Learning Curves: My Fun Blog

On life. One learning curve at a time on the path to becoming a renaissance man.

Star Trek Economics
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Following a discussion with friends, I looked further into the economy of Star Trek. Some friends claims Star Trek is a capitalist state, others that it was pure communism - each sharing proof that backs up their various claims.

More interestingly, an argument was made that it is a different society with different norms - a post scarcity society.

Looking at it from that perspective is fascinating. Just like exploring history and trying to understand what the societal norms, thoughts, ideas, and morals, were, before judging it.

An interesting article on the subject:
https://medium.com/@RickWebb/the-economics-of-star-trek-29bab88d50#.g2jz1b5ly

A ~10 second hailstorm of intangible thoughts
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What are questions and thoughts running through my mind, issues that keep coming back to me in recent weeks, if I had ~10 seconds to think of this?

I was at a show today to support Lihi Milgrom​ and Adi Kugler​. At the beginning, they asked us to close our eyes for a few seconds (TREE HUGGER WARNING!!!) and think about things that have been bothering us lately, and general thoughts which keep coming back in recent weeks.

I'm a somewhat spiritual guy and I believe in the calmness of my own mind, but I'm also a hardcore skeptical cynic. Should I close my eyes? That was my first thought.

But, as I'm there, I may as well go with it. Fine.

I closed my eyes, and in the 10 seconds I had, this (more of less) was my mental list:

1. Humanity - Is humanity going to survive as a specie a few million/trillion years into the future? Not getting there, but rather being there. What could we be facing? What could we do today, if anything, if we even should, to help us in the long run? Would we? Do we need to? Is this something active or an idea, concept, or movement that could start? Would historical cycles even exist in the form they do today by then? Is this even relevant? Is thinking about it relevant beyond my own musings?

2. Growth - How do I feel about my life? About myself? About my behavior? How do I handle situations, and could I become better? Do I have the capacity to? Am I happy with this? Where could I grow? What do I think of myself for having these thoughts? What am I not thinking of? Should I?

3. My startup - What are our main challenges, and how are we facing them? What fine-tuning could be done, and should it? Where should we staretegize, and where should we let things be? What am I most bothered with?

4. Budget. B funding round. Customers. Sales.

5. Am I lonely? Do I want a relationship? Do I have time for one? OOooh women are in this show!

6. Nice review of issues for a few seconds of thinking, I'm good. MmmmhM...

7. How can they claim they will answer my questions, and then those of all the others in the audience? What would the statistical outlook of all these thoughts in the audience look like? How would I go about figuring it out. What would I do in order to provide with an answer for all these people, and would it be rather shallow, or generic, or precise for some or a subset?

7. What could their show potentially do to meet these goals, and would it?

8. It would be a tree hugging show, and these thoughts are irrelevant for the show. They're just making irrelevant claims.

9. Interesting 10 seconds, I should FB it and share with my friends. I'll make sure and organize things chronologically and tie loose ends on barely touched thoughts, mainly intangible and in no particular order, during a ~10 seconds hailstorm.

This was not a review of the show - but of my mind during those ~10 seconds.

It was a good show, thought provoking, and weird. I also felt a lot of pride in my friends being in it. But (tongue in cheek) the show DID NOT answer my questions as it wanted me to believe it would ( :) ).
It was a tree huggish thing to do to get me to close my eyes. Oh well.

As to the show... I think their purpose was to show a generic view of how we are surrounded by self doubt and societal pressures, and to be specific about the hurt it can cause, and how we as humans behave. I have no idea if I'm right - I'm not a very good show critic. So, in a way I did appreciate them moving between a wide overview and a detail-based approach, and they did use some interesting techniques to prime me to certain thoughts... but honestly I was mostly just confused during the show.

Pride and thankfulness
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I'm so proud to be a part of the Cymmetria team.

Seeing what this team accomplished so far, and how important it is for the team to change the world, provide value, and build something truly innovative in security... It's humbling.

How can a team of 26 people feel like it's still a smallish 3 people startup family?
How could all 26 be A+ level in their capabilities? Scaling is supposed to kill such notions. And yet, that's where we are. Hard work and planning surely were a part of this, but I must attribute that mainly to luck.

