Sunday, July 26, 2009

Understanding Obama is understanding America

You can always see how people are much more liberal on policy than what gets enacted.

One of my bigger realizations in life was the idea that leaders are generally average representatives of their constituents. People excuse corruption, immorality, and stupidity in their leaders because they feel they would do about the same job while in office. There is no point in trying to get someone better if you don't feel that that person exists.

Republicans like Sarah Palin pretty accurately reflect their voters.

Thus the liberal policy beliefs are beliefs in the best possible plan being enacted. However people don't believe that will happen. They believe that an about average policy will be enacted.

My view is that the mob almost always drives the leader. Read shooting an elephant by George Orwell for a summation of that.

Once you reject the idea of a noble oppressed populace repeatedly electing people who lie and oppress them you gain a greater understanding of the world and in this case Obama.

Now that is an argument that basically people elected the leader that they wanted. Any lying,pursuit of individual power,selfishness, etc are about what people expect of their leaders and they would not trust anyone who didn't show these traits.

Now Paul frequently makes the argument that Republicans are crazy. I think though he doesn't really understand why they are crazy.

The answer to that is rather simple. They are crazy because they were abused as children. When a conservative looks out on the world they see potential abusers. When a liberal looks out on the world they see potential helpers. Because they were helped as children.

Now the rather unusual nature of Obama is that he gets that. In his grandmother he both saw the person who raised him and helped him so much and also someone who was afraid of black men. He saw people as both potential abusers and helpers.

Now what does all of this say about Obama? It says that his primary goal has always been about spiritual healing rather than physical healing. He doesn't want to fight the oppressors. He wants to heal them.

If you look at things from a strictly policy perspective you will never understand Obama because his primary goal has never been a policy goal. It has been exactly what he was saying all along. He wants to bring people together.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I tend to be a quiet person

I made a comment over at that made me understand some of my issues.

I think the part of most people's brains that deal with rules and norms of society for me is devoted to abstract thought.

I made a post that I thought was fairly innocent and it did not turn out to provide what I expected.

I simply don't have the emotional triggers that most people have. I don't get disgusted easily (it has to have smells or deal with eyes for the most part). I identify with this study As a child that caused me a lot of issues because I had a harder time judging what other people would be disgusted by.

That's probably why I have such trouble with that blog. It makes an extra effort to be sensitive to all the things that I have trouble with.

But I also have trouble in fairly normal spaces. The office, or even places that don't take offense easily. That causes me to be really fearful of talking or interacting with other people. Likewise I have an extreme amount of trouble controlling my emotions and that also makes people feel uncomfortable.

I don't easily understand what is extremely offensive or what is not very offensive to most people.

Though I do have some emotional triggers. If someone implies that I am a man I have a similar reaction.

My wife I felt instantly comfortable around which is the exact opposite of how I feel around most people. Not because she is like me because she isn't. But she does appreciate my sense of humor.

Hopefully in the future this realization will make it easier for me to logically think in those situations where I tend to be overcome with fear. Then I can focus on being more bland an inoffensive and not being so fearful of bland conversations.

Edit: update Interestingly enough the next link I looked at on that site was which was about a similar issue. Which points to the fact that you have to make things bland enough for the entire community.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The different factions of the democratic party

I don't think its a matter of the more liberal democrats seeing obama as a conservative though.

Its mainly a matter of priorities. EFCA is something Obama supports, but it isn't his priority. So those democrats that have EFCA as first priority are going to be unhappy with Obama.

Much like how the Republican party used to have the libertarians vs the social conservative the democrats have the unionists vs the professionals.

The unionists already have good healthcare. And they don't see themselves as fitting into the culture of the new energy companies so Obama's main priorities are a wash for them. And Obama's transformational style doesn't really benefit them either.

Obama won because he united the minorities of the democratic party with the professionals. Obama both fits with some of the culture of minorities and some of the culture of the professionals. But he only supports the priorities of the unionists. He doesn't go out of his way to promote them.

So its perfectly reasonable for the unionists to be unhappy with Obama's priorities.

And that's not going to change. I think in the end they will be happy enough with how things turn out, but they will never be happy with Obama.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Response about fixing our view of ourselves


I don’t know if it’s possible to reason it away.

It is possible to make it go away.

In my own case my hangups disappeared because my wife always saw me as a woman and I began to see myself how she saw me.

She never knew me before I transitioned and I think that was the most important thing.

The main thing that I learned from that is that how people see gender is incredibly sticky. Its in a part of our brain that is never designed to change.

The best way to describe it is that you see most daily things from a cache. Your eyes only see tiny pinpricks of light and the rest is reconstructed from memory. So when you see yourself you are seeing your memory of yourself.

Look up how mirror therapy can fix phantom limb pain

The same applies to gender.

Thoughts on someone who didn't go through with transition

It reminds me of how he has gone from identifying as straight to identifying as gay back to straight, and done this several times - I think that he simply doesn’t have a label that fits him

Before I went on horomones and met my current wife I went through a similar period. In my own case it was because I could not be emotionally involved with anyone who didn’t see me as female.

the money, our son, moving back into the town where his unsupportive parents are

I didn’t mention this before by the way but hormones don’t have to be expensive. Mine cost me about 20 dollars a month.

But for him it may seem like an unorganic decision, but I have to say that after having my first child I understand it a lot better. I know that if I thought I had to choose between having another child or two and being true to myself it would be a difficult decision to make.

also know that he seems to have truly thought that the hormones, the surgery, so on and so forth, were what made him trans, because they made him “pass,” and he places a great deal of value on female beauty (trust. me.).

