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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Life Hack 26: Time

As a consequence of your new-found sense of freedom there will also be a new sense of time, one that will be at once less cluttered (in its feel) and more full.

*You will devoting your full attention to whatever it is that you are doing.

*The things that you are doing will be worthwhile ones, fully worthy of said attention.

*Things will be less rushed, but you won't be showing up too early for things either. You will be more comfortable with the flow of time.

*You will be both more appreciative of time, wanting to use it well, but also more patient.

*You will be as busy, or more, but without the sense of pointless busyness.

When I say you, here, I mean I.  I've always been uncomfortable with time, but now I am able to be less so.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A good poem

A good poem doesn't give a the fuck what you think about her

 Defiant, noble, it'll punch in the gut

 Doing no permanent damage

No seduction or complicity, no compromise with taste or vanity

It doesn't need you, especially if you are the dictator's son


  There are landscapes and seascapes, yes

but are there mindscapes, gutscapes?

smellscapes for the dog's wondrous nose?

are there beardscapes?

Scapes of stubble and skin?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Life Hack 4: Things you don't have to care about

This is a very simple one. Think of things that you don't care about and make a list.  For me, for example, it would be

*The clothes other people wear by choice.
*The outcome of sporting events or prizes given to movies or poets.
*Other people's taste in movies.
*Almost all of what other people do that doesn't affect me directly.
*Winning arguments with other people.
*How good or bad my handwriting is.
*Almost all comparisons between me and other people.
*The private behavior and public opinions of celebrities.

You could go on and on with this.  Now there are things you will care about as well. You can make a list of those things also. Choose only truly significant things, things that you really feel you must care about, like the health and well-being of family members or the state of the republic.

Now the trick is to find a third list of things that you do care about but that you really do not have to care about. Maybe you care about what total strangers think about you, or you care about the quality of their tattoos. You really don't have to. One reason is that caring about these things does nothing good, or prevents no harm, for you or for anyone else. Usually, it will be a thing without any practical consequence, and which you have no direct power over anyway.  Your caring about it seems to have some benefit for you, but this is an illusion for the most part. This includes most things that other people think or say about you, and a lot of what you think or say about other people.

You might think not caring is negative, because you should care about yourself and about other people.  I agree. You should care. But by moving more things from the care to the don't care column, you will be able to clarify what is really worth caring about. I've gained a lot by stopping a lot of unnecessary preoccupation with things that aren't really that bad, or whose badness is not that significant. For example, I no longer worry that people like the music of Kenny G. I don't need to out-debate other people or convince them they are wrong. While watching my local team play, I want them to win, but the minute the game is over I pretty much forget about it.


If you want to continue to care about something that I wouldn't approve of your caring about, don't worry, because you shouldn't care what I think in the first place.  Some of these false cares might seem vital to you, and you will want to cling to them as long as possible.  They probably have some function for you. I know I too still care about a lot of things I shouldn't. When letting go of a care you are not becoming indifferent to life, but choosing your battles more wisely by being less ego-driven.

For example, most comparisons to other people have to do with your own ego; so does the drive to convince people your beliefs are correct. Think envy, pride, sloth, wrath: most of that is ego-driven. The other deadly sins are simply wanting too much for one's self: gluttony, greed, and lust. Whatever your framework, I think once you adopt with life-hack you will see that there are at least a few things that your worry does nothing to alleviate.


When should you care about what other people say to you about yourself? I think it would have to be someone who cares about you personally and has your best interest at heart, and is expressing it in a way that conveys that concern, and giving you information on which you can act. So anyone that is insulting you, by definition, does not deserve to be heard.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Life hack 3

The third life hack has to do with relationships. It is very simple: to be the best partner you can be for someone else, work on your own self first. If you are happier, healthier, and better at what you do, then you will be more attractive and generous to someone else. Don't worry so much about filling a gap or need in the other person's life: that is mostly their own job. Also, don't worry about whether the other person can fill gaps in your own life. Treat the relationship itself as though it were in the tier 1, with some tier 2 things mixed in. The relationship is not there for some other end, but is an end in itself.

If the partner doesn't want you to be better at what you love doing, then that is bad. So if a partner thinks you shouldn't be taking piano lessons or going back to school, that is a big warning sign.  By the same token, you shouldn't be threatened by talents your partner has, even if it makes you feel inferior. The more tier 1 things your partner has, the better.