Marc's INTJ Blog

The Manual-Writing Bonus and the Gift that Muted the World

Friday July 3, 2020

So, last week I hit publish on an Operation Guide for the R-108 shortwave radio. So I thought I’d share some reflections on the experience.

There are three reasons why I wrote the guide. First, I wrote the thing because I was triggered to hear that no one could find the official PDF manual on the internet. That’s always really annoying. And anyway, the manuals for these radios are usually pretty bad. I remember thinking, “I could probably find my copy, but still, whatever I can write from scratch will likely be an improvement.” Cocky maybe, but it’s also relevant that so many of those manuals truly suck.

Second, I wrote it because I was familiar with relevant INTJ Character Bonuses and really, it’s hard to go wrong when you get that +2 or whatever the bonus is on your die roll. If your character’s skill attributes in Research and Consumer Electronics Operation are reasonably OK, then I think there’s a reasonable chance it’ll be a good experience.

In this case I took the “I Rewrote the Manual” Level 2 bonus, but included some Level 3 stuff like my personal tips for getting the most out of it. I am thinking of taking things more in that direction in the future.

And third, I wrote it because I knew the radio pretty well already. I use it quite a bit to tune in stations from around the world, and I have enjoyed getting to know how it works.

Naming the guide was a bit of a weird one, too. In the past, I’ve had some really blunt (er…I mean, smart!) critics write me about naming things. One of these people read a review I wrote, in which I shared my general experiences with a thing. “THIS IS NOT A REVIEW. YOU NEED TO DO MORE RESEARCH ON YOUR TOPIC,” they wrote.

Unfortunately their deep, personal irritation took on a very entitled tone. I like to think this person was probably really excited about the thing being reviewed, and wanted to know it inside and out before deciding whether to buy it. And, unfortunately, I hadn’t consulted them on the title of my work. lol

Anyway, this got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be cool to make this my own type of publication anyway? So I decided to call my version an “Operation Guide”, and then edited it to read “KM6NHH Operation Guide” because I wanted to make sure there was no confusion: I positively revel in the fact that a “KM6NHH Operation Guide” is no one’s concept but my own.

Now, at this point I was starting to give the “depth” facet of the “introvert” mental model a real workout. I was thinking all about this new publication of mine, from top to bottom. I imagined turning it into a starter kit for radio owners. I imagined designing and selling my own radios, with important value-adds that would make the ownership experience more educational and interesting!

By the end of the day, I was positively drunk with interest in the topic. Nothing else was really on my mind at all. I was lost in the effort, and happily lost at that. But people around me were starting to notice. My wife brought dinner out to my office, which is always super amazing, but also a big “???”, as in “what in the world are you doing that’s this important?” Her parents asked a similar question, as they were our dinner guests that evening. “Well, I don’t want to RADIWOW, but you see, the RADIWOW has got me into RADIWOW things so deep that I just had to RADIWOW for a bit, and then I started to RADIWOW even more…”

It’s a funny name for sure. And from that perspective, it all feels so random. Who cares about this little radio? All the same, I can’t fault the experience at all, due to the way it had me humming at some highly-resonant creative frequencies.

This is exactly how it feels to put one’s gifts to use, and even if they only make a small difference, it’s no wonder that these experiences seem to momentarily eclipse the significance of one’s entire universe.

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Amazing Sleep Equals Fewer Blog Posts

Monday June 29, 2020

Lately I’m learning that a pretty reliable indicator of a prolific blogging day OR a no-blogging day comes down to the amount & quality of sleep I had the night before.

For example, last night I slept pretty well. I woke up a bit early, and felt “ok”, but then managed to go back to sleep. (My records show that trying to fall asleep again is almost always worth a try because of the mood and resilience boost.)

And true to my past experiences, some minutes later, I awoke in a very pleasant state. Not much blogging was done today. In the morning, I was pretty much resilience personified. Tasks, goals, plans—it all seemed very approachable. In the afternoon, when in theory I was somewhat less rested, I drafted something that seemed a bit embarrassing, but I never hit Publish. Which is funny because I’m pretty sure I would have hit Publish on less sleep.

As another example, take June 4 and June 6, days on which I wrote six blog posts each. That’s a pretty big frikkin’ deal around here.