I guess I feel thankful, and that is not a feeling I usually connect with, being a hard believer in hard work and building your own luck.

Have you ever wanted to build an empire for real?
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I remember playing games like Civ and wondering how a real empire can be built, instead of in a computer game, and what it would take. I tried playing a bit of a game these past few weeks, and now that I'm actually working on a startup - the game's appeal was short lived.

Nothing compares to doing things for real.

Lessons burned into your soul are just another parameter
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I guess the difference between working hard and working hard as a founder, is that it's not your salary you're worried about - that's a given. It's everybody else's.
Even if risks are two years away, the memory of them being a few weeks away lingers, and you have less tactical control.

Good thing decision making is based on many parameters and not just lessons burned into your soul.

Working at Relaxing
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Working hard at relaxing, so naturally my stress levels diminish as I try to enjoy my vacation. Unanticipated result: I finally had the freedom of mind to have a horrible dream about fund raising and running out of cash. Ha!

Happy to say though that a major part of this dream was discussing actionable next steps against the impending doom.

Interesting PR strategy by Sony
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Everyone must have heard by now on how Sony got hacked by supposedly North Korean hackers. There were some interesting stories involved with that - and we will hear much more yet - from international relationships to how the insurance world handles cyber attacks.

An interesting strategic aspect of this is the fact that Sony "caved" and cancelled the release of a Movie, which the hackers didn't appreciate and threatened them about.

That PR disaster aside - the interest in the movie sky rocketed, and it was clear that it will become amazingly popular - regardless of whether it is released or not.

Sony now followed up, stating it will release the movie for free, through their online content service - which is supposedly isn't doing very well.

I can't really give them credit for planning this in advance, as that sounds far fetched, but it is definitely a good use of their resources (even the bad ones). Good job! Interesting, isn't it? Kind of obvious, too. I might have decided to open it up everywhere, instead - rather than trying for a double whammy.

Gadi.

How do you measure your startup success?
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Measuring a startup's success seems easy - did you exit? A a better question would be how do you measure its progress?

These are my incomplete thoughts after a month and a half of hard work - I would highly appreciate your feedback.

So far... we pretty much already have:
A successful seed round - although we are still fine tuning terms and participants, several PoCs about to start, major industry design partners backed by MOUs in different levels of completion, letters of intent from major players in the market, market research, completed a road show for market validation, and an unwavering belief in changing the world. :)

My system: (under construction, right?)
Strategically, I constantly validate the market and talk with customers, continuously validate every assumption and decision, as well as improve my vision. I often ask myself: Do I clearly see the path to success? What are the steps to get there? How do I deliver them?

I have four end goals which guide me, in no particular order: (1) Deliver the market, (2) deliver the technology, (3) deliver what would improve our chances for a successful next round, and (4) build the best team possible.

All of which are framed with: At every move along the path, how can we achieve better positioning, like in Chess? Which brings me to the tactical level: At every stage...

Tactically, what is it we want to achieve? (example: seed round funding), what would be the best way to achieve it? (example: angels), what is the goal of this round? (example: build a PoC), what is this round intended to achieve? (example, a better position toward A round funding), what are the parameters of this round which would enable these? (example: terms which will help my valuation).

Operationally, I measure success in the tasks in front of me, moving toward the next task, and improving the ones before as time goes by, quantitatively (more LoIs) or qualitatively (a PoC).

While sometimes I jump into things and learn as I go, and other times I first think things through, I always do my research, and always ask for input.

I try to read up on the subject, discuss, and consult with as many people I can who have experience which can help. I always keep in mind everyone has their own prejudices, competing goals (which is fine, but we need to be aware of this, and open about it), and understand that for everyone as well as me... "your mileage may vary".

I try and avoid mistakes, chart mistakes others make, and as errors will be made regardless... I try to make as many mistakes as I can as quickly as I can.

What are your thoughts?

Gadi.

Ends and aims
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One of the concepts I've been playing with lately is victory, or winning. Trying to reframe ideas from a new rhetorical starting point - what do I want to achieve?

