Writing what I think should be read
22974 words

On curiosity

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 criticising 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 honour 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 realise 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 levelling 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.

✍️jekyll and gitlab to listed.to blog

3 minutes

Since writing this post I've since stopped using git history for accountability, I like it however I believe myself to be quite honest and when a fundamental part of a blog post changes I will use a website archiving service to reflect that, my reasoning was since github is getting more and more restrictive as time goes on either mirroring my blog posts to it will put my github in jeopardy or I will have to change the way I express myself on this blog not just to be inline with listed.to' ToS but also githubs

I used to write this blog on gitlab, with jekyll powering it, I've been using standard notes and listed.to for blogging for a while now so I thought I'd compare the two including pros and cons of each and how I had each set up.

Gitlab and jekyll:
The reason I originally choose gitlab and jekyll is a high level of customizability and git history1 By the end of it I'd added several features which I loved, the smoothest search experience I'd ever seen, no need to hit search it just shows results as your type, you could add categories and tags meaning the search results were incredibly accurate, I also added analytics, comments and PGP signing to my posts so if my gitlab account ever got hacked someone couldn't impersonate me - I edited posts with visual studio code, I had custom keybindings to add common things to blogposts such as footers etc. The lifecycle of a blogpost was as follows:
Make a markdown file with mm-dd-yy-filename.md, Type up the blogpost on my desktop using visual studio code, add formatting to the post, add tags, compile it locally to make sure it looks ok, git push, wait for site to update.

Pros Cons
Can change it as you please Editor isn't nice to use
Much nicer to search Compiling and proof checking is annoying
ability to add analytics No easy ability to edit on mobile
No seamless note syncing
No seamless encryption of drafts
No password protection


Standard Notes & Listed.to
The migration to listed was just wanted something simpler and more user friendly experience, now my average post is written on my phone, desktop or laptop (or a combination of) posts are split into several 'folders' blog, finished, published - this way I can keep a backlog of finished posts that aren't yet published, then I format it, add things like estimated reading time and post history, then push it to github using a standard notes addon (so that history of a post and it's changes can be seen also since listed doesn't currently have a search feature2 this allows you to search a blog via the github repo) then just hit publish from the standard notes app (can't be done on mobile app though)

Pros Cons
Fully encrypted No way to publish from mobile app
Nice and clean ecosystem No search
Less hands on No analytics
Editor is nice No commenting system
Syncing between clients is seamless
Can edit on mobile
Note history (without github)

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  1. Git history enables users to look at any changes or revisions made to a file, it adds accountability. 

  2. When writing this I shot off an email to listed asking a few questions and they replied saying search is on the roadmap but with no estimated timeline 

📖Books, 2020

I only started recording data in august first in a spreadsheet then on storygraph
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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.

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Stats rundown (since august)

Ratings & Reviews

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
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Deep work, Cal Newport

3/5

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This books pretty good but also the sort of shit you already know, dedicate time to work, limit social media use, try to work for long periods uninterupted without a distracting environment.

That being said it does still have some useful information but unless you've never worked an office job (in which you tried to be productive for mr bossman ohhh please thank you mr bossman for letting me do this thing I have to do or I starve to death yess thank you now I don't have to waste my time pursuing things that I find meaningful) this book is only worth a skimread, however if you've never looked at maximising your productivity and performance either work wise or personally give this book a read

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//Resources:

//Concepts:

  • The Deep Work Hypothesis: The ability to perform deep work is becoming increasingly rare at exactly the same time it is becoming increasingly valuable in our economy. As a consequence, the few who cultivate this skill, and then make it the core of their working life, will thrive.
  • Deep Work: Professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate
  • Shallow Work: Noncognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted. These efforts tend to not create much new value in the world and are easy to replicate.
  • Attention Restoration Theory: exposure to nature is not only enjoyable but can also help us improve our focus and ability to concentrate
  • Busyness as Proxy for Productivity: In the absence of clear indicators of what it means to be productive and valuable in their jobs, many knowledge workers turn back toward an industrial indicator of productivity: doing lots of stuff in a visible manner
  • Craftsman Approach to Tool Selection: Identify the core factors that determine success and happiness in your professional and personal life. Adopt a tool only if its positive impacts on these factors substantially outweigh its negative impacts.
  • Any-Benefit Approach to Network Tool Selection: You’re justified in using a network tool if you can identify any possible benefit to its use, or anything you might possibly miss out on if you don’t use it.
  • Attention Residue: Switching between tasks lowers performance of the new task
  • productive meditation: take a period in which you’re occupied physically but not mentally—walking, jogging, driving, showering—and focus your attention on a single well-defined problem
  • The Law of the Vital Few: In many settings, 80 percent of a given effect is due to just 20 percent of the possible causes
  • Deliberate practice: (1) your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve or an idea you’re trying to master; (2) you receive feedback so you can correct your approach to keep your attention exactly where it’s most productive.
  • The Principle of Least Resistance: In a business setting, without clear feedback on the impact of various behaviors to the bottom line, we will tend toward behaviors that are easiest in the moment.
  • Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy
    • 1. The ability to quickly master hard things.
    • 2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.

