aether

everything is fiction

I have a friend who complains about two issues

  1. he doesn't enjoy reading
  2. he doesn't read enough

This post is mostly for him but might also have some more general advice, I read quite a lot, in fact this year alone I've read 7 books, if you like reading it's a numbers game, the average book takes between 5-7 hours so if you just read for an hour a day you'll read 50+ books per year, but if you read in the way people watch tv you'll get through a lot more you may be thinking “what about retention?” do you retain all the movies you watch? in fact have you ever taken effort to retain any movie you've watched? why should my form of entertainment be any different? that being said some books I read for more than entertainment and do have methods to help my retention.

When people say they watch to read they don't usually mean it, they mean they want the things books can teach you but due to elitism of readers any other form of learning is looked down upon. I don't want to discredit books completely if you're trying to learn anything at a high level books are irreplaceable but if you just want to know about something why the hell would you chose a book that'll take hours to read instead of a 20-40 minute youtube video you can take notes on? I chose books because my attention span makes me want to shoot myself watching youtube videos, skimming is very annoying on youtube, most of the time you can watch at 2x speed all the way through but with longer videos you have to either have a good attention span or keep switching between 1.25x, 1.5x, 2x which is really annoying but when reading you can just switch seamlessly between skimming and paying close attention, it also helps that I enjoy reading words make brain go brrrr.

If you don't enjoy reading you shouldn't want to read more than you have to reading rarely has benefits that're unique to books other than egostroking with a bunch of people who've just read wikipedia pages for books so they can pretend they've read the whole thing. Not enjoying reading isn't something to be sad about it's just a personal preference and however much you read is enough, if you begin reading more you'll still be reading enough, if you stop reading as much you'll still be reading enough – when most people talk about wanting to read it's for either

a. talking to others about how much they love reading etc, bordering on aesthetic circlejerking

b. to gain value from having read, education

(a) should be dismissed completely in the age of the ereader the only reason to have books is because you can't get them for your ereader or reference materials, the fact people have hundreds of dollars worth of books (resale value) sat on a shelf that they will never re-read or have never even read will only ever fill me with disgust, there are even apps in which you just scan barcodes, box up your books then slap on a shipping label and they come and collect the books, that have ironically become nothing more than paperweights from you.

(b) is also a mostly silly reason we live in an incredible time in which there are way to become educated on almost any topic without ever reading, youtube videos, online courses, audible – there even exist services to summarise and condense books for you such as SparkNotes and Blinkist some elitists might claim these are not as good as the real thing but I'd strongly argue as someone who reads that a 10 minute summary and then maybe a 15 minute review of a 7 hour book will give you the same level of understanding and insight as reading the book would (though this doesn't apply to all books) you can even have news articles read to you via pocket

Reading isn't for everyone and if it isn't for you be thankful we live in an age in which reading isn't required to learn.

#books


Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

I recently decided to start using plausible analytics on this blog I already pay for plausible for analytics on another couple sites but I think even if I didn't I'd still pay for plausible – extrinsic motivation has always been something that scared me, I want to do things because I want to, but I don't think that applies to this blog, I write a lot, compulsively and most of it never gets posted anywhere a lot even gets deleted or destroyed but I notice when I see views or any kind of metric go up I feel some sense of responsibility even if just to one person that responsibility doesn't make me feel uncomfortable or pressured it just feel like a nudge to post.

write.as has stats built in but they're quite bad and using plausible won't cost me any more money so I may as well use it how I went about using it was based on this post the code with changes for plausible can be found below.

const script = document.createElement('script');
script.setAttribute('defer', true);
script.setAttribute('async', true);
script.setAttribute('src', 'https://plausible.io/js/plausible.js');
script.setAttribute('data\-domain', 'DOMAIN HERE DUMMY);
document.head.appendChild(script);

#tech


Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

Premise

A friend of mine who studies biomedicine or something, the sort of cool sci-fi type human modification field whatever it may be called(?) recently asked me a question related to it, if you could have your genome edited not only to remove any mental illness you might have but to ensure you couldn’t develop any mental illness in the future would you do it?

Considerations

the answer at first seems obvious but upon further thought I don’t think it is – my reasoning is mental illness though negative is as much a part of you as any trait you hold (before any psychologists reading this get angry allow me to continue) this isn’t to say you should wish to hold them forever or they make you better, often an issue with the treatment of depression is viewing depression as a core part of who you are, when treatment begins to gain results some even retreat from treatment due to fear that not having depression will somehow make them worse or that being depressed is who they are etc, I do not believe this I believe you should seek to remove any mental illness you have and that you will be better off for it, so why would I possibly be unsure about editing genomes to remove mental illness and ensure they cannot develop? it’s also worth specifying I’m talking only for myself on a society level I see no reason why if possible this shouldn’t be made available to anyone who wants it.

Identity

For better or worse mental illness becomes who you are, if you've had it for a long time others view it as a core part of your personality – When I've had drugs that work well my friends have remarked on how I seem like a completely different person.

If you have a mental illness it is a part of your identity, something we like to hold onto.

What about stopping yourself from developing mental illness? This also seems to impact your identity since everyone responds to things in unique ways, If you don't respond to stress well and then you clicked a button ensuring you can't have a mental breakdown then get put under a fuck ton of stress and you respond fine are you still you?

Authenticity

Imagine for a second you have a mental illness, In one scenario you take a long arduous route of therapy, medication, self development, struggle and determination to overcome it, you're not cured but you've managed to regain most of your functioning. In scenario two you click a button and you're good as new, cured, never have to worry about it again.

