Short takes

by Jon Sullivan - 2023-08-06 - Status

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Random thoughts since I'm feeling too lazy to make a long post, but too eager to hear the sound of my own voice.

California - People bash California a lot. Especially people in Montana where I grew up. And Oregon where I live now. Fucking Californian's are driving up the rent. Fucking Californians are pop culture influencer fake humans. Californians are communist pussies who think everything you could possibly need should be provided to people who do not contribute anything. Californians are lazy hypocrites who will drive to anything more than a half a block away and pave over the world, while claiming to be environmentalists. Whatever. I love California. I love it for fully rejecting the idea that "freedom" means hatred and bigotry is acceptable. Not just in the cities, but the rural areas as well. I love it for the concentration and celebration of culture and diversity. I love it for it's great food. Other places you FIND great food. In California you CHOOSE which great food to try that day. I love that California is the founding father's American ideal at it's best. I love that freedom isn't a contest where my freedom is more important than yours. I love that voters will pick taxes to fix problems over outlawing problems and pretending that fixes it. It's got loads of problems and fuck ups. So does everywhere.

Oregon's best xyz - I tried working on an "Oregon's best fish & chips" list. But it's pointless, since America in general sucks at the dish. But.... hot tip.... if you are here and see sturgeon fish & chips on the menu, buy it. I thought about a best burger list, but burgers here fall too far short of the good stuff other places have. Maybe best tacos, since I'm the expert? Best crab, sure, but it's the same almost everywhere. Best cheese, but I've been there, and putting on 50 pounds to do that seems like a bad idea. Best donuts, but San Diego is wildly better, same with ice cream. Best marionberry pie might be a good idea? Best Vietnamese chicken wings seems a bit too niche. Best McMenamins might be fun. But then I need to eat at McMenamins all the time. Eugene's best food trucks? I'll find something.

Jon is insane - You think I'm joking. I'm not. I feel crazy. For real. All the changes this last year seem objectively too much. I like it. I'm happy. I'll keep leaning into it. But it doesn't feel normal at all. I feel crazy. I honestly feel guilty every day for how happy I am, and how easily joy is always at hand. And often it scares me.

What about Stoicism? - I'm casual with it now, rather than evangelizing all the time. I'll keep the virtues. And not wasting energy on stuff I can't affect. But I'm letting go of some of the harder to rationalize stuff. Like a rational universe leading logically to kindness. And trying to pair all reactions to virtue. Correct reaction doesn't require a carefully designed process.

Universal quantum wave function - I get that the science for this is spotty right now. And that hanging my cosmology/religion on it is perhaps desperate. But it's not fringe science by any means. And it makes all the "meaning of life" stuff I believe fall into place very well. So I'm going to hang on to it. If it turns out to be pseudo science, I'll drop it. But it may get tedious around here with me forcing my "we are all one with the universe" religion into the sorts of places a non-physicist should avoid. Like the implication that we are not real, but just the dreams of the universe which spontaneously form to fill a probabilistic void. See? Tedious.

Chicken and Guns - I love Oregon. And while I'll always have a place in my heart for the epic Cali food scene, Oregon food is just as special. Food here is a step to the left, a slide to the right, and then boom...... incredible creative chefs totally nailing good eats in unexpected ways. Oregon cuisine is notable for old standards dialed up to 11. Small menus with huge flavor. Example - If you feel like driving an hour through beautiful farmland for some chicken, Chicken and Guns Smokehouse should be on your list. In the top 3 chicken wings I've ever had.

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