Life Events

There hasn't been much to blog lately. I've needed to take a break from preaching from the pulpit and return to a state of potential and rest. Since a particularly nasty spat on the LeftLibertarian2 list I've reverted to thinking and reflection, taking stock of what it means to challenge myself intellectually. I hate the pattern I repeat over and over in my life where I have what I consider good ideas, and yet I somehow inevitably conflate them with my identity - to the point where I get my feelings hurt when other attack the ideas. It's something I've made progress on, but every once in a while I get shown that this vulnerability has not been overcome.

It isn't that I think I'm right or wrong so much as I realize that engaging in useful debate - debate from which one can learn - is largely a discipline, and one that I've been teaching myself. You have to be honest with yourself about your intentions in engaging in a contest of ideas, because it is easy for the discussion to disintegrate from an examination of ideas and propositions into dueling character attacks and insults. One must always be ready to state one's case plainly, but that comes with a corollary responsibility to both take the feedback seriously and not get your feelings hurt. An honest exploration of ideas is an exercise in vulnerability, because there is always going to be valid areas of truth to which your finite concepts do not extend.

So basically I'm continuing to think about what a politics based on taking responsibility for your opinions looks like. In the meantime, I've been pretty busy with my current contract. It looks like Sproutcore is going to be my bane for the next month or two as we redesign the web interface at work. I love the concept, but I'm not really looking forward to writing Javascript, and I'm still having trouble wrapping my mind around the organizing principles of the framework. But I love a challenge!

Tasha and I went to Colonial Williamsburg last weekend and had a good time on our mini-vacation (just barely escaping staycation status, to be honest). The performances of the colonial interpreters are usually pretty horrible, but the crafts- and tradespeople are interesting to listen to, since they talk to you about things that make more sense and seem less contrived. In any case, we had a good time.

I also recently joined a local gun range run by Black Creek Shooters Association, and I'm looking forward to honing my firearms skills. As I believe I've written before, knowing how to use a firearm safely and skillfully is not the same thing as being a gun nut or a militiaman (though I think neither of those are derogatory). Instead, those skills give you options in any number of situations that may come up during your life where, otherwise, you would not have an option. It's part of being well-rounded to know these things, I think. The club is a very friendly place where everybody chips in to keep things running smoothly and safely, and I think it will be a good experience.

Finally, right now I'm in Louisville for the L/L Research Homecoming. This year, unlike previous years, will be a sort of symposium where all attendees will give short presentations of their own. Mine will be on the political implications of the Law of One, and I've been working on an essay for a few weeks now that will provide the basis for my talk and the discussion I hope to have with people. Given that my move towards anarchism was largely motivated by the thinking and values impressed upon me by the study of the Law of One, I feel this is a bit of a thesis in a way, where I'm finally able to articulate a full synthesis of my approach to the human condition, at least as I now understand it. I'm excited to hear the criticisms, for this is an area of inquiry where I've been able to get little authentic feedback (both anarchism and the Law of One are marginal movements, and their intersection is non-existent in the circles I frequent).

Read this article
Written on Friday, August 29, 2008