Day: August 31, 2018
I grew up hearing the phrase “you never stick with anything, what’s the point” a lot. I’ve always been attracted towards seemingly disconnected interests, and gone through phases of being really into something. But eventually my interest would fade and I would move onto something else.
Or at least that’s always how it’s been phrased for me, by others. Now I realize that my interest for the old thing didn’t fade so much as my interest for something new outshined it, and that’s vastly different.
I was always made to feel bad about it, with every abandoned endeavour I was told I needed to stop starting things if I wasn’t going to stick with them. I was told I was wasting time and money picking up these random interests and abandoning them after a year.
So eventually, I stopped picking things up. I told myself “what’s the point, I’m going to give up in a year anyway”. Even worse, I started dismissing every new interest, because I had no way of knowing if my interest was “real” enough or just another passing phase. I stopped trying new things, I stopped looking up stuff that piqued my curiosity, and having chronic depression made it really easy to leave everything on the dirty floor of neglected ideas. The more they piled up, the more depressing it was. All these things that could be nice, but I just can’t take care of them.
I realize now how bullshit that kind of thinking is. So what if I stopped doing karate after a year? That’s one more year of karate than most people I know. And in that year I learned discipline, I learned to listen to a teacher, something I had never done before in all my years of private education. I learned the true meaning of respect, that it’s something you do out of faith at first and maintain as it’s reciprocated, not something you do blindly and regardless of how you’re treated.
It gave me the foundation for the determination and grounding I needed to practice yoga. Another year. Not enough to be good at it maybe, but again a year more than most people I know and a year that is not lost, but gained. I learned balance, I learned to listen to my body, I learned how to let go of emotional tightness through physical stretching.
And then iaido, only a few weeks because I couldn’t afford to keep going. The year of yoga I had done a couple years previous had given me a better starting point than the other newcomers to the class. I already had balance, I had strength in my legs and I had better posture. In those months I learned the importance of precision, the true definition of efficacy, the zen state that is incessant repetition.
Did I practice long enough to get good at iaido, and yoga, and karate? No. Of course not. It takes years to become proficient and decades to master any of those things, but I learned other skills and those skills were an invaluable part of my growth both spiritually and emotionally. Likewise for my forays into painting, sewing, graphic design, film. I’m a photography student now heading into my second year of school, and every single second of practice I have in those other disciplines has given me more experience in those areas and made learning easier.
Skills carry over. They intersect and connect in ways that are sometimes unexpected. Nothing is ever lost, experience is never a waste of time or worthless or stupid. Allow your focus to wander, reflect on what you learn, and consider how you can keep using it in other aspects of your life. Stop telling people their interests aren’t worth their time.
‘A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one’
^^^^The real jack of all trades quote if anyone’s i interested.
For a week I was super into making LED arrays.
For a few months I was really into costume makeup.
For a year I was into sewing clothes
For a few months I was into sculpting and molding and casting
I’ve always had a sustained interest in animals, but the hyperfocus on birds in particular made me very familiar with feather formations.
Couple months I loved the idea of engineering moving sculptures.
Add all that together, and hot diggity shit, that’s some SOLID basework for making costumes, cosplay, and other impressive props.
For a week I was into welding and took a welding class.
A year of interest in woodworking and fiddling with the tools means I’m fairly good at that as well.
Add that to the engineering from earlier and the focus on balance and stable structures means I can make my own furniture – Couches, shelves, desks, just give me the material and tools and I can make it happen.
Brief interest in business law meant two classes taken in college, and an accidental qualification for a business degree.
Those same classes let me point out some serious litigation bait in a friend’s startup company.
A wide array of interests means I also have a TON of little nitpicky facts about how the world works, which translates into amazing immersive writing.
I know how it feels to use a chisel, and the delicate precision of electronics. I know the smell of forests and barns and old yarn being put to use again. The bloody smell of a freshly slaughtered chicken, and the anticipatory fear moments before skydiving.