Its easier to appreciate the value of something when you don’t have it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

post mortem on someone detransitioning

A response to this

I think it is impossible to assign a label without an action like that being more common. You may have almost nothing in common with people who did things similarly. I do know of the one guy in australia who had a similar thing happened, but he was a lot unhappier as he had already went through with SRS.

But if I had to guess it has something to do with confusing masculine and feminine and male and female. A drag queen who thinks that they are a transsexual will end up generally only with unhappiness.

I haven’t had much communication with him about since shortly before he decided to revert back to his birth gender, so I am not sure what the exact reasoning was behind it, except that the hormones were expensive, and I think he was worried about what impact this may have on our son - which was never a concern for me;

I think this is more an issue with the idea that hormones and SRS are the end all be all behind transitioning.

Being transgendered is in my opinion fundamentally a matter of your instincts not matching up with your body and way society treats you.

Among older people transitioning isn’t nearly as easy, effective, or even as useful. Because instincts change as you get older and have children.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Everything on the table in cuba

Cuba opening up

Its interesting to see cuba opening up. My guess is that the combination of the castros failing health and Obama getting elected were too much for them. They want to leave behind a legacy and Obama is the absolute perfect person for them to negotiate with.

About detransitioning

A posting on detransitioning

The RLE aspect–the idea that there are tests to pass, results to collect–may have had negative rather than positive effects. While it may help people see and process their doubts and fallacies, it may also teach them to suppress them for fear that they will be unfairly delayed. If uncertainty means that you’re not really transsexual, well, maybe you just won’t be uncertain anymore.

I think this makes a fairly good point. We recognize the usefulness of a RLE, but what we don’t recognize is whether or not the current RLE is worth anything. The RLE shouldn’t currently be a binding authority. It should inform rather than decide.

Its important to remember that the RLE is currently only a hypothesis. As far as I know there are zero medical studies stating its effectiveness.

I personally didn’t have to go through any sort of RLE. I just had to show that I wasn’t crazy and was committed for six months.

That has its own issues because you get fakes who just want to convince you not to transition, but who wont tell you that until you have given them a bit of money.

It also creates a sort of ordeal-dynamic for the natural feelings of loss and gut-liquifying terror that accompany a change of this order. They become important, but perhaps not in the right way.

To me a future where I didn’t transition was a blank emptiness. There was no such future. So I had no reason to be afraid or to feel any loss because of it aside from normal worries like fitting in. It wasn’t really “transition or death”. Its more like “transition or something unthinkable”

Even now after transition though I still occasionally wonder if I made the right choice. When I think about it I can logically think about the health and other worries and compare. However the idea of living as a man is still something my mind can’t process on an emotional level.

So for me if I had to guess at an effective “nonbinding transgender evaluation” it would be on whether you have logical reasons for transition and emotional fears. Then you could follow up with the people who have been through it and if they are still content with their decision several years down the road you could say that it is worth something.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Transformative change vs incrementalism

This is a comment on Nate silver's political disagreements with sirota

There is the logical leap from "no corporate power" to "state socialism" and the whole emphasis on it.

That being said what I think Nate was getting at is that there are reasons to despise transformative change beyond the whole soviet canard.

To make a programming comparison there is an essay out about the cathedral and the bazzar at The cathedral and the bazzar

The point it makes is that incremental solutions deal much better with bugs. And the same applies to policy as law is just software on humans.

Fundamentally I don't trust transformative change because it does not rigorously test every element of its plan for usability, efficiency, and so on before moving to the next step.

I think that incrementalism is the real populist position. Transformative change is much more likely to come from CEOs and dictators rather than a democracy.

To make a corporate comparison

If you look at google the reason why they can put out so many great and solid products is because they embrace the incrementalist mindset. They don't give their engineers direction and if something bubbles up and becomes popular more people can work on it and produce a better more solid product.

Whereas microsoft embraces the transformative mindset. The process is locked down and resistant to input so the leader of the team can execute their goals. The problems are that they generally release bug filled products that execute a singular vision by people who have little ability to change the product for the better.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A divide amongst the liberal blogs

The Obama supporters have a view of the world where the people are basically good and failures come primarily from miscommunications, incompetence, and stupidity.

The obama criticizers have a much more good and evil religiously based view of the world. To them the first group are religious zealots who support people based on charisma or unthinking irrationality.

So the first group basically trusts Obama and assume that the request is primarily so that Obama can do it right. The second group basically doesn't and assumes that the request is so that Obama can be Bush 2.0

The request that the first group makes is not that you should support things that you don't like. It is a request for you to see the world in a less binary good and evil manner

Now to be fair that might not entirely be a good thing. I think the latter view is probably more effective at organizing and mobilizing because it is based on simpler principles. A wait and see attitude does not translate into hits on a blog after all.

And I think while we criticize you we do think that you provide a helpful counterbalance to the right. But we don't agree and we aren't going to act like we do agree. We think that you might be too apt to ignore the importance of things like experience and skill.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Suffering does not make you more moral

I was reading and thinking about Gaza and I had to post a thought that I had been thinking about for a while.

Suffering does not make you more moral. The rockets Gaza fires at Israel are wrong and riots are wrong.

They are an expression of rage.

When you suffer it is easy to justify making other people suffer too. But that makes hurting others no less immoral. And generally the targets of your reprisals are random or loved ones.

Such rage and hate is a natural response. But it is not a good response.