Peak Bullshit: Turns Out The Dalai Lama is a Hateful Figure

Apparently, even privileged fucks from China can exploit inclusivity and diversity to shut people down. You know... hateful people like the Dalai fucking Lama.

Now I don't agree with the Lama or his ethos, but come on... he mostly talks about dealing with your own garbage and tending to yourself.

If you needed any more evidence that Social Justice is morally bankrupt exploitation of feeling over fact (and feeling over the exercise of individual judgment), there you have it. Calls for diversity and inclusivity, with rare exception, imply an abandonment of reason, which is the only bullshit detector you have.

Our relationship with our own faculties of reason come down to practice. It's use it or lose it. Either we call things as we see them or we're the next mark for whomever figures out how to push our buttons.

But, if our commitment to the truth is strong enough and we form convictions based on our long-term practice of clear thinking, we can be like the immovable stone in the river... the manipulations will flow around us like so much water.

We don't need to fix the world or anyone else's flawed notions. But we do need to look upon the world call bullshit when we see a steaming pile of it.  We are at peak bullshit right now (or hopefully heading toward it).  You've never needed your reason more.

There Are Four Lights!

Joe Rogan Experience #877 - Jordan Peterson

I've only checked out the episodes of Rogan that friends have said I have to listen to except for this one, which I have listened to with no recommendation.

Rogan has proven himself to be a really smart and knowledgable host who can hang with nearly anyone, at their level. This one has an amalgam of philsophy, psychology, and mythology and it's pretty dense at times but it's a great discussion about the cancerous effects of Postmodernist philosophy and its war against clear thinking and elevation of feeling over fact.

Peterson has decided to take a vocal stand against recent legislation in Toronto in regards to gender pronouns and I first became aware of him from Sam Harris's podcast but this conversation flows a lot better than the ones between Harris and Peterson.

This is a 3-hour chat. It is profound and worth your time.

Venezuela, Trump, and Sanders

In response to a long-time work friend on the Bookface:

Venezuela is an interesting Ghost of Christmas Future for societies which do not make banishment of force against any individual (tautologically, the smallest minority you can create) its highest priority.

When, instead of protecting rights, government acts as the violator in the name of "equitable distribution of revenues", the government violations of individual rights will not likely stop at force against the rich and wealthy.

You are correct about the current president. He is a danger to us all. However, this may also have proven true of a President Bernie Sanders as well. That is the important idea to consider.

Neither the Democrats or the Republicans are principled about using force to protect rights rather than to violate them. Nor do they have clear principles about what is or is not a right. The will of the majority does not create natural laws.

Going back to your original thought... I will try to appreciate this day. It is easy for me to get there mentally because my parents left behind everything they owned to escape the Viet Cong and come here. And today I celebrate the life of my paternal grandfather. Much love.

Don't Let Anyone Smuggle In The Bathwater With The Baby

You've done the hard work of making sure you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater: discarding sensible things associated with negative ones. Good!

Gotta also make sure you don't accept nonsense because it's hanging out with something sensible.

For example: kindness is a good state in which to be. But I've heard recently that political correctness is just another word for kindness/consideration from a person who was being rather unkind about it.

Well, with all due respect to reality, if it were merely kindness or consideration with no differentiating features, there wouldn't be a need for a separate term for it. You heard it here first, folks: Every new term entails some new differentiae from the genus. And if you don't think so, stop arguing for Gay Marriage and just accept "Civil Unions".

Different word? Different Concept.

Political correctness is an exploitation of an implicit moral gradient... one direction is uphill and the other benefits from gravity because we have, perhaps unknowingly, accepted some premise. It is usually meant to compel or prohibit certain behavior but the overarching goal is to make you doubt your own mind.


Self-doubt? Fuck that noise. We ain't got time for that.

I'm not saying we should go out of our way to be offensive. We're not Trampeteers or Alt-Right Supremacists. But we need to understand Political Correctness as what it is: Guerilla Warfare against the way your mind sees reality.

Well... Your mind is all that you have. And the extent to which you trust your mind is the extent to which you have self-esteem.

Don't smuggle in the bathwater with the baby. And don't let anyone else do that for you either.