The pattern of a bad weld and a good one, and the careful calculation of load bearing walls when building underground.
Anyway, this world is HUGE and really cool. Why on earth would I want to stick to learning ONE thing, when there’s HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of things I could learn?
Learn all the things. Satisfy your knowledge dragon. ❤
here’s a comparison of me and my cat. his name is oliverbear (oliver for short). respect him
a gift for you
I’m very happy deer. …
It’s probably just as well there aren’t any Dairy Queens here. Because now I’m craving their chili dogs, “lunch with my Grandaddy” style 🙄
Reminded with one little rant I reblogged again earlier getting some notes.
My Grandaddy really was hard pressed to make himself a sandwich. He fell back on canned sardines and crackers whenever somebody else wasn’t available to make him some food, and I had a number of sardine lunches with him when he was watching me while my Nana was gone doing something else that didn’t need little kids involved. Before I got old enough to fix something for both of us. (ETA: Or we just went to Dairy Queen. Problem solved!)
But, in that case? It was no doubt a disability-related thing. Rather than the kind of “badly prepared for life to the level of negligence” situation I mentioned there.
In retrospect, he really did seem to have some trouble with some other daily living type stuff, left to his own devices. I’m sure that got inconvenient for everyone involved at times, but nobody made any kind of big deal out of it either? That’s just how he was, and he had plenty of other skills.
They also basically got each other through high school, with his dyslexia and my Nana’s dyscalculia. (My biodad got both…) Not much help come test time, but they got pretty good at teamwork. And things mostly got done.
So I end up being hard on myself over a lot more, yeah. Including having trouble with some of the same stuff. At least we’re not living off sardines around here, either.
Reminded of this again, and I thought I had posted something before.
I just left my husband alone with our two children for sixteen days. I was not worried about anything regarding the house, their food, or their wellbeing. I put all the appointments in the family calendar and my husband checked it and kept them. I literally did not worry about them. I missed them, and I was sad that they missed me, but I didn’t worry about them AT ALL. I need to impress upon you all that I missed their company, but was not worried for their welfare.
I also did no meal prep. I don’t even think I went shopping right before I left.
This is not about apples and oranges. This isn’t even about my husband. This is about the fact that this is apparently WEIRD.
Another mum at my daughter’s school is leaving for ten days. She’s taking her youngest (who is a very small baby) and leaving her husband with their two girls. She has been cooking for days preparing freezer meals. She’s panicking and deputizing her six year old to remind him how to make school lunches. AND I AM APPALLED.
A) He is definitely not helpless. (He’s a doctor or something.) What gendered bullshit. B) THAT LITTLE GIRL IS NOT OLD ENOUGH TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR HER AND HER SISTER’S WELLBEING. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. C) Why is she married to this person and creating children with him if he’s this big of an idiot?
While she was laughingly recounting this, the other mums were nodding and smiling sympathetically, like oh yes, I too have my caveman at home!! Such managing required! I was the only one who was like “Dude, he’ll be fine. Literally. He will be fine.” I said it a lot. She was not convinced. She kept bringing up her older daughter. She’ll be like a little mum!
NO NO NO NO.
Straight women, don’t do this shit. It’s gross. Don’t infantilize your husbands and then expect your daughters to pick up the slack. So fucking gross. So. So. GROSS.
The fact that so many adults think a six year old girl is more capable of learning and performing basic domestic tasks than a grown-ass man says it all, really.
This stuff is so toxic and awful. I told a car full of women one time that I refused to be in another relationship until I met a man who was capable of making his own doctors’ appointments and washing the dishes. They told me I was going to die alone.
Fuck this shit. Don’t enable men’s incompetence and label it cute.
