I already did a post on my recent Vegas trip, but there’s a piece of it that I didn’t mention.
Working in my current job I have had the privilege to be able to hire many of my friends, and going to Vegas this time (our team meeting) I was able to see it for the first time.
I met there friends from my life before leaving home, friends from my first job out of school, friends from my second job, friends from my third job, and many from my current job.
Basically, at each point in my life I met a few great people, and because I am in the position to hire I have manufactured a workaround for life’s cruelest trick–having your friends slip away from you.
So I now have the perfect tech job. I get to work on interesting problems, break apps, and share knowledge of how to do so–all while making a good living. And I get to do it with many of the friends I’ve made throughout my life.
Few things can compare, and I am thankful.
Robert Heinlein wrote a book a long time ago called Time Enough for Love in which he described all the various things a human being should be able to do. It closely maps with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s concept of a full person, evidently.
Go here to calculate your score on this test (your Heinlein score).
I scored very low–like a 14–which is a problem. Not that I see this as some true measure of a person, but such things are good secondary indicators of overall breadth of experience and competence.
Bottom line: If the main topic of conversation you have with your friends is not how you can better yourself, you need to get new friends.
This is the most important line, but I suggest you read the whole thing to see how the author got there. I’d say this is perhaps the most important lesson I think should be given to children: you are who your main friends are. ::
Today I had lunch with an aunt I don’t visit enough. I then had tea with Susan and we drove on the 101 while she DJ’d from her iPhone. She sang to me.
Now we sit in our sunlit SF apartment listening to The XX, drinking Yerba Mate. From this position of perfection, I am starting a formal email discussion with a friend regarding Harris’s Moral Landscape.
Work is great. I am healthy here in the Bay Area with the one I love, and we have the Internet so I can share ideas with friends who are distant.
Today I am thankful. ::
From businesses we’ve never heard of, to countries we’ve never visited, to infants who’ve had the random misfortune to be born into a family that’s on TV – it’s all grist for obvious jokes and shortsighted commentary that, for at least a few minutes, helps both the maker and the consumer feel a little less bored, a little less vulnerable, and a little less disconnected. For a minute, anyway, it makes us feel more alive. Does me, anyway.
But, in my observation, the long-term effect of each of these can be surprisingly different.
What makes you feel less bored soon makes you into an addict. What makes you feel less vulnerable can easily turn you into a dick. And the things that are meant to make you feel more connected today often turn out to be insubstantial time sinks – empty, programmatic encouragements to groom and refine your personality while sitting alone at a screen.
An absolutely brilliant post. Don’t miss this one.
We were wrong for laughing at the Star Wars kid, and the guy who was reduced to tears by a double rainbow. Double light sabers and double rainbows are, in fact, as cool as they made them out to be.
We shamefully laughed at them, when we should have been swinging and weeping with them. And deep inside we knew that. We understood their passion but like a pimple-faced 15-year-old we bent to the pressure and applied ridicule.
I’d be proud to cry at a sufficiently awesome double rainbow, and if someone laughs at me I’ll slay him with a double-sided light saber-mop-handle thingy.
The next time you see this happening, grab a mop handle and help the one who’s enjoying the rainbow–not the one laughing at him. ::
January 12th, 2011 | Happiness | Productivity
The consistent work enhanced my act. I Learned a lesson: It was easy to be great. Every entertainer has a night when everything is clicking. These nights are accidental and statistical: Like the lucky cards in poker, you can count on them occurring over time. What was hard was to be good, consistently good, night after night, no matter what the abominable circumstances.
A post over on Hacker News reminded me of something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while, which is the concept of “bad habits” like excessive shopping or overeating really being happiness problems.
The quote that triggered my thought was:
Obesity is the result of finding your happiness in food.
The reason I did my own post here instead of just posterousing that one is because I think he grazed the concept here without hitting it.
I think the key is that people who don’t have creative outlets or otherwise acceptable ways of being happy are naturally sucked into certain types of activities, e.g. eating for pleasure, shopping for pleasure, etc.
People are tempted to think that skinny, non-materialistic people are interesting and active, and have lots of projects going on. But that’s not the case. It’s the opposite. People with lots of projects and interesting things in their lives tend to be non-materialistic and view food and “things” as a desert rather than a meal. Life is the meal.
So, if you have an eating or a shopping problem it’s likely because there aren’t enough active and creative things going on in your life that occupy your time and focus. And in their absence, there is food, T.V. and shopping.
1 Yes, I know there are many active and creative fat people.