We Have All…

been on the wrong end of someone’s irresponsible behavior in one way or many. The important thing to keep in mind is that we, the victims, are not at fault. Most of us enter into these situations willingly and with the intent of living up to the terms of whatever environment it happens to be. We tried, and sometimes, tried many times to give more slack to people or even take more of the responsibility and try to do whatever it takes to keep it successful.

We had purposeful intent to complete the circumstances. We gave all we could to try. There is to be no shame or fault in that. The bad end of these situations are what they are because we put ourselves out there where we knew we could be victims, but had sufficient reason to trust that our partners would also do the same. So, do not hang your head. Do not feel that you have been made a fool. That can only happen if you continue to invest this effort while knowing inside yourself that you probably shouldn’t. Not according to your friends’ opinions or anyone else because only you know everything invested. Friends are wonderful but they sometimes want so badly to save us to show their love and loyalty that they compartmentalize the facts as they know and come to a conclusion. One that they would not have to deal with should it be ill timed or otherwise.

So, be proud that you did so much to try to have something that was important. The end doesn’t erase it all and there are almost always many more good memories than bad. Being smart for yourself is not about hate or vengeance or completely removing someone from our lives. It is simply standing up and declaring that the current situation and trajectory is not what you feel would be best for you at this time. Friendships have blossomed after horrible train wreck relationships involving people I know and after the smoke cleared and the feelings that were damaged have begun to repair themselves,  they care more about each other now. It’s usually worth trying to save, even if no children are involved. There were good times to remember and celebrate. You will still love them and maybe go further for them afterwards than before because your investment has been minimized and your role changes.

Anyway, I was thinking about how my wife left me in a rough spot and although I want nothing to do with her at all, it is not because she walked out. That was a blessing. It was burning the city as she left by lying to children who I loved so much. Telling them things that would justify them never being able to see me again. Things that if were true, would certainly lead to death at the hands of inmates in prison. That’s nothing to try to salvage, even as a friend.

The ones who hurt us are damaged and while we try so hard to help fix them during the worst times, it isn’t something we can do for them. Only they can do it and only if they are committed to doing it. Two HUGE “If’s”. Trying to fix them for too long leads to ourselves being damaged and the erosion of love for ourselves. We think less of ourselves just because someone else says or acts like it’s so. It’s crazy to think that would happen but it is like growing fingernails…so slow and gradual are the claws inserted into us that by the time awareness begins, we are in trouble. But, they are the ones who were unable to live up to the agreements and put in the effort necessary to be successful, so take any feelings of self doubt for yourself and turn that around and point it at them and change the label to “feel sorry for _______”. We may not be perfect but we tried more than we should have. Congratulate yourself for any realization or awareness that you may be in a situation that is deteriorating. Change can’t always happen quickly even when we have awareness, so it is important that while this necessary contact is happening:

  • Keep a positive mindset. Focus on good things you would like to happen in your life. Don’t dwell on the negative. You have done that for years and it didn’t change anything except your view of yourself.
  • Stay involved in a routine of something that makes you feel good. The gym or driving fast or blowing bubbles or making out with the mailman, it doesn’t matter. If it makes you feel better about who you are, do it. Twice, in fact.
  • Try to maintain some regular contact with the person or people who most make you feel good about yourself or support you. A daughter away at school or an old school friend, it doesn’t matter but as often as you feel you need it and on a regular schedule if possible. I recommend a daughter away at school but have a back up or two.
  • Do anything else as long as it is responsible, isn’t something that was enjoyed by you both at anytime and doesn’t threaten your safety or well being. Anything. You will have to get used to that word when you hopefully change your lifestyle to one that rewards your effort and good choices and won’t ever have to be excused or explained. The world is behind you.
  • DO NOT allow the guilty party to tear you down. If you feel that you are being antagonized or leaned on or even having a guilt trip sent your way to try to get you back into their misery, find an excuse or a safe way out of the room or situation. Cramps, bathroom, whatever will get a little space between you and sever the dialogue.

