When you don’t have your youth, what do you have?
“As it is not one swallow or a fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.” — Aristotle
Historian Will Durant paraphrased:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
This is an idea I reflect on daily.
I think about how hard it is to create or produce excellent thoughts and behaviors in the beginning of any endeavor.
It’s easy to take shortcuts. It’s easy to find a quick fix or hack. It’s natural to want instant gratification.
Sometimes it feels like an uphill battle insisting on doing things the right way.
Creating systems and standards, working and reworking to ensure nothing is missed, that everything is considered, and that all that is necessary for influencing an outcome is given proper attention.
It is trudging. Progress is slow and painstaking.
One day, however, after months or years, or perhaps decades, these habits and systems of mindful action become automated.
They take on a life of their own, and it’s as if there is a magic or genius behind them.
In the current moment, after this period of struggle has matured into mastery, you meet your challenges with a magical fluency that seems effortless to onlookers.
And suddenly success seems to gravitate and find its way to you.
The reality is there was a guiding vision, an ideal, a devotion to a standard or principle that forced the tedious work of laying the unflattering foundation brick by brick which now supports the marvelous works that seem so effortless to others.
I think of these tedious efforts as investments. I am investing in my future state of being, by organizing my mind and actions in a way that allows me to filter, categorize, process, decide, and act with accuracy and speed.
How will I know my investment will yield returns?
Because action is the greatest teacher.
Act, observe, reflect, assess, adjust, repeat.
Err on the side of action.
Apologize for action, never inaction.
I believe that this intentional way of acting to tediously improve outcomes will make you a better human, and that may not immediately translate for your current endeavor, but it will translate into better outcomes for future endeavors.
This devotion to excellence prepares you for every successive moment, which in turn forms the character of a blessed and happy life.
And you never know what moment will be ripe for the taking and yours to seize.
I’m exhausted. Christina went back to work this week, and I’ve been attending to the baby at night. This is coupled with an unexplained insomnia that prevents me from falling asleep, wakes me at 1:30am for hours, or gets me up as early as 4am.
I love my job, though I have no figured out how to be the best. I feel that I am on my way, but I do not know when I will arrive.
I must journal and read more. I have been taking notes in Workflowy. It’s been helping me organize tasks and thoughts.
What are my goals? Life goals. Career goals. What do I want from life? I should dream more. I have been thinking of getting my MBA recently. I’d want to score perfectly, so I’d have to study intensely. Beginning is the hardest part of any task. I should put together a plan.
I can’t sleep. It’s 12:22am. I intend to go into the office tomorrow before 9am, which I do once a week to get out of the house.
I spoke to my neighbor KP for an hour this evening. Too much to write here at this hour.
My 11 week old son is beautiful. He is so precious. He is my greatest joy, along with Christina. Gardening and yard work is likely second. I wish writing were I higher priority.
My next laptop will be the compact 14” MacBook Pro. I was going to purchase last September, but with the move and baby, I decided to hold out for another year. The goal with a new laptop is something that I can write with more readily. I could probably just buy a MacBook Air, but I have like 80,000 photos, and I’d like more processing power to organize them.
I will go to Puerto Rico January 2023 with Jamie and his brother Nick and another family. $3,700 for 10 days on a mansion on the beach, with surf break and pool.
My mother is visiting next Tuesday, and my cousin G is visiting on Friday for a week. My mother last visited in February after the baby was born, and my cousin hasn’t visited me since sophomore year of college. He completed his phd recently and landed a private R&D job and bought a condo and recently broke up with his gf so he’s go some money to invest in himself.
Work is okay. I enjoy it, but I haven’t figured out how to be the best yet. This is a struggle. I doubt myself. It’s terrible. I feel like an imposter. The upside is this generates strong energy to conquer and overcome. I need time. What is the formula? I must become better than I am, at whatever cost.
“It is not that we have a short time to live but that we waste a lot of it. We are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short. Life is long if you know how to use it.”Seneca
There is not a single day that I don’t think about writing. Each and every day, I contemplate the pleasure of writing my thoughts down, telling the paper how I live, who I live with, how I get on, the mundane trivia that occupies my daily existence. This catharsis eludes be because of fear, mostly. Fear that I cannot speak openly or honestly about what I truly think, and what I feel. Thoughts and feelings are not commitments. I am not committed to any passing thought, no matter how recurring. There is always the possibility that once a thought or feeling is put down, it will rest forever, never again to be recalled or relived. This is why I write, so that I may set down things once and for all, and turn a page, and change, and if I cannot lay my thoughts down to rest the first time, than after many tries. This is how to live.