Example would be Syria and Chemical weapons. The US lost face which effectively helped Putin place himself as a world player. My claim has been this is an orchestrated campaign for precisely that goal, with a possible higher goal related to internal Russian politics. The US has effectively been schooled by the Russian campaign.

A friend then asked me: "but the chemical weapons are now out of Syria, doesn't that mean the US effectively won by achieving its stated goal?"

Which goal was more important, had a higher effect, on what, and at what cost? Thinking of these ends in analyzing what I and others do, first, has been quite interesting.

What is it you are *actually* trying to achieve, and what is it you do to get there? How will you measure your success and how will others view the same situation?

A poll on changing the world, and your goals
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Hi folks, I created this poll on "changing the world". Would you participate?

On your goals:
1. Do your goals for your future include people other than yourself? Yes/no/dunno
2. Do they include more than your close circles (family/friends)? Yes/no/dunno
3. Do they include more than your community? Yes/no/dunno
4. Do they include more than your country? Yes/no/dunno

On effect:
1. Do you want to change the world? Yes/no/dunno
2. Do you believe you are going to change the world? Yes/no/dunno
3. Do you think it will be be limited to the people around you? Yes/no/dunno
4. Is this change going to be in limited in scope, yet significant? Yes/no/dunno
5. Is this change going to be one which all will know of, but in a limited field of study/location? Yes/no/dunno
6. Is this going to be a major Earth-shattering change? Yes/no/dunno

On what it would mean for you:
1, Would you be happier if this change happened? Yes/no/dunno
2. Would you like credit for this change? Yes/no/dunno
3. Do you care about being remembered by your close circles? Yes/no/dunno
4. Do you care about being remembered by history? Yes/no/dunno
5. Do you think those we remember from history are different from fictionalized characters in how we personalize them? Yes/no/dunno
6. Can you say for sure Socrates existed? Yes/no/dunno

Lastly:
1. Do you have more than one goal?
2. Are these goals different in scope (global, close circles)?

Ice Bucket Challenge
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A friend of mine teaches a course on PR, she asked her students:
How many of you heard about ALS? All students raised their hands.

... And how many of you heard of it before the Ice Bucket Challenge?
Only three raised their hands.

"This," she said, "is what PR people do."

Here's a nice infographic on the Ice Bucket Challenge:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10204856650199209&set=a.1109745787013.2019207.1327901507&type=1&theater


Luck.
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I have a repeated argument with a friend over the role of luck in our lives.

He claims we should be thankful for the luck in our lives, and acknowledge serendipity's fickle heart which could change our position on the wheel in mere moments.

I respect that position and acknowledge random luck affected my life, and still does. I am cognizant and thankful. I just don't see it as a factor.

Luck is out there, and what most people call luck is life hammering you with realities. I prefer to think of luck as opportunity - something you can identify or create.

I do not wait for the world to be kind to me, and while I acknowledge luck as it is, I can't acknowledge it as the main drive behind getting me where I am, or where I'm going.

Pilates in life and dance, part #4 (I think)
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Pilates in life and dance, part #4 (I think). This time - leading.

When dipping a lady, I try and progress as far as I feel my strength would allow, as needed, combined with my and her balance.

I especially like a specific dip, where it is followed by a head loll of sorts, the follower dips and releases her neck to lay her head back when she is done (her call). This can be dangerous if not led right due to potential whiplash with the head. Much care is advised. This happened to me once and I am happy it was with Elissa Gutterman or I might have lost a limb in retribution.

If done right, the dip could be quick or slow, and broken down into quick and slow elements, even combined with a safe whip of the head.

Now to the Eureka! moment - with increasing awareness of my own head in my over-all body position, I noticed that it assumes a better position when I straighten my spine into a good position, regardless of what position I put it in. Beginning all the way all the way down from the sacrum. Further, Pilates provides me with an increasing awareness of my own spine as it unwinds, one vertebra at a time.

This weekend in Ukraine, I danced with a great follower - I think it was Olga Braslavska) and was about to dip her, when I felt her spine unwind, and knew exactly when she reaches her limit at the top of the spine and can relax her head.

While I experienced many changes in my dance since I started Pilates - in my own body, my use of the floor, my styling, and generally in my awareness - I never expected this awareness of the follower.