Doesn't scenario one just intuitively feel more authentic than the other? I think the reason for this is struggle and enduring suffering is a fundamental part of being human, we feel more connected to those that've endured as opposed to someone who's never suffered or struggled in any capacity, we feel more connected to people once they share the tales of their suffering, This feeling of connection I believe stems from authenticity the person becomes more real, more authentic, more human.

To contrast it with traits imagine you struggle with anger, you have three paths forward (a) accept it and do nothing (b) to understand why you’re angry and to spend the rest of your life trying continually to keep it under control or © click a button and it goes away. since I don’t accept (a) as a valid choice and see it purely as a lack of choice it will be ignored, (b) feels the most authentic but does this actually make it the case?

The changing of who we are must feel self guided or it's rejected as completely artificial, the button offers an artificial solution to what is (but doesn't feel like) an artificial problem, I can think of no more artificial constraint of the self than mental illness, it distorts your view of reality, your ability to assess life, it forces moods and beliefs upon you without consent or you willing it, The parts of you that are a result of the mental illness are completely inauthentic and artificial in their design so why should the way we expel them require authenticity? why do we seemingly reject artificial resolutions to an artificial problem?

If the way in which we expel the problem that we've already integrated as part of ourself lacks authenticity then an underlying lack of authenticity is built into the foundations of our new self, with the proposed button leading to permanent indisputable changes I think this is why I recoiled at the thought, my new self would never be capable of true authenticity.

The point of this post isn't I'm right your wrong or anything like that, I thought it was interesting how much I struggled with the question and I've found writing things out in some sort of structure way is great for self understanding – in fact throughout this post I should have used me/I instead of you but I know my answer to the question and why that's my answer so perhaps it would have been pointless to phrase it that way.


Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

I doubt I'll ever use it or if I do use it much but it's nice knowing I can make paid posts

Read more...

Notes

Summary

Ecosocialists believe that the prevention of an unprecedented ecological catastrophe and the preservation of a natural environment favorable to human life are incompatible with the expansive and destructive logic of the capitalist system. In Ecosocialism, Michael Lowy, Research Director at Paris' National Centre for Scientific Research, explores some of the main ecosocialist proposals and concrete experiences of struggle, particularly in Latin America.

Criticisms of capitalism

  • Capitalism requires endless expansion, on a planet with limited resources this is un-sustainable
  • Any ecological restrictions put upon capitalism will at most slow down the destruction of the natural environment by extension anyone claiming to care about the environment cannot be a capitalist without the two being in direct contradiction

Quotes

Ecosocialism will be international and universal, or it will be nothing. The crises of our time can and must be seen as revolutionary opportunities, which it is our obligation to affirm and bring into existence.


The world is suffering from a fever due to climate change, and the disease is the capitalist development model.” -Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, September 2007


If there is any escape from climate change and the global ecological crisis, it will emerge from the power of struggle and the organization of the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world, with the understanding that the struggle for a world without ecological devastation must connect to the struggle for a society without oppression or exploitation. This change must begin now, bringing together unique struggles, daily efforts, processes of self-management, and reforms to slow the crisis, with a vision centered on a change of civilization, a new society in harmony with nature. This is the central proposal of ecosocialism, an alternative to our current ecological catastrophe.


What guarantee is there that the people will make the right ecological choices, even at the price of giving up some of their habits of consumption? There is no such “guarantee,” other than the reasonable expectation that the rationality of democratic decisions will prevail once the power of commodity fetishism is broken.


For ecosocialists, the problem with the main currents of political ecology, represented by most green parties, is that they do not seem to take into account the intrinsic contradiction between the capitalist dynamics of the unlimited expansion of capital and accumulation of profits and the preservation of the environment


Capitalism

The advertising industry—which induces needs through mental manipulation—has invaded all spheres of human life in modern capitalist societies: not only nourishment and clothing, but sports, culture, religion, and politics are shaped according to its rules. It has invaded our streets, mailboxes, TV screens, newspapers, and landscapes in a permanent, aggressive, and insidious way, and it decisively contributes to habits of conspicuous and compulsive consumption


The issue is not “excessive consumption” in the abstract, but the prevalent type of consumption, based as it is on conspicuous consumption, massive waste, mercantile alienation, obsessive accumulation of goods, and the compulsive acquisition of pseudo-novelties imposed by “fashion.


the capitalist system reveals itself every day more financially and ideologically bankrupt, unable to overcome the economic, ecological, social, food, and other crises it engenders.


ecosocialist civilization beyond the reign of money, beyond consumption habits artificially produced by advertising, and beyond the unlimited production of commodities such as private automobiles that are harmful to the environment


Infinite economic expansion is incompatible with finite and fragile ecosystems, but the capitalist economic system cannot tolerate limits on growth; its constant need to expand will subvert any limits that might be imposed in the name of “sustainable development.”


We need no more proof of the barbarity of capitalism, the parasitical system that exploits humanity and nature alike. Its sole motor is the imperative toward profit and thus the need for constant growth. It wastefully creates unnecessary products, squandering the environment’s limited resources and returning to it only toxins and pollutants. Under capitalism, the only measure of success is how much more is sold every day, every week, every year—involving the creation of vast quantities of products that are directly harmful to both humans and nature, commodities that cannot be produced without spreading disease, destroying the forests that produce the oxygen we breathe, demolishing ecosystems, and treating our water, air, and soil like sewers for the disposal of industrial waste.


