Around that time I Somehow stumbled upon this article on how to make a Buddhist bone trumpet. It took me completely by surprise, the topic, the author, the tone, the context of Buddhism, nothing fit together like I expected. It was the most absurd thing I ever read and I kept laughing, at the same time it felt utterly genuine. My curiosity piqued I read the other less bizarre articles from the author about Buddhism and life in general. It dawned on me that my attempt at completely controlling my life had, in fact, caused me to lose control over it. The process of learning to accept unpredictability and open myself to the world, that started the evening I read that article, was by no means always this fun, but looking back boy was it worth it.
So many enlightened people have quoted this as the one thing that matters most than anything else.
I read this article "This column will change your life" about an Indian philosopher named Jiddu Krishnamurti many many years ago but this passage really stuck with me:
Krishnamurti went on to give countless talks at which he frequently implied that his audience shouldn't be wasting their time listening to spiritual talks. But perhaps the most striking was a 1977 lecture in California.
"Part-way through this particular talk," writes Jim Dreaver, who was present, "Krishnamurti suddenly paused, leaned forward and said, almost conspiratorially, 'Do you want to know what my secret is?' " (There are several accounts of this event; details vary.) Krishnamurti rarely spoke in such personal terms, and the audience was electrified, Dreaver recalls. "Almost as though we were one body we sat up… I could see people all around me lean forward, their ears straining and their mouths slowly opening in hushed anticipation."
Then Krishnamurti, "in a soft, almost shy voice", said: "You see, I don't mind what happens."
> I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path.
I can't remember the article/blog post now but it was a commentary on that one quote, which led to further reading of his books and a certain view on life (I appreciate the irony/contradiction given the quote, and I'm not a 'follower' of his).
I had exactly the same epiphany while reading Meditations. I thought, "wow, this sounds an awful lot like the Buddhism I've read/heard about".
Again, after reading Ralph Waldo Emerson I saw the same wisdom with a different face. I realized that all these people throughout time came independently to precisely the same conclusions about how to live life as part of the great "wholeness" (for lack of a better word) to which we all belong.
My experience with Buddhism is mostly limited to interactions with an old Buddhist friend, but in terms of literature I found Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha and J. D. Salinger's Teddy to be very palatable from a western perspective.
For stoic philosophy you can really do no better than Marcus Aurelius's meditations, specifically the more modern Gregory Hays translation. Epictectus's discourses are pretty good too, but are less pithy and have a lower signal to noise ratio when it comes to true wisdom IMO.
Emerson's Self Reliance, History, and finally The Oversoul will reveal the same wisdom from all the other works I mentioned.
Aldous Huxley wrote a book about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Perennial_Philosophy
> "In the early 19th century the Transcendentalists propagated the idea of a metaphysical Truth and universalism"
So it seems it was not a coincidence Emerson stuck out to me when I first read him (Emerson was a foundational Transcendentalist).
Speaking for myself, another reason I enjoy Buddhism and Stoicism is that they feel more like pure, distilled wisdom. Especially Zen Buddhism. Christian writings are filled with excessive moralizing and mythology, which enables all sorts of problems.
While there isn't much direct evidence to support this theory, both philosophies have some ideas related to mindfulness that are too similar to me to be a coincidence.
> God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
> courage to change the things I can,
> and wisdom to know the difference.
Unfortunately Christianity suffers from excessive moralizing and mythology, which turns me away from it. But it definitely has lines of thought that descended from stoic thinking.
Could you possibly unpack this for me a little bit? It strikes me as absolutely true for me, too, or at least sounds like it could be true, but I'm pulling at a thread I can't quite grasp.
In the Buddhist philosophy the notion that you can control anything other than yourself is considered absurd. Even conceding that you have control over yourself is being generous. A need for control then becomes a major source of frustration, or as it's often referred to in this context, dissatisfaction or suffering. By studying the philosophy, you gradually untangle the absurdity and you progressively start to see the theory be manifested in reality. You then learn to accept it and see the absurdity of your own desire for control.
I can say that to you and it might make sense. But that's still at the theoretical level. For it to be true to you, you need to make the journey yourself.
Another example is that often people who give up dieting will lose weight and keep it off. What matters is not the calories but the health of the relationship with food, and if the diet is taking an unhealthy relationship and making it even more dysfunctional, then how could it help?
Of course, you found the Buddhist solution which is quite meritorious in its own right and served me well at a difficult time in my life. There is also a Christian mystic solution which has similar aspects.
In addition to that though, I think I (and others?) make sense of the world through narrative and there is value to other people's narratives, though that may be in conflict with the context of your comment.
Trying to find "the best option" or trying to totally control the outcome is counter productive. You lose your options, you lose your time.
While being satisficer you accept some parts that might not be perfect and your life moves forward. You open more options as you are not stuck on picking exactly the right washing machine and you open time and headspace for other avenues.
Imagine leading an animal into a cage with food. To that animal, they are controlling their food intake and their lunch! In that attempt to exert control over the situation they have lost all primary control.
Controlling your thoughts is another matter. Just try to stop thinking for an entire minute. Don't have any thoughts. Alternately, only think about 1 thing. You very probably cannot do it. We don't choose what to think, but we can choose how we react (or not) to our thoughts. You CAN choose to accept the thoughts as they come and not identify with them, deciding "oh, that's a thought, how interesting". This is in opposition to what we normally do, which is to act on every little thought that floats along or decide to 'grab' onto the thoughts and stay with them while going down whatever rabbit hole they lead us into.
Your point does stand, control is a false concept in general.
I genuinely think this is the key to happiness and success in general. Roll with the waves rather than trying to fight them. You can guide your life while still smelling the roses along the way.
This article inspired me on two things :
1) Lots of the things I do in everyday life is just to consume: buying, watching, following, etc. These things either consume my money, or my time. These things make me feel good, but it does not generate real value. In order to get rich, I need to create things. I also start to realize that great people are great because they started to create things at a very early stage of their life (but not consuming things as they advocate, think about celebrities, entrepreneurs etc), so they are able to practice and perfect the value creating skills to the extreme.
2) I start to realize that the world is binary in nature : I create to sell, I buy to consume. I either at the buyer side, or at the seller side. And in this current society, there is a huge buyer side trap, the whole idea of consumerism and social media is to trap you inside the buyer side, so you keep buying, you keep consuming. I really need to break free from this trap.
This blog post was written before COVID-19, but the idea feels even fresher during this pandemic era
You create to sell? No, I think a fundamental part, for example of art, is that it can be created for no reason whatsoever. To give a personal example, I really enjoy music production and playing piano.. but I do it only for myself and have fun doing so.. i don't even share it with anyone. Does that mean I am creating but not selling? And does that mean it is wrong and a waste of my time and I should stop doing it? No, I'm just creating for the sake of creating.
