marsden_online: (write)
Toward the end of last week the EQC payout for the drain replacement arrived in my mailbox. Because it was a holiday weekend (Easter) banking it was less immediate than I would have liked, but after an uncomfortable couple of days sitting on a substantially large cheque I got it deposited. Now my internet banking shows two balances, one slightly unreal total and one much smaller "available".

Once the cheque clears I will be zipping most of that money off into a less "touchable" location while I work on plans for the next round of overdue household maintenance. Meanwhile my half-asleep brain suggested to me last night that this is actually quite an apt analogy for how I often find myself feeling about life. That is I am told that I have built up all this credit of various sorts (social), but I can't actually seem to access it in the ways I want it to have immediate value to me.

Objectively I realise this is because at some level I still have internalised the idea that if you do enough of the "right things" for people, you will get back the "right things" (you want) in return.

This segues into feelings about a post which has been shared through my Facebook feed a few times in the past week. The post itself is a screen capture of a tumblr post, I've tracked down the original but the author's Tumblr is very NSFW and comes with a blanket trigger warning so I'm going to quote the whole post here as well. (Not least to have a permacopy, but also because screen-caps are not non-sighted-user friendly.)
What I mean when I say “toxic monogamy culture”
- the normalization of jealousy as an indicator of love
- the idea that a sufficiently intense love is enough to overcome any practical incompatibilities
- the idea that you should meet your partner’s every need, and if you don’t, you’re either inadequate or they’re too needy
- the idea that a sufficiently intense love should cause you to cease to be attracted to anyone else
- the idea that commitment is synonymous with exclusivity
- the idea that marriage and children are the only valid teleological justifications for being committed to a relationship
- the idea that your insecurities are always your partner’s responsibility to tip-toe around and never your responsibility to work on
- the idea that your value to a partner is directly proportional to the amount of time and energy they spend on you, and it is in zero-sum competition with everything else they value in life
- the idea that being of value to a partner should always make up a large chunk of how you value yourself

Now we know that I emotionally even when not philosophically bought into some of these quite strongly during my younger years. It's probable that some of them still lurk below the surface waiting to strike when (if) the opportunity arises, as I have come to a better rational understanding secondhand through observation and "book learning" rather than through actual personal experience.

Actually reading through the list properly for the first time though it was the last one that struck me hard. Being of value to others does make up an overwhelmingly large part of how I value and define myself. I mean once you get past survival, once you get past living comfortably, what else is there?

For lack of a specific partner I have channeled my energy and devotion into an array of causes and people / non-romantic interactions/relationships over the years, but all the time craving that singular connection in return.

Not I should probably say as a singular recipient of all my attention, I care for others far too easily for that, but more as an anchor or a touchstone or a companion to share the journey with such that when it feels I am lost and storm-tossed on the seas of life, throwing cargo overboard for nowt but the space filling up with water I can reach to one side and be certain that someone is close there to me, and the world will well again.

That might seem like a terrible load to ask, it might seem as if I am expecting someone to "meet [my] every need", but in truth it's a fairly narrow subset of my needs, just potentially intense. I am lucky, oh I know how lucky I am, to have many committed friends now whom provide support in various ways, some who have gone out of their way to provide more than I ever asked and more importantly work on opening me up so I could accept and lean on that support for a while.

But even the most determined of my friends has not made a connection that feels like we are actually sharing each others lives to any great degree. It is more that our lives touch from time to time, like the courses of ships travelling the same way for a little while but not bound for the same port. That their course may change without notice or that they could pass beyond reach at any moment due to a swell or a storm.

What else is there? Some people do fixate on a measure or measures representing material worth, striving to make the numbers ever greater. I don't know that they are actually valuing themselves. Some people spend their lives chasing the thrill of new experiences, I don't know how they value themselves. Some people seem to feel that just existing is value enough, they are welcome to that but at a fundamental level I don't understand how knowing that adding value is how the society they enjoy living in came to exist, they feel no responsibility to maintain it or drive to add more.

How does one have value to oneself? One is. Value only comes into existence when one interacts.

Perhaps I am off on the wrong track. Perhaps first I should be looking closer at another word I used without really thinking above. Perhaps value follows from how we define ourselves, but how even do we do that?

It's a post for another day now, but I do very strongly define the person I want to be because there is another person I know I am capable of being or even am by default, and that I have made the decision is not the person I value myself as.