Then, immediately go back to number one and start over…

I Will Continue…

3864444453

to post my thoughts here, both good and rough. But, you really don’t ever have to point out to me that if you were to be single in the future, that doesn’t mean I would have a shot. I’ve heard that several times over the years and I honestly get that. There will always be something in the way of that happening, I’m sure. Whatever. I have been through things that you would believe and I am still kicking. Because I am warm and open doesn’t mean I am weak. They are not synonymous. My hopes have only a fraction to do with why I am still in your world. Less now than ever before but you have to understand that I am just old fashioned and a relationship that includes things we have done are typically only with someone special. I don’t care if that sounds weak, I’ve had my fun too. Truth is, it’s just better when both people love each other. And love and intimacy along with virtually nothing else still throws me for a loop because to me there are things missing. I know they have to be but if the dynamics were different I would expect to be your first call for affection. You don’t see it that way but I do. You have risked everything to have it for 3 years, so why would that be presumptuous? It had to mean something more than many to risk what you did. But I dropped expectations recently and hope I’m sure will follow someday. And I don’t like that but it is my place and I tend to forget what I am in all of this. You want me to be there for you when you are in need though and I want that too. So, please just try not to bring that up anymore because I have been the bridesmaid when it came to you all my life, so I know better than anyone what to and what not to see as possible or not. Thank You…

440-430-3231

I now have two sites in production to test both WordPress and Ghost applications to determine which I want to go with in the future.

Usipetes will stay up for now and be listed in the menu. Content will be duplicated between the two locations.

Feel free to email me what you think about which looks and feels best.

Yes, she is worth it…

443-220-1723

..the “piece of shit” category assigned to any post is meant to be about that certain person. Could be something he’s done, his qualities or anything else that I feel like expressing. Doesn’t matter what other categories may also be listed along with it, “piece of shit” designates it to be regarding that person. 

8705736460

 

“You could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby … changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole.”

— Fichte, The Vocation of Man (1800)
***

The Basics

In one of Stephen King’s greatest works, 11/22/63, a young man named Jake discovers a portal in a diner’s pantry which leads back to 1958. After a few visits and some experiments, Jake deduces that altering history is possible. However long he stays in the past, only two minutes go by in the present. He decides to live in the past until 1963 so he can prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, believing that this change will greatly benefit humanity. After years of stalking Lee Harvey Oswald, Jake manages to prevent him from shooting Kennedy.

Upon returning to the present, he expects to find the world improved as a result. Instead, the opposite has happened. Earthquakes occur everywhere, his old home is in ruins, and nuclear war has destroyed much of the world. (As King wrote in an article for Marvel Spotlight, “Not good to fool with Father Time.”) Distraught, Jake returns to 1958 once again and resets history.

In addition to being a masterful work of speculative fiction, 11/22/63 is a classic example of how everything in the world is connected together.

The butterfly effect is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. The concept is imagined with a butterfly flapping its wings and causing a typhoon.

Of course, a single act like the butterfly flapping its wings cannot cause a typhoon. Small events can, however, serve as catalysts that act on starting conditions.

And as John Gribbin writes in his cult-classic work Deep Simplicity, “some systems … are very sensitive to their starting conditions, so that a tiny difference in the initial ‘push’ you give them causes a big difference in where they end up, and there is feedback, so that what a system does affects its own behavior.”

Many examples exist of instances where a tiny detail led to a dramatic change. In each case, the world we live in could be different if the situation had been reversed. Here are some examples of how the butterfly effect has shaped our lives.