Another thing I don't understand, is your end goal in life to get rich? And do you equal being rich with being happy?
That's not my worldview at all. I mainly care about three things, curiosity, ethics and empathy. But definitely curiosity, being able to learn everyday is what makes me happy. But that doesn't fit into what your explaining, I don't have to create and sell anything with what I've learned because the act of learning already gives me happiness.
Maybe I'm the weird one but I truly find that a life with the sole goal of selling and accruing wealth seems boring.
It's an attitude I encounter frequently in tech circles, but it never stops feeling very weird to me.
Here's the deal: in a capitalist system, being rich may not equal being happy, but it certainly does equal being secure. The average worker is a lot less secure now that the days of "a job for life" are gone, and prices for housing, education, and health care have gone through the roof.
Because if you focus on you making money to make your situation more secure, you're only solving the problem for yourself... which seems selfish and a bit unethical to me.
But I understand, we all have to live in a system and under circumstances we didn't choose and I guess we have to make the best of it.
I disagree on this but I love and agree with the premise of the blog post. Comparing reddit to Moby Dick could not be further off. reddit (or any similar site) is a shill/bad actor/agitator/troll cesspool full of memes and clickbait.
It is important to learn to tell good shit from bad shit. Consume things produced by masters of their craft. Try not to settle for less, you have limited time here. Use this to create more.
What 'other content' are you referring to that is exempt from this?
You make my point for me.
> It is important to learn to tell good shit from bad shit
That would apply within Reddit, as well. Find the good subreddits and the good comments.
Regarding the article, it doesn't match my experience. All the prolific creators I know (about) are prolific consumers as well. Writers are known to read a lot. The girl the author saw sketching on the bus probably loves looking at and reading about art and does it often as well as actually creating art.
The other issue is the amount of creative effort you can spend. For example, software engineering is a very creative job and often at the end of the day I just have no energy left to create more.
The question of meaning behind our actions is one divorced from this, and obviously not so easily determined as whether or not an action is creative. Some of the most effective altruistic actions are boring. I'm of the type that has short bouts of investigative interest in certain topics, and that wanes, so I can't count on merely my "mood" to finish projects. I had read anecdotally that authors in particular seem to derive satisfaction from having completed a work, and find that driving themselves to finish it can be torturous. I feel that way about my projects.
Personally, it's a good day if I've "executed" and completed a lot at work. There is no objective reason why this ought to be better than those days where I struggle to finish a single assignment, but that is human nature. You can satisfy such a creature with social validation and the feedback of completing tasks, until maybe you broach the problem of meaning. I wonder how many of us in the future will spend most of our time dwelling in virtual worlds where nothing is real. If we do, then meaning is cheap.
Aside from bankruptcy, buying and selling are actually completely balanced in a modern market economy. Even “saving” money is actually best considered as selling it. Earning money is obviously selling your time and bodily energy (those are the only finite things you have that are inputs into the system).
Borrowing is selling your future money to someone who wants to take on the risk.
And by replacing all of this filthy filthy idleness with endless creation just to be creating, we... achieve enlightenment?
I guess it seems like this author is driving himself to write and write not so much because he loves it or loves books or anything, but more out of a drive to discipline himself into working constantly
The title is literally "Consume less, create more," not "Consume none, create always".
Coincidentally, here's a fitting answer to the GP and your comment: https://www.robinsloan.com/notes/home-cooked-app/
I'm not saying fiction is objectively more "beneficial" than non-fiction, I'm just saying the opposite isn't necessarily true either.
I find value in this in both creating and doing nothing.
Why do you want to get rich?
I've been thrilled to have a life of consuming and not creating.
It's a short blog post that I've probably read a thousand times at this point. He wrote about how websites give Google a big advantage when it comes to web crawling and how that big advantage probably makes it harder for other search engines to compete with Google. This was a pretty striking idea to me and there was a lot of talk at the time about antitrust and Big Tech. Dan's post had been written in 2015, so I was sure that a ton of other people, especially DC policy people, already knew about this and were talking about it. Right?
Turns out, basically nobody in DC knew anything about this. A ton of website operators complain about it on their own forums like HN and SEO, it's not hard to find people griping about the cost of Bing's crawlers, but those people never saw fit to tell anybody in DC about this and how it impacts the market for general purpose search engines and gives Google such an advantage. So I started writing down everything that I was finding about Google's web crawling advantage and writing it in a way that policy people could understand these things called web crawlers they had probably never heard much about before.
And, long story short, the policy people were very grateful that I had gotten in touch and explained all this, and I got cited in the Big Tech Antitrust report published by Congress last summer and then featured in The New York Times:
So, Dan's blog post has had a pretty big impact on my life so far and it's not quite done yet. The pandemic has slowed me down this year much more than it did last year, but I'm working on preparing to submit a paper to an economics journal for peer review that lays out the dynamics of web crawling, why Google accrues this advantage and why it matters. I'm very grateful to Dan for writing that post and, as far as career advice goes, I heartily recommend going back every once in a while and rereading everything he has ever written. Who knows what else he's hiding in there?
As part of a team that runs several large sites, the performance difference between them is stunning, but not any any way complimentary to Bing. We want Bing to do better. We want them to challenges Google pole position.
Bingbot will crawl the exact same set pages 10 times in a week, and will make hundreds of requests per minute doing so. Googlebot will crawl them once, at a much more reasonable pace.
The bandwidth and power costs we incur from Bing crawlers are a hundredfold (at least) what we incur from Googlebot.
Please, Microsoft, make Bingbots not suck so badly.
If you see cooking primarily as a means of getting nutrients rather than a hobby, I very strongly recommend getting an electric pressure cooker. It greatly simplifies cooking because it's automated. Just add the ingredients, close the lid, press a button, and wait. You will get a perfectly cooked one-pot meal with minimum effort. You can even mix fresh and frozen ingredients and the timer won't start until the frozen ingredients are thawed. If you don't overfill it the only thing the food touches is the inner stainless steel pot, so it's very easy to clean. I get the majority of my nutrition from food cooked this way. I can't imagine going back to slow traditional methods.
It also makes dried legumes far more practical, because you can skip the pre-soak phase. If you eat a lot of legumes, and you switch from canned to dried, the savings will most likely pay for the cost of the machine within a few years. In addition, energy costs are reduced because cooking at increased pressure is faster, and good electric pressure cookers are insulated. I am happy with an Instant Pot brand one, although I don't guarantee they are the best. If somebody has strong opinions on which is best then please post them.
