4 things that make hell on earth

Conviction

This is fear at its finest this is the death of fluidity and it is dangerous to have. Models and stories tend to be false, some just work better than others. If you aren’t willing to shift to something that works better, your’e just going to hurt yourself.

Conviction tends to create conviction too. The new Athiests didn’t show much conviction till they started having a duel with the bible belt. Xenophobia tends to be a cause of ethnic gangs within poor immigrant. Religions don’t become very tribal till a tribe comes about from defense. That model could potentially explain the nationalistic Catholicism of Spain from the fight to reconquer the peninsula, the IRA from the fight to reconquer Ireland, etc.

Avoid the convicted, and know when you are in a situation that creates conviction, because our long term survival depends on us being fluid.

 

Self Obsession

There is no need to take over the world or have everyone work for you. There’s no need to take a library of pictures of yourself in model poses its not flattering. Self obsession takes away consideration, humility, etc. Self Obsession creates pride and envy depending on your place on the number line. Self obsession prevents us from that feeling of loving, it cheats us out. Who wins more when someone experiences the Ben Franklin method of gaining friends. The person who receives the favor, or the person who gave begins to feel in love in a philial sense, the one who begins to think less of them self by doing something for others

Laziness

Did you get your chores done today, great. Oh what about the groceries, oh, and did you pay all those bills, oh you got them payed early, excellent. Did you see how your friends were doing, and your very “useful” connections, awesome, you got to work that power base right? Did you catch the news, and check your: Email, Social Media, Now look back and realize that you have got nothing significant done. Yes, nothing significant on that oh so critical path. That one that will give you financial freedom, that one that will give you a life of takumi.

This is where lounging around tends to be more productive than doing chores, at least when your lounging you can come up with a plan of action for your critical path.

Gossip

Minding our own business is hard especially for those that have no business, have nothing really significant going on in their lives so they gossip.  They talk about the affairs of others, they babble on about the insignificant. There’s no need to know any of it. Its damage from idling. solution, stop idling.

Educational Video Game. The solution to our edu problem?

One of my friends from high school notoriously played World of Warcraft for nine hours a day. Yes nine hours a day. This was back in the middle of the last decade, but this however is common. 

Video Games are a mixed bag while my friend was playing WoW, I would head over his house quite frequently and use his idling XBox, to play games that he wasn’t using. Typically, Elder Scrolls and Halo. These games gave somethings. In Elder Scrolls I learned it was just fine to play your own game, in Halo your given this great sense of grandeur. With WoW, I’m sure one could get a whole lot of leadership and management skills depending on what they did. I’m sure with all of them you also develop your spatial intelligence.

Video games have huge potential, however, in education. What my friend who played WoW spent that time learning a foreign language, learning how to draw up and test inventions with CAD and CAE (computer aided engineering) respectively, what if he learned to put on great dramas compose dances and music in a game. This is quite possible now. With a video game you could blow past duolingo in learning with having language zones with highly encriptive environments. Say the Spanish zone could have Spanish and Mexican architecture with someone doing the Argentine Tango in a square. Our minds tag the language to the environment so when you learn Spanish in a Mexican looking place, it’s easy for you to speak Spanish in a Mexican looking place. Read Brain Rules to get more what I’m talking about. That could be paired with active conversations that already take place in video games but with laws that only allow the language for the zone. This is just a layer.

The other layer that gaming is missing is as an engineering toy. Why not encourage invention for stuff in the real world by developing scenarios analogous to real world problems in the game. Say make virtual things that would work in real physics, have them tested in CAE. In CAE keep the outcomes from what damage could be done to it and program efficiently into an object that could be used in the game. Some problems with this is that of over optimization to a specific problem, which is how I find F1 leads to not much innovation in real consumer cars. The solution. It’s a game you can program in as many “black swan” events that you want.

Another layer could be business skills, which many games I understand already have in someway. Such as Eve Online. This really just means having an economy as part of the game mechanics.

With kinect you can also teach kenetic skills like self defense and dance and quite possibly even compose dances.

This creates simulations for real skills we need in the real world, and it comes more naturally. Adventuring in a video game is much more natural to our experience than moving from room to room on some class bell. It would be more effective, it can be continuously improved quickly. 

 

 

Just-in-time (JIT) education: a model for an uncertain world

I once said to a gentleman older than I that “I am going to have to be Leonardo da Vinci just to survive”. This was a response to his comment on me dreaming too big and doing to many different things. Education is becoming more and more of a highly speculative bet, this explains my behavior. Unless your going all the way with physics or quantitative analysis, things are shifting so fast that betting many years paying out cash and forgoing income on school may not turn out well. Even software isn’t so solid as its development is getting more efficient, and other high skilled professions may gain the efficiency where less and less are needed in a industry. So, its best not to invest to much time in education unless the skills the are highly transferable. Say, seduction, a good set of hueristics from psychology and economics , a solid amount of math and physics, beyond that I’ll learn guitar when I get some tunes in my head, I’ll learn engineering skills and related tools when I have something to invent, etc.