Far too many people are perhaps still too busy just trying to survive to really think about valuing themselves. It take less energy to believe what others say about your value, to let others decide your value :( Another link I have already shared today: Addicts or not, workers don’t deserve public shaming.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
is being in a position to see and act on opportunities* to make other people a little happier. I feel very lucky to be able to do this so often.

* Tangential thoughts
- if you are not in a position to act on it is it really an opportunity?
- at what point does the "opportunity cost" become so high that you really cannot call something an opportunity?
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
Triggered by
Shall remain anon:
These were not cheap old cell phones, next time I see a beggar at Riccarton I will check to see if he needs money for food or to top his cell phone up, after all he may what to call his stock broker

So what if they were not cheap or old? If the individual has managed to save up enough to by a good cell phone which will possibly last several years instead of a cheap one or hand-me-down which may crap out in a few months why not? Compared to an example alternative of "burning" that money for a few nights accommodation in a hostel or continuing to save for a flat bond when you have no guarantee of being able to maintain rent - or even being accepted for a flat being that you are an "undesirable"with no references competing in a crowded market - spending on something with immediate and lasting utility seems a perfectly rational decision and a clear sign that they are not likely to "waste any money you give them on booze and drugs".

What really irks me about your post though is it smacks not just of "poor people shouldn't be able to afford nice things" but of "poor people shouldn't be *allowed* to have nice things". If they're spending their days begging it's a given that their life is not particularly pleasant to begin with; they have managed to acquire /one nice thing/ in that otherwise shit life and *you* want to /take that away from them/ again?

- the thread is still going; not real conversations (and no flames) and a balance of new people stopping in to either report their own giving (positive) or digitally spit on those who have no presence there to defend themselves (negative)
marsden_online: (write)
Posting here first ...

Some people also seem to think that
- because something can be called a "basic" service; i.e. ubiquitous, fundamental, necessary but probably with a low skill requirement / barrier to entry
- that this adjective also means it is a service which should be paid poorly; in the same way as one might pay little for a "basic" foodstuff or "basic" clothing.

Whereas if people had the freedom/resources to choose not to do this often also boring, strenuous, unpleasant or downright hazardous work because it is the only option/better of a very bad bunch available, these very "basic" jobs are ones which would command a significantly higher price.

Related, this link I have had sitting in my folder for some time:
The Most Basic Freedom Is Freedom to Quit (via The Chief Happiness Officer)
Freedom to quit distinguishes employment from slavery

The same principle also applies in the workplace. If you can’t quit your job because you are owned by or legally bound to your employer, or because economic necessity prevents you from quitting, then your employer can brutalize and exploit you and get away with it. If you can walk away, then your employer must treat you well if he or she wants to retain your services. The legal and economic capacity to quit is the force that tends to equalize the relationship between employer and employee. There is no mystery here.

(emphasis mine)
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
It's not such a big step to say "we as a society value the contribution you could make /and/ we are going to make it possible for you to make better use of your time by making sure everyone has enough of the plenty we produce to live a comfortable, if simple life while they do that."

- me, still engaging
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
I find it interesting that people so quickly respond to the situation where a perfectly rational person finds they can earn more by devoting their energy to begging than "working" by insisting that begging should be made more difficult not that finding better paying work should be made easier.

- me engaging in the comments of a poll on whether people give to those they encounter begging
marsden_online: (Cat Yarn)
“It is the right thing, so my [tribe] does it.”


“My [tribe] does it, so it is the right thing.”

It must be subtle because so many people seem to claim the one when they mean the other.
marsden_online: RPG log icon for this character (Kiera)
Paraphrased from [profile] jomas_45 on Xmas night
Sometimes it is only when you are among people who accept you for who you are that you are forced to figure out who that is, and which bits you want to keep.
marsden_online: (write)
In which I have a rare moment of disagreement with one of Seth Godin's motivational thoughts
quoted in full
The next time you feel lonely, disconnected or unappreciated, consider that unlike many other maladies, this one hits everyone. And unlike other challenges, this one is easily overcome by realizing that you can cure the problem by connecting, appreciating and leading.
The minute we realize that the person sitting next to us needs us (and our tribe, our forward motion and the value we create), we're able to extinguish their aloneness as well as ours.
When you shine a light, both of you can see better.