The one major downside is the texture of the food can become boring, because everything is mixed together and you can't make crispy foods with it, but you can always add things like pickles after you've cooked it.
About boring food; it might not be crispy, but you can make amazing meats in it. Try slow cooking pork collar boneless with honey and mustard.
12 functions: Pressure Cook, Air Fry/Air Crisp, Steam, Slow Cook, Yogurt, Sear/Sauté, Bake/Roast, Broil, Dehydrate, Sous Vide, Reheat, Keep Warm
Oh hi there!
Do you have any recipes that you recommend? I actually bought an Instant Pot a couple months ago, and so far have found one great one pot meal that I cook in bulk on the weekend - basically tomatoes + sweet potatoes + peppers + beans + quinoa. Toss it all in and press a button, magic.
I like to eat as healthily as possible, so I'm interested to hear if you have any go-to staple recipes for the instant pot that you'd suggest :)
As an addition, sliced chorizo is great, the spicy pork fat melts out and improves everything. Lardons are almost as good. You can float a chicken thigh on top, and it will cook nicely, but won't get crispy, but you can finish it up under the grill. Sliced onion is remarkably good, soaks up the stock and comes out juicy. I often add leafy brassicas like cabbage or kale, not very exciting but it's healthy.
I've used the same rice cooker on a slow cooking setting to cook beef ragout, something like cassoulet, and pork knuckle.
A pressure cooker can do all this, but can do the high-temperature bits faster!
Not sure of your dietary preferences, but one of the big advantages of the Instant Pot is being able to cook cheaper, less palatable cuts of meat. It can also cook an entire frozen chicken in under an hour...
You'll want to cut up the potatoes and peppers, but when you're cooking them like this, the size doesn't matter much, it's just what you prefer. I'd go a bit chunkier -- smaller will have all the flavors blend more, chunkier and you'll be able to taste the separate ingredients a bit better.
Quinoa definitely does not need to be pre-cooked -- it cooks very quickly. If you're putting in dry beans, you'll want to use the "multigrain" setting for... 60 minutes I think? And add plenty of water for the beans and quinoa to absorb.
If you're using canned beans or pre-cooked beans, you can drop that time down to 15 minutes or so, that should be plenty for the quinoa to cook.
I'd also probably add some spices. You just gotta experiment and see what you like. Make sure you add enough -- when making a big pot of food, don't just add a little spice. I think cumin and/or coriander would go nicely with this. Cinnamon is another that might be good here. Can't go wrong with black pepper.
But really, this is a dish that could go nicely with lots of different spice blends. So don't be afraid to experiment! Try stuff, fail, it's ok, and it's how you get a feel for cooking. If it doesn't come out great, spread some hot sauce on there and it might make it good enough to eat :)
The basic idea is:
- Chop up the sweet potatoes, peppers, and onions. This takes me a while lol.
- Start with saute mode, heat the oil, fry the onions, then add the garlic, spices, peppers. The saute part overall just takes me around 5-6 mins
- Add broth, quinoa, chopped tomatoes, and cook on high pressure for 8 mins (the actual cooking time is longer because it takes some time to reach high pressure, and then to depressurise when done)
- I use canned beans, so I just stir them in right here at the end and let them mix for 5-10 mins
(But this is all described in that recipe)
I can basically make 8 good sized portions of this if I fill my Instant Pot, and it's cheap and very healthy. So it's become almost my go-to meal. Oh, and it freezes well too!
"cooking primarily as a means of getting nutrients rather than a hobby" is such a strange opposition to me.
What do you do about the indigestible sugars found in many beans? Traditionally, pre-soaking reduces the amount of sugars and the corresponding flatulence.
Being able to dump ingredients in and set the pressure for 20 minutes, and then go out for 2 hours and come back and eat warm food that hasn't gone bad is really, really nice.
Apart from that - as others pointed out, they're multifunctional. I make yogurt in mine. Also acts as a slow cooker but in my experience not very well.
In general I would say that the temperature control in an electric pressure cooker is going to be more precise, so you see functions like yogurt making in them, too.
"PHA is destroyed by adequate cooking. Some variation in toxin stability has been found at different temperatures. However, Bender and Readi found that boiling the beans for 10 minutes (100°C) completely destroyed the toxin. Consumers should boil the beans for at least 30 minutes to ensure that the product reaches sufficient temperature, for a sufficient amount of time, to completely destroy the toxin."
Probably for the better, since baking/frying to crispiness is usually tied to "advanced glycation endproducts".
The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler, the sequel to Future Shock. I was a nuclear trained engineer in the Navy. This book convinced me not to pursue a career in nuclear power after the Navy, which was the standard career path for guys like me, because it was "Second Wave." The Third Wave was information technology, which I pursued despite having no training in it.
At the height of my success, "The Arrangement" by Joni Mitchell made me realize that money hadn't made me happy and pursuing more was not something I wanted to do.
You could have been more
Than a name on the door
On the thirty-third floor in the air
More than a credit card
Swimming pool in the backyard
While you still have the time
You could get away and find
A better life, you know the grind is so ungrateful
Racing cars, whiskey bars
No one cares who you really are
E. B. White wrote of the essay and the essayist - and I think it goes a long way towards arguing (unintended perhaps) that a good blog post is a good essay (and vice versa) - at least that was my thoughts when I first read it:
> The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest. He is a fellow who thoroughly enjoys his work, just as people who take bird walks enjoy theirs. Each new excursion of the essayist, each new “attempt,” differs from the last and takes him into new country. This delights him. Only a person who
is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays.
> There are as many kinds of essays as there are human attitudes or poses, as many essay flavors as there are Howard Johnson ice creams. The essayist arises in the morning and, if he has work to do, selects his garb from an unusually extensive wardrobe: he can pull on any sort of shirt, be any sort of person, according to his mood or his subject matter—philosopher, scold, jester, raconteur, confidant, pundit, devil’s advocate, enthusiast. (...)
> There is one thing the essayist cannot do, though—he cannot indulge himself in deceit or in
concealment, for he will be found out in no time.
Specifically this line "So if you want to invest two years in something that will help you succeed in business, the evidence suggests you'd do better to learn how to hack than get an MBA."
I spent 5 years building a good business school resume and this post encouraged me to try out programming instead. The flexibility of a programming job let me escape the NYC / San Fran scene and start living abroad. Having way more fun living in different countries around the world now.
You got to build stuff too, not just learn. Still, you also have to figure out if you're a builder or a "learner".
I like to figure stuff out, once I know the solution, my interest is minimal.
