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#1864091 - 09/13/23 11:58 PM So many things in life are so arbitrary.
AL Offline
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I got to thinking about this because we have several shapes of cordless phones in our house. One is noticably around a quarter of an inch wider than the others. It got me wondering did ATT have a special corporate meeting to decide on this? How about the lamps in your house. How hard did you work on deciding which lamp you brought home from the store? Even in the case of lifetime mates. I know when I chose mine there was another lady in my life at the time and having to pick confronted me every time I turned around. They were pretty much opposites and the one I passed on had several traits which in hindsight would have suited me greatly, but I went with the heart and the one who needed me the most.

For all that humans take themselves seriously, we all basically live in an amalgamated hodgepodge of arbitrary choices we made throughout our lives. How much different would my life had been if something in highschool had motivated me to become a doctor or lawyer and not sent me on the fuckheaded path I took, a liberal arts education about nothing really? I try hard not to think about all this because when I do it's a solid fact that I pretty much regret every choice I made in my life other than the aspect of whatever direction my life took after buying my first electric guitar.

Even today was totally arbitrary. I have a very rare offday in my business and this morning on facebook I wrote about wondering whether or not I'd work on music today or just bask in having an off day. Then after I drank my coffee and came into my studio and was seemingly on automatic pilot as I uploaded the new song on bandcamp and IMP though I fully intend to work on a song eventually. I also have 2 business calls I got to slip in at exactly 8:30 ET. Now I'm going out into the other part of the apartment to see what's up with the family. Could end up staying there for awhile or hopefully I'll make it back here in time for those phone calls. Sheesh.
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#1864107 - 09/14/23 05:24 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: AL]
Tao Jones Offline
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But I was watching my wife at the grocery store tonight and thought, if I were single and saw her, I’d think she seems just right for me.


Pretty arbitrary my mom met her second husband at some meeting in Sac what h eventually caused to move from Davis out to Fresno, though. That was not a likely card.

That would have to happen for me to see that beautiful Mexican girl and set my sites at my high school when I was 16, and she was 15.

But she was out of my league as my friends loved to point out. I had to meet her four times before she ever remembered meeting me. I still really had no chance until she kind of arbitrarily got kicked out of a class for talking when she was more listening than talking.

But that’s how she ended up in a guitar class I was in, and that was the only place where I really had any chance with her. Not that she was stuck up, I was just a nobody.
So, yeah, a lot of arbitrary, but also a lot of following innate drives.

I could have landed in other jobs, but being obsessed with making songs would have caught up with me and might have made it hard for me to function in a lot of jobs.

Arbitrary but infused with major drives to be yourself.


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#1864108 - 09/14/23 05:35 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: Tao Jones]
Tao Jones Offline
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I had no plans to be a teacher, but that is probably not as arbitrary as it looks. I had a bio degree and needed to support a family, and a major songwriting habit, and a lot of patience for kids. I might not have seen it coming, but it was coming.

Where we ended up living for thirty five years here in the oak forest is pretty arbitrary.

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#1864110 - 09/14/23 07:13 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: Tao Jones]
AL Offline
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I started with college as an English Education major, then switched to Screenwriting and finally Communications (journalism) and never even made an effort in that field after graduation cause I thought I was going to be a rockstar.
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#1864299 - 09/16/23 04:28 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: AL]
Tao Jones Offline
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English is a cool major

Do you ever read David Foster Wallace? Infinite Jest is a very strange masterpiece.


I guess us living in the oak forest is not that far arbitrary. I’d likely have lived in nature, but you also kind of need access to a city, So you settle in between the Sierras and the valley. Especially if you’re not bucks up.

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#1864302 - 09/16/23 04:52 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: Tao Jones]
AL Offline
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no, I wasn't much of a book reader. I read Rolling Stone and especially Cream Magazine.

Several times my spouse and I took a long drive not knowing where we were going to move to. Once we had a camper and headed for Key West. We liked it alright but ended up driving back up the coast to live in Melbourne Beach, parked on a lot on the beach.

Another time we drove west thinking we were gonna live in Phoenix. Phoenix didn't do much for us so we headed to San Diego, same, then Monterey and Ventura, same, headed further north towards Big Sur and ended up living in Cambria California.
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#1864490 - 09/17/23 09:57 PM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: AL]
flatcat Administrator Offline
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I think everything in this life is arbitrary. Cool when it works for us, not so cool when it doesn't. But it's all random, really. Just dumb luck we landed where we did a d met up here.
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#1864500 - 09/17/23 11:34 PM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: flatcat]
Tao Jones Offline
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Everything? You had no agency in anything?
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#1864535 - 09/18/23 03:19 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: Tao Jones]
flatcat Administrator Offline
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Only to some extent. I mean, I can write a song or sing a song. I can go to work and try to do a good job.

My circumstances, my life, the events in my life and everyone whose lives I've touched - totally random. Dare I even say meaningless?

There is no reason why I was born when I was, where I was, to whom I was. It could just as easily have been the other side of the world. I just got lucky.

You can try your best to make your life better, but to a large degree your life circumstances are just not in your control. It can all end in an instant. One popped blood vessel. One random truck running a red light.

My wife has a sister in law. Her father was murdered by a serial killer. They eventually caught the guy but still. My brother in law had to identify the pieces of his body. That same woman had some meetings in LA one time and ended up having to stay up here in Boston, another colleague went in her place - on United 175 on September 11, 2001. He died. Sue didn't.

Why?

Random.
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The internet, and the whole technology sector on which it floats, feels like a giant organ for bullshittery—for upscaling human access to speech and for amplifying lies. - Ian Bogost

Professor Truth T. Sweetness says,"Mind your manners!"

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#1864543 - 09/18/23 05:01 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: flatcat]
ulank Offline
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Word.

We’re all “victims” of our own circumstantial existence.

And all we can do is try to grow or die. Or not try. In either case, at any point in time, that continues to be our circumstantial existence. It constantly resets in perpetuity for reasons both because of our choices and actions and for reasons that have nothing to do with our choices and actions.

And it can all be over in an instant.

Still, the grow or die approach seems to be the better one compared to the rot and wither approach. Even if we can’t always distinguish the difference.

Smoke em if ya got em.



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#1864545 - 09/18/23 05:18 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: ulank]
ulank Offline
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You Don’t Know
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#1864547 - 09/18/23 07:15 AM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: ulank]
AL Offline
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My arbitrary life began when I started to pop with my mother at home and my dad off at work. My mother had to go grab the man who worked at the drug store across the street to take her to the hospital. They didn't make it to the hospital, that man delivered me, pulled off the side of the road, in the back seat of his black sedan.
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#1864622 - 09/18/23 09:39 PM Re: So many things in life are so arbitrary. [Re: AL]
ulank Offline
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I was born in the suburbs of Chicago because WW2 drove all 4 of my grandparents out of Poland. Otherwise, I most likely wouldn’t be here at all as my parents would have never met.



CIRCUMSTANCE!
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