From this perspective, procrastination becomes analogous to selfishness. A very "altruistic" person would prioritize their future self to the same extent that they would prioritize their present desires. Perhaps even more so. Whereas a more "self centered" person sees their future self as a stranger whose desires are inconsequential to their present selves.
What would be really interesting to consider, is the correlation between "future altruism" and traditional altruism. One can imagine these two being completely uncorrelated, the same way a racist person can be completely uncaring towards other races whilst still being altruistic within their own race. But if there is indeed a stronger correlation, that would be a very interesting finding.
She talks about freedom in an existentialist sense. As her partner Sartre noted, we are all free, but freedom is terrifying, so we do all sorts of things to retreat or hide from it. She follows through on the implications of that freedom. One common interpretation of existentialist freedom is that we need only care about ourselves, not others (Nietzsche was a major proponent of this). She points out that this interpretation of freedom can lead to authoritarian, oppressive rule (she was writing in the immediate wake of WWII). So she argues that in order to exercise our freedom, we must use it to defend and exercise the freedom of others as well. To stand by when others are oppressed and lose their freedom (whether from external or internal cause) diminishes our own freedom, and puts our freedom at real risk. Our internal carelessness about the freedom of others leads directly to external risk to our own freedom.
It's a fascinating book. Extremely dense, but beautifully written and motivating. I find myself reading sentences again out loud, just to enjoy them.
I can see her argument easily extended to our relationship with our future selves - decisions we make with our freedom now can have negative impact on our future freedom. ie eat that cake now, still be fat tomorrow.
A quick google search provided a slightly more nuanced but still absurdly basic view of Nietzsche's view on selfishness from the man himself: "Self-interest is worth as much as the person who has it: it can be worth a great deal, and it can be unworthy and contemptible."
To be really odd here, I quit reading Thus Spoke Zarathustra to read Simone de Beauvoir instead, and it was a good decision, but I'll get back to all that Superman stuff eventually.
"This Simone person" pretty much invented second wave feminism with her book "The Second Sex", and is widely regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century. Her work changed the course of history. So yes, she's definitely up to something.
First, note that any response will be necessarily shallow and inadequate. I don't know what your level of familiarity is with Nietzsche, but since you didn't know who Simone de Beauvoir is, I assume you know nothing of mid-20th century French existentialism (Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir). My own understanding of Nietzsche is admittedly shallow, but still probably more nuanced than average. I've at least read some of his work, rather than just broadly-misunderstood pithy quotes like "God is dead".
And of course, I'm summarizing in an online comment, for an overtly hostile audience who obviously doesn't understand even the basics of half the equation. So this will probably fail.
Simone de Beauvoir's criticism of Nietzsche, in the context of The Ethics of Ambiguity, arises from her core premise, which is that our own freedom depends on the freedom of others, so we have an ethical obligation to advance the freedom of others in order to make our own freedom meaningful. Now, existentialists view suffering in a couple of different ways. First, there is suffering from constraints on our freedom. This is what older modernist philosophers like Nietzsche generally mean by suffering. Second, there is suffering from awareness of our freedom, which we find frightening. This idea really starts with Sartre's Being and Nothingness, and is a big part of the difference between existentialism and earlier philosophy.
Nietzsche was generally hostile to compassion, finding it indistinguishable from pity most of the time. He believed that freedom comes from overcoming adversity - by defeating constraints to our freedom through struggle. "That which does not kill me makes me stronger". So to help others achieve their own freedom is to risk pity, which is a useless emotion. Letting them overcome (or fail to overcome) their own adversity, without aid, is the best thing to do for others, and adversity is welcome and vital.
So de Beauvoir's criticism of this is that it leads to a situation where it is okay to harm others, to constrain their freedom for our own selfish desires. That's not Nietzsche's intent, but it's nonetheless the outcome. The fact that Nietzsche is so popular with fascists (which he would have found horrifying) lends credence to this point of view.
For more than this, the only answer I have is to read The Ethics of Ambiguity yourself. I highly recommend it. It's relatively short (under 200 pages) and quite beautiful, and very enlightening. It's the perfect companion piece to Sartre's Being and Nothingness, another brilliant and greatly misunderstood work.
A bit more here... de Beauvoir responds to the idea of fear of freedom with a list of personality types that are responses to our natural fear of freedom - the Sub-Man, the Serious Man, the Nihilist, the Adventurer, and others. Now, if you're still kicking back at me for daring to criticize Nietzsche, I'd suggest you're being a Serious Man. The Serious Man deals with fear of freedom by finding something external to himself to elevate to greater importance than himself. The Serious Man is extremely hostile to any perceived criticism of the thing he's serious about - his religion, his political ideology, his nationality, whatever. It's easy to be Serious about Nietzsche, but it's a mistake. It denies you the freedom to understand Nietzsche better, if you can't take the idea that he's being criticized without attacking the critic.
