Author Topic: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead  (Read 5343 times)



Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #61 on: September 30, 2019, 03:51:40 am »
The point of pruning a tree isn't to take off the right amount, but instead to leave the right amount.

Yes, at exactly one perfect point in the balance, taking off the right amount and leaving the right amount are exactly the same. But is it really setting people up for success to teach from that perfect balance where both answers are correct, and instead teach the perspective that spends the most time being incorrect outside the balance?

Specifically, there are myriad ways to do the cutting-off part of pruning "wrong", and yet still leave a just-right tree at the end.

But if you ... If you defined the pruning by exactly how many cuts to make, or exactly how much biomass to remove, or any such thing treating the pruning itself as the most important thing, and applied that to every tree, you would rarely if ever leave the perfect shape for each at the end of the process.

 I think this is about the difference between an ends and a means. Teach the end, not the means, because the efficacy of any particular means is constantly changing.

Is it also about the mechanization of the process? "cut x sticks off" feels like the same flavor of joke as "work x hours on this creative endeavor".

And yet, I credit having been taught meanses with so much of my personal success.

And yet, what but an ends did I take away from each of the worthwhile lessons? Many, many lessons tried to teach me particular meanses, and only some stuck, and those that stuck are all of the shape where they got through to me about ends.

Redefine means and ends, of course, to mean whatever makes these claims make the most sense to you in the end.

Because that's the class of situation in which it's worth elaborating on simple little words, lest they end up shaped like "live, laugh, love". The kind of mad-lib, IQ test of a situation where the concept that fills in the blank is not something that had previously been verbatim in the reader's vocabulary. The ability to see the shape of that gap, and learn a string of syllables to consistently refer back to that exact shape of gap, that's language. Well, this models some words as being absences rather than presences of thought. Are any words presences, rather than absences, any more than all are simultaneously both?

But by the time the word is a word, it isn't an absence of thought any more. Instead it's a memory of the experience of encountering the absence. It's a memory of the delta, if you will, between who you were before you knew and how you were right afterwards, so you can pin down the shape of the gap and show it to someone else to give them the word, too, somehow, later on.

should altered states be described as pulling open new gaps like that?

Puzzlingly, there seems to be a direction in which something flows backwards around here: If I accept the deltas as my explanation, then I-as-I-am-now can't do my thing without possessing the memory of how I "started", and the memories of what changes have been made.

nope we are not going to go off on the tangent where we continue to channel the nature of distributed version control

I've been playing a cute little art game called Everything lately. Something about performing astral tasks in the physical from it has crept into my dreams. I met an archetype of someone whom I thanked for teaching me to think, showed up shaped like an author to me because I attribute so many of my own big deltas to particularly good books. The setting was a combination of a wizardly highschool and an almost medieval fortress. Took a little prodding at that memory to realize I had the prior night been spending time acquaintances who're presently grad students at the very university that I left in the past...

The wizard-author, slight (he'd rather I call him that than scrawny), wild-haired but balding, clad about all over in a terrible mish-mash in the sense of miss-matched of a whole vibrant rainbow of things.(ohhhhh sh*t, would "adjusting his aura" in this case be synonymous with fashion design? avoid the tendency to view fashion as written off for being femme coded by highlighting eras of history and present strata of expense at which it isn't. Yet there is nothing to "fix" about him, no standardization upon an established rule set would do anything but scrub out what makes him distinguishable from all those boring peers) May it annoy me that his appearance registered two different ways? There's the impression which sits next to other impressions of bohemian hippies, more layers than seem needed and more colors than it seems could possibly cooperate and yet they do through their shared jewel-tonal sincerity of effort to be the most themself they each can... ornately patterned in a way that's seen when you would rather see a pattern yet blends in when you would rather see a plane... I can snap you photos of old hippies who master this dress style. And yet when I look in my actual recollection for what on earth specific actual garments this individual was wearing, I find an utterly incongruous disaster, like someone tried to write a joke and really overdid it describing every imaginable bad fashion. The little yellow bucket hat like from japanese schoolchildren, an over-pocketed vest in khaki or some anti-militarial olive drab, the socks and sandals... (ok this is gotta be memory corruption, the pointer was dangling into my platonic ideal of an obvious HAM, right down to the loud hawaiian shirt that's somehow metaphysically loud and hawaiian even if it's unprinted and powder blue)

Jumped out like a rainbow crayon in a charcoal box from the conformity of the corporate crowd. Instantly recognizable, outer appearance more a projection of "actual" state than any real thing, shown superimposed over a lunch table like an infrared rat in the corner of a cold room of robots viewed through night vision glasses. He had a name in the dream, but I have not retained it -- there's a reason to get better at the names of acquaintances, if there ever was one. Just step over into being the kind of person who is better at remembering, and as if by magic, that'll be the form that follows into dreams as well.