I have a 10 week old. I have a domestic partner. We are getting on. I work from home, I garden (though farming more closely resembles the scale I’ve achieved), I drink beer, I think about writing, I buy things on Amazon, necessary things, of course. Things that supplement or aid my efforts to create a more comfortable or resonant lifestyle for myself.
Happiness is not important.
What is important for me is meaning. As I become more detached and desensitized to the mundane grind, I will arrive at a point where my life reveals itself as meaningless, and I will gather up my life force and concentrate it towards the achievement of some monumental goal to stake my meaning in once again. I can never predict when those moments will arrive.
I’m not sure to what level you are paying attention to this conflict, but I must say this is the most significant global conflict since WW2.
Of course I hope I’m wrong, but I’m convinced that history is being written, and what we are witnessing is the beginning of WWIII.
I do not see Putin backing down, at all. He’s ratcheting up ruthlessness every day, and his resolve is growing stronger. Sanctions only seem to enflame him.
Nor do I see Ukraine surrendering at any point, now and in the future.
There are only two outcomes that I see:
- NATO/western world becomes militarily involved. Putin escalates with nuclear weapons. Western world retaliates. Nuclear war as we’ve never seen. Putin loses, world loses.
- NATO/Western world abstains militarily, continues imposing sanctions. Ukraine will be razed by Russian forces, completely destroyed, and occupied by Russia. If they are occupied, they will genocide all Ukrainian nationalism resistance. Russian economy is temporarily destroyed in the process, but Putin rebuilds and effectively expands his empire. This bolsters Putin’s confidence and propels propaganda machine, invigorating the populous, and continues the precedent of annexing additional Soviet/bordering countries, which will inevitably lead to more invasions. Eventually a line will be crossed, and we will be forced to engage with a bigger more powerful and hardened Russian military force. Inevitably, Nuclear war will ensue.
A slim third outcome is that Russian people, through the internet and social media, are able to penetrate through the propaganda, unify against Putin, and depose/assassinate him. I don’t think this is likely to happen, however.
I ask myself if or when a turning point will occur, if and when I will wake up and have another revelation that will shake my soul, the kind of revelation that unhinges any sense of comfort and ignites a reckless drive to conquer whatever fear I’ve been hiding behind, masked as a placating security and satisfaction.
When will I wake up again?
How long will I be asleep?
When will it be enough?
Will it go on and on, like a wheel that undulates, that turns over and over, but never rolls to a standstill?
Will I attach to these fictions forever, as a means of getting by, because weakness has wormed its way into my bones and made me fragile?
The only way I make myself hard again is if I break. But at what expense? If others are an extension of me, who must I sacrifice to kill the ego that chains me to myself? How much of myself must I remove to really reinvent a sense of purpose? What is necessary?
I wonder if this will prolong for the rest of my life, this shallow steady state that gets me by, that barely hurts, except by the ache of mediocrity, the dull ache when I compare myself to the masses and convince myself that good is great.
How can I kill this part of me so that I can guarantee rebirth?
So much has happened, and yet I’ve documented so little.
On May 28th I conceived my firstborn on LSD with my girlfriend. We were struggling to align on our future. I wish I wrote about this conversation and period as it was unfolding, because it was very difficult. Aligning was very difficult. We struggled to meet in the middle, and though I was being my best version, I still struggled to provide the vulnerability that she needed to feel secure enough to fully commit, and cease tendencies to hedge and rationalize damaging behaviors to a devoted path. Somehow, this conversation allowed us to emotionally converge, and the result of this emotional openness resulted in a physical openness which lead to conception.
On June 28th I began a new position as Vice President for a publicly traded global management consulting company.
On July 1st I took her father out to dinner and asked for his blessing to marry his daughter, and expressed my best intentions for her.
On August 23rd I discovered I was having a son.
On September 30th I viewed the first full anatomical ultrasound.
On October 3rd I proposed during my birthday getaway weekend to Sea Ranch/Gualala. After I proposed at Pebble Beach in Sea Ranch, I took her to an Airbnb in Gualala where I blindfolded her and surprised her with an engagement party with about 35 of our friends and family that flew in from all over the country, then drove 3.5 hours to our cabin. I felt blessed, and unworthy of such love. I only wish more of my loved ones could attend.