How the World Becomes a Better Place According to the Bookface

Memes

  • Step 1: person posts rage-driven engagement-inducing meme.
  • Step 2: even more see that shit and feel either rage or self-righteousness
  • Step 3: profit

Blog posts written by your own hand

  • Step 1: Write something on your blog that can actually engage people in discussion without triggering them
  • Step 2: Two people see it

Prince on Arsenio in 2014

Apparently Prince was the very first guest on Arsenio Hall when he came back to Late Night in 2014.

An amazing interview. People are rapt... listening so closely you could hear a pin drop in the gaps while Prince is speaking.

He talks about technology being a double edged sword and that artists don't always get paid.  That is a malady of our age and people who love art and artists need to find it within themselves to make sure that they do not deprive artists of pay by their short sighted choices.

Justice, of the Social Sort

Social justice only happens when we treat people as individuals in accordance with their conduct.

However, most of what writers try to float as "social justice" is some variant of robbing people like Paul to pay people like Petra. The Pauls are given less than their conduct deserves out of some warped notion of tribal guilt.

That is not justice of any kind.

To Rent or To Own... To Be Employed or To Own

How many people have said to me that they think renting is throwing money away but owning goes toward somethiing. Many.

How many of these people consider whether working for someone else vs. starting and owning your own business is the same question. Very few.

What Social Justice People Want From You

People who make a lot of noise about social justice aren't very clear about what the end game is for all of their noisemaking.

They can't name it explicitly because, deep down, whether they know it or not, their end game is your guilt. And your guilt is their power.

They can win this only with your assent.


DON'T GIVE THEM A FUCKING INCH


Live your life the best you can playing the hand you were dealt. Live like your long-term happiness and well-being are your primary goal.

Sure... help others from time to time, but for your own reasons. Share your truth for your love of the truth. Share your knowledge for the love of knowledge. Share with people whom you enjoy because of their love of their own lives.

Never let sacrifice or guilt become your motive power. Never apologize for your priority of fact over feeling.

Wax On, Wax Off: The Arpeggio Meditation by Daniel Ward

Ukulele Magazine recently featured an article written by Daniel Ward on practicing arpeggios slowly and another article expanding on it.  I've incorporated meditative fingerpicking into my daily practice first thing to get focused on breathing and listening. 

I have also adapted the practice for the key of G Major:

ARPEGGIO MEDITATION IN G MAJOR

Fingerpicking practice, breathing, and listening. Arranged by Francis Luong (Franco)

G                                 Gmaj7
   4/4
    Gtr I
||--------2-------2-|-------2-------2-|-------2-------2-|-------2-------2-|
||o-----3-------3---|-----3-------3---|-----2-------2---|-----2-------2---|
||o---2-------2-----|---2-------2-----|---2-------2-----|---2-------2-----|
||--0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|


  Em7                                 Em6
|-------2-------2-|-------2-------2-|-------2-------2-|-------2-------2-|
|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|
|---2-------2-----|---2-------2-----|---1-------1-----|---1-------1-----|
|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|


  Cmaj7                               D7sus4            D7
|-------2-------2-|-------2-------2-|-------0-------0-|-------0-------0-|
|-----0-------0---|-----0-------0---|-----3-------3---|-----2-------2---|
|---0-------0-----|---0-------0-----|---0-------0-----|---0-------0-----|
|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-2-------2-------|-2-------2-------|


  G                                   Cm
|-------2-------2-|-------2-------2-|-------3-------3-|-------3-------3--||
|-----3-------3---|-----3-------3---|-----3-------3---|-----3-------3---o||
|---2-------2-----|---2-------2-----|---3-------3-----|---3-------3-----o||
|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0-------|-0-------0--------||

The Good, the Bad, and PowerTab

I decided to try assembling a tab using powertab which is pretty old these days and hasn't been maintained.  I don't suspect I'll continue using it.  Print output has severe issues with title alignment on Windows 10.

My inelegant workaround is ASCII output, which permits me to adjust the text.  I just don't think I have the patience to PDF, screenshot, and crop after using that dreadful interface.  

screenshot and crop from PDF

screenshot and crop from PDF

How to Be An Asshole and Feel Good About It

(Warning: Turn on the sarcasm filter.)


The Formula

If I care about...

  • (Group 1: the victim... please select one or more)
    • women
    • gays
    • transgendered
    • blacks

...then I have a license to belittle, harrass, and disrespect people who are...

  • (Group 2: the privileged... please select one or more)
    • men
    • straights
    • cys-gendered
    • non-blacks

...and anyone who criticizes my arguments in favor of the same victims.


