April Sun Energy

It’s not a coincidence that this and many other blogs started in April, and that red robins have excess energy to spend days pecking at their reflections in my skylight.  Squirrels chase each other around the house, internet dating activity is HIGH.

What this bird represents:

  • A guilt-inducing message from God “This house doesn’t belong here”, repeated at always surprise intervals.  Fading in and out of sleep, this is how I start my day.
  • Animal instinct during times of excess- to self destruct, to poop all over the local surroundings, to invent enemies where none exist, and spend time in the sun. Our trips to the bathroom are signs of civilization, the overman, the trans-human.
  • Animal instinct to fear, to be stubborn, to want what it can’t have, to lack long term memory, to miss the big picture, to be reset only by other needs (hunger, sleep, to write, etc.).

 

 

A newly 31 year old American man visits Rome

Sunday March 26, 2017
Colossium Guard Lady:  Phone in the pocket…
Me:  Huh?
Guard Lady:  Phone in the pocket
Me: No (shuffling out my passport) It’s passport
Guard Lady:  OK GO

Today’s only other interaction-
Breakfast Attendant in hotel:  Room number?
Me: (Shuffling out room key card) 307
Attendant: Grazie

“Rome wasn’t built in one day”………. but it was built by slaves.  The level of decorative detail carved into buildings, the sizes of the stone blocks, the distances they were transported, the sheer number of stacked bricks (so heavy that the center of the city has slowly sunk into the earth) – all is economically impossible.  Today.  In a society where projects like these would be funded by taxes. We choose to prevent excess.  And we are supposedly better off for it. But will today’s glass and high strength steel skyscrapers be dug up and admired in 2000 years?  That’s 60 generations into the future.  I doubt it- there are 1000x fewer man-hours involved with the design and construction of a skyscraper, and we feel the lack of authenticity.

 

That Rome created such a lasting footprint is really a testament to a civilization that organized itself through some kind of a mixed caste/democracy system.  Shouldn’t we be more efficient today, where life-beginnings are more equal and more talent has the ability to rise to power?  Maybe not, which among other things would be a testament to Roman education.  I would like to learn more about how a young artist, architect, or project planner was identified and educated.
Some Ancient Roman activities (pitting thousands of exotic animals in professional fights-to-the-death against thousands of men in front of 60,000 air-conditioned and well-fed civilians in a stadium which took millions of man-hours to construct) are the grandest physical/hedonistic/logistical/entertainment achievements of humanity to date.  Killed animals were butchered on-site and the meat given free to exiting spectators.  Human blood was mopped up and sold as medicine.  Today, the Colossium continues tradition with a free water fountain (and a typical Italian choice, still or sparkling) outside the adjacent Metro stop.

Ancient Romans were vain people, as evidenced by their art.  Men’s mustaches are depected in statues too impractically long.  Abdominal and pectoral muscles are defined.  Hair is thick and curly, heads tilt to point noses slightly up.  Women grow angel-wings.  Painted children’s faces look extra soft, always finding sunlight.  Senators sat in luxury boxes.  Today little has changed, vanity is everywhere, although to be fair, this is more of an international crowd.  What an international crowd looks like in a major European city in 2017:

  • Young couples who smoke and sit on each other
  • Fat Brits with pale faces, minimal hair, and wives who catch their breath at the top of staircases
  • Children speaking American English
  • Many many groups of high school students from miscellaneous EU countries
  • Designer jeans, ADIDAS tennis shoes, shiny blue metallic + frameless sunglasses
  • Italian military men with dark eyebrows, tall boots, and trigger fingers engaged w/ their AK-47s
  • Thousands of selfies per minute
  • Asian tour groups
  • Black men selling African looking wooden trinkets
  • Pakistanees selling selfie-sticks
  • Native americans with dream catchers and one sniffing something off his fingers
  • Young men with tattoos break dancing in t-shirts that slide down to expose “chiseled abs” (words of a female passerby) when they’re updside down.  They’re not unlike the statues, really, with incredible physical energy.  This would be the place for it!
Music competes for airspace with occasional sirens or church bells.
Some jog some bike, a few on Segways, but most walk.
Seagulls trace canted ellipses overhead, long and short axes like the Collosium below.
Trees grow up without excitement then puff out into soft green clouds, catching what’s left of the setting sun.
Colors of the vista:
  • IMG_1787IMG_1788
What Rome is today: An arrangement of highly manicured rocks, sinking into the earth, occasionally dusted off or dug up for us to photograph.  Something like the 4th most visited place on Earth.  A warm and welcoming place with earth-tone colors, palm trees, pizza, cigarettes, leather shoes, miniature cars, and gelato.

