cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (Default)
Inspired by some previous comments, I thought I might mention in it's own entry about how I've been finding the idea of Karpman Drama Triangle very interesting and illustrative. It's certainly describing relationships I have found myself encouraging (I love me some some helper/rescuer narrative)
drama triangle victim | rescuer | persecuter

What I also like about that wiki article is that it also mentions some ways to step out of that triangle, or work with where you are feeling. For example:

The Power of TED, first published in 2009, recommends that the "victim" adopt the alternative role of creator, view the persecutor as a challenger, and enlist a coach instead of a rescuer.[14]

  • Creator – victims are encouraged to be outcome-oriented as opposed to problem-oriented and take responsibility for choosing their response to life challenges. They should focus on resolving "dynamic tension" (the difference between current reality and the envisioned goal or outcome) by taking incremental steps toward the outcomes he or she is trying to achieve.
  • Challenger – a victim is encouraged to see a persecutor as a person (or situation) that forces the creator to clarify his or her needs, and focus on their learning and growth.
  • Coach – a rescuer should be encouraged to ask questions that are intended to help the individual to make informed choices. The key difference between a rescuer and a coach is that the coach sees the creator as capable of making choices and of solving his or her own problems. A coach asks questions that enable the creator to see the possibilities for positive action, and to focus on what he or she does want instead of what he or she does not want.[1]

And whist talking about psychological models, I've been intrigued by the Enneagram recently too. I'm divided between thinking it's a good description of me, vs thinking that probably most people could say they fit most of the categories.
I'd be interested if you'd find out your number, see if it describes you, and also maybe share which one you think I might be?

You can do a quick test here: http://www.9types.com/rheti/index.php  or here: https://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/test.php (but make sure you read the descriptions after to pick which of the top 4 is most like you). I note now, that in preparing this entry the different tests score me differently and I can totally see myself in the ones they've picked. Hahahahah.

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cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (money)
One of the projects I've been working on is around encouraging more people to contribute to our knowledgebase. I am fascinated by motivation and related things, and I really enjoy reading case studies and research on this kind of thing. I just came across this example which I find very striking:

From all business, my favorite case on incentives is Federal Express. The heart and soul of their system—which creates the integrity of the product—is having all their airplanes come to one place in the middle of the night and shift all the packages from plane to plane. If there are delays, the whole operation can’t deliver a product full of integrity to Federal Express customers.

And it was always screwed up. They could never get it done on time. They tried everything—moral suasion, threats, you name it. And nothing worked.

Finally, somebody got the idea to pay all these people not so much an hour, but so much a shift—and when it’s all done, they can all go home. Well, their problems cleared up overnight.



It's pretty obvious when put like that, but how many times is the idea supported by where you put the cash, that a set number of hours is more important than the outcome ?
cryx: (danger)
I got asked how and when I managed to go from hundreds of emails in my inbox to 'inbox zero' recently, so I thought I'd capture my Facebook response here too, for future reference.

Hmm... Probably about 2 years ago now?! (it was after I found out a friend was inbox zero, so I realised it was actually possible) So, to summarise, what I did was:
First: move all my current email into a temporary folder called ##process me!!! (The # sign put it at the top of my folders)

Second: take a moment to bask in the glory of that empty inbox, this is the feeling we are chasing, so good to have a teeny taster, even if cheekily obtained.

Third: implement the new regime! Email will only be read once before you process it (I.e. decide what the next action to take is, and put that in your task/to-do list). This applies to ALL emails you get after the GRAND CLEAROUT. (Essentially it's treating your email inbox like you might your home physical mailbox, I.e. even if you take it out and put it on a 'huh, must deal with that pile' what you rarely do is, open mailbox > open piece of post > think "hmmm" > stuff it back into the envelope > stuff it back into the mailbox. Don't do it virtually either ;P )

Fourth: dedicate 15 minutes to process the most recent stuff in your ##process this folder. The process you follow is:
1. Is It actionable? If no, either trash it, or put it into your reference archive. If there is some action you could take: 1) if it would take under 2-4 minutes to do, JUST DO IT (it would take longer to make your task list item, and file it), or 2) if it would take longer, either add a note to your todo list about what the next physical action you need to take is (this makes it much more do-able than wooly non verb actions items), or if you need to do it at a certain time put a note in your calendar, 3) if someone else needs to do it, forward it on to them and put a note in your lists that you are waiting for them on it.

