Thursday, December 13, 2012


When facing injustice, to turn away from it is to become one with it.

Friday, November 30, 2012


Life has been bizarre lately.  I have been meditating a lot, and reading a lot about Zen.  I have been working on a lot (relatively) of personal projects.  It feels good to be making progress in that dimension, which is part of why I undertook this journey to Farfaraway in the first place.  At the same time, I feel that my life is not exactly on track...maybe?  It's hard to tell.  Compared to where I was about a year ago, I guess my life is more on track than it was...

I was recently explaining to a distraught friend that it's not necessary to think of life in terms of where we are going, but it is important to think of life in terms of how we live.  So I guess, by that metric, I am doing good.  My days are filled with activities that are meaningful to me.  By that metric, in fact, I am doing exponentially better than I was before.  Nonetheless, I am still plagued by the feeling that there is not enough time to work toward all the goals that I have.

I have read, on more than one occasion, about the importance of limiting, or outright eliminating, one's goals.  And frustratingly, I have eliminated, or at least majorly postponed, a lot of the goals that I used to fret over.  I suppose I shouldn't say "frustratingly," because the other side of that same coin is "comfortingly."  While I do remain frustrated by my lack of godlike ability to progress insanely fast, I am also doing better and better in terms of being at peace with the progress that I am able to make.

Everything is okay.  It's just weird and constantly changing, and also constantly uncertain.  I guess that's how it is for all of us, at least on some level.

Just for the sake of consistency, here's my little battle mantra:

Go go go.  Fight fight fight.  Be unstoppable.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I think many of the heaviest questions that we ask ourselves, such as "who am I," "why am I here," "what is my purpose," "how can I overcome my problems," "why do I lose control of myself," etc., are sometimes unanswerable.  There may be moments/minutes/weeks/years where you know that you have a purpose in life, you know with some certainty who you are, or you recognize that certain triggers cause you to behave in certain ways...and yet I bet that these realizations are also temporary.  Your purpose in life today may not be what it was yesterday.  You may lose control when someone says something dumb, and maybe you can overcome that, but there is no way that anyone will ever be a "perfect" human being.

Sometimes we may just have to recognize that a question is unanswerable, and let yourself get carried away by the current of acceptance.  You could fight death with exercise, your lifestyle, avoiding dangerous activities...but there is no way to perfect your strategy.  You may get hit by a meteor or a lightning bolt.  You may be attacked by an invading army.  A piano may fall on your head.  A cosmic event may destroy the entire planet.

This is not to say that it's not good to try.  We should always try to understand, try to be better, try to be perfect.  But perhaps there is a way to aim for perfection without investing your sense of self worth in attaining the impossible.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


I just read an article about a woman who was gang-raped, strangled, and burned alive in Ukraine.  She survived, although she had to have two limbs amputated and lost 50% of her skin and some of her organs were irreparably damaged.

How can we live in a world with crimes like these?  How can reality possibly be this way?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Deep Breath

Unexpected bad thing lead to a rough, stressed-out morning.  Struggled and struggled to get over it/figure out how to deal with it/just deal with it...haven't really found a solution yet.

But it's important to remember that all you can do is try your best.  Bad things happen.  One day maybe I'll get cancer and realize how trivial this problem actually is.

Music is powerful.  Listening to music is helping me cope.  Breathing deeply, remembering to be present in the moment, and acknowledging the beauty (sometimes it is tragic beauty) and complexity of life, regardless of whether you are on an upswing or downswing, is the way.

Be strong.  Do your best, never give up.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Reading some messed up stuff....thoughts:

What percentage of children in the world are victimized or abused?
How horribly messed up is the foster care system in the US?

How can we find and deal with the criminals and psychopaths who seem to be so successful at victimizing children?

God the world is depressing sometimes.

In the Zone!

Last night was fantastic.  After going to my 'normal' job for about 3 hours (I have an irregular work schedule), I was able to go home and chat with my friends/girlfriend for a while and then, amazingly, I had the rest of the night to myself.  I grabbed a coffee, turned up some trance music, and worked on my website for nine hours straight.  So awesome!  I haven't been that focused and productive for months.

I've had this thought before, but last night really reminded me that productivity is like many other activities in that you need to warm up.  Before someone sings, or plays guitar, or works out, they have to do warm-up exercises or stretches.  So it is with sitting down at your computer and cranking out your next novel or a piece of software.  Paul Graham explains it somewhere in one of his essays, I can't remember which one;  he says that programmers need long periods of time in which to work.  Interruptions break your concentration and make it very difficult if not impossible to solve the problems that one is trying to address.  This seems like it is probably true for all sorts of jobs in which the output is creative or material, as opposed to jobs in which the output is something like helping customers or organizing documents.

Anyway, last night reminded me how high you can get from a productivity streak like that.  I'm resolving to be more of a hermit in the future, so that I can allocate more of my time to these kinds of sessions.