I think I have still not wrapped my head, in the fullest and most useful manner, around the whole philosophical archetype of the implementation of a university. The stated goals differ from the observed goals of the system in ways I never did manage to build a truly reliable framework to predict. It is supposed to be full of people who push the boundaries of the human experience and yet so many of them are uttelry miserable, it makes me wonder why on earth it's generally worth pushing the boundaries in those directions if that kind of mental state is where the effort lands you. Then again, a character who holds a door might not themself step through it.

This might be along the lines of something that Phaedrus, that shabby lifeline for so many academishs stuck in there, was going on about. The experience vs the analysing the experience. If you've already got the ends, it takes a certain kind of something to set them aside to get a closer look at the means to them. But that's what philosophical engineering is all about. No wonder everybody's miserable; they intentionally stepped off the platform of the happiness ride to get a closer look at the mechanisms under it, and very few of them got to first engineer themselves the appropriate protective equipment.

Other than that, it could be ostensibly worth noting that in the dream I duplicated people when I took their forms, yet mind-swapped when hitchhiking on animals. Caused some problem in a classroom by dancing differently from others for fun, hid in some kind of highly gendered waiting room, met an academic cut from the cloth of Morticia Addams who found my example a good component to a plan to go make departmental life hell. It was so free and open upon my first visit, and yet so controlling when I returned, and it was certainly the same place. Some change in upper leadership and principles, perhaps, between? Yet the change in leadership does not necessarily change individuals on the street, per se -- as in genetics, it promotes the expression of a particular dormant tendency, of which there are so many and so many seemingly mutually-contradicting sets thereof inside of everyone.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2019, 04:28:42 am by idgo »


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #62 on: October 07, 2019, 07:15:48 pm »
I'm keeping a sketchbook again, and so far it seems to be functioning in a way that I'd describe as "working properly". All that really means is I'm content with it, but it's unusual for me to experience that sort of emotion toward my own works-in-progress of creation and expression. I'm different from how I've been before, sure, but I'd like to think that a greater part of the change has come from recontextualizing my attitude and approach to it.

From one side, a sketchbook is a horrible thing because everything in it is necessarily incomplete and wrong. Practice is a horrible thing because everything in it, if you're doing it right, is necessarily less complete and of lower quality than the performance being practiced for.

Nor can it hurt that I blew 50 cents on a nice little pencil sharpener. Suddenly my box of old pencils is nice again -- writing sticks that have been sticking around in various boxes from my childhood are actually nice to write and draw with, in a way that they haven't been perhaps ever, perhaps in a very long time. The sharpener is almost more important than the pencils, that way. Gotta find one that's smooth and easy to use, that's sharp itself, that cuts things to a pleasing angle to suit one's needs. That tripe about lumberjacks spending more time sharpening their axes than hitting the tree is showing back up, but usefully.

I wonder how much it's helped that I've clarified my definitions of recreation. (wonder how linguistically close to re-creation that word might be...) To put it too bluntly, the whole dang point of doing something for fun -- the part that's supposed to make it fun -- is that you're allowed to be kinda shitty at it, or to hold it to different standards than everyone else does. Seems to me that the entire thing of getting paid for something is that the payment permits the payer's quality standards to override those of the maker.

Anyways, for whatever reason it might be, sketchbook is going good so far. I wonder if/how this generalizes to notebooks? Notebooks seem harder than sketchbooks, somehow... maybe my standard of Quality is harsher for words than sketches? Maybe I have iterated upon sketches moreso than upon words in my life, so in a poor sketch I can see the shape of a better successor more readily than I can see the potential of awkward words. Or perhaps it's that an image can be glanced and enjoyed at for the brief time till all the flaws and details hop out, whereas words when being read go straight from symbols to the sum of all their errors with no such intermediate step.


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #63 on: October 23, 2019, 06:19:33 pm »
Suppose that Ability To Get What You Want is a skill that one can develop and then possess.

Without it, there need be no difference between Imagining something and Wanting it.

