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Memores acti prudentes futuri

You're unsure if I am a loose end or a strand
that waits for you to mend or understand
A few words
"When we describe the Moon as dead, we are describing the deadness in ourselves. When we find space so hideously void, we are describing our own unbearable emptiness."
~ D.H. Lawrence

"Is the meaning of life defined by its duration? Or does life have a purpose so large that it doesn't have to be prolonged at any cost to preserve its meaning?"

"Living is not good, but living well. The wise man, therefore, lives as well as he should, not as long as he can... He will always think of life in terms of quality not quantity... Dying early or late is of no relevance, dying well or ill is... even if it is true that while there is life there is hope, life is not to be bought at any cost."
~ Seneca

"People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world's about to end soon anyway. Those people are looking at life the wrong way. I mean, things don't need to last forever to be perfect."
~ Daydream Nation

"All Bette's stories have happy endings. That's because she knows where to stop. She's realized the real problem with stories-- if you keep them going long enough, they always end in death."
~ The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes

"The road now stretched across open country, and it occurred to me - not by way of protest, not as a symbol, or anything like that, but merely as a novel experience - that since I had disregarded all laws of humanity, I might as well disregard the rules of traffic. So I crossed to the left side of the highway and checked the feeling, and the feeling was good. It was a pleasant diaphragmal melting, with elements of diffused tactility, all this enhanced by the thought that nothing could be nearer to the elimination of basic physical laws than deliberately driving on the wrong site of the road."
~ Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend."
~ William Blake
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Chasing the distant [4P]
Saturday, July 31, 2021
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Things that go unmentioned [4P]
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
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This bit about cynicism again(?)
Saturday, June 26, 2021
Carefree Wandering has become my favorite channel on Youtube. I feel like Hans-Georg Moeller presents things in such an approachable way without all the flashiness and accessorizing that some philosophy channels use.

I started watching Daria recently because a friend said multiple times that I'm like the titular character. Three seasons in and I still don't agree. She does remind me a little of how I was in high school, which I guess might be fitting since she's supposed to be a high schooler, but overall she seems like a selfish and self-important person. I guess that could be said of the majority of the characters though. It mainly bothers me with Daria because she's supposed to be smart, but instead of using her intelligence to pursue any sort of personal growth, she just keeps up a constant stream of sarcastic commentary that seems to serve little constructive purpose. I've been told that she grows as a person over the course of the series, but it doesn't seem like there's been that much growth so far.

The reason I mention Daria is because there are multiple occasions she says she's not depressed and she's just a realist. While I don't think she's necessarily depressed, I take some issue with her claim about being able to see the world more "objectively" or accurately than most of the people around her. I guess it's something of a pet peeve for me when people claim their cynicism/pessimism is rooted in some kind of intellectual superiority. I'm pretty sure I've touched on this subject before, but it's been awhile since I ranted about this, so I might as well talk about it.

I really dislike that whole "the world sucks and I'm aware of it because I'm smart" attitude. It's just as stupid as people who think the world is all good. Maybe what I'm really saying is that I just have a dislike of black and white thinking, which I feel shouldn't be a trap people fall into if they're actually intelligent... but I guess that might not be fair of me to assume. Emotional intelligence and life experience play into these things as well. Still... I'm suspicious of the actual intelligence of people who seem so blinded by their biases. How unobservant and lacking in curiosity do you have to be to run across other people who genuinely believe there's a lot of good in the world and not ask yourself why there's a disagreement there beyond some smug assertion that the optimists are just idiots who can't see reality? Is questioning one's basic assumptions not a package deal once you hit a certain level of intelligence? I know that's phrased rhetorically but I do mean it as an honest question too. After all, I can't complain about people assuming things while I assume something myself in the same sentence.

It's hard for me to tell what is intelligence vs. values or some sort of nebulous personal inclination to think certain ways. I think people often talk about intelligence as if agreeing with their personal values is a mark of intelligence, e.g. "intelligent people don't eat animals because they understand that animals have feelings and it's cruel to knowingly cause suffering unnecessarily." While I completely understand the temptation to describe things in those terms, I don't like it. Then again, I imagine the people who do that probably aren't thinking of it as a choice so much as a statement of reality.

Everybody's caught up in their own vision of reality... And I am too in my own way, I'm just less confident in there being any one particular version of reality that is the truest. The noumena/phenomena split is just very salient for me, maybe.

