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Showing posts from April, 2019

Explorations in Business - Part 2 of ?

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When I was first talking to Abbey and John about doing something crazy like starting a business based on meditation coaching I think I needed some permission, some social validation. That was a start. When I talked to Bryan I connected with someone who started with my skepticism and was then able to see a good path forward. Now, I have to start defining what that path is and how to walk it.


There is such a ridiculous amount of work to do. It's a bit overwhelming. That's why John and Abbey recommended that I go with something that I'm truly interested in in that first meeting I had with them, because otherwise you just burnout anyway.

I bought MeditateWithJeff.com a couple of days ago. Actually, I bought it in 2017 when I first had success with managing my chronic pain with meditation. I didn't do anything with it, I didn't even have a plan, so I let it expire. Then, a couple of days ago I bought it again through domains.google.com. I looked at a few different optio…

"Flavor and Value" Versus "Jeff's Hammer"

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I can use philosophical tools that I've invented on my own philosophical concepts. Read and see.


I wrote an article titled "Flavor and Value" that talks about why we like things and how we justify it. The basic idea is that sometimes we don't have to justify liking something. Some values establish a base of value and there simply is no why, you just like it or you don't. That's the idea we will smash. Here is that article: http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2019/04/flavor-and-value.html

Jeff's Hammer is a conceptual tool I invented. The basic idea is that given any current level of understanding, there is always more available complexity. The metaphor of using a hammer to smash things into pieces, or smash things together, or to smash things across time and space, works well to remind us of this and keep us conceptually humble. Here is that article: http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/2019/02/jeffs-hammer-conceptual-tool.html

Now, let's apply Jef…

Creating a Creation Myth

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Good religions usually have a good creation myth.


Let's look at what I've written today, then we'll look at some of my thoughts and edits.

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In the beginning there was God, and God alone.

Desiring more than self, God created a seed, and planted the seed of existence in the vast soil of chaos.

The seed grew and blossomed. More seeds came forth. More growth, more blossoms.

As God looked upon creation sadness arose, and a single tear fell.

The tear was both the seed and soil of life.

From life more life emerged.

Each time life emerged into a new blossom, and so was changed by existence, and changed existence.

From this change emerged Other, made from change, and made to change.

Other saw God, and God was not alone.

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I wanted to cover the creation of the universe and the creation of mankind, and the awakening of consciousness.

I wanted the growth to be organic rather than some type of mechanical creation.

I wanted to show the idea of figure and ground,…

Alligator Wrestling and the Meaning of Life

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Two days ago I gave a speech at the Red Lotus Gallery open mic night in Muskegon, Michigan titled, "Alligator Wrestling and the Meaning of Life".


Here are the notes that I carried on a piece of paper in my wallet.

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adventure
why?
3 values - experiential, attitudinal
3 levels of knowing
experience of what
loss of control, regaining
step into the unknown, conquer it
face anxiety, overcome it
encourage you do same

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Every speech I give is a little different. I like it like that. In the moment I cut out the part about the three levels of knowledge. Two psychology concepts back to back just seemed like too much. I also added that we were doing medical checks on the alligators.

Here's the video.

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The speech went well, it was fun. It was my first time at the open mic night there. I try to take fun and interesting topics and connect them with deep and meaningful topics. I think it works well.

This speech affected the MC so much…

Anti-Fascists Are Fascists

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This will be the shortest article I've ever written.


In response to a Tweet about some Antifa members threatening people in the Brexit Party I commented thusly:

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Does anyone else find it ironic that the anti-fascists and the fascists both use the same means to the same ends: violence, intimidation, and threats to silence opposition and gain power.   anti-fascist = fascist

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It seemed to resonate, because it's true.

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You can find more of what I'm doing at http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

Jeff's Zipper

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Does free will exist? Is everything determined? Do I have choices? The current models don't satisfy me.


There are a lot of debates and a lot of theories on this. But, we need a framework that we can use for life.

We are obviously limited, highly limited. We can't do anything we want at any time. We have reflexes, and we don't even have to think about our heart beating. Many things are not within any field that could be considered free will.

But, we do make choices. There are alternatives that we have. I could write or not write, publish or not publish. I could read a book or watch tv. Eat beef tartare or drink raw colostrum.

The further into the future that I think the bigger my choices become. Today I can write or not write an article. This year I can write or not write a book. Today I can work on a pricing strategy for a new business venture. This week I can build a website. This month I can launch the business. The further out in time the more impact my choices can have…

American Universities and Racism

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The ideas that Martin Luther King Jr. died for, seem to be dying.