Fight fight fight.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012


5 : form 1
--/-++ (or --/++-R)

5 : form 2
++/--+ (or ++/+--R)

7 : form 1
--/++/+--R (or --/++/--+)

7 : form 2
++/--/++-R (or ++/--/-++)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Effortless Effort

Natural Unnaturalness
Unnatural Naturalness
Effortless Effort
Effortful Effortlessness
Calm Activity
Active Calmness
Peaceful Chaos
Chaotic Peace

There is so much to think, write, explore, dream, build, do, believe...and there is not enough time.

We feel frustrated by the discrepancy between what we have and what we do not have, but maybe the discrepancy is not real.  There is no such thing as that which we do not have.  There is only that which we have.

There is no future, there is no past.  There is only the endlessly changing present.

I'm not sure if any of this is true or if it makes any sense, I'm afraid.  But I am sure that I feel like the entire universe is exploding, maybe it's just in my head, against a backdrop of perfect stillness.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


If you are in your 20s or 30s, or even 40s or maybe 50s, it is possible that you could live your whole life over again, numerically speaking.  If you have lived for 20 years, then you will live your whole life again, in a sense, if you live to be 40.  Really it could be thought of as even more than that, since your first few years of life don't really create accessible memories...

So what if today is Day 1 of your new life?  Your first day on Earth, if you can get your mind around the idea.  How full of wonder and amazement should you be?  Everything is new and incredible, regardless of whether it is bad or good.

And what if every day is the First and Last day of your new life?  You could consider your new life to begin on any given day, if that's how you want to count.  And you could consider your new life to end on any given day as well.  Everything will be infinitely new, beautiful, and also sad as you watch it slip away.  But you know that tomorrow is a new day and a new life.

1, 2, 3

Some realizations/things that have changed in the last year or so:

I noticed, a while ago, that I was having a hard time deciding what toothpaste/shampoo/soaps/facial cleansers to buy at the store  (see the embedded TED talk below for more).  The realization was bizarre.  I was literally spending like 5 or more minutes just staring at all the options.  Whitening.  Whitening plus Sensitivity Protection.  24-Hour Fresh Breath + Whitening.  Enamel Protection plus 24-Hour Whitening..... o.O

Which one was best for me?  With all those options, surely one of them was particularly the type of toothpaste that I needed.


It hit me, eventually, like a lightning bolt:  they are all basically the same.  It doesn't really matter what toothpaste I buy.  After that revelation, I began to make a conscious effort to buy groceries much more efficiently.  Go in, check out which ones have the most reasonable prices, grab one, and move on.

Also:  I have begun, as of a couple months ago, taking cold showers.  Not sure how crazy this might seem to other people, but I'm pretty happy with it.  At first I was doing it because of some epidermal benefits that I read about;  I would start out with a regular, hot shower, and then gradually ease the temperature down to warm, and then cold.

Now, however, I do completely cold.  It was, at first, challenging.  The feeling of knowing that you're about to step into beams of icy cold water requires the same kind of mental effort as going to the gym when you're feeling really lazy.  But it has become doubt it has become a little easier just because I have become used to it...but I think it is also because I have developed a little mental trick.  I count to 3, and then I just go.  I know it's going to be freezing and shocking, but somehow counting forces my mind to plow through any hesitance.  It feels good to be able to do it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


You can only be truly ready to meditate when you are already meditating.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


It's probably a good idea not to ask for opinions, nor to give them.  Ask for facts, and base your opinions on those facts, and then keep your opinions to yourself.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Motivational Bullshit"

Warning: I know this might all be a little ironic, coming from someone who often ends his writing by repeating "go" and "fight" multiple times, but I'm going to accept the inherent contradiction and just keep going...

I was reading something today by a "business guru", and at the end he said something that I found relatively profound.

Let me preface this by saying that I have been reading his little blog posts/writings for a while now, every day for 90 days or so, and some of the initial lustre (somehow the British spelling, lustre, is much more appealing than the American luster...luster sounds like someone who is always lusting...) wore off a while ago.  You can only have someone write in ALL CAPS ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO BE SUPER CUSTOMER-CENTRIC AND ALWAYS NETWORKING AND ALWAYS GOING THE EXTRA MILE, ETC., for so long before you start to become immune to it.  And truly, although this guy has written some things that have really made me pumped up and ready to work harder/smarter than everyone else, I have begun to think that he is kinda full of upper-management gobbledygook about half of the time.  I'm sure he believes everything he says/writes with 110% conviction, but it's just that he's not always aware of the difference between writing something meaningful/insightful and writing something that is, as I mentioned above, AN ALL CAPS "YOU-NEED-TO-WAKE-UP-AND-SMELL-THE-CUSTOMER-SERVICE" bombardment.  It can be a little bit much sometimes.