People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. —Emerson
“As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still… Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.” – Carl Jung
I love thick forests, tall trees, rolling fog, the sound of dew drops falling through the canopy, craggy coastlines, the rhythmic echo of crashing waves, carpets of creeping moss and timid ferns sprouting through dark soil, punctuated by beaming blossoms of wildflowers sprinkled about the forest floor
I’m laying in bed, restless. I think about writing everyday, but I fail to take time out of my day to aspirate my soul and pen proof of the fleeting experiences defining existence I wish to capture here.
There is so much I need to write about. In a way, this space has been violated. I don’t feel safe anymore, so I scratch in my journal.
Daily observations take place less frequently when you fail to write.
There are life changing events unfolding as we speak. I feel numb as usual. And empty.
I work to distract myself from my melancholy. I wear my smile. I yearn and reach for the makeshift dream that gets me up on the morning, barely. The crushing weight of responsibility and duty is only exceeded by my carelessness toward life itself. I will stumble toward the finish line, and half a stumble later I find myself sprinting in a half sleep. This is how to characterize my life.
I am not afraid.
There is no punishment worse than self punishment.
I should eject these anxious feelings. Write opening and honestly. I am not afraid. This is what I will repeat to myself as I curl up and close my eyes and dream the world away.
Except, that now, I have someone else waiting for me.
I don’t know how this will turn out, but I am not afraid. I walk on. Through. Toward.
Wake up, I tell myself. Sleep, I tell myself.
There is no depth here, and my heart aches.
I was committed here March to June 2004. It was the most insane experience I’ve ever lived through. I was majorly depressed and highly suicidal and self mutilated, but my issues paled compared to my peers there. I was in AP Calculus classes and they barely had basics on Algebra. Everyone lived together regardless the severity of their mental illness. I remember thinking this is the place kids go when society abuses and discards you, and doesn’t know else to do with you. The dregs of society. So much abuse. So many sad hurting children. Also a good portion of intercity kids with severe ODD and violence issues. I was heavily medicated, and the medication rotated in what seemed like biweekly. Must have been on a half dozen or more medications at any given time for depression or anxiety or ADHD or bipolar or borderline or whatever else they diagnosed me with. I felt so sorry for my peers. The kids were mostly innocent and sweet, just severely traumatized and abused. Even as a teen hearing their stories in group therapy completely broke my heart. I remember the staff was okay. The more educated, the better they treated us. But they all ultimately treated everyone with suspicion, as if they were defective humans, and so there was no escaping their diagnoses. Many children tried killing themselves. Lots of fighting. Lots of self mutilation. The food was abhorrent. Worse than prison. It was a very dilapidated campus. Snack time was one of the few joys. And spotting deer on the lawn from our housing windows. Boys and girls were separated, but joined for meals in the cafeteria. Most of these memories are repressed. They are hidden deep within me. I remember the moans and screams at night. I remember the smells. I remember waking to the nurse taking my vitals every morning, before slipping back to sleep. I remember the horrific stories of abuse by the kids there. I remember standing in long medication lines morning, noon and night, and occasionally discovering new pills in the Dixie cup. I remember getting privileges to call my parents with the staff phone, and listening to my mother sobbing, promising me she’ll get me out. I remember feeling numb, but also feeling resolute about doing whatever it took to radically change my life so that I’d never end up somewhere like here again.
Have we all figured out life yet?
Or are we slowly just accepting that we never will
Im in my mid 30’s this year
That’s a crazy thought.
I’m very busy. My girlfriend keeps me busy. I think this is a good thing for my mental health.
She’s very active. We do a lot, all the time. She’s got her routines and activities. It keeps life full.
Apart of me loves it. Cause I don’t have time to overthink
Another part of me doesn’t, because I don’t have time to overthink
Whenever I’m in a relationship a good portion of my “free thought” is consumed by the relationship. I can’t just do what I want. I must consider their feelings and time, all the time. So it’s like this mental routine that takes up memory. I can’t just… go or do whatever. I must consider the other
At this point in my life I feel like my intellectual curiosities are getting more narrow, and more work specific. It could be a temporary season. Like, the puzzles I’m most interested in solving and political/career/influence/strategy puzzles
Relationships definitely anchor you
I think I’m okay with this.
I go back and forth.
If I’m gonna have a family, this is best.
Living in the Bay Area, particularly silicone valley, it’s hard not to be consumed with figuring out how to survive/thrive/generate wealth
There are two main reasons I’m in a relationship
- Good sex
- A companion to do fun activities with
I don’t know why anyone would enter a relationship for other reasons
I enjoy living in this castle. But it’s not forever. I realize to buy a home in this area that I will actually enjoy, I will need a substantial amount of money.
