiet.

Did it happen like that? No idea. I don't know either of them. But I have seen that situation happen before on a less international scale, and it's totally plausible. It really bothers me that people are so ready to dismiss this out of hand because the timing is convenient for certain world powers.

Whether or not the accusation is politically motivated has NO bearing on whether or not it's true. Anita Hill didn't say anything about having been harassed by Justice Thomas until his confirmation hearings, and I don't think that makes her testimony any less credible either.

The real question here is whether Assange and his accuser can get a fair trial at this point, and if so, where. It would deeply upset me if a politically-motivated false accusation were the means by which Assange was removed from the world stage, just as it would upset me if a true accusation were dismissed without fair trial either because of perceived heroism or because of suspicion of a setup.
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2010-11-07 02:06 pm

Halloween

Last weekend, we worked on Ghost Ship, a huge Halloween party on Treasure Island. It was in an old hangar. Different Burning Man party crews had decorated various rooms of it, there were art cars and installations, tons of DJs.

We showed up around 2 in the afternoon to help the Hookahdome group. I got pleasantly intimate with a staple gun, artfully draping fabric over the walls and tables. We hung lights and giant fake spiders.

A cool thing: the room we were in had one big plywood wall in an otherwise sheet rock warehouse space. There was a door in the wall. Opening the door revealed a scene out of Indiana Jones. The floor was covered in large chunks of broken cement that showed relief and blue paint on some sides, and towards the back were several large sculptures. There was a chain link fence surrounding it, with a sign saying it was pieces of a fountain that was destroyed a long time ago. Apparently it has been sitting in the back room of this hangar for 60 years.

In the middle of the afternoon, we realized that since we were setting up, we could set ourselves up too. I made a Safeway run and stopped by the house, and brought back a totally full cooler and case of bottled water to stash. Just this on its own has made me inclined to set up for as many epic parties as possible. Not spending half the evening waiting in line to spend a lot of money on little tiny drinks was awesome.

As the party got started, we went on an epic goose chase to try to figure out how to turn off the overhead fluorescent lights. There were light switches, but they did not work and apparently controlled the old set of no longer functional overhead lights. The newer lights - installed and mounted on the ceiling, mind you - were apparently on a very long extension cord that ran into a PVC pipe that went *through the wall* and plugged into an outlet on the other side.

I really enjoyed the crowd at this event. While less interested in my own costume, the sea of people in all these different outfits really made the party constantly amusing. The little clusters of people talking who would otherwise never be in the same room - Cleopatra and vampire and go-go dander and Indian. I saw a woman dressed as Alice who had tripped and was very angry at her companions, flipping them off with both hands. It was hard not to laugh; it looked like perhaps someone had upended her teacup.

Near our homebase was an art installation that was amazing, and disturbing. There were numerous objects of furniture that had been scrambled and painted white, with tiny tiny writing all over them. There were blackboards describing ideas and connections. There was a cork board covered in yellowing Polaroids and note cards carefully pinned and connected with golden thread. I didn't hear it make a sound, but it might as well have been creepily whispering "...this is how you go crazy...."

Later in the evening I ran into a friend who said the artist has camped with her at Burning Man. Apparently we were right - that *is* how you go crazy. This guy had gotten so obsessed with the art that this was his final showing of it and that he was trying to sell or give all of it away. It's art that he has to be in recovery from.

Every fancier of Cthulhu, Malkavians, tortured artists and obsessed souls should check this out. The artist has a very detailed page of all the art, including photos and videos.

http://www.rolandsmart.com/room-installation/
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2010-10-20 10:24 am

102.1 KDFC

Just sent this to the feedback email for my favorite classical music radio station. I'm probably an idiot for this, but just it's been really bugging me. It's hard to listen to a radio station when almost every commercial break makes you want to hit something.

Hello KDFC,

I understand that times are tough and you need to take money from anyone who is paying, and yet I am extremely tired of all the Meg Whitman ads! I haven't heard any ads from progressive candidates or causes, and as a liberal, it really makes me feel like I must be in the minority of your listeners if my views don't seem to get any airtime.