Policy

Ecosocialism proposes radical transformations in: 1. the energy system, by replacing carbon-based fuels and biofuels with clean sources of power under community control: wind, geothermal, wave, and, above all, solar power; 2. the transportation system, by drastically reducing the use of private trucks and cars, replacing them with free and efficient public transportation; 3. present patterns of production, consumption, and building, which are based on waste, inbuilt obsolescence, competition, and pollution, by producing only sustainable and recyclable goods and developing green architecture; 4. food production and distribution, by defending local food sovereignty as far as this is possible, eliminating polluting industrial agribusinesses, creating sustainable agro-ecosystems, and working actively to renew soil fertility.


To theorize and to work toward realizing the goal of green socialism does not mean that we should not also fight for concrete and urgent reforms right now. Without any illusions about “clean capitalism,” we must work to impose on the powers that be—governments, corporations, international institutions—some elementary but essential immediate changes: • drastic and enforceable reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases, • development of clean energy sources, • provision of an extensive free public transportation system, • progressive replacement of trucks by trains, • creation of pollution clean-up programs, and • elimination of nuclear energy and war spending.


Democratic decisions on investment and technological development must replace control by capitalist enterprises, investors, and banks, in order to serve the long-term horizon of society’s and nature’s common good.


To avoid global warming and other dangers threatening human and ecological survival, entire sectors of industry and agriculture must be suppressed, reduced, or restructured and others must be developed, while providing full employment for all. Such a radical transformation is impossible without collective control of the means of production and democratic planning of production and exchange


To give an example: a self-administered factory decides to evacuate its toxic waste into a river. The population of a whole region is in danger of being polluted: it can therefore, after a democratic debate, decide that production in this unit must be discontinued until a satisfactory solution is found to control its waste. Hopefully, in an ecosocialist society, the factory workers themselves will have enough ecological consciousness to avoid making decisions that are dangerous to the environment and the health of the local population


Tags: #booknotes #environmentalism


Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.

Introduction

I believe myself to be a curious person, but I like most also believe that being a curious person is a positive thing so to bring in a level of healthy self doubt my reason for believing I’m a curious person is because I’ve been repeatedly told it not just as a child but as an adult, I also have more interests than the average person. With a smaller sample size I’ve noticed among my peers most stopped learning once they left school/college and most never saw learning as a form of entertainment or hobby. My range of hobbies is diverse and focused on learning or observation, all of this I believe qualifies me to self identify as a curious person but enough of me sucking myself off for all to see, because in all likelihood I’m actually incredibly average, I just do different things I don’t have some ability that others lack just things others don’t do/think – I believe anyone is capable of being a curious person, it just requires identifying how curiosity is harmed and how it can be cultivated.

Why is curiosity the outlier?

When we think of people who have curiosity we view them as the outlier, why are they curious? but we all can think back to a time in which we had that same curiosity, for most it will have been destroying a tv remote to see the insides, following a bird through the woods to see where it’s going and what it’s doing, for nothing more than curiosity – but yet when confronted with adults that retained that curiosity we ask why are they that way? but I think the much better question is why are we no longer like that? not what gave them curiosity as an adult but what took ours away.

Self defeating mindset

I also want to talk on a more personal level about a friend, she’s one of my closest drinking buddies (though due to covid we’ve not seen each other in a long while) we usually end up talking in the taxi ride to the club or at some point or another getting pissed and talking – she always mentions how intelligent I am, how stupid I make her feel (by contrast) and how she wishes she could be as smart as I am – the reason she isn’t? because she doesn’t believe she can be I don’t think I’m intelligent I think I’ve been exposed to a lot of things, I don’t think my brain is unique or better than average at processing things, I don’t think my retention is above that of the average person, I don’t believe I’m smarter or more intelligent than the average person. I think I’ve just learnt more things due to my curiosity.

What acts against curiosity?

I think the two major things working to stifle curiosity are (1) Insecurity (2) reward orientated learning

(1) Insecurity

My (online) friends group has quite a strong and often toxic debate culture, one thing I’ve noticed is that group can be split into two categories, the ones (a) that accept when they’re wrong and try to learn more about why they’re wrong to strengthen their beliefs or opinions and a second set (b) that will often times lie to avoid admitting they’re wrong – Now I want to avoid criticizing one group or another personally since I’m talking about my friend who I care about and want to avoid a holy-than-thou attitude coming across – I’ve spoken to both sets and even been public about which set I believe people fall into, this post isn’t some hidden way for me to talk about how I’m better than my peer group because I don’t believe that.

The reason I give that personal example is because I think it is relatable for most people. The issue however is learning and curiosity is a constant state of insecurity, you’re often shown just how wrong you are about a lot of things or how you’re an adult who doesn’t know very foundational things (I still don’t know subtraction truly, I just subtract them and if it ends up being a negative number I either ignore or honor the negative depending on what feels correct) and privately this can be difficult however to be a curious person it must be made public, you’ll have to ask people questions and publicly test yourself, so now you have to face often being wrong publicly or admitting to lapses in your knowledge I recently started to learn the guitar and that’s shown me how little I know about sound, I didn’t have any idea guitars needed to be tuned for certain songs, I thought tuning a guitar meant just setting it once, once a guitar was tuned it could play and song perfectly – when I mentioned this to friends I was ridiculed (lovingly) because each of them understood it intuitively without ever even trying to learn to play the guitar how you approach these moments will either help or harm your curiosity, if you retreat and feel shame then deep down some part of you must feel as if it’s bad to have lapses in knowledge or to not know everything, but living with a sense of curiosity will repeatedly show you that you know almost nothing about anything.

