01/15 Open Thread: January 15 is Hat Day

-

-font-b-Rene-b-font-font-b-Magritte-b-font-The-Great-War-Abstract-Painting

It is also: Humanitarian Day, Museum Selfie Day, National Bagel Day, National Booch Day, National Hat Day, National Strawberry Ice Cream Day, National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day, Wikipedia Day, and those in the UK get to enjoy National Pothole Day, which should be every day in California.

-

ODDS & ENDS

As many (most?) of us know (or should know) by now, the US and states' Gedankenpolizei have long targeted "devient" thought and groups, meaning anybody but mainstream conformists and those to the right or far right thereof. Examples include zoot suiters, civil rights activists, beatniks, socialists, union organizers, hippies, peaceniks, juggalos and totally made up shit like “Black Identity Extremists.” It appears that the UK is into the act too. The Guardian reports that:

Counter-terrorism police placed the non-violent group Extinction Rebellion (XR) on a list of extremist ideologies that should be reported to the authorities running the Prevent programme, which aims to catch those at risk of committing atrocities ...

The full linked article seems to say that also student strikers and anybody whatsoever expressing any level of concern for the environment is also some sort of very, very bad person. But of course we are, señor.
( https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jan/10/xr-extinction-rebellion-... )

-

Science now appears to have discovered yoga. At any rate, an article in the Atlantic back in 2016 discussed some research that discovered an anatomical basis for asserting that there is a physiological basis linking movement and certain motor functions to our stress response systems. There has, of course, long been a body of largely anecdotal evidence linking the two, but that link has always been simple correlation without there being any demonstrable mechanism that could explain such correlation. One cannot help but onder why this didn't get more attention and "air play" and whether and how much follow up work has been being done.

( https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/08/cortical-adrenal-orc... )

-

The war on Iran has long included the semi-mandatory propaganda war that accompanies most of our wars, be they shooting, economic, overt, covert or whatever. A teensy-weensy partial glimpse of reality that one can share with one's friends has popped up in a very short article entitled An expert's view on Iran Found here: ( https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/experts-view-iran?utm_source... ), it notes that our crippling sanctions aimed at causing suffering and misery for Iran's civilian population are doing just that and are not being given adequate attention in the western press. It also notes that Iran is (or was) a very divided country "Iran is in fact as polarized as the U.S." which is now being pushed back closer together by the recent brain-dead criminal US assassination of Soleimani. Lastly, it notes that feminism is on the rise and that women are getting more and more active and involved in politics and protest. As I said, it is a short piece, so read it and share it widely.

Saving the world by saving pennies?? Pocket recently highlighted an article from cnbc.com about "kakeibo", which is some putatively magically effective method of saving money practiced by "the Japanese" (whomever they may be). Though not fabulously wealthy, I'm more concerned with saving the world than saving pennies, however, it seems to me that reining in spending is always a good candidate for an agent of change vis-a-vis overproduction and over consumption. The article lays out some principles and ideas that could very well be used and applied to cut consumption. The idea is a form of budgeting, keeping track of everything that comes in or goes out, without any fancy tools or accessories, which, ironically, imho:

doesn’t involve any budgeting software, apps or Excel sheets. Similar to bullet journaling, it emphasizes the importance of physically writing things down — as a meditative way to process and observe your spending habits.

(I'll get to the irony later). This is really a trivial bit of meaningless busywork unless approached with the proper purpose, focus and mindset, which is no doubt why the author refers to it as a "meditative way to process." So, regardless of whether or not, and if so, how meticulously, you journal all aspects of your finances, the key to the process is in outlook, which is explicated in the article as follows:

According to the kakeibo method, you must ask yourself the following questions before purchasing any non-essential items — or the things you buy on impulse, but might not necessarily need:

Can I live without this item?

Based on my financial situation, can I afford it?

Will I actually use it?

Do I have the space for it?

How did I come across it in the first place? (Did I see it in a magazine? Did I come across it after wandering into a gift shop out of boredom?)

What is my emotional state in general today? (Calm? Stressed? Celebratory? Feeling bad about myself?)

How do I feel about buying it? (Happy? Excited? Indifferent? And how long will this feeling last?)

So, one saves not by recycling rubber bands and scraps, scrimping and tossing one's pennies into a jar, but merely by taking a machete to ones spending habits. To the extent efficacious in reining in (over)consumption, I recommend it.