I know this phenomenon well. In fact, when we moved into our new house which was an easy drive from where we used to live, I drove here half a dozen times using the GPS and still had no idea where I was going until I forced myself to do the trip without turning the GPS on.
Anymore I try to avoid using GPS anywhere in my city, and it's both taught me a lot and also 'explore' a lot. My wife always asks if I'm afraid of getting lost, but I always tell her 'ah, all roads connect somewhere', which makes me feel better at least. I can only think of a couple times I truly felt turned around enough to pull out GPS.
He's against the overlearning of a skill in a classroom, especially since you won't really learn how to do most things until you close the books and just go do it.
I remember reading this first time in early twenties - it was mindblowing. After several years I can say that many things I’ve expierenced, noticed and learned are mentioned somewhere along these lines.
‚One must permit his people the freedom to seek added work and greater responsibility. In my organization, there are no formal job descriptions or organizational charts. Responsibilities are defined in a general way, so that people are not circumscribed. All are permitted to do as they think best and to go to anyone and anywhere for help. Each person then is limited only by his own ability.’
> To complaints of a job poorly done, one often hears the excuse, “I am not responsible.” I believe that is literally correct. The man who takes such a stand in fact is not responsible; he is irresponsible. While he may not be legally liable, or the work may not have been specifically assigned to him, no one involved in a job can divest himself of responsibility for its successful completion.
I was quite literally thinking about this exact problem at my organization last week. This quote is older than I am.
* How to negotiate salary : https://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/
* Don't call yourself a programmer : https://www.kalzumeus.com/2011/10/28/dont-call-yourself-a-pr...
One social thing I learned though is that some people are weird about it - not the recruiters but the friends you’re trying to help negotiate. They’re afraid to do it and instead rationalize how it won’t work and then get angry if you try to persuade them that it’s possible.
I found a recruiter who was reasonably decent (placed a friend of mine). I asked what top-of-band for my YOE in my COL seemed to be, and he said $130k-$140k. I then gave $150k as my requirement to all future companies. Too many were saying yes, so I upped it to $170k, then $190k, then at $200k I only got one bite. (Caveat: of course I asked for numbers from them first - when the recruiter was unwilling, depending on my mood I would say I wasn't willing to proceed further without a comp range, or I would give out my desired number and see what they said.)
I might have missed out on companies willing to offer $200k while earlier in this process, but about half of the recruiters reaching out were positions offering $100k, and I was unwilling to waste that much time in interviews for jobs I didn't want.
In case anyone wants to know how it ended, I told my current company (paying $120k) that I was in final interview rounds for $200k and I wanted to quit to focus on studying for interviews. They offered me $200k to stay and I accepted.
TL;DR: Interviews take a long time. If you're some rando on LinkedIn and they're some random company you've never heard of, it's not worth assuming they'll be able to pay you enough and going through the process.
HN discussion about it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25513713
> For instance, some people want to respond to that speech with Tyler Durden's line from Fight Club: "You are not your job." But, well, actually, you totally are.
Well, actually, you totally aren't. The next part is even worse and downright dehumanizing:
> you are nothing more than the sum total of your useful skills [...] Your "job" -- the useful thing you do for other people -- is all you are.
It's not a good idea to view yourself as purely a means to an end for other people. I'm strongly in favor of being a useful and productive part of society, but not to the point where nothing remains of your person except for an exploitable resource for others.
But then there's also people for whom it will be the worst thing ever, who have already completely organized their lives around pleasing others and satisfying the needs of others while not thinking about the fact they have their own needs, and need in some sense the complete opposite slap.
But I'm not surprised there's some people who found the article to be food for some fairly big thoughts.
I don't think there's a solution for this, because any kind of disclaimer would dilute its message for those that need to hear it, and do nothing for those that shouldn't hear it. And what would such a disclaimer even look like? "Disregard this article if you're not an entitled, selfish man-child"?
The disclaimer is woven neatly in the opening paragraph, above the delightful picture of Lenny and his large scarf.
I remember the impact it had when it came out. It was the reality check that a lot of people in that age range needed, especially new college graduates. This was the era of the "jobless recovery" of post-2008, when S&P500 was going up but underemployment was very high. You have to learn to drop a lot of ego when your fancy degree has you working at the same Starbucks as a kid straight out of high school.
Also, there are undeniably some hard truths hidden in there. However, my experience in almost 20 years in the tech/software/product industry often paints a different picture. Yes, our brains keep us from changing and evolving and yes, obviously you need skills to be successful in life and your career. But in my industry in particular, hard and soft skills are not the dominant factor that keeps individuals from succeeding or progressing. I'm lucky enough to work with an abundance of talent and skill, and yet, one of the major factors of dissatisfaction is lack of "progression". One of the main factors is self-confidence and in the more severe cases even mental health issues. Some of the most skilled and knowledgeable engineers I worked with struggled to realise their potential because of it. If the leaders in your organisation think they can just shout at them to "learn self-confidence as a skill" and get over it you're going to have a bad time. It will attract a certain type and employee that thrives in that environment and disengage everyone else. Wasting talent, wasting skills and ultimately a lot of money.
Creating an environment and learning how to tease the potential out of skilled and talented individuals is not a "hippie/hipster" thing to do, it is good for business.
It’s as controversial as the cracked piece in itself. And for some people in my circle - it’s a wake up call.
You can’t expect to just get what he has by drifting through life aimlessly. You have to do what it takes. It’s a message to the kids who were told as children that they were perfect just the way they are and that they could do anything they wanted (but never put in any effort towards it). It’s a message to the children raised by shitty parents who didn’t instill grit and perseverance and tenacity into their kids that they need to get it together if they want what others have. That it takes work and that you don’t get things handed to you like your parents handed things to you all the time as a kid.
I've noticed that multi-level marketing companies use "love bombing" tactics with new members, showering them with praise and good vibes and assuring them that it is easy to make money using their system. Once you're in, however, the "sales experts" quickly turn into the Alec Baldwin character, pressuring, mocking, and grilling you to sell more in an environment where it's near impossible to sell anything.
To me it looked like he's shaking them up a little. But the motivation from being shaken up doesn't last long especially if it isn't supplemented by actual skills. Let's say that one of these salesmen is really pumped up after this meeting - what happens the next time they're on a call with a client who isn't interested? What does that salesman know now that they didn't know pre-Baldwin-speech? What can they do differenty? Nothing as far as I can tell. And if the argument is that they all have the skills and it's all about the motivation, then that sounds very much like something from the soft generation that you're describing in your comment.
Limitation of the format of the media and that it's for entertainment. Do you really expect a dry presentation about sales tactics in a play/movie???