I think the way to overcome this is the same as most shortcomings, conditioning each day write down one thing you do know and five you don’t, then try and find a friend who might know something you don’t and ask them, the more basic it is the better, this will feel uncomfortable but you’ll realize nothing bad really happens and that there’s nothing wrong with not knowing things, to paraphrase something I read once, being stupid isn’t bad, staying stupid is.

(2) reward orientated learning

A very important part of nurturing curiosity is learning, curiosity needs it to develop but during schooling two things seem to be universally taught that we need to unlearn

  • (1) There are correct and incorrect things to learn
  • (a) Trying to satisfy your curiosity will lead to punishment.
  • (b) Learning has to be active and has a (low) limit.
  • (2) The goal of learning is to help you towards a clear and often material reward.
  • (a) The outcome of learning should be decided before learning is started.
  • (b) Learning has no inherent value.

I will address each of these in parts, illustrating each in what I believe are widely applicable anecdotes

Part I

There are correct and incorrect things to learn:

This idea is brought in very young, through being told to stop wasting classes time with stupid questions at the time it seems harmless and practical, the amount of time is limited and certain things have to be taught – but children are naturally curious and I think it’s a fair assumption if when that curiosity is exercised it’s met with dismissal and in some cases resentment that’s clear to even a child it will lead that child to exercise it less, especially if that resentment and dismissal is mirrored by the childs parents – this ties in (a) pretty cleanly, I remember being yelled at for watching a bee and asking questions related to it instead of paying attention in maths (even though I already completed the work) this overtime will enforce (b) since in a lot of situations it isn’t because you’re wasting the classes time, it isn’t because you’re not doing your work – it must be something else, I think in most the idea your capacity for learning is low and learning cannot be done passively, it always requires effort and you’re effort is limited, but learning can most certainly be done passively – a common example is in the observation of birds now it’s pretty well known that mallards fly in an almost standard (for ducks) V formation, you most likely also know that the mallard formation also has some kind of hierarchy, leaders and those being lead – But do you remember being taught this? I think for most they learnt this from observation then had some kind of confirmation, or perhaps you didn’t know this at all, lets say that’s the case I think by just exposure (i.e seeing mallards) you would learn without conscious effort not only what a mallard is (though you wouldn’t know the name of it) but also the fact they fly in a V formation you would learn through no conscious effort perhaps you would even learn they do so to help one (or two) mallards guide the entire group – or at very least if asked why do they fly in a V formation? you would be able to figure it out through using things you learnt passively, not by intently watching mallards but by just having them in your field of vision repeatedly and occasionally noticing them.

Part 2

The goal of learning is to help you towards a clear and often material reward:

Why have you learnt anything? the answer taught to us repeatedly is for a clear goal, when you need to start reading, you learn to read; when you need to start exercising, you learn about exercise; you learn things when you need it, obviously the example of schooling should already be in the front of your mind since schooling is the longest and most intense form of learning any of us will experience – it also very strongly enforces this ideal in us the reason you’re learning mathematics isn’t because it’s a very functional thing to know, the reason you’re learning english isn’t so you can better understand others and communicate with them, you learn these things because almost every job requires a qualification in both. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing jobs should want you to have foundational skills and knowledge but I’m saying there are much better motives for learning these things than some vague idea of employment in the future on (2b) learning is never seen as an inherently enjoyable activity, it will be hard for me to argue it is especially the type of learning we’re talking about here that requires a period of ‘retraining’ to gain your curiosity back so I will give an anecdotal example that might apply then hope that if you undergo a period of ‘retraining’ you come to feel as if point (2b) is correct, the anecdote is this post, throughout reading it you might’ve found parts you agree with or disagree with but I’m hoping you will disagree or agree with at least one part not through actively thinking about it but through passively doing so, you saw something then your brain began thinking about it whilst you continued to read forward until a conclusion of agreement or disagreement was reached, a completely passive but thought out opinion was formed, passive learning.

What nurtures curiosity?

I believe the nurturing of curiosity doesn’t have to happen from an early age but can be nurtured at any age but to achieve curiosity you need to be in the correct environment free of mindless distractions. I think curiosity always arises from a lack of things to think about to give this a fair consideration I’d like to propose you go to some natural spot, the less man made things you can find the better (lacking that just a place without people) set a timer on your phone for 30 minutes then don’t pick it up or distract yourself with anything until the timer hits zero – You’ll notice two things, one an increase in observation and a seeming decrease in thinking (though this is more an increase in attention and decrease in distracting thought) now since curiosity is a very abstract feeling you’ll be the only one to know if this induces curiosity but I believe firmly it will. The point is to prove curiosity isn’t constant and you can experience a state of curiosity which will hopeful overcome the mindset of “I’m just not a very curious person” and convince you curiosity is something worth pursuing.

Knowing what you’re curious about

This is an important one, perhaps the most like most new things I believe theres an uptick and then leveling out, at first you will likely adopt a lot of things you’re curious about but this I believe is a conflation of interest and curiosity; curiosity in something doesn’t require a practical outcome but just exists to satisfy itself, the reason to pursue the curiosity is to satiate itself whereas interest will require something more at least in my view.

Now that’s been established to find out what your curious about doesn’t take (and I doubt could be achieved by) a rigorous system. I think the best approach is through making a list of activities you might enjoy, from that do some new activities and keep in your mind you’re looking for something that enhances or encourages your general curiosity but to try and be a little more helpful I will list mine and when less obvious why I believe it enhances my general curiosity.