  • The bombing of Nagasaki. The US initially intended to bomb the Japanese city of Kuroko, with the munitions factory as a target. On the day the US planned to attack, cloudy weather conditions prevented the factory from being seen by military personnel as they flew overhead. The airplane passed over the city three times before the pilots gave up. Locals huddled in shelters heard the hum of the airplane preparing to drop the nuclear bomb and prepared for their destruction. Except Kuroko was never bombed. Military personnel decided on Nagasaki as the target due to improved visibility. The implications of that split-second decision were monumental. We cannot even begin to comprehend how different history might have been if that day had not been cloudy. Kuroko is sometimes referred to as the luckiest city in Japan, and those who lived there during the war are still shaken by the near miss.
  • The Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna rejecting Adolf Hitler’s application, twice. In the early 1900s, a young Hitler applied for art school and was rejected, possibly by a Jewish professor. By his own estimation and that of scholars, this rejection went on to shape his metamorphosis from a bohemian aspiring artist into the human manifestation of evil. We can only speculate as to how history would have been different. But it is safe to assume that a great deal of tragedy could have been avoided if Hitler had applied himself to watercolors, not to genocide.
  • The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. A little-known fact about the event considered to be the catalyst for both world wars is that it almost didn’t happen. On the 28th of June, 1914, a teenage Bosnian-Serb named Gavrilo Princip went to Sarajevo with two other nationalists in order to assassinate the Archduke. The initial assassination attempt failed; a bomb or grenade exploded beneath the car behind the Archduke’s and wounded its occupants. The route was supposed to have been changed after that, but the Archduke’s driver didn’t get the message. Had he actually taken the alternate route, Princip would not have been on the same street as the car and would not have had the chance to shoot the Archduke and his wife that day. Were it not for a failure of communication, both world wars might never have happened.
  • The Chernobyl disaster. In 1986, a test at the Chernobyl nuclear plant went awry and released 400 times the radiation produced by the bombing of Hiroshima. One hundred fifteen thousand people were evacuated from the area, with many deaths and birth defects resulting from the radiation. Even today, some areas remain too dangerous to visit. However, it could have been much worse. After the initial explosion, three plant workers volunteered to turn off the underwater valves to prevent a second explosion. It has long been believed that the trio died as a result, although there is now some evidence this may not have been the case. Regardless, diving into a dark basement flooded with radioactive water was a heroic act. Had they failed to turn off the valve, half of Europe would have been destroyed and rendered uninhabitable for half a million years. Russia, Ukraine, and Kiev also would have become unfit for human habitation. Whether they lived or not, the three men—Alexei Ananenko, Valeri Bezpalov and Boris Baranov—stilled the wings of a deadly butterfly. Indeed, the entire Chernobyl disaster was the result of poor design and the ineptitude of staff. The long-term result (in addition to the impact on residents of the area) was a widespread anxiety towards nuclear plants and bias against nuclear power, leading to a preference for fossil fuels. Some people have speculated that Chernobyl is responsible for the acceleration of global warming, as countries became unduly slow to adopt nuclear power.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis. We all may owe our lives to a single Russian Navy officer named Vasili Arkhipov, who has been called “the man who saved the world.” During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Arkhipov was stationed on a nuclear-armed submarine near Cuba. American aircraft and ships began using depth charges to signal the submarine that it should surface so it could be identified. With the submarine submerged too deep to monitor radio signals, the crew had no idea what was going on in the world above. The captain, Savitsky, decided the signal meant that war had broken out and he prepared to launch a nuclear torpedo. Everyone agreed with him—except Arkhipov. Had the torpedo launched, nuclear clouds would have hit Moscow, London, East Anglia and Germany, before wiping out half of the British population. The result could have been a worldwide nuclear holocaust, as countries retaliated and the conflict spread. Yet within an overheated underwater room, Arkhipov exercised his veto power and prevented a launch. Without the courage of one man, our world could be unimaginably different.

From these handful of examples, it is clear how fragile the world is, and how dire the effects of tiny events can be on starting conditions.

We like to think we can predict the future and exercise a degree of control over powerful systems such as the weather and the economy. Yet the butterfly effect shows that we cannot. The systems around us are chaotic and entropic, prone to sudden change. For some kinds of systems, we can try to create favorable starting conditions and be mindful of the kinds of catalysts that might act on those conditions – but that’s as far as our power extends. If we think that we can identify every catalyst and control or predict outcomes, we are only setting ourselves up for a fall.

Comment or Share on Facebook | Discuss or Retweet on Twitter

 

(540) 239-9787

Boys and girls, I want to explain something to the few people who come here to see the nonsense I pour out of my head. Accountability…something that nobody wants any longer. Something that we somehow lost to the “blame someone else” generation of which I happen to belong.

Cause and effect is kind of like a tree and it’s branches. Therefore, when we make a choice about anything, the determining factor (or who/what we blame) should go back no further that the split of the last branch. That is to say that if I rob a bank I cannot expect to be able to go all the way back through all of the previous branches to the root of my tree and claim “I robbed that bank because I was born”.  Doesn’t work that way. I had the benefit of all of the knowledge up to the moment I made the decision to rob that bank, so I can no longer ‘play dumb’ as if I didn’t know the consequences and possibilities afterwards. Decision causation can only go back to the last decision that led to the action. So, when we are faced with a situation or scenario, we have to carefully choose our actions and whatever consequences transpire we must own those choices, even if the results could never have been imagined at the time.

Conveniently blaming actions on circumstances that happened years and previous tree branches prior does not cut it. Especially, if there has been ample opportunity and time to adjust those decisions. If my wife stopped cooking, I would have choices. I could talk to her and try to fix the issue or I also have the option to no longer be married. Having the neighborhood babysitter to come in every so often and cook in the same environment is not an acceptable solution because that is a band-aid that only treats the symptoms and whatever circumstances arise from the babysitter’s presence would be entirely my fault. Because I had choices and I would have chosen the easiest solution and the one that avoided fixing the problem (and allowed me to benefit the most). Selfish. Lazy. And I can no longer blame anyone else for my actions. Attempting to blame someone else would also be because I am selfish and want to continue to get the benefits of my choice.

Accountability. Learn it…Live it.