But the better one gets at getting what one wants, the more care is needed to differentiate contemplation of some outcome from desire for it. It can become almost frightening, at some subtle level, to imagine outcomes in order to decide whether or not to want them, after a few early mistakes of confusing Can with Should.


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #64 on: October 25, 2019, 02:05:09 am »
There is so much useful shit in the concept of surprise.

Today, I'm paying attention to time surprises.

Surprise that so little time has passed is consistent with the brain running faster than it's used to. See: Falling back into a dream after snoozing an alarm, 10mins may feel like half an hour. Also, watching TV while altered, surprise that the same episode is still playing despite longer subjective time.

Surprise that so much time has passed is consistent with the brain running slower than it is accustomed to. See: Deciding to read something till the snoozed alarm goes off, then having it ring 10 minutes later after what feels like about 2mins. The merit to this slower run is that it allows more data to be processed, like a computer taking longer to render a single high resolution frame.

Framerate is actually not the worst metaphor for this phenomenon. I'm sure one could retroactively construct a working definition of the "frames" in question.


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #65 on: November 03, 2019, 04:18:26 pm »
I think there might be something useful stored behind the cultural trope of "randomness". An incomplete sketch of it:

  • Randomness, in its hardest to defend or easiest to mock form as the middle schooler who claims "I'm so random lol"
    • On the one hand, randomness means nothing in that case, a placeholder, and the claim is "I AM"
      • Isn't that the biblical proclamation of the name of God? "I AM THAT I AM" as a rough gloss and all that YHWH business?
      • However, the interjection of a reminder of one's existence to an audience, as a social act, is generally frowned upon. Perhaps for the ways in which it consumes time or energy that would otherwise have gone to re-affirmation of the other participants' existences, in more subtle or complex or mutually-agreed-interesting ways?
      • It may follow that the biblical deity, by essentially yelling "GUYS LISTEN UP IT'S IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW THAT I AM ME" would have been violating all kinds of social mores if it was a person behaving that way
        • Does this contribute to the difficulty of resolving a model of the world in which that deity exists as a person to be looked up to?
        • Is theism even feasible without a certain metaphor of deity-as-person, considering the cultural baseline inability to empathize with people too different from ourselves, let alone non-person entities?
    • On the other hand, randomness has a depth of meaning closely aligned with "unpredictable": Unlikely to have been predicted by the expected metrics used by the observer. In other words, manifesting greater complexity than the observer is expected to have known how to model.
      • If the observer is assumed to be external to the speaker, this carries a terribly uncouth air of condescention, and that's how I think it's usually interpreted
      • However, if one models this as the speaker observing their own behavior, it's an expression of surprise at self-discovery
        • Self-discovery is close but not the right term, because discovery implies understanding sufficient to describe the phenomenon, and "random" is a placeholder that can be substituted for the inability to fully describe -- a mad-libs-esque blank for "the [adjective] thing"
        • "discovering a lead for further examination" would come closer, but implies a desire to later examine and understand the "random" phenomenon, which I find to be absent in the original interjection
        • Perhaps this interpretation -- "I have found a thing that could be worth examining and reject the impulse to further examine and explain it" -- contributes to some of the distaste for "I'm so random" that I experience.
        • This is also consistent with the "lol" that seems to characterize the epitome of the "I'm so random" interjection -- it implies that the statement was for humorous effect, despite the frequent absence of any discernible humor to it, and thus absolves the speaker of any implied need to do anything about it further than just interrupting with it.
  • Most of these phenomena are present, when I look for them, in other cases where things are written off as "randomness", though of course more subtly.
  • Reread this with the replacement of "chaotic" for "random", and look for personal compaints against "chaos magic/k" as widely formulated and understood.

Also, it's 2019. Why are wikis still using this HTML-flavored list syntax when markdown is readily available? I wonder how hard it'd be to make or find a browser extension that lets me write in something sane then transforms it to the forum's preferred format upon posting.


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #66 on: November 03, 2019, 05:59:54 pm »
I found a converter:

Code: [Select]
* fruit
    - apple
    - orange
* cars
    * dodge
        - daytona
        - challenger


  • fruit
    • apple
    • orange
  • cars
    • dodge
      • daytona
      • challenger

I don't know much about markdown, but it appears each nested section requires four extra spaces of indentation.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 06:01:39 pm by Onyx »


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #67 on: November 21, 2019, 11:36:05 pm »
An acquaintance with some gaping knowledge gaps opened up to me about some of their own prior work and questions after that larger group discussion, and prodded a bit for my online identities. I didn't share outright, but...  wheather it'll be sooner or later, I'll bet they will end up here eventually if they follow my ideas too far, as certain corners of the internet are really quite a tiny place. However, my outlook is pretty fucking "reply hazy, try again" on whether I ought to be attempting to teach/guide at all. I think there's some insight that I've had about the idea of me teaching and it's stored next to a memory about refinishing furniture, but I can't find either of them at the moment.

