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Fyodor Dostoevsky on the irrationality of people and the futility of utopianism


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#21 Wimzers

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 10:34 AM

I always find it interesting to hear what other people interpret out of this type of confusing subject matter. Moonless I did read the first couple pages of that book and it certainly peaked my interest. I think the writing style is a unique way of delving into the subject matter.

 

It seems to help me when I think why does man act this way? why does he do things that go against his well being?

 

To act irrationally to prove free will, to prove that he is not a piano key! 

 

It is interesting to think that he wrote all of this before the field of psychology really exploded. Now what we know about the unconscious mind and it's roles I wonder how it would have altered or reinforced his view points

 

In one of the posts Seee made I put down a comparison for him to view. He comes across like the Westboro Baptist Church, in my opinion, in some of his posts. I'm not 100% convinced he realizes how his attitude impacts his goal of sharing his viewpoint. Then again it makes me think this is all a game because he was around with Hippie and thats been a few years. 



#22 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 01:05 PM

This fire starter appears to be acting a bit irrationally.

 

Is this a case of trying to prove his free will? or just a racist who didn't really think this through

 

[Direct Link]

 

So the only person showing up to the protests who was actually "served and protected" by police was a guy wearing freakin' blackface, and it wasn't Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Fallon or any even semi-famous Jimmy doing it this time.

 

 

But anyway, of course there's free will.

There is also no such thing as free will.

There is both free will, and no free will.

There is neither free will, nor no free will.

 

All of the above are true simultaneously.  It just depends on where we draw our lines. Within the boundary conditions that define us and our experience we seem to have various forms of it, but at the same time living in a bounded system implicitly suggests we don't.

 

Maybe it's like physics in the sense that how things work at our scale of existence is quantified by completely different physical laws and equations than how things work at the subatomic scale (which everything is made of) as well as at the Cosmological scale (which is the sum-total of everything)?

 

That is, maybe free will is not involved in things like DNA and the functioning of our physical bodies and their needs for survival (analogous to the subatomic level in physics), but free will exists as an emergent property of self-awareness within an individual who is themselves an emergent property of our DNA and physiology, and then at the collective level of society it's undefined and therefore doesn't exist for "superorganisms" (collectives of individuals, such as nations or even just crowds).

 

I guess I'm suggesting that free will might be a function of something analogous to "scale" in physics.


Edited by TVCasualty, 08 June 2020 - 01:11 PM.

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#23 August West

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 01:09 PM

Wow. That's a bold-ass move. I've gotta visit Toronto some time - must be the safest place on the planet on account of the fact that guy isn't eating through a straw today.


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#24 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 01:31 PM

I think it might be time to block you dude, if you are just going to turn every thread into a soap box for you to decry animal domestication. I do not come to this site to listen to people preach

 

It's your thread, so if any of his posts are off-topic to a problematic degree as far as you're concerned then let me know which ones they are and I'll make them go away. The post # should be sufficient; I can't see them unless I specifically unblock them so you'll have to let me know which ones need to go, assuming another mod who isn't ignoring him doesn't take care of them first).

 

And nobody comes here to listen to anyone preach, though a few might leave if they're subjected to too much of it. This is not Vegantopia, nor will it become so.



#25 Moonless

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Posted 08 June 2020 - 01:58 PM

From what I know FlashingRooster is that the field of psychology came out of the merging of philosophy with physiology to answer questions about consciousness and the nature of the mind. It seems like Dostoevsky died right before psychology came out. Interestingly the father of American Psychology and one of the earliest psychologist, William James declared that the root of all science was philosophy and thus he promptly declared psychology as a science a pointless endeavor as long as it leaves philosophy out of the question. He declared psychology as a flawed science on the first page of his book Principles of Psychology. 

 

One of my favorite psychology books is actually a Matter and Memory by Henri Bergson. Bergson was a philosopher in the field of phenomenology and he used experimental psychology to describe our lives. According to Bergson, man has very little free will because we are acting off the the impulses of our past, which we carry with us in the present through our memory. Bergson thought, somewhat alike the writers presentation of Dostoevsky's thought on free will, that meaning of the world and how to act with it was called to us through our memory. He felt that recognition was an almost instantaneous action that the unconscious made of the entirety of the whole instead of placing the meaning together by parts. Think of how we read, the letters do not tell us how to interpret a word, rather the meaning is giving within the totality of the word itself.