It's a wake up call speech. It's a speech that you need to either shape up or get out - and to stop expecting handouts and to stop acting entitled. And the thing about his speech is that he's actually empathetic to people - he isn't saying you're worthless as a human being, he's saying you're not fit for the job and you need to be fit for the job if you want to keep it. "Good father? Fuck you - go home and play with your kids." It's a retaliation against the "but I'm a good/nice/whatever person" mentality of entitlement. If you want to work here - you need to close. That's the whole point - that our environment needs people with skills and people who can actually use those skills in a useful matter. You can't do it? Fine - you're not a worthless person but you don't deserve the job just out of birthright.
I'd watch the full thing to the end - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrhSLf0I-HM In no way is he entrapping them or anything - he says over and over again... "Don't like it? Leave." He's tell them over and over - do the job or leave. Stop expecting a handout - stop being entitled - do the job we hired you for.
I don't think I've ever read a single life-changing blog post, but an entire blog over years and books can definitely be life changing.
I'd say that life-changing stuff has to be contrarian, and Taleb and PG are pretty contrarian. This also means they can be wrong, repetitive, and piss a lot of people off. You can criticize individual posts or passages easily; it's harder to do that of their entire career.
I'd also be careful to label them "not contrarian" -- contrarians can seem less so once people start agreeing with and imitating them, specifically as a result of the writing :)
Written in 2008, but still amazingly relevant today. The opening lines are eerily prescient about our current "everyone needs to have a take on everything" culture.
"Politics, celebrity gossip, business headlines, tech punditry, odd news, and user-generated content.
These are the chew toys that have made me sad and tired and cynical.
Each, in its own way, contributes to the imperative that we constantly expand our portfolio of shallow but strongly-held opinions about nearly everything. Then we’re supposed to post something about it. Somewhere."
What's wrong with either of these things if they give you pleasure?
>I have one friend who lives in a crappy apartment
Sounds like they have their priorities, and you have yours.
>that amount of money could've had him retiring one year earlier.
Big deal. Do what you enjoy. The entire FIRE movement of people who just can't wait to retire (and most likely continue pinching pennies) confuses me. Enjoy your life, you never know when it ends.
By Blake Ross
Before reading this post I had no idea I had aphantasia and thought everyone else was the same as me, unable to see anything when they closed their eyes. This helped me understand myself and my relationships so much better than ever before. Thanks Blake!
If aphantasia is "internally blind", this one is "internally mute and deaf".
I wonder if anyone in the world has both conditions. That would be interesting to understand how they think.
I think I can imagine sounds in my head, but it is a little like singing, or humming a tune without making noise. I believe I have the cadence and rhythm of sounds, but it's not really easy to get words that way.
I can also recognise some specific images I have seen previously, but I definitely do not see them and cannot conjure up any imagery of any kind.
You might be amused to know that until I joined that study I had no idea that you were thinking any differently than I was, and since learning you-all are freaks, I have wondered if the reason you guys get distracted so easily is that you're watching a movie out of the corner of your eye, or maybe the reason you think code is unreadable is that you need to sound out your program in order to read it.
>I participated in the Prosopagnosia study at Imperial a few years ago. I also don't hear any internal monologue; When I think, I think in words, and it is very similar to reading.
Isn't this exactly what an internal monologue is? Lack of internal monologue would be someone who thinks only abstractly or visually, without any words.
>I think I can imagine sounds in my head, but it is a little like singing, or humming a tune without making noise. I believe I have the cadence and rhythm of sounds, but it's not really easy to get words that way.
Yes, isn't this what pretty much everyone experiences, unless they have one of these listed disorders? If you can think in words, watch a TV show and later picture what the characters look like, and listen to a song and have it get "stuck in your head", then I think you have an internal monologue and don't have aphantasia.
I don't know. It's like reading though. I definitely don't hear a voice (mine or anyone else's).
> If you can think in words, watch a TV show and later picture what the characters look like, and listen to a song and have it get "stuck in your head", then I think you have an internal monologue and don't have aphantasia.
Nope. I can't picture what the characters look like. I can't get a song stuck in my head either.
>I think I can imagine sounds in my head, but it is a little like singing, or humming a tune without making noise.
This seems like how I and I assume most people experience the phenomenon of recalling or thinking about sound. It's just more or less vivid and detailed for different people.
Do you listen to music often? If so, you've never listened to a song and later had some sort of experience where something about that song stayed remnant in your mind?
If you try to imagine the loud alarm of an alarm clock, do you feel like you're experiencing something? By "experiencing", I mean you aren't just like "I can't even say any part of what I'm doing is imagining the sound of an alarm", but are in some way perceiving some kind of representation of some recollection of hearing an alarm clock's alarm.
Also, what happens in your mind when you hum something? To me, humming is the process of transforming that rough, vague, general "phantasic" representation of pitch/amplitude/time into rough, vague, general vocal cord movements. I could be very wrong, but I suspect that if someone is capable of humming anything with even the tiniest minuscule of correlation with the original song, then they don't have aphantasia (with respect to sound).
My speculative, uninformed hypothesis is that actual aphantasia is very rare and that sometimes there's misunderstanding of what it means, combined with the fact that some people have less vivid imaginations and mental representations than others.
Many people may have "weak phantasia", e.g. they may not internally imagine a 1-to-1 visual representation of what they saw on a walk on the previous day, or may not recreate every texture and pitch in a song they heard, but they can imagine some rough approximation of them. I think almost no one can construct these perfect mental recreations; maybe von Neumann and a tiny number of others.
For most people, I'd guess it's probably like 0.1 - 10%. But I think 0% is rare. And during dreaming, I imagine for most people it may increase to like 10 - 40%.
The weaker it is, I think the less one may feel attached to a term like "seeing" or "hearing". But I think no one is ever actually "seeing" or "hearing". It's just a mental representation which no term can fully describe. Kind of like how you can't exactly put a scientific, objective perceptual term to the experience of feeling love. It's just an internal, subjective experience within your mind. Something a little bit more like "reading" rather than "hearing", as you say.
And for internal monologue: if I ask you to "think" the phrase "I am going to go to the store", were you able to "think it"? If so, then I think you probably have internal monologue, or at least the capacity for internal monologue. It may not manifest very often, and you may "experience" it less "potently" than some other people, but I think you have it.
The suspected misunderstanding with internal monologue is that I think some people "spend more time with" their internal monologue than others. Like, a catastrophizer might regularly think the words "oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck what do I do", while for someone else their mind may be fairly "blank" most of the time, especially if they're distracted with something.