This is stressful, but also motivating
$1.5-2M home with 10-20% Is $150-400k down payment
I feel like the things that satisfy me most in life of puzzles, little challenges
Learn something. Accomplish something. Figure something out.
Just distractions really. But some of these distractions serve as investments in your future
Healthy, wealth, relationships etc
Everything is pretty much a distractions from the realization that we will die one day
But the puzzles are satisfying
Dream up visions and pursue them
I enjoy visions.
Manifesting new realities
This is most satisfying
Not even the part where they become manifest
It’s just the anticipation
Laying in bed and dreaming of what could be is one of the more satisfying things in life
It inspires this boundless creative energy from within
It’s quite amazing what a vision can do for a life
It’s so critical to feeling fulfilled. It’s the framework of purpose.
Not sure you can have purpose without a vision.
Can you feel fulfilled without purpose?
Sometimes I wish I had more time to think.
I enjoy being so active because it genuinely helps assuage my mental anxiety
My endless ruminating thoughts
That often sabotage progress and stability
But these rumination also provide this depth to life that I cherish, and is fulfilling in its own way.
I think in order to be creative, you must learn to be still for long periods of time. You must allow your mind to play within itself, not with stimulations outside yourself.
This is why solitude and daily “meditation” is so important.
I think being creative is necessary to a fulfilling life.
Not necessarily artistically. But the ability to be proactive, rather than reactive.
Creativity is proactive
Mindless/unconscious living is reactive
I think to become master of your life, ample solitude is required
It creates space and time to separate from possessive thoughts, so you’re not a hostage to them.
This space and time allows you to manipulate and play with thoughts and feelings. It creates distance between thought and action. So we can modify thought in order to produce more desirable action and therefore outcomes
But sometimes it’s nice to just… move.
Especially when you’re on a trajectory that requires patience.
Overthinking a task is not necessary helpful to accomplishing the task
Sometimes just doing is all that’s needed, and repeatedly doing for me extended period. And the fruit of that effort is only realized after simple repeated action.
We can sabotage by interrupting the simple process
Cruise control is nice.
So long as we take time to reevaluate our efforts/purpose/aim
Learning takes time.
Learning also requires a purpose
It’s difficult to learn without a context, or point
It’s just data
Learning is effortless if there’s a good reason to learn it
The ability to teach yourself is largely governed by your ability to give yourself good compelling reasons to know something
The mind is quite good at absorbing information it thinks it absolutely needs to know
I’ve been active and working out quite a bit. It feels good.
I built a gym in the castle basement
Now all the dudes that live here are pounding iron
Many for the first time in their life
It makes me happy
Lifting is good for a man’s soul
It’s nice putting effort in and seeing tangible results, be it in strength, leanness, stamina, wellbeing etc
I have 21 windows in my room, and my room doesn’t have any AC, so I’m not looking forward to hotter summer days. It’ll be like a solar oven in there.
I have a 3hp fan that I run to circulate air
I start my new job on June 28th
I’ll have an office in Silicon Valley. Going to office is optional, but I will go everyday, for at least the first 3-6 months
Absorb and assimilate culture, make connections and forges alliances
It’s about 25min away, so not bad at all
I love reading.
One of my biggest motivations for accumulating wealth is so that I can have more freedom to read.
I don’t read as much as I should, but if I had more time I could explore more subjects. More hobbies. Ask more questions.
It’s not helpful filling your mind with endless questions that you don’t have time to research and answer. Just leaves you with anxiety.
It would be lovely to have a house with quite sizable study/library, which large windows that peer out to a garden or trees and vegetation. Perhaps a walking path right outside.
I’d enjoy this room.
Just a fireplace, many leather couches, and reading chairs. Many many books. A large desk. A table or two. This sounds like a nice dream, a nice respite to study and dream and just play.
I enjoyed backpacking
I want to do more backpacking
I like being in the elements
Miles and miles from civilization, with all your survival gear strapped to your back, and your only mode of transportation is your limbs
It connects you to the world
It makes you realize the body is a hearty sonofabitch
You can really pack it down and it can just go and go
I think about the Roman legionaries that could easily march 15 miles a day fully loaded with pack and equipment
Over the alps
When they arrive at their destination after a day of marching they would commence setting up camp and build a fort, creating a perimeter, felling trees, digging holes, etc etc
And do it all over again the next day
Sun, wind, rain, snow
The body is a machine.
Humans are hearty.
Makes me want to backpack more.