Repeat step 4, with breaks in between, so it doesn't burn you out.

I ended up with essentially 3 email folders in the end:
Reference - archive for stuff I might want to refer to at a later date
@action_support - for emails that I've got an item on my to-do list for
@waiting_for for my sent emails that I'm waiting for a response for.

Having this system in place means that even if I have a crappy few days and the emails pile up, it's pretty straightforward to slog back to inbox 0 again. Putting things in action support isn't the same as keeping them in the inbox, as to get in there I have to have made the decision about what to do next. It actually doesn't take that much thought, to define that, but it stops you having that repeated "huh, must do something about that (but not precisely knowing what that something is)" feeling (which I used to get sooo much) each time I looked at email.

Hope this long answer helps!!! (Essentially it's a version of the GTD system popularised by David Allen - which I thoroughly recommend)
cryx: (danger)
I like to do coursera free courses, as I find ongoing learning fun and satisfying.

My course this weekend was talking about intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. One of the studies showed the effect of rewarding a task that was innately satisfying with money for performance, and the effect that had on performance over time.

Initially there is a spike in performance of the rewarded compared to the unrewarded control group, but then for the sessions after, performance drops compared to the control group. As part of the experiment, after the 'monitored' time they were left alone and thought they were unmonitored. In the control group, people still generally performed the task as it was 'fun', but the group who'd been rewarded had a much lower rate of doing so. They weren't being paid, so why bother?

I think this has interesting repercussions for the 'be paid for what you love' movements. For example, that you may end up not loving it as much, or you won't doing it as much if the money is not coming in. It's important to note, though, that there seems to be a difference on whether the pay is for performance (successful completion of tasks), vs not being tied to performance.
cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (Ratkin graffiti)
Following on from my previous post here is a synopsis of my first Order of the Wren game (Late 90s, UK xfiles/fringe/delta green style game). It's been a looong time since I've GM'd but I had a fun time.
Here be roleplaying )

Whilst somewhat rushed at the end (due to time constraints) it was a fun game and I think well expressed the tone of future games.
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cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (Ratkin graffiti)
I finally dusted off my GM hat and got back in the roleplaying ring this weekend.
Character sheet Design and concept overview )
cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (through a pond)
Two posts in one day?!?!  OMG what is this 2005? ;)

I'm having some coaching sessions through work, and during one of our explorative exercises I put into words something I haven't before.

I have a reductive path to happiness.

By which I mean, I fundamentally think of myself as a happy person by default. When I'm trying to work out how to make myself more happy in life, I don't see is as adding things to make me more happy (achive X, start doing Y), but more removing the things that block my happiness (stop doing Y, avoid Y).  Sometimes I need to do something to achive this, e.g. I need to start meditating to remove chatter and negative future thinking from my mind, but the action always has the 'flavour' to me of refining, uncovering or distilling.

It's kind of funny when thought about in my life with my tendancy to clutter and take on new things.
cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (through a pond)
On the bus to work this morning I passed a pair of houses with name plaques. The bus slowed in traffic and I gazed at them. "Bayview" and "Highview" are both still on the top of a hill, but now, rather than the vista they used to see stretched in front of them, there is a 60s big blocky community club. I felt a little sad about what had changed (despite, I'm sure, that more people have probably enjoyed the club than have mourned the lost view).
I could make a not very subtle analogy with how a no longer applicable label can bring more sadness than it brings joy, but I have no lables I wish to shrug off.

