I’ve started collating a series of articles, essays and blogs that I have enjoyed reading.

Okay now this one is seriously blowing my mind.

Give up on your hopes and dreams

What I think this means is that we should stop planning so rigedly. Like if your family expects you to go to uni, become a lawyer, get married to the right person, belong to the right groups. It becomes so forced and narrow that you may not see the other wild opportunities around you.

“At one point in the documentary, she talks with director Patrick Nation about how we use hopes, dreams and utopias to cope with our lives. In our society, dreams and hopes are celebrated as something one should never give up on and are upheld as almost absolute values. Thaemlitz dismantles this assumption in a few sentences by affirming that life can only be engaged if we give up on those hopes and dreams. She uses the metaphor of the tool kit, with hope and dreams being the tools we forcefully use in everyday life that work most of the time but, in reality, blind us from seeing there might be other, more suitable tools we could use instead.”

Maybe the only utopia I could imagine for myself was already there, just in a different form from what I had imagined or someone else had induced me to picture in my mind.”

Why curiosity trumps smartness.

https://durmonski.com/life-advice/curiosity-is-better-than-being-smart/

“Curious people become smart by accident.

Their curiosity simply pushes them into various rabbit holes.

Guided by a childish desire to understand why something is the way it is, they end up exploring webs full of strange to them, initially, things.

The relentless desire to explore the world we live in. To understand why people behave the way they do. To investigate what caused something to work makes them read articles, books, even old newspapers and look for solutions outside their field of work.

It’s harder for them to get things, but their uncommon hunger to figure out how exactly things work helps them overcome their lack of intellect.”

Omg. Life lessons by Frederico Fellini.

https://italysegreta.com/life-lessons-from-federico-fellini/

“I’ve learned that there are people who are such a pain in the ass that they are a real ornament to the testicles.

I’ve learned that there is nothing more intoxicating than sticking to your choice. And then getting it wrong.I’ve learned that nostalgia tastes like hot chocolateBut most of all, I’ve learned that the really important days in a person’s life are five or six in all.

All the others just make volume.

So sixty years from now, you won’t remember the day you graduated from college or the day you won an Oscar.

You’ll remember that night when you and your friends, the real ones, smoked 10 cigarettes each and inebriated, sang your hearts out in the rain-soaked streets.”

How to travel like and Italian woman.

We should all aspire to this, on any budget.

https://italysegreta.com/the-art-of-travelling-like-an-italian-woman/

Jennifer Coolidge

Terrific long-form article and interview with Jennifer Coolidge. She is so perfectly described.

https://www.vulture.com/article/jennifer-coolidge-profile.html

4 Ways I’ve Changed My Mind in the Past 10 Years by Mark Manson

“When you come to the conclusion that trust matters more than anything else, it calls upon you to do two things:

Trust others, even when you are entirely aware that you may be punished for it. Trust can only be built if people are willing to trust and be hurt as a result. Be that person.
Maintain the utmost integrity. Do not lie, cheat, or steal from others. Do not take advantage of others. Do not manipulate others. Become the person who deserves other people’s trust.”

On genetics:

Genetics are like the gravity of our personality. Sure, you can train yourself to be more social, to feel less anxious, to be more charismatic, but the degree to which you can change these things will always be limited by your genetics.

This subject gets particularly touchy when it comes to childhood and trauma. If you accept the premise that you are capable of changing anything about yourself, then the most logical explanation for why you’re not the way you want to be is that your parents/childhood fucked you up. As a result, a lot of self-help and cheap therapy will spend a lot of time going over every upsetting experience you ever had as a child, as if that solves anything.

But the science doesn’t really back this up. You don’t have anger issues because your parents never respected your feelings growing up. You most likely have anger issues because your parents have anger issues, and their parents had anger issues, and so on.

On becoming a (not very radical) capitalist:

Look, I get why so many millennials identify with socialism. The two biggest industries that have dominated our lifetimes — tech and finance — have produced innovations that have arguably not made society any better, and potentially made things much worse. As Peter Thiel once said, “We asked for flying cars and instead all we got was Twitter…

In theory, government regulation is great. Humans have a tendency to be selfish and greedy and we need some centralized system to check businesses and industries when they get out of line.”

Most regulations are not regulations as much as they are unnecessary headaches for business owners and free money for corporate lawyers who help you navigate the bullshit. They put a drag on commerce and in most cases, fail to deter the bad behavior they are meant to.”

