8,099 words

No me quiero morir como un maldito cobarde

Quiero al menos poder decir que lo intenté.

Statistics Are For Machines and Idiots

You think you're smart knowing that the statistics say that having a gun in one's house poses a higher risk for one's family than potential intruders. And you may be, but you're really stupid if you think you're going to convince anyone not to have a gun in their home with that tidbit of information. We all think statistics don't apply to us (and to tell you the truth they don't, but that may be stuff for another post). The smoker, the gambler, the guy who religiously buys a lotto ticket every week. Even you, but you haven't even notice. We all think we're better than the average, so find another argument.

Depression is a bitch

and so is resistance
come on guys we can do this

"with the flick of an eye you finally see the light"
and once you see the light be all over it and don't let go
depresh will come back, but the further you get while on the light, the easier it'll be to climb back
i believe in you

YouTube Is Out to Get Me

YouTube wants to kill me, so does my neighbor, the garbage truck's driver,
porn, the Microsoft corporation,
I just got two blue screens of death in the last week, you motherfuckers
The seasons, particularly winter and its bullshit: cold, snow, ice, chapped lips, the furnace
My employer, the government,
Too much and too little
Up and down
My bed is too cozy
The whole internet is too interesting
I have ideas to write but everything's been written
Dead writers are out to kill me
I want to write, but YouTube is easier
I want to write, but instant reward is just
I want to write, instead I choose instant gratification
so convenient, so warm
and yet, so painful at the end of the day

My Neighbor Is Out to Get Me

He wants to kill me
Do I sound paranoid to you?
He's not cleaning the snow from the sidewalk in front of his house!
He's going to give me a heart attack
He does it so I don't stop thinking about
He does it so I don't write
He is Resistance
He is Neurosis
He lives inside my head

Capitalism and the Race to the Bottom

Is the minimum wage good or bad?

A few years ago Chipotle announced that it had partnered with the City of Denver to provide low-rent housing to its employees. Some people, who I suspect are not habituated to reflecting, cheered the move, even though 1) it was a clear admission that Chipotle does not pay a living wage to some of its employees, and 2) it had ensnared the city on a scheme to use tax-payer money to pony up for the difference.

Evidently, the minimum wage is not sufficient. The threat from employers, however, is that fewer workers will be employed if the minimum wage is raised. Employers will always go for the lower-cost alternative–be it AI, overseas workers, dumb machines, etc.–because they're optimizing for profit. This is a race to the bottom.

From minimum wages to the Glass-Steagall act, it's all patches for the unstoppable machine that threatens to keep degrading our way of living and our environment. Socialism is dead and capitalism is a blind killing machine. We need to imagine and implement a third alternative before the black hole swallows us.

Ando Perdido

Ando pinches perdido. Estoy escribiendo todos los días pero no estoy seguro de que esto vaya a algún lado. Supongo que yo lo voy a tener que dirigir hacia alguna dirección, pero no sé a dónde quiero ir. Mi meta en algún momento es escribir un artículo para una publicación. Pero ando muy pinche apático. Un día me siento chido, voy bien, llevo una dirección, estoy respetando mi arte, pero otros días me siento perdido. Estoy siguiendo el método de Julia Cameron, El Camino del Artista, y ella dice que no es un camino derecho y que habrá días en los que nos sentimos sin rumbo. Pues aquí estoy.

En vez de pensar que estaría bien en el futuro publicar un artículo, debo ponerme una fecha para publicar. Tengo un par de publicaciones en mente. Al menos mi meta debe ser mandar un artículo para la consideración de los editores. 

Necesito tener la lista de mis proyectos más importantes en mi cara para que me desvíe del camino. 

Tengo ideas y pienso que quiero estar en mi casa trabajando en mis proyectos y ahora que ya estoy aquí estoy distraído y los proyectos que parecían tan importantes no me lo parecen tanto.

Quiero estar solo y paso bastante tiempo solo y no pienso que me haga bien. Me siento como un adolescente y pienso que puede ser positivo si logro crecer a través de esta experiencia. 

Just Write

I'm taking the #100days challenge, trying to write one blog post at least once a day fof 100 days. Part of the goal is to make you write even when you don't want to, even when you don't have any ideas, or when you just want to go to bed after avoiding the blank page all day long. So, here I am, with nothing to say except that I have nothing to say. Mission accomplished. :)

Note 28

How I'm increasing my productivity.

  • First of all, I'm recognizing that I have a problem. It looks obvious to me now, but for two years I thought I was being smart. The problem is this: I am mortgaging my future in order to pay for short term self-indulgence.

  • My solution

    • Track focused work
    • Focused means no distractions
    • Focused means meaningful: work directly related to my top priority projects
    • Focused means it has a clear objective: a concrete result (blog post, song, etc.), or builds up my skills
    • Pare down the number of priority projects
    • Measure time spent on focused work
    • Increase time spent on focused work weekly
    • Remind myself of why you are doing this and what keeps you trapped in low-value activities
    • Avoiding pain/discomfort
    • Seeking to maximize comfort for myself
    • Focusing on short term results/satisfaction
    • Looking for ROI (effort/results) beyond what's reasonable
    • Remind myself of my triumphs, no everything has gone down the drain