Education has an inventory cost as well, I’ve been learning Portuguese again and again and again speculating that I will get to lie on one of those other worldly beaches in the Algarve Region within a couple of months. Didn’t happen, so my skills for a conversa just get rusty over and over again. The same happened to my MS Excel skills from high school, financial analysis wasn’t on my priorities list at age 15.

With more and more knowledge about the brain the know how is out there to get highly skilled really fast. We can have just in time education, and this frees us up to learn skills for a thing we expect to do soon. The Four-Hour Chef, by Timothy Feriss is the bible for this accelerated learning. It describes the DISS method which deconstructs a skill and focuses on the most critical, value producing elements. This is highly useful for anything where ones credentials is ones work and not some certification which is actually quite a bit (any art, any engineering that doesn’t require inspection, any content creation). This is perfect if you want to take part in this new vagabonding/sharing/gig/freelancing layer of society that does various jobs to get by. However, say the model that Duolingo, which offers certification based credentials, scales to other skill sets (coding, engineering, etc) we may be able to move to a world with the ability to have JIT education with certs. where you wouldn’t have to wait for a test which happens a couple of times a year or travel to a specific testing location. A problem could be cheetin, but Smart HR departments tend to test peoples skills at the interview anyway, see code interview. More importantly with the Duolingo model one can learn with extreme flexibility, and with more encryption, with the strategic reiteration of concepts from the program.

There is too much debt, gen Y looks like a bunch of blown up bankers, JIT education can probably fix this.

 

A new, better way to measure product value

A lot of products are rated on their quality or on their ability to bump us up a notch on the social number line. The latter is just a bunch of noise, and I do what I can to have the discipline to not fall for it, the former just says it will do the job it says it does. What I want are things that make my life less frustrating and they tell me they do. For example, I could have a robot to bathe me but then that’s something more that can break, but where the real frustration comes it is that that robot might need something refilled, something replaced. This is an interesting introspection I have had with living with a Roomba, the thing can feed itself but I have to change its diaper, and that does not make life easier when I primed for the vacuum process to be done automatically. However, when one vacuums with a traditional vacuum don’t we sometimes lead ourselves into a state of flow. Therefore, quite possibly a Roomba may not make life less frustrating, but it would just free up time that would be used in a meditative chore.

Lets have measures of products that make life less frustrating, say Cortisol levels that people have after they buy the product, and over time to see if disposing or moving something is a pain. Of course, mass catastrophes would noise out the stress of having to empty the Roomba, or the stress from using software in an undisciplined way. But in the end this may not be to practical unless it was a sort of citezen duty to swab your mouth every hour and document what you own and interact with, maybe then we would have a sample size that could send us a signal.

With reflection alone, however, we should be able to make better decisions on buying things that actually make life less frustrating, it would be nice if civil servants did too. Imagine this, would there be more utility delivered if we walked many hours through an every changing garden to work rather than the near dystopian looking highways that so many of us commute on. It takes more time, but in a better measure of utility (less frustration, more fulfillment, over blind economic activity which a whole lot is composed of the sale of things for compulsive behaviors) it works better.

Lets focus on what makes life less frustrating, and more fulfilling with a holistic view, because to many times I just see money spent on compulsions.

A Hierarchy of Luxury

These is a heuristic I use when increasing the quality of my life. It is something that I find not many people have in practice, but by having a hierarchy we can add utility to our lives efficiently, here’s how mine goes:

Good Books > Good Food > Good Bedding > Good Clothing > Good Shelter >  Good Transportation > Good Parties.

Additive luxuries I would define as things for non productive pastimes- surfing, golf, etc. This being different from what I would describe as enhancing luxuries– things that add value to things that we already have to do, sleep, eat, learn, etc. Sometimes, I find it really hard to beat a spontaneous party of Pandora, friends, and a six pack from Wal- Mart, and additive luxuries I don’t bother with to much.

Essentially this amounts to that I’d rather live in a tent near wholefoods with a loaded kindle, than hit up the hottest club every weekend  in a nice car and eat at Kroger, Shop-Rite, what have you, with an empty library, and an apartment. I would argue this does make plain ole’ sense. “you are what you eat” and “you are what you read” are common sayings. These are fundamental. It’s what you put in your body and what you put in your mind. So I pick this battle even when I’m living like the porvello. The payoffs over time make sense.