For people who experience it more frequently, some percentage of it may manifest and "bleed over" into spoken utterances, like the catastrophizer may sometimes mumble "oh fuck", perhaps without even realizing it. In my opinion, humming is often this same sort of "bleeding over" of the internal into the external, but with music instead of monologue.
Based on what you've said so far, I think you potentially might have visual aphantasia, but I think you likely don't have aural aphantasia or lack of internal monologue. And I think it's possible you also may not have visual aphantasia; there still might be a disconnect between what people mean by "visual imagination" and what you think they mean.
With listening? Never. I can remember the lyrics of songs, and I can remember (sometimes) the progression of notes, but no: nothing I would refer to as an “experience”. They might as well be written down.
> you try to imagine the loud alarm of an alarm clock, do you feel like you're experiencing something?
No. I know what an alarm clock is and I know they can go “ding ding ding ding ding” - but these things are just the same words I give to you. Again: I certainly can’t experience an alarm clock in my head (or experience being in the same room as an alarm clock or anything like that)
> Also, what happens in your mind when you hum something?
If I hum and then stop, I have a sensation of the vibration and of the way my breathing changes. I can then recall (in some way) those vibrations and then reintroduce heavier breath so we hear sound again.
Is this not like how it is for you? Do you remember “the sound” of your own hum and try to reproduce it?
> Based on what you've said so far, I think you potentially might have visual aphantasia
If you are a researcher working in this space, you can send me an email from an edu address and I’ll connect you with the people who ran tests on me in London.
If not, could you explain why you’re giving your opinion?
I'm not a researcher or a scientist of any kind. I know very little about aphantasia, and don't experience it myself or know anyone who does (besides one podcaster I listen to). I simply suspect that some percentage of people who report aphantasia may not actually have it, based on dozens of peoples' self-reports that I've read before. Subjective experiences are complicated. I could certainly be completely wrong both in general and in this case, though.
I based most of my reply on the fact that you said:
To me, this is the experience of aural "phantasia". This is what happens when I imagine sounds in my head. That's why I read your post with a sense of dissonance. It made me want to try to understand how you can have this kind of "humming a tune without making noise" sound in your head yet also have aural aphantasia.
Are you able to hum a song you've heard before? If so, I think that could potentially require a kind of ability to represent the song in your mind, though I could be wrong about that.
Are you able to think about a note with some pitch frequency and then about a note with a higher pitch frequency right afterwards? If not, what is the experience of humming like for you? If so, then what's happening when you're thinking about these pitches?
The fact that you've never had anything like a song getting stuck in your head (e.g. hearing a song you like and humming or thinking about it a later time) would make me think there likely is something atypical about your experience, at the least, though.
Additionally, you said:
>I don't know. It's like reading though. I definitely don't hear a voice (mine or anyone else's).
This is also my own perception of what internal monologue is like for me. Although this is potentially a separate phenomenon from aphantasia, to me it seemed like you were saying you didn't have an internal monologue when I thought maybe you did, which, if true, made me think there was possibly an increased chance you don't have aphantasia if you think you do.
Obviously you know your own experience better than anyone else does or could, but there's a lot of ambiguity and ineffability around the meanings of all of these terms; a little bit like (though not as extreme as) trying to describe the experience of perceiving a particular color.
I'm also doing all this in part so I can better understand the phenomenon and educate myself.
I initially was considering adding the "I think you likely don't have aural aphantasia" part but decided to leave it out, since it's extremely presumptive, but the imagining sounds/humming thing and the capability of humming something you've heard before (if I understand correctly) seemed so contradictory with what I personally understand aphantasia to be that I later went back and edited it in. If not for that part I probably wouldn't have replied and would've just silently acknowledged your aphantasia.
If I pay attention I can tell that a sound is higher or lower than another. I can also count. It often requires a lot of concentration (and many repeats) to hum a song I have heard.
> Are you able to think about a note with some pitch frequency and then about a note with a higher pitch frequency right afterwards?
Yes. I can also tell the names of tones (as in keys on a piano) in some cases, but it requires a lot of focus to do this quickly, and the tones usually have to be pretty simplistic or extremely rhythmic.
> If so, then what's happening when you're thinking about these pitches?
What do you mean? If you have ever played SIMON you have to memorise a sequence of red blue yellow and green lights. The repetition starts slowly and gets faster. Then it can become so fast it is overwhelming. Do you memorize the colours or the names of the colours? If you haven’t played it maybe you could look at a YouTube video and get the idea.
> it seemed like you were saying you didn't have an internal monologue
I said I can’t hear one.
> I simply suspect that some percentage of people who report aphantasia may not actually have it, based on dozens of peoples' self-reports that I've read before.
That’s not what I asked. I asked you why you gave your opinion, not why you have an opinion.
I have noticed people do this quite often, and I do not really know why. I wonder if you can sufficiently self-reflect to explain your thinking to me.
The problem with having a diagnosis like this is that a lot of people won’t understand what it’s like to not have the characteristics we take for granted to the point that it seems unreal. To avoid accepting that the scale of people who have experiences that they’ll never be able to understand is bigger than they imagine (and avoid cognitive dissonance), they must invalidate your experience.
It just seems highly unlikely that a non brain damaged human sharing the same evolutionary history and ability to use language would not have one, yet be able to speak and converse normally. Their arguments in support of it always seemed weak to me.
It’s in those class of things where people like to be the person that has it (and it’s hard to test or verify)
There’s plenty of introspection, but if anything, it’s hardest to translate some solutions to English. Often, I can’t tell you why “it’s the right answer” other than “the whole structure would collapse” which makes no sense to other people. I used to get points docked on math papers because I couldn’t show my work.
I find software engineering fantastic, because everyone can agree they see the same structure, rendered as code on a screen. We can agree why something is right or wrong or YAGNI. I love working remote because I have more time to compose thoughtful answers to describe/translate what I mean.
Sometimes I need to talk through a problem out loud because the problem and solution exist in the English language (people problems) which is another boon to remote work. So, I talk out loud to myself, quite a bit more than other people do. I have hours of recordings because people look at you weird walking down the street if you’re not holding a phone but speaking out loud.
I can spot a bug a mile away in code, because the code literally becomes a structure in my mind. Bugs stick out as weak points or unstable parts of the structure.
I’m just rambling a bit as I fall asleep, but maybe you won’t be so skeptical now.
My conscious lived is experience has always been one in which I have no inner voice. No words, in fact. It's totally silent in my head. (It's not still. I have racing thoughts. But they're non-verbal. They seem to be in some sort of "mentalese.") I neither see words nor hear them. And it's impossible for me to imagine what my voice sounds like unless I actually hear myself speak.
I also can't imagine what my wife or friends sound like. My father died a few years ago, and I now can't imagine his voice. I never could unless I heard it. And now that's impossible.