I went back to my journal from those two days. And there it is again: On those two days I didn’t really get terrible sleep, but I didn’t exactly get great sleep, either. You might say that a particular mental-physical state was reached. (I think of it as a “spiky” state.)

So, especially in the extreme cases, this pattern seems reliable so far.

Also, the state of my “rested condition” varies throughout the day, depending on things like naps and work conditions.

This may be the very reason why I’m blogging right now. Earlier it held no interest. But right now? After a long day of work? Welcome to the spike zone.


What’s interesting to me is this duality-lens: Who is that prolific blogging person? the…uh…blogstrovert? Who even is that?

Well, it me! At least from one perspective—the simple one. But we can juggle multiple perspectives and models here, no prob. So: It also not me.

You see, I worry a bit about leaving that person behind, or mishandling their needs. Mostly their needs are: A voice, an opinion. But also, some fun. Oh and some insights, shared. Some experiences, shared.

We can call this ESFP stuff, or ENTJ stuff, or ENTP stuff, or extravert stuff, or extrovert stuff, or whatever. But also, the depth-oriented side of this process is important. The side that doesn’t really think in categories. The observant, analytical side of the process thinks and feels in depth.

So I guess I look forward to exploring from that POV, to see what can be learned. How does sleep affect an interplay of different perspectives, judgments, and life experiences? This is really cool to me.

With that said, I’ve strapped on El Sleepo, my smart watch. I went without it for a while, but it’s back, with a Snoopy watch face, and it’s ready to measure my sleep again. To dive in, reengage, and gather additional observations. I hope to emerge with some more insights, be they intriguing, powerful, funny, or even completely in line with your expectations as an astute readership. ;-)

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A Takeaway from Day So Far

Wednesday June 24, 2020

For years now I’ve been developing a very simple tool to help evaluate one’s day so far. This used to be called DaySCOR, but I’ve renamed it to DSF, for “Day So Far.” You can find it in my latest journaling template.

According to my experience in developing DaySCOR / DSF, one of the biggest mood-gifts I could give you today is tractability. By that I mean the power to affect and change things around you. This seems to reliably affect one’s perception of how things are going.

Even better if those things intrigue you, excite you, or help you overcome emotional burdens.

Hopefully there are some things around you that you’d like to affect. It can be a lot of fun to plan various ways to do this. To me it’s amazing that you can invent a good mood by inventing new things to do:

  • I think I’ll visualize a schedule that is nimble, flexible, and exciting. It will result in my having accomplished things that are meaningful to me, yet also appealing to work on right now.
  • I think I’ll take a new and different route on my hike today.
  • I think I’ll set a huge boundary with my time today and do some planning on a personal project.
  • I think I’ll try a new research organization method today.
  • I think I’ll call this friend who almost never lets the conversation get depressing or boring.

Even just a big-picture plan for this kind of thing starts to look like an artist’s sketch. It’s simple, but effective.

With this kind of basic idea or plan in place it’s easy to find oneself slipping right into the work. That’s tractability. There is no “procrastination” there.

This kind of activity can also have an addictive or compulsive property, IMO, so some restraint may even be called for.

Lately I use the taper-down time, the wrap-things-up time, to prepare gifts for future me:

  • Here, I got you started on your work for Monday.
  • Here, I planned you a fun experience for Saturday.
  • Here, I made you a list of difficult feelings so they wouldn’t follow you into your walk with your daughter.

Making time for this kind of thing is a bit frustrating, when there may be other things I could finish now. But starting things is sometimes way more powerful given the availability of such energy. Especially if you just spent hours finishing other things.

I’ve mentioned some of this before, but sometimes I re-draft a bit, updating details, connections, and personal experiences. I hope it’s not terribly boring to read things like this, because the implications seem really exciting to me: The difference between DSF ratings of “4” and “8” on a single day could carry forward to affect days, weeks, and lifetimes of a given subject or individual. But that difference will also radiate away from us to affect those with whom we relate, which is an oft-neglected aspect of productivity and self-improvement.

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A Pattern on the Productivity Radar

Friday June 19, 2020

Howling arctic wind sounds…


Departing helicopter sounds. Arctic clothing rustling sounds.

