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You may need to fire your therapist.

This is a excellent post with some great comments, about how therapists aren't wizards and might even be shitty at their jobs. You have to assume that there will be some people who are just bad at it, just as with literally any other profession. There will also be therapists who just aren't good for you or can't help you, because their technique or modality doesn't work, or even because their personal beliefs will get in the way. People seem unwilling to fire their doctors or shrinks. It's silly and unfortunate, and I think it's because somehow we're trained to see them as authoritative and the last word. They're not. Everyone we hire works for us, and if they don't cut it, or they're not actually helping us, there is no reason to feel anything negative about replacing them.


When I was on the iPod team, I wanted us to make a die rolling app or a Magic 8-Ball app for it to go along with Breakout, but even when I moved to the apps group, they wouldn't let me make it. You would have used the click wheel to "spin" the die or 8-Ball or whatever. I still think a die rolling app would be great. I looked on Google Play, and they have some, but none of them do quite what I want; and what I want to do is something I've wanted for my own device/smartphone anyway.

It's really just a dolled-up random number generator. When you launch the app, the default is to display the first of a set of pictures in the first folder of the "Roll!" folder. You shake the phone a little bit (as if you're shaking a container of dice), and put the phone down or just stop shaking. This shaking affects the accelerometer in the device. It uses the output from the accelerometer to seed the random number generator - which actually would make it really random, not pseudo-random as usual with computer generated numbers. Anyway, the result is used to select one image at random and display it.

For extra features:
Be able to install your own folders with your own images, so you can pick what you'd like to "roll" for.
Be able to configure how many of the images are selected.
Be able to buy/install image sets from Play Store to use with the game.

Future versions:
Support sound effects
Support animations
Use the vibration motor

As a result, you could use this app to play or help play all kinds of games:
Yahtzee, D&D, Tarot, rune casting, 8-Ball, flip coins, make decisions (especially if your name is Harvey Dent), spin the bottle, pick stocks. . .
This article is exactly the thing I was talking about in my previous post.

I read that and thought, "No. I'm not." She'd probably just argue that I'm In Denial about it, and my denial of it all is proof positive. This whole article is all "you" this and "you" that, projecting her personal problems and her personal life lessons and her personal worldview onto everyone else. Hey Anne Lamont, it worked for you . . . but then again, maybe it didn't, and maybe you're just in denial. Some or all of this list might work for other people. It might not. It might not even be important to them, these things you "know."


One of my big epiphanies about people was how often people generalize their own epiphanies to everyone. Some think their epiphany is so important (because it is so to them) that they write books about it. My epiphany is, everyone is the same, while everyone is also different. Sure, we all have homo sapiens sapiens DNA, but you can't apply your life lessons to everyone else. You may very well have correctly realized that the main thing that makes you miserable in your life is . . . drum roll, please! OMG FEAR OF ABANDONMENT!!! Hey everybody! We have to deal with our fear of abandonment! Yay, I've just solved all our problems!

Hey, if you can get other people with the same fear to read your book, or your LiveJournal post**, or your Facebook post, or click the link on Twitter to your post, and they recognize that same fear in themselves, and they actually do something about it, and are successful - noting that this set of people gets smaller and smaller with each qualification - then you've helped those people help themselves, but it's definitely not everybody.

One of my former coworkers decided to try barefoot running, and completed a marathon barefoot. After one single year of doing this, he decided that everybody could run long distances, if only they ran barefoot, and that he was the one to preach it and tell them how. So he wrote a book and went around the office telling everyone, and sent out an e-mail link to the Amazon Kindle version, which he'd self-published. I guess it didn't occur to him that he's also a short, stocky muscular guy with big wide feet, who has pretty much always been athletic, so he's practically made for distance running. And I guess you're an expert in barefoot running after only a year, wow.

This is not to say people shouldn't share their epiphanies. I just wish people would be a little less egotistical about it. On the other hand, that probably wouldn't sell books or get Google Ad views. "Maybe You're Just Afraid of Abandonment?" might not attract readers as well as "AFRAID OF ABANDONMENT: How Everyone Should Just Quit Being!"

** meta-irony alert


I do not care that you do not care about anybody's baby, so why should I read your huge essay about it, if you're supposedly so apathetic?