Finally, "whipping" or punishing ones self into being uncomfortable in order to do the thing primarily just does damage, and builds resistance to even thinking about the subject. Decrease the discomfort in doing the task (by breaking it down, and visualizing what success will reward you with), increase the discomfort for not doing the task (by putting off immediate rewards and gratification until the task is done), and you can ride down the hill instead of pushing upwards.
It's an exercise where you contemplate you future self as a friend, whose is immediately benefits from your actions. So if you're trying to not eat an extra serving of cake you imagine your future self as a friend who gets fat when you eat that extra serving.
I have a pet theory than the reason people procrastinate, is because they don't concretely identify their future selves, as being the "same person" as their present self.
What is the purpose of the two commas in this sentence?
When I see a comma, I expect it to have a particular meaning. When it doesn't, I assume I misread.
You're welcome to use commas however you like, but know that others will be re-reading your sentences and wishing they didn't have to.
Reasons and Persons by Derek Parfit
Your comment seems to indicate you manage your vices similarly. Do you also recede back into them or has this not been a problem for you?
All this talk about entertainment reminds me of David Foster Wallace on Entertainment Culture: https://tonyreinke.com/2018/03/05/david-foster-wallace-on-en...
A few good bits:
> "It just, I guess my point is, right now and I think the next 15 or 20 years are going to be a very scary and sort of very exciting time when we have to sort of reevaluate our relationship to fun and pleasure and entertainment because it’s going to get so good, and so high pressure, that we’re going to have to forge some kind of attitude toward it that lets us live."
> "what it’s going to be like and what sort of resources we’re going to have to cultivate in ourselves and in our citizenry to keep from sort of dying on couches. I mean, maybe that sounds silly, but the stuff’s going to get better and better and better and better and it’s not clear to me that we, as a culture, are teaching ourselves or our children what we’re going to say “yes” and “no” to."
Also want to state that I don't think entertainment is a bad thing, no one can go 100% all the time. I do think it's important to think about what we do with our time and make that choice honestly.
And I will also piggyback another question I had with respect to this article: does anyone know a "pro-sumer" level router that has awesome access control capabilities, so I can easily blacklist a collection of websites? I know there are some alternatives for the desktop, but I didn't find anything I liked, and I want blockage at the router level, but there's no way I'm going to get into standing up a pi-hole box or anything remotely as complicated as that.
Otherwise I think you can pay for an OpenDNS account.
What's hard for me to anticipate though is how much harder it would be to do things like shopping, or the occasional video call into a meeting.
I've had some success with framing two modes, Architect Mode and Implementation Mode.
Architect Mode is when you sit down and make a plan to achieve a long term challenging goal (losing a lot of weight, getting in shape, learning something new, etc.). It's where you set up a routine and plan for what you're specifically going to do each day in order to do this. Being able to separate this plan from when you're actually enacting it is important because it removes the choice and doesn't allow comparisons of an immediate reward with an abstract distant reward.
Implementation Mode has to follow what was set up by the architect and is not allowed to make decisions - this is because you're compromised and unreliable when comparing an immediate reward (do I eat that slice of cheesecake?) to a long term abstract reward and it's very easy to rationalize why what you want to do is actually okay (it's only an extra 400 calories anyway - today can be a cheat day etc.).
A big part of succeeding with implementation is stacking success (doing the thing every day without missing any day) and picking a small enough starting point. Another is not putting yourself in positions where you're easily tempted to fail (don't buy oreos and have them in the house). Once you get more in the rhythm of things you are safer in more difficult environments.
When Implementation mode fails it means the architect needs to reevaluate why and make changes - it doesn't help to ruminate or beat yourself up about the failure.
Even with this mindset things are difficult, but I've found it to be the most successful for long term goals when they're clearly defined - most of it is getting the psychology right - then the behavior can follow.
When Implementation mode fails it means the architect needs to reevaluate why and make changes
Every plan I've ever put together to improve myself or my life has failed on initial implementation. It wasn't until I expected the first iteration of the plan to fail that I learned how to succeed.
Plan. Fail. Tweak. Retry. The goal usually doesn't need to change, but the plan often does.
We can overcome these issues, but it's not an easy thing to do.
So, if I need to build a new application or work on a home improvement project, and I plan in advance the entire scope of the project, all the way out to the end some number of weeks or months from now, starting it requires more commitment and becomes more daunting.
But if instead I chunk it down into smaller, self-contained tasks, those tasks are maybe a day's worth of work individually and not so bad. I can start one in the morning and feel better about the state of things by the afternoon.
My gym is right behind my desk, I have 0 excuses to workout almost everyday
I think http://repl.it is my favorite so far, but a lot of cool ones are popping up recently.
My goto will always be codepen though if its purely frontend. It just has the nicest UX interface and works really well.
Funny thing about codepen is I also use it as a CDN too.
