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Alex
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Happy Solstice 2017

Hi dudes,
Well it's that time of year when we are all expected to come up with memorable quotes or fine inspirational speeches, and every individual becomes an international ambassador for peace on earth, goodwill to all sentient beings, and general hedony. Predatory parties stalk the unwary, religious spam returns for many, less-than-close relatives haunt the horizons and someone, somewhere, is photocopying their ass because it seems really funny at the time.

On the other hand, we all get to play the benefactor and give gifts and cook dinners and throw parties, which behaviors all give biology a nice comfortable feeling inside.

For my part, I seem to be still digesting Solstice dinner and musing that the gifts we exchange unconsciously reflect the preferences of the giver more than they align with the receiver's own. Ideally the reason for any gift to a friend is to inspire happy feelings in someone else that we can then enjoy, because happy people are usually in a good mood and fun to be with. So our choice of gifts is whatever we predict will 'bring out the best' in people. But when we've got past the list of friends and into acquaintances and obligatories, a wry humor affects our choices. How many times does the guy in the office with poor personal hygiene receive after shave and bathroom products? Who bought Aunty X a bottle of Gin to keep her quiet during the visit? Whose wishful thinking gave that noisy kid a science book? And who got the fat dude chocolates? Warning -anyone with neurohacking knowledge will suss you out.

2018 may bring greater global awareness of genuine issues, such as resource depletion (both environmental and mental), climate change and overpopulation. Or it may not, if Gollum finds the ring before Bilbo.

What happened in 2017? Lots, but perhaps the most interesting thing was realizing that the more I am able to do in the natural world, the less stuff I need from anywhere else. In short, greater interaction with the real world has brought me some wonderful experiences, and I would like some more.

Consequently everything else may take longer than expected, but that's ok.  :  )

I take this opportunity to say thankyou for all seasonal messages, which I will get to when the partying stops.
Have a great time y'all!
Best,
AR


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