Small Accomplishments

Last year at a Christmas party, one of our friends said that he'd given up chocolate for December because there was so much of it around at that time of year and it obviously isn't the best thing to be eating. i thought that was a good idea, so midway through January I made the decision to stop eating candy in general, just to see how long i could do it.

So as part of Christmas, Santa brings me candy in the stocking -- traditionally four candy bars and a large bag of M&Ms.

I'm somewhat pleased with myself that this candy is more than I have eaten over the whole rest of the year.



Wired has an Eulogy for #Occupy, a survey of what happened in the Occupy camps during 2011.

I think the biggest lesson I took away here is that humans are humans and for the most part you can't expect them to be better than themselves.  The descriptions of the GA (general assembly) and the way it devolved into violence and force showed that there were non-trivial percentages of the 99% who, given an opportunity, would try to exploit others.  In the face of this devolution, the moderate majority said nothing, and then eventually turned away, leaving the helpless and their exploiters alone in the dark.

The 1% may be habitual exploiters, but they are not the only ones -- they are merely the most successful ones.  With this realization one wonders if pulling it all down is really such a good idea, since all we would end up doing is squabbling over the wreckage.

Just another example of how direct, participatory democracy doesn't scale.

It isn't enough to hate the status quo or to want things to change.  You need real, concrete ideas of how things need to change AND real, concrete ideas of how to get there.  Occupy had neither, acting as a focus of free-floating hostility and frustration.  Since the outside world refused to engage with them -- and really, why would they? -- Occupy turned on itself, shedding its moderates.

Change is coming.  Change is inevitable.  But you have to make the change, or it will happen to you.

Occupy seemed to focus too much on the "and then you win" part of Ghandi's mantra.


The Spirit Of Christmas

You are celebrating Christmas... by stealing a Christmas tree... from a mental health fundraising sales centre.

I hate people sometimes.