  • Hiking (daytime and overnight)
  • Bird watching
  • Mycology (at purely an identification and hobbyist level)
  • Reading

intuitive learning and self correction

Intuitive learning is just my way of expressing the earlier concept of the mallard observations, you’re learning intuitively (sometimes passively) but an important addition to this process, not just for your own sake but also for curiosities sake is self correction, until you confirm what you learn intuitively as fact you should consider it fiction.

Conclusion

To conclude I believe curiosity is a very important part of being human and anyone who wishes to, even “people who aren’t curious” can cultivate and maintain a curious mindset.

#essays


Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

I only started recording data in august first in a spreadsheet then on storygraph Overall data — If purchasing books please consider a more ethical retailer here or google search “libgen mirrors” then click links till you get one that works; fuck paying for digital books when you can get a better product for free.

Stats rundown (since august)

  • Books read: 18
  • Pages Read: 5,152
  • Top three genres Philosophy, Self help, Psychology
  • Top three 'moods' Informative, Reflective, Challenging

Books I enjoyed reading

  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
  • Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections
  • Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy

Books I would recommend

  • How to live a good life, Massimo Pigliucci [buy] // MD5: [f6153113d0666fcdcf242576c1235ca9]
  • How to Read a Book, Mortimer J. Adler [buy] // MD5: [09D7400D8007591E7462B12514FC24D4]

Topics I liked reading about

  • Taoism

#books


Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

We all dread a bodily paralysis, and would make use of every contrivance to avoid it; but none of us is troubled about a paralysis of the soul. – Epictetus

I think journaling can be split into two catagories * Pretty Journaling * Neat and clean * Uses highlighters, rulers etc * Usually has todo lists and calendars etc that you draw * Usually too big to carry * Dirty Journal * Goal is to offer most of the benefit for as little effort as possible * Doesn't care about condition of writings etc * Quick and functional * Notepad should be pocket sized * Write with anything you can get your hands on, have preferences but anything will do, pencil, pen, marker, felt tip doesn't matter so long as it writes down information

I don't think one is better for everyone but I want journaling to be as quick and functional as possible.

Why Journal?

  • Memory
    • Human memory is dogshit hella bad and memories change over time 1 2
  • Understanding the self
    • Journaling is private self expression, expressing the self and reflecting upon it allows you to better 'see' the self and understand it
  • Reflection
    • Memories that never change offer greater chance for self reflection and insight
    • Reading through events after time has passed allows a better level of reflection
    • Allows you to see more progress, changes happen bit by bit but looking back at a journal from a previous birthday you'll see drastic changes because you're viewing it all at once
  • Guidance
    • The habit of journaling allows you to shape who you are a bit more, by setting up a journaling system that works toward your goals

Paper vs phone

Since I mentioned I focus mostly on functionality and minimal effort for maximum gain I thought I'd explain why I pick pen and paper over my phone, since the phone allows syncing, embedding pictures, geo location data etc etc. the reason is simple I write on paper faster than I type on phone, I like drawing diagrams, pro con lists, decision trees and things like that so taking notes on a phone would add some functionality but it'd make uses I use a lot more difficult.

I also use voice notes to supplement my notes, if I'm on a walk or want to ramble of a “journal entry” quickly a voice note on my phone which I later transcribe into the paper journal, photos I usually have printed then store in the same box as my journals and put an identifier on the back, I can also write down gps location if I want to. So for me pen and paper with my phone as a supplement is ideal.

Habit

I journal for a couple minutes in a morning and a couple more at night, with some done throughout the day if I feel like it, I always do the morning and night habit which is outlined here.

add an index page with page numbers and rough topics as you go, not every page should make it into your index, this allows you to quickly know what page what thing is on so when you look back on a journal you can quickly reference it or skim read it.

Morning

  • Brain dump
    • Allows you to get thoughts out before the ego wakes up and you start lying as much as usual 1 2
    • Short concise bullet points
    • Example
      • Should plan more money wise
      • Been talking about learning to play guitar for too long
        • Convinced myself I'd fail before trying
        • Should just get on with it
  • Something I'm looking forward to today
    • After one year of doing this every day you'll have proven to yourself that every single day you have something to look forward to
    • Doesn't have to be big or extreme
    • Examples: Going on holiday, Going to eat some ice cream later
  • Something I'm grateful for
    • Similar to above, it'll prove to you everyday you have something to be grateful for
    • If you notice one thing repeatedly coming up (e.g family) you'll know that thing is worth preserving and maintaining
    • Doesn't have to be extreme can just be ben and jerrys vegan cookie dough ice cream you recently bought
  • [ ] Nice thing you could do for someone
    • The goal with this and the other checkboxes isn't to do them 100% of the time it's to build a certain mindset and habits
    • Over time you'll begin thinking about ways you can do nice things for people as a habit
    • Can be as simple as check in on a friend, tidy up a shared space, help a stranger with something, give money to charity etc.
  • [ ] An act of self care you can do
    • Don't worry too much about doing it
    • Goal is to think more about self care (maintaining positive states & traits whilst minimising negative ones)
    • If you get stressed your journal now has handfuls or dozens of self care tips
  • [ ] A topic to reflect on
    • Don't worry too much about doing it
    • Most people don't think about things, they'll describe themselves as kind but be unable to explain what makes a person kind, meaning they don't know they're a kind person, they know they want to be perceived as a kind person
    • Doesn't have to be really deep, can reflect on an argument you have, a relationship you have etc.
  • [ ] A vice you wish to challenge today
    • Don't worry too much about doing it
    • This helps you understand that a vice isn't always a vice, this week if you haven't been gaming at all having a night gaming will be an act a self care, get rid of some stress, but if you've been gaming a lot the next week maybe it becomes a vice, then an act of self care again