Sorry for shouting! Let’s get the door closed there…OK, and then we’re just down this hallway. Here we are. This is the presentation room.

Have a seat anywhere you like…

OK, just a couple things and we’ll get the briefing started. First, here’s the briefing outline:

  • What we do
  • How we can help you
  • What we’re noticing lately
  • Takeaways

And, here’s the hot drink you ordered. Believe me, I know how this place can chill a person to the bone! We’ve never been known for our warmth, but we sure get things done to schedule up here. A little joke.

Anyway, on with the briefing.

What we do

First: What we do. We are tasked with Strategic Productivity Implications Research and Monitoring. SPIRM.

[Editor’s note: Rewinding sounds…]

So, first: What we do. We are tasked with Strategic Monitoring and Research for Productivity Applications. SMRPA. [Editor’s note: I’m goin’ with it]

It’s pronounced like “sherpa.” You know, the Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Nepal and parts of India? Anyway. We really love our little facts.

Our purpose is to establish and maintain an outside-in view on your personal productivity. We monitor productivity activities for patterns, and then we perform research and analysis tasks to Catalog, Objectify, Enhance, Link, or Exploit those patterns. A lot of people back in the capitol think we’re only meant to do the last one. To them, productivity is just one Exploit after another. But really, we’re the brains here, more than anything. We find that the other steps are really the key, and with those steps in place, Exploitation is much simpler than you’d think.

How we can help you

And this is how we can help you—we can bring this process to bear on any productivity task or phenomenon that hits our radar screens. Goal fulfillment, detail work, or a plain old, M1-A1 PITA to-do list.

If you have a question, problem, or concern about productivity, you can reach out to us. We can even look back on past events a bit, and extract data. There’s a bit of loss here and there, so we hope you’ll contact us as soon as possible. But we’re always willing to help.

What we’re noticing lately

And that’s why we asked you to come in for a briefing today.

One of those patterns we’re noticing lately looks like this. It starts out kind of deceptively great, but then gets concerning, fast:

  • A particular mental-physical state is reached. Your most recent sleep pattern can impact this significantly—perhaps a little bit less sleep, or a little bit worse sleep, than normal, will sometimes bring you to this state.
  • A mental “productivity opening” then occurs. You feel a sense of “let’s go” energy.
  • The productivity opening starts to unfold like a really active mood—maybe you’re even unstoppable with productivity!
  • It’s often very temporary. But we think this may be a good thing. Because:
  • Under these circumstances, it’s tempting to accelerate one’s productivity across a broad front. You start to think, “I have the energy to do all this stuff? Great! Then I’ll use it before I lose it.”
  • This can also be described as the addictive, or even compulsive property of the productivity opening. (These words are scary, but we think the risk can be mitigated.)
  • When productivity accelerates across a broad front, there’s this moment of total commitment which starts these little disconnects. We find these little disconnects happening. You see these little things here and here?
  • The first one is an emotional-values disconnect. In other words, these tasks are somewhat removed from your values system—maybe they are things just done for other people. The point is, it’s not like you would love nothing more than to work on these, right?
  • The second one, here, is a sensory-conditions disconnect. This means that you have started ignoring your body condition and comfort. These can be little things like hydration, or various beneficial sensory stimuli, or even using the restroom when you need it. This can also start a “swing” effect where you under-eat, and then overeat, for example.
  • And here’s another thing we wanted to point out. Do you see this dark area? This is a mapping-disconnect. It means that your activities just re-scrambled the mental map of your project or activity. And re-scrambling means a re-drawing is needed. It’s kind of like you’ve been completely disconnected from any concept of the big picture.
  • So there are some disconnects. Sometimes they can get pretty bad—which seems weird at first because you’re in such a productive state.
  • Some of the consequences of these disconnects, if they continue, are: Loss of interest in things, exhaustion, gloomy feelings, migraines, and negative perceptions about the future.
  • This is extra dangerous because the disconnects have a lag time! Maybe an hour, but sometimes maybe two, three, or four hours later is when you’re noticing these things. And if it’s a day later—well, that day may just be a complete disaster.
  • We see that when a sort of “frequent reunification” can be managed, these disconnects don’t happen as often.
  • In fact, you can learn to feel those disconnects coming. You can predict them while you’re in the middle of a high-productivity, broad-front state. We think this is pretty cool.
  • Even if it’s too late, you can still plan to set boundaries and re-unify. For example, by taking the rest of the day off, or finding other ways to rebalance.

