We make holes in teeth!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Scattered Stuff

On the train - I think it's unfair these girls have to wear skirts to school. Aren't they cold? These things are like 3 inches above the knee, not much coverage going on there. Some of the girls wear sweatpants but to me, uniforms seem a bit out of touch. I know there's a big debate on it and I'm not interested in exploring either side. But to me, telling another person how they should live their lives, especially how to dress, is always sketchy ground. I'm sure there are a million counter examples and I imagine if I were to go into a public high school I would be shocked at how many girls look like tramps there. Why not dress these kids up as mechanics with overalls? Removed the sexual innuendo entirely?

Last night I was having a beer and my daughter marched up, pointed at my glass, and announced, "BEER!". Neither of us have taught her that, she just picked it up on her own. Further, it wasn't just an identification, she announced it with authority, like Moses Malone putting the biscuit in the basket and taking the backboard down in the process.

I rode Mahlon Dickerson and Round Valley this weekend. It was the first time on the mountain bike since the Ringwood race and it was really nice. I was out of touch at Mahlon, technical was harder than it should have been. My saddle is a bit higher for racing and it makes me feel like I'm about to go OTB too often. Add in the leaves and I was a little sloppy. Yesterday at Round Valley I was much more on, cleaning several climbs I had never cleaned before. This racing thing sure helps make you stronger. 2008 should be interesting.

We go on vacation this week. Should be fun. We're going on a cruise with Terren and Cheryl and their daughter Livia. No idea what to expect with the flight, the boat, and all that. I think Julia will be fine. No clue how fun the boat itself will be or what will be available to do. Stuff. Always plenty of stuff. The kids play well together so that's cool.

After that my 2008 biking season starts. My first offseason goal is working so far, which is stopping my night eating. I think it's been 9 nights without waking up to eat. This is the second week of the 3 weeks I mentally set aside for any new process. The first week is the initialization, getting yourself into a new habit. The second is establishment, making it a habit. The third week is rebound, where the new habit has the tendency to fall off and disappear. I think after 3 weeks you can start to think of it as at least partially established, though I don't know how long it needs to go to really be considered set in stone. After 3 weeks I'll try something new. I think the next habit will be abdominal work and riding 4 days in a row with 3 days off. Though I am considering 5 days again for some of the winter months.


"Heinz Von Foerster wrote "objectivity is the delusion that you can make observations without an observer." Which is another way of saying that you can't separate reality from your experience of it. We can treat reality "as if" it exists outside of us, but that's a construction, or model, and one that breaks down at the extremes (which is why quantum mechanics is so weird). Unfortunately, we can never know what the ultimate nature of reality is, if it even exists, since we invent our personal reality based on information from our senses. There's no guarantee that the way we construct our own personal realities corresponds with anything "actual". In this light, you can see that schizophrenics who suffer from hallucination and hear voices are living in a world just as real as our own. Regarding escapism: anything at all worth doing can become an escape, that was my point. I'm sure somewhere out there is someone who sews too damn much. But I think what you're wondering is "is it bad to escape". In general, no. I mean, that's what a vacation is, an escape from routine. But if all you do is escape then that's a problem. Put another way, I don't think "be here now" means too much unless you also have "go somewhere else for a while". It's all about balance, which is different for everyone."

I don't know that I have anything to counter but I wanted to get that out there. To me it would seem a bit of a breakdown in logic to really claim anything about reality, as referenced as "reality" here. In a sense it's sort of like god in that maybe there really is an objective reality, a set of "this is how it is" that defines everything. Or maybe there isn't any "reality" and we all construct our own and that's as far as it goes. I think it's a really interesting philosophical discussion but it doesn't seem we could really pin down an answer on that, either for or against it, though admittedly it seems a lot easier to make an argument against. I'm not talking about what reality is. I'm referring to there being an objective, observer-independent reality at all. In another sense, it's almost "god dependent" in that if there is a god, maybe there is a universal answer to what shade of green a fully bloomed oak leaf really should be perceived as. Or maybe this god character would laugh at our attempts to pin down this reality, saying something like, "silly people, reality is for philosophers."

On Terren's specific statement of, "Unfortunately, we can never know what the ultimate nature of reality is, if it even exists, since we invent our personal reality based on information from our senses," I would agree that with our current physical abilities this would seem to be the case. But in a mental foray into LaLa Land I would offer that an advanced society with telepathic or more spiritual observational powers might be able to overcome this limitation. Yeah I know I've crossed over into the Science Fiction realm here but who cares? This is all discussion fodder anyway at this point.

Reality: I'm on my way to work. Cold, hard, objective fact.

On escapism I'm not sure where an escape is defined and a routine is not. Isn't any action a bit of an escape from life? Just making a piece of toast brings your center of focus from the "here and now" to thinking things like, "get the toaster...should I use butter or jelly?...and so on." I think anything we do beyond basic biological functions could be labeled an escape. Anything else is a partially random assignment as "escape" or "not escape". Eating is fundamental but if I take an hour to prep dinner, isn't that an escape from just delivering calories to my body? This line of thinking would sort of dictate that the cold hard bottom line of life is that you do nothing but observe, eat the same nutrient-dense paste for every meal, piss, shit, and sleep. But then maybe observing is an escape? I don't know, this sounds an awful lot like some Eastern religion. I've gone off on a tangent but it seems like everything we do as humans is an escape in some way, shape, or form.

Man that was a scattered blog entry.

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