The link I get is here:( https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/08/how-this-japanese-method-of-saving-money... )

-

OK, I am a geezer and sufficiently out of it that I had never heard of "bullet journaling" and had no idea what it was. Luckily (or not) the italicized phrase in the article was linked, thusly: https://bulletjournal.com/pages/learn There is a video tutorial, which is skippable and an intro, followed by more and more and more. Hey, you write stuff down, abbreviated and terse in a quasi shorthand with prefatory symbols to identify the various items as to one of 3 categories. Simple enough and easy to do. All you need is a writing implement and paper, just like said kakeibo system. It does somewhat go off the rails, referring to its writing style of methodology as "BuJo" as if it were some sort of jiu-jitsu of life organization and time management and the site in question suggests that you subscribe to its newsletter and looks ready to spring into some sort of cultish phenomenon any minute now. I am reminded of days of yore when the kool kids equivalent of my co-workers all got hooked on some sort of program planner cult that involved sets of special sub planners and master planners and courses and cheat sheets and codes and colored pens and colored post-it super-tabs over the built-in tabs, and which they soon could not think, act, plan, or live without; becoming, in a sense, possessed.

Irony Alert By strange coincidence, I almost immediately ran into an article about this life changing new process thanks to Popular Science magazine's e-mail list: https://www.popsci.com/bullet-journal-guide/?utm_source=internal&utm_med...
WOW! "One notebook could replace all the productivity apps that have failed you" You betcha. There is a whole colorfully illustrated article with seemingly repetitively linked content ("more on instagram") explaining all of the ins and outs and processes and benefits and recommended equipimento. Wha? I thought you just needed a writing implement and some paper, was I wrong? You betcha! It looks like you need a myriad of various special writing, coloring and highlighting implements plus very special journals in order to simply note what you hope or plan on doing and what, in fact goes down and/or went down in the proper fashion. I'll pass. Perhaps some bits and pieces of ideas and process will carry over into my life, involving my trusty pen and paper but I'm not cluttering up my office, suitcase of backpack, and life with two metric tons of paraphernalia and the accompanying mountains of process that simply writing shit down evolves into when practicing Bushido BuJo.

-

Title Image is Rene Magritte's Son of Man

-

It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours
.

-
Share
up
8 users have voted.

Comments

mimi's picture

(and that"s the best way to start the day) with the word "Gedenkenpolizei".

I "gedenke" very often my mother, my father and former husband and other loved or non-loved ones, who have passed away. Ich "denke" oft an meinen Sohn, who hopefully is still alive at this moment. I feel that the "Gedankenpolizei" is after my thoughts and words. I certainly will never keep those thought cops in my "Gedenken". (in my memorial thoughts)

Thanks, I had my fun with that word play, I hope you don't mind.

You see, "ich denke oft an Dich" and hope I will not have to keep you in my "Gedenken" in the near future, because I want you to stay a little bit longer with us. I would miss you very much, if you were gone.


Mit liebevollen Gedanken, to you from me.

up
6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@mimi
error which I have now corrected. I vaguely recall enough high school German that I shuld have caught that upon proof-reading. I do know the difference between gedenken and gedanken, but I simply can't type worth shit and am always in too much of a hurry to get my ideas out before they flee the remnants of my short-term memory.

Zo, my thanks to you for providing that early morning humor as well as the groovy marimba duet, and thanks too, as always, for reading.

have a good one.

up
4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@mimi for all your great posts!!!!

up
4 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

enhydra lutris's picture

@mimi

up
2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Lookout's picture

It is foggy here after 3/4" of rain yesterday.

I always keep a spiral notebook going. I typically buy them at trade day, often 4/$1. I just use a wooden pencil. I draw out my projects, jot down clips I want to recommend, outline essays, figure out my chores, write grocery lists, and on and on. They fill pretty quick. Anything I want to keep, I can tear out and file. Otherwise I recycle them when full. It is nice to look back over the filled notebook to see all the projects designed and completed during its use.

I'm glad to say, I escaped the consumer trap as a young person. The less you want, the more you'll have.

Well thanks for the OT. I better go put on my hat.

up
7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
notebooks around for various reasons, plus some larger ones and clipboards full of stuff used on one side only, etc. I donate to a variety of organizations, as a result of which they, and others I've never heard of, send me calendars, note-cards, greeting cards and little tablets. I scrupulously use all of both sides of each side of the latter even though I probably have received enough of them to last 5 or 6 years doing but one thing per sheet. I am also one of those who periodically forgets to take my list along with me, so I will often put it on my 'phone as well, rendering the paper otiose, though still preferable.

Be sure to wear your hat *and* stay dry and warm.

Have a good one.

up
4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mimi's picture

I remember the Adhidjo days when I met my later husband in the mid sixties. It reminds me that there were days with kinder relations and words between the US and African leaders (those shithole countries...)