I'll grab my compiled single CSS file from my main github repo, and paste it into a new codepen file. Then on a new codepen, I'll link that CDN codepen so I can isolate and make a webcomponent, while still adhering to my original CSS. I use the commit# / merge# to keep track between the main git repo VS the codepen CDN file
There's a few things to note about myself though. I couldn't do a girly pushup in college. My beginner gains ended up on what most people's beginner gains start at. I can do a full pullup and dip now, but I couldn't previously in the last year. So my gains aren't really all that crazy impressive but I've been noticing a lot of incremental gains in the last few months.I still have issues controlling my dietary plans though.
- This is what I used to look like ~7 years ago https://i.imgur.com/jtbidKK.png.
- This is me climbing the italian/swiss dolemites ~1 year ago https://i.imgur.com/YThLh7u.png
Anyways, this is my routine that works fairly well for me
## EQUIPMENT SETUP
My gym is behind my desk. I use a ironmaster superbench as my full gym. I use this chinup attachment as well
I use 90lb adjustable powerblock weights
I don't have space for a olympic bar or powerracks
## GYM SETUP
- Here's my whole gym, its messy https://i.imgur.com/WasHSdk.png
- Here's an angle of my gym and treadmill desk https://i.imgur.com/IXgouwd.jpg
- Here's vertical view of my gym and desk https://i.imgur.com/f0VtDwv.jpg
## WORK OUT DAILY PLAN
I use reddit's recommended routine bodyweight fitness as a starting point. https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommend.... ... I've done 5x5, 5/3/1, I used to follow it rigorously, but I find either it was too tiring to enjoy or just too hard to remember what exercise to do on what day.
This is what I use, I keep stuff simple. I use PPL (push pull legs) on a 3 day rotation.
- 1 day is legs / abs / form workouts (LEGS)
- 1 day is upperback / biceps (PULL)
- 1 day is chest, triceps, shoulders (PUSH)
I completely ignore working out on certain days like Monday for LEGS, Tuesday for PULL, etc. Because my schedule is kind of really varied, I just make sure I finish a full PPL before going onto the next PPL
For instance, if I do PUSH, I'll make sure I do PULL and LEGS on the following days. It could be over the next 2 days or next 5 days, depending on my schedule. Then I repeat back to PUSH.
I try to workout at least once every 3 days though
I aim for every workout to be 40 minutes long. This is from the start of warmup to the end with post foam roller massages. I usually hit this consistently.
I aim to do a grand total of 9 sets total max per workout day.
## BREAKDOWN BY WORKDAY
### WARMUP (applies to all workouts)
The first part of my routine is usually popping open anime / youtube / TV show. I usually prefer these videos to be 20 minutes long ,because that's roughly how long all 9 sets of rest periods total up too. This way I can be entertained while working out. Its a way to reward myself for putting hard work
The other alternative is to fire up rocketleague.
I have these habits intentionally because it baselines my psyche & adrenaline level when I go workout, so I have more consistent results
First 5 minutes I'll do some light jogging on my treadmill desk. Usually, 2.6 mph is what I find to be enjoyable
After that, I will start doing 3 light warmup sets with 1min30sec breaks inbetween
- PUSH -> On push day, I will just do standing pushup on my standing desk. Wide grip, diamond grip, and then shoulder presses with 3 lb dumbbells to practice deep forms.
- PULL -> On pull day, I will just take a rope, loop it around my adjustable bench. I will do standing rows, and then assisted pullups with my legs
- LEGS -> On leg day, I will do pike walks and L-sets as my warmups
## PUSH DAY
On the workout itself, my pushday is 9 sets total. It looks like this:
- 3 sets of chests, following chest progession - https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/exercises/pu...
- 3 sets of triceps, following dip progression - https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/exercises/di...
- 3 sets of shoulders, following handstand progression & pike pushups. I use paralletes though - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnQU_lLBFW0
## PULL DAY
- 3 sets of outter upperback, following pullup progression - https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/exercises/pu...
- 3 sets of inner upperback, following row progession - https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/exercises/ro...
- 2 sets of biceps, usually dumbbell concentration curls / hammer curls -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM3REno4u6U
## LEG DAY
Leg day, I don't have a olympic or squat bar. I don't actually do 9sets on leg day, I just do 6 sets + whatever I feel like afterwards.
- 3 sets of hamstrings / quads - I use a TRX suspension band similar to this, but I have 35+ dumbbells in each hand - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bmjTIyi7sI
## AFTER WORKOUT
After workout I do foam roller massages on that body part. This way I have faster recovery times
## LOGGING THE WORKOUT
I log each set I do throughout the workout.