I really love the diversity of music on KDFC, and I would hope that your listeners are an equally diverse group of people. It's hard to continue to listen to your otherwise wonderful station when I continually feel like my political views are invisible amongst your listeners and staff.

If at all possible, please run some progressive political ads to balance out all the conservatism, or reduce the number of Meg Whitman ads you're running. It's really disempowering and disheartening to feel like no other classical music fans are progressive, even here in the bay area. I'd be thrilled if you could help make my morning commute less depressing.


Thanks,

Autumn Tyr-Salvia
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2010-10-17 02:49 am

the social network

We went to see The Social Network tonight. At the start of the film, Zuckerberg logs into LJ to blog. My first reaction was to turn to Fox and Sierra and say, "wait, I don't think LJ had that interface yet!" The scene was dated mid-2003, and he was using the blue-and-white interface.

...yes, I'm from the internet.

Anyone happen to know when LJ moved from the old blue-orange-purple-white layout to the blue-and-white one? Did my nerd powers catch a historical inaccuracy, or am I wrong?

On another note, I must offer a bit of native Palo Alto pride that the disposable coffee cup on the law firm table towards the end of the film is from my favorite cafe, Coupa Cafe. It was a nice touch. If you're ever in the area, go there.

I recommend the film, too. As Sierra said, it's rare that we see a movie for which we are so completely in the target market. It's very strange to see a film on the big screen about people who are only a couple of degrees of separation away.

It's no surprise that the film was very well directed. The film was incredibly well cast. The back and forth time shifts between present and past were well executed. The score and use of sound was good too. Story-wise, I suspect it was perhaps a bit generous to Zuckerberg's character, but not enough to make it fail to ring true. On the whole, I suspect a number of things were glossed over, but not to the point of untruth. On the whole, a solid film.

It was really nice to see a piece of my personal cultural history on screen, and I hope it does well at the box office.

Edit: Mystery solved, by Sierra with the Wayback Machine. It seems as though the change was sometime in August or September 2003, making the movie scene accurate.
tyrsalvia: (Default)
2010-10-16 06:04 pm

All Hallows Humbug

As a gothy person who loves ridiculous clothes, orange & black, skulls and skeletons, it seems like I'd be really into Halloween. It's not that I haven't tried. I like the Halloween aesthetic when its done well.

But it turns out that the actual holiday, I'm not so much into. The overwhelming number of parties means there's never critical mass going to any one event, leaving me with a wealth of choices where I can see maybe two friends each. Because it's a holiday, everything is expensive. Traffic. Disgustingly drunk people.

And then there's the costume issue.

I love dressing up in stripey stockings, acid green and royal purple, shredded black lace. But that's not a costume. For Halloween, you have to be A Noun.

You don't wear something you just like; you have to be A Nurse or A Witch or A Kitty. And of course these costume pieces are not at all likely to fit into your regular wardrobe, so you have to buy or make something you'll only wear just once. You don't want to spend too much money, so you're left dressed in some cheap awful piece of nylon with no pockets.

Similarly, I really like clothes and costumes. Going to a good party means i get to look at gorgeous people wearing interesting things. Going to a Halloween party more often than not means I get to look at cute people in awful costumes with bad stage makeup running down their faces.

Bah humbug, I say.

This year, we're working setup for our Burning Man party crew at Ghost Ship, a giant rave on Treasure Island. I'm pretty happy about this choice. Working on a party both gets you in for free, and gives you a sense of ownership in it. We'll have friends with us, and new friends made during setup, and a feeling like we helped make something awesome. Short of getting all my friends together at one event, this is the best kind of Halloween event for me.

I'm still not sure on costume, though. Fox had suggested I go as the Red Queen, since that's pretty close to stuff I'd want to wear anyways. I'm thinking about that, or about maybe trying to make a really good and comfortable pirate costume to be on theme. I could do either, and it would be comfortable and danceable and have pockets and come in handy on other occasions. Perhaps I should just wear something I like and make up the appropriate Noun after I'm dressed.

