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It's fascinating to be in a culture that lost the general election. Everyone is pandering to sorrow and sadness, even from a marketing perspective:


I know that red states were in the same space back when Obama won.

What a terrible time for politics.

A few things are going on in my life right now:

- Working with veterans again. This Thursday I'm volunteering with a new veteran charity serving homeless vets, apparently they need some IT help.

- New girl. Sadie. She's very nice, we just went shooting over the weekend, it was her first time.

- Work is fine, overall. I'd really like to get a new challenge that fulfills me more though.
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I went to a bar earlier today and I ran into a profoundly ignorant person - it troubles me that I don't think this person is unique, but rather really, really, really, common place.

She saw things through a lens, which for lack of a better term, is stereotypical of a "Social Justice Warrior". We talked civilly for a while, but at a certain point I became profoundly annoyed with this person because it crossed a line where she was actively attacking me. The thing that bothered me the most was the method in which she kept dismissing examples from my life as essentially an anomaly in a greater system that impacts her, and other people besides me. No matter how I might relate to the problems she was describing, I couldn't also be a victim of those problems, because I'm ultimately the perpetrator. I'm resonsible for the ills of society because of my race and gender and privilege.

She constructed a world in which everything she is a victim of, but where I could show the same levels of victimization in my own life, she ignored or actively told me why they should be dismissed. I tilted the conversation to play this back on her - when she described an ill, I described how she was immune from it herself. For example, she talked about how she was ostracized for being ugly, how her pursuit of being a stand up comedian has been dismissed because she isn't pretty, or perhaps how the more 'pretty people' have it easier than she did - but then I pointed out that she wasn't ugly at all and she got defensive. "Don't tell me how I am!" she demanded, and then proceeded to define exactly who I am.

This game of "I'm the greatest victim that has ever lived" and also, "I only live to triumph the greatest victims" is extremely pervasive. There is no way to over come this in 2016.

I believe that in 100 years, if there is a way to understand the world that exists in 2016, it will be incomprehensible. It will be one of those zeitgeists that seems beyond the approach of logic and reasoning. That we have two candidates running for office who both exemplify insanity to the highest degree; but only because our society, it's self, is insane. We have what we deserve in politics today.

For the last several months when I've engaged in these ridiculous political conversations I've tried to steer them back to the most basic of political conversations: that of political class. There are poor people, there are rich people, there are people in the middle. What happens to poor people is a truism throughout the world - what happens to the wealthy happens to the wealthy - there are no exceptions to this rule based upon identity. Meanwhile, when we look at the world through identity we find a dozen exceptions - exceptions that have to be dismissed, because they don't fit the concept the ideology wants to subscribe to.

It's as if I could demand the whole world listen to Zizek more. Alas, Zizek is probably the anti- of everything. Thinking of Zizek, it inspired me to see what he has been up to and his commentary on today's society. This brought me to the prime example of today's absurdity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNeeGORcOhU - this video was, notably, only after I watched an insightful video about his views on Trump.

Everything is wrong today. No matter how much you do right, you are in the wrong. It's bizarre, it's horrible, it's discouraging for the youngest version of activists. I can't imagine doing what I did 10 years ago today.

Edit: I should probably just quietly study, perhaps more Hegel, but I have yet another Jefferson book next to me...
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Reason #86

I hate Portland. No matter how much I try to find a silver lining to this place, I just can't stand it.

Today I witnessed what was surely a bike theft. However, the bike was probably already stolen, so fuck it?

I'm walking to the bus stop at 6:30pm, a druggie looking shirtless guy in grey shorts hops off of a bike and leave it in front of the Microsoft store. Guy just walks away from the bike quickly and leaves it there. There's nothing on the bike, it's not particularly nice, it's a Schwinn from probably the 1990's. I see it has an attachment point for a U-lock, but there's no U-lock attached. .... [I stopped writing this]
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My idea has officially been stolen. The company I pitched my idea to, and provided documentation to, has moved forward. I got an email today from the person who took the job I created, unceremoniously asking me to join the program. Now I need to run damage control. They literally stole my intellectual property.

The person who is running with my idea is a junior marketing coordinator with all of 2.5 years of experience. This whole project is going to sink and I'm half tempted to just not play ball with them at all.

I'm never providing any consulting as a part of a job interview ever again.
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I didn’t get that job I was hoping for. It appears they’re moving on their own, using the ideas I presented to them, without hiring me to manage it all. As I was presenting I thought I held enough back from them that they’d need to hire me, but I also offered more than enough ideas for them to move on their own – I did offer those ideas on good faith. My lesson here is to next time reveal less about my strategy. Perhaps I was too eager to share because I wanted them to understand that I grasp what they need and how to get there.