I don't use fancy apps. I am really lazy. I find that since I workout frequently enough, I'll know what where I'm at in terms of progress generally, because I'll have logged how much weight I used in previous workouts. Usually I won't change weights until at least 2 PPL cycles anyhow
I use a moleskin journal. Each page is divided up as follows
- Top of page = Legs
- Middle of page = Pull
- Bottom of page = Push
This is what 2 full PPL cycles look like. https://i.imgur.com/IeR1UJW.png
I use a journal mostly to just keep track of which workout I need to do. So I don't accidentally skip out on any specific exercise
I don't bother doing data analytics or use fancy spreadsheets. Just too lazy, it adds 0 value in the long run anyhow.
Really I should just be taking more video shots from early progression stages but I haven't which is a bummer. But I've been taking regular selfies though for progression updates
I use vanilla whey isolate + 50% soymilk original flavor + 50% water. It actually tastes pretty good and has low carbs / high protein, with fairly balanced nutritional content. Doesn't cost that much either
This is kind of like my soylent in the morning for breakfast as well
I'm on a cut-phase right now, I usually drink a lot more water to reduce my apetite.
When I bulk I take creatine and have to creatine load myself for a few days.
## OTHER / REASONING
I can't find the source, but there was an article on reddit detailing which fitness instructors were considered the most authoritative. Based on science and experience in shaping other's people's fitness goals. The gist I got off of it is that stretching is wasted oppurtunity cost and that doing light sets based on what muscle group you will work out is much better, as a warmup. Since you work on better form too.
I chose only to do 9sets at most per day because I think having anything over that adds too much friction to workout everyday.
I did not do any fullbody workout routines like https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/wiki/kb/recommend... verbatim, because that's too tiring for me. 3 full body workouts in a week will leave you really sluggish and tired all the time. Its good for starting off, but when you plateau its better off doing other routines later. I usually found following those routines that stated it was 40-60 minutes long, to be actually 1hr30min long on average. Some days I couldn't hit it consistently due to my busy schedule or lack of sleep, so it was really hard to upkeep.
- I workout at least once every 3 days
- I follow a PPL (push pull legs) routine
- I flatout don't care what day it is
- I do 9 sets max a day
- I do 3 lightsets to warmup preventing injuries
- I do post muscular foam roll massage to prevent further injuries
- I baseline my psyche and adrenaline level by watching TV and playing rocketleague
- I usually finish watching a 20 min TV show in 40 mins of working out all at the same time
- Workouts are guaranteed to be 40 mins or less, from warmup, 9sets, cleanup, and post-muscle massage
- My gym is next to my desk so there's 0 reason for me to workout almost daily.
- I think micro-iterations of workout is better in the long run
- I log all my workout logs in a moleskin journal. 1 page = 3 days of workout = 1 PPL cycle
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Romans 7:14-25
Paul is writing here about the battle between a person's moral ideals and how their desires conflict and often overrun those ideals, admitting that even he is a hypocrite who does things he otherwise condemns.
I like how procrastination is discussed in forums like HN. We can recognize it as something keeping us from our goals, but can also empathize with each other in failing to master it. This is how I see the early church's approach to sin in St. Paul's era, or at least that was the point he was making in Romans.
In the same way, we can combat procrastination as a community by sharing our stories and providing the insight to overcome it. This is my favorite part of community, be it in church or on HN or elsewhere.
That said, I've definitely gotten a ton of benefit from reading HN. It's a great resource for discovering new tech, startups, research, and many other things. If you find part of it beneficial, maybe you should work it into your daily plan/schedule/checklist or however you might organize the productive parts of your day. Put it after a high-friction task, something you have trouble starting. Then reading HN is like a reward for completing that high-friction task.
Then you can contribute what you learned to a blog post or comment thread on HN, thus perpetuating the community.
That didn't contradict eternal punishment in Hell for unrepentant sinners, it was just one of many ways Jesus conveyed the message of “stop usurping God's role by judging and punishing everyone else's sins—which is a sin itself—and focus on stopping and atoning for yours, because it's the right thing to do and, also, eternal hellfire.”
Yet another illustration of the fundamental divergence of that institution from its origins.
I wonder if you might explain what exactly you mean by this, and to what degree you believe it is a thing.
And to be very, very clear: I'm asking this absolutely sincerely. Not in a clever or trolling manner, but rather, I am asking in an epistemological sense.
The notions of Hell and damnation not uncommon, though certainly not universal, in the practice of Christianity, particularly among the laity.
Doctrinally, it's less overt, especially among the more liberal traditions, but even there (I'm specifically thinking of Episcopalian and Methodist lineages, here), it's not unheard of.
EDIT: ...in my experience.
And if it isn't confidential, the people you're familiar with, is that restricted to a fairly tight geographical region, or quite spread out? I'm wondering if perhaps it is the case that there are somewhat distinct regional flavors of religious teaching. If this was the case, with a generally more mobile populace, families often tending to live further apart, one would expect this to decrease over time, especially with young people who've moved away from family, although any number of things could cause a change in younger generations.
