How To Be Assertive With A Neanderthal

I was on my way to music class this morning and the peak hour train was a little more crowded than usual. As I headed downstairs to find a seat, I came across a couple of men occupying two opposite-facing three-person bench seats. I wasn't keen on standing for a half hour while two guys occupied six seats between them, so I politely said "Excuse me" to the guy on the aisle end of backward-facing seat, and he kindly moved over to the window to accommodate me.

Closely Related Primate, Also in Genital Display Pose

As I sat in the newly vacant aisle seat, I felt constrained by the man sitting in the middle of the bench seat opposite me. He was sitting forward with his legs spread wide in the classic genital display pose that male primates evolved to demonstrate dominance to other lesser primates. So wide in fact … Continue reading…

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What To Do When Social And Traditional Media Mocks You

I was on the way home from college last week feeling very tired and irritable as I lugged my acoustic guitar, case & backpack from train to bus after an intense day of musical collaboration. As my mind drifted through the things that have irritated me recently, I remembered a recent experience on the morning bus. In a misguided attempt to get it off my chest I posted the following message about it on the Bondi Local Loop Facebook group, which at the time had over 42,000 local members:

To the lady who abused me on the packed 389 from North Bondi the other morning as she alighted at Bondi Junction by shouting: "I hope your bag enjoyed the seat, you fucking prick": I would have preferred you to ask me politely to please move over during the trip if you wanted the seat. That would have given me Continue reading…

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The Real Reasons Your Friends Want You To Do The Landmark Forum

It's been over 20 years since I did The Landmark Forum and life since then has been a constant series of breakthroughs and breakdowns. But there's been one persistent irritation over that time: other people.

I consistently find myself in challenging situations with other people thinking: "This asshole would be a lot easier to deal with if they did The Landmark Forum".

I even had a friend once who made me wrong for using the phrase "made me wrong".

It's not a cult

I'm a little tired of being a circle adrift in a sea of triangles. I suspect that the whole world would be a better place if everyone did The Landmark Forum; especially the people who don't think they need to, because they tend to do the most damage.

Some of these people really need to be slapped around the head by a Landmark Forum leader.… Continue reading…

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How To Make Your Toshiba Laptop Run Like A TRS-80 Model I

I've been going completely crazy lately at the glacial speed of my Toshiba Satellite P50t laptop running Windows 10. My virus scanner kept reporting that the 10+ minutes that it took just to boot up was slower than 100% of computers like it, and hitting the “tune up” button wasn't helping.

They don't make 'em like this any more

For goodness sake, my TRS-80 Model I running NEWDOS/80 back in 1984 could boot faster. Not to mention all the waiting and spinning icons actually using the damn thing. It's 2017 for your-chosen-deity's sake, and a machine with a 2.8GHz processor should be just a bit speedier than that.

So after ruminating for ages on the decline of modern technology and how things “should” be, rather than how they actually are, I decided to suck it up and upgrade the hard drive in the laptop to a Solid State Drive (SSD) … Continue reading…

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Mother Induced Social Phobia

No wonder you feel anxious

No wonder you feel anxious

A widely prevalent and highly debilitating form of extreme social anxiety caused by being raised by a controlling or domineering mother.

Often accompanied by Nice Guy Syndrome. Male sufferers tend to exhibit passive or submissive behaviour, especially around women. Symptoms include self-consciousness, panic attacks, social anxiety, depression and a lack of direction in life. Inner conflict and mental confusion typically results from excessive critical admonishments during childhood such as: "You're just like your father!"; who while overly passive, was in fact quite a decent bloke.… Continue reading…

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10 Things I Learned About Religion From Game Of Thrones

Spoiler warning: This article may contain spoilers about your belief system.

Game of sex, death, violence and gratuitious nudity is more like it.

Game of sex, death, violence and gratuitious nudity is more like it.

The characters, locations and events may be fictional, but Game Of Thrones still says a lot about how religion distorts our natural inclinations and can lead people to do destructive things that they otherwise would not.

While the invented belief systems of Westeros are different to the invented belief systems of the real world, some disturbing parallels exist.

So here are 10 Things I Learned About Religion From Game Of Thrones:… Continue reading…

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The Grichter Scale of Migraine Headache Intensity

Migraine Headaches Feel Like This.

Migraine Headaches Feel Like This.

Most of my life I've suffered from debilitating migraine headaches.

Now that you feel all sorry for me, here's the helpful scale I came up with for rating their intensity. It's pi-exponential so the pain slightly more than triples with each increment:

0: No pain, no gain

1: Slightly tense, no worries

2: Is that a headache coming on?

3: Push through; keep working

4: Starting to feel anxious about this

5: Just on the good side of bad

6: Get really distracting now

7: Remember to breathe

8: Take painkillers

9: With codeine

10: Call mom

11: Nausea, vomiting, want to die… Continue reading…

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Phobia Shaming

The disturbing recent trend among social justice warriors to attribute any attitude or behaviour that they don't like in other people as if it resulted from a diagnosable mental illness. Examples include the pejorative use of labels such as homophobia and Islamophobia.

Shaming people for their fears is shameful

Shaming people for their fears is shameful

The implication is that sufferers of such "phobias" are weak, inferior people who should simply change their attitude by snapping out of their irrational fear.

This is demeaning to people who suffer from actual phobias, which in fact are no easier to fix, improve or change than a person's sexual orientation or deeply held religious beliefs.… Continue reading…

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Quantum Consciousnonsense

The annoying recent trend among popular western meditation advocates of pretending that mental processes like consciousness and meditation are best explained by quantum theory.

Heisenberg would certainly dispute Quantum Consciousness on principle.

Heisenberg would certainly dispute Quantum Consciousness on principle.

In fact, while the brain and body are highly complex and not yet fully understood, they almost certainly operate via predictable biochemical neurological processes, which occur several orders of magnitude above the quantum domain.

Essentially a modern day version of The God of The Gaps, attempting to fill the hole in current scientific knowledge with wishful but empowering platitudes.… Continue reading…

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The Forgiveness Speech

Look, it's on my to-do list, OK!?!

Look, it's on my to-do list, OK!?!

A form of unsolicited advice typically launched by anger denialists in response to me saying that I feel angry about something. Especially prominent when the anger is directed towards my mother in response to some form of destructive behaviour that she has indulged in for most of my life.

The launch of The Forgiveness Speech typically goes something like this:

Graham: “I feel angry when my mother criticises and belittles my father in front of me”

Denialist: “You need to learn to forgive”… Continue reading…

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