11 April 2014

Heterosexual Right Hand Masturbation; Homosexual Left hand Masturbation; Wet Dreams

I decided at the age of 15 (1994) to stop masturbating with my right hand and try my left hand. It was hard at first.

At the same time I decided to start masturbating with imagery of my male friends to see if I was bisexual. I had never had a wet dream about a male (still haven’t).

From the age of 16 I decided I was bisexual. I haven’t stopped masturbating left-handedly (I’m right-handed) since.

In the face of much sexual but little romantic (‘you’re in transition’ ; ‘you might be experimenting and revert’) interest I decided to start putting the ‘gay’ label on myself publicly at the age of 25 (2004).

Then when I had the main male love of my life in 2006 (27 years old) I started calling myself ‘gay’ in private with the knowledge that taxonomy thereof was bogus. I wanted to please my boy, who I loved.

He had had a main hetero relationship of 5 years (2001-2005). He once had sex with his partner while feeling another man’s semen in her vagina.

I had had a main hetero relationship of 2-4 years (1997-2001). I had had three gay relationships after that.

The boy’s and my relationship lasted from February 2006 – July 2006 officially (when I broke it up; he had only had gay beat sex and looked like a model – I needed him to realise how good looking he was – like the experience I had in my early years on Oxford Street, and he mistrusted females’ affirmation that he was hot, thinking they were manipulating him). We even lived together in a house March 2006 – August 2006, then in another house August 2006 – February 2007. 

The moment I released him in June 2006 he got a batch of MDMA and we made true love for the first time. He broadened my horizons by hiring me as a an employee at his company for bushland regeneration and introducing me to DMT, LSD and psilocybin. I love him for that.

History remains to be told elsewhere... incredibly complex. But long story short, we ceased contact in April 2011 when I realised he was HIV positive, trying to infect me and lying about the fact that he had it. I’m HIV negative, thankfully.

I still direct my sexual attention to males as of mid 2014 and still masturbate with my left hand 

Change hands? I might start living again.

13 March 2014

There's Something Amiss in the Provision of Information Regarding Legal Liability for HIV Transmission in Australia

I'll say it again: There's Something amiss in the provision of information regarding legal liability for HIV transmission in Australia.

 Insightful: “[Giftgiving] has nothing to do with sex and more to do with the power over someone's health

Misguided people more concerned with anti-homophobia than death, self-harm and costs to society of HIV

Man wins $750K against ex-boyfriend in HIV transmission precedent

Similar to what nearly happened to me.

Facebook facilitating HIV transmission and facing the possibility of future legal action

What’s behind the fact that links regarding legal liability attached to transmission of HIV in Australia are constantly being removed? Why are they impossible to access anymore?


11 March 2014

ARIA Awards 2013: Record Company Politics, Economics, Art and the Future of Music

I love music. I love Australian Music. I think that Australia’s electronic music scene has produced the most creative and influential artists in that field in the world over the past decade. So I become aggrieved when politics and financial interests obscure, misrepresent, embarrass or hinder the brilliance of Australian musicians. The ARIA Awards 2013 was the most pointed example of this phenomenon I’ve ever seen.

As the farce became increasingly apparent during the show, winning musicians themselves increasingly used their acceptance speeches to wink at true music fans about what was going on.

“We’re gonna melt this down to liquid silver to make some shoes!” – Tame Impala (Album of the Year).

Hopefully it opens the floodgates for producers around Oz and people with bad voices in general.” – Flume (Male Artist of the Year).

“We just need to pick up our game.” – Jessica Mauboy (Female Artist of the Year).

“[Thank you to] all the people who eat soft cheese... all the people who do the stuff that isn’t creative...” – Tame Impala (Band of the Year).

Richard Wilkins’ no doubt inadvertently brilliant comment on the Australian Record Industry  Association Awards was to emcee the recognition of Mandawuy Yunupingu (Yothu Yindi) and Chrissy Amphlett’s (Divinyls)  deaths in bed-hair while appearing to be trying to shake off last night’s Stilnox.

