Mice

Of late, I have been dealing with a mouse problem in my apartment. Every now and then I see one racing across the kitchen floor from the basement toward whatever secret portal they have carved out underneath my sink. This leaves me reluctant to enter my kitchen, supposing that the mouse is now lying in wait for my feet to appear specifically so it can race across my toes.

Last time this happened I found that I could not walk back into the kitchen without scanning floor, walls and ceiling for suspect movement. I do not actually think the mice can scale smooth walls, my mind just couldn’t cope with all the space flagged “unknown” just above my head. Every time I tried to walk back in, it’s like I could feel my skin recoiling in an effort to drag me back the other way.

I’m not sure what I was expecting. Mice rappelling from the ceiling? Possibly an enormous spider wielding a mouse?

I think this actually started near the end of August. I recall finding a bag of Skillet’s dog food with the corner chewed away – so I started storing it in a plastic bin and assumed that would be that. But now it very cold and there are trails of mouse smell leading them right back to my basement. I live in a fairly old building, so the basement “walls” are essentially stacked rocks covered with crumbling plaster. I can’t imagine this provides much of a barrier to any small creatures wishing to gain entrance.

At least it’s not fruit flies. There was a period last summer where every piece of fruit I purchased managed to rot and erupt into a cloud of fruit flies within 24 hours. While perhaps not as potentially hazardous in terms of disease as mice are, they were certainly more present. Just a constant source of aggravation hanging out at the entrance to my kitchen.

We have already had apartment maintenance here to address the problem. They gave us a bunch of traps and poison to set out, and said it would be a good idea to leave the poison out indefinitely – mice are a thing you just have to deal with in an old building due to random gaps in floorboards and whatnot. Also, they replaced our garbage disposal, which had been leaking. This provided a small drinking pond under the sink for the mice to enjoy. Leaking water is apparently just as much of a draw to mice as open food.

Given the plague-like nature of my recent woes, I would just like to put this out there: If you are a gypsy, and I have somehow offended you or a favorite son or daughter of your clan, I would like to formally apologize. I assure you that any slight to your bloodline was wholly unintentional.

Should your scrying reveal this post to you, please do hit me back and we can talk this out. It ain’t gotta be this way.

Even the son of god cannot withstand the debilitating effects of low blood sugar.

If at any time you begin to feel that the perfection of Jesus makes him difficult to identify with on a human level, you should remember that one time he had a hunger induced mood swing that was so bad he started yelling at a tree in front of his disciples.

18 Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. 19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
– Matthew 21:18-19 (King James Version)

** EDIT – relevant**
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9vTUTPmQbs

Jerry Orbach is haunting me.

Last night I had a dream that I was going about my business in some large city, and Jerry Orbach kept popping out of bushes and garbage cans to talk about proper nutrition and sleep. I can’t say for sure if it was meant to be directed at me specifically, or if he was just giving surprise lectures in general. In any case, he seemed to be everywhere, and nobody else noticed him.

At one point, I had had enough of his bullshit, so I turned and said “What the fuck do you even know about it? You can’t be that good at nutrition, you’re dead.”

Suddenly he is holding a clipboard in his hands, which he throws down at my feet. It bounces in slow motion across the sidewalk. He storms off and when I try to apologize for my insensitive remark, he flips me off without turning around.

As people start disassembling the dream-set, I remember that we were making some kind of commercial, and I was just being incredibly unprofessional.

Wonder Woman

This might be awesome if it ever got made. Or it might be the sort of movie where everything awesome is given up in the trailer. Some concepts seem like they are at their best when they are hinted at rather than realized fully, and I feel like the majority of comic book movies fall into that category.

The best part always seems to be that moment when a drawing steps onto the screen as a real person, bearing whatever updates that make them culturally relevant/historically accurate/grittier and edgier.

I do like that her uniform got updated to pseudo-spartan gear with a war skirt instead of her old corset and star-spangled panties.

I also like the moment when some fools point guns at her, and she’s all “Bitches, I fought Titans with a stick.”

We are made of parts.

A “self” or “soul” is simply the name we give to the point of attention which reflects upon our environment. It is one example of a thing that comes to exist only when things of a particular type come together as a unified whole.

We can understand this idea to an extent by looking at structures and machines. However, many people dislike the comparison to a common physical thing, because it violates the sense that there must be something else involved . . . some intangible “more” that we require when considering ourselves. I mean, certainly we understand a house is a different thing than a pile of construction materials, but I think what we’re after is the more elusive notion of home that often accompanies the physical structure.

So it seems reasonable to attempt to understand this idea by considering similarly intangible things that arise from component parts – like organizational affiliations. Or even individual relationships. Whenever multiple people with some understanding between them exist together, there arises a new sort of . . thing that is not present when you have only the component parts. It is an abstract, ethereal thing, but people acknowledge its presence nontheless. It alters perception and changes behaviour. Consider a military force. Or Anonymous. Or Microsoft. Or this:

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
– Matthew 18:20, 1769 Oxford King James Bible “Authorized Version”

Any organized group exists as an active entity only so long as there exist members of said group who perceive through the filter of that group’s motivation and act in its name. When these factors are in place, that group could be said to have agency1 – it can take an intentional action to effect change in its environment. It can also internalize feedback from its environment to alter itself – in this sense, a degree of reflexivity is also present. When those things fall away, the entity which emerged in their union is dissolved.

Similarly when the required components for consciousness fall away, so too does the capacity for experience and change on behalf of the unified entity to which we refer as a person.

