Saturday, December 15th 2012

Bootsy explaining the funk:

And in 1976:

Twice as Kitty Daisy and Lewis

Friday, December 14th 2012

Twice as Hard - Black Crowes and Stereophonics:

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis - Going Up The Country, Say You'll Be Mine:

Emotional Dictators

Thursday, December 13th 2012

Ever found yourself wondering how someone else would behave (or make you feel) if you did X or Y. Or decided to say Z?

How often do you think about that person's reactions? How much effect does that person reactions have on you? Do they make you feel happy, sad, afraid? Are your emotions partially contingent on that person's emotional state? And if so, to moderate your own emotional state do you find yourself having to do things to moderate that person's emotional state?

If so, it's likely you're interacting with an Emotional Dictator!

Everybody behaves a bit like an Emotional Dictator at times. And everybody reacts as if other people are Emotional Dictators at times, too. But it is how large a person's emotional states looms in your mind that determines if that person is an Emotional Dictator or not.

Do you find when you're around that person you find it hard to express yourself? That you end up trying to please that person? That you end up trying to mollify that person's (usually) unpredictable moods?

If a lot of your thinking in a certain context (say, in a workplace or at home) involves contemplating the likely emotions of another you in the thrall of an Emotional Dictator. If it only occurs occasionally, or there is some give and take, then perhaps not!

Emotional Dictators - both conscious and unconsciously - use emotion to control others. So a simple way to test if a person is an Emotional Dictator is to see if that person uses emotion to:

  • impose his or her will,
  • maintain his or her view of a situation (or his or her personality) ... and censor other views,
  • get others to do things out of fear or a desire to please,
  • talk about using emotions in an instrumental fashion: "if we make him feel X then we will get N", "I'll get angry and that will ..."
  • tend to want to set the emotional tenor of situations and avoid emotions generated by others.
  • to the Emotional Dictator, emotions often feel like facts - concrete, certain, inescapable. Facts often feel like inventions - malleable, open to interpretation, a matter of interpersonal determination.
  • show paranoia about the emotional manipulativeness of others;
  • have a history of people he or she has shut out due to some emotional confrontation;
  • often have great emotional insight about others but lack personal emotional insight;

Then you may be dealing with an Emotional Dictator.

Oddly, Emotional Dictators usually try to avoid the very trauma that gives their emotions strength. So they tend to need to control situations; to avoid exposing real, repressed emotion. It is safer psychologically to channel that emotion into known patterns that are relatively contained. The need to control and create routine and pattern is a defining characteristic. How does an Emotional Dictator control a situation?

  • Power of Emotion: Of course, the Power of the Emotional Dictator is how strong the emotions that he or she can wield. To do this, the emotions need to have genuine force. So most Emotional Dictators are strongly emotional, sometimes quite charismatic people who have suffered some sort of trauma.
  • Unpredictable Emotions: By having strong, unpredictable emotional reactions, it allows the Emotional Dictator to feel in control - the emotional tenor of a situation is for him or her to determine; he or she has the initiative.
  • Delegitimise other peoples' emotions or opinions through emotional argument or displays or raw emotional power (angry, happy or others), whilst denying that their own emotions are anything but logical or at least perfectly reasonable reactions to circumstances. Keeping the facts on the Emotional Dictator's side, so to speak.

A great deal of this is unconscious, just the like the trauma that gives rise to the behaviour. The more the Emotional Dictator is aware of the process, the more he or she fakes emotion or mimicks it, the more he or she moves into the territory of the psychopath. And those in the thrall of the Emotional Dictator tend to be stuck in something akin to the psychopathic bond.

However, Emotional Dictators are not psychopaths. Indeed, they can often successful negotiate the world of psychopaths using similar tools, but they possess an empathy and emotional intelligence ebyond the ken of psychopath.

Another strange characteristic is that logn term planning and deep self understanding are beyond Emotional Dictators. They lack insight due to their attempts to repress and control. So they lack an ability to think clearly, they tend to react to emotions, to people and so on, and struggle in the abstract realm.

So they tend to fall into the sway of other Emotional Dictators: parental figures, loved ones, children, and so on - who are similarly disposed. The nature of the control process is often about context: the Emotional Dictator might be dominant at home but under the thrall of another Emotional Dictator at work, for instance. But it can also vary by topic, by domain, and so on. So, oddly, the biggest victims of Emotional Dictators are usually Emotional Dictators themselves.

see also:

Social Machines

Wednesday, December 12th 2012

Social institutions are run by people, right? No, not really. As computerisation proceeds they turn into primitive information processing machines. Machines with people in them.

Social Machines, if you like.

True Masters

Tuesday, December 11th 2012

Mastery is unsatisfactory unless it is accompanied by passion.

As mastery increases, passion can dissipate as technique takes over. A True Master discards technique once it is mastered and seeks the primitive form that has been lost.

Success and mastery both prevent creativity; mastery is only useful once it is forgotten, success only satisfactory when it no longer matters.

A true master has no choice about what he does.

True mastery knows no success; a master is always a beginner.

A true master does not know envy; the master simply recognises a new person from whom he can learn.

Only True Masters can recognise other masters.

True Masters always seeks out other masters and delight in them.

True Masters are not afraid that they will be eclipsed by others. The True Master simply doesn't understand why everybody else is incompetent.

True Masters are often alone; but the the master's work has always been his greatest friend and ally.

The True Master does not hide, nor does he proclaim. There is nothing secret about what the Master does, not is there anything particularly special. The True Master is generous with his skills.

The more humble the master the more masterful he is.

A True Master's humbleness is not an affectation; it is genuine dissatisfaction with his work.

True Mastery occurs when the master's aesthetic and and master's skill are in perfect symmetry. This rarely lasts. This is what spurs the master on.

True Masters are interested in many things; a novel synthesis of ideas is more important than concentrating on a single set of ideas.

The most important thing to the master is keeping the work interesting; boredom means the end of creative reverie. And without creative reverie life is just administration.

A True Master does not write pompous blog posts with lots of pithy sentences in them. He has better things to do. :-)

Heroic Perfume

Monday, December 10th 2012

The perfume of the Hero:

Air of Mystery.

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