The rest of the show could be laughed off, but to spit on the graves of two Australian music and political legends was unforgiveable. Mandawuy Yunupingu was afforded no visual or auditory tribute besides a shot of an album cover (partly because of cultural reasons; some Indigenous Australians find some kinds of visual and auditory representations of dead people offensive and/or traumatising). ARIA’s budget for the tribute to Chrissy Amphlett apparently didn’t extend beyond paying for the licensing involved in showing photographs of her, footage from only one performance – which seemed to be from a previous ARIA Awards night – and playing the audio from one song (“Pleasure and Pain”). The Jezables’ touching performance thereof was in contrast to the ARIAs’ contempt.

Besides this high crime, the mix of deserved and undeserved nominations and winners pales to misdemeanour. Some of the injustices are a matter of taste, but to argue about others is to lose the ear of any credible music lover.

Two stand-out disgraces were the lack of recognition for all the amazing music videos made for/by Australian musicians last year in that category’s nominations (there could be issues about the nationality of directors but this is just illustrative of the fact that major Australian electronic artists are virtually universally signed to international labels due to the imbalance between the budgets/ears of Australian music record companies and Australian electronic artists) and the winner of International Artist of the Year (One Direction [Sony], who beat the following nominees: Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and even Pink). Not that international artists would care about, or even be aware about, their ARIA nominations.

A minor complaint should be made about the misnaming of the electronic music category: “Dance Act of the Year”. Argument with actual nominees and winners in that category are problematic because of Australia’s embarrassment of riches therein, but I could rattle off at least ten other artists who deserved more recognition.

It was nice that Jessica Mauboy won Female Artist of the Year, but she didn’t release anything of substance in 2013 and her manager should be fired, shot, and then fired again for wasting extreme talent on drossly produced recordings. We’re talking about the woman who single-handedly elevated the soundtrack to “The Sapphires” to almost-classic status.

Last but not least, the ARIA Awards’ budgetary issues manifested themselves in the whole debacle being enacted on a tiny stage backed by a flat-screen that could fit in your bedroom, and lighting and sound-engineering being left to people probably battling away bravely on internships. Even Alicia Keyes (and Lorde) managed to sound second-rate. The show was broadcast on Channel Nine’s second channel. There weren’t even bottles of wine on tables to ease the embarrassment for all attending.

So what does this tell us about the politics and economics of the Australian music industry as 2014 begins? What does this tell us about people, artists and corporations who bother to pay their ARIA membership fees anymore?

Draw your own conclusions; anyone that bothered to read about this would have the intelligence or inside knowledge to do it themselves.

As an aside, it was nice of Nick Cave to do someone involved a favour by bothering to pre-record some acceptance speeches and lend the sham some credibility.

But music lovers can rejoice in the fact that the internet, legal and illegal downloading, have saved the vital art of pop music from the avarice, neglect, power-hunger and status-seeking of establishment people who obviously have no interest in beauty for beauty’s sake. The next chapter in the history of Australian music has now begun.

1 October 2012

Benjamin Libet’s Bereitschaftspotentials and Sanskara in Yoga

The most interesting mainstream, empiricist neuroscience relevant to free will and the perception of time I've found is that of Benjamin Libet. His work seems to show that you’re not immediately responsible for the preconscious neuronal firings that develop into full-fledged conscious intentions and actions if not cancelled out by other preconscious firings before they reach the threshold where they feel free-willed. He included some conscious firings, but I think he was scared of his work being misinterpreted and being labelled pseudoscientific and was being conservative.

In some yoga, there is a postulated phenomenon called "sanskara", essentially unconsciously determined patterns of behaviour and thought that you're born with or develop through trauma. They get worse as you age; your behaviour becomes more pathological. However the theory is that you can use conscious will to erase or diminish sanskara over time through techniques like meditation. So you become healthier, more aware, more in control and self-actualised.

I think the two seem similar.

However, I don't think science can get to the root of the free-will / determinism question. I don't think we can prove or disprove epiphenomenal accounts of consciousness. It's interesting how far we can dig though.

Madonna, Lady Gaga, Boomerang Plagiarism and Elton John

Elton John has no idea about what's going on with Madonna and Lady Gaga.