This does not gel with my experience in any particular. In my experience the connecting and appreciating all to often goes one way, with no apparent thought of reciprocation. In my experience those who will gladly follow a leader in one common cause will not necessarily
- step up and push when the leader falters and needs support even in that common cause,
- transfer that loyalty to another cause promoted by the same leader,
- form the bond which leads them to support said leader in other circumstances.

I can see that having followers no-matter what the circumstances might be energising for an extrovert. As an introvert... (Click for bigger version because iframe doesn't play nice)

... when I "feel lonely, disconnected or unappreciated" I don't want to have to spend the energy to bring someone to me. Especially if (I think there is the faintest chance) they might not want to be there. And I certainly don't want to have to expend energy on entertaining once they are here.

These are the times I explicitly want someone to demonstrate I mean enough that they are prepared to pro-actively come and spend time/energy/resources to make contact with me. These are the times I want someone -else- to do the reaching out.

It's true that if you don't get involved with stuff you'll never make the connections which may lead to friends who are willing to do this. And it's true that taking on leadership lifts your visibility and value (for certain values of value - heh) to some people as well as developing a whole lot of useful skills. But it's not by any means certain that you will make those friends. And for an introvert or at least for me and I'm sure I'm not alone in this ... "connecting, appreciating and leading" is not "easy" it is hard work and it is certainly not the "cure" to loneliness.
marsden_online: (globe)
Found on the interwebs today
Richard James
Having all of your retirement savings in cash is a time-proven formula for turning $1 saved today into 50c of future spending. Retirement savings should focus on the opposite - turning 50 cents of savings today into a $1 of future spending.

Karl Du Fresne
Summary: if a government is to redistribute wealth it also necessary to ensure that wealth can be created in the first place )
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
I really like [ profile] slothphil's later comment on my original post, so I'm highlighting it here.
My ISP doesn't pay the sites I visit on the Internet in much the same way as the bus company doesn't pay the places I visit when I go into town.

I think that's a really useful model, but not a comparison/connection many people are going to naturally make.
marsden_online: (Blueknight)
John Roughan in the Herald, after getting some insulation put in.

Two days after the Budget the installer returned to put in some final brackets and I said I guessed his business must be booming on the subsidy just announced.

Like hell, he replied. It had completely ruined his cash flow. Of the 28 orders on his books before that Thursday, all but two had cancelled.

The rest were going to wait for the Government's grant next month and most of them, he reckoned, were waiting in vain; the job they wanted would not be nearly enough to qualify.
"Eeca", as the authority is already known to my insulation man, prefers firms large enough to meet its Maori employment quota among other criteria he mentioned.

He described an industry thrown into disarray and said he would find someone to say so publicly, but hasn't. Half a dozen insulation firms contacted by the Weekend Herald last week all said they were busy. Two were planning to take on staff.

They were among the 33 approved providers of the government scheme. The authority is taking applications from others but a spokeswoman said it would be September before more may be approved.

Forget about who introduced the scheme, what we're talking about could be the law of unforseen consequences but in all likelihood is the result of someone not thinking or just not caring about all the likely consequences of introducing a new scheme. Like the person who decided a mixer had to be added to the out-pipe of hot water-cylinders to reduce the temperature without considering what this could do to the pressure at the tap/showerhead, this policy was obviously implemented without thinking about what people who were about to get insulation put in would do when they might suddenly get it a $grand cheaper by cancelling their order and waiting a month.

The scheme is a good idea, the implementation is a bit fail. Sure I wouldn't have thought of it but it's not my job to catch these things. I do kind of expect better from the experts who supposedly staff government departments.

Also from the Herald, the possibilities inherent in adding technology to the national trucking fleet.
If there's a government fee regime that's ripe for an electronic makeover, it's the collection of road user charges from the national diesel truck fleet, totalling about $800 million a year.

The article mentions that persuading the industry establishment to implement the new technology is a major stumbling block. On that note ReadWriteWeb recently had an article about why the 'smart-grid', which could lead to an internet-like burst of innovation around electrical and other utility services, isn't going to be with us any time soon. The earth2tech article which inspired that post also has a bit of a follow up here.