As for your second question, there's a significant subset of my sample population that's moderately geographically bound (Plains and Upper Midwest), but I have people of faith from all over, including internationally, in my social graph, and see some variation on the notion almost across it.
I agree that as people spread out, the phenomenon tends to diminish. Research has shown that a profoundly effective mechanism for combatting insular beliefs is exposure to people who don't share them. Not enough people do that to meaningfully combat the phenomenon, though; something over half of Americans have never left the country, and the median distance adult Americans live from their mother is, IIRC, under 20 miles.
As well, people who move out of places where Hell is more of a thing may lose the belief, some, but many of them are probably leaving because they don't share the belief, to whatever degree, and people who move to those places might already believe it themselves, or may face a group that's selected, positively or negatively (by people leaving) for holding it.
It absolutely was, though. For the Bible, at least, including, in the Bible, Jesus specifically (it's not like we have independent contemporaneous authority besides the Bible on what Jesus said or believed.)
There is a lot of top-notch “self-help” advice buried in religious teachings, if you can ignore the superstitious and moralistic aspects. It took me decades to understand it, because I grew up hating secular bureaucracies spawned by religion (which are, more often than not, primarily interested in their own survival and as useful as the next bureaucracy - i.e. not at all).
I wish I could find a book doing with the practices of organised religion what Joseph Campbell did with myth and storytelling.
Most (all?) of the useful "self help" is available elsewhere, as common knowledge or encoded into social norms or pushed by other organizations (e.g. sports or boy/girl scouts or whatever).
My point is that there's no special knowledge to be found in religions and I'm happy to recommend ignoring them, since they tend to be full of more bad than good.
There are numerous statements about death being like sleep, and a second death being permanent and you are just gone, no torture.
One metaphorical story sort of implies one person was burning, so I think that is why people think it's from the bible.
No, it's actually (a version of) the Jewish myth of Gehenna , and it's incorporated into Christianity because it is referenced directly in the Bible, both the general named myth as a place people are cast for punishment (many times, in all three synoptic Gospels plus James) and the specific equation with it being a place of unquenchable fire (Mark 9:43).
 which may at some point and in some details have been influenced by Greco-Roman mythology, but had quite a long history within pre-Christian Judaism, arising out of references to it as a specific physical place where child sacrifice by fire occurred in the Hebrew Bible.
Also, christian Churches don't teach Jewish theology, they teach a version of Catholisim, and eternal burning hell fire of punishment is found in the Vatican's own Catechism of the Catholic Church.
"1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."615 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs."
This is a purely Catholic teaching, and other branches of Christianity, derive many of their myths from the Greeks:
The bible is clear that when you die, you are either asleep, like King David was (Jesus referenced his bones) or burned up and gone forever, the lake of fire from Revelations.
Not all historical variations of Jewish religious beliefs that existed near the time of the birth of Christianity still exist as Jewish beliefs, but, AFAICT, the Jewish belief of at a minimum something like a Purgatory is still active; the concept of hell/Gehenna explicit in the Gospels as a place of punishment reflected (possibly an evolution from) a then-current (but not at all universal) Jewish religious belief related to the one that remains current in some branches of Judaism.
> Ghenna was a burning trash heap, not a place of torment.
This idea appears to be a medieval Jewish invention. It was, again, specifically in the Hebrew scriptures, a place where children were sacrificed by fire by non-Jews.
> Also, christian Churches don't teach Jewish theology
No, they teach Christian theology, but Christian theology didn't, as whole, arise ex nihilo with the formation of Christianity as a distinct religious community, it evolved, in many specifics, from Jewish theology that existed where and when Christianity emerged.
> they teach a version of Catholisim,
Well, no. It's true that most (but not all) now-existing branches of Christianity diverged at some point from the Church that was institutionalized in Rome in the same way that Christianity itself diverged from Judaism; to claim, then, that they teach “a version of Catholicism” is true only in the exact same way as saying that they teach a version of Judaism is.
> and eternal burning hell fire of punishment is found in the Vatican's own Catechism of the Catholic Church.
It's found in the Gospel of Mark (9:43); from the KJV:
“And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched”
And also in Revelation (20:10):
“And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
I'm pretty sure the authors of the Gospel and the Revelation weren't inspired by theological developments that would occur after the institutionalization of Roman Catholicism.
> The bible is clear that when you die, you are either asleep, like King David was (Jesus referenced his bones) or burned up and gone forever, the lake of fire from Revelations
This is phenomenally wrong: the Bible uses lots of different and superficially conflicting images of afterlife states, and the lake of fire of Revelation is explicitly one of eternal torment at least for some.
It doesn't say they will still be alive, just burned to death. Many other scriptures confirm a permanent death, none say everlasting torment.
>Revelation (20:10): “And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
It says the "devil" and the beast and the false prophet will tormented, but no one else is listed here.
In Rev 22:18,19 and Deut 4:2 have strict warnings about adding to or taking away words from the bible.