So that’s what we’ve noticed lately. It’s a lot of bullet points, we realize. We’re information people, and we admit that we love those things. Over time we’ll refine the information. But part of our job is early warning, and that’s why you’re here.


So, what can you do about this? We have some ideas. First, a general tip:

When you use your Journaling Template, you may wish to add a question about where your post-sleep mental state is at. This could help you predict an oncoming pattern of this particular type. And that early awareness is really powerful.

And second, since the Task BATL Command has trained and qualified you as an Operative, here are some Task BATL-specific tips we think can help:

  1. Use the Rebasing module at more frequent intervals when this pattern occurs. This will increase the psychological distance from your hyper-productive state. And that will cause a release of disconnecting energy.
  2. Let the Debriefing module proceed from that point. This will force a big-picture reconnect.
  3. If possible, integrate the See the World module when appropriate. This forces a sensory reconnect. But if you can’t See the World, at least see the couch, bed, anything that’s relaxing and different.
  4. Poll your little-picture values and integrate a bunch of “F” or CIRCLE items into your to-do list. This re-connection with your not-so-productive side will help you free yourself from the grip of various unwanted emotional or sensory processes.


This pattern is a killer! Believe me, we have seen some really unfortunate outcomes in the past, with you and others.

Well, thank you for your time and attention. We will continue to monitor things for you—that’s what we do. Anytime you have a productivity question or concern, be sure to get in touch.

In the meantime, feel free to relax, explore the facility a bit, and we’ve got dinner and a weekend movie prepared for you at 1800.

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Feel someone that you ready know

Friday June 19, 2020

Carson Family Tech Senpai Big Brother Mike writes,

How about something like this in a power outage: Linky

I thought that was pretty neat. Mike knows we’ve had some forced power outages here in the past, due to high winds and wildfire concerns.

Here’s the video if you like embeds:

And here’s the Amazon link if you like direct Amazon links

And here’s the product if you would rather just have the raw info: Tyler 10” TV (They also make a Tyler 7” TV) with rechargeable battery

Man, if I had this as a kid…phew. We don’t even have to go there. I’m a kid now, so it’s the same darn thing. If I had this as a me-these-days, that would be so epic! I’d ride around on my adult e-skateboard just watching TV and laughing at those power outages.

I really don’t know if a TV like this would even be useful here, because our local TV is managed through local TV repeaters, and I’m thinking those won’t work at all during an outage. But I’m going to check anyway because it would have been really helpful to have a little TV like this during the last outage.

FM radio worked well during that last big outage, and ham radio was great, but TV adds a certain dimension of comfort. Hooking our normal TV up to a generator is also possible, but a little bit annoying when you’re doing so many other things to manage your life during an extended power outage.

Anyway, it might be fun for camping or traveling around. Sometimes we end up in areas where there are an impressive number of TV stations that are available.

And then there’s TV DX, which I’m looking forward to trying out. Atmospheric conditions are pretty great right now. In FM radio DX, Todderbert recently captured an FM station from Lethbridge, Alberta, which is 1,200+ miles from his home location. He also posted a tutorial video which may be worth a watch.

To me this is like fishing, but without the part where your ENFP daughter hates seeing fish suffer, and her cheeks are swelling up with tears. No, indeed it seems like the radio waves are happy to play along, and if anything suffers it’s probably going to be your hyper-social persona, when your I-got-no-radio next-door neighbor asks you what you’re planning for this weekend, just as you begin to inventory various radios and TVs from around your home.

(Did I just shoehorn The Vines? Yes I just shoehorned The Vines. Worth it)

Filed in: /26/ | /61/

Shall We Process This Blogging Dream

Thursday June 18, 2020

I had this blogging-related dream last night. In the dream, it had been a while since I wrote anything on the blog. Life was going pretty well, and then one of you guys sent me a wad of anonymous e-cash, asking for a new post.

First, this made me laugh (after I woke up) because it plays to my preference to see my own little blog as God’s Chosen Land, or whatever. Because I’m so right, and good, about everything! Yuck. But it happens.

