Blog: Yearend Migration

Yearend Migration
Yearend Migration
Date: 2018-Dec-31 19:47:02 EST

Took a 2-day trip to Boston by train; earlier than I expected, but those expectation had not yet met the reality of my sister's schedule. Was great to see my little nephew there. He's at an age where his personality is substantial, but still governed by an impulsivity and still mostly on the surface. I think reality is already starting to change that ; the endlessly repeated process of contrast between expectations of an event and how good it actually is inevitably tempers and matures impulsivity. It's a pity that that process is little different from injury, and the deepest thinkers you'll usually meet are adults who have undergone a mix of pain and time to think about it. But still, I don't think these traits can be achieved any other way.

Near the end of the trip I felt a mild migraine coming on; it was present for much of the train ride back and stuck with me through the night even until now, where I've reluctantly left the apartment, preferring relief from the boredom a bit more than the safety of having better coping mechanisms for pain at home (e.g. the boiling shower). It being the last day of the year, it (and the first few days of the new year) is a good time to contemplate). I think I've gotten over the annoyance at attaching significance to markers of things rather than the things themselves, or at least I'm less than abolutely discinclined now. Or perhaps it's just a new way of parsing this that attached to a dreak I woke from this morning (still in mildgraine):

Was a fantasy setting, and I was with one other person (I think her voice and visage were that of Yennifer from the Witcher series, although I don't think I was Geralt nor would it have made sense). She was criticising me because when I was learning magic, I complained that a spell to raise the dead really just summoned some herbs and applied some supernatural shielding and the gods actually did a lot of other things in raising the dead based on the circumstances the spell provided. She felt this was pedantic. I argued back that pulling a rope to summon a servant to prepare dinner didn't actually mean I should claim credit for having made dinner, and she said that the example actually fit her point perfectly, in that if something is fully mechanistic, digging into the details is something only philosophers do and it is a waste of time. And now, when I look back at the tack, I see that the attempt to shift from causality to credit was a sly move that I should have been called on (although I don't think that happened in the dream, although a lot of memory of dream arguments is about summoning a perspective and letting it speak, so there may not be a clean distinction here)

We went to a Lego museum in boston, which was more like a small single-building amusement park than anything else. It was very well done, and it looks like the Lego of these decades understands marketing in ways that the Lego I remembered did not. They've made something called Ninjago which my nephew is really into, and as I already knew from the videogames, they've done crossovers with a lot of other fantasy in making lego-branded versions of the franchises. I amused myself while there in imagining things they did not do - Lego Spaceballs, maybe Lego Occupy. The latter would probably make people the most angry, as it would be the taming and commercialisation of a social movement that tried very hard not to be those things. And even though I was part of that movement, I still think it's important to trample on all sacred ground at least symbolically, so I'd love to see it. Kind of like buying a Che Guevarra T-shirt at the Gap.

Along those lines, I think I've found a way to, if we wanted, take the piss out of the extreme Russian nationalists dominating that nation right now - while Aleksandr Dugin's philosophy is transparently juvenile, I don't think an academic criticism of it would likely be read by many (or if it would be, it would have to be immaculately crafted to generate an alternate path to pride for Russia to be an effective bridge out of regressivism). Instead, taking from satiricists like Kirill Eskov, and from repurposers like Disney, we could alternatively turn classic Russian folktales and literary works on their head, and lift them while purging them of their Russian setting and claiming them as Western. Being a celebrant of cultural appropriation, I'd have no hesitation in the act itself, although I wonder if it's a good use of my time and I haven't angled my life correctly to execute the idea well.

Been thinking more about the content trap in stories and games; there are fantastic films (like The Quarrel) that consist entirely in dialogue between small groups of people, and to be really immersive, those kinds of things would have to be possible in any game, and different as per the person. But that would take an amazing amount of writing even for two people, and things multiply out. So the broader the world, the thinner each part of it. In theory with either enough actors and writers or in an MMO people can make their own content, but that's increasingly unlikely to make an experience for most people. It reminds me though of some people I became close to in a game ages ago - there was a German woman and her husband (initials KM for self-reference) that I got to know in Dofus and had long conversations with. I regret now not trying to build the kind of friendship where we'd go between long successions of games together, the two or three of us.

Hoping my migraine fades soon. Hard to think right now, although I at least have notes of thoughts I wanted to write up to guide me through this right now. I want to preserve/restore/grow, whatever it is, the habit of writing often for more than just my own consumption; my life is too lonely for my existing social ties to exercise my expressive capabilities, and my notes-to-self are too immersed in my own mental mnemonics. There's nothing wrong with that and I accept that probably the vast majority of the things I write will take that shape, works mostly for myself, but I feel it's healthy to at least mildly counterbalance that with something like this. And as G+ is gone, this is the way to do it.

The walking sometimes lessens the pain, so I should probably finish my tea here, possibly do my weekly financial recording into the spreadsheet, and go get groceries before I head back. I dread climbing those stairs with a migraine, but I signed up for this when I left the house today, and before when I signed for an apartment on the 5th floor. So I should soak in my choices.