I mentioned to a friend a few days ago that I was afraid to write about racism. Mostly because you know people are going to attack you, and they are the violent type of people. It doesn't really seem like I should need to be involved anyway, I have other things to do. But, then I was thinking about the rise of the Soviet Union and the Nazis. How many good people sat on the sidelines while the society crumbled? How many people thought someone else would handle it? How many people thought that it wouldn't get so bad?

Appeasement to violent people doesn't work well. In the beginning these movements require appeasement. Later, they only require compliance in the face of threats, intimidation, and violence. So, if you aren't willing to stand against racism now, there won't be a point in the future that you will be able to.

The trend reminds me of "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn…

I Went to a Writing Group Today - April 24th, 2019

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Should I go to the writing group today? That type of question runs through my head before all meetings and activities. Then, afterward, you never doubt that it was best to go. You can tell because you're re-energized. It was the same today.


I had a plan heading to the meeting, something I wanted to try. Neil Gaiman mentioned a good writing technique, coming up with a situation and then asking, "How did we get here?" You then construct the story leading to that moment. I wanted to do that. I didn't. Here's the prompt from today.

(Also, I went sporting this cool temporary tattoo done by a friend that says "Once upon a time..." across one forearm, representing the start of an unfinished story. I also have broken chains around both of my wrists representing Prometheus bound and unbound to the rock cliff by the tyrant Zeus in punishment for giving the gift of fire to mankind.)

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Left to Write 4.24.19 Prompt
Craig’s List Missed Connection
Below is…

Explorations in Business - Part 1 of ?

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I have revealed my origination process in creative writing, theology, and personality transformation. Now I shall do the same in business.


I've been struggling with my next move for the last 6 months. I know I need to change something. I don't make that much money teaching English online, and I'll be squeezed out in the near future, I think. I've been doing it for about 2 and a half years anyway, so it's a good time for a change.

One issue is that I've had a lot of ups and downs over the last few years in my capabilities. I highly doubt my own ability now in a number of ways.

I knew that I wasn't making progress and that I needed to change something. That's part of why I'm always doing new things, I don't want to get stuck. If you lose momentum in life it's difficult to get started again.

A new environment with new people can change a lot. I'm on the email list for Start Garden, which is a small business organization in Grand Rapids, Mic…

On Responding to Stupid People

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I struggle with responding to peoples' comments. Mostly because most comments online are insults. Now, people in general are not necessarily good, I know this. Many are even evil. But the prevalence of insulting people online seems outrageously high. I wonder how much cowardice comes into play. Maybe these people want to say this stuff all the time, but in person they are afraid to, so they do it online instead. Anyway, I have to try to figure out how to handle these darn people.


The most vocal people commenting online are people with serious psychological orders. You can tell that by their comments. They are usually aggressive and insulting. I think it's often something like resentment mixed with frustration mixed with projection. When I've done aggressive online commenting it's been because of my own emotional issues. I'm guessing that goes for these people as well.

Let's look at some of the recent comments on my article "Aphorisms on Grief, Suicide, and…

Creating a Comic Book - Dungeon Buddies - Part 3 of ?

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We have a solid idea for page 1. We also have pieces and parts about the whole plot. Today I want to work on fleshing out the whole plot, which I'm thinking about as 10 issues of about 20 pages. The immediate scenes after our opening page are pretty obvious, but the overall story is still a little blurry in areas and I want to iron that out so that my first time through is decently smooth with, foreshadowing and such.


Here's page 1. Then I'll start working through trying to piece this whole epic story together.

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Page 1

Panel 1: Top third of page. A mountain ridge with two shadows walking along it, a soldier and a witch. Kind of dark and mysterious, ominous.

1. Narration: After the alliance won the war, the grand council sent a soldier and a witch to hide the Gauntlet of Kings in the X Mountains. Many had gone looking for it, none had returned.

Panel 2: Bottom two-thirds of page. Gauntlet floating above display mantel in the middle of the cave. Lut and Gaza on …

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 2 of ?

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You know when you start a project that's somewhat similar to one you've done before, and then it ends up being a bit more complex than you first imagined? That's what we're into here.


I've given hundreds of speeches on many different subjects. In the last month or so I've given speeches on resentment as the most destructive emotion, analyzing the philosophical roots of rock lyrics, how my family originated as Leprechauns, how I raised a dragon egg when I was a kid, the importance of comic books as an art form, and what a virtuous human being is. I've had people come up to me after every one of those speeches and tell me how much they liked it and how much it made them think, because I seem to have a unique view on most things. Next week I'm giving a speech titled "Alligator Wrestling and the Meaning of Life". But these Harry Potter speeches are a... challenge.

I have 2 things that are solid. I have 3, or 4, or 5 things that still have to be wo…

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