Further conversations have transpired with... the acquaintance with the gaping knowledge gaps. Let's nickname them Why for now, because Why is a question that's right in the middle of them, and they'll need a handle around here. It'll do.

In a way, I am reassured: First, I am reassured that they are a stable System. As an intelligent entity (or pair thereof), they've formed a damned workable worldview, though it has its limitations. Nothing structural seems rigid enough to shatter. Second, I am reassured that I am not prying in the ways of which I disapprove. I ask the occasional openended question, and they talk for hours -- they seem to find introspection a favorite hobby.

It turns out that I can, essentially, "just ask what their axioms are". They volunteered their axioms to me upon noting that I'd listen. I am within realms where a warning would barely be required even of a stupid listener, and this one isn't that.

All I've even really said so far is "what about thus? Are you acquainted with such-and-such a topic? I wonder if..." and "when I've been or if I was in such situations, I expect I might feel such a way".

I found myself having to summarize a variety of topics more concisely than I've forced myself to do before, and in retrospect I can see some opportunities for improvement. In particular, I'm not happy with how my synopsis of the LHP/RHP similarities came out -- I think the next time I find myself wanting it, I ought instead focus on the "one-ness" of both end goals. That might make more sense to humans who use language.

Why pointed out some amusing observations about my own human communication style, as well:

* Apparently my social skills seem to have been reverse engineered from observations, rather than just copied off the standards like others' sometimes appear. Perhaps this references my willingness to switch context from small talk to philosophical argument and back at the drop of a hat?
* Apparently the way in which I present ideas takes more work to disentangle than how most do, perhaps related to the density of information that I occasionally pack into a sentence. "If there's a concept, and many possible thoughts that point at the truth, and many possible words that point at each thought, it's like you use words from different thoughts that point at the same concept" or similar. I attribute this to my having a certain laziness, an unwillingness to premasticate and regurgitate concepts for listeners of more delicate intellectual palette, as it were.
* Apparently my distaste for value judgement is unusual in their experience. I don't think I explained it fully; they were so delighted to keep expounding upon their own ideas that the incompleteness of my explanation was harmless for the time being. I frequently asked Why to rephrase their more complex ideas without the True/Untrue, Real/Unreal, Good/Bad dichotomy, and found the resulting statements far easier to follow. On the one hand, this could be blamed on a certain lack of intellectual rigor on Why's part -- I've asked them to try expressing those thoughts in e-prime as an exercise of clarity if desired. On the other hand, it could be blamed on a certain intellectual laziness on my own part -- I find that value judgments often halt inquiry at a point earlier than I enjoy following it to, and I find it takes me a great deal of unnecessary work to think with my accustomed habits while also adopting a paradigm in which Absolute Truth is its usually intended self.

On the whole, I am pleased to have had the opportunity to question some of their habits which I find often lead to unpleasantness, such as a tendency to generalize about the populace based on superficial interactions rather than gathering deeper-interaction conversational data from diverse individuals.

It could perhaps be said that rather than any nonsense about teaching, I've picked "recreational argument/debate" as the path forward for now. Despite my jests about "assigned reading", debate is adequate.


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #68 on: November 22, 2019, 02:45:01 am »
Attempting to draw useful conclusions from my work, as I find myself doing in philosophical argument with Why, reminds me of the potential merit to more formal study.

Dali's point that if you have the skill to paint like a Master, you can paint anything you want. "Pollock could actually paint a figure or scene if he chose, yet after him there were imitators who only knew the abstract, had not the skills, and brought only juvenile sensibilities to the canvas. The result was also crap.
(from, where I end up from refreshing my memory on the actual Fotamecus origin story).

Why makes a rather humorous face when surprised by a completely novel concept, which occasionally makes me aware that I've said something different from the other pile of words.

Reality is self-healing. Everything that happens in the OU/Consensus/Real World will have some understandable cause in retrospect, if you look hard enough for it. What makes it magic is when none of those causes seemed to you to happen in the time you perceived as leading up to the event.

