Rest

For various (external) reasons, I haven’t had a sound night’s rest this past week.

It’s impairing me, sure.

Aside from caffeine, which is as normal to me as air, the routines are wildly helpful.

A morning routine gets me started off right.

An evening routine gets me settling in for the night with my mind at peace.

An everyday check-in routine during the day gets me reoriented when I may have lost focus.

Knowing these routines are available to me as no-brainer activities at the press of a button, this is a kind of rest in and of itself.

note: Emancipatory Endurance and The Endurance of Fetters

I remember that, as a child, I would enjoy enduring the challenge of a lengthy run in P. E. (physical education, aka phys ed).

No doubt this was in part because I looked up to an excellent runner in the family.

And I don’t doubt that this enjoyment was partly emphasized by the social contrast of my experience. That is to say, I noticed my natural capacity to endure the challenge compared to others, a capacity that was not exactly earned by me as a youngster dedicated to athletics, rather, it was something you could say I was born with and kept, whereas, say, an asthmatic did not have so much of this capacity.

This distinction between innate capacity and trained capacity wasn’t something I really thought of at the time; I just noticed that my legs were going fine, even as many classmates flagged. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t rather enjoy that. Still today I like to think that, what I enjoyed even more than my personal success in the challenge, was my continual attempt to motivate the others, to get them to see that this endurance was alive in their own hearts too.

Later, as a young adult years into working after starting at age 14, I would endure long hours of taxing work, and I would sacrifice the quality of my rest for weeks, months, years on end. No one held a gun to my head about this. What I told myself was that it was good to endure here, good because my endurance was depended upon, and while I had no evidence that someone dependable might take my place, the evidence actually suggested the multiple contenders for my position were definitively not dependable.

I was tired — and probably tiring — for many years.

I think maybe I shouldn’t have taken some of the paths I have taken, even as I am aware each has afforded me riches of a sort, for good or ill. What of the tax though? Perhaps most troubling is an apparently habitual, practically automatic tendency to put myself in situations where I am called upon, whether by my own conscience or otherwise, to grunt through a difficult forcing of something, which becomes a series of exhausting “making it happen” moments.

The thing about enduring with a principled, even systematic way of living, is that it too calls upon us for endurance. It does not always call upon us with the rich sensory reality of the moment however, certainly not always the one we actually encounter in our minds (we suffer more in imagination than in reality), and — particularly if we are stressed — it may be very difficult indeed for those chosen principles of ours to practically interface with the situation of the moment.

Even in direst straits, there is no law that says we must relinquish our enduring and peaceful presence; and even in the lap of luxury, there is no law that says we must live in deep gratitude and service rather than petulant tantrums.

The nexus of philosophy and everyday life is perhaps the main terrain I am concerned with.

What technologies have we today for evolving philosophies as actualities in everyday life?

Our time — these generations of humanity are inextricably informed by informatic tinkering with our perceptual-behavioral loops.

It’s time to get action in ensuring that such tinkering serves for the better rather than the totalitarian.

note: Cleanliness, Godliness, Kondo, & Popper

The phrase “Cleanliness is close to godliness” comes to mind.

It implies a lack of things undone.

To be clean is chiefly to maintain conditions for health.

The great many modern varieties of clean (and pretenders thereabouts) are branches of this conceptual tree.

(To be clean is to be sanitary, rooted etymologically with health.)

sanitary (adj.)

1823, “pertaining to health,” from French sanitaire (1812), from Latin sanitas “health,” from sanus “healthy; sane” (see sane). In reference to menstrual pads, first attested 1881 (in sanitary towel).

https://www.etymonline.com/word/sanitary, accessed 2020-07-29

So when we think of the Marie Kondo phenomena [sic.], we can also see this as an approach to cleanliness, one that does not merely address base biological health in the close-at-hand way of keeping germs and filth at bay; no, Kondo addresses health of mind.

We can say that the patterns of our everyday experience constitute an environment of sorts, just as well as if perhaps not more powerfully than the environment of the kitchen we meet each morning, the bedroom we retire (or don’t) to each evening.

I suspect that the panpsychist stuff has always alternately repulsed and attracted me, if only because I have a kind of allergic reaction to textualism [and what might be called “legible-ism” for that matter, favoring that which appears as legible to that which does not afford a sense of knowing, however tenuous we might see that knowledge to be upon closer inspection] because I think textualism is a fundamentally impoverished and human-impoverishing method with which to attempt making sense of reality.

[That said, a conversational and variously decision making ecosystem of textualists interacting with non-textualists can of course be a creative sort of action unto itself.]