Madonna's stance on derivation/emulation/plagiarism is clearly nuanced if you read this article on Confessions on a Dancefloor (2005): "If I'm going to plagiarise somebody, it might as well be me, right? I feel like I've earned the right to rip myself off. 'Talent borrows, genius steals' [laughs]". She rips off Oscar Wilde while laughing about plagiarising herself and others all over Confessions. Including Boomerang-Referencing Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You" which references her own "Holiday".

Her sampling of "Born This Way" in her MDNA tour version of "Express Yourself" is a compliment, not an attack. Madonna is too subtle for that kind of thinly-veiled criticism. She is defending Gaga, the same way she defended Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears by wearing T-shirts with their names on her during one of her tours. She was erroneously accused of attacking them, and decided to clarify later.

And there are multiple direct- and Boomerang- references to Lady Gaga in Madonna's "Girl Gone Wild" video. At least five or six. Watch it with irony; Madonna hates smoking and could be accused by a casual observer of glamourising it here.

Lady Gaga herself, before "Born This Way", basically made anyone who would throw Madonna-plagiarism slurs at her look like an idiot with her "Alejandro" video. They both have great senses of humour.

As for Elton John, he's since recovered from losing at the Golden Globes this year to Madonna's "Masterpiece" (which Madonna has since dedicated to Gaga). As Madonna predicted at the time, it would be just another of Elton John's multiple feuds over the years, and that in her experience they would be friends again soon.

Meanwhile Madonna and Lady Gaga are in love with each other's work.

30 September 2012

See-Saw Relationships, Strength-Weakness Dynamics and Stepping Stones

In a lot of romantic relationships I've witnessed, including one I was involved in, there is often a strength-weakness dynamic where one quality arising in one partner can cause the other quality to emerge in the other.

I first noticed it the first time I went manic. Up until that point, unless I was clowning for attention/shock value (usually in group situations), or hyperfocusing with a loved one on a subject I was passionate about, I was a consummate one-on-one listener. Probably the most important book I read as a child to prepare myself for the world was When I Say No I Feel Guilty, a book about assertiveness which emphasises constructive listening and calculated self-disclosure in different types of relationships. I think I've had a million people tell me their life stories and things they've never told anyone else. (Embarrassing to admit it but I think How To Win Friends and Influence People helped too.) When manic, for the first time I started talking over the top of people, neglected to express interest in their speech, and the more I did it the more I saw them see-saw into a state where I was sucking all the energy out of the conversation, riding high on my side of the see-saw while they'd flop into a semi-depressive mood. I'd force myself to be silent and see the see-saw recalibrate.

This happens in relationships too, especially romantic ones. It generally happens over periods of months, and can destroy them. The healthier / more stable relationships I've been involved in have lacked this dynamic. When it happened I blamed my partner for excessively burdening me with reactions to problems that are totally out of proportion to the reactions to problems I face when going through my depression. I thought that I was the more supportive one and was rewarded with little support in return when I had problems. I'm probably actually right, because the other people I've seen this happen to have had selfish partners too. I do like to subscribe to the "takes two to tango" doctrine but sometimes people are plain abusive.

There is an extra element to it. In my relationship and a colleague's I'm thinking about now, I think in the first few years the "offender" was in a weak place, especially self-esteem wise, and took great strength from someone they perceived to be a pillar. When the "innocent" party finally lifts the "offender" after years, the "offender" is rattled, disappointed, feels abandoned and even disgusted by the "innocent" when the "innocent" goes through a weak period.

If the "offender" is selfish, they abandon till their next crisis. If they are ambitious (or even slightly sociopathic) they use the "innocent" as a stepping stone. Don't let them back when their next stone turns out to be sludge and they think they can retreat to the stepping stone. Just remember the love. And learn.

24 September 2012

Semantic Web, OWL, Policy Aware Web, N3: Aint Gonna Happen

I forgot I learnt and worked in basic SGML for a month or two in late 1998, but the little I remember has just coalesced with other stuff I've just read on the Semantic Web.

Bear with me, I can barely code anything, have no idea about hardware, etc. But bearing with someone with an intuitive overview rather than an overspecialised perspective can be rewarding. Sometimes.