I also admit that I get excited by the thought of a favorite project like this blog bringing about a good outcome, and that excitement can also give way to massively disproportionate perceptions at times, as well as some rather distant, temporally-shifted concerns like, “the current title of my blog won’t accommodate 50 million readers who don’t know what an INTJ is, but who still like reading the blog for whatever reason.”

Second, the dream made me a bit uncomfortable because of the ol’ I’m not doing it for money dichotomy. A dichotomy which runs from “simple, uncomplicated economic transaction” on one end to “I believe in this so much I’d do it for free” on the other. So, what if I stopped believing in what I’m writing and doing here? Would I be able to sustain this effort, just for money? Or worse, what if the economics involved seemed to reward some kind of perverse pattern, like “writing staff go on strike until anonymous e-cash is received?”

This dichotomy, left unexplored, can cause a lot of trouble for us INTJs. To have a basic, qualitative sense of values is to have a sense of why things should be done at a given level of quality and effort. And a thought like that can turn out like this:

  • Things should always be done this way. It’s just better.
  • Every one of my efforts should incorporate this values system. It’s me. It’s who I am and what I offer.
  • Why is writing so difficult all of a sudden?
  • It’s been years since I last wrote anything.
  • (Cue the rediscovery of values-nuance, or whatever brings things back again)

And that sucks. It happens sometimes, but it sucks. In past articles, I have tried to point out various methods that have helped pull me through that kind of a cycle when it arises. Just thinking about and reflecting on that process being a seemingly powerful one.

Third, the dream brought to mind something that’s rather new on my own psychological horizons. It’s this concept of learning to be OK about treasuring and conserving a thing 1) for treasuring’s sake, and 2) for who it is. I really care about my readership. I like what I’ve been able to do here. And it smarts a bit to reflect on the fact that past-me could have easily left all of this behind, when it came down to it! The same is true with relationships. They were more disposable than I’d like to admit. Moving forward, I want to choose reconciliation where possible.

I’m more of nothing than I ever was before, and this has helped me see how reconciliation is more possible than it was before. It’s hard to reconcile with any given externality, when your current form seems to fill so much of the picture of your life.

Still, maybe I’m not nothing enough at times, and I hope to be more nothing in different ways, in the future. (This is less of a values-comment like “I hate myself,” and more of a perspectives comment—I’m looking outward more, and seeing the under-appreciated value in outward stuff. In that way, you could perhaps relate it to Jung’s concept of extraversion.)

So, part of this dream was me processing something like: Yes, it’s my blog, I currently enjoy it, I think you guys are great, and also it would somehow be a tragedy to leave it all and move on, at some point—so let’s not do that, if possible. In fact, let’s bring it all forward. I like thinking along these lines. I like blogs that have been around for a long time. I want to provide that kind of stability and I think I am learning more about how that works.

And finally, the dream made me feel good in a different sense: It’s been my experience that you don’t have nuanced dreams like that—part compliment, part concern—when things are going badly. At least, I don’t.

Which leads me to my last item:

Thank you, all of you—my readers, skimmers, life-improvers, thought-challengers, or whatever you are. Thank you for reading, for sending your comments my way. Thank you for putting up with my periodic regressions to that grumpy INTJ, or that devil’s-advocate blogger, or any of the various possible outcomes I attempt to wade through and reconcile with each new blog post.

As we move forward I am excited to see what the future brings, and I really mean that. We have a lot of models to flesh out, people to discuss, ideas to play with and examine, and Youtube is recommending really cool new music with every passing day. For me this is a really nice place to be, psychologically speaking. :-)

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Sam Harris and the Call of the Ninja

Wednesday June 17, 2020

Some links and then a bit of a rant, and then some proposals.

I was listening to a recent Tim Ferriss podcast with Sam Harris. I like Tim Ferriss—he’s to me a good example of a maybe-ISFP who’s done well in life. He listens, he supports, he shares knowledge and he’s easy on the ears.

Anyway I am not as familiar with Sam Harris. I look forward to learning more about him. But was a bit shocked to hear him repeat this line of thought with which I’ve become very familiar:

It makes me think that the solution for climate change has to be surreptitious at this point. There is no political solution.