So I've started to simply skim his writings to see if they're of the valuable, insightful variety or the all-caps, cheer-leading's piece was almost entirely in the latter category, except for what he said at the end.  Namely, "please, don't dismiss this as motivational bullshit."  It's kind of ironic...I do in fact think that his preceding lines were mostly motivational bullshit.  But to tell someone not to dismiss motivational bullshit is eye-opening.  Why?  Because that is a powerful reminder that you are in control of your mind.  It is important to remember that you have the power to take yourself to that amazing, mystical mindset...that mental space that allows you to become an unstoppable force.

If you can remember to be aware of your own power, remember your drive, your clarity, focus, energy, whatever you want to call it....if you can remember that incredible internal aspect of yourself that allows you to grow and to be strong in challenging times, then you are going to feel more alive.  And, somehow, that perspective allows you to see something inspirational or meaningful in words that, only moments earlier, were simply "motivational bullshit".  In fact, that perspective allows you to see inspiration and meaning in the entire universe.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Why are you where you are?

What are you supposed to be doing?

Are you making progress?  If not, why not?  If so, is it  as much as you should be making?

Are you being honest with yourself?

Look back on where you were/what you were doing 1/2/5 years ago.  How would you rate your past self with respect to the above questions?  How do you think your future self, in 1/2/5 years, will rate you now with respect to the above questions?

Be unbelievable.  Do not let timidity or uncertainty stand in your way.  Trust your deep instincts and fight through the attempts of others to "normalize" you.  Mediocrity is contagious, guard yourself against it.

Fight, fight, fight.  Go, go, go.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

_ / | \ _

The human condition is so complicated and overpowering.

I want something very badly, but I do not know what it is.  And maybe I already have it.

There is this sort of...pulsation in my mind.  It's like some secret force is whispering music into my thoughts, and the music is actually a code for some ultimate, profound truth or wisdom.  I want that music to be louder, and I also want to understand the code.

Any moment could be our last.  Someone was telling me today about a man who passed away at age 40;  he had been diagnosed with brain cancer at age 30, and, presumably had been battling it for the entire time.  That is truly heartbreaking.

Think about your pets that have passed away.  Think about the people you have known that have passed away. How many beautiful spirits have you seen come and go? How many amazing, innocent lives have been snatched up in what seemed an unfair turn of events?  And that's everyone.  No matter how full and great one's life has been, it is always going to be unfair.  Nobody wants their loved ones to transform into whatever state it is that awaits on the other side of this life.  We want them to stay.  We want their thoughts and their presence and their personality to be near to us, available to comfort us, available to enjoy life with us.  It is telling that, even for people who believe that an eternity of good things awaits them after they die, almost nobody is secretly hoping that, despite how great their life is, a bus will suddenly run them over.  We all want to live.  We all want our loved ones to live.

Any moment could be our last, and yet we are not really free to live as if that is the case.  That is the real challenge of our lives.  To not get caught up in not sacrifice too much of our present for the sake of some uncertain future.  I was reading an article a while ago about the things that dying people regret.  It wasn't that surprising, but it was very moving.  It is good to remember that all people are, ultimately, the same.  No matter how different you think someone is, we all have flaws and weaknesses.  We all make mistakes.  We are all dying together, from the moment we are born.

"What vast expanses of beauty and despair, what soaring joys and plummeting tragedies are birthed by the pulse of our hearts and the cascades of chemicals and electrical activity in our minds? We cannot know the great distances that are traversed by our love and anguish, and we cannot know, ultimately, if we are truly alone or if we are all together. It is the paradox that brings us agonizingly to our knees when we feel betrayal, and overwhelms us like a tidal wave when we truly believe we see the depth of our affection reflected in equal measure in our lovers' eyes. Each and every one of us is cloistered away in a world of isolation, and yet that separateness is enjoined with all other lives in the lattice of change and faith in the reality of shared experience."

Take a deep breath.  Think about what is important.  Remember to be aware of what's going on around you, and try not to just be "going through the motions".  Do your best, and appreciate all the glory that universe has given us.


Sometimes I'm so overwhelmed by feelings…it's weird…I so often have thoughts that I can't communicate.

It's like there's too much emotion in them. Right now, for instance, there are so many thoughts and emotions in my head, and they're so entwined, that the result, I think, cannot be conveyed. Or at least, I'm not sure (yet?) how to.

And then, on top of that, there is this weird meta-dimensionality to it. Namely, that everyone on Earth probably also has these feelings/experiences.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I feel amazing at the moment.  These last few days were rough, as I took on some work that proved to be very challenging, requiring me to stay up really late, and the assignment wasn't even for very much money.  As my lovely girlfriend pointed out, in a sense I might have even been paying the client for the assignment, depending on how I valuate my was interesting how the whole thing really drained me...I felt somehow, spiritually/emotionally depleted.  And now that it's over, it's incredible, as if I've come back to life, or something.

"Be formless, be shapeless.  Like water."

Words from a certain famous martial artist that made a strong impression on me, recently.

I believe that, in order to be successful, you have to be prolific.  A prolific thinker, writer, producer, public speaker, whatever it may be.  And I'm not prolific enough, yet.  I need to produce more.  Partly, I think that means that I need to give myself more accomplishable (not really a word, I know) tasks.  E.G. writing short stories, writing poems, drawing, adding to my website, etc.