Yeah guys, This is ridiculous. Like, if they had a mental disorder in which I knew they would have a hard time with this stuff. sure, I may try to help prep in advance. Hell, I have to do that stuff for myself because I can’t function properly. But Being in the mindset that someone can’t do something because of their gender…? It’s just as bad as saying a woman can’t work for UPS because they’re worse at lifting than men… like what??? The parent should also be in charge of the child, not the other way around. that’s not how it works. Now if the child WANTS to help the parent, that’s cool. Kids like helping their parents do stuff. But the dad CAN take care of things. like literally… idk how people come up with this stuff.
who told you that you could call me out like that
I started fact-checking a book about emoji and the book was so hilaribad it turned into a thread-review. Here are some highlights: full thread-review here.
I’m not linking to the book, because no one should buy it.
@shatar-aethelwynn said in tags
#is this why people think emojis are hieroglyphs? I might be able to answer this.
I hope you don’t mind, and I’m only a linguist in a dead language (and it happens to be the right one!), but I think the constant comparison between Hieroglyphs and Emojis has something do with with both the way people view Hieroglyphs as a means of conveying meaning and how people have chosen to denigrate the use of emojis in the younger generations.
There’s a sense with the general public, usually from how they were taught about Ancient Egypt at school at an early age, that hieroglyphs are not really all that complicated. I remember distinctly being taught that they’re basically just either direct symbols of what they represent (a cat is a cat, a leaf is a leaf), or could be used to correspond to letters of the latin alphabet. The most common way I see them explained to children now is that they form sounds of words, like two signs being a bee and a leaf, and they’d make the word ‘belief’. Which is marginally better than how I was taught as a child, but still doesn’t truly capture how Old/Middle/Late Egyptian Hieroglyphs work.
Honestly, it never truly could, and I don’t expect school teachers to explain or even know how they truly work. Most people learn about Ancient Egypt from ages 8-10, and it would be truly difficult to get children to understand how there are 900+ signs, each with their own consonantal value, and the signs at the end of words aren’t even read but tell you what the word is…
But the overarching understanding, and lasting impression, people get from their school teaching is that Hieroglyphs are ‘basic’ in construction, and that the Egyptians were very good at architectural marvels but very crude linguistically. This, I fear, only gets re-enforced by the fact that we as a western society were built on the back of Classical revivalism, where the works of philosophers/poets/scholars like Socrates, Herodotus, Plato, Virgil etc, are lauded as great insights into humanity (I know a few who would disagree on a couple of those, but…as a whole, yes), but we ‘lack’ any great philosophical work or heroic epic from Ancient Egypt as a comparison. We never lost the ability to read Latin, which many of these works were translated into, and to some extent we never lost Ancient Greek either (don’t yell at me Classicists I know it’s complicated and I am a mere dumb Egyptologist 😉 ), so we never lost the ability to study and understand these works. Egyptian Hieroglyphs, however; well that’s a different story.
Now I put ‘lack’ in inverted commas as we do in fact have a good number of wisdom texts, and heroic literary tales, from Ancient Egypt, but this is yet again another place where Ancient Egypt as a civilisation has lost out because we lost the ability to read and understand the language (thanks Roman Empire!). As I said above, we never truly lost the ability to read/study the great works from Greece and Rome, however, the last hieroglyphs to be written were in 394CE. They weren’t truly known again until 1822, when Jean Francois Champollion used the Rosetta Stone as a key to their understanding. (I should point out at this point in time that 9th Century Egyptian scholars had tried, and had limited success, to decipher them using early Arabic and then another few attempts were made in the Medieval period. JFC (oh that’s a bad acronym) was the first to completely crack them)
So in truth, we’ve only had translations from about the 1830s, when we’d got a good vocabulary under our belt, that we had been able to start translating the Egyptian equivalent of Plato and Aristotle, and with Egyptian mythology and culture not so deeply intertwined with ours (hello again Classical revivalism) we don’t fully appreciate the Egyptian texts and thus they have not seeped into general consciousness as say Greek or Roman texts. Many of these texts are still being reconstructed and deciphered by Egyptologists, so unless a person has a general interest in Egyptian literature/history they’re not going to know these texts exist. You certainly won’t hear people espouse the Teachings of Amenope to sound obnoxiously clever at dinner parties, but you’ll definitely hear them talk about Euripides or Sophocles etc. (Classicists are exempt from this, but I’ve suffered too many parties where I say I’m an Egyptologist and some man tries to tell me in a dismissive tone that the Egyptians didn’t write poetry and nothing can compare to the Greeks, and I try not to think of punching him very hard with my wine glass).
