01/15 Open Thread: January 15 is Hat Day
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
Title Image is Rene Magritte's Son of Man
It's an open thread, so have at it. The floor is yours