I guess I’m back to square one, trying to find another company to build. I don’t even know where to begin, because I simply don’t have a plan B. I’ve been in talks with this company for over a year.

I’m in a really bad spot too with my current job, I’m switching bosses and being assigned to a new team where I’ll be working closer to the only guy I strongly dislike. I think I need to start looking for work outside of Portland to try and find something. I don’t have anything keeping me here.

Ugh, I’m feeling frustrated and sort of hopeless. This was a terrible way to start the day.
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Today is going poorly.

I hope things rebound.

Viso changed their flavor today, again. Every time they do this it's always for the worse. My daily comfort drink is gone. :(

Work is a hassle. We're moving, we're rearranging the office in the mean time. Coworkers are being annoying.
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And this is why I don’t work in politics.

Let’s say I was an influential political leader on the national stage, and I wanted to separate myself from the existing established parties. I’d form something new with the most basic ground rules.

Five tenants

- Education, we should be learning from everyone we can learn from, not simply reinforcing our belief system. Then take our knowledge and share it freely with everyone.
- History, our belief systems should find origins in our observations of the past and therefore we should study history closely to find answers to our problems today.
- Empowerment, the motivating force of humanity is our pursuit of liberty and self-determination.
- Inclusiveness, all people and all ideas should be welcome.
- Humanity, we must do what is right for people and no other purpose.

You take some rules like this and you let ideas boil up and become popular.

I think a new party could be beautiful and simplistic, something that carries a torch of enlightenment.

I recognize that this is a terrible prescription for a mass movement. What actually works is diehard ideology, fiery rhetoric, and bold individual leaders who command very obedient masses. And this is why I don’t work in politics.

Maybe, just maybe, if I won Powerball and had Elon Musk’s levels of influence, I’d get a group like this off the ground. It’d probably end up going the route of a thinktank like Cato or something and be totally inconsequential to the American public.
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"Home Run"

I just got off of a call where I gave my big presentation. I was getting super nervous today and sort of loathing the whole thing before we started.

The call wrapped up early and one of my colleagues at the client sent me a note "home run - awesome job man."

That feels good.
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On cheering and booing at the modern debate.

Some reflections after reading comments calling for the removal of an audience at the Presidential Debates.


So I live in this horrible place called Portland, Oregon. It's a fucking pathetic shitshow of where all extremists liberals in the country will move to in like 5-10 years. It's like Mecca, but for regressives.

Because this city is so stacked full of stupid-ass people who are really passionate about politics (especially politics they don't know *shit* about), it makes hosting public debates and public testimony virtually impossible.

A couple years back one of our Mayors, a guy named after a beer who was probably elected only because we were drunk and thought it was a drink menu, well he very cleverly introduced some rules at public debate:




Well, now our public debate has devolved into fucking 'Spirit Fingers' like we're goddamn middle school cheerleaders. Seriously, "spirit fingers is how you appreciate a statement." The worst part about it? People actually comply with this bullshit.

So, some asshole can be giving horseshit testimony in front of the public, in front of the city council, moments before they make a decision that will impact our society for a generation - and no one will boo, no one will raise an alarm, no one will raise an objection. When someone speaks the truth no one will cheer, they'll finger-fuck the sky for a few moments with a big smile on their face like it matters.

I live in this world of silence, a place where righteous indignation is silenced, where the mob's applause is muted. *It's goddamn horrible.*

The mob mentality, although often flawed, needs to have it's voice heard - and the only way a mob can express it's self is through the cheers and jeers at public debate. Without it, a great injustice can be done without a whimper or sound of protest from anyone in the room.

Now today, if someone lies to the public and our elected officials, just straight up bullshits us about something really important - and you know it's bullshit so you pipe up "Hey, that's bullshit" during a Council meeting, you'll be ejected out of the room, you might even face misdemeanor charges for disturbing the peace. Doesn't matter if you're right, we've purposefully removed free speech to make our terrible decision making more efficient.

What I would do to trade this for the boisterous waves of liberty....


What I didn't mention here is that, if I were running the DNC/RNC, I would simply stack the people in the room who prefer my preferred candidate. People viscerally respond to the cheers and jeers of others. The best way to truly balance this would be a lottery of who gets tickets. Fucking cage match these asshole candidates.
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Probably generally true

"Seriously...how the fuck could Trump be WORSE than the parade of human turds in suits that march into the Capitol and White House every day, every year? He can't." - some guy on reddit.

Originally seen here: https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/4allva/to_the_sanders_supporters_lurking/

I mean, honestly, what is he going to do that is worse than Bush? Start a war? Spy on allies?

I think global nuclear war is the only catastrophe we haven't had yet. Clinton is just as likely to do that.