With my convenient jetboil camping stove
I should try backpacking with flint and steel and a frying pan and cheese and cured meats and some dried biscuits and grains
Replicate the hardship and leave the niceties
Backpacking is great fir the soul
My body felt like it was an ox after that trip. The whole body aches under the weight of a 40+lb pack
The whole body becomes stronger
I’m laying in bed listening to max richter’s November.
I am numb and empty inside. My inner world is blank. Uninteresting. Empty.
Life appears to be a hollow slow death. You begin to die the moment you gain awareness.
I feel nothing and resent everything.
It’s all an empty charade.
I desperately want to die.
I long for to sleep forever.
I was recently asked me why I read so many of the same kinds of books.
I explained that there is nothing new under the sun, but an unlimited number of ways to describe what’s under the sun.
I explained that I believe there are universal truths and fundamentals, but an almost unlimited number of ways to describe these truths and fundamentals, and the ability to communicate and articulate these ideas effectively depends on my audience and the vocabulary familiar to them.
Each book I read may be on a similar topic, but has its own description and vocabulary and perspective. It may be talking about the same thing, but in a different way.
So every book I consume gives me another way to understand that subject and communicate it.
If I read a thousand books on a subject, I now have a thousand different ways of communicating the idea.
This is critical for influence and persuasion.
The more effective communicator, the more influential you will be.
Aligning language with your audience is critical for establishing trust, rapport, credibility, etc.
The more language at your disposal, the greater likelihood your ideas will be received and understood, and the more leverage you then have to shape a narrative, influence an outcome, and persuade.
The more I study and read and accumulate experience, the more I understand Platonism
Forms undergird all phenomena.
And all experience reveals something about that form.
The more experience, the more that form is revealed, the outlines and relationships
Reading is allows us to take someone else’s experience to shed light on a form
Doing is the best teacher. A wise teacher/coach/mentor highly accelerates understanding when combined with doing.
Reading is a supplement when the teacher/coach is absent.
He who cannot obey himself will be commanded. That is the nature of living creatures.– Friedrich Nietzsche
If you do not master your self, someone or something else will.
Rule your mind or it will rule you.– Horace
If we don’t discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us.– William Feather
How do I communicate my soul
I am your perception
But still I wake
And the masquerade
I thumb pages
I try to dream again
Splashing against the pane
The pillow takes me in
The waves crash
Briny foam skipping
Blowing across the sand
Shining like diamonds
Stretched across the horizon
I long to sleep forever
New York strip is the perfect combination of Tender, fatty, yet lean. And the grain of meat fiber is consistent throughout, so if you carve up a steak properly, it cooks very evenly, ensuring each bite is perfectly moist and tender and caramelized.
Begin with a 1.5” steak at room temperature. Preheat the cast iron on low to medium low, add a slice of butter, season accordingly with coarse salt and cracked pepper, then cook for 5 min on each face.
Don’t touch it while it’s cooking. Just let it fry in that butter.
Time it and flip it like clockwork.
After each face is cooked for 5 min and properly caramelized, you can do the sides for 15-30sec.
Then let rest for another 5 min before eating.
It’s critical you begin with a steak at least 1” and at most 2” thick.
Under 1” and you risk overcooking the inside and undercooking the caramelized outside.
2” and you risk undercooking the inside and overcooking the caramelized outside.
I received a prophecy last night.
I woke in a barren desert, surrounded by a sea of sand.
My lips were dry and my mouth was parched.
The sun levitated above at high noon.
I began to climb through the sand and up a rising dune.
At the top of the dune a cool wind whipped my face and I squinted into the distance to inspect the skyline.
On the eastern horizon I could make out an assemblage of tall pine that amassed into a thick forest. There I will find shade and respite.
I descended the dune and trudged through the sands heavy grip and made my way into the wood.
I hacked through the pine until I came to another sand clearing that sunk toward a center.
I collapsed at its edge.
And began to dream.
The ground began to rumble and shake, but I lay still, too parched and weak to move.
Branches broke and rocks fell all around me. But all the while my eyes fixated on the center of this sandy clearing as it rose from the earth higher and higher, as if a stone mass was growing from the earth
I closed my eyes to guard them from the whirling wind and sand.
Then there was stillness, followed by a large aching roar that bellowed and echoed all around and an intense heat that singed the pine needles all around me.
I lifted my head and opened my eyes and shifted my gaze up this cracked column of stone, until I was face to face with a large penetrating eye attached to the face of a hulking dragon
My body trembled and my mouth hung open as I struggled form a reaction.
