My New Diary, 10/9 to 10/11/2018

My New Diary, 10/9 to 10/11/2018

by Alan Carl Nicoll
Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved

{10/9/18}  Weight 218.8.

My speculations on chaos theory and the mind is cutting edge circa 1990.  A Google search revealed this very unhelpful article:  “What Can Chaos Theory Tell Us About Consciousness and Brain Function?” by Glenn Pearce, PhD, link.


{10/10/18}  Weight 218.8.

Strange attractor
A Strange Attractor

So, is a conscious thought a “strange attractor”?  Or, is it made conscious because it has the form of a strange attractor?  Or am I just fooling around with terms I don’t really understand?  Almost certainly.  I use things I understand a little to help me understand a little more those things that I know I don’t understand well.  In other words, I’m groping, and would appreciate help from anyone who knows better what I’m trying to say, or think.

I had a rather chaotic night, sleepwise.  Went to bed at ten, woke at midnight and killed a bedbug that was full of my blood, woke again about four, and finally got up at 6:45, which is almost an hour later than I usually get up.  There were dreams, one very long and rather tedious, involving sorting a lot of play money, like Monopoly money.

Dictating the Prison Diary (“PD”) into the computer is both fun and laborious.  The best thing is that it gives me much to post on the blog without having to do any real work.  Because these days about all I’m doing is Twittering.  Now, I’ve more-or-less decided that Twitter is more important to my mission (as expressed in my mission statement) than any book I could write, because Twitter gives me a vastly greater reach.  Every day I’m getting about 10,000 views on Twitter, if I spend many hours there.  Of course, there is no way to measure my influence, other than by counting likes, retweets, and responses, which I don’t do.

The only problem is, I rarely feel much satisfaction after a day spent mostly on Twitter.  It feels more like I’ve squandered my time.  Writing, and even dictating the PD, gives more immediate satisfaction and a more lasting sense of accomplishment.  I think it’s clear that I want to be doing both.

A current project I haven’t touched in over a week is Kick Me.  I’ll put it on the cart…

Library book sale today.  It is my intention to buy few, because of course I’m also trying to get rid of books.  I have six shopping bags ready to go to Bookhounds.  The thing with a library sale is you never know what you’re going to get.

The PD is now 93 pages in the computer, covering 6/9/07 to 6/22/08; I omitted about five pages of quotes from G. B. Shaw:  Man and Superman, the first of many such omissions to come.  I should do a blog post on Mary Catherine Bateson, because it’s just sitting there waiting to be posted.

On 9/10/18 I had 27 followers on my blog; I now have 37.  This is rather surprising and encouraging.  All that’s needed is more and more and more posts.  Discouraging is the lack of Twitter followers stampeding over to my blog; I have almost 3,300 followers there.  Is one blog follower worth 100 Twitter followers?  Probably.

And then what?  Publish books, and get blog followers interested, make money, and so on, and then die.

My reconsidered writing priorities:  Kick Me, the blog, and Twitter.  This reflects my intentions, and is unlikely to reflect my practice, because Twitter is ready entertainment, and the others are just work.

There are many other priorities besides writing; but they’re no fun to talk about.  Health, finances, staying out of prison, and so on.

I have two eight-pound dumbbells.  My exercise routine consists of lifting these from hanging at my side to straight overhead.  I do this until it hurts and it’s difficult to go on, which takes, right now, twenty reps and about a minute.  I have done this for like three days, occasionally twice in a day.  This is pathetic, but it will have good effects if I keep at it.  My thoughts of joining a gym are on hold until I see a doctor, and likely were just a pipe dream from the beginning.



I ended up going back to the library book sale, this time with the shopping cart, because I very much wanted to complete my set of Will and Ariel Durant’s The Story of Civilization.  I find these quite old books to be very readable and entertaining, and they invite browsing after I’ve looked up something that I’m curious about, say, Oliver Cromwell or Voltaire.  These books were a lifelong labor of love and I recommend them highly; but given their age, I can’t in conscience put them on my Best Books list.  History gets dated; though people still read Edward Gibbon…I’ll think about it.

On 9/29/07 I wrote:

“What I most like here is the idea that we learn to be bored. It may be possible to study our boredom to learn ways to turn it into something positive, either to increased self-understanding or as a cue to something subtle. [Mary Catherine] Bateson suggests, when bored, taking a closer look at what’s happening in the environment. But then, she wasn’t in jail. How about the Perfect Moment?”

“The Perfect Moment” is a reference to my thought that we can find perfection all around us, merely by looking for it, and especially by telling ourselves, “What a perfect moment this is.”  The expression became a kind of mantra for me for a while, in the days when I was seeing Fred often, and I think Sheila also.  I remember Fred being there, because whenever I began, “What a perfect moment” he would jump in with “This is.”

I remember that the thought came to me, first, while I was driving, and something by Kate Bush was playing, and I felt that the moment was indeed perfect.  It could be that I was newly in love at the time.  How it became a thing I can no longer remember.

Saying the words—the “mantra,” “What a perfect moment this is”—challenges me to find a perfect color, sound, feeling, whatever.  At one time, I considered this my most important insight or “discovery.”  I apparently never got Fred or Sheila to understand what I was getting at; I tried to lead them to the insight by repeating the words, and so the message never came through.  I suppose it was clear, however, that I was supremely happy to be with these two beloved people.

It also is unclear why I ever forgot the habit.  I know that at one point it stopped “working,” or perhaps I couldn’t get my heart into it—if I may speculate, it may be that the love affair had soured by then, and nothing ever quite felt “perfect” after that.  I certainly at the time never connected it with my love for Sheila, so it seems unlikely that the speculation is correct.  No way I’ll ever know, now, unless new memories pop up.


Diary entries from 6/1 to 9/30 are available in this file:  link.
Diary entries from 10/1 on are available here:  link.

by Alan Carl Nicoll
Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
[Copyright notice applies to my text only, not to images that are not mine.]

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