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sherab (1680)

sherab
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Journal of sherab (1680)

Tuesday February 05, 2002
08:17 PM

Passing memory, ego and apologies

[ #2672 ]
The day of my birth, the first time I got laid, high school graduation and breakfast this morning: all events that now are no more real than the other.

Passing memory is such a nice thing to be aware of. There are many things that "separate man from the animals". Popularly they include, opposable thumbs, eating with utensils and the fact that we are aware of the possibility of our own extinction.

I'd like to add to that list the fact that we do not have to act impulsively (sic?) on how we feel.

I oh so so wanted to call her a bitch this morning. She wanted her listserv up and going. She had asked for a week and I had been too busy this, the time of year, when the president submits his budget to congress, when I am overwhelmed with work. She sent the emails dripping with frustration.

I just kept thinking how nice it would be to just say "Goddamn it lady I am so fucking busy with this. Given the choice of pissing off you or a 2 star, who do you think would lose?".

I couldn't.

And I didn't.

To deny that I felt this way would not have been human. It would be to deny my humanity. I was pissed and it's a good thing that we are separate from the animals in the impulse category because she would have been so sorry. Then I thought about it. Who's the client here? Not me.

I accepted the fact that I got extraordinarily pissed but that's just it. ** I ** got pissed. Once I accepted that I was pretty ok with it. Apologizing for the delay wasn't something that was a bad thing to me. What was I protecting? My ego? That would make no sense, ego doesn't exist, at least not as something real. In order for something to be real it has to have characteristics. My heart is a bloody pumping mass. I believe that if I could cut my head open and show you my brain (it's small but you'd find it), you would see that it's grey (or gray, I can never get the spelling right). But ego? Totally fabricated.

I have never thought affirmations to be a very good thing. It always seems like that affirmations are just your way of screaming to yourself that you are ok when your little voice tells you that you aren't. I found that just accepting that I am pissed at the client was very liberating. I also accept that I am not a very good Perl developer. It's very binary. It's on, it's off. When you juggle, the balls are in the air or they aren't.

Here's an affirmation exercise as it relates to me and Perl
"I am a good developer"
"I am a good developer"
"I am a good developer"
"I am a good developer"
"I am a good developer"
"I am a good developer"
"I am a good developer"

Am I now a good developer?
No, of course not.

Should I accept that I am not a good developer? Sure! Because once I am past that I can actually get to working on what I need to work on and that is becoming a good developer. I remember presenting a piece of code to my local pm meeting. I got ripped to shreds and I am SO thankful for it. THANK YOU DC.PM! I walked away with a greater understanding of hashes and just today, hashes of hashes. I am NOW, today anyway a better developer than I was. Good like Nat Torkington? Pfffft.. please. He is at the quantum physics level while I am at the level of giddy joy at discovering that mixing vinegar and baking soda has a neat effect.

Even now after meditating on it for a little bit, I am not pissed at my client. She was legitimately pissed and if I were her I would be too. I thank her too for showing me that she was pissed because maybe if I can't be a good developer I can be a good contractor and get over myself and apologize. If I'm super lucky I might even realize that it's not bad admitting failure. It's all passing memory now and I do feel happy that I learned something from it before retiring it to the psychic scrapheap.

Or maybe not considering that this journal is gonna be around a while........
-------------------------------------------------------

Convince yourself that everything's all right, cuz it already is............Pete Yorn
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  • There are many things that "separate man from the animals" [...like] the fact that we do not have to act impulsively on how we feel.

    How do you know that animals have no impulses that they don't act on?

    • How do you know that animals have no impulses that they don't act on?

      I don't know the answer to this. Nor do you. - especially since there are NO absolutes. Most evidence doesn't seem to support that they don't act on it. There is the idea that if animals are to advance beyond who they are they must demonstrate some sort of loving kindness to others so they would have to have some impulses not to act on.

      So even though you or I do not KNOW the answer to this, you ARE very right about your point.
      Very g
      • I do know that animals have impulses they don't act on, because I see it every day in my animals. They think about what they can and can't get away with when I'm around, for example. Two of my dogs don't like it when the youngest dog comes over and sits on them; one of them growls; the other wants to growl, but knows he's not supposed to, so he doesn't.

        I also see animals demonstrate "loving kindness" to others all the time (to me, to other animals, etc.). When one of my dogs is feeling poorly, the othe
        • Also, Nat Torkington doesn't actually develop code, he just runs conferences and such. ;-)

          Really? Nat doesn't develop code?
          Why is his name on the Perl Cookbook?
          I'll be darned..
        • Yep, animals can and do choose to suppress their impulses. Our dog only steals the cat's food when we're not in sight; I'm sure his impulse is to take it when we're there too.

          "What separates man from the animals" may be an impossible-to-define concept like Artificial Intelligence. Every time you come up with a definition, someone can come up with counter-examples; nonetheless you are sure that the phrase you are trying to define really is meaningful in some way.

          Even though Nate is Perl 6 project manag
          • Yep, animals can and do choose to suppress their impulses. Our dog only steals the cat's food when we're not in sight; I'm sure his impulse is to take it when we're there too.
            But is that a suppression of impulse or a suppression of action on an impulse?

            "What separates man from the animals" may be an impossible-to-define concept like Artificial Intelligence. Every time you come up with a definition, someone can come up with counter-examples; nonetheless you are sure that the phrase you are trying to def
            • But is that a suppression of impulse or a suppression of action on an impulse?

              The latter. For both you and Lucky, the impulse was there but the consequent action suggested by the impulse was not taken.

              (The name Lucky comes from Lucky Toby Alive, i.e. lucky to be alive - he was slated for destruction when he broke his foreleg as a puppy at the pet store. My wife's family paid for the surgery that the pet store wouldn't have done.)
            • One of the more interesting notions I'd seen was a gentleman who was developing parasitic artificial life forms. Things that would feed off technologically mundane objects such as lampposts and what-have-you; he had four or five designs for lamppost-bugs. I can't remember the link; I know he was linked by the folks who were informally building enormous destructive robots years before Battlebots.
              --

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              You are what you think.