//Tips:

  • Decades of work from multiple different subfields within psychology all point toward the conclusion that regularly resting your brain improves the quality of your deep work. When you work, work hard. When you’re done, be done
  • [on attention restoration theory] You might, of course, argue that perhaps being outside watching a sunset puts people in a good mood, and being in a good mood is what really helps performance on these tasks. But in a sadistic twist, the researchers debunked that hypothesis by repeating the experiment in the harsh Ann Arbor winter. Walking outside in brutal cold conditions didn’t put the subjects in a good mood, but they still ended up doing better on concentration tasks
  • if you’re trying to learn a complex new skill (say, SQL database management) in a state of low concentration (perhaps you also have your Facebook feed open), you’re firing too many circuits simultaneously and haphazardly to isolate the group of neurons you actually want to strengthen.
  • This strategy asks you to inject the occasional dash of Rooseveltian intensity into your own workday. In particular, identify a deep task (that is, something that requires deep work to complete) that’s high on your priority list. Estimate how long you’d normally put aside for an obligation of this type, then give yourself a hard deadline that drastically reduces this time. If possible, commit publicly to the deadline—for example, by telling the person expecting the finished project when they should expect it. If this isn’t possible (or if it puts your job in jeopardy), then motivate yourself by setting a countdown timer on your phone and propping it up where you can’t avoid seeing it as you work.
  • Where you’ll work and for how long. Your ritual needs to specify a location for your deep work efforts

//Habits:

  • Once your workday shuts down, you cannot allow even the smallest incursion of professional concerns into your field of attention
  • During these periods, which can last up to three or four days, he’ll often put an out-of-office auto-responder on his e-mail so correspondents will know not to expect a response. “It sometimes confuses my colleagues,” he told me. “They say, ‘You’re not out of office, I see you in your office right now!’” But to Grant, it’s important to enforce strict isolation until he completes the task at hand.
  • consider the frustratingly common practice of forwarding an e-mail to one or more colleagues, labeled with a short open-ended interrogative, such as: “Thoughts?” These e-mails take the sender only a handful of seconds to write but can command many minutes (if not hours, in some cases) of time and attention from their recipients to work toward a coherent response [respond asking them to clarify and be more specfic]
  • Isaacson was methodic, Any time he could find some free time, he would switch into a deep work mode and hammer away at his book. This is how, it turns out, one can write a nine-hundred-page book on the side while spending the bulk of one’s day becoming one of the country’s best magazine writers. I call this approach, in which you fit deep work wherever you can into your schedule, the journalist philosophy. This name is a nod to the fact that journalists, like Walter Isaacson, are trained to shift into a writing mode on a moment’s notice
  • And in an ironic twist, Neal Stephenson, the acclaimed cyberpunk author who helped form our popular conception of the Internet age, is near impossible to reach electronically—his website offers no e-mail address and features an essay about why he is purposefully bad at using social media. Here’s how he once explained the omission: “If I organize my life in such a way that I get lots of long, consecutive, uninterrupted time-chunks, I can write novels. If I instead get interrupted a lot what replaces it? Instead of a novel that will be around for a long time… there is a bunch of e-mail messages that I have sent out to individual persons.”
  • Jung’s approach is what I call the bimodal philosophy of deep work. This philosophy asks that you divide your time, dedicating some clearly defined stretches to deep pursuits and leaving the rest open to everything else

//Reference:

  • High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)
  • They wanted to understand what differentiated these elite memorizers from the population at large. “We found that one of the biggest differences between memory athletes and the rest of us is in a cognitive ability that’s not a direct measure of memory at all but of attention,” explained Roediger in a New York Times blog post
  • People experiencing attention residue after switching tasks are likely to demonstrate poor performance on that next task,” and the more intense the residue, the worse the performance
  • From this perspective, the small-scale details of how you spend your day aren’t that important, because what matters are the large-scale outcomes, such as whether or not you get a promotion or move to that nicer apartment. According to Gallagher, decades of research contradict this understanding. Our brains instead construct our worldview based on what we pay attention to.
  • we live in an era where anything Internet related is understood by default to be innovative and necessary. Depth-destroying behaviors such as immediate e-mail responses and an active social media presence are lauded, while avoidance of these trends generates suspicion.
  • Nass’s research revealed that constant attention switching online has a lasting negative effect on your brain. Here’s Nass summarizing these findings in a 2010 interview with NPR’s Ira Flatow: So we have scales that allow us to divide up people into people who multitask all the time and people who rarely do, and the differences are remarkable. People who multitask all the time can’t filter out irrelevancy. They can’t manage a working memory. They’re chronically distracted. They initiate much larger parts of their brain that are irrelevant to the task at hand… they’re pretty much mental wrecks.
  • A now voluminous line of inquiry, initiated in a series of pioneering papers also written by Roy Baumeister, has established the following important (and at the time, unexpected) truth about willpower: You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it.

//Books mentioned:

  • To Save Everything, Click Here, Evgeny Morozov link
  • The Pragmatic Programmer, Andy Hunt link
  • How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, Arnold Bennett link
  • Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, Joshua Foer link
  • All Things Shining, Sean Dorrance Kelly link
  • Give and Take, Adam Grant link
  • Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi link
  • The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle link
  • The Intellectual Life, Antonin Sertillanges link
  • Rapt, Winifred Gallagher link
  • Average is over, Tyler Cowen link
  • The innovators, Walter Isaacson link
  • Race against the machine, Erik Brynjolfsson link
  • Willpower, Roy Baumeister link
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Are your hobbies for you or someone else?

3 Minutes

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Hobby, Noun
A hobby is considered to be a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time, not professionally and not for pay.

By the broadest definition people have a lot of hobbies, you most likely have

  1. watching tv
  2. playing games
  3. browsing the web
  4. using social media
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Today I went birdwatching, I spotted some fungus but unfortunately didn't have my fungus identification book on me, I bought it recently so that on my walks I could document fungus I see, I took photos of it though, the walk was overall quite nice I wrote in my journal about it, I also recorded a video for an upcoming youtube video I'm working on, I'll edit it tomorrow, Luckily however I brought my headphone so I could listen to music on the walk. Why am I telling you all this? because today I engaged in a lot of hobbies

  1. walking
  2. birdwatching
  3. taking photos
  4. Journalling
  5. Listening to music
  6. Making youtube videos

Now the issue I think I and most people have is a lack of focus on what our hobbies are leading to habitual hobbies, nothing to do watch tv, play video games - the world offers us a buffet of hobbies and we fill our plate but then pick at the same two or three items forgetting about the rest on our plate. I think diverse hobbies are very important and I think the main categories of hobbies everyone should engage in are below with several examples, then I'll break down why I think they're important

  • Analytic - Anything that has a phase of planning or post-analysis, a hobby that needs to be thought about to be fully experienced
  • Creative - Anything that allows self expression and has a clear outcome that's open to interpretation
  • Developmental - Anything that aids you in development of the self or of your abilities as an individual.
  • Mindless - Something that allows you to shut off your mind and stops overthinking
  • Physical - Something that engages the body to work in tandem with the mind, requiring a combination of physical and mental effort, with some sense of progression over time
  • Relationships - Anything that gives you a sense you've strengthened your relationships to others or in some way made the society you're a part of a better place
  • 'Spiritual' - Unfortunately I can't find a better word than this, something that allows reflection on the world whilst evoking some kind of abstract emotional response, to put this in a less pretentious way when looking at a sunset it gives you a sense of the world, your place within it, it also evokes a feeling, but no word fits this feeling perfectly and you can't quite understand why you feel it or what the feeling is.

You might notice several things occur several times this is intentional, things won't fit into each category nicely and you might not even categorise things in the same way I do, this is fine because I think most people can understand category placement by just doing the activity, you'll intuitively know which category you'd place walking in if you go on a walk.