I am an extremely sensitive guy, I can sense anything the follower does, from the bounce in her spine in a hip catch (thanks Robert Royston!), through her muscle tone in her core (thanks Maxime Zzaoui and Rebecca Ludwick!), to her weight shifts (thanks Ronen Khayat, David Ornstein, and Dorit Shalom!). Sometimes (not close to always) I can even match it in some fashion - but I'm not that good of a dancer yet.

But this? Talk about motivation to do more Pilates! With all the buzz about how Pilates is good for dancers, I never even heard of this kind of awareness.

2 months of Pilates and counting!

AWESOME!!! <3

Presenting yourself in dance with Pilates
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Yet another Pilates update and how it affects my life and dance:

I love how some things just come by Osmosis over time, rather then by hard work - once you're aware of them.

Ever since the wonderful WCS intensive with Maxime Zzaoui at NYSF I've been looking at dancers who catch my eye on the dance floor, and how they present themselves, chest open to the world.

With Pilates in my life, one month in and I do that more and more myself, just because I already had that concept in my head.

Thanks Pilates, and thanks Maxime!

Pilates <3
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Some of the crazy ways in which Pilates affects my life and dance so far, after just a month!

1. I find my posture improving in ways I did not anticipate. for example: it is so much fun to feel my head straightening bit by bit even if I just straighten my lower spine (lumbar), and as I progress through the vertebra all the way up. Truly mind blowing.

2. I find myself imitating Pilates positions during dance.

3. I collect my stomach during moments like a tuck turn which better connects me to the floor and my follower.

Defining moments
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This post is more about my thought process then that one moment, so if this is too long for you, please just skip the post entirely and don't read it. Or read only the last part "on my experience".

I decided to share my defining experience from UK championships openly for a few reasons, risking people just thinking it's about boasting. I'm okay with that, though.

On fame -
Those of you who for a time decided to run the conference circuit know what it's like to be a pro in your field at a public event.

Even back in 2007 I couldn't literally walk one meter at the defcon hotel without being stopped by yet another person looking to talk to me. At one point it became so ridiculous I walked a mile around the Vegas hotel to get to eat lunch at the food court. I may have been an abrasive Israeli who did not know how to talk to people from abroad, but I wasn't an a-hole.

Sometimes it would be friends. Other times it would be someone looking to exchange a few words with the guy who just spoke on stage or who ran some project or op he likes, at yet other times it was somebody with a question. Sometimes it was simply because I kept myself very approachable.

I pride myself on nearly always making the time. I am no different then anyone who approached me, I just took the time to prepare a talk... or three (and boy am I a loud one!)

On fame in Dance -
That is why while I like the pros in Dance who are approachable and who stay up to dance with us all night more then others, I still hold deep respect for those who don't.
"The pro isn't your bitch," they work hard all day long and need some time to rest (and party). There is a limit to how much social energy any person, professional or not, can bring into play - even if that is their job.

So, while it takes a bit more to get me to be star struck, sometimes it happens to me as well. Starting dance later in life (I'm not that old, but y'know) is a humbling yet exhilarating experience, even more then just struggling with something new.
You learn about yourself, the world around you, and how they connect. You get better, you struggle, and you have immense amounts of fun. And you see these pros at the top, some of whom are nice, some of whom aren't. They're people just like you, and they inspire you nonetheless.
I am highly committed to dance, I am also highly addicted to dance. The experience, the adrenaline, and the constant learning.
That does not change the fact that just a few minutes with one of these pros made me far more then committed, they made me join the religion of dance for life.

On my experience -
I don't compete. I used to, but very soon found out my main interests are social dance and getting better. Competition didn't do it for me. And yet, sometimes, when a nice girl asks me to be her partner, we do it for fun.
As a friend defined it, while I don't care about not winning (first rule of winning is wanting to win), I do mind it. So, after a competition I tend to be contemplative and quiet for a day or two.

Maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing, but the following morning one of the very top pros in my dance left his workshop for 5 seconds in the middle of a group exercise to catch me. He reached out to me to say he really liked my dancing, and would like to spend 10 minutes with me to give me some feedback, free of charge.