 

In my class where we covered Phenomenology extensively we had some really crazy conversations about how we really had no free will because much of life is really unconscious. For instance I am writing about Phenomology in a post about an article about Dostevosky's Notes from the Underground. Idk how I got here but I recognized that they are somewhat similar. Anyways, one thing I noticed in that class was that a very Christian classmate had a lot of trouble with two phenomological ideas. First: that the world had just as much meaning and consciousness as individual people do. (He kept asking why it was just to step on grass if this was so!) Second: that we are mostly unconscious people with very little true free will. (I guess it sucked to realize that there is much less logos than you think there is...)

 

So the way to free will according the the phenomenologist Alia Al Saji, is through hesitation  That breaking the patterns of life and "acting irrationally" (though I say this lightly because our patterns and behavior is hardly rational nor was it built through rationality, rather it was built through use.) is the pathway to creating new patterns, behaviors and nueral pathways.

 

Sorry for rambling down the road. I'll read some pages I promise!


Edited by Moonless, 08 June 2020 - 02:14 PM.

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#26 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 05:04 PM

Wow. That's a bold-ass move. I've gotta visit Toronto some time - must be the safest place on the planet on account of the fact that guy isn't eating through a straw today.

 

Haha that's exactly what I said when I read that, only in Canada man

 

If that was in LA he would be in the hospital for sure

 

Our systemic racism award goes to the indigenous population up here. Not saying black people don't experiencing racism in Canada but it's just a different climate. The histories of our two countries differ quite a bit

 

All the black people in my local area from Sudan, Somelia to name a few. They speak African and come from a totally different culture.



#27 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 05:26 PM

 

I think it might be time to block you dude, if you are just going to turn every thread into a soap box for you to decry animal domestication. I do not come to this site to listen to people preach

 

It's your thread, so if any of his posts are off-topic to a problematic degree as far as you're concerned then let me know which ones they are and I'll make them go away. The post # should be sufficient; I can't see them unless I specifically unblock them so you'll have to let me know which ones need to go, assuming another mod who isn't ignoring him doesn't take care of them first).

 

And nobody comes here to listen to anyone preach, though a few might leave if they're subjected to too much of it. This is not Vegantopia, nor will it become so.

 

 

All good TV the block has work pleasantly, thanks anyway. There is no discussion to be had there, just a guy trying to beat us over the head with his viewpoint. I mean like most of us I stopped reading those lengthy repetitive copy and paste post's anyway. Nobody has so quickly and efficiently made everything they say irrelevant.

 

I recognize the type from my days on the poison news comment sections.There are people that have spent actual years of their lives arguing with strangers on the internet. I used to be a bit to argumentative myself

 

Ruin nights out with your friends because two people can't drop some stupid point and start yelling at each other. One of my friends went hard into the alt right conspiracy trend and back when I was more liberal we would argue about damn near everything.

 

It took me a while but I learned there is a reason folks often refrain from god and political talk in social situations.

 

If I have to have one more argument about the moon landing a guy might just have to blast off into space permanently
 



#28 TVCasualty

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 05:42 PM

That's cool. A few posts will probably vanish anyway (and already have) since there is nothing to be gained (and much to lose) by allowing a site about growing mushrooms to turn into someone's personal soapbox about anything that doesn't involve growing mushrooms.

 

And I hear ya about the Moon landing. How does anyone not know that the Moon is a hologram and so there's nothing to "land" on?? :tinfoil:


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#29 Seee

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 05:42 PM

I always find it interesting to hear what other people interpret out of this type of confusing subject matter. Moonless I did read the first couple pages of that book and it certainly peaked my interest. I think the writing style is a unique way of delving into the subject matter.

 

It seems to help me when I think why does man act this way? why does he do things that go against his well being?

 

To act irrationally to prove free will, to prove that he is not a piano key! 

 

It is interesting to think that he wrote all of this before the field of psychology really exploded. Now what we know about the unconscious mind and it's roles I wonder how it would have altered or reinforced his view points

heres something you might find interesting
https://aeon.co/essa...about-free-will
 



#30 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 06:34 PM

Sorry I suck at condensing my reply's

 

Back to the book

 

I like that thought TV.

 

If man was alone would that expression of free will be so desperate. Would he feel the need. I mean we see how people change instantly when they get in large crowds. There is an energy or collective something going on there. It feeds and changes as things progress, reacting like it was alive. The collective people react almost as one but also not as one...

 

It's got my mind wandering

 

Desire for free will may well be a by product of our collective organism, or consciousness, whatever we try to name it.