LiveJoural survey, 2016

I have vague memories of being 14 and stalking a crush’s LiveJournal.  If she was particularly (bored? depressed? lonely? feeling expressive?) she would have filled out these intricate “surveys”, which I was reminded of by this article.

It’s 2016, perfect opportunity to bond anonymously with the internet or more realistically to my future self, or future lovers because the only source of traffic for this page is from my memory and an okcupid link:

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Donald Trump.  I want to ask him why he doesn’t fake humility and show he’s somewhat reasonable, thus guaranteeing victory, which of his wives he was most in love with, etc.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

No.  If I were to be famous I would want it to be after I’m dead, because it would take energy that’s best used elsewhere.  I don’t have enough figured out to go on display, not qualified.

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

No, exception phone interview.  For those, I have about 4 pages of notes on salary, my strengths and weaknesses, what I learned from my last job, my questions to that company, etc.  I hate the phone in general for drawn out conversations, prefer in-person or email.

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

I don’t have an answer planned out.  Wake up and know I don’t need to really wake up, cuddle with a beautiful girl, fall asleep again, sun is shining in through a window, probably in an expensive hotel, top floor.  Go to breakfast at 11, some city place at ground level, spend less than $10 on cheap bagels and bottled orange juice.  Sit in a park and watch all the people working, walking around.  In the afternoon, magically have lots of energy and exercise somewhere far away, then cook dinner ( w different beautiful girl?  haha) It’s pizza.  Watch a famous old movie in an unknown theater that’s playing for some strange reason.  Drink gin and tonic in a normal bar, get drunk, walk around, go to sleep with the girl from the morning.  The other one was just a friend.

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I have never sung anything since I was in 2nd grade chorus, but I have been complimented on my speaking voice a lot.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

Body.  Nothing wrong with a 90 year old mind in some cases.

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

No, probably generic old age.

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

My partner is the internet.  We… evolve, can be destroyed by nuclear war, and are made up of electrical signals.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

My parents and my extremely lucky start to life.

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

I would change nothing.  It’s too complicated to predict the effects of a changed influence, so why try?  Maybe change something random just for fun, if I still get to see how I turned out this time.

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

4 minutes is 12:08.  Born in Marshfield, MA.  Mom was my Dad’s 2nd wife.  I know nothing of the first woman.  Grew up in a white house on a hill, surrounded by woods, until 2nd grade.  Moved to a closer packed suburb, played a lot of soccer, was successful at that until 8th grade.  Next interest was cars, worked in cookie factory (excessively), decent student, saved to buy car I wanted.  1st relationship ended existentially, like I don’t know why I did it.  College, studied engineering, standard 1st job.  Lost touch with college friends, 2nd relationship, closest to love, broke up, new job, startup company, moved, started eating healthier and exercising again, quit that job, moved again to where I am now.  I’m in a career change, deciding what to do next.  Donated to charity more and more each year starting in 2013, that’s something I like and the only thing I’m certain I want to continue.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

ability to understand advanced math easily

Set II

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

Who do I marry?  How long does that last?  Are we happy?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

No

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Giving $ to charity

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

Toughness or other admirable qualities in that person. I want to be inspired by example.

17. What is your most treasured memory?

I don’t know, maybe running down a hill covered in brown pine needles when I was 7 years old, canopy of green ones overhead, stream at the bottom to jump over.

18. What is your most terrible memory?

Anything cruel that I’ve done, or embarrassing.  One moment was in middle school, freezing up during a debate in front of the whole school, unable to respond to an argument. For cruelty, not being what various ex-girlfriends needed at the time.

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

I would eat less healthy, and stop long term planning.  For obvious reasons.

20. What does friendship mean to you?

It means the same thing as love does- at the moment I don’t understand it enough to define its meaning to me.  But love I want, friendship I don’t and honestly never have wanted.

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

I want them when I’m going to sleep, but am other times thankful to be independent/obligation free.  I could never have this conversation in person, I would be unable to think quickly enough and my answers would seem even more abrupt than these might.

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

Yes my childhood was happier, because I had brothers and a sister, and was perfectly provided for.  Family now is quite distant and cold, nobody knows why, but it’s “logical” and I don’t think I mind.  I’m probably even more confused about family than I am about friendship, because at least you choose friends.  My vision of the evolved future does not include families, or at least they’re thought of differently.

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

I’m happy with it, and recently more relaxed about it because she doesn’t want to hear from me any more than I want to hear from her.  We have minimal in common but we are civil, always have been.  When she misses me, I feel guilty, and so it’s nice that that seems to be less, at the moment, because she’s busy with …. whatever she does.  I like not knowing.