There is nothing harder then getting feedback when you don't compete. The offered 10 minutes aside, his willingness, his reaching out to me, was what made all the difference. It made me a disciple of this dance for life, rather then just the next 5-10 years.

You may decide I'm over playing this, and it may not sound like much, but for me - it was a defining moment.
It may have just been a small kindness, but it is my *choice* to make it a defining moment. Defining moments, much like luck, are made - not fallen into.

Thanks for reading (if you made it this far). I'll see you at the next dance event, a beginner dancer, but now - on a mission. I'm starting to compete.

Thank you Robert Royston and Nicola Royston.

Autoimmue deflection
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A group of small kids tried to give me leaflets in the street, I immediately responded with "no thank you."
I make it a goal to acknowledge everyone, from a beggar to a mall booth salesperson, even if it means they will nag me more.

A second later another group of kids approaches me with an adult who says "why not ask this nice gentleman?"

They were advertising a blood donations run... I thanked them at eye level.

I feel like a douche for my automatic reaction to the previous group of kids.

Modern life programs us to do some things as automatons, but it's moments such as these when we find out where our attention belongs.

Amendment to self defense rule: when it's kids, even if they are manipulating you, respond with a smile and a thank you.

Learning Python vs. learning Programming through Python
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Of all the resources to learn Python I chose Codecademy, which step by step teaches you the language. Or does it?

While I am VERY happy with how Codecademy works using step by step victories... AND I actively recommend it, it teaches you to program, not to be a Python programmer. Example:

# Write your function below!
def fizz_count(x):
....count = 0
....for item in x:
........if item == "fizz":
............count = count +1
.
....return count
.
fizz_count(["fizz","cat","fizz"])
print count
My mentor suggested I use the python help and the IDLE autocomplete function to learn Python, and (mind blown #4) think about how I'd write the code in plain language, or pseudo-code.

On the code above, he asked me:
"What is the simplest way you can imagine to accomplish what you want to do?"
I answered: "count"

Here is the new code:
list.count("fizz")
Where list stands in for fizz_count from above.

Python kicks me where it hurts
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Python kicks me out of the box #2:
If I write more then 3 lines of code, I am doing it wrong - look for a function that does it for you.

Python kicks me out of the box #3:
Use the live interpreter to work, the editor is holding you back.

Python - the first culture shock
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What do you mean there's no index++ in Python??!?!

Python is very intuitive - to people who haven't coded before. You don't need to go and bother creating indexes and counters, it just works.

A For loop works like a For Each, where the value of what you're looking at is what Python looks at rather than an index.

I was stuck for hours before consulting with my mentor. I was stuck in a box.

Gadi.

The path to mastery is long
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The path to mastery is long.

As you may know, I am pathologically curious and want to understand everything, I never know where my next inspiration will come from or what idea will pop.

Connecting the dots in a specific concept I've been tackling - or better - thinking up a new one.

By contemplation, by hard study, by waiting calmly, or by learning ... of history, of street graffiti, or of Life on Mars. I want to be exposed to it all. You never know.

Then, I want to understand what I can do with it. Make the abstract practical.

Truly, I love the life I've constructed for myself, and thankful for the luck I've had; by random chance, that which others made for me, and that which I've made for myself.

Thank you all for being such amazing fellow travelers.

The path to mastery is long, and I'm enjoying the journey.

YES! Time. I can upgrade myself!
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In the next 1-4 months I get to spend most of my time in Israel! Would you believe it?
(Sometime in that period of time I will know if I move abroad permanently or start working in Israel full time.
...Which means my evenings and weekends are free.
Other than resting - a lot, I have plans.

Aside to catching up on TV shows, watching some of my old time favorites, and investing in my friends...
With an over-reaching goal for 4 months from now, and milestones every month, my goals are, by categories:

Professional life:
1. Learn Python, start contributing in a friend's startup or contribute to an open source project, 5 hours a week total.

Resources:
Books, Internet, mentor, 2-5 hours a day.
Start: Last week.

2. Get back into Linux to the level of qualifying for an entry level sysadmin job (not looking for a sysadmin job, just a goal)

Resources:
Mac laptop, 4 Linux VMs, one book, mentor, 2-3 hours a day.
Start: in 2 weeks.