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A breakdown of my hobbies

It's worth noting hobbies don't have to be done on a planned basis, maybe you do it when opportunity strikes, I'm going to also use the first letter of each type so you know how I categorise them.

  • [APS] - Walking
  • [A] - Programming
  • [ACR] - Making videos
  • [ACDRS] - Writing (Blogging, Journalling)
  • [ADS] - Reading
  • [C] - Drawing
  • [C] - Taking photos
  • [DPS] - Weight training
  • [DP] - Learning to play guitar
  • [M] - Watching TV
  • [M] - Listening to music
  • [MPR] - Playing games with friends
  • [PS] - Hiking
  • [PS] - Bird watching
  • [PR] - Picking up litter
  • [P] - Speed Cubing
  • [R] - Spending time with family

There are some other hobbies not included since they're quite niche and would require explaining.
Why did I bother writing and posting this? I realised that diverse hobbies are needed to be happy, Hobbies shouldn't just be way to pass the time they should be and offer you something more. Hopefully this makes you look more closely at your hobbies and what hobbies you might like to try out.

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📔Journaling

8 Minutes

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
7 Ways Marcus Aurelius Will Help You Journal Like A Pro | Ryan Holiday | Stoicism // 12m; 2x speed
How to Journal: Start Here | Kati Morton // 7m; 1.5x speed
How I Journal and Take Notes | Brainstorming + Focusing + Reducing Anxiety | Tim Ferriss // 19m; 1.5x speed

//

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Roku overheating piece of shit

I recently got a roku to replace my raspi media centre, roku can do things like plex but also netflix, amazon prime (for football) without tinkering, a good cheap out of the box experiance. holy shit what poorly designed trash essentially the unit heats up fucking the wifi in the process but it isn't a network issue that's making it buffer every two minutes, it's a roku is a piece of shit with poorly designed passive cooling, so how to fix this bitch? buy a big bag of raspberry pi heatsinks, rip the roku out of it's case and slap heatsinks anywhere you can fit them, then power the device down (unplug it or use a switch) on a regular basis, all of that has got me 1080p buffer free streaming (most of the time) more long term I might 3d print a new enclosure that allows me to have two fans on it with a toggle switch.

You are not your brain, jeffery schwartz

It feels like >90% of this book is filler content, the underlying science seems valid - any and all quotes from the "patients" seem made up, they all happen to talk like doctors. If you decide to read it skim reading would still be a waste, read the conclusions at the end of each chapter and if you understand the basic concepts behind each chapter and brain plasticity don't worry about reading anything else.

2/5

🥗Expanding vegan ethics into software, hardware and services

4 minutes

“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

I’ve been vegan for around a year now, I knew I didn’t practice what I preached and one saturday I woke up and said I’m vegan, that was it, though me being vegan shouldn’t make my argument more or less valid.

Now I believe the definition of veganism is why so many vegans are involved in other social justices issues, because humans are animals too so we should seek to exclude as far as is possible and practical all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to humans right? but the contradiction becomes clear when you consider basic things, like smartphone aren’t vegan so when buying a phone a vegan should consider lifespan and how easy the phone is to repair but most vegans opt for iphones which are know to purposely reduce the lifespan of their devices1 2 and are actively fighting the right to repair3 obviously a smartphone is a near requirement in modern society and veganism will always contain individual compromise however a simple switch from apple to android would offer longer lifespans and better repairability, with the gold standard being the fairphone which offers a cruelty free phone, one that doesn't exploit children via malicious business practices so why do you seem to see so many vegans supporting companies that harm humans? are they hypocrites? probably not, I think the same as meat eaters claiming to love animals they can be split into one of the following categories

  • People who aren't aware how much harm these companies cause and how they as an individual can decrease that harm
    • learning to repair your own device or paying to have it repaired instead of replaced
    • buying cruelty free phones
    • not replacing a phone just because it's a bit slow or a new ones out with a slightly better camera
  • People who've never actually considered the consequences of their actions
  • Hypocrites

