GHDR Report 0606: Renewing Core Beliefs

Posted Thursday, June 6, 2024 by Sri. Tagged GHDR
EDITING PHASE:second draft
June 5 was the Apple II's 47th birthday. While this isn't my original hardware, it represents the childhood years that still drive meVintage Apple //e computer with spaceship books and programming manuals from the 1980sVintage Apple //e computer with spaceship books and programming manuals from the 1980s (full size image)

I did not have one on one talks about predominantly-prosocial motivation culture, finding that I had strong childhood anxieties about rejection. However, I also had insights that will help me overcome them, re-establishing my core beliefs with respect to Justice, Projects that represent My Values, Gender Expression, and Meaning of Wealth. As a bonus, I created a Morning Launch Sequence inspired by Starliner and the phrase "action precedes motivation".

Hidey ho! It's time for the fourth Groundhog Day Resolutions (GHDR) Report of the year! Last month, I declared that The Sri Engine Runs on Emotion, and securing a supply of the right kind of emotion was the priority. In my case, I acknowledged that I have an unusual behavioral trait that I named predominantly-prosocial, which goes beyond basic "wanting to help community".

Last Month's Goal

My goal for last month was to arrange for one-on-ones with friends to workshop ideas around what a predominantly-prosocial engineered community might be like. I've been starting to collect ideas in this page, and I posted this toot to Mastodon to get the ball rolling.

It's not much progress, and I haven't had the conversation yet. I was surprised how much emotional energy this was burning, and eventually realized that my desire was at odds with childhood anxieties about being called "weird" or "stupid" for not just "doing what everyone else does". I have built-in expectations that this is going to happenMy subconscious emotional reflexes release stress hormones automatically into my bloodstream, increasing my heart rate and filling my mind with imagined negative possibilities. I've lived with this for so long I hadn't been that conscious of it, but now I know it's something I do have to take into account. I've started to compile a list of Sri's Hangups to help observe what's happening more objectively., despite knowing it's highly unlikely.

Having conversations will continue to be the primary GHDR objective. I will reach out to friends one by one, which is still hard because my childhood brain is worried about "asking for too much" and risking rejection. I know it's not true, but the reaction is very deeply embedded as an emotional reflex and I have to fight through it because I can't "think it away". It is a form of emotional scarring, I think, though until now I didn't think it was. The more conversations I can have, the better I will feel, and the more assuredly I will be able to push through with creating the Prosocial Cultural Architecture Studies Group.

Strengthening Beliefs

The stress of trying to push through the discomfort of reaching out to people dropped me into a shallow depressive spiral, but the process of working-through it gave me new insights.


I had become very angry at the injustice of profit-seeking that is based on deliberate theft of the people's common resources to sell it back to them at many times the price, and on top of it having the nerve to mislead the people through half-truths and legal process to buy the time to leech just a bit more revenue before disappearing.

INSIGHT: I want to find ways to show good people to do good things for good reasons in a way that is fiercely competitive and culturally stable so it stands up to those who profit by tricking others into following their faux money-making social-ladder climbing self-gratifying two-faced semblance of polite, agreeable society.


I recently finished a piece of a programming project that I had isolated into my own Github repo, spending hours polishing and refining it so others could benefit from it. Feeling good, I realized that this was the first piece of code I'd written for these projects that represented my own beliefs about software development and developer quality of life. The insight was similar to when I first felt recognized for expressing my own ideas back in 2006 and found that strangers appreciated it. The pattern that's emerging with these two datapoints is that these are like journeyman projectsIn medieval guild systems, these were projects that intermediate-level craftspeople took to demonstrate their advancing skill. See Journeyman on Wikipedia. that show progression toward mastery.

TAKEAWAY: With the acquisition of this second journeyman project, I'm wondering what the third one would be. Will that be my masterpiece that graduates me from my journeyman status? I am newly optimistic to stay this course!


I declared that I've graduated from my "baby trans" phase, having gotten all the doubt and discomfort about by gender identity out of the way. Over seven years I've gone from what is wrong with me to who am I now to I wish I was dead to well, let me try out a bunch of stuff to finally I am just a person with different traits than before. A lot of fear and anxiety has been reduced, and I am more confident about what's truly important to me. It's a pretty big deal for me personally, and in practical terms it frees my mind quite a bit. I used to spend 30% of my day resolving these highly disruptive emotions.

INSIGHT: I feel that in the last month, I've started to integrate my sense more fully as doubts have fallen away from me. This is allowing other parts of me to express themselves more brightly!


My friend Susan had mentioned her interest in investing and finance, sharing some videos that had opened her eyes to how to approach it beyond pure mathematical means. One of the exercises was to imagine what you'd do with the wealth if you had it and then dreaming way bigger so you could visualize what you would do with a truly large sum of money. These were the true desires that one could "lavishly spend on" with accrued wealth. The followup exercise was to identify everything that wasn't part of the lavish dream; those could be cut out for the purpose of having more money to invest.

As I went through the first exercise, I found that I had difficulty imagining what I would spend lavishly on in that way. At first I just came up with things that I would like to have so I could build a community retreat and concierge service center that could provide facilities for everyone, a dream since I was 10 or 11 years old. I eventually came up with stuff like a good manual transmission car, the best possible eyewear to see, high-end computer gear so I could make things. Being able to afford to fly first class and stay in nice places when I travel to visit people was also on the list.

For the second exercise, I found that there was a pattern to spending on things that were for project that had the potential to be shared with others. For example, buying stuff to make a certain kind of fancy dish, printer, musical instrument, specialty tool, and so on. On the surface, this looks like the ADHD tendency to just start projects by buying stuff but never working on them, but the for me the interesting pattern was that I was excited about sharing the result with someone, not so much for my own interest. These were, in fact, fantasy prosocial situations that I was buying.