Night

  • Rough chronology
    • A list of events with a limit on emotion
    • Examples
      • Meditated
      • Yoga
      • Did some editing
      • Wrote blog post
      • Argument with x about y
  • A good thing that happened
    • Similar to the morning ones, goal is to show you every day something good happens, can be minor.
  • Something nice you did for someone (can be a stranger)
    • Knowing at the end of each day you'll have to write down something nice you did for someone or that you didn't do a single nice thing for someone so you'll be more likely to be nice to others (unless for some reason when you look in the mirror you want to say to yourself I'm a bad selfish person)
  • Someone nice someone did for you (can be a stranger)
    • Can be minor
    • Similar to morning helps remind you every day
    • You might notice one person consistently does nice things for you
    • You might notice people do nice things for you that're more than what you do for them
  • Something you could have done better
    • Each day you can do something better
    • Helps with perfectionism
  • A way in which you're better at the end of the day
    • Similar to the morning ones, goal is to show you every day you improved in some sense of the word, can be minor.
    • Example
      • Cleaned a window
      • Don't usually clean windows so I improved by paying more attention and care to my environment
      • Doesn't mean I'll clean it tomorrow

Monthly/weekly(ish)

  • [ ] Evaluation statements
    • Similar to a brain dump
    • Good for self analysis/reflection
    • Roughly once a month or at times of stress
    • brain dump statements with checkboxes then reflect and evaluate which are true
    • Example
      • [ ] All my friends hate me
      • [ ] I have no personality
      • [ ] I care deeply about how people percieve me
      • [ ] I waste all my money

Misc

These should be done as and when you feel like it, habits with no clear timing or anything. * Write down details about a stranger * Helpful for improving observation * Example * Tall guy * Wearing sandals * Looked annoyed * Walking pretty fast * On the phone * Write down a strangers conversation * Good to watch conversations from an impartial view since it gives insights into how you conduct yourself in conversations * Example * X1: You're so fucking annoying when you keep nagging me constantly What do you want me to do? * Y1: Why do you always do this I'm just trying to help and you constantly make me feel bad about it * X2: because you just constantly act like you know better than me * X1 should have avoided the personal attacks and just asked in a nice tone, what do you think I should do? * Y1 should have avoided saying “you always do this” and instead should have just said I'm trying to help and you're making me feel bad * X2 assumed the entire point and will now have a potentially false perspective based on an assumption * Both should try and better express themselves * Something worth investigating * Similar to a topic to reflect on * Should focus on actionable things * Example * When I spend time looking out window throughout the day I feel better * Possible reasons: * Looking at nature throughout the day makes me feel good * Taking a break from computer on a semi regular basis makes me feel good * Possible actions: * Read through journals to see if it's consistent * Try not looking out window but just taking regular breaks from computer and see if it continues * Graph mood & number/frequency of breaks to see if theres a clear pattern

//
### **//Formatting:** My rules for formatting are pretty simple, text color indicates ink color.
dd-mm-yy,day
//Morning/Night
Content goes here
//end
**Misc entries:** Black ink. **Resources:** Below you will find some youtube videos, none are perfect, none are ones I agree with completely (and some I don't even agree with in part) but you should have a wide and all encompassing view of how some people journal to help you decide how you want to interact with journaling, these links aren't endorsements. I've also included video durations and what speed you can comfortably watch the video on. **Youtube videos to give a wide view of journaling:** [What I Learned by Journaling for 30 Days // 7m; 1.75x speed](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVzGGJHIJiE) [7 Ways Marcus Aurelius Will Help You Journal Like A Pro | Ryan Holiday | Stoicism // 12m; 2x speed](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVeUIclaMTE) [How to Journal: Start Here | Kati Morton // 7m; 1.5x speed](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F13eweX25gY) [How I Journal and Take Notes | Brainstorming + Focusing + Reducing Anxiety | Tim Ferriss // 19m; 1.5x speed](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFdR8w_R1HA) #development ---

Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

“We do not belong to those who have ideas only among books, when stimulated by books. It is our habit to think outdoors – walking, leaping, climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails become thoughtful.”

I've decided to start walking every sunday, try and expose myself more to nature – I exercise quite a bit but don't go outside nearly enough. The first month of weekly walks will be documented here. In the future I will probably post an update to this page and a separate post if I continue doing it.

First walk:

  • Distance, 4.43km
  • Total Time, 1hr03m
  • Moving time, 55m
  • Avg. Pace, 14:24min/km

I recently got some barefoot shoes made from recycled plastic etc, it was much more comfortable walking in the compared to my other shoes (a pair of which where high quality nikes) I doubt I'll ever go back to normal shoes. Weather was pretty nice saw a bunch of surgical masks just dumped, why not just put it in a bin? another thing that made me slightly sad was a jogger with a dog, it was a small dog struggling to keep up with him, basically being dragged along by it's neck. speaking of animals I saw a lot more wrens (unfortunately named troglodytes, troglodytes) and a crow, I might take my walk to a local forest soon and bring my bird identification book, I've been trying to spot a starling for a while now.

I also found a huge set of blackberry bushes, though most seemed to be small, they're currently in season so my guess is someone else is foraging there, I'm going to put a ziploc in my pocket on each walk and check in each time, grab some for my daily smoothie.

Second Walk:

  • Distance, 5.42km
  • Total Time, 1hr11m
  • Moving time, 1hr04m
  • Avg. Pace, 13:11min/km

This second walk was refreshing but a lot different, it felt like I was just 'powering through' the walk, I saw people, they saw me I walked near my old highschool, it was weird I'd not been near it in probably half a decade, I'm going to start revisiting my old teenage hangouts for nostalgias sake.

