Tuesday, April 06, 2004

arg. A rough day.

Don't you hate it when you don't know exactly what to say to someone, so you rethink what you ought to write or say about a million times in your head, and every time you stop and take stock, you realize your little mental thesis has drifted even farther from anything that might concievably convince or communicate?

I also dislike being torn between furious reprisal and begging.

Yeah, I tried to write something to carrie, and formatted it as a genuine and informative thing, as a snapshot of my thoughts and feelings, rather than analyzing it to death and formatting for chance of understanding and success.

I keep forgetting she doesn't care about me anymore and has no inclination to read for content and correct for context. So I get a vaguely nice put-down back, and I don't know what to say in return.

On one hand, I should just say what I think, and be done. I'm pretty certain I don't have much of a chance for any kind of actual friendship with her, as it is, I'm pretty much being tolerated, I think. Carrie has always felt this sense of duty to include people, despite not having much of an interest in them as people. I remember how she was so nice and inclusive and helpful to Brad, despite his issues. I don't really want or appreciate that kind of position. It sounds nice, but you end up seeing her once a month, and having to initiate and sustain all the communication that occurs, and for what? Some sense of being there? A little kick of hope every time she keeps talking to you? No thanks.

On the other hand, I don't want to lose contact with her. She knows me pretty well. Probably better, in terms of details and experience than anyone. Her knowledge of me is skewed because she only saw me in my soft caring persona, only knowing me in Salt Lake City, while we were dating most of the time. So, given how well she knows me, it hurts that she seems to be so uncomfortable and disinterested in my presence, or thoughts. Is it a function of my characteristics, or hers? It almost doesn't even matter. Even supposing she had lost her mind ten seconds before I moved here(as she acted very differently back in SLC even after she left me) the judgement still hurts. She is the kind of person that I want to like me. I cared about her more than any person I've ever had a relationship with. I still care about her, even if it's poisoned with regret and loss and loneliness now.

She would no doubt prefer that I provide my services as a friend, be happy in her presence, entertain, enjoy, and so on. I can understand not wanting to deal with someone else as a thinking feeling entity, who may not be in perfect synch with you. It's easier to ask them to shut up about anything you don't want them to talk about, and keep things in areas you enjoy. But that's not actually being friends with someone. It's just saying you are, and ignoring everything about them you don't like.

You would think that eight months and a decision to leave a relationship behind me would deaden the emotions about a person. I probably won't ever date Carrie again. I have known this, if not quite accepted it, for a good time now. It's one of those things you have to decide to get through the blackness of loss. It's something I reconfirmed to myself time and time again, as things went on. But while that kind of decision changes your approach, the way you plan, the things you hope for, but it doesn't kill the emotions that remain. There is no bleach for the soul, that I have found.

I wish that I could be as blase' as she is, and walk away from the emotions and desires that come with sharing something like that for so long. Maybe she never felt the way that I did. I liked to imagine that I could tell how she felt. That we communicated in silence.

I guess this is all ancient history. It should be to me. It keeps rising up because she's here now, in front of my eyes(occasionally) when she had just disappeared after leaving me.

This has been nagging in the back of my mind since yesterday. I wrote something to her last night about it, and got her reply today. I haven't replied back yet, and I don't know what to say. I've taken two long walks and a ridiculously long nap and shower, to indulge my thoughts, and haven't managed to exorcise, or come to a decision, so I turned to the last resort, the blog. It's really been occupying me more than it should, and I think I'll lay it to rest for the moment. I have other work to do, and other people to care about.

Corey is out, and better, and seemingly legal-trouble free(very good).

Crystal and I continue to correspond, and I wish she were out here, so that I could talk to her about it. She's been through some rough stuff in the past, and I feel like we have some commonality of interest and understanding. It's too bad that I met her when I did, otherwise, things might be happier. Talking to her long distance is very strange, I feel like I can't quite render the same connection into words and elements in emails, and she has the oddest spelling I've ever encountered. It's strangely compelling, but horrifically incorrect. It spoils much of what she says to me, until I correct it for myself.

Talked to Noel not too long ago, he's still getting married, and pretty happy about it, insofar as text can communicate. I'm happy for him. I need to talk to Amanda more, get to know her better. I've also been corresponding with other ex highschool friends, as I have time on the computer nowadays(don't get out much).

The Job is of course, great. I'm very interested in what I'm doing, though I have let my personal affairs drop my productivity yesterday, the issues with Carrie, writing letters to Crystal, etc. I am feeling better about it tonight, I managed to get two environments largely in the bag, and I've got a lock on the next ones, I think. I need to focus more. There is so much for me to learn, and I really want to be good at this stuff. I know that I can be. I feel the shapes and concepts coming. It's like turning your thinking to rationalist patterns. You push and push and push, and you begin to feel the right kinds of patterns and shapes of thoughts. The kind with support and tests, and so on. AI is a field with too much to catch up on. I read and read, and work and work. I have to run before I can really quite walk, if I want to make it. And besides the theory of mind and research, I have to make sure not to get snagged by the specific system implementation details, the scripting, the environments, the little things I have to do to be in a team. It all has to be right.

I want to share a thought I had, some time ago, on the beach. I thought about why berserkers and suicide bombers are so dangerous. It's because they've chosen to let no other considerations enter into their behavior, they're unstoppable because they only have a single success condition. If someone xoxed Royce Gracie, Bruce Lee, and Batman into a single being, and set them in front of me, and said they'd grant me anything I wanted so long as I physically beat it, I would be happy, and without a worry. Because all I'd have to do is win. When it doesn't matter what else happens, and you have only one thing to worry about, then you can't be stopped. There are too many selfsacrificing maneuvers that work.

This is why so much of the martial arts is really learning to let go of considerations, not to worry about being injured, or dissapointing someone, thinking about hurting them, etc. If you can distill yourself into a single purpose, the flow and advantage of this makes you invincible. And this dynamic is visible everywhere. It is the essence of the Buddhist concept of self awareness without self-contemplation. Do what you are doing, and that only.

I realized, that as a dynamic, the complexity of that single goal is immaterial. It can be anything. So long as all your actions can flow from it alone, you can specify an arbitrarily detailed success condition. So long as it truly is a single desire. This is the strength that forms the basis of a great many deep truths. The light of rationality, the power of the dedicated life, why romantic focus gives you so much strength in return. Yudkowskian probabilistic supergoals, the tendency of fixated or obssesed people to succeed, the genesis of such traits within reproductive fitness. I suppose it's a kind of 23 truth. The smarter you are, the more you see it around you. But it is a decent enough little mantra, for when you are unsure if you can do something. you can probably do it, if all you have to do is win.

back to work.

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