Cynicism and sarcasm are often armors that people put on to avoid being vulnerable. Sometimes I think it would be more accurate to, instead of defending that armor with a claim like "I'm smart," say "I'm scared." Scared because awareness of the forces that affect society and the world in general can make you feel small, overwhelmed, and uncertain of how to make a meaningful difference. Evolution is slow, and humans evolved to live in relatively small groups (I remember a friend telling me once that in prehistoric times, a given individual would probably only know around 150 people max in his/her life). We're not really equipped to comfortably conceive of the kind of world we live in today. Awareness of just how far out of our grasp the scope of human civilization has spiraled is sort of a curse in the sense that it can be emotionally taxing. I still don't think the answer is to become a jaded misanthrope, but I don't know that there is a single right answer, either.

There are just no clear cut solutions to these things in my mind. My hesitance to commit to any conclusion would probably make me terrible at marketing.

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Trying not to become a blob fused to my chair
Thursday, May 27, 2021
Got struck with a bout of physical anxiety today. I couldn't really pinpoint a specific trigger, but I've been getting some the past few days and today was the worst.

Decided to exercise to try to make it go away, which seemed to help. I did 100 hip thrusts and some kickboxing stuff with my weighted gloves but that wasn't really cutting it, so I went for a short jog and I think that was what helped the most. It's been a pretty long time since I did any actual running, so it was a relief that I could still do a mile and change.

My workout routine has really collapsed during the pandemic. Or well... there isn't a routine anymore, I should say. I do exercise, but not as much as I was before, and it's basically never planned now. Feels kinda bad, but also it's nice to see I haven't completely fallen out of shape.

Speaking of that, I set a new personal record for plank time today. Seven minutes! I don't know how I improved so much when I haven't been practicing consistently, but whatever, I'll take it. Last time I did it was a few days ago and I held it for 6:30, which I thought was a fluke, but I tried again today and was surprised. My previous record back when I was actually doing planks regularly was around 5 minutes.

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Something perceived as closeness [4P]
Friday, May 14, 2021
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Initial [4P]
Sunday, April 25, 2021
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The opposite of boredom is not fun
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
I was lying in bed last night, thinking about boredom. Boredom is not something I feel very often, despite it seeming to be a common state for many people.

At the same time, I wouldn't say I exist in a constant state of enjoyment, either. Actually, if anything, I don't enjoy very much. There is frequently a cloud of anhedonia hanging around me that keeps me from really liking things I do. Thanks depression! Still, I do things, even if I don't get much out of them. Not doing anything would only make it worse.

The opposite of boredom is stimulation, but that stimulation doesn't have to be positive or enjoyable... And I wonder if that's why I've sought out so many experiences that are not particularly happy or fun. If I can't really enjoy something meant to be fun, it makes sense to go for something that might make me sad instead, right? It's still a feeling. It holds off boredom.

We seek stimulation... wherever that comes from. Inner or outer, positive or negative. Obviously some types are preferred over others, but just about anything is preferable to nothing at all.


I did enjoy this video about the death of Hundun.

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Friday, April 2, 2021
I'm feeling increasing tired of consumerism and neoliberal ideology.

I don't want stuff for the sake of having stuff. I don't want stuff because I think having stuff will in itself make me happy.

On the other hand, this doesn't mean that I'm resolving to become a minimalist and get rid of all my possessions, either. I like having physical books because I find them easier to read. I don't think I need them by any means, nor do I think it's particularly important that other people know which books I own. There's something about the physicality of books that helps me remember information better. The discreteness of the pages compared to the infinitely scrolling walls of text online. I can place something I read by recalling generally where it was in the sequence of pages. The motion of turning the pages, the slight movement of my head as I look from one page to the next; these are helpful somehow to my memory.

As much as I read on the internet, it doesn't seem to stick with me as well.

I'm finding it hard to care about clothes as well. I appreciate the aesthetics of various fashions, but have very little desire to spend any time building my wardrobe. As long as I have clothes that are functional and meet the minimum requirements of appropriateness for the situation I'm in, I don't know how much any of it really matters. It can still be fun to try on clothing in stores, but I rarely want to buy anything. Even when I do really like something, if I sit on that feeling for a day or so it goes away. I still wear a lot of the t-shirts I got in high school because I haven't grown out of them and they don't have holes yet.

The constant cultural messages about being productive and efficient and using the things you consume as the building blocks of your identity... I'm just exhausted. I don't want to live this way. I don't have any grand diatribes about how humans weren't meant to live this way or anything, I'm just tired. It doesn't feel like I can keep up.

I want to live more slowly, I guess. But... I don't want to do it alone. That's what makes it hard more than anything else. I don't fault people who feel differently than me and want to live a fast-paced life, but I wish I knew how to find the people who are looking to slow down. The ones who aren't crazy, I mean.

There seems to be a lot of overlap between people who are interested in slow living and people who are into like... astrology or healing crystals or whatever. Or on the other hand, there are the people like an ex of mine, who went so far down the rabbit hole that he said he'd like to do literally nothing all day. That's not what I want at all.

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