INSIGHT: Now, I filter out purchases that I sense are more about the prosocial fantasy than my own utility. This pairs nicely with another rule I made for myself this year, which was to not start projects unless another person was in the room with me who also wanted to do it right away.

SECOND INSIGHT: Other than money, the other resources to think lavishly about are time, attention, and energy. I can apply the same criteria as for money, reserving the use of these scant resources only for things that are an investment for the future. This has had the effect of reducing consumption of junk media, food, and time wasters.


On June 2nd, there was an aborted attempt to launch the ULA Starliner Crew Test to the International Space Station. I love watching rocket launches because of all the little details of the startup sequence. Although I was disappointed that the launch was scrubbed, my attention was piqued by the mention of "The Anomaly Team" that would go through the data and debug the problem. What a cool name!

This got me thinking about the whole launch process and how it compared to my daily morning launch which was actually quite similar. So for fun I made up a comprehensive launch procedure checklist that was based on how I actually force myself out of bed.

Very briefly, the process goes like this:

  1. I'm awake. Do I feel like getting up?
  2. Do I have a headache? What kind of headache is it? Can I mitigate it?
  3. Do I have other physical discomfort? Can I identify it? Can I mitigate it?
  4. Do I have cognition issues with memory, thought initiation? Can I categorize it? Can I mitigate it?
  5. Do I have emotional/anxiety/stress feelings? What kinds? Can I mitigate it?
  6. Do I have some other out-of-my-control issue that is blocking my ability to get up?
  7. Issue Go/No Go decision.

The full list goes into a lot more detail, and for fun I tried to assign NASA-ish acronyms to everything as if I was an actual Sri-Ship.

TAKEAWAY: It was fun to make and share this list with the Discord, and also it made me realize that I have a very comprehensive understanding of myself AND a lot of ways to deal with it. I still have a lot of interesting things to write about and share, and that got me excited about the possibilities to express myself in a more open gender queer nerdy excited way. The next checklist I'd like to make is for starting projects.


I came across the expression "action precedes motivation" again after a long hiatus. I had first written about something similar in 2015, but had forgotten about it. The general idea is that action itself generates motivation, not the other way around. As I am someone who lives in my head most of the time, it's a good KICK IN THE PANTS to be reminded of this.

Since then, I'd put this into practice as I learned to not always let my brain be in charge, especially when it's being ineffectual. For example, if I find I can't convince myself to do something through self-negotiation, I compare that to being in a bad committee meeting and fire Chairman Brain and put the Feet in charge. Nine times out of ten, the feet just start moving and I find myself working. It's effective, but I don't always remember that it's an option.

INSIGHT: Action precedes motivation is great, and this is a part of my larger Sri-specific loop:


Physical motion leads to sensory engagement, which is what makes my brain start to work. It's like jumping a battery. Interaction with people is what primes my brain to actually pick an action related to the interaction, which then primes the rest of the "action precedes motivation" trigger.

The Month Ahead

It's been a good month! I've found myself feeling more anchored in my sense of self and what I want to believe in! That's having direct impact on my productivity as I am able to judge how what I do now allocates time, money, attention, energy for future investment. The successful completion of my journeyman codebase project, combined with the pleasure of finally having a codebase that I feel represents ME, is a powerful reinforcing experience.

There are a lot of things I can do with this newfound sense of self, but the one that is most important is to first find people for my prosocially-motivated study group. That's because that's the need I have to initiate projects in the first place.

To help with this, there are a few possibilities:

  • Write about the new Predominantly-Prosocial Motivation ideas on Now that I'm past my "baby trans" phase and accept my trans-feminine non-binary self, using the old site doesn't bother me anymore. It's just another aspect of my personhood.
  • Rewrite the DSCAFE Discord page to emphasize the prosocial community building aspect. I'm planning to retire the "virtual coworking" aspect of the server, as this is just an aspect of the overarching PPM profile.

The key performance indicator remains as "talk to someone about forming a PPMP cultural engineering study group just to get feedback". I'm going to upgrade the task though as follows:

Ask friends to talk with me about the PPMP concept and their thoughts on the feasibility of establishing a core study group.

And with that, I think we're ready to keep rollin' through June. Thanks for reading!


This year's single goal is Building The Colony!

Made a simple "functional area" diagram using Whimsical to help gather my thoughts.

I converted the Whimsical doc from yesterday to Affinity Designer.

Created new subsite at /the-colony/

Wrote stream-of-consciousness "vision statement" for later cleanup

Convert stream-of-consciousness into a "phrase cloud" for further deconstruction

Artifacts of The Colony: Pebbles, Seeds, and Rings

Created a "refined phrase cloud" grouped into five categories, based on boot 05's work.

Extracted "foundational" statements from yesterday, but they didn't leave a strong impression. Punt "why" to tomorrow's post.

Created a "Selfishly Sri" printable assessment to gauge outside interest.

Reducing scope from Colony to Outpost.

Desired results are distilled down to two main ideas, which will cover the next couple of months.

A slow start to the year, as I focused on paying work for most of the month. Set four directives to achieve this mont

The set of analysis notes that I authored with ChatGPT4 to refine my understanding of "prosocial motivation"

New goal is to start connecting with future chatty collaborators, as my brain runs on "prosocial motivation" and meaningful human connections.

Delving further into my "predominantly-prosocially motivated" profile (PPMP), and how to turn this into action given the dilemma of "needing the energy from a group to start a task" being at odds with "needing to start a group so I have energy".

The task of "talking to someone in-person about PPMP-based community" didn't happen. Happily, I had several empowering insights along the lines of wealth, doing what is good, and accepting myself that I think will help with that.

Jul 7


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