And we are, friend, interested — must be interested in the quality of our interfaces with reality. There is no other way but to lose our minds.

I am glad we are losing our minds.

As Watts put it, to come to one’s senses may very well require the loss of one’s mind.

[Since most of us are not totally and irretrievably “unhinged” from one another, we can rather safely ((with guidance)) lose our minds, perceive from that spaciousness of lost mindedness, and notice rich patternworks that we would not have noticed were it not for the contrast that “losing our minds” afforded us.]

Yet this implies an important practice of balance and poise, one not unlike unleashing some balloon filled with sensitive instruments: if it is to buoyant and goes uncontrolled, perhaps it flies too high and like Icarus is burned by daring to leave the environment where its relationships render it viable.

A wondrous thing about the human mind is that it can proceed further beyond Icarus however, if we take the story literally of course, as we have now sent spacecraft beyond the solar system we call home. (Voyager did leave the solar system, right?)

Anyways, I would like to address Karl Popper here as a kind of Marie Kondo of knowledge, i.e., Popper affords us a sort of generalizable knowledge cleanliness toolkit, rather than generalizable sort of objects-sparkling-with-joy toolkit. (Or is this really a “rather than” situation? There is much common ground. For now, so much will remain left up to the reader.)

Portfolio of baby steps

As of today, I now have thirteen Twitter accounts.

I feel a bit odd about that.

It wasn’t long ago that I was reading Deep Work and Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.

What’s gotten into me?

Part of it must be that I want to see what I can do. There’s a kind of unyielding notion in me that the more experiments I run, the greater the opportunities I generate.

Another part is that I want to share the best of what I’ve learned. I want to share value.

And of course another part is that I would like to derive what might seem like asymmetric value from the value I’ve created. This is otherwise known as profit.

I bought up all the domain names too.

Let the ecosystem of experiments unfold.

The Conspiracy Conspiracy

In the wake of recent events, new evidence has been emerging, startling revelations that allows us to finally connect the dots.

We now have irrefutable proof that, in the wake of recent events, new findings show what we have feared all along is now settling in to become the new normal. Startling revelations in the study of conspiracy now tell us that there is a conspiracy of conspiracy, a wall of hell coming straight at us like a plague-ridden rat from out the toilet. This conspiracy conspiracy is quietly playing out behind closed doors in America, threatening our freedoms and ways of life like never before. It’s been quiet so far, but it’s about to get loud when, like the trumpets that built Jericho, we GET OUR MESSAGE OUT.

Maybe you’ve never heard of a conspiracy of conspiracy before. That’s because that’s what they want you to think.

If you have to courage to see, just imagine (I can see it now) and all will become clear if you put in the work: let your patriot mind take you past the cash register in a pizza shop, where? Little No Where Town, Middle America, past the ovens and the dish room, down the stairs, and who is it that you see surrounding an oblong table and smoking blood soaked marijuana from a taxidermed ramshead? Why of course it is Bill Gates, Bill Barr, and the kingpin himselfBill Burr (famed Bilderberg surrogate behind the moon landing). And when is it? You already know: September 11, 2012.

The pizza shoppe is famous for a good bite, but the only thing these three Bills are taking a bite out of is CIVILIZATION.

Need I say any more words? Consider alone the simple fact that Bill Burr posted a podcast audio recording only one year later, a recording that would shock anyone who was really paying attention, a recording wherein on the subject of UFOs Bill Burr said:

I am nowhere near a conspiracy freak, or anything like that [are you sure you’re not an intergalactic lizard co-conspiracy conspiracist conspirator, Bill, really? he continues shamelessly…], but I do admit, I do get a hard-on for any documentary on that secret military base in Nevada that is called Area 51. I mean, believing in aliens, I don’t know: that’s really not that crazy. You know, you think, like, how big the fuckin universe is. It’s just life on one planet, no life anywhere else? Despite the fact that they see evidence of water on Mars, at some point. You know, I’m telling you guys we’re not that special.

https://youtu.be/zQnMhxY5dI0 Bill Burr – UFOs (YouTube) [embedded at the end]

BOOM!

We got him and the Internet will never forget. This is where the B3 ARE WRONG and UNAMERICAN (of course B3 referring to the Big Three Bills: Gates, Barr, and Burr) THEY ARE WRONG.