Third Walk:

  • Distance, 5.56km
  • Total Time, 1hr36m
  • Moving time, 1hr26m
  • Avg. Pace, 15:32min/km

For the third walk I decided to be more nature focused, 90%(+) of my 5.5km walk was spent in the woods, I sat down, ate, drank and read for a while – it was incredibly peaceful throughout certain points you'd forget the world existed, no cars, no talking, no movement, no man made objects just quietness. I very much enjoyed it.

Forth Walk:
* Distance, 6.09km * Total Time, 1hr28m * Moving time, 1hr24m * Avg. Pace, 14:30min/km

For the forth walk I decided to record audio notes during it instead of writing from memory the day after a walk, so this entry should be the longest and will read more like a transcript.

It's pretty cold today, should have worn something warmer, didn't realize how cold it could be when the suns out – I wonder what it'll be like walking in winter, or the rain, or the snow.

I've walked into some smaller woodlands and needed a piss so I had one at the side of the trail, a woman who was walking her dog told me it's disgusting and I should get some self respect, I wonder if she says the same to her dog when he pisses, it was my first conscious praxis relating to cynicism

I saw some litter and decided to pick it up it took me a few seconds, a woman saw me do it, that's not why I did it, I read an article once that essentially said if someone sees you do a good deed they're more likely to do one themselves – I wonder if I continued to pick up litter that seems reasonable, not going incredibly out of my way but just see litter if theres a bin nearby pick it up and bin it, each walk you might pick up a few pieces but it'd have a pretty substantial impact over a year – it's pretty crazy how just a small basic thing can lead to something greater.

I ate before todays walk, it was a good choice, I feel less fatigued and carried some water. I've been thinking more about the litter thing, if I line my rucksack with a binbag I could pick up recyclables and put non recyclables in bins, carry some handwash. I think most people, even teenagers who probably litter when they're actually having a nice day or a solitary walk seeing a bit of litter can be annoying.

I've took a bit of a nostalgic walk today, some of the places me and my friends used to hang around, it makes me kind of sad, the time of being a young carefree kid are gone, I realize as well you spend a lot of your teenage years just walking around, talking with friends. [some audio here was lost to wind]

I walked past my old highschool, it was around a decade ago I started highschool there, it doesn't feel that long ago, When you're a kid you can just have fun, climb a tree, run around do whatever but as an adult you can't really have fun, it's weird if you do, it's weird if you're an adult and even for a minute you act like a carefree kid, climb a tree, balance along a wall do whatever.

Conclusion I think walking's had a beneficial effect on me overall, it's nice to go outside, up until this point the weather has been favorable and I think the habit will stick, not the most exciting conclusion but that's how it is, my experience wont be yours, I think no matter who you are setting out some time each week to go outside, on your own, not looking constantly at your phone or snapchatting etc is nice, it really calms the mind, a lot of the time you aren't really thinking much at all.


Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

Disclaimer: This is not a trip report but a collection of experiences from my drug use split into categories also doing drugs is dumb.

Table of contents: Microdosing Insights Time distortion Death Something inside the mirror Demons everywhere Puking


I've done acid around 50(+/-5) times (excluding microdosing) the average dose was 200ug, the highest being 600ug, because of the tolerance of acid you can take it once every 2 weeks or you can do the following week1 – 200ug, week2 – 200ug, week3 – 300ug, week4 – skip week one you get full dose, week two it's more like 150ug, week three it's like a low quality 100ug tab. This system is also very cost effective since a tab costs a couple quid and you don't drink at all or nearly as much on a night out. However Having done this dosing for a few months it starts to make you weird, it's hard to fully articulate but even when the drugs are out of your system something remains and you just feel off. Before large doses you should take a 2 week tolerance break.

Microdosing: It's worth noting some research shows if your first exposure to LSD is under 100ug it could influence later trips giving you a greater deal of control over it (early psychitrict researchers claim this could lower the therapeutic benefit of LSD) microdosing has very little well controlled research behind it, maybe it helps with focus, creativity and mood, maybe it's just a placebo – but one thing you'll find when researching microdosing is it's almost all anecdotal and unverifiable. I will follow this trend, services like brainlabs allow you to test brain performance, anyone with two braincells to rub together could come up with a placebo controlled design and actually do some testing.

Over my time microdosing I did notice improvements to my productivity, increased focus and I enjoyed doing tasks more. My overall mood and outlook remained the same, but I think microdosing is overrated generally, though I do think it has value, you get insights into yourself over time. Similar to macrodosing except the insights are slow drips over time instead of getting hosed down for 6-12 hours. In the long term I'm reluctant to rely on any chemicals that barely exist outside of anecdotes.

Insights: Insights and drugs are a very interesting thing to talk about, especially to other drug users since it almost instantly will make your beliefs about the drug(s) clear, for example if you talk about insights as if someone or something gave you the insights it becomes clear you attach some form of spiritual belief to it, however if you claim the insights are something you take the substance clearly doesn't have as much (if any) spiritual value to you.

I fall into the latter, I believe drugs are just chemicals that you can draw from whatever you want, I think the insights you draw are as valuable as you decide, similar to dream analysis – the issue is however, when on drugs you're not capable of accurate assessment, when sober your biases will control your insights so apply a healthy level of skepticism.