That goes two ways -- on the one hand, perhaps the causes really never happened to you, and only look present in retrospect because you had to bring them into existence to bring their effect -- like the speculation about a God burying dinosaur bones. Or perhaps the magic-effect is actually mnemonic blindness: Similarly to deja vu, perhaps it's a neural misfire where you failed to record the causes as they happened, or even had them recorded for awhile but then erased them right before noticing the effect, so when you went looking for them afterward they seemed new.

I don't know if I particularly like either of those, yet noting a phenomena without noticing its causes before noticing it is absolutely a perceptual experience I have from time to time... so, from that same self-healing principle, I expect I must be able to look back and identify at least one plausible explanation that could have led to it.

You know how much of what we call "bad" humanity is doing to the planet? Well we could be having just as much of an effect in the opposite direction

Sure, I cribbed that one out of some Geoff Lawton TED talk, but drop it on some openminded wanderer at 2am and you might just see where cartoons got the idea of eyes literally bugging out with amazement.

Oddly enough, when I look for the actual Dali quote, I get "“Begin by learning to draw and paint like the old masters. After that, you can do as you like; everyone will respect you."" from some clickbait, which is reprised in the faintly more reputable I think I like Max K's interpretation better, though.

I wonder whether I'll need another set of names soon. I've never been much of a hand at picking them; instead, they seem to eventually just happen to me.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 03:02:09 am by idgo »


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #69 on: December 25, 2019, 05:21:18 am »
At some point I shall have to write up the Bookplates Game. It's a little amusement shared between my selves at a variety of points in time, and a lossy but not ineffective technique for patching thought habits from improved variants of my thought process onto regular editions. My hobby of recreational time travel seemed well received in the other thread where I mentioned it, so the Bookplates might even be worth trying to hammer into a proper article. We'll see.

Anyways, I was playing it the other day, and what I got out included a stern lecture on the importance of disregarding present inadequacy as an excuse against the kinds of practice that lead to improvement, at basically anything.

The other takeaway that seems both as-yet-unrecorded and worth noting is the technique, for long workings, of scoring a sigil into the surface of a fingernail. It can then be concealed under a coat of appropriate paint if desired, or simply left, as such subtle markings are invisible to most casual observers when expectations are properly set by more prominent parts of one's aesthetic impression. The sigil is then at liberty to persist until the nail grows out, or can be filed off when its use is over.

Flip Ellis upside down and add the stroke that completes his new form right side up, by the way, and test whether you produce an even more fun barrel of monkeys than he started out.


Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
« Reply #70 on: December 27, 2019, 06:59:32 pm »
My reality is shaped by the things I notice.

What I notice is shaped primarily by what's available-for-noticing in my surroundings, and occasionally also by what I expect.

Noticing random, unexplainable things appears to be a function of lowering my expectation-to-see-what's-real.

For instance, I don't see my own nose. I don't see the insides of my own eyelids when I blink. Yet my nose is definitely present on my face, and my eyelids are there if I consciously look for them.

Some experiments in perception make me slightly more receptive to the bits of visual perception which typically get edited out: an eyelash, a blur between saccades.

These might be frightening if I attributed them to malicious, external forces... but they've always been there.

I've always had eyelids, they've always defaulted to running on autopilot and shutting my vision for a brief interval of maintenance every so often, so if I drop my Expectations far enough to let me actually see them, the only thing that's changed is me.

I've never really understood why people are scared of certain unknowns, with the same absence of comprehension whereby I find it infeasible to fully empathize with what it'd be like to have a sexual orientation different from my own.

Then again, the former is actually a mental short circuit that I placed myself, a few decades ago, to route around concerns about ghosts and the dark: If there's ghosts, they like me, otherwise they would do something terrible to me. If they decide to do something terrible to me, I'll fight it as best I can, and if I win then I win, and if I lose then there's nothing else I could have hoped to do. That little paved spot of apathy and acceptance is a rather sharp contrast against the rest of my mental landscape -- since I created it, I've gotten better at gardening rather than glassing these little emotional planets.

Oh, and if there's anything material and nasty in the dark, walls and locks and lead will stop it. If it's immaterial, created by my mind somehow, it's in the interests of the creature as my creation and denizen to preserve my survival in the interest of its. If it's in some third category, perhaps I'll die, but death and destruction are always options by the rules of this game. Ceasing to play any game is always an option; only by looking at the exit options on the save screen can one determine whether it's preferable to retry the last save point or go play something else entirely. Pretending you can't stop for any reason, now, that's how you get people trapped. That's how you exhaust people so badly that by the time they notice they can quit it or crash it, they have no interest in trying again with different settings. 


creativity's twin demons: excess and restraint
« Reply #71 on: January 03, 2020, 12:15:51 am »
Many of my passtimes and pursuits involve creating.

