Sensitive Artist

If I can’t learn to take criticism better, I ought to go back to manual labor.

adrianborland on youtube put together this charmingly adequate unofficial video for the King Missile song that serves as a perfect lampoon on my consistent initial reaction to suggestions for improvement:

But I’m honestly quicker to recover and more graceful about speedy acceptance than I ever used to be. Rule #1, though: don’t get defensive with people when you know they’re right. If you’re really just so conceited as to be blind of your flaws, that’s almost forgivable. But if you acknowledge the flaws and still pout about receiving the criticism, it’s time to grow up.

Is it easy for you guys to tell when I’m directing a post at myself? Isn’t it refreshing that I’m as critical of myself as I am everything around me? Doesn’t it warm you? 😀

The Seed of Pervasion

What do memetics and genetics have in common? Two fundamentals (aside the fact that one word was born of the other by analogy): life, and pervasion. To grow and change, one requires that cells divide and that diverse and numerous gametes successfully grow and interact, and the other requires this life to develop social tendencies that are passed on through communication.

The pervasive activity in life is slow, while the pervasive activity in communication is much faster.
Generally, the more complex life is, the less likely it is to be as pervasive as a substantially less-complex counterpart.
Yuck, scratch those. Maybe pervasive rates in both life and communication tend to have particular hot spots that light up quickly in a serendipitous circumstances, only to have this rate diminish and stabilize later.

Not really sure about the “rate” of pervasive information decreased after the fall of any civilizations. There was still information pervading, it was just different information from different cultures. For instance, Rome’s fall didn’t mean that EVERY Roman custom and thought disappeared upon the last sack of the city. Governments disappear; culture and custom continues to pervade.
Life’s pervasion, on the other hand, is terminal with it’s inability to reproduce and maintain a sufficiently diverse genetic population–at least in the case of us mammals. However, life’s pervasive strength is in its diversity among species, just as a species’ pervasive strength is in its diversity among individuals(!) This is why mass extinctions always end in the successful survivors breeding, seeking new environs, becoming isolated in these new circumstances, and filling the existing niches.
The pervasion–through extinction and stasis, through fallen republics and forgotten empires–ALWAYS exists.

Wow. That’s kind of crazy. In biology, biology’s extension to society, and society’s extension to communication–pervasion seems to be the guiding force.

America: teen angst or mid-life crisis?

The American people, as a whole, are less mature–financially and politically–with every coming generation. And like spoiled children, we ask for more and more. Additional troops in Afghanistan aren’t, in the endgame, solely Obama’s fault–nor solely his decision. Our short-sighted and impossible expectations, from the left and from the right, are what have made stewardship of this country impossible.

We won’t leave Afghanistan because it makes us appear weak–yet back home, we haven’t been weaker on the world forum nor deeper in debt than we are now. We want the government to pay for our healthcare and we want everything included, no matter how inefficient it makes the spending, and yet we don’t want increased public responsibility through taxes. We claim to want civil liberties and equal rights, yet on both sides of the polar political reaches, we BEG government to WRITE legislation and clear definitions regarding marriage.

I can’t figure it out.

Are we a temperamental teenager in the world of aging nations? Will our sovereign lenders take away the car keys and lock out the ATM card for our apparently infinite trust fund? Is there a chance that during one of our spastic tempers, our slightly older and hipper European Allies will unfriend us?

Or are we a nation in mid-life crisis, caught in a world where almost every major player has been reborn in the last century…except us? Are we digging into debt, buying and building to prove we’re still young and cool? Are we behaving erratically, throwing caution to the wind even under the pressure of our heavy investments?

Don’t either of these options seem rather likely?