 

 

Moonless, you make some good parallels from the article

 

That is a good point about memory there, we do plenty of automatic things based on memory. It's a brain efficiency thing. For example, we can fool our taste buds with colour based on memories.  When told that the purple drink was grape juice the people drinking it did not recognize it was apple juice. The mind want's to course correct to get you to that end result as quick as possible

 

Our minds make many shortcuts based on probability, and like you say it's all done in an instant. The depths of what the subconscious is actually controlling seems to be fairly deep. All these electro chemical reactions in me adjusting my mood and overall sense of feeling.

 

I think in regards to this thing we call a body Alder is correct when he names us the observer. Or maybe glorified button pusher at best.  Option A or option B ah fuck this is to much pressure!

 

Ya it makes you wonder how much free will we do actually hold, so much so that I might have to go smash something to prove that I am in charge...   :meditate:   ha ya right, or how about smoke something, that I can do

 

 

Reminds me of what some people say about the right to vote, it just gives us the illusion of free will

 

 

 

 



#31 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 06:38 PM

Exactly!

 

When will people realize that Apollo 11 was false flag operation, done as a distraction while the actual military went to the dark side of the moon to recover alien hologram technology.

 

You know that tupac hologram, yeah alien teck


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#32 Wimzers

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Posted 09 June 2020 - 10:03 PM

I was listening to Sam Harris on Joe Rogan discussing free will. Sam mentioned while using an fMRI the study was able to predict 5-7 seconds beforehand a persons actual answer to a question. 

 

That would go against what phenomenologist Alia Al Saji had said about building new neuronal pathways though wouldn't it if predicting answers was possible?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#33 Moonless

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Posted 10 June 2020 - 01:07 AM

Moonless, you make some good parallels from the article

 

That is a good point about memory there, we do plenty of automatic things based on memory. It's a brain efficiency thing. For example, we can fool our taste buds with colour based on memories.  When told that the purple drink was grape juice the people drinking it did not recognize it was apple juice. The mind want's to course correct to get you to that end result as quick as possible

 

Our minds make many shortcuts based on probability, and like you say it's all done in an instant. The depths of what the subconscious is actually controlling seems to be fairly deep. All these electro chemical reactions in me adjusting my mood and overall sense of feeling.

 

I think in regards to this thing we call a body Alder is correct when he names us the observer. Or maybe glorified button pusher at best.  Option A or option B ah fuck this is to much pressure!

 

Ya it makes you wonder how much free will we do actually hold, so much so that I might have to go smash something to prove that I am in charge...   :meditate:   ha ya right, or how about smoke something, that I can do

 

 

Reminds me of what some people say about the right to vote, it just gives us the illusion of free will

 

Thank you!

Yes the depths of the unconscious is so vast and deep. Carl Jung literally thought that real world occurrences and our reaction to them was part of the unconscious trying to bring light into itself. He felt that through peoples process to become individuals that we sought out difficult experiences to help us become more attuned to our personality. He has a quote about if you are not aware of your unconscious then disasters will happen to you and you will call it fate... or something like that lol. I think that his ideas are quite interesting and fun to entertain because he explains the mushroom experience quite well too!

 

 

 

I was listening to Sam Harris on Joe Rogan discussing free will. Sam mentioned while using an fMRI the study was able to predict 5-7 seconds beforehand a persons actual answer to a question. 

 

That would go against what phenomenologist Alia Al Saji had said about building new neuronal pathways though wouldn't it if predicting answers was possible?

I actually don't think it goes against Al Saji very much at all. In a controlled sense where a question is asked in the same way every-time, it would be easy to establish some sort of expected emotional or neurological response. For instance it is easy to trigger a PTSD response from someone with PTSD by talking about or bringing up a PTSD trigger. With PTSD, for instance, the response is so embedded within our patterns that it is a matter of life, a matter of survival. But if one were to tater on the edge of a PTSD trigger, then one might be able to get close to a fear without triggering the PTSD in the same way. This could end up de-sencitize in some way, I think its called CBT or Gestalt??

 

Anyway this is all theoretical and I'll be searching for that sam haris clip or perhaps an article on the study!

 

Anyways, Al Saji gives the idea of unlearning racism in her paper, On the Phenomenology of Hesitation. Where she talks about how her husband, a Frenchman, came to learn about the Hijab/veil and learned that it was ok for people to wear it. Keep in mind that the French banned Hijab in school because it was considered a religious symbol. Well after staying with Al Saji's family women, who all wore Hijab, he started to change his ways and life. Al Saji explains it very well and shows that free will lies in the uncomfortable chaos where we are conscious, not because free will is the default, but because an strange phenomenoa has jolted us awake into consciousness. This jolt is called hesistation!


