We should probably all be vegetarian and other cognitive dissonances

I find people are strangely defensive about not being vegetarian or vegan (I’m neither). It’s almost as though accepting that we should probably eat less meat would imply that they are a bad person.

It’s logical in a sense, if you accept that we should be vegetarian, then if you’re not doing that, you’re clearly a hypocrite and just overall a bad person for not doing what is “best”.

This happens with pretty much everything. We have a way of polarizing ourselves, just to justify our decisions. That co-worker we don’t like? Well they must be a truly horrible person because if they weren’t, then we’d be an asshole for not being compassionate towards them. We do the same thing with relationships (I’m no longer with that person, therefore they clearly weren’t that great), and even with COVID (whatever your level of risk, you’ve justified it to yourself and everyone else is wrong).

While you may scoff and say that those things are silly and you don’t do those. You do, even unwittingly (skip to the part about the Monet prints, around 9 minutes in).

But what if you don’t do that? What if you sit with the cognitive dissonance?

Now you probably expect some BS about how that’s true wisdom and seeing the truth behind the world or something. But really, it’s just painful. To be reminded day in and day out that we don’t fit our vision of the ideal world. To be trapped in that self questioning, anxiety and mental anguish…. It’s hard to be judgy of people who don’t want to deal with it or are too tired to deal with it.

It’s not that bad

I feel like everytime I express something that isn’t pure bliss everyone freaks out. Which is strange because I feel like when things were really really bad in my life, I wouldn’t talk about it. Relatively speaking, things are pretty great. I have a job that pays well and is challenging. I’m not in any way going to get fired and the economy isn’t going to impact my job.

There’s like a bazillion things going right, not the least of them that I have a over-abundance of peas in the garden, so you know, things are pretty great.

But that doesn’t mean everything is all sunshine and rainbows and lollipops

Shit happens, and even if, in the scale of things, shit isn’t so bad, as humans we seem to have a bias to focus on the dangerous and negative things (probably evolutionary adaptation). So why not talk about them?

I find it’s dangerous not to talk about stuff. Even, (maybe especially) when we’re wrong about it. How else are we supposed to learn and grow? How else are we supposed to try to feed the more information out to the world to slowly arrive at a better approximation of the truths of the universe?

Anyway, thank you for everyone checking in, I really do appreciate it, and you don’t need to stop. Just understand that maybe everything isn’t hopeless bullshit 😉

First person bias

I don’t think that’s the right name for the bias I have in mind, but since googling isn’t showing me the one I’m looking for I’ll just call it the first person bias for the purposes of this post.

The problem is that we all live in our own heads and we interpret the information and everything in how it relates to us. Even when it doesn’t.

I’ve had a few posts now, some of them where I didn’t expect this and some where I did. For example, my post on personal libraries where I initially was like, shit, I think person X might think it’s about them so I reached out to them to tell them it wasn’t. Only to realize the next day that a few other people who would probably see it as me talking about them, and not you know, me talking about my own personal library.

While writing the post I was really so self involved that I didn’t really think about how others would think it’s about them. Like if I’m somehow spending my time sub-blogging(1)sub-tweeting about other folks. I’m too stuck in my own head for that.

Now there’s clearly a balance here, talking about stuff and not being aware of how others could perceive it is sub-optimal. And I think I agree that this should be something that “public” people should worry about. But it goes back to why I haven’t written in a while(2)you know apart from getting phone calls from the family asking if everything is okay and why kids have a finsta(3)fake instagram account so your parents can follow you on it(4)Note to any kids reading this, you need to have 2 finsta accounts, so you can have some plausible deniability by revealing the existence of the decoy finsta account

I wanted to end this post with a song, the one that is like “You’re so vain you think this song is about you” or something, but then, people would assume I’m calling them vain 😉

(Also, I couldn’t find the version of the song I knew… the original song is clearly not the one I thought it was)

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. sub-tweeting
2. you know apart from getting phone calls from the family asking if everything is okay
3. fake instagram account so your parents can follow you on it
4. Note to any kids reading this, you need to have 2 finsta accounts, so you can have some plausible deniability by revealing the existence of the decoy finsta account

On gaining weight

So I’ve been eating like shit since December. Now this is not super surprising in itself, I usually gain ~10lbs in the winter and then get back down. But right now I’m up 30Lbs from my last few years average. That’s basically going back more than half of what I’ve lost since 2014.

It’s in a sense embarrassing since I felt like I had this weight stuff under control. Now clearly there are extenuating circumstances, we have a pandemic, work is a shit show and my “love life” is a shit show(1)Before anyone panics, me and Nicole are very much happily married

And it’s not like I don’t know why I’ve been gaining weight, it’s not like I’m eating well and exercising regularly and just can’t figure out where it’s coming from. I’ve gone back to eating carbs as a way of escaping dealing with shit and just this morning ate 3 bowls of Honey Nut Cherrios so you know, it’s pretty clear.

It’s also not one of those, I’ve gained weight but I’m still healthy, nope, doing a lot less exercise and I feel a bunch of things I haven’t felt in a while, some knee pain and back pain for example. Funny how dragging around an extra 30lbs 24 hours a day will do that to you.

I’ve made a bet with my father, that we’ll both lose 25lbs by December and whoever doesn’t achieve it does a substantial donation to the local food bank. In retrospect it’s a bit backwards in that I’m trying to not give money to the food bank, but I do think we’ll probably end up making the donation regardless but now at least there’s a bit of accountability.

Oddly enough, during this same time I’ve helped my brother lose 40lbs, clearly I just stole 30 of those for myself….