Where this dragon once laid, sunken beneath the sand, was now a deep pit that encircled his cracked and plated body
A series of faint trickles began to form followed by the sound of rushing water, and my eyes watched as the most brilliant waters began to rise and froth from the earth, filling the pit where he once laid with the brightest blue, more brilliant than lapis lazuli.
I yearned to quench my thirst
The dragon looked at me with an inquiring eye as I crawled towards this simmering pool
As I was about to reach the edge the dragon brought his mouth to the water and proceeded to drink, and soon emptied the entire contents of the liquid pool.
The dragon then coiled his body, extended his wings, and leapt into the air.
I lay prostrate in disbelief and grief as I contemplated terms of my impending demise.
I then rolled and collapsed on my back. Above the barren landscape, soaring above the pine, I could see the outline of the dragon making his way higher and higher, when suddenly, a large gaseous fireball enveloped his outline and continued to rapidly expand outward as a massive growing cloud of steam. This was followed by the roar of a shock wave, and soon the thick cloud blotted the suns rays, and the sky began to dim.
For the first time a cool breeze passed over my chapped exhausted body.
I closed my eyes and began to lose my grip on awareness, and slowly I slid off the edge of consciousness, towards the dark afterlife that was beckoning me from below.
And then I felt it.
I clawed myself back to awareness and touched my face.
I brought it to my lips.
Nothing tasted so sweet, nothing quenched so deeply.
My eyes opened and soon a deluge of this sweet nectar began to pour from the sky, saturating the barren landscape, pooling all around.
I plunged my face into the accumulating pools and streams and drank and drank.
It was not rainwater.
It was from the Dragon, liquid infused with the barren pine lands, imbued with the Dragon’s magic, brewed right in the depths of his belly.
Vigor and vitality coursed through my veins, and joy erupted through my lungs as I proclaimed this newfound elixir of life: “Hail the Dragon’s Brew Pine Barren Beer!!”
Then I woke up.
My senses adjusted. My body was wrapped in blankets and nested in the comfort of a familiar bed.
I opened one eye then reached for my phone. 6:03am.
I unlock my phone to reveal Instagram.
The newsfeed auto populates, and my eyes are met with the most astonishing sight. My jaw drops and my eyes widen.
Before my very eyes I see a Dragon. Brewing beer.
The prophecy has been ordained.
The Dragon is destined for greatness.
There it’s finished
I dedicate this story to you Jeff.
All I ask is that you fulfill your destiny.
On the 25th of December a Tennessee man drove his RV to 2nd Ave downtown Nashville and parked it between an AT&T telecommunications facility and historic businesses and residential buildings.
Around 4:30am a series of loud bands stirred local residents to look out there windows, but they saw nothing and went back to bed. Around 5:30am these loud bands were heard again, this time prompting residents to call the police. When authorities arrived they were greeted with an automated message echoing from a loudspeaker located somewhere along 2nd Ave North. They cautiously approached the source and identified it coming from the RV. The message was “There is a bomb in this vehicle. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now.” Police called the bomb squad and began investigating the area.
At around 6:15am the loudspeaker began counting down. “This vehicle will explode in 15 minutes. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now” down to “This vehicle will explode in 14 minutes. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now.”
Police created a perimeter and told folks walking their dogs to keep a safe distance, while attempting to wake sleeping residents and evacuate them to safety.
In the last moments of the blast the speaker repeated “This area must be evacuated now. This area must be evacuated now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now. If you can hear this message, evacuate now.”
Soonafter a half ton explosion rocked downtown nashville, devastating twenty one buildings, and carving a hole into the AT&D Bellsouth telecommunications building, and knocking out cell service for the region.
Fortunately no one was hurt, except for the man behind the wheel who wanted to end his lonely life in a big way, while taking methodical pains to avoid causing harm to others.
As I was watching the nieces and nephews unwrap gifts, I received a text from the property manager who helps me sublet that read “Explosion downtown Nashville. Heading to the area. Will let you know if your apartment was damaged.” I was confused and stunned as I processed words, and stepped to the living room to turn on CNN, which showed a live aerial image of 2nd Ave N, with a headline that read “Nashville Christmas Explosion”, and at the focal point of these images was my very own apartment building.
However, my apartment was directly impacted by the blast. Fortuntely, I was in Florida visiting family. In addition, my loft was located on 1st avenue south, so as far as I know it wasn’t directly impacted.