So, as I usually end these posts, apparently:

Go! Go! Go!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Everything is riding on your ability to stay mental.  I don't mean 'mental' as in 'crazy'.  I mean 'mental' as in 'aware', 'conscious', 'cognizant', 'cerebral', 'lucid'.  It's too easy to slip into zombie-mode, autopilot.  Wake up, do some bullshit, do whatever, eat, waste time, eat again, sleep.  Rinse, repeat.  No!  Bad!  Think about everything.  Think about everything in different ways.  Look at everything from different angles.

You have only one life to live.  Maybe you'll be reincarnated, maybe you'll go to heaven, maybe you'll go to hell.  Who knows.  That variable is too unpredictable.  We have to live as if there is only this one opportunity to make something of ourselves.

You have to keep pushing yourself.  Maybe you won't ever be a billionaire/rockstar/president/celebrity/runaway success story...but that's not the point.  The point is the journey.  You have to always strive to make your journey an amazing one.  A mundane life is not worth living.  There is SO MUCH that can be done.  The world is so amazing, and so full of opportunities, challenges, and excitement.

You have to believe in yourself.  You have to think about yourself (not saying 'be self-centered', I'm saying to be conscious of what you're doing, where you're going, who you are).  Believe.  Believe.  Believe.

All those amazing things that you want to do:  you can do them.  All those barriers that you want to tear down:  you can overcome them.  The desire for greatness and magnificence that you so openly displayed as a child and now hide away as an adult, as if it were a secret, as if grand dreams were silly and not fitting for 'mature' people or 'grown-ups', that desire is a fire that must be stoked!!!

Believe in your dreams.  Believe in yourself.  Believe in your ability to be great.





Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wake Up

Wake up.  Wake up.  Wake up.

Chant your battle hymn.

Stop watching the false prophets.  You are the seer.  You make the decisions.

Great ideas are easy, but execution is a challenge.

Believe.  Go.  Fight.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Strangers don't want to give you a break.  Strangers do not want to give you a chance.  There are billions of people in the world, all clamoring to prove they are super awesome and wonderful.

You have to be hardcore.  You have to prove that you can do it on your own, and if you're lucky, people will see your greatness.  Then they'll want to give you a chance.

It can be very challenging, when you think you've shown how amazing you are (in a cover letter, or through your résumé), and then people aren't interested.  I'm confident that I have done some really awesome stuff, to show how smart/creative/capable I am...and yet my "dream job" hasn't fallen out of the sky into my lap.  And, of course, there are people who get lucky and somehow land killer jobs, or make a ton of money to do something that you could do with your hands tied behind your is not fair.

Fight.  Fight.  Fight.

Friday, August 24, 2012

So Much To Do!!! is life so crazy?

I've been completely inundated by things that I want to do (or even need to do)...same ol' story, I suppose.  It's ridiculous though, I feel like there are a million really awesome things on my mind, and if only I had a hyperbolic time chamber, I could make some of them reality.

Worthwhile thoughts of late:

THERE IS NO REASON WHY EVERY MOMENT SHOULDN'T BE CREATIVE, MAGICAL, SPECIAL, BRILLIANT.  Every glance in the mirror, every sip of coffee, even taking a piss can be savored in your mind.  The universe is an incredibly complex sea of energy, all somehow woven together into mind-boggling patterns and structures.  Chaos and order are, paradoxically, one and the same.

LIFE IS EPIC.  Even if your job is "data-entry" (you are  data-entrier?) or flipping burgers, we all share the same stage.  All the world's drama, all the emotions, all the challenges and opportunities...everything is there for everyone.  Mundanity is a layer that you are projecting onto reality, not reality itself!!

Caffeine is awesome.

Life is awesome.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Looking at the Sun

The sun is too bright to look at directly.  Instead, we must appreciate the beauty of the sun through its reflection on the ocean, its gleam on the edge of metal, its rays piercing through a layer of clouds...

So it is with the light of truth.  We cannot experience the truth of the ultimate reality directly...all we can do is bask in the warmth and the reflected glimpses that bounce off the surfaces of the physical reality that we inhabit...we must appreciate the beauty of truth through the lens of our fishbowl.

Monday, July 30, 2012


No matter what happens, I can overcome adversity.  People have survived situations that are so much worse and so much more challenging than what I'm going through now.  Time to man up.  Time to be a champion.  If people can go to war and fight to the death with bayonets and daggers while their friends are getting trampled by cavalry and their legs are all rotten and swollen from infectious diseases, then what I'm going through is nothing.  Some people in the world have no food.  Some people are missing limbs, eyes, ears.  Some people can't walk, some people can't breathe without the help of a machine.   Moaning and whining is really a complete waste of time.

