llbbooks ([personal profile] llbbooks) wrote2011-10-09 05:53 pm
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Rules of Engagement

(Originally posted at Facebook on July 31st, 2009.)

During the past few weeks, I've noticed that the same few thought processes tend to dominate nearly all of my interaction, and how I conduct myself in day-to-day life. Upon digging deeper, I noted that there are some deeply entrenched, automatic processes there, and while they govern my interactions and manner, they aren't at all easily articulable. Seemed like reason enough to go exploring.

I have internal policies. They are numerous, we'd be here all night, but they all boil down to one thing:

What is the signal/noise ratio?

How much signal? How much noise? Is the signal worth cutting through the noise to get? If so, how do I? Which signals aren't worth it? Which noises aren't so bad?

Who is worth breaking this policy for?

Is it worth my time?

The signal, obviously, is the content. The music I want to hear, the television show I want to watch, the story or the article I want to read, the news I want to absorb. Everything else: ads of almost any kind whatsoever, surveys, offers, irrelevant patter, babbling, commentators talking about the news, any sort of unsolicited stimulus? Noise.

This is why I don't watch the vast majority of current movies, and the references and phrases I use are usually rather dated. In my entertainment, I look for things that stay with me, that my brain chews and chews on long after I've finished watching. I look for things with impact, things I'll return to in my mind. Popular media geared towards the masses isn't that. However, I often find it in older media.

This is why I don't ever intentionally click the "like" button on Facebook, and why I never post memes or quizzes on Facebook anymore. I don't want people to associate my name with quiz result spam. I want to be associated with actual content and interaction. If something feels important enough for me to click a button saying I like it, it is important enough for me to drop in and interact with you about it.

I've spoken before about my policy about words. Though it is my custom to go on at length, always has been, I try to pack the most meaning into the fewest amount of words necessary. You can go too far with this, of course, making it hard to digest your message, but I always strive to come as close to that point without going over as I can.

I see so many people wandering through life, seeming to give little to no thought to the words they're saying, how they're saying them, what the implications and consequences are, and especially what it means about them. I try always to conduct myself with dignity and poise.

I see so many of these people- without honor, without class, without any sort of dignity or respect for themselves. I hope that if I get to be that way, someone who cares about me will put me out of my misery. If my choices are:

A. An existence of stumbling through life, babbling and repeating what I hear others saying while adding nothing of merit to the conversation, making onomatopoeic noises because I'm uncomfortable with silence

or

B. Not existing

I'd rather not exist at all.

I try so hard to make every single letter and every single syllable count, and to be of the highest quality. I don't always stick the landing, but I like to think I usually come damn close.