Set III

25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “

a bed at the top of a skyscraper.  Apparently this is my fantasy.  After that, I’ll get to see what I want to share next, and then after that, and then after that.  I don’t want to skip.

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

I am likely to mostly disappear in 3 years, because that’s what I do to friends.  It won’t be sad, it will happen slowly and naturally.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

I did that, and it’s the most embarrassing one.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

Breaking up with ex, at least 3 or 4 years ago.  Before that, grandfather’s funeral.  Any others were silly.

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

This question totally seems designed to build confidence, who made these questions and why?

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

Nothing.  “There are no such things as jokes.  The truth is the funniest joke of all” Muhammad Ali

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

Nothing!

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

Haha, I have no loved ones or pets.  I’d save my cardboard box full of writing because it’s the only record of my life that I have, and everything else can be bought with money.  Or nothing, since I’ve considered throwing this last thing out.

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

My younger sister’s.  She struggles w/ depression and eating disorders, so is the most likely to have a sad death.  She’s also the youngest, so that’s inherently sad.

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

My personal problem is that as viewed by the general public, I have no interest in many many things and people.  I wish I could flip a switch and be more friendly or blend in more, just to inconvenience them less, possibly making myself invisible.  Leading me to this link   The majority of those things sound incomprehensible because they’re inconvenient to other people.  I don’t think I have social anxiety, rather I myself hate being inconvenienced or interacted with in the wrong mood, so I dislike being the person possibly doing that to others.  It’s why we leave tips, why we don’t ask strangers for favors, etc.  It’s logical!  I’m a Pisces, I’m ruled by dreams and imagination, but I’m into logic as well.  Do you think I’m avoiding the real problem?  I don’t!

Tattoos and Travel

Tattoos and Travel

To add to the theme of popular things I don’t quite get, I want to talk about tattoos (today) and travel (tomorrow).

Tattoos

Women and men of a certain age have these photos of David Beckham burned into their brains.  I do, just as I’ll always mentally redirect to this when I see a Calvin Klein garment on a woman.  It’s beautiful marketing, and there are probably books written on the subject.

Something like 40% of Millenials today have at least one tattoo.  More data:

harris research

tattooage

And now a contradiction- employers are known to discourage tattoos, including the armed services.  Tattoo restrictions are a part of “appearance standards”, intended to minimize conflict between service members.  Corporations feel similarly- when you already have something of value, it’s natural to become more conservative.

conservative.png

So they’re more than happy to hire this guy.  He’s married.

genericbusinessmn

But women love tattoos on men!  One of my friends (30 y.0. nurse, very average person) says that to her, a tattoo turns a boy into a man.  She’s not sure why- that’s the best she can explain it, and she’s Russian, where tattoos are associated w/ prison and the Mafia.

I’m confused as I write, and have been cutting and pasting these sentences around.  Blue Shirt will provide for your family.  But (even avoiding the “bad boy vs. nice guy” discussion), I can see how a tattoo on a man, as viewed by a woman, is a a sign of commitment, similar in many ways to owning a dog.  Beckham on his tattoos: “Mine are all about the people in my life, my wife and sons.”  It’s also a sign of being comfortable, a willingness to share, openness, like a musician and a man who dances.  It’s a sign of being part of society, being human, accepting imperfections, and being susceptible to group think.  These are attractive qualities to most women, in addition to how visually striking a dark tattoo can be on human skin.

maslllow.png

Since some goals of my life fall outside the pyramid (for one, see self-transcendence, from the Maslow wiki article), I’m mildly put off by tattoos on both sexes.  They remind me of overly predictable people, population 7 billion, exponentially infesting the earth.  Another goal I have is to be unique.  Tattoos don’t help here, either.  Shame on me if this Blog shares something in common with tattoos and I’m not seeing it.  I think this is different, because I’m learning as I write, organizing ideas.  I also want people to read them and respond.  The vast majority of tattoos seem like attempts to be cool, cries for attention, or permanent, visual, always present reminders of something.  I interpret them as weaknesses.

