Random Reddit

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.
Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love Reddit. You can find me on it here. Reddit is essentially a giant message board, or actually a collection of message boards based on different topics. Anyone can sign up for it, and subscribe to the message boards, or subreddits, that interests them. Plus, anyone can start their own subreddit, on any topic they like.

Lots of people have lots of different ideas about what Reddit is. What side it’s on. But the thing about Reddit is, it’s too large to encapsulate in any one label, like ‘Left’, ‘Right’, ‘Racist’, ‘Sexist‘, ‘Socialist’, or ‘Gigantic Timesink’ (okay, that last one is a good encapsulation.)

One of the great things about Reddit, and a great way to see just how many different things there are on Reddit, is the ‘Random‘ feature. Click on that, and it will take you to a random, safe for work subreddit (for the Not Safe For Work subreddits, go here. Go ahead. I’ll wait.)

To illustrate this, below are ten random subreddits, that I went to using the ‘Random’ feature. No cherry-picking, no do-overs. Let’s see what we have.

/r/MadisonLouch

Madison Louch is a model, ‘social media star’, and DJ, who evidently has quite a devoted following on Twitter, Instagram, and of course Reddit. She is beautiful, from Johannesburg, blonde, and seems allergic to wear clothes.

/r/sadcringe/

Want to make yourself feel better through the suffering of others? Want to lose faith in the general competency of Humanity? Then come on down to /r/sadcringe, where you can see the finest in people being sad, in a way that is just embarrassing to experience.

/r/Cartalk

Car repair questions, asked and answered. As someone who just spent $2600 to get my car repaired, I can appreciate this subreddit. As far as I can tell, no direct relation to the famous radio show.

/r/deadpool

Are you into Deadpool? Are you really into Deadpool? Like, are you contemplating making a shrine, that sort of thing? Here you go.

/r/PS2Cobalt

Planetside 2 is an online first person shooter, where people play different members of a combat team of three science fiction factions as they battle for planetary supremacy. As is typical with these sorts of games, there are different servers for different geographical regions, to reduce lag and people screaming at each other in languages the other person doesn’t understand. Cobalt is the European server for this game. The content of the subreddit is mostly pictures of the game’s environment, and records of gameplay. Since my idea of a computer game nowadays is a rousing game of freeciv, I will leave this to the most vigorous game players out there.

/r/The100

I haven’t seen this show. I have friends who have seen this show. They became great fans of this show. Then a characters named Lexa was killed off, in a way that seemed cheap, cynical, and insulting to the LGBTQ community. My friends got pissed. I don’t intend on watching this show. Your mileage may vary.

/r/democrats

Great if you’re a democrat, I suppose. At least, if you’re a democrat who is pretty happy with the DNC. I am not a democrat, so not my cup of tea. Seems to be slightly less toxicly vitriolic than some other political subreddits.

/r/Volvo/

Fahrvergnügen! Do you like volvos? Do you like volvos the same way some people like Deadpool? Here you go.

/r/puns/

I’m not a fan of puns. This subreddit is for fans of puns. Fortunately, it’s filled with a healthy amount of self-loathing. I felt dirty reading it. Yes, I subscribed to it. I still feel dirty.

/r/harrypotter/

I’m just barely a fan of Harry Potter. I am not, however, enough of a fan of Harry Potter to get as much used out of this subreddit as other people will. Maybe you are. I’ll stick with my epic ‘Space: 1999‘ fanfiction.


Did you find a new favorite subreddit? Did I leave out a subreddit you love, that you want to share with the world? Let me know in the comments.

Radical Honesty and E-Prime

Clarity
Clarity (Photo credit: Audringje)

Let’s talk, shall we?

I love the English language. I communicate in it, and write articles, stories, and poetry in it. It is an amazing instrument, versatile and adaptable, capable of producing works of art of amazing beauty and clarity.

It can also cause a helluva lot of problems.

It can be a frustrating communication medium. Take politics, for example. Words take on strange new shapes and meanings. Obvious truths are denied. Something capable of producing Shakespeare lowered to be a poop stand-in for monkeys to throw.

I’ve been looking for some ways of improving my communication. I think I’ve found two: Radical Honesty, and E-Prime.

Radical Honesty

Radical Honesty is a communication and self-improvement technique developed by Dr. Brad Blanton of Virginia. It theorizes that lying is the primary cause of human misery, and that people will be happier if they just tell the truth. Not just, ‘I won’t tell any big lies.’ No half-truths, white lies, lies of omission, etc. You say what’s going inside your head, and you don’t sugarcoat it.

My day job involves humoring a lot of people. Not my bosses or my co-workers- my clients. I’m there to monitor their conditions, and provide basic services. I am there to do what I am asked to do. If they don’t want to do something, even if doing that thing will help them stay alive, then I have no business, and in fact it is illegal for me to, force them to do it. I think being radically honest with them falls into the category of things they don’t want. That may be rationalization on my part- perhaps I fear losing my job so much I’m afraid to risk it.

My job isn’t just my work, though. I’m going to look into incorporating this into other aspects of my life.

E-Prime

I was introduced to this through the writings of Robert Anton Wilson. E-prime is another communication technique that, like Radical Honesty, is a simply yet profound step- Eliminate the verb ‘to be’ from your vocabulary. That means:

  • be
  • being
  • been
  • am
  • isisn’t
  • arearen’t
  • waswasn’t
  • wereweren’t

Are right out. These words are still okay:

  • become;
  • hashavehavinghad (I’veyou’ve)
  • dodoesdoingdid
  • cancould
  • willwould (they’d)
  • shallshould
  • ought
  • maymightmust
  • remain
  • equal

The reason for all of this is that using the word ‘to be’ encourages sloppy thinking. Things rarely really are something else. They may appear that way to the observer, but that doesn’t mean that observation is necessarily, objectively true. By forcing yourself to include the subjectivity of everyday life into your writing, and thus your thought, you (theoretically) start to notice how many supposed certainties are actually just opinions.

Still, ‘to be’ is one hell of a drug, and hard to kick. You’ll notice I didn’t even attempt it in this article. And sometimes the ability to say ‘The woman is a flower, she is a ray of light’ comes in real handy. But as an ideal to shoot for, I think e-prime has definite merit.

What do you think of radical honesty and e-prime? Do you have any tips and techniques for communication more clearly? Let me know in the comments.

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