As aliens ourselves who have become entranced, mesmerized by “human media” into believing we are homo sapiens, we already know from previous experience (no scientist with our best interests at heart would name us that, which could only mean one thing). Anyway, we already know that it is crazy to believe in aliens in their world, because they want us to not believe in aliens, because we are aliens, and we are more powerful than them and they don’t want us to know that, really badly, so now of course they’re saying that it isn’t so crazy knowing full well that saying it isn’t so crazy is going to make a lot of us think as good truth seeking contrarians, well, maybe it is crazy, therefore creating further camouflage for them to do their work on society.

Each one of them has been building subversive astroturf networks around once powerful red-blooded American institutions. How do they explain themselves when asked about it? They don’t.

(At time of publishing, none not one of the B3 have responded to the emails I haven’t sent them.)

This alone is proof that the upcoming vaccine is designed (uhm, what happened to evolution, guys?) to further control our population by making more and more gay babies, less and less straight babies. (You can test this yourself, but be prepared because it is shocking tosee the problem is already in our own homes. Place any Hustler magazine in front of your infant and watch their reaction. Does their head wobble and bobble about as though they didn’t even care about the magazine? Note: It may take a few minutes, but they WILL lose interest. Remember, The Manhattan Project involved German scientists who later helped develop MKULTRA in the 80s and 90s.)

So there you have it. Now you know. What will you do with it?

The first image of Chernobyl on the morning of the accident. Graininess in the image is due to the heightened atmospheric radiation, furthering the Clinton/Epstein/Nakamoto complex that eventually became foundations of the B3 Conference of 2012.

There are so many questions. It’s as though around every corner there is another combination of words that I could say with conviction. I’m not sure how we’ll get out of this, but YOU. MUST.

look out. If you notice someone spouting conspiracy theories in your schools and the halls of your governments, beware: they may be under the influence of the conspiracy conspiracy to promote conspiracy theories, again, as though we were could be fooled! (Wrong AGAIN, mole people!)

These are crazy times. But it’s good to be alive. Stay safe people, care for each other. Signing off for Think Twice after these startling revelations in the emerging study of conspiracy conspiracy, at your service always

Evan Driscoll

*save and spread this recording before they take it down!

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Calling Local Leaders

Pandemic, unemployment, climate change—what can we do that will effectively address each? Each requires leadership. Let us bolster local communities by taking the charge of local leadership seriously. If you’re up to it, consider where it is lacking and provide it. Learn as you go. Set about the improvement of your leadership each day.

Beyond the need for leadership, there are patterns shared by each of these crises, common ground in which their problems are rooted. Why not deploy solutions that are similarly rooted, that address important aspects common to each of them?

Perhaps the pandemic can be addressed by people newly employed for exactly that purpose, to address the pandemic. Their address could build up the social infrastructure required to then address climate change.

I’m certainly not the first to be the first thinking along these lines. After all, it could be called ‘a beautiful idea’. I can hear it now, that statement, “It’s a beautiful idea,” as though that were the end of it. Truth be told, there seems to be a lot more idea people than there are action people today.

Yet the capacity may be there, dormant, awaiting an awakening. How many leaders are not yet leaders just yet?

Let’s awaken that in ourselves, in our local communities. If we have coherent leadership, leadership that can see us through shocking and novel times, we can go a long ways to competently address more than just the pandemic, unemployment, and climate change. We can go even further.

But leadership involves action, not just talk. And where are the leaders today? They aren’t getting the media coverage we might like them to have. They are in the trenches, doing the work. Chances are, they don’t have time for self-indulgent political games.

What is the approval rating right now?

More than half of Americans disapprove of how the president, supposed leader of the free world, has been handling the most recent crisis.

The only risk in amplifying the voices of leadership in our local areas is that we might undermine the totalitarian dreams of those who seek to centralize all our systems and reap the benefits for themselves while we take the cost.

Local leaders, stand up. Set your villages and cities to task in their own improvement, and share the benefit of your learning with the world. Reach out to one another, invigorate greater and greater regions together, never forgetting that things can get so bad if we allow ourselves to backslide.

[edited: typo correction]

What’s Going On?

We’ve been inside for weeks.

It’s interesting to ponder the sort of blur it has been, not only this pandemic, but also the dynamics of our life for some time now.

There were a few times much earlier on, in the weeks before the WHO pandemic declaration, where the idea of going for a walk on city trails during the day, so long as it was done with caution, this was not so unthinkable. Wearing gloves, glasses, and a ultra-basic dust mask (“better than nothing”, I thought, “much better”), all while keeping our distance from others, it seemed pragmatically adequate at the time. We would really steer clear of people.