Friends, what are you doing for Halloween this year? What costume(s) will you be wearing, events attending, plans planning? Am I alone in this frustration, or does it hit you all too?
tyrsalvia: (towersage)
2010-07-19 09:10 am

Friday Gifts

Last night, I was contacted during a dream by these sort of soul-priests. They told me that in order for a soul to be redeemed when passing between this life and the next, they must be offered unconditional compassion by a living person. They asked if the three of us would be willing to participate to redeem someone for them. We said yes.

We were in my car driving around Portland, OR when we turned down a street we had been down before. Instead of the normal end of the street, we came to a dead end with an old brick warehouse that had become a temple. Several people were standing out front as though waiting for us. They wore long robes with rope belts, like monks. They asked if we were ready. We parked the car and got out, and went into the temple.

Inside the temple, we stood waiting in turn to offer this gift of compassion. We were in a sort of church, standing on the altar facing the sacristy rather than where the congregation would be. There was a sort of balcony running around the edge of the altar. We stood before it, and in front of us by several yards was an enormous fish tank. When a person crossed into the world of the dead, we briefly saw their ghostly outline before they became one of a number of different kinds of goldfish.

The priest prepared a concoction to drink. By drinking this, he said, we would be offering redemption to one soul. We were being called upon to offer complete unconditional love to this soul, and through that it would be cleansed and ready for a new life.

Fox went first, and drank from the cup the priest offered. Then it was my turn. The drink was a sort of thick and frothy hot cappuccino, hot and bittersweet, full of grounds. It was hard to drink all of it, and the metaphysical sensation was indescribable. Tears rolled down my face, and do now as I vividly recall this to write it down so I won't forget.

When my turn was over, I waited with Fox while Sierra drank, and then we stayed silently sitting in chairs near the altar thinking about what we had done.

I asked the priests how this worked. They said they drew on random people they knew had enough love in them to do this. Like jury duty, they would call us up in dreams to offer the redemption that could only be granted by a living soul. Groups of us would flow through this place and others like it, each in turn cleansing one soul before it could move on. They said they called it Friday Gifts.

It is likely that, having done this once, we will be called again.

*****

I remember holding onto threads from this dream hoping to fix it in my (poor) memory. My alarm went off before it could slip away, and I immediately got the computer to write this down.

In the Christian religion, it is belief in Jesus that cleanses a soul for the next world. In other religions, it is usually judgment and punishment that redeems, or occasionally the unconditional compassion of a god. Not sure what to think about this, but I kind of like the idea that redemption might be granted by a single living person. If nothing else, what a blessing to live in a world of redeemers!

I'm still not very awake, and lost in ideas from this dream. So many spiritual practices seem to be about cleansing the soul, church as weekly soul-bath or something. Lots of the occult practices I am familiar with involve cleansing. Many are staunchly anti-materialist and view the physical world as inherently unclean. I'm not sure what I think about this, and I suspect I'll be thinking about it a lot for a while.
tyrsalvia: (complicatedface)
2010-07-14 06:34 pm

thoughts on character improvement

Studies show that people eventually conform to expectations and perceptions - both those of others, and those from the self. If I perceive myself as smart, I am more likely to think about decisions before I make them than if I think of myself as impulsive. If I think of someone else as smart, the subtle changes in my interactions with them will lead them to work harder to live up to that positive impression.

In an effort towards self-improvement, I want to expect good things of myself in hopes that this positive narrative will bolster efforts at positive action. At the same time, I don't want to have a grossly inaccurate view of myself. Highly inaccurate self-perception seems like a way to mislead others, and a way to get myself in far over my head on a regular basis.

Similarly, in an effort to evoke positive action from others, I'd like to perceive others as trustworthy and competent. Studies show that high regard from people one spends time with causes people to act more in accordance with that high regard. At the same time, having a much higher opinion of others than they objectively warrant would seem like it would lead to frequent massive disappointment. (Btw, this isn't regarding anyone in specific, more thinking about the general way I interact with others.)

How can I trick myself into thinking much better of myself and others in an effort to evoke and invoke positive characteristics, while avoiding the depth of inaccurate judgment that leads to disappointment and failure?