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. Before anyone panics, me and Nicole are very much happily married

Why I haven’t been writing much

As I mentioned, I haven’t been writing much recently. The problem with the essence of a blog is that it’s allegedly an online diary. Now that works well and fine if you’re on livejournal as ZergMaster69 and no one has a fucken clue who you are. But the problem is that on a blog you’re exposed(1)that’s from 2015, but I said basically the same thing in 2017 and 2018 and 2018 again, and 2020 as well (you can hover over the footnote number to see the footnote inline). In real life you basically have a few set of archetypes you present yourself to the world with.

Take for example who reads this blog, there’s 4 general category:

  • Family(2)Mostly my aunts [Hi!]
  • Co-workers / former co-workers(3)There’s a bias here to former coworkers who worked at Automattic who potentially followed my blog vs current co-workers who mostly have no clue I have a blog
  • Friends(4)Current “real” friends
  • Random acquaintances(5)Folks from twitter, high school, university, politics

Now the problem here is that these people usually get wildly different archetypes and perception on who I am.

Let’s take my most popular post(6)Now there’s a longer story to that since I thought my parents knew, since I told my dad before we got married and asked him to tell my mom. He clearly forgot, so, you know, they learned from family members who use social media, I’m sure that was a fun time all around by far, I think part of it is folks love gossip, and that shit is ripe for gossip. I can only imagine family members(7)again, probably mostly my aunts sharing that via their chat group(8)potentially via fax machines. That post breaks the whole archetype I presented to family, (most) co-workers and (most) random acquaintances. I’m sure basically 0% of them would of guessed it.

I’ve mostly not mentioned anything related to poly since because well, again the whole archetype stuff. Unlike Facebook where I can pick and choose who sees updates(9)and I probably will do that to be honest on a blog, well, it’s all public. And let’s be honest, I don’t really want random family members to ask follow up questions on my recent heartbreak, then again, I don’t think anyone really wants to talk about heartbreak with family members no matter the circumstances….

Anyway, all that to say, fair warning you might have to endure some sappy emo shit on this blog for a bit.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. that’s from 2015, but I said basically the same thing in 2017 and 2018 and 2018 again, and 2020 as well
2. Mostly my aunts [Hi!]
3. There’s a bias here to former coworkers who worked at Automattic who potentially followed my blog vs current co-workers who mostly have no clue I have a blog
4. Current “real” friends
5. Folks from twitter, high school, university, politics
6. Now there’s a longer story to that since I thought my parents knew, since I told my dad before we got married and asked him to tell my mom. He clearly forgot, so, you know, they learned from family members who use social media, I’m sure that was a fun time all around
7. again, probably mostly my aunts
8. potentially via fax machines
9. and I probably will do that to be honest

I Love Hasan Minhaj

If there’s one person that I think is currently undervalued in the public discourse it’s Hasan Minhaj. He has so many amazing pieces and he isn’t scared to go for the tough questions with people and he isn’t scared of saying it like it is. Here’s a few of his more recent ones.

(His Netflix special is also really really good.)

On No Longer Being The Best

I’m currently working on a Django app (written in the Python programming language). It’s my first time doing any real work with Python or Django and it is painful. It’s painful because it reminds me of when I started doing WordPress work. I did everything all wrong, I was hacking core, I was doing these clusterfuckeries that would be shameful to show now.

The thing is, I got good at WordPress. To the point where I think it wouldn’t be ridiculous to say that I was one of the top hundred most knowledgeable people on WordPress performance at scale. As for Python and Django, I’m currently in the bottom few hundreds.

And yes, it will pass, I will learn and understand the patterns Django uses, start to understand the magic that goes on behind the scenes and know if the random code sample I’m reading on Stack Overflow is correct or should be burned in the fire of the sun.

But right now, it’s painful. Another part of it is I think the fact that the code is publicly viewable by everyone, something that is great in terms of transparency for the Canadian public but it’s tough to show the flaws of my work so publicly. Part of me isn’t sure if it’s my inadequacies or just that they will be public that I’m worried about.

If I’m truly concerned about the quality of the work that will help the healthcare professionals, that’s one thing. But it being because my ego doesn’t want to show how little I know about a certain topic… that’s less great.

Perhaps I’ll just listen to the wisdom of this song which I believe is a ballad about becoming at peace with one’s own limitations and understanding that growth comes at a cost of pain and feeling uncomfortable.

Anyway, that’s my interpretation of the song….

Radishes & the right environment for growth

A friend made a really good comment and observation and it highlighted that my post wasn’t as clear as it could of been.

Sometimes mediocrity happens when greatness isn’t given the conditions it needs to thrive.

AD

While I mentioned in passing of sense of reflection on why this happened and taking responsibility for it. I don’t think it was clear that just because someone is not performing as expected or is not a right fit for the organization at this current point in time it implies they are not a great person and that in a different set of circumstances they would be great.

I’ve been that person that was not at the right place at the right time, just as others have. It’s tough in the moment, but it’s better for you in the long run.

Deck

I mentioned we’ve been doing a few projects. We’ve almost finished the deck, we still need to put stain on certain parts, but it’s looking really good with the finished railing and the lighting.

Projects as a distraction

Recently I feel like I’ve been using projects as distractions. The Garden beds, the lawn, the garage, the lights, the trees, the posts, the deck. I’ll do individual posts on those because, why not, but I think it’s a bit of a response to the whole situation.

It seems so many people are looking at ways to get control over the situation. Sometimes it manifests itself as folks pretending everything is fine and they don’t need to do anything such as the protests against the stay at home orders in the US for example or folks going over the top and staying home 24/7 and using Lysol on everything that comes into the house.

It seems a natural thing for folks to want to have control over something when they don’t have it in other parts of their lives.

It makes me wonder what decisions or actions I’ve taken, not because I really wanted that outcome as much as to assert control over something. Maybe I didn’t need to eat those 4 frozen yogourt bars….