A Look Back

Here’s the prologue to my Facebook page where I share my diary:

I transitioned in 1989 and had surgery in 1991. Folks call me a transgender pioneer because I created the first online trangender chat room, the first online transgender magazine, the first transgender support web site on the planet, as well as the first “how to” video for developing a truly female speaking voice. I also was the first to publish an online daily diary of my transition, surgery, and post-op life, ending up at more than 1200 pages.

Me – I just fell into a vacuum and filled it. The time was right and I was focused, so as a creative thinker, I pushed full speed ahead. But now, all these years later, I’ve moved on, as one might expect. In the intervening decades I’ve created (with my partner) a whole new theory of mind, a new model of narrative psychology, software that implements the model for the structuring of best-selling book and award-winning movies, and I’ve even worked for several years for government intelligence agencies, using our model to analyze the complex motivations of terrorists and to project their likely future behavior in alternative future scenarios.

And so, TG issues have faded out of my life, much less being a focus. In fact, it is usually weeks or months between moments in which they even come to mind, as if it never happened.

But every once in a while, something that happens pops up and for an instant, I recall how it was. And then, just as quickly, the notion fades away again of its own volition.

Of late, however, I’ve started organizing my archives of all my scientific and creative writings, my musical compositions, my artistic photographs, and more. And when I come across some of the materials I put forth on transgender topics, I post them here – partly to document my contributions as an artist, scientist, and philosopher, partly to share with others any value they may have, and partly to finally put them behind me for good, knowing that I no longer have to curate them, as they have a safe and useful home here.

So, browse through, copy or repost anything you like, as long as you give appropriate credit, and may your life course take you to wonderful places beyond your imagination.

Most important, no matter what you seek or what you suffer, never forget that “Dreams are the stuff reality is made of,” as I concluded most of my transgender writings, so long ago.

Personal Bias

As a professional analyst I never take anything on faith, especially when it supports my own beliefs. If I am to truly have an open mind, which is essential in order to see the truth, I must constantly question those things that most support my point of view, for those are the things easiest to gloss over and accept as fact. In analysis, the first thing you learn is that everyone is biased, no matter how open they try to be. We all have blind spots, and the best way to minimize the bias within ourselves that we cannot see is to be most skeptical of any data that agrees with our predisposition.

Inhibitions Removed

From an early age I had a bent toward revolutionary politics. In my youth, however, I was more focused on giving love, meeting my responsibilities, and avoiding harsh or abrasive emotions.

Now, such inhibitions are gone, and as a senior citizen I find myself becoming the young radical I always should have been.

Dark Energy is Self-Awareness?

I’ve often fancied that dark energy is self-awareness. As I understand it, dark energy was not present immediately after the big bang. So perhaps, it came into being as the physical manifestation of the actual, tangible self-awareness of the first thinking creatures. And as more and more sentient creatures came into being, the force of dark energy increased, leading to the accelerating expansion of the universe we have measured today. Probably poppycock, but an interesting notion nonetheless.

A Little Dickens

I’m as annoying as Charles Dickens. I’m just not as popular.

When you start out, you practice being annoying in the hopes you’ll prove to have the talent and the breaks to be another Dickens. Sure, that’s the dream… But as I approach my 67th birthday without having achieved any of that success, I’m on the verge of being forced to admit to myself that, in the end, I’m just an asshole. And you know, I can live with that.

Notes on Two Sides of Drive

Some artists are driven by angst, others by desire.

Angst is the emotion of lack – that things are unfulfilled, unsatisfied, not as they should be. And the work of art driven by such feelings is designed to fill the hole, to satisfy the need, to put things right.

Desire is the emotion of eagerness – that opportunity exists, untapped, and holds promise. And the work of art driven by such feelings is designed to seize the moment, actualize the potential, and fulfill the promise.

Some say stories must be driven by a problem, and though this is one way to inject drive in a narrative, the alternative motivation of desire serves equally well to propel the story forward.

Either source of propulsion for a character creates a goal – that expected conclusion in which things are better than before. But regardless of whether the character tarries from angst or desire, the experience along the path to that goal may be a positive or negative one.

Overcoming obstacles and meeting requirements might be felt as progress toward that better future, or as a drain that threatens to outweigh the benefits that would be gained from achieving the goal.

These four factors – positive/negative drive and positive/negative experience create a quad – a group of four elements comprised of two bonded pairs with one pair pertaining to the sate of things and the other to the process.

This particular quad is represented in the Dramatica theory of narrative structure by Goal/Consequence and Dividends/Costs.

Goal is the desired end state, consequence is the angstful state that either currently exists or will come to exist if the goal is not met. Dividends are the positive byproducts or collateral benefits either obtained or enjoyed during the effort to achieve the goal (and avoid the consequence), whereas Costs are the negative byproducts or collateral detriments that become attached or must be experienced during that effort.

Narratives and real life. Each operates with the same dynamic system. The structures of fictional narratives provide guidelines to help us cope and prosper when faced with similar dynamics in our own worlds.

Notes

For some time, I have wanted to create a category on this blog just for quick notes – those transient notions that explode or settle in the mind, are savored or simply masticated for a spell, then spat out of one’s consciousness in favor of the next new thought.

Often they are worthy of further consideration, though I seldom return to provide any. This has frustrated me for once the idea has dissolved, like a sand painting, its ilk will likely never pass this way again.

And so, on this Winter Solstice (occurring just an hour and a fraction ago) and having accomplished little else of import today, I begin this one new thing that, hopefully, will grow with the lengthening of the days (and then be smart enough not to whither and shrivel and die when the days once more recede).

C’mon you can only carry an analogy so far…