While I know the ideas I want to express, I have no clue what words I'll use to express them until I hear them come out of my mouth or see them on a page or screen. When I type, it seems like my fingers are making up the words. Obviously, that's not what's happening, but I have no sense at all that my mind chose the words.
I also have never felt authorship of anything I've written, even though I'm a published author. I have no sense at all that I've written this paragraph. It's my ideas--it's what I wanted to say--but it's as if someone else chose the words.
I suspect that for everyone, there's a process that goes something like this: mentalese --> coming up with words --> expressing words via speech or writing.
Some folks have no conscious access to the first step. For them, it's entirely unconscious. (mentalese) --> coming up with words --> speaking or writing.
In my case, for some reason I seem to have no conscious access to the choosing-words part. It must happen, of course, but it seems to be hidden from my conscious mind: mentalese --> (coming up with words) --> speaking or writing.
Until fairly recently I thought everyone was like me. When people talked about seeing or hearing words in their heads (or their "inner voice"), I thought they meant it metaphorically. It's still amazing to me that people can imagine or "hear" voices in their heads. So I have the same impulse as you, except in reverse: Come on! An inner voice? I'm skeptical. (Intellectually, I'm not, anymore. But I still feel the pang of skepticism, because it's so alien to me.)
As far as I can tell, I think in abstract ideas.
I think maybe I do? I’ve know about the aphantasia and it wasn’t surprising to me because I always felt like I was missing something when people used phrases like “picture $thing in your mind” but now you’re telling me everyone is talking to themselves in their heads, too? It’s actually so hard for me to wrap my head around I think I must be misunderstanding...
Not "hearing" the words or necessarily "talking to yourself" or hearing someone talk to you. I think many people do mentally talk to themselves, but I think that's a sufficient condition to have an internal monologue rather than a necessary condition.
People who don't have it would 100% of the time only ever think about things in terms of visual imagery, symbols, or something else abstract. I believe it's quite rare.
But I can talk with myself internally for hours on end.
I’m very conscious of how poor my mental images are, but maybe with a little less introspection I would also say I have great mental imagery.
I also suspect a lot of people are massively overreporting the quality of their images. It's very easy to imagine something and think you understand it, until asked to produce something based on it. This isn't just limited to mental images, it's the source of the "why don't you 'just'..." questions, and comes up all the time in building, engineering, artistic endeavors, etc. Your brain is easily convinced it has a thought with more detail than it actually has. I really only trust people who have taken a lot of time to train the relevant system if they claim they have these things. For instance, I really can design some somewhat non-trivial programs in my head... but I've been doing this for ~25 years, and only recently would I say I'm getting to the point where these designs are sometimes good enough that they're not taking serious body blows betwixt conceptualization and realization.
just because you have no skill in shading and drawing lines doesnt mean that you shouldn't be able to replicate the correct proportions and details in the features of someones face.
A skilled artist can work around this, by drawing the right lines (and erasing / ignoring the wrong lines).
However, I am not sure if drawing is the right way to test it. I can visualise a straight line or a perfect circle, but I wouldn't be able to draw them perfectly.
To me it seems really obvious that relative to my internal monologue, my imagery is much weaker and quantifiably less frequent. So I think at least people that report having imagery much stronger than internal monologue likely have something different going on for real, not just with reporting.
I could totally understand how it would be bland if you were just reading a description and nothing was coming to you.
For the record I love novels, inc fantasy fiction and descriptive sci-fi without having a minds eye to bring it into.
e.g. Big fan of starship troopers (the book) which is completely set in an invented universe none of which I have visualized. I saw the film and I can't remember its visual interpretation. (I do remember it being lame compared to the book)
Even without a minds eye I sometimes find some directors visual interpretation jarring.
How do you visualizers get on with the colour of magic? Do you have to see everything?
On the plus side I support two concurrent internal monologues or one that goes double speed & I can go full-duplex.
reading fiction and fantasy books are also sort of boring for me because i have no mental image of the characters or their settings or faces or anything like that. like if it's describing a blacksmith's forge, sure i know that has a forge and anvil and tools and quenching bucket. but there's not really a cohesive setting in my head of what it looks like for the story.
i also cant really mentally image the faces of people i know. i can see their features but their face in my mind doesn't really look human. i can't imagine someone's whole body including their face. i have no issue recognizing faces and putting them to names in person though.
i have a notoriously bad memory. i still made good grades in school and can study and retain knowledge and skills. but i forget the vast majority of conversations i've had with people after a couple weeks, and my fiance is constantly telling me things i said where i have no memory of saying it.
Wow, really? I'd love to hear more about how that works.
I can't quite describe how it works, but I still get something out of a visual description. If the author mentions a small red leather book and then later a large wooden book with a blue ribbon across it I get a different "sense" for lack of a better word. I have seen both things and know what they look like even if I can't form a visual picture in my mind while reading it. To be more precise I haven't actually seen a wooden book with a blue ribbon across it, but I have seen both of those items individually and know how it would look if they were combined. But I don't actually have a picture of it in my mind.
Do you think that there are some advantages to being this way? For example, being able to live more "in the moment"?
On the note of advantages, I know I have something weird going on with the back right of my brain specifically (focal slowing on EEG among other things), which I am pretty certain connects to my favoring of verbal over visual thinking. So I guess it depends on the cause of a case of aphantasia, but to me it feels a little like how blind people end up with heightened hearing. I think I've really developed strong verbal skills because of it, and there are definitely advantages to having strong verbal skills.
I recall a professor showing us a study once where students performed better on an exam when they were allowed/encouraged to talk out loud to themselves while they were taking it. He was encouraging us to talk through stuff with ourselves, but at first I found the result weird because I assumed everybody was always talking to themselves in their head. That was the first time it really dawned on me there may be large individual differences in how we experience thoughts.
I'm also very verbal, as that is the form most of my thinking takes. I do have some very limited visual imagination, but it takes the form of very vague and transparent 'flash' visions, and otherwise it's mostly a kind of spatial sense (I have pretty good spatial orientation, and it often surprises me how some people with vivid visual imaginations can be very easily spatially disoriented).
My inner monologue is running most of the time, and I tend to think in complete sentences, even stopping to rephrase when it doesn't make sense. But it's soundless, as in not being perceived as a sound. I'm a musician and songwriter, so I often sing and make melodies in my head, but these too aren't perceived as sound in any way resembling what I hear with my ears. Hearing your own voice all the time also sounds like an invasive and disturbing experience to me, but I guess everyone is used to their inner world. It seems aphantasia can be uni- or multimodal. I also can't imagine smells or tastes, beyond having a vague idea of whether a combination of flavours will be good. I have heard others describe tasting chocolate in their mouth when imagining it, and that's just not something I've experienced.
