1. How do you manage your own net use?

    I’ve become very strategic about my use of technology as life is short and I want to use it wisely. I have bought myself a type of laptop from which it was very easy to remove the Wi-Fi card – so when I go to a coffee shop or the library I have no way to get online. However, at home I have cable connection. So I bought a safe with a timed combination lock. It is basically the most useful artefact in my life. I lock my phone and my router cable in my safe so I’m completely free from any interruption and I can spend the entire day, weekend or week reading and writing.

    Does the timer have a workaround?

    To circumvent my safe I have to open a panel with a screwdriver, so I have to hide all my screwdrivers in the safe as well. So I would have to leave home to buy a screwdriver – the time and cost of doing this is what stops me. It’s not that I can’t say “no” to myself. I just waste too much energy having the internal conversation. I’d rather delegate the control to my safe and use my remaining willpower to get something done. I find it a very effective system.

    1. Introspection. Finding yourself.
    2. Exploration. Finding everything else.
    3. Goal-making. Based on values found during introspection.
    4. Strategy-making. Hypotheses about how to achieve your goals.
    5. Experimentation. Trying things. Playing. Iterating.
    6. Finding fit. Person/universe fit.
    7. Slogging. Executing. Doing the work.

    As Buster* says, the ideal is to do all these modes of “work” in parallel.

    Sitting here on a Sunday morning and deciding what today will focus on - I suspect the slog, part of which is organizing things so my assistants can take over some of the lesser sloggish tasks.

    *Buster is behind that writing website, 750words.com, that you put me onto, Maggie. It’s shifting to a payment-site as of April 1st unfortunately (though understandably). Not sure if I will shift down to Evernote or stay with it. The analysis feature of 750words.com is fascinating…

  2. Plane Companions Worth Reading

    Long flights aren’t usually very enjoyable, but I had two in my holiday travels that were fascinating.  

    I had stumbled across a blog - The Ribbon Farm - before leaving, and the author, Venkatesh Rao, very kindly provides an easy way (via readlists.com which I”m now using) to download sets of his blog posts to epub format - see his For New Readers.  

    So I just loaded up my iBooks with his work.  Perfect.  It was like sitting down for a long-haul journey and finding your companion full of theories — totally fun, especially when the theories involve economics, technology, the future, and the sociology of entrepreneurship.  His theories ring true for me, based on the experience of DHA in Vietnam and my Boston/London days in unsuccessful start-ups.

    You might start with The Gervais Principle (which uses The Office to illustrate a pet theory of his).


    NB: He’s also a blogger for Forbes and just published an end-of-year “best of” list of his blog posts.  Do catch these articles:

    Then on another leg I chose Tim Kreider’s book of essays as my companion.  Again, wonderfully opinionated —  and often funny, even if sometimes in a cringing way (not quite The Peep Show level, but close).

    See “In Praise of Not Knowing" - which ends with this thought:

    I hope kids are still finding some way, despite Google and Wikipedia, of not knowing things. Learning how to transform mere ignorance into mystery, simple not knowing into wonder, is a useful skill. Because it turns out that the most important things in this life — why the universe is here instead of not, what happens to us when we die, how the people we love really feel about us — are things we’re never going to know.


  3. You have probably already read this blog post, Maggie….

    It’s official. Kiplinger declares anthropology is the worst college major for your career. We’re #1!

    From Florida Governor Scott’s we don’t need anthropologists to Frank Bruni singling out anthropology in the New York Times, I’m tired of playing defense. We’ve worked hard to get to #1. Anthropology is the worst college major for being a corporate tool. If going to college is only measured by the job you will take immediately after college, then please choose one of Kiplinger’s 10 best college majors for a lucrative career. Please don’t become an anthropology major!

    Anthropology is the worst college major for immediate career, but anthropology is the major most likely to change your life. And anthropology may help you change the world, although standard disclaimers about “starving artists” apply. But anthropology is also a great major to acquire lifelong learning skills–language, culture, thinking, writing, analysis–that enables success in several careers. Perhaps paradoxically, anthropology is a great major for analyzing corporations and capitalism, and you probably have just as much chance–if not more–of landing in the top 1% as an anthropology major as you do with any of those Kiplinger top 10 college majors.