Life is about so much more than the trivial nonsense that we preoccupy ourselves with 99% of the time.  Life is about screaming into the vastness of the universe that you get to decide what should be.  It is up to us to be great, and not up to the universe to bestow greatness upon us.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Awaken to the Infinite Sea of Potential

Everything is waiting for you.  We exist now, on the surface of everything that can be.  The future is open to your decisions to shape it.  You are open to your decisions to shape yourself.  An amazing song, an epic film, a great story, a brilliant program, a happy friend or family member, a different world, a better reality...all of these are unchanneled energy.  Wake up.  Seize the moment, seize your own abilities, learn from the past, be the present, and create the future.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Breathing and Thinking

It's so hard to describe what's in my head.  I think it's impossible.  Every once in a while, I breathe deeply and realize how incredibly epic every single moment is.  Whether or not you succeed or fail, whether you are great or 'average', whether you are rich are poor...we are all caught up in this amazing pattern.  We live on a planet that is teeming with diversity and complexity, orbited by a silent moon that  gleams a brilliant silver and white because of our magnificent sun.

I think about the people who have created amazing things, and I can only feel a sense of awe at the richness and power of whatever vision was in their minds.  To be human is to be more than human.  We can tap into levels of awareness that would defy the imaginations of our ancestors.  Fantastic depths of creation and destruction lay dormant within us, just waiting to be called forth.  And all of this is against a backdrop of unimaginable forces.

To be alive is to be an important character in the most important journey that will ever take place.  Our time on Earth may be limited, but we are part of a story that transcends time, transcends limitation.  Every moment is important, every instant is eternal.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I can't do this.  It's too hard.  I'm not up to the  No, no, no.  You want to be unstoppable.  You want to be amazing, great, unbelievable.  You want to destroy any obstacle in your path, to climb the mountains that seem too high.  You can do it.  Yes, you can.  Yes, yes, yes.

Why is that the weak voice says "I" and the strong voice says "you"?  Somehow, it seems like the strong voice starts out as something that's not part of my normal thinking.  It's something higher, or deeper, or something held in reserve.  And then when I need it, I call upon it for help and it infuses some of itself into me.  Super-ego, I guess.

I feel amazing.  Hardened and battle-ready.

Go, go, go.  Be brave.  Think fast.  Be strong.  Overcome.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I am energized.  I am ready.  I am unstoppable.

"I can't do this, I can't do that".  Bullshit.

"I can't be everything that I want to be."  Bullshit.

"The odds are against me."  Bullshit.

Defy all odds.  Do more than others believe you are capable of.  Destroy your internal barriers.

So many people are so willing to accept mediocrity but YOU DON'T HAVE TO.


This manifests itself in so many ways, I don't want to get into them all right now.  But here are some examples:

Your child is whining.  Time for a time-out and stern lecture.  No whining is allowed.  Ever.  Not even a hint of it.

Your friend wants to go drinking, but you have productive things that need to be done.  Give him/her a raincheck.  Being a one-in-million person means doing things that 999,999 other people wouldn't do.

Your coworkers are sleepy/lazy/goofing off.  Either infect them with your energy or ignore them and be amazing on your own.  You don't have time for their bullshit.  Don't let them contaminate you.

Go, go, go.  Be awesome.

Friday, July 6, 2012


Cynicism is a powerful obstacle that many of us, including myself, need to overcome.  It is bullshit to think "people are always going to be greedy, lazy, vicious, etc."  It is bullshit to think that we can't transcend the status quo.  The world is a terrible place, people are starving, killing, raping, stealing...all this is true.  But just think, for one minute, about what we are doing right now.  We are communicating across the planet with machines that are making billions, literally billions, of calculations per second.  We are changing digital patterns in the displays of our computers, and thereby changing the patterns of thoughts in our minds.  Yes, we are animals.  Yes we are driven by hunger, lust, primitive instincts.  But we can be more than that.  We can set aside our hunger to do work, to play with our kids, to meditate, to compose masterpieces.  We can lose everything and still come back and make a fortune through perseverance and fortitude.

If you think the world is a bad place and ultimately there is nothing we can do about it (and I admit I frequently think this way, to my discredit), then you've just identified the first problem you need to solve on your way to doing something incredible for your family, your community, your country, your world.  Solve the problem of your cynicism first.  Then solve something greater.

Five Minutes of Productivity

I am in a situation where I have exactly five minutes to kill.  I'm currently watching a group of people, trying to make sure they are all doing something productive with their time (for the last 70 minutes).  Now that the period is almost over, I feel that it's okay for me to try and cram in a little productivity of my own...but 5 minutes is not a lot.  Now I'm down to 2.  

I should jot down a quick list of my priorities for the day/weekend.  Mission accepted.

Update:  well now I feel dumb, I actually have a whole 30 minutes of supervising left to do.  Derf.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Urge to Create

I want to write.  I want to have insightful create something worth reading.  Unfortunately, sometimes (like now), I feel that there really isn't anything to say.  Even with all the change in the world, things are the way they are.  We live, eat, sleep, die.  Talking about what one day may be is not really new territory.  Plenty of people write about immortality, whether it is speculative science or just fiction.  Plenty of people write beautiful poetry.  I want to create and have new ideas, but sometimes that urge feels like vanity.

