Archive for October, 2017

Reading, exercising, and life

October 30, 2017

I sometimes read some words and pronounce “I read it” even if I didn’t fully understand what I read. Sadly, the goal is to get through the words, with some minimal understanding. The goal is not to thoroughly understand it.

I sometimes do an exercise and pronounce “I did it” even if I didn’t fully feel the movement and the muscles that were used. Sadly, the goal is to get through the exercise, with some minimal sensory feeling. The goal is not to thoroughly feel the movement and the muscles.

The years are passing by quickly. I wonder if, unconsciously, my goal is to get through life, with some minimal awareness. I hope not.

We have too much confidence in our beliefs

October 21, 2017

We have too much confidence in our beliefs. When you cannot imagine an alternative to your belief, you are convinced that your belief is true. That’s overconfidence.

What I don’t know matters enormously and what I can’t see matters enormously. It’s very difficult for us to imagine how anyone could see the world in a way that’s different from the way we see it. There are other ways of seeing the world, there are alternatives, there are things that you do not see, and they are important.

— Daniel Kahneman

Type 1 fun, type 2 fun

October 18, 2017

Yesterday I listened to an interview of an astronaut who spent nearly a year on board the space station. I was surprised at something he said. When asked if he had fun he replied: It was a type 2 fun. He then explained: A type 1 fun is like the fun you have on a roller coaster ride. A type 2 fun is one where it’s not fun when you’re doing it, but once it’s over, then you realize how awesome and amazing it was.

Each evening I take a cold shower. It’s a type 2 fun – not fun when I’m taking the shower, but once it’s over I feel fantastic.

Too many people with hidden agendas

October 7, 2017

I have tried many diets. I have tried many exercise routines. I have tried many physical therapy approaches. All were either ineffective or damaging. For example, one diet rocketed my cholesterol level. One exercise routine caused a forearm injury that took me two years to recover from. One physical therapy approach hurt my shoulders and it took weeks to recover from.

I’ve come to realize that:

(1) There are a lot of people on the Internet with hidden agendas. Their agendas aren’t altruistic, to selflessly help people. Instead, their agendas are purely selfish: get more views, so that they can get more sponsors, so that they can make more money.

(2) There are lots of people on the Internet who sound smart, sincere, and expert, but in reality, they are completely unqualified and give really bad advice.

(3) There are very few people on the Internet who have no hidden agenda, who give good, helpful, quality advice, and aren’t out to make a buck off everyone.

I am going to avoid many of the sites that I used to visit.

Always be a beginner

October 7, 2017

In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few.

— Shunru Suzuki (Zen master)


I remind myself to always be a beginner, no matter how many years I’ve been working in an area.

A thousand pound bear can run 50 yards in 3 seconds

October 7, 2017

Last week I was on vacation in Alaska. I learned this:

Never run from a bear: A bear can run 50 yards in 3 seconds, or up to 40 mph, faster than a race horse for short distances, and faster than any human, uphill or downhill.