  4. 11:50 27th Jul 2012

    Notes: 2

    Tags: quoteslife

    image: Download

    (via Stanley Kubrick on Mortality, the Fear of Flying, and the Purpose of Existence: The 1968 Playboy Interview | Brain Pickings)
  5. [The late James] Hillman was a frequent critic of mainstream psychology, perceiving its focus on improving the self to be limiting. He believed each individual has a purpose or calling in life that reveals itself in childhood and reappears, often as a set of so-called symptoms, until it is heeded. Harnessing this potential is what he considered the great mortal, and moral, challenge. He once said our duty is not to rise above life but to “grow down into it.”

    The Sun Magazine | Conversations With A Remarkable Man

    Some of my highlights from the interviews below:

    Hillman:  Suppose we begin seeing ourselves not as patients but as citizens. Then what would therapy be like?

    Hillman:  The acorn theory says that there is an individual image that belongs to your soul.

    The same myth can be found in the kabala. The Mormons have it. The West Africans have it. The Hindus and the Buddhists have it in different ways. They tie it more to reincarnation and karma, but you still come into the world with a particular destiny. Native Americans have it very strongly. So all these cultures all over the world have this basic understanding of human existence. Only American psychology doesn’t have it.

    London: In our culture we tend to think of calling in terms of “vocation” or “career.”

    Hillman: Yes, but calling can refer not only to ways of doing — meaning work — but also to ways of being. 

    London: What is the first step toward understanding one’s calling?

    Hillman: It’s important to ask yourself, “How am I useful to others? What do people want from me?” That may very well reveal what you are here for.

     You write that “the great task of a life-sustaining culture is to keep the invisibles attached.” What do you mean by that?

    Hillman: It is a difficult idea to present without leaving psychology and getting into religion. I don’t talk about who the invisibles are or where they live or what they want. There is no real theology in it. But it’s the only way we can get out of being so human-centered: to remain attached to something other than humans.

    Is there anybody in there? by Sami Taipale, on Flickr

    Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  Sami Taipale 
  6. 03:15 18th Jul 2012

    Notes: 2070

    Reblogged from gaksdesigns

    Tags: quoteslife

    image: Download


Quote by Ira Glass 


    Quote by Ira Glass 

  7. Excerpts from a user review, which struck home with me as I look back and remember how hard life is in your 20s:

    Basically, Growing Up on Zoloft is about two things: the rise and ubiquity of SSRIs, and the experience of growing up (middle-class and college educated yes, and yet still, you self-hating bourgie moron, subject to psychic pain on occasion) in America, and then of course how these two things have interacted….

    While most people accept that some of us suffer from depression so severe that needing medication is not a question, we also know there’s a large grey area of folks for whom it is more open to debate….

    One of the important points this book makes is that being young just fucking sucks for a lot of people. Sharpe worries that our culture has come to pathologize the normal developmental pain of life. The director of mental health services at Swarthmore tells her that these days, “there’s almost not a language for normal distress.” ….

    One person I kept thinking of as I read was a former client of mine. She was a young women who had experienced a difficult childhood, and she had a severe psychotic disorder which had caused serious disruptions and delays in her life. She had finally become psychiatrically stable while I knew her, and was left to deal with the normal and often very painful problems of a woman in her twenties trying to establish a life. Towards the end of my working with her, most of our discussions consisted of me trying to convince her that her current experiences and pain were not pathological at all, but completely normal. She just didn’t believe me, no matter how hard I tried, and she wouldn’t consider longterm talk therapy because she associated it with sickness and stigma.

  8. 22:14 7th Jun 2012

    Notes: 1

    Tags: lifecomics

    image: Download

    (via so mature)
Thanks, Sam, for passing on this — as well as another VirusComix — Things They Don’t Tell You (But Should): A Guide to Life.

    (via so mature)

    Thanks, Sam, for passing on this — as well as another VirusComix — Things They Don’t Tell You (But Should): A Guide to Life.

  9. Good news!  You’ve been given moral free reign to go work for the big-time capitalists….