Perhaps this is an obstacle that I need to crush.  I need to smash that attitude, and tell myself that I can create something interesting, and that it is not vanity.  I can draw, I can compose music, I can write fiction, I can write about people or places that fascinate me.  Or, I can always "feed my mind"...I have an infinitely long list of books that I intend to read one day, and there are a lot of inspirational movies, paintings, songs, etc.

Go go go.  Work work work.  Be awesome.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pretending to Be Who You Want to Be

Will regularly pretending to be who you want to be make you eventually become more like who you want to be?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Preponderance of Ponderings

I'm amazed I'm awake right now.  Woke up at 7am, worked from 8:30-11:30, chilled at home, and then worked at the restaurant, which I shall call "the sloppy saloon" for the purposes of this writing, from 5:15-11:20.  Some of my fellow servers asked if I wanted to go drinking with them, and I did, but I declined in favor of going to the gym.  I've been feeling pretty sloppy myself lately, and that's terrible.  Gym from 1:00am-2:00am, and now here I am.

Frustration.  Overabundance of thoughts.  Overabundance of things that I want to do....

It irks me that my ramblings are so trivial.  Perhaps I should try to make my writing more deliberate and intentional...but on the other hand, maybe that would be counterproductive, given the sort of therapeutic place that all these words are coming from.

Confessionals, psychiatrists, prayers, autobiographies...the world is awash in people trying to make themselves heard and understood, to find empathy or indulgence.  I guess this is in the same vein.  But I have no audience or deity to read what I write.  Just myself, and the infinite ether.

I wonder if it's possible to be all the things that I want to be.  My inner zen master tells me that it doesn't matter whether or not it's possible.  It doesn't matter if it happens or not.  Life is life.  Any control over life is an illusion, the self is an illusion, happiness and sadness are always temporary, and existence itself is fleeting.  All I can do is try to enjoy the ride, I guess.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hello World

Dearest Legions of Nameless, Existenceless Fans:

How have you been?  How's life?  What unknowable dimensions have you been occupying lately?  I'm so jealous of your journeys through oblivion, it must be so exciting.

Wave after wave of complex's like I can see the limitations of my own sight, hear the boundaries of my ability to hear.  I realize that I'm imperfect, deeply flawed.  But, objectively, what is a flaw?  I suppose that, ultimately, a flaw is simply a description of some anomalous quality.  A flaw in a pearl, if I understand correctly, is a space where the surface of the pearl is bumped, cracked, or otherwise deviant from what should be "spheriness"....sphericality?

I guess mathematics is the foundation of perfection.  Straight lines, symmetry, perfect circles.  These platonic ideas don't occur "in nature" (although that is debatable, if one considers humans to be natural creatures and human creations to be our natural by-products).  So perhaps the more one can align one's actions/thoughts with mathematical qualities, the less flawed one will be....can that possibly make sense?  Thought and behavior are complicated.  I need to study the geometry of the brain, perhaps.

Why do we want to share so badly?  Why does the subconscious clamor for recognition and attention unceasingly?  It must be a manifestation of our perpetual existential angst.  We can't handle our mortality and limitation.  Having others share our thoughts and feelings is a temporary reprieve from our isolation.

What does it mean to "deceive oneself"?  Decisions can be made, and the consequences of those decisions can be gauged...part of you may want to do one thing, and another part of you wants another thing.  There is no indivisible self, so how can there be self-deception?  Perhaps thinking that there is a single self is the only kind of self-deception that there really is.  Your "selfness" is a lie.  "Selflessness" is truth.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Let's develop a test for every person on the planet.  It will have to be administered in sneaky ways, without the participants knowing that they are being tested.  It will involve a situation in which the participant is put into some bureaucratic-like position.  They will be given the authority to help or hinder some other person from achieving a goal.  The test subject will be told that there are rules which dictate that they cannot help the other person.  However, they will also be presented with a plethora of evidence showing that there will be no negative consequences for helping the person, as well as evidence showing that the hindering rule is a somewhat nonsensical or outdated policy.  If the test subject breaks the rule and helps the person, then they pass the test.  If they "follow orders" and hinder the person, then they fail, and are shipped off to some colony for mindless idiots where the other 90% of humanity (other people who have also failed the test, such as politicians, DMV employees, customer service agents, etc.) live in squalor and savagery, performing brute labor to serve the few of us who actually passed it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Power of Music

Music is so amazing.  God it is amazing.  There is something divine in it.  A little stream-of-consciousness-esque writing about music:

Patterns, chaos, organization
Effort, work, creation
Results, refinement
Communication, information, ripples

"You can't describe it with human words."
"You can't think it with human thoughts."

