Act Your Way into Right Thinking – The Gospel of relaxation

There is, accordingly, no better known or more generally useful precept in the moral training of youth, or in one’s personal self-discipline, than that which bids us pay primary attention to what we do and express, and not to care too much for what we feel. If we only check a cowardly impulse in time, for example, or if we only don’t strike the blow or rip out with the complaining or insulting word that we shall regret as long as we live, our feelings themselves will presently be the calmer and better, with no particular guidance from us on their own account. Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.

Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, to look round cheerfully, and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. If such conduct does not make you soon feel cheerful, nothing else on that occasion can. So to feel brave, act as if we were brave, use all our will to that end, and a courage-fit will very likely replace the fit of fear. Again, in order to feel kindly toward a person to whom we have been inimical, the only way is more or less deliberately to smile, to make sympathetic inquiries, and to force ourselves to say genial things. One hearty laugh together will bring enemies into a closer communion of heart than hours spent on both sides in inward wrestling with the mental demon of uncharitable feeling. To wrestle with a bad feeling only pins our attention on it, and keeps it still fastened in the mind: whereas, if we act as if from some better feeling, the old bad feeling soon folds its tent like an Arab, and silently steals away.

The best manuals of religious devotion accordingly reiterate the maxim that we must let our feelings go, and pay no regard to them whatever. In an admirable and widely successful little book called ‘The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life,’ by Mrs. Hannah Whitall Smith, I find this lesson on almost every page. Act faithfully, and you really have faith, no matter how cold and even how dubious you may feel. “It is your purpose God looks at,” writes Mrs. Smith, “not your feelings about that purpose; and your purpose, or will, is therefore the only thing you need attend to. . . . Let your emotions come or let them go, just as God pleases, and make no account of them either way. . . . They really have nothing to do with the matter. They are not the indicators of your spiritual state, but are merely the indicators of your temperament or of your present physical condition.”

The Gospel of Relaxation, William James

Gig – What I do is

AUTOMOBILE PARTS SPECIALIST
What I do is I sit behind a counter and I sell parts, just Honda parts for Honda cars. I get a salary and a little commission for each sale.

COMPUTER CHIP LAYOUT DESIGNER
What I do is translate this technical information into the way the chip will actually look – how all this information will be contained in this tiny space. I draw it out using a computer program.

A&R EXECUTIVE
What I do is go out and see bands or listen to their tapes, and if I like them enough, I sign them, and then as long as they’re with the company, I kind of work with them on all aspects of their career.

PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY SALES REPRESENTATIVE
What I do is visit practices and try to influence the physicians’ prescribing habits versus other products they might use. So I talk about Eli Lilly’s product versus Pfizer’s product, versus SmithKline Beecham, versus, you know, all our various competitors’ products— and I try to explain how our medication has better features and advantages over theirs.

from Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs

Rhizome

Rhizome is a philosophical concept developed by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in their Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1972–1980) project. It is what Deleuze calls an “image of thought,” based on the botanical rhizome, that apprehends multiplicities.

wikipedia

There is no clean slate. No pure beginning. We never begin from nothing to form something. We always begin somewhere. There is no outside the fray of it all, no place free of culture, of personal experience, of history, of ourselves. We’re always somewhere doing something as this, whatever this is.

http://hilariousbookbinder.blogspot.com/2017/10/beginning-from-middle-with-reference-to.html

Good explanation here:

William James on Expectation

The permanent presence of the sense of futurity in the mind has been strangely ignored by most writers, but the fact is that our consciousness at a given moment is never free from the ingredient of expectancy. Every one knows how when a painful thing has to be undergone in the near future, the vague feeling that it is impending penetrates all our thought with uneasiness and subtly vitiates our mood even when it does not control our attention; it keeps us from being at rest, at home in the given present. The same is true when a great happiness awaits us. But when the future is neutral and perfectly certain, ‘we do not mind it,’ as we say, but give an undisturbed attention to the actual. Let now this haunting sense of futurity be thrown off its bearings or left without an object, and immediately uneasiness takes possession of the mind. But in every novel or unclassified experience this is just what occurs; we do not know what will come next ; and novelty per se becomes a mental irritant, while custom per se is a mental sedative, merely because the one baffles while the other settles our expectations.

Every reader must feel the truth of this. What is meant by coming ‘to feel at home’ in a new place, or with new people? It is simply that, at first, when we take up our quarters in a new room, we do not know what draughts may blow in upon our back, what doors may open, what forms may enter, what interesting objects may be found in cupboards and corners. When after a few days we have learned the range of all these possibilities, the feeling of strangeness disappears. And so it does with people, when we have got past the point of expecting any essentially new manifestations from their character.