Creation's demon of Excess is loud, conspicuous, and ugly. To it, even mockery is praise. It urges "share it, because you made it! Boast of it, no other has made this". It looks like it's eaten the world these days, perhaps through its tendency to dominate any conversation. Its patterns lie behind the oft thinkpiecefully bemoaned tendency to kill off hobbies in favor of hustles: "If you do this, you should be paid!" it insists.

The demon of Restraint has such impeccably perfect taste that it is nearly invisible. It finds unthinkable the prospect of sharing any but the most perfect work -- better than creating poorly would be to deny creating at all! It is far too good to be seen near Excess, and as its territory shrinks, its standards raise.

The drawbacks of succumbing to Excess are myriad and obvious; Excess is vociferous and gauche. But Excess and Restraint hunt together, dividing the duties of their chase like clever dogs. Excess consumes many, certainly, but Restraint lurks the shadows to subsume those who shy back into them from Excess's caucophony, and away.

Swim under Restraint's surface, for a brief respite from the din of Excess, and hear the siren song beneath the waves: Stay here, stay here. Make nothing, and nothing you make shall have the slightest flaw. Stay here, your ability to find fault with all the work you once wished to attain can only grow. Eat me, drink me, breathe me; dive deeper and become me, I can show you all the flaws in who you were before. Don't be you, be me Restraint, use my perspective; from a point of view without yourself and your works in it, all you are and that glorious Nothing that I urge you to make will never look to you to have a flaw.

Restraint is beautiful; excess is glamorous. But the swimmer is neither the sea nor the sky. One steed who suspends its rider between them is Adequacy, a hideously ugly-looking creature to the aesthetic sensibility of either side. Sailing the liminal division between the Excess and Restraint extremes will get one shouted at by both of them, lashed by the waves and bitten by the wind, each jealous and demanding to have one for all its own. But that seems to be where things worth having come from; masteries are islands built of practice; built of bedrock that need not and even should not be as beautiful nor as fertile as their soil.


Trees & Dreams
« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2020, 03:44:09 am »
It isn't exactly lucid dreaming that I target in my REM recreations. This is because I withhold the term "lucid" to describe times when "I am aware that I am dreaming" is near at the forefront of my mind. People seem to put immense amounts of thought and work into trying to do something they call lucid dreaming, and I have at times considered making such investments myself. However, I first contemplated: what's the point? Would being aware that I'm dreaming make a dream any better? Many people answer that yes, it absolutely does. To that, I ask: Is it the lucidity itself that's the actual improvement? Does being aware that I'm reading a book or watching a movie improve the experience of immersing in and learning from the story? In those cases, lucidity is the last thing one would want. So why would dreams be any different? As far as I can tell, those who strive for lucidity in dreams do so because the excuse "I'm only dreaming" permits them to test the laws of physics, and pursue all sorts of goals which they consider absolutely off limits while waking. Lucid dreamers don't generally seem to pursue lucidity as an end itself, but rather as a means toward constructing some other sort of dream.

If I'd never lucid dreamed, I would consider it worth pursuing until accomplished, just to see what the fuss is all about. But I have -- long before my current work, I would have dreams where the implausibility of "that person would never talk to me in real life! am I dreaming? hey look, I am!" kicked me into lucidity, and in those dreams I'd fulfill all the wishes I could think of and then resign myself to doing the "chores" of testing my ability to control the dream. For me, "lucidity" conveyed a certain expectation to choose more and more details -- rather than seamlessly having what I wanted to happen, the closer I looked at the mechanics of a dream, the harder I would have to work to keep them functioning.

If I didn't mind sounding pretentious, I could refer to some of my current practices as "lucid waking". It's not so much patting myself on the back for recognizing my own existence as lucid dreaming tutorials tend to recommend, but more a perpetual habit of re-testing the rules of the world around me and allowing it to give me just as much as it possibly can.