Hypocrisy FTW

A fanfic writer on LJ is rageposting about how someone on Goodreads made a profile so that they could comment about her fanfic. Her derivative works, of course, weren't done with any of the original authors permission, by her own admission, however in the couple of rageposts she's all "mine mine mine" about her writing, in the sense of announcing that nobody has the right to write about her public fanfic posts on LJ, or post links to it, and they certainly aren't allowed to write derivative works of her publicly posted fanfic.

"I'm no lawyer, I have very little knowledge of copyrights laws and intellectual property, but the person, or group of person, who's having fun posting profiles, personnal infos and stories on a website without our knowledge shouldn't be allowed to do it any longer."



ohnotheydidnt just posted this about Marion Zimmer Bradley. I'm not exactly a fan of her writing (in fact I'm shocked my eyes weren't sore from all the rolling after reading Mists of Avalon), but she helped start the SCA, was a major neo-pagan, was longtime friend of the members of local Bay Area band Avalon Rising/Broceliande (who performs occasionally at PEERS events).

I had absolutely no idea about her ex-husband doing jail time for pederasty, her knowing about it the entire time, his being a vocal proponent of "Greek love" to the point of writing a book about it, nor about her daughter's accusations about her and ongoing conversation in the Talk section of MZB's Wikipedia entry.

You're always missing out.

Some people avoid certain types of commitment and I notice they often use terms like "tempus fugit," "carpe diem," "you only live once," "life is short," or they say they don't want to "miss out" on one thing or another, or one person or another. It's always about the new thing, the strange, the variety, avoiding boredom.

A couple of things about that, first, my short stint as a student of Zen taught me that if you're bored, it's because you're not paying attention. If you are truly, really living in the moment, there are an uncountable number of things going on that you could be paying attention to. Things you didn't notice, things you overlooked, things you might learn from, things that are important. There is nothing more important in your life than right now, literally, right now, because it's all you've got.

That's not to say we shouldn't plan for the future or remember and learn from the past. The past is what brought us to right now, and our choices right now help determine our future.

The second thing is, everything is a tradeoff. Everything. It's just a law of nature - the second law of thermodynamics. If one foregoes a commitment with someone they care about, because they just don't want to be tied down, they're missing out on what that commitment feels like. They're missing out on any benefit or pleasure, and yes, pain and detriment, that it may bring. Instead, they have picked the complementary pains and pleasures of a different sort of life. I think a lot of people who make these kinds of choices aren't really thinking about it in these terms. Do people really understand what they're giving up when they make one choice over another? I think they aren't really thinking about it at all. I think most people make these choices before they're even aware, and they come up with the reasons after the fact.

I'm also thinking that even if they were made aware of all this, it wouldn't change anything. But the fact remains, no matter what choice you make, you're always missing out on something.

Have some guts.

I was watching "The Americans" again today.

One of the characters, who's just slept with her married American FBI handler, promises that she is not going to hurt him, it's just this once and she won't use it against him. Then she adds, "For you Americans, everything is black and white. For us, everything is gray."

I thought, "that's precisely the problem." When everything is gray, there are no lines to cross. Everything can be inched just a little further, a little further, always rationalized a little bit more, until one day you take a good, honest look at yourself, or your organization, or whatever other purpose you thought you were serving, and you wonder how the hell you ended up here. It's not a slippery slope, it's a frog in a pot of boiling water way to lose one's integrity. I know because I've been there. I think most adults have been there to one degree or another, in one situation or another.

Everything can't be gray. We need to decide where to draw a line, to call something black or white. There is even a term for that, old enough that it's in Latin: "de facto". It means close enough that it's almost indistinguishable from the real or official thing. If you wait for 100% clarity, 100% purity of shade, you are going to make yourself and those around you very miserable, because you'll be waiting forever and you'll be doing some pretty damaging, sketchy, screwed up things in the meantime.

We all draw our lines in different places. There are some lines that practically everyone does not cross, or that practically everyone wants to cross, on the other end of the spectrum. The point is to draw it and stay on the right side, to have convictions and have the courage to stick to them.

May. 16th, 2014

I'm kinda glad there is no "like" on LJ. You either have something to say or you shut up completely.