Sometimes, when I'm listening to certain songs, I feel like I'm a completely different person.  It's great.  Some songs make me think I could bench-press a car, or put my fist through a concrete slab.  I wonder if it's possible to use music to enhance life all the time.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


When someone hurts someone you love, the resulting rage is unbelievable.  The power of human bonding is amazing.  Overwhelming.  Magnificent.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


"Please, do this task in a mediocre way.  Yes, I know the way we do it makes no sense and causes problems for everyone, but that's the way we've always done it, so please don't bother trying to make it better.  Thank you."  What a horrid attitude.

I know, I know, everyone thinks that their way is the best way, and we all have to put up with some amount of bullshit to get by in life.  But maybe that's not really true.  Maybe our government wouldn't be so corrupt and bloated if more people would just stand up for intelligence and decency more often.  I'm pretty sure our founding fathers would be horrified at what America has become.  Maybe the salaries of CEOs wouldn't be 380 times larger than the average worker's pay if people wouldn't stand for it.  What separates people at the top from people in the middle and at the bottom? Willpower, ruthlessness, perseverance, intelligence, luck...  I'm sure that all of those things play a big part.  But there are plenty of top-level executives who make terrible decisions, crash-and-burn, drive their companies into the ground.  And yet it seems like a lot of them are able to go from one high-level position to the next, no matter how bad their track record is.  So what does that mean?  It means there is room for improvement.  If there is a lot of bullshit in the world, and too many people put up with it, then there is something that can be done.  Unfortunately, growth is usually painful.  Everything always boils down to a cost-benefit ratio.  Hopefully more people will soon see that the cost of putting up with idiocy (in government, business, bureaucracy) far outweighs the "benefit" of not needing to work to make things better.  Laziness and inertia are strong factors in whether or not something gets done, but drive and experimentation/change are the way to make awesome things happen.

Where can I find people who think like this?!?!

Interestingly, the people who come closest are my best friends from middle school and high school.  I guess that makes sense because we were together during a very formative period in our lives...even though I have some incredibly great friends from college, they're on relatively different wavelengths.  My best friends from childhood would make great business partners; they're passionate, brilliant people who are capable of getting things done and making great contributions to the world.  But sadly, they also have their own life paths to deal with.  Not everyone is at my disposal.  They're in grad school, or busy with intense jobs...even if they had free time, their interests aren't completely aligned with mine anyway.

It seems like, if I want to do something entrepreneurial or mind-blowing, I need to start on my own.   And then, if I can lay good groundwork, maybe the people I'm looking for will see it as a beacon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dealing with Other People

The majority of the problems that we encounter on a day-to-day basis are caused by other people.  It's the downside of being social creatures.  I often feel like 90-99% of the rest of the world is dumb, and hard to deal with.  Part of growing up is realizing that we are all hard-to-deal-with to someone else.

The older I get, the more respect I have for the tolerance my parents showed me as a kid and as a teenager.

End Animal Cruelty

Sum of Us - Tyson Foods


When big, life-changing decisions need to be made, the periods of indecision that precede them will probably be agonizing.  It's important to stay calm and not make a decision for the wrong reasons.  Easier said than done, of course.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Damn It

Don't you hate it when you have some really badass or inspired thought, and then you get distracted by a phone call or whatever?  Zounds.

Keep On Keepin' On

Sometimes life is very, very challenging.  I frequently find myself feeling overwhelmed, lost, confused, frustrated.  I know that, when times are tough or when I'm struggling with something, I need to remind myself that no matter how bad things get, all I have to do is be smart enough and work hard enough to make it through.  Sometimes this turns into a mantra:  "you can do it, you can do it, you can do it" or "focus, focus, focus".

Right now, part of me feels like I'm not sure that it's true.  But I guess I just have to decide that it is.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kids and Authority

Kids need authority (parents, teachers, rules) just like adults need authority (leaders, governments, laws, religions, deities).  In both cases we need to know that our behaviors are justified and validated by something higher than ourselves.  Even when kids misbehave, on some level they like being controlled/corrected/punished/educated by their parents or teachers, because it takes away the burden of  ambiguity;  it is comforting.  I suspect the same is true of "normal people" who do "bad things" or commit crimes as a "cry for help."  We want attention, comfort, consolation.  I don't want to make it sound like a simple idea, I'm sure the human psychological relation to authority is quite complex, but I do think it's safe to assert that most people want it to some measurable degree.

This makes sense on an evolutionary level because uncertainty costs energy.  We can't spend time learning how to make fire and cook mastodon burgers if we don't know whether or not a team of bloodthirsty, caveman-eating sabertooth tigers is waiting in the shadows outside our camp.  Uncertainty takes up our mental resources.  So if we can live in a system in which certainties are maximized and uncertainties are minimized, our resources and our utilization of our resources are more competitive.  This translates into wanting to know that everything is okay, that someone is watching out for us, monitoring us, setting boundaries for us.