Health:
1. Start Pilates.

Resources:
Personal trainer, 2 hours a week
Start: Tomorrow at noon.

2. Get back into functional training/gym

Resources:
Gym membership, personal trainer, 6 hours a week (2 * 3)
Start: Next week.

Dance:
1. Go back into a daily practice routine.

Resources:
Mirror, video camera, videos, floor, dance shoes.

Start: in 2 weeks.

2. Learn basis of Authentic Jazz (solo vernacular dance) by June so that I can be ready for Intermediate level at Herrang week 3.

Resources:
Videos, friends, mirror, camera, floor, dance shoes.

Knowledge (if I have time left!!)
1. Start and finish 2 online courses on Coursera on subjects of general interest.

Resources:
Coursera!
Start: Last week.

To work! To fun! To life!

The path to inspiration
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The path to mastery is long.

As you may know, I am pathologically curious and want to understand everything, I never know where my next inspiration will come from or what idea will pop.

Connecting the dots in a specific concept I've been tackling - or better - thinking up a new one.

By contemplation, by hard study, by waiting calmly, or by learning ... of history, of street graffiti, or of Life on Mars. I want to be exposed to it all. You never know.

Then, I want to understand what I can do with it. Make the abstract practical.

Truly, I love the life I've constructed for myself, and thankful for the luck I've had; by random chance, that which others made for me, and that which I've made for myself.

Thank you all for being such amazing fellow travelers.

The path to mastery is long, and I'm enjoying the journey.

It's about PASSION
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Sitting at the Hard Rock's Punta Cana in my room's porch, I consider yet again how people's distinction between "career" and "life" is misguided. The key word is PASSION.

It's about PASSION.
I have many passions - some of them unrelated to my work, such as dancing and teaching dance. Wherever I go, I find a dancing night.

But work is one of my major passions. How can I spend so much of my life behind a desk (or currently 27 days a month in an airplane) if it wasn't?

There is nothing wrong with working days to enjoy nights - I've done that. We all have a mortgage to pay.

But is that enough? For others it may be, for me, it isn't.

Set a vision, follow through, and know that a year from now, or five years from now, you'll work where your passion is. It's that simple.

I work hard, and I enjoy every moment of it - especially the hard ones!

Do you understand?
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I keep thinking about this one. It rings so true... and yet... it is not how I see things. So why do I keep going back to it?

I read a story once:
A father told his kid to go and stick a knife into the white picket fence every time he got angry, rather than act angry. After a while when the kid got angry less and less, he took him to the fence and said:
"You see? You are no longer angry but the scars of what you do are still there"
I found it inspiring, especially the bit about learning to identify the MOMENT and learn to control our actions over time. Kairos.

Then again while the image displays a world where what's done can't be undone, for me such situations are not about "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" - the answer often given when the reasoning of "I did not intend for this to happen" is given, forgiveness matters. To me, someone's intent - why they did what they did - matters a lot. Someone may have done something hurtful, but unintentionally.

Which brings me to the last part which constructs my thinking on this, another image with text from FB, from a while back:

We can forgive, and we can choose not to. But while moments in time define us, life is more than just a moment. We can grow and learn from the past rather than remain broken - battle scars, if you like.



No situation in life is binary and as simple as the text in the original image makes it out to be, but the reason I liked it as-is and only now write more about it, is because I believe it captures a moment in human life which is truly profound.

Gadi.

The work honours the worker
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I now finally fully understand the meaning of the Israeli/Hebrew saying "The work honours the worker" - העבודה מכבדת את בעליה - which is often said about people who work at menial jobs. Understanding the words that they earn money for their living which is respectable, stating it as a form of disclaimer, and really appreciating the meaning, are two different things.

Being out of a job at a couple of points in my life, worrying about the next paycheck and worrying about supporting those around me, didn't make me understand. Feeling really bad about older people cleaning after me didn't make me understand, although very uncomfortable.

I tried meeting eyes, avoiding the eyes, making conversation, carrying through...
.... fine-tuning how to best respect these gray people who work at menial jobs at an older age, serving me to take care of themselves and dependents and not just as as a part time job to pass the time. Many of these folks were hard working their entire lives, and even if they weren't....