I think hypocrites make up the smallest set of all three, I struggle to imagine someone who'd respond to "why buy an iphone that has a very evil history of exploiting children when you could instead buy a phone that doesn't, sure it's not as good but no children died to make it" with anything but serious consideration; the headaches would be minimal since fairphones function the same as any android device, I can't think of any advantage that is worth the suffering, both fortunately and unfortunately I say this hypocrisy after buying a new phone for myself, the pixel 3a which is running grapheneOS with no google apps or services, I worry that when this phone bites the dust I won't be able to justify anything but a fairphone, which isn't as secure as my current setup, but replacement parts are easy to come by and I'm pretty comfortable with phone repair, also earlier I drew a distinction between repairing it yourself and having a store repair it for you, a store repair is most likely using subpar parts ordered in bulk, if you buy the parts yourself you have a higher quality of mind that the part will last, ifixit sell replacement parts for a lot of devices and offer step by step guides, one tip I would have is buying parts before they break and ensuring you've got the needed tools for repairs, the main parts would be the screen and the battery since they're the most common issues, if your screen breaks and the phone becomes unusable you're a lot less likely to wait weeks for a part to be shipped then fit it yourself and much more likely to go to a repair shop, but if you've already got the part and already paid for it you could even just take the parts to the store, I would recommend watching them fit the part though to ensure they don't swap out your part with a cheaper aftermarket one which is a risk.

I think as a vegan the greatest thing you can do is focus on education but I also think you have a responsibility to confront people when they act hypocritical, even if it means losing friends - now to clear this up someone can act hypocritically without being a hypocrite, you only become a hypocrite if you continue to do the same act once you've become consciously aware of the hypocrisy. I think the conversations about expansion of veganism needs to happen, so many people already seem to think vegan is just a diet, a way to eat but vegans will explain to you it expands to all facets of life, so why not tech?

//

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🗣Self promotion

2 Minutes

I've noticed a lot of people self promote and I think in a lot of cases it's against their best interest, I've come up with a checklist I think everyone should meet before they even consider self promotion.

How long have you been creating content?
If you've created a youtube channel yesterday you shouldn't be promoting it today, having a long standing channel or whatever would show you're dedicated to it and to creating content on a regular basis, if you've got a channel made in the past month with one video, even if someone likes the video they'd think twice about subscribing because what're the chances your other videos will be the same, or that you'll even continue making content, if you're already self promoting and you've been making content for a small amount of time my thinking would be you'll give up unless you get growth quickly, since you're so quick to resort to spam.

Have other non-biased party told you your content adds value to them?
Everyone, me included will think whatever they make is better than it is - friends will always be biased, you might have friends who're less biased than others but no friends will want to tell you something you've made is stupid and bad, strangers can be biased as well don't get me wrong, a lot of people have bad days and take it out on strangers but it's fairly easy to spot, has a stranger told you not only that your creation is good but what value it's given them, made me laugh, helped me with x things like that

Do you add value in this area?
This should be fairly self explanatory but extends beyond just a viewer/subscriber/whatever basis, do you add value to the larger thing you're contributing to, if you're a vegan fitness youtuber do you add value to that genre and part of youtube? You should display not just your value to the consumer but to the group you belong to, anything less makes you seem selfish and people will be reluctant to support you. This doesn't mean be nice to everyone but care about the genre as a whole, burn bridges by calling out shitty content creators, help under appreciated content creators, you can't expect from others what you're unwilling to give to others.

Do you do anything differently?
What separates you from the others that create content that falls into the same category of you? doing something differently helps you stand out and gives you a reason to picked over others.

What's your current rate of growth?
If you're growing at a consistent, steady pace then think twice about self promotion, the gains are fairly small and even if you have the perfect content some will still dislike you just because you self promote.


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Wallabag Review, Make reading news easier.

2 minutes

wallabag is an open source application to save your web articles and allows you to read them later, on your smartphone, your tablet or your ereader.

We live in a time of information overload, I've talked briefly about my habits with the news but now I'd like to talk about wallabag, because I think it's worth considering. Wallabag is similar to firefoxs "pocket" I can't really compare the two since I've only used wallabag.

Why wallabag? I don't know about you but most articles come in from dozens of sites and sources, I'll see them on reddit, 4chan, friends will send me them and then my RSS reader pulls them in from about a dozen different news sites, then you end up mentioning something you read to friend and frantically struggle to find the article or paper - wallabag fixes this, no matter what site you share from it formats it all, no bloat, no clutter just text, it has advanced search features so you can easily find the article you read, it also allows you to annotate parts of articles then export it with your notes and annotations, but the feature that really makes it shine is the automation of tagging[1], tags make organisation easier and allow you to read about certain topics, need a little pick me up? go to your good news tag - the cleanest use of tags I've managed is to have articles automatically sent to my kobo ereader[2] if they'll take me longer than 8 minutes to read since I don't like reading too much on my phone. other tags I have setup are social media, big tech, infosec, privacy, politics, science, studies.