It’s been more than three weeks since the explosion, and I still don’t have permission to enter my building and survey my unit for any damage. Insurance will pay me about $6k for move out fees, and up to $15k for any damages.
My hope is nothing is damaged, and I can move out, and move on.
When someone close to you dies, a piece of you dies. And it can be hard to really appreciate the magnitude of that loss.
It takes a lot of time. Usually years. The initial grieving period can be days or months. Then there is a lull, and life more or less resumes… but it never resumes the same way, though you don’t notice how.
But you go on living life, and you’ll bump up against the absence, and it will twinge and prick as a reminder of what was, and will never be again. And we involuntarily retreat from these moments and memories, turning away from those triggers, and stuff these feelings in dark corners, seemingly manageable for the time being. There is peace. Or an illusion of peace.
Months or years or decades later there is an unexplainable exhaustion that takes over. And the body and mind finally relent and a flood of emotion and memory washes over, and you realize all the unresolved pain that’s been waiting for you.
Loss is strange. The grief manifests in weird ways. Relationships. Work. Spiritual.
I have idea how to accelerate the grieving process. Just time and love I suppose. And psychedelics.
I had a crazy dream last night.
I dreamed that I was living and working in a community supporting SpaceX and Elon Musk’s various ventures. Various complexes of office and living space colored in white and red, filled with engineers and physicists and programmers devoted to the mission of Musk.
The day came where they were ready to start colonizing Mars.
But no one wanted to be the first to go.
So Elon said, “I will go” and prepared for launch in stoic style.
He suited up and everyone watched as he climbed aboard the gleaming Starship.
He was alone in the capsule, digital screens adorning surfaces of the brilliant white circular cockpit, reflecting off his spacesuit visor.
There were crowds surrounding the lunch site. Murmuring legions of energized believers in this new martian colony. The richest man on earth, the greatest visionary who had ever lived, was now taking the maiden voyage to Mars.
Excitement pulsated throughout the diverse crowds
The countdown began.
Elon, strapped to the rocket, soared toward the heavens
Until it became but a gleaming speck of sparkling light
Suddenly a catastrophic alarm sounded.
The image of Elon’s face nested in the cockpit flashed on the mega screens
In the next instant his visor was blown off from a vacuum, leaving him exposed to the void of space
The rocket began a controlled descent
Onlookers grabbed one another and started yelling uncontrollably
Running to eachother with frightened tears
Eventually the rocket began its controlled descent, intelligently maneuvering a soft landing a mere hundred feet from the launch site
Amongst the outcries I ran across the asphalt runway to the cracked pod, and quickly disengaged the locking mechanisms
I dove into the capsule and retrieved Musks icy body.
I quickly dragged his rigid body gently to a safe distance and with others proceeded to remove the sheaths of ice crystals from his body and face
There was a collective pause and everyone held their breath as they looked on intently.
An Indian man brought his head to Elon’s chest and with his fingers held Elon’s wrist to check for signs of life
I cradled his body.
The Indian man looked at me with a thousand mile stare
I gently laid the body down and backed away, inching away from the disbelieving crowd
I turned to the on lookers who were studying my face for signs of hope
I cast my eyes down and began to walk away through the crowd
wails began to emanate until the chorus of cries filled the air
Hysteria soon followed
Our greatest mind has perished! What will humanity do now! Where will we go? How will we go on?
It was the most tragic event the world had seen
The world was at a standstill of mourning
Governments ceased to function
Businesses stopped operations
The collective humanity reached for one another in comfort
I lost him too, was the sentiment
Elon Musk is dead
I cried, and cried.
Let’s celebrate people who don’t celebrate themselves.
I’m tired of amplifying self promoting personalities.
Phase 1: show up
Phase 2: master form & complete the workout
Phase 3: eat the right food
Phase 4: use training principles
Phase 5: meal plan/nutrient timing
Phase 6: periodization
This is the weight lifting formula for success.
The things that we love reveal what we are.
All my desires, all my vices, all my dreams and fantasizes— they are projections of me, reflections of the crystalline character embodying my soul.
I doubt Trump will win
I think he has far less support than he did the first election
I don’t think there has been as many trump converts as there have been defectors.
He lost by 3 million in 2016.
He’s losing key battle ground states
He’s the least favorable polling president in history, since Nixon
However! … His propaganda machine is massive
Fox News is the single biggest free propaganda outlet for him, and it has massive viewership amongst his monolithic base
He spends far more on propaganda/promotion/advertising than any other politician in history
His social media spending is outrageously expensive
So there is a very skewed perspective on his viability
It’s mostly smoke and mirrors, which is what he excels at
At this point everyone acknowledges he’s an idiot, and very few people in his base admit he’s a very stable genius
It’s obvious he’s an idiot
At this point people just don’t care, because they don’t think it’s a threat
Or they actually believe that there are bigger threats than his idiocy.