Anyway, hooray the Egyptologist finally got back on track, all these factors combined make people’s awareness of the complexity of Hieroglyphs pretty low, and thus they tend to think of them as just crude symbols that are either magic/special/mystical, and have no real depth of meaning whatsoever.
Now Emojis, in some sections of society, are denigrated as a ‘crude language’ used by people who can’t be bothered to ‘speak English properly’ (we all have that one older relative who absolutely hates them). Due to them being pictoral, and as I’ve already discussed the understanding of how Hieroglyphs work is fuzzy at best, there’s an easy comparison for those who want to crap all over how the ‘youth’ communicate (see article linked at the beginning of this paragraph). To quote said article:
The Egyptians created a magnificent but static culture. They invented a superb artistic style and powerful mythology – then stuck with these for millennia. Hieroglyphs enabled them to write spells but not to develop a more flexible, questioning literary culture: they left that to the Greeks.
These jumped-up Aegean loudmouths, using an abstract non-pictorial alphabet they got from the Phoenicians, obviously and spectacularly outdid the Egyptians in their range of expression. The Greek alphabet was much more productive than all those lovely Egyptian pictures. That is why there is no ancient Egyptian Iliad or Odyssey.
Aside from what’s written above being absolute horseshit (the culture is only static to an uninformed observer) and the Phoenician alphabet actually developed from pictoral symbols initially), the article goes on to state:
After millennia of painful improvement, from illiteracy to Shakespeare and beyond, humanity is rushing to throw it all away. We’re heading back to ancient Egyptian times, next stop the stone age.
This quote sums up nicely the author’s snobbishness, complete misunderstanding, and ethnocentrism quite nicely. It’s clear he did no real research into how Hieroglyphs work before denouncing them as crude and uncivilised in order to then denounce peoples use of emojis as equally ‘uncivilised’. But his view of Hieroglyphs is shared, if less dismissively, by the majority of people. People don’t see Hieroglyphs with any sort of sophistication.
Inevitably, this sort of banal comparison leads to books like the one in the original post, which has already been skewered quite beautifully above. The book’s author has the same understanding of hieroglyphs vs emojis as most people, and therefore he attempts to construct them how one would show a child how Hieroglyphs work and fails miserably. He fails to take into account that emojis have no real grammar or syntax (hieroglyphs have both) and thus thinks that, like he believes hieroglyphs work, the reader will just reconstruct the whole syntax in their head. Where he fails is in understanding that emojis, unlike hieroglyphs, have different interpretations depending on the context and nationality of the person using them. Hieroglyphs will always give you an indication as to which word you’re reading, whereas emojis aren’t generally used to write words (unless we’re obscuring our speech/writing in code) but to complement what we’ve already written (like making innuendo and then using the eggplant emoji).
In conclusion, yes I’ve finally finished whatever this is, people’s misunderstanding of emojis is linked to how they view other pictoral languages, particularly Hieroglyphs. Since they view hieroglyphs as primitive and stunted, and hieroglyphs are also visibly pictoral, they believe that emojis are used in precisely the same way and are thus stunted and primitive and can be constructed in the same way. Fundamentally, all of this (the linked article and the book in the original post) boils down to poor understanding and research. The author could have actually asked people how they use emojis to better understand them, and probably also should have done research on how Hieroglyphs work if they’re going to make such substantive comparisons.
But it’s not as fun to deride the way language is changing if you actually do the research is it?
[This post was unwarranted, but if you liked it, feel free to buy me a Ko-Fi ♥]
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