I know some of these people are gods of the Internet, but this paper by Daniel J Weitzner, Jim Hendler, Tim Berners-Lee, Dan Connolly smells desperate. At least from what I can decipher - and I haven't thrown out a totally unsubstantiated, purely intuitive claim on my blog for a while so it's about time - the proposed Policy Aware Web based on the supposedly nascent Semantic Web is a scarily insane dream half-slept through in front of PC screens by people who should retire before they expire. Like as wired as I am tired right now. Can't stop rhyming when it's time for bedtiming.

This article points out some of the problems with "Metacrap" ("A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be a utopia. It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris and hysterically inflated market opportunities."). There is something telling me, "no! no! no!" with respect to the possibilities of Web Ontology Language (OWL), XML variations, N3, let alone their desirability when pushed through your mind's privacy/security/general self-preservation prism, whatever that may be. For reasons I can't go into here, Artificial Intelligence (don't ask about "Ambient Intelligence" - can't you people Google for yourself?) is a dream of lunacy I can't believe people even bother to entertain. Again, both in terms of possibility let alone desirability. You'd pretty much have to be Autistic to think AI is possible (a big disease in Silicon Valley). And I don't mean that in a nasty way; I think I've got Asperger's. It's just not gonna happen. You'd have to be a total Spime to get sucked in.

Then you've got people like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) involved and you're kind of thinking, Fuck even reading about it. Just Google "Semantic Web: I Told You So" in ten years' time. I'm so sick of telling people so; gets boring, lacks triumph and becomes just pure frustration with accumulating occurrence. The Supranet should freak you out; it'll likely have an IP address for every square metre of the Earth's surface one day.

Meanwhile I'm lodging my blog with Swoogle Semantic Web Search just in case I'm wrong. While sitting at my computer with quite a fetching tin-foil hat perched on my head.

23 September 2012

Depression Insults and People Who Bully Depressives

I'm fucking sick of people who insult people with depression. No, depression isn't sadness or anything 90% of the population ever experiences, ever. So if you don't have it you don't know anything about it. It's simply qualitatively different. It's not a matter of degree. I experience grief and sadness. And major depression. They don't feel anything like each other. As this article points out, people who try to "just snap out of it" actually end up with heightened emotional activity. I will never let anyone who doesn't have basic depression-compassion in my emotional world ever again, the same way I wouldn't let someone affect me who was offensive enough to blame me for say, cancer and tell me to just get better. I thought I'd been around the block enough to have worked this out earlier, but I think the always-difficult-but-necessary-to-draw line between choice and biological determinism has held me back. In addition to the self-esteem problems that flourish during bouts of depression. Sometimes you get so lost in the fog (extreme depression entails psychosis) that you'd let someone convince you the sky wasn't blue if that would fix it. No more. They can fuck off from now on. The sky is blue.

I hope at least one person with major depression reads this and stands up to people who, for varying reasons depending on who they are, bullies them. It doesn't mean taking your hands off the wheel, except when you have to give one of them the finger.

Here's a few of my favourite insults I've had:

"It sucks you did so many drugs in your 20s."

[Yoga teacher says to a comrade that she's never seen anyone work so hard at an intensive in her career. Comrade replies without realising there might be a hint there.] "Yeah, he knew you were behind him."

[Same comrade] "Why don't you ever let anyone help you?"

[Same comrade] "I'm sick of your self pity" [pause for internal laughter]

"Try getting up at sunrise every morning and walking in the direction of the sun for half an hour."

"I'm not a Scientologist but...[fill in gap]."

I'm going to go looking for a website that collects quotes that are insulting to depressives and/or dismissive or the gravity of the physical illness. Ha, and people who don't believe in "agency", "soul" or anything non-physical (a "self") controlling your behaviour demanding you "take more responsibility". Especially when they have no idea the effort you may or may not have put in. The effort part of tackling depression is the hard bit, not the pain. Pain just happens to you and you take it passively. Putting in effort is such a worthy and moral thing you have to generate from within, actively.

I'd love it if just one person somewhere in the world with a family member with depression reads the following. Depressives aren't looking for pity; it's counter-productive and can lead some of us to ease the foot off the accelerator and take a rest on your shoulder for a while. Just be nice, admit you can't empathise or work out how to help, suspend moral judgment, and just express a bit of love/support when the occasion arises, unless the depressive is a professional victim, in which case distant nods of recognition are more appropriate and safe for yourself.