But many realize the biggest threat is not the “left” or “Antifa”, but his complete incompetence
He is a master showman, and he maintains a perfectly consistent tough guy persona
Which to the layman is a very attractive persona.
His other loyalists merely see him as a means to an end. They can muscle their policies through with him in office, since he’s mostly inept of any innate conviction or vision or principles, other than self glorification
So there is a cabal of special interests groups that manipulate Trump through flattery to push their agendas
So the only way he’ll will is if he delegitimizes the election results.
He’s already crying mail fraud, and he’s installed a post master general in July of this year who, incredibly enough, has managed to disrupt 245 years of reliable USPS delivery
I means it’s predictable what will happen.
He’ll lose, and then he will cry fraud
He’ll issue executive orders. He’ll demand a revote. He’ll say the system was rigged. He’ll say the fee state is out to get him. He’ll make some outlandish excuse about why he lost
Then it’s a matter of what happens next
Trump’s been handed everything, and he’s never had to confront public defeat.
He’s inherited enough money to allow him to skirt responsibility, or any other reality.
Leverage the legal system to pay off people. Litigate. Sue. Find loopholes. Etc.
His propaganda machine is setting the stage in his bases mind that the only way he’ll lose is if other’s cheat
Which is a clear projection of his entire life story
I imagine when he loses, he’ll cry fraud, because he has created an appearance of fraud… but no idea what happens next.
In the authoritarian playbook, there are a few options:
- He demands a revote- which won’t happen.
- He acts as if there is fraudulent “deep state” coup and establishes his own coup— and issues executive orders to mobilize CBP or DHS or ICE or one of those fringe paramilitary police forces he’s been strategically currying favor with.
- His radicalized loyalist base mobilizes at his order to “take back America” and they storm local and state governments and federal governments.
Because the reality is, according to the Mueller report, even though there is plenty of fraudulent law breaking to put Trump in jail, so long as he is president, he can’t be persecuted
But as soon as he is no longer president, he will be persecuted for a long long long list of criminal offenses
Just like all 30+ of his various cabinet members and campaign team and staff have been persecuted, convicted, or jailed… and he knows this.
Basically everyone around him breaks the law.
He uses money which provides him legal expertise to exploit loopholes or simply outspend to settle to avoid any responsibility or consequence.
But as a public official his deeds are under public scrutiny and accountability, and now most have come into focus. He cannot escape them except through remaining president
So if he loses he’ll be persecuted and a jailed
Like all of his associates
So there is no way he legitimately except by creating the perception that he lost by fraud.
Which provides him the justification to invoke executive powers and orders beyond the scope of a president, and consolidate power into authoritarian control
But this probably won’t happen
History can only repeat itself so many times
This time will be different
Rents in San Francisco have declined 20% year over year.
People are moving due to:
•And cost of living
•And lay offs
With remote work and lay offs, people are relocating to lower cost areas, or moving back in with parents
Remote work is really changing the landscape.
Most jobs will transition to permanent remote positions.
Companies eliminate office overhead, reduce expenses, and increase profit.
Not sure it’s the best idea long term, but we’ll see.
It’s an experiment.
Soon, I think it’ll become highly desirable to work at an office.
I think isolation and loneliness with only get worse with this remote work paradigm.
Physical community and the culture it produces has already been declining over the years
Office work was one of the few physical spaces left for community.
I also think it’ll become increasingly dangerous for democracy.
The digital platforms we rely on act as echo chambers.
The media and messages being promoted on these platform amplify narrow propaganda agendas.
I think the public will be forced to increasingly rely on digital media and outlets for their news, rather than their eyes and ears and open discussion with people in person.
And perspectives will become more and more monolithic, and less and less diverse, which is bad for democracy.
People will increasingly not trust each other, not trust their eyes and ears, not think for themselves.
They will increasingly rely on propaganda platforms for “truth”, for their interpretation of events, people, the world.
Of course this has been happening for a long while, but the massive shift to remote work is only accelerating the trend.
I will hold your secrets for you,
and bury them somewhere quiet
so they will sprout and blossom,
and then you can breath in their sweet aroma,
and eat their nourishing fruit,
and enjoy the unbearable lightness of being.