I would completely support a statement that these scriptures "strongly imply" or even "seem to imply", but they certainly do not state plainly that people will go to the classical hell taught by many today.
The mentioned devil and beast may or may not be, but the false prophet is a person so this:
> I would completely support a statement that these scriptures "strongly imply" or even "seem to imply", but they certainly do not state plainly that people will go to the classical hell taught by many today.
Is only correct in the sense that the classical hell is an amalgam of images of Sheol/Hades, Gehenna, the Revelations lake of fire, Tartarus, and definitely other places/outcomes that don't have proper names mentioned in parables, etc., and not directly tied to one single image in the Bible, and the Bible never explicitly says all of these are the same place. But it's absolutely the case that the Bible explicitly and literally says that people in some number n where n ≥ 1 will be punished in everlasting fire, which is the point that was in dispute.
There are many verses worded is ways that are non-specific, and if you take other scriptures into account as well, it's plain no human is condemned to eternal torment. For example the idea of a mass resurrection, it's contradictory to be both resurrected to life and be in hell forever. (or to be in heaven and resurrected back to earth)
If you want to make an exception for this one person (false prophet), I would easily give in and willing to admit it's possible (what do I know accept what is written?).
Then the elephant in the room is metaphor. If we are going to be literal with every verse, then even the ones where Jesus says "this is a parable" must be questioned. (lots of contradictions come from this)
If we are going to accept there is metaphor, now we get to arguing which verses are metaphors and which aren't, now it's pure opinion (or educated opinion). And then what is the point of discussing any further?
I ascribe to "educate on facts, debate on opinion", the second of which I feel is almost never useful.
No, it says the devil and the beast and the false prophet will be “tormented forever and ever” in the lake of fire. Explicitly, the punishment is eternal, not just the fire itself.
> There are many verses worded is ways that are non-specific, and if you take other scriptures into account as well, it's plain no human is condemned to eternal torment.
That's...far from plain. It's certainly a possible conclusion that, while not without problems, isn't particularly less tenable as a resolution of some of the surface contradictions as others.
> For example the idea of a mass resurrection, it's contradictory to be both resurrected to life and be in hell forever.
It's not contradictory to be resurrected and then thrown into Hell, which is exactly what happens in the second resurrection in Revelation. (Equating the lake of fire with Hell, of course.)
Now, unlike the devil, beast, and false prophet, we aren't explicitly told that those in the second resurrection are “tormented forever and ever”, only that they are thrown into the lake of fire, after which the narrative shifts to other topics. So, sure, the text, read literally, admits the possibility that they get only a finite experience of torment, but that's not the natural interpretation, especially in light of the parallel of the two resurrections in Revelation to the two eternal outcomes foretold in Daniel.
But, in any case, my point isn't that the proper interpretation of the Bible involves any particular prevalence of eternal punishment, but merely that the upthread claim that the idea of eternal punishment in a lake of fire in Christianity comes from Greco-Roman mythology by way of Catholic theology and not from the text of the Bible is not correct; the idea is—whether or not it is the best interpretation when viewing the Bible holistically—grounded directly in descriptions in the Bible, including quite literal ones.
Yes, death "forever", never to come back from it. It doesn't say "screaming forever in pain". The contrast to this is death where people come back from it at some point. (see Jesus resurrection, Laserus, the dry bones valley, Paul's defence in the courts, etc...)
There is no "torture forever" in the bible for people, their punishment is "death forever".
-"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
The subject is "the devil", who is cast into the lake of fire. The location is described as "where the beast and the false prophet [are]". But the word "are" isn't in the verse, it's "implied". And then finally "shall be tormented." Who is tormented? The devil.
The beast and false prophet are not the subject, and it doesn't say they are "alive in the lake" it says where they were already thrown. It doesn't say they are being tormented, it says the devil is.
I know you can read that sentence in a different way, but if you do, you must conclude there's no such thing as a resurrection, and believe there is an immortal soul and various other things that contradict.
Here's a comparison of many translations, they don't all agree. And this is the one single verse in the entire bible that people can use to say there is an ever burning hell, and it's vague and not consistently translated.
King David "slept" (didn't go to heaven or a burning hell) (1 Kings 2:10) and this confirmed in Act 2:29-
-"...the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day."
Then later of King David, called "a man after God's own heart" did not go to heaven, Act 2:34-
-"For it was not David who ascended into heaven..."
There is no immortal soul, anyone thrown in the lake of fire (besides the devil I guess) dies, eternally, never to be resurrected.
"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
Eternal death of the body and soul is what hell/gehenna is, not torment forever, simple death. Just like no one has gone to live in heaven (accept Jesus of course), no one has gone to live in hell. When people die, they turn back into the dirt, and are asleep just like King David, waiting for the resurrection. (at least that is what is written)
As much as I feel it would have ended many religious debates if the bible had been written more clearly, there are some things that just aren't there.