Inherently Fallacious Thought, Language, Logic and Reason; Meditation and Silence

To me, structures that necessarily inhere in thought make language, logic and reason problematic to the extent that they aim to uncover truth (however indirectly or without the thinker's realisation). I doubt there are modes of human thought that don't suffer; I'd be blown away if a cultural relativist could show otherwise. We can’t get inside subject/predicate structures, show why Modus ponens is a valid move, or even think about The Law of the Excluded Middle,etc (I'd add the relationship between Noam Chomskyish - Platonicish Forms and objects, but know it's irrelevant to most people's philosophy). And we can't stop using them.

I can't imagine being able to defeat a decent argument that posits, for example, language as a higher, parallel or alternative "realm" (for lack of a better word) to thought. But I just have to run with the assumption that thought comes first. Anything else would be dishonest of me.

Thought, and therefore honest language, logic and reason, reaches toward the physical and any metaphysical "world". Yet it can't breach its own realm. All physics and metaphysics are beyond the reach of pure thought. Thought can only think itself. "Itself" includes epistemology of course, but nothing else besides phenomenology qua phenomenology in its conceptualisation as being virtually part of thought.

So it leads me to this: why have I continued to write non-fiction for the past decade I've known this? Because I love it. I'm (literally, in my opinion) pathologically addicted to reason and argument. And to a lesser extent, non-fictional language. I know the more I write the further I get from the truth, but I can't stop, the way I have to have a cigarette within an hour of doing yoga when I usually don't have cravings for a few hours afterwards. True insanity.

So the next step should be fiction. Or a vow of silence combined with thought-withdrawal-type meditation.

Like Depeche Mode said, "Words like violence / Break the silence... Words are very / Unnecessary / They can only do you harm". Or Bjork: "Words are useless / Especially sentences / They don't stand for anything / How can they explain how I feel? ... All that you've ever learnt / Try to forget / I'll never explain again."

14 July 2012

Rich People’s Aesthetics

Check this article about rich people's bad taste. The psychology driving financial (not metaphysical) materialism or attraction to the look of raw numbers in your bank book is incompatible with the kind of psychology that allows appreciation of music, art, aesthetically pleasing people etc.

The only artistic thing I truly, deeply, immediately understand is music. And I don't give a damn about others' opinions' of my own opinions with respect to music, the same as any genius in any field doesn't give a damn. If they think you're uncultured for thinking that Katy Perry's last single was a triumph of melodic craftpersonship, soul and gloriously attentive and restrained production it might just show their own lack of understanding / immediacy of relationship with the art form.

It's hilarious to see culture wannabes read what they're meant to appreciate and fork out stacks of cash to watch neo-jazz (the original jazz artists were renegades who would be doing avant-garde electro music if they were around now, not reprising admittedly beautiful stuff from a century ago) etc and wank on about it. One way you can tell whether someone gets music is how they dance, or whether they start dancing in their seat without realising it. Once I caught a family member trying to work out how I was moving my feet under the table when I was unconsciously dancing in my seat while simultaneously talking about a high-concept issue.

There's no shame in not getting an art form. I don't get visual art unless a genius in that field explains it to me. Apart from that, it's enough that I like a picture. I don't know why or what's going on at a deeper level, or have an immediate, arresting, physical relationship with it, but I just relax and admit it rather than being dishonest, which is what wanking essentially amounts to. Why make people feel unincluded unless there is an important, usually information-imparting reason for it? Feigning immediacy/physicality of reaction is not cool and is an embarrassment when there's actually a genius at experiencing that particular art form in the room who is quietly having a laugh or getting angry that you're making third parties feel inferior. 

Someone I know has two very intelligent sisters who are incapable of watching "Kath and Kim" because it mocks their world view and actions. Hilarious. If you don't get a certain type of comedy, you should always consider whether that's a result of just crap comedy or your own personal hang-ups. Things you can't confront. John Howard convinced a whole generation of working-class people (particularly in places like the North-West of Sydney) that they were middle class. The whole "Aspirational Class" thing. They didn't realise their lives were still being controlled by the ruling class. It's hard to have sympathy for the ones that knock other working people over in their rush for crumbs from the table. Have some pride. And guts to admit what you are.
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