OK. You see? That’s what shattered ideals look like, right there. I feel that. This is SUPER important for people like us to learn to recognize. Because it’s also a values-entangled, emotional process that Sam’s giving a nope. It’s not just a commentary on this broken politics-thing.

And this other part—this was a bit hard to hear: “Surreptitious.”

That “surreptitious” word is admittedly becoming a huge cringe for me lately. Why? Because I keep hearing it from people who are continually finding yet another reason to be annoyed with politics. (TBH it’s difficult not to confuse this with “people who suck at politics,” whether due to lack of exposure or interest)

Some of those people read this blog, and they HATE politics. They hate things like:

  • Shallow social messages, which to them are BS compared to pure, thoroughbred, grass-fed, down home economic market force.
  • Knowing that elected and appointed inauthentic and dishonest individuals are at this very moment taking advantage of messaging to make a fast buck
  • Not being personally consulted on how things should work
  • A lack of deference to their own covert goodness-contract with the universe, which could be clearly seen in their acts, with the proper existential microscopy gear. And which we shall just assume everybody’s on board with. We all agree to be as good as I think we should be, and no worse.

But also, it’s my experience that these same people are kind of afraid of:

  • Detailed information that may prove their positions incorrect, or change their minds
  • Good people who invite them to get involved, before they’re personally ready
  • Making time to sit down and listen to people with tons of experience, and who are optimistic, and who may also prove them wrong

So, I know some INTJs who are in that circle. Not fun to talk about, but there we are. [Edit: I have to emphasize “we” here a bit, because while I’m pretty open to new ways of thinking about stuff, I think there are pathways that lead to the conditions above, and sometimes it’s just important to know that you can break through, should you find yourself in that spot.]

I know others who are definitely good when it comes to politics. Personally I have to remind myself—this stuff is not automatic by a long shot.

And I mean, I hate to stereotype here, and this is a TINY bit tongue in cheek, but we have GOT TO START PROVING ENTPs WRONG.

We’re not just armchair critics who can shoot anything down but utterly fail at carrying through with the creativity. We can do so much better than slinking off like ninjas, fighting like mercenaries working on covert contracts.

We can be:

  • Optimistic about designing and developing our own engagement processes, even if we harbor some doubts initially
  • Upbeat about our capacity to learn to think and speak diplomatically, even if we feel an urge to go for the jugular
  • Encouraging to those who can do and are doing these things when we can’t.
  • Appropriately emotional, regrouping and healing around our personal needs during periods of defeat.
  • Cleverly tactical, carrying that energy forward as a lesson learned and a new approach.
  • Systems-conscious, meta-reflective, and aiming to map out every part of whatever elephant our blind world is attempting to understand.

Otherwise this “non-political solution” tends to pull us right out of the fight, a fight we can win. (Recalling that beginners may think of winning in really jacked up, black-and-white terms, but the experienced who pushed through that have often discovered real-life winning conditions)

Sam continues:

We actually simply have to design products and sources of energy that people find more desirable, like Tesla cars being the perfect example. At a certain point, people just need to want electric cars more than they want gasoline cars for reasons that have nothing to do with climate, just because they’re better cars and we have to innovate on dozens of fronts in that way and just do whatever we need to do to mitigate the problem, despite the fact that we can’t persuade anyone that it’s even a problem.

A lot of this is good, and probably works to some degree—I think most of us will get that at an intuitive level.

It’s also very tech-focused. That’s a psychology. I’m guessing Sam’s psychology is extremely info-referential, organizational, and performance-oriented. Which is great. But by being a “type” of psychology, it can also be exclusive and difficult to approach for outsiders.

And it’s also extremely perceptive, in the “just sit back and watch” sort of not-so-great way. It almost leads one to a conclusion like:

“So…there’s already great Tesla cars on the market, and more are headed that way. So we’re good? Those of us who don’t design cars and stuff…do we need to do anything at all? Maybe we just sit and watch the economy work its magic.”

Such a thing could lead to drastic delays. As big-picture perceivers, some of us may even find that we lean toward herd-sacrifice in the “sometimes sucks but necessary” way, but man, consciously enabling it? Delays like that are pretty jacked up if they’re not strictly necessary. If we can do some experimentation and accelerate the game, we may seriously save the herd.