Deep Work, by Cal Newport. An excellent book on how to work on really big ideas/projects effectively, without losing your humanity in the process. This is a must-read for anyone serious about work.
Pomodoro Technique. This is well-documented with lots of apps and tools online, but it's pretty simple. Set a 25 minute timer. Work, without interruption, for 25 minutes. When the timer goes off, do not-work for 5 minutes - exercise, web surf, whatever. When that timer goes off, set another 25. It's nice because it does the boundary stuff this article talks about in a manageable way. It's not "I'm going to work hard all week", but rather "I'm going to work hard for 25 minutes".
But of course you cannot write a full book out of one sentence, so it repeats itself until it achieves to contradict itself by telling you that if you are a writer/journalist you can achieve the state of flow in chunks of 10 minutes spread over the day and happily switch tasks.
So, no, really, you can save yourself this book.
The journalistic model of doing deep work does seems different than the others, but he's not recommending it, just pointing out that there are outliers who can train themselves to reach intense focus states quickly and do deep work in short periods of time. Not sure why this would bother you -- if it doesn't apply to you, ignore it!
I felt like there was a ton of value here. Recommended for all!
For instance the idea of how you deal with short moments of boredom in general (also outside of work) has a lot of influence on how good you are at ignoring distractions during work was an eye opener for me, and goes deeper than "secure big chunks of time to reach and be in the flow state".
I read "So good they can't ignore you" from the same author and was really underwhelmed by it. It came across as repetitive and formulaic (i.e. have some basic principle, then interview interesting people who employ this principle somehow).
I think I will try pomodoro again today and see if I can get back that juicy tomato timer goodness.
I used tomato-timer.com. It’s really good.
Taking your eyes off of a problem for a short time can often help you return to it with a different mindset / approach.
However, I have found it to be really nice for my Japanese language study. When I come back after a break I feel any new words or concepts I was learning have solidified a little better than if I were to just keep going.
First, 25 minute is a small, non-frightening investment of time that you CAN do; so it facilitates starting an activity.
Second, since 25 minutes is indeed a short span, the clock usually stops before you have completed the activity (meaning that you know what to do next) and also before you are tired. So after a little rest it is also easy to start another pomodoro. And so on. You keep momentum.
If you have no problem with focus, perhaps you don't need it.
I've found it useful at my work (consulting/team lead) where I'm expected to be somewhat responsive to email/slack. Rather than leaving Slack/email open (rookie move, I know), I use Pomodoro (currently at 45/5) just to remind me to open them, check for new stuff, and then close them again for my next chunk of work.
When time is of the essence I simply skip the 5 minute breaks but continue to work using the pomodoro.
He recommends 3 mins for every 10 minutes of work, but that's for children.
I think you'd want be interested in watching this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tpB-B8BXk0
Definitely check out his other work as well, listening to his talks is like reading my own diary... except translated to scientific language
The 25 is just a suggestion, a starting point. There's no reason it can't be any other number.
But in the end I lost most of the ideas of the actual Pomodoro method (e.g. if you finish your work in the first five minutes of a Pomodoro, you still have to spend the twenty minutes left on improving what you did, no switching tasks within a Pomodoro -- I don't do that), what's left is just setting a timer and staying concentrated for that long. That works well for me.
What's hard is keeping the breaks short. I often start procrastinating during them and then only start the next Pomodoro much later.
There's a phone app / browser extension called "Forest" that's nice, you can set a timer and add a tree to a forest if you manage to stay off the phone / away from bad websites for that long, and add a dead tree to your forest if you failed.
The magic for me isn't seeing the timer as a distraction to my flow, but an enabler - that timer reminds me to go take a walk and let my "diffuse" mode thinking take over and all the sudden things start to click.
So you've become stuck. You pick something you know will be a quick job (e.g. do this one method, fix this one bug).
Then after a few podomoro you stop doing them as you get into the flow and get into the zone.
I encouter this pretty frequently between people getting into serious cientific research.
"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by"
– Douglas Adams
Edit: lobotomy is another solution of course, using pills or any kind of drugs that massively reduce the amount of neurons in the brain.
To me it seems this sort of reasoning suffers from the homuncular fallacy. Who is placing value on the rewards: are some rewards 'rewarded' more highly than others? What about those rewards, etc.
>When you make plans for yourself — like setting a goal to lose weight or write a book or learn a language — you are actually making plans for your future self.
Yes, you're making a prediction on the basis of imperfect self-knowledge. And that's before even considering creativity, which by definition is unpredictable. So for example booking a plane flight is one thing and writing a novel is another. It isn't merely a matter of blinkered self-control: one has to be distractable to go in new directions.
I guess your own brain by means of producing dopamine?
