kerravonsen: a green leaf: Hope (hope)
How do we change the world?
Change the culture.

How do we change the culture?
Change the stories we tell ourselves.

How do we change the stories?
Tell better ones.
kerravonsen: Ninth Doctor: "thinking" (thinking)
Stumbled across this in my websurfing: "I'm not telling you it's going to be easy. I'm telling you it's going to be worth it."

My first thought was "if it was easy, it would eventually be boring". We actually do like challenges. When we have enough energy and have rested enough from our stress, we do stuff. Human beings are kind of crazy when you think about it: we do difficult things for fun! We are so needy for mental stimulation that we invented these things called "games" which make us think hard when we don't have to!

Weird.
kerravonsen: symbolic representation of an antibody (antibody)
Expanding on some thinky thoughts I had on twitter, prompted by this tweet about vaccination:

Polarized, contentious "debates" give us nothing but anger, because people don't bother to find out WHY the other party thinks the way they do. How on earth can you get someone to listen to you if you insult them by declaring them stupid, selfish, deluded, willfully ignorant? The biggest misstep is attributing (malicious) motives to the other party, when you have no way of knowing what their motives are. I've seen this from both sides of many debates, political and religious. Terrorists are "jealous". Atheists deny the existence of God because they "want to keep sinning". Theists believe in God because they are "weak" and need "comfort". And so on and on and on.

It is too simple to say that this is caused by a lack of empathy; I mean, sure, it's not very empathetic to attribute the other person's motives to malice (or to stupidity). But why are we attributing a lack of intelligence and a lack of goodwill to the other party so often?

I think one reason is frustration and confusion, when a person feels that their position is so obviously correct that it is self-evident. This gets called "arrogance" by the person's opponents (and leads to the ridiculous assertion that it's wrong to consider oneself to be right; that certainty is immoral). It isn't the certainty that is the problem. It is that they have internalized their reasons for believing whatever-it-is so much that they can't really explain (even to themselves) why they believe what they do. Or, they can explain, but the explanation is partial, not complete. Not everyone has the skills or mental inclination towards self-analysis to be able to do so. But what the person ends up with is increasing frustration as the other party doesn't grok what they are saying, so they just repeat and repeat it louder and louder (as if that would somehow help) and then finally give up, throw their hands in air, toss in the figurative towel, etc. It isn't so much blaming the other person for one's own lack of skill (because if persuasion was just a matter of skill, then we'd all be buying bridges in Brooklyn) but incomprehension of why the other person couldn't be persuaded. After all, "But it's obvious!" isn't much of an argument.

Frustration, confusion, attribution.

Clearly, one cannot correct this problem in others, but one can attempt to be aware of it in oneself.
kerravonsen: Daniel and Samantha looking off: "What? Inconceivable." (inconceivable)
So I'm there looking at an 80% off sale at an online bead/craft shop and...

I am continually amazed at how UGLY so many lampworked beads and pendants are. Maybe I'm amazed because I know how beautiful it is possible for this particular artform to be, so there's a large dollop of disappointment in my surprise. But seriously, who in their right minds would consider any of the following to be pretty? It's like they took random bits of glass and melted them, swirled them a bit and chucked them into a silicon mould. Which quite possibly they did. Likewise, with the beads, it's again the random colours that get me. Just splodges of ugliness.
list of examples )
It's the colours that really get me, I think. Some of them are so bad I wince at them. Others aren't so much ugly as Utterly Boring. I mean, really, blue hearts with black polka-dots? What were they thinking? Though if they were made in a sweatshop in India or China, they were probably thinking of their next meal. Which then makes all the blurbs about "lovingly handcrafted by skilled craftsmen" a bit over the top, doesn't it?

See... I love lampwork when it can be so pretty...
examples of lovely )
kerravonsen: Gregory House listening on earphones: "Listen" (House)
I just don't get it. All these songs that say "don't take my man" or "don't steal my woman"... I mean, do they think the object of their affections is like a piece of china with no will of their own? I mean "don't tempt my man", sure, that does make sense. Or "don't stalk my man". (Or "don't kidnap my man", but that has different connotations that don't fit this situation.)

I mean, doesn't the Man in question have any say in this? Affection isn't something that can be stolen, as if it were a piece of candy. Affection can only ever be given as a gift, by the will and choice of the person giving it.

So, yeah, fair enough to say "stop bothering my man", but if he's Your Man and he chooses to be unfaithful, that's his fault. Yes, partly the fault of the tempter, but mainly his fault. Because he could always have said "No".
kerravonsen: Reason is itself a matter of Faith (reason-faith)
Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. (Proverbs 26:4)
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. (Proverbs 26:5)
kerravonsen: Soolin with a half-smile: impress me (Soolin)
It just occurred to me that the Judgement of Solomon didn't necessarily discover which of the two women was the real mother of the child... instead, it discovered which of the two women was worthy to be the mother of the child. Which would have been the best outcome for the child anyway. Yes, it's more likely that the worthy mother was the real mother, but it is faintly possible that the real mother was suffering from, say, post-natal depression and thus behaving irrationally.

Just thinkin'.

In other news, I STILL HAVEN'T PACKED! I was so exhausted last night I was crying over songs, so I figured it would be better if I simply went to bed. So I did. Feeling better now.
kerravonsen: 11th Doctor and Amy Pond; "Peter Pan and Wendy" (peter-pan-and-wendy)
There are some things which, if you haven't looked at them in ten years, you can throw them out.
Books are not on that list.
Neither are photographs.


One
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Seven
Eight
Eight point five (War)
Nine
Ten
Ten point five (Handy)
Ten and three quarters
Eleven
Twelve
kerravonsen: Fiction/Poetry/Art: it's cheaper than therapy (cheaper-than-therapy)
Empty Vessels

It screams at us "Go out and buy"
Until our goods will reach the sky
We never even wonder why
Or where our money went;
The song of discontent.

