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conversation overheard on the phone

He was so spun out, on so many meds... He got so angry at his mom that he actually kicked the car windshield out!

Now, if that was my kid, I would have pulled over the car and beat him to an inch of his life.

Of course, it would never have gotten to that point.


That was the quote that started my day, heard from the cubicle behind me. I'm sure it was sent by god to test the resilience of my empathy. Goddamn people. Now, a person on the other hand...

The personality disorder survey was amusing, as it afforded me the convenience of reading each of those writeups. While I might appreciate the comfort and encapsulated explanation of one of those labels, I think it comes down to something as simple as, 'I'm fuct up.' I did end up choosing borderline however. So much in this life is sick and dizzying to me. I am prone to self-medication to the point of abuse; oblivion-seeking is what I'd call it. Definitely not healthy.

Sometimes I'll listen to Simon and Garfunkel and hear I am a rock. I am an island, and think 'damn, for the most part of my life that has been me.' I've really only been able to afford an outlet through intoxicants. Imagine what a heady rush that is. Not just mind-bending psychoactives, but the full-force of emotion built over a lifetime. What a sweet ride.

But I am not so mind-bendingly psychoactive these days. A warm touch, place to sleep, and food are all I really need. Maybe it's just the warmth.

Of course, women are as mind-bendingly psychoactive as ever. Soul-stealing, blood-boiling little sprite-pixies born before the mists of time to bedevil the minds of men. And so while I may have traded some old vices for new ones, some form of balance has been achieved. I am still an avoidant and repressed, but when my emotions do come out - just do yourself a favor and get the fuck out of the way. How this jives with me being an Aries, I have no idea.

If you have been keeping tabs, you know that there is a woman who has been haunting my steps of late.

The quick rundown is, girl comes into two best-friends lives after over a year. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend, and if we cannot assuredly guess what her intentions are, rebound is definitely in the cards - they're stacked and she's the dealer. She used to date my best-friend over a year-and-a-half ago, and so I consider that something may rekindle between them - a detached thought. In the meantime she's looking for a job, and I just happen to be the IT manager over at a hospitality company, her chosen field. Why yes, of course I'll give my boss your resume. Wouldn't you know it, she was hired, and we were soon spending everyday together, many nights, and countless phone-calls were shared between the wireless transmitters that grew from our heads. It was only a matter of time before this happened.

And then there was the aftermath.

A whirlwind love adventure that was doomed from the start; short-lived, but passioniate in its desperate desire to live. It was not long for this world.

But goddammit she works right fucking downstairs from me. I get to listen to her laughter as she jokes confidingly with another man. I don't spend my lunches exploring San Francisco with her anymore. She is a sore tooth that I keep tongueing (no pun intended; well, maybe a little). I blaze resilience, fortitude, and rage in the depths of my being simply to retain sanity. Simply to put her out of my mind and do the job I am meant to do, which actually at the moment is: take care of my own goddamn self. I am TRYING to forget.

May god have mercy on the souls of all intelligent beings.

So goodbye, my sweet sprite-pixie. I'd warn the world of you if I didn't retain just a tinge of bitterness. As it is, they're going to have to figure it out for themselves. I still miss you, and I don't hate you, but I must forget you for a time.

And that is all I can promise.

I came here after a long break to let everyone know that I started a website sort of like Everything2. It's called litmocracy.com. The people writing for Everything2 earn nothing but respect and admiration (which is inedible and doesn't keep you warm or dry). I wanted something similar that could grow into a full time job for good writers whose quality need be recognized not by editors or advertisers, but by the people who read their stuff. I wanted something that avoided the slow pace of Approval Voting and the perversion that plurality creates. I built it as a module for pMachine's ExpressionEngine. I made a writeup for it, but mauler already kicked my ass for blatant self-promotion of an earlier incarnation (we-rank.com). Fine to put this in a daylog though, he wrote.

There's a question "How you heard of us" on the signup page. If you mark that with "Everything2" and you visit the site more than a month later, I'll donate a $1 to Everything2.

Litmocracy (litmocracy.com) is a site that uses a form of Condorcet with Approval Voting to find the best posts in different categories. Each week, a cash prize is awarded to two members for each paying category. One award is given to the author of the post ranked highest and another award is given to the member other than the author who first ranked the winning post higher than the runner-up. So basically, the site is using a financial incentive to get members to post high-quality entries in the eyes of those motivated to rank them, and also to get members to evalutate posted entries to help identify the best ones.

Writers get near immediate feedback about the relative quality of their work* (and comments to boot sometimes), and readers are presented with similar writings, the best ones first. Besides the possible monetary reward, readers and writers both get the satisfaction that what they are doing compels others to put more effort out by writing more, writing higher quality material, being more objective in their rankings, or ranking more writings. Because writings are ordered using a majority-based ranking mechanism, the biases of any person or group are generally cancelled out by another person or group. This is as near to a measure of objective quality as I can imagine getting.

This is the only cooperative website I know of which provides newcomers who prove to be the best at understanding what people like to read with a near immediate financial reward. The site is very young, but since it leverages its audience directly to find the best material, the potential to start replacing more traditional forms of publication is there. On one hand, the success of the site depends on its owner. On the other hand, the site uses its own ranking mechanism to find good answers to important questions such as what the domain name should be, so the success also depends on the quality of the membership. Litmocracy has so far awarded $100 each to two members who helped in testing the site and choosing the name.

The site is currently running contests to create and identify the best posts in categories like news and short fiction. Across 5 categories, there is $175 in prize money that will be awarded each week. One of the paying categories is the suggestion box so that the people using the site are also motivated to suggest improvements.

Tomorrow, the domain name will have propagated completely so I'll start an ad campaign. Maybe someday, litmocracy.com will be enough of a real website to warrant its own writeup.

*Captain Vegetable (that's his screen_name at litmocracy) points out that "near immediate feedback about the relative quality" might sound a lot better than what it refers to, which is the fact that others rank your entry so that you can see how it measures up against other entries.

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