I can't speak for society prior to the last 15 years or so, as I wasn't paying attention back then, but I feel that parenting in American society today is astonishingly lenient.  I'm guessing that it's a side effect of America's incredible wealth and prosperity in the last 50-100 years.  Parents give kids whatever they want, in an effort to make them happy; toys, junk food, television and gets worse as kids get older.  In college, the number of kids whose parents had given them new cars, fancy phones, laptops, expensive clothes, surfboards, snowboards, the list goes on and on, was mind-boggling.  I don't understand how anyone can reach age 18 and never have had a job.  Unfortunately, these efforts to provide for one's family visibly backfire.  Giving your kids all the material possessions they want does not make them happy, it makes them feel entitled and unappreciative.  Likewise, sheltering your kids causes them to either rebel when they get out of the house, or it suffocates them.  They will either drink and sleep around and do drugs (not that there's necessarily anything wrong with those activities, but I'm just saying that parents who stiflingly prevent their kids from being exposed to those behaviors often end up making their kids want to participate in them even more), or they will continue on being sheltered and become completely lame adults.

This is not to say that all people or all kids should completely kowtow to authority.  Obviously there are incredible good reasons to question and challenge authority.   Everybody should learn the value of thinking for oneself and drawing one's own conclusions.

That being said, kids need to learn how to work.  They need to learn to apologize when they do something inappropriate.  They need to learn to respect that their parents are usually working their asses off to take care of them, not because their children are at the center of the universe, but because it is a parent's prerogative to safeguard the entire family's well-being.  Parents who teach their kids otherwise are doing their progeny a disservice.  Feel free to be stern, strict, authoritarian with your kids.  They are little bundles of misguided emotions and undeveloped neural connections.  They need you to set a strong example so that they can become strong people.

Friday, June 1, 2012


Uncertainty.  Why am I always drowning in uncertainty?  Is there anything that I am certain about?  Let's think...

I am certain that I like existence.
I am certain that I like thinking...or at least, sometimes I do.  Sometimes I wish I could stop.
I am certain that I feel really bad for a lot of people in the world.  There is a lot of suffering.
I am certain that I would like to make the world a better place.

Life is both chaos and pattern.  Beautiful and ugly.

I remember sitting on the slope of a mountain one time, and I looked down at the ground and was struck by the  intertwined mesh of living and dead plants.  You almost couldn't tell them apart, it was like a big, knotted quilt.

I know I'm smart, logical, creative...but is there any significance in that?  Maybe there would be if I could use my brain to create art, a book, music, games...I guess I need to be creative.  Creativity (as opposed to straight labor, which all my jobs have been, even if it was intellectual labor) is an outlet that will allow me to thrive.  And probably help me to channel my uncertainty into something more tolerable.  Amusement, perhaps.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Why write like this instead of just writing in a journal?  If I really don't care about subscribers, as I claim, why put it on the internet at all?  I'm not sure.  I am kicking myself right now because I was about to write: "one reason is because I can type much faster than I can write with a pen."  That is ridiculous.  That's no reason at all, because I could just as easily be writing this in notepad and save it.  So there must be something about the publicity of the internet that is appealing to me.  I guess part of it is that I see other people with blogs and it appears to be somewhat can put your thoughts out into cyberspace, and curious people with fingers and search engines go prowling and poking around, and they share in your thoughts...the allure of sociality.  We feel that if someone else reads our words, then our thoughts are somehow transcending the limitations of our meaty, corporeal bodies and being etched into a more permanent space.  We can't have physical immortality, but our ideas can live as long as mankind is around.  Conceivably, our ideas could even outlive mankind itself.  Or perhaps it's simply that evolution has conditioned us to feel safety and security through non-hostile communication.  Or maybe those two ideas, that we want our ideas to be immortal and that communication and social understanding are self-rewarding behaviors, are not mutually exclusive.  I suppose I believe that they aren't.

So I guess that some part of me is actually searching for a reader, or recognition.  Otherwise I'd be writing this in notepad.  Or at least, I'm open to sharing some of my thoughts with readers.  I stand by my earlier statement about not caring about whether or not anyone reads what I write in this particular outlet.  My socio-intellectual cravings for recognition are already met in a less angst-ridden arena.

I feel crazy, and a little disjointed, but writing all this nonsense has made me feel a little when you need to sneeze and you finally get it out.  Things feel a little more clear.  And yet, it kinda disturbs me that I've written things very similar to this before.  Why does my mind need to spit out the same kinds of thoughts again and again?  It's all a part of the search for meaning, I suppose...some people feel the need to spout out their beliefs about gods and messiahs, others feel the need to reflect on existential questions, again, and again, and again.

Number One

We'll see if this goes anywhere.  I usually feel like blogging is pointless.  Default mental output is hardly noteworthy, but maybe putting down thoughts regularly will help me in the other areas of my life that I'm trying to improve.  I don't care about having followers or subscribers.  It is sad to me that it seems like everyone's number one goal in life is to get makes sense, of course, but it's still sad.  Attention = influence = money = power, etc. etc.  When I transcend and become an all-powerful deity, I will make people care less about attention and more about quietude.