Sure, we’re all a bunch of closet secret agents, spies, ninjas, Special Ghost Warriors, or whatever. Here we are in the dark corners, guiding things via market forces!

By the way, have you ever been so ninja that you camped an entire game away?

I’ve camped entire games away. Man, I have definitely camped like a ninja, but maybe more like a ninja camper.

I’m working on my own ways of pushing ahead, bringing those ideals to a better outcome for humanity. I hope you will, too.

Let us train in secret, and hone our ninja skills for resilience, and exposure to new and even foreign platforms.

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Toro et Toi

Tuesday June 16, 2020

I have been thinking about Toro y Moi lately, and the way he gives me these INTJ vibes. So I thought I’d sit down and watch an interview to see what more I can learn.

I really love his authenticity and connection with his self-concept, and how that feeds directly into his energy.

One of the things that stood out to me was what you might call a “technology tension” or a technology dichotomy. That and other dichotomies:

  • Technology is Eh (2:55) vs. Technology can enable the Best Experience (5:37)
  • Less is More vs. More is More
  • Keeping Up vs. Keeping It Together
  • Fitting Into an Expectation vs. Fitting Oneself Out
  • My Interests vs. Audience Interests
  • Being Authentically Un-professional and Random vs. Becoming Professional and Streamlined

Basically all of this stuff is right in INTJ central, especially for INTJs who are raised in an environment where there’s a drive toward, or a passion for, the sensory side of life.

That last item—that’s really, really hard as well. Remaining professionally authentic and true, as a performer? Wow. That’s one hell of a process and I don’t envy anybody who goes through it.

Also I’m seeing that workaholic, so Toro, on the slim chance that you end up reading this, please take care of yourself and keep chilling.

Finally, I’d just mention that we have another observationally-INTJ individual here who started out as a graphic designer. A LOT of you guys, self included, have roots in graphic design. One of the most difficult job choices I ever made was a choice between graphic design and tech. The two jobs seemed appealing in different ways, each speaking to such different sides of who I was, and I remember wondering: “Which one am I?”

Filed in: /61/ | /20/ | /37/ | /30/

Notes from a Recent Twilight:2000 RPG Session (Solo Roleplaying)

Monday June 15, 2020

I just posted a write-up of a recent solo RPG session, based in the Twilight:2000 universe. It was fun and even kind of instructional.

Here’s what I researched and learned more about, while playing:

  • European Geography
  • Canadian military history
  • Military specialties
  • French helicopters

The learning part was fascinating. And the fact that I could integrate anything I wanted (people, vehicles, weapons, locations) into my own session universe was almost wasted on me (I’m such a realist) but I did try to take a few departures. The inclusion of an airfield in the Frisian Islands is a nod to one of my favorite flight movies, Dakota (1974).

Also I do like a good solo session. Playing with other people, it can be hard to “play what I feel”, so to speak. I try to make my own AI mechanic and really enjoy the meta-process.

I had fun rolling up all the little details like sex and personality type. Amusingly, the personality types of the characters in this scenario turned out to be INFP, ISTJ, ESTJ, and ESTJ. If you’re familiar with Socionics, one way of looking at these types is as Deltas, belonging to the same sub-group of four personality types.

And while we’re here browsing the Socionics article, we might as well ask: How do Deltas look at Gammas like us INTJ / ILIs?

Deltas tend to see Gamma types as driven and reliable in personal and business relationships, but not sufficiently understanding of people who want to pursue their own individual path in life. Gamma types sometimes become too demanding and can have a streak of vindictiveness or spitefulness which prevents them from being accepting and forgiving.

OK, a bit of a cringe there, but that sounds about right. Damn I can be prescriptive when things get tight. Speaking of which: Hey INTJ team? Let’s all be more accepting and forgiving and less demanding and spiteful, OK? Cool, done. LOL

Also related: There is an upcoming Kickstarter for Twilight: 2000 planned for August. Looks pretty cool.

I never really got into the Twilight:2000 mechanics, preferring instead to learn about the story and universe. Heck, I was fascinated by this world. It spoke to so much of the symbolism of my inner world when I was a kid.

But regarding mechanics, this recent session was no exception to my past; I used my own simplified role-playing mechanic instead of the Twilight:2000 native system.