It swears ambition is the best
And only competition's blessed
And you must rise above the rest
Spend all in your ascent;
The song of discontent.

Relaxation's always lazy
Satisfaction must be crazy
We must never take it easy
For rest is time misspent;
The song of discontent.

It looks at a half-empty glass
Says over there is greener grass
Insists our gold is only brass
And we must now lament;
The song of discontent.




(Because I am sick of feeling defensive about my lack of ambition.)
kerravonsen: Yin-Yang symbol, black and rainbow-sparkles (yin-yang)
Hierarchy of Importance (Revised)

1. If a thing is really worth doing, it's worth doing badly.
2. If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well.
3. If a thing is not worth doing, it's not worth doing well.
4. If a thing is really not worth doing, do it so badly that they won't ask you to do it again.

This could lead to someone saying, "I'm sorry, this task isn't important enough for me to do badly."

Some of My Favourite Sayings

"There is no try, there is only do - or do not." -- Yoda

"There are no shoulds." -- My Aunt Estelle

"This, too, shall pass." -- the "saying for all occasions"

"Fear is a foolish counsellor."

"You can't change other people; the only person you can change is yourself."

"Things are getting worse at a slower rate."

"Resentment is like drinking poison and hoping it will kill your enemies." (NOT said by Buddha or Nelson Mandela)

"The fear of death is the beginning of slavery."

"Everything is okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end."
kerravonsen: What is essential is invisible to the eye (essential-invisible)
I've been pondering...

If I knew that I had only one day to live...
I would ring up my closest friends and family to say goodbye.

If I knew that I had only one month to live...
I would ask my sister-in-law to organize a family reunion.

If I knew that I had only six months to live...
I would take my long-service leave and visit friends and family while I still could. Then I'd ask brother #2 to come and look after me. And I would make beautiful things, while I still could.

If I knew that I had only a year to live...
I'd probably do the same thing as for the "six months to live" scenario.




That was an unexpectedly enlightening exersize in figuring out where my true desires lie.
kerravonsen: Peri, rolling her eyes: "rolls eyes" (eyeroll)
I'd rather critique an episode for what it DID do, than whine about what it didn't do due to the fact that I wasn't in charge of making it.

(This Thought was brought to you courtesy of stumbling across complaints by fans that they didn't like Eleven's regeneration because it wasn't long and sentimental like Ten's.)
kerravonsen: stone egg on wood: "Simplicity" (simplicity)
A surprising number of my thinky thoughts get prompted by what comes up on my randomplay (which at the moment is a mix of soundtracks and instrumentals).
This time it was "If I Were A Rich Man". Just one line this time:

I wouldn't have to work hard.

Yes, he would, actually. He'd have to work hard at being rich man. Oh, it wouldn't be back-breaking labour... but rich men tend to be obsessed with being rich. It takes all their mental energy. After all, that's how they got to be rich in the first place.

And if riches are what one values most, then there is no such thing as "rich enough". It never ends. It never satisfies.
kerravonsen: Jack O'Neill: Excuse me? I think you'll find that the number of the SUBJECT determines the number of the VERB. (Jack-grammar)
Traditional superpower I'd most like to have: teleportation. Especially if I could take things/people with me.

Wacky superpower I'm most likely to be saddled with: the power to compel people to Write Correctly.

Or the power to turn things into cheese. Which I suppose would have been helpful to [livejournal.com profile] altariel in the past months, apart from the fact that we're on opposite sides of the world.
kerravonsen: Eighth Doctor screaming: "you've been cut adrift" (Doc8-cut-adrift)
Sin is like a broken promise. No matter how many promises you keep, they can't mend the broken one.
kerravonsen: stone egg on wood: "Simplicity" (simplicity)
Giving something a name doesn't mean that you understand it.

It means that you can point at it.
kerravonsen: from "The Passion", Christ's head with crown of thorns: "Love" (Christ)
"The Generous Mr. Lovewell" by MercyMe is a great album. It makes me want to write fic about The Generous Mr. Lovewell, who performs random acts of kindness and then vanishes as mysteriously as he appears, leaving people saying "Who was that man with the bowler hat and the balloon?"

Only I'm now wondering if he has an evil twin, The Dutiful Mr. Meantwell.
Read more... )
(Crossposted to Bearing Witness)
kerravonsen: What is essential is invisible to the eye (essential-invisible)
If "Virtue is its own reward", then Love is its own justification.
kerravonsen: Gregory House listening on earphones: "Listen" (listen)
I was just listening to The Best of Nik Kershaw(*) while doing a bit of sorting in the lounge, and "Shame On You" came up in the shuffle. Not a song I'd been aware of when it came out, but as it's on the album, well, I've listened to it a few times now.

The verses are a catalogue of all the heroic deeds that the singer would do for his girl to show his love for her. Awwww, isn't that nice? When you get to the chorus, you realize that the answer is "no".

Shame on you, shame on you
Oh what does a boy have to do for you?
Shame on you, shame on you
Oh what does a boy have to do?


I know we're all supposed to be feeling sympathetic for the guy in this case, but if my boyfriend ever said that to me, he'd pretty soon be my ex-boyfriend.

Male privilege in action. Or maybe just assholeness in action. He thinks he loves her, but he doesn't; he just wants her. Wanting her, he thinks he deserves her, because of his (potential) heroism. She is an object to be won, and it's her fault if she's not behaving like a good little trophy. He'll do anything for her... except listen to her.

What's even worse - and this is why I think "male privilege" - is that the author of the song has no clue of the subtext, of how offensive it is.

---------------

(*) [livejournal.com profile] reynardo is entirely to blame for this.

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Kathryn A.

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