Analysis of "The road to Ossasepia" series

Filed under: Ego, Writing — Jacob Welsh @ 18:41

diana_coman: anyways, it's easy then: do a re-reading tomorrow and extract theme, structure and scope for the road to ossasepia series,(i) write them analytically bullet-point style and then see what you can say about them

The overall themes I see in the series are the journey, the internal struggle, relationships, and vulnerability.

The attempted scope was the events of my time in the channel from joining to acceptance with enough context to make sense of them.

The overall structure was narrative, starting with exposition on background concepts then proceeding to my initial state, my interactions in and out of channel, and ending with results. In detail:

Part 1:

  • Opens with a quote from my entry to the channel, representing the beginning of this journey and middle of larger one.
  • Sets up for explaining the meaning and context of the quote and the events to follow.
  • Introduces TMSR through a summary of what I understand it to be about.
  • Introduces the concept of the forum through a summary and reference.
  • Hints at the structure of the hierarchy.
  • Introduces Diana Coman in this context, though not much is said about who she is otherwise.

Part 2:

  • Turns the focus to me, and in particular where and how I'd gotten myself stuck, by my present understanding and with reference to some TMSR terms of art.
  • Introduces Robinson, somewhat obliquely.
  • States the dissonance, the decision, the plan, and early steps (without much detail)

Part 3:

  • Describes my heading to the castles, learning about YHC and deciding to focus my attention there.

Part 4:

  • Describes my struggle with the reading and decision making.
  • Illustrates some interactions in channel and privately.

Part 5:

  • Analyzes causes for my hesitation and how they were dealt with.

Part 6:

  • States my next steps upon applying.
  • States the criticism of unbalance in the form of weakness or avoidance in talking about myself.
  • Itself comes across as a reversion to this pattern, presenting a rather dry account of events without shedding light on my own experience of them.(ii)
  1. Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. [^]
  2. And indeed I wasn't all that enthused to dig back into it now, which precisely shows that it's an important exercise. [^]


  1. For one glaring thing, contrast first (or even first few articles) with last article in the series: you start by describing a personal (you even warn others that it's a personally tailored thing!) road but you end up focusing exclusively on the external "outcome". If this were printed, by the last page the sane reader would throw the booklet at you and ask for their time back because you chicken out of it really.

    You start with a reasonable context, even keeping in mind potential readers (esp. other people thinking to apply) and filling them in, essentially building up nicely on this "road" that is even more internal than external (and do keep in mind that events don't just happen like that out of nowhere, popping all into existence or something). Then, as there isn't that much external to talk about since the travel is inevitably more internal, you first reach around for ~anything that might get you off the hook and when there really isn't anything left because the external road comes with this very clear "got accepted", you... decide it's done and sod that niggling thought that mhm, no, not really done.

    There are otherwise less major problems. Are your small observations above really the only things you could say about it all upon review?

    Note that this repeated insistence on "I'm focusing on the events only, let me be" is rather suspicious: for one thing, do you really consider yourself thrown about by events on which you have no say, or what?

    Comment by Diana Coman — 2019-11-21 @ 22:39

  2. I should pay my niggling thoughts more respect then. Writing them down, or asking you, or at least someone, if I can't figure them out myself. I'm not sure how to fit that in with a one-hour must-publish-something deadline. At least I could come forward with them afterwards.

    I'm thinking "me" would have been the simple and non-snippy answer to the just what you've been carefully avoiding here question the other day too.

    "really the only things you could say" - the analysis does seem to me to lack depth, but no, I couldn't name the less-major problems. Which isn't to say I thought there were none. More of those niggling thoughts, huh.

    "do you really consider yourself thrown about by events on which you have no say, or what?" - I see this as describing a detrimentally passive approach: sometimes events will throw one about; there is often quite a bit of choice in preparing for them and responding to them; but he who believes he has no say, will not act, thereby ensuring he'll be thrown about to the maximum. As for me: I value well-considered action; but I admit there are things I've been far too passive on for far too long. There was the TMSR example here; there's reaching out to strangers more generally; there are some aspects of self-care that hit home in reading the recent thread with Will on living in decay, for instance I too have third molars I'm told would be better out than in; there's the aforementioned physical fitness; there's mental fitness such as reading classics.

    I'm sure there's more to say here but hope this is a start.

    Comment by Jacob Welsh — 2019-11-22 @ 07:32

  3. Yes! (And to all of it really.)

    "I'm not sure how to fit that in with a one-hour must-publish-something deadline." - Coming with them forwards afterwards for sure and then building on that the next day. It effectively *helps* even for the next day as it gives you some ideas if nothing else. In principle those 1 hour installments as you wrote them now are indeed more like drafts but you need the deadline to get them out already, for now. So on this series there will be some more work to do but I didn't want to cram it in this or next week when you should get the wallet work done. On the bright side, with practice and esp. if you indeed don't just discard those niggling thoughts but have a proper look at them too, the "1 hour" output should get better anyway as it will in fact be that 1 hour active time + a whole lot more background thinking that won't eat up anything of your work time otherwise.

    Indeed you. Glad you got past the snippy phase there and quite fast too :)

    Well-considered action is very good indeed but at times you will *not* have the *luxury* of as much considering as you'd like, it really is exactly a luxury. And well-considered is a bit like a recursive loop: you need to have a clear stop condition too or you'll loop forever in there, considering the consideration and so on until you run out of memory or something.