My notable experiences w/ tattoos are as follows

  • Grandfather was in the Navy during WW2, and what remained was an amorphous blob on his upper arm, that deep green color.  He always kept it covered and possibly regretted it, then again, he never even wore shorts, just khaki pants.  Still, this man cared for nothing but his family, and the tattoo meant nothing to him.  I never heard more than a few sentences about the Navy.
  • My first roommate in college showed up with a random, generic Chinese character, or possibly an Aboriginal war symbol, on his upper arm.  At the time he was dating a 16 year old girl and joined Lamda Chi, the average nice guy fraternity.  Today he has a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, a job at GE, and a fat wife.  He looks happy, but his life is very much not for me, and I knew it back in 2004 when he first took his shirt off.
  • Recent co-worker from Italy, has a PHD and brand new green card, ego problems, and a tattoo on his upper arm.  He’s short and walks with a limp because one leg is shorter than the other.  The tattoo is his own design, drawn in Solidworks, a combination of a mountain bike brake disc and something else, I forget what.  This same symbol also appears on the front cover of each of his neatly stacked 3 ring binders.  So, after work, he resizes and prints the image and slips it under the clear plastic cover, releasing some dopamine in his brain.  I never used this planned binder personalization in school, even when instructed by the syllabus.  If anything, I’d write the name of the class right on the plastic, w/ a sharpie, to be scribbled out + re-labelled next semester.  A few times I think I forced the name directly into the plastic with the tip of a ballpoint pen.  Tattoos and fighting the man are polar opposites in the coddled 2016 universe we live in.
  • A young and heavyset Irish machinist has tons of them all over his body, which he hid during his interview.  He drives a financed silver BMW with smoke colored aftermarket wheels and an “Ink Army” sticker on the rear hatch.  The <average looking waitress at a local bar fell instantly in lust with him.  We know why. He’s imperfect and might be willing to commit to her, too.  He loves to talk about how great he is at xyz, looks at reddit all day, and loses interest in anything else.

Less organized ideas:

tattoos on women

  • Being tattooed is associated with greater numbers of lifetime sexual partners (Heywood 2012), earlier sexual initiation, higher frequency of sexual intercourse
  • In students, tattooing is associated with risk-taking behaviors, including smoking and cannabis use (Heywood, 2012). Participants with tattoos or body piercings were more likely to have engaged in risk-taking behaviors and at greater degrees of involvement than those without either. These included gateway drug use, hard drug use, sexual activity, and suicide.
  • In Croatian prisoners, tattoos correlated with lower IQs and those possessing them demonstrated significantly higher levels of impulsiveness than the non-tattooed group (Pozgain 2004).
  • Psychiatric patients with tattoos are much more likely to suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder and have an increased likelihood to have previously suffered from sexual abuse, abused substances, or to have attempted suicide. (Sciencedaily).
  • There are links between tattoos and psychiatric disorders such as depression (Heywood, 2012), eating disorders (Carroll, 2002), borderline personality disorder (Raspa, 1990), neuroticism (Pozgain, 2004) and increased risk of suicide (Carroll, 2002).
  • Male opinion top reddit comment on women w/ tattoos: “They are hot if done right but it makes her look worse if done wrong.”  “done right” appears to mean “small”, “intimate location”, “original”, “tells a story”

Other

  • It costs 4-5x the initial price to have a tattoo removed.
  • In Russia, 72% of respondents with face, neck, hands, or fingers tattoos have spent more than three days in jail, compared to 6% of the non-tattooed population.[41][42]

 

Apple Car- Womb on Wheels

Apple Car- Womb on Wheels

Here’s a partial list of things your car should know about you

  • You’re hungry (sense blood sugar, or phone tells it that you haven’t eaten)
  • You’re sleepy (reaction time is less than average)
  • Where you want to go right now (from historical databases, google searches, recent conversations)
  • You’re too cold or too hot
  • You’re happy, sad, stressed
  • You’ve gained weight, your look is disheveled, you need TLC
  • Identity and preferences of your passenger
  • You have to go to the bathroom

And a partial list of why people could dislike current driving experience

  • It’s bad for the environment- guilt
  • It’s uncomfortable to sit for a long amount of time
  • Public bathrooms
  • Nasty rest stop food
  • Hard to stay awake
  • Annoying passengers
  • Late for something, traffic is stressful
  • Wasted time
  • Dangerous
  • Directions are still annoying even with GPS
  • Can’t text
  • Speeding tickets
  • Getting gas when it’s cold out
  • Any kind of maintenance hassle
  • Parking in cities
  • Getting groceries in and out
  • Putting kids in and out
  • Monotony of same scenery on everyday commute
  • Car isn’t clean, must be cleaned
  • Expensive/Insurance

With this background info in mind, the future Apple Car should be something like this:

ac2.png

And, nobody wants to be the one to invent it, but everyone would appreciate a non-gross way to pee from the privacy of our cars.  Especially truckers, and we’d have less pollution.

If any of this seems far fetched, look at the interior of a private jet, currently the most luxurious way to travel.  Putin’s has a gym.  They all have bathrooms, showers, food, and drink.  Look at trains.  Why not cars?  There’s a good chance that the future of travel no longer includes airplanes, and people can live in cars instead of apartments.  No more need for doctors, restaurants, barbers, the entire service industry.  The car is the ideal basis of virtual reality because it’s small, mobile, completely encapsulates the human body, and people already expect the expense.