100 Tips for a Better Life by Ideopunk

95. Some types of sophistication won’t make you enjoy the object more, they’ll make you enjoy it less. For example, wine snobs don’t enjoy wine twice as much as you, they’re more keenly aware of how most wine isn’t good enough. Avoid sophistication that diminishes your enjoyment.

98. People don’t realize how much they hate commuting. A nice house farther from work is not worth the fraction of your life you are giving to boredom and fatigue.

On trust:

Trust others, even when you are entirely aware that you may be punished for it. Trust can only be built if people are willing to trust and be hurt as a result. Be that person.
Maintain the utmost integrity. Do not lie, cheat, or steal from others. Do not take advantage of others. Do not manipulate others. Become the person who deserves other people’s trust.

Contrarians FTW

I think I’m just a contrarian. It’s an apt description. Or maybe just a lowly provocateur.

“Herding also comes with an intoxicating sense of power: as members of a crowd, we feel much stronger and braver than we are in fact. And sometimes we act accordingly…

Once caught up in the maelstrom, it is extremely difficult to hold back: you see it as your duty to participate. Any act of lynching, ancient or modern, literal or on social media, displays this feature…

André Gide observed once that:

the real value of an author consists in his revolutionary force, or more exactly … in his quality of opposition. A great artist is of necessity a ‘nonconformist’ and he must swim against the current of his day.

What Gide says about the ‘great artist’ applies to the great philosopher, too. The ability to ‘swim against the current’ should be seen as an absolute prerequisite for the thinking profession…

This usually means an open confrontation with the priestly caste in charge of preserving the established knowledge, followed by the thinker’s marginalisation, excommunication and ostracisation…

For all their panache, courage and occasional success, contrarians are never winners. They may win a battle or two, but they can’t win the war.”

No News is great news:

https://thomasjbevan.substack.com/p/all-news-is-bad-news

I am currently rereading this article because no news is a goal for me in 2023 and this is me, to a T.

“So what is the news anyway? In its simplest and most universal definition news is information about recent events or happenings. That’s it…

Newspaper magnates and journalists soon realised that for them to win out in this newly formed attention economy their newspapers would have to be sensational…

Think of the prestige drama series showing Sunday broadsheets and French Press coffee and witty repartee at the breakfast island within the characters’ minimalist yet vast penthouse apartment with its expensive furniture and panoramic views of the metropolis outside. Such images go into our minds and we begin to model them mimetically- and if we can’t have the whole high flying lifestyle we can at least emulate the newspaper toting or smartphone swiping aspect of the vision quite easily…

News-following, then, can be a signifier of a certain aspiration, of a desire to be seen as intelligent, worldly, caring, in-the-know. It strikes me as an adolescent’s attempt to appear to be an adult by wearing their parent’s much larger shoes and suit jacket…

The democracy and society improving aspects of news-following are its foundational doctrine, as we have hinted at above, but they do not hold up to the light of reason. Think about it. As the Swiss writer and former news junkie turned anti-news advocate Rolf Dobelli has observed “[The average person] has devoured 20,000 news items in the past 12 months- 60 per day at a conservative estimate. Did a single one help you make a better decision about your life, family, career, well-being or business?”

The Sister Wound:

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2018/08/ladies-we-have-to-heal-the-sister-wound/

“There was a time we weren’t afraid of each other’s powers because we knew that each and every one of us are powerful in our own right. There was a time where women were leaders and we understood that it truly takes a village.

Then came patriarchy.

Patriarchs were aware and afraid of a female’s power to command peace and harmony among all living beings, and this didn’t really fly with their agenda of owning and controlling their reality. In order to gain control, a carefully crafted cocktail of patriarchal religions, brute force, and fearmongering (sound familiar) was used to split apart these peaceful societies and divide women from each other.”

Another one: https://www.reflectivehealing.com/blog/fortcollins/therapy/reflectivehealing/the-sister-wound-and-womens-circles

There used to be times when we were gathering together, when we weren’t putting each other down, where there wasn’t a need to undermine one another. Women would gather at the well, eat together at tables, or gather in nature together and create magical healing experiences where they would listen to one another and learn from their wisdom. Women started to become more powerful, more vocal. They started to make changes in their town and communities. ..

When we spend time and energy fighting each other, we are not spending any energy fighting a system of oppression that hurts us all. When we put down other women, we simultaneously hold up this system, and we put down a part of ourselves.