The Mentality of the Enforcer

"The privileged" (Group 2) have no ground on which to demand common decency unless they first pound their chests about how privileged they are.

Unless they understand the depths of their guilt, we will treat them in accordance with that guilt.

By treating "the privileged" badly, I am being kind.  I am increasing net kindness in the world.  And I am only being mean to people who deserve it.  Their lack of inclusiveness as evident by their lack of making similar noises is all the evidence I need of their bigotry.

There is no live-and-let live with bigots.  You can't ignore them.  You have to shout them down and make civilized conversation impossible for them.

Only by making the right noises can they prove their innocence.  Maybe then they can they be permitted to be heard.

You can tell a person isn't a bigot because they also shout down bigots.  Support these people.

Anyone who disagrees is a bigot or is giving comfort to the status quo.  They stand in the way of social progress.  They need to be treated like bigots.

If I have identified a new type of victim that other people aren't including, I've changed the game and I'm a winner.  I get to mistreat any people who don't acknowledge this unsung victim until they start making the right noises.  I love this game!

In the end, the world is going to be such a kind and inclusive place!

I'm really making the world better!

Pooping rainbows and love out of my ass is amazing!


Franco Q2 2017: 90-day Lookback

Ukulele Practice Everyday

Pretty sure I played ukulele every day in the last quarter.  On the days I didn't feel well, I played for 30 minutes or so and then shut it down.  On the really crazy days, I put in about 4 hours.

I can spend 20 minutes a day practicing a song that is only 2 minutes long and still not have mastery over it after a month.  And so, I have a lot of respect for people who make it look easy.

I've been recording video of my practices.  I was doing this selectively at first but found that I was too nervous about "getting it right" for video and it didn't feel natural.  So I decided to purchase an external 4TB USB drive and now I am recording nearly every minute of my practice.  I burned ~3.2GB of storage just yesterday.  It's an extravagant use of storage, but totally worth it and storage is cheap.

I posted 3 videos to my Youtube channel and 9 videos to my Instagram profile.  I've been embracing a mode of "Document, Don't Create" and it's a lot easier for me to just post something that has rough edges with that mindset.

The 50 songs project is going strong, albeit slowly.  I now have a combined 43 songs on my "accepted" and "active" lists.  The instrumental solo songs take a good bit longer to be able to play but are very rewarding.  I have found that most of my energy goes toward this and I am fine with slowing down the project for this purpose.  James Hill's site, The Ukulele Way has been the most important resource in my development during the last 90 days.

Also, I finished working my way through Harmony and Theory and I am now pursuing Ear Training during breakfast.

Physical Challenges

Q1 2017 presented a number of physical challenges for me.  A shoulder injury sustained while practicing Jiu Jitsu has made me reluctant to do pull-ups since January and those were a staple of my workouts.  So I've switched to resistance bands and I am doing my own rehab.  I can now do half height (to 90 degrees) pull-ups without too much distress.

And, just a month ago, I found out just how bad it is to add miles really quickly.  I ran so much I limped for a week.  So I put myself on the injured list and I will not be running either of the races I listed on Franco Now: 2017 1Q.  That being said, I did run with The Raven in Miami when I was there in January, so I had my fun.  I am still proud of most of my training but I am looking forward to taking a break from running to heal up.

Time Enough for Heinlein

I read a LOT of Heinlein.  Added many quotes to my Aphorisms page.  I think I've just about had enough of him.  So going to move on to other readings.  Dune perhaps.  And more Sanderson.

Strong Tech

My tech development went pretty well during Q1 2017.  I made a conscious effort to spend more time working on frontend Javascript/ReactJS/BootstrapCSS work and it has paid off nicely.

I have agreed to take on Scrum Master role for the team so I will have study up to understand how I can help the team to better organize and turn our hard lessons into new cultural practices.

And Other Things As Well

I hosted two WDS Local DC meetups.  I do a roll-call in the days before each to ensure a quorum before proceeding.  It works well enough.

I didn't do so well at contacting a friend each day but I feel like I did pretty well at keeping in touch with remote buddies.  I averaged a phone call with a long-distance friend about once every 2 weeks and even managed to get some people on/before their birthdays.

I started the process for becoming a volunteer with the County.  Going to try to focus on assisting Seniors with living during 2017.  And I am hoping that I can incorporate ukulele into this.