The curse of the prepared dungeon master: if you have a fully prepped session SOMETHING will happen. You will have the mother of all headaches. A player will not show up. Something. :P

"Who was it that said that sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from magic? They should add that sufficiently popularized science is indistinguishable from religion."

- via Rotten Kepken, but I have no idea who was the original author of this quip.

In the "Guide to psychiatry for the dissenting thinker", the author gives an interesting piece of advice. Summary: if you're being evaluated for mental soundness and they ask you about why you persisted in having "strange" ideas, say: I just wanted to be cool; I wanted to be famous; I wanted approval and didn't understand how serious things were.

The idea is to make yourself seem shallow, stupid, utterly uninteresting from a security perspective. Ordinary. Normal. A parrot.

Small victory of the day: my Swedish tutor says I am her most disciplined student. This is seriously a victory for me, because l often have way too many projects on my plate and inevitably have difficulty keeping them all going at pace. Keeping one up steadily for so long, even with the inevitable hiccups, feels good. :)

Sometimes the best thing one can do for a particular activity is simply to take a break from it. One of the groups I run was forced into a bread by scheduling, almost a month and a half long, and... Yeah. I actually feel enthusiastic about it.

Also I have 5 weeks before the next break point, and the time limit is also helping me keep my perspective. Time limits are lovely, useful things.

Link for the link pile: an anthology of Samizdat literature.

A guide to psychiatry for dissenting thinkers.

Is a non-totalitarian socialism possible?

Oh come on! Is there not one single decent idea that CAN'T be turned on its head?!

If Reddaway is to be believed (still just researching this myself), punitive psychiatry started as a way of not letting people go to labor camps. Yup. Get them a diagnosis, get them out of unfair imprisonment -> can't get them into prison? Slap a diagnosis on 'em, administer heavy-hitting drugs.

Soviet Union: where idealistic ideas go to die.

Interesting aspect of post-Soviet upbringing: I have an instinctive aversion to using tools that are marketed to a demographic. Particularly if it's a politically important one.

Anything that is created to give an advantage to a group (benefits, a useful tool, whatever) can turn into an instrument of oppression in a flash. Its user base becomes a list of targets.

The infamous "nationality" graph in the Soviet passport was originally instated to provide benefits.

I'd say four hours of reading on topics for an upcoming project (deadline September) is enough and I should get back to the project I'm actually doing.

I.e. thesis.

So: formal acknowledgment that I've done enough additional reading on cognitive religious studies and need to get back to history for the week. This is fun, but I've got closer deadlines to meet. :P

Reminder to self: keep an eye on other pet projects as well, even if you can't fit them in now.

I did show Senua to my cognitivist colleagues. Their reaction was about the same as mine: "wait, this sounds exactly like the Luhrmann voices?"

Their next reaction was even more fun, though: "you're saying there's 6 hours of this? Who would sit through such a long thing? Even 20 minutes of experiment time is a lot!"
Me: "You know there's people who do this for fun, right? It's a game."
Them: "...Oh. Right, I forgot!"

Meh! "Not hungry yet, I'll just read a little and then get breakfast" is a massive trap!

One of the best things that today's class reminded me of is that "artsy" people and "technical" people were one and the same for much of history. Ars (which is longa, while vita is, of course, brevis) is literally a translation of techne.

The term refers to the capacity to make, to enact, to have a certain practical knowledge.

If I'm lucky, I'll get to live to see the two merge in a more explicit way again.

I got my answer to "why read 5 pages of Aristotle!" Tl;dr is: to select something people usually at least skim through the entire text while "Book 6" sounds intimidating and might put people off actually looking and seeing what's in the text. XD Book 6 is 12 pages, but people who haven't read Aristotle don't know that.

I mean, yeah. I get why this trick would work with people who don't read before university. Except it would also be lost on them because the translation is downright terrible.

Sometimes one wakes up early with the pure power of anger.

One of the things I enjoy least about organizing informal groups of people is that there WILL be a moment when you hit a wall. And then everyone and their mother will come to the leader and say "I am doing fine, and so is (one-two people I like most), but everyone else sucks and is holding us back and this is frustrating."

Of course if such a group wasn't about on level skill-wise, they wouldn't be together in the first place.

Mental health PSA (-), agoraphobia, arachnophobia Show more

Mental health PSA (-), agoraphobia, arachnophobia Show more

Ukrpol, (-) Show more

@thor Heh, I see! I mostly find reflection to be difficult enough to leave for when my mind is clear. If I'm not focused, I try to steer myself into mechanical, automatic work.

Okay, I think I have a new favorite definition of culture! "That which needs to be known to operate reasonably effectively in a particular human environment." - Maurice Bloch, "How We Think They Think".

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