An aside: Last night, I was thinking to myself how I'd quite like to find some large-gauge copper rod to create some hangers for some items in my kitchen. I just pondered my desire enough to be certain I'd recognize the piece of copper that I was looking for when it showed up, because I do enough recycling for such projects that something usable is bound to come along eventually. I had a vague expectation that it might show up during a visit to a certain shop that I only check every month or so, or at least my likelihood of finding it there was the highest, so I noted what I needed and more or less forgot about it. This morning, I was digging a hole to plant a tree (long story), and on the second blow of the shovel to the soil it stuck on something metallic. I tugged on the obstruction, and out popped about 6 feet of thoroughly tarnished copper, in exactly the gauge that I'd previously resolved to keep an eye out for! Suffice it to say that I'm quite pleased with how my modifications to my pattern recognition skills are coming along.

So, yeah. Call it "lucid waking", if you want -- science has far larger words, and studies behind them, about how the brain spots things right in front of it only if it's not simultaneously insisting that those things ought not be there. "luck as a skill", and all that. (reality is still self-definingly self-healing... the banishing step of any chaote's ritual is perhaps a suture or a bandage for a tear).

Anyways, if we gloss the dream state in which I choose what happens and what to do without breaking the immersion by belittling it as "just a dream" from inside the simulation  as still qualifying as lucid, I've come up with a pretty reliable way to get into it, which I call Task-Induced Lucid Dreaming (TILD, because every strategy in that realm needs its own such silly acronym). The hard part is done while awake: I choose something which I'm constrained against doing in waking life, and then construct a dream world in which that constraint is absent. This might mean making the laws of physics work differently, or it might mean constructing a dream-self who lacks a particular preference that I happen to have. When I fall asleep in the process of adding more and more detail to such a simulation -- programming a routine for my internal holodeck, as it were -- it's more often than not the easiest place for my delightfully lazy brain to start the dreams off. Once in the dream, I have the same prerogative as I do while waking: Do whatever I want, while preferably avoiding doing things which change the world toward a state that I don't want. And that's really all there is to it -- simple enough that even I can do it!


And trees. I mentioned in another thread how I've been looking into both norse runes and druidic ogam, initially due to my desire to use others' sigil-adjacent syllabaries* in visual works. In that thread, I believe I described my experience with the rune book as smacking my brain with a highly informative brick. However, after consuming in days that felt like hours a proportion of the ogam book whose equivalent felt like weeks of reading in the rune book, I'm starting to see how greatly my own background influences my receptivity to the respective systems. The state in which both systems have survived has of course been filtered through a violently RHP-inclined series of lenses over the centuries, but at their cores, neither feels inherently LHP-incompatible to me.

* alliterative artistic license. I know they're technically alphabets, not syllabaries.

Perhaps the sensation of LHP-compatibility is isolated to my own interpretations, though. I've certainly given enough shit about it to Xepera, Flowers, and others who predicate their assumptions about the absolute importance and power of the human individual upon a notion that the individual can only have these abilities by dichotomizing itself against everything else in Nature.

Have I dropped around here? Cute of it to pop back up concurrent to others' work on Mammon, though the bits that stood out the first couple times I read it have been rattling around my head for quite some time. Somehow I'd misfiled their Gnon as Gnom, and these days that flavor of Theism shows more of its rough edges to me than it used to... I bring it up because it feels like it comes next in this thread of thought. It probably feels like it comes next because of the takes on Nature that I'm pretty sure are somewhere in the middle of that wall.

Nature can be, has been, and will continue to be equated to all sorts of things. Yet it's none of the things we call it (the map is not the territory), and it's all of them, because we use our human-powers to create all kinds of interpretive works based upon it inside our own and others' heads. From a Chaos perspective, I can call it a fount of noise, into which my brain can match almost any pattern it's seeking. Yet it seems to demand an inference that there are different qualities of noise, if this view is to hold, because it seems like a particularly excellent one. At least it's excellent for me; it's also the case that I often choose to spend hours a day in it, though if those are cause and effect I'll leave the question of which one's which as an exercise to the reader.

This whole business of reconciling Nature with the LHP might warrant something shaped more like an Imperishable Star article than a journal entry, but I should capture the remaining leads on it:

* Nature is the medium through which I exert power over things external to my own mind. Scientists spent so long looking for a material aether, something for waves like light and radio to travel through... and yet Nature is all around us as a sort of metaphysical aether, in that it's the medium through which all observable influence must pass, and the medium which esoteric influence is often seen to need to circumvent. Every time a human in history has made a documentable, repeatable observation that seemed to violate the laws of nature, it has later turned out to have been a result of improper description of those laws. So when I want to do documentable, repeatable things, I save myself the hassle and jump straight to describing them as according with Nature.

