Tag Archives: My life

An Explanation of Why It’s a Ghost Town Around Here

Working on the book. I really want to share with you guys the new essays I’ve been working on….but I am going to save them for my book! I’ve also been expanding/revising the older essays and they are so different polished up a little! My biggest goal is to make the collection intellectual stimulating – a smorgasbord of tiny, interesting ideas.

 

In other news, I’ve just been really busy with work. I’m working like 55 hours a week or something crazy like that. Making good money though. But it’s exhausting – and not giving me much time to work on my writing. I dream of supporting myself through publishing one day. But in the meantime, just working the grind.

Life with Jacqueline is good ūüôā We have a lot of dreams and hopes and plans, some more concrete than others, but we are both wanting to get out of Missouri and get to the West coast – sooner rather than later. So making that a reality is a big priority right now. I’m also trying to save up an emergency fund. But otherwise things are looking pretty good financially. We are starting to think of ourselves more as a dual-income household and that’s pretty exciting and ties into a lot of the hopes and dreams we are discussing.

For some reason I feel like it’s really taboo to talk about finances out in the open. About “doing well” or whatever – or discussing exactly in numbers how much you’re making. There’s a stigma around personal finance and makes it so that only a certain class of people talk about money, and then, only with other people in the class of people who talk about money i.e. bankers, finance people, old rich white dudes, etc., etc. But we should all be talking about personal finance, budgeting, saving, retirement, credit, debt, etc., because all these things play a HUGE role in how well our lives goes.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under My life, Uncategorized

Lust, Loss, and the Logic of Love – Valentine’s Edition

 

desktop-background-3061483_640

Many people have bitter feelings surrounding Valentine’s day. And I don’t think it’s¬†just due to the jaded corporatism surrounding the strong social pressure to spend lavishly to show your love. Rather, I think part of the frustration comes from a deep cynicism in our culture surrounding the topic of romantic love itself – the issue at the core then is not the corporatism but the very nature of love as a mental state.

Romance continues to be a popular genre but it’s often treated as a form of escapism because in the regular world most people seem to be skeptical about love as an emotion worthy of guiding major life decisions. Many people have been burned before and have thus, quite appropriately, become jaded about the whole idea of, e.g., grand and romantic gestures early in the stages of a relationship.

For example, when a newly in love couple announces they are engaged after only 2 months of dating, my guess is that most people would be polite and congratulate the couple but secretly think “Oh boy, that’s doomed to failure”. The feeling of doom comes from the general opinion in our society that love is irrational and any major life decision done in the grips of New Relationship Energy (NRE) is not done on firm epistemic ground.

Love and logic are often pitted against each other as opposites. People think it is¬†risky to fall so strongly in love because you end up making rash decisions. But rashness doesn’t of course refer to just the short time-frame nor is it merely about how things happen to turn out: it essentially implies a decision made without enough evidence to¬†rationally decide. We can always get lucky, of course, but the massive risk implies irrationality built into love-dominated decisions.¬†And that’s what people say about this type of love: “You’ve only known each other for three weeks! How could you possibly [insert action]?”

And I think we all understand this skepticism at some core level – there is a sense in which it’s quite obvious that love is a biased decision making vector. From the outside perspective it’s easy to look at a couple in love and see them as being swept up in an irrational delusion that they will be together forever. We all know the statistics about divorce. I have certainly had skeptical thoughts about¬†other¬†couples – so I don’t fault people for having those thoughts towards¬†me¬†when I am in the grips of love.

But this raises the essential epistemic issue: we can’t ignore our own standpoints when making decisions. From the¬†inside,¬†everything makes sense. This creates a phenomenological sense of isolation akin to the Facebook algorithm bubbles we all live in: we will never break through the private barrier of mental life and understand the full context of someone else’s decision. Hell, we stand pretty much zero chance of properly understanding the scope of even our¬†own¬†decisions. So why would we expect to have any sense of why a couple actually decided to U-haul? This is why our own individual standpoints, histories, values, beliefs, and emotions must be accounted for in terms of accessing the rationality of decisions done under NRE.

You can never truly know the full set of information someone is utilizing to make a decision in the “throes” of love. When communicating to others “why” you two have decided to, e.g., move-in together, it becomes impossible to convey the full scope of relevant information in a digestable format. You end up just gushing out a soundbite like “we’re just crazy about each other”. Or at least that’s how it comes off to someone else: crazy.

Coming back to risk, there are individual differences in how much risk-tolerance each of us is comfortable with. There are also different kinds of risk: emotional risk, physical risk, financial risk, etc. These all interact with each other in complex ways. But just like in the investing world where some people are comfortable being highly leveraged, some people are ok taking great relationship risks in order to help bring about an even greater reward. What’s the possible max pay out? A life of happiness. Sounds great doesn’t it? What kind of risk is that worth?

But of course the best situation is where there is a low risk and a massive reward i.e. little downside, big upside. With relationships this can happen where there is liquidity to the relationship. This is often facilitated by neither party coming into the relationship out of a sense of pragmatic desperation. So here you can make an investment where, if things go sour, it won’t be the end of the world, but if things go well, it could make a massive positive change in the direction of your life. This is the sweet spot.

So according to the sketch of standpoint epistemology I just laid out, it is fully possible for a decision dripping with NRE to be fully rational according to a mutually beneficial rational alignment of values that can only be fully assessed by the two relevant parties.

Sounds romantic doesn’t it?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

heart-3146184_640

Leave a comment

Filed under My life, philosophy

Aspirations for Social Media Success – Silly? Vain? Delusional?

My current goal in life is to make money from being a “professional internet content creator”. Either from blogging, vlogging, writing a column, or¬†something¬†I just aspire to create content that connects to a wide audience and somehow make money from it.¬†For the past year I have been blogging over at tumblr as well as a few other places but mainly doing my writing on tumblr. I occasionally post on twitter as well. I have recently started posting on instagram and I’ve just recently started a youtube channel. ¬†It is so frustrating to see content you spent time making and for it to have just a few hits. But that’s normal when first starting out – I can’t delude myself – it takes hard work and time. I have aspirations of wide recognition such that I am consulted for trans projects e.g. Jen Richards is one of my heroines – she is brilliant and I see her being involved in a lot of trans-related projects. I want to be that person. I want to be a “trans public intellectual”. Someone who is called upon to write op-eds on controversial trans-related issues or be interviewed for documentaries or news stories, etc. Someone who can apply their philosophical training to bear on gender issues in a way that is easily understandable.

But sometimes I just feel despair at this goal. Is it silly? Vain? Delusional? Narcissistic? Wanting to be “well known”? Is there something wrong in that pursuit? I dunno. But it tears at me. I simultaneously feel compelled to do it because I genuinely love blogging – it’s something I just DO in my spare time – but I also feel downright delusional in my goal. Why me? Who cares what little ole me has to say? But now that I am trying to “professionalize” my blogging – I seem so close yet so far. And self-marketing is hard because you don’t want to sound desperate for attention. And sometimes I feel vain because of the fact that some of my youtube videos focus on beauty and makeup, not just trans issues.

I apologize this post is rambling and non-sensical. I’m just trying to get some thoughts off my chest. I am about to make a monumental change in my career path, something I will be posting about in the next few weeks.

Leave a comment

Filed under My life