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It's been a whole week since I posted. I used to never let a week go by without posting; I couldn't bear to. I don't know precisely what's changed, though I have some ideas . . . but enough of that.

Here are some things I've been thinking about and would like to talk about more at some point. Alif the Unseen. I finished this book and loved it. It was funny--I was reading humorous bits out to family members--had excellent characters, an exciting story, and faith was an integral, moving part of the story in a way I liked. I'll make a Goodreads review at some point, and I hope I'll say more, but that's the executive summary.

Ondine. sovay reviewed that movie here, and I was very taken by what she said. The movie was everything she said it was, and the character of Annie, the daughter who weaves a story for her father and the woman he pulls from the sea, interested me very much--her role as the storyteller. I want to say more about that at some point, too.

The uses and limitations of empathy. The movie Ex Machina (flawed, dissatisfying film, but it did spark conversation here) got me thinking about what gets said about empathy and humanity and sociopathy, etc. etc., and I realized that, to me, it's more important how people ACT than how they FEEL. There are exceptions and caveats and curlicues, and I thought I might post a whole entry on this topic, but who knows when? But yeah, that's been on my mind.

Lastly--photos. Today wakanomori and I went for a bike ride and crossed a bridge. On one side, the water ran to sky; on the other, there were water lilies:

And some extremely contemporary graffiti was inscribed on the bridge:


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2015 12:10 am (UTC)

Thank you. Went to doc 4th time over this bacterial infection. I'm ready to be better. It's taking its time and toll. It is nice to come here and find you've been adventuring. Please pass along thanks for the photos and the laugh at the last one. I think we are planning to watch Ondine at some point. Maybe we can talk more about it after I do. Hugs. Miss you.

Aug. 30th, 2015 12:42 am (UTC)
Four times is three times too many. I'm worried about you! (I'm sure you are too, and the last thing you need is the burden of another person's worry.)

The last picture made me laugh, too. Couldn't believe it.

Yeah, I'd love to talk to you about it after you see it--it's available on Netflix (that's how I saw it).
Aug. 30th, 2015 12:21 am (UTC)
what you feel cannot be separated from your acts. feeling is inner action or something that leads your acts. or how do you think?
Aug. 30th, 2015 12:55 am (UTC)
Feeling does lead to acts, for sure, but I think that feelings are a very hidden realm, known only to the person they belong to. And how feelings translate into actions seems very various: two people can claim to be feeling the same way and yet act very differently.

The thing that I was thinking about, though, was how we tend to mistrust, devalue, or fear a lack of feelings in people--it makes people monsters in our eyes. But if a person lacked feelings, but could learn to mimic feelings, and could act in emotionally responsible ways toward others--listening to them, asking questions, saying comforting things when they needed comfort--then if a person could do all these things, and did do all these things, would it matter that they weren't feeling the things that people expect go along with those actions? ... It's a very hypothetical question, but that's where my thoughts were going.
Aug. 30th, 2015 01:23 am (UTC)
I think it's actually rather odd to imagine it's appropriate to judge people's motivating impulses and in preference to their actions. How often have I said that I don't care whether people stop at stop signs out of consciousness altruism, out of fear of arrest, or out of inculcated habit. I'm just glad people mostly stop. And as well, really, How Dare Anyone? Da noiv.

Alternative thinks:

What about the assumption that thought and feeling (and action) are separate things? For me, this is simply not a correct assumption, and I really don't understand why people would think that. But it does seem to be a common notion.

I have been accused of being feelingless because I think, and I got fooled by that in the past. But it was untrue-- and how an anyone think s/he knows whether another feels or what, as you note?

I also think that, as we are very connected creatures, feeling often grows from action. That acting as-if tends to produce the reality, whether we like it or not.

And then, people so often demand that we have the same feelings they do, or think they would, or that will be convenient for them sometimes. Harrumph.

Quite disjoint query: I know "deez nuts" fro yoisthisracist and from the recent teenage presidential candidate, who sounds half-baked. Did it come to these outlets from another source that you know of?
Aug. 30th, 2015 11:32 am (UTC)
I know "deez nuts" only from very after-the-fact reporting on NPR about the election! Apparently it's slang that I'm too out of the loop to have heard of. This, from Urban Dictionary (entry dated 2003):

1) A sarcastic expression used to denote annoyance or frustration.
2) A term used when you just dont give a fuck
3) Look, my dick and balls are bigger than yours.
"Hey let me borrow your car."
"Why don't you borrow deez nuts."

Good point about thought and feeling and action not being so very separate, and also that feeling often grows from action--I like how you put it, that acting as-if tends to produce the reality. It's an encouragement and a caution simultaneously.