I don't yet know how to best show this respect, and I'm not yet sure how we as a society can change things for the better, but I am thinking about it.

Especially when the system is built in such a way that even if you are well educated and hard working, you may just end up in the street at an older age.

I believe in a capitalistic system, and it achieves, in my view, better social care and reforms. However, even if I was a pure capitalist and believed the problem "takes care of itself", I now have a winning argument to justify in discussions why socialistic aspects are also required at some level in every country (for my US friends, you're already a fully socialistic country by your definitions from a hundred years ago).

The argument is... to alleviate suffering now, tactically, while we work for the future, strategically.

[yes the argument is not very well structured - jumping around and reaching baseless conclusions, give me a few months so I think on this one or two more times.]

Anger?
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A few days ago I felt anger. I was truly insulted.
I felt this physically - I am a very aware person, both to my feelings and of my body.

This is not a common occurrence with me. In fact, it never happened in such an extreme manner - so it was new to me.
I nearly never get angry or feel insulted. I sometimes get "angry" for a second, saying "say what??" but it's over 'just like that' or at worst in a few hours. I am not an angry person in the true sense of the word.

I like to understand my feelings, as there was a time when I couldn't. Back then, I would act rationally and not understand I've been hurt. While I still miss things at times as it is an on-going process, those days are behind me.

This particular time, when I recognized what was going on, I was angry and it indeed affected me physically. It lasted for days.

I now understand why. Giving something a name often helps.

I've been bullied.

I let myself be bullied because the situation did not warrant a response. Sitting in a meeting and being dictated to, being treated as a second-rate person, is not something I am willing to let happen, and yet I did.
Being deeply connected to what was going on emotionally. Making sure the outcome of the meeting was "good" was important to me. I think the reason for all of this was because it wasn't really "me" there, I was a representative, which meant my feelings come second. We learn.

I was caught off-guard as I don't expect these things in my private life where people who surround me care about me.
We learn. We grow. We do things differently.

I hate bullies. I've never been bullied even back in high-school, I see no reason to start now by allowing it to happen. I just didn't realize it was happening, which is something I need to think about.

Putting this in words helps me understand it better, and I already feel better. I am not looking for sympathy, just quiet empathy. No reason to reply to this post.

Next!

Feminism and social exclusion of men
gevron
Once again my opinion on a matter of feminism is not considered at face value, but by me being a man, first. Devaluing me and socially excluding me from the conversation, where I know a lot and care a lot about the subject matter.

It's possible my opinion would have been disliked regardless, but the likelihood of it happening no matter what it is, unless it is complete agreement with the women I happen to be discussing with, is much, much lower.

Feminism is ironically, and understandably, a field of social exclusion, when we men are a part the solution. Even though I understand why this happens, it makes me less and less inclined to engage in discussion and ever so sad as an activist.

The Gadi Disclaimer - TGD
gevron
The Gadi Disclaimer - TGD

Background
I am a rhetor. I explore subject matters deeply. I am pathologically curious and must think of how things work, or how they might connect. BUT, just because I entertain a thought, does not necessarily mean I believe in it.

Disclaimers matter, as they show that you understand the sensitivities of a subject matter, and are willing to frame your argument so as not to offend.

That said, with some subject matters that border on the extreme, such as with Godwin related arguments (Holocaust), one may end up writing more disclaimers than any positive material on what they want to advance, which makes the original argument get lost in the background.

If a person reading an author's text does so with the perspective of "the author is an ally, and I will assume the best possible intentions, trying to understand the arguments without preconceptions," then all these disclaimers would be redundant.

Example: The author is really a feminist and does not question rape or a woman's right to say no, s/he puts forward arguments to discuss medical processes related to rape, which are difficult to discuss due to sensitivities involved with the subject.

Authors in return must be able to discuss views and how they affect the whole, in full, or they would lose their moral right to use the TGD disclaimer, and practically, have their TGD score reduced.

