Well, well…I guess aliens use fractals for their ship designs. Allegedly taken from a landing bay in Atlantis under the Bermuda triangle by a reliable witness who got abducted and was lucky enough to have his cell with him at the time. The ETs will be pissed at their onboard security detail of chupacabras and bigfoots who missed it. Powered by a homeopathic generator that fuses hydrogen diluted to nothing in Quantum™ vacuum for maximum output… 😉
This blog has existed since late 2008, and this posting break the latest since December of 2010. The rate of traffic on the site has varied over the years, currently at around a few dozen page-views a day, on a normal posting schedule of about one per every other day.
A fair amount, I would say.
The peak traffic for this site was in 2010, at over 40,000 additional page-views for the entire year, upwards of 100+ page-views each day. I could probably continue that if I felt inclined, but I don’t.
From late 2008 to late 2010, I was involved heavily in publishing to the point of near exhaustion and neglect of my well-being.
This, of course, was a mistake. Hence, my first blogging hiatus, after posting nearly constantly for almost two years, was undertaken, inspired by that of my late friend and former fellow blogger, the pseudonymous Skeptic Cat, whose online handle was to be quickly abandoned, his blog deleted, about a year after we met via our mutual blogging hobby.
I found that to maintain my balance and to take on new projects, I could no longer post on the site at the level I did at the start. That results in periodic blogcations.
So, what do I do with days and often weeks of time not blogging?
I’m engaged in lifelong learning, and as many of you know, a small part of that involves the study of three languages of the Indian subcontinent: Bengali; Tamil; Hindi. And mellifluous tongues they are indeed.
There are other subjects of interest; math; symbolic logic; developing better study skills; critical thinking; public speaking; conversational skills; medical myths, lies, and half-truths; learning how to think like a scientist, or perhaps like Sherlock Holmes, take your pick; physical training for health and endurance in my older years — after all, I’m in my fifties and not getting any younger.
I’m rediscovering my old hobby of drawing in another series of lessons I’m taking. There are my fractals. There is occasional practice playing virtual instruments via GarageBand.
I’m still pretty bad at that last, by the way.
I’m working on developing my writing career. Each day, I write at least one page of…stuff, about 500 words of stuff, three pages of it if I can, on absolutely anything. Even if it never gets published or posted on this or other blogs. Much if it goes into a private journal, some of it here and elsewhere online. I’ve published my first book so far, and I’m currently putting the second on hold while I deal with organizing and studying from lecture notes and assignments taken from my course collection.
I’m developing my fictional universes; plot elements; historical timelines; alien species; languages, however alien or arcane; protagonists; villains; alien gods and eldritch horrors from Outside.
Only this last week I had a bunch of really cool ideas on better using such plot elements as time travel, interstellar travel, and journeys to other regions of the multiverse in one of my settings. More on that once I develop the concepts further.
It should be evident there’s no possibility of doing all this on top of life events, maintaining my treatment plan, and just doing what needs to be done day by day. There are other things I’m engaged in as well, including ongoing personal research on logical fallacies and cognitive biases.
It’s obvious from the above that I’ve a tendency to give myself too much to do, too many projects to embark on. I’ve grown too many heads on my hydra, as it were, too many tentacles on my kraken. Maybe. I’ll grant that possibility. There’s no way to finish all of these in the short-term, and in fact, no ending of it all short of my death.
But that’s the point.
When I first began blogging on my now-defunct WordPress site Troythulu’s Log on January 15, 2008, there was little in terms of off-time activities, little to do beyond routine necessities, and blogging was a good way to channel my energies into something different, challenging, and maybe even useful.
The gaming shop that I’d been visiting for decades had closed its doors earlier that same year, giving me a lot of time at home alone when not at my old volunteer work job or out with friends, and I was still recovering from my injury from 2007.
Blogging was new, and fun, and it still is, and I met a lot of interesting people, then and now. Skeptical blogging, or as I put it, skeptophrenic blogging, was a useful, and at the time, the only other way beside gaming to channel my energies into something that I enjoyed.
Now, I’ve so much else to help me stay busy, to keep striving for…what?
Does it really matter what?
I fail to see good reason to reject or dismiss the value of striving. Striving is something we humans do. We’ve been striving since before we were human, even in striving for purpose, for meaning. Striving is just what explorers do, to cross that next mountain, to ford that next river.
I’m as much for living in the present moment as any meditation advocate, and I’m a “being” person as much as a “doing” person, so I like constantly working on things, then moving on to the next project. It gives me satisfaction, as much as mindfulness practices can at times.
It contributes to meaning. It grounds me in the present, and in the enjoyment of the moment, as I make the most effective use of the time I have in this brief, precious life in an ever-changing universe.
So who cares if it’s only transitory? Even meditative states, perhaps caught up in oneness with the universe, or something else of that sort, are only transitory.
Everything is transitory, and nothing lasts, even being ever in the present, even being in the moment.
So I prefer to spend some of my waking hours in sometimes intense activity, others in relaxation, still others in routine activities that take little exertion. There’s mindfulness practice involved as well, and walks. Long walks on sunlit days.
That’s how I roll.
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xkcd: Famous Duos
Ridicule is a powerful, and to the self-righteous and those in power, dangerous weapon. From simple humor, to satire, to outright derision, we may often cleverly direct barbs at those who make questionable claims with intent to deceive, control, or harm others; to take their votes, their money, or their health and lives.
Here, I speak only for myself with regard to others’ beliefs…
I’m happy to let most people keep to their beliefs, as long as they do likewise for me. After all, nominally, at least, there’s a guaranteed freedom of belief in my country, despite the wishes of dogmatic sectarians in religion and politics. I respect that freedom to the extent it’s respected for me.
Many take offense at ridicule, and this is understandable — few like to be laughed at rather than with. This sometimes results in threats and intimidation by the offended, but often just fallacy, mudslinging, and misrepresentation to salvage credibility in the face of looking foolish.
But in the United States, where there is nominally a Constitutional guarantee to freedom of speech and expression, there is no freedom from the consequences of what you say anywhere in that same document, especially when you say patently absurd things to pander to, defraud, or influence others unethically.
Anywhere. In. The. Constitution.
Look it up online if you care to — you won’t find it. And while you’re at it, look up the Streisand Effect as well, a common hazard when attempting to suppress criticism.
So satire, ridicule, and outright mockery are powerful tools; dangerous to the powerful, applicable to the silly and puffed-up, and apply rightly to claims made for unjust and unethical purposes.
Whatever you believe, it’s what you actually say that matters, and the aftereffects might not be what you like, but don’t whinge and cry persecution for your beliefs when called out online for saying the ridiculous or the utterly appalling.
I’m not concerned about your beliefs beyond respecting your right to have them…
…and you’ll just make things worse. 😉