Posts by Marcus Turner

  • Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Upright citizens, though, Ian.

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mayor's marginal enemies, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Graeme: I have to say that went through my mind, too.

    ETA. Just read Russell’s reply. Fair enough, but it still might look a bit ad hominoid to newcomers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How do you sleep?, in reply to BenWilson,

    I endorse this: both the part about meditating all night if necessary, and the part that you probably won’t.

    It’s my understanding that Zen meditation is carried out with eyes open. (Maybe not in all groups: I’m not sure.) There’s some story about the founder ripping his eyelids off.

    Edit: Here's the story:

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How do you sleep?,

    I've been telling people for years that the "Hogamus Higamus" poem was composed by somebody writing down something they'd dreamed in the night. That turns out to be probably untrue:

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: How do you sleep?,

    A couple of pieces of advice I was given, that work for me:

    1. Train yourself to associate light with being awake and dark with being asleep. When you can't sleep, turn the light on. When you want to try to go back to sleep, turn the light off. If you can't sleep, turn the light back on. I eventually found that turning off the light helped signal to me that dark was sleep time.

    2. Keep something by the bed to write down any thoughts, so you won't be worried that you'll forget something. Once it's written down, you won't forget it, so there's no need to dwell on it.

    Some other things that have helped:

    Making sure the bed is a well-kept, nice place to be.

    Taking care to be comfortable before going to bed: make something of a routine of carefully preparing for bed, and winding down.

    And, of course, medication. (I slept right through a bluegrass band right outside the tent, playing most of the night, after taking one pill. And we're talking banjos here ...) But I don't think it's recommended for more than occasional use.

    Being physically active for a period each day also helps.

    I've found the problem with reading in bed is that I just don't have the self-discipline to stop.

    I've found meditation techniques very useful, adapted for going to sleep.

    The fact that I use all these methods shows that nothing is guaranteed to work. I expect everyone has sleepless nights sometimes.

    Worrying about it caused a feedback loop, that made the problem worse. At various times, some of the above techniques have overcome that.

    In contrast to some people, I've found the issue easier to address as I've aged.

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Narcissists and bullies,

    Yes. That's understandable, and I can understand why people would get hurt by someone discussing in the abstract what they've personally experienced. It's a distinct risk in a public forum and I'm quite sure it makes interaction with other people extremely hard for those who've been traumatised.

    But I'm not quite clear how the line has been crossed in this thread, sometimes.

    For example, here's an exchange I just can't make any sense of at all:


    That pretty much sums up how I feel about where this thread has gone as well

    I've really no idea what's going on here.

    And what does this mean?

    If my Facebook feed is any guide, it is day two and we are already in a full Mazengarb event.

    Great. Looking forward to a mob inspired murder coming to my neighborhood.

    I don't even understand some of the paremeters of this discussion.

    I don't think I have anything to add to the discussion that others haven't expressed better, but there's a lot here I'd like to understand better.

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Narcissists and bullies,

    I'm having difficulty in discerning what people think IS appropriate to discuss/say on this thread. Russell has provided some guidelines and Emma and one or two others have given clear positive suggestions.

    But it seems a number of people have strayed from what others think is appropriate. Is all this just a matter of personal opinion, or is there some commonly accepted frame of reference here?

    As a sometime comments-poster and most-times lurker, I frequently have the impression that many of the regular commenters know something about each other, and the ongoing discussion, that I don't.

    What is appropriate on this thread? (I mean this particular thread.)

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Missing Stair and the…,

    I’m feeling bad that I’ve pissed people off on this forum. It came as a real surprise to me. I’m not sure who you are, but understand there’s more than one. I’d like to offer an apology. If, in my public comments here, or in private emails about this thread, I’ve said something that hurts/annoys you, I’m sorry.

    I think those who share aspects of their private life in a public forum are people of courage, and I like to offer them positive reinforcement when I notice the opportunity to do so. I’ve been very grateful to receive similar support in the past. If in attempting to support you, I’ve appeared to sit in judgement on you, I’m sorry. I don’t judge you; I admire you as someone who's brave enough to walk where I can’t.

    I’ve agreed not to provide further unsolicited advice on this thread. But I’d like to retain the option of offering it as an alternative to being simply negative. For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s OK to hurt other people with actions or words: it’s often understandable, and can be forgivable, but I don’t think it’s ever OK. If an option is available, there are lots of good reasons to take it. (I speak as one of many who’ve said and done things we’re ashamed of.)

    Thus, I can’t get behind the concept of the “Necessary Bastard”. It’s a tactic used by those who can’t find a better way. I’ve considered that this might be because the person is under stress, or has formed a lifetiime habit of certain behaviours, or is simply unaware of the other possibilities available. I suspect that fear plays a part in many such situations: how easy can it be to confront someone who causes you pain?

    I believe (and I accept that your mileage may vary) we have the “right” (I can’t think of a better word) to be treated as adults, and to be listened to as adults.

    I think there are options to the “Necessary Bastard” technique that will help me to be treated like an adult (whether as the ‘bastarder’ or ‘bastardee’), and I’ve found that training in assertiveness, negotiation and other skills can help with that. I’m aware of other skills and paths, many of which I’ve chosen not to take. I doubt any of it works all the time, but offer all this to you as an alternative to something that, while it can be effective, is also destructive.

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Missing Stair and the…, in reply to Moz,

    You don't deserve judgement by me or anyone else.

    (I emphasise my earlier comment about cutting remarks.)

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Missing Stair and the…, in reply to Moz,

    It's hard to say, from your description, exactly where the "Missing Stair" was. Maybe relative x unintentionally said or did something that hurt. "I would prefer not to see him again" is an expression of preference: it wasn't actually directing anyone to do anything.

    Cutting remarks do achieve things. The problem is colateral damage: they can lead to undesireable effects for the person who made them, as well as for others.

    Learning how to get what you want without colateral damage isn't something we were born with. Some people seem to have a greater natural aptitude for it. But, like gaining a musical ear, it's a skill set that CAN be LEARNED (with very, very few exceptions).

    Since Nov 2006 • 199 posts Report Reply

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