Writing Practice

They say learning is most effective when you're teaching someone. So, my plan is to solidify what I've learned by explaining it with my own words - as well as practicing my writing skills. Eventually I'll do the same with speaking.

Table Of Contents:

02.04.2022 You are not your thoughts

There was this idea I read in a book once: your thoughts aren't really who you are. They are a separate entity which you are meant to control. In fact, a lot of the time your thoughts are, in fact, your circumstances! Once you pay attention to where your thoughts are truly coming from, it becomes much easier to evaluate their worth and importance. A much needed change of perspective indeed!

There's another reason to be critical of your own thoughts: the unfortunate truth is that EVERYONE thinks what they're told to think in some capacity, whether you like it or not. The best we can do is just resist until the information disappears and becomes forgotten. But you can't resist forever. Then, the only other option that remains is adapting to the new informational landscape. In the age of social media and the Internet this means that our thoughts, values and behaviors are largely determined by whoever has the most money and influence to push their ideas. But these thoughts are rarely ever designed with your interests in mind.

But if you think about it, if we can't get rid of our cognitive lability, then why not adapt to use it instead? I believe that this can in part solve the motivation problem, improve your confidence, adapt your behaviour, fix your insecurities and harmful beliefs* (this is already happening on a large scale in the West, by the way). Really, this is not novel either: think about CBT. But I think environmental control needs to be focused more.

This kind of does introduce a new question: if we aren't our thoughts, then who are we and what should we guided by? How do we decide that? How is it going to be different from a thought? But that's a question for another day.

22.03.2022 The shiny object syndrome

I've listened and read a lot for the past couple of days (the last month, really), but nothing really stands out enough for me to want to talk about right now. I do, however, have quite a bit of problems waiting to be solved. One of them being a lack of commitment and work ethic or shiny object syndrome. So how can I solve this?

The most efficient way of controlling your behaviour comes from you controlling your environment. One can't really switch to a new shiny object if it's simply not there. That's why listening to a boring lecture gets your creativity going and makes you reflect on all that stuff you've been planning and so on... At least that's how it is for me. The point is, being bored makes you remember the important stuff naturally, whereas constantly scrooolling is as good as ddosing your brain. And if you're highly impressionable like I am your mind might stay at that new place for a while - wasting away so much precious time!

Yet, clearly there's still a problem, since I am writing this. These days it's difficult to avoid the abundance of information that has permeated every platform unless there is a hard barrier. I have tried website blockers - I am now simply used to entering the password every single day. (maybe it should be a bit more complicated than '123') As long as you don't bypass the environment's restrictions it should be very effective.

Next on the line are cultivating habits, practicing good diet and sleep. These make it easier to overcome temptations of the Internet.

I forgot to mention that there's a huge social aspect to the environment part. "Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are". Peer pressure is a good way to stick to desired behavior. It may even be more efficient than simply removing the distractors! After all, what could be more joyful for the lizard brain than to feel accepted by the tribe? Think László Polgár's daughters. However it does require the most scarce resource of all - the human resource. The *** discord is kinda full of degenerates who like wasting their time, and I assume most self-improvement groups are going to be like that. The people who don't waste their time are just going to spend it somehow else.

21.03.2022 Does being rational equate to being right?

Very often one of the criticisms you hear against something is a variation of "I see no reason for this to a part of our society". Be it tradition, a cultural/social norm, a discipline such as philosophy or an institution such as the church or the family unit, there's always that guy who assumes they're useless because he can't explain why these things exist.

Let's take science for example: you may find out that not only is reason alone not enough to come to any real conclusion, but that with the insufficient(and sometimes even sufficient) data you will find yourself to be verifiably wrong on many accounts. Turns out you can't really just sit in a room and come up with ideas that "make sense" to explain the real world. Can you then really explain how there's no need for philosophy or religion nowadays when your argument essentially boils down to not having any data?

You might come to notice that pretty much every single planned society is a disaster - this is a result of a human brain trying to replicate existing societies without an understanding why the institutions are the way they are. Imagine an alien trying to make "improved" humans by removing an organ he doesn't understand what it's there for. A society designed by one person is as good as that person's experience - it doesn't have the wisdom gathered throughout the millennia. It's unlikely one man can even manage to comprehend as much as out cultural heritage has in its memory. It doesn't have just one person's perspective, but billions of them - consider the wisdom of crowds: everyone contributes a piece of knowledge everyone else missed.

Now, humans aren't entirely rational, which is ironically for good reason. Rationality takes too much energy and takes too long to be useful in potential life and death situations where you need to react quickly. Some of our most irrational behaviors are most important for our survival - and, perhaps, they are irrational for a reason.

Sometimes you gotta ask not "does it make sense to me?" but "what function does this serve and how did it come to be?". Thus, you will likely find the answer to the first question.


22.03.2022 Had a few more thoughts on the subject:

1) Rational thinking can be and is commonly used as a tool to justify pretty much any position ever. Once again, it's easy to manipulate the data to come to any conclusion you want. Not to say we don't need rational thinking, but rather that the veil of rationality alone does not make an argument.

2) I think this makes a convincing case for why too much planning is bad. As long as you adapt you will be fine.