Ahmadou Babatoura Ahidjo was a Cameroonian politician who was the first President of Cameroon, holding the office from 1960 until 1982. Ahidjo played a major role in Cameroon's independence from France as well as reuniting the French and English-speaking parts of the country.

Imagine we had a JFK today.

up
4 users have voted.
QMS's picture

I have been keeping a daily journal for over 20 years now. Jotting down purchases, billable hours, travels, notes, ideas, people contacted, appointments, meals made, books read, repairs, etc. It is my memory back-up system. Sometimes vague but more often detailed, it is a way of finding where one was at any particular point in time. It has become such an ingrained habit, I would be lost without it.

Hope there is some good to be found for everyone here today.

up
5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
calendar/planner "week at a glance" type thingie or blank notebook, or one of those full blown programmatic time planning and organizing systems (day runner comes to mind)? Having a business and "billable hours" makes a world of difference, imo. My wife uses good old steno tablets to record much the same, without the business/job related stuff, and I write some stuff in plain old notebooks for various nefarious purposes, but have never been able to get much beyond appointments & reservations, unscheduled to-do lists, and weekly menus as far as planning goes. Maybe I should, but I tend more to flow with the vagaries of life. Today is take all the recycling and garbage to the curb, early dinner, pick up meds plus some trip supplies and anything on the grocery list, work on future columns, and do anything on the unending to-do lists that seems to be a good fit for today, all things considered. Wink

have a good one.

up
5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

QMS's picture

@enhydra lutris
Helps me keep it between the lines.
Have a fun trip!

up
1 user has voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@QMS
was employed, things came in big multiweek chunks with little-part day to two or three day interruptions. It's sort of the same now, except mostly blank.

up
1 user has voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Wally's picture

up
10 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@Wally
have a good one.

up
2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@Wally
we have so much at stake

up
5 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

mimi's picture

up
2 users have voted.
mimi's picture

NATO-ME. No way.

The U.S. president asked the West’s main military alliance to “become much more involved in the Middle East.” What does that mean?

After the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Solaimani in early January, U.S. President Donald Trump said that a string of accomplishments had “changed our strategic priorities,” paving the way for U.S. forces in the region to withdraw.

“We can come home, or largely come home, and use NATO,” he said, describing the Middle East as “a big source of problems.”

Washington, as the biggest player in NATO, can sway the mission of the alliance. NATO’s mandate has evolved over the past 70 years from confronting the USSR to fighting alongside the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So what is next for NATO? Will Trump be able to impose his will on the other 28 members? What would NATO’s engagement in the Middle East look like? And what would Washington’s disengagement with the region look like?

Join Steve Clemons as we get to The Bottom Line.

up
4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@mimi

You've already scraped the top off of the news pile before I'm out of bed, saving me the trouble of finding any of it myself.

up
2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

mimi's picture

@enhydra lutris
eight to nine hours ahead of you, so when you still crawling out of a hopefully warm and cozy bed, I am ready for my first afternoon nap.

But it is quite calming to know that the world still turns around.


Good evening and good night from here. Smile

up
2 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@mimi
service and saving me a lot of time and energy.

up
2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

et al

"oh good lord show me the way". Five (5) more weeks. Just finished the SC4Bernie endorsement flyer. To printer today. 10K. Onward to campus. Squeezing in a walk. Big rain coming tomorrow according to the report at the gym this morning. I embrace this. We can do this because we care and must and have no choice. I am so moved by the students enthusiasm, several just back from Iowa.

Be well, have a good one, carry onward...

up
6 users have voted.

Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma

have a good one.

up
2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Wally's picture

@magiamma

up
3 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

With a high of 55 today, we are expecting snow tomorrow with a high of 37. Welcome to the Land of Enchantment where all you have to do is wait a couple of hours and the weather will change.

Consumerism is the bane of America's existence. I remember my sister always had to have the new gadget first. I am not a gadget person so I would just live vicariously through her. Don't get me wrong, I've made stupid purchases, too. As I've aged, I also have begun to minimize and stop adding to what I already have. I have enough. Period. I have too much. Period. I am downsizing!

Have a lovely hump day, folks! Pleasantry

up
5 users have voted.

The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Raggedy Ann
been cool to cold (for us) with little dribbles of rain each day, and real rain predicted for tomorrow.

I generally eschew most gadgeets and gadgetry, but do jump on ones that look like they will provide some serious utility or enjoyment, especially if I can get a super bargain on them. However, I usually recycle or donate the old stuff, so the clutter remains more or less level.

have a good one.

up
2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --