Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ride to work Day 2017

So apparently yesterday was Ride to Work Day.

Not sure how influential this special day designed to encourage workers to ride their bikes has been but I reckon whatever efforts are made to encourage people to get out on their bikes can’t be a bad idea. So for me it was just another day but I did take the scenic rout to work. 

Here’s some photos. 

At the mouth of Rapid Creek
My trusty Shogun Katana still up to the job

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Crazy Pills!

Crazy Pills? 
You know what I mean right? Somewhere deep in the core of you, you've had those moments where it seems everyone is going along with something that makes absolutely no sense to you but they're all acting like it's perfectly normal... 

Well to me this that’s the catch phrase for this current epoch. It may have been used elsewhere but I take it from the movie 'Zoolander'. Will Ferrell’s character ‘Mugatu’ is confounded by the fan hysteria around the latest ‘look’ or facial expression of a brainless male model by the name of Derek Zoolander. For context I quote:
"SHUT UP! Enough already, Ballstein! Who cares about Derek Zoolander anyway? The man has only one look, for Christ's sake! Blue Steel? Ferrari? Le Tigra? They're the same face! Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"


Why am I talking about Crazy Pills? Well because I was recently criticized for using the term ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ in a fb discussion. Apparently I shouldn’t assume that people know what that means and therefore shouldn’t use the term. 
In my opinion this is utter crap! How else are we supposed to explore ideas if we can’t use the terms given to us which best express a concept. It reminded me of an expression I’d heard in a movie which uses much simpler words, so I thought I'd write about it here rather than get embroiled in a pointless joust in other social media arenas. 

Experiencing ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ is just like ‘Feeling like I’ve been taking Crazy Pills!’
The thing is that we live in a world where we are often lead to believe nonsensical illogical explanations of what we would otherwise perceive very differently. Basically lies, spin and gammon BS currently trump truth, research and good old fassioned gut instinct. Yet in order to ‘get along’ the most comfortable option is to accept the illogical explanations we are given for absurdly obvious errors in perception and fact. 

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term that describes the level of discomfort we feel at the inconsistency of the narrative… Our minds need to resolve the agitation, so we can either seek truth, recognize the lies and reject them out of hand, putting us at odds with society, or we can accept the BS, drink the cool aid and fall into a state pretty well described by George Orwell in '1984' as ‘Doublethink’. 
As I write this longwinded, unqualified exploration I am beginning to realize, that I have been drawn into arguments with people who are fully engaged in the art of Doublethink, by challenging them I have introduced a state of Cognitive Dissonance that needs to be resolved. So therefore with ‘peace of mind’ as their objective the solution is to silence the agitator, restore the narrative, rationalize with more illogical and irrelevant explanations and excuses and move as quickly as possible back to the state of bliss that only the deliberately ignorant can know. 

Of course there’s another Pill metaphor from a popular movie that relates very clearly with the theme of Cognitive Dissonance:

Image © 1999 Warner Bros., The Matrix
This train of thought was spurred by a conversation with Midnight Oil fans who went to see the band in concert recently. I found the idea of watching Peter Garret singing those old songs absolutely abhorrent yet others appeared to experience no internal conflict around the obviously glaring conflict between his onstage performances and his real life betrayal of the ideas he sings about.  Peter Garret was a member of the Australian Government for a short time during which he made decisions which appeared to be in complete contrast to the values many of us believed he had. 

I'd really like to explore this idea further, as it has so many implications and applies to so many situations but will probably  leave it at this... just a musing I had to spew forth. ;) 

So It's back to the wheel we go.

Blogging my escape from social media

I started writing in my blog back in 2006, the year that facebook was unleashed on the world!

Of course it took some time for the social media blitz to really get a grip, and for someone just getting the hang of navigating the online world, there seemed to be an abundance of interesting blogs and basic amateur websites to explore. 

Memes probably existed but most of my online communication was far more engaged and interactive. 

Exploring blogs related to specific topics or general themes put me in touch with networks of people I wouldn’t otherwise have been able to communicate with. When I found blogs of interest I could follow them in Google Reader and shape my reading preferences entirely according to what my favorite bloggers were writing about, I could choose easily which ones I wanted to look at regularly and those I just wanted to check in on from time to time.Then Google removed it's Reader... (Why?)

Back then the nature of the online space made it easy to engage in conversations with like minded people while feeling as though I was involved in a ‘real’ community. It was exciting, inspiring and inviting to those who wanted to share experiences and information in a more intimate and focused way.

Most of the blogs I subscribed to back then have been shut down as people either couldn’t keep up the writing or most likely moved their efforts across to the facebook, twitter, snapchat, Instagram universe. One by one the bloggers vacated the scene and very few enlisted to take their place. Now it seems blogs are the domain of professional writers, people wishing to promote some kind of product or hopeless diehards like me who can’t let go of the idea that there should be a place for self expression (online) outside of the plethora of re-shared meme’s and selfies managed by the algorithms of a master program and ‘pushed’ onto the reading space of all of our ‘friends’. FRIENDS! Are they frigging kidding me? I have attempted to relate to people on fb in a manner fitting of the title ‘friend’, it seems the courtesy’s and graces we used to afford to people under that title no longer apply. Although there remain a few great blogs I continue to read…

So I realized lately after a dissatisfying exchange of words on facebook, that regardless of lack of exposure to an audience on my blog, this is the place where I can continue to express my views regardless of whether I have an audience or not. If I’ve got something to say it would serve me best to put together a more thoughtful argument than facebook has time for and post it here, for the sake of my own sanity.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

And It's Only October

Have you ever hated somewhere so much as I hate you now! Darwin you Bastard! There's nothing sweet about you I hate yer stinking guts and I want to leave! 

In our small but comfortable housing commission house we have no aircon, definitely not complaining about that, we prefer it that way. The louver windows allow reasonable airflow, ceiling fans will do but are poorly placed and barely cut it in the heat. 

The problem is that our house is like a noise magnet! We hear everything from Dogs barking all night at drunks who won’t go home, kids who roam the street, the Pokemon Go freaks or sometimes at nothing at all. Our neighborhood is cluttered with the sound of angry and miserable households with nothing nice to say. I still can’t get used to the sound of violent Chinese soap operas at 4am! 
Fear of being robbed leads one neighbor to leave a floodlight on in their backyard all night! It shines right through our bedroom window! 

And the children! 
The kids in our street are a living confirmation that the zombie apocalypse is just around the corner. They appear to have lost the ability for verbal communication and seem only capable of screaming, grunting or swearing… nothing in between. The 'C' word is flung around with gay abandon regardless of who is present! For sport they tremble with delight at the prospect of tormenting some unsuspecting weaker victim. Younger children, or the single mother who lives across the road seem to be their current targets. Throwing stones at baby birds and snapping the branches off trees are a standard recreation till something more exciting comes along. 

The constant rank screaming and abuse of neighbors on all sides, hateful and vulgar as the racist misogynistic gangsta rap that blasts through our cyclone mesh fence! The vernacular here is a form of hateful profanity which has replaced human conversation, the Morlocks now rule! 

Surely this place is proof that the Zombie apocalypse has arrived and I must face it without rest because the dog next door didn't stop barking till two hours before dawn! Buildup mornings are always the same! Sleep deprived and in a lather of coffee scented sweat, with a pounding head I prepare to face the day!

Damn you Darwin! Damn your shopping malls and your wide streets full of impatient drivers, Damn your false sense of security ‘cameras’ and your V8 utes, Damn your ‘sporting fishermen’ your pig hunting yobbos and your endless piles of goon filled coke bottles! To hell with your FIFO workers in bright orange shirts! Damn your drunken fornicating fuckwits destitute and lying in their own waste! Damn the stink! 
I have never felt a love so dear as how I hate you today. 

Oh and this little gem from Andrew McMillan pretty much sums it up re: the heat!

A Postcard from Hell in October > poem Andrew McMillan > video by Annaliese Ciel Walker from slam tv on Vimeo.

(Edited 12/10/17)