That said, isn't that the point?
cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (through a pond)

I don't normally have very coherent dreams, much less a story, but after flaking really early last night I proceeded to have one.

----
It all started very nicely a group of us doing our own bits and bobs, I think we were on holiday. However it became increasingly apparent that things weren't right. People had different jobs than they do in real life, and as we started to test the limits we found that actually our 'world' was geographically limited.

One of the people seemed very keen to put our minds to rest or keep us busy and obviously had some sort of investment in all of this.
A small group of us snuck away from her to free us. There was a plan which involved overloaded mobile phones creating energy arcs to disrupt the status quo.

We were successful!

As the electricity pulsed we saw that this was indeed a simulation and we proceeded to make our plans on how to make this disruption permanent.

That was until we saw the... Thing.... Slithering towards us. Huge bloated intestinal body with gaping jaws it devoured all that was in it's path, consuming reality as a fire consumes paper. This simulation wasn't to contain us, but to contain it.

The simulation continued to reassert itself, like a pond settling after a pebble, and in a moment that felt like an age the creature became motionless and was absorbed into the scenery. The simulation was restored.

Our world was smaller now but we'd live with that. We knew we were keeping the outside world safe. The lives we lived here may not be our own but we'd protect the fiction with every fibre of our being.  We smiled at the woman who we'd previous seen as a captor.

Isn't it a lovely holiday?

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cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (ass)

I seem to be on a bit of a music kick recently (see violin post, previous post etc). I think some of this has come around from playing around with creating spontaneous tunes/soundscapes with LadyFingers (my impro troupe).

It's funny, I notice I have a strong belief in 'experts' and established procedure. By that I mean that I tend to perceive that people doing something successfully must be 'experts' in it. True enough it often takes a lot of work to do something well, and so what may start as experimental dabbling, done for long enough becomes expertise. However I think I have the notion that stuff has all been worked out by now and so trying to derive techniques from first principles is needlessly making things harder for yourself.

I remember being taught in art class that people should learn how to 'draw properly' before going on to do more experimental stuff, as that will give them the base skills and lexicon to innovate, and I think I've taken that on board wholesale. If I want to do something I've not done before, I'll usually want to take a course so I 'know what I'm doing' (and importantly make a commitment to others that I'll do it to force me to do so, as whim alone is easy to put off). What this also leads to is the idea that there is a lot that I can't do as I've not been taught how to.

Ironically music is one of those areas. I say ironically, as I learnt the violin for 3 years as a child, did musical theatre performances for 5 years, and was in a church choir for 8 years, so you'd think I'd feel like I had some small expertise in the area. I don't. Whilst I feel I have some very out of date knowledge of music performance, I don't have any music creation lore.

However, I feel like the tide is slowly turning on this one. Since coming to Australia I've slowly been nurturing my performance skills in general, and then the trajectory from performing in Rocktapus (an a cappella Rock covers group) to the created impro sounds in LadyFingers has made me feel more that I'm 'allowed' to make up ditties.

Last night I was playing around on my iPad with GarageBand music software, and was shocked by how many of the loops and drum machine noises I recognise from 'proper' tracks I know and love.
I think I'd like to play with it more...

cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (bloo with gun)
I was hunting down music used in a TV show, which involved me trawling through lots of different tracks.

I came across a song which some how managed to be such an amalgam of many of the songs I danced in clubs to in the 90s that it made my brain twitch. It's like someone mixed PWEI, Beastie Boys, Rage against the machine, and a whole host of other bands I never knew the name of, sprinkled in a touch of prodigy and others and made a new song I felt I already knew as an old one. Really weird.

It was this song (the amalgam effect seems to happen further in the track):


Which is a remix of:
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cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (food)



Didn't remember to take a pic before wolfing down a segment. Apparently if left in the fridge it will get a mousse like consistency tomorrow. Omnomnom! [edit: it did firm up, but this pic was one of the more sloppy pies I've made, due to a mistake in my process that day!]