She draws a comparison with real time GIS location data, which telecom companies initially objected was too expensive to deliver and not really needed by consumers. When the killer app of turn-by-turn driving directions was invented, that debate was put to rest and the real time geolocation data infrastructure was born.
What's the killer app for smart utility grids? Fehrenbacher says she doesn't know and that's the point - we can't even imagine what kinds of cool and useful applications will be developed on that platform once it's available. The lack of a killer app leads to less support for the building of the platform, though, a catch-22 we can relate to from discussions of our calls to open up aggregate activity data from social networks for analysis.

Fibre to or from the farm - there's another possible example from my special interests :D

Finally, great little newspaper motto via Busytown - "If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen."
marsden_online: (BlueDragon)
Thought for... erm .. several days ago - By my own standards, I am not a perfectionist.

Neverwinter didn't happen last night. One player is in Ireland (fair excuse :D ), one let me know he had another engagement barely hours before the game, and another just didn't show.

Short-to-no-notice drop-outs make me grouchy.

Instead we dragged out the old SAGA copy of Talisman and played that for a few hours. I -almost- won, but [ profile] uaekiwi's Troll beat the last life token out of my Gladiator atop the Crown of Command.

Guido's Treasure wrapped up a short arc and now begins a Dragon hunt.

[ profile] shenya's game is starting what will hopefully be a relatively simple dungeon crawl. Starting with a dragon.

Work week was OK.

My little niece (2? 3? yrs) was airlifted to hospital yesterday afternoon with a diabetes complication "ketosis" or some such. Was thisclose to being rushed up to Starship yesterday evening,but has apparently improved.

I am sitting alone in front of the computer picking at little computer/internet related tasks like the edges of a scab and slowly going stir-crazy. The edges of sanity-threating dvds curl out from the direction of the lounge to assault my senses when I pass by. Lacking any true blobbing-out options I may have to return to Civ II.
marsden_online: (Rage)
When the shotgun approach repeatedly fails to hit anything, you might need to consider that just maybe you're firing f'ing blanks.
marsden_online: (Maniac)
Well, not a Grue, a tendriculous, but still annoying. Back down to 6th level again and having to argue for a raise/rez instead of a reincarnate.

Quoteable quote from [ profile] ankhst's birthday do:

[ profile] plato_hell (earnestly) : But everyone here is old except for me and [R.] and [me].
Everyone else in the room (who have some idea of my age): [a moment of stunned silence] ummm, I think....
Me (carefully): Lucy, at the First Party I was twice your age.

I'm considering it a compliment :D I also received another comment I found much more flattering earlier in the evening.
marsden_online: (Default)

Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy marsden.

Which movie was this quote from?

Get your own quotes:

these things are big )

Quoty meme

Aug. 28th, 2006 06:14 pm
marsden_online: (Kea)
Instructions: Go to . Pick the first five quotes that resonate with you and post them in your journal. You can reload the page as many times as you like, but don't get too choosy -- if you have a good reaction to one, run with it.

A witty saying proves nothing.
Voltaire (1694 - 1778)

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry S Truman (1884 - 1972)

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Why are our days numbered and not, say, lettered?
Woody Allen (1935 - )

Most men are within a finger's breadth of being mad.
Diogenes the Cynic (412 BC - 323 BC)
marsden_online: (Evil GM)
Guido's Treasure

and only one character out of four died. The NPC, Father Theo. The actual PCs managed to get what they came for and retreated.

We've (finally) wrapped up this arc, and the hobgoblins may have come out better off loot wise than the PCs. Anyway, mystic travel has occurred, and next week two new characters join the party before they go delving into the ruins of an old elven citadel to retieve an item of great power for thier ... current benefactors.

Broken Kingdoms
The Thursday group also completed an arc, and made it back to town although they got slightly toasted by their Patron's nemesis who showed up to do a bit of gloating. So I'm prepping for two new scenarios this week.

I leave this quote for my players to ponder... "Pregnant trolls are the most vicious monsters an adventurer will ever want to meet."
marsden_online: (Kea)
Particularly going out to [ profile] ookey

Some people are like slinkies,
They don't really have a purpose,
But they bring a smile to your face
when you push them down the stairs.


Dec. 20th, 2004 01:54 pm
marsden_online: (Default)
"D&D is kinda warped. It's the only game I've played where a castle full of iron clad soldiers is protected by the king and his bard."

-Saturn, RPGnet

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