You can also save by email, meaning if a friend sees something they think I'll like they can email it and it'll be formatted and put into wallabag.

There are however some cons, for one the web ui doesn't have a dark theme, there are third party css that do this very well, Nord wallabag[3] is one I use, theres also no pure highlighting, you can only annotate, whatever you annotate gets highlighted but if you hover over it you see an empty text box pop up - ideally you'd be able to just highlight things and to even automate highlighting like you can with rules, if it auto highlighted everything in quote marks it'd enable you to skim read articles a lot easier, or if you could setup different highlighting rules based on the tag you could go a step further, if the tag is infosec it could automatically highlight certain keywords.

Conclusion
I think wallabag could help a lot of people not only deal with the overload of articles but also to read more of them without the dogshit UIs all news sites seem to have, click an article, accept cookies, the site doesn't work without full JS, enable third party JS, refresh, read through, forget to save the link. Wallabag helps you know the time investment before reading - it separates everything into neat categories, you can read on your phone, desktop or ereader, if you ever need to reference an article you can find it easily, all of it in one place nice and organized.

if you find yourself only reading titles of articles then talking about them, find yourself unable to link people to the articles you talk about or just want to read more wallabag could be a practical way of doing it

//Resources:

//Configs:
//My tagging rules
//My wallabako config

//Misc:
//Wallabag
//Wallabag nord css
//Wallabako


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🚶Walking

5 minutes

“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 realise 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 realise 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 favourable 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.


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🎪[Quote] Either/or, Soren Kierkgaard

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that's just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it's a joke.

👥The flaws in comparing yourself to others and to yourself.

2 minutes

Disclaimer: None of these thoughts are original they've almost certainly been thought before and explained in a better way. If you're aware of a case of this please email it me so I can link to it here.

Success is a matter of three things, 'Talent', hard work, and 'luck' - Talent is mostly genetic, You also need an environment that fosters and nurtures your natural talent, these things can be considered 'luck' You could also discredit hard work in a similar fashion if you're a determinist but that's beside the point.

Comparing yourself to others isn't fair to yourself because you can't possibly compare the two, Because no two people have the same starting conditions, the same environmental conditions and the same level of luck. So why would you ever compare yourself to others? because society encourages it, because it can be a quick form of relief 'Things might be bad but it could be worse I could be x' But since you can't accurately put yourself down by comparing you to others, elevating yourself by comparing yourself to others also isn't fair, it's just a biased way to elevate your own ego. inflating your ego by comparing yourself to others is a trap, You get cut by it more than you're inflated, then your inflated ego is based on bias not reality, and the comparisons that tear you down are also controlled by bias.

Now lets talk about the shaky foundation of comparing yourself to yourself, progress isn't linear and regression should be expected in any for of long term progress, there will always be growing pains, hiccups, issues that come up.

The point of this is to say don't build your sense of self worth on things that're unfair like comparing yourself to others or others to you, or to allow any kind of stalling or step backs in progress make you feel bad about yourself. those comparisons aren't fair and neither is seeing any regressions in your progress as failure.


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👅Lysergic acid diethylamide

Disclaimer: This is not a trip report but a collection of experiences from my drug use split into catagories.

9 minutes

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 tolerence 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 tolerence 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 theraputical 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 valuble 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 outisde of the regular experiance 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 experiance can relate to it and have experianced it.

The one experiance that sticks out to me as outside of normal concious experiance 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 explenation 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 experiance 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 perspective2 then time begins to speed up and up, I'm watching everything decay around myself soon my room is decrepid, 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 paniced 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 enternaty 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 conciousness 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 experiance of ego death3

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 experiance with this might be strange, you come to the realisation 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 experiances, 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 experiance 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 experiance 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 nbome4 since I forgot where I'd put my vial.


donate // outis@aether.exposed


  1. It's worth noting I've overdosed on drugs before and in some cases needed emergancy attention, I've never died but I have needed resusitation and 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