The nature of what I consider “me” resides at the intersection of my biology and my experiences2. I am a composition of these things, which form a sort of lens through which my “point of attention” continues to perceive. That lens is tinted a particular shade that filters the “unnecessary” and highlights the “interesting”. It has a curvature which distorts the shape of reality into an image that makes sense to me. It provides a working view of the environment, but has inherent limitations based on material and design.

My biology and experiences working in concert determine my perception of the world and the direction my thoughts will take. I perceive and interpret. I connect concepts together. I build a model of the world in my mind. I run simulations. I understand. I use that understanding to interpret my next set of experiences.

If my accumulated experiences were somehow separated from my body – if the pattern representing my current understanding of the world could be taken as a snapshot and extracted (erased) from my mind – the entity that I am would cease to be. I would not exist in the body, which no longer contains any echo of my life. Neither would I exist in the extracted pattern3, as it lacks a substrate on which any further processing can occur.

Caution: A wild speculation appears!

Emergent consciousness is not really conducive to embracing the most commonly understood notions about life after death. However, I must concede that it doesn’t strictly rule out the idea that you might sort of . . . re-emerge into existence. If there were a new consciousness that came into being whose initial state synced with your final conscious state, it might be a bit like picking up where you left off. Just without all the memories cluttering everything up.

As I understand it, that is pretty much what happens when we sleep anyway, except our memories are still there when we wake. I imagine this is what provokes the feeling of continuity when considering your own existence, even though technically speaking you are a slightly different person because you have been re-wiring your brain all night. You are not exactly who you were the night before, but you are close enough that the brain has little trouble reconciling the two “snapshots” into one consistent image.

I think this is essentially how object permanence and categorization are possible. The brain doesn’t bother with exactness, and that gives us the ability to establish sameness between things based on a couple of key criteria, rather than needing them to match precisely.

And this is maybe why we can understand things via metaphor too?



1Is it conscious? I don’t know really, because whatever that new entity is, it isn’t the same as [my understanding of] a person, it just has analogous properties.
2Though technically speaking, I suppose you could view all of your biology as representing the experiences of your ancestors – in which case you could say that everything that you are is accumulated experience. However, you could also acknowledge that everything you experience is ultimately goverened by your biological reactions to external events. Your personality began to form on the basis of your initial impressions, which are rooted in physical reactions. In which case you are a biological byproduct.
3At least no more than I would exist as an image in a photograph, or a recording of my voice.

Blassreiter

We have started watching another anime series – Blassreiter. I think it is about people who are possessed by motorcycles.

They come to be possessed by way of infection, so it has sort of a zombie/vampire feeling to it. Also, the motorcycles might be demons. Also, it is set in Germany, so the demons proclaim themselves to be the master race.

This is about more than just mating strategy.

Psychology Today – Love’s Loopy Logic

The nugget of wisdom from this article (emphasis mine):

Seeing the world through our own warped force field is standard operating procedure. “Biased mechanisms are not design defects of the human mind, but rather design features,” says Haselton. We don’t commit them just in mating mode. They’re present in our everyday perceptions, protecting our egos and all types of relationships. We imbue the powerful and beautiful with personal and intellectual qualities that they likely don’t possess, overestimate our own abilities, and downgrade the importance of skills that elude us. We’re also paranoiacally primed to detect threats to our status, to our children—any domain in which the stakes are high. This is why women are fiercely protective of their newborns, why we agonize if the boss idly snaps at us.

All the stuff about how this applies to gaining sexual advantage is certainly interesting, but it is just an example of the overarching mechanism at work.

She probably didn’t deserve this.

So I was playing GTA V the other day, and I met this woman.

trevor05

She was not sprawled in the street when I met her. She was standing in a driveway in the hills of Vinewood, where I had been sneaking into people’s yards to swim in their pools and set bombs.

She was chatting with a neighbor about the inane sort of things you might imagine wealthy people chat about while loitering in their driveways. Outrage over trivial offenses – passionately discussed in hushed, indignant tones. The faux reluctance to speak ill of others overwhelmed by the need for attention and validation. The sort of bonding ritual that occurs when people having nothing of any significance to say feel the urge to have a conversation.

I was supposed to be looking for a place to stash a getaway car, but decided I could spare a few moments to indulge in a game of “stand real close”.

A few minutes under the silent, unwavering gaze of a meth addict is enough to kill the conversation, and the two retreat to their respective mansions. I likewise return to my own business.

———-

Emerging from a pool, sticky bomb in hand, I am suddenly confronted with white suit lady again – now standing at her fence arms folded, gazing down over the city. She catches sight of me crouched in the stealth position one foot away from her, and turns to run.

This naturally triggers Trevor’s chase reflex, so I pursue.

Just as I activate hatevision, I see her leap over the fence, tumble to the bottom of the incline and come up into a full sprint. Watching her weave through traffic, I think – Holy shit. This bitch is on meth.

Being curious as to how far from her spawn point she’ll go, I hop the fence and take off after her. She is unreasonably fast, so I hurl myself down multiple hills to close the distance. I catch up and become fixated with trying to herd the pathing algorithm closer to downtown.

After a protracted foot chase, I see her cut across the street in the far distance, only to have her legs swept out from under her by the hood of a car.

Just walking away from the scene felt very anti-climactic, so I decided to take a few mementos of our brief time together.

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trevor01

trevor02

trevor03

She will never be subjected to bad customer service again. She is free now.

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