Filed in: /5/ | /61/ | /19/

Recent Sleep Notes: Bedtime & Junk Dreams

Monday June 15, 2020

Some sleep-related things I’ve noticed lately:

Bedtime and Sleep Length

IS there a difference between these two?

  1. 9 hours of sleep starting at 10:30 p.m.
  2. 9 hours of sleep starting at 12 a.m.

After getting weird results from the late-bedtime option, I’ve been measuring this recently. So far my results seem to indicate that the first option is a LOT better in terms of outcome:

  • Generally more comfortable sleep
  • Fewer stress-related dreams
  • Fewer wake-ups from such dreams
  • Better waking mood

This made me think about potential contributors to sleep quality:

Do you need some amount of rest going into a good night’s sleep?

In other words, is sleep quality made worse by a lack of rest prior to sleep?

Maybe this is obvious but to me it’s like a revelation: No matter how much sleep you are about to get, maybe you could even get less sleep and feel good if you had gone to bed earlier, because you went to sleep in a more rested state.

Just a theory.

So: Huh. OK, and the other thing I’ve noticed:

Junk Dream-response During Low-quality Sleep

When I’m getting low-quality sleep, my tired, less-conscious self seems to be attempting to deal with dream messaging in an impaired state.

Of course, it cannot do this as well as rested, more-conscious self can.

Less-conscious self also doesn’t seem to realize that the dream contents may be complete junk. In other words, supremely exaggerated fears that are a poor reflection of a waking-life context.

Essentially this is wasted effort, wasted time. And conscious-self knows this. I wake up sweating, but I’m sweating and going, “I can address this problem 10x better after a good night’s sleep. But even so, the problem is based on really poor perceptions.”

But what can be done? I used to think I needed to wake up and deal with the problem directly.

Previous Solution:

  • My stressors must be addressed. I’d better journal about this dream in my phone and then I’ll feel better, then I’ll surf the web a bit, and otherwise wait here until I fall asleep again.

Now I’m thinking it’s more of a temporary comfort and mental/physical self-care issue. I try to be gentle on myself through the next 90-120 minutes so that I can get back to sleep and continue resting.

Current Solution:

  • Stressors must be addressed, but my stress response is impaired due to poor body state. I’d better get more comfortable, take some recreation time, and relax, touch on stressors if I sense the need, and prepare for relaxed sleep again.

So I’ll get up, drink some water, maybe have a cookie, brush my teeth, do some gentle journaling, listen to an entertaining but boring podcast (live roleplaying sessions kinda fall into this category), review my schedule, and then when I’m feeling tired, at that point I head back to bed for another two sleep cycles or so. Lately I’m also taking melatonin at this point, to see if it helps.

It’s funny to write “take some recreation time” as it implies something more restful than sleep. But this attitude seems to help quite a bit. This is because the most recent “sleep” cycle was not as restful as one would expect from good sleep, and resulted in junk information and junk perceptions, so I’m attempting to reset my sleep conditions by taking a more rested, relaxed mindset into the next sleep cycle.

(Here is where I wonder if the word “sleep” is causing problems, by being the only/main word we use to talk about this state)

It’s nice to know about this, because I think there’s a certain amount of helplessness from the “address dreams when they stress you out” idea. Some of those dreams seem to be informed by a more-exaggerated-than-usual, helpless-perceptive state, which means that the dream contents are effectively waste information. Conscious-self is probably very capable of attacking the issues should they arise in waking life (that the issues might arise may even be doubtful), and addressing the dream content before such an event may be a complete waste of time.

I’m glad to be on the other side of this most recent experiment. Previously, I found that wakened, poorly-rested me previously had a very difficult time understanding the difference between “tired perceptions” and “more reliable rested perceptions.” The former tend to push me into the unhealthy INTJ box. Everything was super serious and super bad, and drastic things needed to be done. The latter will reliably allow me to transcend that box: Things are less serious, getting better overall, and maybe as a result, don’t need attention right away.

I think I know which one of these sets of perceptions I’d rather take into the rest of my life! Geez.

I’m looking forward to playing with these new ideas a bit, and seeing what I can learn about sleep quality and subjective experience in the future.

Filed in: /101/ | /16/ | /9/

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