* The patterns by which systems extant in nature (ie the observable bits of everyone around me and everything they own, as well as some other stuff) can be healed or sickened, created or destroyed, are quite general across life forms. Every filler of a natural niche has its own take on the most effective ways it's found to help and harm. Taken together, these comprise a glossary, almost a dictionary, of things which might work on other natural systems... admitting that we as humans are susceptible to some of these techniques might seem a blow to the pride, but when tested, it can be observed. Knowing this is like knowing that an alphabet exists and that all books are comprised of its components. Only after learning what all the letters are can one use them to effectively search the space of all possible books, or in our metaphor, the space of all detriments, improvements, and other modifications we might want to make. Actually it's more like a search engine online than books -- the space of All Knowledge is opaque to us by default, and a piece of knowledge can only be thoroughly and effectively retrieved by one who knows the Name that the creators of the archive have used for it.

* Nature is ultimately just what we call what we see and learn. It's the structure we put observations into, in order to make them useful. As a structure it gradually grows to accommodate new observations as they're added. So, looking for things that aren't in it yet is useful and noble! But disregarding thoughts for the crime of having been noticed ever before is comparably useful to daily tasks as refusing all foods that one has previously tasted. We have figured out how to describe and reproduce Magical Phenomena in the past -- magnetism and electricity long ago; psychology more recently. The magic users who get things done don't appear to be too snobbish about whether they're willing to continue using these effects despite their unglamorously mundane new names, but of course there's no shortage of debate to be had online about whether knowingly using a magical effect after it's been deemed reliable enough to qualify as Nature is somehow cheating at the process of getting what one wants.

Nature's just one of many conceptual boxes in which we keep techniques for getting what we want. There's quite some good in exploring the neglected and out of the way boxes outside of it, but shunning an entire set of tools because they've proven too reliable is simply silly.


The search box isn't turning up that Grotto of Pollyanna's Demise thread at the moment, but perhaps I'll find it later. For then:

I recently discovered that kava is sold in my local grocery store, and bought some to thank the merchant for supplying more psychoactive substances than just the usual pharmaceuticals, alcohol, and caffeine. Unfortunately, its delivery vehicle is this "yogi tea" packaging whose intent seems to be to get so slimy with new-age drivel that it'll slip right out of the grasp of any overly conservative lawmaker who might endeavor to apprehend it. The first tea bag's tag, and I wish I were making this up, read:

There is nothing like you, there was nothing like you, and there shall be nothing like you.

This can only make sense if the tea is calling me nothing! I am myself and, as myself, I am as like myself as anything can be! I was myself, and more than simply being myself, I am so much myself that I encompass every understanding that I shall ever have of my past and of even the history before I claim I started! I shall be myself; I shall be increasingly more like myself as I continue a lifetime of self-guided change, and I am ultimately greater than my every thought and imagining of any future after me, for it is my mind within my self which holds all such conceptions!

To rebut my drink's foolishness by quoting the very name of an individual that the little teabag-writer probably looks up to: I AM.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 03:54:46 am by idgo »


Re: creativity's twin demons: excess and restraint
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2020, 09:55:36 am »
Restraint is beautiful; excess is glamorous. But the swimmer is neither the sea nor the sky. One steed who suspends its rider between them is Adequacy, a hideously ugly-looking creature to the aesthetic sensibility of either side.

Indifference and Adequacy are the two horses who pull the Charioteer. Tugged neither to the left nor the right, the Charioteer can steer straight. But what is his objective? It is either Strength or Adjustment, depending on whether Waite or Crowley rules the Arcana. Or perhaps Strength and Adjustment are one and the same principle under different names.


Re: Trees & Dreams
« Reply #74 on: January 13, 2020, 10:00:52 am »
An aside: Last night, I was thinking to myself how I'd quite like to find some large-gauge copper rod to create some hangers for some items in my kitchen. I just pondered my desire enough to be certain I'd recognize the piece of copper that I was looking for when it showed up, because I do enough recycling for such projects that something usable is bound to come along eventually. I had a vague expectation that it might show up during a visit to a certain shop that I only check every month or so, or at least my likelihood of finding it there was the highest, so I noted what I needed and more or less forgot about it. This morning, I was digging a hole to plant a tree (long story), and on the second blow of the shovel to the soil it stuck on something metallic. I tugged on the obstruction, and out popped about 6 feet of thoroughly tarnished copper, in exactly the gauge that I'd previously resolved to keep an eye out for!

Congratulations! Well done.