2016-01-14

Morning Meditations

I sit up on the bed, naked legs crossed under a blanket. Streetlight creeps through a crack between the curtain and the wall. A dim line marks the location of the door. Little yellow,  red, and orange lights, the locations of electrical appliances. One is the phone that this is later typed on. Otherwise it is pitch dark.

The air is cold, from an air conditioner - it gasps and wheezes through the blower, calmly.  I cough, as phelgm appears to be creeping out of my lungs - the body's natural reaction to dust exposure. 27 hours ago, I was working a belt sander on some toilet doors. 18 hours ago, I was accompanying some baristas who were testing out a new academic program for their trainees. At this moment, some of those baristas and two trainees are probably in the cafe across the street. In the days to come, I must invent a kitchen service.

Some business partners banter in amusement as they watch. Others express fear in being associated with such a program. Some actively help. Of course, we have encountered the usual local thuggery, some livid customers, truant staff, difficult service providers, problematic stray animals,  et al.

There is no one waiting for me within,  or beyond these doors. I concern myself with this project, and not its people. I find myself only somewhat well, for reduced budgets of sleep, food, and exercise. I feel, that all is well. This is what I trained for, and that is why it comes as no surprise to me. 

All there is to do, is operate now on the variables that remain, in order to discover if we can make this business viable. It is 3 a. m..

2016-01-13

Politics

A: "I think my main role is as a politician. As a go-between for constituents and their trade partners."

B: "I think you're a horrible politician. Your constituents are furious."

A: "On the contrary, it seems to be a sweet spot if one can leverage on the tolerances of all stakeholders, to the point of their fury, without one's self getting assasinated."
Truck-risk management: a civil service should always be ready to function near peak efficiency in the event of singular, or multiple supervisor node failures.

Some men just want to watch the world burn. Some just want to watch it flourish. What does it matter what power is used for - that is separate from the strategies that may be deployed to amass it.

2016-01-11

Backstabbing?

Here's one for the record books.

This past weekend, I had the sinister pleasure of observing two unnamed individuals display their grievances in comments on my Facebook wall.

We had an unusual incident at the cafe: some customers had been hogging space in an unusual fashion. They were informed that they should make new purchase of food or beverage. One reacted belligerently. Then I recorded an anonymised, prosaic, account of the events that transpired,  and added them to our training manual. Then I copied the account to my Facebook wall.

And then, one of the customers named himself! And then, another. One of them said something about being backstabbed. But this clearly appears to have been a case of their shooting themselves in the foot...

Psychopathy and its Discontents

A business partner asked if I'd been tested for autism. I said,

I'm sure I could fake it. But that's why I'm not exactly autistic - I trained myself in college to turn on and off my inhibitions to all sorts of things, so I do tend to think of myself as a sociopath by training. I trained myself in college to turn on and off my inhibitions to all sorts of things, so I do tend to think of myself as a sociopath by training. Point of information - there's no technical definition for sociopathy - it's just a euphemism for psychopathy.

This is from the Wikipedia for psychopathy - it accurately describes my personal practices post-training (my empathy was probably more automatic, once - I trained to have more control over it). But even before college, I was raised in a religious family by religious leaders, so I had to study empathy from a pretty young age. So I haven't thought deeply about it, but who's to say which came first, the aptitude for psychopathy, or the trainings in the pro/con direction?

A recent study on psychopaths found that under certain circumstances, they could willfully empathize with others, and that their empathic reaction initiated the same way it does for controls. Psychopathic criminals were brain-scanned while watching videos of a person harming another individual. The psychopaths' empathic reaction initiated the same way it did for controls when they were instructed to empathize with the harmed individual, and the area of the brain relating to pain was activated when the psychopaths were asked to imagine how the harmed individual felt. The research suggests how psychopaths could switch empathy on at will, which would enable them to be both callous and charming. The team who conducted the study say it is still unknown how to transform this willful empathy into the spontaneous empathy most people have, though they propose it could be possible to bring psychopaths closer to rehabilitation by helping them to activate their "empathy switch". Others suggested that despite the results of the study, it remained unclear whether psychopaths' experience of empathy was the same as that of controls, and also questioned the possibility of devising therapeutic interventions that would make the empathic reactions more automatic.[70][71]

Scary isn't it? It appears to be scary to most people.

2016-01-10

Divisive Public Relations

For some brands, public opinion on whether the brand is doing the right or wrong thing, must be divided. This is imperative, for the strategy that such approaches serve.