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❱❱ Why You Can't Trust Yourself

  1. You are biased and selfish without realizing it
  2. You don’t have a clue about what makes you happy (or miserable)
  3. You are easily manipulated into making bad decisions
  4. You generally only use logic and reason to support your preexisting beliefs
  5. Your emotions change your perceptions way more than you realize
  6. Your memory sucks
  7. ‘You’ aren’t who you think you are
  8. Your physical experience of the world isn’t even that real

Thorough breakdown from Mark Manson…

❱❱ Simple pleasure

Usually in the Buddhist tradition, you sit, and then you stand up and do slow walking in the meditation hall, and then you sit again. We don’t do that here. Instead, we do outdoor walking. That practice is helpful because you can apply it in your daily life. You walk normally—not too slowly—so you don’t look like you’re practicing and people see you as normal. And then when you go home, when you’re going from the parking lot to your office, you can enjoy walking.

The basic practice is how to enjoy—how to enjoy walking and sitting and eating and showering. It’s possible to enjoy every one, but our society is organized in such a way that we don’t have time to enjoy. We have to do everything too quickly.

Thich Nhat Hanh answers questions about  sitting, walking, mental illness, consuming entertainment, and modeling joy…

Everybody loves the sunshine

January was Portland's rainiest month in more than two years. Over 5½ inches. We needed a good soak. Moss has returned to concrete steps, crannies, and rooftops… The general disposition of ferns has improved considerably… There are perpetual puddles (some that are nearly small ponds) on sidewalks and at street corners everywhere… Dog's won't leave the house without raincoats on.

It's all so wonderfully Pacific Northwest.

The sky was also blanketed in grey. A tiny momentary bit of blue is cause for celebration. Or deflation - If you missed it. Daylight is short, yet days feel impossibly long.

So far, February has brought a bit more sun. But only a bit.

Daydreaming about sunny days on the coast is my new favorite pastime.

❱❱ It is solved by walking

Antonia Malchik for High Country News…

Walking a thousand miles a year hasn’t given me a tidy list for how to live a good and effective life that I could stick up on the refrigerator. But it’s kept the promise contained in the Latin phrase solvitur ambulando, or “it is solved by walking.” Originally used to describe a premise that is explored through practical experiment, the phrase has been used by thinkers, writers and travelers throughout millennia of written history, people who believed — because they walked and found it to be true — that walking was an answer to the stuck thought, the sorrowing heart, the moral dilemma. It is the realization that freedom of the mind is intertwined with freedom of movement.

Throughout Elementary and Middle School I was a "walker". In High School I'd occasionally miss the bus - It was a 2½ mile walk home.

When I left St. Louis, I sold my car. Most days I walked to and from work. Enduring Northeast winters when gusts of below-zero-wind would harden the contacts in my eyes. Through humid summers where I'd arrive home soaked with sweat.

In San Francisco I rocked a granny cart to help when trudging large piles of laundry to the laundromat. For a couple of months I lived at one end of Sutter Street (near the bus lot) and worked at the other (at Market). Walking the length of that street at the end of the day is the best job perk I've ever had. When going back to visit, I'll make time to walk it again. It's up there with SFMOMA and a burrito on my priority list.

In Santa Fe, pedestrians have the right away. Though no one seemed to know it. Or they did and were furious about it. Even city buses will come at you aggressively while you're in a cross walk (with a stop sign). Still…It's hard to beat a snowy walk through little adobe neighborhoods.

I bought a bike a year or so after moving to Portland. I can count on two hands the number of times I've ridden it.

I'd much rather walk…

How to Walk by Thich Nhat Hanh & Jason DeAntonis
This birth, development, and death make up a vast array of totally unwarrantable wants. …?…

Burning a million quid

Money is a perfect example of something that doesn’t exist, but acts like it does
Money is also designed to move. It does not matter to what ends the movement of money is used, for there is no inherent morality to the system. The only important factor is that the money keeps sloshing around, being used and reused. From the point of view of the money system there is only one perversion, which is to permanently remove money from circulation.

“I was only able to articulate it to myself afterwards with hindsight. They thought we were using our money to make a statement about art, and really what we were doing was using our art to make a statement about money.”
The burning of the million quid should not be seen from the perspective of art. It was never about art. It was much more than that, and much more obvious. It was about the destruction of money. It was about the idea that money could be defeated.

From KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money by JMR Higgs.

My 2019 in books…

13,511 pages across 41 books

I read better than the average for dyslexic folks.[1] It's still a lot of work. Having an e-reader helps. I can adjust the font size and the line spacing to something comfortable. Oddly, comfortable varies by book and the style of the writing. Occasionally I'll run into a book that no amount of adjustment will help. I can't process it. No matter how much I'd like to read it (Hi Infinte Jest).

For 2019, I set a goal of 30 books. And I blew past it with 41!

Some of those were graphic novels. They count but a little less so.

Still… It's the most books I've ever read in a single year. By far.

It was fun. It was also exhausting. By the end of the year I felt a little burnt out. Somewhere just north of 40 may be a hard limit. Or maybe pushing up against that wall will eventually expand it?

Either way, I'm not going to push as hard in 2020. Even if I could read 60 books a year, I'll never be able to read everything I'd like to. This year, I'm going to see what a natural pace feels like.

See all the books I read in 2019…

  1. This makes intuitive sense to me but who knows? — Brain Scans Show Dyslexics Read Better with Alternative Strategies ↩︎