And to the second question, obviously would depend on the amount of dopamine that gets generated (if that's at all how the rewarding effect of that substance works on the brain)
Solving the Procrastination Puzzle, was an amazing audio book, where the author mentions that it's short so the audiobook itself does not become a tool of procrastination for the listener. :)
"Just Get Started" (step 1) is something I still tell myself.
The audiobook is on youtube (not sure if a legal copy), this link skips the 17 min intro. (link in the comments)
(The above is the first in a series of 3 posts, IIRC, including a post on effective beating of procrastination.)
If you never get to enjoy life because you're constantly working at achieving what is required mostly by external influences, you may be wasting your existence.
"This above all: to thine own self be true."
I have found that an easy, milder nudge, for either computer or mobile device, is to remain logged off of things by default and explicitly log out whenever you're done.
I made it a habit to only log in to facebook in incognito mode, i would have to log back in every time i close the session, and that was enough to remove it completely from my life.
However, I had never read a short article that summarized the ideas in such a concise and well written form, very informative but at the same time very easy to read. So a big thank you to the author for this piece. I'll be linking it to several people.
A short, fun read that names the effect "Resistance".
On the other hand, personal projects seem easy to start but hard to finish. After working on something for a few weeks it ends up on the back-burner, often never to see the light of day again. I wonder if an effect similar to Akrasia is at play, or if that is due to something different.
Fighting akrasia is silly. A-krasia means "lacking command" . How do you fight something that is not there? The question has to be: How do you create krasia?
I saw this term in the Economics: The User’s Guide by Ha-Joon Chang, which was recommended by HN readers:
I feel so guilty spending endless time on reddit an HN.
A good task for right now would be to find whatever log you think would work best for you, and then try to think of something to add to it.
Maybe there is some documentation that needs to be written, or some small bug you ran across the other day, etc
Find problems which interest you (for me, that's currently lexers, parsers, lisp, code visualization, tools to make tools to make tools, etc), or parts of the "stack" which you never fully understood (In college we never actually went over how a C function call works, how to read stack frames, etc).
If you don't have any problems at hand to fuel your curiosity, maybe try upping the signal-to-noise ratio of your junk food -- read a programming book instead of reading HN. Small, consistent investments are more important over the long run (30 min / day for months rather than a week-long fugue state).
If books aren't your thing, find a structured series of exercises which you can work through. Project Euler is great. Make-a-lisp is great as well (github.com/kanaka/mal).
Turn what you learn into blog posts, github gists, or flash cards -- distill your knowledge into easily digestible parts so that you can catch yourself up to speed quickly 6 months from now when you need that topic again.
These won't create immediate benefit, but five years from now you will be tremendously more valuable.
But what if we've put no effort into the task yet? Well, I think procrastination of this sort is modeled well by our experience (Victor Hugo was an experienced author by that point). If in the past we've done some tasks and they've taken significantly longer time and energy than we initially thought, even if we don't consciously remember, our bodies will in some sense. I think what's happening is that there is a payoff based on the difference between effort P and required effort P' to finish in the same time. When P - P' > 0, we feel superb. When P - P' < 0, we feel like quitting.
You'd think one's perception would be improved after writing a dozen books, but maybe that's part of the reason a person starts writing another book after the first. A little bit of forgetfulness. But the brain doesn't forget. So, internally, it knows. So we have procrastination.
Example 1: Losing 20 lbs. How hard should it be?! A good goal to aim for if you do everything right and want to have a sustainable weight loss is 1 lb/wk. But realistically, it ends up being closer to 0.5 lb/wk for most. Would you spend something like 6 months to a year losing 20 lbs? What if there were more pounds to be lost? Now, if you go into this optimistically and not know this, you might lose a few pounds quickly and feel good, but then utterly quit when the real hard times come. (This mirrors any project that is easy to start but hard to complete, like html parsing)
Example 2: You intuitively know that a phone call to your phone company can help you save some money on your phone bill, but whether consciously or not, you somehow remember that it will take you 1-2 hours and a lot of emotional energy. You put this phone call off until it causes you enough emotional pain on the daily that putting it off by another day is as bad as the phone call itself. (This is an example of not even starting a project due to the perceived pain)
This highlights another thing. You can accumulate a lot of pain procrastinating on this call, but it's only the day to day pain that seems to matter in this strange internal calculation, because past pain is discounted a lot.
Example 3: (A bit tongue in cheek but...) Sleep. Let's say you've had some difficulty falling asleep over the last week. You perceive it as something that takes half an hour of "effort" to fall asleep. Naturally, you procrastinate until that effort is low enough, but this usually leads to too little sleep in the end.
Is there actionable advice from this? Yes. The more real-life knowledge you have of yourself, your projects (both successful and dropped), the more realistic your estimates can be. If you then bump up your estimates based on how off you were about them in the past, maybe then you'll get a glimpse on how much real work it'll take. Would you still start that project?
Maybe you'll end up starting fewer projects but dropping fewer before the finish line.