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#34 Moonless

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 02:11 PM

After having listened to the audiobook from youtube-Would highly recommend, the narrater was great!-I have returned to this thread to discuss the book.

 

In the opening of the book, the first part where the Undergrounder is laying out his observations and philosophy on life and the human condition, the man says that, man would rather have his choice of the action rather than act rationally all the time. I have to agree with him on that but I question how much choice man actually has, I would say that man would rather have his habit than have his rationality (sometimes the former masquerades as the next with people who are especially unaware). Perhaps himself declaring that he has always been conscious of his actions forced this false notion. It was at this point where I started to like the undergrounder slightly, I had some empathy for him even though I despised him.

 

 

The undergrounder is no doubt a brilliant person and has some hard truth type philosophies, yet the extent he acts these out and his character overall is so disgusting and dumb. He is so over dramatic that it is comical sometimes to see him blowing everything out of proportion. Non the less, I related to his painfully aware mentality as I recalled my emotional youth and young adult life when I too questioned and tore myself apart about how I interact with people on the street and how others percieved me.

 

One of the funniest things about the story was that this man was his own worst enemy and brought pain upon himself in order to spite others.

 

Anyways all in all it was cool because the character was relatable in his desires but the desires that we shared are in our underground, the undergrounder and notes from the underground is no doubt a great name for the character and story.


Edited by Moonless, 23 July 2020 - 02:11 PM.


#35 Moonless

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Posted 23 July 2020 - 02:13 PM

 

I always find it interesting to hear what other people interpret out of this type of confusing subject matter. Moonless I did read the first couple pages of that book and it certainly peaked my interest. I think the writing style is a unique way of delving into the subject matter.

 

It seems to help me when I think why does man act this way? why does he do things that go against his well being?

 

To act irrationally to prove free will, to prove that he is not a piano key! 

 

It is interesting to think that he wrote all of this before the field of psychology really exploded. Now what we know about the unconscious mind and it's roles I wonder how it would have altered or reinforced his view points

 

In one of the posts Seee made I put down a comparison for him to view. He comes across like the Westboro Baptist Church, in my opinion, in some of his posts. I'm not 100% convinced he realizes how his attitude impacts his goal of sharing his viewpoint. Then again it makes me think this is all a game because he was around with Hippie and thats been a few years. 

 

I think Seee needs to read the book...


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#36 Moonless

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Posted 24 July 2020 - 03:07 AM

While I was at work today I couldn't help but think about the character from Notes which I had listened to yesterday. The fact that the undergrounder is just a collective shadow figure as a person is very clear to me. When met with stressful times it is easy to act in spite, take the behavior of others to heart and to unconsciously undermine oneself just like the Undergrounder did so consciously. Only when the action comes into conscious-often after the fact-can we realize that it was done in spite. That is if any self reflection is done at all, seldom is that true as the blame for ones misfortune is too often projected to one's exterior. With this in mind I really truly desire the solution to this unconscious life we often find ourselves in. In addition, a perhaps broader question in conjunction with this, how are we to act with our shadow?

 

The first has us deal with two uncomfortable facts: that we live a mostly unconscious life; and second, is a conscious life something we want to obtain? The fact that we live an unconscious life doesn't need much effort to provide evidence, simply the fact that we do things out of habit, or continue habits to our detriment is enough evidence that much of life is beyond our control. But to argue that consciousness is something we should attain for is quite a task. While it is good to have our choice, the fact of the matter is we make choices of high magnitude every moment of our lives, if you are to realize it consciously and make all choices as such, choices are thus seemingly impossible to make [see Chidi from the Good Place]. I argue that the solution to fact of Consciousness vs. Unconsciousness is not such a matter of black and white, either one or the other. In fact, it is the best of both worlds to work at one habbit or one area of unconsciousness one at a time.

 

 

So I say we can have our conscious change our unconscious one habit at a time. The only thing in my way of figuring it all out is how powerful the unconscious is! I have tried but I have failed so far to make this work effectivly. I have yet to figure this out how to shape my personality and behavior as a person of habbit but an idealized version of what this looks like is such: I make a bad choice unconsciously, I see the bad choice and say I'll change next time, I catch myself making the same mistake next time but stop myself, repeat that step for 30 day, profit?? Tell me if this works, I'm sure someone has something to say about making positive change in ones life in regard to the shadow and the unconscious.