THE SENTIMENT OF RATIONALITY, William James
wikisource

Fictionalism

Fictionalism is the view in philosophy according to which statements that appear to be descriptions of the world should not be construed as such, but should instead be understood as cases of “make believe”, of pretending to treat something as literally true (a “useful fiction”). Two important strands of fictionalism are modal fictionalism developed by Gideon Rosen, which states that possible worlds, regardless of whether they exist or not, may be a part of a useful discourse, and mathematical fictionalism advocated by Hartry Field, which states that talk of numbers and other mathematical objects is nothing more than a convenience for doing science. Also in meta-ethics, there is an equivalent position called moral fictionalism (championed by Richard Joyce). Many modern versions of fictionalism are influenced by the work of Kendall Walton in aesthetics.

Fictionalism consists in at least the following three theses:

  1. Claims made within the domain of discourse are taken to be truth-apt; that is, true or false
  2. The domain of discourse is to be interpreted at face value—not reduced to meaning something else
  3. The aim of discourse in any given domain is not truth, but some other virtue(s) (e.g., simplicity, explanatory scope).

Wikipedia

Why America’s New Apartment Buildings All Look the Same

Cheap stick framing has led to a proliferation of blocky, forgettable mid-rises—and more than a few construction fires.

I Can’t Get No Interaction

Back in the AOL/dial-up era, Mick Jagger was on one of AOL’s live chat room events. From memory –

How does it feel knowing you are still being outsold by The Beatles even though they’ve been broken up for thirty years? *
No comment

My name is Michel and I’m from Quebec, so pardon my English …
Ca va Michel

Also, Mick said that it was possible to get addicted to anything. “Even something as banal as chatrooms.”

from http://www.aolwatch.org/faq2b.htm

Here’s how Scott Rosenberg of the San Francisco Examiner described his attempt to watch Mick Jagger’s appearance.

“I Can’t Get No Interaction”
You couldn’t see the thick lips, and you couldn’t hear the thick British drawl. But Monday night on America Online, you could watch Mick Jagger type.

The online celebrity forum is an increasingly common marketing tool that puts a famous name behind a keyboard to take questions from a crowd of cyber-onlookers…It’s a pretty inefficient way to find out stuff about the rich and famous–though it does provide the best insight yet available into their typing skills. Like many others, I spent the hour from 6 to 7 p.m. vainly clicking on the AOL “Coliseum” icon, pounding on the door to the room where Jagger was answering questions.

I wound up with a bunch of other Jagger turnaways in another AOL forum, the Odeon, where Oingo Boingo bandleader and movie-soundtrack composer Danny Elfman was also holding an online chat.

Question: Loved “wierd science” & “dead man’s party”. How about a new Oingo album?

Elfman 1: Are you trying to piss me off or what? I just came out with a new Boingo album. Why the f*** do you think I’m here right now?

* referring to this, presumably –
1 is a compilation album by the English rock band the Beatles, originally released on 13 November 2000. The album features virtually every number-one single the band achieved in the United Kingdom and United States from 1962 to 1970. Issued on the 30th anniversary of the band’s break-up…

Grand Guignol

GrandGuiglnol

The Theatre du Grand Guignol, for years one of the leading tourist attractions of the French capital, was the classic shock theatre, specializing in productions designed to horrify and sicken.

Historian Mel Gordon, in The Grand Guignol: Theatre of Fear and Terror (1988), recounts some of the plots:

The innocent Louise is unjustly locked in an asylum with several insane women. A nurse assigned to protect her blithely leaves for a staff party as soon as Louise falls asleep. The insane women decide that a cuckoo bird is imprisoned in Louise’s head and and one gouges out her eye with a knitting needle. The other crazy women are freaked and burn the gouger’s face off on a hot plate.

via The Straight Dope

Add “ing” to the end of a movie title, what is the movie about now?

La La Landing. The harrowing tale of the first Teletubby to walk on the moon.

Wоrld War Zing. An apocalyptic tale оf a world overrun by crushing one-liners…
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger…
I think you mean starring Matthew Perry.

The Land Before Timing. A very awkward and frustrating place…
It could be a documentary about a group of emerging stand up comics struggling to find their voice.

Add "ing" to the end of a movie title, what is the movie about now? from AskReddit

reddit

How to write unmaintainable code

In the interests of creating employment opportunities in the Java programming field, I am passing on these tips from the masters on how to write code that is so difficult to maintain, that the people who come after you will take years to make even the simplest changes. Further, if you follow all these rules religiously, you will even guarantee yourself a lifetime of employment, since no one but you has a hope in hell of maintaining the code. Then again, if you followed all these rules religiously, even you wouldn’t be able to maintain the code!

To foil the maintenance programmer, you have to understand how he thinks. He has your giant program. He has no time to read it all, much less understand it. He wants to rapidly find the place to make his change, make it and get out and have no unexpected side effects from the change.

He views your code through a toilet paper tube. He can only see a tiny piece of your program at a time. You want to make sure he can never get at the big picture from doing that. You want to make it as hard as possible for him to find the code he is looking for. But even more important, you want to make it as awkward as possible for him to safely ignore anything.

Programmers are lulled into complacency by conventions. But every once in a while, by subtly violating convention, you force him to read every line of your code with a magnifying glass.

You might get the idea that every language feature makes code unmaintainable — not so, only if properly misused.

Roedy Green, Canadian Mind Products
@ github