The insights I gained are pretty basic, watching my hands wither away into frail, weak and old hands gave me the insight I should take better care of my health; another one I got is the dawning realization that I could be a lot stronger and a lot more capable than I was, reaching your peak is almost impossible, and when you do, when the decline sets in you should continue on to fight against it. Eating on acid lead to me eating healthier as well because it's really fucking weird that people choose to guzzle down an artificial, sugary liquid knowing it will damage their health, when it'd be cheaper, quicker and easier to just fill up a bottle with tap water – this lead to me drinking fizzy drinks only on weekend, however now I've not drank anything other than water for about a year (excluding a couple green teas 2-3 times a week). However I think the insights LSD offers you can be gained from either dream analysis or just straight up self reflection.

Time distortion: Time distortion outside of the regular experience only happened once, smaller more 'normal' distortions like having close eyed or open eyed visuals that feel like they last days when they last minutes things like that aren't worth talking about because even people without drug experience can relate to it and have experienced it.

The one experience that sticks out to me as outside of normal conscious experience is some sort of perceptual time travel, I was sat in my room and decided to make a sandwhich since I was hungry, I was then eating the sandwhich, then I was walking downstairs to make the sandwhich then walking upstairs with the sandwhich then walking downstairs with the eaten sandwhich – truthfully I can't really add much to this because it's very difficult to comprehend. The only explanation I've come up with is similar to deja vu, I did all the actions, forgot I did, then something in my environment triggered the memories and I remembered them in a different chronology all at once giving me the confusing perception the event happened out of order.

Death: The first time you watch yourself die is a very weird thing death on acid is nothing like near death IRL.[^1]

My first experience with acid death I was lying on my bed on 600ug, everything was fine then everything faded around me and I'm watching myself from a third person perspective[^2] then time begins to speed up and up, I'm watching everything decay around myself soon my room is decrepit, then my house, soon my bed is gone, rotted away, then the floor, then the floor underneath, I'm laying on the dirt, grass begins to grow, I can feel it on my skin between my fingers, when it rains i feel it hit my face, on nice days I feel the sun on my face. A rivers begun forming beneath me, some days it gets quite cold on my back. Then I notice and the fear sets in, the tips of my fingers are dissolving into the river, a rainbow worth of colors is going downstream along with my finger tips, am I dying? Will my parents know I've died? Do my parents even exist anymore? I begin fighting it, I don't want to die, What happens after this? the panic gets worse and worse, no matter how much I fight I continue dissolving just slower, but no matter what I do I'll be nothing. Why go out in a panicked state? I decide to just accept it, I can't change the outcome so lets just let it happen and see where I end up, it felt like I'd been fighting it for an eternity anyway. I begin dissolving quicker but this time with a sense of calm, What I am isn't my physical form, it's the actions I did with that physical form, once it's rotted away and stopped existing the thing I did will continue on, my memories, my body, my consciousness none of it matters, none of it is me all I am and will ever be is the impact I had on others, I think this was my first experience of ego death[^3]

The second time I died on acid was much more mundane – I was wandering a desert again watching myself from a third person perspective like some sort of god, The sand felt nice, but I was so hungry, so thirsty, it felt like my insides were burning soon after i watched myself collapse, i was so hungry then i could no longer move, no longer feel my body. I had died, then i snap back to reality and realize I'd spent close to an hour starring at my floorboards, i remember I'm on acid and i remember i was starring at the floorboards and running my fingers along them, the sand color of the floorboards must be why I was in a desert.

those two memories of acid death display the contrast, with some being profound and others being fun party anecdotes. There are more memories but they contain more private events from my life.

Something inside the mirror: Looking into the mirror can be both interesting and overwhelming, you watch your face melt, distort, shift. You're first experience with this might be strange, you come to the realization that just because you see something doesn't mean it exists, mirrors can also force introspection, what do I actually think about my appearance? What does my body and form say about me? things of that nature, I used to enjoy glancing in the mirror when pissing since the sight of me, sweating, baggy hoodie, unkempt facial hair, hunched over, not breaking eye contact with myself as I walk to the toilet was always a sight ot behold.

Demons everywhere: You might also have bad experiences, I believe when you have your first bad trip you're faced with three choices (1) Stop tripping altogether (2) figure out why the bad trip happens, what it means and work through it (3) continue taking acid and embrace the bad trips, eventually they go away – a recurring bad experience I had was with arms reaching out of the floor to grab me, things inside the walls screaming, things watching me in the woods, this went on for a while, every trip they would appear in one form so long as I took a high enough dose for overwhelming visuals.

Puking: In my experience puking on acid is never fun, but I also think it's unavoidable, take acid enough and you'll puke, my first time puking on acid was at the peak of a 300ug trip (liquid) my drug addled brain decided to puke in the sink instead of the toilet, once the sink was filled I moved onto the toilet – I spent around and hour puking, by the end it was a mixture of blood and bile, I struggled to eat for the next following days, the rest of my trip was centered around my drug consumption and why I was even doing drugs in the first place, the weekend after I decided to take some nbome[^4] since I forgot where I'd put my vial.

[^1]: It's worth noting I've overdosed on drugs before, I've never died but I have have spent mornings semi concious puking blood violently (this is my point of comparison) [^2]: One thing I've noticed some struggle to understand is even though you know you've taken drugs, even though drug experiances might be so far disconnected from the normal experiance you often forget you're on drugs or don't comprehend what you're seeing/experiancing isn't real. [^3]: Ego death is a “complete loss of subjective self-identity”. (Read more) [^4]: 25I-NBOMe is an imitation often passed off as acid, you can test to identify if you have acid or this wikipedia


Whenever reading any of my posts consider the date it was posted, people change as do our views. readme // donate

Enter your email to subscribe to updates.