Edited by Moonless, 24 July 2020 - 03:09 AM.

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#37 ElPirana

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Posted 24 July 2020 - 09:40 AM

So I say we can have our conscious change our unconscious one habit at a time. The only thing in my way of figuring it all out is how powerful the unconscious is! I have tried but I have failed so far to make this work effectivly. I have yet to figure this out how to shape my personality and behavior as a person of habbit but an idealized version of what this looks like is such: I make a bad choice unconsciously, I see the bad choice and say I'll change next time, I catch myself making the same mistake next time but stop myself, repeat that step for 30 day, profit?? Tell me if this works, I'm sure someone has something to say about making positive change in ones life in regard to the shadow and the unconscious.


As I have been experiencing this, I find that changes are made to my unconscious…unconsciously lol.  Let me give an example:  Let’s say that someone makes a specific type of comment to me, it triggers me, and I respond in a bad way.  My response is not my “normal” way of responding, and it is not something that I want to continue, but it happens just the same.

Then separately, I am getting in touch with my shadow.  As I notice more about myself, look inward, and find ways in which I can access myself with less and less hesitation, with less resistance, then I am able to get to a place where I can see an aspect of myself that I consider “bad”.  Then, if I can see that part of myself and accept it as a valid part of me, not judge myself but to accept it, then it will loosen its grip.

I have to add here that I don’t see for myself the connections between my shadow work and the triggered responses that I noted above.  But after some time, a trigger-situation will come up again later (maybe the same type of comment from the same person) and I find that I no longer have the same response as I had the previous twenty times.

These things seem to happen somewhat unconsciously, even when I am consciously aware of them.  Like what has changed that has allowed me to have less resistance to myself?  Why don’t I continue to resist like I have always done in the past?  Is it really my conscious decision to try not resisting that made the difference, or is there an unconscious change that sort of presents itself into my thoughts that I am aware of right now?  Which one came first?

......................

Speaking to some of the other comments earlier in this thread, I don’t believe we have a free will.  While watching myself, I have at times watched myself in a way that my watching seems very removed from the action that is happening.  Also, many other times as I notice my thoughts, the thoughts seem very personal and very intimate to me and it is easy for me to think of them as if they are me, or at least that I have control of them.  But just because I have an intimate awareness of the movement of my thoughts, of the pushing and pulling of desires and aversions that lead my thoughts down a particular path, does that mean that I have ultimate control over them?  I think not.  If I could REALLY control my thoughts, then why can’t I turn them off like flipping a switch?  Why is it that, when I sit to meditate, the thoughts can go in a myriad of directions, sometimes surprising me with the crazy directions they go.  Or related to Alder’s post earlier, why do I suffer?  Why not just simply end the suffering if I can really have control?

As I talk with people around me, it seems to be that people WANT to believe that they have control.  It goes against so much of our society and culture to believe that we don’t have free will.  Everything around us is designed around the idea that we do in fact have free will.  I think it is scary for people to play with the idea that they don’t have a free will, and I think we all know that people often avoid the things that scare them.  How many alternatives will people create so that they don’t have to deal with their fear?
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#38 Alder Logs

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Posted 24 July 2020 - 11:20 AM

 

Guess what I am a little bit of a cynic.

 

 

“No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.”
~Lily Tomlin

 

I seem to have missed this thread, and being a bit of a dunce, I have never read stuff like this, but from the little bit of this thread I have been seeing this morning, I think the discussion between Bret Weinstein and Matt Taibbi I just posted in PC Police might be of high relativity.  These times are precarious, and even leaning in the wrong direction could have serious consequences, and so much is at work in efforts to create our direction of lean. 

 

I wish I were a better reader.  I have always wished that, though I believe my ways of thinking have benefited by way of my cognitive issues.  Some of what I have missed seems to be helping me.   Just to say, "for it is written," has less meaning perhaps, and that's kept many questions open where the herd thinks something is a done deal. 


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#39 Moonless

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Posted 24 July 2020 - 12:29 PM

[Direct Link]

 

For anyone who is interested but averse to reading.


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#40 Alder Logs

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Posted 24 July 2020 - 01:11 PM

I seem to be adverse to having any free time and firewood not bucked and split by the end of July isn't ready to burn in the fall.

 

Going out to work and letting this record as an Mp3.


Edited by Alder Logs, 24 July 2020 - 01:19 PM.

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