Posts by BenWilson

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  • Hard News: Party Time, Excellent,

    I'm up for salty yarns in the New Year, winds and tides willing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Party Time, Excellent,

    heh Steve. You going to be there? Were you going to be before you read my rave?

    Here's a reason to come. When I met Steve Barnes, I mentally confused him with you. It's only since I met him that I can remember the difference. You should meet him, if you haven't already, I think there's a similarity in your thinking about art. Actually, meeting him encouraged quite a few things that have been pretty enjoyable. I saw the way he used a netbook and thought it was pretty cool, and have upgraded my entire entertainment system, putting a bit more care into it than I have to date, and am now using a netbook a lot. It's waaaay less isolating than working at a desk.

    Also, I have begun a whole raft of crafts (Barnes is hand-crafty, and underrates his word craftiness, IMHO), inspired by Gio's post on cooking with his daughter. It's taken my level of connection with my son to new levels. I realized that I've overintellectualized most of my time with him, that doing simple tasks together in real, useful or beautiful or healthful acts of creativity is something that he connects with effortlessly. He loves it, copies me all the time, and I try to incorporate the teachings of our various therapists directly into those tasks, pushing his boundaries all the time.

    For instance, he insists on watering the garden most days, so I went for slightly harder path of refilling the watering can, slighty more every day, in preference with the intellectually harder task of operating the hose, which I think is likely only to distract him. Carrying it to garden, across grass, up a step, are all tasks I know that he finds challenging. But the watezring was very rewarding to him, highly motivating, so he stuck at it, stubbornly, gets better at it every day. When he finally gets tired of that, I put a bucket of water there for him to use his little toy watering can with, a fantastic bend and extend exercise, with endless reps. When he gets tired of this, I draw on the ground with chalk, usually under his direction. I'm getting better at this drawing, paying attention to letting him see how I do it, talking about the strokes involved, in drawing, say, a hopscotch. Then I jump on it, to see if I can get him to do this, as a standing jump is a real power and confidence builder. He did his first one the other day (that I saw, I notice that he secretly practices these things a lot, perhaps hoping to suprise me, or maybe wishing just to explore without direction). I see this kind of engagement as an art, something occupational therapists engage in every day, and seek to teach to parents like me. Some learn it, and the therapists get a real kick out of that, feeling engaged with, trusted, flattered, and of course they get to see the results, report on them etc. Especially when you trust them on the 'hard calls', the interventions. They advised us at one point to take all of his books away, something that seemed highly counterintuitive, because he loved books, and would read them all the time. But they saw that he was not reading them 'constructively', and suggested that he should not be allowed near them without supervision that they were encouraging obsessive behaviour that was hampering his ability to develop. Against my own judgment, we did this, and it worked. Big time. This is when your realize the difference between professionals and amateurs.

    It's not my professional art. If you want to hear more about that, another reason to come to the party. I want to hear more about the boat.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Party Time, Excellent,

    Interested to hear how many people actually have done what steven is suggesting, who didn't already met at a function. It's a good idea, for sure, but functions do make it easy. You don't have to specifically pick who you might like, or commit to any particular amount of time with them. I'm struggling to convey the idea, in my own case, that one could talk to me about things I write in PA, as an icebreaker. Most likely, I doubt I'll be talking about any of it, or be readily identified by the way I talk, from the way I write, unless you paid particularly close attention, something I really don't expect. The interior monologue and the hypnosis were pretty much jokes about the way people can talk themselves into and out of things. Or at least I can. It's symptomatic of taking myself too seriously, and I hope to lose that.

    For the record, my expectation from everything I've heard and read is that you'll be nice people, who I will get on with quickly because I already feel like I know half of you anyway, I'll remember your names because I already know them, and it will be interesting and fun, if only because of the surreality of that odd fact, a fact that is mostly of my own making. I've avoided trying to find out what you look like for a long time, on the experimental idea that I could talk to your avatars more rationally if I didn't have the prejudices that looks can sometimes give. But it's an experiment with a negative result, I've found that it doesn't increase the ability to talk rationally much at all, it detracts. It definitely makes it harder to remember you, to understand you, to engage with your thought processes, to small talk, and it can encourage fights. The wrong kind of fights, strawman fights, the disconnected fights you have with people who are on the other side of glass, or heard through a wall, or are in another car, or speak another language, or are on the other end of the phone. Now I'm going to try the other theory, that if I do meet a fair sampling, my experience here will improve. Optimistic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A Strange Surprise,

    The most charitable thing I can say about dubmuggas comment is that it was a joke in extremely poor taste, so poor it wasn't even clear if it was a joke. Without charity, it looks even worse, it looks like a nasty troll, directed mostly at the girls. Honeymoon was over long ago as far as I can see, so no reason to extend charity.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Party Time, Excellent,

    Thanks Sophie. That's a nice thought and a good question.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Party Time, Excellent,

    Who?

    My son asked me the same question, for the first time today. Exactly the same question. Looks like Russ gets his debate on synchronicity, and I get to start answering the hard questions to a child. I feel under qualified, tempted to cheap out with an easy answer. It seems that it's been a very bad idea talking like an adult to a child. Well this adult anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Party Time, Excellent,

    Who??? ;)

    Take your pick. Google knows better than me, the literature says.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Party Time, Excellent,

    I'm curious if the Quadrant felt safe with Emma's tag on? I never feel safe as a meat shield, my armor is far too weak.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A Strange Surprise,

    I reckon the target market for the advert is middle-aged voters who want to be reassured that the police are "doing something about yoof".

    No lose all round then.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A Strange Surprise,

    Interesting take, Craig. You're worried this makes it hard for the cops? I guess it does put some onus on them to act all heavy, or the whole campaign will just be laughed at by those it targets. Do cops want that or not? Some of them like being heavy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8671 posts Report Reply

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