[Edit:] due to demand here is the recipe and it's American cups:
I'm still experimenting with this recipe as the crust was a little too crumbly to lift out neatly. I might need more marg, or more pressing with a spoon, or I have seen some sites that make this crust but bake it for 8 mins or so (and from previous brownie baking I know that you can get a very crisp edge with margarine)

Ingredients

For the crust:
# 2 1/4 cups of crushed Oreo cookie crumbs, finely ground (or other chocolate sandwich cookies) (about 2 packs of oreos)
# 2 1/2 ounces of melted margarine

For the filling:
1 1/2 boxes (12.3 ounce) firm silken tofu(room temperature)
10 ounces vegan dark chocolate, heated in the microwave on ten second intervals until melted
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup espresso, strong brewed coffee or chocolate soy milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Make the crust:
Instructions:
# Combine cookie crumbs with melted margarine in a bowl
# Pour the mixture into the 9 inch pie pan and press into the bottom and up the sides evenly
# Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon
# Refrigerate the chocolate pie crust for at least an hour

For the filling:

1. In a blender, add tofu and blend until smooth. Add melted chocolate, blending again until smooth. Add powdered sugar, espresso and vanilla and blend until mixture is smooth and fluffy.

2. Spread chocolate mixture into pie shell and top with crushed chocolate cookies. Refrigerate several hours or until firm enough to slice.

[edit:]
From experimenting draining/pressing the tofu really helps to stop it from being too sloppy, as does using a non silken firm tofu (although this does make for a moregrainy/gritty) texture. You also have to make sure the tofu isn't in any way off (blown packaging for example!)
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cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (food)



Didn't remember to take a pic before wolfing down a segment. Apparently if left in the fridge it will get a mousse like consistency tomorrow. Omnomnom! [edit: it did firm up, but this pic was one of the more sloppy pies I've made, due to a mistake in my process that day!]




[Edit:] due to demand here is the recipe and it's American cups:
I'm still experimenting with this recipe as the crust was a little too crumbly to lift out neatly. I might need more marg, or more pressing with a spoon, or I have seen some sites that make this crust but bake it for 8 mins or so (and from previous brownie baking I know that you can get a very crisp edge with margarine)

Ingredients

For the crust:
# 2 1/4 cups of crushed Oreo cookie crumbs, finely ground (or other chocolate sandwich cookies) (about 2 packs of oreos)
# 2 1/2 ounces of melted margarine

For the filling:
1 1/2 boxes (12.3 ounce) firm silken tofu(room temperature)
10 ounces vegan dark chocolate, heated in the microwave on ten second intervals until melted
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup espresso, strong brewed coffee or chocolate soy milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Make the crust:
Instructions:
# Combine cookie crumbs with melted margarine in a bowl
# Pour the mixture into the 9 inch pie pan and press into the bottom and up the sides evenly
# Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon
# Refrigerate the chocolate pie crust for at least an hour

For the filling:

1. In a blender, add tofu and blend until smooth. Add melted chocolate, blending again until smooth. Add powdered sugar, espresso and vanilla and blend until mixture is smooth and fluffy.

2. Spread chocolate mixture into pie shell and top with crushed chocolate cookies. Refrigerate several hours or until firm enough to slice.

[edit:]
From experimenting draining/pressing the tofu really helps to stop it from being too sloppy, as does using a non silken firm tofu (although this does make for a moregrainy/gritty) texture. You also have to make sure the tofu isn't in any way off (blown packaging for example!)
◾ Tags:
cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (Default)
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cryx: Me, infront of a wall, with surprisingly dark hair (Default)
This journal is friends only for a variety of reasons. If you want to be added as a friend, please comment below (and how we know each other, or why you're interested, as maybe I don't know you *grin*)