 

Tips and Tricks

  • Good Books
    • Book curators are a Godsend. You can go and read the books that fit your fancy from stumbling upon them, but its wise to listen to people who read a ton and sort out the crap. Crap books can kill you, you may be listening to a charlatan.
    • Some book Curators
      • Josh Kaufman, author of the Personal MBA. This guy’s list makes me feel like I wasted 8 years in high school and college, and its all for those fundamental skills, not communication or calculation
      • Dominic Cummings, a British politician who advocates an “Odyssean” education, click on the link to read more.
      • Ryan Holiday
  • Good Food
    • Whole Foods, Chipoltle, you get the picture
  • Good Bedding
    • Sheets: Brooklynin– affordable high-end quality sheets.
    • Comforter: Rumpl – made out of the same material as camping gear, so its easy to clean.
  • Good Clothing

Feel free to suggest hierarchies of your own, and products you would use to enhance things you already have to do in your life.

Run from the taxman in the spirit of the law

Okay, so I totally made up this spirit. But if the government is against it we all should have issues. The spirit is to encourage risk.  The more potentially income generating risk you take the more you can expense away your income. We all have pastime right, lets just replace them with potentially income generating endeavors. What if you replaced your aspirations for getting a new TV and replaced that with coming up with a new YouTube Channel. Why not replace just cooking to eat with the development of a restaurant menu, that’s a lot of meals at home that could become taste tests, dinner parties now become product testing labs. The list goes on:

  • Do you know a musical instrument and have you ever jammed something catchy, expense away a new guitar by making a new record.
  • Do you like beer? make beer with the intent of bringing it to market and expense it all away.
  • Do you like to read books? Why not write a book, then all the books you use to write the book can be an expense.
  • Do you like fashion? Hit up the sewing machine and wear clothing you made to test out a potential fashion line.
  • Are you an engineer? For the love of humanity, when you go home invent something. Their may be billions of dollars worth of problems in just the kitchen, and with selling patents you won’t have to put up with all the pain of bringing something to market.
  • Do you like video games? make one! There’s an originality drought, we need you!
  • Do you like trying out new things and coming up with new ways of doing things? Hello high traffic blog.
  • Do you like to work out. Come with a niche gym franchise.

What you would be doing is trading your free time that typically gets passed with baseball, the news, or fishing, and replacing that with investing time into an option*  to start something income producing by developing the intellectual property as a productive pastime. But if the product is intellectual property or software, then the time and money invested wouldn’t be like an option, because the barriers to entry are so low it would be analogous to buying stock. Now tell me, whats more fun, blowing away time on E-trade or blowing it away tweaking that sweet lick you came up with last weekend.

Finally, one of the tricks to actually making anything happen is commitments. The people at stake isn’t just you it’s everyone who would potentially buy your product. With this blog I have commitments to everyone that can possibly stumble upon it, if I don’t do it no one gets my insights on being foxy unless they talk to me somewhere. The world needs new ideas, like I said in the list some industries are just going empty, I feel empty when I leave the movies, I feel empty when I play a new video game. Why? Because I have seen it, done it, etc. Established entities tend to avoid taking paradigm shifting risk. Once companies find something that makes money they’ll do it over and over again with less and less added utility from each new iteration. Look at the latest Mario Kart, the latest Ford Focus, the latest iPhone, one of Bob Dylan’s latest singles. They’re all not that greater from what was before or they suck! Now check out the The Stanley Parable, Lit C1, The stuff that shows up at SXSW. These come from relatively unestablished places. Some of the greatest innovations come out of nowhere, possibly because dreaming nobodies may not suffer from complacency.

So, Lets all be poor on paper. Scratch your itch for something better. The world needs you to.


 

Strategies and tips

  • Shift things you already have to do to survive well into productive endeavors. Examples: Expense away your need to eat by developing a restaurant franchise.
    • Tools: EatWith, essentially AirBnB for dinner parties. Use this to test and tweak your food, and restaurant experience, read The Lean Startup to understand my thought process on this better.
  • Expense away your books, other modes of learning, even travel by starting a high traffic blog, other content based product, based on your insights.
    • Tools: WordPress, YouTube, Ingram Spark, Ryan Holidays Blog (this guy is a book factory, he’s only 26 and already has 3 books out. He apprenticed under the great John Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, and, obviously, has picked up some tricks in writing.)
  • Hum your own songs on the way to work, just turn the radio off and eventually you might just involuntarily come up with a riff to build up on into a song.
    • Tools: ScoreCloud– hum your melody in and this app will put it into musical notation, Imitone– hum your melody and turn it into music.
  • If you’re an engineer, or an inventive person, we need you! Please, when you go home work on making life easier for all of us, there might be millions waiting on the other side.
    • Tools: Tech Shop  get the skills to make imagination come to a reality.

Books: Make Millions with Your Ideas, One Simple Idea, Accounting Made Simple

*This being an analog to the financial product: you put in enough to launch (menu, basic design, plans, etc, if a restaurant, essentially a clear vision), but no land, labor, capital. This has sense given vision is one of the most important elements in doing something. If you don’t know what to do, what can you do?