Aug. 30th, 2015 11:13 am (UTC)
There's a new series called Lucifer they did the pilot and are maybe filming more there was some fuss from the American Xtian lobby who do what they do. Essentially it introduces into this world Lucifer and his gang and the Good Angels and theirs. God as ever doesn't appear except the good and bad angels seem convinced he does actually exist. Thing is Lucifer is fed up of minding Hell and all the torture and punishment so he moves to Vegas and opens a nightclub. And he isn't into corrupting or buying souls. But he really understands what we truly desire. Not what we say we want like world peace an end to hunger but what really want like a pair of a slippers and a single malt. On the parable of the smug pharisee and the repentant sinner. It seems you really can't afford smugness. I don't think God really cares for either feelings or actions. He can see both fully. I may be wrong on this. But even these angels can't tell what you are thinking or feeling not until you do or say something aloud. Though they make really good guesses. There's a buddhist treatment for addiction that relies on right action. Yep there are meditation techniques such as vipassana which have some success. But also just right action. So the patient comes in to the ashram and works till they drop. No time to think or feel. CBT works on that sort of. Changing actions are very easy. A CBT cure to depression is get up get changed look presentable when you want to stay in bed get up go for walks. It's more difficult to change feelings directly but they have a knock on effect. I think it would be enough for me to fake it until you make it. I tend to go with sod your feelings if you aren't going to help. And if you help then anything you do counts. But why some people are better than others no idea. I like that Lucifer series. The Xtian devil should come across as a beauiful charming sad stranger. I think if I had done the right actions more of the time then it wouldn't matter to others what I felt what my motivation was for the world I would be a success. Baby Jesus really got annoyed with a lack of gratitude bit like my mother. But that one is easy to fake. You just say the words when someone helps you out. You send them a small gift and you thank them in the presence of others. I think it's important to keep it real to be authentic. Because I don't think any of this matters too much. Things happen over in every possible way. Actually I take all this back. No idea. I can't hold the truths I believe in. But I do think it's a really bad move to be smug as far as feelings go especially if your actions have earned you the right to a little smugness. I think it pays to show gratitude or to really push a sense of ingratitude if that's what you felt. But apart from that being authentic would be limiting if an interesting way to be for a while. I don't get any of it really. I'm going to aim for a late breakfast because usually no matter how things are they feel and look better not on an empty stomach apart from the exceptions.
Aug. 30th, 2015 11:27 am (UTC)
Your pre-breakfast thoughts are similar to a lot of what I've been thinking. I've felt the benefits of changing what I do even though I can't change how I feel, and yeah, as you and amaebi say, changing actions does change your feelings.

If a man's bleeding out in the street and someone takes the time to stanch the blood flow, get him bandaged up, and take him to a hospital, then it doesn't matter much to that person whether his rescuer cared deeply about him or did it just because they didn't want a corpse in the street. The rescuer's action was worth a lot more to the bleeding man than all the good wishes and anxious concern of those who just walked by.

It's not that I think feelings don't matter--they matter a whole lot to the person feeling them. They're the state the person exists in, like having arthritis or Crohn's disease or something. But like that, I think they're just sort of a condition. Some people seem blessed with more beneficial feelings than other people, just like some people are blessed with better health than others. It's important to them, and maybe goes a long way toward explaining what they do and don't accomplish, but I don't think having them, or not having them, is much of a sign of virtue ... but like you, I'm not sure.
Oct. 11th, 2015 12:07 pm (UTC)
I suppose it would matter. The truth always shines forth.

Sorry I answer this late. I did not look at the earlier discussions, only my inbox.
Oct. 13th, 2015 10:36 pm (UTC)
No worries--I understand and have done similar <3
Aug. 30th, 2015 12:33 am (UTC)
Oh, what lovely photos!
Aug. 30th, 2015 12:56 am (UTC)
Today was a very pretty day. Right now the katydids are singing.
Aug. 30th, 2015 01:07 am (UTC)
"Right now the katydids are singing."

Right now the angle-grinder is grinding! I posted about it on DW, but it doesn't seem to have transferred over here, and I won't moan about it twice. :) I'll go for a walk and see if I can find something as serene, green or immediate to post a photo of!
Aug. 30th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC)
I'll check DW!
Aug. 30th, 2015 02:21 am (UTC)
What do katydids sound like?
Aug. 30th, 2015 11:36 am (UTC)
They sound like maracas, to me: listen here
Aug. 30th, 2015 02:21 am (UTC)
That first shot is beautiful. I bet it's filled with birdsong and frogsong in real life.

Deez Nuts: still a better presidential candidate than Trump.
Aug. 30th, 2015 11:34 am (UTC)
Trump is going with what he knows: outrageous reality show. A broom with a face painted on it would be a better candidate, but not as outrageously entertaining, which is the problem....

It was filled with birdsong and insect shimmer. Not so much frogsong, interestingly. Maybe they were dozing.
Aug. 30th, 2015 12:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, indeed. If there was a way to make him president of Saint Helena, that would be wonderful.
Aug. 30th, 2015 04:25 am (UTC)
I like the contrast between the horizontal grain of the timber and the background reflection on the water in the last photo. It looks like it would have been a nice day for a cycle.
Aug. 30th, 2015 11:37 am (UTC)
It was bright and clear--everything cut out with very sharp scissors and placed against a blue sky.
Aug. 30th, 2015 12:51 pm (UTC)
I know what that looks like! The first day the Santa Anas begin blowing it's like that, before the withering heat. Extraordinarily clear, so you can see the mountain ranges--and how the tectonics are reshaping the region quake by quake.

I finally figured out what Donald Trump looks like (I don't know why the media has to show him constantly when his yadda is 100% content-free.) It looks like he's wearing a tribble on his head.
Aug. 30th, 2015 10:15 pm (UTC)
He'd be much more adorable if he had a tribble on his head.

No, wait. Only the tribble would be adorable.
Aug. 30th, 2015 10:22 pm (UTC)
And it would probably croak from all the gas emissions.
Aug. 30th, 2015 05:07 pm (UTC)
This thing about feelings vs actions is why I'm big on duty. I don't really care what you feel at some point, so long as you do your duty.

If you do that, at the end of the day, you can say, 'I was a responsible member of society.' And that's a comfort where sometimes--often--getting what you feel you want isn't.
Aug. 30th, 2015 10:15 pm (UTC)
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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