We live in the city, and my wife and I had just put some of the finishing touches on collecting a preparedness kit:

  • acetaminophen,
  • dextromethorphan HCL,
  • guaifenesin,
  • an extra bottle of bleach,
  • and so on.

Especially since our water had been shut off several times since moving here, unannounced and lasting for hours on at least one occasion, we made sure to have enough water on hand for each of us to go for a certain period of time.

I arranged a combined grocery order for several households, one that I could pickup without leaving the car, because I wanted to minimize risk in our circles and I just didn’t have any reason to believe the folks in the other households would find it such second-nature to as neurotically hygienic about the processes as I was. I thought it much better (and ultimately more convenient for myself, as I would undoubtedly be involved in the looming possibility of needing to care for an ill person in our circles, shedding the virus and putting unprotected others at grave risk), I thought it much better to just get all the grocery needs for each household handled in one go, using only one of the scarce grocery pickup time slots rather than four or five—also ensuring that other families in the neighborhood would have access to the other time slots that might have been taken up by each individual household acting alone.

Well, the grocery store changed a policy about order modifications and gave no notice—at least, no notice that I was aware of—so our first order was botched. See, I would first place an initial order with only a few items to secure the grocery pickup time slot, and for a certain number of days, I was supposed to be able to modify the order with additional items (i.e., the orders from other households). And on the day that I was to enter the other household’s grocery orders, I found that the system was now locking me out from modifications. The policy had changed overnight.

I couldn’t put the other families out into the fray at that time. I knew government orders were lagging behind the reality, and the risk was greater than people realized. It was then clear to me I would soon be shopping for several households among throngs of people.

Before I started group grocery orders, when we were self-isolating before it became mandatory, even the dust mask felt uneasy those first few times when we would go out for a rare walk in the more open spaces around here. You could feel that it made for discomfort in others, or so it seemed, a kind of gawking resentment of the situation, sometimes combined with dismissive expressions, as though I were the fool for wearing a mask. People were accustomed to Asian folks wearing masks around the city from long before the pandemic, but a white guy? Perhaps it was in my imagination, sometimes. It wasn’t merely imagined all of the time though. The one bittersweet exception to either apparent indifference or haughty disdain, as I went about last-minute errands in that paper mask, was overhearing a child in a parking garage, upon seeing me, exclaim to his mother, “See, he has one!” gesturing and looking up at her as if to say, “Don’t you see, we need masks, Mom!” It saddened me, the hypothetical play of ideas and feeling there, if only because I myself have experienced dismissal of my concerns many times, particularly about safety—for example, on job sites while working with dangerous machinery and precarious earthworks, on virtual job sites working with sensitive data, and back in high school, for example in 2010 when my senior paper and presentation on the various purposes and contemporary downfall of higher education in the United States elicited a sort of response that was not merely dismissive, rather, it had the tone of, “How dare you cut against this grain?” (Incidentally, safety at the table saws has been a concern before as well.)

Anyway, now I don’t go out the door without donning a P95 half-face respirator. I was originally saving the priceless unused filters I had on hand for the unfortunate possibility of caring for someone who was sick in our extended group. But at the time of that first botched grocery order all the households, there was no social distancing at play in the store, no taped lines on the floor or further separation of checkout queues from their usual proximity. And everyone seemed to be there when I drove by to check it out before going, at a time with no lines out the door or enforced maximum customers per square foot, they were toppling over each other with absolutely no one wearing masks except some Asian women and men.

I couldn’t risk getting the bug for various reasons, so I opened up a pack of filters and placed them in the cartridges that would soon eclipse my cheeks, I donned my safety goggles with a sort of eyebrow seal, and I proceeded to shop and deliver for an afternoon. It wasn’t just a simple white dust mask anymore, a flimsy paper mask that might have fooled a few people into thinking it was the real McCoy N95; no, this was going out in the kind of visually striking hazmat gear that elicits the same kind of low-resolution reactionary response in many people as the strictly visual heuristic they associate with “assault weapons”. (Remember, any weapon can be an assault weapon—ornate or brutal though its aesthetics may be.)

To many people I’m sure that, in a word, I looked scary.

Now we’re talking about UFOs, the economy is by all accounts under massively disruptive and dangerous dynamics, and visionary leadership seems almost as lacking as oxygen in orbit.

I really don’t care for this phrase any more, “Now more than ever”, but it is clear that, now more than ever, this “we the people” crowd needs to cultivate its inner capacities not only to discern what is going on “out there” beyond ourselves, but to operate well regardless of necessarily not knowing what is going on out there.