The Path to Self-Destruction is Easy

Destruction is easy. Working with entropy is easy, it's the downward flow, you just let yourself go. Destroying yourself takes one second. A life of building something requires years of discipline, even just to keep yourself alive. Bemoaning that things don't go your way is old, it's easy, it's been done a million times. Self-actualization may seem an act of self-centeredness but it's the opposite. Is the recognition that we didn't come here to indulge in our basest desires, it's the recognition that this is not our game and it's not played by our rules. As you go up the pyramid, gravity increases, risk increases, the challenges increase. Those are just the rules, it's been like that since before you were born, since before world was, thinking that you can do your will is foolish and the first step in self-destruction, the first step to destroy your merits. Destruction is easy, self-indulgence is easy. You don't impress me. You may impress the people who don't understand what the rules of the game are, the impressionable ones, the ones who think someone ballsy enough, powerful enough can bend the rules and live to tell the tale. Only the dead survive, it is only by dying that we are born in our truest selves. You can spend your energy kicking and screaming or you can build something where thieves do not break and steal, where moth and vermin do not destroy. Choose dust or choose the light, but do is quietly–or not, nobody will be there to clap anyways, this is not your show, understand this once and for all. Your theatrics make us yawn, worse, we don't even care, we're too busy trying to climb up our own mountain of shit, our mountain of diamond-strong ego. My ego doesn't even let me see your shit medal, too bad. Get off your high horse and start shoveling manure before it gets dark, we're all workers here, man, I haven't seen the manager in ages. You think you have the copyright on suffering? You've trademarked tears? You'll always get another chance, but why fuck things up for yourself? Why make it harder than it already is? Work today, leave self-pity for another day. Work today, just for today man. Now, now is the time to work.

Waiting for something or someone to fix us up is a bitch

But sometimes we just can't stop it
can we?

El Último Suspiro

Arnoldo Hams dio su último suspiro el 20 de enero de 1548. Él inventó la rueda de la fortuna para darle un beso a la muchacha que le gustaba. La invitó y en lo más alto de la máquina, Arnoldo, con toda su timidez, y sin haber logrado decirle una palabra a la muchacha cuyo nombre no quedó registrado en los libros de historia, acercó sus labios a la cara de la muchacha quien volteó la cabeza y se alejó tanto como le fue posible de Arnoldo, en un gesto que hizo parecer que prefería ser lanzada del armatoste mecánico que tocar sus labios con los de Arnoldo. La ocurrencia le rompió el corazón a Arnoldo quien ordenó destruir no sólo la copia en la que había sido rechazado sino el resto que entonces se calculaba en dos docenas esparcidas por el territorio flamenco y una adicional comisionada para la ciudad de París. 

Los vecinos, amigos y compatriotas de Arnoldo respetuosamente esperaron hasta su fallecimiento más 25 años de luto antes de compartir su regalo con el mundo. 

Don't Try

"Don't Try" – Charles Bukowski

Art and creativity is like dating. If you try too hard, it shows. 

But you still have to put yourself out there. It's a numbers game. It's about showing your face until you feel comfortable doing it without regard for the outcome. 

On the other hand, it doesn't necessarily mean presenting your warts up front. It's about finding the balance between hiding them and putting them in people's face.

But most importantly, don't try to skip the part where you make all the mistakes. It doesn't work that way. So go out there and hide your warts and show them up front and make a mess and learn a thing or two and come back next day. 

We desperately need brave people who care and who bring meaning into the world so don't be afraid of us.

Reckoning With the Cost of Self-Indulgence

“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” – David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Exactly two years ago I read The 5-Hour Workweek. A book to help you "escape the 9-5" and join the "new rich." The goal is to do less work for "the man" so you can have more time for yourself. 

In a perverse way, I succeeded. 

I've created a very comfortable space for myself. I cut the bullshit at work—reduced the number of meetings I attended, quit attending presentations and webinars, extricated myself from the most dysfunctional teams, etc. I saved so much time that I doubled my productivity. I talked to my employer and now I work (and get paid for) only 30 hours a week. My salary is high enough that 75% of it is still sufficient for a middle-class family. A dream, right?

Not really. 

I went down a path of increasing self-indulgence. I freed up time, but for what? For masturbation, literally and metaphorically. I mean, I had plans. Big ones. I reduced the time I work for the man to do the things that make me come alive. 

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

I wanted to "honor my calling." Instead I was beat up by Resistance. 

Inside each of us there is a force for light and a force for darkness. You wonder why you stay so late? Why you quit going to the gym on March 1st Every. Fucking. Year? It's resistance. That extra slice of cake that makes you go "Fuuuuuuck!!" is the work of Resistance. 

In me, Resistance transformed this dream of freeing time to express my art into an orgy of self-indulgence. I became the poor man's Charlie Sheen. And not even that. At least we was bursting into flames, living life in the fast lane. I, I just jumped from one YouTube video to the next, from one inconsequential chore to another.

I want to write and make music. What I've found is a way to mostly spin my wheels. I mean, don't get me wrong, I've made some progress, but nothing compared to what I could've accomplished if I had focused and planned my days better. I'm not even talking about laser focus, just paying attention to the myriad ways in which I burn my most precious resource—my time.

Maybe prompted by the end of the year, in the last couple of days I've had a reckoning with the Truth. I'm not getting any younger and the path I'm in is unsustainable, either at work or for my personal projects. I'm trying a new way of keeping myself on track. If it works, I'll tell you all about it. If it doesn't, I'll keep on looking until I find it. 

I refuse let my life go down the drain. 

Part X - Resistance

Part X will haunt you to the end of the world and it will destroy you as it has destroyed countless others. You think you're special? That this can't happen to you? That's exactly how you'll get undone. The road to hell is paved by the hubris of amateurs. The pro understands that she doesn't know a thing, until the end. In fact, the less she knows the better. She lives for just another day to do her job.

Like AA members, you've won the battle for today—at most. For the next few minutes, most likely.