So yes, I'm also fascinated by the huge range of inner experiences people have, and how it affects their personality and relationship with the world
It describes the concept of 'self-concept' and a, I guess, pseudo-treatment for addressing deep-set neurosis/anxiety caused by having one that is a little malformed. This post led (in a sort of roundabout way, hitting at a good time in my life and while I was already thinking in the direction of fixing this problem) to a sort of self-therapy where I snapped out of an unhealthy mental state I had been in for something like a decade. Probably good therapy could have had the same effect but I've always had trouble with that, and the ideas here led to a non-unsuccessful self-therapy. My issue was not at all related to the one he describes in the post, but the approach seemed to work anyway.
When I have anxiety and unhappy moments in my life, I feel stuck. My natural inclination in these moments is to run. To get away, to be somewhere new, do something new, just get the eff away from wherever I am. I frequently felt that traveling and being a digital nomad would cure this problem and I would never feel that way, but the article above outlines why that isn't the case. Our problems follow us everywhere, and just because I'm eating sushi in tokyo in some cool hole in the wall doesn't mean I won't dread and have anxiety.
I am very grateful for the traveling I've done, which is a fair bit more than a lot of Americans. But in addition to that blog post it has helped me realize it isn't the cure to anything.
The article is sort of dumb and probably doesn't resonate with everyone. But it helped me
And personally giving up my friends and living in a new environment forced me to adapt and become more social and less anxious. It had a huge positive effect on my confidence. I made friends different to the types of friends I had before. I did things I had never done before.
So yeah, if you end up reverting your 'baseline' then it won't help, and I can definitely understand that - I'll never be an extrovert, I'll always value having a few good friends and spending a lot of time alone - but that doesn't mean it can't be profoundly helpful for getting you out of a rut.
Now Then by Adam Curtis for really reinforcing my suspicion that algorithms that feed me more of what I like prevent me from ever experiencing things I havent before. Tasting new flavors means ordering what I am least, not most, familiar with.
And although I Can Tolerate Anything Except the Outgroup by Scott Alexander gets very lost and fails imho to come to a useful conclusion, I do muse both on its modern forgiveness-v-tolerance definition schism and more generally from the dark matter parts that an almost Time Machine Eloi/Morlock divide has happened to language, where everyone in America THINKS they are speaking the same language. But really, there are red and blue Englishes that are prominent, using the same words but that mean very different things. EG: Blue defines racism as something that cant happen to a majority. Red doesnt. They dont really acknowledge that the other is using the word to describe something different, they just call each other the word used from their own understanding, and then call the other side stupid. Through whistles, code switching, and signaling, phrases are now so detached from their meaning, that not speaking the language is almost assuredly an inability to interact with parts of the tribe, in any capacity more than the most superficial. In groups can have conversations where it sounds like they are saying one thing, but under the surface is a completely different conversation. Just imagine what the phrase "covid isnt real" (or "black lives matter [too/more]") means to you. If you read it ultra literally, you probably arent quite understanding what the speaker means.
Hes not someone ive read a lot of so there may be more better of which im unaware.
If you can accomplish that then you'll be a much happier person.
This was my favourite one on avoiding mediocrity. It crosses my mind at least weekly over a decade later!
The next level is getting into the mind of Kathy Sierra. The idea that helping people become passionate -- or badass, as she later rewords -- is an end in itself. This isn't just about tech.
Read it a decade later than I should have, though
This logic of alpha/beta/omega always seemed incomplete to me.
The Gervais principle seems to capture reality better, the losers are the ones that form groups where people can be categorized as alpha/beta/omega etc. and the clueless and sociopaths act completely outside of such groups. For the worse (clueless) or the better (sociopaths) of themselves.
Funny enough, lately alpha/beta/omega logic includes a "sigma", which is the ham-fisted try to add sociopaths to their flawed system.
I read it early in my career.
It was a simple way to assess team quality.
It's relevant today (there are parts that are out of date, but most of it is still on the mark).
It showed me the power of long form writing to share ideas around software.
I spent a lot of time thinking about ideas that were good or smart or made me feel smart. Could easily have been a lifelong chase with no real gains. Focusing on execution hasn't made me a millionaire overnight but it has helped me think about concrete things that are undeniably moving in the right direction instead of hoping to strike a "genius idea jackpot" that changes everything in an instant.
* A THRIVE/SURVIVE THEORY OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM  - Still the best theory on the conservative/liberal divide. It changed how I view the conservative viewpoint and helped me understand it better.
* MEDITATIONS ON MOLOCH  - One of the most famous blog posts on the internet (certainly in HN circles at least). Part fantasy, part philosophy, part game-theory - all of it brilliant. It changed how I approach my life goals and what I need to optimize for in life.
A blog post so famous that it has it's own podcast!
This one had some impact on me because it revived the importance of taking ownership not only on my personal data, but the infrastructure which generates it, processes and stores it; and that the same infrastructure should be well thought of by me through a tinkering process which adds value to itself and to data the more I invest time on it.
I felt very motivated to rethink my workflows, my opsec and the way I store any data, not only new data I create, but general content that find around the Internet and that I think could be of any use in the future.
An honorable mention would be this one: https://staltz.com/the-web-began-dying-in-2014-heres-how.htm... which helped me look at how the web has been evolving from a different angle and, of course, triggered me to change some of my behaviors regarding privacy and the use of big tech derived products.
I almost doubled my compensation in large part thanks to it for one of my positions. I increased:
+ Base salary by $75k
+ Signing bonus by $35k (from $0)
+ Stock options by $100k total (standard four year vesting, so $25k per year)
If you're a knowledge worker in a sought-after field, particularly in the current environment of crazy salary explosion, you should absolutely read that blog post!
"The soul travels at the speed of a camel"
A blog about meaning of life and its purpose using clips from popular shows and movies. I have re-read this piece several times and I come out with something new at the end of each read.
Given the circumstances of the Snowden revelations, I was struggling to articulate how I felt about privacy, the chilling effects of surveillance, and making sense of it all in terms of who I am, where I come from, and how I make my livelihood. That farewell post, along with introducing me to the writings of Janna Malamud Smith (Private Matters: In Defense of the Personal Life), helped shape and define my perspective on privacy.
It was a blog post about how one man's perspective on fatherhood changed after he became a father, and he realized he regretted waiting so long, because all it really ended up doing was robbing him of being able to spend more time with his children.
Before reading it, I was ambivalent about whether I wanted children. After reading it, I wasn't.