    Some fitness of both kinds would do you a load of good from what I gather but first it still seems to me that your schedule is a bit all over the place, at least looking at publishing times vs your local time. Do you need help there?

    Comment by Diana Coman — 2019-11-22 @ 08:03

  4. Recursive loop analogies... you know how I think!

    "your schedule is a bit all over the place, at least looking at publishing times vs your local time. Do you need help there?" - I will aim for consistently rising with the sun within two weeks, and if I don't manage that I'll ask for help.

    Comment by Jacob Welsh — 2019-11-22 @ 18:36

  5. > I'm not sure how to fit that in with a one-hour must-publish-something deadline.

    By giving less importance to the self.

    Suppose, purely for the sake of argument, and with no reference whatever to the other gender's experience of the same problem, that your self is a tree, composed of nodes sprawling from a root you call "I" or "me" as grammar dictates out into the very fringe of conceivable complexity.

    Now consider the mechanism of silence : "the shortest possible repackaging of this self I'm still willing to sign on is fifty nine levels deep -- at sixty words / minute and at least a thousand words a level I can't make it in one hour, 3`000 < 59`000".


    But it's true, isn't it, "if you can't do a job well why start at all" ? Who could speak against this one true fundamental only credo of "these days" ; who could accuse it of...

    Tell me, why can't "me" fit in ten words ? Different ten words depending on the context, of course ("what do you mean '''depending on the context''' ?! are you saying I don't really exist ?!?!?!?" aside), but ten words in all nevertheless.

    Somehow I can say "math" in ten words, or a hundred words, or ten thousand words. Perhaps in my better days I can say "math" in ten million words too, but that's not really the point, is it ? That's not where the conflict ever lies, no contest shall ever be settled by multi-million word narrations. Which after all is a good thing, finally a space has been found in gnoseology to match the pantsuit notions of "diversity", if "everyone" is inflated to the million word standard suddenly "nobody could be accused of not belonging here" because who's going to get to the end of the... I suppose endless dependencies of multi-gygasbyte billion lines of code atrocities are in fact a cognitive necessity in a certain context, huh.

    Is math said in ten words less respectable that it'd have been said in a hundred ? Is it less math for the terseness ? Is a good joke, fifty words with one punch line a lesser beast than the endlessly sprawling literotica stories, heapful upon heapful of indigestible, mechanically generated stats and prefab wooden chunks ?

    "But MP, I could be misunderstood. If I limit myself to ten correct words rather than the requisite ten million, what I don't say could be used against me!!!"
    "No, I know. I'm misunderstood all the time."
    "Yeah, I know. Everyone thinks you're an idiot."
    "Of course they do ; but for short stretches at a time."
    "Well, I can't be thought of an idiot at all! I COULD NOT BEAR IT!"
    "Funny, because in my case it's always the thinkers that have to do the bearing."

    Someone not understanding something's not really your problem anymore than some derpy chick calling her a slut is whoever's problem. The self is never important in this public sort of sense ; it can't possibly be, that's not what it is, after all. I'm aware they claim otherwise -- but they have no fucking idea what anything is, you might've noticed.

    So : by not trying to make the medium match the pre-conceived message you suppose (for no reason) you're here to transmit, but instead attempting to translate whatever you can find of yourself into the medium such as it is you can always, but I do mean always, match anything to anything. Not necessarily well, and not usually well at first, but this is a moot question : between the man who impregnates his woman and the man who studies to do it well, exactly one man has offspring. Not very great offspring, I readily grant you that, except the problem with suspended-living-in-the-future's twofold. One prong's that offspring only becomes great with the passage of time, greatness in offspring's always a retrospective sort of affair*. The other's that the contest's not at greatness, nor will it ever reach that far ; the contest's at being.

    * My intention was to link there the article, or maybe it was log section, where I dissect how some chunk of Trilema is greatly useful "now" at the time of dissection, in ways I couldn't have estimated at the time of writing and therefore for not having written it I'd have lost something inconceivable. As it's rapidly becoming tradition I can't find it now. I am regularly deserted by all these sons of mine, they never seem to be underhand when needed anymore. Yet I don't think my fate as deplorable as it could be : indeed at least I have what to be deserted by. Between dying with all your sons there, all none of them, and dying forgotten by all your sons except a handful of the multitude...

    Comment by Mircea Popescu — 2019-12-09 @ 06:19

  6. @Mircea Popescu

    By giving less importance to the self.

    This calls to mind the Trilema motto, "Mediocrity is not a lack of intelligence. Mediocrity is intelligence entirely dedicated to self-preservation."

    My intention was to link there the article, or maybe it was log section, where I dissect how some chunk of Trilema is greatly useful "now" at the time of dissection, in ways I couldn't have estimated at the time of writing and therefore for not having written it I'd have lost something inconceivable.

    This calls to mind a trilema article where a stranger asked you a question on irc, which you were able to reply to with an article link rather than rehash the explanation on the spot. I didn't manage to find which article that is though, but hope that helps the recall process.

    the contest's at being

    I'ma sit with that part for a while.

    Comment by Robinson Dorion — 2019-12-09 @ 17:07

  7. Looks like MP found the reference a couple days later, but I hadn't connected:

    Comment by Jacob Welsh — 2021-05-23 @ 11:21

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