The Gadi Disclaimer, or TGD, would mean that you as a reader understand the writing to follow is written as:

1. A dispassionate view, a passionate view, a critical view, or an opinion on a subject matter

2. Possibly, an opinion on a sub-category of a subject matter, discussing only that sub-category and not the whole (Hilter's economic policy, not Hilter).

You also acknowledge that:

1. The author does not necessarily hold these views, or that he/she are deeply aware of the potential sensitivity of the subject matter (such as the Holocaust or Rape)/

2. By reading a text with a TGD tag you will read the text as if it was written with all the possible disclaimers framing it correctly, assuming the best. Short and to the point gets the job done, 200 lines of disclaimers over 20 lines of text, confuses matters.

3. By reading the text you understand that your sensitivities may be hurt, without the fault of the author.

An author can not hide behind the TGD tag if they do not:
1. Offer logically valid arguments (without logical fallacies or unbacked statements which are not flagged as such).

2. Are willing to answer any and all questions related to their text in full, or reference where they've been answered. Authors are exempts from answering arguments which are baseless statements or are a logical fallacy more than once, pointing this out.

על היותי אדם רטורי - השופט והאונס
gevron
לפני הכל, אשאל:
אפשר בבקשה להעמיד את השופט הזה לדין? היש דרך לעשות זאת?

שנית אומר:
אם אתם רגישים לנושא, אשמח אם לא תקראו את הבלוג הזה, כי הוא בנוי כטיעון ולוגי ואני לא רוצה לפגוע באנשים.

אחרי שהגבתי מיידית ב"איזה מטומטם" על השופט שאמר ש"יש בנות שנהנות מאונס", ואז המשכתי יום שלם בלהגיד לכל מי שאני פוגש "איזה מטומטם הוא, הא?", עצרתי לחשוב. כזה אני. אני אדם רטורי וחייב להבין ולמצוא טיעונים הגיוניים.

כך הם חיי האדם הרטורי. אנחנו יכולים לחשוב על משהו בלי שהוא ייצג את הדעה שלנו.

אצלי זו פתולוגיה. אני חייב לנסות ולחשוב על זה, אפילו אם רק כדי להגיד "יופי, הצלחתי וזה עדיין מטומטם," אבל חשוב מכך "הצלחתי ועכשיו אני מבין את הנושא טוב יותר, יודע שאני צודק מסיבות אמיתיות ולא רק תגובה ראשונית על בסיס אמונה, ויודע גם איך לסתור את הטיעון".

האם קיים מצב כלשהו עלי אדמות שבו נשים נהנות מאונס? לא. אבל האם קיים טיעון כלשהו שהגיונית יציג את האמרה הזו כנכונה? טיעון כלשהו שיכול לגבות את האמרה בין אם היא נכונה או לא??

ההקשר המיידי שקפץ לי לראש הוא העדפות מיניות, עם נשים שרוצות לחוות "פנטזיית אונס" במעין סימולציה. טיעון זה נפסל דיי מהר מאחר וזה (1) לא אונס (2) לא אונס (3) לא אונס. אונס בניגוד לבחירה בנוגע לאיך להתמודד עם העדפות מיניות, הוא לא מרצון - משמע, פנטזיית אונס שבה אשה בוחרת לשים את עצמה בסימולציה של אבדן שליטה היא בחירה. אונס הוא לא בחירה.

האם ייתכן שיש אשה שנהנתה מאונס? כן. קשה לי לראות איך, אבל כן, זה אפשרי. בדיוק כמו להגיד שיש אנשים שנהנו מלהרצח - זה אפשרי. להגיד דבר כזה זה פשוט מטומטם ברמות אחרות גם כי תאבד את העבודה שלך, גם כי פגעת בקרבן, אבל בעיקר כי זה פשוט לא מחובר למציאות גם אם היתה אחת (או היה אחד) מה-7 מיליארד אנשים שנהנתה מזה שלקחו ממנה את החופש שלה, התעללו בה, והשפילו אותה עד כלון.

ועכשיו כשסיימנו את התרגיל המחשבתי של "האם אפשר להראות שאונס הוא איכשהו חיובי," אני יכול לסכם רק בבקשה אחת:
אפשר בבקשה להעמיד את השופט הזה לדין? היש דרך לעשות זאת?

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